12 April 2011

Bits and Pieces

Intimidated No More
Too much time was spent inside a vehicle Saturday, but the result was more than worth the journey.

I finally got to see a knitting machine in action, and I even got to try someone else's machine myself. I learned how to set up the machine, thread the machine, cast on, remove the carriage and untangle the yarn because I e-wrapped too tightly, adjust tension and bind off. Baby steps, I know, but that's how I learned to walk, too, and I've mastered the art of one foot in front of another.

I won't be able to set up my own machine until after I finish my quilt and my taxes, but I got to try the process hands-on. Better odds of actually remembering what I learned!

My First Potholder!
The two-hour meeting seemed like an entire college semester. I learned so much. So many tips, so many shortcuts, so much helpful information, so many fascinating demonstrations, so much drool during show and tell.

And best of all, when I walked into the room, other club members exclaimed, "Oh, you're the snowflake lady!"

I used to get that kind of greeting when I was a journalist. I would walk into a meeting, and someone invariably would blurt out, "Oh, the newspaper is here." Or, "Oh, it's the newspaper." It. Not she. Not writer. Not photographer. Not even human. I was "the newspaper." I was "it."

I also received an interesting welcome many years before I swam in the media pool. In a prior life, I hosted birthday parties in a caboose. Back then, everywhere I went, little kids would shriek, "It's the birthday party lady!"

Those piƱata and Styrofoam-sandwich-box-standing contest days are filled with fun memories, and that was so much warmer and friendlier than "the newspaper" or "it," yet I think I like Snowflake Lady better.

Better than Mensa
Prior to the long journey north for knitting machine madness, we had a dynamite sunrise, just what I'd been looking for every morning for a snowflake backdrop for more than a month. I hung a snowflake in a tree on a bluff to capture the grandeur, and the wind, uninvited and unwanted, made a crash landing. The snowflake went sailing.

Determined not to lose the opportunity, I tackled the snowflake as if I was playing a game of full-contact football, and then tied it to the tree branch. It swung and danced while I tried my best to get a shot. Suddenly, the wind went silent, I focused, pressed the shutter... and nothing happened.

What a great time for the camera battery to die. I'd left the camera bag, with three spare batteries, fully charged, at home. That'll teach me.

Hold still, please...
Stop that!
We tried to do a bicycle ride Sunday morning before church, but that killer wind made yet another appearance. 48 mph was just a little too much to stomach. I tried to stick to my 2011 mantra: go further than I think I can. All I got was 13 miles. Felt like 50. Calories burned, right?

The shortened ride did provide a little extra quilt time. I'd finished the quilting last week and began crocheting around the edge. Now that I've made it past the first row, the process is more fun than I've had in a long time, and I can't wait to get home and work on it some more.

slowly but surely
Short mileage was compensated for Monday when I logged an extra seven miles during my commute, which was much more pleasant than the weekend ride (read: windless) and featured more daylight than my last attempt at riding to work.

The best part of Monday's commute was the company of The Lizard, who completed his first metro area workday bicycle commute. With a very heavy pack!

Karen Elyse White sent notification of her current show yesterday. One of her featured pieces is based on one of my photos.

headbanger
A reader in Belgium took note when I mentioned I grew up in southern New Mexico. Emails were exchanged. Turns out she went to school with my youngest brother. Talk about going around the world to find someone who just about grew up with you!

A package arrived yesterday from Switzerland. A writer had asked for permission to include some of my garden terrorist photos with an article she is writing for a Swiss magazine. Turns out she spins (the writer, not Pierce). With locks from her own bunnies and sheep. She sent handspun angora, which is WAY better than getting paid!

My final paperwork needed for tax return filing also arrived in the mail at the same time. Guess which package I opened first!

heaven in a mailbox

6 comments :

  1. You certainly do have a way with photos ...the dangling snowflake is so cool...I do see where you could be the "snowflake lady!!!" Your knitting machine sounds perfect, I'll never forget when I visited my cousin and met her gigantic loom machine! I never saw such a proud and happy person! Your last darling photo made my morning, thanks!

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  2. Very very lovely photos and that angora, slurps, slurps...

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  3. The snowflakes dancing in the wind have a magic all their own! I like 'The Snowflake Lady'. It's a much better handle than 'The Newspaper'.

    Oh what fun you'll have with that angora...

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  4. Lovely yarn! What an interesting time you have had! Can't wait to see what you come up with when you master your knitting machine.

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  5. Squishy package full of fiber was opened first!!!! YES!
    Love your first 'machine knit' potholder! Someone gave me a flatbed and it's dirty and all the parts are there. Hmm, I may have to rethink it and try it out.
    I love the captions for the snowflakes in the wind!! LOL
    So glad you got so much done...and that quilt..wow, it's a stunner!

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  6. How much fun is that! And, personally, I think The Snowflake Lady is an awesome name!!! It's been a while since I had my knitting machine out. It usually takes over the kitchen island while I'm working on a project so I keep it stored in the craft room most of the time. Can't wait to hear how you like yours. One of my very first posts was about getting caught in my knitting machine needles -- not something you want to do ...
    http://jayayceeblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/knit-naked.html

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