Friday, August 28, 2009


One of the reasons I didn't post anything for so long about the Sock Summit was because I went there looking for things to fill a package to participate in an organized Purple Swap. This was an event I found on put together by a young lady in the UK. I signed up thinking, I would really like to receive something from far away but I was partnered with a nice woman in Nebraska. That's OK, she was very thoughtful and for me she has made me want to do this again.

For her, I found the coffee cup. It is purple and says 'knit one, sip one' on the inside there. I also found the magnets, one says 'Born to Knit' and the other says 'I live in the Garden of Beadin', I thought she might like that because that seems to be another of her hobbies, maybe more so than knitting. The yarn is a superwash that was dyed here locally, and I bought it at my LYS (that's Local Yarn Store) but the creater was at the Sock Summit also, so I could have purchased it there. I found other trinkets there and included them for her also, like the measuring tape and some buttons. The hat and gloves I made for her.

In return she sent me: Wonderful stuff! The socks she spun, dyed and knitted and they are very thick! The basket contained grape lip balm, key ring, note pad, and bookmark. She painted the sheep in the center, the purple yarn at the top is some retro wool, the bag is a project bag, where the handle threads through three large rings to cinch closed and dangles from the wrist or elbow to carry your project along with you wherever you go. The three longs hanks of purple are CASHMERE! Yes, the most perfectly purple cashmere. She bartered with another lady who recycles fibers and got some cashmere just for me.

That was great fun, I think I'll do it again. Tonight though is our local area Knitter's Social, so I'm taking this to show everybody, then I'll come home and pretend to put it away.


I know this is long over due as are all my library books!!!

Recently, Portland, Oregon, was home to the wonderful knitting event known as Sock Summit 2009. So, a few of the ladies and I went to visit the marketplace on the last day of the event. I was unable to attend earlier, so I missed out on all the classes and the setting of a new Guiness world record, I had no idea what all would be happening at this event until it was too late to register for anything. I wish now that I had known about the luminary panel, I would have attended that with bells on! This was one of the first items we saw. A great example of domino knitting, created by a famous knitter (they told us when we saw it who it was, but I can't remember who it was and I have searched the internet and still can't identify it) modeled her in a very Vannah-esque style by my LYS owner. In fact we saw many wonderful examples of domino knitting and in fact have recently found two giant bags of acrylic stash at a yard sale and brought it home as after I saw this, I am inspired to think a similar idea would make a blanket for my step-grandson or even for charity work.

I snapped a pic of this shawl because it was the original of a shawl I just completed for my mother, AND BECAUSE I LOVE SPOOLS OF YARN. How one of those didn't fall off into my open hands and willingly offer to come home with me is a mystery to me.

I was enraptured with this beautiful piece because I think it traveled furthest to be at the Sock Summit. This shawl was created in New Zealand. It is created, not in the round like that last one but in short rows. The six sections start with a row that goes from the center to the edge then each row decreases until you have a pie shape then all the stiches picked up again and repeated till you have the six sections. I bought the pattern for this one, but don't know when or if I'll ever get to it.

I did happen to see a few people I recognized. I was so tickled to see the creater and another of her team (the short-haired blonde behind and the pretty smiley lady in pink) and they were in conversation with other visitors so that I couldn't walk up to them to say hello or anything. There was not a booth for them, they had had a cocktail hour party the night before, but I was so happy to find a Ravelry button at a booth being handed out. THAT made my day, so, I hugged the person in the booth. Yes, I did. I know, that poor woman.

This is another of the ladies that attended with me. She is our group's Newbie Knitter. Actually, she's very accomplished so I'm not sure she really qualifies for that title anymore. We saw glass knitting needles made by a fellow from the coast and she tried them out. I'm so rough on my needles, I was afraid that I would break them. She was very attracted to the different examples of the domino knitting, also, and if I photographed every bit and posted it on here, you would be quite bored of us by now. However, I loved how this jacket turned out. The cut and style of the collar are very Oriental design, including a frog closure at the neckline that was created for this jacket also. Also, I liked all the shades of purple. Duh.

Somebody out there just said, 'Did you find any bargains?' Well, yes I did.

This was the only yarn I bought. I was having guilts because I just bought a stash worth of wool the week before, so, I really wasn't planning on buying anything for myself. I did get a few things for a Purple Swap I participated in, that's the next blog (for some reason it won't fit here). This is a Merino/Nylon blend, that I picked up for 1/2 off. There is enough in this that I can make a sweater, and I think I have one picked out.

Why is there nothing about socks in this post? Well, think about it. Really, socks are a great project, because they go quick so they satisfy the need to accomplish, they are small enough to go everywhere (I worked on a sock as I roamed the aisles) and you can try out all different techniques and patterns. But if you keep them, or give them away, really, there are not alot of people seeing them because they are usually in your shoes! I could have gotten a shot of the different socks made by sock knitters in the sock museum, but I was focused on trying not to become a cleptomaniac. There was also a sock knitting machine. Kinda defeats the purpose of knitting as a hobby, in my humble opinion. I am a knitter. Socks are only one of the things I could make. I loved seeing and feeling all the different fibers, amazed that yarn made of corn is so soft, and I met fibers of all kinds including possum, all the colors, all textures all the options.

Then I came home and took a nap.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OK, really I have so much to say that I can't say anything. Did you ever have a moment like that? Like when you are so very tired you can't sleep.

So, this weekend here in town is a Dahlia festival. I love Dalias. Never have grown any myself but occasionally I have bought some from roadsides stands where you pick the bouquet and carry it and the mayonaise jar to the car where it ABSOLUTLEY IS GUARANTEED TO TIP and leave the $3 in the slot. My walking buddy gave me a beautiful bunch the other day. I tried to take pictures of it so that it would last a lifetime. Mine, not the flowers which got tossed yesterday. Here they are. Enjoy. Happy day.

This one is called BODACIOUS. Yeah!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I have been hoping to post a blog soon about Sock Summit 2009, held in Portland, OR. I haven't yet, because I'm participating in a PURPLE SWAP that was organized over on and need to wait till my partner has received her package before I give away all the surprise.

I have been posting blogs over on myspace for a few years. Once my daughter asked me for the only other recipe besides taco salad that I know how to make. I wrote it out on a blog post over there in July of last year. Here it is:

1 pound of dry red kidney beans
2 quarts of cold water
1 meaty ham bone or thick slice of raw ham, cut into cubes
1/2 pound hot sausage, thick sliced
1 bunch of scallions, including green tops
1 green pepper
2 stalks of celery
3 medium sized onions
Large pince of ground thyme
4 bay leaves
cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce
salt, pepper & white rice (not instant)
NOW: what I get: OK, the beans, the water. You can find a pound of ham cubed up at Wal*mart Supercenter for $2.50 it will save you some prep time. I have been using a roll of Jimmy Dean sausage instead of the hot. It does come hot, but last time it was too hot. Green onions, never have found scallions. If they are the same price you can try the colored peppers, they are sweeter, and make prettier batch of beans. You'll have to get a jar a peanut butter for the rest of the celery, cause two stalks is two STICKS. This last batch I used one giant onion because the bags all had moldy bulbs. Don't forget the thyme and BAY LEAVES. Salt and Tabasco sauce for pepper. I'll tell you how to make the rice too, hang in there.
Recipe says: Rinse Kidney beans twice discard any that look bad. (if you buy premium beans - none of them look bad.) Put beans in a big heavy pot at least 3 quarts (4 quarts is best). Add Water, ham & sausage. Set uncovered on a burner at medium heat. While the beans are soaking & warming, chop and add scallions, green peppers, celery and onions. Then add thyme and bay leaves.
When the mixture boils, reduce heat and cover. Stir every 20-30 minutes for 3 hours. Then, with a wooden spoon, mash about one-fourth of the beans against the side of the pot. If they don't mash easily, try again after an hour. (I don't own a wooden spoon yet, today and in the past I used a mixer. Once I tried a blender... don't recommend that!) Forty minutes after mashing the beans, taste and season with cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce. Don't use too much, this is supposed to be delicious but subtly flavored. (I just give Michael the tabasco sauce when we serve it up.) Cook for another half an hour, while preparing rice.
OK. NOW FOR YOUR MOM'S PERFECT RICE. Put the amount of water equal to the amount of cooked rice in you want in the saucepan. For example, if you want 4 cups of rice (enough for four people and seconds) four cups of water. I put a heaping tablespoon of butter and one cube of chicken boullion for each cup of water of water, plus one more cube. When the water is boilling, turn it down to simmer and stir in 1/2 cup of rice for each cup of water. Put the lid on and SET THE TIMER FOR 20 MINUTES. Do not check it or lift the lid for any reason till the timer goes off. When it does, your rice should be fluffy.
Back to Recipe: It's hard to believe, but all the vegetables cook away to nothing. The mashed beans thicken the sauce to a creamy consistency. It's even more flavorful rewarmed after a night in the refridgerator.
Mom says: Freeze some of it for later. Don't make too much rice so you have fresh rice every time you warm it up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dear Mr. Baseball

Dear Major League Baseball Player,

You don't know me, but, as with all people on tv, we know you. We watch you very often. In your profession, we watch you almost daily for about three hours at a time. Forgive me, please, my audacity in addressing you, as I have never seen a baseball game of any kind live and in person. I have only ever viewed your games on television or heard them on the radio.

Thankfully, the camera is not on you constantly but roams your team. So, we miss most of the nose picking, chew spitting, butt scratching and cup adjusting. Some of what you are doing while you are standing and waiting for the action of the game that you love and we love to watch gets to be nauseating. Did you know?

I understand that the uniforms are somewhat lacking. They are made of a fabric that is uncomfortable for the constant wear you have to put into them in order to last an entire baseball season, which I'm sure includes a lot of polyester for durability. I recognise, also, that a moron designed the cut. Seriously. I see that the shoulder seam is in the wrong place for shoulder movement and the sleeve length is doesn't allow for ease in throwing. For that you have my sincerest pity.

What I have a difficult time understanding is why you don't choose a uniform in your size. I know 'baggy' is in off the field, but when your shirt is so big, it actually impedes your movement I have to question your vanity. When your pants are hanging so low you can't make that sudden stretch to tag the runner, I wonder that your mamma hasn't been telling you to pull your pants up. When your hat is off center, I can see the little boy in the streets playing stick ball, but where is your respect for your profession?

I wonder at these things when I see it because I know you are a great player on my favorite team, so, I know you must be pretty good and I just think you would be so much better, dare I say LEGENDARY if you just could focus on your sportsmanship and skills and not on the fight you are having with your clothes.

Of course, you could always go without. THAT would make for some great baseball viewing.


Just a fan viewing from home on the sofa, with knitting in hand and dogs on each side and my husband in his recliner to me, snoring, with chocolate on his breath.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Just gigglin, sittin, knittin

OK. I know I included my love of knitting in the title of my blog. I have to say that I've hesitated to post anything about it when it came time because I didn't know where to start. Just thinking about it got me overwhelmed.

Lately, though, I admit, I've had actual giggles when thinking about it.

First of all, I ORDERED YARN ONLINE. And not just any yarn, but real, actual, 100% wool. And not just a little. I ordered over 12,000 yards of it.

See, I don't generally have stashed yarn, like some knitters do. Usually, I work at whatever I have until it's done, then cast about for something new.

My favorite form of yarn is by the spool. It sits there so nicely, and I feel so industrious as it whips off the spool through my fingers and into my product.

So, I found on a major shopping website, spools of wool at almost half what the manufacturer lists it for, where I've had it on my wishlist getting dusty for over a year. I found it there and put it on my credit card and waited ever so impatiently for seven days for the Brown Santa (aka UPS) to deliver it to me with a smile on his face.

And when it arrived, I got the giggles all over again. I am a proud owner of a stash of real, non-manmade fiber.

Another reason for the giggles recently is that I'm planning to go on an excursion to the Sock Summit to play touchy feely with even more wool than I just purchased in the marketplace of over 150 vendors of yarn and otherwise knitting paraphernalia. I proudly allowed my Superman to take the day off from escorting me declaring that it would bore him to tears by saying, 'aren't you glad I'm not subjecting you to this' when I downloaded the map to the event, then read the Mayor's proclamation naming this week, Sock Week, and then called one of the ladies actually attending the event with me.

Very late Friday night, I found out who my partner is in a Purple Swap with knitters on, a worldwide gathering of yarn crafters online. This was thought out and put together by a purple freak in the UK, so I was nervous about the dollar/pound exchange rate and the postage to send my swap package overseas. When I found out that my partner lives in Nebraska, and I share many similarities with her, I got all giggly again.

But, the really silly thing that sent me over the edge was this.

This is a miniature sweater that I whipped up behind the counter while waiting for tenants to stop by on Saturday morning. It was out of an old magazine where a woman listed this project as something to sell at a craft bazaar to sell with a note stating 'Here's the sweater I promised you'. I'm thinking I would rather have had it as a broach with maybe a heart embroidered on it, or something. I had Superman assist me with the photo, thinking I could edit it and add text like 'I KNIT LOVE' but I don't have a program on my computer to help me do that. Still, I skipped about the house with a bad case of the giggles for over an hour after it was completed and I posted it my profile.

But that's just me.