Thursday, November 30, 2006

Laurie, you're not crazy...

...or else, I am, too.

So that Laurie doesn't feel so alone in her taking pictures of knitting on tv craziness, I give you these images I took of the Antiques Roadshow a couple months ago:

That woman is making one smart use of her time waiting in line. Here's hoping her antique was worth millions, so she can afford lots of cashmere yarn. ;-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Musings from a Process Knitter

If one is a process knitter, (meaning: it's the experience of knitting with and handling of fabulous yarn and knitted fabric that matters as much to the knitter, if not more, than the finished product), and one hates what one is currently knitting, what is the process knitter to do? Suck it up and trudge onward to the finish line, with a finished object but perhaps a soured outlook towards knitting? Or abandon the hateful project, and move on to something one really likes and wants to knit, but burdened with quitter's guilt, a sense of failure and perhaps labeled with an attention-deficit problem?

It's a question for the ages....

I brought this on myself, of course, thinking I wouldn't mind knitting with linen yarn. Of course, it's a Christmas gift with a looming deadline, and I foolishly planned to knit two of the darned things. You'd think I'd know myself better by now.

All right. Enough whining.

Back to the ball-and-chain knitting.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Knitting, Yarn and Stuff

The Knitting

A couple of finished objects:

Barnes & Noble hat

  • Yarn: Crystal Palace Iceland, 100% bulky wool, purchased from Lettuce Knit.
  • Needles: U.S. size 11: Denise interchangeable circulars; Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs
  • Gauge: ~3.25 stitches/inch
  • Pattern: Cast on 72 stitches. Join in the round. K4,P4 for ~3 inches. Then knit every row for 7½ inches, changing yarn colors to make stripes, as the mood hits. Decrease & finish following Super Simple Hat Calculator instructions.
  • Recipient: Thanks to Issy's generous idea, the Tuesday Night Knitters are knitting various items for the Barnes & Noble employees who so graciously put up with our boisterious behavior every week. We're supposed to knit the items in Barnes & Noble colors. So, how did I do?
To say the hat matches these colors is a stretch.

The hat's a bit on the big side, so I will specify that it should go to a large-headed male. It's very warm, though, which will come in handy if we ever have a winter.

Another F.O.:

Mason-Dixon Ballband Warshrag

  • Yarn: Lily's Sugar & Cream 100% cotton, in #00001 (white) & #01009 (dusty green)
  • Needles: U.S. size 7: Denise interchangeable circulars
  • Gauge: who cares?
  • Pattern: from Mason-Dixon Knitting, p. 21.
  • Recipient: family member whose name I've drawn for Christmas. I intend on knitting a second one identical to the first, in order to match their master bathroom colors. We'll see if that gets done, as I'm already sick of knitting with non-elastic fibers. [I'm also working on linen dishtowel(s) for that person.]
One of many, many works-in progress:

I started this during the Knitter's Review Retreat. The yarn is Fiesta La Boheme which is one strand of rayon boucle and one strand of mohair wound and dyed together. I purchased that yarn at the Spring Fiber Festival with the intention of knitting a moebius via a different method from a different book. I never felt brave enough to try the moebius on my own, so was glad to have a chance to knit one with this yarn via Cat's method.

I've had to set this knitting aside until after Christmas, though. And I have no idea how this will turn out until I bind off. What you see above is just after I joined in the second ball of yarn. This thing might end up being a hat, a neck warmer, or a shoulder wrap -- I just won't know until all is said and done -- that's sorta half the fun. But there won't be a finished moebius picture until after the New Year, most likely.

The Yarn

I've shown these first two pictures previously, but didn't have time for lengthy descriptions back then, so I thought I'd share them again here and identify what's what.

Yarn (& stuff) purchased during the KR Retreat:

  1. Handmaiden Sea Silk. No one in Virginia sells Handmaiden yarn. After reading about it on various blogs and websites, I've lusted after it for months, so snapped it up while I had the chance. And no, I don't know what it will become, but I believe it is lace weight, so is most likely destined to become a shawl someday.
  2. 100% Cultivated Silk Sliver from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I have ambitions of knitting something (?) with it, unspun, much like people I know who have knit with unspun silk caps. (That bumper sticker in the background also came from Spirit Trail).
  3. Knitting Memories, edited by Lela Nargi, with essays by Clara Parks, Teva Durham, Lily Chin and others. I was able to get Lela's, Clara's and Teva's signatures during the KR Retreat.

Yarn (& stuff) acquired from the swap room at the KR Retreat:

  1. Unidentified acrylic yarn in my favorite blue/green/teal colors. I think I will add it to the potluck scarf I'm knitting, as I'm about to run out of that yarn purchased while on vacation. (That unfinished scarf will also have to wait until after holiday knitting is complete).
  2. ~750 yards of Blue Sky Cotton in color #604 (minty green). Score! It may become a tank top.
  3. Hank of Lang's La-se-ta 100% silk (~150 yards) in color #7618 (jade/forest green). Gorgeous. No idea what this will be used for, but most likely will be part of a larger project.
  4. Mini-hank of Artyarns Supermerino - this was actually a freebie in our KR Retreat goody bag. Again, no idea what I can do with that small amount, so it will probably be part of something larger -- perhaps the potluck scarf (see above).
  5. Port-a-pocket for carrying small project & yarn (e.g. socks) on one's wrist. I later found out that this was donated to the KRR swap room by blogless Marie from Massachusetts. Thanks, Marie! I hope I have as many good years with it as you did!
  6. Elle Mohair 2000 in the world's greatest color. ;-) I will most likely use this in the potluck scarf, as well.

Not pictured above, but also purchased during the KR Retreat, is this yummy yarn:

400 yards of 100% Merino laceweight from Spirit Trail Fiberworks

I know, I know. I'm stuck in a color rut. But I'm happily stuck, not unlike a contented pig in slop. I just love those colors. I'm drawn to them like moth to flame. I also know that 400 yards isn't enough to make a full-sized shawl, so I'm picturing a lacy scarf of some sort.

Here's some yarn purchased locally, and more recently:

I'm in blue-green heaven!

  • 2 hanks kid mohair
  • 1 hank wool/mohair/nylon boucle
  • 1 hank 50/50 wool/silk blend (luscious!)
  • 2 hanks of handspun 100% Australian wool top

All of that yarn was either dyed or spun, or dyed and spun by Patsy, our knitting group's knitter/spinner/dyer extraordinaire. Patsy and her friend and fellow TNK'er Nancy had a fantastic craft sale a couple weekends ago, but since I was out of town at the KR Retreat, I was unable to attend the sale, (my one regret). Lucky for me (but not so lucky for my wallet), Patsy had some yarn leftover from the sale and brought it to TNK the following Tuesday. I bought all the yarn she had in those colors. As I've mentioned, I'm pretty much helpless when it comes to blue-greens!

Here's a close-up of Patsy's handspun wool:

Love these colors!

The Stuff

I've previously described our trip to Orange County Choppers when we were in New York. But I haven't yet shared my purchases, so here they are:

Cell Block O.C.C. thermal shirt - this will be great to sleep in!

Worlds collide! An O.C.C.- Redskins chopper -- I've died and gone to heaven!

Last week, Webs had a few Lexie Barnes bags at half price, so this was purely an impulse purchase:

The Lady B in "Little Miss Perfect" fabric. Love it!

And finally, I think I've figured out why I like yarn so much:


Friday, November 24, 2006

Another quiet evening at TNK

There were only six of us at TNK this past Tuesday night. I italicized only because six is not a bad number for a knitting group. It's just smaller than what we've been spoiled by become accustomed to having. I had a feeling that the bad weather (another dismal nor'easter hit the mid-Atlantic region) and the looming Thanksgiving holiday would diminish our numbers, and that seemed to be the case. But though we were small, we were mighty.

Here's four of our six:

Renny, Amy, Christina and Patsy

Issy came for a few minutes but wasn't feeling well, so left early. We missed you, Issy -- here's hoping you're feeling better now! Joanna was there sitting across from me for a couple of hours, and I even helped her finish her boyfriend's hat, but do you think I got a picture of Joanna or her hat? As is my usual m.o., I wasn't that quick-witted. Sorry, Joanna! Maybe if I drank caffeinated coffee while we knit I wouldn't miss obvious photo ops. It is a Starbucks cafe, after all.

Anyway, here are a few F.O.'s knit by TNK'ers that I did manage to capture:

Sweater for Patsy's granddaughter

Sweater for Patsy's grandson

Hat knit by Renny from Patsy's handspun/hand-dyed yarn

I wish I'd taken a close-up of that hat, because the color gradations were just beautiful. Nice job, both of you ladies!

Christina brought some show-and-tell:

Shawl pins made by her brother-in-law in Colorado. Aren't they beautiful?

He calls them "Yarn Overs", and has this little note inside each box:

If you're interested in getting some of your own, here are his specs:

We're guessing that his main business is that bookgraphics website, and I don't think you can order the shawl pins from it. But you could email or call him and I'll bet he'd be happy to oblige. (Don't you love how I'm speaking for someone I've never met?)

Patsy had a lovely surprise for me, as well. And it's not even my birthday!

A lovely handmade project bag. So pretty!

Thank you so much, Patsy! I am so blessed every week by the wonderful and talented women in our knitting group. I am eternally grateful to Jane for starting this group and for inviting me to it. As I've said over and over, knitting has enriched my life, and this group is no small part of that. And by enriched, I hope you know that I don't mean things. The riches I've obtained are intangible and priceless -- the knitting advice, the conversations, the laughter, the comaraderie, the friendships....

Well, you know. And if you
don't know what I mean, then maybe you need to come join us on any given Tuesday night. The more the merrier!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!


[Edited later to add:]


Actually, since we had our big extended-family Thanksgiving last Saturday, today's meal was simpler -- homemade split pea soup and steaks on the grill. Today I had no turkey or pumpkin pie and did not watch football, except one play of the Miami-Detroit game.

I miss having Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Processing.... Processing....

Okay, I lied. I promised "stuff" pictures today. I will post those tomorrow, Blogger-, schedule- and God-willing. Or maybe not until this weekend. Saturday is our extended-family Thanksgiving, so that day is shot as far as getting other stuff done. So the next post may not be until Sunday. And then, by God, I will shut the hell up about the KR Retreat. Or not.

Today's post is really long and wordy, with no pictures, and so you have my permission to skim it or just skip it altogether. Seems that when I finally find my words, I really find them. You may be wishing I'd lose them again.

This week I've been reminded of when I was house-hunting twelve-thirteen years ago, (wow - I've lived here a long time). I was a first-time homebuyer, and it took me 18 months and three real estate agents before I found the house I eventually bought and in which I currently reside. Early in the hunt, I found a "perfect" house after just a couple of months, but my first agent screwed up that deal and the seller backed out. He was no longer my agent after that. The second agent was really no better than the first, but I struck gold on the third. Lesson learned: there is definite merit in a word-of-mouth reputation. Trust the advice and experiences of those you respect. And when someone you respect recommends a real estate agent, a hairdresser, or a doctor, listen to them and heed their advice. I'm a relatively intelligent and independent person, but I don't (and can't) know it all. It took me awhile to realize that. I chalk that up to the ignorance and arrogance of youth.

But I digress.

When I was house-hunting, after an agent would show me a house, they'd want instantaneous feedback from me on what I thought of the place -- thumbs up or thumbs down, and why I did or didn't like it. If the house was "almost" but "not quite" what I wanted, I found that processing my gut reaction and moving that reaction up to my cerebral cortex and then out through my mouth was especially difficult to do. I walked through many, MANY houses, and there were more than several that met nine-tenths of my requirements and therefore should have been on the short list for making an offer, but something held me back, and I couldn't quite articulate why. There was obviously something not quite right with those "almost" homes, something significant enough to be a deal-breaker, but I had such a hard time being able to quickly pinpoint what that was. Looking back, I think I needed time to process everything I saw at the house, (and the ten others I saw that same day), and make a mental (and perhaps physical) checklist to determine if I could see myself living in that place. But, 100% of the time, when my gut wasn't thrilled with the house, I didn't make an offer on it. And 100% of the time, when the house was right for me, I knew it immediately - often as soon as, or even before, I walked through the front door. The adage "you'll know the house that's right for you when you see it" really is true.

I tell this to try and describe what I think is some kind of mental defect I've struggled with all of my life -- my inability to instantaneously understand and articulate my reaction to certain overwhelming situations. It's like still having a 386 processor when the world requires a 2.2 Ghz Pentium-4 cpu and 2 GB of RAM. Clearly, I need a brain upgrade.

Take, for example, this past weekend at the KR Retreat. My poor little head is still processing all that happened there. And even after reading Clara's thorough report of the weekend, the event still hasn't become "mine" for me. The pictures I've posted are just a small fraction of the experience. In my head, much of it is still a globular jumble of people and knitting and new friends and spinning and yarn and food and beautiful countryside and silence and noise and laughter. Therefore, I'm going to write a play-by-play trip diary, and see if that sorts it all out for me.

So here goes.

Friday, 11/10/06
  • 6:00 am: Woke too early, but too excited to sleep anymore. Showered, finished packing.
  • 8:15 am: Groome Transportation arrives to take me to the airport. I love these guys. If you live in the Richmond area, they are hands-down the best way to get to and from RIC. I've used them so frequently that many of the drivers know me (and my address) upon sight.
  • 8:45 am: After checking my bags, I meet up with Lou and Beth in lobby area, before we go through security. No issues.
  • 10:00-ish am: Our flight departs. I'm too excited to knit or do anything except look out the window.
  • 11:15-ish am: Our plane begins its descent. I am lucky enough to be on the left side of the plane, so I have a fantastic view of Manhattan (for picture-taking!) as we approach LaGuardia.
  • 11:30 am: We de-plane, get our bags, hop on the Avis shuttle and pick up the rental car.
  • Noon-ish: We get two different sets of directions from Avis people. Girl inside Avis says to take the Deegan. Mike at the booth as we drive away says, don't take the Deegan -- go to the GW Bridge to Palisades Parkway. We agree that Mike's way is better -- he swears it will cut an hour off of our commute.
  • Noon-thirty-ish: Before heading on our way, we drive across the street to the gas station that sells hot food and soup and sandwiches. We have a decent lunch and then head out.
  • 1 pm: We're on our way. Boy, there seems to be a back-up to the approach to the GW Bridge. Could it be because there seems to be 20 lanes of traffic coming from all directions and trying to merge into two lanes?
  • 1:30 pm: Whoops -- we miss our exit. Maybe this nice toll-taker can help. He can -- he gets us back on our way, along the Harlem River. Hey -- there's Yankee Stadium! Take a picture! See -- there's benefits to getting lost!
  • 2:00 pm: At last we're on the beautiful Palisades Parkway -- who knew New Jersey and New York were so pretty?
  • 2:30 pm: Navigator Beth notices on the map that we're driving through Orange County. THE Orange County of Orange County Choppers. We discover we have a mutual love for the show American Chopper and decide that we'll have to stop by there on our way out on Sunday.
  • 3:00-ish pm: We arrive at Jeronimo's resort. Clara is outside when we pull up -- it's my first time meeting her. She's so cute and nice! Oh, and there's Bess, who runs down the hill and gives us all a big hug. What a nice welcome! We go inside, meet "Marfa" who registers us, and are then given keys and shown the location of our rooms. We lug our bags to our rooms, unpack and emerge to socialize with everyone already there. I meet my cabin "neighbors" Cindy and Mindy, who are so nice and welcoming. We hang out on their front porch until it gets too dark and cold, and decide to move down to one of the main buildings.
  • 4:30-ish: I run into Bess again at the lodge building, and she talks me into picking up a few things from the swap room. Heh heh. Boy, people have de-stashed some really nice stuff. Their loss, my gain!
  • 5:00-ish: In the other main building, I meet my roommate, Meg, who already has her spinning wheel up and spinning. I sit with her, take out some knitting, and we chat until dinnertime. I'm relieved that she's very laid back and cool -- definitely my type of person.
  • 6:30 pm: Dinner. If I remember correctly, the menu was chicken and sausage 'n peppers. Dessert is apple pie ala mode. The food at every meal was fresh, hot, homemade, tasty and filling. The dining room is too small to seat 80 people, but we all manage.
  • 8:00 pm: The weekend officially begins, and we go around the room introducing ourselves, where we're from, who taught us to knit, and show our greatest success and worst failure. I brought my "butt-ugly scarf" (failure) and my felted Plymouth Sinsation scarf (success). I was staggered by the variety of beautiful things people brought to share -- lovely lace shawls; fantastic aran, fair isle and intarsia sweaters; gorgeous blankets -- just amazing stuff. The evening was very long and painful for me, as I was extremely sleep-deprived and was sitting on a rock-hard wooden bench for four hours. But it was definitely worth it -- I loved being introduced to everyone that way and seeing what they brought to share. It really was a lot of fun.
  • Midnight: I go back to my room, post some pictures to the blog and fall asleep around 1 am. Sometime in the middle of the night I wake up freezing. I need to put on socks or something, but don't want to wake up Meg. I lay in bed and try to warm up, marveling at the dead silence of the place. So different from my own noisy city neighborhood. I fall back asleep 'til morning.

Saturday, 11/11/06

  • 7 am: Woke too early (are you sensing a theme here?). Showered and got ready for the day.
  • 8:30 am: Breakfast -- eggs, bacon, pancakes. Yum. I try to sit with different people at each meal, so I can meet more folks. There are lots of what we southerners call "Yankees" (New Yorkers, New Jersey-ites, New Englanders, etc.) at this retreat. I love Yankees. They say it like it is. So refreshing.
  • 9:15 am: Group picture outside. A necessary evil. ;-)
  • 9:30 am: Classes begin. I'm taking the Moebius class from Cat Bordhi. The cast-on seems mysterious but eventually, with Cat's and other knitters' help, becomes easy-as-pie. I am a slow learner but once I get it, it all makes sense. I'm set back a bit because the connector for my Denise needle cables has separated, ruining my first cast-on. I start over after Amy generously loans me one of her KnitPicks Options circular needles -- a bonus, since I now know what they're like to knit with, and my review is: Not Bad! A definite competitor w/ Addi Turbos. No matter what needles you use, though, knitting the first round of a moebius is a lesson in patience over frustration. Cat is really a good teacher -- funny, sweet, gentle and patient, and although her method of explanation may seem simplistic to some, it really helped me. I'm kicking myself for not buying Cat's book before I came, so she could sign it. No luck later in the day -- none of the vendors have it. I ended up buying it from Amazon when I come home. Across the hall, folks are taking a class from Teva Durham (of Loop-d-Loop) on Short Rows. As I'm not yet a garment knitter, I'll learn that technique on some future date. By lunchtime, I've got the hang of moebius knitting with my practice yarn, and am ready to start with the Fiesta LaBoheme I brought specificially for the project.
  • 12:30 pm: Lunch. Something yummy -- can't remember what, but I enjoyed it.
  • 2:00 pm: The vendors are here! The vendors are here! I spent a good deal of time perusing the wares of Katonah Yarn, Morehouse Merino and SpiritTrail Fiberworks. From Katonah I buy two hanks of Handmaiden SeaSilk, a 40" US size 9 Addi Turbo for my moebius, and a 40" pink (!) cable for my Denise set. The girl from Katonah Yarn recognizes me by the pin I'm wearing which she saw on my blog -- she's a lurker! How thrilling is that?! You just never know who reads these things. At the Morehouse "booth", I fell in love with their Cider Jacket, but not the color they have in the kit, so I vow to buy the pattern with perhaps different yarn, from their website. I spend a looooong time mulling things over in the Spirit Trail booth, before finally deciding to buy some silk roving. I was inspired after reading Robin H.'s experiences knitting with silk caps, so I thought the roving should work, too. I just need to figure out what to use it for. Perhaps as part of a moebius. I tell ya, I love the moebius. I love the design possibilities there. As Cat says, it's a wonderful "playmate", leading you into new knitting adventures. But I digress. Where were we? Oh yes -- shopping. I bought one more thing -- a book called Knitting Memories: Reflections on the Knitter's Life, which is a collection of essays from various people such as Lela Nargi (editor), Clara Parkes, Teva Durham, and Lily Chin. Lela, Clara and Teva were all there to sign my copy. I'll have to remember to bring it if I ever think I'll run into any of the other famous knitters in the book.
  • 4:00-ish: After I dumped my recent stash enhancements in my room and freshened up, I met up with my cabin neighbors Mindy and Cindy again, and we watched the day wane on their porch while knitting, chatting and sipping wine. I think those quiet porch experiences were some of my favorites of the weekend.
  • 6:00-ish: It's gotten chilly and dark outside, so we move down to the lodge in anticipation of dinner. It's already crowded and noisy with knitters scattered around on various couches and in chairs and at the bar.
  • 6:30 pm: Dinner. Lasagna - yum! Dessert is cheesecake - yum again! Happy-happy tummy.
  • 8:00 pm: We gather in the other building for an informal evening of knitting and spinning. A few folks are given drop-spindle and wheel lessons. I work on my moebius. One of the attendees, Elaine, is the new editorial director at the company who publishes the books for Vogue Knitting, and she brings a couple of new, yet-to-be released books. We have fun being the first ones to flip through them.
  • 11:15-ish: I go back to my room, post more pictures to the blog, and fall asleep around midnight.

Sunday, 11/12/06

  • 7 am: Up too early again. Shower, get ready, and pack.
  • 8:30 am: Breakfast. Great, as usual.
  • 9:30 am: Everyone meets in the other building for our "New Beginnings" session. First, we write a letter to ourselves about what our knitting goals will be for the coming year. My letter starts to look like a New Year's Resolution list, and that's okay. It's always good to have goals. If I don't meet all of them next year, perhaps some future year. I turn in my letter to Clara, who promises to hand them back to us at the next retreat, or else mail them to us if we don't attend the next retreat. Next, we cast on for our "New Beginnings" project -- something that is to be for ourselves and is to be more challenging than what we usually knit. I brought the Fiber Trends "Bobble and Braid" hat pattern which has lots of cables in it. I hadn't bothered to read the pattern or swatch for it prior to the weekend, so am very unprepared. The nice older lady sitting next to me, who is an admitted cable expert, helps me figure out the pattern and how to swatch for it. I begin my swatch. I end up doing more visiting than knitting, and don't get very far on my swatch. I decide that it's okay to not get very far on it today, as long as I try and finish up within the next year. As I have much Christmas knitting ahead of me, it will have to wait until after the holidays.
  • 12:30: Lunch. This was one of the best meals of the weekend -- homemade chicken noodle soup -- some of the best I've ever had. Sandwiches on homemade bread. Perfect meal for a rainy day.
  • 1:30 pm: Jennifer of Spirit Trail opens up her trailer for an end-of-retreat sale. I buy a skein of the merino laceweight that I fondled for an hour but resisted the previous day. I fondle it today for a half-hour before succumbing to yarn pressure. Resistance is apparently futile.
  • 2:00 pm: Beth, Lou and I pack up the car and head back to LaGuardia. On our way, we find Orange County Choppers' retail shop and have a blast running around the store. I buy a couple of things, which I'll show here in a day or so. We secretly hope that the Teutuls show up, but no such luck.
  • 3:00 pm: We get a little lost on our way back to NYC. The map we got from Avis wasn't entirely accurate. A few helpful strangers get us back on the right track.
  • 3:30 pm: We stop at Target so that Beth and Lou can each pick up a duffel to store all the yarn they got over the weekend.
  • 5:00 pm: We're approaching the GW Bridge, and traffic is slow. It's starting to get dark and is raining harder.
  • 6:00 pm: It took us another hour to find our way to the airport amidst slow traffic, confusing signs, and an intimate relationship with the Triboro bridge. At one point we even got on the Long Island Expressway by accident. (At least all those roads we'd only heard about on Seinfeld and Sex and the City are now very real to us.) We finally make our way to Avis, and jump on the waiting shuttle bus. Beth and Lou madly re-pack their bags and re-distribute the yarn wealth to their new duffels. There is some question as to whether they'll make it to their gate in time. I learn the next day that their flight got cancelled.
  • 6:30 pm: I check in, pick up some airport dinner, and head to my gate.
  • 11:00 pm: My 8 pm flight finally takes off after numerous delays due to weather. I knit on my moebius the entire time I was at the gate, and my hands ache by the end of the night. I remember why I don't like fatter metal (inflexible) needles. I need to switch back to my plastic (flexible) Denises at some point.
  • 1 am: Home Sweet Home.

Whew -- that was a lot of typing. And now that I've captured the details of the weekend, I'm still not sure if I've captured the essence of it. I think Clara may have done a better job in that. Perhaps that's why she makes a living at writing.

I think I would like to go to this retreat again next year, but am old enough to know that it may not work out, for whatever reason, so I'll just be cautiously hopeful. But if I do go, I'd like to take the Thursday extension, as well -- I think that might give me a little more time to take it all in.

I will now end this lengthy post. You may breathe a sigh of relief, that is, if you made it this far!

Note: For pictures and additional posts about the retreat weekend, go here, here, here, here and here.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Random images of my KR Retreat weekend

I'm still processing the Knitter's Review Retreat weekend, and haven't quite been able to fully articulate the experience, either verbally, or in writing. It's times like this I wish I had certain people's gift of gab. (And anyway, Clara described it all much better than I ever could). So, for today, I will share a few more pictures from this past weekend.

(All pictures can be made larger by clicking them.)

On our way:

Lower Manhattan

Is this the one at Trump Tower?


Driving along the Palisades

Rural NY
At our destination:

Cat's Paw (?) bush

Swap room.
This is just half the loot people de-stashed.


Hand-knits for donation to the Dulaan Project.
That pile was huge by the end of the weekend.


This is where we knit in the evenings

Roommate Meg modeling her Forest Paths shawl from IK Summer '03
(Anyone have this issue that I can borrow?)


token Y-chromosomes in the building

A little spinning demonstration given by Meg:

Yes, it really was that loud in that room - possibly louder.
(Feedblitz subscribers click here to see embedded video.)

Bess' KnitPicks Fair Isle ("KipFee") sweater.
She's just zooming along on this thing!


KipFee close-up

Permanent resident at Jeronimo's
(Who is this guy?)

Permanent resident at OCC

Lance Armstrong bike

wooden chopper

At the airport:

My 8pm flight is delayed

My 8pm flight is further delayed. Sigh.

We did finally take off around 11 pm, and I got home around 1 am. Nothing like being imprisoned at a gate for five hours to have some real knitting progress!

Sangeeta left me the funniest comment on my last post: "what other classes did you take? what other stuff did you get? show more yarn!"

Well, young lady, in answer to your first question, I just took the one -- Cat Bordhi's Moebius -- class. I really enjoyed it, and am still knitting on my moebius. Like I said before, once you get the cast-on, which, after you "get" it is really quite easy, and then knit the first round, (which is not easy), it's just mindless circular knitting like anything else.

In answer to your other two questions -- patience, my dear, patience. I will show more "stuff" and "yarn" and perhaps even some "knitting" pictures, tomorrow, God-willing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A dream come true...

While driving through Orange County, NY, one cannot leave town without stopping at this world-famous location:


The Space Shuttle bike is one of my favorites

Hey, there's Paul Sr., (times two)!

Here's Beth all chummy with Paulie

And if you're wondering what this is all about, Orange County Choppers is a family-run business upon which the Discovery Channel reality show "American Chopper" is based. I'm not a motorcycle person, but I am fascinated with that show. The fascination is partly to do with watching Paulie's creative process, which is not unlike watching the designers on Project Runway. But I also enjoy being a fly on the wall, observing an entire workplace full of men with tools, and seeing how they interact with each other when women aren't around. Not that I'm a big fan of Paul Sr.'s daily rage-fits -- I could do without that dysfunctional element of the show.

The above pictures were taken at their retail store and showroom. We decided that we didn't have time to stop by their actual shop, especially since we figured the Teutuls wouldn't be there on a Sunday afternoon anyway. Maybe next time, though.

I heart New York!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Knitter's Review Retreat 2006 - Saturday

Howdy, from Walker Valley, NY!


I have started my moebius, thanks to Cat Bordhi's morning class:

Once you get past the cast-on and knitting the first row, it's smooth sailing


After morning classes and lunch, they brought in a few vendors (whoo hoo!):

KR stuff for sale - hi Clara!

Jennifer's pretty fibers


Morehouse Merino - I love that Cider Jacket


Katonah Yarn -- these people sell Fleece Artist and Handmaiden!


After dinner, more spinnin' and knittin':

I have a little video of my roommate spinning, but this wireless is too slow to upload it, so perhaps tomorrow or Monday....

And we got a super-sneak-peak at some new books coming out:

Publisher's inside scoop: these'll be on the shelves mid-December


Back in my room, I reviewed my unexpected stash enhancement:

From the vendors


From the swap table room


And now I lay me down to sleep.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz