Thursday, June 27, 2013

Photo of the Week: Did You Bring Your Bag?

Slowly but surely, the cities in my area are banning plastic grocery bags. This sign is in the parking lot of PCC, the local food coop chain. Do you bring your bags?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bookish (and More than One Photo of the Week)

This was going to be my photo of the week more than a week ago, and somehow it never got posted. That's Mr. D, in a wonderful used book store, Eclipse Books, in the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham. And what were we doing there? I was an attendee at Booktopia Washington, and Mr. D was there to hike and hang out with me when I wasn't in Booktopia sessions.

Booktopia is the brainchild of the two hosts of the Books on the Nightstand podcast, Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness. They have been podcasting about books and the publishing industry since 2008, and in 2011 they scheduled their first retreat for authors and podcast listeners at the amazing Northshire Books in Manchester, Vermont. Last year, they changed the retreat name to Booktopia, and they added two more locations, one in the middle of the country, and one in the west. This year Village Books in Fairhaven was the West Coast venue, and I was lucky enough to get in.

Here is a photo of Michael and Ann, about the only one I got of the two of them together:

Village Books was a super place to hold an event like this! It is a wonderful book store, with a friendly and welcoming staff. They really care about their customers, including those from north of the border:

Here is Booktopia Central, Village Books:

Attending Booktopia were seven authors, who presented in individual sessions during the day on Saturday and at the book signing event on Saturday night. They were: Peter Clines, Jonathan Evison, Ru Freeman, Caroline Leavitt, Rhonda Riley, Jan-Phillipp Sendker and Maggie Shipstead. Prior to the event, I read Evison's, Leavitt's Sendker's and Shipstead's most recent books (and earlier books by both Evison and Leavitt) and I attended their author sessions. It was wonderful to hear them discuss their books and their writing process and to have an opportunity to ask questions. I also had an opportunity to get a photograph of Caroline Leavitt's very cool boots!

The Saturday evening session was also wonderful, and it gave all of the attendees a chance to hear the authors whose sessions we didn't attend. I found Rhonda Riley's talk about her book, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, so fascinating that I bought it and had her sign it. I'm reading it now; so intriguing! I brought home a few other books, too, as you can see:

To sum up, I had a fantastic time at my first Booktopia, and I'm hoping that there will be many more in my future.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fiber Festival Stash Knitdown Update

Remember this?

It's finally become this:

Here are the details for my Zig-Zagging Around the World.

Cast on: August 21, 2012
Blocked and photographed: May 28, 2013
Pattern/Designer: Zigzag Wanderer by Kimley Maretzo
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Seattle KAL colorway
The yarn was purchased at Sock Summit 2011. Only 8 yards remained after bind-off.

Project Notes: I love how this turned out, but if you decide to knit this pattern, beware! The pattern lists the yardage amount as 400 yards of fingering weight yarn (but the scarf shown in the pattern used Malabrigo sock, which is 440 yards). I ran out of yarn about halfway through the final pattern repeat, and I wasn't the only one; there are numerous projects on Ravelry that had the same fate. That being said, it didn't really matter. The scarf blocked out beautifully, and I'm looking forward to wearing it when the weather gets cooler.

I've written before about my idea to knit down my fiber festival stash by Sock Summit 2014. There is a slight problem with this: sadly, there isn't going to be another Sock Summit. I haven't exactly been speed knitting my fiber festival stash, so I'm giving myself a few extra months, until December 31, 2014 to try to get the task done.  I'll be casting on my next project shortly, so watch for an update post soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Photo of the Week: Bad Hair Day

145/365: Bad Hair Day by jchants
145/365: Bad Hair Day, a photo by jchants on Flickr.
Every year, on Memorial Day Weekend, we go to the Northwest Folklife Festival, a weekend-long, free event that features music, dance, crafts, food, and lots of fun. This a capella singing group, The Beaconettes, led a participatory workshop, giving me the opportunity to do some choral singing for the first time since I was in the girls glee club in high school.