Friday, January 30, 2009

the lucky one

I'm busy running around doing chores before we go on vacation so I've only managed to finish one sock this week.

Hubby says it looks like blue camouflage (can you tell he used to hunt?) so now I call them my "blue camo" socks. Mirasol Hacho is certainly soft, sproingy, and very nice to knit up - no pooling or flashing even in the toe/heel. But it fuzzes quite easily. The toe & heel are made using w&t short rows. By the time I'm picking up the last wrap, the stitch that it's wrapped around is very fuzzy from the friction. I am a little worried about how well the yarn will hold up in my shoes despite the tight twist. Ah well, they're a quick knit and the yarn isn't too expensive so I'm not going to sweat it.

I got a very special package in the mail yesterday. My knitting friend, P-la gave me a heads up a few weeks ago that she'd sent something my way. She knows me well so I was expecting something purple with possibly the words "STR" related to it. I wasn't disappointed...

P-la made me this lovely shawl out of STR in Eggplanted (my second favourite colour after purple ;). Isn't she a special friend? Thank you soooo much, P-la. What a great surprise! I love the shape of it - not too long in the back but plenty of length in the front (and not too much bulk) for tying. And it doesn't slip off my shoulders if it comes untied. It looks great on me and I can't wait to wear it to work tomorrow. I'm sure to get lots of compliments.

This is Phoebe - giving me the evil eye while I try to shoo her off the back of the couch (need to fluff the down cushions). There was some hissing but she soon jumped off when I started waving the vacuum in her direction (gotta suck the cat hair off the cushions first). She has such a rough life.

Ricky is hanging in there. He doesn't mind the pills but he's really resisting the liquid antibiotics. Ricky's got a new nickname, "Pinky" because he's got pink stains around his mouth. I went shopping yesterday and bought some hypo-allergenic food for him. I wanted to eliminate the ingredients in his previous food (corn, wheat, chicken) from his diet in hopes that it will prevent reinfection. I was surprised at how prevalent chicken is in cat food. If the can says "herring & salmon", there's either chicken broth or chicken fat and even chicken liver in the ingredients list. I eventually settled on Wellness Beef & Salmon canned food and Nature's Balance Green Pea & Duck kibble. I also bought him some fish & venison treats. So far, he likes the canned food and the treats but he's not too keen on the kibble. Picky Ricky!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fun Friday night

Dear Dotty, you're ever so cute on ice skates.

Though you'd be a little taller if you could get Marcus to take his skates off!

We all went to the Richmond Oval on Friday night, to try out the Olympic ice. It's going to be the home of the speed skating event at the 2010 Olympics, and it's open to the public to let us try it out.

The kids had a great time, Dotty fell and hit her head, and I sat in the bleachers and knit on my new hat.

I also have an FO to show off. May I present my recently-finished Laminaria.

This was a photo of opportunity — I was walking from my office to the SkyTrain station, and the fog which had been blanketing the city for a week had lifted, to show the blue sky and beautiful mountains. And I had my shawl with me! I'll probably take another one in tomorrow's predicted snow, so that I can actually show off the lace in the shawl.

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the first day of the Chinese New Year. Yahoo! I have been eating myself into a stupor. Everything is either deep fried or preserved in sugar (my dentist is going to kill me). My favourite is sugar'd winter melon. It's like eating a stick of sugar - you can't even tell it was a melon.

All that sugar is powering my knitting needles.

Pattern: basic toe-up with short row heels & toes; 54 sts
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 6 ply Winter; col 884
Needles: 2.75mm dpns
Notes: Super fast knit! It's the 3rd time I've used this yarn and I still love it. Sadly, this is my very last skein. If you look closely, the socks match exactly. It was a complete fluke. BTW, these are my 38th pair.

I'm getting ready to knit my next pair of ski socks. After deciding that the Mirasol Chirapa was too thin to be sportweight, I went and bought 2 skeins of Mirasol Hacho. It claims to be DK but if I compare the yardage to the ONline, they're exactly the same yardage/weight - 125m/50g.

Ricky is currently mad at me. He does not like having pills and liquid antibiotics (even if it is "Very Berry" flavoured) shoved down his throat. But it is necessary if he wants to get better. Right now, he's a sad lump on the floor. Poor dude!

Hubby and I did something fun on Friday night with my alleged co-blogger, Gladys. But since the pictures are on her camera, I'll let her blog about it. ::hint:: ::hint::

Friday, January 23, 2009


After what seems like weeks of dense fog, the sun is shining and I've taken the opportunity to whip out my camera and take a bunch of much needed pictures.

I finished the first sample sock for BSY.

DiC Smooshy blocks extremely well and it's super soft too. Mmmmm... I love Smooshy.

I've finished the first ski sock and started on the second one.

Sportweight socks knit up soooo fast! I had originally cast on with some Mirasol Chirapa but it seems a little thinner than sport. I didn't like the fabric on 2.75mm needles and I didn't want to switch to smaller needles because I wanted thick socks for skiing. I might buy the thicker version of Chirapa - Hacho and give that a try.

Phoebe found a nice patch of sunshine to lie in.

Look at her crazy toe fur!

Ricky is snoozing under a blanket. After going to the vet twice this week, he's keeping a low profile. The poor dude is sick so he had to go in to have his blood taken and then they wanted a urine sample (waiting for a cat to pee is like watching water evaporate). The vet should be calling me today with the results and I'm hoping Ricky'll be ok.

Monday, January 19, 2009

a knitter's kitchen

You know a knitter lives in this house when on a random day, the kitchen counter looks like this (yes, it's messy):

In addition to all the junk, there's a handknit sock (bottom left; and just out of view - a tape measure and a notebook with the gauge written down), 2 ball bands (top left; Patons Classic Merino Wool), and a ball winder (far right). Ack! My craft is taking over the kitchen!

I worked on Sat and I brought home a sample skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky and I made this:

Pattern: my own; link to Ravelry project
Yarn: one skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Prairie Fire
Needles: 7mm
Notes: This is based on the hood that Lara wears in the movie The Golden Compass. If you go to the website, click on Photos under Downloads & Extras. You can see the original hood in the left-most column, 4th from the top. I put it on yesterday night and hubby says I look like Kenny from South Park. Boo hiss!!! The next time I make this, I will make the hood deeper (I stopped because I ran out of yarn) and only do 4 short rows rather than 6.

Anyways, I like it and I'm going to wear it when we go on vacation in two weeks! Yes, hubby has finally booked his vacation days at work and we're busy making reservations for ourselves and the cats. We're going skiing (instead of Hawaii). Actually, let me be more accurate - we're going to places where there's skiing but I'll be in the spa getting a facial or hot rock therapy while hubby throws himself down a steep mountain in the freezing cold. The last time I checked, hubby plans to ski Sun Peaks, Kicking Horse, Lake Louise, and either Panorama or Fernie. We'll stay at a hotel in Sun Peaks, then drive to Calgary and spend a few nights with my family, and then stay in Golden with hubby's parents. From Golden, he'll have access to the other 4 ski areas. I'll be heading home without hubby because I'll be driving my sister's van (long story). I told him he has to be home in time for Valentine's Day and I don't mean 5pm on the 14th!

This morning I went out and bought new gaiters for cross-country skiing. The ones that I currently have are really hard to get into because they're just a tad too small. I also splurged and bought a Gore-Tex jacket. Mine's bright red with a black yoke. My current one isn't very waterproof anymore and out here, you need waterproof.

I've got lots of knitting planned for the next coupla weeks. At least, the hood is done because I need something to keep my ears warm - me and toques don't get along. I also need to whip up 2 sweaters for my nephew dogs, Gadget and Gizmo. I've also pulled out some sportweight sock yarn (Online and Mirasol Chirapa) to make myself a pair socks to wear in my cross-country ski boots. Lots of things to do so I better get crackin'!

Monday, January 12, 2009

ain't dead yet

I may sound like I'm going to cough up a lung but I'm really better. I broke down and dragged my butt to the clinic on Thurs. I've been prescribed some antibiotics and T1s. I am slooowly improving. I can't take too many T1s because they have caffeine in them and I'm mildly allergic to caffeine. But I am sleeping better eventhough, I'm still really tired. Pretty sure I caught the flu from hubby.

I have been knitting, tinking, and shopping. The Smooshy socks are driving me insane. I always forget a yo somewhere and I have to tink back and fix it. The latest tinking took place while I was standing in line at my LYS. They have a big post-Boxing Day/New Year's sale with deep discounts and long line-ups. I got to the store about 5 hours after they opened and the people leaving told me that they'd stood in line (to pay) for about 4 hours. I managed to get in and out in about 2.5 hrs. I was in the pay line (it snaked through the entire store so you just shop while you're waiting to reach the cash desk) for the entire time.

From left to right: Koigu KPPPM, Louet Euroflax, Rowan Colourscape Chunky, Cascade Eco+. Was it worth the wait? I dunno. My favourite (impulse) purchase was this electric Koigu:

The other thing that's keeping me busy is my crochet. I'm teaching my first ever beginner's class this Sunday. I've been busy typing up notes, making samples (they are soaking in Eucalan as I type), and taking pictures:

Not bad considering that I've only got a point and shoot camera.

And I'll leave you with a Ricky picture (he's mad cuz the flash woke him up):

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm hot

Literally... After a very restless night, I woke up this morning feeling very hot. I took my temperature and the thermometer said 102F. Humph! So I have the flu on top of my cough. I am snuggled in bed with 2 cats, the laptop, and several knitting projects.

I'm making good progress on the Everlasting Bag Stopper. I'll need to stop soon and measure it against a regular plastic shopping bag.

This is a sample for Black Sheep Yarns. The Smooshy is lovely but the pattern is kicking my butt. The pattern is a 4 row repeat but I haven't been able to memorize it because the lace doesn't repeat within the row. Blech.

The sooper seekrit project is also getting a lot of knitting time. It's looking great so far.

My friends (I made them kitty wash cloths and the R2D2 beanie) gave me a gc to a yarn store, Knitopia for Christmas. I drove out there yesterday and redeemed it!

From L to R: 2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, Berroco Peruvia Colors, and a skein of West Coast Colour Aurora Borealis. The Aurora Borealis is a spectacular mix of alpaca and mohair. It's black with a small strand of colour that changes from blue to purple. It's stunning in person but so hard to photograph.

I think I'm ready for my afternoon snooze. Nighty night.

Monday, January 5, 2009

boosting the economy

It snowed, again. We got another 4". I tried shoveling this afternoon but it rained this morning so it's wet and heavy. Despite all my whining, I can't really complain. Aside from knitting, I have this to keep me entertained:

After thinking about a home theatre for 8 years (the amount of time we've owned the house), we finally bit the bullet and got ourselves a 50" plasma, a 7.1 receiver, subwoofer, center and left & right front speakers (haven't decided on the rear speakers yet). The TV stand is new, too. It took us days to move everything around in the living room and it's still a bit of a mess. Once the Christmas tree is put away, we can finalize the layout. I love it but there's a few details to work out. The window's directly across from the screen so there's a lot of glare. I'm constantly opening and closing the drapes. I've got a decorator coming in next week to help me choose new window coverings that will cut down the glare. Once they're installed, it'll be perfect :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

the good, the bad, and the ugly

Note: Wollmeise sock club spoiler ahead. If you haven't received your Christmas sock club shipment, you should skip this post.

The good: I am finally getting over this stupid cold. I'm off the couch but the dry cough is killing me. I can't sleep, I'm having problems swallowing, etc. Blech!

Also good: I went into work yesterday and picked out my Christmas present - a lovely Namaste Newport bag.

I had a choice between this one, the Laguna, and the Malibu. But the other two are so big! I'm not a big bag carrier so I picked the Newport.

Very good: My co-blogger, Gladys gave me Wollmeise for Christmas. Not just any Wollmeise - the Christmas sock club complete with pattern, gummies, and stitch marker (wrapped inside a yarn ball).

The bad: It snowed again - maybe another 4" yesterday. So I was sent home early from work and I won't be going into work today. It is a big sale weekend at the store but no one is coming out to buy yarn :(

Also bad: I cast on a new project instead of working on one of my current WIPs. Sigh... This is probably the only picture I'll post on the blog since it's going to be a surprise. You can keep track of my progress on Ravelry since the surprisee doesn't have access.

The ugly: While working on the newly cast-on project, I yanked this out of the skein -

Pretty nasty, eh?