October 18, 2011

25 Years

Me and Oprah Winfrey have something in common.  We both completed 25 years of service.  Of course, she has made more money than me, but 25 years of anything is a lot of time and dedication to doing the same thing over and over.

I believe it was Einstein who said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different".  Well, I never expected to be at the same job for 25 years, but I did it and it was, at times, insanity.  Still, I am grateful.

Everyone knows where the 'blue box' comes from (Tiffany & Co.), and I was sure glad to get my box. It means that I earned my car, my house, and my yarn/fiber stash, and all of my lovely spinning wheels.  It means I earned what I needed to get me where I am.

It also means that if I put my mind to a thing, I can stick it out in both good times and bad.  It makes me appreciate more than I can say that I kept a job when lots of other folks did not.  I am so grateful.

Yes, hard work pays off.  So does dedication.  And well, the recognition is icing on the cake.

October 16, 2011

Rhinebeck 2011

This year I went to Rhinebeck on Sunday instead of Saturday.  The fairgrounds were half full and it was so much easier to get around - to see where you were going instead of being directed by the crowd.  It was overcast and the wind made it chilly, but I sure appreciated the space to walk.

We kept hearing music in the park, almost haunting music but we couldn't tell where it came from.  We found them playing Andean flute music.  It was so beautiful (which I couldn't catch here, but I tried):

I didn't shop much, this is the first year I didn't have a shopping list.  I know I wanted to buy some scour for my raw fiber (I heard at SOAR that it was pretty good), but then I saw the booth next door and also bought a 'sample'.

The sample was a 2 ounce bag of Jacob fiber.  I saw it, tried to ignore it, but I just couldn't pass it up.  It's only a sample, what could be the harm?  It was the color that got me.  It's Jacob that is softer (and more greasy) than anything else I touched there.

The vendor told me that I should leave some of the lanolin in washing it out would lessen the amount of fiber I would end up with.  I didn't understand that, and I plan to wash as much of the lanolin out as I can.  I don't want any stains on my clothes when I make my scarf!

Then I shopped for Tracey.  Sorry, but Jennie the Potter had no cups or yarn bowls.  What she did have was a pad for taking orders.  So, instead of coming home empty handed, I did score some of this:

So there you have it.  A day at the fair that ended happy.

The sheep in the back sure was scared of us!

October 12, 2011


I've wanted to attend the SOAR annual retreat for years and I finally went.  Yay!  I can now cross that off my bucket list.  Woo hoo!

The event was lovely - and huge!  There were so many people there, knitting celebrities that I've admired and whose books I own and whose work I admire.  I met my idol, Maggie Casey and we spoke!  I was in heaven!

Janel Laidman sat at my table for breakfast one day, and I could name drop all day and it wouldn't give you a clue about how awestruck I was!  Linda Ligon of Interweave Knits sat at my table for lunch and we actually had a conversation!  Wow!

I went to a rigid heddle weaving class with Sara Lamb (below wearing her handwoven vest):

There I learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making plain weave dishtowels.  I don't need a bigger, better loom because I don't want to do anything but what I'm doing now.  Great class, and I wish I'd taken pictures of her work - stunning!

I took a cotton spinning class with Stephanie Gaustad - what a wonderful teacher and lady!  She did a lot of show and then she explained everything so clearly that I actually believed I could spin this pound of cotton I've had in the fiber cabinet for years.

We could have watched her all day, but she wouldn't let us.  It's amazing how fast she spins the fiber and how well hers holds together.  All through class all you could hear was the tinkle of everyone's spindle flying across the table.

I took a couple of other classes too: Beth Smith owner of the The Spinning Loft showed us how to use combs to comb fiber locks.  If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it.  I never used combs before and they were expensive, but now I know I can spin the two pounds of shetland I bought.  Woo hoo!

My last class was with Michelle Boyd who taught us about spinning an even yarn.  Everything she said made sense, and when she had us do the exercises in the class, we saw what she was talking about.  It worked for me.  I just might be able to change my style up a bit to get what I want.

I wish I could show you everything I bought and tell you everything I did, but I don't want to bore you.  Suffice it to say I had a really good time.

There was a downside, though.  I signed up to participate in the Tour de Sock and, guess what?  No time to knit socks - every minute was taken up at the tour.  This is all I got done on my Calable (available on Ravelry only, I think):

I didn't get far, and I feel like I let my team down and I'm certainly out of the race, but I still get the sock patterns and my donation will still go to Doctors Without Borders.  That makes it not a total loss.

To get to SOAR I had to take an overnight train there and back - and believe me when I tell you, women of a certain age should not sleep on an Amtrak train and expect to feel normal when the ride is over.  Not to mention what didn't hurt when I got there.

Lastly, so you don't think I'm a total slacker, I did finish the Hap Blanket:

I'm not overly impressed with the yarn, but the blanket turned out well and it will serve it's purpose for my great nephew.  I made it with huge needles so it would go quick, and it did.  The pattern is by Ysolde Teague, and I used size 13 needles with Red Heart yarn.

It's going to be hard to get back to my so-called normal life after SOAR, but with everything I learned the event will be a gift that keeps on giving.