31 May 2008

News from Uruguay

For those of you who are aficionados of the kettle-dyed merino goodness that is Malabrigo Yarn, some sad news: the building that houses their mill and offices caught fire on Thursday evening. Information and photos can be found on their website, and updates on their blog.

Best wishes to the folks in Montevideo. Hope you are back in operation soon!

30 May 2008

Cute as a bug

(Betcha you thought this post was about my Kidlet - no, not this time.)

Have you ever contemplated your place in the world? Wondered what it is that you're meant to contribute to better society? If you were considering micro- or nano-knitting, get back to the drawing board; Althea Crome has cornered the market single-handedly. Seriously, I think her entire body of work can fit in one hand.

This sweater is knit to 1:12 scale (think dollhouse):

...as are these gloves.

These sweaters are knit at 1:144 (a dollhouse for a dollhouse):

My eyes hurt just thinking about it.

29 May 2008

Huh? What?

Um, yeah, it's the end of May.

Holy crap, where did the spring go?

Spent a good bit of the holiday weekend with J's family; her brother and sister-almost-in-law were visiting from Chicago. We were even able to squeeze in a birthday party for Uncle Weswey (a week early, but hey, he was here).

As for me, I'm feeling a bit like my knitting bag - chaotic. It went to school with me today with four projects inside. (Granted, one was only a test swatch for a colorwork sweater, but four chunks of fiber nonetheless.) I did work on each of them, if only to justify their travels. Aside from completing the swatch, it was mostly flitting.

If anyone has a cure for this, let me know. Soon.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day

On this weekend which marks the unofficial start of summer, please note the prompt displacement of blossom petals, as if on cue. Damn.I love spring; it's just too brief. BTW, Deb, it's way hard to photograph the petals as they fall to the ground - that's why Ms. Gibbons put them in a slow-moving stole.

Knitters of America, enjoy your holiday!
(And knitters elsewhere, have a nice Monday.)

25 May 2008

Target: 350

No Impact Man is asking for our help. Next week he is meeting with Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York's Eighth Congressional District (his own rep) and would like to present a sheaf of e-mails supporting his mission during their conversation. Please read his plea here, and consider sending a quick e-mail his way. Just imagine the good spring karma that will come your way...


It's a sad day for our family. Grammy's dog, Rooney, passed away last night. He was 15. Grammy had adopted Rooney and his littermate, Beau, when they were brand new puppies out in Massachusetts; soon after they moved to the Twin Cities. Kidlet has always had great affection for animals, and I'm sure a large part of that is due to her love of Grammy's doggies. We will miss Rooney, but are glad he is once again healthy, happy, and playing with his brother.
Be thankful for little things today.

24 May 2008

Ah, to be young(er)

The blogosphere is a study in networking; with just a few mouse clicks, you can be connected to a whole new circle of people via sidebar links. It's the classic "the cousin of my stepbrother's uncle's college roommate knew a guy who delivered pizza to the assistant to the head of...", you know?

My friend Eric's sidebar holds a link to the blog of a friend of his, The Snarky Squab. I love this woman's style - straightforward, no rating filter on her vocabulary (me loves a good snark!), educated, and boldly maternal. Anywho, she featured this blog discovery on a recent post. It's definitely food for thought, water cooler conversations, and the like.


23 May 2008

22 May 2008


That's the sound made by a million blossoms opening at the same time, which happened at the beginning of the week (these pictures were taken yesterday).

My fave bonsai-esque tree, in full bloom:

Grammy's crabapple tree, which has to be fifty feet tall:

And the surest sign of spring? When youth of great physical coordination gather together to throw weapons at the clear blue sky.

To their credit, they also throw colorful and shiny flags.

Greet the spring!

21 May 2008

A Meema is a Meema is...

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

20 May 2008

Were I the Harlot

June 14 is The Yarn Harlot's birthday.

It's her 40th birthday.

It's also World Wide Knit in Public Day.

Can you just imagine it - being her, being that day? It's almost too much to bear.

Read here to see what a Harlot does when the planets align for the anniversary of her natal day. I might do the same, when it's my turn to be Stephanie.

Oh, to be in Toronto in June...

19 May 2008

Two sides of a Monday

As I was driving to school today, the smell of burning rubber started to waft through the air vents of my trusty Civic. My first instinct is one of slight panic, compelling me to slow down, look for smoke rising from under my hood, check the temperature gauge (I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this). All seemed well enough for me, then I noticed this unfortunate soul in front of me on the freeway as we headed for the same offramp. Driving on rims at 70mph - not a good prelude to the day.

On the upside, the trees are a-blooming in Minnesota. Here's my fave little one, halfway to peak flowerage:

Smell some blooms today.

There can be only one

I love SNL's ability to capture the tenor - and highlight the ridiculousness - of current events, especially politics. My friend Cate posted yesterday about this very topic - well, not spoofing the race per se, but rather her (dis)comfort brought about by having the candidates themselves on the show. Check out her blog, leave your two cents in her comments, and come on back.

And now back to the actual campaign... With a win in Oregon tomorrow, Senator Obama would likely have the majority of delegates needed to claim presumptive nominee status. Here's the question of the day: do you think Senator Clinton will pull out of the race on Wednesday if results are decisive, or will she push on through June's contests? Leave your thoughts in the comments, SVP.

Make your voice heard!

18 May 2008

Papa knows best

Some background information is needed here to understand the culture that is my parents' marriage. My mom has been a knitter/crocheter for over 40 years, in addition to forays into many other creatively expressive outlets: oil painting, sewing, latch hook, needlepoint, cross stitch, macrame - you get the idea.

Dad is creative in his own right, but is not one with "crafty" stuff. He gets the knitting thing, though, and surprises me regularly with the knowledge he has acquired:

1. He accompanied my mom to The Yarn Harlot event in April and had a genuine appreciation for what she had to say - and did not think an auditorium full of (mostly) women knitting was strange in the slightest.

2. He appreciates knit-geeky things, like how Mom can knit socks with more control (and in a better mood) by using sharper needles, how wood needles grip better for her, and the cool concept factor of Flat Feet sock yarn.

3. This one's the corker. Last night I was at their house; all three of us were seated on the couch, my mom working a pair of socks with Maizy, me knitting the sleeve of Kidlet's bolero. Dad leans over to see my knitting and says, "What are those you're using, about a size 6?" Wha? Um, yeah they were. Exactly.

Scott and Eric, I may have another member for Men's Knit Night by the end of the year...

16 May 2008

Love makes the world CA go 'round

Ellen DeGeneres announced her engagement to girlfriend Portia de Rossi during the taping of her talk show today. Their über-public announcement follows directly on the heels of the California Supreme Court ruling which strikes down state laws banning gay marriage as unconstitutional.


Let's see what's behind Blog #2...

... handspun! (Ooh, aah!)

Carmen, a spinner and knitwear designer from BC, is having a contest with a twist. She's looking for creative names to inspire a new hat design. The prize for the winning name is a skein of her own handspun yarn (not pictured - retail value $40-$50). Submissions accepted through the end of the month. I'm not sure how she's going to choose just one, but there it is.

See how good I am to my readers?

You've got to be kidding

Read here to find out how the current administration would like is likely to relax air quality control regulations around national parks. Yet another environmental feather in their petroleum-soaked cap.

Drilling for oil in the Alaska wilderness?

Refusing to meet global initiatives for curbing carbon emissions?

W placing his addlepated head up his own arse again?
_____ (place check here)

Soap box tirade over. Nothing more to see here, people - let's keep movin'.

15 May 2008

Feeling lucky?

If you've the urge to enter a contest, check out Alana's blog and tell her I sent you. Who couldn't use a book and some yarn?

4' 33"

If you've had a busy week, play this video and just breathe (or knit).

They aren't kidding; this is real music. Read here if you'd like some background.

Knit like no one is checking your gauge!

14 May 2008

Green to be...

J'aime les possibilities de sharing information avec bloggers.*

Going40's friend and long-time commenter Stephanie has started her own blog, Native Observation, as she anticipates her return to the US after living in Paris for years (you can read her story when you're done here - well worth a bookmark, IMHO). Anywho, I've been delving into Stephanie's list of favorite blogs and am quite taken and inspired by No Impact Man. Set aside some time to check out both of these blogs.

*A smattering of knowledge is a dangerous thing when it comes to languages of the world.

Wednesday wisdom

From the "Just Say No" department:

Never tote a Smart Ones® microwaveable entree in your knitting bag. It doesn't stay frozen as long as you think it might, and it does leak.

Especially the marinara sauce.

I'm just sayin'.

13 May 2008

Green bridge

I saw a bit of a PBS program Sunday evening on the red deer of the Austrian Alps. They discussed the threat of human encroachment on their habitat, and how the herds face death daily as they cross freeways to their feeding grounds. Their solution? Green bridges - generously wide overpasses of earth and vegitation. Once the animals accept the bridgeway, vehicular deer deaths drop significantly. I'm suprised they're not more widely used elsewhere.

Me likes the deers alive.

12 May 2008

Monday, Monday...

(bah dah, bah dah-dah dah) so good to me.

Glorious breezy spring day here in the Twin Cities today! Kidlet had wanted to go to the Minnesota Children's Museum, but as it is closed on Mondays, we went to the park instead (even better). Between flying our pocket kite, exploring the playground equipment, rescuing an earthworm, and picking violets, a grand time was had out-of doors.

Bus fixation update: we were out at the perfect time this afternoon. Just today we counted 38 buses. Woo-hoo!

The planets are apparently lined up favorably for my stash (unfavorably for my wallet). There's an LYS just up the hill from one of my schools, and they were anticipating the arrival of an order of Flat Feet sock yarn. I've been a bit obsessed with the concept of this yarn. Anyway, I called most days last week with negative results. Then I dialed the shop today. Instead of ringing, I heard someone dialing their phone. "Hello?" I said. "Oh, sorry. Hello, this is the Yarn Garage." I told her I was calling about the Flat Feet yarn. She was dialing my number to tell me she had just opened the delivery box of - you guessed it - Flat Feet sock yarn. Dude.

I chose slightly safe colors this go-round, but I'm thinking this is likely not the end of my experience knitting from flats. Heh heh heh.

OH! I almost forgot to blog this: on Saturday I received my I-[heart]-Ravelry extra ball of Cashsoft Aran from Claire. Thank you so much!!!

Knit with gusto, people.

11 May 2008

Moms all around

Today was a busy day. Mother's Day (making gifties), Pentecost (dress in red!), and baptism day for our parish.

Kidlet and I finished up J's gifts this morning before heading off to church - a Hello Kitty punch-out-and-string-up necklace/card that really sold itself (Kidlet could hardly contain herself at the card store) and a mommy bracelet with Kidlet's name and birthstone (I assisted with the beading tech).

Cate and MD's son D was baptized in today's service. Scott and I are now official members of his spiritual entourage. D and B had a whole mess of cousins in attendance, so Kidlet had a great time playing.

Here's what the godmother made for the newly saved soul - an Anglican rosary of sterling and garnet (the Birthstone Fairy strikes again).

Kidlet and I will be celebrating with Nana this Thursday, so it's really a week long holiday this year. Gotta love that!

On a weirder note, this Arkansas mother is expecting her eighteenth child. She has been pregnant for 135 months of her life. The oldest boy is twenty years old. They are all home schooled. And taught piano. And violin.

Down, Dad, down.

Kinda minimizes our own complaints about being "too busy," doesn't it?

Happy Mother's Day to you and/or your mom!

10 May 2008

Shepherd's Harvest

This weekend is the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival at the lovely Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo, MN. From the website:

The Festival was started in order to provide a venue where producers, consumers and artisans could come together and share the excitement of working with sheep and wool. Gradually, the Festival has grown to include other fiber animals such as angora rabbits, alpacas, and goats.

The Festival strives to be a family-oriented event that is not only fun but educational. Numerous classes are offered in the fiber arts...

Many vendors show their wares at the Festival through a juried selection of vendors of unique products. If it's fiber related, you probably will find just what you have been looking for.

Demonstrations are ongoing for sheep shearing, herding dogs, linen making, spinning and knitting. Activities are planned to spark the interest of youngsters.

I don't think I will make it to the Festival this year; if you do, I'd love a report. Enjoy a fiber-filled weekend!

09 May 2008

Can you shear me now?

This flock can be seen in the Museum für Kommunikation in Frankfurt, Germany. I first saw them mentioned on Kristin Nicholas' blog.
Holy kinky fleece, Ba-a-a-a-atman - I don't think skeining and soaking will relax that natural wave.
Puns happen. Dial with it.

08 May 2008

Knit night treats

If you find yourself needing to feed a tangle of knitters, consider these cupcakes:

Want to see more? Check her blog postings for photos and tutorials.

07 May 2008

Spring at last

Today was a beautiful day - breezy, barely cloudy, green everywhere. I looked up and down the Minnesota River as I crossed on my way to school, and lo, the trees were leafing out in that marvelous chartreuse-y shade you only see at the onset of spring. It made me smile. For a long time.

This little crabapple tree is in the parking lot of _____ High School. It had once been trimmed within an inch of becoming a shrub, but has since grown into a lovely bonsai-esque shape that stretches over the sidewalk. I give it four days until it's blanketed with blossoms. Note to self: get picture of blossoms for Deb.

A gratuitous bus photo for Kidlet (she's taken to scanning the roads for them as we drive about). On the aforementioned trek to school this morning, I noticed a lineup of four yellow limos in the oncoming turn lane, grabbed for my camera, and caught their escape. Here you go, sweetie.

Enjoy the season, readers!

Flat Feet

I'm not sure how many are familiar with this product, but when I first read about it, my inner (OK, outer) knitting geek became a wee bit giddy.

(photo from the Paradise Fibers website)

This is Flat Feet Sock Yarn (80/20 wool/nylon), and that is how it arrives - not in a ball or hank or skein, but a "blank"; the yarn is knitted into two flat sheets, hand dyed, and then unravelled as you knit. Each pair of resulting socks is completely unique, and rather a surprise. How cool is that idea? Just the storage flexibility set my mind racing.

06 May 2008

Big Ad

Some lighter fare today: here is one of the best uses/spoofs of "O Fortuna" (from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana) I've ever seen. Enjoy!

05 May 2008

B and B

... and not the fun, escape-for-the-weekend one.

I have two friends - B and B - who, in the course of the past five days, have each received life-changing diagnoses. They hail from different parts of my life (singing and teaching); their illnesses are different (congestive heart failure and colorectal cancer); and their prognoses are, sadly, different as well. Today was a day of not good news.

I know each of these people could use all the support they can get. Please hold them up in whatever way you choose for strength, healing, and peace.

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

May is a big month of cultural celebration for La Meema. First, a nod to the 1/4 Mexican heritage de mi mama.

Cinco de Mayo is a regional festival day marking the Mexican defeat of French forces in 1862. It's not a countrywide fiesta in Mexico, nor is it Mexican Independence Day (that's in September); in the U.S., the day is similar to the cultural observation and revelry found on St. Patrick's Day.

This festive posting brought to you by Cinco de May Barbie! Yes, that's right - your favorite plasticine freak o' nature goes South of the Border and returns with a Coppertone tan. (Truth be told, I totally wanted a costume very similar to this as a young girl. For myself. Really.)

And in two weeks, another familial day of glory will descend upon us - [duhn, duhn, DUHN...] (ominous chords of doomydoomdoom).

Don't eat the worm!

04 May 2008

The party's over

Today was the final round of birthday hoopla, celebrating at my parents' new house.The little cakes (with the year prominently displayed - thanks a lot, Ness) were filled with fresh fruit, and made by my sister. Very tasty.My knitting arsenal was fortified with several goodies: a cute Lantern Moon ladybug tape measure, More Big Girl Knits, The Field Guide to Knitting, a g.c. for Patternworks catalog, a Clover yarn guide, and the WPI tool (which has been long on my list - squee!).

The card my parents gave me (pictured above right) has a great quote by American knitting maven Elizabeth Zimmermann; her down-to-earth deconstructed approach to knitting coupled with a slightly self-depricating sense of humor makes me laugh often. I leave you with her words tonight:

"Really, all you need to become a good knitter is wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence."