Friday, September 26, 2008

A Beautiful Day

What a beautiful Friday we are having! I've already been spending my evening hours working (insert your choice of noise), and it has a negative effect on my knitting and spinning progress.

But my Delft Tiles Vest is finally seamed and waiting to be edged, and I have Nancy Finn's silk hankies on my wheel. After some of us spinners talked about this last week at Llama Llama Knit, I fished it out of my fiber stash. A bit low on the spinning satisfaction gaugethough – I prefer spinning silk tops, and it's also easier on my hands… I have no idea what to knit with this yarn (currently a thread weight!)

Hopefully I can get outside this afternoon to put in some exercise in the sun! But for now back to my quarterly budget forecast L

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Much Going On...

... and no time to write!

We were at the California Wool and Fiber Festival at Boonville. Two years in a row, but somehow it looked slower and quieter than the year before. I stopped by at the Tactile booth and bought another 2oz bag of naturally dyed yak down.

Yes, it's as soft as it looks! I was lucky enough to get my hands on my first bag of yak down at the GGFI Summer Intensive, as one of the door prize. Oh yeah. I was so happy when I won this. The colors are soft and warm hues of yellows, pinks, oranges... Maia and Brook have more, I'm sure, if you are interested.

Over the summer, I tried spinning cotton slivers on my wheel just so I'd be good enough to try this yak, but now I'm in love with cotton. Getting more dyed cotton was the reason for me to go to the wool festival this year, but of course I ended up with much more than that! This time I will try spinning a bit thicker.

Here's the photo from last year, in the apple building....

And here's this year's version.

My Japanese indigo plants didn't do so well this year -- just very thin and not very leafy. Won't be enough to dye a cotton ball! So I was hoping that they will at least bloom and produce seeds for the next year. I would dedicate a bigger lot with richer, well-cultivated soil...

Phew! Finally, some flowers! Hopefully they will seed.

Last Thursday afternoon, Charlie and I took the afternoon off from work and took Mitch to the members-only preview of the new California Academy of Sciences. It was so worth it, and more. We talked about (our wish of) doing this once a month. I'm sure Mitch was captured by their photographers and media several times during our visit -- what's better than a small kid looking up at a T-Rex!

I envy you, catfish!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Knitter is Born

On Saturday, I decided to take a little time to knit at Llama Llama Knit here in Novato. I asked my son Austen if he wanted to join me, and I was surprised when he said "Yes". Usually when I ask my boys to join me for any yarn/knitting related journeys I get eyes rolling at me or a "Do I have to?" whining question. So I almost didn't know how to respond to a "yes" answer. Off we headed to our local yarn store. After introducing Austen to the three store owners, I began knitting and Austen started reading the book he brought along. After a little time, I noticed that Austen had put down his book and was watching those of us who were knitting. I asked if he wanted to learn how to knit, and his response was "Sure". Thankfully we were in a place with lots of knitters. Alec, one of the shop owners, sat down with Austen and taught him how to do a knit stitch. He was so patient with Austen...something I probably couldn't have done! We couldn't stay long as my eldest son had a baseball game so off we went to the ball game. Part way through the game Austen asked if he could go to the car and get his knitting to work on. He worked through the rest of the ball game and through the evening at home on his knitting. Austen would often stop to ask for help, and I was happy to assist. This continued through most of the day Sunday until Austen declared that he had made it three rows by himself without any help at all. He's doing quite well. He holds his needles differently than I do, but it works for him. I had to field many questions including: "Mom, can we go back to the yarn store?", "When can we go back to the yarn store?", "Can I join knit night now?", "When is the next knit night?", "Mom, what inspired you to knit?" It was fun to talk to at least one of my children about my hobby.

My husband just laughed at me. He said that my retreat (from my kids and the daycare kids) is the yarn store, and if I keep this up I'll have all three kids with me at the yarn store. I suppose my husband is right. But now that a knitter is born, I guess I can't stop him.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Mitch is a happy brand-new kindergartener. He's adjusting well to the new environment. His parents are not so thrilled about the homework. Yep, homework for a kindergartener. It's nutty.

I understand the concept and purpose. I love it that I see what he's doing at school almost real-time. But he is only five. He is in kindergarten, not middle school. This is the time of his life when everything should be carefree. Do the teachers ever think that an evening of playing UNO with the family may be what's good for him right now?

How about taking out the whole bones from a baked fish and marveling over it?

Do they ever think about the working parents?

We'll see how this issue is going to develop (or lack thereof) in our household...

I am knitting False Modesty from Knotions with Kid Silk Haze and my handspun cotton. I wanted to use my practice cotton long-draw for something, and landed on this pattern. I love how my yarn looks in it, but it's somewhat low on the knitting satisfaction gauge -- doing K2tog on Kid Silk Haze is very tricky and time-consuming. I now know what "dropped stitches" actually means!

Meanwhile, I have not started seaming the Delft Tiles. If I don't start on it soon, it will never be worn!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Today was my Day 1 back in the office. Nearly 3,000 email to read.
It's endless, even though I've already given up reading all of them -- if they didn't need my attention for six weeks, they surely don't need me now.
What I wanted was an endless summer, not an endless pile of you-know-what.