Thursday, March 31, 2011

What the heck happened??


I even put loads and LOADS of cream in it and it's still that dark coffee color... that's a STRONG COFFEE!  It's like an unexpected gift!  My coffee every morning comes from the same place, made by (for the most part) the same guy in the same way... it's always divine (otherwise, why would I go out of my way to go there), but today it's extra super duper awesome!  He must have known that the life is slowly being sucked out of my body by my allergy to cherry blossoms and the fact that I feel I can't sleep enough lately... I blame that mostly on the allergies and a little on being depressed... being depressed usually means that I WANT to sleep my days away, but my allergies and pure exhaustion prevent me from actually staying awake... it's the depression that makes it impossible to talk myself out of going to bed for a two hour nap at six pm!
 
 
I digress!  The coffee is fantastic and MUCH needed and I am now armed to get through my day!
 
 
 
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.
There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.
How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which the then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.
 
As has been made abundantly clear over time, I generally do not knit for other people...It's not that I don't believe them to be worthy... it's more that I sincerely don't care if they're worthy.  My hobby is mine to do with that which I please and that's really all there is to it.  Now, that's not to say that I don't knit for other people, because my mom, girl bestee, my sister, my man, my dad, boy bestee, girl bestee again, my two other friends and a new baby have all been recipients of my knitting.  I knit each item for them because I wanted to and the rest of alllllll of my knitting has gone to the most grateful recipient of all... me!
 
Most of the things that I make for me I know exactly what happened to them... they're all sitting in a neat pile in the bottom of my side of the school lockers that we use for our coat closet (one day I'll take a picture of that for you!).  I wear exactly three shawls in rotation for the most part... one of which I didn't even make!  My Candy Shawlette from PJ www.kneadsknitsandknothing.blogspot.com, my Terra that I just finished and my Haruni, because it's so junky now that I don't care if it gets ruined (knitpicks and I are not friends!).  Now, this is not to say that I don't love and cherish all the other ones, and I would certainly not give them away... each is perfect in it's own way for something... just because that 'something' hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean that it's not still perfect. (and don't worry, I'm not a plastic on the couch, unburned candles sort of person... I don't 'save' things for a better time... but really, how many shawls and hats can one person wear at a time!).
The items that have been knit for the above mentioned people are all, so far as I know, in great condition.  Hats went to the girl and boy bestee, one friend, the man, my sister and my dad.  My sister wears hers all the time, boy bestee wore his all winter and apparently my dad wears his, altho the picture is as yet not forthcoming.  Lace scarfs went to girl bestee and my mom and I know that my mom wears hers and keeps it wrapped in a napkin in her lingerie drawer when not in use... girl bestee keeps hers all folded up when not in use as well.  One pair of mitts went to my friend and since we work together, I've seen her wear them a lot... they're even pilly, which I love in a mitt because it means it's being used!
 
I used to do a lot of 'crafting'.  I painted, made stuff, invented stuff, did woodworking etc... and I have nothing to show for it.  I gave everything away when I was younger because the giving made the other person feel good and I didn't know that keeping would make me feel good.  Socially we're considered selfish if we don't hand over whatever it is we have that someone else wants (within reasonable value, and unfortunately most of the world doesn't give the proper value to hand made items).  I like keeping all these shawls and hats and scarves for myself.  Not because I may ever use them but because making myself something feels good and for me, looking back on the items that I made by actually looking at the physical item is rewarding to me!
 
So I'm happy to say that I know EXACTLY what has happened to every item I've ever knitted and I hope to be able to say that next year as well!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You have how much stuff and it goes WHERE?!?

My knitting 'accoutrement' sort of grew at an accelerated rate when I first started knitting two years ago...  At first I had a basket... wicker and cute with balls of yarn in it... and then I found all the balls of yarn on the floor and realized that some sort of 'cat keeper outter device' would be a good idea so I exchanged the basket for one with a lid.  Oddly, since the basket with a lid was larger than the basket without, I felt some sort of compulsion to fill it up... not hard... altho to be fair, i've since given away most of the yarn that was originally used to fill up the basket... it was ugly and the product of an unknowledgable knitter with no yarn direction or personal knitting taste.  Once that basket was at it's limit, I bought two small 'storage ottomans' which live under my coffee table.  There's a 'red/orange/earthtones/natural' one and a 'blue/green/variagated' one.  They're both full to the brim with yarn and roving and ends of yarn that need to be made into a scrappy blanket of some sort... 'remnants' take up a lot of room!
And then besides that, I have two large six bottle wine boxes (like the one posted below, only six wide) with all the 'really good' yarn in them and one two bottle wide box that has some yarn in it for projects that I'm currently working on (so I dont' have to go digging to get the next ball).
 
As far as my needles and patterns go, i JUST organized those... I bought a 3" three ring binder and clear plastic page protectors and all my patterns went into their own protector...  Circular needles also went into their own plastic holder by size (all US7's together etc...) and then I bought a set of 10 CD holder pages (two to a page, fits right on the 3ring binder) which holds my interchangeable tips (two sizes per pocket) and the interchangeable cables (each length to it's own pocket).
All of this (needles, cords and patterns) go in the same binder, which seemed like a good idea but it's a bit hard to operate... I'm considering getting an Offhand Designs interchangeable needle case in Cosmo Bloom so that the patterns are in the binder themselves... 
 
I try and keep my knitting area (henceforth known as 'craftland') relatively neat and tidy... as with any sort of hobby that has a lot of 'pieces', if you don't keep it as tidy as possible, it can start to look like a bomb went off....
 
I also (ALSO!) have a very cool antique accordian sewing box (exactly like these two pictures) that I keep pins and ribbon, dpn tube, extra graph paper, buttons (some, not all), samples of wool wash etc... in.  On top of that sits a small basket that has the ball winder, some threads and other 'junk' that I can't even picture right now.  And I have two large decorative bowls (like soup bowl sized) that have more bits and pieces... beads, markers, cable keys, yarn labels etc.... I usually just pile stuff into the bowl until it's full and then organize stuff into it's proper place from there. 
 
 
I keep all my yarn labels (for everything I've ever made) in a 'coupon accordian' and that goes on the bookshelf beside all the knitting books and mags...
That's about it... It's a wild and wonderful place, craft land!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

She's got mad Skillz yo!




Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

The last year... Last year I made 10 shawls, 11 hats, 2 cowls, 1 pair of mitts and a toy. The year before that (which is what I assume we're comparing to ) I made 2 cowls, 2 shawls, three scarves, 1 hat, 1 pair of mitts and 3 handbags.
In comparison, the first thing I notice is that I doubled my output of items, which while being a substantial improvement, is even moreso when you consider that the 25 items last year are all bigger and more complex (for the most part) than the items in my first year. Most of the 11 hats I knit last year were from my own pattern and the same can be said of three of the shawls.
Somewhere in between the beginning of my knitting career and the beginning of last year I decided that I hated purling. I intentionally sought out projects that were either garter stitch or knit in the round (hello 11 hats!) I didn't like the way purling felt in my hands and it made my progress slow considerably, so I just avoided it. Which, as I'm sure you can guess helped to make me better at it! (sarcasm!). Right around the time I was designing my own shawl pattern (oddly enough, to use a covetted skein of the now reviled Wollmeise), I decided that the only way to get the gorgeous colors to show and the pattern I wanted was to purl. So I cast on for my triangular shawl and determined to finish it in such as way that it looked good, I purled. I swore and bitched and moaned through the stst sections... I cursed myself for deciding to purl on a triangle shawl (where the rows get insanely long) instead of on something small.... and then, before I knew it, I was done and it looked amazing!
Around the middle of last year, I decided that since I loved knitting lace, and not many lace patterns I like are in garter stitch, that I would have to purl again... this time on EVERY. OTHER. ROW...So I cast on Haruni as the first installment of a knit along with a group of people that I now count as some of my favorite knitters and people... I decided also, since I was going to put all that work into purling, that this was going to be the project that I also actually fixed mistakes in... that I learned what it looks like to tink back, or even rip out whole sections... and I decided that stitchmarkers are not for me, so the entire thing was done by reading my knitting... there ended up being a few mistakes that my local knitting friends helped to fix, and many I fixed myself, but around the end of the summer I had succcessfully knit a stockinette based lace shawl with no mistakes! It had taken me almost 3 months (altho not straight knitting... I took about a month break at one point) but I had done it!
There's no looking back... all those shawl patterns and stitch patterns that need purling and need to be lined up and mistake free are now my oyster... I can pick any one that I want because I know that with a little confidence and patience, I can do it!
This year my goal is to learn things that have so far been unnecessary, such as 'three needle bind off' and 'kitchener stitch' (altho I did a 12 stitch kitchener already... doesn't look good!). I am going to knit a sweater and continue on with my designing (and actually write up the pattern for my swim cap hat!). I also have the goal to do a proper crochet item (probably a blanket with scraps) instead of just the border on something... I guess come back next year at this time and we'll see how far I got!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 1



Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

Tips: It is a good idea, if possible, to choose a yarn that you adore and a yarn that just didn’t work for you. You do not need to be critical of any yarn if you do not feel comfortable in doing so, but perhaps you came to realise that one yarn wasn’t suitable for a particular project, if possible you could blog about what you have come to learn about choosing the right yarn, or your love of experimenting with fibres.

As mentioned in a previous post last week, I started knitting BECAUSE OF the yarn... All the fibres and textures and colors were such a draw that I felt the urgent need to learn a new skill so I could justify buying them!  I should probably come up with some sort of new justification because I am compiling yarns quicklier than I can knit them.
One could argue this point, due to my intense dislike of acrylic and most man made fibre yarns, but I am not a yarn snob.  I love all animal fibres and I love them closer to their original form than not... (as we all know by now, I'm not the biggest fan of superwash yarns!).  I'd have to say that one of my favorite yarns in my stash and one that I turn to more and more is the ever loveable, but barely ever loved in that 'OMG I love this yarn!' way is Cascade 220!  No, I'm not kidding!  I mean, don't get me wrong, I have and love yarns in my stash the likes of Handmaiden SeaSilk and 100% cashmere laceweight.  I lust after amazing skeins of Fleece Artist (and own some gorgeous ones too!) and Handmaiden and local indie dyers such as West Coast Fibre Works, but Cascade 220 does such an unparalleled job of being whatever you want it to be. 
When I first started knitting, I made a cabled handbag at a super tight gauge and the cascade held up wonderful!  It gave gorgeous stitch definition in the cables and the colors to choose from were second to none!  I made a gorgeous grey slouchy beret held together with a skein of Rowan's Kid Silk Haze and I can't imagine what a better yarn would have been to get that look! 
And most recently I bought 880yards of Cascade 220 Heathers in a gorgeous blue/green to make the Guernsey Wrap.  (picture borrowed from http://www.bluecorona.blogspot.com/) I knit this at a VERY loose guage (size US9) and blocked it to within an inch of it's life and it has the most gorgeous drape and flow!  The stitches are perfectly defined while still giving a lovely hand!
There are many gorgeous yarns on the market and I do own a lot of them, but I adore the consistency and versatility of the Cascade 220!  Plus, at around $8CDN a skein, it's an excellent, price savvy yarn to boot!
Ironically, the yarn which I don't particularly care for so much is on the high end, impossible to get end of the scale.  Where Cascade is carried in hundreds of colors in almost every yarn store in the country, Wollmeise is only available from one or two online stores and a brick and mortar store in Germany!  The draw of this yarn for me (because obviously there's always a draw if you've bought the yarn) is the color combinations and her dyeing technique. 
She somehow manages to get the most vibrant and intriguing colors and then is able to consistently recreate them!  The problem with this yarn for me is many-fold.  First, it's superwash and I'm not a fan of superwash yarns.  For those that don't follow this blog (and why aren't you??), I find superwash yarns just a little too far away from the sheep.  Superwash uses chemicals and processes that melt or burn off the scales of the yarn (just like the scales of your hair), meaning that when the finished item is washed, it doesn't felt because instead of the scales being engaged, they're flattened off so that they can't interlock with one another... It's an environmentally shoddy process that changes the genetic structure of the yarn.  I don't like it...
Superwash yarn is not ideal for lace knitting.  Lace knitting needs to be blocked and superwash yarn, while being easy to block, doesn't hold it's shape (consider that the fibres are all now smooth and slippery... there's no tooth there to hold it in shape) and it sort of (in my experience), shrinks back into it's unblocked shape rather quickly.
That's one of the things that I don't like about the Wollmeise yarn.  I have knit lace out of it, and while it looked absolutely gorgeous at first, it's now a limp, unshapely mess that I don't even care to reblock...
It's also a VERY twisty yarn... at 10 plies in a fingering weight, it's got one of the tightest twists on the market.  Ideal for sock knitting or so I've heard, it feels a bit like cotton in your hand as you knit it.  The lastly thing that I don't care for and it's not exclusive to Wollmeise is the high demand... not because people are demanding it to knit with, but because it's become a bit of a commodity in the knitting world, which means that if you have the perfect project in mind for that perfect color and you're (I'm) willing to overlook all the things that make it less than my ideal yarn, you can't just go out and buy what you need.  You have to hunt and beg and trade and finagle you way into owning it, because that demand is caused by people hoarding it, knowing it's value to the few that eventually want to knit with it.  I have two skeins in my stash currently, one of which I overdyed myself to get a nicer color and while I originally had plans for both, the negatives are far outweighing the positives, when I have a stash ful of the most gorgeous yarn to knit with... Eventually the right project will come along and those yarns too shall shine, but in the grand scheme of things, they may wait until I haven't an inch left of anything to knit with...
THIS IS A TINY FRACTION! (taken over a year ago... and exponentially larger now...)

Friday, March 25, 2011

The HEIGHT of indulgence!

I had the most soul refreshing visit with my bestee last night!  She's been in South America climbing mountains for the last five weeks so it was nice to hear all about the trip and have some couch time!
We also had wine time, which was fabulous, and had we planned better, I would have stayed overnight and then we could have been even more indulgent.  As it was, I was drunk by about 530 (um hello, red wine and popcorn!)

The first picture is courtesy of my iphone and while we said we were going to hide it, it's just too good not to share... Kathleen brought Dulce de Leche home from Argentina and I went to Capers and bought a peanut butter sandwich cookie, an oreo sandwich cookie, (from Butter) and some truffle cookies (because I couldn't decide what we wanted and I didn't know she had the DdL) and the crackers are a flakey butter crackers... In our defense, we didn't eat it ALL!
The second picture is courtesy of Kathleen.  She knows how much I love kitties so she takes pictures of them whenever she runs into them on her travels.  This kitty lives in a cabin in the mountains of Argentina... This has quickly become one of my favorite pictures of all time...  (click to make it bigger)

Thank you Kathleen!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Decisions decisions!

Oh... you appear pretty!... You appear soft and pink and so sweet... You're tiny now, but soon you'll grow and multiply... You'll join forces with other small sweet pretties... You'll look gorgeous!  And I will want to take a flame thower and burn you down!
 
Allergies!  WHY????  You make my eyes itch and burn and it feels like there are itchy crawlies jammed up my nose... I'm exhausted and am being tortured!  I'm a face toucher and now, in order to avoid conjunctivitis and a nasal infection again this year, there can be NO eye rubbing or nose rubbing.... Right now I want to attack my face with a wire brush... I suspect that would be ill advised!  I'm totally going to buy Vicks scented tissues today!  They probably won't help with allergies but they make you feel better becuause VICKS!  YUM!
 
In other news, Glenda and I blocked our shawls last night... We layed down 24sqft of foam blocking mats in an L shaped configuration and danced a jig on huge towels soaked with wooly water...
 
14 blocking wires, around a hundred pins and two hours later and we had all three shawls perfectly blocked out.  My purple sugar (magic carpet) is a little over six feet long and about 14" wide (I think... I didn't measure and they're still pinned to the floor drying).  My GW blocked out to be over 8' long and 20" wide.  The stitch definition worked out perfectly in the Cascade Heathers and the color is phenomenal.  I'll let Glenda tell you about hers, but suffice it to say that it turned out GORGEOUS! 
 
I think what I'm shocked by is that I got it into my head to knit the GW and I stuck to it (stopping only to finish off Terra and the baby blanket) to get it done in a reasonable time!  As well, the magic carpet, which was cast on in September 2010 was given a good dose of 'just get it done' and I'm so glad I did!  I now regret having not knit the last two repeats, but I stand by my decision to get it done for yesterday... the tassels are going to look... um... weird?  But they're going on anyway!
 
So I've been convinced, mostly by me and a little bit by supportive friends that I SHOULD have whatever sweater I want!  Originally I wanted the Central Park Hoodie, but I just bought the pattern for the pattern below... to be made out of Blackstone Tweed Chunky in Concord (purple tweed)  I'm actually terribly excited about it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Body Image... wrapped in a sweater...

So I've been knitting for exactly two years to the day today!  I had actually forgotten that until I just started typing.  I had known all along that today I was going to write a post regarding the above title, but as I started to type up the pre-amble, I realized it's my two year knitting anniversary.  What a fortuitous day to write this post then!  Ahem... sorry... 
Okay, so I've been knitting for exactly two years to the day today.  I originally started knitting because Pat and I wandered into Urban Yarns in Point Gray one late Wednesday evening (when that was their late night) and I figured that I couldn't buy and keep yarn if I didn't know what to do with it.  But I really wanted the yarn because damn, it was all so pretty!  I signed up for a class, took one more class (that I sort of didn't need, but I liked the people in my class) and then it was off to the races.  I never looked back... I learned what I didn't know how to do off Youtube, found a knitting group to hang with, first on Thursdays and now on Mondays and have had knitting in my hands almost every day since.  I make scarves and shawls (oh, so many shawls!) and hats and mitts (not so much with the mitts... two pairs in two years, only one for me).  I love lace knitting... mostly because it looks so complicated once it's blocked and finished, but really, it's just one stitch after the next.   My taste in yarn has changed in two years... I stocked up my stash with wild colored sock yarns to begin with... one skein at a time... now I hardly ever knit with varigated yarn and I sure don't like superwash... my tastes have evolved in pattern and in yarn and I think, even in two years, I've become a knitter with fine taste! 
But even with all that... my love of knitting... my big blanket that will eventually be done and gorgeous... all my gorgeous lace shawls and my own hat designs... what's could be missing??  A sweater.  Well, a Cardigan to be more specific. 

Why don't I knit sweaters?  It can't be the work because I've knit stoles and blankets that have more yardage and complexity than a simple sweater.  I have the endurance and the ability to knit large projects... I can read charts and complex patterns and almost always come out on top the first time around.  I know how to swatch (even tho I mostly don't, since shawls don't care about your gauge).  What's the hangup then to knitting up a simple cardi?  Well, my brain and my emotions mostly. 
At first I thought that I'd learn how to knit and then when I lost a few (lot) of pounds, I'd knit a sweater... after all, a sweater for a smaller person means less yarn, less expense, less knitting time.  A sweater for a smaller person would be easier... Plus, if I lost those pounds, then I'd deserve a nice sweater... a nice hand knit by me sweater.  The problem is that even when I WAS the size that I would now consider knitting a sweater for, I didn't deserve it then either.  I mean, in all fairness, I deserve to have whatever I want... but we're talking emotionally deserving here... it's not logical at all! 
Let's back up... My story in one line is this:  I weighed a lot... I went to the gym every day and ate properly for 9 months and lost 80 pounds.  I then experienced an incredibly traumatic event and proceeded, almost without noticing, to gain it all back.  In May of 2006 I joined a bootcamp, went every day at 530am for 18 months and was as thin as I've ever been.  Strong, healthy and in retrospect a pretty awesome body.  Bootcamp left town and life happened and now I'm right back (not quite, but almost) where I started.  But it's the end of bootcamp and my bangin' body that I want to focus on right now... because I felt the same way about it then that I do about it's different look now.  I felt that my arms were fat, that my quads were huge (well they were... all muscle, but that doesn't make you feel better when you're trying to get a pair of jeans on)... that my stomach wasn't as flat as it should be (all these pictures are of me then...)  If I'd seen someone with my body then (or now!), I'd notice their gorgeous hair, their electric blue eyes... their winning smile and that gorgeous hand knit sweater they're wearing.  I'd be proud of them for knitting it and proud of them for knowing that they deserved it.   
I think we're harder on ourselves by about a billionty than we are on others.  I didn't have fat arms then... I had strong muscular quads and a flat stomach... I had a winning smile and electric blue eyes and freckles everywhere from how much time I spent outside (man, those 530am runs along the beach were the bomb!)  But inside my head, I was fat and ugly and had I been a knitter then, wouldn't have knit myself a sweater either. 
So if I've been the size my fantasy sweater body is and didn't think I deserved it then, I'm sort of screwed, aren't I... if I want a sweater that is... which I do!  The funny thing is that if any of my friends or aquaintences told me this story, I'd sit them down and tell them how beautiful they are and that you can't live life for the what ifs... what if I lost 50lbs... what if I waited until I was married... what if... what if... what if... half the time we never realize we've reached the 'what if' until it's well happened... and then that ship has sailed right?? 
I think I'm going to start looking for yarn to knit my Central Park Hoodie....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dang it!

I've been poisoned!
So I went to knitting last night... like I do every Monday night.  I was proud of myself because instead of having a 'treat', I decided to have a soy DECAF Mocha Bianca (White Chocolate Mocha).  I was smart and brought my to go cuppee in to the coffee shop in order to save waste (and because my super duper awesome Thermos brand to go cup with 'Theramax' technology keeps coffee nice and warm (and sometimes when you get coffee in a big bowl/cup, it cools off very fast.  Voila I thought to myself!  A nice liquid treat that will stay warm the entire two hours, which means I won't suddenly desire a treat about 830!  Oh how that all went wrong!
First of all, the 'Theramax' was not at all necessary, since my beverage was exactly two degrees cooler than it would have to be to self combust!  Funny, I thought to myself, soy doesn't usually taste good once it's been nuclearized... this tastes fine... one teeny tiny sippy at a time! 
I confirmed that this was decaf, as I always do, because there's nothing worse than accidentally drinking a caffinated bevvy right before bed!  So, as I sat and neurotically knit (since I'm on a magic carpet deadline), sipping on my molten beverage I started to notice that it was REALLY REALLY REALLY sweet... so sweet in fact that I could barely choke down the tiny sips...
Oh well, I thought to myself... more time to knit.... 
And then knitting was over and I ended up rudely bolting out of the coffee shop as my poor tummy twisted into agonizing knots.... could it be?  Oh yes!  Why didn't the twice baked soy taste funny at that temperature??? Because it was MILK!  P'cess does not NOT drink milk!  Dairy is somewhat verboten to my body and while I do choose to indulge, MILK is not where it's at! 
As I raced home to lay on my bed and moan, I started to feel somewhat energized... I stayed up till 1030 making tassels for the magic carpet... I played scrabble... I layed in my bed with my eyes closed and willed myself to fall asleep... It wasn't happening... what was happening was a SUGAR HIGH from the way too sweet bevvy.... I was flopping around in bed like a gymnastic fish out of water, feeling like I'd been soaked in sugar and lactose! 
Total, epic fail!  I should have had a tonic water and a treat!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tassel-icious!

I decided that the way to figure out how much farther to knit my Spun Sugar wrap was to cut the yarn, make the tassels and then knit till I run out of yarn.  Sounds perfect!  Turns out that tassels don't take up THAT much yarn, so I might be knitting for a while ;)
I guess tassels would take up a lot of yarn if you wanted great big ones but the bigger they are, the heavier and I didn't want heavy ones... I wanted short, stout puffy ones!

So I held one strand of my shawl yarn (Diamond Yarns Lima) together with one strand of Kreinik Polyester Metalic thread in a deep purple.
Now I'm really excited to finish my shawl because the tassels turned out GREAT!  Pat said it was going to look like a magic carpet and that's sort of what I wanted... something a little interesting and out of the ordinary... plus, the whole thing is in a rich purple... and everyone knows that magic carpets are purple!


The. End.

Yay Yarn!

First and foremost, if you like any of these bags, you should head on over to A Playful Day and enter the contest!  All the details are there and the link to where you can snag your own awesome bag, should you not win (mostly because I am going to win!) 
Now... and update on the fun I've been having whilst not updating my blog ;) 
On Saturday Glenda (www.bluecorona.blogspot.com) and I went to Abbotsford to take in Fibres West 2011.  It was my first fibre festival ever so I had no idea what to expect.  What we weren't expecting was to be flying down the highway at 110km an hour and for a dumptruck to lose his load of dirt and GIGANTIC boulders right on the highway!  Lucky for us we were in the lane farthest away from him and manged to swerve around the bigger rocks but we were still running over rocks the size of melons and plowing through a bunch of mud... my poor car is filthy now! It was a terrifying experience to be sure!  But after that, we were safely on our way and made it to Abbotsford just after the show opened.  It was basically a local shopping extravaganza.  Most of the local indie dyers were there... Sweet Georgia Yarns, Indigo Moon, Unwind, West Coast Fibre Works and a few yarn stores, namely Funknits that is going out of business.  I went with a plan in mind for what to buy, since I just needed some yarn for my Spring Leaves Wrap.  In the morning before we left for the show I found a package of yarn I'd ordered outside my apartment (obviously sitting there since Friday sometime...)  It was the nine skeins of Misti Alpaca Sport that I bought from a fellow Raveler.  It's a beautiful brown/gray color and oh so soft, what with it being 100% baby alpaca!  My concern was that it wouldn't be very 'springy' so I went to the show with an open mind as to something to make it out of.  What I found was the most amazing purple dk weight Alpaca that would have made the most amazing wrap... only it would have cost me $70-$80... Lucky for me, Glenda is very practical and talked me out of it.  Instead, I bought a 200yard spool of glittery teal thread to hold with my alpaca to give it a bit of dazzle... and then I read the pattern and realized that it probably won't work at all!  I'll probably end up beading the ends of the shawl instead... which sort of makes me mad cause by the time I spent the money on the yarn, the money on the thread that won't work, the money I'll have to spend on beads to give the brown/gray enough glitter to jazz it up a bit, I'll have spent more than the money I should have just spent on the purple yarn!  Anyway, not to worry, I think teal beads on the brown/gray will be gorgeous... I'm sort of leaning toward a silver lined orange bead tho... we'll see! 
So, after I realized that I wasn't going to be buying anything for the Spring Leaves project, my next focus was to buy something that I could use for the reverse engineering project that Glenda and I are doing (altho to be honest, I've just sort of (without asking) inserted myself into the reverse enginnering experiment without asking permission... Glenda:  Can I play?)
To that end, I bought what can only be considered a massive surprise to most people who know me... I bought Malabrigo!  No, I'm not even kidding!  If you know me at all, you'll probably have heard my very strong opinion on Malabrigo Worsted.  I don't really think it's that soft and it pills like a mofo, causing your project to rapidly look like it's your cat's blanket that you've stolen from him and are using in an emergency to keep warm!  However, what I bought was Malabrigo Sock yarn, which I understand doesn't pill as badly... It's superwash (which I usually steer away from, but the experiment has a lot of stockinette, so it should work fine), so it shouldn't pill too badly and it's plied so that should help it's durability! 
I also bought (being enabled by someone who knows me but that for the life of me I couldn't remember who she was... sorry about that girl!) three skeins of Merino/Silk/Bamboo/Nylon sock yarn in a gorgeously soft natural color.  One skein is for pairing with my Sweet Georgia super secret zombie ball for a lovely pair of mitts  and my new hat design and the other two are to dye!  I've been getting grief because while I do have a lot of hats and scarves and a pair of mitts, not one item matches the other so I look a bit like clown barf if I have to wear my hat, mitts and a scarf out! 
I'm finishing my GW on my lunch today!  I have the last stitch pattern to go and then I'm done!  It's already taller than me and that's dry and straight off the needles, so I can only imagine the size it will be when it's blocked... even just the act of getting it wet should grow it exponentially! 
After that, I have a race to the finish to try and get my purple sugar wrap done by Wednesday evening!  If I can do three repeats today at knitting, tomorrow over lunch and the evening and then two on Wednesday at lunch and maybe one while the other wraps are soaking, then I can probably finish in time to be able to block it along side my GW... it's ambitious but it'll be nice to have it done too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Completely Obsessed!

Yes, that's right... completely! Now, to be fair, I do have a bit of an addictive personality. It's why I've chosen to never even try drugs... not that I've wanted to and denied myself, but knowing that I am a sort of 'all in' type of person, I know that the mere thought of doing something that's already inherently addictive is just a terrible idea.
This part of my addictive somewhat obsessed personality means that I get something stuck in my head and it's hard to shake...


BEER:

Now, normally I'm a wine drinker... In the winter I like to drink Australian Red (Shiraz, Cab, Shiraz/Cab and Malbec). In the summer I like to drink Gallo White Zinfandel. But lately I've been more obsessed interested in drinking beer. You see, Pat doesn't really drink and unless I don't have to work (or function) the next day, I don't like to open a bottle of wine because then I feel compelled to drink the whole thing. Beer is the answer to that! I've become particularly consumed interested in drinking Granville Island Lions Winter Ale. It's only a limited time offering... I've brought it in my bag to work today to share the last two with my friend at dinner tonight, and I'd totally take a picture to show you, but it seems wildly inappropriate to pull it out of the bag, as as I may have mentioned, I work in an open cubicle plan where the dividers between cubicles are only 42" high, so you can see EVERYTHING!



FRED MEYER CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES

I'm not kidding! Normally, one wouldn't think of this as a problem, because if you like something that is commercially available, you would just toddle down to the store and buy yourself one... the problem here is that this particular sandwich, made my this particular grocery deli does not exist in my country. I'm in Canada. Fred Meyer is in the USA. Granted, it's not that far from here (maybe a 30min drive altogether), but it's completely unreasonable when gas is $1.29/lt to go for a 30 min drive each way to get a sandwich! But it's not just any sandwich! They have perfected the art of making chicken salad. The chunks of chicken are the perfect size... not so tiny that it's like goop, but not so big that they fall out. They use the perfect amount of mayo with chopped up celery to bind it together and it's nestled (yes! Nestled!) in a fluffy croissant! I pick the tomatoes out because I feel that chicken salad should be lettuce and the salad itself only, but if you like tomatoes in your sandwich, these have been tasted by a friend and rate as yummy, so they're not woody and tasteless! All of this is then tucked inside a plastic sandwich bag and put in the cooler. This causes the croissant to soften just enough that it's flakey and delicious, without being crumbly (which I hate about croissants!) I put a tiny touch of salt on mine and voila! All this for $3.49! Here at home, if you can even FIND a decent chicken salad sandwich, they're more like five or six bucks! I think about this stupid sandwich all. the. time! I had it on Friday when we went down to the states and I bought an extra one to have the next day (smart!). I used to like the chicken salad that they made at Safeway and would purchase a scoop of it and a package of tortilla wraps and that was a good substitute but now Safeway doesn't make their chicken salad with mayo, they use a pre-packaged 'chicken salad flavored sauce' which doesn't taste gross but I find really unsettling. It behaves as more of a coating rather than a binder, so making a sandwich with it is almost impossible because you're basically trying to balance the (too big) chunks of chicken on the bagel/bread. (See! I'm clearly obsessed with it, since I just wrote a very long paragraph about the sandwich and chicken salad in general!)


SMART FOOD WHITE CHEDDAR BAGGED POPCORN

I put the 'bagged' part in the header because I happen to really enjoy stale food. I leave cereal, chip and cracker bags/boxes open on purpose. I used to make popcorn (when I was single and the only one to care) one day and then leave it in the bowl to get stale and eat it the next day. The thing about bagged popcorn is that even when you open a bag, it somewhat replicates the staleness of day old popcorn. Don't get me wrong, I love fresh popcorn cooked by Patrick on our stove, but most of the time I'm just as happy with bagged! The Smart Food popcorn takes the cake as far as bagged popcorn! It's perfectly seasoned and each piece is perfectly rounded and puffy. I have to show a bit of restraint around the popcorn because I do enjoy it, so I dump some into a soup bowl from the bag. Last night I had two bowls! I want some now!


CUPCAKE FLANNEL

Oddly, not a food, given the rest of the items that I'm currently obsessed with! I may have mentioned this the other day, but the last time I was at Dressew I spotted some chocolate brown flannel with pink iced cupcakes on it and I want to make pajama pants (and maybe a pajama top... like a V neck scrub top!) Dressew is downtown and I don't really GO downtown... in fact I usually try to stay as far away from downtown as I can... When I do go, I like to go first thing in the morning on a Saturday (because Dressew keeps very weird hours and are not open on Sundays) so that there aren't too many people in the area and I can get in and get out. This Saturday, my friend Glenda and I are going on an excursion which probably won't include Dressew, so it'll be another week of being completely obsessed with cupcake flannel!
obsessed

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Button-Link

So I'm still two days ahead of schedule on the GW... which is good, cause I think I want to go to bed when I get home and stay there until tomorrow!! My back is really hurting today... I just took two Advil about an hour ago and just now remembered I have Robax in my purse, so I took half... (cause you know, I'm at work and drooling on one's desk is generally frowned upon). I'm hoping that pretty soon relief washes over me and I don't want to scream and squirm around from the pain. I used to think it was my IUD trying to kill me but I think it's actually my sciatic nerve... makes my left leg go numb and my entire midsection extremely uncomfortable... I can't say it's stabbing pain... more like being electrocuted... like wholesaley ridiculously uncomfortable to the point of intense pain... hard to explain...


I'm wearing my big puffy scarf today because I FINALLY made the button-link

Button-Link is a word that I made up but it's similar to a cufflink but with buttons... this way you can take it off and use it on other items and you don't need a button hole... as pictured to the right...(I sewed it together with pink silk/alpaca I had laying around, but you could do it with something a bit more matching and subtle!) you can make it with any two buttons and it's a great way to get to utilize GIANT buttons without trying to make a giant button hole! All those amazing huge seed pod buttons and bark buttons, which you think would tear your knitting apart because they're rough... you can use those! Really cool buttons that would look awesome as a shawl pin but you can't figure out how to attach it to a stick... this will make them work!

Just make sure that the button on the back side is small enough to go through the stitches on your knitting. I don't know how it would work and even if you would want it to work on a sweater, but your options are wild and free for making a closure for lace shawls and scarves/cowls... just make sure your back button fits snuggly through the lacework and voila!

And if you have some awesome buttons that you totally love but you don't want to commit to sewing them on to your plain stockinette shawl, you can put a tiny button on the back (the front button shouldn't be huge if you're using tiny back buttons) and put them on your sweaters/shawls as accents and then take them off when you want to change them up or wear them plain. It's ingenious!

If anyone is interested I can do a photo tutorial of how to make Button-Links with both shank style buttons and hole (?) style buttons. Let me know!

Anyway, here's a picture of my big puffy scarf with it's Button-Link. I feel just awful, so it's kind of like a squishy teddy hug around my neck... plus it's freezing in here!  **please forgive the absolutely drastically terrible picture of me... seriously, the angle is terrible as well as the lighting but it's very hard to surreptitiously take photos of yourself at work!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Take heed!

What's not good.... (or, warnings for things that seem like a good idea, but are probably best left as ideas)


1. Well, for starters, adding a teaspoon of Roasted almond and Flax butter to your oatmeal SEEMS like a good and tasty idea, but in reality, is, while flavorful, a completely disgusting texture and almost impossible for the average person to choke down. Perhaps if I had added it in after the oatmeal cooked, but in the interest of being efficient, I plopped it in with the dried oats and bing cherries and then poured boiling water all over it, stirred and slammed the lid on. When I opened the container this morning, there was a weird pale waxy coating on the top and it didn't get better when I mixed it in. Also, when you wonder why no one else on the planet has ever come up with the flavor explosion of steel cut oats, dried bing cherries and almond butter, perhaps instead of considering yourself a pioneer, you might take a step back and consider that you're weird and it's disgusting and then stick with your old standby of prunes and cinnamon... just saying!


2. Committing yourself to knitting one thing and one thing only in an effort to get WIPS off the needles is an excellent IDEA... that's what it is... an idea. The actual doing of it is so not a good idea... I mean, if it was even acheivable. Now, to be fair to me, I've lasted for about a month of knitting on one thing exclusively in the effort to get it done and move on to the next thing. I did Terra exclusively until it was done (I bought two skeins of Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3 ply to keep me motivated to finish) and it was such a great feeling that I knit (also out of necessity) on the baby blanket exclusively until IT was done... (I bought a skein of Fleece Artist Trail Socks in RedFox and two thimbles of metallic orange thread to keep me motivated to finish). Then I moved to my Guernsey Wrap and for the last week have been knitting a requisite amount every day (or more) to get it done by March 26th (I bought a skein of Schopell-Wolle Zauberball Strake 6 and two thimbles of purple metallic thread for pompoms on my at work project to keep me motivated). Do you see what's happening? Just because I'm not casting on new projects, doesn't mean I'm not buying yarn for new projects! In fact, in the time that I've decided to be a monogomous knitter, which is about a month, I've bought more yarn (and metallic thread) than I've purchased yet all year! {In my defense, I also put back three skeins of yarn I had on hold in an attempt to maintain some sort of yarn buying sanity}. Again, in my defense, my Guernsy wrap is moving along most excellently and I'm two days ahead of my goal! To reward myself, I did cast on something new to keep me motivated to keep knitting...


3. Long tail friggen cast on! I mean, I love it and apparently it's (better be!) stretchy enough for ribbing, but it's not my favorite one to do! I thought I was being smart last night tho, since i had to cast on 345 stitches, that I would work from both sides of the ball in order to not have to guesstimate and waste-imate my finite amount of yarn... also, what kind of a rage would I be in if I estimated enough for 344 stitches and had to recast on all those stitches! However, this 'plan', which was not my invention, was the most frustrating thing EVER! You tie a slipknot (or regular knot) to affix the two ends together. Then, you hold the yarn in your regular long tail cast on method, but hold the knot against the needle (so that it ends up on the end of the cast on). I cast on two extra stitches than needed so I can take the first two garbage stitches by the knot out later on. The problem is that for some reason, the 'bottom yarn' (the one that creates the braid along the bottom of the needle, not the one that makes the stitch on the needle), which comes off your thumb gets so twisted and messed up that it makes kinks and knots... By the time I had gotten to the end of the 345 (which I got on the first count) it was a massive knotted mess and the two plys had come unplied. When I clipped the bottom yarn (you clip that bottom piece and weave it in later and keep knitting with the top piece (that comes off your index finger and makes the stitch on the needle), all that twist (in the wrong direction) came flying out and the yarn looked good as new... I just don't understand WHY it gets all untwisted like that and what you can do to prevent it. It makes doing the cast on much more unpleasant than it needs to be, and really, casting on 345 stitches is already pretty unpleasant!


Friday, March 11, 2011

What's up.

I've been very good in the last little while about not casting on new projects.  This may not seem like an accomplishment to you, but I have literally 2 projects right now plus my Girasole (which never counts in the project count because it's too big and there's no way I would ever knit monogomously on it).  I'm working on my purple Sugar Maple Shawl, which is coming along excellently!  I've gone back (as have a couple friends) and fixed any mistakes as they happen so it's looking excellent!  I knit on it mainly at work, because I can get one whole repeat done on my lunch break and it doesn't require a TON of concentration.  The other one I have on the needles at the moment is my Jarod Flood Guernsey Wrap.  I've joined the second ball of yarn and have completed the first two repeats of Chart A.  I can do one whole stitch pattern repeat (either ribbing or basket weave or the hateful diagonal rib... oooh how I hate diagonal rib!) in one sitting, easily, so I've given myself that task... one stitch section and it's horizontal rib per day and I'll be done the whole thing by around March 26th, which is before the new KAL and also probably the quickest I'll have ever knit something that is 800 yards... in fact, since this quarter's KAL is Jarod Flood patterns, I will have done two!  Granted, the first one was Terra and I started that in December, but because I waited forever after I snapped the cable, I guess it sort of counts as having gotten done during the KAL.
 
The voting is still open on the April-June KAL, but I think based on a vote of 14-5, we're looking at doing the Tree of Light triangle shawl with Spring Leaves as it's rectangular counterpart (same stitch pattern, so participants can make it in either the rectangle or triangle shape) for the knitting portion. The crochet portion was already picked and didn't need a vote, and it seems that the crocheters are happy with the choice!  I just purchased 1163yards of sport weight alpaca in a dark charcoal gray for mine.  I'm planning for the rectangle version (since I have a LOT of triangle ones!) and if all goes according to plan and research, it should end up at about 7'x2.5', which will be a really nice warm cozy shawl/wrap!  Baby alpaca is soooo soft!  I know it sheds a lot too, but I don't really care! 
 
My friends Sam and Denise and hopefully Pat are going to the USA tonight to do a Trader Joe's run and Safeway... I usually really look forward to the drive down, cause Sam's car has heated seats in the front, but I may be relegated to the back, which means no heated seats... perhaps Denise and I will have to duke it out ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not so much broken....

Okay, so it turns out that my sewing machine, which was 'broken' is not actually 'broken' in so much as it's perfectly fine and there's not a thing wrong with it... well, that's not true, there's one little thing wrong with it... I think they refer to it in the business as 'user error'.  Okay okay... I had the bobin winder engaged, which means the hand wheel doesn't turn which means the needle doesn't go up and down.  I drove my sewing machine 15km away from my house, left it at the repair shop for three days and then went and picked it up while the staff in the store laughed at me.  thankfully, what that means is, while I am a smidge humiliated, it also means that my sewing machine isn't broken and I can start working on my sewing projects again!
 
When Glenda and I went to Dressew, I found this super cute brown flannel with pink cupcakes on it that I want to make into PJ pants, but I didn't buy any because at the time I didn't know the outcome of my very sick sewing machine!  But now that it's fixed, i can TOTALLY make pj pants!  With soft satin ribbon for the tie, and as long as I like... the trouble with being almost six feet tall is finding things like PJ pants that are long enough.  Even if they 'appear' to be long enough, the first time you wash them they shrink by 4" and become flood PJ's... which would be very handy... in a flood!
 
Also, I can now get going on finishing the baby blanket... if the starwars fabric would ever decide to show up!  I guess if it's not here by this weekend, then I'm going to have to go back to Plan B (plan A being starwars) and put the orange fabric on it...
 
This weekend, besides sewing, I will also be taking Mr. Fluffypants to the vet.  He's about five months over due for his appointment, which isn't exactly life or death but last weekend he got into a huge fight and I called to make sure his rabies is up to date.  Which it is, however his kitty lukemia isn't, so he has to go for that and a general checkup (which he LOVES... LOOOOOOOVES!)  I feel bad for the vet (Dr. Huggins... how cute is THAT!) because his nails are pretty long and he's pretty vicious, but I'm not going to cut them now... I imagine that's probably one of the only reasons he came out of the fight so well.  I just found another healing owie on his chin this morning, but nothing has gotten infected, so he survived another fight.  I do want to remember to ask the vet how you're supposed to clean his wounds when he gets into a fight... do you do the rubbing alcohol/iodine treatment on cats?  Can you put hydrogen peroxide on their ouchies?  He's survived thus far by me just wiping them with a facecloth, but it'd probably be good to disinfect him too. 
Here's a quick snap of him helping me knit the baby blanket the other day.
 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Selfish?

I am generally a pretty selfish person... or so I've been told.  You see, I consider knitting to be a hobby of mine... I spend money on it, I devote time to it and I have become good at it.  So my philosophy is 'Why should you benefit from my hobby?'.  I mean really!  I don't benefit from other people's hobbies... I don't get to go up to my stamp collector friend and demand an antique stamp just because I need to mail a letter!  I don't get to throw a tantrum at my cake decorator friend and demand that they make me a ten tier fondant covered masterpiece just because I like cake and want one!  So my philosophy states that it is unreasonable for someone to expect to benefit from my hobby just because they want to.  I make things for me.  I dye things for me.  I spin yarn for me and I knit it up into things for meeeeee!  Because it's my time and effort that have gone into crafting the item, and I want to have it.  Do I wear everything that I have made?  No.  Is it required that you wear everything you make the second it falls off the needles?  No, of course not!  I have shawls and hats (mostly) that I haven't worn once.  Am I going to give them away just because I am not currently using it?  NO!  Do I want to sell said same item just because I could get twenty dollars?  Uh, no!?!  The materials alone for most ot the stuff I make do not come to less than twenty dollars... Most of the hats that I've made are closer to $25 in materials alone and the shawls and scarves climb heftily past that!
However, that being said, I DO like to give things away when my heart and mind deem it.  I've given away or knit specifically for someone five hats.  I've knit specifically for two people scarves.  And most recently, my biggest unselfish knitting item has been that baby blanket!  I'm finally done!  640 yards of DK weight yarn down the hatch!  Now, for all you who don't know really how much that is... it's like knitting two shawls or around 6 hats... And I'm so excited to give it away!  It was a marathon of knitting!  It took me just a little over two weeks to complete and it's not got a single mistake! (altho that wasn't much of an acheivement, as it's just garter stitch).  Anyway, I'm now just waiting for the fabric to come in so I can sew the backing on and then it's done and ready to be gifted to the sweet baby boy it was made for!
I guess I'm not really that selfish... I just sometimes feel a bit defensive because the general feeling of those around me (besides knitters) is that my time is worth nothing and if it should make them happy to 'have' one of my items, then what's the hold up.  Well selfish jerks, the hold up is that you are neither deserving of or worthy of something hand knit... because you obviously don't know the time and effort (and sometimes tears and curses) that goes in to every single item I make... and until I start to see cakes and stamps being offered at my feet, you're not getting a thing!  Next time you tell me I 'SHOULD' knit you something, don't be surprised when I tell you that you 'SHOULD' grow up and stop acting like an entitled child!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

FINALLY!

You know, it's not that I knit slowly... it's that comparatively speaking, to other people, I don't have a ton of knitting time... So sometimes it feels like I never finish anything.  My project page on Ravelry and most of my friends could prove that to be otherwise, but really, it's psychological.... all the girls at the yarn store knit way faster than me and churn out finished items in record (to me) time.

But today I have something finished to show!  And by finished, I mean blocked and ready to wear out the door.

I knit this little (big bulky) gem out of some unspun wool given to me by a fellow raveler.  I have three more balls and will likely make a cowl or two out of them.

Anyway, without further ado...here's my 1 pound scarf that I bought the long button for on Friday.
I cast on 10 stitches and knit until the yarn ran out on 10mm needles. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Buttons...

So I said we went to Button Button today... and since I don't feel like working on the baby blanket (oh who am I kidding, I will, I just felt a little like procrasinating!), I decided to photograph the buttons I bought today.... and then I remembered that I bought a POUND of brand new but vintage buttons last time I was there and I felt the burning desire to pick through them... individually.... Here are the results of that effort:






Days off

So I took yesterday and today off of work.  I decided that I needed a little break (I'm needing those a lot lately) and Thursday is Pat's regular day off so I thought it would be good for us to spend some time together.  We got up at 10 yesterday (well, I did... someone else got up a bit earlier!) and went for breakfast and then off to Granville Island where we poked around all the stores.  It was a bit chilly outside, but I was armed with my hand knit hat, mitts and my Terra shawl.  Cozy as a bug in a rug!  After Granville Island, we went to Chinatown for a looksee and a cocktail bun and then off to try and find the Lululemon outlet and get some chocolate milk from the local dairy.  (the lululemon outlet is much larger and better lit than the old one and it's got better parking, altho you should probably ask someone who's been there how to get there, because it's kinda hard to find and they put exactly two signs up along the way).
In the evening I sat and knitted on the baby blanket (I'm decreasing... yay!) and drank a Granville Island Winter Ale (so good... get some while they're still around because the production has stopped, so it's only a matter of time before you have to wait till next year!).

Today I got up early (8:45) and went and met my friend Glenda and we went down to Button Button and Dressew.  I needed to get some fabric for the back of the baby blanket because the starwars stuff just won't work out (altho they're still getting something made out of it because what the heck do I need a piece of starwars fabric for!).  And we spent about an hour in Button Button sorting through the washtub full of loose random buttons.  I also got a really awesome vintage button for my bulky garter scarf so I'm really excited to get that scarf done so I can wear it! 

Then we went to Bean Around the World for lunch and some knitting before it was time to drop her off at her PT appointment and I went and bought runners!  (I'm so excited that I can finally start walking/jogging again!).

Now I'm home, have checked the cat over for infection in his wounds (he got into a massive fight yesterday) and made him a vet appointment for next Saturday.  I'm sure he'll be THRILLED!  I also made an appointment to get my sewing machine looked at, since it broke the first time I got to using it and then I think my list of errands floating around in my head is looking pretty good.  Vet: check!  Runners: check!  Sewing machine repair: Check!
Next up on the list of things I have to do is sew my hoodie, make pajama pants (out of this super awesome chocolate brown flannel covered in pink cupcakes), put a bunch of yarn up for sale/trade and start spinning on my spinning wheel.... the list is never ending really.

Here's us at Bean this afternoon... Doesn't this look cozy?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rainbows!

It looks like the apocolypse outside... even the rainbow in the below picture has gone into hiding out of fear!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kauni and pretend juice

I got to work about 35 minutes early today... I will not be able to go home 35 minutes early. This sucks! It's also snowing on the mountain outside my office right now... We're trying to set up a spring 'along' for our members and it's SNOWING here! It's hard to write 'what spring means to me' when it's still snowing!


I went to my knitting group last night, even tho I pretty much had to be shoved out the door kicking and screaming. Not because I don't like my group... I do like them all a lot! More because I decided that I should have a nap before I went and I was so cozy and sleepy that I didn't want to go out. My back was hurting for some mysterious reason and I had an upset stomach. I went anyway and actually had a lovely time! I also unvented a new drink that I thought you all might like to know about. It's very low in calories and zero fat and quite refreshing (if you are aware of what you're getting... it's shocking if you didn't quite know what you ordered).

Do thus:

1 can of Tonic water (which is not like club soda... no no it is not!)

1 pump of raspberry syrup from your favorite barista (20 calories, 0 grams of fat)

Scoop of ice

This tastes exactly like Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice. Not kidding. It's amazingly grapefruit-ish while having none such flavor! This would have been good for me to know years ago when I was on The Pill and couldn't have Grapefruit or it's juice (it lowers the effectiveness of many medications including birth control pill, due to the acid in the juice changing the absorbtion of your medication into your body).

I believe I will be partaking in this particular unvention a lot during the summer! Also, it will prevent Malaria... which obviously is a massive concern here in Vancouver BC in 2011!

I am still knitting on the baby blanket. I have 8" to go before I can start to decrease. The rows are getting very long! Hoping to get it done by the end of the week so I can go back to my purple sugar and my GW... I have a fabulous new project for our K/CAL group to cast on April 1 and I'd like to have some items done by then! Also, we just got all the colors of Kauni in at Urban Yarns and it's inspired me to bust out my two cones (one EQ - rainbow) and one in the dark charcoal/purple/light gray colorway...

Any suggestions on what I should make?

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