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Saturday, October 24, 2009

We have a working printer!!

My husband and I have been gifted two printers, neither of which work with our Mac for some unknown reason. The Lexmark (which is a copier too and works as a copier but not a printer) won't work on either the Mac or the laptop. Well I finally decided to ask my husband to try the other printer (gifted by Kelly and Jason) on the laptop and I'm excited to say that it works! I didn't have to go all the way out to the library in the storm to print out my sharing time lesson from Sugardoodle.com. Now I just have to get a ream of paper because we only have a little bit.

In knitting news, I've hit a really complicated part of my vest and I'm not enjoying it as much as I was. I have to keep track of neck shaping, while simultaneously tracking shoulder decreases and keeping track of the chart, and making sure that I have the new "start of round" marked correctly as well as the start of the pattern after each decrease area, and this magnetic board isn't so great when you get near the fold of the board because there's some issue going on with reverse polarity that causes my magnets to jump a few rows forward or backward when I'm trying to use them. Overall, they're still better than my post-it method but it's a pain when I have to keep track of so many things at once. So here is the latest progress shot, when I realized that I was supposed to be working the neck shaping but I hadn't started it yet, and decided to try it on so see if I needed to yank back, and realized that I was okay after all.

As I sit here typing this, I realize that I have three babies to knit for and I'm not sure who will be born when, and I really need to get cracking, and I might have to put the vest down...(breathing deeply). This photo helps me to really see the vest, and I think it's lovely despite my issues with not being able to properly choose three colors in dark, medium, and light shades to go together. The colors aren't quite true to life, but I can see that it's coming together really well and I think I'm going to love wearing it (not finishing it...every color change has two four threads to be woven in!!). Now to stay focused.

And did I mention the sudden desire to make stitch markers? I got a lovely set from my friend Rain, and I realized that I love having these and I should try my hand at them. These could be gifts for my knitterly friends, or maybe the start of a small little side job that might just pay for itself, and some yarn too. I'm trying to plan for when I no longer work and my husband does, and I want to buy yarn without having to justify why I need it. I'll be taking a spin over to Michael's and to my local bead shop to see what I can find in the next few day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rhinebeck part 2

So, finally here is the long awaited final chapter of the Rhinebeck story. Where did I leave off?

Sunday morning we woke up and went to the Ihop on the way to the fair grounds (as everyone else apparently did) and got pumpkin pancakes, eggs, and hash browns. This prompted me to come home and attempt to make some pumpkin pancakes of my own, and that's when I realized that I should have put some sugar in the batter...because the pancakes just weren't good with all those spices in the batter and no sugar. Anyway, after loading up on protein and carbs, we got back on the road to Rhinebeck, getting a better look at the sights and wondering why I wasn't taking any pictures from the car to show how pretty Upstate NY is in the fall.

We got to the fair and started about 10:30am, looking for vendors that we missed the first day and with hopes for knitting on the Big Sock again (didn't happen). We spent more time with the larger commercial companies this time, and finally found the authors tent where I had my copy of The Big Book of Yarn signed by Clara Parkes (in the pink sweater, right next to Lily Chin in the purple sweater) who has to be the nicest person I've ever met! She graciously agreed to sign my copy, but only if I would take my coat off and show her the FLS I was wearing, lol. So I did, and she complemented me on the color (which those of you in my knitting group will know I was concerned about). She was so cool that I bought her new book, The Big Book of Wool which she also signed, and tossed in a butterfly of yarn for good luck! She was sitting right next to Lily Chin, and on the other side of the hall was Veronik Avery who I stood right in front of (under the auspices of looking through her book) and was too afraid to speak to her. Idiot. So instead, I took stalker photos of the authors from afar.
We made it over to the booths and I picked up a copy of the Fantasy Thigh-High Stockings by Diane Kostecki, and drooled over everything else (see yesterday's comments on the glass "don't-drop spindles"). I also bought two skeins of Socks That Rock: Shadow in medium weight, and Muckity Muck in light weight (which is much more of a shiny deep burnt orange/rust that is looks online). I also bought a signed copy of The Enchanted Sole by Janel Laidman from the same booth. I picked up a glass shawl pin from the Moving Mud booth, a skein of wool/alpaca sock yarn from Oasis Farm Fiber Mill in burgundy, 4 oz of Surino roving in Sage from Flaggy Meadow Fiber Works (70% Suri Alpaca/30% Merino) and 4 oz of 100% Cormo roving from Foxhill Farm (located in Lee, MA) in the natural dark chocolate brown, a skein of Beaches sock yarn from Creatively Dyed in Cardiff (gorgeous black/red), and a skein of Malabrigo Sock in Abril (very bottom left).

At lunch time we went to the Ravelry lunch meet-up again, and this time I met Patti who came up and chatted with me about how I was the only person who was actually knitting, and we got to be friends in no time. Next thing we know, we're standing right next to Jess (Mama Rav), Mary Heather (Do-Gooder), Sara (Hostess with the Mostest), and Ysolda Teague (in the yellow hat over my left shoulder). I found an opening this time and we chatted for a bit, then I worked in the photo op (and was told that they don't let people just take their photos...people have to be in the photo with them, lol...like that was some kind of punishment or something.) So we got a great photo, and a few not so good ones due to back-lighting issues, but that just meant that I got to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with greatness for longer than necessary. It was then and there that I decided that Ravelry is not only the best place on Earth for knitters, but that I had to have a Vivian or I'd die (see earlier post about how they were everywhere, and looked great on everyone).

We went through some more of the barns where I got my basket from a great little farm where they make organic goat milk soaps, and I threw out my receipt so I can't tell you who it was but they were the cutest little things ever.

Finally, after a long weekend of walking all over God's creation, Heather and I were spent. She was tired and fought through being sick, and my back had had enough so we called it and headed back through the sea of vehicles to find her little black Honda and get on the road. We decided to head further North and see what would happen, and were pleased to see that we could get home two hours faster than we got there. We went through the Adirondacks and came down through Massachusetts, into Rhode Island by way of Woonsocket on 146 till we got back into our neck of the woods at about 6:45pm. I was beat, excited about my new stuff, and couldn't wait to show my husband my photos but that all had to wait because I had a baby waiting for me at the door when I got home. Aaron let him stay up and wait for me to come home because he missed Momma, and I haven't been able to peel him off of me since.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Return from Upstate NY

In an effort to keep this from being a 15 page-long post, I think I'll split the two days.

So I meet up with my friend and traveling companion Heather, and we get on the road about 4:30pm Friday afternoon. We almost had to go back for my phone (which I found) but we finally got underway and the drive was pretty smooth. We drove up through Connecticut and stopped for dinner and a pit stop at this great little Mexican restaurant called La Boca (which actually had vegetarian options on their menu marked by a little V. I ordered the cheese enchiladas with a cream cilantro sauce, refried beans and rice. There was so much food we had to take it with us and we didn't have room for desert. Then we got back on the road and pulled into our motel at about 9:30pm. The room was pretty big, the beds were big and mostly comfortable, the heater worked almost too well (which resulted in my getting up several times the first night to turn it on and off as we couldn't figure out how to make it kick off on its own). Heather wasn't feeling well and I didn't want to freeze her out or sweat her to death.
We got up the next morning and Heather got into a hot shower and dosed herself to the gills with cold meds to be able to go with me (what a good friend!). We decided to hit Micky D's for breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and o.j.... what we didn't count on was a colorful and not-so-entertaining story from the table next to us about Eddie and the girl having a baby in the hospital..."Didn't you know...she's having the baby in the hospital right now". Then after a quick pit stop, we hit Route 9 North toward Rhinebeck which took us through Hyde Park where the FDR Presidential Library and the FDR Home is located, along with the Vanderbilt Mansion. Then it was into Rhinebeck which is a pretty little town, especially in the fall. We got to the fair grounds, where I discovered that I left my ticket to the fair at home in my wallet and I'd have to pay for entry again. Nice. But two-day admission was cheap enough so I ponied over my 17 bucks and we went on in. There were tents and open barns everywhere with stables stuffed full of fiber, animals, spinning wheels, spindles (I bought one), roving, batt, top, yarn of every type and color including several luxury blends like yak, bison, cashmere, and qiviut. There was a giant slide and a carousel, a magic show, a tent with workshops (like the beginning hand spinning class that I took and got hooked on), and a pavilion with some of the larger producers of yarn carrying Socks That Rock, Orenburg shawls and books, glass knitting needles and spindles, and an "author's tent" where I met Clara Parkes, saw Veronik Avery, and Laura Cho (who I met at the Ravelry lunch time meet-up and took a photo with).

We didn't eat anything at the fair because we were high on fiber fumes and didn't want to waste any money on food that could be put to fiber, lol. I must have blown through 2/3 of my budget that first day! We stayed till the place closed on the first day, and decided not to go to the Ravelry party afterward because we were both tired from walking all over the place, cold, and hungry, and partly because our first interaction with a large group of Ravelers was a bit awkward. Other than meeting Laura, taking pictures with Bob, and having Laura volunteer to take a photo of Heather and I with Bob (how awesome is that!!), it was really sort of intimidating and felt funny. We did end up in the front row of the big photo though! And I did meet some cool people in the spinning class like Gretchen and her mom who made me feel a whole lot better about my Central Park Hoodie. She had on the prettiest hoodie ever and I'm wanting to knit one for myself...except that I'm not nearly as slim and it might not look so good on me, lol.

As far a knits in the wild...I saw tons of FLS's, tams and berets as far as the eye could see, cowls and Ishbel's everywhere, about 8 different Vivians including the ones that Jess and Mary Heather were in. Jess was wearing the very same one from the photo shoot! but more on that tomorrow as that's day 2 stuff. I also saw Rosie in her Clasica Coat, walked past Anne and stared like an idiot because I couldn't believe I was seeing her, gawked at Joe when he walked into a booth right next to me, and was asked if anyone had ever told me that I looked like Lisa by the famous Yarn Harlot stalker lol when I went to knit on the Big Sock.

At the end of the day we followed Beth, our ever patient spinning instructor out toward the parking lot where she told Heather that she was her favorite student ever because we'd asked Amy (of Spunky Ecletic) if she needed any help carrying her new spinning wheel out to her car when Heather said that we didn't say we were offering any help...just asking if she needed it, lol. When we found our car amid the sea of other cars, and got on our way back to the motel we planned to eat at Olive Garden which I guess everyone else planned too because there was not a single parking space and people were standing in the foyer waiting to be seated. We decided to try the nice little Italian place that shared a parking lot with the Super 8 and Holiday Inn. I got the quiche and salad, and we skipped desert for the second night in a row. Then it was back to our rooms where we dumped our haul on the beds and played in it like kids at Halloween till Heather dropped off to sleep surrounded by yarn and I knit on a sock watching Tyler Perry movies on TBS till 10pm when I, too, passed out for the night.

Tomorrow...part two of Rhinebeck!