Thursday, May 28, 2009

Y is for YAY!

Another day of scattered randomness....

Why yes, that is me in the latest issue of Knit.1! Well, you know, not me personally but if you look at page ten you'll see something I'm rather fond of. You'll have to squint. It's #4 on the page. It's difficult to see and they put instead of and called it a crochet hook keychain instead of a Stitch Saver but I don't even care - I'm so happy and proud of it! It's stupid how excited I am to be in that magazine!! YAY!

Got the classes I wanted at Sock Summit '09 - YAY! Holy Jeebus, how crazy was that sign-up, right? Anyone else get caught up in the madness that was SS09 sign-ups? Since Donna and I are sharing a booth, we decided to take some classes while we were there. I'm in the Friday AM Cross Your Cables and Dot Your Purls class. In the frenzy, I'm also in the Sunday AM one. AND in the Sunday AM 9a Podcasting 101 class (from the registration page, it looks like I'm getting a private class there as I'm the only one signed up for that hour - cool!). Thursday 10a Favorite Toe-up Bind-Offs? Yes please! I'll be there! Donna only wanted two classes and she got them - Sat. 10a KnitteRX, and Sunday 11a Podcast 101 (can anyone guess what Donna and I have been thinking about doing?).

Actually, she couldn't get in and I got lucky enough to make it in, so I signed up for all our classes and she'll just have to pretend to be me for a couple of hours. I also got our Opening Reception and Sock Hop tickets. We didn't get Luminary Panel tix because we thought, as vendors, we wouldn't be able to make that but turns out we can, so we're going to get those tix soon.

For those going, did you get classes? Which ones? Were they the ones you wanted? The Rav SS09 board was exploding Tues. morning, people feelin' all butt hurt and stuff. I know it's easy for me to say as I got what I wanted but people were sounding actually bitter about the whole thing and I kept thinking, "People. It's only knitting. Calm down!". One woman said she wasn't even going to go even though she had already bought a $200 non-refundable plane ticket way before they posted the classes. I think that's just stupid. She said she couldn't justify the ticket just to go shopping at the marketplace. Well, I say (here) that she shouldn't have purchased a non-refundable ticket for something that wasn't set in stone yet! On the Rav board I said, "Come anyway! You already have the ticket and it could be a mini-vacation. There's SO much to do and see in Portland (I hear) and there's the marketplace and the LYS's and the town is going to be filthy with other knitters - it'll be fun!" And so I say the same to those that read this, who were planning on coming and didn't get the classes they wanted. Please, if you were planning to, come anyway!

With the frenzy that was class sign-up, I got super nervous about being a vendor. I actually had a bit of a panic attack and Donna was kind enough to talk me down from the ledge. I have a LOT of work to do and not much time to do it. I've been getting up an hour earlier every day to work on my stuff.

One of the things I've already messed up are my biz cards. I bought 5000 biz cards from VistaPrint ($80 incl. shipping!), and it only occurred to me yesterday (when I got the "we're shippin' 'em" email) that I hadn't put Stitch Savers ANYWHERE on the damn cards! I've got 5elementknitr on there like 4 times (name, email, etsy, blog) and not once is there mention of what it is I make. I'm such a dolt!

I made the SAME exact mistake 12 years ago when I had my first biz cards made up after I got my massage license. Name, number, cute logo - I was so proud of them! I showed them to my friend John and he said, "Great, but what do you do?" I said, "What do you mean?? We went to school together, you know I do massage!" "Yeah," he said, "I know that but how would a stranger know?" Oh. Yea. No mention of massage therapy.

So now I'm going to get a stamp for the back of the cards and for the receipts.

sigh. (no YAY here!)

(As a side note, if you order online from VistaPrint, be very careful what you check/uncheck in the process. A lot of vendors have said VistaPrint start charging your credit card $15 a month if you check the wrong thing (and apparently they just get the money for fun, there seems to be no tangible reason for the charge!). I've always ordered over the phone so it's not been a problem for me.)

Got the latest installment of STR's Notorious Sock Knitters sock club. 3 for 3 - I'm loving these colorways and the patterns! YAY!

2 posts, 2 days in a row???

YAY me, Ruth!

X is for Xenia

This will be a random Thursday post...

Another day, another hank of yarn. Splee! I got the latest shipment from Nefarious Yarns over a week ago. I'm posting the pic's at the end of this post, so if you are in the Club and don't have yours yet, be warned...

I also an FO to share! I know. Don't fall down, I do knit and, occasionally, even finish stuff!

Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug from the book Lace Style
Modeled by the ever-lovely Donna, this project was fairly easy and quick. My mom picked out the pattern before I took her on a yarn crawl. It gets a bit tedious around the middle but it’s so fast that the tedium is short-lived.

Yarn: Lonesome Stone's Fraser Flats
The yarn was a huge disappointment. It’s some of the yarn my mom picked out (and bought) when I took her on a yarn crawl in 11/2007. First off, I think the color is hideous! It’s like an Easter egg threw up. Also, in the first skein of Fraser Flats, there were SO many cheater knots, I stopped counting at 20. Over 20 in 325 yards. I’ll never buy this stuff! The yarn is 2 singles plied together (she says with no spinning knowledge) and most of the cheater knots were just in one single or the other. The riotous color combined with the lacy stitch pattern, I didn’t bother cutting/rejoining around the knots. You can’t see any of them!

I used one whole skein and about a tenth of the second skein. I'll definitely be making this little gem of a shrug for myself someday!

I actually finished this around Mother's Day but wanted to wait to post about it as my mom stops in occasionally.

Yesterday was Davis' last day of Kindergarten. sigh. They had a little class party and there was a slide show of the kids and most of the moms were tearing up at the music combined with the slide show. My little guy is going to be in first grade! Dave commented the other day, "Remember when they were babies and they started to lose that baby face and get that little boy face?"

Me: Sadly, yes.
Dave: Have you noticed that T doesn't really have that little boy face anymore?
Me: I know! (starts tearing up)
Dave: They'll be moving out soon... (laughs while I'm punching him for making me cry)

Speaking of crying,
I read The Last Lecture. Cranked it out in a day. Which means I spent most of that day (last Sunday) bawling. Great book but, damn, it makes me cry!

I also finished The Mists of Avalon. I think my limit on interest in a book is around the 600 page point. I loved this book, it was so amazing and so well written! BUT it was 875 pages! And around 600 I was thinking, "OK, I get it. They all love someone else they can't have and they've all been manipulated by their elders and, in turn are manipulating those around them." For me, it was sort of like watching the Sopranos series - it was an excellent, compelling story told with a type of writing I can only dream of doing but in the end, no single character was particularly likeable. They all became distinctly unlikeable as the book progressed but I couldn't stop reading it! And when it's all said and done, I just felt sad for every character involved. Except Gwenyfhar (that's Gweneviere to you and me, Rusty) - hated that bitch. She lived her life in a state of constant fear and spread her mental illness to those around her. On the other hand, the only reason she had those fears was because of the stupid way she was raised.

I think my favorite part of this book was how the author approached religion and how it was changing at the time period of the book. Very cool and endlessly fascinating to me!

I don't know if I'll plunge into The Forest House next or skip it and move on to the Hobbit. I found out that Forest House isn't even a true sequel - it's a prequel and doesn't seem to have much to do with anyone in The Mists. In my quest for sequels (and since I'm a bit behind - should've finished Mists and Forest by now!), I may save it for later and see if I have time at the end of the year.

Also, I needed a break from the Middle Ages and before I plunged into Middle Earth, so I read that Last Lecture book and am taking another small detour.

I'm reading The Shack now. Those who know my views on religion might be a bit shocked. I've been assured this is an interesting take on God and am curious about it. I've just finished the first chapter and I'm already annoyed. I think it's annoyance of my own contrivance. The guy got his little note (if you're unfamiliar with the synopsis of this book, check the link) and just fell and whacked his head a good one in the driveway. Then went into his house with a possible concussion. So. If this book ends with the "it was all just a dream" due to a concussion with the added banality of him receiving the note before the head injury so then "but who knows, maybe..." kind of thing..... I'm going to have to slap someone. Hard.

I've got 5 WIP's and my usual 15 UFO's on needles. I heard the difference being a WIP is something you are actively working on and a UFO is something that's been stalled for more then a month.

There's a big spider crawling towards me across the ceiling and now down the wall behind my desk. I have a deal with spiders - if they are outside or out of my reach, their fine. This one's about to die. He's dead.

OK... as promised, here's the pic's of my new yarn pron....

Isn't it gorgeous!? It's called Xenia after the killer femme fatale from the movie Goldeneye. I usually don't like yellow. At all. But this stuff is so pretty!

Warming up to the yellow, Ruth!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

W is for Will

I'm likin' the Ravelry. I know some people have had serious problems with it but I tend to stay away from most of the groups I'm in and thus am able to avoid quite a bit of drama. I do participate in a few - I think 3 or 4 of the 40+ where I'm a member. I mostly join the groups as a way to show the things I'm interested in. I never read the weekly newsletter the Rav staff post.

A friend told me that this newsletter has an obituary column. I looked at it. Once. It told of a young woman losing her fight with cancer. That was enough for me. It was so depressing.


That didn't stop me from acting like a greedy, callow, shameless wool pig and taking a peak at her Ravelry stash page.

I know.

I suck.

but I couldn't help wondering what would happen to her yarn! It was some pretty good stuff, too.
I know.

I suck.

Then it occurred to me that Dave would have no idea the value/worth of my yarn should something happen to me. Whether I went quick and unexpected (I avoid stepping in front of buses whenever possible but I usually have my head in the clouds and am not prone to paying attention) or slow and terrible for everyone (I'm hoping for the bus to show up), he would have no clue as to the worth of those 10 HUGE plastic bins in the basement. This is mostly because I keep him in the dark as to my addiction and it's costs (Hi, my name is Ruth and I'm a knitter.... hi Ruth).


I propose we all make yarn wills. Now. I'm even going to make it a contest. Seems I let my 2 year blogiversary go by without so much as a 'by your leave' and I'll remedy that here. I'm even making it two constests!

Contest The First...
I want us all to make Yarn Wills. I want us to do it now and spread the word to all knitters. I suggested to the Rav staff to have another section on our Rav pages to make this easy. Maybe while filling out our stash info, there'd be another box to put in a value per skein should something happen to us. It would be a secret and would only be made available to public eyes should our names ever hit the obituary section (that way vultures like me wouldn't be hitting us up to sell our stuff when we're still breathing, y'know?). They filed it in the suggestion box and I never heard anymore about it.

So here's the contest. Make a Yarn Will. It doesn't even need to be all that specific - who gets first dibs, what to sell your remaining stuff for and what goes to charity. Also, you might want to either make it a special box on the sidebar of your blog or print a hard copy and keep it with the rest of your important papers so people know about it. Come back here and link to your Yarn Will (in the comments).

Spread the word - I think if anyone out there has more then 10 balls of yarn in their possession, they should have a Yarn Will. If anyone links their Yarn Will here (in the comments) and says they were sent by you, you'll get another entry. For this contest you don't have to be on Rav or even have a blog! If you don't have a blog, then type it out and email me a copy (email is under my pic) - just don't forget to make a hard copy for yourself and put it in a fireproof box with the rest of your important papers. I've also started a Rav group about this. I think it's very important and it would help out our families when they'll need some help dealing with our S.A.B.L.E.'s. when our S.A.B.L.E.'s actually outlive us.

Contest the Second...
We need a button! If you make a button for blogs and/or a banner for the Ravelry group (it's here), email it to me (addy is under my picture). Please put Contest in the subject line of the email so I don't accidentally lose it to junk mail. Donna is co-moderating with me in the Ravelry group so we'll be the judges.

The prize? Yarn! Of course! I have a lovely skein of sock yarn I'm going to let go of - I haven't decided which one but I will likely take a color suggestion from the winner. Also a Stitch Saver or two (also, of course!). I'll see how many entries I get. If it's over 50, I'll pull another skein or two of something from the mountain.

I know it's weird to contemplate one's own death (and weirder yet, to plan for it) so I'll go first....

First and foremost, this will takes precedent over any previous yarn wills I may have scrawled out either here on the blog or in a notebook somewhere!

Lisa Litton (skirtfiend on Rav) gets first dibs on my yarn. She is the one who taught me to knit! Then Rachel and Donna get a crack at it. Hopefully between those two and their organizing skills, they can set up a good sale for the rest of it!

Here's some guidelines to pricing....
Sock Bin - $20/skein ($10 for small skeins)
The Good Stuff Bin - $8/skein
Cotton Bin - $5/skein ($10/skein for anything over 200 yards)
Wool Bin - $6/skein ($10/skein for anything over 300 yards)
Novelty Bin - $1/skein
Acrylic Bin - $2/skein
Gift Knitting Bin - $7/skein
Kitchen Cotton Bin - $1/skein
Laceweight Bin - $10/skein
WIP Bin - That's a tough one.... I'll let them sort it out whether to frog and sell or donate.
Books - $10 each
Magazines - $3 each
Needles - if any get past the first dibs girls - $10 each for addi's, $5 each for any bamboo, the sets will go to the dibs girls

Whatever doesn't sell, donate!

OK! See how easy that was? Now it's your turn....

Contest deadline - 4th of July should give us plenty of time, right?

Hoping to outlive the S.A.B.L.E., Ruth!

P.S. For newbies, S.A.B.L.E. stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

V is for Veracity

Veracity - habitual observance of truth in speech or statement; truthfulness

To thine own self, be true - Shakespeare

Thinking about the quote I just heard. ""Take the advice you always give others"....hum, now there's something to chew on...and not as easy as it may sound." - Garnet Adair

Garnet was one of my massage teachers at DIHA and she recently wrote the above on her Facebook Wall.

Sorry I've been lax in blogging lately. Things around here are not so great. My business that is supposedly recession proof, turns out not so much.

I don't think I ever told you guys but my husband sold his FedEx route last July. It was a very good thing selling that business. Dave thought he was buying a business but turns out he was buying a job and a really crappy one at that. It paid quite well and it moved us to where we want to live but it sucked ASS! So he sold it.

He's been looking to buy a different business ever since. Nothing seemed to be a good fit. Finally, he found one that would work for us! It's a landscaping business that does amazingly well for itself and he wouldn't be in the sun killing himself with it. Strictly supervisory.

We applied for the SBA and after a month of telling us there's no way we wouldn't get it.... We didn't get it. We found out yesterday. They told us we didn't have enough collateral. What a bunch of bullshit! AND it seems like the collateral issue would be the second thing they'd check (after checking Dave's excellent credit rating) instead of dicking us around for a month.

So now we are in the position of having to dip into the sale-of-his-route money to live on.

I always tell people things will get better. I usually believe it whole-heartedly myself! And I guess I still do. I know that there's always light at the end of the tunnel but as of yesterday, our tunnel just got longer. Too long.

It's all very scary and nerve-wracking. Neither one of us have slept in weeks. The deal isn't completely quashed, there's other options but it seems like it's pretty much out of our reach now.


V is also for Verticordious. That was my word of the day yesterday, it means "turning the heart". I saw this over at kmkat's awhile back - it's 12 minutes and completely worth your time. I give you.....

V is also for Video, Ruth!

U is for Ungrateful

I have been sorely remiss in thanking some people!

First, I'd like to thank Heide (from my last post's comments) for reminding me what the next letter was. hah! And the suggestion of taking my hooks to class for child labor was awesome! That comment cracked me up!

Awhile back, I got my final package from SP13 and my pal, Chelle. She went way above and beyond in each package and this one was no exception!

I got this great little "book"...

a whole set of Karatstix stuff!

Lots of little goodies...

my favorite of which is this little notions bag!

She bought me the Koigu I was Desperately Seeking.....

and this lovely red yarn! Anyone see the problem with this yarn?

a verb for keeping warm - Transitional Fury colorway

Chelle mails from Canada and when the yay-hoos in Customs cut open the bag to inspect....

they cut the yarn! 3 strands. In the scheme of things, it's really no big deal and I'm definitely going to use this beautiful, soft yarn!

A "friend with connections" read my WANT post and sent me this...
It got here the day after my birthday! What a lovely gift! Thanks so much, Friend! (And yes, Friend and I both think it looks a bit like a birth control pill case!)

I was in the Earth Day Swap 2009 on Ravelry and this is what I got....
A great little fold-up reusable bag, a little packet of face mask, a lovely soap, a CFL bulb, a Cliff bar (eaten before picture), something called Soap Nuts (and yes that made me snigger), and some recycled silk yarn.
Here's a close-up of the yarn...
Heh, heh, Soap Nuts.
Not really sure what I'll do with the yarn. There were no labels so I don't know how much yardage is in each skein. I was thinking I might crochet a square basket for my mom with them.
Loves me some Swappy, Ruth!