28 December 2006

My Christmas Tree Is Lying On the Floor...

Well at least it was until about 10 minutes ago. Although a frightened kitty was spotted fleeing the scene, I believe the accident to be a random act of God...or gravity. It's back up now, leaning slightly into the wall. Needles and ornaments are still everywhere. I'm actually home sick from work today and cannot manhandle a vaccuum cleaner in my current state. Pushing the damn tree back up took all my strength. Miraculously, only one ornament broke.

The daughter,
Kelly and I went to Romni's Boxing Day sale yesterday. Yes, I should have stayed home then as well, but hindsight is blah, blah and the entire store was 25% off people! Though crowded, it was a civilized and festive event. Everyone was polite and just happy to be there. Much "Excuse me" and "Sorry, did you want past?" was heard. Don't you just love knitters?

I got a yellow Chibi with three small grafting needles. I discovered I needed small ones when knitting Barbie clothes for Christmas (pictures another day). I also bought a 3.5mm SRK Collection bamboo 80mm circular. Have you ever tried to knit pale blue, ultra fine yarn on pale grey aluminum needles? Those of you over forty will understand why a different colour needle was needed.

Now the yarn...picked up some more Confetti sock yarn for subway knitting. Not pictured is a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca (50%wool/50% alpaca) that is fast becoming the collar of my Tzarina. It matches almost perfectly the colours I was using and will be nice and soft around my neck. The daughter chose 2 skeins of Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky in Emerald City to make a purse from Knitgrrls and one of Liola Ornaghi in a garish colourway that she likes.
My "because I like it" choice was three skeins Artful Yarns Serenade a cotton/angora blend. It's incredibly soft and I was surprised at the colour blend. the strands are pink, lavender and tan - not my usual preferences - and colours that I never would have guessed could look so lovely together.
I'm also trying to join a new webring, partly to widen my bloggy circle, but mostly because I dig the Canadian Fibre Arts embroidered flag icon. I'm not sure if I filled in all the fields correctly as I haven't had confirmation yet. I'll wait another week and try again. Can you guys see the links on my sidebar?

23 December 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the best of the season!

19 December 2006

Weird Things

I am possibly the last person in blogland to be tagged with this one. Thanks Sandi!


THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

  1. I can move one eyeball in all directions while keeping the other eyeball perfectly still.
  2. I have a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen's University (weird enough by itself to those who know me). I obtained this degree despite skipping at least half my classes in the final year.
  3. My life has turned out exactly opposite to how I'd imagined it when I was little. I pictured myself single and childless, in a cool little apartment and with a great exotic job. I am married, a mother, and a homeowner with a crappy job.
  4. I think large noses on men are very sexy - thin large, not bulbous.
  5. If my child had been a boy, his name was going to be Rupert. Everyone advised against this, but I really like the name.
  6. I have a large freckle on my calf that looks like a drip.

I tag Dianna, Miss Scarlett, Canknitian, Elisabetha, and Maria. Sorry, don't have six who haven't participated already.

13 December 2006

Life This Week

A fair amount of work,
A bunch of Christmas shopping,
A personal loss with tears,
A pretty meme:

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

I like that I'm a snapdragon. It reminds me of my garden in August. Apparently, this result means that I'm slightly mischievous and a good friend. Go figure.

09 December 2006

Mystery Garment

Tzarina has reached that exciting stage. You know the one...the stage in the knitting of an unfamiliar garment when you have no clue. The construction hasn't yet gelled in the mind so all one can do is blindly follow the pattern. I've joined the two pieces, picked up where I'm supposed to and put the required number of stitches on holders. I'm working merrily back and forth on the remaining 98 as instructed, and have no idea whatever how it will turn out. It doesn't even look like anything to me yet. What fun! Such drama! Can't wait to see how it all comes together.

05 December 2006

Nice Name

I happened upon another yvette while blog surfing. When one has an unusual name (unusual for English Canada anyway) one gets rather excited at such coincidences. She knits. She beads. She lives in France. Check it out.

03 December 2006

Loverly Hat, Dahling

I finished this cutey last week. It was a total pain to knit but now that it's done, I'd say it was worth it. The yarn is two skeins of Tahki/Stacy Charles Positano, with which I will never knit again. This yarn has been discontinued and one can see why. It is a cotton/linen/nylon blend that actually has crunch. The cotton/linen centre literally breaks when any stress is put on it (stress such as the dreaded p3 tog!) leaving only the thin nylon part in tact. After completion of the pieces, I had to go over them with my small scissors, trimming off all the sticky-outie broken bits.

I'm currently working on Tzarina from Wrap Style. I'm using all the dark colours from my Obligation Sweater and it's looking great. A fast, fun knit.

28 November 2006

Hah! I Always Knew It.

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

27 November 2006

Christmas Knitting?

I knit, therefore I Christmas knit.

The time of year has arrived when those two words (C K'ing) pop up everywhere. I have mildly considered items and half heartedly flipped through my patterns. Nothing has been started.
The problem is, I don't really feel like it. I have knitted gifts in the past, some of which have been warmly received. It's this feeling of obligation that has me down. I keep thinking about a conversation with Aleta months ago at a Drunken Knit Night. She was working on a baby garment gift and reflecting on the fact that knitting anything, especially something good enough to gift, takes time, care and a certain amount of passion. One wants the receiver to understand the value of the gift beyond the mere utility of the item.
Therin lies the rub. Nobody in my extended family "gets" knitting, though, of course they all know about my obsession. They think it's quaint, or cute or just boring. I've been told not to waste my money on good yarns when it's so much cheaper at Wal-Mart. I have been told that our monthly get togethers should be about charity knitting. Why else would a bunch of women get together if not to do for others? Surely not to enjoy each other's company or share the love of a craft? Certainly not to drink beer!
So, as you may have guessed, I shall not be doing any Christmas knitting this year. If it feels like an obligation, why bother?

Instead, my entire family - sisters, brothers in law, nieces, nephews and parents - are receiving animal adoptions from the World Wildlife Fund. They may not "get" that either (well, the kids will) but at least I feel good about it. Check out the WWF Shop here. Forty dollars gets a small stuffy of the endangered animal, a sticker, a personalized adoption certificate and a brochure detailing the work that the gift is funding. Also, you get a tax receipt for thirty dollars. What could be better?

23 November 2006

A Shimmering Lagoon

It finally arrived! and it's love. We met on the internet. I knew it had to be mine so I ordered a bunch. Then, it didn't arrive, and it didn't arrive some more. I was being stood up by yarn. Mild panic set in. Some of our mail has gone mysteriously missing in the past few months, so you can imagine my distress. I contacted the seller and she graciously offered to send more. I said, "Let's wait a wee while longer." Then the glorious day when, in a tyvec envelope that looks a mess, the parcel was dropped in the mailbox. Glorious.

It's three skeins of what was described as softball cotton in a nylon binder. The colour, entitled Lagoon, is handpainted by the seller, lotusblossom. This stuff is quite bulky but lighter than air. I have no idea what to use it for. Any ideas? For now, I just like looking at it, especially in the afternoon sun.
Here follows a shameless plug: Check out this woman's
Ebay Store.

22 November 2006

Scanning Can Be Fun!

Ok. You asked for it...Presenting the best of the worst of my recent 1980's patterns acquisition. Get out your hair gel, headbands and micro-minis.

I admit that the actual sweater in the centre is not too bad but, that hair! I'm flashing back to Charlene What's-Her-Name from the television show Dallas.

The absolute, hands down, no contest, Worst of the Worst, comes from our friends at Filatura di Crosa. Who else? The picture speaks for itself.

Below are the patterns I actually like. They're all from scheepjeswol and are probably more recent. The top left corner one particularly intrigues me. Working with a softer, more "drapey" yarn and leaving the bottom of the body and sleeves open, instead of ribbed, would update this piece nicely. I really like that drawstring neckline.

19 November 2006

A Nice Gesture Really Helps

Friday evening at work, one of my co-workers hands me a heavy liquor store bag. "Here you go," she said. Inside are many knitting leaflets and magazines. Someone at her day job had brought them to the office to offer them up. There were no takers there, so this lovely lady thought of me and took the lot. It turns out that the majority are hideous eighties patterns, only good for laughing at (I'll scan and post some of the funniest ones another time). Still, I am so pleased to have been remembered. How cynical am I that I am always surprised by nice acts?

16 November 2006

My City's Vastness is Submerged

My city’s vastness is submerged in night.
Away from sleeping buildings, I take flight.
The people that I see think: daughter, wife,-
But I remembered one thing only: night.

A mild, July wind shows me where to go.
In someone’s house, music’s playing - slow.
Through thin walls of my ribs, - I know -
This wind, up until dawn, will blow.

There’s a lit up window and a poplar tree,
A flower in my hand, a church-bell’s plea,
This path I take in no one’s footsteps - free,
And this lone shadow, - there is no me.

Golden threads of city lights’ rays.
And in my mouth, - this bitter leaf’s taste.
My friends, release me from the day’s maze.
You’re merely dreaming all of this, dazed

Marina Tsvetaeva
1892 -1941

12 November 2006

Cold Toes No More

Did you ever have one of those days...the kind of day when all that will make it better is to just sit and do something incredibly boring and repetitive? I have fewer of them than I once did, but they still occur. Today was one and all I could do to ignore the looming grey sadness was pull yarn through my needle over and over. Happily, the result is this:

Does anybody remember when I started this rug? It's been sitting in the WIP basket for so long because it became too damn dull to finish. It was just waiting for a gloomy Sunday afternoon to bring it out again. Now, it's done and it's quite pretty isn't it? It even has a rubbery backing sewn on to prevent slips. The day was not a waste after all.

Here it is in it's intended place between the bed and the dresser. Tomorrow, when I wake up, I'll be able to put my feet down while groping about for my slippers. Sweet.

11 November 2006

The Fair

Off we went on our annual trip to the Royal Argricultural Fair today. We viewed giant pumpkins, mutant root vegetables and a 19 foot tall sunflower. The daughter and I met one cow among the hundreds present, who appeared to actually be thinking about something while chewing. I renewed my resolve to eat even less meat while petting a pig. The Daughter, who has embraced vegetarianism, felt no such guilt. We both moisturized our hands with lanolin by deeply scratching many, many beautiful sheep.
I filled my pack, as I do every year, with greatly discounted goat cheese from
Woolwich, smoked fish from Purvis Bros., and Crofters jam - all very yummy and generous with the on site free samples.

Then there was this.....
a small corner devoted to llama and alpaca raising. Present were one llama, and two adorable young alpacas. A few ladies and a meagre display of hats and mittens, promoted the wonders of their yarn. We're talking preaching to the choir here. A small wicker bowl contained about a dozen skeins for sale. I bought this natural tan colour llama - a 90 gram skein. I am seriously in love with the softness and rich texture. It tells me that it wants to be wrist warmers so it can be close to me every day. I'm hoping the yardage is enough for Fetching.

09 November 2006

Things That Bug Me

  • P3tog
  • Watching someone else buy that gorgeous $45 skein of handpainted.
  • The skinny naked chick on the cover of Amy's new book. Yes Amy, I know it's not your fault! But really! The publishers felt it necessary to adorn the work of a beautiful, voluptuous woman, known for designing for other voluptuous girls, with a skinny naked chick? WTF?
  • People who push by me when I'm buying tokens at the TTC ticket booth - as if saying "Excuse me." while shoving me face first into the glass with your giant back pack makes it ok.
  • Jennifer Gray's nosejob.

All done now. Thanks for listening.

07 November 2006

Pylon Head! (Well not quite...)

Just finished putting a fresh henna on my hair. Ack!! Too orange!
I'm out of indigo and can't find more. The Indian food store where I used to buy it doesn't stock it anymore. The lady who owns the place discovered that indigo for hair is the same dye that is used on cloth. She's now convinced it's toxic and will not be persuaded otherwise. I did find one box at House of Spice in Kensington, but that seems to have been old stock and no more has appeared since.
A short henna tutorial: Straight henna used on grey hair will come out pylon orange. Attractive on certain types for sure...just not me. Therefore it is necessary to mix the henna with other ingredients to add browns and reds. I use espresso, beet juice, rosehip tea and INDIGO. I've used blueberry tea in the past, but it's not the same. That dark, dark blue, really turns the henna the deep shade of red that I love. It goes so well with my remaining brown hair and never looks like "old lady trying too hard".
So, I must have more indigo. Anyone know of a local source? Otherwise, a thorough scouring of Gerrard and Coxwell is in my future.

03 November 2006

We Went To alterknit and Found It Good

Last evening, the daughter and I joined Kelly, Michelle and Meredith for a little SnB at alterknit, (1024 St Clair Ave. W.) Toronto's newest yarn cafe. Coincidentally, a schoolmate of the Daughter's was there as well, so everyone had someone with whom to chat.
I had a thick, foamy, latte while knitting slippers. The kid ate spanikopita and made pom poms. Kelly, not having spent enough money last weekend at Rhinebeck, bought more yarn. (It's for a gifting so it doesn't really count.) A nice evening.

Reasons We Like it There:
  • It's spacious.
  • Pattern book browsing while sitting at a table.
  • The gorgeous yarn and accessories wall.
  • The coffee and tea comes in cool cups. Never underestimate the importance of crockery!
  • The women who own it are super friendly.
  • It's in my hood. I can walk there! This neighbourhood is definitely improving.

Presenting the evening's accomplishment. Lovely retro slippers, from the same pattern I wore as a kid. Yes, that's 100% acrylic you see. Hey, at least it's not Phentex. Ah, memories...

30 October 2006

Socks, Gourd, Yarn and Buttons

Finished the Broadripple socks last night and we shot them in the early morning sun.

Everybody loves a decorative gourd!

My latest stash enhancement - 500 grams of yummy purple laceweight alpaca from Peru4less.

The daughter's pinback collection. My favourites are Blythe, the sushi, and, of course, Knitty.

Alice wanted in on the yarn love. Look how healthy she's become!

27 October 2006

Everything Old Being New and All That...

Paton's FASHION KNITS 1975


26 October 2006

True To My Word

Yes, I did manage to finish something from the pile. What I did not manage was to take a decent photo of said something. The late evening sun casts loong shadows and sucks away the lavender colour. Ah well.
Behold the daughter sweater vest. It was originally the daughter sweater, but one happy day while I was holding a piece up to her for fitting, she says,
"I like it like this. Can you make it without sleeves?"
To which I replied,
"Yippee! That's less 2 x 2 ribbing for me."

23 October 2006

Tangled Mess

Frustrated with my jumbled WIPs, I dumped them onto the floor for a photo shoot. Here we have 98% of daughter sweater vest. one and three quarters Regia Broadripple socks an all the bag pieces. It's been catch as catch can subway knitting for the last ten days. Small bits that require little elbow room have been the only possibility. Details like grafting and finishing have been on hold. This recent long haul of work has me too exhausted to knit tonight.

I have a glorious day off tomorrow! I intend to finish one item, probably the sweater. I'll likely block the purse pieces as well. I shall play the stereo very loud while doing this. Let's see...The Band for sure and also Blondie's Parallel Lines will be on the turntable. Wanna come over and dance?

17 October 2006


To clear up a bit of confusion - the photo in my previous post is linked from the Knitty pattern site. I did not make that bag and don't wish to appear to take credit. The bag I'm working on will be green and pink. I've not taken any photos yet.
I'd hate to be sued by a designer!

16 October 2006

Three Words

Cute, cute, and cute. How cute is this? I felt like a quick knit after two sweaters dominating so much of my energy. This is Twiggy Tweed from the current issue of Knitty. I cast mine on last Thursday and so far the back, front, and one insert panel are complete. I'd predict a super soon finish date except that the lining instructions include a dirty word (sewing...shh).

I've been using some Briggs and Little Heritage from my stash and am really enjoying it. What a tactile experience. Here is a truly wooly wool - perfect for a bag. It's thick and slightly rough. Rather than the soft, airy yarns about which one usually waxes poetic, this stuff feels somehow reliable and warm, rural even. And the scent! Wooly coats in Canadian winter.

What fun to use a traditional, seemingly old fashioned product to make this funky little bag. If it goes well, I may make a couple as Christmas gifts for the nieces. Pictures soon.

14 October 2006

A Toast

From Maria, last night at the monthly Dick night.

"I'd like to propose a toast to the drunken knitters! Because we knit! And we drink!"

Right on.

11 October 2006

Warning! Sappy personal stuff...

I realized earlier this evening that I had missed my blogiversary by about a month. What a shame not to have marked it. I've just spent the last while going over my archives and can't help reflecting on how far I've come in the past year.

I try to keep my blog mostly about knitting, with a bit of gardening and cats thrown in. It's not often extremely personal and that has been a conscious choice. It's just who I am. Then, going over my old entries made me feel that, tonight anyway, I should get a wee bit personal.

This has been a tumultuous year for me. There has been a lot of struggle, change and some sadness. Call it cracking up, breaking down, just growing or whatever. Not to sound overly dramatic, but there have been times when sitting and rocking with the needles in my hands, chanting the pattern...k2, yo, k3, ssk.. over and over, has felt like all that could calm me. Then it was "Hey, I got a blog", followed by "I have a secret pal!". And then, I met you guys. I remember how nervous I was to go to the first couple of events...the fancy dress evening and the Knitting Olympics opening ceremonies. Yet, without fail, every knitter I've met this past year has been warm and gracious and fascinating. It's hard to remember a time when I didn't know Jen, Michelle, Kelly, Stephanie, Sophia, Sandi, Aleta, Drea, Kelly, Denny, Meagan, Jackie, Sharon, Krista, Erin, Laura. . . and on. I can't tell you how I look forward to our gatherings and how much they mean to me. Then of course there's Amy Singer, whose creation Knitty has been a little sun around which so many knitters orbit. Her passion and grace have been a teeny bit of an inspiration to me - and she's funny too!

Ok, some may think craft is a hobby, but really, it's a community, one for which I am ever grateful. A return to the usual knitting stuff tomorrow.

The above photo is my desktop wallpaper. It's Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), one of my favourite poets. Read Requiem and March Elegy.

10 October 2006

Feline Update

We appear to have become a three cat family. The boys, Francois and Malcolm are just coming around and are now speaking to us again. The wee girl is looking healthier everyday and is exploring the house tentatively. She no longer hisses at the other cats, though she does give Francois, who is three times her size, a wide berth. Francois is appreciative of such deference.
The daughter has named the girl Alice.

Malcolm's health seems to be improving as well. When he was at his worst, there were swollen glands around his hip area - an indication of whatever weird infection he was fighting. The swelling is now gone and his fur looks much shinier. The hypo allergenic diet seems to have calmed his digestive difficulties. In the morning, when no one else is looking, he also gets a bit of the high calorie yummy stuff mixed in. I believe he's gaining weight! Thank goodness. I love the goofy little guy to distraction and was ever so worried about him.

05 October 2006

The Miracle of Blocking Strikes Again

Her it is at last: the floppy brown sweater. While I'm not in love with it, I do like it. The blocking helped immensely. I was going for the comfy, lived-in look and I did achieve that. The element of which I am the most proud is the neckline. The pattern called for a cowl but I substituted a 2x2 ribbed collar It looks smashing. Another modification is the plain sleeves. The scallop pattern was supposed to be carried throughout, but there is such a thing as too much pattern.

Pattern: Relief Pattern Sweater from September 2005 Sandra Knitting
Yarn: Recycled 100% cotton from a thrift store man's sweater
Needles: 5mm straights for body and 4.5mm circulars for neck

Found Kitty Update:
No calls yet. In the middle of the night she was crying loudly from her bathroom "hotel room". I opened the door to check on her and she headed straight for the daughter's room. Jumped up onto the bed, behind the sleeping daughter's knees, rolled up and commenced purring. Who am I to argue with such cuteness? I went back to bed.

04 October 2006

Found A Kitty

She was meowing in the bushes at the park next to my house(Dufferin and Brandon if anyone recognizes her). She's just the skinniest little thing and it was raining so, of course, I had to bring her home. She's super friendly with people, thus she most likely has a home and is just lost. We put up FOUND posters in the neighbourhood and are waiting to hear. Until then, she's living like a queen in our spare bathrooom with a bed, food & drink, and a litter box.

02 October 2006

Ten Months Later...

So, the damn never ending brown sweater has ended. It looks like crap.
The daughter, who is nothing if not honest, says,
"No offense, but it makes you look fat."
She's right. The bottom edge goes across the exact widest part of my hips giving the effect of a giant, squarish cushion. After much posing in front of the mirror, it was decided that it has to be cut and made a whole lot shorter or stretched to become a whole lot longer. We're going with longer. Hopefully the miracle of blocking comes through here. Pictures soon.

Also, I spent $40.00 on specialty cat food today in an effort to plump up my rapidly shrinking Malcolm. This after $400 dollars worth of tests to find out everything that's not wrong with him. He doesn't have a parasite, or thyroid problem or kidney failure or leukemia. He's just intestinally challenged for no obvious reason and not absorbing nutrients. So he is now eating a mix of hypo-allergenic for intestinal health and developmental for weight gain. I hope this helps.

01 October 2006

Everyone Should Own A Copy of This Book


Floating along the edge of a party, hearing
the stories you are a part of. All of it resists you.
Or you resist it. It's not clear anymore. A light
in the backyard seeps down; it's a streetlamp
behind a tree. The shadow inside the branches
looks like a hanging man. Now, this is a story
you could tell, but you don't. Something
you are afraid of, that stalks you
every minute of your life. So
return to the party and be among friends.
Tell a story, your back to the window.

Michael Redhill
House of Anansi Press

26 September 2006

You Guys Sure Are Friendly

The Daughter needs new jeans and I need to S'n'B. So, I say to Daughter,
"How about we go to Kensington after school tomorrow? You can try on clothes at that store you like and we can get something to eat. Then I'd like to go to Lettuce Knit for a while. Would you mind? Or would you get bored?"
She replies,
"That's ok. I like hanging out with the friendly knitters."

22 September 2006

Working Like the Proverbial Dog

I've gone from too few hours at the job to too many. All the departments are busy and this is good news for my bank balance but not for the family's dirty laundry. You all (all 5 of you who read my blog) are my witnesses. I will not work an eight hour day and then come home to do household tasks until bedtime. The last time I worked full time, I made myself ill with being friggin Superwoman. I recently came across a photo of me from that time and I look like a skeleton. Not this time. The dust bunnies can breed and the husband can wear the same dirty jeans or wash them himself.

Now on to knitting...yet still work related ...

I've started a new pair of sock for subway knitting. I'm knitting Broadripple from Knitty, using the Regia that J gave me. The colour is called Canadian and I didn't know why until I took a good look at the calendar on the office wall. Tee hee.

Also, in honour of the chill in the air, I wore my first socks for the first time today. They do cheer the place up.

18 September 2006

Rocking 1975

A while back I picked up this new/old magazine for a few dollars. 1975 indeed!

I actually quite like the green sweater jacket. It's either timeless or back in style - I can't decide which. What I totally dig is the hat. The instructions are quite simple and I intend to knit it.

I admit a weakness for feather and fan. Picture the third sweater in different colours, a bit shorter, and knit with yarn that's not a petroleum product. Cute? Or is it just me?

The crocheted dresses are included solely for entertainment purposes. Do not attempt to wear these garments at home (or anywhere else).

17 September 2006

14 September 2006

Yarn I Am Not Buying

For the first time in about seven years, my outstanding credit card balance is larger than my bank balance. Thus, I will not be buying this stunning handpainted cotton/rayon blend that is on Ebay right now. I shall ignore the fact that the colours are some of my favourites and that cotton blends get me hot. I'll just look at the picture and bookmark the seller and hope she does something similar when and if I ever have money again.

Poverty sucks.

10 September 2006

Sunday Evening Knitting News

My final Secret Pal 8 package arrived this week and I found out that my spoiler is J at canKNITian. Check out her blog. It's got that balance of funny at times, personal but not too personal at others and gloriously crafty, that makes for a truly interesting knit blog. Also, her spoiler was the lovely Krista the Silent K of Toronto. What a small world.
This package really knocked me flat. I had a teeny lump in my throat going through the contents (I was having a very emotional day).

Inside were two balls of stunning yarn, one Regia sock and the other a precious blue Fiddlesticks wool/silk blend. The Florence Scarves Fiddlesticks pattern was included so I don't need to mull over a project for the yarn. J also found a vintage fisherman knit pattern booklet. Years ago I wore out a fisherman sweater. I'd forgotten about it until I saw this booklet. Perhaps it's time I had another one? The whole package smelled delicious from the citrus soaps. They're almost too pretty to use...almost...
What really got to me though, was the map of PEI. I had mentioned in the mini questionnaire, that I'd always wanted to go there. Coincidentally, J has just been there so she sent me the map along with a bookmark from PEI based
Cows Dairy and some photos of beach rocks.
Thank you so much J! Now please join my sidebar.

I have decided not to join the next round of Secret Pal. It's such fun and I do enjoy it. However, it falls over the Christmas season when time and money are tight already. I'll do SP10 for sure next winter.

This week I also knit Perdita - Lily of the Valley, a knitty.com pattern. I used the handpainted silk J sent in the first package. It turned out to be not the perfect yarn choice for a wristand. I wore it all day yesterday and by day's end, the yarn had softened up so much that Perdita was quite loose and floppy. I don't care though. I still love it. I did make some small modifications to the pattern. I found the beading instruction to pull the bead through to the right side on a knit far too fussy and difficult. So I used the Stich and Bitch Nation method of drawing the bead up on the wrong side purl. Much easier. Also, because of the softness of the yarn, I found I needed three button to keep it closed properly instead of the recomended two.

06 September 2006

Multi Faceted Posting For Lack of a Better Title

I Got Da Blues

Only the second day of "back to school' and I'm lost and miserable already. I really like the slower rhythm of summer vacation and dread its end every year. Now it's back to up early (soon in the dark), lunch making and homework nagging. On days when I'm not working, the house is too damn quiet. Like today. So I'm listening to Bob Snider. The daughter is at dinner with a friend this evening so I'll be going to LK for a dose of knitterly cheer.

Vacation Update

As promised, a vacation tale or two:

This is our favourite anchorage. When we got there, we couldn't believe our eyes. The shore looked like a garbage dump. Obviously, many parties have taken place over the last 2 years. There were beer bottles and cans and plastic everywhere. The fire pit had been doubled in size and was full of broken glass. And some genius had pulled down a small tree and tried to burn it whole. It's all so sad. Now, I don't care if kids want to party. They can get drunk on Lakeport and cheap sherry and eat canned bologna (seriously, we found canned bologna!). They can puke their guts out or even fall in the lake and drown. Just put your garbage back in the boat before leaving. Is that too much to ask?

We got to work and ended up with four garbage bags full before our wee campsite, which we call Stumpy Cove, was nice again.

I managed one early morning walk alone while the family slept. I took a bunch of photos in a meadow. This is one I'm most proud of .

The daughter spent an afternoon collecting moss and such to make "food". Aren't her sculptures beautiful? I wished I could somehow preserve them and bring them home.

The End of Secret Pal 8

I received this surprise thank you gift from my spoilee, KnittnFool aka Miss Scarlett yesterday. She also sent some yarn. How sweet of her. I have so enjoyed watching her blog over the past three months. As I mentioned to her already, you can see her interest in both knitting and blogging grow with every post. What I have most admired about Scarlett is her good cheer and busy ways. She obviously has a huge heart and I'm glad I got to know her a bit through the exchange. Her blog now joins my sidebar.
I haven't got the reveal on my spoiler yet, but I've heard it's on the way. You'll know as soon as I do.

04 September 2006

CNE Cuties

The Husband and the Daughter went to the CNE yesterday.

I was feeling under the weather so I stayed home and knit.

They picked up this adorable S & P set.

Could it be any cuter?

I just had to share.

02 September 2006

I'm Back

Poop and crap and other nasty words...didn't get the job. I foolishly phoned home to check messages in the middle of my vacation to get the bad news. Not too bright. The result was too much wine and many tears by the campfire.
Over it now...mostly.

So, yes I have been away for the past week on a houseboat in the Kawarthas. Our little family does this every other summer. This was our fifth trip. We rent from Egan Marine, a family business in Omemee, just outside Peterborough. We had some fine adventures, the stories of which will have to wait for another day. I'll post a few pictures now. More later.

Here I am trying to photograph myself and the boat from the shore of Big Island in Pigeon Lake.

Shaking out the bedding in the early morning at the lock in Bobcaygeon.

Of course there was knitting!

I also found a very nice yarn store in Peterborough. Yarn Ewetopia (cute, yes?). There I fondled yarn and bought myself Wrap Style which I have wanted for a long time. This did wonders toward easing my pain.