Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Irritated by Skin Zinc

I swear, if I have to listen to their ad on the radio where they list the problems this spray can solve and they specify "sensitive genital areas" I will break out in a spontaneous allergic rash!!! I believe that the phrase "genital areas" implies "sensitive" without having to spell it out. Really, does anyone out there have a genital area that is not sensitive?

Deep cleansing breath.

All of the snow that we had on the ground is gone. Melted into muddy ground & swelling rivers. Then it's coming back. I just hope it stays because I'm getting fed up of having to keep spring jackets out to wear every other day. This mother is not very happy with Mother Nature right now.

Deep cleansing breath.

Kyle has a homework tr
acker ... that he didn't fill in today.

Big calming drink (those deep breaths are starting to make me feel light-headed).

I have also been looking around and pricing out water softeners. The water in Angus is very hard and having to use twice as much detergent to wash clothes, the drying effect on our skin & the residue on every wetted surface has made it apparent that there is a problem that requires a solution. Kerwyn - don't worry, I won't commit to anything until you get back.

Having-to-deal-with-salesmen nerve-settling stiff drink.

I have sewn together some of the afghan squares - it looks great! As soon as the finished afghan & pattern are ready you all will be the first to know.

Celebration swig!

I also knit some inches on my Tumbling Blocks cushion cover. I get so into it - measuring out the yarn needed for each section is a fabulous invention - and it is so exciting to be able to start a new colour section. I might just have to do a full-sized Kaffe-esque project.

Celebration swig!

Thanks for the great comments - I love every single encouraging word. I live to spread the Gospel of the Yarn and when peole come and read about my stuff and like it, well!! It's a bit silly, but I also love getting mail & answering the phone.

Hmmm. The glass is empty. I will go get another round and then we can settle into our knitting for the night. What's your poison?

Monday, November 28, 2005

The winner is ...

Considering that I know most of the people who entered the contest I definitely had to use an outside source to prevent any special treatment. Using the very popular Random.org number generator I am pleased to be able to give Jocelyn the Mary Maxim sweater kit!! Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their joy of knitting with me.

"Hi Daddy!! (can he hear me that far away?) I'm working on my map of Prescod City for school. I played a lot on Sunday bu
t Mommy is sure that I will still get it done."

I just couldn't help myself - I had to start the Jaywalker socks ... just to see what the pattern would look like & how they would fit. So - I love how the colours look ( a Regia colour that I have re-named "Red at Morning"), the fit is good. I am knitting at 10.5sts/inch in the chevron pattern so it's not as baggy (I like snug socks). On the 2nd sock I will decrease the number of ribbed sts and then increase for the pattern.

Here are the laid-out squares for the Noro Afghan. It took longer than you might imagine to get them to look properly random!! I will not change them any more. I will not change them any more. I will not change them any more. Now for the sewing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Back in the Knitting Saddle

I've made some very real progress on the Wrap Jacket. I don't have a picture as it is just a sea of cream - but I assure you it's progressing. With 172 sts/row it takes a lot of knitting to be certain that additional fabric is being produced, but it is coming along. I've completed the 2nd halfs' front, and am halfway to the center back.

Here is Amanda in her Sassy Stripes Hat (knit twice - big-headed child that she is).
But the giggle of glee at the sight of (count 'em) 3!!! pom-poms and the word "perfect" when she tried it on was worth every cursed extra stitch. (Don't worry - all curses were rendered harmless with the swell of joy in my heart when I saw her beaming face.)
Here she is at swimming today. She is doing great - she can swim the length of the pool unassisted! Little Mermaid look out!!!
What a day of accomplishments for Amanda - she also received her Burgundy Badge in gymnastics!! She has been working on a one-handed cartwheel (of her own initiative!!) and can almost complete it. There will be a celebration involving pizza & pop tonight!

I needed a new KAL like another ball of yarn, but here I go. I am going to knit Grumperina's JayWalker Socks. As they will be the "to go" project, progress will be slower than you may be accustomed to seeing from me, but bear with me - they will get done.

All of the squares that I need for my Noro Afghan have been knit - now it's just a matter of assembly. I will lay them out tonight and then just pick a corner & start sewing. I don't mind finishing, so this is not as onerous a task as you may imagine. And there is always the pleasant thought of actually finishing a
nother project on my list. Stay tuned for pics on this as it comes together!

There are going to be more personal-type pictures and stories to keep Kerwyn up-to-date on what is happening while he is working in China.

"Hi Daddy!!! Are you in China yet? We're playing nice (for now) and enjoying the snow while it lasts. Did you have a good plane ride?"

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Weather Outside is Frightful

... and a day off is so delightful.
Let it snow!! Yeah baby - let it snow!!

Buses are cancelled in Simcoe County - Happy Dance -
(not to rub it in or anything Jocelyn!!). Amanda is still waiting to hear if her school is closed, but she is not idling away the early hours. Look at what my little Cutie is doing! I didn't even have to shove her out the door and lock it - she couldn't wait to get with at the snow with a shovel. Only the fact that it is not packing snow had her down a little bit (no snowmen), but she seems to be recovering nicely.
It doesn't seem like much snow, but there are some vicious gusts of wind that come out of nowhere and more snow is forecasted. The roads are very slippery as it warmed up a bit yesterday afternoon then froze up quickly overnight.

I have not been making a lot of knitting progress. My excuses are as follows:
1. Administrative duties.
- accident follow-up (vehicle has been rendered a total loss)
- mid-term report follow-up (at home monitoring & rallying the troops at his school)
2. Travel assistant
- Kerwyn is off to China for 2 weeks and while he is very self-sufficient, with everything else that he is managing, there are some details that require my attention
3. Marital obligations
- 2 weeks is a long time ... 'nuff said.

So I can certainly put to good use the 4-5 hours that not having to go out and circle-check, drive, come home, go out again, circle-check, wait at the school and drive the bus some more will give me.
Don't get me wrong - I love the driving part, I'd just rather be at home, warm & knitting. And it's doing it in the cold that I really hate - actually, I really don't like very much about winter. Except the snow days. hee hee
Knitting pictures tomorrow - I promise!

Monday, November 21, 2005


After wasting investing several hours of my life that I'm not getting back & several levels of feeling quite stupid, I beat the bloody game!!
HA!! I am nothing if not persistent.
Samantha had no idea when she posted this link what an addictive personality I have and that it doesn't take much of a challenge to get me started. And I love games like that. It was fun though - an excellent mental workout! Fair warning to the rest of you - there are 22 levels.

Busy Days

We had lovely snow flurries on Thursday which gave me the opportunity for this pretty picture taken in the bus loading zone at Bear Creek S.S. (Barrie).
We didn't get quite so much here at home in Angus, but it was enough for Amanda and her
friend Kaylie to get out the shovels on their PA Day (Friday) and have some fun. I'm sure that by the time March rolls around the novelty & fun will have wore off! They came in with rosy cheeks and cold noses that were quickly thawed with mugs of hot chocolate. Kaylie cam with us to do the Bear Creek run in the afternoon (the high school did not have a PA Day - awwww). The two of them had a great time rolling around in the deeper snow & shaking the trees. I made them brush each other off before they came back in the bus!!
Friday was also mid-term report day from Bear Creek. I believe that I may have had a small stroke because there are blank periods from Friday afternoon through Saturday. While I'm sure that it may not have been the worst report to go home from the school, measures are being taken to ensure that numbers in the combinations that we saw will not be on the same page as Kyle's name again. I better stop thinking about this - I'm seeing little black exploding dots.

This is my cousin Pam. As she lives in Kitchener (Ontario) we don't see each
other a lot, so when she hears my voice out of the blue she know it's a "beauty call". She is a hairdresser stylist with skills & patience galore (I almost never really know what I want to have done). She is due full credit for my great colour (and Amanda's!) and the cut. We went a littler deeper red with more subtle red highlights - a nice winter combination. What hair-do's (or hat-day don'ts) happen after I leave her care and am left to my own devices are not a reflection of her abilities. Pam also takes us to Beauticians Supply where I stock up on OPI, Biolage & Soma products (okay - yarn is not my only vice. I love salon products!)
She is holding Rocky - her baby. I think that he's only a year old and filled with puppy enthusiasm.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Okay - I'm on the bandwagon!
Stick your pin on my map (is that what the kids are calling it these days?)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Local News

An Angus man was involved in the attempted suicide of a local deer early this morning. While Mr. Prescod and the deer are unharmed, Mr. Prescod's vehicle sustained damages. As sickening as these images are, this reporter is relieved that damages were limited to the car and were not more severe. The deer - who fled into a nearby wooded area after his (ill-advised) undertaking was thwarted - remains unidentified and has not come forward to apologize to Mr. Prescod for !*^@&~# up his day and his car.
Neighbours who know the Deers' said that they "never saw this coming. They're so quiet and usually keep to themselves."
Area wildlife experts say that the recent time change and erratic weather can contribute to bizarre and unexplained behaviour. "Motorists are often unwittingly involved in these all too frequent incidents. No doubt Mr. Prescod's defensive driving skills prevented a fatality today."
The Prescods' vehicle is being assessed and their insurance company had no definitive comment at press time.

On a much happier note, Wannietta had a wonderful morning with the Sit n Knit group.
Here Joan is seen imparting sage advice on the intricacies of making a snowman on the Knifty Knitter. SheriLynn was delighted to have this expert at hand while Mary listens attentively for any bits that she can put to use on the hat that she is making for her son. These Knifty Knitters are like giant spool knitters and have a very addictive effect. Bulky yarn (or doubled-stranded KW) is used so progress is rapid. Joan is quite the skilled designer using these colourful looms - she started working on a Santa as we Sat n Knit.

And on a lighter note, Wannietta has chosen to believe the following (despite her unfailing logic!):

Your Birthdate: September 25

You excel at anything difficult or high tech.
In other words, you're a total (brilliant) geek.
It's difficult for you to find people worth spending time with.
Which is probably why you'll take over the world with your evil robots!

Your strength: Your unfailing logic

Your weakness: Loving machines more than people

Your power color: Tan

Your power symbol: Pi

Your power month: July

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Contest & Kaffe Fassett KAL

I have a contest currently running for this kit:

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about your joy/happiness/passion in and/or about knitting. It can be about the process, the thrill of the chase or a special recipient. Or you can leave a comment linking to your blog if you have a picture that sums it all up! The contes
t is open until November 27th - but don't wait until the last minute. And it's not a secret - tell your friends to tell their friends.

I started my Tumbling Blocks cushion cover today. I thought that since I had joined the Kaffe Fassett KAL that I should do more knitting than alonging! It's starting out very nicely - I really love the bright colours.
I love KAL because they really motivate me to get projects done - especially those that are just sitting there begging to be given some attention. I loved them enough to buy them at one time, they just have been set aside because I'm so easily enticed by - well, by almost any new bit of yarn!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Local Honours

Thanks to Lynne on the KnittinginCanada list Amanda & I went to Micheals today. Each store had a viariety of demonstrations, crafts for kids and a Fastest Knitter & Crocheter contest. So at 2:00PM I sat with 6 other ladies and knit for 3 minutes. I know that it was a generous 3 minutes because of how many stitches I knit. It didn't really matter as we all knit for the same length of time. I won a little basket of yarn with a couple of needles and a needle gauge. Then for a lark I did the crocheting one. I was really surprised that I won! Brianna was such a nice girl, chatting with Mary while they crocheted that I passed the basket along to her - she was a speedy thing too. Amanda had been making little yarn creatures while all of this was going on and was so giggly that she couldn't keep the camera steady - but you can see how happy Brianna was. While she doesn't knit, she is quite a crocheter!
And that is Joan from Micheals in both pictures - she is the resident knitting expert and was nice enough to change the Sit 'n Knit time on Wednesday to 9:30AM to facilitate a number of us getting together there again! Mary is going to pick up SheriLynn - I think that if this afternoon was any indication we will have a great time!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fine Art, Friends and Fibre

It was a wonderful day for a drive! Sunny skies, dry roads and the eager anticipation of the 3 F's.
This is Jocelyn. A fellow bus driver when I was in Milton, a neighbour and a great friend. Jocelyn is totally cool with an old soul. She put me onto Dead Like Me (then it was cancelled!) and Sophie Kinsella. She knits, cross-stitches and is also a talented artist and I am now the proud owner of one of her pieces. I'm a sentimental sap & knowing the heart & soul that artists put into their work I am deeply touched to have this gift in my home. I miss having her in the next building, and even though she's still only an e-mail or phone call away, sometimes it feels like a long distance. This picture brings you a lot closer Jocelyn - thanks!!!

Then it was on to Campbellville to see Holly. Holly has been my massage therapist for over 10 years, was there with me when Amanda was born and has become a great friend. So great that I have lent her Rowan magazines!! I know what you're thinking, "Lending out Rowan magazines - has she dropped a stitch?!!" A massage therapist who knits is a rare and valuable treasure! There is very little that I wouldn't do for Holly & I miss her a lot too, so we made a quick stop to say hi & pick up Rowan #38 (she is knitting a lovely sweater for her daughter Kate - who graduated high school on the night that Amanda was born - out of celery green - it's nice!! - Polar).

Then to The Needle Emporium!! The parking lot was packed when I pulled in, but Julie took a second to introduce me to Samantha. We did a show-and-tell then sat down to fix her Clapotis. Not having done this KAL, it took a bit of explaining to get me up to speed. Some consultations with Julie and we were off! As this is Sam's story I will let her blog it!
Here is Amanda with Julie.
Amanda is wearing her Sassy Stripes sweater {to which I added 2" to the sleeve length and an inch to the body length and it still just fits! Is 53cms (21") from centre-back to wrist freakishly long for an 8 year old girl?}. Julie gave a me a few odd balls of Noro that she had culled and pointed out some new colourways - that I loved! - so I should be set to finish the Noro Afghan soon.

Amanda was so excited when I mentioned this trip. She asked along the way if we could take 'friend' pictures so that she can scrapbook them. Jocelyn, Holly & Julie have all been great friends to Amanda too. I know that even with her own new little friends that she misses these adults who have played with and indulged her over the last 8 years. I'm really glad that Amanda came with me today. I guess that makes a 4th "F" - Family! I told you that I was a sentimental sap!

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's a Wrap!

Well ½ of a Wrap anyway. Another modification that I have decided to add is to make 2 identical halves and graft them together rather than do decreases to mirror the increases - it never quite looks the same. So the center back is on top, the collar edge is to the left and the sleeve - the sleeve should be obvious. I am very pleased with how this project is knitting out and am excited about finishing the other half. The close-up is a bit pinkish but shows the lovely reversible stitch.

Amanda's Sassy Stripes sweater is just in need of a collar! She really likes it and I'm sure that she'll be surprised to see it in the morning.
Although Kyle hasn't come out and said the actual words, I know that he is feeling a bit left out in the cold (literally ... but he is so picky and only likes dark & plain) so the next personal project is going to be for him. I bought some Blue Sky Cotton from Lettuce Knit back in the summer with Kyle in mind, so I will
jab myself with the needles and repeat "just one more stitch" 25,000 times be happy to cast on the plainest sweater that will be baggy enough to be cool in "Ink" so that no one at school will think that his mom knit it for him. He doesn't read my blog, but just in case he does and doesn't understand the above paragraph: Kyle --- I love you!!! I'm quite sure that there are no documented cases of a teenager dying of embarrassment, but I'm all about pushing the envelope. hee hee

Here is a cute little picture of my Winter Pansies in the first snowfall of the year
in Angus. The forecast is for the weekend to be +12-15°C!! Crazy days.

I am off to see Julie at the store tomorrow so that I can show here the Wrap-in-progress and get some feedback about the changes and to pick up some more Noro for my Afghan. I am also going to see some friends so there should be some great pictures to share.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Not In The Pink & Contest

As you can see, there is a very definite difference in the amount and shade of grey that is in these identical dyelots. I am forging ahead, Amanda won't notice and if she does I really don't think that she will care.

Moda Dea will be getting an e-mail from me. Not a pissed off one, just a heads-up that they have dye lot issues that would seriously irritate a lot of other people. Or me even if the garment was for a client or an adult.

The contest is for the Mary Maxim kit that you can see here (it is in the Light Denim colour). edited to add: Apparently the link will only go to the Home page. If you enter (either site) and then under the category "Fashion Kits" in the lefthand sidebar click "Adult Outdoor Bulky", it is the Bulky Diamond Jacket. Sorry for any confusion!
I would like to know what is your joy, passion or happiness with/in/about knitting. Is it starting or finishing, a special recipient or just the process? A yarn, a colour, a store? Whatever it is ... show & tell.
A picture or short description on your blog (leave a link in my comments), or if you don't have a blog you can leave your 'happy story' in my comments. Everyone will be assigned a random number and then a number will be chosen at further random. One entry per person please. Deadline? Hmmmm. Nov. 27th, midnight should suffice. I look forward to all of the happiness that I will be reading about.

Monday, November 7, 2005

My Socks Are So Bright ...

I gotta wear shades.

That and the effects of Frangelico can really sneak up on a person.

In the midst of a lot of huffing & puffing I was also able to take a picture of a rainbow yesterday afternoon. I love rainbows
- I don't collect them or anything, but I get excited like a little kid when there is sunshine & rain. I start looking opposite the sun, and if I'm driving I have learned that it's safer for everyone for me to pull over. It's a quirk.

The weather did allow for a lovely lazy, movie-watching mucho-knitting day. More Noro Squares, double-digit cms on the Wrap Jacket and I started a quick little sweater for Amanda. Okay - I'll go take a quick pic of it now then.
It's Moda Dea's Sassy Stripes. 100% acrylic so I haven't bothered to block it but you can see from the picture how wonderful the colours are. The pattern is on that link as well. How could I not whip this off for Amanda? It will match her hair!
I changed the pattern a bit - I started with a 2x2 ribbing because the garter stitch borders were flipping up (flippin' borders!). I am also feeling a bit unsure of the dye lots here. They are the same, yet when I started the new ball, the colours seem to be more of the red/pink and less of the grey. It may just be because of the raglan shaping and the 3!!! knots in this 2nd ball, (this is what the Wishful Knitter is trying to convince me of) but I am doubtful.
Not that this will stop me, or that I'm going to buy more, frog & re-knit. Amanda will not even know the difference. If there is an issue with colour (in)consistency, you know that I will be in touch with Moda Dea. I will have comparison pictures by tomorrow and if I'm in doubt I know that I can ask for 1 or 2 second opinions .

Thursday, November 3, 2005

La Même Chose

What is your all time favourite yarn to knit with
Rowan. With very little exception, Rowan. Their quality is consistently high, they have great colours (and colour names), weights (though I think that they should really get a sock yarn going) and yarn varieties without going too crazy. The pattern support is also excellent - especially for yarns that do well.
I am also becoming a very avid Noro fan - inspite of the debris and knots.

Your favourite needles?
Susan Bates aluminum straights.
Addi Turbos or SRK Bamboo for circular.

The worse thing you've ever knit.
The ugliest garment was an intarsia sweater with a picture of a rooster!! on the front ... for a very large man. shudder
The most horrible fibre that I had to knit with was jute for a messenger bag. That and artificial sinew that I knit into arms & legs (it was art).

Your most favourite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it but it was the most fun to knit)
Whatever I'm working on at the moment - really, I love them all. Okay, except for the Rooster Sweater. quick shot of Appletons to ward off the shudders

Most valuable knitting technique?
Quality finishing & knitting with a view to finishing. A lot of these techniques were learned in workshops at knitting shows & guild meetings. The most memorable was Borders & Buttonholes with Sally Melville. Everytime that I do a neckline I think of Sally.

Best knitting book or magazine?
Interweave knits. And VK for au courant style.
Knitters Handy Book of Patterns.

Your favourite knit-along?
Whatever one I'm doing at the moment. I just finished River & am starting my Tumbling Blocks cushion for the Kaffe KAL.

Favourite knitblogs?
The ones in my sidebar are my tried-and-true favourites. I do have others that I visit and when I find myself going there regularly and wanting to recommend them to my friends then I add them to my list.

Favourite knitwear designer?
DKNY used to do great sweaters for VK - I miss her. Vladimir Teriokhin, Martin Storey, Fiona Ellis (especially her cable work) are at the top of my list today.

The knit item that you wear the most. (how 'bout a picture of it?)
Hands down my Rowan denim sweater. I love it.

Just so that I'm not a party-pooper, I'm going to tag Michelle & Renee. I don't think that they've had a chance at being "it" yet! I look forward to your answers ladies!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Proof of Progress

I know, it's been too long. I leave the porch light on but the door is locked. Well, this is what you've all been waiting for. (Sorry for the slightly fuzzy, but this was the best that Amanda did. You get what you pay for ...) Anyway, you can see that I have been knitting. There is about 5cm done one the back side and 7.5cm done on the sleeves. I had to rip out the other 5cm that I knit on the sleeves earlier today because I made a mistake - on a whole row!!! Sometimes a simple pattern can be too simple. That, and because I'm doing the sleeves in the round the pattern involves purl rows & I need to get into that rhythm.
But it's coming along nicely, notes are being
made on the changes (I will probably just re-type the pattern Julie then corrections can be easily noted & it can be e-mailed to everywhere that it needs to go.)

The Sunshine socks are nearly done - just the toes! I may just do them at home tonight to be able to log a FO.

The Noro Mitered Squares Afghan has not been neglected either.
I won't start sewing until I have enough squares so that I can arrange them 'exactly so' because I'm like that. If you nod any harder Ada your head will bob off!! Here is a picture of the squares arranged so far - you get the idea. I have put in some solids to use up some stash - I am feeling a little woozy ... I may have taken too much out of the stash. The Noro was all stash too.

I have been tagged by Julie for a knitting meme - I will give it some thought and post my answers tomorrow.