Friday, December 28, 2007

Still Twisted
Okay, okay - so Twisted doesn't always refer to the socks I knit! Sometimes it actually refers to ME! Christmas just makes me angry.
It used to be a Family thing. Each family celebrated in some manner. Some went to Church, some went to Meetings, some visited with gifts, some just waited for Santa. But most had the tree, the decorations, the school concerts & every kid knew about it. We sang all the carols without really thinking about the words. We just loved the music. Kids looked forward to Santa regardless of religion. Now you can't SAY Christmas or Merry Christmas - you might insult/injure someone.
The Rel
igious Right talk about the 'Reason for the Season' or the 'Christ in Christmas'. Gimme a break folks, Constantine, a Holy Roman Emperor, stole the Yule Celebrations from the Pagans & renamed them Christmas in order to spread the word in the THIRD century AD!
The Politically Correct Police don't want to offend Anyone so we must change our traditions & not mention Christmas officially at all! This is our country, why are we changing???
Religion must be separate from Education. Okay, okay, but we get a Stat Holiday on the 25th but can't discuss why??? HUH?? Why can't the schools recognize All major religious holidays??? Social Studies 101!!
We can BUY, BUY, BUY
for the Mysterious Holiday we aren't allowed to mention. In fact, we're harangued from October to January with the Music & Decorations in every Commerci
al Operation but we aren't allowed to mention Christmas . . . . it's not Politically Correct!
After all, what would the non-Christian Refugees & Immigrants think??? Lemme tell ya folks - they think we're nuts! They celebrate & decorate & wear Santa hats in their own countries. Th
en they come to Canada & find they're not allowed to say 'Merry Christmas' or put up trees in public places! They laugh at us.

And it's snowing outside again. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow 'cause I'm working on Arvik once again. I did finish it once but decided I didn't like the fit of the fronts. Oh, I forgot to add some extra stitches for the fronts plus the band. I was past the armholes at that point & decided to just finish it so I could wear it. Tried it on & hated the fit. I need more boobage room in front!! So I frogged the whole thing - now that I think about it, I could've picked up the stitches on both side of the fronts & added a nice, wide ribbing . . . . oh well, it ended up in the three large, centre-pull balls in the top picture! I was quite amazed at how little yarn this sweater actually used & how light & airy it was when knit up. Can't wait to finish it again & actually wear it. I'm tempted, since I have quite a bit of it spun up, to knit a hoodie with Arvik. I'll have to check the gauge - handspun always knits bulkier than it appears.

And then there's
all those squares . . . . I've been knitting sample swatches with some of my dye experiments. I'm getting quite a pile of them tucked in the corner of my bookcase. They're all in a fine singles in every color you can name but come in sort-of three colorways - greens, pinks & yellow/oranges. I'm not sure what to do with them all. Yeah, somebody mentioned an afghan - well, I have two afghans now & one of them just lays on the back of the couch. The cat lays on the other one unless I beat her to it. I DID think of putting them all together into a 'Coat of Many Colors' but the Wednesday Nite Nitters nixed that. They decided I'd look ridiculous. But, they're similar weights & the same size - I suppose they could become a couple of pillows or maybe I'll just have to dye some more fine yarn & make enough to make something useful.
And, I've decided NOT to knit another sock until I have a couple of sweaters finished for ME!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And it's OVER!

Here it is, Christmas morning & I'm pounding on the keyboard! Spent most of yesterday running around dropping off all my cans of socks & washcloths. Only the BT lucked out with a big shopping bag full of personal care goodies - he appreciates them all since he is still unemployed due to injuries from his car accident. And, I even managed to sneak all the Girlie stuff over the balcony & into their Mom's house when the girls were getting ready for bed . . .it was a close one though!! Mom didn't know till I called her later that the biggest bag was for HER!! he he he - I know their Christmas was a good one!!

Just one more
n to deliver to my Ex. We're going out for dinner - we haven't decided whether to go to the Chinese smorg yet. I knit the Old Fart a pair of socks - size 13WWWW & a couple of dishcloths. And I'd rather go out for dinner with Him than the BT right now. The BT will be well & truly pickled in a few hours & it's cheaper to let him drink his brother's booze than mine. He's hilarious when he drinks - not mean or cranky at all - just expensive. And I don't want to go to his brother's place for dinner anyway. Yessir, I am absolutely overflowing with Christmas Spirit! Bah Humbug.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We have Scarves

I got talked into shopping at Walmart last night. I guess I deserved it since I whangled the cheque that financed this operation for my stoney-ass broke friend!! We went at midnight. My passenger told me Walmart was now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I hate shopping this time of year & try not to darken the doorstep of ANY Mall in the month of December. And I went to Walmart on December 21/22. To say I dreaded it would be an understatement. Well . . . . it turned out okay. The parking lot was almost empty - hoooray. Lots of carts rolling around in the parking lot too - what is it with people??? Why are they so lazy & ignorant?? Anyway, we spent 2 hours in the joint, loaded up a cart with pyjamas, underwear, socks, bath goodies, make-up bags, uncounted girlie gifts, groceries & some nice MOM gifts too. I insisted on MOM gifts. We spent $322 & change. And I even got a bag of cherry Twizzlers & a bottle of Vanilla Brown Sugar body lotion . . . . . This family wasn't going to have any money for Christmas. So I was quite proud of myself.

While waiting for midnight, I turned the Dollar Store novelty yarn into two scarves for two girls. It was too difficult a yarn to knit the hats that I intended to make - it doesn't like small needles at all. So I found some needles the size of my ring finger & knit long, skinny scarves for both of them. They're stretchy, wrap around the neck a couple of times & are soft & flirty! Apparently the Dollar Store staff didn't know what to do with this yarn so I'll have to knit a sample for the store. But the girlie girls will love these - their mom does already. I call the pink one FEATHERS & the blue one FRINGES because that's what they look & feel like. I think I love them both. I'd use either one for a big yummy collar on a simple sweater.

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's a CANNED Christmas!!

It's amazing how you depend on four wheels & a motor to live your life. But, I selected my basement based on the private driveway & it's central location in regard to my jobs. I did not choose it with any consideration for walking, taking the bus or shopping. This point was well & truly made when I had no wheels for three weeks. But, I have my wheels back. I got them back on Monday afternoon & have spent my time running around ever since . . . . . . . .

And I sold my van. Oh, I'll still drive it for a couple of months or so till I get another set of wheels but for all intents & purposes, it's sold. Now to find one that runs as well but consumes a quarter of the fuel . . . .

I'm canning presents in this year - I had been taking advantage of the huge selection of gift bags at the dollar stores for several years but people can PEEK into them! This year, I found CANS. They're big enough for two pairs of socks or a pair of socks & a washcloth. Just the thing!! I used to wrap my gifts in the funny pages from the Sunday paper but I love the cans!! I can't wait to see people's faces AND these can be re-used by the recipient too!!

While at the
Dollar Store, I found some great novelty yarns - one is feathery & one is fluffy with sparkles. I've cast-on the feathery yarn onto big needles to make a long, skinny scarf for a teen who loves pink. And with the blue sparkly stuff I intend to knit HANNAH from the current issue of Magknits. It's a hat which buttons around the head under the pony-tail. And although the pattern was written for Chunky Alpaca, I think I can make it work!! Mmmmm - I wonder if one of those cans is big enough for a pair of socks, some earrings AND a scarf or hat???

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Wet Saturday

I'm still without wheels! My mechanical friend has been working full time, fixing everyone's cars on the side & now has a remodeling job - while my van sits in the driveway. The Woman in his life tore into him for a week until he dropped everything to fix her "office". Sigh. It's really, really hard being self employed without wheels.

In the meantime, I AM getting quite a bit of knitting done! The sock basket is full. I'm going to knit a couple of extra pairs in the calmer colors in case I need a last minute gift or two but I do have a few bottles of wine tucked away - I made it last summer! I'm working my way thru a pile of washcloths at the moment so that each pair of socks gets a washcloth tucked in beside them!! I bought a goodly supply of gift bags in November - good thing because I can't go anywhere right now!! I don't have any winter clothes, I drive everywhere & my umbrellas - all three of them - are in the van.

By the way, I signed up for the Knitting Daily newsletter. I saw the ad for the Daily newsletter & gave it a try - I'm addicted!! Knitting Daily HAS free patterns but it's the advice & the way it shows many bodies wearing one design that I really appreciate. I like Sandi's way of showing HER successes & failures on HER body. And I think I'm in love with the Central Park Hoodie. The latest KD brought not only the upsized version of the original Hoodie but several Queen sized women actually wearing the larger hoodie AND comments from Lisa - who upsized it. Ohhhhhhhhh . . . . too many sweaters & tooo little time.

This A.M. while waiting for the Landlord to come & fix the swamp in my bedroom, I made a batch of Go
at's Milk Soap. I added some Black Raspberry Vanilla scent to it too. My whole place, except the bedroom, smells devine! I've gotten lazy in my Old Age, I've been buying soap kits - everything is premeasured. I used to make soap from Olive, Coconut & Almond oils but I can buy kits that combine, Palm, Olive, Coconut, Jojoba, Almond, vitamin E & all kinds of other oils I just can't afford to stock. So, I've gone to kits with combinations of different oils. My favorites are Goat's Milk & the super fatted Moisturizing Soap. Color & fragrance can be added if you desire. I usually don't add anything but use my favorite Bee Hive mould. It yields 3 BIG bars of soap that fit nicely into your hand. You're looking at the backside of the soaps here unfortunately - they weren't set when I took this picture. The soaps on the far left are quite large & fill up a cupped hand completely. The ones on the right are about half as deep. All six were made from a third of the kit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

As The Stomach Turns

Well, it's been a hellova week! Actually, it's been a helluva couple of weeks! You know when it rains, it just pours?? Well, it's really been pouring around here!
The water pump in my van died almost two weeks ago. Couldn't get it towed because I need the flat-deck tow truck - my van is all-wheel drive! By the time I could get a truck - Saturday afternoon - it was snowing & it was madness on the roads so it couldn't get here. By the time we could rebook it - Monday - it was madness on the roads due to flooding. So my van actually went to the mechanic a week after it died. And got in line.
Oh well, that's life. I'll work at home. Two days later, the computer blew up. My nice computer fella took it home on Saturday. I got it back last night - Monday - with TWO new-to-me hard drives(10 times the space I had!!!), more RAM & to
ns of Audio books & software installed. Sometime in the night, the monitor blew up. Sigh . . . . .

It's been lonely around here. Without wheels & a computer, I have no life! Good thing I have fibre. I've finished three pairs of socks, turned Kathy's heels, knit half a Wallaby, three washcloths & read several books. Here are my pink & chocolate socks! I just love the color & am debating whether to put the hot pink toes on them. I think they look lovely just the way they are!! I've finished the mottled Lana Grossa socks to the mid foot for the BT for Christmas. I've been debating about the toes on these as well. I have lots of the yarn so I may just finish them off as they are instead of finding a contrasting yarn for the toes. This is a very yummy yarn when it's knitted up. I found it a bit on the dense side when I used the 2mm needles to knit the last pair of socks so I went up one size & used my 2.5mm bamboo needles for these ones. I think I like the fabric a little better on the bigger needles.

I started the Wonderful Wallaby - it's a Hoodie from Cottage Creations - knit in worsted weight yarn on size 8US needles. It's sized from 2 to 48 & knit in the round with no seams to sew except on the hood & underarm. MY kind of sweater. One problem I did find was that although I got the gauge in the 4" swatch - 9sts to 2"- my gauge changed when I actually knit in the round. I ended up with 8sts to 2". And it DOES make a big difference in a size 2 sweater!! Rrrriiip it, rriipp it!! From now on, I'll make sure I do a gauge swatch in the round when I'm knitting in the round! I had to drop two needle sizes to get the gauge as it was. One good thing though, I think this sweater can be easily sized up to fit a lot more sizes by just going up a needle size. I was practicing on Bernat's AspenSoft yarn - I had a couple of balls hanging around. AspenSoft is not a bad yarn, it's actually 30% wool but still machine washable & dryable - hey, it's a Hoodie!!! I loved the fabric I got using size 5US needles & 4sts to the inch. And I think I'll even knit one for me. . . . .

Oh, and to add insult to injury, I think the landlord's bathroom pipes are leaking into my bedroom again. The poor man bought a house that's plumbed with the first plastic pipe approved by the city. The pipe is fine but the strap fastener that was used, fails. I woke up to the big wet spot in what remains of my carpet, at the end of my bed. The pipe connection in the wall failed 4 years ago & we hauled half a wet, mouldy carpet out. Here we go again.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

And it's still snowing!

I got up this morning at just before 5AM & closed the cat's window! It was still snowing & there wasn't a cat print in the pile outside the open window. She really enjoys her new perch but I notice she lays on the corner FARTHEST from the cold, cold open window. Why AM I bothering?
Everyone is staying home in my neighborhood & I'm just about out of kitty litter. That may force me out to the corner store later today - can't imagine what that's gonna cost! But, I can't expect her to find the garden under several inches of snow. I think we may be up to around 6 out there right now, judging by the amount on the fence - I did hear 15 cm on the news so that should be about right. It's still snowing like mad though so I'm sure we're not getting the rain that was forecast. It's actually very pretty as well as very quiet out there - when it snows, the police & fire departments are much quieter. I'm sure it'll be a great day to shop too. I just need some damn kitty litter!!

I've cast-on the
marled bluey-green Lana Grossa for the BT's next socks - these are for his Christmas box. Every year I get an orange box & fill it with personal goodies for him. He takes great joy in finding all the little items tucked away. So, this year, the socks will go in with a couple of washcloths as a start. If I have time, I'll knit two pairs. I used Lana Grossa for the NeverEnding socks for the EX & I really like the fabric it makes. It feels a little thicker than the OPAL so I'm using my 2.5mm bamboo skewers instead of the 2.0mms. I get a little more distance this way too since the BT likes a longer leg on his socks. The color is a little light in the picture - I really MUST learn about light when I take pics - it's actually much bluer, sort of faded blue jeans, in real life!

And, now that the smaller DPs are empty, I'm casting on the next pair of socks for ME.
This is a yummy colored Confetti - one of my fav yarns - that my pal Karen gave to me to knit myself some socks. I found some Lanet in just the right color for the toes too! I think this yarn is absolutely delicious & will look great as a short sock as well as a longer, winter sock! And waddaya wanna bet these are on my feet by the next time the Wednesday Nite Nitters meet??

And it's really starting to pile up out there!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

In for the duration . . . .

I broke my van. Well, it actually broke itself last Tuesday. Apparently I was lucky to get home without problems & I didn't know it was broken until I climbed in on Wednesday night to go knitting with the girls. And it wouldn't start. Damn. Thursday & Friday were glorious days but I couldn't get the mechanic. Since it's All-Wheel drive, I need the flat deck tow truck which isn't available till Saturday afternoon & now it's snowing. Looks like it won't get there till Monday or Tuesday. So I'm stuck till next week. Wouldn't be so bad if I was used to walking or waiting for the bus but I haven't owned a winter coat or boots in years because I drive everywhere. Ooooops.

Well, one thing about being stuck at home - I'm getting my Christmas knitting done. I have most of the socks finished for friends & family. This morning, I cast on the Super Socke in the mottled Blue Jeans colorway for the BoyToy. His mom & dad's socks are done. The extra large socks for the Ex are also done - I thought they'd never end!! And I've just finished the second pair of socks in the eye-watering pinks & blue for one of the new 'girls' that I added this year. I do intend to knit a couple more pairs for the Sock Basket as insurance but from here on all the knitting except for the washcloths, will be for ME!!

Arvik is back on the needles although only about 4 inches is actually done. I made sure I added an extra 15 stitches to each front for a seed stitch band & a little extra for 'boobage'. I thought a seed stitch band on the hem, collar & cuff would also be nice instead of the usual ribbing. Other than that, this sweater will just be a plain knit from the top down, raglan cardigan. This incarnation will fit & be worn! I need a warm sweater on several job locations & in my own office in the evenings.

Right now, it's very cold - for Vancouver - with a good wind & fine snow falling rather heavily. It's the sort that doesn't pile up quickly but does pack nicely into ICE. Goo
d thing it's Saturday. Tomorrow morning will be awful but most people will sleep in & stay home. The cat is very upset with me right now. She's sitting up in the office window on her fuzzy seat, looking outside at all the snow coming down. Normally, if the day is sunny, she sits outside on the steps with the window open so she can come & go. It's too cold to leave the window open & she's quite indignant.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Totally Absorbed in Socks

One pair of the 'girly' socks are already to the heel turning! I've always said that wild socks knit up soooo much faster than plain ones & this pair is no exception to the rule. I had to knit this OPAL Neon - just to see what it would look like as a sock. And it makes your eyes water, that's for sure!! I think the 11 year old recipient will be thrilled. The wild pinks & blues will look dazzling against her dark skin!! If I can find the time, I intend to knit a hat for her to match - I saw a couple on Knitty that keep your head warm but leave the back open for braids, tails or long hair. I'm actually thinking of the one with the two holes knit in for pigtails - our little gal loves to wear big fluffy pigtails!!

Was out to Starbucks last nite coffeeing with friends while watching the first snow of the season. Half the town crawled down the main road at 30 while the other half sped by laughing. It's amazing how a couple of snowflakes paralyze the town. Mind you, I AM totally happy that I don't have to be out in the early morning when the whole town will be a skating rink. The problem with the snow that falls here is that it's so wet that you get an inch of snow insulation on top of 3 inches of ice - nasty after a freezing night. I think I'm gonna regret losing my little front wheel drive car.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I just can't believe it!

Whilst rooting around in my office closet for a cable for the computer, I spied another couple of garbage bags hidden away in there. In my house, garbage bags mean trouble. Usually they mean forgotten work. Somebody out there gave me a whole bag of paper that must be UNFOLDED, READ, ORGANIZED & ENTERED onto the computer. Oh Gawd, who's been forgotten now!!?? Opened the top bag & discovered another fleece. A white fleece. A nice white fleece. Mmmm, when did I get this one?? And there's a grey fleece in the other bag - at least I think it's grey - but it's full of VM & needs washing - who knows what color it'll turn out to be. I knew about the mohair in the third bag but am totally blank about the other two. Too much wool & not enough time. Not sure I even want the grey one with VM . . . .

Decided to call my mother this morning & see what the weather's like up there in Vernon, these days. Since my step-father died, she's been making changes in her life. She finally decided to splurge on a new fridge & stove - she says the guy who hauled the old ones away said the stove was so far gone it was likely to set the house on fire!! Just what you want to hear. Mother & Clare liked to shop the auctions & many times they picked up bags of yarn for a buck. Mom said she found two garbage bags full of acrylic yarn out in the garage after Clare died. Apparently Clare liked shopping the auction by himself sometimes, since she'd never bought THAT much yarn!!! The local Hospital Auxiliary got a nice donation this week!! LOL

Well, I'm off to do dog walking duty in the local doggie park. It was a sea of mud on Friday & I figure it isn't much better today . . . . . sigh But, I'll be able to knit in the sunshine at Starbucks afterwards for a hour or so . . .

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Verrry Bad Idea

This little cold spell got me thinking about a winter jacket - haven't replaced the one that got taken by the nasty boys who broke into my car a couple of winters ago. I thought I'd knit an indian sweater quickly since I have all these balls of yarn hanging around. So I dug around & found 6 black, 2 grey, 1 white, 1 pink & 1 marled grey. I'm not including all the browns that I refused to consider. Figured that should be enough to make me a knit-in-one-piece-from-the-bottom-up sweater! Then I started to knit. Bloody hell!! I never considered how heavy this thing would be. And I'd forgotten how much it made me wheeze, sneeze, cough & drip!! The wool is SO DRY that it pours tiny fibres into the air like a cloud while you're trying to knit. I could spray it with a little oil & seal it into a garbage bag for a while, but I decided it wasn't worth my time. Time to find it a new home! I decided to search out that bag of polar fleece I've got tucked away & SEW a light winter jacket!!

I've actually cast-on for the Arvik top-down raglan sweater again. After the nasty Buffalo wool, Arvik is a joy to work with. The wool is soft & slightly greasy in a nice sort of way. No over processing here. I suspect some wool allergies may just be over-processed wool or nasty dyes. I don't seem to have a problem with most of it, most of the time. This time, I'll be using the standard Raglan, top-down shaping with the extra "Legal Loopholes" to increase the fronts & back while leaving a narrower sleeve. Hopefully, I'll be wearing it in a week or so.

Two more pairs of socks are finished!
The Never-Ending socks are Ended
!! I couldn't leave well enough alone, mind you & I put yellow toes on them for fun. My ex will be tickled pink to get them - he hasn't had a pair
of socks in quite a while. When you wear size 13WWWW, it ain't easy to find people willing to knit socks for you.

The brown & grey 'manly' socks are also finished
. The BT's d
ad will be the happy recipient - he hasn't got any in brown or grey yet & I think he'll like these ones. I didn't put colored toes on these because I had plenty of yarn left over & wanted to use as much of it as possible. I'll bet I still have enough left over to make a couple pairs of baby socks.

And, as if I didn't have enough on the needles - I've cast on the wild hot pink & blue Opal yarn pictured here on the left that I bought in the bargain basket a couple of weeks ago at Knitopia. They'll be for one of the 'girly' feet I added to my Christmas list. I've only just finished the ribbing on the first sock but I can already tell that they're gonna be soooooooo wild!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Contest!!!

Okay, Okay - I'm jumping in with both feet here - to celebrate the 300th post at this site, there is a contest. Go to - - to enter!!

Spending my off hours working on socks like crazy! The 'manly' socks are to the heel shaping & quite handsome. I thought I'd matched up the colors & stripes but found I ended up in the middle of a repeat on the second sock. Oh well, I guess if you're anal about matching socks, you won't be wearing mine!

Arvik is not on the needles yet but after freezing my tushie today, she will be soon. I've
actually been contemplating knitting up a quickie Indian Sweater with some of the Buffalo wool I still have laying about. None of the balls really match but I have mostly greys or browns in plain & mottled balls. I knit this one last winter for someone in grey & could do the same for myself fairly quickly, I think. It's hard on the hands & wrists but it goes quickly when knit in once piece on circular needles. Arvik is warm & nice but not THAT warm. I went to work in an unheated building this afternoon & had to leave after 3 hours because I got too cold to work. Not good for the arthritic joints! And this is only November . . . .

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another Day, Another Dollar

wasn't even over before the Christmas decorations & advertising started! And have you noticed, it isn't referred
to as 'Christmas' anymore????!!! Was listening to NW980, I believe it was Bill Goode's show about 'Christmas' & Political Correctness . . . . when an Asian caller told us that he traveled extensively & found most of the world celebrated 'Christmas'! People decorate their houses, trees & wear Santa hats to celebrate even though they're of other faiths. He said that "only in 'Christian' North America" was there all this fuss about not calling it 'Christmas'. He couldn't believe it. I agree with him. I'm sick of Political Correctness & I don't give a damn. However you celebrate whatever you call it - it's a little more than a month away!! And I still have socks to knit.

The wild socks are DONE!
See, wild yar
n knits faster. It's a Scientific FACT. The never-ending socks are still on the needles while a second pair of socks are done & a third are almost to the heel shaping!!! My next pair are 'manly' socks in greys & brown with a teeny stripe of white or light grey or light brown. I know they'll appeal to the BT's dad & probably the BoyToy too but I think his dad will get these. Got two more wild pairs to knit - two extra girly feet this year & then it's back to washcloths because I need a pile of them!!

Sometime this week I have to get back to Arvik too. I still don't have a warm sweater to wear!! But, it doesn't take long to knit the handspun on size 6 needles. I may add a few rows of garter just to give it some interest in the yoke area but otherwise I'm just knitting it as a top- down raglan but this time I'll remember the darned neck shaping in front!!

And, on another note, Mable, the travelling sock bag, has just returned from her sojourn to the OLD part of Canada!! Her owner sent me two pictures of her travels. Mable goes to Ottawa on the right & Mable in Montreal on the left. She does get around, doesn't she???

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another week in the life . . .

I'm not sure where the time's gone this past week, I just know that most of it isn't billable! The grey days just make me want to stay in my house jammies, put the soup pot on to simmer, plug in a good book & knit.
So, I've been making dishcloths. Plain, garter stitch dishcloths. With a few promised here & a couple there, oh, must include one with each little gift to the boys - I still have a few orphans who have nowhere to go for holidays . . . . . & of course, one to the Ex. I need a fair whack of them. I've found a stash of crafter cotton from many years ago in a bottom drawer - seems I'd planned to knit a cotton jacket but bought the wrong stuff. It's a lot softer, thicker & more absorbent than the newer crafter cotton - is there polyester in the new stuff??? And, have you noticed, the ball is smaller????

I bought several balls of Opal in bright colors in the sale basket at Knitopia a couple of weeks ago. Karen asked me to knit a sock or two in the brights so she can see if they make a pattern. Apparently the salesperson claimed they just make a mottled all-over color. Well, I can say the color combos are truly weird but definitely bright & they do stripe - at least in the one I started. Looking at the ball, you'd never guess at the wildness within. But, you know, the longer I work on it, well, it just seems to become normal somehow. I have the next two balls picked out for wild socks - they look the same as the last but are in different colors. Then, I have to start on the DULL colorways I bought at the same time. The dull ones are supposed to be "MANLY" socks so I sure hope they aren't as weird as the brights!!

I'm trying to finish the Lana Grossa socks - these are in a 13WWW foot size for my Ex. They've got to be the most boring socks ever - well, except for those black dress socks I knit for the BoyToy last year to wear with his suit. I think these will in future be known as the 'Never Ending Socks'!! They just seem to go on & on & on. I think the next time I decide to knit a pair for the Ex, I'll use the Confetti or Sock it to Me yarns. They both have good yardage, interesting 'manly' colors & are a lot more interesting!! So, I'll just have to grit my teeth & concentrate to get these things finished in the next week or so - I need the needles for another project!!

Oh my God, the clouds are gone, the wind has died down - we had a huge banging, wailing, windy night full of driving rain - AND the sky is just now BLUE!! Wow. Time to get dressed, go see if any of my houseplants survived the night outside & head for a sunny spot to have a tea. And Knit, of course . . . . .

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Didja Remember???

My good pal Gail called me yesterday to remind me to turn my clock back last night. Good thing she did, I hadn't heard anything about it. I admit I haven't read a newspaper in days - they only have bad news anyway - & I haven't really had the tv on anything other than PBS or HGTV & I've had my head into Audio Books everywhere else.
Have you ever noticed how MANY clocks have to be adjusted this time of year??
I have the clock radio in the bedroom - you have to turn it the right way or the alarm rings at night instead of the morning!!! I have one on the computer - usually it sets itself, unless the world decides to do it early for a change . . . . . , there's one on the wall above the computer so I can see it when I'm busy, there's one on the kitchen wall, there's one in the microwave, one
in the coffee-pot, oh, don't forget the VCR/DVD!!! And the cell phone, the car, the fax machine & on & on & on. And there's always one I forget until I need it.

Speaking of Audio Books - has anyone heard or read for that matter, the latest James Patterson book, Mary Mary??? If you like murder, this is the one for you. It's the latest in the Women's Murder Club series which I've enjoyed. I discovered Mary Reichs too - Monday Mourning, Bones to Ashes - her main character is a Forensic Pathologist who specializes in bones. She gets involved whenever bones are discovered; in one book she's identifying people in mass graves in South America who are thought to be part of the 'Disappeared' from the 1970s, in another, she's identifying bones found in a construction project in an old part of a city. She also works on bones from suspected historical burial sites & as well as suspected murders - all with the Quebec police breathing down her neck. A lot of Canadian history & geography feature in the books!! Makes data entry go a lot faster!!!

Arvik has been FROGGED.
I finished the sweater Friday & tried it on. It was long enough & sooooooo soft & warm but that damned error in the neckline made me crazy. I wore it around the house Saturday morning & then pulled it all out. ARVIK is neatly wound into three flat bottomed balls awaiting it's new incarnation. It's hard to believe the whole sweater wound into these three balls!! Oh, I intend to reknit the sweater, using the same pattern neck & raglan increases - Legal Loopholes - with the addition of about 40 extra 'frontal' stitches for the curve of the neck & boobage. The last time, I used a pattern that made a Henley type pullover which I made into a cardigan & forgot to add extra stitches for the fronts - I discovered my mistake after I'd finished the sleeves!!! I didn't want to frog it at that point & dithered. I decided to finish it. Sigh . . . I won't knit the collar first, I'll pick up the neck stitches later. I'd knit 3/4 sleeves since I'm always pushing them up when I work but I think narrower long sleeves would look better - the shorter sleeve ended at the widest part of ME & accentuated the equatorial proportions of my Apple shape. In my frustration last night all I could knit was another square for the afghan project!

And now I have to frog part of the 'Ginny' as well . . . the hip shaping is wonky. Ah well, maybe I'll actually have a sweater to wear sometime in the next few months. Either that or I get out the sewing machne & sew one out of Polar Fleece!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Back from the Dead

Got over my virus
- well, mostly! Spent Sunday drinking tea with Feeney's & sleeping. I'll bet I slept 18 out of 24 hours but woke up Monday with a clear head. Guess it was a flu. Nothing like a day under a quilt to make you feel better again.

I was putting away the laundry this morning
& thinking I had a LOT of handknit socks hanging up! I checked it out - I have 17 PAIRS of handknit socks on the go!! Seventeen Pairs! I have at least 3 pairs that are over FIVE YEARS OLD! Mind you, some are short socks for summer clogs. And, I've even given some of them away just
because I didn't wear them. It's funny, sometimes you just knit up a color that you loved in the ball & it just doesn't appeal once you put it in the basket. I've got a couple of those, they never seem to get worn. Time to pass them on.

I finished the first hip triangle on my Ginny's Sweater. Since the deep "V" shaping creates a pointed front & back, you have to knit a triangle from the side hip to the hem to match the front & back dip. Now Medrith assures me this will work out if I follow her directions but I have my doubts. The bottom does NOT look straight. And, if I remember my geometry, I'm knitting from the top of the triangle to the base to fill in the hole. The pattern tells me I'm decreasing 6 stitches every two rows . . . . . huh??? I figure I should be INCREASING every two rows. I knit the first hip triangle & I'm scratching my head. Notice how it pulls IN toward the centre??? Okaaaaaaaaaaaay . . . Time to take it to the Girls for an opinion. Sometimes you just need a Committee.

With the weather turning cool & damp
, I decided to just finish the Arvik sweater the way it is & use it. When I started the neck shaping, I forgot to add the extra stitches
for the front curved part of the cardigan neck - hey, I was working from an open placket V-neck pullover pattern!!! I need something warm for work NOW since most businesses are cold this time of year when they're closed up for the weekends. And I'm thinking I may knit up some fingerless gloves too since my hands are suffering in the damp. Some Frankengloves may be the answer!!! LOL

I've turned the heels on both
of my mottled blu
e/green/brown/orange Lana Grossa socks for the BT's dad!!! I have a new person to knit some socks for this year & I think her socks will be next. She's a single mom, working full time for minimum wage with a girl around 11. She's finding life particularly hard these days since her Dad died a year ago in October. She's so much like her dad - same walk, same body type, same face - I tell her to look in the mirror when she misses her Dad. She likes hot pinks!! Have I got some yarn for HER socks!! hahahahahahaha

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Got a bug

I've got some sort of bug that started off with shooting pain from my jaw hinge into my cheek. I thought it was TMJ - just what I need along with the grinding & clenching that I do under stress!! I applied heat - thank goodness for those nice grain-filled, microwavable heating pads!!! - put some Feeney's in my tea - like Bailey's only cheaper - & went to bed. Got up next morning to swollen eyes, stuffed nose, cough & body aches. No TMJ, just another bloody virus! Probably started with an inner ear infection. But, I have to work dammit. Today is the third day of whatever this is - & while I don't feel TERRIBLE, I am achy, sneezy, wheezy, blowing, stuffed & unambitious. Sundays are usually laundry days - I make soup, I clean the bathroom, I spin & watch the H&G channel. I catch up on Blogs I haven't had time to read. I just feel like laying on the couch! sigh
Although I've got this 'whatever' virus, all is not lost. I discovered Feeney's. It's Irish Creme liquour like Bailey's but $6 a bottle cheaper! And soooooo nice in tea before bed. I put milk in my tea anyway so Feeney's just adds an extra dollop of sleepy medicine. And it tastes good. hehehehe

I've just turned the heel on my first Lanna Grossa sock & am on the gussets for the other. This is the green/blue/brown with just a touch of orange yarn that I thought was Super Soxx. It is not, it's Lanna Grossa. The yarn makes a nice mottled blend of color & feels thicker than the other sock yarns so far. Have to see what happens when I wash it the first time.

I've been trying out my new spindle that I got in the gift exchange at Desert Mesa earlier this month. I'm not much of a spindler, I prefer the wheel, but, this little spindle really goes like stink. It spins for quite a long time, doesn't wobble when it spins & comes apart too. I was quite pleasantly surprised at how nice it actually is. I've paid a lot of money for a couple of other spindles that don't spin nearly as well & you really should always carry one just to try out fibre before you buy it!!! I like the fact that it comes apart & lays nice & flat for packing in a bag or purse. I suspect I'll be using a spindle a lot more than I ever did before I got this one. Thanks Wendy!!

I relented & took in the Christmas cacti & the Jade plant the other night. The weather channel was talking about going down to 2 degrees. So I brought them in - the Cacti are both loaded with buds - apparently they're Hallowe'en cacti! And I swear the one in the bathroom has produced even more of them since it came in! I was able to shift one spider plant with all the babies intact, to my buddy with the greenhouse. He wasn't able to lift the big pot with the HUGE spider with the jade plants & lobelia so I'll tuck it in next to the back wall where it's protected & it may survive the winter. After all, I did have the potato vines over there for almost 7 years before they finally kicked the bucket last winter.

I put Arvik away for the moment & dug out my 'Ginny's' sweater. The sleeves are done & I just need to finish the hip triangles & neck ribbing to finish it off. Ginny is knit from the top down in a raglan-type shaping that results in a deep V down the front, back & sleeves. This leads the eye down to minimize Boobs & Belly- according to the designer, Medrith Glover. I'm not sure anything really minimizes excess in those areas but hey, what do I know??? I've used new & recycled yarn in this sweater in three colors to emphasize the deep V. If I remember correctly, most of the yarn is Luzerne from Scheepsjwool. I bought most of it more than 25 years ago! And I've owned sweaters in both shades of purple as well as the deep plum which I didn't use in this sweater. The pink stripe is actually a wild hot pink & purple thick & thin boucle that I found in a thrift store & saved for something special.
I decided I needed something warmer & lots of fun for the winter. Must be the drab days working on my feverish brain . . . . .

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Sun is Back

Wow. It was really nippy this morning when I went out to the Van but the day really improved with age. I should be off somewhere in the sunshine drinking a latte. And the Van is off somewhere where I'm not. The BT borrowed it sometime this morning for a "couple of hours" - yeah, right. I think I now know what it's like to loan the car to your kid. It comes back when it feels like it & it's always empty.

In the meantime - the Wednesday Nite Nitters met last night with a lot of projects in hand. Laura is knitting the afghan in alpaca, Kathy is working on the socks in the upper right hand corner, my wild socks are in the left hand corner, Karen's are the orange & purple beauties & the grey mottled ones too. Karen brought her camera & couldn't resist taking a picture of all our projects at once. Gail's project was being cast-on when the photo was taken & missed the group shot. She was knitting a mobius scarf from her handspun in black rainbow glitter from Aurelia fibres.

Karen cracked us all up when she arrived wearing her new hat. It was red with purple netting & a big purple bow! The stinker didn't send me a copy but you can view it on her blog at

I haven't knit a stitch on ANY of my sweaters this week. I don't know why. Well, maybe I know why - I'm tired of them. I'm a starter, not a finisher. This is why socks appeal to me so much - I get them finished before I get tired of them! I know, I know - if I get cold enough, I'll drag myself back to the damn things & finish one of them . . . . it isn't cold enough yet.

On the home front - I've been looking at a pair of outlandish earrings hanging on a hook in my bathroom for a couple of years - I have NO idea why I'd buy such a thing in the first place. They're a cluster of translucent, round, pink wafers about half the size of my little fingernail with a pink drop bead attached with silver metal. They attach to fish hook earrings by little rings & look like thick, pink bushes attached to either side of my face when I put them on. They tend to make my round face look even rounder!! What WAS I thinking??? Took a pair of pliers to them yesterday & left only two pink wafers on each fish hook. I now have a pair of earrings I'll wear & 16 pink wafers with drops attached laying on the counter. Hmmm - I always need stitch markers . . . . . Karen, who made all of the little teddy bear markers I now use on my fine needles, thought it was a really great idea. Recycle, reuse???

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm in love with a Wallaby

I finally joined the Langley Spinners & Weavers Guild. I've been meaning to join for several years but just never got there - I have no idea where the time goes after I make these decisions, it just goes! One of the members wears a knitted hooded sweatshirt with a pouch. I keep looking at it & touching it - she knit two of them for herself out of cotton yarn - I think it would look great in wool but this sweater needs to be washable. It's the sort of thing you want to throw on for any casual activity & it would get a LOT of wear. Doris says she wears hers everywhere, constantly! Last weekend I finally got the pattern - it's called a 'Wallaby' and it starts at a size 2 & goes to XXL or something like that. I found a couple of balls of Bernat Aspensoft - 80% acrylic, 20% wool - Thought I'd knit it up in a size 2, just to see how it goes. I like the Aspensoft. I've knit boot socks with it in the past & liked working with it. I've knit with the Bernat Ragg yarn too but I don't like the little 'bits' it sheds as you knit. Neither do my lungs!!

Looks like winter has come early. It's cool, blustery & the kind of damp that penetrates your bones. Good knitting weather I guess, and most definitely wool weather! I have to finish knitting my Arvik sweater although I suspect it needs more stitches in the front & I'm not sure how I feel about it at the moment. I've decided to finish it, huddle with my crafty friends & see what they think. It won't take that long to reknit if they agree with me - but it would be nice NOT to redo it right now, especially since I added sleeves!! And I have the purple 'Ginny' sweater to finish. It's a lot heavier than Arvik - certainly more colorful too. And then I have the half-finished jacket from the Dawn French book, Big Knits to finish! In screaming fuchsia! I do love bright colors! Hmmmm - I wonder what the Wallaby would look like in fuchsia??? I suppose I really must learn to finish one project before going off on a tangent with another but who, out there, is without UFOs??

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back in my Own Bed!

I've never been a good traveller. I like going places & seeing new things - don't get me wrong - but I hate sleeping in a strange bed. Even when I have my own pillows & blanket, I don't sleep very well. And, well, I get a bit cranky when I'm sleep deprived!! And, it takes a couple of days to get my sunny nature back. (shut up Gail & Karen)

Other than the lack of sleep, I enjoyed the Desert Mesa Retreat! The food is always good - just like mom used to make!!! I took my sock-in-progress along to knit in the truck - Gail got to drive this year!! I was able to see the details I never get to see when I'm the driver - like the little bushes that turn bright red & dot the hillsides between the sagebrush & the low grasses. I didn't recognize Big Horned Sheep on the side of the road - hey, I've never seen one in the flesh before! I did knit a little on my socks but I was so busy yakking & looking that they're still unfinished.

Desert Mesa sold out this year. We had several people sleeping outside in the parking lot so they could attend. The three vendors brought lots of goodies - I bought "Knitted Kimonos" which I'd been eye-balling for some time! A little tussah silk from another - I do love silk! And some silk & merino from the third just because it was a new-to-me colorway. One of our new spinners has taken up raising Mohair goats & brought some of her luscious dyed fibre - I bought three bags of colored roving! Support your local farmer I say!!

I also received a very special gift from the estate of Lee Bennett, one of our local fibre artists. Her personal library was donated to the spinners attending the retreat this year - we each picked one to enjoy in her honor. Thank you Bennett family.

At Retreat, there's always someone creating something you never thought of. And the lace shawls, OMG!! Spinners are woodworkers - look at the restored wheels & handmade spindles; they're weavers - some are wearing jackets & suits from handmade cloth; they're knitters & crocheters - so many wild socks, sweaters, scarves & hats & they're musicians - one spinner even brought her harp to entertain us as we turned fibre into yarn. So many talented people in a very small place. And our lone male spinner, Bill, tunes up all the wheels - even my old Indian Spinner clone though he'd like to chop it into firewood . . . . . my baby got a new belt this year!

All in all, it was a busy weekend, with sunshine & laughter, the renewal of friendships, new toys & a great trip both ways. No rain at all till we hit Home - isn't that always the way???? Since Blogger is being testy this morning, I can't post pictures but I can fix that next time!

Monday, October 08, 2007

It's Official Thanksgiving Day

And it's just another day in the Spinster basement suite. It's damp, it's cold & I'm coughing - again. I used to love these holiday mornings because I'd get up, drink strong tea & spin or knit while watching the Home & Garden channel or Newsworld. But I got a second-hand movie stuck in the VCR - which is also my channel converter - & now I have only 2 thru 13! Have you ever tried to find a Converter for an old tv?? Even the Pawn Shops won't bother with them. My little 14" JVC tv is an antique with a picture & color so sharp I won't throw it out. But it doesn't have an internal converter & I'm suffering from withdrawl. I love H&G, History, CBC Newsworld, PBS & Knowledge Network. I miss the British Antiques Roadshow in the mornings, sigh. I know I'm supposed to be thankful but I'm finding it hard these days.

Got two invites to snarf down turkey with all the trimmings today but I think I'll hide at home with a book & my wooly afghan. There are times when you just want peace, quiet & comfort. I just don't feel like being sociable today so I think I'd rather read. Or maybe I'll put on a recorded book & finish those grey & blue socks which are ready to have their heels turned.

And even if I'm not waving a flag or yelling out loud, I'm thankful to all of the folks who spend their days looking out for my well-being & safety even if we don't know each other. I know you don't get paid what you're worth but I'm thankful you're there when I need you!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Houston, We have Sleeves

My first handspun sweater now has sleeves. Three-quarter sleeves. I'm always pushing them up so why not just knit shorter ones?? I want this as a work sweater anyway so it's light, dark & plainly knit. I love the way the range of greys from the Arvik fleece creates a mottled, stippled & striped fabric - I have plans to knit another sweat
er or maybe a shawl out of more of this lovely wool. Now if I could just learn to adjust the light to get a true color of the handspun I've created . . . .

I dug thru the stash & found a couple of balls of Confetti yarn in greys & a bright blue. The world has
turned dreary, damp & grey so I thought some color would brighten up my part of it. Yeah, I could wear the hot reds & yellows of Mexiko but I think I'd like bright blues or turquoises instead. Maybe even throw in some hot pinks for effect - Hmmmm - maybe some dyeing is in order . . . . . .

By the way, the actual color of my sweater is in the picture behind the sock yarn. Isn't it gorgeous????

I have wheels again!! My favorite mechanic took it away & loaned me his red rocket for a couple of days - oh my, could that thing go!!! But, I have my wheels back with HEAT, a windshield washer & a new gizmo to open my gas flap without resorting to needle-nosed pliers. I DO love handy men!!!

Congratulations to Marlene ( for winning not ONE but TWO blog contests!!!