Gone to the Faire

K and I spent yesterday at the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. She’d been to it once before, but I’ve only ever been to the Bristol Faire, back when I lived in Illinois. There were noticeably fewer Klingons at this one, though there were lots of people in garb.

And I’m pretty sure the Aztec dancers are a Southern California thing.


I, of course, was drawn to the Guild of St. Cuthbert, where women were spinning and knitting in the guildyard.


And there were many lovely spindles on display.


Early in the day, I successfully spun a bit of yarn with the help of a woman who was walking with a distaff and drop spindle.

The Faire was fun. I also got to try my hand at archery, and we saw a couple of comedy shows, plus the final “Joust to the Death”. Less fun is the splitting headache and the sinus issues I’ve been having all day today, quite possibly from the bales of hay, dust, and pollen all around the Faire.

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The Lazy Gardener

A few months ago, K decided to plant some flowers in a patch of dirt in front of our house. So, we went to the home ‘n’ garden store, emphasis on the garden part. While K picked out flowers, I was enticed by the vegetables. I developed a grand plan to create a small vegetable garden in a patch in our backyard.

This patch:

We came home from the store, and I ripped out weeds and rocks and grass from the patch of dirt. I planted three kinds of tomato and six sugar snap pea seedlings, packed into the kind of topsoil that comes with plant food in it.

And then I pretty much forgot about it. Weeding? Watering? Fertilizing? Please. I have knitting to do. And some of the plants grew, while grass and weeds tried to make a comeback.


Today, I finally tried to clean up the garden a little bit. Imagine my surprise to discover, amongst the weeds, actual peapods!


And, hiding in the leaves, teeny tiny little baby tomatoes!


I picked five peapods. Despite the evidence that bugs got to a few of them, they were quite tasty.

In knitting news, it’s been a slow week. I had a Downtown Day for work, and I was all set up with my iPod and the second Jaywalker for a nice Metro ride. And then I woke up an hour late, and I had to drive downtown, and the only knitting I did was a round and a half during the break in my meeting. Hmph.

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Friday was my day off, so, of course, I spent it at a workshop on Cataloging and Classification. Because that’s just the sort of Partyin’ Librarian I am. The workshop was interesting, and I got to spend some time on the UCLA campus, where they have a potato tree.


Wanna see a close-up? Sure, you do!


See? Potatoes!

I showed people in the workshop that picture (in the little preview window on the camera). They thought it was a joke. But I bet I’m not only one who went home and looked it up and discovered that it’s a Kigelia pinnata, better known as a “Sausage Tree”. I still say potato.

UCLA is a place of many wonders.

The workshop itself was held in a gorgeous reading room lined with bookcases.


What can I say? I love a bookcase that requires a ladder.


And then I looked up.


I realize that this is probably an architectural choice, some sort of deconstructionist approach, but, to me, it just looks they got confused about where the ceiling would go and decided to leave it out.


I also worked on the second Jaywalker sock during the break (when I wasn’t taking pictures of odd vegetation). But, of course, I didn’t think to get a picture of that.

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In the past week, I have knitted on a sock at a Weight Watchers meeting, at the West Hollywood SnB, at a meeting of my union, and in front of the television.  And I may be working on it at the library this afternoon, depending on how many people come for our monthly Craft Club.

Do I have pictures of the sock in any of these places?  Of course not.

I’ve been working on my very own pair of Jaywalkers, in a colorway of Regia Crazy Colors that’s sort of like a rainbow.  I started a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I’d be done with the pair by now, but I overestimated my ability to turn a heel.  I started out with the flap heel in the pattern, then hated the way it looked after I picked up the stitches around the gusset.  I ripped it out and tried to do a short-row heel, but I couldn’t quite understand the pictureless directions I was following, and I couldn’t find my copy of an Interweave Knits back issue that successfully guided me through short-row heel-making on a pair of baby socks, and I think I created a new type of heel.  One for people with REALLY wide, round heels.  So, I ripped that out, and that’s where it all went horribly wrong.  I ripped and ripped, and I couldn’t figure out where I was in the pattern.  And I ripped and ripped, and I couldn’t find where one round ended and another began.  I’m normally not bad at reading my knitting, but I was lost.  So, I ripped and ripped, and I eventually ended up two rounds past the end of the ribbing at the cuff.

That was Thursday night, at SnB.  I worked on it a little on Friday, my day off.  At Saturday’s union meeting, I got back up into the heel, which is once again a flap heel.  After gleaning some advice on picking up the gusset stitches off the Internet, I have a fairly decent turned heel, except for the glaring hole in one corner, which I am not ripping back to fix.  I’m not.  I refuse.  I will finish this sock and get on to its mate.  I just hope I finish the toe before I finish the skein, because I only have two skeins, and I’d hate to have to rip back AGAIN just to shorten the leg.

Although, come to think of it, I’d have a chance to fix that little gap….

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Spring Knitty!

The new Knitty is up, and, as usual, there are a bunch of gorgeous things!

Nautie is just the cutest little thing. I like UnGranny Smith a lot, although I’m not generally a big fan of the color green. And I think I’d want a substitute for the Lily Chin yarn anyway. Anatolia is lovely; I’m not sure how flattering it would look on me. Tendrils is lovely, even though the long drop-stitch scarf reminds me ever-so-slightly of Clapotis, probably because mine doesn’t curl like the original. And Reid is adorable. Have I mentioned we have a 4-year-old niece?

I usually like the Spring issue, since where I live, we don’t have winter. We barely have autumn. So, while I love soft, thick cabled wool sweaters, they’re not terribly practical. The spring and summer issues are when the cottons come out to play.

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Knitting Blogs Ring

It looks like I got dropped from the Knitting Bloggers ring at some point. I’m not all that surprised, since my posting got pretty sporadic for a while there. The ring is actually open to new members again since yesterday, but your blog has to have been up for a month with at least one post per week. I think I’ll wait for the next time the ring opens and apply again.

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Welcome to CavStitches 2.0

Note (added June 12, 2009):  This is an introductory post to the reincarnation of my first knitting blog.

There is a sad story behind the disappearance of the last two years of posts. It involves a series of back-ups that refused to restore properly, and the less said about that, the better.

Live and learn. Much like knitting, sometimes you just have to rip back to the beginning and start again.

So, welcome to the new Cavalier Stitches.

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