Monday, July 27, 2009

Another No Underwear Day

Last winter's snow pile seems so far away although it's only been a few months! Remember this???? I don't mind SOME heat - it's good for my bones!! But, heat that's so hot that nothing cools down overnite or you w
alk into a blast furnace office or warehouse, is no fun at all! I normally love my basement apartment but these days, it's HOT. I face west & can't escape the blast in the late afternoon when my patio bakes. That being said, the squash plants love this heat - they're growing up the lattice that the clematis normally uses! Now if I could just grow squashes across the whole front . . . .

Since it's been
too hot to drive anywhere, I've been home in front of the fan in the evenings, knitting. I've not only turned the heels on the EX socks but am travelling slowly down the BIG foot - I need these for August 5th & his birthday. If he's lucky, he'll get another pair before Christmas. I've found three balls of yarn that isn't quite as ugly as the last so they may knit faster. I've noticed that Ugly yarn doesn't look nearly as ugly in the ball sometimes as it does when you start knitting with it. Why is that???

My latest Wonderful Wallaby
is up to the hood at the moment & moving quickly to the end. The only problem I have with this pattern is the stitches left to be grafted at the underarm where the sleeves join the body. The pattern says to put 6 stitches on a holder on the sleeve & the
body & graft them together later. By the time I get to the grafting part, the opening is several stitches wider than the 6 I put on the holders. This may only be a problem on the smaller sizes though since knitting around the body & sleeves at that point really pulls for the first few rows after joining. For now, I'm doing a three needle bind-off for the six stitches on either side & taking an extra stitch or two on either side. I like the Wallaby. There's no buttons to sew on & consequently, no buttons for a kid to lose & it's mostly in one piece which makes me happy - no sewing!!

I've got a Kyler's Kardigan - by the same company & is knitted from the top down - on the other set of needles. Kyler's is fun because it's done in garter stitch but the front is open & you have to sew on buttons that may become lost. It is a faster knit though & that may be it's saving grace in the end.

I've discovered a couple of holes in my hand knit socks. They're almost 10 years old so I guess it's to be expected. They may turn into house slippers for the winter & make room for some new socks. I've got a couple of balls of Regia in blues & purples that I just love & I think they will be the next socks for ME. Funny how my wardrobe of socks is becoming very purple these days!! They'll go nicely with the Raspberry & deep Purple tops I bought this month. And the purple sweater I have on the go - Ginny is purple!! Is this a phase??

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sweating it Off

Mostly, I like the dry heat - the old joints don't hurt as much - but this is just a little too much for me. It was so hot yesterday that I had a perm without the plastic cape or the hair dryer - I just sat in the sun to process! It's even too hot to wear underwear! I came home to find the cat flopped in the bathtub - I guess it's the coolest place in the house especially since the tap is on a verrrry slow drip into her bowl of drinking water . . . . She likes to play in the water after I get out of the shower, too. Aren't cat's weird??

In this heat, I've been getting up really really early & working when it's cooler because most of the south facing buildings are just too hot after 3:00. I was at work by 5:30AM on Sunday & that warehouse was still hot from the day before. My home office faces west & while I do keep the blinds down, it gets
waaay too hot & the computer complains . . . . sort of like the office in Langley where the portable air-conditioner has to be blowing right on you to keep you cool before 3:00 & you still sweat bullets after the sun comes over the roof around 3:30 - we wear as little as possible & go barefoot when we can . . . . but nothing really cools down overnight when everything's closed up & there's no windows to open. Oh well, better than being snowed in for 10 days!!!! But, the garden sure loves this weather! I have a squash plant that's crawling up the lattice I put up for the clematis!! The rescued grasses are doing extremly well - they had a label on them "I survived the winter outside in THIS pot" when I first saw them - I had to take them home! I'm always rescuing something . . . My hen & chicks -in the top pic - are taking over . . . .

I finished the pink summer socks but it's just too hot to put them on! And, yes, I have b
een working on the Ugly socks for my Ex - I force myself to knit on them or I can't watch tv. And since I've been watching the news reports on the Kelowna fires, I've been working on them a lot. My mother used to live on Glenrosa!! And Gorman's mill was not that far away!! I'm so glad she moved back to Vernon . . . . Now, since I don't have a cat to model my projects like the Yarn Floozies do, so I'll just have to lay them flat for the photos.

The Ugly socks are both to the heel turning - Oh, you say, they're half done! Oh No. This man wears a size 13 shoe in the widest width available. And I have yarn to knit another 5 pairs. I will have this pair done for his birthday - hopefully, I'll have a second done as well since his birthday is August 8th. Or is it the 5th? Oh well, beginning of August . . . .

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Well the doctor had the last laugh on Monday. After making me wait for almost an hour & a half in
an overheated office, my blood pressure was waaaaaaay up when he finally took it. And he wondered why?? Yeah, right! I soon put him straight but he didn't believe a word I said. He would only renew my prescription for three months, dammit. So, I got mad & bought myself a portable BP machine! Hey, what do we have plastic for anyway???

I decided I would take my pressure every evening around 8 & every sec
ond day, I'd take it twice, morning & evening. My Monday evening reading was 127/85! Not the 160/100 the doctor complained about at noon on Monday! I'm going to keep a daily diary to wave under his skinny nose in three months - after all, I'm not killing myself at Curves for nothing!

I got the chip reader going!! It's a bit of a pain in the ass to make it do what I want, but I can at least download the pictures from the chip & erase them when I'm done. So here's the picture of my new Opal Lace Socks. Took a pic with them on but it didn't turn out so well. I think this one shows them off quite nicely.

I've almost finished the rosy pink summer socks - they're to the toe shaping on both right now. The ugly Ex socks still only have about an inch of ribbing . . . . on ONE sock. I suspect they're going to take a VERRRRY long time to knit, especially since I've been spinning again.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Creaky Monday

Creaked out of bed early this AM & decided I am NOT going to Curves this morning like I planned, I'll go after lunch when I'm not as stiff - I sure hope this isn't a taste of the future!! My bones just aren't liking mornings these days . . . . I thought I'd just drink some tea & do a few hours of data entry to get myself warmed up for the day instead, hahahaha. I get to make one of my bi-annual trips to the doctor today. Wooopie! I get to see if my blood pressure has improved since October when I saw him last. He likes to lecture about stress, weight loss, blood sugar & lifestyle. He tells me I don't drink enough & I should have a glass of wine every day. He's always disappointed when he stabs me to test my sugar & I come out smack in the middle of the 5's where I should be - I'll bet his sugar is higher!! He's a runner & likes to lecture about my sedentary ways. I remind him that Runners drop dead of heart attacks just as often as couch spuds! Stress is the real killer. My stress is waaaay lower this year & I'll be shocked if my blood pressure hasn't dropped 20 points! I mean, the BT had just had a stroke when I saw the Doc last so my stress was off the charts!! No BT, no stress - right?? Well almost - my Ex cleaned me out of my extra cash yesterday for two month's worth of Extended Medical. Looks like I have to go back to work a couple more days a week - geeze, I like being semi-retired!!!
So, today, I get to find out if the lifestyle changes I've made this year have made a difference to my health! Curves should've reduced my resting pressure by now, dumping the BT should've reduced my other numbers & my sugar has always been good. And I've even increased my fibre too! But I'm getting creakier in the morni
ngs & my joints hurt more - hey, is it too late for some estrogen???? Getting older is a pain - literally!!!

I sat outside with my spinner yesterday - this reduces blood pressure too!!! - all the neighbors came out to watch the crazy Goree (white devil in Punjabi)!!! I plugged in "Deadly Nightshade" a Martha's Vineyard murder mystery on my headset & spun the lovely Brown Sheep mill ends. I'm still working on spinning up the fuzzier "eggs" into skeins for dyeing later this summer. These yield an almost spongy yarn with lots of stretch & volume. You can see the difference in the unspun rovings between the smooth wool/mohair & the fuzzy 'eggs' but the knitted samples really show the difference. The mohair/wool knits smoothly, lays flat with a nice even consistency while the 'eggs' make a yarn that is lofty, stretchy & elastic. I used the 'eggs' to make the Danish Working Shawl & love the way it took the splochy dye job. The yarn is so stretchy that I didn't even make ends to tie the shawl - they stretch enough as knitted to tie around ME!

I promised my Ex I'd knit him some socks. He's been left out in the sock department while the BT & his parents got socks for birthdays, Christmas etc. The reason the Ex
didn't get socks is that his feet are HUGE. I need three balls of yarn to make socks for him! But I promised socks - this is the price I pay for his helping me out of the financial mess the BT left me in - & so, on the weekend I cast on the first pair as promised. I bought 21 balls of Confetti last fall at Knitopia when it came on at two for the price of one. Now this is dark, ugly sock yarn. The Ex will wear just about anything I knit in any color but prefers dark socks - it's a guy thing & they GO with everything, apparently. So I bought a lot of it. The one I cast-on this weekend is dark brown with deep plum & yellow in it. Bloody awful in the ball but the two men I consulted in the shop thought it was great - well, a man is going to wear it . . . . AND I bought many balls in the same theme. I have the feeling that these socks will take a - L O N G - time to knit! Good thing I put them on my 2.5mm bamboo skewer needles . . .

I had to cast-on some bright pink DROPS Fabel yarn for short socks for me to counteract the glumness I experienced when I started that ugly Confetti sock. Somehow, I got to the heel shaping on both of them before I realized last evening. Gad, both to the heel shaping while the ugly sock has only an inch of ribbing . . . . . I have to stop this! Have you noticed that knitting with exciting yarn is like eating chocolate??

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cooooler Temps

I am sooooo enjoying the cooler weather today. I did NOT enjoy it yesterday after the barometer fell. I woke up stiff, sore & aching all over - it was Monday, Curves day. It took me an extra hour, one hot shower & two Tylenol arthritis pills to get it in gear to go to Curves. I managed to get thru the workout to find I'm not actually malingering when the weather changes. The computer recorded a definite decrease in range of motion & strength! This shouldn't come as a surprise of course, since I really notice it when I have swollen, hot joints but to have it acknowledged on a graph on the computer when I'm only stiff & sore - well, it really brings the chickens home to roost, so to speak! And, pushing & pulling those damn machines really makes my hands hurt too!
Have to admit the exercise does make be feel better when it's over . . . maybe you don't understand how bad you can feel until it stops???? LOL

And on to knitting, I decided to try a lace patterned sock.
I found this great sweater with a simple lace pattern & really liked it. I had to swatch the pattern! And then decided to try the pattern - a simple repeat over 7 stitches - in a sock that I was making in a purple OPAL. Too much association with the Lace knitting gang on Wednesday nites. I think! I think the lace pattern is interesting but would look better in a softer yarn - the OPAL tends to be a little stiff but that may change when I wash the sizing out. I still like the effect though so I may just try another pattern with the softer DROPS Fabel yarn I have next in the lineup. It has a color pattern but it's mostly large runs of one color so it may be a better choice for a knitted patter
n. I've turned the heels on the OPAL socks & am on the home stretch. Hopefully, I'll have one finished for Wednesday nite to show off!

Still spinning up white mill ends for a big dyeing day. I want at least six big skeins ready so I can knit up a bi
g project for a change. I have a couple of things in mind & it just may turn out to be a lacy or openwork project so I can make the most of what I'll have spun up. I won't know for sure until the yarn is spun, dyed & dried so I can swatch.

What a difference a year makes!! The second-hand cat is reclining on the same knitted blanket a little over a year in between the pictures - I ran across these today & was shocked - she wasn't sick or anything but she learned to sneak out at nite!!

And poor old Arvik?? Well, I'm thinking I may rip it back yet again, to the middle of the yoke & finish it off with an openwork pattern on bigger needles so I can make the most of the yarn I actually have. I figure this is the fastest way to actually get a sweater finished before the end of the summer! I DO love the shetland wool & particularly Arvik's lovely shades of grey. But she can't give me anymore fleeces so I have to make the most of what I have.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

And so this is Canada Day

And it's just another day in the life of a separated, self-employed
woman rapidly approaching retirement. Well, rapidly approaching the AGE of retirement in Canada, that is. Whether or not I CAN retire is the question to ponder on this Canada Day. I've worked since I was 15 for small businesses & non-profits so I have little in the way of pension credits other than those paid to the National Plan unless I kill my Ex. The Doomsayers question the long term existence of The Plan. The Baby Boomers are certainly taxing the limits of The Plan. The Cost of Living may soon exceed the payments of The Plan.
So, on this Canada Day, I am planning to keep working until I die.

Having pondered the fu
ture, I think I'll spend the rest of the day spinning.

By the way, I stole the Knitted Sushi pictured above from one of my chums who's using it as his latest ID pic on Messenger! And the bugger doesn't even knit!! Can you believe that???

A couple of years ago, I bought one of the 15lb bags of white mill ends from the Sheep Shed Studio.
They're from the Brown Sheep mill. And they're gorgeous. I still have most of the bag which I split with my pal, Gail & other than the yarn I spun up for my Danish Working Shawl, its remained in the bag. Most of the bag was full of wool/mohair roving that feels & spins like silk - you could tell by the pink tint which washes out easily. The rest of the bag was oval 'bumps' of a slightly woolier stuff. I spun the 'bumps' for my Danish Working shawl because it had a sponginess & elasticity which the mohair/wool roving did not. I guess I just liked the feel!

While sorting
thru baskets & bins last week - my annual attempt to clean house & toss stuff I don't need - I ran across the bag. I wondered why I hadn't spun it all up when I first got it. The stuff spins beautifully & maybe that's it's main problem - it flows so smoothly thru the fingers that it almost spins itself. And that can get really boring after a while . . . . I started spinning a couple of the 'bumps' that I just had to pull out & now have an almost filled bobbin - this pic is from LAST week. Oh, I heard someone in the crowd snort. This giant bobbin my dear, holds at least a pound of spun wool - it's on an Indian Spinner!

I thought I'd fill the bobbin a couple of times & save the skeins for a day of dyeing. It would be nice to have enough yarn to knit something soft to cuddle into when it gets cold & damp in the fall. And to all of you out there who're laughing because you know I've been knitting Arvik for three years, one giant Bronx Cheer!!!

On someone's Blog I read, "Unhappy people watch more television. Those who describe themselves as "happy" spend more time socializing & reading . . . " Hmmmm - so what does that mean for us who plug in a good murder on the old headset & spin???

By the way, I finished my Rosy DROPS Fabel socks the other day & tried them on this morning to take a photo. One pic & the camera reports the chip is full!! Damn. I bought a new chip reader but it does funny things & puts my photos somewhere else . . . . now I have to hunt for them. Grrrrrrrrrr . . .