I, Blog

( Yes, the title is a nod to I. Asimov and no the following content has nothing to do with I, Robot or Isaac Asimov, it just amused me is all.)

or alternatively titled

"What I Did On My Summer Vacation"

I blog.

I do.

Just not very often and apparently not often enough, or so I'm told by friend( little Mizz Lisa ( I so knowz IZOD, when I seez it) D. who dropped me a comment gently pointing out reading me the riot act about not blogging often enough. And if I had any doubts as to the validity of her statement, they were blown off the table by my friend Sue, (who, btw, steadfastly refuses to blog herself) at the Wednesday SnB, who seconded Lisa's opinion when I mentioned Lisa's comment to her, by simply nodding her head and saying "No, you don't".

*Blink* I see.

"Right (long pause) right, well, I'm sure you're right and I'm sure I'm sorry. I thought that I would be able to... but then there was the.... and I tried to... but there was this thing ....it's just that ... well you see, I have been.....wait a minute. How can you say that to me?
I blog. I blog a whole lot, it may not seem that I blog a lot because most of my blogs don't ever get published but if you only knew the blog-alogue that runs around in my mind on a daily basis you would not be saying that I don't blog often enough.

I blog, I blog a lot, I.... Oh, Okay, they may have a point.

I don't blog as often as I probably should and I will do my best to rectify the situation. It's been a busy summer on the work-front this summer and I have been working more hours this summer than I usually do.
(Hey Ani, remember when I used to cook dinner for you guys? Yeah, Good times, Good times.)
So when I get any time at the computer it is usually pretty late and I'm dead tired. Although my little job working in a stockroom may not be very mentally challenging,
(although I'm beginning to wonder if I'm a little mentally challenged for still working there)
it is a physically demanding job and lately it is all I can do to read the blogs and make a comment let alone blog myself. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
( Yeah, that's it, it's the flesh... weak. That's it, yeah, it's the flesh, the flesh will get you every time.)
However, now that the summer is over
(Nope, that isn't a tear rolling down my cheek, maybe blood and sweat but not tears for the end of summer from me.) and a newer and bigger store is due to open near by, we're expecting a big slow down in business and hopefully things will settle down to more manageable level and I will be back in the blogging biz, hopefully.
So in lieu of blogging more, I thought I would try to stave off my critics by making this a rilly, rilly long, long post.
(Because it took me a month of Sundays to get blogger to upload these pictures and apparently these are all the images that blogger will allow me to upload on this post and seeing it took so freakin' long to get this far, I'm gonna post them, damn it...and, yes, I said months and I said damn. This post date of origin was circa :July 29, 2006). You can read a little at a time and then it will seem like a bunch of little posts.
How's 'bout that? :)

I'm afraid I completely missed the boat when it came to the August Spectrum Project. The colors for August were neutral colors as in black, white, greys, creams, and browns. About the only thing I managed to do for the spectrum projects was to change the colors on my blog. ( of which I have changed again since then, what can I say? I'm fickle.)
Really, this one should have been a walk in the park, black being a popular color around here. I already have many projects in progress that would fall into this category.
There's the Monks's Travel Satchel that I started a year and a half, two(?) years ago in Black and Tan (Yes, Lime Dragon that Monk's Travel Satchel)
Ani's Rogue Hoodie in Black (Yes, Rogue knitting group, that Rogue Hoodie) and then,
there is the second black & blue Fanta sock that were to be a gift for Ani's Birthday back in Jan., and there is the ever present Forest Path Stole (Yes, Deepa, my Olympic Knitting Project that I started in Feb.) in grey, lest we forget. But given all these perfectly good options, I, true to form, chose a different path and went in a H.N.D.
(wHole Nudder Direction)

This may be a little difficult to follow due to the way my mind works ( when it's working at all) but I'll try to take you down the path that lead me astray from the dark and dreary knitting of black and grey to the knitting of all the bright colors of the rainbow. (which is very uncharacteristic of me)

Blame it Amy,
Blame it on Frida,
blame it on the Kristin,
blame it on the Deb,
blame it on the Sun, blame it on Fiesta del Sol.

About mid June I got to thinking about what I thought I would like to do for the August spectrum project and I started thinking about the colors black and white. I don't exactly know why but my mind went to a book of knitting motifs that I have in my collection, call Enchanted Knitting. One of the motifs in the book was dancing skeletons and a smiling skeleton wearing a flowered hat. Traditionally these type of images, images of dancing or happy skeletons are often used for the day of the dead celebrations and I found the idea intriguing. So I thought that maybe I would knit some socks with the dancing skeletons on them for the day of the dead celebration in Nov. but I wouldn't say anything about it until then. So can you imagine my shock at the SnB that week when Connie asked me if I saw that Amy started a Day of the Dead KAL.
SHUT. UP.! Seriously?! Oh, I am so going to be in this one.
Amy is fan of Frida Kahlo and discovered that another knitter friend of hers, Kristi is also a fan. When they saw that in the knit.1 summer issue there was a feature article on Frida Kahlo and also had patterns for day of the dead dolls, thought now there is a Day of the Dead KAL in the making.
Frida Kahlo is a Mexican artist who is hailed by many for her bold and striking use of color in her work. To be honest with you, until recently I was only peripherally aware of the artwork of Frida Kahlo but I can say of what I have seen of her work I admire her ability to use color in her pieces.
I always admire designers that have their own unique ability to successfully use color in their design. One designer's work that repeatedly catches my attention has been and is Kristin Nicholas. I just love her colors her own yarn line called Julia after her daughter.
Not too long ago Kristin began her own blog - Getting Stitched on the Farm . Kristin blogs about her life as a knit and stitching designer living with her family on a farm in Massachusetts. Her blog is just as you would expect it to be, splashed with colorful imagery. She posts about the things and colors around her that inspire her work.(currently it's sunflowers) Check out her blog sometime if you haven't already.
Of course this has become one of my favorite blogs to read, so can you image my surprise when at the end of June, Kristin posted about, can you guess? yep, Frida Kahlo. It would seem that Kristin is also an admirer of Frida for her color and pattern work. Kristin designed this bag, Fiesta del Sol, as a downloadable pattern as a Frida Kahlo inspired bag for Knitscene Magazine. Now I'm not one for bags much, I like them but I don't have much use for a lot of bags, but this one caught my fancy with it's colorful stripes and purple suns and multi-colored pom poms. (Cute , huh and come on POM POMS)
So the next Thursday I found myself at Coldwater Collabrative for the Summer Girls Night Out in Excelsior, in which many of the local shops in Excelsior stayed open later and offered Thursday night specials. (Still with me?)

I was knitting with Deb who works there and a few other knitters and we were talking favorite knit designers and I mentioned that I liked Kristin Nicholas. I told them how for a buttonhole bag exchange last year I adapted one of Kristin's designs from an Interweave free pattern for a carry all using her colors and Julia Yarn and it turned out really great. Deb said she had admired it when it came walking into the shop on the arm of Amy because as luck would have it, Amy is the one who received the bag in the exchange. I told Deb that I had just recently downloaded another bag by Kristin but didn't think to bring it. When I described the pattern Deb jumped up and said she thought she knew what pattern I was talking about. She not only found the pattern in the magazine but went to the website and downloaded and printed the pattern.
On a lark we decided to see if the store had all the colors of the Renaissance yarn that the pattern called for and they did. The special for that evening was on Cascade 220, so we got to thinking that for the same price we could probably find the same colors in the Cascade but get twice the amount of yarn because Cascade's skeins are larger. I could make two bags for the price of one! (now, I don't even know what I was going to do with one, but it seemed a good idea at the time, famous last words)
It was all over for me then, the game was on, we tore through bins of yarn to find the perfect color combination in Cascade yarn and that, my friends, is how I came home with a great big bag of colorful yarns and a new brightly colored project to work on and absolutely no desire to knit anything grey, tan, black, grey or white what-so-ever.

What do you think? I rather think it's spiffy. The suns are embroidered on the bag before it is felted. It looks as though I needle felted the suns on. It still needs the pom poms, Lisa has lent me her pom pom maker, so I guess I have no excuse not to finish it (but I'm sure if I think hard enough I can come up with one.)

My friend Christine is in a running club or as she describes it, it's more a "drinking club with a running problem"
what I have here is "toes with a sock problem."

These are the Go With The Flow socks that I knit last year for myself and I loved them. I think I loved them too much because I wore holes in them. So the plan was to re-knit the toes with re-enforcing thread added. Unfortunately I only got to unraveling part of the process before I realized that I was already using the needles that I used to knit these socks for another pair and those would be these...
Jay Walkers. (Are you seeing my sock problem yet?)
Apparently these Jay Walkers didn't want to have toes because this is the second time that I had the toes nearly done and had to rip them back because, 1) I didn't read the pattern on how to decrease and 2) I apparently don't know how to measure the length of the foot and the socks were a little short.

Here's the thing: If you measure the sock by folding the sock this way

It measures differently than when you fold it this way. I think that measuring the sock this way gives a better fit than the other, at least that's what worked better for me.

(I did manage to finish the Jay Walkers, these are one of the pair of Jaywalkers in the sock circle at the Harlot book signing. Sadly, the Go with the Flow socks remain toe less, I sort of got carried away with all the riotous colors and plunged into another sock of many colors project for little girl.)

Little girl woke me one morning a few days before her birthday to tell me that she feels that I am not focusing enough on her birthday, or rather more specifically, on her birthday presents. ( I'm not kidding folks, that is what she said and how she said it.)

*Blink* trying to wake up and in an effort to give myself a little time to form an intelligent, err failing that, a coherent reply, I asked her, "Wha..what do you mean?"

"Well, Daddy took me shopping for birthday present ideas, but I don't see that you have been giving it much of your attention."

*Blink* Oh, I see.

"Right (long pause) right, well, I'm sure you're right and I'm sure I'm sorry. I thought that I would be able to... but then there was the.... and I tried to... but there was this thing.... it's just that ... well you see, I have been.....wait a minute.
How can you say that to me? How can you say that when you know that I have been up late knitting into late hours of the night for nearly two weeks now, knitting "almost" exclusively on your birthday socks?

You know.... the multi-color, Fair Isle Bazaar Socks from the summer Interweave Knits on-line pattern by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts with the two-color short row toe in the cotton fine yarn of which I searched all over the cities to find and had to make a special trip to downtown Mpls. and got stuck in rush hour ( Ha, rush hour, what a misnomer that is, ain't nobody rushing anywhere as far as I can see or is it as far as the eye can see?* eye*ther way, rushing = nada ;) to Depth of Field, because you chose the purple, lt. purple, blue, gold, dk.pink, and black colorway and Depth of Field is the only LYS that carries that yarn and in purple, no less, because apparently purple is not a cotton fingering weight kind of color.. *deep breath here*... socks?"

"Oh, yeah, I forgot about those."

"Nice, real nice. I'm going back to sleep now." But, of course, you know that I couldn't.

    Look, my very own Court Jester.
    The following are purple pics for the August Spectrum project but never posted, so enjoy.

Day Trippin'

    Got a good reason
    for taking the easy way out
    Got a good reason
    for taking the easy way out now
    She was a day tripper
    One way ticket, yeah
    It took me so long to find out
    and I found out

    This past Sunday, (Many of you may have already heard, but for those of you who haven't) Stephanie Pearl-McPhee A.K.A. The Yarn Harlot came to town, well, not really to our town perse but to a town. Stephanie was making an appearance at Yellow Dog Knits in Eau Claire, WI., a town about an hour and half from the Twin Cities across the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. Which was close enough in our book, so we slipped on our hand knit socks, left our husbands and kids behind, loaded up the van with chocolaty goodies, yarn, needles, and six rather excited knitters and went on a day trip to see the Harlot!
    Roxanne in the driver seat to whom we owe a huge thank you to for volunteering her van and to be chauffeur to this wild bunch of giddy knitters. That's Tipper seated behind her knitting the ribbing of a new sock she started on the way there and was able to finish on the way home again, pretty swift knitting don't you think?

    Shelly rode shotgun and was navigator, I don't think she could have been more excited about this trip. Meleah sitting behind her knitting a tiny baby sweater as remembrance for a friend who recently had a miscarriage. It was the first F.O. of the trip.

                          I sat in the back behind Tipper, knitting on Forest Path. I have to tell you I think I was about the only one who wasn't knitting a sock, I had a sock along, the bazaar sock that I'm knitting for Katie, but it's two color and a little futsy and not a good candidate for road trip knitting so I chose the lace because I pretty much know the pattern.

                          Can you tell what I was craving?

                          In the back with me was Stephania who had a hard time settling on a project but finally settled on knitting another Pomotomus Sock in TrekingXXL.

                          She's a big teaser
                          She took me half the way there
                          She's a big teaser
                          She took me half the way there, now
                          She was a day tripper
                          One way ticket, yeah
                          It took me so long to find out
                          and I found out
                          Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah

                              Remember what I said about slipping on our hand knit socks? Well, I wasn't kidding. On a lark we put our feet together to show off our hand knit socks. This created a bit of excitement and soon we had a whole ring of Minnesota knitters putting there feet in to show off their socks. It was too fun.

                              Even the babies wore hand knit socks. This is Knittymama holding Knittybaby and Roxanne's RPM's next to them.

                              One fabulous Mitred Squares blanket in progress and six giddy knitters.

                              In the back from right to left: Corgi-mom -(Meleah), Daily Fiber Therapy and new bride -(Tipper), The Heathen Housewife,(Shelly) knitter of the Infamous Mitred Squares Blanket (The Harlot tried to bury her house in yarn and I think if you ask Shelly, darn near succeeded), and Moi on the far right. In front from right to left: Moraie Knits -(Stephania) and a better picture of our chauffeur Roxanne.

                              More knitters and knit bloggers in the risers. Can you find Purrrling Away, Yogurt and Granola and Knittymama? Others from the Minnesota contingent (which by show of hands before Stephanie took the podium looked to be at least half of the knitters on hand.) include Deb of Wound Too Tight, Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos and Melissa of Hyvetyrant Knits and many more of which due to all the giddiness either a) I can't remember and b) I certainly didn't have the where with all to snap pictures.

                                Tried to please her
                                She only played one night stand
                                Tried to please her
                                She only played one night stand, now
                                She was a day tripper
                                One way ticket, yeah
                                It took me so long to find out
                                and I found out

                                Stephanie was wonderful, funny and charming despite probably being very tired by this time, this being the last stop of her jaunt.
                                I found the experience of meeting Stephanie a little odd. She is just as you would expect her to be, just as she writes in her blog, she's friendly, funny, charming and unassuming and someone you would totally like to be in your inner knitting circle talking adnauseam about yarn, needles, patterns, knit designers and knitting techniques.
                                What struck me as odd about the experience is how one sided the relationship is, nearly everyday we read about her adventures with her family and her knitting and her life on her blog and in her books, so you feel like you know her so well already although you've never met her, but she has little to no insight on you. She may or may not know who you are depending on whether she has checked out your blog or not, and you have your doubts as to how many blogs she is able to read seeing she has hundreds, nay thousands of people reading her blog and leaving comments.
                                So just as many of the others who have blogged about their experience, I too when it came to be my turn to meet her will admit that I was a little tongue tied (or at least it seemed that way to me). I asked her if she would like to see my Olympic Knitting Project which is still in progress, I pulled out the Forest Path Stole for her to see. When she saw that it was the Forest Path Stole she asked, "You thought you could knit the Forest Path in sixteen days? What were you thinking? What were you on crack?" Instead of laughing and replying with something like "It seemed like a good idea at the time, really, Entrelac lace, how hard can it be?", instead I think I just kind of looked puzzled, like she was serious. "Crack? No, I don't do crack." and gave her the "that's an odd thing to say" sort of look.
                                She asked me if I have a knit blog and I told her I did and the name. She said she knew of it. Really? She said what she liked was that she got the play on words of 4 knits and giggles and that her kids didn't. Apparently, that particular euphemism has made it's way to Canada. (Who knows, for all I know it may have originated there.)

                              So here we are, *my best friend* Stephanie the The Yarn Harlot and her slightly befuddled crack pot knitter blogger person acquaintance.

                              Can you find the sock? We wore matching colors, I totally planned it that way.

                              Day tripper, day tripper, yeah

                              Okay, by show of hands, Who gets the play on words in my blog title?