sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 14, 2006

laid back birthday
posted by soe 5:37 pm

So far, the 32nd birthday has been a fine one. In between fielding phone calls and emails from my nearest and dearest (all of whom were sweet enough to wait to phone until I rolled out of bed several hours late), I’ve managed to break out the blueberry scone stash, learn of a friend’s impending nuptuals (inconveniently double-booked with another wedding on a different coast), get myself a new driver’s license, and see The Pink Panther, complete with large popcorn and soda. Oh, and I wore the newly completed socks to wander around in (they do not make an appearance in my license photo, however).

I’m running out to the store now to buy some confectioner’s sugar to make some Buttercream frosting (Cakelove, eat your heart out; Mum’s recipe is just as good as yours) to put on the heart-shaped mini cakes I’m going to bake in the pans Karen gave me a few years back.

Tonight will probably involve pizza — what is a birthday without pizza, really? — as well as some Olympic watching (it is Valentine’s Day after all, and Rudi does enjoy the snow-based sports), present and card opening, and knitting.

It’s not a big, fancy birthday, but it is a relaxing one. And since I head to St. Louis Friday morning to work a holiday weekend, it’s probably exactly what I need.

PS: I’d like to wish Jason, my birthday twin, a very happy birthday out in the Bay area. He had to go to work today (!!), but I hope his day involves a late arrival, a long lunch, and an early dismissal. Plus cake. Happy birthday, Jas!

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yarn olympics — stage 1
posted by soe 2:29 am

knitting olympics logoThe first stage of any Olympics is to make the team. The second is to qualify for your event.

I’d made the Knitting Olympics team. My name was on the roster. But I’d yet to make sure I’d have a chance to fly down the hill to victory.

You see, I didn’t have a pattern or yarn.

Thursday night, I plowed through piles of patterns in books I owned, books borrowed from willing friends, and web sites galore.

Friday, I took off from my event in order to march with the team and enjoy the festivities.

Saturday, I took inventory of my stock of yarns and needles and wrote out what the patterns I was considering would need.

Yesterday, I laced up my boots and hiked out, slipping, sliding, and slogging through slushy snow en route to the local yarn store, which was having a sale (and Cakelove cupcakes).

How many people can say that they’ve hiked through the snow for a mile for the love of their craft? Well, probably tons. But probably not as many when you narrow down the craft to knitting.

Fifteen minutes after the store opened, it was not yet crowded. But as I wandered around, looking for some of the things I needed, the crowds began to grow. Shoppers began to outnumber store employees. The room began to grow warm.

The first item on my list was yarn for a sock yarn exchange I joined. That was easily grabbed, two shelves in from the door — some nice handpainted sock yarn in yellows, oranges, and reds. Yarn for a hat for a friend was a little harder. Here I was looking for yarn that would be soft enough to wear, masculine enough for a boy, and, preferably, colored in red and black. I found a red angora blend first and then found some black alpaca/merino wool.

And then it was back to my main event: the booties. My local yarn shop has two locations. The other location has a baby yarn section; this one does not. So I wandered around, increasingly feeling desperate. Not finding angora, I jettisoned the first pattern idea. Plus, I reasoned to myself, the twins are going to be summer babies. Who wants to wear angora in a swamp in the middle of the summer? Even rabbits object.

Eventually, I turned to a store employee. I’d decided on one of my patterns and needed some help figuring out what was fingering weight and what was DK weight. I still have no idea. But she pointed me to some baby-weight wool and then to some pretty cotton-wool blends.

Rudi arrived at that point, and together we chose a pretty deep teal and a dark lavender Rowan wool cotton, named Ship Shape and August, respectively, to make these booties from.

We finished the trip with a few more skeins of sock yarn (enough to make Rudi a pair in black, white, and grey and a pair for me in pinks), some extra needles, and some black alpaca/silk yarn Rudi asked me to make him a scarf from.

I cast on the friend’s hat tonight (I see him on Saturday and thought I ought to get started on it) and am loving feel of the Blue Sky yarn and the bamboo needles. It’s the equivalent of spa knitting.

Tomorrow, I’ll cast on the booties and start working toward my main race.

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