D’oh!

I *almost* did something really boneheaded. Almost.

I’m in Lawrence, KS at the moment on a bit of a consulting gig. I thought briefly before I left about checking out the town to see if there were any good yarn shops, but then figured I’d be pretty wrapped up in meetings most of the time anyway and wouldn’t get a chance to track any down so it would just be an exercise in frustration.

And then we finished our meetings yesterday by 3:30. Which left us all with a more or less free late afternoon (which I spent resting and getting rid of a headache) and morning before we had to leave for the airport. And I still didn’t check.

I am saved only because I got out to the lobby last night a few minutes before the rest of the group I was heading to dinner with and picked up and flipped through a tourist magazine where I found, a bit to my surprise and much to my delight, an ad for the famous Yarn Barn! And better still, it’s only three blocks from our hotel!

Of course, I had to venture out that way this morning and it was, as I’ve been promised and warned, Mecca. I don’t have my camera with me, so you’ll have to wait a bit to see pictures of what I got, but for those of you with big stashes or active imaginations, I got a couple skeins of the new Kaffe Fassett Regia sock yarn, a skein of Trekking XXL, and a reallyreallyreally gorgeous 8 ounces of merino roving. *squee!*

And to think I almost missed it (again)!

SLC sites?

So, I’ll be heading out to Salt Lake City next week to do some consulting (this is a new thing for me, and I’m admittedly a bit nervous and a bit excited and a bit .. yeah) and I’ve been asked by my host if there’s any particular site seeing I want to do while I’m there (I arrive mid-afternoon Sunday and will be there through early Thursday morning – early meaning my flight out is at 6 a.m.). And.. well.. I have no idea. So, does anyone have anything to recommend that is a must-see in Salt Lake City? I’ve never been and have no idea if I’ll ever be again. (And yes, while I have skiied in my past, I’m not sure there will be time this trip to do it, though I’ve already been told just how amazing it is.)

In other news, I’ve made another repeat or so of progress on the DNA scarf and passed what I’ve determined to be the midpoint (which is noticeable only in that all the cables now cross the other way; the recipient was not interested in the foot or so of ribbing in the middle so the cable pattern will go the whole length of the scarf) and I’m another inch or so (15 rows?) farther along on Catalina. I doubt I’ll get updated photos before I leave (I’m going to Kansas City before going to SLC, for a different consulting gig of a sort of different nature that I’m not as nervous about; I fly out Wednesday for that one and return Friday evening) and there will hopefully be more progress by the next time I have a chance to take pictures, so you’ll have to wait. 😛

Musings from LAX

This:

.. is where I’ve been this week.

It’s been glorious.

My meeting Monday and Tuesday – the last face-to-face meeting for this project – went well and I feel that the work we’ve done has good, solid potential to be adopted by the sponsoring organizations. My role in that work was not insignificant, and that is something for which I’m both proud and grateful.

Starting around 2 on Tuesday, though, I’ve been on vacation and got to spend three laid back and relaxing days catching up with and getting to know better a few good friends. It’s not uncommon for me to be mildly anxious at being a house guest, especially at the home of someone I don’t know “like kin”, but my welcome was nothing short of warm and friendly and, best of all, casual. I typically prefer to simply melt into the background of any particular gathering and my friends here allowed me that – they allowed me to simply join their lives for a few days and exist alongside them as they went about doing what they do. I could not have asked for a better vacation and am already counting the days until we are reunited (133, in fact *smile*).

Because they are also SCAdians, and because SCAdians tend to be artisans of all sorts, I had time to work on some projects while I was here as well. The first of the Sprung Socks (PDF), from the Yarn Pirate yarn I received from Stephanie as part of the Gnome Swap, is almost complete:

I’ve also worked up a fair bit more of the baby camel and tussah silk since I last posted about it:

I will likely soon wind off the copp of this one as it’s getting a bit heavy to keep the thread as thin as I’d like. I haven’t decided yet what this will be, mostly because I’m not sure how much of it I’ll end up with. I’m hoping for something thin enough to make a lace wrap, or maybe the edging of one.

I also started working up the cashgora I got in Kansas City with Cate and Sara:

I’m loving the color in this, but working with the goat fiber is a bit different from wool – it has noticeably less crimp and is coarser than what I’ve been working with lately, much more like hair than fleece. All the same, I’m truly enjoying watching the color shifts and expect that this will be my first Navajo plied yarn so that I can maintain said shifts without muddying them.

I also managed to find some uninterrupted reading time, a luxury I rarely afford myself when at home. I finished The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman, a book selected by a book group that’s recently started meeting on campus. It’s an odd little novel, centered (as seems to be somewhat of a theme with this group so far) on a cholera epidemic in early 19th century England. It took me awhile to really get into the book – something about the characters seemed distant, making it difficult for me to really care about their story – but by the end I was hooked in enough that it wasn’t as if I had to force myself to finish it. *shrug* The next book for this group will be The Thirteenth Tale, which I have on order from Zooba and will admit to being a bit stand-offish about given it’s recent acclaim (yes, I am contrary like that).

My guilty pleasure reading after The Dress Lodger is Jacqueline Carey‘s Kushiel’s Dart, which I’m re-reading to remind myself of the beginnings of this wonderfully crafted tale. Having just finished Kushiel’s Scion I found myself with hazy memories of some of the history and interconnections built up throughout Phedre’s life and because the stories are so engaging it was the perfect choice for a book to get lost in while on vacation and a wonderful travel companion for the four and a half hours of flights home.

Oh, and since I was downloading the pictures in my camera, here’s one of the cheesecake I made last week, unmolded:

Things to do in Denver (when you’re *not* dead)

Just a quick note – I’ll be in Denver for just a couple days in mid-May, arriving on a Sunday afternoon and departing Tuesday afternoon. I’m staying at the Hotel Teatro and should be settled in by about 4 Sunday afternoon. I’m looking for something to do Sunday evening – a good place to eat, a knitting shop that will be open, a must-see museum/attraction/play, a quiet spot to sit and have a cuppa and dessert, whatever – preferably within walking or easy public transit distance from the hotel. There’s also the possibility (assuming the hotel will let me stash my bags there after check-out) that I’ll have three or so hours Tuesday afternoon before I have to leave for the airport, so ideas for that time slot are also welcome.

And while I’m at it, I’ll be in Kansas City in early June and Long Beach, CA in mid-July, so suggestions for not-to-be-missed places for those are welcome, too. The stay in Kansas City is several days and will include several free evenings, so multiple options there are especially welcome.

Dateline: October 20, 2006

So.. I found out today at a meeting at central offices (2.5 hour drive; left last night to drive out there after the Board meeting* and was home 24.5 hours later) that we have another meeting at central offices on this project scheduled for October 20.

This is not as bad as I originally thought. I originally thought it sucked because I thought I had to be in Ironwood, MI by 8 a.m. on the 21st. Turns out I was misremembering, though. I have to be in Ironwood, MI by 8 a.m. on the 14th. I only might have to be in Northfield, MN sometime on the 21st, and then only if I decide that I am feeling like I want to teach and/or do office hours for Clerk of the Roster. This is not so bad.

*We had quorum! Yea! We actually did better than quorum! We had all but one of us there. And we voted to accept a new board member. Yea! And we did some much needed planning for our upcoming motorcycle and classic car rally (August 19). Tomorrow I will go drive the rally route we planned yesterday. It’s about 150 miles, but it will be a good excuse to spend 3 or so hours in the car in the air conditioning.

Teaser..

NSF surveys today. Interesting stuff if not directly applicable to my current job (most of the NSF surveys focus on graduates in science & engineering fields, and the most detailed of those focuses on research doctorates; our science & engineering grad programs are mostly in allied health fields, which are considered professional – e.g. not research – degrees).

I’ve been staying engaged by knitting, though. The first of the alpaca & silk socks is *gorgeous* and I’m about a third of the way into the heel flap. I did decide to do Hedera and did I mention that the sock so far is *gorgeous*? So, so soft and the lace pattern is just enough to add luster and depth. I almost can’t wait until the sessions on SESTAT and WebCASPAR tomorrow so I can finish it!

In the meantime, I’m working on putting together a quick little report on how our regional peer comparison group is expected to change once the new Carnegie Classifications take effect to use as my little 3-minute presentation for the end of the week. It’s something I’ve been asked a couple times by folks at my institution, so it seemed like a good use of my time.

How to get out of a knitting slump.

  1. Go to a week long institute where you’re expected to spend all day in a computer lab listening to people lecture on things you actually are rather interested in.
  2. Realize that knitting will allow you to stay conscious and attentive.
  3. Start socks (small, unobtrusive, mindless).
  4. Finish first sock on first day.
  5. Finish second sock on second day.
  6. Plan to start third sock, this one out of smaller, arguably softer, yarn on much smaller needles, on third day and hope these take two days per sock.

  1. Contemplate other options just in case.
  2. Option 1: Start Rogue sleeves.

    Option 2: Consider if the Candle Flame wrap pattern is sufficiently imbedded in the subconscious to be considered “mindless”.

    Option 3: Figure out if there’sGo to a yarn shop in Bethesda (on Thursday when they’re open until 7).