Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Loki has been very touched by all the concern expressed over his enlarged heart. He wanted everyone to know that he's not letting it slow him down at all and offered to model for today's blog to let you all know he's doing well.
Loki thought it would be fun to dress up like a cat for Halloween, so I made him the Kitty helmet from Stitch and Bitch. It was a very quick knit. I started it last night and finished it around lunchtime today.

This past weekend was a whirlwind of family. The monkey's brother and his family stopped by for a couple of days and we went over to Victoria to see the new niece, Aurora. Got a great pic of the monkey and the baby. She seems to find the monkey highly amusing.
We're still on plane ticket watch around here. No sign of them yet. Stress levels are reaching Big Bird alert. Funny thing though, the travel agency sent us a lovely form to fill out regarding our thoughts as to their performance. Since we will be needing this vacation more than ever after dealing with these morons, we'll be sure to fill it out and send it back promptly. Not that it will do any good. Perhaps we need to send a more convincing message. Maybe I'll send Guido around to "talk" to them. He just looooves to chat!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Warning: Rant to follow

Life lately has been a little more nausea inducing than usual.
The monkey is taking me on an amazing holiday next month. We start in Italy and then cruise to Barcelona and down through the Canaries, Dominican Republic and then end in Ft Lauderdale. Sounds great, right? Yeah, it would be except for a few small problems.
1. The travel company has yet to send out out plane tickets. We leave in two weeks and I am a little on the anal-retentive side. Give me another week and I'll be looking for someone's head on a plate. I expect the hyperventilating to start any time now.
2. The travel company sent us a notice about our trip to Northern Europe in May. Since we're not planning to go to Northern Europe in May, but rather southern Italy in November, I was a little concerned. Where it says, "a little concerned", in the previous sentence please insert the words, "ready to send hot firey death to every travel agent involved in this debacle".
3. The travel company ignored our wishes about cabin placement and put us, "where ever".
4. Our beloved doggy has severe congestive heart failure. This means he has a REALLY enlarged hert and has to be on meds for the rest of his life. We are fairly upset. He doesn't seem to care at all. We only found out yesterday.
5. Cruises are fancy. VERY FANCY. Again, this likely doesn't sound like a bad thing to most people, but the monkey and I live in jeans and tees. We've had to drop a bundle on clothes just so we'll be able to eat dinner on the ship. It's not a huge problem, but one we didn't forsee and oh, did I mention we leave in two weeks?!
6. The monkey has had to work an extra two days this month and is pretty stressed.
7. The in-laws arrive tomorrow (they didn't bother to say when, just sometime friday). to spend the night and we're supposed to leave Saturday morning to visit the new niece.
8. Mothereffing sock wars. WTF was I thinking when I joined this giant clusterf#$? Why won't it just end? If no one's killed me off by the end of next week, I am committing ritual suicide by sock. Enough already! It's been poorly executed and not even mildly moderated and I will never do this again. There's a special place in hell for people who cause things like this to happen. I think it entails knittng the same pilly ball of scritchy acrylic for all eternity.
The travel stuff wouldn't be so bad if the agency would just answer our questions (or the phone at all) and give us straight answers or at least pretend to know wtf is going on. It been pretty frustrating. I'm having some dress clothes made because it's just too bloody hard to find party dresses at this time of year. Now I just have to find some khakis and a sport jacket for the monkey.
I've had the hair cut and coloured. I've got the makeup and necessities situation in hand. Passports are up to date. Bills will be paid up. And all the usual stuff is on the lists. Yeah, I said LISTS. I'm mildly anal- retentive remember? And okay, maybe a little compulsive, but I don't like surprises. Especially surprises like, "you don't have anywhere to stay in Rome, SURPRISE!".
I can totally live without that.
And hey, I almost forgot, the charkha is actually in transit. The bloody thing finally shipped. Of course, that's all that shipped. No spare spindles, no pre-ordered drop spindles or charkha carry bag. It took two days and six emails just to sort that charming mess out. So, after all was said and done, I decided to be happy that the charkha shipped and not hold my breath on the rest of the stuff. If it comes great, if it doesn't, you'll all hear about it and the company I dealt with. Did I mention that I was a little vindictive?
And to soften the rant for all of you who stuck with it to this point, a pic of the Gem with it's new goodies:

That's Winderwood BFL on there. I'm doing a 2 ply double knit. It reminds of tequila sunrises. Maybe I'll go have one now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Warm Monkey

I finally finished the Monkey's Kureyon sweater and he was even willing to model it! I've knit him quite a few sweaters over the years, most of them don't get worn. Not only did he put this one on, he wore it for the rest of the evening. I think he likes it.
In other knitting news, I'm knitting another Sock Wars weapon. I've waited for two weeks for an incomplete weapon to arrive from my last victim, but it hasn't arrived yet. So I got permission from my next victim to make her SOD from scratch. I chose some Fleece Artist BFL in muddy purples and pinks and it looks great. I have enough for at least two pairs of socks, so I may commit sock suicide.
I've got the back of the Wanderlust Hoodie done and the front is on the needles.

My package from Penny, my Tea Swap Pal arrived this week. She sent me some green tea with jasmine (one's from Israel and it's really good), a ball of Trekking in colors I love, a little graph paper notebook, some raspberry filled chocolates and a pretty little bag she made for me. It's been fun emailling with Penny as she wants to learn to spindle and is going to Rhinebeck. One of these years I wanna go to Rhinebeck.
On the spinning front, Lynne ordered some stuff to help me get the Gem working more to my liking and I can't believe the HUGE difference it made. I switched the regular whorl for the fast one, the regular flyer for the lace one and the bobbins for baby bobbins. Thing spins like a dream now. I no longer feel like I'm on a hamster wheel when Im treadling. It's awesome. Totally smooth, fast and just damn nice. I used to tolerate this wheel because it was the best of the portable wheels I'd tried, but now, I actually like it. It's going to make classes much more enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the horror, the horror...

So, I order this yarn off ebay from Uruguay. On my monitor, it looks pretty good. Burgundy, deep green and gold. It's cheap and I can certainly live with the colors. When it arrives, I am faced with this:

A fair bit of swearing ensued.
I tucked it away and pulled it out every so often to try to convince myself it wasn't that bad. It's been a year now and I remain unconvinced. It still makes my butt clench so hard that it moves three inches up my back. Not a happy reaction. A couple of days ago I decided, "screw it, I'll just sell it off cheap". Today I decided, "hell, may as well try dyeing it". Figured it couldn't hurt. If I still didn't like it, I could sell it, if I liked it, well, yay.

I like it.
This I also like:

I can't stop listening to it. I've made the monkey listen to it more than once. I don't think he's quite as enamoured as I am. He's more classic rock or contemporary (insert small involuntary shudder here) rock. But it reminds me of 70's Alice Cooper. I now have a warm squishy spot in my heart for Rob Zombie.
Perhaps he'd like to be my new monkey. Hey, a girl can dream.
Anthea, this is for you:

A few handspun, handknit hats for your sale. More to come. Hope you like 'em.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rogue is done

I finsihed all the seaming on Rogue yesterday. All it needs now is a good steam. It's a great sweater that I think I'll get a lot of wear out of once the weather gets a little cooler. It's nice and long and the wool/alpaca blend is pretty toasty. I've already started work on the Wanderlust Hoodie.

I'd forgotten how fast chunky knits up. I've already knit five balls and I just pulled another bag of ten out of the stash closet. I should probably knit up all the chunky out there first. Just think of the gratification! Big holes in the stash cupboards, projects done in record time. Ooooooh, big holes in the stash cupboards, I'm all tingly just thinking about it.

And hey, I haven't forgotten about the monkey's anniversary pressie. I've got the back and about a third of the front done. Now that he's seen it, I don't have to work on it covertly. So I work on it at night when the light is crappy, 'cause it's a boring pattern that I don't really have to pay attention to. It takes 15 balls of Kureyon, so it's making room too!
Sock Wars is slowly moving forward. I've finally heard from my assassin, but now she's dead, and I've killed two warm-footed victims. I'm now waiting for news of my next victim.
As for the Dr enforced weight-loss, I'm down four pounds and have a week and a half before I have to see him again.

Monday, October 02, 2006


With the sad demise of You Knit What, I have been relegated to finding knitting monstrosities all on my lonesome. I do come across some pretty scary/hilarious stuff, but this one wins and I had to share it:

I found it here and believe or not, she has more. I just thought I'd post the blue one for well, let's face it, obvious reasons.
Hmmm, think she's aiming for the fetish market?

SP9 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like natural fibres. Wool for winter and soft stuff if it's going to be next to my skin. Acrylic and I are not friends.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have numerous folders and bags and a drawers that they mostly live in.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting since I was 5. That was a while ago. I guess I'm fairly advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yup, Amazon.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
Citrus! I like jasmine too.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I love chocolate. Chocolate covered apricots are my fave, but they're hard to find.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin, do needlework, beadwork and woodworking.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have fairly odd taste in music. Best to steer clear of me and music.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like blue, purple, burgundy, black and charcoal.
I stay clear of yellow, orange and most greens.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Two cats, one dog and one large domesticated house monkey (aka my guy).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes to the first three and an "omg aren't we done with those things yet?" to the last.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Sweaters and I use socks as a sort of palette cleanser between big projects.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Three adult sweaters, a baby sweater, a hat, three or four pairs of socks (I lost track), two shawls and a stuffed fish.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Very much.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I usually use addi circs.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes to both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I am sooo not telling you that. People in the swap may be younger than it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Drop spindles, nosties, comics and of course, yarn and fibre.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'd like to try Lisa Souza's stuff, the new Neil Gaiman book, I subscribe to SpinOff.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Two socks at the same time on two circs.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. US7.5.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) Dec. 20.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rogue almost done!

The body of Rogue is done! I started the sleeves last night and I think I'll have the sweater in one piece in a few days. This thing is knitting up so fast, and the alpaca/wool blend yarn is really soft and warm. The cables are showing up nicely even though I chose a dark color and the yarn does have a bit of a halo. And remember how I said that it was a perfect project 'cause the weather was all drizzley and grey and cold? The day after I started this, we were back to 25-28C days. Like I said before, I have sucky timing. Oh well, soon I will be on to my next project, which I think is going to be this:

I've got a bunch of black Bliss chunky merino that's just screaming to be this sweater. Not to mention how much stash room it would free up. 25 50g balls!! That's a good chunk of space. I get giddy just thinking about it.

I hadn't had any new spindles for weeks and then I suddenly have six new ones in less than a week. It's a conspiracy I tell ya! The spindles are homing in on me and sending themselves here. Now I have to find a storage solution for these things. Anyway, here's another etched Larson and a purpleheart Spindlewood. And no, I still haven't had a chance to test drive any of these spindles.
Where the hell is my charkha!?