Sunday, August 30, 2009


When it's not there, it's not there.

I really, really wanted to make this lovely bag, I really did. But, after finishing that bitch of a strap, and reading that was only half of it, I decided that this fling was over.

I consulted with my peeps on Ravelry, and they all said the same thing. FROG IT. Hey, I love the fact I won this prize from Virtual Yarns. AND - I love the 3-ply Hebridean wool, and the colour. I just really don't love the knitting part of it. And I cannot stomach the thought of knitting another stitch. So, I'll unravel it. And, to make that sour taste linger just a little longer - I'll be unravelling 2 strands of knitting, as the yarn was held doubled throughout. Whatever I end up making with this yarn better be damned good...

Hey, did I ever show you this?!

My Isobel of Mar? I'm pretty sure I did show you a pre-blocked version of it. Lorraine was kind enough to re-block it for me, as it really needed a good spin in her washing machine. AND - it does fit much better. I'm still looking for some nice buttons for it, and she'll be ready to wear out in the big world.

"Wow, Cousin Finnegan sent me an e-mail?!!"

And a picture, Gandalf!

"Life's so busy these days. I live in Nova Scotia now. By the ocean! I'm pretty sure those waves are out to get me though. They keep chasing me! Here I am, tired after a walk trying to figure them out. Moving rocks! I got some new toys! OK, so it's a pink turtle - so what?? My big cousin Atticus drinks water out of a flowery bowl. And he's no less a boy cat. This does NOT in any way make me any less of a boy dog either..."

This year will be the first year since 2005 that I haven't spent my birthday in St. Catharines with my sister and sister-in-law. They moved to Nova Scotia a month ago - which is a cool thing! I'll be able to visit them out there next year, and that will be a lot of fun! I'm pretty sure Finnegan will remember his Auntie Brigitte.

My birthday is this upcoming Wednesday, and I will admit to being a bit sad about it. But only because I remember the good times I had in years past, celebrating in St. Catharines. Not about my age though - I'll be 41, and proud of it!

Anyway - the good news is that they are all settling in nicely in Nova Scotia. They will be building their new home on the shores of the Atlantic. In the meantime, they are living in a little cottage, which is right next to the plot of land that the house is being built on. And to welcome them to the area, Maritime style - Hurricane Bill showed up on their doorstep. Can you imagine Atticus in a hurricane?! Oy...

"I'd sleep through it. Hey, can I go to Nova Scotia?!"

"I may surprise you. Maybe a hurricane would not bother me at all. I mean, c'mon. I'm not that bad..."

"Yeah you are!"

OK. Next week! I'll 'fess up to something I may have started working on that I should not necessarily have started working on because of all of the, uh, other things I have on the go...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Life, She Is Tough...

"Sometimes, it's tough being me. Mom's listening to her 80's music again. Which is not a bad thing necessarily. A little Joy Division, a little Crowded, I'm partial to the really cool Canadian bands like Tom Cochrane/Red Rider, and the Box..."

"No crappy pop though. But I really have to draw the line at recreating some of those videos. I'm not talking about U2 (back when they were cool and relevant) on the roof of a building. I mean like wearing a flower pot on your head like DEVO. OK. Actually, only Gandalf is doing that..."

"Are we not kitties? We are DEV-O!"

"See? Man, what a geek..."

"Now. See my face? It's the face of a slightly nervous cat. OK, maybe not so much now. But! Let me tell you, we had some pretty fierce weather last Thursday. Not like - oh, Atticus wants sympathy kind of bad weather. Like. Atticus is mush kind of bad weather. Some places had tornadoes! We just had really high winds and lighting and rain and rain and rain."

"Can you tell? No? Well, believe me. That rain was POURING down. Our power even went out! And a big tree down the street fell down. And it flooded the backyard and the basement too. And then, the next thing you know? Sun, and cooler by about 5 degrees (Celcius, of course). Crazy crazy, let me tell you."

"Right. That's it for me. As you can see, it's been a stressful week. And recounting it to you all has been tiring, *yawn*. Gonna have a snooze now. 'K, ROCK ON everyone. I think Mom wants to show some knitting stuff now."

Well, Atticus is quite chatty, isn't he? But, he's quite the guest blogger, I'll give him that. He's right when he says it was a pretty fierce storm we had last week! Although we were lucky within the city of Toronto, there were tornadoes north of the city. Pretty rough stuff. Even Gandalf was a bit nervous, and normally storms don't bother him. But, Mae slept through it all. I suppose the day she flips out over a storm is the day I really worry.

You know what? I have been knitting. Despite the icky heat and humidity of last week. It may have been the first stretch we'd had all summer, but let me tell you. That fact does no make it any less palatable to me. Knitting becomes...a bit hard. I still did manage to work on some stuff. One being Delores, my long suffering Starmore Fair Isle jacket.

I have less than one pattern repeat to go before reaching the neckline! Gandalf would like you to take note of the armhole steek.

"See? Between the red and green stitch markers? Mom alternates the steek colours each round; some knitters do it the other way. I guess at the end of the day, it's whatever floats your boat. Anyway. I thought I'd just show you that. For some reason, Mom says I wasn't supposed to be in the picture. Which. Makes no sense to me. Why wouldn't I be?"

"Are We Not Kitties, Mae?"

"Oh God shut up. Please."

"We Are DEV-O!"

Gandalf Questions Things, Part II

"What do you mean, do I want a baby brother? Why?? Why would I want a baby brother?"


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Pretty Post With Project Pictures

OK, let's see if I can find where the pictures are saved.

Yay, it worked! Oh, this isn't the picture I wanted, but. Enjoy. :D

Look! Here are the projects I told you about last week.

Phew! There she is, in all her glory - Windsor Waistcoat. Pretty, huh?! The only thing I did differently was use a 3.25mm instead of the 3mm specified. By knitting the extra-small size in a larger needle, I ended up with a finished measurement of 39", which is exactly what I wanted. Doesn't Lorraine design a cool vest?! And you can get your very own pattern by following the link... Just sayin'.

And to keep things "simple" (or so I thought), I started work on my Thistle Bag, courtesy of the fine folks at Virtual Yarns:

Oooo, pretty! This represents about two-thirds of the first half. Trust me. It's a LOT of work. Those fun little Trinity Stitch bauble thingies in the centre of the thistle? Nasty. But - it will be worth it all when it's done; I try to work on it every other day, but by the end of the night, my arms are sore.

(Kitty break)

"What am I looking at?"

"The squirrel! See him?? He' at him go! Look Mae!"

"You're weird. He's outside. We can't catch him."

"I'm gonna get you! Squirrely...squirrel...squirrel..."

Atticus is ready to pounce on the squirrel, despite the window. And I kid you not - Mae? Just sits there, looking outside. Sometimes she'll watch the squirrel, sometimes the birds, but she doesn't get all "squirrely" (heh). Live and let live is her motto.

OK. Back to knitting stuff!

Look what else I've been working on!

Now this one really makes me happy. The colours could not be more perfect together, and it knits up like a dream. As I mentioned previously - it's quick and easy too. Can't go wrong with no colour changes and 4mm needles.

It's St. Aula, knit using stashed 3-ply Mara and Machair. I should have more than enough to knit the "standard" size, and the hood as well, although I haven't decided which colour I'll use for it. I've almost completed the 2nd go-round of the chart, so I'm more then half way to the armholes.

Now, I've also been working on Delores, and the Mystery Pressie, but no pictures this time. Next week...

I'm feeling every bit of my nearly 41 years today - I pulled a muscle in my lower back yesterday bending over to do something stupid. As a result, I have to use whatever is handy to get up from a sitting or lowered position. Ugh... It's fine when I'm sitting or standing. It's just getting from one position to the other that's a bit...problematic. And you know what? Nothing I take seems to ease the ache. I've tried Ibuprofen and Aceteminophen, but both do diddly. Guess I'll just have to wait it out. Oh! I just remembered I still have some Tylenol 3's from my ear infection/hospital stay earlier in the spring! That ought to numb pretty much all pain...heh.

"What do you mean - do I want a baby sister?? Why? Why would I want a baby sister??"

Yes...what is Gandalf talking about??!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The One Without Pictures

Well, I've heard of these things happening, but was arrogant enough to think it would never happen to me.

A moment of silence if you will...for my computer. I pronounced it officially at 6:45pm on Friday night.

"So, how is it you're blogging, Brigitte?"

Well, thanks to my work laptop, I am able to do a few things, but not load pictures. Because ever since I moved? I can't find a thing. No clue where the install CD is for my camera.

*sigh* And I had things to show off. Finished things! And 2 newbies too!

Anyway - I came home on Friday afternoon to find an unresponsive computer. When it boots up to a blue screen of death - it's not a good thing. When you get a "unmountable boot volume" error message, it's an even worse thing. And, when you run every diagnostic and fix known to try and repair it, and you get an even more ominous "...the volume appears to contain one or more UNRECOVERABLE errors...", it's kaked.

And kaked she is. I even spoke to Dell's Tech Support (who were excellent, by the way), and they basically confirmed what I knew. So, hopefully with the help of Lorraine's tech whiz son Alexander, I may be able to recover a few things. Oh, and start shopping for a new computer... It has served me well for 6 years, so I suppose I really shouldn't complain.

I think I'm going to get a pink one. Seriously!

(Aw crap, I just went to open up my links page in Notepad, only to realise that it's not on this computer! Damn!!!!!!!)

Anyway. Until I can find the CD to load my camera software temporarily on this laptop, I won't be able to post pictures. You'll have to trust me when I say that I finished Windsor Waistcoat. And that it fits perfectly! I had no issues whatsoever - I tinkered here and there with the sizing, and made the neckline a bit shorter.

Feeling quite pleased with myself, I allowed a new project to be started. OK. Two. But! Because one is quite rough on the hands to do, I needed do in between.

Firstly, I picked out "Thistle Bag" that I won from Virtual Yarns, and decided to give it a go. I figured it would be a nice, simple and smallish project to work on during the summer.

Simple and smallish... Famous last words. God love the Starmores - and you all know I do - but is nothing ever simple?!! LOL. I guess it's the difference between a knitted handbag, and a superior-designed knitted handbag. The level detail is outstanding, and if I was thinking this would be a quick knit, I was mistaken. Ever try doing a 1 over 3 right cross cable using 2 strands of 3-ply yarn (and not just any 3-ply - Hebridean 3-ply wool)? No? Well. Let me tell you. You may just start throwing up a little bit in your mouth when you realize the front of the bag and the back are the same.

But, I am fascinated with the process, but because the tension needs to be quite tight, my arms do tend to be a bit sore by the end of the night.

So, on alternate nights, I decided to work on my "St. Aula". I'm knitting it using 3-ply Mara as the main colour, and 3-ply Machair as the background colour, both of which I had in my stash. I know some of you *cough*Chris*cough* may be wondering how doing a stranded project can be relaxing, but trust me - it is.

For one - 3-ply vs. 2-ply means far fewer stitches to work with in the round - 220-ish vs. well over 325 on average for 2-ply. There are only 2 colours to work with, so there are no yarn changes and weaving in to do. There is only one chart to work with, and once I've completed the first repeat, I've memorized the sequence and I can get a round done pretty quickly. And, it's going to be a toasty warm outdoor sweater when it's done. I'm knitting the "standard" version, and should I have enough, I plan on making the hood as well.

Easy peasy, lemon squeazy, as Lorraine would say.

AND - now that Windsor Waistcoat is done, I can concentrated on finishing up Delores (also a Starmore design)! It's a complex Fair Isle project, so I only work on it when I know I'll have a few uninterupted hours. I'm also still working on the "stealth project" for my sister and SIL when the weather allows.

Hey! When I went to Virtual Yarns, I noticed that there is a pattern coming out in the excellent British magazine "The Knitter" that will be using Hebridean yarns, and it is really lovely! I had a chance to thumb through a copy of The Knitter while at Chapters last week with Lorraine, and I am quite smitten! It has a lot of beautiful patterns with techniques that I love. It's pretty steep though - nearly $20 Canadian for an issue, but I think I will be saving my pennies and picking this one up.

So, that's pretty much it for now. The guys all say "Hi!" to all their cyber-buddies, and promise to help me look for the install CD for the camera.

Oh! And great news! The civic workers strike is now officially over here in Toronto! Which means garbage pickup for me on Tuesday! I never thought I'd ever be so happy about garbage day, but believe me - this one is one I'm looking forward to.

Here's to a technologically smooth week!