Monday, December 28, 2009

Apres Noel

Its now after Christmas and things have relaxed decidedly around Chez Nous. Its a relief thats for sure. Our Christmas was very quiet but enjoyable. I do miss the Christmas Eve visitings etc from our former life. Christmas seems so empty without the extended family and friends to share it with.

I recieved the book I so wanted (The Knitter's Book Of Wool) and as a surprise I also recieved The Knitters Book Of Yarn. I feel so spoiled! These are wonderful books by Clara Parkes and deserve a spot on the knitter's bookshelf. I'm pleased.

I also got my long awaited birthday gift of a rug hooking frame and fabric cutter. My friend's mom decided she didn't want her equipment anymore and sold it to us for a very reasonable price. Also included was a bag of fabric strips she'd already cut. I may start a hit and miss piece for practice.

I'm suffering from a case of too many crafting options to choose from. I've got my sticks and string as always but now have the rug hooking (2 types: locker hooking and primitive hooking) and the knitting machine crying out for my attention. I wish I had several of me!!! There's just too much craftiness here for one me!

I set up my knitting machine on Saturday, following the instructions in the manual very carefully. I attempted to cast on and knit with it several times and in the last attempt actually got about 4 rows done before it arsed up. There appears to be a steep learning curve involved here. It may take me quite awhile before I ever get around to hooking up the ribber attachment at this rate. Le sigh...

All in all, a very nice holiday. Hope yours was bright and blessed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BIRTHDAY

Today my baby, Thing 2 , is 11 years old!! He got his gifts (a Wii game and an Artemis Fowl book series addition)this morning and was very pleased. Today we will bake his cake together and later we will all decorate our Xmas tree (or "Bob" as the kids have named it). Its a slightly snowy day here but temps are gonna drop over the next couple of days to Brr-y number (maybe miunus 15 C for a high on thursday!). I have got to get the boy to a store for new winter boots...he's been wearing mine which are of the unisex variety since his feet are now too big for last years boots. He's into men's small sizes now...OMG!!! Shoes were a size 7 this fall and clothes are sizes 14- 16 or a men's small. He's not very tall though...maybe my height or a touch shorter. The hand me downs go from younger to older in this house and it doesn't always sit well but as my brother always says"It is what it is!", so shut up about it.

Happy news today for me: I am investing in a knitting machine with my first pay cheque that a certain knit designer I know found on Kijiji for $50. Its a swell deal AND has an attachement that will allow me to mke socks, so its a much much cheaper option than the antique sock knitting machines I had been lusting after. Now all my sock knitting demands can be met in much less time than it takes me to knit by hand, once I learn how to make machine go. Veronik says she will tutor me if I have problems. Plus, if I want to I can make sweater parts on this baby too and speed up my sweater knitting..I have some skinny yarn that is supposed to be a sweater for ME and you know I'd be at it for the rest of my life if I knit it by hand. I foresee a drastic drop in my stash level as soon as I get over the learning curve.

I had news today about my birthday present of a floor frame for rug hooking and a strip cutter...it should be in my hot little hands by next week and I am very excited about this as well.

My friend Marie Michele gifted me a pattern today that I have been smitten with for a couple of days now. They are felted ballerina flats and just so frickin' CUTE and apparently very speedy to make and I have plenty of odd skeins of worsted that would be perfect for them, so guess what i will be doing ASAP.

My darling sister's intended xmas gift will not be ready for Xmas mail out. I still have a skein to go and just cannot get any amount of speed going on it, loverly as it is. It will instead be a, apres Xmas gift! January should see that #$%^& done...LOL How can something so simple and plain be so slow, I ask ya!? The yarn is exquisite though...

Speaking of mail outs I have got to get my ass in gear and get the cards in the mail too!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lazy Days

I have been remiss in not blogging and for that I apologise. I just have not felt very bloggy. In fact, since the trip I have been extremely un-energetic. At first I thought I was getting sick or something but it was just plain old exaustion. How do other people do this...trips and then work and kids and all of that? Nowadays you need to pry me out of my cozy nest with a crowbar. Too tired and lazy to do or go anywhere except when I must.

Today however I need to break this behaviour. My friend V wants to go shopping together and that promises to be some good girly time, so last night I crashed out at 7 PM (seriously dudes I am breaking sleep records left and right lately) so that I would NOT go back to bed after the kids left for school this morning. I am also guzzling coffee.

Last week I came home from...hmmm...where did I come home from? Maybe Knit night? Anyways, I came home and my men had started the decorating by setting up my porcelain village and some other light up decorations around the living room. I think we are going to search out a U Pick tree place this weekend and cut down our own tree rather than schlep one home from the lots. Or at least the guys will. I think I have work.

I've been doing some part time work at Effiloche for the pre-holiday season. Mostly ball winding and helping English speaking customers so that Ginette is free to run the cash and help Francophone customers. Also I work one day or evening a week cleaning the shop which can take anywhere from 2 to many hours depending on what needs doing.

Knitting: I am doing very little lately!! BAD KNITTER (see the sleeping etc above). Sometimes sitting with my knitting makes me sleepy, so its been a little counter productive. On the needles is the Xmas gift started in June and now I have serious concerns that it will NOT be done for Xmas mailing. Also, my Nutkin socks have not progressed in over a week because I have been devoting any and all knit time to the gift. Can I state again how much I love the Nutkin socks? Its an awesome little pattern by Knitzi and its also a FREE pattern! The chart is dead simple to follow and after a few rounds you don't even need it really unless you put the work down and then forget how it works. I'm using Cestari sock yarn in Natural Light Grey and five 2.75 mm needles. Love. Will enjoy wearing them VERY much. I changed the heel however, to a plain ol' flap-type heel rather than a short row heel because I prefer the POFH. That was my only switcheroo.

Tonight is a combination December birthdays bash and knit night. Geeta, Celine, and I have all had birthdays in the last week and a half so Ginette thought we should have a party knit night. I will need more coffee while out this afternoon.

Work for a certain yarn company continues to be wonderful. I sent out 20 promo packs last Friday and one of my phone calls last week jogged a shop owner's memory that she had wanted to get the yarn in stock, so an order happened! YAY! Wait until people get a load of the next yarn...its fingering weight and in the same 36 colours as the sport weight. Delicious. The next pattern magazine promises to be just as awesome as the first edition too, dudes!

Some might say "OMG! Wool for baby stuffs!!!! The stains! The difficulty in washing!!!" and to that I say Poo! Wool is PERFECT for baby stuffs and I only wish I had been a knitter when my kids were small. Its naturally dirt repelling. Its also naturally fire retardant!!! Think of that next time you read the labels of baby's stuffs and see the fire retardant label and then wonder what chemicals they are using. Its warm even when it gets wet (and you know babies get wet thanks to leaking diapers etc). And wool is NOT difficult to wash. Seriously. You throw some good wool wash (NOT Woolite ) or my handy stand by, shampoo, into some tepid water and you put the item in to SOAK. How hard is that? Now with good wool wash like Eucalan, or Soak, or maybe Kookaburra (not 100% sure) you don't even need to rinse the item. It has soaked out the soil and is low to no sudsing. No rinsing! How cool is that? With shampoo there IS rising needed though. You SQUEEZE out the item, not wring it, then wrap it in towels to squeeze out the most water you can OR put it in the machine for a spin cycle while its in a pillow case or special lingerie/fine washables bag.

Dudes...it doesn't get any easier. Go with the wool. You know you want it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

HOME: Day 4

Thats right. We have been home for 4 days (arriving Chez Nous around 8 am Thursday morning after and all night drive from NS). So much happened while we were away and so much has happened since that I am a bit blurry around the edges, brain wise.

I had my first Margaritas in Puerto Rico and can now say that I like frozen as opposed to shaken. So there. I can order Ms with authority!

I drank before noon more than once. Don't look at me like that.

Yes it was margaritas...they are shameless temptresses I tells ya.

I spent lots of time on Palomino Island soaking up sand and swallowing my fair share of sea water when snorkelling.

Hman made my want come true when he rented a Hoabie Cat and took me over to Palominito Island which was taunting me with its lovely desert isle-ness. While we were there a guy came out of the water after swimming over from Palomino, thats how close it is. But I am not in such good shape as swimmer dude.

There were iguanas every where. Very cool.

The frogs known as El Coqui are very very LOUD for their tiny size. Prompted several evening sessions of yodelling "koKEE koKEE koKEE" around the resort. My husband is not too embarrassed...given enough beer he started doing it too.

I met super fabulous people and caught up with others that I haven't seen in awhile. I had fun.

And then when I came home I was offered a super cool job that I am thrilled to pieces over. I am now a yarn company sales rep. Or "account representative" since Julie says "sales rep" is passe. I must be pretty old school because sales rep keeps popping out. Thrilled does not even cover my joy. I am stoked!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Girly stuffs


I'm not a big time girly girl but I do like me some girly stuff. I love pretty clothes and shoes but never really get a chance to wear them being a stay at home mom and all. I do colour my hair to both give it a bit of flair and to cover the $^^$#$ing greys that have been multiplying in the last couple of years, but I am not real regular about it.

Now I have a trip coming up. I also watched a video my my friend Karine's (topstitch girl in the side bar) blog of how she does her minmalist make up. Together the two mingled in my brain and made me buy stuff. Thats my story and I'm stickin' to it.

First of all, nowadays everything seems to break me out. My skin was resilient as a teen and I wore pounds of make up with no more breakouts than an average teen girl would experince. Wash my make up off before bed??? That was for sissies...and sober people since in University bedtime was often preluded by alcoholic beverages. No real adverse effcts. NOW? Even washing my face can sometimes cause an eruption. I've tried pricey stuff and cheap stuff...natural stuff and chemically stuff..its all the same to my face. My facial skin seems to have the temperament of a toddler being given pureed peas...accepts it and then spits it out and has a tantrum.

Since watching karine's video and having this trip coming up, I bought some Neutrogena "Healthy Skin" cleanser for wrinkles and acne...thats should cover it right??? So far so good but its only day two and a half. Of course, washing my face makes it then feel a tad dry afterward so today I got myself some Neutrogena daily moisturiser for sensitive skin. Its oil free and seems nice and light. Lets keep our fingers crossed!

Now, going away always makes me revamp the make up case, too. For someone who almost never wears this stuff I have a fair bit. I tossed my old (virtually full)foundation and powder, washed all my brushes and applicators. I invested in a new neutral eyeshadow quartet, lip liners to use as lip stain since they were super marked down, a new tube of foundation to combine with my daily moisturiser (only won't do it daily ) for a tinted moisturiser effect instead of the feeling of having a layer of shellac on my face (which I am hoping will be easier for my skin to tolerate), a new pressed powder compact, and a fancy powder brush with a cap for having in my purse to deshine while out. I had one before but I lost it or broke it. I cleaned my sharpener and sharpened all my eye and lip pencils. My blusher is still pretty unused so I kept it.
I think I'm ready facewise, to travel.

I coloured my hair too. Can't have all those strangers seein' my greys now can I? Plus now my roots and ends resemble one another again which is always nice. New shiny hair and a fresher face. Wish I'd bought some new shoes too! I'm feelin' girly!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I dyed a skein of cashmere and this was the result



What I started with was a fairly bland skein of cashmere in a shade of beige/tan/camel. It was very yellowy light brownish...or brownish yellow? I called it icky. Anyways, it was the last one of this colour in the shop and sweet, amazing, superwoman Ginette gave it to me with the orders to dye it and make something nice for myself. OK!

I soaked it in warm water laced with a healthy splash of vinegar while I prepared the "dye". I went through my cupboards to see what blue food colouring I had left and came out with Wilton's in Sky Blue. Not at all what I was aiming for but it was blue and the skein was soaking so I mixed up a good strong batch of blue water laced with the miracle substance also known as vinegar. Because the Wilton's gel always seems to leave bits behind I strained my solution through a paper towel lined strainer. No gooky jelly bits in MY cashmere thank you very much.

The skein was squeezed out and laid in a Pyrex baking dish and I poured the dyeall over and around it and then kinda smooshed it around to try and get the solution all through the skein. When i was satisfied with my saturation I topped the dish with some plastic wrap and fired it into the microwave for between 2 and 3 minutes to get nice and hot. then it sat for a little while until it was cooler and the dye was pretty much out of the water and into the yarn.

I took the whole she bang to the laundry room sink for squeezing out the liquid and for rinsing in sinkfuls of clear water. then I went a further step and gave it a soak in Soak . In the skein the colour was kinda...odd. Hmm...olive, khaki, blueish green in there too, hints of the original colour. I was not sure I was happy with the results. When it was dry it was better....or maybe I was just used to it. In the ball though, I definitely liked the effect of all those shades mingling!

This pretty yarn cake is currently being made into my own Pretty Thing Cowl, pattern by Stephanie Pearl-MacPhee. Its slow going because patterns with charts challenge my brain and attention span very much. But its smooshy and soft and I am told I look great in greens, so I am happy and will be happier still when its DONE and I can wear it snuggled around my neck.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Halloween guys





We had a zombie complete with nasty teeth compliments of food colouring and a wizard. He's NOT Gandalf or Dumbledore...he's just a silver wizard. Lets be clear on that. ;oP

Things seen at Rhinebeck




Rhinebeck and its loot






A lot of the joy of Rhinebeck is in the people you get to know. Cases in point are viewed in these pictures.

We have the lovely and charming Veronik and her friends Carol and Laura, whom I have laid claim to. mwhahahahaha

We have Isolda Teague disguised as Bob the Ravelry mascot. She knit that head ehrself in about a week or two. Bizarre. I didn't actually meet her but just snapped her picture.

We have my Mindy from Virginia with Joanne and Otto of Strauch Fiber Equipment Company and Heidi who works with Mindy in the Kid Hollow Farm booth where this photo was taken. Joanne is my new email mentor in locker hooking and Otto is just a cutie pie. Heidi is actually shorter than I am. For REALS.

And then we have most of my loot. Not pictured are my two sweatshirts and my earrings. And the stuff I gave as gifts already.

Goodbye, Harley


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lazy Knitter Slippers: a recipe




I am on my 3rd pair of slippers...these ones for s certain sister who wears through the soles of everything wooly that is knit for her and so needs more wooly footwear. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

The first two pair were for the boys. They really like them. I thought to myself that since they are so easy and quick to make and I am just kinda making it up as I go, why not post a recipe for them here? They resemble my friend Barb's slippers but her's have more shaping and charm. These are quick and dirty knitting for those who feel that "good enough" is good enough. If you are looking for perfect fit with short rows and decreasings and cunning technique, go away now. Shoo shoo! Off with you.

Alison's LAZY KNITTER Slipper Recipe

MATERIALS: yarn, needles, tape measure, darning or tapestry needle, scissors.

First off, pick a yarn, any yarn. Get your favourite gauge with said yarn and write it down. For slippers, as with socks, firmer tends to be better but its your slipper so whatever works for you.

Step the second: Measure the foot around the widest point and measure the length of the foot from heel to toe tip.

3rdly : Do the math. Take your stitches per inch and multiply by the circumference of the widest part of the foot. Round up or down to get a number divisible by 4 for casting on. There is no ease factored in so these are the only numbers you need. Got it? Good.

CAST ON! Leave a nice length of tail for sewing up later. Knit in garter stitch for the number of ridges to give you half of your foot length or a little shorter (its a slipper, not rocket science). When you reach about mid length switch to 2X2 ribbing. Continue to knit until your piece is the length of the foot. Break or cut your yarn, leaving a nice bit for stitching. Thread the yarn onto a darning or tapestry needle, feed it through your working loops on the knitting needle, slipping them off the knitting needle as you go. Cinch the toe of the slipper as tight as you can, stitching to fasten it, and then start sewing up the selvedge edges that make the top of your slipper. Stop when you reach the garter stitch!! Finish your ends and cut your yarn.
Go to your cast on tail now. Folding your cast on edge together, stitch the halves of the edge together with the cast on tail securely. Finish your ends cut yarn. Turn the slipper inside out/outside right to have your seaming on the inside. VOILA! Slipper one is done. Put it on the intended foot and admire your cleverness. Make another to match.

What I enjoy about these slippers: I love how easy and brainless they are. The bigger your gauge the faster they knit up! I am using my Alafoss Lopi stash up for some cozy family slippers. The second slipper can be calculated by simply counting garter ridges and ribbing rows rather than needing your tape measure. The ribbing tightens the slipper around the foot for a good comfy fit and if the slipper is slightly too short, then the fit is even better with no slippage on the foot that makes some slippers clumsy for walking in (everyone has encountered the " loose slipper shuffle" I am sure). The pointy heel corner will stretch out for the heel in this case as well. They are pretty stretchy so our making them just to the measurement of the foot without having calculated in any ease makes them crazy simple!

TIP: Wooly slippers are notoriously slippery on bare floors so caution should be used . To create non-slip pads for the sole, cut out patches or a whole sole from rubbery non-slip shelf liner and whip stitch them to the soles of the slippers. The liner I used was Duck's "Easy Liner" from Walmart and its sold as a roll and comes in various colours. You might find smaller amounts of something similar at dollar stores. Another option could be to paint the sole with liquid latex use for making hooked rugs non-slippy.

If you need a quick basket of slippers by the front door or as a gift, feel free to use my recipe and create your own Lazy Knitter Slippers in any size or gauge.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Harley update

Harley will soon be called Dungeon Cat because he is living in the bathroom lately. Yesterday he took his oppotunity at freedom as a chance to pee on a wool sweater I had lying out to dry after washing it. OMG! This whole "sick cat pees everywhere " thing is highly annoying. His little life almost came to an end for that one.

He is still underweight by a lot. He still has a drunken swagger when he walks. He's very klutzy when attempting normal cat things, because of his muscle loss and nerve damage I guess, so he crashes a fair bit which can't be fun.

We began his trial on Prednisone on Wednesday and he has had a big turn around with his activity level. He REALLY wants outta the bathroom/dungeon but given his nasty habit thats not happening. He is also eating more on his own from his food dish. This is heartening but its still not enough to get his weight up. I'm still forcing some liquified foods down his throat daily to get as many calories into him as possible.

So, while Prednisone is not a cure for his condition, its making him much more comfortable. This is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How I made my brother laugh in the early '70s

I have the distinct memory of making my brother laugh hysterically in the back seat of dad's car during a drive to somewhere or other...probably to Nanny's house. My method? The Manamana song I'd seen and heard on Sesame Street. I may have been about 4 yrs old which would put my stellar performance sometime in 1970? He did the girl's part while I manamana'd my heart out to his pee in his pants, tears in his eyes laughter. My brother is 11 1/2 years older than me by the way. He also liked to tape record me singing my ABC's which I would mess up on purpose like this" A-B-C-D-E-F-cookiemonster....". He also used to get me to attempt to put my foot in my mouth, and being gullible and compliant I tried with a will.
Now we are all growed up and I don't make my brother laugh anymore. At least I'll always have my back seat captive audience memories.

I miss old school Sesame Street with is mild violence (that chef falling downstairs laden with desserts)and weirdness (Fisherman Jones cartoon, Yipyips, psychadelia..). It was so cool.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

I love Christopher Walken

Seriously, the man is an $^&ing GENIUS plus he's funny as can be. His weirdness is delightful!
My friend Kadi, also a Walken lover, pointed me to this video of him "performing' Lady Gaga's Poker Face". LOL It really is funny when you take song lyrics and just read them. TRY IT SOMETIME!!! I suggest something like Dah Doo Doo Doo by the Police or Radio Gaga by Queen!! hahahaha

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween plus Cat

Or All hallow's Eve...or Samhain...whatever you like to call the day! Take a minute if you can to honour those who have gone before, won't you? That is what today is truly about. That and celebrating another prosperous year gone by. And you know, chocolate/candy/treating/tricking CAN be part of the honouring/celebrating process..... ;OP

Audrey came over and treated my guys with YUMMY Lindt Chocolate and FINALLY got her present from me from Rhinebeck ( a button that says "Spinning: because knitting isn't weird enough!" and my Ravelry party favours bag) and saw my new loot.


Harley saw the vet again on Thursday. we gots good news and we gots baddish news. The GOOD: his ear infection is cleared up (yay), he is NOT anemic and his liver and kidney function appears to be normal(according to blood tests). The not good and therefore BADDISH news: he still has a fever (sound familiar????), he's still walking funny, he lost 4 ounces he could NOT afford to lose given his under weight situation.

Vet Nathalie is working under the assumption that he has the same disease at Cooper suffered from...coronavirus resulting in FIP, which is both incurable and impossible to 100% accurately diagnose in life (only by autopsy can anyone be 100% positive that a cat suffers from FIP). Also, its a fatal condition along with being incurable. Thus, our plan of treatment is to continue with the antibiotics to clear up any residual infection that might be causing a fever, supplementing his caloric intake in anyway I can, making sure said caloric intake is as nutritious as possible, keeping him as happy and comfortable as we can to improve the quality of life he has left. Unfortunately the medicating and "force feeding" of liquified kitten food and supplenets stresses him out terribly. He is to the point that he often cringes away from us because it may mean feeding or medicating rather than the lovings and cuddles he was always used to. Its a sad but necessary thing if he is going to stay with us as long as possible. Poor wee baby. He really is one of the sweetest kittens I have ever met. He is much loved in this house. Luckily he is improved to the point where he has taken some kibble in on his own and has stopped messing all over the house, so he has been allowed out of the bathroom for as much cuddling as he can stand. He loves the milk replacer for convalescing cats and kittens so I let him have as much as he wants, plus his beloved coffee cream. he even like the Cat Milk that Whiskas puts out (and no other cats I have ever had has ever liked it, even dairy product ho,13 yr old Miss Kitty). His kibble is the high calorie "just off the mama's teat" kitten food by Royal Canine. His liquified food is canned kitten food, milk replacer powder, Nutrical, homemade cat food, nutritional yeast, and warmmed water or cream and "served" warm. I sprinkle some nutritional yeast on his kibbles to entice him with its cheesy taste and give him extra B vitamines. I dose him with Viralys along with his antibiotics.
Running out of ideas...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heh heh

The Which Ewe Are You? Quiz I scored as a Perendale, a longwool type sheep.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Overwhelminess, I has it


The new ME.

Today I feel so overwhelmed by life and its doings that I can barely breathe. And I don't truly have the option to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head like I want to do. Its all those piddly fucking little things that pile up on you, y'know? Like laundry....again. I have a mountain of clean clothes to fold and separate into baskets for their owners. I didn't do it before because as each load was done, I was busy with other shit and let the mountain grow. It will take less than an hour to sort ou. This I know from experience but in that hour I could also be doing about eleventy million other things that really do need doing.

Halloween costumes: I need to sew a wizard robe from silver satin before Friday night because I work Saturday and cannot do it last minute. And create his staff and belt sacks of magical stuffs. I need to thrift shop a suit to turn into a zombie costume. They wear the clothes they were buried in, yes? Again...before Friday..Oh yeah...also because of school party...shit!
AND don't forget pumpkin buying and carving with the kids.

My wonderful sister has a big birthday TOMORROW and even though I have it ON the calendar and meant to get the card last week, I still managed to fuck up and forget to buy the fucking card.

Yesterday with the costume fabric shopping and black and white themed dance shirt shopping, I forgot ALSO to pick up the Lysine I asked the vet to bring in for me to give to Harley in the off chance miracle that an amaino acid supplement could help him. Long shot, I agree.

Sick cat tending: he needs to eat if he's going to get well and he does not want to have anything except cream. That he willingly devours with gusto. Home-made cat puree, watered down canned food, Nutrical high calorie cat supplement gel...all are fought off wildly and mainly land on whatever I am wearing so not only am I looking and feeling like a crazy cat lady...I REEK of it. Seriously. All I need is the grey wild hair and the stench of cat piss and I'm that crazy lady on the Simpsons. Its not funny in real life.

Slipper knitting: we have bare floors and its COLD. The kids are asking me for them and I have one pair done but they are as slippery as all get out so NOW I am sewing patches of Duck Easy Liner shelf liner stuff to the bottoms and that is easy yet time consuming. Maybe be faster to just glue it to all my floors? Or at least the stairs?

Floors: they are so gross...lets not even go there but they need a serious cleaning before winter shuts us all up with the dirt and germs.

Germs: that fucking flu is freaking me out lately. I was pretty laissez faire about it until last week. Should we vaccinate? Shouldn't we? How many containers of Lysol wipes and anti viral kleenex should I stock pile? How to keep the news from my scared children that a 13 yr old kid died from it on the weekend in TO (allegedly) after I was calmly reassuring them that since I will be able to look after them and nurse them should they catch the flu, they will be fine, no worries, relax. They hear stuff though and come to me a bit scared/worried. Especially Cameron, my worrier. He is SO me in a different form. Acts up to hide his real feelings, a tease and button pusher, under achiever, funny, but very sensitive which is hard to remember because he tries so hard to act like he doesn't care. But he does...today he was worrying about Harley and crying because he missed Newman, which we thought he din't mind at all because when faced with the news of no more Newnie Noo he was unconcerned..apparently an act. His cat death worries and flu fears came to a head this morning. Poor guy.

Little stuff: like meals, and vacuuming, and dishwasher loading and unloading, kitchen clean ups, bathroom clean ups, homework supervision (such as it is), sleeping, eating, breathing... and all those other things that go into looking after a family like being able to hug them without screaming "Not Now! Don't you see how swamped I am???". I have to fit that shit in there too.

How do other people do this and not lose their minds and not only have everything done but are HAPPY about it ???




Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear iPod

Hi iPod, its me...your user. I just wanted to take a minute to say how much I love you. Even though you are an older style 2gb and not as slim and stylish as the newer generation, I love your sleekly blocky lines. The fact that you try to get along with our family PC just makes me adore you more! Its not YOUR fault that the PC won't always be cooperative with its files.
I love how you keep me entertained with books and music and podcasts so that I can sit still awhile and get some knitting progress. Your sassy pink silicone rubber protector helps you put up with my klutzy, dropping ways and I love your wee lock button although getting near deafened by an accidental volume boost via my boobs when you were tucked into my bra in a Spanish airport BEFORE I found said cute wee button is a whole 'nother story. Your wheel control is just a l'il bit touchy for my hamfisted (and boobed )ways it would seem.

All in all you were one of my most wonderful gifts to ever have recieved and I adore your ease of use and excellent capacity. Now if only we had a Mac to keep you company and make for easier interfacing....

Love always,
Alison

Ruh Ruh Rhinebeck Recap (sans photos)

Its been a bit tired and busy Chez Nous but after having repeatedly been taken to task for lack of blogging, here I am. I hope it will appease.

Last Friday, after my car was finally set free from the shop ($2600 later), I hit the openish highway (damn construction zones) heading South to cross the border into the US of A and my destination was the picturesque and movie set like village of Rhinebeck. Seriously. Think quaint yet modern New England village and you would come up with Rhinebeck. Love it.
The drive took longer than I anticipated, even though I drove it last year. I was alone this time and it made things drag. My directions didn't print off thoroughly so I had to buy a map at the duty free store, along with wine and Canadian chocolate incase of emergency and as treats for Mindy's kids. Turns out that as a map reader I don't quite suck ass but I'm pretty close. When I got to the border, I picked the shortest line but it turned out also to be the slowest thanks to Mr Hard Ass customs official who had no sense of humour and decided I was WAY too laid back to be doing something so nefarious as to cross into US territory for a Sheep and Wool festival. That HAD to be a lie. That and the fact that I had no arrests on my record made me a pretty suspecty customer in dude's books apparently. I think my knitting basket full of half finished projects convinced him...that and my warm woolies packed in my bag for the forecasted cold. grrr
Ok...so after I answered many stupid questions (where's rhinebeck?...DUDE its YOUR country, you should know!! I'm having map issues!) I was set free again to continue on what I hope will be my annual weekend long migration into the US. I had to pull over again to check my map and then I hit the highway. I drove and drove and drove and FINALLY made it to Kingston, crossed the Rhinecliff bridge and tried to get to Rhinebeck. An hour and some wrong turns later I actually DID make it into Rhinebeck and connected with sweet sweet Virginian Mindy and my fellow Canadian Veronik, at the fairgrounds. It was dark by this time and we were all tired and hungry .
We attempted a smooth return to Kingston to eat at the Olympic Diner with Carol and Laura but of course, I took wrong turns. Poor Carol and Laura. They were so fed up with waiting they had eaten and left but came back when we begged. We had a nice supper and lots of chatter and laughter as Veronik reconnected with her friends and I made new ones. It was terrific. Then it was off to target for a last second purchase of kettle, coffee grinder and corkscrew and then back to our motel for some bedtime wine, knitting in jammies and chit chat. Despite my best efforts (nose strips, decongestant, antihistamines, nasal spray AND ear plugs of two types) my snoring still disturbed their sleep. What a curse! We were a tired 3 some next morning. Mindy had to leave first to work the Kid Hollow Farm booth. V and I had the leisure to stay in bed a tad longer and linger over a yummy breakfast and coffees at Pete's Famous Restaurant in the village. Then we moseyed on to the fairgrounds.
First stop, Building B( I think) and there I hit the first booth I saw which just happened to be the one I wanted...Bartlett Yarns! They sell a lovely crisp sportweight 2 ply on cones for a marvelously good price. I got a turquoisey blue, 1750 yds, for $36 all in. SWEET! Then it was booth viewing, mixing and mingling with the knitterati as friend and colleague after friend and colleague spotted Veronik and stopped to chat. A lot of the time I had no idea who the people were even after their names were given and hands were shook so I didn't gush and make a complete ass of myself like last year's Yarn Harlot episode.
This year the fair seemed calmer than last year. It seemed to have fewer people. maybe the forecast of cold and possible snow kept folk away? Hard to say but I was grateful because I had less claustrophobia and didn't lose my friend immediately like last year.
We hooked up again with the amazing Carol and the dryly funny Laura and had lots of fun. Carol and I are a bit...enthusiastic...about Veronik's yarn company (St. Denis...distributed in the USA by Classic Elite Yarns) and took it upon ourselves to accost people at every opportunity with a sales pitch, company logo pin and free mini skein. Yay free yarn to play with! We amused Veronik and Laura, who are much more reserved and polite. Plus it helped that Carol has a fan club of her own because of her hand dyed yarns (Black Bunny Fibers) and we met many of her friends and customers. Seriously, it was like old home week! Great fun for a friendly person like myself. I even had some fellow North Shore Knitters show up on a day trip to check out the wonder that is the NY State Sheep and Wool festival. Valerie, my wonder chiroprator, and Marie-Christine, left home around 4 AM and drove to the fest in order to soak up as much of it as a day trip would allow. Valerie got a LOT of yarn! LOL
We visited sweet Mindy at her post and kept on exploring the fair until it was finally time to head for the TRavelry party in Red Hook. I did NOT get lost. Tah dah!
Now, this year the party organisers tried something different to ease last years parking issues. Everyone met at the school at the end of the same road as the Elk's Lodge and then we were all bussed back to the lodge. The school bus went all evening ferrying people to and from the party. While waiting in line, Ravelry peeps were entertained (?) by a female in a Bob costume. Bob being the Ravelry mascot, a Boston terrier of uber cuteness. The head of the costume was KNIT! Inside was none other than Scottish designer Isolda Teague.
At the party we sat at table with Pam, and Betsey, and Phyllis, who all know V, and had some refreshment and handed out more mini skeins. I met up briefly with Robyn, of Robyn's Nest, and Madeleine. Both are Montreal Knits people and it was good to see them since they tend to knit in the West Island area now. We didn't stay at the party very long, being seriously tired. Pam, V, Betsey, and I left and went to Salvatore's for supper. One of the menu items was Chicken Francais which the waitress called Chicken Frohn-chays which took me by surprise. No I did NOT correct her. The conversation at the table was fascinating for me, a yarn industry outsider. Well...can a customer of yarn companies really be an outsider? It was just really really interesting to hear some of the stuff that happens on the other side of the deal. It was eye opening and changed my perspective on some things as well. Thanks so much to Pam and Betsy for such scintillating conversation and dinner companionship.
Back home to the room where once again we jammiefied and did some knitting and gabbed until sleep took us away again...except for when my snoring woke them up.
DAY 2: almost as good as day 1! It sucked mightily that Carol and Laura had to leave us in the early afternoon. I am telling you, they are super fun to spend time with and I have serious girl crushes on both. Carol got to buy the colour of yarn that I loved but didn't suit my colouring. Dang her for being blonde. Enjoy it Miss C. It was hard to see them go.
While Veronik did some book signing I did some (more) book buying. I got the 99 Yarns pattern book from Green Mountain Spinnery and LOVE IT. It could be my suprprise new favourite pattern book of all time. Also, I got it signed. Yay. V went off for some quality time with her dear friend Pam afterwards and I got to browse booths at my leisure, visiting ones I'd missed and revisiting ones I hadn't been able to linger at before. When I was good and tired I went to see Mindy and she got a break for coffee. My energy was failing but a nice big hot chai latte gave me renewed life. While with Mindy at her booth, the show was quieting around us and vendors were more able to visit back and forth. I got to know Pat and Heidi of Kid Hollow Farm better (and bought a sock yarn called Foggy Mountain..its lovely!!!) and what great folks they are. Otto and Joanne of Straugh's came over to chat and lo and behold, Joanne is into locker hooking rugs!!! I was in 7th heaven asking her all about this technique which I had briefly tried on my own a few years ago. She cleared up a LOT of my confusions...gave me some excellent advice...and was so nice and friendly and warm I just wanted to take her home with me to be my rug hooking buddy/mentor. On her advice I invested in a "normal" rug hook and am very glad I did. the booth where I got them had the kind I had seen for biggish prices but also had much less expensive makes. I got 2 of the cheaper ones because I tend to misplace things alot. Joanne and Otto raise cashmere goats and he had on a 100% cashmere sweater under his plaid jacket that was a dream to fondle the collar of. we all might have fondled more, because our hands were cold and Otto was cozy, but we are all good (ish) girls and Joanne's sense of humour probably only would have gone so far! LOL What a jolly bunch we were! Much laughing and fun.
Earlier in the day, V and I had found a treasure I'd been searching for at Carol Leigh's Hillside something or other booth. Nostepinnes! I'd found some before but none of them moved me to purchase. Here at this booth they had some Snipe's made nosties and there were a coupkle darkly finished ones that I was taken with. V got one and I the other and we called ourselves Nostepinne Sisters. Later V took Pam there but the dark ones were all gone and Pam's didn't match ours so she's a Nostepinne Sister but of the adopted or step variety. This struck us as quite funny when beer was added to the equation but I think you had to be there. Mmmm beer. Sam Adam's Octoberfest to be exact. But more later.
We had also found our knit friend the mighty and glorious Deeawn and her pal Susan FINALLY. late in the day. I'd missed her call somehow...I think my reception had been interupted. Deeawn is a force of nature and we crack one another up. Susan was a love and fit right in. We all helped Pat and Heidi and Mindy pack up shop, filling tote bins and disassembling "walls" and shelving. Then V, Deeawn, Susan, and I headed into the village for some supper. Mindy was supping with Pat and Heidi at a fancier place. Our budgets were hurting a bit so we went to Foster's and had some great BEER and food. And MUCH laughing, waiter appreciation discussion, and storytelling and fellow patron annoying. Sorry, less rowdy people! It was wonderful. Then D and Susan were off to their abode of the night and V and I went to the grocery store in search of a few items and more beer. We got a Sam Adam's mixed dozen and in it was the Octoberfest we'd had a pitcher of at the pub as well as a nice brown and wonder of all wondered Cherry Wheat beer! It was actually quite tasty!!!! There was much giggling back at the room once we were all 3 together again and in our jammies, knitting, sipping, and with Veronik translating Beau Dommage songs to our hysterical laughter. Poor Mindy had been fighting a cold all weekend and was so tired from that and work and our late nights and we were tired from all outr fun and disturbed sleeps that it was very easy to find things funny.
We didn't cry when my "Mindy Lou Who" left next morning with Pat and Heidi...headed back to Virginia and not to be seen again in person until next year's festival. It was hard to have her going but we still have each other online. Its both a curse and a blessing these internet friendships, because we are so far away from one another with Carol in Pa and Mindy in Va and I forget where Laura is...Pa or Mass?
Anyways, sad to see Mindy go but mindful of our owwn schedule we got showered and packed up and ready to leave. We wanted to book an extra room for next year for more friends to stay with us but ALL THE ROOMS ARE BOOKED. Popular place for Rhinebeck weekend and most people are return guests. Dismayed at our foiled plans, we headed for Red Hook and breakfast at The Historic Diner. Best poached eggs I've had since my mommy used to make them for me when I was small. Ever notice how sometimes simple things just are so much better when someone else makes them?
We hit the road, forgetting to gas up with all our chit chat, and I noticed just in time while driving that my car was seriously on E and got to the next gas station, disturbing poor V's intended nap. I begin to understand why Hman worries about letting me out in the world alone but alls well that ends well and our weekend was way better than "well".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The other side of a "She Wolf"

Paul And Storm's Cruel Cruel Moon

Go to the link and click on Play at the top of the page. heh heh


YES I AM THAT JUVENILE! Thanks for askin'.

Rip Off Artists


HBC's Cowichan "style" sweater. In the business of ripping off Canadians for 300 years and counting.

As a knitter I have an admiration for the sweaters made by the Cowichan knitters of the West coast. They are individually unique garments and much prized by their wearers for both their current fashionability and their warmth. Not only that but the 100 plus years of tradition that are behind the sweaters and the work that goes into them.

I few hundred years ago a company was formed that exploited Native North Americans in the name of profit. This company was the Hudson's Bay Company, formed by profit seeking British businessmen. Looks like the exploitation never goes out of style. Cowichan knitters applied for the sweater contract for the 2010 Olympics and really, what could have been BETTER than a Canadian original being worn by our Canadian team and marketed to teh Canadian people. Instead the Bay chose to be "inspired" by the Cowichan tradition and create knock offs to sell for $350 to commemorate the Olympics on Canada's West Coast.
More links to this story: Cowichan News Leader.com

Now Public article.

Vancouver Sun article.

I am not a big fan of the Olympics. I think that they are a fairly useless drain on the tax payer's resources. The MILLIONS of dollars spent on this event could have contributed to cleaning up Vancouver's homeless and drug addicted, but no, there was never enough money for the programs etc but there is HEAPS of money for the Olympics. How many Canadians have to pay for the PR grab of hosting the Olympics? How many drug addicts had to go without treatment because of a governments lack of funds for the programs that we pay our taxes to support? How many homeless shiver and die in the alleys because the shelters are under funded?

Anyway, I guess my point is that in the end someone always gets ripped off but why does it always have to be the little guy.
If you want an Cowichan sweater, buy an authentic one. They cost less than the Bay's version and you know it was made by a Native North American artisan. If you want a sweater in this "style' then hire a knitter to make you one. Mass marketting kills the allure and pride.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Nothing Particular



A sample of what last years NY Sheep and Wool Festival was like.

I have not been very bloggy these days because it seems like I just keep repeating myself and boring the readers here ,who grace this blog with their presence, to tears. I really am this dull people! Just ask my husband. Its all blah blah laundry...blah blah kids... blah blah kitties...blah blah blahbbity blah yarn.. blah blah did that dust bunny just move on its own?

Truly dullness at its finest.

Today is no different but I think that if one comes here, then one knows what to expect so one is not terribly surprised at the boring factor. And if you keep coming back then its because my version of boring is somehow interesting to you. For that I am grateful.

So today's post is its usual random blah blah's about my usual blah blahs (see all of the above).

Laundry was very nearly folded and basketted into COMPLETE-ish submission yesterday but the blue kryptonite that is the sofa made me sleepy so I was felled by the power of the nap after lunch hour I didn't get hurt when I fell of course because the kryptonite, as well as being blue, is also very cushy and comfy. Sweet sweet sleepytime kryptonite....

Knitting has been slow. Mostly because I find it very hard to sit and get it done, even though I love it. Attention span issues, I have them. I FINALLY got my new needle tips yesterday...worked row 14 of Liesl and flupped it up. I have one too many stitches so I need to tink back and see where I missed a K2tog. I really CANNOT have anyone near by when doing this damn thing. Grrr...
Thrummed mitten #1 should have been done by now but I got distracted by some Alafoss Lopi and the desire to whip up a pair of felted mittens. They are knit but not yet felted. the pattern is a little wonky...numbers not right..ginormous thumb in proportion to the hand... I don't know if I would use this pattern again.
Hman's sock #2 is still not done and I still await the ball of yarn for it, not that I am ready for it. If I was a good little knitting wife I would have it finished before I run off to Rhinebeck next Friday (8 more sleeps), but we all know where I fall in this category of good little knitting wives.

Thanks to Barbara, I have been distracted by a slipper pattern. Well, that and because my feet have been cold and I can't seem to locate my slippers. Said pattern is seriously cute and would make EXCELLENT gifts for certain people I have in my family. I intend to attempt them after Rhinebeck (if I can resist the startitis until then) and see how I would feel in knitting a few pairs.

The ripping apart of the first ever sweater I knit has finished. MAN, there was a lot of yarn in that sucker. Ben had mixed feelings about the ripping of his sweater but I have assured him that the new one that I make with the salvadged yarn will be much better. I am toying with the idea of a Lopi inspired patterned yoke sweater since they are so easy and fast. Also drawn to a gansey. I will save it for January though.

The moving decision has been remade: first we decided that the boys and I would move in order for me to be nearer my parents so that I can help them out more. Then with Mom's improving health we thought that maybe it wouldn't be necessary. Now we have decided again that the move will be made. Stay tuned for any further waffling, but so far its decided...again. We've even been discussing which house gets what furniture and stuff. Its weird though, because dividing the household items seems so divorce like and this is SO NOT a break up. I stated this to to Hman, that it felt like the worlds most amicable divorce, but without the benefits of freedom and a fresh start. Don't worry. He laughed at that. He is used to my observations at this point in our 18+ year relationship.

Next week, as I mentioned, is Rhinebeck (8 more sleeps). I am stoked. I worked a cleaning shift for Ginette so I have a bit more money for my coffers. I was hanging out with one of my Rhinebeck roomies last night and I must say I am not the only giddy one. Veronik has work to do while there, promoting her yarn company etc but its also a huge social occassion for knitters and knit folk of all stripes. Industry people get to touch base with the general knitting population, network, and commiserate with one another. General knitting population gets to go crazy at seeing/meeting/accosting so many knitting industry celebs, the insane amount of yarny and fibery goodness all around, the knit wear worn by the other knitters in attendence (where else can complete strangers in a crowd of thousands fondle someone's sweater and NOT get punched in the face? Not only not get punched out or arrested for assault BUT perhaps have their knitwear fondled and cooed over in return? Only at a sheep and wool festival, my muggle friends. If you were a yarny goodness enthusiast you would know that.). So while work is done at these things, fun is had as well. I am lucky enough that I will be able to observe the working and the funning and that I have a friend that can introduce me in a non-stalkery way to other knitting insustry peoples. While I do admit a certain amount of fangirl excitement at this sort of "backstage pass" as you will, I am honestly just as excited to meet my friend's friends and put faces to many names and maybe if I'm lucky soak in some knowledges through osmosis. I learned a lot at last years event, about who and what I am as a knitter and what I like. This year I hope to build upon that with wiser purchasing and observing. I am composing a list of must do's and must buys , thinking on patterns that maybe I will invest in a whole projects worth of yarns for rather than a sampling like last year. I am getting giddy at the whole weekend away with no family obligations too...that in itself is very exciting! Some people go to Las Vegas to completely lose/find themselves for a weekend. Rhinebeck is my Vegas.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Its almost Punkin time



MWAHAHAHAHAHA....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This hurts me more than him...

Harley, my wee Ragdoll shadow, has a very not nice habit. He has not been peeing in the litterboxes. He poops there, no prob. But there are no pee clumps in the box when I clean them. The girls have been using the great outdoors, so this is how I know who has been doing or not doing what.
I cannot find where he is peing either. I have been seeking out hidden corners and sniffing around but he has hidden his spot from me thus far. It ends today.

Today, Harley will be locked in the main floor bathroom with a litter box, food, water, and a sleeping basket. This retrainibg method is going to hurt me worse than him because I know he will be crying and I will want to let him out so we can cuddle. He is a most excellent cuddle cat. So, as bad as it is for him to be locked in the bathroom....my nerves and composure will be suffering as well. Send me strength!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

In honor of Suldog's latest post (not for kids)

New week

It is the beginning of the new week and I thought maybe I'd lay down a blurt or two here to take the edge off a misty moisty Monday morning.

Hman returned home safe and sound on Saturday although about 2 hours earlier than expected, thus all the house tidyings were not done. Note to anyone who arrives anywhere early: Don't bitch if things aren't ready for you! Not that he bitched...he just sighed and shook his head and started tidying things which drives me crazy.
He arrived home without my present because he couldn't find a Gullah basket and everywhere he tried told him he'd have to go to Charleston, which he didn't have time for. I hate tourist websites that recommend stuff that is out of date. Its ok though because I got extra Rhinebeck money. He asked how much I needed I said LOTS. He said Lots isn't a number so I said MORE THAN LAST YEAR! It seems to have worked...Oh and then there was the moment when the amount ended in a 13 so I said it was unlucky, gimme another 50. And he did. Rhinebeck...were are going to enjoy ourselves this year. I will be buying a sweater's worth of something for sure.
Cameron has been very congested for about a week. The kid is always congested!!! He has a mould allergy and the Nasonex only helps a little and only if you are the allergist and looking up his nose and saying "Oh yes...much better!" Other than that he's still the walking talking snot bucklet he always is until it either gets worse or he has a cold. Then its almost impossible to understand a word he says, between his lisp and his refusal to enunciate and then add the nasal accents.
Whatever was bugging him was passed on to me but seems to have left after two days.

I am tired. Was awake much of the night. I get smooshed between Harley and Hman and cannot get comfy. I wish the cat would get in the middle..That'd be better for me. When I went to the sofa, Harley tagged along and pinned down my legs for his sleeping comfort...remind me why I wanted a fur baby again? Also, he won't pee in the litter box. I have been trying to find out where he's doing that but have not yet detected his spot(s). Then this morning, right in front of me, he pee'd on the laundry pile that had fallen to the floor from the hamper in the laundry room. WTF? I don't get it. The boxes are clean! We have two of them! He poops there, why won't he pee there??? UGH...so gross.

Thrummed Mitten: Am displeased. Its too short and the decreases look like shit because they made the mitten kinda pointy. Have to rip it back about 2 1/2 inches to where the decreases were started and knit it again, but differently and about an inch longer. This time I am planning radical decreases in the last rows starting with a K1, K2tog...thats 15 stitches decreased in the first row, 10 in the second decreas row, and then I will just K2tog for the 3rd. Bam.
Liesl: Still waiting for new needle tips. Am beginning to think I won't have it ready for Rhinebeck. More like I'm pretty sure I won't, at this point.
Hman's Socks: Husband man says the first sock is perfect but I think its about 3-5 rows too short...the end goes UNDER his toes just a smidge. After sock 2 is done I will rip out the toe of sock one to match the slightly longer foot length I will put on Sock 2. Its bugging me.
Want to knit the new Spilly Jane pattern Quo Vadis . Lord knows I have enough single and partial balls of worsted weight yarns to make a few pair of these lovely unisex mittens. Unfortunately my printer is sucking badly these days and the copy I printed off is somewhat illegible. Grr. I think the pattern would also make lovely fingerless mitts...and flip top mitts. sigh. Stupid printer and pile of WIPs already draining my will to live....

I missed out on last weeks two knit nights so tonight I'm going to go hang out with my friend Veronik at her place in the city. I'm starting to feel hermit like and curmudgeonly so I gotta get out.
PS: the cute adorable bra and panty set that I got for my mother, based on HER measurements is too small. I knew shouldn't have trusted her measuring skills.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Viral Video By Uqam Students

Heh heh



I love Will Ferrell. Love the sarcasm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chchchchanges...

Amy Singer of Knitty.com models her Liesl sweater. Will mine look anywhere near as nice?


Changed Liesl over to the Warani yarn and to 9mm needles.. YES! NINE mm needles. So far so good and better than the Yarn Treehouse Merino Classic on 8 mm. Unfortunately, there is a snag. One of my 9mm needle tips has a chip in it (being made of a laminate wood product) and I have had to call for replacements. While still functional, its a little painful (sharp scratchy edges). I am on row 10...will row 11 see the right number of stitches??? It didn't yesterday..hence the ripping out...but I feel good about today's progress. Much happier with the project on the whole actually.

Now that the Merino Classic is free its tempting me...I LOVE the colour. It makes me think of chicory blossoms on the roadsides in late June which I adore the colour of. I'll call it Cornflower. Anyways...now what will I do with only 970 yards? I scratched my head and then wondered if maybe I could knit Veronik's Cap Sleeved Henly with it...Using my questionable math skills and a calculator I figured that if I knit it at 5 stitches to the inch, the closest stitch count for MY size would be the medium. This calls for 1050 yds of sportweight yarn...will 970 (ish) of worsted do? This I do not know because I haven't got yardage calculation skills like that.

I finished shopping for my Mom's birthday present today and got it into the mail. I spent more than I planned but I think its a nice parcel of girly stuffs. I don't see her very often so a half decent present is called for I think. (Just hope Hman doesn't look at the bank account too hard.) She's at the doctor's today and should be recieving some test results.

My new DPN needles arrived today in sizes 7mm and 5.5 mm! YAY! Time for more Instant Mitten knitting because winter will be here before I get any normal mitts knit, and the 7 mms are for Fuzzy Feet felted slippers. My old 7mms were too short and with sucky points. Not nice to knit with at all, specially in the round.

After two nights of crap sleep, last night I crashed out around 10 and slept like a baby!!!!! Today I feel great! And NO NAP. I even made pancakes for the kids this morning. I wish I felt this good and energetic everyday.

Oh NPH...how I love theee!




The uber talented Neil Patrick Harris hosted another YES another awards show last night. This time the Emmys. Of course being an idiot I forgot to watch BUT thanks to the wonder that is the innernetses, I got to watch the Dr Horrible hijacking of the show over and over and over...and over....

LOVE Dr Horrible. Love the Sing Along Blog! Wish I had it on Dvd so I could watch it over...and over...and over... and not just because I has the lust for Nathan Fillion. OH...don't forget Castle premiers tonight!!!! tee hee heee...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What's new, Pussycat?

I went to knit night last night and it was so incredibly quiet. there was just me, Cindy, and Ginette and sometimes the silence was broken only by one of us talking to ourself as we counted stitches or talked through a pattern repeat...LOL This is almost unheard of at Effiloche but I guess everyone was tired or busy. I wanted to be there because I had two booklets on hold ( Lopi 28 amd Berroco Blackstone Tweed ) full of inspiration for future projects. Audrey (The Devil) is making noises about a Briggs and Little order and I have a queue of sweaters that would benefit for having a yarn to knit them in...temptation ...always so much yarny temptation...)

As we chatted and caught up, I really had nothing new or exciting to relay to my friends. Nothing was new. Nothing was very different. Hman has left for South Carolina for a week of golfing fun with clients. I guess thats new, but he goes on trips or conferences a couple times a year so its not really new. Plus if the boys and I are moving home Nova Scotia I will need to get used to a semi single parent life, so I am not complaining or bitching but I miss him when he's not around, the big lug.
Truth is that for the last few weeks I have been adjusting to school schedule with the boys, and I'm not doing that great. The napping has returned with a vengeance. Almost all summer I didn't nap. It was great! Some day I was even up by 9 or 9;30 (and y'all know what an "up at the crack of noon" girl I truly am) and able to function for the whole day! Gasp! Shock! Awe!! I think it was the simple blessing of those two extra hours of sleep without the alarm going off. That and sunlight exposure. Now the alarm goes off at 7 and I am trying to drag my ass out of the bed by 20 after or so and motivate the kids to get ready for school with much pleading or threatening or cajoling, depending on the day and the kid and how late we are running because I fell asleep again after the clock radio came on. The truth is that I suck at mornings. I wish I didn't but I do and always have done.

So, after the kids go to school I have two options...guzzle coffee and get moving or go back to bed. Some days I do indeed go back to bed. Most days I do coffee and get things going but by 1 pm amd crashing hard on the sofa until the kids return from school. Its sad and pathetic and doesn't always have anything to do with what time I get to bed at night. Also, I have noticed that I am NOT sleeping well at night between Harley crowding me from the edge of the bed on my left and Hman sleeping the other side. This week may be a blessing in disguise for sleep quality.

So, as you see, there is nothing new OR exciting going on here at all. Is a SSDD situation now that school is back in session.

On the knitting front: I finished the shrug and its too tight across the back of my neck. I should have extended the back by at least an inch or three for comfort. Disappointed I am. If I continue to lose weight it might fit next year.
Hman's socks are coming along beautifully. I finished sock one last night but worry that I may have ended it a few rows too short even after having tried it on him, said I would knit a few more rows and then decrease, did so, and am still wondering if they'll be a few rows too short. Sock two will get on the needles ASAP and I await a 3rd ball of the yarn that I had to order because of the skeins being short (only 166 yds rather than the almost 200 I'd assumed, so one ball does NOT equal one good sized sock). The shipping on one little ball of Kroy from Ontario doubled the price of the frigging yarn. Kroy has an excellent price point unless you have to order it in. Grrr. But they will be lovely.

TUESDAY is the official start to the Effiloche Thrum Along. Some of the girls want to make thrummed mittens etc so a knit along was proposed and the Autumn Equinox as a start date. I have the yarn and some roving and 3 pair of mittens to be made. May need more roving since my supply is now heavy on the pink side and two of these pairs are for the boys. Ginette has some gorgeous multicoloured Louet pencil rovings in stock that would look gorgeous in thrummed projects with a coordinating or contrasting yarn. I have visions of a certain green yarn paired with the purples of the "Grape Jelly" rovings....puuuurrrr. Then again...I have more knitting visions than I can execute myself. I need a clone or two.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We all wanted a Johnny



I remember when Dirty Dancing came out and every woman I knew would have loved to have been Baby. Patrick Swayze was THE man the way Brad Pitt or George Clooney are now. Its hard to believe its been over 20 years since I first saw him in movies like Red Dawn and Tiger Warsaw. Now he's gone. I am sad.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Accomplishment...I has some.

Yesterday I finished my silk and wool blend shrug in all its glorious colours of purple, blue, and sand. I had bound off the night before BUT the bind off was too tight and the garment was rendered useless. I found an uber stretchy bind off yesterday and it rocked. Many thanks to the blog Slip Slip Knit for that. It is wearable but I could have used an inch or more ease through the back, but I wanted it close fitting. I will know better next time to go for more ease.

On the ride to Henry and Louise's house in Ile Perrot for supper I turned the heel and started the gusset decreases on Sock 1 of the Paton's Kroy Sock F/X socks I am knitting for a certain husband I have. It is what I owe him after F*&^ing up a beach day on vacation by returning too late for said beach outing. My penance is another pair of socks so here I am with almost half a pair done. I am loving this yarn despite its somewhat splitty nature. The colour gradiant is so pretty but not all girly or wild. The colourway I am using has the odd name of Clover Colours and it looks nothing like clover! 'Sup with that? Looks like an autumn landscape to me in it colours. ( I tried to use a picture of it from the web but it wouldn't work.) I am using 2.75 mm needles for a dense knit rather than the 3 or 3.25mm(?) recommended on the label. A tighter knit with socks makes them warmer and theory has it they last better.

Last of all, I weighed in yesterday. It was a happier weigh in than earlier in the week when it had appeared I'd gone up (damn water retention). Yesterday I was a satisfying 200.6 which means I've lost another 2 plus pounds. Since mid June I am almost 14 pounds off. .6 to go for that goal...LOL I was aiming for 10 pounds off by Labour day and I made it in August. I was aiming for 15 off by Rhinebeck and I am almost there (1.6 pounds away!). After that I will make another short term goal. I am feeling rather accomplished today!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sheep Visual Art

Got this in an email from my sister and it wasn't half bad, if you like sheep.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

NOT FOR CHILDREN

You will also want to put the music on my playlist on pause if you choose to watch this video.

My friend Janet knows I am a big Nathan Fillion fan: Firefly, Serenity, Slither, Castle...I love him in almost everything he does. He is especially good at comic timing...ad libbing funny stuffs into his work. Also, he a good ol' Canadian boy. Did I mention handsome?
Anyways, Janet sent me the link to James Gunn's PG Pron. Its HILARIOUS!!!! Everything you love about pron without the sex. Its like anti-pron (yes I know I spelled it wrong...I don't want freaks showing up here looking for pron...except yarn pron...or kitty pron...and by freaks I don't mean you guys).

So this is the episode of PG Pron entitled Nailing Your Wife. Enjoy responsibly...my coffee shot out my nose.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

I think I can I think I can...

I think I can finish sleeve one of my shrug tonight if I really try. I will try to sit still and work on it. I have a couple inches of ribbing left to do and then its cast off. Then I get to pick up from the provisional cast on and work the other half of the back and the other sleeve.

The yarn is very pretty...soft purples, blues, and taupes. The slubby bits make for a lot of texture to jkeep the stockingette from being blah. I actually have yarn left over from the sleeve (or I should say, I WILL) but I know that to finish I will still need a coordinating yarn for the collar bands.

I'd like to take a line or two and thank everyone for the kind words regarding Cooper. It really helped. Thanks a lot, folks.

Mommy and Daddy





Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Puppy Mill Video

A lot of pet store throughout Canada get their puppy's from Quebec puppy mills. If you want a purebred dog go to a reputable breeder, NOT a pet store. If they stop making money they will stop having puppy mills and abusing these poor creatures.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hard Call


I've been trying to stay pretty positive about Cooper's prognosis. I've been hopeful. Unfortunately all the care in the world ain't a cure and the poor bugger was not improving beyond his eye and nasal discharges were no longer green.
He's been sleeping a lot and cuddling up looking for heat and comfort. On anti inflammatories he is a pinch more active but nothing like a healthy kitten and also, thats not a cure . He still had a fever today, back up to 40 degrees and now he's losing weight. He's not a big cat so a 1/2 pound loss in a week is a lot. He's been getting a smelly again (cat pee smell) and I noticed that the big blue sofa has the smell where he tends to curl up. I am washing the cushion covers and have Febreezed everything but never was anything wet...I think it just rubbed off (or maybe he was getting dribbly?)Basically, He's plain old getting worse. So today while at the vet we discussed his health, his lack of progress beyond the eye and boogers, how often he would have to come back to the vet if we kept trying to help him. Since the vet is positive in her mind that he has FIP, there would be no actually "getting well", just managing his illness and frankly if its anything like that last 3 weeks has been, we just can't afford several hundred dollars a month in vet bills. All of that added to todays examination meant I had to make the tough call and so Cooper did not come home with me.

Its cold to think of it as cutting our losses but the fact is that if it was FIP, he was just going to get worse and worse. He was obviously not well, and sometimes I could see he was uncomfortable or maybe even in pain. Watching him walk fron his sleeping spot to his food dish was like watching an elderly cat. There was not spring, no litheness to his walk, and he was even somewhat unsteady sometimes. The longer we kept trying to hold out hope or manage his symptoms, the more attached we were going to get and I was getting pretty attached already, what with his wanting to sleep curled up with me as often as possible. What he had with us, albeit too brief, was a family that wanted to love him. A family that gave his last weeks comfort and affection. At least he had that.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day out

Today felt like Autumn had decided to arrive. It was rainy, breezy, and there was a distinct chill in the air. A perfect day for visiting an alpaca farm!!!

Audrey, rescuer of damsels with dead cars, aka The Devil, and wunderknitter, arranged a tour of an alpaca farm not far from where we live. It was wonderful. We didn't get lost (much) and the farm was adorable...like something out of a story book. If you ever get a chance to meet the couple behind Brin d'Alpaga you should take it. They were warm, welcoming, informative and very genial hosts to our small group of knitters.

Their barn was so tidy and clean!! The paddock as well. The alpacas all look to be in great condition with their short summer coats. They eventually got comfortable enough with us strangers there to lay down and chew their cud in serene poses, beautiful eyes half closed but still alert.

We went into their boutique for a visit and not one of us left empty handed. there were items manufactured in Peru from alpaca skins and fiber. Alpaca themed items. Hand knit scarves with the alpaca's name on it to let the buyer know who supplied the fiber for the yarn. I particularly like that touch. I have been to farms like this before and that personal connection to the animal is a very nice feature they had. I was also amazed that they had made so much out of the small piece of land they had. It is possible to have animals without having acres and acres of land. One simply needs the zoning, cash, and the desire.

I came home with two yarn "cakes" of hand spun 3 ply...each ply of the yarn being made of a different alpaca's fiber. In my yarn are the colours of Cortez the white stallion of great grace and gentlness, Poncho the gelding with such a striking black and white coat, and Chanel a two year old female the colour of chestnuts in the autumn sunshine.

On the way home, Audrey and I decided that such a great outting called for a spell at the Brulerie du Moulins cafe. They have great sweet iced tea, baked goods from scratch and fresh roasted coffees. VERY satisfying.

I have been trying to stave off a cold or something for days and almost like clock work every afternoon and evening it makes itself known. Today was no exception. When I got home I changed out of jeans into sweats and passed out on the sofa...then when things got noisy I toddled upstairs to the bed to cuddle with Harley and think about my wonderful day (before the 'sick' started up again). I took more Cold F/X this evening. It really does work...so far the cold has not fully formed. its more a scratchy back of the throat sniffly sensation. Could just be some sort of allergy...

So there is my loverly day. Good friends, great animals, Awesome HANDSPUN yarn to be turned into something amazingly warm...what more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Siiiiggghhh

Hman had an interview today that we THOUGHT was going to be for a Halifax position. Wires were crossed and hopes dashed when he went to the interview 3 hours away and discovered that the company WANTS him...just not in Halifax. They didn't see the cover letter to his resume that stated he wanted to head east and thus they were meeting him for a job in Ontario. DOH! So there went that lovely fantasy of moving sooner than next year and with my husband in tow. The Halifax job is totally unsuitable as it turns out (entry level)but since they thought he wanted the Ontario job they never said boo at his salary expectations. I'm somewhat bummed tonight.

He, on the other hand, found it a funny comedy of errors and very flattering that they were so excited to meet with him. They said that finding someone with his skills and expertise is becoming very hard to do and his ego got a nice boost. Thats a good thing because with where he is now its a constant beating of head against brick wall.

So, we will still be moving just not sooner like I'd been so hopeful of. Feeling impatient because the decision has been made and now I just want to get going on it.

Happy news: weighed myself yesterday and was down another pound which makes 11 pounds off since mid-June. YAY. Tonight I had a nice PMS induced Aero bar consumption(Oh Aero, how I love you....). Also, the heat is gone. Last night was 9 degrees. I wore my wool socks to bed (thank you Teri) and my flannel jammies. I think its time to put a comforted back on the bed.

My shrug made of Brooks Farm 'Ellie', a thick and thin 50/50 mix of silk and wool, is motoring along. I have the first sleeve on DPNs now and have started the decreases. I am very excited about it and get many compliments on the colours and texture on the knit fabric. Cannot wait to have it finished!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vet visit # 2 for Cooper

We just got back from the vet's a little while ago. I gotta say I really like my veterinarian, Nathalie. A) she speaks ok English which is a BIG plus in dealing with me and B) she is sympathetic and C) she has great common sense.
She took Cooper's temperature and its still elevated (39.5 C this week)so either he is still suffering from an infection OR its the possible you-know-what. His eye is MUCH improved though in her opinion. No infection visible and he has it open wider than before. She is concerned about a cloudy membrane that seems to be coating some of the eye and gave me the number for the veterinary opthamologist for that. A test showed no signs of ulceration. His weight is still 7 pounds 3 oz, so he hasn't gained but he hasn't lost either. I was disapponted but still relieved. She does not find him to be underweight for his size so she isn't worried about his weight unless it drops. He was fairly sniffly today, signs of imflammation in his nasal passages (residual infection? simple rhino related inflammation?) so she asked me to continue his antibiotics for 5 days with whats left in the bottle and gave us anti inflammatories for 5 days as well. He is MOST unimpressed with this torture and has gone into pissed off hiding for now. He'll get over it when the AIs kick in and he has no pain or fever and feels good. We will go and see her in a week to take his temperature again.
While there, I discussed drugs, supplements, and diet with Dre. Nathalie. We will not use anything while he's still feverish for the time being. He is no worse and somewhat improved so we will stay the course. I did invest in some Medi-Cal "Development" kibble to mix in with our usual cat food in the hopes it will give him a boost, being a richer and higher calorie food for developing kittens which he kinda still is. The road to health is paved with good nutrition after all. I also got a couple of cans of the Preventative formula to tempt him (but if untempted the other cats will eat it). She found it odd he is unmoved by the wet food offerings. Quirky little bugger would rather suck on my hair? LOL
So there we have it...status quo in a good way!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cooper talk and knit natter

After discussing Cooper with my superneice, the former veterinarian (though really, once you have your DVM are you ever NOT a vet anymore even though you prefer teaching to sticking your arm up a cows arse at 3 am in January? Really?) I am less frantic about Cooper. YES he did test positive for the antibodies associated with Coronavirus (causes FIP) but not every cat that catches the Coronavirus gets FIP. Sort of like every person who catches Chicken Pox doesn't get Shingles, see what I mean? He might be a lucky boy that doesn't actually have FIP and was fighting off an infection or a bout of that frakking Rhinotracheitis. Only time will tell.
Last night he was almost perky! He chased Harley a short distance and actually came up and slept with the Hman and I part of the night, snuggling close at one point into the underarm area (we both woke up at different times to find that he was there in the arm pit so he switched pits through the night...LOL) though originally he was at our feet. We haven't had a bed cat since Monkey...or maybe Freckles? Best bed cat ever was Eliot...that was a snuggly cat lemme tell you...but I digress.
Today he has looked for some mischief and napped, followed me around, interfered with typing and gotten lots of snuggles when he's willing. He is still eating well, as I have mentioned before. I will be cleaning that eye area again today (did it last night). Its no worse than before but he just looks so much nicer when its clean BUT he is fighting me off more vigorously. Thats a good sign, eh?

I am looking forward to the vet visit tomorrow. I think she will see some improvement in our boy. Lets all hope he's put on an ounce or two and that his fever is gone. That would be a great sign, eh??? Supahneice also reassured me that the usual drugs used in treatment (steroids and maybe Prednizone)are not astronomically priced so that also a relief.

Hippy that I am, I am also interested in what my commenter has said about diet and holistic therapies like Lysine and a raw food diet. I am nervous of making cat food incase I cannot create a food that is nutritionally balanced enough, although I hear great anecdotal evidence promoting it. A website I saw gave some recommended vitamin support information for cats suspected of having FIP and I will be bringing all of these questions to the vet tomorrow.

The other day I casted on yet another project...I just get so bored sometimes and need to start something new and enjoyable. Using my Brooks Farm Ellie I am attempting a shrug. Did I mention this already? Can I just say I LOVE this yarn in a stockingette fabric. Its shows off the slubby texture so well! I loaded an audio book onto my iPod so I have something to keep me in my chair.

I have TOO MANY TOMATOES. Need to try a salsa recipe today. Thats my cue to get back to the kitchen!!