Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Uh oh!

First I am going to vent a bit. If you are politically correct, you might want to skip this part. It also has nothing to do with knitting, so if that's what you want, skip this too! I went to the grocery store today. Not, in and of itself, terribly interesting. In fact, I usually want to get in and out as quickly as possible, so I get irritated at people who wander through the aisles as if they are the only people on the planet. Today, I got into the store with no problem, I got my groceries, I even got a cashier with no line up! Sound too good to be true? You betcha! I got to the exit, went through one door, waited for the second door to open. Nothing. I realize that there was an old lady with a walker in front of me who just went through the door. Okay, I can wait a second for an elderly person to move slowly out of the way. After all, I blew through the grocery store, right? I've got time. So I wait. The woman's daughter is in front of the elderly lady. She (daughter) pulls out a cell phone, dials a number and proceeds to have a whole conversation whilst blocking her mother who is blocking me. After a minute or two I am getting irritated. I shout through the (closed) door "Hello?!" Nothing. Chickie keeps talking. I start waving, figuring maybe motion will get her attention. Nothing. I am seriously pissed now, stuck between 2 doors with an inconsiderate b#$%^ blocking the exit to the freaking grocery store! FINALLY idjit gets out of the way, and says to her mom, "geez mom, you were blocking the exit!". Ummm, Actually stupid, YOU were blocking the exit. Okay, on to the knitting....

Oh no! I broke one of my dpn's! Since I am a new to sock knitting person, I only have one set! Whew! They came in a set of 5. Dodged a bullet. Although, I suspect I should buy an extra set or two. What if I break another needle and it's a sunday night? Then I'd have to stop knitting! Can't have that. I'd go into withdrawal.

Unfortunately, I have no FO's to show you. Excuse to follow. I was really hoping to get my sock done at least, but it didn't happen. Although I did make pretty good progress:

The purse is not done yet either. It is taking a while for the damn thing to dry after the felting! I bought the buttons etc to decorate it, I just don't want to work with wet wool. The Clapotis is really kicking my ass. I would have gotten further, but I had to frog one whole repeat 'cause I screwed up.

I really don't know why I keep screwing up. It's not that complicated a pattern. Maybe that's the problem. If it's totally mindless I can do it. If it needs intense concentration, I can do it. But the in-between is deceptive and I keep screwing up. Sigh. At least I had a lifeline I could use! Saved me some ripping back.

I did buy some new yarn. It's totally cool:

I got it from the Red Cross. It was a totally silly waste of money, but when I saw it on Eve's Blog, I just had to get one too! When my hubby saw it, he announced he wanted army socks! So it was a hit all around!

Now for the excuse as to why the knitting has not proceeded very far this week. And the excuse, is NOT having too much free-lance work. It's because the tomatoes won't wait. Yup, the tomatoes. I have been turning this:

Into yummy batches of this:

This is the 3rd batch this week. I have one batch turned into marinara sauce. I still need to make meatballs to go with it. The second batch was just processed with no spices and frozen for future use. This batch is going to be meat sauce.

I love eating tomatoes. I'm not so keen on the processing part, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do! This way I get fresh, home grown tomatoes for a reasonable length of time after tomato season. Mmmmmm...

Now I'm off to get my ass kicked again.


Monday, August 28, 2006

A purse!

I am on the home stretch for my "runabout bag"! Yippee! first I knitted the outside. then the inside, then the miles of I-cord. Then I felted it it. Twice. Rather see the saga in pictures? Okay, here you go:

Now, I am going to figure out what I want to decorate the flap with, and how to securely close it. The pattern called for knitted and felted flowers to be sewn on. I'm not really a flower kinda girl, and I tried knitting up the flower thing and it looks awful. So I'm thinking , buttons! I'm gonna get some buttons and sew them on in some kind of pattern. Then I'm gonna get a big button and sew a loop of ribbon on. That way, the ribbon will loop around the big button. Tada! A decorated, closed purse. But first I have to find the right buttons and ribbon.... Or perhaps dark elastic to loop around the button...hmmm...choices, choices..

Now for a riddle. What happens when you leave a laundry basket full of clean, white laundry?

Why, a black/brown kitty jumps in of course!


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Life as an itinerant knitter

This week I spent a fair bit of time working. That's good for the bank balance, not so good for the knitting time. sigh. However I did manage to get some knitting done. To whit:

This is supposed to be the first of a set of fingerless gloves. It's a neat dropstitch pattern found in the "One Skein" book. The yarn is very soft and a great colour. However, there is NO give in it. Knitting the dropstitches up is quite difficult. Since there is no give to the yarn, the glove part looks really nice, and feels really nice, but there is no stretch to it. Which means it would be a bear to actually put on. So this is destined for a trip to the pond. Ribbit! Ribbit! I think it might be reincarnated as a scarf down the road. I'm going to have to make another trip to my LYS to find something more suitable. Gosh darn it.

Now I am off to nurse my headache. My 2 day long headache. That woke me up in the middle of the night with the pain. The one that only goes away when I take Tylenol #3's. that then gives ne a stomachache. No winning around here.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Work...of both kinds

I am working my butt off. Both employment work and knitting work. My freelancing work has picked up amazingly well. I let a couple of people know I was working free-lance, thinking I'd ease into it. Ha! That'll teach me. Pharmacists gossip worse than old women sometimes.(Hmmm, that may not be politically correct. Apologies to any and all "old women") At least when it comes to finding someone to fill in for them, they do! Not a bad thing, but my work calender filled up in 2 days. I am pretty much booked solid till the end of October! Yippee! No mac & cheese dinners. (well, unless I want them of course)

I have also been knitting. Or frogging in 1 case. This got frogged:
And re-knit into this:

Yes, it's the same yarn. Just my freaky camera playing with the colours. I didn't like the dimensions on the first knit, so I re-did it and am much happier with it. This is the "run about bag" I will be knitting the inside bag out of grey yarn. I hate rooting around in a dark purse for something. And making the interior of the bag a bit lighter will help with that, I hope.

I also knit up something out of the "One Skein" book.

This is the pre-felting picture. The pattern called it a "small bowl". Post felting once:
I wasn't really happy with it, so I felted it again and then blocked it:

It's still a bit tall for my taste, but it does look really cool. Maybe I'll put it in the "long range planning" department. In other words, who can I foist it off onto at Christmas? I am knitting up another project out of the same book, the fingerless gloves. I think these are going to be a Christmas present too. We'll see how they turn out. There's not enough of them to show you anything yet, so you will have to hold your horses on this one. Patience is a virtue, remember that!


Saturday, August 19, 2006

We are knitting

Knitting is occurring around here. Unfortunately, it's secret pal knitting! So I can't show you until it's done and sent off to the secret pal!

But I don't want to leave you jonesing. So here is a picture of Micha enjoying some stashbuster knitting!

This blanket was knit holding 2 strands of whatever was in my stash at the time. I knit it until I couldn't stand it any longer, then I crocheted around the edges until I ran out of yarn! Want a better pic of the whole thing? Okey dokey, here goes:

Not the best pic I have ever taken, but hey, whatcha expectin? That's Pagan exploring in the top right corner if you are wondering. Originally this blanket was supposed to be my emergency car blanket. Since I live in Canada, and winter often hits -30 Celcius, if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere (and there is lots of nowhere around here!) you may have to wait awhile for help to arrive. Hence an emergency blanket. Keeps you warm while waiting. When I started this I figured I didn't care if it was ugly, after all it'll still keep me warm, I reasoned. However, once completed, it has it's own strange charm. Although hubby still calls it the "ugly blankie"!

Whatever he wants to call this blanket, it is now actually "Micha's Blanket". She adopted it as her bed right after I finished it, and I haven't the heart to take it away and put it in the car. So the car has normal (boring) store bought emergency supplies.

I am also working on some felting, but the one item isn't done yet, it needs at least one more trip through the washer, and i'm gonna have to frog the purse I started on. I don't like the dimensions it is knitting up to (yes, yes, I know felting changes them) so that project is going to the pond and getting a re-spec. I'll take pictures as it all progresses and you can see them all at once. If I'm in a generous mood. Ok, that's probably harsh, but it will likely be a day or 2 anyways!


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Consumer alert and some fun stuff

Since I am currently free-lancing, I needed some computer software to keep track of invoices owed, paid etc. I bought Corel Wordperfect X3 Home edition. Turns out this product is an add-on product. You have to have a previous version for this to work! It doesn't say anywhere on the box that it is an add-on. I returned it to the store, where it was a huge hassle, because, of course, I had to open the product and try to install it before I could find out that it was an add-on! I was politely persistant and finally the manager got involved and took the product to the back room where he presumably tried to install it in one of their computers, and discovered I wasn't a liar. Sigh. However, they DID give me my money back, so Staples gets a big thumbs up. Corel gets the thumbs down. For those of you that need an office system for your computer, check out "Open Office". It's a free download that does pretty much everything that a normal office program does, as far as I can tell.

On to the fun stuff.....

My first toasted tomato samdwich of the year.

I only eat these at this time of year, when I can pick the tomato off of my plant and eat it still warm from the sun. Yum!

I also picked up some reading material. At the grocery store, no less! I was surprised they had something like this. Maybe I shouldn't be, knitting is definitely more popular now than it was years ago.

Micha seems to think it is interesting too. Could she be the world's first reading kitty? Naw, she likes the yarn. Definitely a yarn-a-holic. The magazine is just an interesting side-bar to yarn.

Speaking of which, I got some beautiful recycled sari silk yarn in the mail today.

I'm not sure what to make with it. I think a scarf, since it is only the one skein. But what a lovely skein. It has that exotic silk smell to it too! Wonderful. Feed all the senses. That's the ticket.

Hmm, I see a theme here. Tomato sandwich for the sense of taste, yarn for touch, sight AND smell. Nothing for hearing, though. I'll have to work on it. It would be a challenge anyway, being as I am bionic woman! ( I wear hearing aids for any of you who didn't know)

And now I am off to my LYS for a knitting session.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Freeing your inner knitter

So I allowed myself to try to modify an existing pattern (being too much of a 'fraidy cat to design a pattern from scratch) and created....the Ballband dishtowel. Based on the ballband dishcloth by Mason Dixon Knitting.

The finished dimensions are 20"by 13". It is made out of Bernat handicrafter cotton. This is a good size, but I think I will make the next one a tad wider.

And that concludes our posting for today. Good day, folks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Suggestions? Anyone?

I've signed up for my first knitting swap! I'm quite excited. In fact, I'm so excited I can't decide on a colour scheme for my Mason Dixon ballband dishcloth! But I digress. What I was wondering is this: what sorts of neat-o things have you gotten or given when you did a swap? I mean, other than the actual swap item? I'm completely open to suggestions!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

How fast do YOU knit?

Right-o! I was surfing the net while hubby watched the "Dukes of Hazzard" movie on tv. And I came across an unreal knitting project. I cannot believe that someone actually thought of this! They would really have to be ambitious knitters. What is this incredibly ambitious project you ask? Check this out! Of course, if knitting giant car cozies isn't your thing, you could try this! Although I think you need a special license to operate an excavator..... Or, for those of us who enjoy working with outre materiel, here is a cool project.... I cannot imagine how sore my fingers would be after knitting a lead teddy bear. Hmm, perhaps a teddy made out of something less...painful could be considered. As a display piece. That would have to be dusted....Okay, maybe not such a hot idea for slacker chick extraordinaire. (my husband's pet name for me)

However, if your idea of art leans more to pictures, there is this neat idea.

For the traditional knitter, there is some very cool knitted art over here.

And for the interactive art knitter, you could go to Italy and interact with a giant pink bunny!

In my spare time I have been interacting with socks!
One down, half of a cuff done! I shall continue to slog on. I hope to have this done by the end of next week. We shall see.....

However, Pagan says it's naptime. Night night!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ant Wars!

Okey dokey. The pest guy came again and has treated the inside of the house. Hopefully that is the END of the ANTS! I am so grossed out by the bugs. If they would just stay outside in their natural habitat and out of my habitat, life would be good. Here's hoping. I sure don't want to do it again. I had to pack up both kitty cats and take them to the MIL. They (the cats) hollered the whole way there. Once there they settled in just fine, which was rather funny. The trip back was less noisy. They went into their carry cages much more willingly and howled less . Not, you will notice, did they NOT howl. Just less. We will take whatever luck comes out way!

That is about all the news chez moi.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Nope. No knitting today. Just some random brain farts...

Note to self: The dryer works better when you turn it on! Yup, yours truly went downstairs to unload the dryer and thought it was weird that the clothes were still wet! naturally, my first thought was that the dryer broke! so I tried turning it on. And it worked fine. So , apparently, my mind had gone a-wandering!

In other none knitting realted stuff: I was watching the "Top 20 "music videos the other day. It was rather funny. there was the "Buttons" song by the Pussycat dolls. There was "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado. There was "Unfaithful" by Rihanna. There was "Ain't no other man" by Christina Aguilera. Do you see a theme here? Don't get me wrong, I like PCD and Christina Aguilera. I own Rihanna's first album. But the sexy theme is definitely there. And it's all female artists that do the overtly sexual thing. Is this what women's lib has brought us to? We are free to show our sexuality, but ONLY our sexuality. Not our sensualness? There IS a difference! Seems like it is still a man's world. They like sexy. Sensuality is not on the menu yet.

In world news...I know that this newspaper is considered a bit of a ragsheet, so take this article with a grain (or cupful) of salt. but it definitely is something that makes you go Hmmmmm...

I'm going to make like an outdated person and bemoan the lack of manners in today's culture. I just read a newspaper article wher a lady was fired by text message! the defense was that she was hard to get ahold of and they wanted to "spare her the embarrassment of coming to work and being sent right back home" Yeah, right. They wanted to spare themselves the unpleasantness of firing someone face to face. Even over the phone would have been better. Send a text message that says "call before you come to work". Just because something makes you uncomfortable does not mean you can avoid it. Especially if you are a boss. Lots of things that bosses have to do can make you uncomfotable. Refusing to deal with it is not an option. And that's what this text message is. Ducking your responsibilities! Fuddy duddy rant now over.

Quiet weekend

Well, it was a quiet holiday weekend. For those of you who aren't from around here (ie non-Canadians) it was the civic holiday weekend. No-one seems to know why we have this particular holiday. The general consensus seems to be that we needed a long weekend in August and some bureaucrat decided to call it the civic holiday. Whatever. It means it's a long weekend. Yay!

I had company for most of it, so not much knitting ocurred. but here's a picture of the progress on my ballband dishtowel:

Other than that, I did a few rows on my xmas present sock. Not enough to show on a picture though. And besides its a Christmas present. If I show it here, the recipient might see it! Can't have that!

Yesterday morning I weighed myself (just for kicks..to the butt that is) and lo and behold, since quitting my job at the hellhole I have lost 3 pounds! Without trying. which I find really odd, since I know I have still been eating chips etc. Obviously, I am one of those people who eats when stressed. Equally obviously, I am less stressed now! Go figure....

I'm off to do some relaxing. Otherwise known as knitting.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Progress at Last!

Finally, I have managed to get somewhere on my Clapotis:

Naturally, since I put in lifelines, I haven't had any problems with the pattern this time around.

I have also managed to work on my dishtowel. I based the pattern on the ballband dishcloth by Mason Dixon Knitting.

I am really pleased with how easy this pattern is! It makes for good tv knitting. I am using dishcloth cotton, and it is rather pleasant to work with in the heat of summer.

The heat here has let up a bit. Or more accurately, the humidity. The temperature is still up there, but at least the air isn't so thick you could cut it with a knife. So knitting has been put back on the roster of things to do!

The ant battle continues here. In frustration I bought some Raid Max Crawling insect spray. We have been spraying the front of the house outside and in a fit of pique I sprayed under the stove and along the baseboard in the kitchen. The first morning we had a few dead ones on the floor. The second morning we had some more dead ones on the floor and a bunch in between the front door and the screen door. On the third day we didn't find any dead ones upstairs! Yippee! However, when I went into the basement that evening I found dozens of dead ones on the floor! I didn't spray the basement. Weird. I then found a couple of live ones and they were heading for the same corner of the basement. I looked over there, and found what appears to be evidence of the nest! Hard to tell since it is in a corner tucked in behind the furnace and water heater, so I can't just walk behind to look. I found still more dead ones last night in the basement. So they are obviously still around, but dying! So I figured I had better call in the ant guy again and they are going to spray the inside of the house next week. It's a pain because we have to vacate the premises. Kitties included. For 4 hours. So I am going to have to pack up the cats and take thejm over to my MIL for the afternoon. Hopefully that wil be the end of the freaking ant problem! and maybe I will be able to use the dishwasher again.....

In closing, I gift you with a picture of Micha. I finally managed to get a good picture of her. She is very hard to photograph well, so I am very pleased with this picture!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Too hot to handle

Ooooh baby is it hot today! At 7:30 am it was 26 degrees! (Celcius) I was dripping sweat just sitting at the table eating breakfast.
The kitties also think it's too hot. they are spending their time just lying in front of fans, doorways, windows etc...

Here Pagan is lying in the breeze from the screen door AND on the glass top of the coffee table. I suppos the glass is marginally cooler than the floor. I don't usually let her lie there, but it was so hot I didn't have the inclination to get up and shoo her away. Besides, I'm not the one with the fur coat, so I felt sorry for her!

No knitting to report on today. Too damn hot! I have been quietly reading in the 1 air-conditioned room I have. That is my concession to the heat. I refuse to do the whole house. I only get a very short summer up here in Canada, and I want to feel every sweltering, sticky minute of it!