Blogher!

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So, the second N2JW has been progressing at a speed that would make most glaciers honk in frustration at my pace. I mean, this baby has been taking forever.

At Blogher, I knew nobody. This is not like Stitches was. I traveled with my mother, and met a great deal of friends while there. Further, in the world of knit bloggers, I'm like a C list star. I ain't no Yarn Harlot, but people have stumbled upon me on occasion. For comparison's sake, I'd put myself at about a Carrot Top. At Blogher, I had my normal anonymity, which is fine, but it does mean that I have to make the horrifying step of socializing without any safety net. Let me see if I can find a good knitting analogy here. That would be like my saying that I was going to use the most slippery needles on earth, and knit a complex lace shawl with 600 stitches per row, in mohair, with no life line. And if that doesn't scare you, I would ask you to shoosh, because I don't want to hear it.

So how does an introvert of my neurotic level adapt? She knits. She knits like a fiend and the results; a finished pair of N2JW socks done lickity split. In fact, I was so sad to be done, I toyed with the idea of knitting a third sock, because the only other knitting project I brought is too complex to allow me to knit while paying attention to things around me.

But Blogher was great. If my battery in my camera hadn't been dead (duh) I would have pictures to prove it. The panel on which I was asked to speak was called "Is the next Martha Stewart a blogger?" and was moderated by Maggie Mason. If you ever meet her, please, stop her and beg her for insight. She did a brilliant job moderating and imparted so much level headed wisdom and kindness. I feel like she could done the panel solo and would not have left a single question unanswered.

My fellow panelists were (in alphabetical order for lack of a better option):
Andrea Scher: Despite her proclamation that she was nervous, Andrea brought a warmth and spirit to the group. She lives by the motto that things should be "Fun and Easy" which are words to live by if ever there were any. Hearing about how she came to an understanding that she needed help with her business and how it really liberated her to do what was most satisfying for her, was wonderful. I think we can all take a page from her book, there.

Gayla Trail: A true perfectionist, Gayla really drove home how important it was to impart your own values in what you do. No aspect of her business is done halfway and she gives a great deal of thought to everything she associates herself with. I really respect her sense of principal and dedication.

Pim Techamuanvivit: Like a sparkly ray of sunshine. Her enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. She seemed to have a little slice of experience in every bit of media and an air of confidence to pull it all together. She offered wonderful pearls of wisdom for expanding one's reach and did it all with a beaming smile.

I felt like a girl among women on the panel but wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Next post: pattern notes for N2JWs.

I didn't lie

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Well, I did promise that there were pictures of me near a water buffalo. However, it appears that none of them are terribly good representations of our bonding experience. Really, I did actually stand still next to said buffalo and, well, yes, I did scare her quite handily. I maybe, perhaps, did not actually want to be standing in a muddy (I hope it was mud) field so perhaps I wandered off when things seemed not to be going according to plan.
I haven’t lost hope though. I’m told that my boss has finished her roll (yah, like one of them old fangled film cameras) and is sure she has a better picture of Big Birtha and me.

Zounds and Pygora!

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Who knew moving to Portland would garner me so many comments? It's almost frightening how many people love the city and how few bad things people have to say about the area (rain and you can't pump your own gas, I think I can live with both).
There are so many of you I need to write back to. I can't believe how many great suggestions you've sent and warm welcomes you've offered. I'm really looking forward to moving.
I don't arrive in Oregon until the end of August, and in the mean time, I hope to be able to see all my LA friends, so I can say goodbye.

But enough of that, take a look at my yummy pygora yarn.

Here it is almost completely spun up. The kit comes with half an ounce (about 14 grams) of each fiber, so that's just enough to fill up one of my smaller spindles.

I simply loved spinning this stuff. I don't know enough about the properties of various fibers to say why, I just know that whatever it is, I'm able to spin it up superfine, balanced, soft and with a bit of loft.

I've included a dime for scale. The yarn is a two ply and check this out...

Balance, baby!

This hasn't been washed yet, it's right off the spindle. I have just shy of 54 yards (49 meters) of yarn here. Since pygora is aplenty in Portland, I plan to get more soon.

I've now started spinning some of the Yak fiber and it's not going quite as well. It's more poofy and fluffy and I don't quite have the best technique for managing that sort of fiber. It's gotten better as I've worked with it, but compared to the pygora, it's pretty crude looking.

In a little while, I'm off to Blogher, then a visit with a friend in San Francisco, then back home to help Leo pack up the truck. It's quite a weekend, indeed.

Really, though, maybe it should be:
This Californian is becoming an Oregonian
or
This Angeleno is becoming and Portlandian if the Oregonian variety (so as not to be confused with those Portlandians of the Mainenites variety).
But I'm splitting hairs here, the point is, Leo and I are moving to Portland Oregon. Leo goes up on Monday to start a new job on the 7th.

It is not without some apprehension that I go. I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 5 years and I have met so many wonderful people, a few of whom, to my delight, even count me among their friends. As I'm predisposed to hermit-like behavior, this is no small feat, in my mind. I will miss them terribly.

Yet, I also look upon all this as an exciting opportunity to start fresh and new and discover an area I've never been before. What? Didn't I mention that? Oh, yah, neither Leo nor I have ever been to Oregon. I'm not averse to change, and I love exploring new cities. It's scary to know I'll be jobless in a month, but with rents half the price of the LA area, I can pretty much sell hemp jewelry on a street corner and still contribute my part to the household expenses.

I've already checked and it appears there are several yarn shops in the Portland area. And those cute little Pygoras from a couple days ago? They hail from Oregon, which bodes well for my spinning future.

So if any of you who live, have lived, or frequently visit Oregon, have suggestions for me, please send them my way.

I'll do my best to keep posting during the transition, but with our home computer going up north without me, and with all the upheaval, I make no promises, expressed or implied, that blogging will continue as normal.

A bit of follow up a bit late

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You know, I never mentioned that the new Spindlicity was up. It's rather silly that I never mentioned it because my pattern, Merigold, is there.

And if that weren't enough, the results of the Shawl Contest that I entered are there too. No, I didn't win, but my god, go see the beautiful piece that did. It was spun and knit by Nancy Ratliffe and it's a beaut! You can see all the other finalists' entries as well. I'm really glad I didn't have to judge that competition.

As always, there are a ton of great articles in this edition. I never cease to be impressed with Janel's in-depth reviews of fibers and/or techniques. Of particular interest to me in this edition is the article on different silk substitutes.

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