Monday, May 28, 2012

Meet My Sun, Ray

He's very cute, I think.

And no, it's not foggy here in Baltimore.  In the short time it took me to go outside from the air conditioning to the heat and humidity here, and take a couple of pictures, my camera lens fogged all up.  I'm hoping I haven't ruined my camera.

And here's a picture of my shawl so far...

Friday, May 25, 2012

How Weathery Of Me

My current most active projects?

A sun and a rainbow.  The sun needs four more rays, the rainbow needs to suck up the rest of the ball of yarn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One Man's Meat...

I spend time, now and again, wondering why it is that we like things.  Usually I'm thinking about books, I'll admit.  Why is one book by an author....China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, for example....a book I just dive into and swim in and love and another, even by the same author....Mieville's The City and The City, for another that I struggle with?  Or, more broadly even...I love to read...always have...but you wouldn't catch me dead reading a romance novel.  Why are those words on the page different than any others?

It's the same with yarn.  Barring allergies, why does one person prefer wool and another only enjoy knitting in cotton?  And why is there so much of a love-hate dichotomy over Noro?  There must be a discussion a month on Ravelry about Noro..."Why doesn't everyone love Noro?"  "How can anyone bear to knit in Noro?"  " the colors but the yarn is scratchy!"  "I hate Noro!"  "I love Noro!"

I come down firmly on the pro-Noro side of things.  (In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that what prompted me to write this post is the chance of winning a copy of the new Noro magazine.)

I love Noro yarn.  I mean, go here and scroll down.  Look at those colors!  Look at those gorgeous lilacs and purples and that delicate "Hello-I've-just-sprouted" spring green in the socks...the sunny yellows with the touch of peach in that bobbly pullover....the somehow serene-but-still-electric blues in the lacey cardigan.  Just beautiful.  Is the yarn scratchy?  Well, the Kureyon isn't merino, perhaps, but it's perfectly wearable...and it's about the scratchiest of the lot.  Is there vegetable matter?  An occasional piece of hay or grass perhaps...easily removed.  Are there knots?  Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've found more knots in other brands of yarn.

And you know, it wouldn't matter...load it up with knots and grass.  I'd still buy it and knit with it happily.  Eisaku Noro is a wizard with color...and color is something I love.  For whatever reason, it pushes all the right neurons.

(Picture lifted from the Noro website...look at those hues!)

Having now spent some time reading through the Knitting Fever blog, I also have to link to this post of theirs.  I love Mirasol yarns...and here's a great incentive to keep buying their yarns.  What a wonderful story.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Three Days Gone

Nice weekend, though it's almost over and that sucks.  I took Friday off, mostly for a routine doctor's appointment but it was also sooooo nice not to be at work.  I mean, I love Elizabeth but we've been working really hard and under a fair amount of pressure and it's been more tiring than I realized.  After the doctor's, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I had lunch out (at Atwater's -- yum) and then spent some time and money at Barnes and Noble.  I got both the new Garth Nix (A Confusion of Princes, which I've read already and really liked) and China Mieville's Railsea, which I may start today.

On Saturday we went to Cromwell Bridge Park and went on a bird walk.  We saw

File:Baltimore Orioles and nest.jpg

Baltimore Orioles

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Orchard Orioles


Indigo Bunting

File:Eastern Bluebird-27527-2.jpg


Tree Swallows

File:Blue Grosbeak by Dan Pancamo.jpg

Blue Grosbeaks (alas, only the brownish female, not this snappy blue male) and many others.  I didn't get any good pictures, having only a weensy digital, so these images come from Wikimedia Commons.  No copyright infringement here!

On the way home we stopped at Flavors and got ourselves some cupcakes.  Yum.  Their Salted Caramel cupcakes are marvelous!

And even with the cupcakes, the weight loss continues.  I'm down 18 pounds since February.  Little pat on the back for me.

And I finished my Wingspan!

Here it is on the hood of the car...the colors look pretty true here.  It's sort of disappointingly small.  More like a neckerchief than a shawl.  Someday perhaps I'll make a bigger one.

I'm going to wind my yarn one of these days for my first (of three) Camp Loopy project, which I can't start until next Sunday.  In the meantime, I'm working on a Hitchhiker in Kauni Rainbow.  I won't have it done by Sunday so it'll be a good waiting-to-start-Camp-Loopy's-project, in-between project.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wait? What Time Of The Year Is It?

 Yes!  It's that time of the year...Camp Loopy begins in eleven days.  And I'm ready!

I just got a nice package from Loopy Headquarters.

I'm going to be making the Stripe Study Shawl in cream, blue and (I think) a little touch of yellow as the thinnest stripes.

Oh and this?

I must have just jumped into the box.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"It's The MOST WONderful TIME of the YEAR..."

Yes, it's Maryland Sheep and Wool Show weekend.

I wasn't going to buy a shirt this year because I didn't think I liked the design very much.  But on this turquoise, with the blended green-to-blue ink...I thought it looked pretty good and I couldn't resist.  (You will find that there was quite a bit I couldn't resist, alas.)

This was the traditional first stop...I always spend too much here.  I was looking for three skeins of yarn for a Color Affection shawl...I walked away with five skeins.  Ouch.  But so pretty.  Their pictures are coming along soon.


Mr. Pointy Sticks and I got there pretty early.  In fact, I was shopping at Creatively Dyed when they announced over the PA that the show was open and we could all proceed to enter the fairgrounds in an orderly fashion.  But here's the midway about 10:30 or 11:00.  (I didn't have a watch.)  The weather could have been worse (could have been better, too, I guess).  It was warm in the sun (and in the crowded buildings) but cool enough in the shade.  And there was a breeze.  It was oppressively humid though.  I don't do humidity well.

There was an amazing bead booth right across from Creatively Dyed.  I wandered in and took a cursory look...and then started looking closer.  There were some gorgeous beads...and yes, I succumbed here, too.  Twice, in fact.  Or three times, depending on whether you're talking number of visits (2) or number of beads purchased (3). 

 I loved these...but they didn't come home with me.  I think the set was $80.

The little set with the green tag here glows in the dark!  So cool.

So what came home with me?

Yes, it's another sheepie bank.  Doesn't everyone need two?

Some personal adornment.  Those three big beads?  They're the ones from the bead booth.

That blue one?  It (supposedly) glows in the dark!
 Oh, yarn?  Did I get any yarn?  I might have gotten a little.

The Fold was almost empty.  How could I not buy some Socks that Rock?  On Blueberry Hill on the left, and Flash Mobbin' on the right.

 From Creatively Dyed....I got these three skeins to make the Color Affection shawl.

And this one just because I fell in love with it.

And this one because it was called Rachel.

I mean, how could I resist?  It only comes once a year!!