Monday, August 14, 2006

Funky Scarf Swap Questionnaire

Yes, indeed, another swap. There's a link in my sidebar.

Here's to you, mystery scarf maker!

Are you allergic to any fibers? No.
Do you prefer any fibers over others? Not really. Go easy on the novelty yarns.
Thinking back to Scout’s post about what funky means to you, post an image of something that you think is funky! First thing that came to mind: a pimpmobile, an example of which you can see below. This yarn is also very funky, but in a totally different way. It's from Luxe, but I just picked it to give you an idea of funky.

Would you prefer funky yarn or a funky pattern? Funky pattern, unless it's made of a handspun yarn- that's my kind of funky!
What are your favorite colors? I guess I really like greens and reds (but not together)
What is your favorite piece of art? I don't have one in particular, but I'm a fan of everything Art Nouveau.
What colors would you never have up close to your pretty face? Orange, pastels, cool blues (teals are OK), bright pink.
Would you prefer an actual scarf or a cowl? I'm glad to get either.
When you wear a scarf do you prefer a wider/shorter scarf or a thin/long scarf? I tend to wear pasmina-type things, but I make long, skinny scarves.
What is the climate like where you live? It's temperate, but it can be foggy and windy.
Would you prefer a functional scarf (to keep you warm) or one just to funk-up your wardrobe? Whichever.
What else would you like your partner to know about you? I'm a spinner.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Goin' On Vacation!

As I sit here, considering my words carefully, I reflect back on the fact that I was so worried my upstream Mellow SP wouldn't know I'd gotten my package before I got back from vacation (next Monday) that I was- am- willing to put off much-needed sleep in favor of writing a blog post.

Yes, Jocele, I have gotten your July package. THANKS!! [For those of you who somehow manage to mail your gifties on time, I'll have you know that Jocele and my other SP and I all adhere to "fashionably late."] I have received the following (pictures coming soon- when I get back from vacation): an adorable puppy card, which I thought was nice, seeing as I don't have any dogs; a book (mmm... reading), called Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales, an amalgam of vignettes and essays and short stories and anecdotes by various famous craft people; and three skeins of yarn- Fiesta Kokopelli in Choke Cherry (a very nice, deep red), two skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in what I'm guessing (the yarn is not right in front of me) is Oatmeal and Wild Oak, a couple of neutral, very complimentary colors. Thanks again, SP!

I'm going to mail my downstreams' August packages when I get back, for two reasons. One, my One Skein SP's knit gift was being worked on the other night, and was nearly completed, when I discovered that I'd added a stitch halfway down the piece, and couldn't manage to get the needle in right for a lifeline when ripping. I had to rip the whole thing and start over. Yeah. Two, USPS has an online address book feature, which is where I've stored my SP addys. The link to "Print a Shipping Label" was broken. Broken- you know, that 404 error page. I thought that was interesting, seeing as so many people use the tool on a regular basis (oh the Postal Service). I ever-so-calmly took this as a sign from the SP gods that I shouldn't mail my gifties until after I return from my trip.

Where am I going for vacation, you ask. Why, I am going to one of my favorite places- Ashland, Oregon, to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. My parents and I are driving up (an 8-hour drive), and we're going to see some plays on Wed-Thurs-Fri before moving on to Bremerton, Washington, where my dad is going to volunteer on a historical ship for the weekend. My mom and I will just schmooze around Bremerton/Tacoma during that period, maybe check out the glass museum, because our thing on this trip is Ashland. We're going to see A Winter's Tale, King John* and Cyrano de Bergerac (which is admittedly not Shakespeare, but the OSF is hardly limited to the Bard, and it's my mom's pick). I'm very excited to be going, not least because there's a great yarn store there. (I recommend Ashland to everyone. Seriously. If you're looking for a bohemian, intellectual, crafty place to go for vacation, consider Ashland. Half my best friend's family lives there. And the huge, fabulous park was designed by the same guy as designed Golden Gate Park.)

Next post will cover something along the lines of:
-new projects being started/WIP (colorwork- cascade 220; kureyon trinity pillow; persimmon lace; maybe a fab aran pattern; maybe entrlac w/sp gift)
-How fabulous Ashland was
-SP yarn porn.

*King John is one of the Histories, and it's not produced very often (think Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, or Antony and Cleopatra). This will be my second time seeing it. We saw it in Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace) when we went to England, which was weird enough. A year or so ago, we went to a performance of the Abridged Shakespeare Company, and the way they introduced the third actor (who was sitting in the audience) was by asking who had seen King John. Besides the player, we three were the only ones who'd seen it- in an audience of 100-200.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

And Another One

I have just joined the Spinning SP on the Knittyboards. I know, I know. I'm probably biting off more than I can chew, but it's only one month, and I love spinning soooo much!

Here's my questionnaire (it's similar to the Mellow SP I participated in):


1. How long have you been spinning? About 2 years

2. What types of fiber have you spun? What have you spun that *isn't* "fiber"? I've spun soy silk, alpaca, and wool. I have many other fibers (like yak, cotton, silk, cashmere, camel) that are waiting to be spun. I don't think I've spun anything that isn't a fiber, but I have plied with binding thread, and I have plans to incorporate sequin strands into my yarn.

3. What are your favorite colors? I'm a jewel-tone and brights sort of person, but I am most attracted to things that are variegated (subtly or wildly). I really like greens and reds, though.

4. Are there any colors you absolutely do NOT like? If so which? Neons, and generally I dislike pinks and blue, but I'm not that much against them if they're not alone.

5. What are your favorite fibers? Wool. Um... yeah. Wool.

6. Do you have any unwelcome fibers (stuff you just don't need more of or like?) I'm not really interested in plant fibers (even though the soy silk was cool).

7. What is your Dream Fiber? Some fabulously-colored roving or other that is soft, has sparkly things, and the colors won't look muddy after they're spun.

8. Have you ever started with raw wool - and gone from raw to spun? Would you want to? Hahahah! Oh yeah, I've started with raw wool- major mistake! I don't like washing and carding, I've learned.

9. Do you own a drop spindle(s)? Wheel? What type/how many? I own 3 top-whorl spindles (one's a Bosworth <3), one of which is supported, I have a tahkli (the dinky brass-whorl kind). I also have an Ashford Traveller that, despite what my LFS says, is a great wheel.

10. Have you ever painted roving? Yes, with KoolAid. I have the materials for more advanced dying, but I'm not "more advanced" yet. I like dying.

11.What is the next thing you want to learn (techniques etc)? Spinning cotton (got the fiber, just waiting for the inspiration), silk, and making ultra-funky yarns.

12. Do you card (or comb) your own or purchase rovings or top ready to spin? I mostly buy roving, but I do have some locks I hand-draft, and I also have a small amount of shearling cria (that I love) that I do hand card, because I'm crazy.

13. Do you own hand carders, a drum carder, combs, etc.? I have a pair of handcards, but that's it.

Wants and Nots:

19. Allergies:
a. Do you have any food, fiber, smoke, pet allergies your SP should be aware of? No.
b. Do you smoke, have pets, or process peanuts where you store your yarn? If so, please declare them here: We have cats, none of us smoke, and I have no idea about the peanuts (I sort of doubt it, because we rarely eat them, but we have peanut butter in the house).

20. Do you have an or wishlist you'd like to share with your SP (please add URL if applicable)? My wishlist refuses to show itself, and my wishlist is here:

21. Anything you’ve been longing for or would really love to get (spinning related or not)?: Something handpainted. Like roving, or a drop sindle. Heh.

22. What about stuff you don't need at all? I don't think there's anything I'd say no to, except flax or hemp.

23. Do you have hobbies other than spinning (knitting, other crafts, tv, sports, collectibles, fave things)? knitting, crochet, general crafting, and I play on the computer a lot (heh).

24. Books you would like (spinning or not): I would really like "Spinning Revolution"

25. Magazines you would like (spinning or not): Old issues of Spin Off (like before 2002).

26. For those of you who live outside the US, is there anything you'd like that you can't get your hands on? n/a

27. In the event your SP lives outside the the US, is anything you'd like that you can't find in the US? nope.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things:

28. Who/What is your favorite...
a. Chocolate: Valrhona
b. Muppet: Beeker & Bunsen
c. Cartoon Character: Malificent from "Sleeping Beauty"
d. Flower: Little tiny ones that grow wild in damp, shady places
e. Ice Cream flavor: OMG... I like so many... but I think I'll choose Vermony Python (Ben & Jerry's).
f. Fragrance: Honey, or other food flavors. Tea.
g. Shoes to wear: Cute flats that make my feet look French.
h. Type of garden: The kind that is very carefully tended to look wild. (Like English or Japanese gardens.)
i. Animal: Horse, I guess. Cats.
j. Beverage: Cream Soda. There's a green tea drink from China I like, too.
k. Author: Terry Pratchett all the way!!
l. Musician: Um... I do like a lot. Tchaikovsky, Mediaeval Baebes, and many others.
m. Holiday: Haloween
n. Time of Day: Any time I don't have to do anything strenuous.
o. Bath or Shower: Shower.

I Want to Get To Know You Better:

29. How did you learn to spin? I took an hour-long class at a Girl Scout event. A few months later, I bought a wheel. So, I was tought the basics, but have learned most other things by myself.

30. What is the most exciting this that happened to you this month, year? Exciting? We're about to go on a trip to Ashland, Oregon (one of my favorite places, and home to the Ashland Shakespeare Fesitval!).

31. What is your favorite thing to do to waste time? Heh- spin. Or read. Or play on the computer.

32. The things that make me the happiest: This is a very open-ended question. I love finishing a skein and showing it off. I love when people talk to me when I'm KIP/SIP/CIP. I love getting stuff in the mail (seriously- it makes me happy). I love having big family dinners during the holidays.

33. If you were candy would you be sweet, sour, or cinnamon? I think I'd be like tablet (a Scottish confection) that's so sweet and rich you can barely stand it, but you want more. Also, it has few ingredients, which I think is cool.

34. If you were a fruit which would you be? A durian? Hah, no. An interesting variety of apple or maybe blackberries.

35. Are you a Java Junkie? Nope. I've pretty much turned myself into chai-only.

36. Your birthday, in case it falls during the swap and your SP wants to send you a card: It doesn't, but it's January 26, 1986.

37. Do you have a personal mantra? Credendo Vides. It means, "Believing is seeing."

38. How do you feel about holidays? I love them. Food holidays, and present holidays are especially good.

39. How do you really feel about socks? I love socks. I even like making them.

40. What is your shoe size? 9

41. How do you feel about ponchos? No way. Fat girls should not wear things that make them look like mountains.

42. What kind of music (and/or which artists) do you listen to when you are happy? I listen to rock, classical, and wierd (medieval, new age, celtic, goth).

43. Rate yourself on a girly/fruh fruh factor from 1 - 10: 6

44. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I live with my parents (man, that sounds dorkier than it is), and we have 2 cats.

45. What are a few of your life dreams? I want to have my own business, probably in the fiber arts.

46. What languages do you speak (besides English)? French, fluently. Chinese and Spanish, tourist-level.

47. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? In a defensible castle (cuz it's cool) with electricity and plumbing (because I'm not a masochist). I don't really care where that'd be.

48. If you could do anything for a living what would it be? See question 45.

49. If you could have any "super power" which would it be? The power to control the weather. Hey, no one said it had to be practical.

50. You're given $10,000 for traveling. Where do you go and why? Antarctica, I guess, because there'll be few enough opportunities to go, and I'll be able to say I've been. Or I'd go to India, because I've always wanted to.

Thursday, August 03, 2006



Version: 1.1

KER++ Exp+ SPM Bam++@ Nov(-) Wool++ Lux+ Cot- Stash++(+++) Scale+ Fin Ent? FI?>+ Tex+ Lace++ Felt Flat(+) Circ(+) DPN+ ML? Swatch- GaugeF@ KIP++ Blog+ SNB WIP+ FO+ ALTCr+Sp+++Wv>+


Thanks to The Purloined Letter, who brought it to my attention. Or rather, she posted about it in her blog.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


This is the first time I've been to Dixon (it's in the same general region as Esparto. Heh). I went with my parents, even though it was originally going to be a mom-daughter thing. We were going to take a class, but there was only one that interested me, and it was going to be 6 hours, which left no time to browse the vendors or enjoy the sheep-to-shawl.

We spent pretty much the entire time listening to the fleece judging. It was very educational, and the judge was concise and funny. We heard some nice anecdotes about Black Sheep Gathering, which sounds like it's ginormous.

I got some lincoln locks in blue-greens. I'm not a locks sort of person, but I've made a little skein on the Bosworth drop spindle* I got (mmm... Bosworth...) already, and it's very tweedy.

I also met the president of Spindles & Flyers who I've met before- her daughter goes to the Girl Scout camp I work at! I've only seen her twice, on the campfire night- the one night we all sleep at camp, where we cook dinner and have a compfire that the parents are invited to. In fact, last year, I selected her in the parent participation song ("An Austrian Went Yodeling")- she played the avalanche. This year I picked a mother from her same troop to play the cuckoo. Both years, she's worn this cute knit hat; I always assumed she'd bought it (cuz that's what sane people do), but when she saw me at Dixon, I realized she'd knit it herself.

She was one of several moms at Lambtown supporting the all-children sheep-to-shawl team. Like most things that are relaxed enough to allow children, their team won. That's not a bad thing, either. This will encourage the kids to continue spinning. In fact, there was a mom there who was joking that her son had a better wheel than she did (an Ashford Joy- better than my Ashford Traveller, certainly!).

Yes, it was fun, even with the various medical incidents (around lunch the women's bathroom of the fiber building was closed off because someone had collapsed or fallen or something- the cops were there. Later, as we were leaving- 4:30-ish- an ambulance had just arrived to take care of a little boy who had been hit by a falling branch. A branch. From a tree. How often does it happen that a branch falls off, and how often of those times does it hit someone? Wow).

*It's perfect for me. It's a fast and long spinner. 1.39 oz. It's made of bloodwood, which I've never heard of, but I think it's appropriate, considering my occasional morbidity. Heh.


I was just glancing over my previous posts and noticed that I enthused about WWKIP Day for months, and then never told you anything about it. (I am an idiot.)

It was great. My mother and I got there a bit early to stake out a spot, and started knitting immediately (in her case, crocheting). Kathy of Chicks with Sticks SF arrived not long after, and we accumulated some more people.

We also acquired a homeless guy who sort of mumbled to himself, fondled my knee (I am never wearing a skirt to WWKIP Day again), and smoked a joint. Kathy asked him to move off to smoke, because she's allergic (I don't know if that's true, but who cares?). After about a half-hour of him sitting with us, a security guard (Union Square has security guards, naturally, because all those fancy stores want tourists to be as comfortable as possible) asked him to go away. Kathy and I chuckled uncomfortably that we'd each been trying to think of a way to politely get him to leave.

Other than that, it was great! We knit for a couple of hours. I think the most people we had at once was about 17. Not as many as I'd have liked, but better than nothing. I know of at least two people who came in from the East Bay, which is funny because I'm sure those places were having get-togethers, too.

That reminds me: the day before, I checked on the website to see what other kind of places were participating. There were many countries represented, with the US being #1. I was looking over the state participation, and discovered that most states had one or two gatherings, and Florida had the second-highest amount with 8. Who's #1? You got it... California with 15, most of them in the Bay Area (I flatter myself I had something to do with that- I posted enthusiastically on Bay Area Knitters months in advance). Eee! Imagine the turnout for next year!

I think there were 3 guys actually knitting (that doesn't include the various SOs that stopped by). One of whom, when I was recounting my Spartacus story, knew of Esparto (first person ever!). He then realized that the reason he had heard of Esparto was because he'd read my blog. (Dude, if you're reading this, you know who you are!) He was knitting with a reclaimed cashmere yarn double-stranded and was using, oh, size 0. Gah! A bunch of people (including me) asked what he was making, but he was just swatching. But I foresee a baby jacket or a lacy wrap in his future.

Another guy was knitting a pouch. When I asked what kind of pouch out of Noro Kureyon, he thought I was making a double entendre, which I wasn't (for once). His project recalled to me my eternal search for a good one-skein Kureyon project (I started my search for a cute felted bag, but I'm now thinking maybe felted sachet pillows or something).

Since all the knitters were from SF, or at least knew of the stores in the city, my 100 copies of the local LYSes went utterly unused. Even during the event, I realized I should be handing the sheets out to tourists who were taking our pictures, but I know how much I dislike having handouts forced on me by strangers on the street (and knowing SF, it's probably illegal to do so in Union Square, anyway- those tourists should not be faced with any discomfort). Oh well. At least paper is recyclable.

A good time had by all, I think.