Another Hobby Blog

Monday, September 25, 2006

OFFF 2006

It turns out I did not manage to fully avoid the siren-song of Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival after all. Fran (who lives in Portland) was going and really put the enthusiasm back into it all... I wasn't sure I'd really get to enjoy it much, but I knew I'd regret not having tried. So I went. Not only did I get to spend some more time with Fran (another devoted fiberholic who (sadly) does not have a blog), but I also got to see Greg and Ona again! (two more devoted fiberholics who carry their passion so far as to own sheep and to teach spinning at the Renaissance Fairs (which is why I ended up at Shrewsbury Fair-- it's Greg and Ona's fabulous booth that I was helping to run.) )

Actually... it's a little bit longer story than that..

See, I returned Cinnamon (the bunny I had borrowed from Fran for almost a month) two weeks ago when we went down for Shrewsbury Fair. Portland's heatwave had really only lasted a week or two, and Fran was really missing her bunny. I figured I'd be fine for awhile in a non-pet household. .. .. ..

I really want a pomeranian, y'see, but I don't want to just get *any* pom, I have certain specifications I'm looking for, and I haven't found the *right* pom yet. I thought I'd be able to just bide my time without any critters around while I looked for my perfect pom.

I was wrong.

no puppy yet, but I just couldn't resist getting some sort of furry friend to keep me company these days.

So I went down to OFFF on a bunny-search. (Keith drove.. long distances in a car are still really unpleasant for me--the vibrations of the car just ste my knee to aching miserably.)

Turns out I didn't stay long.. I bailed out of OFFF before the end of the first day. I only saw maybe 1/4 of the vendors' booths, but that was enough to cost me a penny or two and laden me down with: a bundle of back-issue Spin-Offs, a skein or two of yarn for the holidays, a fabulous scarf you will just have to see to believe! (pictures later.. I haven't unpacked yet), and a couple of new patterns to dream about knitting up. :)

And a bunny.

I thought I'd get a huge, fluffy, fiber-producing, potential breeding-stock doe angora.

This is what I got instead:

He's a runty little black angora male (25% German, 75% French). His brothers are twice his size with four times as much fur. He's underweight, undersize, under-furred, and has been described as a "failure-to-thrive" baby who has been on his deathbed several times throughout his early life, and may not have a very long life ahead of him. It is unknown whether his failure-to-thrive might be due to some sort of internal-organ defect that might just plain kill him without warning some day. He doesn't have his balls yet and possibly never will.. he may never develop a proper coat of fur, and he may never be able to breed.

But he is the sweetest little fellow ever! He is very calm, very patient, very inquisitive, very gentle, and just the most perfect personality you could ask for in a companion critter. :)

Because he's not currently a fiber producer (and maybe never will be) and might never sire a litter of pups, I got him for a bargain!

His name (for the moment at least) is: "Peacock's Priceless Puffball" .. or "Freebie" for short. ;)

Nothing Quite Like Making A Good Thing Last.... I'm not ready to write a decent SP8 Reveal post yet.. (my knee still gets to call the shots, I'm afraid.)

But I'll give you another hint what's in that fabulously *HUGE* box....

These are some of the goofy faces the contents of the box inspired:

Dear Secret Pal,
I **love** every single thing that you sent! :) The snacky bits are yummy and inspired me to make cookies! (when I can stand again for long enough to get them through the oven..) .. and the other day we were in the car for a longish drive after dark, and I realized I'd missed the perfect opportunity to try out one of my new toys by leaving it at home! I have a perfect plan for next time, though.. I can hardly wait to try it out! .. I don't know how you manage to think up such *wonderful* presents!! but I am so very very glad that you have been my Sp8 secret pal! .. and I can hardly wait til I get enough stamina and enthusiasm to post a proper thank-you note!!
..just wait til you see Flash in his new feathers! ;)


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

SP8 Reveal: Teaser Post!

It's late, and I have a headache and I need to go ice my knee and get it up above my heart again (which makes it very difficult to type)...
but you've asked to see my SP8 reveal box, and it seems unkind to delay my response any longer... ;)

Here y'go! My SP8 Reveal Box!!

Just wait til you see the contents!! :) A real ray of sunshine in this tedious and painful past few months! ... just wait til you see!! Really!! It's so fabulous I can't even believe it myself!

(as reccommended, I let my mother and my husband move the box around so that I wouldn't stress my knee. :) .. I even let them open it for me! .. just WAIT til you see what's inside! .. (well, what *was* inside.. How is it that so much goodness can fit in one box? Even a box this big?!

Thank You, Lacy!!! (Lacy ZigZag.. whose blog I still need to go explore soon... I am *so* far behind schedule!! So far behind...)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Knee Update: I'm Getting Along...

lots of pain this week.. I guess I overdid it a bit last week. (sigh) ... overdoing it involves: driving to Corvalis, Oregon (driving in two segments; an overnight stop in Portland, OR), walking for fifteen minutes on uneven ground (Shrewsbury Fair (a Renaissance faire)) (I didn't even get to see all of the vendors... I stopped to look at three booths, and wandered past no more than a quarter of the vendors present. (sigh) .. but I did get to demonstrate spinning for two days! :) .. the second day of which I spent laying on my back with my knee up on a chair and packed in ice) Drop spindles are much easier to use when you get to sit upright, y'know?

(which reminds me.. I got my RF socks finished on time! :)

Overdoing it also involves: having a careless waiter trip over my foot (I spent that dinner with my knee packed in ice), the drive back home (stayed overnight in Portland on the return trip as well), and several days of taking photographs (which involves being up on my feet too much, climbing stairs, stepping across uneven ground, shifting my balance, trying to get the right viewpoint...) and one misstep that would have been really awful except that I was wearing my brace as required, so I just got hurt, not injured.

This week I promised my knee a rest--which means a lot more ice, and keeping my knee above my heart at least half the day (which makes getting computer time a significant challenge).

Anyway.. I'm in pain this week, which I suppose isn't surprising, because I am also starting to get up on my feet and walk a bit more.
.. .. ..

but it explains why you haven't heard from me lately. (sigh)

hugs all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Yes, Mia, there is still part of you in the Jar of Destiny. (chuckle!) ... so you've made a partial escape. ;)

I had a cute little plan to show my SP8 reveal box yesterday, but ran out of time. My knee makes everything slow! argh!! (Yes, Lacy.. I am definitely impressed by my recovery curve! as for big strides, though,... they have to wait for awhile still)

This weekend I am enjoying Shrewsbury Fair .. or at least, I am hoping to enjoy Shrewsbury fair, if my knee lets me.. it hasn't enjoyed the drive to get here and it *really* didn't enjoy getting kicked by a waiter earlier this evening. .. I feel like I should be sequestered at home still with a big wreath on the door that says "Quarantined: bad mood may be contagious."

Of course, I'm only in a bad mood when I'm hurting.. which has been blessedly less (even with the kick earlier today .. (it was an accident, or I would have kicked back.)) post-surgery than it was for most of my pre-surgery months. .. but it's still high enough to limit me a lot, and today it was high enough for pain-killers (even before the kick.) .. (in all fairness it wasn't so much a kick as an accidental tripping over my foot.. but it sent a jarring pain straight up into my kneecap, and I barely managed to force a smile as I tried to breathe through the pain.)

Anyway.. it may be another couple of days (almost a week, maybe) before I get set up to do pictures again in my posts...

but I'll try to keep Y'all entertained with my stylish wit and sense of humor instead. ;)

Oh!! Check out these fab socks that Basset Knitter (aka Paula) made for her husband!! (I take a wee bit of personal pride, since one of the yarns she used is a mohair-wool blend from my dyepot!)

I'm always so happy to see what becomes of the yarns I send out! In other knitters' hands they become such incredibly beautiful projects!

Basset Knitter was my spoilee in last years OrnaMental ornament exchange hosted by Rox! (I've heard rumors there will be a second OrnaMental soon for this holiday season... I can hardly wait! ... oooh.. I think I still need to post pictures of the Ornament I got from my spoiler last year! OOPS! Please forgive me, Stripey Tiger!!)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thank You Indie!

Today's first thank-you note (I'm hoping to write more than one, y'see...) doesn't come out of the Vase of Destiny.. it comes right off my needles!

The first pair of Get-Well socks is complete!

what you might notice from the pictures (I can certainly tell from wearing them!) is that one sock is a looser gauge than the other. Somewhere along the way my tension eased up a bit, and the second sock is downright floppy, whereas the first sock is almost stiff it's so tight! ... They'd probably both benefit from meeting in the middle, somehow. argh. ... both were done on the very same needle--it's just my tensioning that changed.

At some point, I think I might undo and reknit one or both, but for now they can be a haphazard not-quite-matched first pair of wearable Get Well socks! :) .. and I'll figure out which one I like better before I go to the trouble of redoing them.

Thank you, Indie!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thank You Mia!

Today's thank-you note is for Mia! Wonderful Mia had already sent me a skein of Get-Well yarn before my surgery (you'll have to wait to see it, though, because that's not the thank-you-note post I pulled from the Jar Of Destiny today)...

And a week ago (really? just a week? already a week?? .. time seems so very confusing in the midst of my healing!) ... the very day we headed over to Bremerton to a lovely bed and breakfast... (which is a story in itself! Don't worry, it's on a note in the Jar of Destiny.. I'll get to it eventually. (sigh)) this wonderful unexpected package showed up in the mailbox!! From Mia!!!

Super-Strong Get-Well Sock Yarn!! It must be working, too, because I am doing quite well on my healing curve these days!!

I love the color a LOT .. and although I am very very tempted to make this pair of socks into a pair of Thank-You socks for my surgeon.. well... I love the colors so much I just might get greedy and keep them for myself! ;)

Best of all is the card that came with it! "I just bought the Complete Imbecile's Guide to Acupuncture and I can't wait to try it out! Shall we make an appointment?" Love the card!!

Thank You, Mia!! Thank you *so* much!!

Self-Portrait Tuesday: All About The Knees...

Aren't the incision sites lovely? I figured now that they're not so gross anymore it'd be fair to show a picture of them.

It's still all about the knees these days... my range of motion is increasing, my mobility is increasing, my pain is decreasing, but I'm still slower than a snail, and I'm still stiff and achey most of the time.

The swelling is still really pronounced, and today my physical therapist commented on it and asked if I'm regularly icing my knee (I am), and whether I'm spending enough time with my knee elevated above my heart. Hah! Have *you* tried sitting at your computer with your knee above your heart lately?? hmpf. ... so I guess it's more books, more knitting, more television, and less time at the computer for me for the next few days or weeks until the swelling goes down a bit. (sigh)

Which is sad because I *just today* made my first foray back into the real Blog world.. which is to say reading other people's blogs! I have a *lot* of catching up to do because basically I haven't been reading anyone else's since mid-April or early-May when everything started to go so very wrong for me.

Today I caught up on Zann's blog! What a wonderful treat to see how much beauty and creativity she is generating in the midst of her turmoil! She is truly an inspiration to me as well as a genuine friend.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Speaking of coming home on the day of surgery...

...The first thing to catch my eye:

A fabulous bouquet of balloons! Huge latex balloons in every color, and a mylar balloon that says, "Get Well!" The latex balloons faded several days ago, but the mylar balloon is still floating, tied up near my bed where I can see it as I fall asleep at night and again when I wake in the morning. :)

It turns out the bouquet wasn't from a secret pal after all, it was from one of my local friends, Mark! ... What a complete surprise!

Thank you! It really made me quite happy to see the balloons in my front drive!

Thank You Zann!

Today's first post from the Vase-of-Destiny...

A thank-you note for Zann!!! :)

Zann was my oh-so-easy-to-spoil recipient for SP7, and she had quite a rough blow last March, from which she is still having difficult days more often than any person ought to need experience. Last March she lost her beloved son, Patrick, which is the worst thing a mother can possibly endure, and she and her family are still reeling from the daily emptiness.

Throughout her challenges, Zann has become quite a dear friend, sharing her all-too-rare ups and her struggles with the downs, and that would be quite enough to thank her for, especially these days when I have been struggling with my own ups and downs.

But even more than that, she managed to send me quite a delightful box of goodies to help encourage me through the pain of knee surgery and recovery! It came in the mail two days before surgery, but I was being kept so busy with last-minute appointments that I waited to open the box until the day I came home from the hospital (the day of surgery since it was an arthroscopic outpatient procedure).

Worn out from the surgery, and in a lot of pain (not to mention heavily medicated and still recovering from the anesthesia), I quiicky grabbed my favorite part and fell fast asleep.

Later, I got a chance to enjoy the other contents of the box:

The Isis Shawl, knitted by Zann herself--one of seven she knitted in Patrick's memory!!--which was my favorite of all the things she sent, and has been my favorite warm-and-cozy wrap these days. :)

A beautiful turned-wood kaleidoscope with an acrylic rod filled with sparkly things! Made by an artist Zann knows! I *love* kaleidoscopes!! If I had more of them, they'd be something I collect! ... I had my first kaleidoscope when I was about 6, and I used to stare into it for hours. Some day I may try my hand at making a kaleidoscope, even.. but right now I just stare into them whenever I get a chance and drool over the exquisite worksmanship of some of the more beautiful (and thus more expensive, usually) ones! This is definitely an exquisite one, and I hope it wasn't too unbearably costly! I love it!!

A book of _Cherubs_! It had been a gift from her other son, Sean, and the both of them sent it to me since I love Valentine's day and could use some guardian angels in my life! How thoughtful and sweet is that?! Thank you both!

A little silver star to wish on.. which must have worked because I am feeling so very much better each day! It will go on my holiday tree come November, and until then will hang from one of my drawer pulls. :)

And a most wonderful card, the picture of which is a reproduction of the wonderful mural of helping hands that graces Zann's church where the services for Patrick were held. :) Inside, a lovely message telling me all about these wonderful things and the reasons she chose them!

Thank you, Zann!!