Monday, January 31, 2005

5 Balls of Furry Goodness!

5 Balls of Alpaca and 1 week later and I got myself a brand new scarf!

I started with the block pattern from Vogue Knitting on the Go and then changed to the fake-cable thingie, but I wasn't too impressed with that - it repeated a bit too often for my taste and was only one sided. So I doubled the strands, cast on 34 stitches and cabled both front and back after increasing the space between repeats. I'm also much happier with the slipped edge stitches - fancy schmancy!

And because this is one of the most beautiful sights I've seen in a week or so - snowy pictures of the house - we're signing papers this Thursday and then we can start the Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! dance :)

I also have a sock update picture - the scarf stole a bit of time, but I did get a bit done this weekend. I already bought a couple more balls of this stuff on Ebay tonight (no pink!) - I think we might have a new favourite patterned sock yarn in the household.

sock update

Friday, January 28, 2005

Cutesie Wootsie

Sockie wockie

Aren't these colours just too cute for words. Actually it's just the pink that looks bubblegum pukey to me. Luckily Fortissima put it next to a grey so that at least it doesn't look like I bought a Barbie Learn to Knit Kit.

They still feel good to knit and the intended recipient, a very spirited Scottish nurse in Dublin, looks good in these colours and will hopefully be distracted by the great "wicking" action.

The alpaca has found a purpose as a blockish scarf from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Scarves book, but I'm not married to the idea. The more I knit with this stuff, the more I don't want to stop touching it. Which makes me think that maybe a scarf with tassles would suit me better - I can't believe this has become my major criteria for a scarf pattern: something with tassles so that I can still play with the yarn post bind off.

Maybe I'll dream something up, I need to take a nap to be fresh for the Fasching (German for Karnival) Party this evening.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Watch out cotton, there's a new kid in town!

I found a new sock yarn at the Wolleckla last night. It's from Fortissima and it's got some very technical thing mixed with the wool called: polypropylene. I can't imagine they had this stuff the last time I was in chemistry class (we won't discuss exactly how many years ago high school was....) so I have no clue what it is. But there's a really neat diagram on the inside of the label that shows water being wicked away from the foot, through the sock, away forever.

Which leads one to wonder how the sock-wool can figure out which way to wick the moisture - does this mean I can't wear the socks inside out? Har har

Never-the-less, isn't the colour just really pretty and springtimey?! More importantly, they're just as soft as the cotton sock wool Fortissima puts out, with a higher wool content = warmer feet = very happy recipient!

Many more props to be given to the Gods of Sockwool - after finishing my first pair of Regia Silk socks, I decided more needed to be bought. Just so that the Gods know how wonderful this stuff is and make more (maybe with stripes, dare I hope?) and possibly in 100g balls.

They aren't as sparkly as they look, but just as smooooth. This is a picture for approval from the Mominator (Mum, that's you) if she likes the colour and wants to give the silk a try, I'll post these to the rainy cold island they call England.
Really, this is a just a formality, 'cause you just gotta try this stuff!!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The House...

Just imagine moving from a two-bedroom apartment to this 3 story behemoth. Can we say yarn storage? :D The Irishman has promised to give up a whole room for me and even offered to build shelves - I think it's his way of saying thank you for taking the yarn storage out of the living room!

Friday, January 21, 2005


Back to those thrum mittens. Oh joy of joys, how do I hate thee.....
did I mention already how much I looove the yarn and the colours and gorgeous feel when I'm knitting? Well the task of thrumming has just about evened that feeling out.

I can't count the amount of times I have ripped all or part of this mitten out. For better or worse, I've promised to the blonde au pair (pictured below) as a Christmas present - so at least I have motivation to make the rest of my thrumming experience as quick as possible (hopefully thereby minimizing pain).

The scene before me tonight. We now have four controllers for the X-box so the whole family (minus the thrummer) is playing Whacked!

This game, by the way, IS pretty whacked out - right now they are all in the rusty bed of a pickup truck as it heads down the highway, trying to jump onto the cop car that is following closely behind. I intend to tackle it after I master Midtown Madness 3 :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Something old, something new and something blue.

I feel like I have magical powers these days - I picked up Mum's socks to add a couple of rows and found myself halfway through the foot. Same thing tonight, just wanted to finish the diamond repeats and found myself at the tip of the toe :) With any luck, the recipient will be visiting me for personal collection. I certainly hope these are enough enticement for her.

Also, got a special delivery in the mail today from London :)

There's a lot of blue in that envelope.

Ooh yummy! Super soft and fluffy and, as it turns out, not the easiest stuff to spin. I could really use an on-site spinning mentor right about now....

House Update: Finished our loan paperwork on Monday and faxed the confirmation to the seller. Mr. Seller is going to meet us at the Kisberi's on Saturday to look at the renovations (aka wall removals). He's going to bring an intent to sell so that we all have the pre-emptive paperwork we need. Notary and final paperwork is scheduled for next Friday. Here's hoping...
Just to tease, here's a picture of the kitchen attached to the master bedroom. Want to rip this baby out and make a walk-in closet, which is practically unheard of here.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Knitting Needle Murder

Found this while catching up with my knitlist reading...

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 01:35:56 -0000
From: "CRAFTYONE_99" <>

Subject: Another Knitting Needle Murder

I read a short story years ago, about an English nurse who was well
into her late fifties, when she had as a private patient, a handsome
and well-off man. He had had a stroke, and she nursed him back to
health. They fell in love, and he proposed to her.
It seems that, the whole time she was doing night duty at his bed
side, she sat there knitting (all night! what a perfect job for a
dedicated knitter!). He said he fell in love with her while
watching her knit. So she thought she'd found the perfect man
(because she really REALLY loved to knit!)
Well, after the honeymoon, pretty soon the knitting started to get
on his nerves, and he made her promise to quit for a few hours in
the evening, in order to keep him company while he read his evening
paper and listened to the BBC (this was pre-tv).
Well, she did this, because he was so loving and treated her so
well, but the whole time, her mind was on that "lovely navy blue
wool" and other things knitting.
So she made a bargain with him that she would go into another room
to knit, but he kept calling her and distracting her, and THEN, when
she finally knitted that "lovely navy blue wool" into a sweater for
him, which she thought he'd love, he laughed at her effort (LAUGHED,
I TELL YOU!!!) and he said that he could buy any sweater in any
store, and he didn't want her knitting for him, he wanted her
undivided attention and wanted her to give up knitting.
And THAT was the last straw, and she began plotting how to get rid
of the rotter. So being a nurse, she determined the exact spot on
his scalp where she planned to insert a certain needle-sharp
knitting needle (it must have been a steel lace needle, right?)
and one evening after he'd had a brandy and she was brushing his
hair (yes, he had her do that. No wonder she killed him), she
reached behind her (or maybe she reached into her knitting bag) and
brought out this steel needle, which she had spent some time honing
into a needle sharp point, and she rammed it inbetween the bones of
his skull, and quickly withdrew it. He of course died, and she,
being the good nurse that she was, washed and dried his hair to get
rid of the telltale blood, and combed it carefully and lovingly into
his usual pompadour.
People who came to the funeral all said, Poor dear, she married him
even though she knew he might have another stroke and die.
And she sat there at the funeral, and planned her next sweater.
Great story, eh?
and my husband never minds when I knit while sitting on the couch
next to him! (and I don't think he's ever read this story, either!)

Friday, January 07, 2005


Metamorphosis: A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function.

It all started with a little innocent spinning while we were watching tv. ...

Then that little leather thing that connects the pedal to the stick thingie that moves the wheel snapped*. And when I say snapped, I mean snapped, we all heard the pop and the pedal hitting the floor and my eyes nearly jumped out of my head as I freaked!

Super Engineer (and close, mooching friend) Craig was on the job in an instant. What could we use for a replacement to the leather strap? Because I lack loads of random leather just lounging about the house, I stole into the sleeping kids' room and tossed my way through their wardrobe until I found an old pair of Cian's shoes and ran back out to the living room. It was mere minutes and Craig had Macgyvered a velcro shoe-strap into a new connecting doohickey for my pedal :)

I was happy spinning girl in minutes, all smiles and wool flying everywhere. And then..... (don't you just hate "and thens") my tension decided to start changing itself every couple of seconds and the flyer stopped flying and some freaked out ghost took over my lovely machine. Craig's engineer radar went off and his head popped up when he heard the weirdo sounds coming from my Ashford Traveller. In seconds, he was racheting something on the underside of my wheel. Can you see the serious tools next to the wheel? They immediately made me nervous so I started taking photos (you know, for insurance purposes LOL). Below is the racheting.

We tried spinning after the racheting, but the tension was even more erratic and more noises started coming off the wheel. Then we had both SE (Super Engineer) and the Irishman on the floor next to it swapping theories - I swear they sounded like neighbors drinking brewskies over a knocking car engine. Craig urged me to finish my plying so that he could have his way with the wheel. Below is what happens when you give an engineer Carte Blanche...

They were all sorts of great comments, like "well, my sister's wheel is way different" and "the wheel-part shouldn't really look like this." Nothing that inspired much confidence. In the end, he took absolutely everything apart and re-attached it. There was WD-40 in the air and lots more racheting sounds to match. And then Craig asked what I thought about that. About what? I didn't hear anything. So I turned to see my wheel spinning like a top, silent and silky-smooth. I do admit that I've seen people spin but never really paid attention to the nuances of the wheel - no way, dude! I just wanted to start spinning as soon as possible and the other stuff would work itself out in good time, right? Only if you have a Craig nearby :)

Speaking of silky-smooth - below is my first experience with Regia Silk sock wool. Wool, nylon and silk. Like buttah! I've been knitting these socks for a couple of weeks now (they're my travel-with project) and couldn't narrow down a think I know of a Super Engineer with cold toes that has totally earned some silky-smooth sockness!

*Yes, I have Alden's book and I know there are super-duper really technical terms for all this stuff, but I'm too busy trying to spin.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What's Your Hobby?

The Irishman and I were at IKEA yesterday afternoon having an increasingly heated discussion about yarn storage and why it should or shouldn't be expanded....
I got very emotional (as I am wont to do in these situations) and tried my trump card of "but it's my hobby!"
Without pause, Irishman fires back "What? Knitting the wool or collecting it?"
We both broke into giggles or as close as one gets to giggles when they're almost 30.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Is that like a llama??!

If you think it looks good, you should be here to pet it! I was toying with idea of a new scarf for me this year when I found this stuff - so I've got 8 balls of it staring me in the face. I'm just going to wait for a pattern to hit me with inspiration.
Regarding the today's blog title. The Family (Me, Mom, Dave & Dave) were driving around the hills of Wolfville, Nova Scotia looking for Gaspereau Valley Fibres and not having much luck - so we drove down an unsuspecting neighbor who was walking his dog. He'd never heard of the place so we tried describing it and mentioned that they have several sheep and an alpaca on their property. He asked (in a very strong accent that almost sounded Southern), "Alpaca, is that like a llama?" and for some reason this gave us such a great tickle that we repeated it to staff when we reached the shop.
So, now, every time I see anything alpaca, I always think "is that like a llama?"

Mom's Socks!

An update on Mom's socks :)
How much do I love this basket?! Sandrine gave it to me, before she left for France, full of wool :) it's absolutely perfect for Socks-in-progress, the necessary balls of wool, finished first sock and pattern. It makes doing the stranded thing a lot easier.