Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Just a quick update. Life is a frenzied whirl of ... well, whirling. Frenziedly.
I have, however, found time to cook up some of that wool with the uniodized salt and we now have very minor, if any, leaching issues.
I shall get the rest washed, dried and skanked in the next few days.
The studio is also finally starting to come together.
Stay tuned for more breathless (and mindless) news as it occurs. Off to work ...
Sunday, June 25, 2006
At Least I Was Wearing Pants
WooHOO was that a fun partay. Well, I always think that any event after which I wake up, half-clothed, face down on the living room floor is a successful one.
Ben was even drunk enough to get me a pillow and a blanket, too. Heh.
A lot of people couldn't make it at the last minute, so we ended up being a crowdette of about a dozen. This means that neither food nor wine ran out (although we did have to do a beer run after a couple of hours). Seeing we had bought food for, oh, the 30-ish people we were expecting ... let's just say we won't be going short of food Chéz Lapin for quite some time. Fortunately everything I bought (apart from the peppers, which would, you know, kill me and all) I like. (There is no need for anyone to feel guilty for cancelling. None of the food will be wasted and we needed food for, like, eating and stuff anyhow.)
The BBQ we had been given was all rusted out and totally skankful, so the first order of the day was to haul my ass out to Ukranian Tire to buy a new one, while one of my stalkers and my daughter got lost in the woods. I was eternally grateful that UT were having a sale and managed to get a pretty decent barbecue for less than an arm and a leg.
My parents showed up, Dad and one of our guests assembled the barbecue, and then my parents left without eating. They had had a huge lunch so it's not a biggie, but I felt like a bit of an ass.
We ate, we drank, we fondled wool, two of us knit in public. Ben outdid himself in the kitchen and we had fantastic vegetarian lentil soup (I love this stuff -- I can't eat ham-based soup.) and marinated chicken skewer thingies and tzatziki made with this gorgeous thick yogurt from the Persian deli and um, hamburgers and hot dogs -- no, wait, I don't think we even broke out the doggies -- and pita (ha! Just typed that "puta") and um, chips and salsa and a huge salad (I FORGOT to make potato salad!) and feta and some other cheese that was marinated and then rolled in sesame seeds or something and lots of fruit (watermelon! grapes! strawberries!) and stuff.
I also forgot to take any photographs, so clearly we will need to do this again.
Nobody got to see any of the deer I keep boasting about (we had two in the side yard just two days ago) but there was a little field mouse that came to play for a while.
So yeah. Having a house and living in the woods? Very cool. Having friends over for dinner? Priceless.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Saved By The Smell
VANCOUVER - A horrible crisis was narrowly averted, Chéz Lapin, this very morning.
I crawled in from work, having spent the night doing exciting data entry thingies, listening to elderly gentlemen explaining to me about their colon problems (one of the perks of the job) and completing (yes, completing) a knitting project for Cari, who, I'm desperately hoping, has had either a garden gnome or a Kiebbler Elf rather than a baby, otherwise this thing is going to look sort of stupid on him, but babies have a way of making even poorly-planned knitting look cute. I cracked a beer, 'cause the early-morning drinking ho said I should, and caught up on some blogs and emails and so on.
And then I suddenly remembered. We keep our garbage indoors (and don't you wish you were me?) because not only do we have deer in the woods, we also have bears and so we only put out the garbage on the actual collection day.
Which was today!
I have anywhere from 3 to 60 people coming over on Saturday to my filthytacky home, and I had no interest in making the guided tour even more interesting. I can see it now. "And this is the kitchen. Yes, this room BEHIND the green garbage bags full of rotting oranges and ants ..."
I hastily grabbed the sac du mallard (which I think is French for duck scrotum but I'm too lazy to babelfish for the French word for garbage, which, I suspect may be "garbáge") and raced to the road, handily depositing it in time for the pickup.
You may now rejoice. Yet another international incident has been averted. And yet another terribly lame post has been posted.
It's safe to come over now.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
This is not a picture of a dirty window. It is not a picture of some cow-flavoured kitsch (yes, that's a cow in a kimono. And a weathervane.)
It's not even a picture of a painted rock.
This, dear friends, is a picture of the first deer I've seen in the back yard since I moved in here.
Ansel Adams, watch out.
yes, i know he took pictures of scenery and not animals, or at least i don't think he took pictures of animals and all of his pictures are black and white but i can't remember any other photographer's name right now.
and no, the zoom on my camera doesn't work any more, thank you for mentioning it. shut up
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
My New Profession:
Of wool, that is.
Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I feel a little better today.
OK, to answer questions, I had seen Jen dye with RIT and she seemed to have no problem, so I did the same. But mine wouldn't stop leaching. Would. Not. Stop. I rinsed, I vinegared, I yelled at it. Nothing worked.
To answer the questions of the kind folks who have offered to buy some anyhow, most of this is going to be stripped of dye and redone. I've emailed the folks who asked specifically about a couple of things. The dark brown and tan is gone (that's it in the pan, above) and so is the cornflower/teal/hunter green (you likely couldn't tell that it was those colours anyhow). If you want some before I strip it, email me and let me know, otherwise it'll be done in the next couple of days.
I'm looking forward to redoing this and the RIT dye remover is taking most of the dye out really quickly. I have Madder and Marigold and Henna and um something else and Alum and Cream of Tartar and other stuff standing by. I'm scared this yarn is going to get all tangled what with dyeing and drying and stripping and redyeing. We'll see what happens.
And yes, Vancouver is big. I don't need to go to that store again.
Monday, June 19, 2006
My Favourite Mistake
Well, seems I've made a bit of an expensive mistake.
I went down to Granville Island today to buy some natural dyes and mordants and to get some synthrapol, being under the impression that that would help wash the excess dye out of the sock yarn I've finished dying.
Seems that I used the wrong dye, it will never set and will leach forever, and in fact I'm a bit of a twat a) for not knowing that and b) for even thinking I should try.
The bit about being a twat wasn't said but it was certainly what I heard. I have "art" issues as some of you know, but I'm pretty sure I can still identify when I'm being dissed.
She was nice enough towards the end of the experience, but my face was hot the entire time. I was completely humiliated, and I came home and cried.
I think maybe she could have phrased things a little more diplomatically. I'll get over it, however I will look for other suppliers of dyes. There are plenty.
On the sunny side of all of this, I now own over 10,000 yards of beautifully-dyed yarn that I personally have no problem with wearing:
It'll leach a little in the wash. Likely won't even come off on my feet much. It doesn't seem to be leaking much in the way of dye as it dries, but i can't take a chance and have an army of blue-footed knitters show up looking for revenge.
um, so yes, I need 30+ pairs of socks. (There are three more skanks than this, varigated yellow, varigated pink and a lighter brown/tan combo.)
Oh well, at least I had fun.
More sock yarn is arriving within the week. I won't make the same mistake twice.
Strange google searches that brought people here in the last 24 hours:
1. Cold FX urine (no, there is no urine in Cold FX. It works, it's great, but no urine at all. Really. Just move along.)
2. Wording idea on houseworming thank you card. Yes, houseWORMing. I know I use strange terms at times; it's nice to know that others do also.
3. Rabbit hurts my ass. No, this is all wrong. I wish I could find out who that was and go and hit them. In the ass. With my rabbit.
That is all. Carry on.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Yes, it's a verb. Shut up.
I meant to bring this to everyone's attention earlier, but as we all know I'm a horrible slacker. However, in the interests of my eternal, annoying do-goodery, I would like to mention that Claudia is doing a bike ride to raise funds for MS.
There are lots of gorgeous prizes (including some stitch markers by yours truly), and she's close to her goal of raising $15k (the original goal of $10k having been left far behind, as knitters rock quite extremely).
If you've got a buck or two, she's the gal who can make sure it gets to the right place. Go check it out!
If, however, the bucks are short but the knitting time is long, there's a mitten challenge going on over at Ann's place, and there's still tons of time to jump on the bandwagon.
Or heck, do both. You know you want to.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Welcome To The Hotel Bunnifornia
At the point when my time ran out last night:
fairly close, but that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. no cigars were awarded
viola, as the french say
There are still a few boxes in there and no pictures to speak of. The sheets do not match the pillow and, apparently, the other sheets are perfectly good as curtains.
Luxury? No. It's a futon with mismatched sheets. Clean and free? Si.
Kidlet and I will be sleeping there tonight, as we have guests who are using our bed. Life is good.
Speaking of good things ... go look who's here! Way better than a guestroom, dudes.
Way, way better.
Goat Scrotum Redux
Suppose I should clarify:
a) No, nobody was asking me to clean the microwave or even hinting at it. It was a sharing, pure and simple. Well, goat scrotae are never simple, but you know what I mean.
b) There is no janitor, or not so you'd notice. It is the job of the people who use the microwave to clean it. (And any adult who expects a janitor or anyone else to clean their microwave either better start paying that janitor themselves, or grow right the fuck up.)
c) There is no visible dirt in the microwave. Damned near spotless, in fact. Just a very strong odor of ... goat.
d) If you are missing a goat, please call me.
Housekeeping Is Important
I was informed today that the microwave at work smells like "goat scrotum tapenade".
While this is likely an accurate assessment of the odor of the aforementioned appliance I would like to know:
a) who has been cooking goat scrotum tapenade at work?
b) how does the person who identified the odor know exactly what goat scrotum tapenade smells like, if they are not the person who has been cooking it?
c) how do the goats feel about this?
d) is goat scrotum tapenade tasty? because really, to me it smells startlingly similar to vole wang brulée, which is quite nasty.
e) who will pay for my keyboard, ruined yet again, having been lo so recently replaced after reading the latest exploits of Dolores over at Franklin's blog?
The questions are many. The odor of the appliance is vile. These things are established. As for the rest, I await enlightenment.
Almost afraid to do this one, here. Obtained from Emma's blog.
Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Dog and Butterfly
Still holding on by my fingernails here.
Drinking time is almost nonexistent, which makes me weep, but there has been a tiny bit of knitting time and Secret Project #1 is almost done. Which is good, seeing the little person for whom it is intended is due tomorrow.
Libby was supposed to come and visit this weekend, bringing MHP for our entertainment and edification. Unfortunately the old best-laid-plans thingie kicked in and here we are, Friday, and we remain sadly Libbyless.
This is likely good, as here:
is the famous "guest room" that she was due to occupy. Want to see it again?
There you go. Just as bad as it seemed the first time, isn't it? I'm determined to have that room sleepable TONIGHT, as my daughter wants to sleep on our new futon, so I'm working like a dog (hence the dog part of the title here). The piece of furniture to the left is an insanely-heavy buffet that I got for my studio, which somehow seems to have been placed on its side in the guest room. I cannot (or at least should not, due to lumbar injuries and all) move it by myself. It may well become the new "guest room dresser".
(I have two and a half hours left in which to make this room usable, pack food for work, go to the bank, clean the kitchen, living room and my daughter's room and have a shower before a new babysitter comes over for the first time, as we let the regular lady go when we thought we were having company tonight. Think I can do it?)
All is not wretchedness and screaming, though. We have sunshine and ...
yeah. Butterfly. Little dude's just sitting enjoying the day on my front porch.
Makes you smile, doesn't he? Which is good because a giant tower of about seven boxes that WAS taken out of the guest room and piled to the ceiling in my studio just fell over. I'm off to assess the damage. Back tomorrow, babies.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Just a drive-by posting before bed 'cause I know y'all will all fade away or get the vapours or something if you have to go another day without a post.
Very tired. Brain hurts. This is my sleeping-in day. Yay! Having a beer before bed, at 7am (THE HORRORS!), influenced by that bad woman over there who drinks gin on the porch at the same time of day.
Kid ran five laps in the sport-o-matic thingie yesterday. It was worth staying up for, but I'm too old to have children this young.
The presentmom is actually organizing BOTH morning and afternoon classes for the group gift, so it'll be more like $350-400. I'm ... close to speechless. You know, the Rabbitchly version of speechless, which often involves 500 words or more.
I made a bunch of stitch markers last night and will hopefully post them later. We will not discuss how much of a mess one woman can make of 1200 yards of yellow yarn if she can't work her niddy-noddy. There may be variegated yellow sock yarn later this week. There may not. If not, we will pretend that I WANTED this much tangled sock yarn, and that it's art or something.
The other five skanks of yarn that I've dyed (pink, blue, darker blue, brown, reddish-brown) will hopefully meet a happier fate.
Monday, June 12, 2006
I didn't mean to open a can of worms here (well I suppose I did or I wouldn't have posted what I did) but really, I stand by my belief that $10 is excessive. I'm going to put $2 in an envelope and just quietly put it in the cubby of the child whose mother is collecting this. (Yes, it was she who suggested the amount, not the teacher or the school.)
And whether or not the teacher spends a lot of her own money on supplies has no bearing on this gift. Neither does the fact that she's taken a lot of sick time, been to at least one if not two conferences, went on an illegal strike for two weeks in the fall and is prepared to strike again this fall if she doesn't get a 24% wage increase. (Health care workers took a 15% DEcrease last year and only got 10 or 11% of it back, spread over four years, in April of this year).
The endless nickel-and-diming of the school shouldn't have a bearing on this either, but I really feel like I already gave at the office, you know?
We're in difficult financial circumstances a lot of the time, and we can't be the only ones (several single parents in the school). There was a $20 fee per kid for school supplies at the beginning of the year (and with comings and goings of new kids that has to have been about $500 for the class for the school). We also had a "sports day" (you remember, where I got all bitter about not getting a ribbon for the hula hoop contest?) where we had to pay about $6 or 7 for the kids' lunches, and then last week there were "tea towels" on sale by the PAC for $12 each. There is another sports day tomorrow, for which we are expected to collect sponsors for our child, with one day's notice. The kids will run around the field and all monies collected go to the school.
It would be a lot easier, for me at least, if the two issues were separate and at the beginning of the year the school just said "dude, we're gonna need $150 per kid for supplies. Figure out how to get it."
And if, at the end of the year, everyone pitched in $2-5 for a Chapters gift certificate.
So today I find an envelope in my kid's cubby at school. A request for money so that the kids can buy their teacher a "group gift".
Fairy nuff, but the amount they're asking is $10 per kid. Um, $10 x 20 kids is $200. Does that seem like an even marginally appropriate amount for a vulgar, confrontational, relatively competent teacher?
I don't want my kid to feel left out so I'll more than likely give it. But dudes. Two fucking hundred dollars?!?
Strikes me as pretty rude. Ya think? A box of chcocolates would have done just fine.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
How the hell did it get to be Sunday? I mean there I was, Saturday morning, home from work and feeling exhausted and more than a little sick.
So I read some blogs, had a couple of beers, took some Cold-FX, went to bed. Ben woke me up to ask me if I wanted to go to a party or send my excuses. I said no, must sleep ...
And he woke me when they got HOME from the party, I hung with the kid for maybe two hours, went to sleep.
And nineteen or twenty hours of sleep, here I am, coldless and well-rested ... but wtf happened to my weekend?
I dyed four hanks of yarn, two are tan and brown (one light and sort of reddish-brown, one dark and chocolate; one cornflower to cobalt and one cobalt to midnight blue). Made a ham and some scalloped potatoes, fed the 'rents and the rest of the family, rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and fucking well rinsed the yarn (if you get blue feet it won't be my fault) and um, that's it. Weekend's over.
Watch for sock yarn up for sale tomorrow. The pink and yellow are dry. The brown and blue won't be up until Tuesday or Wednesday, they dry slowly.
Don't you wish this was your life?
Friday, June 09, 2006
Ring The Bells
Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
-- refrain from "Anthem". Leonard Cohen
I work for a "faith-based" health care provider (read: Catholic .. *spit*) and they send us smarmy inspirations on a regular basis. Most of them I delete without reading, some of them I read, gag, and then delete. But this was the one for this week and it resonated with me.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Blogger Is, Yet Again, Biting ASS
Blogger isn't letting me upload pictures, so I'm unable to share with you the yummy yarn p0rn which is, as we speak, residing in my bathroom.
Yeah, I knew eventually there wouldn't be even one room in my house that didn't have yarn or some sort of knitted item in it. Actually, we use hand-knitted facecloths so the bathroom has long been a part of my wooly domain, however this is 1120 yards of fingering weight superwash merino, in pinks ranging from raspberry to rose (should I call it RoseBerry? sure, why not?) which I dyed yesterday and which, FSM willing, I shall split and skank up into two lots of sock yarn, which will be on sale either Sunday or Monday, depending on final drying time and how sober I manage to stay this weekend and, of course the general cooperation of Blogger which likely won't even let me post this anyhow. (If someone is insane enough to require 1120 yards of fingering-weight pink yarn, sing out. It'll be $60 CDN and is enough for a shawl. It won't be split for a day or two yet.)
I'm not even going to try to post a picture of the Surprise Project #1, because my camera has decided that it hates me and wants me dead. Technology is not my friend today. Thank dog for spinning wheels. I think I can just about handle that level of mechanization today.
here is the yarn. yes, it's pretty much this pink. i love it. my bathroom tile, however, blows goats
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Things That Make Me Go "Squeeeee"
One: Sasha is safe. She's in a foster home and a friend of mine has applied to adopt her. She's the kitty I was really worried about, as she is sort of old and toothless and farty and I figured she'd end up getting euthanized. Big relief. I'm still totally lost without her and the knittens but she's alive and someone wants her. That's all that matters at this point.
Two: Slightly over ten thousand yards of sock yarn from here. That's one fuck of a lot of yarn.
Three: Clearly I am astonishingly hot, as my co-worker's boyfriend buys me presents:
This will be a very useful book, although I may avoid the recipe on page 59, as it calls for a pint of human urine. That's a little more than I usually keep on hand.
Heading out to whack more weeds in the yard and then haul my tired ass into work. Ben and I have worked out a deal whereby he takes the kidlet to school two days a week, and picks her up four days a week (he was just doing the pickup before) so that I actually get a decent night's sleep at least a couple of days a week. Today was the first "Mommy gets to sleep during the week" day and I must say that although I'm still tired, I feel one hell of a lot closer to being human than I have for the last few weeks.
I may just live long enough to dye, after all.
(why yes, I do think i'm pretty damned funny. thank you for asking. shut up.)
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Thanks to John, I am now a great big movie maker.
Clearly I should never be allowed to have sufficient sleep ever again if this is what I do with my spare time.
Unpacking boxes, screaming, you know, the usual. Back to work for me!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
A Moving Experience
Have I used that title before? More than likely however, I would find it difficult to care less right about now. Remind me never to work 12 days in a row again, willya?
I won't take the advice, but feel free to dispense it.
The move is finished. The very last items from the very last storage locker (c'mon, there were only two) are now in my house. And as I look over my domain, I wonder ... what in the purple screaming fuck was I thinking?
A big three-bedroom house with a huge studio? Ha! I need a huge SEVEN bedroom house with TWO huge studios. Either that or I need way less shit, y'all.
Tomorrow (well later today, after I sleep) I will start sorting out exactly what I have here but it would seem that this charity thingie (which I keep trying to stop doing but nobody else will do it and people won't stop living on the streets or in shelters and so someone has to and it might as well be me) has taken up way too much of my house. There's a lot of fabric here, and I don't sew, but there's an old machine in the garage and I'm going to bring it in here and fire it up and make some pseudo-quilts out of all of this. Stay tuned for either ensuing hilarity or reports from the emergency room. I can't handle all of these newfangled sewing machines but this is an old Singer, still in working order, and I think I can manage at least a few straight lines. One of the shelters has said they'll pay for the fiberfill if I can get the quilts made, so I might as well have at it.
I have tons of yarn I'm trying to get out to our knitters (but it would seem that there is more yarn than there are knitters which means I'd better get that knitting machine going soon) and of course there are the blankets that "just need a little work". Dudes, if you're putting together blanket squares and you aren't weaving in the ends, you aren't making blankets, you're making work for someone else. I've got at least twenty of those and hope to do the end-weaving-in thingie in my copious free time, while working full-time and raising a daughter and starting a business.
Because we all know I've got way more time for that than do the nice little old retired ladies who are putting these together.
Not that I don't want to seem grateful for their help. It takes about 100 hours to knit the squares for a blanket and about 5-8 hours to put one together. If I have to do the last two hours of end-weaving, well, there's 118 hours I didn't have to do, but it's just ... frustrating. And takes up a hell of a lot of space.
The good thing is, that the last barge has been toted and the last bale has been lifted (or are we lifting the barges and toting the bales?) and we can now start to make a real rabbithutch out of this place.
Within three weeks. Because that's when y'all are coming over for the hodown, isn't it?
And believe you me, the hos are going to be down. BigAlice is driving up from Portland, Gaile and her Budgie are coming from Bellingham, I think there might be a couple of folks from Seattle (or not, haven't heard back) and some people from work, some people from a place I used to work, a few stalkers from around Vancouver, some folks from my husband's work, my brother and his partner and likely a few vagrants I pick up from the bus shelter on the way home from work the night before (because I have been unable to get the Friday night off work, so I may not be entirely reasonable on my way home that morning.) Maybe some students from where I used to toil. You know. Stuff like that.
Email me if you're coming so I can give you the address and stuff.
I'm going to go up into the attic later today (so if you never hear from me, you know the spiders ate me and there's no hodown after all) and see what sort of vile and vermin-infested storage space is up there. No, I won't make anyone sleep in the attic, but hopefully I can get a few boxes up there.
Either that or we're having a bonfire.
And now to sleep ...
Thursday, June 01, 2006
2x2 Rib Is Eating My Soul
Well, here we are and it's almost Tuesday! Yes, Tuesday. I didn't say by WHICH Tuesday I'd be finished, did I?
Secret Project #1 is almost finished. Here's a sneak peek.
The observant may note that if these two pieces are supposed to be the same, they are not. I seem to be so tired that I have managed to confuse garter stitch and stocking stitch.
The error was tinked and they now match.
The fourth and final part of Secret Project #1 has an awful lot of 2x2 rib in it. You'd think I would have learned from last year's fiasco with the Dulaan scarf, but no such luck.
please note, if I am making something for you in 2x2 rib, you likely a very tiny baby, possibly as yet unborn, so i guess i learned something, but not so much
The wool is Peruvian Highland Wool from elann.com to whom I am too weary to link, but it's very nice wool and they have great prices and fantastic customer service so go buy their stuff okthanksbye.
Going for a nap before work now.