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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February wrapup

My car got shipped to Toronto yesterday; all of a sudden our move is becoming something real. We did a bit of sightseeing today:

The guy who took our picture asked us where we were from; I think he was a bit dissapointed that we were from the city 45 minutes up the highway. We aren't the only ones making a fresh start. Spring is coming!

I did some knitting in the car, and finished my sockettes.
I also had the chance to knit a wee little sock for my colourswap pal. 2 more days until my extended holiday is over.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Secret Pal update!

I finally managed to get my final SP9 and CASP packages out this past Tuesday (in my defence, I intended to mail them last Saturday on my way to the airport, but the post office was closed). The blogless yarnit (aka Sheryl) was my CASP pal, and Lorena was my SP9 pal.

This is the card that I included in Lorena's package - I laughed out loud when I saw it in a gift shop we dropped into while taking a break from househunting. I now wish that I had bought more of them.

With our upcoming move, I decided to not register for SP10. This was an uncharacteristically sensible move for me, since I am an expert in over-committing myself. I am, however in the process of getting my Favourite Colourswap package together, and have sent off my first Knitty SP8 gift.

And Ali from knitty also organized a quick and dirty
VD exchange for Valentine's Day.

I got to celebrate Ukrainian Valentine's Day, because the combination of USPS + Canada Customs + Canada Post = "Express" becoming a very relative term. Trillian 42 sent me all of this great stuff:

Peeps! I don't know if these are sold in Canada or not. I had never heard of them pre-blog, so they seem almost mythical to me. She also sent me some cherry creme filled Hershey's Kisses, candy coated Hershey's kisses, wee little flower pots with growing kits, lifesavers (absconded by Kyle), and some beautiful Morehouse Merino yarn complete with a shawl pattern.
Here's a closeup of the yarn; it's a beautiful combination of red, burgundy and russet.

On the knitting front, I finished the first sockette:

In addition to making it a few inches longer than the first one, I modified the toe. Instead of knitting it flat all the way to the end and sewing the toe shut at the tip and then sewing a second midline seam, I did a short row toe, and sewed the toe using a zig zag technique (I accidentally knit a purl row right near the end, so that's why it looks like a double seam.) I ended up having to sew up the midline seam anyways, but it was shorter than the original. The next time I make a pair of these, I will just convert it to knitting in the round once I complete the border. I had also intended to use the nylon thread that comes with the Jawoll sock yarn to reinforce the toe, but I was quite a way into the toe when I realized that I had forgotten to add it in. I'm casting on the second one today, in hopes of finishing by Wednesday so I can enter it in the Socktopia monthly drawing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Last Saturday before recess ends...

I start work a week from Monday, and am in the process of trying to adjust from Pacific to Eastern time zones. Which means early to bed and early to rise.

Usually before sunup.

Ev tracked down a sockette pattern for me (many thanks!!), so that's the current active WIP. I'm using a skein of Jawoll cotton (which doesn't have a mate, so I can't use it to make a real pair of socks). I managed to knit up a sockette while flying/waiting in airports last weekend, but unfortunately, the pattern was written for "sockinette" sizes, rather than shoe sizes. You know how women's socks often say "fits sizes 8-11"? That isn't shoe sizes; it's sock sizes. And sock sizes run much smaller than women's US shoe sizes. So the sockette pictured above is my second attempt.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I knit a sheep!

This was a quick project that I finished last night; I started it last Tuesday. It was nice and small, which made it good for my recent short trip.

So, what do you think it is?A Rowanoid hat?
(Yes, that Lion is STILL wearing his Christmas outfit)
Does this picture help?
It's a tea cozy!! Now Kyle doesn't have to use an item of outerwear to keep his tea hot anymore.
I bought the wool and pattern via ebay. The seller is a woman in Alberta who sells them as kits; the yarn is from her sheep. I can send her email address on to anyone who'd like it if you contact me via email - ladylungdoc AT hotmail.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Imagine there's no heaven...

There seems to be a ripple of excitement through the knitting blogosphere at the upcoming publication of a certain Famous Internet Knitter's new book. Said knitter appears to be fanning the flames by encouraging a show of "knitting force" (and a disclosure of salaries, apparently.) I'm waiting for the proclamation that Knitting is now more popular than Religion (or that someone is more popular than J*sus, or maybe the V#rgin M@ry)

You know, if 100% of the sales of the new book on that day were donated to charity(and some percentage of all sales thereafter), I wouldn't have a bad taste in my mouth about this. Because let's face it; there are thousands of blog postings every day that tell funny/heartwarming/instructive/cautionary tales of life and knitting and how the 2 intertwine. Do we really need to cut down more trees so that another book full of them can be published?

Cue booming voice: "Get over thine self!!!"

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday sky

Another Saturday, another sky.

A rare clear blue one for a change.

I'll be making a short visit to some prairie skies for the next few days...enjoy the weekend!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Secret Pal Pr0n

There was an abundance of treasures in the mailbox this week. My Blogger SP9 Lori sent me a package full of Alaskan goodness. Or should I say, a case full? Check out the great vintage case she picked up for me.

Merino/silk yarn that she dyed AND spun!!
Russian clove scented tea
Clove scented soap
Knitting notecards
And chocolate!!

I also got a package from my Knittyboard Secret Pal, all the way from Norway!

Some sweets, cross country ski socks, a sheep ornament, and alpaca


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.
W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage,

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Big Reveal!!!

May I present to you...The INSPIREred Socks!!!
Here's what they look like in action... And a closeup of the cat hair stitch pattern.
Knit with just under 2 full skeins of Regia Silk Shine (those are sparkly bits on the closeup, not kitty dandruff). Cast on Jauary 25, Cast off February 5th. Both socks knit at the same time using 2.5 mm addi circs.

I'm going to write this pattern up; because the stitch pattern is 50%knit and 50% purl, it's fairly forgiving in terms of foot width. And if it's too big around the ankle, it forms folds rather than slouching down completely.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday update

Spent part of the day here:
En route, I worked on these - the sleeves for my Poppy Some funky pooling action going on, plus there's some variation in the colour distribution between the 2 skeins. At this point in time I am rationalizing that the 2 sleeves will rarely be that close to each other when the sweater is being worn. Depending on how much yarn I have left when I have completed the sleeves, I might reknit them using just one skein. It would probably make the most sense for me to frog now, rather than end up knitting them in their entirety before frogging, but it will be useful for me to know exactly how much yarn the sleeves will take.
Bottom panel is done; I just need to sew the ends together.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Project Spectrum Saturday

We've had a few foggy days in a row; the whole world is gray, white, and blue.
My official Project Spectrum Project is an intarsia block afghan that I'm knitting out of some Sirdar Spree. It's from Yarnplay
The Spree is a bulky cotton/acrylic blend; I love how the blue yarn looks faded.
I have completed the bottom panel of the Poppy. This is a photo when it was about 75% completed. The stripes/purl rows are supposed to be random. In an attempt to achieve true randomness, I ran the "random stripe generator", grabbed a coin and a die, and decided that I would let chance determine the patterning.

Maybe I should take a trip to Vegas, because I was able to flip heads 5 times in a row, as well as roll a '5' 4 times in a row, and then a '2' twice in a row. So I instead came up with an arrangement that looked more random than the random one.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Yarn Pr0n!

I got a new digital camera after Xmas (love those online Boxing Day sales!) which has a much better macro function than my old one.

Poppy Pr0n!

It's good for taking cat pictures, too.

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Knit a pair of socks in just over a minute

Janis's socks are en route. Photos will be posted once she recieves them; but for your viewing pleasure, here's a slideshow of the "mystery socks in progress" images.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors?
Lime green, teal, deep red

2. What crafts do you really enjoy?
Knitting. I also dabble in making stitch markers. I have vague plans to start doing collage, maybe combining it with watercolours.

3. What products do you really covet?
I'd like to try Koigu sock yarn, or Handmaiden Sea Silk, and I kick myself on a daily basis for not buying Blue Moon Fibre Arts Bamboo sock yarn when I had the chance.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?
Skiing (downhill and nordic), reading (some fiction, but a bit heavy on sociology related stuff of late), travelling (especially to large cities - I love checking out museums, street life, shops), digital photography.

5. Is there anything you collect?
Other than significant amounts of cat hair on my clothing, not really. I pick up pretty/quirky/amusing items from time to time, and have also bought a few paintings/drawings, but there's no specific theme.

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?
I'm a Libra. It's been a while since I last ate in a Chinese restaurant that had zodiac placemats; I think I'm a sheep. Or maybe a rabbit. Whatever animal was assigned to 1967.

7.What are your favorite……scents/smells? Cloves, jasmine …types of music and/or bands? Is anyone ever able to successfully answer this question other than to indicate the genres of music that they don't like? I like stuff that isn't crap …authors? Somerset Maugham …animals? my 2 cats …places to shop? Yarn shops, consignment shops, used book stores, small boutiques (I have no desire to look like everyone else, and try to avoid non-Canadian chain stores if at all possible)…season? it's a tie - early summer and mid winter …yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies? …candies or goodies? With the exception of gingerbread, if it's not chocolate, I'm not interested. I loooove dark chocolate.

8. Do you have any wish lists?
Nothing online, but I do wish for:
- a Noni Bobble bag pattern
- one of those brass stitch gauge/needle gauge thingies that has a 4x4 opening to accurately determine your gauge
- A "how to use Adobe Photoshop" book, because the help function is rarely of any help to me.
- An X-acto precision knife
- something in which I can store my circs
- something in which I can store my small dpns
And finally, I would love to get handpainted sock yarn that matches Somerset's fur colours.

9. Are you allergic to anything?

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?
I have 2 cats, and they are my child equivalents.

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy.
I've got loads of tea in inventory right now, and don't really need any more.


The worm turns!

No need to adjust your screen - that's a hair on Greedo. One of my hairs judging by the length.
I'm shedding on him!!

Greedo was not amused...

...but Somerset thought that it was hilarious!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I should be a Norse God...

...because it seems that everything I do turns into a saga. Case in point: The Poppy Project (Why do I think of my WIPs as Projects With Names That Start With Capital Letters?).

I started out with 2 skeins of Cascade 220 and 2 skeins of Black Purl worsted. The pattern calls for the equivalent of 3.5 skeins of Black Purl. So, I decided that I'd find a 3rd (4th?) yarn that I could use to make up the difference. Back in January I made a swatch(a swatch people - not messing around here!), and post blocking, I didn't get gauge. I was 12 rows into swatch #2 when Kyle came upstairs to say that he'd gotten an email that his grandmother had been rushed to hospital...5 hours later we were on our way to the airport (I did have a chance tovcast off the swatch while Kyle was on the phone).

When we were in Chicago, I went to Loopy yarns. For a brief shining moment, I thought that I could buy another skein of BP. But they didn't have any in stock. So I picked out a skein of Cascade 220 in a purple heathered colour. I used a skein of Laceweight Black Purl for comparison, and it looked like it would work.

Got back. Blocked swatch #2. Off gauge. Decided to play around with a skein of Diafuran as a potential "fill in" yarn. Looked a bit thin at the appropriate gauge, so I bought a skein of pseudo-kidsilkhaze to carry along with the Diafuran. Colour and gauge worked, but the swatch was kind of fuzzy, and I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted. Wondered if I could just "shave" the halo off once it's knit up. I actually gave some thought to using some leftover purple DMC Perle as a carryalong. Decided that I should just finish off my Resolution socks.

Finished the Resolution socks. Started the Mystery Socks. Went out of town again. Finshed the Mystery Socks. Decided that I should knit a Cascade 220 swatch. Went to choose my needles, and realized that I wasn't 100% certain which needle sizes I had used for the first 2 swatches (because I of course did not think to write this information down. Because this time, unlike every other time I don't write something down, I would remember). So I knit a Cascade 220 swatch and another Black Purl Swatch. One stitch off gauge. But I also realised something else:

The purple in the Cascade 220 is too blue for the Black Purl. Sigh. Cascade 220 went into the "One day I will knit a Noni Bobble Bag so in the meantime I'm collecting Cascade 220" drawer.
I dug through my stash again. Tested some ebay yarn that I have (in the perfect shade of purple) to see if it was wool or not - it's acrylic. Came up with some Bartlett Yarns in light and medium purple that worked. This was yarn that I used to knit my Kitty Pi, and it felt pretty scratchy. I decided that I would swatch it (#5, if you are keeping track) and see if it would soften up with washing. Decided it was time to take a knitting time out.

I threw swatch #1 into my purse and went skiing; I thought that I would stop by the LYS when I went to pick Kyle up from the airport. Post skiing, I went to our "other" yarn shop to buy some blue DMC perle (for a future Maryella). Decided that I might as well see what she had in worsted wool. Found the Mission Falls 1824 wool. And I found not 1, not 2, but 3 coordinating colours. Yay! Cast on last night.

The charcoal gray is going to be the bottom panel. The Black Purl will be the sleeves/top panel. I'm using the Mission Falls for the contrast stripes in the bottom panel. I might be able to do a band between the bottom and top panel with 1(or 2 or 3) of the Mission Falls yarns. Not entirely sure if that will look OK (and I'll need to swatch the Mission Falls yarn). I'm going to knit the sleeves first and see how much yarn I have left. I've already looked at all the Canadian online yarn sources I can find, and nobody has Black Purl Shepherd worsted.

This was supposed to be a stash busting project!!!

I wonder how it would look with short sleeves...


Ad Rants

Memo to the people at Guinness: what on earth are you talking about when you refer to "St Patrick's Season"? Give me a break; this "holiday" celebrates the patron saint of a country that's about the size of Lake Superior. And I'd hazard a guess that at least 90% of the people who "celebrate" it have little or no connections to Ireland. There is no need create such entities as "St Patrick's Day Eve" in order to sell more beer.

Memo to the people at Tristar: Do you remember Grade 5 math, when you learned about decimals, and rounding off? Do you remember how rounding off works? Last integer greater than 5 gets rounded up? News flash: 2 divided by 3 is not .666, it's .6(repeating), which is rounded off to .667. Don't worry, people are so enamored of conspiracy theories that you could work some other tenuous linkage between the number 23 and Satan and they'd buy it.

(BTW - remember the rule about the digits that make up a number divisible by 3? The rule is that if you add them up you get another number equal to or divisible by 3? Well, it works even if you divide a number divisible by 3 by any number other than 3 {or another number divisible by 3} and the result gives you a decimal point: 3/2 = 1.5, and 1+5 = 6. It has to, because all you need to do is multiply the original number by whatever factor of 10 is required to make the result a whole number without changing the digits.)


Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I finished the socks yesterday afternoon, and wove the ends in last night while waiting for tension swatches to dry. I am swatching yarns for Poppy, and was disappointed to realize that the skein of purple Cascade 220 that I picked up in Chicago is too blue to coordinate with the Black Purl Colorway. So the hunt is on for either more Black Purl, or an alternate worsted yarn that I can use in this sweater.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

If I could knit when I sleep I'd be set

I overestimated the amount of knitting I could get done last night before bedtime, so I only finished knitting one toe. That sock is now on some DPNs, waiting to be grafted. I started the short rows on the second sock this morning. Currently, I am debating whether or not to go downhill skiing today. It's not just that I am eager to finish the socks that makes me hesitate, but the fact that my car is parked at the bottom of our access road, because it was too slippery for me to make it all the way up last night when I came back from cross country skiing. If I go downhill skiing, I will have to schlep all my downhill gear down the road. If I go cross country skiing instead, all of my stuff is already in the car. And it's an hour's drive to the ski hill, rather than the 25 minute drive to the cross country but I am spoiled, aren't I?


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Tonight the toes...

Tomorrow the world! Because I'm pretty sure that these socks are going to be a bit wide on Janis, I am knitting them a bit shorter than her foot measurement. That's why there's the purple thread right at the end - in case they are too short and the toes need to be reknit. In retrospect, this stitch pattern is 50%knit 50% purl, so I should have doublechecked the tension in pattern.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

A day late...

...or 364 days early.
As seen on several blogs yesterday



In its own language its name means:

I walk slowly on hillsides
and sleep with a bellyful
of pleasing berries,
pink flesh, and brains.

I dream of love vulgar
and gorgeous beside the rush
of rivers born of glacial ice
and I shun the times
of no plenty, when all is dark
and white and the blossoms
do not love the red fruit into being.

This is the simplest word in its language
and the first one it learns.


The bear does not have a word for regret
but the nearest equivalent would be:

I am not proud
to have gone to the end of the world
and eaten garbage there
in dumps among the naked and the thin
when I could not last the winter.

This word is often thought but seldom
spoken among the strong,


If you want to say I love you
in the bearish tongue say:

You need not fear me

and translated literally
the word for solitude is:

This side of the mountain is mine

Paul Vermeersch