Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One unfinished, unfelted Calla Lily to the good

All told this didn't take very long to do last night. I started it probably around quarter to 7 last night, had a break to get Lucy to open the shop and sell me size 10 double points and admire the newly dyed yarn, get home, take a half hour to look at Audible and decide on my two picks this month, and was finished up I think around 10.

When/if I do this again, I'm not sure I'm going to do the 3 shades of green shading at the top of the stem just before it joins the flower. Not sure how well it shows up in this photo, but the colors it's being shaded with are all in the middle of the I-cord, therefore putting it on the back of the stem. Nice that it's a 3-D object, but I'm not sure how well it's going to show up once it's felted and was it worth the effort.

The way to find out, I suppose, is to do another one, with just solid dark green, felt them both and compare.
The kit, from Pick Up Sticks, found at Fabric Place in Woburn earlier this Spring, was well put together, and had enough yarn, though I wonder if I didn't knit slightly tightly as my natural response when yarn quantity is uncertain. The yarn was unlabeled, but the directions recommend Cascade 220 and the yarn looked like it was.

I think I'm going to wait on felting this until I have a few more things to go with it. There are some daffodils and iris in thought -- I should already have the yarn, even if the blue is frogged and rewound from something else.

The single pattern for the Calla Lily has extra directions for a big textured leaf. More to come over the Summer.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

June 25th, 6 months till Christmas

Just sayin'.

I got the day of the new moon wrong (it's today) and cast on yesterday for the Shapely Shawlette in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Tropical Storm colorway, in the plain garter stitch variation. I'm working it on size 5s and it's moving right along. As with every shawl (even shawlette) at some point the increases gain critical mass and rows start to Take Awhile To Finish. At the same time, it's reached the point where you can grasp it in your hand and it feels cushy-wonderful of the merino. This photo does not do the colors justice, but it's evening of yet another rainy day here.

(good news -- the aquifers have finally refilled and there is no longer worry of a drought in Massachusetts after the lack of snow last winter.)

Other things to get started on are the flowers from Pick Up Sticks. I have the patterns for most of these and my first purchase was the kit for the Calla Lily. At $12.00 for the pattern, some floral wire and what was in essence small lengths of Cascade 220, I resolved to find the patterns by themselves. Which I did at a place on the seacoast of NH.

So, for the embellishments portion of the Boston Knit-Out fashion show, my intent is to have felted flower arrangements ready, so I'd best get going. It's 3 months from yesterday.

Himself is off today to upstate NY to meet up with his brother and brother's friends and be away camping and canoeing until Friday. At least he'll be back in time for Summerfest in New Bedford on the weekend. Actually this isn't a bad week for him to be away.
A while back the town of Lexington had given notice to the neighborhood that their street was due to be redone in this budget year. And so the Recyclersaurus is parked in front of his house this weekend. This is a mean looking animal, with many warning signs. Looks like it's best to stay out of its way. It is also not a source of potable water. If Himself is on a lake in NY state, I don't have to worry about him getting smooshed like the warning on the upper left. He's already tall and thin enough.

We had other visitors over the weekend, coming out in his backyard in the gloaming of Saturday evening. Unclear if they were just passing through and liked the bushes, or if they intend to stay. They stayed intermittantly visible during preparation and dinner, and then disappeared with the sunset.

Friday, June 23, 2006

2nd commuter baby surprize sweater

Quick post this morning. The humidity is just sucking all the energy out of me -- didn't sleep last night even with the air conditioner.

It also helps (?) that having gotten back from 2 weeks away last Saturday, Himself is leaving Sunday to meet up with his brother (over from Germany) and brother's friends from NYC to go camping for a week. Sigh.

So, 2nd commuter sweater. The colors got far more nuetral. I think I was working too hard to try to set things up so it would "blend." I'm surprized how much I got done in the brown last Thursday, but that's 2 subways and then the 96 over and back to Medford Square to go dancing.

I've started the third with the flaming red-yellow that's not quite an orange color. I'm not sure what I was thinking back in 1991, but I'm not sure I knew the difference between blue-reds and yellow-reds back then. In any case, there are 8 ounces of it to use up. I"m thinking this sweater to use it every other day, and maybe it will get used up more. Otherwise, if I go with the "pull a different one each day that goes with the one before" it's never going to get into the mix.

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl has started the eighth iteration of the multiple and the first skein of Lucy's sock yarn is just about to run out in the next few rows.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Solstice

For those of us with SAD, let's get started. It's funny how whenever the Summer Solstice hits, I always regret that now the evenings are going to be shorter. I get over it in a few weeks, but it's still bothersome.

This morning my front porch has more shadows than I can comprehend. I can not find a spot that doesn't have a column graying up the works. In any case, shown on the right is the current progress of the 2nd Baby Surprize commuter sweater. In eight days of commuting (including the white from a week ago's community meeting on the VFW redesign) I'm at the point of having done buttonholes on one side and am working across the back to do the buttonholes on the other side. Not sure if this will be finished up in today's commute.

In other projects, the Diamond Fantasy Shawl is in the middle of its 7th iteration of the multiple on the way to 10. For the statistics, yes, one skein of Lucy's yarn will get you through the scarf version with 6 iterations of the multiple. In the middle of the 7th I have a fist size ball left of the first skein.

The new moon comes on Saturday and I'm itching to cast on. They've moved my office and I'm away from the morning sunshine that warms the harbor-facing side of the building and the 3 o'clock blast of cold air comes through strong near me. I need something over the shoulders, but not big and drapey. I have one Shapely Shawlette, but it's in Cherry Tree Hill Birch, and yellow/green/gray just don't go with all the pinks and blues I wear. Before I found out Lucy would be dying more yarn next week, I got myself a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Tropical Storm. The colors just won't come out right this morning, but there's a lot of different blues with a bit of turquoise in this.

Another thing to get started on might be a hedgehog. I have a kit for the Fiber Trends Huggable Hedgehog introduced earlier this year, and it think it's time to make it. I have reservations about the eyelash yarn, but it's confined to the back so it might be doable. The all-over eyelash of the kitten was a trial.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Finished things to Florida and Hand-Dyed Sock News

Last night I stopped by Windsor Button, picked up fabric paint to do the Florida-headed flamingo eyes, and some extra stuffing, came home, applied the first paint, and went out to dinner with Lucy while it dried.

At dinner, Lucy said she's getting the next batch of sock yarn ready for dying and she's looking for colorways. If you have color requests, she's taking them (there's an email link and phone number for the shop at the bottom of the page). She's thrilled the Etsy store had done so well in such a short time.

Above, this morning the flamingo is ready to be stuffed. Shown is the initial amount available, trying to finish up the remains of a couple bags of stuffing-fluff. In the end, I wound up using a couple ounces more out of an unstarted bag.

Shown on the left is the stuffed bird, in the early morning light. (Those Folgers people and I aren't much different, I just know enough to not play reed instruments before 10 a.m.)

Shown are the right is a close-up of the painted eyes. The trick is to work the paint into the fabric, which is, of course, fuzzy. Glom it on thick. What you don't see is fuzzy bits that absorbed paint, trimmed off with fingernail clippers, after a night of drying. I did a second coat of paint before going to bed, but I'm not sure it was needed. The original plan had been to embroider eyes but between my skills (lacking) and the tightness of the space in the head cavity, I'm glad I went with paint.

Shown on the left are the three baby Nalgars that will be going with the flamingo to Florida. I've received the invitation to the shower on June 24, so it's time to get these in the mail.

I also received an invitation to the other cousin's shower on July 1, for a baby due early August. I had been led to believe that baby (and her sister's 4th) were due in the fall. So, cousin expecting her first is getting the Nalgar with the colors that didn't fit the color theme of the triplets. I have no idea what to give the cousin expecting her 4th, as the shower invitation suggests giving her something, too. I have a couple weeks to figure that out.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Perkiness Rules!

This was forwarded to a list I'm on with the comment that the reason all the rest of you don't eviscerate us morning people is that it would take too much energy.

Make sure you have the sound on! It ranks right up there with the Llama song.

Tonight -- eyes and stuffing of Florida flamingo before (hopefully) shipping tomorrow.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More things finishing

For Wednesday night's knitting group I bundled what I hadn't finished finishing into the bag and worked on them. No more pictures of baby Nalgars, but they are all finished and labled and ready to ship.

Then I figured out I hadn't brought any J&S jumperweight with me to sew the shoulder seams of the baby surprize. I did get the buttons sewn on, though. This morning I managed to sew the two seams and take photos.

I'm surprized at how different the back appears than the front.
Where colors on the front bend around the armholes, that's not nearly as noticable on the back. I'm also glad that this yarn spit splices as easily as it does, otherwise, these would be far more monochromatic.

I'm having fun with not agonizing over choosing colors for the next day's commute. I usually to with what strikes my eye first, with a brief check to make sure it goes with the prior day's color. Most of the stripes are coming out relatively even. This week's iteration will show the effects of Tuesday's meeting in the white.

In the meantime, there's still this left to use up.

This evening I took myself dancing (i.e. funning out) at Springstep, even though I wound up going lower than I would have liked, even with a full bottle of flat Coke in my system and a supper coming on line. There were times I felt I was dancing stupid. Bob Golder (aka Linda Leslie's husband) was calling. I will dance again to any band that has Stuart Kenney and Peter Barnes in it. I didn't know the fiddler, but they were rocking.

I really, really want the RTGM. I'm waiting for the call back from my insurance company's case manager. Nights like this make me realize how valuable a tool it will be.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Am I really?

Zibbo had a link to a "what's your world view" quiz tonight.

You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.







Cultural Creative










What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

Hmmm I'm not sure I would recognize Postmodernism if I can across it, but..... I suppose it's valid. Or am I being a Libra?

Non-knitting, non-finishing post

Minimed has a slideshow video up on their website showing how their new 522 pump with RTGM will improve the daily life of a hypothetical diabetic. I like it, just because it acknowledges some of what I go through in the course of a day trying to be a "good diabetic" but yet live as close to a normal as possible. It leaves out alot, but it's enough of an idea. I'm not sure how I would have done what I do still using multiple daily injections (MDI).

So yesterday I went and bought myself a hat at the custom embroidery kiosk in the Pru. The Happy Pumpers Brigade started out as a somewhat derisive term in the diabetic community years back, given that early pumpers had to be enthusiastic (they had to make a lot of effort to get these things approved by their insurance company) and tended to be evangelical about their experiences. There are many more pumpers now and I'm not sure the term is used quite so much, but it will be recognized.

And I am a happy pumper. I hope those who recognize the term will talk to me if we meet when I'm wearing the hat.

In other news, I went to the community meeting for the VFW redesign, though, mistakenly I went to City Hall only to find out it was being held at the VFW (duh), so I got there late. They had an architect's model and the architect was doing a slide show. The audience was mostly neighbors concerned with the impact on the traffic and noise concerns. Relatively few dancers were there. Michael B. the sound guy was, and had discussions with the younger architects about how to design sound and where not to put subwoofers. The younger architects say that the multipurpose room will be a sprung wood floor (I about cried, but it had been a hard day) and later Michael told me there are several animals called sprung wood floor, so that statement from them needs further investigation.

It was a late night. And what with the low getting to the meeting and trying to get from place to place, and the sudden warm temperatures of the day, and trying to suss how the neighbors felt about dancers (turns out they're really angry at the weddings the VFW used to hold and allow to get out of control, but dancers were a much handier target because we come back week after week) I just about collapsed when I got home.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Night of felting and finishing with Miss Marple

I spent a fair bit of time on Sunday working the last piece of the flamingo and sewing it up late into the evening. This is the flamingo that will go with the expected triplet sweaters to my cousin in Florida. I guess I need to get going -- I got the invitation for that one and the other cousin (who Mom had said was due in the fall and the invite says is due August 6) in the same mail. Time to get going on the finishing.

On the right is the bird pre-felting with Consuelo and Stanley for scale and support. I put it in the high-temp dryer, soaking wet with 2 soaking wet towels at 8, and it was done at 9:40 with a resoak at 9.

On the left is the opening you leave to put stuffing in later, sewn up with cotton. I'm surprized at how firm the rest of the fabric gets sticking to its fellow fibers, yet then openings like this don't close up much. I've had times I've had to work to get the cotton out, and a few fibers start clinging over the gap, but nothing too bad to deal with.

On the right, in the morning light and with the plants I'm taking care of for Himself. Flamingo is currently stuffed with a combination of plastic bags in the head and cotton bar towels, just to fill him out to dry in a rounded shape. The head area was too small to get the towels in there. The towels and bags will get changed out later today, since they absorb the water on the inside and would keep it there if they weren't changed.

So while the felting was going on, Channel 44 was showing Miss Marple's current episodes. I had seen the second episode Sunday night, so got to catch the first one and then rewatched the second.
I gathered the random pile of things that needed finishing and got to work.
Some photos were retaken in daylight since the lighting in the TV room is not good for photography.

First up, socks for a way-back friend of the family who's been in the news lately. He's been looking like he could use a pair of socks, so I can only hope that they are his size. The colors remind me of the Pentecost colors that are out all summer and most of the fall.

Then I got to work on the baby sweaters. I got two Nalgars completed, and one more done except for the labels sewn in. The stripey one on the right will be going to the cousin who's expecting just the one in August.

Sewing in the labels took more time than I thought. I found (just) enough of the Machine Washable labels, but I'm going to need to order more. I tried my new labels from Cash's. The ribbon is hard to get a needle through, even switching needles to one out of my quilting supplies (not that I quilt, but I took a class once to try). I like their labels though. Delivery was quick and the price was reasonable -- I think around $25 for 72 labels. And yes, my handsewing in skills on handknits, ahem, are patchy.

Probably more finishing tonight. I got an immunization in each arm yesterday morning -- I was due for tetanus, and we've had a measles outbreak in Boston, centered in a building close to where I work and spreading. Turns out those of us from the 1960's may have gotten a combination of 1. vaccine too early so our little immune systems didn't work with it and 2. vaccine made in effective by a substance they put with it to lessen the side effects. Check with your doctor's office to see if you need to get redone. They took a lab test after the first shot and (I forget which) if it's positive or negative, I may or may not need to go back in 4-6 weeks for a second shot.

In the meantime, I'm feeling sub-optimal. That tetanus one hurts.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Day of enthusiasms

The Boston edition of Knit In Public Day happened yesterday under the overhang of the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square (Cambridge).

From the back there's Emily and Guido, Alasdair and Jordan, Ariel and Danielle (at the time reporting for the Globe, later off the clock). Topics were wide-ranging, though mostly knit-centric. Guido made new friends with non-knitters sitting at nearby tables. Alasdair is not in charge of non-organizing next year, I think.

The butterfly shawl (with it's 2 pounds of Zephyr on cones) made progress. I lasted for 2 1/2 hours in the cold and damp before heading back home.

Then in the evening there was a fantastic benefit dance put on by Lisa Greenleaf, et al, for the Scout House floor reconditioning. I had been looking for a ride to this since Himself is out of town and trains to Concord are not timed for my convenience. Jeremy (of the contra corners at NEFFA discussion) was in town from California for a conference and gave me a ride. The more I go contra dancing, the more I realize how good it makes me feel. A while back Concateknit had an entry about "they don't call it funning out" about what a chore it is to be at the gym. I seem to do a lot of smiling when I'm dancing.

It's time to do the finished object dance for the first of the commuting baby surprise jackets. On the left is the pre-folded funny looking object. I was working the yellow last night convinced I was doing it wrong because I couldn't see how it was working. Must remember Elizabeth doesn't necessary construct garments as others do. Just because you're at "the top" of the project doesn't necessarily mean it's the upside of the sweater.

Right side to and other way round, it makes a bit more sense. I like the randomness of it, but I'm not sure knowing what I do know that I would put the bright yellow around the bottom again. Eh. There are ends and buttons to do.....

And that leaves how much yarn out of the Jamieson and Smith stash from 1991 to keep using up?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Knit in Public Day today - bring a sweater

This is the radar at about 8:45 a.m. for the Boston area, with the addition of the big pink arrow showing what way the formations are moving. That big green/yellow thing over New Hampshire is rotating south and east back towards Essex County and who knows if it's coming here.

To the left is my immediate neighborhood. Dripping power lines, and puddles getting larger.

On the right is the current progress on the Diamond Fantasy shawl, knit in Lucy's sock yarn . It's in the middle of the 6th repeat, headed toward 10 repeats, before it gets finished with an I-cord edging. That's still the first skein there, so if someone where making the 6-repeat scarf variation in the pattern, they would probably have enough with only one skein.

On the left is the baby surprise jacket, having had way too much work done on it during the standstill in the morning commute.

It's interesting. When I'm teaching I talk about the habit of experienced people to "hold truths to be self-evident" when trying to instruct less experienced people about a subject. We just don't realize that everyone doesn't necessarily have subtleties ingrained in them, and need to have those bits spelled out.

Elizabeth's Zimmermann's instructions are a bit like that. I can follow them, but then again I've got a fair body of knowledge already and know enough how to try something and see if I'm reading her right or not, or rip it back if I didn't. I may be biased because of the amount of "helplessness" displayed on the knitlist (or sheer laziness, or lack of willingness to try to solve one's own problem), but I'm wondering how many new knitters would find EZ to hard, because she gives you a general direction to achieve what she made, but leaves so much up to the knitter to choose. It's the difference between asking the local and being told to turn right at the oak up the road, versus mapquest spelled out to length of the exit ramp.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thanks for the comments

I think 4 comments in one day is a record for me. It's nice to see folks using them.

And I don't normally go into the metabolism stuff, just because it's really easy to slide into that place where I start to resent you Normals and how thoughtless your life is, and I don't like to be there.

That said, I'm currently 10 days away from finding out how much out-of-pocket this incredible tool I've been waiting for since the late 1990's will potentially cost me, and how soon I can expect to get my mitts on it. We're talking a serious attack of the I-Wants.

There was a girl at last night's dance with a Cozmo pump (hers doesn't have a name) and I found myself shouting about "One Grand Patient Responsibility and $400 a month supplies" at her over the (rather over-amplified) music. Wish I'd gotten her name.

In other news, Blogger now has a search function so I can now find prior entries without having to go to Google Blog search. All I have to do is put, for instance, NEFFA into that little box and it brings up the 3 entries I've mentioned it. This will be handy for linking back.

The commuting fairies held up the Red Line this morning so the baby surprise jacket made way more progress than it should have. Photos tomorrow in the morning light.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I'd best be sure to do my hair

I'm not sure what news organization Danielle D. is working for these days, but she's sent me email that she's been assigned to cover Knit In Public day and her editor is having her bring a photographer. Actually, they really want pictures of Guido, so I can be as frumpy as I like in all likelihood.

I wonder if he and I will need to switch t-shirts, since I have the official Knit In Public Boston shirt from Franklin, and I don't think he does. Guido, drop me a note if I should be prepared with a spare..... I could bring the Mind's Eye Yarns shamless promotion shirt as a backup for me if you wanted the shirt off my back. (compulse, compulse)

So, Harvard Square in front of Au Bon Pain, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, for anyone who's interested. Still figuring out which project(s) I'm bringing to work on.

I finally made it back to the Thursday night contras tonight, that I hadn't been able to get to all May. Fun and friends as always, and yet more calories expended toward the goal of using 35,000 and not replacing them. I did alright from a BG standpoint, but now I'm really hankering for the new pump I'm due to get in July. Not just for the real-time glucose monitor, but also for the IOB -- insulin on board -- feature. Given the 4-6 hour activity curve, variable by the size of the dose, and the tendency of doses to stack on top of each other, I'm coming to realize as I get more serious about exercising, how valuable it will be to know how much I have active at any given moment. You need insulin to get glucose out of the bloodstream and into the muscle, but too much insulin at any given moment is disasterous.

Enough of that -- this is a knitting blog. Subway seat karma has been highly variable lately (along with the commuting fairies' timing of subways), but the baby surprize jacket is making progress over the course of a week. I'm having fun each morning remembering to pick the next color and spit splice it in before needing to get out the door. I've been using the method of putting already used colors somewhere else and reaching a hand into the bag of what's left and seeing what comes out in my fist. Sometimes I put it back, but most times I use whatever the hand grabs. Since this was taking this morning, the jacket has reached the portion of knitting 10 ridges on the center 90 stitches, for those familiar with the pattern.

And the flamingo last seen around Memorial Day has a beak at last. He just needs a tummy panel and then I need to watch the DVD I have on finishing and sewing up. Strangely enough, Himself has shown no enthusiasm whatsoever to watch this with me, so I'd best take advantage of his being out of town and see it by myself.

And just for Himself, see, I haven't killed your kitchen herbs, yet. The basil is growing like Topsy, but the rosemary needs to see Par about its posture.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Knit In Public Day - June 10th, Boston's will be in Cambridge

Guido of It's a Purl, Man, has stepped up as organizer and says anyone interested should meet at the Harvard Square Au Bon Pain on Saturday June 10th from 11 a.m. until we get tired of it.

General Knit In Public Day information (check your local city) available here. T-shirts available at Franklin's Cafe Press store.

Projects progresses more likely tomorrow.

Monday, June 05, 2006

And knitting happened, too

I forgot to post about the knitting I accomplished over the weekend. The project was perfect for the circumstances, nothing to keep track of, long rows of garter stitch. As you can see, this thing grew since Friday.

It's now at 11 inches from the cast on edge. The pattern recommends 14 before starting the lace. I'm going to put it aside until the next time I need such a thing. For now, I'm done with plain white, long rows of garter stitch, interspersed by increases at 4 markers EOR. Bring back Lucy's sock yarn Diamond Fantasy and the baby surprize commuting project. After listening to Elaine Eskesen, I'm ready for color.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Granite State Knit-In XV weekend

It's hard to believe there have been 15 Granite State Knit-Ins already, but it must be, because it says so on the cake (and the bags, which I didn't take a picture of yet)!

I usually tell my story in order that the pictures are taken, but I'm going to depart from that this time. Shown on the right are the organizing committee in a photo taken at the end of the event, after they've been at this for 9 hours plus just that day, let alone all the work that goes into it since January. From left to right are: Charlotte, Joan, Donna, Barb and Dana. I'm amazed these incredible women can stand up and look at a camera at that point, let alone smile. Well done, ladies!

(sorely) Missing from this photo, and the event itself, is Anne, who for as long as I can remember has been a, if not the, driving force behind the Granite State Knit-In. Anne has been battling illness lately which left her unable to attend this year's event. You Were Missed, Anne!

Back to Friday. Normally on the weekend with the first Saturday in June, Himself and I travel up to Lincoln (Loon Mountain) on the Friday, stay at his friends’ condo, I enjoy the Knit-In, Himself goes for a hike, we stay Saturday night and then find a route to meander our way back home from the White Mountains on Sunday. This year, since he missed his trip to Canada in May, Himself decided he could drop me at the Downeaster in Portland to make my way home and continue on by himself. On the left you see the car packed with all the vital components for our respective itineraries. I’ve been angsting all week about needing to carry everything I brought the last ¼ mile home from the subway, but it worked out. It really made me think about not bringing things that “might be handy”, but focus on what was really useful. It also meant that I mistakenly brought clothes better for weather about 10 degrees warmer, but hey, when else are you going to get the most use out of your best shawl?

Friday night we went to dinner at the Common Man restaurant, directly across the 2-lane highway from the condo and then went for a walk up the bike path that connects all these developments to the Loon Mountain facility. In the next development up the road, we saw a sign that told us we were not in Cambridge anymore.

My photos of the Knit-In are kind of spotty, just because when I’m teaching, I’m fully engaged in trying to make sure everyone’s getting it and it doesn’t seem fair to make them wait while I take pictures. I had six students each for two classes of entrelac (6 being the most I can give individual attention to in the space of an hour session), and 4 for I-cord. The classes seemed to go well. One person didn’t realize until we were into it that she didn’t have the skills specified in the class description and another told me she had used the homework for my class in her last class (I’m not figuring THAT out), and had to start over from scratch while everyone else was on to step two and beyond, poor thing.

Because of the luggage issue, I deliberately avoided the vendors more than a cursory visit this time. Sorry, guys. However, I will show you what Grafton Fibers brought as a work in progress. They did a class on needle felting that one of the committee members said has already had requests for a repeat next year from those who didn’t get in this year. The figure is about as tall or slightly larger than me, and I’m 5’ 1.5”.

There are several regular features of the Knit-In. The raffle is always a big hit and it’s a winner on both ends. Wonderful things are donated for the raffle and at 3 tickets for $1, it’s cheap to take your chance on winning something you would like. Shown here in two pictures are the tables worth of goods offered for raffle this year. With one person getting the next prize and putting its tickets in the bucket, one announcer to pick from the bucket and call the numbers, and several runners to take the prizes to the winners in the audience, it takes about 45 minutes to get through them all. Hint – if you buy a lot of tickets, it makes it a lot easier if you put your mark on the back. Committee members long ago purchased a rubber stamp kit that gives them each a unique symbol. I just put my initials on the back.

With all these tickets (okay, it’s my teaching payment plus a donation turned into tickets), this year I only won one thing this year – a Frog Tree Alpaca scarf kit in a green my mother should like. Haven’t taken a picture of it yet, though. Other years I've been alot luckier, but then again, see prior discussion of needing to limit the luggage. Given its size, getting the talking sheep toy home would have been work. Maybe next year......

And in case you wonder how many tickets they sell all told, here's a picture of Charlotte with the bag of "unwinning" tickets, from which they do one last draw for a surprise prize. It's a lot of tickets, folks. That's a big bag.

Another regular feature is the Precious Pals collection for the local State Police troop. I’m lacking a bit of terminology here, so bear with me. The head state trooper for that area is the son of Vivian at Grand View Country Store and his name is John (never caught his last name). Every year as we’re having lunch, he gets paged over the radio to the effect of “your mother says to come to Loon Mountain.” This first photo is John, Vivian (in green) and Elaine Eskesen, our speaker, standing, with Dana and Barb sitting in the chairs. He comes and thanks us for the donations (120 plus this year -- 2 cubby cases full). Each of the troopers (and they share with other agencies, too) have bears in the patrol cars so that if they’re called to a scene with children, they can have comfort on hand to give the kids, whether it’s a car accident or domestic violence. John used to tell us particular instances (keeping identifiables out of it) of how the bears were deployed in the past year, but that made everyone in the room cry, so he’s stopped being that specific. He did let us know this year that 3 of the bears will be going to the 3 young children of a police chief of an area town. The Chief is an Army Reservist who suffered a head injury in Iraq a few months back when his Humvee was attacked and is still recovering.

Our speaker this year was Elaine Eskesen, author of Dyeing to Knit and owner of Pine Tree Yarns in Damariscotta, Maine. She was interesting to listen to talking about her love of color, how she came to have a book contract, what it meant to actually write a book and how she discovered her store can run for a day or so on the honor system if she needs to be somewhere else. I was busy listening and looking at the swatches, so I didn't get to take pictures.

So, the day wound up. We don't have to go back to the Mountain Club restaurant at Loon again because we've been once and we don't have to repeat anything we don't want to. Let me just say, has anyone else ever had garlic mashed potatoes with nutmeg? It was new to us.

Sunday we drove down to Portland and had a couple hours to wander and have lunch before the Downeaster took me south and Himself took off north for his trip. Portland was having a street fair today, and I found a bookstore that was still advertising Friday's appearence of Wren Ross and her co-author promoting their book, Changing Patterns (about creativity). Lousy photo, but I tried. They're featured in a story the current issue of Body and Soul.

Portland was threateningly damp and very breezy today so we headed off to the train station a tad earlier than we might have.
We took my suitcase, box of teaching, and purse out of the car and I was able to carry them all myself.

And the bear is happy to get out of that back window and ride in the front for awhile. Have a fun trip, boys!

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