Maryland Sheep and Wool

(Center and then top left to right)
1. Koigu Mill Ends. Yum., 2. 4oz Rambouillet/Bamboo roving, 3. Merino/Sillk roving from Cloverleaf Farms, 4. Alpaca Lace from A Touch of Twist, 5. Cashmere/Merino Blend, 6. Merino Lace by the Drafting Zone, 7. Sweet Sheep light Fingering, 8. Wensleydale Roving by Flying Fibers, 9. Wullenstudio sock, 10. BMFA STR, “Koi Koi”, 11. BMFA STR, “Scum Bubble”, 12. BMFA STR, Unidentified Mill End, 13. Aisha Celia Designs sock

The Haul from Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2009. Three of us gals (myself, Abbie, and Debbie) piled into a car and drove the 2.5 hours down to a rather soggy MDSW. Luckily for us, going on a rainy Sunday meant less crowds, less being bumped, and a relaxing time, even if the rain never really let up and we missed a few things that sold out on Saturday.  There was even no elbowing involved while getting into the booth with Koigu Mill Ends and no line at The Fold.  Incredible.  While I’m sure the vendors were thoroughly disappointed by the lack of business on Sunday, I was completely thrilled by the lack of human traffic.  Last year, I went as a non-knitter and then promptly decided that Abbie had to teach me how to knit when we got home after being thoroughly exhausted by the amount of bumping and shoving and human claustrophobia that those packed little barns can inspire.  So, this year was officially my first knitaversary and I really can’t believe how much I’ve done in a year.  Managed to set a budget and pretty much stick with it, finding a variety of fibers that I haven’t spun before and stocking up on more Socks That Rock.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t already begun thinking about next year.   🙂

Pea Pod Sweater

I suppose it comes with the age group – a few years ago, everyone was getting married.  Now?  Everyone is having babies.  That means a lot of pint-sized knitting projects that fly off the needles and make me all happy with the instant gratification.  The latest project, which I can now reveal now that I know it has been received.

Pattern: Pea Pod Baby Sweater
Designer: Kate Gilbert
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm)
Yarn: Cascade Cotton Rich DK
Ravelry Project Link
This was a pretty quick knit! The yarn is a great cotton/nylon blend which is, IMHO, a great summer/baby yarn since it’s easy to wash and maintain. Blue for the baby boy who was born a few weeks ago, and naturally, I didn’t want a girly sort of lace and figured that the leaves provided just enough interest without going overboard.  Buttons were acquired from Philadelphia’s Fabric Row, specifically the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet.  It really looks fabulous in person, and I can’t wait to get photos of the little guy wearing it!
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There was a trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend and I still have yet to photograph my precious acquisitions since it’s been raining for what, nine days straight?! So, I’ll hold off on the update for that and you’ll hear about it when there’s sun again. 🙂

Congratulations to Steve and Jess

CONGRATULATIONS Steve and Jess! We had a lovely time on Saturday and you two are far too adorable together. And, you couldn’t have picked a better date, our fifth anniversary   🙂

Love you both lots, and we wish you only the best.

Miss California

Let me preface this post by putting in a few points on how I feel about the things you know are going to come up in this post.  Personally, I think beauty pageants of any kind are revolting for so many reasons.  I think that gay marriage should be legal.  Just getting that out of the way before I go play the devil’s advocate..

Let’s recap.
Perez Hilton: Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage.  Do you think every state should follow suit?  Why or why not?
Miss California (Carrie Prejean):  Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other.  Um, we live in a land that  you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage, and, you know what, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think that it should be between a man and a woman.  Thank you.

I almost feel bad for the girl.  While I don’t agree with her feelings on the matter, she’s 100% allowed to voice her beliefs and opinions (I really don’t want to resort to name-calling here), but I’m not sure a *BEAUTY* pageant is the right place.  We’re not going to agree with eachother about everything and while life might be easier if everyone just agreed with me, I doubt it would be nearly as interesting and diverse (that was a touch of sarcasm, in case you missed it).  If she had been asked this question even twenty years ago, would her answer have ‘cost her the crown’ as the news says it has?  What bothers me about her choice of answer is the wording – that’s how she was raised.  That’s how I was raised too, but in growing up and developing my own thoughts and opinions, I decided that gay marriage wasn’t a bad thing and that there was no good reason in my mind to stop gays from marrying.  Her answer felt so .. pre-canned and robotic and rehearsed and unoriginal.  People are arguing that it wasn’t politically correct – well, give me an answer that appeases everyone!  Someone, somewhere was going to find whatever answer she would’ve given to that question politically incorrect or offensive.  It was a loaded question.  Pleasing Perez Hilton would’ve meant pissing off conservatives.

For kicks, let’s look at the requirements for the Miss USA pageant.
Throughout the USA pageant system, from the local level to the international level, contestants are judged in three areas:
Interview Competition – Pageant judges spend time with each contestant to learn about her successes, talents, goals and ambitions. Attention is focused on her poise, charm, self-confidence and her ability to communicate, as well as the substance of her answers.
Swimsuit Competition – Attention is focused on beauty of face, figure, physical fitness, and the confidence with which each contestant carries herself. Numerical measurements are not considered in the judging.
Evening Gown Competition – Each contestant wears a gown she has chosen for herself. Attention is focused on each contestant’s overall appearance, self-confidence, sense of style and the beauty she brings to the gown of her choice.
Emphasis all mine.  Do we see anything in there about political correctness?  Do we see anything in there about politically/religiously charged questions?  No.  The interview, as described above, is to be about her, “successes, talents, goals and ambitions.”  Just sayin’.. The girl from the state that voted in a measure eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry and goes to a Christian college got a loaded question by a gay man about gay marriage.  WHAT DID WE THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN HERE?!

End point – she couldn’t have saved herself from failure on that question, no matter what answer she gave.  Of course, she’s since gone on a few interviews and dug herself a deeper hole (not to say that Perez isn’t doing the same all by himself either), but it’s clear that now she’s carrying an agenda when she could’ve been just another pageant contestant who gives a bad response to a question.

A week in pictures

The sister-in-law, Brenda, was up visiting this past week. We went a bunch of places and I took A LOT of photos with the new camera. The wide lens and the full-frame DSLR has been making me very very happy. Click any photo to see a larger size, linked to flickr.
Row 1: Crystal Cave
Row 2: Philadelphia Zoo
Row 3: Fort Mifflin
Row 4: Winterthur

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