Friday, March 27, 2009


Ok I know "Holy Crap!" is not literary genius...but seriously HOLY CRAP!! This wonderful lady from karaoke gave me an amazing gift. Now keep in mind that while I have known this lady for a couple years I do not know her well at all, we don't travel in the same social circle or anything, we ar emere acquaintances. But she saw me knitting and often would check out my progress. She told me she had tonnnes of yarn and offered some to me. Not knowing what it was I said I would love to have it. Even if it was horrible acrylic yarn I figured I could make a couple machine washable things for my stepdaughter and then maybe donate the rest to a seniors centre or something. What she gave me was this:

30 balls of beautiful 100% virgin icelandic wool. 20 balls of grey and 10 balls of heathered red and it's GORGEOUS. Yes icelandic wool, actually from iceland. This comes from sheep descended from Erik the Red's sheep.

She's my new best friend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Spider

There is a dead spider on my laptop...
I came home from the hockey game and there it was lying belly up right next to the screen. So I poked it. And it's legs moved, so I thought it was alive, but then it turned out that the legs moved because I poked it...
For a little while I thought maybe it was a spider skin. I have a tarantula and once or twice a year she moults, and I can't tell the difference between her and her skin until she moves.
I haven't moved it yet. I was thinking of keeping it in a tiny little jar and collecting other dead spiders and putting them on my apothecary desk with a label that says "Spideres"
Actually, it will probably stay there until I sneeze...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Billions of Blistering Blue Barnacles

Dudes...I have so much to post it's not even funny...I have been putting it off and now it's kicking me in the ass and I have to take a large chunk of time away from spinning and knitting...I hope you have a few minutes, I think this is my longest post yet!

First things in the mail I got my first ever etsy order. If you don't know what etsy is your life is horribly empty and superficial. Etsy is ebay for crafters. It is heaven. Check it out here. But be warned, it can seriously suck away hours and dollars.

The awesome part of my etsy order is that while it was my first, it was the 100th sale for the person I bought from. So she sent me goodies in addition to my order. I was super impressed with this since my order was not a high priced order. The fibre she sent me is beautiful.
I bought this in the colourway called Sunrise
Which I plan on blending with this 50/50 wool/silk (got it at Fibres West, more on that later...)
I also bought this beautiful Natural French Angora that was seriously discounted because of moulting/shearing issues, but it is still very beautiful and eminently suited for blending.
And because I was her 100th customer (which was SO cool because it was my 1st ever Etsy purchase) she gave me some wonderful bath salts and THIS
Good GOD look at the staple on this AMAZING Angora!! She doesn't share it with anyone, but because I was her 100th customer (or perhaps because of my incredible psychic persuasive abilities) she felt compelled to share it with me. Jordan you ROCK! Seriously, her stuff is lovely, check her out on Etsy under the seller name punkjordane and if you love angora you will love her stuff! She sells seeds too, but I can't buy those because she is in the States and terrorists grow out of seeds so they don't allow them to cross the border...

OK Next on the docket...FIBRES WEST!! I went there and I didn't want to come home. A whole weekend of fibrey knitty people hanging out together in perfect, blissful, crafting, harmony. I was there with my friends store Twist of Fate. We had TONNES of product, and we sold a lot. But most importantly I got to meet a whoel bunch of truly wonderufl people (or maybe I just assumed they were wonderful because of their spinny knitterliness) I saw so many amazing fibres and I wanted to buy them ALL. I did get a few nifty things, such as the aforementioned. Handmaiden 50/50 wool/silk. I also got this:
It is is hemp fibre that is fairly fine-a whole 227 grams of it! Half a pound of hippy goodness. I am going to use it for blending. Some is slated for sock yarn and the rest is going to sit in my stash being all potential and stuff.

Also bought 117 grams of merino/tencel from Knitopia, it is so beautiful and is this fantastic black/purple with white tencel. I am spinning it to a laceweight or slightly heavier and plan to knit a shawl with it. The weird thing is I HATE wearing shawls. I like the way they look on other people but you would have to hogtie me and then drape it over my struggling body to get me to wear one...and then I saw the merino/tencel...and I started imagining myself wearing really gothic lacey shawl looking all mysterious and ashawlknitting I will go!

I bought this China Grass Ramie...I don't really know what it is...which I think may have been the deciding factor in my choice to purchase it...
I also knit this during the slow times at the festival-it's that sweater in ridiculously chunky wool for my stepdaughter-I think it may have taken all of 5 hours to knit.I started knitting thisIt's the Assymetrical Cardi. The yarn is lovely and from Custom Woolen Mills, I got the yarn from Twist of Fate.

My Aunt came to Fibres West and that was so cool!! She brought muffins, and I have to admit I was a little leery of them at first because she told me they had tofu in them...but I will eat anything so I gave them a whirl and they were SO good!! Yummy banana tofu muffins, which is perfect for me with my insanely high protein requirement (I think it's because I am an ogre). I MUST remember to ask for the recipe! I like it when healthy food tastes good. It makes me think "Thank God I can't eat well and not want to sand off my tastebuds."
I also saw 2 other people I that I know there which was neat because I thought I would not know anyone. Sharon from Armstong taught me Bobbin Lace and she is such a cool lady so it was nice to see her again. I also saw Cheryl from Saltspring. Every year I volunteer at the Fall Fair on Saltspring and Cheryl does the fleece judging. 2 years ago I was her Judging assistant and I learned at TONNE from her. It was really neat to see her there, she was there with Jane Stafford Textiles.

One last thing about Fibres West that I thought was SO cool: I was wandering around looking at booths and I got a compliment on my sweater from one lady in a spinning circle and one of the other ladies said "Is that the Wrenna?" I just about died. It was so cool that someone recognized it and asked about it by name!
I know the pic is terrible, but don't you think my shower curtain is cool?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I am the awesomest person ALIVE!

So I was knitting like a crazed woman-imagine me knitting with my hair flying back, lips bared in a teeth grinding grimace, sparks flying from the tips of my needles-because I had to make The Sweater Challenge and I didn't want to end up being a hobo and crocheting (see previous post to understand this reference). So in between working, doing a s#!tload of glasswork and all the other things people need to do to survive (yeah I know this totally destroys your theory about me being an alien-I do need to do the basic human things to) I managed to finish the sweater 5 minutes ago. Now I thought this meant I finished it with about 15 minutes to spare before I was onto the 5th day. But apparently I am a total freak and got my days mixed. I knit it in 3 DAYS! I guess I found that rift in the space time continuum after to make my certificate and find a frame...
Off to bed, you can see pics tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Knitting Like There is No Tomorrow

So I started the 4 Day Challenge yesterday (the knitting one, not the All-Bran one). I will post pics tonight when I get home from work. Yes I am blogging from work-but it's lunch break so that makes it OK in my books.
I believe I will make my 4 day deadline. Especially since I totally cheated and modified the design...I did the patterning on the front, but I have changed the bottom half of the back to stocking stitch. There were 2 reasons for this besides laziness (believe me I am not undermining the power of laziness to make me modify a design, I just want to point out that in this rare instance there are other considerations).
Reason number 1-the lace part of the pattern is charted. I don't care what anyone says I hate charts. I can make them work for colourwork, but they are the bane of my existence for lace. It doesn't matter how many times I do charted lace, I will screw it up over and over again. I constantly miss yarn overs. All the time, so that when I get to the next row I have the wrong number of stitches. It doesn't matter that I have identified the problem, believe me I had a "Eureka!" moment when I realized I was making a consistent mistake, because I thought that meant it was solvable. It was not. I still do it, I make the same mistake over and over again-thousands of times to the point of insanity. I bet just reading about my lace chart trials makes you want me to not knit lace.
The second reason why I switched to stocking stitch on the back of the sweater is because the pattern doesn't show up that nicely with the yarn/needle combination I am using. So I decided it was too much work (there is that lazy thing again) for something that doesn't look that great.
The cool thing is this pattern is super easy to modify-so I can make cardigans galore in all colours and sizes inexpensively and quickly. I am going to buy some machine washable/dryerable acrylic (barf) and knit my stepdaughter one, it should knit in less than two days. If she lived with us I would use wool, but since I don't do her laundry it has to be safe for some rough treatment.
Tonight is pool night so I should get some good knitting in between games!
I am going to Fibres West this weekend in Abbotsford. I am super excited and for once glad that my paycheque was late! It's easier to save money for yarn if I don't have my impulse buying fingers on it!
Speaking of paycheques, I am getting my paycheque today and going to the store to buy a whole bunch of stuff for the local Women's Shelter. The Women's Shelter in Kamloops is run by the Y. I encourage anyone who can to donate money or items to your local Women's Shelter. It's a great way to make a really positive impact on your community. I always try to add a few frivolous things to my donation to go with the neccesities-chocolate, pretty jewelry or makeup. It's such a horrible time for women (and often their children) so I try to add something to brighten things up.
Also I just noticed that the plastic lids for disposable coffee cups are recyclable...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sans Camera

So I have one sleeve left to do on my sweater! I would prove it to you but it appears that I have misplaced my camera...but really, I am not lying.
A couple things about this sweater-if I did it again I would change the sleeve decreases-they are super visible and not particularly attractive. One of the things I did with this sweater is rather than change the needles to make gauge, I knit a larger size. This ended in more knitting for me (I had to go 2 sizes up) but I think I like it better because if I had done it to gauge it would have been knit really loose. However...apparently when I knit with dpn's for the sleeves, rather than the circular for the body...well...apparently then I got gauge exactly...which means the sleeves are rather large...I can't quite bring myself to rip it out and do smaller sleeves-but I think it might look OK with the style of the sweater to have large flowy sleeve-and I am trying really hard to make sure I am not just saying that to make it less work for me...
I always have a million things for my "next project" and one of them is a top down raglan cardigan in a bulky yarn. The sweater is called Wrenna from "French Girl Knits" by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes. Check it out here if you have a Ravelry account. It is a super awesome pattern book. It's all lady like stuff that even a butch tom-boy like me would wear! I love the book and plan on knitting several of the patterns in it. The sweater is only 400 yards. Did you hear that? FOUR HUNDRED! I am labouring under the misconception that I could knit 400 yards in like 2 days. After all the sweater I am knitting now is 1200 yards and it will take me about 20 days...hold the phone...the math doesn't really work for that does it? I am pretty sure I will find some crazy rift in the space time continuum that will allow me to knit a sweater in 2 days... OK maybe that's crazy. Lets try for 4 days...I can knit a pair of socks out of 200 yards in 2 days easy so maybe 4 days isn't crazy...even if the sock was stocking stitch and the sweater is lace.
So that's my challenge. A sweater in 4 days, barring any huge complications. Here's the plan. I will start the sweater when I know I will have some good solid knitting time. I will knit and knit like a mofo. If something crazy comes up and I miss a whole day of knitting I am going to minus that day off my total knitting days (and I don't give a damn if that's cheating-it's my challenge, I can do what I want *this is me sticking out my tongue*). I will try to write a note every day of the 4 day challenge outlining my progress (or declaring it a dead day). If I succeed I will make a certificate for myself and put it on my wall next to my University degree. It will say something like "Let it forever be known that Caroline the Great succeeded in knitting a sweater in 4 days. I also expect a whole bunch of praise from my readers (all 2 or 3 of you).
So that's my challenge, what do you think?

...I don't even want to think about what will happen if I fail-I would lose all credibility, I would lose the respect from my readers, I would quit knitting and fall in to an ever decreasing spiral of depression and loneliness...I might take up crocheting...than as the slow spirals sinks down I wouldl ose my jobs and be forced to live on the streets going by clever hobo monikers such Dumpster Dick and my life would be over as I know it...but let's not even think about that...

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Plague!!

Apparently I have "THE" plague. I haven't gone to the doctor about it because I don't want to be thrown into some kind of freaking quarantine being poked and prodded by people in Tyvek suits and face plates that reflect back at you so you don't know what they look like.
I keep thinking of Stephen King's The Stand and I can't decide if I am upset or pleased that I am the harbinger of death.
I didn't go to work today. I HATE missing work. It's not that I hate not working, it's that I hate the diminishing numbers on my paycheque. Since today I am completely non-functioning unless I slam back the Neo-Citran and I am one of those people that is a completely unsafe driver when I drink the crap, I decided to stay home. I toyed briefly with the idea of being Typhoid Mary and taking the transit bus-calmly sitting there, knitting away (it would be so cool if I could knit on the way to work) giving those poor hapless people the sweet, sweet gift that I am apparently carrying in my body. But good sense got the better of me, I would probably fall asleep on the bus and be that crazy person nobody wants to talk to or sit next to (although that's not really a con.)
So instead I am sitting in my lovely warm basement (my husband bought me one of those fake woodstoves, they really pump out the heat!) knitting and reading ebooks. I kept thinking about how I wish I could read while I was knitting, and I considered audiobooks, but they are so slow compared to my regular reading speed, so I have opted for ebooks. I now wish I could find a way to put more words on a page so that I don't have to push page down so often-but that is a small price to pay to be able to indulge in two of my favourite past times at the same time!
By the way, I almost done the bottome band of my sweater-then it is on to the sleeves! only a few more days and I am finished!!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I just spent the last hour and a half untangling a skein. Not just any skein mind you, but a 200gm skein of 437 yards DK weight. to give you an idea of the sheer mass of yarn that comes in one of these monstrous skeins, keep in mind that I am knitting myself a long sleeve, long sweater in a 1x size and only using 3 skeins (probably just under 3 skeins). This skein was hell on earth. It was like the person that was running the machine that skeins the yarn fell asleep at the controls and periodically would shift in their sleep causing the machine to go reverse and forwards at random intervals. It was a hideous mass of messiness.
I ended up having to wind it by hand, which wouldn't have been so bad except that I had to weave the ball I was winding in and out of the skein to untangle it. Seriously, I ended up with a ball of yarn that is almost as big as my head. And my noggin is on the ginormous side...

Everything was going so well with the sweater, and I was SO happy, that I must have seriously pissed off the knitting gods...I was going to say something about how it could be worse, but I think I shall refrain until the damn thing is finished!

If you read in the paper about how some crazy woman beat the crap out of some poor underpaid wool mill worker, know that they deserved it!

Great Balls of Fire!

That's how I feel right now, like my knitting is going at the speed of light-SWOOSH!!
Of course I have now come to the slow entrelac band at the bottom and I still have 3 miles of sleeves to go, but I comfort myself with the fact that I could do the entrelac band on the bottom and cast off the sleeves if I really wanted to. I don't really want to, I absolutely love the sleeves, but I am sorely tempted...
I am already thinking of my next project-although I haven't decided which it is. I am tempted by this

I love this sweater, but the whole entire thing is honeycomb which I am strongly suspicious of, I know it would look awesome-but I also know it would take forever and there would be a lot of room for error...I can see myself making an insignificant mistake and not noticing it for 10 rows and feeling like I HAVE to rip it out. I could modify it and do it in stocking stitch, but I don`t think I would like it as much...I guess I can`t be surprised that I want the difficult!
My other option for my next big project is I have a noro entrelac vest planned. I don`t have a pattern for it, I would like to design it myself. Since I am still fairly novice I am a little daunted by this, but I find myself constantly designing in my head and even in my sleep so I figured I had better get started on that before my brain explodes.
OK, one last thing before I return to my sweater and Shaw on Demand (which I just found out has FREE movies too!) I would like to share with you the BEST joke in the world. I have retold this joke over a dozen times and I laugh like a loon EVERYTIME I hear it. It is the only funny thing that measures up to the Wendy`s commercial with the Air Supply Burger (Making Love...Out of Nothing At All...Out of Nothing At Aaaallll...)

What do vegetarian zombies eat...

Full credit has to go to my older brother for exposing me to that one via facebook.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Singing in the Rain!

Today is the first time it has rained since November! I cannot even begin to describe how happy I was when I woke up this morning and heard that delightful tap-tapping on my roof! I grew up on the coast so am accustomed to copious amounts of rain. It rains so rarely in Kamloops, that when it finally does rain, it feels like a blessing. At this time of year rain means warm! It's only a few degrees above zero, but it is warmer than it has been in MONTHS. Yesterday it climbed to 12 degrees. I had the door open most of the day and the cats sat outside on the front step. They love it when the door is open, they hang out guarding the door, squinting and blinking in the sunlight.
When I opened the front door this morning, the air was so clean and yummy! It's the afternoon now and the sun is shining. Spring has SPRUNG!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Honestly, I feel like I am hung over today. Since I haven't had a drink in almost 6 years, I feel a little put out by the feeling.
This weekend has been super eventful. My stepdaughter came on Friday and she is staying with us for a week. With her she brings her delightful son who bears a striking resemblance to my husband. I took special joy in the fact that he was cranky all morning until I (Grammy) picked him up and we spent a delightful hour wandering around the house and looking out windows.
He is an absolutely delightful child full of laughter and smiles, and when he gets cranky or starts barfing, I hand him back to his Mom.
I sang in the Karaoke Bar Wars Finals last night. I sang really well. I mean really, really well. I am a far better singer than I was last year and I rocked my songs. I don't care if that sounds arrogant, I know I sang ten times better than I did last year. Strangely, last year I got second, and this year I didn't place at all. But I was also the only person singing rock and roll. Out of 19 singers, all the rest sang country or pop. The awesome part, was that I was singing Rock and Roll and I had at least a half dozen elderly people tell me they liked my voice. I was sad I didn't place, but this year I made a point of singing what I wanted to sing rather than what I thought would help me win. I had an awesome time, and I had the whole bar absolutely screaming. I had over a dozen total strangers tell me that they thought I should have won or placed, which was gratifying.
I have been working diligently on my Valhalla Sweater , it is coming along beautifully and now that I am done all the entrelac the body feels like it's being knit at the speed of light! Swish!
Tomorrow I am back at work and I can't even begin to describe how very much I don't want to go. My boss will be back next week, she has been gone on vacation for over a month. I think as soon as she comes back I am going to take a week off as vengeance. I know it's petty, but she really left me holding the fort, and the work definitely did not match my paygrade.
I would love to continue writing and come up with some clever and witty for my readers (few though they may be, I usually try my best!) but unfortunately my knitting holds sway right I will bid you adieu until I become frustrated yet again with stocking stitch.