Saturday, September 02, 2006

chaos theory and evolution

I am a creature of chaos. I have learned to acknowledge this and embrace it rather than fight it, although sometimes this makes me do strange things, like when I just decided to delete my entire blog a bit back (WTF?). And you know, this blog just hasn't been the same since I tried to resurrect it. I haven't put back my free patterns, the posts have been infrequent and half-assed, etc. So, I thought for awhile about what to do. I still wanted to continue blogging, but I also felt the need to move on. It's sort of like when you have lived in the same place for a long time and need to move the furniture, paint some walls, remodel something... or just move altogether. This all essentially comes from the fact that I crave change, excitement, chaos... and therefore I evolve pretty rapidly(Or maybe I am just a bit crazy. Either way, it works for me.). I realized that I have sort of changed a bit since this blog's inception, and that I need my surroundings to represent that. So, I have started a new blog, entitled "a strand in the hand"... so far, I like it. I know that it will be a good place for my inner knitter/spinner/wannabe Fiber Goddess to live now that I have moved on a bit. If you would like to come and visit, just click your little mousie right here. Thanks to all of you who have stopped here and left so many kind words. Oh, and Bezzie, I swear I will send you that sticker soon. I promise. Don't hate me 'cause I'm flaky... it's just my usual level of chaos ;-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So, life with teenagers is not as bad as I thought it would be... in fact, it has been pretty glorious. Yeah, glorious, as in kick-ass, awesome... you get the picture. They have adjusted to the remote setting of Kodiak well- no, better than well: they are thriving.

Both have caught their first Alaskan salmon. Here is The Boy, holding his first AK fish- a 11 pound Dog Salmon caught in the American River. He's a sweetie, just like his pa.


There has also been sea kayaking going on- this is across the street in Mill Bay.


And, we went digging for fossils in a place called Fossil Beach about 45 min away. There are loads of marine fossils... the kids found some very cool snails and such. Here is The Dog helping The Boy dig for said fossils.


And, I taught The Girl how to knit. And she loves it. And she has great color sense. She is working on a striped scarf using Lamb's Pride Bulky on Size 11 needles. It's almost done. Awesome. As proof that she in one of the converted, I present a picture of her fishing (my other fave pastime) with her knitting in the pocket of her sweatshirt. That rocks. SHe is a sweetie too.


So, on the same day that we went fossil digging, we drove to a little community called Pasagshak to fish. There are ranchers in those parts who raise buffalo for meat (as they are able to defend themselves better against bears than cattle). Sometimes these buffalo come down by the cabins and the ranchers come to drive them back. So, we saw bonafide cowboys (in Kodiak!) drive these massive beasts across the river. Check this out:


OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! How kewl is that???

Well all that and am working on more projects. Rick's blankie and the mock cable sock are both WIP's, mainly because The Girl saw my Felt Clogs and loved them. I had her pick out some yarn so I could make her a pair too:


Doesn't she have killer color sense? Theya re being knit with Cascade 220, and around the cuff I included a strand of Skacel Gatto for soft furry goodness.

I also finally bought some Noro chenille that has been for sale at the LYS forever. I thought a chenille scarf would be nice and it makes for a good portable mindless project.


OK that's it. Time to breath and continue to marvel at the tenacity of people who are parents of teenagers All The Time. Damn, you guys deserve medals.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

oh yeah, all that and I knit too...

I figured that I should include some knitting content, considering my last entry was just one big vent. So, nothing too exciting, but here goes:

Still plugging away on Rick's blanket. It's reached stole size now (hmm... maybe he would wear a stole? No, I better just keep knitting.). His condition seems to be improving, but he has a long, crappy road ahead :-( I'll be able to give him the blanket in person when I travel down to the NW in September... the parents and I will take a road trip from Portland, OR (my hometown) up to Spokane, WA where Rick is. Wow, I never thought I would have to endure another long road trip with my folks (OK, so it's only like 7 hours, and they are wonderful, but you know) but it is for a good cause.


Also am making a pair of mock cable socks of my own design. In what seems to be a them of me using cheap-ass yarn for stuff, I'm working these up in Caron Simply Soft. For an acrylic yarn, it's pretty OK... would have never thought to use it, but a lady came into the LYS for sock help and that is what she was using. I liked the result, so here I am. Also, I like the notion of giving people something that is machine washable/dryable so that they do not end up with baby booties after throwing lovely wool socks in the washer/dryer.


And, the fireweed is blooming. This is a sad time in Alaska, as the advent of fireweed blossoms means that summer is waning. And yes, this does pertain to the fiber arts... the woody stems can be harvested in late summer/early fall and retted to make twine. Also, the downy seeds are a very cool fiber (hmmm... maybe I'll card some up wth some wool. That could be cool.)


So, that's it in me casa. I also have to say RIP to You Knit What? That's just sad- hopefully someone will take it over, as there is no shortage of terrible knitwear designs. Which leads me to my next topic. I will buy any knitting magazine I see at the supermarket. Usually, there is at least one intereting article and/or cool design that makes me justify buying it. So, when I purchased the latest issue of Creative Knitting (talk about a f--king misnomer there), I did not have high hopes (I mean, it is Creative Knitting) but I figured there would be some redeeming value. Guess what? Nothing. Not one damn design that I could be excited about. Fug, fug and more fug abounds in this issue, which also containes book reviews of things that have been out for a while (uhhh yeah, I think we all know that Mason-Dixon Knitting kicks ass). The only good thing were some cool scarf patts to promote breast cancer awareness (but umm... I'm pretty sure Knitty did that already). I mean, I just don't get it. How can someone actually take the time to design and hand knit a garment that looks like shit? More puzzling is the fact that this shit gets published and that these people actually get paid for their designs. There really should be a law...

Dude, where's my blog?

Yes, it's been two weeks. Damn, that's a long time. Here is part of the reason I haven't been posting. Crappy pic, I know, but it is to prove a point: that's the view from where the computer is. I would just rather stare at blue skies and seas rather than a screen...


Nice weather... we almost hit 80 yesterday. Have been out fishin', smokin' said fish, still workin' at the park and LYS, and all that jazz. All that and the BF's kids are coming in tonight for two weeks. This is the first time we will have met, and we will be cohabitating besides. Oh, and they are teenagers. I just don't know if this 27-year-old crazy ass Cascadian/Alaskan reformed hippie chick is ready to be The Wicked Stepmother just yet. But, despite my nervousness, I just know that we will have a blast! I can''t wait to show them that there is more to the world than the Internet... they are fairly urbanized people, so Kodiak should be quite an education. They are going to shit when they catch their first salmon.

And, speaking of edumication, I'm teaching a three-part knitting class at The Rookery that starts tomorrow night! People have actually paid me money to teach them how to knit!!!!!!!! I'm going beyong what most knitting classes do, I think. They will be making a scarf, but in seed stitch rather than just garter. Also, we'll talk about fiber choices (I have have little cards with raw fiber samples on them), color theory, increasing/decreasing, and even get them acquainted with cables, colorwork, and lace.

I have faith- it's all ladies in the class, and hey, if we can work, keep a house, give birth, raise the resulting spawn, look beautiful, keep a partner happy, then we can certainly conquer the world of knitting... and not have to be content with a stupid garter-stitch scarf ;-)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

OK, now it's really fixed

I thought that I fixed my comment settings to enable anyone to ramble... seems I restricted it even more! Anyhoo, now it's really fixed! Comment away!

Monday, July 24, 2006

giving kicks ass (and so does receiving!)

First thing: my darling mum informed me that I did not have my comments settings enabled to allow anonymous or non-Blogger user comments. This has since been fixed... comment away!

Speaking of the ladies of my familia, my grandmother has a birthday coming up soon. She will be 85 years of age, and I hope that I age half as gracefully as she does. She is my namesake and one of my best friends. Whenever I am down in my hometown of Portland, OR, we always get together for at least one night of wine drinking (our average is one bottle each), watching Jane Austen flicks, sharing secrets (which seems to increase as more wine is consumed) and bashing on the current mess of political affairs in these United States. My grandmother is an elegant woman, raised by English parents and she taught me all about being a refined lady and a strong woman at the same time. She is also an avid crocheter and is always making something for a friend- everything from baby blankets to heirloom doilies. So, I put together a little care package for her:


That's 3 skeins of Cotton Comfort from Green Mountain Spinnery, a skein of my handspun Mountain Mist, a crochet hook case from Lantern Moon, and some loose Earl Grey tea (her favorite!) Hope she likes it!

Well, I was also the lucky recipient of gifts today. My friend Dave, easily one the best fly fishermen on the island, hooked a sister up with 12 sockeye salmon. Well, there is a catch... I get to keep 6 of said fish in exchange for smoking up the other half and giving them back to him- that's like, 20 lbs (at least) of filets. This is a small price to pay for yummy, yummy sockeyes. Seems he tried to smoke some up last week and the results were "interesting" to say the least. Since he has always enjoyed my smoked fish, he honored me with asking if I would do this for him- that's like two gifts in one!!!


But, the hits just keep coming... Dave also made us this cool shelf for the cabin we are intending on building in the near future in a remote part of Kodiak Island. Dogs and salmon... he know that those are two of our favorite things!!!


So, I am a very happy camper right now... I may even have some fiber content in my next post ;-)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

lazy Saturdays...

Well, kind of. Woke up to more of this:


Which seems to lead to days like this:


That's the BF nestled under the covers, with The Dog and Cat comfortably sharing space at the foot of the bed. I love that they are mortal enemies- save for when it comes to sleeping on the bed with one or both of their parents.

I finished Steve's Swirly Hat the day before yesterday. I would have a picture of me modeling it, but as you can see from the above pic, no one is available to photograph me.


This is a modification of the Swirls Hat pattern by Carolyn Doe for Fiber Trends. I added a second band of swirls around the body of the hat, as well as the corrugated rib. I also played with using seed stitch to break up the areas of colorwork... I like how the interplay of knit and purl stitches when changing colors every round makes it look like you did something more complicated than it really is.

Have another spinning project on the horizon. When I was fileting pink salmon this past week, I was again reminded how Mother Nature really has the best color sense around. So, I created these two batts the celebrate the beauty of silvery gray and
salmon pink... they did come out pretty close to the colors of pink salmon filets.


Both batts are a blend of various shades of combed Corriedale roving. The grey is just that, with some teal, green, and periwinkle blended in, as well as some Silver Hologram Angelina to give it some sparkle. The salmon color is primarily a blend of pink and light orange, with bits of red, magenta, and fuchsia in there too. I was terrifically unscientific about deciding what proportions of colors to blend together- and I think they came out great! Had I have tried to be more precise, I am sure the blends would have been a disaster. I think that sums up my general approach to all things creative...

On an unrelated note, I am playing with the whole socks on 2 circs thing (yeah, I'm a little slow- I hate to do something just 'cause everyone else is doing it). I have to say, I'm digging the technique, although it takes some getting used to. And speaking of socks, I was going to knit some Argyles for my dad like, way back in the day and got frustrated. I must give a shout out to
this kind blogstress for giving me renewed hope in my ability to make Argyles, which I will hopefully have cast on today... or maybe I'll just go join the animals in bed ;-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

heat wave?

If everyone else's blogs are correct, apparently there is some sort of warm spell in the Lower 48 right now. This has, in no way, shape, or form, come close to Kodiak. This morning I was greeted with 30 mph winds (gusts up to 55!) and the sideways rain/stormy seas which accompany such a storm. Oh, and it's 50 degrees F. Nice. I mean, I'm down with the fact that Kodiak only gets 55 bonafide sunny days per year, and that we get twice as much precip as Seattle (about 75"/year). That's fine... keeps other folks from moving here who aren't dedicated, you know. But this is about enough. It's July, Mama Nature... JULY!!!!! I know that you are not here for me, that rather I am here to serve you, Ms. Nature, but WTF bitch? Can't we just meet a little bit halfway? Anything you do would be ever so appreciated!