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 .  .  .  .