Friday, August 31, 2007

Stomp the Barn

Scenes on the Farm

Farmer Bob lies in bed, thinking to himself.

Farmer Bob: I hear today is cast on day for the Hanami Knit a Long. I wonder if J. has cast on yet. She likes to be ahead of things and is quite the go-getter. I bet she's already done the first week's knitting. If only I could get her to be that motivated about her housework...
In the yard, a llama and a sheep shoot the shit.

Llama: You know, I haven't heard much about J.'s socks lately. Do you think she's still working on those?

Sheepie: I heard her saying the other day that she finished her kid's socks and was working on another pair. I bet she's left them lying around here somewhere...

Over in the barn...

Cow: Have you heard how J.'s skirt is coming along? She cast it on last week and I haven't seen it yet.

Horse: I thought I say a big pink bear wearing a blue skirt on the corner. I did think that was strange...

Meanwhile, over in the coop...

Rooster: I do hope J. makes that blue skirt a little longer. It seems a little too short to cover her assets.

Chicken: That J. always was a hussy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why I'm a Bad KAL Host...

1. I appears that I have 'misplaced' my Hanami Pattern. This can be attributed to my very rudimentary filing system (ie. there isn't a filing system).

2. I still don' t have yarn. This isn't entirely my fault. I didn't like the first color of yarn I ordered (ok, that's my fault), so I ordered some more which hasn't arrived yet (not my fault - that one is on Canada post). I guess if I had made a yarn decision prior to last week, maybe it would have arrived on time (ok, it's mostly my fault).

3. Haven't even looked for beads. There is a nice bead store in town which I'd like to check out, and I'm off work this week. However, the thought of taking my 3 year old, and even more frighteningly, my 1 year old, there is too much for me to handle.

4. There's no way I'll be casting-on with the group. So, not only do I not have yarn, beads or pattern, I am leaving town tomorrow for a few days. Therefore, even if my yarn arrives tomorrow, I won't get it till Monday.

This is why I keep J. around. She's a good KAL host. She has yarn, beads and pattern. She has even cast - on in preparation for the launch on Friday - so she can show everyone what to complete the first week. Again, this is why I keep her around. There are many other reasons why I keep her around: comic relief, keeping me sane, supporting my yarn habit, supporting my shoe habit, making sure I don't cast on anything else, etc etc. Plus she is a super-duper cool blogger. Yeah she rocks!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bella Tuscany! Bravo! Encore! Bravo!

Well - it's complete. The Tuscany made it's debut on Saturday night. I must say - it had a wonderful night out. It does need to be reblocked as I only finished it Sat at around 2pm and had it on my shoulders by 6pm. Not really enough time to block it out. It now smells like smoke as we went to a casino - so it's currently airing out. Once that is complete, I will re-block and then I'm sure the smell of the sea will return. It is truly, truly the nicest piece I've ever made.

For the encore, the Hanami will be started this week. Hopefully. There were some yarn-related issues. I had originally wanted a gold Hanami, but was unable to find anything that I really liked. The chrome Zephyr I originally ordered was far too yellow. So I surfed and pondered and surfed some more. I finally decided on some Chewy Spaghetti laceweight in a greeny-browny type blend. I wear a lot of green so I thought this was a good choice, and different from my other shawl colours. We'll see. It hasn't arrived yet and considering the KAL starts this week, it's cutting it tight.

The problem for me right now is volume. The volume of yarn I want to get through by Christmas. The thought of another shawl for me seems, well, very selfish. I feel my whole knitting addiction is very selfish anyway. It's time for me, away from kids, house responsibilities, and annoyances. The very act of knitting is purely for me. No one else. So when I knit something for me, I feel doubly selfish. Especially something so, well let's be honest, useless as a very lacy shawl. Sure it's beautiful and I'll be proud of it, but it really serves no purpose.
Ok, enough self-deprecation. I did have a busy day. I opened T's Funny Farm. 5 children and 1 slightly incapable caregiver (that's me).

There were board games.

There were cars (I live with 3 boys, cars are everywhere).

There was a lot of love,

and a little bit of High School Musical (oh, it's cute).

I even got a little knitting done (the big kids liked entertaining the little ones!!). A few more rows and a couple of feet and this baby's done!!!

All I need is a baby to put into them!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I've been married seven years today. That's a long time. In fact, it's the longest I've ever been in a relationship if you don't count my knitting. The Dude and I went out for a little casual dinner last night to mark the occassion.

Let's be honest. I looked good. So did the MS3.

I've been thinking about lasting relationships lately. I know some people who have recently separated. One of the partners decided that they needed something or someone more glamorous. It's funny that love is more about the long haul than the jump off the line. My husband and I knew each other for four years before we started dating. Neither was what the other thought. We surprised ourselves and our friends by our match and while we've had the chance to do some fun things like travel and enjoy great food and drink, it's the everyday that I appreciate the most. Coffee in the morning. (My Dude makes great coffee. Just ask my Mom. He tells me it's the three shots of espresso he lovingly puts into each cup. What a man!) Taking the girlie to the park. A little after-dinner vino. Trips to the deli. Glamor is great but it never lasts. There's always something newer and fancier. I'll take classic every time. A man who has stood the test of time and has never let me down.

So here's to the every day stuff that we forget to appreciate. Thank you, Dude. I love you. And after seven years, I'm not itchy.

I hope you aren't either.
(Mystery Knitting: A scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Misti Alpaca. This is our wool anniversary and while technically not wool, it's still very nice. And the Dude liked it. A lot.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Catknip Made Me Do It

Today I was working away in my office, minding my own business when my officemate, Catknip, asks me if I'm busy. This is not a question she usually asks me, but I answered politely, No not too busy.

Oh, she says. What time is your meeting??

Again, this interest in my work alarmed me. Is she concerned about my productivity??? Is she checking up on me and reporting back to my boss??? Why this sudden interest in my not so interesting work?

I answer: 2pm, why?

After much prying I realize her true intentions. Stash Enrichment. She really had to twist my arm to agree to that.

I came back with this intended for my new baby niece/nephew due in September.
She came back with, well, a lot more than that.
My excuse is Catknip made me do it. I don't know what her excuse is.

On actual finished objects, I completed my first monkey sock. It's lovely. Very lovely.
I'm concerned that it fits me. My intended recipient has much smaller feet compared to by beheamoth size 12s. They are actually meant to be sort of slipper socks, so perhaps

they'll work out ok. That remains to be seen. On to sock #2 and doubling my Christmas sock output again. (Did you see the HUGE increase in my tally from 0.25 to 0.5. I know, shocking.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mystery, She Knit

I did it! It's done! I can't believe it's over! It really did go very quickly, even with a Harry Potter break. I would totally do this Mystery Stole thing again. Thanks, Melanie. I was a little concerned when you mentioned a wing but I kept faith and I think it's lovely.

(Note my handsome photographer.)

The only thing left to do is wear it out for my anniversary this weekend.

I'm going to look great, don't you think?

In other knitting new, I frogged my girlie's socks. I just really wanted to have something that would fit her instead of something to put away for another time. I think my resizing will work out really well.

And tune in later this month for some more mystery knitting....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Why I shouldn't leave yarn lying around: Reason #1

Does anyone know if eating expensive Japanese wool is a medical condition? Please let me know if there's treatment available.

Oh ya, and I cheated/fell off the wagon/gave up on monogamy with this (made with above, half-eaten, Japanese wool)...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Taking a Break

My Dude and I have had the last couple of weeks off which means we've been getting stuff done around the house. We've also been spending time with family and generally trying to take it easy. I'm happy to say that involves some good food and really good red wine.

Today, my little family unit went to Fort Edmonton Park. It's a little piece of local history where you can ride a train...

admire the horsies...

try out a new playground...

and have fun.

It also makes a great movie set.

All this relaxing has meant little for my knitting. I'll show you my new yarn that I ordered for my Hanami. I'm delighted with the color and the service I received.

I've been trying out the toe up pattern from the Summer Interweaves. It turns out the child's small is too big for my small child. I plan on finishing these socks, which are bigger than her brand-new, too-big shoes and filing them away.

I guess I'll be making her another pair for Christmas this year but I'll be up a pair for next year. I think I'll use the same pattern and fudge the numbers. Toe-ups are great for using up the ends of the balls I use for my socks. I'll just have to make sure we're not wearing matching socks everyday. That's just a little too much.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First Sock Mojo*

My office mate is a relatively new non-scarf knitter. I think the fact that she spends most of her day in very close proximity to me is becoming evident.

This is now how she spends her time. Note the sock has a turned heel, in a contrasting yarn - not sure how she accomplished that task while drinking all that beer.

And this is her first official pair of completed socks. Made with love for the love of her life (who's also a movie star - check out the referee in the clip).

They are pretty impressive for a first pair of socks. Supposedly they even fit her movie star honey. Wow. First pair of socks and they fit. She's got some sock mojo.

(*this term is openly plagiarised from the Yarn Harlot - I plagiarise it with true admiration)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Struggling with Monogamy

I've been married to my knitting for the last 6-7 years. Our relationship has grown steadily, but has always had a bad side. My inability to maintain monogamy - of any sort, to any project. It's definitely me, it's not the knitting. I have always said that I suffer from some manageable, adult form of ADHD, but it's never been more apparent than in my knitting (or reading... but we'll leave that one for now).

If I'm to be truly honest, I would say I have 7 (I think) - things on the needles right now. Yep, seven. Some things have been on their needles for years (yes, years.). Others are socks which I just keep stashed here and there to work on a stitch or two when I get a chance (like in the car, when I'm driving and stuck in traffic - don't tell my husband). So those things move very slowly.

As a polygamist, I've noticed that nothing really advances. And this makes me start something new out of frustration of not completing anything. Therefore, I never complete anything, because I'm always starting something new.

So, I'm saying it here, and I'm saying it now. I will not start anything new until my Tuscany shawl is complete. You heard it here. I said it, and I will now hold myself to it. I'm asking for your help (that means you J.) to keep me an honest monogamist. I will not cast on that beautiful skirt from Handmaiden, or the new Koigu that J. picked out for me. I will not start a baby sweater for my new neice or nephew, even though I can't wait to see the Baby Surprise Jacket take shape. I'm will be a monogamist!!

(anyone got some spare yarn and needles I can borrow....need to cast something on....don't tell J.)

Friday, August 10, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

So, I managed to do a little knitting while I was away thanks in no small part to the large amount of wine that my brother in law was serving. Thank you, Saint Arko.

I did a little lace. Ok, I managed to finish all of clue #5 with no major mistakes. Very good, considering the wine consumption. (I think I may be going through withdrawl. To help out, my husband has been serving me Coronas each evening since our return. Good man.) I think the MS3 is coming along nicely. I'm trying to have faith in the wing even though it freaked me out at the beginning. I'm not a "Just-go-with-it" kinda gal. I like to be in charge at all times. This mystery stole has been a challenge to say the least.

I also managed to finish a pair of socks in the Regia Bamboo which are going on the Christmas pile. I found this yarn a little splitty and it has a lot of drape. I'm not really sure if I like it or not but the socks turned out nicely.

When I got home, I had a little parcel waiting for me. The good people of Knitpicks decided to welcome me home with my order. (T. was very excited, let me tell you.)

I have a lot of knitting to do and when I'm not knitting I plan to read about knitting. EZ is my new muse. She's right up there with the Harlot.

If you'll excuse me, my stash beckons.....

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Let's Take an Imaginary Trip....

I'm home! And wow! Are the yarn stores great in Vancouver! Sarah and I met last Saturday morning for a little crawl through Vancouver's finest yarn stores. At least the ones that were open. (Ladies of Three Bags Full, I hear your store is terrific but you were closed on the long weekend. That was a poor business decision since I was in the mood to buy.
One little thing before we begin. I sent my husband and daughter to the beach with some family. With the camera. This means we'll be doing an imaginary tour of Vancouver's yarn stores. Now everyone close your eyes, think of silk and cashmere, and we'll be off on our magical journey.
We started at a Touch of Wool on Dunbar since it's close to my sister-in-law's house. (Hi, Doris!) It's a little bit on the granny side. A lot of acrylic and cotton which is fine but we were in search of finer things. We didn't dawdle here but did make time for iced coffee beverages. I have priorities, you know.
(Not actual Grannies. It's my neice, ID and my bugaboo.)

Birkeland Bros. Wool Ltd on Main was our next stop. This store is owned by the third in a generation of spinners. The back of the store houses large spinning equipment (what do I know about spinning except that someone out there needs to do it so there can be yarn for me to knit.) The store had a fairly modest but varied selection of roving and yarn. A little Fleece Artist, Handmaiden and Misti Alpaca among others.

(Intended to be a picture of a tiny front store filled with yarn leading to a spinner's heaven, it is actually some tourists and a beluga whale.)

I walked away with a couple of kits for pencil kits by Handmaiden. The red is for T. and the blue for me. I'm excited to see how these turn out. (A little tip: If you ever see T. modelling her skirt on the blog, tell her that her butt looks tiny. She'll love you forever.)

Back in the car, Sarah and I navigated our way towards another yarn store when we were inspired to seek out silk. Sarah had frequented a silk studio in Granville Island and on the spur of the moment, we went for it. Wow! A wall of silk in rich colors in different weights! You could just roll in it.
(This was meant to be a picture of a wooden studio that overlooks an inlet and sits on Granville Island. It's actually me, my lovebug and an otter.)

I found a little laceweight yarn made with silk and seacell. It's like laceweight Seasilk. I couldn't resist!

And on to our final destination, Urban Yarns in Point Grey. This store is lovely with a wide selection of high end yarns and plenty of Lorna's Laces, Koigu, Fleece Artist and Handmaiden.
(This was supposed to be a lovely store with pale blue walls, chocolate ceiling and crisp white shelves filled with wooly goodness.It's really my kiddo at the beach.)

I was reasonably restrained and only picked up a couple of skeins of Koigu for T. and some Lady Godiva for myself. I was thinking of making a hat with the Godiva. Anyone have any appropriate patterns? I kinda like the cloche in the summer Knitty so I might try adjusting it for my heavier yarn.

Wow! A very full morning. I had time to reflect on my purchases on my short walk back to the house. If only I had got myself some more sock yarn. Or maybe a little seasilk (my downfall).

And then the angels smiled! My sister-in-law decided she might like a new sweater for her daughter. If she took me to a knitting store, could we pick something out? Did she have to ask? That's like offering Homer a doughnut. Of course he's going to go for it, even though he's just eaten a dozen honey-glazed.

So back we went to Urban Yarns and Doris picked out some lovely Blue Sky Cotton in a very neutral shade. I had a chance to get a little Seawool sock yarn and seasilk of myself. Win-win, really.

Now, what the hell am I going to make with all this yarn? Anyone? (No, Doris. You are going to learn how to make your own socks, remember?)
Stay tuned tomorrow when I will reveal what I knit on the West Coast and what was waiting for me at home....

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

If you're looking for advice about affairs, you've come to the wrong place

J. and I are just new to the land o' blog and we still have lots to learn. But I have learned something new - How to figure out how people get to our site. Lots of people find us through the Hanami Knit-a-long site, but some come via Google searches.

Some of my favorites:

1. When to know the affair is over - this one kills me - can you imagine someone googling this in the first place (if you're googling that, that's your first clue it's over). Then to think they're going to get some great advice, and they learn that it's merely an affair with some yarn. How disappointing....

2. Managing yarn - yeah, and you came to our site? seriously. Don't look to us to help you with that. You've got big problems if J. and I are your only help to manage your yarn.

3. "Cookie A." lace - yes, J. has extolled her love for Cookie. Now when Cookie googles herself (come on, we all do it), and Baad Medicine comes up, she'll realize she has potential stalkers out there (yikes - hope the Yarn Harlot doesn't find the site....).

Monday, August 6, 2007

You know, It kind of looks like lace

My husband, he's smart by most people's standards. Some people call him Doc (not me and definitely not his mother), although others say he's not a 'real one'. He has his brief moments of brilliance. In some areas. Not in knitting.

We were sitting outside after supper and he was commenting on how elaborate my MS3 was. "You know, it kind of looks like lace" he offers. Wow, really. I never thought of it that way before.

I told that to J. at lunch the next day. She almost inhaled her soup. I guess I didn't marry him for his knitting knowledge.

It's been a busy weekend. Not a lot of knitting opportunities (and therefore few knitting pics). Mr. Man turned one. He held court most of the day.

Some very important people attended the festivities.

His betrothed.

Victoria Beckham.

And there was a summit of some sort. I wasn't privy to the secret meeting. I'm not sure what was being discussed - possibly the unfair treatment practices of children living in Suburban Edmonton. Or maybe Toddler Rights. We'll just have to wait and see.

Let's just say things went downhill from there. I don't really want to see what will happen at Mr. Man's second year birthday party.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hey, Little Dude!

I love the way babies smell. Once you've had a baby and watched them grow for a little while you forget how small they start out.

Meet Arlo. His Mom knits. She also used to work with my brother. Isn't it a small world?

Arlo is a very quick study and will be knitting socks in no time.

Socks like these. They are my Fawkes socks that I finished only moments ago.

And now I'm off to pack. My family is flying to Vancouver for a visit. (Saturday am, I'm ditching them to go on a yarn crawl with Sarah. Don't tell.)