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.