Thursday, July 28, 2011

Too Much To Write About!

Often times I stare at a blank blog posting page thinking about what to write about, but today, I have so much I'm overwhelmed! I guess it has been a while since I posted.

Start With...
I guess I'll start with the Men's Rocky Mountain Knitting Retreat.

The weekend before last, 20 guys gathered at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge on Thursday afternoon (actually, due to a cancelled flight, I arrived at about 7:00 pm) to share in the fraternity of knitting. It never ceases to amaze me how magical these retreats can be, and Frank and Brady did an amazing job of organizing this one. They were also overwhelmed by the generosity of fiber vendors who help sponsor these events. Companies like Skacel and The Stitchin' Den were generous enough to even help sponsor a few guys to attend the retreat. Here's a sense of the swag that we had the chance to win.

The lodge was beautiful (Jeff and I actually saw a bear on our drive to the lodge!), the cabins were very comfortable, the food was exceptional and the hosts were delightful.

The guys that are compelled to attend these events are never anything short of amazing. With the one common factor of a love for knitting/crocheting/spinning/weaving (is that one common factor?), the group comes together in a way that I've never seen in any other group gathering. The rest of this blog post are photos of the guys who attended.

Next post will be about a visit we made to the Schacht spindle factory...I'll post soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Suburban Life

I've never really been a city person. Even though I've worked in New York and Philadelphia and various other large cities, I never really found the pace and the "buzz" of a city very appealing.

City Benefits
Cities do offer somethings that I wish I had more access to. Ethnic restaurants, art-house theaters, public transportation, museums, etc. But for me, the offerings of a city environment don't offset the negatives (dirt, crime, homelessness, stress, etc.)

But rural life isn't for me either.

I couldn't imagine being 30 minutes away from a grocery store, or an hour from a movie theater where all I could see would be the latest blockbusters.

So, I choose suburbia. Living close enough to those things I consider enriching to my life while enjoying the serenity of a more rural area seems to be a good middle ground for me.

Rural Farm/Yarn Store Visit
John, one of the Canadian participants who attended the last Men's Spring Knitting Retreat, and also owns The Fibre Garden in Jordan Ontario (and is also an incredible dyer) was visiting family in Edmonton, and asked if I'd like to accompany him and his niece Heather to a tiny little town with an amazing fibre store and sheep farm.

I couldn't resist.

Here's the yarn store (Celeigh Wool):

And here's the owner Marg with John and sheepdog Tia:

And here are some of the sheep who also reside there:

And finally, my purchases:

Gorgeous BFL/Silk blend...heavenly!

A sweater's worth of natural colored Shetland wool from Celeigh Wools sheep.
And finally...a hand-loomed Alberta wool blanket that sells for such a cheap price, I couldn't pass it by!

Current Knitting
I've started on the ribbing of the Austermann Step sock and I'm still hopeful to get it finished in time for show & tell at the Men's Rocky Mountain Knitting Retreat.

We'll see.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Time of The Monkey/Night of The Iguana

Have you ever had the experience with people find you more attractive than usual?  You know, you're walking down the street, or checking out at the grocery store, and folks just give you that look that says, "Damn, you're looking fine!"

Proper Terminology
During this time of unusually strong attractiveness to others, there's usually one brief period of less than a day, where your attractiveness peaks, and people look at you with impure thoughts on their mind and you could clearly get laid with no problem whatsoever.

A friend of mine has told me about his gay friend's term for these cycles in life:

"Time of the Monkey" - The period of time, usually lasting 1-3 days when folks find you more attractive than usual, but wouldn't go out of their way to jump your bones unless you initiated it.

"Night of the Iguana" - A shorter period (usually a few hours) sometime during the Time of the Monkey, where people find you significantly more appealing, and clearly see you as a desirable sex partner.

I only mention this because I'm clearly now in the Time of the Monkey myself.

Current Knitting/Shopping
We're in a very busy period of work at the moment, requiring me to work through this past weekend, so knitting time has been rare.  I'm still working on the Austermann Step sock, but have no photos to present to you.

I did however get the opportunity to visit a local Edmonton yarn store, Urban Knitters.

The store is located on Gateway Boulevard in Edmonton, Alberta, and I've seen the store each time I take a taxi from the airport into the officer downtown.  I was glad to finally get there.

Owner Valerie, could not have been nicer, telling me the general philosophy of the store (natural fibres, high-end designs by both her and professional designers) and telling me about her background in textile design.  It shows in her designs and store aesthetic.  I meant to take a photo of it, but she has this great window display, a long, extremely large gauge,  garter stitch fabric on huge needles hanging from the a subtle highlighter yellow color.

I ended up purchasing some Kureyon Sock, and some other very nice yarn, but I forget what I bought a the moment.

Monday, July 04, 2011

An iPhone Post

Wanted to see if I could successfully post a blog entry using my iPhone.

At Least I'll Probably Be Less Verbose
Using the screen keypad on this thing can be painful. It does guess my words as I type, but with the fattest thumbs on the planet, it's still not easy to type.

Plus, I've never tried uploading photos using Blogger on my iPhone.

What an adventurous day!

Current Knitting/Spinning
I got to put in some weekend knitting time on the Heirloom lace baby blanket.

In addition to finishing up the second edge section, I'm about halfway through the third edge section. Once I finish the four edge sections, the main section should be pretty quick to knit.

I also couldn't hold myself back from working on the Optimum Merino from Australia.

I'm trying to make the best use of the fibre by doing a quasi worsted draw that keeps the individual fibers in line. The result so far is a beautiful, soft, even and smooth single. What a joy to spin.

Post Script
It turns out I couldn't attach a photo using the iPhone and I decided to just go on my computer to publish.  Crappy iPhone!