Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My darling mugwump


I am so shocked to find you are now a young lady; I'm positive that only yesterday you were a little girl. It doesn't seem like Dida has been married for all that long, and clearly you were a little girl at that time. I keep looking at the wedding pictures and wondering how you got so much bigger, so fast.

In this last year you've been doing so good at school. I've been so proud every time I got a letter saying that you'd won an award or made the honour roll. I know how hard you worked to get there, and it's exactly that which makes me proud. School isn't the easiest thing you've ever done, yet you try so hard, and you love it. I think your teachers are so lucky to have you as a student.



These last few days I've had the pleasure of watching you play soccer. It's the first time you've ever taken part in organized sports. I've been watching you passing the ball, and seeing how much fun that you've been having with Anna, and it really warms my heart. I hope you really enjoy the season.

Your relationship with Anna is a constant source of pleasure for me. I'm so happy that the two of you love each other so much, and that you have so much fun together. The two of you have more fun than is probably allowed by law. I'm sure glad.



Right now you are with several of your girlfriends, playing tennis. When you rushed in to get equipment you seemed so happy, and you smelled like sunshine and fresh air.

I'm trying to get my head around you being more grown up and independent. I don't exactly like the idea, but I understand that I don't have any choice in the matter. Secretly I'm pleased, and a bit scared.

So soon enough we'll have a celebration dinner together, and go share a cake with your sister. I think that it's a pretty good day today Mug.. for all of us.



Happy 14th birthday... I love you too.

Momma
xoxox

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Water and more water

Aside from a small bowl of ice cream this evening, I've done pretty well today. My primary lemon loaf supplier was at the shop today, and she was most cooperative! I think I'm going to save her a great deal of Starbucks dollars which can be turned into yarn with the blink of an eye.

I bought a water purifier the other day, and I've been trying to drink a rather large quantity of ounces each day. I made it to the 50% mark yesterday, and was a complete and utter water-fail today. Tomorrow's another day.

So.. if you're a knitter, you might love Qivuit, adore Cashmere. As a spinner? Phew, it has to be Cormo. I continue to comb the hogget fleece and tonight I have enough to spin for a few hours. It's the most yummy, elastic, milky fleece I've ever touched, and I'm having to stop myself from stalking the Cormo farm website looking for a new lamb to call my own.

2010, look out.

Tomorrow two important things happen. Most critical, BFML's step-father is having a triple bypass and a valve replacement. Larry is the best non-blogger you ever haven't read. Maybe when he recovers we can talk him into joining the fray.

(Know what? Grampa is still hanging on. Apparently on the 'miserable grouchy grampa scale' he is measuring 12 on a scale of 1 to 5. Phew.)

And my Mug turns 14. I can hardly believe it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

No feeding the LYS manager


Due to the recent shrinkage of my belt, I must advise that the LYS manager no longer can be fed. This means: no delicious lemon loaf, no fabulous cookies, no candy, no chocolate, nor anything else that does not fall under the category of gruel.

The delicious jam you see on the toast a few posts back? No more of that either. Ice cream is definitely out, so BFML, you must stop forcing me to eat it. OK.. forcing might be stretching it a little, but you get the idea.

That is all.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anne and I


I like this shot.


And this one.

This and that

IMG_4511.JPGLet's start with eggs.

I'm in a three way tie for being the world's biggest poached egg fan; IK and Darts are the other two contenders.

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This Thursday at TKR one of the knitters offered up two dozen local farm eggs. I jumped at the opportunity, and this weekend I have had the pleasure of turning several of them into poached eggs. BFML had previously created a berry jam that I had on a second piece of toast. Problem with those eggs? Some of them are just too big and the poaching is a bit tricky. Now that's a sad, sad story, isn't it?

BFML went on a motorcycle ride to the island. He is very particular about how the dishwasher is loaded, and it drives him into a flap if dishes are sitting around.. I'm a 'fill the sink, and then load the dishwasher' person.

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Yay. My way this week.

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This is a very special little silk hankie. I was dyeing a stack of them blue, and this lone hankie (ok.. maybe 5) somehow attached itself to another fiber. I have left it on the baker's rack, because I like looking at it, and imagining what it might like to be when it's spun.

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I've been dyeing some sock yarn; doing experiments. This particular batch has been quite successful. The colours in the picture are not representative in any way; the yarn is actually an almost black-brown, with reds and oranges. Wayyyyy nice.

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Last weekend, Vikingmaid made me these combs. They are lethal, and useful, and some kind of wonderful. I've had part of Cormo hogget fleece #750 washed and partially spun since last spring. Now that I have combs I'm going to work through the balance of the fleece. It's kind of fun to comb a bit now and then, and watch the little clouds pile up.

I've been knitting too.. but we'll save that for later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The sluggish blogger

I have a lot to say, but I haven't exactly felt like saying anything these days. I hope you can be patient. It's a mission-hangover. The weeks after I come home I feel out of balance, and somewhat sad. I have been thinking that when I retire I would really love to be a missionary. I need to win a lottery...

Knitting?

Yes, and lots of epic fails to report. The Near Solstice is on hold because after I repaired the wayward yarn-over, the tension near one letter was poor. It's no longer perfect, and the intent was to knit it for competition. I'm deciding.. as is, it would be knitting for a personal shawl, and I'm not sure yet whether I want to complete it or not. I have been thinking of frogging version 1, and starting again with the cashmere that I initially intended to use. It's whiter.. I might add some beads. I want the image of snow sparkling.

In the interim, I started and completed an Evelyn Clark shawl that I hand dyed and spun for.. yummy pinkish-gold colour, and great (as always) pattern. When I was done all but the lace edge I realized that the yarn choice was poor for the pattern, and that the detail was hardly evident in parts that I needed to stand out. Last night I pulled the needles.. and frogged the entire thing. I could hardly believe I was doing it...

By midnight I had the shawl back on the needles, using a dark chocolate cashmere that I had in the stash... It's looking better already.


Spinning?

Yes, lots. I finished a skein of lace weight bfl in electric greens and blues, the cashmere/silk, and a test skein of Cotswold that I bought at the Apr 11 shearing. Yesterday I picked up handmade combs, and I've been testing those. I think my fleece has too much static, or I really suck at combing.. one of the two. I need practice. I also need to perfect my fleece washing, because after 3 washes and 2 rinses, the fleece is more grey than I wish. I might dye it and sell some 'clouds'...

Here's a poorly lit, boring little video that shows me plying the silk/cashmere with no hands. If you get the lazy kate's tension exactly right, it goes well! In the background is a partial skein of the green laceweight, and the bobbin is sitting on a copy of the shawl pattern I was knitting. Formula One in the background, the floor needs painting, the cats have wrecked the couch, and yes.. Rock Band.

video


Dyeing?

Nope. But I have some plans percolating. It's just about to gel.. maybe today? Also, I've been having some trouble with yarn that I'm dyeing for Bess. It just doesn't want to come to life... I need some magik.


Finishing?

I don't want to talk about it. Nini's Secret Garden has needed a button sewn on since December. I have the button.


Work?

Fabulous. Ordering product scares the pants off me, and I have lost some sleep over it, that's for sure. Yet each time I take a chance, it works out really well. I think that in time I'll develop more confidence... just as I did in all the other aspects of managing a yarn store. Sooner or later I will order a dud, but the world won't end. In the meantime I'll just pray that the decisions I make are good ones.


Insomnia?

The bane of my existence.


Shearing?

Round two was yesterday, and I primarily spent the day skirting fleeces. I wanted to get better and more confident at it. I think it's a great thing, and the whole process has me thinking about stuff and forming plans. I didn't buy any fleece this time, but it was hard not to. I have to (HAVE TO) deal with what I have on hand before I get more.

Pictures to follow when my camera battery recharges. In the meantime you might like to visit the Calgary Flickrmeets group. There's an amazing picture of Renna's hands, Anne's hands, and my gumboots amidst fleece.

(hmmm... after the battery was recharged and I uploaded the pictures, this is the best I have to offer. Mug was the day's photographer by the way)




Something amazing:

I once had a very special friend who I lost contact with. You may have purchased top called Forest Pixie.. the colourway was inspired by her. On Friday she walked into TKR and I nearly died of shock. Best.Shock.Ever.


More? ya... but that's about enough for today, don't you think?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shearing



I had the greatest time at the shearing on Saturday. Vikingmaid and her business partner were just fantastic in every way; organized, fun, interesting and helpful. I now know how to skirt a fleece, and was lucky enough to split a Cotswold fleece (a 2 year growth, resulting in up to 11" staple). I washed a good deal of the fleece as soon as I got home, and I've spun a little already. It is FABULOUS. There were lots of sheep about to give birth, and some adorable little black lambs gamboling about.

Did you know that sheep are a real visual bunch, and that after they are sheared, they don't recognize each other? That's why, after being shorn, they are often penned very closely (in a 'crush'); so that they are forced to reacquaint. Interesting.

I'm going to go again this Saturday... I could easily become a shearing groupie..

Sock Innovation is here!

Looking for Cookie's new book? It's here!!!

Give me a quick call if you'd like me to put one aside for you.

pffft.. this post was supposed to land at theknittingroomcalgary.blogspot.com !

Friday, April 10, 2009

Going to a shearing tomorrow

I'm really looking forward to it... and have new gumboots to celebrate spring. I'll need them.

Today I found this version of Amazing Grace. Seems to me that if you're going to sing about grace, you ought to really get amazing; and this fits the bill.



And yes... the BFML picture is a bit creepy, which was his intention. I have knitting to show, that is for sure.. just waiting for a bit of sunshine and a bit of green. It's time to put the light box away until fall.

Near Solstice? I'm waffling. It's imperfect, and I'm not sure I can stand it. It might hit the frog pond. I've started a new shawl with a cashmere/silk blend that I dyed and spun. It's looking good, and will keep me busy until I decide what's happening with the NS.

BFML says hi

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I found a fabulous link

... on Muumi's rav page. I think you're gonna love it, and i KNOW that we're going to have a blast trying to beat Aunty Tink's numbers. So.. go here to find a knitting meter.

Did you know that Annie's Attic publishes a free pattern every day? Have a peek.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Knitting Addiction Quiz

I found this quiz on Ravelry... and thought you might like to give it a whirl.

According to the results, I am not addicted! Clearly I need to knit more.

I am also adding links from the same blog for the Yoke-u-lator (a program to create patterns for circular yoked sweaters), and the Calculator (a small program to calculate numbers of stitches between increases, when a pattern says: increase evenly. Scroll down to Feb 19th blog entry).

Friday, April 3, 2009

Meet Alfonso


This is how a man looks when he works from 7am to 2am, 6 days a week. This is how 42 appears when you are a vegetable packer in Mexico.

This is an image that must be clicked on.

Tell me what you know about him, just by looking at this picture.

I went in.

Through those doors.

It was a lovely celebration of Aunt Mary's life. Lots of golfing and bowling was discussed, and there was a display of her awards. I wasn't the floor show. And I didn't break into their file cabinet (I know the exact drawer) to remove his original footprints.

So.. it really went well I think.

I'm going to spin now, until my heart comes back.

I'm never going back there again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tomorrow is Aunty Mary's funeral.


I'll be seeing all kinds of family. Somehow, over the years, we've become one of those bunches that gets together when someone is born, someone is married, or someone passes on.

The thing is that my Uncle Don died in 2001, so when in 2002 I lost HC, the only place I knew to take him was the same funeral chapel. Sure enough, Aunt Mary's service is there. I am not sure I can get through the doors, but I am really going to try.

She has a grandson Christian who was named after my great-grandfather. My son was named for him too; though I chose the diminutive.

Enough for this day... enough.