Friday, November 23, 2007


See you real soon!
Back in a week or so...

(and the stash is safe - the neighbours are house sitting. Always good to make friends with the guy who works at home, knows EVERYTHING that goes on on the street, and whose kids are always looking for extra cash, earned by getting mail, feeding fish, turning lights on and off...)

And, how cool is this?

Driving in to work today, I saw the coolest rainbow arcing around the sun. Unfortunately, it didn't photograph nearly as nice as it appeared in real life, but it was a hell of a birthday gift.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

can't stay away from the beads!

I try. Really I do. I have lots of lovely wool to knit, using reasonably sized needles, with nicely formed tips - sharp, but not lethal.

But these keep worming their way back into the rotation...

They and their friends keep grabbing my attention, and force me to do things like this:

(the colour doesn't show very well here - think gloriously bronzy beads, on champagne coloured perle cotton..) Both of these are destined to become chokers for some SIL's that will love them.

And the needles are like this:

sharp (really sharp), and small. Small enough that my age is starting to show, and I am looking ABOVE my glasses to see this stuff close up. My husband keeps using the "B" word (bi-focals), but I'm resisting. I mean, why should I, when just taking off my glasses works just fine...

Added note - people, we're Canadian. Snow should not be a surprise to us. But judging from some of the people on the road this morning, they've never seen the white stuff before, and they certainly don't know how to drive in it...
And to my American Friends - I hope you have a wonderfully Thankful day. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, and many of you are part of it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

lots of little things

I've been knitting - I'm trying to get things organized to go away, and that means a lot of starts, but not a lot of finishes. (yes, I plan my travel knitting before all else, what of it?)

Travel knitting to me is little things that work up easily. No sweaters, probably no beads, (although it's hard to leave them behind...), nothing that requires lots of chart referrals, etc. So we're talking socks and hand warmers for the most part. I've cast on a couple of toes, and got them to the point of off the two circs, and on to my beloved dpns. A pair for my hubby in Rabbitch's Toe Jam, Black Watch Colourway:
I've told you the history of this - Hubby's grandfather was in the Black Watch, and it has a special place in Hubby's heart, as well as historical significance. Good on ya, Rabbitch. These are on metal dpns, so will not make it into the cabin of the plane with me. I know that, by law, I am ALLOWED to bring knitting needles on the plane, and I have successfully done so in the past, but we have a 6:30am flight, and it's young son's first time in a jet (he's flown in Cessnas, both wheeled and float, but not anything bigger - talk about doing things backwards...). Anyhoo, I figure this will be the one time I get a crankypants bag checker who will freak at sharp metal sticks, and cause us all kinds of problems that I will not be able to deal with in the middle of the night with (probably) very little caffeine. Hence, a pair for my son - Austemann Step with Aloe, on bamboo dpns. Should pass muster:
I also have a pair of handwarmers on bamboo ready to go, because as we all know, I have KADD (Knitter's Attention Deficit Disorder), and can't be limited to just one project. Plus, there's always that hope that I will warp the Time-Space Continuum, and whip off 2 full socks, and still have flight time left, and THEN WHAT WOULD I DO? The Need Factor for a back up project is there.
That's just what's going in the carry on. (Well, the Black Watch isn't, but anyway). I'm still deciding what goes in the checked bag. I'm thinking some Fleece Artist Silk/Kid in a beautiful red/pink, as well as some other worsted for handwarmers, and an extra ball of sock yarn. And beads on fine thread. (You know, in case that Time-Space thing happens...)
I've got the knitting planned, now I must see about clothes and such...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I iz not two smart...

I stole this from Carol:

cash advance
She is genius level. I'm not quite there...

Edited to add...
Thanks Wannietta! I think my husband agrees with you...

I think my problem is I hang out with too many elementary school level people. And I'm talking about work, not my Grade Three age son...

Monday, November 19, 2007


The above title applies to Ravelry. It could mean a Ravelry Update (which this is), but actually, it stands for Ravelry Underachievers. A group I happily embraced! Of course, once I did that, I actually started adding things to Ravelry - my profile, some of my books.. It takes joining an underachievers group to actually get me to start achieving things...
However, I still haven't set up a Flickr account, so I guess I am an underachiever.

If you are on Ravelry, and I haven't added you to my friends list (I'm workin' on it...) let me know, and I'll get on that.

Posting may be a bit boring this week - I'm a little busy, and my knitting is well, boring. Small things, finishing up things. I hope to have some more bead necklaces to show one of these days...

Friday, November 16, 2007

fall down, go boom...

I kinda fell the other day. Metaphorically, I should add, not physically. The only thing I hurt was my credit card balance.

You see, I was reading Rabbitch, and she was mentioning some yarns she had for sale over at the Sweet Sheep, and how one of them was her favourite. So I hopped (hopped! get it? Rabbitch... maybe it's just me.) over to the Sweet Sheep to take a gander (I have an animal thing going here, I think) .

Rabbitch's fave was "Anthem" which is lovely, but I kept looking and found "Black Watch". Whoa. Hubby's grandfather was in the Black Watch, Hubby has his regimental tie, and well, it's an important part of his heritage. So I had to get it. And then it looked so lonely in the shopping cart, I just had to add to it.
I ordered on Monday (?) I think, and it was waiting for me when we got home. My son gets to the door first, and sees the package. He picks it up, gives it a squeeze, and says "It must be for you Mom, it's yarn." My Boy! I've got him trained so well, he can tell yarn through plastic Canada Post packaging.
How's this for customer service? Not only does it arrive fast, it arrives all packaged up so pretty:
Pink tissue, label and a handwritten thank you card. "Candy for your Stash" - you got that right!

Rabbitworks Toe Jam - "Black Watch"
C*EYE*BER Fiber - Gregory
Dream in Colour Smooshy - Good Luck Jade
The black Watch is perfect - black and just the right shade of green. Hubby approves, and has asked that they go to the top of the queue. It's wound and ready.
Mama E's C*EYE*BER Fiber is lovely. The perfect brown/blue combination that I am in love with. This may go to the top of my queue...
And the Smooshy. Swoon. Green is my favourite colour, and this is really, really nice.
I also bought the Tulip baby sweater pattern. (See Steph? Your influence again...) I have no babies on the horizon. None. The only person I know that's even getting married will not be baby making. (It's Hubby's 85 year old uncle, and we are thrilled for him and his bride-to-be).

Be warned - a visit to the Sweet Sheep can be dangerous. Fun, fulfilling and a joy, but dangerous to credit cards...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Holiday light etiquette - lets discuss...

First off - yesterday's post was a JOKE! I feel the need to explain this to the people that felt the need to leave me a private email instead of a public comment. I am not mad at Stephanie. I like Stephanie. She's been to my house for dinner, we are friends. She makes me buy things (good things, Sheepstrings...) And now she's making me knit things because she shows how beautif ul these things can be. And yes, I still read her blog every day, and her books are still in the place of reading honour in my house - the bathrooms.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...
what is the etiquette of when to put up Holiday lights? As a kid, my Dad always put them up around the second week of December - Epiphany (Janaury 6th) was important to my Mom, so we kept them on until then, but they didn't go up until around December 10th or so. Which is kind of what my husband and I do. Early-mid December and we stop lighting them around New Years. Seems to make sense to me, but maybe I'm warped.
There are at least 10 houses around my neighbourhood already lit up. We're talking about November 10th, when I saw the first one! I'm thinking that sort of dilutes the excitement of the season when you drag it on for almost 2 months, wouldn't you think?

Hubby and I are also in conflict on the type of lights - I'm the single colour, sort of laid back type of decorating. Hubby likes colour and flash that would make a Las Vegas Hotelier weep with envy. But this year, his flashing ribbon multicolour lights have bit the dust. And I was given the task of replacing them. I think I hit the happy medium. LED (because, d'uh, why wouldn't you - better energy use, brighter colours and all that), single strand (my liking) BUT, they change colour from red to green, so it satisfys his need for some flash. I also have some twinkle lights (again, LED) for our crabapple tree near the deck, so he gets that extra flash of colour.

I'm not a Scrooge, I'm really the farthest thing from it. I love Christmas, especially since our son came along - I love giving hand knit gifts, and that something special that no one is expecting. This year, Hubby is getting Guitar Hero 3 - he mentioned a few weeks ago that he played it with some of our Godkids out in Calgary, and how absolutely cool it is. Well. That sealed it - he's getting it. What else do I get him? We don't need a lot of stuff. And when we need it, we go and get it. So Christmas is really to give something that we normally wouldn't get for ourselves. I'm kinda looking forward to some riffs myself...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm waiting rather (im)patiently for my copy of Selbuvotter to arrive. (I've ordered it from my LYS, Needles and Knits. I try to shop local when I can, and Tove's shop is so great, it's nice to support it). I've got the Shelridge yarns ready and there are mittens (a la Stephanie) in my future.

I may have to stop reading Steph. If she's going to insist on showing cool things to knit, and bringing up the Christmas countdown (41 days! ack!) I'm going to have to smack her with wet wool. Wet wool, fresh off a sheep. Wet wool, fresh off a sheep that hasn't been skirted.

I mean it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

rainbow wristers

I meant to add some details on these wristers yesterday, but I was on a roll with my rant, and it just didn't seem like the right time. I have made these for my niece. Last year, she got a hat out of the rainbow yarn, and loved it. I had yarn left over, so I thought I would whip up some fingerless mitts. I made these very simply - just a tube with a thumb opening, and a picot edge bind off. But they were plain. I stewed for a bit, then found the blue Ovation (kid mohair / silk blend) in my stash, and it matched. I thought about a ruffled trim, but that didn't address the issue of the open thumb. So I thought of maybe a ruffle that covered the thumb for warmth, but still left it open for ease of use. I was also in the midst of one of my beading frenzies, and had these clear beads hanging around - a perfect solution for a very busy yarn like this variegated. I picked up stitches just below the thumb opening, and started knitting. I put in two rows of beads right at the beginning to define the cast on, and I increased around the mid point of the thumb so it wouldn't be too tight, but would still be snug enough for warmth. I continued up to around where the top of the thumb would be, then did two rows of increases to created a ruffly edge. I then cast off, adding a bead to each cast off stitch to add some weight. I love how the beads add a heaviness and swinginess to the ruffle.

When you wear it with a coat, the picot edge of the variegated and the beaded ruffle edge just peek out of the cuff. And if you need to use your hand, the ruffle flips back over the wrist, out of the way. I hope J likes them. She's 13, and such a great kid, that I know she will be very thankful at Christmas, but I just hope she LIKES them, know what I mean?

Monday, November 12, 2007


When I was younger, living at home, and I got pissed about something, my Dad always told me the channel my anger into something productive.

Can you tell how mad I was on Friday?

Clockwise from the top centre - Striped slippers (pre felting) made of Soy Wool Stripes from Patons. Dark Blue slippers (pre felting) made from Gjestal Naturgarn. Beaded wristers (1 was done, I finished up the second). Green leg warmers.

(before you think I was really THAT angry, the slippers and the leg warmers were mostly done on the knitting machine). I also washed all the sheets and towels, and hung them outside for awhile to get them nice and fresh, cleaned 2 bathrooms, and organized a few cabinets in my kitchen. On top of my normal weekend stuff...

What gave me the need to channel my anger? My HR department. In the past month while I have had the illness that won't go away, I have taken 2 sick days. (My doctor recommended much more, but I was somewhat functional, so I came in to work). Last week, I sent in the form for the most recent, requesting it as an unpaid sick day. (I've used up my allotment of 4 sick/personal days already) Friday I get an email from HR stating that no, these are not unpaid sick days, they have been taken off my vacation allotment, meaning that I have 3 days left of vacation. "PLEASE ABIDE BY THIS" was capitalized on the email. Right. She has conveniently forgotten that I am off in a couple of weeks to Florida for a family vacation. That can't be changed. Correction - that WON'T be changed. I sent back a lovely little note, apologizing profusely at the oversight, but that I WILL be away for 5 days, and whatever is decided, I will ABIDE by. (i.e., I expect to get a written warning.) This is such crap. If HR spent less time policing the people that already work here, and more time finding people to fill the numerous vacancies, maybe there wouldn't be such turnover. (Have I told you that we have had more than 10 receptionists in the last 2 years? And that for the past 2 months, we haven't even had one? We've all been taking turns helping out at the front.)

So I channeled all that into to above. And by Sunday night, I felt much better. I still can't stand her and her policies, but then again, I don't work in HR so maybe I'm just being a pain. I don't know. What I find funny is that if I get 2 written warnings about absenteeism, I get penalized by... wait for it... 3 days off without pay. I'm thinking I should take another couple of days off, and add the three suspension days for a week off. What do you think?

All this just weeks after getting a "Substantially Above Target" rating on my employee evaluation. I get nailed because my priority is my family. Whose priorities are screwed up here...

Friday, November 09, 2007

fun stuff Friday

First off - I have to thank you for the nice comments on Tubey. Nancy did a great job on the pictures, but you really have to see this in person to appreciate the loveliness of the Sheepstrings yarn I used on the arms. And I'm thrilled at how well the Elann Highland wool matched. I may have to knit myself more sweaters...

I stole this from Wannietta, but made some changes...

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) = Martini Civic (eh, not a banner name...)

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fav. ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) = Dulce La Leche Homemade (could work...)

YOUR "FLY GIRL" NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of last name) = SRic (boring...)

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) = Green Penguin (sounds rather Marvel Comic-ish...)

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) = Jacqueline Montreal (yeah, could work...)

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) = Ricsa (no worse than Jar Jar Binks...)

SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink, put "The" first) = The Orange Beer (this I like!)

STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy) = Obsession Rockets (look for me, starting a 2 week tour at the Brass Rail... JUST KIDDING!!)

WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names) = Pauline Liliane Edward

And, let me add a popular one that I have come across: Here's where we differ - Wanietta has the first street you live on - mine was Mom's maiden name (and since I don't use that for any confidential purposes...)

PORN STAR NAME (name of first pet and name of Mother's maiden name): Martini Martel (and my best friend would be Champagne Kennedy - we have a team!)

ETA: Some people may use this kind of information for nefarious purposes - feel free to alter your answers if they could be clues to your passwords or financial data. But it's still funny!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

mailbox treats!

Amid all the junk mail, assorted bills and other crap that appears in my mailbox, the other day there was this:
Sorry for the crappy photo - but if you really squint, you can see the return address - Tradewind Knits! Yup! Lucy Neatby's company! And inside...
THe Abracadabra Scarf pattern, and a hank of Celestial Merino Dream. THis stuff is wonderful! Soft, squooshy and totally luxurious. And all for me! No CHristmas gifts will be made from this.
Lucky had this sent to me as a thank you for a circular needle storage thing, and dpn holder I made for her. She's got great taste, and I will gladly do stuff for her if this is the result. She ordered it at the Creativ Festival, directly from Lucy Neatby herself! How cool. The pattern is very interesting, and I think I'm going to get some fabulous red beads to go with the delicious cream Merino yarn. How very Canadian of me...

Thanks Lucky! Any time you want to trade, I'm all for it!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

lots to show!

So this was my deck this morning:
For those of you in Toronto proper, this is what happens when you move to the 'burbs. Your deck and plants get covered in snow. Those pots are herbs that I was still harvesting on the weekend. And will probably be able to continue with some. The sage looks okay, but my basil is now toast.

But regardless of the weather (there is no snow at my office in Concord, and at home it will be gone shortly, I'm sure), I charged the camera battery, and the flurry of finishing can now be shown.
The KnitPicks Dancing socks - Christmas gift for MIL:
The Fleece Artist fingerless mitts - probably a gift for my sitter's daughter. She's a fabulous soccer player, and she spends a lot of time with my son, practicing soccer. Plus, she's just a great kid:
A black seed and bugle bead choker - possibly for a SIL. I misjudged how much thread this was going to take, so there are only three beaded rows instead of the pattern's five. I may keep this, or give it away, not sure yet. I've already started another one, with finer seed beads, no bugle beads, and silvery grey cotton thread. It's another Brenda Franklin pattern, and I have to thank my husband - he made me some stainless steel 1.5 mm needles - gotta love a guy that has a shop with the ability to do this - I asked for needles about 8 inches long, and that's what he brought me! Now, if only I could get him to make me circulars...
And... last but not least... Tubey is done! I wore it to my Guild meeting last night, and Nancy kindly took some pictures. Here's the side view of Tubey - short rows in all their glory:
Funny, I originally typed it as Tubbey - I think that fits better. Must leave Halloween chocolate alone...
And the front view (which really does fit the name Tubbey):
I'm very happy with this sweater. Other than the fact that it is warm, I love the fit, the sleeves, and the yarn.
Tubey from Knitty (sorry for the link lack, but I'm drugged up pretty good. It turns out I have a sinus infection, and am on Zithromax. If this doesn't work, I don't know what's left to do...)
Different yarn. This project started with the purchase of 2 hanks of Sheepstrings hand-dyed yarn at Kitchener, that Stephanie and Rachel H decided I needed. (I did need it.) I found that I really didn't have enough to make what I originally planned, then remembered Emma's sweater, Rachel H reminded me of the pattern, and the rest just followed. I used Emma's brilliant idea of short rows, and they worked great. Covered everything quite nicely, and there is no pulling. Jen christened the sweater the Booby Tubey!

SO Nancy - no more of this talk that I don't knit sweaters! I do! (Just not very often...)

Next, gifts in the mail! I love getting packages in the mail...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

no time

Out on the road today. No time for pictures. Lots tomorrow, promise...

Monday, November 05, 2007

to distract you...

Okay, I admit the weekend was a flurry of finishing, and a spate* of starting.

(*The best "s" word for flurry that could come up with. Also, todays "word of the day" on is woolgathering. How cool.)

I finished up some things, and started some new things, but the one thing I forgot to do was charge the camera battery. Dang.

Otherwise, it was a great weekend. Aside from all the knitting, my son had his best basketball game ever - scoring 10 points, including a basket at the buzzer. (Just a little proud, here). He also memorized "In Flanders Fields" and knew his electricity and magnetism facts inside and out for his test today. We got leaves raked, I might have bought more beads, and I spent way too much tie on the Disney World website.

So, to distract you from the lack of pictures, I give you my results of some quizzes that have been sent to me...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Most Honourable Sandra the Mellifluous of Divine Intervention
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will sink in a mire. You like to think you're normal, but deep down you really just want to strip off your clothes and roll around in chicken fat.
Take this quiz!

How smart are you? - Are you dumb?

Friday, November 02, 2007

keeping up

I feel like I've been depressing lately. My issues with my workplace, and this never-ending illness seem to be my discussion topics, and well, I feel like that's not fair. I assume you come here for the knitting, and lately you've been getting the complaining. Sorry about that.
With regard tot he workplace issues - Lucky pinned it - she told me that one of my emails had a "sadness" to it. That's what it is - a sadness. With my ex-boss gone, there's no one here to confide in, to talk to, to laugh about the idiosyncrasies that occur daily. It sucks. But I'm making the best of it. It's still my job, and they pay me to do it, and it's my nature to do the best I can do. I am looking into options, some of which mean staying here, but possibly reducing my hours, which would work for me. Some options obviously entail moving on, but I'm going to make sure that any move I make is a good one for me and for my family.
The cold / flu / allergies / whatever is causing this is a completely different story. I start feeling better, and then a coughing fit comes over me that leaves me weak. At least they are fewer and far between, but still. It's been 3 weeks! Enough already!

But I'm looking ahead. To good things. Like finishing Tubey. (It's been my knitting focus at night. I'm still looking to wear it on Tuesday). Like doing some more beaded chokers. (beads are strung and ready.) To finishing up some fingerless mitts for gifts. And I'm especially looking forward to going to Disney World with my boys. And seeing my Mom in Florida as well. It's a long needed vacation, and I hope it refreshes and revitalizes us.

I'm also looking forward to an extra hour of sleep this weekend, and coming back MOnday with lots of knitting for you.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

nothing much new

Last night, my little demon (not attitude wise, he was actually dressed like a demon)
raked in the goodies, and while Husband took him around, I stayed home and shelled out to all the other demons, princesses, pirates and transformers that showed up at the door. Most years, we do a pretty good job of decorating the outside deck, but this year, illness and bad timing got the better of us, so we only had some basic spider webbing, and a few bats and spiders hanging around. I'm amazed at the number of people that commented! I had to promise we would do better next year... The pumpkins were a hit - I carve three - one for each of us. I'm still trying to figure out why, if we each have our own pumpkin, do I have to carve all three...

We had the usual amount of cuteness at the door - the little ones are so sweet! In our house, the smaller and cuter you are, the bigger the handful of chocolate and candy that goes in your bag.

My favourite costume of all time was a couple of years ago, when a little boy about 5 years old came to the door, dressed all in grey, with Barbie dolls stuck to him. I asked him what he was, and the proud answer was "I'm a Chick Magnet!" I laughed, and said that his dad must have dressed him. I still think that's the best.

Surprisingly, I got quite a bit knitted on Tubey last night - it was the perfect project, Not too small that it became fiddly, nor too complicated that it was difficult to pick up and put down. I'm about 5 inches past the short rows, so I put the stitches on a thread and tried it on again. I wanted to make sure that the short rows weren't too pointy. They're not - the fit is just what I was after, and I'm so glad I put in the short rows. The hem edge (where I am still knitting from is nice and level all around the torso, so the short rows did their job and covered the girls properly. I want to make a real effort on this - I'd love to have it read to wear on Tuesday at my Guild meeting, but knowing how easily I get distracted, I'm not promising anything...