Thursday, February 26, 2009

snow - a 4 letter word

You'd think after all the snow in Dec & Jan that Mother Nature would've run out. Not so... It snowed almost all day while I was visiting my Dad yesterday. We just got a light dusting but there was way more snow where he lives. I passed two serious accidents on the bridge on my way home yesterday evening. It was a long drive but the roads improved the closer to home I got.

Since this is a knitting blog, I should talk about knitting, eh? I am working on a secret project that can't be blogged about. I wanted to join a sock KAL but I seem to have *ahem* run out of dpns. Hmmm... I wonder how that happened. Anyways, I've been trying to finish up things. Yesterday, I cast on and spent all day knitting the second Twinkle sock. This pattern is still kicking my butt. If I forget a yo one more time, I'll stick a dpn in my eye. Oh - I'm seriously thinking about going to the Sock Summit in Aug. Is anyone else going?

The great drapery debate has been settled! I made the mistake of buying fabric that is reversible. Of course, we didn't agree on which side is the "right" side. I put it to a vote amongst my quilting friends and here's the winner:

And you'll notice in the picture that I solved the "shortage" issue as well. I am going to sew a wide band at the bottom so that I don't need as much patterned fabric. So I stopped by the interior design place and bought drapery heading tape (the kind that automatically pleats) and a ton of blackout lining. Next week will be full of cutting huge pieces of fabric and making a general mess of my living and dining room. But it will be worth it, right?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The neverending stole

Some knitting content from me ... I'm working on the Juno Regina stole from Knitty, for a knit-along on Ravelry. (Rav link here)

It's actually zooming along because I'm having a lot of fun knitting on this project. The yarn is Malabrigo Sock, in the Solis colourway. I had hoped that it would pool, and it did -- all the colours are stacking on top of each other as I knit on it.

I might have another week of knitting on it, and then it will be done!

math twice, buy once

Do you remember me hoping for a "yarn bouquet" as a Valentine's present from hubby? Well, it came true! I hinted that I really liked Twist of Fate and that if he was stopping for gas, he could pick up something for me. That man takes a hint well and knows how to pick yarn. He bought me three skeins - two of the three were the same yarn I'd purchased and one of them was the exact same colour! Keep in mind that he hadn't seen what I bought so it's pretty cool that he knew my yarn tastes! I have the best hubby :)

The Valentine's BBQ dinner was great. Got grease on my shirt - like I did the last time. After we left the restaurant, we stopped at a bookstore and I bought two books:

The Amy Butler book is really cool. Lots of neat baby things to sew. No, I'm not pregnant but my bf is so I hope to make her babe a few items. The second book is a great reference/inspiration. There are tons of designs and motifs for hand and machine quilting. I can see that myself and my fellow QHuackers (that's the name of our quilting group) will get a lot of use out if it.

Ricky update: The latest blood test says that his pancreas is ok and his blood count is fine, too. He was scheduled for an ultrasound last Wed but that got canceled because his appetite returned to normal. I'm so glad he didn't get the ultrasound - they were going to shave his pretty belleh!

Hubby calls Ricky the "solar powered kitty". So true!

The whole "drapes for the living room window" project is driving me nuts! I've been shopping for fabric and I hit the jackpot yesterday. I bought 10 yds, got it home, and thought that "10 yds looks a little skimpy". Sure enough, when I checked my math, I needed more like 15 yds. So I ran to the store first thing this morning and grabbed the bolt. Guess what was left? 4 5/8 yds. Ugh! I bought it anyways. I'm going to check a few more stores around town to see if I can find a 2.5 yd cut (that's ideally the amount I need to line up the pattern & still have enough for seams). If I can't find anymore of that fabric, I'll have to come up with a backup plan... I'm a quilter so I'm pretty creative when I'm short on fabric.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gladys!

(a clear example of a yarn extreme)

Today is Gladys' birthday and to celebrate, we went yarn shopping. We got up way, way, waaaaaaaay too early (5:15am for me) and stood in line for a big yarn sale.

See? It's still dark out. We weren't the only crazies - there were 10 people ahead of us including our friend, Gail. Our other friends, Emma & Martha showed up just before 7am. I saw someone in their pj bottoms.

I didn't need any yarn but my excuse for going was to give Gladys her birthday present - in case it influenced her yarn buying.

This is 100% bamboo light fingering from Twist of Fate. It is simply stunning and it was tough for me to let it go but I knew Gladys would love it.

Yes, we bought yarn. I scored some Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and Gladys bought lots of Handmaiden/Fleece Artist as well as a bunch of other stuff. When I got home, I crawled back into bed and went back to sleep. Now, I'm off to shop for drapery fabric (my current choice is a 100% silk jacquard at $65/m) and then a birthday party and supper with friends. I hope that I can stay awake!

Friday, February 20, 2009

belated blogiversary contest

::whoosh:: Didya hear that? That was our blogiversary in January. Gladys and I totally forgot -- pretty sad, eh? So we're belatedly celebrating by holding a contest to give away some great yarns. There are a total of 3 separate prizes to be won and they are:

A skein of Louet Gems Sportweight in colour #83 Mourning Dove; 100g; 225yds (one skein will make a pair of socks): (Note, photo has been replaced from the original post, but that's the only change to this post.)

A skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in colour #1284 Prune Mix; 100g; 433yds:

Two skeins of Mirasol Chirapa in colour #704 Spearmint Candy; total 100g; 330yds:

(one skein has been wound and a few yards knit & frogged)

My yarn is stored in a 2 cat home. Gladys' yarn is pet free. Both our households are non-smoking.

So how do you win? Leave a comment to this post and tell us "What extremes have you gone through for yarn or a project?" Let us know what lineups you've stood in to get a good deal on yarn or how far you've had to drive to get that extra skein to finish a project, or what online stores you've stalked at ungodly hours to score at an update, etc. Winners will be randomly drawn. Contest is open to everyone on planet Earth. Only one entry per person please. Contest closes Midnight PST on March 1, 2009. We'll do a random draw for the winners on March 2.

Looking forward to hearing your stories!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I can't find my fabric scissors to cut batting. I've looked EVERYWHERE. Doncha hate it when you can't find something that you know is somewhere in the house?

PS. Went out and bought a new pair because I'm fussy and no other scissor in the house will do.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

look! knitting content

Aside from my recent yarn acquisitions, you're probably wondering if I got any knitting done during my vacation. My best knitting time was at Sun Peaks and during the 8 hour drive to Calgary. I only brought sock wips and I made decent progress. I finished my blue camo socks on Mon night and then I picked up my Waving Lace sock.

I finished the leg and turned the heel at Sun Peaks.

During the drive to Calgary, I worked on hubby's Noro Kureyon sock. It hasn't seen much action because frankly, I'm bored of it. I managed to knit most of the foot on the drive. I'd say there's less than an inch to go before I start the toe decreases.

I was annoyed to find a knot in the yarn so the colour sequence makes a big jump. There should be some turquoise in the foot and there isn't. Humph. I toyed with the idea of yanking out the yarn until I got to the right spot but it's so far in that I'm afraid I would run out of yarn. So I sucked it up and kept knitting.

I spent most of my time in Golden reading a book that I wanted to finish - Secrets From the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean. I nearly pee'd my pants laughing a coupla times. That man writes really funny stuff. My favourite stories are about Dave.

This is the last vacation blog post. Hope you enjoyed the stories & pictures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Days 5-10

The last half of our vacation was a total blur. We arrived in Calgary Fri evening (saw a big ole moose about 30 feet from the highway) and the weekend was spent playing with the nieces, karaoke in the evenings (I kicked ass), shopping with my sister (you should've seen the sales!), eating dim sum, more shopping (I bought 5 bras), visiting friends, and even some yarn shopping!

This is my youngest niece playing on the swings at the local park:

She was having so much fun swinging on her belly. She also likes to go down slides on her belly.

At Make 1 Yarns (the website is currently MIA), I indulged in some sock yarn. On the left is a skein of Fibranatura Yummy and on the right are two skeins of Avery Allison Sport in Indigo. I'd originally bought this yarn as a birthday present for Gladys but I found something better in Kamloops.

On the drive from Calgary to Golden, we stopped in Canmore for lunch and shopping at my all-time favourite quilt store - The Sugar Pine Company. I was looking for a panel to make a quick baby girl quilt but they didn't have anything in smooth cotton. I did buy this lovely poppy pattern.

The poppies are 3D and beads and fabric paint are used to embellish the quilt top. The finished top is meant to be framed. I also purchased 2 rubber safety thimbles. I have a different version of these thimbles - without the safety lip so I can only use them for regular sewing. The new ones can be used for hand quilting. These are my favourite thimbles because they're bendy and fit snuggly on my finger. I have to cram masking tape into my metal thimbles to make them fit properly.

I was in Golden for a very short visit. We wandered downtown for a little bit and then headed out to the golf course for some cross country skiing. I didn't fall on my butt like I did the last time I was there. We saw lots of animal tracks and there was one patch where some elk had bedded down. I drove home by myself and hubby stayed a few extra days to ski Lake Louise and Kicking Horse. He originally wanted to ski Panorama as well but there's a serious lack of snow.

While I was gas-ing up and lunching in Kamloops, I decided to pay a visit to Twist of Fate Yarns. Oh my... I'd say 90% of the yarn and all of the fleece was hand dyed by the owner. What I thought would be a 15 min stop, ended up taking me over half an hour and I'm sure I didn't manage to touch everything. My favourite yarn was some yak/silk lace. I would've bought some but I didn't see a colour that I liked. Tho, I didn't leave empty handed.

On the left is a skein of heavy worsted/aran and on the right is a skein of merino/silk fingering. I bought something else, too but it's Gladys' birthday present so you can't see it until it's gifted. But it's something very special and unique and worth the wait.

I'm home now. The first thing I did when I got home was lose my door key. I put the key in the lock, turned it, and when I pulled it out the key ring had come undone. The rest of my keys hit the stoop and the door key went flying. My neighbour caught me on my hands and knees squinting under the stoop with a flashlight. I looked everywhere but I couldn't find it. I even searched the flower pots. Luckily, I have a spare key in the house.

I picked up the cats and I've spent an entire day doing laundry and putting things away. Ricky and Phoebe are glad to be home. Both of them slept with me all night. Phoebe is a little sneezy - she gets a little stressed from all the moving around. I took Ricky to the vet for more blood work. The results are still a little off plus he's not eating well so they took some more blood and it'll be tested for pancreatitis. Fingers crossed that we find out what's making him ill.

And a happy Valentine's Day to everyone! I'm hoping for a bouquet of yarn but I'll settle for some chocolate and an evening with my sweetie eating my favourite BBQ at Memphis Blues.

PS. Door key was found in the bag of yarn that I was holding in my hand when I unlocked the door. Phew!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day Four

Internet access has been dodgy the last days of our vacation so I'm finally catching up on posting. Expect daily blogging until I'm done.

During the last day at Sun Peaks, hubby went skiing and I decided to go snowshoeing again. I picked up the snowshoes and a guidebook/map and went back to the hotel room to decide on my route and to pack lunch. While I was in the elevator, I came across two skiers who asked me if there was enough powder to go snowshoeing and I said yes, there was plenty. They grumbled about the inch of powder on the mountains. I think they were jealous of me.

I chose the Valley trail which goes along the bottom of the valley between the ski mountains. Just past the Mt. Morrisey chair lift, there is a snow cave.

The opening is definitely big enough to crawl into the cave but you have to get on your hands and knees.

On my way back, I switched to a harder route that goes along the base of Mt. Morrisey. It leads you past the little hut where we roasted marshmallows on Monday night.

I was able to take a little self-portrait.

As you continue along the trail, it goes uphill and if you ignore the trail markers and take a slightly lower route, you come out of the trees just above the golf course. There is a great 180 degree view of the valley and 2 of the 3 ski areas.

Mt. Tod is directly in front with the largest terrain and Sundance is just to the right of it. And you can see the snowshoe trail on the bottom left. The trail ends at the drop off and you slither down to the golf course where you get to hoof it through some deep powder. Trust me when I tell you that it's a good work out. Especially for someone with short legs!

I realized today that January was our blogiversary! So that means it's time for another contest & giveaway. Keep your eyes peeled for the details - coming soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day Three

I finished the blue camo socks on Monday night.

Pattern: generic toe up; short row heels & toes
Yarn: Mirasol Hacho; col #306 Blue Ocean; 2 skeins (with only a few feet leftover)
Needles: 2.75mm dpns
Notes: Great squishy yarn. No pooling or flashing. Yarn fuzzed up while working the last of the wraps so I'm not sure how these will wear in my shoes.

No pictures from Day Two since it was a little too dark inside the spa room. I had a lovely facial and I came out half awake, hair sticking out everywhere, and smelling like pink grapefruit. I had enough moisturizer on my face to last me a few days. Hubby skied the whole day and we ate homemade chili for supper. After supper, we went for a really long walk along the village trail.

Today, hubby skied a half day and I met him for lunch at the bottom of the mountain and then we went cross country skiing.

This was a totally staged shot because I don't look this happy going down an actual hill. We started out at P5 (the You are Here marker) and headed east on the Cotton Tail trail. We went all the way to where it joins up with the Vista Trail and then we went south and then came back along the lower part of it. These two trails were marked beginner but I had to take my skis off when I couldn't get up a hill and on the steep downhill part. On our way back, we could hear a huge pack of woofing dogs. We figured it must've been the dogsled tours.

I haven't decided what I'll do with myself tomorrow. Hubby plans on skiing the whole day so I'll probably do a little souvenir shopping and a little knitting.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day One

We made it!

I wasn't sure we'd get here. Hubby was coughing all night so I got up to sleep in the other bed but it was covered in duffle bags and hubby's clothes. So I dragged myself downstairs and slept on the couch. At 5:45am, Phoebe had a very noisy hairball. So I had to get up and clean the floor. Hubby woke me up at 6:30am and when I went upstairs, Ricky failed reach the litterbox in time so I had to haul out the carpet shampooer. I was ready to cry at that point.

We're staying at this lovely lodge. Our room is on the same level as the big balcony, on the left side.

After a quick supper, we headed over to the day lodge and we went on an evening snowshoe tour.

We hiked partway up the ski hill and stopped at a little hut for hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting. Then we came back down a ridge where we had a lovely view of the village. Snowshoeing is hard work! I'll have very sore thighs tomorrow. Good thing I've only got a facial planned :)