a dillydallyknitter: February 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

D is for Disneyland!

D is for Disneyland last December:

My sister, mother and I made a girl's trip to Disneyland last December and had a great time. I posted this photo today because Disneyland makes me happy and today in my corner of the world, D is for dark, damp, driving, depressing rain dampening my day:

Dark clouds trying to blocking my sun!

An Angel watches over New Orleans Square at Disneyland--where everyday is Mardi Gras!

BTW, one of my favorite local radio stations has been playing some cool music in a tribute to the "Spirit of New Orleans" and if you make a donation to the New Orleans Chapter of Habitat for Humanity they'll send you a CD.

Theme song(s) of the week:
"Mardi Gras in New Orleans" by Professor Longhair, natch
"I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow because breaking up AND having to fight breast cancer sucks.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Another Gold Medal for Team Knitty!!

During her final performance an the Palavela Knitting Arena Cpurl didn't throw in any triple axel combinations but managed to hold on and knit a clean program tonight and earned a Gold Medal for Team Knittyboard. Setting her sights on the 2010 Games in Vancouver she plans on training with Team Norway and Team Fair Isle and vows to knit a Nordic Combined.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Homegirl Suffers Setback in Knitting Olympics

Kitty covers her face in horror at the moment our Knitting Olympian discovers that, due to a gross mathematical error, the sleeves she was working on in tandem would fit an orangutan. Leaving her with no choice but to rip them out back to the ribs, our Olympian had to start over but remains determined to finish her sweater by the Closing Ceremony.

In a related incident, the world's largest dust bunny escaped from behind the sofa and made a get-away attempt down the hallway. "I didn't think she'd notice. There are so many of us running around ever since the Olympics started." said the dust bunny on the way to the garbage can.

Undaunted, our Knitty Olympian continues to ignore the world around her and continues knitting....

Note to cats: Was this really necessary?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Olympic Knitting Progress....Day 10

I'm entering the final laps of the Knitting Olympics! Last night, while watching the apparently dangerous world of Ice Dancing, I finished the body of the sweater. I'm 1/2 way through one sleeve and about 3/4 through the other.

Earlier in the day, Cary watched a look-back viewing of the great Torvill and Dean's "Bolero" performance at the 1984 Olympics. There's a show on the American USA Network hosted by Mary Carillo called "Olympic Ice" that offers a fun and somewhat irreverent look "behind the scenes" at Olympic Ice Skating.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Secret Pal Goodness!!

After two days of yarn overload I didn't think I could take anymore but it turns out that, if yarn indulgence was an Olympic Sport, I be in the Super-G. This afternoon, after waking up from a yarn coma this afternoon I shuffled out to check the mail box and found...a package from my Secret Pal!! All the way from the UK!

If SP packages have a theme, this one would be "luxury". My SP wrote me a lovely note and included: a yummy bar of chocolate (which will be gone by morning), some pretty, pretty red & white handmade stitch markers, a cute little bar of "wool fat" soap, toys for the kitties (I can hear Mika batting one around downstairs as I type this), two packages of kitty treats (I was out of the room for FIVE minutes and came back to discover little kitty teeth marks in one of them), a copy of the One-Skein Wonder pattern...and....I must pause for a moment and compose myself:

2 balls of cashmere yarn and a skein of silk yarn. Let me repeat that: CASHMERE. AND. SILK. Cashmere in a luscious red colourway and silk in a candy-licious cherry, blue, brown, green, yellow colourway for the silk.

I'm swooning. I'm not sure if the silk yarn soaked in the scent of the wool soap on the way over or it's meant to smell this way, but it smells wonderful. I keep putting it up to my face and taking deep breaths. It's like yarn-a-romatherapy.

Kitties love cat treats!

I don't know who my SP is but I know (assume) that s/he lives in the UK and is wonderfully generous, thoughtful and kind! Thank you!!!

D is for Depraved...D is for Decadence...And D is for the Day I blew my budget at Stitches West

I survived my first Stitches West but I'm not sure my Visa did. The yarns for sale at the Stitches Market were amazing but I $pent the most time at the booths featuring unique hand dyed or painted fibers. My favorites were Brooks Farm Yarn, Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, Abbey Yarns and La Lana Wools. I didn't purchase any La Lana as my yarn budget was already blown to smithereens but I can see why their yarn is legendary. Here are some yarn shots of what I walked away with.

First up: Blackwater Abbey Yarns from Aurora, Colorado:

A 2-ply worsted weight in a deep purple colourway. I simply HAD to buy from this booth as the proprietoress looked me over and exclaimed, "Oh, you MUST be a size SMALL!" I plan on using this to make my first Aran sweater.

Next up: Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm from Norwich, Vermont

I bought one skein (275 yards) of a 50-50 merino silk + 1 skein of matching 100% silk in a gorgeous blue-purple colourway AND a yummy turquoise 50-50 silk/merino that comes in 1,375 yard skein! This is a booth where it pays to get at early in the games, as each of these 1,375 skeins of yarn is unique and get snapped up quickly.

Finally, my favorite booth at the whole show: Brooks Farm Yarns from Lancaster, Texas. People were just ooohing and ahhing over the beautiful rich colourways they had on display.

I bought 2,500 yards of, sigh, a GORGEOUS Deep Red 100% kid mohair that is to dye for and one skein of their duet mohair-wool blend that I fished out of a Sale bucket.

The show is still open through to Sunday but I'm broke and tired and I've heard the crowds are vicious. Plus, I've got some serious Knitting Olympics to catch up on!!

Theme song of the weekend: "Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne
Trouble, because I got into a lot $$ at the yarn market but mostly because I love this guy's voice.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Knitting Olympics, a Nice RAK and Stitches

So, I'm one of 4,000 knitters worldwide in the Knitting Olympics (click on the button on the right hand side if you'd like details). We cast on during the Opening Ceremonies and knit like mad until the closing ceremonies. I'm making a sweater--actually this first sweater for me. Well, I did make the Einstein but this is the first pullover sweater.

This was the sweater after the weekend and here it is as of last night. I think I'm making good progress. It's just a plain stockinette with a turtle neck that I made up on Sweater Wizard. While a challenge for me in my novice Olympics, it's not so much for more advanced knitters. There's some amazing stuff being knit right now! But that's what's cool about this event--each is challenged according to her/his level.

Last week, I received a wonderful RAK (Random Act of Kindess) in the mail from Ali, who is one of the nicest people on the Knittyboard. I wasn't expecting it so it was a wonderful treat.

She sent me two hanks of color-your-own merino wool + some Kool-Aid. I can't wait to try it!!

Finally, I'm about to jump in the shower and then head over to Stitches West, which is a huge knitting and fiber arts exhibition (eeee!). I'm pretty excited as every knitter I have met over the past year gushes about Stitches and how it's a Knitters nirvana. I just hope I don't spend too much money.

Oh, a special Shout Out to my sister, who sent me some emergency replacement iPod earbuds so I can listen to the Pod once again.

Finally, my theme song of the week is: "Beautiful Day" by U2 because the past week and a half has just been gorgeous around here. I guess we're going to get some chilly/rainy weather soon (ok, ok, chilly for California) so enjoy it while you can!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cats Vandalize Owner's Home

"How Could They Do This To Me After All I've Done For Them?!" sobs crazy cat lady.

A Northern Californian woman is contemplating her options after surviving 24 hours of kitty vandalism in her suburban home. Waking to find Tupperware strewn across the kitchen floor, the frazzled homeowner soon discovered someone had chewed through her dried (and somewhat disgusting) diet breakfast meal.

Later that afternoon, she discovered kitty grass carelessly dumped on the carpet and managed to snap a photo of one of the perpetrators in action. Thinking the worst was behind her, she returned to her home office to find that her iPod earbud wire had been chewed through.

Choking back tears, the Homeowner said, “I just don’t know what to do....they seemed so innocent when I found them at the Shelter. I just thought if I gave them a good home, they’d put their juvenile delinquent days behind them.”

Neither kitty suspect returned our calls.

In an unrelated incident, our DillyDallying Knitter finished her Einstein coat. Made from 100% Icelandic wool, she finished it just in time to wear it…during a week of record warmth.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

C is for Coffee

I loves me my morning coffee....Especially Peet's coffee...Specifically Peet's Sumatra....

I'm not a nice person without my morning cup of coffee. Ask my sister--She'll swear my head rotates and Exorcist sounds come out of my mouth when I run out of coffee.

But, I bought a pound of coffee this week so the world is safe.

Knitting News: I went to TWO knitting stores yesterday in search of gifts for my Knitty SP and found a few things I hope she'll like.

BTW, the soft blue glow in the upper left hand corner of the coffee photo is the light reflecting off my KnitPicks Decadence Superfine Alpaca Twilight Blue yarn sitting on my Mama Bear yarn swift.

As part of my training for the upcoming Knitting Olympics, I wound my skeins of yarn into balls. I'm making the Abigail sweater from KnitPicks . It's only my second sweater so I think it will be challenging enough because we only have 16 days to complete our "events".

Theme Song of the week: A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)