It's Time...


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Two Things


Thank heavens. Onto other projects.
Oh, and I like it. Blocking is a grand and miraculous thing.

And this:

She'll clean up good.
Mechanically, it's lovely. 38K original miles. Gonna paint her up like a mermaid someday.
A little nervous about driving into the "big city" (Berkeley) tomorrow, but I guess there's no other way to get used to a car except by driving it...

He likes it.

(no subject)

It's going to be 100 degrees today, and I am covered in blankets, drinking hot chamomile and snuggling with a hot water bottle. Yes, I have the flu, and no, I don't care what kind it is. It's just the flu, and it stinks. Period (and yes, I'm on that, too).

Under "normal" circumstances, I would still be chasing after the Little Guy in this condition, but C happens to be here this week and so they are having school together, dipping apple-halves in tempera paint while I moan and groan indoors.

I am a terrible patient. Terrible enough that I went outside with them at first for circle time and then told The Yellow House (normally The Red House, but we only have yellow and green apples growing in the backyard) complete with props. Then I came inside to collapse, but feel too uncomfortable to sleep, so here I am.

The rest of today's plans include working on the header for my new wordpress blog (new logo = SO CUTE). No, I am not leaving LJ, but rather will be directing my domain name to wordpress instead of my website. My actual website is useless and I'm sick of paying for the hosting. I'd rather spend that $15/month on an ad somewheres. When I launch the new set-up, LJ will become friends-only and public entries will be x-posted. Fun! 

Oh hey, lookie what I finished and blocked yesterday:

It's the Whisper Cardigan from Interweave. I will take some real pics when I don't feel mostly dead. It fits perfectly. I don't think I've ever knit anything that fit perfectly, but it's happened. I would like it, except that it took forever (laceweight yarn = UGH) and so I've grown to detest the color and shape of the thing. I'm sure that will wear off as soon as the temperature cools and it's practical to wear a cardigan. I did add a few inches to the bottom since I don't go for that cropped look. I regret not modifying the sleeves to be full-length as I've never understood the 1/2 and 3/4 sleeve styles. I either want sleeves or I don't. Oh, well.

Another project from yesterday:

Walking blocks for the Little Guy...C grabbed some wood that was destined to become kindling and created many hours of fun.

Alright, fading out...let's hope I can teach my felting class on Saturday...

Gone Fishin'

We started "school." 

So what better way to celebrate than to make a school of fish? 

100% wool felt, stuffed with wool, string scraps and a tiny, powerful magnet at the tip. At the end of the Little Guy's fishing pole is a washer...he likes to reel them in by winding the string around the stick. I thought about getting really ridiculous with them by giving them guts and bones and a velcro belly so he could prepare them for supper, but...that's for another day or year, perhaps. Fishing, I'm sure, will become a big part of our life when we live on the river.

3 down, 6 more to go:

In other news, we explored a local library yesterday...definitely something to appreciate about being back here in the Bay for a while...the libraries are bigger than my first apartment and have LOTS OF BOOKS. It was awesome. I have been reading a good deal of history and decided to take a break for some scifi and grabbed Never Let Me Go , The Diamond Age and, of course, some knitting books. The Little Guy found Madlenka, and I love her.

Fresh reading material + fish stitching  + Farmer's Market Day = damn near perfect (missing C...)

Do over.

Today was one of those days when I really wished I had a "do over" button. Like, maybe I should keep one in my pocket like those emergency call buttons old folks carry in case they take an unfortunate spill.

Sometimes, you're just ready for the end of the day to hurry up and get here so nothing else can go wrong. Yeah.

The morning was fine...pretty good, even. The chiropractor commented on my new muscles. I have been growing them with hula and yoga and feel better x a million compared to recent times as a depressed sloth.

The shift occured mid-morning and then I couldn't stop breaking things. The worst of it was what I started with...the Little Guy's favorite bowl. As in, the only thing he's eaten any bowl-centric meal out of for years now. He was, however, much more concerned with the shard of ceramic that embedded itself in my inner pinky finger than with his shattered yellow bowl. We have decided his favorite color isn't yellow anymore, and that was the end of it for him. My finger situation needed a little more attention than that...the cut is deep and jagged and gross and hurts like Hell. I'm hoping I don't have to wait several days to hold a downward dog, but at least it isn't bleeding through the band-aids anymore.

Then I broke a paint jar full of bright blue expensive German paint, coating the Little Guy's pants leg and new sweater...

Then I got the mail and was feeling vulnerable enough to be taken in for the afternoon by a shady letter from the US Trademark something or other. Later on in the day I realized it wasn't for real, but the thought of having to change my business name and start over with something else made me feel ill.

Then I got a convo that the yarn colors aren't exactly right for a custom-order shawl request and I feel like I should have known how difficult it would be to reproduce something I made two years ago, especially when I have so much else going on. I have to back out of it, which feels like failure, which makes me feel 100% lame. Ugh. Will be better about which customs I accept from now on. ETA: She doesn't mind the colors, after all, thank goodness, but I still don't want to do custom knitting anymore.

I have been inspired when the projects are my own. I wish I'd dyed up about 500 pounds of this:

I love Halloween. This one's called Tricky Tricky.

The boy would like to be a PEGACORN this year. I wonder where we're going to be, and does this mean that I should be a unicorn and C a pegasus? I'd love to get C into some giant, manly wings. Hee.

I Love Thursdays

It's Farmer's Market Day!

Therefore, I will torture myself with an ice cream cone from these amazing people. I am supposed to stay away from pretty much every ingredient in real ice cream, but this stuff is art, man, and well worth the headache. And no, I do not get it in a cup...hand-rolled organic waffle cones with chocolate piped into the tip are my new best friend, itchy throat and all. I long for the day they bring candied cacao-nib back to the market, or the raspberry-lemon verbena. So far, I have not seen the same flavor twice in several weeks of market-going. Oh yeah, and I get some veggies, too.

In other news, I admit it. I like dyeing fiber. I really didn't think it was true, but I've spent quite a few more hours this summer over a hot dyepot than I have at my wheel. At first it started out as a fun swap for a friend...dye up some for her, keep some for myself...try these new dyes while I'm at it...twenty pounds later I'm planning out my next sessions in a notebook. What? 

I was going to take a wee break from the pots, but then I got these amazing locks in the mail from Homestead and, well...there's an Anniversary Party/Sidewalk Sale I'll be vending at this week...oughtn't I to bring some fiber?

Inferno (Merino-X), Eggplant (Corriedale), Merman (Rambouillet)

Yes, so please, if you are an SF Bay Area local, Urban Fauna Studio is celebrating their 1 Year Anniversary! To celebrate, there will be a sidewalk sale, raffle, Make and Take activities aaaaaaaaand...CAKE! So, come for the cake, stay for some needle felting. Oh, and check out these awesome folks:

Tactile Fiber Arts – Tactile offers spinning and felting fibers and yarns hand-dyed with high quality natural dyes.

The Spun Monkey - The Spun Monkey creates handspun yarn and functional felt from humane wools and fibers from small family farms.

Buy one item, get the second at 20% off for the UFS Anniversary event!

Kira K – Kira offers patterns with clean lines and intriguing details that are interesting to knit and easy to wear.

Girl On The Rocks – During the day she is a geologist, at night she’s a crafter. Girl on the Rocks offers Clever Stitch Markers, colorful fibers and more!

20% off all Girl on the Rocks Fiber and yarn (notions not included)

 Mary Jane's Attic – MaryJane’s Attic sells products and supplies for the fiber artist and enthusiast, such as needle felting kits, hand spinning tools, hand painted fiber, knitting accessories and everything in between!

One Day Only 10-30% off all Mary Jane's Attic Yarns

Hope to see you there! 

He Wants To Watch Me Die, er...Dye

Some things just shouldn't be taken out of context, or at least, you hope your kid doesn't say them at the park or the grocery store.

The schedule has been as follows: Dye 1 3/4 pounds fiber one day, rinse the next day. Repeat until 40 pounds have been consumed by color. So far my notes on Greener Shades:

*Aqua: boil the shit out of it (very technical, I know). better yet, just use it for mixing colors and never straight up.
*Black: if you've made a stock solution, shake it up well, as it tends to separate. Otherwise, BEST BLACK EVER.
*Get the book. If you don't enjoy taking notes, it's an awesome guide for color blending.
*Every green has been gorgeous. I love this stuff.

Fortunately, today is a rinse day. I'm getting a little burned out and I'm not quite half-way through. But, I need to take advantage of having an actual kitchen while I've got it. There will be an actual kitchen in the Dome, yes, but it may take a few months to really get things set up. With Stitches East and winter shows looming, I have to get as much of the messy stuff taken care of while I'm still here in the Bay.

My very favorite so far:

I'm plotting a whole series of tropical birds, and this Toucan is the first that was successful.
Before this one, I tried for a  flamingo, but it came out more like cooked shrimp shells...the pink was too peachy...should have been blue-y. Also, a proper flamingo should have some black in it, but I worried that it would spin up a little muddy. So, yeah, I ended up with shrimp, which is not really a bad thing:

She Sells Shrimp Shells By the Seashore. 250 yards, dk weight.

I'm rather addicted to fine spinning these days, which doesn't help me get the production done that I need for a show like Stitches. The falklands seems to lend itself really well to smooth, fine yarns, so who am I to argue? Oh, well. I'd rather have a smaller pile of lovely traditionally spun yarns to sell than a giant pile of uninspired bulky. I'm sure I'll switch gears again before too long.

Random: Entrance Solutions = doors? doormats? red carpets? archways? drawbridges? 

Listy Listy

C is leaving today, and I realize that I desperately need to bring a sense of order to our temporary life in the Bay Area. We don't know how long he'll be up north this time, or whether or not he will be bringing us back with him the next time. Perhaps there will be another couple rounds of this, and as much as I can hope not, I have to prepare for it.

The summer has been slipping away with a lack of rhythm that makes me restless. I pine for the life we'll have when we're all together and have to try too hard to enjoy what I have here in the meantime. I complain about culture shock and feeling trapped when I should be thankful that I even have a roof over my head. Instead of telling myself to stop being such a sniveling, morose little creep, I'm going to make a list.

*Find some new haunts the little guy and I can explore by bike.

*Take at least one afternoon to myself every week. By myself. There are grandparents here, and I must use them.

*Create a production schedule that is actually doable, rather than one that leaves me feeling inadequate.

*Find more creative ways to deal with my food allergies so I'm not hungry all the time or eating things that make me feel like shit.

*Finish all the half-done projects that have all worked their way out of the pile of moving boxes.

*Make good on all my swaps, custom orders and the Meme gifts from way back (hope I can find that post and all the addresses!)

I could add to my list all day, but a small person is requesting my undivided and, well...I don't give it to him often enough.


There was a jam session:

and this song was born:

A man pooped in his oven
and ate it for dinner.

Then a dragon came by
and farted fire on his house.

Not sure it's going to be his first hit, but he does rock the bass guitar.
(eta: the critter on the left wrote that song, not my very mature bro-in-law who would never utter such silliness. ahem.)

Oh, and I've been dyeing stuff:

(no subject)

I got another email today about hemp tissue paper...for the longest time I couldn't figure out why I was getting so many emails about where to find this stuff until I realized that I mention it's usage instead of tree-based papers in my packaging somewhere on my website. Apparently, it's getting more difficult to come by and the company I originally purchased it from (who sold me five reams at a good price instead of one) is no longer in business.

Time to take that page down, anyway. In fact, I'm leaning towards discontinuing with my web hosting service and switching my domain to a Typepad or linking it directly to Wordpress. I need to cross-post to one of those website/blog combo kind of things, but I know next to nothing about them...Anyone have any thoughts?

In other news, after all the fruit that was picked, dried, sold and eaten fresh, there are still many beautiful pears looking forward to becoming pie:

They keep my mind off the blueberries I'm not picking.

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The stress of the constant limbo we find ourselves in is exhausting, but we find small ways to celebrate, the little guy and I:

We light a candle for bedtime story every was time to make a new one for August. I love opening up the package of beeswax sheets...they smell sooooo good. Anyway, we just finished up the plouts, there are deep purple grapes ripening and purple morning glories everywhere...and the lad's favorite color (right now) is purple, so it seemed the logical choice for this month.

More purple awaits me in the dyepots. I had fun making up stock solutions for this afternoon's dye adventures and will have some fibers up in the shop soon!

Happy Wednesday!