Thursday, June 26, 2008

I am the walnut

Better late than never!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I love my bike

BF was grinning today. As he arrived home from Anna's grad ceremony, I was bringing my bike back into the house. It was raining you see, and I didn't want the bike sitting outside in the drizzle all day. Maybe you caught the 'into' the house part?... I keep it inside because I love it. Right now it's parked right here beside my computer; it stays in our bedroom in the winter.

It's a 3 speed Schwinn Cruiser. With a nice big, comfortable seat, a bell and a carrier. I ride it to work every day.

my bike

This is BF's bike. It's a Yamaha V-Star. He loves it just as much, but it won't fit through the door.

jim june 22

Today was a really great day, for lots of reasons. One is that Marilynn was kind enough to collect my Heartland shawl for the Stampede. I didn't realize that she was doing the same for Amy, and for Michelle. I wouldn't have been able to enter the shawl if it wasn't for her (well, to be honest, I wouldn't have knit it at all).

Pretty darned great, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22 in the mountains

june in the mountains

That is snow you are seeing in the picture (not the best snow picture actually.. there was lots of it on the mountains and on the sides of the highway). Two comments from our party while at the summit: 'Do you think that guy would take $10 to let me sit in his car?' And, as a RV drove in: 'I used to mock those people.' I believe there were some nasty comments regarding the weather service as well.

The next time someone says to you that the highway you'll be riding on has the highest elevation in the province, THINK. That might mean that you're about to freeze your butt completely off. OMG it was cold up there. And wet... as we approached the summit, it was like being in a frozen mist. It was really not a great day for riding most of the day. In Cochrane it rained. Neither Jordana nor Paul had leathers on, so they had wet jeans for a good long time. The wind was very strong; and at points I was doing some serious praying. There would be a roaring in my left ear, an in a split second the roaring would stop and my right shoulder would pitch forward. Scared me half to death (but only half, as clearly I survived).

There are parts of riding that I really love... You'll be flying along, and all of a sudden you can smell something (like.. flowers, or manure, a skunk, chinese food.. surprising things). Or, today, we saw a cow standing on THE edge of the road. Then 3 Big Horn sheep in the exact middle of the road.. then shortly thereafter, approximately 10 more. I saw a wild horse and it's baby. We saw some incredible scenery; it is such a blessing to live near mountains and rivers.

We were on the road for 8 hours today. Phew.

Now I'm waiting for pizza to be delivered. BF is having a short nap (after fighting that wind all day, I'd say he earned both). After I eat, I'm going to reblock the Heartland Lace shawl; Marilynn is going to take it to the Stampede grounds on the 25th (I'll be working, so she's doing me a big favour). That's probably the sum total of fiber related stuff for the day.

A shower? YES. Bad hair day.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pretend you are a crow.

Here's a link to a Google Map.

Now, go from point a to point b.

Point b is approximately where I live. At point a you will find:


Today is day two. (Despite what the website says, they were festing yesterday; no doubt)


I did not hear one word, not one word, about this concert until I got home from work on Friday night. And it went something like this: What the HELL is that?

It must sound stupendously good at Fort Calgary.. but filtered through a few thousand bodies, some trees, a river, some traffic, and then bounced off a condo and directed into my house.. well, some of those people sound like they could use voice lessons. I can't recognize a single song. Not one.

Tomorrow? DAY.THREE. I am so not joking.

Did I knit? Yes I did. I have the magical Oban sweater done to about 2" under the armpits. Did I spin? Yes. About 1/2 a bobbin of Cormo. Did I do housework? Yes; SIL arrived this morning at 11ish, so there was some frantic dust removal. In the process I found the ball of Malabrigo I need to finish Nini's Christmas sweater (under a chair, no less, obviously converted into a dog toy).

It ain't all bad.

Here are two photos of Amy's spinning with fiber I dyed. One is Spaceballs and the other is Reflective Embers. (I heisted the pictures from her ravelry page, but it's about 1am, and just too late to ask permission. So here's me, asking for forgiveness)

psst Denny. Did you get the fiber?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well, I'm a Gilli; Dida too

A Gilli-hook is a Nordic device that allows one to attach a ball of yarn to their clothing, and thus, never be idle. Also, it's the name of the Calgary Knitting Guild. We attended a meeting on Wednesday night, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and joined the guild. There were also quite a few ladies that I recognized from the yarn store (and one Tall Guy). The best part was Marilynn, but that's always the case, right?

The Helena jacket I'm knitting for Nini is just flying along.. All I have left to do is knit the sleeves. Somehow the associated ball of yarn has flown the coop, so it'll have to wait for another day. So tonight I spent a good part of the evening swatching for a sweater that Amy designed and I am in LOVE with. So far I haven't gotten gauge, despite owning a full set of Knitpick Harmony needles from Gigi, and many, many sets of Addis. I dunno.. I'm going to double check the gauge on Amy's actual sweater tomorrow and see if i can't figure it out. Maybe I've misread the pattern requirements.

Tonight at Make One we had a Blackberry Mojito happy hour. Well, I have to tell you, that as a woman who barely ever drinks, a Blackberry Mojito turned out to be a very fine thing indeed. I drank a whole one, and in the process, I carded a dozen or more batts. Each one turned out better than the last; it was suggested that I drink more often!

Sometimes you have to ask for things, and tonight is going to be one of those times. I have two friends who are in desperate need of prayer and positive thoughts. One is the child of my friend Krista. She's a wee babe, and in the ER tonight. The other is my friend Kelly; her dad has entered the last stages of his life, and Kelly is expecting a baby.

Thank you, Michelle, for loaning me the CD. I'll be putting it on my iPod tonight.

Above is a beautiful baby for your viewing pleasure. Her aunt was second runner up for Miss Canada in 2007. I believe that we might have something genetic going on here!

pssst.. If the needles arrive, the second Year of Lace package could go out this weekend. It is soooooo gorgeous.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I was really mad, I was really sad, and I was really glad

I was dissed a while ago; & only discovered it today. He blogged it, and this is the second time it's happened to me. I somehow become a target of someone's wrath and they feel like it's OK to wax poetic. I very nearly responded to this rant, but at the last moment thought better of it. What would be the point? Why give him something to bounce off of?

Tallguy? Did your mamma never mention that it's in poor taste to make veiled threats to people?

Sadly, the planet lost Tracey (Trak) Hooper on Saturday. Tracey was a wardrobe mistress by day, and she was also a knitter. She came to the shop one day, and at our first meeting she flat out told me that she was dying, and that she wanted to learn how to make socks while she completed her journey. I flat out asked her what she was dying of, and she told me that she had terminal melanoma. I showed her my arm. She showed me her thumb.

We both knew why she was at the shop that day; she was there to find me. There was nothing random about our meeting. We talked about red cards. We talked about melanoma and how little dark spots can change and/or end your life. She told me she had 1 to 5 years to live. She was primed for a fight.

The first time I called her, she happened to be in chemo. She didn't call back, so every couple of weeks I called her and left a message. Today her sister called me to tell me that Tracey had passed away on Saturday. She never gained the strength to knit socks, and I feel so sad about that. I never stopped wanting to teach her.

I am not good at loss. I told you that recently...

I think tomorrow that I'll wear my tiara for Tracey. I think a wardrobe mistress would appreciate that.

And glad? Denny was one of the 120 knitters. See the Yarn Harolot's blog today, and you'll see a lovely picture of her there.

So, so glad.

Post on the run...

Remember this:


Introducing the new and improved 'this' (yayyyyy!):


Softly shaded, and now knittable. The colour is richer in person.

And.. a little something for Nini. Christmas I think.


I so gotta leave for work... Riding my bike...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Things I know now that I didn't know before.

This whole 'keeping locks intact' thing is not only important, but it's somewhat more complex than I had anticipated. I'm thinking that next time, instead of separating the fleece into bag sized hunks, that I'll separate the locks and put them into the bags that way, in some kind of careful order. Also, drying... it's not a good idea to hang the hunks of wet fleece from S-hooks on the baker's rack like you do with roving. As the hunks dry, gravity takes over, and you'll end up with sheets of fluff resembling cobwebs. Not so easy to spin.

So.. my first Cormo is washed, and mostly dry. I've spun a bobbin's worth and I think it's beautiful and soft (the nepps are a design feature. yes. they. are.) It's not perfect, but it's not ruined.

Oh, one more thing. If you flick out the ends on your thigh as you sit, be sure to put a piece of canvas on your leg. If not, you might ruin one of the only two pairs of jeans that fit you. That would be really sad, wouldn't it?

PS: Shearing a poodle isn't as easy as you might think. But it is possible. The Shih Tzu requires anesthetic (the question is.. for the dog, or for us?)

PS2: I registered the Heartland Lace Shawl and my Hela Icelandic Cardi into the Western Canadian Showcase for the Stampede. All I have to do is get them there on the 25th.

PS3: Apparently sock wars has gone bonkers. I died just in time. The game has been called.

Photo from the Cormo Sheep and Wool Farm, from whence the actual fleece came.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 14th... World's busiest day

It's the Yarn Harlot's 40th birthday today, and Franklin was at Lettuce Knits taking 120 pictures of Canadian knitters. I wish so much I could have been one of them! I'll have to live vicariously through my friend Elizabeth, who is. Well, not so much Canadian, but one of Franklin's subjects.

I was thinking that Denny is having one fabulous day, or maybe an insane day. It'll be a while yet before we find out which one. Sure as heck there'll be some pictures of her laughing her head off. I really, really hope that she's one of the 120 subjects.

Here in sunny Calgary, we celebrated WWKIPD (World Wide Knit in Public Day)too. It was the second day in the month of June that the sun shone and that it didn't rain; and I have a burn to prove it. Lots of friends came out to knit, and a few to spin.. it was great. As well, it was Bridgeland days, so our kids were having a ball out on the field. Here's a video of Maddie and Anna on the velcro wall, and another of them kicking some butt at the three legged race.

Alright.. after the sun burnt my face to a crisp and the carnie guys deflated all the big toys, we made our way home, and I tackled the Cormo. I washed it, rinsed it, washed it (this time with enough soap!), and then rinsed twice more. Spun it out, and put it all in a laundry basket on a towel. Tomorrow if i can figure it out, I'll put it outside between two layers of mesh. I think the sun would do it good (sun.. think we might see two days of sun?). Some of the locks are intact. Some parts are like big fluffy clouds. There is some staining, but Mandie tells me that this is not an issue, so I'm not going to panic and turn it into mulch.

First wash

Steamy rinse

In the basket to dry

Now? The day isn't over yet... I've got that fugly Miss Priss colourway in a bath, and I'm about to overdye it in teal. I think it'll be great. I feel like knitting a sweater for myself but I only have 3 skeins. We'll see.. maybe I can come up with some magic.

Let us all take a moment...

To bow our heads in prayer for the Cormo. It's too late to turn back now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I have a box full of Cormo.

Hogget #750 from Sue

Hogget #750, to be exact.

I have detergent.

I have hot water.

Tomorrow I have time.

And Angele, I officially have lingerie bags. I found another Giant Dollar Store, and they had them. So I'm good to go. Cross your fingers for me, won't you?

I'm officially dead!

my socks of death

And i Love my socks of death! Thank you Linda Eyerly and Leann Nassar for all your hard work and care. And Linda, thank you SO much for picking a great colourway. In my package from Leann, I found a red 'Super Star' ribbon, an awesome card with KABOOM in bright pink, enough yarn to knit another sock (and I might just do that!.. you never know when you'll grow a third leg, right?), and a little golden tuelle bag with a L'Occitane soap and sugar cube bath bomb. As you can see, I lucked out. It's good to be assassinated. I feel like I have 'celebrity' socks.

I outlived 67% of the people who joined. That's better than I had expected!

my socks of death

Here we have some very, very fine spinning by my friend Yarn Kat. I dyed the colourway (which Kathleen named Green Goddess). Fabulous!


Monday, June 9, 2008


I'm really excited about my loans. So far I've made 6; all to women involved in fiber arts and/or construction (ok, there's also a little fisher woman who called out to me). What I LOVE about Kiva is that if you choose, you can relive the giving, over and over and over. Get this.. for as little as $25.00 per loan.

This weekend I received my portion of the first payments for 4 different loans. These funds are put back into my account and I can either withdraw them, or do new loans. I just can't think of a deal like that anywhere else.

Have a look at Kiva. It might just blow your mind.

I am 'Annie' there too.. You could find my ladies and see what it was about them that moved me.

If you've made Kiva loans, I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mohair locks...

What do you think?

PS: My second kill-socks are complete and will be on their way to Indiana tomorrow. I put a little sympathy card in there, and also two skeins of hand dyed, hand spun yarn for Laura. I hope she she enjoys receiving the package. I'll let you know when I receive my death-socks. Shouldn't be more than a week, I would say.

Bess, the spinner

One of my favorite people, and spinner extraordinaire, is known at Ravelry as 'bessthespinner'. She has earned a degree in Medieval History with a concentration on later English textile laws. Bess teaches classes on medieval textile technology, most recently at the University of Calgary, and usually with her friend Tracy (vikingmaid). She also teaches spinning at Make One here in Calgary, where I had the pleasure of making her acquaintance.

Bess and I have a similar sense of colour, and so I am able to show a number of my colourways, expertly spun by her. Makes my heart feel good...

Cheers, Bess! You do beautiful work.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A little spoiler

Super-top alpaca, bfl... and loads of mohair locks that I'll save for later.

It's all good...

Too darned dark and dingy to take pictures

I'm behind on knitting content, not to mention dyeing... I have a ton of stuff dyed and ready to go. If the sun ever shines again, I'll show you a few spoilers!

At the moment I'm working on another pair of Detonator socks for sock wars. I have *just* enough time to get another kill before I'm out of the game. (My assassin, Mamasockster, has mailed my killer socks - they took longer than she had anticipated, partially due to an unfortunate thumb injury) Anyway, I really like these socks; they are a blood red semi-solid; the pattern looks much nicer than with a striped or varigated colourway (at least I think so).

sock wars, weapons

I had to start those socks from scratch, because having received the SIPs, I weighed t hem to discover that the sock and the yarn weighed less than 50 grams. Which.. is about 50 grams less than I need to make a pair of socks. Ya. Playing fair is a thing of honour.

sock wars, sips - 40 grams

I have been working on Ana Dalvi's Mystic Light shawl, but I put it aside for sock wars. I also have one sock completed for Jim, knitted with Silk Garden Lite. Love those socks.. they are the absolute best.

IMG_2431.JPG IMG_2440.JPG

So there you have a little knitting. Here is a pair of beautiful sisters for your viewing pleasure.


Friday, June 6, 2008


The barefooted lady closest in the picture is Etha van Everdingen. She passed away a few Saturdays ago, and her death is such a loss to the fibre arts community. I didn't know her very well, but I really, really admired her (the day the picture was taken was the first time we spoke.. she was spinning for a sheep to shawl competition; and I was lucky enough to have the winning bid on that particular shawl. Gosh, it was blazing hot that day.) If you have an opportunity this weekend (June 6, 7 and 8), please visit the Artpoint Red Gallery and Studio to see the Profiles in Fibre exhibition. Etha will be honoured there, and I believe you might have one last chance to view her work.

Also, today I heard that Franki's cat Moe crossed over the rainbow bridge. Franki was the best of the best when it came to being a cat-mom. Moe was her closest companion, and she will miss him terribly. She did the very hardest act of kindness you can imagine... that takes some courage. Thank you to my friend Nikki for helping Franki with suggestions to deal with a very sick kitty.

*heavy sigh*

I'm not that good at loss.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Nini turned one.

a big grin

It was all I hoped and dreamed it would be. We had cupcakes. Such a long time has passed since I learned how to tube feed a fragile baby girl in the ICU. She struggled to breathe.

Today, she asked to dance.

Happy birthday pigeon. I love you more than words could ever say. I have forgotten who I was before you came. Thank God.

K1 cupcake

K1 cupcake

k1 cupcake - done

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Glasses = zero, refund.. lots

Well, at long last, the second pair of glasses arrived. I've been trying to wear them, and if that means having pounding headaches and nausea, then I did really well. My vision was fiercely distorted. Big sigh...

So back I went to Lenscrafters, for visit number four. I have to say that girl #3 was most patient; but I.AM.DONE. Just give me my money back. They swear it is a problem with the prescription; the doctor confirms that the prescription is fine. I've changed from polycarbonate to plastic lenses. Everything should be good.

All I can think of is that when I bought the frames, they fit really well. When I picked them up the first time, the frames were really bent. Girl #2 at Lenscrafters aggressively *adjusted* them (I was uncomfortable.. she looked like she was bending them all to hell) to the point that they no longer fit into the Prada case. I mentioned this to Girl #3, and she said that they were bent, but not in a way that would affect my vision.

Well... vision is indeed affected, and why would I pay many, many hundreds of dollars on bent frames? I mean.. wouldn't you like your new glasses to be pristine? Wouldn't you at least like to look out of them without wanting to throw up?

I've asked for a complete refund. Couldn't get it at the time, because I hadn't brought my original paperwork (thinking that the entire financial transaction is online there - which it is). Tonight I'll go back there one last time, and get this handled once and for all. I'm endlessly frustrated. All I wanted to do was SEE. It's really hard at the shop.. the light is so low that I can't read labels. Not a good thing.

So there you have the end of phase I. I'm thinking of calling Michelle's guy to see if he can't do a better job.

Shouldn't be too hard.

As an aside: I SLEPT ALL NIGHT. I think that deserves a little yelling.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Plenty more at

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Does AL mean April?

This is not a good question.

If one of your children is snacking on salami that she just retrieved from the fridge, and it's June; perhaps it's time to go on a search and destroy mission. In the meantime, I'm going to check if we have anything in-house for vomiting. One can't be too careful.

Let's see if I can embed a YouTube video. Anybody can watch this, but Denny is supposed to, because it goes with the package I'm going to mail to her tomorrow. It'll make sense later.

I am the eggplant. I am the walnut.

Ok, I've been dyeing. I could be a little punchy. I might even be high on acid (I admit it, the acid in acid dyeing is vinegar). I was doing really well there, being all predictable and reproducible, when all of a sudden I became me for a little while and just dyed stuff. I dyed 600 grams of the softest 'Super Top Alpaca'. I dyed piece after piece after piece of BFL.

(Tell me.. how come these rovings are so filthy? The wetting water was so dirty that I actually missed a roving in the bottom of a bucket.. totally couldn't see it)

Anyway, back on topic; I think I'll do the same tomorrow. I have some mohair locks. I have all kinds of weird bits of silk. I've got some gray alpaca... what could happen?

So the eggplant thing.. what it's all about is this: A while ago the Yarn Harlot was knitting the Rivendell socks (or, was that Rivendale?... I don't have the Eclectic Sole yet, so I'm not 100% sure) in a yarn called 'I am the eggplant'. I was thinking that 'I am the walnut' would be the next logical colourway.. Don't you agree? I haven't actually dyed it yet, but it's in my head, so it'll happen soon.

Another eggplant story for your entertainment. Two nights ago Jim BBQ'ed some Chicken Apple Sausage from Spolumbo's, and he threw a few slices of eggplant on the grill as well. He seasoned them with salt only. I took one bite of the eggplant, and knew instantly that I had a problem... scary allergic reaction kind of problem. My lips and mouth burned, prickled and stung. Eventually I gave up waiting for it to go away, so I took a couple Benedryls... the next morning my mouth was still stinging, I'd developed a rash on my stomach and the side of my chin. Very bizarre. How the heck does something like this happen out of the blue? Anyway, I'm a thing of beauty if I say so myself.

Ya, and I dyed my hands black. How cool is that? The goddess factor is high.