28 February 2007

Secret Pal 10 - Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I find myself attracted most to blends - cotton, linen, wool, silk, even a bit of acrylic is fine. I don't like eyelash/novelty yarns. They hurt my fingers!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
They live happily in a desk drawer. The circs are a bit out of hand in there.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting since childhood. My mother taught me. In the past several years I've learned from books, the internet and other knitters. I believe I may be moving from intermediate to early advanced? I've learned so many new skills this past year and my understanding of the mechanics of stitches and construction has increased tenfold. I still can't manage fair isle, but I don't like it so I'm not concerned.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
On my third Secret Pal and I still don't know what that is!

5. What's your favorite scent?
Sandalwood...mmm... It's getting harder to find so second choices are citrus, lavender and rosemary. I don't like dessert scents such as sweet berries and vanilla.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Duh! My real weakness is salty though especially nuts and chips. I've temporarily sworn off chips while I try to rid myself of these extra pounds.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Don't spin or crochet. I dabble in beads, I write daily in notebooks and I love making clothes for the paper dolls I received as a Christmas gift. Got any fabric scraps or wallpaper samples?

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have wildly various taste. I don't like rap, hip/hop and hard core country. Everything else has been known to be enjoyed in my house.

9. What's your favorite colour(s)? Any colours you just can't stand?
Still stuck on the blue/purple/red/green. I'm trying to branch out. I recently bought some peach cotton. However, orange and yellow will always give me the heebie jeebies as fashion colours. This is probably because I am half Italian so my skin is not olive, but yellowish. Especially in winter.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
A husband of 18 years! A thirteen year old daughter!! Three cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes,to all. You can never have enough hats.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Depends on my mood. For quick knit fixes I enjoy doll clothes, scarves and wrist warmers. When I feel like a long haul, an interesting top or lace project does the trick. For the subway it's socks - nice and portable.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Wrist warmers, socks, a wrap and a child's sweater for charity.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Whichever needles suit the project are fine. I never took to knitting straight projects on circs like so many of my friends have. I find it awkward, possibly because I learned on straights. NO DPN'S! I'm so hopeless with them. The Magic Loop has changed my life.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Not yet.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
My wrap is about five months in the basket.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Summer long weekends.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Vintage knitting patterns from the 50's thru the 70's.
Brushed aluminum teapots, coffee percolators and canisters.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
No current subscriptions. The new Lace Style from Interweave looks nice and I quite like Rebecca.I like Needful Yarns and I need some 5.5mm needles of some description.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I seriously need to learn several more ways of casting on. Also, basic crochet skills would come in handy.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. Size 8 shoe.

23. When is your birth
June 06 - Yes, D-day.

27 February 2007


February blahs. I'm tired all the time. It feels like there's so much to do and yet, all I can manage is hauling myself to work and napping the rest of the time.

I had a job interview 3 weeks ago and haven't heard a peep from them. The follow-up email has been sent and still nothing. They said they'd be in touch by the 12th. This strikes me as just plain rude. I'd say 'oh well' except that the potential employer is The City. Disheartening on so many levels.

My asshole neighbour shovelled the snow from our shared walkway and most of his parking pad onto my perennial bed. We're talking three feet of heavy snow. This is the same genius who didn't understand why it wasn't ok for him to park his extra car on our our property. "But you don't own a vehicle," he said repeatedly with a dumb guy look on his face.

On the bright side I joined Secret Pal 10. That's always fun.

And one nice story...A chunk of cash was found on the floor of The Husband's place of employ, obviously dropped by some member of the public. After holding onto to it for just over a month with no inquiries, they decided to give it to charity. Something local and having to do with animals was agreed upon. I helped out with a bit of Internet research and we found this: The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada in Puslinch Ontario. Hee haw.

22 February 2007

One More Time...

with feeling... and a one and a two...

These are for Amelia, a friend of The Daughter's. She admired and coveted my previous foray's into this pattern so produced yarn and a request. How could I refuse?

The Yarn: Diamond Yarn Galway Worsted %100 wool in colour 616.
She made a nice choice didn't she?

19 February 2007

Blur 1

Captured this on the walk home from Drunken Knitting night. Someone is doing late night laundry and the dryer exhaust steam (one of my favourite smells) is really visible on such a cold night. As I pass, the alley's motion detector lights snap on.

17 February 2007

El Cheapo

It's a ridiculous amount of work.
Buy a second hand sweater of high quality yarn, unravel it, soak and wash and rinse. Then rinse some more.
Hang to dry. Then wind into balls.
What do you get?
Lovely peach lace weight and sore arms.
But it only cost three bucks.

Guess where the kitty treats are kept?

15 February 2007

How The Hell Did I Become The Parent Of A Thirteen Year Old?

As evidenced by the number of folks witnessed carrying over-priced flowers yesterday, Valentine's Day is still going strong. Around here, February 14 has an entirely different meaning.
Thirteen years ago last evening, at 8:02 pm, this popped out of me...

Well, she wasn't wearing the hand-knits when she came out. Those were supplied later by the mother in law.
"I'm a teenager" she giggled while being tucked in last night. (Apparently, teens still enjoy being tucked in and kissed goodnight.) "I'm the mother of a teenager," was my reply. Inexplicable. As the Grateful Dead would say, 'What a long, strange trip it's been'. The journey has been particularly sweet for me because motherhood was never in my plan, insofar as I had one. Yet, sometimes The Universe knows what's best and hits you with,
"HAH! You think you know where your life is going? Well, not so fast, here's a wee surprise."
Before I knew it, we owned a second hand gold-toned fridge and lived in a family friendly neighbourhood. I also had a helper as you can see.
I love The Daughter beyond any kind of love I'd imagined was possible. Watching her grow into the remarkable young woman she is, has been a gift, a treat, a joy. She's funny, bright, and most of all, caring. Beautiful too, but perhaps I'm biased?
I'm a bit nervous about the challenges the next few years may bring - not about her ability to face them, but about my ability to let her go and make her mistakes as she finds her place in the world.So, fingers crossed. Head first into the teenage years we go! Happy Birthday Baby! Truck on spreading your sunshine.

10 February 2007

Daughter Wrist Warmers

Pattern: Last Minute Knitted Gifts (again)
Needles: 4mm circulars. Magic loop method used.
Yarn: Lang Yarns Tosca (55% new wool, 45% acrylic) Colour 0051
Modification: Finished the thumb opening (as before)

Sweet, are they not? The general concensus among the Wednesday crowd at Lettuce Knit, is that they look like sherbert. Perfect for a twelve, soon to be thirteen, year old pseudo pop princess. The second time around with this pattern and I'm still loving it and want to knit more. Who wants a pair? Hmm...perhaps the nieces...

08 February 2007

My Brain?

Actually, I think this just means I like purple.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

06 February 2007

Houston, We Have Contact

Almost exactly four months to the day of Alice joining our household, we have full contact snuggles with the senior animal. Excellent.

04 February 2007

A Spot of Shopping With the Girls

  • Saturday afternoon found The Daughter and I chez Koko (and Kelly too) for a girlie time. Lunch was served - a delectable vegetarian lentil soup followed by decadent Italian cream horns and home made wine. Thank you again Kelly for the welcome. Other companionable pass times such as recipe exchanging, kitty cat worshipping, and of course, knitting, were followed by a delightful stroll through a blizzard to Knitomatic. There money was spent. In my defense, every single item seen here was marked down. As Hayley said about the adorable pearlescent plastic Swallow needles, they "need a home".

Besides the cute and cuter needles, I also grabbed a skein of Opal sock yarn in a dusty rose. Solid colour sock yarn is harder to find these days and I have been wanting to try a fancy lace sock of some sort. The Daughter wants wrist warmers and chose a gorgeous colourway Lang Tosca (55% wool, 45% acrylic). The pastel pink, yellow and blues suit her taste perfectly and the acrylic blend should make care a bit easier. In the "I have no idea what to do with it, I just like it" category are three beautiful peach toned skeins of Nature Cotton. Six dollars each people!

I also bought a Rebecca back issue with some scrumptious designs. I particularly drool over the red lace blouse. This one is my next garment project for sure.

Now all this shopping was made necessary by one grave error. Kelly is in possession of a (she says accurate) scale. Foolish me stepped upon the hated contraption and it's official. I can no longer live in denial. I have gained 25 pounds in under a year. Bummed? Yes. Surprised? Not really. The reasons are clear and are mostly my own doing.

  • I eat too much junk.
  • I drink too much.
  • I've practically stopped working out.
    • I also, have been on meds which are partly to blame, just partly. Anyway, I've started the weaning process from the drugs, so soon that excuse will be gone. The solution to this dilemma seems clear.

    • Stop eating junk. Make healthier choices.
    • Stop drinking too much.
    • Start working out regularly again.
      • Ok? You're all my witnesses.

        01 February 2007

        Still Knitting

        As promised, some knitting content....
        The red hat for the Dulaan project was finished a while ago. I modified an old Beehive flyer pattern and used Bernat Satin...acrylic, yes, but plushy and warm, especially with those earflaps.
        The mauve piece is the back of the child's hoody. The guage is proving funky. I'm following the instructions for size 4 but it's knitting up slightly smaller. The yarn is a tad thinner than standard worsted. As the sweater is not for a specific child, I'm not too concerned about sizing, as long as the proportions look right.
        And then there's a sock. Isn't there always a sock on the go these days?

        This is all pretty dull stuff. I've such an urge to cast on something fun but am feeling uninspired. Perhaps a quiet hour with my pattern collection is what's required. They could use a sorting. I need some social knitting too. I'll try for Lettuce next Wednesday. Ah, my people...