Saturday, April 30, 2011

It Never Rains...

...but it pours. An old saying, usually alluding to a deluge of bad time and troubles, all happening at once. Luckily, in my case, I'm using it only to indicate a ridiculous amount of activity, not necessarily and, in fact, mostly not of the undesirable persuasion. Big words, BIG words! But what do they mean?! It means there's a shit ton of stuff so sit down and here we go!

First, the super secret knit project! At the beginning of this month, the Lady Susan retired from our shared workplace after 20+ years with the company. We worked together in Customer Service for the 2 years I've been with the company. As a quilter, she and I often had crafty talks about patterns, colors, projects...

She was also my go-to gal for all things mathematical, which is to say numbers boggle my mind and she was often there to help untangle them. It's ironic, somehow, considering I partially define myself by a passionate hobby that, in all honesty, is heavily steeped in numbers. The key is that knitting is also visual, which allows me the opportunity to understand numerical concepts but without the clutter of the actual numbers. It's pure coincidence that the scarf, when finished with some occasional beading, resembles, I think, a knitted abacus. The beads weren't part of the original pattern; I just added them for class.

There was a party, many kind words, gifts of various sorts. Then, with much envy in our hearts, we sent her out into the world with nothing but oodles of free time to do anything she desires. I don't know a fellow crafter who wouldn't give have their stash and then some for that deal.

Then, it was time for a serious break. A semi-annual trip to the North would be just the thing to recharge after weeks of hellacious conditions at work, some of which led to a week's postponement of said vacation. 7 days in Michigan...drinking coffee, playing video games with a 6-year-old and knitting to my heart's content, often while watching said 6-year-old outperform me at said video games. Smart as a whip, that kid!

I was also gifted this silver and kyanite pendant, hewn by the loving hands of my oldest and dearest companion. She's a self-taught metalsmith by trade, visionary artist by nature. You can check out Willowsong Studio on Facebook or on Twitter.

On my way back home, not only did I have this lil' guy as a traveling companion...

...but I also swung through Chicago to visit an old friend. This is something I often think of doing but have never, ever followed through on until this trip. Several important events transpired during this roughly 24-hour period:

1) I acquired this cake of handspun, made by my good friend Shivian.

2)I immediately set to work incorporating it into the Sock Yarn Blanket.

3) The next morning, after a vegetarian brunch and ample walking around Boys Town, we found Loopy Yarns, a well-known Chicago yarnie den...:

4) ...which is wear I met, quite by accident, Stephen (Ravelry: sbarendt), a fellow dude knitter whose been part of my friends list for some time. It's awesome and...slightly strange...when you run into an online bud in person just by happenstance. Well, okay...we are both knitters and it was a knit shop. By the way, he's super cute...

5) I also broke my 16-month yarn fast due to a 50% off sale Loopy was having on some Koigu.

This is significant, people. Since December of 2009, I have purchased no new yarn for my stash. All included, I bought yarn only twice, both times for specific projects made at the behest of others. Imagine it, fellow knitter...no new yarn for sixteen months. Self imposed, of course, but when faced with the all too delicious temptation of 50% off Koigu, I didn't even try to resist. Fuck that! It had been 16 months, I was on vacation and c'mon...it's a frakkin' steal! Besides, the Sock Yarn Blanket needs love, too...

Finally, after 9 days of no Twitter, very little Facebook and once-per-day e-mail checks, I finally made it home, only to discover:

...a huge, honkin' box that I did not order. Coming all the way from Pennsylvania from my Twitter bud @Knitsophrenic, it was full of...

...yarn. Holy hell, it was totally stuffed with yarn! It seems Miss Kate was engaged in a little destash action of her own and, knowing how I knit kitty blankets f for local shelters, she sent me a message, asking if she could send me some yarn. Do you even have to ask twice? Of course you can! Look out, Tenth Life...kitties are going to have some new mats to curl up on this Christmas! Many thanks, Kate!!

That brings us up to speed. Currently, I'm working on a Tri-Force beanie, a project that is teaching me the horrible truth about intarsia in the round.

This is clearly going to take a few attempts to get it right. I may even opt for duplicate stitch, though it seems like cheating.

All for now. It's time for a damn nap...