Saturday, August 18, 2007

Of obsession, gifting, Cat Bordhi, and reveling in Ravelry

Lots going on in the last few days! So, bear with me a bit and I'll try to give a Reader's Digest abridged version (no promises, though).

First up, Thursday night was the Tigard Knitting Guild meeting. Trish Andersen from Tanglewood Fiber Cerations was the guest speaker. She's hilarious as well as very, very skilled at spinning. Her basket of hand-spun goodness was a joy, as was her talk. She even taught us how to spin using nothing but some roving and a bent paperclip, which came in very handy on Friday night -- but more about that later. Trish only sells her handspun wholesale, so if you want some, you'll need to find a shop who carries it. If you're in Portland, you can find some at my favorite LYS, The Knitting Bee. Trish will be teaching a drop-spindle class there soon, too, in case you want to learn more.

In addition to the basket of hand-spun skeins, Trish brought some items made from her spun creations. One of them was the Alix's Prayer Shawl from Debbie Macomber's Web site. It was gorgeous. So pretty, in fact, that I immediately knew it was perfect for the two skeins of Sea Silk in my stash in the lovely Berry colorway.

This is where the obsession comes in. When I got home from the meeting, I downloaded the pattern, printed it, studied it a bit, and determined that it truly is a simple lace that I could easily manage. Then I went to bed. Where I had dreams about the pattern and the yarn together and woke up with little on my mind except for winding those two skeins into balls and casting on for that shawl! Yes, friends, I truly can be that obsessed. Unfortunately, I had a lot of work to do, so the most I managed was winding the two skeins into balls and taking this picture. Today, however, I did cast on and start, even though I should be working. Heck, I have all day tomorrow to work on that Monday deadline! LOL

I showed of the Monkey socks at the meeting, along with the wonderful aromatic cedar blockers I got from Deb (more accurately, from Deb's hubby, Bruce). Both were big hits. The socks are now properly blocked (and smelling slightly of cedar - mmmm!), wrapped up and ready to be gifted.

Which brings us to Friday and Cat Bordhi's book-signing event. The PDX Knitting Bloggers were amply represented and, being the shy, retiring group that we are, we sat in the front row, baby! Most of us got there early and quickly purchased a copy of Cat's new book (New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book 1) and got it signed before everything else started.

Cat was gracious and calm and wonderful, just as expected. She wears her socks well, don't you think? The book recommends that you make small socks using each of the new techniques to get a feel for them. Once you've done that, string them together and wear them, as Cat did, or use them for holiday decorations. Lovely!

There were lots and lots of sample socks showing the different techniques. If you haven't purchased the book yet, you might want to do so quickly. The first printing is already sold out (to stores, that is) and the second printing won't happen until October. So if your LYS or book store runs out of copies, you'll end up waiting a bit to get one. Even if you've knit a thousand pairs of socks, you are going to want this book. I can't wait to try some of the new techniques out. I just need more hours in each day!

Tina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts was our host and since traffic was terrible, the order of things got rearranged a little. Tina asked if we wanted to play a game -- a game that had skeins of Socks That Rock as prizes. Well, duh! When there's STR involved, who knows what we'd do to win some!

Tina asked us to look in our knitting bags ('cause you know we all had them with us) and pull out something unusual that is used in knitting. Kathy had just been showing us how to make i-cord using a plastic fork, so she was the first one up to the podium to claim a prize. I still had the paperclip and roving in my bag from the night before and demonstrated my spinning technique. That scored me the lovely skein you see here. More things appeared, including credit cards to figure WPI, hair clips to hold pieces together for seaming, and lots of other things. Lots of happy knitters went home with skeins of STR!

Oh, the color of my STR is Sherbert. It's very bright. I think I'm going to pair it with some black and do socks with some mosaic knitting pattern or fair isle or something like that. My mind is reeling with possibilities, especially given the new techniques in Cat's book!

By the way, Cat has created some YouTube videos showing a variety of techniques, including Judy's Magic Cast-on (which is mentioned in the book, BTW) and some of the techniques from the new book. These should help a lot of us! And finally, here are some more pictures from the evening.

I know this is a long post, but here's the final bit. . .

I'm finally on Ravelry! I spent a little bit of time today exploring and posting some of my FOs. There's a lot to explore and I think it's going to take me some time to get acclimated, but I'm so glad I made it there! If you're on, you can find me under the name Maxfun, which is the identity I usually use (sometimes with the number 47 after it) on the Web. Woo HOOOOO!!!

Okay, with that, I'm back to typing. Gotta make my Monday deadline! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


yvonnep said...

What a nice blog to read! I love your Sea Silk. I almost can feel the softness and the luxury through the screen.

monica said...

Thanks for the link for the shawl. I think I am going to make this for a friend of mine.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

spinningmom said...

Glad to help out with the winning thing! Sherbet is my favorite color-way too! I'll show you some Wild Woman socks for that color-way call me! Trish