Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Busy as a Hive of Bees

My days are really off.

You see, I’ve been walking around all day thinking it’s Monday. Of course, that’s probably because I didn’t come back from the Lake to Pittsburgh until last night.

I really enjoyed the extra time at VBP. Very minimal beach time, but I almost have my Picnic Plaid quilt finished (it needed a little extra quilting). I did a little more knitting on my Collinette Tape sweater. Mom and I watched Flags of our Fathers. And, last night, Mom and I took a class at Quilted Memories in Dunkirk (no website. Sorry!).

It was the Positively Pineapple class, and it was quite fun. We constructed a lone block, and our homework for the next class (in two weeks) is to get all of our cutting done. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far

Our fearless leader recommended that we do one block at a time, but I think my brain will work better if I chain piece/do all of the remaining 19 blocks in each stage simultaneously so I can whack them all the same. Anne? Sandy? Any suggestions?

Class went until 7:30. I’m sure this will shock all of my left coast quilting buddies, but I was the last one to get packed up and out of the store at the end of class. Fortunately, we didn’t end at Midnight with the store folks toe-tapping for me to get out. :) Hi, Mary Ellen!

Mom and I were both hungry, so we stopped at the White Village on the way back to the cottage. Good food, stupid-slow service, but you know that going in. I got on the road at 9 pm and got home at midnight.

I was up at 7 this morning to take my car in for its 80K service. Then I drove an extra half-mile south to Bloomin’ Yarns (no website yet) in McMurray. Oh. My. Gawd. I love this store. It really reminds me of Beach Knitting, and Michelle (the owner) reminds me of Joan and Karen at BK. There were a stupid number of things in the store that desperately wanted to jump into my shopping bag. They carry Louet Gems, which I had never fondled before but now understand why I’ve heard so many good things about it. They also carry O-Wool, which I had never heard of before. I LUUURRRVVVEEE the O-Wool Balance, and once I clear my backlog of sweaters, I will most definitely be makin’ me a sweater out of this tweedy goodness.

Oh, and did I mention that they carry Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn and YARN PIRATE? Ugh. This is one dangerous store.

I did walk out of the store with a mini-haul.

Some Cascade 220 for the 12:01 felted pumpkin pattern

Some allhemp6 for the Everlasting Bagstopper and a kit for a second, similar bag (natural-colored allhemp6 inside, just like the pic).

No, I’m not on a crusade to eliminate plastic bags, but if I can knit something fun and economical that will help me to always have a re-usable bag on hand? Count me in!

Oh, and I was able to fondle and purchase the GoKnit pouch that I had been coveting off of KnitPicks. It is pictured here with the start of Jaywalker #2 which I cast on at the car place this morning. Those needles are being hugged by my new StitchKeepers. An ingenious device that will keep all those DPN points corralled. They are available at The Loopy Ewe as well.

Oh, did I mention The Loopy Ewe? I had a couple of awesome packages waiting on me when I got home last night. Trekkie Monster says that the Internet is for Porn, and he’s right … Yarn Pr0n! (OK, so I've also been listening to the Lime & Violet podcast. I've been spending a lot of time in my car. So sue me!)

The top three skeins are from Yarn Nerd. All three are his 900 MHz Mega Merino. From the top: Hot Dog on a Stick, Tour de France and Palm Beach. Bottom two are from The Loopy Ewe, Chewy Spaghetti in the Starry colorway and Cider Moon in colorway Casual Friday. Obviously, I need to get knitting on socks!!!

OK, so speaking of the Tour de France. I’m really sad for what has been happening to this great sport. I’ve been a cycling fan for a very long time … I knew who Lance Armstrong was before he had cancer (and have the stalker-ish action shots from the Thrift Drug Classic in the early 90s to prove it!). I was crushed when the Tyler Hamilton mess hit during the Vuelta after his gold medal performance in Athens in 2004, and was extremely saddened and disheartened by the mess that has ensued after the inspiring performance of Floyd Landis in last year’s Tour de France.

[I am in the minority because I have a hard time believing that either Hamilton or Landis is guilty, and I do believe that as critical as the drug testing system is, it has enormous flaws at this time. Hamilton was convicted on a brand new, unproven test that had gaping holes, and I can't understand how Landis could test clean on 14 stages and positive on ONE. Testosterone just doesn't function that way.]

What has happened this week with Alexandre Vinokourov and today with Michael Rasmussen is, to me, reminiscent of the Festina mess during the 1998 tour (entire team booted after a team car was found loaded with performance-enhancing drugs). It’s a wonderful sport that is accessible to “normal folk” who just like to get exercise on a bike and I find so much to admire in these endurance athletes.

I have been stalking the TDF KAL and the only reason I didn’t sign up for it is that I didn’t find it until after the starting deadline. As disheartened as I’ve been by this week’s turmoil, I will continue to watch the race through its culmination in Paris on Sunday. And I’ll watch again next year with a sincere hope that this sport can figure out how to fix what is so obviously broken. Oh, and I highly recommend the diary written by American pro cyclist Bobby Julich.

I was totally shot when I got home from errand-running today, so it was a very light work-on-the-house day. I have lots of cutting homework for my Pineapple class and a stupid amount of knitting waiting for me to dig in. It’s busy around chez DPUTiger, so I’d better get back to it!


Jenn said...

Isn't Michelle nice? I haven't been there in a few months because the last time we were there, Tom bought be $100 worth of yarn and I feel guilty buying more yarn when I haven't had as much time to knit recently. But they have allhemp6! And I want to make the Everlasting Bagstopper!

SJ said...

That quilt square is spectacular! Makes me a little dizzy, but I love it!

I'm so glad you made it out to Bloomin Yarns. I love that place. I think we need to get a field trip together -- especially since you and Jenn are on that side of the river already!

Yvonne said...

I'm up for a field trip! IMHO on the quilt square, I'd whack them out a part at a time, like you do in the Quilt in a Day series. That's what makes it go so quickly!! :)