Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shut UP!

Dear Pretentious Idiot
The trend of signing off your email with 'Cheers' is bad enough... I know, I know, lots of people do it.  Well, from what I understand, it's from the English and meant for 'Thanks' and on some internet forums they argue that it can also be meant as 'goodbye' as long as the person was there to help you.  At any rate, regardless of what it means  WHERE IT BELONGS, in my opinion, when you're not actually English/Irish/Scotish it's a pretentious and obnoxious way of signing off an email in order to make yourself seem cultural! 
Now, I can accept that it's become somewhat of a cultural norm (even tho it's obnoxious!) to sign off emails with 'Cheers'.  What I can NOT accept is that you SAY it to EVERYTHING!
Person: did you want to go out for lunch?
Pretentious Idiot (PI): Cheers!
Person: Just so you know, the printer is broken
PI: Cheers!
Person: Oh, sorry, i didn't mean to bump into you
PI: Cheers!
You sound like a MORON!  You sound like an obnoxious idiot!  You're not cultured!  You've never been anywhere!  You grew up in North Van for crying out loud!  Try and act like a normal human being and cut out your 'I'm so cultured crap'.  You sound like an idiot!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things I want to do (start doing again)

The Book.  At one time I had a book.  A pretty plain journal with striped cover and lined pages.  It had many sections, and some are ones I would like to take up again.
In that book is a wine journal.  I'm sure it's wildly out of date now but it's worth looking through and then taking up again.  It's kind of fun to see what your tastes are and to look back.
Also in that book were costs of things that I bought on a somewhat regular basis to determine the price per year that was being spent.  Most notably from my memory (which is sadly not what it used to be), I was writing down how much cat food we were buying and how much it was and how much was being spent on his nails etc.  I would like to take this back up especially with regard to Mr. Fluffypants and write all his costs down so that I can determine when and if I can afford to care for another kitty!
One of the things that was in that book which I plan to move to a new book and expand on was a list of restaurants.  Either ones we liked or ones we wanted to try.
In the new book, I plan to put the same in, but then also lists and recipes of food that I like to eat and make.  The reason for the addition of the lists and recipes is that I am a terrible rememberer when I get hungry and I can't remember what I like to eat.  Sounds dumb I know, but lists are helpful for me!
A more one time thing I would like to do is to go down to a nice fabric store (I'm not talking about you Dressew!) and buy some printed cotton and make new pillow shams for my bedding set.  The ones I have from my favorite duvet are white and through wear and what appears to be a laundromat bleach accident, they've become somewhat discolored.  In an ideal world, I'd like to have/make a new white duvet, but with the reality of the kitty and his penchant for going outside, getting muddy and then flopping on the bed, there's not much point in wasting that money!  A thought that just came to me is that I could get small (dessert plate sized) bits of fabrics I love and zigzag squares of them on to the top of the existing white duvet.  I will ruminate on that a bit more because it might be a nice, somewhat inexpensive way to renovate an existing duvet cover... it also might look a little too hippy chic for me!  We shall see.  Any suggestions are welcome!
I'd like to (and better) start running again.  I've decided to do a half marathon with my sister (www.ride-eat-repeat.blogspot.com) next year and if I don't start running now, it'll probably be really hard!  BTW, sister, when is it and where?
I'd like to bring my lunch to work every day!
I would like to write a Blurb book. 
I would like to get my knitting patterns written up and published! (just need some good pictures of the hat and then I'm ready to go on that one!)
I would like to drink the appropriate amount of water a day (said as she sits here drinking coffee!)
I would like to find a permanent counselor.  Mine is only good for about another six to eight sessions and then I have to find someone else.  Any recommendations?


I'm going to attempt to be this today
check out her art at http://www.sandravandoorn.com/

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things I don't understand.

Thing #1:  Alcohol.  Okay, I actually UNDERSTAND alcohol.  It's yummy.  What I don't understand is why I was driving home from work yesterday and I had an overwhelming urge to consume alcohol.  At the time, I didn't even think 'one beer' or 'one JD and coke'.  I thought 'A.L.C.O.H.O.L.!!!'.  So what I don't understand is why a person such as myself that rarely drinks, would find it necessary to take repreive in alcohol!  I did drink, for the record.  I had 2 Granville Island Raspberry Ales.  Kind of an odd beer and difficult to drink more than that in one sitting.  HOWEVER, I know... I KNOW! that if I had been drinking something different... JD and coke, more standard beer, I would have drank more.  What the hell is up with that? 
Thing #2: Hockey!  LOL... okay, calm down!  Again, I actually have an acute understanding of hockey.  I know what constitutes a penalty, what icing and offside are and most of the ins and outs of the game.  What I do not understand is other people as related to hockey.  I've been a hockey fan for about 25 years... My team has never won the Holy Grail of hockey, the Stanley Cup.  Up until yesterday, it had been 17 years since we even got close enough to have a shot at it.  Now, that doesn't mean that SOMEONE didn't win.  In the last 25 years, the cup has been handed out 25 times.  And every time, I say 'Oh, good for them'.  So what I don't understand is people getting on Facebook and saying things like 'If Vancouver wins, I'll blow my head off'.  I get that you'd probably rather your team won, but at the present, there are only three teams left in the running and I would bet dollars to donuts that the guy that made that statement has a team that has been out of contention for a while.  Why the animosity?  Why can't you be happy (or even neutral!) about it?  How about cheering for good play and the love of the game?  Why are people so angry about our specific team?  We've worked hard for this and win or lose, they sure as hell deserve to be right where they are!
Thing #3: Bad Attitudes.  Yup... don't understand them.  I know that everyone processes things in their life quite differently.  It's an amazing thing because ten different people presented with the exact same situation will process and understand it differently!  However, what I don't understand is the constant 'bad mood'.  Everyone has shit going on it their lives.  I've just broken up an almost 5 year relationship.  It's shit alright!  What I don't do however, is put my anger, disappointment, bad mood and terrible attitude onto the people around me.  In fact, I don't even claim ownership to those last two things.  Bad mood?  No.  Terrible attitude?  No.  I don't see the point.  Yes, I'm terribly sad and confused and disappointed.  Does that mean that I can bite the heads off my co-workers or scream at someone in a grocery store?  No.  So while I may be more well adjusted than some people, I just don't understand the bad attitude.  The fact that people take their bad day, bad attitude, bad mood out on me.  It's mean and it's unnecessary!
Thing #4: Things you know are good for you.  I understand them.  I just don't understand why it's so difficult to do what's best for your mind and body and easier to do things that are not so good.  Coffee instead of water?  Couch instead of excersise?  Carbs instead of Veg?  Yes... why is that such a difficult (and yet so easy!) choice to make??

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I don't really know what to write in this space.  I have snippets flying around in my head right now but the second I go to try and wrangle them into some sort of sense, they fly away again into a jumbled mess.
I guess since I can't figure out a way to talk about my situation without sounding stupid, I could talk about knitting!
I picked up my Alpaca Tarp again... I think the problem with it is that the pattern is not very intuitive in certain spots.  As you decrease the leaves, it makes total sense, but there's a weird zig zag line that goes throughout the whole thing that keeps throwing me off!  I do love it tho and I can't wait for it to be done.  It'll probably be too big and too hot to wear now, but winter will come around again and I can always  wear it in the house or out on cool summer nights.  I'm second guessing my sweater now.  Not because I dont' love it and don't think that I deserve it but because now that my situation has changed, I really feel that there are other big changes coming about, including getting back into better shape.  Not to say that I'm going to wait to knit the sweater until I reach some magical size, but just that I don't think knitting it in the biggest size right now is very smart when change is coming.  At the very least, it's still OTN and I am just going to put it aside for the time being and see how things shake out.
Being that I don't have a single other project on the needles (besides the blankie, and we're just not talking about that!) I think I'm going to cast on for a Multnomah out of either the Rayon that I bought in Tucson, or the MadelineTosh Pashmina that is languishing in my stash right now.  OR!  I could cast on the storm cloud shawlette out of Kangaroo Dyer's gorgeous yarn.  Hmmm... May do that... since it's a cute and different shape than the alpaca tarp!  And now I'm completely wrong because I also have my Schoppel Wolle Crazy Zauberball 6ply ribbed scarf on the needles... that will probably come to work and hang out here... It'll be cute when it's done and I think I might give it to the shop for a sample.  I'm sort of running out of room to store the stuff and it's becoming a bit ridiculous how many finished thingies I have!
That's all I have for now.  The Canucks play tonight and I'm going to be knitting on the Alpaca Tarp and screaming at the television!  Doesn't that sound like FUN?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Broken up


Shattered pieces to clean up


Monday, May 16, 2011

All my riches for....

Here's the shawl that I finished in record time.  In fact I'm convinced that it probably must have knit a huge portion of it independently!

One skein of merino and silk/merino and one skein of gray merino and a few fluffs of angelina, spun up by the owner of Grandma's Spinning Wheel in Arizona.

This was inspired by the Mara shawl, but the mods mean that it's not REALLY a Mara shawl.
I did mine in stockinette instead of garter, changed the increases in the ribbing section, knit it out of bulkier wool and did less of a ribbed border than the original calls for.
Here are a whole heap of pictures for your viewing pleasure!  Sorry the gray was so over exposed. 

You can't escape it!

So my friend Glenda mentioned to me that it's not WE who take a hiatus from knitting, it's that KNITTING wants nothing to do with us every now and then and takes a break. (paraphrased).  With that in mind I did wonder if I could ever live without knitting, now that I know what it is and how it (positively) impacts me.
I've learned a lot from knitting and from the process and from my friends that I met due to knitting.  But no, that isn't what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about is how knitting has ACTUALLY inflitrated my home and my life and how even if I wanted to, I couldn't get away from it.
A day in the life of me, as it relates how much my knitting has 'spread out'.
In my pocket today I found a stitch marker.  It's there because I took it off a shawl I made at work and put it in my pocket.  I took it out of my pocket and placed it on my desk.  Next to a small remnant ball of Schopel Wolle Zauberball that has been sitting on my computer monitor stand because I cast off a shawl here at work one day.  It's been here so long that we actually moved 12 blocks away to a different location and it got packed up and put back out when I unpacked.
Behind me on the table is my Alpaca Tarp.  I brought it because I like to have something to work on at lunch time.
My bulletin board is home to a small pin that my friend got me depicting a small skeleton knitting up a ball of yarn.
In my car is my California Sunset shawl because I keep forgetting to bring it in.  Behind the driver's side seat is a paper starbucks bag with my ill fated Sundara Shetland Shawl in it.
Today when you walk in the door, there are three blocking mats immediately in front of you as you walk in, on which is layed out my newest shawl. To the left is my knitting area, which is covered from top to bottom in bits and pieces and skeins and remnants and needles and cables.  I try and keep it tidy but it's a daily task!
The kitchen island holds it's share of product tags and tiny snips of yarn from trimming ends and unwinding skeins.
The living room has a large red ottoman tray on the coffee table (we used to have an upholstered otto). It's like an extension of the knitting area.  It has markers and cables and bits and bobs... patterns and remnants of yarn, the needle guage, sheepy tape measure and a knitpicks cable key.
On the back of the sofa sits my sock monkey, who currently is wrapped in a shawl.  Five days ago he was sort of protecting the sweater that I started, which was wedged between the back of the sofa and the cushions.  In that same location I found a half completed (TOTALLY RIDICULOUS) thrummed mitten.
There's a shawl pin (or two) on the bathroom counter and stitch markers on the armoire in the living room. The ear of a dragon in progress sits atop the armoire while the dragon's head bobs around in a bowl of more bits and bobs on the coffee table in the knitting area.
In the bedroom there's a teal blue Ishbel behaving for the moment as a kitty blanket and a green Haruni in the night stand drawer.
Under the covers you'd find a well loved wool/mohair hotwater bottle cover.
All this might sound like a huge mess, but really, it's not.  It's just that I realized last night (the whole 'shawl in the night stand thing') that knitting is a part of who I am now. It's a part of the fabric (please excuse that horrid pun!) of what makes me me... unique, quirky and passionate.
Do you have a similar picture to paint?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saltwater Taffy and the Silver Lining

This remains one of my favorite things to knit.  It's super easy, requires little to no concentration and when you're done (which happens all of a sudden), you have a gorgeous lacy wrap.
Cast on repeats of 18 + 2 (so I cast on 56 stitches for three repeats and two edge stitches).
Knit a couple rows of garter and then begin pattern:
Row 1: K1 *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo,k1), six times, (k2tog) 3 times, repeat from * until one stitch left, k1
Row 2: K
Row 3: K
Row 4: P

Repeat these four rows until you've reached the length you like (I did about 80 repeats) and then do a matching number of garter rows to the beginning and bind off.  Block HARSHLY to get the full lacy effect.

This last picture makes me hungry!  It looks so yummy!

And as promised a better picture of the Silver Lining neck warmer I made.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm a knitter... again!

Just thought I'd check in and let you all know that while BARELY, I'm still alive.  I had a very close brush with the Emergency Room on Tuesday and Wednesday and it appears that I've magically cured myself and the threat of the ER has diminished but I'm still not feeling well.  I don't have much of a choice regarding having to continue to go to work.  Besides being layed up, I've not really been knitting, altho I did finish two items that were sort of hanging on.  The first one was a sample of roving knit up into a small cravat that I posted a picture of in the button link tutorial.  It was made out of Silk/Wool pencil roving and knit on 10mm needles.  One 50g (40m) ball got a 14" long by 10stitch wide neck warmer.  Two balls would give you a very generous wide squishy warmer.  Mine is on display at Urban Yarns, along with the button link that appears in the below tutorial.
The second item that I finished was my Arizona knitting project.  It's a 3 repeat Feather and Fan wrap made out of two skeins of Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3 ply.  I did 80 repeats of the stitch pattern and ended up with an unblocked shawl about a foot wide and 5.75' long.  I will harshly block it and it's also going over to Urban Yarns as a sample.  I think the wool is just lovely, I love that it's not superwash and I try and force it on people to buy all the time, so a sample knit up will help immensely.
I don't have pictures right now, but I will block it this weekend and get pictures for you!
Once I finished both of those items last week some time, I took a bit of a knitting hiatus.  I stuffed all my in progress pieces (that I love) into a bag along with all the beautiful yarn I've just purchased (including a highly prized skein of MadTosh Pashmina in Terrarium and the gorgeous souvenier yarn fro AZ) and promptly stopped thinking about them.  I had a moment that I wondered if I would ever knit again.  And then, when I thought I might end up in the hospital, I thought it would be a good idea to cast on something very easy, transportable and and something I could knit on while I suffered.  So I pulled out this gorgeous skein of purple and silver handspun yarn from Arizona and cast on a Mara (rav link).  Then I ripped it out.  See, thick/thin handspun does NOT look good in garter stitch.  So I recast it on thinking I'd try it in stockinette and it's divine!  Its literally all I can think about, it's all I want to do and I can't wait for it to be done!  And yes, I do find it ironic that I used to HATE HATE HATE purling and now when I'm thinking I need something simple to do when I'm sick, what I want to knit is back and forth stockinette!
The color on this project is divine and I ordered another skein of the gray so that I'm sure that I'll have enough!
The other thing that I have to do (and am about 1/4 done) is my bestee's Hotwater Bottle Cover.  (rav link) It's my first time knitting with Spud and Chloe and I must say, it's pretty darn nice!  The bobbles are showing up just lovely and the cables really pop off the purl background.  I'm thrilled!  I changed the pattern to give it  couple sweet personalizations to make to it so that it's really special, but we'll have to wait before we can share that!
Thanks for sticking by me, even if I'm boring lately!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Button-Link Tutorial

Okay, I finally got around to doing this tutorial for the Button-Links.  I knit a tiny little cravat out of silk/merino roving and it definitely needed a button, but to put a button hole in when knitting with fluff basically, is impossible, so yet another use for these handy little things!

You need:

1 shank style button of any size. (this will be your feature button, so you want it to be nice and it's the one you should give some thought to.)
1 small button of any style, but you want this to be small enough to fit through your stitches but big enough to not pop right back out again
(If you want your button-link to be reversible, then you need to use a shank button for both buttons!)
1 yarn needle
1 pair of scissors
a length of yarn (I used alpaca silk because the silk makes it strong and that's what i had lying around.)

A shank button

Thread your yarn through the needle and then through the shank of the button, leaving a tail around 4" long.
Thread it through your smaller back button and pull the small button to within around 3/4" from the shank of the front button. (if you're making this for a specific FO, then you can adjust the space between the buttons to make it perfect for your item.  Not too tight, not too loose).

Continue back and forth between the front button and the back button, creating a loop.

Now take your yarn and start wrapping it around your loop, creating a post.  Thread your yarn in and out of the loop occasionally as you wrap to keep it snug and tight. Catch your short tail as you go around.
When you've gotten the whole loop closed up and the post is nice and snug, push the threaded needle through the post a few times to secure the yarn and then snip loose ends.
If you have any questions or need help or clarification, leave a comment and I'll try and help you out!
Also, let me know if you make these as I'd love to see all the different variations!  Buttons are FUN!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Can you die from it?

Can you die from crying?  
Can you actually suffocate from having your heart in your throat at all times of the day and night? 
Can the rash that you give yourself around your eyes consume your body? 
Can you lose so many nutrients from sobbing that you actually wilt away to nothing? 
Can the wild swings from an artificial euphoria to the bleakest saddness twist you into a knot you can never untwist from? 
When they say 'heart broken', can it actually break and kill you? 
If all of those things, painful and torturous turn out not to be deadly, I will be honestly amazed! 
I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and I won't last as an upright human being for much longer. 
There are words swirling around in my head and as hard as I try, I can't get them to slow down or line up in any sort of congruous thought pattern
Worn down
In love
So. Very. Tired.
So while I'm not calling an official time out to the blog (because the second I do, I'll have four thousand bloggable experiences and then I will argue with myself as to whether to post them), if you don't see me around here much in the next month or so, you now know why.
Comments for this post are being moderated to keep details out that may sneak in.  I'm willing to describe myself and my feelings, but not willing to have my actual life on display.