Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little Gems

Have you seen this little gem? No? Well, do yourself a favor, and have a look.

Because it's one of the funniest things I've seen on TV in a very long time... Even Gandalf perks up whenever he hears the music.


"Oh c'mon, that song was so written for me! I mean, look at me...Danger! Danger! "

I got into one of those weird modes last week, and decided that I absolutely had to re-organize my stash... Because. You know. It makes the ridiculous volume of yarn that much more easy to sort through when you get into that must-use-it-now mindset. I have to chuckle though. How is it that I can remember (for the most part) what yarn I have and where it is, but I always loose my pen at work and can't remember where I put my head on any given day?? Anyway, as I was putting things away, I noticed Little Dude Gandalf lounging amongst the Mission Falls.

Sinks. Behind toaster ovens. Under rugs. Knitting bags. It's all fair game to him.

So, I had every intention of posting this past week, but one thing or another got in the way, including a nasty bee sting (I'm not allergic, but I do get a reaction after after being bitten); an allergic reaction to mineral makeup face powder (who knew that one of the ingredients, bismuth oxy-chloride, would actually be pushing chemical particals into my skin...); a surprise party for my boss' upcoming wedding; and so on...


But it didn't stop me from doing this...

You see. Now that Columbia is waiting to be seamed, I decided I needed something relatively simple to work on while "distracted" (watching TV) - enter Hearts Tunic, from Jamieson's Simply Shetland 3 book. I'm knitting it using Jamieson's Heathered Aran in "Lacquer". The colour is actually a deeper red than what appears above. Anne's shade chart is a better representation of the deep red. Now that the bottom trim section is complete, it is moving along quite quickly.

And not to worry!

My other WIPs - Laleli, Delores, Fulmar and Arangenser? They haven't been forgotten - they just require a bit more...attention. Something I don't always have at the end of work day. And if I'm really feeling particularly hazy, then I just work on the straight 12" of stocking stitch required for the body of my Dale - Sapporo 2007.

(Oh, ow! Musn't allow small black cats to jump directly on bee sting while sitting in this chair. Ow ow ow!!)

"...*snore* *snore* mmmpphhhhmmmmffff *snore* *snore*..."

And Atticus would like to thank everyone for his birthday wishes. Also. Now that he's 10, he has earned the right not to have to put up with silly birthday hats.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How Time Flies

It seems like just yesterday.

I was still a natural strawberry blonde *cough cough*. I thought knitting lace was kinda cool. I had no clue what a blog was. Probably because I was still using dial-up. And a Gandalf? What's that?

That's because it was all about this little man.

My Baby Atticus!

(Hey Lorraine, those eyes have NOT changed, have they?!)

Do you think he uh, grew into those ears??!

"Funny, I don't feel old..."

He turned all of 10 years old on Saturday! I look at him now and think - wow, you were once the size your head is now.

He's been my constant companion and best friend since then. A little wild as a kid. And sure he thought his name was "Psycho-stop-it" there for awhile. But a more loyal and loving cat I've never known. He may be grumpy, crotchety and slow sometimes, and he likes for Mae and Gandalf to clean his head just so, but he's kind and tolerant towards them.

We sang him happy birthday, and he whacked at my hand with his paw, and hissed when I tried to do the party hat thing on him. So he got some Creamy Dairy treats and a piece of cheese instead of tuna, seeing how that really doesn't agree with him any longer...

Then the thunder started up again, and he went and hid under a chair. The first time he ever heard thunder, he peed on the rug, so I suppose the chair thing is much better all around.

Na-Nu Na-Nu

Hey! Look at these! My Mork socks are DONE.

Actually, the striping came out somewhat even on both socks. But still nowhere near what the shows up on the picture... But hey. That's what handmade socks are all about - being unique. And boy are these puppies unique...

Next? I'm using some sock yarn dyed for me by Chris last year. It's a yummy mix of pinks and purple - colours up to now sadly missing from sock wardrobe. I'm going to be a bit bold and actually try a pattern this time around - Wendy's Cabletini sock pattern. So these shall be my "Chris-tini socks"...

Hee hee.

Errors in Knitting Judgement

Oh, c'mon! We all have them! And I have a, memorable ones. Chris showed off her "Gimme 5" vest. And really, I have nothing but sympathy for her. I once made a corset style vest from Knitty out of some Big Blue thick/thin yarn from Fleece Artist. Which, on paper should have worked out. But man, was it ever hideous. The yarn was totally wrong for the project... Oh, and the colour? Actually almost the same as the one Chris used on her ill fated vest.

But, the #1 ghastly error in judgement, for which I'm still wondering about myself, is the pink stole I made with 2 strands of this fluffy (albeit really soft) icky pinky pukey fake velour knock off crap that I still to this day cannot believe I thought would look good. Or bought. I can honestly say that the colour did look different in the store (that big, dark dungeon of a store on Queen West here in Toronto...). Which has happened to everyone. What cannot be excused however is the fact that I STILL MADE THE FREAKIN' STOLE. Complete with long, I-cord knitted fringe.

Oh Lord. At some point, one of the cats, probably Mae, mercifully barfed on it, and that was that.

Even if I still had it around, you couldn't pay me enough (well, I could maybe have been bought with a few VY kits...) to post a picture of all it's hideousness. I tip my knitting cap to Chris for having the 'nads to show her error in knitting judgement. Although her guys were all over that thing... But, I'll go halfway, and show you a "partial" picture - here's one of Atticus sleeping on it. And he's sweet enough that it distracts you from what he's sleeping on...

OK. I have to know that there are others out there who have knit equally hideous bright baby pink velour stoles with long scary looking fringe somewhere in there past. Yes. Even Marina.

Consider this a "tagging" to anyone who reads! And if you post the pictures, even better.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Heat Is On

"...stupid storms...making all that stupid loud noise..."

"...*blink blink blink*..."

"...*slurp* *glug glug glug* *slurp*..."

Although we're not quite at the height of summer yet - it feels like we are. I'm OK, but the guys have had better days... Poor Atticus becomes a big puddle of cat-goo when the summer thunder storms roll in. Gandalf becomes confused, and then freaked out when his curiosity gets the better of him and he peeks out the window to see what all of the commotion is about. Mae? She LOVES it. She'll sit by the window, rain could be pouring in and she's not the least bit afraid! She may have hated the old vaccum, but thunder? Lightning? Heavy rain? Bring it on.

My nifty dual window fan is working like a charm... It has one fan suck the stale air out, and another to circulate the air within the apartment. And it does an amazing job of getting rid of the humid air. And it won't be a drain on my electricity bill.

And who knows? I may be able to actually get some heavy duty wool knitting done. Because, let's face it. Cotton? Just doesn't work for me.

I found out the hard way this past week that organic cotton and rain really doesn't make for a winning combination. It was cool enough this past Thursday for me to wear my Gingko Leaf tunic (thanks everyone for the thumbs up on finally finishing it!). However. The rain thing, and being caught in it. Not only did it dry to shape on me - it uh, smelled. Really bad. Not quite wet silk bad. But close. And no. It wasn't me. It was definitely Gingko Leaf. Why didn't I notice the smell when blocking it? Probably because it was outside while drying, and then spent 30 minutes in the dryer. Well. I'll just have to soak it a lot longer when I wash it next, and wait until a sunny, cool day to wear it again.

Needless to say, I've zzz-ed any current cotton or cotton blend WIPs in Ravelry...

In case you thought the funky Mork socks had been abandoned.

Not at all! They match up...somewhat. I would have tried them on, only I, uh, kind of made the cast off edge of the finished sock a wee bit too tight. So, I'll be redoing that. Now that I see them side by side, I like them much more. The colours may be a bit off, but hey! They're handmade socks. They're allowed to be different.

A Hmmmm Question:

If you had a second copy of AS' "Book of Fair Isle Knitting", where would you sell the second copy? eBay? Ravelry?

I've recently come across a second copy of the book, and I'm thinking - this could be lucrative... Should I hold on to it?


Sunday, June 01, 2008

What Does A Gingko Leaf Look Like Anyway?

You may want to sit down for this one. I know I can hardly believe it myself.

Here she is - my Gingko Leaf tunic. Only took me 3 years, but it's done!


What - Gingko Leaf Tunic from Fiddlesticks Knitting

Deets - Knit with Ecoknit organic cotton, using 3.5mm needles. It's knit in the round to the underarm, and the sleeves are knit flat.

Now. Don't get me wrong. The pattern is perfect. No errors, no omissions, and everything you could think of is explained to you clearly. The yarn, although splity and "fluffy", does wash beautifully and comes out even softer after a 15 minute run through the dryer. But, let's face it kids. It took me over 3 years to finish this thing - and it has nothing to do with the design or the pattern. The lace work was fine - you can't go wrong with the pattern. I worked on it in spurts. It's just that cotton...and Brigitte...ehn. I'm just not a cotton fan. But I do love this, it really is a beautiful piece and it fits nicely. It will stretch out - after I washed it, it had doubled in length.

Still. I'm wondering why I have nearly 4 skeins left of the Ecoknit...?

Who cares?? IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!

Look what I received from the Sheriff!

Is that not the cutest little teapot?!! It has a little replica Atticus on the top of the lid. And Lorraine is bound and determined to have me beading. The kit in the back is a little beaded Christmas Santa scene. There were a few other gifties including some yarn and Christmas ornament (Lorraine knows how to spoil her friends!) - and of course some treats for the Little Dudes.

"Auntie Lorraine rocks! She says I'm handsome and her darling and never says I'm chunky."

Atticus obviously loved the treats.

As did Baby Mae. Who actually stuck around for a bit and didn't run and hide the minute her Auntie Lorraine came into the room.

"I may have had to beat back Gandalf for my share, but just try and keep me away from my Creamy Dairy treats."

"What's chunky? Do you mean tubby, Atticus? What? You want me to come down and say that to you? Um...why? Oh... No, I'm good. I'll, uh, stay up here..."

Lorraine also mentioned in her latest post how off the wall the weather has been here... All over the place. It's hard to believe that it's the first of June today! Regardless, it hasn't kept me off my bike.

On my way home from work one day last week, I ran into my neighbour. I hardly recognized him at first - his face was covered in bandages. While riding his bike on a downtown Toronto street (Carlton, in front of the old MLG, for you Torontonians), he hit a pothole and went sailing over the top of his handle bars. As a result - his jaw is wired shut, and will be for 4 - 6 weeks; he had one tooth pulled; a broken nose; 27 stitches from his lip up his cheek and various other scrapes and scratches; and two huge black eyes. Not to mention the road burn and bruises on his legs. The impact cracked his bike helmet.

And he's an experienced rider.

He said he doesn't remember the accident. He does remember getting up off the ground not realizing what had happened, ready to get back on his bike. Bystanders had to restrain him from getting back on his bike until the ambulance arrived. Adrenaline... They kept him overnight at the hospital for observation.

You can never be too careful, regardless of where you're riding. And wear your helmet!

(Ugh, Gandalf is being all goofy and licking the backdoor screen again... ) *sigh*

Have a good - and safe - week everyone!