Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Canada Post and the Dollar

Heh... the strong Canadian dollar is causing quite a backlog at Canada Post due to the large number of mail orders from the US. (It was on the news tonight.)

Last Day Of Socktober

On this last day of socktober (no, I wasn't a participant this year), I finished another pair of socks:
Crochet Socks
I even had a wee bit leftover for my blankie:
(One of these is already a blankie square!)

Since the above socks are done, I, of course, had to start another pair! This pair is for me:
Crochet Socks

Speaking of socks... I think at one point I was discussing making socks for someone, and they said they'd send me some Lorna's Laces for me to make into socks for them... only thing is, I can't remember who said that, and sock yarn never arrived. I'm just wondering if it got lost in the mail, or if the person changed their mind? If this sounds familiar to you, can you drop me a note?

How Does My Garden Grow?

With lots of backbreaking labour! Here's the current state:
Not too much left now...



Yay! I have singles! Plying to come...



Finished! (Except for the signature... I need to see how much will be cut off by the mat first.)

Today's Weather

Today's Weather

Here's a glimpse of today's wacky weather (through dirty windows that make it really difficult to take photos of the weather). This squall lasted about five minutes at most.

Funny Coincidence

I just listened to the last few minutes of Car Talk that I didn't have time to listen to earlier... in the funny names at the end, they mentioned Winnipeg! *grin*

The Continuing Mystery of "Self-Combustible" Wool

I was listening to Car Talk (in podcast form) on the bus ride home this afternoon, when I heard a new reference to wool being self-combustible! In answering last week's puzzler, Ray was reading from Philip McCutcheon's book "Tall Ships":
Spaced along the upper deck were the cargo hatches with their heavy covers of reinforced hardwood planks, well chocked in and secured with three separate layers of tarpaulin, held down with ropes and more chocks to withstand the pounding of heavy seas. Below the hatches lay the reason for the ship's presence on the sea, her cargo, to be held inviolate against nature and disaster, against fire that could come from a self-combustible cargo like wool, or a cargo that could swell when it met water, such as rice.

So, seeing a possible opportunity to get an answer to this burning question, I sent Car Talk the following e-mail:
I have two questions for you, one which has been bothering me for a long time, and one that came up today as I listened to the podcast of the latest show.

My first question relates to terminology used on the show. One of the brothers always announces that the new puzzler will be given in the "third half" of the show. Mathematically, unless each show is actually a show and a half, there can only be two halves to each whole show. Is the "third half" terminology something standard in radio and or showbusiness (and if so, why?), or are Click and Clack just doing their "sounding stupid" thing?

My other question is actually something that's been bothering me for a long time as well, but only thought of writing Car Talk after hearing the Puzzler answer. In the answer, Ray reads from Tall Ships, which refers to "a self-combustible cargo like wool." Some of my knitter friends have not been able to mail packages after saying the contents are wool, because the post office also has the notion that wool is self-combustable when wet. Now, as a knitter, I have never had my wool self-combust, not even when washing it. I have never heard of sheep in Britain (where it is certainly very damp much of the year) self-combusting either. In fact, one test of whether or not yarn is indeed wool is to hold it to a lit match, and then see if it *self-extinguishes* when the match is taken away. I can only imagine the wool would be even less combustible when wet... unless it was wet with gasoline. (At which point, I think just about anything would be considered self-combustible.) Could you please help me and my knitting friends understand this?

Thank you!
I'll let you know if I get an answer. ;)

A Very Winnipeg Halloween

I like to tell people that we have a 50% chance of snow for halloween. (Many people living in warmer climates don't belive me.) Now, normally I mean we have a 50% chance of snow falling before halloween, but this year we have 50% snow today. As in some moments there's no precipitation, other moments there's white stuff in the air, and at yet others there's rain. (Probably a very cold rain, but I've been lucky enough so far today that I've only been out when there's nothing falling from the sky.) I suppose, if I were to be accurate, it's more like 5% than 50%, but it's more fun to say 50%. ;)

I'm really glad I got all that gardening done yesterday. I still have some more to do, plus some bulbs that need replanting, but I won't feel so bad if I only lose half of the lilies, since half are already in the ground. Or perhaps I can "force" them and the best of the tulips and daffodils, and then plant them in the spring? The rest of the perennials can be transplanted from the tomato garden (where I plopped them temporarily) to the front garden in the spring, and I can do the rest of the digging then too if necessary. But weather is supposed to be dry on Saturday, so I *should* be able to finish up then... assuming the ground isn't saturated.

Speaking of snow and halloween, one thing about growing up in Winnipeg is that you always had to design your halloween costume with your snowsuit in mind: you'll very likely be wearing it, either under or over your costume. ;)


I woke up in the middle of the night last night *drenched* in sweat. (I think it may have been the bizarre dream I was having.) Then I unbent my knee. *PAINPAINPAIN* When I could move again, I put on dry pajamas, used the loo, and went back to sleep.

This morning I popped a couple Tylenol with breakfast.

Stupid knee.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I decided to file a bunch of e-mails that were sitting in my inbox, since I noticed it said it was 142 MB. (Sounds a tad large.) After filing until it was under 25 MB, I quit and restarted my mail program, just in case it would improve how it runs (clearing the ram, or whatever). It *closed* and didn't automatically reopen all the left-open-to-remind-me-to-respond-to e-mails!!!! Nooooo! Argh.

In other arghs, I have two things I'd love to show you, but can't photograph due to the dwindling daylight hours. I did a ton of gardening today (H was home because her son was sick, so I didn't go in to her office), but the light was getting low when I quit. Instead of taking a photo then, I figured it would be better to wait until morning. I also finished up my poppies painting (except the signature), but the flash photo produced an annoying glare. Again, I figured I'd wait until morning. I would take both photos before I left for school, then post them when I got in. It wasn't until a few minutes ago that I remembered that I leave the house around the same time the sun rises, and so I won't be able to take either photo until I get home tomorrow night. *grump* Annoying dwindling natural light!

Other than that, things are going well. The garden is coming along nicely. There's a bit more to be done, but I should finish easily on Saturday. My poppies painting came out quite nicely. I still haven't spun the last of that roving I'm working on... perhaps tomorrow night. That reminds me of another argh: I was going to work on Durrow tonight while I watched Pushing Daisies... but it wasn't on!!! It was there in the TV guide, but the chanel showed something else, as did the online guide. Where'd it go?!? Thankfully it's on tomorrow night on ABC, so hopefully I'll be able to watch it then. (Assuming the cable doesn't get screwed up when my brother installs the new PVR... he'll be playing with it on the main floor while I watch on the second floor.)

PS: If I should have responded to an e-mail from you, and haven't, please poke me? Thanks!

Found on Flickr


So adorable!

Contest Alert

Go leave a comment here to wish Robin a happy second blogiversary! (Deadline is Nov. 1.)

Monday, October 29, 2007



Finished. And the remaining scraps are insufficient for another. Yay!

Crochet Socks WIP

Crochet Socks WIP

These are the current socks in progress. I love the colours in this yarn! (However, these aren't for me... they're for my wonderpal who sent me two and a half pairs of socks in the last Sockapalooza swap.) The yarn is Garnstudio Fabel, which I picked up at Ram Wools.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Plague of Dishcloths

They're a sickness, I tell you!

If you saw this photo:
Dishcloth WIP
and suspected I had been past the kitchen cotton aisle again, you'd be right. Once again, this yarn did not become stash:
As usual, I didn't buy just one ball of kitchen cotton, none of which became stash:
I even used the leftovers:
...See that bit of dark pink in that leftover dishcloth? Notice that it doesn't match any of the above? Yeah. I ran out before the cloth was finished, so I dug in my stash to see if I had a smidge of kitchen-like cotton in there that I could use to finish this last cloth off. (I've had my fill of dishcloths! Once I'm done this last one, I can be free to return to my other projects!) However, when I dug in my stash, I found more than a smidge:
Dishcloth To Be
Yep, there'll be one more cloth. For some reason I feel I really need to purge my stash of kitchen cotton. I have no idea why. Perhaps it's merely part of this "must tame the stash" phase I'm going through. I do feel that I'm tired enough of dishcloths that my wallet will be safe the next time I walk past the kitchen cotton aisle.

Of course, none of the dishcloths have their ends woven in. I have nine (soon to be ten) dishcloths worth of ends to deal with, two to four ends per cloth. (I at least used Russian joins on the scrappy dishcloths, so they don't have ends out the wazoo.) *sigh* What was I thinking?!?



I'm soooooo close to being done the singles, but it's late, so I should go to bed. *pout* Well... I'd probably want to start the plying process right away anyway, so I might as well leave the rest of this until tomorrow.

I've spun this over such a long period of time, it'll be interesting to see how the diameter changes. I think I started out pretty thin, then started getting thicker, then went back to being thin. But did I go back to the original diameter? Or am I misremembering things? This should be fun. ;)

I'll be plying this as two-ply from a center-pull ball, so that'll even it out some.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Blimey, buttons sure are expensive! I love the sheep buttons here, particularly SH1, but at $3.30/button, it would make up a significant percentage of the cost of what I'd like to make. (Hmmm... perhaps the price I'm thinking of charging for what I'm considering making is underpriced?)

Pay It Forward

I waffled a bit, but got sucked in. I've signed up under Daphne*Blue for Pay It Forward.
I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So... who wants to sign up?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Garlic Scares Vampires

In the constantly contradictory headlines from medical science, we're supposed to get more exercise, but not outside because we'll get cancer from sun exposure. We don't want to go out at night, either, because then there's all those mosquitoes with their west nile. And don't forget about all those toxic chemicals that accumulate indoors! Perhaps this latest headline provides a loophole, with broccoli to the rescue... if we wear it. Weird.

Garlic, anyone?

PS: I wonder what the wearing of broccoli does to vitamin D production?
PPS: Yes, I *do* know I'm being silly in this post.

Blog Feed Explanation/Warning

I'm going to slowly update my really old posts so that the photos are stored on Flickr, so if you see the occasional really old post show up in the feed, that's why. I don't know how to prevent them from going to the feed. It'll be really sporadic, so don't expect a huge deluge of old posts. I just thought I'd explain why they're showing up.

Update: Interestingly, the one I edited hasn't shown up. Cool!

Teaching Children To Spin

Abby has a cool post that includes, among other things, tips on how to teach children to spin. (The teaching of spinning portion is in the last half of the post.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Ballband Lied

Either that, or the fact that my gauge appears to be off messed things up, but I prefer to think the ballband lied. ;) It said one ball of the Bernat Twists was enough to complete the dishcloth on the inside of the ballband, but it clearly wasn't:
Dishcloth WIP
Since it's quite wide, I started again with 35 stitches cast on, instead of 49. It is quite a pretty stitch pattern, and I think it will work well as a dishcloth.

Yes, I've been on a bit of a dishcloth kick lately. Expect to see more coming up. (I picked up more cotton last week Tuesday before knit night.)


The sunrise this morning was absolutely gorgeous! First it was pink:
Then a bit later it was golden:
Sadly, that second shot was about 8 am this morning... the sun is rising later and later, and setting earlier.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Well, I may not have been able to go to Rhinebeck, but I did have a fun weekend. I had another watercolour workshop this weekend! This weekend Ray Dirks was teaching. Although I'm not that fond of what I painted:
Sandra WIP
(again, not finished... I seem to have this thing about headless people in my paintings!), I do feel I learned a lot. I also worked a bit more on the poppies while waiting for parts of this weekend's painting to dry:
Poppies WIP
I should be able to finish the poppies on Tuesday.

However, having a two day workshop really makes it seem like there wasn't a weekend. This morning when I brought the paper in, I was quite surprised with how thin the paper was for a Thursday or a Friday... and then I looked at the date. I think this is going to be a looooooong week!

PS: I also got in a bit of spinning in the evenings. I should have some finished yarn to show soon.

Self-Congratulatory Post

Ha! I *knew* a 1x1 ribbed scarf could look like a stockinette tube!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mail, and more

Mail came Monday, including my sock yarn scrap swap. :) Here are the extra goodies:
Extra Goodies
My favourite extras are the skull stitch markers and the sheep button. :)

From Robyn's shop, I also bought a keychain sock blocker and a set of bamboo crochet hooks:
(I didn't buy the Soak advertisement, I just didn't know where to stick it in the photos of stuff included.)

Mmmm! First layer of sock yarn scraps:
Sock Yarn Scraps!

Is that....:
Sock Yarn Scraps!
...I think it is! I think I see Socks That Rock "Walking on the Wild Tide"! I drooled over the photos when that skein came out. A sample of my very own! :)

Second layer:
Sock Yarn Scraps!

I had to knit up that bit of Wild Tide:
Blanket Square
There was the perfect amount for a square. Thanks Robyn!

Don't worry, M, I didn't forget to make you a Baby Tart:
Baby Tart Toque
I'll e-mail you to find out what your address is.

After dealing with bobbles, my next treat:
Keychain Sock Blocker
Can you believe I knit an entire sock at knitting night? Okay, I admit I didn't weave in the ends until I got home. ;) And that sock is more Socks That Rock! It's colourway "fire on the mountain". I even had a smidge left for my blanket... which has already been worked into another square:
Sock Yarn Blanket WIP

Monday, October 15, 2007

Things I Made Recently

Both packages have now arrived at their destinations, so now I can show off two yarn needle cases and some crochet stitch markers I made:
Yarn Needle Cases
Yarn Needle Cases
Stitch Markers
I'm particularly fond of these. :)


Yesterday's dinner sits unhappily in my tummy. :( I think I'll pass on those leftovers.

At least my joints don't hurt nearly as much as they did yesterday. (Although that's still somewhat annoying, since yesterday was when I could dig the garden, not today.)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

SWF seeks Prince Charming with which to live Happily Ever After

I'm just not cut out for life as a recluse. Although knitting in front of the TV is nice, too much of a good thing makes it less good. It's especially not-good when it's done alone. Between my folks being away (they're back later this week! yay!), my best local friend having been swept off her feet this summer and thus has no time for me (don't get me wrong, I'm super happy for her, it just inconveniences me), and H's son having a nasty virus keeping them both home, I've had waaaaay too much time to be alone. More friends would be good, but to be frank, I'm also rather tired of being single.

So. What am I looking for in my knight in shining armour? Let me think.

I think I prefer comfortably-broken-in armour to shining. Shining implies a bit too much emphasis on the surface than the substance. The horse can be white, black, brown, dapple grey... anything, really. (I've always thought palominos look rather odd, but my fondness for horses is too much to hold that against them.)

Locality: local. Long-distances didn't help the last two relationships (hrm... make that four, which would be all of them, including the one that barely counts), and I really could do with less heartbreak.

Ethnicity: I don't care about skin colour (although I hate to admit that I generally have problems getting past the *yellow*-hair-*pink*-skin combination), but I think I'd prefer a Canadian, or someone like a Canadian.

Principles: Honest. No stealing candy from babies nor lying on your taxes. Now, I don't want you to walk up to a stranger and tell them you think their manner of dress is stupid, but be honest where it counts.
• Kind. I'm not looking for a bad boy to reform.
• Chivalry is okay, but know that I am Woman, I am Strong! Except when I need a shoulder to cry on, and then I'm very weak. I need a shoulder who is kind, understanding, and will hold me while I cry. (No matter how stupid whatever I'm crying about is. I probably know that, but that doesn't stop the need for the cry.)
• The ability to look beyond the surface. A person is more than their net worth, their clothing, their job.
• Understanding. The ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

Religion: Athiest, or mildly agnostic. Although I'm generally fine with my friends being religious (as long as they don't preach at me, or go all glassy-eyed-god-is-great in my presence), I honestly don't think I could tolerate the feeling of being preached at whenever we're together. I especially can't tolerate the type of religion that tries to interfere with science class or causes intolerance towards others. (And yes, I can see the irony in saying I can't tolerate intolerance.)

Smoking: Defintitely NOT! This is not negotiable. No recreational drugs either. Social drinking is acceptable, but getting drunk makes me question your motives and intelligence, and makes me sad. I don't like being sad. On the other hand, I don't want a force-my-habit-on-others tea-totaller either. Personally, I generally don't drink, but I also don't have a problem when others do.

Communication: Open, and able to express yourself. I'm not a mind reader. I need to you to tell me if something is bothering you. In fact, I need to know that I can count on you to do so, so that I'm not paranoid that there's something about me that you don't like but are unwilling to tell me. (I'm not saying I'll change for you, but I need to know, and know that you're not holding back.)

Humour: Yes, but not a tell-the-same-joke-to-every-person-you-meet type. Especially not if I'm with you every time... it was funny the first time, but it gets old really fast. The ability to understand irony and puns is a bonus, given my sense of humour. No intentionally cruel humour. (See Kind.)

Intelligence: Much preferred, but not the know-it-all type. More important than knowledge, though, is the willingness and ability to learn.

Activity level: Preferrably in the light range, but existing range. I prefer a stroll in the woods rather than a 25 mile hike, or a two-hour paddle to a multi-day-portage-including canoe trip. However, I prefer snorkelling to burning oneself on the beach, and prefer walking tours over bus tours. I am fond of relaxation, but I need *some* activity. I just don't handle the really strenuous stuff well. (Especially if it involves carrying heavy items, sweating, and no daily showers.) Smaller amounts of strenuous exercise is fine as long as water that I don't have to carry is available, and showers quickly follow.

Age: Preferrably not too far different than my own.

Of course, I reserve the right to add to and/or change this list. ;)

So... do any of you know any nice, single guys who fit this description?

I'm too sexy

Jess asked, I provide. Here's me on the catwalk... well, in the dining room with the autotimer.
Blue Jeans
Blue Jeans
(Everyone needs some tunes on the catwalk!)

Dinner from the ready-made sections of the grocery store:
frozen shrimp skewers (I had to cook all since I had to thaw all, but I only ate half), plus some marinated mushroom medly tossed with pasta. (I cooked the pasta. I can handle that much.)

Blue Happiness

I washed the new jeans yesterday, and they did not shrink three sizes, disintegrate, nor spontaneously combust. I am so happy! So now my hot ass and I are off to the frozen section of the grocery store to find single guys and easily-prepared meals.

Note: poetic licence was taken in the last paragraph. I do not have a hot ass (with or without the new blue jeans), and I'd be way too chicken to approach a single guy in the freezer section. However, I do somehow feel sexy (or at least sexier) in my non-ratty, fitting-properly jeans, and a date would be much appreciated. (For the company even more than the meal that I wouldn't have to prepare.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Love Sargent Blue Jeans

Sargent Blue Jeans

It doesn't look like much on the outside, but the inside is a blue jean miracle.

I was rather intimidated by the vast array of stacks of blue jeans, so I gratefully accepted the offer of help from the lady. My plea can be summarized as "please clothe me, do you have anything cheaper?"

I walked out of there with two pair of jeans for $15 each, hemmed to length and darts put in the back so that they don't gape! They fit great!


Of course, now I'm paranoid they'll shrink three sizes when I wash them. ;)

Cheap Wool Fabric

Cheap Wool Fabric

It turns out that the skirt aisle at the thrift shop really *is* a good place to go fabric shopping. I got some lovely wool (tons of teal, and some lovely grey nearly-felt) for $5!

That's what I get for going to the thrift store looking to see what they had for buttons. It turned out they had a giant pail full, and sold them for $1 per teacup-full. Since I thought they would have a baggie or two fro $1, the selection overwhelmed me, and I left without.

Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I checked the skirt aisle, since someone had recommended that as being a good source for wool fabric. It was indeed. Most of the wool skirts contained a normal amount of fabric and were either navy or black. There was also one plaid kilt, plus the teal skirt that contains *tons* of fabric, and the handmade grey skirt made of gorgeous wool. Since the black and navy skirts were in abundance I left them for when I needed them. The teal and grey? Well, thrift shops just aren't your regular fabric shop.

Crochet Socks

Crochet Socks

Sock saviour socks done and mailed. :) (I finished last night, and mailed these on my way to the art club.)

Poppies WIP

Poppies WIP

I'm tired! The workshop was lots of fun, but it's tiring to be painting from 10 am to 4 pm! I'm one of the slower painters... most finished, I didn't. However, I learned stuff. :)

I'll post another photo when it's done. It's supposed to be semi-abstract. You sketch the outline, then add circles. Whenever you encounter a circle boundary, you change the hue or value.

I've got a bunch more leaves to do, another poppy, and then some circle-related background stuff to do.

However, for now I'm going to have a nap. (After I change the load of laundry, which is buzzing at me.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Right vs Left Brain

I see the "dancer" twirling clockwise, but I identify more with the list for the opposite brain side. Strange. I wonder if they got things mixed up, or if they just have a bad description of the halves?

What do you see, and does that agree with what you identify more with? How easily can you get her to change directions? (I had a really hard time.)

This is just in case you were bored. ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Contest Alert

I was just perusing Robyn's blog, and noticed that she's having a contest. All you need to do is comment, and there's a pretty cool prize!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I hate humidity! Fight climate change!

Contest Alert

Have a lonely sock? Make a sock monster and enter it here!

Doll Socks

The doll socks I made arrived safely in Ukraine. :) (Yay! No more silly postage issues!)


I found this dancing bird via a link on Sveta's blog. Wow. That bird can dance better than I can!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Log Cabin Dishcloth

Log Cabin Dishcloth

The leftover cotton spoke to me, and informed me it did not want to languish in stash. We discussed the options, and decided a log cabin dishcloth was the best. It may not be the prettiest, but it promises to wash dishes to the best of its ability.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Even though it's not finished, I went ahead and blocked Hearts. Isn't it pretty?
Hearts Hearts
Here's the bit that still needs edging:


Last week I made a smaller dishcloth using leftovers from the previous one.
Ballband Dishcloth
I didn't intend to make it smaller, but I cast on 42 stitches instead of 45, and didn't notice until I started the brickwork pattern. I decided it was fine, and left it. I ran out of the variegated yarn before I finished, so I switched to using just the single solid colour. It'll wash dishes just fine. ;)

On Saturday I went to Zellers to buy some jeans and bras. Not only did they discontinue the jeans I like, but they didn't have anything remotely like I wanted... and the bra department was similarly disappointing. I consoled myself with some more cotton yarn. I showed restraint and put back two of the variegated colours I liked, and made do with a single solid to match both of the variegated balls I did buy. And it doesn't count if it never makes it to stash, right?
Ballband Dishcloth
Ballband Dishcloth
It's rather interesting how the different colours pool differently.

At some point I'll get around to dealing with the ends properly. I want to sew them down with thread so that they don't pop out.

Here's what I have leftover now, which will end up in the stash for now:
Ballband Dishcloth Leftovers

I also visited my (third) grandma on Saturday. That was nice. :)