Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sitting on the deck in the wonderful weather

I have to admit, there is an advantage to living in Victoria. It's a gorgeous evening, about 72 F or 20 C and I'm sitting on the deck with the laptop enjoying the lovely weather and blogging. Not a bad life.

I'm currently doing some research for the runner that I want to make. I've decided on a block weave, now I just need to figure out how to get the pattern that I want. I need to spend some time reading about summer and winter to get there. I think I may actually do a test run and make towels or something smaller (with cheaper yarn) to really understand what I'm doing.

I need to take some pictures to post of both some UFOs and FOs. I finished one sock of a pair for two different pairs, and they look pretty good. I do seem to be having second sock syndrome with these, though, since I haven't been motivated to finish the second sock for either pair.

The dog can't quite decide whether she wants to be out with me or inside where dinner is being prepared. I think she probably wants me to go inside so she can be there when everything is ready. She's outta luck.

I think dinner is ready, so it's time to go.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The local guild

I finally managed to make it to a local hand weaving and spinning guild meeting. I've only been trying to make it to a meeting for a year now. Since the meetings are only once a month and are on Thursday nights, getting there has not been particularly easy. I either completely forget until the week after, or I'm so tired that I can't even think of going out. I was extremely tired on Thursday, but I made myself go anyway, since it was the last meeting before the summer break.

It's the Victoria Handweavers' and Spinners' Guild, and they are a very friendly group. I also made it to a spinning group last night, so I managed to get some spinning done.

I'm trying to design a runner with a block weave, and having trouble wrapping my head around how to use one set of shafts to tie down the weave. I think I need to do something different with the tie up, but haven't quite figured it out. I really need to sit and play on Fiberworks PCW, but I haven't managed to dredge up the patience.

I did find a set of very interesting articles about the latest in evolutionary biology and developmental biology research that are in the NY Times. It's stuff that I was peripherally aware of, since much of it had started back when I was doing my research, but I hadn't been paying much attention for the last few years. It's a nice summary of the latest thinking in evolutionary biology and how advances in the study of developmental biology have fueled the new thinking. I actually think it puts some of the creation 'science' arguments to bed, since it explains how you can get relatively radical differences rather quickly.

And work seems to be finally calming down a bit. After switching roles, I felt like I was playing catch up, since the whole reason for switching was because there was only one person doing the definition work and he was totally swamped trying to do it alone. I think we're almost to the point of being far enough ahead that we can breathe. I'm certainly feeling like we've finally figured out the way to get the functionality that's needed without killing ourselves or producing something that's completely unusable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I guess it's been a while

Hmmm...I was just looking at the date I last posted, and I guess it's been a while.

I think I'm finally coming out of my fiber hibernation. Between moving twice and starting a new job, the fiber stuff has kinda been on the back burner. I haven't been very inspired, and haven't had much energy to spare for doing any of my fiber crafts. That's been changing over the last few weeks, and I'm very happy about that.

I've managed to start designing several different things, a couple of knitting projects and a weaving project, and I went back to spinning the yarn that I started last fall (or maybe it was summer...).

The weather has also turned gorgeous. The last couple of days have been clear, sunny, and right around 70 F (that's ~20 C for those outside the US). This is what I remember the weather being like last year when we first got here. Of course, everything was new then, so I can't say for sure what it was really like.

I'm going to have to take some pictures so that I can post them here and show what I'm currently working on and then post some stuff on the designs. Always way too much to do!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Yarn Harlot comes to town

The Yarn Harlot came to town, and I had the pleasure of going to see her talk. She was very entertaining and filled in some gaps from some things that appeared on her blog. I waited in line to get a couple of books signed, and got a picture taken because I had the rattiest copy of the Yarn Harlot that she'd ever seen. I keep it in the car to read when I have appointments and forget to bring something with me (which happens pretty often...)

Today was the Victoria Fibrefest, and I went over to check out the local groups and the stash enhancement opportunities. The weather wasn't the greatest, so I only ended up staying for an hour and a half or so. If the weather had improved, I would have gone back with my spinning wheel and joined the people spinning from the local weaving and spinning guild. But it stayed blustery and kind of rainy, and is still pretty windy outside.

I did get some good info about the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival, which I had intended to go to last year, but missed. I might actually be able to remember it this year. It's interesting to get to from here, because there are two ferries and a drive up one coast or the other (a choice of ferries from Vancouver Island).

I actually have a FO to blog about. I finished a vest for my DH (Greg) that I've been working on for at least a year and a half. That leaves me with two socks (from different pairs) and a shawl on the needles, so it's time to start thinking about something else to knit. I do have a donation that I have to knit--I put a hand made item in the an auction for the Canary Foundation, because work was raising money for them. I made it an item to be designed in conjunction with the person that won, so I need to take some ideas in and run them by the woman that had the winning bid.

Next week is the Canary Derby, which is another fundraiser for the Canary Foundation. The Canary Foundation is dedicated to finding ways to detect cancer early, since cancer is most treatable and has a higher chance of survival when it is found in its earliest stages. They work directly with researchers and connect the right people together to get both the basic research going and get biomarkers identified and tested for early detection.

And I've got the information for a spinning group tomorrow evening. I will be trying to head off to spin tomorrow evening so I can get to know some of the local fiber folks. Since the last Fibrefest was so soon after I moved here, I haven't had a good way to get information. I kept trying to make it to the weaving and spinning guild and forgetting completely until it was too late.'s hoping that work is not too crazy tomorrow and I have enough energy to go spinning!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

knitting on a lazy sunday afternoon

I don't know how lazy I can really call it, since I spent the morning ripping things out of the garden. I did some weeding, then got a wild hair to get rid of all of the holly bushes and stumps that seemed to be scattered in the yard. There were three stumps that I knew of (someone previously had cut them back), then I found two more that had been cut back and sprouted way in the back corner. Those had quite a bit of growth on them, so I may be destined for a trip to the local compost drop-off place. The only place that I can get rid of them if I can't get them to fit in my composter.

Then I spent some time working on the first sock out of Traveler and turned the heel so I just have to figure out how long I want the leg portion to be. Since they're for a sample, I'll probably make them longer than my usual short socks.

I've been designing in fits and starts this weekend. I finally have a general idea of what I want to do for the runner I want to weave. Now I need to try some drafts to see if I can actually do it in 8 shafts. This could be the impetus for starting to save for a loom with more shafts....

I don't write much about work here, but I've changed roles at work. I had been managing the test group, and had an opportunity to move to the other end of the process and help to define what we're building. Since it is something that I had seriously considered when I was job hunting, I decided that I should take the plunge and switch. I started in the new role on Wednesday, and had to dive right in because there needed to be enough definition to allow a small group to start working on Monday. The next couple of weeks will be interesting, since we'll be playing catchup.

But that's for tomorrow. For today, I think I'm going to go find a good book on CD to listen to and knit outside to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we're having.