Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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'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
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
(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...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
There may have been some stringing of beads done to try and calm myself...
It may have worked...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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
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
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
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
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!