Wednesday, December 31, 2014

                          Just Knitting in the New Year

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Survived the Holidays

Yup, I survived the Holiday - well, the worst of them - one more time. I survive them quite nicely now that I'm old.  I don't mind being ALONE. Some folks do. Some folks spend too much time alone & some folks have nothing but alone time but I have so much to do that a few days alone doesn't matter at all. Between the knitting & spinning projects, I never have to worry!!

I meant to have a nice rotisserie chicken for Christmas dinner this year with Cole slaw & real Mandarin oranges for dessert. I thought about cheese bagels for hummus & chicken sandwiches for later.  Of course, I waited till Christmas Eve afternoon to go to Safeway since I wanted that chicken to be fresh. Why Safeway??? The one I go to has a bank machine, groceries & Starbucks. I wanted to hit all three. And I wanted one stop shopping. Brother, did I make a mistake.

I should've known when my left hand turn lane was backed up for a couple of blocks .  .  .  .  but sometimes that happens when a truck needs to turn & blocks the thru lane because he can't fit into the short left turn lane. So I got in line. It took several light changes to be able to turn.  All roads around Safeway were standing still. Cars trying to turn were blocked by cars trying to get through the intersection IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. Instead of waiting until the intersection cleared, people were rushing into any little space while blocking everyone still in the intersection. People fought to get into Safeway while others fought to get out. People sat in cars blocking aisles to others while waiting for other people to return to their cars & pull out. Knowing about the Handicap parking in the far corner - not a good place for anyone to park - I was able to park. That corner is not popular.  It floods, it's dark at night, it has two ledges to try to get over, there's no buggy return & the cross walk is on the opposite side of the parking lot!! But it was empty. I realized, as I limped across the roadway, that I'd forgotten about the liquor store across the parking lot. No wonder the place was a zoo!!!
All the chickens were sold out before noon. The Deli gal said people were lined up outside at 7 when they opened. I shook my head. Bought meatloaf in the end. And found myself a comfy spot at a corner table to read, drink a large dark roast coffee & eat a slice of banana bread. I got to watch all the parking lot action in comfort until it thinned out & let me head for home.

Christmas was terrific. I knit almost a whole sock while I watched the Tudor Christmas, The Victorian Christmas & the War Time Christmas with Historian Ruth & Archeologists Peter, Tom & Alex.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's been an odd couple of days around the old Hacienda. The damned teenagers upstairs all seem to shower one after another leaving me with no hot water in the mornings. Who wants to get dressed, hang about for a few hours & then get undressed to have a shower mid afternoon??? I guess I have to get up earlier & beat the buggers to it or stay in my jammies until lunch time. Other than the shortage of hot water, it's so quiet in the house that it's like no one but me lives here. Except for the skunk. I caught him peering in the window a couple of times. He comes up the back stairs & looks in when I'm working at night. And last night, he decided to perfume my back door. Deeelightful.

I finished up the second pair of socks for my Fat Ankled customer who suddenly decided he was paying too much for them. I was really annoyed because I stopped working on my sweater to make him socks when his feet & ankles blew up like balloons. I actually took pity on him, against my better judgement. Luckily for me, I hadn't delivered the second pair yet & needed a little thank you gift for the nice fellow who drops off a loaf or two of lovely rustic bread every week. I hope my Bread Man wears those socks the very next time he visits Mr Fat Ankles.!!!

My buddy & I tried to go to Tim Horton's for a coffee yesterday around 3:30 in the PM. Bad decision .  .  .  .  It may not be IN the mall but it's close enough that we still couldn't get near the place. Not a parking spot to be found!!!  Okay, okay, I'm tired of all this Christmas fuss already!!!! We sat on the far side of the mall, next to the street & watched the Tim's. It took a bit but people suddenly got up & the whole place cleared out. We rushed in to an empty coffee shop, grabbed our coffees & got our favorite seats. Within 20 minutes, the place was packed again. We've decided that we'll stay home till January.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Madness Around Us

It's the month of gift giving & receiving. And while I'd rather stab myself in the thigh with a knitting needle before I'd darken the doors of a mall, I do like some of the seasonal goodies floating around out there. I love the fact that the grocery store carries a more extensive selection of cheese this time of year. I'm a big fan of Lancashire & Cheshire cheeses. I also love the Mango bath & body products that the Body Shop only gets at Christmas nowadays - I was a HUGE fan of Mango perfumed oil in the old days, sigh. But, if I have to shop this time of year, I keep to grocery & on-line shops. I just can't cope with parking Vultures. You know who you are!! You're the people who circle the parking lots for HOURS trying to park at the door. You idle in 'Handicap' spots to scan for 'back-up' lights. And you sit & wait for people to return to their cars while blocking the entrance/exit for everyone else.

I spend a lot of time reading through my list of Blogs now that I'm not commuting to work on a daily basis. I start my mornings with Food in Jars & the Yarn Harlot while I drool over all the goodies they write about. One of my blogs sent me to the Sweet Georgia blog to read about the new pattern collection called 'Tempest' by Holli Yeoh. I was given a peek & fell head over heels in love with 'Haven', the poncho/wrap. Knit with  two strands of Sweet Georgia Cashluxe fine in some of my favorite colors - Mulberry, Wisteria, Deep Cove & Basil. It's my first choice to knit out of all the patterns in the book. I commented on 'Haven' & told them how much I loved it. They must have loved my comment because they sent me the book as a download!!! Whoopie. I suggested 'Haven' would be a great pattern to use up all the shades of pink & purple handspun in my skein collection. I wouldn't have to buy a thing .  .  .  .

I actually remembered to take a photo of the latest Fat Ankle Socks. They're ordinary, plain, manly men's socks in my usual pattern. I use the cable cast-on to cast on 72sts loosely on 2.75mm needles. I knit one row & then drop down to my favorite Chiagoo 2.25mm circs for the rest of the sock. I do a 2" K2P2 rib on a stocking stitch body. Since I can't SEE any more after dusk, I make my heels by knitting a gusset BESIDE the heel flap as I go before short rowing the gusset to close it after turning the heel. This makes a nice, deep heel with a loosely ribbed top which is easy to get on & off swollen ankles/feet. It's also easier to get on when your knees don't bend as far as they used to.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drip, Drip, Drip

I can't believe how fast the time goes by. It's been almost a week since I even looked at this blog. Whew. Haven't accomplished a whole lot in the last few days except produce a giant pile of used Kleenex! I've had the nasal drip from Hell. A constant drip. All I've done is wipe my tearing eyes, blow my dripping nose & sleep. Didn't feel bad but the darned drip wouldn't stop & I couldn't keep my eyes open for two days. As the nose dried up, the throat got sore. What is going on?????

I did manage to finish the second pair of Fat Ankle Socks though & now have the time to finish my Poncho Pullover. Hopefully, I'll be wearing it by Christmas. And speaking of Christmas, I bought myself a present. Anyone who knits socks knows Cookie A & her multitude of gorgeous sock patterns, but I guess I'm the only one who didn't know that she also has other patterns out there. Someone in one of my Ravelry forums mentioned a sweater designed by Cookie A. I had to take a look & was astonished by how much I loved it. She puts ordinary shapes together in a very unexpected way that really appealed to me. I was hooked. And I bought the download. I am now the possessor of Cookie A's Knitwear Volume 1 - Shapes & Form book. I have a niece that loves weird stuff & a couple of those sweaters would make her little heart sing! Sigh. Just another project to finish before I die!!! Now, if only I could win the Lotto or find a rich relative willing to die & leave me money .  .  .  .  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Fat Ankle socks are just about finished, thank gawd! All this damp, windy weather has taken it's toll on my hands - especially my thumbs! I have to take a side trip to my favorite Chinese supermarket & get some Chili Plasters. They're sheets, impregnated with hot peppers, that you can cut into any size or shape & apply to your skin for pain control.  I know they heat up & stick wherever you apply them. They can get TOO hot if left on too long but my Ex swears by them. I intend to apply a small patch to the base of each thumb to see if they help because I have a ton of knitting to do, a year's worth of painted Spinning Club rovings to spin & all that data entry I've just taken on  .   .   .   .   my hands have to work!!!!                                           

Time to get back to my Poncho Pullover too. I've only managed to knit a few more rows with the condition of my thumbs. Gotta finish winding off all the singles yarn on my Indian spinner as well. Much as I love that big bobbin, I really do hate winding off all that yarn. It takes forever. But, if I want to get it ready for dyeing, it has to come off. It's  been earmarked for a sweater from the Knit Kimono book. To keep the color fairly consistent, I have to dye it all at the same time. I must have 15 large skeins tucked away in a bin already & when I wind off what's on the bobbin, I should have more than enough of the lovely stuff for the sweater. I believe I still have about 8 of the 'knots' of roving left to spin before I dye it all. The unnamed wool is from a 15 pound 'Grab Bag' of Brown Sheep mill ends I bought from Sheep Shed Studios so very long ago so. The knots are soft & quite spongy which made me love them immediately. So before I get any older or stiffer, it's time to get to it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fat Ankle Socks

Sometimes I don't know why I bother but I've been knitting as fast as I can on a pair of socks for Our Fat Ankled Hero. I tracked him down yesterday in the Neighborhood Pub having a nosh & a pint or two with all his noisy pals. He found the blue socks I made for him last Christmas - his girlfriend talked me into it - & decided he only needs a couple more pairs. I guess this is the old 'one on the feet, one in the wash & one in reserve' routine men like to play. If they don't feel like doing the wash, they wear the current article until they do! Don't mind a whole lot - knitting dark socks is a pain in the butt. I was trying to knit while watching the tube but it's dark enough now that I'm splitting the yarn because it's hard to see dark yarn. I may have to turn the light up & put a white towel in my lap as I go.

This sock is a little bit longer than shown now - about mid foot - so I broke the yarn & started the second sock. I'm using a 2.25mm needle & started with 72 stitches cast-on loosely with a 2.75mm needle. It's my usual K2,P2 ribbing for an inch or two & then plain old stocking stitch to the heel shaping. I love the K1,Slip1 heel flap which I've carried on to the bottom of the heel & stopped where the instep starts. This gives a nice 'cushy' heel. Since I can't see to pick up stitches along the heel flap anymore, I cast-on my gusset stitches on either side of the flap as I go. I've made the heel nice & deep by increasing by 15 gusset stitches on either side & short rowed to bring me back to my original 72 stitches.

The yarn is something called Mega Boots Softcolor with a barber pole of lighter & darker indigo yarns. It changes color a little from slightly lighter to darker as you work down the sock but you have to really look to see it. I have one other ball in Grey. Obviously, I bought this to make manly socks. It's a nice color but the yarn splits. I had a tough time knitting the ribbing - guess it was the combination of dark day, dark yarn & barber pole twist that made me crazy!! I had a hellova time getting the whole stitch every time. Grrrrr. It's not so bad now that I'm past the ribbing but I found it tough to knit the flap & turn the heel too. No wonder I like the tight, bright yarns that most companies produce for socks - I can knit them without looking & whiz along. This stuff is slower to use & I'll be glad to finish off these two balls.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Beautilous Day

When it rains in the Vancouver area, it's damp, grey, gloomy, miserable & it rains a lot. People are grouchy, mean to each other & suffer a lot from Road Rage.  When the sun shines upon us, the whole atmosphere changes. People throw off their coats & mittens, they unhunch their shoulders, get out of their cars & suddenly, the world is a happy place. Surprisingly, some people even put their shorts back on. Everyone sits outside at the coffee shops & strangers are greeted with smiles. Today I got up to one of those days!!!  What a beautiful day. 

With the change in the weather comes a change in my joints. Nothing really hurts today. My thumbs are working correctly & the damned knee is not clicking or shooting pain arrows into my lower leg. It's a good day to walk somewhere, get a coffee & knit.  

And speaking of knitting, I've had a plea for socks from a guy with Diabetes who's having ankle swelling problems. Seems the dastardly guy pinched the two pairs of hand knit summer socks I gave to his lady friend because he couldn't get any of his OWN socks on his feet. I made those for myself but the ribbing was a little too tight to get over my heel. Since my knee injury, I often have difficulty bending that damned knee far enough to put on socks. I've learned to make them a little longer, the heel depth a little deeper & the ribbing looser so I can get them over my heel with the aid of a folding step stool. Some mornings I could do a half hour comedy session with a sock & that stool .  .  .  .  As a result, I've given a lot of my socks away to friends who love them. Mr Fat Ankles was not one of them!!

I'm not overly sympathetic with Our Fat Ankled Hero since his ankle problem is related to his dietary misbehavior but, my friend would like to keep her socks for her own feet. She says He says he'll pay any price I want & will wear any color I choose to knit. Sounds like desperation to me. LOL

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nothing to do with Knitting

I'm always doing tax returns for trade with people with little or no money. I did just such a trade about 30 years ago for a portable JVC, 14" color TV. It could run on AC or DC which made the trade even sweeter. I brought it with me when I moved because it was supposedly portable - it actually weighed a ton but had lovely color & a really sharp picture.  It's lived ever since on the top of an old wooden dresser that I painted red, in the corner of my living space. I can't say I turned it on every day but I've watched it more & more since I damaged my knee & spent more time knitting last winter. 

I noticed about a year ago that I couldn't read the print at the bottom of the screen when something was translated any more. It IS 14" after all & I DO watch it from across the room, then I wrecked my knee .  .  .   Well, I recently noticed my eyes were getting really tired when I watched TV. When I watch it, look down at my knitting & then up again, I have trouble refocusing. It HAS been several years since I changed my glasses .  .  .  guess it's time. And then the other day, while watering the plants on the window sill close to the TV, I noticed that the picture on the tube was a bit fuzzy. Oh yeah, when did that happen???

A buddy of mine said he'd come & haul it away for me - it weighs a ton!!! And offered an old 36" TV in it's place since I don't have the money to buy a new one. What a monster!! It feels like a Big Screen after my 14 incher. And Holy Eyeballs Batman, I can actually read all the lettering on the TV screen from across the room!! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Baby it's Damned Chilly Out There

Wow - it suddenly - for us - got cold. The Landlord even showed up at my door carrying a furnace filter for me to install!! And then he turned on the heat. I think a lot of people suddenly turned on the heat over the last couple of days! It's not that we're cheap, well maybe we are cheap, but that damned Hydro bill just keeps going up every year. Even as a renter, I try to keep things turned off & down low. As I age, my previously damaged parts really feel the temperature & barometric changes. My knees hate being cold so much that my new wardrobe contains a lot of thick, fleece lined sweats to go with the handmade wool socks & the electric lap blanket. 

This sudden decrease in temperature caused me to remember most of my house plants on the covered patio yesterday but it seems I forgot a couple .  .  .  oops. They're tucked in the corner, under my patio table & hopefully survived near freezing. The Jade is 15 years old & used to being quite cold but not sure about last night .  .  .  .  I tucked my Rosemary into the fern box against the back wall of my covered patio for the winter. It needs a little protection & the ferns do a good job. They're good for things like fuchsias that you want to save for next year.

I've been knitting like mad on tuques again for street people. I've been knitting them for years. I said I was tired of them. I said my hands & fingers were too sore. But here I am, again. Street people like dark colors that blend into the darkness so that's what I make. My buddy Bryan hands them out on the street to folks who don't have a hat in the winter. Sometimes I take them down to a small industrial spot by the Pattullo Bridge where I used to hand out Bum Bags at Christmas time. There's always a bare head needing coverage there. I still have a few balls of this & that which have been popular in the past. But I have a few balls of "Craft" yarn that've been hanging around for eons. Stuff the street people shy away from. I wondered what to do with it until the other day. 

I hauled out my Denise interchangeables - I love them. I cast on 100 stitches on a size 6mm or US10 with a 10" cord so I can knit a circular hat. Idid the usual K2,P2 ribbing which I may just carry all the way up the hat. I'm not a fan of the color but it will be warm & comfy. I may even wear it myself.
This yarn is some sort of fancy Italian yarn made up of wool, acrylic & nylon. Not sure how it will wear or how warm it will be but it certainly will be better than nothing at all. It can be hand washed & air dried so what the heck. If worse comes to worse, I'll overdye it with Koolaid.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

It All Goes So Quickly

I was a little horrified to see my first Christmas commercial of the year this week - yeah, I know there were a couple of hints in the last couple of weeks but it seems they go whole hog around the US Thanksgiving. I'm not even gonna comment on the 'Christmas in July' thing. So here we are again, entering the Silly Season. The only other thing that drives me crazy is that new commercial for CUBA. It seems to be running every 9 minutes on the Home & Garden channel. Yeah, I admit it, I DO like some things on the Home & Garden channel. I love Leave it to Bryan. I also love Income Property. I'm a little tired of Holmes but really like the Timber Kings. Their amazing log structures take my breath away. But this isn't a bloggy commercial for a TV station!! In the end, the never ending commercial for CUBA made me turn off the TV part way through a show!!! Ain't nooooooo commercials when you listen to an Audio Book.

Finished my latest Kroy 4ply socks. I just loved this colorway, couldn't wait to knit them & ran into a problem in one ball before I finished them. My friend Karen found a single ball of yarn that was similar in color & I managed to finish them. Another lovely, thick pair of winter socks to keep my old dawgs happy. Aren't they great??? The color is bang on for a change - could be because I opened the door to take this picture when the sun actually peeped out between the continuous rain clouds. I guess we're paying for that long, dry, hot summer we had this year with all these wind & rain storms coming in from the Pacific.

Monday, November 03, 2014

A Little Bit of Warmth

It was so dark & dreary this morning that when I woke up I had to check to see if it was morning or still night. I was cold all weekend with icy hands & frozen feet. It isn't even winter yet & I'm cold. It's not that the landlord doesn't turn on the furnace  - he will if I call him - but we're in that weird place where it's not cold enough to crank up the thermostat but it's too cool not to. Now, I've always preferred a cool house - I still open the window in the bedroom at night because I think you sleep better in fresh air. But what the heck do you do when your personal thermostat is wonky??? I guess I've finally made the transition from Power Surges to Low Simmer .  .  . 

So I dug out my thick winter socks - thank gawd for Kroy 4ply!! And then the light bulb came on & I looked for yarn to make some wrist warmers to keep my hands warm. 
I found a 50gm ball of Berroco Merino. It's 100% extra fine Aran weight - a very cushy & squishable yarn with a gauge of 18 stitches & 24 rows to 4 inches on 5mm needles. 
I cast on 40 stitches on 4mm needles & knit the first row. I knit 2 & purled 2 on the following row. I continued these two rows for 30 rows & did a purl cast off. Nice. Warm.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Soggy & Cool

There's nothing like another soggy day in late fall. You'd think Old Mother Nature would give us some of those lovely, long, Indian Summer days to celebrate but NOOOOOO, we get more water. Was I just imagining those crisp days when we were younger & rolled in piles of crunchy leaves??? These days, the only crunchy leaves around here are the ones that fall off the indoor plants I forget to water.

One thing about wet windy days, it keeps the marauding teenagers from blowing up the local trash bins to celebrate Hallowe'en. And I'll bet that makes the local law enforcement very happy too.

Wind & wet do tend to encourage knitting though. When everything is cold - except for Hillary with a power surge - wool & buddies alpaca, angora & silk whisper sweet nothings in my ears. My feet are warm & toasty in their Kroy socks - I'm using a lot of 4ply for winter socks. I really like the thick, cozy fabric it makes & still fits into my orthopedic sneakers. Mind you, the WINTER sneakers are old but still good. I'll save the new ones for the Spring & lighter socks.

Failed to find a ball of matching yarn to finish my latest Kroy socks. So, I'm going to use up every scrap of what I have & finish with a barber pole ball in a light tan color. It will be inside the shoe/boot so it won't matter - but, too bad, I really, really liked that colorway. I'm not going to be too unhappy since thanks to Karen, I have enough Kroy 4 ply to knit at least 4 more pairs in other colors!

The Poncho Pullover is coming along. I've added a couple more inches onto the yoke,  taken off stitches for the arms again & am moving rapidly down the body. I want to be wearing  it in another week or so if my sore fingers hold up. Damned weather makes my fingers ache & gets into the base of my thumbs. Too much knitting or keyboarding makes it difficult to pick things up without a big handle. Good thing I found oversized mugs & two big 8 cup, plastic measuring cups to use instead of regular dishes & bowls when things get really sore. 

I couldn't afford to go to any of the Fibre Shows or Retreats this year but one of my Pals brought me back a souvenir. It's SuperWash Merino & Nylon from Smith & Ewe - good for socks, tuques & gloves - and is much lighter & brighter than I was able to show with my camera!!  It's almost a NEON Apple with Grass Green!! Made me think of GLOVES when I first set eyes on it. I have two light fleece jackets - one in Plum & one in Cherry Red. They'll definitely see me coming if I decide on gloves.
I haven't quite decided yet although I was also thinking about spinning it finely & combining it with one of the other braids I have that need brightening. I joined a Roving of the Month group last year & have several that aren't quite to my taste. Mind you, I haven't spun them up yet so they may change in the spinning. Have to see what happens. It might be a very good year to get snowed in for a week with nothing else to do .  .  .  . Haha

Monday, October 27, 2014

Better Than Snow

Rain, rain, go away!! Since we had such a long, dry summer, the recent constant rain has been particularly dreary. It's so grey & gloomy out there that my dark-activated porch light stays on all day. I have to wear a sweater all day again to stay warm too. And one of these days, I suppose I should take pity on the house plants & bring them inside for the winter once more. What does one do to fight the gloom??? Bring out the neon fibre, that's what!!

I was gifted with three garbage bags full of fibre a couple of weeks ago. Two of the bags are full of roving & one of them is bright red. 
Now, my favorite colors have always been any shade of pink or purple & bright cherry red. When I was young, I wore a lot of red & black. I had this great red mini dress & 3" red platform shoes that I wore as my dancing 'uniform' back in the early 70s .  .  .  .  if only that dress could talk!
But, like I said, I have a whole garbage bag full of red roving. I have tons of yarn & three sweaters on the needles but I keep looking at that red roving. What to do oh what to do?? 
Maybe open bag number two?? Grey roving in that one. Apparently it's wool & alpaca. A nice warm mix to spin into yarn for a nice warm sweater. Might work as a sport weight to knit into a simple Kimono style sweater or lacy cardigan. Or does it want to be a worsted weight yarn to be knitted into into a 'hoodie' ?

Meanwhile, back on the needles - my lovely Kroy socks are on hold for the moment. Seems a dirty wool muncher chewed it's way through several strands of yarn on the outside of the ball. Since I seldom use the whole ball & start from the centre, I thought I could still get a whole sock out of it. Nope. Not this one. The muncher chewed on one end of the ball leaving me two foot sections for about a quarter of the ball. Sigh. Unless I find another ball, these socks will be mighty interesting. The photo is as far as I got when I ran into the munched yarn. I just love this color way & I'm hoping like crazy to find another ball. If not, well, I have a couple of balls of 4ply in an other color that could be used to finish the socks.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

It's Turkey weekend here in Canada where we celebrate Thanksgiving in the middle of the harvest season. Peaches & Creme corn sits side by side with fresh Brussels Sprouts, Squashes of all size & shape, Onions, Carrots, 4 kinds of Spuds, 3 kinds of Yams, Salad Greens of all shape & size & 17 kinds of Apples. It's a great time to cook a huge meal to stuff the faces of all your friends & family. Hopefully everyone remembered the single people they know who had nowhere to go & no fancy dinner to go to.

I stayed home & ignored the whole thing. Yeah, I like turkey & all the fixings but a turkey is too big for one person to bother with & I prefer thighs. I used to be able to buy boxes of wings, legs & thighs but no more. Thighs go directly to the manufacturers of turkey products like Pastrami, sausages & bacon. White meat is too dry. Damn. So instead, I have the crock pot full of chicken legs & thighs, dried mushrooms & mushroom soup. It will be wonderful with a nuked yam or two.

I've raced ahead in my Dino101 course this weekend & only have four units left to do out of 12!! I'm enjoying this course so much & of course, the price is right. I highly recommend it to everyone who loves Dinosaurs.

And I've been knitting. My last Summer Socks are finished. It turned out that I had lots of the lovely mottled Regia yarn so I added toes in the same color. There's even enough left over to share with the girls who're making the Puff's Quilt. 
I've already cast-on a new sock in my favorite KROY 4ply. Lately I've had 4 pairs of my old socks start to shred. They've become so thin over the years with all the washing & wearing that they're not really fixable unless I reknit the feet. You can just about see through them when you hold them up to the light & I've finally wore them through. I guess I shouldn't complain too much since they're almost 15 years old!!! Most of them were knitted in DGS Confetti, Regia, Opal & Kroy. I've never spent more than $10 a ball for any of it & often much less but the socks lasted for almost 15 years. I wonder if that $27 a skein fancy yarn everybody raves about would wear as well?? 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I went Shopping Anyway

Didn't sleep worth a damn last night - I have NO idea what THAT was all about but it happened. I ended up listening to a 4.5 hour audio book - The Powers That Be - by Anne McCaffrey. It was sadly condensed into that 4.5 hours which made it a little choppy but I know it off by heart, so I guess it doesn't really matter. As soon as the neighborhood kids were gone to school, I headed off to the Dollar Store. I'm a big fan of Primo's canned beans & the Dollar Store usually has them for $1.25 a can. I buy Diced Tomatoes, Kidney Beans, Mixed beans, Chickpeas & Lentils for less than HALF of what the grocery store charges. I know, I know, I could buy them dried in bulk for pennies a serving & I have jars full, but  sometimes I just want a cup of beans or lentils in my soup or stew or salad. Canned beans are still a great cheap food. Now that it's Crock Pot time again, I'll be making Italian Soup & 5 Bean Chilli more often!!

Dinosaurs are really fun. And I'm having a great time in Dinosaur 101! I'm with a group in one of the forums right now & we're identifying fossils. It's a pain because I don't know WHEN the fossil will be posted by the Instructor & who will be first to make the ID, but it's still great fun. It keeps the  'Little Grey Cells' working. I'm half way through & doing very well. I like the fees - NONE - which makes it affordable for people like me. I think I'll take a course every semester just to keep life interesting now that I'm officially OLD.

Did I say?? I'm officially OLD. Got my first Canada Pension cheque for October. Sigh, it wasn't a great amount - I couldn't even live well in the Brazilian slums - but every dollar in the pot helps. This isn't what I planned for this time of my life but I do like Lemonade so I'll just keep trucking along. Good thing too. My other old, broke friends & I have been kidding each other about banding together to rent a warehouse to live in. We could build cubicles or park trailers in the space & share the utilities. We figure we can pick bottles & surf the recycling bins just as well as some ethnic types driving big cars here in Surrey. The big car comes into a neighborhood early when the bins come out. 10 people get out of the car with bags & race around picking the bottles & cans with a deposit on them. They fill the trunk & move on. EVERY WEEK. Two guys with a pick-up should do as well & split it fewer ways!! Maybe I should just go back to buying "Cash for Life" scratch cards.

Knitting Content - Yeah baby! My last pair of Summer Socks are just about finished. Boy, is it tough to knit that dark yarn now that it's getting dark earlier. Since I only had one 50 gram ball of that lovely muted Regia, I've had to use that dark brown for the foot once the heel is turned. The brown does look good with the Regia but it's hard to see. Good thing it's just straight knitting to the toe shaping - I have enough Regia left to do the toes!! Makes life easier because I can SEE it to decrease.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try on my Poncho Pullover to see where I am & plan the sleeves. It's pretty nice with all the bands in different colors of blue but the main body will be in one solid blue so the sleeves can be something else .  .  .  .

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's the Last Day of September

This is what I started with
September & October are my favorite months of the year. Even when I was a little kid I loved them which is strange considering most kids love December for Christmas or the month they were born. I love the gusty wind when the sun shines. I love to buy school supplies & still get that itch when school starts in September. I love the cool nights so I can cuddle under my flannel covered quilt with the window wide open. I love rolling in the leaves, picking apples & the smell of wood smoke in the air. And best of all, I love wearing a big comfy sweater over my shorts & sneaks when I take a dog for a walk. I'm not taking walks with my sore knee - yeah, it's still sore - but I'm taking a few more steps on my Gazelle. 

And knitting a Poncho Pullover to wear.

And this is what I'm getting
  I had the darned thing down to the armholes which I put on strings & had moved into working on the body when I realized something was wrong. Went back to the pattern & found that I missed a section & should have more stitches on than I actually did .  .  .  .  sigh. Spent three evenings TINKing it back to where I split the sleeve openings from the body & have now added back what I took off & then some. Another evening or so in front of the tube & I should be well on the way to the hem - how 'bout some good dramas, Knowledge Network??? Public TV?? Anyone?? There's nothing like an evening of good Murder Mysteries to move that knitting right along.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Technology Still Sucks

My computer is back in action. Sort of. The guts of my computer are working more or less - the inside of the box is exposed to the world & it sits on my desk in all it's naked glory with no fan covers, no side panels, minimum hardware holding everything in it's place & cords running everywhere except to my printer & fax machine. At least I have a keyboard I can use, a mouse, speakers & can find my email again. I can even pay my bills again. It's amazing how much of my life is occupied by computers.

Nine whole days - more or less - without a fully functioning computer, made me have to withdraw from one of my Coursera courses & fall behind in the other. Yesterday, I did manage to redeem myself in the remaining course - assignments have no specific 'due date' thank gawd - so I was able to make up two weeks work & three quizzes on Sunday. My ass was reshaped into a chair shape after that marathon session!!! How did I do that?? you ask. Well, who doesn't love Dinosaurs??? The course is Dino 101, put on by the University of Alberta. They teach in audio lessons, interactive puzzles, short quizzes & actual sessions out on a dig site in Edmonton & Drumheller, south of Calgary. We started with skulls & hip bones & have worked our way out to Walking & Eating. And in case anyone just noticed, I was so busy catching up on Sunday that I actually worked a week in advance & didn't even notice until this morning!

So, with all this time on my hands without a computer, did I finish knitting anything?? Nope. Started a second sock. Tinked several rows of my 'Poncho Pullover' because I decided it needed to be longer from shoulder to armhole after I tied off both sleeves and knit several body rows .  .  .  . Wound all the balls & skeins of blue yarn into centre-pull 'cakes' for that 'Poncho Pullover'. And spent almost 4 days removing viruses & mal-ware from a loaner lap-top only to find I accidentally removed the wireless internet connection software as well. I just wanted to kill something with a hammer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sometimes Technology Sucks

I've never been a laptop fan. In fact, I hate them! Since my desk-top is once more being worked on, I'm reduced to a laptop. I think the worst part of it is not having  the equipment I need to make it functional. I mean, how can you operate properly with only ONE USB port??? And no mouse??? I need at least three operating USB ports just to run the every day stuff. Haven't figured out where to put the camera yet or the printer. I just hope my old desk-top comes home soon, sob, since my neck is also complaining about the unnatural position it has to be in for me to operate. It's like knitting socks from the toe up in the wrong yarn & jumbo needles when you always work from the cuff on down with your favorite DPs in size 1. Nothing feels right.

Good thing I've got my knitting. The Poncho Pullover is 6 rows from the armhole split & it looks like I'll have tons of blue yarn leftover. I plan on knitting the body in one color only but will have some fun with the sleeves. Maybe I'll throw in some orange or purple stripes for fun.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chilly at Night

I know it looks like I've been a procrastinating, lazy so & so but it isn't the truth. I just had too much to do to get at the blog. I meant to take photos but the day seems to go by so fast that it's dark by the time I get to the computer & I can't get a good shot. I'm just not good with a camera - I just point, pray & click - hopefully, something useable comes out on the memory card .  .  .  . Like the current short sock. I just love this blend of color from Regia. Unfortunately, I only had one ball. I probably got it in the bargain bin when Knitopia was closing & I had no idea how beautiful it would be when knit. I'd love a whole sweater in this colorway. Sigh.

I finished my 'Emergence of Life' course with Coursera! Had a great time, struggled a time or two with assignments but finished it just in time to start two more. I think I've bitten off more than I can chew though so one may have to go. I'm taking 'Dino 101' taught by the U of Alberta - who better with all those dinosaur museums & digsites from the Peace River in the north to Drumheller in the south!! They're finding new dinosaurs every week too. Follows the first course nicely too. 
The second course is 'Useful Genetics' taught by a purple haired prof at UBC. It's going to be the one with a lot of work. And I'm not sure I can do both. Too many courses & not enough time!!!

And yes, I'm still working away at sweaters for me. Since the weather has become quite chilly at night, a sweater will soon become a necessity. Especially since my pals & I have found a new Tim Horton's with outside tables. I'm plodding a little on the Panel Sweater from the Cabin Fever book - 'Need an Ample Cardigan'. It's quite light, in my favorite screaming Magenta - I think I actually caught it's real color for a change - but will probably be worn at home in the office this winter when its cold.

The sweater I've been concentrating on is the 'Poncho Pullover' from Cabin Fever. Knit from the top down with a nice snug collar & no buttons or zips, it's a great casual, pullover sweater for every day. I'm using up a bunch of Briggs & Little Heritage that I bought in the 'Clearance' bin in every shade of blue they had, including the Anniversary Twist they put out for their birthday - I believe it was the 125th year of operation. I have a lot of blue as well as lots of bits & pieces in every color B&L makes. At one time I thought about a 'Patchwork' sweater in all the colors but after knitting a sample strip, I changed my mind. The Poncho is just about to the point where I can split for the sleeves. This is an easy knit that anyone could do - especially a teen wanting to knit for her/himself.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Wasn't that a Rainstorm???

I was sitting, finishing off a late lunch, when the sound of pouring water startled me.  I jumped up, opened the front door, and peered out into the heaviest rainstorm I've seen in a very long time. It was raining so hard, the eves-troughs & downpipes couldn't handle the load so it sheeted off the roof edges. It was the sort of downfall that makes you pull over to the side of the road because you can't see even with the wipers on HIGH. And the last time I saw anything like it, it came with pink ball lightening bouncing across a very large lake. And it reminded me that winter isn't very far off.

Winter, in the Vancouver, B.C. burbs usually isn't cold enough to wear a Cowichan Sweater unless you work on a boat, work up in the air welding a metal building skeleton, work up a mountain on a ski hill, walk a beat at night, sleep outdoors or wait for a bus. A lot of us don't even own boots. We do get cold spells where everything freezes solid but they seldom last for more than a couple of weeks. We even get a bit of snow most winters. But, most of us run to & from vehicles of some sort & get by with hoodies, touques, scarves & mitts. Waterproofed hoodies, touques, scarves & mitts.

I love wool in all it's incarnations. I wear wool socks to keep my formerly cold feet warm, even when they're wet. I have yet another pair on the needles as I type. And I have three - yup - three sweaters on the go for this winter. I am just about to the hem of my top-down, circular yoked wool sweater in a light sport weight yarn. I haven't decided yet what kind of hem to finish it with. For a change, I won't be using my usual ribbing. Maybe a seed or double seed finish?? This one is light enough for Fall when you just need something to take the chill off. I don't even think I'll bother with buttons even though I bought Lady Bug ones.

Number two is worsted commercial wool - also top-down - I really, really hate sewing things together!!! I wanted a hoodie but I have enough stomach already & don't need a 'pouch' to draw attention to it, so the pouch went. I also didn't want the usual ribbing - I thought a slight A-line with boob & belly short rows would work better. Doesn't look much like a hoodie anymore, does it?? So I thought I might as well do the Poncho Pullover.

Number three is not actually wool but instead is a comfy acrylic that will be able to wash & dry often to keep me warm in my cold office. Another top-down with boob & belly short rows in a light worsted yarn from "Need an Ample Cardigan?". I just have to find some good Detective shows or Dramas on the tube to help me knit like mad to get these done on time.   .   .   Just discovered the damn camera battery is dead as a doornail. Pictures next time .  .  .

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baby, it'll be cold out there

Most of my knitting lately seems to be socks. They're familiar, safe, small, portable, necessary when you have cold feet all the time & easy to work on anywhere. My little project bag fits into the book bag I use as a purse these days, right next to the porta-cup with the straw, my Kobo full of Murder Mysteries & the wad of paper napkins I seem to collect.

I started that Magenta top-down Panel Sweater from Cabin Fever but I'm still following the pattern in the book so it's not portable. So, it always seems to be a sock that goes into my bag.

While having a late lunch on my patio yesterday, I noticed I could sit out there almost all afternoon. Since my patio faces west, for most of the summer it's unbearably hot out there between 3 & 7 in the afternoon. Yesterday, was the first day since June that I could do that. And that means that Fall & Winter aren't too far away. I've never been a hat, glove or scarf wearer, even in the dead of winter. Most of my outside time in winter is spent dashing to & from a building & the car except for coffee time sitting outside at Starbucks during menopause. The last couple of years though, sitting outside after October has been uncomfortable. And cold.

This year I've been thinking more & more about gloves & hats. My fingers burn anytime but tend to burn more in the damp. They don't seem to care whether it's hot or cold as long as it's DRY. If I can't be dry, then I have to be warm. A couple of years ago, I knit Spirogyra, a lace pair of mitts  from Knitty. I used grey hand spun to make the mitts warm & stretchy. But, it might be time to tackle gloves. I've had a real thing for Ringwood ever since I first saw the pattern in Knitty in 2010. I did a swatch once & just loved it's stretchy, nubbly texture. But Ringwood terrified me because it's GLOVES. Actual fingers attached to the mitt. EEEK

So what is a knitter to do???  So how hard can gloves actually be? 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I've been taking a course, 'The Emergence of Life' with Coursera to keep my brain active & alert. Coursera courses cost nothing, take 4 - 6 hours a week & can be very challenging. The course I'm taking at the moment - week four in progress - is new. 15,000 people in the world thought it was interesting enough to enroll up with me.  
The course itself will not get added to my CV as such - there's no actual Acedemic reward for the course unless you're interested in competing for "Badges" or enrolled in the university that is sponsoring it, but it certainly has

 1) Given me a lot to think about,
 2) Given me updates on things I learned in school that have changed,
 3) Given me knowledge & ideas without costing me a fortune.

I recommend Coursera to anyone who wants some acedemic challenge. I'm already registered for Genetics 1 & 2.

Alas Wheatsheves will not be my next sweater. My magenta yarn - LadySlipper by name - will not knit up into the proper gauge so I've chosen to knit the Panel Sweater from Cabin Fever's "Need an Ample Cardigan" book published in 2012, instead. All the sweaters in the book are knit from the top down, in a V-neck & in multiple yarns & gauges. Some have collars,  some don't. Some have lace & some don't. I think my magenta yarn will look lovely with a bit of lace in a narrow panel down the front & a seed stitch collar & cuffs. The yarn is the acrylic sport weight from Knitpicks that feels wonderful when knit on a 4mm needle.  And a 4mm needle is pretty darned small when you consider I'm making the 60" bust size .  .  .  .  sigh

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time to Pull the Rag Out

I got tired of waking up sick & tired, pulled the rag out of my behind & did some work in the past few days. No, I didn't rob a bank. Probably should've, wouldn't have to worry about how to pay the rent if I did but I hear the accomodations are pretty damned sparse in there. And I hear you can't bring your knitting needles in with you. What would I do with the stash???

So, I got off my ass & applied for my Canada Pension. It was so easy on line. Unbelievably so. I've had a worse time shopping for yarn!!  So, that's done. I really, really planned on waiting till I was 70 to apply since it's going to be small but life got in the way. I'm finding it impossible to get a job when no one can understand me on the phone, so my choices are 1) get shacked up with someone who'll pay, 2) find someone older  who wants a sloppy knitter for a Companion & will pay, 3) shoe-horn myself back into my ex-house with my ex & his 9 cats & let him pay, 4) fall on my knees at Welfare & wait 3 months for an appointment, 5) apply for my Pension, find some more taxes to do, apply for SAFER to help with the rent & sell what I can of my stash or 6) Sell my body. 

Option 5 seemed the most likely in the end. 

 I also made a run to the doctor & changed two of the three medications I was on - they both had unlikely but possible side effects - dry cough. I could tell the difference in one day!!! Now I just have the 'sticky' cough.
And I gave in & asked for a long term Parking Pass. I'm okay on the flat surfaces but hills without my cane or stairs without rails are giving me hell.  When that knee gets tired, it goes sideways. 

I feel so much better somehow. One of my buddies took me out for coffee on Sunday & asked what I'd done to myself. He said I looked happy, looked like I'd lost a few pounds & wasn't coughing as much. Okay. I was happy. I'd left my wallet with my Starbucks card on my desk at home & had 37 cents, an Esso token, a plastic memory card blank & $15 in Canadian Tire money in my change purse. And he had money for a change. Yippeeeee

Thursday, August 07, 2014

I Meant to do so Much

The summer is half over & I haven't accomplished much. My new-to-me computer still hasn't been set up in my office, the office is still only partially cleaned up, the old fridge is still in the kitchen & I'm still unemployed. 

I finally saw Specialist #2 for my vocal chord problem & was refered on to the Surgeon. I will see him in 3 to 6 months. The final remark made by Specialist #2 was - 'it's too bad you waited so long to come to me.' I was a little stunned to say the least. It's been just under a year since I got the appointment for Specialist #1 - for August 2014. Lucky for me, I was able to get sqeezed in, in only 6 months because he was convinced I had cancer. Lucky for me that he made the appointment with Specialist #2 in only 4 months because my family Doctor couldn't even get a response from Specialist #2 when he tried to get me an appointment before I went to Specialist #1. With our Medical system??? Come in Sooner?? How?? Not that I'm complaining since I still get treated even though I'm broke. But by the time a patient  makes it through the wait list to see who can diagnose the problem & how to treat it, it's become permanent, got better on it's own or you're terminal. It's a good thing I didn't have cancer.

In the meantime, living with a sloppy vocal chord is hell on earth. So you can't talk??? Snicker, big deal .  .  .   well, you can't swallow properly either. This means drink less, drink thick liquids or drink through a straw. It means that you can't have that coarse ground pepper anymore. It means you can't have shaved meat in your beef dip sandwich or bacon bits on your baked potato. Anything with bits or seeds or whole grains or multiple ends could start a coughing/choking attack. What happens?? You can't go out for dinner any more because you might have a coughing/choking attack & leave part of your dinner on everyone at the table.

You're short of breath all the time. You have to take three breaths to finish a sentence. You hyperventillate every time you have a conversation. Most people can't understand you on the phone. A lot of people can't understand you face to face. Safeway checkers call you "Dear". You can't walk fast or far - no more shopping at the Mall. You have to think about where everything is because you may not be able to park, walk all the way there & then make it back without exhausting yourself. You spend a lot of time coughing, which takes a lot of energy. No more walks in the Park with your buddy's dawg.  And don't get a cold or allergy attack. Gawd, forbid, the shortness of breath makes your cough whimpy already, just wait till you have to clear a clogged lung .  .  .  .  

You can't knit with 100% wool yarns that are minimally processed. I have the makings for four different sweaters in my livingroom. I even started one in a lovely Purple Heather from the Briggs & Little mill back east. It's lovely wool but sheds bits as you knit & there's the Vegetable Matter that you have to pick out occasionally - it just lets you know it hasn't been overprocessed in chemicals. All those little fibres make me wheeze something terrible when I knit indoors .  .  .  .   

And so what is a wounded knitter to do??? Well, I DO have that lovely Wheatsheaves pattern & that magenta acrylic from KnitPicks in the bag  .   .   .   .   it's a hellofa thing to do to Wheatsheaves but I guess its definitely gonna be acrylic yarn to the rescue this time. That is unless I start getting up really early in the morning & knitting outside at my patio table with a big mug of tea before the skunks come to visit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sleeping & Sweating

Is there more to Life than sleeping & sweating???  I used to think that fibre was the answer to everything non work related. I mean, you work to pay the bills, eat & buy more fibre - right???
When you get older, you work less & play with more fibre. Right??? Works most of the year for me but not in the summer. Yeah, I like spinning out on the porch when the sun isn't beating in as much as anyone else, but boy, I just can't take the dust, the mold & the pollen like I used to. Coughing for a week or two at a time sure doesn't give you the ambition to mess with anything furry or fuzzy. Maybe summer is the time for dyeing instead. Or knitting with acrylic. Is any one allegic to acrylic????

I bought a lovely pattern called Wheatsheaves. It's a Kimono style sweater with knitted lace around the neck & down the fronts. I fell in love the moment I saw it & had to have it. It doesn't quite come in my size but is very roomy & I figure the math should be pretty easy to upsize it just a little. 

In the beginning, I wanted to spin the yarn for Wheatsheaves. I have softly spun two, one pound bobbins, full of mill end singles for this sweater. I wanted to dye them all at the same time so they'd be related before I started knitting. I think I have about 7 or 8 'knots' of fibre left to spin to complete all the skeins I wanted to dye. But, I ran into a sale of acrylic yarn in a color I couldn't resist & bought enough to knit this project instead. I decided I would probably wear this sweater a lot since I loved the color as much as the pattern & I wanted something easy to wash & dry.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'll do it manana

My creaky joints & previously injured parts are really enjoying this hot, dry weather. Nothing hurts. Nothing burns. Nothing aches. I could really get to enjoy this feeling except for the total lack of ambition that comes with it. I could sleep in the hammock with the oscillating fan on low all day. I could get up, shower, dress, take out the garbage, push the washer to the sink & put on another batch of laundry, go back to the hammock & sleep all night. Is there a lazy bug going round?? Or is this the doorbell of Retirement ringing me into Old Age??

I've managed to knit a whole sock in three weeks. Me. The Sock Knitter. One whole sock. Half a pair. I have bags of yarn. Three sweaters on the needles at last count. Uncounted bags of dyed top & rovings to spin. And I just can't get out of first gear. I don't even want to cook or eat fer Gawd's sake. The only excitement I've had in the last couple of days is the skunk that poked it's nose through the window opening in my office last night. The outside staircase to the upper apartment is outside my office window so I guess he decided to explore. At least they're not knocking over the garbage cans for sport like they used to.

But, like I said, I just can't get it together. Not even for a new orange & green

& yellow sock with brown toes. Maybe it's the color. Maybe I should be knitting that LadySlipper colored yarn into a Summer Lace somethinorother. Top down. With a scoop or V neck. And a lace yoke & sleeve. In bright, brilliant, screaming Menopause Purple. or Magenta. or Tropical Pink or Orange. This is a double seed swatch of the same colored stuff I really want to be knitting. Color does affect how long it takes to complete a project. I've found that the wilder the color combo in the ball, the faster the sock will knit up. I'm sure that translates to larger knitted items too.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Just a Beat Up Sailor

The Allergy Attack is mostly over for the time being. One of my friends has been bragging about his new Dyson Animal which apparently scoops up allergins without blowing them into the air behind it. His new Dyson means I can get rid of the dust in my place without putting myself into the hospital on lung-support the next time I decide to clean. Yeah, right. But, I'm willing to wear a mask & give it a try. You never know.  There might still be miracles in this world. Occasionally I still cough up part of a lung & I still can't lay down to sleep but I'm feeling a whole lot better. I'm only taking Benadryl before bed so I can sleep without hacking.

With all this allergy stuff going on, I haven't been willing to spin or knit indoors at all. Next week I see the Specialist about my voice & would like to do so in as near a 'normal' manner as possible without complicating things by not being able to breathe. The allergy attack also took away most of the voice I had left. Not Good. 

So, nothing to show, nothing completed but feeling close to normal for a change. The heat is really bad in my basement today. It's still 33 in my office as I'm typing @ 1:15AM. Thank Gawd for that Oscillating fan in the bedroom which makes it comfy. I must say though, it might be hot but nothing hurts except my lungs .  .  .  my wrist, hip & knee love this weather & so do the hands!!!  Good reason to get back to knitting ASAP. I did buy all those balls of Ladyslipper acrylic yarn from KnitPicks that I intend to use as an office sweater to keep the chill off this Fall.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Am I Still Stoned??

A week & a half ago my computer blew up. Weeeeeeeee, actually, it burned up. My office is carpeted & the computer case sits under the desk on a little platform, just above the carpet.  .  .  .  the dirty, dusty, furry carpet. My buddy Steve takes it home every couple of years, cleans it out, stuffs new things inside & returns it in better shape. But Steve has gone off to build decks & hasn't been around for a while. I haven't been able to get under my desk in a couple of years or more - so the computer filled up with stuff sucked in by the powerful little fans we installed the last time it had an upgrade. And it caught fire. Leaving me with the dreaded blue screen & forcing me to upgrade to Windows 7. 

I'ts a good thing I save things. I had a new laptop, still in the box. I hate laptops. I need a mouse & a split keyboard which make a laptop no longer a laptop. I had an old laptop Steve gave me too. One of my clients had an old gaming box - last year's model apparently - which is 6 years newer than what I'm using but a year behind what he's using now. And a box of spare parts - keyboard, mouse on a cord, 15" HD monitor, cables, cords etc & an old PS4 box - still uses XP. I have two boxes of spare parts, yeah, we all do apparently. So we hauled most of the stuff out of my office, put up an 8 " shelf, put all the client boxes on the shelf, hauled all the shredded paper & put a computer together, sort of. The idea is that the Gaming Box will become my new computer. It has 9 drive slots, tons of memory BUT it's Windows 7 with a high def monitor that I have to buy. We've mickey-moused the PS4 with two drives in it's backside & three more stacked beside it to clip in as needed. Other than a surly habit of "going to sleep" if I don't move the mouse or use the keyboard for 5 minutes, it works like a charm, so far. And I recognize all the software. I may just keep the PS4 that everyone's sneering at .  .  .  .

Not only did the computer crap out but moving all that junk in my office stirred up the dust causing a massive allergic reaction which knocked me on my ass for several days. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Couldn't breathe, eyes itchy & swollen, coughing so bad I had to sleep sitting up - when I could sleep. So I took to the bottle. Alcohol does suppress the cough reflex if you drink enough of it. Eventually I made it out to the drugstore - love Shopper's Drugs, one way in & it's through the PERFUME department - Benadryl to the rescue. Friday night, I slept like a Drunken Sailor. Saturday morning I had to cancel a meeting because I was STILL a Druken Sailor. Oooops, took half the dose but bought the Extra Strength by mistake. Shit!! Not back to that drugstore again??? 

Knitting, you ask?? Ya gotta be kidding?! right?  I did dream about wool last night. Something about a sailor, a blanket & a bottle .  .  .

Monday, June 23, 2014

Socks, Socks Everywhere

Yes, I'm still knitting socks. Short socks that is. I finished the ones I started in May & have begun another pair for June. I used to churn out a pair a week a few years ago but I really feel the barometric changes in my fingers & thumbs as well as my right hip & left wrist since my two accidents in the last three years. I'm a walking bag of aching  joints & burning fingers when we go from pouring rain to clear & hot the next day. All of this restricts my sitting & knitting ability although I swear the knitting keeps my fingers limber enough to continue working on the keyboard!

So now I knit a pair a month or so. Depends on the good Dramas on TV, too. I love Friday & Saturday line-ups on PBS & Knowledge. Sometimes I get a good THREE hours of knitting & watching in! LOL  Rooting around in my stash this weekend, I found a 100gm ball of Opal sock yarn. It's one of their NEON series in pinks & blues & yellows & greens. Covers everything in my wardrobe!!! I'm not sure when I bought this yarn - possibly a couple of years ago when my favorite yarn store was closing out. I haven't bought much Opal since they dropped their Rainforest lines. I loved the Rainforest colors. I bought Fish & Clown & Parrot & Ladybug twice. I had several other colors chosen when they stopped shipping to Canada. sigh And then I found the DROPS colorways .  .  .  OMG.  As you can tell, I love color in my socks. Fact is, I love color period. No blacks or whites or browns for me, my basics are Raspberry, Watermelon & hot Pink.

Don't laugh but I bought yarn called LadySlipper on the computer. Just some better quality acrylic yarn for a work sweater for the winter. Something that can be tossed in the washer every couple of weeks & survive without a lot of care. It was cheap & cheerful & perfect for the job. When it came, it was the same color as my Dalesman wool that I bought - one skein at a time because I couldn't afford a whole sweater's worth. I knit a lovely jacket from the Dalesman wool but it has to be very carefully handled to wash it. I wasn't expecting the same color - I thought it would be more of a purple shade. Nope. Its the same screaming Raspberry as the wool. It sure made me laugh.