Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green with Envy

A good looking pug looks good in anything, even a diaper. Bucky has been Mr. Leaky for a little while, slowly going from oh-no-I-can't-wait to Good-morning-Mom-you-look-mad-I-want-my-breakfast. I asked on the pug group on Ravelry for advice, and someone recommended belly band, and that someone handy on etsy would be able to make one for me (for Bucky actually).

It was quite easy to find 2Parises, and she even found some pug fabric to make two belly bands. Then when I got the package, she included this St. Patty one as a bonus. How sweet!

Bucky, His Royal Highness, is quite embarrassed with this whole belly band business. We only use it at night, when he’s too tired to say much.

What you looking at? Got something better to do?

Cookies, I think I see cookies. I'm getting a little foggy, but I think I see cookies.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stitches West 2010

The prior year reviews:

2007 -- look somewhere in the middle
2008 -- that was a fun year with Ravelry new in the community, doing the passport thing and all
2009 -- haven't made anything from last year's loot, don't ask

This year I signed up to help an Indie Dyer from East Bay, Snicklefritz Yarns. Janelle is a scientist by day, and fiber artist (and long distance cyclist) by other parts of the day. She looked for booth help during Stitches on Ravelry, and offered to pay with yarn (!!!), so I gladly raised my hand. Hey, I got time, right?

I was so happy to see the inner working of Stitches Market. On Wednesday I went in to help Janelle set up the booth. It's my first time to see the vendors without all the gloss and makeup.

Webs was all boxes and empty shelves.

Brooks Farm, the only thing recognizable was the metal sign.

By the time I left the show floor Wednesday afternoon, Webs was in decent shape. Amazing how much work they had done in a few hours.

But this booth was all pretty and well protected by early afternoon.

I took Double Knitting with Colors by Karen Frisa on Friday afternoon. It's a very good challenging class, requires some thinking, not just "doing". As for shopping, Isager is new to US and first time to appear at Stitches West. Marianne Isager is from Denmark and has a few books published in English. Someone on Ravelry referred to the booth as "the beautiful booth". I was completely drawn to their Alpaca 2 yarn (50/50 alpaca and merino) during Thursday night's market preview, but I liked every color and couldn't decide what to do.

By the time I made it to their booth Sunday afternoon some of the colors were sold out. Oh well, I hope they come back next year. I said goodbye to the booth on my way out.

It's even more amazing how fast booths were taken apart and packed. This is Webs 45 minutes after market officially closed. The big sign came down about 30 seconds after I took the picture.

The ladies were stripped bare.

So was the guy.

Will they ride the forklift all the way home?

The loot:
-- Ellen’s 1/2 pint farm, Falkland Wool, color Purple Mountain Majesty. Ellen is my weakness. Once I make peace with that I'm fine collecting the yarns in every color and fiber.
-- 2 skeins Heather Prime Alpaca (total 1lb) in purple
-- 10 skeins Lambs Pride worsted (at $5 a piece!) in red (apparently I was on a red and purple kick)

And the best part, I shopped to my heart's content in the Snicklefritz booth. Couple of days work earned me this delicious lot:
-- 1 skein of sock yarn in Little Caymen Gnome (blue/green)
-- 1 skein of natural dyed cashmere/silk in New England Mussel Shell (pink). I tried to talk everybody into buying this yarn. It's simply heavenly.
-- 3 skeins of Bishop (100% blue-faced leicester), 1 of them in Blueberry Pie and 2 Purplelicious
-- 2 skeins of silk/merino in Lady Gnome (yellow/green)

Till next year.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Rare Treat

Bucky is almost 14 1/2 years old. When he was little he used to walk funny, almost like the back half of the body wanted to be parallel with the front. The vet said he'd out grow it, or it'd indicate something wrong with his spine. Well, he never did out grow the funny walk, just like the rest of him, always stays very much baby- or toddler-like. When he was ten the neck went out of wack and we have been carrying him up and down the stairs since. Last year the vet found severe arthritis in both hips. This has been a hard winter on his old body, the legs are getting more and more stiff, the walking space he covers getting less and less. One day last week he gave up walking and standing altogether. It took us some effort to convince him it's not time to give up yet.

So it was a rare treat the other day when I caught him barking in the back yard, telling the neighbor's kids off. Something he used to do every day, every minute if I let him, now I'm just happy he hears them (maybe), stands up (yay!) and talks (well).

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Perfectly Good Hat

Pattern: Scottish Tam on the cover of Vogue Knitting on the Go: Hats and Caps
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport brought at Golden Fleece almost four years ago
Needles: Size 5
Cast on: February 12, 2010
Cast off: February 27, 2010
Notes: This was my Ravelympics knitting -- the knitters on Ravelry give each other a challenge during Olympics. Participants would choose one or multiple "challenge", could be a new technique, or a project need to be finished, or a project related to the games, like my Chinese Red Vest in 2008. This time I decided to go with the winter theme and do some color knitting. This was planned to be a beret for myself, fair isle in two-handed knitting which I never attempted before. The knitting turned out to be fun and a bit challenging to make my hands learn something new, but the hat turned out a lot smaller, and not quite beret-like. It'll still keep someone's head warm.