Thursday, June 30, 2011


Shawl we dance?

Dear friends...I should always re-read these blog posts before I hit "Publish". Last post seems almost freakishly maudlin in retrospect! Things certainly aren't always bad as all that, and I'm sorry to have given that impression. The 2011 Black Sheep Gathering has come and gone, and I enjoyed it tremendously. The weather was beautiful, which did much to bring people in, and everyone was...excellent to one another! Case in point: a spinner's wheel unfortunately went missing, which is definitely not excellent, or as Gene Simmons would say - "That does not rock!" However, a collection was taken up among the vendors, and enough was donated to replace the wheel. Demonstrating once again, that fiber and yarn people are exceptional and should be in charge of the whole freaking world. JMHO.

Upon finishing the above Citron in 2/3 skein of baby alpaca-silk laceweight Friday night, I gave it a quick and dirty blocking best I could at the motel, then displayed it in the booth on Saturday. I think I tweeted something like "if you've ever blocked a shawl on a motel wet bar...you just might be a yarn vendor". Don't worry, I'm not ready for the Blue Collar Comedy tour just yet!

Here is this year's Black Sheep booth.

On my show wish list: more gridwall, hooks, and I think we're ready to get a free standing banner. Behind the partition was the Fiber Arts display and judging, and the people in charge of that graciously left the partition up so I could keep my sign where it was. I may not always be so lucky though!

Yarn For Sale...

Here is one of my recent favorites:

It's Boutique (baby alpaca-bamboo-merino-nylon sock blend) in "Smoke and Orchids". I seem to recall a TV show or movie from the 60's called "Summer and Smoke", and must have been free-associating. Anyway, I only made one, so I may have to just...ahem...commandeer it for my personal stash, as I'm eager to see it knit up!

This is a definite shawl-heavy post. I also finished a forgotten-about WIP, the Diamonds and Pearls shawl designed by my friend Shelia January, in The Knitter's Book of Yarn (Clara Parkes).

I know the lace columns are completely wonky. However, it's exquisite Artyarns silk & mohair, which I bought almost 3 years ago, and it is the perfect pattern for the yarn. I'd knit it again, and would make extra effort to get it right!

And...the last time I showed you this, it was a poorly lit blob of unfinished yarn object. I have since finished it. Here, bathed in Oregon sunshine, is the Palatine Stole (Ravelry free pattern download).

It's an easybreezy knit, really just a giant swatch of the Dewdrops pattern from Barbara Walker's first Treasury with a garter stitch border. I used a luscious blend of 50/50 merino-cotton yarn from Urban Fiber Arts to make this one.

Non-Yarn Stuff (skip if you find this boring)

The fam is leaving for Spokane tomorrow, well today actually ;) and I don't have to go, neener neener, happy dance!! In all seriousness, though, there isn't anything here to dye (yet), although I did re-stock all my dye colors this week. So I'll be doing odd and sundry things over the weekend. Not sure exactly what yet. Will probably try to get away from the house as much as possible, what with all the fireworks in the immediate vicinity!

What are your summer plans and projects? Anybody up for a marketplace meetup during Sock Summit? I'm not sure what day(s) I'll be there as of yet, but would love to hang with you for a while and knit!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Tweets from the abyss

Just a little riff on Carrie Fisher; a la Postcards From The Edge. My friends, I have to say that 2011 kind of blows so far, and things seemed to have reached the nadir last week. Not that we're guaranteed a thrill a minute or anything, but come on. Vise-tight finances + ongoing dental issues + basal cell carcinoma + my daughter's mental health issues since January = me spending way too much time boo-hooing and worrying, and far too little time doing the things I enjoy: dyeing, knitting, hanging with friends, visiting LYS's and so forth.

However, we fortunately received some financial help this month, so we could put a stop to at least some of the stuff that happens to you when you're flat ass broke with no end in sight. I didn't realize how low my spirits had become.

One of my favorite, oft-quoted people is Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. In the 90's I joined the company and became a beauty consultant. I enjoyed doing that for a while, but wanted the chance to do lots more things (many of which I later got to do). In addition to the excellent sales training I received, I also learned some good strategies for keeping a PMA. Some of them are very basic, like the rhyme about "work for your two hands to do/and something to look forward to". Well, there's always knitting. But lately, I've actually been too depressed to knit. I made half assed attempts at housework and gardening, although it's been so rainy that not much has been accomplished in the yard. I really felt purposeless and adrift. This isn't a pity party, I promise! I do have things to look forward to, like the 2011 Black Sheep Gathering, which is next week! Because of the money thing, I didn't add as much to inventory as I was hoping. That's ok though - I have lots of nice stuff, and new patterns to sell. If you're going to BSG, Stitchjones will be in Bldg. 1, next to the fiber arts display. Come see me!

Ideas for more knits keep popping into my head, too, which feed my compulsion to do fiber art. Unconsciously I picked up the Knitty model: I make two samples of each design, using yarn that's readily available at most LYS along with my hand dyed. So far, I've only designed socks and hats, but by Oregon Flock & Fiber at the end of Sept. I should be able to add mitts, a shrug, and a shawl to the pattern line.

And of course, the thing that will save the first half of this year, is another chance to see Rush in concert. We three will be at the Clark Co. Amphitheater on June 28th, a Tuesday night, rocking out. Things can't be all that bad, if we as a family get to see the one band we all love!

Jason and I had a chance to escape out to Cannon Beach last Saturday. It was a perfect day. We took a long walk on the beach, then back to town. I put one foot in front of the other, breathed fresh salt air and enjoyed the warm sun.

My spirits are much better now.

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