I took a refreshing few weeks off from the powerful lure of the Internet and now I’m just a wee bit overwhelmed with trying to catch up with work, seeing what’s happened in blogland, and trying to pack up my house.

I battled food poisoning of some sort (probably brought on by eating too much kebab at a really great Afghan restaurant my parents took me to), finished the Loquat Shawl with one day to go, and tried to model it during a crazy heat wave–my dad said it was 107 degrees where they live.

My camera didn’t like the light and the pictures didn’t come out that great, but they’ll have to do.

I fulfilled my bridesmaidly obligations–fetched and carried, walked down the aisle, did my toast, and toted a Maid of Honor Emergency Kit around with me everywhere. A word of advice to any other first-time bridesmaids–everybody wanted safety pins for one thing or another; they will be the most useful thing in your purse. The groom needed one for his boutonniere, one of the wedding guests needed one because her dress started to come apart during the reception, etc.
Other things in the emergency kit, most of which were useful at some point:

  • ibuprofen
  • Pepto-Bismol tablets
  • bobby pins
  • Kleenex
  • baby wipes
  • granola bar

I wish I’d had bug spray, too, because the mosquitoes were out in force, but this is not something that will be applicable to most other weddings.

The wedding was beautiful, a 70-person affair in a little wooden chapel by a mountain lake. It was small, short, informal, and intimate, in stark contrast to the grand party of multiple ceremonies and costume changes at the wedding I went to the previous weekend. The cabin where we were staying didn’t have electricity or potable water and was only accessible by boat, so there were some good times after the rehearsal dinner when the boat motor broke down and the 8 people in the boat took turns rowing across the lake by moonlight (we were saved after 45 minutes by a neighbor who came by and gave us a tow). Thank God it was informal, and that my hair is pretty low-maintenance, because there was no real opportunity to iron my clothes or blow-dry my hair before the ceremony.

I slept in a sleeping bag in the cabin attic with the mice, and ran down the granite slope to swim in the clear, cold lake the morning of the wedding.

Sarah ended up wearing the shawl during the reception, not during the ceremony. We danced in a meadow and ate olallieberry pies and her dearest wish was fulfilled when we set up a fight in the meadow, complete with hats and lasso and fake gun, between a Viking and a cowboy. She watched her sister (in a cowboy hat) roping her uncle (in a Viking helmet) and turned to her mother-in-law and said, “This is just how I always imagined my wedding day would be.”

It was lots of fun–how all weddings should be.

So, aside from that, I saw family and friends (between the wedding and family visits, I somehow ran out of time and didn’t get to meet up with everyone I had hoped to see) and got to go play in the Bay Area a little bit. The best part was when my parents and I went up to Point Reyes and, while we were walking on the beach, saw a humpback whale frolicking in the water! It was out there for a long time, so we saw its tail and back and face and lots of puffs from its blowhole. Plus we saw pelicans, spotted fawns eating grass in the marsh, turkey vultures, egrets, various little birds, and what was possibly a seal turning around in the waves.

After that initial terrible heat wave, the Bay Area spent the rest of my visit living up to Mark Twain’s adage “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”–I was freezing most of the rest of the time I was there, as the temperature hovered around 60 or below, with chill winds whipping in from off the Bay. But I did some of my favorite things–I saw friends and family, went to Thai Temple, Chez Panisse, the Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley Bowl, the Ashby Flea Market, Stonemountain and Daughter, and a pub quiz at the Missouri Lounge.

I finished a Branching Out scarf for Molly in the llama yarn I got from Yellow Wood Llamas, and we spent a craft-shopping day at Lacis, General Bead and Artfibers, topped off with yummy crepes from Ti Couz. (This was the only day I actually made it into the city the whole time I was back home.) I did stop off at the new yarn shop in my old neighborhood, K2tog, but only for a few minutes while I waited for Molly (sorry, Kristen, I was going to look you up but didn’t have time!). I got fabulous but expensive Japanese stitch dictionaries (one knit, one crochet) at Lacis, some earring supplies and vintage blue glass buttons at General Bead, and some more Kyoto (the glowing red color) and Golden Chai (a silvery gold color) and yarntastings at Artfibers.

Back at home again now; in the last week, I sewed a dress and a shirt from Simplicity 3835, the ubiquitous Built by Wendy pattern, spent a long day helping our friends Steve and Jeanne move out and clean their place, packed some stuff, made a yummy beet and tempeh salad, and went on a 25-mile bike ride along beautiful, empty rural roads to Unionville and back… that was a heavenly morning; the sun was shining but not too hot, blue and white flowers were blooming in the meadows, the corn was high and green, the roads were empty and filled with the sounds of birdsong and cicadas. Aside from one giant hill and a time when I lost balance while getting started and very slowly fell off my bike and bruised my hand, the ride was easy and stress-free. (There were a few places where Rahul said dogs like to come out and chase you, but we didn’t see any this time, thankfully.)

I’m looking forward to coming back to Thursday knit night this week, and I hope to have some time to put up pictures of the llama scarf and my Built by Wendy FO’s–the dress I made from blue striped shirting is very uniform-like and I’m not sure how to fix it, but perhaps I’ll have some adornment ideas soon. I may have to consider the blue version my muslin, and make it again with a cuter fabric, like Mari’s. It came out pretty well overall, though–i.e. it fits and I didn’t make any really horrible mistakes! And it has pockets. I strongly approve of pockets in a dress.