Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold and Miserable (but only outside)

Ok, so it's well and truly Fall now. It's been raining on and off for the last two weeks, and the temperature has dropped below 10°C more than a few times. It's time to crank up the needles and knit warm woollies, obviously. If you really want to know about the canoe adventure, leave a comment and I will write it up, but seeing as nobody asked, I'll leave it be. I've got a written record at home of it anyways... Besides, the blog is due for some actual knitting content, so I might as well get on with it. First there's a pair of socks.

noah's ark/the ants go marching

They're either the Noah's Ark or The Ants Go Marching socks. Because all 8 inches of the leg is 2x2 ribbing. I couldn't get away with the cables on the Crossovers, so I decided to suck it up and just do a ton of 2x2 rib in hopes that it would accommodate Marksman's skinny ankles. They were both knit at the same time on a 1.5mm or 1.75mm addi turbo lace needle. I actually like the method, though I'm not sure when the next time I will use it is; I like the striping on my socks to go in the same direction on both socks, and this pair is inverted. Perhaps when I have two balls of yarn instead of one. In any case, they have been secret knitting since I started, and they were supposed to be "discovered" in the sock drawer unawares, but the day I finished them he was out of socks, so I handed them over. He likes them and they fit, so I should be off the "please can I have some socks" hook for a bit. The yarn came from the sale bin at Steveston Crafts and More, so I'm not entirely sure what it is, having lost the ballband ages ago.

Next, there are some tiny aliens.


I discovered them on Ravelry, and I love them dearly. Each takes about 40 minutes from start to finish and the pattern is super simple. They're all made of scrap worsted I have sitting about, some wool, some acrylic. I'm debating making more and turning them into christmas ornaments...

I've also got a new pair of Jaywalkers in progress, in Lana Grossa MegaBoots Stretch.


So far, so good, except that the colours didn't land where I wanted them to. Oh well. Better luck on the next sock, perhaps. These were actually started ages ago, but I ripped and restarted earlier in October because my pattern mods weren't working how I had originally planned.

Then, there are the as-yet unfelted Fiber Trends Felted Clogs, made from Patons Classic Merino in grey and teal.


I pretty much love this pattern. Other than the annoying counting part, it was super fun to knit, and I love how the sole becomes the sole; it's quite ingenious really. I made the womens' large, because when I started the medium it was coming out far smaller than I expected it to. So they still need a trip through the washer, which I will probably have to go and visit Jake and Susan for, because I don't want to do them in the washer at home, nor the laundromat.

I have two more, and then I think I've totally caught up on all the knitting. There's been no spinning lately, so I should be clear on that one anyways... In any case. There's a scarf which may or may not ever get finished, and a hat, which is complete and got worn for the first time today even though it was still a little damp from last night's blocking party.

The hat is for Marksman, because he lost his toque back in early February on the bus. I had started a new one for him, intending for it to be finished in time to go to Rovent. That didn't happen. The weather got warmer, and the toque imperative was lost. And then it started to get cold again... So I dug out the hat I had started, and determined I didn't like the way it was looking, and started a new one. I've got Charlene Schurch's Mostly Mittens from the library right now, and pulled a mitten chart I liked and turned it into a hat. I actually started with one, and then he tried it on and it was too small, so everything got ripped and restarted. (Those two words seem to be the theme for October's knitting, more on that later.) I ended up using pattern #26, after finding the repeat instead of just the mitten section.

#26 in progress#26 

The in-progress photo is more accurate for colour's sake... I forgot to change the white balance when I was taking pictures inside last night.

Two shades of grey might not seem like the best idea for a geometric patter but they worked out nicely. And it's subtle and manly enough that he likes it, which is the important part. I ended up using leftovers from a bunch of different things on this one. Dark grey from the felted clogs, light grey from a bunch of different things (Emily's mittens, Dad's gloves, and Tristan's jacket are all the same yarn) and the semi-solid grey Smooshy from Marksman's first socks. Now I want to knit myself a new hat, but colourful.

Last but not least, though definitely the oldest, is the Shifting Sands scarf.

That's going to need a good blocking before it's presentable...

I started this ages and ages ago, back in Australia, and it was far too wide the way it was. So I started it over again, because when we went to my grandparents' for Thanksgiving it ended up being a pretty cold evening, and Marksman asked very nicely if he could have a scarf. I jokingly told him I would teach him to knit and he could make his own, which might still happen, but this one is on the needles just in case. It's a "triple-knit" weight (chunky, I guess?) so I'm not using the pattern exactly as written, but the cable pattern is still the same. It's 8 inches wide and so far about 10 inches long, though of course that will change. Hopefully sooner as opposed to later. But that, friends, is all the knitting :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

More summer...

Pictures are coming soon, I hope. I'm having computer issues.

So I suppose I should pick up where I left off on that last post. I still have harvest and a death to talk about, that I mentioned earlier, but now there's another wedding, a long walk that wasn't walked, a canoe trip and new socks to add to the list. Let's work in chronological order again, shall we?

Officially, harvest comes first in the grand scheme of things, I think. I've now had a chance for the growing things on my patio to have become edible. There was been a bountiful harvest of lettuce and bok choi (the lettuce is done, but I really should harvest more bok choi before it all gets eaten by bugs) and the peppers have turned out to be orange ones, and not green like I thought. I still haven't picked any though. I'm waiting for the right time. Maybe later on this week. There's also been harvest of cherries (back in July) plus apples and figs at the Richmond house. Apples and figs were the most recent; they got picked (just a couple of each) when I was out there last week taking care of Resha. I'm out there again at the end of the month, so maybe I will do some more harvesting.

On that sort of bright note, I have some sad news to report. I learned at the end of July that Hippolyta and Oberon's mom lost her fight with breast cancer. I haven't really talked to the twins since highschool, but it made me sad. Susie was always an amazing person. But I guess sometimes the worst things in our lives are the ones that catalyze some of the best ones. By this I mean to say that the news of Susie's passing made me actually go out and do something instead of just thinking about it. See, for the past while (I would say about a month or so prior) Rafiki has been trying to get me (and Marksman, in a roundabout sort of way) interested in volunteering/crewing the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. And I kept saying "not this year, but maybe next. I'll think about it." But then the Breast Cancer beast reared its ugly head, and it made me want to be a part of the solution. So I waited about a week, and thought about things, and made sure I wasn't being completely rash, and then registered to crew the Vancouver Weekend. I may have left it a little late. I registered on Monday, and the Walk was the following weekend... But I didn't register Marksman until Tuesday :p I ended up on the Caboose team, the crew of cyclists that try to keep the organizers up to date on what's happening on the route. And then Wednesday rolled around, and the crew coach (the staff member in charge of the Crew; crew are all-weekend people, vs volunteers who mostly do partial-weekend stuff) sent out a note to the Caboose. Which was a "hi, welcome to the team" note, but also let us know that we didn't yet have a captain. Captains are handy people to have. They tend to be organized and stuff, and sort of know what's going on. So I waited until Thursday evening to volunteer. Because I had Friday off, having finished a building in excellent time. On Friday morning I call the office, and volunteer, and all is well. I do some running around, picking up a rack for the road bike (aka Shelly) that doesn't require any braze-on mounting points on my frame. Which means I'm stuck with a seatpost-mounted rack, that I have determined I don't really like at all. It wobbles too much when I have my panniers on it. In any case. Crew meeting that night, the captains all introduce themselves, all goes well. I meet up with the rest of my team, we figure out (mostly) what we're doing, and head on our merry way. I am the last captain to get to the t-shirt table. This is very unfortunate, because all that is left on the table by the time I get there is XL shirts. I am most definitely not an XL. So I put one of my shirts on anyways, and debate the sanity of turning it into a dress overnight, and then come up with a brilliant idea; I will turn it into a cycling unitard! Originally the plan was to do the quick and dirty version, with maybe three seams. I ended up doing a somewhat more tailored incarnation. Eventually, I might do it again with a plain shirt and write up a tutorial, for the fun and the fashion... (...just for the passion? 10 points if you can tell me what song that came from) And really, I know the point of the cycling uni is so you don't have a waist band on your bike shorts, but it was still fun.

Click here to view these pictures larger

Anyways, post unitard-sewing (it took about an hour, I think) it was bedtime, and the morning came along far too early, because we were picked up just after 0500. And then went to the starting point (that I really want to just call the staging area, but it was more than that) and waited. And waited. And waited. I decorated Shelly while I waited. Borrowed some pink flagging tape from the moto safety guys. My front forks and top tube are still pink. I should get around to fixing that... Anyways, met up with my team, and got everyone organized, and got on our way. There are no really interesting stories from the walk, really. Though I did get to hang out with Chad, who is semi-famous in the world of the Weekend, because he's done 34 walks to date, and this year is doing every single walk in Canada. Clearly the man is crazy. Anyways. We come in to Closing Ceremonies, and do all that stuff, and then go on our way. I talk Rafiki into going past the Unitarian church on the way home, because Susie's memorial started at 1430, and I want to see if anyone is still there, nevermind the fact that I am still in bike shorts, unitard, and "Victory" (aka we finished) shirt from the Weekend. I should mention that it is now almost 1700. I did not really expect to see anyone, but we pull into the parking lot, and it appears that things have just ended, because there are people milling about, so I find the twins, and chat a bit, and give hugs all around. Eventually I get dropped off at home. Where things need to get madly underway for the next thing.

You see, when I registered for the WEBC, I already had plans for the weekend. My stepsister's wedding was on the Monday. In Kelowna. Marksman and I were going to drive up on Saturday, and make a bit of a trip out of it. That didn't end up happening, clearly. Instead, we came home on Sunday, and tried to pack madly and get on our way. I think we made it out of the house by about 1930. We got to our hotel in Kelowna just after midnight. Not bad, really. We sort of just fell into bed. There might have been showers first, but I'm not totally sure about that one. The next day was the wedding, very pretty, outside in the park. As far as I know, everything went as planned, except maybe the scowling flowergirl. Afterwards there was dinner, and then we went back to the hotel, for a quick swim, and then bed.

Tuesday, we slept in for the first time in what felt like a week. It may well have been. We packed our stuff, and loaded the Tracker, and went for breakfast. And then for yarn, because I asked nicely. I came home with some really nice Louet Northern Lights and some sock yarn, in a nice green-brown colourway. We stopped on the way home to take the Tracker through AirCare, and much to our chagrin it failed. We'll have to fix it before we can insure it really long-term. (We can get three months for now) Also on the way home, I finished some socks! Originally there were for Marksman, but when I made him try on the first on (for length) I discovered he couldn't get them on. So they're for me, instead. Dream in Color Smooshy in Nightwatch. Pattern is my own, and I might write it up if anyone is interested. I've dubbed them the Crossovers socks. (They crossed over from him to be, and they're full of cables, and they've been worked over many journeys) They fit me just fine :) (they don't fit The Feet quite as well, but well enough to model for pictures)


cable detail

Of course, after new socks and trips it's time to get back to work, so we did. For a bit. And then came something that's sort of been on the radar all summer. The Canoe Trip with the new Venturers. But that, I think, is a post unto itself. So you'll just have to wait.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's funny how the world keeps on happening even when I'm not paying attention to it, and not asking anyone else to pay attention to it either, although I suppose writing a blog, especially as infrequently as I do, is a pretty passive form of asking people to pay attention to the world. I just read over my last two posts. I didn't quite realize how long it's been. (I seem to say that, every time I write. Maybe I should just get over it, and write something every week, even if I feel there is nothing to say. Something will come up, I'm sure, and it might even be interesting, but mostly it feels like the same things happen over again every week and it just gets boring. Then all of a sudden two months have gone by and it's a little bit nuts trying to catch up.

I guess all sorts of things have happened since the beginning of June. Harvest, camping, staying out until the morning (more than once), a wedding, a birth, a death, some fireworks... Work, of course. There will always be work. There just hasn't been much knitting. Some, because there's always knitting going on in the background. I guess this is going to be one of those "I want to show you things, and maybe keep interest in this thing going" posts. I wish I could avoid it, but that's the way it stands. I suppose I might as well go in chronological order.

First, Monster was born. Her official name is Sara, though for a little while she was Sara(h) because Jemmy &co could not decide on the H. Her sweater was finished in time to take to the hospital when we went to visit. I dressed up the ferry as a small child again, because apparently the ferry is the place to finish baby clothes...

Rocketry ferry

It fits for now, and should into the fall, providing her arms do not grow faster than the rest of her. And I thought they were long, too. Apparently not.

Next, there was the first batch of staying up until the morning. It actually started as a weekend that was just plain busy, and then evolved. First, I was working in Yaletown on Friday, and working for Mom on Saturday, and then going to the East Vancouver Area year-end dinner on Saturday night. So I left home on Friday and went to work, and then stayed at mom's that night. We worked on a catering gig until 4, then mom left to deliver it while I helped Auntie Deb clean up. And then (eventually) I got dropped off at the bus (we ended up chasing the 49 for a bit, so that I could catch it) so that I could get to dinner. Dinner was at 1800. I got off the bus at 10 to, with all my stuff in hand, half a block from home. I made it to dinner for 1805. Changed and everything. Anyways, dinner was tasty, and the speeches were (mostly) short, and I'm now the Assistant Area Commissioner for Rovers. Aka I'm supposed to come up with things for us to do. In any case, Marksman was away for the weekend, and I had nothing to do, and had sat with Rafiki for all of dinner, (as much as you can sit with any one individual during an even that includes 100+ people) and we had gotten to talking and didn't really want to go home. So instead, we went to Stanley Park. I got to drive around the park :) I haven't otherwise driven a car since I was 16... In any case, we wandered around the park as well, and walked onto the bridge and back. Eventually I got dropped off at home. I think it was almost 4 in the morning. But I got some fun pictures, like this one.


Plus I discovered the "when you think there is nothing else" phone in the middle of the bridge. It's yellow. Now I want to know if there are others, on other bridges. Like maybe the Golden Ears?

I think that wraps up June, for the most part. July, on the other hand, was busier. It started with a camping trip. Marksman and I went out to Gold River on the Island, with his family, and the Cowichan Valley Metis. The theory was that it was a youth event (youth here meaning anyone under the age of 30) and their families could come too, handy when you're less than 15 or so... Instead, it ended up being a mostly-adult event, with the under-30 crowd making up less than half of the participants. We found out that's pretty normal. We stayed for a week, and got some climbing in at Strathcona park, though all my pictures turned out shoddy. We also did some beading, and some weaving, and some making of drums, which was pretty sweet, though I still need to make myself a drumstick. I should get on that. Other than the fact that it rained for the first three days, it was a pretty good camping trip. It was good to get out into the green again for a bit, even if we had to drive for 4 hours both ways to get there. (Well, 4 hours there. 3 and a half home. It was late, and we wanted to go to bed. Or at least Marksman did. He was driving.) I would show you pictures, but there aren't really any :p

After arriving back in civilization, there was a wedding. Two scouting friends got married after almost 5 years. The wedding was lovely, the girls looked good, and the boys looked even better. (The wedding party boys were all kilted. I have a soft spot for boys in kilts.) Even Tristan came in a kilt, which entertains me to no end :) It was good to catch up with everyone, and good to hear stories about friends. I wish them long happiness and joy, and all manner of other good things. Marksman still maintains that he's going to be the first of the "Wild Ones" (the title this group of friends maintains) to do things in the traditional order... (every one of the rest of them, just about, already has a kid. Dale and Sam were the first; Naomi was their flower girl.) The cake topper was pretty awesome, though.

time and place, Dale.  Time and Place.

And then we came home. Work started up again, things fell back into that same old routine. You know how it goes. So then fast forward two weeks. It's now the middle of July, before the heat wave hit (the weekend before, to be precise) but still pretty hot. A bunch of us went to go play paintball and had a blast, though I've still got battle wounds; bare-skin hits from 5 feet or less tend to break skin. We all went home after playing, with plans to maybe bike down to the fireworks later. So we got home, and not 10 minutes later, it starts bucketing down rain. And I'm talking an inch in 10 minutes kind of rain, the very best kind of rainstorm there is, complete with lightning and thunder, but devoid of wind, for the most part. So the plans to ride bikes to the fireworks are scrapped, but Rafiki and I decide to go anyways. What's a little rain, anyways? And of course, it's still raining, and there's still lightning, but it seems to have moved off a little, or at least away from my place... Turns out that it's moved towards downtown, where the fireworks are. The fireworks were competing with the lightning for viewing time, I think. But the rain kept all but the most insane of us away, so we were able to park under the Burrard bridge, and walk down to English bay. We sat on the rocks, less than 10 feet from the water. Normally, this would never happen. Too many people. I bemoan the fact that I can't just leave the shutter on my camera open, so as to take theoretically awesome pictures of lightning, but I managed to get one.


It's not awesome, but it's still nifty. At the end of the show (the staged portion, at least) we end up driving around. I don't remember where. I do know that we ended up at Ambleside, and took pictures of the Lions Gate with the lights off. That doesn't happen very often at all. At this point, we discover that the other camera that's with us has an extended exposure setting, up to 60 seconds, maybe more but we didn't test it. So there's some goofing around with exposure times, and some attempts at taking pictures of the stars, because the sky is starting to clear up. We must have sat and stood and wandered and talked for about 4 hours, I think... At which point we decided to find somewhere to watch the sun come up. Burnaby mountain seemed the logical choice, so we went there, and discovered, just in time for sunrise, that there are far too many trees to get a good view of the horizon. And then we went home. By this point the rain had stopped, and the lightning had moved on, and the sky was pretty much clear. It was also 530 in the morning... Oops.

And then another week goes by, better than the one before. A friend got his Masters in Archeology on Monday, after 4 years of work. (I'm not going to say 4 years of hard work necessarily, but 4 years nonetheless.) I donated blood on Tuesday, which was supposed to be a Rover event but failed to be. That's ok. Sometimes that's just how it goes. I missed the last time, so now I've caught up :p The rest of the week was pretty standard. Work, and then weekend. The last of the fireworks (HSBC Festival of Light) was on Saturday, and the weather was cooperative, so Rafiki and Marksman and I all rode down to them from Cliffhanger. No spots on the beach this time, so we stayed up on the road and leaned on our bikes. Sadly there was no wind, not even a breeze, so the pall of smoke over the whole thing made it harder to see, but all in all it was a good show. Afterwards, we went looking for food. And looking for food. And looking for food. Things were too busy close to English Bay, and by the time we got out of the area, things were starting to close already. We finally found food on Robson, at sometime after midnight. (The fireworks ended at 2230 or so) All hail the White Tower restaurant on Robson, for being open to 0300 on Saturdays :) Fed and watered, spirits were high, and we went for a ride around Stanley Park. Yes, we're heading into another episode of the late-night crazies. In any case, the ride was good, and we stopped to try and put out a beach fire (and then waited for the Fire Dept to do it) and then eventually got back to the truck to go home. By the time we got dropped off it was between 430 and 445. We offered the couch to R, who declined in favour of his own bed, which he arrived at at 515 (I know, because we told him to let us know when he got home safe), though the next day it was admitted that denying the couch had not been the smartest of plans.

Sunday I worked at the gym, for the 5 most boring working hours I have ever passed. I folded and sorted the tshirts from the back is how quiet it was. I don't think we ever had more than 10 people there, including staff. It was nice, but a little strange. This is what happens on a nice Sunday before a holiday Monday, I guess.

(That doesn't wrap this up, but over a week has passed, so I'll write more in the next post)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Moving? done. Moving in? Not so much...

So we officially moved at the beginning of May. Ie. the lease at the old place ended, and we started living full time at the new place. The week after we moved in, we had the rovers over for a meeting. There was a rush of unpacking, and we got a lot of boxes emptied, and stashed the rest up against the wall. And now, a month later, they're still stacked up against the wall. Somehow, we've unearthed all the daily use things, and the things that were sorted before packing, but everything else is still just sitting. In the meantime, there has been a camping trip, and a new job, and a spinning workshop. There have been house guests, and baby plants. There has even been laundry, with a trip to the laundromat. But the boxes are still stacked against the wall of the living room. I'm almost resigned to it. We have nowhere to put all the stuff. Or at least, nowhere that seems reasonable. Apparently, we don't need all of this stuff. I'm tempted to throw it all away. It just seems irresponsible, economically and environmentally, to do it. Anybody have any brilliant ideas as to what to do with all the random trappings of life, short of stashing them in boxes in the living room?

On a better note, I did finish the yarn I was working on, though not in time to ply it before I needed the bobbins for the workshop. I wound the singles into balls to ply later, instead. This seems not to have affected the finished yarn, which I love. It's probably not going to be for socks, though. I agree with sweetgeorgia on that one. Hard to turn handspun into something to put on your feet, stuffed inside shoes all day. It might be mittens instead. It is, after all, the "winter camping" colourway. Never mind that I don't really wear mittens.

IMG_4286.JPG (click on any of the included photos to see bigger versions)

The workshop, Fiber Prep with Kim McKenna, was good too. I was probably the youngest person there by about 25 years, but apparently that's normal for the Fort Langley guild. I did get a large bag of sample fluff, and learned some interesting things, though I don't currently have the tools to use the knowledge. If anyone wanted to lend me a set of wool combs, or a hackle and a comb, that would be cool.

Lately, I've been having issues with spinning, though. My hands have been really rough and dry from work. Since as of the May long weekend (the Canadian one, not the American one) I wash windows on highrises. It's actually pretty awesome. My first day, I did a 12 story drop. Second day (and the rest of that week) was a 27 story building. And now I have pretty much no issues whatsoever with any size building, though going over the edge is still tricky on at least the first drop on whatever I'm working on. But I get some excellent views, and some fun photo ops.

look down, waaay down

So all is well, as soon as I find a really good moisturizer, and my hands are at least back to normal, if not optimal spinning condition. At least I can still knit, right?

Besides, if I can't spin, I can tend my "garden", right? I spent the Saturday before Mothers' day with my mom doing garden type things. We went to the UBC plant sale, and I got a pepper plant, and two strawberries. And got peas and bok choi seeds and two baby lettuces from mom. So I planted them in a box on my deck (a planter box, not a shoebox or anything) and now I have plant babies! Though one of the peas has kinda shriveled in last week's heat wave (25 and up, all week) so I only have 2 for now. I think I will have to plant more. But I have lots of baby bok choi.

Pea shoots, pea scores? (really really) baby bok choi Pender Island red leaft lettuce Pepper plant no strawberries yet

Just one more thing, and I promise it's pretty. I got stash enhancement for my birthday! I have a sock blank and a dye sampler from my aunt, and from my Puzzle, I have some awesome soft pretties. Two skeins of merino lace from sweetgeorgia, in Tourmaline,

Sweet Georgia handpainted lace

and part of a skein of Speed Demon, in a colourway I want to call either Pink Lemonade, or Camp Chair.

Aha!  The Camp Chair colourway

See what I mean? And I got me some Wensleydale in green and yellow, which is how I discovered my hands are too rough to spin right now. But I love the colours.

Wensleydale-green Wensleydale-yellow

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Moving, mostly.

This post is mostly text. If you want pictures, skip to the end :)

So yeah, ok, I fail at keeping people entertained on these here internets. I'm sorry. However, it's not my fault you're waiting on me for entertainment. In any case, I haven't been particularly busy since the last post, except for house hunting. I hate house hunting. I'm pretty sure I hate it almost as much as moving. (actually, it's debatable which one I dislike the most... They both stress me out and make me be a fair bit more ruthless than I might normally be inclined to be, and then a hell of a lot more lenient-"oh, we'll work around that weird kitchen", and "ugh, I don't care anymore :: stuffs random things into boxes and then does not label the boxes ::" come to mind.) In any case, we (Marksman and I, N having decided that he can afford to live by himself now) found a place that we quite liked two weekends ago, and got the keys last Thursday. The moving of large things and whatever was already packed (so, the books) happened on Saturday. It was an interesting day. Started early, to pack the aforementioned books. Filled all the boxes we had, so I wandered into Kerrisdale to get more, presumably from the liquor store. That's where you get good boxes from, right? Well, they didn't have any. So I went to London Drugs. They had one. By this point, the guys had shown up to help us move the couch and the freezer, plus the rubbermaid bins and the boxes of books. So I went to the bakery, where a girl from highschool is the manager, and bought the guys lunch, and got a box from there too. Last stop was the paint store, for a putty knife and some drywall filler, for the holes I put in the closet for my shelves, and the weird spot by the desk where the wall seems to be falling apart. They gave me two boxes. Got home, gave the boys their lunch, kept packing books while they convoyed out to the new place (it's about 1/2 an hour away). About the time I have wondered how things are going, I get a phone call from Marksman. Says he: "the couch won't fit through the door."
"No way," say I, "have you tried going diagonally?"
"No. We measured the couch. We measured the doorway. We measured the doorway with the door off. There is no way to do the math such that the couch fits through the door, hun,"says he, sounding resigned. "What should we do with it?" I tell him (and the guys) to see if they can donate it to somewhere, or if all else fails, take it to the transfer station. I start researching couches. I need a break from packing anyways.

About an hour later, I get a message. The transfer station won't take the couch-it;s too big. The guys have left it in our parking spot at the new place. Marksman has already started home by this point. the couch goes on Craigslist, for free. While perusing the free section, I spot some bookshelves similar to the ones we own, in a different colour. I call the guy, and he says they're still available. Marksman gets home, has a quick snack, and I send him away again, to pick up the shelves. What we have won't fill them, but having empty bookshelves is license to buy more books.

Meanwhile, the others still haven't gotten back. I give them a call, and discover they're not coming. Apparently they're feeling a little sick. It might have something to do with the fact that with the couch in the back, they couldn't close the back window, and fumes have been coming in. Oh well. They did at least help get the freezer in...

The rest of the day continues in this disjointed fashion, and eventually we've moved everything we can for the day without making another trip. We stop for a microwave and a toaster. N owns the ones we're using now. Eventually, we get everything up to the new place, and two people have called me about the couch. Both end up falling through, but at least there's interest. We decide to go and acquire a new couch, and pick up some things from my aunt's while we're out that way. A plan is hatched to see if she and my uncle will come for sushi, and meet us halfway, and maybe even bring the stuff. So I call, and am given a distinct "no" on sushi. There's a Nascar race on. I should know better. But in the ensuing conversation, it comes up that there is a couch sitting in their kitchen, that my mom left behind when she moved "out" into an apartment downtown. Perhaps I should call and ask about it? Turns out that she in fact has no plans for the couch, and we are welcome to have it in return for helping her finish moving her stuff out. It's a deal. So the couch is unearthed, and measured (we decided it would be good to check) and loaded into the van. We go "home" to the new place, and hump the couch up the stairs (did I mention it's a two-story walk up?) but it at least fits though the door. And there are people who want the old one, too. Excellent. All couches in their respective places, it's time for dinner. Very first delivery to the new place. I think my pizza is still in the fridge over there. I meant to eat it, really.

Sunday, we took over a few more things. The coffee table, my bikes, the kitchen table, one more bookshelf. The rest will go over next weekend. After we've finished packing, and have finished all the laundry.

In any case, I did promise pictures. So here you go-this is what I've been knitting in the midst of all this (I know that I promised pictures, but I can't find the camera cable, as it is likely packed somewhere, but these ones were waiting for me to put them up):

1) Rocketry for Monster (it was going to be a secret, but I give up. I am too tired to have secret knitting from Jemmy & co.) It is still lacking a sleeve and buttons. But I still theoretically have two months. I just wish it had a row gauge listed.

Rocketry-monster style

2) The socks that were supposed to be for Marksman, but which he can't quite get on his feet, and thus belong to me now. I have started the second sock, but only have about an inch or so done. It's going slowly.

3) My sky-green ankle socks, which are progressing even slower than the others. I think this is because for once I am actually following a pattern, and not making it up as I go. So I need to have it in front of me.

Sky green socks

Plus, I have been spinning (and should do more, so I can empty the bobbins before the workshop I am doing on the 2nd of May.) It's some very nice Sweet Georgia panda superwash, blue and green, that is going to be a fingering-sport weight. Maybe for socks.

Last, I have also been weaving, with the intention of writing up a tutorial, but it will have to wait for a later date, because I should stop writing and head off to Rovers now. Hopefully the rest of moving goes smoothly.


Monday, March 2, 2009

About the sash...

Hokay, so I was thinking about posting this yesterday, inside the spinning post, but I thought better of it, because what I'm going to post about now, while still having nothing to do with knitting, also has nothing to do with spinning, other than it uses yarn. Mostly because I am a little crazy with tracking who reads this thing (by location, and how they got here; I'm not crazy enough to need to know who you actually are) I've been noticing something of an odd trend in visitors. Probably once every week or so, someone stumbles in looking for information, or pictures, or instructions on how to make a Métis sash. Originally, I thought it was a little odd, but at this point I've gotten used to it; it's all because of this post almost a year ago. But now, I've decided to indulge all those people who patiently put up with a knitting blog in search of some kind of intellectual content. Well, maybe I can't promise intellectual content, but I can promise much sash. On to the pictures, shall we?

First of all, there's the sash I was wearing when I met the Lieutenant Governor in March last year. It's the most basic of the "Métis" sashes, and the most common. They're loom-woven, more than one sash wide, and cut and serged along what would normally be the selvedges. The ends are just knotted and left fringy.

Next, there's a variation on the basic, and it's one of Marksman's sashes; this one is the same pattern as the one above, but with blue in the weft instead of red. It's made the same way, though.

Now comes the fun part. When I was in Australia (of all places, I know) I got bored in the hostel in a small town in the Blue Mountains, during a rainy day. So I decided to make myself a hat band, and fingerwove it out of embroidery floss, in all the (Canadian) scout colours. I don't have a picture of it here, but when I got home, I started to do more weaving. In wool, this time, because it holds the weave better, unlike slippery cotton. So I have a couple of examples of finger weaving experiments and practice. First, the basic chevron. It's a simple V, but you can build a lot of things from just a V.

Next, comes the basis of the Assomption sash, the lightning pattern. This is not a good rendition of it, but I'm still learning.

And then I got bored, and started something a little different... This is (essentially) a chevron band, with simple diagonal bands to either side. Occasionally the two sections switch, and the outside becomes the inside. I like it. I want to to something similar, I think, on a larger scale. Now I just have to find the patience.

For anyone who's interested in learning how to finger weave, I have 2 books to suggest, both of which I've used. The best I've found so far is actually also the most compact, but it has the best illustrations and photos, with the clearest most concise directions. It's Carol James' Fingerweaving Untangled and while compact it's also brilliant, with tips about classic beginner mistakes. The other book is Gerald Findley's Fingerweaving Basics which is also a decent reference, again with colour pictures and illustrations, but some of them are less clear than Carol's. In any case, there's nothing to do bu try, right?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In which I do not discuss knitting

I'm not talking about knitting, because I haven't really been doing any. I get up, go to work, come home from work, look at other people's knitting (aka Ravelry, and those blogs over there --> ) and troll the internet, and go to bed. Some days there are also other things, like going to Rovers or maybe spinning, or checking out other parts of the internet. But not a lot of knitting lately. So instead of continuing to blather, I will show you what I've been spinning.

This weekend I managed to finish some more yarn. (I started it at the beginning of the month, and then ignored it for a bit...) It's more wool (mmm, woolly goodness), from Fleece Artist in a nice colourway, that I didn't take a picture of before I pre-drafted it... Oops. Anyways, there was a single splodge of yellow in the whole braid, so I decided to pre-draft into chunks and save myself some swearing later because the colours weren't behaving... And then it looked like this:

I've been spinning fairly fine, and saw no reason to not continue to do so (I spin because I like to, not for any other reason, and I figure the longer I can make the fiber last, the better, so spinning fine is effective) and ended up with a bobbin full of this:

(I moved all but one of the hooks on my flyer to one side, so I can fill the bobbin more effectively. So far it's working. I just have to keep playing with the tension now)

Yesterday, I spun the last of the singles, and navajo plied it because the colours were so pretty, and I didn't want to make mud. Finished that, checked the... gauge? Is that what you call it when spinning? And it came up a lot finer than I expected. Because I decided I wanted something heavy enough to turn into a hat. So I threw the whole thing back through the wheel, and added more twist. Then went to bed. Got up this morning, navajo-plied the whole thing again (so that's now 9 plies, for anyone that's counting) and ended up with this.

It's about a sport weight, which will be excellent for the hat I've decided to turn it into. All told, it's 54 grams and a little over 100 yards. Just enough :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This is not an FO parade...

I found the cable for the camera. It was on the bookshelf. I think I unearthed it from the desk and then buried it again on the bookshelf, but I did move all the pictures off of my camera, so I have some stuff to show, instead of just words. Because we all know that pictures are way more fun that words.

First, the gloves for Tim:

Fingerless gloves

These are a revamp of the ones I made almost a year ago (down at the bottom of the post), but with a longer cuff, because I asked if there was anything that he would like to change. I inspected the old ones when we went over for Christmas, and had these ready for his birthday. Elann Superwash Worsted in grey, 75 grams.

Then, a jacket for Tristan.

Clearly not TristanLink
I didn't have a ferry to model for me this time, so I made do with a Kolorkin

Tristan, as I mentioned earlier, is Bubbles' baby, who was born at the end of December. He is getting this nifty Baby Surprise Jacket, which I decided to make in ENTIRELY different yarn than I had originally planned. (The thought was to use some Dream in Color Classy that I got at the Three Bags summer sale. It didn't happen.) Instead, more Elann Superwash Worsted, grey and forest green (same green as my kilt hose), about 40 grams of green and 70 grey. I was using leftovers from a bunch of projects for the grey, so I don't have a really accurate number. Alas, I have no scale. The stripes are two ridges grey, one green, with all shaping done on the inside, because I think the other side looks nicer. I decided to get all crafty and make a tag for the inside, mostly because I could, and I LOVE the buttons.

Jacket tag Stars

Plus, there are those Jaywalker socks, version 2, that I didn't show before.

jaywalker socks

I like the way they look, and the way they fit, though one of them is tighter than the other. It'll be ok, I think. The colourway/stripe pattern still confuses me, and I feel as though it is trying to defeat me when I try to figure out where the repeat is. I'm pretty sure what happened is that all four plies are different colours, and while they usually change uniformly (and consistently), this is not always the case, with the end result being similar but not identical colour progressions. Which is kinda cool.

The stress-relieving/mindless knitting is a new pair of socks for Marksman, which have not yet seen the camera, but they are cabled (simple cables) in Dream in Color Smooshy, in a blue-green-purple-brown shade. I haven't yet decided if it is too girly, but he seems to be ok with it.

In non-knitting news, the van is fixed for now. There's a long story attached to that, but it's not worth telling. Suffice to say we're allowed to put fuel in it again. This is good news. We may or may not do some more work and make it more functional (we've got one tank out of 2 right now) but that might have to wait until we have a little more liquid funding. And that's ok.

Also, does anyone know how I can make it so that my pictures don't get cut off by the sidebar? (Basically, I'm asking if anyone can tell me where the control for the width of the "posts" section is. Because I can't tell...)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, maybe I was wrong when I said I was going to knit for myself again. It hasn't happened. I did make gloves for Tim (Marksman's dad) in time for his birthday on the 3rd. And then I found out that Bubbles had her baby, and his name is Tristan, so I'm most of the way through a green and grey Surprise Jacket for him. And there's also some secret knitting, too. Of course. It's more fn that way. Maybe when I find my camera cable (it was rounded up in the Great Living Space Cleanup a couple weeks ago) I will post mystery knitting pictures and leave it to y'all to guess what it is. And I found a scarf project that I started about 6 months ago and then put down... From Last Minute Knitted Gifts, but I can't remember what the name of it is. It's wavy, and made of Kauni EQ, and I'm going to work on it until I get bored, and then (for once!) block it properly just to see what happens. Maybe I will see if I can borrow some of Jemmy's floor tile-things to do so. She has those puzzle-square foam things. So all I'd need is pins.

However, I am currently at a loss for a Mindless Stress-relieving Knitting project. I want something fast that I do not have to think very hard about. Because my (stupid, gorram) van once again needs to go into the shop. It still runs, thank A'Tuin, but we're not sure how long it will continue to do so. Because the bleeder valve on the tank (the van runs on propane) is sticky. We didn't think this was a problem until yesterday, when the attendant at the gas station wasn't able to close it right away when the tank was full. So it spewed propane all over the place, and then the valve froze open, and he had to thaw it with hot water and... Basically we're not allowed to get gas at Superstore (which is on the way to/from work) anymore. So it needs to be fixed. And we aren't driving so that we know we will have enough gas to get to the garage when we have a chance to do so. I do not need this right now. Like, at all. Because it means that we need to take the bus to work tomorrow. It's an hour and a half on the bus.
It's only an hour driving. Plus, when we drive, we have all our tools, and all the random things we didn't expect to need for the day, and... You know how it goes. Why can't things just work? (This is only the most recent in things not going particularly smoothly, but it's the most frustrating right now. I won't regale you with the rest.)