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.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just Ignore the Time Stamp

Today was a very productive day. I got up, showered, got dressed, dryed my hair, then looked at the list I had made the night before of things I wanted to do today, a rare Wed. off of work.
Then I looked at the list a little longer, happy that I had a day to do these things, but not really excited about doing any of them.
Then I sat there a little longer.
Then I got mad at myself and wondered, how much of this would I all ready have done if I were at work and this was my to-do list. If I were responsible for using my time wisely because someone was paying me I certainly wouldn't be sitting here thinking about getting things done.

I decided to play a game, a work game. I went to my kitchen and set my timer for 1 hour, then I ran back downstairs. The race was on to see how much I could do in 1 hour.
1. sort and start laundry
2. vacume front hallway, lower stairway, middle hallway, upper stairway, upper hallway, and bedroom.
3. make bed and put away random things accumulated in upper hallway
4. load dishwasher, wash dishes, clean kitchen and clear of "landing" zone.
5. straighten family room
6. put away folded clothes and hang up closet clothes.

I was half way through #6 when the timer went off. I decided to finish what I was doing (it was my game after all,) and that took another 20 min or so. I thought I did pretty good. I was a little winded at the end of it. I certainly couldn't keep that pace all day, but for an hour, sure. Maybe, just maybe, I will play my game a time or two a week and see how it goes. No promises though, there are certainly more fun games to be played.

As for knitting, oh yes, there has been knitting and in fact, there is even a FFO to be shown. (That is a finally finished object, as it has been in the works for nearly a year.)
So this is Samus from Knitty. You may noticed that I have changed the pattern a little, as in the fact that it is a vest, not a sweater.
It was a sweater on Monday, that was the problem. The sweater was finished, but, problem #1, I had made the sleeves too long. Not a big deal, I know how to shorten sleeves. It was problem #2 that was keeping me from FO status. I didn't like how the sleeves fit, they were much too loose for the fitted nature of the body. They looked funny together.
So there sat Samus, all sad, for 9 or so months, thinking that she had been forgotten forever.
But then, salvation!
A few nights ago as I was putting away my yarn into my new storage, I saw Samus and I began to wonder anew what I was to do for her.
I went to bed that night and my brain actually did something useful while I was sleeping. I dreamt that I look the sleeves off of Samus and turned her into a beautiful vest. I woke up the next day and knew it was to be. The sleeves came off with no problem (that, mother, is why you don't weave in your ends until after you try on your sweater.) I even knew where the extra skien of yarn I had was, since I had just organized my stash, so the addition of I cord edging to the armholes was done in one night. Hurray for being so obsessed with knitting that you even dream about it. (Kinda scary, don't you think?)

So here is a close-up of the "Celtic Braid." Pretty, no?
I was thinking that I would still put a zipper in it, but I actually like it so well open that I don't think I will stress myself out with the details. I think I will go over to Nancy's and pick up a cool Celtic clasp to go at the top, and that will be it. Easy!

My "therapy" sweater is also coming along well. I knit most of the second sleeve tonight during class. I will join the sleeves to the body tomorrow if all goes well and be done no later than next week, if even that long.

unprecedented, two sweaters done in two weeks. It's unheard of. We'd better open an investigation.

Logan will head it up, he's the perfect dog for the job.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On the Fiber Front

AND, one last post to let you know that despite the lack of blogging time, I have still been able to find a little knitting and spinning time.

Remember that fiber from the OFFF, that oh so lovely BFL/Alpaca blend. Well, it makes the softest most luxurious yarns in the world. It was more difficult to spin than straight wool, as it was more slippery, but felt so nice on my hands that I was willing to progress along the learning curve.
Oh yes, and I remembered the name of the lady's company who bought it: Great Balls of Fiber by Sarah Anderson of Snohomish WA. She apparently doesn't have a website, at least not that I can find. Too bad, her dyed rovings are AMAZING!

I have started another pair of socks.

And what is this? Oh nothing much, just MY FIRST SWEATER EVER KNIT FROM MY OWN HANDSPUN! It is a simple raglan knit from the bottom up. I didn't have enough yarn to knit the entire thing in handspun, so from where the raglan decreases begin, including the arms, I am using a matching yarn, Nashua's Creative Focus Worsted. The cuffs and neck will still be in the handspun.

And last, but not least, remember that batt that came from Abi?
Well, it is spinning up into a very lovely yarn. Navajo plyed, of course. This is about 1/5 of the batt. I am hoping I will have enough for another sweater.

This photograph shows the colors better. The first one's are a little too bright.

How I failed to become a photographer.

So, as I was going through the mess that is the third floor of my house, and trying to get it sorted and put away, I came across my portfolio and creative exercise portions of my second application to the photography program at BYU. It is a tiny program, and I SOOOOO wanted to get it. After my first failed attempt I did a little research and found it was going to take a lot more effort than I had put into the first one.

I took an entire semester off of school, got a job with a photographer, and spent those four months working on my application. I was very proud of it when I got it done. It was not, however, impressive to the photography powers that be.

Here are three of my 12 creative exercise pieces. I thought the first one was appropriate to show for Veteran's day. (As a side note, everyone call your veteran grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, and friends this weekend and let them know how much you appreciate what they did to give you the life that you have.)

This last one is a butterfly I did later. It was the first drawing I did after having my application rejected. I haven't drawn in such a long time. Maybe it's time to hunt down my sketch book and Prismacolors.

You can see the photography portion of my portfolio here. It is actually a lot better than the creative exercise.

Project Closet

Where have I been? With limited time for blogging to start out with, when a new demand on my time comes up, I go missing from the online world.
So what have I been doing?


The hydraulic ladder is in, leading up to 400 sq feet of storage. We've put everything up there that we want to, and it is still mostly empty. Got to love that.

In addition to that, the closet now has shelves all the way to the 10 foot high ceilings!

What did you say? We have too many books? No, not possible.

And the coolest thing about this closet, see those gray things? There are 12 of them, and what do they contain?



Soon the den will be all put back together and I will move into my new fiber studio! I can't wait!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

How Neurotic am I?

My Personality

Openness To Experience

Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report
Find your soulmate / pysch twin

MySpace Layouts and MySpace Layouts by Pulseware Survey Software

So I actually don't really agree with this entirely, but it may be that I am in denial. I do think I'm a little more neurotic than that, but hey, maybe the drugs are working!

On another topic. I wrecked our car yesterday. No injuries other than some stiffness and headaches. The car needs its hood and front bumper replaced. Thank goodness for insurance. I seem to be having a run of bad luck as of late, bad cold, supper hard classes, wreck the car, and to top it all off I also fell down the stairs yesterday. Well, let's just say I'm very much looking forward to a little vacation in a few weeks.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Few Good Things

1. This week is over. My midterm has been turned in. The fashion show was a smash hit. I have tomorrow off to spend with the Duke, and that is a good thing.

2. I got this in the mail yesterday from High Prairie Fibers (thank you Abi!) and no one can argue that isn't a good thing.

3. Knitty rejected my pattern, and while that perhaps wasn't a real good thing, I really wasn't too upset. It isn't my finest pattern (it is intended to be a quick project to knit before Christmas.) But it does mean that the pattern, Jane, is now up on Yarn
nation Patterns, and that is a good thing!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006