Friday, June 27, 2008

Yarn swaps = destashing...right?

Wrong. Well...maybe it works that way for some people.

I wandered into my LYS yesterday for an advertised yarn swap. I'd brought along two skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarns (really pretty, but in a color I seldom use).

I walked out with five skeins of Shetland wool! It's not sock yarn, so I think it counts as Stash Enhancement. (I was encouraged to do this by the shop employee...she's an enabler even when not selling the stuff.)

They're the same weight, and might work together in a project. Good for simple fair isle, especially with a bit of white or cream or black to balance things out.

I can always rationalize yarn acquisitions

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Arctic Summer

No, I haven't gone on another trip. I'm just making a general remark about the lousiness of office heating and cooling systems. Not many work properly.

This is especially noticeable in offices that have been created out of one large space. Ours is now made up into cubicles, rooms, hallways and offices. Though lighting is sometimes altered, and décor, it's just too much to expect that the ventilation systems will be updated as well, in my experience (here and elsewhere).

So...a vent pours icy or hot streams of air into one area. People there freeze or boil or are grateful, if they tend to their own extremes when deciding on Perfect Temperatures.

I'm in the freeze crowd. Generally I wear goosebumps year 'round, with a garnish of purple mottling under my very fair skin. It's worst in the summer because I refuse to wear wool trousers, long socks, boots and three layers in June or July or August.

I cart sweaters everywhere I go, I complain (a lot) and I cozy up to any available space heater.

When I run my own little work world things will be different!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Swing Out

I did go dancing last night. It took some effort to drag myself out, but I am so glad I went.

Dancing itself was great, but the best part was seeing all the new people, and watching them light up on the dance floor.

A girl who's learning to lead asked me to dance; I thought she'd seen me leading earlier, so I asked if she wanted to lead or follow, and she was delighted that I lead, too. Half through the dance she started to follow, and at song's end I spun her 3 or 4 times.

She was amazed, because apparently most leads spin her off her axis and she can't balance. I showed her the technique and explained why it works. God, it felt good to pass that on!

My general technique needs a lot of work these days, especially balboa. But that's okay, I know where to begin.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back into the Swing of things

A million years ago (okay, about 10) I learned to swing dance. First, East Coast (6 count). Then Lindy Hop. Balboa. Bal-Swing. I lead and follow all except Bal (at this point). No, I never saw that Gap commercial.

When I got into the scene, it was in full swing (pun intended) and I was out two to six nights a week, dancing like a fool, dressed to the vintage nines, and having the time of my life.

Things simmered down, as they do in the natural course of time, and people stopped dressing up. The clubs stopped having swing nights. There were only a few (usually non-club) venues, but I always made it out at least once a week.

Then I moved to Rhode Island. New place. New (tiny at the time) scene. Husband who said he loved to dance...but that turned out to be all talk. Yes, I even coaxed him into some private lessons. Nothing did the trick.

I've been here for four years now, and hardly ever go dancing.

There are very nice people around, but the whole feel is quite different. Dance studios or old social halls provide the venue. Many who have a ballroom or West Coast swing background (not to bash them; it's just that the resultant dance style and lead or follow is quite different from mine). No bar, no one in vintage clothing (except for me, that is). I just don't enjoy it to the same degree.

Even so, I miss it: socializing, getting great exercise that's more like therapy, the whole bit. So I complain a lot and dance very little, but last Saturday I took a workshop again.

It was very good to dance again; I don't think I've done any dancing since March, and no dancing in town since perhaps October.

I've developed some bad habits, but the instructors were great, pointing out things I can work on myself, and also sending some nice compliments my way.

Today, Wednesday, I've decided that I'll go to the Thursday dance. We'll see...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

WWII in 2008: Reading, PA

It was hot.

How hot was it?

Well, (I wish I had photographic proof) we caught Joe with his head in the cooler.

But here's the link to the album.

We didn't get great pictues, but it does give you an idea of the thing.

Friday was fine until we got to Avis car rental. Nightmare line; we missed our dinner reservation. It was tough parking in the middle of the city, too. No one was in a very good mood for a while.

But the Capital Grille was still open, and we dined there with Joe & Theresa, after a lightening change.

We got to Reading in the afternoon, and wandered around in sunblock, hats, and under parasols and umbrellas. No sunburn for me, but I acquired plenty of new freckles, and apparently looked like I was about to pass out.

No dance this time, the band was on a break when we got in, and the neverending "Who's On First" was on. We went straight to the French Village and didn't look back!

Maurice the proprieter was very helpful, and our tempers improved a lot! The Café Napoléon really was great, and we chatted with some interesting people. Such a mix...French villagers, Nazis (Yeah. I still don't understand how the fascination can outweight the shudder factor, but each to his own, yes?), GIs, and civilians milling around together in perfect accord.

Sunday we dropped by again for a while, and then headed out to see our friends in Ambler. They didn't make it this year, what with a new baby to consider. As well as a sturdy little toddler. It seemed a bit much to them in this heat, so we went out to see them on the way to Philadelphia, and then dropped by to see Joe's dad.

Another whirlwind, and a good one.

Knitting? I've been working on a baby hat to match the socks...which I found! AND I found the pearls. (Lesson? Don't believe your spouse when he swears that he checked all of the pockets when he unpacked the luggage...but be grateful the lost have been found, all the same!)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Here again, gone tomorrow

Or something like that.

Now that we're back from TX, we'll be off again for another brief vacation. We're going to Reading, PA, for the MAAM WWII re-enactment weekend.

I've gone before; once with my old boyfriend Joe, and most recently in 2005, with DH. The weather is usually awful, in some fashion, but it's always fun.

There are hardcore WWII re-enactors: soldiers, French villagers, some civilians in the "Homefront" area....those of us who dress in period clothing...and plenty of gawkers who mix it up with the 20s and the 60s but still find it all fascinating.

We'll be there for Saturday and part of Sunday. On Friday we're flying to Philadelphia and meeting Joe (Yep. Same fella) and his lovely wife Theresa...the one for whom I made the Monkey socks...for dinner in a cafe full of singing opera students.

Saturday we'll drive to Reading, walk around all day, run out for dinner, change, and come back for the hangar dance.

As per usual, I doubt I'll manage to post the photos we take, but I'll sneak in some links, at least (providing we remember the camera!).

I will certainly be bringing my knitting; I have a "new" vintage bag that I love, and that goes with me, but I haven't decided yet whether to start a new project as well. It should be vintage, ca. 1940. Socks would be the easiest thing; I wouldn't even need a pattern, of course.

But...some swine stole the baby socks I made on the TX trip. Right out of the suitcase. He or she also took some jewelry that was packed; yes, I was a FOOL to pack it. I know. I will always regret it. And I will never again pack any good jewelry. I've never done it before. Just once...and I'll always pay.