Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I'll take some pictures soon - once it starts looking like something.
On another note - my Mom needs more surgery. If you remember back in October, she had some fairly major cutting done to clear some arterial blockage in both her femoral arteries. After a few weeks of recuperation, she was doing great, and all was well. Then her surgeon decided to ultrasound all the major arteries, just to make sure. I agree with this - I mean, if one is blocked, who's to say more aren't? (Mom had a quadruple heart bypass about 14 years ago). It seems her carotid artery is showing some blockage, so she's going for the "Larry King" surgery, as we're calling it. The actual name is a Carotid Endarterectomy, and compared to everything else she had gone through, this is a cake walk. In one day, out the next, and they only keep her overnight because of the risk of stroke. Nice. that's what my overanxious mother needed to hear! There should be a rule that anyone who worries as much as my mother does is not allowed the hear the words "Stroke", Attack" or anything ending with "ectomy". But I digress. She's going in April 19th, and I will again stay with her for a few days. (a good excuse to watch TV and knit all day).
And on a totally random tangent... is it wrong to enjoy "Dancing with the Stars" as much as I do? I mean really! It's fluff TV at it's best, and I'm really not into fluff TV. OK, I watch Survivor and The Amazing Race. Maybe I do like some fluff...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The River Rock scarf is coming along - I'm almost finished the first ball of yarn. The nice thing about using pure merino is the spit splice option. I can string on a number of beads, and once they are used up, I can cut the yarn, string some more and wet splice it back together - no ends to weave in, and no huge amount of beads getting in the way.
I actually did finish the second pair of fingerless mitts using the Lindenhof wool mohair blend. These will be for Son's friend E who's birthday is coming up. She goes to the same sitter as Son, and since I gave the first pair of Lindenhof mitts to J the sitter, E demanded (as only 8 year old girls can) a pair just like them. I love this kid - she and my son act like an old married couple, best friends one minute, bickering the next. It's funny. So, she's getting the mitts for her birthday in April.
Speaking of birthdays - Monday past was my Mom's 75th, and my nephew's 11th, This Friday is another nephew's 9th, April 1st is Hubby's 48th, April 4th is our anniversary, the 14th is another nephew's 13th, and the 28th is ANOTHER nephew's First Communion! Geez, Hallmark makes a mint off us in April...
Lucky will note that the First Communion coincides with the DKC Knitter's Frolic - no worries - the family thing is later in the day - we will still satisfy our cravings for yarn...
I'm working away on a couple of pairs of socks - the Austermann Step for Hubby and a cotton pair for BIL. Plus, I have some Cotton-Ease for another sweater for Son - he loves his Spider sweater so much, I will make him one in tones of dark taupe, grey and green - I'm thinking of cables or some such thing... I will probably start this on Easter weekend - a rarity for us in a family that shares a cottage - we get it to ourselves for the long weekend! The rest of the family is busy with Easter-type stuff. The benefit of being the heathens of the family, Easter to us is really just about turkey, chocolate and a long weekend!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Yup - free. The one perk of this job that I have discovered so far. (Actually, second perk - I can blog from work, during down time, that's first.)*
Friday, March 23, 2007
LuckyCanuck was asking me if this book was worth picking up. From just looking at it, and now making one pattern, I can unequivocally say YES. Any time a pattern book can educate me (the info on non-woolly fibres is fascinating) and provide me with multiple patterns I want to make, in my opinion (for what it's worth) is worthy of a spot in my bookcase. Although I don't see this one hitting the bookcase for a while. after the River Rock Scarf, Tuscany is calling! And no, I have no affiliation with the book, other than having had Amy up to our Guild for a talk and dinner, and finding her utterly charming. She's welcome back any time. Gush over.
Hope the weekend finds you having fun. I will be watching basketball (live and March Madness), and seeing at least one movie, I'm sure - The Last Mimzy or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Son wants to see both, so we will decide that on Sunday.
Happy Friday All!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Speaking of buying yarn - here's a situation that arose last week. What would you have done?Wednesday, I was out doing errands, and stopped by a new yarn shop that has opened in the area. I had heard about it and wanted to stop by, so when I found myself driving by, I pulled in. Very nice and bright, lots of yummy yarns - a whole section of Fleece Artist / Handmaiden and a section of Koigu. Now, I can't get Koigu easily locally, so this was nice. The two owners were there, and, other than hovering too much and talking too much (Yes, I see the sock yarn. yes, I see the Fleece Artist), it was very nice. I had a couple of skeins of Koigu in hand and was heading to the Handmaiden, when they mention that starting the next day, they were having a sale - 25% off everything, and other specific discounts on certain things. Great, says I, however, I can't come tomorrow or the other two days of the sale, as I have some family issues to deal with and will be out of town for awhile. Now, it's afternoon, just before a sale. No one else in the store. I want to buy yarn, but not when I know it's going to be much cheaper in less than 24 hours. I mention this, saying I'd probably buy more Koigu and some of the Handmaiden Silken if it was on sale.Would you have given me the sale price then? Even though the sale didn't actually start until the next day? They didn't. I walked out empty handed. (I hate paying full price knowing a sale is imminent) Maybe they thought I would come back during the sale (I had told them that was impossible). Oh well. I don't fault them - they are trying to make a go of a business, and giving discounts is not always viable. However, from my point of view, it would have been a nice goodwill gesture, and would have resulted in some extremely positive word of mouth from me. It's a much longer drive to get to this store than either of the other two in my area. I may not make it often. Just sayin'.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I had a wake on Saturday and a funeral on Monday (which entailed a 3 hour drive each way - it was a loooooonnnnngggg day. I was the driver, so I couldn't even knit in the car!).
We are also dealing with a somewhat catastrophic health issue with a family member, and Hubby's uncle is still at death's door.
How's that for a cheerful Monday?
On the high side, I spent part of the week with my son - time we both needed and enjoyed. And I cleaned out my yarn storage while re-arranging two rooms of the house. (We moved a couch out of the master bedroom and moved in two chairs instead. I also rearranged the bookcases, and have ended up with a rather nice nook for me. Hubby got storage space.) The home office/yarn storage got some much needed attention as well. I consolidated our three computers down to two, yet we have decided to add another one soon. It never ends. (That's why I was only in touch sporadically last week - half the time, I had no email and no Internet. I was lost! I garnered two big bags of giveaway yarn - Son's school gets first crack at it, and the rest I will bring to my Guild and see if anyone wants it. I also found some stuff I forgot I had. It was like a shopping spree that cost me nothing! Nice.
Of course, I also found MORE UFOs - like I didn't have enough already. Can you believe there were 4 circular dishcloths that only needed seams? They've been sewn and given away. Another pair of thrummed mitts (quel surprise!) that needed one thumb lengthened and another thumb knit. So I sat down and did it. It took me all of 30 minutes. They've been sitting for months. I'm such an idiot - these are Fleece Artist, no less! Probably will be given away, but I may keep for myself - haven't yet decided. I also finished a yummy alpaca hat, one more fingerless mitt for a friend of Son's that will be having a birthday soon - she specifically asked for these, and who am I to turn down a strong willed 8 year old? I also whipped up a slingshot from Knitty - perfect for a take out coffee. This is for a SIL who LOVES her Tim Hortons coffee.
I tried to do some colour correcting, but obviously, the software I'm using doesn't allow for much - the mitts are a much more vibrant turquoise, the hat is earthy shades of navy, brown and beige, the slingshot is a brighter pink, and the fingerless mitts are the same Lindenhof I used befire - a mix of rose, blue and brown.
I also did something big - you'll have to come back tomorrow for that one...
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I've always been a sock knitter. I started with a Paton's Kroy "Learn to Knit Socks" Book - Top down, heal flap and gusset, wedge toe, kitchener stitch close. A great, all-around, can't go wrong sock pattern. Back when I started, there really was only Kroy sock yarn - again, a great all around, can't go wrong sock yarn. (I still have some. Obviously, my stash habits were learned early!)
Since that time, I've evolved in my sock yarn choices - how can you not? Have you SEEN the sock yarns out there...
I've also evolved in my style of knitting them - I discovered the short row toe and heel. Provisional cast on, yarn over style of short rowing the toe, pick up the provisional stitches, foot, short row the heel, knit the leg until you run out of yarn. Genius. No more running out of yarn before the toe is done, or making the leg too short because you want to make sure you have enough, then you have a ton left over. So now, I'm set, right? Got my basic pattern, don't need to write it down, can knit socks without thinking. Then I took a casting on class and learned (among many) the e-wrap cast on for provisional stitches. Goodbye crochet chain! I'm happy again. There was still the hassle of picking up the stitches for the toe, but still, easier than the crochet chain. Short row heel is good - the choice of husband and FIL, my main sock recipients. So NOW I'm set?
Then I saw the Turkish Toe Cast on. (I think it was from FluffyKnitterDeb) - sorry no link, this computer is eating my posts when I try to link things...
I've started two socks with this - one in grey cotton/elastic, and one in Austermann Step (the one with Aloe and Jojoba).
Can I say something here? It's genius. Absolute genius. No provisonal cast on. No picking up stitches. Start at the toe, and increase - either equally all around for a star toe or at the sides for the basic wedge toe.
I've also switched from the yarn over style of short rowing the heel to the wrap and turn method. Both are equally easy for me.
You can teach me new tricks any time...
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Lovely, n'est-ce pas? Unfortunately, Shelridge, like Koigu uses a numbering system for naming their colourways, so I can't tell you what they are called. I haven't yet decided what they are destined for - maybe socks, maybe mitts, maybe a scarf or small shawl. There are two skeins of each of three colours - The left hand ones are a lovely blue mix with some camel thrown in. The middle ones are black and white, and probably destined for my FIL - he's not one for a lot of colour. The right hand ones are very fresh and springy - a mix of pinks, oranges and yellows. There are any number of women in my life that would love socks or mitts in this.
Next week is Spring Break for my area, and I am taking the week off work. (Our fiscal year ends April 1, and we have a "use it or lose" policy - if I don't take the week's holiday I can't carry it over, hence, I'm taking the week off!) Some of the week will be spent with Son - we are doing some stuff with his cousins, as well as some of his friends, and some of the week, he will be off to the sitters and his friends so I can take a backhoe to our home office/yarn storage room. I'm not sure I am as brave as Steph to post the before pictures, but there is a ton of work that needs doing in there - between my yarn storage needs, Husband has a ton of files that he keeps in there. Plus there are three computers that need homes until we consolidate the info stored on them. Just the way I envisioned a week's holiday... Seriously, it is a good thing - this has been hanging over us for a while, and well, Husband is useless when it comes to organizing a room like this. He will empty the whole thing and try to put it back in an organized way. It never works. So I do it instead, and I feel great once it's done.
Lucky posted pictures of her adorable handmade bears yesterday - go take a look, I'll wait here. Are you back? Are they delicious or what? It made me think of the bears I used to make years ago. Not nearly as nice as hers - I used a pattern (Vogue, I think), and synthetic fur, but still, they are cute. I gave a bunch away to friends - this was a university thing, and I knit sweaters for the bears in the school colours. One I kept, and it sits in my son's room. He wears a sweater I knit for my son when he was about two. As you can see, I come by the name curlerchik honestly - I used to curl a great deal, and I designed this sweater for Son to wear when he came to the club to watch Mom and Dad. I wanted to keep the sweater instead of passing it on as i do most of the outgrown stuff, and the bear seemed like a perfect place for it, although the arms are a little long.
For those not in Canada and watching the Brier right now, or have never seen curling, the patterns top to bottom are the curling rings (or house), brooms, and curling rocks. It was a fun knit and I got a lot of compliments at our curling club whenever he wore it. I also got a lot of requests to knit it for every one else's kid - and we all know how I feel about those requests! Needless to say - this is a one-of-a-kind!
Speaking of the Brier - as much as I'd love to see Glenn Howard win (I've met him, and he's a really nice guy..) how can you not cheer for Team Gushue? Talk about a great team! And they curl well, too...
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Well, Tuesday came and went, but not just any Tuesday - last night was our Guild meeting, and we had another fabulous speaker - Amy Singer, editor of Knitty.com, and prolific knitting author!
Here's where I would have inserted a picture of Amy, however, dork that I am, I forgot to bring my camera. Bad blogger! Suffice it to say, she was lovely - warm and friendly, and we had a great time.
I have all three of her books - I'm beginning to think I'm a bit of a knitting book author stalker. First Stephanie, now Amy. Did I mention Fiona Ellis is coming back to speak at our Guild again? Yes, I have her book as well. Yes, I've had her sign it for me. Okay, I think I need a 12 step programme for knitting author stalking...
Amy's talk and Amy herself were incredible.It started around 5:30 - Amy and I met at Needles and Knits, then we headed off to dinner with the rest of the Guild executive. Dinner was so much fun, it was hard to leave, but the rest of the Guild may not have appreciated us bailing on the meeting, so we hauled ourselves back to the shop for Amy's presentation and trunk show. How someone with a diagnosed wool allergy ever became the prolific knitter that she is is beyond me. I mean, really. Nowadays, it's not so bad - lots of luscious, non-wool fibres are available, but in the not too distant past, Amy would have been limited to Ack!rylic, or kitchen cotton. Yes there was some mercerized cottons available, but they were either thread like for crochet, or white. Maybe beige. The "fashion" type non wools were hard to come by. The samples from the book "No Sheep for You" were amazing, and I know a lot of people changed their minds about knitting with non animal fibres. Who knew hemp would knit up into such a deliciously drapey, fabulous sweater. And the silk robe! Man! I wanted to walk out of there with it, but then Amy would have got mad, and she probably wouldn't have wanted to come back. And we want her back! Thanks, Amy!!
All this talk of non animal fibres reminds me - I've finished another Moebuis, using Paton's Soy Wool Stripes. Is it just me, or does Soy strike you as a little odd? How can something be yarn one day, a meat substitute the next, and a milk product the next? Just wondering... But the yarn is nice. Very thick, loosely plied (actually, it's more like a single ply - very Lopi-like). The colours are lovely, and the yarn has a little bit of a sheen. I can see this stuff felting well - I found the ends started getting a little fuzzy, just hanging there waiting to be woven in. So I'm not sure how well this will hold up to use. I won't find out for a while - Pink is not my colour of choice, so this will be a gift, probably for my Mom. Maybe I'll give it to her this weekend before we go to the wake.
Monday, March 05, 2007
But I've had a death close to me this morning. My best friend's mom, who was also my Mom's best friend died. And it sucks. I know it's for the best, and I know she was hurting, but that doesn't mean I don't want her here. Now. She was an amazing woman, someone I considered to be another mother. As kids, summers were spent at their cottage - 2 moms and 4 kids, and 2 dads on weekends. Growing up, her daughter and I were closer than I was to my brother and she was to her brother. And there's nothing I can do for her except hold her and let her cry, while I bawl myself.
I will be at the Guild meeting tomorrow - spending time with friends is the best remedy I can think of, and she loved my knitting, so I think it makes sense. I don't know how much time I'll spend at work for the next few days - my Mom could use some support, and there are things that need to be done. Plus, I'm off work next week, so posting may be sparse. Or it may not, I can't really get my head around things right now.
If you so feel, raise a glass tonight in honour of someone I hold near and dear. She loved a good martini, and I know my Dad is waiting for her, with a frosty one with two olives.
Friday, March 02, 2007
But I did manage to take some pictures around my yard before I left.
My poor rhododendron - completely ice encrusted, although it may be tough to see. Here's the sugar maple that is right beside our driveway (and hangs over my car - a scary thought...)
And My lilac bush - this baby has had a hard life - The Mommy bush fell over in a windstorm 2 years ago, and this little guy is trying his best to take her place:
And, just be cause I'm at work at a job that tries my patience most days, I thought this was perfect for today:
|Your Career Personality: Quiet, Service -Oriented, and Practical|
Your Ideal Careers:
Obviously I'm in the wrong line of work. Although I did (at one point) school to be a Graphic Artist, something I did do for a number of years. I still draw and paint, but not as much as I did when free time was more available.The big problem with most of these jobs is the required weekend work. And when you have a cottage and a family, weekend work doesn't work.The jewelery designer sounds fun - too bad the only jewelery designer I know does it as a hobby, because she can't make a living doing it. Sad.