Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hey, remember me?

(LOTS of photos ahead--BEWARE!)

Yeah, it's me, the really bad blogger--it's been, what, almost a month? Sorry, but my blogging genes have been on vacation for a while. It's too bad I didn't go with them.

So, let's see, where should I start? Well, since this blog is supposed to be focused on knitting and other fiberly goodness, let's see what I've been up to. (Yes, I have actually been doing fiberly things--I know, SHOCK! I've had to work my way back into it, but it's coming along.)

At some point late last year, I promised a picture of my FO shawl:

Yeah, it's a schmattah, but I love it. It's some sort of acrylic boucle in a basic "prayer shawl" pattern (K3, P3). I don't think I like that pattern that much, but this yarn makes it look like ribbon roses. This took me, what, four years to finish? But I love it--it's lightweight yet very warm, sturdy enough that I don't worry about "hurting" it, and big enough that I can wrap it around myself and still have enough left to cover my lap. Perfect.

Let's see, what's next--

This is Mountain Colors Weavers Wool in "Ruby River," in the pattern "Crest of the Wave" from Smatterings. I think this yarn is actually a little heavy for this pattern, but it's knitting up quite pretty anyway. I'm loving this simply because it's such an easy pattern--all I have to keep track of is the row count, aces for someone who can't always remember what she did five minutes ago. This is a little over 50% completed. It won't be super long, but I don't like really long scarves anyway, so it's good.

Now, I need some help with this one:

This is a Fan and Feather Sock based on the pattern from Wendy Knits). The yarn is from Sunshine Yarns in the colorway "Wildflowers." This has been on the needle since, what, November 2006 (?), and I'm about ready to frog it, not because it's awful, but simply because I'm not feeling the sock love any more. I like the yarn, but I need to knit some PLAIN socks--even this simple pattern is making me itch from the inability to concentrate on it. It IS pretty:

So, what do you think--keep it or frog it?

Moving along, the first Saturday of the month, Missy and I took a trip up the highway to Guthrie to SWAK. We hadn't been in over a year, and even though they now have a store in OKC (which I live pretty darn close to and STILL haven't been to), we like to hit the open road once in a while. I was happy to see that they are carrying some new yarns (for them) and have expanded their sock yarn lines. Missy bought some yarn to make some cute stuff for her daughter (who turns 2 this week--happy birthday, Mo!), and I bought this:

This is a washcloth kit with Euroflax linen, a new yarn for SWAK. I have read about Catherine's obsession with this stuff for ages now, and I've been wanting to try it. I thought this would be a good way to start, and the fact that the kit contained a small soap from Vermont sold the deal!

Since it was such a beautiful day, we got a little wild and decided to go out to the Indian Meridian Weavery. This shop is just a few miles east of town. Donna Hilton has had the Weavery now for about a year, and this was the first time we had been out to see her. Unfortunately, she was out of town, but her husband Steve was happy to open up the place so we could spend some bucks, and we had a great time talking to him--he's been around us fiberholics long enough to have learned a lot! I think I about have Missy convinced to buy a spinning wheel--she was able to play with the new Schacht Ladybug and really liked it (me, too, but I don't need another wheel--drat!), and I was in the market for something 'loomy.' I came home with a mini-inkle loom, made in Oklahoma from Thomas Creations in Sapulpa:

After one false start with the warping, I got right into the rhythm of things:

Once I finish this warp, I'm going to do another one just like this and use it as a lanyard for my row counter.

Of course, now this has whetted my appetite for a "real" loom, but there's no way I can do that now, even for a rigid heddle loom (which I have been looking at for a while), so I'm going to have to be satisfied with this. I think this loom will be a lot of fun, and who knows, I may end up getting a regular-sized heddle loom, too--they're not horribly expensive.

We also got to go out and see Donna and Steve's angora goats and alpacas. They're beautiful, so if you're taking a drive, give Donna a call and go out and see her. I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Unbeknownst to Missy, I had an ulterior motive for going out to Donna's--our family farms are about two miles southeast of there. So with very little arm twisting (thank you, Missy), we drove through Meridian and out to my grandparents' place.

This is where I spent a huge amount of time when I was growing up, since we lived just up the road:

There used to be a porch on the front with a huge cedar tree on each side for shade. They've been gone for years. The window on the right was the living room, on the left was the bedroom, and there's a bumpout in the back that was the kitchen (you had to go through the bedroom to get to the kitchen). They had running water but no bathroom--there was an outhouse out back. (I got locked in there once--scared me to death, because I was afraid no one could hear me screaming from inside the house.)

My grandmother's "flags" (iris) are still there--I can't imagine how old they are, they've been there as long as I can remember, and I'm (ahem) almost 51:

There used to be a tree line that ran along with the flags.

And you see that hill just above the pond?

That's where I dream of having a tiny place of my own some day. I can promise you that it will never happen, but I spend lots of time dreaming about it. It's so peaceful out there, and the day was so beautiful, poor Missy had to practically drag me back to the car. I wanted to dig in and stay.

On the way back we found these little guys sunning themselves on a log (there were three, but one was frightened away):

Let's see, what else is going on?

Garden wise, I started some tomatoes, peppers, basil, and some pansies and violets. They're about ready to put outside. I don't have the gardening mojo this year that I've had in years past--my apartment's new owners/management had the Fire Department do an inspection, and I got a nasty note that I was in violation of fire codes for having so many flowerpots on the walkway. Good thing I have a second bathroom--it's now full of garden stuff. I still have some things out there, but I'm not going to be able to go overboard as I have before, which is good, 'cause I could use saving a few bucks. So in the next couple of weeks I'll start putting a few things out, and we'll see how it goes.

Work is stressful, as always. Tax season always does me in--I'm in charge of getting the returns processed and ready for mailing. Thank goodness this year we have a Controller who is highly knowledgeable in tax stuff, and we were able to get through it with very few of the problems we had last year. A few days before April 15, I was stressing so badly that I ended up at Gourmet Yarn just to try and get out of work mode for a few minutes. Poor Margaret--when she asked me how I was doing, I said, "I just need to be around something that's not--work stuff." She knew exactly what I meant.

Of course I came out with this:

Two skeins of Schaefer "Miss Priss" in the colorway "Jane Addams." I think I have enough to make a shawl or wrap. And it still smells like the vinegar they used to set the dye--just what I needed to remind me that work isn't everything I do.

We have puppy news as well--a friend of mine at work has been fostering a mom and her pups that were rescued from the animal shelter, and another friend has adopted two of them. This is Eddie:

and this is Chloe:

They are small, a mix of pug and Boston Terrier and who knows what else, but they are absolutely adorable. My friend S definitely has her hands full!

And as for Maggie, she is loving the spring--she's spending lots of time in the bedroom window, working on her tan. A couple of weeks ago I caught her just before she woke up (photos courtesy of my BlackBerry):

Hope to see some of you at Rendezvous on May 10. If you haven't heard, there is going to be a flax-spinning workshop on May 9--see the Yahoo OkieFiber site for more details.

Happy Spring!