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This RingSurf Site is owned by The Patchwork Butterfly

I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
Wednesday, December 27, 2006  

Many people question my sanity when they first see "the shawl," and I don't really blame them because there were several points during the spinning/knitting of the shawl when I questioned it myself. But today I feel that I truly proved my own craziness. Because what did I do today, two days after receiving FOUR POUNDS of gorgeous spinning fibers? I bought yarn, that's what.

If the internets were scratch and sniff, do you know what you'd smell when you scratched my blog? Crazy. You'd smell Crazy. And maybe wool.

Anyway, today I finally got together with my friend, Arlene. She is the one I was supposed to get together with in November, and I've been holding off on getting the shawl back on the needles until she saw it in its current state. She owns her own spinning shop and she was having an inventory reduction sale, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and visit her and maybe get some fiber to dye. She didn't have any of the fibers I wanted for dyeing in white, but she did have these GORGEOUS yarns. All three are Jojoland Harmony, 100% wool 800m/50gm. There were so many more to die for colors, but I "limited" myself to three. If you would like to buy some of this from her, please email me and I'll be happy to pass her phone number along to you. So, really I was helping out a friend. This is less yarn for her and her husband to count during inventory, and it may be that little bit that keeps them from strangling each other :-) The blue-brown-sand-ocean-type colorway at the top is particularly calling to me. I may have to cast on for something so I have something to knit while I spin for the mobius. *happy sigh* We'll see. With the holiday knits finished and the new year coming, I'm in the mood for new beginnings. Of course, now that Arlene has finally seen the shawl, it's ready to go back on the needles. I'm hoping to have it on the needles before the year's end. Send Tylenol.

On a "isn't life funny" note, Arlene's sale made for a busy day for her, and while I was at the shop, I saw two spinners that I hadn't seen in awhile. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw them was at a spin-in where I brought the two sample skeins I had made for the shawl to get opinions on 2 ply vs. 3 ply. So, they got to see the very beginning and the very end. Weird when things work like that, huh?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006  

I hope everyone had happy and peaceful holidays and that you are all now recovering from them! I spent (most of) today recovering from my own holiday frenzy. It seems that no matter how much I try to prepare ahead of time, those last few days are a scramble. And that week of work before a holiday is a killer, especially after other people take off for the holiday. I had my own time off to look forward to, but it seems to get harder to focus every day. And working next to the area's most popular mall also makes the commute SO pleasant :-P I shouldn't complain, though because it was very convenient for my own holiday shopping.

But it was worth every second and cent, because we had a great day yesterday and I got to spoil the people I love most. And we REALLY spoil each other, as you can see of the picture of the tree pre-gift opening carnage. This actually isn't even all of the presents, believe it or not. This picture was taken before my mom arrived and she brought even more presents with her! We opened presents in the bedroom (where the tree was) and although it wasn't what I probably would have chosen (had the kitten left us a choice) it was pretty fun, like a Christmas pajama party! The first presents opened were the hand knits:

happy feet in finished socks!

So far, Mom loves her Sock Candy socks (we'll see how they fit in six months after lots of washing/wearing) and Mark is very happy with his manly socks. The cuffs on his pair should be tighter, but they're just comfy socks for keeping his feet warm while he's around the house, so it's not too big of a deal. I might knit the next pair from the cuff down instead of toe-up to see if I can get a more satisfactory fit. But yea for finished socks! All my other gifts were successes, too, except for a pair of gloves for Mark that were too big (store bought, not handmade, thank goodness!) And I got pretty spoiled, myself. I feel like I fell out of the fiber tree and hit every stick on the way down!

Lucky, lucky me, huh?There's tussah sik, bombyx silk, merino/silk, cashmere/silk, baby camel/silk, cormo/silk, bfl and oh so much more goodness. Four pounds, four ounces of the prettiest fibers anywhere. I am not worthy. But I am overwhelmed. And that's not all! I got fiber accoutrements, too. A .6 oz Golding ring spindle, Victorian Lace Today and Arctic Lace, foam floor tiles for blocking (with their own carry bag) and... I can barely write it out... I'm even less worthy of this... Color by Number Book 2 by Deb Menz and Sara Lamb. A note book with 740 dye formulae with samples *fanning myself* Please excuse me while I go lie down for a moment.

Okay, I'm feeling less light headed now. Even thinking of that notebook makes me dizzy with the possibilities. I am going to have so much fun dyeing. I already have about 1.5 gazillion colorways planned. I feel yet ANOTHER addiction coming on. Damn, I love fiber!

The combination of the heady freedom from holiday knits and the inspiring new goodies got me started on a new project. I had a very hard time deciding which of the new goodies to use! But, I had one big regret from Rhinebeck that helped me to choose. When Mom and I were at Rhinebeck, she used the opportunity to Christmas shop. As I saw things I liked, I'd point them out to her and she'd "Santa" them away. Well, I stupidly let her Santa everything that I liked from Foxfire Fiber, which ended up being one of the most raved about vendors there. I've been dying to try some of their fibers ever since then, so I pretty quickly narrowed it down to them. This is one of their BFL Rainbow Ribbon batts in the colorway "Autumn." The colors are gorgeous, the fiber is soft, and I love the copper sparkle in it. I pulled a thin layer off of the batt and split it width-wise so that I have two mini-batts, each with the full colorway. I'm pulling strips off of the batts, starting with orange and working toward the dusky pink/purple. I'll ply the singles from the two batts together to get a yarn that (hopefully) mirrors the batt, one continuous, slow color change from orange to pink/purple. Right now I'm envisioning a mobius strip. I'll knit length-wise, then twist and join. I want it to look like a fiery sunset over the ocean. I am SO in new-project love.

Sunday, December 17, 2006  

Boy, the past couple of weeks have REALLY flown. I can't believe how long it's been since I've written a decent post. Things are finally starting to smooth out, but the holidays are busy regardless of surgeries, etc. Dad is doing fairly well, all things considered. The week of his surgery was just a terrible week. For one thing, I was PMS. That NEVER improves things :-) Second, I was dealing with all the "stuff" surrounding his surgery: my feelings about him, my feelings about this surgery and all the work the surgery created for Mom and I. Every day that week, I got up, went to work, went home and either took a shower OR ate dinner (not both), picked up my mom, drove to the hospital, sat with Dad all evening, took Mom back to her home, drove back to my home, packed lunch/laid out clothes for the next day, then went to bed. Rinse, lather, repeat. Every day. There was not one free minute that entire week, and I am a girl that loves and values her free time. Third, I was dealing with my cat. My Christmas present from Mark last year was a kitten. And I do love her. She drives me somewhat crazy, but I do love her. How could you not love this?

We went and got her the week before Christmas last year and we thought we'd keep her in our dining room/kitchen area until we took the tree down after Christmas. We thought it would be better to introduce her to a small area first, and it would keep her away from the Christmas tree. Well, she was a determined little bugger and by the end of the first evening, in her desperation to spend every single moment with us, she had found a way to escape the kitchen/dining room area. And over the next few days proceeded to wreak havoc on the tree. I am very sentimental about Christmas, even though I am no longer Christian (yes, I know this is extremely hypocritical, I don't care). My mom always made Christmas SO special, and we have so many traditions surrounding it, and those things are very important to me. One of my favorite things about Christmas is the tree. We have an artificial tree and it is the one that my grandparents used, they gave it to my mom when she moved out and she used it until I moved out, and that's when she gave it to me. The tree skirt was hand-made by my paternal grandmother. We have ornaments from both of my parents' childhoods, ornaments from my childhood, and Mark and I have exchanged ornaments every Christmas that we've been together. I know it is just a THING and that I am very superficial to invest so much into an object, but again, I don't care. It is very special to me. So, when we had to take the tree down before Christmas last year because of the kitten, I was heartbroken. And this year, I was hoping against hope that she had "grown up" enough to not destroy the tree. So, we started just by putting the tree itself up, no lights or ornaments or tree skirt, just to see how she would handle it. And the first couple of days she was fine, she was just curious about it and liked hanging out under it. I was beginning to feel like maybe she was "over it" and maybe we could decorate. But, soon enough she started trying to climb it, bend the branches, etc. Again, I was heartbroken, and this time I had PMS and Dad's surgery to add to the mix. I really felt like my Christmas was being taken away. But I took the tree down and had a good long cry over it and tried to soldier on.

But here's the good part. Mark was so upset for me and was trying to come up with alternatives, but there was really nothing else to do, short of locking the cat in the kitchen for the next two weeks. We weren't going to get to see each other on St. Nick's day since I worked during the day and he worked the evening, so we were going to celebrate the next day. When I got home from work that night, he told me that St. Nick had filled my shoes and they were in the bedroom. I told him to hang on while St. Nick filled his shoes and I would call him in to the bedroom when they were filled. So, I go into the bedroom and there was the tree! He had moved his dresser out of the room to make room for it. He had the lights in the bedroom off and the tree lights on. It was so beautiful! A lit Christmas tree in a dark room is so magical to me. I just burst into tears. It was so kind and thoughtful of him, and it was a bright spot in a terrible week. Through the whole crappy week, he was so wonderful and supportive and understanding, but this went beyond. I just feel so blessed to get to spend my life with such a wonderful man. The tree takes up about all the walking space in the bedroom, but it's worth it. And look at the ornament he got me:

A knitting s'mores snowman (who appears to be using redheart, but I'll forgive that). I don't mean to get too goopity-schmoopity, but I am one lucky girl. I am blessed in many, many, many ways, but one of the biggest is having such a wonderful partner to share my life with. Merry Christmas, baby.

And I promise - the next post WILL be about spinning and knitting :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006  

Just popping in to say that everyone is alive. Between Dad's surgery, work, and preparing for the holidays, there hasn't been much extra time for blogging. Here's some of what I've been up to in the past week and a half:

Mom's socks are done! Yea! (They really are cast off now, I'm just too lazy to take another picture)

And I've done some experimental spinning. Details will follow.

Hopefully I'll have time to sit down for a nice, long post this weekend. I have a lot I want to say, but I really need to get to bed in order to function tomorrow at work. And to all a good night!

Monday, December 04, 2006  

Hello Internets. How are you?

Oh, me? I'm tired. I'm very, very tired. Since we've last chatted, I've had a lot going on. It's been a Long Week. And today has been a Very Long Day. My dad had some major surgery today and I'm exhausted from using my mental power to keep him alive. Logically I know that there is nothing I can do about much of anything, but it doesn't keep me from banging my head against it ALL DAY LONG. But, the surgery is over and although I won't say it went well, he is alive, which is more than I was expecting. I didn't have good feelings about this surgery and I'm relieved that he's made it this far. My feelings about my dad are very twisty and complicated, but I'd really like a chance to at least make some measure of peace with him in my heart while we're both alive. I don't want to learn to forgive him after he's dead. I'm too tired to eloquently express that family stuff can be really hard. Duh, right?

So, the Long Week has not left much time for spinning and knitting. I'm still knitting holiday socks and spinning the blue stuff. Oh, and petting all the pretty stuff in my stash. I need to learn to spin and knit faster. Much faster. I want to start about 8 billion new projects right now. But after the craft room excavation, I'm tempted to make 2007 the year of finishing the UFO's. But maybe not, because that means it will be a long time until I get to start something new. Which I want to do NOW. Maybe a "one for you, one for me" system where I get to do something new for every UFO that gets completed? We'll see.

And now some job stuff. No smooth transitions here today, folks. I've been kind of vague about my job here because I'm not sure how much I want to share with the whole Internets. But I will say that I am an editor in the craft division of a publishing house. Beside my big dream of winning the lottery and being a professional sleep-in-every-morning-er, it's pretty much my dream job. It lets me exercise all my little anal perfectionistic tendencies while working with other artists and getting to see all kinds of cool crafty ideas ALL DAY LONG. Checking crochet patterns to make sure every stitch used in the patterns is in the glossary may make my eyes cross after a couple of hours, but it's about a million times better than staring at motions for the bankruptcy court every day (one of my former jobs = bankruptcy paralegal). Anyway, since I've started there, I've been assisting on bits and pieces of books for other editors. But, I found out on Friday that I'm getting my very own book to edit and it's even a knitting book! Woohoo! I'm so excited about this! My name's going to be on the copyright page and all that! Woot! And now more exclamation points!!!!

And now I'm going to go sleep. I'll try to be more human (or maybe I should be LESS human) next time.

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