I’m back from what I really thought would be the weekend from hell. My mother ran the Danskin Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie this weekend. It was my race last year. I had drummed up a bunch of women who were interested in the race and they all dropped out – EVERY ONE!! So, my mother got on the bandwagon and started training last October. She took swimming lessons. She doesn’t like to get her face wet – even in the shower, so this was a really big step for her.

Then I had surgery in February and pretty much stopped doing anything. Mom, never the quitter, decided she was going to do the race anyway and so I signed on as moral support. Even though it killed me that I couldn’t do the race. Anyway, I survived and was there at every start and stop during the race. When she came out of the water – that was me shouting. Then when she made it through her first transition, I was there with the camera, and shouting. Saw her coming out of the race start and I told her she looked good (my throat hurt from all the shouting at this point). She finished in 1:53:42 – pretty damn good for a 61-year-young (that’s for you mom) woman with asthma and arthritis.

Soooo, because we were in Wisconsin (all the places in Pleasant Prairie were full) a quick check of the phone book came up with Barbara’s on Main in Racine. What a lovely shop! We got lost on our way in and I called Barbara. She was a very pleasant woman who gave me directions on the spot (good ones too) and were at her doorstep in less than 5 minutes. Here’s one of the things I bought

It’s Aurora Melange by Karabella Yarns. I’m an orange freak and I fell in love with this as soon as I saw it. It’s 100% extrafine merino and that swatch is 36 stitches on US 7 and it’s about 5 inches wide. I only bought 1 skein (in addition to a skein of 100% rayon from Nepal and 2 skeins of a beautiful forest green Brown Sheep Handpaint Originals). I really wanted more, but as I have a to do list as long as my arm I couldn’t justify more. If you’re in Racine, stop by Barbara’s. She’s making plans to move very soon, but not that far away from the shop she’s in now. A small shop, but she had lovely, lovely yarns. A personal bonus was that she was really nice! A lot of yarn shop owners have cool stores, but if they’re not in it for the people factor – I don’t consider the store a nice one.

Now, if you know me, you’ll wonder why personal service is so important (if I could get away with it, I’d live in a cave with nothing more than a computer for company). I think if you’re going to be the proprietor of a store, you should at least have the temperament to be nice to people. I will not shop in a place with the greatest yarn if I don’t feel welcome for anything but my money. At least make the attempt!

By the way, my order from Woodland Woolworks came. I petted the skeins for a good long time last night. I’ll have to snag the camera and take a picture. I made some wonderful color choices just by talking to the people on the phone. (See another extremely nice group of people.) Lucky, lucky me!!!

Finally, the fellow socks are done. Here are Mark’s…

The photo doesn’t really show the beauty of the yarn. The base color is black and the loveliness of the yarn is in the subtlely of the purple and green bits that contrast with it. It’s really more than he deserves. Am now working on the socks I promised my Aunt Brenda for her birthday. I think I’m tired of working on socks. It’s time to start something new.

Had lunch with Jillian yesterday. She turned me on to “Chunky cherry chicken salad” from a local deli. So I stopped there on the way to her house to pick up sandwiches and cookies. She showed off her new Incredible Sweater Machine. She finished the back of a baby sweater in the time it took me to leave work, pick up lunch, and demonstrate the thing to me (in total about 25 minutes). She did her best siren song to convince me to buy one too (and I just might – 1/2 off? what a deal!). The best part (aside from the charming Isobel) was that I unloaded a bunch of crap about work and she sympathized and told me I was right and I went back to work feeling good about the day.

Got home and called Woodland Woolworks. They sent me a postcard letting me know that some of my order is backordered – they’ll ship in 3-4 weeks!!! I figured it was the color cards. (Sort of – apparently the Jamieson’s color cards are all gone and they’re trying to find someone to make more.) Anyway, as it turns out, some of the yarn I ordered is out of stock. I switched the colors to something they had instock and they’re shipping it out. Not a moment too soon.

My boy Lance is holding his own in the Tour. He is currently in 12th place after Stage 3. The mountain stages are coming up and he will shine.

I’m about to make a confession here. I’ll admit to being a geek – my children call me a knitting geek, my husband calls me a techno-geek. I have another level of geekiness going this week. I can barely sit still and here’s why…

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France. The race starts on Saturday and I’m such a geek, I’m planning my fiber projects around the next 3 weeks. Last year, I spun 1.5 pounds of lovely yellow/green wool. I called it (what else?) Le Tour Fil. I’m trying to decide if I should spin again this year or knit something with the yarn I spun last year. The great thing is that we watch the race on OLN and the sportscasters are so good that I don’t have to always be looking at the TV (which is good, because I sometimes have to pay attention to that drafting zone).

So, I’m getting ready for 3 weeks of late nights and very little sleep all for the purpose of watching Lance Armstrong and the Blue Train win their fifth in a row. Go yo-yo Lance!!!

I was at my parents’ house this weekend. Have I mentioned before that my mother makes me crazy? She’s at the age now, where she can’t remember things (61). In reality, she’s always forgotten things, but never this bad. Lately she’s been bitching to my sister about what an awful daughter I am – is it too late for me to be adopted by someone else?

I heard that died on Sunday. It made me very sad. The first movie I remember seeing her in was The Philadelphia Story. What a great flick – what a great woman.

I’m working on my last pair of Mountain Colors socks – still. It’s been so hot (not that I’m complaining) that I haven’t felt like touching anything to do with fibers, even with the air conditioning going. I also seamed up the Kandinsky Kimono. I should know by now that when a pattern says to “measure down xx inches and place a marker” that I won’t like the width of the armseye. I put the thing on, and it’s bunchy around my upper arm. Did I check this before weaving ends in? Of course not. So now the sweater is pouting in the corner while I screw up my courage to pull out the seams (did I mention the yarn is black?).

In other news, I want to wear this sweater to my 20th high school reunion. Yes, it’s true, I was suckered in by the cool pamphlets and have sent in my check to attend the “cool” dinner. Okay the pamphlet wasn’t really that cool – they expect me to dress like I did in high school…

ummmm, riiiiight.