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.