13 October 2007

my owl arrived

My package from my pal from Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 3 arrived today.


Uno with Harry Potter characters on the cards. This is coming with us camping! Dove milk chocolate covered almonds. So smooth...they just melt in the mouth, like they weren't worth any calories at all. Italian milk chocolate with almonds bar. I'll have to fight for my half with my husband. Brittany birch hardwood dpn's, 7 1/2 inches, US #2 (2.75mm). Cookie A.'s "Twisted Flower" sock pattern. I have been drooling over this pattern for quite some time. I love the almost Celtic design she has created with this pattern, as well as the way the heel is part of the pattern. Perfect to wear with clogs, where the heel shows.

Point protectors/stitch holders in the shape of golden snitches. They have this wonderful glow and sheen to them in the light. Ravenclaw stitch markers: three with blue gems, two with teeny-tiny golden snitches. Two skeins of Knit Picks, Palette, Peruvian highland wool: marine heather, and wood colorways. My mind is already whirling with a half dozen projects that these could be a part of. A skein of Seacoast Handpainted yarn, 50% merino wool, 50% tencel: kelp colorway. It has hints of purples and greens as well as blues and browns. Quite stunning. Oh, and the handmade bag! Deep blue outside, a shimmering bronze inside, with a pocket (inside) and a button closure. The handle is long enough to sling over the shoulder so that, if one were so coordinated enough, one could be walking and knitting at the same time.

12 October 2007

with the rain comes...

  • More birds at the feeders, busy on eating and not paying attention to the cats. Da Vinci, who we would not label as "gifted", caught a male finch (notice the red tones on the birds belly which is in the cat's mouth). A side note: the feeder is six feet from the ground (he jumped up to it in order to catch the bird, evidenced by the swaying of the feeder) and he has no front claws. Da Vinci, being the good cat he is, brought it to the screen door for me. Special, right? I managed to take a quick picture of the event, quickly pried the bird gently out of his mouth--much to his agitation--, held it for a minute or so while I brushed away feathers that had been dislodged by the cat (as the feathers floated down, the cats ate them--yes, ate them) and checked for bleeding (what would I have done if I had found any blood I don't know, yet I looked for injuries anyway), opened my hands, and the poor thing flew off.

            • Cooler, wetter weather bringing out blooms again from plants which conserved energy over the hot summer months by not blooming.

            • Compost bugs, crawling out of the compost bin. I know the compost should be warm enough with, well, composting, that there should not be bugs inside, yet this is what I have. They help break down the kitchen green waste and eventually move on into their place in the food chain.

            09 October 2007

            chemically induced knitting

            I am ending this year (of swaps) with Knittymama's Coffee Swap III. It's so addicting and so very time consuming to be involved in swaps. My first swap was Knittymama's Coffee Swap II, so it seems fitting to me to end on the same caffeine-jazzed note. My answers to the coffee swap questions (honestly, they are cut-and-pasted from the last coffee swap with only a few minor adjustments):

            1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean. I have a fully-equipped coffee corner in the kitchen which makes this possible.

            2. Fully loaded or decaf? Are you kidding? Fully loaded of course (otherwise what's the point?). Caffeine is my "drug of choice".

            3. Regular or flavored? Regular. Why change a thing?

            4. How do you drink your coffee? Hot and straight up (black), with a curl of the lip if you try to move my mug before the first cup is done. My coffee and I have a morning thing.

            5. Favorite coffee ever? One year a student in my classroom brought back from his family vacation in Guatemala a one pound bag of locally grown coffee--it was rich with a bit of a nutty aftertaste. I coveted it and yet, being only a pound, was gone all too quickly.

            6. Are you fussy about your coffee? (Fussy? See number 4.) I don't like bitter coffee or the super dark roasted.

            7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Homemade banana bread (with walnuts, of course) smeared with low-fat cream cheese. Oh, I can taste it already. Fresh bread just out of the oven with melted fresh butter on top and sometimes a dab of honey. If you are going to go "bad", go with style.

            8. Anything else about your coffee preference? Hum...can't think of anything.

            9. Yarn/fiber you love? Wool, cashmere, silk, qiviut, angora, alpaca...well, all the wonderful natural fibers.

            10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Hate is such a strong word, but it quite fits here: acrylics, man-made-oil-synthetic-based products, and those novelty yarns.

            11. What's on your needles? Socks (on two circulars), wristlets in baby alpaca, baby cardigan for my neighbor.

            12. Favorite colors? Blues, greens, browns, dark purples, dark reds. No pastels, no pinks, no bright oranges, no neons.

            13. Allergies? No, only to things that bloom *sigh* (my garden, my lemon trees, etc.) but it doesn't stop me.

            14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? In the order of chocolate (just in case you want to know), no dark chocolate. Please, no dried fruit (it's a texture thing). As far as knitting, I carry my knitting in baskets--oh, I use canvas bags, but they are inside the baskets. Absolutely love knitting with rosewood and birch needles. Bamboo are ok but manufacturer's quality is not consistent. I support fair trade and women's cooperatives for products when possible.

            08 October 2007

            going pink for a month

            Pink for October was first initiated in October of 2006, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Web sites all over the world are invited to change their templates (or whatever they feel comfortable with changing) to include the color pink, for the month of October.

            My mother's sister endured years of surgeries, toxic drugs, and radiation. She offered herself as a test subject for treatments, in hopes that others might benefit from the results. Cancer is persistant. In the end, it won. I miss her wisdom, her creativity, her support.

            07 October 2007

            take the test, become the test

            Traveling? New to your community? Looking for a yarn store? There's a new site, currently in beta phase, that is inviting knitters/crocheters/spinners to help build and test their data base of yarn stores. This new yarn store finder: catalogues and maps locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and most of Europe (wherever Google has maps) thus far.

            They have a need for users to test the site, add stores and store details (name, hours, phone number, products, wifi capabilities, etc.), as well as leave comments. Add your favorite LYS to the growing list.