Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I can stop anytime I want to...

OK, so I may have become slightly addicted to these beaded bracelets...

Just a bit. I mean, so I've got 7 completed, and four more waiting (the beads are strung, waiting to be knit up). So what if I've scoured my house for every last bead, separated out the ones that are too big, and worked out new colour combinations. And its not like I search out bead sections in stores. (Walmart has a surprisingly good selection and price point. Michael's, too).

(see that copper one at the top right? I'm in love... And the stone one in the middle? *swoon* (I'm making two more of these - you can see them already strung...)

I can stop anytime I want to. I just don't want to right now. Pass the beads...


anyone reading this in the Aurora area - is your power on? Ours went off around 6:45am and hadn't come back as of 7:30am when I left. I'm just wondering about my fridge etc.

Monday, July 30, 2007

up close with the rainbow wrister

Sorry for the severe lack of posts last week - software training sucked the life force out of me. The first day was a mind-numbing overview of the rudimentary basics of Excel. I'm an Analyst - I live and breathe Excel. I quietly asked if I could be excused from this part and come back when it got interesting. Request denied. Thankfully, I had stopped at Tim Hortons for an XL - it got me through... The next three days (yes it was FOUR days), were as useless. But whatever. I smiled, took notes, made comments and played nice.

But I have been knitting! I wanted to show a little more detail on the frilly rainbow hued wristers I am working on. I know my niece would love them as is - a simple tube with a thumb hole and picot edging. (I had her a hat out of this yarn last year - these are made of the leftovers, so she'll have a set).
I wanted more. I've become bead addicted, and seem to be looking for ways to add them to my knitting projects. Since I knit a lot of things for males, I take every female opportunity to add the beads. Since these wristers took so little time and yarn, I felt they needed a little sumthin' sumthin'. Aha! a lone ball of blue Ovation - 75% kid mohair, 25% silk. And the blues matched. I picked up some stitches around the wrist line, knit a couple of rows of beads,
then knit up until it was just to the top of my thumb, increasing a bit for a streamlined cone shape. (I wanted it to cover the thumb while being worn - Canadian winters and exposed thumbs - not a good match). At the top, I did some major increasing, then cast off with beads on every stitch - it gives some nice weight to the top of the frill, and makes the ruffled edge swing quite nicely.

I actually kept notes on this, so I should be able to re-create it for the second one. (one of the downfalls of designing on the fly when you need a second piece). I may write up the pattern as well if there is interest.

Ignore the ladder - I haven't blocked these yet, and this ladder always disappears with blocking. These make me ridiculously happy, and they are not even colours I would wear. I know my niece will love them.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Potter stuff...

Want to Get Sorted?

a Gryffindor!

Woo Hoo! I'm such a Harry Potter geek... Yes, I've read the latest book - I'm 7 for 7. I may see the movie, or may wait for the DVD - they're such great cottage-watching movies.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I'm not really a Simpson's fan. I've watched it on and off, but was never rabid. However, if I was ever guest on the show, at least I know what I would look like...

Except my hair won't be this nice - the only other option that came close was the hair of one of Marge's sisters, and well, I took poetic license.

Go here for your own.

I am knitting - I'm just forgetting to take pictures - Life has been a little hectic this week! I will also have some exciting knitting news to share soon, just working out details!

Monday, July 23, 2007

holiday knitting

Okay, my training was put back a day. This after I sat in there, and when they all started talking about the software, I said that I had no idea what they were talking about. When asked why I hadn't done the required reading, I asked when the reading was provided. "last week" was the answer. I sat quietly until someone realized that I hadn't seen it, and since I was to be the primary user of this new software, maybe they should give me a chance to read up on it. Training delayed until tomorrow...
Of course, since I uploaded these pic last night at home, now I can sneak a quick post in. I will expand upon my vacation a little more in coming days, as I probably won't have much more to talk about...

I knit a lot last week. A lot. I still didn't really dent everything I had brought, but I made some good progress.

I finished the two pairs of socks that I had started. Two more gifts for Christmas!

I started a new scarf with my favourite scarf yarn - Noro Silk garden. I have two scarves in this already - the Harlot scarf, and an Argosy scarf. I may give the Argosy to a SIL that has been coveting it, and keep this Montego Bay one for me. I. love. it. Here it is with under one ball done - there has been another ball's worth or length added since. I will probably use up 2.5 balls, and use the rest for fringe. Did I mention that I love it? I really do.
You've seen parts of this before. I knit very simple fingerless mitts - simply a tube on dpn's, then back and forth for a while to create the thumb hole, then back to rounds. A simple picot bind off. But, since these are for my niece, and she's 13, so she loves the over-the top stuff, I've added a frill of Ovation (kid mohair/silk blend), with a wealth of beads - two roads of crystal beads at the cast on, then a ruffly bind off with a bead on every stitch. I will go into more detail of this project, because I'm thinking of writing up the pattern.
A cotton chenille flower washcloth. I started this a while ago, having one petal done, and the needles and pattern sitting in a bag. I dragged it out, and within a couple of hours, had it done. It's an Interweave Knits pattern (can't remember which issue right now - let me know if you want details...). Surprisingly, the cotton chenille was not a bear to work with - no worming, no straining. And the resultant fabric is quite nice. Wrapped up with a special soap, this could be a really nice gift.
I started a new sock - Socks that Rock, Harlotty colourway (Hi, Stephanie!) Again, more headway has been made on this - about another three inches. I have also decided that it may not be a sock. It fits my hand rather well, and may turn into a mitten. The colourway is really pretty, and would match my green jacket very nicely. Plus, I am planning on getting a new brown coat this year, so mittens it may be. I'm making the pattern up as I go - I've never made a top down mitten. I'm thinking of creating the thumb hole with waste yarn, and knitting the thumb up from there.
Another lace scarf - 50% merino, 50% tussah silk fingering weight, bought from Grand River Yarns, crocus colourway. Pattern included - it's by Sue McFadyen, and very pretty. If it's this nice unblocked, you can imagine how nice it is blocked.
Four more beaded bracelets. Seriously quick knits. The multi-coloured ones are from the kits I bought, the red is one I did using beads that I had. It's more of a pavé look, and really quite pretty.
My favourite knitting time - sitting on the dock at sunset, watching my boys fish. It doesn't get much better than this...
More details about some of these projects to come.

I'm here, Nancy...

I'm back - and I have to immediately go into three days of training at work. DO not check e-mail, do not pass go, do not do anything...
Did lots of knitting - will post soon.
Being dragged awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy..........

Friday, July 13, 2007

gone fishin...

Yup - in the immortal words of Dennis Miller, I am outta here! (Just for a week, I haven't quit. Yet.) Going to the cottage for a week of fun, sun and my boys. I can't wait, We are in severe need of this week.

I've packed way more knitting that can possibly be done by one person in the time span, but that's what I do. Come on, admit it - you do it too, dontcha? I know you do...

Son is hot to trot to learn how to water-ski - I was 8 when I first got on skis, so he thinks that's what he will do. I can't wait to see it.

Hubby is planning on reading a few good books, and spending much needed family time. He's also talking about rebuilding the back deck steps. He always needs a project. Remember last year? Cleaning out the storage room? Or as we now call it - the "Harvest Gold Toaster Burial Grounds"? Really. There were 4 harvest gold toasters in there. And about 10 glass coffee carafes. (From every coffee maker that has ever been there. The coffee maker died, we kept the carafe).

Wanna see a quick knit before I go?
Seriously quick - one evening to string the beads, one evening to knit it. I'm in love. I've just added all my beads and tiny needles to my "take to the cottage" stuff.

Off to my staff meeting - I can't wait...
ETA - total gloss over - it seems everything is just peachy keen around here! (yeah, right...)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Double Yum...

I received my package from EarthFaire.com yesterday:
and, up close:
Four knitted beaded bracelet kits. Double Yum indeed! Each kit comes with the metallic thread, the beads (assorted), and clasp. It's seriously easy. You thread the beads on, knit in garter stitch, adding the beads in. I'm addicted to bead knitting, and I think this may be a very cool Christmas gift this year. There may have been some late night bead stringing last night. And perhaps, even some knitting of beads. Just maybe.

This is how I keep myself occupied during Son's soccer games:

It's easier to gauge progress on the striped socks - I get about 5 stripes done during a 1 hour game. Sometimes less, depending on how exciting the game is, or how much socializing with the other parents goes on... I keep both of them with me, because when I get close to a heel, I switch to the other one. I don't want to be setting a heel (that means counting!) while occupied with something else. I'm all about the mindless stockinette during soccer games...

The other parents are used to me by now - most of the women are keeping track of the different projects I bring - they must think I'm the most boring knitter in the world, since all I ever bring is mindless stockinette. Then again, I'm probably the only knitter they have ever seen in the wild, so they may think I'm a genius because of what I can do with sticks and string... Either way, no one has said anything derogatory, which is refreshing when you think back to some of the stories I've had from swimming lessons and basketball. (Ah, the life of a suburban mom...)

ANOTHER person quit yesterday. Just up and left after a behind closed doors conversation. She had been here longer than me, and always seemed so laid back. Definitely the last person I would have pegged for this. Problem is, she knew a lot. And no one else really knows how she did what she did. (Sort of like me). Bigger problem - what she did and what I do are kinda similar. Similar enough that I'm worried they may try to laterally move some of her stuff to me. I. don't. want. it. And I will make that very clear. I already took on another job when the purchaser left. I didn't get any more money, and I have not commented on that. I'm not taking on ANOTHER person's responsibilities. For any amount of money. There's not enough money to make that worthwhile to me. Hubby and I had a discussion about the situation around here. (He is incredulous that this is going on - he has some HR problems with his staff, and it's nothing compared to this. I'm such a good wife - I tell him my problems, so that his work issues seem petty in comparison!) I'm just trying to lay low, and hope nothing happens before I go away. I don't want to get into discussions "about my future here".

Tomorrow's full staff meeting should be very interesting. We will either all get blasted about company loyalty (has happened before), or grilled about how we feel about things here, or it will totally ignored.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I love yarn. I tell you this in case you didn't realize that about me. I especially love wool and all other natural fibres. But best of all, is getting free wool! Well, technically, not free, because there is trade yarn on it's way to LuckyCanuck, but still, it feels like free yarn.

This was waiting for me when I got home last night. 12 balls of Australian Merino Lamé. It's a super soft grey merino with a thread of silver running through it. This is beautiful stuff. Lucky and I were discussing it - she had no use for it, and I was smitten by it. Easy decision - she sent it to me where she knew it would (eventually) be made into something useful. (I'm thinking a Leaf Lace Shawl). Lucky - would you believe I sent your stuff yesterday, just hours before getting your note? I know you'll love the Shelridge sock yarn, but really, I have tons of the blue Harris Tweed - I'll save it for you, and send it off! That way, I know it will be used and loved.

Work note. A friend of mine here quit yesterday, and let HR know in no uncertain terms exactly why she is quitting. She does not have another job, but could not handle the issues that were going on around here. Being told (in an open area) that she deserved to be fired over a mistake that was made (which she had discovered and fixed) was her final straw. I highly doubt any changes will be made regarding this, but we do have a full staff meeting on Friday - I wonder if it will be addressed. I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, July 09, 2007

one more week...

before we are on vacation. If I can just get through these next five days... I have enough work to keep me very busy this week, so I am hoping to fly under the radar. The owner here has a habit of trying to get me involved in large projects just before I go away. He does this to a lot of people - we think he wants to see if anyone will cancel their vacation to help out. There is one person who does, and he holds her up as a shining example of the perfect employee. She also had no family, and no life that we can discern.

I am planning on avoiding him this week!

Going to the cottage this past weekend was definitely the right decision. There were frozen strawberry-raspberry-peach margaritas:

Yes, there were as yummy as they look. We do have official margarita glasses, but these Magic Bullet ones work just fine. And they are colour coded.

There was knitting done:

I made a couple of bookmarks, in anticipation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release this month. One if for me - I am a total Harry Potter geek, and one for my 13 year old nephew. I have bought him every Potter book, and will get him this one as well. He begged for them a couple of years ago for Christmas, and I had to get them for him. As a voracious reader myself, I take any opportunity to encourage this in young people. All of his friends were in the midst of Potter-mania, and he had to be as well. I even made him the Gryffindor scarf. I don't believe he has read more than half of the first book, but whatever. He will still get book seven - probably for Christmas, along with the knitted bookmark.

I used crochet cotton, and a 2mm needle. Each took a couple of hours, and a whole lotta starch! But I am impressed with them.

There was also a great deal of sock knitting, but second socks in progress look a lot like first socks, so no pictures. I hope to have the blue denim and brown striped socks done soon, so I can start on some other sock yarns that are calling me.

This is going to be a busy week, what with getting ready to go away for a week. Clothes are easy - some shorts, some t-shirts, some bathing suits, a pair of sweats and a hoodie, and I'm good. But trying to decide how much knitting, and how many books, that's something else. I've started throwing a basket together with all the projects that I want to finish and those that I want to start. It's way more than I can possibly do in a week, but don't we always do that??

Food is another thing - Hubby and Son and I like to eat well, especially when we have the time to put some nice meals together. I'll put the call into the butcher later this week with what we need form him, and then work out all the menu stuff we will need. One would think that since it is a family cottage, and my in-laws have been there for 2 weeks already, there would be a lot of the basics in place. Wrong. They are not really foodies, and are content with a poached egg on toast for dinner some nights, so I tend to bring EVERYTHING we will need. At least we thought ahead and brought the smoker up this past weekend. (Hubby has a charcoal Weber smoker). It's bulky, and getting it there ahead of time saved us a ton of space (more room for wool!!) in the truck. We're going to smoke some ribs, some brisket and some trout fillets. Mmmm, smoked trout...

I'll try to post somewhat regularly this week, when time allows, but will be completely off line next week. (Sorry Nancy!)

Friday, July 06, 2007

whether or not depends on weather

Hubby and I had been debating going to the cottage this weekend. My BIL and family are not going - they are attending a wedding in town. This means that my son will not have his cousin to play with. My SIL won't be there to provide a buffer between me and my MIL. Hubby is ridiculously busy at work. We are going up next weekend for an entire week. All of these factors meant we were leaning towards staying in town. Hubby could work, Son and I could go to the zoo or maybe a movie, or just hang out.
Then we saw the weather report. Stinking hot all weekend. That decided it. Even though the cottage has no air conditioning, and our house does, I'd still rather be there on stinking hot weekends. The zoo on really hot days is not as much fun. The animals are slugs (can you blame them?) and it's too hot to do much.

So after work, I'm hitting the grocery store and we're heading up. I'll be back Monday with pictures. I plan on knitting small little things that will not heat up my lap. Or maybe I will just read. Or maybe, do nothing. In that case, you'll get pictures of lake, margaritas and beer. I'm sure you understand.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

well, crap.

I have the same percentage chance of this as I do of job satisfaction. I wonder if there's a connection here...

I've notice around the blogosphere, that there seems to be a loss of knitting mojo. I went through it too. Before the Canada Day weekend, I would look at my knitting bag - overflowing with projects on the go, and luscious yarns waiting to be knit up. Nothing. I would pick something up, and put it down. I attributed it to the heat we were experiencing at the time. I think, for me, it was more than just the onset of summer. The job satisfaction thing yesterday, while a joke, really does reflect my work situation. My job is sucking too much life from me, and the politics and crap around the office are not worth it, in the grand scheme of things. However, saying that, the lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves dictates that I need to bring in an income for the next little while. Hubby and I have looked at things, and I can take a drop in pay, if all other things line up. (closer to home, less stress, etc. etc.) So, I'm looking. As I said yesterday - I'm not going to jump from the frying pan into the fire - the jump has to be a worthwhile one.

Once we came to this conclusion, my knitting mojo came back. (A long weekend at the cottage really helped as well. Nothing like knitting by the beach to make things all better!)

I hope to leave behind any more conversation about bad work situations - The next time, I hope it is about a change. I'll try to keep to knitting (and some fun stuff) from here on in.

Oh, and I will continue to post pictures of purchases. Sigh. I have to stop reading other blogs. I have no idea how long it takes to get a package from EarthFaire.com I guess I will find out soon. I blame Dr. Stephannie for this latest credit card accident. See why I need to keep working??

(I didn't buy the same kit she did. You'll have to wait to see what I got. I hope it arrives before I leave for holidays...)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

no surprise here...

Your Job Satisfaction Level: 29%

Your job is definitely a bummer, and you probably should get a new one.
Make sure you know what's getting you down.
Is it your co-workers? The work environment? Your boss?
Getting a new job is important, but so is not repeating the same mistakes.

I'm actually surprised it's as high as 29%... I know what the contributing factors are, and I am also well aware of the difficulties in leaving. First, I'm not going to jump from the frying pan into the fire. When I leave, it will be for a situation that I will be comfortable with. I'm not going to jump just for the sake of jumping, because I do like what I do, and there are a number of people that I work with that are great. Unfortunately, there are also a number of people that make it difficult. Oh well.
And, here's the link to the salad wristies - some people at my Guild meeting last night were interested, so I said I post the link. It really is a great, easy pattern. Just click on the link.
I should qualify something about yesterday's post. I did NOT do all that knitting on the weekend. The green beaded thing and the brown lace was done ahead of time - I just had not posted about the stealth knitting. And I did show you the first salad wristie, and the second one was completed on Friday before we left for the weekend. I did knit two rainbow things, and I did a lot of sock knitting at the cottage, but as I said, I have not yet perfected sleep knitting, so I can't crank out the amount of stuff it looked like...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

back to the grind...

Well, we're back. And the family is intact, even though we had some rain on Saturday which basically kept all nine of us in fairly close quarters. That's not always fun or easy. Hubby handles it better than I - he is one of five kids, and is used to a lot of people around in small spaces. I on the other hand have one brother, and always had the option of being by myself if I so wanted.
Regardless - it was great to get away, and I regained my knitting mojo. I had not been feeling the love lately - I think a combination of the onset of warm weather, and a general malaise about life - brought on mostly by a not-so-great work situation. It may or may not improve, and I'm basically in a wait ans see situation. I have been looking around, and had a couple of possibilities, but we'll see...
On to the knitting. Some I can show you, some I will just tease you with.
What I can show:
a completed sock - a wonderful hand dyed denim blue 100% merino yarn. First of a pair for my FIL for Christmas.
Meilenweit self striping - this is about 5 inches further up the leg by now (got a lot done on the drive home last night). This will go in the Christmas box - probably for a good friend of ours.

I finished the second Salad wristie! I love these - so quick, so nice, and from the interest shown by friends at the cottage - could be very popular this year...

Now the stealth stuff. To explain: I'm working on some original designs for a friend. (or for myself, we'll see where it goes). But, until I work out the kinks and write up some patterns, there is only a hint of what could be...

rainbow hand-dyed - that's a picot cast off you sort of see...

brown cotton lace - looks like crap now, but I have high hopes for this...

green wool and mohair/silk with beads - another fave, but it needs serious tweaking...

I'm looking forward to a short week - we have to pack in a lot in 4 days, and hopefully, Hubby packs in enough so that we can go back to the cottage for the weekend. And after next week, we will be there for an entire week - by ourselves! I can't wait...

See you at the Guild meeting tonight!