Monday, 27 July 2009


I have been having fun buying hand painted rovings for spinning. I usually get 4 oz. or 100 gr so I have at least enough to make a pair of socks (if I can spin and ply it thin enough) or a small scarf, neck-warmer, gloves or mitts.

This is the seacell/merino fleece I bought at The Black Lamb at the Spin In Public event a couple of weeks ago. On the right is what half of it looks like after spinning it as thinly as I am capable at this stage.

Then I found some Corriedale on ebay from The Red Barn Farm in northern Wisconsin. It arrived in the mail today with a free lavender sachet. Yum.

And here's the alpaca and silk fleece I bought at Edy's Mills last week.

I have been working on another Branching Out scarf for my up-coming lace classes at Myrtle Station Wool and Ferguson's Knitting in October. It doesn't look like much yet but will be awesome once finished and blocked.
For this sample, I'm using Drops Alpaca fingering yarn. This pattern is very versatile and almost any weight of yarn between laceweight and light worsted could be used. It's an excellent pattern for beginning lace knitters as there are only 5 rows of pattern (not counting the 'resting' or 'return' rows) and all the basics are covered such as: casting on; yarn overs; right, left and centre decreases; and binding off.

Branching Out is free from and a very popular pattern with 3899 of them (as I write this) on Ravelry. It could also be knit wider by repeating the pattern more times until the desired width is reached and is also published by Lion Brand pattern as Lacy Leaf Wrap.

Lace knitting initially requires a lot of concentration but once the pattern is established most patterns are pretty easy to follow.

The saga of the cancelled and re-issued debit card continued last Friday. When I tried to pay a couple of bills online, none of my accounts were on the bill-paying page for my new debit card. I thought, "Crap, do I have to set up each bill again?". There were 22 of them. Once again I called President's Choice Financial and the pleasant customer service person efficiently enabled my bill-paying. She was surprised it hadn't been done automatically when I got the new debit card. I told her that I had experienced quite a bit of frustration and inconvenience with this whole process. I again remarked that the front line people are the face of President's Choice Financial to the public and it's unfortunate that the incompetence of one employee can leave such a negative impression. The gal on the phone asked if I would accept 10,000 PCPoints for my inconvenience ($10 in groceries) and I quickly assured her that I would certainly appreciate that compensation.

Admittedly, this series of events is the first time I've had any problem with PCFinancial in the dozen or so years I've done banking with them. I like not having to pay a monthly fee. There are no transaction fees if I use CIBC ATMs. There's free chequing, accumulation of PCPoints which I can trade in for any merchandise at the Loblaws chain of stores, online banking and bill-paying, excellent interest rates on the savings accounts, and excellent RRSP, etc. I'm happy again.

At Zumba in Bowmanville today, I ran into my favourite Zumba teacher, Laura. She does the 5:45pm Monday class at the Oshawa Centre which I used to do regularly but since I discovered a 9:30am class in Bowmanville, I've been going there just to get my cardio out of the way on Mondays. It was great to see Laura and my intention is to go to the 5:45pm class as well today. I was VERY flattered when Laura asked if I've ever considered teaching Zumba. She suggested it was a good way to get cardio and get paid for it. I told her that I had taught for 30 years and that was enough for me but appreciated her vote of confidence.

Now, teaching knitting is TOTALLY different - at least in my mind. ;-)

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