Monday, July 31, 2006
Yup, Broken All Righty
Although it's only my baby toe, so I can still walk. Seattle's gonna be great and I'm meeting up with a bunch of folks (plus Patti who, alas, no longer has a blog). How can you go wrong with a gang like that?
As for the sweater, well. I had said that I "would wear it", not that I was insanely in love with it. And then, of course, Mr. Mark jumped on the bandwagon and all of a sudden I was knitting a sweater that I wasn't really insane about, in wool that I couldn't really afford.
And that just seemed all wrong.
The consensus seems to be that I should knit something I really want for myself. Therefore, the stripey sweater is out. I may knit it one day, and yes, I will knit it with the stripes but for now, the challenge will be to knit a sweater that I've been crazy about for ages.
I just have to decide ... cardigan or pullover? And if it's the cardigan I have to come up with some other sort of closure, because whoever thought that zippers go in knitwear? Well, they were wrong. Very, very, very wrong.
I always seem to smash my foot right before I go to Seattle. In fact, way back in 2000 when we went with my ten-week-old daughter (who travelled like a dream btw) I actually managed to smash my foot so badly on the ironing board that I think I broke a toe.
We've been planning a trip to Seattle (well Tacoma really, but we don't like to admit that) for the upcoming weekend. The only issue in doubt was whether or not the vehicular module would be sufficiently well to make the trip.
I've just walked into a really big, really old, really heavy TV that is lurking in the "lobby" outside of my studio, thereby mashing my baby toe into oblivion. I can't actually bend it and oh look! It's swelling up!
Clearly, the trip is on.
Let the rejoicing begin.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
A girl should really watch what she posts.
Because of my rabbiting on about stuff yesterday, I've publicly declared that I'm going to make a sweater that I'm not really crazy about. In fact I've already planned who I'm going to give it to once I've done it and worn it twice.
For those who can't get the magazine, go here for a sneak peek. It's the 11th picture. It's sort of boxy, which suits me, but it has horizontal stripes. Nuff said.
And yes, I'm going to stick with the decision. I may well love it a lot more once it's done, and besides, it's a good excuse to buy cashmere.
And the fun part of all of this? Farm Witch is, apparently, also a total wanker and she's going to participate in the public shame by trying to make a jacket that she's been wanting for a while.
Nothing good can come of this. Except, perhaps, some new cusswords.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
OK, I've been outed.
No, not that way, I mean that a certain gentleman pointed out in the comments on my last post -- and rightly so -- that I don't knit and that he would likely knit a bikini before I would make anything at all.
OK, that was all implied, and he said he would do so before I'd make that cardigan I mentioned but I decided to blow it all out of proportion. Please note that this is not in any way meant to be a bashing of the gent in question, of whom I think very fondly. There was nothing mean-spirited in his comment.
He's right. I do not knit. Well, that is, I hardly ever knit, and I never finish anything except dishcloths (and the occasional scarf).
This is not true. I have also made hats, socks, scarves, blankets, dorm-boot slippers, animal slippers, rabbits and shawls. Not the point. We are in the middle of crazytalk here. Shut up.
A lot of it is, of course, sheer ass-dragging laziness, but a whole lot of it is confidence. And no, this isn't a whiney post asking everyone to comment and say "hey, you're magnificent and you can do anything" because the sane (and, seemingly, overwhelmingly egotistical) part of my brain knows that already. So don't do it. The other part, the part that grew up knowing that she was not quite good enough and could never meet the standards, no matter how low they were set (set low, it was made plain, especially for her) ... yeah, that part knows that I can't knit and if I tried to make a sweater I'd fuck it up tremendously and end up with, like, a third sleeve coming out of the middle of the back or something. Yes, I know I've already successfully completed a baby sweater and it looked fantastic and was well-received. That's not the point.
(The crazy part of me that's all messed up also knows I can't spin, and can't make stitch markers or dye wool, never mind all evidence to the contrary. It also told me I couldn't drive which is one of the many reasons why I didn't get my licence until I was 33. I have since put almost 300,000 km on the car. 186,000 miles for you folks not yet embracing your inner metricality.)
It's that stupid lack of confidence thingie rather than lack of skill that has made me abandon so many projects, and not start so many others, despite coveting them fiercely. It's that total ass-faced stupid confidence dealie that sent me home in tears after being dissed by the lady in the wool-dye shop place (to which I have returned since, with far better results from a different sales assistant.) It's the stupid c-word (which, in my opinion, is far more damaging than that other c-word everyone gets their pants in a bunch about) that's likely held me back from ruling the world and aren't you glad about that? Because really, a Rabbitch-run world would be frightening.
So, um, there was a point to all of this maundering. No, really there was, and it is that I am DYING to see Mark knit a bikini. No, wait, that wasn't the point, because he didn't say that he would knit a bikini even if I did make something, did he? He's far too smart for that.
No, the point is that I'm seeing this both as a much-needed kick in the ass and as a challenge (because, you know, I don't have enough) and I'm going to actually knit the damned cardigan, even though it's slightly above my skill level. I'm going to knit it for me. I won't set any speed records, but I'm going to try to be able to wear it before the end of the year.
And you know if you read it on the internest that it's true, don't you?
Thursday, July 27, 2006
On Tuesday I allowed myself the luxury of buying some knitting and spinning magazines. They're usually a little out of my price range, but it's been about a year since I bought any, so I splurged.
Creative Knitting - July '06. Several surprisingly nice patterns, four of which I'm considering and another three that are tempting me. Definitely a good value for $6.99 cdn. I'll keep an eye out for this one. Even though, you know, it's sort of gross to take your eyes out.
knitsimple by Vogue Knitting - Fall 2006. Two cabled sweaters I like. I like them mostly because the man's sweater goes to one size larger than my husband does. For people knitting for men with 54" chests, finding patterns you don't have to modify is a delight, especially if you're a little math-impaired. There's a scarf I like, too, and a cardigan I'd wear (but I'll bet you $100 I won't ever make it). The rest is complete and utter ass. A large intarsia blanket ... for a dog. (WTF? Was crack free that week?) Final analysis: Worth the $7.99 cdn, but only just, and only if you need an oversized cabled sweater pattern. I won't likely buy this again.
Spin Off - Summer 2006. Yummystuff. Stuff about wheels and dyeing and sock yarn and four incredibly cute Estonian hand puppets (sheeps!) to knit with handspun. Article on Jacob sheep, on spinning with MS, spinning for tapestry, how to get different textures through plying, etc. Pattern for an appallingly ass-ugly jacket, recipe for a Gunnister Man pouch, bla bla bla gush gush. Well worth the slightly-inflated $10.99 cdn price tag. I'm thinking of subscribing.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled cussing and whining.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've joined the Favorite Color Swap. This is the first swap I've ever signed up for; it looks like fun, but of course I had to get someone hard to buy for. Fortunately I live in a hotbed of funky, funny, original artsyfartsy stuff (no, not just my studio; all of Vancouver) and so it'll be fun rather than frustrating. I already have the first three items taken care of and have ideas for more.
The pity is that much of what I'll be sending will be handmade by me (this isn't a person you can just "shop" for, so I'll have to get all creative -- quelle dommage and such), so I can't post about it. So you're going to think I'm making nothing at all for the next month, which is fine, because I'll get to go on and on about my other exciting challenges.
Item the first:
finishing up and skeining all of the superwash I still have here. I still have four to finish up with the dyeing (one needs to be overdyed with Lac but I think it's gonna be gorgeous) and five to skein. I desperately need a swift -- I'm using an office chair and a niddy-noddy. Imagine the pain in my shoulders. This one is the latest I just put up for sale today.
Item the second:
dyeing more of this stuff in this heat. Several folks seem to like this colour, as do I. Unfortunately a) I don't know how to duplicate it and b) it's freakin' hot, people -- did I mention that?
Item the third:
Trying not to keep this skein in the "Toe Jam" colourway, and its companion, "Athlete's Foot" (thanks, Mouse for the names) for myself. And, um, trying to remember how I did it.
Item the fourth:
How to take good pictures without upgrading my semi-broken and way-out-of-date digital camera, which I can afford neither to repair nor to replace.
Item the fifth, not yet received Chéz Lapin:
"a bagful of 6-8" "threads" of (very dirty) black-brown llama's fur" offered to me for free. I, of course, accepted. I have no idea if this will be a treasure, or my next offering to the landfill, but I can't wait to see what it's like!
Item the sixth:
I'm going to learn to use a drop spindle as soon as I can afford one (next week) so that I can spin at work. I'm assuming much hilarity will ensue. Yes, I know some people work at work. So do I, but I also work alone and I get an hour's worth of breaks every night, so I might as well spin.
Stay tuned for more summer excitement.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
I'm not quite sure how it got to be Sunday night, but here we are and I have little to show for my weekend except for half a dozen nice little skeins of wool and half a dishcloth.
Anyone wanna see the dishcloth? No? Good, I'm too lazy to take a picture and besides, it's a well-documented fact that if a knitting blog dares to mention knitting too often or post too many pictures, the Bloglines subscriptions start dropping like flies.
It's been about 9500 degrees here for the last several days. Y'all in the US Midwest will laugh at us precious little petunias, but for us, temperatures that reach up into the 80s and even the low 90s (25-35C for those of you using real temperatures) are a bit much.
I spent Saturday fighting with my daughter, killing mosquitoes and playing at the water park. Saturday night, hubby asked me if I would like to watch a movie lent to him by a chick at work who I'm convinced he's going to run away with (please FSM make it so) and who, I'm also convinced, butters her bread on both sides, iykwimaityd (She also used to read this blog from time to time. Yes, V, I mean you. You may try to beat me up for that if you wish, but I have to warn you, I think I could take you).
Now as many of you know, I'm not so much for the moving picture entertainment, but the chance to see Cherlize Theron jump about in some slinky bodysuit-type outfits and maybe catch a glimpse of her rack ... well, it would take a stronger (and straighter) woman than I to turn that down.
I'm pretty sure I enjoyed at least part of the movie, but I'm here to tellya, a) I'm not sure why anyone thought this movie had to be made and b) there isn't nearly enough gratuitous nudity. I should have checked the credits before I agreed to watch it. Damned women directors and their artistic concepts and stuff anyhow. Less with the jump shots and more with the rackage, baby; that's what we need to go with our beer and popcorn.
For someone who only watches maybe two movies a year, I have to say I'm a little disappointed that I wasted 50% of this year's selection on that one. I actually think I'm going to have to watch three movies this year, seeing we watched another movie right after that, and although I like that movie, especially the appearances by Saddam Hussein (no, really, who couldn't love a classic line like "Satan, your ass is gigantic and red; who am I going to pretend you are, Liza Minelli?") I feel somehow incomplete in the movie department.
Today was another scorcher, the majority of which was spent in the relative coolth of work (the a/c doesn't work at that hospiddle but it was cooler than outside, anyhow) and I'm now back at home, fighting with my daughter, killing mosquitoes and knitting on the dishcloth while very efficiently avoiding all forms of housework.
Ah, life in the fast lane. Don't you wish you were me?
Friday, July 21, 2006
Funeral for a Friend
No, don't all start panicking and weeping, all of my friends are fine. Well, apart from the ones who are dead, and although there are a lot of them they are also likely fine and they didn't die today and whatever. Shut up.
I got home this morning to find my daughter wide awake, having claimed to have had "a little nap" overnight. I later found out that she's a lying cheating troll, and had stayed up all night, but that's beside the point and really, was I expecting the apple to fall farther from the tree than it did? If so, the only one I was deluding was myself.
So she wanted to go digging in the garden, which was fine. And then she found one of the drawbacks of living in a cottage in the wood ... a fieldmouse. Very, very deceased.
She decided to give it a decent burial and I said that was fine. She got her little shovel, and after about three minutes came back into the house at top speed and said "I just need to be alone for a minute" and rushed into her room and slammed the door.
I realized what had happened. She had seen that it was beautiful and furry and cuter than hell ... and very, very dead. And she had realized that dead was forever, and that no matter what she did to take care of it, it would still be dead.
So I went into her room and she made me leave again. Heaving with sobs, and waving me off. I kissed her on the top of the head and left, crying a bit, myself. Maybe for her, maybe I just got something in my eye, ok? Because I'm not a big softie and I wouldn't be crying for a mouse. No. Shut up (again).
She asked me to bury it for her, so I got the big shovel and went out back where the soil was softer. I dug a little hole and then put on a gardening glove because no matter how cute the mouse was I didn't want to get rabies or syphillis or deadmousulism or whatever one gets from handling dead rodents. She came out as I was carrying him to the grave, and we put him in there and covered him up and said a few nice words about how he'd be ok now (and thank goodness I didn't have to do the whole funeral thingie like I did for my brother's 400 dead fish. FSM save me from any further heart-wrenching po-side services) and then went inside and talked about how things die sometimes and it's ok and they don't mind so much as long as we take care of them properly afterwards. I think the talk was more for me than for her, 'cause she was already wondering what the folks on TV were doing.
Bah. At least it wasn't one of the deer.
Apart from that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
So I came and sat in my studio and wound up some nice wool, which is now up on the sidebar if you're interested.
All I can say is, even though she's been asking for a bird or a hamster, I don't think we're quite ready to have pets again.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Mandy has many burning questions that must be answered. Go help her out; you know you want to!
And to anyone who hasn't heard yet regarding the fabulous miss Lee Ann, her surgery was successful, she's out of Intensive Care and she should be heading (heading! Get it! Haha oh I slay me.) home in a day or two.
And now, off to play with wool for a couple of hours before work instead of doing housework.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Spam of the Day
Hoorny wildd horr*se-te*ens fu**cked. oinks
I beg your miniscule pardon? I'm not even sure what that one's about. My friend and I decided that it's about teenaged horses having sex with pigs (and I can't wait to see what google searches lead people to me now). Anyhow, it's just all wrong.
And horses don't have horns.
There will be pictures of wool tomorrow. For tonight, I'm just going to go make sure the horses with horns are all locked up safe, and such.
The pigs will have to take care of themselves.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
How I Spent My Saturday Night
On the left, madder. On the right, marigold.
On the stove, a mess. (and also a mess of Peruvian wool)
It don't get much better than this.
Friday, July 14, 2006
That's the sound of me screaming as I run frantically around the room.
No time! Must work! Dye wool!
Bloggiversary! Two years!
New word: twatsicle!
*thud* (me hitting wall)
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blogging with a little less screaming.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Do Wasps Nests Smell Like Skunk?
But apparently it's a burning-enough question, at least in someone's mind, for them to have googled for it. And, during that search, to somehow have found my blog, which I'm sure was helpful and informative.
(And for those who have been asking how I can track these searches, Statcounter is one of the handiest tools around. And it's free!)
Mid-week blogging just isn't happening so much for me. I'm getting more sleep (thank FSM or I would have gone and died) and playing with wool (marigold-dyed Peruvian wool will be on display tomorrow) but apart from that it's the working and the playing with the kid. And I'm thinking the kid needs me more than the blog does anyhow.
However, there's an important event looming on the horizon. In three days, this blog turns two years old. I'm trying to think of an appropriate post. Perhaps we need a new cussword or something.
You'll just have to wait in suspense until Friday.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
On Little Boys and Manners
Yesterday's announcement of my fear and loathing of packs of small boys aside, I must say that the most polite person at the party was one of the little boys.
Him: Excuse me, Dad? No, um, Eleanor's Dad?
Eleanor: His name is Ben.
Him: OK, excuse me mister Ben?
Eleanor: No, just Ben.
Him: Aaah, hi, um, Uncle Ben? (by this point he was thoroughly anxious)
Ben: No, just Ben. Really. It's ok. What do you need?
So sweet. Most kids call adults by their first names now, and I don't mind at all. I don't think that the use of an honorific or lack thereof has anything to do with respect. Even my daughter calls me Janice quite a lot of the time. I do a double-take if someone calls me Mrs. C. You see, that's my mother-in-law, even though she's remarried and that isn't her name any more. (I'm also usually startled if someone calls me Janice, as I'm used to Bunnie or The Bunnie or Rabbitch or Bun -- But Never Ever "Jan" Upon Pain of Messy Death -- even from my husband.)
The only time I insist on being Mrs. C is when people I don't know call me up and try to be all buddies while also either trying to sell me something or collect money of some sort from me. The only other time I hear it is when I'm visiting my lovely Irish Gentleman of a surgeon, who has never once presumed to call me by my first name, even though he's seen my boobs at least half a dozen times.
It was really refreshing to meet a kid who didn't just assume he could do so, and was in fact hesitant about it.
He's told his parents that Eleanor is "his favourite girl". I believe I shall put him on the very short list (only two so far) of "Boys Who Will be Allowed to Call On the Princess When She Is Older And If She Doesn't Become A Nun or A Lesbian".
And now ... back to the dye pot. Yes, at 4am. I'm not well.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
|'What will your obituary say?' at QuizGalaxy.com|
Apt, innit? Specially in light of the last post. Thanks Mouse!
Madder than Hell
OK, I'm not mad, but I had to work "madder" in there somewhere. I'm like that.
Was going to dye some wool with madder tonight, but it would seem that I have to soak it and extract it and bla bla bla whine whine (or at least I think that's what the instructions said. Anyhow, I read the first bit and I'm going to have to soak the madder overnight before I use it.
Bug juice, here we come again.
I'm trying to rescue that poor sad skein of superwash that I stripped the dye out of, instead. It's already had a nice relaxing bath with some conditioner and is now being scoured on the stove. It's whining about this, but I'm back in my studio which is too far away to hear it.
Mordanting and then dyeing and maybe softening it up with some stuff will be happening this evening. I'm hoping that a) the smell of peroxide will go away forever, b) it'll get soft again and c) I won't have to throw it out.
No, not c. If it doesn't recover I'll knit some i-cord and use it to strangle the woman at the dye store.
Um, after I find another source of dye, that is.
On another note, I survived Her Majesty's birthday party and have had it confirmed that I really really don't like little boys in bunches of three or more. One by one they're fine, but three is enough to make a gang and I'll tell you, one of the kids here today was a gang all by himself. Like I said to Mouse earlier, he may not actually be Satan, but Sstan, for sure. The neighbour of the beast or something.
Gah. I'm willing to put money on his doing time before he turns 20. That is, if he's allowed to live that long ...
Off to a relaxing evening hovering over the dyepots!
We Have Good News and Better News
The charming miss Lee Ann does indeed love the red wool I and the bugs made. However she loves the colour so much that she has commissioned a huge whack of it in some gorgeous merino heavy sock yarn that I'm getting later this week.
Therefore, the two skeins of red Peruvian wool featured in yesterday's post are for sale. I'm asking $8 per (50 gram, 231 yard) skein, plus postage. It knits up at 7-8 stitches per inch on US #1-3 needles.
There will be more dyed later today after the sprog's birthday party (please god let me find some place to buy a pinata) and some more dyed with marigold or madder, depending on the mood, tomorrow.
Keep an eye on the sidebar. For now, I'm going to go lie on my head for four hours before 9 kids descend upon Chéz Chaos.
Friday, July 07, 2006
OK, I had to, and you know it. So stop cringeing.
During my first attempt to dye the wool with the lac extract, I made what is surely a typical newbie mistake and left the ties on too tight and, well, I think we can all see the results here:
I liked the colour and was sort of sad that I really had to redye it, but I sucked it up and, well ...
Holy crap. That's more like it. I'm going to try to repeat this effect. Often.
That's very close to the true colour and I'm delighted with it. If Lee Ann is equally enchanted, she's got first dibs on it, otherwise it'll be for sale in a day or two. I'm thinking I may well dye up some more tomorrow, too.
The other wool that I've been messing with is finally dry enough to skein, so I've also got one of these puppies up for sale if anyone's interested:
550 or so yards of fingering weight superwash merino, hand dyed in blues from cornflower to cobalt.
I'm going to have another link up on my sidebar, starting Sunday I would think, so keep checking there for hand-dyed and eventually handspun wool for sale. I don't want to turn this blog into nothing but a sales tool so I'll just quietly post things there, shall I? (And document the entire painful dyeing, skeining and fucking-up process here, never fear.)
And now off to rebuild my daughter's entire bedroom, find some sort of food in the house, clean everything while screaming at the top of my lungs (birthday party tomorrow) and head out to work in about 45 minutes.
Wish me luck.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
In Case You Were Wondering
The Princess and I had a great day today. Birthday, bike, paddle pool -- who could ask for anything more?
Also in case you were wondering, dried and pulverized Lac beetles smell like ass.
Take two balls of the Peruvian wool that seems to have manifested itself in my home:
Mordant it (and how the fuck did mordant get to be a verb? I protest!):
Boil it in bug juice:
The colo(u)r won't be as rich and red as the water in the pot but I think it's gonna be pretty. Stay tuned for the results. Couple days for it to dry before we can see the final product.
And now ... off to work!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Over and over and over again.
Got a bit too much on my plate right now. Gimme couple days, k?
There will be tales of birthday parties (daughter turns six tomorrow) and spinning (Now the freakin' fibre focus is over I ordered an assload of merino/tussah) dishcloths (nuff said) and dyeing (another 20 balls of wool arrived today and I'm finishing boiling up the stuff that didn't set before).
But for now, all I seem to be able to produce is a constant stream of whining, and even I'm getting tired of listening to me.
Catch you on the flip-flop.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Could I Get Any More Immature?
Well-fed and well-rested, this morning I jumped back into the bouncy castle that is our healthcare system with renewed energy, only to encounter this weekend's horrorscope:
"Uranus is a center of cosmic attention in the days to come ..."
I can hardly wait.
And now I am going to spend the rest of the day gigglesnorting. (and, after work, dyeing some wool -- watch for photos)
Saturday, July 01, 2006
No Bouncy Castle
Who the hell was I trying to fool? 3 hours of sleep and 24 hours of work in the last 48 hours and I thought I was going to a bouncy castle? As if.
(Yes, Lee Ann, a bouncy castle is pretty much the same thing as a psych ward. In fact you have just given me a new euphemism, thank you.)
I came home, fell on my head for an hour or so, and then did some laundry. The man and the child have gone to get pizza, but I think I'm going to have a glass of wine and go to bed and possibly even skip the pizza part of the evening.
However before I head to bed I must bring to your attention a new shop in town.
Go look; she's got some fun stuff.
And now ... I'm off to my own personal Bouncy Castle ...
This is Normal, Right?
A little stealth-blogging, here.
I seem to have been foolish and have agreed, yet again, to work some back-to-back shifts at two different jobs. I worked last night from 10pm to 6am and then started again at 8am and will finish at 4 (at which time I shall take my child to Canada Day Celebrations so she can craze herself on sugar and then jump about in a bouncy castle for a while.)
And then I'm supposed to go to a party. That part might not happen.
I'm wide awake, startlingly enough. I can only credit the Zen of the Dishcloth for this state of mind. I'd forgotten how relaxing these were to knit, but thanks to Ryan's new obsession (I'm nothing if not a sheep) I picked up the needles again a few of days ago and now have, um, well, a few of 'em to show for my efforts. About six or seven -- three since yesterday, why? (I also sold four of 'em to my boss at my second job, but I don't think the prospect of $12 is keeping me awake with joyous excitement.)
Of course Ryan's on drugs, so she's got an excuse. Me? I'm wondering if I shouldn't drop by the Psych unit on the way home instead of going to the Bouncy Castle. But I have a feeling they would take my Addis away from me, and that Just Won't Do.
I'm working 8-4 all three days this weekend. And then Monday night. And then taking a friend out to Abbotsford for surgery at 6am on Tuesday. Blogging will be light.
Dishcloths, on the other hand, will be plentiful.