Sunday, December 30, 2007

Phew.. what a day


I stopped at Make One today to pick up some fiber. I left with two bags full, and have been dyeing all afternoon long.

I have a new green colourway, and a red one too. A lavender tide, a shepherd, a holi festival, a playing with fire: bronze, pansy, and hmmm.. oh, a revised vermilion kiss. I think that one is getting a new name, because it's not so much vermilion unless vermilion is plum.

I'm trying a new process, and I think it's working well, overall. I'm doing more re-dying than I'd like. I think it's because (I believe) superwash doesn't take dye the same as other fibers. I lean towards vibrant.

So, between steaming batch after batch, I've been knitting on the Hela. I don't know how it happened this fast, but the body seems to be done. I'll put it aside and knit the sleeves now. If you don't know how to knit continental, please take a look at to get some quick instructions. It makes stockinette fly.

I was hoping to drop off some fiber at Make One tomorrow, but it isn't going to happen. For some reason the printer no longer communicates.. so I can't do labels. Too tired to figure it out tonight, that's for sure.

BF made a really awesome meatloaf last night. I had it leftover for lunch in the form of a sandwich, and now I'm having it again as a late dinner, with rutabaga. You just can't beat that.

What was I thinking?

I don't have a pot big enough to overdye this! Back to the drawing board.

miss priss having a bath

But, I do have all the yarn and needles to knit this (oh so good to have a loving, Icelandic friend)! Ms. Jonsdottir; it is so very cool that this is a free pattern. Thank you!

So, I am. Ya Baby. I'm 5 or 6 inches into it already.

And I've decided to over-dye the Vermilion Kiss. Too much blue. I know exactly what to do.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas with 6rabitts and 3 rose petals

I have been so looking forward to this Christmas; dinner in particular. Not just because of Martha's perfect turkey, but because it was our first Christmas meal with Nini. I love being a Nan; it's the best. But, it didn't start out that way.. gosh she was so sick in the beginning, and that first month at the Children's hospital was not for the faint of heart. But she's simply fabulous and healthy now, and it's been a long while since we were holding our breaths and praying for a miracle (which we got, thank God).

Some may know that there is an empty seat at our dinner table, so Christmas is a difficult time; mostly for me. I was hoping that the excitement and joy of having Nini this first year would soften the season; and yes, it sure did. I am unable to describe how grateful I am for all of my blessings.

So.. phew.. let's move on. BF's kids weren't with us in the morning, but arrived shortly after lunchtime. Mug had opened her gifts, and was so happy when the rest of our troupe arrived. They opened their gifts, and that left one lone box.. something for all the kids (including the daddy sized one). In it was Guitar Hero. When that gift was unwrapped there was more shouting and jumping and merriment than I had even dared dream. It was a hit, and is the single most played with present in this house.

Tho... I'd have to say that this one went over well too!

My favorite gifts, hands down, were the hand knitted items that I gave to BF. One was a pair of alpaca socks that I dyed, spun and knit. He's worn them again and again... and the second is a green cashmere toque I also knitted for him. In the morning when he gets up he puts it on before anything else. I don't think it's been off of his head since he unwrapped it. Man.. every moment I spent knitting that toque has been rewarded 10-fold.

I am selfish.. It's the giving that I love. The reactions. The happiness. The warmth.

There was a great moment in the evening when I looked at our feet to see that Nini had on the cashmere socks, BF the alpaca/BFL, SIL the natural grey alpaca, Dida had on the Pomatamous, and I was wearing the first pair of socks Dida had ever knitted. How great is that?

This was such a terrific Christmas. It really was.

We hope that yours was too.

Dyed and dying

Finally, a photo!

Some Tijuana Blanket (in alpaca) having a swim. It's much more vibrant 'in person'. I've knit BFL socks in this colourway, and they are my all time favorites.


Following we have the Miss Priss (in colourway: Snooks), who is also soaking, but this time in preparation for an over-dye. I can't decide what colour.. I think even I'll be surprised by this one!

miss prissmiss priss having a bath

And... The Heartland Lace Shawl, currently blocking. I'm so happy with it. I'm going to order the intended yarn (Bison) and knit it again to enter into the 2008 Calgary Stampede.

heartland lace shawlheartland lace shawlheartland lace shawl

Come back for a Vermillion Kiss...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pictures, I need pictures!

BF is a photographer, and here I am with more bland posts for you (where oh where is the charger for my camera?). Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Today I finished knitting the Heartland Lace Shawl for BF's mom. It's great, and will be blocked in the morning.

Also, I dyed. Just finished a few moments ago, so I AM going to have some fab pictures to share after it dries. I did a striped Tijuana Blanket, Holi Festival, Spruce Forest, Spaceballs, and Vermillion Kiss. It should all be in Make One's hands by Monday.

Ok.. now I sleep.

and BF... I know you're reading. I need pictures!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I was lucky!

I did get the Miss Priss yarn for Mr. Greenjeans, but I was drunk at the time*, and somehow came home with a yarn which includes the colour bubblegum pink. Believe me, I'll be overdying soon. Stragely that thrills me, because now I'll have something completely original to me.

I am pleased, I wanted THAT yarn (cuz it's sproingy), and I was hoping for a deal. Yes.. it all happened. It was great, because Dida, Nini and I went together, and Dida also got a bag of Miss Priss. Somehow she's adopted my Mr. Greenjeans addiction. In her case, the sweater is already cast on, and she's well into it. I guess it helps that Nini didn't sleep last night, so Dida had a lot of knitting time.

As well, I got a 5 or 6 pairs of socks worth of yarn in all kinds of fun colours for approximately 1/2 price. Ya baby. I also bought 2 skeins of red in Louet Gems. Somehow M-1's yarn pusher (big wink) talked me into 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces something or other. She did it by resting the yarn against a perfect cheek, and mentioned to me how wonderful Nini would look in a sweater. Ya. Put it in the bag.

It's all good, and I'm thrilled. It was so much fun; I had Nini in the click, and when she got her fill of being admired, she had a nice nap.

My Christmas story will be re-rain-checked, due to extreme Heartland Lace Shawl knittage. It's BF's mom's birthday in a few days, and he's going out to the Island to spend it with her; I'd like to have the shawl blocked in time for him to take it along. I'm pretty sure that will happen, since I only have about 15 rows left to go. I've knit it in sock yarn, so it's quite a bit smaller than it is designed to be, but I thought she'd rather something smaller and lighter. It's a beautiful and easy pattern; I'd recommend it.

ok.. about the *drunk* thing. I wasn't actually drunk; but somebody (who shall remain unnamed) poured a dram or two of Bailey's in my coffee. Too. Much. Fun.

Photos of yarn wonderfulness to follow..

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Don't tell.

Make One is having a blow-out sale today, and I am SO going to be there. Dida and I plan on lining up an hour before opening. I'm aiming for the yarn/needles to knit Mr. Greenjeans.

If I'm lucky, I'll post my new stash yarn later today.

Ya baby. I'm excited.

When I get normal, I'll tell you about our Christmas (which was lovely).

Sunday, December 23, 2007


sock monkey hat
Originally uploaded by spinknit

Honestly, this very evening I've completed all the Christmas knitting. And that includes the (pause here for effect) Cat's Paw Wrap. I swear, it is having a little bath right now, and soon will be blocked. I sewed in the ends of the Tulip Cardi, blocked the alpaca socks, Maine Mitts and another Stolen Moments Wrap. It's all done!

I cannot believe that the CPW and I have parted company. After months of working on it, tomorrow sometime it will belong to my friend Beatrice.

It's going to look so great on her, and I think she will really love it. That makes me so happy. She's been a great friend, and I wanted to give her something that will let her know how much I value her.

Effective tomorrow (between the wrapping and Christmas dinner advance-prep), I can re-start the Mystic Waters. I'm really excited, and I think it's going to go well.

I hope that your Christmas knitting is completed too.. that you met your schedule and that you have some peace and rest prior to Christmas day. I hope we all keep the real meaning of Christmas in the forefront of our minds as we give the gifts we spent so many hours on.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and all the best in 2008.

With love from Annie, Jim, Katie, Maddie, Anna, Aidan, Diana, Ike and Katerina. xoxox

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm ready. Almost.

BF and I took stock of our preparedness today, and made a to-do list. Mine included grocery shopping for Christmas dinner, and his included getting a tree. We do this every year; wait until the bitter end, and then panic, because there's hardly any trees to be found. Last year we got the most gorgeous, full, 9' from Ikea for $20. This year Ikea was a no-go, but BF found a perfect 8', on sale for $15.00. You just can't beat that. It's standing in the living room now, waiting for the kids to decorate it. Earlier they all made themselves a Christmas ornament for 2007.

I'm especially excited about Christmas this year, because it's the first time Nini will eat at my table. She's just starting on solid foods, so I expect that she'll have a little mashed potatoes and carrots at very least. After Karen nearly killed herself a few short weeks ago, it seems such a blessing that we're having a happy Christmas at all, let alone, have this little grandchild to share it with. Everything is a little shinier.

All that aside.. I found that I was completely done with gifts, that my Christmas knitting is done except for the Cat's Paw, and a lot of ends to sew in. I have everything for stockings. It's all good. Tomorrow we'll pick up an organic, free range turkey, and we'll wrap gifts on Monday. Tuesday should be stress free, and happy. I'll cook Martha Stewart's Perfect Turkey (don't miss it if you have a chance).

I hope your stress level is low, low, low.

(ps: The kids did, in fact, decorate the tree, and it looks exactly like a kids' tree should. The photo, above, demonstrates what I love about a kids' tree; deep inside you'll find a little picture of a snowman that someone coloured and carefully cut out. It's hot hanging, it's laying on a branch. Somewhere else in the tree is real, small, teddy bear. There are dozens of Christmas balls that the kids have decorated with permanent markers. It's all good.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

The C word

I was doing some mindless prep for a hardwood feathering; which makes it a perfect day to listen to podcasts. I love them. They are just perfect for my job, and I hardly listen to music any more. iTunes is losing a fortune on me these days.

Anyway, I have been listening to Barbara Dayne's Cast On of late; working my way from the most recent back to the earliest. I think I'm somewhere around last spring at the moment, and she was using the C word.

That's right.. crochet. Just say it.

In my mind, crochet is something hard and scratchy. It's something that melts near an open flame. The colours singe the retna. I have to admit that things may have changed in the last 20 years; perhaps fibers in the plastics family are no longer the first choice for crochet. It is possible that I've seen a pattern in Amy's new book that has me thinking that *perhaps*, just maybe, I should learn the skill.

(Following is a picture of said sweater, lifted directly from Is that hot, or what? I feel thinner and taller just looking at it. And it's TAUPE.)

I can cop to knowing how to make a granny square, and according to today's podcast, that means that I know enough techniques to do everything. A few short weeks ago Marilynn tricked me into buying a tiny hook. You know.. to put beads on knitting. But are hooks like needles? Do they suddenly appear in a basket by the dozen? Soon I'll find out there's a *faster* hook, or a purple, laminated, whatever-hook that one blind man in Borneo carves by hand. Somehow I'm going to press: Paypal, and I'm going to own that hook. I can see it now.

So today, crochet has been seeping into my consciousness. I'm thinking about firmer button bands. I'm thinking about crochetting (how the heck DO you spell that?) into just the front loop and coming up with a more drapey product. How does it look if I just go into the back loop? The same? Different? Softer?

See... there's only one darned way to answer these kinds of questions. That darned C word, eating at me already.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Been breathing mall air

That was last night, and it sucked the life right out of me. Tonight I went to the second (and final) Christmas concert of 2007.

In response to a Yarn Harlot post, I calculated that between Dida, Mug, and Nini, I'll have attended 39 consecutive Christmas concerts. I believe I will have earned a platinum award of some sort. Platinum with diamond sparkles.

Anyway, I took a lone sock (that started out at the first 2007 Christmas concert), and knit exactly one row before I realized that I did not, in fact, recall exactly how to turn a heel. Need a reminder for the first row. So.. back it went into the knitting bag.

So, that's my story for today. Quite a short one, really.

Tomorrow I dye.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Here bunny bunny...

I mentioned that I left M1 on saturday with an armload of fiber. Graciously, I was offered a bag to put it in, but I was excited and jangled and I figured, what the hay, I'm only walking down the hill.... The next day I realized that 50 grams of angora and I had parted company. Checked the price of angora lately? Frick. Could it not have been something less valuable?

I had my boots on in no time flat, and retraced my footsteps. Can you believe it??? The angora was sitting pretty, right where I dropped it, and in pristine condition. Talk about your lucky break. Phew.

I don't really have anything interesting to say except that the Heartland is going very well, and I'm on the third repeat of rows 25-44. I've hardly frogged anything, which just blows my mind after Mystic Waters.

I feel so bad about the Cat's Paw. I promised to work on it, but honestly, I'm sick to death of it, and I just want it to go away. Never knit a wrap with 3 pattern rows, it's just too boring (tho beautiful).

Have you ever heard of Sock Wars? It's an online game where players register their names, addresses and shoe size. The idea is to knit socks day and night, and get em mailed out asap. When the recipient receives their sock, they are 'dead', and out of the game. Last *man* standing is the winner and receives; well. socks. The whole concept excites me, and I've joined the Sock Wars group on Ravelry to keep my eye on the game.

Just for fun; here's a link for Arachne Sock Calculator, for custom sizing knee high socks. You just input your numbers, and presto.. a (plain - you add the fancy) pattern.

By the way; that's no bunny up there. That's my boy Spike. The world's best dog, says I. Pssst: don't click on him unless you'd like to see him bigger than life-size. Me and re-sizing just haven't come to terms.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ok, Mondays are for shawls too.

Originally uploaded by spinknit

It was good to get a comment from aunty tink, because without her, the Mystic Waters would be in the Bonnybrook Sewer Treatment Plant, being *recycled*. I was at the end of my rope with the first chart (never having used a chart before); I'd frogged about 10 times, and just chucked the whole thing. Thank goodness she is a lace guru. With a few suggestions and a new yarn choice I was good to go (hey, she hooked me up with fridge magnets and a cookie sheet.. it was all I needed for a fresh start).

I appreciate the positive feedback, because what aunty tink didn't say was there there are quite a few glaring errors in that piece of lace. And you know what? I don't care. I'm going to call them intuitive design features, and I'm going to be thrilled with the shawl. Maybe your lace has a few intuitive features too; and you know what, it's OK.

Amy gave me another lace hint; and that is, don't point out your errors. No one will notice them. I didn't take her advice this one time, because I wanted to show you that fabulous doesn't have to be perfect.

I'm sticking with that.

Ok.. aunty tink again. I was reading her blog and I saw that she had entered a scarf (which now hangs in Make One, tho the first place ribbon isn't attached) in the Calgary Stampede. This got me interested, because I've been wanting to enter my work in *something*, but a venue the scale of the Stampede hadn't crossed my mind. While looking at aunty tink's Ravelry queue, I spied the Heartland Lace Shawl, by Evelyn Clark. This pattern was originally submitted by Evelyn into a Buffalo Gold contest via Wild Fibers Magazine, and you can email Buffalo Gold for the charts. I did so, and had them within hours... hence, about 50 rows of lace completed in Trekking XXL Fingering weight. It's a completely inappropriate yarn choice, but I'm going to make this one to wear.

My point is that I think this would be a very suitable choice to knit for the Stampede this year (using Bison). If AT isn't thinking of the very same thing, I think I might give it a whirl. Why the heck not?

So that was my evening. I laced.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday is for shawls

Recently, on Knitlist, a poster asked why people love wearing shawls. In the post she mentioned that she loves knitting them, loves how they look, but doesn't love wearing them. She was wondering if she shouldn't donate them to an old folks' home.

The response was quick and plentiful, (and often suggested alternate uses, rather than answering her question!)and included:

Convert them (into table, chesterfield or window coverings)
Wear a shawl in the morning instead of a robe
Develop a shawl drawer, and just admire them
Start a fashion trend! Actually wear the shawl and see how many follow your lead

When suddenly actual shawl lovers (dare I say, wearers?) started to chime in:

Some states in the US are so warm that stores, theaters, etc., are often over-air conditioned, and a shawl is a light method of dealing with the chill
They are great extra layers, and colour accents
As a solution to fluctuating climate changes in offices
Shawls can be a bold fashion statement
They are easy to remove
They are less constricting than a coat
Shawls attract other knitters

I myself have become a shawl-wearer. My first shawl isn't knitted, it's a much cherished woven shawl which I won at a silent auction after a guild sheep to shawl competition. Most of the time it hangs over a long rail on the cabinet by my desk. I can admire it, it doesn't get lost in a pile of kids' jackets, and the cat can't sleep on it. However, I do wear it out often enough. I find myself wrapping it like a sarong around my hips, over jeans; that method started because I had a painful lower back injury and I found the warmth was helpful (my shawl is thick and cozy). Often I'll use it as a lap robe while I knit; I must be getting to an age, because I find that my knees are often cold.

At the moment I'm 25% through knitting a wool/silk (and beads!) version of the Mystic Waters shawl (detail shown above). It is breathtakingly beautiful, and I'm madly in love with it. My plan is to complete it over the Christmas break, when I have some time to really concentrate. Mystic Waters is a KAL (my first!) and the final clue was issued last Wednesday. Lots of knitters have completed their shawls will be wearing them over this holiday season, and I honestly wish I was one of them.

A few months ago, Make One Yarn Studio came up with an idea for a 'Year of Lace, 2008', and I have to say that I signed up before I drew another breath. I could not be more excited; especially since the lace objects will feature scarves, shawls and wraps. I WILL be wearing my shawls. I'm in love with them already, and I haven't a clue what they might be! If you'd like more information on a Year of Lace, just click on the button I've placed to the right.

If you just can't wait til spring, and you'd like to join a shawl KAL, there is one currently open for registration by going to the Yahoo group Spring Shawl Surprice. The KAL will be starting in January, and I am SO signed up, and making my yarn selection at this time (believe me, it's part of the fun!).

One more thing (have I become sanctimonious?)... while Christmas shopping the other day I saw an inexpensive commercial shawl in a store window. I actually felt a pang of sadness that someone would have to wear something so.. so.. lame. I need to knit shawls to wipe out the cheap commercial shawl over the shoulders of people I love. Ya. That's it.

So there you have it... many reasons why we love to knit and wear shawls. I'd love to hear your story, or post a picture of your favorite shawl!

And, me? I recently left Make One with a pair of 4.5mm Addi Turbo Lace needles for an interesting shawl I'm going to knit out of sock yarn. It's gonna be.. great.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today was Amy's 30th birthday spin-in

I really enjoyed talking to new people and admiring all kinds of different wheels. I dunno... I wanted a Ladybug, then I didn't, then I did. All I know for sure is that it is a solid as a rock and spins as thin as can be. After today, I'm leaning more towards.. want it.

I dyed 4oz. of Alpaca/Merino/Silk in 'Spaceball Jams' for Amy's gift. Colourway loosely based on Sandra's jams at the Emerald Lake Retreat. (I saw a picture!)

It was a really great to see people there spinning my fiber; in fact, all the stock is nearly gone. How cool is that? I left with an armload of fiber to dye, and a new pair of not-pink, not-plastic, Addie Turbo circs (I'm going to come to terms with circs if it is the last thing I do).

As far as projects, I've been working on all kind of things, including the Cat's Paw Wrap:

The missing thumb on a pair of Maine Mitts (the darned second mitt is two rows longer than the first, so I have to frog it a bit):

and a Knitty Sock Monkey hat for Katie (almost done...):

Earlier in the week I attended Maddie's first ever band concert. They all received their instruments in October, so I think they did very well. It was a *classic* first concert; there were times when I wasn't too sure if it was a song we were listening to, or a flock of geese. I took knitting; yes, I cop to starting a sock. Below you'll find my new trumpet player, followed by one concert's worth of ToFutsies sock goodness.

Thank you for hanging with me during my blog free days. Karen is now back at home, and although you could not call her well, she's not in dire straights, and we can breathe a sigh of relief.

Also, thank you Linda (from one spinknit to another) for your shawl comment. That's what I'll talk about tomorrow.. Shawls, and why I love them.

Please take a moment to read back to: Pay it forward. I have zero takers!

Finally, here's a bonus pic of the devine Miss K (and my fabulous SIL's hairy hands) in a shrug I dyed/spun/knit for her before she was born. The fiber is Alpaca, and the colourway is called: Nina's wildflower garden.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I need to take a few more days off of blogging

All I can think about is Karen. We're hoping that she turns a corner this week, and that our worry-o-meters can be put away for a while. Thanks in advance for checking back in a few days.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Prayers and positive thoughts are welcome

We learned last night that the kids' mom has had a bad fall. If you have any spare prayers or positive thoughts, Karen could really use them.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Errata on the blocking wires and a bit on Barbara Walker

Oops. There are, in fact, 36" wires in the kit. For some reason they weren't in the main bundle, and left behind in the mailing tube. Needed to clarify that.

Tonight I've been looking online for a set of BW's Treasuries. An affordable set... and I stumbled upon The Walker Treasury Project, in which people swatch the black and white patterns and you can see stitch patterns in RL. If you have some time to spare, I recommend you have a look. It's enough to to entice one to charge a set of the books (I haven't... I won't).

Years ago, when my first marriage hit the skids, I spent months knitting an amazing afghan. I'm positive I was flat broke at the time, so I promise you there isn't a natural fiber within 5 miles of it. It was so heavy and so big that I wrecked my shoulder in the process of knitting it (all the while, letting my heart mend). Today, for the first time, I realized that it was a combination of a whole lot of BW's stitch patterns.

Imagine that. I love it even more.

Tell me; why would you wear a shawl? If anybody comments, I'll tell you why I would, and do.

Friday, December 7, 2007

OK, I hate circs

Maine Mitten
Originally uploaded by spinknit

I really do. I've tried and tried to get comfortable with them, and it just doesn't get any better. Here I am, forced to knit with a pair of pink, plastic circs because I cannot find my 5mm dpns. How did I end up with pink plastic circs? Isn't there some kind of law against that?

Complaining aside; I've been working on my Christmas knitting. I spun natural grey Alpaca and some BFL for SIL's socks, and they're done. The boy has size 11.5 feet. Also spun angora/cashmere/baby camel samples and knit Nini some soft socks. Done. At the moment I'm working on a second Maine Mitten (also dyed and spun by me). Tomorrow, come hell or high water, I'm committing myself to the Cat's Paw stole.

After hardly any deliberation, I picked up a set of EZ Blocking Wires today; I was *expecting* the package to include sets of 36" wires and shorter, a yard stick and some T-pins. What it did include was 24" wires and shorter, plus the yard stick. I am considering returning the wires because the very first piece I want them for is much bigger than 24"...

Oh.. and some yummy plum Trekking sock yarn somehow got into my stash. Must have been elves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Alternate use of a baker's rack

alternate use of a bakers rack
Originally uploaded by spinknit

Scary looking, huh?

In the last hour it's all been fluffed, braided and packaged (the Merino, as opposed to the baker's rack). The 'after' is much nicer than the 'before', I'll tell you that. I'm happy with the results.

I'll be dropping it off at Make One tomorrow afternoon.

Let's see if we can't come up with a picture of the 'banana slug' for you.

ps: The chicken pot pie absolutely kicked butt. It was amazing.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tell me...

Would you buy a roving called: Banana Slug?

Even if it was pretty?

Perhaps not... I'll name it Sunburst Lichen instead, and probably nobody will feel a bit like gagging. I suppose 'meal worm' is out too?

(pssst: it sold!)

Sheep to shawl

As the summer waned, BF and I took a long motorcycle ride which brought us to the Millarville/Priddis Fair. We were thrilled to discover there was a sheep to shawl competion going on; three teams were competing. We stayed for quite a long time, just watching in amazement. The Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild was there; three barefooted ladies were spinning up a storm. Another lady wound the bobbins, and a fifth was doing the weaving. The wool came straight from the sheep; uncleaned, in the grease. It was quickly combed by hand before being handed off to spinners. Although 'our team' didn't win, I was the lucky winner of the silent auction afterwards, and I now enjoy that same shawl. It's so warm and cozy... I think partially due to the fact that I was so (emotionally) involved in it's preparation. Honestly, the competition was the real reason I joined the Guild... It was just too great to miss.

So, here's a photo of my really special shawl, and a link to some pictures that BF took during our day at the fair.

Today is dying day (yesterday was too), and I have some cashmere packaged. It's all good, and I'm really happy.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Last night I made '100 cloves of garlic chicken'

Originally uploaded by spinknit

It was 100 cloves of garlic gross. Alright, I admit it, I only used 50. 60 tops. The chicken was so darned dry that I couldn't even eat mine, so there we were with a whole pan full of chicken breasts, garlic cloves, and 1/2 cooked potatoes. All floating in white wine. Tonight I'm trying to turn it into chicken pot pie, so we'll see how that goes. Sans about 75% of the garlic cloves you understand.

A super great thing happened yesterday. Amy (of Make One fame, ... not to mention, the creator of my Mr. Greenjeans addiction) called to say that most of the fiber I took to the store had sold. She said I rocked. (I'll admit it.. that was the best part!) Imagine, being told you rock by the rockingest chick you know. Anyway, that good news means that tonight I dye again. I've been wanting to; there's a 'reflection of embers', and a 'bridgeland arch of fall leaves' colourway floating around in my head. I picked up a few pounds of Merino to play with.. tho it's BFL that I dream of.

Might I give you a book review? My understanding is that Careena shared her copy of The Knitter's Book of Yarn during M-1's last retreat. Amy (and others I'm sure) knit a pair of the Maine Morning Mitts found in the book. Because they looked so grand, and because I have quite a few single skeins floating around, I also knit some (in self-spun, navajo plied Wensleydale - colourway: Monarch). Cool... I love 'em, and fell in love with the idea of the book. Did some research on what it might contain (I'm not big on ordering books until I've seen them myself and I'm convinced it's not a waste of perfectly good sock wool money), and decided to order from Amazon. It's possible that I also ordered Lace Style and Arctic Lace too (it's all about free shipping, am I right?), but I'm not copping to it.

I have to tell you that i totally LOVE this book. Kudos to Clara Parkes for providing so much yarn related information, and a great big bunch of patterns as well. This is going to be one of my favorite books, and I'm really glad I spent the money on it.

Lastly... I found a really awesome blog. She's fab, and I think you should hear what she has to say. A knitter, of course.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mid-evening update

A short note to say that the divine Miss K was here this afternoon for a short while, complete with her first tooth. We're all very excited. She can also sit unsupported for approximately 30 seconds.

And she loves me. How great is that?

A life that hangs in the balance

OK... this isn't beige.

Can you save up your yarn money, or your coffee money for a week? Ya baby, you so can.

Knitters Without Borders has donated almost a half million dollars to
Doctors Without Borders. If I can figure it out, I'm going to *ahem* slap a button on this blog so that you can learn about the opportunity for yourself.

Spread some cheer. Spend for the greater good. Step outside of yourself.

I'll put link here so there's something clickable until I locate a copy of blog buttons for dummies.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today was kind of beige

Beige and cold.

Managed to knit on the cat's paw for an hour or so, but otherwise nothing notable was accomplished. I did discover a few new good blogs this evening; that's a good thing.

Here's a really stupendous spinning wheel for you to admire. The man is amazing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Little surprise

Originally uploaded by spinknit

Today I went to a specialist to discuss my situation. Much to my surprise, I left, having had a biopsy. I wasn't expecting that, but I'm glad that I didn't have to spend weeks worrying about it. Now it's done, and I can move on.

Anyway, I Christmas shopped for Mug, and I came home and had a nap. Dida dropped in, having just stopped at Make One to pick up yarn for another mobius capelet. She's addicted, in a major way (to the mobius, and now to Make One)!

I'm knitting the Cat's Paw stole.. it's been having a snooze for a while, and I really want it done in time for Christmas. I need to finish SIL's socks (the first is done to the toe), and knit a few monkey hats... then I think I'm done.

How close are you?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pay it forward...

How would you like to promote the spirit of handmade and get something in return? All you have to do is reciprocate and it just goes from there.

“The idea of the exchange is I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on this blog post requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it before winter's end, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.”

Thank you to Spin Knit Repeat As Necessary for her link in the pay it forward (handmade) chain.

4 more...

It was a cold, cold morning; started off badly with the roads some kind of nightmare. My 10 minute drive took 45. BF encountered one problem after another. I'm surprized he ever got to work. It was the first time in ages that I've worked inside/outside on such a day. Takes a while to get back into the swing and get yourself organized for getting footwear/layers on and off without wasting too much time... to deal with fogged up glasses. After a while you warm up enough that it's not such a big issue.

Later in the afternoon I packaged the alpaca, and alpaca/merino/silk; 4 more bundles. I have some cashmere dyed too, but no small bags to do the job. I'll have to figure that one out, and come up with smaller cards. I wish I had more fiber, but how much is too much?

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm happy

Amy was happy with the fiber, and I have more to deliver (but I need some smaller bags for the cashmere). I can't stop smiling.

so... Here's one of my favorite pictures. BF took it 3 summers ago in Long Beach.

I hope you smile too.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here's a few pictures, feedback is welcome

Colourway: Venice Festival

Colourway: Tracking

Colourway: Forest Pixie

Tomorrow's the big day

I spent this afternoon considering the packaging and labeling for my dyed fiber. I think I have it pretty clear in my imagination, so we'll see what tonight brings (when the rubber hits the road - or, more accurately, when the fiber hits the bags).

Right now I have cashmere steaming, as well as an alpaca/merino/silk blend. Another two pieces of alpaca are soaking. I have a clear idea what the colourways will be.

So, tomorrow, I'll take 6 or 7 packages in to Make One, and the next day I'll have another 5.

I'm excited. I think it's all very beautiful, and it makes me want to keep it all and spin, spin, spin.

All those pictures are still outstanding! But they are SO coming.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wildfire and real fire and mystic waters

The other day I was listening to Stash and Burn (which, in my opinion, is a very useful and interesting thing to do. I wish there were more to listen to), and the discussion was 'wildfire patterns'. What makes one? Certainly we can easily name one or two (Clapotis.. Fetching..). I watched a clip of the Yarn Harlot discussing the very same thing recently. Really, wildfires extend beyond patterns, and must include products and designers and innovation and style. It makes me think of knitters as a sub-culture, and how great it is to join KALs, to wait with anticipation for your Tulip cardi kit to arrive, and how somehow life doesn't seem totally fair if you've never knit with STR. How the heck can I funtion without Options?

Have you been singed?

Alright.. I'm hesitant to share this, just in case you might think I have a shred of common sense. Yesterday Dida was here with me for the day and I was showing her how to dye roving. Because of the lack of space here, I have to spread plastic wrap over a counter and across the top of my gas stove. I laid out the roving and leaned over it to begin dying when I accidentally brushed up against a control. An element ignited. Poof. The 'Playing with Fire' series of colourways has its first authentic submission.

Pictures of two absolutely gorgeous (unsinged) rovings to follow after BF gets back from pick ups and drop offs and errands and adventures.

Sigh... I have put Mystic Waters on hold for the time being (forgive me if I'm repeating myself). I can't concentrate on that level and do Christmas prep. So after all the excitement dies down, I'll pick it up as my primary project. It's sad.. because that darned shawl is gorgeous and sparkley and soft and amazing. I wish I could wear it at Christmas. Or, give it as a gift to someone I really love.

I need more hours in the day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dear Zofia Cisowski:

I cannot imagine how you feel. I have seen your son killed over and over and over on the news. I am glad that the video has been released in the hopes that those responsible will also be accountable; however, I wish that your son's suffering was more private and that you didn't have to see that video. It must tear your heart out every time.

Mrs. Cisowski, I can't think of what I can do to help, but I want to do something. I think of your son, for all of those hours, without food, without water, without assistance. If only there had been a video camera in the waiting area; then you could have seen him yourself.

Please know that your son is in my prayers, as are you. He will not be forgotten.

From one mother to another, I am so very sorry. I think the whole country joins me in that.

Spinning, dying

Does this roving have a name? (yes, its name is Bob)

I recently realized that although I've been knitting for decades, all I really have known is the sum total of what my mother knew. That is a lot, but it doesn't make me an expert, or innovative, or a risk taker. It makes me able to knit lace baby jackets with commercial yarn. I taught myself stranding, to some degree, and I also designed a few boxy pullovers. It is only recently that I've begun using the internet as a learning tool. I cannot put into words how amazing I find I read blogs, I search for designers, knitters, dyers... What I knew is just a drop in a barrel when compared to what I'm learning. It's too amazing.

I have been spinning a little, and dying a little.... Christmas knitting quite a bit. It's a very rich time, isn't it?

If you feel like expanding your horizons; might I suggest watching a few of Rexenne's videos on Youtube? She kicks some butt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ta da!

I was briefly at the Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting tonight (because BF's sister was here from out of town, and SIL is working tonight, so Dida and I had Mug and Nini). I went with trepidation, worrying that none of my yarn had sold; and gosh that unsold pile of yarn seemed really large. Phew. There was a cheque for me, and when I opened it up I realized that I had sold almost half of what I'd taken! This was a real victory for me; the yarn was successfully juried, and lots of it sold.. to strangers no less! I feel really confident.

I am working on an orange colourway right now; wasn't too crazy about the initial result, but after a quick re-dye tonight, it's looking just right.

It snowed tonight... It's officially game on for winter.

(ps: Still not having found the charger for my camera, I borrowed Mug's tonight. If you click on the yarn picture it becomes HUGE, and is dated September, 2006. Clearly she needs some assistance with settings!)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm addicted to podcasts

I really am. I've forgotten about music completely as a result (except for Paul Potts, who i LOVE).

I started out on a small scale, and downloaded a selection of knitting/spinning/dying related podcasts. I have immediate deletion criteria; as follows:

- Music/intro goes on too long, or is particularly dated.
- The first thing the podcaster does is apologize. Enough already. I'm hoping for content.
- Podcaster is boring. (I'm sorry; but some of you could cause unscheduled naps)
- Audio sucks for no apparent reason.
- There are huge gaps between podcasts that don't have a reason; for example, if the podcaster goes on vacation, he/she will tell you that the week before. AOK. If the podcaster disappears for weeks and comes back relating all the things that are of more importance than the podcast (read: audience), then, not so ok. I would un-subscribe unless I was a true, long term fan. (Yes, I understand you have a life; but put the podcast on hold for a period of time, and let your audience know)

Anyway, my initial decisions on subscribing/not subscribing are probably based on less than a minute listening time to a few different podcasts. After a few weeks of research I came down to this: Let's Knit2gether is quaint and sweet, and I really love it. Stash and Burn kicks arse; completely. Bravo. I love It's a Purl Man, tho he's a rule breaker. He has enough interesting content that the rule breaking is no big deal. Right now I'm looking into Cast-On. I have a feeling she's going to be a regular.

I'd like to host a podcast one day. BF and I have been talking about it, and I'm thinking about hooking up with a local stitch and bitch (if they'll have me) to use as a home-base. This is quite a way down the line, but we're doing some research and learning some things here and there. Learning what I like and what I dislike really is a first step. We have most of the technology.

Just a little photographic break here for your pleasure. Don't know who took the picture, or where it came from... I just like it.

We went geocaching today and BF found a really fabulous cache by the industrial airport. It was just too cool for words, but I won't spoil the surprize for any local geocachers who happen to read this bog. We also went to Chapters for a copy of the winter Interweave Knits (I have a paid for subscription since August, yet have never received a magazine. They don't seem to answer emails. Weird, huh?). We had a coffee, grocery shopped, cooked an Indian meal, gave BF a salt scrub... I started a Mobius Capelet and dyed a 1/2 lb. of superwash Merino. It accepts dye differently than BFL. I think I'm going to have to overdye it tomorrow to get the effect I'm looking for.

Tomorrow.. I spin.

I've decided to hybernate the Mystic Waters until after my Christmas Knitting is complete. I hate to fall behind, but it has to be done.

Finally, kudos to Dr. Henkins. I am in fact walking upright on sunday. Yeah!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I learned that term in a blog (sadly, I can't recall which one), in reference to the number of ends the blogger needed to finish in their most recent project. Well, today at the Heritage Weavers and Spinners Annual Sale, I put through at least a f'tillion sales. I used an entire receipt book. Dida was the other cashier, and she was just as busy. It was completely insane. The people were there for weaving, that is for sure. I know that my yarn was successfully juried, and I did see 4 or 5 skeins being purchased in the first few hours; but overall.. it was a weaving sale. I need to rethink. Am I in the wrong guild?

Anyway, we were on a shift for 2 hours, and after that I had to come home to go to the cruncher. He swears I'll be walking upright by Sunday, and I choose to believe that. I'm working on Monday, crouched or standing.

I had a really excellent day (our third together) with Dida, Miss K and Mug. I had shown Dida a bootie pattern last night, and today she arrived with a completed bootie in her pocket. She is loving knitting, and it makes me so happy to share that with her. I gave her the extra Merino from the Tulip, and she's going to knit Miss K a Saartje's Lotte hat, but in the Tulips stripe. Tonight when she left to go home, she was really excited. I doubt she'll get tons of sleep.

It was an adventure today, that is an absolute fact.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spit splice

Who knew?

I learned about it just the other day, and tried it on SIL's socks today (even tho both yarns are not wool). Seemed to work just fine, but I guess I'll hear about it from Dida if the socks start to unravel.

Here are some instructions in case you'd like to spit on your wool.

I have a dog injury today, so I did knit... but only stockinette on the socks. I doubt that muscle relaxants and lace charts mix. Details on the dog injury as follows... I have had a nagging lower back injury for a few days; but nothing that a little rest won't take care of. I was speaking with Dida on the phone when my back went into a fierce spasm. I layed on the floor, waiting for it to pass when 20 lbs. of Shih Tzu love jumped from the couch directly onto my stomach. I folded in two, and had to call BF at work to help me off the floor.

The good news is that muscle relaxants cause really great naps. zzzzzz

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I almost cast on a mobius capelet...

Honestly, I caught myself JUST in time. Instead I finished the Tulip cardi (it's just so grand... I'm going to knit a whole bouquet of them for my Nina). Still can't take a picture, so I'll heist Marilynn's... Just so that you can see how great they are, and.. hey... I got the kit from Make One. You should go there.. the gals are fab.

Stolen photo as follows:

The absolute next thing I'm going to cast on is SIL's Christmas socks. I have all the alpaca spun, and I made some 3.5mm dpns out of bamboo skewers. I just found out he has size 11 feet... phew.

Did you know that Lopi makes a lace weight? Neither did I. Gonna get me some of that.

Honestly, I was just about to ask for suggestions on the perfect knitting container when it struck me that I have a bigger issue than a container would address.

I need to get organized. I have stuff in the bedroom (drum carder), stuff in the hallways (all my dyes, books, bags of fleece), I have stuff at my desk, I have a corner for spinning wheels, I have *my* end of the couch and the end table, and now the lace is taking up 1/2 of the coffee table. Honestly, I think this requires a bigger house. A studio. Some shelves.

Damn... that list up there? Does not include the stash.

I'm excited about Saturday... It's the guild sale. I'll find out if my yarn made it through the jury, and if so... does it sell? Phew. Anyway, Dida and I will be working on the till from 10 to 12.

I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My yarn was juried today

I don't know yet how that went, but I hope well. Stranger than strange. Dida said they were really harsh on woven items. Some of the things I saw were truly beautiful. I really hope the sale goes well; last year they sold approximately $12k.

Spent some time at Make One today.. made some reducers for their floor and installed them. After the adhesive dries I'll go back and silicone; it'll be nice. It was a good day and I learned how to apply icord. The Tulip is lacking one sleeve, and then we'll chalk that up to another Christmas gift ready to go.

Still no battery charger for my camera. Grrrr.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Getting ready for the guild sale

My friend Susan from the weaver/spinner's guild called me today to say that they needed more yarn for the sale. So... my day ended up being a little different than I anticipated. I rewound all of my yarn into 50gram balls, then re-skeined/re-measured all of the yardage. I created ball bands (with pictures of what inspired the colourway) for each skein, and priced everything. Tomorrow Dida will pick up the whole bunch of it and take it to the guild to be inventoried.

I'm kind of excited, and kind of nervous. I hope it goes well.

I'd show you pictures, if only I knew where the charger to my camera got to.

Now I'm going to start dying fiber again; and hopefully I can sell that at Make One.

The Tulip just needs some sleeves and an icord, and that's all wrapped up. Dida was here today, and she just loved it. It is just so beautiful, I'm really glad I got the kit.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering our troups and our veterans

I hope that sometime today you remembered. I need to mention that John Thompson and his family are on my mind; he was supposed to leave for Afganistan this month. Keep safe John, and come home soon.

And John Langridge; we're proud of you.

It's possible that I cast on the Tulip. And, possible that the body is done.

These things happen.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Where is my arse?

If you see it, can you please return it to me?

Actually I think it is relocating to other areas, less appropriate. Say.. the tummy area? All I know is that my pants are hanging in the wrong areas, and I might have a case of what has been referred to as dumpster butt.


However, after much research, I have found that an overly abundant butt doesn't seem to be the greatest attribute to try to wedge into the Mr. Greenjeans; so could this butt disappearance be a beneficial thing?

Did you know that there's a Mr. Greenjeans KAL? Up until last night, I did not.

Besides planning the sweater, I've been spinning up a storm; completed 200gr of natural grey alpaca for Ike's Christmas socks, and I've spun about 4oz. of a new BFL colourway. I'm not sure about it yet, so I'll wait until it's plied before I start any bragging. Also, I completed the silk Stolen Moments. It's been wet blocked, dried, and all I have to do is sew in 2 ends. It's super drapey, and I love it.

Tonight we're having pizza night. Jim was busy ferrying children from one sleepover to another, so I made the dough. We're looking after a friend's little girl (Britney, age 9), and after evaluating the dough, she asked: who does the cooking around here? I had to admit that it is Jim (as a rule), and she said something to the effect that that seemed to be a good idea. I nearly fell over laughing. Had to call her mother right away and repeat the story. Ahhhh to be 9.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I am so lucky... BF is in a form of total amazement when it comes to my creations. Knitting especially blows him away. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be fully immersed in this phase of my life if he was annoyed or didn't get it. I have always felt a need to create.. on a cellular level (you get that, right?). The only time I wasn't creating was when I was in a dead end relationship; man it took a lot of energy to keep that thing afloat and I just never had anything extra to, well, be ME.

I'm really grateful to have a supportive family and some great people who are also up to their eyeballs in yarn.

I hope you have the same... you completely deserve it, and you can't be you without it. I'm convinced of that.

Shown above; Forest Pixie colourway in mohair.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Oh mannnnnn.

All I can think of is Mr. Greenjeans and how good it would look on me. How I love a 3/4 sleeve. How it would conceal a 14" bicep or two. Narrow the waist. I'm thinking about what colourway I should design for it.

I don't even knit sweaters for myself. I just don't. Get it out of my head.

Won't be knitting at all tonight; not lace, not wraps, not socks, not irresistible smooshy tulip cardis. I'm having a party with my littlest best girl. Who could knit with that face within kissing distance?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

You might throw up a little.

I was multi-tasking this afternoon... picked up Mug from school and stopped by Make One to: pick up a magazine, see if I could buy the Tulip Cardi kit, talk to Amy about my wool, and to show and tell the Mystic Waters.

Complete and utter success. I have the kit, the mag, the yarn discussion went well, and best of all, so did the show and tell. Amy told Heather that she might throw up a little when she saw the lace, and then Heather called me a name. I'd say that was a touchdown.

Please stop me from casting on Tulips. I'm begging you. I have monkeys on the needles, one waving lace sock, less than half of a cat's paw wrap, 1/2 of a stolen moments (oh man.. it is so completely awesome in Handmaiden's silk), and.. 2 finished clues on mystic waters. I'm almost done plying some natural grey alpaca I am spinning for Ike's socks...

Up until recently I never had more than one project going at one time. Then I realized that I get a whole lot more done if I'm not bored.

Apparently I'm not going to be bored for a very, very long time. Mr. Greenjeans you say.... hmmmmm.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

If I can find tequilla, I'll tell you about my day.

Tho, for certain it isn't all bad. I had to do some molding installation at a monster house being built in the Foothills Estates. It was one of those days... the two convex nosings (that were hand made) were actually concave. And about 14 feet off the ground. I had no ladder and no assistant (if, and only if the nosings were concave; which of course they weren't). It was one of *those* days.. ya know? I had a hand made, curved stair to install, only to discover that both posts that notched into it were off square. As were the stringers downstairs. I wish everything was perfect, but it just doesn't work that way. I try to think of it as an opportunity to learn (it's that or weeping).

With knitting too, huh? I have section of the MW shawl that is all messed up, but it still looks good, and you know what? It's still going to be a gorgeous shawl, even with a couple of glitches.

10 more rows to complete clue 2; so that's the plan for tonight. I also did a few spins on the Stolen Moments while I was at the dentist with Maddie.

Mystic pictures to follow. In the meantime, here's a shot of some BFL I dyed and spun.. called lavender tidepool. Check out Ravelry to see what I knit from it.

I hope your day was nearly perfect.