Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dear sock,

Originally uploaded by spinknit

Whatever it was that I did to you to deserve this, I apologize. Profusely.

Since this last photo, you have been frogged to well before the heel flap. I thought, at the time, that I could rip back both lace sections and reknit them, including the 4 rows that I had completely missed knitting. Incorrect. There was another, matching, mistake on the back of the cuff. Of course there was.

The fact that you were complete to 1/2 way through the foot is irrelevant at this point. Honestly, I'm nearly over it. And all that swatching? Sorry.. really, really sorry. I was overcome by the pattern and all those beautiful yarns. Swatching be damned, I'm going with the blue. [Reserving ability to change my mind after I wash the swatch.. just sayin]. I was unaware that you are a jelous sock. I should have known... you being green and all.

I'm giving you a rest until tomorrow, because i REALLY need you to be done by Thursday.

I am now sufficiently quelled. I promise.

Need brain food now

Brain food, and carbs. I'm kind of South Beaching, and have been for 3 or 4 days, so I feel a bit off wack, a bit carb-cravey, and mostly just flipping tired. Michellie said that it's been a hard month, and no wonder I feel so worn out. I'm going to agree there.

I did a search on brain food, and basically it seems like I could use foods high in B vitamins. Tho, I'm not thinking clearly, so it could have said that I need to eat rice pudding. Who knows.

The knitting... geez.. I did swatch again for the Secret Garden; in Sheep Shop 3. I don't like the varigated, but I do like the way the fabric feels. I'll do a 3rd and maybe a 4th swatch, wash them, and see how they come out. At this point, the Baby Bamboo is dead on regarding gauge, and I love the way it looks, so it's a front runner. I'm a bit worried about drape tho. I don't really want a lot of drape in the garment.

And the flipping socks? Sock 2 is giving me so much trouble, I could just scream. I need it to be finished by thursday night, and at the moment it's knit 4 rows, and rip out 3. I'm chalking it up to the tired thing.

Oh.. we went to the Tattoo convention in Calgary today. This is the one time a year I wish that I had BF's sense of smell (ie: none at all).. because that place smells like one giant arm pit. Approximately 98.2% of the atteendees are wearing black from head to toe, and you are guaranteed to run across more roller derby gals in one room than ever before (or after) in your life. It was fun (tho, we plan to get tattoos next year, so it'll be better); BF bought 2 blades for his upper ear piercing. He had to agree that they are 'weekend only' pieces. They look nice tho; one is black, the other steel.

It's 1:27am. Tired? No wonder.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Swatch this.

Originally uploaded by spinknit

I can barely stand swatching, and I have been in awe of those who do it.. Designers mostly. They work away on pattern swatches, and come up with piles of (sometimes significantly large) works of art. The end result? Not much of anything 'useful'.

Aside from design necessity, swatching is a waste of knitting time.

My best idea has almost always been: swatch something that will cover my thumbnail, and do a calculation on approximately 4 stitches. OR. Just knit.. and we'll call the garment a 'swatch'. If it doesn't fit, then it would become a Christmas gift; am I wrong?

Until yesterday.

I am hatching a plan that has so far included spending one entire day searching for an out of print book. FINDING the book for a sinfully small amount of money (YA!). Also finding one at the local library, which is great, because I can study the pattern and start planning for the yarn before MY ACTUAL BOOK shows up.

So there I was at the store yesterday, and I found several possibilities. Two shades of Eco wool, in DK weight. The clay colour would be perfect, but the garment will eventually end up with Nini, and I think her Greek colouring and 'clay' don't go together. The ecru is nice, but would it show the stitch patterns well enough? I have a couple shades of Sheep 3. I'd like something heathered, but not scratchy.. so maybe there's something at Rhinebeck that will call my name. And then this... I don't think it's actually perfect, but it is beautiful. It's Sirdar Baby Bamboo.

I sat down with it late yesterday afternoon, and started to knit.. a swatch, and somehow I caught the disease. Swatch-itis. I know this is going to cause me to buy 52 single skeins of yarn so that I can swatch swatch swatch swatch.

And it's going to be Maybe incurable.

Monday, August 25, 2008

So. Denny

I hope you're still reading, because i have AN UPDATE.

We were out walking the other day and we were passed by:

Pumper #1 (that hot grey haired guy was driving)
Engine #1 (not to be sneered at)
Auxilliary Water Rescue #1 (missed the guys trying to figure out what the vehicle was called)
And one green fire truck, regular variety.

It was the royal flush of firemen, and i was the Queen.

Life is good.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm not done talking

But I'm getting there. There will be knitting discussed, so there's some progress.


There's a story about wings and about stars. Many of you know about these things, and have experienced it yourselves. It's all pretty simple, really.

When HC died, I started finding stars. Everywhere. I didn't attract stars before, but I am now a star magnet. Each time they come (sometimes a single, sometimes dozens) I smile, because I consider it a gift from him. We touch base. Some of my friends actually bought a real star in his name.. I have a certificate right here at my desk, and it is one of the most precious things that I have... and then wings. I choose to believe this, and you may very well think I'm a crazy person, but he comes to me and to many, many others in the form of a bird, a butterfly, or occasionally a dragonfly (though not as often). In the first days after he died I flat out demanded a sign, and two huge white butterflies came to where I was sitting, and fluttered around and around.. one closer than the other. The day before that, a dove landed on my top stair and stood there as I approached and even opened the door. I knew.

Three weeks later it was my birthday, and I wasn't even sure how to put one foot in front of the other at that point, but asked Dida to take me to a stained glass store. I didn't know why. There, in a box of glass shards I found a perfect angel wing. My birthday present.

Many of my island friends who love HC and went through this whole thing with us have butterfly or bird stories.. perhaps they will share some in comments. There are dozens of stories.

Today, wings and stars.

A lady gave Mug a bracelet... blue stars joined together. I found a vintage dragonfly pin. As Gigi quietly sat with Lara, a butterfly came and landed by a star that she has hanging in a window.

Nikki sent me a picture of balloons... covered in stars. Jennifer sent a photo that she took of one of the approximately 75 butterflies that surrounded her a few days ago.

It's like that. And I'm glad.

Alright.. knitting. I've been knitting on and off in the last few days. Not too much lace, but tonight I have been working on the socks I've been designing. I'd like to show you a picture (because they kick some butt), but they are for a sock exchange, so I can't do it. I did finish my Ravelympics project, so I expect to get my 'medal' tomorrow.. Michelle gave me a skein of sari silk for an early birthday present, so I have been knitting and re-knitting projects with that.. it's back into a ball right now because I haven't got it just right. And.. I'm about to finish sock one of version 2.0 of BFML's Christmas socks.


So there you go. Knitting. And stars. And wings. And a lot, lot, lot of love.



It was sad. But not all sad. It was Nini's first time, and she really, really, really liked all those 'booms'. She released Dida's balloon, and later Dida said that she might always let her do it, because it is so hard to let the balloon go. It brings everything back; the letting go. She said 'I can't get it back'.. and that is exactly right. Let that balloon go, and it begins it's journey no matter how you feel about it.

Here's a link to a few pictures.

To everyone who wrote, and sent flowers, and called, and who held me and my family tight.. and who understand that he remains deeply loved and dearly missed.. to you, thank you so much. You make this walk so much less lonely. And you make me feel.. sane. It's your strength that bolsters us, and lets us release the ribbon - knowing full well the symbolism, and that *he* can never come back. Hating to let go, but needing that kiss to make it to him the only way we know how.

And that's such a good thing. Thank you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

HC Ritter

Your heart stopped beating six years ago today, and part of mine went with you. I don't mind; you owned that part after all.

Tomorrow is your birthday. Your 6th. Only 6 years since my lips touched your cheek and I held you so close. Wishing. Hardly believing.

Never was there a boy so loved; though I didn't ever feel your breath against my neck. It doesn't matter, and it never will. When I lift my hands to my face, I can still feel you in them.. as small as a kitten. My son.

Tomorrow I'm going to the elementary school, and I'm going to send your balloon from there. You'd start grade one in a few short days, and I wish that I could hold your hand and take you in to meet your teacher. I wish so many things.

Instead, I'll send your birthday balloon with my kiss upon it. I'll watch it until it disappears. And I'll wish. As always.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Organized confusion

I watched a show, some time ago, on the CBC (I believe), and the crux of it was that artistic, intelligent, creative people are most likely to live and work in an extremely messy environment. The story went on to say that we, the messy, are the norm. I've been thinking about this for a while, and I am here to say that my house is quite often a flipping nightmare. But.. I can put my hands on almost anything that matters to me; and quite quickly too.

Yes.. I have dust bunnies (or, some might say, dust elephants). The bathroom is a nightmare. There's 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag (per se).

When I think of the messiest people in my life, they are (as a rule) the most creative.

I made a few inquiries around the store tonight.. whose house is a pig sty? You'd be shocked how many hands went up. It was a relief to admit it. We're all for one, and one for all! Alike.

So, how about you? Are you neat as a pin, or do you need 2 days notice (minimum) before anyone steps foot in your house?

Knitting? I'm stalled on sleeve 2 of my Ravelympics project, but.. making some really great progress on a sock that I'm designing. It's beautiful I think.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sheep wrecked blog harlot

(I believe this is a fair representation of the moments before a sheep wreck - though I'm not sure which of the two riders is the harlot)

or, if you prefer:

mandie fibre dye australie (hmmm.. think someone was looking for mandie? you'll find her out there in the australie outback)

These are two successful ways to search in Google, and find my blog.

Ravelympics related; I'm almost done the first sleeve, so I'm about to come around the last corner with this sweater. Then I need to cast on socks.. better yet, socks with a deadline. I'm going to knit them in STR, and I'm kind of excited about them.

I'm really tired. So this is short, sweet, and I'm going for the humour factor. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We just wanted to, so we did

Try Absynthe that is.

I don't even know how to explain it. It's a bit like drinking real licorice. Only it makes your head explode a little. Believe me, the green fairy was officially released.

Now, less foolish:


Correna and her mom had stewed tomatoes, and the way Correna described them, I just never stopped thinking about it. I felt as though homemade stewed tomatoes sounded like the freshest, most wonderful summer idea, so BF and I went to a farmer's market this weekend and bought 50lbs. of field tomatoes. We gave 10 to Dida, and I stewed the rest. One batch with garlic cloves, one with lots of big basil leaves, and two batches with onions, garlic, celery, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. We've had two meals with them already; one was simple macaroni with the 'italian style' tomatoes and a little butter/parm. The next was a big pot of turkey vegetable soup with a hint of clove, and lots of black and red pepper. It was SO good.


Want instructions? Let me know.

Ravelympics update: The body is done, neck and button bands are done. I need a scale to weigh the balance of the remaining yarn, but I'll be darned it I can find it. I was going to move on to a sock, but I don't have the pattern with me tonight. So, I take that as a sign. I need a night off. Sleeves? I'm going to kick your butt tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well, here you have one heck of a podcast.

Psst: this conversation is confidential between us because Mandie has her head under the bedsheets right now.

So.. as you know, Mandie had a booth at Bendigo, where she did really well, and sold tons of fiber. What she kept quiet was that she had been interviewed for David Reidy's podcast 'Sticks & String'. The podcast has been released, and I think it's super. Everybody should have a listen. I will forgive him for messing up her name at the end, but just this once.

Let me quickly change the subject before she hears us talking.

If you're in Calgary, or thinking about a visit, Marilynn told me about a great place for attraction coupons. What fabulous deals!

Ok.. we Ravelympians need to get back to knitting. I'm almost at the 'I need sleeves' stage, which is my knitting wall. What I actually want to do is cast on socks and forget about sleeves for 3 or 4 weeks.

Shawls do not have sleeves. Socks do not have sleeves. I'm just sayin.

I am in the Ravelympics

Hence, not much in the way of posts... I entered the Sweatersprint catetory, and so far it's going quite well; in fact, the body of the sweater I'm knitting is about 1.5" away from being finished. As usual, I'm concerned about running out of yarn; but no matter what happens, I'm going to make it work. Maybe it'll have shorter sleeves than I had first anticipated? Maybe it will be perfect. I am using the Miss Priss colourway that I overdyed; it's wayyyyyy richer in real life. Gorgeous. The sweater, however, is not much to look at yet. It needs another day or two before it will become somewhat photogenic.


You might note that this is traditionally where I stall on a sweater. However.. stalling isn't an olympic option, is it?

I'm also in a sock exchange, but I haven't cast on yet, because I haven't decided on a pattern. Recently we bought every skein of Rivercity Yarn's Blue Moon STR that we could afford, so I am definitely not short of options to knit with.. just ideas.

Dida's birthday is in a few days, then my birthday, then Camp Pluckyfluff, then Rhinebeck, then the Make One Fall 2008 retreat.. then Christmas? Holy smokes. Too darned much.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kathleen is here, and I'm showing her how to put a picture in a blog, and how Ravelry works

This is a picture of Amy's ribbon blanket. Beautiful. We should knit it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

About as much fun as you can have with a ball of yarn, a set of dpns and 3 days off

That is.. if you don't care about matching socks, and the ball of yarn is Silk Garden.

In order to get matching socks, you need to knit one sock, then wind off yarn until you recognize the initial colour you started with; then begin the second sock. Me? I decided I was going to start, and just knit. I have to admit that I started the third sock from the outside of the ball because it seemed like it would match some of the greens in the second sock (though the colourway would be upside down).. otherwise, I just knit it the way it came out of the ball. No pattern, just me and the yarn and the needles. The third sock isn't done yet, but I think I'll juuuuuuust squeeze by.

Now, I know the concept of three basically mismatched socks might drive some people around the bend. Fortunately I'm not one of them.

I did other fun things this weekend; we cooked (seafood gumbo last night), we geocached (our 175th find), and (drumroll please):

I did the paperwork for my taxes. Phew. It falls under the category of better late than never.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The whoooooshing sound you heard

Originally uploaded by spinknit

Was 24 balls of Silk Garden Sock Yarn flying out of the store.

I am not joking even a little bit. It was all gone within 20 minutes. Would have been 10 had I been able to enter it into the computer system faster. I was lucky enough to get two for myself. S245, and S252.

You might know that I'm an addicted Silk Garden Lite knitter.. I've been making DK weight socks for BF out of it, and I'm so happy to see this new product. It is a tighter twist, and has the addition of some nylon, so the socks will last longer.

It's a good thing... A very good thing.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Just incase you need something to think about. Besides breasts.

Breasts. HUH. What are they good for?

Absolutely nuthin, say it again.

OK, I'm done singing.

Lately I've been thinking about breasts, and how their purpose changes throughout one's life. They attract partners. They feed babies. They are soft places for children to cry. They are shelves. And, approximately shortly after menopause, they are used to warm up an Eat-More Bar or two.

You think I'm joking. But I'm not. This secret has been kept from me until only recently. I'm still *under the wire*, but I'm practicing to get my technique down.

You learn something every day.

PS: As a sock designer, I'd make a pretty good wallpaper hanger.