Tuesday, February 27, 2007

47 Days- from Feb27

That's right; it's been 47 days since I decided to work from my massive stash. Now, I have bought stuff, but it all falls into the exceptions in the Stash-a-Thon guidelines.
Firstly, I went to Stitches West last Saturday. It was ultra-busy. We got there at about 10:30am, and I immediately made a beeline for the Bay Area Knit Co-Op (aka Cookie A's booth). They had a pack of all 8 of Cookie's sock patterns. Seriously, I'll probably never make half of these, but they're too wonderful to pass up. Also, out of a couple dozen hand-painted hanks of sock yarn- made specifically for Stitches- there were only 4 left Saturday morning. I bought 2, and in retrospect, I should have bought all 4. You know, as an investment.
This picture shows which two it is I think I bought. It's hard to tell, but you get the general color idea. Also, this pic is from Cookie's blog, I don't own it, I just love it.
I also bought a whole bunch of fiber. Even if fiber wasn't an exception to the Stash-A-Thon rules, I'm already counting Stitches as my one fall-off-the-bandwagon moment, because... well, c'mon... it's Stitches. And there was no way I was not going to buy Cookie's patterns.
That reminds me. The fangirl issue. Yeah. Cookie was there, and her boothmate Lynn (got one of her patterns, too), and her blogmate Kristi (who rung me up). I didn't giggle wierdly, but I did blather a bit incoherently for a moment there. I didn't gush in true fangirl style, "OMG you are so cool! lol!! I love everything you do! This rox!!1! I'm so excited, can you tell?!?! I took three caffeine pills so I'd be fully awake when i met u! XD XD" because I have more decorum than that. Right.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Just Call Me Screaming Fangirl

I am not one of those girls who goes to a movie just because there's a cute actor in it that I like(though that doesn't hurt), or changes the lyrics to songs by a favorite singer to "personalize" it, and I don't sit in the comic book section of my local bookstore reading Japanese comics all day because a character is hot.

Maybe a more... universal example should be given: you know those girls at Beatles or Elvis concerts in the 60's who literally fainted from excitement? That is a fangirl. Fangirls use (and overuse) expressions like OMG, squealing with delight, *I'm descriptive asterisking,* O.o (an expression of confusion), XD (an expression of excitement), and the plethora of emoticons.

Let me give you Wikipedia's definition of fangirl:

The term fangirl can be used to describe a female member of a fandom community (counterpart to the masculine "fanboy"). Fangirls tend to be more devoted to emotional and romantic aspects of their fandom (...). However, it is commonly used in a derogatory sense to describe a girl's obsession with something.

What has brought on this definition, you ask? I was thinking about yarn.

I was thinking about yarn, and how, while I love it, I don't ever say, "I have to have that skein of Prism, and damn the expense!" or "I know you're allergic to rabbits, but I got you this LL Angel because it's so fluffy." or "That yarn show is going to be packed, but I will fight anyone who gets in the way of my Koigu!"*

I was also thinking about patterns. When I finished my Jaywalkers, I thought, "Yeah, that was a neat pattern," not "I have got to blog about my love for this right now!" (In fact, I haven't posted any pictures or talked about it at all.) I don't look at Alice Starmore patterns, and think that they're way cool because Alice Starmore designed them. I don't ever insist that Clapotis is the new poncho (or whatever), or that people who haven't made it are "missing out" (I'd be one of those people, anyway).

My point? Uh... Oh yeah! My point is that I am not one to exclaim exuberantly and at length about an item, in general. I am not, in most cases, a fangirl.

For Cookie A of Pomatomus fame, I am.

I occasionally write comments on her blog- and I do that for almost no one- I've visually fondled the different patterns she creates, and her love of Louet Gems has me convinced of the yarn's excellence. I hope to eventually create as cool patterns as she does, and keep enough patience to knit complicated cable & lace socks. Like a good fangirl, I enthuse about these things to people who a) have no idea what I'm talking about, and b) don't care. I also squee quietly to myself when she posts about a new pattern.

At Stitches West, where Cookie has a booth, I will buy all her patterns (and I never buy individual patterns- I'm too cheap), some of her handpainted yarn (oh my god- I'm squee-ing this very moment), and I will be too nervous to talk to her unless spoken to first. (In the event of conversation, I will half-mumble polite answers, but not strike up a conversation, and then kick myself later.)

I do and feel all this for no one. Seriously, I've been too miserly to even buy Eunny's patterns off her blog. And I love Eunny.

So you see? I am a fangirl for a sock designer.

*This gave me a humorous mental image of "Two men enter, one man leaves" from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


First, I'd like to post my answers to the Favorite Color Swap 2 questionnaire.
Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Red (omg I love red!), green, yellow. One caveat, though for green and yellow: I generally only go for warm colors, so when I refer to green, I mean more olive than teal, and when I say "yellow" I mean more gold than canary.
2. What crafts do you really enjoy? Knitting and spinning. There is a little room in my heart for bead-related crafts, but that's mostly because they're shiny, and I am a total magpie.
3. What products do you really covet? Handdyed/handspun. I like silk and wool; there's something about animal by-products that I love.
4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? Reading, piddling around with writing, daydreaming about how cool I could make our garden or the fabulous clothes I could make if I even liked gardening or sewing.
5. Is there anything you collect? Yarn. DVDs (you laugh, but sometimes I think I've gone crazy). Funky keychains, which I actually collected in high school, but hey, they're still displayed, and I can't say no to the jillions of sassy, entertaining or downright nasty ones out there.
6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? Aquarius, Ox.
7.What are your favorite…
…scents/smells? Baking smells, jasmine tea, honeysuckle, the smell of a wet garden.
…types of music and/or bands? Soundtracks, rock of various kinds (I can't say that I like a particular type because the names always change, and it's not as if I like every band in the category), celtic.
…authors? No question: Terry Pratchett and Garth Nix.
…animals? Cats (I have 2), and I generally like dogs, though I could never own one, and horses. And goats are pretty cool, and if I ever went into farming, I'd totally want alpacas.
…places to shop? Bookstores, fiber fair vendors, cheap shoe stores (Payless, Shoe Pavillion), and I have a secret love of Old Navy, which I visit in the Fall once or twice, and then disdain it as usual. I utterly adore Target, but there isn't one close to my house (not even in the same city), so I rarely go there.
…season? Winter and Autumn, although I think that's mainly because those two seasons can be about the same in San Francisco. I like the rain, and being snuggled inside, and the rich colors, and the holidays.
…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies? I love wool; it doesn't even have to be a really fine wool. Since I'm not into fabric or paper crafts I'll just let those go; I do like beads for some strange reason (it's not as though I do any beading), and little fibery things that could possibly be used in ultrafunky yarn (sequins, novelty scraps, interesting fabric strips, feathers, whatever).
…candies or goodies? yes. I don't think there's anything really in particular. Except maybe Ferrero Rocher (mmm!)
8. Do you have any wish lists? Not for yarn, no. I do have one for craft books, but those are so pricy; I'd rather get fiber or yarn.
9. Are you allergic to anything? NO. (woo!)
10. Do you have any pets? What are they? 2 cats. They are secretly evil.
11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy. I have absolutely no stitch markers. Seriously. I could probably make some, but that takes both time and motivation.
OK, I was going to have a second, but it took forever to fill out this questionnaire, so I've forgotten what I wanted to say.
The flyer shot is what was on there a few days ago: oatmeal-colored wool from Sheepshed Studio that has not only been a dream to spin after a) royally messing up my wheel for some reason, b) then trying to spin finer fibers on it and c) finally giving up and spinning on drop spindles for more than a month, but also because it enabled me a) to fix the wheel, b) spin fiber that doesn't require hand lotion or carding before spinning, and c) giving me a break from spindles (which I still love).
This fiber is destined to be a 3-ply of worsted/light chunky weight. It may end up as a sweater, or something like that.
The wheel shot shows how I have recently discovered which is the best way to transport this sucker. When I first strapped it on (it's a rolling cart-type thing that business people use to move boxes around), it was really unbalanced and unpleasant to cart about. I dragged this thing around with me all day last Thursday while I did some errands, because I was going to Carolina Homespun for the monthly Thursday spin-in. So, not only did I travel on about 5 buses with this, over the course of about 6 hours, I had to mess with the configuration of the elastic straps and whatnot. To make matters worse, Morgaine had cancelled the spin-in due to their roof being repaired and a dental appointment I had not been aware of because I wasn't on the mailing list. Last Thursday was a bad day.
That Saturday, I took the wheel (perfectly balanced now) to a Girl Scout event called Discoveree, which is a day of training/craft classes aimed towards adult scouts & new leaders and older girls. I was helping a friend of mine and her daughters (along with a dozen other members of the troop) sell food at their concession stand. This is what I did on Saturday: woke up at 5am, went to Alameda, helped set up the booth (which took a couple of hours, all told), spun, ate, spun, chatted, spun, helped take down the booth, went home. A bunch of people stopped to ask me questions about spinning, which was gratifying because a) I know stuff about spinning, and b) I'm always glad to help people convert themselves to the Fiber Side. A few asked if there was a class on spinning at the event, which there had used to be, but wasn't this year. Saturday was a good day.