E is for…

Expansion, stash. Boy, did I ever fall off the Stashalong wagon.

“Mmmm… yarn on the floor.”

Edit: Due to multiple requests for information on the yarn, here’s what we have, clockwise and starting with the skein Chaos is sniffing. That’s Sleeping Dragon sock yarn, color Purple Night, from A Swell Yarn Shop. Next are two skeins of Fleece Artist (colors H and MR) from Simply Socks. Then a skein of superwash sock yarn (color Carnival) from Brooklyn Handspun. Next are two skeins of Treadsoft sock yarn (colors Black Pearl and RoseGarden2) from ebay seller lotusblossom. Finally, two skeins of Schaefer Anne (colors Purple Waters and Watercolors), also from A Swell Yarn Shop. Whee!

“Wow, I really can’t believe how much yarn is here.”

Earplugs, a must-have so that the cat-owning urban condo dweller can get some decent sleep.

Espresso. Really, what needs to be said? Ahh….

Exercise. Alas, I have shamefully neglected my exercise routine this winter.

“I don’t think this looks too complicated. If only you’d adjust the pedals for me…”

Hey, baby, what’s your bloginality?

“If we’re bloginalitily compatible, we could make beautiful music toghether, baby. Hubba hubba.”

I stole this idea from m.r.’s sidebar at bag’n’trash (check out her great monthly Project Spectrum buttons!). I was intrigued when this extremely short quiz gave me the same result as the much longer (and more expensive) Myers-Briggs and Keirsey tests.

My Bloginality is INTJ. Here’s the description:

This makes your primary focus on Introverted Thinking with an Extraverted Intution.

This is defined as an NT personality, which is part of Carl Jung’s Rational (Knowledge Seeking) type, and more specifically the Mastermind or Scientist.

You aren’t as openly affectionate as some of you NT counterparts, and this may cause other bloggers to assume you aren’t as friendly. Your ideas and actual applications for these ideas are brilliant, however, and you might be more likely to create something masterful on your journal.

I won Lynne’s contest at Yarnivorous! Woot woot! This is particularly exciting, because she’s another GF knitter and has mentioned including GF treats from Australia. Oh boy!

The Midwest Master’s Seminar

April 29 – 30, 2006, will find me in Neenah, Wisconsin, participating in the Midwest Master’s Seminar. I’ll be taking Rainbow Dyeing in the Microwave (Merike Saarniit), Exotic Stitches for More than One Color (Anna Zilboorg), and Twisted Traveling Stitches (Anna Zilboorg). I’ve taken a class from Anna Zilboorg before, right after Knitting for Anarchists came out, and learned a lot. Looking foward to learning even more this time!

Is anyone else going to be at the Midwest Master’s? Anyone need a roommate?!

Yesterday I drove to St. Peter, Minnesota, for the day to visit a friend. It wasn’t the greatest driving weather. Although the roads were just wet and not slippery, it was very foggy coming home last night.

The view from my front window right before I got on the road yesterday.

While I was in St. Peter, I stopped at Mary Lue’s Yarn and Quilt Shop, which has a cute shop cat:

Here’s a picture for the spinners:

And these made me think of Project Spectrum:

“What’s with all this being gone?! I’m starting to think this knitting stuff is not in my best interest.”

A Knitblogger’s Field Trip

Today is the Knitblogger’s Field Trip, organized by Becky of Knitting Interrupted. The premise is simple – show the blogging world your backyard. So, with no further ado, I present my backyard, er, alley. Ta-da!

It’s not going to be a very bright day today.
In fact, that white stuff? Not there yesterday. Not snow. Sleet. Blech.
Hey Sandy, check out that sky! 😉

Inside, SRM was rousted out from under a cabinet this morning, using the trusty yardstick. Check out this rare midair footage:

“SRM, oh sweet SRM, how I love thee. Let me count the ways…”

“Hey, give us some privacy! You paparazzi, you are all the same.”

A mystery and a meme, but no tagging

Thank you all so much for your fabulous and sweet comments of yesterday! *sniff* Love you guys.

*collects self*

Ok, in the interest of actually having some knitting content, here’s what I’m working on these days:

What? You can’t tell what it is? Excellent! It’s a secret project, so you shouldn’t be able to figure it out yet. Hopefully it’s at least a bit Project Spectrumesque.

Carrie K tagged me for another book meme. I like book memes. 🙂

Name five of your favourite books, in no particular order. (This is subject to change, depending on what I can remember at any given moment.)
To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found the Bishop’s Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis. Come on, it’s science fiction written in the form of a Victorian novel, inspired by Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog! (1889) – what’s not to like? You must keep reading past the first 100 pages, even if you’re confused. The narrator’s confused. You’re in his headspace.

Bellwether by Connie Willis. Light-hearted satire about a trends researcher. There are sheep in it.

Someplace To Be Flying by Charles de Lint. What can I say… I want to be a Crow Girl.

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull. Not only is it a good read, it takes place in Minneapolis.

The Bee-Keeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I like most of the books in this series. It’s a great take on Sherlock Holmes.

What was the last book you bought?
I bought several books last weekend at Magers & Quinn and Booksmart (about 8 blocks from my condo – I love Uptown, Minneapolis!): Kafka on the Shore, Quicksilver, Separation Anxiety, and Women Who Love Cats Too Much.

What was the last book you read?
Dying to Sell by Maggie Sefton. I thought it was another one of her knitting mysteries when I reserved it at the library. Turns out it’s a realtor mystery and not that great… but I read it anyway. Right now I’m reading S is for Silence by Sue Grafton.

List five books that have been particularly meaningful to you.
Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami. I read this shortly after 9/11 and the parts about terrorism resonated.

Egalia’s Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes by Gerd Brantenberg. Turns some of our basic perceptions of male and female roles topsy turvy and makes very effective points in doing so. I particularly liked “hysterical” being changed to “testerical.”

The Control of Nature by John McPhee. Looks at several places where humans are trying to control nature, including the Mississippi in Louisiana and the mudslide-prone areas in southern California. Written in 1990…

White Noise by Don DeLillo. Nails life in America in these modern times…

Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This is the book that demystified knitting for me.

Name some books you want to read but just haven’t gotten around to yet.
Kafka on the Shore, Quicksilver, Lambs of God, Blue Shoe, Julie and Julia… I could go on and on.

“Hey, I’m just hanging out on my tissue paper, thinking about a snack. Leave me alone. Go find SRM. That might make me less cranky.”

Cha(o)sing the blues

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading about lots of folks with the winter blues. It makes sense – it’s been winter for a while, and for those of us in the more northern parts of the continent, it’s been cold and cloudy and dark. But as I was noticing the prevalence of the blues, I realized that I was feeling far less blue than I had for a long time; in fact, upon careful contemplation, far less blue than I’d felt for well over a year.

The past year has been been a rough one here at Casa de Chaos – but rough in the sort of way that sneaks up on you, that you don’t realize is rough at the time – only in retrospect. It was a year of mild but ongoing health issues… and the discovery of several new health issues. It was a year of having a brief but promising relationship fizzle in a disconcerting way. It was a year of finally admitting that I’m happier not dating. It was a year of learning that some key friendships had little to hold them up when things were rough, but that others were unexpectedly sturdy. It was the year that all of these things coalesced and I slipped deeper and deeper into myself.

Then I began reading some blogs… and then some more blogs… and then discovered a blogalogue running in my head. Eventually, that blogalogue demanded out and I started Stumbling Over Chaos (well, I’ve been stumbling over Chaos for the past several years, but you know what I mean!). I started slowly and realized that I loved blogging. I loved that it required a tiny daily act of creativity and creation, which had seeped out of my life. I loved that it helped me find new interest in my knitting. I loved that it got me thinking outside myself. I loved the connections that developed with other bloggers through the acts of writing, reading, commenting, sharing, and caring.

Thus, as others fight the winter blues and blahs, I find myself with more energy, more connections, and more joy than I’ve had in my life for a long time – far beyond the past year. I’d like to acknowledge all of you who’ve stopped by and shared in my life and the life of my chaotic cat, and all of you whose blogs I’ve been reading, because you’ve all been part of this revitalization. Thank you!

“If you’re blue, I think you’ll feel better soon, too.”

Fall Fiber Festival anyone?

As you might’ve read on Scout’s blog, she and I are working on an early October meetup in New Mexico. New Mexico is one of my favorite places – I spend an amazing amount of time gawking at the sky. I love Sante Fe and Taos and am looking forward to getting to know Albuquerque better, with help from the Scout and hopefully some of the other knitters in the area.

But we’d love to lure some other bloggers out, too. Let us tempt you with the Taos Wool Festival (October 7th and 8th, with workshops before and after) and the Albuquerque International Balloon Festiva (early mornings, October 6th through 15th).

The area has so many other cool things, I’ll just include a few.

Petroglyph National Monument, at the west edge of Albuquerque – I took the picture below in the spring of 2003. Seeing such ancient human artifacts was powerfully moving.

Bandelier National Monument isn’t that far away, either. Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a bit of jaunt, but it’s on my list of places to see. The High Road to Taos from Sante Fe is a spectacular drive that takes you through some lovely and fascinating communities like Chimayo (most famous as the “Lourdes of America”).

In addition to the Wool Festival, the area has some fun yarn shops, such as Taos Sunflower, Weaving Southwest, La Lana Wools, Needle’s Eye, and Village Wools (where Scout works!). I also stopped at several cool spinning/dyeing/weaving studios in Chimayo and along the High Road. And if you’re willing to go a bit further out, Tierra Wools in Los Ojos is fascinating.

Georgia O’Keefe lived in the area for years, and I highly recommend a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Sante Fe. She lived on the Ghost Ranch and in Abiquiu – and it looks like the Abiquiu Studio Tour might coincide with the Balloon Festiva and Wool Festival. I went to a knitting retreat at the Abiquiu Inn in the spring of 2003 – here’s a picture of me taken in that area:

I’m sure Scout and I will be posting more about this as it develops. Please leave a comment if you’re interested in participating in our very loosely organized knitting “festival”!

Needless to say, the Cat Chaotic was a bit upset upon hearing I might be gone for a week or two this fall…

“What??? Did you clear this with me?! I don’t think so, missy. Your place is right here, keeping me entertained and fed.”
Edit: SRM has returned! I have no idea where he’s been for the past six weeks. Chaos just brought a sparkly mouse for me to throw and I threw it once before I realized that it was red and had no ears or nose… Chaos is very happy! He is a blissful SRM fetching feline machine right now.

Sedated in the 80s

Mama Tulip, EE, and some other bloggers are doing a “Blast from the Past” this week, so I thought I’d dig out a few of my ancient and amusing pictures. This should help you understand why 80s fashion should not ever return!

1982, with one “Patches” at a friend’s house. Badly permed hair and short shorts. Ewww!

1986, at a holiday party. I am so drunk in this picture. I was a cashier in a liquor store – boy, do liquor store employees know how to party or what… Anyway, note the big hair, dangly single earring, and gorgeous sweater dress.

1987. Would you buy a used car from this woman?!

1989. If you weren’t a bride in the 80s, count your blessings. If you were, you can commiserate. Big asymmetrical permmed hair. Whoa. There’s a reason I don’t wear makeup anymore – I got it all out of my system in the 80s…

Strawberry fields forever

Blame Jeanne… I’m not sure I would ever have thought of putting a hat on Chaos if it wasn’t for Jeanne’s cats in preemie hats pictures… Yes, I did wash the strawberry hat after this photo shoot – the new dad is allergic to cats (poor thing).

“Are you sure this hat is flattering, Mom?! I’m not sure that red is my color.”

“Really? Chicks will dig me in this hat? Oh, ok then.”

“Hmm, let me try a little ‘come hither’ look.”

“Oh no! I can’t be seen with fur out of place!! Let me just touch up this spot…”

“…so… sleepy…”

Art journaling, reading, knitting, and cat parenting. It's a wild life.