Tuesday, August 31

Stitches Midwest 2010

If you've been around this blog for a while, you may recall that my Mom and I go to Stitches Midwest together every year. It's a combination girl's weekend/last hurrah before school starts. (Except I'm the only one who has to go back to work now that she's retired, lucky lady.) It is held in Schaumburg, IL at a very nice hotel and convention center. They have an impressive lobby with multiple seating areas, water falls, and fire places. It is so nice to sit down there and knit with a few dozen like minded people, in such a fancy setting. Almost makes you forget reality...
(Which for me was the check engine light coming on during my drive to work.)

Mom in the lobby.

Since I have a major backlog of knitting projects, and since I am trying to simplify and "destash" (ha!), I only bought a few things this year. And honestly, Mom bought most of it for me. I tried to pay for a few things but she wouldn't let me - thanks mom, I appreciate it so much!

I've learned not to buy yarn unless I have a specific project in mind. That's the yarn that never gets used; yarn that sits making me feel guilty until I destash it, so I always go prepared with a list of pattern options with yarn requirements.

I chose yarn for two vests and one sweater, and all of the yarn was purchased at WEBS. We were joking that instead of going to Stitches every year, we should just make the trek to WEBS since that's the main place we buy from.

The first yarn I picked was Noro Maiko, for a vest. This yarn is such an amazing emerald green. I'm not usually drawn to green but the depth of color in this yarn was just too much to pass up.

The second vest was actually not something I had picked in advance, but a sample that WEBS had displayed from the new Mission Falls book. I loved it, but decided it was something I would like to wear to work and a $80 hand wash cabled wool vest does not mesh well with my work environment. I looked around the booth and found this Remix yarn from Berroco. 100% recycled fibers (nylon, cotton, acrylic, silk, linen), machine washable, very soft, plus they had a sample of a child's cabled sweater knit up and I was impressed at how much the cabled popped.

As for the sweater yarn, well, it is not something I ever imagined I would own. Thanks to WEBS great discount and my wonderful mother who insisted I must have it, I am now the proud owner of a sweater's worth of Noro Cash Iorha.


Now I just need to learn to knit faster. Or perhaps find more hours in the day.

Monday, August 30


This summer has been an usual one for me. Circumstances have uprooted my schedule and plans, leaving me with a feeling of missing time. Almost a month to be exact.

Part of the issue is the weather. Last summer was almost chilly every single evening. This year it had been a hot, humid sauna with lots of thunderstorms thrown in for good measure. And the mosquitoes. Oh boy, do we have mosquitoes - so bad they actually forced us to abandon a camping trip. Because that vague fog you see in the distance? It's not just a light effect of the sun going down or the heat radiating off the ground. It's a swarm of bugs.

One thing this weather has been good for is my garden. My vine plants have taken off like crazy and my naive certainty that I could keep the pumpkins reigned into our small garden space just seems funny now. I've had to pull them back from the neighbors side of the fence a few times and try to train them along the edge of the grass. They have grabbed onto everything including the tomatoes, other vines, and themselves.

I picked a cantaloupe this morning:


There is a good sized sugar baby watermelon going (along with a bunch of smaller ones):


And yellow squash!


The only thing that really hasn't done well is the cucumbers. This may be due to the new location I moved them to, or my laziness is tying them to the trellis on a regular basis.

Tomatoes, peppers, onions, and even strawberries have been great. I've got this tomato plant balancing itself over the grass:


and these little ones which popped up unexpectedly sometime in July. They've even got little tomatoes.


I really can't wait until I have a bigger space for all this. I hard to tell anything apart in the massive tangle of vines. (And weeds... but let's just ignore those for now.)


Monday, August 16


Just a quick post on the state of my stash, before I write about the goodies from the Midwest Fiber Fair. (Ah, the irony.)

My stash closet has reached capacity, and now the bifold doors won't open unless I hold back the gigantic IKEA bags of yarn and fiber to get them out of the way.

So I've weeded through and put almost everything I don't have a plan for up for sale on my Ravelry destash page. Go check it out! If you are not on Ravelry go sign up let me know and I"ll post the list here as well.

There is a lot of good stuff - sock yarn, sweater quantities, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, etc. Feel free to make an offer as well.

Thanks for your help de-cluttering my life.

Thursday, August 5

Going Forward.

First, for those who got in touch with me over the loss of my Omi either here on the blog, in email, or on Ravelry, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Even such a small thing means a lot, and reassures me that she will not be forgotten.

One of the hardest parts of losing someone is the feeling of numbness and disbelief. Walking around shell shocked and, at least for me, stuck in your own head. The world can't see what you are going through or how much you are hurting and you can't comprehend how people can just go about their lives like nothing has happened. Wandering around Target in a fog to pick up a few essentials last week, people kept getting in my way (looking back, I was more than likely getting in their way), talking and laughing loudly all around me. I had to repress the urge to say "Look! My Grandma just died. Can't we all just get our toothpaste or DVDs and go home?".

But I am doing my better now both mentally and physically. My monstrous cold/mystery bug was almost gone but then took a turn into a nasty ear infection. I'm on a huge dose of antibiotics to get it under control (I'll spare you the TMI description...). I'm a little concerned since my ears are ringing louder than usual (tinnitus) which I hope is only temporary. I've had to keep one earbud from my iPod in at work when it is quiet and at night in bed just to cut the noise. I think that must be the true definition of "the silence is deafening"!

I haven't knit a stitch since July 17th. I am itching to pick it up again and find where I left off.

No photos yet, as my camera has been misplaced. It's probably in one of my dozen tote bags.