Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Any resemblance to actual events...

Let's examine the concept of making certain items of a personal nature "gratis" after a certain time of night.

Gratis: out of kindness, free, charitable

For example, let's say a woman enters a grocery store at a very brisk pace at, say, 11:20pm, heads straight to the feminine products aisle (purely an example) and seconds later approaches the checkout lane with a big extra OMG large package of products from said aisle. In my opinion, the woman should be able to head straight home and bypass the entire checkout process. Especially if register 1 is closed (even though the light is on) and the surly young man lounging by register 1 says, "he'll get you at register 5." The woman knows the clock is ticking and register 5 might as well be in Chattanooga...and where in the hell is the cashier for register 5? Oh, he's at the front desk making a "I'll be right there" gesture. (Again, just a "for instance".) Shopper discount cards need not be scanned, item(s) need not be bagged, debit card need not be swiped. No need for chit chat. No need for the pleasant "did you find everything you were looking for?" (As freakin' if!) Time is of the essence here!

But like I said, I'm just presenting the subject for debate.

Any similarities to actual persons, surly, living or dead, or any resemblance to actual events, past, present or future is purely coincidental.

Other items to consider as "gratis" after 11pm:
Baby diapers, formula, pacifier, etc.
Preparation H
Pepto Bismol
Dark chocolate

On a serious note, here's my feedback to the cashier: Dude, DO NOT ask a woman who has just plunked down a massive package of feminine products on your checkout lane at 11:20pm if 1) she is having a pleasant night and 2) if she found everything she was looking for. The proper greeting is, "Good evening, ma'am. There is no charge for your purchase tonight. May I offer you this complimentary slab of dark chocolate as well? Would you like to hit me? Please...if it will take the edge off."

Just sayin'...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh Fabio!

My latest finished object!

Drop Stitch Scarf
Knit with my superwash hand-dyed in "Oh Fabio!"
Pattern by Laura Bryant
Published in Spring 2009 Vogue Knitting

Initially, the pattern comes off as rather fussy. A lot of "Row 9 as Row 2" then "Row 16 as Row 9", but once you get the hang of the pattern repeat you can pretty much go on your own.

As for the name of the's named after Fabio, a gorgeous peacock who struts his stuff around Three Creeks Farm.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Festival Preparation

It's tough to photograph yarn and get the true color. Really tough. My camera isn't all that great. I bought it 8 years ago when 2 mega pixels was that cat's meow. About a month later 3 mega pixel cameras hit the market. What are they up to now? 12? But my camera does a pretty good job and it has taken thousands of photos.

Sugar Maple hand-dyed sock yarn. 460 yards of 75/25 blend of wool and nylon. This is a very durable sock yarn. The nylon gives added strength and it can be machine washed.

This is one of my latest handspun yarns. It's an 80/20 blend of merino wool and possum. Yes, possum. You see, there is a terrible possum problem in New Zealand. A long time ago someone brought a possum to the islands (I guess it would have been two possums). They are considered an invasive non-native species and have been causing major problems for decades. An erradication project was established (I don't want the details) and the result is more fiber to spin.
Possum "down" is a very short fiber so it needs to be blended with a longer staple, such as merino wool. The wool holds everything together and the possum adds a lovely bloom. It's also a very warm fiber. I think this batch of 4 ounces wants to be mittens or maybe wrist warmers.

I purchased the fiber for this yarn from the Fiber Denn about a year ago. It's 100% corriedale wool. I'm thinking nice thick socks.

I'm getting my inventory in shape for the Cannonsburgh Village Harvest Days and Fiber Festival on October 24th. I'm planning on selling hand-dyed sock yarn, hand-dyed fiber, hand spun yarn, and maybe a few other items. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No fleece for me!

As luck would have it, I'm sick. Not flu sick, but a nasty cold coupled with an ear infection. Sick enough to stay home and forego the spinning competition and fleece auction tonight at the Tennessee State Fair. It sucks. I tried to talk myself into going several times, but each time I whimped out. I just don't feel well, and, as I said, it sucks. So much for getting a fleece at a great price.

However, I suppose I shouldn't whine too loudly. Did I mention that I just got back from a weekend in Chicago with my sister? We went to Stitches Midwest and the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Fun!

Stitches Midwest Day 1
I arrived at Chicago's Midway airport mid-morning and took the train to the Rosemont station where my sister picked me up. On to Schaumburg!

After a quick lunch we checked in for our first class, "Mastering Yarn Substitutions" by Kelly Nuss. What a great session (even though a few classmates were determined to take the class off-topic and discuss the meaning of "drape". Seriously.) When she explained that you could knit in a tighter gauge but use the stitch count for a larger size and come out pretty darn close, I thought my sister was going to stand up and applaud. It was a lot of math, but it wasn't as scary as I anticipated.

Then it was on to the Market preview! I'd love to name all the vendors we visited, but I know I would leave someone out. I wasn't going to buy anything. Ha! That ended when I saw the possum blend Zealana Rimu yarn. Cha-ching! We shopped until the Market closed and then the real mission began. The hunt for wine. And a grocery store.

One would think that there would be a grocery store on the main thoroughfare through Schaumburg. No Kroger. No Publix. We drove for what felt like miles (probably only a mile or two) and finally saw a sign for the "Shop and Save." After the first aisle my sister whispered, "where are we?" I hadn't noticed the non-English audio playing in the background. I was entranced with the cool packaging and didn't realize the colorful labels were in POLISH. Not that there's anything wrong with Polish, it's just that it took a few minutes for us to realize that we were in a Polish grocery store. In the middle of Schaumburg. And no one was speaking English. So, we bought Polish ketchup, polish pickles, polish chocolate, polish hummus, polish wine, and triscuits. Ok, the pickles and ketchup were for my nephews because one likes ketchup and the other likes pickles and we knew they'd get a kick out of the cool labels.

Stitches Midwest Day 2
At the last minute I decided to take a quick market session on intarsia taught by Beth Whiteside. It was a whim and I mainly took it to hear what tkind of questions people would have about intarsia so I can be better prepared for the class I'm teaching next month. It was money well spent.

After the class we hopped on the train at the Roselle Metra Station and went to Chicago!

Union Station

View of Chicago River from the Water Taxi (notice the trains under the bridge)

View of Chicago from the Water Taxi
Check out the parking garage! Those are some serious parking skills! I wonder how many cars have backed into the river.

We walked and shopped Michigan Avenue and then hit Giordano's on Rush Street for stuffed pizza. We walked and shopped some more, then caught the bus back to Union Station for the train ride home.

When we got back to the hotel it was wine and Polish (and other terribly insensitive and off-color) jokes. We still hadn't gotten over the Polish grocery had to be there. When my sister reads this she'll start laughing all over again. Especially when she thinks about "Skip." (I'll bet that made her snort.)

Stitches Midwest/Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival Day 3
On Saturday we drove a couple hours north and went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, Wi. It's a great festival! We got there a little later than we planned (slept in...too many Polish jokes the night before) but we still had plenty of time to browse through the barns of vendors, sheep and babies. Love the babies!

Gun show! Sheep shearing demo. Lots of ladies at this demonstration. Hmm, wonder why.

We bought fiber--Romney, CVM, silk. Karen bought an Ashford spindle. I bought more than I could fit in my suitcase so Karen agreed to ship it to Nashville for me. We spent Saturday night playing with the drop spindle and teaching/learning to spin. She thinks her first yarn is too thick, I think her first yarn would make a killer edging on mittens!

Stitches Midwest Day 4
Sunday was our last day. We went back to the Market for one last looky-loo, bought a few more goodies, and then Karen headed north and I headed south.

The trip was great, and we're contemplating our destination for next year. Stitches and the wool festival were fun but we may opt for poolside umbrella drinks and cabana boys. Cozumel anyone?