Monday, December 31, 2007

Jan 1, 2008

There is a popular book about people you will meet in heaven. There are many times in my life when I wonder if “This” IS heaven, and we are wasting effort looking to a future that is now. From that idea came this list of people I met in 2007:

There was the couple in Buffalo who had moved from NE, who were very neighborly and friendly. From the woman I was reminded to open my heart to people’s good motives instead of their bad.

From the frail elderly male patient who was an absolute curmudgeon because he thought the Great Implosion was near and he was glad he would die before it happened. At the same time he wanted a woman president because “it takes a heart to stop a war”. Also, even though the world was going down the drain, he felt he had lived a good life because he had worked hard, raised 4 children who grew up to marry good people, and were raising good children of their own. Which is how change can be made in the world. From him I received a lesson in passion and hope.

From the 92 year young woman who had thrown the marriage license out the car window after going to the courthouse because she had doubts, and went on 67 years actively married to the chap, I learned about persistence and humour.

From a co-worker who was battling a terrible disease and narrowed down what was important to him, consequently providing peace and strength, I took away a sense of perspective.

From the internet blogger who was buffeted by triple tornadoes of a ruptured brain aneurysm, a mother unable to care for herself, and downsizing just as she was faced with 2 houses in a soft market (Mom’s and her own) I gained both a demonstration of intestinal fortitude and permission to eat ice cream for dinner.

From the assignment that gave me literal nightmares I learned a complex lesson in Selflessness, Selfishness, and Self Centeredness. There were two beautiful examples of women who would work until they dropped, help you with anything, and strived to act with integrity whether they liked you or not. There was one who did everything she could to get all that she could, even if she had to stab you to do it. Alternatively, there was one who did what she could to get out of things, but from a sense how things revolved around her not from a hardened heart. And many examples of the takers being rewarded from above while the givers were criticized and written up. From this group I learned which category I am, by discovering that I was willing to do anything to help those who would help me and didn’t give two figs about those who wouldn’t.

From the 37 year old child who attracted crap into her life and yet slid out of situations like a charmed devil I learned to forgive myself for mistakes I made when I was young and immature; and to be profoundly grateful that I outgrew that period of my life. I also felt pity for those people who lived and worked with me then. Yikes!

From a Shabbot Service I experienced a glimpse of inner peace. A moment where I felt with a certainty that had I died on the way home I could have let go of life. Not that I’m in a hurry.

From TAO I received demonstrations in patience, love, and being known better than my own eyes can see. And the gift of a future filled with laughter and hope.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


The First of the Twelve
I just posted my Stash to Ravelry

I knew not what havoc I wreaked. Now I have the Awareness. G-d gives me the Strength, the Perseverance. Not even ONE skein of kitchen cotton. I swear. I understand now that I am powerless in the presence of yarn and how that need, nay, addiction has torn at the threads of my life and the people I care about. I did not realize how Knitting deprived my husband of power tools and my son of videogames, nor how many times they suffered from Pizza for dinner as I completed “just one more row.” I was seduced into thinking that having handmade gifts for Baby and Bridal showers was important. I understand now my error.

Unaware of the betrayal of environment, I blithely attended guild meetings, retreats, and Ravelry. No longer! I see how proximity led to inappropriate behaviours, such as Stashing, Starting new projects, and ultimately to UFOs. Just as I would guard my family from the influence of inappropriate friends, so shall I guard myself from “Mystery Stoles, “KALs”, Swaps and the annual bus ride to the fiber festival.

Fulfillment will be found in activities more appropriate than Knitting. I shall find, instead, Serenity in the cleared spaces of my home. Focus with renewed Clarity on vacuuming, dusting and tidying up after my Son. I shall feel the breeze of the dryer vent as I do my Husband’s laundry and be soothed. No longer will I sit in the stands at a game and knit, my Energy will be focused on the complexities of endless waiting in cars and doctor offices, and in this focus I will find Patience.

At this moment to I promise to form a Shetland Spider Web of Support to help me when I waver. I will call out for Help. I will reach out to hands that will pull me from temptations. I will look to other when my own Strength wavers.

What do you mean insurance won’t cover Addiction Therapy? Hell, I’ll meet you at the Yarn Store.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sanity Saver

In a blatant rip off from Chelle I am posting my Sanity Saver:

Super Sticky Post it Notes. They are great for charted knitting or for complex instruction marking. One sticky went through the November Muse shawl and the Lopi Cardigan. It is currently marking the chart for Ene's Scarf. Yes, the same sticky. Yes, with line by line moving. See why it's a Sanity Saver?

Word of warning: should you buy the pack with more than one pad in it, do not leave the extra one unguarded in a desk drawer where your husband will treat these expensive gems as the usual cheap note jotters, because if said person were to leave one attached to a wood desk for an extended period of time, it will pull the varnish off. So put these away with your lace charted books, or tuck it in with the complex sock patterns. Do NOT stick to items that may be easily marred such as leather, your dash, or the cat. I do put my charts in a cheap sheet protector and use the sticky on the outside because it will pull colour off the photocopy. This makes reknitting or matching pairs difficult and makes the sticky not as (sticky that is.)

Sunday, December 23, 2007


So I crawled into Knitty Couture on a powerful mix of frustration, exhaustion and grievance. They totally understood when I said I just came to be soothed by the colours and even offered to let me swatch some cashmere since I had no knitting with me. (The fact that I was knitless tells you the level of my distress.) After sitting awhile - no I did not cry, (it was close though). And maybe eating a cranberry pistachio biscotti and a chocolate pretzel I felt much better.

This is my birthday gift to myself. I also picked up a book that will remain unnamed and unpriced in case TAO reads this. This treasure will NOT be schlepped around the country. It will be treated reverently and stored carefully at home to be read as one reads the Siddur.
The yarn is Claudia Silk Lace 20/2 in Woodland Moss. 1100 yds. And I've already cast on an ambitious project. The project was confusing and I was glad to see other peoples notes about it on Ravelry.

As previously noted here is the right front of Lillian. I had cast on the sleeve and knit about 24 rows when I found another errata in the pattern and had to rip it back. This project may sit in a closet when it's done.

There probably will be little knitting and little posting in the next few weeks. I am wrapping up an assignment and faced with a complex schedule which includes among other things being scheduled to work 60 hours and take 4 days of call the last week of the assignment, including the night before I have to turn in the keys to the apartment in a move out condition. I have a day off 9 days before I have to be moved out but it's too cold to load my car that far in advance. So I am decidedly fretful.

Since I may not be actually knitting I plan to think about knitting while schlepping stuff down 2 flights of stairs. This includes mapping out my Stash Knit Down 2008 that I joined in Ravelry and my Socks from Stash KAL. Neither of these are diets they are about enjoying what you already have and work well with my travelling lifestyle since I can pack the projects. The snag I run into with that method though, is I'll decide the project, pack it, and then after I've knit some of it decide it's wrong and go hareing off looking for a different project to use with it. Which works only if I pack some extra patterns.

On a brighter note, the poor TAO called on Monday after a harrowing and expensive day (new garage doors and a plumber are involved). Later that evening I read a passage by Dorothy L. Sayers to wit: "I'm only trying to tell you, in the nicest possible manner, that provided I were with you, I shouldn't greatly mind being deaf, dumb, halt, blind and imbecile, afflicted with shingles and whooping-cough, in an open boat without clothes or food, with a thunderstorm coming on. But you're being painfully stupid about it." Yeah, that sums it up. Good to have that in your life.

BTW - Unlike most canvas totes that are very narrow and rectangular on the bottom, the Elizabeth Zimmermann one is almost square and consequently more useful for yarn in my mind. If you are going to order from SchoolHouse Press add one for yourself, or if you go by Knitty Couture make sure to look at it.

I hope everyone has a Peace-filled and Merry Christmas. (Ps. Please send some Divinity)

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Personally I think this stuff looks like oatmeal. But the ladies at the lunch table assure me that they like the colour and would love to give it a home.
It's knit from my stash with one complete ball and most of a second (partial) ball of Furz. Not as a serious bbrrr-cold-outside-scarf, but as a toss-around-the-neck to ward off indoor drafts scarf. It is buttery soft and delectable to the skin.

I now have more neck to cover. After all this careful growing out of the hair, which I have to pin up to work, and when I wear it down I look like Sigmund the sea monster. I was on my physical therapy roller today, and yes, you see this coming, rolled right onto my hair. So as I lay there with 150lbs holding me to the floor I decided this was the last straw. Into the bathroom with the scissors, out of the bathroom minus 5 inches. Much better. Still long enough to pull up for work, but short enough it won't get stuck under my purse strap.

I have finished the right front of Lillian, but it's not blocked yet. So that leaves the sleeves and sewing up. But I am in the start-itis stage right now. Sigh. And it's time to start packing again. Actually not really packing, but paring down, eating the pantry, figuring out the next trips projects and books, etc etc. Also, TAO got me a Terabyte My Book for my birthday, so I am trying to organise my back up files and such. This is rather messy because my backup files are on two 250GB drives with some duplicates. Another opportunity to focus on Enough.

I did sign up for the online weight loss thingy. And they are currently running an incentive whereby if you lose 5 lbs or more they will pay $5 per pound. Yarn money! Craftlilly asked about the veggie testing. It doesn't include potatos,corn, onions, cucumbers, tomatos, peppers, or starches. Think salad bar, greens, cruciferious. Think free point foods with high B vitamin, high water, high fiber. Yeah. Hard to think svelte when salad sits like a rock in your stomach. I am glad to say I have had salad almost every day for lunch at work and no problems. All in my mind? Maybe, but I can live with mind power.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fem Shui

Yes, you read that right - I am calling upon y'all for some Fem Shui.Fem Shui sounds better than Girl Power, or other glossy magazine crap.
(This is not knitting related).

After the vacation Photo of Pregnant Belly, I took a good hard look in the mirror. Okay. Not so bad, but for health and loathing-of-shopping sake I should lose some weight. So I am thinking about joining an online weightloss group. (that pesky travel thing again). And...I found one that you pay $108.00 for the first 90 days. Wait, wait...

For every day you log in and fill out your exercise/eating log during the initial 90 days, they refund a $1.00 at the end. Since I am a parsimonious person I thought this would be good. In my quest to recoup Yarn Money compliance would be high. And with compliance would come Awareness, and you know the rest of that thought, eh?

Please share what's working for you and why. Thank you.

BTW - I went to a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and had all my supplements and meds allergy tested. Very interesting. Then the next time we did food testing. I learned oodles. Now I am being treated for the foods that don't metabolise well. Examples included wheat, soy, whey, egg whites, and the weirdest...Vegetables. So we started the first sessions with vegetables and I have done so well with eating salads and other things that I always wanted to "like" but just never stomached well. I asked the Doc "Vegetables, who's allergic to vegetables?" She said "apparently enough people that they include it in the test kit." Gotta love it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The second socklette

So here it is, the second of those cute little Cat Bordhi socks.

Accessorized with a little shawl collar sweater. Made in Knitpicks Bare Sock Yarn for easy washablity. In a neutral colour for the unknown gender. I really wanted to knit it in Red but wasn't certain how weird the parents were about Girl/Boy dressing.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh the Fugl-ility of it all.

Yeah, that was cheesy. : )

So I popped Mikado in this weekend and sat down to wrestle this bohemoth into submission. (the sweater, not the machine. The machine is a lovely little lady who always performs perfectly.)
Eventually it got to this part, and then the zipper insertion attempts began. As of today, the zipper is in, and only the handstitching of the insertion is left. Only a few weeks late. But The Adored One can wear it next time I go home.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving redone

So here's the left front of Lillian redone. Now we'll see if I ever make the rest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The people you hang out with

Courtesy of Leah over at UFO Knit Club, is the link to this Pattern. Yum! Fortunately it would not be flattering to me and so I will get to avoid this project, except I have that tall friend, or maybe if I made the skirt shorter, or, or...

Yeah, no.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Darn Lillian

So here is the back of the Lillian by Jane Ellison sweater. I decided the best punishment for it was to rip it back and promptly re-knit it so it would behave! It's more coral than pink, those dratted lights.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holiday Knits

The disclaimers: First - I did not invent this design. I stole it from something I saw in Nordstrom's five or six years ago. The original was also in cheap acrylic and was $90.00 (yes, US dollars). Second - the wrap pictured is about 5 years old with some hard wear. It has been schlepped around the country. Wrapped around objects for moving. Hung off endless sofa arms. Machine washed and dried, and otherwise mistreated. Third - someday I will buy upscale yarn and make this again.

After seeing this in Nordstrom's I used 3 skeins of Homespun Waterfall and size 17 needles to make my own. The yarn is doubled throughout. You can see where this would be a very fast knit, easily completed for a December deadline.
The basic premise is a wide rectangle in 2x2 rib. Mine is about 10 inches unstretched. Knit the length of a wingspan or about 6 inches more if the person is heavyset. Bind off. Pick up an equal number of stitches centered on the length and knit down from here in 2x2 rib. Again mine is about 10 inches, but I am short waisted. Bind off. Toss around shoulders and either wear open as a wrap that keeps the lower part of your back warm, or pin closed and have a snuggly warm torso. It also works under a coat as a bulky scarf that provides a little extra warmth for the back. The hue of Homespun that I used has wide bands of colours in it. So I did take the time at the beginning to match up colour segments so that even though it was double standed it maintained those light and dark areas.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I am thankful that knitting can be ripped out without loss of materials. Only our sanity suffers. After knitting this left front of a cardi, and moving on to the Back, I decided to listen to the little voice that had kept saying "Are you Sure this is Right?" and double checked the pattern for errata. Yeah. The Lace pattern is WRONG! So now I have to rip the back, rip the completed front (because the lace is at the bottom). Perhaps this yarn should grow up to be something else eh?

Seriously, there are so many Pleasures in my life both simple and complex that I am thankful for. And I hope that all of you are enjoying yours as well.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I generally wait until there is a pair, but have to confess to being overwhelmed by the cuteness factor of this tiny Sock.


Egmond aan Zee "In Egmond little girls were taught to knit when they were very young. As soon as their small fingers were limber enough they began by knitting socks. To inspire enthusiasm for the work, their mothers would conceal pennies in the ball of sajet*. Since sajet was sold in skeins which had to be wound into balls before knitting, it was not difficult to hide a few pennies in the ball. The little girl was allowed buy candy with her pennies as soon as she had finished knitting the ball of yarn. To get their rewards as quickly as possible the girls would stand and knit on their front stoops before going to school in the morning."

* Sajet - "The wool of a sheep bread for meat, such as the Dutch Texelaar, from the island of Texel, is short and fairly rough. To spin good yarn from it, it must be tightly twisted. The technical term, in Dutch, for this firm twist is sajet."

Henriette van der Klift-Tellegen

And we just want them to make their bed and rinse the dishes. Not to mention the number of Adults who are afraid of sock knitting.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunk so low

I've apparently become one of Those Kind of People. TAOs grandparents are forever after us to send pictures. Except he and are not really the type that take pictures of us, we take pictures of what we saw, liked, whatever. Even less do we take photos of us together - that requires a third party. So my brilliant idea of making them a calendar for the holiday gift was challenging. And -sob- I admit that in order to get 12 months I had to put the Cairn terrier on June and the Australian terrier on September. We've become the kind of people who send pictures of their dogs. Next year they are getting the usual Harry and David.

Last week's ennui was cured by the following: I cast on the Thanksgiving Shawl from ElegantEwe. I bought this pattern at last years Stitches East. I ripped back some of the Felici sock and added cross cabling to the instep. And on Tuesday I cast on Cat's Little Sky Sock. I crammed this into my lab coat pocket, had Wednesday off, and just in the time spent waiting for elevators got to the toe starting point.

Despite being on call some progress was made on The Adored One's Fugl sweater. This is definitely "end of sofa" knitting. It is an easy chart to follow but since it's meant to be used in lieu of a jacket, it weighs twice what my ego does. Definitely not for the weak of wrist.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kindly talk me off the Ledge.

I have this great hand spun in Biscotti that I got from Susan. I had spun it up and divided it for socks for The Adored One. I started knitting these and no offense there TAO but this is too colourful for you. It would however be lovely as a FlowerBasket shawl. Someone please intervene before I cast on another Non Portable project. Evil Evil Temptation thy name is Knitting.

Being of course, the Traveling Knitter, I engaged in Knitting Tourism and hit some new yarn stores. I managed to buy very little by looking at my list of UFOs before entering each store.

I went to one store that will remain anonymous chiefly because...well...I don't recommend it. It's hours are advertised as opening at 10am. I got there around 10:20. I go to the door. Locked. Written on the store hours it says "10-ish". What is That? So I walk around the store looking in the windows. Dark, dead plants, cobwebs, dirt-not dust-dirt. I think to myself "Maybe the Owner died." So I walk back to my car and am looking at the phone book and map deciding my next steps when a car pulls up, parks, out gets a lady and goes to the store. Hmmn. I wait about 10 minutes, get out, and find her waiting at the door. She wants to know if the store went out of business. We laugh and head back to our cars. comes the shop owner. She opens up. Very friendly, helpful, nice. But there's dog poop on the floor, and I was afraid to buy yarn because of M-ths. I did pick up a slightly battered copy of Knitted Lace Workshop for cover price. And if you are looking for an 80s knitting book, good chance she'll have it.

I went to Kirkwood Knittery. Nice selection. Very friendly ladies. I would go to stitch nights there if it wasn't so far away. The samples were generally elaborate and amazing.

And, within vigourous walking distance, Knitty Couture. Gracious, Zen clean simplicity. I did buy some Merino Silk Top in Glacial Green, which is much nicer than the website shows. More of a pale celery. I am spinning singles which two ply into just under sportweight. I could see myself walking to this store, sitting for a while, and walking back. There's some Horizon Merino that might need re-visiting.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ripped and reincarnated.

A genuine boy scarf. 24 stitches in stockingette, stitches picked up all around on a 4 to 3 ratio 6 rows of seed stitch and a reverse crochet bind off. Used two balls with just a trifling left over.
The teapot is silly really, just tiny for one person. But it's a refreshing touch of dainty whimsy in an otherwise stressful and detail oriented life.
The yarn is Australian Merinos Printed colour #1006. I love this yarn. Sproingy, forgiving, soft, and a great guy colour. Deep brown with airforce blue and camel. I wish I could buy a sweaters worth for me without feeling guilt. I only bought two balls back in buffalo because the yarn store people were so snooty to me that it hurt just to buy that. But I had a vision in my mind that didn't survive the actuality. So this yarn held up to being ripped more than once, without showing wear. The hand is great. It will be almost a shame to give away the scarf. I tell ya', the things I do for love.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

That wasn't a gunshot,

it was just the sound of my plan backfiring. Back in October when I packed for this trip, I carefully packed my knitting projects. Planning to shift somethings off the UFO list and finish up some larger items.
Aarghh! I outwitted myself.
I have a Lopi steeked cardigan for TAO that weighs roughly 7 lbs and requires a printed-in-colour chart. There is Lillian with the 36 row lace chart. The Vogue cardigan with multiple shifting cables, waist and bust darts. The Jellyfish (round shawl) with 197 row lace chart.
None of these are portable. None of these are work out a stress reduction row at lunch. All of these fail as a Jewish Rosary. All are going to be very nice someday, but they are not soothing my spiritual knitting needs. Curses!

I am not on a Yarn Diet but as part of Enough I am looking at what I have and how to enjoy it. Perhaps some socks for pocket knitting and a garter stitch shawl eh? I feel Startitis coming on.

I would like to say that I received outstanding customer service from Amazon this week. I ordered late Wednesday night and received on Friday with free shipping. This was after many phonecalls and gallons of gas trying to get the books from local stores. Among the items I treated myself to was Creative Spinning. It's rather like a cookbook for skeins. There are large colour closeups of the yarns with recipes for what colours in what amounts to blend and get those results. It even shows knitted swatches of the finished yarn. It assumes you are already fairly proficient at spinning, so it is more of a travel magazine for me right now. Good for the creative juices.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Election recap.

After a week filled with days of interesting behaviour models demonstrated in their natural environment, allergic reaction to the Flu Shot, and nights filled with nightmares (car crash, stalker, fire, sudden death) I decided to spend the time and money and drive home to be healed by The Adored One. Was it a prudent use of time and fundage? No. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

I got very little knitting done for many other reasons. I spend some of my home time fondling the stash, telling myself lies and, ignoring Enough. I knit 4 feet of a gift scarf, unraveled it and have most of it's new incarnation done. I started the Ribwarmer in my Blue Moon Twisted, it striped and puddled very unattractively so I reballed it. The holiday gift purchasing was wrapped up by a supplemental gift card and grafting the tips of these mittens:

They are made with Palette and are planned as dog walking mittens for my best friend whose dog is like other people's children. The band design and construction are from
Komi Mittens but I opted to change the finger patterning into something that could be crammed into a pocket, pulled out and carried on with, chartless. I used them as a tension experiment in that in one mitten the tidepool colour is carried on the bottom and on the other mitten the natural is the bottom colour. It doesn't show much in the photos but it truly makes a difference in hue dominance. I can see it, but no non knitter has seen it, even when pointed out so I don't think she'll notice. And even if she did, she'd never say anything to me.

So that leaves the insertion of the photos into the calendar and the posting of parcels left, and the holiday cr-p is done.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Y'all are very clever.

This little piece of knitting stumped no one. Scheech. So here he is completed. He's for my niece. Perhaps I should have put him on some Diet Cat food but I wanted him to be very squeezable. He took one skein of Caron Bliss. And is roughly 8 inches long and 6 inches high not including the tail. Surely there are stockings that need one of these for the holidays?

The Pattern was free. Word of Warning....there are some swear words in her post. But the kitty is really cute. Her's isn't stuffed as much as mine and is cuter. I think because she used fabric scraps and I used polyfil.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Name that Knitted Object

I don't know what the prize will be to the winner - we'll negotiate that,eh?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thank goodness for Spinning

Any new assignment is filled with a week or two of adjustments. About this workplace I will say only...I understand the turnover rate. About the housing I will say...designed for Americans to watch TV. There is more lighting provided by the parking lot lights overflow than is installed in the apartment. Hence why I travel with a floor lamp. I prescribed spinning for stress relief and received much enjoyment from just looking at this: They are rolags done from Finn Top I picked up at SOAR. I plan to attempt woolen spinning of the 4 ozs, then three ply them and knit socks from the toe up. For Me. I say attempt woolen because although Carol Rhoades was a stunning teacher of woolen spinning my control driven personality keeps trying to spin all the air out of the yarn and to smooth it with my fingers. I still really enjoy it though.

The whole rolag making experience was enhanced by these Cotton Cards which are so much better than the cards that I used in class. And the Cards are more than just dog brushes from the Inquisition because they have a little bit of love attached. When I came home the first day of classes very frustrated because the materials list did not specify that you needed a Certain Type of Hand Cards, The Adored One listened very carefully. Then listened to two more days of comments as the other gracious ladies in the class let me try their different brands. So when I made up my mind what kind I planned to buy someday he snuck into the off limits Vendor hall where the great ladies of Mielkes were setting up and negotiated to buy the only set they had. Guess I'd better get hopping on finishing his Lopi zip up cardigan, eh? I'm trapped in the black hole part of the sleeve knitting. I decided to do both at the same time so they would be identical but that is so much slower than just cruising along on DPNs. I spend a lot of time fiddle faddling around with needles and positioning. Also...2 sleeves...not portable.

If I can finagle it I may skittle off to the Weavers Guild Sale. The website talks mostly about finished items, but the lady who told me about the sale said there would be fibers and tools and yarn. Free to get in. Perhaps not free to get out though.

Friday, October 19, 2007

SOAR with only a tiny thud.

A good time was had at SOAR. I took the handcarding and woolen class with Carol Rhoades. If I ever go again I plan to take the Spinning 201. The class was not only educational, but also fun. (unlike another class present, we were alcohol free though) We learned a very cool technique that makes striped rolags that spin up into self striping yarn. And how to knit with unspun roving drafted out from rolags.

The speakers in the evening events made potentially dry topics very interesting and even made me want to learn more.

We had gone out to dinner Wednesday night at a sweet little bistro when Kaffe Fassett walked through the door, with Brandon Mably. TAO says that I squeaked and Pointed in a very obvious manner. I am not denying that. Wednesday night dinner was made a little less shiny by a photo we had taken by the manager of the restuarant. Let's just say that if I send it to the family, they'll ask about Grandchildren and due dates. I mean, I look about 7 months pregnant. See, that's the down side to traveling, no one knows you well enough to say "You are turning into a fat sow. Knock it off."

I drown my sorrow at that picture by lining up for the SOAR market so I was the fifth through the door when it opened. I was swept up in the frenzy and scored R'N'R Polworth Roving in a combed format. Gorgeous, glorious colours. I admit that if I had known what it would cost before I got through the line, I might not have picked it up. Not sorry now though. I know just how I want to Spin it and the Patternit will grow up to be.

TAO picked up a lovely swift and Louet Cotton Cards as an Anniversary Gift for me. (all together now, awwwh). I'm so easy to love and live with when I'm far far away.

I also decided to try spindle spinning again but with a Supported Spindle from Royal Hare. It sits nicely on the counter and I can keep my hands at waist level to work instead of reaching above my head or attempting Stupid Yarn Tricks.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Vacation Curse strikes again.

So after months of dreaming about our vacation – and 9.5 hours of driving - we arrive at our RCI resort. It was supposed to be a one bedroom Jacuzzi tub room with a full kitchen. It did indeed have a full kitchen. It did not however have a BED! There was a sleeper sofa. I promptly called the reservation people and was told that someone would call us back within 2 hours to resolve this issue. So we went to dinner. During dinner – ring, ring, ring- it’s the RCI people. It’s essentially they can get us a room 42 miles away or we can sleep on the sofa. So I got a phone book and we went to bed and breakfast. Sadly, they only had a cottage available so we were forced to accept a two bedroom cottage on the river with a firepit and dock at the price of $99 a night. It was a sacrifice but we forced ourselves to settle ; ) In the meantime, RCI will be refunding our money, I plan on spending a weekend this winter when I’m bored filing complaints, and we won’t be staying at an RCI again. (Because they screwed us last vacation.) The good news is we are always happy to get home to our own bed.

There has been some fun had so far and SOAR starts tomorrow. Yay! Pictures in a week or so. TAO got a great shoe score. I didn’t get the pair I wanted because – as usual – they didn’t have my size. Sigh.

Oh, and TAO is warming up to the idea of my getting a traveling spinning bunny.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oy Gevalt!

So I know my lifestyle is well, not weird, but not Go-d Houseke-ping either. But even for me yesterday was a topper.

Let's go back a pace, I got up 130am EST Saturday, loaded my vehicle and took off around 3am. Since it was a 16 hour trip, I figured the 40 minutes of detour it would take to get to The Fold was a mere drop in the bucket. I am blaming my purchase on lack of bloodflow to my hiney. (It was one skein of Twisted in Metamorphic. I'm thinking a Ribwarmer. I really love my other one.)
So I pulled in late Saturday. Got up Sunday and unloaded the car. 10 months worth of living piled on the Living Room Floor. Said pile is complicated by the fact that some is staying, some is going to the next place (St. Louis!), and some needs to be steamed and packed for my Much Needed Vacation. Sigh.
Monday was an admin day. The stylist, oil change, rotation, interviews for jobs, bank, yadda yadda.
So Tueday was for Packing Rotation. Got up at 530. Roofers came at 8. (traumatic for the dogs) Fireplace man came at 10:30. 10:47 Phone's The Adored One. He and a News Camera Crew are meeting in the house at 1:00 to film a piece on air hazards in home. In The Living Room. The fireplace man may have thought it was funny because I hung up, muttered "I look terrible in black, so widowhood is out." and started schlepping, dusting, vaccuuming with a feverish intensity.

TAO called about 12:20, I told him I wasn't speaking to him, and he said "I'm just on my way home." Great. He gets here, and instead of vaccuuming, he climbs up on the roof with the roofers. Not wishing to go outside and exercise my Eastern European roots by shrieking like a fish wife, I calmly call his cell phone, tell him he "will come back in the house, eat his lunch because I've burned it twice, and change for his interview....Now!"

The interview went okay, I think. The dogs and I hid in the basement. (Unfortunately one expressed his displeasure over this on the carpet.) I had just cleaned that up when here comes the camera crew to film the furnace room. Now remember, the whole time...bang bang bang...the sounds of 11K on the roof. Quite overwhelming.

We did not get to see the broadcast because the roofers took off the cable to roof, and didn't put it back on. Hee Hee Hee. I'm kinda of glad for that, I didn't want to listen to TAO dissect it all night. Shush, don't tell. Tonight will be soon enough.

I did manage to finish my STR Pebble Beach Socks before leaving Buffalo, and the proof is in the pictures.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Non Traditional

I don't normally post things like this but Aimee of FairieKnits asked so very nicely for posts to our blogs, that I decided to break with tradition.

Aimee is doing the Lupus Walk and is looking for supporters. To encourage Donations she is sponsoring a drawing with lovely prizes donated from different Fiber Enablers.

Please meander by her blog and participate if you're so inclined.

In the meantime, I have to go pack. ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Boldly going Nowhere

So it’s time to close the book on the next year.

Forgive us the breach of positive commands and negative commands, whether or not they involve an act, whether or not they are known to us.

Referring back to my concept of Enough. It’s time to pack up from Buffalo and meander down the road. In this case, Home. I’m taking two weeks off. First week to put on a new roof and clean house, and second week to vacation with TAO at SOAR with a Jacuzzi tub for two.

Unfortunately, this means I don’t know where I’m headed next. I generally find out the next assignment a week before it starts. Hopefully I’ll find out where I’m going before We leave for Michigan so the packing can be done before the vacation. I am trying to do pre-packing. And as part of that I am attempting to winnow down.

What’s to winnow? After all my car only has 85.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Well, I have some odd habits. I hoard. Not yarn (well maybe a little, but I’m surprisingly realistic about yarn.) but Food. Perhaps it springs from a hungry childhood, but I am sadly out of grip with reality when it comes to grocery shopping.

So this time I am trying to say “Enough”, there’s so much richness in my life that I don’t partake and enjoy fully because there is so much competing for my attention. This trip I’m aiming for Focus, not more, more, More. So I plan on spending Yom in reflection of how I’ll spend my time for the next quarter, and how to make it, well I don’t want to say Simple because Life isn’t Simple…Life is rich and complex and flavourful. Rather, I want to savour 5768. This will include some theoretically simple changes…Shopping for the week, not the month, pre-planning the reading and knitting projects, cutting back on the variety of exercising, practicing the small steps of form and basics that build a marvelous foundation. Don’t interpret this as eschewing rich dark chocolate, or Designer Handpainted Yarn, or my favourite Republic of Tea , rather, consider it as chewing slowly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Who Me ?!!?

So last Thursday I was so sick of being sick that I decided to go to Kitchener Show and Tell at Linda's Store. That was fun and made me feel less guilty about my own Kitchener purchases. While I was there I picked up 2 balls of Kaleidoscope which is from a new yarn line she is carrying.It's a loosely spun single, a little wooly, and probably felts like magic. I swatched during show and tell, then spent the night having little yarn pattern dreams. I like striping yarns, but don't like how they stripe on one piece of a project and pool on the narrow parts of the project. I only bought 2 balls at 174 yds each, and I don't want a felted bag. (as an aside, it would be a lovely felted bag.)

So those mental guidelines led to this.....

Followed by the sucking up of my tonsils while I did this:

to the center front and both armholes. (And a special place in heaven for the ladies at the Sewing store who let me use their demo machine to stitch the steeks.)

Still alcohol free I picked up and worked front band and two armholes, hand stitched the facing down, finished it Tuesday night and found a photographer this morning.

This is one of those beginners luck things, I'd never steeked before and didn't know it had to be stranded and fine gauge. But this worked just fine so far. But you can bet it will be hand washed. So if the thought of steeks makes you say "Who Me ?!!?" perhaps you need a fast and easy project like this. The cost and time were negligible and gave me a nice weekend vest to wear with jeans. I am short waisted but the vest came out 17 inches long with yarn left over.

And, I am not responsible for those of you who went to the Elegant Yarn website and mistakenly clicked on the Athena laceweight (more like cobweb) at 1000 yds for $10.00. If anyone makes anything out of the Fantasy yarn I want to see it though.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I feel a little faint.

So I toodled down to Hemlock yesterday. It was crisp and cool with not much sun. Perfect for those of us who must avoid it. I think of all the fibery things I've been to in the past year, this was my favourite. It had a lovely selection of vendors (including my very favourite), enough interesting animals,
and fair food; but it's a "small" venue and consequently I was not stepped on a million times, nor was I run over by pushy people with prams or electric craft. You could get into the booths without employing DPNs or elbows. All in all, lovely.

I was utterly charmed by these little Shetland Sheep. They are smaller than my neighbors dog and would be a nice addition to our spare lot, but I don't think TAO would go for it eh?

Now about the palpitations...I bought a batch of 10 old Spinoff magazines and a very gently used copy of Fair Isle Knitting. Total price? $15.00! Yes, I know, no words.
I plan to use part of the book combined with the Lucy Neatby DVDs to make the "Who Me?!?" vest. That's a different post which will either be very cool or a raging disaster.

There were some purchases of course: Replacement slippers for mine with the holes in the soles, icelandic wool from ladies I know, and some wool that will become subtle marled yarn. And a little bit of Baby Camel from Bob at Winderwood Farms.
Then there was the
Bosworth Tulipwood spindle. I bought a wheel because drop spindling really bothered my shoulder but I decided to try again. If it is still an issue I can easily re-sale this art for what I paid.

There was supposed to be a bag of cotton candy made from Maple Syrup in the photo, but some redheaded Jewish girl ate it all.

Friday, September 14, 2007


“The answer was obvious. Being a true Craftsman he knew that the more difficult he made it for himself, the more use he made of his skill and the more he developed his craftsmanship. If he had chosen the other direction and made it easier and easier for himself, it would have had a shrinking effect on him as a man…This seems to me to bear on our most important cultural issue. If we lead our lives in such a way that we make less and less use of our Potentials, we shrink. If, on the other hand, we make demands, impart hopes and enthusiasm and want a bit more, we are on the right track.”

Gunnar Arnborg (Hemmagjort)

That being said…I need a mindless knit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What and another year already?

So today is Erev Rosh Hashanah. After sundown there will be a lovely service that I am too sick to attend and then the 10 days of teshuvah begin culminating in Yom Kippur. In looking back at the year I did much better than last year (I think) and have fewer people that I am consciously aware that I need to apologise to. If there's someone that I offended without realising, please accept that I did it in ignorance, tiredness, or stress and I apologise for it.

Of course, providing I will be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year, I would like to live my actions with a better direction than the previous years. Which led to considering...what's better? And at what point is it enough? This reminded me of a post done by Chelle, in which she describes finding One Word to use as a compass for the year. Into my bloglines popped Zen Habits post How Much? with a definition of Enough that includes enough to live, and enough to be happy, and enough to thrive.

I especially have issues with Enough. Growing up in an unstable environment, then living as a self-supporting runaway, Enough has been a key compass in how I base decisions. However, I've been so busy trying to get There that I've missed the fact that "There" is now "Here". In fact, I may have slept through the stop and overshot the station. Good thing I have a vacation with The Adored One planned in 22 days. We're staying at a little resort in Michigan, I'll spend 3 of the days at SOAR and we'll spend 4 days, 7 nights relaxing. In fact, a lot of people ask what are you going to Do? They are puzzled when I say "Nothing, the whole point is...Nothing. No working on the house, no patients, no inspections, Nothing." Just being away and together is Enough.

So this year I'm going to relax a little, realise I have enough, I am enough, and enjoy it all more.

I hope to see all of you along the way.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

And she Scores!

I should have gone to Shul friday night. It would have been cheaper. But I decided to hit KnitFest at Linda's Shop and go to Shul on Saturday. I did not spend money friday night...but only because I couldn't think of the right pattern for a new yarn line they got in and consequently didn't know how much to buy. I am the first to arrive and Linda says "we'll be sparse tonight because most people are getting ready for Kitchener tonight." "What's that?" And that would be how I ended up in a caravan at 6:45 am Saturday instead of Shul. It was all great fun except the part where I had a big blood sugar crash and was an arse. (Embarrassed)

I sighted Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee as just a shopper. Wow! No I didn't approach her, even Rock Stars need a life.

I was fairly restrained in the purchasing. That was challenging I tell ya' There were oodles of Canadian yarns and so much Dream in Colour Smooshy. But I am working on facing the limitations of my hands and thought tormenting myself with Untouchable Art would be a bad idea.

I did however pick up this....
Merino DK as the base to a pair of Fair Isle mittens that I am going to make for Myself. I have only purchased roving from these ladies before and it's always been lovely.
And to pair with my mittens, the souvenir yarn that drove the price of these mittens into the Luxury category...Aquarius but it's my souvenir right?!? As you can see, the yarn looks nothing like the shade card. I think it will be so much fun to knit against that deep blue. (Thanks Jen for the help picking the background)

Then there was the little fall down at the Shelridge Farms booth. Lucy Neatby DVDs I justified these by figuring each is more than 2 hours, and a class would be as much. And I never make it to classes. And, if I watch them and don't care for them I can trade them through one of the guilds, and and... Of course, I didn't even come to the realisation that her yarn cost more than one DVD until this morning. I picked up Essentials 1 & 2, and Gems 2. I chose these over the more advanced options because I feel that the better I can do the basics, the more choices I'll have. I didn't get the sock ones because, again, reality....okay.

The big score was almost not. By that I mean, I saw this on the shelf. I had recently drooled all over the library copy but wasn't certain I needed a copy of my own. (stop snickering). Then I got my paws on it and thought, yeah actually. Then the memory of a recent Ravelry discussion drifted across my mind. Didn't someone say this book was OOP and $44.00? So I picked it up for $23.00. Then when I got home I checked...during the forum discussion it was $74. And you can see what it is now. Chortle Chortle.

I plan to go to Hemlock next week. And SOAR in October. It's been a good fibre year. Now I have to go clean for Rosh and start packing to leave Buffalo. (After I ball up my yarn)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New stuff I learned....

I learned that, perhaps, maybe, if you are knitting mittens for the first time ever, you should start with fast easy ones instead of chosing #4-15 from Anna Zilboorg's Magnificent Mittens. (Out of Print).

I learned that while the 'invisible thumb' is a cute trick in knitting, a gusseted thumb would make more comfortable wearing. I fear greatly for how the palm will stretch when The Adored One wears these.

I was reminded that charted knitting is not good walking around knitting. Even so these went quickly.

I decided that when I knit the next pair of patterned mittens they will be for my Best Friend Judy, so I can use prettier colours. These are safely knit in Knitpicks Palette in Mist and Black.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sick as a Dog

And not knitting. The downside to travel is there isn't anyone to make you Ginger Chicken Soup or Blackberry tea with Lemon Honey. So I decided to make a new knitting bag instead. It looks rather shiny in this photo but is a home decor fabric called Darjeeling Topaz. It has vertical 2 thread stripes of a plethora of colours all shot through a tea hued background.
I put in a side pocket for the phone. (Hate fishing for the thing, and don't even like to have to unzip the purse to get to it when I'm someplace crowded.)
I lined it with a decadent champagne coloured satin (again decor fabric) to make it easy to see items inside. There are pockets for a pen, lipstick, MP3, and my little notebook. I added a little snap tag thing to use as a yarn guide. Speaking of Lipstick I finally met one of my January goals - I used up an entire tube of lipstick. Gee 9 months.

I put two front zipper pockets (with some swearing until I remembered how to do it) on the outside for keys and my wallet. I wanted to keep them from being jumbled around with the yarn.
It's soft and I didn't add much structure because I wanted it to be light weight. The strap is 1.5 inches wide so it won't dig in and adjustable from long cross body style to a shoulder strap.
I stole the idea for it from a Steve Madden bag that I liked the weight and layout of but didn't like the colours and the strap wouldn't stay on my shoulder. (Do designers ever carry their own stuff around?) Sadly the Stone Mountain bag had to go back. It was too heavy. The bag weighed more than the stuff I usually carry around in it. My shoulders don't care for shoulder bags, and my personality doesn't care for Hand bags or fanny packs. Sigh. Wish me luck with this bag. Oh, and price...about 1/3 of the Madden bag.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shawl We?

Sock yarn for shawls rocks. Just my opinion but here's why I say this. I am not a genteel Regency waif, I am more of a modern roue. As a consequence, the nylon in this sock yarn made for a wonderful wear. I did not arrive home with horrid wrinkles on the back from sitting in the car, it did not stretch while wearing and then settle around the bottom of the armpit neccessiating frequent yanks back over the clavicle, it did stretch nicely over curvey parts but when I took it off I did not have 2 marked cups pressed into the front panels. All of this is bad news for the Black Bunny laceweight feather and fan shawl, it doesn't have this give. But having looked at some other versions of the F&F shawl on Ravelry it will someday be pulled from hibernation.
The suble and lovely yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy. November Muse colourway purchased from The Loopy Ewe. One Skein with less than 3 metres left over. There was not enough yarn left to crochet the little flower that the pattern uses to hold the shawl closed, but I didn't love that feature anyway.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Taking the knits into the world.

Spotted in the wild is the Modified Ribwarmer. As part of the program to introduce handknits into the naturalised environment I took the Ribwarmer to Niagara Falls. (American Side) We spent a peaceful morning watching tourists, breathing in rejuevenating negative ions, and knitting. When it started to become crowded and litter-y it was relaxing to toodle down the road listening to podcasts. I especially enjoyed Carpe Lanam. (And I'm not just saying that because one of my essays was on the show once). I am very impressed with how professional some of the podcasts sound now, but without losing that Cafe feeling.

The stitchmarkers were made with coilless pins, available from Patternworks, Knitpicks, or at a Big Box store that starts with W. (I never actually seen them at a LYS). The hardest part was finding number beads. I finally met with success at Michael's Craft store. It was part of a cute kit to make necklaces for stuffed animals. So a devoted mother could make stitch markers and then give the rest of the beads to the wee ones for their craft day. After threading the beads on I put a tiny crimp into the backside of the pin so that the beads would stay on the pin when it was unclasped. Simple and fun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I actually finished this back in June, uploaded the image, and then never posted it. It was one of those things I cast on during my break at home, and finished up before I left the assignment. It's just a little machine washable baby cardi for co-worker. Knit all in one piece with a pick up cardigan edging.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Whatcha Doin'?

First there's a little Space Alien...

Seriously, can you name that object?

Then there's a way to count rows and reps.
And some words to mark the pattern by.