Monday, November 27, 2006

Winter Wonderland

This is the view outside my front door!! Half the town stayed home, the schools are closed in Surrey & it looks like more snow on the horizon. It also looks like good weather to knit! And spin!

I should be working . . . . But, since half the town is shut down, the place where I normally work is in an industrial park on a side road & my car doors are frozen shut, I'm better off staying home . . . . . Apparently the RCMP are asking us to stay home where we're safe, warm & off the skating rink out there. And I guess I'll be home tomorrow too since I normally travel 40 minutes across two bridges to get there.
AWWWWWWW Gee, that's just too bad for me . . . .

I dug out Ginny's sweater last nite & knit down to the cuff ribbing on one of the sleeves. The body is finished to just below the hip & I only have to pick up & knit in the side triangles that fill in the deep indent between the front & back deep Vs. I'm contemplating a double seed stitch band on the bottom & may end up crocheting a row or two along the front edge & neck with the main deep violet yarn.
Someday, I'll learn more about light & pictures!!! This sweater is actually a deep bluey purple where it looks maroon & the light pink stripes are actually light bluey purple . . . . not pink!! But you get the idea of the striping. Its very flattering & uses up all kinds of leftovers . . . . . If I get it in gear, I may just have a sweater to wear this winter!!! And the cat will finally get the ratty old raspberry sweater that I've been wearing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And I was Complaining About the RAIN???

Winter has officially arrived in the Lower Mainland. It snowed off & on here & there all day but decided to come down with a vengence last night so the BT & I headed off to the UBrew to bottle our last can of homemade beer! Well, if you're gonna be snowed in . . . . . but I was quite surprised to open the door this morning to about 6 inches of the white stuff. The cat rushed outside, smelled the stuff, dipped in one paw & reversed into the house! I agree with her. At least the car will get a well deserved wash! The neighbor's kids have cleaned off the fence to build a snowfort but left my drive untouched!! Drat! I considered shovelling it but the snow is still falling fairly heavily & who wants to do it twice?? I do sweep the car off regularly so it doesn't get buried under the ice!!

So what am I doing while the snow is falling down??? Well, I'm almost finished the Indian Sweater I'm knitting for my homeless gal. One arm almost done & the other down about half way until my wrists started hollering. This is not a really good pic because its just too bright outside with all that snow but it has a split front from the dark yoke to the neck & will sport a hood on the top & a secret pocket on the inside when I'm done. Its large but thats what the recipient asked for! I hope it keeps her nice & warm this winter.

I dug out the wool sweater jacket I started last winter. Since I have to retire my favorite ratty old sweater, I want another one out of wool!!! I'm knitting it out of Raspberry 'Dalesman' wool from Birkeland Bros in Vancouver. Apparently they had this spun in New Zealand & dyed to their specifications. I loved the color when I first set eyes on it!!! I look my best in blued pinks & reds like Watermelon, Raspberry & Fuschia which are really hard to find. I must have 20 of the 200gm skeins of this color in my stash!!! The color is kind of garish in this pic because of the light reflection off the snow outside . . . not enough light inside!

The jacket pattern is The Moss Stitch Blazer from the BIG KNITS book by Soudan & French. I knit it up years ago in a raspberry acrylic yarn which ended up stretching out of shape rather quickly. It's become ratty, droopy & totally derelict looking but I still curl up in it because I love the color!! So, I'm getting off my duff & knitting up the replacement in wool. The pattern is a double moss stitch, the sweater has two patch pockets & a long roll collar/front. Its the most comfortable sweater & the style is really nice on a large, round body.
I still have Ginny's Sweater to finish - that's the one with the deep V in front & back with recycled yarns & I'm spinning up my Arvik fleece like mad so I can get a light but warm handspun sweater on the go . . . Yes dammit, its all about ME for a change.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Sick of Socks

Did I actually admit to that?? You betcha!!
After completing the thick, alpaca/shetland, handspun socks, my hands hurt like hell. They ache. The knuckles on my thumbs burn & the base of my fingers feel swollen. And I still have a Cowichan style sweater to finish. On large needles. Grrrrr. But, here's the finished diving socks leaning up against the remainder of a hanging basket - I think some of this stuff is perennial!! Who knows, maybe the survivors will end up in a new hanging basket come the spring.

And on to sock #24 - I've turned the heels & am about halfway down the instep on both of them at this point. They're nice & bright & cheerful - something we really need around the Soggy Lower Mainland these days!!! Since its still raining, the only variation in the weather these days seems to be the intensity & direction of the rainfall - is it falling down or blowing horizontally!!!
I've included a snap of something neat I found out in the garden when I went to shoot the socks for this blog - this little planter that I found almost dead in the heat of the summer, has been nursed back to health! Is that a little purple flower I see in the top, right hand corner??? In this weather??? I guess its happy!! And its nice to see something alive & blooming in the garden right now.

As soon as Socks #24 are finished, I have to get it in gear & knit some 'manly' socks for Christmas & two pairs of Frankensocks as gifts. Lucky for me, I have lots of bright leftovers including the bright pink & blue Confetti from socks #24. I'm thinking about knitting one pair with hot pink as the binder color with all the bits with pinks, blues & purples & the other with red as the binder with all the leftovers containing anything with red in it! Makes knitting socks exciting & fun!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


The past couple of days have washed away all memories of summer, dry lawns, flowers, sitting outside with a beer & lazily watching the world stroll by. Life in the city is no fun in a big storm. It seems drivers become less intellegent as the years go by & lose whatever remained when the lights go out. No one knows how to take turns anymore. No one signals. No one follows the rules we learned as new drivers. I wonder what would happen if we had to retake our driving test every once in a while??? When it snows, a lot of drivers get off the road & those that remain become very polite. But, when it rains, it's a demolition derby out there! I try to stay home & spin or knit.

My friend Gail has a well, so when the power goes off, she's dipping into the water barrel outside to flush & wash. She has lamps & a good wood stove though so she's nice & cosy with her spinning wheel. My ex still has the old wood stove so he can cook, heat water & keep cosy by the fire with his battery operated radio. I was the lucky one in one sense, my power flickered but never went out, the cable was on, I raked the leaves off the drain so I wasn't flooded & I spent the evening knitting with a hot cup of tea. I really felt sorry for all those unappreciated heros working outside in the storm to get the roads cleared, the floods diverted & the power back on.

<<<<<<< >>>>>>>

I'm knitting up socks #25 in alpaca & shetland wool. They're knit with three different handspun yarns to make a thick, warm pair of socks for a friend who goes diving off the southern BC coast all year round. His dry suit keeps him dry but it doesn't keep his feet & ankles warm. He's tried everything but not my socks!! So, I'm knitting up a firm fabric on 5mm needles - its quite a bit slower than my regular mindless sock knitting because it IS so much thicker!!! I'm really hoping these will solve the problem but I also have some other tricks up my sleeve. I was given a big bag of almost-black Newfie hair. It's actually a brown so dark it just looks black & I was thinking of blending it with some wool & knitting it up with another strand of plain wool or maybe some mohair or llama. I have big bags of both in the closet that only need washing, picking & spinning. I haven't used the llama in socks simply because its much too lovely . . . . But - in order to save the feet of a friend, I might be persuaded. By the way these socks are progressing, they'll soon be standing in the corner on their own.

Socks #24 have advanced to the heels. As soon as the Diving Socks are finished, #24 will have their heels turned & the foot finished. And then I have to figure out #26 which will be a Manly gift for the male half of the "Parents who have Everything" for Christmas. I may have to make the trek down to Knitopia to seach for just the right pattern!! And then there's all that wool from Brown Sheep coming . . . . . . .

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Morning in the Rain

Although I like to live on the coast, all this rain is getting me down. My arthritis would prefer it DRY - cold or hot will do as long as its dry! But, if you chose to live in the Rainforest, I guess you have to get used to rust, mold, damp & rain. Good thing we have wool & gas fireplaces . . . .

The cat is especially peeved. She keeps calling me to the door to go out. I open the door, cat runs out, she sees water, cat goes into reverse & I'm left holding the door open. Twenty minutes later, we repeat the process. Its all my fault. I'm in charge of the door. And she wants the door into Summer.

Since we can't go outside & play in the garden with all the plants, I've spent my time knitting more socks. I dug into the left-overs bag & found 5 balls of the Lord & Master's favorite splotch dyed Confetti & knit up these socks. I only had enough to knit to the instep but I think they look really good with the solid band & red toe. The lighting is really off this morning since these are actually blue with a slate band & red toe! Not bad for a few left-over balls eh? It pays to knit several pairs of socks in the same color. I do put different toes on them for fun but this is almost like getting a free pair of socks.

The bright yarn on the left is going to be my new socks. Again, this is my old pal, Confetti. Confetti colors have really sharpened up & there's so many lovely combinations at a really low price that I just can't ignore it considering it really wears well too. I do knit Confetti socks on needles one size smaller than I do with Regia or Opal but the Confetti 'fulls' when washed the first time so the fabric is similar. Cheap & cheerful, that's my motto!!!

My spinning buddy Gail & I
did a really bad thing today. I admit the Devil sat on my shoulder & whispered into my shell-like ear & I passed it straight on into to Gail's. Carol, who sells Brown Sheep Rovings, tempted me with her ad. We've long heard wonderful things about Brown Sheep Roving. And Carol Lee has tons of it for sale on her Discount Page. I should never ever look but I did & there it was - ripe for the taking & I fell into the land of temptation - assisted by Gail. We bought 15 pounds of Brown Sheep white roving to spin. FIFTEEN pounds! The only thing is - I have to hide it at MY place . . . . . . .

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hallowe'en is over for Another Year!

I nominated the BT for a job watching heavy equipment & a house last nite. My client who is digging big holes in the ground around the house, worried about his expensive equipment sitting there all alone when the ghouls were out. I suggested security for the witching hours & even gave him a number! The BT was hired on the spot. Only thing I forgot was that we sold his car last month & I would have to drive him to the appointed spot & pick him up in the wee hours . . . . its amazing how empty the freeway is at 3:38 in the morning! Testosterone, being what it is, the Little Boys showed up when it was well & truly dark to burn down the house & shoot their rockets at the Hoes & Cats parked nearby. The BT, in camoflage from his army days, appeared out of nowhere like a bat out of hell & scared the crap out of them. All was quiet until the bars closed and the Big Boys came to burn down the house & shoot rockets at the Cats & Hoes. Super BT in stealth mode appeared out of nowhere & once again saved the day. I shake my head in wonder - why would mostly, perfectly normal human beings want to go out to burn things down & blow things up on Hallowe'en???

I got to stay home on Hallowe'en. I bought a big box of Pringles in Hallowe'en colors for the few kids we still get knocking at the door. I think 8 kids showed up. And now I have an almost full box of indivdual Pringles. But I got to sort thru my sock yarn & pick out a whole bunch of leftovers for Christmas socks. I think I'll knit up some Frankensocks with black or grey as the foundation color & use up all the bits as colored bands between blocks of the solid color.

And I got to spend some time spinning - I actually got to SPIN!!