Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ravelry to the rescue!

I've been working on a secret knitting project. It's not big - only uses 2 skeins of Cascade Fixation (one for part A and one for part B). So I ran into a slight problem on Monday night. I finished knitting the front piece for B and the remainder of the remaining ball looked a bit on the skimpy side. I weighed it on my scale - 22g. I've already used 28g of yarn. Hmmm... I measured B thinking my gauge was off but it was the right size. The back piece is bigger than the front piece but I have less than half a skein left?!?!?!? Noooooooooooooo!

I did a quick check on Ravelry. Yep, most people needed more yarn. Eeep! I emailed my lys but I didn't get a response yesterday so I called them this morning. Nope, they don't have any of the same dye lot left and neither does their other store but would I be interested in different dye lot? Uh - no, because I'd have to chuck what I've done and redo it. I don't really like knitting with Fixation so that was not an option.

I go back to Ravelry. There must be someone out there with the same dye lot who can spare a skein for this project. I found 5 different Ravelry users with a total of 12 skeins between them! Happy happy joy joy! I sent a PM to the nearest person with a single skein asking begging her to sell it to me. She said yes! I'm going to wait until it arrives before I start knitting the back piece. I don't want a join in the middle and there's no seams so it's best to start from a fresh skein.

So has Ravelry ever rescued you from a knitting disaster? Do tell!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

my new toy

My new washing machine arrived. And I am enjoying it.

Oh wait - that gives you the wrong idea.

Here is my new toy:

And one of the best features - the door opens all the way.

Makes it sooo much easier to put in/pull out large quilts.

So the repair guy came and made a few adjustments to the door. He thinks it's the thicker seal that's causing the door to close stiffly. I just have to lean on it so that it clicks shut. He gave me a few tips - stick to warm/hot washes as the cold water can cause the seal to shrink, and it was a good idea that I didn't buy a higher end Bosch because the water heater tends to leak. He also mentioned that my Bosch should last about 10 years.

I've already washed my first load of laundry and I couldn't be happier to have clean clothes. It took 65 mins to wash a pretty large batch of clothes (so large that I had to split it into two dryer loads) so that's not too bad.

Penny, my Monkey swap pal got her package yesterday. Go take a look at the video of her cat, Solara playing with the catnip toy that I made.

You're probably wondering where I got the "washing machine babe" image from - my new ironing board cover. It pictures two other highly unlikely laundry scenarios:

I bet a guy drew these pictures.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Egads! My whole body hurts. I was out in the garden yesterday pruning 3.5 shrubs (I couldn't reach the other half) and aerating the lawn. What a lot of work! I think I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow. Hubby was just as worn out as I was. He got up early for a 100km bike ride and then he cut the lawn, weeded some cracks, and limed the part that I didn't do last week. He also pruned the other half of the shrub that I couldn't reach.

I was surfing Ravelry the other day and I did a People search for the name "dotty". I eventually made it to this blog. She calls herself a "knilter" - a knitter who quilts. So if I'm a quilter who knits, does that make me a "quitter"?

Today is a bonus FO day. I've got 2 to show you.

Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock; col 188
Pattern: generic top-down; used the heel from Monkey sock pattern; no cuff (just letting it roll)
Needles: 2mm Susan Bates Silvalume aluminum dpns (was brand new and now are bent because I was holding them too tightly)
Notes: Must buy steel dpns for hubby's Noro socks. I knit the first sock from the outside of the skein and I knit the second sock from the inside of the skein. But both socks turned out almost the same. The second sock has a lot more of the dark olive/army green colour in it. I found 2 knots - one in the first sock (didn't interrupt the colour progression) and there's one knot in the leftover yarn (one end is black, the other end is plum so it skips 2 colours). Leftover yarn weighs 32g so I have enough to knit a 3rd sock. Yarn is as everyone describes - single ply, very twisty, tangles easily, some vm, very scratchy, very thick and very thin in places.

At Christmas, my nieces were completely in love with anything Disney Princess. But in the last 4 months, they've switched to Pooh. So when I found out, I offered to knit some Pooh washcloths for them. I've finished one.

Pattern: Happy Hunny Bear by Frogiez Place
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Rose Pink
Needles: 4.5mm straights

We were watching Crank yesterday night. Rather, hubby was watching it and I was listening. I'm glad I wasn't looking (thank goodness I was knitting the Juno Regina stole) because that movie was pretty gory. There were several flashes of Jason Statham's sexy naked butt that I managed to see when I did watch. In general, the movie was pretty bad and I can't believe they're making a second one. We were only watching this movie because Jason Statham stars in the Transporter movies that we really like. Rent them if you're looking for no plot with lots of action.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

funny, cool, expensive


I woke up yesterday morning with the vague feeling that I'd been hit in the face during the night. I wasn't sure if I'd dreamed it or if it actually happened. When hubby got home from work, I asked him if he'd hit me. Looking guilty, he replied yes. Apparently, Phoebe was lying on my pillow and purring like a freight train. I slept through it but her purring woke hubby. He reached over to shoo her off my pillow and managed to whack me in the face. Hubby said I woke up, said some words, rubbed my face, and rolled over. He didn't think I'd remember. Ha! I told him that next time, he has to suck it up and leave me and my "pillow cat" alone.


I was putting away my swatches from the Jean Wong finished class and I had to stop and admire my handiwork. On the left is the front of the short row (no wraps!) shoulder shaping swatch and on the right is the back view where we joined the 2 pieces together. Click images for a larger view.

Pretty cool, eh?


Hubby likes my Noro Kureyon socks and asked me to knit him a pair. I pointed him at the Noro colours and he chose col 180. I picked up 2 skeins at knit nite:

Um yeah - a leeeetle bright. I brought them home thinking that I'm going to turn right around and return/exchange them next week after he sees the yarn. **gasp** He's ok with the colour and he still wants me to knit them. These will be $40 socks and he'd better wear them when I'm done.

Also expensive is our new washing machine... Last month, I mentioned that the washer was sounding noisier. Well.... it's leaking. Our model is one of the poorly designed ones (we didn't know that when we bought it) and that within 5-7 years, we would need to repair/replace it. It's almost exactly 7 years old so at least we've reached the top end of its life span. My plan was to go washer shopping and if I couldn't find anything decent, we'd get it repaired. I got lucky and bought a discontinued display model Bosch Nexxt 100 at my local Sears for less than $600 (US MSRP is close to $800). It's not one of the top models wrt to features but I don't care. It washes clothes and it's not a Kenmore/Frigidaire/Whirlpool/GE. It should be here on Monday.

There was a slight hiccup. I got a phone call the day after I bought it. The Sears rep said that they had to cancel my order because they'd decided that there was something wrong with the door and it wouldn't latch shut (I had noticed that the door needed a good push to close but I didn't think anything was wrong with it). I told them that I still wanted the washer and could they repair it (under warranty) before delivering it. I got a phone call later in the day and no, Sears couldn't repair it because of a labour dispute but they would pay for repairs by an independant repair person. So, I have a Bosch repairman coming on Tues to look at the door. I should be able to wash 10 days worth of hubby's stinky cycling clothes (not to mention all the other laundry piling up) by Tues evening. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


My nieces left this morning. **sniff** I miss 'em already. Hubby and I went out to my parents' house for supper yesterday night (after an awesome knitting class - more on that later). We tried to take some nice pictures but...

I'm not so good at niece wrangling. All my other pictures show underwear (not mine and hubby should've said something when he had the camera). The girls posed nicely with their uncle.

Awwwww - don't they look cute?

It snowed Friday night and there was still snow on the ground Saturday morning. But the roads were clear so I drove to my Jean Wong knitting class (she also teaches Nihon Vogue classes in Seattle). It was awesome. I learned a lot about sewn bind-offs for ribbing - flat and in-the-round. We learned a short row shoulder shaping technique plus how to bind off at the shoulder. My head was ready to explode after the 6 hour class ended.

After we got home yesterday night, I finally got around to grafting the toe shut on my Monkey pal's socks.

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: Araucania Ranco, col 110
Needles: 2.5mm dpns
Notes: Love this yarn and the colours. Feels very similar to Trekking XXL. My 32nd pair of finished socks.

I need to give the socks a bath and then I can send them off to my Monkey pal. I've got some great goodies for her, too!

Friday, April 18, 2008


SweetGeorgia opened up her shop this morning (after a year long hiatus) and I completely forgot (darn those nieces!). Of course, all the sock yarn is sold out. Nuts!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

adding to my collection

Yep, I'm still here. I have no new knitting to show you (well, that's not true but you probably don't want to see my 11 homework swatches for my knitting class). Yep, my nieces have worn me out (again). My sister has dragged me retail therapy shopping umpteen times to take advantage of the free babysitting. I need better shoes to keep up with her.

My sister dearly misses her Sears Outlet (it closed in March) so she had to visit the one that's near me (and the last one in Western Canada). And then the girls got hungry and wanted burgers for lunch. I took them to Dairy Queen (I wanted ice cream for dessert) but the one I picked only served dessert and didn't have hot food - DOH! I've been there a jillions times for dessert and never noticed that they didn't serve burgers. So we went somewhere else to eat and on the way home, my sister spotted a Value Village so we stopped in there. She likes to buy used books for the girls to read. I like to shop for vintage linens to add to my collection and I got some good ones today (click for a bigger picture).

I bought 2 linen tea towels and a linen tablecloth. Most of the tea towels that I have are souveniers from Australia, England, Ireland, etc. so I was quite surprised to find one featuring Canada. That's going to be my new favourite tea towel. The tablecloth is huge and it's perfect for my new dining table (seats 10!!!). The table isn't here yet - we still have to go pick it up (full story when it arrives).

So I'm home now. They were supposed to stay for supper but hubby has a cold and my sister didn't want to catch it so they're back at my parents'. Yes, hubby's sick so that means he probably won't participate in the 200km ride this Sat. Too bad because it would've been good practice for the STP (Seattle to Portland) ride in July. Even without his cold, he had decided to stay home because the weather experts predict snow for Sat. Ten hours is a long time to spend on his bike when it's cold and wet even if he's got all the gear to keep him warm and dry.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

spring is here!

Yesterday was a glorious 20C (70F) and sunny all day. We were out in the garden first thing in the morning and we didn't come inside until after 5pm. The lawn was cut & edged, dandelions were pulled, lime and moss killer was applied, and flower beds were weeded. It's a lot of work because we have such a large property. I still have lots of stuff to do - seed & top dress & fertilize the lawn, prune back numerous shrubs, and plant my summer bulbs. Hubby didn't think to put on sunscreen so he has lobster neck. I, on the other hand don't look the slightest bit pink.

I found this little guy/girl on our fence:

It's about the size of a quarter and was clearly enjoying the warmth. Today is just as nice but my muscles hurt and hubby has gone for a bike ride so I'm going to be lazy and eat strawberries all afternoon.

There hasn't been much knitting in the last few days. I've been spending a lot of time working on other stuff. Much progress was made on the secret wedding present for my bf. I did a little crafting for my Monkey swap pal - a set of stitch markers, a catnip toy for her kitty, and a small project bag to hold her sock knitting. I could've gotten a lot more done if Phoebe wasn't lying right on the part I needed to work on (unfinished binding on the left, finished binding on the right). Don't worry - she's not lying on a needle. I'm very careful to pull the needle out and store it safely in my sewing kit before I put the quilt down.

When I tried to pull the quilt out, she hissed at me. She's definitely got tortitude!

I won't be making progress on anything next week. My sister and both nieces are coming out to visit. I found out Fri night and they'll be here this evening and staying at my parents' for the whole week. My parents don't know about the impending doom visit but they will find out when the doorbell rings this evening. I am soooo tempted to go over there for supper so that I can see Mom's face. I hope she doesn't have a heart attack!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

happy feet

This is what my feets look like this morning:

I can't decide which foot I like better. Ah - who cares, they're both happy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I'm hot*

Literally... Twelve pounds of a med/long haired Phoebe has been parked in my lap for about an hour and the top of my thighs feel burnt. I'm not joking. She's a very warm kitty. I couldn't bring myself to throw her off because she doesn't lie on my lap that often. The things I put up with to get a little cat love.

In the mail today... My Wee Tiny Sock from Katy arrived.

wee tiny sock received

Isn't it cute? I've put it on my sock blocker keychain and it's already hanging with my keys.

And there's been a little stash enhancement - STR Pink Granite.

STR med pink granite

I finished the Noro sock that I started Wed night.

Finished first Noro Sock (col 188)

I came across one knot but it didn't change colour at the knot. There was very little vm. The sock is very stiff and scratchy. It's taking a Eucalan bath right now because I can't wait for the second sock to be knit.

I also finished the first Monkey sock for my pal.

Finished Monkey Sock

I must get started on the second sock right away. Some swappers have already finished knitting. The other urgent knit on my list is my homework for my Jean Wong finishing class on the 19th. I finally bought the dpns that I needed to make the other half of my swatches.

I hit a mental roadblock on my super secret project. I got some help yesterday night so I hope to make more progress today. Wish me luck.

* a la Paris Hilton

ETA: Holy cow! MagKnits is gone! But I haven't knit Jaywalkers yet!!!!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Swaps galore

The Wee Tiny Sock swap came at the perfect time this year — right in between the first two rounds of Sock Madness. Since I was in a sock knitting frenzy anyways, it was easy to whip up not one, but two wee tiny socks.

My mini Sock Zombies were received in Alabama today, and I got my super-cute wee tiny sock from Minnie when I got home from work. I've been reading her columns on the Lime & Violet blog for months now, and it was pretty cool to get something from her in the mail.

I also just discovered the Karma Yarn Swap board on Ravelry, and it's sucked up a wee bit of time in the last week! I've mailed off five swap packages already!

And look what I've received in return, so far... gorgeous stitch markers from Knitasaur. My plan is to have a set of stitch markers in every one of your project bags, Dotty. :-)

And of course, what's a knitblog without a little stash enhancement photo? I may have picked up some Noro Silver Thaw at the Yarn and Fiber March Madness sale. I can't decide if it's going to be Lady Eleanor or another Clapotis -- I think I'm leaning to Lady Eleanor because this will look so beautiful in entrelac.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

insert title here

Hubby is off on his Pacific Populaire ride today. He's doing the 100km (80mi) ride. He's got his neoprene booties, wool shirt, and waterproof insulated tights. It's pretty overcast and windy so I hope he'll be ok.

I am staying home with my Star Trek Enterprise DVD and my Noro Kureyon sock.

The heel flap is done and I'm ready for the heel turn. Isn't it purty?

I've been working on other things. I seamed up a baby blanket that our knitting group has been working on for Melissa. It's really cute. And I was working on Anna's wedding present yesterday. I don't feel good about it - I really don't know what I'm doing...

I was at Lee Valley to pick up some garden tubs (tired of hubby stealing mine). And since the fabric store is across the street... Well, some pretty fabric came home with me.

I was particularly attracted to some large scale vintage florals. I don't know what I'll use these for. They're just pretty to look at :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sock madness indeed

I finished the second Sock Madness pattern at 11:11 last night, and I'm a little bleary this morning.

Pattern: Reversai
Yarn: JL Vinca red/green colourway (purchased on ebay for $25 for the bag of 10!)
Amount used: 1.5 balls
Needles: 2.0 mm (US 0) 24" Knitpicks

I rewound the second ball so that the colours would be reversed on the second sock. This mostly worked but this yarn doesn't have consistent colour repeats, so the blue showed up at the toe of the second sock.

I also flipped the chart in Photoshop, so the second sock has a reversed pattern from the first. I'm calling these my triple-reversed Reversais.

I wasn't sure I'd make it into the next round or not because there was only one spot left in my division when I finished these last night, and I know that there were lots of people still knitting away. I was so happy this morning when I got the email telling me that I was #20 in this division!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thurs shame*

Time flies when you're having fun! Ta da - I finished my first STR sock yesterday night.

STR col metamorphic
Love love love everything about STR - the colours, how it feels (while knitting and on the foot), the skwooshiness... But did I immediately cast on the second sock? Nooooooo *hangs head in shame*.

I, ah, cast on this sock:

Noro kureyon sock col 188
Just a little Noro Kureyon Sock yarn (col 188) that I picked up yesterday night. The yarn is definitely "rustic" but I like it. I'm using 2mm needles and getting 8 sts per inch. So far so good.

Ricky sez - "Yawn! All this sock talk is sooooo boooooring..."

* shame because I now have 21 WIPs