Thursday, August 30, 2007
I have to set up a Flikr account first, then I know I'd dive right in and not come up for air until sometime in November.
Lynn left me a comment yesterday, and wanted to know if I had any teenage boys on my Christmas list, and what do I knit for them.
Remember I said my nieces and nephews (with one exception) love the hand knits? Meet the one exception - teenage boy. I have made him a Harry Potter scarf, because he asked for it, and I have never seen it worn. (I even made it in a cotton-silk blend, because of his "wool allergy". Please. Amy Singer has a wool allergy - he's just picky.) There are a couple of other teenage boys (sons of friends), and I have been successful with a chulla hat - the Andean type hat, rustic wool, ear flaps, long pom pom and ties hanging down. One guy loved his so much he hugged me! In public! And he's a teenager! Sweet. So Lynn, your best best is to maybe hang out at the mall and look at what their wearing, I guess. Or come right out and ask them. And tell them to be honest. Last year, nephew got an I-tunes card and some movie passes. He was happy, I was happy, and time I would have spent on something for him was spent on something for someone else. Good all around.
Without going into too much detail - keep your fingers crossed for me for the next couple of days. I'm hoping for good things...
I'm also hoping to re-acquaint myself with my camera soon.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
My Mom gets it. She basically tells me what she is thinking of buying as gifts for everyone (including me), so, while there is no surprise with Mom, there are also never any returns. She gets my brother and husband Mark's Work Wearhouse GC's and SIL and I get Winners. Perfect. The kids are checked with in advance, and the correct clothing / electronic gear / stuff is chosen. My mother, for a flighty French Canadian woman, is the Christmas goddess.
My in-laws are another thing altogether. My FIL shops exclusively in the tool department at Canadian Tire, and my MIL always buys all of us girls (5 in total) the same thing in different colours. She has wonderful taste, but unfortunately, it's usually stuff she thinks we SHOULD wear, not stuff I would ACTUALLY wear. But the thought is there. Lately however, it's been much more practical. They are so busy, so they just write cheques. Works out well all around.
I mean, really, I'm 45 (or I will be, hang on, I have to check the calendar - yup- 45 later this year). There's not a lot I need (other than wool, but I know I'm not getting that). To me, it's about the kids. I love watching my son and his cousins and friends get excited about the time of year. It's what makes it all worthwhile. And for me, it's about giving of myself. I love making things for other people. That's why I give so much of my knitting away. (and why I knit so many small things - I'm not stupid).
Carol asked me about the size of my Christmas list. I added it up.
Okay, now not all of them get something knitted, but some get multiple knitted things, so on average, I give away around 50 or so gifts each year. And I love doing it. I also pick and choose the recipients. My Mom, MIL, FIL and some friends will ALWAYS get socks. They love them, care for them, wear them and appreciate them. My brother and his wife - not so much - we have agreed not to exchange gifts. But my nieces and nephews (with one exception), love the hand knits. They stay on the list. My SILs also stay on the list - their gifts just change each year. One SIL got Icarus last year. A hand knit lace weight lace shawl. I got a small note in February (after her mother said something, I'm sure), and have heard through the grapevine that she loves it, but she has never said anything directly to me. If Jen has her way, she's getting nothing this year, but she'll get something. I'm just not sure what. I mean, I don't do it for the accolades, but a hearfelt thanks goes a long way. Or even better, seeing them use the stuff. I've had to convince peole that putting hand knits "away"" because "they're too nice to use", is not right. We make things because we want people to use them, not put them away. It's funny, my close friends seem to appreciate the handknits more than family (with the exception of my husband - he rocks the hand knit socks. Not only does he pick yarn from my stash (plain, wild, anything goes except pink), he wears them all the time and he shows them off). My one girlfriend gets stocked up on golf socks each year (1 pair done, hopefully 3 more to go). I don't think I have time this year for a big lace project. That's why the bracelets will be great. Quick to do, (but no one has to know that), and basically, good bang for the buck. If they don't like 'em, well, too bad - at least wear them once in my presence, then you can toss 'em. I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
"Why would you buy me knit stuff? I live with the best knitter in the world. You, Mom."
Who hot air balloons at 7 in the morning?
Monday, August 27, 2007
These two are now my travel knitting - they come to work with me, etc. so that I can work a few rows whenever, and I don't have to worry about shaping or anything like that.
The Shelridge up close:
I love this stuff - 100% superwash merino, and great colour combinations. I think Hubby is eyeing these - I may surprise him and actually give him a finished pair for Christmas (he usually gets the "two balls of wool and a promise of socks later" gift).
And surprisingly, I dipped into the stone beads, and cranked out some more jewellery. (Like anyone is surprised by this). These are destined for Christmas presents this year - if I can let them go:
Just look at the stones up close...
Yeah, I'm going to need a 12 step bead-reduction programme soon...
Friday, August 24, 2007
She was airlifted to Sick Kids where everything possible was done, but it wasn't to be. Her family made the bravest and most heart-wrenching decision possible - to say goodbye, and let "Jilly Bean" help at least 6 other people through organ donation.
Hug your kids, hug your friends an extra time today, in honour of Jilly.
I'm off to make a donation to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. They do the best possible work in the toughest situations.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
but let me finish this one first. My Mom will love it...
Damn, but these things are addictive...
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
So Stephanie and Rachel H came to Aurora last night. What fun! We started at my house - eating our fill of food, beer, wine and other things. Yes, the butter tarts made a return appearance, as well as the veggie quesadillas. The tomatoes from Ann's garden were a great addition. In between all the chowing down, stories were told (No one will ever get into a car with Joan T again!), friendships were made, and an all around good time was had. When we finally vacated the house (much to the relief of my husband and son, who were hiding in the living room), we headed off to the church for Steph's talk. (I'm still trying to figure out if anyone Kinneared us! It's hard to tell...)
I introduced Stephanie, and she talked while we all knit. Thankfully, I was working on stockinette socks (see above - Shelridge Farms handpaint - yummy!) There was no way I could have kept to pattern, what with all the laughing. You know, there's a reason "At Knit's End" won the Benjamin Franklin prize for written humour (note - not KNITTING humour, all humour!), she is a funny lady. She know how to tell a story to keep you interested, and man! she had a lot of them. CHOKE featured prominently, and we all know members of CHOKE (Cultural Humiliation Of Knitters Everywhere) - some are in my own extended family!
After the talk, she signed books, and then we headed back to Tove's shop - she stayed open late for all of us. We enabled each other rather nicely (Rachel H grabbed the angry caribou buttons - I swear if she hadn't I would have! They were too funny!). While at the shop, Stephanie and Fiona Ellis (who had come to hear Steph talk), regaled us with stories of their travels, and a little inside info on people in the Knitting World. We also got to see a sneak peak of Fiona's new book "Inspired Fair Isle Knits" - she had an advance copy. I am SO getting this book! The kid's sweater! The halter! The jacket with the fair isle pockets! The... well, you'll just have to wait until October when it releases, and I promise you, you will get the book as well.
After more yarn perusing and chatting, we finally left. The three of us made a pit stop back at my place for a coffee (or beer, for those that don't drink coffee late at night - you'll have to guess which one of us that was...) and more talking!
Steph - the Car's song you were thinking of? "Whose Gonna Drive You Home?"
Rachel H - you and I were thinking of "You Might Think"
(I'd link to stuff, but to be honest, I'm really tired, and after taking a day off work, I'm a little swamped today (yes, I am stealth blogging from work - such a bad girl!)
I met some great people last night - lurkers who told me they read this blog (always nice to hear), and of course, Rachel H. I'm hoping a friendship has formed there - she's a great person. Stephanie and I have already talked about next year - we've had the hottest day in August, and now the coldest day in August. We figure we'll plan for locusts or something next year. Whatever happens, I hope she knows she's always welcome - the beer fridge is always full, and food is always available. But most of all, she and Rachel (and anyone else she wants to drag along) are always welcome in my home, my town and my LYS.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Are you a knitter?
You may not be a granny, but you've got the mentality. Hard work and artistic vision lead to your beautiful knitted results.
Take this quiz!
"The mentality of a granny" - I'm not sure I'm complimented by this...
Counting down until tomorrow - Stephanie and commenter extraordinaire Rachel H. make their way to Aurora - good food, good fun and laughs galore!
There are still some spot available for Stephanie's talk on Tuesday for anyone that hasn't yet emailed to reserve a seat. Email Nancy at nmcinnis (st) aci (dot) on (dot) ca for a seat. The weather seems to be on our side this year - we won't be in the triple Fahrenheit digits this time around!
Tove at Needles and Knits will have books available for sale if you still need some, the store will also be staying open late for us.
Carol - how close are you to Aurora? Are you coming?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
see how the camel colour and the lavender were criss-crossing? I'm not fond of that. The Montego Bay pattern is working out much nicer.
I have so many socks because I want to ensure I have a large amount of potential stockinette available for Tuesday night, when Stephanie comes. Nothing worse than trying to knit in pattern whilst laughing one's ass off, and drinking beer. There are still lots of seats available - email Nancy at nmcinnis(at)aci(dot)on(dot)ca to reserve yours.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
"Not that long ago, many young lefties schooled under stern nuns were forced to write with their right hands or their knuckles would pay the price."
This is a quote I found. I can go one better - I started school in Quebec. I had my left hand tied behind me so as to force me to write right-handed. Luckily, my Dad was transferred to Ontario shortly after that. (It only lasted one day - my Mom and Dad had what amounted to a hissy fit with the teacher - Mom dealt with the same issue when she was a kid - she had the nasty nuns. She is now ambidextrous. I just had a horribly backwards fervernt Catholic teacher that thought I was the devil incarnate. Yeah, I don't practice Catholicism in any way, shape or form.)
The word "sinister"is derived from a Latin word that means "left."
A left-handed toast amounts to a curse, not a well-wish. - Excellent! I'll have to remember this if I ever "toast" my current boss...
In some cultures, eating with the left hand is impolite. - My husband spent months in Bahrain during university. If we ever go back, he would have to school me in the eating habits - I would not be welcome at many tables, unless I made myself use my right hand.
If I ever decide to take up polo playing - I'm screwed.
FASCINATING LEFT-HANDED FACTS
Most left-handers draw figures facing to the right - Yes, I do.
There is a high tendency in twins for one to be left-handed - not a twin, so a moot point.
Stuttering and dyslexia occur more often in left-handers (particularly if they are forced to change their writing hand as a child, like King of England George VI). - I guess I got out easy, neither of these apply.
Left-handers adjust more readily to seeing underwater (is that why left-hander Mark Spitz won gold medals for swimming in the Olympics?)
Left-handers excel particularly in tennis, baseball, swimming and fencing - Ok at tennis and baseball, pretty good swimmer, never fenced, but I was a archery champion...
Left-handers usually reach puberty 4 to 5 months after right-handers - ummmm, ok. Can't say I noticed this.
4 of the 5 original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed - cool.
1 in 4 Apollo astronauts were left-handed - 250% more than the normal level. - very cool.
Left-handers are generally more intelligent, better looking, imaginative and multi-talented than right handers ( based on discussions among members of the Left-Handers Club! :) - Have to agree here...
OK, now some personal thoughts on this:
I am mostly left handed, however, I bat right handed, and I golf right handed. I do throw balls left, and I throw curling stones left handed - really throws off opposing teams...
Surprsingly I can arch (bow and arrow) both ways, but did best left handed.
My nephew is a lefty - his parents are NOT happy about this, and thought about tryiing to "fix" this (their words) when he was younger. I normally do not interfere in other people's child raising, but I had to say something here. Ultimately, they didn't attempt to change him. I think my SIL wanted to (Catholic), but Husband's brother prevailed and Nephew is happily lefty.
I wanted to have pictures of my current WIP's - I seem to have had a sock explosion - three different pairs currently on the needles. Plus, Lucky has started a River Rock Scarf from No Sheep for You, and it reminds me of the one I currently have going - I need to get back to it, because I do enjoy it. Plus I have some Atacama Alpaca (like Lucky is using) in a different colourway, and now I want to make ANOTHER one using it...
Monday, August 13, 2007
Tuesday August 21 at 7pm
Aurora United Church, Basement Social Hall. 15186 Yonge Street, Aurora.
Please email Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat, and avoid the dreaded "turned away at the door". (I think Stephanie sometimes forgets how popular she is, and we could have far more than the cut-off of 140 people if we aren't careful).
There will be talking, knitting, laughing (lots of laughing!) and book signing. There will also be hat collecting for charity. For those that braved the inferno that was last year's talk, note that we have moved a couple of blocks north - a bigger locale, but still nice and convenient to Needles and Knits.
For those new to the Aurora / Newmarket area, there are a number of yarn stores in the vicinity, so if you come early, you can yarn crawl all you like. Details to come. (No, I'm not officially organizing a yarn crawl - I will be busy providing beer, I mean food to a few visiting knitters to sustain one of them through a talk...)
I'd wear my Venus de Knitting t-shirt again, but I don't want Franklin to think my wardrobe is that limited. (it is one of my favourite shirts - I love how only knitters get it).
Am I rambling?? I think I'm rambling. I'm a little excited. I love hearing Stephanie talk. I love how the knitters all GET IT when she talks. I love being among my people.
I have to arrange to get Husband and Son out of my house that day, They don't knit. They don't GET IT.
Earlier this year, I saw a giant Mr. Peanut Balloon hovering over my drive. (sorry for the crappy picture - it's hard to do so while driving. I wonder if this is considered Kinnearing Mr. Peanut?)
So this morning, it's not a giant balloon, but a traffic jam. Then comes the reason - a bridge. (or at least a section of a bridge). This was preceded by two police cars (racks flashing), two other trucks, then this, followed by two other police cars. Luckily, they were headed northbound, and I was headed southbound, so once we passed the spectacle, the pace picked up, and I still had time to get my Tim Horton's coffee before work. (I'd hate to be marked "Late" on our office attendance list...)
It's not like I don't expect to see bridges. It's just that I expect them OVER my roads, not ON them...
Knitting was accomplished this weekend. Lots of it. I would have finished another sock, but I lost 5 hours of car knitting time since I was driving this weekend. Pictures to come.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
(Sorry - have some great Loon and Heron pictures, and I just can't seem to find them...)
Also, I should mention in regard to yesterday's post - remember? the finished mittens? Did anyone note there were TWO finished mittens? Is my reign as the "one mitt wonder" over?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The foot was coming along nicely - mindless rounds of stockinette, once I got the toe finished... wait a minute... It matches my COATS? I don't wear socks near my coat - I cover them up with jeans and shoes...
Then, something happened. 12 stitches placed on a provisional thread... more straight knitting, no heel, some ribbing... back to those provisional stitches - knit them up...
Harlotty Socks that Rock Mittens
1 skein of Lightweight STR (lots left over!)
Turkish toe cast on (using 2 knitpicks circulars), then switch to knitpicks dpns.
Around where I wanted the thumb to start, I knit across 12 stitches with waste yarn, the placed those stitches back on the left needle, and knit them again with the STR. finished up with some 2x2 ribbing.
Then - back to the thumb - picked up the 12 stitches top and bottom, got rid of the waste yarn. Knit around, picking up two extra stitches at each end to fill in, so a total of 28 stitches for the thumb. Knit up until as long as I needed, k2 together a few rounds and gathered them up and sewed it off.
Completely "fly by the seat of my pants" knitting, although I did mark down some notes so the second one had a fighting chance of matching. I lucked out - they fit perfectly.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Meet a ball of Knitpicks Dancing. Nice cotton blend sock yarn. It hates me. This mess took 4 hours of my life last night:I do have to admit to having an intelligent husband. He watched as I fought with this, and said nothing. Offered no advice, no help, nothing. Smart man. I probably would have killed him if he had said ANYTHING... I finally did prevail, and wound off the ball this morning. I was NOT going to lose my sanity to a ball of yarn...
We had a great long weekend at the cottage. Incredible weather, the kids were fabulous... One of those weekends where almost everything aligns for the best time. Of course, for the remainder of August, Hubby is super busy at work, and is looking at long hours, including weekends. Which means Son and I may be travelling north without him.If the weather isgoing to be like this past weekend, I can assure you, we will. I got lots of knitting done - small project stuff - mittens, scarves, socks - some finished, some started, some restarted. I'll show off stuff in the next few days. Since tonight is my Guild meeting, I thought I'd give them first glimpse tonight - enough of them read this that when we have our show and tell, they kind of tune out - you know, seen that already!
Hey Guild members - have I got big news for you tonight! Big, big news... Some that I can't announce here until someone else announces it first - which I hope she does soon, we need time to get knitting hats...
Friday, August 03, 2007
Anyway, I have to do a do-over. The first time I made one of the wristers with an over cuff, I made it a little too big. Too many decreases, and the cuff was just floppy. It didn't hug the hand the way the blue one does. I loves the colours - green is my thing - but the cuff was wrong. (And it didn't have enough beads - can't skimp on the beads!)
Hence, the do-over.
The first picture shows a truer representation of the colour, and the original cast on. If you look close, you can see the first line of increases about 5 rows above the beads - there were three more increases like this in the first two inches of the cuff - way too much!
The second picture shows the status as of last night. I cut around the cuff just above the cast one beaded row, and picked out the cast on, saving what beads I could. I didn't even bother trying to rescue the wool - unraveling KidSilkHaze? Are you crazy? I need what little sanity I have, so this was not an option. I still have plenty to do two of the tighter cuffs, and I have tons of the beads. I may actually put more beads in than just on the cast on and the cast off edges.
Someone stop me before I buy a Bedazzler...
For those in Ontario - Hapy Simcoe Day on Monday - we are headed to the cottage tonight for three days of sun and fun. It's supposed to be ridculously hot. Perfect. Lots of small project knitting. Maybe even some beaded knitting... you never know...
Thursday, August 02, 2007
You know I'll get an invite just as I get a new job, or some other time-sucking aspect of life happens. I won't be able to post anything, and they will regret inviting me. I guess I'd best do a little research around the site in anticipation of getting there myself. I can see myself immersed in Ravelry and all it's knitterly goodness...
You signed up on June 13, 2007
You are #8771 on the list.
1279 people are ahead of you in line.
13180 people are behind you in line.
33% of the list has been invited so far
patience is a virtue. patience is a virtue. patience is a virtue. patience is a virtue. patience is a virtue...
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
In my defense, most of these will be Christmas gifts. (those that I can bear to let go...)
Also, since it's going to be 40 odd degrees Celsius today (that's over 100 for the Fahrenheit crowd), it's much easier dealing with thread and beads rather than a lap full of wool.
Have I provided enough justification? Or am I just a bead or two away from the looney bin?
And, Tracy was asking about beads in the comments about the beaded wristers - She wanted to know if there were any tips about choosing beads for certain projects. Tracy, to be honest, I just put what I like together. The wristers were full of colour already, so I went with a clear bead so as not to distract from the colours. On a plainer wool, I may go for more colour in the beads, depending on the effect I was after. The bracelets are easier - choose a common theme and run with it. I have an art background, so maybe it's easier for me, but really, if you go with what you love, it's hard to go wrong...