Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Hear Old Age Knocking

Didja ever open a blog page & just go blank?? I was going to make some pithy comments about something & I just sat here looking at the blank page. I hope it isn't a momentary glimpse of the future.

The blanket of last week is now three times it's former self - I dug & dug & found all kinds of inappropriate yarns in the stash. Lavender baby yarn will NOT go with the Big Boy wool, neither will the Sissy
Barber-pole Stripe or the Hand-painted Handspun. I don't want to add acrylic to the mix so it might sit in a basket until I sniff out more unwanted woolies. I think there's three balls left & that's IT. 
I had to drape it over my lawn chair in the middle of the kitchen, right under the 100 watt bulb, to get a decent picture of the whole thing in the dark, grey weather we've been having!!

I got tired of the damn blanket the other day anyway & cast on a sock. After a couple of non-knitting days with a sore wrist & swollen thumb, I was desperate to do something else. Anything but the blanket. So, out jumped a couple of balls of good Old Kroy 4-ply & I was off once more on my bamboo skewer needles. I swear this Kroy keeps my feet from freezing all by itself in the winter. I just love it. I wish they still made the stuff. Oh, yeah, someone out there makes Kroy 4-ply but it's not the same as this old stuff. Not at all.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Stash Blankets

So I had this great idea to make blankets. Actually, it was an idea to crochet blankets. I have some really interesting colors in acrylic yarns and mostly in the same weight too. But I couldn't find the right crochet hook. I have quite a collection of hooks in steel, plastic & wood but mostly I use only three of them. I like the size, the feel & most of all, I like the hook on all of them. Hook configuration is really important. Some hooks are too shallow & the yarn falls out in mid stitch. It's pretty damn hard to to complete a treble crochet when the hook won't co-operate. My favorites are all different for different reasons.

I like the pointy end on the tiniest of them because I can tuck in ends in fine knitting very precisely. I like the very round end on the small one because it works with sock yarns without splitting them. And most of all, I love the largest of the three because I can whip those double trebles off the hook without dropping a single loop with it's nice round head & mouth. Last night, someone stole I couldn't find my double treble hook which should've been in the case of odd hooks but wasn't. It wasn't stuck in the solid cake of cotton yarn that holds all the odds 'n' ends that I use daily with the two small hooks either.

So I tried one of the large odd hooks. No Go. They're ODD hooks because the hook part is too shallow or has a deep groove that is too narrow to hold the yarn it's supposed to hold. Or they're too light to be comfortable on a large project. Or too small for anything but the finest threads. My grandmother once used the tiny Millward hooks to crochet lace for her tables, her pillowcases & arm covers for her parlor chairs. Found a hook the right size but the 'mouth' was the 'deep groove' type & wouldn't hold the yarn properly. Grrrrr

So, now I'm knitting a blanket. I found a small bag of GarnStudio's 'ALASKA' - with 7 or 8 balls of blues & brown. A bit boring but I might be able to add some scraps of other wool yarns - like the red - to brighten a corner or two. One ball makes a 10x16" rectangle on 6.5mm needles. I decided to do a modified Log Cabin style blanket that will be big enough for a child or an adult lap.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

'Tis The Season

I've been getting up with the birds for the last four days to spend the day banging on my keyboard. 'Tis the Season when all companies must complete T4s & T5018s for anyone they employed in the previous year. This is doubly important in the Construction industry where a lot of people have worked 'under the table' for eons. Revenue Canada is peering very closely at any company that might, could or is employing undocumented workers.

And part of my job is to educate anyone I work for in the ways to record WHO worked for WHAT in the past year. A lot of people look at a canceled cheque as proof of payment. Good luck. Revenue Canada doesn't care who you paid or whether you paid. They only care about the bill. The INVOICE is the Document that says what kind of expense you incurred. You bought something, employed a company to do something or were billed for a service. A cheque is nothing, as is the debit on your bank statement because no one knows what the expense was or if you paid tax. Too many employers pay without getting paperwork. Just TRY getting personal information from someone who has returned to their country of origin after working illegally on a visitor's permit. It happens all the time.

So from February to the end of June, I'm swamped with work! Good thing I enjoy the challenge. BUT all of this work usually has me nodding off around 8:30ish in front of the tube though. The last two nights I ended up forcing myself to stay awake until 9 so I wouldn't end up getting up at 5:30 again .   .   .   .   so no knitting has been taking place at all although I have been slowly winding all the acrylic odds n sodds into nice flat cakes on my ball winding machine.
I had the idea of crocheting blankets - my famous 'One Giant Granny Square' blankets!!  I hate sewing things together but love the Granny Square for it's brightness, color & the way it uses up all the leftovers. I just keep working the rounds until a color runs out or I get tired of it & move onto another color. Simple, mindless, easy to do, portable & uses up all the leftovers. What could be better than that???? And it makes a nice, handmade gift to a Syrian family coming to Canada with nothing.