Thursday, December 28, 2006

The WRIGHT way to celebrate

Christmas is BIG here in Yarnnation.

It required prep, and the Yarn Queen (and King) sent in the big guns!
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The Duke sucked every last dog hair out of our carpet- and LOVED it. I may never have to vacume again, and really, who could ask for a better gift than that? Thanks Mom and Dad!

It requires food, and there was a lot of it!

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Satsumas are a MUST for a proper Yarnnation Christmas celebration. On Christmas Eve there was a virtual smorgasbord (yes it's spelled right, I looked it up,) of edible delights brought to us by Tzarina and her charming mother. Christmas brunch was my doing, with fresh blueberry scones, grapefruit, latkias, and fritatta. SOOOOO good, although I need some work getting it all to the table on time at the same time. Dinner was at another talented friends' house. With many years of feast prep experience, the dinner was fit for a king (or a Duchess!)

It requires friends, old and new.

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Tzarina and Miles

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Tzarina's charming siblings, two knitty sisters and one not so knitty brother (but we still really like him!)

It requires family.
This was the first time our little family spent Christmas away from the big family back in Utah. We did miss our families, but had a delightful Christmas morning with two very excited pups, who could not believe that we were letting them rip through a room full of paper and plastic! WHOOOOO! What fun!

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A few well thought out gifts from the heart never hurt.

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The Duke has a list of things he would like to accomplish in his lifetime. Learning to play the guitar is one of them. It thought it was about time for him to get started, but there were budget restraints here in Yarnnation. An international treaty was arranged to overcome the obstacle. (Thanks Dad, Mom, Grandmas and Grandpa!) It is a beautiful instrument and he loves it.

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I have been trying to learn Russian (with limited success) for five years. The Duke thought it was time I kicked into high gear. This software is seriously amazing, I have learned more Russian in the last three days than I have in the last three years.

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This is what the Duke's Grandmother, Aunt K., Uncle C., and Cousins sent me. It was far, far, far too much, especially since, despite being done long before Christmas, I have not yet shipped their package. SIGH. (OH, and thank you so much, I love, love, love it, and as you can see I am have all ready put them to use.)

Aunt K. saw Jane and knew she was for her. How could I say no? Here is her Jane.
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The parents also sent much love via USPS and UPS.
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Isn't this the cutest thing ever? It is jewelry for your spinning wheel. The Yarn Queen sent it. Darling!

It is good to be the daughter of the Yarn Queen. She sent a fiber fun filled Christmas in a box to me.
There was this,
and this,
and a subscription to this,
and she really out did herself with this.

I have all ready knit 5 inches of a sweater with them, and yes, they are as wonderful as everyone claims.

I hope you all had a day that was Merry and Bright. Ours was wonderful, and the joy continues, as we anticipate the arrival of Princess P. and Prince B. to the Emerald City in a few days! YIPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Dyeing Distraction

Yes, it appears that I have been distracted from my knitting. It's OK, though, as there was no Christmas knitting this year (or what there was I finished in October.) Christmas shopping is done, presents are wrapped and shipped, it's time to celebrate.

Oh yes, and for those that wondered or cared. . . I did get my grades back for this past ***** quarter. We can also celebrate my first C in grad school. Technically it's a C+ and I couldn't be happier, I don't have to repeat ECON. HURRAY!


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Both are Cascade 128 - I may knit the Duke and I Christmas Stockings out of this, we'll see.

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Crowned Jewels

Superwash Merino- I've all ready spun half of it, it's beautiful. Its future is a secret. . . stay tuned.

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Juniper and Spruce

More sock yarn.

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Girl's Night Out

100% Washington Merino, worsted weight. It is very, very soft. I bought it (undyed) in Coopville over the Thanksgiving holiday. I was surprised when I skeined it to discover there are 400 yards there, I was thinking more like 200. That was a pleasant surprise. I don't know what it's going to be yet.

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This was a couple of skeins that I decided to overdye, as I have a lot of them and I wasn't sure I loved the colorway. I threw it in the pot after the Cranberry lot up there and let it soak up the remaining dye, it was ehh. Naturally, I dyed it again, and this incredible colorway is what I got.

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A little preview of what is still on the drying rack, it's almost as beautiful as the paradise it's named for.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

One Hundreth Post

Here it is, my one hundreth post.
I wanted to do something to mark the occasion.
So here it is. . .

The 100 Things that Make Me The Duchess of Yarnnation
1. I am married to The Duke, the kindest, most generous, loving and funny man I have ever met. I am continually astonished by how much he loves me, and I love him more than life.
2. I am the deliriously happy mother of an adorable little boy that I call Little Sir on this blog.
3. I am a Latter-day Saint, and while I am far from perfect, I do my best to live my beliefs.
4. I have two dogs, Maggie, a Wire-haired fox terrier, and Logan, a Cairn terrier. Maggie is the court jester, providing continual entertainment here in Yarnnation, and Logan is the royal antagonist and guard. (ie- he will, if given the chance destroy anything knit or made of any animal fiber, but angora is his fiber of choice.)
5. I have been a student most of my life (because I am insane,) and I am currently enrolled in a Masters of Business program, my emphasis is entrepreneurship.
6. I have a BA in History- my major was Family History and Genealogy.
7. I lived for a while in the Philippines as a missionary for my church. I love the Filipino culture and I speak Tagalog.
8. I love to knit (are you surprised?)
9. I also enjoy spinning.
10. I am inspired by color, especially bright colors.
11. My favorite color (although I love all colors) is deep red.
12. I recently started dyeing, it is very exciting.
13. My Grandmother taught me to knit when I was eight. I think it was the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.
14. All of the women in my family knit- both my Grandmothers, my Mom, my Sister, and my Sister-in-law.
15. Some of my most fond memories are of all of us sitting together knitting.
16. I live far away from my family.
17. The thing I look forward to the most when I go to visit them, is the time that us women will spend together, knitting.
18. My little sister is Princess P. She is one of the most creative people I know, I respect her very much.
19. She is also my best friend and it is hard to live so far away from her. I think she should move here.
20. My Mother in the Yarn Queen. She is a very talented artist, her paintings are beautiful.
21. She always encouraged me to be creative and to express myself visually.
22. I used to paint and draw a lot.
23. I don’t anymore, but I wish that I did.
24. I don’t have time to do all of the things that my creative spirit longs to do.
25. I love photography, it appeals strongly to my love of history.
26. I don’t sleep well, it causes me a lot of problems, although I have been sleeping better since Little Sir came along.
27. I am good with computers.
28. I am a very emotional person, and my emotions are very close to the surface.
29. I don’t listen to music or watch movies very often because of how easily and powerfully they manipulate my emotions.
30. I am a bit of a control freak and I don’t like having my emotions manipulated.
31. I love to read.
32. I don’t have enough time to read as much as I would like.
33. I like books of facts on interesting topics, I like books on the history of things, I like biographies of historical characters. I don’t read fiction unless it is a classic, I don’t care for fiction in general.
34. I try very hard to be organized
35. I am not very organized.
36. I have a very keen sense of smell. I am obsessed with how my house smells.
37. I have a beautiful voice. (I know that sounds vain, but I really do- I didn’t do anything to get it, it was God given.)
38. I love to sing.
39. I am trying to learn Russian, the Duke speaks fluent Russian.
40. My wedding anniversary is my favorite holiday.
41. “Feast” type holidays are kind of stressful for me because I can never eat any of the traditional foods.
42. I am allergic to dairy.
43. There are lots of other things I can’t eat as well- dark green veggies and crab are the ones that I run into most often.
44. I am blessed with some of the most interesting and loving people in the world as friends and I am so grateful for them.
45. I live in Seattle and I LOVE it. It is the perfect place for me.
46. Some of my favorite foods are avocados, satsumas, clams, manila mangoes, and black berries.
47. I like luxury soaps a lot.
48. I love the smell of lavender.
49. I don’t like sweet smells, like vanilla.
50. I love herbal tea. I only drink herbal tea.
51. I don’t like chamomile.
52. I don’t like to wear jeans.
53. I do like to wear skirts.
54. I own a scooter that is actually more of a motorcycle (it's speedometer tops out at 100 mph and it goes on the freeway with no problem at all.) I miss riding it now that I have Little Sir.
55. I love the ocean, but I hate to get wet, so living in the PNW is perfect for me. The water is too cold to get in, but it’s still there to smell, listen too, and enjoy.
56. I love flowers, magnolia blossoms are one of my favorites (but I have a lot of favorites.)
57. I have a very strong fascination with maps.
58. I used to have four piercings in one ear and three in the other. Now I have one in each ear and often don't wear earings at all.
59. I love to be outdoors, but I do not like to camp.
60. I like to rollerblade.
61. I rollerblade in the Sam’s Club parking lot that is 1 block from my house.
62. I have never been in that Sam’s Club and I will never go in it. I belong to Costco, and drive a couple of miles to go there.
63. I try to support local businesses when ever I can (yes, Costco is local to me- based out of Kirkland, and a business plan that is admirable.)
64. Community support and development are very important to me.
65. I want to own a few alpacas one day and raise them and my children together. I hope they will provide many opportunities to teach my children about responsibility and life (in addition to providing me with lovely fiber to spin, knit, and teach my children to spin and knit with.)
66. I have naturally curly hair. I like it that way.
67. I never-ever paint my fingernails.
68. I am a prolific journal writer. I keep several different journals for different reasons and I have kept a journal from the time I was a young teenager.
69. For all the writing, I still can’t spell well at all. Learning Tagalog made it worse, as there is no standardized spelling in the language, everything is phonetic. If it sounds right when it’s said out loud, it is spelled properly.
70. I have a pretty short attention span, and I am happiest when there is variety in my daily activities.
71. I love to travel. I wish I could travel more.
72. I love my house, it makes me very happy. The Duke and I had to completely remodel it, and we truly made it our home.
73. I am intrigued by how egocentric we are as humans. When I consider how insignificant we, as individuals, are in the grand scheme of things, I find our self importance very humorous.
74. When I consider how complex and delicate we are as humans, I am amazed.
75. My nose bleeds a lot. It’s kind of an annoyance, but there are worse things.
76. I have back slant hand writing and people always thing I am left handed, but I'm not.
77. I am always overextending myself, and I don’t know how to say “no” very well.
78. Impressionism is my favorite artistic period, my mother taught me to love Monet, Manet, Cassette, Degas, Van Gogh, and many others. I can spend hours looking at their paintings.
79. I consider myself very fortunate to have a husband who also loves art as well as the theatre.
80. I love the theatre. When I was younger I was in several productions. The theatre is the perfect escape for me. It is the only kind of fiction I truly enjoy.
81. I don’t know if I have a favorite play, but I loved 1776, go figure, historical.
82. I can use nearly any power tool. I learned to use them building sets.
83. I find philosophy intriguing. I am very much a philosophy novice, but I am especially interested in Rene Descartes and his Cartesian experiment, as well as Plato’s cave.
84. I find comfort and strength in the structure of logic. My minor was in logic.
85. Sometimes I wish people were logical, and sometimes I am glad they are not.
86. I have always felt older than I really am. I find it frustrating.
87. I think I am a very capable person, but not always reliable. I want to change that.
88. I am an ENFP type. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, look up Myers-Briggs.
89. I don’t like to drive, but I do like to ride my scooter. It is exhilarating.
90. I have always been a very social person, and I still am, but I find that as I get older, or perhaps as I take on more stress in my life, I need more time by myself.
91. I drink a lot of water. It is my favorite drink
92. I knit socks using the magic loop method. I used to use DP’s, but I will never go back. Who ever thought up magic loop is a genius.
93. Raglans are my favorite type of sweater. The fewer seams to sew up, the better, plus they just fit so nicely.
94. Plain old wool is my fiber of choice. I also like it blended with other fibers, but I really appreciate the properties of wool.
95. I am not a finisher. I have a hard time finishing my knitting. It is the “chore” part of knitting to me, and I have at times has as many as 20 projects that were done, but just needed finishing.
96. I am finding it difficult to finish this list.
97. The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patters and The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns are my two favorite knitting books.
98. My favorite bed sheets are sunshine yellow and very very soft.
99. I would like to learn to play the hammered dulcimer.
100. If I could have any super power it would be to never have to sleep. Do you think I would have enough time to do everything I want to do then?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yarnnation Regional Hospital

I think I have mostly recovered from finals. They really should have "final hospitals" for quarters like this, it was a bad one. At least they should provide us with outpatient care, don't you think?

So what does a Duchess of Yarnnations' road to finals recovery look like?

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It looks like a nice Friday night "date" at home with my Duke. We listened to Christmas carols, ate a roasted chicken, decorated a gingerbread house, and sipped hot cocoa.

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It looks like turning off all the lights and enjoying the candles, the lights on the tree, and the peaceful sound of rain falling.

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It looks like a little spinning of some very soft alpaca.

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It looks like pom pom's are very therapeutic.

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And it looks like a nice Sunday evening, with the Duke reading silly news stories to me off the internet, while I dye to my heart's content. . . all without a thought of. . . (well, it's better not to speak of such things in front of the patient, we don't want to risk a relapse.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The Duke learned something shortly after we were married, that the Yarn Queen (my mom) knew long ago. I am an excellent resister. I know what I should do, I know when it should be done, but that doesn't mean I'm going to do it.

Due to a faulty gene that my father passed on to me, we even have a song about it, specifically about going to bed, but you will get the idea. . .

(To the music of the Monkees' song "I'm a Believer")

Yes I'm awake! I'm a resister.
Not a trace of sleep in my eyes.
I'm awake, I'm a resister, I couldn't sleep now if I tried.

I know, I know, like I said, faulty genes.

So, what is it that I am supposed to be doing?

Studying of course.

I had my ECON final on Monday night (that's why I missed your party Emily, so sorry- I had studies myself into a stupor.) So I studied hard all day Saturday, and worried about it all night. I don't study on Sundays, but the Duke knew I would be anxious about it all day if he didn't get me out of the house (I had finally fallen asleep, and being the smart and kind husband that he is, he opted not to wake me for church.) So in the afternoon, after I woke up, we went to Miles and Tzarina's place to try out their new Wii, it's pretty darn cool, and I don't even like video games. The whole, moving around and action aspect makes it a whole lot more appealing than any other video game I've ever played. I got to try my hand at swinging a cow, by a rope, over my head, very distracting. . . The Duke is a good man. (and Miles and Tzarina are very cool too, thanks guys!)

Oh yes, and Miles, I think that Lincoln is the most huggable dead president ever, and I was wondering when you are going to reveal to the world that Lincoln is a knitter?

So, we got home in time to wind down and go to bed, um, yeah, I must have been trying to fool myself. So I got up at about 2:30 and started studying again. It wasn't Sunday anymore, and yes, I know that's sick, I can't help it. I live with a very high level of anxiety. Two shortish naps and something like 9 hours of studying later, I left to take my ECON test.

It's over, it's done, I think I may have passed. I'll let you know.

So that leads us to today. I should be studying right now, I still have a final tomorrow. Like I said, I know what I am supposed to do, and when I am supposed to do it. I did finish my final paper today, but I just can't bring myself to study any more. I have long surpassed my quota for studying within a 36 hour period. The logical side of my brain says, "you still have a test, it doesn't matter how much you have studied, YOU STILL HAVE ONE MORE TEST!" and the creative side of my brain says "NO NO NO -with a pouty face- I want to do something else!"

And who wins? You all should know by now, the creative side always wins.

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Merino and Tussah Silk- who wants to study when this is hanging around begging to be spun?

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And baby hats- people there are babies out there without hats. Isn't that more important than my marketing final? (Yes, the right brain sometimes tries to use logical looking emotion to trick the left brain. . . it never works.)

OK, OK, now that I have resisted to the point that I have no other options but to study NOW! I am off to read about convergence theory. Unless I am somehow hijacked by a beautiful ball of yarn that NEEDS knitting STAT! I could happen.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Helping Out a Poor Grad Student

This guy is doing some sort of research on how fast a meme travels across the internet. To help, repost the above URL on you blog. He has some sort of program that finds all those links and then creates a database documenting when and how fast they were posted (or something of this nature,) and this will help him blow his silly professor away. (Which is the real goal here, naturally.)

If you want to know more, click on the link above and read away.

Light a Candle

My friend Daphne posted this:

December 1 is World AIDS day.

Do a good deed and light this candle ...

Bristol-Myers is donating a dollar to AIDS every time someone goes to their website and moves the match to the candle and lights it.

Please forward this to your friends to spread.

It takes one second to raise a dollar.
Thanks, Daphne, for giving us the opportunity to help in some small way.

And what are you still doing here? Shouldn't you be lighting a candle?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Aftermath

Seattle does not deal well with snow.

The Proof?

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That truck behind the brown car in this last picture, yes that is an SDOT truck that came to put down sand, and got stuck along with the 12 or so other cars that were stuck on our street.
The Duke wasn't able to find a bus to take him to work (even after walking 7 blocks to try to find one- more than I would have done!) So, he got to stay home with me on Tuesday. It was so nice.
And what did we do all day???
Well, mostly both of us sat at our computers all day. . . I know, lame, but that's the life of students for you.

But, I did take a break or two from the enrichment of my grey matter to produce this

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The Duchess Dyed superwash merino - spun in super fine single and two plyed to create a sock weight

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This is pre-setting- the most balanced yarn I have ever spun!

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OH, I should keep a Christmas tree inside all winter long, just to make a pretty indoor backdrop for my photos!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Whirlwind Week - and Super Long Post

So this has been the craziest week.

It started out last Monday, with the arrival of a friendly little Bichon Frise, Louis. We were watching him for the night while his mommy and daddy enjoyed a fun night out. Louis was not happy with the situation. I will forgo the details, but Louis made sure that not only was he not happy, my pups were not happy, I was not happy, and my neighbors were not happy. We were all very grumpy after a night of no sleep.

Well, the week must go on, and so did we:
The Duke had to be taken to work on 6:30 am.
I went into work early (very early) because there was no sleeping to be had at my house.
In the afternoon Louis' dad came to get him and he happily went home to sleep while my pups and I also settled down for a short (ahem, 2.5 hr) nap.
Then grocery shopping (Costco is so exhausting to me,) and the whole day ended with the Duke shaking up a very very large bottle of salsa which, due to our sleepless night, ended badly with a lid that had been opened and replaced, but not tightened- we are still finding spots of salsa in very strange places.

Lucky for me, the mailman must have known I needed a pick me up, as my SP package arrived in the mail that day.

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What a treat! Great yarn, supperwash lamb's pride in purple! Dark truffles (yes, they are gone by now.) and the most beautiful hand made cards, pocket calendar, and notebook.

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Thank you SOOOO Much Rae, you saved an otherwise awful day.

Tues is knit night- but there was no knitting done, why?

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This had arrived and there was dyeing to be done.

At the end of the night. . .

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this was on the drying rack.

The next day (after a good night's sleep) we moved into Thanksgiving prep mode.

The first thing I was thankful for (well, after my husband, dogs, and warm home) was this:

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three of the one on the left and four of the one on the right,
and this

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that would be superwash merino. YUM!
Tuesday Dyeing night was a great success!

So the Duke and I began preparing for our non-traditional Thanksgiving. We started by finishing up the den mess, HURRAY! The den in back in functioning order.
Then, a good night's sleep and we got up Thanksgiving day and cleaned our whole house, top to bottom. It was very liberating! We now have a clean, put together house for the first time in MONTHS!
Then we picked up our Thanksgiving dinner, cold fried chicken, Chinese chicken salad, and pomegranate juice, then took off for Whidbey Island and a much needed relaxing weekend. We checked into The Woodland Retreat B&B.

It was lovely, a beautiful house, gracious hosts, yummy breakfasts, our only complaint was the bed was hard as a rock. It was very relaxing, except the sleep wasn't that great.

But here is proof that if you remove the Duke from the house, computer, car, ect. He actually does know how to relax. . . he just forgets how most of the time

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We had a wonderful time. We spent Thursday night relaxing, playing cribbage and gin, reading, knitting, and watching silly British comedy, (including The Curse of the Were-rabbit- hysterical!)
Friday we had a wonderful breakfast, and spent the day wandering around Langley. It's a lovely town. I had looked online to see if there were any yarn stores in town, but found none listed. . . and yet my yarn alerts went off twice during the course of the day. One was in a little clothing boutique. The owner knits and she had several of her knitted things for sale as well as BeeSweet yarns, Tilley Thomas, and Mango Moon yarns. No procurements there. Then I was walking along thinking about lunch when I was distracted by the smell of wool, and there it was, a tiny little yarn store. We went in, they had deep red lace weight alpaca from Alpaca with a twist. I was considering it when another lady bought all they had. The Duke got lucky on that one. I was so distracted I forgot what the name of the store was called.

We had pizza (yes, they made me half a pizza with no cheese, it was wonderful,) at Village Pizzeria, for lunch, leftovers for dinner (ah the care-free joys of being a young married couple.) and then because the Duke had missed the pie part of Thanksgiving, we found a little restaurant, can't remember the name, and had pie and cider.

Sat. was another delicious breakfast, and then off the Coupeville. On the way there we ran across an alpaca farm that was hosting a Christmas craft fair that day. We went in, were accosted by a man selling bee's wax candles, met a sweet little Cairn Terrier named Duffy, saw some beautiful local art.
Coopeville was not what we were hoping for, but all was not lost. The Duke spotted a yarn sign (Coopeville Yarns) on the way into town, on the way back out we stopped. There was nothing that I needed in the yarn store, but when the lady there found out I was a spinner she directed me to a little shack of a shop in their parking lot. I had seen the sign, but just thought it was additional signage for the yarn store, but in fact, "Spin A Yarn" is a fiber shop, run (and owned) by a 13 year old girl who was just as sweet as pie and sharp as a needle. Adrian, I think her name is, sells commercially available rovings, but the real find is the fiber that she prepares herself from her Alpacas that she raises, shows and breeds.

I bought this from her, and I will be going back for more. Go see her if you are on Whidbey, but call first to see if they are open, currently she is only open M-S 10-4.

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We came home a little early, as we were missing our pups, but thanks to Shannon, who came to our house to take care of them while we were gone, they were just as happy as clams. THANKS SHANNON!

Then, in true crazy Wright fashion, we were off again on another errand, Christmas tree shopping. We have been married for 5 years and this is our first Christmas tree. We usually go back to Utah for Christmas, but not this year, and we needed a good dose of Christmas right up front to prepare us for our first WA Christmas.

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Lesson learned: If you tie the tree to the top of the car with the doors closed, you won't be able to open the doors to get in and out. We felt very Dukes of Hazardish.

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Maggie and Logan were very excited, and a little confused.

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The results!

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A little more Christmas cheer and all we needed was a little snow to make it a true Christmas season. . .

The next day-

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Snow, in Seattle? Well, miracles do happen, and the Duke was praying very hard for snow. Yes, send your cursings his way.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I'm Famous- sorta

I got my book from the Storey Publishing on Friday. It's not a huge deal, but it's pretty cool. I had a little pattern published in their 101 one skein wonders.

Here it is, the Infinity Barrette. . .

Here's my name in print
- and the color photograph

Sorry the photos are a little blurry, I don't have a macro function on my camera, plus the flash was reflecting off the pages. Sigh- one day I will have a nice digital SLR.

Yeah, let's celebrate! What's that you say? Why yes, this is my newly finished sweater. Oh, thank you, I think it turned out rather lovely.
(And no, I do not know why this is underlined, I tried to fix it, but blogger is being a pain, so underlined it stays.)