Friday, December 31, 2010

Job hunting and buzzwords

I've been casually job-hunting for a few weeks now.  My current/previous job isn't going to last much longer.  I've been watching my friend's daughter for a little over a year now, but my friend is going to be heading off on maternity leave soon, and I really ought to find gainful employment.

Here's the problem:  I SUCK at buzzword bingo!  I'm looking over my resume, and it fails highly in the areas of Buzzwords and Flashiness.  It has nothing to grip you.  I'm not a terribly exciting person.  And as much as I would like to discuss in detail the various business attempts that have been ongoing for the last two years, potential employers are not generally very excited about knitting publications.  Especially not when you are applying for administrative work with a splash of accounting on the side.

The thought of going back into that environment leaves me feeling somewhat cold and paralyzed to be honest.  It's what I went to school for, it's what I know how to do, but I hate it with every fiber of my being. 

Is there any sort of a job out there that would allow me to fill my artistic passion while simultaneous being gainfully employed?  Is there any possible way to avoid the cold, tired world of administration and accounting?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

St. Distaff's Day

Did you know there is a whole day devoted to spinning?

St. Distaff's Day is on January 7.  Lucky for me, I've got my wheel put back together and it is in proper working order.

H is thoroughly unimpressed with the design of the Ashford Traditional.  As much as I love it, he hates it.  Only he hates it from an engineer's perspective.  He doesn't like the screws that are used or the way the hub pin fits in  And I won't even get started on his reaction when we'd put it all back together only to realize that the polyurethane drive band (a single unbroken loop) had gotten twisted around the legs.  He thought we were going to have to take it off.  His eyes went sort of buggy when I just snipped it (I'd left it loose on purpose and just raised the mother-of-all, in case I ever needed to do what I'd just done).  I'll fix my polyurethane drive band later.  For now, I've got the cotton band tied on.  It's working fine.  I'm happy.

It's a shame H doesn't do more woodworking.  I'd love to see what sort of spinning wheel he could comeup with.  I bet he could make something really fabulous!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The best of Christmas presents

My spinning wheel is in pieces on the guest room bed. 

I received the double treadle kit for my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel this Christmas.  It was wonderful and the wheel went together quite smoothly.  Until I got around to putting the hub pin in the wheel.  I used the old hub pin instead of the new one.  The old hub pin, being several millimeters smaller than the hold in the crank, allowed the crank to wiggle back and forth, which made the wheel a little clunky as it treadled.

The new hub pin is a much tighter fit, but requires the hole in the wheel to be made larger.  I need to work up the courage to make any permanent changes to my wheel.  I'm even scared to stain it in case the stain ruins it.  I doubt it would. 

What makes a better finish?  Waxing or staining?  And which wax or stain should I use??

So many questions. 

As a result, my spinning wheel is in pieces on the guest room bed while I sort out these very important issues.  I rather miss my spinning wheel.  However, it's absence is allowing me to focus a little more on the knitting.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Christmas celebrations are almost done.  We've got one more family dinner today and then we are finished.  Luckily, this one does not involve a gift-exchange.  It's just dinner.  Good dinner, too!  It's with H's extended family and is my favorite dinner of the Christmas season. 

Since H is chinese, the dinner with the extended family is a Chinese dinner.  But this isn't your Mandarin buffet or Chinese takeout style of dinner.  This is a sit down meal at a fancy Chinese restaurant with lots of fancy dishes.  There is always some sort of seafood.  Shrimp, scallops, fish.  Then there will be chicken.  Usually a whole chicken chopped up into pieces.  The bone are left in and the head is usually still on the plate.  Sometimes we order peking duck.  The whole duck is brought to the table and sliced by hand in front of you.  Then the rest of it is taken back to the kitchen where the remainder of the meat is chopped up and stir-fried.  Of course there is rice. 

There is lots more, but I can't think of what else we usually order.

Christmas with my family was good.  The gift exchange is always a bit unruly, but that's to be expected when there are 15 people opening presents at once.  My brother-in-law bought me two knitting books.  Stitch'n'bitch Superstar Knitting and Modern Top-down Knitting.  Both were absolutely perfect.  I've wanted the first one since it came out, and the second one was a pleasant surprise, since I've often thumbed through it at the library and had been thinking about picking it up.

My mother bought me yarn.  I will admit to being a complete yarn snob.  I tend not to enjoy it when other people buy me yarn, since other people's opinion of what is good yarn usually differs vastly from my own.  Nevertheless, the more I touch and fondle it, the more it has started to grow on me.  At first, I had no idea what I would make out of 5 balls of bernat boa (in the colourway "Bright Glitter", no less).  But it didn't take me long to envision it as a hat, scarf, mittens, and possibly shawl.  All of which would be made for and enjoyed by ME!  I don't do enough knitting for myself.

I almost cast the hat on last night, but a (very!!) stern glare from my husband told me that probably wasn't a good idea.  It'll be a hat for next winter.  ;)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Days of knitting

One of the nice things about Christmas is that I get to generally ignore most of my regular duties in favour of chilling out and relaxing with H.  It's wonderful!  ;)  I only really get to do this for a day or 2 at most, but those two days have given me some major headway on some important projects.

I've managed to get the second full side of my mother's sweater finished.  It's blocking right now.  The side panels can (and will) be knit two at a time, which will make them work up faster.  Well, not technically "faster", since my stitches-per-minute remains fairly constant, but it will seem faster, since I'll be doing them both at the same time.

I know for sure I can get them done by the end of the month with minimal effort.  This leaves only the sleeves, which will also be knit two at a time.  This will ensure that they are identical and again will make them seem like they are going faster.  That plus the collar and front band are all that remain of the sweater.  It will certainly be done by Mother's Day.  That makes the sweater just over a year in the making, including all the times I ripped back and started completely over again.  I should point out that it was two solid months of starting, ripping back, and starting over to create the perfect design. 

On top of that, my February deadline projects are working up faster than expected.  At my current rate of knitting, I should have both done and photographed not later than January 20th.  Maybe 30th.  They're almost finished.  ;)  And the test knitting on them is coming along well, though I am admittedly horrified at the mistakes I made in one of them.  Only one of them, mind you.  The other one was perfect with the exception of some small technical inconsistencies (the use of capital letters, improper punctuation, and inconsistent notation).

All in all, I'm fairly happy with my progress.  I'll be taking my mother's sweater with me to my family Christmas tomorrow.  I dare not work on anything else while I am there, since my mother knows of the sweater project and is anxious to receive it.  ;)

I am endeavoring to get as much finished between now and January 1 so that I can focus on my new pattern.

That said, it's 2011 in less than a week.  Time flies so quickly. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Here's a cheer to all on Christmas Day!
May your day be filled with joy
Your stockings filled with toys
Your presents be tremendous
and your holiday stupendous!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Epic Project (or the blanket that would not end)

6 years ago my husband asked me to marry him.  I started a blanket that was to be a wedding blanket for us.  It was to be a queen-sized bedspread.  In boucle yarn.

5 years 4 months and 2.5 weeks ago I married my husband.  The wedding blanket, which was not done, went into a bag.  And there it stayed.  Oh, I'd pull it out occasionally to crochet a row here and there, but the truth is, I hated it nearly as soon as I started it.  Boucle yarn makes me crazy and causes uncouth words to issue forth from my lips.

But, I have good friends who learned about the "wedding blanket" and they encouraged me to finish this project.

I crocheted the last row on it tonight and draped it over my husband.  He's pretty happy with it.  As you can see, it's not a bedspread.  It's only roughly 2/3 the intended finished length.  But it looks nice and it's symmetrical.  It is the perfect size to drape over the back of the futon and is the ideal size for curling up in while watching TV.  So after roughly 6.5 years in the making, I consider my wedding blanket done.

When your plate is full...

The correct course of action is, of course, to finish everything you are doing before taking on more.

BUT, Interweave Press put out a call for submissions for a project that excites me greatly!  And even though I know I've got a lot to do (see previous posts on this subject), I just cannot help but know I need to participate in this extra project.  I've even got the yarn for it.  6 balls of Noro Chunky that's been sitting in my stash since the summer waiting to tell me what it needs to be.  It decided it needs to be part of this project and I'm very excited about the prospect.

2011 will be the year of my complete breakdown into yarny-insanity.  You'll find me next Christmas curled up in my closet surrounded by piles of yarn, knitting furiously while whispering to myself  "One more row.  One more row."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

THOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!!




Disclaimer:  I'm a serious geek at heart.  Comic book movies, sci-fi, fantasy...if there is a big lineup of fangeeks standing outside a theatre (and let's face it, fangeeks make up 90% of those lines...the non-geeks can't be bothered and go the weekend after opening weekend), I'm usually there.  

I generally have a rule against 3D movies.  Being practically blind (okay, an exaggeration, but I do wear coke-bottles), I have a difficult time with 3D movies.  I tend to see a halo around the images, or will see double, and the hard work of focusing on 3D tends to give me a migraine. For this one, I'll break my rule against 3D movies.  I will suck up the migraine that comes along with the 3D movies.  For this one, I'll be there, ticket in hand, lined up for however long I have to line up.  But I'll be writing to my theatre well in advance to request that they offer the 2D version, too.  They usually don't.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas presents and wonderful swaps

I love fiber swapping.  The fine folks over at Phat Fiber put together a holiday swap for the contributors.  It was a great deal of fun.

I put together what I thought was a lovely gift for my swap partner, within the suggested $50 budget.  I sent her a pretty silk cap for spinning, some gold merino, a red/white/green braid, a large bulky skein of handspun wool, and a handwoven bamboo scarf. 

My package came today, and I felt like a bit of a heel.  What I sent just pales in comparison to what I received, and I'm the sort of person who feels guilty about stuff like that.   I got all of the following:

There is a white merino/milk/nylon batt, a blue merino/silk batt, cinnamon-red alpaca, BFL locks, Buffalo Gold, a bag of milk, bamboo, and soy silk, and some corriedale roving with a small turkish spindle. Plus chocolates.

It's all so very beautiful!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The blog post I nearly didn't write

I have waffled back and forth over whether to write this post, and if I was going to write it, what would I say?  This post is highly personal and is more serious than most of what I write.  It has nothing to do with my knitting, and I hope you'll forgive me for that.  It deals with a complicated and heart-wrenching topic that affects more than 6 million couples in the United States.  Canada has not measured their own statistics.  I'd like to ask why not, but that's not really the point of my post.  This post is about infertility, and the heartbreak a couple feels when they finally realize that they may never have children on their own.

Infertility can be heartbreaking.  Chances are someone you know has impaired fertility, reduced fertility, or is just plain infertile.  I discovered on Thursday that I have reduced fertility.  I may be infertile.  In any case, I don't seem to be able to get pregnant on my own and the doctor is sending me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist at a fertility clinic. 

There is nothing that can describe the feelings you feel sitting in a doctor's office while they toss terms at you that go straight over your head.  They don't bother to explain what these terms mean, so you go home to Dr. Google for an explanation.  But those explanations are filled with more complicated terms and you just end up feeling more lost and alone than ever.

Sometimes you come out with a new term or diagnosis every time you visit the doctor, and so these visits become a source of anxiety instead of help.  When I visited the gynecologist last year, after an ultrasound, I was told I had polycystic ovarian syndrome.  In short, the follicles surrounding my eggs were not maturing properly, so no fully mature egg was being released to be fertilized.  But there was still a hope that I might get pregnant, so H and I continued to try to conceive naturally.  I continued to take my basal (first morning, before moving or getting up) temperature every single morning.  I continued to menstruate regularly (an oddity in itself if PCOS was the preventing factor), and my basal body chart continued to show an ovulatory pattern.  So back I went to the doctor.  Inquiring minds wanted to know...if I am ovulating on a semi-regular basis, why am I not pregnant yet?

This time there was something new wrong with me.  This time I was told that there was something unusual in my bloodwork from last year.  My progesterone levels are strangely high.  The doctor couldn't confirm without further tests, but it looks like I have something called "Adult Onset Adrenal Hyperplasia."  That was a such a mouthful that I forgot all the rest of the questions I wanted to ask.  Questions like "If I have this and it showed up in my bloodwork, why didn't anyone call me back for more tests to confirm this?  Why would you let me keep trying?  Why wouldn't you want to treat me for it?"  I didn't ask that.  I left quietly (after being given another pregnancy test which, not at all shockingly, turned out negative).  I went home.  My period came.  I cried.

I can't be sure if this is the deciding factor.  My overall impression of doctors between my migraines and my impaired fertility has been that they really don't know much more than the average person and spend a great deal of time guessing.  Maybe that's unfair.  I'll give the reproductive endocrinologist a chance.  Maybe she'll find something new wrong with me, too.  I'm supposed to see her at the end of January. 

Here's how infertility hurts:  It breaks your hope and your spirit, one month, one negative pregnancy test at a time.  After a while, a new month doesn't signal just a new hope and a new chance, it signals the death of your previous hope.  Your heart starts to break, little pieces at a time.  You turn numb to turn off the pain, just so you can put your smile on and pretend to be normal. 

The questions start and the pain bubbles to the surface.
Why aren't you pregnant yet?
How long have you been trying?
When are you going to have a baby?
It's your turn to produce a child now.
Are you pregnant yet?

Then the well meaning but equally hurtful comments start.
Maybe it's just not God's time yet.
Trying is the best part.
Your life changes so much after having a child, maybe you're not ready yet.
Children are so much work.
It's not all fun and games, you know.
Why don't you just adopt?
You don't have enough faith.

And my heart keeps breaking, and my fake smile gets faker, and the pain goes a little deeper.  I dig a little deeper to find the strength to move on, to keep hoping, to keep praying, to not lose heart.  It won't define me nor make me bitter.  I push forward on the long road, and in my ear, I hear Aslan's voice whisper:  "Courage, dearheart."

How does knitting sound like a frog?

They both go "rippit! rippit!"  (and that's why ripping back your work is called "Frogging").

So I have good news and bad news today.  The good news is that Canada Post apaprently makes deliveries on Sunday close to Christmas.  I came home to find a package on my doorstep containing 10 balls of gorgeous!! City Tweed DK yarn.  It's for a new design project that was accepted last week.  I'm frankly shocked at the speed with which it came.  I'm not casting on until after January 1, 2011, though.  I have GOT to get these other projects finished first.

And therein comes the bad news.  Have you ever had to rip back 100 rows of lace when you haven't used a lifeline?  I made a HUMONGOUS mistake in my mother's sweater roughly 100 rows back.  I noticed it in church (while the preacher was talking about a particularly sensitive topic) and almost started to cry right there.  I bit back the tears, put the knitting down, and somehow made it through the next 30 minutes without crying.

I have to fix it, though.  I've devoted this afternoon to ripping back to my mistake and fixing it.  My fingers are crossed that the mistake is only 100 rows back, and not more than that. 

I'm never knitting lace for anyone ever again.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ninja Snow

I woke up a little later than I was supposed to this morning (8:30 instead of 8am)  The only reason I woke up at all was because a friend had called about a series of errors (big and small, but mostly small) in a pattern she is both test-knitting and tech-editing for me.  The tech-editing is a much bigger deal than the test knitting.  I'm fairly confident that the pattern is mostly correct with maybe only one or two mistakes.  I'm knitting it myself from the pattern and I'm pretty decent at spotting my own mistakes.  But the tech-editing is where I get a giant FAIL sticker, so I was ecstatic when she started noticing all the little technical errors that keep the pattern from being (to quote another good friend) "awesomesauce".

As I was talking to her on the phone, I wandered around my bedroom and peeked out my curtain.  Lo and behold!!  It's snowing again!  This was awesome stealthy ninja snow.  The kind of snow you have no clue is happening until you peek out the window. 

I keep peeking to make sure it's still there and hasn't stopped yet.

As a side note, I've decided that as soon as I get the vacuuming done and the kitchen floor washed, I'm going to spend the rest of the day in front of the TV knitting.  I am planning on working on Mom's sweater for at least 3 hours today.  That should get me part way up the sleeves.  Maybe...just maybe I can trick myself into getting it done for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Knitting things you're supposed to be knitting...

I suppose I could also call this post "Not knitting things you're supposed to be knitting".  Or maybe I could call it "One too many things to knit."  How about "I knew this would all turn on me one day."

First, I'm having a blast with this whole new world of design.  I've just had a second pattern proposal accepted, and the yarn should be en route pretty soon.  I will almost certainly not get it before Christmas.  That's just as well, and leads me to my second point.

I have officially taken on one project too many!!  I ought to feel terribly guilty, because projects that should be done are not being done in favour of other projects which really need to be done.  I haven't knit on my mother's sweater all month.  Instead, I've been worried about another project deadline that's been rapidly approaching.  Now I have test knitters working on this other project for me (God bless free test knitters who knit for your because they love you).  But I still need to get the project itself finished so that I can photograph it for the pattern.  No one wants to knit a pictureless pattern.  How will you know what you are knitting?

In addition to the knitting, though, I've been playing with my loom.  See that pretty picture?  That's what I've been doing when I've been hiding from the knitting.  I need to stop doing that and get on with my knitting.  I desperately wanted to have my mother's sweater done for Christmas.  As it stands, I'm two sleeves away from finishing it, and since the sleeves are primarily tiny-gauge stockinette, that is NOT happening.  I love my mom, but she'll be really lucky to have this sweater for Mother's Day.  I have a February 15 deadline, a May-ish deadline, an August-ish deadline, and an October-ish deadline.  This is in addition to the new Men's sweater vest that I'm creating, which takes a certain amount of priority on account of it being a source of income for me.  I'm thinking that having the vest done for September-ish will be good.  My mom is pretty forgiving, but I know this isn't improving my reputation as the girl with her head in a million places at once who doesn't finish things.

So where is the one-project too many?  A set of dishclothes that I really want to weave for my mother in law because she asked for them last year and weaving is so relaxing when your knitting makes you crazy.  Maybe I can do two for her for Mother's day 2011.  They are just a weekend project.  But I just don't think I can handle having them done for Christmas.

Let's just forget about the spinning for now, and I'm officially dropping out of the Phat Fiber boxes.  I just have way too much on my plate to try keep my fingers in all the pies.

I'm starting to doubt my theory that knitting is good therapy for people with ADD.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow!

Ah-ha!!!  The snow has started falling...and falling and falling!  This makes me pretty happy.  Hopefully I'll have a good picture of it tomorrow.  :)

Merry Christmas. Where's my snow?

I am a bitter old woman.  I don't think there is any way around admitting that.  I'm very bitter.

At the moment, my bitterness is twofold.
First, a BIIIIIIIIIIGGGGG (!!!!) winter storm is supposed to be attacking Ontario and Quebec today.  Loads of heavy snow.  Blizzards.  Whiteouts!  Snow Squalls!!

Except in my area, where warm air is causing not snow, but rain.

WHY IS IT RAINING?!?!  Christmas is in 2 weeks less a day.  I feel I have been more than patient with the weather.  Tomorrow, we've been warned to expect an arctic blast.  So we will get plenty of ice when all this rain freezes.  I feel more strongly than ever that I'm being seriously ripped off this winter.  Just like last winter.

I think I need to move back to Newfoundland.  I do love a good heavy snow.  Honestly.  I even like shovelling.  I'm really, really weird that way.

On top of this, I got a very exciting delivery yesterday.  My husband ordered me the double treadle kit for my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel.  It's a Christmas present.  I knew it would come before Christmas, though.  So I was hoping to be able to put it to some use before December 25. 

Apparently not.  Apparently being a Christmas gift means that it must stay under the Christmas tree until December 25.  Does H not know me AT ALL??  It sits there, pristine in it's Canada Post box.  Staring at me!  I gaze longingly at it, knowing it's there, unable to touch it at all.

Who knew that seeing your gift under the tree could be so effective in creating that childlike anticipation of Christmas morning.  ...If I make it till Christmas morning, that is.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dorothy: a little loom

Sometimes, when I know I shouldn't, I like to troll Kijiji for killer deals.  I especially like the sort of deal where you get lots and lots of stuff for not very much money.

Such a deal was found yesterday.  A beautiful LeClerc table loom.  There was almost no information on it, and no picture.  It was listed at $50.  I nearly died right then and there.  She said it was working, and so I emailed her to ask for a picture.  She did not send me a picture, but she described it to me, gave me her phone number, said she'd gotten a surprising (to her, not to me) number of calls on the loom, and it would be sold to the first person who showed up at her front door with the cash.  She said she was pretty sure it was a LeClerc Dorothy loom, since that's what it looked like to her.  Also, it had a warping board with it. 

Well!!!  If I could have gone to pick it up at 10pm last night, I would have!!  But that seemed a bit unreasonable, so I promised to show up today with cash in hand.  She said she would consider it sold to me. 

She put it aside, and I booted my crafty little bum over there as promptly as I could today (calling before I left to make sure no one else had sniped it).  It was there in all it's weaving glory, shining out like a table top beacon of light.  I took my loom and thanked her profusely for it. 

The warping board is missing the pegs, but I don't even care.  ;) 

It's a LeClerc Dorothy 15 3/4" 4-shaft loom.  The least expensive of the LeClerc Dorothy looms.  Retails for $675 (Canadian).

I'm pretty happy with my deal.  Saving money feels really awesome!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Naming Conventions

I think one of the most fun parts of designing stuff is coming up with fun names.  For example, my latest pattern (which will be available for free) was originally designed under the name "Last Minute Beret".  But that seems boring.  Yes, it does convey the idea that this is a quick and easy knit, but it just didn't really do it for me.

I though perhaps "Christmas Eve Beret" would be better, but then...what if you don't celebrate Christmas?  What if you have a friend with a winter birthday?

After some deep thought, I've finally settled on "Tam O'Quickness".  Much better, don't you think?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

every once in a while

Every once in a while you get to enjoy a moment of happiness that is so blissful and real that it makes you giggle, squeal, and make your significant other ask you if you need a paper bag.

Such moments as these tend to happen when you've been trying really hard to make something happen and then it just happens.  That kind of pure happy makes you feel slightly giddy and can even bring tears (of joy) to your eyes.


Remember how I've been writing about that sweater for KnitPicks?

Here it is!!!
http://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/1989_Sweater__D10723220.html


It might not seem like that big of a deal, but it's pretty big to me.  :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Colouring in the spaces

Sometimes I wonder about my own sanity.  Somewhere in my head came a little voice, whispering at me..."It's high time you learn intarsia.  Wouldn't a gentleman's argyle vest be a lovely idea?"


So, I've decided to learn intarsia and  design a lovely gentleman's vest.  I'm swatching right now, even though I've got a glove pattern and a shrug pattern due next Wednesday.  Next Wednesday is still a month away (after all, next Wednesday isn't until December), so I pulled out those yarn bobbins that have been watching me since July and I wound them with my choice of colours.

And while I might technically be procrastinating on things that really need to get done (like dishes and organizing my wool stash), who says my house is a mess?  Cleaning is over-rated.  Knitting is good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coming soon...

For the last several months, I have been working hard designing a new pattern.

Well, the project in question is finished and I can now tell you all the wonderful details about the sweater called "1989".  It will be available on Knitpicks.com any day now.  I will post the link as soon as it is up.

I based 1989 loosely on a light, side-knit sweater that I currently own (actually, that I am currently wearing).  I love loose, light, short-sleeved sweaters that are versatile enough to wear no matter the season.  That is what 1989 is. 

It's knit from knitpicks Gloss DK, and the colour is "Fairy Tale"

It's a quick and easy knit, worked side-to-side, with a waistband that is added on later. 

It was definitely a new and interesting challenge.  I'll be challenging myself again in the very near future with a new sweater pattern.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can I knit the world a sweater?

Sometimes, when I ride the bus, I see women so helplessly undressed that I just want to knit them a sweater to cover up their freezing bodies.

Since I don't have time to knit that many sweaters, at the recommendation of a friend, I'll just post the following suggestions instead:

Six Steps for a girl to determine if she is Dressed

1.  Decide what you are going to wear today.  Will you wear a skirt or pants?  This is a very important decision, as it will determine your level of dressed-ness before going out.

2.  Look in the mirror.  Is your lower half from your waist, to any region below your bum covered (Please note:  The phrase "below your bum" means that the entirety of your bum is covered in an appropriate garment and that no part of your underwear or bum is easily viewable by any person sitting or standing behind you)?  If the answer is yes, congratulations.  You are probably wearing pants (or maybe a skirt, whichever it is, well done!).  If the answer is no, please go to your closet or drawer and pull out a pair of pants or a skirt and try again.

3. Look in the mirror again.  If your pants are very tight and are closed at the toe, please try again.  You are not currently wearing pants.

4.  Check yourself in the mirror one more time.  Do your pants have a waffle-weave on them with a tight knit cuff at the ankle?  Those are thermal underwear.  You are still not wearing pants.

5.  Is your upper half covered in a garmet?  If the answer to this question is no, please put a shirt on the upper half of your body.  If you are wearing a garment, check to see if this garment is, in fact, a bra.  If your garment is a bra, you are not wearing a shirt.  If your bra can be seen through your shirt, you are not a rockstar, please try again.

6.  Check yourself one last time.  Do your pants have penguins in hats? fairies with wands? Snowflakes? Cups of coffee?  You might be wearing pajamas.  But your bum is covered and we can't see your bra.  Feel free to go out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back from The Awesome Vacation

I didn't post on my blog that I was going on vacation, because it's generally a bad idea to tell The Internet when your house is going to be unattended for 2 weeks.  But I went away for two wonderful weeks (okay, admittedly it was one really great week and one rather okay overall week) and now I am back.

My husband and I, along with our friends and neighbours, went on a transatlantic cruise.  The cruise left from Rome (well, actually Civitavecchia, which is just outside of Rome) and stopped in Toulon (France), Barcelona, Cartagena, and Malaga (Spain), and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.  Toulon was gorgeous, even though we stopped there on a Sunday and most things were closed.  I'd love to go back to France some day.  Cartagena was probably my favorite stop in Spain, with Barcelona running a close second and Malaga a very close third.  Spain was just gorgeous!

Tenerife was a bit less interesting than the other places on account of there being very little to see in Santa Cruz.  If you want to see Tenerife, you pretty much HAVE to book a tour and go at least an hour or two outside of the city limits.  Since we didn't really have time to do that, we just wandered around the city.  We ended up at the Nuestra SeƱora de Africa market.  It was pretty interesting.


But without a doubt, the highlight of the trip was the day and a half we spent in Rome.


Rome is a beautiful city.


Don't try drive a car there.  You'll probably die.  But if you walk and/or take public transit (don't even try a cab...seriously...drivers are batcrap crazy, there are no lines on the roads and rules seem entirely optional), Rome is incredible.  H and I did a tour of the Vatican first thing in the morning on our first full day in the city.  We booked our tour through Presto Tours, which was a little bit expensive, but gave us the best value for our money.  The tour groups are kept under 15 people so the tour guide can keep track of you and give you better one-on-one answers to your questions.  We bypassed ALL the lines, and got to see all the highlights of the city.  The Vatican is simply too big to try see it all on your own, but we enjoyed St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.  At least...we saw some of the Vatican museums.  There are a lot and it could take you several days to try do it all on your own.


In the afternoon, we took the subway over to the Colosseum, where we did a combined tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palantine Hill.  Our tour guide for the Colosseum was not very good, but the guide for the Forum and the Palantine Hill was really excellent.  I wouldn't recommend doing the Palantine Hill or the Forum on your own unless you are a major history buff.  The palace that covered the Palantine Hill was quite enormous, but it really just looks like a bunch of rubble in places, and there are parts you wouldn't even realize were part of the palace unless you had a guide telling you "This was part of the palace."  You'd completely miss the throne room, and the impressiveness could easily be lost, considering how absolutely enormous it originally was.


As for the cruise.  Well, I might be biased in my opinion.  I'm not much of a sailor and quite prone to motion sickness.  I was sick on several of the days we were at sea.  But on the days I was well, I was rather underwhelmed.  I'd love to do another cruise.  We probably will.  I'm not sure I'd be much inclined to sail with Royal Caribbean, though.  The value of service for the money paid was pretty underwhelming.  When you pay a certain amount of money, you expect your dishes to be clean (especially in the fancy dining room), your waiter to be pleasant (the assistant waitress was wonderful, though), and ...well, you'd rather not find dead (drowned) insects in your salad.  Eww.  The information on the shore excursions ought to be accurate (at one point, we were informed that we'd be arriving in Malaga on Labour Day, May 1).  The entertainment was underwhelming.  The buffet hours were odd, the buffet food was the same Every Single Day!  And it was decidedly NOT allergy friendly.  


But I loved Rome.  I need to go back some day!


Pictures are forthcoming.  There are a lot and I need to sort through my favorites.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1989, and other patterny things

The errors in 1989 have been, so far as I can tell, isolated and corrected.  The sweater itself has been done for a while, but now the PDF is also finished and the whole package is tied up neatly and en route to Knit Picks.  I'll keep you up to date.

They may yet decide not to publish it, in which case it will still be available on Ravelry in November.  This is a great sweater to wear over a t-shirt or lightweight blouse. I tried that and it looked great with a black skirt.

I'm also working on another pair of fingerless gloves.  I've decided I have a definite fondness for gloves, fingerless gloves, and mittens.  Some people love socks.  I love gloves.  They are so versatile and a great way to try out new ideas.

All sweaters are on standby until I'm finished both front sides of my mother's sweater.  I really need to get that thing done.  Nevertheless, because I cannot help but doodle plans when I'm not knitting, I have plans for a knit bikini.  I'll never wear it, myself.  But someone might. 

New layout

I changed my look a bit.  I needed something that was just a little bit more...me.

I can't think of anything that works better than a background of yarn.  ;)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thank you cards

Alas, I suck at them.

I never know what to write.  Especially when it's a business thank you card.  "Thanks for being a customer".  ...and then what do I say?  I mean, I love customers. I want them to come back.

"Please come back" sounds so beggy.  Is it okay to write that in a business card?  Does it sound too desperate?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shop update

I finally got around to taking a whole load of photographs today.  As a result, I finally got around to updating my shop.

I've got some really delicious goodies in there.  Including, but not limited to one of the full sized batts from my October samplers.  Stardust
These beautiful batts, inspired by the book (and movie) of the same name conjure images of other worlds, magic, airships, swordfights, princesses, and maybe a captain or two prancing around his quarters in a tutu (I hear they're very comfortable).

Silk and wool.  They are super soft.  I'm tempted to spin them myself, but that's not really the point of being a business woman, is it.  Besides, every spindle I currently own (plus 3 of my 4 bobbins) is currently laden with wool.  I've got no room to start spinning anything else.

On a side note, H came home from work and asked me by way of polite conversation what I did today.  I stumbled for a few minutes as I realized...it kinda sounds to an outsider like I did nothing.  I mean, I knit for a bit (I multitasked and did that while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer), then I skeined some recycled yarn for dying (also while watching Buffy).  Took a break and a walk (in the rain) to make a hair appointment (why does it cost so darned much to do a woman's hair??).  Then I spun for a bit while watching a little more Buffy.

So...what I did manage to get done today was approximately 4 hours of Buffy (oops), 30 minutes of Sims 3, a pair of crocheted fingerless gloves, frogging my knit fingerless gloves, the dishes (yay!!!), photographing aaaaalll my new inventory.  Yeah...I had a productive day.  I'm tired just writing it all down.

I've got a scarf on the loom right now, too, that I need to get down asap.  I should have done that today instead.

Lady Knittley's Fabulous Frilly Flying Collar

Lady Knittley's gloves need a counterpart.  A matching collar-scarf.

Here's the problem I face.  I do not have any more of the wonderful yarn that I used to make the gloves.  I have acrylic that's a very similar colour and would undoubtedly look the same in a photograph.  But it makes me a little sad, because I also don't have the matching buttons.  But I do have a pretty white ribbon that might look kinda cool with it.  And I've got an awfully pretty skirt to wear when I take pictures of the ensemble. ;)

I've got until October 15 to knit the scarf and write the pattern.  Wish me luck.

On a completely unrelated note.  I've had some raw tortilla shells in my fridge for a few weeks.  By raw, I mean they are unfried corn shells, which need to be fried or baked or something, since they don't fold well.  Well, I discovered they wok-fry nicely (kinda like wontons), so I'm making home made taco salad for dinner.  I know that has nothing to do with the Flying Collar, but it smells tasty and I'm hungry, so I just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rain

It's raining.  Not a little bit, either.  It is absolutely POURING!!  Buckets of water are being poured out from the clouds.

I don't know why, but I have the hardest time concentrating on things that need to be done when it's rainy like this.  I do have things to be done.  At the very least, I need to clean the bathrooms today.  Not all the bathrooms.  They all got cleaned on Friday.  But the ensuite that gets used everyday and the basement spa that gets used once a month both need to be scrubbed.  The tubs need to be cleaned.

And yet...it's raining and I cannot bring myself to do anything except sit in front of the computer in my fluffy fleece housecoat, drinking coffee, posting about how it is raining.  I want to knit.

The boatneck sweater is coming along like a dream.  It doesn't start as low on the shoulders as I wanted it to, but that just means it will look more awesome with long sleeves.  I'm thinking of putting it aside, and as soon as I get 1989 mailed off (just need one more picture of a bind off technique) submitting it as a concept to KnitPicks. That way, I can totally justify my knitters ADD and work on multiple projects at a time.

I'm still committed to only bring one on the cruise with me.  My mother's sweater.  I'm halfway up the left side.  I'm committed to finishing and blocking the left side before I leave and doing the bulk of the right side while I'm away.  I may also need to bring scrap yarn and spare needles, though.  I plan on teaching my friend how to knit so we can sit and knit together on the deck while our men are off eating themselves into food comas.  I'm kinda selfish like that.  If someone shows even the slightest hint of interest in knitting, I will do my utmost to convert them to a full knitter.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Knitting Sweaters

Even though I'm supposed to be finishing current projects instead of starting new ones, and even though I've got a half a million current projects to finish, and even though I'm still doing battle with my mother's sweater (I will never knit lace again for anyone, no matter who they are or what they mean to me), I did a bad thing this weekend.

And by bad, thing, I don't mean overcelebrating my 31st birthday (which ended up being a serious non-issue...31 is exactly the same as 30, just plus 1).  I mean...I started a new sweater.

In my defense, it's shaping up to be a very, very pretty sweater, and at a gauge of 4st/5.5rows = 2", it's working up wonderfully fast.  It's a pretty, purple boatneck sweater, with a cable detail down the sleeves (which will be long and loose), and an off-center cable down the front.  It's a top-down raglan style sweater, completely seamless.  I'm about 10 rows from splitting off the sleeves.  You can't see anything in the picture, really, but this is how it looks so far.

It will be probably available for download around mid-Novemberish, on account of the multitude of other projects with looming deadlines.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Knitting another sweater

I've got 6 skeins of Noro Silk Chunky.  I bought it with plans to make a sweater.

Even though I've got 7 or 8 other projects on the go with deadlines, I'm thinking of starting the Noro sweater anyway.  What I'm not sure is whether 6 skeins will be enough to do the off-shoulder bar-hopper top, or if Noro Chunky would be too heavy for a bar-hopper top.

I should probably not work on it until I'm finished the front of my mom's cardi.  Not to mention until I've gotten September's inventory photographed and put up online and October's samples finished and mailed.  It's September 20 already. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Buttons

Remember my post about popping up to Dollarama for buttons for the gloves?

I did manage to find two matching silver(ish) buttons in my stash.  But I popped in to Dollarama today to find brass buttons to include with the pattern.  Shock of shocks, guess what Dollarama is not carrying at the moment.  I know they had them.  They had them as recently as a week and a half ago.

Grrrr.

Lady Knittley's Fabulous Fingerless Flying Gloves

Knit from a lovely silk, rayon, cotton blend called Goshen by Valley Yarns, I have finally finished up Lady Knittley's Fabulous Fingerless Flying Gloves.

They are truly fabulous.  Excellent for knitting with small bits of leftover yarn.  Recommended to be knit with Aran or DK weight yarn.

Look in October's Phat Fiber box for your free copy, or check out Ravelry.com after October 15 to buy the pattern for only $2.00.  Yes, I shamelessly self-promote.  But it's my blog.  I think I'm entitled to a little self-promotion.  ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

On naming things

Apparently there's another blog out there called Lady Knitterly's.  So I'll be renaming my gloves to avoid confusion.

They are now Lady Knittley's Fabulous Fingerless Flying Gloves.

As a random note, I apparently am not in possession of the brass buttons I thought I owned.  Apparently they have been used on previous projects.  I cannot think which previous projects, but alas, they are no where to be found.  So as soon as H comes home from work, I shall take off for a quick run to dollarama to find myself some brass buttons.

I, being in need of such buttons, can say with a fair degree of certainty that even though I have seen such buttons at Dollarama on past occasions, there won't be any buttons to be found today.  Why not?  Because Dollarama does that to me.  They stop carrying something as soon as I need it.

More on the fabulous flying gloves

Reworking now with smaller needles, thinner yarn, smaller gauge.  Original could have fit my father's hand, and I'm not sure he'd be too keen on wearing a pair of ladies flying gloves, no matter how fabulous they are.

Lady Knitterly's Fabulous Fingerless Flying Gloves (c)

October's Phat Fiber theme is Steampunk.  I've decided to do a pattern along with my yarn and fiber samples.  This time, however, I want it to be a fairly complicated pattern. 

I've done fingerless gloves before.  Simple ones using the same pattern repeat over and over again.  I can hardly sell a pattern for something that uses a dictionary stitch over and over again.  No, I decided I need something unique.  I also need something that qualifies as "Steampunk", and what better than Fabulous Fingerless Flying Gloves for operating that airship sitting out in your garage.  ;)

They are thick lace around the cuffs with eyelets up the thumb gusset.  But my personal favorite touch is the loopy bindoff that I used.

They are fairly thick and are a quick knit at 3.5 stitches to the inch on 4.5mm needles.  I think they'd look great on handspun.  I just need to get something spun up to reknit them after the demo pair is done.  :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New crown, over and out

Got the new crown put on the tooth today.

Remembered a previously forgotten fact about crowns.  They don't like to use freezing, because they like you to be able to feel if the tooth is too big and needs to be adjusted.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More on The Purple Sweater

I've picked a name for the pattern.  As nice as "Diamond Brocade Top" is, it's not really a pattern name.  So, having finished the test knit in the proper yarn, I've named the sweater "1989".

It's got a really fun 80's vibe to it, without being overtly 80's.  I'd recommend it with tight jeans and high boots.  You might even find me wearing legwarmers with it (I love leg warmers and never have enough reason to wear them).

I'm wondering if I should play up the 80's hair a bit for the pattern photos?  My hair doesn't really do 1980-anything very well.  Except bangs.  I do bangs very well.

The awesome purple sweater

I've been working on a sweater for a few weeks.  One that I haven't wanted to post photographs of, since it's a sweater pattern of my own creation, set to be published in the Knit Picks IDP

The sweater is a lovely reddy sort of purple, and it has turned out wonderfully.  I just need to bind off (again, since I bound off too tightly last night), and then it's ready for pictures.

I am a little sad that I won't have it to wear on my vacation in October.  I have to mail it off to Knit Picks headquarters for examination.  I don't expect to have it back in time.  They estimate 90 days before it is returned.  I leave for my cruise in 39 days.  WOOHOO!!!

Maybe I'll knit another copy of it to take with me?  No.  That would be a bad idea.  I still have to finish my mom's cardigan, knit a sweater for my nephew, and finish the gloves and scarf for another pattern creation project.  Not to mention the bags of yarn upstairs, all with patterns begging to be completed. 

No, I haven't got the time for more of this sweater.  Too many other things to knit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Girl Gangs, even in the mouse world

Today, I am sad upset HEARTBROKEN(!!!) to announce the death of my most precious (and precocious) Scruffy.


Scruffy was the smallest of the group.  In spite of her diminutive size, she was active and playful and had such a personality.  Of all my girls, she was the only one who would still beg to be picked up.  All I had to do was stick a finger in the cage, and she'd pull herself up into my hand.  I adored her.

The scruffy fur that was her namesake wasn't from poor health.  It was the remnants of an allergic reaction when she was younger.  They are all allergic to soy, and Scruffy lost almost all her fur to the reaction.  Gentle baths and a change of diet helped most of her fur to grow back, but she had a few scars on her skin which gave her fur a constantly disheveled look that was adorable.

Of all my mice, Scruff was the only one I could count on to comfortable sit and eat a treat in a toddler's hand without misbehaving (the toddler in question was the picture of gentleness with my little Scruff), jumping off, running away, or nibbling at the toddler instead of the treat.

For some months, now, I've been aware that one of my girls is a little more aggressive.  She isn't content to just eat her food out of the bowl.  It has to be stolen from the other girls in the cage.  Until now, it hasn't been a problem.  All the other girls are her equal in size and strength and just take their food back.  There have been no serious fights or real cause for me to be alarmed.  But in the last few days, I've noticed her picking on Scruff a little more.

Today, I decided that I was going to move Scruff and her mama, Frankie, out of the main cage and put them in Gus's old cage, leaving the other three girls in the larger cage.  I felt it would be safer for all and would avert any possible danger.

I was too late.  At some point today, and I'm not sure when, Scruffy died.  It wasn't illness like the other deaths.  It was a little more gory, so I'll spare the details. 

I love you, Scruffy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

How to enjoy camping in the rain

Back from the weekend camping trip.

As expected, it rained.  It rained harder and longer than anticipated, though, resulting in damp firewood and smoke that tended to get in my eyes while cooking.  In spite of that, I had way more fun than I think I have ever had camping before.  I think that may have actually been due in part to the rain.  But mostly, it had to do with the company.  We left as friends and came home as sisters.

3 of us got there fairly early (though later than expected on account of having to double back to the house to get my sunglasses, which I didn't need and which had been left at my friend's house anyway) to set up the tents.  2 of the girls did an AMAZING job stringing up tarps at an angle over the tents to allow the rain to drip off the back and bypass the tents entirely.  This helped keep the tents completely dry and rain free, giving us a haven in spite of the downpour on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, we hid inside the giant "party tent" that comfortably housed all 6 of us.  We hid and knit.  Most of us got a good bit of knitting accomplished.  Some of us forgot key elements of our knitting, such as yarn and needles, and ended up doing the complicated lacework that was grabbed at the last minute out the door as a backup project.  On the upside, I got several inches of that complicated lacework done, and so I am quite happy.  The laploom ended up being too complicated to hold on a campchair, so while I managed to wind the shuttle, I only got about an inch woven before I gave up in frustration.

Next time, someone else should do the food shopping.  I do tend to go overboard on food planning.  So, while we ate very well on the weekend, we also had enough food to feed a small army and quite a lot of leftovers.


H, bless him, has gone out to pick dinner up for me while I sit and recover from my vacation.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The sweater variable

I finished the back of the sweater last night.  With yarn to spare, I might add.  It's been wetblocked and is dry now.  This gives me a whole ball of yarn for the waistband and makes me very happy.

I will be completely finished the sweater no later than Monday.

In other news, the forecast is slowly improving for the weekend.  Rain, if it hits, will hit mostly this afternoon and overnight.  It just finished raining for a spell, so I'm feeling pretty hoepful.  Regardless, Sunday and Monday are promising to be quite nice.

Sadly, in getting ready to leave, I've rediscovered something about myself.  I am a terrible housekeeper.  There are so many little things to put away and get done before I go.  Like the dishes that have been drying in the sink since Monday.  I think I'll be rewashing those.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

When should you call the dentist? (and other random notes)

At Tooth-hurty. hehehe. Okay, that's not only a really bad joke, it's a really old one. Still, updating on my post from a few days ago, I have to say, I'm impressed. The pain subsided fairly quickly and has been almost non-existent since. This is fantastic, as I seem to be fighting a rather ill-timed cold/sore throat. I could manage tooth pain and I can manage a cold, but I don't think a cold (with it's associated sinus pressure, etc.) would go very nicely with tooth pain.

So on the ill-timed cold. I'm supposed to be going camping this weekend. It's been planned for a while and I'm extremely excited. However, the forecast for the weekend is foreboding, to say the least. With promised rain for Friday and Saturday, I have to say, I'm a little nervous. Still, we're going anyway. After all, it's not like I'll catch a cold in the rain (see, there's a silver lining to every cloud). ;)

In other news, I am, as of this moment, a mere 26 rows away from completing the back half of my Knit Picks sweater. A preview post will go up some time in the next few days. I'll have the sweater done by the weekend, without a doubt. It has turned out simply beautiful!! My only regret is that I did not have it done sooner. I will miss it on my cruise. However, that said, I have finished my woven mobius wrap. Picture is forthcoming. :) It turned out much better than anticipated. I'm thrilled to pieces with it. I can hardly wait until the basement is finished and my loom is put back in place so that I can start working on a new shawl. This time, I don't think I'll stitch the ends together. I think I'll just weave a nice 6' long straight shawl.

I think I'm going to take my mother's sweater with me camping. I'd like to make some good headway on the front of that piece. She'd been hoping to take it with her on her vacation, but even without the knitpicks project looming over me, I think that would have taken a miracle. It's a gorgeous piece, but it's also the finest, most detailed lacework I have ever subjected myself to. On the upside, when it's finished, I think I'll be able to publish the pattern from it. It's quite delicate and extremely beautiful. So far, she loves it.

I am going to have to create a spreadsheet detailing my projects, who they are for, and when they are due. I've currently got quite a list, a list that I keep adding to without even realizing it.

I expect my growing list of projects and self-imposed deadlines are to blame for the sudden and unexpected arrival of SEPTEMBER. How did that even happen???

Anyway, this post is quite long enough for now. I've got more to say. I'll say it later.

Monday, August 30, 2010

That's what we're supposed to do.

Okay, now that my heart is starting to slow down and my stomach is back where it’s supposed to be…
I just about had the scare of my life.

I just had a package delivered to me. Which is awesome. I was expecting it. What I wasn’t expecting was the the BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG on the door immediately after the doorbell was rung.  It was the kind of bang you expect when someone is in really dire trouble and needs help immediately. Not to mention, the post girl didn’t even give me a chance to get out of my seat between ringing the bell and banging on the door.

I appreciate getting my package, but wow!!! It was literally :ringaringaringaringa: BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG, and she was reaching for the doorbell again when I opened the door. It took me all of 5 seconds to get from my chair to the front door.

5 seconds is too long, maybe?

I asked if she was in a hurry and she glared at me and said “That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Long range weather forecast and a sitting mouse

I'm going on a really fun camping trip in just 8 days.  Long range forecast is looking really good.  That makes me happy because this is a special trip.

We're leaving our men at home, and we're going for a fun weekend of knitting around a campfire!

I enjoy the whole outdoorsy thing, and I've never been girls-only camping before.  It is shaping up to be quite excellent.

In random, non-knitting news, it's difficult to update a blog while a little mouse (aka Scruffy) is crawling all over your keyboard.  But even more adorable is when she sits to eat her treats.  She's the only one of my 6 kiddies to do this.  She sits on her bottom and brings her "knees" up, and hunches over her food.

I have a feeling it's a position she's adopted to keep Greedy from snatching her food.  Doesn't make it any less adorable!

Please pardon the dust behind the mouse.  She's sitting on my keyboard tray and I don't clean back there much.  ;)

Tweedy yarn

I'm trying something new.  I've got some brown alpaca that I've carded up with bits and pieces of blue and green cotton.  I'm spinning it up so the cotton bits get caught at irregular intervals.  It's looking pretty interesting right now.

The best part is, I'll be able to repeat this for as long as I've got alpaca left over.  :)  What I don't know is whether I'll be spinning this to weave into a blanket, or knitting it up into a tweed vest, or even knitting an irish sweater out of it.

I'm leaning towards the last one, just because that would be an interesting project and this is a very interesting yarn.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New yarn

So I just finished my latest handspun.  I was aiming for a nice thick single, with a weight and feel similar to malabrigo.

I swapped with an online pal for some lovely roving a while ago.  It was a blend of cria alpaca, soft lambswool and silk, and was heavenly soft.  It was the sort of roving that you want to spin into a nice thick single, which is exactly what I did, and got the most heavenly soft yarn out of the deal.  The colour just turned out amazing, and reminds me so much of one of my dear knitting friends, that I have to name it after her.


This is the yarn I have called "Teresa".  There are 2 skeins, weighing about 60g each, with approximately 58yards per skein.  It's a lovely vintage shade of orange, yellow and purple.  Exactly the sorts of colours my friend likes best. 

I've got two skeins of this and haven't quite decided if I can bear to sell it or not. 

More Ow

Further to this morning's "Ow".  The muscle pain has subsided somewhat.

About 6 years ago, I had a crown done.  It wasn't done very well and has been a source of discomfort ever since.  My new dentist couldn't touch it, though, since he wasn't the one who did it in the first place.  Today, we started the process of replacing it. 

The freezing is wearing off now.  And ...uhm... OWOWWWWWW!!!!  I think I'm going to go take two advil and knit for the rest of the night.  And for the next two weeks until the temporary crown comes off and the new one goes on.

But on a more knitterly front, I got to knit through the whole first half of the appointment, and got a good inch done on the back of my sweater.  :)

Oooooooh, the pain

Ow.

The running caught up with me this morning.

In other news, I pulled out an old wip last night.  It's a wrap that I was weaving, back before the loom got packed up and the basement got started.  It's actually a very pretty wrap, with a creamy bamboo warp (lengthwise thread) and a blue and white wool/cotton weft (widthwise thread).  I had decided after I'd taken it off the loom to tie the ends together and weave them in to make a mobius wrap.  It was a great idea, except there are something like 150 ends on the wrap.  So I'd gotten through 20 ends and got bored, stuffed it into my knitting basket where yarn ended up piled on top of it, and forgot about it.  Until last night.

I'm going to a wedding on Saturday, and it would be nice to have a shoulder wrap for the evening.

In between cleaning the bathrooms and going to get a crown replaced by the dentist, I think I'm going to try finish it up today.  The mobius thing kinda camoflages the uneven edges that are a result of my inexperience as a weaver. 


I don't know if I should take it to work on the bus, or if I should stick to my deadline-knitting.  I've got a sweater due asap.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Run, run away

So, this has nothing to do with knitting at all, but that's okay. 

About 3 weeks ago, the Husband (henceforth "H") and I had some friends over.  I was talking with one of H's friends, who recently started running.  It seemed to be working so well for him that I was inspired to start running again.  I hadn't done it since high school.

So about 2 weeks ago, I started running.  I noticed almost right away that if I'm going to be running, I am going to need a running partner to keep me motivated.  I always have great intentions for doing things, but fall off the wagon when they stop being fun or start being hard work (the afghan I've been "working on" since I got engaged 6 years ago has been sitting nearly untouched since I got married 5 years ago).

I ran 3 times the first week, and twice last week.  And today, I went running with one of my friends.  I was shocked to learn that I'd run 3.6K!  That makes me feel amazing!  My goal is to be doing 5K in one month, and I'm hoping for 10K by the spring.  I'll need to find an indoor track for the winter.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Questions about yarn and my sanity

Now that the official first entry is out of the way, let's get down to yarny business.

I have mixed feelings about my tendency to bypass common sense in order to make money.  I just sold two things that are very precious to me, and while the coin is nice, now that they are sold, I'm not sure I ever really wanted to let them go.

Thing #1: 4 skeins of very pretty Noro Silk Garden.  I got these at the super-awesome annual LYS tent sale.  They were $3 per skein.  I put them up in my Ravelry stash.  Just my regular stash, mind you, not my "will trade/sell" stash.  Within an hour or so, I got an offer to buy them.  And I saw the dollar signs and sold them for double what I paid, but still half of what they are worth.  And now that the transaction is done, a little part of me is sad.  I know I shouldn't be, though.  We both got a good deal.

Thing #2: My very first spinning wheel.  I bought a new spinning wheel back in May.  The agreement was, if I sold my first spinning wheel, I could have a newer, better, more spinning-wheel-looking spinning wheel.  So I put the first wheel up for sale when I found the new wheel I wanted.  The new wheel is quite nice, and the old wheel wouldn't sell.  I got lots of offers, but they were empty offers and they all fell through.  I found an amazing deal on an electric spinning wheel, so I bought that one, oiled it up and checked it out, then promptly resold it for a pretty penny.  The profit on that covered both my wheels (twice over), so I decided I didn't care if the first wheel ever sold.
Then, randomly, today I got an email asking if the wheel was still for sale, I said yes, she asked for the paypal address, and BOOM!  Sold.
And now that it's sold, I realize just how much I actually use BOTH wheels.  I use one for spinning and the older one is an incredible plying wheel.  And alas, now it's someone else's incredible plying wheel.

One of these days, my desire to make a little extra cash is going to get me into serious trouble.  I might end up accidentally selling something I actually really do need, like my car or my husband.  ;)

A new knitting blog...the official first entry

Because there aren't enough knitting blogs out there, I've decided to start my own.  I need a spot (besides facebook) to ramble on about my current knitting and spinning projects.  I don't think my facebook friends care much about my knitting...except for my facebook friends who are also knitters.

That leaves me with the conundrum...do I bother uploading my blog to my facebook notes so I can continue to bore my non-knitting friends with random ramblings on yarn?

I used to blog back in university.  Random ramblings about boys, grades, work, and projects.  That old blog still exists somewhere in cyber space, but as hard as I've tried in recent years, I don't seem able to resurrect it and devote it to knitting.  So it lies dormant and locked up.  Kinda like an old diary (that you don't mind the whole world reading).  And here's the shiny new blog, devoted to all things knitting and spinning.