Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bits and Pieces

After all the worry, there's not a flake of snow on the ground here in Hendersonville. There may be some in Asheville, and up at Biltmore, but not enough to hamper our plans. It may snow later, and my flight tomorrow might be affected, but I'll worry about both later (when worrying might actually do some good... snort).

At any rate, here are a few bits and pieces from SAFF and this trip.
 I applied this temporary tattoo on Friday- it's still bright and clear.
 The Ravelry party on Friday evening.
 A wonderful needlefelted sign- a gift from my friend DeeAnn

 Fair Islers!

 Gingko leaves!
 Condom dress in a window in Asheville!
 A single solitary Yarn Bomb!
DeeAnn and me together after 42 years!
SAFF Booty- have I shared this yet? I can't remember. If I haven't: yay. If I have, oh well.

It's time to hit the road- I promise many pics of the great big house, though they may not be posted tonight, and I have to leave for the airport by 4am tomorrow... (I hope).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Popping in briefly

I'm only in my room for an hour or so before we head back out to supper, so I thought I'd write a blog post of sorts. There is far too much to include in a single post, so I think I'll concentrate on the things I'm thinking of the most right now: the weather and the food.

The Weather Gurus are predicting up to 6" of snow tonight. This is not South Dakota, where 6" of snow merits a shrug. If we get the snow, it'll likely be heavy and wet and slippery. It's already gray and cold and damp and windy, but it doesn't feel like immanent snow to me. But again, this isn't SoDak, so my radar may be off. In any case, everyone assures me that Biltmore stays open regardless of weather, and we have tickets for tomorrow. Maybe I'll get a snowy shot.

Anyway, the Amazing Food part of the trip has begun. Saturday night we ate at a Tapas place in  Asheville, called Zambra (and it's Tapas, not Topless, one student thought), where we practiced the art of getting very very full on just two bites of everything. It was too dark to get good pics, but our waiter was an Adam Savage Clone named Erik, and he was a hoot.

 I had Apple Streusel Pancakes at Cracker Barrel for breakfast yesterday.

Last night we had Motel Room Tapas when DeeAnn and Butch (Dee and I were friends in high school, and have not seen each other in person for 42 years- it's been a grand reunion) went to Whole Foods and brought back a bit of everything to munch (a good thing- I was too brain dead last night for going anywhere).
This morning I had multi-grain pancakes and organic maple syrup at Early Girl Cafe in Asheville. That's Deeann's breakfast in the background. I don't know for sure what it was, but she was making nummy noises throughout, so I assume it was every bit as good as it looked.
 We were going to eat lunch at Tupelo Honey in Asheville, but there were water problems in town, and the River Arts District wasn't open, so we went to Hendersonville instead, where we had great beer in a Thai Restaurant (whose name I did not catch).
 Deeann is not a two-fisted drinker, we were symbolically including her husband Butch (the photog), and toasting all of our absent friends.
Lunch was beyond delicious. This is salmon with onions and bell peppers with a basil chili sauce. Oh my.

Tonight, we're heading back to Tupelo Honey, hoping that the water issues have been resolved. Tomorrow, we go to Biltmore, come snow or wind.

Oh yeah, and we stopped at Chocolate Fetish in Asheville. This is what I bought.  ooohhhh yeah....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Checking In

Sorry I've been so quiet- it's been crazy busy. Today was the last day of SAFF 2012, and it was great, but I taught 3 workshops and my brain is mush. So far, Sandy hasn't hit here, but there are some interesting weather predictions come Tuesday (when we have tickets to visit Biltmore). I may or may not make it out on Wednesday morning- we'll just have to wait and see.

I promise I'll catch you all up- maybe even tomorrow morning, after I've had some sleep. But trust me, it's been fun!

Friday, October 26, 2012

SAFF 2012 Day 1

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day- warmer than predicted, with a nice breeze and fluffy clouds. I taught a single all-day steeking class today, and it went very well. Since it was a small class, we finished early and I even had some time to wander the booths and sales areas, which were, as always, a sensory overload.
 The leaves are past peak, but still beautiful.
 So pretty.
 Yep, even more beauty.
 They're not kidding...
 And no dogs, neither!
 This fellow was playing a steel drum- the music was ethereal. It reminded me a lot of the background music from Twin Peaks.
Lise and Michelle both successfully cut their first steeks today! Michelle had just about every disaster a steeker could have, owing to the fact that I didn't specify to use wool yarn, and she knitted her sample with cotton, which is notoriously slippery. But you know what? Michelle did a fantastic job, she met every challenge with a smile and determination, and when she cuts wool yarn, it's going to be a piece of cake.

Tomorrow, I teach two classes, both are full (or nearly so). I'm already looking forward to the festivities. I don't know if we're far enough inland for Sandy to have no effect, but it'll be interesting to find out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Asheville

I don't have any pics today, but I'm here in North Carolina. It was a long day- this morning's first flight was interesting... with the kind of turbulence where the plane drops in the sky. It didn't drop a lot, and we were never in real danger, but still, it's the first time I've been on a plane when that happened. It's unsettling. We landed at MSP at 7:55, and my connecting flight was supposed to start boarding at 8:20. If you know MSP, you know what that means (it means a mad dash from the furthest reaches of the airport). I made it to my gate with 1 minute to spare (not 1 minute before takeoff, 1 minute before boarding started). The rest of my flights were routine- I made it to Asheville in good time, took a taxi to the motel, ordered pizza out, and now will hunker down and relax.

Tomorrow, the festivities begin! Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thursday Tab on Wednesday- Look Alike, 1952

I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for SAFF, so here's this week's Thursday Tab. I know absolutely nothing about this set except that it was published in 1952 and it's wonderful.

Taunton's new Threads Selects Booklets!

I posted a teaser pic yesterday, but here's the scoop: The first line of Taunton's new Threads Selects booklets will hit the stands November 27! Copies of the first 4 from my books arrived yesterday, hot off the press, and I could not be more excited!

The new booklets are 8 1/2" x 11", and each features 5-9 previously-published projects, concentrating on a single technique or style. They're aimed at knitters who want to try new things, but who are maybe not ready to commit to an entire book of patterns. Each of these booklets has a new ISBN number and cover, and they'll all be available for pre-order from Taunton directly, or from Amazon (and I assume other venues) very soon.

Eventually, Taunton plans to publish 8 booklets of my projects, including 2 from I Heart Felt, which is exciting since that book sort of fell through the cracks. I'm glad its getting another chance to be noticed.

As always with Taunton, the quality of the booklets is excellent- good, sturdy, glossy covers, and full color pictures and charts inside. I'm very proud to be a part of this new venture. When I have them, I'll post links to each booklet, but in the meantime, here they are:
Colorwork Socks- 7 Patterns to Knit (from The Big Book of Socks)

 Fair Isle Flower Garden- 5 Gorgeous Knits for Children  (from Fearless Fair Isle Knitting)

 Fair Isle Hats, Scarves, Mittens & Gloves- 7 Stunning Patterns to Knit (from Fearless Fair Isle Knitting)

 Lace Socks- 9 Lovely Patterns to Knit (from The Big Book of Socks)

 Not very often in a writer's career do you get to see four new books for the first time, all on the same day.
A little celebration was in order.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm never going to get caught up

I have 5 days of work to do in the 2 1/2 days I have left before I leave for SAFF, so  posting will be a little sparse... But I'll have internet access in Asheville, so I can post from there at least.

In the meantime, I'm Officially Official! Bahamas, here I come!

Oh yeah, and I forgot- it's never too early to think about buying graduation cards... especially this one... I kinda sorta know the artist.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Angela's Hat

I so love it when students share photos of the projects they worked on in my classes- and I like it even better when they take what they've learned and continue on with the processes.

Angela took my Fair Isle Design Class at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August. Here are some shots of the hat she designed in class. I think it's absolutely marvelous! Thank you so much for sharing, Angela, you did a fantastic job!

p.s. I don't know why these pics insist on posting sideways. I've tried several times to save and re-save the files, renaming them, and uploading again, and still they're skewed. Sorry you'll have to tilt your head to get the whole Gorgeousness!