Alas, now it’s from a sprained hand & wrist. (Typing one-handed is no fun.)

The job hunt continues, though slowed by my inability to type normally. More pleasantly, spring is here, and there are now flowers outside.




(Actually, the croci are all done for the season.)

More later, when I can type again.

Whee, creative post titles.  Heh.  Well, I’m still in Vermont, still looking for work, still spending most of the rest of my time on fiber stuff.

I have done a bit more travelling, including the not-so-fun (clearing out the apartment that had been my grandmother’s) and the fun (visiting yarnfriends).  I turned 30 two weeks ago and spent the following weekend back in the NYC metro area, going to museums and generally hanging out with friends (and knitting a lot).

I took a fair number of pictures in the newly-reopened Islamic art galleries at the Met, where we spent a good chunk of that Saturday.  These are a few of my favorites (objects more than photos):



interesting texture


And I mentioned knitting! It looks as though I haven’t posted earlier progress pics of this shawl, but I started a Desdemona just before I left for my trip to Europe. After a few months of feeling like I was close to finishing the center square, I finally did, and I picked up the 400+ stitches for the border. I also learned that picking up stitches is hard when there’s only one stitch between the edge and the first YO–I was a few stitches off count for the other three sides (-2, +5, -2), but I had such trouble figuring out where to pick up stitches for a scant two stitches per three rows that I had 15 stitches too many on that last side. Next time, I’ll make sure I have an extra selvedge stitch.

Here’s what it looks like now:


It’s scrunched up because it’s too small for the needle (I’m doing Magic Loop for now), but it should be plenty big by the time I’m done.

I’ve also started a really simple shawl with some spindle-spun singles. I’d tried this yarn in the Prairie Rose Lace Shawl last spring and thought it was too busy, so the new project is a stockinette shawl with probably a feather-and-fan border. (If not that, some other lace pattern that works well with stripes.) I am quite fond of the way the striping is working so far:



And I’m nearly done spinning my Spring Mix combo lot, so I’ll try to get a group photo of that by this time next week.

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at the orchard yesterday, originally uploaded by enting.

One of this past week’s excursions was to a local orchard, where we picked blackberries, bought peaches and apples, and said hello to the goats. Knitting update to follow.


I have stuff to post from San Diego, but I’m off to NYC for Thanksgiving. Here, then, is a photo from/of one thing (among many) for which I am thankful: the South Street bridge has reopened, so my route home is simpler and enough shorter that it’s reasonable to walk in nice weather. This photo is from two weeks ago, the first week the bridge was open again.


I’ve been really busy and stressed lately, and either frustrated with and depressed by work or blocking it out and thinking of other stuff, but I am still here and managing okay. For certain values of “okay”, anyway.

My walk to work or home from the bus isn’t nearly as gardeny as it used to be. I do walk through one garden, but I’ve been doing an amazing job of only having the camera handy when the light is all wrong for the photos I’d otherwise like to take. So tonight’s chrysanthemum photo is an old one.

I would like to have some sort of nice, coherent thing to say other than “yes, I’m still here, really”, but I need to try to get some more work done tonight. Maybe I’ll get some good knitting photos when I finally finish the blossom chart on Echo Flowers.

Oh, wait! I have new knitting! (Not a great photo, though.)


It’s a bit bigger than that now, but it still reminds me of Vermont (in outline). It’s a Hedgerows Shawlette from my Field of Screams handspun, begun on Saturday to be concert-knitting for a concert we ended up not attending.

And, with that, it’s back to work for me.

• I was on vacation last week. I visited my parents and had basically the most slothful vacation ever. It was great.




(The cosmos and sunflower were cut flowers from the farm; the copper beech is in my parents’ backyard.)

• I did, in fact, take my sunflower shawl with me, in case the airport/airplane was cold. They weren’t–in fact, they were rather warm–but it got chilly in the evenings. I love Vermont summers. (I did not, however, remember to take a better photo. And then I left it there.)

• I packed two knitting projects and three spinning projects, only to knit less than in a normal week. I made enough progress on the silk plying to have finished it yesterday, though…Photos soon.

• Mel really missed me. So much that 8 hours of my company on Sunday wasn’t enough to keep him from waking me up several times on Monday morning, something he only really does when he wants to play.

• Echo Flowers continues to grow, and I’ve gotten pretty bored with the blossom pattern. I now really dislike the 3-into-9 stitch, but I have another 4 or 5 repeats to knit before I switch to the border pattern.


• That means that the past week’s evening knitting time has gone to recharting the border pattern for my Chai Phoenix shawl and winding a plying ball from my Grim singles.

• Except that some of it went to carding: I took a couple of club fibers from Spunky Eclectic and combined the red/pink/brown bits into 154g of batts.


• Half of those batts somehow totally filled a bobbin on my Lendrum (not really packed tightly, but still…).


• And here’s another sunflower, from my parents’ backyard, just because.


Not that I often do think of clever titles…

Part I: Spinning Update (with mention of knitting)

I spent a fair chunk of yesterday afternoon plying smallish bits, and I’ve spent much of my at-home spinning time on plying, so I have a good-sized pile of yarn to wash tonight:


I’ve also got a lot more plying to do–silk, merino/silk blends, merino/silk with cashmere/silk unless I change my mind soon, all those orangey AbbyBatts (hmm, still have to wind those, too), and some oatmeal BFL:


I’m also nearly done with the first half of the Blaze batts (Southern Cross Fibre) that a very nice person gave away at the spinning retreat last month; they’ve been my wandering-around spindle project. Knitting-wise, I’m substantially closer to finishing the sample knitting project I’ve been working on since I finished Springtime Bandit. And I think I’ve picked a project for my Good Fortune yarn. Hey, I don’t think I put a good picture of it here, so maybe I should do that now.


Part II: Friday evening

Friday evening was great. Also highly unusual for me. (I tend to be tired on Fridays and just want to chill with Mel and maybe some knitting or spinning.) Instead, I used my postponed ticket from February to see Sweet Honey in the Rock. They were, as always, amazing–they’re on my fairly short list of Performers To See Whenever Possible, along with Bobby McFerrin, Anonymous 4, Pilobilus, and Momix. And many thanks to the sound-engineer types at the Kimmel Center on Friday, whether it was the guy with Sweet Honey or local staff–I didn’t need my earplugs. It got a little close during a couple of songs, but it is so nice to be able to hear the occasional (excellent) concert without earplugs…and without pain, too.

And then I went off to a book-swap-and-games party that wound up also including some shape-note singing, so I got to sing, and I came home with a few books, and I got to see several people I hadn’t hung out with in months. (I even called a West Coast friend on my way home, so I got to talk with her for the first time in months, too. Very good evening, even though I wound up staying up freakishly late for not being stuck in a book.)

Part III: Maryland Sheep & Wool

I just went for Sunday this year, since I have too much stuff going on in Philly (both work and housework and prep for moving next month–gah!) to spend more time away, but I had a lovely day of it. K. picked me up at 7:45, with her daughters; I got to knit in the car while she drove, which worked out nicely for me. I have a lot of fiber, and this whole moving thing means I’m in a trying to get rid of stuff phase. So…I bought 6 ounces of fiber (one of which is in that picture at the top), got my travelling Bossie fixed, bought a spindle for Min, and took a bunch of pictures of sheep. (And hung out with excellent fiber people, which is always fun.)

romney lambs & mom


scottish blackface

That poor Scottish Blackface sheep was really, really not enjoying the weather. (I wasn’t, either, and I wasn’t wearing wool…)

All righty! Mostly caught up! This is nice.

Your card is the first one I got. I was home from college, sorting through the huge pile of credit card offers that was typical ten years ago. First, I tossed all the ones with promotions like “cash back, if you carry a balance”. Then I picked your offer because the card design was prettiest.

I’ve been generally happy with you. You keep offering extra (paid) services, but I figure most cards do that, and I never sign up for them. You have a more customer-friendly online-payment setup than the other card I use–I like that you credit online payments on the day of payment rather than three days later.

However! I just got a notice from you, congratulating me on being upgraded to a rewards card, as “[y]our way of rewarding [me] for being such a valued customer”. This upgrade comes with a $49 annual fee, assessed “in part on the limited use of [my] account”. You’re my primary credit card. My other card is a rewards card, with no fee, but I find their delay-of-payment thing sufficiently underhanded that I don’t use it as much. I’m also led to wonder what makes me “such a valued customer” if you think my use of your card is “limited”. And those weren’t totally separate comments, on different fliers: you said I was a valued customer who doesn’t use her card enough on the same piece of paper.

I’ve called to opt out of the upgrade. It only took a couple of minutes, once I reached a person. For now, at least, I’ll keep using your card as my primary shopping device, if for no other reason than that I keep forgetting the security code for my other card. But pull that kind of trick a few more times, and I’ll cancel your card.


So….I’ve continued to spin kind of a lot.

Superwash batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in Gold Dust Woman and Jester/Chestnut (with Mel because someone on Ravelry complained that GDW wasn’t as nice without him).

Superwash top from Enchanted Knoll Farm, in Fawkes (I will need more of this colorway.)

Polwarth from Southern Cross Fibre, in the January club colorway Pandora. I’m much happier with this round of thick-and-thin, and I’m considering making a scarf with the 2ply as warp and the thick-and-thin as weft.

sumac plying ball
And, on Saturday, I finished (the singles of) this sorta long-term spindle project (2oz of merino/bamboo in Sumac, from Spunky Eclectic), which is now ready to ply (on the wheel, as soon as I finish plying that plying ball I showed last time, and maybe a couple of smallish batts that are also waiting to be plied).

The bouquet I bought last Wednesday is still pretty and making me smile to see it.

And I’ve continued to knit some on Revontuli, because it’s really good socializing-knitting. But I’ve been wanting to knit on something that grows a little faster than Revontuli but which I’m not making up (like the chai/phoenix shawl) or modifying (like the Hedgerow mitts). Just for fun. So I cast on another shawl.
springtime bandit
This is Springtime Bandit, in Acero from Brooks Farm, which I think I bought a year and a half ago at Rhinebeck. I cast on and got through the setup chart last night. As long as the wavy edge blocks out, I think I’ll really like it.  And I’ll at least kinda like it anyway.  It’s been lovely to see how much color variation is in that yarn–I’d totally forgotten.

Whew! I had intended to post a spinning update (at least) over the weekend, but I was out and about a whole lot, and the weekend disappeared. It was one of those weekends where the outline of the original plan can be recognized in what actually happened, but only just… There was some science, I got to see some people I haven’t seen much at all lately and meet some new people, and I did a lot of spinning in friends’ living rooms, at bus stops, and on buses, plus a fair bit of walking (in flipflops, which aren’t quite my favorite shoes for more than my standard just-over-two-miles-per-day).

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Great Stash Spin-Up here, but a bunch of us on Ravelry are spinning a lot and chatting about yarn in preparation for this year’s fiber festival season. In that spirit, and because I will be moving again by the end of June and yarn takes up less space than fiber, I am trying to spin as much as possible. I’m also using this lovely opportunity to try some new spinning techniques, first of which is thick-and-thin singles.

mel inspects the fresh yarn
The front yarn here is organic merino in “Twilight”, from Spunky Eclectic. It came out more as thin-and-slightly-less-thin than thick-and-thin, but I think it’ll still make a pretty good scarf weft, and it was fun to spin. It’s 2.6 ounces, something like 300 yards.

The yarn on the bobbin and more obscured by the dear and darling cat (who wants to know why fluff is more interesting than he is) is Good Fortune, from Enchanted Knoll Farm. It actually showed up around the same time as the Twilight, but it took over a year to spin… Yes, with breaks, but the fact that it’s 1200+ yards of 2ply makes me feel better about that. (I am very excited to start knitting with it, at least as soon as I manage to skein the bobbinful and wash it all, but I really do need to finish the Chai Phoenix shawl before I start a third shawl…)

So, I finished that Girl Drink Drunk batt in a week, and thought for sure the Hibiscus batt would take a lot longer than a week because I wouldn’t be travelling and because it was something like 30% heavier….and then I finished it in a week, too.  And had to spin what was left of a merino/silk batt of mine that I’d lent out for aspinneration (and was going to take back anyway, the new spinner having gone home).  The yarn from my carding is on top of this picture; the four cops that everyone keeps telling me look like carrots are the four AbbyBatts I’ve been planning to combine for a lace shawl.


The left two are Orange Blossom (merino/silk with some firestar) and Hibiscus, spun last fall; the right two are the Girl Drink Drunk (wool/cashmere/bombyx/tussah) and Hibiscus (merino/silk) from the last two weeks.  When I finish the rest of the plying queue, I’ll wind these off and start plying them–hibiscus with not-hibiscus until I run out of not-hibiscus.

And spring continues!  The crocuses are just about done, now, but I found this really cheery patch of stripey crocuses (my favorites, really, though I prefer the yellow-and-burgundy to purple-and-white) on Saturday afternoon:


And this star magnolia on Saturday evening:

star magnolia in bloom

I bet the tulip magnolias are blooming by now, too, but I haven’t passed any of them since Saturday morning.  Lots of cherry trees are all pink, though!  And the forsythias are starting to leaf out.  It felt so springy on Saturday that I picked up some mint and had my first mint julep of the season that evening.

Maybe there’ll still be some cherry blossoms out tomorrow, when I can probably arrange to pass by a few on my way back to work from the bank.  (They’d better actually have tokens this time.)

I’m feeling sorta blah today, despite having “gone” “running” this morning and having had a very nice lunch. So I figured I’d post a cheery, sunlit picture of Mel being a weaving assistant last weekend.


I’ve only got fringe-twisting left on the stole/scarf thing.  And I’m about halfway done with my Olympic knitting project, though I’m nowhere near done with the plying.  Ah, well.

This week has been full both of things going wrong and of wonderful time spent with friends (even if some of that was because I said, “hey, I’ve been having a rotten day, can I come over for a while?”).  Today, there will be napping and cooking and maybe some more baking, to reassure myself that I can actually bake successfully.  (I remain unsure about why the vegan chocolate cake turned into a pudding cake, but it went over quite well anyway.)

Today is also beautiful and sunny, so I’m going to enjoy the sunlight in my kitchen and living room and make tomorrow the afternoon to spend in the microscope room.


No, that’s not contrition on Mel’s face, that’s fascination with a reflection on the floor.

And these are the fibery goodies I picked up from Josette on New Year’s Day:



The braid is bluefaced leicester in Natural Turquoise. Not really my usual colors these days, but I love it.

I somehow forgot it was Friday last Friday, and I’ve been running around like a madwoman in my attempts to get ready to go out of town, so my snow post is half a draft. But my car service (my parents, who are nice enough to drive past & pick me up on their way south) will be here in half an hour and I’m not quite ready. So, in case I’m away from the internet for a week, have a lovely belated Solstice. There should be lots of pictures and such next week.

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