Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday Nite knitting

I didn't get to knit with the Girls last nite - I was across town working on a simple little project which turned into a monster & I wanted to finish it, get paid & get out IN ONE TRIP. I finally got out about 9:47PM. Lucky for me, my favorite Starbucks was still open - barely - & one of my Techie buddies was siting there sucking down caffeine. I actually got to sit outside with a coffee & knit for about 20 minutes before they took away the chairs. I have another meeting tonite & hopefully, it will be entertaining, informative & end early!! I need more knitting time!

I carry my purple Kyler's Kardigan in the car these days so I can get another row
or two done while I'm having a coffee, waiting in the Dentist's office or attending meetings. One fella, running into 'Bucks for a coffee, stopped & asked what I was knitting. I held it up & he laughed . . . was it the purple??? Here's where I'm at. I haven't finished the sleeves quite yet - I wanted to get as much of the body knit in the lavender heather as possible - might actually finish it! Since the garter stitch is really using up yarn, I am concerned about having enough. I think I may be okay since the garter really stretches as you wear it & I've actually made the sweater a little smaller than I think I need for that reason. I mean, who needs a sweater that's hanging to your knees in the Rain Forest??? I do have lots of dark purple & the light lavender. I intend to use all three colors in the cuff ribbing & will probably crochet up the fronts & around the neck with the dark purple to finish it.

I couldn't help m
yself & was trying out a pattern stitch from another Helene Rush sweater on Knitty. I'm not sure I would knit a WHOLE SWEATER with the stitch but it would look very nice as a lace panel on the fronts of a cardigan. Maybe even with a cable on each side or a couple of columns of twisted stitch on each side. It might be useful somewhere else. It's too loose for Socks but it would make a terrific Scarf or even an Infant Sweater & Bonnet. Might even make a great Shrug or Shawl. I really like Helene Rush designs. They're usually unexpected, often complex & I sometimes wonder where that woman gets all those ideas.

And a nice view of the Fern Garden in the big cedar box behind my table on the patio. The ferns are keeping company with a curly ivy & my favorite Crystal Palace Lobelia this year while the Christmas Cacti & Jade plant occupy the space underneath the table.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thoroughly Disgusted

As the title suggests, I'm a little annoyed with my performance on a knowledge test. Let me tell you about being an Aries - we're the most intelligent, artistic, wonderful beings on the planet - and WE know so! We just hate being wrong, but most of all, we hate owning up to wrongness. Even when caught, we won't admit it. So I took an Insurance Knowledge Test today & found out that I know absolutely diddly about Insurance. Mind you, I've never bothered with it unless I had no choice. I pay the car insurance because otherwise I couldn't drive. I pay the medical & house insurance for the same sort of reason. Life insurance??? Not me. So I took the test because I'm going to take the course. So, being the intellengent Aries that I am, I thought I may be able to schmooze through the back door . . . . life experience so to speak. Why take the course if I can already pass the test??? Nada. No Go. I got 33% because I know nothing about Insurance. Isn't THAT a slap in the face!

I think I'll go & knit something!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Socks in Distress

I joined the Super Sock Scarefest & cast on the 'Fangs for the Memories' socks - the ones with the 'toothed' tops & the Dracula holes the the ankle - and I hate them. I hate the top which is waaay too big given the stitch count of the pattern. I don't like the holes in the ankle - only two FANG holes but I think they look stupid. So I frogged the whole sock!!

And decided to try the "Damsel in Distress" socks - even though Karen & Gail said they wouldn't work!! I found the revised pattern which tells you to cast-on 80 stitches instead of the 64 in the original. In the previous blog entry, there's a pic of the finished socks. The knitter used 80 stitches for the ribbing & increased to 120 stitches before the lattice pattern. Yeah, I can see that happening. I didn't increase to 120 stitches but I did start with 80 stitches. I did a couple of inches of the pattern VERRRRY loosely - so loosely in fact, that the cable needle kept hitting the floor because I couldn't keep it in the stitches. It's the only way to do the pattern in standard sock weight yarn & still have some stretch left in the sock! I hate this one too. The cabling is too small & too close together. I think if the pattern was rewritten with cables twice the size or with a cable pattern down the FRONT of the sock only, it would be a great sock. The cable needle hit the floor once too often & that sock was kicked into the frog pond too!!!

Not bad for a sock knitter as prolific as I, two new patterns tried & two frogged. I must be a glutton for punishment because I downloaded the "Revenge of the Mummy" sock from last year - I think this one's a winner . . . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's not over till it's over

So I've got this big hole in my mouth apparently stuffed with gel. I went to work & felt okay yesterday till the freezing started to come out - he DID freeze me from eyebrow to wattle!!! The worst part about the whole t
hing was the horrible head & neck ache - from stress, I'll bet - so I came home around 5:30 thru all that damned traffic from Langley. I usually come home an hour or so later so I sure wasn't used to all that traffic!! As soon as I got home, I took three aspirins & crawled on the couch with the cat for a two hour nap. I turned the phone off for the evening & sipped liquids thru a straw even though I wanted Sushi, before taking another couple of aspirins & going to bed. Slept like a log & got up feeling fine this morning with nothing worse than a swollen cheek - not sure what THAT'S all about!!! I am not supposed to do anything strenuous today - not sure what THAT'S about neither!

So, since I'm not allowed to do anything strenuous today, I think I'll knit. I started the "Fangs for the Memory" socks in the Ravelry Super Sock Scarefest. They're simple socks with a "toothed" top & two 'Vampire' holes just above the ankle, LOL. I tried turning the top 'tooth' row over & knitting it into the body of the sock last nite but I couldn't make it work. I'm sure it will work though - I wasn't my best last nite & I got it too tight. I suspect I need to pick up half the stitches to allow it to stretch a little more. Why am I doing this??? Because I really really hate sewing things together after knitting . . .

I noticed some pictures of the first sock - 'Damsel in Distress' - in the series actually completed. Aren't these gorgeous???? One of the participants published this amazing picture of her socks!! I'm thinking I may try out the pattern to see if I can make it work. Gail & Karen report the pattern as written will not work. Someone cast on 72 stitches & increased to 120 stitches before the cabling & had success! I have to admit it's a very pretty sock if you get it finished!

And then there's my purple Kardigan to finish. The evenings are getting much cooler & have been downright COLD a time or two lately. Since I found another ball of the purple heather, I think I may just have enough yarn to finish it. I'm moving rapidly down the body & have the sleeves finished to the cuff. It's kind of shocking at how much yarn the Garter stitch gobbles up compared with Stockinette. But I love the cuddliness - is that a word??? - of the Garter. This is to be a relaxing, snuggly sweater that I can just throw on any time any where. I intend to drag it to work & wear it in the car too! It'll be nice with my shorts until it snows!!!

Then there's the cat. She's really getting old & funny. She follows me everywhere & settles to sleep around or on top of me when I sit down unless she can rub my legs or shoulder. She's not eating much or chasing raccoons like she used to. I guess it's time for a catbed. I found another box of White Buffalo yarn when looking for something else. I thought I'd cast it all out but found some more. My little washer won't felt anything so I was thinking I could knit a big bag & stuff it with some old fleece I have in a bag in the closet. If it's successful, I may make one for the office too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Surgery on the Fly

Today I go under the knife, the pliers & the needle to give up one of my wisdom teeth. I fought long & hard to KEEP those teeth. I even made the Dentist do a root canal on one of them. But, today, I voluntarily give up one. I even suggested he yank the one opposite since it will get loose without it's companion & I'll only be back to get IT yanked later. My periodontist is delighted. He smiled through the whole last appointment. Not like him at all although he started to smile when I decided to bring the big thick pillow & told him to lean on me when I realized he was in pain working on those back teeth. It's a good thing to be on good terms with the man behind the drill . . .

Today is also Payroll Day for 4 of my 5 little businesses. I did manage to do two of them yesterday but everyone is shocked that I'm having my tooth yanked between payrolls. Apparently this is supposed to be a big thing or something. I know a Root Canal takes hours so you might as well take the day off but an extraction???? Come on folks. It's not like they're impacted & curled into my sinuses or anything. Someone even asked if I was going to be "put out". I might add that my Dentist is a Big Gun in the freezing department. He freezes you from eyebrow to underarm for HOURS. I figure he'll curl his toes around the chair bolted into the floor, give a mighty heave & yank it out. It may come in two parts since I cracked it nicely but how hard can it be??? I'll bet my earlobes'll still be frozen until dinnertime!

And I used to be a white knuckle patient!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Wet Life

So, while things are getting back to semi-normal in the kitchen area, life oozes into the weekend. I have to work. Saturday was a good day & I dealt with all the evaluation students as they came & went. But Sunday started off with a bang - or a drip.

I open the local UBrew every Sunday morning around 7:00 so that one good customer can bottle his beer. I normally do the books on Sunday & I took on this guy as a favor. And, since I'm already there, several of the regulars know they can drop off rentals & pick up canisters too. I've even been known to sell a batch of beer or wine if someone waves a credit card. So my Sunday customer & I've become friends over the months & often, I bring coffee & we sample his latest brew. Now, I'm not really into drinking beer at 7 in the AM unless I started the evening before but, each batch deserves a little taste. I even gave him a bottle of Port at Christmas & he reports he finally opened it for a taste. Our man says he LOVES it & will probably buy a batch or two himself! SEE, there's a method to my madness . . . So, while we're yakking up a storm & bottling the latest brew, we hear a drip. And then another. Upon investigation, it seems the ceiling has sprung a leak. Now since it's a hot, sunny day already, I figure the air-conditioner froze up again & is only now thawing . . . As the day goes on, the drip becomes a deluge!! I'm by myself & don't know where all the equipment is since I'm the BOOK KEEPER. I mopped, wiped, moved equipment, set out coolers to catch drips, emptied wine carafs - I put a giant funnel into the narrow top of the caraf to catch the drips from several spots under the worst of it . . . . they filled up quickly!
The owner is in Maui for his anniversary. The Second in Command was out of town on a course. The Wine Maker - large & male - was home with a wrenched back. My big buddy Steven was working in North Van. So guess who spent the day mopping & emptying containers in the middle of an ever expanding lake??? Yup. Me. Today my hands & wrists are so sore I can't write unless I use the keyboard. But Second in Command is back to handle the cleanup . . . . . Thank Gawd.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shitty Thursday

So I'm feeling kind of crappy - tired eyes, sore throat, headache, fingers hurt, right lung aches - the one with the pneumonia scars, neck's stiff & right ear's kind of throbbing - could be allergy, could be flu, could be the beginning of a cold - who knows. Staying home just in case. I have 7 years of new spousal tax returns to add to the ones I'm working on so I have plenty to do. And I'm w
aiting for the GUY to fix my kitchen plumbing problems. Gad, it will be nice to actually wash ALL the dishes again. It'll be nice to have a tidy kitchen again!!! I may be a housework slob but I really really hate getting up to dirty dishes in the morning!

So while I wait, I'm working & surfing the net. I found a site for Cheapskates. One male Cheapskate has figured out how to remove the business end of the bottle of 'Special Cleaner' that you have to buy for the Swiffer Wet Jet. I have one of those & tried several times with assorted tools to remove that cap so I could fill the bottle with my own cleaner. No Dice. I wrecked the end trying to remove it. Had to buy another expensive bottle of cleaner because I just didn't
want to drill a hole in the other end & close it with duct tape. Well, this Cheapskate figured it all out. You immerse said bottle end in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes & then it will twist off without a problem. The inside of the cap has "prongs" which must be removed with pliers or heavy duty kitchen shears. The cap can now be put back on & taken off at will. You can fill it with your own mixture. Wow.

The same Cheapskate site has alternatives to the expensive Swiffer cloths as well. A couple of weeks ago, I found several knitted & crocheted versions which can be laundered
after using. I believe Ravelry even has a couple of the patterns on site!! But the Cheapskate site shows how one woman knit one that looked just like the dusting cloth, complete with "bumps" to push into those holes on the back of the Swiffer duster! I'm seriously going to try a couple of these out.

My hands have rea
lly been sore the past couple of days - makes me wonder what WINTER will be like! So I decided I had to have another pair of SPIROGYRA fingerless gloves to wear. Now I knit myself a pair last year & wore them when my hands were sore even in warm weather & they helped a lot. People gave me strange looks but they don't have my hands!!! My Ex came along complaining about cold hands when he rode his bike - gloves get caught in the doodads he's got attached so I lent him the fingerless gloves to try. He loved them. I let him keep them since they were the prototype & had mistakes. So, I'm knitting another pair. I found the same really stretchy grey hand spun yarn - it's like I spun elastic into it - not that SPIROGYRA doesn't really stretch but the yarn makes it even stretchier - which is why my Ex was able to wear my former ones.

Wooohooo . . . the GUY came & found my problem in the sink. My hair clog was waaaay out in the main line where it joins the house line before meeting up with the City line. He says this clog is MY fault because MY sink is backing up but there's probably been a problem for a very long time. No wonder I couldn't plunge it away! We had to use the BIG water snake to blow that sucker thru the line but not before flooding my floor when we had to disconnect the small water snake!! Well, the kitchen floor needed a good cleaning any way & nothing cleans better than a little lye!!! I'll be soooooo happy to wash all the dishes, the sinks & the counter tops! I think I'll even wash out the coffee pot that I make tea in. And I'm even getting a nice new trap with a twist off clean-out! Ain't life grand????

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Back to Normal

You will probably notice TWO posts in one day if you're really alert but the last one was actually done late in the PM (or early in the AM) on Monday when I couldn't sleep & spent much time watching the original Star Trek marathon while knitting on my purple sweater. I shouldn't've stayed
up that late since today's the BIG DAY when all the little miscreants go back to school! The ones upstairs have been fighting, screaming & running a round since 6:30 . . . in the AM. I suspect each of the 5 start at a different time slot because there hasn't been a totally quiet time or really hot water since 6:30. They tended to sleep till 10 or later all summer so today must be really hard on their systems . . .

I remember being excited to go back to school! We didn't get new wardrobes unless we'd grown out of everything over the summer - hell, we lived in jeans away from school & we girls had to have skirts - we weren't allowed to wear pants unless we were in gym!!! But, the tops never changed much. I always had my nose in a book so access to the Library was a big thing in my life!! And I had a friend named Margaret who knit. She wore knitted sweater sets with matching skirts - all knitted by her. In grade 10! Although I wasn't even into socks yet, I was knitting hats, scarves & kid's sweaters for my little brothers. Even today, I still get the itch to buy school supplies every September. And I still want to sign up for classes, grrrrrr.

No point in going to Starbucks, the area Moms are all waiting out the hour or two that their kids are actually in school today making plans for tomorrow when they'll have the whole day. After they collect the kids, everyone will be off to Wally World, Dollar Stores, Staples or Office Depot to collect the items added to the NEW school list so I can't go to those places today either. I think I'll just stay home in the Office until it's all over!!!

Meanwhile, the purple sweater is starting to look like a sweater!! The pic on the right shows the colors in the yoke to the underarm - I thought I had a lot more of the lavender & probably do - somewhere!!! The darker color is called Pu
rple Heather & I really do love it although I did knit a sweater with a cabled front out of the lighter Lavender. I had to pull it apart when one of the cable stitches was caught on something & started to travel . . . not fixable unfortunately.
Took a quick pic of the sweater with the first sleeve done. Not a good pic but the batteries need recharging so
I took what I could get even though the angle is bad. I've started on the second sleeve & should have enough of the Heather to get at least a couple of inches down the body before working with the dark Plum. Who knows? I might even find more of the Heather tucked away somewhere. In one of those big bins. Probably in the one on the bottom if I know MY luck . . .

Oh, I should mention the two toned sock in the top picture. I started out with the intention of knitting BLUE frankensocks to add to my gym sock collection. I found two unfamiliar balls of yarn & started to knit. I take leftover donations!! This is what I ended up with. Karen claimed former ownership & responsibility for the colors. Apparently she spit joined the yarns together when she was knitting socks & didn't like the end result. She tore it out & passed it on to me. This is why the sock looks like two different yarns were joined together. It's Karen's fault.
The End of Summer

So what did I do with my Long Weekend & Labor Day holiday?? Well, labor, of course! As a Contractor, I don't get stat or any other holidays unless I stop working. If I stop working, I can't afford to buy all the fibre I have to accumulate before I die. And yes, I'm only being partially funny. There's always another project or skein or ball or package of stuff I just have to have - hey, at least this addiction doesn't kill brain cells or give you cancer . . . well, maybe not unless you EAT the fibre. But everyone knows that more fibre is really GOOD for you!

So I stayed home. And washed dishes in the bathroom sink again. I still have a blocked sink. I've poured noxious chemicals down there, plunged until I'm blue in the face & even tried to take the trap off. Some jerk glued it on when they installed it! I perused the plumbing at Crappy Tire today & found the trap I want to install - it has a nice little clean-out door that unscrews easily. My Techie guys tell me I have to cut the damn trap off with piano wire, clean the whole mess out from there with the snake & put another trap on. Simple operation once most of the water gets drained out . . . I am currently waiting for the sludge in the sink to go away - AGAIN. My fault. I filled it up with boiling water & more noxious chemical in the vain hope it would all go away. Didn't. So, I cleaned out all the stuff under the sink - including the mouse poop - can't believe I own all that cleaning stuff. No one cleans around here!!! but I can't stand the mess any longer & have to get it fixed.

And in spite of all that, I also spent time working on the purple sweater. I just about froze in the warehouse on Sunday! And it wasn't much warmer today either. So the first sleeve is finished except for the cuff. I decided to do the sleeves first & finish the body with deep purple
if the heathered purple runs out. I'll probably use all the shades of purple in the cuffs just for fun. I really, really NEED this sweater NOW. Amazing how we were sweating gallons just two weeks ago & now all of a sudden, it's sweater weather!! And when this one's done, I'm going to work on the Cardi Shawl because it would work well at work too. I figure we really have two seasons in the Vancouver burbs, shorts or fleece lined pants. And I intend to wear my shorts until the snow falls! Even if I have to wear wool socks & sweaters with them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

I fell in love

It's not often that I get that feeling. Not often at all. I just looked up & it got to me. I couldn't wait to get out my credit card & get the instructions. So what am I in love with?? Well . . it's a cheap & easy rectangular bit of knitting that's put together in a
different way. It's so simple to make that any 8 year old with basic skills can make one. But, boy, can you wear it in so many ways. Go to the Stitch Diva site & watch the video of the Designer showing how it can be worn!!! I was instantly struck by it's possibilities & had to have it. It's called the Endless Knitted Cardi Shawl at You can wear it right side up, upsidedown, add short sleeves, pin it closed with a shawl pin, wear it open, belt it & create a variety of collars. Cheap & easy. Isn't that the best kind of love???

Still plugging away at the New garter stitch Kyler's Kardigan in adult size. Ginny is a thing of the past although her colors live on in the new sweater. I goofed & had to spend a whole evening TINKING out the last 6 rows - just a pain the ass when you have 356 stitches on the needles!!! But, it's done & I'm almost to the armhole section where I put the sleeve stitches on holders & knit down the body to the pockets. One thing about this pattern, it's all in Garter Stitch except for the front band which is picked up after the sweater is complete. My only concern now is that I have enough of the purple heather to finish the main part of the sweater without having to resort to the dark purple to finish it. The debate is whether to do the sleeves first & then work the body in case the main color runs out, work half the sleeve & then go to the body or just do the body & worry about the sleeves later. I have to think about this one while I'm working the last 9 ridges before the separation. And look for more of the purple heather in my stash . . .