Friday, June 27, 2008

Transportation and Knitting Lace

I work in a University Transportation Center, and that's what brought me to San Jose, California, this week. During the annual meeting of the Council of University Transportation Centers, the administrators of the UTCs meet to discuss best practices, issues they confront; there is an opportunity to meet with our US DOT Research and Innovative Technology (RITA) coordinators and have them clarify regulations, etc.

During the meeting this year, we admins were surprised and pleased to have Paul Brubaker, the Administrator of RITA, join us. Mr. Brubaker made a great impression on us--he was quite down to earth and seemed to understand the work we do. He's fourth from the left in the picture--according to the CUTC director, Paul looks like a linebacker.

So, my personal "connection" with Mr. Brubaker--he makes no small notice of being
an alum of Youngstown State University. That puts him in the same class as my son, Michael (although Paul was an earlier graduate). I shared that with him and we talked about the area. He was familiar with Reyers Shoe Store (by reputation, the World's Largest Shoe Store) and Quaker Steak and Lube (a converted railroad car with the best hot wings and beer in town)--both across the border in Pennsylvania where I lived.

On the plane to San Jose, I worked on my newest lace project, the Misty Garden Scarf. Lessons learned or relearned:
  • Plane lighting is not conducive to lace knitting (at least, at my age)
  • Don't use a lifeline that is the same color or close to the color you are knitting
  • Horizon/Alaska Airlines serve free wine made in the Northwest (I knew this, but always appreciate relearning it!)
  • Don't get too involved in your knitting to pay attention to announcements (No, this is one time, at least, that I did not miss my plane fight)
  • Flight attendants enjoy seeing your knitting

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cast on Lace! Cast off for San Jose!

So, it will be a summer/season of lace! Just had to buy the Wine Tasting Lace Sampler from KnitPicks--what's not to love--wine-colored lace yarn, lots of alpaca and merino! And I cast on Misty Garden from Scarf Style to carry with me on the plane to San Jose.

Sad to say, it's a working trip and not a vacation. But thanks to the wonderful people on Ravelry, I know where the best and closest LYS (local yarn store) will be to San Jose State, where I'll be meeting with folks from all over the country involved in transportation research and education. Since I'm a facilitator at a couple of sessions, I won't have my yarn and needles in my hand except on the plane.

I also discovered Ravelry on that at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, there's an exhibit called Beyond Knitting: Uncharted Stitches! Since I'm a quilter, too, that will be a must stop during my few free hours!

Had to spend this weekend cleaning--I'm obsessive about trying to take care of messes that should have heen taken care of weeks ago when I'm going to go on a trip. The only thing that made this weekend fun was the chance to visit a new cria (baby alpaca) only hours old, at my brother's farm Big Meadow Creek Alpacas. Alpaca mothers are very protective of their young, and Derica was no exception. As I was carrying the new baby to get weighed (a nice, healthy 17-pounds), Derica walked along beside, talking the entire time to the cria--and to me--not sure of what was going on. After the cria was weighed, I just put him down and the two of them went back up to the pasture. It's so much fun watching the new babies walk--every step or two they sort of stumble a little as they

But, I better go pack clothes to go along with my knitting for the trip!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

WWKIP and snow in same week!

Did I say spring? Well, on Tuesday, June 10, I was up early enough to see it start snowing! We have had snow in Moscow every month so far in 2008! This is not normal! Usually, after the first week of May, we head into lovely weather, and by June, there is hardly a day without bright, blue skies! This is a closeup of my allium in the snow!

The snow didn't last long--the advantage of spring snow--but it did snow enough for someone to take some great pictures of the University of Idaho campus and post them on YouTube:

But yesterday--Saturday, World Wide Knit in Public Day, it was beautiful and sunny and lots of folks showed up at the Moscow Farmer's Market to knit in public. I had learned about it on Ravelry and suggested to our Woolgatherer's group that we participate. Cathy, a real go-getter, got permission from the Farmer's Market folks, made some signs; I posted the information on the WWKIP main website and on our But it was still surprising to find a variety of folks show up. Some came and went; some stayed almost all four hours. Folks showed up from the Woolgatherers. from Stitch-n-Bitch groups in Moscow and Pullman, WA, a few men showed up, and we even had a grandmother from Spokane! It was great fun!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gardening and Knitting

Now that spring has finally come to the Palouse and I can get outside in the dirt, it becomes a challenge to decide what to do in my free time--knit or play in the dirt? Notice, one of my choices is not "clean house"!

So, it's, stay inside when it's dark--raining--too hot, and spend the rest of the time weeding, pruning, planting, etc.

I do enjoy working in my yard. Last year, I had my entire "front yard" plowed up so I don't have to cut grass and I'm turning it in a big flower garden. Already had quite a few things planted here and there, but I splurged and bought more perennials that I have had before at a single time.

When I bought the house, the previous owner had already planted quite a few irises on the front edge of the yard. Luckily, her choices were mostly shades of purple. I planted a few allium last fall, and they have come up just beautifully. I love to cut flowers to have on my desk at work, at the few allium that I've taken in draw much appreciation.

I'm aiming for a yard that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds and other flying creatures (although I have to say that I've seen too many mosquitoes already this year!).

Two years ago, I already turned the part of my front yard on the narrow side of my driveway into a miniature rose garden. Last weekend, I fed them and did a little pruning left from the fall, and the roses will soon be in bloom.

I have a small area to the side of my house set aside for veggies--have tomatoes, lettuce, kale, beans, zucchini, peppers and a few other miscellaneous things planted there. Seeds are just beginning to come up.

It's been a slow, cool spring--and rainy all this week--which makes it excellent to dig out the insistent grass that keeps trying to come up where I don't want it!

But I finished my entrelac shawl last week, put on a fringe, and blocked it. I really enjoy the entrelac knitting, and the colors of the shawl are just fabulous.

I have so many knitting projects in mind--and so much yarn--so little time! I tend to have many projects going at once: at least one that takes concentration that I have to do when home alone; something easier that I can take with me when I join other people knitting; usually at least one sock on the needles; and a couple of projects just waiting to be finished.