Wednesday, October 10, 2007

YarnCon and Where are you, Robert Mattison

Many years ago, my best friend was Robert Mattison. I have no idea where he is today...let's just say my Google-fu isn't strong, and he might not have choosen to be as active on the internets as I have been/am.

He was a great kid, and I'm wondering what kind of man he grew up into.

And, on to

Saturday. 10am-4pm.

I will be there, will you?

Indie-type yarn people...this might be well, probably not your Woodstock, but maybe your Pitchfork?

If anybody is going, and wants to meet up during or after, give a holler.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'll do it myself


Things were great, and not too crazy, and everything look fine, and then:

Fitted Knits let me down a little.

I'd been whizzing through the Airy Lace Wrap Cardigan, and was down to the cables (yes, cables), when suddenly the pattern stopped making sense. Now, granted, it could very well be that it's because I've never done cables before. And, I understand that my learning curve is, well, pretty steep. Oh, and I know that I'm not a great knitter. I do it for fun. I like knitting and spinning...a whole bunch. I just feel no need to go out and learn how to knit faster, or smarter or better, because, it's not a contest.

I tried it, it looked stupid, because both cables are snuggled up next to each other, and not on opposite sides of the cardigan. I'm I on the crack?

I seriously don't know. I'm setting that puppy aside for a tiny bit, and returning to my old friend, fingerless mitts. Ah, simple tubes with a thumbhole, how sweet you are.

So, if anyone has knit this thing, and you have input, or simply are smarter than me, please, feel free to drop a line, and let me know.

Cheeseworld is opening, and as the date aprroaches, I realize that I simply have a ton to do, because my job got bigger. As much as I love this job (and, I really, really, really do), this comes at a suck time, 'cause now that there's a chill in the air, and the light has changed, I'm ready to spin and knit.

I lost my mojo all summer, and now desperately just want to sit around drinking coffee while I listen to podcasts and surf ravelry, and knit.

Oh, wait, that's what I did last week...oh, and Monday. Oh, and...maybe I should shut up now.

This is where I digress, and talk about how cool Ravelry is. And how nifty it is.

I'm on the 'pro' ravelry team. It's because quite fashionable to hate it in some circles, but, I really think that it's a great knitting resource. I'm always hesitant about 'community' on the internets.

I didn't expect it to take the place of my best friends, and I didn't think I'd meet all these cool people who would usher me inside the velvet rope of 'cool' knitters.
That would be left to me.
That said, because of Ravelry, I've gotten an offer to do some
writing about knitting for something quite large.
No, until that first piece is published, and it's out there, and you all can read it, I'm not telling where or when. Because those things aren't set yet.
I just got a lovely little PM that said that I was articulate, and had good ideas.
Wow. Thanks.
And, that they were wondering if I wanted to write for them?
Yes, yes I would.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Knitters, beer and yarn.

So, just to prove that I'm a total D-list blogger who doesn't deserve to be read, let me show you the fabulous photos that I took at the Knitty meet up on Wednesday.




Still there? Yeah, keep waiting 'cause I didn't take any.

So, there was jpknits, and fujiyamamama, and snickerdoodle, and errs, and bina from the knittyboards, and it was fun and fabulous and they were really nice, and I probably talked too much in run-on sentences, and was too happy.

Then, I got really tired and had to leave right now or I will die.

So, there.

Oh, and there was the candy expo. I worked for a giant corperate conglomerate.

The funny thing was, I didn't think about candy like it was this big, cut-throat industry. But it is. Holy Crap.

I had to learn phrases like "silky sm**th texture is what separates D*** from other brands."

Jesus help me.

And I did it.

I did it for the money, but I did it. So dirty, so dirty.

So, I watched the behavior the the folks who go to the candy expo, and was totally fascinated.

On the last day of the show, people are trying to get rid of their stock, so that they don't have to ship it home.

Traditionally, this day was the day that people brought their children and then brought big duffel bags, and then went nuts.

Kid in a candy shop, anyone?

This year, they changed the rules. They only let one official show bag on the show floor, and they were taking the other bags away.

There were fights with security. Over candy.

Oh, just when I'm trying to find the good in humanity...and I actually have witnessed the Burning man spirit, and I'm just glowing in how good knitters are...this happens.

So, I've come away with some good, and some bad, and like most other things, it's changed me.

All those who read this blog for the non-knitting can probably just leave now.

The photo is of the yarn that I'm using for my next project. Because I finished Jen's fingerless gloves just in time for fall. So, I'm starting on something for myself. I'll probably cast on today.

I love the book Fitted Knitts. I love almost every single pattern in there, and I think that in many ways, it's an almost perfect book.

I've cast on a v-neck sweater, and I even went out and bought the specified yarn for it.
It's an alpaca/wool blend. The problem is that it sheds like a Persian cat in September.
I wear alot of black. It's not a good combo for the likes of me.

So, that project has become really...not so high on my list. I'll finish it, but me and the light blue sheddiness? Not so much.

So there's this wrap sweater in fitted knits. It's lovely. It's also (in the book) done with mohair.


Mohair sheds.

What I have is lovely Blue Moon Fiber Arts Geisha. It's a light fingering/heavy laceweight, in shades of blue that is nylon, silk and a tiny bit of mohair. 950 yards per skein. That's a fuckload of yardage for 25 bucks.

I bought it at Stitches Midwest, from Toni, at The Fold. I've since found out it retails for about 40 bucks. I bought it for 25. I have two skeins. I'm going to make that wrap by holding two strands together. This should cut down on pooling, and be about the right weight. I lurve this yarn.

I would lurve to finish a larger project that I can actually wear.

I photos I've seen of other finished wraps make me a little nervous, because the yarn, it's bunched up around the waist of the peoples, but, me? I'm hopeful.

Monday, September 10, 2007

To Bring us all up to speed...

This is the view from outside my 'front door' at burning man.

I was here for a week.

Sometimes, I was dirty. See how dirty my goggles are? That's because of the dust storms.

Dust storms make you drink during the day.

Dust storms make you fight at the thunderdome.

Then, on the way back, we stopped in Omaha. My internet friends who had never met me, took pity on us, and let us stay at their house.

Unfortunately, one us (not me) was a complete and utter asshat, and let one of their dogs loose. We found it.

Nobody died.

But somebody might have wanted us dead.

My new internet friend (hopefully) doesn't despise me, and was talking about comming out for a yarn crawl/YarnCon thing.

I hope so. Female yarn friending with a touch of goth/industrial is so sorta just my thing.

I traveled without Professor Al. I missed him a whole lot. I was glad to see him.

I saw my mom in South Dakota when we traveled through.

I was really sick of men, and the way they burp after 3 days each way of non-stop driving. Men burp a lot.

I now have to go back to work, and to Ravelry.

Oh, and there is another knitting and drinking event planned.

Sept Goose Island. 6pm til?

Please come.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm soon.

So, the burning man? Pretty fucking fab.

The dust storms? Awesome?

The Thunderdome? Cool.

The hospitality of internet strangers in Nebraska?

Saved my ass.

Someone let their dogs out, and we almost lost one, that was horrid. I was mortified.

There was some tension on the trip, but I'm going to try and let it slide.

I will post photos, I will give a full decompression, I swear...but right now, I'm checking out Ravelry, and it's freakin' awsome.

Monday, August 20, 2007

As the man burns...

Yup, that's me being's like "As the world turns", get it?

So while there's a ton of stuff going on packing for the burning man, and working for the Cheeseworld, I'm just going to show off my newest tattoo, now that it's fully healed, and doesn't look all scabby, shiney, skanky.

I got it at Insight Tattoo, here in Chicago.

My tattoo artist is Scott. He's amazing. The shop is fantastic.
And yes, it's a comment on how I broke my arm at this very same time last year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The crazy, the loud, and the not-so-fast


the crazy: Me. Who was I to think that I could not work at all, so as to spend time with Dan and T., and then have money to go to burning man?

Oh, and also, all the stuff I have to do for the newer, bigger, Cheeseworld2.o. Done by next Wednesday? Not so much. I am insane. Oh, and I'm soooo overextended for when I get back it's not even funny. No, I do not laugh so much.

the loud: My neighbor's friend who drops by every weeknight at 11pm, and honks, and honks, and honks, and honks. I think tonight I maybe might run out in my bathrobe, and pound on his window, and yell "Are you okay? Should I call the police?"

Methinks scary, crazy white lady showing concern might make him stop.

The not so fast: My knitting of course. Nothing is done. Nothing. All works in progress, all not so much finished.

What have I been doing? Tasting over 250 wines in increments of about 30 per meetings with various wine reps. Buying about 80 of those. Trying to keep track of what I've bought. Trying to make sure I have a good spread of all countries, and styles. Trying not to just buy the delicious, expensive stuff, but dig for the fun, welll-made everyday wines as well...oh, and make sure they are food-friendly, and they all are small production, handmade, biodynamic, organic or sustainable.

It's really a little more difficult than just sitting around drinking. I swear.

Oh, and the new wine of time?


Stop laughing, it's really a grape.

Say it with me Vee-Ohn-yay. That's it!

What it is:

Tradionally Viognier was only grown in the Rhone Valley in France. It was bottled as a single varital, and was heavily oaked, as to add 'structure' so that it would be ageworthy.

Now? It's grown in California, Washington State, Australia, and most cheaply, in Chile and Argentina.

What it's like:

To me, good Viognier smells like orange blossoms, peaches and ripe apples. Stylistically, the Viognier from France might be oaked, and will have a darker color, less exhuburant fruit profile, and more baking spice and vanilla from the oak.

New world viognier is rarely, if ever oaked. Most viognier is full-bodied (that means, like 14 percent alcohol, which is going to get you shit faced if you drink it on an empty stomache. Ask me how I know), and will have a beautiful mouth-watering acidity.
It loves root vegtables. It loves rich foods and firm cheeses. It's my friend.

Little cash? 10-14 bucks a bottle. Search out Con-0-Sur, from Argentina.

Lots of cash? 25 bucks and up. Search out Westerly, in Santa Barbara...I think all the viognier is sourced from Paradise Vineyard, but I might be wrong.

Also, Witness Tree Vineyard in Orgegon makes a killer viognier.

Middle amount of cash? There actually isn't much out there...Viognier is a hard to grow grape, with only a wine geek following, so there's not much of a market.

Drink on.