Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's Back to Work I Go...

Yes - I'm back to the *real* world of work as of today. Not that I got much done... Rumour has it that the carpets were cleaned during my absence, which meant that everything was displaced from the floor onto my desk. It took me a while to find the desk! And then tomorrow is "Administrative Assistant's Day" so I can't imagine that much will get done tomorrow, and then I have a meeting on Thursday that will take a good chunk out of the middle of the day, and then it's Friday! I knew that there was a reason that I wanted to ease back in with a shortish week.
After six months of sitting in the same room with the same six people, getting up and putting on casual clothing, it really is quite a big change to get to sit in my own office and put on *big girl* clothes in the morning. The fact that there have been some pretty big changes in the office (walls, people, etc.) probably contributes to the contrasting environments. (Is that sentence grammatically correct? It doesn't sound right to me but I don't know how to fix it...) I guess that it will take a few weeks to re-acclimatize and figure out who some of the strangers are!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Accident Prone

Any of you who know me in real life will know that I tend to be just a wee bit accident prone... I blame it on the fact that I am left handed and am always having to compensate for the fact that I live in a backwards world.
For those of you who don't know me I'll give you a few examples: I fell down the front stairs last summer and broke my foot. Granted I had had a couple of glasses of wine, but I was far from drunk! I might have bounced better if I had had a few more...
In February, I fell all the way down my cellar stairs when going down to put wood into our furnace. I was home with younger son, who wasn't feeling well. Mr. Me was away on business. Older son was at school. I have confirmed that my littlest boy knows what to do if he finds Mom unconscious at the foot of the stairs.
I twisted my ankle getting my mail at the community mail box recently. It isn't lit, and during the winterish months, I arrive home after dark. I was afraid that I had really damaged it - again!
Jumping off the boat at the wharf usually results in "road rash". I always land on my feet, but then stumble.
I have been known to walk into lamp posts... And fire hydrants... I no longer use seam rippers for anything... It was just too dangerous for both the garments and my hands.
So - are you getting the picture?
But this is terrible from many perspectives! DO NOT OPEN if you are squeamish. I hope that her poor foot heals quickly (puncture wounds can be so nasty) and that her sock receives a decent burial...

Friday, April 20, 2007

It Smells Green Outside

Spring is DEFINITELY here! And its about time... If green had a smell, it would be the smell of this beautiful warm spring day. There is still a little tiny bit of snow and coldness out there, but it won't want to hang around for too long. I took today off to decompress, and am planning on doing the same thing on Monday. Given the choice between 22 degrees celsius (70ish for any Americans) with sunshine or heading into the office to get back into the swing of work, which would you choose? Yeah - I thought so!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Very Good Day

All in all, today was a good day!
1. I got a message from my KTE Treator to let me know that she has posted my package. I'll be watching the mail very closely!
2. I got to do some shopping for my KTE Treatee. I'm trying to keep it Canadian, and so for, so good! I hope that she'll be pleased. I really enjoy shopping for gifts for other people, and you can't really object to getting to spend a little bit of time in your LYS, now can you? I still have a few more things to add to the package before I try to find a box for it all and pop it in the mail.
3. I am finished French Language Training!!! Oupi! Unfortunately, the news wasn't so good for some of my classmates, which is very difficult. After you've spent months with the same people and have gotten to know them, it is very difficult when some of you are done, while others have to continue. Now here is where the grumpy label comes in. Officially, the evaluators have 48 hours to evaluate the oral interview. Two of us did our interviews on Tuesday, and we both had to wait longer than that. Two did the interview yesterday. They found out their results first! Very, very, very stressful. Sometimes the working of government is beyond baffling - don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have a good job, but sometimes it is very difficult to understand bureaucracy, even from the inside.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Monkey Socks

"I don't know, Mumphrey... I'm sure that I heard her saying that they were monkey socks, but they won't fit me."
"I don't understand it either, Mackey. I heard the same thing. What kind of a monkey could wear those?"
"I know! It's kind of scary to think about..."
"You don't think that they're made out of monkeys, do you???!!!"

"Where's Michael???!!!"

Meet Mackey and Mumphrey, and no I didn't turn Michael into a pair of socks! Believe it or not, "The Boys" are probably 30 years old. The Monkey socks are really made out of a nice Regia cotton yarn. It is quite different from the yarn that the pattern was designed with, but it just said Monkey to me... I think that they're quite pretty. Hopefully their new owner will think likewise. They are a surprise present for one of the other students in my French class, and oddly, she didn't even watch me knit them! I started them on Good Friday following the incident with the cat and the bamboo needles. I'm surprised at how quickly they knit up.

Spring Felted Bag Exchange Questionnaire

I must say that I'm really liking the whole swap experience. I'm getting them lined up so that I go from one to another... I like having the chance to get to know someone a little bit and getting to read other people's blogs is a whole lot of fun. It makes me realize how similar, yet how different knitters are!

My completed questionnaire for the Spring Felted Bag Exchange follows. I've got to say - our swap hostesses manage to come up with some rather difficult questions which they manage to hide in the guise of simplicity... Clever...!

1. How long have you been knitting or crochetting? How did you learn?
I've been knitting since I was 14 or 15. I taught myself from a book that I borrowed from the library. (I'm a lefty who knits left.)
2. What are your favorite yarns to knit\crochet felted bags with?
Since I live in New Brunswick, Canada, I go with the local product - Briggs and Little! It's the only yarn that I have done a lot of felting with.
3. What are your favorite needles to knit\crochet with?
I used to just use whatever was readily available, but am currently having a love affair with Bamboo needles and I love my Pony Pearls. I only have one pair (2.5mm for socks) of PP as they aren't available locally.
4. What are the last 3 bags you knitted\crochetted (include URL for Yahoo! or flickr album or your blog if you have them!)? You can also link to patterns if you don't have pictures of your finished objects!
Do you really think that I can remember that much information? Okay, I'll try. Most recent: a beaded drawstring bag , a sweet little beaded bag for notions for a swap (Pattern? What pattern? It was kind of McGuyverish...) and Woobly Circles from Interweave Knits (I can find the issue if someone really needs it - it's the only felted bag in the lot! I didn't take a picture.).
5. Do you carry the bags that you make, give them as gifts, or both?
Both. The Woobly was a Christmas gift for my FILs wife. The little green bag is still thinking about who it wants as an owner and the little beaded bag - well you can see its owner.
6. What is your favorite felted bag that you have made for yourself?
This is sad to admit, but I've never kept one of the felted bags that I've made! They've all ended up as gifts. I have great plans to make myself a Woobly. I love the bucketish shape and the size is great - enough room for a small knitting project, keys, wallet, etc. I have a floppy re-cycled sari silk bag that I carry a lot.
7. What are your favorite colors? Do you like bags in these colors or choose other colors?
I love pinks, purples, greens and blues. For me, the colour of a bag should suit the bag's purseonality.
8. Chocolate: White, Milk, Dark, or not so much?
This is a mood thing for me. If I "need" chocolate, I really enjoy a good quality milk chocolate.
9. Coffee, Tea, or Milk?
Yes? I typically drink all three every day but I think that the coffee is the most important to me. I start my day with coffee - EVERY DAY!
10. Do you prefer sweet or salty treats? What kinds?
Salty treats. I've never met a deep fried potato that I didn't like. And I think that I feel the same way about anything made with puffed corn products. And who wouldn't like nuts?
11. If you went into Bath and Body Works and could only come out with one item, what would it be and what would it smell like?
I'm sort of winging this one since I'm not familiar with Bath and Body Works but I love bubble baths and my favourite scents include Jasmine, Vanilla and Lavendar.
12. Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies? Do you collect anything?
I like to sew, cook, read and do a little bit of jewellery making. (I'm still perfecting the whole business of turning the head/eye pins.) I have a collection of Madeline dolls, although sadly they have stopped making them. And like more knitters, I collect yarn and buttons.
13. Are there any bag patterns you have not yet knit, but hope to someday?
I have a binder full of patterns that I would like to knit - all sorts of things! Some (I've limited it to 3) bags that really "speak" to me are: Bowling Bag Purse, Skull and Crossbones Tote (we have a boat and this would be great) and Retro Wedge.
14. What is currently OTN (on the needles) for you?
A pair of socks for my husband, a pair of Camelot socks, a red mohair shawl, a green cotton cardigan, the Lizard Ridge Afghan... Is that enough? Or do I need to go and dig through the basket to find what hiding at the bottom. And don't make me go upstairs...!
15. What is your most recent finished object before that?
I just finished a pair of Monkey socks yesterday evening for one of the other students in my French class. They're a surprise for her.
16. What's cutest: Puppies, Piggies or Pixies?
Piggies! "Oink, oink, oink" is code for "I love you" with my sons, since you don't want your Mom saying that in front of your friends - how embarassing!!!
17. Do you enjoy reading? Books, Magazines, or both?
Yes, very much. You're never bored if you have something interesting to read. I like both books and magazines.
18. Do you have any children? (kid-kind or pet-kind apply!)
2 human children and one cat child - all boys! My sons are 11 and almost 7. Tiger is still a kitten. He is only 7 months old.
19. What are some of your favorite yarns for other projects?
I've been knitting a lot of socks recently. I really like the handpainted yarns. I have knit a fair bit with the self striping yarns, but I'm a little bit bored with them... Yawn...
20. And for the final question, one I see debated all over: Novelty Yarn: Love it! Hate it! or It depends!
It depends - it does have its uses. It can be very pretty and maybe add something just a little bit different to a project. Some of it would also make EXCELLENT pot scrubbers...

My home is smoke free. We have 1 cat and a couple of gerbils. I am not allergic to smoke but really dislike the smell of it. None of my allergies are exactly relevant to a swap since I'm counting on you not to mail me penicillin! Other things that I have felted include: hats, slippers and a cat bed (yes, Tiger is a wee bit spoiled).

Did I forget anything? Just let me know so I can play "It's all about ME!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

And the Answer Is...

I'm so excited! My KTE Treator left a "Hello" - yippee!!! This is my first anonymous swap - can you tell that I'm excited?
When I started to go through the other blogs of the KTE swappers, I started to wonder why I hadn't interpreted the questions the same way. Sometimes I think that I am much to literal. I could have been much more forthcoming with information, but this does mean that I get to answer other questions, and since I like to pretend that "It's all about ME!", this is good. As the mother of 2 kids, I only succeed with this idea in my most delusional moments...
So - the question is what are my favourite colours? I love all shades of pink, purple, blue and green. The first two are definitely "girlie", but then I've always loved them. I tend to prefer cooler colours (you know - with a blueish or grayish undertone) to warm colours. I'm pretty iffy about browns, yellows and oranges.
I went for a power walk at lunchtime to replace my bamboo needles. While I did manage to get a new set, unfortunately they are longer than the originals, but sometimes you just have to make due. I had been trying to use a set that I had inherited from my Grandmother, but they just weren't working for me. I find that they aren't pointy enough and are too heavy. I had an interesting conversation with one of my classmates about knitting needles...

It went something like this:
Q: Aren't bamboo needles rough?
A: No, not at all. They're very nice to use.
Q: I thought that knitting needles were either metal or plastic.
A: Oh no - you can get bamboo needles, wooden needles, casein needles, metal or plastic. Casein is from cows milk. Casein needles are very nice to use, too.
Q: Do they make a special sound?
A: I prefer quieter needles, and besides, bamboo and casein are lighter and somewhat more flexible. Some plastic needles are good, too, but I can't get the good ones locally.
Conclusion: This knitting stuff is complicated.

C'mon - it is not...!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Does Mending Count as "Finished Objects"?

I think that I know the answer to that one - NO! If I'm not prepared to even consider taking a picture of it, never mind posting it, it probably isn't a "finished object". Although on the bright side, having completed 4 mending projects, I can see more of my UFOs... Or maybe that's a drawback? Oh heck, who knows! At least I have more space to spread my UFOs out in. Now if you're thinking "Who mends anything anyways?" you're probably not Mom to 2 adventurous and active boys. Son the older is VERY TALENTED when it comes to ripping out seams and tearing clothing. Much as I like the look of hoodies, the tendency of boys to use the hood as a handle always means that I am stitching and re-stitching the neck seam. Sigh...

The Easter Bunny hopped his way both in and out of here yesterday. The boys had a great time and will be high on chocolate and sugar for weeks to come. We watched "The Ten Commandments" in the morning. By today's standards it looks a little bit hokey. Now here's a "social commentary" question for you: how big of a deal is Easter for most people? What are your traditions? Despite being married for more than a decade, Mr. Me and I still seem to experience friction over events like this. Yes - I'm looking for validation!!! (But no, I won't give you which side I'm on so that if a "mea culpa" is warranted on my part, I can give it.)

On a brighter note - I have my Knitters Treat Exchange treatee! I've cruised by her blog to say "Hi" and ask a couple of more questions. Her blog is very interesting, but I can't link it until after the exchange because it's a secret - ssshhhh!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

And Then He Ate My Bamboo Needles...

So he didn't really eat them, just chewed them. I'll set the scene: a quiet evening watching television, knitting away on Mr. Me's socks, cat is sleeping soundly - I decide to check something on the computer. Nope, I don't even remember what it was that I wanted to look up. Since the cat was (apparently) sleeping soundly, I was lulled into a false sense of security, and foolishly did not place my knitting into a fabric bag, nor did I put it on top of any piece of furniture that would require significant effort for him to get to.
Hark - what's that sound? Answer: cat chewing on 2.25mm bamboo needles. New too, dontcha know? 2 of the 5 needles survived. The remainder are in the garbage...
On the shopping list: 2.25mm bamboo needles

Taken before their time, I had barely gotten to know them...
Rest in peace dear needles...

P.S. The red mohair shawl from a prior cat adventure about 1/3 done. I'll try to remember to post pictures.

Friday, April 6, 2007


As I cruised the internet yesterday (in my jammies!), I decided to actually read some of the articles in Knitty. I hate to admit it, but I usually check out the patterns thinking that I'll get back to reading the articles. It rarely happens. But yesterday I read the Mindful Knitting article from the most recent issue. In the context of the Easter season, it justed seemed to be perfect, but regardless of spiritual belief, I found that it really spoke to me.
I had taken yesterday off as an extra day to re-charge, rest and relax a bit. I've always found it interesting how sometimes a little coincidence will arrive that seems to say "Yup - you got it right today."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Je vais craquer!

La fin approche, mais, ce faite me cause beaucoup de pression. Donc, j’ai décidé de commencer ma fin de semaine longue aujourd’hui, sinon, je vais craquer.
Okay - enough of that! Even though I'm finding that the pressure of my upcoming French interview is starting to get to me, I have mixed feelings about returning to work. Yeah - I'm going to have to rejoin the *real* world, although working in government, I'm never really certain how real it really is... Don't get me wrong - I have a great job and I truly believe that what I do is worthwhile, but... Maybe I shouldn't go there...
Having had a rather off day yesterday and the fact that the weather forecast for today is sucky enough that school was cancelled for the kids was enough to convince me to start my long weekend today. (Twist my rubber arm... Okay - that's hard enough!) So, I have a 5 day weekend and the kids and I are all still in our jammies at 9am on a Thursday morning. Moments like this make me realize just how lucky I am!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why Aren't I Thinner?

So - last week when I was supposed to be grocery shopping, I went to my LYS and bought 3 skeins of Fleece Artist merino. They are 100g skeins, slightly lighter than the usual 112g that Fleece Artisit produces, but I'm pretty sure that there will be enough for a pair of socks from each. (I have always had a fair bit left over when I have used their yarns.)

Aren't they yummy? But I will have to admit that their nutritional value and edibility factor is pretty well non-existant.

And this is what was in my fridge when I got home... Fat free yogurt, 1% milk and a cat. Given my apparent diet, I really deserve to be much, much, much slimmer!

Does anyone have a good recipe for fresh cat? (No vicious comments, please - I am just joking. We all love Tiger far to much to ever harm him.)

In reality, I did get some groceries that day, but it was only the cost of the cat litter that pushed my groceries store expenditures ahead of my LYS expenditures.

And here we are at the first of April already! Happy April Fools' Day! April 1 also means the start of the Townsend Sock KAL for the Lilac socks. I have my yarn, my needles and my pattern. Now I just need to cast them on and get going! (I think I should have adjusted the colour of my photo... It's a tad off!)

Whaddaya mean I don't need another project? Don't be silly - you can never have too many UFOs!