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Rhinebeck 2013!

Oh, I loved this ram. He was so sweet and loved to have his chin scratched. I started by kneeling in front of his pen, and scritching, then tried to leave.  Oh, no.  He shoved his head through the bars.  So I scritched some more.  Then tried to leave.  That’s when he climbed up.

A very nice lady, Jane Dixon, was watching the whole time (and I think trying not to laugh), and got this great picture.  (Yes, that is a new design I’m wearing, and no, you don’t get a better view yet!  The yarn is Dragonfly Fibers Dance rustic silk.)

Here’s a pic of him I took. He is so handsome. He nibbled on my fingers a little bit. Ever so gently. Oh, I’m in LURRRVE.

Then I fell in love with this little Shetland-with-a-pinch-of-Jacob ram (below), who fell asleep as I scritched him under the chin.  If I stopped, he just opened his eyes and gazed at me meltingly.  Oh, yes, they knew a sucker when they found one!

I chatted with his owner for awhile, and managed to scratch another of her ram’s chins (he came up and asked very nicely for me to do so — so for a time, I was scratching two chins at once).

Although there were quite a few very large handsome sheep (not to mention alpacas, llamas, and a couple Paca Vicunas) (pics at the end of the post), I’m really drawn to the little ones, like the Shetland and Icelandic sheep.  And the Angora goats.

Here’s another adorable little Shetland.  This guy is 9 months old.  He’s barely the size of our English Cocker, Rigel (whom I don’t think would quite approve of sheep;  I think he’d boof at them).

Their horns, nourished by an extensive blood supply, are downright hot to the touch.

What else did I do besides swoon over the animals?  (I admit I did a lot of swooning — last year I didn’t really get a chance to look at the animals, and honestly, that’s one of my favorite things.  Good thing I’m also a vet!)

I browsed through the barns and buildings, saying hi to folks I know:  Brooke of Sincere Sheep, Morgaine of Carolina Homespun (which I keep want to call Carolina Handspun), Kimber of Fiber Optic, Sarah and Sam at Cephalopod, Carl and Eileen of Bijou Basin. Carl gave me a skein of their new sportweight yak in a gorgeous green — I can’t wait to use it in a design!

I watched the llama leaping, which was entertaining, but took longer than I thought.  I’m fine seeing them in pens or walking around!

I ate roasted lamb one day, and lamb kebab the other.  I liked the lamb kebab better — the lamb was a bit milder.  I tried and bought some delicious raw cow’s milk cheeses from Sprout Creek Farm.  (I got the Ouray & Bogart.)

The Cooperative Press party Saturday night was a success! Wing & Clover hosted it in their studio, and we had knitters packed in & spilling out into the foyer.  I met up with Gryphon of Verdant Gryphon (she was dressed in linen finery!) — that’s Anna Dalvi next to Gryphon.

Sunday, after we broke down the booth (I think we were the quickest done — it’s the nice thing about only having books to pack up!), we had dinner at  Mercato in Red Hook.  Oh my gosh, it was delicious.

Monday I took the train to NYC and met up with my friend Claudia.  I dozed on her bedroom couch while she was teaching an opera lesson (yes, I was that exhausted), then went to the Natural History Museum (caught the spiders exhibit, fun!).  We ordered Mexican food in, drank tequila, and played Rock Band 3.  It was a perfect, laidback evening.

And Tuesday I came home.  🙂


Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Audrey’s Reversible Scarves book!  you have til midnight PST tonight (Oct 25).

Coming up:  A review of Needles & Artifice (with accompanying giveaway) Oct 29.


Sock Summit 2011: Packing List

I nearly always make a packing list, even for weekend trips.  The times I’ve not used one are the times I’ve forgotten something.  So here goes:

ClothesToiletriesElectronics & MiscKnittingFor Class
On plane: Denim jacket, blue/tan dress, necklace & bracelet, teva flip flops
Bath gel/shampoo, scrubby, razor + blade, toothpaste, toothbrush, deoderant

Cash, credit cards, checks (2)Swatching for book (Shibui, Sanguine Gryphon)sock needles (dpns, KP set)
circs size US0 -US1.5
Brown dress
Paisley dress
Jeans x2
White shirt
Beige bra
Underwear x5
White cami
Face cleaner, alpha hydroxy lotion, moisturizer/sunscreenPlane tickets, confirmation numbers for hotel & Sock Summitsweater wip & extra yarn, beads, crochet hook for beading, brass safety pins, extra US3 circ, tote for WIPsock yarn leftovers
workout socks
Running shoes
Bathing suit & goggles (seriously, the hotel has a pool!), heart rate monitor & strap
foundation, mascara, lip balm, powder, brush, tweezersPhone, phone charger
laptop, computer charger & bag
iPad, charger
Samples for book
Aran Lace stitch pattern book
Bavarian Twisted stitch pattern books
brown & turquoise sandals Sunglasses
Prescription glasses
Contact lens case, solution, extra lenses
Business cards, TNNA badge holder?, Ravelry button, lightweight bag for purchasesNotions: tape measure, tapestry needle, extra stitchmarkers, cutting toolnotepad, pen, sharpie

You are correct — there are no handknitted socks on that list.  The only shoes to wear with socks that I’m bringing are my running shoes.

I’m pretty sure all that could fit in a carry on and my messenger bag, but I’m going to go ahead & check a bag.  I’ll be flying on Jet Blue for the first time, and they allow one free checked bag, and I figure I’m going to be coming back with more than I’m bringing.

I’m going to start packing today, just to see how everything fits.  All knitting, of course, goes in the carry on, as do all my electronics, meds, and one change of clothes.


Yosemite Spring 2011

Sentinel Rock

Every year the California Vet Med Association holds a three day continuing education (CE) conference in Yosemite.  As a vet, I have to accumulate 36 hours of CE every two years.  The conference is worth 12;  since we go to this every year, that’s 24/36.  (The rest I get either online, through local meetings, etc.)

Regardless, lecture is 8-12 Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  That leaves Friday & Saturday afternoons for hiking.

Merced River, looking back at Half Dome

Friday afternoon we hiked from the Lodge to the base of El Capitan & back.  Pretty, flat, but enough distance to burn some good calories.  The day varied between sunny and overcast even as we did the 3 hour hike.

The next day we did one of my favorite hikes, to Vernal Falls.  You start at Happy Isles, then climb for almost a mile before dipping back down to the bridge.  Vernal Falls is to your right.  One year it’d been warm enough that the Mist Trail, from Vernal to Nevada Falls, was open.  This year (and every other year for the past 10 or so) there was too much snow & ice.  Sometimes we continue as far as we can up the Muir trail, but this year only went a little past the bridge.

We checked out the fen behind the nature center (closed for the season) before catching the bus to Yosemite Village.  A gorgeous raven entertained us at the bus stop.

We explored the Ansel Adams gallery & store, then checked out the gallery at the museum. From there, we walked back to the Lodge, stopped first to at the base of the lower Yosemite Falls.

The lectures? Orthopedics and opthomology.  The knitting during the lectures?  The Zylphia Cowl, due to be released in the next day or two.  A few people, including one other knitting vet whom I inspired to bring her knitting to lecture, admired it.


Late December WIPs and DIPs

I had a knitting disaster last week. If you follow me on twitter, I had two small tweets about it.  At the time, that’s all I could say.

Somehow I miscounted and thus mis-positioned the cables on Edie. I didn’t see it until the other day (more work had accrued since the picture on the Mid December blog post), when I paused to actually stretch the work all out & admire it.

Unfixable, un-fudgeable.  One front cable was mispositioned by a couple inches.  I frogged.

The cats have subsequently had a great deal of fun with the small balls of the ash violet. They obviously assume that, if I leave a small ball of yarn out, it’s an offering to the cat gods a gift left for them to find.  They like to either unwind & wrap the yarn around everything they can (forming a cat’s cradle around the dining room table & chairs for example) or bring it to bed so they can toss it and pounce upon it at 3 a.m.

The good news is I was thinking of re-working the cable so it lays flatter, and doing this as a top down pattern rather than bottom up.  That will require sewing the hem, rather than knitting it,  to the body.  But there’s no earthly way I should be able to screw up the cable placement starting top down.

In the meantime I’ve been working on the pattern for the Spring Sanguine Gryphon pattern line.  It’s top down as well (with some quirks tossed in) and is going well.  I’ve joined for in the round for the bodice section.  I can’t say much about it, but think layers and beads.  The theme for Spring was Art Nouveau.

L to R: Ocotillo, Manzanita, Quercus

The mittens ebook is nearly finished.  I’ll also be releasing the patterns individually.  Take a peek!  The names all reference various California plants.  Ashley Knowlton tech edited it, and I have a slew of testers, all finished except 1 or 2.  I’m thinking of offering it as a hardcopy through Magcloud as a well as a pdf download through Ravelry.

Would you like to see the mittens, and a bunch of other samples, in person?  I’m going to be at Old Oaks Ranch in Wimberley, Texas, Jan 4th 11a-2p, hosting a trunk show and giving a couple mini-classes/lectures.