Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sockapalooza 4 Socks Are DONE!!!

Well, my Sockapalooza 4 socks are done! They've had a few challenges, twists and turns, but in the end, I'm quite happy with them. I just hope that their soon to be owner likes them too... But they still have quite a distance to travel before they are at their new *home*... I know that they weren't to be shipped before August 2nd, but considering the distance that they have to travel and the fact that we are heading out on vacation, I figured that I was much better off getting them in the mail today.

And that was fun... We re-packaged and re-folded and trimmed tissue paper, before they finally got their postage put on them. And I'm living dangerously - no tracking number! I'm feeling a little bit pannicked by that, but considering the cost, I decided that it would just be cheaper to make another pair of socks, At least I got some positive feedback - the ladies at the post office liked them!

The pattern is Lacy Scallops Socks and the yarn is Regia Cotton Surf Color 5414.

And the other socks? I have ordered a third ball of yarn, but can no longer get the same dye lot... I may be ripping back to the heel flap and doing the heel flaps and toes in the second dye lot. New socks for me?!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Things, Gross Things

Good things - I won a contest!!! Even though I am rather competitive and love to enter contests, I very rarely win. Good thing that entering is satisfying enough for me! So I was really surprised, and delighted, to see that I had won second place in Megan's blog contest. It was kind of fun to have to think back on some of my past projects. While they weren't disasters at the time, they would definitely qualify as "retro" these days!
Gross things - Leeches!!! Yuck!!! Yuck!!! Yuck!!! Since our Canadian summers tend to be short, I try to encourage my kids to play outdoors, especially if they have friends over. I don't like the idea of them being indoors when the sun is shining, even though it has been shining a bit too strongly these past few days. So yesterday afternoon, older son invited a couple of friends over. The kids like to splash along the edge of the river. I can see them from the house and they know not to really go into the river. Well I should really say that they "liked" to play at the edge of the river. The leeches sort of put them off... And me too! Those things are disgusting! Fortunately, older son was the only one that required first aid.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


All I ever wanted
Had to get away...

Let's hear it for The Go-Go's...!!!! Their Wikipedia entry says that they were formed in 1978, which makes them slightly older than my glasses in this post. But, I digress... One more day of work and then I'm on vacation for two weeks! I'm just a little tiny bit excited. This year I invested in a new tent, following our last camp adventure in 2005 and the horrible fate of my last tent, so we're going to do a little camping, a little sightseeing and a little visiting. The new one is bigger, and therefore, more complicated, but I'm sure that it will be much more comfortable. The new tent has three rooms and a screen porch and even Mr. Me (who is just over 6 feet) can stand up in the new one.

Isn't it nice? We set it up on the front lawn when it arrived to be sure that we would know what we were doing when we arrived at a campground. Now if any of your knitterly types would be interested in life in the country, the house in the background of the first picture is for sale...
I'm really l0oking forward to getting away for a few days. And I'll taking my Virtual Vacation spoilee with me! Hopefully she'll like receiving things from around the Maritimes. The very last night of the away part of our vacation will be spent in Halifax visiting my MIL... Well the guys will visit with my MIL because I'm going to see the Yarn Harlot! Someone from work thought that this must be a musical group that he hadn't heard of... But I know that other fibre lovers will "get it".
On the other end of my Virtual Vacation, my spoiler was planning on posting my package at the beginning of this week. I'm really curious to see who it is! I know that it is another lefty and that she (or he?) used to live in Canada...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


It's been really hot the last couple of days. Almost - but not quite - hot enough to make me miss winter. Yesterday I decided to go for a bit of a walk around the downtown shops at lunchtime. Now that just has to included my favourite independant bookstore. I browsed through in my usual fashion; new fiction, gift books, local interest, cookbooks, all of the various craft books and finally onto children's books.

I first suspected that there might be trouble when I was looking at the craft books. I'm used to yarn talking to me, but the books usually only ever whisper. They may do it persistantly until I finally buy them, but they're subtle. Nothing loud about a book. Well, nothing loud about most books. This one is different... It said "Hi - how are you?" as I flipped through it. Followed by a "Hrumph!" when I put it back on the shelf.

By the time I walked back by it, it had upped the ante to "You know that you love us. You know that you'll be sorry if you don't buy us and take us home... Don't make another mistake." Yeah - I bought the book. It's cute! It's pink! Look at those sweet little amigurumi faces! The fact that I can't really crochet could be an issue, but I guess I'll just have to deal with it... Maybe this is a good use for some of my small bits of stash? Humour me... Please...

Sunday, July 22, 2007


“Sweet” as in “The Sweet Sheep” “Flavour of the Month Club”! Mr. Me bought me a 4 month membership in the FOTM club for my birthday. Earlier this week, the first package arrived. Now it had Mr. Me’s name on it since he was the purchaser, but I was quite certain that it was for ME! And just look!

The colourway is called “Morning Glory” and I just love it! And the pattern is designed by Sivia Harding (whose work I really like). I can’t wait to turn the yarn into a ball and start knitting with it.
I said it before, but I’ll say it again, this year Mr. Me did a GREAT job with my birthday!!!
And few other "sweet" things on this lovely Sunday morning -
I woke up to the sound of loons on the river.
I watched an osprey flying and gliding this morning as I had my coffee on my front verandah.
I'm having fresh from the garden zuchinni for dinner tonight.
I'm going to pick some more blueberries and have wild blueberries for dessert.
The sun is shining!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sockapalooza 4 Woes

Anyone else who is participating in this swap will already know of the issues with blogger. I have NEVER succeeded in posting to the common blog. I go and read it with some frequency, but I am finding that it is probably too big of a swap for my liking. Even with an anonymous swap, I like to get to know my spoilee a bit… We’re all busy people, but that has proven to be a challenge with this particular swap.
On the plus side, I was given essentially free reign as far as both colour and pattern went, on the minus side, I think that I probably needed more guidance! However, with that in mind I chose a yarn that spoke to me and would give me something to say about why I had chosen it. Remember the Panda Cotton sunning itself while yearning for blueberry dacquiris? Well that was the specially chosen and ordered yarn. The colourway is Blueberries - Grapes, which given my wild blueberries made it just about a perfect choice!
Now I kind of procrastinated about choosing a pattern and when I finally did I choose Beaded Swirl Socks. I ordered it. And I waited… Now this was simply blondeness on my part. I could have ordered it as a download, but for some reason that is completely and totally unknown to me, I chose to order a printed copy of the pattern. I finally decided that I needed a different pattern…
I’ve looked at the Favourite Socks book MANY times, but considering my collection of back issues of Interweave Knits, I have resisted the temptation. With a little bit of digging and page flipping I found the Spring 2004 (out of print) issue which has the Waving Lace Pattern (it is the one on the cover of Favourite Socks) in it. It was perfect!
Out came my favourite 2.5mm needles. And I was off! I knit the scalloped edging and started in on the pattern. After about half of the first pattern repeat, I decided that I really didn’t like the way that the yarnovers at the purl side were coming out. They needed to wrap the other way so that they would be bigger. Time to frog the sock!
It was cast back on and I was off! I got as far as the heel flap. After a quick measure, I decided that I would try it on just to be sure. Now my spoilee’s feet are smaller than mine, and I’m telling you, with the stretch of the lace, they just weren’t going to work. Time to frog again…
This time I cast on with the 2.25mm needles.

Edging? Check!
Leg? Check!
Heel flap? Check!
Heel and gusset? Check!
Enough yarn? &$#^#%#$@#!!!!
This is as far as I got… I only ordered two balls. I haven’t decided whether I’ll try to get a third ball, or whether the yarn is telling me that it wants to be something different….

Hello? Drawing board? Yeah… It’s Miss Me – I’m coming back in…
I had wanted to try a new pattern for my spoilee, but I’ve decided that its time for an old favourite and standby. I’m going with Sockbug’s Lacy Scallops Socks. They’re beautiful socks, and that pattern has never let me down. And I dug through my stash and found a very nice Regia Cotton yarn in pinks, blues and a sort of coral colour. The colours make me think of the Northern Lights, which is kind of fitting given my Canadian home. Here they are so far. I really hope that my spoilee likes them!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I Think That I'm Blushing...

...and it's all courtesy of Ariel! Ariel nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger and I've got to admit that I'm honoured.
So I did a little checking as to what the priveleges of being tagged as a Rockin' Girl Blogger are, and I get to nominate 5, yes 5, other bloggers for the same honour, so here goes, I nominate:

Lesley because even when pregnant she was up to beating up trust fund hippies who tried to steal the couch from the knitters...

Crafty Canadian because she is very cool, not to mention smart and multitalented.

CanKNITian because she let us "out" her as a Blogger and I am so impressed with so much that she does. (I can remember when she didn't have a clue how to sew together a sweater she knit for her niece!)

Alison because she is a well rounded person who is talented on many levels including frugality, which I envy, and besides - who wouldn't like a librarian?

Lisa, who I'm just starting to read but seems like a very interesting lady!

Now, none of these nominations should come as a surprise because with the exception of Lisa, you'll find all of yourselves in my list of favourite blogs! She will be added! Tag or don't tag others as you like, but I enjoy reading all of your blogs very much.

I am going to add that I feel a little strange tagging 3 people who I have never ever met in person, but here goes anyways. Please take the compliment in the spirit which it was intended.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lights - Camera - Action!

I was having a conversation recently with a friend about movies. The conversation led to the question of what movies we each liked, and that made me think of the movie "meme" that both Crafty Canadian and CanKNITian had done a while ago. So I thought that I'd put it all in one place, although you can see that I'm feeling a little indecisive about some categories... Here goes "Miss Me's Movie Meme"!

1. Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times. An Officer and a Gentleman, Muriel’s Wedding, The Lover, Swept from the Sea, Sliding Doors, etc. – I own too many movies!
2. Name a movie you’ve seen multiple times in the theater. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Apocalypse Now, Parasite (BAD 3D horror movie…), A Clockwork Orange
3. Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie. Okay, I know that this is weird, but – Willem Dafoe.
4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie. Sylvester Stallone
5. Name a movie you can and do quote from. Muriel’s Wedding
6. Name a movie musical in which you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs. Hmmm… I don’t think that there is one! I’m not big on musicals. Wait – how could I have missed this? Rocky Horror!
7. Name a movie you have been known to sing along with. Muriel’s Wedding, The Jungle Book, Rocky Horror
8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see. Lawrence of Arabia, A Beautiful Mind
9. Name a movie you own. I own lots of movies, but I’ll choose a classic – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops. Marky Mark! Mark Wahlberg – he’s a terrific actor.
11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what? The last thing I saw at the drive in was a double feature: ET and The Blues Brothers
12. Ever made out in a movie? Yes – but it’s been a long time… A looonnng time!
13. Name a movie you keep meaning to see but you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Gone With the Wind. I own it on video but have never watched more than an hour of it.
14. Ever walked out of a movie? Yes – Tess, with Natasia Kinsky.
15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater. Schindler’s List
16. Popcorn? I love popcorn, but I don’t like the smell of the fake butter – yuck!
17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)? Not often. We’re more renters. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year.
18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater? Eragon
19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie? Hmmm… Probably thrillers.
20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater? It was a Disney film. I was about 4 or 5. Maybe Bambi? A re-release, clearly!
21. What movie do you wish you had never seen? The Mothman Prophecy. See 23 below…
22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed? Sexy Beast
23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen? The Shining (terrifying) and The Mothman Prophecy (I didn’t sleep well for quite a while).
24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen? The Life of Brian is quite good. And I laugh at just about every Hugh Grant comedy that he’s made, despite some of his unfortunate encounters with the police…

Saturday, July 14, 2007

SITM Contest #1 - My Start in Knitting

Warning - If you're drinking something while you're reading this, please stop now. Not that I am incredibly witty and funny, I have included a photo of myself circa 1980 that will cause much laughter and I don't want anyone to get hurt. Okay?

Since I’m just that little tiny bit competitive, I really enjoy the contests on people’s blogs and swaps. (Okay – I can hear some of you snickering…)

The first contest for the Sock It To Me swap is to blog about our respective start in the wonderful world of knitting. I can remember my Mom trying to teach myself and my older sister how to crochet when I was 6 or 7, and then trying to teach me knitting when I was home sick from school when I was about 8, but neither of those attempts “took” with either craft. So, for my real start on knitting, let’s jump into the way-back machine to circa 1980.

I asked for a pleated skirt for my birthday that year. Some would call it a kilt, but as Mr. Me insists (vehemently) “Women don’t wear kilts. Kilts are for men!”
(yes, that really is Mr. Me on our wedding day with his groomsmen and best man)
For about 3 years when I was a teenager, I had a regular babysitting gig with our next door neighbours – every Wednesday night for bowling league, after school Thursday and Friday when Mrs. Neighbour worked part-time and then most Saturday evenings as well. Since I couldn’t exactly have any boys over for company with my Mom next door, I needed to find something to keep me busy during the long evening hours. When I found a book at the library about how to knit left handed, I decided to give it a try.

Not one to be cautious, I jumped in with both feet and my first project was a sweater! It was a plain stockinette stitch long sleeved crewneck sweater, in burgundy wool to match the skirt. C’mon, it was 1980 – preppie was “in”.

Was it perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination, but I had knit a tension swatch, so it did fit reasonably well and I wore it for many years. Included in its imperfections was the fact that I didn’t know that you should always cast off ribbing in ribbing and it should be done LOOSELY. A certain amount of tugging was always required to get it over my head… But far and away the greatest imperfection was the fact that I wasn’t doing my purl stitches properly. What should have been stockinette stitch was in fact twisted stockinette stitch. I had purled through the back of all the purl stitches! At least it was uniform.

I no longer have the sweater, and can’t find either a photo of me wearing it nor the pattern leaflet. So in lieu of a photo of my first knitting project, I give you a picture of me from the same period of time. How do you like my glasses? The lenses were eventually used in the Hubble Space Telescope...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Birthday Recap

My birthday was a little bit more than a week ago, but it sort of got stretched out this year.

The week before my birthday, I received an early birthday present from a girlfriend at work. I got a pair of silicone oven gripper handles and a set of dancing magnet men. I love silicone kitchen things and the kids are having a great time with the magnets.

Then, the weekend before my birthday, the kids started their two weeks in Nova Scotia. My MIL had a small family celebration for me on the Saturday evening including cake and presents. The boys gave me a *new* Sony Walkman. It’s pink and looks kind of like a tube of lipstick. I still have my old Walkman – a yellow Sport Walkman that plays tapes! It’s about 50 times the size of the new one. I love it – even though I was initially somewhat challenged to load music onto it. You know that you’re old when you can’t figure out something that a 6 year can… And there was some $$$, a crystal water jug and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin (yum!) from my MIL.

On my birthday, I was taken out for lunch by a girlfriend (see above – she’s great) and for supper by Mr. Me. And Mr. Me arranged for a birthday cake for me and a really, really, really, REALLY NICE birthday present. Mr. Me got me a four month membership to the Sweet Sheep’s Flavour of the Month Club!!! I had told him that I would like to have it, but considering how my stash perplexes him, I was really surprised. This year he did very well – redeeming himself for some of my past birthday gifts…!

And since I got sucked into the vortex that is Facebook just before my birthday, I was the recipient of many more birthday greetings than I would normally get. That, in conjunction with e-cards and real cards, cakes, presents and good company made this birthday extra special.

My Incredible Shrinking Feet?

No - not really! Besides, much as I'd like to have to buy a whole new shoe wardrobe, I just don't have either the time or the money.
What I do have is a great Sockapalooza 4 spoiler, who is also observant, and questioned how my feet had gone from 9.75 by 9.75 inches to 9 by 9 inches with my Sock It To Me questionnaire! So I shut my office door, since you don't really want to have to explain to your co-workers why you're measuring your feet, and reconfirmed by measurements. Yup - they're still 9.75 by 9.75 inches. Although shrinking feet might have been a good excuse for my usual clumsiness and falling off my shoes... Do you think that it might qualify as a "disability"?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Wild Things

The wild blueberries are just starting. The wild strawberries are just finishing.

In my field.

In my fridge!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sock It To Me Questionnaire

So, without further delay here's my Sock It To Me Questionnaire:

1. What are your foot measurements? (Please give shoe size, length and circumference.)
*this information has been updated and corrected.
My feet appear to be square - 9.75 inches long and 9.75 inches around! Or maybe they're cubed since I wear a size 9 (North American) shoe. they're just square... not cubed afterall!

2. How long have you been knitting? How would you rate your experience? (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.)
I've been knitting for about 30 years. I'm a self taught lefty. I'm going to say that I'm an "advanced" knitter but that's only because I'm not always bright enough to realize how hard something is...

3. What is your favorite color? Your least favorite color?
I like colour generally - particularly pinks, purples, greens and blues. I'm not a big fan of either brown or most yellows.

4. Do you have a favorite fiber? What type?
I like natural fibres - wool, cotton, silk, soy, bamboo - but after the accidental felting of a pair of Pomatomus socks, machine washable (even if it's on gentle) is probably the best way to go.

5. Do you have any allergies to certain fibers? None.

6. Do you have an Amazon, or other type of, wishlist? (If so, provide the link.)
No - I don't.

7. What techniques, if any, would you like to learn?
Nothing comes to mind, but if something occurs to me, I'll come back and add it. 'kay?

8. Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your favorite snacks?
I don't really have a sweet tooth. I tend to prefer things that are salty - and crunchy! With candies, I'm very fond of all sorts of sours, but I detest, repeat detest, black licorice. Blech!

9. What is your family situation? (Children, Husband, Pets...etc.)
Married (almost 13 years), 2 sons - 11 and 7, 1 cat (kitten really - he's about 8 months old) and 2 gerbils. Just me and the guys... All of the pets are, or were, male.

10. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Metal, plastic or wood?
For me it depends on the project and on the yarn. I don't really have a strong preference. The one big advantage of the circs for me is that I can't loose them quite so easily. (I knit while I commute and a dropped dpn on the bus could be a disaster.)

11. Besides socks, what are your favorite items to knit?
I enjoy knitting bags, scarves, hats, sweaters - oh, heck - I'll knit just about anything. I once knit an Elvis wig for a friend for a karoake contest. And then she was too embarassed to wear it!

12. Is there a pattern, (sock or otherwise), that you are dying to try?
I've just ordered 3 of the Noni bags patterns from the Knitting Zone. I'm awaiting them impatiently...!!!

13. Do you like to read? What are you reading currently?
I do like to read, but I have to read quite a bit for work, so don't always have something on the go here at home. That's the case right now. I finished "Kit's Law" last week. A very good book and Canlit to boot!

14. Do you collect music? (On an iPod or MP3 player.)
A rather tentative yes to that one... I received a Sony Walkman for my birthday, but with work and such, haven't got it all figured out. Part of my weekend plans.

15. What kind of music do you listen to?
I would describe my tastes as ecclectic. I'm not a big fan of either country or classical music, but otherwise pretty well anything goes.

16. Is there anything you collect?
Aside from the obvious - yarns, knitting patterns - I have a collection of Madeline dolls. Edit: I like beads and buttons, too. I don't think that I plan to collect them, but I do it anyways!

17. What are your hobbies, aside from knitting?
I sew, cross stitch, cook, play with the kids... Is laundry a hobby? I do lots of that! I'm even thinking of trying crochet... Those Amigurumis are sucking me in.

18. Are you participating in any other swaps or knit alongs?
Just finished the Spring Felted Bag Exchange, and am in the midst of Sockapalooza 4 and the Virtual Vacation Swap.

19. Do you have a favorite scent?
I really like the scents of jasmine and lavendar.

20. When is your birthday? (You don't have to add the year if you don't want to, LOL.)
July 4, 1964. Hopefully that gives some context to the Sony Walkman that I'm still working on.

Any questions, please feel free to ask - ask me anything - I'm not shy! And I'll come back and add the rest of the links to this later... There's a thunderstorm brewing and I need to shut down the computer.

Edit: Links added and spelling errors corrected. It was quite spectacular light show here yesterday evening. We didn't loose our power, but I think that we were lucky!

Monday, July 2, 2007

No (New) Stash Yarn for Me

So the children are safely settled in Halifax with my MIL. They went to my BIL's yesterday evening in Bedford to watch the fireworks. He has one of those homes that has a great view, but no yard. I can't imagine what they'll ever do if they have kids. There is nowhere for children to play outdoors, and as I have discovered, little boys in particular need a good airing out frequently!
I was lucky enough to get to visit both LK Yarns and The Loop Craft Cafe on Saturday. I made purchases at both of them, but no new stash yarn! Poor me.
I purchased the last 6 skeins of Noro Kureyon that I need to finish the squares for my Lizard Ridge afghan (Knitty.com Fall 2006 - I can't access it right now) and 2 balls of some sort of Cascade eyelash yarn that I plan on using in some felted Noni Poppies at LK Yarns. And I picked up the Fall issue of Knitscene at The Loop.
Now if Mr. Me hadn't been with me, I probably would have bought more... But he was, so I didn't. They had all sorts of fabulous Fleece Artist yarn at LK Yarns and they had the Opal Tiger (which I have coveted for quite some time!) at The Loop. I bought neither... However, we will still have to go and pick the boys up in 2 weeks, so there is hope!
I had hoped to sneak into Tangled Skeins on the way into town, but son the younger was car sick... We stopped in Sackville to load him up with Gravol, but it would have been cruel to make him stay in the car any longer than was absolutely necessary. Maybe next time...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I Am...

...proud to be Canadian! Happy Canada Day one and all!