Monday, February 26, 2007


It's finished! It took almost three days for the silly thing to dry, laying the individual pieces out on towels, for cats and dog and kids to step on. I did the total submersion to give the wool a chance to fluff up after being wound on the cones so tightly. But Eucalan also did it's magic: who knew new yarn could be so dirty! I used every inch of all eight (8) cones of wool and most of the mohair cone. Here are the left-overs:

The finished product (which definitely needs a better photo, say in natural light and with a better hair day):

Here, the stash depleter relaxes with another stash buster. Knit in a day, three balls of eyelash yarn, cheapo variety, but don't you just LOVE the colours!? I do!

The stash is feeling lighter already. Can I go yarn shopping yet?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yo, Ho, Ho, and a Bottle of Rum... (not really)

Blanket is coming along nicely. Another white stripe and start of the second green done as of last night. It's definitely lighter than the crocheted one. Should be finished by spring. How's that for optimism?
I finished the sleeves for the mondo sweater. Now I just have to block all the pieces before sewing up and knitting up the neck band. Then I will be lighter by eight cones of wool, and a big cone of mohair, which wasn't even counted into the original amount. Never got to it. Shame, shame on me. As a consolation, I checked in on the Stashalong, and someone stash-flashed and it was WAY bigger than mine!
Twinkletoes, they are done, and were test driven. Nice, stretchy, cushie. And oh, so girlie!
I had mentioned to Alison that I may get back to Hubby's boring sweater. Now that I have Elizabeth Zimmerman's book, I really have no excuse not to finish it. Especially since one of my goals is to get ufos and wips downsized to a manageable level. I haven't had the nerve to round them up for a photo op. One of these days...
Now if you'll excuse me, I must get ready to go to town, to pick up my "happy pills".

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Blogger made me switch to the new version. Against my will. I am not happy that I had to do this. Whatever the advantages may be. Sign up for this and that, blah, blah, blah. There wasn't anything wrong with the old one. It took me this long to get used to it. It's not that I find change offending, but sometimes change just for the sake of change is a waste of time. I want the good old days back. When life was simpler; when kids didn't risk getting shot or murdered by simply walking to school; when families enjoyed family vacations together; when food wasn't laced with chemicals and everyone knew where eggs and milk came from; when the air was clean and not a danger to our heath, but an asset; when going out to play meant running or biking, or jumping rope, or climbing trees, not making such a complicated decision as to which game to plug into playstation or xbox. When parents had time to help their kids with homework, or sat down to supper together. When students actually learned to read, write, and do math in school, not just how not to get pregnant.

I personally think that technology is spinning out of control. And it's sucking morals, human kindness, the environment, all the good things, into the proverbial black hole in its' wake. You don't think so? About a week ago, I was watching the evening news and I was shocked speechless by a story that came on. No death or much blood and gore. Nothing that drastic. Worse. A woman was crossing a parking lot of a busy shopping center, in Fredericton (but don't quote me on that; my brain chose to hold on to the injustice of the situation, not so much the location) to get to her car. It was on a main road, there were people waiting at a bus stop mere metres from her location. She fell onto the ice and snow, and struck her head on the ground. NOT ONE PERSON CAME TO HER RESCUE!! What the HELL has happened to our society when no one is willing to help a fellow human being?? Hundreds of people are collectively willing to send thousands of money to help a cat, but not to help a woman get up and offer her assistance to get to a hospital? Is this what our existence is coming to??

I am fully aware that we live in a very diverse society. I don't have a problem with that. This country is made up of people of many very unique beliefs, upbringings, heritages, and it makes a great attempt to accommodate every person within its borders. So shouldn't it stand to reason that if Canada is making so many allowances for all it's peoples, shouldn't the country's people honour this country by at the very least learning it's language(s) and standing up for the National Anthem?? I can hear you all now, "what the heck is she going on about?". I have a problem, you see. (I know; I always have a problem with something or other!) I have a problem when my youngest comes home and tells me that so and so doesn't have to stand up for the National Anthem. BIG PROBLEM. What the hell is up with that!? I understand religious freedom, too. So what the @^$$%!*^ is the school doing teaching about Jesus this and that at holidays like it's law, when there is so much diversity in EACH school?? And after the holidays, why is there so much emphasis on what everyone got? Do our children really need such pressure and so many conflicting ideals? "Christmas is about Jesus", "Christmas is about how many presents you get", "Oh, my god, I'll never survive this Christmas", etc.... Yeah, like you never heard or said anything as that.

So where is the balance in all this? Good question.

Yesterday I spent almost five hours in a hospital waiting room. There were only half a dozen people waiting, and one ended up leaving before she even got to see a doctor. But apparently this is not looked on as a problem. I was informed the clinic had been open for two hours that morning. Well, gee thanks for that insight, but my daughter's ear didn't hurt at 8am. The doctor's office is not open on a Saturday, no matter the time of day. Wait, wait. Don't go away. I'm getting to my point. In a moment. We waited for over fifteen minutes before my daughter was even seen by a triage nurse. You know, because they're so efficient. Two and a half hours later, a different triage nurse started calling names for re-evaluation (to make sure patients weren't dying). Shift change. How nice. Couple people were called in to verify that they were still breathing (I kid you not!), and after they were done the nurse asked me "Brianna is OK? She doesn't need to be seen?"

me: "Actually I have a couple questions."

nurse: "Oh. OK. Come in then (if you must... I could have sworn I heard her say it!)

So I give my spiel how she probably had an ear infection, how when she was in emerg a month ago the drugs that were prescribed didn't work at all, and after seeing the family doctor, was given another round of drugs, much more expensive drugs, and I asked her how much longer she figured it would be because it was already 7pm and the only pharmacy that didn't charge an arm and a leg for a prescription would be closing at 9pm, and I was on the verge of broke.

nurse: "Oh, it shouldn't be that long. We're just clearing up the back log and there are only two people ahead of you."

me: "So there is no possibility that the doctor could just take a quick peak in her ear and say yes or no to the infection? She doesn't need a bed for that."

nurse: "Oh no. Then we'd have to do the same thing for everyone!"

Another hour later, after much crying from daughter that she is starving (after all, last meal was lunch), we are called into the inner sanctum. Where we wait some more. At one point I overhear the nurse speaking with the doctor, telling him my concerns with the timing, pharmacy, prescription, blah blah... I just about fell over when I heard him say, "There are all kinds of pharmacies open all night..." No, that didn't form a good impression of this doc.

When he finally graces us with his presence, I give him benefit of doubt based on a decent bedside manner and friendly smile. (Yeah, he wasn't bad looking either. Not that I was really looking or anything, you understand.) Yup, fluid in one ear, something on the tonsils, need swab, wait only about fifteen minutes. Yeah, right.

So, since I am brilliant mother and no stranger to hospital wait time, I was prepared. Reading material and knitting. Daughter and I sat on the bed and I read to her five books. Lengthy books. Then I stood up again and knit on twinkletoes, occasionally glancing up with a hopeful look that the doc might come back soon. One of these glances revealed a new patient directly across the hall. A tall man in leather jacket. Moments later a nurse bustled in and I heard her tell him to take his shirt off. He was there for a cardiogram. So I'm nosy. Sue me. But first, read on. No, his door never closed. Ho ho ho. Must have been my lucky day. (Brianna was polishing the floor with her bored butt.) He took his shirt off, and looked up as he was tossing it on top of his jacket. Woo hoo! There he was in this tight fitting white t-shirt. My oh my, that man was built!! My dears, it gets better! Yes, he was definitely aware I was watching. I saw that quirk of his lip. (How wrong is it that he wasn't there for me to stare at all those hours in the waiting room???!) Well, it wasn't long before the nurse told him he was good to go, and he could get dressed. There I was standing, facing his room, knitting on my pink sock, minding my own business, and there he was in his doorway with these thingies stuck to his BEEEAUTIFUL chest (my goodness, the man was a perfect specimen of a man!) and those wide shoulders and all those muscles, and narrow waist, and his jeans... and he was smiling. My way. How can a mother think pure thoughts after that? He looked down at Brianna sitting in the doorway, and back at me, gave another quick smile and turned to get dressed. Wow. This is balance. A moment straight out of a book and all the crap fades to the background. That's not to say I could find an open pharmacy for the expensive prescription, but I didn't lose my cool. Brianna fell asleep on the way home. And I reflected on the nice smile he tossed my way on his way out, the stranger.

Balance is good. Good night. Happy dreams.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bad to the Bone

Hi. I'm a bad friend. I haven't kept any of my promises to Alison in ways of supporting her weight-loss efforts by doing the walking thing, or keeping track of water intake (I must say that I am drinking MORE water, just not tracking exactly how much more); I didn't even buy a scale. What's worse (!!!) is that mere minutes ago, my very dear husband told me to "BACK AWAY FROM THE ICING!!". Never mind that he followed that bit of "support" with (and this is a direct quote) "you want your third chin back? You were doing so good." Kid you not. I don't think I ever had three chins. Loose skin under my chin, yes. Not so great genetics, sure. But not three chins. So as an act of defiance I scooped a teaspoon full of chocolate icing and made a run for it. Funny he didn't say too much yesterday when I was scarffing back the chocolate cake that went with today's leftover icing. Sometimes men just know when not to say anything if they want peace to reign supreme. Today, I was just trying to do a GOOD thing; you know, cleaning up the leftovers. How could anyone have a problem with that?!

Hmmm. Maybe I should buy that scale.

Not to change the subject, but I have knitting to show you. Ignore the fact that I am the most unfaithful knitter around. Yes, that would mean I started something new. Again. Never mind all those UFOs awaiting my attentions and affections.

I started a sweater from Very Easy Knits last night. In fat wool and (skinny) mohair, one strand each. I'm so funny and politically correct I kill me. But hey, get this: on size 10mm needles. Hot damn, those suckers hurt my hands. Today I indulged in Mr. Darcy and knit some more. I finished the back and have 6" done on the front. I am on my fourth cone of wool, with four more to go. I sure hope I have enough to finish. This sweater will be so heavy and cozy when it's done (not IF it gets done!). I'm hoping to be wearing it by the weekend. How's that for high hopes!

This is the blanket I was talking about inspired by a pattern from Morehouse Farm Merino with a skein for the next wide stripe. It's monotonous knitting, perfect for evening tv.

I am a Sunflower!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can't find something good about the world and your fellow human."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Gab Session

Guilty sheep! For eating the snowman's nose. Baaaa-d sheep!

Hi! How goes the battle? It's Sunday and it is in fact sunny. Cold but sunny. All is right with the world. Well, almost all. Except for those nasty emissions that no one feels responsible for, or that they can do anything about. Good grief, people! Yes, you can make a difference. Walk for a change. It's not going to kill you! My hubby and I are constantly in a disagreement over this subject. Last night, I walked to my neighbour's house, to deliver milk, maybe half a kilometer round trip. I felt good doing it. It wasn't that cold. My hubby was completely incredulous: "You walked??" Well, it didn't kill me. Here I am. But when I suggest that he walk to his buddy's place, not quite a kilometer away, he looks at me like I'm a skein short of a sweater.

Not long ago I came across an older copy of Harrowsmith Country Life that had an article in it comparing city and country lifestyles, and which is healthier and more earth-friendly or some such. Get this: the country folks are apparently the biggest polluters and fat slobs (no, not a direct quote from the magazine, in case someone wants to get their panties all in a knot!). Yup, us country folk are bad. We drive everywhere, seeing how everything is so far away (pretty broad terms, eh?), and we don't even know what a gym membership is! But I am not going to launch into a big defense about how we actually KNOW where food comes from (no, dear. It doesn't just magically sprout on the supermarket shelf all wrapped in plastic!), and what it's actually supposed to taste like: you know, right with flavour, not made big and tasteless by chemicals. Oops, sorry about that. That was starting to sound a bit like a rant.

Let's change the subject.

I decided that this year I will actually learn to use my pretty spinning wheel. It's been gathering dust for the past year. Every so often I take it out for a spin, practice treadling, but get frustrated to the extreme when I try it with actual fleece, and it gets sucked away before I can get more. But this will be the turning point. I already acquired Fleece in Your Hands by Beverley Horne and Your Handspinning by Elsie G. Davenport from the library. AND: I will be crashing the Seniors' Library Cafe in March because a lady will be there talking about felting, spinning, and dyeing, AND giving hands-on demonstration/lesson. How cool is that! My apologies to all seniors in advance for crashing your party.

I'm knitting on the blanket in the round every day. The stash is decreasing little by little.

Lately I've been contemplating joining the Knit the Classics group. I signed out Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. Now that I have less on the go, the gardening season is still a ways away, I will again try to get though a book and maybe a project. That's not to say I jumped right in and actually joined. Yet. Don't want my first attempt be a recorded failure.

In March, I've been invited to join the March Sweater Madness, courtesy of the Sweet Sheep. Another good opportunity to knit from the stash.

I will prevail.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Ok, ok. So I'm not doing so great with the whole updating thing everyday. Or exercising. Or drinking gallons of water. But today, in my defense, I'm sick. Not so sick that I couldn't knit, mind you. Just a cold that clobbered me good this morning even before I got out of bed.

Progress is being made in the stash depletion department. Used up 2 ball of over 200 m each in the making of that wool crocheted blanket. Now it's folded up and put away until September when I can acquire more yarn (HA HA HA HA) in the proper colour way. Good one, eh?

I have started another blanket, this one being knit in cooler colours, in the round, on Addi Turbos. Approximately 280 stitches per row. I got the idea from the Morehouse Farm Merino Knits book, pattern on page 25. I will use more colours probably to use up more stash. Another two balls of about 200 m each went into that in the past couple days.

There was progress on the second Twinkletoes sock: I'm in the middle of turning the heel.

That's it. That's all. Now I must run. I'm missing Everwood re-runs to which I'm hopelessly addicted. Then there will be Grey's Anatomy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Where's the Storm??

Last night I drove to Lapland to pick up more hay. Does it seem insane to anyone else but me that 45 km is kind of far to drive for good hay?? This stuff is green, dry, not moldy, good. Even a decent price. But man, oh, man 45 km is a long drive, and even longer when I can't go as fast on the way home. I managed to get 40 square bales on that pathetic excuse of a quarter-ton truck. A farmer with a short-box truck, and not even a 4 X 4. Good grief. But the half-ton (Bumps as it was affectionately called) is gone. It was falling apart so we sold it for parts. Better than rotting in our yard.

Hey, I got to sleep in today. That's a good thing. My back was killing me last night. And kids are being good this day of freedom from school. I still don't quite understand why school was cancelled. It's positively balmy out there. Snow and ice are melting. My water wasn't frozen in the barn for a change. The sheep didn't mind roaming outside. They did try to get into the molasses bucket the moment my back was turned. They're not as stupid as they appear. The exact time I turned to get Fudge to put her back in the pen, the sheep wandered in through the back door and were pushing through like a group of bouncers on a rowdy night clearing a path towards the "Prize". Brats, the three of them.

Did you visit Alison? Every time I try to post a message on her blog, I get booted. Maybe her blog knows just how technically challenged I am. Anyhoot. What I was going to tell her is this:
I will exercise, I will attempt to drink more water, I will try to post daily progress reports right here, I may even purchase a scale, all this as a show of my support. Because that's what friends do for each other. And even though I don't get a trip to Hawaii after all this torture, I will do my best to get on friendly terms with my manual tread mill. Because, dudes, she's my friend and this is the least I can do for her. Losing weight and getting in shape sucks. But at least I hope she won't feel so alone in her quest.

Today's progress report: 15 minutes fast walk on treadmill, some crunches (forgot to count), cool down and stretches. I am alive, though it didn't look good there for a while.

This here is my new and improved hair colour. Not so orange anymore (thank my lucky stars!). It was either a better colour or an intimate appointment with my scissors.

In knitting news, I finished one twinkletoe sock and started the second.

And finally, a stash flash for Alison. That rubbermaid box is still uncounted.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


See that? There's been knitting from the stash going on. Here's Sugar inspecting (through closed eyes!) a sleeve of a cotton sweater-to-be. I'm winging it. No pattern. I figure starting with the sleeves may see this sweater to completion. STOP THAT LAUGHING!! You, yes, you! Stop it. Laughing that hard is BAD for you.Moving right along, that's the Lopi sweater that I started during the Knitting Olympics last year. Probably why I didn't get the Gold Medal. Anyway, the back and one front are completely done and I have maybe six or seven rows to go before the other front is done.

This would be Sugar modeling my Twinkletoes sock. I had to rip back the toe because I screwed up. Thought the sock was longer than it really was.

And here is the hat from Jo-Anne's mohair. It's now done, done, done and delivered to Jo-Anne. Hey, what can I say. I work for yarn. As if you didn't know. So sue me.

I will start posting bits and pieces of the stash for Alison's perusal. Just to show off. Nice of me, eh??

And I may be putting together another bag of donations for FRC. I dropped off four bags today and I feel lighter already.