29 October 2006

Q is for quaich

Here's a health to the company and one to my lass
Let us drink and be merry all out of one glass
Let us drink and be merry, all grief to refrain
For we may and might never all meet here again

- "Health to the Company", traditional

There is a Scottish tradition of greeting and parting wherein the assembled pass a small, lug-handled bowl traditionally filled with a dram of Scotch whisky and each take a sip. It's a tradition that resonated with us when we first learned it, and one we wanted, in some way, to incorporate into our wedding. We discovered that the small bowl was called a quaich, but never managed to find one that was quite right for what we envisioned.

The night before our rehearsal dinner, my personal attendant and close friend Tori arrived to help us pack up and prepare to leave the following day for Ripon. She brought with her two gifts that I treasure to this day. In addition to her likely more traditional tasks for the day, Tori had been charged to be my flask bearer. Her first gift, therefore was a small circular flask filled with 18 year old Glenfiddich. The flask is beautiful and just the right size for carrying with me at events.

Her second gift was for both of us. We opened the small box to discover that she had found and acquired for us a small silver quaich. The knotwork on the quaich is reminiscent of the knotwork on my flask and also of the knotwork on our wedding bands. It was probably one of the most meaningful gifts we received.

Our quaich was passed the evening of our wedding among our wedding party and close friends & family. It has appeared on other occassions in the last four years when our more far flung friends are reunited. It is a symbol not only of the love we bear each other but also of the love we are surrounded by from our friends and family.

S is for..

.. seaming..

.. lots and lots of seaming. And weaving in of ends. But I think it looks wonderful and if it stretches a bit in blocking/washing, that's just fine because it's just a smidge too small. Just a wee. little. smidge.

Still needs buttons, but I haven't decided what buttons to use. In all honesty.. I haven't even looked for buttons yet. Sort of forgot about that part. I'm thinking they need to be something.. not metal. I just don't think metal will go well with this style & color. Wooden toggles come to mind, but that seems.. cliche'. But there's a more or less decent selection of them at Patternworks, so maybe.

.. and for socks! (Yeah.. it's Socktoberfest.. but I wasn't playing that fun little game, so they don't have to be finished. Yet.)

The pictures's a bit out of date.. that one's finished now and the second is started. I also started the next holiday garment but it's not very exciting yet (well, that and I need to charge the batteries for my camera), so I'll wait to post pictures. I will say, though, that a skein of Rowan River Tape goes a long way! I'm about five inches into the front of a sweater and still on my first skein.

25 October 2006

R is for ..


The Back Story:
Some time ago, I discovered a hole smack in the middle of my Birch. I examined it thoroughly and couldn't seem to find a broken thread, which leaves me to believe the fuzz on the Kid Silk Haze caught a stitch well enough to hold it through blocking and the first several times I wore it, but eventually unstuck. I dilemma'd about it for awhile, trying to figure out how to fix it without it being *really* noticeable.

This morning I wanted to wear my grey skirt and Brioche Bodice and none of my little sweaters that I wear over the top of such things in the winter were clean (actually, one was clean, but not dry). So I dug around in the Box of Leftover Bits(tm) and found the little stash of KSH I stuck in there and determined to fix my Birch in the car so I could wear it today.

And I did. And it worked. (I can still tell where the repair is because the patterns jogs just a little where I couldn't figure out which strand was the right one to weave up through, but I can admittedly only tell when I look for it.) *smile* And I've forgotten just how well something so gauzey and delicate can keep you snuggly warm (of course, it also helps that I have my elbow length arm warmers on, too).

Of course, until this morning, this post was almost R is for RIP, as in rip out your knitting, as in Rest In Peace little sock:

I made it this weekend and only when I finished the foot did I realize that it would be *way* to small for its intended recipient. It's be reborn (Aha! R is also for Rebirth!) as a larger sock now:

Hrm.. I dont' think there's a way I can work this next one into the R theme, but thought I'd post a progress pic of Breezy Cables. This is the first sleeve, finished, but unblocked:

The second sleeve is also just a little more than half finished, so I'm not *too* far behind schedule!

20 October 2006

I'm shocked, shocked to find that knitting is going on in here!

Surprising, isn't it!

Nonetheless, I am still making steady progress on the Breezy Cables cardigan. I'm still worried it will stretch, but I think if I'm careful when blocking it (or maybe I should just wash & dry it? It's superwash wool.) it'll be okay.

Updated pictures:

The completed, unblocked back. The light in this one is funny; sorry about that! It doesn't really have any color shading issues, I promise!

I'm a little annoyed at the decreasing for the arms in the back and how they messed up the 9-stitch cable pattern on the sides, because I couldn't figure out a way maintain even a smaller cable up the side with the stitches that were left because of the ribbing in the cable. I doubt it'll be that noticeable in the finished sweater, but it annoyed me all the same.

These are the two front pieces. This sweater has a shawl collar that I think turned out kind of neat so far. The right side (as you're looking at it) has the collar bit folded back so you can see what it will look like when finished, and the left side has it open so you can see the actual dimension of the piece. When I attach the front to the back, I'll pick up the collar stitches and continue it around the back of the neck.

This pattern called for a new-to-me buttonhole technique *and* a new-to-me pocket technique. I liked them both, but will pr'bly use the buttonhole technique more often. It's the 3-stitch buttonhole that's in the back of the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits (it may be in all of them; I haven't checked) and I like it because the buttonhole is done all in one row - no binding off and casting on on the next row, which always looks a little sloppy to me. I still need to sew the pockets to the back and add the little bit of ribbing that will finish them on the front, but you get the general idea here.

Sara will also be happy to know that I've rectified the "no sock yarn" problem in my stash:

The Essentials Solids are all for gift socks. I'm trying to decide on a pattern for the pink pair and might try to do toe-up socks with it. The others are as yet unplanned; I really love pansies, and the Memories Redwood Forest colorway is one I really like, so they're likely to be for me. I'll be really odd to go back to smaller needles after working on Breezy Cables, though! I still have two other holiday projects that will be non-socks, though, so I'll pr'bly switch between those and the socks for awhile.

I'm also going to be participating in a sock knitting project for largesse in the SCA. Liz has organized a bunch of us to knit pairs of socks from Folk Socks (the ones with the clocks - I haven't seen the pattern yet, though) and I'm looking forward to working them. I've periodically contemplated working on one of the period stocking patterns with clocks in them, I've never quite actually made it that far. I'm hoping this project will nudge me enough to actually get them started.

I still need to start the research I need to do for the Breed Swap project, but I have to be on campus late every day next week, so I'll pr'bly be able to run out to the library during the day a couple days to get most of it taken care of. Although I think I have to track down a copy of In Sheep's Clothing through interlibrary loan or universal browsing since our library doesn't appear to have it.

And I have the first package ready to go for my Secret Pal, so I'm excited to get that out. I do hope she likes it!

12 October 2006


For a little dog, she has some bit neuroses.

She has abandonment issues. Which is understandable; she was abandoned, pregnant as far as we could tell, in the wilds of Mississippi when she was about 3. By the time she was caught, by the ranger at the summer camp I was working at, she'd whelped the litter and we can only assume none survived. She was malnourished (because scavenging garbage doesn't really make for nutritious eating) and rather pathetic, but still savvy enough to wag her little tail at the sucker who walked around the corner. *smile*

But yes, neurotic. At it's worst - when we move - it's quite obvious that she's panicked. But even when it's not so bad, it's .. bad. Like if either one of us starts to pack, for a day or a week. She *hates* when a bag or a suitcase comes out. She *knows* at least one of us is leaving. Leaving her. Alone.

There are times when it's unavoidable - I'll have to pack a suitcase for a week away. I'll put it off as long as possible so that she's not traumatized quite so long, but it's always miserable. She doesn't do anything bad. She just.. looks at you with those big brown eyes that look like she's going to cry at any minute (except that she's a dog and can't cry) and sits there. Miserable.

And it's no better when she gets to come with us because we can't explain to her that yes, we're packing, but it's okay, because we aren't going to leave without her. Until we start to pack *her* things, she doesn't understand. (And once we start to pack her things, she gets so terribly excited that we have to wait until just before we're leaving to do it or she'll drive us nuts or kill herself from anticipation.)

We've learned some tricks - like letting her out the back door and then hustling out the front door with bags that we've surreptitiously managed to get packed and loading them into the car. Or distracting her when it's just one of us leaving with a Kong full of peanut butter.

But sometimes, no distraction is readily available, so we.. wait. And wait. And wait some more. And finally the morning we're supposed to leave, we run around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to pack at the last minute. And remember that we need socks and toothbrushes and shoes and where's my belt?

All because the little dog with the big neuroses has also claimed our hearts.

06 October 2006


More on the Foley thing, specifically on what the deal really is (or maybe isn't) instead of what his political cronies are trying to make it.

  1. It's not about pedophilia. Foley's alledged crime is a violation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection& Safety Act of 2006 - ironically, legislation he sponsored - specifically the increased protections against using the internet prey on children. Cut from The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (PDF):
    "(7) EXPANSION OF DEFINITION OF ‘‘SPECIFIED OFFENSE AGAINST A MINOR’’ TO INCLUDE ALL OFFENSES BY CHILD PREDATORS.—The term ‘‘specified offense against a minor’’ means an offense against a minor that involves any of the following:
    (H) Criminal sexual conduct involving a minor, or the use of the Internet to facilitate or attempt such conduct."
    His alleged misconduct has nothing to do with pedophilia; it's because he used the Internet to attempt to facilitate potentially criminal sexual conduct with a minor. There's not been, to my knowledge, any accusation that he actually *succeeded* in facilitating such contact, just that he attempted to arrange it. A secual predator he may be; a confirmed pedophile.. at least not yet.

  2. It has nothing to do with his homosexuality. You'll note that the text above does not mention anything about the gender of either predator or prey. And no, there's NO empirical research out there that "proves" homosexual or bisexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual molestation or abuse.

  3. It's also got nothing to do with age of consent in DC - which is 16. The above-mentioned act also defines "minor" as follows:
    "(14) MINOR.—The term ‘‘minor’’ means an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years."
  4. I don't think I can even come up with a suitably scathing comment related to the "gay cabal" theory.. McCarthyism, anyone? All I can say is that I can't wait for this one to back fire because .. well.. doesn't it seem odd that the party that's so opposed to homosexuals has so many of them in their employ? Do you think all those voters out there who stand tall in their superiority are going to think this is a good strategy to detract attention from the sexual predator part of this story..? Which do you think they think is worse..?
Cate is better at finding words to express her outrage on this one than I am. She's also more active in the fight to effect who our political leaders will be in the future, and she even gives you a link so you can be, too. (And there's a picture of cute kids, to boot!)

That all said, on a different tangent, it's reassuring to know that in the midst of all this, parents still love their children, even if they're bisexual. This was the story I needed this morning to reaffirm that this country isn't really full of bigots and hate-mongerers (if that's even a word..). A daddy's love is a strong thing, even if it's not your daddy.

05 October 2006

Did he really just say that?

Excerpt from an interview on All Things Considered aired October 4, 2006:

Paul Weyrich, chairman & CEO, Free Congress Foundation: "Here is the real problem: It has been known for many years that Congressman Foley was a homosexual. Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex. The idea that he should be continued .. or should have been continued as Chairman of the Committee of Missing & Exploited Children is - you know, given their knowledge of that - is just outrageous."

Michele Norris: "Now before you go on, I think I can say Mr. Weyrich, that there are a few people who would take exception to the statement that homosexuals are preoccupied with sex."

Weyrich: "Well, I don't care whether they take exception to it; it happens to be true. I mean, uh.."

Norris: "That is your opinion.."

Weyrich: "Well it's not my opinion, it's the opinion of many psychologists & psychiatrists that have to deal with them."

Outrage doesn't even begin to express..

04 October 2006

It's Wednesday, right?

Huh. That means I don't need to come up with a clever title because Wednesdays are random.

I was reading (skimming, really) some of my blog list this morning and caught the phrase "daily allotted knitting time". I sort of miss that. I usually knit in the car on our commute (we carpool) but sometimes, more lately, if we're talking or something or it's getting dark I don't bother to get it out. This is at least partially due to the current project having so many cables that it requires some concentration. Which just means I need to ply the merino that's on my drop spindle so I can start the socks I want to make with it. Because (a) socks are more or less mindless, and (b) it's Socktoberfest or something. Oh, and because (c) I don't have any sock yarn in my stash.

Water aerobics is good for me. I think in addition to the obvious, it's also forcing my back to loosen up, which should make my next chiropractor appointment better.

My drum arrives tomorrow. I'm pretty stoked about it. I'm told it will arrive unassembled, though, and that our Lovely Instructor(tm) will need to keep it for a few days to stretch the heads and tie them down, but at least it'll finally be stateside.

I've been brewing lately. I think that's escaped mention here. But I have two gallons of cider started, a gallon of Concord grape & mixed berry wine, and 5 gallons of Scottish 80. The cider and wine will need to be racked in another week or so and the beer will get bottled possibly as early as this weekend. I also have a kit for Winter Warmer that I'll pr'bly start in the next week or two.

03 October 2006


.. is Domestic Violence Awareness month. A lot more people in the small town of Granger, MN are aware of it after this weekend. If you live in the U.S., this month would be a good one to start using the Stop Family Violence stamps. They're $0.45 each - $0.39 to cover first class letter postage and $0.06 as a donation.

It's also Breast Cancer Awareness month. And, again, if you live in the U.S., you can get Breast Cancer Awareness stamps. No matter where you live, you can go to the Breast Cancer Site and click daily to fund mammograms for women who may not otherwise be able to get them.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Edmund Burke
, Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

01 October 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

In some ways, I hate filling these things out for fear of sounding too picky. I'm generally not, I promise. On the other hand, I have a hard time picking things out for someone I've never met and would rather they give me lots of hints and clues about likes and dislikes so I have some guidance. So, I try to balance the two. Hopefully it works.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

It depends on the day and the project. I tend to prefer natural fibers - wool, cotton, alpaca, llama - but I also like the look of ribbon yarns. I don't like novelty / fun fur / ladder-type yarns and I think at this point the only of the mainstream acrylics that I would use routinely would be Caron Simply Soft - which I really am fond of for easy-care stuff or folks who are allergic to animal fibers. I'd be interested in trying soy or bamboo or linen, blended or straight up. I'm not allergic to any yarn that I know of. I like hand-dyed yarns, but am not terribly fond of the self-patterning "fair-isle" yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

The packages they come in, usually. I prefer bamboo and usually get Clover needles, so the sleeves work well for storing needles. They're also portable, so if I finish a project in the car (I have an hour long daily round trip commute and usually carpool with my husband who prefers to drive), I can just slide the needles back in the sleeve and not worry about breaking or losing them in transit.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for 7 or 8 years, I think. I learned from a good friend initially and have been self-taught for the most part since then. In case it matters, I knit continental. I think I'd consider myself an advanced intermediate - I've done most techniques except for entrelac I think, but haven't done *a lot* of stuff like Fair Isle.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yup. Both. Links are on the sidebar. With the holiday season approaching, I try to keep them updated as my family uses Wishlist.com wishlists pretty extensively in holiday gift shopping.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

That's sort of a tough one. I like lots of scents as long as they aren't cloyingly sweet or way too overpowering (patchouli in most things is too overpowering for me, for instance). Most anything (well.. maybe not *anything* - some of them are a bit too much) from Lush is okay, as are most things from places like Bath & Body Works or whatever that other one is that I can't remember the name of right now. I like citrusy shower stuff, but calmer smells for things like bubble bath/bath bombs. I have long, very fine hair, so I don't use heavy shampoos or conditioners (in fact, most of the time I'll skip conditioner unless my hair is really staticky or snarled). I don't wear scents usually, but some scented lotion is okay; for me, though, the lotion is the main part, and the scent is secondary - I dislike lotions that feel greasy or leave a film on your skin.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I guess so. I'm not a huge chocolate fan - I like chocolate in things, but not usually a lot of chocolate all on it's own. Chocolate bars and the like are good - I can eat them in pieces and savor them - but things like chocolate chocolate truffles tend to be too overwhelming. I'm also not a huge fan of raw honey or maple. I *love* caramel and English toffee, though. And chocolate with mint.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Lots. *grin* For fiber crafts, I am a beginning spinner (drop spindle; no wheel (yet?)), and I do tablet weaving, bobbin lace, lucet cording and a handful of other crafts from time to time. Mostly, though, I knit and spin if I'm working with fiber. I also dabble in brewing and vintning, book binding and, when I have studio space, pottery. I do NOT crochet - I've never really been able to get into the flow of it, but I know how to do it well enough to do edgings and the like on knit garments, or to start a provisional cast-on.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I tend to like more acoustic, folk-y sort of stuff, but that can vary. Common artists that come up in my iTunes (yes, I can play MP3s) include the Indigo Girls, Cowboy Junkies, KT Tunstall, Billy Joel, Loreena McKennit, etc. I also like some of the "jam bands" - the Dead, Blues Traveller, some Phish, etc. Oh, and jazz and blues standards - Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, etc. Feel free to surprise me, though; I like finding new good music, too.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I tend toward earth tones and jewel tones - deep, rich colors. I don't usually wear oranges or yellows except in socks - anything goes for socks! I'm not a big pastel person.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married to my male partner and we have one dog, Jali, who is about 13 years old. I don't knit for Jali - she doesn't wear doggie clothes and would eat any sort of toy that I might make for her.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Sometimes? I wear scarves in winter, and a hat if my husband bugs me enough. I have a hard time finding hats that I think look good on me, but have toyed on occassion with the idea of making a fulled bucket hat or cloche hat. Mittens and gloves are pretty much a necessity in the upper Midwest in winter. Not big on ponchos, but I have a couple of lace wraps/shawls/stoles that I wear and a couple of wool cloaks for autumn/spring wear.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Depends on the day. I'm a project knitter - I buy yarn to make specific things. I have a hard time buying yarn if I don't have a project for it in mind; I'm afraid to buy too little of something and then not be able to use it, I guess. I like socks for smaller projects, especially with luscious yarns that are too spendy for larger projects. I don't really have a stash, per se - more just the bits and pieces of yarns left over from previous projects and the yarn I need and know I'll use for several planned projects. That said, I'm not opposed to the idea of a stash, I just have a hard time buying yarn without knowing what it will be used for (or, in some cases, who - my husband, mom, and father-in-law are allergic to animal fibers).

Hrm.. that didn't really answer the question, but I guess I'm not sure how else to answer it.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Holiday gifts. *smile* I'm working on the Breezy Cables cardigan out of Knit Picks Swish Superwash and have plans to make the Tied-Up tee (pattern from White Lies Designs) with some Rowan River Tape, and another top in Knit Picks Shine Worsted. I've got plans for some socks - some out of my own handspun and some out of pr'bly Reynolds Whiskey, but I'm haven't decided that for sure. I've also started a cardigan kit from Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mills that my sister got me for the holidays last year, but it's on hold while I work on the holiday gift knitting for now. I recently finished Rogue - which I love.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yup. Stuff that hangs on the wall is usually better than stuff that needs shelf space in terms of artistic pieces. Otherwise, soaps, candles, baked goods, cocoa mixes, music mixes, socks, homespun yarn, whatever, are all good.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circs or DPNs. Bamboo. Metal straights or DPNs tend to make my hands hurt, but are okay in circs. I really don't knit anything on straights anymore, though; Circs are usually more portable and easier on my wrists even for flat knitting.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have a yarn winder, but not a swift. I've found that one of the folding chairs my dad made some time back works really well in place of a swift for most skeined yarn.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Uh.. not very? See above - project knitter. *smile* At this point, my oldest UFO is pr'bly the Blackberry Ridge sweater, which I started over Labor Day. Before that, Rogue would have been the oldest, but even that was just started this spring and I finished it in September.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Pr'bly Thanksgiving. It's usually less stressful than Christmas, but we still get to see all our family. Autumn is my favorite season, so that helps, too.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Nothing that paricularly comes to mind. Fun little toys, maybe. I have a small collection sitting on my desk at work - things like a little Lego(tm) trebuchet.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Hrm.. if there are, they'll be on my Wishlist. Small size DPNS (like the multiple 0 sizes) are about the only thing that come to mind, and those I'm not really *dying* for, but am interested to try. I subscribe to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Mmm.. not really. I'd like to do more Fair Isle with finer yarns, or maybe some small gauge stockings in silk or finely spun wool.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yup. I wear a women's 8.5 or 9 shoe, wide, and usually socks knit to a pattern's medium or large will fit well enough. I prefer taller socks (I wear them under calf-height boots in the winter). I'd give you more precise measurements, but I managed to lose my sewing tape measure sometime in early September and haven't had a chance to replace it.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)


I still have a moose.

I've never been good at remembering anniversaries. *shrug* But all the same, happy belated "gotcha" day* to Wilcoxon.

I promised a few pattern repeats ago to post pictures of Breezy Cables.. yeah.. here it is as of yesterday morning.

The detail picture is a little more color accurate on my monitor; the first one glows a bit too much! Progress is going pretty well on it. I haven't had as much knitting time as I'd have hoped lately, but I'm hoping things will calm down some again in another little bit. I'm another repeat or so along and about to start decreasing for the armholes on the back now.

I'm pretty concerned about this one stretching out a lot when it's washed though. It's superwash wool, so I think it will be okay, but it just feels.. loose to me. And the last time I knit something that felt this loose, it ended up about 4 sizes too big after washing. That one was made with an acrylic yarn, though, so I'm sort of hoping the superwash wool will hold up better and that even though it's superwash, washing it in warm water will tighten it up if it starts to stretch. (And yes, I know I could wash a swatch, but I've found with sweaters they don't really stretch out until they're all done and the full weight is there. But, I have to wash a swatch of the Cotton Fleece soon anyway so I know how it the item I knit from it will behave in the wash, so maybe I'll do it anyway..)

And I decided to order the Tied-Up tee pattern from White Lies Designs to see if I'll like it well enough in person with the ribbon yarn. If not, I imagine I can find another yarn to use with it as it's something I'll make anyway.

I'm trying to figure out if I need to start setting deadlines for the holiday knitting. I need to finish Breezy Cables, the Tied-Up tee, and another full top, in addition to a couple pair of socks. I'm on track to finish Breezy Cables by mid-month, hopefully. The socks are good little projects and I'm not worried about them. I'm guessing I can finish the Tied-Up tee by Thanksgiving and then have almost a month for the last one, so assuming that all stays on approximate schedule, I shouldn't have to worry too much.

Oh, and I'm contemplating participating in a Breed Swap that someone on the Spindler's list is organizing. I have enough of the Clun Forest lambs wool to do it, and I think that even though it'd be nice to have all that fleece to myself, it would also totally rock to have the reference book that participants will get. The reference book will have a page or two of information on each breed, a sample of a washed lock, an ounce of spinnable fiber, and a yard of preferrably two-ply yarn, for up to 32 breeds. Given that I don't know much about sheep breeds, I'm thinking that for a relatively small investment, I'd get quite an excellent resource in return. But it means I'd have to do some research on Clun Forest for the reference book before the end of October and given our schedule.. yeah.. that might be tight. I need to email the organizer back and find out how much is expected for the research part - and whether I can quote from applicable web sites and books extensively (properly attributed, of course) - or if they want more of a "hands on" type of description of how the wool works up. And I need to ship the fleece off to Blackberry Ridge to have them clean and process it into something spinnable sooner rather than later (the stuff I washed will be what I'll use for the locks part of the book).

Coming up next.. my SP9 questionnaire!

* A "gotcha" day is a day one of my friends celebrates with her adopted daughter. They celebrate her birthday, but also the day that she came to live with her mom. I think it's an awesome term for this - much less heavy and informal and fun than "Adoption Day" or something like that. And while it's not really quite the same with Wilcoxon, who is, after all, a stuffed moose, it still works.