Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where was I?

I know (and you know) that it's been too long but that I'll always be back.
I've been busy knitting between work and family things.
I finished the sleeves and LF of Martin Storey's Arak for Julie.

It's been very enjoyable, though I should have enlarged the chart a wee bit. Just a RF to knit up, followed by a hard core blocking then a bit of finishing.

Today I am at the hospital for the "Stefanison Special". A gamut of annual tests (liver ultrasound, chest X-ray, mammogram and bone scan) that he orders for his breast cancer patients for 5 years post op as an early detection screening for possible metastasis.
I decided to leave the chart-knitting at home and cast on for an Inside-Outside scarf using some Noro Silk Garden and recycled silk that I have had for years for just this purpose.
I was rushing this morning at 6:30 because I didn't set my alarm early enough (don't even ask - I can't even begin to recall the lack of thought process I went through) so I grabbed needles and left. I could also easily include lack of sleep and caffeine deprivation as root causes.

I cast on and it was soon apparent that there is a decided lack of contrast that the texture of the silk exacerbates. I was happily willing to let this go as "subtle" but the fabric is too loose - even for a scarf - for my liking so I will be zipping it out and reknitting. And probably with a more neutral Noro.

I've been having an increased amount of trouble with my elbows (especially my right one). Cue scary music. Tendinitis. I've been wearing arm braces and icing religiously. I am stretching and am going to pick up wee weights to do the exercises. I really don't want to get a note to have my job modified - I'd be relegated to Express where when it's slow, it's painfully slow. I also don't want to be armless so I'll see how it goes.
Also on the work front - I'm training as a CSM so that I can be the backup CSM. It will also give me the skills and abilities that I need so that my chances of gaining a f/t CSM position are greatly increased. It's a small step back up the retail ladder but at least it's a step up.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Busy needles.

I know ... but you're used to me disappearing for periods of time. And like the proverbial bad penny I always turn up again.
So Clue 3 of Westknits Colo(u)rknits came out last Friday. I didn't have the luxury/pleasure of the day off but I woke up early and got a start before I headed off to the salt mines. I finished it Friday after work.

I really don't know how it's going to finish in one more clue; perhaps this one will be a big'un. I do love my colour choices!

I don't generally crochet and I really don't usually accept commissions without a pre-set payment amount. But there was a story about a knitterly grandmother who always crocheted a blankie for new family babies and a upcoming birth, the first without said grandmother to crochet a welcoming blankie. And I may have been on some medication that day.
So I have undertaken a simple ripple blankie out of Cascade Pinwheel. It says Aran but it is mos def a worsted. It also is not very evenly spun for an acrylic but the colours are nice and I'm enjoying the simplicity of crocheting. Yes - the leaves are lovely colours!!

Elise's lace-weight linen Shawl of Secrecy continues slowly - increasing 6 sts every alt row. It's lovely and I like working on it but need some variety.

So of course I started on another project!!! Lynda started on Martin Storey's Arak and finished the back but I am taking the hand-off and finishing it. Rather than a regular swatch I decided to just cast on a sleeve and measure off of that.

The nails are OPI's In The Cable-Carpool Lane from the San Fransisco collection.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cordón Shawl

I am going to preface this post by saying that every time I wind linen I forget that you need to wind it tight or it just falls apart. Perhaps in so writing I will remember this lesson for the next time.

So this is Americo's Linen Cordón in Coral and Dark Stone. I will be casting on for a different Shawl of Secrecy tonight.

To do so I needed to online my Addi Lace circulars.
We all know that the most effective way to do this is putting the cord into hot water for a few seconds.

I'm at Lee's and he's got spaghetti sauce simmering (he makes it from scratch ... I know, a total keeper!!) and spaghetti in boiling water. Grated its been oiled & salted, but it's still boiling water. And there really wasn't room I really wasn't inclined to make room and set a clean pot to boil. So I just dipped the needle in with the noodles a few times.
Poor Lee - his face as he came 'round the corner and saw what I was doing was utterly priceless!! I laughed and explained it but he still had an incredulous/dumbfounded look. I wiped the cord and dried and I'm good to go.

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Friday, September 20, 2013


Clue #2 came out this morning and I was all over it.

A significantly smaller clue but it incorporates the 3rd colour yet leaves the knitter with no real clue where this will go next! A perfect mystery knit!!

No spoilers here ... go to my Rav project page to satisfy your curiosity.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013



  1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: "flashes of inspiration".
  2. The quality of having been so stimulated, esp. when evident in something: "a moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display".

When Elise gave me the pattern for her her On The Easy Side pattern it was the beginning of a journey that started with that single questing query, "I wonder if ...".

I wondered if Koigu's PPPM would repeat and pattern as did their Kersti at a particular stitch count. Thus began my journey and exploration of the Sweetspot of a yarn and my resulting scarves/afghans.

I always believed and discussed with Elise the mathematical theory of a predictable repeat based on the skein size, dye sequence and stitch count/gauge but it was well beyond my skill set. I relied on intuition and trial and error.

My day was totally made when Elise & I spoke yesterday and she mentioned an article written by Karla Stuebing in Twist Collective on The Art and Science of Planned Pooling where she said that my design inspired her to explore and extrapolate the maths in the yarns!! Carol Sulcoski wrote an article in the Early Fall 2013 VK on Planned Pooling referencing my design and Karla's work.

I am still exploring indie yarns and have another afghan in the works.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Meadow Socks

So I have needed just simple knitting the last day or so and my Meadow Socks totally fit the bill. The size and shaping are pretty much spot on though the decreasing into the rib is a bit off because I got mired in the idea of having it exactly centered. I know ... It's a circle. Sigh. I'll sort that to be more aesthetically pleasing on the 2ndsock.

I'm also thinking that with the additional width at the top and length through the leg that I may not have enough yarn for two socks. I am probably going to use a 2nd colour for the heel & toes then reverse the colouring on the 2nd sock.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Colorknits clue #1

Worth all the effort and it got me through a rough w/e. 
I think that it is an intriguing beginning and I can't wait to see how we build up from this base on Friday. 

I won't put spoilers up in case anyone is still early on and avoiding reveals. Here's the link to my Rav project page

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Keeping Busy

I've had a few unexpected days off from work and I've been able to use some of that to knit.

I have finished The Shawl of Secrecy!!

The sock has had some undocumented work done on it ... I'm not sure if I'm feeling the love for it though.

I am feeling the love for the yarn that I selected and have wound up for the Westknits colourknits Mystery KAL.
The yellow is Red Corset Designs Osmosis in Sunkist. The red is Spunky Eclectic Skinny Socks in How Very Berry. The blue is Punta Yarns MeriSock Handpainted.

I am going to do a swatch tonight, though for shawls it's less crucial; I just want to see the colours together!!

I have also wound up Americo's Linen Cordón for a different Shawl of Secrecy.

 That was a lot of winding ... the knitting will take awhile I'm sure!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shawl of Secrecy

And lest you think that I am perhaps knitting on The Emperor's New Shawl, here is a glimpse of the Shawl of Secrecy.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


And speaking of distractions ... It's that time of year again.

I loved doing Rockfeller last year and I was all over signing up for this Mystery KAL.

I had basically narrowed it down to these two colour ways (a Kirkpatrick woman embraces colour!!).

I have decided to go with the red - it lends a cooler, more wintery feel while I sense more spring coming from the Sundara green.

So I've got until Friday to make a serious dent in Elise's shawl ... mission accepted.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

New socks

So I've always done my socks with about a 7" leg. When I wore my lovely clear Wellies the other day it looked strange with short-ish socks inside them.
So once I finished the Amalfi Poncho, I cast on straight away for a new nearly knee-high socks. Unfortunately I was at Lees and I didn't have the wonderful handout from Kate's sock class. So old-school trial and error it would be.

I generally cast on 72 sts for the 2x2 run and go down 68 for the leg. I did this and tried it on higher on my leg to get an idea of how many more sts I might need.

So I cast on 84 sts and worked in rib for 3" and then did a double dec at the back of the leg on alt rnds down to 68 sts. It was too tight still and the decs were not spaced out enough.

Now I have cast on 96 sts and have begun double decs on every 3rd rnd after 2".

But I have been distracted by a shawl that I've cast on for Elise so my trials (and ensuing errors) may have to wait.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013


I have had migraines for a lot of years. I used to take Imitrex until it just stopped working and now I take Zomig. Very effective and if I can catch the migraine early enough the Zomig works well enough that I can work/live through the migraine.

Recently, however, the migraines have been hitting me harder and faster. There are no creeping warning signs, just crushing and debilitating pain that the Zomig will take care of but only after hours in a bed-cave.

I think that I'll have to start going for acupuncture again; it worked well in the past to alleviate the immediate symptoms and reduced the frequency and severity of the occurences - it certainly can't hurt now.

Anyone have any other remedies?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Amalfi poncho

The Amalfi poncho is done!!

I had Lee take a quick pic sans make up or hair fixing - it was just too hot to be bothered.
I finished it last night but after some texts and chat with Julie we decided to go with ending 12 rows earlier than the pattern calls for and knitting the last triangles in the CC.

The designer -Ann McDonald Kelly - responded to me on FB saying that she wanted to have the cast off triangles the same colour as the cast on ones so she eased the last triangle into the seam when finishing (as you can see from the pic in the magazine).
I personally wasn't bothered by that detail and didn't like the bunching created by easing in the extra colour set.

And the seam at the collar - I am very pleased. I didn't give it much thought until I had cast off for the collar, rolled it over to have a look and said, "no Siree Bob"!! To my admittedly particular self this is significantly better.

All in all though I am very pleased with it - a well written and easily followed pattern and the yarn makes it even more fun to knit.

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Camping at The Pinery

So we went camping this week at the Pinery Provincial Park - my first camping trip since I was little and went with my parents.
We had a few errands to run and then the inevitable "oops ... forgot" stops and  arrived early Monday evening. Lee set up the sorted out the shelter and fire while I went off foraging for food. The sky was clear and I saw 3 falling stars - took care of the big wishes.

Jake had a blast with some special glow sticks that were gifted to him.

The Force is strong in this one!!

The boys went of in search of some provisions so I woke up alone and left to my own devices. Fortunately I had devices and was roughing it Namaste style!

Tuesday was a nice day - swimming took up most of our day. Lee & I both ended up with some sun burn. It was overcast when we left the campsite so Lee & I didn't think that we'd need the sunscreen but it totally brightened up in the 7 minutes it took to walk to the beach.

I spotted a Phasmatodea on the tree in the center of our campsite. None of us had seen one before and it was very cool. It wobbled on its tiny stick legs when it walked. It disappeared up the tree by the time we had turned in for the night; I wonder if it sensed the storm and headed for higher cover.

Lee made a delish spaghetti sauce for dinner. We got through dinner and some drinks before the lightning started. Torrential rains all night, leaks in the tent, a neighbouring tarp collecting and dumping water ceaselessly = little to no sleep.

Wednesday morning was about setting things out to dry. Jake rode his bike through all of the water puddles! We went into Grand Bend for mini golf.

It was a lot of fun, more so because I won!!!

When we got back there was a warning from the Ministry of Health that the beach was a danger due to high bacteria levels - stupid storm!!

So there were card games and Jake played with some children from a neighbouring site. Lee made chili - nice and not spicy per request of the pickiest camper.

I had bought those packs that make coloured fire - Jake & I are easily amused!! It was hard to capture the colours but trust me - very cool!

Lee and I had toasted marshmallows - mmmmmm perfection!

On our last morning I made bacon and eggs to order and I was on the money! Mostly it's a "take what you get" thing when I cook but I wanted to do right by our last camp meal. Mission accomplished.

I help get the small stuff sorted away then Jake & I went to the beach while Lee broke down the tent and packed up the truck. It was way easier to divide and conquer than have a 7 year old boy bored and complaining. It was gorgeous and sunny; I'm not totally untrainable so sunscreen was applied. The water was refreshing and totally perfect once I was all the way in. Jake played with another boy on the beach (love camping for that - there is always someone for the kids to play with!) and I just floated in the water and soaked up the sunshine.

Next year we hope to stay longer than 3 nights; it seemed like we had just arrived and settled in and suddenly it was time to go.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Still Knitting

It's been too long, I know. I've been busy with work and family (the good and the bad) and there is always knitting!
So I did finish Elise's sock. Much better on 3mm needles.

I finished the two toddler projects for Julie. Blue Sky Alpacas Cameron Hoodie and the Beatrice Top. Easy knitting and well written instructions.

I'm in the midst of the Amalfi Poncho right now. I am using the suggested Classic Elite Liberty Wool Print, col #7840, Middle Earth and #7845, Spark.

 Again with the easy knitting. I love the cabled projects but getting back to basics is always a pleasure as well. I try to find a fairly matching colour section when I have to move into a new ball and I use a spit splice so the continuity is maintained (and fewer ends to sew in!!).

I didn't give much thought to the last bit of the funnel neck which gets seamed to the beginning until I was ready to cast off the neck stitches. No matter how you stack it, it wasn't going to look a bit right. It might not bother some but I could feel the hives waiting to break out if I didn't sort this.

I'm also not generally one for knitting in my ends. I know, but I prefer to sew them in after. That being said, I am knitting them in on this project. It seems (no pun intended - groan) to be finishing up well.

There - all caught up on the knitting.

The Misfits finished our regular baseball season without adding any more wins to the column but I pitched great, hit well and had a fantastic time!! Our whole team improved and we really started to play well together. Learning each others  strengths and foibles, making the most of our assets and helping cover each other in the field. We play our year-end tourney in two weeks and I'm looking forward to it but I'll be sad to have it end for another year.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

And so it begins. Again.

Sock. Way too tight. But you know me, starting over is not a problem. 3mm needles this time.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Relay for Life

This is my 9th Relay and my 3rd as a Survivor.
I am proud to be able to do a small part to give back and pay forward what my friends and family, the Canadian Cancer Society and all of their volunteers and the medical personnel did for me when I needed help the most.
The Sunnybrook Relay is tomorrow night. If you can sponsor me and support the search for a cure and the support systems that everyone diagnosed needs, please click on any of the links in this post.

Thank you - no amount is too small.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

They're Heeeere!!!!

Everyone has been clamouring for them, dreaming of them and pleading for them. After investing all of the time necessary to perfect them, Signature Needle Arts are giving the people what we wanted - convertible circulars!!!

(image courtesy SNA)
Thank you Cathy & Danielle!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sock Rash

So this is why I don't like store-bought socks.

Yes, a hideous and itchy reaction to thin cotton socks!! My feet & legs have been properly spoiled. I know, but sometimes I spend more time at Lee's than I plan on and run out of proper socks. I need to get to pounding out some more socks for me.

It has been a long winter for all of God's creatures, not the least of all the mice. I tried to live-capture it/them but the little bugger actually chewed the plastic off enough to trip the levered gate and crawl back out!!! I then resorted to poison. And more poison. Then different poison. It was eating it ... there was food & fecal debris. It kept coming back. Well, now I have results!!!

I will admit that I screamed. Like a girl. But after a wee victory dance I sanitized the counter and stove top and discarded the carcass. I will cleanse my utensil drawer for the umpteenth time and hope that this recently departed was the sole intruder and/or that his comrades have suffered such a decisive fate.

And the upcoming Fathers Day has the good movies coming out at The Mighty Mart of Wal. I totally scored!!!

Yes - all of the Star Trek movies on bluray!!! I know!!!!