Sunday, December 28, 2008

What I Got for Christmas

Santa brought me Opal sock yarn!Mr. Me gave me one skein of Malabrigo Lace Weight in a lovely pink colourway. Cactus Flower...
And a skein of Alpaca with a Twist "Fino". Alpaca and silk... Yum!
And a copy of "Knitting Lingerie Style". All in all - a pretty good Christmas, but it wasn't without a hitch or two. The biggest hitch? No electricity from noon until about 5PM. Made it kind of hard to roast the turkey. We ate a 10PM... But at least we had a turkey, a warm house and we weren't stuck in an airport somewhere trying desperately to get home. How about all of you? How was your Christmas?

A Couple of Finished Objects

My MIL's Christmas Socks. Arch Shaped Socks knit in DGB Confetti. I continued the ribbing onto the top of the foot. I like how it forms a V-shape. This is the third year that I've given her socks. She really likes receiving them and told me that she thinks she would be disappointed if she didn't get socks... Now that makes this knitter feel good!

My Mermaid Socks. They are knit of Regia Kaffe Fasset yarn. I love how they look!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where is My Mind?

In the gutter I think... I've just been searching up the links for my last post. Everytime I tried to type "socks", I ended up with a word that had one s and two c's.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bus Blogging

Edit: Links have been added...
I feel like a very bad blogger these days, but I'll swear that someone has shortened my days recently. I could really use a few more hours in each day...
With winter flexing its muscles today, it looks like it might be a longish trip home. Too dark to knit or read and still too wound up from work to sleep makes for an excellent blogging opportunity. It also helps that I remembered to charge this little Blackberry beast last night. I could go for weeks without charging my old cell phone, but this thing needs to be fed regularly!
On the knitting front: I finished the Arch Shaped Socks for my MIL for Christmas. I knit myself a pair of Lucy Neatby's Mermaid Socks for myself. And a new hat, too! Remember the toilet seat cover? The yarn has become my Little Red Cap. I don't think that I would say that it is PERFECT, but I am generally pleased with the results.
On the needles: A pair of Azure socks. And a sweater. And probably a dozen other things that I have currently forgotten about.
On Christmas: See my request for longer days above... Although I need to give a great BIG public Thank You to blogless Kristie in Maine for giving me a hand with a little Christmas magic. Could someone please explain the logic international shipping fees to me? What? No takers??? Probably because there is no logic to it.
The drawback of bus blogging on my Blackberry: No links or pictures. I'll try to remember to come back to it later...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Letter From Tiger

Dear Knitters,
As you may have realized, Miss Me has been busy these last few weeks. What with work, Mr. Me travelling, house guests, Christmas shopping, Black Friday shopping and then life in general, she just hasn't had time to do much blogging. Now understand that I don't really care about the blogging bit - it's not usually about me and as a cat and ruler of the Chez Me household, it really should be all about me. She has still been doing some knitting, and I may let her post about it later, but more importantly, she has been keeping me warm and fed, but last night was just about enough to push this poor patient cat over the edge!!!
Without any consultation, my staff allowed 100 people to tour my home. Something about charity.... Strangers!!! Human strangers!!! 100 of them!!! They know that I have stranger and anxiety issues. I had to hiss at them. And try to bite Mr. Me. They sent me to the cellar for the evening, but that was the only plus to it - that's where the hunting is good...
It may take me weeks to get over this. I'm taking to my handknit and felted cat bed in the sun for a nap now.
Much love,

P.S. Do the other knitters let their cats play with the yarn? Or is it just my people who are unreasonable???

Friday, December 5, 2008

Stop the World - I Wanna Get Off!!!

Has it really been almost 2 weeks since my last post? Where has the time gone??? I have been knitting, and do have FOs, but first I need to take pictures...
In the meantime, Iva is having a contest! I'm still thinking about teddy bear names, but pop on over for a visit and make a suggestion. And yes, you know the drill - don't forget to tell her I sent you!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Attack of the Slippery White Stuff

Princess Knitsalot headed home to Ontario yesterday. She had arrived in rain and left in snow... Yes, we had our first real snowfall of the season yesterday. Why is it that winter always seems to catch Canadians by surprise?
We had a long, slow and slightly scary trip going both to the airport and coming home. I'm not quite sure why, since it had been clearly snowing for quite a while, but there were NO SNOWPLOWS out yesterday afternoon. I did manage to find one on the way home which had the advantage of making the trip less slippery, if not any faster.
My sister had suggested to my niece that winter boots might be a good thing to pack because it was already snowing in Ontario last weekend, but since she knew that we didn't have snow she declined. However, snowboots were a must yesterday. I knew that there was a reason that I hadn't disposed of Old Son's boots from last year yet, I just didn't know what it was. Yes, I sent Princess Knitsalot home wearing her cousin's outgrown snow boots. They were a little big on her but did at least keep her feet warm and dry. Quite the fashion statement, too!

(I would have taken and posted pics of both the boots and the snow, but it appears that Mr. Me has taken the camera travelling with him...)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Than Just My LYS

I've had a house guest visiting since last Sunday. My eldest niece has been visiting from Ontario. Much to my delight (and her parents' dismay) she is considering the University of New Brunswick's Faculty of Engineering. She had a campus tour on Tuesday and has been enjoying an otherwise quiet week. On Tuesday morning we dropped the boys off at their respective schools and drove into Fredericton. We parked and walked over to my office building. I explained where the shops were and we agreed to meet 10:40 so I could take her up to the university for her 11:00 tour. So far, so good, right?
Around 10:55 I am starting to feel anxious. At 11:00, I am feeling PANIC!!! I ask a coworker heading to Tim Horton's to check to see if she there... Sometimes family resemblances are a good thing.
11:10 - no, she's not at Tim's. I am pretty sure that despite the fact that my niece is almost 20, my sister is going to KILL ME!!!
My much calmer coworkers and I start to brainstorm about the situation. Could she still be on Ontario time? But if she is, where might she be??? This is where the LYS comes in. My niece is a knitter. We call the LYS and the conversation goes something like this:

LYS - Good morning, Singer Sewing Centre...
Me - Hi - Trish?
LYS - Yes...?
Me - Hi, Trish. It's Miss Me. I have a missing person and she is a knitter... Have you seen a young woman who looks a lot like me wearing a pink jacket this morning? (Note - The spaces and punctuation really ran together into a really long and fast word, but that would make it too hard to read.)
LYS - What colour is her hair?
Me - Blonde and she is wearing glasses.

In the background I hear Trish asking if her customer knows me...

Yes, Princess Knitsalot was still on Ontario time, but the lure of yarn for knitter made her actions somewhat predictable which probably saved me from some nasty fate at the hands of my sister! Sometimes your LYS is more than just a yarn store - it's like a homing beacon for wayward knitters.

(After her campus tour she went back to finish her browsing and buying.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

90 Years - A Day of Remembrance

Lest we forget.

Ready for Anything

Firstly, oh thank you great Blogger for FINALLY allowing me to post... I don't know what has been going on, but Blogger hasn't felt like letting me in for a few days.
The rain that started last week continued over the weekend. The weekend included the middle school soccer tournament. Older Son is the co-captain of his school's team. As a good Mom, I went to watch.
We got up early, had our breakfast and packed the car.
Here is what I packed:
2 folding chairs - utility? 75%. Both chairs were used although not all the time.
Golf sized umbrella - utility? 100%. I didn't need it all the time, but I did need it!
Towels - utility? 5%. We didn't use them, but having them was a good safety net.
Blankets - utility? 50%. Only one of the 2 was used. I probably shouldn't have packed a fleece with teddy bears on it for a 12 year old boy... The plain red one was the one that was used.
2 Thermoses of hot chocolate - utility? 60%. One would have done just fine.
Snack - utility? None. We went somewhere to warm up to eat so needn't have bothered packing food.
Knitting - utility? Low. I did frog my Arch-Shaped Socks back to a mistake, but didn't really get much knitting done.
A book to read - utility? Very low. I read one page.
My winter jacket and gloves - utility? Greater than 100%. It was chilly, but the damp made it feel colder.
Sunglasses clip-ons for my glasses - utility? Absolutely positively none! Does this look like I would have possibly needed sunglasses?
We'll consider that a move of eternal optimism... I live in denial sometimes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cats and Dogs

Despite the fact that the calendar says that it is November, Mother Nature seems to think that it is April. Now I don't really mind that it is warmer than usual, but a little less rain wouldn't hurt. It's raining cats and dogs out there! To make matters worse, I had my cute umbrella this morning, and even though I didn't step outside all day, I no longer have my umbrella. I've been on course for 3 days and today we finished early. "Bonus - a half hour of unexpected knitting time!" I thought. Only when I went to wait for my bus in the rain did I realize that I had left my umbrella in the classroom. I rushed back (because if I miss my bus I've got one heck of a problem), but it wasn't there anymore... Here's hoping someone from the office realized it was mine. In the meantime, the bus heater feels much better than normal and hopefully I will be at least a little bit less damp by the time I get home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Testing... Testing...

I am trying to blog from my Blackberry. It is too dark to knit or read but this gadget has a backlit screen!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No Luck

Yesterday the Grim Reapers came a calling. The Grim Reaper on the right is mine. The Grim Reaper on the left is Younger Son's best buddy. While they scored lots of candy and treats, they had no luck in the souls department. Why?
Despite the fact that Older Son is not yet a teenager, he was still a zombie for the day. And you can't steal the souls of the undead...No - I haven't had much time for knitting. I had to make Hallowe'en costumes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hat or Toilet Seat Cover

Like many knitters, I was very excited when the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty came out. So many great patterns! But the one that really spoke to me was Morgan. I love that hat!
Around the same time, my LYS got in some of its fall yarn shipment including some Sirdar Tweedie. Yum! I thought: "What a lovely yarn for my new hat. I know that it is a little bit heavier, but since I want a hat of substance, if I can get gauge I should be fine."
After much swatch I thought that I had achieved success! I started knitting... I knit the folded ridge. I measured. I thought: "I'm a little bit off but it probably the needle pulling it out making it measure bigger than it should be. Besides - it isn't that much bigger." I kept knitting. Before I put on the peak, I realized that much as I loved the pattern and the yarn, my hat was looking unmistakably like a knitted toilet seat cover. In a state of denial, I convinced myself that it would be better once I knit the peak... I wasn't completely wrong. I was much better! But it was still very wrong. Take a good look at it. It will never be seen on my head in this form. I looks like something a pimp would wear. It is going to be frogged and re-knit as a different and more suitable hat. (Yes - I am open to suggestions.)

Lessons learned here? Gauge swatches are mischievous liars and you really can't substitute whatever you want no matter how badly you want it to work.

Christmas Knitting

Announcing my first finished handknit Christmas gift! Ta-da!!!

Pywacket socks for my SIL. Note the detail of the lace, how it looks like little pawprints. Yes, she is an animal lover. The yarn is the lovely Trekking yarn that I won earlier this year in (Not-so) Cynical Knitting Gal's contest. They were knit on 2.25mm needles, smaller than I would normally use but considering the lace, I needed something a little bit smaller. Since (Not-so) Cynical Knitting Gal is an animal lover, too, I really hope she'll be pleased with the end product. I was going to knit myself some "coffee" socks, but the yarn told me it was wilder and furrier than coffee... Mouthy yarn...

Friday, October 17, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

This week was a very short week for me. Since Monday was Thanksgiving, it was a holiday and then today I took the day off to teach knitting to some of the kids at the local elementary school. What was I thinking??? Perhaps I wasn't...
Firstly, my hat goes off to any of you out there who are or who have ever been a teacher. After today, I'm pretty sure that you're all very underappreciated.
Now I have kids of my own. Two of them. Boys even! This did not prepare me for what lay in store for me. 11 kids were expected. 12 arrived. No problem - I had prepared an extra bag. 4 boys and 8 girls. Each of them received a bag containing basic knitting instructions, a ball of yarn and a set of needles. I tried to explain to them what was in the bag and why it was there, noting particularly the fact that all the instructions had pictures in case that was easier than reading... Oh - wait - it's so much easier to understand instructions if you actually listen to them! I had not realized previously how very attentive my own children were.
I spent an hour with them and have 4 more sessions with them. The first session went something like this:
Me: "Knitting needles are not weapons. Please do not poke or hit anyone with them. Please do not sword fight with them. If you do this, I will have to take them from you." (Many of them took this as a challenge...) "The first thing that we need to do is learn how to make a slip knot since that is the first step to casting on, which is the start of knitting. Open you booklet to the first page..."
This started a chorus os "I can't do this!" "This is too hard!"
I tried to explain that you should never give up on something before you've even tried it, and that it is okay to make mistakes and to have to try again.
I even had one kid say "My Gran knits and it isn't that hard - you must be doing it wrong." Pardon??? I'm still not sure who should really be more insulted: me or her unknowing Gran!

However, on the bright side, one of the little boys in the group (who happens to be a friend of Younger Son) was very attentive. At the end of the hour, where he had suceeded in starting to cast on his stitches, he asked me if it was okay for him to take his knitting home with him and if it was okay for him to work ahead if he wanted. I could have hugged him! It was just what I needed to hear, rather than the little girl who spent an hour demanding to be allowed to leave for a different group and having been told no, insisting that all my time be spent with her and was baffled when I told her that since I wasn't convinced she was going to come back, that no, she couldn't take it home with her.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Clues Are More Co-operative Than Others (aka SOTS iii Progress)

Clue 7 – Clue 7 insisted on being photographed outside. It wanted some fresh air and to feel the warmth of the sunshine… Result? The detail doesn’t show well at all in either photo.
Clue 8 - Clue 8 was “too tired” to do anything other than lie on the couch… No – my rug isn’t really that much more intense than my furniture. It’s the lighting. And the flash of the camera attracts small impish pajama clad people like Younger Son.
I have started Clue 9, but am only a few rows in. Whether or not this stole gets done on time, who the heck knows! But it will be close.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reality Check

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and as I write this it is just around noon. So far today I have made the dressing for the turkey, stuffed the turkey and put it on to roast, started the turnip puff, made the blueberry crisp for dessert, washed all the pots and pans, turned on the dishwasher and washed and hung out to dry two loads of laundry. The truth is that I am feeling anything but thankful. Resentful and grouchy would be closer to my current state...

However, if I take a step back and look at my life, I really should be more grateful and thankful. I have two wonderful children, who are both bright and healthy. I myself am healthy. My husband is healthy. Both Mr. Me and myself are gainfully employed with jobs that allow us to afford a beautiful home and some perks that we truthfully take for granted. We live in a democratic country that affords us rights, priveleges and freedoms that many can't even dream of. (A special note to my fellow Canadians, don't forget to vote tomorrow. I don't care how you vote so long as you vote your conscience.) So even though I'm going to go and iron now, I really should be more appreciative, although I'd rather be knitting!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Secret of the Stole iii Progress

So, I'm still behind, but not nearly as far behind as I was. Technically, since clue 8 only came out yesterday, I'm really only one clue behind right now! I might actually finish this on time... By the way, the further into this pattern I get, the more I love it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thank You, Angie!

I'm a little late in getting to acknowledging this, but I was both honoured and humbled when Angie nominated me for this award. Angie was my downstream swap partner for the Spring Fling Coffee Swap and I had a fabulous time getting to know her a bit via e-mail and her blog. I can't imagine not staying in touch with her on some level. When she talks about her younger son in particular, I often smile as he sounds so similar to my younger boy who happens to be the same age!

Here are the rules that go along with the award:
The Rules:The rules for award acceptance are as follows:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her website/blog.
2. Add a link to the person who gave you this award.
3. Nominate at least 7 other websites/blogs.
4. Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs.
5. Leave a message at each website owner that you´ve nominated.

Now if I'm truthful, the rules are probably part of the reason that I have taken my time in posting about the award.
Firstly, I know that some of the blogs that I would nominate have already been nominated. Secondly, in true Canadian fashion, I have a hard time not acknowledging everyone that I read (we don't want anyone to feel badly about themselves) and that would just take way too long! And finally, in the past I have felt kind of funny when I've either tagged or nominated someone for something and it has gone unacknowledged. Funny that I kind of did the same thing, isn't it? I don't know what other people's motivations might have been, I can only understand my own and believe me when I say that it was all internal weird stuff...

So - I'm going to cheat and not "name names", suffice it to say that if I comment on your blog on any kind of regular or semi-regular basis, you are definitely nominated, but since there are a number of blogs that I just lurk around as well, you're nominated if you read me and I don't know about it! Just leave me a comment, please, so that I can start reading your blogs too!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Male Models

First up - let's have a big hand for the return of Fred...!
Today we have Fred wearing my finished (and blocked!) Mystic Light Shawl. Made of 2 skeins of Handmaiden Seasilk, doesn't he look just lovely?
Next, Fred shows off the Goddess Knits Anniversary shawl. Made of Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Papaya Heather - a little over 3 skeins was needed - on 3.5 mm needles, it is a lovely circular shawl.
Blocked to approx. 5 feet in diameter, just look at that detail!
Next up, we have Mr. Me modelling his custom knit 4 by 2 rib sweater. Featuring an allover rib pattern, saddle shoulders and a turtle neck, this sweater was knit out of 3 skeins of Cascade Eco Wool. Doesn't he look warm and cozy as he travels up the Saint John River?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Election? What Election?

Since this blog isn't about politics, I'm not going to espouse any political opinions here, aside from urging all of you who live in democracies to always exercise your democratic right to have a say in your country's future. I don't care how you vote so long as you DO IT!
As I'm sure that most of the world knows, the United States is in the midst of a Presidential Election. Unless you're Canadian, you may not know that we too are in the midst of a general election. This is where the knitting comes in. I've noted that many of the American knitting blogs that I read are very openly proclaiming their support for one candidate or another or making reference to political groups that they belong to on Ravelry.
"Interesting...", I thought, since I'm not seeing the same sort of open political support on Canadian knitting blogs, nor references to political groups on Ravelry. "This requires more investigation", I thought to myself.
So I headed over to Ravelry and did searches on Harper, Dion, Layton and May. There is one group, Canada Indecision 2008. It has 85 members.
Then I did searches on Obama and McCain. The search under Obama yields 8 groups. The largest is Knitters for Barrack Obama with a whopping 3,147 members! McCain yields a similar number of results (with some duplication) and while The McCain Ravelry is significantly smaller than Knitters for Barrack Obama, its 510 members still looks impressive compared to the 85 interested in the Canadian election. Since we don't have a Vice Prime Minister, I won't even go into the groups about the US running mates...
What does this say about us? Are Canadians really that disinterested in our political future? Or are we just more private about it? Or maybe we all decided to follow the advice of Peter MacKay as given to Alexa McDonough: "Stick to your knitting!"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How I Spent the Last Day of Summer

Aquila has left her Summer anchorage and has made the journey back to the yacht club where she will soon be snuggled in for Winter. Since we have to motor upriver against the current, I did manage a little bit of knitting time...

Monday, September 15, 2008

1982 - The Music Meme

I've seen this music meme on a number of different blogs recently and thought that it might be fun.

So, here are the rules:
A) Go to
B) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline or italicize your favorite(s). Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about).

1. Physical, Olivia Newton-John
2. Eye Of The Tiger, Survivor
3. I Love Rock N' Roll, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
4. Ebony And Ivory, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
5. Centerfold, J. Geils Band
6. Don't You Want Me, Human League
7. Jack And Diane, John Cougar
8. Hurts So Good, John Cougar
9. Abracadabra, Steve Miller Band
10. Hard To Say I'm Sorry, Chicago
11. Tainted Love, Soft Cell
12. Chariots Of Fire, Vangelis
13. Harden My Heart, Quarterflash
14. Rosanna, Toto
15. I Can't Go For That, Daryl Hall and John Oates
16. 867-5309 (Jenny), Tommy Tutone
17. Key Largo, Bertie Higgins
18. You Should Hear How She Talks About You, Melissa Manchester
19. Waiting For A Girl Like You, Foreigner
20. Don't Talk To Strangers, Rick Springfield
21. The Sweetest Thing, Juice Newton
22. Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson
23. Shake It Up, Cars
24. Let It Whip, Dazz Band
25. We Got The Beat, Go-Go's
26. The Other Woman, Ray Parker Jr.
27. Turn Your Love Around, George Benson
28. Sweet Dreams, Air Supply
29. Only The Lonely, Motels
30. Who Can It Be Now?, Men At Work
31. Hold Me, Fleetwood Mac
32. Eye In The Sky, Alan Parsons Project
33. Let's Groove, Earth, Wind and Fire
34. Open Arms, Journey
35. Leader Of The Band, Dan Fogelberg
36. Leather And Lace, Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
37. Even The Nights Are Better, Air Supply
38. I've Never Been To Me, Charlene
39. '65 Love Affair, Paul Davis
40. Heat Of The Moment, Asia
41. Take It Easy On Me, Little River Band
42. Pac-man Fever, Buckner and Garcia
43. That Girl, Stevie Wonder
44. Private Eyes, Daryl Hall and John Oates
45. Trouble, Lindsey Buckingham
46. Making Love, Roberta Flack
47. Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me, Juice Newton
48. Young Turks, Rod Stewart
49. Freeze-frame, J. Geils Band
50. Keep The Fire Burnin', REO Speedwagon
51. Do You Believe In Love, Huey Lewis and The News
52. Cool Night, Paul Davis
53. Caught Up In You, 38 Special
54. Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, Diana Ross
55. Love In The First Degree, Alabama
56. Hooked On Classics, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
57. Wasted On The Way, Crosby, Stills and Nash
58. Think I'm In Love, Eddie Money
59. Love Is In Control, Donna Summer
60. Personally, Karla Bonoff
61. One Hundred Ways, Quincy Jones
62. Blue Eyes, Elton John
63. Our Lips Are Sealed, Go-Go's
64. You Could Have Been With Me, Sheena Easton
65. You Can Do Magic, America
66. Did It In A Minute, Daryl Hall and John Oates
67. I Ran, A Flock Of Seagulls
68. Somebody's Baby, Jackson Browne
69. Oh No, Commodores
70. Take It Away, Paul McCartney
71. It's Gonna Take A Miracle, Deneice Williams
72. Love Will Turn You Around, Kenny Rogers
73. Don't Stop Bellevin', Journey
74. Comin' In And Out Of Your Life, Barbra Streisand
75. Gloria, Laura Branigan
76. Empty Garden, Elton John
77. Yesterday's Songs, Neil Diamond
78. Crimson And Clover, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
79. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Police
80. Here I Am, Air Supply
81. I Keep Forgettin', Michael Mcdonald
82. Get Down On It, Kool and The Gang
83. Any Day Now, Ronnie Milsap
84. Make A Move On Me, Olivia Newton-John
85. Take My Heart, Kool and The Gang
86. Mirror Mirror, Diana Ross
87. Vacation, Go-Go's
88. (Oh) Pretty Woman, Van Halen
89. Should I Do It, Pointer Sisters
90. Hot In The City, Billy Idol
91. Kids In America, Kim Wilde
92. Man On Your Mind, Little River Band
93. What's Forever For, Michael Murphy
94. Waiting On A Friend, Rolling Stones
95. Do I Do, Stevie Wonder
96. Working For The Weekend, Loverboy
97. Goin' Down, Greg Guidry
98. Arthur's Theme, Christopher Cross
99. Through The Years, Kenny Rogers
100. Edge Of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks

Going through the list, I have come to wonder if there isn't a difference between the American and Canadian top 100. I'm amazed at how many of those songs I have never heard of and how many of my favourites are missing. Am I really that far off the beaten path? Time has dulled any memories of songs that I truly disliked at the time, so I haven't indicated any "dislikes". And way back in '82, I actually heard some of the bolded songs above live and in concert at The Police Picnic 1982. Let's hear it for the band...!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Ribs Come Marching 2 by 2

My children have become very picky about their socks. I blame myself. Older Son always had an issue with the seams on the toes of "store bought" socks, but his complaints about "bought" socks have multiplied since the introduction of "Mom made" socks to his footwear wardrobe.
Our kids started back to school on September 2nd, right after Labour Day, and since every new school year means new clothes, that must mean new socks, too... Right?
Older Son has scored 2 new pair of 2 by 2 rib socks this year. Why 2 by 2 rib? Because they're snug but not too tight nor too loose and they stay up...
I think that I may have created a MONSTER!!!

(No - he doesn't have 4 feet and no, a second model was not used. If you're going to goof around and put your socks on your hands, your Mom is going to make you let her take a picture of it so that she can show both pairs at once.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Intellectual Property

Since I am a working Mom of two kids who travels 75km each way to and from work every day, I cherish my Saturday evenings at home just past the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately for me, Saturday evenings are often spent ironing. Fortunately, I have the company of Randy Bachman and his show Vinyl Tap on CBC Radio One. Mr. Me still misses Danny Finkelman, so I can pretty well count on some peace and quiet... This past week, his show was Part 1 of Girl's Names. He is doing the list alphabetically, with Part 2 this coming weekend.
One of the interesting things that I learned from this show is that you cannot copyright a song title! As examples he gave the title "Jane" and "Gloria". Hmmm... Makes sense and very interesting! (Okay - I'll admit it, I LOVE trivia.)

Then before bed I thought that I would check out bloglines and see what was going on. I came across these entries over at Shut Up, I'm Counting. I'll admit that I arrived at the "Move along - nothing to see here" point, so I never saw the since removed post on the other blog, but in light of the show that I had just listened to, I found it rather interesting. I mean - can someone "own" a commonly used phrase? Do we all need to be that mindful of every small thing that we write or say?

And perhaps more importantly to me: Do you think I need to be worried Leonard Cohen might realize what the inspiration for my blog title was and threaten me with legal action??? Dance... Knit... Love... Time... C'mon - work with me here...

What do you mean that Mr. Cohen has never heard of me and he probably doesn't knit?


My photography skills do not do justice to my SoTS iii hint number 2 which was completed a couple of weeks ago but not photographed...
Now if I could just get back to it and get cracking on hints 3 and 4!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Today at lunch time I decided to check the e-mail account where I receive notification of blog comments. Now, I don't get a tonne of comments, which is just fine and rarely from people who I don't recognize by real name or blog name.
Today there was a comment on this post from a sender that I didn't recognize. I opened it up and read it. My first thought was "English is not this person's first language". So I clicked on their profile. I read it and was still thinking that there was enough there that it was possible that this person could be interested in my blog. So I clicked on their blog link...
I was very glad that my monitor faces away from my office door and that my door was partially closed. I felt the need to shower (which was impossible) afterwards. Eeeewww!!!
The comment has been deleted since none of you need to see that stuff and I know that sometimes I do click through to blog pages from comments that have been left on blogs that I read. I've also enabled comment moderation because of this.
I shudder just thinking about it! (And I'm no prude. Ick!!!)

Friday, August 29, 2008


Have you seen this magazine? No??? I went for a walk a lunch yesterday to get a little fresh air. I stopped at my favourite newstand. They had 2 copies when I arrived. I left them with one. Maybe its just me, but I love Debbie Bliss' designs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Since I Can't Spend All My Time Knitting...

I think that many knitters also like to read. When I was over at Chan's Blog the other day, she had a post about the Big Read. The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six. While the NEA is an American organization, I'm note sure if the Canadian statistics would be much different. I'd like to think that they would be better, but I suspect that that is really just wishful thinking. Have a look at the list. How'd you do?

*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.

There is something about underlining the books that we love, but since I can figure out how to underline, I'll skip that...

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (some but not all...)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I've read all four of the trilogy.)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (In progress.)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I'm both surprised an impressed at the quantity of CanCon (Canadian content) on the list. I'm also surprised at some of the authors that aren't there. No Hemingway???

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The Fall 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting proclaims "smitten with mittens" boldly across its cover and smitten I am! I must make and have the mittens on the cover... (Uhm - sorry about my crappy job of swiping the cover from the VK site. At least I got the mittens?!)

And as kind of a variation on a theme, I made these fingerless mitts back in April. I know that I wore them in Toronto at the beginning of May which is the only way of me placing them in time... You can find the pattern here and I must give credit to Alison since it was her Christmas knitting that made me long for a pair of my own.

Monday, August 18, 2008

SoTS iii - Hint #1 Completed

These photos make the yarn look much more purple than it really is! And you can barely see the beads... I opted for the copper lined crystal beads in the end. I had been leaning towards the gold lined amethyst but looking at the swatch in natural light, they just didn't add anything other than weight.
I finished the first hint on Saturday evening and was initially worried that my cast on was too tight, but then I compared it to my wet blocked swatch and breathed a sigh of relief. I think that it will be just fine.
One of the challenges of living towards the top of the world is that our days are already getting noticably shorter. I think the colour is off because of the flash, but my other issue is finding something that contrasts on which to snap a picture of my knitting... I seem to have lots of dark-ish upholstery - except the antique fainting couch that I used this time. Don't tell Mr. Me I put pins into the antiques, okay?

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Order Has Been Shipped!

My late night shopping order has been shipped as of yesterday. Once I'm back to work on Monday I'd better let the crew in Central Records (also our Mailroom) know... We're not really supposed to have personal stuff shipped to work, but if you're nice to them, they're nice to you. No mention as to whether or not they were able to ship the same dyelot of the Papaya Alpaca Cloud, so I guess that I'll just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed that I'm not going to have to frog and re-knit any of the edging.
I laughed when I looked at my shipping confirmation. Yes - everything was right, however, somehow while recounting my purchases, I neglected to mention that I had purchased a set of 14 " Harmony Straights! It was only approximately two thirds of my total purchase... I wonder what a psychoanalyst would say about this? (We won't ask about the shopping late at night and having things shipped to the office to avoid having to explain them at home, okay?)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

SoTS iii Swatched

Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Raspberry Heather on 3.5mm needles. (Sorry about the shadows from the window frame.)
Now decision time: which beads? The gold lined amethyst (on the right) or the copper lined crystal (on the left)?

Late Night Shopping

Or maybe it was early morning... I have long since accepted and embraced my addiction to and dependence on all things yarn related. It's legal. It keeps me in line since if my hands are happily busy I am usually able to ignore situations and/or people who I might find upsetting or annoying. I haven't done a thorough economic analysis, but I'm pretty sure that it is much more economical than most illicit drugs, unless you decide that you can only knit with qiviut... However, I have recently noticed that my innocent little knitting problem has developed a new symptom: compulsive joining of mystery KALs!
It started innocently enough with SoTS ii (there are actually 3 links there to the progress of the stole). Since I got through that without real issues (I'll come back to my minor issue), I joined in the Mystic Light KAL. Since I got through that without real issues (again), I joined the Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl KAL. It was my first pi shawl - what fun! And then came the signups for SoTS iii and MSK 4. Yup - I've joined them both!!!
So yesterday evening after everyone else was in bed, I decided to work away on the edging for Goddess Knits shawl. Aaack!!! I am 7 twelfths of the way around the shawl and have run out of yarn! I am knitting it out of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in the Papaya Heather colourway. Clearly, this required action. Read: A trip to Knit Picks to buy more yarn. But isn't it pretty so far?
Let's hope that they still have the same dyelot so I don't have to re-knit the whole edging...
And since I was at Knit Picks anyways, I might as well pick up a few other things, right? If you recall, I mentioned having a minor problem with these lovely lace KALs. My small problem is blocking knitting. I'm sure that my new blocking wires will help me with this issue.
See? Here is my completely knitted by unblocked Mystic Light shawl.

And since I didn't have anything in my stash for MSK4, I bought some Shadow Lace yarn in Snorkel Heather... Yum!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Look What I Won

Nancy celebrated her 2nd Bloggoersary on June24th with a contest. I haven't been reading her since the very beginning, but started reading her around the time that I began to blog, so close to a year and a half. Since you knitters are all pretty darned smart, I'm guessing that you've figured out by now that not only did I enter the contest, but I won a prize! And here's what I won:From the top, clockwise we have: Knit Picks Renaissance Sampler, 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Socks in the Liberty colourway, a Protect the Swag! sachet from Scouts Swag and a bar of Sweet Paradise soap from Corinne's Creations.
To give you a few more details, the sampler contains 6 balls of yarn with co-ordinating patterns for 6 small projects. How great is that?
Nancy had posted pics of the sock yarn back on the 4th of July and I had commented on it... I may not be American, but having been born on the 4th, I loved the colours and am THRILLED to have this yarn! Besides - it is my first ever Lorna's Laces yarn. (Anyone have any pattern suggestions? Must include "stars and stripes".)
I'm not sure which smells better, the sachet or the soap. The sachet contains natural moth repellents pennyroyal, lavender, cedar and rose - yum! The soap is layers of Guava Extreme, Mango Tango and Tropical Vacation and it too smells good enough to eat...
And accompanying the package was a lovely cat card. The cats are all quite lovely, but don't really compare to the princely Reggae!I like that there is a cat hiding in the cupboard... Very realistic.
Thank you so very much Nancy for a fabulous prize!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Am I The Only One?

Am I the only knitter with "half" pairs of needles? I decided to get my needles somewhat organized this afternoon so that I could semi-accurately complete my needle inventory on Ravelry. I know that it is only semi-accurate because I didn't feel like digging through the WIP/UFO pile to figure out which needles might have "gone native" while living in a bag of some sort, hanging out with unkempt patterns and wild yarn...
However, I am quite certain that that does not account for all of the single needles that I seem to own. Are pairs of needles like pairs of commercially made socks in the clothes dryer? You put them into your needle container, but they never come back out again, or they only re-emerge once you've already purchased a replacement pair, which might explain why I have 3 and a half pairs of 14 inch 4.5 mm needles!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Act Nonchalant

"Okay gang - let's act nonchalant, pretend that nothing is happening and perhaps someone will decide to take home a pair of socks without realizing that we're hiding inside..."Yes - another ploy of the rampant zucchini harvest to try and find new homes. It has also made me realize that while I've never experienced "second sock syndrome", I do have issues with weaving in the ends of finished objects. The fact that I had 4 pair that only needed to have their ends woven in to officially become "finished objects" should perhaps be somewhat troubling.
I'll do this from left to right across the top row.
First up we have the Lace / Ruffle Edge Sock from the Patons Next Step Four Booklet. I'd tell you what the yarn is but I can't find the ball band...

Next up we have Swirly-girl Socks by Jessica Grzedzinski. The pink is On Your Toes with the unknown yarn from above making a return appearance. I LOVE these socks! The two colour knitting is very impressive when the second yarn changes colours for you...

The pink socks are Jeanie Townsend's Spring Twists socks. This particular pattern is a free pattern - you have to belong to the Townsend Sock KAL Group - but this lady is tremendously talented and writes great patterns. Her purchased patterns are well worth the investment. I used Needful Yarns Australian Merino for these socks. I'd link to them but they appear to be offline right now... I only had 2 balls, so I ended up making the leg a little shorter so that I could have toes in my socks. If you use the same yarn - get yourself 3 balls... You can see another pair of Jeanie socks that I knit here. Finally, we have Spilly Jane's Naive Socks (This Must Be the Socks) in Noro Kureyon. The pattern is available on Ravelry. Check out her other patterns, too. Another talented lady. These socks became well travelled during the WWKIP Scavenger Hunt, although I'm still a little worried about their unpredictability given their attack on the Playmobil pirate ship crew...

At least they're pretty!