Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cherry Blossom Festival

Before he left for training, E and I went downtown to celebrate spring at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This is truly awesome. The whole tidal basin is rimmed now with trees heavy with pink flowers.Of course, we took the opportunity for some product placement shots. This is the Cheery Blossom colorway, which is my best seller so far.


Did you know that the Amazing E is in the military? I think I mentioned it some time ago. He joined the Commissioned Corp of the Public Health Service shortly before we were married. This is the branch of the service under the Surgeon General. It's very small, about 6,000 members made up of specially trained medical related professionals. E is a biomedical engineer, and today he left on his first deployment. It's only for some of this special training. He's not going to Iraq or anything. In fact, it's really unlikely that he ever will. His branch of the service has not been sent into a war since Korea. He'll be back in a couple of weeks.

In the mean time, I will be visiting Chicago next week. I will bring yarn.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The good news is that Duncan is still alive and mostly doing okay. He's got problems with peeing that cause him pain and other difficulties. It was these problems that gave us the close call last month. In spite of his problems, my husband loves this little cat. I think he's very sweet, too.

But he has to get a pill every day, and he's not a good patient. Tonight I'm fed up (not that I'm going to stop with the pill giving.) Each night, I have to give this cat a pill. And each night my arms are scratched and fingers bitten. All to have the cat purposely try to get the pill up from his throat by foaming at the mouth after I give it to him through locked jaws. I think at least half of nights he ends up getting it up. Sometimes I find it and give it to him again, but then there is tonight.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I want to show you something cool

The pink dye used in Rock Creek Yarn's Cherry Blossom Colorway glows under blacklight. You can see the strands with heavier dye application standing out is brightly pink. They told me it was UV reactive when I bought it, but this is pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Branching Out Finished

There was no chance that I wouldn't cast this yarn on right away. Its the Artfiber Kyoto that E got for me in San Francisco. It's beautiful. One strand of shiny blue silk with a violet strand of mohair plied on.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Opening Sunday

The Rock Creek Yarn online store will be opening sometime on Sunday, March 23. Just in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival here in DC. An announcement will go up here

Here's a sneak peek at the initial offerings, re-skeined and fresh from the dyepot. These are all 100% Superwash merino sock yarn. I'm working on adding other yarns and at least two more colorways in short order.

This is Cherry Blossom.
Green Sand Beach.

Bird of Paradise.
Finally, Cartouche.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I've been waiting for a sunny day

To take pictures in some artistic way. But this is March in Maryland, so it's not to be. These are several skeins of Rock Creek Yarn.
These are just a few. More yarn is "drying" on the porch, but since it's raining, mostly they are just hanging there being damp. The yarn will be available on the website pretty soon. In need to get some artistic pictures.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Glamour Shot

I wanted to show you some of the first product of the new yarn store. This is a set of stitch markers I made yesterday. They'll be for sale soon. The store opening has been delayed for a little while because my most of yarn got stuck in customs. I understand that it should be on its way this week, and then I can get cooking.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Black Hole

There is a particular "town" near to where we live that seems to be a black hole. It is unplottable. Time and space do not exist there. All roads lead there, but none seem to go anywhere once they come within its boarders. Traffic does not move. Every time I am driving in Maryland and get lost, I see a sign that say "Welcome to..." this town. The laws of the universe do not apply there. Not even the laws of knitting.

I ventured into this "town" just now to go to a LYS. Google says it's the closest one to where I live in Silver Spring. It's about 3 miles away, but somehow this trip took almost 2 hours. Strange. I did find the store and went in looking for the simplest thing. A ball winder. I looked around, and that's when everything got kind of strange. I walked around the store, and it appeared to be filled with yarn. However, I'll be damned if anyone could actually find yarn there to buy. There are caverns and caves of skeins everywhere. But finding a yarn you want? Forget it. After walking around and around the store, I finally came back to the front of the store. There, over the door, was a shelf labeled "ball winder." But there was no ball winder on that shelf. So I left.

I left that yarn store with no yarn. I told you about the laws of nature and that town...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Online knitting stuff fascinates me

I've become fixated on all things knitting online. Just ask my husband. I use up precious hours he when he could be on this computer playing Kill the Creepy Aliens from Planet Doom! instead playing with this blog, looking at the yarns of hand dyers and spinners, doing stuff for my upcoming website, and then there's Ravelry....

One of the things that fascinates me most is how people get to this blog. In case you don't look at what cookies you're accepting, I have SiteMeter on this blog. From this I get information about how often people visit, and how they get here. Don't worry, I don't actually know who anyone is or much about you except that you've visited my blog. Most websites these days do have service like this. I don't really use it for anything but entertainment, but it sure is entertaining to me. I hope this doesn't creep you out too much. Maybe you can learn something about what the websites you visit learn about you.

For example, I know that I get about 30 hits a day. Give or take. I know that most of my hits are still from the Chicago area so my knitting buddies there are still reading. (I get a certain warm and fuzzy feeling that I'm not forgotten.) I know that people in the cities where all four of my sisters live are reading this blog. Most recently, I'm getting hits generated from Ravelry. I find it all very cool.

Aside from people I know tere are a significant number of people who stumble on this blog every day through Google. Those are the visits that really crack me up. Sitemeter tells me what keyword they used in their searches. For example, last month people came looking for the following information:

About 30 people visited looking for my sister Peggy Gentleman
About 10 came looking for information about Mass Ave Knitting shop in Indianapolis
3 people wanted to know something about throwing haggis
3 people wanted to know how to make hobbit feet
One person searched here for information on shatnez socks

The list is not exhaustive, but you get the picture.

On another note, did you know that the Spring Knitty came out today. Tzurriz IM'ed me rather excitedly to give me the news. Go look. I'll wait.... This is a great issue. Several very cool sock and sweater patterns. Actually, the sock patterns look really cool. For example, linen stitch on the sole of a foot? Cool. And how about Posey. Really. Take a look there. I can't wait to make that sock in my very own colorways.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Apparently I misjudged just how much of a wild animal Scott TC might be. I mean, he's a wimp. Never been outside, never hunted a real bird or mouse. (Although he did get several cicadas last year.) That being said, however, Scott TC recognized that a natural prey for pampered kitties such as himself is apparently hand knitted alpaca bunnies. Last night he was caught dragging the bunny into the living room by its newly dislocated, indeed nearly severed arm.The bunny's new home will be in my bedroom. Scott TC is not allowed in there, so the bunny is resting comfortably. I hope my husband does not object. Reattachment surgery is scheduled for later today.

I am displeased to report other knitting trouble. Remember the blue Green Tea Raglan that has been a UFO for way too long? Well, there's a reason for the procrastination. I've known for some time that I would run out of yarn before the knit was done. My anxiety over this has led to me ignoring its existence for months at a time. Being tired of pitying the fate of this project, in the last week I've picked it up again to see just how short of yarn I'd be. Yeah, I'm nearly done with the yarn and have half a sleeve left. I bought this yarn over a year ago in a LYS going out of business sale. It's already been one other frogged project, so I hate to frog it again because I really like the yarn. It's Classic Elite Bam Boo. I guess I can go and look for the yarn in local yarn stores here and hope I get a similar enough dye lot.

Cross your fingers for these knits. I know I am.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Whoa. I love the bunny.

When E left for San Francisco this weekend, I decided that I needed a cuddley thing. My copy of Last Minute Knitted Gifts has the Lovable Toy pictured below as a six to eight hour project. I was hoping to have a friend by sometime on Sunday evening. So I whipped out the two balls of Plymouth Alpaca Brush I had left from my sister Eileen's holiday gift and got to work. On Wednesday evening my friend was finally complete. Way too cute.

The Amazing E got home at about 3am this morning, and he came bearing gifts. I wasn't expecting anything, and really was only hoping for him to be home safe. I've discovered that business trips suck, especially when you are newly married. Anyway, the gifts were were very nice surprises. He knows me so well. The first thing is a bar of gardenia magnolia soap from a store called Fresh. I've never seen this stuff before, but it smells very nice. I'll break it out tomorrow night for Shabbat. Next was a box of fancy Maya inspired chocolates from Moonstruck Chocolatier. We tried one, and Holy Cow! Saving the rest for tomorrow night as well. Lastly, E in his Amazingness went to a yarn store called Artfibers in San Francisco and got me this cone of silk/mohair fanciness. I feel like I should drop everything and cast it on right away. But what to make?

Anyway. I'm glad to have him home.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

No longer an Illinoisan


The Amazing E has been out of town for the last five days for work related things. Never fear, this is not military duty. He's at some medical conference in San Francisco. And guess what? My beautiful sister Eileen is in from London at the same conference. I hear they're hanging out. Cool.

I am here holding down the fort.

Lately I've been pretty out of sorts feeling like I'm not quite transitioned here or have a life of my own. It's been kinda hard, you know? But I'm not here to bitch about that. The Parents E came up to stay with me and keep me distracted during my alone time. And it's been pretty good.

First of all, Duncan is eating solid food again. This is very important. I don't know that it means that he's really going to recover over the long term. But it does mean that he's feeling better for now. The poor little guy has really been feeling crappy. I was actually afraid of losing him while E was gone.

I've also been working on my yarn shop. I have my yarns. I have my dyes. I'm getting to work. The store will be carrying three types of hand dyed yarn straight away. Additionally, I think you'll see fancy schmancy hand made stitch markers. After a little while, I should also be carrying some knitting needles and other things. I'll have both a website and an Esty store to start with. Look for the grand opening announcement here in about two weeks!

And! And! And! As of today I am no longer an Illinoisan. This morning I have up my Illinois plates on the truckster in favor of Maryland plates. And this afternoon...wait for condo sold. I guess I'm really making the transition now.