Thursday, November 30, 2006

Home Alone

It's just me and my thoughts rattling around the house from now until J arrives. It's kind of lonely. So far I've turned on the TV for a bit, and called my grandma for a bit. I guess I'll pester some more friends for a bit, then watch some more TV, then... um... I dunno. Read a book. Do some crafts. Go to bed. Work on my dissertation. I'll figure out something.

I think I'll call M... see if she wants to make a gingerbread house with me sometime. :)

Silly Quiz

Ooooo... can I have a rainbow and a unicorn? Pretty please?!?


My wonderful, big-toe-box shoes are definitely not designed for Canadian winters: I've ended up on my ass twice already this morning. I guess tomorrow I'll wear my Sorels. They'll keep my feet and legs warmer too. (The streets were plowed, so there didn't seem to be enough snow to justify Sorels this morning.)


The windchill this morning is -32C. Can I go back to bed?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


H's Cat on Laptop Sleeve
H's Cat on Laptop Sleeve

There's nothing like a little felted woolen comfort on a cold winter day.

Changing Vowels

Okay, there's been way too much "sucks" on this blog recently, so I'm changing vowels. Time for some "socks"!

Trekking 100 socks finished, thanks to some flat tire time:
Trekking 100 Crochet Socks
That brings me down to eight WIPs. (Yes, *down* to *eight*. Startitis is a disease, I tell you. ;) )

I've declared the Winterberry Socks done, and wove in the ends:

(I just wasn't in the mood to add embroidery.)

And H's purple surf socks got a boost in progress today waiting for the tire to be changed:
Regia Cotton Surf Crochet Socks WIP

Whee. Durrow is chugging along... I should have the front done soon. (I'm almost at the sleeve decreases.)

I can't think of any other exciting progress to report at the moment... back to reformatting my old laptop for my cousin.

Bad CARma

(Blame Deneen for that title.)

It continues: when the dealership was returning my keys, they said "did you know exhaust is leaking into the car? It'll be $310 plus tax, but we need a week to order the part."

I knew I had been smelling exhaust, but I thought it was coming in from outside. My brother had commented on a noise in the exhaust, but we figured it was just a small hole in the muffler. (I was going to wait until it was a large hole before fixing it. It is an old car, after all.)

Anyone feel like buying me a $310 exhaust pipe for Christmas? ...I thought not. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I *AM* Cursed

I thought the curse was over, but I was wrong... it's only gotten worse!

My first date with J, he got a speeding ticket and a parking ticket. (Previously it had been a long time since he had gotten a ticket.)

My second date with J, he got an inspection ticket and a parking ticket. (I would like to point out that neither parking ticket was really his fault... both spots were basically unlabelled.)

My third date... no tickets! There was a flat tire, but I figured that was a different category, and thus was not the curse of me.

I drove my car to the doctor today, and then from there to the grocery store. Guess what I discovered while driving back from the grocery store?
Flat Tire
Hopefully the rim is okay. It was making strange noises and driving funny, but I thought that was just all the snow on the road from the bit of a blizzard we're having. (I figure I can count it as a blizzard, since at one point it was nearly white-out conditions while I was driving, and there's a *lot* of snow on the roads. I don't know it's official designation.) However, I decided to pull into a gas station just to make sure.


Mom and Bob have offered to buy me a new tire for Christmas. I guess this saves me from having to think of something else for them to get me, although I'm sure that wouldn't have been too hard. ;)

If nothing else, this car is a lesson in expense. Right after getting it I had the immobilizer installed ($$$). I drove it a few times, then parked it while J was here and then while I was visiting J. Then I paid to have insurance put on it the last time I was home ($$$$), put gas in the car ($$), and drove it a few more times. Today I drive it again, bought a snow scraper ($), and need a new tire ($$$). If this keeps up, I may be better off just taking a taxi everywhere. ;)

It is a really cool snow scraper, though. It has a telescoping handle, a brush, a scraper, and even a squeegee. Works pretty good too. With all this snow, I've used it twice already. (Once after leaving the grocery store where I bought it, and then again leaving the gas station after putting the spare on.)

Oh, and I didn't actually change the tire myself. Although there was a spare, gloves, and a mini jack in the car, there didn't appear to be a tire iron. I called mom, and she sent B and my brother T with a bunch of tools. T was having fun, so I let him do the changing and driving home.

Believe It Or Not

This walk was just shovelled:

This car was just swept:

I'm not in NC anymore, and my long underwear has pined away without me:
Dead Long Underwear
I pulled it out (knowing I had no toque), and heard that dread crinkle. I gave the waist elastic a stretch... and it shattered into a thousand pieces.

Luckily mom has a spare toque she can loan me, and it's not all that cold outside. Just snowy.

Slight Problem

Two Ounce Comparison
Two Ounce Comparison

Oops. Remember this? Well, it still looks pretty much the same. Now, normally lovely handspun and squooshy roving wouldn't be a problem, except for this:
Snowy Morning in Winnipeg
and the fact that I gave J my alpaca toque before I left New York. (I have a mild alpaca allergy, and so offered my hat to him.) So the green yarn and roving you see above is the current state of *my* toque, and I'm about to go out and shovel snow. Oops.

I wonder if I have a spare toque? If not, I have a big scarf I can wrap around my head.


New York Sunrise
So long New York, hello Winnipeg.
Snowy Morning in Winnipeg

Monday, November 27, 2006


Hee hee! That spider mug Bron gave me as part of the Halloween swap gave airport security a scare. However, after they opened my bag to discover what it was, they thought it was cute.

Boy, am I ever scatterbrained today. I forgot to empty my pockets before going through the scanner!

I miss J, and have that lost, where am I supposed to be, feeling. :(

Chicago O'Hare has a rather lousy selection of food. I had a slice of blueberry crumb cake from Starbucks. I would have bought a banana too, but they want $1.10 here. Crazy!!! My banana guy in New York sold them for 25 cents each, and the more expensive places were only 35 cents! (Well, I remember some juice bar wanted a ridiculous amount, but I forget how much... I didn't buy one.)

I have a two and a half hour stopover here, so I'm just killing time. There's wireless here, but I'm not paying $7 for it. :P This'll get posted at some point after I'm home.

Well, I guess I'll add up my purchases (fiber and Christmas shopping), then work some more on Durrow. I'm over 12" into the front now, and then have both sleeves to do.

While I remember, I made another square for the blankie using leftover Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. Yummy! Oh, that square is full of squooshy goodness! I knew I liked the socks, but couldn't really compare them to my crochet socks, since that's a bit like comparing apples and oranges. However, comparing this garter stitch square to the others I've knit... wow! I *love* it! I think once I start to run low on sock yarn (like that ever happens), I'll let myself buy some more Cherry Tree Hill. I can't check the colours right now, but I seem to remember they have a lovely colour called something like Sugar Maple, and Birch seemed nice too. I think there was another I liked as well, but I can't remember it right now.

Well, off to calculate my purchases. And perhaps also how many days I've been in the US. (I guess since my last trip to Montreal, not since I left Winnipeg. These trips are so confusing.)

(time passes)

I'm in Winnipeg now. Except for being asked, once *again* how I support myself, I had an easy time at customs. (I'm a jobless bum with savings who lives off of those and the good graces of others! Stop rubbing it in!!!)

The bathroom on the last flight was really scary... kind of in a broken way. If the bathroom is that poorly maintained, how are the other things, like wings and engines?

Hmmm... I'm thinking perhaps the other two Cherry Tree Hill colours I like were the potluck greens and potluck purples, but I really can't remember now.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I figured it was about time I posted a comparison of spun vs unspun BFL:
Two Ounce Comparison
Two Ounce Comparison
Now, to be fair, the unspun roving really did take up less space while it was still braided.

Does anyone else notice the problem? Um... I'm flying tomorrow, and that green is still roving. I guess it'll be packed that way.

On the other hand, I did finish spinning and plying the purple BFL:
Handspun Singles
Handspun Singles
Three-Ply Handspun
I decided to three-ply it using the Navajo plying method. Because I wanted to three-ply this, I spun it thinner. (Which took for-darn-ever!) I also decided to add more spin to the singles, to give a tighter yarn. I really only should have played with one variable at a time... three-plying doesn't take as much twist out of the singles (from what I can tell), and so putting the same amount of twist in would have been better. However, it looks very yarny, which is good. I'll be able to tell better once it's in a hank. I really need to pack now, but if packing goes fast enough, perhaps I'll hank it tonight before packing. Or perhaps I'll leave it on the spindle on purpose, to protect the spindle. I don't know.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


"DUMBO" = Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass

Brooklyn Bridge

Today J and I biked over the Brooklyn Bridge to have some hot chocolate from Jacques Torres... heavenly! Or should I say "wicked", since I had the one spiced with hot pepper. ;) Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!


Brooklyn Bridge

Afterwards we biked through parts of DUMBO and came back over the Williamsburg bridge.

Two notes: DUMBO cobblestone streets are cruel to cyclists (I can see why people in wheelchairs hate them), and *man*, does the cool air ever hurt my lungs! Ouch. :(

Friday, November 24, 2006

Free Entertainment

Tonight's "TV" features Critical Mass and the NYPD:
Critical Mass
Critical Mass
Critical Mass
(Yeah, I'll get around to all those other posts... and more... soon!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

David Blaine

Kelli asked for a photo of David Blaine, who is currently gyrating over a parking lot near Times Square. Not only do I deliver with bad photos:
David Blaine
David Blaine

But here's a bad video:

I found it rather amusing that across the street and a building or two over, there was this:
Church of Scientology

Nutty, huh?

Mini Marathon

Ask, and ye shall receive. Well, maybe. If I get around to it.

Today I got around to some stuff: post office, Times Square, David Blaine, Union Square Market (and the Morehouse Merino booth), and Whole Foods. Note to self: Whole Foods is a *zoo* on the day before thanksgiving, even if all I want is some stuff for dinner. And I think the post office on 14th Street has the slowest moving employees of *any* post office I've ever been in. However, the following people can eventually expect packages: Knittah, Vik, Jess (no, you're not expecting anything, this is a surprise... sort of), Lucy, and my two stitch marker swap pals, who are secret.

Times Square, David Blaine, and Union Square Market to come in separate posts.

Oh... Vik: don't bother sitting by your mailbox any time soon. They wanted an arm and a leg for air mail, but only a leg for surface, so the time estimate is around 6 weeks. Assuming Christmas doesn't bog things down.

The Yarn Tree

Last night Swatchy and I visited The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn, and had a lovely time. :)

The Yarn Tree
Preparation for Spinning

(Check out Travels With Swatchy for a full report.)

Cooking Lunch Yesterday

Cooking Lunch
My J cooks good food. :)

Free Entertainment

Heard this morning: siren. "Hey! Over here! Over here! ...I burned my hand..."

Looking out the window: Ooo... a fire truck. Another one... and now an ambulance. They're going into the red building.

Hey, is that smoke?

Gee, it sure took the police a while to arrive, given the station is a block away:

Hmmm... they're all leaving now:

My TV is 44" by 64", and has the most amazing resolution. It only has one channel, though, and could really use a voice-over to explain what's going on.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006


My word of the day: distal
Anatomically located far from a point of reference, such as an origin or a point of attachment.

Is it wrong?

Is it wrong that I want to run down and show the doorman my skein of handspun? Or all the people out on the street? Or the person I just heard walking down the hallway?

So far I've resisted, and merely shown it to J a half dozen times. (I should stop while he still considers this behaviour "cute".)

Green Handspun

Green Handspun
Approx 53 yards / 48 meters, 2 oz. I'll get a better photo tomorrow when there's some natural light.

Mmmmmm! Soft and squooshy! This (with the rest waiting to be spun) will be a hat for me!!!

Not Green Handspun

Garterlac Dishcoth

But don't worry... I'm sure I'll be showing you more green handspun soon.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

...on my spindle at least. Doesn't this look like a little Christmas tree?
Two Ounces Of Two-Ply Yarn
That thar is approximately two ounces of two-ply handspun. I'm glad I stopped spinning singles, because plying has added back some of the air, and the yarn takes more room on the bobbin than the singles.

Two ounces spun and plied, two ounces to go.

No snow around here. I'm sure there's lots on Winnipeg, though. ;) It's weird seeing Christmas decorations in streets and shops when there's no snow.

Tired of Green Handspun?

Garterlac Dishcloth WIP
Garterlac Dishcloth WIP

I'm not, but in case you are, here's a pink garterlac dishcloth.

It's funny... I've been wanting a second washcloth for here for *ages* (so I can have one for bathing and one for dishes), and, now that I only have a week left, I finally start this.

I'm not crazy about knitting with the non-stretchy cotton, but I do love the look of the final pattern. I think it'll be great for scrubbing dishes, too. My nice pointy needles from Rhinebeck help a lot too. :)

Hmmm... I wonder how many of these I can knit before Christmas. Without going crazy, that is.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Contest Alert

Don't forget about the contest over at designerknits. So far there don't seem to be very many entries!

Experiment Observations Continued

Two Ounces
Two Ounces

12. I can spin two ounces in one afternoon/evening.
13. Spinning two ounces at once currently leaves my left arm tired. (I hold the fiber in my left hand, and thus it spends a lot of time above my head.)

I think I'll stop here, and ply this in the morning (or whenever) before spinning up the last two ounces. I'm tired.

Funny conversation:
me: (singing happily along to music)
me: $^&*%@#$%*$&#%^*#$!!!!!
J: (looks up quizically)
me: Is my spinning disturbing your work?
J: No, you just seem really emotional when you drop that thing.

Experiment Observations Continued

First Ounce
First Ounce

4. Upon commenting on my first "Experiment" post, my word verification was "dorkgodo", which I parsed as "dork go do".
5. Consumption of roving appears to be much faster as the end of the strip nears. This could be due to a visual illusion, increased experience of the spinner, or even possibly increased weight of the spindle. However, this experiment is not sufficiently controlled to determine the true cause.
6. Approximately one ounce of singles on the spindle does indeed take considerably less room than approximately one ounce of the fluffed up roving. Comparison of the final yarn volume will have to wait until the final three ounces have been spun.
7. "Instant gratification" is not a good description of handspindling, although the process is fascinating.
8. Inattention leads to occasional spinning of the spindle the wrong way.
9. Carelessness causes the yarn to come unhooked from the little hook.
10. Occurances of #8 and #9 produce a soundtrack from the spinner.
11. Said soundtrack (#10) initially caused alarm in the native, but the native quickly became accustomed to the new sounds in his environment.


Spinning in Progress
Spinning in Progress

Hypothesis: Once spun, roving takes less luggage space.

Materials: 4 oz Cloverleaf Farms "Dragon" Blue Face Leicester from Rhinebeck, one Maggie spindle.

Method: Unbraid, divide, then spin roving.

1. This stuff is a dream to spin.
2. Maggie seems lighter than Plain Jane (a good justification to keep both).
3. Spindle spins, singles appear... very slow disappearance of roving.


Whoa... Deneen's post reminded me, so I went back and checked my archives. Today is my two-year blogiversary! How strange reading some of those old posts. Not having tried felting yet? Inconceivable! Those mittens that were almost done two years ago? I feel like I've had them forever. They're one of my very early "no pattern, just wing it" projects. Was it really only two years ago? How strange.

Plied Handspun

Plied Yarn Plied Yarn on Niddy Noddy Handspun Hank Handspun Yarn
By my calculations, I have approximately 60 feet, or 18 meters, of my own two-ply handspun.