Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Do You Have Something in between TONGUE and SALAD?

I got to Hong Kong for work last week, and over the weekend I went to Thailand, one of my favorite countries in the world. It was a quick trip, but nice to spend the weekend somewhere different. And nice to be able to get a massage -- Thai massages are plentiful and cheap in Bangkok, and who was I to say no?

Back in Hong Kong, I went to a dinner last night where someone asked the waitress to recommend an appetizer. "What about Beef Tongue?" "Do you have anything a little less exotic?" "How about Salad?" There's no middle ground, I guess. It made me laugh.

I've had barely a second to catch my breath this trip, with all the meetings, dinners and trips to China. But I am looking forward to a nice relaxing dinner with my dragon boat racing friend at a Nepali restaurant (our favorite) in Cental, with lots of Mango Lassi!

Good luck to Dave, he starts school tomorrow!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Under the Golden Dome

I meant to post some pics of campus, but I just haven't had a chance, we've been so busy unpacking and such. So you'll have to be satisfied with a view out our back door for now.

Compare to our previous Manhattan living situations, the new place is so big! We like it. And there are lots of geese and ducks, including many many of their tiny offspring, to entertain the cats, although the mother goose is very protective of her babies and didn't like the way Mango was looking at her goslings (check out her in full hissing action!). Don't worry, I would never let her get hold of any of these babies, although to be honest I think any of these birds would escape on foot or by wing long before she got her chubby calico butt anywhere near them!

I'd post some knitting pics, but I really haven't had time to make any progress on the second sock since the last post. However Jess's blog entry inspired me to swatch for the Rogue Hoodie (19 pages of directions, indeed! YIKES!) So I've just got to pick up some needles to take with me, and hopefully this will be my plane project on the way over and back from Hong Kong. Unless I sleep the whole way, which is also a possibility.

Here's a cute pic from one of my last visits with Sam & her family before we moved.

I'll post from overseas!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...

I think it's time to admit that I can't have my cake and eat it, too. All my plans for a leisurely 7 weeks in CT pretty much fell through. And there's no one to blame but ME! I have only been to ONE SnB since I moved here. I have seen my cousins ONCE since I moved here. I have dined with my grandparents ONCE, and stayed with Katie not at all. And no visits to the Alpaca Farm in Watertown, to see them before their spring shearing, either. And do you know why? It's because commuting to the city SUCKS! In big capital letters! It's not the train ride itself, that is actually quite pleasant, and a good time for knitting. But the commute eats 4 hours of every day I do it. And that leaves precious little time for all those other plans. So I'll be really glad when I'm settled in South Bend and commuting to NYC is not an option more than once every few weeks. And the lesson learned, or rather reinforced, is that there ain't no place like NYC...

But let's talk about some plans that did not go awry. For instance, this felted purse that the Guru gave to me and helped me felt this past weekend. Pretty cool! The pic up top is the "before"...

And this sock! My first sock! A little big, but not too bad. And I've already cast on for its mate.

And Samantha, my sweet yet devilish niece -- I did get to spend a lot of time with you.

So next week is the big move, I'll take plenty of pics of Dave driving the Penske and the cats barfing in the back seat...ewww!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Good to Be Baaaaaaaaaaaad!

Sheep and Wool! Sheep and Wool! Jess, the Guru and I woke up early to a gorgeous, sun-shiny, cloudless day, ready to head to the MD Sheep & Wool Festival in West Friendship, MD. While I think the event was a little smaller than Rhinebeck, we were sufficiently overwhelmed and thoroughly saturated by our exposure to fiber today. We spent 6-1/2 hours perusing the various barns and stalls full of fleece, roving, yarn, finished goods, and all the tools and implements that you could ever dream of needing for any purpose related to fiber.

We first headed to Tess' Designer Yarns, where Jess wanted to buy some superwash sock yarn for her new friend Jessica. We immediately ran into Stephanie & Christy, our SnB friends. We all bought superwash sock yarn, it's the bright green stuff in the pic. Then we wandered around many, many stalls and barns -- most of which were dedicated to sheep and goat fibers, with not a few angora bunnies. This woman was plucking and spinning right from the bunny on her lap!

We stopped by the knit blogger meet-up, but didn't really recognize anyone except Jess's friend Sandra. And no one recognized us, either. so we moved on to more yarn-buying.

The fest was a bit short on alpacas, but here is a pic of a suri and a huacaya that were in attendance. I think the MI Fiber Fest in August will have more alpacas since the event title isn't soley focused on sheep. Llamas, another (much larger!) member of the camelid family, were also at the fest -- their fleece is pretty soft, but they are so much bigger than their cousins! I'll think I'll keep my future fantasy fiber farm filled with alpacas. We really got to see a lot of different yarn, and to buy some, too. I asked Dave what he thought of my new stash and he replied, "It seems a bit excessive." Oh well, I need something to do in Indiana.

So just a run-down of what all of this new stash stuffing is for:

- Grey wool from Mountain Shepherdess for the Rogue Hoodie (Jess & the Guru also bought some wool to do a knit-along on this project)
- Undyed cotton from The Spinners Hill Shop for a possible halter top of undetermined pattern - maybe I'll even try dying this, with Jess's help, although she said she hasn't tried dying plant fibers yet and it sounds kind of messy and chemically -- this might just be happy staying undyed
- Organic cotton (green, natural color) from Delly's Delights, for another possible halter/tank top/summer top, also of as yet undetermined pattern (this is the vendor I bought the yarn from at Rhinebeck that became Greta)! They said they get their cotton yarn is from Henry's Attic.
- Organic cotton from Econit for the Baby Bolero
- Bright green and blue tencel/wool blend from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. She had some fabulous 100% alpaca that I wanted to buy, but there wasn't enough for a sweater or anything like that. I may email them because the prices were really good.
- Purple/green and plain green skeins of superwash sock yarn from Tess' Designer Yarns - to be made into socks or baby clothing
- Light and dark grey wool from Spinning Flock Farm that was SUPER cheap ($1.75 a skein -- the Guru went back and bought out the sale basket) - for socks for Dave

Here are Jess' and the Guru's stashes:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Sheep and Wool, Sheep and Wool (YAY!)

I'm just waiting for Jess so we can head to DC for the Sheep and Wool weekend! Jess was supposed to meet up with her PG friend Caitlin, but she just told me she had her baby last night so it's all about the yarn (and the guru) now! While I'm waiting, here's my list:

1. Family Tunic - not sure if I'll make it for me or a baby, but there are lots of them coming in the next few months (Amy's, Kerry's, Cherisse's, Lee Ann's, I know there are more but I'm blanking now...)
2. Rogue Hoodie or Hooded Tunic, not sure which but I'm in the mood for a hoodie!
3. Baby Bolero (although I might end up doing this in cotton, which I don't think will be readily available at the S&W Fest)
4. Sock yarn for Dave's alpaca socks that I will make before winter in SB lands on us like a mighty blow from the Santa's sleigh
5. Maybe something for a halter top, although cotton might be best for that

Like Jess, I'm having no holds barred for sock yarn. Even though I haven't even finished my first one, and I have to undo a few rows at the heel b/c I didn't something (math) wrong...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Socksual Healing

During our trip to visit Dave's grandparents, who live outside of Tampa, this weekend, I finished the clapotis. Dave refused to wear it for the blog pic, but did agree to hold it up. I hope its recipient likes it! Dave's grandmother thought it would make a lovely lap blanket but would be so much better without the holes in it. I told her those are a design feature and she just shrugged. She already thinks I'm weird for being a vegetarian, and this weeked I went ahead and revealed to her that I had kept my last name after I got married. I wasn't going to tell her, didn't want to shock her too much, but then she went and showed us this address book where she just recently re-copied all her friends' and families' addresses, date of birth and date of DEATH!!! And most of those were BLANK, but she had copied over her brother-in-law's address and phone number -- and he died in 1983. Who answers when she calls there? We made fun of her, of course, and I was relieved to see that Michelle Lipar had an entry, and since that's not me my final departure from this earth isn't a fill in the blank in her book yet. Anyway, we had a good time seeing and teasing Grandma and Grandpa, and even saw this amazingly huge lemon that their neighbor gave them.

We also went diving in the Rainbow River and at one point were surrounded by a school of 50 or 60 alligator gar -- really cool. Some were 3 ft. long. The operation we went with (S.T.A.D.T. Aquatic Adventures) was an wonderful family-run establishment, and our dive guide Dave was incredibly patient and helpful, especially for my Dave who has no ass or hips to hold up his weight belt. We should all be so lucky.

After finishing the clapotis, I started my first sock with some handpainted Shelridge Farm wool that I bought at Rhinebeck last year. It's going quite well, easier than I thought, although I have just been working on the leg (easy) so far, starting the heel this morning. I found a great easy sock pattern and tutorial at Royea.

I cannot wait until this weekend! It's the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Hip hip, hooray! Guru, here we come! I've got to make a list of what I "need" to buy yarn for.