Knitting stuff and going on and on.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

An Arts & Handicrafter's Fair and 10 Knitterly Things About Me.

First the Fair stuff.
So much stuff there, so little money to spend. Sigh. I got some really good stuff though.

There's a little bag for Girly. She loved it. She stuck it up on her shoulder and strolled around like she was the Queen Bee. So cute. The lady who was running the booth said that her Granddaughter had made it and she would be so proud that someone had bought it. There's also a little black rock painted like a ladybug that she stuck in her bag to carry around. The bear in the birch bark canoe is her Christmas ornament this year and the slippers are for her and the young mister for the winter months. The soaps are the big score though. They were a great price and I managed to get enough to put in with the dishcloths for the ladies in the Women's Shelter for Christmas gifts. I'm hoping there will be a few leftover for me to have a couple too. There is chocolate, lavendar and licorice/poppy seed scented soaps. So nice and she makes them from the beeswax out of her hives.

A close up of the soaps and the bear in the birch bark canoe.

This though, this was the best thing of the day. There was a lady who had a booth set up with beads strewn all over the table. She was letting people pick out the bead they liked best and making rings to fit right then and there. Girly was in her glee. After the lady was finished and helped her put it on her finger, she walked around with her hand up admiring her new ring. She was over the moon and didn't stop talking about it for the rest of the day. It's the first ring she's had that fits her and she "LUFF my ring!".

The great thing about hand crafter's fairs are how happy people are to see children loving their stuff. They watch them closely of course, but not like people at stores do. There are more smiles and they talk to the kids like they are happy to see them. Such a nice thing for a child to experience even if they are too young to appreciate the difference in treatment.

10 Knitterly Things about Me

This is supposed to be a list of things you don't know about me so this took awhile to come up with since I blab nearly everything I do on this blog.

1. The last weekend of September (this weekend) marks the first time I ever picked up knitting needles. I learned to crochet at 15 and managed to make my Grandmother a dusty rose and grey scarf before giving it up. Twenty years later, here I am knitting and loving it. The first project I knit was a pillow for Girly. I'll post a picture of it another time. It's not horrible, but it's not great either.

Happy Knitta-versary to me!

2. I took up knitting because I needed something to do other than chores, take care of children or watch t.v. I was having trouble shaking off the baby blues and was beginning to worry that I would fall back into depression. I've been through that before and I did not want to go back. So I called up Mary Maxim and put in an order. Knitting saved me from that dark hole and it, you and other knit bloggers continue to inspire me to fight the good fight and continue on the path to feeling like myself again.

3. I have never actually completed a project with any of my hand dyed yarns. I do them for my LYS (like the last batch) or as gifts or prizes. I have one that I have cast on with for a few sock projects that didn't make the cut. One of these days when things slow down a little, I'm going to cast on and finish a sock with it! I will eventually have drawers full of socks for myself, the Mr. and Girly. Someday.

4. I have yet to finish anything for myself. The brown and blue bag is for me. I still have to felt it.

5. I have given away every set of knitting needles I have ever made. I plan to make more and keep a set one of these times.

6. I am terrified of making a mess of my roving and have yet to do anything other than admire the spindle my SP8 pal made for me. Terrified!

7. I have so many ideas for patterns in my head that it is getting harder and harder to figure out what to cast on for.

8. I still have trouble following other people's patterns and find myself unknitting or frogging about 1/3 of what I knit to fix a mistake in the pattern. Although I am getting better at looking to the next stitch and recognizing when I have gone wrong before I get too far.

9. I am planning something really awesome for when I get over the sweats about learning to spin. I am so excited and freaked out all at once. It will make you drop your jaws and No, I can't tell you what it is yet. You'll find out someday.

10. I am planning out a calendar of knit projects. I already have ideas for three photos and most of the patterns. I just have to cast on, knit them and write out the patterns. I think it will be great and a bit funny too. I need to get a better camera before I start snapping pictures though. So between the lack of good camera and inability to cast on and git'erdun it may take a year or so to make it up for sale.

Consider yourself tagged for the meme! Go see Grumperina's post for the original rules.

Jack Frost has arrived.

I was going to do the "Ten Knitterly Things about Me" meme that Grumperina got going, but I'm running short on time so I'll do it either later tonight or tomorrow.

My Saturday Sky today. It's cloudy, cool and threatening to rain. The leaves are bright and beautiful though.

Jack Frost has been twice and my girls are feeling the cold. Poor things. Nexus won't make it to delivery since her seeds need more sun and heat to ripen properly. So I have taken off the wind chime and she will give sustenance to the birds on their way south. A good thing for her to do.

Autumn didn't even make it beyond the pollen stage since the bees and wasps have died and the queens are in hibernation.

Wish is wistfully remembering those warm and sunny days.

My girl Saturday has lost her bloom. Proof of how fast beauty fades.

Friday, September 29, 2006

So much yarn, so little time.

It's cold wet and generally not nice out today and the Mr. is out Moose and Bush Chickens hunting. I think a nice stew and quick bread dinner is in order for tonight.

Better pictures of the new yarn colours.

I love how bright and pretty they are. My favourite is Raspberries in Oatmeal though. (Bottom left) It's Briggs and Little's Oatmeal overdyed with Tropical Fruit Punch Kool-aid and if you look at it in the light, it has a bit of sparkle to it. Pretty...sparkly...

How to show children perseverance and stick-to-it-ivness. :D

I've knit a little here, a little there and frogged the dark brown square for Grandmother Purl (the needles were to big for a nice neat look). So progress is nearly invisible to the naked eye. Maybe if you point a telescope at the picture you'll see a mm here or there.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yarny goodness ahead.

The blue scarf is no more. Today I'm washing it to relax the kinks.

More dyed yarns for my LYS.
From the left, Shades of Tulip, New Creamsicle, Glacier, Violet Twilight, Raspberries in Oatmeal and Superior's Waves. A better picture of the colours tomorrow.

The small skeins in the background are the relaxed yarn from the scarves I took apart the other day. It's even softer now and definitly an animal fibre. I did a burn test, a bleach test and it relaxed so fast that it must be an animal fibre.

The hand towel in this post was made with Paton's Cotton Top (MC) and Sugar 'n' Cream cotton (CC). If you want to make one, just find a nice slubby worsted weight cotton and get knitting. Any small stitch pattern (no more than four rows, six if you want a wide stripe) would do the job as contrast stripes with garter stitch for the main part of the towel. I do like the two different colours, but if you wanted to do a one colour towel, you could try using an all over reversible pattern for the main part and garter stitch or basket weave for the contrast stripe.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Another score.

I went to the Salvation Army here in town yesterday and look what I found. Some books, cotton yarns, and scarves. These scarves are handknit. They seem to be wool and very well done, but the blue one is scratchy and they are both too wide and short for my taste, so a-ripping I will go. If you are the knitter, I'm sorry. You have really even tension and the stitch pattern is perfect for a nice warm scarf.

One down, one to go. This yarn is really nice stuff. Soft, springy and warm. Whoever the original knitter was, they have great taste in yarn. I think I'll turn this into a nice long scarf that's a bit narrower than the originals. I'm planning on turning the blue ones into a nice felted purse.

I even found a baggie full of buttons. Some are way too small for knit items, but some are good finds.

Some pretty metal and wood ones. I see earth colours in soft yarns someday.

Some funky blue ones that would look perfect on a cream or soft blue sweater.

I love that the Salvation Army cuts the buttons off of shirts and skirts that can't be used. Nothing good is wasted.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Advantages to living in the sticks.

If it wasn't for the Hydro pole, you wouldn't even know that there was a road just over the hill.

Time is so relative. I don't feel like 33 is old, but this fence does. I remember when it was fairly new.

Fall in the sticks is pretty.

Most of this will still be green when the snow flies and the leaves finish falling. Helps to keep the worst of the winter blues away for me if I can still see colour when I look out the windows.

Never say die, even when you are covered in pothole "repairs".

Finally finished this towel. It only took forever. Perhaps if I had a decent attention span, it would have gone faster. Yes, the contrast stripes are different, because I completely forgot how I did the first one and my notes were so horrific, I couldn't read them. Sigh, learn to write quickly and neatly.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Random bits of cuteness, actual knitting too!

Girly loves Mommy's heels, especially the really high ones.

My old measuring tape is a favourite toy around here. Sam will even root through my knitting bag to try to find it.

What do you mean I'm not a seal?

Make sure my paws are in there too.

One square for Grandmother Purl. This yarn is amazingly tough stuff. I've had to rip it about five times already and it still looks good. but now I've finally gotten it 8" wide and looking decent. More as I progress.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I love Canadian T.V.

This is Emily Yeung Learning how to Knit a Beanbag.

This is Emily Yeung Being Patient.

This is Emily Yeung Knitting.

This is Emily Yeung Playing with her Knit Beanbag.

Those are the actual titles of the shows "chapters".

Sam wants in on the Sleeping Olympics (You'll have to scroll down a bit, I can't get the trackback to work right). He's pretty sure he can win the weird positions event.

Q and A time again!

Kristy asks:
Dorothy, is it me or are you being intentionally vague about this "ringleader" and "a parcel to send up north". Have I missed something?

Yep, vague intentional. You will all find out eventually.


This pattern (Girly's Skinny Squishy Scarf, over in the sidebar) is super cute. Are you going to ditch the previous incarnation of the ISE scarf?

No, I am going to do that one and a chenille one, and decide which is softest and nicest. I hope, I am running out of time though!

Kathleen asks:
I'm in for the seeds and the fundraising... How do I convert my US$ to CN$? Will paypal do it for me?

Yes, Paypal will convert currencies. Whenever you are ready to pay for something, you just have to click on the select currency button. Canadian is CAD dollars.

Holly asks:
Great that you joined the choir. That can be lots of fun. Is your birthday the 6th of Dec.? Mine is too!

Yes. Just for Katy who loves her the numbers, on the 12th month, of the 6th day, I will be 33.

Dorothy writes:

my two cents. the holiday season is when folks feel generous and want to give to others. so when someone unexpectedly gives you a present, say thank you very much. and that's that. if they are truly in the holiday spirit, your gracious acknowledgement and delight are all they need. if they are keeping tally and get pissed that you don't reciprocate? well who needs them?

once I realised that the only reason such moments are awkward or nightmarish were because I made them so, then I realised I could change my attitude. the holidays are a lot less stressful as a result.

I do not give presents consistently, nor do I keep score. Some years it's a book, or jam, or cookies, sometimes nothing. sometimes I give a friend something at a random time of year, just because it feels right. I never expect reciprocation.

if folks gives me a present and gets their feeling bent, well, that's their problem. if they are really offering a gift, they are not really wanting to add to my stress, are they?

you live in a remote area, maintain a home, are raising a little one, and it seems you sometimes take care of other little ones? (I infer from your blog). you don't have the time nor the money to feel like you have to add someone to your gift list. If you want to, well that's another story.

when you have the time and energy to plan ahead, have fun making a few extra things, when it is a joy to create and share something, that's good. I'm just saying if it feels like a stressful obligation... that's something to think about.

In my head I know all this and most of my friends know our situation and don't expect anything, but my secret little heart always dreams of seeing a look of happy delight when a friend opens a gift you've made with your own two hands. Too many years of being too poor to give have left their mark and now I want to give all that I can to try to make up for all the years when all I could do was take and be grateful. My own hang up, I know. I try not to pass it on.

Katy asks:

What does Girly get paid for modeling? I think a good whopping$10,000/day like Linda Evangelista. Pretty yarn. Prettier model.

We pay her with Candian Tire money even though she is prettier than Linda Evangelista IMHO.

Finally a fast recipe that keeps well and makes a fabulous gift.

You need:

- 1 pound of Belgium Dark Chocolate (I go to the bulk food store and buy it in large chunks the chips have too much butter in them to work properly. White and milk chocolate work just as well)
- 2 cups of Rice Krispies or other puffed rice cereal (Most bulk food stores have a bin of that too.)
- 1 bag of Peppermint Candies about 3/4 of a pound (the green, red and white kind) (Again with the bulk food store. The red and white kind taste exactly the same. I just like lots of colour.)
- parchment paper

Line a large cookie sheet (it needs to have sides) with the parchment paper. Unwrap and beat the crap out of the candies until they are chunks. Don't go too crazy and turn them into powder though. I stick them in a Ziplock freezer bag, wrap it loosely in a towel and bang away with a hammer.
Put an inch or two of water in a pot and get it to a simmer. Meanwhile chop the chocolate into small chunks and put it in a large metal or other heat proof bowl. Don't get even a tiny drop of water in with the chocolate or it will turn into useless crumby stuff. Still tasty, but useless.
Put the bowl of chocolate on top of the pot of simmering water and stir once in a while until it's completely smooth. It should take about 5 minutes. Take the bowl off the heat and for heaven's sake, use oven mitts because that sucker will be hot!
Stir in cereal and spread evenly over the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with the candy chunks (use the powder in the bottom of the bag too). Put a piece of parchment paper on top of it all and gently press the candy chunks into the chocolate mixture. Chill in the fridge for no more than 1/2 hour. If you leave it in too long, the candy will start to get soft.
Peel the paper off, break into chunks and try not to eat too much at once.

I get pretty boxes from the dollar store, fill it with the chocolate, tie a bow on it and use this as gifts.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Good morning, Saturday.

Sunrise time was 06:57am. I was about a 1/2 hour late for the party.

It's supposed to be a nice sunshiney day today.

The girly is all better now. So are we. The Mr. was feeling pretty queasy night before and last night, but when I called him at work this morning, he said he feels much better. I actually got a decent sleep and am functioning this morning. We have learned, when purchasing chicken, completely ignore what they say about being able to keep it in the fridge. Apparently up here (five-seven hours from chicken processing plants) chicken at the "fresh" market should be considered to be near the end of it's shelf life and frozen immediately. Thaw just before use and cooked to brittle dryness.

P.S. I love Yarn magazine! I skimmed through it when I first got it, but now I am poring every word. What a well written magazine! I believe I will be adding a subscripton wish to my SP9 questionnaire.

P.P.S. I just found out that Whose Lace is it Anyway? may repeat itself next year. I'm in for sure!

Friday, September 22, 2006

My day is all better now.

I just got back from checking the post and there was my Lace Swap from Leeanne.

She even gift-wrapped it!

Inside I found, 4 balls of Panda Regal 4 Ply Cotton in laceweight, a pair of Pony 3.25mm knitting needles, a measuring tape (I'm so glad to get this, mine was only 40" long and has been missing it's case for nearly two years. This is a 60" retractable.), some chocolate treats (very tasty) and Yarn magazine. Great magazine!

The yarn is a pretty lavender that looks very nice on me.

Here are a few of the patterns I'm planning on trying out from Yarn magazine. This beautiful lace shrug ...

... this cute little baby shrug. How cute is that baby? Those are very pinchable cheeks!

Some Bushwalker socks. How appropriate for up here. I believe I will try to cast these on soon so the Mr. has some warm socks for hunting season.

Thank you so much Leeanne! This really made my day better and I love everything you sent.


The Girly's eye is less puffy this morning so we are hopeful that she is out of danger and on the mend. Yay!

The Girly's Mommy on the other hand, must have had some not nice chicken last night. It was a rough night from 3:00am on and I'm very tired this morning. My appetite is back and I am feeling better, but so tired. Naptime is pretty soon, Thank God!

I had a nice visit with a couple of girlfriends last night and we made some plans for our ringleader. I hope she likes what we have planned. Now, I just have to get my hands on some stuff and do up a parcel to send up north.

Maybe some pictures another time, too tired to try to do all the hooking up and uploading today.

Have a better day than I am, please!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Service with a big ol' smile.

Monday afternoon I called Threads in Time (website-less) in Thunder Bay, Ontario and ordered some chenille yarns from Lynne the Friendly. I already had the ball of orange, but it was feeling lonely and I kept seeing it mixed in with all the other colours it had been stacked with in the store. Yesterday I opened the mailbox to see all this. Now that, my friends, is service! Crazy, super fast and beautifully friendly service.
So today I will be in the corner snuggling some velvety chenille in these fabulous colours. I may even practice a carol or two for them.

Of course the snuggling will have to commence after I take the Girly to the doctor. We don't know what happened here. Last night we noticed her eye was a bit puffy, but it didn't seem to be bothering her and we figured she had just poked herself or rubbed it too hard. This morning, this is what it looks like. We are waiting until Daddy's shift is done and when he gets home, off to the Doctor we go. I'm pretty sure it's nothing, but I don't like to mess around with eyesight.

UPDATE: The doctor says to keep an eye on it for now. He doesn't think it's bad, he says it could turn into pink eye or go away as fast as it puffed up. He thinks it's most likey a fur stuck in there that hasn't been flushed yet or an allergy to something. Worst case scenario is if she suddenly starts complaining about pain, developes a fever and starts throwing up. Then it's a mad dash to Emergency and an Antibiotic I.V. I should know for absolute sure in two to three days. So now, it's the waiting game. I may sleep again next week sometime.

Edited to Add: I've fixed the link about the Relay for Life in yesterday's post.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A warning of future begging.

First there is the current begging going on. The squares for Crazy Aunt Purl's grandmother. This is one of the buttons that will be going up as soon as they get a chance to really sit down and add a whack of stuff to the Grandmother Purl website. I heart Frankie. She's a Superstar!

Of course I want Mr. Hakim to get a lap blanket too and in my secret heart of hearts, I want him to get a bed cover too. I feel for him. I know the lonely, but my lonely is for an adult to talk to for longer than two hours and I get the wish every seven days when the Mr. is off work for his seven. I also get you commenting and reading this blog. Mr. Hakim can't talk or type and he doesn't get visitors every seven days for seven days in a row. So of course, I will be knitting as many squares as I can and still get them there on time. I'm starting on one now and will be going hard once my yarn gets here. Some of my sock yarn is getting eyeballed too. It might as well go for something since I haven't managed to get past the toe or cuff of a sock yet.

Now, the future begging. If you've read last night's post, you may have an inkling of what is coming.

First, I am going to package up seeds from my girls and sell them to anyone who wants some. I have to do all the counting and packing and printing off of labels yet, but I am thinking that I will put 10 seeds in each package and charge $2.50 (Canadian currency) a package + $2.00 shipping. $1.00 of which I will be donating to the Lymphoma Foundation. The rest will be yarn and Christmas money. You will be getting organically grown sunflower seeds from some loved and very tough girls. They grew, flowered and produced very lovely babies even in the midst of a carpet of weeds. I am too lazy of a gardener to weed, so of course I am too lazy to do all that pesticide/herbicide spraying and crazy fertilizing.

Second, remember the Relay for Life in June past? Next year I will be walking in honour my best girl and my other best girl who lost her father to cancer three days ago. I am warning you now, not only do I want to raise a fortune for Cancer research, but I want to smash the previous records for money raised in Sioux Lookout's event. Last year the event raised $91,350 and I don't remember the exact amount, but the person who raised the most money, raised somewhere around $1,300. I want to raise more, lots more.
My personal goal is $3,000 in pledges so at the end of April (hopefully I can put it up that early), I will be putting up a pledge sheet and I am hoping we can reach my goal. Just warning you now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Very bad news.

I am on the phone with my best girl. She was my Maid of Honour. She has just told me that she has a form of Lymphoma and it's not a good one. It is the size of her fist and has wrapped itself around one of her heart ventricles. Pray for her.

Some good, much sadness though.

Some good things from yesterday. The Girly had her first dentist appointment yesterday. She did us proud. She sat on Daddy's lap and opened wide for the dentist, no fuss, no complaints at all. The dental hygenist walked into the room halfway through and stopped in her tracks, amazed. She was even more surprised to hear that the Girly is just two years old. That would be the good thing about a very curious child. She loves to learn and she is more often than not, fascinated at what doctors and photographers do.

I joined a choir last night. It's a community choir called the Festival of Carols and it meets up every year at this time to learn Christmas songs. There are 11 practices in total every Monday night until the final public performance on December 3. One in the afternoon, one in the evening. Three days before my birthday.
Thing is, I almost never sing. Not in public, not at home, not even in the car. I used to sing a lot, but only when I was alone. The odd time I will sing along with one of the kid shows theme songs, the kids like it when I do that, but it's not like you get your best voice out for that. My throat hurts today and except for the Halleluia chorus (An Advent Alleluia) and Do You Hear What I Hear, I've never heard most of these songs. Even worse, I can't read sheet music and I have issues with knowing how long to hold a note. The only reason I decide to join (other than getting to leave the house once a week for something other than errands) is that I learn songs fairly easily. Sigh, I hope the choir director has a whack of patience though.

Meet my newest girl Wish. She is the last wistful rememberances of summer along with all the wishes for a speedy return.

The sad. The birds discovered my girls. A flock of blackbirds nearly cleaned Hope right out. See that dark triangle at the top of her and the narrow ring around the outside? That's what's left of her babies. I managed to save some, but nowhere near what I was hoping for. At least I have some though. They are drying now.

I managed to save most of Bustle's. The oddly shaped white part are her babies.

Joy (right) and Chary (left) still have most of their babies, but they are really small babies. I may be able to use some of the larger ones on the outsides then I'll put the small ones back outside for the birds.

Nexus is full, and her seeds are growing, but they need more time, so she is wearing a windchime to help scare the birds away from her. She may actually make it to delivery! I'm going to have to get more windchimes for next year. Pretty, beautiful music and functional all at once it doesn't get better than that.

Once all the girls are finished, I'm going to lay the stalks on the garden and next spring, I'll rent a Roto-tiller and plow them in so they fertilize the soil for next year's flowers. The cycle of life right in my garden.

There is a rainbow there if you look closely. The cool thing about this is that it has landed on the rooftop of that house. I could see the colours on the shingles. I guess home is the treasure at the end of the rainbow for them.