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.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Stolen Moments

This pattern has a great name, don't you think? It will actually be knitted during moments stolen from all non-knitting related events. You might already know that I am in love with the pattern, and this will be #2 of many to come. I'm using a mad-crazy Handmaiden colourway in silk.

Yesterday team '6Rabitts' went geocaching for most of the afternoon, and we got TWO (count 'em) first to finds. Mug found one and BF found the other. In total we did 6 caches, and were lucky each time. My new GPS and I haven't completely come to terms, but it's improving, slowly.

Snow is falling... prettily.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A day without Cal is like a day without sunshine

I have been wanting a copy of 'Gathering of Lace'; honestly, it's about all I think of lately. I have lace-itis in the worst way. Anyway, today I was forced to wait for a customer to drive to the outskirts of Calgary from downtown, and I was thinking that I had just enough time to drive to Shuttleworks. So I added 30 minutes to my schedule because if you know Cal, you will know that it is totally impossible to forego an opportunity to chat with him. He has some interesting stories, that's for sure.

I have my book, safe and sound and in BF's hands. He's going to give it to me for Christmas. Yeah baby. Oh, and I also got 3 new dye colours in the orange family. I have a new colourway percolating in my imagination.

This evening I had the pleasure of going to Make One to celebrate SANDRA and AMY'S marriage (please note pecking order). There was much laughter, food and drink, and plenty of knitting as well. If I understand correctly, Marilynn and Amy are competing to finish their versions of the Tulip Baby Cardigan (please note that I'm on the waiting list for this pattern/yarn, and that my Nini will be wearing it soon) - anyway, Marilynn was working on the Tulip. That darned sweater is so yummy.

Hey... I went to a yarn shop and I didn't spend a dime. Holy smokes.

ps: BF took the attached picture 2 summers ago, and I'm posting it because I think it's fab and because the stall is inhabited by 'Annie'.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A little skunk came to my house yesterday...

Originally uploaded by spinknit

And she brought her beautiful mommy as well. We had a great day together and spent some time at Gina Brown's, enjoying Fleece Artist, Handmaiden and Perl Grey. I bought 200grms of silk in an amazing pink/blue/purple/orange/green colourway.. It's fabulous. Dida got the yarn/pattern for a mobius capelet. She is a new knitter, and once we got this pattern cast on and the first round out of the way she was on fire!.. It's going to be gorgeous, and at the rate she was going last night, I'm quite sure it's finished already. Anyway.. she also got some Collinette Jitterbug in the grooviest blue for more socks.

Somebody needs to hook the girl up with Ravelry!

Today I'm beginning Chart C for the MW shawl. I tried to work on it yesterday, but couldn't concentrate. This afternoon will be perfect.

PS: I insanely love that baby. Being a Nan is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. If she asked me for the moon, I would get it for her. I really would.