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!