Friday, March 26, 2010

Milestones, Albeit Odd

Two years ago -- well, 25 months ago to be accurate -- I bought a 200 foot roll of plastic wrap. I'd just moved back to the Pacific Northwest, was living in a studio apartment, about to start working for Portland Fire & Rescue, and househunting. And while the studio apartment had some amenities (two plates, two coffee cups, two sets of cutlery, etc.), it did not include dishwashing soap or plastic wrap.

Tonight's dinner leftovers mark the end of that 200-foot roll.

At 25 months per 200 feet, how long will the recently purchased-from-Costco, double-pack of 750-foot rolls of plastic wrap last?

(Comparing my personal use with what Tina and the Barn Gals go through every day at Blue Moon Fiber Arts amuses me greatly!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tracy and Jen's Grand Adventure: Results

I may have mentioned that Tracy and I won a grand prize basket in last week's Portland Yarn Crawl. Today, we finally had a chance to catch our breath, meet up, have lunch... and then we headed back to her house to spread out our booty. We fondled, we discussed, we divvied, and we're both quite thrilled with the amazing gifts in this basket.

Seriously, thank you to the vendors who donated and THANK YOU! to Northwest Wools for participating.

This, gentle beings, is everything spread out.

This Lantern Moon basket is staying with Tracy. (You'd be proud, Susan: Tracy's stash still fits in baskets!)

The Lantern Moon needle case and Destiny circ came home with me; the Sox Stix stayed with Tracy.

I've now got Knitted Socks East and West and Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans; Tracy has Knits Men Wear, a Pocket Pals pattern, and the winter edition of Knitting Traditions. I expect to borrow Knits Men Wear, she expects to borrow the afghan book.

Two skeins of Aslan Trends cotton - we've each got one,

and two skeins of Asland Trends Pima classic -- again, we've each got one. The brown Poems sock yarn came home with me, as did the Classic Elite Alpaca sock yarn.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca and a pattern book, and Imperial Stock Ranch yarn and pattern. We, um, didn't feel compelled to keep the bits together -- so I've got the Berroco yarn and Tracy has the pattern, and Tracy has the purple Imperial Stock Ranch yarn, and I have the dark gray. Tracy has the Tahki beret kit -- she'll actually make it and wear it!

Frog Tree chunky alpaca and Classic Elite Silky Alpaca lace -- both Tracy's colors. I somehow managed to miss taking a picture of Lanaloft bulky from Brown Sheep that's pretty close to the Silky Alpaca green -- also Tracy's color.

In the top picture, you can also see bottles of Unicorn Fibre Wash and Rinse (I've got the wash, Tracy has the rinse -- trust us, there's a logic to that split!) and a sample of Bar-Maids salt scrub.

So, keeping in mind that this is HALF of the stuff that was originally in the basket, here's Tracy's basket:

And my half, pretty well filling a Yarn Crawl bag.

Again, thank you to the vendors who donated, to the shops that participated -- especially Northwest Wools, who picked my name out of the hat -- and thank you, Tracy, for sharing the adventure!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Patience is...

Patience is a nuisance, sometimes. Seeing no viable alternative, that's where we're stuck.

The Portland Yarn Crawl was last weekend. What with one thing and another, Tracy and I had exactly one day -- Friday -- to participate. We agreed that, in the unlikely event that one of our names was drawn for a prize, we'd split it. It doesn't cost to dream big, after all!

We went to nine stores in seven hours (we had a plan and a GPS), hitting stores we'd never visited before (Close Knit (need to go back, now that we know what they've got), Yarn Garden (lovely space, lovely people), Happy Knits (near Yarn Garden, lovely people, entirely different lovely stuff!), and Northwest Wools (kind, helpful people, and they group yarn by color within weights!)), favorites (Twisted (love), Dublin Bay (love), Knit/Purl (love - and Tracy knits samples for them), All About Yarn (more love), For Yarn's Sake (hadn't been there since opening day, and were even more delighted with them now)) and, had we not run out of time, two more favorites (Knitting Bee, Kathy's Knit Korner) would have been included.

Yes, that's a lot of stores but, as I said, we had a plan. And we didn't just stop in, sign up for the prizes and leave; oh, no!

One of us -- and usually both of us -- found something that HAD to come home with us at every single store.


Today, Northwest Wools called, and said we'd won a grand prize basket.

Okay, technically, they'd pulled my name out of the hat. But it could have as easily been Tracy's. So, from my perspective, WE won a basket. I did collect it on the way home from work tonight.

But here's the "patience" part: I'm up to my eyeballs in grant writing this week. Tracy is up to her eyeballs in family stuff this week. We won't divvying stuff up until Sunday.

We may need another prize for "remarkable restraint"!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Personal Best

(which is a kind way of saying "Knitting Olympics FAIL")

As you may recall, I signed up to make Sivia Harding's beaded Diamond Fantasy Lace shawl for Steph's Knitting Olympics. Might have worked, too, if I'd remembered a) my schedule and b) "beaded".

After Sivia's class at Madrona (see how clever I am? I signed up to knit something with a teacher and instructions!), my shawl looked like this:

A week-plus-weekend-plus-another-week later, my shawl looked like this:

The final weekend, I admitted that I wasn't happy with the start:
- the first bead was on the wrong side,
- Sivia (herself!) said that she'd probably use a different double decrease if she were writing the pattern today (and then taught it to us),
- errors fudged into compliance,

but I also knew that I seriously loved the fabric created by Tina's BMFA Seduction (oh, BAY-bee!).

To make a long story short ("Too late! Too late! ," I hear you cry) I cut off the first attempt. I started over on Friday morning of The Final Weekend.

I didn't manage an entire beaded shawl in two-and-a-half days. But I did manage enough that Sivia's pattern calls it a "scarf " and I'm well on the way to producing a shawl I'll actually wear and enjoy.

(note to self: If you're knitting a shawl, you probably need an Addi Lace longer than 24" Good thing that Tracy will remind you at PDX Yarn Crawl!)