Friday, June 29, 2007

long weekend!

Yes, as of end-of-day today, we are outta here! This is a much needed 3 day weekend - Hubby has been working very long hours, and has a long summer ahead of him with major projects. I am frazzled. Between the crap that is known as work, and trying to do it all at home, and the best part - my MIL overly concerned about the state of my marriage! Because Hubby is not getting home before 8 or 9 (or later) at night, we haven't seen a lot of each other - a few minutes here and there to get caught up and trade essential info. This is not new to us, and we make it work. It's also reasonably short term, and he more than makes up for it on weekends, especially at the cottage. But MIL thinks that maybe all is not good.We've been having this issue since I put the Christmas lights up by myself (this entails using an extremely high ladder). She thinks I think I don't need Hubby around.
Now, I love this woman with all my heart. She is the total antithesis of all the MIL jokes. She's a loving, caring woman who welcomed me whole-heartedly into her family. (She probably would have preferred us to have more kids, and for me not to work, but these are small things.)
But, her feelings that I am not capable of doing things without Hubby tend to tick me off a touch. I can mow a lawn (and often do). I can do all the things around the house that she assumes are "man things". I mean, in the 15 years we've been married, I can easily count the number of nights that Hubby has arrived home before 7pm, without going too high into the double digits. I knew this would be our life before I agreed to it. What I don't need is someone pitying me because of it.
Hubby's idea of how to really make it interesting? (Remember, this is HIS mother.) Leave some business cards lying around from a divorce attorney. Just to see what she says. (Practical jokes run rampant in his family). I won't let him do it. What is she actually thinks this is a good idea??

A very Happy Canada Day to you! And a Happy Fourth of July to you as well? Not in North America? (One, I'm shocked that you are reading this, so please leave me a comment and tell me how you got here, and second, just enjoy the beginning of July - it's a fine time of year...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

thanks for the comments...

A couple of comments yesterday need answers, and I'm never quite sure how to address this. DO I answer back in the comments? That seems a little presumptuous, assuming that you are checking back multiple times in a day. (I like that, it does wonders for my blog stats, but really, I'm not so vain tho think you are checking me more than once.)

Do I email you back? Not always easy or even a possibility - not everyone's email shows up.

DO I pull a Wendy and answer them in the next day's post?

I'm going for option number 3.

Wannietta asked how I thought The Knit Picks circulars compared to the Addi Lace needles. I don't really know, not having tried the Addi Lace. However, as I told her (I did email Wannietta - there were some other things we needed to discuss...), I would highly recommend the KP needles that I have. Please note that they are the 16 inch, 2.25mm needles. The cord, once I took it out of the package, laid nice and flat, no curling. The join was nice ans smooth. But, these are small diameter, short needles. I hope that larger and longer needles are the same, but I can't comment on that. For the ones I have and what I need them for, they are great. Nice, pointy tip, as well.

Carol mentioned some relief options for my allergies. Got 'em and use 'em. Actually, I am an Aerius chick - it's always worked for me before. This year, I'm having more problems. (OK, honest confession - I'm not exactly taking them regularly - I'm very bad at forgetting to take them. What I need to do is toss them in my purse, so I always have them with me, and when I remember them as I'm driving to work, I can pop one. I just have to remember to put them in my purse!) I do use a Nasonex spray at times, but not really my favourite thing. There's enough stuff coming out of my nose, that I don't need to put anything in!

Carol also asked about the delivery time for Knit Picks. If you are of the instant gratification type (like me!) this may not be your favourite option. I placed by order on June 11 - When I checked on June 15 - the order was still pending. (I chalk this up to their sale - I'm sure they were inundated with orders). As of June 16 - it was shown as shipped. They do have a Canadian shipping address in Fort Erie - and it arrived on my doorstep on June 25, so that would be 6 business days (9 including weekends). And this was Canada Post, Expedited Service. So, two weeks, start to finish - really not all that bad. My big issue was the 5 day "pending" issue, I guess.


I missed my first blogiversary! I started this little thing on June 22, 2006. I cannot believe it's been a year. Wow. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

mmmm, more yarn...

At last! My Knit Picks order arrived on my doorstep! You know what? The deliciousness of the yarn and needles more than made up for the length of time it took to arrive. I am very happy.
Of course, I ordered sock yarn and lace weight - things that are in Such Short Demand, chez Curlerchik. (Did the sarcasm come through, there? I hope so. We are drowning in sock and lace weight yarn around here...)
Knitpicks Shadow in Campfire colourway - 3 skeins, 440 yards each. 100% merino, and destined for a shawl of some sort.
2 skeins of Gossamer - Trail colourway100% merino - 440 yards each. Not sure what to do with this - I'll be perusing my lace books shortly...Dancing sock yarn in Hula and Rumba colourways - cotton, wool, nylon and elastic blend. I'm thinking Mom and MIL socks here...
Memories 100% merino sock yarn - 2 skeins in Redwood Forest, 2 of Hawaii and 2 of S'mores. (I already have 2 of the S'mores. Not sure what I was thinking there...)

And the needles - circs and dpns for sock knitting. I find in the summer, my sock yarn tends to stick to my beloved bamboo needles, and it slows me down. I thought I'd try these - I use 2 circs for my Turkish Toe cast on, and switch to dpns for the sock. (yes, I know how to knit socks on two circs, but I choose not to...)
I cast on a new sock last night - you know, just as a test... Can I say something? These are wonderful. The circs are brilliant, with the best cord and join I've seen. The dpns are heavy, but that doesn't bother me. The yarn slides smoothly along. I will definitely buy these again.

On another, completely non-knitting note - my allergies have kicked my ass this year. I had a sinus infection a couple of weeks ago, and the seasonal allergies have just kept up. I sound like Mae West after a carton of smokes and a bottle of scotch, and I'm not even getting the fun of the smokes and scotch! My eyes water all the time, and you DON'T want me to discuss the output from my nose. Really, you don't.
I'm hoping a long weekend north may help - get me away from the smog and such. To be honest, 3 days at the cottage may not help my allergies, but they will do wonders for me! I can't wait to go! Then, immediately after that, we have our Guild meeting on Tuesday July 3rd. Elizabeth, I hope you are coming - I have a couple of things to show you...

Monday, June 25, 2007

my first tagging...

It's the first time that I've been tagged for a meme. Should I be excited? I sort of feel like Sally Field - you like me!

Knittech tagged me, so here goes...

The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends.

1869 - In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched - one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day. - and spawned a mighty fine scotch, I might add.

1993 - Rachel Whiteread wins both the £20,000 Turner Prize award for best British modern artist and the £40,000 K Foundation art award for the worst artist of the year. - this kind of irony is heaven to me!


1859 - Billy The Kid, American outlaw (d. 1881(?)) - cool! I can relate to an outlaw.

1959 - Dominique Dunne, American actress (d. 1982) - I loved the movie Poltergeist, and I really felt badly for her and her family when she was killed the way she was. I'll never understand people that do what that guy did.


St. George's Day in Georgia (the country in Asia, not the State) - holidays are a wee bit lean on my birthday.

Man, there is a lot of bad things that happened on my birthday - lots of wars, unrest, and killings. Please don't take that as an indication of the type of person I am...

as far as tagging... if you read this and want to do - go nuts. If not, that's ok too...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

performance anxiety and other random stuff...

Lucky Canuck and I were talking - she belongs to two sock clubs - the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club and Pick Up Sticks. I belong to neither - I just live vicariously through her.

We've both hit the "summer meh" of knitting. Nothing is really catching our eyes, nothing seems to get done. (that may change soon - we're both waiting for KnitPicks boxes to arrive. Nothing like new books, yarn and needles to jump start the knitting mojo! - or crochet in Lucky's case - post a pic of the dress, chickie!)

But, back to the sock clubs. Lucky has posted pics of the latest acquisitions. (man, that Seacoast is delicious...) But, as we were discussing, there almost seems to be a performance anxiety to do these projects as soon as they arrive. You joined the club, you have to knit them, right? Of course not. Lucky has changed her whole attitude about these. She is now considering them to be luscious stash enhancements for future projects. She started this with the last STR - when she decided against the enclosed pattern, and is turning the Silkie into stunning gauntlets. A member of my Guild, who also belongs to the Pick Up Sticks Club, is feeling somewhat the same way - she made a comment at the last meeting about the anxiety to finish the socks - however, she really wanted to, because she loved the pattern. That's the right reason for working hard on a project - because you love it.

We also discussed travelling projects - Lucky and I are both lucky enough to have access to lakefront cottages. We discuss which projects are the ones to take - Do you bring just one, and get it done? (Yeah, right - not going to happen.) Do you bring everything, and work a little bit on each? (No feeling of accomplishment.) Some easy, some hard? (Our choice - easy for those times when charts are a pain, or people want to talk to you, and some lace for those quiet times when you can refer to a chart, and it's quiet.) Since I'm a passenger on the 2+ hour drive each way, I take socks or something similar for the car - I can hold up my end of the conversation, and still get stuff done. Same for beach knitting - I still have to keep an eye on the kids, or be able to jump in myself at a moment's notice - socks are great for this. In the evenings, however, a lac project, or something charted is great - it gives me some quiet time when no one will bug me.

Now that I've hijacked almost an entire post on other people's stuff - I do have some of my own knitting going on. I just can't show you. (nice, eh?) Maybe soon. I have to show it someone else first. But I have been knitting. More than I thought I was, because it doesn't feel like I'm getting anything done. But my "finished stuff" bag is growing, so obviously I'm knitting. (Or I've perfected sleep knitting. One can only hope.)

A side note to Steph - I love hearing about the knitters you meet and the places you go. It's not about you - it's about them. And the First Socks? So cool. I wonder if we'll get Joan T. from our Guild (a knitter who refuses to make socks) to convert...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

so fast... didn't even see it coming!

How's this for a quick knit? I didn't even have a chance to post that I was starting them, and a day later, I finished one. A day where I worked a full day, grocery shopped, and made dinner for kid and husband. Just a normal day. But man! Are these quick! And, in my opinion, rather pretty. I'm looking forward to the fall, when they will peek out of the sleeves of my jacket, keeping me warm on chilly mornings. Of course, that scenario is completely dependent on me making another one, and we all know how often I make second mitts...

But really, I will make another one - they are so simple, and cute, why wouldn't I?
Then again, I cast on for a different style with different yarn, and different needles already.

It's not like I need them RIGHT NOW, is it?

Salad wristies - free pattern found here
(a brilliant, easy pattern - thanks Presents Knits!)
mods - different yarn - I used JJ's - a hand painted worsted from New Zealand, purchased from Tove at Needles and Knits in Aurora - aubergine colourway.
I also cast on 32 stitches instead of 28, because I couldn't find my 5mm dpns, so I used my 4mm. I think they worked better with this yarn, anyway.
I did a 3 stitch picot bind off, rather than a 2 stitch - it was my first time doing a picot cast off, and I wanted it lush and full and ruffly. It is definitely that.

Monday, June 18, 2007

tofutsies done!

I finished the tofutsies socks for Hubby - he's happy.

These are nice socks - very lightweight, but hopefully durable. The Tofutsie yarn is a blend of superwash wool, soy, cotton (I think) and chitin, which is a fibre derived from shrimp and crab shells (It's naturally antibacterial! or so it says...) While I do enjoy the finished product, I'm not sure I would use the yarn again - it's very splitty. Splitty enough that I had to pay attention to the knitting, and socks are my "no attention needed" type of knitting. I have enough other projects on the go that require my attention - I want my socks to be mindless. That said, I still very much like these, and Hubby is happy.

Finishing them on Father's Day was a bonus, even though he's not my father. It's been 13 years since my Dad died. Father's Day is still difficult, and it seems strange not to have called him.

And, I stole this:

Your Power Element is Fire

Your power color: red

Your energy: hot

Your season: spring

Like a fire, you are full of power and light.
A born leader, you easily draw people toward you.
You are full of courage and usually up for anything dangerous.
You have a huge ego and love to be the center of attention.

I love spring, but give me the heat of summer anytime...

The fire part does not surprise me - as soon as I saw this at Wannietta's I KNEW it would be fire. I'm a late November Sagittarius, and all my life, any time there was a situation where an element was assigned to me, it was fire. Maybe that's why I like wearing orange...

Friday, June 15, 2007

bad, good and pretty...

Knitpicks, what is going on? 5 days ago, I placed an order. As of today, it's still PENDING??? In 5 days, I assume it to be packed and sent, not pending! Even if they get it out today, there's still shipping time to take into account, and since it's cross border, that could take anywhere from 1-2 weeks.

I'm not impressed. Not at all. I shop enough on line to expect better than this...

but, I do have some FO's to show, so that should lighten my mood...

The Modified Montego Bay Scarf:
Montego Bay scarf by Amy Singer, Interweave Knits, Summer 2007.
Major Mods - only 19 stitches cast on. Fringe, yes - braided, no.
Olive Green Estelle silk - 2 balls.
6.5mm bamboo needles.

Double Seed Stitch Scarf:
My own design. (Yep, a toughie! A rectangle in double seed stitch. Like, no one's ever come up with this one before...)

Yarn - Riccio wool blend from Grand River Yarns. I bought one ball at a show I was at because I just fell in love with the colours. One ball, while enough for the cute capelet pattern that came with it, was not enough for this scarf. I ordered another ball on line, and Rochelle had it (and some silk stuff that I may have also ordered. so what?) in my hands in 3 days. Now that's customer service. No affiliation, just a satisfied customer. Go see her, she's wonderful, and you can find some real deals in her closeout section!

Both scarves are between 7 and 9 feet long - enough to wrap around the neck a couple of times. Both of these may be gifts. Since it's not scarf weather, I don't have to make the decision about who gets them quite yet. I am going to make another Modified Montego Bay - same yarn, in mustardy-gold. I may make it a titch wider. You know a titch? a little more than a bit, not quite as much as a tad.

And to end the week on a strange note - I took a picture in the car wash this morning. (I park under a maple tree at home. The birds like the maple tree. The birds "release" a lot while in the maple tree, ergo, I get a lot of car washes...)
The soap colours have been the only bright spot in my day so far - they made me happy. Then I came to work.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

mmm, white boxes...

I love coming home to a white box on my front step! Especially when the inside looks like this:That would be some Callisto - a viscose, cotton, linen blend in copper, some Camila - a cotton, linen blend in celery and some assorted Sonata cotton in grey, green turquose and white.

The Sonata is for a long term blanket-type project that gets worked on now and then. THe callisto and the Camila is for something summery - not sure what as yet...

I think I may do a tank-style top from the celery Camila - maybe to match the Pegasus cotton-rayon yarn that is coming out on June 19th that would make a nice shawl...

The Callisto - well, that may be a shawl or a lacy shrug - maybe something out of Lace Style. Or not. Right now, it's all just Eye Candy!

There are some FOs to report on soon. (If I was smart, I would enter things I like in our Guild UFO challenge - Then I may have a shot at finishing them. But, nooooo, I say I'm going to finish some odd mitts, or other things I don't have any intention of doing.) If I had finished something, I had a shot at winning the great prize that Joan won - a whole bag of bamboo yarn, and a pattern book!

There may also be some more stash enhancement coming - I've wanted to try the Knit Picks needles, and then they had some yarns on sale... and well, you can guess the rest...

Monday, June 11, 2007

lesson learned

When a knitter is knitting in the car on the way home from the cottage, and that same car containing knitter and her family makes a stop at Dairy Queen to meet up with family also returning from cottage, said knitter should make damn sure she places knitting down in such a way that it does not slip to the side and get in the way of the car door closing when she exits said car with ice cream on the mind. Especially, when the needles are bamboo.

Crap. Off to find new 5mm needles, now.
(By the way Joan - this is the black silk I bought from you - it's working up beautifully!)

Friday, June 08, 2007

oh. my. god.

have you seen these??

I HAVE to do this...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

ruh r-oh!

(yes, that is my watch. I wear a Scooby Doo watch, so what?) And no, the angles are not all screwy - I wear my watch inside, on my right wrist. I'm left handed, which explains why it's on my right wrist. The inside thing? I have no idea. I've worn it this way for so long, I forget why I started.

I'm starting to think that maybe you guys won't come back if I don't do some knitting. Don't get me wrong - I am knitting, it's just that I don't particularly think you want to see sock progress. I mean, do you really want to see the additional growth of the Tofutsie sock? or the denim one? Yeah, I thought so. There's the additional inches on the silk Montego Bay scarf - again, not the most thrilling thing.

I'm also doing some unbloggable stuff. (I originally typed Unforgivable, as in Unforgivable Curses - I'm re-reading the Harry Potters in anticipation of next month's release of book seven.) I really am 10 years old - Harry Potter, Scooby Doo, and if you look in the trunk of my car, you'll see my Barbie Country Camper. I was at my Mom's and she was cleaning out the basement - she gave me all my old Barbie stuff. Does anyone remember the Country Camper? The psychedelic orange and pink RV with the pop-out tent? Too funny. I'm not sure what to do with it - my son certainly doesn't want it, my nieces are too old, and I hate to just throw it out.

Have I distracted you enough with my ramblings? No? Sorry. I will try to get something for you, just to keep you coming back! Especially Sarah - Sarah is not only a new reader, but a new member of our Guild. Hi Sarah! I'm heading over to your blog from here! Gonna start with the archives!

In the meantime, the Aurora Street Festival was last weekend. This is the view of an 8-year old rock climber from my seat on the curb:
I love my boy...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

gauge annoys me...

I knit a lot of socks. In fact, I have 3, no 4 different pairs on the needles as we speak. (I always want to forget the striped pair that I don't like, but someone will love them).

I needed another pair - the grey cotton ones for BIL are boring beyond belief and the tofutsies are approaching the heel, and therefore not good for soccer knitting - I need mindless stockinette for soccer knitting. So I figured I would get a head start on some Christmas stuff and make my FIL a new pair - he gets a new pair every Christmas. I stash dived and came up with some beautiful denim blue merino that I bought in Kitchener last year. Stunning stuff - some colour variations that show off the hand dyed aspect, but solid enough for my FIL, Mr. Conservative. (One day I'm going to make him some mind blowingly coloured socks, and see what triumphs - his conservatism, or his love for me!)

Any hoo - back to the denim blue sock yarn. It's hand wash only - check. My MIL handwashes ALL the socks I've knit for them, even when I tell her they are superwash. She even darns them. I love this woman. There's a ton of this yarn - over 400 metres. It's soft, and sproingy, and get this - it was on sale for $7.00! Yes really. I only bought two balls - I'm an idiot. When I realized what I had done, Lucky and I went screaming back to that booth, only to be laughed at. It was all gone.

Okay - back from another tangent. Suffice it to say, this is really nice yarn, and FIL will love them. So I cast on. Now, I was thinking ahead, and realized that this wool seemed SLIGHTLY thicker. Easy enough, I'll just use a 2.5mm instead of a 2.25mm needle. Now, I often use a 2.5mm - STR for example works up beautifully on the 2.5mm.

Here's where I am an idiot. I'm working away on my Turkish Toe - love this! As I get closer to the 64 stitches that is my optimal men's sock magic number, I'm thinking - "Geez, this seems big enough already. I should stop increasing. Or at least measure." SO, you'd think that's what I did, right? Nope. kept going to 64 stitches. Measured it this morning against a STR that is my go-to sock for measurements. What did I discover? Any guesses? Bueller?

Note - there should be a picture here, but hubby had the camera, and then I ripped before he got home...)

Yup. Too big. By about 8 stitches, which as it happens, is right about where I was thinking of stopping to measure. And the fabric is perfect, so I don't want to change needle sizes. This yarn is just a hair thicker than the STR.

I know how to measure gauge. I even make swatches that don't look like sleeves on occasion. Get this - I've even washed a swatch and remeasured! No, really, I did! Okay, it was denim yarn, and you're a moron if you don't do wash and dry denim - we are talking MAJOR changes in gauge with denim yarn.

I've got to start listening to the voices in my head more often. Sometimes they really make sense...

Monday, June 04, 2007

giving the finger - no, not that one...

You are a pinky

You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb

Can you tell I'm feeling a bit meh today? Maybe its the rain, maybe its my allergies (constant sneezing and sniffling), maybe it's just, well, meh.
Knitting is going on - I've finished one Tofutsie sock, started the next, started another one, worked on the silk scarf, etc.
I'm also going to do some stealth knitting - I never thought I'd say that! But I'm going to try something new. And I can't show you. Hell, I don't even know what it is yet! All I can say is that I'm excited about it, and I have ideas swirling around my head. Damn job is getting in the way...

Friday, June 01, 2007

I wonder if Amy will take out a TRO*?

(*TRO - for those without a police officer in the family is a Temporary Restraining Order)

I love my Tuscany shawl. I'm wearing it right now with my white sleeveless linen top and brownish-orange linen skirt. It's perfect for this hot humid weather, since my office has the AC blasting. The Sea Silk is giving off that faint silky/seaweedy aroma that I love. I've said it before - this design is brilliant. Way to go, Amy!

I'm going to make this again. Soon. Very soon. I've got some wonderful merino that would be perfect, but I'm debating doing another Sea Silk one. In brighter, more summery colours.

Last night I was flipping through my new Interweave Knits, and see the Montego Bay scarf - a simple, mindless lacy pattern. Just what I need for when I'm sitting at Son's soccer games and I don't feel like sock knitting. I look for the designer, and lo and behold - Amy again. I have this wonderful Estelle Silk - no where near the gauge of the Sea Silk used in the pattern, but that's the beauty of scarves - you can adjust to fit. I've narrowed mine down quite a bit - I only cast on 19 stitches, and I want it looooong. Long enough to wrap around the neck a couple of times and still hang down. I'm going to fringe this, and being so skinny, it is really more decorative than warm. But, we'll see. If I don't keep it, it will go to my Mom or my SIL. I'm going to do it all over again in a goldy-mustardy colour of silk for my Buddhist SIL - for her, if it can't be burgundy, then it's got to be gold.
It's wrapped around my begonia-lobelia-sweet potato vine container here - it's actually about 4 feet long at this point - I'm aiming for around 6-7 feet plus fringe.

And (should I admit this?) I've ordered the yarn for a Tomato top. I'm also lusting after the Lace backed tank top (name escapes me). Usually, I'm happy when I get 1 or 2 usable patterns from a book. With the River Rock scarf I've got on the needles, 1 Tuscany done, a Tomato and a tank and another Tuscany planned, we're up to 4 patterns. Plus, there's more in there that I plan to knit.

So Amy? You keep cranking out those patterns, and I'll keep knitting them. We've met, and had dinner together, etc., so please don't run away from me - I'm really quite nice. A little obsessed, but nice.

(added later - yes, I know Amy did not design everything in No Sheep For You. But if she hadn't put the book together, I probably wouldn't have seen them.)

(I think Stephanie is breathing a sigh of relief - I've got someone new to stalk...)