March 30, 2009

Ryan Does Her Taxes

So, I get out the tax worksheet from my tax guy. I take a deep breath. I carefully organize and lay out all the documents because this is a personal battle I am determined to win. I find a pencil with a good eraser because I have no illusions about how this is really going to go. I am ready to begin.

I hadn't counted on one thing...well, two things.

The first beachhead: my lap...

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...then the full-bore invasion is launched...

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I cry uncle.

Posted by Ryan at 08:45 AM | Comments (20)

March 23, 2009

Knit-In!!

Sooooo, anyone out there looking for a good excuse to knit? Anyone looking for a good excuse to knit in support of a good cause? Anyone looking for a good excuse to knit in support of women's education? Well, have I got a deal fer you!

My good, good friend Elaine works for the Women’s Studies program at the University of Washington. No thanks to the FUBARed economy, the program’s ability to fund undergraduate scholarship awards has been greatly reduced. In order to help fund these awards, Elaine is planning a knit-in/spin-in/craft-in with a silent auction and wonderful, fiber-appropriate door prizes (Blue Moon sock yarn, anyone? How about a cherry wood niddy noddy? A hedgehog kit? A (shudder) sock-monkey kit?). There will also be snacks and, it goes without saying, lots of the kind of warm camaraderie unique to a knit-in.

The vital statistics:

April 25, 2009

11:15 a.m – 3: p.m.

Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N (map), Room 2, main floor

Elaine hasn’t asked me to track responses but I’M curious if anyone is interested in attending. If so, leave a comment, pleeze! Fer sher, I’m going to be there.

Here, to print out, a flyer in .pdf format or in .jpg format. Please help spread the word!

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Posted by Ryan at 03:53 PM | Comments (11)

March 03, 2009

The Prairie Dog Pops Up!

[Picture-heavy post, Dear Readers!]

What’s the perfect antidote for the late-winter-will-spring-EVER-come doldrums?

Road trip!!! Woo-hoo!!! (You can’t see it but I’m waggling my hands in the “hang loose, be cool” gesture—you know, the one with the thumb and pinky? I’m sure I look like a stupid old fart doing it, but you have to make that gesture when shouting “road trip.” It’s the rule.)

While I was…ahem…“indisposed,” one of the things I was required to do was start a list of positive things I wanted to do when I got out. One of the first items I listed was a trip a little north to the Camano Island/Stanwood area to visit my friend June and the then-new Pinch Knitter yarn shop owned by another friend, Sirkku.

Coincidentally, about a week ago, yet another friend Gail said she was thinking about going to Pinch Knitter so I jumped right on the bandwagon—eager to do something on my list—and friend LindaK joined as well. Now that’s a road trip! Almost “Boys on the Side.”

My small Holy Grail:

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The shop is small, very small—two little rooms in the back of another shop—but bursting with unique and lovely yarns. You know the scene in “Mary Poppins” when she keeps pulling surprise after surprise after surprise out of her carpet bag? Yeah, it’s like that.

Room One. At the counter is Gail, planning a big new project; behind the counter, Sirkku, our beloved “crack” dealer. In the back-back, LindaK and June.

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(Gail has become a lean, mean, talented knittin’ machine over the last few months, so, by way of a little eye-candy, here’s a close-up of her beautiful sweater:

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More of the same room, with an abundance of scrumptious yarns. In the center of the picture, Dalegarn Heilo heaven. More about that later.

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The other room, which has a cozy table for lessons and such, plus my favorite: The Shelves of Frickin’ Huge Balls O’ Yarn.

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A better view of The Shelves of Frickin’ Huge Balls O’ Yarn. See the little red ball on the second shelf? Normal size; put there for comparison. The other balls—frickin’ huge, almost need-to-be-carried-with-two-hands huge. But beautiful and scrumptious and desirable all the same. I wanted to marry the one to the right of the red yarn. I almost went down on one knee before I caught myself. Besides, it wouldn’t have lasted; I would soon have cheated with the yarn to the left of the red yarn.

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So, you ask, this "Sirkku" person... Does she have knitting experience? Can I count on her for knowledgeable advice? By way of an answer, I present this, the full-size lace curtain hanging in the window of the shop, knit by the proprietress herself. The picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. It’s the kind of work that just makes you say a quiet, “Oh,” and fall silent. Then you think about building a little altar in front of it with joss sticks and fruit and flowers.

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And here, an adorable crab hat, a pattern of her own design, available at the shop:

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The perennial question, how much trouble did we get into? If by trouble you mean conducting a home-invasion robbery, beating up some old people, running off and getting into a gunfight with the cops and getting ourselves hauled off to the hoosegow, none. If you mean, did we buy stuff? Lots.

Gail takes the prize with this:

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Let’s just say there are now large gaps in the collection of Heilo that weren’t there before we arrived. But isn’t this combination of colors to die for? Gail has a beautiful Norwegian sweater in mind for all of this.

Me, I fell in love with the yarn for these store-sample socks. Orange, turquoise, mustard and mauve. How completely wacky is that? Had to have. Now do.

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Also bought this for no reason. As much as we yarnheads joke, this literally fell off the shelf at my feet, so............

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But my real pride and joy is this acquisition, a brown tote bag with a metallic jewel-tone dragon motif. A girl can never have enough tote bags!

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The gang! From left to right: Moi, Gail, LindaK, June and Sirkku. Thank you, ladies, for the perfect day!

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Posted by Ryan at 09:27 AM | Comments (14)

March 02, 2009

Hello, World!

Still very much around, Dear Readers. Sorry about the hiatus! Hope to post tomorrow.

In the meantime, to distract you from the fact that I'm not posting anything of substance today, enjoy this total hoot of a pattern,

the cutest lamb ever,

and a knitting cartoon.

Posted by Ryan at 10:22 AM | Comments (4)