Monday, July 31, 2006

Scotch and chocolate

Isn't that always the way things go? I had tried about four times to get Blogger to upload my pics and it wouldn't do it. I post the lists and suddenly, the pics upload just fine. Oh well, guess there's worse things than two posts in one day.

These are the goodies my secret pal sent me. It's hard to tell, but the Silky Wool is a deep purple and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to get more and do a sweater or make the gloves and hat from the Silky Wool book. Probably should do the later as the Stash is of epic proportions and doesn't need increasing. The little gold box had some yummy chocolates in it that went well with the Bowmore I was slugging out of the bottle as I organized the Stash. There's some great notions and a book from my Amazon list in there too. My pal put a lot of thought into this box and I love everything she sent. Thank you secret pal!

This is some of the Stash. This scene sent me into the house for premium scotch and chocolate. It was that or just lie face down on the lawn and ponder what was wrong with me. I thought scotch would be better as the lawn is really dried out and prickly right now. Most of this fit into the cabinets, but I still need one more for the little that remains. The monkey was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Smiled sweetly when I suggested that I was insane and nodded a little when I said I should never again be allowed to buy wool. He never even asked for a drink! Just went back into what is now the giant, walk-in, wool closet and continued assembling the cabinets. His "get out of jail free" credit is very good right now.
There will be a full (and frightening) tour of the giant, walk-in, wool closet as soon as all cabinets are in place.

I did manage to get a couple of things done this week. The Point o' the Wave stole is finally finished. The color is actually much deeper than this pic shows. More of a deep plum. The insane cardy is also finished and just waiting for buttons. Since Holly will likely want to go to the button store downtown, figured I'd wait and see what they've got rather than start beading buttons. The cardy needs 10 buttons, so I'd rather buy some than make them.
I'm almost caught up again on the Mystery stole. Still have to do two weeks of pattern on one side, but the other side is almost there. Only two more clues and we'll have the whole pattern.

SP8 bonus questions and Holly's Meme

Blogger has finally decided that it's my turn to not be allowed to upload pics, so I give you silly lists instead. The first one is for the Secret Pal exchange and the other is a meme that Holly tagged me with. BTW, Holly is evil and so are memes, but you already knew that.
Evil Holly is coming to visit on Friday. I plan to put her to work sorting stuff in the workshop. I might let her play in the Stash, if she behaves herself.
The Stash is mostly put away in it's new home. I need one more cabinet to fit the rest in. I took a pic of it on the back lawn. It gave me a pretty nice panic attack seeing it all laid out like that. Scotch was involved. Very scary. When I can post the photos I will.
My secret pal sent me another really nice care package and there's a pic of that waiting as well.
On to the lists:

1) What is your favorite season of the year?
2) Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere screaming hot
3) If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
It's a long list, I can't decide. See 2.
4) If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
5) If you won a shopping spree to your favorite yarn store, what would you get?
When I post the Stash pics, you'll see why no one should ever allow me to do this.

The 5 thing meme:

5 Things always in my purse:
cell phone
green cards for spinning wheels
breath mints of some sort
lip balm

5 Things always in my wallet:
bank card
driver's license
frequent reader card for Black Bond

5 Things always in my refrigerator:
mineral water
some sort of veg trying to make soup of itself
homemade jam
fresh ginger

5 Things always in my closet:
something I'm too bloated to wear
more sweaters than I can wear in one lifetime
a skirt that will only be worn once 'cause I don't wear skirts
a leather coat

5 Things always in my car:
window scraper
phone charger
tire gauge

5 Things always on my desk:
yarn (if you have to ask, you don't know me)
post its
drop spindles (again, if you have to ask...)

5 People to tag:
I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to just do this if you want. Hah!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Trekking on the beach

I just finished my third pair of Trekalong socks. I'm completely hooked on the Trekking ombres. I've even managed to get past the fact that it doesn't seem to repeat, so my socks will never be matched. The OC in me hates this, but the yarn is so nice to wear and knit, I'm letting it go. The next pair is already cast on, but I don't like the pattern, so it'll likely come out and be made into something more cabley. Seem to be in cabled, lace sock mode.

The beach has been amazing lately. Incredibly low tides, beautiful, hot, sunny weather and a ton of wildlife that doen't seem to care that there are humans around. We got nice and close to this bald eagle. He buzzed our heads as he came in for a landing.

We found a live sanddollar! I've never seen one before. We find a few dead ones when the tide is low, but never live ones. This guy was on his back, legs wiggling, so we put him right side up in the water. He looked like bumpy purple velvet on top. Couldn't get a good pic of that.

And that is the Canada/ US border marker in the middle of the bay. The middle of the bay! The tide was out past it. We could've just walked across the bay into the US. We didn't have enough time, but Roz's dog, Kelpie challenged authority as she ran unchecked into another counry and back.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Almost FO

Isn't it lovely? Doesn't it just inspire you to go knit?
Yup, that's the heap of finished pieces for the insane cardy.
Yup, it looks like a pile of cat yak.
I don't blame you. If I saw that, I wouldn't want to knit it either.
Maybe this will help...

Okay, I know it still doesn't look like something anyone would want to knit. Ends everywhere and obviously stupid amounts of grafting. And the sleeve seam is off centre. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?!

It has potential doesn't it?

We ordered storage for the Stash yesterday and it will arrive tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Spinach Pie porn

This is one of my favorite quicky recipes. I've never met anyone who won't eat it. Even kids. Don't tell them it's spinach, tell them it's pureed kryptonite. They'll eat it. And with the weather so hot right now, it's nice to have something around that's as good cold as leftovers as it is hot. So, here it is:
Spinach Pie
1/4 cup onion (I use less and shallots instead)
1 clove garlic
1 package thawed, chopped spinach with the excess water squeezed out
1/2 cup cooked rice ( just stick some of the leftovers when you make rice into a baggie and then into the freezer and you have it when you want to make this)
1 1/2 cup cheese ( I use old cheddar)
2 lightly beaten eggs
2 tbsp milk
salt and pepper
3 tbsp parmesan
1 package cresent dough (the new whole wheat stuff is really good in this)
1. Saute onion and garlic in oil.
2.Mix together all ingredients except dough.
3. Place some mixture into each cresent and fold corners in.
4. Place around a 9" pie plate and bake for 40 min. at 350.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sunny daze

Ever have one of those days where you just can't seem to focus, but it doesn't seem like a bad thing?
I feel like that today.
I was working on the Mystery stole (see pic below) even though I really need to work on the the insane cardy (see pic below pic below), and it just wasn't working for me. What to do? Nothing seems to be ready to be finished. The pile of WIP is massive and I. Can't. Focus.
So. I put on loud, heavy music and clean house. Come on, we all do it. Put on loud music, sing along over the sound of the vacuum cleaner and bop around. Curtains closed of course. Wouldn't want the neighbors calling the nice young men with their clean white coats. Very cathartic. Feel better and now the dishes, laundry, dusting and vacumming are done. Bonus points for me!

This is the aforementioned Mystery Stole. I'm almost caught up, but with a clue a week and piles of other crap to do it's a bit of a struggle. It's kinda cool though. The big medalliony thing in the centre is neat and it's different from other lace knitting I've done. The fact that's it's not a repeating pattern and therefore needs to be knit with pattern right at hand does make me mildy batshit, but I'm dealing.

This is the insane cardy. Progress has been made and hopefully later this week I'll have a "which part of the sweater is it", guessing game. It won't be easy. Hell, I'll be lucky if I can get it right.

On the positive side, I have the nicest and most talented friends. People who make me laugh till I need clean undies, and are amazingly generous with their love and their time. Don't worry, you won't need fillings if you continue reading.
Roz made this for the impending niece. How great is that? Very freaking cute.
And hey, the new addition's name is Aurora Rose. Should be here in about a month. I'll try and get a pic of the bloat she's causing her mom next week.

In case the loud, heavy music mentioned above didn't tip you off, I'm not exactly a "granny" knitter. This is my baby and the monkey and I waxed her this past weekend. Shiny! Nothing says summer like a convertible.
And see what I mean about talented? My brother did the side splash of spideys.
Well, think I'll go read in the sun for a while. The rest of the laundry can wait.
Hey! Almost forgot. My SP got her parcel. You can check out what I sent here, but keep it on the down-low, 'cause she still doesn't know who I am.
PS: I've added a couple more Nihon projects to the gallery. The Effing Oak Leaf Cardy (as it's lovingly referred to) is there now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

KSKS ready to go

I've finally got my sock kit pal's stuff ready to go.
There's the felted bag to cart around all the gear, a hemp wrist bag (that I just finished this morning) for sock knitting on the move, pattern, Fancy image hand-dyed yarn, some funky sheep markers, a chibi with the smaller set of darning needles, tape measure, bamboo needles and some edibles. Hope she likes it!

These are the colors I spent a whole day dyeing in Olds. The color wheel reds we did are pretty sucky and I'm going to redo them. The red is very orange and the separation of colors is almost nonexistant. Back to the dye pot for those.
The blue and purple runs are gradations that I have to use in either my final project or a small project. We only have to use eight colors, so I'll likely take the fourth one out of each run so the separation is more noticeable. I'm thinking of doing a pair of gloves with the blues and a hat with the purples. Neither colors fit into my final project.
The mauvey skeins above the color wheel were injection dyed as balls and then squeezed to blend the colors. Not as dark as I wanted and they may be done over as well.

I did buy a couple of Cotswold fleeces and some suri/silk roving in Olds, but the wood gadgets really outshine the wool. Most of this I bought from Mr Tabachek but there are few things from Forrester as well.
Here's the low-down: mahogany 1yd niddy, purpleheart sample niddy, bubunga noste, maple noste, purpleheart and maple darning egg (thing's huge, I could use it as a sap!), zebrawood diz, lacewood support bowl, bubinga diz, redheart and maple compact deluxe, bubblegum laminate compact deluxe.
I'm pretty pleased with the haul and I hope Mr Tabachek recovered nicely from the scare.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I'm Baaaack

Well, the socks and I were trekking around Olds College all this past week. Here's the second sock of the third pair checking out the color wheel dyeing on day two. We were in the dye room from 8:30am till at least 5pm. Dyed for a color wheel, eight gradation shades and injection. Very long day, but hugely productive.

Olds is an agricultural college and the gardens around it are stunning. Unfortunately, it also has huge blood-thirsty mosquitoes. They chase you! Most unpleasant. But I did manage to get a pic of one of the less bitey bugs that fly around there. It was almost like he posed. He sat there long enough for me to dig out my camera and get a pic. Cant tell if he's smiling or not.

This one's for you Kerry!
That's (wait for it) Mr Tabachek!
We got to meet him and buy large sacks of his spinning tools. I think we scared the bejesus out of him. He looked kinda deer-in-head-lightsish when I asked for a photo. And very confused, but he did it amyway. Most likely to get the crazy ladies the hell out of his condo.

And here's the awesome load of goodies my secret pal sent me! Of course the parcel came while I was away and the monkey opened it. But I got paw all the stuff when I got back. It's great! All things I really love. Just check out the vintage needles. How cool is that?! Thanks secret pal!

Ah, it's good to be home. The second pair of trekalong socks is done and ready to get back to the beach. My walking buddy is back from France and we get back to our routine on Monday. She doesn't get up at indecent hours like her hubby. The dog and I can sleep to a reasonable hour again. Yay.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Adendum to Murphy's knitting law

I've now knit both sleeves of wretched sweater. Took a little under five balls to do both. It would seem that I had enough yarn in the first place. Perhaps even a little more than I will need. So now I realize that once you've gone to great lengths and expense to procur the yarn you are all but sure to run short of, you will have too much. You will have too much by exactly the extra amount you bought plus one. When I meet Murphy, I will give him the beating of a lifetime.
I'm off to Olds tomorrow afternoon and not back till Friday night. I will take pictures.
Be afraid.