Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Change in Store

I looked out the door this morning as the cat ventured forth, to a bright & much improved day. The barometer must be moving towards the DRY setting because my hands don't ache this morning. Is that actually a patch of blue???? Holy Crap!!

So I scurried around, found both pairs of the Retirement Socks & took quick pictures! No matter what the packages say, rechargable battery packages LIE!! The package said they were made for cameras but they're always low when you want to shoot a picture. I'm lucky I got these!!

So, here they are. The Retirement socks at last! Just in time for the official Retirement on Friday!! I think he'll be so pleased. These are both knit with the "Sock it to Me" yarn from Elann. I got one of her bags of 10 balls at a VERY good price with my Christmas bonus money & I'm busy spreading it around!!

My next pair of socks will also be knit from this yarn with a RED toe - Just for me!! I'm not sure what this yarn will look like when its knit up - I guess that's half the fun with this computer dyed yarn - I've rarely been disappointed. Have you noticed how 'Mystery' yarn always knits up faster than 'Plain' yarn??? And dark solid colors take the longest??? I have a 100 gm ball of Regia in hot pinks, blues, turquoise etc given to me last year that I intend to knit up for myself with Hot Pink Toes next. YUMMMM

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Closet full of Empty

I was looking in my closet this morning & wondering where all my clothes have gone. I can't remember the last time I bought anything other than underwear or sweats - well, I did buy some wild, turquoise, floral cropped pants last summer but I don't have anything to wear with them so I guess they don't really count. I've been so busy knitting socks for everyone in the immediate family that I haven't done anything for myself. Ooops. Time to get out the sewing machine & serger! I know I have some bright fuschia cotton/lycra in one of my bins which would make terrific cropped pants & might even match that wild pink merino I spun up for a shrug.

The Retirement socks are finished. Both pairs. He retires on Friday. I'll take him out for breakfast & present his socks over coffee. God, wouldn't it be nice to be retiring?? To stay home with my spinning wheel, sewing machine & serger for a couple of months. To be able to go to all the retreats, sales & classes. Wow.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Just one of those weeks

I didn't want to go to work this week & now I know why - its been one of those 'Anything that can go wrong will go wrong' kind of weeks. Nothing really went the way it should've. I forgot to close the sun roof in my car & got to SIT on my newspaper instead of reading it in order to avoid the wet spot. That horrible squeal under my hood that wouldn't go away even when I soaped the belt, turned out to be the belt below the one that I soaped & it charged my battery. I found this out when it tore itself off going around a corner! At least the car is quiet now . . . I couldn't stand the sticky, upsidedown deadbolt on my front door one more second(after nine years) so I tore the whole thing apart & tried to install a new one. Seems MY door is a half inch wider than the standard door! So I had to reinstall my old one - now I have to get used to locking my door in the right direction all over again. I think the only thing happy to see me at work this week was the Snake in my client's office. And now I have an overdue overdraft notice. I should've stayed in bed with the covers over my head!!

One thing about waiting around- you get to knit a row or two. And I've just about finished the promised Retirement Socks - two pairs of them! He retires on Friday, the 23rd. And I'll be ready! I've found some dark blue for the toes & you'll see them here first! I've even picked out the yarn for the next pair of socks. These will be for ME.

Gung Hay Fat Choi everyone - I think I'll just forget about this week & celebrate the start of a New Year with dumplings, BBQ pork & Banana rolls.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday morning & I don't want to work

I'm writing another missive to the joys of fibre crafts in order to avoid getting dressed for work. I have a day's worth of data entry, bank recs & manual adjustments to a year end & I just don't want to get started. It's the lethargy before the panic I guess since tax season has officially begun. I won't have time to knit or spin for a couple of months . . . well, officially that is. I mean, a fibre junky has to have her fix!

While spending yesterday quietly with a very painful chest from that allergy attack - I took up my knitting again & have started the shaping for the heels on my Retirement Socks2. The Queen's method for heels has freed me from the drudgery of picking up stitches that I can't always see along the heel flap. This method lets me make the gusset with yarn-over increases on either side of the slip 1, knit 1 heel in the middle. It's turned with short rows with a knit 2 together or purl 2 together at one end. The colored rubber bands mark the ends of each short row on the increase side & will be taken off on the short row decrease side. This heel is also nice & deep with a cushy bottom that all the friends seem to like. In fact, I like this heel to wear a lot more than the old one. You CAN teach an old sock a new trick!

And here is the fruit of my Saturday spinning!

The lump is what it looked like before I started! This wool is so very wonderful to spin - soft, just like butter with all the natural oils remaining.And no little dry fibres in the air to give me an asthma attack!!! It doesn't require any washing after spinning. I just soaked it to set the spin & hung to dry outside after beating it against the post a few times to separate the strands. I'm thinking of dyeing this yarn when I get 4 or 5 skeins. I'll probably use cyan, magenta & a little black & nuke it in the microwave to set the dye. I'm thinking about a shawlette to wear to work to stave off the chill that I get in some of my offices. I go in after hours or on the days when they're closed to find the heat turned down low. Sometimes it can be really cool & I don't want to heat the whole building just for me. I'm lucky though, at least I don't have to knit fingerless gloves to wear in my office like Gail.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A cool grey Sunday morning . . . .

I looked outside to find a pile of junk parked in the 'other' parking spot beside my driveway this morning. It looked about how I feel today. Yesterday the sun was shining, the sky was blue & I intended to spend the whole day of it indoors - SPINNING. With company of course!. After a whole day of spinning, food, good wine & laughter yesterday, I felt a little let down this morning when I looked out & saw that cool, grey day & the pile of junk. Yeah, I know who the junk belongs to but it would've been really nice if Someone(the BT) had bothered to ASK before depositing his buddy's car there. The buddy is moving to take a new job - with two weeks notice, poor guy - on the Island. Seems I now get to store the car till he gets back in March. And the BT totally doesn't understand why I'm just a little pissy . . . .

Speaking of Spinning - we really did have a good time yesterday!! As Gail mentioned, we really haven't done a lot of spinning lately. Well, I DID spend New Year's Eve & Day spinning instead of partying. But, we don't get a lot of time to get together & spin anymore. We decided we have to do it more often. Gail has the perfect house - nice woodburning stove, comfy furniture, kitties soaking up the heat on the wood floor & a view of the forest from all windows.
Karen came over from PoCo with muffins, I arrived with wine & bread while Gail cooked up low fat ravioli & smokies stuffed with spinach & feta! We toasted each other with my home made Shiraz & all was well in the world! Each of us spun up something different & we all
decided processed fibre was our favorite. We dug into that big bag - 15 pounds of Brown Sheep Mill ends - & sent Karen home with some to try out while Gail & I divided the rest of the bag. I've come to prefer the 'egg' shaped lumps of wool to the mohair/wool blend simply because they're softer. That mohair blend is like spinning silk - it just flows off the fingers with little effort & spins into a beautiful even stream of yarn. I guess thats the problem - its just too damned perfect!

And I never even thought to take the camera.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Its Tax Time Again!!!

I truly love battling the TaxMan. I love the complexities of tax & the sheer silliness of it too. Tax is like a puzzle with fuzzy pieces, sometimes they don't fit together even when they look like they should & sometimes the magic happens & they fit into place when they shouldn't. It's all a game of 'whatcha callit'. Maybe it's just the challenge. I dunno. Maybe it's just that I learn something every year.

I was out digging in my potted garden this afternoon - trimming dead things, pruning, pulling out weeds that have sprouted & throwing out the peanuts that the local squirrel keeps burying in my pots! The dirty little Rodent got into my big, hanging, succulent basket & dug up several Hen & Chicks in its search for a spot of soft dirt. I really have to watch out when I plant everything in the spring because it will take advantage of the handy loose dirt to bury new treasures. And, when I find out which neighbor supplies the intruder with said nuts, the fur will fly! It's not like that squirrel ever eats those damned nuts or even comes back to get them, it just wants to bury them in MY baskets & pots. Does anyone have a BB gun for sale???

I found my first hole in a hand knit sock the other day.
I couldn't believe it. But then, I sat there thinking about how long ago I actually knit that sock - it was more than 3 years ago, that's for sure. It might've been as long as 7 or 8 years ago that I knit that pair & they were one of the first I'd ever knit for myself. I knit for my husband, my father, boyfriend's & friend's kids but not for me. I knit my first couple of pairs in Invicta that I bought on-line from Red Bird Knits. The nearest yarn store that I knew of - other than acrylic or kitchen cotton - was in Vancouver or close to Metrotown. And the Metrotown store didn't sell sock yarns. So, I looked on line & found Red Bird. And ordered my first sock yarns. Funny how the time flies . . . . . now I can name half a dozen shops within an hour of my home that sell sock yarns.

And speaking of socks - the next pair of Retirement Socks are down to the heel shaping. I will have these ones done before he retires on the 23rd!! That's a promise.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I've always wanted Purple Glasses

I know you think I'm nutz but I've always wanted purple glasses. Not just purple frames but purple lenses. When I was really young, I loved RED. Bright red, blue red, blood red, orange red - didn't matter, as long as it was red, I bought it, wore it, dyed my hair with it, RED. I loved purple in the same way but it wasn't easy to find in the way that red was. As I entered my late twenties, I realized PURPLE was actually my color but I'd buried it under all that RED. So I started wearing purple & shades of pink. I actually had glasses with purple tinted lenses but couldn't find purple frames anywhere. And, just last week I found my purple frames. They're a lovely blueish purple, translucent & small & make me look less bitchy than my black ones. My horoscope says that the bad luck that's been following me for the past 10 years is over & that 2007 is MY year to succeed if I get off my ass I go for it. I think my Purple glasses are a step in the right direction . . . . .

My ex retires at the end of this month. He hated being forced out of his job at 65 & fought to stay. He hated holidays, had no real hobbies other than home, garage & Volkswagon Bugs. His friends had mostly moved away or died & he didn't make new ones easily. So he had his work. But, lately he's been complaining a lot so he figured it was time to "Do the Dirty Deed" & just retire. I'm sure some of the younger men will cheer & throw a party when his full time shift comes up for grabs!! He asked f
or socks for his retirement present. Seems I haven't knit any for him in years - well, that's true but since he wears a size 13WWW shoe, it's not an easy job!! It takes 3 balls to knit a pair for him when it only takes 2 for anyone else. I've decided to knit them a little shorter on the leg & do the foot for as long as the ball will go & just finish off with solid color. He doesn't care what color they are - smart man!!!! And here's the first pair of Retirement Socks