Thursday, October 26, 2006

Two conversations about knitting....

... and one disturbing revelation.

Thorny and I are trying not to stalk the Yarn Harlot, even though we made the Fool take a picture like some weirdo fiber paparazzo.

THORNY: I'm really trying not to go over there and be all fangirl - "ooh, I love your books," - what am I supposed to do? Ask her to sign something?'
ME: (Rummages purse, looking for something Thorny could get the Yarn Harlot to autograph while thinking of the weirdest thing I've ever heard people ask a celebrity to do.) Hmm. You could do that rock star thing.
THORNY: What rock star thing?
ME: You could ask her to sign your left breast or something. I bet someone has a Sharpie.
THORNY: I'm not asking her to autograph my boob.
ME: And then you could go get a tattoo of her signature.
ME: Oh, come on.

At work, Tuesday, eating lunch with Nikki and Katie:
KATIE: What are you knitting?
ME: It's the Baby Surprise Jacket. It's a design by a woman named Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was a pretty famous knitter - she came up with some really innovative ideas.
KATIE: What's surprising about it?
ME: Well, you knit this big flat flobbery thing and then you fold it up and sew a couple of seams and it turns into a little cardigan.
ME: I'm not exactly sure how it works - it's a very exciting piece of knitting, really.
NIKKI and KATIE: Hahahahahahah!!!!
ME: Well, I think it's exciting.

Fine. Hats for everyone:
I got a press release from Consumer Reports today, about their Holiday Shopping Poll. A lot of it was boring, except for this stunner.
Buyer beware. In 2005, clothing was the most disappointing category of gifts received (36%) — the biggest offender was socks (11%)

Back to sewing up the Halloween costume. The Fool and I have a gig at a costumed contra dance, and we're going in Renaissance finery. So I'm working on what he refers to as "a wenchcoat."
With luck, I'll make enough progress to justify a little knitting before bed. The Baby Surprise Jacket is getting really gripping.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where your socks have been

Dear Adina,
Meet David. He's from San Antonio and he works in computers. He is a knitter who wears kilts with impunity. He knit that sweater he's wearing, and that kilt hose, too. Which is why I feel a little guilty admitting the following.
That thing he's holding?
It's one of your two socks. He's weaving in the ends of all the bits of yarn I made the sock out of -- a thankless, kind-of-boring task that, in retrospect, I feel like I badgered him into.
See, we were at this sheep-and-wool festival in New York over the weekend (a big one, sort of like the World Cup or Super Bowl of sheep-and-wool festivals), and we ended up hanging out at a Marriott hotel with a big batch of other knitters.
(There has to be a better noun for 'large group of knitters' than 'bunch.' Maybe 'skein,' or 'roving'? Will think.)
So there we all were in the lobby, a big roving of knitters and spinners, when David came to join all of us. He didn't have a project with him, just a beer, and when he started to look a little anxious, maybe like he was on the verge of fidgeting, I offered him your sock to finish off.
By offered, I mean, I threw it at him and said, "Bored? You can weave in ends!"
And he did! Amazing.

(I'm going to try this right now and see if this works in real life. "Bored?!" I'll shout at my husband, throwing him a dirty plate, "You can load the dishwasher!")

Anyway, hanging around in a skein of knitters and spinners is a good time. The Fool got to do his favorite thing - show people the Twisted German Cast-on. Here, he is inflicting, erm, demonstrating it to David.

Here, Thorny is watching in rapt fascination (patient indulgence) as he shows it to her.

Here's Lanea and Jayme, a couple of East Coast knitbloggers we met. They're good people to hang out with, because they apparently travel with homemade cakes and wine.
(They also bring their own crockery, so you will never end up in the situation I did at Celebration dance weekend two years ago when Ben-the-Actuary asked me if I wanted a martini to drink while I played old-time music and when I said yes, thinking, well, maybe Ben has a way to make a good martini in the dark, I found out his idea of a martini was warm bad gin in a styrofoam cup - anyway. That would not happen with these two.)

You may actually have seen them around, because they are contra dancers in DC. When you call at Glen Echo next, I suggest that in between dances, you ask the floor if Lanea is there, and if she is, whether she brought any of her family heirloom almond cake with her. It is That Good.

Anyhoo, that's what I showed your socks last weekend. I also took them to a Celtic festival in Kalamazoo, Mich., to work for a couple weeks, and to the Old Town School of Folk Music while I was house-managing. I believe they heard the Pine Leaf Boys and the Red Stick Ramblers. You should hear those bands too, btw. Anyway, they'll be in the mail shortly.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

In Which The Two SockKnitters Learn They Are Not As Clever As They Thought They Were

She knew.
Thorny knew.
It turns out that while we were patting ourselves on our not-so-sneaky backs for arranging a surprise trip to Rhinebeck, she guessed what was up. So while we were spending our time trying not to give the secret away, she was spending her time trying not to let on that she knew anyway.

But no matter.

We had a great time. There was yarn, roving, two new drop spindles purchased (I still have not fallen prey to the call of the pretty, pretty wool) some new friends, some really delicious Italian almond cake, leaping llamas, pumpkin-hurling trebuchets, curly-haired sheep and a goat that nibbled on my clapotis tassel ... yeah. Good weekend.

We're unpacking right now, and contemplating bed (hung out with knitbloggers until very late last night) so here's a picture until I can get to the good stories. It's of a Bluefaced Leicester, the Fool's favorite kind of sheep. In particular, it's of a rather randy Bluefaced Leicester.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Shhhh ... it's a secret

"Gee, it'd be fun to go to Rhinebeck."
"Yeah. It would."

So we are.


Why are we not playing blogger bingo or any of the other fun Rhinebeck festivities all of blogland has been talking about? Why, because we are kidnapping Thorny and taking her with us ... and it's a surprise. So we've been gleefully rubbing our hands together in absolute, suffering silence over here.
She is en route from Madison as we speak, and we have concocted a plausible cover story as to why we have to drive somewhere with suitcases tomorrow, and, yeah.
The cover story has to do with faulty plumbing and the water being shut off and the floor being torn up and having to stay in a hotel, and as we had a water heater failure that caused us to call our landlord at 1:30 a.m. last Saturday, it's not that outlandish.
It beats the Fool's idea of simply eyeing her sternly and saying, "You'll pack your suitcase and get in that car if you know what's good for you," or mine, of making her play rock-paper-scissors for the privilege of asking a yes-or-no question.

Back to packing now, and trying to figure out what kind of knitting project to take with us. Socks, probably and the River Forest Gansey.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oh dear

Tonight, we decided to walk down to Barbara's Bookstore to buy a copy of Time Out Chicago, in which the lads of Stitches in Britches figure prominently. Well, for one short article, at least. If you don't live in Chicago, you can read it here.
I'm not one to beat up other writers - dog knows how hard it is some days, but I do wish whoever wrote that headline had not dusted off the "knitting not for grandmas" cliche.
That said, here's hoping the guys get more folks to come out and knit.
So en route to the store, the Fool stopped, looked aghast and slapped our bedroom wall.
"Uh oh," he said, turning his hand over. "Moth."
"Wool moth?"
"Hang on. Let me get the camera."
"You're going to blog the moth?"
Dead moths don't photograph well, so he set it aside to take a picture of tomorrow in natural light (because you all want to see a small blurry brown squashed moth.)
Now I'm going to be up all night worrying about the veritable Old Country Moth Buffet of wool in this apartment. How the hell did a moth get in here? What are the cats doing all day?


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I get on these kicks...

... where I tend to buy a lot of things in the same color. For a while, it was chocolate brown. Then it was sage green. Then magenta.
So the other night, when we were driving home from WHPK, and I was sitting with my knitting bag on the seat next to me, I happened to notice that the Fool was petting it lovingly.
Puzzled, I stared, and he glanced over, only to find that he'd mistaken the apple green knitting bag for the apple green skirt I was wearing.
I've got to go shopping.