Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pictures pictures

Christmas was great! I got blocking wires! And a WPI tool! I don't think I've ever gotten anything bead or knitting related until this year. I have some pictures from then and I'll post them later.

I'm off to Florida tomorrow for the "Florida College Classic" to watch Cornell, Maine, UNH, and Western Michigan play each other. It's another 6am flight. Urg. I just took a 6am flight yesterday from Providence to DC. I have with me


the Wing o the Moth shawl in progress. I have about 50 rows to go and then I can break out the new blocking wires.

I've also decided that I'm going to make Monkey using the Mama E sock yarn I bought earlier.

I've also been spinning the Spunky Eclectic. It's amazing how the colors of the fiber lay in the roving and then when you spin it's not quite what you expect. I'm probably at about single ply lace right now...wondering if I should ply. I do have 4 oz of this stuff and I'm thinking about working my way through Victorian Lace Today.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gift wrapping fun and some other stuff

I finished off the Christmas shopping at Providence Place Mall and came home and started wrapping presents. I forgot how much I enjoy wrapping a present, and making the shape appear all uniform and pretty.


And in other news, I took a picture of an aquarium for a project for next year...the recipients don't read this blog so that's okay.

There's actually a fish in there. Last time I was here, the fishies had all died and they were all lamenting how the fishies kept dying... so of course, after one of Bead Obsessions's needle weaving study groups, I had my bright ideas. If I have trouble keeping plants alive, I might as well bead them. Well, same with the fishies!

Pictures - fiber


This is that blue fiber. It's just "wool". I thought my spinning abilities were crap. And finally, I was able to ply and put in this stuff:


Fiber from Spunky Eclectic in the Leaf Litter colorway. It was drafting pretty easily and spinning up really evenly.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Plying along

I figured out my plying problem. I thought I had the scotch tension on the bobbin...but I didn't, so everything was spinning at the same speed. When I finally realized the scotch tension was just sitting there, I put it on the bobbin and then I was plying! I've got little twisty slubs on my plied yarn...I may have been over twisting the singles. Oh well, better for me to overtwist than under and let the fiber fall apart. 1 lb. of fiber is a hell of a lot of fiber to spin through, but I think this is just going to be my practice yarn for trying out stuff. I have a little bit left of 1 bobbin of singles and I may try out the Navajo plying technique with it. That would be a mess.

I started beading again. I wanted to set a stone in some peyote stitch. Well, first time around, the peyote stitch bezel is a little too big. Blood jasper rock with some Toho cherry amber. Yum.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Spinning thoughts...

  • I spun up 2 oz of fiber and tried to ply it. I don't know how much success I'm having with that since the singles were twisting onto themselves and I don't think I've got the tension adjusted correctly so the flyer isn't spinning.

  • I went to go spin up some beads for Bead Obsessions's shop pieces of the calla lily and my feet keep thinking they need to treadle. Wrong spinny thing, feet!

  • Spinning Wheel Oriface Hook Class at Bead Obsessions! Now I know what I can do with those tubular beads I admire so much but can't figure out what to do with!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Finished - Anna Socks!

I finally finished the Anna socks!


I had actually finished knitting these in Taiwan but I hadn't weaved in ends until today. It's not fun to weave in ends for black socks. Other pictures can be seen here, pictures taken by Amber.

Some Work In Progress Pictures

First up is the next Wing o the Moths shawl that I'm making for my coworker Svitlana who is having a baby in February. I'm hoping to finish this up before the last week of January when she goes on maternity leave. I'm using Doceur et Soie in "Cafe au Lait". It is a mohair/silk blend and it felt good in the ball. But the shawl, my god! If anyone lives near me and you see me with it, you must cop a feel (of the shawl, not me!).


Next up is Pearls in the Coral. I had taken this class at Bead Obsessions a while back. It got put on hold while I was madly working on necklaces and shawls. Now I've got some time and can start it back up again. After the debacle with the Flamin Moth, I thought about trying to finish this yesterday afternoon...but 3 hours wasn't enough time. Oh well.


That's it for pictures for now!


Spinning under the influence. No one ever said you're not supposed to spin after some alcohol. I forgot how much I enjoy alcohol. And I figured out how to make Spinny go fast before I left this afternoon. And then since I know one is not supposed to knit after drinking, unless you want to hate yourself the next morning, and have not heard anything about spinning and booze, I decided to sit down with Spinny. Spinny is good. more twists! more twists! The only thing you have to be careful of is the long hair flying around that gets caught up in the fiber. That kinda hurts. So, what we learned tonight...

  • Booze is good.

  • Booze in DC is expensive

  • It's okay to s pin while under the influence

  • Don't get hair caught in the fiber cuz that hurts

Urg. Right now I smell like a mix of smoke and heavy cologne/perfume. I must go wash this off myself before I choke on this in bed.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I'm within a couple of rows of finishing the Flaming Moth...and I find I don't have neough yarn left. ARGH! I've emailed Lisa Souza to see if there are any scraps she'd be willing to sell me because I really don't feel like having the full skein sitting around the house. Now I wait to hear back, and rest my hands. I must stop knitting for the night so that I can still use them tomorrow. Perhaps I will spin...or play with my beads, or sleep! I think sleep is good. It will make me forget the annoyingness of this. Now begs the question...what the heck do I wear with my little black dress to the company Christmas party?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Just when I thought I was safe...

I went and purchased the Interweave Knits, Spring 2002 issues. Why? Because of this. Blogs and knit alongs are so evil...right after Amber.

In other news, I think the spinning wheel is named Spinny. I'm really not all that original with names :-) Tonight, continuing on with the obsessive knitting of the Flaming Moth. I hope to have a picture of a clump off the needles to show.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Spinny! Spinny!

All righty! The wheel!

And I got down to business
And while shopping for a dress for the company Christmas party at Marshall's, I found something to help with the fiber storage:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A wheel! A wheel!

The wheel has been assembled...I'm just too lazy to get my butt off of the couch to take a picture of it. I can spin again! I think I may need more fluff. I even found more spinning wheel oil. I had stopped by Springwater to sign up for membership, the drafting and plying class (yeah, I'm in) and see if they had any spinning wheel oil. Why yes! They did have spinning wheel oil. It was called "Spinning Wheel Oil." So now that the wheel is assembled, back to the Flaming Moth.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The wheel parts are out of the box.

I ordered an Ashford Traveller at the end of October and it arrived just before I left for Taiwan. It sat in its box in the foyer for a month. Finally this morning, I went to Home Depot and bought the stain. Minwax has Polyshades that's a stain and finish combination so in theory, I only have to do 1 coat. The instructions say that you may need 2 coats for the final color. So I got the Antique Walnut color. The before picture:


And here's the after 1 coat:


I think I like it after 1 coat. I don't think I want it to go any darker.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

FINALLY! Doceur et Soie has arrived!

A couple of days ago, I received an email saying that the Doceur et Soie had FINALLY shipped. Today, it arrived at my house. I stopped home tonight to pick it up so that I could give half of it to Helena at tonight's SweetLife Knitter's meeting. Remember, I ordered this way back in October.

I'm also very tempted right now to start another pair of socks out of one of my many skeins of sock yarn. Just a sock, on some dpns.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More yarn?

Just when I didn't think I could buy more yarn, Amber has to go and ask if there was interest in taking a dying class with Mama E. I have no idea who Mama E is so I read the blog and realize that she dyes yarn and has some sock yarn for sale at Knit Happens. So I had to go to Knit Happens and buy a skein to get an opinion and "help" me decide if I should take the class. So while I'm there, I see they're clearing out the Alchemy yarn (50% off!). So while I was making friendly conversation with people there, I see on the back table this nice fuzzy purple stuff. It's 50% silk, 50% mohair. They're $20 a skein but at half price, it's only $20 for the two. I can make a small scarf out of Victorian Lace Today!

Mama E's C*Eye*Ber Fiber sock in the Poppy colorway. Alchemy Haiku in Foxglove colorway

Photos from the Philippines

I finally managed to put more photos from the Philippines into Flickr. They are here. A little bit of food, some city sky lines. Done.

Finished Object

A cameo necklace.


The cameo I had picked up in NYC and the actual necklace is a spiral rope. The core is made up of 3 size 11/0 seed beads and the spiral is made up of 2 size 11/0 cut beads. this was a present.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Last hours in the Philippines

Well, first off:

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Ya. I guess the desciption fits.

Well, I'm checking out between 3:30 and 4 in the morning. This trip has been overly enjoyable (except for the heat). I'd say that it was planned, but at the same time unplanned. I didn't expect that Friday would be a holiday here so I was expecting to work for 5 days instead of 4. And so, I didn't really expect to have free time to do any sight seeing if I so choose. Of course, I also didn't get out much today cuz my head is a bit muddled since I've now moved to the congested stage of my cold. Everytime I headed outside, I wanted to crawl back to my room, shower first cuz I'm all sweaty and sticky again, and go to sleep.

I am glad though that I had a chance to come here and meet the people I work with. I didn't come with any expectations but the trip has helped me understand a little better how the work environment is here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Philippines - so far

Wow, it's hot. It also seems to be that the people (in general) get shorter the closer you get to the equator. However, they do make a pretty good crispy pata...Leg of a pig, deep fried.
Sadly, I've got a bit of a sore throat. I haven't ventured too far away from the hotel during the day time. Partly I don't know where to go. Partly, I hate the heat and humidity. I wilt in this kind of climate. Also, I think the inability to sleep continuously for 7-8 hours a night has finally caught up with me.
As with Taiwan and China, the food (not counting the hotel food) is a lot cheaper than the US. The one thing that has stayed consistent? A drink from Starbucks, where I think American prices might actually be just a tiny bit less.
Unfortunately, I haven't had my camera with me the last couple of days so I haven't taken many pictures of food.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why I haven't gotten a maid

I went to work. I came "home" and what did I find? The housekeeping people didn't come in the morning as I was expecting. No, they came sometime between 4:30pm and 3:30am. I came back and found:

For those of you who know me and those of you who don't know me that well, I am in no way shape or form this organized. It's a little freaky to come back and realized that they've actually straightened EVERYTHING. That picture was just my toiletries. The rest of the stuff in my room is neatly organized and arranged on the desk.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Exit Shanghai, Enter Manila

So, I left Shanghai this morning. It was rushed since dad saw that I only had an hour in Hong Kong and said that we should get to the airport early so that I can try to switch to an earlier flight. I've learned on this trip that the Hong Kong airport is notorious for delays and if you don't have at least 2 hours between flights, your luggage will most likely not show up at your final desitination when you do. So dad dropped me off and he was going to go park while I got my flight switched. Well, it was 10:30am when he dropped me off and I didn't realize it until after they'd switched me and handed me my boarding pass but my plane was boarding at 10:45, which meant that I wouldn't get a chance to say goodbye to dad :-( So I called him to tell him that my plane was boarding at 10:45 and he said, "what are you waiting for, just go now!" Well turned out there was reason for that. There was A LOT of people to pass through the immigration desks, and then there were still more people to get through security. There was a nice man in front of me who let me go ahead of him through the immigration officials. After I made it through security, I picked up my bags, jacket, and laptop and sprinted down to my gate. A couple of tenths of a mile with jacket, laptop, and basically 10 extra pounds and trying to dodge people...marathon training in no way prepares you for this. I was sweaty and out of breath and very tired by the time I got onto the plane. But I made the plane. Dad called while I was hitting the gate.

I really like Shanghai. I first came to Shanghai 2 years ago. I really liked it then too. I was born in Taiwan and came to the US at the age of 4. Since then, I had only been to Taiwan. I hadn't gone anywhere else in Asia. I can say, without a doubt, that I have no interest in ever moving to Taiwan. It's small, it's crowded, it's dirty. But I had really liked China. This year, like 2 years ago, I spent a couple of day sin Suzhou and then was in Shanghai. Suzhou is a big industrial park. I could work there. It's similar to the US in that the roads are big and you have room to move, no need to feel clausterphobic with everything and everything really close to you. Shanghai is like New York City. Shanghai is the most populated city in China and is the financial center of the country. It's got many western buildings and I feel quite comfortable there. Again, like last time, I leave it thinking that I really need to see if there's some way I can come back more often. I really should learn to read the language so I can get myself around. I really should just make a week long trip to Shanghai to shop. The one thing I don't like about China is how EVERYONE smokes. I was thinking how funny it was that I had to exit a hotel lobby to get fresh air because everyone inside was smoking as opposed to the US where the smoker must step outside to smoke. Many thoughts about Shanghai but they're still pretty jumbled right now. I still wish I had a chance to give my dad a final hug goodbye.

Manila - it's hot. I stepped off the plane and it was hot. While standing at immigration, I spotted a person whom I thought was a midget. Or is it dwarf? I don't remember the politically correct term. Anyways, then I saw more of them. Then I realized that they were just that short. They were kinda far away but I would guess they only came up to my chest. I made it out of the airport and to the hotel okay. I'm staying at the Pennisula, Manila which is this 5 star hotel. I feel that it is too classy for me :-)

I'm taking this opportunity to upload and sort more photos. I've added more photos to the Flickr account.

Taiwan photos - There's more photos of the Thai food restaurant we went to my last night there. We as in me and most of mom's family. Also some pictures of me with dad, cousin, a large thing of beer that was ordered at a restaurant. Please see individual photos for comments and descriptions. I added the new pics to the end of the existing set.

China photos - I'm getting there.

Manila photos - so far, only of my room, but not uploaded yet.

One of the projects that I brought but haven't touched is from Victorian Lace Today - the half hex spider shawl. Someone on the Victorian Lace Today KAL just finished one and it looks AMAZING! See her post on the finished shawl.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving in China

  • When I left Taiwan, it was raining. It was raining in Hong Kong. It was still raining after all the flight delays when we finally arrived in Shanghai. When I saw a weather report yesterday, it said it was raining until Monday all over China. Well, rain, and if it was cold enough, then snow.

  • I spent the first couple of days in Suzhou Industrial Park where dad lives and works. Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a day spa getting a facial and a back scrub/rub. I paid 78rmb for the back scrub/rub. 1 dollar is approx 7.7 something or other rmb. You do the math. They started on my back, then flipped me over for my facial. I spent about 2.5 hours there. Something's gotta be said for the cheap labor here.

  • I don't often get motion sick. Once was on a boat. The rest are when I go downhill in a vehicle really quickly. So, roller coasters are out of the question for me. I did start feeling queasy today after about 30 min in the car. Dad and I were hunting for this building that sold pearls and gems. My usual car riding philosophy here is, "I'll close my eyes and sleep. If I can't sleep, I'll pray...even though I don't believe in religion and have issues with god (or that general concept)."

  • The drive from Shanghai to Suzhou took a while. There was a section of the drive where we sat in the back and I believe we all shared the same thought, "What is the driver doing? Why is he breaking unnecessarily? Is he sleepy?"

  • More driving comments. There are no driving laws here. Well, there are, but no one follows them. People tend to weave between lanes...kinda like how in the US, the police and driver's ed people warn you to stay away from the cars weaving between lanes cuz the driver is probably drunk. But the people here aren't drunk. Drivers share the road with people on bikes and motorcycles and pedestrians, and tricycle thingys with a car shell over it. There was also this bus driver this morning. He was unnecessarily honking the horn and weaving between lanes and cars. Then we went to a 2 lane road with a wide shoulder and he was driving 3 lanes and continuing with the honking. I wanted to put on some steel toed boots and drag the guy out and kick him a few times in the head.

  • Dad and I finally managed to find the pearl and gem place. Chinese sales people scare me. We were 2 of maybe 10 customers walking through this huge mall like building and the set up was that there were stores around the interior perimeter and the center of the ground floor were tables set up, reminiscent of the gem and jewelry show. As we approach tables, they start calling out, "Hey Mr, Hey Miss, wanna see some pearls? Comes see our pearls!" They're really scary, at least to me. Oh, and this building looks like a big marble (or pearl) in that they built out one side in a glass dome shape. Unfortunately, no picture.

  • I did buy some dyed and misshapen pearls. I also bought some dyed pearls. Just for reference...A string of regular pearls about 6mm to 8mm, may not be the smoothest, natural colors were selling for 10 to 20 rmb...equivalent to about $1-$2. At the gem and jewelry show, they'd got for $5 and up.

  • I learned something about asking directions. According to dad, people either were not from the region so didn't know the area well or some only had their own 2 feet to get anywhere so weren't really familiar with the area outside of their daily lives. I was most amused when we were leaving and dad asked a woman the best way to get back to Suzhou. Her first answer was "Go south" and that was it. Well, no shit. We made her elaborate.

  • No pictures yet, we'll try again in Manila. The upload speed is way slow and I am missing my fiber connection. The initial Taiwan pics were taken at a res of 640x480 and so were smaller in size. I've moved up to taking 1600x1200 pics (now that I have the 2gb card) and the file sizes are a bit bigger.

  • Suzhou Industrial Park - it has improved and grown a lot since I was there 2 years ago. I saw dad's factory. 2 years ago, there was no factory. It has since been built and is HUGE! Well, they do manufacturing so it does have to be big. Various companies have set up shop there. The industrial park was originally a joint venture between Singapore and China. It is 20 sq. km. Seriously, HUGE!

I'm currently in Shanghai for the weekend to wander and do some shopping. Sunday, I head for Manila.

Monday, November 20, 2006

the great wall marathon

The Great Wall Marathon. One day... Dad said that if I ever ran it, I was to let him know. I responded that if I ever ran it, his presence was required, not optional. His job is to pick me up after the marathon, get me food, drinks, and find me a massuese. I"m not doing this next year. 2008 and 2009 are both booked for me. Maybe 2010. It'll be about time for a trip to Asia then anyways.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Flaming moth in Taiwan

IMG_0471 The typical lace blob picture of the Wing o the Moth shawl in a flaming ruby red from Lisa Souza. Progress is slow as I'm not always home. I'm hoping to have the fir cone pattern repeat done by the weekend. I'm currently in Taiwan but will be going to Shanghai on Wednesday. Due to some stupid regulations in place by Taiwan, I can't fly directly from Taiwan to Shanghai. I have to fly Taiwan -> Hong Kong -> Shanghai. That's about 5 hours on a plane instead of 2. That's time to do some knitting.

After a week in Taiwan

  • I hate heat and humidity. It's hot and humid here.

  • I do like food. They keep giving me food.

  • The whole time difference thing with the US keeps throwing me off.

  • I miss my fiber connection into my house. You never think you notice the speed between DSL, cable, and fiber until you're on the really fast connection and you suddenly go back to a slower connection. The DSL connection here is a bit painful. I'm currently "borrowing" someone's wireless network right now and it's at 36Mbps right now. Compare with the 100Mbps I get at home and you tell me why I'm feeling pain.

  • I feel the need to do some quilting and making patchwork bags. I have a book too. Of course, it's in Japanese, like all of the beading and knitting books/magazines I've bought. They like the patchwork here and I really want to do it. Just checked out G Street Fabric's class schedule. Mostly, it's straight quilting there. I think I'm going to have to buy any bag books I want here. And it doesn't look like I'll have to wait until after the new year to take an intro class on quilting. I've done it before on my own, but my technique is very amateurish. Wow, it's not often I can say that I have the words I want to use in Chinese but not in English.

  • I wish they sold tampons with applicators here. I guess I'm lucky they even sell the few boxes of tampons that they have on the shelves.

  • I bought a 2gb memory card for my camera here for the equivalent of about $30. Note that to buy that in the US, it'd cost me around $70. Memory cards are manufactured in Taiwan. The factories make them for the large companies and sell some under generic names. Generics work just as good for half the price.

  • After years of hearing about what it is my dad does, now I finally get it. He makes the chips that control the LCD lights on the LCD screens, be it hand helds or tvs. So yes, me buying my phone does help make dad happy cuz it increases the revenue in a really indirect way. I'm also supposed to yell at him if there's a line of dead LCDs cuz that's due to a faulty connection to the chip...and that may be his fault.

  • Sometimes I still feel like I'm 4.

  • Had dinner with some of my dad's high school friends yesterday. My parents got married the day after they graduated from college and had me right away so they were always the ones with the oldest child. Of the ones present yesterday, I'm still the oldest. There's one who has an 18 year old daughter and a daughter who's just finishing...middle school? There's another who has a 12 year old daughter who was born in the US. They lived near us in MA so I was there from pregnancy to see her born and everything. At that time, I thought the age difference was pretty big. Well, one of his friends just had his first child 5 months ago. Ya...4 friends from high school. Largest age gap among the kids is 27 years.

  • Went to visit mom yesterday too. I need to make some new flowers for her next time I come back. Maybe some orchids.

  • I also hate how my family thinks I'm a weakling. I'm sorry, but someone who has just complete a marathon is in no shape or form a weakling. All those muscles have to work together to get one through the 26.2 miles. I think this goes with the see above comment of, "I feel like I'm 4."

  • I'll be uploading pictures into Flickr into its own set with descriptions there. There are a good deal of pictures between what I've taken and what's on my dad's camera. Picutres thus far can be found here

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Last time I was here, I was knitting. That got my aunt knitting again. So I asked her to bring me to a yarn store to see what they have here. Lots of Japanese and Eurpoean yarn. Price looks about the same as what you'd find walking into a yarn store back home. I found some Noro, yup, still a little more than $10 a ball. I did not see any lace weight. Saw a little bit of fingering/sock weight. Patterns tend to follow Japanese pattern books. I think I need to study a few of the books she has lying around the house to see if I can make sense of them and whether or not I should go buy some Japanese knitting books.
The flaming moth shawl is coming along. It's quite red! I also just started swatching something for my aunt. It looks like a lace pattern and she wasn't sure how to read the chart and the teacher wasn't sure how to read the chart. And I finished the Anna socks yesterday. I need to weave in some ends but that's it! Whee!
I'd say the knitting world definitely here isn't as developed as it is over in the western hemisphere or Japan, mostly from lack of interest. Similar to how, let's say Rowan or Interweave produces a set of patterns and a trunk show each season, the Japanese companies do the same. The yarn store she frequents, they have a few knitted up items on display and they teach a class for it. So, my aunt, at least is very dependent upon a teacher to make a sweater or whatever. No yarn purchase here.
I'm also wondering about the existence of wireless here, or even the use of a router. My computer misses the internet.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Who knew that blogger would display everything in Chinese. Okay, well, I guess I should've known since the same thing happens with just about every website that's international. But it's still a little weird.
16 hours on a plane, I didn't know that existed. I have some pictures, but I need to get at a computer that reads my memory card so it may not be until I get to Shanghai at dad's place or Manila. I've started the whatever high socks. The toe up experience is not so bad. Also, I was impressed that I was able to look up this website on my phone to take down the rest of the toe up socks instructions.

So, I didn't sleep much Friday night. 20 minute naps here or there. I think I've managed to adjust over the jetlag pretty easily even if I did go to sleep at 3 in the morning (local time). JFK wasn't all that exciting but I LOVE the Hong Kong airport. It is reputed to have the best shopping of all the airports (though I can't afford anything, even without all the yarn/beads expenditures), but even better? Their food court serves bowls of noodles in soup...the Asian kinda...that's just oh so nice after a long plane ride. And basically other Chinese fare for cheap. It would've been a nice time to have been able to say "Dad, I need money" but no dad, so I charged my food since I have no idea what currency I'm supposed to be using in the Hong Kong airport. Hong Kong currency for one, but I'm not sure if they accept others.
Arrived at my grandmother's and she's cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Walk in the door, here eat some cakey snacks. But I ate in Hong Kong. Well, here eat some cakey snacks. Okay, so does anyone still have any questions why I eat?
I am so glad I brought some workout clothes, so at the very latest, I can go work out in Manila before reporting for work on Monday. I did promise the team that so they can start feeding me as well.
I had expected only to see 2 cousins, both younger than me. But it turns out that my other cousin who is currently serving his mandatory military service is home for the weekend so I got to see him. Then I was informed that my other cousin on my father's side that I haven't seen in 10 years is actually here on business as well. So wow, al the cousins in one visit.
Food is smelling really good in the kitchen and grandma hasn't noticed that I've stopped eating...yet.
Also, the Anna Socks are almost done! I hope to finish them up today. I'm also amazed at sock yarn that's hand dyed. I started in on the Puck's Mischief and the coloring of the sock was not what I had expected when I looked at the skein, not that it's a bad thing. Though I'mthinking now, maybe I should just leave them all skeined up to look at!

Friday, November 10, 2006

I've spent way too much money - Stitches East 2006 part 2

Photos courtesy of Amber.
I returned to Stitches last Saturday for a Fair Isle class. In the morning, I got down to business and bought lots of laceweight yarn and stuff with which to knit lace.

snowShawlThe Snow Shawl kit from Yarn Barn of Kansas. I saw this the first night and couldn't stop thinking about it. That's white mohair
SkaSkaLaceweight from Skaska Designs. They sell some really amazing laceweight yarn along with some exotic fibers. They also specialize in Orenberg patterns
SilkyTweedSilky Tweed. mmm. I'm thinking of making Simple Knitted Bodice with this. The darker will be the main body and the lighter for the lace portion. I saw a knitted up sample of the SKB and I didn't really like it with the beads. You all know I love beads, but I thought in this case, the Tilly Tomas yarn with the beads, it overtook the lace design.
MoreLaceweightI can get a lot of lace shawls out of this one!
LisaSouzaRedsThe large fuzzy blob is mohair that I'm using for the Flaming Moth. The smaller skein is sock yarn in the Mars Quake colorway. I love that color way with the reds and blacks. Does it help that I'm an Aries?
GlowInTheDarkThis yarn glows in the dark. How awesome is that?
ballOfAlpacaBall of Alpaca for me to spin. whee!

So, that was it. I'd wanted to get this out before I left and really started digging into some of this.

Lacevember - quiz 3

What is my ideal knitting conditions? I need good light where I can see my stitches, and I can not be involved in a concentration where I have to pay attention. There also needs to be some place where I can lay the chart out. I can't say I'm that picky cuz I just enjoy it.

Donna, on tv

Many of you have seen flowers I've made from Donna DeAngelis Dickt's floral patterns on this blog. Last year, I alerted her to an opportunity to be on DIY Network. She applied, was accepted, and it turned out to be a strangely bizarre experience. Well, they're finally airing the episodes. The episode guide and air dates can be found here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I got me some wheels!

A spinning wheel that is! Amber and I met up for this week's edition of the Sweet Life Knitters and swapped wheels. She had picked up my wheel for me at Springwater and I passed along Patricia's wheel. So the box is sitting, I've opened it up. I got really excited for a moment and thought about putting it together. But then I flipped through the instructions and I gotta tell ya. I'm tired. I'm so tired that I just want to get what I need to get done tonight (flower pot pens) and go to bed. I don't have energy to be screwing screws into wood, or running wax along to get the leg to go into the hole, or hammering. As much as I would love to, I am just that tired. But, I have my wheel. If I'm still suffereing from jetlag when I get back, I'll be up half the night putting this thing together.

Can someone tell me what kind of oil I'm supposed to be using to oil this baby with?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Time for beading

But first, something lacy:
I balled up the Ruby Lisa Souza mohair and cast on for Wing-o-the-Moth. I'm calling it the "Flaming Moth Shawl".
Tonight, instead of knitting or spinning, I stayed home and worked on beady things. First up is for class in December:
The only thing this flower is currently missing is the floss wrapped stem. And then the other thing:


Should I add fringe to the bottom of the cabochon? Or just a picot edge? Note that the cab hangs down pretty far. The bottom most beads falls within an inch of top of cleavage (to give you all a sense of the size of this). I'm giving this to my cousin, though I don't know if this is her style or not. I haven't seen her in much that is girly or feminine. The few times that I have, it's been in the fashion of a young child. Note that she's only 4 years younger than me. I still think she's barely 16.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

One more week

I got myself up to Baltimore this morning for the Joy of Finishing. I learned a couple of old things but most of what I had learned, I knew. However, it was good to be given very specific instructions and see what it looks like when you're seaming correctly. I also did pretty well at the Market today. I spent < $20. Don't ask me how much I had spent before today, though. I didn't leave until 1:30 since there was a Ravens game on and I wanted to avoid the pregame traffic.

So, I at least feel like I have an idea of what I"m doing for finishing. I almost feel like asking Amber if I could finish one of her many unfinished sweaters for her. But this week is going to be CRAZY and I've got too much stuff to do. I doubt I'll knit much on the plane. I'll be too tired! Before this week is through, I need get the little flower pot pens to Patricia for the shop class piece. Then, I need to make 3 more Swarvski pearl necklaces. And a blue cabochon necklace for my cousin. I must say though, I'm very uncertain if I should give it to her. On the one hand, she did want me to make her jewelry 2 years ago and I really don't know what else to get her. On the other hand, I don't know if this is her style and it could very well go up on the website and going to a more loved and appreciated home. I'll post a picture of this when I get a chance.

Bad day with the spinning wheel. Spinning wheel did not want to spin counterclockwise and I was unable to ply my yarn. Boo!

I'm thinking of knitting up knee highs with some Lisa Souza Sock! Yarn in Mars Quake. I love love LOVE that color way. The reds and oranges and the black. I think it's because I'm an Aries, taking after Aries (for the Greeks), also known as Mars to the Romans, the god of War. Aries are fiery and energetic and full of passion. Hey, I need a refill on my energy pills here! I think this would be toe up socks knit in all stockinette. I'd love to do some sort of lace pattern but I think the lace and the colors would cancel each other out. That would suck. If I do this, I would need to order another skein.

I started balling up the Ruby red Lisa Souza mohair for Wing-o-the-Moth. It looks like it may not be lace weight mohair so I'm thinking that one just needs 900-1000 yards to make this, and if it's a bigger gauge, I'll end up with a bigger shawl. I would prefer to go bigger in size than smaller so it will work.

Well, time to go work on flower pot things.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Projects, projects, everywhere projects

This should be the "I spent a lot of money, part 2" post, but I REALLY don't want to think about that right now. What do I have on the needles right now? I did finish the Somewhat Cowl...

  • Rowan Anna socks - must turn heel on second sock and complete foot

  • Hopeful - but I think I'm ripping this out. I don't know what I'm doing with the yarn

  • Tubey - some more knitting and I could be done. Maybe I'll bring this on the plane with me, in case I need a warm sweater on my trip. It would be the stupid knitting I was looking for

  • Charlotte's Web

I bought a ridiculous amount of yarn this weekend that could keep me occupied through 2007 and maybe beyond. I certainly have enough laceweight to complete 1 lace shawl per month through December 2007. So, what would I consider to be "on queue"?

  • Frost Flowers shawl in the Persian Red Tencil I bought at VA Fiber Festival

  • Snow Shawl

  • 2 Wings of the Month shawl - 1 in the backordered Doceur et Soie for my pregnant officemate Svitlana, and 1 for myself in shades for Red from Lisa Souza mohair

  • at least 2 triangle shawls, and some additional number of triangle or square shawls.

  • A pair of toe up socks using Socks That Rock in Puck's Mischief and I'm just going to knit until I run out of yarn.

  • An additional 4 pairs of socks

  • Simple Knitted Bodice in a long sleeve in Silky Tweed and maybe an additional scarf

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I spent a lot of money - Stitches East - Part 1

Stitches East, market preview.
Amber and I went up to the market preview since we're both registered for classes. First stop, Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Socks that Rock. First, I got some sock yarn:
The colors from left to right are: Puck's Mischief, Puck's Mischief, Harlotty, Purple Rain, Scottish Highlands, Rolling Stone. I got 2 skeins of the Puck's Mischief with the thought in mind that I'd make toe up socks and see how far up my leg they would go. That's 360 yards per skein of the light weight.

Then, we found the bags of fluff that they have, died in the color ways. The bags come with instructions to spin your own fluff to the specifications of the Socks That Rock yarns:


Then we kept walking and we got copies of Victorian Lace Today signed by the author. I have been waiting for this book to come out not only because of the lace patterns I've been admiring in there but because of the photographs. The pictures were set on the estates used in my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice: The BBC filming with Colin Firth.

After that we met Lily Chin, who is a well published designer and one of the fastest crocheters in the world. Another book signing.

Then we made our way to Lisa Souza who was made famous by Lime N Violet the podcast.

While there, I picked up 3 skeins of El Dorado in the Olive Tones color way to make a nice little shrug. El Dorado is a 70% Mohair, 30% silk mix. yum.

After that, we wandered around some more. I think we were both pretty tired at this point. I saw some lace kits I plan on going back and getting this weekend. We also found some cute hedgehog and a knitted squirrel at Yarn Barn. For tonight, I leave you with a gratuitous picture of yarn and fluff:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Awake for once

It's the first night since the marathon since I've been up past 10. I'm a little behind on the pictures.
Amber got me some spinnable fluff as a congrats you finished the marathon present. I need a picture of that. I also got some blue spinnable fluff from ebay. Need a picture of that too. I also (finally) finished the Somewhat Cowl. I need to block it and then take a finished picture. There are some "I still need to sew in ends" pictures but I'm going to wait until I'm finished. I've turned the heel on the second Anna sock. I've also got 4 Swarovski pearl necklaces to string up and a blue cabochon necklace to finish. I think I"m going to give my cousing the blue cab. I'm leaving in less than 2 weeks. Now that I've regained my energy, I need to stop sleeping so that I can finish all of this stuff. Plus, there has been some upheaval at work in the last couple of days so I've reprioritized and trying to get everything done and all the information I need before I leave on my trip. Yeah, cryptic, but I've been told that some people I work with check my blog to see if there's a picture of me, and they've been on holiday and I don't think they've been told of the news yet.
I knew I'd be working myself to death before I left. At least I don't have a marathon in the upcoming future to train for.

Speaking of which, I have started looking at marathons to do for next year. I mean, imagine what I could do if I trained properly! One is the New Yorkmarathon, but that's a lottery system since I can't run fast enough to qualify for a guaranteed entry. Another is the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon up in Ankorage, Alaska. You start running at midnight. So I'll worry about that stuff after I get back. Don't think I'll get back into a regular training pattern til January anyways.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I finished! And I'm alive!

And I finished on my own 2 feet! I was going to bring a disposable camera but I left it at home. Instead, I pulled out the trusty cell phone and took pictures at various mile markers. Now, we get to relive that exeperience here, while I'm lying motionless on my bed. Here's the course map in pdf format. Warning that it takes a while to load.
My actual thoughts in bold.

Here we are before the start. Reshma on the left, me on the right. Don't we look clean and not sweaty? Our start actually got delayed because after the first wave left, there was some "security" issue that had to be cleared up

While approaching mile 1: mmm...Chipotle. Hey Starbucks. The office is just 2 blocks up, I could go use the bathroom there

03-mile2Mile 2 up Lee Highway. This hill was a lot bigger than I had expected. The pack was still thinning out here. I didn't get to take a picture in Rosslyn cuz it was just too crowded.
04-mile3Spout Run, as we're headed to GW Parkway and the Key Bridge. Lots of wooded areas. Guys are lucky that they can just run off to the side and shield themselves if nature calls. Not so easy for women.
05-mile4Grr...hill. Almost into Georgetown. Almost into Georgetown where there are oranges.
06-mile5Georgetown and Mile 5. Where are those oranges???
07-mile6Need to take the long sleeves off. This is a good place. Must also pay attention to side of road for a hidden wooded area to use the facilities.
08-mile7Still in woods. Still no good places to run off into nature
09-mile8This means we're almost out of Rock Creek Park, right? Really must find some place to go because I can't go on the Mall
10-mile9This area had potential...some wooded area by the river. Yes, I went

So, I didn't take any pictures on the Mall cuz I was tired then. However, between miles 12 and 13, the high school marching bad was playing Rock 'n Roll part 2, so while most people are yelling "Hey!", I was yelling (and pointing) and doing the Cornell hockey version of: "da da da SIEVE! dada dada da da da da SIEVE! WE'RE GONNA BEAT THE HELL OUTTA YOU. F'em up! F'em up! Go CU! " That pepped me up. So around the mall and down Independence and back towards the Tidal Basin. My leg started to cramp up bit just before mile 15.

11-mile16Welcome to Hell

Hain's Point and East Potomac Park is really awful because there really isn't much there. I had been running 2 lamp post lengths and walking 2 lamp post lengths. At mile 18 is the 'tortured look' of the Awakening. As many point out, it's appropriately fitting. It was sometime after this that my leg cramped up again after a little bit of running and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to finish. I decided that if I walked the rest of the way, I should be okay. I just kept moving, wasn't hard, legs were on autopilot at a brisk pace. They were also telling us that if we kept moving, we'd make it across the bridge before it was opened up to traffic. Now the goal was "Beat the Bridge". I was very tempting to stop at the medical tent and just stop. I think that was when I hit the wall. I also put my long sleeve back on just before exiting East Potomac Park. It was getting cold.

13-mile21Beat the Bridge, baby! This was the other side, on Virginia soil. I'm almost there and the first checkpoint is passed and if I can keep walking, I can finish. No Recovery Bus for me!
14-mile23Where are those Jelly Belly Sports Beans? Are they all out? Crystal City is so evil to be floating the smell of BBQ.
15-mile25mmm...Five Guys. It's just up the hill from the finish. mmm...grease...I want a little cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoe, fried onions, sauteed mushrooms. I can just smell that grease
16-mile26Mile 26. F-ing 2 tenths of a mile up a f-ing hill. I knew this was coming but still.
17-endI'M DONE! I'M DONE!

Post race, we stopped in the office to use the bathroom and went to Five Guys. I forgot to get ketchup and mustard. My legs are starting to stiffen up, but I'm alive. Supposedly, I finished 6 hours, 32 minutes and 42 seconds. And here's the "Don't try this at home" part. All summer, the most I had run was 20K, which is about 12.4 miles. I was trying not to do this whole "If I've done half the distance, the other half wouldn't be that hard" deal like I did last year with the VA Beach Rock N Roll Half marathon. Somehow, though, it did work out that way.