Friday, February 29, 2008


Iz sick. Iz grumpy about being sick. Iz hurts too. Iz feels likes Iz getting bronchitis. Iz hopes not. Mebbe Iz attempt that bath thing again.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Found on Flickr

Sled Wall Hanging

I love this... the colours, the simplicity, the layout, the content... wonderful!

I wanted a bath

I'm still feeling an oncoming cold. I wanted a bath, to relax in the hot water and breathe in the steam... but the tub was disgusting. It was so disgusting that I wasn't sure if it was just grime, if the finish had worn off the tub, or if someone had attempted to put a new finish on the tub, and that was coming off. I had planned on dealing with it Saturday morning, but the desire to have a bath (rather than a shower) moved up the schedule.

Here it is in all it's nastiness:
Tub Before
(Not that it's really all that easy to tell in a photo.) My tools of choice? Comet, a scrubby pad, and my cauldron from Bron (no, it's not cast iron, although my parents keep thinking it is):
Tools Of Choice (After)
As you can see, the scrubby sponge didn't survive the experience. I don't mind, really... I prefer the scrubbies without attached sponges, so now I'll just add those to my grocery list. Here's the tub after the scrub:
Tub After
Can you see the difference? I sure can! And that's with not quite all the grime removed... I gave up when the scrubby sponge did.

I love Comet. It contains bleach, but doesn't seem to bother my lungs like the liquid form does. Plus it actually *works*.

After scrubbing and rinsing, I started filling the tub. When the tub was half full, I slid the shower doors over for some reason, possibly to adjust the temperature. When I did, the roller holding up one side of the door fell off and into the tub, sprinkling the water with white powder and grit. Ew.

I turned off the water and pulled the plug, intending to rinse out whatever fell with the roller, and then refill the tub.

It turns out I have a sloooooooooow drain. *sigh*. Add draino to my grocery list.

At that point I gave up the hope of having a bath, waited for the water to drain, and had a shower. (After reinstalling the roller, of course.)

Now I will slice my fresh bread and put my getting-sick self to bed. Good night!

PS: How did the previous tenant(s) live with that grime? Didn't they find it disgusting? Ew. The only reason I put up with it as long as I did is because the apartment was supposedly cleaned before I moved in, and so I thought it might be permanent damage.

River Sunset

River Sunset

I took this set of photos the other day (only yesterday? it must have been) while walking home over the bridge. It was just so beautiful.

I think I want to paint something like this. (Without the misaligned photo-stitching, of course.)

Contest Reminder Correction

Whoops... I forgot that there's a leap day in February this year. (All of my calendars are still packed.) So you still have one more day.

Current entries:

Found on Flickr

Tactile Superwash Sock Yarn

First thought: What a gorgeous photo!
Second thought: They have spring!!!


I think I may be coming down with something... I just coughed, and it had that "my lungs are dirty" feeling. I get that feeling if I travel to somewhere more polluted than Winnipeg, or get exposed to cigarette smoke... or if I have gunk in my lungs from being sick. I don't think it's the former (although it's possible, given that I've just moved, and am thus in a different environment). Other signs it's the latter: a blop of green snot last night when I blew my nose, and a very slightly "off" feeling... like the very beginnings of tenderness. Two people in the office are or have recently been sick, and one other person at lunch said that she felt like she was coming down with something.

I really don't feel like being sick right now. :(

Update: add some slight chills to that list.

In Search Of...

Measuring cups.

I didn't bring my old ones back from NC... they were cheap-o dollar store ones that somehow got something nasty on the outside of the 1 c measure. (Why is it that plastic can get stuff on it that won't wash off? Baffling!)

I need to bake some more bread, so yesterday I decided to up the search for nice measuring cups that aren't incredibly expensive. All the ones I'd found previously I either didn't like (I'd like to get a permanent set, rather than another temporary set), or I waited, thinking I might get some for Christmas or my birthday. Well, I wasn't given any before I moved in, so I started keeping my eyes open.

There weren't *any* at Dollarama... even though I want a permanent set, I thought I'd look to see what they had anyway. Dollarama frequently has reasonable stuff.

I can't remember if there were ones at the grocery store... if there were, it was ones I don't like. I think they may have been the thick plastic ones where the smaller cups are really wide and shallow, which makes measuring accurately and without spilling more challenging.

Lee Valley has really nice ones, but they're a ways to drive, and I need them before this weekend.

Yesterday I stopped at the fancy kitchen store on the way home. They had several sets. I almost choked when I saw the price on the first set: $45!!! The $40 set was really nice, but really... $40?!? WTF?!? The $30 ones had a design I don't like (they were either shallow, or oval and shallow, I can't remember for sure), and the one reasonably priced set was a plastic set for a bit under $10, but was also shallow (and possibly oval too). Uh... I decided to keep trying.

Downtown, I went into The Bay. The $30 set was really nice, but $30 is still well over what I want to pay. Really, I'm looking for some really basic metal ones that should sell for about $10. I'm willing to pay $20 for the Lee Valley set, but that's only because it's a really nice set, *and* has two more cups than standard. What's up with all the $30+ measuring cup sets? (Especially the poorly designed ones?!?) The Bay also had a $10 metal set, but it was oval and shallow, and another set the same shape but in thick plastic and under $10. I almost went for that metal set, but I really don't like shallow measuring cups, and the oval shape is just bizarre. (What's up with all the oval measuring cups?)

I decided to try the attached mall. I found the one lonely cooking store... and everything was on deep discount! Yay! ...Except that they didn't have *any* dry measuring cups. (WTF?!?) The dollar store in the mall also only had the liquid kind.

For now, I'm borrowing a few from my mom. This weekend I'm borrowing the car, and will get that Lee Valley set. Buying measuring cups should *not* be this difficult!

Note to measuring cup designers and manufacturers: shallow measuring cups are *stupid*... don't do it just so that they all nest exactly. Also, don't add rims around the bottom (or similar "junk") that make them difficult to wash... I really don't want to be shoving dishcloths into crevices where things stick. Nice, smooth, flat surfaces are *much* easier to wash. Making them oval might make them fit into more containers, but then that makes them more likely to spill stuff all over the counter when you're trying to transfer the contents to a stand mixer. *Please* just stick to round ones?

Pasta bowls.

Didn't I have any in NC? If so, where are they? Did I not bring them back?

Ironing board.

I should probably get one. I'm not sure if my iron came up north with me too. I'm thinking not... I haven't encountered it yet, and I seem to remember the cheap-o model I used to have would burn my fingers with the steam leaking around the edges (between the plate and the rest of the iron), and I think that's why I left it behind.

A Tale Of Two Sock Bags

My regular sock bag got packed on Saturday, and thus disappeared temporarily. Sunday I travelled to and from spinning class without my sock bag... reading a book on the bus instead of listening to podcasts and knitting socks felt so unusual! (It's been a long time...) Sunday night I put together a temporary sock bag, which I started using Monday morning.

Well, yesterday I was putting something away, and found my regular sock bag! Yay! Funnily enough, it was right where I thought it might be. WTF didn't I look where I thought it might be?!?

This reminds me of conversations I had with my mom as a child:
"Mom? Where's the scissors?"
"On the table."
"Where? I can't see them?"
"They're right in front of you."
"I still can't see them! Can you point to them?"
(Mom grumpily points.)
"Ah! *There* they are! I couldn't see them before! Thanks!!!"
It used to drive my mom batty... but I *honestly* couldn't see them.

At any rate, as of last night I had both sock bags:
Two Sock Bags
Emergency Sock Bag and WIP Regular Sock Bag and WIP
...which meant I had to decide which to use this morning. Since the new socks were farther along, I went with them. (I'm making socks for someone with smaller feet. Even then, I'm rather astounded that I'm already over halfway through the second sock as of this afternoon!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Contest Reminder

You have one day left to enter the Warming Up Swatchy Contest...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Found on Flickr

Recycled Christmas bulbs

What a cool idea!

Wham Wham Wham Wham WHAM!

When I got home from spinning class on Sunday, I discovered that my last bookcase had arrived. It turns out mom had spotted the neighbours coming home, and grabbed them. (She has my spare keys.)

Sunday night I decided to start fixing the back of the bookcase. I had to start by hammering in the staples because they didn't want to come out. With a resounding *thwack* I hammered in the first staple... and then realized that 10 pm was perhaps not the best time to do this activity. (I may not be that bright, but I at least learn fast.)

10 am Monday morning I continued where I left off, and prayed that no one was trying to sleep. I hammered in all the staples (WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! ...I sure had used a lot of staples!), applied glue, then hammered in some nails (Wham Wham Wham Wham WHAM! Wham Wham Wham Wham WHAM! Wham Wham Wham Wham WHAM! ...)

No one pounded on my door, so hopefully that means no one was royally ticked off with my activities...

The bookcase without back:

The bookcase back together again:

Apartment Photos

This is how my apartment looked on Saturday afternoon:
IMG_3357.JPG IMG_3358.JPG IMG_3359.JPG IMG_3360.JPG IMG_3361.JPG IMG_3362.JPG IMG_3363.JPG IMG_3365.JPG

Tapestry Crochet Hat WIP

Tapestry Crochet Hat WIP

I remembered to take an updated photo of this project on Friday. (It's my lunchtime project... although it's been moving pretty slow.)

D is for Daddy

D is for Daddy

My daddy is handy... he made me this bobbin. Although I didn't help with this, we do make other things together. Two of my bookshelves are recent projects of ours. Coming up this summer: an under-counter cutting board, learning to do wood turning, and hopefully also welding up a second oven rack. What do you do with your daddy?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Found on Flickr

My First Cookie House

Wow... I sure wish I could pipe like this!


Ooooo... cool library!

I can *so* relate to this problem.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Hmmm... if you were a bottle of wood glue, which box would you be hiding in? (You used to be on the bookcase that holds my file boxes, yarn tubs, and two shelves of books... the same bookcase that needs it's back reattached... using said wood glue and some nails.)

Update: Found!!! Gluing commences...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I'm nearly done the current roll of TP... and there is a *huge* mound of boxes between me and the closet that the spares are stored in...

Move-In Progress

Other end of living room reached, night table now beside bed (with alarm and lamp on it). (I'd get the camera cable out of the drawer and post photos, but I'd really like to make more progress tonight... and posting photos takes time.)

Cutlery located. (Still in box, but located is good.)

All closet clothes located (I think... I hope) and hanging in closet.

Sock bag still AWOL.

Closet Questions

1. Is it a "walk-in closet" if you have to walk in in order to reach the other end? What if walking in results in you being up-close and personal with all clothing between the door and the end?

2. Do you think my landlord would notice if I added a second door in order to access the other half?

I'm guessing the answers are "no" and "yes", in that order. *sigh*

And Then The Hurricane Hit...

When mom says something is going to happen, it does.

Mom said I was moving out on Saturday. I looked at the contents of my room, figured we could get most of it, but also figured there would be some non-daily-essential stuff left over that would be moved later.

However, when mom decides something, it happens.

Well, mostly. There was *one* thing left behind, but only because it doesn't fit in the car, and we decided that it would be too heavy for two people to carry a block and a half in the snow and ice. (Mom didn't decide this until after she tried to lift it. Then she admitted it will have to wait... I'll be hiring our neighbours who have pick-up trucks and are in shape from being handy-men... they're away for the weekend, though.)

It sure is amazing how much stuff I had in that one basement room. It is now spread out in three rooms (my bedroom, my office, and the living room) *plus* the hallway. I'd show you photos, but my camera cord is on the other side of the living room. (I think.) After the move, mom and I got my bed and dressers reassembled, then she headed back to her place. Since then I managed to get to my desk (and computer), I damp-dusted the three bookshelves that did make it over here, and... um... I know there's something else I did. (Besides eat dinner. I did that too. Mom was nice and ordered in pizza for all us tired mortals. She had to make her own, though, because she can't eat wheat. We were going to go out to eat, but all of us are so inexperienced in eating out that we couldn't think of any that were reasonably close and would have space on a Saturday night.)

Now... before tomorrow morning, I need to be able to get to the other side of the living room (my spinning wheel is there... I have the second half of the spinning class tomorrow), find my cutlery (not all of the kitchen was unpacked... I left some mainly because I needed to line the drawers first, and only finished that recently), and dig down to the bottom of the bucket that contains my toothbrush (at the bottom, naturally).

I'd like to find my sock bag too... I do have a bus ride tomorrow. I wonder where it ended up?...

PS: Dad finished the first bobbin for me... yay!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Living Room

Most of my apartment isn't looking that good (rooms with nothing, or rooms with boxes and junk, etc), but my living room looks quite presentable. :) Click through for notes.

Living Room
Living Room
Living Room
Living Room

(Note: art will go up after I've gotten everything else moved in... I want to make sure all the furniture is in it's final place before I start putting holes in the walls.)



Dad brought over a second bobbin shaft, and except for being a bit noisier than normal, it worked like a charm! I spun up this wee little skein to test it. Dad's taken the shaft home to add ends. I'm going to have extra bobbins! Yay!!!

Seen In Engineering Atrium

Seen In Engineering Atrium

This afternoon I heard some native drumming coming from the atrium. It didn't last long... but when I went to check what was happening, this is what I saw.

Acrylic Painting WIP

Acrylic Painting WIP

Note: The trees on the left are *not* their final colours... and I still need to deal with the big black empty space at the bottom. However, on Monday I finally dealt with the last of the big black trees the instructor painted in, and so now I'm only moving forward! (Unless I screw up myself, that is.)

Celtic Knot Sweater WIP

Celtic Knot Sweater WIP

The shoulders are now joined. Next up will either be sleeves or the collar. Probably the collar.

Crochet Sock WIP

Crochet Sock WIP

Pretty! The thin stripes don't quite make it around the wider areas, but they do for the normal diameter areas. This colourway is so pretty! It'll be interesting to see how the BFL wears compared to merino.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oven Mitts

Last night it occurred to me that I'm actually going to need my new oven mitts soon (final move to my apartment scheduled for Saturday), and that I should felt them. I had been waiting to throw in a few other items I was planning on making (Deneen's bag, and now stuff from the book Deneen sent me), but, well, I haven't made them yet. So, here's the oven mitts, fulled/felted:
Oven Mitts Oven Mitts
I've included both photos to show you the funny browns. The two colours of browns are completely different in natural or incandescent light, but virtually indistinguishable in fluorescent light. Strange!

I pulled them on when I took them out of the washing machine. They're a bit long and narrow, but otherwise fine. They fit me like gauntlets, but people with wider arms will probably have problems. The "long" part is probably good for me... I have a tendency to touch my arms to hot parts of the oven when I'm not paying attention... which is more often than I'd like. (Frankly, once is once too many.)

They're sopping wet now, but hopefully they'll dry by when I need them. Otherwise I'll just use potholders.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Contest Alert!

Another Contest

Contest Alert!

Even though I'm behind on my blog reading, I didn't miss this contest... deadline is this Friday.


I'm tickled that my tip was chosen for the "Why didn't I think of that" feature on The Daily Chum. However, had I known it would be used verbatim, I would have put more effort into the text... you know, perhaps using grammar and all that. ;) (Note to self... proof-read e-mails before sending. Blog posts too? Nah... ;) )

We now have three entries for the Swatchy Contest: Dandy, magnusmog, and mrsfife. Did I mention the prizes that Knittah added?

Found on Flickr

manta | blanket

I love the organic feel to this one... it reminds me of things growing until they're constrained by their neighbours, cells, and sea anemones.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Oooo... The Sweet Sheep is having a sale starting tomorrow. (Must... not... browse...!)

A viking at a sheep and wool festival? Whatever it is, it's extremely disturbing!

Knittah added some prizes to my Swatchy contest. (So far there's only one entry... are other people thinking of entering?)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Spinning Class

:) I had fun today! (Two days of workshops is exhausting, though.)

Samples I spun:
Spun Samples

Baggies of exotic fibers:
Exotic Fiber Samples
(Somehow I got two baggies of qiviut in my package!)

Polwarth locks for blending:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My First Handspun Sock Yarn

I'm feeling rather proud of what I spun. :) (Note: spun from my A Piece of Vermont superwash merino roving, colourway Grotto.)

Here it is right after being plied, before soaking:
A Piece of Vermont, Grotto
(It was all twisty because the singles had sat on the bobbins for quite a while.) First soak (with Eucalan):
A Piece of Vermont, Grotto
There was some bleeding into the water, which I expected since I could tell there was more dye than had been absorbed by the fiber. I put in a chug of vinegar, though, just in case, when I confirmed that there was indeed bleeding.
Second soak (plain water):
A Piece of Vermont, Grotto
Wrung and hanging to dry:
A Piece of Vermont, Grotto A Piece of Vermont, Grotto
My lovely, balanced sock yarn:
A Piece of Vermont, Grotto
Top: Two ply, as much as would fit on one bobbin. (81.3 g, 390 yds = 357 m)
Middle: Two ply, until one bobbin ran out. (21.7 g, 116 yds = 106 m)
Bottom: Navajo three ply. (8.8 g, 34 yds = 31 m) (I may use this for heels... I wonder how many yards I actually use for heels?)

Total weight was 111.8 g = 3.9 oz... a bit less than the labelled 4 oz, but then I'm in Winnipeg where it's super dry right now (wool can change a lot in weight depending on humidity, and I weighed it before washing), and there were a few little fluffies lost here and there.

Wow... I got a lot of yardage out of this! The Navajo plied bit looks like it's a more durable yarn, but I would have been a bit short crocheting socks if I had three plied all of it. Perhaps I'll try to get it a smidge thinner next time (or at least lessen the thick spots) and try a three ply. If I'm short, I can always knit socks instead of crocheting them, since crochet does use up the yarn a tad quicker. (Not as much faster as some people would have you believe, but still a bit faster.)

Oooo... I just realized I'll be able to use some of my very own *handspun* sock yarn in my blanket!!!

This pair of socks will be next after the LoveSticks. I could have been working on them already, but I wanted to leave them in skein form for show & tell tomorrow with Francine. Speaking of Francine, I should go to bed so that I'm not exhausted for my spinning class tomorrow! Good night!


Dad brought over a potential bobbin core for me to try out:
Terra Bella Spun Sample
It fit, and was functional, although it was noisier, and I think also stiffer than my Ettrick bobbin. We're going to play a bit before giving up and buying the real deal. (I tried looking for metal tubing, but everything was measured in outer-diameter, and so none had the correct inner diameter. :P )

The test fiber is a sample I got with my Terra Bella Spun order. I used the middle hook on my wheel so that I didn't have to worry about the "bobbin" not having ends to hold the yarn on.

Crochet Socks

Same pattern as always. ;)
Firefly Socks
Observation: if I'm deciding on sock height during a cold snap, and I'm not limited by the yarn, I make taller socks. (It was *cold* that day!) I had quite a bit of yarn left over:
Firefly Socks
Blanket time!!!
Firefly Socks

Up next, LoveSticks, in the Sweet Sheep exclusive colourway "Fashionista", BFL base yarn:
LoveSticks Fashionista LoveSticks Fashionista Socks WIP
I'm loving these! (The base yarn seems coarser and shinier than merino, and not like the BFL I spun. Interesting. Of course, I haven't worn my BFL hat lately, so maybe I'm being somewhat forgetful. And there are always differences between different individual sheep/flocks.)