Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stitches Loot

Stitches West 2008 was a smashing good time. I got to meet the good folks of Ravelry and scored some schwag. (Note to self: the next time I pick a user ID, pick something a little less embarrassing than "wildtomato"...)

Socks, socks, socks! My gotta-have-it list included sock yarn from Lisa Sousa (front), Pigeonroof Studios, and Blue Moon Fiber Arts (back). There are the items that I got within the first hour of the show because I knew that they would be sold out of my choice colors. Also, these are the online stores I have been stalking for the past year, always too weary to place an order without seeing it and squishing it in person. Surprisingly, I showed an amazing amount of restraint and only bought one representative skein from each place.

I was so sure that I would buy sock yarn in the Mars Quake colorway from Lisa Sousa, but when I saw it in person, it was less purplely and more beigy. Mars Quake was still pretty, but not my bag, so I opted for the gorgeous colorway Olive Tones instead. It is to be determined if this skein will be socks for me or the boy. However, since I'm the only knitter out of the two of us, I have Ultimate Decision Power.

I also bought some naturally dyed roving from Tactile, a fiber arts studio that is happily near my hood! The top roving is carbonized bamboo, and the bottom one is a mix of wool and soy silk. I haven't spun either of these materials yet, so my treadle foot is pump, pump, pumping away in anticipation! They also sell parts for Schact spinning wheels, and they had the elusive extra high speed bobbins and whorls I was on the hunt for. Expect some sock yarn from me soon!

Mingus is just so thrilled to model my skein of Brooks Farm Yarn Duet.You gotta fondle this stuff to see just how squishy soft it is! I'm thinking of turning this into a Clapotis or a some other sort of airy, small shawl. I think it can be elegant enough to wear over a little black dress for an evening out if I pick the right pattern. Ideas? This yarn has a bit of a halo to it because of the mohair, so anything with a complicated stitch pattern will be wasted. (Another note to self: black yarn + white dog do not mix. Duh, I've learned permutations of this lesson over and over, but I still did this photo shoot and had to, subsequently, pick white strand o' Mingus out for what seemed like an eternity.)

All of the above purchases were on my list. I guess I was feeling a little impulsive and rebellious at the end of the day (hey, 6 hours of shopping for yarn can do that to a person!), and I bought a pair of Signature Needle Arts needles. The selling point? Their stiletto needles tips are the pointiest I've tried for a pair of straight needles. I'll be checking their website often because they are supposed to come out with smaller sizes of DPNs! I am a sucker for metal needles. I love the "click, click, click" and the fact that they can double as a weapon. No one messes with me on BART when I'm knitting!

In the picture below, my Signature needle is in the middle, the top is a regular Addi Turbo, and the bottom is a Clover bamboo needle. See the difference? The Signature needles are somewhat customizable: you pick the "hood ornament" at the top and the point, but the color is fixed for the size. Hence, my new gold needles. Gold 'cause, ya know, that's how I roll.

It's getting awfully close to my one year blog-o-versarry and I'm trying to cook up a great contest with some worthy loot! Rest assured that the contest will have something to do with furmiliated animals and fiber.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Viva Mexico!

Mexico, how I love thee!

This year's Mexico trip to us to Mexico City, Troncones, and Ixtapa. Usually, this annual trip is a beachy one that takes us away from the fog, but this year, we began by spending three glorious days in Mexico City.

Mexico City reminds me of Paris. It has culture, good food, and beeee-yoo-tiful architecture that makes my heart flutter and my camera shutter. I wish we had more than 3 days there, although I don't know if my lungs could have handled it for it is hard to get used to the smog and the elevation.

Proof that this is one of the loveliest cites around:

City Hall, all lit up and purty

Glass tile at Hotel Isabel

Snippets of Diego Rivera's murals in the National Palace Look! the ladies in the first pictures are spinning!

Buildings, buildings, and more buildings (yes, I'm being lazy)

Tacos al pastor at El Tizoncito, the restaurant that claims to have invented tacos al pastor. This was the last stop on our self guided taco crawl. I must admit that these tacos were the winners on our taco crawl! Ahem, we had lunch 5 times that day.

After Mexico city, we hopped over to Troncones, a lovely beach town with waves perfect for surfing and frolicking. Our B&B had two resident greeters: Alpha the cat (yes, the pushy critter is on our bed!) and Max the dog. They both made me feel right at home.

This was how the bed looked before Alpha messed it up. Can you believe that they spelled out "Welcome" in flower petals? I almost didn't want to sleep in this bed because it picture perfect.

Ixtapa was our next, and final, destination. The best part was the posole verde!

Can I go back now?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ready for a picnic?

Because of my upcoming vacation, the dogs are enjoying a vacation of their own at LeannIAm's house. Of course, the minute I leave the dogs, they decide to act like savages. Really, I did teach them basic obedience!

Check out her blog! I'm sure she'll have tons of embarrassing photos of Vespa and Mingus for your enjoyment.

Monday, February 4, 2008

230 yards of Mingus...

looks like this:

This 1-ply yarn is overspun and I had to hang a 5-pound weight on it while it was drying to reduce some of the twist. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but it seemed like a waste to throw away Mingus' soft, downy undercoat.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A pleasant surprise

A few days ago, I was contacted by deamure at For the Moment asking for permission to use a Mingus photo on her blog. I bounced the request off of Mingus, and he replied that of course we should say yes (he's a vain dog and he does love his public). Well, this is what she did with that photo:

How cool is that? Deamure creates cute graphics on her blog and, get this folks, she's a knitter! Check her out.

I am constantly amazed at the awesomeness of the blogging community.


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