International Dork of Mystery


So after my internet session expired in Frankfurt, I decided I needed to up the dork factor while I passed the time.

Let's be honest, it's pretty darn dorky to be blogging, taking pictures of yourself blogging and listening to .wav files of your boyfriend and doggy back home.

But why not crank out the ol' ipod and listen to science podcasts while spinning on a drop spindle? Short of bringing along a TRS-80 and a butter churn, there are few things I could have done that would have been less cool.

Sorry guys, hands off, this girl is taken! When it started to get too crowded to comfortably spin, I reverted to knitting and listening to the Unger Report.

Finally, 1:45 rolled around and I boarded my flight to Mumbai. Since I was already 17 hours into my 22 hour travel itinerary, I wasn't expecting much of note for the last 5 hours. The plane was definitely rockin' the ol' school business class, but it was roomy and they kept us well fed, so who am I to complain, but I did find one things particularly blog worthy.

Do you see that woman's tray? Note that we are in business class, which means that anytime other than those when the plane is actively taking off or landing there are folks pushing free booze your way. And if, perchance, you happen to feel a thirst coming on during the 5 minutes that the beverage cart isn't at your side, any of the flight staff will gladly hand deliver the liquor of your choice. However, this woman must have feared they'd run out before they reached her again. She has not one, but TWO glasses of white wine and a glass of cognac on her tray. I'm not sure what the glass of water is doing there. Maybe she thought it was vodka.

I passed out for a fitful 3 hours of sleep after the meal and woke up in time for the next meal and a little tea. Now I'm in my temporary hotel room for a couple hours before heading back to the Mumbai airport to fly to my final destination.

The room is nice, though for 5 hours, probably more room than I need. Heck, I never thought I'd feel this way, but if the Mumbai airport had those chest of drawer style sleeping quarters that they have in Japan, I'd have been perfectly content with that. But hey, I’ll enjoy it while I’m here. Wanna see a shot of the pool from my room?

Don't you think that would make a banging night club? Did I just say "banging night club"?

Man, I need some sleep. I'm almost out of internet time, so I'll sign off for now. Presuming my hotel near the office has internet connection, I'll be posting more soon.

Where's my welcome wagon


Here I am, 14 hours after I left the house this morning, in the Frankfurt Lufthansa lounge. I don't know how many of you remember my last layover in Frankfurt, but I'm hoping this one is far less exciting. So far so good.

I haven't slept yet, so there has been knitting, there has been reading and there has been a bit of bad movie viewing. I'll probably grant myself a nap once the sleep deprivation hallucinations set in. Weeeee! Better than the free booze for entertainment. All this in hopes of getting close to the 12.5 hour time difference in India. I realize this may be an ill conceived plan as my work schedule these next two weeks is not yet finalized. I may end up actually needing to work a 9-5 PDT which is overnight in Pune.

In the mean time, Leo is taunting me with pictures and audio from home.

Nothing like a little puppy face to make you homesick.

Crappy segues brought to you by Jetlag® (A wholly owned subsidiary of Wonky Moods Inc.)

Last post before I leave


I'm in a bit of a fog with all I have to do before I leave tomorrow, so this post will be a bit haphazard. That said, let's get to it.

I stopped by OFFF on Sunday for just a little while. Leo and Panda drove down with me but when we found out dogs weren't allowed even to the outdoor sections, Leo and Panda went off to check out the town and I wandered the booths.

My first and favorite stop was Janel's of Chameleon Colorworks and Spindlicity.

Hey Julia, see that big bag on the left, that's all BFL, baby!"

More about what I got there, below.

I walked around all the other booths and showed surprising strength of will, even when passing the Wooly Winder stand. Mmmmm, Wooly Winder.

But what would a flock and fiber festival be without some flock?

I'm not crazy about livestock but I can't help but appreciate these guys.
I didn't take a ton of pictures of the festival, knowing they'd be a dime a dozen online. But let me tell you, there was much to be seen. I'll have my calendar marked for this event again next year.

After the festival, Leo, Panda and I were thirsty and ready to find some lunch. Leo spotted this place on his way back to pick me up.

It seemed serendipitous, I had to go in.
There was a bar and a restaurant and I went into the bar portion.

I enjoy a beer as much as the next person but Bud?

Lunch was every bit as spectacular as the decor. The "Coke" I ordered for Leo was a grocery store brand and the bags she packed our lunch in came from the 99¢ store. Now that is one classy establishment.
When I asked about the history, the bartender said it'd be around for many many years, and had gone through several incarnations. She didn't seem to know much more than that. When I told her there was a spinning festival going on down the road, she seemed politely half interested.

On the way home, I fondled my new rovings. 4 ounces each of 4 different colorways from Janel's booth.

Here, from left to right, Optim in colorway "Pearl," Merino/Viscose in colorway "Autumn" and a one-off colorway that I simply think of as "Peach" in the same Merino/Viscose blend.

Also, on the wheel and nearly completely spun up, some alpaca in colorway "Iris."

It's spun at a pretty fine weight and has a range of shades from nearly yellow green to blue to purple and all sorts of in-betweens.

I don't know about you, but when I spin these beautifully dyed colorways, there's always one color that makes a minor cameo amongst all the more dominant shades. Usually, it's a color that on its own, may not impress me, but mixed in with all the colors, it just sings. With this colorway, the shade is a soft dusty blue, more subtle than the dominant blue shade you see in the pictures. When I see that special blue coming up to my fingers, I always get a little excited. I felt the same way about the pink shade in my Autumn Spice roving. I hope to finish spinning and maybe even plying this fiber before I leave, but if not, I know I’ll be coming home to a relaxing treat.

Great, now I have even more to miss


Well, it looks like I'm headed back to India for a couple weeks, starting on Wednesday or Thursday. So now, I will be away from Leo and Panda, my two little rays of sunshine AND El Matchador, my new constant companion (is it just me or does "constant companion" sound like a personal hygiene product?). I expect this trip to be much more intensive and less fun all around, but I still hope to make the best of it. I'm a touch nervous about going without anyone I know and as the sole representative for my company. But let's not talk about work, let's talk about freshly spun yarn.

The Red Maple roving worked up quickly at a nice thick and thin, mostly worsted weight yarn, once plied. Do you want to see something amazing? Here are the two bobbins after I finished plying them.

Please excuse the lighting, it was evening when I did the plying.

I had all of maybe 12-18 inches of singles on one bobbin when the other emptied. There was no planning, no trying, just magic. *sigh* It'll never happen again.

I thought the red purple would look nice against the cement of the back patio.

It's a thick and lofty yarn, with out too much spin, and the results are every bit as squoochy and sproingly as you'd want it to be. I already have plans for some of this.

Panda gives it a due air of elegance.

After the merino, I pulled out some more roving dyed by Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks (alas, still no website) that I bought from Carolina Homespun. The colorway is "Purple Haze" and it's a heavenly mix of purples and steel grays. The blend is Merino/Bombyx and I had 2 ounces worth.

I spun it up pretty finely because I wanted to try to use the Navajo Plying technique. For those who haven't tried it before, Navajo plying is a means of achieving a three ply yarn off a single bobbin by, in essence, working very long crochet chain stitches. It takes a touch of coordination, but with a little practice, it's actually quite fun. I started with some scrap yarn I had and got the motion down, before trying it with my new singles.

The results are nice; a nearly balanced 3 ply with lots of sheen and a soft hand.

There's a lot I'm going to miss while I'm away.

A lot indeed.

Went to OFFF today, will post about that soon.

After seeing MK Carroll's Knitty Gritty episode, I popped off a little comment to her and we started conversing. Turns out, she was going to be in my area, right about...well…now. So she invited me to a local Knitting Guild which offers two free visits for non-members. I went last night and had a great time. I met some lovely people, MK included, who made me feel incredibly welcome to my new town and who didn't act the least bit put off by my rather clumsy conversation and non sequiturs.

First, there was Amanda, who kindly welcomed me to her table when I showed up late and popped down in a corner. She was gracious enough to forgive me when I, in my infinite social nervousness, didn't recognize her name. Sorry! She just happened to be sitting next to MK and then introduced me to the rest of the table; Katrina, Chrissy and Donna one other woman whose name has escaped me but who should not take that as any reflection of my opinion of her. I'm still trying to find someone in Portland who is mean, but I'm not having any luck. To paraphrase Leo, who is paraphrasing someone else, "If you can't find the jerk in the group, chances are, it's you." I'm kidding of course, no need to fill my comments with reassurances.

Since I didn't take any pictures while there, I'll have to leave you with some Panda goodness instead.

Here's my little girl all curled up and sleeping on the couch, one chilly morning this week.

When she hangs out by the computer, Leo calls her our little firewall.

And here she is, realizing that she can see Leo on the other side of the window. He's taunting her and she's barking.

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with "L."

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