Thursday, October 30, 2008

Truly Super Tuesday, Man.

So go vote, and then go shop. Guaranteed to make you drive faster and jump higher (it says so, right on there)! There's a rumor, it's even got three, count them THREE alpacas!! That doesn't include the 10 instrumental tracks and that boy can seriously play, AND B.B. King, and...oh, Brad Paisley, how I do love to hear you PLAY! Official album of the next in the 2-at-a-Time Socks series!

Is it Tuesday yet?

(Mine may be here earlier. If it is, then my next blog entry will read more like an ode to Brad for which I know you, my dear readers, will forgive me. I can't talk about my knitting. It's book knitting. It's all secret-like. And you gotta understand. The boy can pick. It just makes my feet bounce, and my toes tap, and sometimes my arms go up in the air and there is, occasionally, hooting and screaming.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just for Fun

Since I have no knitting, check this out, it amused me. Yarnhog turned me on to this.

Your result for The Best Thing About You Test...


Honesty is your greatest virtue.

Honesty is the human quality of communicating and acting truthfully. This includes listening, and any action in the human repertoire — as well as speaking. And you? You cannot tell a lie. Both loved ones and strangers should trust you, because you won't (1) lie, (2) lie via omission, or (3) sit there and let lies be told. (Can you even let a sleeping dog lie?) All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your honesty runs deepest.

Your biggest risk is hurting the feelings of your most sensitive friends. However, most appreciate you for your candor.

Honest famous person: George Washington, if you believe the propaganda.

Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It's impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.


10% Compassion

44% Intelligence

50% Humility

56% Honesty

38% Discipline

29% Courage

42% Passion

Take The Best Thing About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rhinebeck Wrap-up: A Happy Ending.

There was sharing and bonding:(Rue shows Tamara her scarf while Kristen and Katy get ready to leave for dinner. I don't know where MadMad Rachel is. Pouring wine? I bet that woman is an excellent hostess.)
Then it was Saturday. The Big Day at Rhinebeck.I signed books at Foxfire Fiber, lots of books, and met lots of wonderful knitters and bloggers and book owners, and even certain people who, along with their friends, apparently keep my book on their coffee tables. I am a coffee table book! How cool is THAT!?
The outside of building A, by 9AM, was a busy hive. It got more so as the day wore on.When I finished signing and headed for lunch I had to part the waters of the line at The Fold, which was like a snake doubled back on itself a time or two. Hands full of Socks That Rock and lots of other BMFA yarns, they waited. I tried to get a picture, but none of them came out properly, so you just have to take my word for it.
Some people were too tired to walk another step, even when encouraged by youth.OK, really, they were rolling around on the ground playing, and were very adorable. I saw a ton of adorable kids, my favorite being the little girl in the green striped outfit with the little Sorel-type boots that I did not get my camera out in time to catch, but my heavens what a DOLL!
Gail? Is that you?Nope! A REAL kangaroo, complete with joey, in the middle of New York. Well, not the middle, but you know what I mean.
Then we headed back to the hotel in the convertible for a little lie-down. Katy and I got the back seat. (See Rue's Tangled Yoke Cardigan in the front seat? People stopped her to pet her. It was wild to watch. It's beautifully done, perfect color, and fits amazingly. Way to go Rue!) Top down, all I needed was big glasses and a head scarf, and I could have been so cool.And maybe 8 extra inches of height, that would have helped also. And some natural grace, to go with my jeans and sneakers. And the lie down? Not so much. Rhinebeck on Saturday at 4pm = traffic snarls. We got to the hotel just in time to throw down purchases, brush teeth, and head back to Rhinebeck for the Rav party.
Tammy did some damage.This is the Bed of Yarn. This is a woman who knows how to shop, folks.
Then we got in line for swag bags from Ravelry, a bit late, but still on time, so to speak.I love my little linen bag. More on that later.
Inside the party pavilion at the Elks Club.There were a lot of knitters here. A lot of knitters. A funny aside - a famous knitter hugged me and caused a ripple around us in the beer line. The posse was giggling about this for minutes and minutes. Snarky posse, I love them, talking all about being not worthy to stand in line beside me. I love you guys. You always make me laugh.
I really love my muslin bag and my Della Q project bag, which had a project in it by midnight.The muslin bag will probably be used for hauling produce from the store, as I despise those little plastic ones, but Mr. W. has a fit when I chuck naked produce on the conveyor belt thing. What's a few germs? I wash the stuff before he eats it!
Next day was, for me, shopping day!The remaining four of us (Rachel and Tammy cut out early, but they're further from Rhinebeck, after all) wandered a bit, then stopped for lunch. Two chicken pot pies (Rue and Katy), and two sweet potatoes (me and Kristen). Lovely potatoes. Need to remember this next year.
I saw this in building A, I'd been too rushed to notice is on Saturday.LOVE!! WANT!! NEED!!!
Katy tried to kiss a llama, but apparently he'd heard all about her from the goat.The llama was having none of it. No kiss and tell from this guy.
The CIA was there, cleverly disguised as culinary students.Sneaky, huh?
I bought stuff.Foxfire Cormo Silk Alpaca. Mmmmm.
And more stuff.4 hanks of lambswool laceweight, since I am taking class this weekend with Galina Khmeleva at Webs next weekend. Come and join us! One day workshop Friday, or two day Saturday and Sunday.
And just a bit of Brooks...a Mas Acero widow or orphan. I love their yarns. I adore Acero. I have socks out of it. The Mas Acero and I have a date when this book is done.
And just a little more...some of Oasis Farm Fiber Mill's Bargain Bunny. I have not decided what to do with this, but was considering a sweater for Dazee. The color is perfect for her creamy fur.
I did bring something home for Dazee,just a braided pouf of pink polar fleece from the NE Border Collie Rescue people. I try to buy something from them every time I see them. A Border Collie without a job is often a Border Collie in need of a home. Like when 101 Dalmatians came out, and everyone wanted one, and pet shops were full of them, and 6-9 months later so were animal rescues and shelters? Or when Paris Hilton started toting a Chihuahua, so everyone wanted one, and 6-9 months later rescues and shelters were full of them? Or - and this is one of my favorites - when Nicole Brown Simpson's Akita Kato made headlines and the next thing you know everyone wanted an Akita? And then 6-9 months later...wait, do you want to guess? Some dogs have a job to do, or have certain personality traits bred into them that make them perfect for hunting bear, or herding sheep, or...shivering. But some of these traits make them less than perfect companion animals or family pets. A little education on the front side could save a world of hurt on the back side.
(Kicks soap box back under couch)
Can you tell that's an issue of mine? What gave me away?
All in all a successful and enjoyable weekend trip, and I cannot wait for next year. Thanks to Jess and Casey and the whole Rav family for the party, free beers, free swag, veggies and hummus (and other stuff, too) lots of prizes, lots of knitters.
Thanks SO much to Barb for having me again to sign books in her booth, and thanks so so SO much to all those who bought a book, and all those who stopped by just to say they had it and love it. I appreciate that. I am glad people are happy. It makes me happy that knitters are enjoying my little venture into writing, and I hope they'll like all that comes after!
'Till next year, oh glorious Rhinebeck. 'Till next year!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


YAY! Faster than I was ready for, the time is upon us again. No time for FO's, I gotta pack!
If you're at Rhinebeck, please come and find me from 11-2pm Saturday at the Foxfire Fiber booth where I'll be signing books. Come and buy a book, get it signed, and roll around in Barb's amazing yarns and spinning fibers. Need a bit of that myself, with Girl away at college spinning her fingers to the bone.
I also need Brooks Farm. And some lamb. And maybe a llama, which will fit in my car I think. It showed it in the ads...
RHINEBECK! FOXFIRE FIBER! 11-2 Saturday! Please, please don't leave me sitting there all alone. No really. Every time. I swear. I am always convinced no one will show up. Stage fright maybe?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anybody want these?

This pattern may be quite soon available for sale. It's a 2-fer, baby/kid and adult in one. The yarn is Kraemer Sterling, hand dyed by Gail Callahan, favorite Kangaroo Dyer. The socks are difficult to photograph because of the blessed silver in the yarn, but they are very yummy in person, and fun to knit. Want? Patience!

brown and green and hens all over.

Eleanor, 8 years old, or 9? I have lost track.More mushrooms discovered Saturday while hunting for the bear (note hunting for the bear, not hunting the bear. There's a difference there).
They grow so fast...these are two twin girls, I swear some days they hatched from the same egg!Everyone all grown up, or nearly so. 3 roosters, 2 hens. I wish there was a magic hen wand one could wave over incubating chicks.
My favorite boys. Tutter2 and the very chocolate chick, Truffles.
Yummy Truffles. Think he's a keeper, Americana/Cochin cross, and the foundation for my imaginary planned new breed of chicken, which has no name and will probably fail, but we'll see.
This is likely his mom. Notice the resemblence? He looks more like her than his dad.
See, he looks just like her!
The nameless rooster currently in charge. No name...we all know what that means...
FO's coming soon. Imagine that!?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It Was Just a Couple of Miles

but from the moment we headed out the door, this is what I had to contend with.
Up Front, Tucker and Dazee:
And Behind, the terrified shell that is Boo-Boo:Leashes in both directions, two ahead, one behind. Six feet each, with me in the middle for a couple of miles.
Mr. Wonderful said what could I expect? After all I was obviously plotting the whole time to leave Boo-Boo in the woods at the mercy of the evil wood-goblins. Yeah. That's so me. Or, he theorized, perhaps Boo-Boo was behind as protection, guarding the rear flank, so to speak. I felt so very safe. Yes indeed, very safe.
There's a wood road, more traveled this past year than in the twenty prior. It used to be an overgrown dirt track through the forest, populated by squirrels, moose, deer, and the occasional ATV or teenagers in a pickup with a full cooler, or human on foot (I know because I was one of them). Then someone put in new long and fancy road, which meant trucks up and down the hill about every fifteen minutes from 7am-5pm carrying rock and gravel for about a week straight. Then the loggers came, and for a while there was tremendous noise and then four or five 18 wheelers a day, up and back down again, stacked high with logs. They've dwindled gradually over the year to one a day and lately none. I decided it was time for me, like the deer and the moose and the squirrel, to tread back cautiously on tip-toe and scope things out. It may be that my trepidation about what the loggers may have done telegraphed to the dog causing him to be obsessive, neurotic and terrified. This isn't a management company. This is a logging operation. Strip, sell and move on. Or it might have just been because the dog is...obsessive, neurotic and terrified.
The good news is the pond is still there. There's no trees on one side of it...but there are trees on this side still. And although one road has been improved to the point that it's practically paved, the other is still it's overgrown, leaf-strewn self.
We did not go all the way to where the majority of the trees were taken out. My husband refers to it in language I cannot use on internet. He and one neighbor have alluded to it's being a bit of a disaster out there. I won't find out for a while. I can't get Owen (Boo-Boo) past the pond for now.
Dazee is all truly a dog now.She found a puddle and walked right in. Owen and Tucker stared at me blandly - "Shouldn't you DO something about that dog over there? It looks kind of stuck." Note mud on legs? What I didn't capture on film was her bouncing in circles in the quick-sand of the muck she'd strolled into, trying desperately to get free of the sucking ooze. It was hysterical, and when I stopped laughing I retrieved her from it. Once liberated, she shook violently and trotted off as if nothing had ever happened.
We headed back along the road less traveled. And as soon as we turned the cornerthree dogs in front, all the way home. That's my Boo.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I wrote 3,000 + words, not including the ones I edited in or out, today so am rewarding myself with a blog post. First a hint of some things to come. In May I will be teaching at Halcyon Yarn in Bath, ME. I'll mention it again closer to actual May, I just wanted to share. I can't wait to visit this shop and see the town. One class is scheduled for Saturday, May 16th and if it fills, fear not - we can just tack on another on Sunday! I love Maine. It's the cold and snow I dread. Which begs a question, or an answer: why am I wearing polypropylene and silk longies under my regular day clothing in the first full week of October? And why have I already burned up half a forest in the woodstove? Something seems very wrong with this picture. I know why my mother's relative emigrated from Canada. It wasn't the farm they were after. It was less cold. My father is pretty thin-skinned about cold too. There's something a little sad about Yankees shivering around a fire in October. It's not right. We should move south.
Next weekend (not this one coming, but the one after!) is Rhinebeck. I'll be signing at Barb Parry's Foxfire Fiber booth (A30) from 11am-2pm on Saturday. Come and find me!! Bring a book, buy a book, or just say hello! Also, Girl comes home that same weekend. I haven't seen her since we dropped her off in Indiana the last of August. It's strange to muse on this, so I choose not to. She'll be home for a week, and then we send her back. I shall not muse much upon that either.
This weekend I went shopping for fabric to make a carry-bag for Dazee. After much searching and one failed Lands' End purchase I am going to make it the way I want it, so it is perfect. I found this delightful brown cord print at JoAnn Fabrics in Keene.I loved that it was 50% off, and the whole mess, including thread and feet and zippers and all was under $20. I love that they had a corduroy I could get my heart around. I love that my husband not only "let" me (well, he was driving, and he did voluntarily take me there, no begging) but HELPED me shop for fabric. What a man. I think there may be enough over to make her a matching jacket, possibly reversible. I feel this is important. Dazee does too, when she's not otherwise occupied.
This astounded me. An 8 year old dog entranced by Nylabones. It was a longshot after her second theft of my leather slippers. I figured I'd give it a try. She loves the thing, and is doing more damage on this small size than I thought possible. She needs a bigger bone, and more of them. She's on Boo's bed. She's taken it over during the day, moving from his to hers as the wind blows her. He sleeps down cellar all day; I do not know why. He comes up only after dark and stays until after breakfast, then retreats.
I am mailing this out today to one anticipatory sample knitter. It should be a sock or two when it comes back to me. It involves chickens and really awesome yarn. More will be revealed. It's totally not anything related to the book, but is here.Sometimes things itch my brain so very badly that I have to get them out before I can move on. This sock niggled at the base of my brain until I could not stand it another minute. I had to get it out. So, Marcy, it's in your hands now. It's not easy, but it's so worth it. Knit fast, that others may suffer. I mean, uh, enjoy, of course!
Yesterday we walked the farm across the road. It's on the market now, and I walk it daily while I pray for a way for us to own it. I love it. It's a disaster; overgrown, tires, junk cars, house full of utter crap, barn falling down, and a "cottage" that has alternately housed rodents and teenagers for the last few years. There's a plethora of dead snow-blowers, lawnmowers, trash, piles of cans and bottles and dismantled or tumbled down shacks. It's 75 acres of hard time, and not worth more than half of what they're asking as a result. It verges on a blessed super fund site. But I found things. I found apples, growing on trees, and I stuffed my kangaroo pocket full of them.Green and so good...they are kind of like those ones Rue brought to drop-in a couple of weeks ago. I want the tree, and in order to get it simply must buy the farm, right? I think I'll go back for more today. I found the perfect spot for the garden over there, and the perfect spot to write (That nasty little cottage? It's a writer's dream come true). I found fields long in disuse, begging for livestock. And an outdoor bar. No, really, they built an outdoor bar and seating area out of discarded pallets and such. Someone even used a chainsaw to carve stools, and there appears to be an area off to the side for...more amorous activites perhaps? I should have taken the camera but I've got three dogs this week so it's impossible to do anything constructive except stop every five feet so someone can sniff something.
I leave you with this. Home, home on the range. I let the birds back out. It's not fair to them to have to spend the rest of their lives in a cage. Live free or die, right? Well, it's time for them to be free. This is our new rooster, and two of the hens who survived the spring disaster. I do not know their names. They have none. All done with that, folks. Do not name animals that get killed by coyotes. Simple solution.

They're so happy to be free again. Who am I to hold them back?