Sunday, February 22, 2009


On bygone eras

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton
Talking in our bed for a week
The newspapers said, 'hey what'cha doing in bed'
I said 'we're only trying to get us some peace'
Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me

-John Lennon, "Ballad of John & Yoko"

In my usual roundabout way, I was trying to find a provocative intro or segue to what I really want to blog about, which is the subject of peace. Both inner peace, or "serenity" if you will, and harmonious relations in the world and within nature. We returned yesterday from a week in Spokane, Washington with my inlaws, so I'm sure it's not much of a surprise that I'd choose that topic! It all probably sounds kinda heavy for a Sunday afternoon, so why don't we start with some knitting?

I finished Mr. Stitchjones' pair of Earl Grey socks, and got him to model them for me.

They're a good fit and he likes them--good enough for me.

I also indulged in some Dream In Color Smooshy sock yarn, and made considerable progress on a pair of seed rib socks for myself.

Colorway is "Petal Shower". It's of a subtle delicacy that I doubt I could reproduce in my own dyeing.
My mother-in-law is recovering very nicely from her hip replacement surgery on the 7th. She and I have always gotten along well and it was a pleasure to visit with her. However, Jason's brother moved into the downstairs last fall after their father was moved to a care facility. To be clear, that's a 53 year old, divorced, single man with two grown daughters, living in his parents' basement. There were two other brothers who passed away in 1998 and 2004, and the surviving brother is unfortunately my least favorite. I won't rehash anything here; I'll only say that his behavior during the last week ranged from barely tolerable to complete dingleberry. Here is a photo of his cat.

She's a friendly, if not exactly affectionate, kitty, and I don't blame her for looking pissed off given who her owner is. OK, enough about that. Here is one of the nicest things I have ever seen, and I'd like to share it with you in a little photo essay.

Here's one of the daily visitors to my inlaws' 19 acre property, venturing right up to the back of the house.

Along comes her sister.

Mom and I watched this scene unfold. We waited for them to move close together, and were rewarded.

And then the little doe began to groom her sister.

It's kind of interesting that I got to witness this gentle, peaceful scene during a week of nuclear saber-rattling by North Korea and scary stuff happening in Pakistan, and while being away from home trying to help my MIL (who really didn't need much help; mainly I did cooking, dishes and such) and having to cope with a jerk. I'm home now, though, and even though my to-do list is long, I do feel at peace this moment. I hope you all have those kind of moments daily, too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Remote blogging

Just a quick check-in. Spokane? Check. Snow on the ground? Check. More snow falling? Check. Dang but these people are sick of winter, and who can blame them? They really got slammed. We arrived about 2 hours ago, having stopped at a supermarket and noticing mountains of plowed snow at the edges of the parking lot. My inlaws' house is on 19 acres near the South Hill area, and as we were coming down the drive we saw two deer. They didn't even run away when we drove past! Now that's a hard winter. Wish I could have gotten photos.

Seemed like we practically flew here instead of driving, because there was no rush hour traffic to deal with in Portland, and no need to take little dachsies to piddle because Michelle is going to be at home all week. I trust her to take care of the house and pets and not have wild parties while Mom and Dad are away! The worst it ever gets at our house with teenagers is mildly annoying, as in kids who hang around a little too much.

I'll have loads of pics when we get home; I don't have the software and doohickies for the digital camera with me so can't share pics while we're here. Mainly I just wanted to let my lovely readers know that we made it. Paradise Fibers, here I come! Yeehaw.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Live and in person

Stitchjones finally got her act together and took it on the road! Here is my "booth" at the Newport Spin-in last Saturday.

This being my very first fiber event as a vendor, I know my space looks woefully inadequate. I didn't think of such things as table covers, which I will certainly have for next time. And lots more product! I was so preoccupied with getting such things as the banner (which looks a lot nicer IRL than in the photo), display shelves for yarn, literature rack for patterns, etc. that I didn't think of key things to bring. Even so, the well-attended event was a success for Stitchjones. Folks said extremely kind things about my dye work, and I met a lot of new people. I had an awesome day, and here was the best part of it, IMHO.

Mr. Stitchjones, aka my husband Jason, strummed beautiful music all afternoon that was enhanced by the whir of spinning wheels and the acoustics of the fairgrounds exhibit hall. I sold about a half dozen skeins of fiber, and the Glam Sock and Titanium Sock were also good sellers. Stitchjones plans to be a vendor at a couple of events in the Pacific Northwest in May, Sock Summit in August and the Flock & Fiber Festival in September. If you're there, I hope you'll stop by and say hi!

The other thing is, I've been on the computer all day going meshugga. Check out Phat Fiber's blog entry today. Could you die?! Woo Hoo! Trying to land my plane enough to settle down and do some dyeing. The trip to Newport and back, not only the trip and the event but the prep work leading up to it, sure took it outa me. Yesterday I sat in my knitting chair, knitted and watched continuous episodes of "Big Love". Totally hooked on that show, it's whack but it sure is entertaining.

Talk about your wild rockstars...here is the scene at the Comfort Inn in Newport the night before the Spin-in. I priced all the sock yarn, then turned in by 9:00 pm. A real breakneck pace, yo!

I had the date totally wrong for my mother-in-law's surgery. She actually had the hip replacement operation on Friday and came through it very well. She will be in the hospital another day or two I think, then they'll transfer her to a convalescent center. By the time we get up to Spokane next Sunday night, she should be home.
That's about it for this time...there really wasn't much opportunity to visit the beach and take photos this trip. I like being a fiber event vendor though, I learned a lot and want to get better at it. I'll pop up again later this week like a prairie dog, maybe with a newly dyed goodie or two to show ya.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Feeling much better now, thanks

Stitchjones is alive? Holy cow, it's a mackerel! Allusions to old crude jokes aside--thank you for playing along with my Groundhog Day prank. I always wanted to write a fake satirical obit. One thing worth passing along, though--before Spinal Tap realized it was a hoax, they released a statement to the press via the band's spokesperson Jeanine: "Stitch Jones' death is a profound loss to both rock and roll."

OK, on to a more blogworthy topic. I have been knitting lots of things-- just not finishing any.

This is the Swell earflap hat from Knitty. In a vain effort to reduce my stash, which keeps growing--I'll get to it in a minute--I'm making this for Michelle's friend Tess. The maroon is Plymouth Suri Merino and the ivory is Crystal Palace Creme. I'm halfway through the chart; I don't do a lot of colorwork knitting but developing that skill is on my personal knitting agenda for 2009. Can't understand why those earflaps want to curl so badly. Hopefully putting the tassels on will weigh them down enough--I'm not excited about wet blocking the thing. I don't want the ivory to turn pink.

The Earl Greys for Mr. Stitchjones are progressing--the heel has been turned on the second sock and the gusset decreases are almost done. Would you believe that yesterday while delivering some sock yarn to a LYS customer, I slipped, fell and almost bought sock yarn?! As if a plastic bin full, plus one of those zippered plastic cases that bedspreads come in, full of the stuff weren't enough! Why oh why, do we knitters have such a hard time saying no? Trying to figure it out makes my head hurt, so I'll just show you a picture of what I bought on sale from my LYS customer, in this case Knitting Bee.

I've never made anything with Rowan Kid Classic before, and I do love me some orange. I have some slinky, shiny nylon yarn in the stash that is exactly the same color. Thinking it would make a nice Simple Yet Effective Shawl.

Also in my yarn-grubbing paws is this assortment of Jamieson Double Knitting, another yarn I haven't worked with yet. (and lets face it, just because it's in the stash doesn't mean I ever will use it!) It was intended to make these tres fabu, fair isle gloves.

Gazing into the ol' crystal ball, I see a business trip in the very near future. Yes, it's back to the beach, but this time Mr. Stitchjones is going with me. We leave tomorrow afternoon and will be back Saturday night. I'll have all the deets for you when we get back. Although for various reasons which would no doubt bore you I can't share more info right now, except to say that I've been in a tizzy over this one and am about to put on some tea, pick up the knitting and cool out!

Long range plans dept.: My dear MIL is having hip replacement surgery a week from tomorrow. Our plan is to go to Spokane a week from this Sunday, and stay a week or so to look after her. Mr. Stitchjones seems to think I can take the dyeworks on the road so I don't fall too far behind on orders. I'm skeptical, but we'll give it a try. It does mean I won't be able to go to Madrona Fiber Arts Festival and "Kinnear" the Yarn Harlot as I did last year. Those of you lucky bums who are going, have a great time!

Here's a parting shot of yet more yarn. Some CotLin from Knit Picks, to make the summer top of my dreams.

Pattern, what pattern?! Yes that's right friends, I'm going to attempt an original design. One of these days. Or maybe not...

Monday, February 02, 2009


It's Ground Hog Day!

REUTERS - Stitch Jones, the indie yarn and fiber dyer who became a legend in her own mind, was killed in a freak accident when one of her Crockpots exploded. The yarn was salvaged, however, thanks to rescue workers' heroic efforts.

Jones' odyssey into the world of dyeing began on a dark and stormy night in 2007, when she discovered a ball of white Patons Classic Merino in her yarn stash and several packets of powdered drink mix in her kitchen cupboard. Among her early sock yarn colorways which did not resemble cat gack were the notable "Gene Simmons", "Alice Cooper" and "Twisted Sister". These were generally well received, largely due to the solid base yarn which became a Stitchjones trademark.

At the apex of her career, Jones developed an addiction to the dangerous substance Synthrapol. An intensive rehab program gave Jones a spiritual awakening, along with the understanding that Synthrapol is a wool wash additive and not an aperitif.

At Jones' request, her remains will be cremated and scattered over Kevin Bacon. A habitual yarn stasher, Jones has bequeathed her yarn stash to the local knitting guild. In the interest of decorum, the family requests that fighting over the cashmere be kept to a respectful minimum. Several skeins of Stitchjones hand dyed yarn have recently appeared on Ebay, at remarkably
low prices.

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