Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Naturally Easy

Well it will be for everyone else once I get the pattern finished! I really don't like raglans - they're fiddly.
Beth will be happy to see this - I know, it doesn't look like much but it's an almost finished not much.
I've picked up for the neckline, but sometimes it's hard to tell if it's going to lay right until it's cast off. So I think that I'm going to take it back, work the V decreases on alternate rounds to make for a wider v-sp
read & pick up additional stitches at the top of the sleeves and back neck so that it doesn't pull in so much. I might also do a couple of short rows to take out some of the back neck rib. Since I didn't do back neck shaping - I almost always do, but it's extra-fiddly on a raglan - this should create just the bit of shaping that I'm looking for.

I sent of the first finished sweater for Chicknits and have started on the second. Circular knitting is not my favourite but I sure can get used to not having to finish seams!

Oh - and here is a picture of me accepting the Grand Prize Bushel 'o Yarn from Sabrina.
I also will receive a Gold VIP pass for next fall's show, 2 nights at the Hilton Toronto and a Via Rail voucher. It's a fun venue for meeting a lot of people from different lists and blogs!

Thank you all for your empathy for our loss - it means a lot. We're not going to rush into another pet, but I'm sure that we'll get another one eventually.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Watching AR with Wannietta - part VII

Alliances can only last so long but you can still be nice and lend a hand when the opportunity arises.
Cuts are cuts!
Just because you smile and toss your hair when you do it doesn't make it right.
"all up in my grill"? "trippin' "? You young folk better come with with more than that if you want to shake a Mom. I'm sure that she's been there & done that before & better!!

Alright!! Moms in 1st!!
Would you like Kim to change your shorts for you too?

What goes around comes around boys. Karma will bite you in the ass every time!!
That's right Dave, it's not supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be Amazing.
Or maybe the Cho brothers are just nice. Mean people think that other people think like they do.

Models and maps don't mix.
It's a poor workman who blames his tools. Kim - don't think about it! Get in the drivers' seat and take off!!

Pride goeth before the crash. Literally.
Okay Rob, it won't work but you won't let Kim try.
Look at the size of those cars Kim - do you really think that any other team stopping would really be useful?
Models - choose Salt.
Really - do you think that he would admit to being a bad sailor?

It won't pickle you fingers but you will find ever cut and open sore.
Can you imagine the scene if Rob & Kimberly were to both freak out at the same time!!!
Switching always takes extra time.
Models & maps ...
Way to stay positive there Mary.

Easy to put on the happy face when you're in the lead. You 2 aren't all sugar & spice when the goin' isn't so good.
They'll get theirs.
I believe that.
You 2 boys have been very honourable - I like the cut of your jib. No one would blame you for winning in a foot race.
Dave & Mary made it way further than I would have thought. Good on 'em!!
OMG - another life!!
These 2 must be part feline.

Fate is too cruel - can they work with them and sabotage them at the same time?!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

To Remember Cheeky Monkey

We can't be entirely sure of the cause, but Cheeky Monkey got very sick very fast and the Prescod family - especially the children - is mourning for best pet cat that ever was and for the empty space that has been left behind in our home. Amanda really wanted to bring him home so he is resting in a special place in the backyard. Amanda & Kyle are both thinking of ways to make it really special come spring - a new tree, memory stones a bird bath - we'll come up with something. Even Kerwyn misses the little guy - he was getting used to tolerating him!
This is how we will remember him - a sweet little kitten who touched all of our hearts. Shy at first, then irrepressible and unforgettable.

I'm going to print these pictures for the kids and frame them.
This is their first real brush with personal loss - I hope that it strengthens them, deepens their appreciation for life and
won't leave a lasting scar.
Me? I am suffering from the kind of guilt that only a mother can feel be punished with. I left my babies alone for a weekend and one of them suffers tragically. Intellectually I know that it is simply a cruel twist of fate, a cosmic coincidence. Emotionally - fate is twisting the plies too tight and the cosmos is a small double-edged blade working its way sideways through my gut.
Barkeep!! A bottle of your best and a skein of your even better.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Not just a One Hit Wonder

Okay, enough keeping you in suspence - on with the story!

So Friday I took an Illustrative Blackwork class with Jennifer Aikman-Smith. She was so enthusiastic and passionate about cross stitch - it was infectious!! I sat beside Andrea - very nice girl and a speed stitcher. Here is my fairy, here is Andrea's. By the end of the class here is how we finished. That's okay. For me x-stitch is about how artistic it makes me feel and I don't mind being a bit slow methodical.

I spent the rest of the day in the market and trying to beat my own best time. Just
couldn't do it.
I went out to dinner with my best friend and most ardent supporter Ada. We had a blast!!

Saturday I woke up feeling like I was getting a cold that's been going 'round up here. I have been telling the children not to breathe on me & I've been taking vitamin C every day trying to ward this off. So with a "mind over matter" attitude and orange juice instead of coffee to start the day I set off to knit fast faster.
Linda didn't have a booth at the show this year but I heard from a few people who came by that she would be coming on Sunday so I really wanted to lay down my best time. As for most knitters my purl row is my slower side so I try to make up time on the knit side, but I have to really stick my purls to have a better result. (We knit 60 sts in stockinette stitch)
I was feeling the groove and managed to match my Thursday score of 240 sts. I don't watch the clock but I glance up at the end of my 1st purl row to see my split time - I need to finish at least with 1:30 left on the clock.
So I'm feeling good, confident even. Deep breath. Start the mp3 player. Thursday I knit to Rock the Party by Bob Sinclair, today I'm groovin' to King of the Dancehall by Beenie Man. Pat says "go" and I'm off. I look up and I've got 1:36 left!! OMG ... easy ... don't lose the edge. Deep breaths, get ahead on those knits. Get ready for the turn - you want it smooth. Alright, be one with the needles ... flow through the purls. Getting to
the end ... 9 seconds!!! Don't think ahead ... just one more turn ... keep it smooth ... stay calm. 5 more stitches.
245 stitches in 3 minutes
Stephanie (fastest crocheter) was watching me and she said that she could tell that I was nailing the purls. What a freakin' rush man!!!

Linda didn't end up coming on Sunday which was kind of anticlimactic as I was set for a battle, but I was really my own best competition (which is also how I can spend an entire dayand my 245 stitches held for the win.
So I'm not just a one hit wonder and I'm still improving - it was a great weekend!!!

Shouts out to Rochelle, Christina, Lesley & Sue, Lorraine (you GO girl!!!), Joan (join the CKDA already!!!), Denise, Karen, Allison & Karen's mom, Fiona, Elise and everyone else who stopped and offered their encouragement. And congratulations to Drea who won the daily prize for fastest crocheter on Sunday!
You took it down to the wire girl but you did it - don't tell me that you can't crochet with the clock on anymore.

I did a couple of other jewellery classes on Sunday - I'll post those pictures tomorrow (or the next day).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Knitter on Ice

Literally. Amanda wanted to go skating last Wednesday. Kerwyn has taught her well and she can motor around on her own and I can stand up and skate (and I use that term in it's loosest possible form) around without actually holding on to the boards and I couldn't think of a reason not to go fast enough so she was packing her skates before I could say "icy death". Kyle got over the mortification of having his mother & sister in the same arena with him. Amanda & I promised to pretend not to know him - and we did pretty good. Kyle's awesome - speedy and graceful, a real vision on the ice. Hard to capture on camera, but I love watching him skate. Doesn't Amanda look like a colourful little Ewok? Even through the blur you can see terror trepidation all over my face. I lasted almost an hour, then spent ½ hour knitting while trying to get the feeling back into my feet. Amanda had a great time & Kyle didn't die of embarrasment.

Thursday was the 1st day of the CSNF and I took Marilyn Gardiner's Japanese Origami class. This was my first ever experience with chainmail work and Marilyn was an excellent teacher. I finished it in class and it looks great! Diane & Carol sat by me and we had a great time. Carol was having a hard time of it and her pliers kept slamming into her knuckles. We nicknamed her Bloody Knuckles Carol. She quipped back, "No pain, no gain!" In that case Carol won the day!! She kept at it, was definitely getting the hang of it and Marilyn was helping her finish it up when I left.

Then I did these gorgeous pieces in Maria Rypan's class. I might re-string the earrings on different findings - I find these a bit challenging to get on - and make an adjustment or two so that they hang nicer. Now that I know a bit about it.

In between all of this I knit for 3 minute sprints until I did a new personal best of 240 stitches in 3 minutes!!! The yarn had a looser twist and took some getting used to, but I'm nothing if not persistent.
I really missed Sarah from Spinrite who had become a fixture at the Fastest Knitter booth, but by the end of the weekend I couldn't imagine not having Pat there - smiling, counting, timing & encouraging everyone to have a go
. Pat rooted for everyone with an inimitable enthusiasm that didn't diminish. She was a veritable energizer bunny right to the end. This is Pat on the left with Sabrina from Herrschners. Herrschners provided the daily & grand prize gift baskets. Sabrina & her father regularily came by to check out the action.

I'll post the rest of the weekend tomorrow! (Sorry if the formatting is a bit off - I don't know what I did!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Watching AR with Wannietta - part VI

Again/still with the "C'mon Sarah." This is going to be a long hour.
Model Boys sneaked outta there - did it way what time they land in Kuwait?
Ah ... same time.
The BQ's sucked up to the pilot - not surprised.
Yeah, it's annoying when someone goes faster-than-blonde.
Scared of heights; that sounds like it won't help much.
Astonishing heights or fierce flames. What's my 3rd option Phil?
Again with Sarah doing the climbing.

Not very challenging to mess with BQ's heads, but it was a really nice thing to do and what goes around comes around. Good luck E&G!!

Sarah is a tough cookie and the other teams are starting to see her strengths ans Peter's weaknesses.
Jigsaw puzzle - I'd rock at that. If I survived the climb.
You can go this Erwin; be one with the tower.
Well if the puzzle isn't going together and you're the only one working on it then I would concur - there's something that you're not doing right.
You GO Mary - I'd love to see her in an action flick. Awesome - they didn't let the boys' sacrifice go to waste.
LMAO - a puzzle clue that is more of a puzzle than a clue.

Mask ... mosque ... whatever
Blonde charm works on men all 'round the world.
Sistahs? Big pigs? You don't want to go there!!
What a wonderful bonus for David & Mary - a real vacation after travelling the world.
Blonde BQ's without a clue ... no comment.

C'mon 'Bama moms!!!

Kim should stop trying to say any words that are remotely challenging.
In Kuwait. Who'da thunk it?
"I don't think that we need it full." I'd say that the problem with that statement is that you're not thinking.
Yeah Rob - I'm sure that you should do what the BQ's are doing. I'm sure that they filled camel feed bags before.
I guess that camel racing isn't as big of an event as you might think.
I guess if expecting the job to be done right is picky, then they're being picky.
Well, manual labour sucks. In every country.
Okay, so did you not hear Sarah say "I don't think that we're totally out of it?" You must be one of those men who needs to hear himself say something for it to be true.

You're not going out bros! And you're not going out in style.
Of course it's Sarah's fault. I mean, she does all of the hard tasks, she has to know where to go and she has to hurry up. You were driving and at any point could have checked the frelling map for yourself. For Crying Out Loud!!!
Well this one's on you Peter. You asked for the directions and accepted the offer of a personal guide.
It's kinda dark. Yeah, maybe it's not an elimination round. I mean, AR always has 2 non-elimination rounds in a row.

Good for you Sarah - tell it like it is!! You're stronger without his kind of encouragement and help.

Those 2 little girls do not want to square off against 2 strong black women.
I don't know as how I would call a car accident in a foreign country "a bit of a scare". That's like saying that Hurricane Katrina was "a bit of weather".

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dove - Evolution

I couldn't think of any reason not to share this video & 1 real reason to share it - Amanda. I hope that when I show this to her it will change even a little bit how she feels when she looks at advertising.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Winging it

Kyle was invited out with friends after school and Kerwyn wasn't home so Amanda & I decided to head to CW Coops for 2-4-1 wing night. The table that we were seated at had this flag hanging beside it. It wasn't anywhere else, so we (and when I say "we" I mean the classic Royal We that means me) decided that "It" was knitting. Not being one to ignore a directive I pulled out my knitting while we waited for the wings to arrive. Very good wings & enough left over for Amanda to have some for lunch.

I'm getting really excited about the show - not just the knitting competi
tion either. I'm taking several jewellery classes so I'll have some lovely new bit & baubles to wear and a cross stitching class with Jennifer Aikman-Smith. There are a few knitting books that I want to pick up and some beads for my Butterfly.

I made time today to get my nails done.
I get them a bit on the short side so that by the time I go for a fill in 3-4 weeks they aren't uselessly long. I have convinced myself (didn't take much persuasion, believe me) that my fingers are now much more aerodynamic. If nothing else I will look good while I'm knitting!

Monday, October 16, 2006


The pot shouldn't call the kettle black. You know who you are and what I mean. 'nuff said.

This is what the skies were looking like on Saturday. I would say they have stepped it up a notch from simply threatening to "I'll do it. Don't think that I won't." Dark skies like this arouse a very visceral fear in me, but I am nearly hypnotized by how white the telephone/hydro wires, seagulls and water towers are against the storm-laden skies. But I made it home safely and played Monopoly with Amanda.
Now, I grew
up with the classic Monopoly board but nowadays you can choose from a wide variety of pop culture themed boards. Kyle and Amanda could never agree on the same one until we saw this one. The eyes are made of that plastic that makes the image shift when you tilt the surface - it's kind of creepy on a Monopoly box. As I said, I grew up playing Monopoly (among other board games - not much else to do in the country with no cable; hence also my love of reading). I think that SpongeBob is hilarious and I watch the show but I felt like the village idiot playing this format. I have no idea what the properties are and the Chance/Community Chest cards are different. Amanda was explaining what things were (she's been playing with Kyle for a couple of weeks and is the resident expert). Fortunately Amanda is still honing her Monopoly strategies & I had her bankrupt in no time. Hey, she won't learn if I let her win. I let her know my advice on what she might do and I let her know how & why I played the way I did. We had fun - she's a good sport.

Yesterday I drove up to my dad's to pick up a side of beef. We took the scenic
route and just had to stop when we saw these interesting creatures. I tried to give Amanda her motivation but she just wasn't feeling the terror of being scooped up and taken away to the dragon's lair. We also saw a couple of deer run across the road - well ahead of us thank goodness! I love watching real deer - they are just so compellingly graceful! Amanda thought that it would be nice to have one as a pet. "Ummm, no. You'd have to get one very young so that it wouldn't be afraid of you & a very high fence. They jump very well." "But ..." "No." It was a great day for a drive and we enjoyed very pleasant views all the way to Hanover.
We stopped by my sister's
to say "hey" while we were in the neighbourhood. I totally forgot to have one of the kids take our picture, but I did get pics of the kids at McDonald's Playland. These are Amanda's cousins, but genetically they are more like half-siblings since Daphne & I are identical twins. Yeah, I know, it freaks Kerwyn out too. But should the need for an organ donor arise, these kids have good odds for a match.
So after all the good times were done (and when I say "done" I mean that Daphne & I said "The good times are done.") Amanda & I headed off to my dad's. Here he is with Sadie & Amanda. He had a small litter of kittens that Amanda discovered - loved goes without saying. I knew what little thoughts were flitting around in her mind; my dad did too and he stoked the fire, "Would you like to take one home?" He winked at me. "Please Mom? They look just like Cheeky Monkey and they could be his friends!" she wheedled. I was resolute. "No way - you're Dad is just tolerant of CM, there's no way I'm pushing our luck. CM has you, Kyle & I for friends and I've forked over enough money making CM a nice, neutered indoor cat and curing his ails. No." So she will have to live with her memories of the little kittens and this picture will help.

I also took Amanda to see my old high school, my old public school (nothing lasts forever) and the Saugeen River where we used to swim in the summer.
The falls from the dam were a real draw for Amanda. It's amazing how vivid memories become when you start going back down Memory Lane with someone else.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Watching AR with Wannietta - part V

It's funny how when the going gets hard and you really get to know someone your feelings can change.
Pull out all of your cards. Hmmmm Ace of White Smile? Jack of Show a Little Leg? Queen of Helpless White Women?
Well, maybe not totally blonde if they're not trusting Peter.
You GO Alabama moms!!! You don't need charity help.
Don't act like it's a challenge to get into Peter's head. It's like taking candy from a baby.
Mary has a nice way with people - her sincerity comes oozing through that accent. I love her!!
Damn!!! I do NOT want Rob to win. **jinx**
OMG - stupid travel agents. How do they not understand "fastest"? I mean, I know that there's a language thing going on but still ...
**Jinx - slow taxi**

If looks could kill. If there's a way to change those tickets, Mary will find it!!

Oh cool - this could make it very
, very interesting!
I'm really starting to dislike Peter intensely.
Oh goody - Lyn & Karlyn are going!
Well, you never know. That's the twisted beauty of AR - Dave & Mary can still catch up.

I think that they have suppressed their inner bitch for so long that it has no choice but to start coming out now.
Yeah, another AR bummer. The Grand Equalizer.
Poor Rob & Kimberly.
Wild rice. Don't even describe the tasks Phil. Wild Rice.
Another bummer. Bummer.
ffs - she knows how to wrap a freak
in' elastic!!
Yeah Sarah. I mean, you know that there is no way that that elastic will break. And there is no way that the rope could come undone. What's to be scared of?
If he says "C'mon Sarah" one more time ...
Arrogant asshole. There is just no other way to describe his behaviour.
Yeah, it's fun when you're in 1st and you're running ahead of the girl with the blown-out artificial limb. Good times for all then.

Oh Boo. I'm not feeling the sincerity there.
Yeah. Homeless cows.

In case you weren't aware, in India 30 minutes is forever, dude.
Men have a hard time with the subtlety of colours, like yellow & beige.
You're the driving force Peter - you do it.
And Sarah can yell "C'mon Peter!"
It's colouring for crying out loud!
I would totally kick ass at that driving challenge.

Please let this be a non-elimination round. I don't want Dave holding the rice thing over Mary's head for forever.
AND they get to keep their stuff & money. They can overcome that - as long as they're 30 minutes ahead of the last team. Tom & Terry withstood a 30 minute penalty, Dave & Mary can do it too.

That was fantastic! Same time next week? I'll be here.

Oh - the shoe doesn't fit quite so well when it's on the other foot!! What goes around comes around Beauty Queens.