Sunday, September 30, 2007

Holy Scary Shit!

My friend just lost *everything* (except her two dogs, which she managed to rescue) in a horrible fire! She wasn't able to save her five young cats. Will you look at the photo in her post! You can see her silver car parked in front of rubble that used to be a multi-storey apartment building. Here's a news story. Two neighbours were injured, and one was *killed*! I'm so glad my friend is safe!

That is some scary shit.

I haven't heard yet whether or not the fire alarms went off. *Please*... make sure you have working fire alarms! To be safe, have ones that check for smoke *and* heat, plus a carbon monoxide detector. (The carbon monoxide detector should be a separate unit, since carbon monoxide sinks, and heat and smoke rise. Place the carbon monoxide detector near the floor, and the smoke and heat detector near the ceiling.) You should have a fire alarm in the kitchen and each bedroom at a minimum.

*shudder* Keep safe, my friends!

Semi-Lazy Weekend

Yesterday was sunny, hot, and sticky-humid. I tried being good, and got all the stuff together for gardening. I even turned a few forkfuls of dirt. But it was just too hot and sticky. I figured I could either force myself to attempt working in the garden with the result that I didn't get much done and had a miserable time, or I could go inside and enjoy myself. I opted for the second option. ;) I think I ended up knitting about five blanket squares while listening to podcasts and watching a movie. (Sequentially, not simultaneously, of course!)

Today I didn't sleep as late (yay! I need to get back on a more normal schedule so that I get to sleep earlier on weekdays), and then got half the irises dug before my dad called. Dad and I finished installing the siding, and since he was feeling kind of under the weather, we called it a day early. Now I have the rest of the evening off, and I don't even hurt!

I dared stepping on the scale before I got in the shower, and it said about 2 lbs less than the last time I stepped on. I didn't ask it for a second opinion! It's probably a blip, and I weigh way too much to be happy about this small loss (if it is a loss), but I have to start somewhere. Perhaps my gardening is doing some good after all. (And that bag of chocolate covered almonds I ate earlier this week didn't set me back as much as I thought.)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Contest Alert

I just read about a contest on Zeneedle's blog (not her contest, that's where I read about it). The deadline is Monday at midnight, so enter soon! To enter, you need to blog about your first and last pair of knit socks. (See the contest post for full details... I haven't read them yet myself!)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sock Yarn!

Sock Yarn!

Yummy! My prize/reward for participating in the Most Crochet Socks contest in the Summer of Socks.

Socks-To-Be For H

Socks-To-Be For H

Panda Wool to finish off socks for H... and a bit more to pad out the order. ;)



Slippers are finished... well, as much as I can do before they're fulled. I've given them to H so that she and C can have some fun and get them the right size. I'll probably be adding some needle felted designs afterwards... but that's for later. I'm calling these FOs for now.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sorting Scraps

Robyn (of Knit & Purl Mama) is making a blankie too, but only wants to do one square per yarn (like a charm quilt), so we're organizing a yarn swap. :) I'm sending her enough yarn from each scrap (that I've either already used, or have enough for two squares) for her to add a square to her blanket, and she's sending me some of her scraps. Yay for more variety!

Hey... Robyn has a new online yarn store, Robyn's Nest! Cool! (She even has those sock blocker keychains, and a sock club where you sign up by the month. I may have placed a small order with her. *grin*)

Returned Mail

Returned Mail

I mailed this at the post office on September 11. It arrived back here yesterday. It took them *fifteen* days to figure out that *they* were incompetant at calculating postage, and giving it back to me. (I live a few blocks away from the post office I mailed it from.)


I wonder if USPS could do a corporate take-over (or equivalent) of Canada Post?

Junk Mail

Junk Mail

Um... so the advertising agency worries about me getting enough protein? I think I'll pass. ;) I've given these to my dad to give to his girlfriend (who has cat(s)), or to his favourite cat shelter.

Silly Quiz

How smart are you? - Are you dumb?

I never was that good at memorization stuff like how many months had 30 days...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


This sucker is *big*.
Crochet Felt Boot Slipper, pre-fulling
Very big.
Crochet Felt Boot Slipper, pre-fulling
Crochet Felt Boot Slipper, pre-fulling
Did I mention it's big?
Crochet Felt Boot Slipper, pre-fulling
My feet are one size smaller than the desired size, but H's are the same.
Crochet Felt Boot Slipper, pre-fulling
I sure hope that fulling/felting works it's magic! We'll find out soon. I'm on the sole of the second slipper.

Disaster Zone

Kitchen Mess

...with tasty results! (Mmmm... banana muffins!)

Contest Alert

Angela is having a contest to help her friend Nikki win an illustration contest. Nikki's book is "What's Wrong with Mud?". Are you willing to vote for that book here? If you are, and post a link to spread the word, you can enter in Angela's contest! (Yummy sock yarn and an illustration for a prize!)

(Found on Zeneedle's blog.)

The Cuteness Continues

Baby Leaf Hat

Saartje's Bootees
They're just as cute in person as they are in all the photos!!!

Can these really both fit the same baby?
Baby Set
Well, I suppose I'll find out.

The good thing about being home alone... that I can play with my sock yarn scraps on the living room floor without annoying anyone. ;)

Sock Yarn Scraps

Sock Yarn Scraps
Sorted Scraps

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Contest Alert

Another contest, with handspun yarn as a prize!


It just dawned on me... so I've been showing off all the adorable baby knits I've been making (because I love them so much), and people keep asking if there is someone I'm knitting them for. (Yes, for friends' babies.) What they're *really* asking is if I'm pregnant! Doh!

Contest Alert

Go wish Flint Knits a happy first blogiversary, and enter her contest while you're there! (Mmmm... sock yarn!) She writes a fantastic blog, too, if you're looking for blogs to add to your reading list.

Found on Flickr




I had a nut challenge on Monday, and I get to eat another variety of nuts! The new nut is walnuts. I'm not a big fan of walnuts (I don't dislike them, but they aren't as tasty as pecans or almonds), but it's kind of hard to tell the difference between walnuts and pecans when they're chopped up, and they show up in a bunch of baked goods. So, for the ease of conference eating, I tested walnuts. I'm now a three nut lady!

I have a nut challenge for cashews scheduled on October 17th. (I finally found some cashews (raw) that didn't have peanut or sunflower oil added.)

I was reading about spinning silk, and came across a scary fact: sometimes silk is soaked in "sesame milk" before spinning! Thankfully sesame hasn't tried to kill me through touch, but you can bet that I'll be washing any silk items before wearing from now on. Come to think of it, it can't possibly be too common... sesame is fairly expensive, so I can't see commercial silk spinners using it. But why, oh why, does sesame have to show up in so *many* bizzare places?!? And in *yarn*, which doesn't come with "ingredients" labelled (beyond the fibers used).

Found on Flickr

autumn aran socks - clean slate

Oooo... I love the oak leaves in the sweater pattern!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Scrap Sock Yarn Blanket Update

Scrap Sock Yarn Blanket Update

I also decided I *had* to add the green koigu square to the blanket. :) (There'll be enough for the second bootie, no problem.)

Saartje's Bootees WIP

Saartje's Bootees WIP

One bootie, eight ends. This pattern is *not* for those who hate finishing! ;)

(No, I didn't hear from Saartje, I just decided that I *had* to work on these, and that probably a long tail cast-on was used.)

Marching to the beat of a different drummer


Hee! The portion of the tree that didn't have as many berries also seems to be on a different timeline for fall. This fellow definitely doesn't want to fall in line with the crowd. ;)

Because I like to make life difficult for myself.

Saartje's Bootees

Instead of blindly accepting that 18 rows makes 10 garter ridges (it doesn't), I have to count rows. And recount. And try to see if there's any way that the 10 ridges could be due to fractions/rounding. (It can't.)

I eventually came to two possibilities:
1. There's an error in the pattern. (If there is, it's consistent between the two sizes.)
2. Saartje uses a long-tail cast-on or something similar that created the first row of knitting in addition to the cast on, but doesn't count it as a row.
I think it's #2, but instead of just doing that (or blindly following the 10 garter ridges, which only produces a small difference), I have to e-mail Saartje to see what she intended.

I'm waiting to hear from her. (Hopefully she's not as lazy about answering her e-mail as I am!)

Baby Leaf Hat

Baby Leaf Hat

Freaking. Adorable. (But *really* needs blocking! It curls like crazy under that border.)

Found on Flickr


Hee hee! Now here's a bag after my own heart... it reminds me of my "fun fur is muppet murder" bag! The tongue is a zipper pull, and they eyes are buttons for closing the flap. Hee!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Yesterday I spent *five* hours gardening. That hurts! I trimmed two trees that some ninny had been breaking branches on (don't even get me started!), so hopefully they'll stop now. Then I started what I had *meant* to do: clean up and add a brick edging on the end of the front garden. I only got the end bit done, I'll have to do the rest next weekend (and weekends after, until the frost stops me). I'm digging up everything so that I can reorganize and add peat moss and compost to the clay soil (hopefully making it less cement-like).

See all those leaves at the bottom? Those are weeds with taproots that you can't get rid of unless you dig deep... which isn't really possible while bulbs, etc are there.

Dug, edged, and will be dug again. But not this weekend. (Mostly so I can go grocery shopping and help dad with his siding.)

Trash cans full of tree trimmings and weeds:
Tree Trimmings and Weeds
(One is only half full. I also pulled some weeds from the space between our house and the neighbour's, which is why there's so many weeds.)

I hurt.

Baby Leaf Hat WIP

Baby Leaf Hat WIP

I'm almost done now... I just need to graft the border and weave in the ends. I think it could really use a blocking too, it's so curly!

Note on the grafting: the pattern writer prefers working flat, then seaming the hat and using a three needle bind-off on the border. If you want to graft in pattern (like me), leave off the first row of the border so that you have a row to add in when you graft. You can't leave off the last one, because otherwise you'll be at the wrong side to continue knitting the hat. (I didn't think of this when I started. Whoops.)

I used about 30g of my skein of koigu... more than half. I want to have leftover for a blanket square, so I'm thinking of trying to do the booties two-colour. I have some leftover Cherry Tree Hill that coordinates well, I just hope it's enough. We'll see.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Baby Leaf Hat WIP

Baby Leaf Hat WIP

Baby Tart well received, now a new hat for another friend. :)

I hope I have enough koigu left over for a blankie square! I should if I only do the hat, I probably won't if I do Saartje's booties too. I'm not sure if I'll have enough for Saartje's booties, though... I wonder if there's better yardage estimates on Ravelry... off to check. And then bed! Good night!

Tuesday Night

Yeah, I'm posting Tuesday stuff on Thursday. So sue me.

Tuesday night was the knitting get-together at McNally Robinson. Penny pulled out her camera and started taking pictures, so I decided to take one of her. While I was at it, I took photos of the rest of the group too. I wasn't in a great spot to do so, but here's some of our group:
McNally Robinson Knit Night
McNally Robinson Knit Night
McNally Robinson Knit Night

Then I had to take my camera out again for this fantastic jacket:
McNally Robinson Knit Night
That's *not* a self-striping yarn! It's a Shelridge Farms pattern/kit. Mmmm! They have some *nice* stuff. I think I need to make these two (that second one in "blueberry jam"). But not until I've finished several of my stash sweaters... *sigh*

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

I looked out the window Tuesday, only to discover fall has arrived! They're even more golden today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Found on Flickr

ColorZOT 3.0

Hey, cool! Cranium Oxide used one of my photos as part of a piece of art! Thanks for telling me about it, Cranium Oxide. :)

PS: My contribution is the dishwasher.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crochet Socks WIP

Crochet Socks WIP

Two balls of Panda Wool are insufficient to crochet a pair of socks for size 10 feet. While H and I await more, I've started a gloriously green sock. (The colours of both pairs are much more gorgeous in person than in my lousy photo.)

Contest Alert

Aaargh! Be ye tired of swabbing the decks? Why not sail over here and enter a contest, me mateys? Unless ye be too chicken?

Good Daughter

I earned my "good daughter brownie points" yesterday. I spent around six hours working outside... half in mom and B's garden, half at my dad's helping with the siding. By the end of it, I was *tired*. (Heck, I was tired about an hour in... but no rest for the weary!)

Oh, The Adorableness!!!

Baby Tart

Baby Tart

Baby Tart

And enough yarn left to make a second one... assuming I actually wanted to make that many bobbles again.

I still need to weave in the ends and block it. (Later... it's already way past my bedtime.)

Found on Flickr


Oooo... the adorableness!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Hehehe... looks like there's a real, live wool-pig!

Ram Wools & Tuque

Ram Wools was having a fall open house today with 15% off everything, and I needed some yarn (nothing suitable in stash) for some gifts. A friend who couldn't make the sale also asked that I pick up some dpns for her too. I am proud to say that I made it in and out of Ram Wools with only buying what I had intended to buy! (I came close to buying an EZ book, but I'll wait for their bigger sale in January... that way I can also put it on my wishlist.) Here's what I came home with:
Ram Wools Purchase
The Scheepjes and Fabel are for socks, the Koigu is for a baby hat (and booties if there's enough), as is the Debbie Bliss.

I would like to say that this pattern is freaking adorable:
Berry Tart WIP
...which is a good thing, because otherwise I'd already be running screaming from the bobbles. (Of which I have completed 24 so far.) I wasn't able to execute the k3tog with the needles I'm using in the bobble decrease round, so I'm executing the decrease as four "pass stitch over" steps centered on the middle of the five stitches, and finish by purling the remaining stitch. This hat is for a professor friend who is expecting in November.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Found on Flickr

thank you Ashley!

I want one!

Update: Ooooo... a little google sleuthing, and it's available here if I want to order by phone. Hmmmm.... do I?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Contest Alert

The publishers of One Skein Wonders is having a contest where you can win a skein a month for 12 months. :) I skimmed the fine print, but the deadline appears to be the end of this year.

PS: I kept getting an error message when I tried to enter... are you able to get through? What's your browser and/or operating system? I *think* it's a problem with their script, but I'm not sure.

Update from Storey: "We're all over it. The code is being fixed on Monday. Sorry for the confusion. Try back then."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Absolutely Incredible!

Wow... check out the swarm of hummingbirds in the video here! I've never seen anything like it.

Fish Painting

Fish Painting

Well, she's not really what I had been intending, but I like her enough that I'm not going to paint over her. I think I may put her up in the club art show, though.

If I do, what do you think I should price her at? (She's 8"x10", if that has any bearing on your answer.) I don't really care if she sells or not, but I'd rather not look like a doofus for choosing a ridiculous price (in either direction).

Post Office

I went to the post office this afternoon, so that's a few more things that aren't cluttering my room any more. ;) I mailed three packages: one to Canada, one to the USA, one to Ukraine. The one to Ukraine was the cheapest at $1.55 + tax (the doll socks). The one to Canada was the most expensive, costing more than the other two combined, even though it weighed about the same as the other two combined and didn't have to travel internationally.

After Canada Post lost a sock recently, I took extra precautions. Every item was wrapped & taped in a plastic bag with the address inside, then placed in it's envelope/box. Then I wrote the addresses with a fine permanent marker in as clear handwriting as I could manage, then reinforced the whole package with lots of packing tape. None of them will accidentally pop open, unless they're *severely* abused (at which point the contents probably won't survive either), and the inside address is there as backup.

Fingers crossed, everything will get there fine... hopefully before Christmas. ;)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Doll Socks

Doll Socks

In return for the horse, I promised a pair of doll socks. I think these will do. My usual pattern scaled quite nicely. :) (For scale, they're around 2.5" long.)


Okay, I'm all for accomodating people with allergies (especially my own... I'm selfish), but in this case, have the kid eat at home or in a separate room! That list of allergies is extensive enough that it's too much of a burden on the other kids in the class. Eliminating peanuts is one thing... a pain, but there are lots of alternatives. Eggs? Not too many of those to worry about. But no wheat or milk? For picky kid eaters who you're attempting to feed healthy diets? Give me a break. I've got allergies, so I know just how many things contain wheat and milk. The kid with the life threatening allergies *has* to avoid eating them, but there's no reason to screw up the eating habits of 20-30 other kids. Yes, having to go home or to a special table or room to eat sucks for that one kid, but not enough to balance the "suckage" that would be inflicted on the other kids.

Great Weekend, and My Grandmother's Box

I had a great weekend! I accomplished a lot, and I like that feeling.

Saturday morning and early afternoon I pulled a trash can full of weeds. I didn't get to the front garden (B started to mow, and I'm allergic to freshly cut grass), but I did all the rest, and even pulled a few weeds in the lawn and driveway before B got to the back yard. (Heh... I initially spelled "yard" as "yarnd"... think I have yarn on the brain?) Afterwards I relaxed, then knit some squares on the blanket while watching some painting videos with mom.

Sunday I hung my grandmother's embroidery floss, plus some embroidery wool, in the sun to air out.
Airing Embroidery Floss, etc
They're still a wee bit musty smelling. I'm not sure if I'll try hanging them in the shade some more (I don't want them to fade) or if I'll try washing them (I'd have to take all the labels off, and hopefully not tangle them!) Then I started working on a box that my mom found in my grandma's stuff (it contained the embroidery floss):
Grandmother's Box
When mom gave the box to me, it was musty, and had a green velvety lining that was long past it's "better days". I pulled out the lining (the fabric was wrapped around cardboard which was glued in) to find even rattier red paper. I spent several hours Sunday morning and early afternoon scraping off the red paper. (It was very brittle, but stubborn.) Then I left the box in the sun to air and had lunch.

Dad called near the end of lunch, so I finished up and went over to help him put up siding. The office he had added to the house 25 years ago only had painted particle board, and now desperately needed siding. I manned the miter saw and passed the boards up to him (the office is above the kitchen). We did one wall up to the window, and then one side of the window to the roof. Once we had done that much, dad needed to go get cleaned up for a date. He gave me $20 for my help. Woohoo! (Yes, I'm long past the age when $20 should be exciting, but I'm not there yet. I need to graduate and get a job first.)

Then I went back home and painted the inside of my grandmother's box:
Painted Inside
One coat of gesso primer, one coat of yellow acrylic, and two coats of "gold" acrylic paint. I *love* how it just *glows* inside the dark box!

Finally I watched some TV with the folks, and knit more squares on the blanket.

More on my grandma's box: Mom suspects it's from before 1940. Grandma got married in 1939, and mom says she probably never got anything so frivolous as a jewelry box after she got married. Grandma also got married in an emerald green velvet dress... so the ratty velvet lining *could* have been made from leftovers of her dress, which she would have made herself. (Mom hadn't mentioned that back when I threw out the lining.) However, the velvet in the box really didn't look anywhere close to emerald green, it was more of a dark, dingy green. So unless it faded, or something degraded in the dye?...

More speculation: Grandma's father had given up farming and was a carpenter. Could he have made the box? Mom doesn't think so, because she doubts he would have done the "shell" inlay. However, last night (when I couldn't sleep), it occurred to me that the odd inlay looks like it could have been made from a button. The box definitely has a handmade feel to it... it seems like it was made by someone who knew woodworking (there's a veneer over the cheaper wood, plus that inlay), but perhaps wasn't accustomed to doing fancy woodworking (no dovetailing, just nails at the joins, and the spot for the lock mechanism is really rough hewn).

The hinges are rather wobbly, but I can't do the toothpick & glue method of repairing the wood because the screws (at least, the one I managed to get out) aren't pointed. They have flat ends. (Repurposed screws?) I'd have to replace the screws with proper wood screws. Well, I think they'll hold, so I'll leave them for now.

I haven't put the lock mechanism back in because we don't have the key. It's stiff enough that I don't think anything I could fashion out of bent wire would be stiff enough to turn the lock.

Yes, it's entirely possible I could have "destroyed the value" of the box as an antique, but both mom and I suspect that it didn't have any to begin with. I'm quite happy with the changes I made, and now it will be both useable and a cherished heirloom from my grandma.

PS: Nicky couldn't figure out why I was playing with wood instead of taking him for a walk. ;)