Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm done with traveling

I flew to Montreal last week. It was my third trip there this year, fifth to Canada. I've been traveling so much this year that my suitcase just lies by my bed all the time.

I don't really enjoy going on business trip. One thing is that I always end up working 15 hours a day. I have nothing else to do -- no house work, no child to take care of, no commuting. I spend all of my time in front of my laptop. I don't sleep well while I'm in east coast anyway.

It's getting old and tiring -- especially when I have to spend nearly six hours in the tiny seat with no leg room flying. But this time, I've had it. I'm so done with traveling.

The direct flight was full, so I chose a connecting flight from SFO to Denver, then Montreal. That was a mistake. My luggage didn't arrive! I was stranded in Montreal, just with my laptop.

(From the hotel window -- Cathedrale Marie-reine-du-monde.
Only picture I took while in Montreal!)
For the next two days, I was without my clothes, toiletries, glasses, power supply for my laptop and cell phone, knitting magazine and .... my handspun yarn!!!

I went to buy a shirt and bare essentials, hoping that the suitcase is just "delayed" as Air Canada kept describing, not "lost." I had my favorite hand knitted socks in it too. Surely two days later, three o'clock in the morning, it arrived at my hotel. I gave up trying to go back to sleep, and knitted some, lying in bed.

I am so done. I don't like being away from my family. I don't like being away from home. I just want to stay home, spin, and knit for a while.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dognapping during Knit Night!

It was a perfectly wonderful Knit Night set for Saturday instead of Friday night. We all contributed food or drink. Liz was missing as she went camping, and we added Tina and her daughter Isabella. Everything was wonderful. We had good food, good friends, good yarn, pointy sticks, a spinning wheel and loom. What else could we ask for (other than having Liz there)? At one point during the cooking of the last of the "Make your own pizzas", our house filled with smoke. No problem, just open up the doors and air out the place. Problem solved. Little did we know that the problem was just beginning.

A little while later the phone rings and my hubby answers. A woman on the other end asks if we are missing our dog. Hubby responds "Ahhhh, I don't know". Let's face it - we had a house full of people, food was happening, smoke was happening, the place was being aired out - OH SHOOT the dog got out! Hubby searches around the house and yard and doesn't find the dog. Woman on the phone feels that my husband doesn't care about our dog and they exchange a couple of not so nice comments to each other. It turns out that the woman who called found our dog, June, on Novato Blvd. June almost got hit by a car. The woman picks up our dog, but has to get home in a hurry so she takes our dog to her home in SAN LEANDRO! Now, if your not familiar with this area, let me explain that it takes 45 minutes to a hour to drive to San Leandro. The woman was calling from her home. My husband is angry that this woman took our dog, more less than polite words were exchanged and the woman now hangs up on my husband. He tries to call her back, but the call goes right to voicemail. Hubby is furious, woman is furious and our dog is at a stranger's home. What was June thinking? Was she missing home? How were we going to get her back? That's where I came in. I called the woman and left a frantic message for her. I wanted her to know that we were worried about our dog, and we wanted our dog back! The woman responded to this message and calls right back. I get directions to her house, but she tries to talk me into picking up my dog tomorrow. Hubby leaves right away with our oldest son and his friend to pick up the dog. The knitters, spinners and weavers wait at my home until we get good news.

After about 45 minutes I phone hubby and he is in San Leandro, but he is now waiting for police to meet him. He decided that he needed to call the police to help in this matter. He didn't know what would happen as this was a very odd thing to happen. The police are more than happy to escort him to the house. The woman answers the door somewhat surprised to see the police, and says to my husband "Well, you're a piece of work. I can't believe you are treating me this way after I saved your dog." My husband got June, and the police said he could leave. They stayed to listen to this woman rant about how horrible my husband was to her and how he didn't care about his dog.

All I have to say is thank goodness my knitting pals were there with me to help me pass the time while worrying about my dog. I couldn't knit, but instead tried to busy myself by serving pie, ice cream and coffee. It was yummy apple pie that Tamami made from apples Mitch picked from their tree. Thanks to everyone for their support during this trying time.

Ok, now I have a question for you: Isn't it odd that a woman wanted to save a dog, but didn't call the owners until she was an hour drive away? Let me know in the comments if you think this is weird. Charles thinks it could have been a ploy to extort money out of us. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Everything

Erin has a new carpet and hardwood floor.

Huguette has two new kitties.

Liz has a new job.

Tamami has a new door. New roof to come soon too.

This calls for a Knit Night!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

California Wool and Fiber Festival

So we went to THE event that was supposed to be my last fiber-purchasing opportunity for the year 2007!

Boonville is about 90 minutes drive from Novato. It's famous (well, at least to the Northern California beer fans like me) for the great Boonz Beer :-) Wool and beer, the best combination.

I was envisioning an event a little bigger than Lambtown, but I'm not so sure if it's any bigger. And since the fiber vendors and events were confined in one building, it did feel a bit smaller than Lambtown, which was out in the open, with a lot of room to walk around.

The best treat for me was seeing Nancy, who was helping out Carolina Homespun booth. Nancy is my spinning teacher who gave me a session a year ago! Grumph, I forgot to take a picture of us together. I just didn't do well with the photo taking this time, and I don't know why.

Here's a real Navajo spinning. This was the first time I saw a Navajo spindle and the demonstration.
I also saw Charka -- It goes really fast and I was fascinated. Yup, I forgot to photograph! I got to test drive a motorized spinner, and yup, no pictures.

This wasn't the first shearing demonstration Mitch saw, but he was intrigued by Navajo-Churro sheep shearing.

I was on my third shark-circling while the boys watched the shearing, so I missed the explanation, but apparently Navajo-Churro is a very rare breed of sheep. At one time it was facing extinction. The kind lady gave us a handful for souvenir. Of course it really made me happy!

Just 5 grams with lots of grease. It feels very coarse. I'd love to spin only on its own, but I probably blend with something else to stretch it.

Hi Woolie. Be happy and grow wool.

We drove a lot this weekend -- Saturday, to Boonville, Sunday to Williams to tow the CAP glider. Thanks to all that time in the car, my red tweed socks are very close to be done, finally, after two months of being on the needles! I had to finish these up so I can free up the US 2 DPNs -- I only have one set. I am itching to knit a new pair, using my handspun.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Askew FO

It's been a long while since I posted about my FO, and yes I have to admit that I wasn't neglecting to report... I just didn't have any FOs! This is what I get for doing so much spinning and not much time left for knitting.

But here's my version of Askew... Just don't compare the models!

I like the overall style, but I was a bit disappointed when I put it on. It just wasn't comfortable... not very wearable, at least, by me. The shoulder straps are too wide-set in my taste, and very narrow. It felt tight and restricted around my arms and shoulders, but then if I wasn't keeping my back and shoulders consciously straight, the straps would fall off. There's no way I can wear this as a tank top either... I'd have to be pulling up the front all the time, beside the fact that I just don't have a matching figure, like beautiful Cheryl.

So I decided to redo the straps. I made them a bit wider, and make them come inward just a little. The result is a lot more comfortable vest.

Somehow I'm still not very happy about it (I think I look like an Asian Heidi), but hey, an FO is an FO. I loved knitting with Noro Silk Garden too. Especially after it's washed and blocked, it's a very soft and luxurious fiber. I used US 8 Knitpicks Options needles.

I bought several new knitting books, and there are some new sock patterns and a vest I want to try. Knitting season is here!

Here's the Koigu and yellow Rio de la Plata sock yarn that Erin gave me for my birthday. I'm so ready.

Oh yeah, we are going to the California Fiber Festival tomorrow! Anyone going?

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I really don't like Sunday evenings.

Especially when I realize that it's dark outside before eight. Especially when I realize that I didn't play enough over the weekend. Especially when I don't have a knitting project (that I like) going. (oh yeah, I've finished Askew, and it's being blocked.)

Especially when the work sucks. And it sucks big time right now. Especially when the house is a mess and I have no energy to pick things up.

Especially when I spend hours on the net but still can't find a pattern I want to knit (that I have yarn in my stash for)!

Grumble.... I think I'll go to bed early tonight.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

One Year

It's been a year since we started Knit Night. We haven't been able to get together as much, with Liz moving away, and everyone being busy for the summer. But it has been something we all enjoyed and looked forward to for the last year.

Last weekend, Erin, Liz and I planned a Girl's Night Out -- that's actually a first for us to get out of the house to knit on a Friday night. Huguette was back east, visiting her parents. Liz got sick from food poisoning, so it was just Erin and me. Had great dinner by the pool at a local hotel, then knitted in the hotel lobby. Oh yeah, this is nice. Erin gave me two skeins of Koigu -- these are my first Koigu! -- and a skein of kettle-dyed yellow sock yarn. I'd mentioned before that it's hard to find yellow sock yarn. She remembered!

And at the lobby I casted on a new project, Askew, from

This is something I wanted to knit since June or so... Had the yarn ready too. I don't know what I was waiting for -- summer is over already! But since I probably won't be wearing this as a tank top (no matching physique!), but as a vest, it's not too late.

It goes fast -- I'm done with the two pieces for the front. What worries me is that they are way too narrow right now before blocking. The pattern says that it has to be stretched width-wise when blocked. I'm hoping that it works out...

It's been a year since I started spinning. Nancy gave me a spinning lesson on August 26th, 2006, and ever since my wheel hasn't stopped! Both Nancy and the spinner I met at the Sonoma County Fair told me that I'd be making some beautiful yarn in a year. I'm not sure if I'm there yet, but I have been pretty happy with the yarn I spin. My next challenge is to visualize a knitted item before I start spinning!

A confession. I said before that I'd only go to two more fiber fairs and that'd be the only times that I buy fiber for the rest of the year. Un huh, I lied.

Deep Color Studio is closing the store front -- there will still be classes -- and there was a closing sale. Had to go! I got two silk cap (hankies), above.

Two hunks of brown corriedale.

Hemp! I'm excited to try some new fibers.

And a pound of white merino. Some natural dyes. Sigh... and California Fiber Festival awaits next weekend. Maybe I shouldn't go :-(