Making ourselves at home

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The move into the new house took 4 days of solid, dirty, heavy, achy, seemingly endless work, but, compared to years where the weather has been in the triple digits and we've had flights of stairs to scale, this move was relatively easy. I'm not saying I want to have to lug a washer and dryer again, but it could definitely have been worse.

And really, when you are moving into your first home, everything is rosy colored and splendid.

I've taken this week off and am making slow progress getting things up from the garage and into their respective rooms, and when Leo gets home, he gets decidedly handy. There has been sawing and drilling and some hammering as needed.

Now that we are officially house-poor, it seemed only appropriate to make a big hearty batch of beef-lentil stew to keep our energy up and our food costs in order.

Stew Stew


This is the same recipe I blogged about a few months back, only I beefed (ha!) it up with some english short ribs and chuck, which I seared and then slow cooked for 4 hours. A great way to christen my huge new kitchen and a yummy versatile meal. Each day, we garnish it differently so we don't get bored.

And when we aren't eating, we're taking in the lovely views from our various decks.

Sunset

But my favorite view, today, is my new craft room. What a luxury!

My Craft Room
1. Enter the room, 2. The big stuff, 3. Yarn closet, 4. Shelves, 5. Closeup of pictures, 6. Buckets and books, 7. Dogs for scale, 8. Crochet corset
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Ok, that last picture isn't in my craft room, but it is a closeup of a piece I just finished crocheting.

Click on any of the text links to embiggen the little thumbnails.

To all of you who sent me congrats, thank you so much. Life is a little crazy right now, but I read and love each and every comment. Please don't take it personally if I haven't had a chance to reply.

Burying the lead

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I spun up my first, ever, Grafton batt recently. It's a lovely gradation from gray to blue to purple and it's colorway 142, if you want to know.

Grafton Batt

It's about 300 yards of slightly felted singles at about 20 wpi. I've bought a few lame batts in my day (I haven't blogged any of them) and a bad batt is just a straight up chore to work with and produces a darn ugly finished yarn. This was not one of those batts. They are a little pricey but are clearly made with care which means I will definitely be treating myself to more of these in the future.

Also, we bought a house. We move in on Friday. I'm thrilled and also slightly nervous but in a really happy way. I can't remember who posted this on Twitter, but it sums up my feelings on the matter very well.

23 days of spinning

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The Tour de Fleece is over and I managed to spin every single day. No one is more shocked than I am. I admit, I may have splurged on a few hits of fiber, along the way, but the result is thousands (!!!) of yards of finished yarn. If I were to add all the individual plies, I'd have quite a few miles, but even when I count only the yardage of the finished yarns, I have something like 2 miles worth of yarn of my very own making. I'm feeling pretty good about that.

My stint in the tour is marked by some truly wonderful memories. Not only did I take my spindle to the Tigard Knitting Guild

Spinning while I wait

But we also had a visit to Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Oregon Zoo (thanks Erica!)

Oregon Zoo -- Ladysmith Black Mambazo

And we saw Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Bagdad Theater. If you are wondering, which you shouldn't be, he is awesome.

Spinning at the Bagdad Theater
Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Bagdad

At home, the girls donned some works in progress.

IMG_0063.JPG Prism as hat

After 22 days, I had all this.

End of the Tour de Fleece 09

On the 23rd day, I added some lace weight singles to the pile

Finished prism singles

And in an effort to pose a mile in my pup's shoes, I wrapped almost all my new skeins around my own neck (in 95 degree weather, no less) and snapped a few more shots.

End of the Tour de Fleece 09

Even after 23 days of spinning, I was still enjoying myself and I'm surprised to report that I don't feel burned out on spinning at all. Perhaps it's the fact that I worked with such beautiful fibers or that I produced yarns I'm excited to knit, or maybe it's just that I didn't feel pressured to produce a certain amount or a particular type of yarn. Regardless of the reasons, I feel it was a good exercise and the girls got mighty used to all the treats they'd get after the various photo shoots, so they don't seem to be complaining either.


And as a side note, you can see some beach pictures from the weekend, here.

Beach fun in the fog

Thursday was the Twist Collective fashion show, I hosted at the Tigard Knitting Guild. It was also a bejillionty-six degrees, in the shade and still, my volunteer models agreed to wear thick wool sweaters and twirl in front of a full house knitters. I can't tell you how much awesome is contained in that guild. So to everyone there, I am sending a big dog hair covered thank you.

Here are a few of the many pictures my dear friend, Erica (not a knitter!) took. Another big thank you to her. Anyone who would brave that heat to take pictures of something she has absolutely no interest in, is a true true friend, in my book.

Twist Collective Fashion Show at the Tigard Knitting Guild
1. Silly faces while answering questions, 2. Ardent and Willow-Withe, 3. Bernhardt and Sunflower, 4. Uhura and Cleo, 5. Through the Keyhole and Lotus Leaf Mitten, 6. Primrose Path and Postwar, 7. Dulce de Leche and Postwar, 8. Ice Fantasia, 9. Bijou and Sleepy Monkey, 10. Stormsvale and Poffertjes, 11. Petals and Licorice Stick Socks, 12. Broderie and Postwar, 13. Cherry Fizz
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Did I mention that everyone who helped me volunteered and that it was a gatrillion and eleven degrees? Yah, lots of awesome.

In all honesty, it's mostly a blur. Once I'm in "go" mode, I'm flying on adrenaline and what I remember after is pretty vague, but I think the show went really well and that people got to see just how amazing the various garments are in person. Photos never give you a full picture of what the garment is like and seeing things on different body shapes makes it easier to imagine how they'd fit you. I know I walked away wanting to queue almost everything I saw.

So that's about the long and short of it. To see all the pictures including many of me making goofy face while I talk, you can see the whole set here.

And you can purchase any of the Twist patterns here.

Skein as fashion

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I'm frantically prepping for the Twist fashion show tonight at the Tigard Knitting Guild. I'm pretty sure I'll make a complete ass of myself at some point. I hope I do so in a way that's funny. Funny asses are way better than offensive asses. There's a life lesson for you.

In the mean time, here are a few more shots from the Tour de Fleece.

Faux-hawk

Dyeabolical singles in progress
1. Dyabolical bobbin, 2. Dyabolical bobbin, 3. Dyabolical bobbin, 4. Yah, spinning is great. Where's breakfast
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Dyeabolocal 3ply and Black Cherry 2ply
1. More Black Cherry 2ply on plying spindle, 2. Red heads, 3. Red heads, 4. Dyeabolical 3ply
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

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