11 August 2008

who you gonna call

we always had a tongue-in-cheek joke back home that had a lot of truth in it:

if you need a cop, don't call 911, call dunkin donuts.

we couldn't resist this photo op on our massachusetts tripthe best (worst?) part was there were actually 3 police cars lined up there, but one drove off in the time it took us to turn around for the picture.

so if you've got dunkin donuts in your area, remember who to call if you need help.

09 August 2008

i've been a bad girl

besides the virtual pile of photos and the stories rolling around my head going back to may that i haven't posted yet, i am behind in the public displays of appreciation department as well.

podcasts are still a strange new world to me, fascinating but wildly overpopulated. discovering them rather behind the curve makes navigating through the hordes of knit podcasts to see what i like tricky, and i haven't dared cross the threshold to other topics, like music or books. especially because i want to be able to listen and quiet me-time for that is awful limited. so i haven't gotten very far, to be honest.

with one exception. the most wonderful podcast in existence (i am convinced, despite it being my first and only) is faery knitting by erin. erin reads and discusses a (public domain) faery tale (with voices and clever asides), then talks about yarn and gardening. brilliant! it's a perfect mix, and so fun to be read a story, discuss the background and underlying messages, then hear about planting and knitting and raising alpacas. and to top it off, she has little contests with book, yarn and gardening prizes.

one of which i won, ever so far back now. a little package with pole bean seeds, a book mark and cool chinese print card were waiting for me on my return from our MA trip. yes, in may. i told you i was bad. thanks, erin!

sadly, or perhaps luckily, the seeds did not get planted this year. the very little that did get planted was very late, and due to lack of sun (it's literally been raining for a month straight), hasn't grown much at all. the seeds would have been wasted. they'll spend the winter in the freezer and next year we'll see how they do in an alaskan summer.

roxie, of sanna's bag, recently held a contest for her 600th post. rather than picking one or two winners, she generously picked everyone! almost a week ago now i was the ever-so-proud recipient of a skein of bamboo hand-dyed by Teresa Ruch from the portland handweavers guild.
it's got the loveliest dark blue and purple shades, highlighted by surprising green and magenta streaks. i love it - thanks roxie! now if i only knew what to make with it........

one of chuck's daughters (also in oregon, hmmm) has an etsy shop selling pendants she designs. apparently she's done well enough to be copied now, frustrating as that compliment is. she had promised way back when the gift of whatever pendant caught my eye. finally i looked through and made my choice, which arrived last week, along with an extra ladybug design (for chuck's nickname for me).the pendants were larger than i expected somehow from the etsy pictures (not that this was a problem), and i've got the smallest size. her designs are so simple that they enhance the natural wood of the pendant. the dark woods were really my favorites. thanks val!

while i am publically confessing my failings, i may as well add another. last weekend we went to the tanana valley fair, which after solstice, is practically the highlight of the summer. it is THE thing to go to. why, i'm not sure. back home we had the eastern states exposition, called the big E. that lasts 3 weeks, and you could spend all day there and still come back for more. the tanana fair on the other hand, takes about 2 hours if you walk slow and look at everything twice. my first summer, we'd heard so much hype from locals about it, our expectations were rather high. when i went with some friends from work, we walked through at work-speed and were done in a half hour. then stared at each other, saying, that's it?

now chuck and i go, and take our time. there's a couple food booths we always hit, the fried dough one (called elephant ears here, very appetizing eh?) and the homemade french fries & potato chip booth. there are artists galore up here, photos of mount mckinley and the northern lights being very popular of course, and some of them are very talented. we always walk slowly through their booths, trying not to drool or whip out the credit card. we might not have succeeded at that last one this year.

the really dangerous to me booth this year was a new one, offering hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns, along with stained glass items. oh, and spindles and roving. i held out against the spindles, and the hand-spun and dyed quiviut, but i was no match for two 1/2 pound hanks of hand-dyed merino, one lace weight and the other fingering/sock weight, or the hank of handspun merino dyed that mellow yellow i've been fascinated with lately. chuck was no help at all either - even he knew at $35 a skein it was a good deal and made me buy all three.*sigh* there goes my resolution to only buy yarn as needed. i have no idea at all what i'll do with those. i'm sure i'll figure something out.

and, again with chuck's encouragement, i finally signed up for a sock club. they've always sounded like fun, but seemed very pricy. now, i don't know if the fearless fibers one i signed up for is just a good deal, or if i've been buying more expensive sock yarn, but it seemed very reasonable. maybe it being only three months long helps too. i've been watching anne at knitspot make all kinds of socks and shawls from fearless fiber yarn, and wanted to try them out. here i go! each month's yarn comes with a pattern, and i get to choose the colors i want. so it's not quite as adventurous as most sock clubs, but it'll be a good start for me.

apparently falling off the yarn wagon hits pretty hard. linking photos to this post, i discovered some other recent additions to the stash (we won't talk about any possible internet orders that haven't arrived yet). while waiting for the fair to open, we stopped by a LYS in the neighborhood i'd only been to once. they have a rather random selection of books and yarns, along with spinning and weaving supplies. a skein of bearfoot jumped at me and wouldn't let me leave it. chuck insisted (i suppose we could say he was being a bad boy too?).and we had stopped by the LYS we visit most a couple weeks ago, and grabbed some opal on sale.

how can i explain myself? it calls to me, chuck enables, it comes home. at least we'll never run out of socks - once i make them all. hehe.

among the virtual photo stack are finished knits that i'll save for another day with one exception. in a draft started in the dark before summer, i discovered my finishing up notes on the anastasia socks. the finished photos never were posted for them, so here they are.they're very comfy cozy squishy and soft. the shibui seems to be good yarn, i machine washed and dried them with no ill effects. i'm lucky it's not sold locally or i might have another public confession to make.