Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Have you ever had a Digging Party??

We're several days later & the drive still isn't dug. It seems to just lay there & look smug. So I started digging it out. Bloody awful job. 10 minutes & I'm out of breath. So I pour myself a cup of tea, sit outside, rest & dig some more. I did this for a couple of days until my right shoulder started to really give me hell. Both days I came in & took a couple of aspirin & a nap after all that work. Yesterday, my techie buddies Steve & Kelly called to see if I wanted to go for coffee at Starbucks. Yessiree I wanted to go - haven't been out in almost two weeks except the Tuesday before Christmas to go to work. But, the boys can't come & get me - they're in Kelly's Smart Car - 600 lbs in the 500 lb car!! Steve's truck is broken down & I can't get out. SOB. So I suggested we have a digging party the next day. They said SURE!! Gawd I love those boys!!!!
Yesterday, Kelly arrives with the shovel. Apparently there's only room in the Smart Car for Steve or the shovel. Kelly brought the shovel. Not much of a Smart Car in MY humble opinion . . . . .
So we dug out the remainder of the drive. And then we chipped away at the frozen ruts in the alley to free up the flood water forming the lake at the end of my drive. While resting with a hot tea after our exertions - the last of the Baileys in mine, a gale-force wind blew up with swirling, blinding snow!! Kelly grabbed his shovel & got his Smart Car out of here before he got stuck.

This morning I decided to check out the lake at the foot of the drive. It's now a frozen lake. And I still can't get out!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

To whom it may concern in the weather department, Christmas is OVER! Cut the white stuff already!!

There was no point in shoveling my drive other than to get the Van back in the other day because there's now 14 & a bit inches on it again. This time, instead of being light & fluffy, it's heavy & wet! And it's been snowing on & off for three days now. The neighbors across the alley keep shoveling their driveway but they can't get out of the alley!! And then they keep digging out their portion of the alley to get back in the drive again. Our side streets are so bad that no one's getting out tomorrow unless it rains a whole bunch tonite.

The cat is furious with me. She whines at the door to go out, finds the same white crap & whines to get back in. She sits in the window flipping the venetian blinds until I open it up & then refuses to go out when the first paw sinks into it. We repeat this performance several times a day till she curls up in my handspun, hand dyed, hand knit shawl for another nap. I really don't blame her. I'm getting a little stir-crazy myself.

Me?? Well, I've been cursing the Carpenter Wallaby again. I found another error in the garter trim for the neck opening. You can tell I'm slightly crazed by the stupid errors I'm making! Anyway, I decided I was NOT going to Frog that part of the yoke AGAIN. I mean it's only 10 crummy stitches after all, right??? So I picked out the stitches down many rows to change a knit into a purl & then alternate my way back up. Took an hour or so to correct & it crossed both my eyes in the process. The guy who's getting this thing would never have known there was a mistake. But I would. My eyes would go straight to that place every time I saw him in that sweater. And it would drive me nutz. So I fixed it.

So, I'm working on a year end & corporate tax return today & I find I've run out of paper!!! I can't believe it. I buy paper by the box!! I have two boxes of tractor paper for the old printer but no ribbons & extra cartridges for the Laser but no damned paper . . . so what's with this??? Am I getting a kick in the a** for fighting at Christmas???

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So this is Christmas . .

There's nothing like starting out with a big knock em down, drag em out, teeth & bare knuckles fight with your long term bud for Christmas! We did & I did. And the ugly elephant has been acknowledged & flayed alive with even uglier words. This time I crossed the line & said things that can't be taken back. So how come I feel so rotten?? My gut's in a knot & I feel like hell. I suppose you have to go thru withdrawl before you cure the addiction. And it seems I've given the BT the boot . . . .

So, after everything else had turned to sh*t, I discovered I'd made a mistake in the yoke of the Carpenter sweater that I finished yesterday! I forgot I made the size medium sleeves on the size large body & the whole thing looked really short when I got to the end of the yoke decreases. I tossed it on the couch
in disgust last nite & went to bed! And woke up in the middle of the nite with a possible solution!! Amazing what your brain does while you sleep, isn't it?? This morning, I worked out the mistake - I needed another 20 decrease stitches which would make the yoke at least 10 rows bigger!!! So I ripped out the whole yoke first thing & have spent most of the afternoon redoing the thing, adjusting for the missing 20 stitches. It's already looking a whole lot better & I'm just about ready to start the hood. Whew!! At least something worked out today. I didn't feel like being nice to anyone today so I watched the Star Trekalong on the Science Fiction Channel while more snow fell & knit instead.

I did hear from my favorite niece today, miracle of miracles, so I'm very glad I stayed home!! She's in the RCMP & last summer passed both her Corporal & Sergeant's exams in one week!! I was thrilled. After passing the exams, she figured she'd have to take a wilderness posting for a couple of years in order to get promoted but didn't want to leave her current project. She called to tell me she just had her 40th birthday & had been promoted to Corporal without the move! OMG - I can't believe it!! Good news!!! I still remember her as all knees & elbows, long hair & rollerskates!! I just can't believe the time went by so fast . . . .

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Snow

So I had to get out of my driveway to do payroll yesterday. I had a good look out there & it wasn't pretty.
I had 15" in the driveway & two blocks down the alley & out to the main road which is clear, apparently. I rummaged around & found some old lace-up hiking boots & blew the cobwebs off the snow shovel & headed out to get it done. There was so much snow I had to shovel it twice! After about a third of it I thought it was too much damned work, so I just got in the van & drove out. I managed to get my work done, some groceries bought & head back home around 4:00. Well, none of the snow had melted at all, it was snowing again already & I couldn't get into the drive. I couldn't back up either so I headed farther down into the abyss figuring I'd just circle the block & DRIVE into the drive instead of backing in like I usually do. NOPE. Two nice men from warmer climes came to stand behind me & wave while I tried to rock the damned van back & forth to get it unstuck & up the slope out of the alley. The van don't rock. Older cars rock nicely. Trucks rock. Whats' with this van??? Eventually, I got it out, up the slight slope & around the block to find the guy I'd done the payroll for standing in my driveway with a snowshovel & a Christmas card. He parked the van in a pile of snow, cleared the drive & backed it into it's original spot. Whew . . . don'tja just love a guy from Nova Scotia???
When I looked out this morning, it's snowing like hell & you can't even tell the driveway was shoveled at a
ll yesterday! I'm not coming out till its GONE!

Now Vancouver is a pretty large city that shuts down when it
snows. The main streets get plowed mostly but the suburban streets get nothing unless they're on the bus route. And if the bus route is on a large hill - the bus doesn't run! Simon Fraser University closes down because the bus can't get up or down. I remember working close to UBC one year when we got a huge dump of snow so quickly that the buses just stopped running - too dangerous! I couldn't leave work for two hours because the main road, in front of where I worked, wasn't moving at all. UBC students were hiking miles to find rides. And people were abandoned at bus stops. Cars were picking up as many passengers as they could stuff in & somehow we all got home that day. A couple of other times, it took me over 7 hours to get from Vancouver to New Westminster down the Lougheed Hwy only to find the Patullo Bridge to Surrey had been closed! Lucky for me, I had a friend on the other side!! New Westminster doesn't even have snow removal equipment!! I don't think Surrey has much. So, a big dump of snow is pretty devastating around here. Mind you, it sure is pretty for Christmas & it may keep most of the drunks off the road for a change! And I sure hope it melts away quickly afterwards!!

So, since I'm stuck indoors for the duration, I'm knitting. I have the Carpenter Wallaby almost finished. The body & arms are attached & the yoke is almost finished - I'm a couple of rows from casting on more stitches for the hood. And I've downloaded & printed off the Winter06 ski mask for him as well. I hope to have both of them finished tomorrow. Then I'm onto another pair of Knitty's Spirogyra mitts for myself - I really need them right now!!! Oh, and Arvik is back in the bag - why?? It's too damned cold out there to wear it!! I need to finish GINNY. Or knit MYSELF a wool Wallaby . . . . .
I opened the Christmas Card after the Guy from Nova Scotia left & it was full of money!! Wooohooo . . . . and an invite for Christmas dinner!!
I just got off the phone with another invite for Christmas dinner!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

And it snowed some more

A nice dump of snow was had by all last nite!! I got another 11" of snow on top of the snow already in the drive this morning. Now, it's been the light, dry & kind of fun type of snow so I didn't shovel the 5" I already had on the drive . . . . I swept
a path instead with my outdoor broom to the van & drove away the other day. I have a van, who needs to shovel??? Well, I guess I do now - I have to do a payroll tomorrow down in Langley. Oooops.

The cat whined & flipped the venetian blinds until I wanted to choke her this morning because she wanted ooooooooooooout!! So I let her out. She ran outside, jumped after a bird & got buried up to her neck & tail. And froze. The only thing sticking out was a head & tail!! I didn't have my camera handy darnit but I sure did laugh!! She came back thru the door twice as fast as she flew out. I just know She blames me for the situation - after all, I'm in charge of the weather. This is the view outside her window where she lays.

So what have I been doing
whilst stuck inside?? Why, knitting of course! I finished the toes on the
purple socks. They look great. You'd never know that they came from different balls of yarn unless you look for all the tucked in ends inside . . . .

And I've got the Carpenter Wallaby all on one circ now & decreasing towards the neckline. The first few rows after the arms & body are joined are a
wkward & stiff but once you knit a few rows, it all gets better! This fella has really long arms & body so I've got a lot more sweater on the needles than I would have normally but I'm thinking this will look great on the kid. He's also asked for an earflap hat to go with it & I may just make it a balaclava while I'm at it. I saw one on Knitty that covers all but the eyes - made for skiing - & it should make a Carpenter's life a little better outside!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flu Season is Officially Here!

I'm sure glad I read the Yarn Harlot! With all the truly hilarious goin
gs-on in HER house, it somehow makes mine feel normal.

The BT is really sick with this dreadful flu & is now hooked up to an oxygen tank. Although he's feeling a little better for the first time in a wee
k & actually able to talk tonite, even he agreed that it's a GOOD thing he's in the hospital right now!! There's also no more debate about going home for Christmas, he'll be celebrating in hospital this year!! Apparently FIVE other patients are also down with this flu & it isn't pretty on the ward! Some of them, the BT included, are flirting with pneumonia. So,if you haven't had the time to get your flu shot - get it NOW. This one is nasty.

I started the week with sneezes
, an occasional cough & runny eyes. I am now getting the headache, aching bones & sore throat, dammit! I thought I'd avoid all this & stayed away from everyone, including the hospital on purpose - but I guess it's now MY Turn. And NO, I didn't bother with a flu shot either!!

I did manage to get out yesterday fill up the car with Winter window washer, topped up the rad & swept the snow off the drive. I don't know why the neighbors bothered to SHOVEL - I swept mine with the stiff bristle broom that stays outside! It's hilarious to see the trail of white footsteps leading to the garbage can where I walked before I swept. I hope they freeze & stay all winter!!!

So, I'm getting lots of knitting done! I'm finishing off the toes to my purple Frankensocks. I found four little balls of purple patterned yarn in the leftover box & one of solid purple Sisu so I thought I'd knit it all up for fun. I like the purple socks so much that I've decided to knit some purple fingerless gloves!! I used the Knitty pattern, Spirogyra, to knit up some grey handspun fingerless gloves which I really liked. My EX is now wearing them!! He bought me breakfast one morning & complained about how cold it is doing things outside even when he wears gloves. So I had him try on the fingerless ones & he wore them home. Gives me the excuse to knit some new ones in that purple Merino & silk blend from Aurelia that I spun up a couple of years ago. There wasn't enough to make anything big & I'm not a scarf person but there certainly is enough to knit LONG fingerless Spirogyras!!!

Time to find the Bailey's & add it to a big, steaming mug of Tea & kick this bug into hell!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Did I SAY that???

I think I cursed all the celebrations for Wednesday nite! I was supposed to go to a company Christmas dinner tonite & take the BT with me. He's sick as a dog with a flu bug & can barely breathe. I'm getting something nasty that's making me cough, wheeze
& sneeze & we've had enough snow in 8 hours to create havoc all over the Lower Mainland!! Between the deep freeze temperatures & the dump of snow, even the cat won't go outside. Did I say Let it Snow??? Oooops.

One thing about being stuck inside all day is that I'm finishing off my purple Frankensocks. They're not for anyone in particular & may even wind up in MY sock drawer but it's always smart to have a couple of extra gifts on hand - Just in Case!

I took a couple of pictures around noon - my car was already covered in snow & it was just starting to really come down in very large flakes & the wind was starting to blow again. I'm so glad to be indoors with the cat, with a pot of chicken soup on the simmer & a big mug of tea in my hand. Now where did I leave the Bailey's . . . . .

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

I woke up yesterday to dinner plate sized snow flakes & that puffy grey sky that lets you know WINTER has arrived. And it was payroll day. Drat! I now had to spend my day running thru the snow flakes, frozen rain, slush puddles & roofline drips with papers in my hands. And I have no winter tires on my car . . . Now, last summer, the BT & I both bought new-to-us cars. We ended up swapping said
cars but I kept the new winter mud & snow tires that were in the trunk of my original car. Lovely tires. I stashed them out at the mechanic's place & really didn't think another thing about them. Last Saturday I went out to change the thermostat & put on the tires. WRONG. Neither of us had bothered to check them . . . . . I needed 14" tires & they, sadly, are 15". And won't fit. How stupid can you get?? Pretty basic eh?? And I can't find a winter or snow tire in this town to fit my car. Apparently Quebec changed it's laws to make snow tires mandatory & the Province sucked up every snow tire that could be found in the country! My only compensation is that I know people with tow trucks & tire stores. They're all looking for some good used tires for me - hopefully I'll find some before spring. But, I'll take them anyway.

I've actually done some knitting on Arvik. Both arms are done to the elbow. I was going to make them three quarter sleeves but now I'm not sure. I'll knit them both to about three quarter sleeves, put the sleeves on the holders & finish the body before I decid
e. I do need a sweater for work & Arvik would sure fit the bill for a light throw on. Ginny, on the other hand, is a heavier sweater in a worsted weight washable wool. It's actually the one I SHOULD be finishing since it's all done but the trim! But first things first. I mostly need a light sweater that's not too warm for indoors or running to & from the car. So, I'm finishing Arvik first. I intend to spend my Christmas knitting, spinning & finishing up work that's been on the desk for months.

Speaking of all things Christmas - my Christmas cactus & the Crab cactus are blooming their little hearts out - see above - have been for two weeks now since I took pity on them & brought them indoors! Hint - they spend all late spring to late fall outside under the patio table!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

And Back to Knitting . . .

I've finished the Christmas knitting - well, I've finished the Christmas SOCK knitting! The GIFT socks I'm mailing away are on the r
ight. I enjoyed making Frankensocks for my Giftee this year. Frankensocks is a term created by Gail - one of the Wednesday Sock Knitters - to describe socks made up of all the leftovers from other socks!! I try to group my leftovers in 'color themes' so that they relate somehow. My Giftee loves bright colors & her fav is PINK so I took all the leftover yarns with pink in them & found a couple that went well with the solid Sisu pink & black I bought. Aren't they wild?? I hope she'll love them.

The BT's DAD's socks are also finished. He gets socks three times a year & has come to really appreciate them since his ankles started to swell. He's bothered by the elastic in regular socks now. I make sure to knit them on the 2.5mm needles so they're just a little bit looser than my regular ones on the 2.25mm needles to give him a little more room. These have that Norwegian flavor to them which will delight his heart.

And, I'll continue to knit washcloths for my male buddies - they get new ones every year & whine if they don't!! I make them extra large for the guys, you see. They're about twice the s
ize of most knitted washcloths, I like them that way and so do the Boys apparently. Last year I made them in a nice thick cotton in a white & fresh green with just a touch of purple in it. Sounds girly?? Wasn't!! The combo was surprisingly fresh & attractive. This year, the color choices were dismal. I couldn't find any of the big balls of cotton in any colors that didn't knock your eyes out. And, of course, they always have the usual light oatmeal or white - very unappealing to me! So, I dug in the stash & found a couple of Big Balls in 'Jewels' - a purple & pink combo that I've used before. One of my Guys reported that the color runs enough to produce pink bubbles in the shower but doesn't dye underwear when washed . . . . Well, thank goodness for that!!

This week I have time to shop for my Annual Bum Bags. The BT & I got to know 5 or 6 people who band together with a shifting group of other homeless wanderers in an old shack at the back of a grubby industrial area. Ronn felt really sorry for them because they fall thru the cracks in our society. They're a sad little group with mental, physical & ad
diction problems who choose to live "in the rough" as the Brits say. And they ARE rough. They work hard to survive by picking cans, collecting junk, dumpster diving for food & working when they can for a few bucks. It's cold, wet & miserable in the winter where they are so I buy Mcdonald's coupons & socks, ponchos, tarps, gloves, candy, oranges & tea bags at the dollar store to fill the Christmas bags. They expect nothing so it's a hoot to see the surprise on their faces when they get a bag with their name on the tag!!

So, I've dug out Arvik. The cat's worn it more than I have si
nce I started it!! Every chance she gets, she lays on it or curls up in it so I'll have to make sure I put it out of her reach when it's done!!! If she gets really lucky, I'll knit her a small blanket to cuddle up in . . . . So, I've opened the bag & pulled it out. Poor Arvik. I intend to get back to finishing it this week so I have a warm sweater to wear. I love the color & the softness of this yarn. I really must get back to spinning the rest of Arvik's fleeces. This is the year I intend to wear WOOL. For a change.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Pissing Contest in Ottawa

Oh how the Boys can squabble & argue in Ottawa. We pay them those big salaries with all those perks for this??? I hope our talented & intelligent GG can make them all take a Time Out & stand in the corner until they agree to work together on an Economic Strategy.
But WHO do we get to be Leader??? I don't like ANY of them!!! To say we're becoming the laughing stock of the world is an understatement . . .

Terrific job Harlot, for explaining the Rules of Engagement to this Canadian!!! Go to the Yarn Harlot (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/) for the explanation.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Wool Weather

Prince Rupert weather came calling the past couple of days. We've had that cold misty rain that doesn't look like much but soaks you thru to your skin quickly while you load groceries or stand outside to chat with a neighbor for a moment or two. It's the stuff that keeps the Rain Forest alive & well on the Pacific West Coast but it's hell for the creatures who don't grow a warm waterproof coat. It's definitely WOOL weather.

I picked up the BT at the new Surrey Rehab Unit on
Saturday after lunch & spent the rest of the afternoon getting soaked. In the time it took to unload the wheelchair, wheel it to his door, let him transfer & wheel him indoors, I got soaked. After three ins & outs, he decided to stay in the van while I got take-out to eat in the van to save me another soaking . . . . He likes the new Unit although he's the youngest person there again. Very high tech with all the conveniences built right in. And they have Specialists on call for everything. Within 24 hours of finding a problem, they have a Specialist in to check things out & order tests. Rehab patients get priority testing & fixing. WOW.

So I came home tired & wet after being out for the afternoon. It takes a lot of energy to haul that wheelchair in & out & push a 240lb
man uphill most of the time!! He was also tired from his first three days in the new unit & was blessing the Gods who give Rehab patients the weekend off to rest! It's times like these that I really miss the old wood stove, but I managed to get warm with the fish chowder I'd made the day before. And I got thinking about the three WOOL sweaters I have, partially finished, for MOI. Yeah, polar fleece works but it sure doesn't keep you warm when it's wet. Wool sure does. I have half a livingroom full of wool & no sweaters for me. Sort of like the Mechanic who drives the worst car in the neighborhood???? So, my Christmas socks are almost finished - toes to do for the BT's dad & toes to do on my Secret Santa project . . . . . . .

emember Ginny??? And Arvik?? Well, Ginny's actually finished except for the edging. I have to pick up stitches down the fronts, across the bottom & back up around the neck & knit some sort of finish stitch. And then I can wear it. I just looked at all those stitches I had to pick up & cast-on for another sock . . . . And Arvik? Well, it's in the top photo & I haven't progressed beyond what you see. Arvik is next on the agenda - probably my Christmas knitting, so there! How do you spell procrastinate???

The Secret Santa socks have their heels turned & are on the home stretch to the toes. I've ended up with only two patterned yarns with the pink & the black somehow. Not sure if I should add a third color or not at this time but I'll knit a little more & then decide what to do. One thing's sure, these are plenty bright & wild just as they are so my Giftee should love them. Just a second shot of them from the heel - don't you love the way the patterned yarn turned out??

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving toward THAT time of year

So, I don't celebrate Christmas or put up all the doo-dads that come with it but I usually do get involved in the Secret Santa exchange on Canspin. I've belonged to Canspin - Canadian Spinners on line - for years & years. For those who don't know, it's an old internet group on Yahoo. I sometimes get involved in exchanges. I was involved in the Sock Exchange some years back & truly love the two socks I got! Both of them are handknit from fibre that was spun & dyed by fellow members. I have them as ART because that's what they really are. I've been involved in fibre exchanges too with varying success - I got some wonderful batts one time to spin from Nova Scotia that were lamb's wool, silk & dog hair!! They were to dye for . . . pun intended. So, this year, at the last minute, I decided to go for the Secret Santa exchange.

I know who my intended victim er Giftee is to be but she doesn't know who I am! I have a basic intro - "I love bright colors, don't want tea bags or towels & have an open mind !" I've sent a couple of emails asking for more details of hobbies, likes etc but received no answer. So, I guess I'm winging this one. I don't know if she knits. I only know she loves fibre & probably spins.

One of the problems with Secret Santa for me is knowing when to quit. I mean, how much to you put into the package??

My pal Karen makes the cutest stitch m
arkers. I use her Teddy Bear markers almost daily in every pair of socks I knit. The ring on the Teddy is just the right size, Teddy is just big enough to see & weighs nothing on the needles. I love the Teddies. So I asked Karen to make me a set of Teddies for the gift box. She gave me THREE sets!!

I bought several packages of the Sock Stretcher key
chains from a fellow Canspinner & tossed one of them in to the box. I was going to throw in a skein of Puma cotton & a pattern for a Sheep washcloth but decided instead to make a pair of shortie Frankensocks in Hot Pink, Black & a bunch of sock leftovers with pink or black in them. Hot Pink is one of my Giftee's favs & I don't want to take the chance that she's not a knitter!! The beginnings of the socks are in the picture above & I think they'll look great when I'm done. I'll stuff everything into the little yellow project bag I found in my stash & include a pocket two-year Memo Book to keep track of all her projects & events. I'm hoping she smiles a whole lot when her Secret Santa package arrives & enjoys wearing the wild socks I have so much fun creating!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ohhhh, my aching Fingers!

I've been knitting socks l
ike crazy. I needed several pairs of socks for Christmas. Not that I'm into Christmas at all but I do have several people I give gifts to because they're close to me & THEY celebrate, I DO donate to people who have very little & there's always an orphan or two who never expects to get ANYTHING from ANYONE . . . And I have a soft head to go with the heart!! And just look at these really fun Christmas tins I found at the Dollar Store??? I just loved them when I saw them. They're big enough for a pair of socks & a washcloth. The tree or the bell have enough room for a soap too.

So, I've been knitting socks like mad. As soon as one pair comes off the needles, another gets cast on. These socks are for the BT's DAD for Christmas. The BT says they look a little like Norwegian socks so his dad will probably love them. The yarn is Elann's "Sock it to Me" & some people think it's a little thin. I've found it knits up very much like Confetti & has almost as much yardage. The colorways are not as extensive as some but I liked this one very much & bought it in several shades.
There are times I wonder why I even bother to do this but every time I sew a toe together, I fall in love with anothe
r pair of socks. I love the smallness of the project. I love the wildness of the yarns. I also love the fact that I am one of the few people who actually KNIT socks - we're still rare birds even though more people are making them every year!! If only I could get this excited about knitting sweaters for myself . . . .

I've spent the whole morning banging my head against the wall trying to get Flickr to show my latest picture
s. Without Flickr, I have no way to post my pictures on Ravelry. Flickr accepts my uploads. It even shows my pictures in the SlideShow but won't let them appear on the site for me to slide them over to Ravelry. What's with this??? Some of the pictures already on Ravelry have even disappeared from my Project area. Why?? I have no bloody idea. Flickr has labelled me a "SAFE" site. I've exposed all my pictures to the world - not that most of it even wants to look - but I am still blocked. Grrrrrrr . . . . I suspect it's all a ploy by Microsoft to make us PAY to store photos! So, this is the only place you will be able to see my projects in pictures - enjoy.

The BT's mother's wild socks are finished!! This is the wild Kroy yarn th
at I got from my knitting pal, Karen. It feels thicker than some of the yarns we're using these days so they should be warmer on her feet this winter. She likes the wilder colors & this one makes your eyes water if you look at it too long!! The only problem with Kroy that I can see is that the darned stuff splits as you knit. Maybe this is just me, but I was constantly fixing stitches that were partially caught. I can normally read or watch tv without looking at the straight knit parts of the sock & really hate it when I have to watch my stitches!!

The Last Splotchy Confetti socks so beloved by the BT are done. I've looked everywhere & can't find any more of this in dark blue or black. He must have 10 pairs with different colored toes by now. IF he gets any more socks, they'll be in wilder colorways whether he likes it or not!! If he doesn't, then the EX is always available to take anything I'm willing to knit!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's a looooong way from last Tuesday

I just don't know where the time goes. I spent two days this past week at the hospital doing ordinary life skill things with my BT. He had another stroke last Saturday after I left which knocked the stuffing out of him & slowed his therapy down to a crawl for the first part of the week so he's feeling a little peeved/bored/angry/disappointed with his own body. Aries people want everything yesterday. We want immediate action. We want it All & we want it Now. We don't deal well with disappointment & failure. Some of us learn to cope with it somewhat as we age & some of us, well, we break things, we frog things, we start new things . . . . you get my drift. Aries deals very well with all seven plagues. Unless they're our own, of course.

So, I picked him up in the van & took him away. We got a haircut. We went for tea at Starbucks & we ate Sushi for lunch. We discovered a lot of ramps are just there for show! They aren't actually built for wheelchairs unless someone drags you up them backwards over the little curb. We got stuck in the doors that open the wrong way or crash back on you when you're halfway through. We enjoyed the handicap bathroom that no one in a wheelchair can get into without help. We came up with a couple of great ideas for a new business. We figured out how to get that damned wheelchair into the back of a van without killing my back. We even got the old boy back in time for therapy. Mind you, he was so tired by then that he could only walk around the ward twice before he collapsed in bed.
The next day he called
& we did the dirty deed all over again & stayed out even longer!! We met friends at Starbucks - I'm getting much better at getting that chair in & out!! And I watched in horror as he sailed down the ramp, across the parking lot & up the other side to meet a frien
d ON HIS OWN. I had to grit my teeth & turn my back. I had to let him go for it, not watch him struggle to get up the slight incline on the other side & pray a car didn't hit him on the way! He did it & I did it. After all, that's what these trips are for. Normalization. Back to Life. Real World. Kick Ass.

I have two p
airs of socks on the needles at the moment which will be Christmas socks this year. The very last balls of the splotchy blue/white Confetti yarn so beloved by his highness are almost socks. I got this wild Kroy in yellow/orange/red/green that I think will excite the BT's mom at Christmas. It should go quite nicely with all her brown outfits this year & it's nice & thick for winter boots. BUT, is it my imagination or is the Kroy a little nasty to knit with??? I've found it splits like crazy which drives me insane because I have to watch my stitches again!!! Maybe I've just been spoiled by the tighter spun yarns??

I have a couple of nice balls of 'Sock it to Me' from Elann for the BT's dad
in blues & greys to finish next. For a man who would only wear solid, conservative socks in black, brown or navy, he's come a long way!!

I received a surprise gift of Regia
. Gail found this colorway in Calgary last week when she went off to visit her daughter in her new digs. Apparently the daughter had found the yarn shops in anticipation of mom's arrival. Isn't it a great colorway??? I'll bet it knits up very quickly & is on my feet before the Christmas gift socks are finished . . . . .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This one's for you Alf. . . I pause on this 11th hour of the 11th day of 2008 to remember Alf Zirk, client, friend & survivor of the Great War who believed that War should never ever happen again. He talked often about the terrible ways that his friends & fellow soldiers lived & died. He often wondered why he was chosen to come back home again. I know why. He came home to try to make us understand. Remember. Never forget.

Finished - at Last!

I'm a procrastinator. I confess. I'm a starter. An idea person. I love to think up new & better projects but I'm a lousy finisher. I take courses on line or by correspondence & I do all the assignments in the last two weeks of the 4 month course. Yeah, I probably need therapy but I don't have the money . . . . one thing about Blogs, you have to actually FINISH something in order to publish the picture. Soooooo . . . . . TADA

The Tomten Jacket from EZ's Opinionated Knitter. The picture is actually a little pinker than the actual sweater but otherwise it's not too bad. I single crocheted down the fronts & across the bottom to give it a more 'finished' look & incorporated the button loops into the finish. Surprisingly, I was able to find 4 pink buttons in my stash that matched the pink sleeves exactly! Now how often does that happen??? The next Tomten will be a pullover sweater & I may incorporate a hood as well. I'm thinking of making it similar to a Hoodie for a change but still easy for a small child to get on & off.

I've also finished the Baby Surprise Jacket, also from EZ's Opinionated Knitter. This one really concerned me after I got to the midpoint of the sweater. It started looking awfully strange in it's proportions - remember, I've only ever knit one other BSJ - but I carried on, not wanting to frog it until I really understood it's dimensions. Good thing I hung in there because it turned out to be just fine. Now that I've made two of these, I can see where I am in my mind as I knit & I know the next one will be so much better. The buttonholes are not in the best place for this particular sweater but I'll be able to adjust them in the next one. The dimensions are a little different in the much fatter yarn I'm using here than in the infant sized one I made in finer yarn. Some areas need to be tweaked a little but I've made notes lightly in pencil in my OK book - sorry EZ! And again, in the stash, I found two orange & two white buttons on cards - now WHO would ever buy only TWO buttons in a style, color or shape??? I must've been outta my mind.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Week ended with a bang

Sunday mornings
I open the local UBrew for one customer who can't bottle his beer any other tim
e of the week. He's a good customer & bottles 3 Sundays out of 4. I don't care whether I work Sunday or Monday so I open at 8:00 on Sunday, visit with him while he bottles his beer & then I do the bookkeeping for the business. I mentioned one week that I knit for charity & he told me to call his mother. He figures she needs something to do & has a whole room full of yarn to do it with. So I did. Look at what he brought me this morning!!!

There's one more sweater & two scarves in the bag as well!! I was so surprise
d to see such lovely, fun sweaters - I just love them all. A huge THANK YOU to Dorothy Crawford for all the work that's gone into these little items.

Boy, does this inspire me to get my BSJ finished ASAP so I can drop them off at Knitopia on Thursday nite!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

One of those Dammit weeks

The weather has been awful, dammit. I've been sneezing, coughing & wheezing, dammit. I'm too hot with a sweater on, but too cold without, dammit. Haven't felt like doing anything at all, double dammit. It's just been that kind of week!!
The wheezing, sneezing & coughing didn't really develop into anything else so I'm wondering if it's some kind of allergy thing. Mind you, I have been doing a lot of data entry this week - how else do you pay the rent??? That paper dust really gets to me. I spend days unfolding receipts before I can sort, batch & enter them. Maybe it's the mold lurking in the walls . . . . . who knows?? I do feel better today, that's all I know.

Visited the BT today - first time in over a week. Hauled down the requisite 15 pounds of fruit for him to stuff in his face & found that he's now up & able to walk around the entire ward several times a day on the walker!! He says it's harder work than the production line!! He's not only doing walker work but he's kicking some of the older folks on the ward into gear! He says he's sick to death of all the moaning, groaning & whining going on from people who won't even try to do anything so he's shamed some of them into going to rehab & has a competition going with a couple more. His attitude has really changed - he does do his best when he's helping others. Apparently the paperwork's in for a bed in the new Rehab unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital where they do rehab 7 days a week ALL DAY. He's looking forward to it & intends to be home before Christmas!! The whole visit really cheered me up even though I had to run thru the rain to keep the parking meter fed.

My Baby Surprise Jacket is almost finished - actually, the buttonholes are done & I'm down to the last two rows before casting off. It really looks strange in the larger size & I'm hoping it turns out as well as the regular baby one did. I keep looking at it & thinking it looks even weirder than the last one if that's even possible. More damned buttons to find. I should just do pullovers from the neck down. sigh The BT's new socks have their heels turned & I'm about halfway down the foot. I'll be glad when these are done since I need six pairs of Frankensocks in the next 6 weeks . . . . & there's that carpenter sweater to finish. Dammit, dammit, dammit . . . .

Monday, November 03, 2008

The RainForest Blues

Another grey Fall day in the Rain Forest. I like listening to the rain when I'm curled up in my bed under the flannel covered quilt with the window open. I think I like laying there even when the snow is blowing in the open window & falling on my face. But, I'm not real happy to get up to it. It's dark, gloomy & depressing out there. It's times like this that I really miss my little house with the woodstove. I miss the warmth, the glow, the soup pot burbling on the back of the stove & I really miss the animals curled around soaking up the heat. Basement suites just don't give you that stuff. So I sit at my messy desk with a cup of tea & dream.

My arthritic hands have been giving me hell since the dampness & bad weather rolled in. The Arthritis Society says bad weather doesn't significantly affect arthritis pain. Okaaaaaay. Maybe it's the dampness, the cold or the barometric change but isn't that tied to Bad Weather???? All I know is that it HURTS, dammit. One day my forefinger's painfull - two days later the thumbs hurt so bad I can't open the laundry detergent bottle but the forefinger's fine - what gives??? It interrupts my knitting. And I don't like that.

Speaking of knitting - I've finished the Tomten Jacket - no buttons on it yet but I've decided it will
have buttons. I'll crochet a loop to hook over the buttons which have yet to be found. I'm thinking big black buttons.
The Baby Surprise Jacket is more than half finished. I decided to make it every color under the rainbow. I don't know what size it'll be when
it's finished since I used the measurements for the Baby size, but this yarn is somewhere around an Aran bulk when knitted so I'm thinking it may be a size 4 or so. The next one will be another Tomten but knit in the round as a pullover instead of a cardigan.

Since I found two last balls of the BT's favorite splotchy Confetti yarn, I'm knitting one last pair of socks for him in the light blue. While not his favorite colorway, he likes it well enough to look forward to yet another pair. Hopefully, he'll be out of the hospital by Christmas & wearing them.

Look what I found!! I love the color & was gonna knit another wild little scarf to wear with my Arvik sweater when I get it done. Now, well, I wonder if this would make a great collar for Arvik instead? Wouldn't that be FUN??

Wouldja believe I blew the dust off my sewing machine this morning??? I decided to tackle the huge pile of mending piled on top of the sewing chair. Nothing like a couple of hour's mending to start off the day. Made me want to blow the dust off the serger & just get to work on some of that Polar Fleece I've been hoarding in my stash. I need a winter jacket & I know I have at least two big bags of fleece that I bought at a big Closing Out Sale when Fabricana closed it's Surrey location. If I remember correctly, I bought blue with snowflakes on it to make a zipped jacket for myself . . . . For my birthday last year, the BT gave me $500 to buy myself something - I bought a whole bunch of silk noil, wool/silk flannel & tencel fabric to make myself some new tops to go with the pants I also bought. Why am I still wearing sweats??? I think I need to go on a weekend retreat with my serger & fabrics!!!

Time to quit flogging the dog & get back to work, I guess . . . . . the paperwork never ends!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Sun came out today

October used to be such a glorious month in the Lower Mainland. You used to count on a warm October with crisp evenings & cool nights. Is it my imagination, or have we had too many years with too much rain??? Today was a wonderful October day. Cold morning, warm, almost hot afternoon - yes, that IS a bit too much sun on my face - with the cool evening just starting as the sun goes down. I got my rays at Starbucks today from 2 to 3:30 while knitting on the Wonderful Wallaby in the Anniversary Blue Briggs & Little wool. I love the color. The Carpenter who is to wear this sweater loves the color too - it will bring out the blue of his eyes & make him a little more irresistible to the woman in his life. The BT & I brought them together about 8 years ago when we spent a summer being bums at Starbucks - sigh, young love . . . . . . .

Since my fingers are better, I've been able to take up the needles for a longer period of time & have finished my Tomten jacket in three colors. I have yet to sew up the sleeves or figure out the front closures - looking thru the button bin this evening to see if I have anything that will work - who knows, it may get a zipper. The next one will definitely be a pullover!!!! I think I hate sewing up & sewing on buttons the most - I'd rather knit!!!
Haven't decided if I'll knit a pullover Tomten next or make the Baby Surprise Jacket. The Tomten is really a fast & simple knit - all garter stitch - without any bother about shaping which is really nice if you just want to take it everywhere for those moments you need something to do. It's like car socks - mindless time filler. But some child will love the end result & I guess, in the end, that's the most important part of knitting for charity.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Holy Crap, it's almost Monday again!?!

I have no idea where the last few days have gone other than they've just gone! Hey, I want some of this life back when I'm not stressed or aching! My thumbs have been so damned sore that I haven't knit more than the cuffs on the Tomten jacket & even they aren't sewed together yet.

My friend Karen told me what the problem is with the BT - She said he's grieving. Well, duhhhhhh, of course he is!! - smack myself in the forehead . . . I took all those courses too, way back when, but it's funny how you don't apply them when YOU'RE the one with the problem. Once the light came on behind my eyes, my blood pressure went down. I've litterally been making myself sick with worry. Of course . . . . he's working thru the Anger stage!! I'm so stupid. Upon realizing this, I was able to talk to him rationally about what's going on & beat him up a little about taking it out on me. And then I asked some important questions about how he'll manage when he CAN go home & what he thinks he'll need to make that happen. There's nothing like being prepared when the Social Worker asks the very same questions . . . .

So, now that the BIG problem was sort of solved on Wednesday - the Ladies Auxiliary's home made brownies - on sale in the Hospital didn't hurt neither!!! I was able to come home & root thru my bags - yes, litterally BAGS - of left over sock yarns for ideas for Frankensocks. I think I need a bag of black & red to tie everything together! I love Frankensocks. As long as the measurement from cuff to heel & heel to toe is the same, you can do anything in between! I have more people every year to knit for so I haven't decided whether to make another dozen infant socks for Afghanistan or to make adult socks for charity. So many decisions, so little time . . . . . What did someone say today?? Two months to the big day . . . .