Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Shetland Triangle

I got the Shetland Triangle blocked today. I forgot to take a before picture. Basically it looked like a blob. If you click on a closer up image, you might be able to see the seed beads along the swallowtail edge and down the points. I used the crochet hook method to affix the beads along the points and strung the beads on the yarn with a dental floss threader. I broke the yarn to do that and tried to 'spit join' it but it wouldn't work so I used the 'Russian join' method. I used a bead on every other stitch along swallowtail edge. The blocked size is 58" x 25" - a nice size for a large-ish shoulder scarf.

I'm also trying to felt the 'Ogre Socks' down to a wearable size for me to wear as slippers around the house. I've run them through the washing machine, used a toilet plunger in a bucket with alternating hot and cold water with baking soda and have now thrown them in the dryer. After all that, they're about half felted. And I've had quite a workout.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Catching Up

My blog has been photo-less lately so I thought I'd get caught up. I finally finished casting off the Palindrome Scarf that I'd finished knitting ages ago. My dilemma was finding the instructions to do a sewn 2 x 2 rib bind off. While searching the Internet, a book was recommended - "Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets" which I found in our local public library. I have it all packaged and ready to send to the Orphan Foundation of America for their Red Scarf Project. Parent-less college students will receive care packages for Valentine's Day with reversible, unisex, red scarves and notes of encouragement.

I'm moving along well with the Norwegian Woods shawl, although I did spend a considerable amount of time 'tinking' back a couple of rows after discovering a mistake. I'm living dangerously by not using life lines.

Today Skip and Scooter carved their jack o' lanterns. Here is the tool of preference.

And some action shots.

And the finished products.

The one I carved is on the left - my trademark Hallowe'en kitty.

Once I get the pink Shetland Shawl blocked, I'll post before and after photos.

Among Greatness

As I neared the end of the Evelyn A. Clark Shetland Triangle, I spent some time figuring out where I should put the silver-lined pink seed beads that are an exact match to the pink yarn. The pattern doesn't indicate where the beads should go. I looked at several versions on Ravelry and got some ideas. I then put out a request for suggestions on the Yahoo Laceknitters' group. Wouldn't you know, I got a response from the designer herself!

I'm looking forward to blocking it tomorrow on Scooter's bed.

I started another Norwegian Woods shawl using indigo-coloured Fiddlesticks silk/merino Zephyr laceweight yarn.

I have been baking brownies and Hallowe'en cookies (bats and pumpkins) with Scooter here this weekend. It makes me think of things I'd like to bake for Christmas.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Brush with Fame

I got a Ravelry message the other day asking if a photo of one of my projects could be featured on the pattern's page. I checked the pattern today and my picture was there! I'm kinda famous I guess.

On a more sombre note, I made a quick trip to Sarnia for Floyd's visitation and funeral. Valerie cashed in her VIA Rail ticket for her trip home on Monday and drove with me on Tuesday. We went over to Port Huron, MI to exchange a defective Mad Men DVD set (it had 2 disk 2s and no disc 1). Of course, we had to drop in at Mary Maxim as I needed to replace the 3.75mm bamboo needles my @#$%^&* cat chewed the other night. Wouldn't you know I found some yarn in their discount area?

At the visitation last night, I visited with a few former colleagues and saw more of them this morning at the funeral and the luncheon afterward. We are all still reeling with the news of Floyd's death - it is so hard to believe he is gone. His adult kids Mark and Mai-Ling now have a lot of work ahead of them getting the house ready for sale and clearing it out while at the same time dealing with their grief from the loss of both their parents in six months. Neither of them live nearby nor do any of Floyd's siblings. I know how hard it is from when I had to do it back in 1993 after my mom's death. I do believe a lot of their friends who live locally will help them out. I know there's a saying that we are never given more to deal with than we can take but ALRIGHT ALREADY! Ya basta!

I'm happy to be home where it is safe, warm and full of love. I know that in a split-second, that can all change and someday will. But until then, I savour every day - grateful for the opportunity to pursue my passions and spend time with my loved ones.

Floyd, we sure miss you.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Shock and Sadness

Back in early April, I attended the funeral of Angie Gibson. Years ago I taught at the same school as her husband, Floyd, and their son, Mark, played trumpet in my band. Their daughter, Mai-Ling, is one of my Facebook friends. Angie had been unwell off and on since I met her in the mid 80s. The last years before she died, she battled cancer. The day of Angie's funeral, it was very busy at the church and I never did get a chance to chat with Floyd. However, when I was in the area a couple of months later, Floyd invited me over and cooked me a delicious salmon dinner. When I got to his place, I saw an abstract painting above his kitchen table which I had admired for over a year. Floyd had an art show the year before and this painting was in it.

At the time, I had really wanted it but then completely forgot about it until seeing it again during our visit. I was thrilled when Floyd sold it to me that night and I hung it in my family room as soon as I got it home. It matches the decor perfectly. I look at it every day.

During our visit, I got a great shot of Floyd and his recently adopted kitty, Bede.

Tonight, I got news that Floyd died on Friday. He was found in his house and it appeared that he had died a couple of days before.

I am so sad for his son, Mark, and daughter, Mai-Ling and their families. They have had a very challenging year thus far. I will see them when I attend the funeral this week and I will tell them what a good friend their dad was to me and how I will always treasure his beautiful painting.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Turkey Soup and Remembering to Vote

Well it's all over but for eating the leftovers. The 9 lb. turkey was a good size to feed the four of us and have plenty of yummy leftovers. I committed some sins of gluttony for which I am atoning at the gym for the next couple of days. I also threw the carcass in a pot with some water and for my first time, made turkey soup.

My Zumba (Latin dance aerobic class) did not run yesterday because of the holiday (sniff!) so I will go to the 5:45pm class tomorrow in Ajax. I did the weight machine circuit and 20 min. of cardio on the elliptical trainer today. I dropped into my former place of employment for a quick visit. While there I was approached by a former colleague who is the principal of night school who wanted to know if I was interested in supply teaching for night school. It's basically babysitting the class while they complete the lesson left by their real teacher. It'll be a bit of cash and I don't have anything scheduled on Mon. and Wed. nights so it works into my schedule. I then headed to WalMart to pick up Hallowe'en provisions.

Today is election day. I pray the Stephen Harper Conservatives get their butts whooped. In other news today, the stock market has bounced back somewhat and our dollar is going up in value again altho' the oil and gas prices continue to go down. Go figure, we paid $1.43/litre when we were in Nova Scotia last month and today it's $1.02/litre here.

Tonight is Stitchin' Time at Hedgehog Stitchery. I can probably finish the Christmas tree project I've been working on.

My sister, Valerie, arrives by train on Thursday for a visit 'til Monday. I'll meet her at Union Station and then we'll go to either Romni Wools on Queen W. or The Naked Sheep and Purple Purl on Queen E. If I haven't completely worn her out, she'll join me on Thursday at Knit Night at Kniterary. Friday we're going back into The Big City to the CreativFestival with the complimentary tickets I got at the Stitch 'n Pitch Jays Game in August.

The Palindrome scarf just needs a ribbed castoff as does the bottom of the baby sweater I'm knitting. Yesterday I knit the first 'Ogre Sock' which will become a Felted Footie. I've turned the heel on the second one. The yarn I'm using is SWTC Karaoke a 50/50 blend of soy silk and wool and it was frogged from an entrelac scarf I was 2/3 finished but didn't like the look of it. The Lady Eleanor pattern I was using was lovely but the variegated yarn didn't change colour quickly enough for it to be effective. Noro yarn would be much better. I've been really lazy with the camera but will post photos soon.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Prepping for Thanksgiving

I made it to my weight-training class this morning followed by 20 min. of cardio on the elliptical trainer. I'm trying to burn lots o' calories before Sunday's Thanksgiving dinner. On the menu I have planned roasted, stuffed turkey and cranberries (of course), rutabagas, green beans, and homemade scalloped potatoes. For dessert we're having pumpkin tarts which I have already made.

I found a small turkey which is thawing in the fridge. I finally read how to thaw it properly this evening so hope it will be sufficiently thawed by about noon on Sunday when I'll have to stuff it and get it in the oven. Hmmm, I'd better look up how long it'll need to cook.

Aside from that, I haven't done much but get about half of a top-down raglan baby sweater done and have almost finished a cross-stitch project for Christmas.

I'm teaching another beginning knitting class at Kniterary on Saturday, January 10 and the 'Cable Without a Cable Needle' class on January 17.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Stash Busting

I have a couple of former colleagues who are expecting babies so I've decided to knit a couple of blankets. At the same time I'm stash busting by knitting the Rainbow blanket from the 2008 Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar - January 7, 2008 - using some Red Heart Soft Baby acrylic yarn in the Naptime colourway. I modified the pattern by adding 10 rows of garter stitch after the casting on 160 stitches and only knit 8 stitches of garter stitch on each side rather than the 12 the pattern calls for.

It's about half done now. I'm going to use up two complete 170g balls and a partial ball of 30g.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Monday morning we left for a wee car trip to Western New York state. That afternoon we arrived in the greater Buffalo area (Williamsville) after stopping at a couple of discount golf stores. We stayed at one of our favourite budget motels. It was our 9th night staying with that chain so the next time we stay at a Microtel, it will be a free night.

Tuesday, we headed southward to Bradford, PA to visit the Zippo museum and store.

It was a very interesting museum. Skip noted it was the first time he'd seen real letters penned by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and General Douglas McArthur. They had received complimentary Zippo (windproof) lighters during WWII and wrote rave reviews in their letters. I bought myself a mini multi-purpose lighter (MPL). We bought a regular sized MPL a few years back and it stopped working properly a year or so ago. I remembered their guarantee that if their product stops working, they'll fix it so I called the nice people at Zippo in Niagara Falls, ON and they told me to just mail it to them and they'd replace it. Sure enough, within a week, we got a brand new one in the mail. It stays in the kitchen and now I have my my mini, it will stay upstairs.

Yesterday, we stopped for lunch at Hamburg, NY and visited a delightful yarn shop, Embraceable Ewe. I bought a hank of handpainted superwash sock yarn.

It is 65% superwash wool, 25% nylon and 10% donegal (whatever that is).

It is nice and soft and squishy and will make a nice pair of socks.

When we got to Williamsville we did some more shopping and had a healthy and delicious grilled fish (Skip had tilapia and I had salmon) dinner at Chili's - our first time eating there.

We got home today at about 3pm today. I went to Knit Night and misplaced my keys. I looked everywhere. It wasn't until after I got home that I remembered that I had worn my coat there (but had not worn it home) and my coat and the keys were still hanging up. Duh. I'm relieved my keys aren't really lost.

Now that I've located my keys, I need to find what I did with my Palm charger and my camera battery charger - d'oh!