Almost Here!!

Here’s the route for the race this year. I hope everyone is as excited as I am about the whole thing!

Seems to me with all the fur flying, we’re going to have one heck of a race. Wide open friends, wide open!

Language Weirdness

I made it to the Ann Arbor Knit-In on Tuesday night and think I remember it snowing the last time I was there. Time is flying so fast now, I’ll be moving at light speed when I’m 80. Lynne mentioned that she was garage saling over the weekend and saw, “One of those long, tube instruments from Australia.”

Everyone else said, “Didgeridoo?” Which is this:

I said, “Billabong?” Immediately after I said it, I thought, “WTF is a billabong?”

Then Lynne turned to me and said, “What IS a billabong?”

Being in polite company, I said, “Um, I’m not really sure.”

Now I know.

What I really want to know is this:
1. Do they really speak English in Australia?

2. What causes those weird connections in your brain to mis-fire and supply a completely wrong word to your tongue that you immediately have to spit out and .5 seconds later wonder if that really was your voice you heard?


“Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to reduce inequities and improve lives around the world”

First, I can’t imagine having that much money to be able to give away. I applaud Warren Buffet for giving his fortune to the Gates Foundation and trusting them to spend it to benefit the greatest number of people.

I wonder if the Gates Foundation is taking applications. How great would it be to be involved with giving away the largest philanthropic donation ever??

Monday, Monday

This is the shelving unit in my studio* that mostly holds fiber. The ceiling in this room is 20 feet. (I think – I just kept buying those plastic shelving units until it couldn’t go any higher.) It was a little overwhelming to try and find anything in all those boxes, but I persevered. Sassy helped me by holding boxes and filtering through some of them on her own. “Wow,” she said, “this is a lot of stuff. How are you ever going to …”

I stopped her right there. No need to head down that road.

*It’s actually a corner of our garage that Hub insulated, dry walled, and painted in order to house his own hobby paraphernalia. He graciously gave me half of the room for my own hobby storage when I threatened to take over the dining room.

Here’s the fiber that made the cut. The giant white skein is from Widdershin Woolworks. I’m quite certain I bought it at Maryland way back in 2000. Ms. Widdershin does not have an online presence, she only goes to a few shows a year and apparently Maryland is not one of them anymore. If you see her at a show, buy. It’s dreamy, soft fiber and I wish I had more than 2 oz. I came across an alpaca/silk blend of hers in the box with this skein and I tucked it carefully back to work on later.

The Chasing Rainbows skeins are the blue, green, and terra cotta bundles. Now that I see them in a photo instead of in the fiber, I’m thinking I should have taken a picture with them laid out so you could see the amazing variation in colors. The terra cotta looks one-toned and it’s definitely not. There’s green and red and yellow all mixed in – much lovlier than it appears.

The purple bump is from Ozark Carding. On closer inspection, this bump is mostly wool with silk noils thrown in. I may bump this off the Tour list and pick up some merino/silk that I dyed in my Lynne Vogel workshop last summer. I just need to find it now. (see above photo of the shelving unit)

In related news, I had sandals and beer with Jillian on Friday and we agreed to a dye date within the next couple of weeks. I have all the bottles saved up to mix the dye, now I just need to do it. Maybe if I finish spinning the Widdershin blend first, that will be the first in the dye pot. I also have a giant bump of pure merino roving that needs to be jazzed up – all the possibilities there!

Puppy P*or*n:
This is the sandbox that Hub made for our offspring many years ago. You can see from all the weeds that it doesn’t get much action. My niece Stella has come over in the past and upon seeing all the weeds, will go to other spots in our yard, pull up weeds, and “plant” them in the “box garden.” Anyway, the pup likes to dig there. She found this small bit of plastic in her manic digging and after growling at it, picked it up and shook her head to kill it. Then she tossed it aside and went back to digging. She’s a little too cute for her own good.

Can You Stand It??

All that is cuteness in a small puppy. It’s difficult to take a picture of her because she’s moving all the time … until she stops, drops, and snores – a bit like a 3-year-old. We’ve all been sleepless for the last 3-4 nights. Moving her cage into Little Big Man’s room seemed to help, she just wants to be able to lift up her head and see a body near her. Ready for the name? Dolly Varden.

My naming rule for pets is that it has to come from a book. We have Maisie from Horton Hatches the Egg, and Sophie, from Sophie’s Choice – yeah, I didn’t tell the 8-year-old who Sophie was, she just liked the name. Anyway, Dolly Varden was a character in a Charles Dickens novel called Barnaby Rudge – it’s also the name of a type of Alaskan salmon. Hub likes the way we managed to combine a few of our hobbies into a small dog.

Tour de Fleece
I’ve been thinking about what to spin during the tour. It hit me that I should pick a fiber blend and see what I have in the stash. I picked 50/50 wool/silk blend – how much could there be? As it turns out LOTS. So I decided on merino/silk and came out with 3 two oz dyed bundles from Chasing Rainbows, a 2 oz skein of white from Widdershin Woolworks, and a 1.8 bundle from Ozark Carding Mill. I’m still searching to see if there’s anymore of this blend in my stash. If there is, I’ll have to narrow the search parameters yet again.

Not a Puppy

She’s a Brittany Spaniel and she’s 7 weeks old tomorrow. We’re picking her up from the breeder on Sunday. Sassy is almost jumping out of her skin ready to smother this not a pup with smooches.

This is a full grown Brittany from Wikipedia. They’re very good tempered, extremely smart dogs. They also tend to be willful. Our 8-year-old Brittany will take it into her head that if she’s more than 25-feet away from you, she doesn’t have to listen to you calling her. She frequently disappears into the fields around our house. Then she’ll come back hanging her head and looking pathetic. Funny dogs.

Proof of Life

Jillian twisted my arm and forced me to sign up for Stitches Midwest. One of the classes I’m taking is Lining a la Chanel with Jean Frost. Is Trip-Trap a jacket? Maybe. I think it will do. Here’s the back. I love the purple scheme of the yarn, but I was worried about the turquoise and gold that line the blocks. They look smashing together. If I ever see her, I’m going to kiss Vivian Hoxbro on the mouth. It’s a gorgeous design and lots of fun to knit.

I’ve also been spinning. I think I bought this roving at Threadbear. (I’m in my blue phase.) It’s lovely stuff, beautifully prepared – my own prep consists of fluffing it up a bit and I’m spinning away.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of leaving the ball of roving on the couch. Apparently the cat decided that it was a nice napping spot. Here’s what she did to it. It better be salvageable, or I’ll be making me a cat-pelt pillow very soon.

Who can resist?

When Hub started talking about getting a puppy, I knew I was done for. I knew that I would lose any argument about why we don’t need to bring another living thing into our house. So, I just gave up and referred to the upcoming blessed event as “Not a puppy.” As in, “When can we go look at not a puppy?” Or, “We’re not getting a puppy, but are you thinking of names?” We went yesterday to look at them.

Does he look over the moon or what?