Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Needles, pedals, and tent poles

There has been yarn buying, there has been knitting, there has been a lot of cycling, and there will be some camping. But there is no USB cable. So no pictures. Yet. But I learned the hard way that if I wait to post until I have the pictures ready, six months can go by before I even know what hit me. So here I am.

I didn't buy much at Sheep & Wool, but what I did buy was yummy indeed. 1400 yds of Tess 50-50 silk wool in a gorgeous deep purple and silvery gray colorway, which I intend to use for Lucie. One fat skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in a nice dark blue colorway (I'll post the name once I'm home and can check the ball band). And a small souvenir gift for a friend. That's it. But if you've seen how much Tess costs, you'll realize I spent most of my budget on that. And if you've ever touched it, you'll understand why.

No, I have not finished an knitting projects. I did, after all, take two full weeks off of knitting to rest my wrist. But now that my needles are back in my hands, I have at least made it past the 75% mark on Taz charcoal socks. At this rate, I might finish them in time for Labor Day...

What I have definitely been doing more of is bicycling. May 18th was Bike to Work Day here in the DC area, and I (somewhat insanely) decided to take up the challenge, despite the fact that I live more than 10 miles from work. I actually made it in only slightly more time that it would normally take me on public transportation, and I felt so charged up from the exercise that I didn't need to consume a drop of caffeine all day. I did it again yesterday, and felt great again, and I made it in even less time than the first day. So now my plan is to see if I can do it at least three days a week. Then I'd be logging about 75 miles a week without even taking any extra time out of my schedule! My evening hindi class starts on June 3rd, so that might throw a wrench in my plans, but I can always just buy a headlight.

Finally, this weekend we're going camping! I am sooo excited!! OK, so it's not backcountry canoe camping in the arctic like I did in high school, but there will be a lake, mountains, a tent, starry night skies, a campfire, and marshmallows. And a loving husband to share it all with. What more could a girl ask for?

Friday, May 04, 2007

I feel like I'm eight years old

And it's the last day of school. I'm too excited to concentrate. Tomorrow is Sheep and Wool! I'll get to bask in fibery goodness! I'll get to see lots of sheep! I'll get to see some friends I haven't seen in ages! Apparently, I'll get to eat deep fried twinkies!

But what to wear? The weather is supposed to be nice, but at "neither too hot nor too cold," what knitted things can I wear? I'm ashamed to say that I have no finished sweaters to call my own (which isn't to say I've never finished any sweaters, just none for me--so far). And I still haven't finished Hanging Vines (yes, this would be perfect). So should I wear my Loopy & Luscious scarf/stole?

Or should I just dress like a muggle and only give away my secret identity as a knitter by my socks? (Well, that and the fact that I'll be at Sheep and Wool in the first place):

Whatever I wear, I will be having fun, that's for sure!

I might not actually be knitting, however. I know, GASP!!! Despite the fact that I'll be surrounded by knitters and am also desperately hoping to finish a certain (temporarily secret) project by the following weekend, I won't be knitting. I can't knit in the car anyway, since I'll be the one driving (if anyone has figured out a way around this, let me know). But the real reason I won't be knitting is that since Wednesday I've had this funny twitchy nerve in my left forearm that seems to get worse when I hold small things between my fingers, when I type, and, alas, when I knit. I am hoping that by wrapping my wrist/hand and not knitting for a couple days, it will recover. I hope it doesn't come down to choosing between my health and trying to finish that project by next week. This does, however, give me one more idea of what to wear:

Then no one will know I'm wearing a wrist brace!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In which a lapsed blogger is reborn thanks to fiber fever

What is this, you say? Who is this freakishly out-of-it blogger who has suddenly reappeared? Where the heck was she all that time? And why on earth would she just randomly reappear now? Either that, or you're asking yourself "Why should I care?" (if you're even reading this at all).

Excuses aside, a lot of newsworthy stuff has happened in my life in the past four million years six months, but only now have I finally gotten it together to write. At some point I'm sure I'll get around to telling you about my second India trip, and my second wedding while I was there, and my new job, and my summer plans. But right now, what I really want to talk about, the thing that some how managed to penetrate the haze of endless writer's block, is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

I am no fiber festival virgin. I've been to my share of county fairs. I've done Rhinebeck. I've seen the insane people at the fleece tent. But from what I've heard, MD S&W blows the rest out of the water. And now that I finally live close enough to contemplate going, well, let's just say it didn't really take much contemplation.

Now, some people are crazy. Some people plan to get there extra early and storm a certain booth with several of their co-workers from a certain LYS. Me, I'm fully aware that since this is my first time, I have about a snowball's chance in hell of competing with the experts. And anyway, until I get there and see the remains of their pillaging, I won't know what I'm missing. I am going early, but for the enjoyment, not to compete. Instead, I've begun researching patterns so that I know what types, weights, and quantities of yarn I should be keeping an eye out for. My budget is pretty limited, so I am trying to be very picky. Perhaps too picky, since so far I've only come up with one project I'm sure about. But it's a beauty:

Lucie from last fall's Knitty. © 2006 Axelle de Sauveterre.

And who knows? Maybe I'll luck out and Axelle will have a booth there too, and I can just buy the exact yarn the pattern calls for. Now I just have to figure out if there's any other yarn I'll be able to afford after I buy enough for Lucie.