Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Knitting Haul

My poor blog has been sadly neglected through December. The run-up to the Big Day with kids seems to speed by so very quickly. Except for those times (of which there are too many) when the kids are bouncing off the ceiling with excitement or sugar. Then I just want to send them to their rooms until after the New Year has come and gone. It didn't helped at all that a very, very, very cold spell settled in and never wanted to leave. When you have to stand at the door while the dogs go out to do their business so that you can quickly open it for them the moment that they are finished it is just too cold for kids to be outside playing.

But somehow we made it through.

First things first - the kids at their Christmas concert...
Here is Katie and her best friend Tessa before heading into the gym. Our school is old and the gym is waaaaay too small for the amount of kids at the school and I wasn't able to get a decent picture of the actual concert. It is so bad that parents play musical chairs during the concert so that everyone can at least see their child perform. We are supposed to have a whole new school built within 3 years since we are designated a growth neighbourhood.

And Christopher.... I wish he really was as angelic as he looks in this picture.

And here is the good stuff! I got lots of great knitting stuff! Dallas took the kids to my favourite yarn store, Golden Willow Natural Fibres, so that they could each pick out a skein of sock yarn. Their choices can be interesting, to say the least! Well, Christopher's can be anyway. Katie picked out the blue Trekking since she knows that my favourite colour is blue. Christopher picked the bright green Opal since green is his favourite colour. At least it isn't acid yellow like his last pick. The drop spindle and Lisa Souza roving were from my sister, Susan. And the Yarn Harlot desk calender and Charlotte Schurch and Beth Parrott Little Box of Socks were from Dallas. I have one more knitting thing from Christmas, but I am going to wait a couple of weeks to show you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some "Ooooooohs!" and an "Oops!"

Working the Agribition with Ron from Buffalo Gold remained fun up until the end. My feet were completely killing me and the pain was starting to radiate up my back, but I still didn't want it to end. I met so many great people. And I would go to work for Ron again in a heart beat.

I also found that I like my kids a whole lot better when I don't see them as much. Funny how that works.

I had my first bison burger courtesy of Ron and we got to introduce him to local favourites like Nanaimo Bars.

My stash has also now moved up in social standing. My poor superwash sock yarns are turning up their noses at their new luxurious neighbours.

This skein is a sportweight 90% bison down, 10% nylon blend. The nylon is really only added because the bison down is very short and the nylon makes it easier to spin. I think I will make it into an everyday scarf for myself since it is machine wash and dryable. Yup, you read that right. Into the dryer it can go. It won't shrink or felt. This is the same yarn that my sister washed and dried after a test dyeing.
The two skeins on the right are the "Lux" yarn which is 45% bison down, 20% cashmere, 20% silk and 15% Tencel. When I get brave enough to try my hand at lace knitting I will do one of them up into a dressy scarf. It is available in the two colours right now, but in January there will be an additional 20 shades.

The socks below are machine knit from the "Lux." They are to die for! So soft that I couldnt quit fondling them all week. These aren't actually available from Buffalo Gold yet as they were a prototype, but somehow they jumped into my bag at the end of the week. Probably because Ron didn't want them with my drool all over them.
But all was not great on the knitting front last week. I am still not sure exactly what I did wrong on the heel of these Crusoe socks, but I think they are going to have to be frogged up to the start of the heel flap. I followed the pattern for the flap...

Rw 1: Slp 1, *k1, wyif, slp 1
Rw 2: Slp 1, p to end

and they "grew" so much width-wise that almost became bubble shaped. I don't THINK I did anything wrong, but obviously I must have.

Other than that I love this pattern for variegated yarns.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

100 Things

This one has been floating around out there in blog land and I thought I would take a stab.

Things I've Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog – duh!
2. Slept under the stars – it seems like the sort of thing I should have done, but no particular occasion comes to mind.
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower – every August we head out of town to watch the Persiads
6. Given more than I can afford to charity – this one makes me feel guilty
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain – I’ve been in the mountains. Does that count? Didn’t think so.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped – God, no!
12. Visited Paris – I did London. Close enough?
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train – on my way to Banff to ski
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – show me a person who hasn’t?? I call them mental health days.
24. Built a snow fort – I live in Canada, after all. Never seen a real live igloo, though.
25. Held a lamb – I have held a chick just today, though. And a few other times as well.
26. Gone skinny dipping – sssshhhhh! Don’t tell my mother!
27. Run a Marathon – this one just makes me snort. Me and marathon so do not go together.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - nothing prettier than seeing them on the prairies
31. Hit a home run - I am athletically disadvantaged
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community – seen lots of Hutterite colonies. Sorta close. Okay, not really.
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – Hahahahahaha!! My sides hurt now.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing – God, no! I am afraid of going up a ladder!
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David – of course I have! Everyone has! Oh… you mean in person…
41. Sung karaoke – I am embarrassed to admit this.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - I’ve sat out on a pier by moonlight, though
46. Been transported in an ambulance – okay, so it was my son who was really the one being transported, but as a mother it was REALLY traumatic so it counts
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater – this was a staple growing up and into my teens
55. Been in a movie – I’ve worked on one…
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business –Etsy counts, doesn't it?
58. Taken a martial arts class – I’ve done this many times with my kids
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – I was never ever a Girl Scout
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason – my husband can be a complete sweetie and does it often
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma – many, many, many times
65. Gone sky diving – the thought of me skydiving is just too ridiculous for words. See rock climbing above.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check – I’m really embarrassed to admit this! All I can say in my defense is that I was basically a stupid kid still and math was never my best subject. Thank God for debit cards and online banking
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – her name was Pat-a-Burb (guess what that doll did?) and my daughter now has her.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar – yuck! Doesn’t appeal at all.
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job – I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself….
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone – only one, but I did it well enough that it required two surgeries and wires and pins.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – don’t tell my mom again….
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car – and it was totaled 5 days later, but (honest!) it wasn’t my fault
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House – I have done the Canadian equivalent and seen Parliament Hill in Ottawa
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – ewwwww!
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one – lost enough of them that it should count for two
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake – I have driven by Great Salt Lake….
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Looks like I have to go to Europe to come close to completing the list.
“Hey, Honey!! I really NEED to go on a holiday….”

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bison at Agribition (Or How I Spent My Week and Got My Husband to Do the Cooking)

I have been having a pretty fun week. Every year in Regina there is a large agricultural fair called the Western Canadian Agribition which attracts visitors from around the world. This year Ron Miskin from Buffalo Gold Premium Fiber came up from Texas with his amazing bison fibres. He needed a bit of help at his booth so asked in the local forum on Ravelry if there would be anyone interested. I had to think about it for all of 5 seconds (ummm.... let's see..... another week working alone in the basement....? or getting out to meet all sorts of new people and fondle yummy fibre?). Yah, I know. Tough choice.

Here is Ron and Merlin59 (aka Melanie) from Ravelry. I think she is having as much fun as I am. Ron is great to work with - interesting, fun, personable and totally committed to producing a superiour product. He travels quite a bit and is often at various fibre festivals. If you ever get a chance to met Ron go seek him out. My sister Susan didn't want to work, but she was VERY interested in playing with the pretty fibre. So she brought one of her little wheels down to the grounds and set it up beside the booth to spin some of the roving. I'm sure she will have more about it on her blog shortly, but when I left for the day she was still attached to the wheel.
This is the fibre that I am completely drooling over. As the sign says it is a bison down, silk, cashmere and tencel blend. There are only two colours available right now, but it will be soon be available in about twenty colours. It is soooo soft with a bit of sheen that makes you want to just roll around in it.
I think I am going to be sad when the week is over and it is back to routine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Must Be Getting the Knack of This Whole Sock Business

I finally started knitting up the yarn that I dyed over at my sister Susan's way back in September. After I did the cuff I continued for a couple of inches in plain stockinette just to see how it would knit up. It wasn't too bad. My personal preference is for a longer colour strand, but for my first stab at dyeing yarn I was pretty pleased with myself. I even contemplated doing the whole sock in stockinette. I ripped back, though, as was my first intention.

So I dug out my one and only stitch dictionary and started leafing through it for some ideas. I came up with a simple knit, knit, wyf slip, slip, and so on and so on. I did this every other row, alternating the slipped stitches between the stockinette rows. I am on 2mm needles and I knit pretty tight.
Meanwhile, I was over on Ravelry the other day looking at suggestions for variegated yarn in the Data Base of Socks forum and I found a pattern that is exactly like what I was doing. It is the Crusoe pattern that was on Knitty. So I am pretty pleased with myself since I could figure out on my own what someone else thought was pattern worthy. I figure I must be getting the hang of this whole knitting thing then!

But I am still enough of a knitting idiot that I need visual aids even on a simple 3 (or 4, I guess) row pattern repeat.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hopping Off to Drown Myself in That Frog Pond

So I am finally working (somewhat) happily away on the foot of my Noro socks, thinking that I was now on the home stretch. Until I came to - gasp!- a knot!! It is bad enough that I have a bunch of spit splices already in the socks from where the yarn shredded, but at least the colours work out. But will it from the knot? NOT! The orange is tied to the blue which was the colour right previously.
I THINK that there will be enough yarn if I go up and try and match. If not, then I will have a funny coloured toe in the sock. I actually came to this spot about a week ago, but I was so miffed that I had to put it aside for awhile and hope that it would disappear.
It didn't. Darn.

And to think that I sooooo wanted to get my hands on some of this yarn for the longest time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hopping Off to the Frog Pond

I have been a major idiot. I am still shaking my head on how I could be so stupid to not notice that something was wrong until I was on the home stretch of the second sock.

So I am knitting away on a sock made from Nor Kureyon S102. I had wanted to try the Noro for ages and finally got some. It has had its share of surprises. For starters the orange took me by surprise. It was not evident when I bought the yarn, being hidden away on the inside of the skein. I am not an orange person. I knew it was a rough yarn, but when I started shredding it as I was knitting I was not impressed. At least it is giving me a very good lesson in not knitting so tight. I can only blame being lazy on not doing a proper swatch before hand and having to start over 2 times because the yarn was too thick and was knitting up way too big.

After the rough start I am finally knitting away and got one sock completed except for the finishing. As I was knitting the second sock I knew it was skinnier, but thought it was because I had tried on the first sock repeatedly. But the longer colour parts should have had me stopping to question why that was happening. It wasn't until I was finished the gusset decreases that I actually thought to count how many stitches were on each needle. Duh! Head smack time. I am 4 stitches short on the second sock.

The second sock is now history.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Little Goblins

Well, another Hallowe'en over with. I actually like Hallowe'en and love to see the little ones all dressed up in their costumes. Its fun to try and guess which neighbourhood kid is which under the makeup and costumes. Unfortunately, it always seems to fall to me to take the kids out treat or treating. How much I like that depends on the weather. Last night was a good one. Not very cold (8 to 10 degrees Celcius or 46 to 50 F, depending which side of the border or ocean you are on), no rain (yea!!), no snow (big yea!!), a little bit of wind but no howling gale.

The kids and I still had to have the big fight about wearing warm clothes under their costumes, though. Of course I won since I have veto power over if we go or not. Here are Christopher and Katie on the front step waiting for some friends to join us. We had to explain to Christopher who Zorro was since he didn't have a clue. And yup, the princess Katie really did request to be a devil. Rather appropriate, I thought.
It looks like we have our own resident ghosts hanging out in our cemetery/flower bed.
The crew ready to hit the streets - two chubby devils, an over-weight Zorro and Dorothy, who could stand to lose a few pounds also.
Also along for the adventure was "Dorothy's" mom, another parent of my vintage. We were telling the kids to yell "Hallowe'en Apples!" at the doors.

"What is a Hallowe'en apple?" Dorothy wanted to know.

I guess they are just children of their times. No one these days would dare to hand out apples any more, while home-made popcorn balls were one of my favourite things to find in my pillow case after trick or treating.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Things That Go Bump in the Night

We were getting ready for Halloween yesterday. While unpacking a bin of decorations and costumes Dallas put a black cape on his head and turned on a flashlight that makes spooky sounds. Mikki and Kai went into defend mode. They had to bark madly at the scary strange man who had invaded the house. Even after Dallas took off the cape to show them it was him they still had to keep barking. At that point it was just a good excuse to bark.

Have I mentioned that shelties love to bark?

At least it is good to know that scary strange men are still Saskatchewan Roughrider fans.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Pair Off the Needles!!

Way back at the beginning of September I posted to the Socknitters yahoo group that I was finally getting tired of just doing socks in stockinette and was ready to try something with a bit of a pattern. A bit being the operative word. I do most of my knitting in front of the television so it would still need to be simple enough that I could do it without thinking too terribly hard about it. I also wanted a pattern that would break up colour variegation. I got some really good suggestions, but Elizabeth recommended the Bamboo Walking Socks which would fit my requirements exactly.
I finished them last night and am really happy with the results. I did them in Opal Smoke 1653 on 2.5mm needles. I actually goofed up the pattern and didn't realize until the first sock was almost done. I knit mine with 2 rows of stockinette between each row of slipped stitches when the pattern called for 3 rows of stockinette so I made a bit more work for myself.
I still have another 3 pairs of socks on the go right now along with an afghan. The afghan, however, is quickly losing its appeal and has been sitting idle for a while. But I enjoyed doing this pattern so another pair could be cast on in the next couple of days.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Katie's New Socks

I finished up a pair of socks for Katie the other day. She was sooo excited about them and couldn't wait to wear them to school. She had them on the moment she got out of bed in the morning.

After the schmozzle that is a school day morning around here I picked up the breakfast dishes, feed the dogs and wandered downt he hall to put a couple of things away in Katie's room. And what did I see lying in a heap in the middle of her floor? Her new socks, of course. Turns out that they were "itchy." Just my luck that my daughter inherited her narrow flat feet from me and her Auntie Susan's uber sensitive feet. I made her put them on for the picture, but it looks like I am going to have to give them a serious soak in hair conditioner.

Darn. Knitting socks for Katie is so simple and quick that they are good for a easy sense of accomplishment. They are done in Kroy Socks, 55605 Tutti Frutti Jacquard, by the way.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies!!

My sister Susan and I took a drive out to the country today to visit a couple of doggy friends who have litters of puppies right now. I can't think of a better way to spend time than cuddling with lots and lots of puppies!

Below is Susan with a litter of three 3-week old miniature long haired dachshunds. Mama Ten (aka Ch. Torihill's Savvidax Prrfect ML) is watching over her babies while at the same time waiting for her pats and compliments on such a lovely litter. Can't you just smell the puppy breath?!
The dachsies own and love their human, Daphne Bowering of Savvidax Miniature Long Haired Dachshunds. Congrats, Daphne!

Susan and I then went over to see Jean Juno of YBF Goldens. The scene there wasn't nearly as calm as at Daphne's! I would have loved a picture of all the puppies with the top of the gate open, but at 8 weeks old not much was going to hold them back and they were determined to escape their puppy pen.

Get ready to "Awwwww!" Is this little girl cute, or what?

The end.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Green Leaves and Snowmen

Katie was just out making a snowman with the wet sticky snow. I couldn't help but notice that the majority of the leaves on the trees are still green. Only in Saskatchewan...

Winter (Bah Humbug!) Wonderland

This week end is Thanksgiving in Canada. And like any long week end the weather was not cooperating. We got our first snow storm yesterday. And did we get dumped on! This is what my back yard looked like this morning...
It has been a very odd year weatherwise. Until today most of my garden and bedding plants were still alive and frost-free. This is almost unheard of in Saskatchewan. I would have had more plants still growing on my patio if I had bothered to water them at the end of August. But at that point I didn't see much reason to water as I figured that they would be dead very shortly.

Here you can see some pink Impatiens peeking out of the snow mound. I brushed off the snow after taking the picture and amazingly I think they are still alive! The snow must have insulated this very tender plant so that it didn't freeze.
If all this snow didn't depress me so much I would have been able to see the beauty of it. But ask me what I think of snow come January. At least now the sun is out and the snow is quickly melting.

When I came inside after digging through the snow to find some carrots in my garden for a pot of soup I am making did it hit me that only in Saskatchewan would my winter boots be sitting next to a pair of sandels.

I finished another pair of socks just in time for the snow. These are Trekking 106. I was completely paranoid while knitting the second sock that I would run out of yarn again like I did on another pair of Trekking socks. I had already completed one sock with exactly the same needle size and stitches cast on before I remembered. But this time I actually had a bit of yarn left over. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a Rough and Tumble World

Katie is looking a bit the worse for wear right now. The picture doesn't show it very well, but she is covered in scrapes and bruises. The shiner she is sporting is the icing on the cake. It was actually green all around her eye in the picture. You can't see the bruise on the other side of her face and the gash under her chin. She got one bruise from bo staff night at kempo and the gash on her chin from a fun night at the kempo school called Gladiator Wars. It is hard to imagine that Katie is actually a real girly-girl. She is just a real tough princess. The black eye came courtesy of her father. Dallas had her up on his shoulders while coming out from grocery shopping. I opened the back door of the van to load up and Dallas thought she would duck. She didn't.
Another mom who is a nurse was teasing me that we had better hope that she doesn't do anything else like break her arm that would require a trip to the hospital because we would be flagged for child abuse. Scary thought!

Christopher has managed to keep himself unscathed lately. Here he is getting his green belt. It is always a big deal when the kids earn a new belt colour, the highlight for them being the trip to McDonalds to celebrate. Presenting Christopher is belt is instructor Anna Mravcak who is running the New York City Marathon in a few weeks in support of Team for Kids.
With the cooler weather here I have actually been getting a chance to knit a bit more. No completed projects yet, but I will post pictures of some that are almost done in a few days. I have a pair of socks for myself and one pair for Katie that are just about finished. And I finally started something that isn't socks! Although the afghan is getting old really fast and it may take me a while to get it done. Give me a pair of socks to knit any day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Amadeus of Our Generation

When I was in high school (should I even say when that was??) I went on an Easter break trip to England. As the bus full of kids went down the motorway we saw a bill board advertising an Elton John concert taking place that evening. Eighteen teenagers groaned and complained the rest of the trip that we hadn't known about the concert before hand.

I have never forgotten about that missed opportunity.

So 30 years later (you do the math) I finally got to go to an Elton John concert. We went to the Rolling Stones concert a couple of years back (little ole Regina got 2 - count 'em - 2 shows, the only stop on the tour to get more than one date) and that was fun and all, but it was Elton John that really defined the music for my generation growing up.

We were very lucky to get tickets for the concert (without paying exhorbitant scalper fees). Sir Elton played two shows here also, but tickets were nearly impossible to score. Our seats weren't too bad. We had a clear unblocked view of the stage from fairly close. My pictures are very poor quality since I was afraid of taking my good camera with me. I needn't have worried, though, since no one even asked to look in my purse on the way in. It must be a sign of the general age of the audience when the security was almost non-existant.The concert was amazing! Elton sang and played for nearly 3 hours straight - no opening act, no intermission. There was a camera on the keyboard and watching him play was incredible. This man is simply a musical genius.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Of Potatoes, Socks and Squirrels

I went out to the garden this morning to dig up some potoatoes for our dinner. The ground was fairly muddy and the potatoes came up covered in gooey muck. So I left them sitting on the ground to dry off in the sun while I ran up to my favourite LYS to look at some Jaquard dyes. As soon as I pulled up in front of the store I had to smack myself on the head since I always forget that they are closed on Mondays. And with gas at $1.45 a litre I was quite ticked at myself for the wasted trip. So now I have pretty much everything I need to dye some yarn except the much-needed dye.

Anyway.... I returned to the garden this afternoon to gather the potatoes. And found little tooth marks on a few of them. Too big for mice, way too small for a dog (and a dog wouldn't be stupid enough to leave any sign of evidence). The only thing I can figure out is that the neighbourhood squirrels had to sample a few to find out that they didn't like raw potatoes.
Oh well, at leasts this kept the squirrels on the ground and off the overhead power lines. It seems this summer they have been frying themselves quite regularly and I am getting tired of losing power everytime they do.

I am actually knitting a sock that isn't stockinette! I knew the time would come when stockinette would start to lose its appeal and I would become ready for more of a challange. Baby steps, though, baby steps. These Bamboo Walking Socks (although, I am doing them in Opal Smoke) fit the bill nicely. It is still a very simple pattern, but creates a nice look the with varigated yarn.
I am still a complete knitting idiot, though, and need a counter to keep track of the 3 row (2 of which are stockinette!) pattern.

I was reading She Knits Socks' blog today and when I read that she was lusting after Opal Petticoat yarn in the 1290 colourway I remembered that I had a pair! These were the second pair of socks that I ever knit. I really love this yarn also. I am a complete sucker for pastels.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dyeing for Dummies

I had my first lesson in dyeing yarn yesterday and just as I feared it was pretty fun. So now I suppose I will have to start slowly buying all my own supplies. I really like how the blue skein turned out and am eager to see how it will knit up. The green one is another matter. The colour chart showed the two greens matching far better than they do in real life. I will have to head back over to my sister Susan's and try some overdyeing to see if I can come up with something that tones down the brightness of the bits of leaf green poking through. The picture is actually flattering to it. When it dried it became more pronounced.

I have made a vow that I will not touch my sister's spinning wheel for at least another year. Regardless of the cost, I simply do not have the room for one of my own!

I did finish a pair of socks the other day. Here is Lisa Souza Pink Ribbon.

The mounties would be proud.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

See the fence in front of Mikki? Well, that fence is there to keep the dogs OUT of the sandbox.
Looks like Mikki just figured out that she managed to get herself inside the bars and that I am on the outside. Getting out proved to be more difficult than getting in. Although, notice that the gate is right there on the left. So Miks gave up and settled herself back into the warm sand. For a dog that is always hot I can't figure out the lure of the sun-warmed sand.
I got a really nice message about my blog the other day...

Hi Darcie,

So my boss asked me to do a research project about what makes one blog better than another. I decided to pick a subject that I love, and look at a whole bunch of blogs related to that subject (and I'm getting paid for this?!?!?!), and I have to say, your blog is TERRIFIC. You are absolutely hilarious. I love how you got the cadet to hold your knitting! Hilarious. Your projects are great, and you knit (ehem) the stories of knitting into your everyday life in a great personal and funny way.

My first question was "Where is this job? And how do I get one?" And then I wondered if she realized that there really hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on lately. But I will take a compliment when I get one. Thanks, Lucy.

So to rectify the situation in a small way here is Best of Opal 6-ply, colourway 1712. While I love these socks I shudder to think about how quickly I will be wearing them again.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Wildlife Sort of Day

Considering I am still slaving away cleaning on the inside of the house I have had some wonderful brushes with nature today. It is a lovely day - not too hot and no wind - and I have all the windows open. As I was scrubbing out the bathroom I could hear a bird whose call was completely unfamiliar to me. I glanced out the window and saw a beautiful large blue jay sitting in a tree right outside. We don't see too many of them around here! I ran to get my camera, but obviously the dogs didn't recognize the call either and started to bark at the strange noise. Of course, the jay flew away and I haven't heard him again.

I have a compost in my garden and a couple of sunflowers decided to start to grow in it. The only place I can figure out where the seed came from is from a bird feeder.
While they are pretty on their own I looked closer at the bloom this morning and saw this...

...two big bumblebees and a wasp also enjoying the bloom.

Then as I was sitting on the patio doing a bit of beading I heard the unmistakable whizzing of a hummingbird. He was hovering about a foot away from me! This was the first hummingbird that I have seen this year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Semi Annual Purge

With school starting tomorrow (yipee!!!) I figured that it was time to do my least favourite job of motherdom - the semi-annual cleaning out of too small kid's clothes. I HATE this chore! The only good thing about it is that next door is a family with 2 kids (even more fortunately, one boy and one girl) which means I can fill up garbage bags of too-small clothes, dump them on their back step and then run like hell before they see me and try to give them back.

I tackled Katie's room first since she is the messiest and it always takes me longer in there. I would really like to know how a straight forward organizing of clothes ended up being a complete scrub down and rearrange of everything, including the furniture. I did find $5 (along with 5 chocolate bar wrappers, 2 gummy worms, a crust from a sandwich and and empty Kool Ade packet, which I don't really want to think about why that was there and what happened to the crystals) in the back of Katie's closet which is now mine. I figure that it paid me about .65 cents an hour. And the money was probably mine to start with.

Meanwhile, I am exhausted and Christopher's room hasn't even been looked at. Good thing Pizza Hut is cooking tonight.

The paper tacked on to the small mountain of clothes is note to our neighbour Kari laughing maniacly because I am now done and it is her turn apologizing for dumping this in her yard.

Did I mention that school starts tomorrow??

Monday, August 25, 2008

For the Birds, Part 2

I was outside taking some row counter pictures when I noticed that my garden was FULL of birds again. The pitfalls of living in a neighbourhood with lots of mature treees, I guess. By the time I walked the few steps to take this picture most of the birds had already flown away, but this bunch sitting on the fence and in the tree didn't seem to mind my being there.
Now if only they would leave my swiss chard alone....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

For the Birds

I got a notice from Etsy that I made a sale yesterday. When I read it I started to laugh. I showed it to my husband and he had a chuckle. My yarnie sister Susan had a giggle when she came over for dinner last evening. And even my brother-in-law saw the humour in it.

Now, normally an Etsy sale does not elicit such a response. But this one was pretty funny. This is what was written on the message from the buyer...

You wouldn't believe it -- but, the damn crows came down onto my deck and stole my creamsicle counter. Hopefully they are finding it useful.

I still giggle every time I think about it. I'm really trying to keep the laughs under wraps and see the gravity of the situation from Jenny's point of view. After all, that counter was pretty new and she paid good money for it. And to watch it fly away would be upsetting. But I just can't help myself. I keep getting the mental image of the Windex commercial where the two crows sitting on the overhead lines are playing practical jokes on the guy sleeping on the lawn chair below. Or a mama crow sitting up in her nest happily knitting away with the orange counter that matches her feathers so nicely. It also brings to mind the Yarn Harlot and her adventures with the rat-bastard squirrel.
See how nice the black crow looks with the orange counter?

So sorry, Jenny. I really do feel bad, but the giggles are winning out.