Monday, February 26, 2007

Stitches West 2007

I know, I know - you are falling out of your chair right about now because this post actually is about knitting. Finally, huh?!?

Fact #1: A convention center chock full of yarn, needles, and related fiber arts paraphernalia = knitting nirvana.

Fact #2: Even a die-hard knitter gets tired after walking 250+ booths looking at skein after skein of handpainted yarn.

Fact #3. Die-hard knitter's husband who also walked 250+ booths without complaining even a little bit deserves a medal.

We had a great time at the convention (and in nearby Monterey), and are already making plans to go back next year. I managed to buy smartly (if a bit indulgently) and to stay (mostly) within the budget I set before I went. The goodies I bought included:
  1. A gorgeous limited edition run of handpainted thick & thin spun wool/mohair in shades of purple and red from Brooks Farm. I would have walked out of there having chosen an "earthy" colorway, had two women buying more yarn than I can knit in several years not talked me into the brighter shade. They were right. I could have spent hours and a boatload of cash in this booth - there were so many beautiful yarns. Judging from the way the booth looked when we left for the day, some people did.
  2. Handpainted tencel and handspun silk to weave into a scarf. Definitely a luxury item purchase (when will I wear a scarf in Arizona?), but the colors were so beautiful I couldn't pass it up.
  3. Handturned rosewood knitting needles from Crown Mountain Farms - these beautiful needles feel as smooth as silk in your hands.
  4. A Mama Bear tabletop swift. I've been wanting one of these for the longest time, but just hadn't convinced myself to buy one. My husband made the executive decision that he would rather shell out for the swift AND lug it home on the plane back to Arizona than be the makeshift "swift" for one more project. Problem solved.

Last, but not least, a funny little tidbit from the show .... Because of the disproportionate number of women to men attending, the event coordinators converted nearly every men's bathroom in the convention center into a ladies bathroom to handle the crowd. Which meant my hubby was SOL. It's a good thing he loves me.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Small Miracles

So, the fire remediation service was responsible for cleaning the soot from every square inch of our house. Every horizontal and vertical surface from window blinds to the smallest knick knack was touched. Most of our stuff made it through the cleaning intact - most remarkably, my 150 pound floor loom. The cleaners managed to move the loom (with my latest project still on it!) from room to room twice, without breaking even a single warp thread.

I'm so relieved, as I'm stubbornly determined to finish weaving this smoky rug - it's currently 3/4 of the way completed - if only to have a souvenier of this crazy scary time. I'll post pictures of it once the contractors are done doing their thing and we can move back into the house - hopefully by the end of March.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Reason to Consolidate Your Stash in One Room

So, the remediation service swears to me that they'll be able to get the smoke smell out of all of my yarn. In what was almost a comedy, the crew chief says - can you show me where you have yarn you'd like to have cleaned? I walked around the house room by room, pointing at baskets and drawers, felted bowls and plastic bins, until he stopped and said - is there a room you don't have yarn in? Um...actually, no. Oh, wait - the bathroom (and that's burnt).

So, hopefully my stash will be saved. We're in temporary housing for a month or so while cleaners, contractors, painters and the like tromp in and out of the house hopefully making things better (or at least cleaner) than they were before. THANK YOU to all of you who posted comments and/or sent emails to my last post. Your support is a beautiful lifeline.