Friday, August 31, 2007

Sockwatch 2007

:( Still no socks left by Mr Postman.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Contest Alert

Here's another one! Just leave a comment. :)

Hmmm... I think I just left a haloscan comment (I didn't notice it was haloscan until after I clicked "submit") without crashing my browser... I'll have to give it another test. Perhaps I can start commenting at Crochet All Day again! (I'll do the test *after* I've read all the open tabs in my browser, though!)

What I did on my summer vacation

I'm going to approach this topic in several posts... that way it seems less intimidating than writing it all at once. ;) (And heck, vacations aren't supposed to be stressful, right?)

I read. I read Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I read Interweave Knits Fall 2007 cover to cover. I read around 200 pages of The Alden Amos Big Book of Hanspinning. (That's one big book... it's more of a textbook than what you'd normally encounter on the bookshelf.)

I painted three watercolour paintings:

Cabin Stove
This is the wood stove at the cabin. It's not the original... we had to replace the original a few years back because the fire bricks were crumbling and we couldn't get replacements that fit the stove.

Deck Chair
This is a deck chair that my grandfather made. We have four of them (two red, two green).

This was to practice a negative painting technique my mom learned in an art class.

And I finished the pink scarf of DOOM:

Pink Scarf of Doom

Yes, I realize you can't see what it looks like yet. Frankly, neither can I. It's just a bunch of pink froth. Blocking is scheduled for this weekend... more photos after blocking.

Gift Horse

Gift Horse

I sure am a lucky person (in some things...), and there sure are nice people out there! Look at the pretty horse that Sveta sent me. :)

Rest assured, I did not look this gift horse in the mouth. ;)

(Be sure to go admire Sveta's adorable teddy bear!)

Crochet Felted Boot Slippers WIP

Crochet Felted Boot Slippers WIP

These sure are honking big slippers before felting.

I've got one and a half tops done. (I've decided to do both tops before starting the bottoms.) The half top I did today at lunch... boy, they sure go fast! I'm using Patons Classic Wool held double, rather than the bulky yarn called for. The hook is handmade birch.

Contest Alert

Go here for a first blogiversary contest! All you need to do is comment. Looks like it's open until Friday(?), and all you need to do is comment. In her post she states that she would love to make it to the 50 comment mark... and already has 112 comments! Lets see how high we can push that number, shall we?

Sockwatch 2007

Still no socks in my mailbox. :( However, my sock pal (also distraught over the wayward sock package) has identified herself, and given me a peek at them! They're broadripple socks in Cascade Fixation, and they're pretty!

Oh... wait... I just read closer, and *both* pairs are for me! Green Baudelaires too! They're both gorgeous, and I *can't* wait!!!! Oh, please Mr Postman, won't you give me my package soon?!? I want to try on and admire my gorgeous socks!

(Two pair! If the postman will only let me have my package, I'll be a lucky recipient indeed!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can't... Catch... Up...

Even with taking the day off work to recouperate, reorganize, and have a dr appointment (and spending much of the "recouperate" time reading blogs)... I still haven't caught up! Y'all post too much! (And I spent too much time around P back in the early days of grad school...)

Must sleep now because it's back to the regular grind tomorrow. Perhaps this weekend I'll get a chance? And a chance to attack the mess in my bedroom that really needs attending to? (I thought I'd attend to some of that today... ha! At least *most* of the post-travel mess is dealt with.)

I haven't even looked at my trip photos yet. Perhaps I'll take a moment before drifting off to sleep...

One of these days I'll blog about what *I've* been up to. ;)

Sockwatch 2007

Okay... I do *not* understand Canada Post. Remember I had a package to pick up? It was *not* the sockapalooza socks that were mailed to me from the US (I think) on August 2nd or 3rd. It was the package mailed to me on August 19. (A Sunday?!) Given that the parcel slip was dated August 27th, that's *eight* days. 8. And it was from the Ukraine!

Where are my sockapalooza socks? Waaaaaa!

Okay... calm down... they're on their way. There's still hope!

Found on Flickr

Dress it up

Useful! A crochet hook for your keychain, so you'll always have one when you drop a stitch! :) Tutorial can be found here.

Found on Flickr


Clever! (The needles tend to get lost inside my mom's pincushion.)

Found on Flickr

and five

Ooooo! Cute window sheep! (There's five in total in this person's Flickr stream.)

Found on Flickr


Neat! Minature stuff is so cool, and it's really neat the way champaigne bottle "trash" has been turned into this little Paris bistro scene! Very appropriate. :)

Found on Flickr


A cute little sheepie!

Found on Flickr

Taming the Floss

Ooooo... an inexpensive way to transform a tangled mess into something pretty and much more useful!

Found on Flickr

vintage buttons flower stitch-markers / charms

Pretty, and a different idea for stitch markers. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Happy Feet!

Noricum Socks

My sock pal's socks have arrived in Toronto too, so that's two pair of happy feet! I've come back to a "you have a package" notice, so I'll be heading to the post office tomorrow... probably my socks!!!


I have returned.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Autism Quiz

Here's a different sort of quiz... this one actually created by researchers. How autistic are you?

Found on Flickr

fuzzy guinea pig


Sockwatch 2007

No socks in the mail today. We're leaving tomorrow morning before the mail arrives, so I won't get them for at least another week.

I'm going to be away from mail, internet, computers, phones (besides my parent's spotty cell phone service), and real electricity. There'll be solar power, propane appliances, wood stoves, and outhouses. And likely a fight with my parents about whether there should be batteries in the clocks. (I'm against it... I don't care what time it is, and the ticking over the silence drives me nuts. B likes to know the time so he can listen to the news on the radio.) There'll be loons and squirrels... and hopefully no bears and few mosquitoes.

The only crochet/knitting I'm bringing is one pair of socks (the pair already started) and the pink lace scarf of doom. (Hopefully I'll be able to wrestle that WIP into an FO!) I'm also bringing some birch bark canoe cut-outs that need to be sewn into canoes. (Strike two year-old WIPs off the list!)

Well, I need to finish packing and water my plants. Later!

Found on Flickr

22 ears close

Wow. See that indian corn? It's actually leather beaded with seed beads! Doesn't it look just like the real thing? If you look closely, you can see the penny hiding in the bunch. They're tiny!

All Things Sock

Here's an update on my recent sockly activites: I finished another pair:
Crochet Socks

And started yet another pair for H:
Crochet Socks WIP
The colour is called "misty greens", and is absolutely gorgeous. After working on these on the bus, I'm now about twice as far as what is shown here. The yarn is lovely... but I've produced an alarmingly large hole in the center of my center-pull ball. I suspect these will be very short socks! It's strange... the yardage is somewhat less that I usually prefer for socks, but not that much less. (I thought!) I've created reasonable length socks from Koigu KPPPM, and this is only five yards less. Well, we'll see.

In other news, on my scrap sock yarn blanket, I wove all the interior ends in on one of the triangles. (It was easy to pick up and put down while working the Folklorama booth.) For each end, I followed the path of yarn through an inch of knit stitches. I've left an inch extra hanging on each end... I don't know if I want to sew a bit down, wash-to-felt-slightly then trim ends, or run the ends through split stitches in order to get extra security. I hate ends popping out, and want to avoid that. I also finished another square or two last week.

Well, that's all the news fit to print in all things sock around here. When I get home I'll give a sockapalooza sock watch update.

Lipizzaner Stallions

My daddy took me to see the Lipizzaner Stallions yesterday. Lots of pretty horses! (Unsurprisingly, there were *lots* of little girls in the audience.) I took photos, of course:




Whoopsie! He fell off his horsie. He got it on the next try, though:






Now, before you complain about me inflicting a bunch of boring, blurry photos on you, it could have been much worse:
Oh... wait... I just inflicted that on you. Nevermind. (At least I didn't upload and inflict all the others!)

Amusingly, there was one segment that went all patriotic-Canadian, about how there were *Canadian* soldiers who were with General Patton (an American dude) when he daringly and dashingly rescued the pretty horses from the evil Russian horde who probably would have eaten them. Did I mention this troupe is based out of Florida? I'm guessing that in the American shows, there's a really American-patriotic section there that has no mention of Canadians whatsoever, but they figured it wouldn't go over so well in Canada. So, instead of coming up with something interesting, they put a *Canadian* spin on that segment. Um... whatever.

But the horsies were pretty to watch while they trotted around in circles! (Despite most of my photos being of them rearing up, mostly they just did their "dressage" steps: Look! Two horsies walking in unison! Now we can do *three* horses walking in unison! And it gets better... *four* hourses walking in unison!!!) Their shiny coats positively *gleamed* in the spotlights!

All in all, a lovely time ogling the pretty horses!


I *hates* boils, I do. They hurts us so.

While I'm indulging in Gollum-like self-pity, why is it that I can feel alert and well-rested 15 minutes before my alarm goes off, but a half hour later (when I've finished my shower), I feel like I could do with a nap?

And my knee hurts too. Whine.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Found on Flickr

What do YOU think? (WIP for Kamree)

I find it fascinating how different arrangements of the same blocks can be *so* different!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How I Entertain Myself...

...between busy periods while manning the souvenir table at the Folklorama Russian Pavilion for my aunt:

1. Read the english-language children's books.

2. Make movies of the handmade walking cow toy:

Isn't physics great?!

3. Take photos of the tables for you:
Folklorama Russian Pavilion Souvanir Booth

4. Take photos of the amber jewelry I've been drooling over all week:
Amber Rings
Amber Jewelry
(Thankfully someone bought the ring that was my favourite, so now I'm not agonizing over whether to buy it. If you click to the Flickr page, there's a note marking my favourite.)

5. Take a random photo of the stuff that's meant to distract the kids while their parents are looking:
Kiddie Items
I sold that last busy-bug last night.

Sockwatch 2007

Subtitle: Why I hate Canada Post

I mailed my Sockapalooza socks on August 3rd. Mailed from Canada, to Canada. Canada Post all the way. Are they there yet? Not from what I can tell!

My pal contacted me on August 3rd saying my socks were winging their way towards me, and should arrive August 8th. It's now the 18th. I'm not sure what country my pal is sending from (I'm guessing the US), but in order for the socks to reach me, they have to pass through Canad Posts's hot little hands. Or should I say hot sticky hands? They seem to have trouble letting go!

Other recent examples of slow Canada Post service:

1. I won a contest where the prize was a printed pattern... basically a sheet of paper or two inside a plastic sleeve. The lovely lady sending me this didn't have any brown envelopes at home, and assumed she could get them at her local USPS post office. Nope! After waiting 45 minutes(!!!) in line, she was told that they only have *priority* envelopes, and was dinged a whopping $16!!!! For something she should have been able to mail for around $1! Not wanting to spend her entire life waiting in her local USPS snail-paced line (I've been in one of those in NY... Chapel Hill was much zippier), she paid the fee. Want to know how long a $16 priority mail envelope took to get to Canada? A full week!!! Aren't those only supposed to take a day in the US? What on earth does Canada Post do with the mail? (Back when I was dating J, he was confused... he couldn't figure out why Canada Post wanted to pay to store the mail for as long as they do rather than just delivering it!)

2. I ordered a rug hooking kit from the US. I seem to remember it taking about two weeks to get to me.

3. H ordered a pattern and some yarn. I think it was sent a week before my order, and didn't arrive until nearly a week after my order. That was 3-4 weeks! We were wondering how long we should wait before declaring it lost!

4. This isn't a recent thing either. Back in high school or undergrad it once took a letter I wrote a penpal *three* *months*(!!!) to arrive at her home in Germany! She wanted to know why I hadn't responded to her previous letter. It wasn't my fault I live in a country with pathetic mail service!

So. No socks here yet. There's no mail service on weekends (I found Saturday mail a strange novelty in the US), but I'll post on Monday as to whether the socks have arrived here. On Tuesday I'm going up to the lake for a week (back the following Tuesday), so I'll be out of mail and e-mail contact during that time. I'm sorry you're feeling antsy, sock pal(s)... but Canada Post is slow. Very slow. Mindnumbingly slow. For people used to USPS, it's *ohmygoshthepackageislost!!!* slow. It's too early to declare packages lost. Don't despair! I trust you that you did send the package as you said. It's not your fault that Canada Post is so slow. All we can do is relax and have patience. (And perhaps write complaints to the Canadian government? But those would be sent by Canada Post, which is slow...)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Found on Flickr


Adorable! (There's even a pattern.)

Found on Flickr

Close up wedding quilt

I love the folksy feel of this quilt.

Found on Flickr

Shibori felting swatch

Ahhhh... so that's how shibori felting works.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Found on Flickr


I love Chinese brush paintings. I love horses. I love Chinese brush paintings of horses. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Movie Set

Movie Set

They're filming a movie in my neighbourhood again. (Swatchy found this entertaining.)

Mmmmm... Yarn!

Finally! H's order from The Knitting Zone arrived yesterday. It sure took a while... perhaps the customs people couldn't part with the yarn? Does Canada Post have yarn junkies? Well, at any rate, our very yummy yarn finall arrived!!!
The Knitting Zone Order
Trust me... it's *much* yummier in person! The main reason for this order was for the pattern. Since they had a 9mm hook (we thought), and I only have a 10mm hook, we ordered that too. And the sock yarn? Well, since we were paying for shipping anyway, we might as well spread it around! ;) There's two pair for me (orange and teal), and two pair for H (purple and mint) there.

I remember wondering why their "I" hook was 9mm... but you know how American sizing can vary between brands. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact it was bamboo? They scaled all their hooks up so they were less fragile?

It turns out it is an I9 / 5.5mm! Aaargh!

Well, after a quick check at Ram Wools' web site, we see they have the correct size hooks. H calls, and they open at 10. It's 9:50... we look at each other, then hop in her car! Did we get the correct hook? Yes! Um... and perhaps a bit more:
Ram Wools Purchase
We got two 9mm hooks... the handmade birch hook looked like it might be awkward to use, so we also bought the crystallite (which has the annoying seam down the length). Then we also got some Rowan denim yarn for a hat for H's son C. And some sock yarn for H. (I'm very good at encouraging H to buy me yarn to make her stuff.)

On the way back we were passing through the Wolseley neighbourhood. H said "here's Wolseley," to which I responded "There's a yarn store here!" (Hearing the name reminded me.) So, of course, that necessitated a stop at Wolseley Wardrobe, which resulted in more sock yarn for H:
Wolseley Wardrobe Purchase

Had I realized we were doing a general yarn crawl, I would have mentined the sock yarn sale at Leona's Sweater and Wool shop... but we had already passed it between Ram Wools and Wolseley Wardrobe, and didn't feel like heading that way again.

We arrived back in the office at noon. Just in time to have lunch and start on the slippers for C:
Slippers Started
The birch hook is unusual, but I'm doing fine with it, so I think I'll stick with it. While using it, though, I keep thinking of Norse gnomes... ones that look like the plastic garden gnome in Amelie. (I have no idea if it is Norse or not, but that's what was in my head.) I now have an urge to make and sell painted wooden crochet hooks. ;)

Monday, August 13, 2007

A little personal history

Antique UFO Old Supplies
These were in an old jewelry-style box that was in with my grandma's things. My mom gave me the box, and I'm fixing it up. (It's kind of ratty, and is smelling musty.) I'm not keeping these... the embroidery is stained, and not that nice looking anyway (besides being incomplete), this particular skein of floss is badly faded, and there isn't really enough of the mending nylon to be worth saving. (I'm saving the other skeins of floss, if I can get the mustiness out of them, though. The boning also bit the dust, though.)

It's kind of entertaining... the mending nylon can be used to repair sheer hosiery if you separate the plies. Not much repair of hosiery goes on these days!

Winnipeg History

Winnipeg History

Uncle D and I stopped to see what this sign said on our way back from the Russian pavilion. (My aunt has a souvenir booth there... it's Folklorama time again!) Anyway, this sign was standing by a tree on the boulevard of a street that strangely happens to also be a back lane. (All the houses face the other streets that they're adjacent to.) We wondered what a plaque was doing on a back-lane street. Now we know.

Weather Magic

I've been working on Durrow, which would normally send the temperature soaring. However, B and Uncle D installed an air conditioner in my room yesterday... and thus the nights have been beautifully cool! I think I have Murphy thoroughly confused! ;)

Durrow comes to a seaming halt

Woo hoo! Four pieces complete:
Durrow WIP

Washed, laid flat, and drying:
Durrow WIP

Seaming started, and... eep!
Durrow WIP
Sleeves are *way* too "fitted"... the upper arm is skin tight, stretched to it's fullest extent, and the sleeve doesn't really pull all the way up, stretching out the neck. (I should have trusted my instincts that they were going to be too narrow.)

Solution: Side pieces that extend into the arms will be knit and inserted. (In progress.)

Meanwhile, after pulling out some of the sleeve seaming and knitting the neckband, it looks just right!
Durrow WIP
(I think I did the ribbing just a bit longer than called for.) So, for some reason, the neck came out just fine on mine, when everyone else's was whopping huge. (I bet they had sleeves that fit too, though.)

Current state of Durrow:
Durrow WIP Durrow WIP