Friday, September 28, 2007

trading one obsession for the next...

Remember these?
(32 at last count, and probably more to come...)

Haven't touched them in over a week. Right now I'm totally enthralled with Tubey, and the Sheepstrings yarn.
One thing I was worried about - Tubey's sleeves start off being knit back and forth for the back part, then you join in the round to continue the sleeves. I'm using a variegated hand painted wool for this, and you know what happens sometimes. You switch from flat knitting to round, and the patterning changes. The flat part was lovely and random, with no discernable pattern, and I was hoping for the same look down the sleeve. Now, if it pooled, that would have been fine, but I really liked the random look, so I was hoping for that.

Can you tell where I started knitting in the round?
Now you can. No change. (Doing a little happy dance here). I think the fact that I am knitting from two balls at once is probably helping with this, as it would break up any pooling or flashing. Whatever. I'm absolutely in love with this.
I also have a confession to make. I didn't swatch. I guessed. and so far... I guessed right. Keep fingers crossed this remains so...
As I mentioned previously, I am on vacation next week. I'm not really going anywhere - I have a TON of stuff that needs attention in the house, so this is my week to do it. There is a field trip to Black Creek Pioneer Village one day with a class of third graders, and there may be visits to bead stores and yarn stores. One never knows... One thing for sure - I plan on sewing some stuff - I have grandiose plans for some skirts and tops, a dress or two, and some knitting accessories. I'll post when I can. See ya!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

some people...

There's a woman at my office. You know the type - fairly new, but from day one has had her lips firmly attached to the owner's butt. Wormed her way from a cubicle to an office in record time. Is the account manager for a major retail customer, and has created her "team" around her. There are now 4 people working on this account, where before there was 2 and I would help when needed. She is losing business at this retailer, but has gained a great amount from another retailer. Where her husband works in purchasing. There's a conflict of interest there, and shit is beginning to hit the proverbial fan, yet she seems to be Teflon coated. I'm a bit dumbfounded, and really want to see her hit bottom before I go.

The main reason i dislike her (other than the fact that I abhor ass-kissers), is this:

I'm sitting knitting at lunch. She comes in, exclaims "how sweet! you can knit! What are you making?"

"socks." I answer, hoping she will go away.

"oh really? and look! (as she grabs one, and holds it aloft for all to see) "IT EVEN LOOKS LIKE ONE."

"That's the idea - socks that look like giraffes wouldn't appeal quite as much." was my carefully controlled answer, as I contemplated how to get away with murder in a full lunch room with witnesses.

"You're so crafty! I'll bet you can cook too."

Now, I can cook. I can also shoot a mean game of basketball, hold my own on a golf course, skip a curling team, fix a toilet, drywall a house, lay flooring, and do pretty much anything I set my mind to. I also sew, quilt and look good in heels. And I swear the next time I'm wearing stilettos, I may accidentally puncture her tiny little instep...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I love getting comments, and I feel like I should answer when questions are asked. (It also fills a blog post when not much else is happening!)

I'm glad you think my musical tastes aren't strange. Obviously the thief is far too young to appreciate what s/he had in hand...

Carol was wondering about why a thief would editorialize with post-its. Actually, the post-its were already in the car, so the thief used what he found. I forgot to mention - I had my handknit Koigu fingerless gloves in there as well, and the thief didn't take those. No taste in music, no taste in knits...

And as far as the cake goes - I like Carol's suggestion about apple crisp, especially this time of year. However, the party is not just for family - it's an open house drop in thing that will last a few hours at my in-laws condo. All of us kids are required to be there, and a cake is deemed necessary. There was a certain amount of sucking up done in my general direction to get me to make it instead of a store bought, and in a moment of weakness, I agreed. I'm an idiot, what can I say. At least my son and the other grandchildren are excluded - son gets to spend a day having fun with my Mom (who graciously decided to watch the child instead of come to the party). The kids would have been miserable. As it is, our generation (who are technically hosting the party) get to stand around, talking to a bunch of elderly church people, who compare prescriptions and medical procedures. (My apologies to any elderly church people reading this. However, I'm pretty sure I would have offended most of them long before this point.)

So, back to the cake - it's not just a cake - it's a decorated 80th birthday cake. Not only do I have to bake the damn thing again, I have to ice it and decorate it. Why the hell I ever decided to learn this particular skill is completely beyond me. Right now, it looks like I bake on Thursday, and do the late night Friday decorating. Of course my son's first basketball game of the season is Saturday morning, so that eats up that time. Once we get home from that, it's back into the car, drop child at my Mom's and get to the condo in time for the festivities.

I'm making most of the chocolate decorations ahead of time - last night there was a proliferation of red stars and milk chocolate 80's and 50's floating around my kitchen. 50's, you ask? Yes. It seems that a SIL and BIL are both celebrating their 50th birthday, so nice chick that I am, I offer to make an additional 50th birthday cake for the family. This was, of course, before I dropped the big cake. The little one is already made and frozen, ready to be iced on Friday. And here;s where my "all around nice girl" badge comes into play. A family tradition is that money is hidden in birthday cakes. quarter, loonies, toonies, etc. So what have I done? I've gone to the bank, and ordered 50 cent pieces. I can't wait to see the faces when they see the money...

And on a final note - how happy am I that I'm taking next week off work? Once this party is over, I am officially on holidays for a week. Not going anywhere - hanging at home, going on a field trip with my son's class, and generally re-acquainting myself with my home and the stuff in it. After reading about Lucky's adventures in sewing, my sewing vibe has been reawakened. I used to sew everything, all the time. I've still got my machine and serger set up downstairs. Next week they will be used for more than just mending and hemming!

Monday, September 24, 2007

my weekend

Thanks to all who convinced me that the Maple Red Highland Wool would be the right match. You know, I was really unsure about it, but you all made me see the light...
I need 23 inches of flat knitting before I join in the round for the sleeves - I'm at about 19 inches after this weekend.

Can I say how nice this Sheepstrings wool is to knit with? It just glides over the needles. This may be a sweater that I actually finish (much to the detriment of my gift knitting...)

A couple of comments about my weekend - I inadvertently left my car unlocked in my driveway on Friday night - someone rifled through it, taking all $1.50 of the change I keep (leaving all the pennies in a pile on my drivers seat!) They rifled all my CD's, taking none, but leaving me a post it note - "Whack Music Choices". ???? I guess they didn't like the combination of Barenaked Ladies, Nickelback, Ella Fitzgerald, Shaggy, James Taylor, David Wilcox and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I admit to eclectic music choices, but I'm not sure I appreciate being dissed for them. If they had looked a little closer, they would have noticed that the BNL CD's were autographed.

And then, there was the cake incident. I wish I had someone to blame for this, but it's all me. I'm making the cake for my FIL's 80th birthday open house party next Saturday. I finally hi on the perfect recipe. I have to make 3 batches in order to fill the 18" x 24" cake pan that I have. It comes out perfectly. It's cooling on the rack. I want to wrap it and freeze it so I can decorate in Friday night before the party. It's large, and I know I should wait for my husband to come home and help me lift it to wrap it properly, but I'm impatient. (You know where this is going, don't you?) Yup. I dropped it. Cake everywhere. My son looked up from his book and says quite calmly, "THAT'S not good!" (Understatement from an 8 year old).

Crap. Now I have to find some time this week to bake it again. The reason I did it on the weekend was that there IS NO TIME this week. I guess sleep is over-rated.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Many thanks to Rachel H for identifying the sweater pattern I am after - Tubey from Knitty! Emma knit hers with a solid blue Briggs and Little body, and a different blue wool for the sleeves. It was stunning, and I mentally filed it away. Except, my mental filing system isn't very good and I forgot the name, but Rachel came through. Thanks, Rachel! I owe you one..\

(and BTW, it's not just my mental filing system that's a mess - meet my work files.
Files, Piles, what's the difference? (but it annoys people around here that I have this stuff on my desk. Whatever. It works for me.)

So back to Tubey, or maybe Lite Brite , (but I may have other plans for that sweater), I plan on using some Elann Highland Wool that I have for the body, and the Sheepstrings variegated for the sleeves. Choices below? Your thoughts? anyone? Bueller?
There's a Maple Red, Oregano Green, Natural Oatmeal, and and Gingery-pumpkin colour. I may have a preference (Maple Red), but would really like to hear what you all think (Maple Red). I don't want to influence (Maple Red) anyone, so please feel free to give your (Maple Red) opinion). (The above picture of the Sheepstrings and the Maple Red is not to sway your vote in any way...) It's really to show you how different the two balls of Sheepstrings are - one has way more green, and the other is a more muted red (almost a Maple Red, to be exact), and orange blend. I will use both balls at once, alternating every two rows on the sleeves. And I apologize for the general crappiness of the photos - seems I was a bit shaky this morning...

Thanks also to everyone who commented on my choker. I am rather proud of it, and actually incredibly surprised at: 1. how easy it was, and 2. how quickly it knit up. For those that asked: Brenda Franklin's web site is found here. Mine is the Knit Drop Necklace (about 1/2 way down the page, right side). I bought a kit at her booth for $27.00. I also have the pattern for the Bugle Loop Necklace, and I have her first book, and after doing this choker, I will be looking through this book in a little more detail. When I bought it a year ago, I really thought that these items were beyond me. I now know better - they are not hard. Fiddly at times, but not hard to do. Get over the fear of 0000 needles and get going! One suggestion - she uses silk thread in a lot of her kits. It is VERY slippery. And VERY splitty. SO VERY SLIPPERY AND SPLITTY, especially on metal 0000 needles. Size 8 Cotton Perle works very well as a substitute, and will not have you in tears if you drop a stitch. (Not that I know ANYTHING about that...)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the beads, the beads...

I finally took a modelled picture of the beaded choker. I actually plan on wearing this with my black velvet turtleneck, but since it's hot around here, I was not putting a turtleneck on. (Plus, I would have to dig in my closet to find it, and well, I didn't want to do that...I love this even more today. What is hard to see is the construction of the choker. It's set up so that it's like little cones, attached side by side - created by increasing the number of beads in each section. For example, the first two rows each have one bead between stitches, the next 2 rows have two, then three, four then at the bottom, just before the dagger beads are knit in, there are 5 beads between the stitches. This creates the cone like structure, and adds a heaviness and luxuriousness to the piece. While I would be happy to make this again, I have a bookful of other designs that I want to try, and I still have a whack of socks and stuff to get knitted up for Christmas. My 27 year old dancer nephew wants legwarmers and slippers, I have standing orders for at least 8 pairs of socks each Christmas, the River Rock scarf is calling my name, and I want to get at my Sheepstrings Rainbow Yarn for me!!

Speaking of the Sheepstrings, I may have decided what I want to do with it, but I need help. Rachel H, Steph and Emma! The sweater that Emma made and showed us at Kitchener - the blue one, that she used Briggs and Little for the body and something else for the sleeves - it had an interesting slit kind of a neckline, and I CAN'T REMEMBER WHERE THE PATTERN WAS FROM! Anyone? help please? I can coordinate the Sheepstrings with a solid colour for the body...

And just for fun, I forgot to show you what I bought when I was at the Zoo.

PooPoo Paper. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this book - the paper is too rough to use as one of my sketch books, but I love the fact that the paper is made of poo. I'm so easily amused...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dinosaurs Alive!

The Toronto Zoo has an exhibit on right now (until October 8, 2007) called Dinosaurs Alive! It's a pavilion of animatronic dinosaurs, and fossils and bones and stuff. An 8 year old boys dream. Since Hubby was working on Sunday, Son and I headed out to the Zoo for the afternoon. Admittedly, the Zoo is not a cheap outing - parking and admission alone for us was $40, but it's money well spent. I love the Zoo. you get to see all kinds of animals, and the learning experiences for kids (hidden in the fun you are having) are priceless. The dinosaur exhibit was great - it had signs warning of the realistic nature of the dinos, and how they may be "too intense" for younger patrons. They're not kidding - some young ones we saw were seriously scared! These babies were life sized...Son, a seasoned 8 year old, was not seduced into thinking they were real, but they had stations set up where you could make some of the dinos move specific parts.

He's controlling the Allosaurus here. It was a very cool exhibit - I'd show more pictures, but my son is recognizable in all of the other pictures.

We wandered over to the African Savannah as well...

The elephants were pretty frisky - it's hard to convey the speed at which they were moving here.

This meerkat was standing and posing for quite a while. Every child in the vicinity was calling him Timon. I forgot to take pictures of the Puumbas (warthogs) we saw later...

The tigers were active - it's always hit or miss with them - sometimes they are just slugs, but on Sunday, they were walking around. Of course, the clearest picture I have of them is of them sitting around...We also spent some time in the Indo-Malay area - the butterfly pavilion is one of my favourite areas - the building is filthy with butterflies...And around the corner was a crocodile, just looking at everyone...

And we got to the orangutans right at feeding time...

Son is a big monkey fan. We also saw the Gorillas, Chimps and the Macaques - my fave. The macaques were by far the funniest and most active.

Son was impressed that pretty much every animal we saw, peed while we were there. Thankfully, none of them decided to do it AT us...

I have modelled shots of the beaded choker, however, TPTB at work have decided to stick me at reception today (I think I'm being punished for something), and I can't access pictures. Yes, I'm senior staff, and I'm at reception). Whatever - it's very peaceful out here - they can punish me all they want! (I'm so getting out of this hellhole soon...)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

super quick stealth post

I'm in a training session for Excel. It's stuff I've been doing for more than 5 years, but they think I need to be here. Gotta go before someone looks at my screen.
Modelled pics of the beaded choker and our trip to the Zoo later.

I hope someone throws things at me to keep me awake today...

Monday, September 17, 2007

multi-tasking: good or bad? discuss...

Okay, so I'm a Mom who works outside the home. By nature of this description I am a multi-tasker. (actually, any mom, hell any WOMAN is a multi-tasker). I can make dinner, empty the dishwasher, help my son with his homework and do a couple of other things all during the evening. My husband, on the other hand, seems only to be able to do laundry and nothing else. (Yes, laundry - that chore that takes you 10 minutes out of every hour to switch loads). Actually, he is the king of single task living. I cannot fathom how one lives like this... But this is not about him. It's more about when multi-tasking goes wrong. Saturday, I'm baking (testing cake recipes for my FIL's birthday, and making a coffee cake (caramel-apple-pecan - Yum!). Since there is some downtime between stuffing the coffee cake in the oven and getting started on the next thing, I pick up my knitting. (I can knit while standing in the kitchen - for those who have seen my kitchen, I can also watch TV at the same time) . I check the cake, and decide to move it closer to the centre of the oven. Since it's in a silicone bundt pan, I (consciously, yes I knew what I was doing!) grab the silicone with my BARE FINGERS, justifying to my over fried brain that "since it's not metal, it WON"T BE HOT! Note, that at this time, I am grabbing the HOT pan with my left hand, holding my beaded choker knitting in my right hand, because I'm too stupid to put it down and do one thing at a time. Fingers get burned, knitting drops onto oven door (thank god for glass beads, and quick reflexes - there was no damage to the choker!) Husband comes running, reacting to the squeal I must have emitted. After ascertaining that I wasn't badly burned, he went back into the living room, laughing his ass off, with the comment "Now you know why multi-tasking is BAD." He's lucky his parents were coming for dinner, so I couldn't spit in his food...
But the choker survived, and lived to be knit on again. (And again, and again.)
Can I tell you how much I freaking love this? All 1500+ size 8 seed beads and 30 dagger beads, the slipperiest, splittiest silk thread, the size 000 metal needles (that occasionally pressed against my burned thumb and forefinger)?

While these pictures sort of captures the beauty of the beads, there is a depth of colour that has to be seen. The seed beads have a pinky tone to the bronze, and in reality, the colours of the two are much closer in tone. It's heavy, and luxurious, and I can't wait to wear it.


Brenda Franklin Bead Kit - bought at Kitchener Knitters Fair

The kit came complete with everything except the needles, and I already had those. However, my needles were about 8 inches long, and this project would have been easier on longer needles - it was tough to fit on the needles towards the end.

I have more of her patterns - I bought one of her books last year, and had never done anything with it - I wasn't sure I would like the small beads and how they looked once finished. Well, I love how they look, and will do more. The only modification I am going to make is to sew a secure clasp on this - she recommends and loop and ball of beads, and I'm not sure it is secure enough.

Tomorrow - the Zoo! My son and I decided to see the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit at the Toronto Zoo on Sunday. We also stopped by the African Savannah while we were there, and took a side trip to India/Malaysia...

Friday, September 14, 2007

They weren't kidding...

I finished stringing all the beads for the Brenda Franklin choker I bought in kit form. The seed beads are a bronzy pink, and the dagger beads are a deep bronze. I'd love to have this done for the end of September - It's my FIL's 80th birthday, and there is a party of sorts, so it would be nice to have this to wear.
So, I did the stringing and counting (1,210 seed beads!), grabbed my size 0000 needles and started the knitting/ As much as I love the silk thread, it's a pain! Slippery beyond belied, and it's made up like a loosely (very loosely!) twisted single. Can we talk about splittiness? And on needles this tiny and sharp, I seem to have developed a hole in my left index finger. The cast on is basically an e-wrap style, so it's hard to get the needle under the stitches and keep them tight. The instructions even say, the first row is the toughest (and they weren't kidding!) but to persevere, keep it tight and it may take several tries. The first row took me about 1.5 hours. You'd think I'd be frustrated, and throw it down in disgust. (and pain.)
But I didn't. It's beautiful, and worth every finger poke, and curse when I split the silk yet again. I'm partway through row 2, and I love the way the light catches the colour of the beads, even when squished onto a needle. I hope I can keep with it to make my deadline.

And how cool is this? Yesterday, while moaning about what to do with my Sheepstrings yarn, Karen (edited - Her name is Karen - for some reason I typed Linda. Where's that idiot stick from yesterday...) from Sheepstrings leaves me a comment! She and I are basically on the same page - I'm thinking about a lacy pair of sleeves, attached at the back for a shrug. (Maybe the sleeve pattern from the Mosaic sweater from No Sheep for You...) Karen also mentioned that it's the perfect amount for a kid's sweater, but as much as I love my son, this stuff is all mine!

Pictures next week - Son and I are planning a trip to the Toronto Zoo this weekend - the weather will have cooled sufficiently for the animals to become more active. Unfortunately, the polar bears are gone - moved up north while the polar bear exhibit gets a total refurbishment. But there should be lots to see - including the dinosaur exhibit!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hit me with an idiot stick

Last night, I decide the call of the the Sheepstrings Canadian Autumn yarn (My name for it) was too strong to resist. So I grabbed the wound balls, hit for the Soleil pattern, and sat down to get started. Then I read the pattern. I want to make a larger than normal size, as I am planning on wearing it as a vest, with a shirt underneath. So I need about 700-800 metres of yarn. Wait a minute...If each of these skeins is 238 metres, and I have two... well, I know enough math to know that I am severely short of yarn. Crap! Now I have to revise my thoughts on this yarn. Any suggestions? I don't really want a scarf, hat or mitts. I'm thinking maybe a shrug, but not something like the One Skein Wonder - I want something a little more drapey. With the metreage available (around 500 metres), I'm not sure what I'm going to get - I may have to get out the design thoughts - Maybe a top down, swingy kind of cropped cardi, with cropped sleeves. Maybe I can find some coordination yarn for he cuffs and collar to stretch it out a bit. Damn. I was pissed last night.

There may have been some stringing of beads done to try and calm myself...

It may have worked...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kitchener - stash enhancements

I promised to show the stash enhancements that occurred this weekend, so here they are...

Beaded jewellery kits from Brenda Franklin. I have one of her books already, and I love what she does with string, needles and beads. She does a lot of fine seed bead work, and it's beautiful. these are both choker patterns, and while hard to see, the one on the left is of seed beads and bugle beads, and is the pattern only. I have an obscene amount of seed beads, so I'll just have to purchase the co-ordinating bugle beads (I swear, I'm walking into a bead store and getting JUST the bugle beads. I swear!) The one on the right is a full kit with the silk thread, seed and dagger beads included. I picked a wonderful bronzey colourway, and it may get started sooner rather than later...

Here's the yarn for which Stephanie and Rachel decided my Need Factor was quite high. Sheepstrings Rainbow yarn. The colour is a little off here - it's not quite this bright. It's deeply, richly, Canadian autumn-y coloured. Its that roadside grove of trees when you drive outside the city, and the leaves haven't fallen yet. In other words, it's gorgeous, it's mine, and I thank Steph and Rachel for making me buy it!

Did you see the content of it? It's like butta, I tell ya...Sock yarn! Like I could ever turn down sock yarn. But the deal I made with myself was that I was only going to buy sock yarn that I couldn't easily get otherwise. So all the Regia and all the Opal was out. It had to be special, and unique. Well, where else would I find special and unique than at the Sweet Sheep? Plus, the best people were there - I said Mama E owned it, but actually, Mama E is the genius behind C*EYE*BER FIBER. Go there, but be prepared to be overwhelmed - as nice as the skeins are on screen, you have to see them in person. Michelle is the operator of the Sweet Sheep.

At the top - Sweet Sheep yarn in Colourway Coffee Bean. 50% merino / 50% tencel. This is for my husband who will wear any colour in his socks except pink. Hubby rocks the hand knit socks - he loves it when people spy a sliver of sock between pant leg and shoe and ask if they are hand knit. Okay, its usually only knitters that do this, but a husband of a knitter once spied them during a business meeting. Two guys started discussing the merits of hand knit socks in the middle of a brewery equipment meeting. I love that. So, by virtue of the pink content of the bottom skein - it's mine! Brooklyn Handspun, in the Genuine Leather colourway. Hard to see here, but there are tones of pink, brown, grey and all those shades in between. Delicious.
Atacama Alpaca. I have no need for this, just an amazing WANT for it. (The fact that it was 50% off didn't hurt). This stuff is funny - the colourways look like crap in the skeins. (sorry, but they do!) Once wound and knit up, they are gorgeous. No pooling (not that there's anything wrong with that...), and what looked so disparate in the skein blends beautifully in the fabric. I'm thinking a shawl or hat and mitt combo here.
What could be my new obsession (once I dig out from under the pile of beads in my house). Needle felting. Specifically gnomes. This is a kit, and I'm planning on using it as a general instruction for construction purposes. I have an idea of how I want my gnomes to look - a little less cartoonish than those in the kit. I have books on needle felting, so this will be a good test, to see if I can combine instructions for 4 or 5 different sources. I have a ton of roving all ready, and I don't spin, so this will be a good use. Hopefully it works. Who knows, I may suck at needle felting, then I'll have to take up spinning...
And last but not least, Wellington fibres. Rachel bought a box of their fibre, but I headed right to the ready to use yarn. I found the last two skeins of this colourway - it's rich blues, golds, some brown, some green. Just beautiful. I keep pulling it out and looking at it. I got one skein of a co-ordinating blue to stretch the handpaint a little further. I originally bought it with my sitter's teenage daughter in mind. E is a great help to her mom and my son adores her. She's a fabulous rep soccer player and played tons of soccer with him and the other kids this summer. She'd love some fingerless mitts. The only problem is that I love this more and more every time I look at it. I may have a tough time letting it go...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kitchener - part one

What a hoot! This year's trip was a ton of fun, although my day didn't start out so great... I was running late (there was line up at the bank and at Tim Horton's which threw my split second timing all to hell). I was to meet everyone at the King Road Kiss and Ride to get on the bus at 8:30am. Between the line ups, and the doofuses in front of me that insisted on driving the speed limit, I was still on King Road at 8:30! I pull into the parking lot, and no bus. Crap! I've missed it. I drive around, and lo! I see a group of ladies waiting. Yes! The bus is later than I am! Excellent! So the bus pulls up a few minutes later, we join the Barrie Guild on board, and off we go. Between draw prizes (which I didn't win) and knitting and talking, the trip seemed to take no time, and we pulled up to Bingemans. Once in, the crowds were amazing. People everywhere. I decided to take the quick(ish) trip through the whole place to see what was there, then go back and seriously start in. Well, my quickish trip took me an hour or so, and then I started at Brenda Franklin's Beading booth. (One can fall very hard at this place...) Who do I meet up with, buying beads, patterns and needles? Stephanie and Rachel H! (They tried to blame their beading purchases on me. They saw the bracelets I'm working on at my house last month, and somehow, it's all my fault. Ladies, you were happily ensconced, with patterns in hand before I even showed up. Not my fault.) So we started from there, and hit every booth for varying amounts of time. I left them for a bit at Gemini Fibres for a bit. I ran into Wannietta;
this is what happens when two bloggers meet. We had a nice chat, and then it was off again. I ran into Carol in her grey silk Tomato (sorry, no picture, and I regret that, because the sweater was bee-yoo-ti-ful!)) and a few others I knew. When I got back to Stephanie and Rachel, Steph seemed to be carrying more bags than before. It seems she fell for some undyed silk roving (delicious), and she found the perfect colourway for her Garter Stitch Jacket. The PERFECT colourway, as we discovered, after checking out every other vendor with Fleece Artist. We wandered through the booths, sniffing, fondling and in some cases buying yarn. I bought some luscious sock yarn from the Sweet Sheep, and then when we were talking, realized that the owner is none other than Mama E, a regular commenter on Steph's site. This is how we get introduced: "Mama E, meet Curlerchik and Rachel H". We all knew. So Emma took this picture of a blogger and her commenters:
Not ten feet away was the Philosopher's Yarn booth. (How Ann could wear that beautiful but warm wool shawl in that place is beyond me. I was cooking in lightweight cotton!) Rachel saw their canvas tote bag, and we figured that it would be the perfect size to carry around her Hitchhiker spinning wheel. (actually, I didn't know the size, but she currently uses a Lee Valley tote, and I do know the size of that, so I was somewhat helpful, I think.) But, you only got the toe if you bought yarn. So we convinced the wavering Stephanie that she really needed to buy the Crossword Puzzle Sweater Kit. (she really wanted to, but needed extra convincing). By buying it, and getting the tote, she would have been helping Rachel, and Stephanie is nothing but helpful to her friends, so the tote came with us, along with the Puzzle Sweater Kit.

While there, we started talking to someone who was happily telling Stephanie that she took the plunge and opened her wool store. I glanced at her business card and gasped. "Never Enough Wool? Port Perry? You're never open when I need you to be!" Nice way to introduce yourself to someone... I pass by her store twice every weekend. We drive through Port Perry on the way to the cottage, but we leave too late on Fridays, and she's closed, and she isn't open on Sunday when we stop at Dairy Queen RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. How's this for customer service? She gave me her card, told me to phone her when I was passing through, and she'd meet me at the store. Oh, I will Carol, I will. Now that I know I can get inside, you won't have to wipe off the nose marks I've been leaving on your window, looking inside...
Rachel and I were debating whether or not we needed to get out the dart gun to stop Stephanie from buying everything she saw, however, no one was doing anything to stop us. Rachel HAD to have the box of Hickory fibre from Wellington Fibres. Not only was this fibre outstanding, and calling to her, it comes in this very cool brown box with a jute handle. I don't spin, and I wanted the box. Rachel wavered, but I basically told her she needed the box. (She got me back, don't worry). Then there was the scarf kit at Lindenhof Wool Mill with the sample pack of fibres, in colours that were just made for her, and I kind of decided that her Need Factor for this kit was high. Actually, the Need Factor was very high, and the scarf kit had to be hers. The only problem was that Lindenhof was only doing cash business there, and we had to scramble to get her enough cash. Steph cam through with the needed $20, so crisis was averted. However, I promised Lucky Canuck that I would grab her some Lindenhof sock yarn, and by then I was out of cash and using plastic, so Lucky? I'm sorry. But! the good news! Lindenhof is opening a Toronto location - 102 Ossington Avenue, between Queen West and Dundas! September 13 at 11am. So Lucky? you're in luck! (and now, you'll be buying ME Lindenhof sock yarn...)

So far, I had been doing well - they've been buying and I've been telling them they need to buy, and I've been keeping my wallet safely hidden away. Then we reach a booth that had hand dyed, lambswool, cashmere and dehaired angora. Fabulous colours,and they had a knitted up Soleil from Knitty. We tried to resist. Really, we did. Stephanie and Rachel were successful in both resisting and in convincing me that I needed some. So I bought it. My Need Factor seemed to be high at that booth.

A few more quick trips to some booths, and that was it. Stephanie and Rachel went off to grab some food and hit the highway, I headed back to the bus for food and some organization of the purchases. All in all, fun, fun, fun! Meeting great people, buying fabulous stuff, and keeping to my pan of only getting stuff I can't easily get locally. Lucky, we missed you this year - you'd better plan for next year.

One of the funniest parts of the day was hearing Nancy's name called as a door prize winner. Nancy has whacked me on the arm for three years straight now, because I always seem to win a prize. My year to get her back. I found her at a booth buying the most luscious Polworth Aran sweater kit, whacked her on the arm and said "I've been waiting 3 years to do this!". She knew immediately that she had won a prize. And here's your dose of irony for the week - Nancy is enamoured of the beaded bracelets - and she wins a beaded bracelet kit from Brenda Franklin!

All in all a great weekend. A tiring day, a nice dinner with my husband, and picking up my son on Sunday. He had a great time, and it was hard to drag him away from his Nanny. (She didn't want to let him go either).

I'll post the stash enhancements tomorrow. Oh, and Steph and Rachel? That Lambswool/cashmere/angora blend? already wound and ready for Soleil. But that beaded necklace kit keeps pushing it's way to the front...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Waterloo County Knitters Fair

Or, as we all know it - Kitchener. Kitchener is tomorrow, and I will be there. I'm dropping young son at his grandmother's tonight until Sunday. "Nanny" (my mom) is looking forward to it, as is young son. They have plans for swimming, spending time with his cousins (my brother and his family live close to my Mom), and generally having the same kind of fun I had when I got to spend a weekend with my Nanny. Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.
One would think all kinds of good things would be happening at chez Curlerchik this weekend, sans child. Alas, Husband is working his tail off, and I don't think he'll be home much before midnight between now and next Tuesday when this project delivers.
So, after I drive to Mississauga and back tonight I get:
an empty house with control of the TV and all the quiet knitting time I want tonight.
a bus trip to Kitchener (bus, so I can knit all the way there and back - with the York Guild and Barrie Guild. Draw prizes, and general knitting fun!
another evening alone with my knitting and the TV
A Sunday morning sleep in (OK, here's some time for Hubby and I!!), and time to hit a few bead shops before back to Mississauga to get child.
Yeah, I'm just going to HATE this weekend...

If anyone is looking for me in Kitchener, I'll have my bright yellow messenger bag that says I KNIT. I have no idea what I'll be wearing - it will still be early when I get dressed. Hopefully I at least match. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be flip flops on my feet, though. You will probably find me elbow deep in some yarn at pretty much every booth, however!
Carol, I'll be looking for you in your grey Tomato!

See you there!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I beg to differ...

Nancy commented that I never knit sweaters. Not true. I KNIT lots of sweaters. I don't FINISH many sweaters, but I do knit them... I start them with the greatest of intentions, but then I get distracted... I think I need to stop knitting for so many other people. Then I can concentrate on larger projects. I did make my son that spider sweater this year, and I do have another one on the needles for him, (just the second sleeve and yoke to do)
I always sit at Guild meetings and drool over all the sweaters that people are churning out. Admittedly, I don't have a great deal of free time, and sweaters do take a fair chunk of time. I am also notoriously fickle - another detrimental attitude trait when it comes to committing to a sweater!

Maybe that should be my plan for Kitchener this weekend - a sweater's worth of wool for me...

(Yes, Nancy, I have arranged child care for the weekend, and will be on the bus to Kitchener! WooHoo! I also have prizes for the raffle draw...)

Back to the River Rock scarf for a sec - I took some more pictures, to try and show the beading, but this yarn is notoriously hard to photograph - I think the combination of the variegated black and white and the crystal beads just don't want to behave. But this is the best of the lot, so hopefully, you can get an idea of the format. It's really going to be lovely when done, and a tough one to give away. It's a toss up between two of my SIL as to who is going to get it - neither of them has received a lace or beaded project, and it's their turn. Looks like a coin toss in December if I get it done! And yes, Lucky, you do get credit for making me pick this up again!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

this isn't where I work...

... but some days, it feels like it! (My apologies to Turkeys & More, I'm sure they are a wonderful company, and if they're hiring, I hope they call me...)
I wish I could go into detail about the crap that goes on at work, but I don't want to get Dooced, so I have to keep it in. The ladies at my Guild meeting last night got a sampling of the crap that I put up with. And as far as crossing your fingers for me last week - I did have an interview, and they loved me, but I'm not going to take it - less money, more hours, less vacation, and I'm not sure the atmosphere would be much better. Dang. Oh well, I'll keep looking...

I've reunited myself with a couple of scarves - the Montego Bay in luscious laceweight merino / tussah silk blend, and the River Rock scarf in Shelridge Farms handpaint:

It's hard to see the beading in the River Rock - sorry, it was raining and dark this morning - I'll try to get a closeup soon. Both of these are planned Christmas gifts for someone on my list. (I don't often have a particular person in mind when I knit - I usually gather all the gifts together at some point and start assigning them to people).

Last night at our Guild meeting, Tove, the owner of Needles and Knits talked about her knitting trip to Finland - fascinating stuff, and the knitting! Techniques that are so unique, and if it wasn't for workshops like the ones she attends, these techniques would die out. Thankfully, there are people that are willing to teach and learn them. A side note about Tove - never fly with this woman! She loses her luggage EVERY time she gets near an airplane! She also misses enough connecting flights that her kids, when they were meeting her plane in Norway, didn't even bother to meet the original flight, as she never seems to make it! They came for the next one. (Of course, this time, she made the first flight). I repeat, as much as I enjoy Tove's company - I will never fly with her - even her husband doesn't - he goes a couple of days before or after her.

We also had quite a few new members last night - I think a number of them came to Stephanie's talk, and decided to join the Guild - Welcome ladies, if you're reading this. Special welcome to Deb Gemmell, as she says she does read this! Hi Deb! Deb and I think we have curled against each other when I was still heaving rocks down the ice. Damn, I want to get back into curling soon! I don't want to have to change my blog name... And Deb? Would you please write up the pattern for that top down lace cardi you showed last night? I love it! I want to knit it!