Friday, November 30, 2012

Like the Wind

Tomorrow my latest project will be dropped into the mail to fly off to the Other Side of the Mountains, to it's new owner. I had to find something GREEN. No fool I, who doesn't like to shop - you wouldn't know it mind you, by all the books I picked up this week on Sale!! And Six seasons of Foyle's War too. But, this package will be away & off my damned desk. I'm a terrible one for not mailing things .  .  .  What did I find that was GREEN? Well, my old standby - socks.
When in doubt, send hand knit socks. They make the feet feel warm & pampered. So many people don't know how to make them - I love socks.
In 5 days, I will be unemployed until the end of January. YES!! Well, not that I don't have projects to do in my home office mind you BUT, I will no longer have to commute or get dressed in the morning if I don't want to. I can get up early or stay up late & work if I want & take an afternoon nap - if I want. The Boss at the Motorcycle School is pretty good to me so it's time HE got a pair of socks too.
First sock down & the second is already on the needles. The yarn is Regia - one of my favorites - in one of the Jet Set colorways. this rich blue with lighter blue dappling is perfect for the man who wants "manly" colors but is not a totally boring, totally flat, one dimensional color that takes forever to knit. I know he'll like it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bruised Saturday

I figure it's only fitting to comment on all the Seasonal Stupidity going on around me right now. Tis the Season to fall down the Debt Hole. Have you noticed that the price increases exponentially year by year?? I say, Stop the Madness NOW. Refuse to take an extra day off to sit in mile long line-ups at the Border. Refuse to spend your morning/afternoon circling the parking lots for an empty space! Refuse to pay Duty & Tax at the Border! Refuse to let your money support another country! If you must shop, do it at home. Buy Locally. Keep Business Alive on THIS side of the Border. That's our Education, Health & Employment dollars going south in your pockets, my friends.

Now, I'm not totally averse to spending a buck or two across the Border if I can't get what I really want in Canada. But, I'm trying my best to Green up my life. I look Locally first, Provincially second, Canadian next & only then, do I look across the Border. Many of those same products in the Big Box malls just a little south are also here, in our area already. No line-ups, no gas wasted, no time wasted & our folks keep their jobs. Do you really NEED to go South or are you just caught up in the Black Friday Hysteria??? This is an Advertising Event folks - you're being manipulated by the same people who give you those 35 minutes of commercials in every 60 minutes of TV!!

Now that I've had my Rant, it's time to get back to Knitting!  I have three projects started for myself that always seem to get pushed onto the back burner.

I dug out the Poncho Pullover & resumed knitting. The more I work on it, the less I like it. My color choices are off. I started with a nice solid blue & decided to use the variegated blue for the main body. Originally, I bought a whole bunch of 'marked down' skeins of Briggs & Little in a store! I thought I'd knit myself an Adult Surprise sweater. I bought light blue, dark blue, teal, navy, sky & ONE skein of Red, just for fun. I did have a bunch of the Anniversary skeins from another project too.
Lost my heart to the Poncho Pullover from Cabin Fever & thought the same skeins would make a nice colorful poncho instead. I started the collar & yoke with a navy blue, threw in a red stripe & then hated it when I added a lighter blue stripe. Friends said I should start with the light blue & work my way down. So I did.  I have light blue at the top, red stripe & variegated below. BAD.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad with stripes of solid blue instead. I sure hate to frog it again but maybe I have to. Maybe it was the original colors that turned me on!!! Maybe I could rescue it with a navy bottom??? Sigh. I ended up knitting on the Cabin Fever Lace Frock that I started before I had to knit hats. Maybe I just have too many projects on the go & that's why I can't get anything finished??? Maybe I should just stick to socks!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In Search of Something GREEN

Shopping is not one of my favorite things to do. I'd rather clean, do dishes or even haul stinky garbage to the curb than go shopping. At this time of year, when the malls fill up with people who have nothing better to do than spend money they haven't yet earned, I won't even park within a block of a mall. And, Gawd help me, I've got to shop for someone who loves GREEN.

I know Safeway & Sears sends red & green plants by wire. I could send smoked Salmon & Marmalade too but they're not green. The Drug Store will have something in Green but would it be something my Someone would want? Do I send something fibery?? Does my Someone spin?? Crochet? Knit? I dunno. A book? Do I know what my Someone reads?? nope All I know is GREEN. And it has to go in the mail - SOON. There's nothing else to do I guess - I had this lovely ball of mostly GREEN.

Just an end or two to tuck in & it's into the box to be mailed. I understand I still have enough time to get it anywhere in the world before Christmas. Which is a good thing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bitchy Bitchy Bitchy

My friend Gail says I sound bitchy in my blog lately. Yeah, well, maybe that's true. This damned sciatica or femorica - Karen says its the femoral nerve not the sciatic nerve that's giving me trouble - is painful, confining & physically limiting. I just don't like it a bit. It IS getting better with drugs & rest but it's still painful & I still can't get my shoes & socks on easily!! I know it sounds awful, but sometimes, I leave those socks on for a couple of days because I just can't face the struggle of putting new ones on every morning. But, it's getting better. I can get in & out of the car more often in a day now. Lifting my right leg to get in is the killer. Stairs are easier too. But, I've been pretty immobile for several months. Add the rain & running the Ex back & forth .  .  .  .

All that being said, I decided I needed something fun & pretty in my life. We Canadians don't get half the goodies that Americans take for granted. The marketplace is bigger Down There but a lot of things just don't make it north of the old 49. I saw something I wanted & took the chance. It cost a fortune but, not as much as a useless diamond or a plain old car. I just had to have it!!  Ta Da 
A traveling Denise!! I really love my Denise needles. I love how I can just snap on another cable to expand when I'm knitting top down!! I love the warm, smooth needles. I wish they made sock needles. Oh, I love my little US 0, 1 & 2 Harmony circs but the cables are fixed. I use my Denise's for everything else!!

Six of the most popular needles, a crochet hook, three of the most popular cables, two buttons & one connector. All in a nice little case so it will tuck into a knitting bag without taking up any room!!  I love the colored needles & cables. Now all I want is a kit with 8 end buttons & 6 connectors I think I use them the most out of any other part of the kit but the needles.

Apparently my little kit is going to be a staple, available year round at Jimmy Beans. Other kits will be limited editions for Back to School, Hallowe'en, etc. Most kits have the plain needles with colored cords like the Cancer RED kit but the fabric case always changes like the spooky one for Hallowe'en. I liked the pretty needles & cords so I went with the Rose Kit. Yes, Gail, I am a sucker for Pretty sometimes .  .  .

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Starter not a Finisher

I was sitting outside at Starbucks last night freezing my ass off. Why?? I live in a world of wool & wool blends. My livingroom is full of bins, bags, wooly skeins & projects on-the-go but I was outside at 9:00PM without gloves, hat or warm sweater. I did have wool sox but was otherwise dressed in polyester yoga pants, a summer Tee & a light fleece jacket - with tea in a china cup. Not that it was even below Zero but it was 3C out there with a heavy mist. Dwalli was being celebrated by a good portion of the Asian community so it was like a noisy Hallowe'en with the dark & the mist & the fireworks going off. We were sitting outside freezing in the first place because Students had taken over our favorite spot - it's the WIFI. But the whole point here is that I have no winter gear. I've been so busy knitting touques for Christmas baskets that I've knit nothing for myself. I'm not blaming the touque project because I have at least 4 sweaters started & nothing completed yet.

The Ribbons sweater rides in the car as car knitting. It doesn't get worked on all that often now that its down past the armhole bind-off so I guess I should put a small project into the car that's easier to pull out when I'm waiting.

The Poncho Pullover sits in a bag by my chair where I abandoned it for the Cabin Fever KAL - I really, really wanted to be in that one from the beginning for the techniques & problems as they occurred. It only seemed logical at the time. I can't remember how far the Poncho has been knit but I know it's past the armholes. The new KAL is only to the top of the shoulder when I left it to knit the touques which are time sensitive. Oh yeah, and there's my Purple Kyler's Kardigan which even has an arm attached - also sitting in a bag!!  I wonder why???

So, here I sit, broken hearted. Need a sweater, got four, barely started. Kyler's too light, KAL's barely begun, Ribbons is so snuggly but Poncho's the warmest one. Guess I better get tuit!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just too Nasty to Go Out

This may be the last week I have  TV - everything is going digital & I just don't think it's worth investing any more money to get all that garbage TV. If I had to take the Basic & just add the channels I want above Basic, I might think about it.  But North America only seems to be heavily invested in Reality & Competition TV. Is it because it's cheap to produce & you have to fill the hours with something??Anything?? Is this the equivalent of salt,fat & sugar fillers when the food has no nutrients????  I don't mind some Reality but setting people up in a house full of cameras so we can peep at their private moments?Oh, I forgot, there are no private moments in a mixed house! Parading little girls in skimpy costumes & makeup with suggestive dance routines?? Can you say Pedophile? The stupid Housewives who battle over bling & status each week?? And all the dysfunctional families celebrated on TV. I don't care about Duck Dynasty & Swamp People! Is there a Psychiatrist in the house??? Where are all the Dramas & Adventures??
Funny thing - I watched an old Mission Impossible rerun the other day - the one with Martin & Barbara & Greg etc in black & white fer gosh sake!! It was terrific. It was exciting & realistic. And it wasn't taken over by commercials.

I think I will miss only three channels, Home & Garden, History & Food Channel - I love Diners, Drive Ins & Dives!! And the Kitchen Cousins who have so much fun creating new kitchens & Leave it to Bryan who takes a lot of abuse on HGTV. But, you know, more & more I end up watching Knowledge Network & PBS. Great shows from dramas to mysteries to documentaries & music. And NO commercials. And, I support both of them every month to make sure they stay!!!  I do watch CBC Newsworld too because I love the Documentaries but rarely do I watch anything from Arts & Entertainment - it turned into Reality TV. TLC - what happened to The Learning Channel??? & Discovery Channel, which still has some interesting content but is being slowly sucked into the Reality dimension. History is still pretty good but Reality is seeping in, even though I do love the Pawn Stars! SciFi channel has been taken over by Vampires, I'm tired of old movies on Turner Classics but it is restful without commercials. So, I'm down to News & a weather channel, HGTV, 2 Public TV stations, History, Discovery sometimes, Food channel - that's 8 scattered across 56 that I actually watch & only 5 that I watch regularly.

I know too much TV is bad for you but I think the commercials are  worse. I've turned off many a good show because I just couldn't stand another commercial. And I've taken such a dislike to some commercials that I never buy their products! So, I started watching shows on UTube. I like TV in the winter when you can't do things outside. I like to curl up with my knitting & watch what's going on in the world. But I like to learn something if I can. I know we North Americans spend too much time in front of the tube but when it's wet, cold or snowy outside, what're you going to do?? When I come home from work I just want to haul out my knitting, climb into my jammies, get a hot drink & find out what's happened in the world. But maybe it isn't worth knowing about.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Ta Da

One sock down & one to go. Just have to knit the toe which will get finished today as I wait again in the car, on the street, in the sun, outside the Heart Specialist's office, across from the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster where there is no street parking! Why don't I park in the hospital's underground lot??? And miss the sunshine?? Are you kidding??? And the lot's usually full at noon anyway .  .  .  I can move when the bus shows up or the meterman comes around the corner - I'll be mid block & can skedaddle out of there just like that!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Stocking up for the Winter

I have a practical friend who has very practical parents. They always buy practical presents for their kids. Over the years, my friend has  received a lot of items of practicality, including a portable smoker. Now, since we were buying salmon for $10 a fish right off the boat last year, he fired up the smoker to experiment a little. And I was able to buy smoked sockeye in sealed vacuum packs really cheap - I'm a bud - when he was done!! Oh yeah!!!
His fish was a little softer than I like & came in full fillets but sockeye is hard to ruin unless you overcook it!! And I enjoyed it's full flavor. We had a group discussion one day at our local Starbucks about how to improve the product. We even elicited comments from most of the coffee-soaked habituees in attendance that day as well. He went away mumbling to himself & I didn't hear another thing for ages.

Last night he arrived on my doorstep with the latest offering. Vacuum sealed, cut in strips & smoked hard as a rock in Apple & Maple smoke. Coated in some of our suggestions - sweet mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar & vanilla honey. It tasted so wonderful that I bought 12 pounds of it. I ate some with cole slaw for dinner & intend to eat a lot more of it before I'm done!! I'm trying to talk him into coating Dog Salmon with marmalade or plum jam before smoking. I think they'd both work out well on a fish that doesn't have a lot of it's own flavor!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I can't believe .  .  .  

I thought LAST weekend was the time to turn clocks back. Has there been a change & I just didn't notice??? It just feels wrong in my bones  .  .  .  and I still haven't changed the clocks. Oh, the old cell phone, the computer & the VCR all changed themselves apparently but not the ones with batteries & teeny, tiny holes to stick a paper clip into. And I have to go through all that hassle to change the time in the car!! Why the heck to we NEED Daylight Savings anyway??? I know you needed it in the old days to see at milking time. But, it doesn't matter what you do to the clocks in late Fall - we'll be getting up in the dark & coming home in the dark for the next four months anyway. The world has become electrified & we can find the cows by turning on the lights. Just another silly Tradition that needs to go.

Even though I don't celebrate Christmas - I see it's now Politically Correct again to use the term Christmas - I do participate in a couple of Seasonal Swaps. I wish the Swap info was given out several months in advance since color choice can alter things considerably. I have socks in the gift basket in a couple of colors but my Swappee likes Brown or Greens & I sure don't have those in the basket!!! And I don't want to send a lovely braid to someone who weaves but doesn't spin. So I start all over again. Does she knit lace?? dunno. I truly hate sending yet another mug & mystery package.

Meanwhile, back in the land of Purple, my socks are progressing nicely between touques. I've almost knit the second sock to the middle of the foot so I can put both socks on the same circs to the toes. I'm getting a little faster with the circs on one sock but it'll probably be a circus with two on there. Remains to be seen!!

Friday, November 02, 2012

It was a dark & stormy night . .

I spent Hallowe'en watching updates from the east coast of the US while the wind whistled & the rain fell on this one. It was dark enough & wet enough that driving home dodging kids & slow moving cars was a pain in the ass. Today though, I'm so glad I live on the Wet Coast, even though I often complain about it. At least everything I own is still here, not floating off shore, buried in mud or blowing across Montana. I was  shocked by how fast it can all change - Oh yeah, I watched Katrina swamp New Orleans but NEW YORK?? Those people have it ALL. Technology, Money, Fashion, Broadway, Central Park, $10,000,000 apartments, Longevity. They're not like us!  I'm so grateful I live on the Wet coast. I'm grateful for my warm, dry bed, clean clothes, the refrigerator keeping my milk fresh & the car outside with gas in it. I'm not sure how I would survive if I had to watch everything get torn away in a storm.

Went out this morning after all the gloom & found this. This clematis normally blooms in the early spring before the leaves come out on most plants. It was so wet & dark this past spring that it burst into bloom at least a month late. I guess it's become confused with the long, wet winter & spring & then the long, long dry period at the end of summer. I guess it thinks it's spring again on Nov 1rst. Just another sign that it's a crazy mixed up world out there!!

Churned out another touque in rust for the Donation Bag. And then went back to my purple Fabel socks. The first one is finished up to mid foot so I decided to cast on the second. It's just about ready to turn the heel. When I get it to the same place as the other, I'm going to learn to do TWO socks on two circs. I just about lost one of my favorite DPs at Starbucks in the big chair the other day so I want to stop taking socks-in-progress out in the knitting bag on DPs. I know how to knit one sock at a time on circs - I do it when I'm making a large manly sock because there's too many stitches for my DPs when I'm doing the heel & two gussets. I also use circs if I'm doing a lace project because it's easier to divide the lace pattern in half on the leg & keep it separate on the top of the foot. But, I haven't yet tried TWO socks on two circs. I remember my friend Gail muttering & cussing in a ladylike way when she was teaching herself to do it. A couple of times she knit the wrong sock from the wrong ball or used the same circ all the way around one sock .  .  .  I anticipate the same problems. I may even have to call Gail in desperation after I've kicked the whole thing across the room!! But, if I can get it right, it'll make carrying that little sock-in-progress around a whole lot easier.