Rhymes With Fuchsia

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some Spinnin' To Do

Since I already had a fair amount of yarn and fiber, in the same sense that the South Pole has a fair amount of ice, I thought it would be good to exercise restraint at Rhinebeck this year. I remained true to this ideal for, oh, at least six or seven minutes after setting foot on the fairgrounds (we will pass over the incident at the souvenir tent, since 1) sweatshirts may be made of yarn, but they still don't count 2) they're really nice and warm).

The first thing we saw as we began our scoping, roughly 20 minutes after the gates officially opened, was the nearly-empty STR display at The Fold, with the line of happy and speedy knitters stretching toward the far horizon. I don't have a picture, natch, but you heard about it if you didn't see it. It was quite impressive, and we decided that, should we for some odd reason need more sock yarn, we could just as well order the stuff online, thanks just the same.

Right behind The Fold's booth (cue ominous music) lurked the lovely and talented Linda of Grafton Fibers. I was the proud owner of two beautiful batts before I knew what hit me. I returned on Sunday and bought a spindle (I will learn to spindle at least well enough to stop making that tired drop-spindle joke) and another batt. They saved some of the yummy batts for people who couldn't make it till Sunday. Have I mentioned how much I love these people?

And in between, in a maelstrom of shopping, there was sock yarn and undyed merino roving and Icelandic laceweight and needles and, yes, more sock yarn. The final haul:

Unaccountably missing from the picture is the Cushing dye I bought with the laceweight in mind. (Use your imagination — it comes in little manila packets.) The Tongue River Farm people were so nice; they did not recoil in horror when I asked about dyeing their yarn, but said they had had samples dyed and it took blues and purples beautifully.

This might keep me out of trouble for a while.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I'm looking through my Rhinebeck pictures and realizing... I didn't take that many. How could that have happened? I was having way too much fun, that's how. If I'd ever before experienced such an unbelievable combination of sights and sounds and sensual experiences — get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking merino and alpaca and qiviut and cashmere in a melee of color, and chocolate and ice cream and artichokes — of shopping and talking and eating and drinking and spinning and hanging out and knitting, of incredible people I'd met before and only "met" before, I don't know when. It was a much-needed time out of reality, as Cate and Laurie said so well. It was rich, my friends.

I met the lovely Ann, creator of 40 Days for Others and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash. Hanging and shopping with her and her friend Janet highlighted the weekend, but I didn't get any pictures. (Hey, Ann, how about those Cardinals? Congrats on your Blogger Bingo win!)

I went to the terrific party hosted by Carole and Laurie, where I saw Kathy and Cheryl and a holy host of others.

I met Sandy and Lee Ann and the ever-equable Spiff and Norma and Margene and Rosalie, and the incomparable Maryse with J. and his catalog of power tools in tow. (You want pictures? Go look at all these blogs, but especially Maryse's. She saw what no one else did.) I got to see the amazing and well-traveled Beth's finished-in-the-nick-of-time Rhinebeck sweater. And of course Moths were fluttering everywhere.

Aided by the always gracious Stitchy, who also signed her book for me, I played Blogger Bingo, but unlike my stalwart traveling companion I did not get bingo. (I console myself with the thought that 17 squares filled in with no bingo may be some kind of record.)

Throughout all of this I was accompanied by Ruth, not only stalwart but good-humored in all circumstances, as well as Miss B and Her Ladyship, who were fascinated by the lemurs, the llamas, and the cotton candy. And I was enabled by Grant, who stayed home with Taz and didn't ask how much money I spent.

At the end of it all, my party muscles were sore and my funds were depleted. Want to see what I bought? Come back later. For now I leave you with sunset as seen from the long line of cars attempting to leave the parking lot last Saturday.

Friday, October 20, 2006

No Time Like the Last Minute

For anyone looking for me at Rhinebeck:

Can't talk. Must pack.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Elvis Was Here

Thanks for all the good wishes! Things are improving dramatically, although I'm still letting Grant do all the heavy lifting. (I knew there was a reason I married him.)

Meanwhile, Miss B is getting ready to leave tomorrow on her school's fifth-grade trip, a three-day extravaganza involving lots of scientific observation in the wild. Their packing list is a whole page of items such as warm clothes, rubber boots, warm clothes, raincoat (you must bring a raincoat! with a hood!), warm clothes, new sneakers, old sneakers (that don't care about getting wet), small backpack, and — you guessed it — warm clothes.

Needless to say, collecting all the necessary paraphernalia involves not only considerable prodding on my part ("you should be packing, not watching TV/using the computer/looking through your books/talking to a cat") but scouring the house for things that have vanished into the ether since the last time we saw them two or three months ago — of course, by now we can't recall where we saw them — as well as scrounging for required items most of which are either hiding or in some inscrutable way inadequate. Sample dialogue:

Me: Where's your blue hoodie?

MB: Mom, I don't know.

Me: Where did you see it last?

MB: I said, I don't know.

Me: (repressing sigh) How about your red one?

MB: It's too small.

Me: Too small? We just bought it last month.

MB: Well, OK, it's not too small, but I don't like it.

Me: You can make do for a couple of days.

MB: How about my pink one?

Me: What pink one?

MB: (pulls something from the back of a drawer with a flourish worthy of David Copperfield): This one.

Me: Where did that come from?

MB: Mom, I don't know.

The high (or low) point of yesterday evening was a room-to-room, closet-to-closet search for her bathrobe. Its last verified sighting was in Rangeley. Could we have left it there? We don't think so, given the number of times we went through the cabin to make sure we had everything, but I sure couldn't find it last night. On the other hand, when I looked in the front closet to verify that her raincoat really was not only hoodless but too small (yes), I discovered one that I had never seen before (it's bright yellow: how I missed it I don't know), with a hood, that fit her perfectly, hanging on a hook.

There's only one explanation: we've been visited by Elvis.

If you see him, please tell him I'll have a raincoat and some cashmere from Rhinebeck to trade for the stuff I want back. He should be easy to spot: he'll be wearing a periwinkle-blue bathrobe monogrammed with Miss B's initials.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Sky: Doing It With Mirrors

Even by my standards, I've been exhibiting a remarkable degree of sloth lately, if a person who hasn't blogged in over three weeks can be said to exhibit much of anything. I attribute this primarily to the Mother of All Bug Bites, which first slithered onto my radar over Labor Day weekend in the form of a roughly two-inch-diameter, fiendishly itchy welt on my back. After being reassured that it was probably not Lyme, I went about my business, until eventually I noticed some stiffness in my right shoulder. "Just residual soreness," I thought, and continued about my business until I could barely move my right arm. This didn't so much interfere with my typing (I wish I could use that as an excuse) as addle my brain to the point of near total oblivion.

Now, however, I am on an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory, and orders to return for a follow-up in two weeks. I can't really tell if the drugs are helping yet, but I'm trying to pretend they are. To that end, herewith a sky picture, in a way.

Who knows? The next post might have actual knitting.