Monday, February 28, 2005


Further Giftage

Most recently in this merry round of material celebration, last week I received, along with the mohair blend and the cotton, a gift from Rebecca

Noro Silk Garden. Enough for a multidirectional scarf. I don't happen to LIKE the multidirectional scarf and will do something else with this, but there's enough for that should I feel the urge.

There is not, however, enough to make this monstrosity:

This is one of the featured ensembles of the second part of the package she sent: Botany College Hand Knits for Men and Women. I'm pretty sure that one's intended for a woman. The inside of the cover says "copyright 1958" but I don't think the book is quite that old.

It's certainly hardly anything recent. I love it quite madly and had I the time or the talent, I would make this and send it to her as a "thank you". What rising young executive waltzing around Washington, DC, would not leap at the opportunity to wear such an outfit?

Hopping back to the first picture, you may observe some feet lurking under the desk. Keep an eye on those feet. You'll be seeing them later.

Whilst Miz Rebecca is shaking her pantieless, Jones-of-New-York-encased booty all around your nation's capital in an attempt to recover from the contumely heaped upon her in her last job, she has asked me to fill in with a little guest blogging.

Watch for the feet over yonder in a day or so; they're going to feature fairly prominently in this week's theme.

Right after my first post, of course. I think I'm going to go for "Deconstruction of Dishcloth Design".

Ya think?

Sunday, February 27, 2005


I Don't Do Nothin'

This has been a busy weekend.

I got called in to work on Saturday night for the graveyard shift from midnight to 8am. This is good, as we need the cash, however this is also the weekend on which a) I had to take care of my daughter pretty much single-handedly due to my husband having a mid-term on Monday and needing to study for it and b) there was a big event for the charity thingie I do, down at a local craft store.

I usually put in about sixteen hours each weekend when this event is running, however, due to all of the bits and pieces going on in my life right now, I jammed out on the Saturday event, choosing instead to keep in touch by phone that day, and to just attend on the Sunday.

My mother wasn't sure what day I was going, and showed up on the Saturday to see if I was there (the parental units usually drop in to say hi during this event. They often know some of the people involved and have been very helpful in carting stuff around while my car has been in sick bay.) Anyhow, she showed up on the Saturday and was told by one of the ladies there that I don't go to these events, I "just pick up the work we do at the end of the event."

I'm not sure who it was who ran the entire event last time when the store neglected to schedule an employee to take care of it. Guess I'm delusional and just thought I spent about fifteen hours making coffee and buying doughnuts out of my own pocket.

For those of you who have been playing along at home, you may well be aware that the stress levels around here have often hit the "Danger Will Robinson" mark on the K-Tel Stress-O-Matic of late, and that I would be more than delighted to relinquish several of the responsibilities in my life. (I've even withdrawn from my college studies for the rest of this term to take some of the pressure off).

Seeing I "don't do nothin'", I'm rather hoping that this lady will be kind enough to forward her name and address to me so I can take all of the paperwork and the half-a-truck full of blankets, squares, material and yarn over to HER house for storage. Then she can do the nothin' that I've been doing for years, and I can get back to knitting these damned dishcloths. She can even have my cell phone.

I suspect, however, that this will not come to pass, and this is just another item of misinformation and false hope, deliberately circulated by the Office of W.T. Fuck.

I'm not actually pissed, I just thought it was amusing. Wonder how she'll feel when the story comes out in the paper and my fat little face is in the middle of it, seeing the reporter came on the Sunday afternoon?

I admit to a small twinge of uncharitable pleasure at the thought.

There were several good things to this weekend, not least of which was the fact that this event netted our charity nine complete blankets, and the squares and yarn to make several more were taken home by the ladies in attendance. These will trickle back over the next couple of months, and should total about another 10-15 blankets.

Each knitted blanket represents about 110 hours of work and each crocheted one rings in at about 60 hours. There are a lot of folks who should be proud of themselves around this neck of the woods.

Most of the people who help out are seniors, although we have women (and a few men) in their 20s helping out, and one of the big contributors the last two years has been a private school whose grade 7-12 girls have been knitting up a storm.

Little Miss Disparaging Realtor who was here yesterday was looking at the boxes of yarn and squares and the piles of blankets and asked if I had thought of asking anyone else involved if they would offer me storage space (gee, no, thanks for mentioning it!). I said that many of the people involved were seniors in smaller homes and didn't have the space to offer and she sniffed and said "well yes, it WOULD be mostly old people who would do this sort of thing."

Yes. Only old decrepit grannies with nothing else to do in their lives would do something as time-wasting as knit, hmm? I'm just waiting for her to tell me that she'll "let me knit her a sweater" (yes, I've heard that line before, as have likely most of you). I'll have a price list ready. At the rate at which I knit, she's gonna have to pay me about $400 for a simple pullover. And it's gonna be made out of acrylic.

One of the other good things was that I got another dishcloth finished for that order that the lady wants (please note one more item on sidebar tally) and I got a couple inches into the next one. I'm using the red/green/white variegated Lynne sent and ... well ... remember how Rebecca was rudely commenting that my dishcloths were so bad that they wouldn't just make her eyes bleed, they would make her DISHES bleed? This is the worst one ever. I think this would make the dishes actually commit suicide. Even I am having trouble with this one and I'm notoriously tasteless.

The REALLY sad thing is that I secretly sort of like it, too.

The worst thing is that I just admitted it. In public. And I'm sober.

Another fantastic thing is that my daughter is clearly some sort of creative genius. This evening she took it into her head to make a book. She found a bunch of blank paper, stapled it together, taped a picture I had painted to the front of it and then "wrote" her story on all of the subsequent pages. The writing doesn't actually have any letters in it, it all looks like brightly coloured seagulls, but it's still pretty damned impressive for a four-year-old.

Not that I'm prejudiced or anything.

I'll let you all know when her first book signing is scheduled.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Bad In A Past Life

I warn you now, dear readers, watch what you do in this life; you may well pay for it in the next.

I have come to the conclusion that I must have been very, very bad in my last life. How else can one explain the horde of Visigoths who came leaping gaily through my small, cluttered home early this morning? (OK, there were only four people and it was 11am. This is my story. Shut up.)

They kept merrily chattering about how they were just "doing a market comparison" before buying another apartment building, and "checking to see where they could replace the kitchen cabinets" but I think we all know how much we believe that sort of shit, Chéz Lapin.

I reminded them, politely, as they poked into every nook and cranny of my home, making disparaging remarks about the amount of stuff I still have not yet unpacked, that in fact we have a lease to December, and whether or not the property is sold, that lease is unbreakable.

I hope I also managed to imply that, (seeing I wouldn't mind living somewhere larger and there's something I want coming up fairly soon) I could be bribed to agree to early termination of the lease.


Another indication of my prior evilness is the fact that the clog-dancers upstairs are going to be here for at least another two months.

They were supposed to move out this week, but it appears that their new home is not yet ready for occupancy.

Right now they are doing some sort of unnecessary home repair that sounds somewhat like a foghorn. Or a moose in heat. I wonder if they're participating in the at-home-moose-breeding program run by 4H?

Feh. FEH, I say.

The clearest indicator of my transgressions, however, is the package I received this week from Lynne

Observe the huge quantity. Observe the green. The green that is unfortunately truly represented in this picture.

Since the beginning of my "stashbusting" project I have completed 12 items. I have also sent three balls of Patons Canadiana to Jen, sent something fun to Michael and sent two skeins of lambswool to Ann.

Therefore I'm technically nineteen balls down, no?

No. In that same time I have also received 20 balls of cotton, 2 balls of Moonlight Mohair, purchased 5 balls of stuff for my birthday and have received the two balls of something else fun I'm going to photograph for tomorrow.

That makes me, after three months of dedicated stashbusting, ten balls ahead of where I started. This means, logically, if I keep up this pace for another year, I will be 40 balls UP.

Thank dog math isn't my strong suit.

Friday, February 25, 2005


Why Sure! Come On Over!

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I am the third worst housekeeper in the world. I might be the first two as well, judging by the mess around here.

I'm messy, I'm not usually dirty, but due to a great lack of support in the domestic arena of late (like the last eight and a half years), the house was in an astonishing state of filth this week -- and believe me, if I think "filthy", you're gonna be thinking "biohazard".

Either last night or the night before I looked around in absolute despair, thinking "Oh my dog, my complete and utter worst nightmare would be if the landlord wanted to come over any time soon. There's no way I can find time to clean this."

And then this morning the phone rang. At 8am. With the aforementioned landlord asking if he could bring a realtor over at 11:30.

Why sure! A realtor! With no notice!

I put him off until tomorrow morning, seeing I have the legal right to 24 hours' notice (and if I was being twatzilla again I could have insisted on said notice being in writing, but I'm ok today) but I'm spending most of tonight scraping the filth off the walls (no, it's not that bad!) so that my home can be sold out from under me ... 'cause I think we all know what the word "realtor" means, no?

I have therefore neglected to take photos of all of the wondrous giftage that has come my way in the last few weeks, however I do happen to have a photo of the two skeins of Moonlight Mohair I won from the good folks at Lion Brand yarns, via The Yarn Harlot's page.


So, you think I should eat it or make a scarf with it?

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Tagged Again

I've been tagged again, this time by Justy. I don't mind 'cause I'm a total attention whore, however the problem is, it's a TV meme. I don't watch TV. I mean ever.

TV Meme:

1. How much space is left on your Tivo or Comcast box?

I don't have either. Actually I'm such an ass that I don't know what they are.

2. Have you ever bought a DVD of a TV series and if so which one?


3. What was the last TV show that you all watched before reading this message?

My daughter watched the Jetsons. It was something about a singing plant.

4. List 5 shows you won't miss.

Um, I watched Six Feet Under a few times and liked it. I like South Park as well but I never watch it. Is it still on? And that Home Movies cartoon thingie is funny. I like coach McGurk. But I don't even know when it's on and on what channel, I just catch it when Ben watches it.

5. Name 3 people to whom you will pass this stick.

Nobody. I'm too embarrassed at being so damned lame.

But I am grateful for being tagged tonight 'cause it was a nice fast post. I can't shake this cold and I'm heading to bed (before ten again!) but I couldn't leave y'all postless.

Stay tuned tomorrow for visions of exciting giftage!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Meeting Expectations

I hate meetings. I hate meetings with a passion. I think just about the biggest time-waster in the universe is the "meeting".

I spent the day in meetings today. Being a peon, I actually have to pay attention during these meetings and can't even knit, seeing I'm the one who takes the minutes.

The first meeting of the day was actually a very good one, however it started a little earlier than I like to have to function (as in before noon). Fortunately there were buckets of coffee available. By 2pm and the end of the second meeting I hadn't had lunch, or any sort of a break, and had turned into a complete and utter twat.

Twatzilla, in fact.

I wasn't an awful lot of use for the rest of the day.

You may not find it particularly surprising, then, to discover that when my husband came home and started telling me about some obscure scientific shit about an invisible universe, that I pulled a full-fledged Basil Fawlty and started ranting "That's not a fucking invisible universe, you gormless Welsh TIT! It's a fucking BIG BLANK SPACE in the fucking SKY!"

I hope Professor Davies will be able to forgive me at some point.

There are, however, some paths upon which even I have not yet trod. Trodden. Walked. (Damn I hate when I try to sound high-falutin' and get too lazy to look it up.) For instance, I have never told a young man that unless he gave me his lunch money, I would circumsize him with a garden rake.

I have never used an innocent knitting magazine as a vehicle for blatant homoerotic imagery.

And I have never made a child wear a tea-cosy on his or her head in public.

I believe I can still hold my head up in polite society.

If I can ever find any.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Enough Foolishness!

Well, no, there's never REALLY enough foolishness.

Today's foolishness is the latest Google search string that led someone to this blog: "antoinette-dingdong photos".

Not only was I unaware that I had ever used this combination of words on my blog, but I was unaware that anyone would SEARCH for anything this odd. I wonder what they were looking for. I wonder if they found it.

Enquiring minds want to know.

But, strange searches aside, the foolishness to which I was referring was my argument with Rebecca. She wins. Hands down. She is the Knitting Queen and I, I am the Dishcloth Drab.

There, I admitted it. I'll be taking donations towards the therapy sessions.

The reason for my sudden and uncharacteristic capitulation is the fact that I am all in a frenzy over a recent development in my life. Today I seem to have managed to scoop a fleece. An entire fleece. A FREE fleece.

Or two.

Now, as many of you know (and as the rest of you are about to find out), I would love dearly to learn to spin. I have not yet had the time to do so, or the wherewithal to purchase carding combs and a spindle (or, my dream, a wheel).

So why, you may well ask, am I considering taking on a project as monumental as cleaning, carding and spinning an entire fleece?

Well, for one, it's free.

For another, I welcome a challenge.

I don't know yet what sort of quality this fleece is, or what kind of sheep it will come from, but one of the men at work has a farm and raises sheep and border collies. He didn't say WHY exactly he raises sheep, but he muttered something about them "not being wool sheep" which, to my keen mind, means that they either are for eating or work at an escort service.

I don't need to know which.

Anyhow, he gives these fleeces away, seeing it's not his main reason for raising sheep, and he will be happy to let me have some.

As soon as I find out what kind of sheep and if the wool is a) spinnable and b) worth having, I shall report back.

In the meantime, I'm breathless.

But not speechless. Duh.

Monday, February 21, 2005


My Fate is Sealed

Alas, dear readers, it would seem that my doom is impending, which sort of sucks as I was having a good (for me) hair day, too.

I had also just discovered the very spiffy fact that I look almost identical to my grandmother -- a woman who passed away about twenty-five years before I was born.

But it would seem that because of my excessive slackage, my ugly dishcloths, my fear of cabling and the fact that everyone likes me more than they like her, Rebecca is planning on flying to British Columbia and, allegedly, ramming a cabling needle through my nose.

I don't think it would be all that attractive.

Do you?

Sunday, February 20, 2005


And Now, A Moment of Silence ...

... preceded by a fair amount of screaming.

Samuel W. Alderson, the inventor of crash test dummies that are used to make cars, parachutes and other devices safer, has died at the age of 90. He passed away in his home, apparently of complications from myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder.

I'm going to honour his passing by going out and driving my van into a telephone pole.

In other, unrelated news, Hunter S. Thompson has also died, an apparent suicide. I never read any of his stuff, but my husband is gonna be pissed about it.

You'd think he would have thought of that first.


The Most Colossal Bitch From Hell

Yes, according to Rebecca, that is my new title.

Just because I tagged her for a meme. And just because she is jealous of my amazing dishcloth-knitting ability. Observe, the latest dishcloth, finished last night:

Isn't it beauteous? Luxurious? An affront to all non-colour-blind people everywhere?

Yes, indeedie. Jealous. She is clearly jealous of the fact that I finished this in just two days, despite my horrendous injury:

(Look closely. It was worse yesterday. Honest.)

Jealous of the fact that some months I can earn up to THIRTY DOLLARS (Canadian) with my amazing skills.

And, most of all, jealous of my sheepie jammies:

in which I spent nearly all of Saturday.

Be kind to her, people. How could she not be jealous?

I'll bet you are, too.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Out of Order

I'm going to be gone Friday night -- working two graveyard shifts this weekend -- so I won't be able to post, and I know you'll all be wracked with grief, so I leave you with this picture of a bunniebum:

Gonna get lots of knitting time in, maybe finish two dishcloths and work on a 2x2 rib scarf for Dulaan Project.

Yeah, I know there's a lot to be done right here at home, and I'm doing it, believe me, but I think I can find time for a scarf or two and maybe a couple of hats.

I wonder if the Mongolians like orange acrylic?

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Rage Against The Obscene

In a recent email from that boy (who, incidentally, will soon be the proud owner of this fleece:

which I purchased lovingly at the Puyallup Fair in September and which he subsequently won in The Yarn Harlot's Save the Universe contest, I became aware of a horrible new trend. An execration. An offense against all borderline-cirrhotic rabbits everywhere. To wit: The Sake-tini.

I like sake. I like it hot. I like it warm. I also had some very good cold sake when I was in Japan in 1991.

I'm pretty sure that I would not like it as a slushie, or frozen on a stick. I'm quite sure I wouldn't like it mixed with Kool-Aid. I especially do not believe that I would like it cold, mixed with gin and olives and shit.

I hasten to add here that it is in no way implied anywhere that one should mix actual shit into this drink, but really, dude, who would notice?

Having become aware of this outrage, I must say that it's a lot easier to accept my imminent Death by Dishcloth.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Oops, Tagged Again!

Well, I was all prepared to post a picture of the wonderful giftage I got from the funky folks over at Lion Brand for joining The Yarn Harlot's quest to save the world, and then toss in a muttered reference to a dishcloth or two and maybe a UFO sighting and a mention of a new boy in town, and then the eminently nasty La decided to whap me with one of those freakin' questionnaires. One in which I'm going to look even more assish than usual, which is why I refer to someone of whom I am exceptionally fond as "eminently nasty".

OK, I'm a good sport, if a foul-mouthed one. Here we go:

Do you knit using the English or Continental Method?

Fucked if I know. What's the difference? I really have never ever looked it up. I just do this thingie and the yarn goes together and then I stop, cry a little, rip it out, have another beer and start again.

I think that may be the Scottish method (I was born there).

How long ago did you learn to knit?

Well, according to many, there's a good chance that I haven't done so yet, but I actually started finishing things three or so years ago.

Who taught you how?

The whole story? (And no, I can't just answer the freakin' question so shut up.)

My grandmother and her sisters used to own a wool shop in Sutton-In-Ashfield and my grandmother was a fantastic knitter. She's been gone um, 25 or something years and I still have some of the clothes she knit for my dolls. She tried, patiently and endlessly to teach me. I couldn't learn. I almost managed to make a scarf for Teddy. I think I made a coaster for my other grandmother once, but I had to have help casting on and off.

My mother is a knitter, she makes great sweaters. She tried to teach me. I couldn't learn.

Then one day I decided to do it. So I learned. Maybe three or a bit more years ago. I've never made anything difficult, though. I've always been too scared to try because secretly I'm a Great Big Wienerdog.

My biggest help and inspiration has been my friend Ann, even though we've never met in person. She's good at explaining in words what I'm supposed to be doing with these bits of string. Thanks, Ann!

What was your first FO?

Oh god. I dunno. Prolly a dishcloth *g*.

Actually no, it was either the green kid's sweater from that I posted before or possibly a blue toque with a seed-stitch brim. It lives in California with my friend mica now

Favourite yarn?

I've done most of my knitting in ACKrylic. The majority of my knitting goes to people who vomit on themselves (winos, crackhos and babies ... and one of my co-workers) and I strongly believe in suiting the yarn to the project. For instance you really don't want to use cashmere for a newborn. They leak at both ends.

That being said, I've recently started getting into "better" fibers, for want of a better word (although I'd be the first to push a yarn snob under a train for dissing my dishcloths). I'm making a Sophie bag in some gorgeous hand-spun Lopi that I got at the Puyallup Fair and I'm pretty much in love with it. I'd do me that again.

Favourite pattern you've knit so far?

There's a difference between favourite pattern and favourite item. I don't know if I have a favourite pattern yet, I've done so little fancystuff. Maybe the baby hat I converted into an adult hat. I've made quite a few of those and they're very warm and fast to make.

The favourite item is the evil pig slippers I made for my brother.

Favourite Pattern Source?

Free stuff on the internet, vintage patterns, and stuff I get from Ann.

Favourite Needles?

Addi Turbos. Circs and straights. I love 'em.

Nicest thing you've ever knit?

Nicest? I don't know. The most meaningful item is the blanket I made as a memorial when I lost my second child the month I turned 40 (miscarriage, 11 weeks, it was bad but I'm ok now). This blanket was given to a daycare on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, where there are a lot of disadvantaged kids.

Most hated project?

Oh man, there are a lot of things that have hopped back to the frog pond. Likely the "cuddly blanket" from HGTV. A lot of work, I got about 1/4 of the way through and it's languishing in a bag somewhere, never to be completed. I don't even have a photo of it, thank dog.

Who are you going to pass this on to?

Oh, I think Ann and then Juno 'cause they're both good sports and I think they'll play along and then Rebecca because she made a snarky comment about my dishcloths, and I like her a lot.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Gung Hay Cat Choy

OK, I'm a couple days late, and this is a dreadfully lame post, but it's the best I could come up with.

I'm sick as a dog. Or a cat in an embroidered Chinese vest that my daughter thought would work like a horse blanket ...

Back to bed for this little rabbitch.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Happy Ballantine's Day


Tell someone you love them, with a card from here

Really. I did.


Ooh Ooh Ooh, Lookin' Out My Front Door

According to the local news site:



Mostly Cloudy 1 °

Hi 6 °
Lo -1 °

According to my front yard:


And lastly, looking straight up at the trees:

Hmm, these things always post way darker than they look on my computer, but I think you get the idea.

Who are you going to believe? The news station website, or my front yard?

Yeah, me too.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Cotton-Eyed Josephine

I was trying to clear this hole that I call home today, and found this:

Yes, nestled in the top drawer of my "stash cabinet" (one of many) was another 400 gram ball of variegated cotton. About 8 balls' worth.

Fine, I thought. Just fine. I'll post this and then we'll all have a great big chuckle and go on about our business, si?

And then, dear dog, I found this:

Another 47 balls of cotton in pinks and écru and cream and all of that.

Jesus gay (to quote Juno). I have 175 balls of cotton that I'm ADMITTING to, and I found more in the store room today, too.

I'm pretty sure this is some sort of illness.

Speaking of illness, the bronchitis is just sort of lurking; nothing really horrible has come of it. I think it may have just been weariness, but I crashed HARD for 10 hours on Saturday (didn't even hear the phone, and I'm the sort who wakes up if a butterfly farts outside my window) and then slept another five or six hours today. I think I'll make it.

On a stash-busting front (and I'm thinking of upping that item total to 200 before I even count the balls of yarn I have here!) I started on the Hallowig from Knitty in purple.

I hate it. I hate most of Knitty's stuff, which is why I'm not linking here (I always think it's crass to link if you're dissing someone) but I have a friend who just had cancer surgery, (yeah, the lady I made the boob for) and she liked this when she saw it and asked for one. I'm thinking of decorating it with some bizarre pansies I have in one of my Jean Greenhowe books if I ever find the patience to make something that fiddly.

And if I have enough yarn.

Saturday, February 12, 2005



Survived the night, but because of the honest misunderstanding with hubby, didn't get any sleep and came home with bronchitis.

Bronchitis, and a renewed commitment to quitting at least one of these three jobs in the very near future.


Friday, February 11, 2005


She's Come Undone

Ayup. The Boa/Matrix scarf I was making for the woman who drives me to work came off the needles in my travels. Damn Susan Bates needles anyhow. I'm not going to try to pick it up, that's just too annoying with yarn like this. I'm going to see if I can frog it, reknit it with TWO strands of the Matrix for a little more pink in the mix, and do it on my nice new wooden needles (which I have never used before).

You will note on my sidebar that I have now finished NINE items. Yes. Another dishcloth. No picrure -- lucky you!

I'm sick as a dog and heading off to work an 8-hour graveyard shift (after an 8-hour day shift with no sleep in between because my husband seems to have been delayed coming home ...) so I'm hoping, if I don't stab myself to death with my Addis, to have another one finished tonight. I'm about 14 rows from the end.

Don't count on it, though; I'm toast.

With butter.

Thursday, February 10, 2005



Well. I guess I should have been a little clearer in yesterday's rant but well, you know ... I was drunk.

Or at least I had three beers while I was writing it.

Anyhow, I'm sorry if I got everyone all indignant and such. It's bad, but it's not quite as bad as it sounded. I just expected everyone reading to be fully conversant with the contents of my Collective Agreement and understand the difference between parental responsibility leave and vacation.

Obviously you have all neglected your duty to have comprehensive knowledge of every aspect of my life. I'm deeply offended; however, allow me to explain. Please pay attention. This will be on the final.

The Trolls didn't actually deny me leave for the day, they denied me "Parental Leave", which is leave with pay, but it doesn't come out of my vacation bank. I will get the day off but I'll take it as a vacation day.

My ire was raised by the fact that it was my employer who was a) denying me access to a service for which I pay and b) causing my child to be pretty much abandoned for the day, and then denying me access to the benefits in my contract which are designed to compensate for just such an emergency.

The really fun part of it is that the woman who denied the leave used to have her child in that self-same daycare.

Anyhow, I'm still going to get embossed stationery -- I mean, how cool could that be?

And I'm still gonna file a grievance with the union.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005


From the Office of W.T. Fuck

That seems to be Norma's new epithet of choice, and I must say I approve. I think I may have notepaper embossed with that.


And what, you may well ask, has caused this sudden great need for innovative profanity? Ah, I'm so glad you asked. (Yes, I know you didn't. Sit down and shut up, this is my rant.

It is not yet a drunken rant, but be warned: there is beer in the fridge and I'm not afraid to use it.

I received an email from a friend of mine the other day, asking what I was "going to do about the 14th". I emailed back and said that I would probably keep it right where it was, tidily situated between the 13th and 15th as, based on empirical evidence, this worked best for all concerned; however, what did she have in mind?

She then revealed to me that our daycare has a PD (Professional Development) day on the 14th.

By the way, do all daycares have PD days? I mean, I knew to expect this when my daughter goes to public school but it seems a bit much for daycare. But I digress.

She then asked that, if He Who Is Now Employed was going to be home, would he watch her two kids plus mine. I said that if he couldn't watch them, I certainly would, as three kids are easier than one. (No, really, you just toss them in a room and let them kill each other with pointy sticks for most of the time, opening the door now and then to toss in pitchers of kool-aid and the occasional peanut butter sandwich and first aid kit.)

Seeing Ben is working, I asked for the day off (as he can't really ask for vacation time on the third day of his new employment, brazen though he be). I have oh, five, six weeks of vacation time in my bank right now I think, so taking a vacation day wouldn't be a big dealie, however I was a little miffed at having to do so.

I am a union member, and although I'm not much into leaping about campus singing "Solidarity Forever" I am aware of the fact that in my collective agreement is an allowance for four days a year of "family responsibility leave to be used for the care, education or health needs of the employee's immediate family" or some such jargon. Now, the daycare is actually run by the place where I work (although I get no price break for this) and so I sort of thought ... hmm, if my WORKSITE is refusing me access to childcare for which I pay, they can hardly object to giving me family responsibility leave to stay home and care for the child for whom they are refusing to care themselves. (Yes, that was one of the most convoluted sentences I have ever written.) That is, unless they think that giving a four year old a bag of Doritos and the remote and then going out for eight hours is reasonable.

It would seem that the Doritos solution works well for them, and they turned down my request. I'm pretty sure that they've granted it for just the same reason in the past, however I don't have three-year-old timesheets with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, so I have no way of proving it.

The supervisor from one of my casual jobs had phoned me early this morning with the news that a .75 time position (four days a week) was coming up in either March or April and asked whether or not I was still interested in it. She says I would be the only one who both wanted it and had the training and qualifications. I hemmed and hawed and said "probably".

After this afternoon? Fuck probably. It would mean I didn't have to mess with childcare much at all and could be with my kid during her kindergarten year, while still making enough money to survive (as long as Himself keeps working). It would also mean that I would have three days off during the week. Days upon which I could learn to spin and dye and all of those fun things I long for.

The day that job is posted is the day they get my application.

Good god, I need a chicken hat badly, right about now. Anyone had any success converting it to an adult pattern yet?


Tuesday, February 08, 2005



Appeals worked. He Who Shall Hand Me His Paycheque is now employed -- many thanks to all.

The deities seem to have formed a committee, and as always with committees, the assholes won out, so he ~didn't~ get the perfect part-time job, and he didn't get the night shift that makes a dollar more an hour, however he DID get a full time job, starting Thursday. And there are full benefits, too.

The deities, having also a rude sense of humour, have seen fit to give me a cold, which is making my sinuses feel like they're full of overchlorinated pool water.

I'll post something more coherent when I can swallow again. I have no idea what swallowing and posting have to do with each other but there's gotta be some sort of connection there.


Appeal to Various Deities

If anyone out there has a deity with whom they are in regular consultation, if they would be kind enough to put in a word for my small family today, I would be most grateful.

He Who Fears the Confines of the Doghouse has been applying for a bunch of jobs lately and he has two interviews tomorrow. He also got a call from a place that, quite frankly, pretty much offered him the perfect job over the phone.

After the two interviews he'll be calling that one back again. It's part time (so he could continue with his studies) and it pays well enough that he would make more than he would likely get doing full-time at either of the other two.

And it would cover the shortfall in our finances to the extent that I could turn down the insane double shifts, get the car back on the road, pay down a few debts and ... this is the important part ... get me some carding combs.

And maybe stop looking like I'm in my mid-50s at the age of 43. Worry ain't so good for the complexion.

Monday, February 07, 2005


If I'm Not Back In A Week ...

... you can have my stuff.

This evening was spent rearranging this:

storage room

It is in slightly better shape, with the pine boards stacked outside waiting for my dad to come and get them and chop them up for me (yay dad!) and the Christmas tree finally shoved up on the top shelf (it's fake, I'm not that much of a slob!). And oh yes, I managed to find ... MORE COTTON! At last count I had 29 regular (3-1/2 oz) balls of the Handicrafter Cotton (Bernat I think) and one huge ball of unidentified grey cotton (earmarked for washcloths for the shelter) and oh yes, those ten balls of the really nice cotton-and-something mix that Ann sent me to justify her mad self-indulgence over at Smiley's last year and which are going to become a cute tank top.

We are not discussing the four or five balls that will reappear after I frog the "Tard of the Town" Tank.

Or the couple of dozen balls of beigey-cream (I think it's laughingly called écru) that are also earmarked for the shelter).

Or the 19 balls of red and green that are coming from Freddy and which are earmarked for the stash (but which will have NOTHING to do with the "100 things" stashbusting project so just shut up, you!) which will eventually be made into washcloths for some nice Cree people.

Or the several partial balls of variegated Bernat left over from those big 14-oz. balls.

That comes in at around an equivalent of um, like 85 balls of cotton or something doesn't it? Fuck. Thank dog I don't do math much.

Anyhow, thinking that I had my cotton needs pretty much covered for oh, like forever, I'm not sure WHY I was delighted to find ANOTHER three intact 14-0z balls of the Bernat cotton in the store room. Possibly because two were yellow and I really like yellow. But clearly, I'm mental. (yes, I'm just now figuring this out.) I can get 8 dishcloths out of each of these, I believe, although the math doesn't work out at all. Whatever. That's about the equivalent of another 24 balls of cotton.

Um, so yeah. 120 balls or so.

Which YOU can have, if I don't come back out of the store room in a week or so.

It's pretty scary in there. I was talking to a friend on IM while making my forays into the gloom, and the conversation was punctuated with gems such as:

"Don't go in there! It's ... It's ... *sounds of screaming, crashing, woman being dragged across the floor by something with tentacles ...*

Ok, back to the storage room *tentacle noises*


Oh goodness, silly! ALL old houses make noises like my uncle Edgar being strangled with his own intestines, as he was by person or persons unknown in this very house, thirteen years ago tonight. I'll just check the basement to see if everything's ok ...

Oh gosh ... the basement light seems to be burned out ... *click* *click* *click*

And then Amelia went into the darkened chamber and nothing happened and nothing happened and nothing happened and nothing happened and nothing happened and nothing happened and MY GOD IT PLUCKED HER EYEBALLS OUT LIKE A PAIR OF GRAPES.

and then ate them.

with a nice chianti

and garlic toast"

Doesn't take a lot to keep me happy, does it?

Sunday, February 06, 2005


UFO Dilemma

I seem to have me a little UFO dilemma. See? You knew I'd post about knitting again one day soon.

I present, for your comments:

The Dreaded Yellow Baby Blanket.

It's pretty. The colour is very close (for once) in this photograph. The stitch is simple:

Multiple of 5 stitches: Do some garter stitch rows, then:
Row 1: k1, p 4
Row 2 & 3: k3, p2
Row 4: K1, p4
Row 5 & 6: k

It makes a neat sort of triangular bubble texture and it looks far more impressive than something that simple warrants.

The problem? Well, there are multiple problems.

Firstly, I cast on too wide and have only four balls of the Caron Perfect Match. After much math and angst I have determined that I should be able to make the blanket maybe two inches longer than it is wide. It will be almost perfectly square, which I have never found to be particularly useful in a blanket.

Secondly, I started making this years ago for the sister of a man I used to talk to. He is a butt, we haven't talked for years, and although neither the sister nor her baby are likely butts, well, the baby is at least two years old now, more likely three, and I would have no idea where to send it (although I could find him again if I really wanted to).

Thirdly, I'm not entirely sure I like working with this yarn any more.

Fourthly (and this, of course, is the one that is bothering me), the last three or four rows are wrong. To continue on this pattern I would have to tink three or four rows (I lost my place in the pattern somehow on a graveyard shift) and then continue on from there.

So. Here are my options. We all know I'm never sending it to J's sister, so I can a) frog the whole damned thing, put it in my stash (yes, the stash I am trying to deplete) and eventually use it for charity knitting or, more likely, give it away. b) tink 8 or 9 repeats (or more likely rip it out and try to pick up the stitches again), finish it up with several rows of garter stitch, call it a scarf and donate it somewhere, likely the Native Friendship Centre c) leave it as is, add a few rows of garter stitch, cast off and include it in one of the charity blankets I'm making or d) suck it up, tink the four rows and finish it and give it to my friend (yes, the stupid one) who is expecting.

I'm thinking all of them are appealing. D) appeals most at the moment, seeing it is over 1/4 finished.

Your thoughts?

As an aside, and nothing to do with knitting, I thought that this was just about one of the neatest articles I'd ever read. Thank you Snowball for directing me to your sister's blog where I first found the link!

I eagerly await the consensus on Ol' Yeller.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Request for Assistance

Yes, I know you've all been getting the emails from the folks in Nigeria and elsewhere who want to send you anywhere from nine to 28 million dollars (and offering you a million or so for your valuable help!) so that you can run it through your bank account and send it to the people who need it 'cause you're all so trusted by these total strangers, however this isn't quite the same thing.

If anyone reading this is in the Greater Vancouver area, the Native Friendship Centre down on East Hastings street has been housing about 200 homeless people during the cold weather. They're ok for blankets, as far as I know, however they've been asking for donations of hats, mitts, socks, possibly scarves (although I don't have the document right here in front of me so I could be wrong) and non-perishable food items. If anyone has been bored as hell and has a stash of hats or anything that they'd like to donate, please drop me a line at and let me know and I'll get you fixed up with a connection, or arrange to get them to the people who need them.

TIA, and stuff.

Friday, February 04, 2005


A Plethora of Dishcloths

Got a call at work today from a lady who has purchased a number of my dishcloths before. Yes, they're boring, but they get me $3 a pop and she ordered twenty of them.

Being mind-numbingly broke at the moment, I got all excited until I realized that it meant that I had to KNIT 24 dishcloths (20 for her, 4 that people want for the TSF dealie).

Well. Guess I don't have to worry me none about any of them fancy stitches for a while. I'm going to be eBaying like a ho for half the weekend (hubby donated his huge vintage comic collection to the cause) and knitting (also, startlingly enough, like a ho) for the rest of the weekend, in between studying for my exam on Wednesday and oh yes, cleaning the house enough so that someone can come over on Sunday.

And I'm getting sick and have to work the graveyard shift on Saturday night.

Why yes, I would like some cheese with that whine, now that you mention it. Very kind of you.

Rest assured that I will post only ONE photograph, of a huge pile of dishcloths, rather than each individual one. Unless I run out of material, that is.

I have to get these dishcloths out of the way very, very quickly, as we seem to have two people working on the conversion for The Dreaded Chicken Knit-Along and we'll want to clear the decks so that we can concentrate all of our energies and artistic talents on that little puppy, won't we?

Man, I don't even know how to do these knit-along thingies. Guess it's time for some research.

Right after I finish this dishcloth.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Masque of the Red Death

OK, I know I'm using the term "Masque" incorrectly here, so don't get all literary and jump on me about it. I'm trying to be clever, and it's amusing at least one of us.

Isn't this one of the most disturbing little pieces of art you've ever seen?

I truly could think of no other title for it.

It would seem that they let the kids at daycare make their own masks by gluing pictures cut out of magazines onto popsicle sticks. This was made, I hasten to add, by ANOTHER little girl, not mine. This other little girl is very fond of Suspect #2, and gifted her with this on her way out the door at the end of the day.

I just know I'm going to wake up at 4am to find it gnawing on my jugular.

On a sprightlier note, I have spoken with the brilliant creator of The Viking Chicken Hat and she says that as the pattern is open licence, anyone is free to write a conversion. All she asks is that the person share their notes with her.

So ... anyone clever enough to convert this? And then anyone else insane enough to join in a Viking-Chicken-Hat-A-Long?

Sure. I knew you would.

Buncha freaks.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005



OK, I shall be forever in love with anyone who can convert THIS:

found here

Into an adult size.

Yes, I want a viking raw chicken hat. Badly.

On a marginally-more-sane front, I seem to have invented a new word. While commenting on Marlene's terrible sock tragedy (go check out the amazing service she got from Elann!) I made a typo. Being anal enough to go back and correct COMMENTS, I discovered it, and mentioned that my typing was as full of typos as my knitting was of knittos.

Yes. Now, rather than referring to mistakes as screaming, mind-numbing, life-threatening, humiliating disasters, you may refer to them by the more benign term "knittos". Use it at will.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


How Are The Mighty Fallen

Well, ok, I'm not exactly a fallen king. And I'm not much given to biblical quotations, either. It just seemed appropriate.

The domestic disputing has been pretty bad around here of late. Coupled with the professional (or really fucking unprofessional, really) disputing at work and the fiscal disputing elsewhere, well, you can imagine how joyous life is at the moment. Some days my stash is all that keeps me sane.

Yes, I know I've posted that picture before but inspiration is in short supply right now; forgive me.

That, by the way, is only a portion of it. You see why I'm determined to complete 100 "things" before I even start to count?

And wouldn't you know that in the depths of my lack of inspiration, my friend Juno had to go and whap me with the following music meme thingie.

And just 'cause I like her and she wrote a bunch of nice stuff about me, I'm going to do it.

1. Total amount of music files on your computer?

39.2 gig in the music folder, scattered bits and pieces elsewhere. Call it 40 and be done with it.

2. The last CD you bought was:

Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Devil May Care. At least I think so.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

The theme from the Jetsons. The TV is on. Before that? Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynrd, late last night.

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

Johnny Cash's cover of NiN's "Hurt"
Kate Bush - "The Man With The Child In His Eyes"
Yo Yo Ma - "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
Bob Dylan - "Lay Lady Lay"
Staind - "It's Been a While"
Japan - "I Second That Emotion"

Whole bunch more ... that's just today's list. And yes, I know that's six.

5. What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why?

Nobody. I don't pass stuff on, and I think almost everyone has done it anyhow. But if anyone reading this hasn't done it ... tag, you're it!

Yes. I'm lazy. I also feel like shit and I'm going to bed. At 9pm.

I'm thinking something, somewhere, just burst into flame at that proclamation ...


It's All Geek To Me

Well, I've been busy not doing anything interesting enough to blog about (which is, of course, why I'm blogging about it ... and when the fuck did "blog" become a verb and why am I using it??? But I digress. Frequently.)

For the past few semesters I've been taking business courses. Courses for which I am not particularly suited but which, alas, my employer requires should I have any sort of ambition or intention of improving my lot at work (although I would like to boast here that I have a B+ average, which isn't bad for a bored chick).

As we haven't had a raise in eleven years (BUT I'M NOT BITTER) and cannot expect to gain greater fiscal compensation through either longevity or merit (AGAIN, NOT BITTER) I've decided I might as well put on the academic kneepads and haul myself through a few semesters of pain in the hopes of one day getting one of the more highly-paid positions and cut back to maybe just two jobs.

I'm a fine and glowing example of enthusiasm for all of our students. No wonder they worship me.

This term, I just couldn't face another business course. I guess all of the Tsunami stuff brought it home to me that life is either too long or too short to spend it doing something you hate. I immediately dropped the Business Management course for which I had registered and signed my silly ass up for Linguistics.

Linguistics (Practical Phonetics) has little or nothing to do with business. It's more closely related to music and math, but it's interesting as hell, particularly the IPA. I'm beginning to get my head around it, and find it utterly fascinating. It's basically learning how to write down sounds. For instance the "v" in the word "vent" in English has the same sound as the "w" in "wie" in German. They're both represented by the same symbol (and off the top of my head here I'd say it was a voiced labio dental fricative, but I dunno and I'm too lazy to look it up). It's just terminally neat to me that you can WRITE the sounds of a language that you neither understand nor speak, if only you can train your nasty Western ears to hear the subtleties in that language.

If there's anyone out there who doesn't think I'm a complete and utter geek by this point, I would like to hammer it home by confessing that my husband and I own our own hand-crafted IPA flash cards. They are things of beauty. I will, however, hastily add that it is he who made them and not I.

Anyhow, I need three more business courses for a certificate, four more after that for an advanced certificate, and if I do another nine after that I will have both a diploma and cirrhosis. This Linguistics course will either count as a Humanities elective if I keep on taking the business program, or I can use it towards an Associate of Arts degree (20 courses and this will make #4 that I have completed) if the business courses just aren't bearable, so it's not a total waste of academic effort.

And besides, I get to say things like "fricative" and not get arrested.

On the knitting front, I have completed two more dishcloths, neither of which I can be arsed to photograph. One is for a friend and one is for my dentist's hygienist who can't stand the big dishcloths because she can't get them in a glass to really wash it out properly, so I made her a little 5" square.

That makes eight completed items of my self-imposed "100 things". At this rate I'll be done by this time next year. Finger puppets are starting to look very appealing.

I'm my bloggery wanderings I went over to visit maryse and found a fun quiz to take.

quite result
Quiet Girl

What kind of little girl were YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

This result is complete and utter ass. The first part is right, but to the "poster child of introversion" assessment, all I have to say is a loud and enthusiastic voiceless bilabial trill. (Otherwise known as a raspberry.)

Carry on.

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