Guess we're going to have to wait til November to see that SAFF post, huh?
In the meantime, please get your YoYo fix by going to Turtlegirl's blog post and watching real live video of me being a jackass. (Yeah, I can't tell you how glad I am that I don't bother to tone it down when somewhat drunken people point cameras at me. Heheheh.)
Also in the meantime, I've thrown a couple more patterns into the sidebar. They're just generic top-down ribbed-cuff stockinette socks...I wrote one for fingering weight yarn and one for sport weight yarn, and each one is written for two sizes. The stockinette sock is my mindless/TV knitting, and I finally got them down on paper for the benefit of myself and others (thank you, Sock Workshop!)
Happy Halloween everybody! Yay! (And Jessi: Happy anniversary!! I love you!!!)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Guess we're going to have to wait til November to see that SAFF post, huh?
Posted by Alyson at 11:54 AM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
And thus ends festival season. Well, kind of. There's still the Orlando Needleworks thing, and I just heard about one in Destin, though I'm not sure when that is....but in any event.
SAFF was great. Successful, fun, nervewracking as hell, but filled with awesome people and fun events. (Would you believe that I didn't even MAKE IT to the Ravelry meet-up??!!) The workshops I taught were a resounding success, in that no one asked for a refund, I didn't throw up in a corner, and several people actually got a little sock out of it. (And it is SO FREAKING EXCITING to see people get jazzed about knitting and socks. When one of my workshoppers finished the heel turn and exclaimed, "SWEET!!", I almost leapt for joy. Actually, I might have actually done so.)
There will be much pictures and other stuff, but we just got back last night close to 1:00 a.m. and I'm fortunate to even be semi-upright. I just wanted to say hi. I missed you guys.
Oh, and I'd like to say "Go Sox!!" While I'm at it, let me share this little exchange between Travis and me yesterday morning:
Travis: So it was the World Series between the Red Sox and the Rockies, right?
Travis: Well, do you get it?
Travis: Sox. Rockies. Socks. Rocks. It was the SOCKS THAT ROCK WORLD SERIES!!
Me: Oh. Oh my God. Oh my God God. That's amazing. Oooh, I wonder if anyone has picked up on that yet. (Ed. Note: Stupid no-internet-no-blogines week.)
Travis: Blog it! And make sure you give me credit! I came up with that!
I can haz Travis. :-D
Posted by Alyson at 10:21 AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We have a contest situation to deal with, don't we? I picked up - ready? - only FOURTEEN items. (Thirteen came home with me, one was a little extra somethin'.) Three people guessed fourteen, so I did a random draw, and wouldn't you know it, PlazaJen won! (She of little faith!!) Congrats Jen - I'll be emailing you and sending out some sort of fabulous prize next week when I get back from SAFF!
There will be pictures of the swag eventually - I've not seen daylight hours long enough to get good photos! I'm going crazy staying late at work to put together stuff for the workshops. (I love my Mac, but it's just so much easier for me to write everything up in Word, which I don't have at home.)
I'm off to North Carolina tomorrow - I'll blog while there, if I can, but we'll have to see if I have time to breathe. (Seriously....I was up until 1:00 last night working on stuff for the workshop. Nothin' like waiting till the last possible second!)
Please pray for us - we have to vacate the house for the weekend completely, so both dogs and both cats are piling into the Prius with us, along with a whole bunch of stuff. This is going to be....something.
Posted by Alyson at 12:32 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Please forgive me....I know y'all want to see pictures, and I know I want to relax, snuggle up with Travis on the couch and watch Black Sheep (heheh...undead sheep) and doze off. So rather than blogging my 40-somethingodd photos, I'm just going to refer you to the Flickr set. I've captioned everything and stuff, so hopefully you'll find it almost as interesting as a blog. I'll probably blog some highlights eventually. It. Was. A. BLAST.
Check it out!
Posted by Alyson at 8:27 PM
Friday, October 19, 2007
I have to rhinebeck real quick so I can rhinebeck you what I'll be rhinebecking tomorrow at rhinebeck. I want you to be able to rhinebeck me, so I thought it would rhinebeck if I posted a rhinebeck of me as......
Wait. Let me....shake that off....
Okay. I have to post real quick so I can show you what I'll be wearing tomorrow at Rhinebeck. (Check....yes, that was right.) I want you to be able to find me, so I thought it would help if I posted a photo of me as I'll look, mostly.
If you won't be at Rhinebeck, I wanted to post real quick to show you my latest FO - finally!!
Green Gable is done! Huzzah! And it fits me so beautifully, and I love the colour, and I made the length just right, and it's not too super-big like my previous garment.
Travis likes it too. :-)
I know they're not great great photos - I took them with my camera's three-second timer, so there was a lot of hustling involved.
Green Gable Project Details:
Pattern: Green Gable from Zephyr
Yarn: Queensland Collection Uruguay DK (silk/alpaca/merino blend), five skeins
Needles: Size 6 (4 mm) Addi Lace Turbos 24" circular , Size 4 (3.5 mm) Addi Natura 24" circular, Size 4 (3.5 mm) Takumi bamboo DPNs
Start Date: June 4, 2007 (right after the wedding)
Finish Date: October 18, 2007 (significantly more than Phoebe's five days, but I'm thrilled just to have FINISHED an entire garment.)
Size/Modifications: Knit size medium, added length, and lengthened the ribbing at the sleeves and bottom a bit. I did the waist decreases, but didn't do increases after that, and I'm glad I didn't.
And it also likes quite good with my favourite Anthropologie sweater, which I had forgotten all about until I dug out the winter dry cleaning basket and took everything in to prepare for....well, so far, no cool weather. But in Rhinebeck, I can hope, right? So if it's chilly, I'll look like this:
I am wearing TWO wool sweaters in FLORIDA. Ugh. (These came off IMMEDIATELY after this picture.)
Have a great weekend!!
Posted by Alyson at 10:30 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Pssst: There's a cool update at Piddleloop's etsy shop. Cute bag sets, including ones with pink sheep - PINK SHEEP! - and Amy Butler, for all you freaks like me. There's one less Amy Butler bag in the collection than there used to be though. Sorry. :-)
Y'all all need to come to Orlando! (PS: Yes, "y'all all" is acceptable. This is still the South.)
I've had such a good time playing teatime with my yarnie friends from out of town! We met up with Valerie and her husband again for dinner on Tuesday night, and then I met up with Aimee last night for margaritas - I mean dinner - and MAN is it fun to meet people and be able to talk about yarn as much as I want!
On my way home from the restaurant last night, I realized that I forgot to take ANY pictures of all the good times (or the food) or of Aimee's awesome Tilted Duster that I begged her to bring along (or the margaritas) or of us looking like the hot dolls we are.
Oh wait, I did get one of those:
That's me on the right, and that's Aimee on the left. It's just something I like to do, you know, hang out with my friends, hold bras, look cute. All just a regular old Wednesday night. But how can we tell these hot chicks are knitters? Oh wait.
That's better. Now there's yarn. Thanks, Aimee! (Me, I'm still holding a bra. I gotta be me, ya know?)
Two days to Rhinebeck!!! YAAAAAY! (Enter the contest yet? I'm seeing some good guesses....you have until Saturday to enter!)
Oh, and I forgot - Rhinebeck! (Heh. No I didn't.)
If you're wanting to spot me, I'll be wearing this Green Gable sweater:
I know, I know. It's almost finished, I swear. I just haven't gotten a picture. I'll finish it tonight and take a shot of me wearing it, but in case you're not going to be blogvailable tomorrow, you have an idea. Also, probably jeans. Maybe a tan trenchcoat if it's rainy or chilly. Sorry - don't look for the wedding stockings. I have to keep those as pristine as possible for the knitwear competition at SAFF.
I'll hopefully not be wearing my eyeglasses, so don't be looking for those. New contacts came in. Oh, don't go by that photo of me holding a bra, posted above. That's, um, what I look like when I've just come from the gym. Yuck. As a reminder, I actually look like this:
I'm the one on the left, of course.
If you see me outside, I may be wearing big ridiculous sunglasses, like this:
I won't have that guy with me - sorry, this is a girls' weekend!
In a state of euphoria, I may look more like this:
Or if I run out of room in my totebags, I may look like this:
Or, if you have your hands on the last skein/braid/bump of something I want, I'll look like this:
I'll be at Rhinebeck, and the Morehouse afterparty, AND the Ravelry afterparty. Hunt me down!!
Posted by Alyson at 5:59 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I'm in a weird mood. I've been clucking classical music - just a minute - and now I can't think "Oooh, three contest wins!" without thinking of The Count from Sesame Street.
(See, this morning on NPR, the anchor was plugging the upcoming classical music program, which was focusing today on "Plucked Classics", which he stated he assumed was guitar classicals, as opposed to chicken classicals. And so now, thanks a lot Newsguy, I've been clucking the William Tell Overture all morning.)
So I won THREE contests recently, from Aija, Adelle, and now, as I just found out, from Aimee. And you know how I hate to leave the universe all out of whack like that - especially since two of those were charitable donations that turned into prizes. (I feel like I cheated the giving-spirit system somehow.) I should probably participate in the sort of thing I should fundraise for, instead of a random contest, but I'll need spare time to put that together, so we'll make that a goal for another day.
Let's have some really ridiculous contest instead. How about this: How many items will I buy at Rhinebeck? (I know, it's stupid, but I've got Rhinebeck on the brain. I was originally going to ask you to guess how much money I'd spend, but I may not want to confess that one. So don't guess in dollar amounts, 'cuz I'm not tellin'.)
I'll give you some hints and guidelines:
1. An "item" is one unit, in whatever way it makes the most sense. So, for example, a set of stitch markers is one item, but six skeins of the same yarn is six items. A kit, though, is one item. (So eight skeins of Fleece Artist merino? Eight items. One Fleece Artist jacket kit with fortyeleven pounds of yarn? One item.) If roving is sold in pre-measured bundles, they're each one item - if it's sold in bulk (i.e. merino: $16/pound) then however much I buy is one item.
2. I'm including non-yarn-related stuff too, and things I buy peripherally - so yummy handmade soaps, lotions, candles, or anything from the Morehouse Merino afterparty count too. (PS: Remember to print your coupons from Morehouse!)
3. The mortgage is still due at the end of the month and we're still a bit strapped, as ever. (This may or may not have anything to do with how much I spend, but it *should*.)
4. I have PLANNED to restrain myself, due to next weekend's SAFF festival and the fact that I'll probably go batshit there.
5. I'm flying to New York, so my bringin'-stuff-back space is somewhat limited. (I do plan on packing light, but taking my biggest suitcase. The mega-expandable one. Just in case.)
6. I'll be with a friend. You know how much of a difference that can make - she may talk me out of stuff, she may talk me into things. You never know. Or I may be so anxious to get back home to her adorable little Ewok-dog that I won't even care and I'll be begging to leave at noon. (It could happen. She's pretty effing cute.)
7. You all probably expect me to come back with 400 things, but remember that I am never predictable. Sometimes I come back from a huge sale with nothing...
8. ...but all bets could be off - there's going to be Socks That Rock there.
So! Take a shot, leave it in the comments, and when I get back (Sunday) I'll draw at least one winner for something(s) fabulous. (Probably something from Rhinebeck that I feel guilty about buying.) If multiple people get it right...well, we'll just have to see what happens. ;-)
Posted by Alyson at 7:41 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2007
It doesn't really matter who won, okay?
Valerie, me and a couple of my chins (you should have seen how many there were in the first shot), and the hubbies, squished together at the Pirate's Cove putt-putt place. If you go by Girls vs. Boys, the girls lost. If you take Valerie out of the equation and go by individual scores (which is how everyone else would tell you it went, but I'd prefer to drag someone else down with me), I lost all on my own. Kind of a lot.
(God I HATE the tabletop greens. Those are SO UNFAIR.)
Chocolate makes it all better.
This was a quiet weekend with lots of spinning and multi-slacking (I have all these things to do, so I'll do none of them at once.) I wasn't feeling too hot (nothing specific, just the blehs) so lots and lots (and lots) of spinning seemed to be in order.
This is 325 yards of sockweight spun from Funky Carolina's superwash merino in the Nerd colourway. It's spun for a swap with (obviously) Adam. I'm chugging a Shipyard Brewing Co. Pumpkinhead Ale in preparation for the swap. ;-)
The glory that is autumn! This is Yarn Wench's delicious merino fiber...I'm really happy with this one, 'cuz of the colours (I love all things autumnal). Not sure quite what I might have planned for it....shop/swap/knit? Such a tough call.
Can I just say it is beyond exciting to see my little ol' sock pattern in queues on Ravelry?? Squee! Speaking of that little ol' pattern (important stuff ahead!), there was a goof in the heel flap instructions on the pattern originally. If you downloaded the pattern from the web, you're okay - the screwup was caught before it got uploaded. BUT if you got the pattern from me by email, you might want to download an updated copy.
I won stuff! Adelle drew my name in her Heart Walk raffle, and I got a Loopy Ewe gift certificate! Yaaaay! (Yaaaaaaaaaay! And link to Adelle to see her adorable little nephew looking a lot like I look when someone asks me to go for a walk.)
I was hoping for an Etsy Friday last week, but I haven't yet gotten any of the things I've been expecting. (The US Postal Service continues to hate on me, sending a really cute little bag from the seller in Providence to me in Orlando by way of - where else - West Sacramento, CA. I hate you guys, USPS.) Le sigh.
There are a couple of cool blog folks in town visiting, which is awesome!!! (I pretend they're here exclusively to see me, and I'll thank you to stay out of my delusions.) This is such a freakin' exciting month, you guys, for REAL. And let us not forget:
Who will I see there? You?
Posted by Alyson at 10:15 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Edit: Scroll down for the new instructions for download - yay!!
Hey, does anyone remember these?
Simple little ribbed sock with a braided cable up the back?
A simple little cable that perhaps might pop more should you decide to use a solid or semi-solid yarn....may I recommend Cabin Cove? (Obligatory not affiliated, no compensation for recommendation, blah blah blah - just a really good soft yarn I liked working with for this pattern.)
Anyway, I finally got off my lazy butt and finished writing up the pattern. Eventually I'll get off my lazy butt and also get around to
If you want the Curve Ball sock pattern, I'm happy to share it with you. (For free, too! Yay free!) And rockstar Jen of Piddleloop fame (you DO have a Piddleloop project bag, don't you??) has offered to stash the pdf on her site (Yay Jen!), so you can just zip right over and download it! Follow the big bold link at the bottom of the post. (Note: that link takes you directly to the pdf, and you can print and/or save from there. You also have the option of going here, clicking on Patterns, then clicking on the Curve Ball sock link and pulling up the pdf that way.)
If for some reason the pdf link won't work for you, then email me and I'll zap you a pdf of it. (Remember, it's copyrighted, so please don't publish it on your website/blog/whatever or sell it or anything. But it's a free-for-all as far as I'm concerned!)
PS: It's proofread and *should* be correct. If you run up against anything that's not clear or looks like a mistake, please let me know! And I'll be happy to help if you run into trouble, too.
Download Curve Ball Sock Pattern
Posted by Alyson at 10:12 AM
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
First of all, if I ever want to draw people out of hiding, I should mention Ikea! Folks jumped all up in the Ikea post - although as it turns out, the Ikea here isn't opening until mid-November. Which means that I, like my friend David, will be waiting until roughly mid-August to even think about braving the maddening crowds. And, at Jen's brilliant suggestion, I would also be leaving the credit card at home! (Danger, danger!)
So. Have I mentioned Travis' new sideline? Like me, he's decided to capitalize on a hobby - his is drumming. He's taken on a student. In our home. The student is ten.
The original plan was to have lessons at 7:30 on Tuesdays, since I'm usally at a knit night on Tuesdays and wouldn't be bothered a bit by the banging....except with the loooong workdays, going to knit night hasn't been as high a priority as going home and zonking on the couch. And listening to the banging.
I decided to document the sound, and my reactions, and best of all, the pets' reactions, for Travis' review afterward. The video was done on my digital camera, so the sound/picture quality isn't great, and I was the videographer, so the overall quality is also not great (uh, sideways video anyone?) but this is 27 minutes into a ten year-old learning to drum in our home, so I can't be held to a very high standard. (Note Rooster's zen trance with backturned ears and Brodie's pleading, wide-eyed, please-shoot-me-momma gaze.)
And lo! Behold my first attempt at YouTubeing something of my own. (Also, please don't judge my housekeeping skills based on what you might see here - I had a LOT of projects going this weekend.)
(To be fair, this is only his third lesson...so he's actually doing really well, from a teaching standpoint. From an I-just-want-to-sit-here-and-spin-this-merino-and-watch-The-Simpsons-dammit standpoint, though, it's a little more challenging. I could leave the house....but that's not nearly as much fun as posting videos.)
Posted by Alyson at 11:06 PM
Monday, October 08, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving, friends in Canadia!! And happy whatever-holiday-it-is-here-I-don't-care-I-just-didn't-have-to-go-to-work-today*, Americanians!
Today's blog is a "Huh??" edition.
Wait.....can they say that? Did we suddenly run out of plant names?
We have an Ikea?? Who threw up an Ikea at my mall? I'd heard about an Ikea rumour, but I gave up hope because they went back and forth on it what seemed like dozens of times. This is as close as I got to it...we'll spend four days bracing ourselves, cross-training and practicing the phrase, "Wait, do we REALLY need this?" and then we'll hit it up on Saturday.
Wait, I can sew? Wait.......what did I sew here? I was going for project bag and I kind of ended up with tiny pillowcase. Hand sewing even something this small was kind of a pain. But I'm happy with it, anyway. Oh, and I forgot to mention it - this is, of course, Amy Butler! I found several bolts, and also some fat quarters, at the local sewing shop near my LYS. I bought about four fat quarters (three in this pattern, one of my favourites) plus matching cotton solids for lining, and some zippers, and other fun things to try to see what I have the patience to throw together. This was my first attempt.
See, lookit - I lined it and everything! I was hoping that spending a loooong time working on something so simple would convince Travis I needed a sewing machine. It worked, and after last night's trip to Target, I am the proud owner of this. (You gotta link. This is hilarious.) I think I'll be returning it, though....I'll just bide my time with a needle and thread.
I finally caved and bought new glasses after ten years?? Seriously? And I'm WEARING them? (I always wore contacts.) But they're just so cute...
And why are they so thick?? Ohhh, right, I'm aging. *sob* At least they're blingy and sassy.
*(I know, it's Columbus Day.)
Posted by Alyson at 6:04 PM
Friday, October 05, 2007
I decided to have a long-weekend sale at the shop. All the yarns in the shop are marked down 15% (which means that some yarns are priced even lower than what I paid for the rovings...) It's a good time to pick up a bit of handspun. (Or a lot of handspun. Whatever you want.)
Posted by Alyson at 11:32 PM
Does anyone with mad sewing skillz and access to talent/Amy Butler fabrics/the pattern want to sew me a Weekender bag? I'm completely obsessing, I know, I know. See, I can buy all the Amy Butler fabric bags I want, but without a Weekender, I still feel kind of empty inside. I know the bag is kind of a pain, but I'm willing to pay you in hugs, snuggles, chocolate, sock yarn, handspun, and if need be, actual money. (Yes, I'm willing to part with cash I don't even have! That's how much I wants the bag!) If you think you might be willing, or if you know someone who might be willing, puhleeeease let me know.
okay love ya bye!
ETA: Riiiiiiight. See comment. I don't know how I manage to consistently forget that one of the most important people in my life has mad sewing skillz. Well, it's not so much that I forget it as never think of him when I think "Who do I know who can sew me a purse?" Kinda sexist of me, isn't it??
Posted by Alyson at 3:40 PM
I blame Craftoholic. I've blamed her since this post of early May, 2006. Wait, let's pause for a moment to ponder that:
I am both incredibly lazy and terribly forgetful. Knowing exactly which blog to go to and where to look to find a blog post (reminder: I read well over a hundred blogs regularly) from SEVENTEEN MONTHS ago??! It has to be a complete fixation for me to retain that sort of information.
Okay, so back to Craftoholic and how evil she is. (Note: Craftoholic probably has zero idea who I am, and so if you link to her and she comes here wondering how all these people are coming to her blog from mine, she's probably going to be quite stunned to find me so resentful of her.) But really, it's not anything about HER especially, other than that I'm annoyed about her abilities.
Did you look at that post? Did you see that bag? That bag is EVIL. That bag has had me thinking for seventeen months that all I need is a sewing machine and a few yards of Amy Butler to be a complete genius. As a matter of fact, immediately after reading that post, I scrapped everything on my birthday wish list (my birthday's in May) and put "Sewing Machine" at the top. Sure. Why not? (I did not get a sewing machine - this turned out to be a very difficult time in our lives and what I got instead of a sewing machine was much more unpleasant, but probably less dangerous than it would inevitably have been to put me in a room with something with a motor, pedal, and sharp pointy object that moves at an alarming rate of speed. I have one quilt I made in middle school and the physical and emotional scars to go with it. Trust me.)
Back to that bag. I hate that bag. I hate that bag because I LOVE THAT BAG. It's sturdy and feminine and looks beautiful on abandoned train tracks with a skinny girl in a trenchcoat and knee boots. (I spend no time on abandoned train tracks, very little time in trenchcoats and/or knee boots, and absolutely zero time as a skinny girl.) I wanted to go to her house, wherever it is, and either steal the bag or throw piles of money or yarn at her until she let me take the bag (which option I chose would probably depend on how ethical I was feeling at the time, whether she was home, and most importantly, whether I felt energetic enough to go to all the trouble of stealing stuff - usually doing something the honest way is much less trouble, and I do love my laziness).
See, I am not particularly feminine in my personal style, and those padded quilted flowery bags that you see absolutely everywhere right now? Those bug me. (Too artsy-craftsy.) But I dream about bags like this one. It's different from the patchwork thing, I swear. (Oh, and yes, I ordered that. It's my destash present to me.) Amy Butler, and recently, Joel Dewberry, are the plague of my existence, sent to earth to remind me that I'm not a badass, and frilly pretty colours and huge floral prints in bold tones make me weak in the knees. (What?? Why?? Since when???)
Case in point, I do not care for the following things: Patchwork. Belts. Aprons. Pastels. Fabric purses.
I want the following things: Patchwork (and pastel!) coin purse. Fabric belt. Apron. (Don't buy that apron, I will find you and kill you or steal it or cry and make you sell it to me at a discount because now it's used and has little bits of the fried rice you made for dinner last night on it. I'm buying that apron as a present to me next time I sell something. Please buy something from my shop instead so I can buy me an apron. That's what you really want anyway. Not that ugly old apron. Yuck. Besides, you're obviously just going to get fried rice on it anyway.) And I believe we've already pretty much covered that fabric purse thing, seeing as how there's one currently on its way to me. Edited to add: Oh. And, um, I might have also bought this, um, patchwork wristlet. (Can I help it?? Did you notice that the little bit of striped material on that wristlet is EXACTLY THE SAME as the striped fabric used for the handles of the bag I bought? Hello!!)
So what the hell??? I hate you guys, Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry. I hate you guys.....so much.
Okay, must have picture. Picture has nothing to do with topic of post. This little blogger works ten and eleven hour days now and can't be bothered with continuity. Here's some navajo-plied self-striping handspun from a Sweet Sheep roving.
Happy weekend!! (Happy long weekend, if you have one of those!!)
Posted by Alyson at 10:53 AM
Monday, October 01, 2007
It's October!! How is it October? Who let this happen? I'm not ready for October yet! October is the Month Of Big Scary Change. Two wool festivals, lots of traveling, three workshops (gah! gah!!!), one job transition (from being part of a two-person team to flying solo), and all sorts of other scary big project things that HAVE TO GET DONE NOW.
September only had 16 posts (I'm a slacker!) and for October, you may be able to look forward to even fewer and less entertaining posts. I suddenly realized that I am maybe twenty percent LESS prepared for my workshops than I was three months ago. How did that happen?!? Time to get down to it. And all the side projects and hushy-hushy things are starting to creep up on me too! Gah!!!
Taking a breath: we got to open the windows on Sunday. Look how happy the puppies were about cool breezes and open-window-weather. (Which we usually get in, oh, January. So this was a treat.)
I love how Bitty's all, "What, Mom's taking a picture of us!? Here I am, get me in the picture too...gawd, Brodie, get out of the WAY, wouldja??"
Okay, man, I gotta go. This month is crazy! Gah!!
Posted by Alyson at 10:41 AM