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!