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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blue Plate Special

What's this?
It seems to be just my size.

Hmm...I'm sleepy...

This is a great place for a nap...

Maybe just adjust a bit...
Ahh...that's better...

Remind me why I went to the trouble of knitting a Blueberry Pi?

Sockapalooza socks have now been placed on separate needles to minimize detangling, and also to make it easier to rip back if I discover that I have missed placing a bead or two (or eight). I'm toying with the idea of making the beaded cuff part of the sock short - just adding some ribbing and calling it a day, but I think I will keep going.
It's not a project I can work on for long periods of time; partially because I haven't had long periods of spare time this week, and also because of the 3 pattern rows, I mildly dislike doing the "cabling without a needle" rows. I think that once I finish these, I will cast on for a plain old stockinette sock to give myself a break.
Because I can't be completely monogamous with the socks, I knit this today:

A gauge swatch for a Soleil tank out of my bamboo yarn. I'm even going to wash and block it. (OK, I didn't do the full 35 rows that I should have, but I disliked knitting the swatch even more than cabling without a needle.) It looks like my 4mm Options needles should work well. Oh, and to answer my Secret Pal: I LOVE THESE NEEDLES!!! I can't believe I waited so long to pick up a set! Although I cannot believe that the technology does not exist to somehow imprint the needle size on the needle itself.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Bootie Call!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words about my last post. Needed to vent a bit.

I had quite the weekend - thought I left my Ontario housekey in BC, got lost on the way to the cottage, got a pretty bad sunburn as well as doofy tan lines, and had my car almost overheat on my way into the city(GTA knitters - just in case you ever wondered how long it would take to get from Burlington to Downtown Toronto taking Lakeshore the ENTIRE way - about 90 minutes, as opposed to 45). But since I am back on call starting this morning, I'm just going to tell you about the knitting:
The Gambler's brother and his brother's wife are going to have their first baby any minute now. So I of course put off knitting anything for the baby until a few days past her due date. But the beauty of baby knits is that they are small:
I cast on for the cardigan just before getting on the plane Friday, and could have finished it Saturday except for the fact that I mucked up the garter stitch edging a few tiems and decided to just rip back those stitches and re-loop each one individually. Which was way more tedious and difficult than I initially thought, especially since I only had a 2 mm crochet hook. But I managed to finish it last night.
And I am quite proud to point out that those ties are crochet chains! I was at Alterknits yesterday afternoon and picked up the hook. The woman working there wasn't sure what size hook, so she did a quick test chain with the yarn. When I got home, I tried doing what she did and it worked! Of course, I have no idea how you are supposed to "end" a chain other than just pulling the end through the last loop and tightening it...or how to weave in the end. But that's what knots are for (don't tell the Yarn Harlot!)
Official Stats:
Modifications: none
Yarn: Some ancient yarn (the price tag says $1.98) that I picked up at a stash swap. 56% Acrylic, 33% cotton, 11% viscose (Acrylic for a baby AND knots - she might declare a fatwa on me! It would increase blog traffic...). 160 m per 50 g skein - I used 1 plus less than 25% of a second skein.
Needles: Knitpicks Options US 8
Cast on: June 22
Cast off: June 24
Modifications: Knit all but the soles in the round
Yarn: Regia stretch? (a partial ball I picked up in a thrift shop)
Needles: Addi Circs 2.5 mm
Cast on: June 17
Cast off: June 19
But the highlight of the weekend was of course being reunited with the cats. They expressed interest in the Blueberry Pi:
And Somerset has started to break it in:
Pi Squared. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
See you next week!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I am sick of packing. And unpacking. And trying to decide what to pack.

I am stressed about how much crap we have. And how much it it going to cost to ship the crap. And where we are going to store all of the crap in the new house.

I have to arrange to have my work mail forwarded to the hospital. And have our mail forwarded to the new address. And figure out how to change the forwarding that is still happening with some of our mail so that it doesn't get sent to BC and then back to Ontario. I have to get a new Driver's Licence, Car Insurance and Licence Plates, Health Card, and VISA.

I hate being on different flights from The Gambler. And the feeling of panic that hits me when I think that I booked the flight going in the wrong direction. And worrying that I am going to miss my flight because of traffic problems on The Bridge or The 401.

And don't even get me started on living in 2 different time zones that are 3 hours apart!

And I miss the cats.

Oh crap, I almost forgot to pack the Blueberry Pi!! (This shot is of Blueberry beta)


Bwa ha ha!

This really shouldn't be a surprise:

You Are the Middle Finger

You Are the Middle Finger
A bit fragile and dependent on your friends, you're not nearly as hostile as you seem.You are balanced, easy to get along with, and quite serious.However, you can get angry and fed up with those around you. And you aren't afraid to show it!
You get along well with: The Index Finger
Stay away from: The Pinky

Blame Lynn From Texas for this one


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blueberry Pi!

I finished knitting the Kitty Pi yesterday:I used a novelty yarn called "Dawn" for the fringe. I picked it up during the trip we took to Seattle last year. The Pi itself was knit from 4 different colours of Bartlett Yarns wool that I picked up during an ebay shopping spree many moons ago.I prefer the bobble look to the fake fur look, plus Somerset might decide to groom the fake fur (she's kind of funny that way). They hold up well to felting.Completed Pi - awaiting the filling.
The details:
Pattern: Kitty Pi
Modification: For a double serving of pi- increase the number of rounds once up to 72 stitches.
Cast on: June 14
Cast off(and felted): June 19
Yarn: double stranded 2 ply yarn Bartlett Yarns (worsted weight?) - 3.75 skeins, plus 1/2 a skein of novelty yarn
Needles: 8.0mm/US11 Birch dpns, Clover Bamboo circs

I plan to take it with me to our rental house when I head back to Ontario this Friday. I considered leaving it to be moved with the rest of the stuff, but we might be in our new house before the rest of our stuff gets there, and I'd like to have as many things that are familiar to the cats as possible for moving day. Plus I can't wait to see how they react to having a choice of beds (this is how I amuse myself - man, but I need to get a life).

Making progress on the sockapalooza sock.

I have learned several things about knitting with beads - the most important being that long strands of yarn tangle much more effectively when they can wrap around beads. I also realized that it is a royal pain in the @ss to knit with beads that were strung onto the non-working end of the skein - I've had to unwind a few times to advance beads (which is when I learned about the tangling). One of my skeins has the beads too far along the yarn, and the other has too many beads close to the working end (so I have to push them back on the non-bead rows) If I ever knit socks with beads again, I will DEFINITELY knit them top down.
Because the beads match the yarn colours so well they don't really stand out. But I think that the sock would be far too busy if there was alot of contrast. Man, for the amount of time I have spent re-knitting, untangling, and rewinding, I should have knitted them twice over by now. I really hope they fit my pal; she's got a pretty narrow foot...

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Knitting Update

I managed to get alot of knitting done during our roadtrip.

For the amount of time that I have spent on my sockapalooza socks, I should be completed them by now. However, after knitting about 7 inches of the foot, I decided that I should make the socks a wee bit wider, so I frogged back to the toe and added 4 stitches.
I of course had the brilliant idea of ripping the toe back just before we got on a ferry; nothing like sitting out in the wind trying to slip stitches back on the needle.
However, I was able to switch from addi bamboo needles (which have a slightly annoying join)over to addi lace needles, and I was extremely happy with the lace needles. Too bad they don't come in a 2mm size. The heels are done, although again I think I knit each heel at least 3 times; first I overestimated the depth of the heel for the number of stitches, then I made a mistake on the yarnover, then it turned out that the 2 socks weren't quite the same length (I do the short row heels one at a time - I switched one sock over to the addi bamboo needle, and added to the length of the socks separately rather than putting them back on the same circ).
Next up is the cuff, which will include beads. Last night I threaded the beads onto the yarn and rewound it (watching CSI lessened the tedium of the task). I' m curious to see how they will look; they are very similar to the yarn colours, as you can see in this photo.
Other projects that I cast on during the trip include Purple Pi: a second Kitty Pi cat bed - this one should be larger capacity than the first one.
I'm also working on some baby booties - The Gambler's brother's wife is due any day now. I am considering knitting I cord rather than using ribbon for the tie, although knitting I cord on 3 mm needles might drive me insane.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Travel Post

We are spending a few days travelling Vancouver Island. We've gone from dodgy wireless, to great wireless to "free access" that required the purchase of a cable for $6 from the hotel. So I haven't gotten around to uploading any photos onto my laptop. What to do with a photo-free blog post: a Meme!

Bold for stuff you’ve done/are doing, Italics for stuff you intend to do one day, Normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
I-cord/I-cord edging
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with yarn made of camel, yak, alpaca, synthetic, sheep's wool, recycled, vintage, silk, soy, bamboo, banana, plastic bags, cut up fabric, cashmere, hemp, linen, wire, cotton
Mittens cuff up
Mittens fingers down
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Slip stitch patterns
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (vs. continental)
Knitting to make money
Knitting for a living
Button holes
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Writing a pattern
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public
Knit a vintage pattern (over 40 yrs old)
Cross stitch/Embroidery/Needlepoint
Sew-like on a machine


Monday, June 11, 2007

Swap package!!

Well, I have returned to my official mailing address, so I was able to open my Favourite Colour Swap 2 package from Gretchen aka jpknits!

(BTW - I napped during takeoff, then shortly after, I opened the window to take a look at the scenery. I was not sure exactly what route we were taking - we were flying over what looked like agricultural land, so I thought we must be over Washington. But there was this body of water, and I couldn't see the mountains up ahead. This caused much puzzlement until I realized I WAS FLYING FROM ONTARIO TO BC, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!! I mentioned this to The Gambler, and he said that the same thing happended to him during a flight - they were showing the map representing distance travelled and he thought "Ha ha, they have the plane going in the wrong direction"..then realized that the map WAS in fact correct. Talk about not knowing if you are coming or going)

I am always impressed by people who line the box with coordinating tissue. I am unable to achieve that state of preparedness.

Lovely lightly lime Lorna's Laces! Destined to become a pair of socks with some type of leaf lace pattern.

Teal silk/alpacaaaaaaah!

Beaucoup Boku!! The red/purple colour combo is very vibrant, unlike the washed out photo.

Spicy and sweet dark chocolate!

Stuff to keep both skin and sweaters smooth!

And Bobbles! I have been collecting Cascade 220 for the purpose of knitting this pattern for a while now.

Many thanks to Gretchen!!!

Speaking of swaps, here's an update on my Sockapalooza socks:

My downstream swapee has feet that are about the size of my hands, so I am just a few inches away from turning the heel.

The colours aren't pooling too badly, and I do admit that the Panda Cotton yarn is nice and soft when knitted up. With my nice sharp addi bamboos, the splitting is much less of an issue. I'm really interested to see how the beads are going to affect the appearance once I start knitting the cuff.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007


HA HA!! Mommy went to the TTC Knitalong/Yarn Crawl today and forgot her camera!!!

I figured out how to use the self timer!!!

Mommy is putting clothes in the suitcase now! I CANNOT BELIEVE that she closed the door - I was going to help her!! Doesn't she want to spend quality time with ME?!?!
I don't understand what it is that she does with the sticks and string - my silly sister is fascinated by that stuff! When Mommy is playing with her toys, I help her out by sitting right in front of them, and saying "HERE I AM!!" so that she can revel in my greatness!! But today she brought home something different than the other balls of string:

This is 4 Greedo lengths of something called crochet that she bought today at a place called Americo! Mommy plans to weave some of her string in the holes inside and fill them up like I fill up my tummy at dinnertime!! Speaking of dinnertime, I have to go and finish off the leftover food from breakfast and then complain to her that I am starving!!!

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Friday, June 08, 2007

hi this post is by me somerset

the loud beeping noise happened again last night and mommy went away when it was still dark greedo was worried because she didnt leave any food for us but she came back to feed us breakfast just after the dark went away
mommy is taking a nap right now the last few days she is acting like me and greedo and takes lots of naps im glad when she takes naps on the sofa with us because i can lay on her tummy she left her computer on so i will show you what she did before her nap

last night when she came home she was taking her clothes out of her suitcase and was very happy when she found a baggie that said addi natura 3mm 40inch and inside was one of those things that i would like to chew on and this morning she took some of the dangly stuff and the thing from the baggie and started to play with them i wanted to help her play with them but she wouldnt let me she was kind of mad and saying bad words about someone called magic cast on for a while but then she shrugged her shoulders like she does when she lets me and greedo sleep outside the basement because i am hiding in my secret box place and said something about a design feature

i dont know why these words are smaller than the other words but thats ok because mommy doesn't know why it happens either and she says it is a blog design feature


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Last week I noticed that one of Somerset's eyes wasn't fully open.

She also had some swelling over her cheek. I attempted to make an appointment to take her to the vet, but since I was on cal it was impossible to make the appointment times they offered me. By the weekend, the swelling had gone down somewhat, but now she had a scabby area on her face.

So on Monday morning I loaded her into her kennel to go see the vet. Greedo decided that this was a good time to make himself scarce. The vet thought it was probably a superficial infection, possibly an infected spider bite, and gave me some pills and ointment. Somerset was not too terribly traumatized.During the afternoon, I worked on the Sockapalooza Swatch. I have to admit that the Panda Cotton is nice and soft once it is knitted up. I'm hoping that I can find some size 6 beads in the same colour as the size 8 beads I already have at Arton Beads when we go there on Saturday.

Today has turned out to be cold and rainy, so I decided that I might as well go for a haircut since the last time I had my hair trimmed was back in January. Maybe Ruth's post had something to do with it.


This is the shortest that my hair has been since 1998. The Gambler is going to flip; I think he would prefer that I grow my hair down to my waist. I will probably let it grow back; by Christmas it should be down to my shoulders.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Sweet Beautiful Time Off!!

As of about 20 minutes ago, I am off for 3 weeks (well, I'm on call for overnight admissions Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday of this week, but at least I have the days free.)
I'll be heading back to BC on Sunday, so this gives me a chance to check out the places near the rental, and I'll also be heading into Toronto on Friday and Saturday.

Batty left a comment that I need 2 stashes. I'm happy to report that my Ontario stash has been in existence for several weeks now:
Here's the latest addition:
I picked up the Silky Tweed from Martina at Kniterary. It's destined to become a Firefly Sweater a la Definitely Maybe Knits
And here's some yarn that I started knitting up as a shawl for the Sea socks Cruise:

I was doing a simple YO/K2tog alernating with garter stitch pattern, but I saw this pattern when we were shopping in Victoria, and decided that I would frog it and restart at some point in time:

My goal is to have it done for next year's Sea Socks Cruise.

On an unrelated topic - I suggest that any GTA readers check out the Driftwood Theatre production of Much Ado About Nothing. I saw them perform The Complete Works of William Shakespear (Abridged), and it was a blast - they are hilarious!

More free advertising: Check out for some totally cool sock patterns that are designed to use up bits of sock yarn! The beaded socks that I am knitting are from her Legs for Easy Toe Up Socks pamphlet.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Needle-less Suffering

I'm almost done my week on call, and was able to leave work by 4PM today. As I drove home, I was relishing the time that I'll have off in the next 3 weeks. I'm going to be heading back to BC next Sunday, but this week I will have much knitting time.

I had intended to start working on my Sockapalooza socks when I finished the May Flowers Socks. But I decided today that I'd try to be like Turtlegirl or Trillian42 and try to knit a tank top in time for Saturday's TTC Knitalong. I thought that I should have time to swatch and cast on for a Soleil Tank out of the Earth Day bamboo yarn using my Denise needles. When I got back to the rental house, I went to dig through the suitcases to look for the Denise needles. No Denise needles. When I was packing to come back here at the beginning of May, I initially started to gather together a bunch of knitting stuff including various sizes of needles, but then decided against bringing ALL of it because I'd be coming back to BC for 12 days in June. So I brought some of it. And apparently the Denise needles got left behind. I hate having my stuff in 2 separate houses!!!

So I thought that I would get started on the Sockapalooza socks after all. I plan to knit a pair of toe up socks with a beaded cuff. This is sock yarn that I won as a door prize on the Sea Socks cruise, and I picked up the beads some time last year from a small bead store that is just a few km away from the rental house. Initially I thought that I would string some of the beads on the yarn so that I could test out the pattern, but these are size 8/0 beads, and although they would probably fit on the single strand of yarn, I couldn't thread them with the beading needle over the doubled up yarn.
So I thought that I might as well get started on swatching them. I have a 3mm Addi natura needle that I would have SWORN I brought along with me. If I did, I have no clue where I packed it, because I couldn't find it. So instead, I am swatching with 2.75 mm DPNs. The yarn is Panda Cotton, which has elastic in it, so I thought that I should get a rough idea of what the size will be like.
Now, some of you may remember that I developed a full fledged hate-on for DPNS while knitting the May Flowers Socks. But that was partially because the tips weren't sharp enough to deal with a the wildflower stitch. This time, the DPNs aren't the problem.
It's the yarn:

These plies are so loose that their phone number is written on the wall in the men's bathroom. Argh! Luckily my Sockapalooza pal has small feet. And it's summer, so a short cuff might be entirely acceptable. And the only other thing I have to work on ( other than the Poppy sweater, and no way am I picking that up in this weather) is the dishtowel. I wonder if Knitpicks does overnight shipping...

Today's cute cat photo:

The cats sleep in the basement, because otherwise Somerset will sit at the bedroom door and meow starting at 4:30 AM. Their food dish and a water dish are in the basement downstairs, but this morning when I opened the door to the basement, they both made a beeline for the kitchen water bowl. They looked like 2 piggies at a food trough.

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