Monday, April 26, 2010

slave to the sewing machine

Hubby's big Ride2Survive fundraising bike ride is in less than 2 months and I promised him that I would help fundraise. So I've been sewing like mad - working on two quilts that will be raffled off (keep your eye on the blog for details).

::tweet, tweet:: These blocks are so cute! Everything is fused and I just need to dig around in my big box of thread to find something to applique the edges with. This was supposed to be a quick project but I always forget that there's a lot of cutting with scissors which slows me down. I even had Hubby help me cut out the legs, beaks, and eyes when my hand got tired.

This one is already pieced and waiting to be basted which I will do when I'm at Dad's because he's got easily accessible floor space.

In the evening, I've been working on my Monkey sock. I got the first one done catching up on Torchwood.

I got the second one started while watching "The Proposal". Such a lame movie. I don't know who put it on the rental list but it must've been me since hubby would never willingly choose a chick flick.

Ricky's current favourite sleeping spot is the big sofa (which he barfed on Friday night). But if someone's sitting in his spot, he will pace around complaining loudly and waiting for the person to leave. He will eventually give up and plop on the person (Hubby). This is the only time Ricky is a lap cat.

Ricky sez, "Wha?!?!?! Are you talking about me?"

Monday, April 19, 2010

open window season

What a glorious day! It is incredibly warm and I have to open the windows to let in some fresh air.

This is Ricky's favourite season because he will camp out beside the open window (oh look! There's a stack of boxes that are window height) and sniff the fresh air. It is his favourite thing to do other than eating.

The nice weather also means that I'm out in the garden. We have a decent sized property with established flower beds that we've been slowly overhauling. Over the years, we've done quite a bit of work in the back and side yards and we're slowly working our way around to the front. Last week, I pulled out a huge pieris japonica that I'd left thinking that it would look better once it stopped being crowded out by the rhododendron. It never really recovered so I hauled out the serious tools (bow saw, ax, and pick) and got rid of it. Hubby was impressed that I got the stump out by myself because the shrub was easily 3 ft across and about 6 ft tall. I splurged and replaced it with a lovely purple azalea. It was a splurge because I bought a 5 gal one because they were sold out of the 1 gal size.

In the evenings, I only have enough energy to do a little knitting. I keep myself occupied with hubby's Noro socks. I'm past the halfway point on sock #2. I started these almost 2 years ago and I am soooo ready to have these finished and off the needles.

But knitting them makes my finger hurt because the tips are pointy and I tend to push the needle with my left index finger. So I cast on a new sock Sat night when I couldn't stand to work on them.

I want to tell you what hubby ate for dessert yesterday night (cuz it was sooo gross) but he'll kill me because he doesn't want people think he's pregnant. Ha ha! Instead, I will tell you what Phoebe did yesterday. Hubby came home from a long bike ride and he took off his cycling jersey and placed it on top of his shoes/arm warmers. Phoebe came downstairs and proceeded to sniff and rub her face all over his jersey. We've never seen her do that before. I picked up the jersey and put it right on the floor. She flopped on it and rolled all around like she does with catnip. Phoebe rubbed her face and pulled it close with her paw when it slipped away. She drooled all over it. What a silly cat!

Friday, April 9, 2010

sinking in the pool

Phew! Now that my relatives have returned home, things can go back to normal.

There has been pretty much no knitting while they've been here. I knit a washcloth for a birthday present but I forgot to take a picture before I gave it away. And I did a little knitting for Gladys. Sadly, I stink at pooling. I started with a 4mm/US6 needle and the cast on used up one whole colour repeat but when I knit the first row, I could see that I wasn't using enough yarn so I switched to a bigger needle - 4.5mm/US7. I was only out by one stitch in the garter section so that was good. But when I hit the lace, I was out by 4-5 stitches. So my garter uses more yarn than lace. I met Gladys later on at knit nite and she let me try a 5mm/US8 needle. That size put me out by about 12 stitches in the opposite direction. So I really needed a size between the two. Gail loaned me one of her 4.5mm/US7 wooden needles and that helped but I still wasn't getting gauge. The other interesting thing was that Gladys used a US5 needle to get the pooling and I had to go up several sizes to even come close. So I'm tight and she's loose.

And the weather's been a tad crazy. I got woken up by a nasty windstorm. We lost a garbage can lid but found it about 20 feet away and around the corner of the house. The wind was strong enough to completely crack my neighbour's window.

On Thursday, I gave Angela her drop spindle and roving that I picked up for her at the fiber festival. I brought my drop spindle and demo'd how to spin. She's is liking it. I bought her a spindle that can be spun with the whorl at the top or the bottom. So far, she prefers having the weight at the bottom. She spun up the little sample roving that was attached to the spindle so she's ready to start on the blue merino.

The weather was nice today and Ricky was crying at the window at me while I was out in the garden. He sounded so pitiful!!!! So I broke down and put him in the harness and took him for a short walk which turned into "a roll on the driveway".

He was really filthy and I had to brush him when we went inside. What a silly cat!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010 Ride2Survive Fundraiser

Last June, Tony and his friend Graham bicycled from Kelowna to Vancouver in one day — a 400 km/250 mile trip which I hesitate to do by car. Everyone who hears about it calls them crazy.

Well, they're going to do it again this year, and this time, Dotty's husband will be joining them. They're doing it to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society, as part of the Ride2Survive organization. The notable part of this fundraising effort is that 100% of your donation goes straight to cancer research, and nothing goes to administrative or marketing costs. (At the end of the ride, the riders vote on how much money goes to which kind of cancer research. Here's how it was allocated last year.) All donations over $20 also get a Canadian charitable tax receipt.

Our guys are calling themselves Team Purl Jam, and their donation page is here.

If you donate, you can also ask them to write a name on their legs of someone who's been touched by cancer — a survivor, or a loss. (Write down your person's name on the "home phone" field of the donation box.)

This is a tradition on the ride, and Tony had so many names on his legs last year because so many knitters have been touched by cancer. This year, we're adding Markus' extra-long legs to the cause. The ride is hard, and as the guys ride and lose energy, they look down at their legs to remember who they're riding for, and remember that this ride is easy compared to the ordeals of those fighting cancer now.

Also, watch this blog for a few fundraising efforts that Dotty and I are putting together. (Yes, there will be some Wollmeise!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

poor man's cashmere

Malabrigo Sock yarn isn't cashmere but it's still really soft.

Pattern: Lacy Kerchief Scarf by Lisa Daehlin (published in Interweave Knits Summer 2005)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (1 skein; 440 yds) in Cote D'azure
Needles: 4mm Addi Turbo circs
Notes: I increased/decreased every 8 rows (i.e. on row 1 of chart) instead of every 6. Before blocking, the scarf measured 7" at the widest point and 61" long. After blocking, the scarf is 8" at the widest point and 72" long. I have 18g of yarn leftover so that means I used about 361 yds. I misjudged the midpoint of the skein so I have leftover yarn. But that's ok because 72" is plenty long for a scarf.

Thanks for the inspiration, Li. I love it.