Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Needing a Fix

I have never been a crack addict, or a heroin addict or a drug addict of any kind, so I don't really know what it's like to "need a fix". I can only put that idea in the context of my life - and that means yarn. I know this is a big stretch, but that's my only comparator (I lead a very sheltered life).
I have been very busy on the MS3 and the yarn I'm using is quite nice - a baby alpaca that is soft and fuzzy. I'm sure for some people this yarn would do the trick. Not for me. I need something else to give me that buzz.

The other day I pulled out my Tuscany which has been way-laid while I maneuver through MS3. I realized that I could get my fix - from Seasilk. Oh my goodness. Ahhhhhh. I have never worked with yarn quite that fabulous. It is truly the most beautiful to touch and the most beautiful to behold of all my stash. Just look at the sheen:

It sparkles. And the colorway screams "T". So everyday, I get a little fix. Just a repeat or two to keep me going. I can control it though - it's not like I have to knit with it. It's not contolling me. Really.

I got another fix last night at SnB. The little baby fix - all snuggly and cuddly and sniffy and Ahhhh...beautiful. But just a little fix - that puts me right in my mind - NO more babies in this house. On J's next post she'll have some darn cute pics of the little man who came to his first SnB. You can read about his antics along with his big sis here.

Oh, my Seasilk is calling me. Better run. I'm sure just a couple of rows and I'll feel good. I need to go get my fix.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It Was All Legal

My Baba (Grandmother) called me last night. This is unusual as my Baba is a very busy lady what with producing dozens of perogies each week, baking bread, playing cards and floor curling with her lady friends, she's a very busy 82 year old. So it's a treat when Baba calls. It's an even bigger treat when she tells me she has a surprise for me. I won a red ribbon and $5 at her local county fair. This is even more impressive if you consider the fact that I didn't enter anything. However, my Baba feels compelled to enter whatever she has on hand into the fair. She often does very well. She was the reining local expert on noxious weeds until they eliminated the category. No competition, I guess. See, my Baba will enter every category she can, even if she needs a little help every now and again.

A couple of years ago, my cousin went to the fair with Baba and was admiring all her entries. Red ribbon for a beautiful loaf of bread. Red ribbon for her gladiolas. Red ribbon for her plate of assorted rolled cookies including my cousin's favorite chocolate-chocolate chip cookies.

"Baba," said my honest and just cousin. "Those aren't your cookies. Those are J.'s cookies and she keeps the recipe secret so that no one else can make them and she'll continue to be invited to family functions. You didn't make those cookies."

My lovely Baba had to confess that she's run out of time to make the required 3 types of cookies and spotted some that I had given her hiding in her freezer. She added them to her plate and together, we earned a red ribbon and $5.

Now, this story got around and finally found its way to me. I called my Baba on it and she told me I could have the ribbon if I gave her my recipe. Sly woman, my Baba. She still has that ribbon.

Last Christmas, I gave my dear Baba a pair of handknit socks. They were a little lacy but nothing to lose sleep over and I thought they'd keep her feet warm. She entered them in the fair this year under my name ("It was all legal", she said on the phone) and I won a prize for a pair of socks that Baba won't wear because they're too nice. I'll be wowing her with some Cookie A socks this year and I know she'll appreciate my effort and will keep them in her drawer because they'll be too nice, too. But I'm still going to knit them because I love her.
This is my Baba and my daughter about a year ago. Aren't they cute?
Just so you don't think I'm not being productive, I've got a little pic of clue #4. I had a little trouble with the eyelet lace row and was a stitch short at the end. I set it down last night and went to sleep but tossed and turned, partly due to the huge thunderstorm and partly because of my mistake. I tinked back 3 rows and everything is right with MS3.

(Please note the new carpet in the background that we had installed this weekend. Did you know you have to turn the AC off so that the carpet won't be too stiff to lay? I don't make this stuff up.)

And I finished a Fawkes sock and cast on another. I don't love the heel on this one. Next time, I would do it in my usual way. But I'm very happy with the colorway and I think I 'll love wearing them.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Things I Hate

Ok - I'm trying not to be negative (no comment necessary J.) - but sometimes I just get swept up in negativity. I just have to get these things off my chest as they are currently eating away at me.

Things I Hate:

1. Cheaters. Of any type really. But right now, I really hate the cheaters in the TdF. I love the TdF. It is one of the highlights of my July. But given the events of the last few days, I'm so sick of it all. I'll still watch and I'll still be hopeful of a good win in Paris, but there will always be that little bit of doubt in the back of my mind that anyone crossing the line on the Champs is doping. That's sad.

2. Knots. In regards to knots in my balls of yarn. I frogged MS3 twice, and the last frogging resulted in some knots. I hate that. It is such a waste of good yarn. So there I will sit, trying to untangle those f*)&%*#g knots in order to spare 2m of yarn.

3. Liars. At least those liars who park in the Moms & Tots parking when they are neither a Mom, nor have a Tot. Seriously. Few things throw me over the edge like this one. The other day I actually stood in front of one of those parking signs and pointed at it very vigorously while someone (neither a Mom nor a Tot) pulled out of the spot. Not my finest moment.

It's been a rough week. Between the cheaters, some knots and some liars, I need some good yarn therapy.

Like this - beautiful EZ Baby Leggings in my new favorite yarn - Socks that Rock. I absolutely love the color.

Or how about this....it also makes me happy (after a rocky start). My MS3 is progressing beautifully.

And lastly, a couple more things that make me happy (non-yarn related).

Flowers from my garden

I also lucked out and won an air conditioning unit today from a local radio station - seriously!! That makes me happy.

And my 2 boys. They always (well, almost always) make me happy.

Oh, do I feel better.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


On Monday, I didn't knit. Not a stitch. This is VERY rare for me as I am often found relaxing of an evening with a little background television and some knitting. What has got me out of my routine? HARRY! Damn it, I have to finish this book!

Please pretend to be impressed with the following pictures while I finish this bloody book.

This heap is my MS3 which I promise to return to this evening. I'd like to finish Chart E so I can allow myself to move on to Chart F on Friday. (Note: Don't forget to insert Melanie recommended lifeline.)

These are some man sized socks to be given away for Christmas.Regia Bamboo sock. This is the first of a pair that is now going to be Christmassed since I don't love and I think that someone should.

I'm almost done. Just a few more pages....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Shawl Chic

J. and I decided to collectively do some ordering (yes we're on a diet, and yes we know it's not August yet). We checked out The Knitter for the first time and we're excited about the possibilities. We've both decided on some Zephyr for our Hanami's. I had a dream about a gold Hanami (when do you have a 'knitting problem'?? when you're starting to dream about it???) so I went with the Chrome colorway - I think it's the closest to gold I could find.

I've never actually worn a shawl. Ever. And now I have 3 on the go.
The Tuscany in Seasilk.

The MS3 in baby alpaca.

And now the Hanami in Zephyr wool/silk.

Maybe I should consider giving one away, but right now the thought of giving any one of these away gives me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Too much love and toil and tears (not really, but you get the picture) to give these away.

I suppose I can just start wearing a shawl everyday to work. It'll be "my thing". I'll be the pharmacist who wears a shawl. I have been referred to a number of times as the Tall Pharmacist; I think I like the Shawl-wearing Pharmacist better. I will never be cold. I will always be chic. I will be able to better hide any body-related flaws. I think it's a great idea!! Now, I just have to actually finish one....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Silencio! (Clap! Clap!)

A few years ago, my dude and I visited the Sistine Chapel. In order to get people to be quiet and respectful, there were overseers in the four corners of the room who would randomly call out "Silencio!" while clapping their hands.

I plan on immersing myself in the MS3 until my copy of HP7 shows up. If you read ahead or know how it ends, I have one thing to say. "SILENCIO!" (Clap! Clap!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Expectation, Contemplation, Anticipation

Oh, Mystery Stole 3! You have you wrapped in your lacy web of gossamer gorgeousness...I am completely enchanted with you and would knit only you. You alone.

Unfortunately, I only get 50 rows of you each week. Where are you the rest of the time? Are you cheating on me with someone brave enough to use beads? I can change! If only I could have all of you. Then I would be complete. Or you would be complete. Either way, the waiting would be over.

So while I pine for you, I must distract myself. This bamboo sock means nothing to me. Nothing, I say! You can tell that by how little it has progressed in our time apart.

And this blue stripy thing? Just a little stocking stitch to pass the time. It means nothing to me, I swear!

I keep trying new things to get you out of my mind. Perhaps a book to sway me from your hold. Or something new to take the edge off...

In my heart, I know that there is you and no other. At least until early September when the stars promise to ease my yearning.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Say What !?!?!

What's that ?????
So, J. had this great idea. The Hanami Knit-a-long. She said "T, I think we should do this." And I said, "Absolutely - good thinking J."

That's where we should have left things. But no. We didn't.

Less than 1/2 hour after J. posted on the MS3 messageboard, we had our first person sign up. Less than 2 hours later we had about 15. That's when we should have realized our limitations.

So, some confessions:

1. J. and I are not in any way computer savvy. Sure, we fool people when we say we have a blog. We can do a few exciting things here and there, but in the end, we really don't know what we're doing.

2. We're good knitters, but we're definitely no experts. J. has done some pretty fabulous work, and a lot of lace socks, but neither of us has done anything quite like the MS3. I'm definitely in a little over my head. I'm managing, barely.

3. We've never knit with beads. Never. We have some idea how, but have never actually done it. In all honesty, we didn't even realize Hanami had beads until people started posting on the blog. Oh. Beads you say. Ok.

4. As of yesteday, we hadn't even bought the pattern yet. Obviously we intend to. But we really haven't even looked at it. AT all. Just the lovely pics on Melanie's website.

Well, I feel much better getting that off my chest. It doesn't change the fact that we're running the knit-a-long. Just so everyone knows what they're dealing with.

In Tour de France news, I am doing much better on the MS3 since my previous crash. I figure if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

But, now that we're in the Alps, it's all about the socks.
On my way to finishing JW's Father's Day socks (No comments necessary - I'm aware that it was a month ago). I'm looking forward to the rest day (as I'm sure Vino is too). I hope to finish the socks today and then Clue 2 and 3 before Friday's Clue 4 is up.
Ride on, ride on.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Have You Heard?

The third clue in the Mystery Stole 3 was posted today! Let's all get knitting lace in a cautious and thoughtful manner so that there will be no more frogging. (And might I suggest a lifeline?)
In other news...
I've turned into T. I have startitis and I've been starting new projects like nobody's business. I have FOUR, count them FOUR projects on needles. I think that's a personal record. I blame T. And the Mystery Stole. I get so caught in lace love that when I run out of rows on the current clue, I feel like I need to find a hit somewhere.

To appease this ugly side of myself, I cast on the Montego Bay Scarf from the recent issue of Interweave Knits. I'm using up the Paris Seasilk that I have leftover from my Tuscany. I just love this yarn. It's sensual in all the best ways, soft, lustrous with a scent of the sea. Sigh.

I'm also working on some man sized socks for some man sized feet. These are destined to Christmas presents and I like the blue stripes.

I've got some Regia Bamboo on my needles cause I wanted to see how the bamboo knits up. I like it but it splits easily. The colors aren't what I usually go for, a bit busy for me, but I think I'll enjoy wearing them.

I gotta finish one of these pairs of socks so I can make some Fawkes socks and maybe Bellatrix, too, in celebration of Harry Potter and the Last Book of the Series. I got some yarn from the stash that is just perfect for a girly Phoenix and a sassy Witch.

I recently finished those wildflower socks for my neice. I used some stash yarn. I like the feeling of finally using up some of that stash. Lessens the guilt of buying new stuff.

I'm happy to say that while T. and I have discussed buying new yarn and books, we have been very good about not actually doing it. Unfortunately, I have had to be the voice of reason. This is a role that I am unaccustomed to. It's a lot of pressure, People. There are some really nice yarns on SALE. Give us strength.

T. and I have recognized that we will likely go through withdrawl once the Mystery Stole has been completed. We're Pharmacists. We can see the signs. As a sort of Methadone program for knitters, we've decided to host a Hanami Knit-A-Long. We'll start in September. This gives everyone time to buy their patterns and yarn. Join us in the Fall. I think it'll be fun!!! (Hey, T.! Wanna set that up? Thanks.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

OH MY Goodness!!

I couldn't contain my excitement and had to share it. I just received my invitation to join Ravelry and I'm SOOOOOOO excited. I can barely stand it. But it's very scary - I actually have to put down all that I'm working on (yikes) and all my stash (double yikes) for the "world" to see.

At least I know I'm in good company -- there will be way worse offenders in Ravelry than me!

Oh the fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Retro Knitting

My Grandma recently moved into a new place. She's needing more and more help, so the family decided to move her. While cleaning out her old place, the 4 daughters split most of the "good stuff". My Mom kindly passed on some beautiful things - like some teacups (I have a nice little collection, all from my Grandma) and some of Grandma's old knitting things. I actually never remember seeing my Grandma knit, but supposedly she did. I know (and remember) her doing a lot of sewing, but never knitting.

As I'm the only one of her grandchildren who knits, I got anything related to knitting. There really wasn't much left, mostly magazines and some massive balls of Red Heart Acrylic. A lot of the magazines are from the 70s and 80s; good for a laugh or two, but the piece de resistance is a Monarch Yarn knitting magazine from 1935. It is in amazing shape and has my Grandma's writing here and there, with notes beside a couple of patterns. I love looking at it and thinking about what my Grandma knit from it. Did she make my mom anything from it? Who else did she knit for? What kinds of yarn did she use?

So, I've decided to knit something from this beautiful and memorable book for my new neice or nephew, due to arrive at the end of September (using some STR in the Autumn colorway - perfect for an autumn baby).

In Tour de France KAL news, I was almost done Clue #2 of MS3, but last night made the decision to frog and start over. So some good cycling and some bad knitting. My boyfriend (at least, that's what I call him) finished 2nd in Stage 2 and got the Green Jersey. Yeah!
And this morning an unbelievable finish by Cancellara - worked on some socks because it was just too exciting.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Falling Down, Weighing In, Going on a Diet

Sometimes, a girl just needs some retail therapy. I don't just mean picking up the latest issue of InStyle. I mean NEW STUFF. So, in a spirit of contrition, I now confess to you how bad I was.

T. and I went to the yarn store on Thursday. We didn't need any yarn. We both have enough sockyarn to outfit a centipede. I'll make no excuses for our weakness. Let it be enough to say that we went. Now, on these expeditions, I always seem to get more than T. Am I weaker? Does she do it on purpose to make herself feel better? You got me. But I did come home with some really nice stuff.

Socks that Rock in Lucy. These are my colors. Blues and browns speak to me and I love this colorway. No idea what pattern I'll knit them into. Thelonius, perhaps? I'm not sure the variegated yarn will do that pattern justice. I really like my Monkey socks, so perhaps another pair? Or Coupling? Or a longer in the leg version of Vog on? I'll have to mull.

Louet Gems in Charcoal to make the Spiral Boot socks. I got charcoal so I could wear these socks with black or brown boots. I love the lacy tops on them.

I also felt that I needed new DPNs. I've been a 2.5 mm sock knitter for quite some time. I just love this size and didn't feel the need to stray. I scored some Sox Stix in 2.75 mm and some Addi sock needles in 3 mm. It's time to branch out a little. I'll let you know how the new needles perform.

And shoes. My downfall. Campers on sale. I could not resist. Cute for brown trousers or navy? I was hankering after a pair of tweedy shoes last year. Hurray for me!

I've been keeping myself occupied all week with sock knitting so I wouldn't think about how badly I've been lusting after Clue 2. I've even found myself lurking on the message boards for the MS3 to see how other people are doing and what they think the theme is. There are some pretty inventive people out there, guessing everything from Penguins to Pirates, Opera to Vintage film. I don't have any good guesses and to be honest, I don't really care what the theme turns out to be. I've been utterly enjoying this knit and I think the pattern is lovely. The theme is irrelevant to me. My husband, on the other hand, would like to offer his guesses.

1. Mickey Mouse

2. Gandalf

3. the KKK.

I take no responsibility for his guesses. They are entirely his.

And one parting shot of my honey bunny. Sometimes they're so cute, they just break your heart.

Now, no more yarn til August.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ways of Avoiding SEX

No, I don't mean claiming you have a headache. I mean Stash Enrichment Expeditions (SEX). I mean ways of avoiding going for lunch with your dear friend J, and magically ending up at a yarn store. I love J, I love going for lunch with J, I love going to the yarn store. But all of these things together makes for some serious problems.

We both tried to come up with a management strategy prior to arriving at the store. J. was going with the money limit in mind; I was using the project method (only buying enough yarn for one particular project). Before we went in I recited the mantra "Only get what you came for. Only get what you need."

Any guesses on how well this worked??

I'll give you a hint.

It was the darned Socks that Rock that pulled me in. I now have 3 skeins of the stuff and have never actually cast-on with it yet.

I'll get over the guilt - somehow.

On another front, I wanted to show you some lovely socks knit by my friend Elsie (that's not her real name, but she knows who she is....). They are her first lace socks and I think they are quite lovely. She even had to revamp the pattern a little bit to accommodate her ridiculously tight gauge (that is related to her Type A nature, but she's aware of that).

Good job Elsie -- welcome to the addictive, alluring and darn-right dangerous nature of sock knitting.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


What do you do when you haven't got a clue? (Clue #2 goes up Friday.) You knit socks.
Tiny Toes socks for a nephew.

Self Striping socks with a wildflower pattern.

FINALLY finished my Monkey socks.

And guess what I got in the mail today! My Fiddlesticking lace weight! Now I have enough to knit up a Mystery Stole! Isn't it exciting?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Birthday, eh!

What better way to celebrate Canada day (Happy 140th) then to have a BBQ with J. and her family. Some good steak, wine, beer and of course sitting by the pool. My boys seemed to overtake the pool area,

.....while others stood in awe and horror (they're boys, Princess, and yes, they're nuts).

J. and I compared Mystery Stole's. Mine (not surprising) is a little behind - J. is a much faster knitter and I do suffer from ADKD (attention deficit knitting disorder - the inability to concentrate on one article of knitting at a time). But I do believe they're looking good. J.'s is a Fiddlesticks yarn in white and mine is Misti Alpaca in black.

This is another reason why I'm a little slow on the shawl. Finally, my Rusted Root is done. I am really quite happy with it. I'd make it again with a few modifications. I think I'd like the sleeves to be a little poofier like on the website, but mine is a bigger size than what's shown and I think that is part of the reason.

And a close-up of the lace panel - a nice, easy patten.

All in all a great day - great food, great knitting and sharing it all with great friends.