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June 19, 2007

I need a pep talk

I was going to post a picture of the yarn I brought with me to Nashville, but needless to say, I've been to busy to take any pictures, much less upload them to the blog. So, close your eyes and imagine this: 8 skeins of knitpicks Sierra in grape, one lovely skein of Fleece Artist in a red colorway (for Baudelaire, back when I was dreaming I'd actually get to do some knitting in Nashville), and one skein of Yarni (a locally hand-dyed yarn) in a yellowish greenish. The last one is what I finally picked for my sock pal.

Why so much yarn? Well, it's obvious: the Fleece Artist because I have visions of Baudelaire AND I'm taking a wonderful class at the Yarnery this week, but I'm missing it since I'm in Nashville. The Heathen Housewife is the instructor, and I'm thrilled to meet her. The Yarni for my sock pal, well that's clear, right? I'm keeping the pattern a secret for now, but it's turning out nice.

So, what's up with all the Sierra? That, too, is a secret, although nothing so special as a design secret. It will be revealed later in the summer, so stay tuned.

With all this yarn, why do I need a pep talk? If not getting to knit much isn't enough, how about being an "expert" for a public hearing that's entered into the federal register? Yep, my words are going to be memorialized somewhere for everyone to see. I "became" an expert last week, I guess, but I sure don't feel like one. So wish me luck.

And please enter my contest. There's still time. A few points of clarification:

1. The Twin Cities are in Minnesota. Minnesota is in the north central part of the US. It's cold in the winter and hot in the summer. We're the land of 10000 lakes and infinite more mosquitoes.

2. You don't have to write about Minnesota. Write about anywhere. But, if you've been to Minnesota, lived in Minnesota, wished you could visit Minnesota, I'm curious what you like. But write about anything.

3. Or, just include your name and email address. I'll include you in the drawing. Free Fleece Artist, people! If enough people enter, there might be free Claudia too. So tell your friends. You'll be glad you did!

Posted by chri1010 at 10:11 PM | Comments (17925)

June 12, 2007

101 Entries: Time to Celebrate!

(A longish post, but well worth it to read to the end.)



I started this blog in September 2004 upon my return from spending the summer in Portland, Oregon. I LOVE Portland (I know--I'm not the only one!), and it was very hard to leave Portland that summer to come back to the Twin Cities.

We moved to the Twin Cities in August 2002. We were two new doctoral students with a 1 year old. We were making a big life transition. We were less gainfully employed. It was a stressful time, and we didn't find the Twin Cities very welcoming.

Thus, Winter in the Cities.

New Folder 2007 017.jpg

I decided to blog to record some of my impressions of this place, known for its winters, the Mall of America, and Minnesota nice. I learned to knit, in part, to have a diversion from the stress. It seems to be working.

In the last few years, things have been looking up. We're almost done with our degrees. We've got fantastic jobs. Our kid is getting ready for Chinese immersion school. All this in only 100 entries. These days, I actually kinda like Minnesota. It doesn't hurt that we have Trader Joe's, finally.

Time for a contest, I think. And, since I rarely win in random drawings, I want this to be easy. Not that I wouldn't like to have you guess what pattern I'm using to make socks for my sock pal, it's just that, well....never mind.

So here's the deal. For those of you who live in the area, what do you like about the Twin Cities? If you're not living here now, but have lived here in the past, what do you miss? If you've never been here, what do you think you might like? If you're like I was 100 entries ago, and you don't like the Twin Cities (or have never been here and the question seems too hard), what place calls out to you? What do you like about that place? (In other words, leave a relevant posting in the comments, along with your name and email address, and I'll enter you in the drawing.)

What might you win? Well, mostly some of my favorite stuff from the Cities, of course! I have a t-shirt from Crafty Planet (they're saving the world one stitch at a time) and my favorite sock pattern from the Yarnery, for starters. Of course, sock yarn! Enough to make a pair of socks, I'm including at least my favorite koigu colorway and a fabulous ball of Fleece Artist. Finally, there's some other Twin Cities kitsch, yet to be named. Wild rice, anyone?!

Non-knitters are welcome to enter the drawing (the prizes are not ALL knit related)--just let me know you're not a knitter. Let me know if you've got your heart set on the Fleece Artist, the Crafty Planet t-shirt, or if you'll be happy just to win (that's me!). When I do the drawing, I'll do my best to match the winners up to their favs, but I make no guarantees. (Hey, it IS free stuff after all!)

When will the drawing be held? Well, I'm heading out for Nashville later this week for a work-related event. I'm guessing I'm too swamped with work to do much posting between now and when I get back, so....if you're entered by midnight June 21st I'll include you in the drawing.

After all, by then it'll be summer in the cities. Let the fun begin!

Posted by chri1010 at 8:49 PM | Comments (437)

June 4, 2007

Dear Secret Sock Pal,

I'm so terribly bad at Christmas. When I was 5, I spent hours in front of the santa-clad square box under the tree, hoping and wondering--would it please be a Lite Bright? I could tear just a little corner here, and maybe I'd know. A little shake might give away the clitter clatter of the little pegs jostling each other in their plastic packaging. Would Christmas ever come?! My cousins, who were staying with us briefly while their parents relocated the family to Iceland, told me Santa lives in Iceland and if I didn't leave that package alone right now, they would personally tell Santa and his reindeer not to stop by my house. All I can say is that it's a good thing they never noticed that little tear in the wrapping paper.

Things have not improved since I've gotten older. C, my loving spouse of 14 years today (yep, it's our anniversary), knows I'm not good with surprises. Instead of buying each other gifts, we usually decide on one gift together. This year's anniversary present: a very nice, stainless steel garbage can for the kitchen. We're hoping the dogs won't knock it over. And yes, we have a weird sense of romance.

You can guess that by now I'm DYING to know if you've started my socks. I'm wondering what color they might be (if they've been started, that is). Will they be toe up socks? Are they on two circulars, a technique I thought I might want to learn but maybe have reconsidered. I look at the Pligg, and wonder which blog is yours, or if you have a blog at all. When I get my socks in August, will I have seen them on your blog and not known that they were for me? Or, will they have somehow escaped my notice?

I confess I'm still a little worried about having to pin down one pattern and one yarn for my sock pal, the one I'm knitting for. I wonder if you are like that, too (I've noticed I'm not alone in this obsession about the right yarn, the right pattern...). Do you know that I like patterns by Cookie A.? (But I have somewhat thick feet--and a little wide, I think, so it may be better if I make my own Cookie A. socks) Do you know that I'd be thrilled with a plain ol' stockinette sock or in ribbing? Really. I would.

I wish I knew those things about my sock pal, the one I'm knitting for. She doesn't blog much, and I hesitate to ask to many questions via email. So, I'm probably gonna make two pairs of socks and send her the ones I like the best.

I know my own sock pal has NOT read my blog, because I am (not surprisingly) obsessed with my SITE METER. But, sock pal whose knitting socks for me, I think you might stop by the blog once in awhile. So this post is for you, to know that while I'm making socks for someone else, I'm thinking about you, too. Wondering where you are, what kind of socks you're knitting, and counting the days til Christmas in August.

Signed,

Curious in Minnesota

Posted by chri1010 at 10:19 PM | Comments (905)