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.