Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I actually made it to the gym last night and I worked it, hard! Started on the tread for 20 mns and then went to a step/ sculpt class. I don't know if I have some lung funk hanging around but the class damn near killed me. I was coughing and spitting all over the place afterwards.

Then I got home and started working on the repairs for M's tent. I think there is some mold spores in the fabric because I was very wheezy when the sewing was done. I have never had asthma, but I was worried that I was going to have an attack. I took a benadril and some cough stuff and went to bed. I replaced the grommets this morning so the tent repair is done.

The tent is a rec. marquee from Panther that got hit with an intense storm back in October. The brunt of the damage was at the top of the roof where the uprights and ridge run. The damage is all on one side of the roof. There were three large rips running straight down from both grommets and straight along the ridge line. It ripped through 2 layers of canvas in some places. It was impressive. I re-inforced the torn areas with 2-ply layers of Sunforger, which I hope will hold up. The problem could be fabric fatique (the fabric itself becomes weak and is prone to failure) and there isn't much to do when that happens. Fingers crossed that it will perform ok at Gulf Wars next month.

Tonight I am headed over to Depth of Field to pick up 2 more skeins of yarn to continue the Socks, then I'm off to the meeting so that I can use the gym floor to fold up the tent roof. I need to write up something for the A&S thing this weekend. I have a feeling that I will not need to go to the gym on Thursday as the weather people are predicting more snow (several inches). It should be over with by the time we are heading out Friday afternoon.

Monday, February 26, 2007

They predicted snow...

and they were not playing around.

Friday evening started out sleeting and we had a slight dusting over ice when I woke up at 5 am Saturday to drive to the event. Nordleigh had an event this weekend and there were a couple dozen brave souls who came despite the weather. I had the food for lunch so I started my drive at 6:30 am to allow plenty of time to get to Northfield. I had a good breakfast before I left and stopped in Eagan to get a latte. The roads were ok until I got south of Burnsville, that's when the freezing rain started. I just stayed in the right lane and kept my speed civil.

I arrived at the school at 8:00 am and was mostly unloaded when the students showed up. They set up Troll, I found the custodian (Ed), they debated what space we had rented, turned the lights on, unlocked the doors, we were directed to the space the lunch prep was supposed to be in so I moved things in there. Once stuff was settled, I changed into garb and started getting things ready for lunch. The event was sparsely attended due to the weather and I know of at least one person who spun out when driving home.

Lunch was ready to go at 12:30 on the dot and at 12:35 when the fighters had still not come upstairs I went into the fighting hall and cleared my throat. They got the message and bolted upstairs to the spread. People were very happy with the food and I am glad. It was a lovely simple lunch to make and there were a number of contributors so many hands made light work. The sausages were a hit, as was the pickled garlic and onions (which surprised me), the pear tart was especially enjoyed and I agree that it was quite delicious. After lunch the tournament was run and I sat and watched quite a bit. It was very enjoyable! After the tournament I went upstairs and started packing up the food to send leftovers home with the attendees. The lunch was made to serve 50-70 people and I don't think more than 40 showed up, which is to be expected because of the roads. I was prepared with containers and parceled out pies, sausages, noodles, almonds, bread, beef, etc. to people interested. The site closed at 5:30 and we were scheduled to be out at 6 pm. Because of the weather many people left early, the clean up went very quickly and I was driving away in my loaded van at 5 pm.

The drive home was very "tense" and I took my sweet time. I got home at 6:30, so it wasn't too bad. I was relieved to be home though. It took a number of hours for my arms and shoulders to relax.

Sunday morning we woke to a good foot of snow. It was very impressive. P shoveled for a good 1.5 hrs and then we received another 3 inches on top that. I got a call from G2 inviting me to spend the day knitting with her and an offer to be picked up. Cool! H picked me up and I spent quality time with my friends watching bad movies and knitting. I'm nearly done with one sock.

I took the foot apart and added almost 2 more inches and I am much happier with the fit through the foot. The decorative band is landing right where it should. Now I just need to finish the last band at the top, knit a few rows, bind it off and add a garter with tassel. H is thrilled so I am happy. I will have one stocking done for Hair Affair this weekend and I will be entering them in the A&S partial documentation competition. I need one more skein of red and one more of black to finish.

The forecast lived up to it's claim this weekend, but the event survived despite everything and no one was hurt when driving the roads.

Friday, February 23, 2007

This isn't a good sign...

When you need a few stiff ones to read your e-mail.
And it's not even good tequila!

This was not angst driven shots, but rather celebration cause of all the good news last night. The roasters are in my posession for the lunch tomorrow. I got the ingredients list off to Cecilia so she could post it. I made and pre-baked 9 pie shells to prepare for the onion tart. I boiled up all the sausages and made a quart of sekanjabin syrup. I found beef roast for $2.99/ pound. I have one last thing to buy and I am done, and that is the pears. If I can find a big industrial can of pear halves, that will be perfect, if not it will have to be fresh, which will up my production time, but I think will make a better product. I tried out a tart last night and I think ammount of sugar is a bit much, but dang it was tasty. I liked the currents, but I think I will soak them before hand for the other pies. The cinnamon was very subdued so I'm thinking it needs something else, maybe ginger....

I also got a note that the final pair of socks are going to be headed out today! Yay! I just wish I had a chance to see them before they go.

Since I was not at knitting last night the gals gave me a quick call to see how I was doing. That was very nice and I was sad I was not there. Next week!

I am worried about the upcoming snow storm and I hope that the brunt of the force holds off until Sunday so that the event does not get cancelled. I also hope it holds off so people come.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stockings for everybody!

7 of the 8 are packed in a box and should be on their way to WI. YAY! Fingers crossed that #8 will be in the mail on Friday.

I'm making good progress on Hrodir's socks as well. He got to see the progress tonight and his reaction was appropriate. Good boy! ;^)

I'm pleased with how they are turning out and they fit him rather well. I think I may even have enough yarn to finish them. I think. I may possibly need another ball of black..... Once the decorative band is done I'm going to knit for another 5 inches so that they will be long enough to garter.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Egg on my face

Yep, I feel stupid with 2 o's.
I knew better and gave someone the benefit of the doubt and I'm paying for it.
I'm done exerting energy at this point and am putting myself in the hands of the universe and trust that everything will still be fine, which I know it will.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Karmic re-charge

I think I have finally paid back all of the hours that my grandma and my dad spent helping me when I first learned to knit.

I spent Sunday from 12 noon to almost 6 pm in a 20' x 20' roped off area helping wave after wave of people learn how to knit. This was an event sponsored by the Craft Yarn Council of America at the Mall of America called Knit Out 2007. I understand that several thousand people came through the line over the 2 days this weekend.

I also answered the ocassional question, or helped someone understand a notation or instruction on a pattern, help someone figure out how to turn a heel, or simply help someone finally finish a sweater that had been sitting in pieces for 20 years. I was a bit giddy from the experience, especially when I thought about half of those people continuing in this craft. WOW! I understand that there was some nice swag handed out at the numerous booths, but we never left our helping station. G2 signed up to be a teacher and I came along for the ride (and breakfast at IKEA) and thought, why not? I also brought my socks to work on, but didn't have time as I helped group after group. Good times.

We had a great dinner at Tucci Bennuch and got a free dessert from our coupon book from the Mall (we got this for volunteering). There is a Knit Out at Brookdale Mall in October and we hope to gather there when it happens. It was a lovely time this weekend.

As the Yarn Harlot says, knitters are mighty!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Stockings complete!

#4 is done! I kitchnered the toes this morning and washed them. They are currently lying on my wooden rack and will be ready to pair with the garters Sunday morning.

I found all the parts for the canopy so I am ready for the weekend. I don't need to be at G2's house until 9 or 9:30 so I will have plenty of time to pack up my garb and stuff when I get home from work.

In response to Gunifer's question (as well as others who read this site who are not in the SCA) I will talk a bit about what a vigil is. The word "vigil" comes from the Latin vigilia, which means wakefulness. Traditionally it is a time spent awake and preparing for an important event or ocassion. One would "keep a vigil" or be "vigilant" prior to the arrival of an important visitor, or guarding an important space or object (example: the Queen Mother's Grandsons stood vigilant around her coffin when it was on display after her death), or preparing for an important event/ ocassion/ holiday.

To be "placed on vigil" or "sitting vigil" within the context of the SCA means that it has been announced that you will receive a Peerage (the highest award in the SCA) and that you will be placed in a specific area to contemplate what that means and to receive visitations from people who will advise you on what this step has meant to them, or simply to congratulate you on your accolade. Some people do hold a "traditional vigil" by staying up the night before their elevation and contemplate what is to come. In the Middle Ages when someone was made a knight, they would spend the night before on their knees in the church praying; many times alone, sometimes with friends and comrades who would stay with them through the night. Most people vigilant for the Knighthood do not go to such lengths in the SCA.

I don't know what Niklos will do to prepare for his day, but tomorrow will be the first of his 2 vigils and he will be placed in a specific area to receive visitors who will offer congratulations and advise. On April 14th I will have the honor of speaking of his artistic qualities and scholarship when he accepts inclusion into the Chivalry. I'm very excited and a bit daunted, but so pleased that I can do this since he was the one who spoke of my nobility at my elevation.

I had 2 vigils: one at a Baronial meeting and the other the day of my elevation.

Both vigils were spent speaking to people and listening to advice and trying to keep my oath that I memorized in Italian in my head. ;^) I received my Laurel March 5th in 2005. Sometimes it seems like a milion years ago, other times it is only yesterday.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stockings #4

Heels have been turned and gusset decreases are nearly complete on one, and part of the way there on the other. What remains is finishing the foot, decreasing for the toes, washing and blocking. I should be done before the weekend, which means I can pick up the cool fun socks again. YAY. I received only 1 pair of socks last night instead of 2 (boo).

I need to get my stuff together for the weekend cause I am staying the night at G2's place so that we can leave directly from there to drive to Lupercalia. Tim is teaching 3 classes on Medieval Games at Con of the North this weekend so he will be missing the event. I am sad because this was one of the earlier events that we hooked up at when we first started dating and it's always been an easy anniversary marker.

Lupercalia is always a laid back event and it's nice for visiting; that and there is an excellent meat market around the corner from the site. My friend is sitting vigil for the Chivalry and I am bringing a canopy to mark his vigil space. I think this will be the 5th time my baldaccino has been used for a vigil. I need to make sure that I have all the pieces since I haven't used it since my vigil almost 2 years ago. (dang)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Evil Plan (tm) progress

8 pairs of garters in the heraldic colors of 8 kingdoms: CHECK!

Currently in possesion of 4 out of 8 pairs of stockings to date: CHECK
(I will receive 2 more pairs tonight)

Having everything ready and packaged to hand over to Sabina by Sunday: CHECK!!!!!

It's a week later than I would like, but it's not the end of the world. Of the 8 only one knitter was unable to meet the deadline, so I am finishing that pair. I received the unfinished pair Monday evening and I have knitted approx 13" and will be starting the heel flap this evening. I'm hoping to have the gusset decreases done before I go to bed tonight, then I will just need to finish the foot, which should go quickly. Currently I can tell where I started knitting, but I think that will come out in the wash when all is said and done. My right shoulder joint is really starting to ache with all of the knitting I have done of late. My bed buddy has been permanently afixed to said shoulder since Sunday. I think everyone should have one, they are brilliant!

I am really proud of everyone who worked on the project and I think this was a challenge to some, but in a good way. Maybe we will do this again sometime?

I really want the final stockings done so I can start working on Hrodir's again. I am 10 rows away from starting the fancy calf decoration and I can hardly wait. I'm thinking about putting them in the A&S at Haire Affaire. I don't think it will hurt any if I do and I can put together some documentation by then.

Friday, February 09, 2007


A friend of mine owns a company that sells goods imported from Morocco. He also provides guided tours of Morocco, which I would love to do some day.

He was the recipient of the second pair of Medieval Egyptian socks.
Rashid in his best "beefcake" pose.

He just returned to the US from his latest trip and informs me that he has a gift for me. Don't know when I will see him to get it, but I'm excited. He has fabulous taste!

I wonder what I can get for the Egyptian styled socks that I am working on for His Highness? LOL!

The all over construction of the sock is my own and I am incorporating decorative bands found on a sock fragment from Egypt dating between 1000-1200 CE that I charted from the book, History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt. The original fragment is knit in cotton, but I elected to use wool considering the very non-desert location of the recipient. I chose Lang Yarns Jawoll Superwash in black, red, white and yellow. It's a far more impressive palette than socks of this period, which were usually executed in blues and whites, but I wanted to do something a bit different. The black, gold and white band is repeated at the ankle and then the sock is knit in red until I get to the calf area where I will knit another decorative element that i charted from the fragment.
Just over a year ago I was taught to knit with more than one color, I have completed 3 very ambitious projects in that year (2 socks and the Baby fair isle ensemble) and now I have started stranded color worked socks of my own design. Thanks G2!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weekend re-cap

A little on the late side, I know....

I packaged and labeled the first set of stockings for the Evil Plan (tm) and brought them to TOC. TOC was held in Tomah, WI on the coldest day of 2007. In 2 separate buildings. 100 yards appart. Good times. I wore my long underware under my plaid pants and apron dress and was fine, but dang that wind was brutal. -20+ F with wind chill. Packing the car held an adventure when my feet went out from under me and I landed flat on my back on the sidewalk gripping P's mosaic with all my might. Fortunately nothing was damaged, nothing but my pride. The roads must have been pretty slick that morning as well as we saw several vehicles in the ditch on the way to the event.

Royal stockings
The knitters who are part of the Evil Plan (tm) brought their stockings and knit with haste. One finished her's at SnB last night. Another finished her's the end of last week around the same time as me. I suspect another will be completed by this Wednesday and another by the end of the week. The remaining 3 I'm keeping my eye on. I have a feeling I will be finishing one pair next week. It was very satisfying to see a bunch of knitters at events. It makes me happy. I feel bad that I asked for a new set of garters for one of the Queens. The weaver was happy to comply, but it was all for naught as the first set she made was correct. Doh! My bad! The happy accident can now be part of a gift at Estrella so no loss.

The mosaic was a huge hit although I had to direct quite a few people to go see it since the A&S table was squirreled away in a corner. grrrrr. Why bother? Not the best thought out plan.

The bears were a huge hit. Thuri of the fabulous mold carving, and I presented HrRM with 8 bears to give to the current Bears of Northshield and to be placed in the token box for future Bears. Currently they are good for 2 years cause there is only one made per reign.

I spent the day working on Hrodir's socks, which I'm liking a great deal. The main colors are black, red, white and yellow. The designs used and general composition are that of Egyptian socks from 1000-1200. I'm working on size 0 and started toe up, which I haven't done for a while. I think I broke some protocol by knitting while guarding in court, but no one called me on it. Too many other exciting things happening, like Niklos being put on vigil for the Chivalry and Ed being made a Baron of the Court. I think Niklos needs some purple silk wool socks. Yummy. The citation for the socks is here.

I'm at the point where I can start turning the heel on one of Hrodir's socks and I'm half way to that point on the other. I'm still worried that they are short. One of the knitters shared a very handy chart for foot sizes with me.

The sweater was delivered this weekend with much fan fair!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sweater repairs

I discovered yesterday (with quite a bit of shock and horror) that I had 3 holes in my beautiful sweater that my parents bought for me in New Zealand. I have no idea how these happened and yesterday was the first I noticed them and I don't remember catching my sweater on anything that would have done this damage. They appear to be rips or cuts and not moth holes. Fortunately the sock yarn that I just purchased came with reinforcing thread for the heels that was close enough in color that I was able to make the repair. It's not perfect, but the stitches are captured and it will not unravel.

I was so agitated about my sweater that I had a hard time sleeping last night. I woke up at 4:30 am dealing with 1 angry kitty who decided to pee on the carpet and a rather cold kitty who needed to get under the covers and put all 4 cold paws on me. Since I was up anyway I decided to fixed my sweater. I also decided to fix my Norwegian sweater that had some loose stitches on the button band. That repair looks better since it was easier to hide. I still want to know what the hell happened to cause the damage.

This morning the temp was -13 F with -26 wind chill and the weekend will be colder. Currently the temp is 0 degrees F and -13 with the wind chill. We won't get above 0 until lunch time on Monday.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stockings #3

Completed last night, washed and blocked. They are for someone with a size 5 1/2-6 foot so they look freakishly small to me who has size 10 feet. I'm sure they will fit fine. I think I was the last of the 7 knitters to start, but I may be the first to finish. Despite what some say I don't think it is because I knit fast but more that I am panicked that I won't be done by the deadline and I was the one who started this whole project. Pictures will have to wait for tonight.

I just need to print off the gift tags for each set when I package it with the garters.

Now I can start a new pair of egyptian inspired socks. I charted patterns for it and everything so I am really excited! I'm also going to cook up some grub at eat at TOC this weekend.