Thursday, September 18, 2008

Artifacts of Reno and a skein of yarn

Other sights from Reno:

This elaborate statue was outside the hallway leading to the Brews Brothers Brewery in downtown Reno -

This debit card-style wine vending machine - Buy by the ounce - 1oz, 3oz, and 5 oz:-
Wine Dispenser
and up close and personal:
Wine Dispenser

The bottle is hidden behind a plate of glass, and the spout extends out and literally drips your wine into your glass. Prices ranged from about $1.50 per oz to over $30 for a 5oz glass.

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of this bread -
Alligator Bread
yep, it's really bread. cool..?

and in the main floor bathrooms (restrooms) of the Grand Sierra - these sinkless sinks -
Sinkless Restrooms

The spout is an automatic faucet; and the water runs down the slanted flat surface to be drained away, so no sinks to clean. The soap was automatic too.

The weather was wonderfully warm - about 85-90F, but dry dry heat, with very little humidity. I wore shorts on the Sunday downtown, and felt like the heat was killing me. Good thing I'd changed from wearing my jeans. I found Trader Joe's in Reno, near the Meadowwood Mall, a short bus ride from the hotel (downtown, and then, one transfer out). Across the way - Jimmy Beans Wool, the brick-and-mortar store. It was a smallish LYS - and no buying program. I purchased one skein of Manos Silky merino which matched the top I was wearing that day - in my trademark (now) purple-pink color that I love! We're spoiled in Portland for great customer service and yarn buying programs. The lady from JBW who helped me with directions to the bus stop was very helpful to this out-of-town visitor.

Manos Silky Merino

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reno Auto Museum

Sunday the 7th September - Reno Auto Museum (dinner and car-browsing).

This is a Jerrari - made by Jeep with a Ferrari engine in the 1950's - It's top speed: 120mph. Hmm..perfect for that stay-at-home mom.

A harley during the times of James Dean:
Harley James Dean

Gull-wing Mercedes-Benz from 1956:
Auto Museum Gull-wing Mercedes

and inside:
Auto Museum Gull-wing Mercedes

Reno Balloon Races

Back to the's some fun pics from afar of the Reno Balloon Races held the previous weekend in Reno, NV.

This first pic shows how far away the balloons were from my hotel Grand Sierra Casino and Resort:

Reno and Balloons

The pink and white one is the ever-famous Energizer Bunny Balloon which a friend of mine tells me is the tallest balloon in the world. I was lucky enough to find a setting on my camera for Macro which pulled the balloons in, and magnified them a little. At the smallest size, they are the most recognizable:

Energizer Bunny Balloon

The pictures on this setting look almost surreal, as if they were painted.
Here's the bunny from behind. That "N" is on the hill behind the balloons. My guess is "RENO", but I could only spot the "R" and the "N":

Reno Balloon Race

The brown head with the gold hat - Smokey the Bear:
Reno Balloon Race Sunday

At the bottom right of this next photo near the "N" is a red, black and yellow Bee - perhaps HoneyNut Cheerios ? Not sure -
Energizer Bunny Balloon, Reno

Here's the "R":
R and Balloons

and a closer pic of the Bee:

Reno Balloon Race Sunday

Lovely Wollmeise

We interrupt the regular scheduled blogging with the exciting news that on a whim I checked out the site last month, just in the timeframe when Claudia had opening the window for her new sock club. Having seen the wollmeise yarns up-close-and-personal from Tiffany on a previous Friday, I was enchanted. My timing was just right, I submitted my info, and voila, the following Monday was contacted by e-mail and invited to join the exclusive sock club.

While I was away in Reno and Portland - my first shipment arrived - 2 lovely skeins of wollmeise sock yarn superwash - one a deep purple, one a deep green, a pattern for lovely cabled socks (i mog di), and a set of 5 dpns made from remainder wood used to make musical instruments, and a free ruler (lol! claudia uses the ruler to keep the dpns from breaking - what a great idea!).

First off, I love love love the yarn - yes, they're my colors - and no, sorry, no trading on these lovelies. Also, the yarn and pattern are close to my heart as I was in Bavaria myself for 2 years.

I'm not sure exactly the rules of posting pics, so for now, here's the spoiler

- if you're reading and on Ravelry, look under the Wollmeise Group for pics.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Biggest Little City...Reno

The thing about traveling is that sometimes you take so many pics you don't have time to blog it all in the time you have. Last week, I went to Reno, NV for a work conference. The pics I took were small artifacts of the things I saw, the experiences I had. Many things are only in my mind, so they can't be shared, but here's a few of the sights I saw.

Reno at Night

I arrived Saturday the 6th. My first experiences were seeing an overwhelming number of slot machines. They've discontinued the use of coins, so I was disappointed to find out that the machines only print slips of paper now which can be then converted to cash. On my way to baggage claim, my first introduction to the people of Reno was a man heading in the opposite direction, slicked back hair, wearing shorts, running shoes, and a full-length white-ish gray fur coat. He glanced at me as we passed, daring me to say something. I walked on towards baggage claim.

Arriving at the hotel - Grand Sierra Resort, just a few minutes away from the airport, I was struck by the sheer size of the hotel. The grand entrance opens up under a foyer of lights, and inside, rows on rows of slot machines, black jack tables, roulette and craps tables.

My room was on the 27th floor (the highest) in the dark tower - self-named for the dark and manly decor - black hallways, and dark carpet. The man at the desk told me the "suites" were actually condos, and only called "suites" when their owners' were traveling.

My room -
Grand Sierra Room 1

Bathroom - (ahem, restroom for us readers)
Grand Sierra Bathroom

Entry way - the suite came with a microwave, fridge, and personal ashtray (yuk! Reno is still behind in that respect)
Grand Sierra Room 3

and flat-screen tv:
Grand Sierra Room 1

One thing - no mini-bar, and no free water - This is Voss, an imported water from Norway - $6 per bottle:
Voss Water

On a side note, on Tuesday evening, I ate dinner at one of the hotel restaurants - they offered me a choice of tap water or bottled water. Do-over: pick bottled water.

In the bathroom, no tub - a 2-person shower, with a rain shower head - ooohhh what a treat!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Slipped off my yarn DIE-t

Friday was scheduled as a flex, but Thursday, I decided to move it out a week in time for my trip to Reno for a business conference. As a last minute idea, I decided to go to Vancouver to check out the sale at Three Bags Full. Megan B. came along, and we had a great time, and saw quite a bit. The sale was packed with people - 20 to 30% off most yarns, and some were 50%, and 70% off. Incredible Blue Sky Alpacas yarns on sale, and I picked up some teal alpaca silk to round out the 4 skeins I already had in Stash. Intended for the Lacy Wrap sweater (designed for cotton).

The gauge looks like it'll be a match, so that's on my queue next. Hopefully, I can get through my current projects soon so I can start that one next. I found also another skein of the organic cotton in bone to add to the 3 that irunnnaked (ravelry) sent in her swap pkg, and found a very nice pattern online that needs 4 skeins. How lucky is that ! - the pattern is Ophelia, and it's a lacy kind of wrap that is short sleeve.

and can you say (drum roll please) - Mmmmmalabrigo -

Malabrigo - Hollyhock

Malabrigo - Fuchsia


Hot pink Silky Merino

Mary caught me mid-lineup in an incriminating sliding clear off my yarn diet pose - with a basket full of goodies some of which I have to admit were put back as the line wound around the store.

Monday, September 01, 2008

August activities update

Well, some belated posting about August activities. Between the 2 swap packages, I went to Portland in early August, the weekend of the Olympics, and went to Woodburn Outlet and found some clothing there. Also, Close Knit was having their big summer sale (20% off) and found some Manos Silky merino which was new for me - there - doesn't that look yummy ?
Manos Merino Silk

I picked up the 1 skein of the BSA Suri Merino in Garden I've been wanting, and a few patterns. Also, went to the Japanese Garden

...ate at a couple of favorite restaurants - One Thai (in NE, on Alberta). They have a huge (and I mean huge!) thai coffee or thai tea that looks like it is served in a glass that is literally a bowl on top, with a long stem. Also went to Peem Kaew on the Park blocks (1 block south of the main post office) - I love their curry salmon, and the pad thai with crab. Yum! Also, went one night to Pho Van in Beaverton. They make a lovely pho with braised duck and mushrooms, which is warm and yummy.

Next, came back and tried to knit quickly to pick up on Ravelympics 2008 for our Team - Team Bitchy Bees -

I had entered 8 wips-wrestling projects, and 2 new projects - Cherie Amour, and the Dream in Color Shrug, that Crystal had sent me for the Summer swap. I swatched both, and off I went. After 16 days, it was clear that I was lucky to finish what I did. Aug. 13th was the Beer Knit get together, which is when I was knitting the start of my Cherie Amour. That one I finished in time, well, as a vest.

It's really comfy. I might change my mind later and add sleeves, but for now, it's very comfortable to wear just as a vest. I finished 2 Wips - my lotus bamboo tank which I started in 2006:

and a pair of cable footies in the Vera colorway in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted.

They're a variation of the footies from One Skein, as I thought the weave was too loose on those, and so made them with a US 5, and a few more stitches. I'm wearing them around the house now, and enjoying them. I worked on 2 other wips but did not finish - the Artyarns Dress - Shapely Symmetry Sheath, I frogged the front part back as there wasn't enough contrast on the dress, and started re-knitting. The second was the neck-down cardigan in Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino - finished the sleeve, blocked the front, and started the collar.

Current projects are the Dream in Color Shrug, and the Shapely Symmetry Sheath.

black friday

I've updated the sale page with some key sales for Black Friday. I'm not doing a lot of yarn buying these days, so these are the on...