Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thanks Nestor

I had a plan to put birdhouses on the top of our uncut fence posts. BFML and I found one on a geocaching trip a few years ago. We found another at a garage sale (I think... to be honest I can't remember how it got on my desk, where it has resided for a number of years).

Recently I bought a handmade birdhouse from Nestor. He makes them himself, and what I love about them is that they are so natural.. So here are mine. Finally installed, thanks to a little inspiration from Nestor's handiwork.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Flat out

In order of importance, as perceived by Spike.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hair mask

Did you hear about the time I had banana head? I heard that mashed banana was a good hair mask, so I tried it. Short on details, I left it in my hair too long and was picking hunks of banana, and banana seeds out of my hair for some time. Kim cut my hair during the banana days, and the quote is: Well. (pause) That's a first.

So tonight I invented a concoction of my own, involving mayo, an egg yolk, honey and some apple cider vinegar.

Pray for me.

The Aeolian is cruising towards the finish line. I'm on the last chart. I really love it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh duh

It just struck me that I could put more than one bead on a crochet hook at a time, and therefore speed up the process of inserting them.

I've been knitting the Aeolian, and so far, so good. It requires approximately 2250 beads; the discovery was significant.

The Columbia from AK

columbia single (prudence)

Some BFL/Silk that I'm spinning. 4 oz down, 4 to go.

silk/bfl single

Monday, September 13, 2010

Red garter stitch

I dreamed of it last night... a simple piece of red garter stitch that was so beautiful that I remembered the dream this morning. A piece that you might imagine came from the needles of the marvelous Mr. Flood. That kind of.. simple.

It'll stick in my head until I spin something suitable, until I can come up with the right pattern, until I can turn the dream into reality. Or, until something else catches my attention.

And in that mode, Sherri, Tracy and her blackandredness, AnneK, have been helping me out with another dream; this time some simple, white lace. The longest time ago Sherri have me a partial bag of Columbia fiber from one of Tracy's sheep. I didn't know how to clean fleece, and had no idea how to use raw fiber, so it sat around for the longest time. Eventually I thought.. gosh, what a great piece to start with. Small bag.. nothing to lose.


It washed up sparkling white, and after being carded into the crudest rolag, spun into the most precious little skein of light fingering yarn.

I've been wishing and wishing that I could do some more; thinner, for a shawl.

Initially Tracy let me take all I wanted from a large bag of Columbia, but unfortunately the colour wasn't quite right (tho the yarn will be beautiful one day) I asked AnneK if she had any to spare. Affirmative! She brought a nice big bag of locks to the store on my birthday. Since then I've given it all a good wash and it's dried and ready to go. Tonight I pulled the locks apart and flick carded them.. then spun. I've got a really fine, white single that's looking fantastic on the bobbin. It's going to be perfect.

And simple.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In 15 minutes

I'll turn 53 for the second time. I really, really loved the first time; especially when the kinds commented on my ability to subtract 1957 from 2009. Turns out it's a number ending with a 2. Imagine my surprise!

Tomorrow is also TKR's knit night, so I'm hoping to see lots of people and have plenty of laughs. While knitting.

I hope your 0909 is as fun.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why it's good to toss your stash

Because you find stuff.

Like a sweater's worth of yarn I had forgotten I had.

Jacinda's Tibetan spindle.

The Girasol.

Edlyn's Clapotis that Jocelyn fixed for me. (Thank you Joce.. it looks great!). It's about 2/3rd's complete.


A skein of handspun Optim that I had been looking for, given up on, and passed it's sibling along to Dida.

A big fat Addi Turbo.

The labels for the cashmere I dyed for Marilynnie.

A piece of fabric that I promised to Bess.

I also organized all of my yarn and fiber, and it's all in good shape with no surprises. Honestly, that's the best part of all.

ok.. I've got some stuff for sale

Prices do not include shipping. Heavier items such as the wheel and the fabric cannot be shipped. Email me at if you see something you'd like, or you have further questions.

A Rubbermaid container full of soap making materials. Dyes, fragrances, essential oils, molds, a book, etc. $15.00

Here's an interesting story.... A few years ago I had the honour of purchasing the estate of one of the Lethbridge Spinner & Weaver guild founders. One of the things included was this bag of vintage handspun. It's a big bag, the yarn is sound, and some of it is labelled with handwritten notes such as: Carded by Donna. :) $25.00

Anybody still have a VHS machine? Here's an Ashford how to spin instructional tape. Buy something else, and I'll throw it in if you ask for it.

A small bag of Suri and a bit of tinsel. Buy something else and I'll throw it in if you ask.

Kid Merino, hand dyed locks. $5.00 each.

Some Rose Llama from Saskatchewan, hand dyed rose to.. well, rose it up. $7.50 SOLD

A Yak sample. $5.00 SOLD

Miscellaneous bags of hand dyed BFL. $10.00 each.

This is a whole lot of scoured and drum carded Shetland. I bought a small fleece from Linda Wendelboe at Olds (you know she rocks!). You have have this and the balance of the unscoured fleece for $25.00

This fabric is 100% silk, 6 yards, and the colour is golden not taupe

This is a large Rubbermaid container full of yards and yards of fabric. At one time I was doing some costuming, and this fabric is from that period. There are maybe one or two small pieces, and the balance is yards and yards and yards per piece. There are silks, upholstery fabric, cottons, muslins, etc... Spectacular! $200.00 for the works, which is approximately what I paid for the silk alone.

Here's the wheel I mentioned the other day. It's an Indian Princess Style with a massive bobbin; mostly used for spinning art yarn. The wheel is rustic, but spins just fine. Speaking of fine, I put some tension on the bobbin, and I was shocked to find that I could spin quite a fine yarn with it. So.. It's up to you what your final result is. $75.00

Loads of bags of pretty marbles and polished river stones. The very second you buy this, I'll remember what I was going to do with them. $15.00 for all of them.

A mixed bag of fun stuff to spin art yarn (or.. for crafts!). Ribbons, flowers, buttons, crochet thread, giant paperclips, novelty yarn, a cute little bird... too much to mention. Everything for $15.00

A large bag containing many, many balls of handspun singles. Wool is not identified. Also included is a back, two fronts and a part of a sleeve for a partially knitted men's cabled sweater. An intermediate to advanced knitter would easily be able to complete this garment. All for $30

Friday, September 3, 2010

Arse 1000

Ok, it's actually the ARS 1000, but who am I to spoil a good joke.

That's the name of the seat on my brand new bike.

After hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of kilometers logged on my hyrid (including that effityeffpigdog 28km mountain at the end of day one of the Ride to Conquer Cancer), I felt that I had earned a road bike. The issue was finding one that fit a person with my lack of altitude. I was really, really wishing for a Giant Defy Advanced 3 (2?, 1?), but there were no x-smalls to be found and no date when I might be expect one to arrive. I tried a Cannondale Synapse, and a Cervelo S1. The problem there was the customer service at Bow Cycle. I know they're busy, but damn... their expectation was that I pay them for a bike that was uncomfortable to ride, and then they would make the changes that they felt would make the bike fit me. I was told that their techs didn't have the time to waste 5 hours making changes to a bike I hadn't purchased just so that it would fit me. Alright Bow Cycle.... see ya. Then I went to Calgary Cycle, and in three visits, I was able to get someone to acknowledge me once, and he was just too busy to help me (that's fair.. it happens). Then there was Cyclepath. I didn't bother going because IK and Mr. IK tried to buy a road and a mountain bike, but weren't able to get acknowledged by the staff. (Their money went to Bike Bros., who have absolutely fantastic customer service)

Meanwhile, I was losing sleep over the issue. I'll bet you're thinking that I'm just a tiny bit crazy overall; cuz really.. wasn't there a cruiser hanging from the living room wall? A TREK mountain bike in the shed? And, don't forget Mildred (she's my favorite; I must admit it). And don't I have a perfectly good Cannondale Quick Fem 4?

So here's the thing. August is really tough for me. I go some shade of crazy every August as I try to get through the anniversary of my son's death. Each and every year I am focused on something, trying to dampen the pain, and this year was entitled THE YEAR I HAD TO HAVE A NEW ROAD BIKE. (or I might die)

Finally, finally.. I walked into Speed Theory and there it was. A 2010 Argon18 Krypton in white, black and red. Full carbon. Light. Fast. From a Canadian company. Extra Small.

(And Bow Cycle? The guy at Speed Theory did make the changes he thought would be necessary. He watched me ride. He made adjustments. He spent some time with me. In exchange I gave him a lot of money)

I can't afford to pay attention, but I have my bike. And yes, it did help. She helped me climb the 2010 anniversary of losing my beloved HC. That's worth something.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beth Durden

When I joined Ravelry, the very first person to friend me was Beth Durden. I had no clue who she was, or why she friended me.. and I decided not to ask. The only reason I didn't delete her was because she was a student of midwifery, and that is something I find fascinating.

Ok... she's also a spinner & knitter. Bonus points .

So.. it seems that Beth has taken on a 2 year mission. One of the things she has asked for is care packages and encouraging notes. I think I'm going to drop Beth a card every now and then, and perhaps knit a baby hat or two.

I'm asking you to do the same.

I have copied the following from her blog profile:

What it's all about:

~*Beth Durden*~
Vancouver, WA, United States
I'm a student midwife who is living in Davao City, Philippines for 2 years to learn and work in a birth center that serves women living in poverty in and around Davao City. My mission and calling is to reduce maternal and infant risk, protect and defend the dignity of women, by demonstrating Christ's love, compassion, and mercy in action. I am interested in coming alongside indigenous midwives in developing countries in order to glean from their wisdom while also empowering and equipping them with skills to better serve the women in their communities. I hope to be a part of starting birth centers in resource poor areas to help fight needless maternal/infant mortality and morbidity, and to help give moms and babies the love and care that they deserve. I hope to become a CPM by 2012, then intern in a fistula hospital in Africa to learn how to repair obstetric fistula. This blog is about my journey into this calling.

View my complete profile

My address in the Philippines:
Want to send care packages or encouraging notes? I heart you.

Beth Durden
c/o Mercy Maternity Center
P.O Box 81227
Davao City 8000

The school I attend:
Newlife International School of Midwifery

You go, Beth Durden. The world needs more like you. I'm going to think about mercy in action for a long while.

(hey knitters... could you pass this link along? i believe our community can do something spectacular for her)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's that time again...

Fund raising... (any missing pictures will be updated tomorrow)

I have to offer (all prices in Candian dollars, and do not include shipping):

4+ lbs of cormo hogget #840 fleece, 2009, from Sue of US Cormo Farm. Paid $110.00 US shipped, and will sell for $75.00. I washed and carded a small handful, and it is awesome, as always. Click on link and scroll down to see a photo of the (up to) 4.75" staple.

Indian Princess type spinning wheel for spinning art yarn. Complete with one massive bobbin. This wheel is quite rustic, but functional. $75.00, but must be a local sale.

Strauch Finest chain driven drum carder. Used once (for real! I carded some shetland and i'm still spinning it), and all parts are included except the original box. $600.00 CDN. I cannot ship. This is a fantastic deal!

2 skeins of Noro Aurora, in colourway 6A. One has had the label removed and some yarn wound off, and back on again. Both for $15.00

3 skeins of Ornaghifilati 'Gong', in colourway 988-76079. Mercerized cotton, sport weight. $10.00

2 skeins of Crystal Palace Kid Merino, 240yds/25gm. Colour: Nightlights. $7.50

2 skeins of Artyarns Ultramerino4, fingering weight. Colourway 101. $15

From the 2008 Year of Lace:

December 2008 kit, including the Snowdrop Shawl pattern by Nancy Bush, and a cake of natural merino lace yarn. We had just got an electric ball winder at the shop and this skein got away from us. My scale weighs it at 206 grams. The pattern calls for 100 grams, so you have an extra shawl there. $50.00

June 2008 kit, including the Berry Blue-tiful Summer Stole pattern by Joan Schrouder, and 100 grams of Lorna's Laces 'Helen's Lace' in the colour Berry Blue-tiful. $50.00

You may know that I worked at Make One during the year of lace; I just wanted to let you know that I was one of the first people who joined the year of lace; quite some time before I started working there. I don't want you to think that I got these packages for free and I'm taking advantage.

2009 CycleOps Fluid Trainer. Used a half dozen times. It's great.. just not my deal. Paid $400, will take $300 including a climbing block.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fiber meets puppy

I bought this from Pigeonroof Studios on Etsy. It's a BFL (my favorite...)/Silk blend. Not my usual choice of colours, but really pretty I thought.

I spun just more than half of it, and left the balance of the fiber on the arm of the couch while I went out to do an errand. (Would you have guessed that it would spin up blue? Me neither)

It was roughly in the shape of a ball.

When I came back, I found this:

And here is the guilty party. Any attempt to resist his powers would be fruitless.

(I managed to spin most of the fiber.. it ended well)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

YO, universe!

BFML reminded me there's a compressor in the basement... So Mildred the Voyageur's back tire is fully inflated. However, at this particular moment in time I cannot locate my newly tiara'ed helmet.

Just as well I would imagine.

(we had a wonderful ride together to the locksmith's, where i acquired new truck & house keys. everything went well and mildred and i are one with each other. you will note in the picture that there is a mr. potato head on the steps as well as a pooper scooper. chez R, ever so elegant)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The princess wave in action

There's me.. somewhere on the Ride for Dad that BFML and I enjoyed taking part in last weekend.

I wasn't quite in full wave, but the hand was on it's way up, I'm quite sure.

This is how it went

I thought I'd ride the Voyageur to the train station; stopping on my way to fully inflate the tires. I had even gone to Calgary Transit's web page to find out the rules and regulations, and voila!... I'm good to go.

Until realizing that air is coming out and not going in to the tube and that I now have a completely flat back tire. Sooooo... I walked the bike home (cursing the gas station for not putting up a sign), and looked for my small hand pump. (Note to readers: never buy one of those things, they are about 95% useless).

Found it, and noticed that the tube stem is not diagonal. After a sweat inducing round of pumping it has been determined that the tube does not accept air as is, so I put the bike away and decided that I'd walk to the train station with BFML. He had a few things to do before he left that took me from the cusp of enough time, to not enough time.

The dog pooped by my desk, and the cat puked by the front step.


What I'd miss if I had a Kindle, which I don't.


Correna and I have been reading about Queens. We've been passing books back and forth and been having a ball with the entire thing; Marilynn kicked in a book or two for us to share.

Come to think of it, I pass almost all soft cover books along when I'm done. I often buy used books.. What happens to that whole quaint, wonderful industry (could you even call it that?) if we all had Kindles?

I dunno how I feel about it. Still want one though, but that's greed speaking. Have you seen the 6" version?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some news about knitting?

I got this, and I started knitting it out of Tiziano Red.

When it's finished I think I'll call it the Sandra Tiziano shawl.

There are 3 stitches that are garter but should be stockinette. I'm not mad enough to rip back an entire repeat and fix the stitches. I think a Tiziano is allowed to be a little tiny bit glitchy. So far it doesn't have any heels.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Epic fail, and at last, success

I wish somebody had been in the shop when I discovered what I had done to this sock; I nearly fell over from shock/laughing. Gordana had been sitting with me for a little while as I knit this, and she didn't notice it either.

Instead of knitting the toe, I knitted another heel. I could not believe my eyes...

And along that same line, here are two pictures of the Mugwump at her grade 9 grad dinner/dance.

She's smiling. What a beautiful sight.