Friday, June 22, 2007

Formula One, Knitting, and a Fantastic Indy LYS

We're home! Actually, we came back late Monday night. The race (F1 US Grand Prix) was a lot of fun--lots of good racing going on in the middle of the "pack," and a winner who didn't wear Ferrari red! I'm not Lewis Hamilton's biggest fan, but it IS nice to have some variety now that the oh-so-perfect Michael Schumacher is retired ;-)

Whatever I was coming down with when we left Washington got worse while I was away, though, so I had to call my doctor and ask him to call in some antibiotics to a pharmacy in Indy. But I still have a lot of pressure in my left ear, which has continued to hurt since the flight out of D.C.; it's really stopped up, so I'm going in for an office visit today. Have you ever heard of "airplane ear"? It's a real malady. Ick.

Holding a REAL F1 tyre in front of the Super Aguri garage.

OK, so that's enough of my old-lady-style bitching about health. Let's talk knitting.

I worked on my Online sock a lot while I was gone. I also got through several inches of the chevron scarf, but hated the way it looked in the yarns I brought, so I frogged it. Instead, I cast on for a pair of socks for Chris with that charcoal-brown-ish Koigu.But I swear that yarn has BYK (bad yarn karma) for me, so I might just rip out the cuff I finished and give the yarn away or stick it in my stash for a few years to see if it sheds the BYK.

On our last day in Indy, while waiting for our limo, I decided to check out a LYS. I opened the local phone book and chose one of the two that were listed. It's called "Stitches and Scones. The store's name drew me in, since I figured there might be food involved for Chris, who always waits so patiently. As it turned out, he occupied his time by losing his debit card at an ATM down the street, so we never delved into the food issue. But they did offer us one of their free home-made scones when I was at the register :-)

Cell phone photo so thoughtfully taken by Chris ("For your blog," he said!) while we waited for our taxi back to the hotel.

Well, let me tell you, that was one fabulous yarn store! Loved it, loved it, loved it. I've never seen so much gorgeous yarn from so many manufacturers (small and large) in one place. And an absolutely lovely place, at that. A small cottage-style building jam-packed with yarn, though it was very well organized. They also sold spinning wheels and a great variety of fiber for spinning. And the store's book selection was terrific.

In the end I bought two multi-colored braids of Fleece Artist hand-dyed Blue Face Leicester (BFL) roving and a 400+ yard hank of Fleece Artist BFL DK-weight hand painted yarn. So beautiful. (They carry local products, too, but they're more expensive and I hadn't planned the LYS trip, so didn't budget enough $.) I could have spent $1,000, no problem--I'll come prepared for more purchases next year!

Wow. I could have spent an entire day in there. And the sweetest part? When the owner heard that we'd taken a taxi from our nearby hotel, she actually offered to drive us back! How nice is that? Fiber people are very, very kind. I strongly recommend stopping by Stitches & Scones if you're in the Indianapolis area--you're guaranteed to be overwhelmed and enchanted!

I don't remember buying THIS fiber in Indy...

I'll show more pictures in my next post so you can see what I bought. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grand Prix Knitting

Today we're leaving for Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix. So...what kind of knitting DOES one bring to a racetrack? Answer #1: Socks (2 pairs). I'm packing the Gentleman's Socks with Lozenge Pattern (which I'm making with the lovely Schaefer Anne yarn). These aren't a quick knit...The yarn is light fingering weight, and my brain is having a hard time grasping the pattern. Don't ask me why.

So, for mindless pleasure, I'm also packing the plain old stockinette pair I cast on this week, using Online (summer colors, wool/cotton/nylon). Not my typical yarn choice, but the colors are pretty, aren't they?

And--ta da!--my "major" project (though also somewhat mindless): The Chevron Scarf.

After much debating and playing with my stash, I've decided upon the Cherry Blossom yarn I bought from Sundara (love it...that chocolate color is so rich against the peachy pink) and the brown/charcoal Koigu I've been messing around with for a year. Funny: Last year at Indy I was working on Jaywalkers with it! But I ripped them out. Must have been Bad Yarn Karma (BYK).

We're off this afternoon..."leavin' on a jet plane," for 6 days in Indy and the best freakin' steak dinner in the WORLD at St. Elmo's Steakhouse. Their shrimp cocktail (shrimp in Indianapolis???) is TO DIE FOR. Honestly! And, of course, the lyrical rumble and whine of Formula One engines, the smell of oil and tires in the sun, and--hopefully--a podium that doesn't include Raikonnen or Hamilton ;-) Oh, Juan Pablo Montoya...Why did you leave F1? I'll miss you this weekend. Sigh.

Oh, by the way, here's a little something I whipped up one evening...It's a felted iPod holder, with room for the earbuds and cord. The closure is a crocheted flower "button" with I-cord loop. It's very water resistant, and strong enough to protect my Pod in the black hole of my purse. I'll post the pattern if anyone's interested.

Have a happy weekend everyone! I'll post some pix when I get back. A bientot!


Friday, June 08, 2007

Secret Garden

If you keep your eyes open when you walk around the District, you'll see many beautiful little nooks and crannies like this. My grandmother would have said these are the places where fairies live.

On another note: The thing about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is that it saps your ability and desire to do anything at all. And focusing or concentrating can sometimes be a real chore. Unfortunately, my health has been declining a bit in this area...I'm pushing myself way too hard.

That's why the Gentleman's Socks with Lozenge Pattern are taking me a bit longer than usual...I've been feeling particularly ill, so I'm not enjoying keeping track of the knit/purl pattern. Too much counting involved, and I keep losing my place. For now, I may just cast on a plain old sock--the kind I can knit without having to count anything at all.

Well, there's lots of rest in my immediate future (like, this weekend!). I hope yours is relaxing, as well, and that you have lots of time to do the things you enjoy with the people you love. Happy Friday!


Friday, June 01, 2007

My Broadcast News "Debut" ;-)

I usually put up a photo for eye-candy Friday. So don't get me wrong. I would never imply that I'm eye candy! But I was on the news regarding a VERY important issue...

NOTE: I DO wish that...
A) I'd had a chance to dress appropriately, put on make-up, and prepare myself
B) The camera angles were a little more flattering (that's my "bad side," where I have a small birthmark)

BUT, from an advocacy perspective--which is the real point of all this--Tom Fitzgerald's report got the message out! I feel so stongly about this topic, because people get sick or die from these mistakes quite often.

Click here to see me on last night's news :-)

Have a safe and happy weekend!