I didn’t mean to just disappear like that for almost a month. You all must have thought that I ran off with a banjo player at Wintergrass. Let’s catch up, shall we?

Wintergrass was swell. It’s hard to pick my favorite artist of the festival, though the Swedish group Väsen was right up there. Not traditional bluegrass by any means, but great Swedish folk music. Dry Branch Fire Squad, a more traditional Appalachian style group, was another favorite. You can’t beat a guy who sings great gospel, tells great stories, and plays hambone like a pro. We don’t have tickets yet for next year, but we’ll surely go again.

We also did a quick three day weekend trip to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. Round about January it dawned on me that we had neglected to plan a winter vacation this year to someplace with sunshine. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, and if you tend a bit towards letting the undertoad get to you in the dark rainy months, this is not a good plan. So we did a little get-away. I even won a bit of money, though we undoubtedly spent it all on food. The best thing we did there was eat at Joel Robuchon’s French restaurant. Yum. Just yum. It was seriously one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at.

Otherwise the winter’s been about work, knitting, spinning, reading. Work is going well, just the usual winter busy-ness. I’m still loving the not-so-new job.

Knitting: I still have pretty much the same projects going. I’ll try to update them here over the next week, but here’s a new one. I joined the Evenstar Mystery Shawl KAL on Ravelry, and I’m partly through the second of three clues. Of course you all know that photos of lace at this stage look like crap. This one’s a circular shawl, which I’ve never done before. There was some serious swearing that went on over the circular cast on, but after a couple of tries, I got it going.


The yarn is from Colourmart, and it’s a silk/cashmere blend, in a 28/2 light laceweight. The color is Aquamarine, and it’s pretty much finer than anything I’ve knit with. The finished shawl will have beads on the edging, and I’m planning on using clear silver lined beads. At least that’s the current plan.

OK, that’s enough for one post. I don’t want to overwhelm you. I have more to say about knitting and spinning, as well as an upcoming blogiversary, so stay tuned!


Okayyyyyy…. — 17 Comments

  1. It looks like it will be a lovely shawl. I thought of you on Sunday evening. We went out to dinner, and they happened to have a blue grass band. DH was not too happy, but I loved it!

  2. Every year I’ve said I was going to go away in March because, by then, winter in Chicago feels like it will never end. Last year we did make it to Palo Alto to visit family toward the end of March & it was soul restoring. This year we had a big extended family (the 2 of us, both daughters, son in law & the 3 grands) spent a week in southern California (Carlsbad). It was even better – rented a 4 BR 3 bath house for all of us, went to Legoland, Sea World & just hung out in the warm air. I am seriously considering spending a few months in Ca next winter. I am in great pain whenever the temperature goes below freezing (which happens all too often in Chicago in the winter.) The shawl looks lovely. I’ve never made a circular shawl although I’ve always meant to – I like square ones.

  3. Welcome back! I’ve missed you and tried not to be too jealous of all the wonderful bluegrass music you were able to hear.

    I am rather chicken to work with such fine yarn though this stuff is really pretty. And I am confident the air would be blue if I tried to do a circular cast on. You are a brave soul!

  4. Though I was waiting for your news I am so happy if others as well go through that life-is-more-important-than-blogland-times. Nice to read you again! Seems you had a great time in your short vacation. I am knitting kind of a circular shawl, too, a blanket from a doily pattern, it is hibernating for weeeeeks, and I love that new (to me) experience and know how hard it is to tell how the finished object looks. The swearing about the cast on are soon forgotten, aren’t they? Yours seems promising and the part with the beads sounds interesting – keep us updated with this one.

  5. I made the Pinwheel Sweater on the elann.com site which had that *!?@@ cast on. I fought with it awhile and then crocheted a chain, joined it to make a circle and then picked up the stitches that way. A little less frustrating!

  6. Time flies. Glad you are doing well, weathering the winter in fine form. Robuchon is one of the planet’s food geniuses. Much more accessible, I think, than Adria.

  7. Glad you’re back. I keep thinking that a glaring hole in my project choice is a circular shawl. One is not scheduled for this year (at least not yet), so I’ll get my vicarious pleasure watching you knit yours.

  8. Glad your back! The shawl looks great! I’m on my 3rd circular with another in the wings. I have never done a square shawl, they look difficult to me. 🙂

  9. Mystery shall alongs are about the only knit-a-longs I have a hard time avoiding. Good thing I didn’t see theis one 🙂

    Glad to hear you had a fabulous time at your festival. One of these years I’m determined to drag my husband to one. Although it won’t be dragging much, he’s a musicaholic.

  10. And a well deserved break it was. Väsen is terrific, as are several other groups on the North Side Label (www.noside.com)

  11. Love the yarn you’re using–it looks so soft and delicate. Glad you’re back safe although the banjo player idea doesn’t sound all bad!

  12. I did a ton of swearing over the circular cast on, too. Worth it once you get going, though. Have never been to Robuchon, but I sure would like to.

  13. well, hello there!
    Glad that all is still well in the land of the knitting doctor!
    love the new shawl.
    glad the work is going so well
    and it sounds like you are adjusting to your “normal” work life fairly well 🙂
    (happy dance)