Monday, July 31, 2006

Survey says...!

Survey in a second, I have to get this off my chest:
Yet another celebrity "I'm pregnant and beautiful" etc.....magazine picture . Do you care what Britney Spears is doing? I don't. Although, I will say that she actually looks healthy in these shots. A change from the anorexic, work out bunny look!

On to knitting stuff! I am so in love with the Mason Dixon Knitting book. A "warshcloth" swap is being organized by 2 fabulous ladies, so if you are interested, go here. Get your name in before August 5th!

I have finally completed the cutting up of t-shirts! Regular scissors gave me blisters and a very sore thumb. A rotary cutter gave me a sore wrist. However, spring clippers did the job! I have now completed the cutting and looping together of t-shirts! for those of you wondering how to loop them together, here is a pictorial:

(loop the bottom of the second rag thru the top of itself)

Then pull it tight, and you have a knot.

Loop a bunch together and you get this:

That's 5 &1/2 balls of "yarn" !

Onto the survey! What should I make with it? I could make a rug, but that is so plebian. I was thinking perhaps a "basket" or container of sorts. I'm just not sure if I can make it stand up straight, instead of flopping over. Any other ideas? Or patterns? Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Bits & Bobs, Rants & Raves

Ok, first up today...a rant.

People, the universe does not have you at it's center! Or your children. While they may be cute to you, they are in my way! Today I went out to do a few errands. I pulled into a parking space and right away a mother with her 2 kids went over to the vehicle right beside me and started to load in. I can live with that. What pissed me off was the fact that the mom stood there and watched her tiny, 3 year old dausghter try to climb into the monster SUV for what felt like forever. And the woman knew I was there. She kept looking over her shoulder at me. Stop looking at me and give the kid a boost, fer cryin' out loud! I do not want to sit in my car forever while your child asserts independence. Do it on your own time!

Then I went into the grocery store. Where a man and his kid and 2 grandparents blocked all 4 rows of grocery carts while they loaded the toddler into the cart. Apparently it takes 3 adults and 40 square feet of space to do that! AAARRRGGGHHHHH!

Onto the bits and bobs....

I bought a ginormous apricot today:

The apricot is on the left, I put a votive candle in the shot for scale and on the right we have a peach, just because I liked it!

So, I knit up a washcloth from the Mason Dixon Knitting book. This is the "ballband washcloth" and boy is it easy! Very little pain, for a very cool result!

In fact, I started a larger version for a kitchen towel!

And that concludes out rant & rave, bits and bobs for today.......

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Welcome to the pond....

So, what have I been doing lately? Frogging galore, and this :

"This" being ,yes, the same sock from about a month ago. But look! visible progress! I'm onto the toe decreases and then on to sock number 2! So that xmas present should be done in time.

Then there is this piece of frustration:

That is my "Clapotis", version 3. Yup, I had to rip it back twice already, hence the lack of visible progress. I kept screwing up, and since I was so close to the beginning, I frogged it to start over. This time I got smart and put in a lifeline. (that's what the white line is. I used dental floss since it will slip out easy and not snag my expensive yarn). I'm tired of frogging. I want visible progress. (Thanks Karen for the tip on proper use of stitch markers. That was driving me spare)

Then I started a moss stitch hand towel in Crafter's Cotton, but the stitch pattern was lost in the variegation of the yarn, so that got frogged too.

I started on some squares for my Noro sampler afghan.

Left to right,l stockinette stitch with garter border, garter stitch and the bottom one is a mitred square using the pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting. Somehow the garter stitch one turned out a bit bigger than the other 2, but I checked and it is not enough to make a difference once I sew 'em up together.

I have also been cutting up t-shirts to do a calamari knitting project from the Mason Dixon book, as well. It is slow going. I was getting blisters from the scissors, so someone on the Mason Dixon KAL suggested a rotary cutter. I am a neophyte when it comes to basic crafting and had never heard about this thing. I went to a craft store and looked, but the cutter and mat would have et me back approx $40! Being unemployed, that was not an option. However my VERY crafty MIL had one, so I borrowed hers. It works, and is easier than scissors, but since I am cutting thru a t-shirt, there are 2 thickness of material and I have to press quite firmly. so now I have sore wrists...sigh. Hopefully I will be able to get more done though. Sore wrists go away after an hour or so. Blisters take days.

As for being unemployed, I found a service that books relief shifts in town and have booked some work, so I won't be living out on the street, it looks like! Yippee!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

knitting question

Perhaps I am exposing my ignorance, but I always figured questions were healthy or something. So here goes: I was recently reaading a pattern and it said "place marker" (actually it said "pm", but, same thing, right?) I am a little confused about where to put the actual marker. Is it:

1. On the stitch you just made?
2. On the next stitch?
3. On the "bar" between stitches?
4. On the knitting needle itself?


As a side note, my ex-employer has still not called to find out why I quit so precipitously. I guess I was right when I thought that they wanted me gone, eh?

Monday, July 24, 2006


Today I worked my first day as a relief pharmacist. That's like a substitute teacher, only it is a pharmacist in the pharmacy. You see, a pharmacy cannot open if there is not a licensed pharmacist on site. That means that pharmacies need people to cover vacation/sick days etc. The down side is that it is not steady work. It is piecemeal, a day here, 1 week there. the up side is that the staff are happy someone shows up. The fact that I am good at the job is a bonus. (believe me, I have heard horror stories about other relief people)

I did relief work up until 3 years ago and loved it. Then the job I just quit came along and it sounded too good to be true. (note to self:if it sounds like it, it probably IS too good to be true). Having come to my senses, I am back to fill-in work. At least temporarily whilst I get my bearings.

I t sure was nice today. They were happy I was there, the staff were polite to me. AND it pays $3 an hour more than my psycho job did! Alas, there are no benefits, hence the extra pay. But who am I kidding, at least I don't hate my job!

'Cause I got no job!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Time on My Hands

Alrighty, now that I am unemployed, I have time to get at my huge list of projects-to-come! So in the spirit of ADD knitting, I have so far, started 2 new projects.

This is the "Runabout Bag". It is being made out of Lopi wool. This stuff sheds like nobody's business.

Next on the hit parade:

This is destined to be a Clapotis. It is being made out of Lorna's Laces silk/wool. It is beautiful yarn to work with. Soft, smooth. It feels great! and my Pagan kitty thinks so too. Whenever I set the thing down to get a drink, answer a call of nature etc, I had to put it out of kitty's reach, 'cause she would start chewing on the yarn! Not something she does with all yarns.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Out of nothing....

So today I quit my job. Nope, I'm not going to another job. I just couldn't take the line that my head office was handing me anymore. I have an employee that is a problem. A HUGE problem. But since the place is unionized, nothing can be done. In effect, the lunatics are running the asylum. So, since I am not an inmate, I left! Hopefully, I can find work before I go broke. But out of nothing can come something. I am hopeful....

Below I show you a picture of something from nothing. Inspiration, if you will. I planted yellow marigolds this year. And yet......

Behold! An orange marigold! From seed, from last year's plants. The seed survived a Canadian winter and bravely bloomed.

So I figure, if the freaking marigolds can survive and thrive, so can I. Dammit!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The triumphant return

Today was my first day back at work after a 24 day absence. The very first thing I noticed was that the lady who should have been working the 1-9 shift left me a note saying she felt ill and wouldn't be in on wednesday. Leaving me looking at a 12.75 hour day on my first day back! Eeeeeeek! Fortunately I found someone willing to come in for a 5-9 shift. Naturally that means the mountain of paperwork is not getting done. Then my area manager stopped in and we had a short little meeting. Having impromptu meetings with your boss always such fun! And last, but not least, I had to give a customer the (metaphorical) boot for harassing a staff member. Repeatedly. To tears.

Ah! It's good to be back. I think. Maybe. Who am I kidding? The only good thing about going back to work is that it is air-conditioned!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Same old same old

Nothing new to report over here. I'm still melting. supposedly there was a thunderstorm headed our way last night, but it missed us. So no relief from the heat. I have watered my tomato plants twice today, and am hoping they can make it all the way thru tomorrow without water. My town has a rule where you can only water outside plants every other day. It corresponds with your house number. If you live in an even numbered address, you can water on even days. Seems kinda silly since we are on Lake Ontario, but I guess the problem is with treating enough water, not the source...sigh.

The ant wars continue. Still finding them indoors. It's driving me buggy. heehee (it's laugh or scream, folks)

ciao for now

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I'm Melting!....

Argh! It's only 24 degrees out (Celsius) but the humidity is 80%. Making a humidex of 33 degrees. The worst part is, I sweat, and it doesn't help! So much for being ladylike. I don't "glow", I sweat like a horse. I have dribbles rolling down my face as I type. 'Cause typing is such a physical activity, ya know?

On the bright side, my tomatoe plants are exceedingly happy with the heat.

I have them in pots on the front stoop of my house. It faces south. If I put them in the backyard, they don't get enough sun and the bunny rabbits eat them. Yup, I have bunnies. Wild ones that live in the empty fields around my area. However, they don't come around to the front of the house. I guess the traffic on my semi-busy street is scaring them. Not that I am complaining.

Nope, the complaint is that I am still seeing those dad-blasted ants. These ones aren't quite as big as the originals, and seem leggier somehow. Apparently the spray that the pest guy used is a "residual" and can take a couple of weeks to finish the job. Lets hope so. Just in case I have put everything in my kitchen that is remotely edible in glass jars:

Or left it in the factory-sealed packages. Hopefully that will help with the problem. I am not seeing as many ants, but even one grosses me out! I don't even use my dishwahser any more. Just in case they were fiding their way in there. I did find one ant in there way back when I first freaked out. so now, no more dishwasher. I wash everything right after use. What a pain!

On to fun stuff. My mother-in-law luuuuvs me. Check out what she dropped off today:

A useful book, that I will get to one day. At the moment I have a number of things on the to-do list. And some lovely red mohair/acrylic. I love the colour. However, I do not hink I wil try to learn cables with mohair . That just seems like a temper tantrum waiting to happen. My MIL just does these things when the mood strikes her. She is a champion sale shopper and if she sees something she thinks I'll like, booyah! Usually she is right. I do like it. Soemtimes it does get to be a bit overwhelming, but I'd rather be overwhelmed with love than the other type of MIL, ya know?

Well, I'm off to sit in front of a fan and melt into a little puddle. If you don't hear from me again, you'll know what happened!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Could be worse

Well, the pest control guy came around to inspect my ant problem. He thinks there probably isn't a nest inside the walls, and that the ants are coming in from outside. (probably due to all the construction going on) If they were in the walls there should be a veritable conga-line of ants, he says. So hopefully the spray around the foundation outside will do the trick. At about $120, I hope so, although that is much more affordable than the $395 I was initially told it would cost. Of course, maybe they said that on purpose , just to make me happier when the actual price came in lower. I know, conspiracy theory...

In other news, the sock continues....

Yup, that is still sock number 1 of the pair. I don't knit very fast.

I did cut some of these up:

to make these:

Those are t-shirts I am going to cut up into strings. I will then loop them together and make a rug out of them. It's called "calamari knitting" by the ladies that wrote Mason Dixon Knitting. By the way, that's Micha checking out the t-shirts. She has to supervise anything I do! When she and her sister are not doing what they usually do,

Who says life is hard?

Monday, July 10, 2006


Darn it! I have been fighting big black ants in my kitchen for a while now. And it's not getting better.Upon investigation, it turns out they are probably carpenter ants. To see one, go to Don't if bugs freak you out! To fix this problem, I can't use regular ant bait. They don't like it. Naturally I have to pay someone. $395 + tax! That hurts!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Boucle done forever!

Yippee! I have finished my pink boucle wrap. This was quite a journey. First it took me 5 hours to wrap the skein into a ball. I don't have a swift and what a mess that degenerated into! the boucle bits kept snagging on themselves and so the skein wouldn't unravel smoothly. Argh! Then it took 4 cast ons to find the right pattern, needles etc. Then I had to learn how to knit without snagging the little loops on the yarn. But it is done. And quite spiffy, if I say so myself...

It was made with Fleece Artist kid 56%/silk24%/20%nylon, colourway "Goldilocks", 500 meters. I did a simple k2tog, yo and repeat pattern. Here is a close-up:

I did a crochet bind off that uses no yarn for it. That way I used ALL of my expensive yarn.

All I had left was this:

On to another project. I decided to make another pair of socks! Surprised? Ok, maybe not. Here it is:

There was some swearing involved since I had trouble joining the first 2 stitches in the round this time. I'm not sure why, sometimes the stars are aligned against us, I guess! But, I persevered and have a cast on sock to show for it.

And I am never buying boucle yarn again. Hah!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rant 'o the Day

Mo knitting today. Just a rant. First off, why don't people know how to drive? We all have to pass tests, right? then why did I see a number of people do illegal things ont he roads. Dangerous illegal things. The most noteworthy was the one that ran a red light! In my town there are many intersections that have a separate green light for the left turn lane. It's NOT an advanced green. It's a whole other traffic signaler. So I saw someone decide that the left turn signal meant s/he could go straight. The only reason a really nasty accident didn't happen was that the oncoming left turn lane was more alert. Oh and did I mention that the light-runner also did a jack-rabbit start?

My other pet peeve are people who have to back into a parking space. This almost always means men in giant vehicles. The driver decides to back into a space by driving past it, (thus fooling the car behind them into thinking that they ARE driving past it) and then backs their Ford F-350 into the spot. Which always requires lots of maneuvering. And the backing up of the car waiting for this fool to pull into the spot so that life can continue. newflash folks: the world does not revolve around you and we do not enjoy waiting for you to acheive "the perfect parking position"!

I understand the appeal of being able to just pull out of a spot. I drive large car too. it is longer than some mini-vans. So I pull into a lot and go for the back edge, where there are always "pull through" parking spots. So I don't have to back up AT ALL. it does, of course mean I walk a few extra steps. So what? We can all use the exercise, right?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Birthday Swag

Yesterday was my birthday! And look at the cool swag I got!

Sock yarn!


Lorna's Laces yarn! This one is "Lion & Lamb" (50%wool 50% silk) in the Tahoe colourway. It is destined to be a Clapotis.

Now I need to make a yarn swift. the last time I unwound a skein it was a nightmare of tangled yarn. Even with the hubby's help. It didn't help that it was a boucle and inclined to snag itself when unwinding.... Buying a swift is very expensive though. So today I am off to the hardware store to see if I can get some stuff to make my own. We shall see....

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

More adventures in hearing

Ok, it's not the best picture, but since I am not a professional, it'll have to do! This is a picture of one of my new hearing aids. Which has a neat/weird feature. I was sitting around doing my thing when I heard a double beep on the right side. It didn't repeat and my hubby didn't say anything about hearing strange sounds so I put it down to my hearing a new sound with the new aids. Then a little later it repeated. I asked the hubby if he heard a double beep. He looked at me and said "no, why do you ask?" So I decided to turn the right aid off and see what happened. At which point I realized that the aid had gone silent because the battery was dead! So the beep was the aid trying to tell me to put in a new battery! I didn't realize this was a feature. Kinda neat. Although I can usually tell whan the batttery goes....eventually I realize the world is really quiet...and peaceful....hmmm maybe being hard of hearing is not so bad...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Corrupting Others...

Ha! I have successfully corrupted my sister! She has picked up a set of knitting needles and will be making the "baby bib o love" from the Mason Dixon knitting book! When she expressed an interest, I immediately packed her up and took her to my LYS to pick out colours and needles. Mwah ah ah! (evil chuckle...)

In other news, I decided my circs needed a home. I am trying to organize my knitting stuff a little ( I know, an impossibility), and decided I wanted my circs in something other than a plastic bag from the grocery store. Here is the result:

It is something called a "presentation folder" from my local business supply store. It is a rigid plastic binder with plastic sleeves in it. I guess the idea is to put you fancy presentation in it at a business meeting. I'm putting my circs in it. The beauty is that it stands up so I can put it on a shelf and no one will ever know that it is knitting needles! I also use these folders for recipes. The kind you use all the time. That way you can just wipe the spills off the plastic. Says something about my cooking style doesn't it?

I've also made progress on my lace wrap:

I'm not sure how long it's gonna be yet. I plan on knitting till I run out of yarn! Or it reaches monstrous proportions, I will decide at that point. (those are my sister's arms, if y'all are interested)

My hearing aids have had thier tones adjusted. However, I am going to have to go back again to adjust some more. Sigh...The right one is still off for sound and they both need to have the volume bumped up some more. I hate this point. Whenever I get new aids, I think "this time it'll be different! It won't take a gazillion visits to get them done. " As usual I was wrong. Forging onwards....