Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A hefty dose of fiber (about 3kg)

While I was away (from the internet...not on vacation), I went to my first fiber fest. Yay! I was constantly reminded that I am not a spinner...yet. The "yet" is what all of the people selling roving would say when I said I wasn't a spinner so please stop shoving your soft, soft alpaca fur in my face.

But...there was yarn too. And I didn't spend waaaaay too much, but considering my yarn:available knitting time ratio at present, I really didn't need yarn. At all. I blame Laura (in the hat in the last post). She made me go and then enabled. But I did score some good stuff.

First, some cashmere/merino/nylon sock yarn. It is very soft and very pretty and claims to be machine washable. I asked the lady if she was sure I could throw it in the washing machine, and she swore to me I could. We'll see. As previously discussed, I have a love/hate relationship with socks and sock yarn. I'm really not into sock yarn that makes stripes and checks. However, I understand that some subtle variation might make it pretty. It's a balance. I think this one is subtle enough. Besides, it's not really a fiber fest if you don't buy sock yarn, right?

Then, I came across some cheap (-ish) bamboo in a bright, bright blue. My goal of the day is to buy things outside of my color safety zone (green and teal and blue-green). Bright blue counts. Also, I've been craving bamboo for about 6 months now. Not sure why. It's very soft, and I'm thinking maybe Wallis cardigan will be made from it (go here if you don't have Ravelry access). It's variegated, but Wallis's simplicity should work well with that. But probably not this summer. Unless I blow off the boards and knit all through July. It could happen.

Finally, I really went out of my safety zone and bought a cone of orange-rust, DK, 100% wool. It's a teeny bit scratchy, but I'm thinking it will be a hoodie or cardigan and not next to my skin. I don't currently own anything remotely this color, but Laura and the sales lady claimed it worked well with my hair. Worst case scenario, I donate it. The yarn was cheap.

To further illustrate my excess of yarn acquisition, here we have the yarn that I bought in New Orleans:

And here is yarn my wonderful mother sent me from Switzerland. You can't tell with this photography, but one of those balls is not like the other (blue rather than teal...hey! my colors!). I'm kind of thinking Sahara. But we'll see.

And guess what I wore to the fiber fest? Josephine! I didn't even tell you I was knitting it, did I? Well, I was. And now I'm done. Lots of mods, but I think I like the result. Very within my safety zone. The yarn is Wildflower D.K., so it's washable.

New knitting? Sure, why not. I'm finally participating in a Sexy Knitter's Club KAL and knitting Notorious by Annie Modesitt. I'm not totally sure what to think at this point except that I might be needing more yarn than I ordered. Luckily, there's an easy way to fit in a skein of a different dye lot, so I'm not too worried. It's mostly on 8's, so it's moving along pretty quickly. Also, I'm on geriatrics for a few more days, so I continue to have free time. Today, I spent an hour spoon feeding a patient her lunch. It is thrill a minute, I tells ya.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NOLA adventure

After four weeks of intense OB/GYN, I needed a vacation. So I went to New Orleans...for an OB/GYN conference. It was a chance to eat great food, get a tiny bit of color (through the SPF 45), and network with residency program directors.

First, the food. We hit up Cafe du Mond, home of the famous beignets and chicory coffee. Luckily, Julia, one of the women with our group knew how to navigate the French Quarter already. We took the streetcar down and then waited in line to fill ourselves with fried dough and cover ourselves with powdered sugar. Sooooo good. Apparently they are open 24 hours a day, which means you can have your beignets for Sunday brunch (as we did) or post-Bourbon street excitement (as some other Case students did). Both good options.

Since we were in New Orleans, we had to try a John Besh restaurant. John Besh was the runner-up in The Next Iron Chef. Our guy from Cleveland Michael Symon came away with the glory, but John Besh was a worthy contender. Luke was our choice for evaluation, since Restaurant August was more expensive and more formal. It was pretty fabulous. I have to say that I enjoy Symon's Lola a bit more, but the caraway, caramelized onion, Ementhaler flamenkuche was definitely playing to win. For me and my family, a good trip involves good food, and NOLA satisfied.

Also, yarn! I believe in obtaining souvenir yarn from trips as opposed to silly, useless souvenir things. Thus, when we found a yarn store on Chartre street. It's actually a needlepoint store called Quarter Stitch, but it sold yarn. Pretty yarn. Yarn by the Great Adirondack Co, specifically of the bamboo/silk variety. The bamboo/silk was $43/skein = too expensive to knit anything out of. So I compromised and bought some worsted weight, mixed, hand-dyed with sequins glitz. It's a combo of browns and purples and might be perfect for Sahara. We'll see. I'll take pictures once we have good lighting in Cleveland again (aka June). Julia bought cotton for a yoga bag, and Laura tried on a hat that she wants to knit. They wrapped our purchases up in decorative bags, Love Actually style. It's kind of silly. I don't need confetti and whatnot to make my yarn pretty. It just is pretty. All by itself.

And that's pretty much it... Oh, right, the conference. It was good. I got some help with my CV and personal statement at a workshop, and I learned about some programs. I've now added University of New Mexico to the list and deleted University of Virginia. Oh! And we went to the exhibition hall and got obscene amounts of free things: pens, a personalized leather folio, USB drives, an insulated mug (for endometriosis! love it!), bumper stickers, a manicure kit, and multiple pregnancy books (What to Expect When You're Expecting, The Joy of Pregnancy, and a kind of dumb Fertility Journal). And I have obtained new tote bags: two for ACOG, one for University Hospitals in Cleveland, and one that says "Don't let politics trump medicine." I'm a sell-out, but I have lots of fun new toys.

And now that's really about it. I'm on geriatrics now, so, you know, I'm bored. But my schedule is not very demanding. It's all a balance. Now I will take that extra free time and cook some asparagus and local tomatoes and remember that it's spring somewhere, even if it's gross in Cleveland right now.