Thursday, August 31, 2006


Let the Licking Commence

No, I can't spin an entire pound in a night. Especially not of this stuff. I don't think it's going to be a big fave of mine (Perendale). I got 33 yards of total ass spun, set and dried. And sent it to my pal so that she would be happy that I hadn't filled the whole box with handspun.

No, I didn't take a picture, alas.

So I had to make a mad dash out to the store to get a couple of things to finish my Colour Swap Pal dealie, seeing there wasn't going to be anything resembling "enough" handspun in there. Toddled up to the new LYS ...

You'll notice I'm not linking to them. I don't usually when I dis someone.

Really, it's a nice enough store. It's clean, bright, colourful walls of "stuff".

However, it's almost impossible to find, the signage is nothing more than a small shopping bag in the window. The only thing I could find that had been touched by human hands was the beautiful hand-dyed sock yarn from Sweet Georgia Yarns which alone was almost worth the trip.

Everything else, Noro, Cascade, Lorna's Laces, Rowan, etc ... same as anywhere else, and at the same prices. They did have a really huge selection of Cascade 220, better than the place I usually go ... but I've got some serious customer loyalty going on so I'll likely drive the extra distance. They have more variety and more interesting stuff at Urban Yarns and when my car's not blowing up it's more than worth the drive to get there.

Well, I suppose that wasn't dissing, but it certainly was faint praise. I'm pretty seriously disappointed.

Anyhow, I left with nothing in hand and cruised by Birkeland Brothers and got what I needed while Eleanor got to go see their huge drum carder again (she's fascinated, as am I) and had a good long chat with the owner. She showed me some Perendale that was handspun by someone else, and quite frankly my lumpy fuzzy efforts weren't that bad. Maybe I don't suck quite as comprehensively as suspected.

I shudder to think of what Google searches are going to bring people here after this post ...

Anyhow, my package is mailed (thank FSM for post offices that stay open VERY VERY LATE) and I now have all of this free time looming (ha!) and nothing but months and months of knitting for ... ME!

Ann's got some Selfish September action going on at her blog I do believe. Perfect timing to only have 47 projects on the needles.

Starting tomorrow morning (or actually an hour from now). The first row of every single day has to be on something for me. I suspect that the second often will be also.

And would the yahoo in the back row stop jumping up and down and yelling "Eris, Eris!"? Really dude, it's getting annoying. I'm going to cast it on for the third time (shut up) tomorrow. Pictures this weekend.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Oh Yes, That Blog Thing ...

I had one, didn't I? And I'm thinking you're all wondering if I fell off the face of the earth, or tried to go out for groceries and the car blew up or something.

Never fear (or no such luck, depending on your level of affection for me). I've just sort of had my brain eaten by trying to clean/decorate/rearrange the house and deal with MissyMoo 24/7. Plus, of course, having to drive anywhere I'm going in 10-minute increments, punctuated by waits to let the engine cool down and much pouring-in of water. Clearly I need a new car and have started a fund for it. So far I've saved about $3.

It hasn't been all fun and games around here, though. Miss and I have been having battles. Big battles. However, limits have been set and all is peaceful again. (My computer access has been severely proscribed and I have to brush my teeth more often. I'm just glad she let me off so lightly.)

I've also been working on my Favourite Colour Pal Swap box and, seeing the deadline is tomorrow I'm pleased to announce that I'm almost done. All that's left to do is about an hour or so of "fussing" and, of course, to spin this entire pound of Perendale which I'm going to do tonight.

Yes, I can. An entire pound in one night.

Anyone who thinks I can't may lick me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Still Got It, After All These Years

Although I may well have forgotten where I put it.

And somehow Blogger decided I wanted to both publish this post and save it as a draft so you got to see a one-sentence post. Almost tempted to leave it just to prove that I can be concise but nah. Nobody'd believe it.

So hey, I went to the beer store tonight, because I'm on vacation (a whole week!) and I deserve to spend some of that time abusing my liver, and as I walked in the door this man held the door for me. And then I heard him say "Janice? Janice (insertmaidennamehere)?" And I looked at him, seeing that's my name and most total strangers don't call me by it so there was a good chance that I knew him.

And it was a guy I first met in my early teens, and used to hook up with about um, 20 or more years ago. (You may interpret "hook up" however you wish, but if the interpretation includes occasions of drunken carnality, then you'd be pretty much in the right ballpark).

So. Seems they can still recognize me 20 years down the road. And remember me fondly enough that they're willing to admit it in public. I may not have aged quite as badly as I've been assuming of late.


Saturday, August 26, 2006


Things I Wish I'd Said

"I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. "
- An English Professor, Ohio University

I'm dying. Thanks to my buddy fizzgigg for the link. I have a feeling I know where my weekend's going.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Favourite Colour Swap Package

Just a quick note before rushing out to work. The package arrived today from my Favourite Colour Swap Pal. Just look at all of the yellowy goodness:

In this box was a turkish drop spindle, some blue-faced leicester roving, some organic soap that smells of roses and honey and something citrus (I haven't looked at the ingredients yet, so I have no idea what's in it) and a handmade washcloth (is she trying to tell me something?) a handmade bag which will be perfect for carrying small knitting projects in, lots of natural dyes, some chocolate (organic dairy-free champagne truffles! And no, I'm not sharing), some Regia Silk Shine sock yarn, some gorgeous beads and, of course, a Smurf. (I live in fear and loathing of Smurves. She's evil).

My benefactress is the lovely and generous Anita, who kept me guessing with funny emails and who clearly has excellent taste.

Thanks Anita! I anticipate hours of fun with all of this.

Now to work, to continue working on the knitting for my pal. I've got another week to get my act together but I'd like to get this mailed on Monday or Tuesday so I'm not the very last one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Actual Entries on Hospital Charts

This was sent to me a couple of years ago by a friend. I was clearing up my email inbox tonight and found it again. It gave me many gigglesnorts. (and dudes, don't think this is fake, I've seen WAY worse on admission records).

1. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very
hot in bed last night.

2. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

3. On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

4. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be

5. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

6. Discharge status: Alive but without my permission.

7. Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

8. The patient refused autopsy.

9. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

10. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

11. Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a
40 pound weight gain in the past three days.

12. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

13. She is numb from her toes down.

14. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

15. The skin was moist and dry.

16. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

17. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

18. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.

19. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until
she got a divorce.

20. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

21. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

22. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

23. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

24. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a
stock broker instead.

25. Skin: somewhat pale but present.

26. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

27. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Blank, who felt we should sit
on the abdomen and I agree.

28. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.

29. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

I'm gigglesnorting madly here.



But no pictures, because Blogger hates my ass rather viciously today.

I cast on Eris last night and worked through all of the first chart and part of the second.

Then I read some more of the instructions and cast on Eris again and worked through all of the first chart and part of the second -- correctly this time.

OK, before everyone gets their pants in a bunch and faints dead away, the first chart is only four rows.

But dudes! Me! Following charts and liking it!

I just hope I don't discover I'm doing this all wrong (again) when I read more of the instructions later this afternoon ...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Does This Ennui Make My Ass Look Huge?

I am a giant blob today. Ha! I just typed "giant blog" and then gigglesnorted for a bit. That pretty much sums up the level of wit around here today. Soon I'll be starting with the poop jokes.

Actually I started my day with the poop jokes in one of the lamest conversations I ever recall having with Mouse. I think we were discussing cafeteria food and it all just got terribly juvenile. I blame her.

I am totally unmotivated today and I'm hoping that by blogging my shame I'll actually kick myself into doing something. ANYthing. I suspect that the unwritten "list of things to do" has finally gotten so long that I've experienced some sort of shut-down of the coping system. While completely understandable, this in no way picks up all of the toys off my living room floor or cleans my bathroom. (yeah, I know, I was disappointed about that, too)

However, it hasn't been All Angst All The Time, Ch├ęz Lapin, oh no sirree-bob. I've finished skeining the 94 million yards of pink superwash I dyed foreverlong ago:

yeah, it really is that pink

And have been working on a nasty mitred-square baby blanket, inspired by Ann:

yes, this also is that pink

Go see hers, it's a lot nicer than mine. This is a stash-busting effort to use up some of my thousand pounds or so of ACKrylic. It'll be going to a new mommy in Australia as soon as I'm done. I've taken a week to get this far, cramming in a row or two at work, at the park, etc., and I'm about 1/3 of the way through what will eventually be a 36" or 37" square blanket. I love this pattern (well, ok, it's not really a "pattern" but you know what I mean) because you decrease every other row, so the annoying-as-hell 320 stitches I cast on is now a somewhat-more-manageable 260 stitches, and by just about the time I'm so done I can't even bear to look at it any more (and that day is coming soon, believe me), well, I'll be so done. No casting off, just weaving in a few ends.

In slightly more-exciting news, the needle for Eris has arrived, kindly donated by a generous friend. She, being a horrid enabler, also included some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Flames that, quite frankly, I could eat. Makes me want to stop dyeing yarn after seeing others do it so much better. And then I remember the fun of completely trashing my kitchen and spending hours up to my armpits in soap and alum and madder and yeah, I'm going to keep doing that anyhow.

And talking about donating, Julie is participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual "Light the Night" walk in York Beach. Hop on over and see what's up with that.

Last but not least, just to keep MarQ happy, I'm knitting a dishcloth. It's for my Favourite Colour Swap Pal, as I believe that everyone in the world should experience dishclothy goodness. And besides, I need a couple more things to put in the box before I mail it and I just can't get my head around spinning today.

Speaking of spinning heads, I think I might actually be coming down with something a little more tangible than Ennui (or even Angst) thanks, Matt! and I'm gonna take me some Advil and lie on the couch until it's time to go to work. And knit a dishcloth (or maybe cast on for Eris).

Stay tuned for more exciting tales of life in the big city.

Monday, August 21, 2006


If It Weren't For Bad Luck ...

... I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and misery on me.

So yeah, I set off on Saturday evening to attend the natal festivities of my pal Gaile. Now, I should have known that there was going to be trouble, seeing I hadn't busted my foot and I usually do before I go to the US. However, I had bruised the baby toe on my left foot pretty thoroughly a couple of days before (note to self: people who live in houses full of way too much shit shouldn't insist on going barefoot all the time) and so I thought to myself, "Self," I thought, "maybe the right foot and the breaking thereof is for Seattle and the bruising of the left foot is for shorter trips."


About 3/4 of the way to the border I noticed that a) the passenger compartment of the van was filling up with smoke despite nothing having been set alight; and b) the temperature gauge of the engine was WAY up over the top of where it stops actually being able to measure temperature.

Both of these signs seemed to my vehicularly-savvy mind to indicate that there was some sort of problem. I immediately did what any sane person would do; pulled the car to the side of the road and got out my knitting. (note to all of those who are waiting, breathlessly, for me to make a fool of myself over the Eris cardigan: the needles have not yet arrived and I am using the waiting time to make a stash-busting mitred square blanket in dreadfuly squeaky acrylic for a new baby whose mother will appreciate it greatly. Pictures eventually when my almost-broken digital camera decides to cooperate).

After smoke stopped coming in through the air vents, I got up enough courage to pop the hood and leave it propped open for a while to let stuff cool off. I figured that was the logical first step. (Well, right after the knitting, that is).

After about 45 minutes or so, when nothing had actually burst into flames, I guessed that it would be ok to put my hands in the engine, being careful to have a piece of toweling in between my skin and any metal bits. I checked the oil and most of the 2 litres I had put in there before leaving the house was still in place. I then checked the radiator, which was bone dry. I mean, I didn't even have to worry about getting burned by steam rushing out, as there was nothing in there to steam.

Now, I had had an oil change and fluid top-up and stuff about three weeks ago and thought that "fluid" might also include radiator fluid so I hadn't looked at it. The radiator is supposedly a sealed unit, so there shouldn't have been enough fluid loss anyhow to cause concern. (Apparently the oil thingie is also theoretically a sealed unit, blowing that little theory right out of the water, but I feel in some manner betrayed, nonetheless.)

So, I scrootched around for a while inside my filthy, filthy van (I've cleaned it, which means that you can actually see the carpet, however this in no way means that there aren't half-bottles of everything from water to Jack Daniels [just kidding on the last one, mister traffic poleeseman -- I'm no Mel Gibson] rolling around under the seats). I found four bottles of water that had a little left in each, and put maybe 2 litres (maybe less) of water in the radiator and then limped, carefully, up to a farmhouse a couple of blocks away. I'm not usually a big fan of women knocking on farmhouse doors at dusk in Surrey, having seen enough movies where that leads to the female in question being killed and eaten, but it would seem that the persons in the farmhouse I visited had already had dinner and were happy enough to just top up the radiator for me.

At that point I likely could have made it all the way to Gaile's house, but I was pretty shook. (I don't have a cellphone so if there was ever any real emergency, I'd be s.o.l. until some hopefully non-stranger-eating person stopped to offer assistance, and this sort of reminded me of that happy fact). I was also pretty annoyed that it had taken me an hour and a half to get less than half-way through an hour and fifteen minute journey.

Anyhow, not trusting the radiator, I turned around and came all the way back home, arriving about two and a half hours after leaving and spent the rest of the evening watching bad movies with my husband: Starship Troopers, apparently loosely-based on the title of a Heinlein book (it certainly had nothing to do with the actual book) and um, something else which I can't remember the name of but it was bad, too.

The only thing I really remember is that we got to see some fairly nice boobs in the Starship movie and that was good enough for me.

So um, I think I'm just going to sit over here in the corner and knit from my stash for a bit until things get better, mmkay?

Saturday, August 19, 2006


In The News

Yesterday it was reported on page A24 of The Vancouver Province that the Prince Rupert SPCA has decided to cancel the crab boil that they were going to hold as a fundraiser. Yes folks, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has decided NOT to boil a bunch of animals alive, at $10 a pop, to raise money to prevent cruelty to animals.

(yes, I know that crabs are sort of insects or something, not "animals" and they're tasty, too but really ... isn't that sort of a memo from the desk of W.T. Fuck?)

In other breaking news, Focus on the Family has cancelled their fundraising Wife Swap Dance, PETA has cancelled their Leather Night and Seal Clubbing at the bar and the Radical Lesbian Feminist Comedy Night has been postponed indefinitely.

You're welcome.

Friday, August 18, 2006


The C Word

No, not that one! No, not even that one.

Or that one. "critchmibble" isn't even a word, you twit! (Now watch someone get here by Googling for that and I'll have to go look it up and find out that it's some sort of bizarre piece of clothing that all of the RenTards wear and I'll feel like an ass.)

No, the word of which I speak is Christmas.

"Ha!" you say. "Pfui!" you say, even (and don't deny it, I heard you). "Christmas is four months away," you announce with glee.

Yeah. Four months. And remember what happened last year? We all left our Christmas knitting until, like November 20th and then listened to some total wack job tell us we could get it all done. There were recordings, poems, promises, rantings, ravings -- I'm betting there was even a divorce or two just to get out of making a sweater. It all ended badly in a puddle of alcohol-soaked yarn and a quick shopping trip to the 7-11 on Christmas morning, hoping we could get all of the bags of Cheetos wrapped before everyone woke up.

Remember that? Do you?

Or um, was that just at my house?

Anyhow, I have long since given up the hope that I will one day be a good example, and have decided, instead, to let my life stand as a terrible warning. (I figure I've got a better chance at that.)

This year I am going to commit to THREE (no, four! um, five!) projects, and I am going to cast on for the first one NEXT WEEK. I'm going to make these socks for my father, a pair of slippers for my husband, and finish some slippers for my mother (the second one is almost done but the needle broke -- as soon as I figure out what the hell I was using I'll finish them up.)

That's it. Three (four! no, five!) knitting projects.

I urge you to follow my lead and make your lists and start your projects now, rather than waiting until November.

And you can bet I'm going to buy the bags of Cheetos the week before, this time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I Think I Just Hurt Myself

OK, so I've had an hour and a half of sleep out of the last 24. Hoping for more shortly but one never knows.

I'm so rancid with exhaustion that I can't even be arsed to plug in my scanner to show you this amazing still-life my daughter painted in art class today. She scares me a bit.

So yeah, you'll have to see that on Friday, along with the amazing clay slug. Yes, I said slug. And it's amazing. Most of the other kids? Their slugs look like troll turds. Hers looks like a slug. Which is to say, a troll turd with antennae.

Eris is not cast on, but I've had the offer of needles from two lovely people, so it should be on the needles shortly. Hopefully before I hop over the border on Saturday to go to Gaile's birthday party. Pictures and a vivid description of how I've managed to injure myself in the process will be forthcoming.

edit: child is napping, I shall join her as soon as I post this. I shall finish the post first as I know you long for my every word. Yes, you do. Shut up.

Before I toddle off for a few hours of restful sleep, I must share with you the horrible things that some people post for their poor exhausted readers to hurt themselves laughing over. Click on "ferret clothes". Scroll down.

Then, after you can think again, wonder to yourself ... exactly what was she searching for when she found that page?

I'm just askin'

Monday, August 14, 2006


New Kid in Town

Dudes, my pal Big Alice has a blog!

Go say hi. Tell her I sent you.

Then run.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I'll Be Swatching You

Ok, you know I had to use that title sooner or later, and now it's over so we can all relax and get on with our lives. See? Didn't hurt nearly as much as you thought it would.

I'm not usually a great big fan of the gauge swatch but seeing all I allegedly ever make is dishcloths, scarves and hats, this is understandable.

Eris, however, is an entirely different matter. I'm using quite a lot of very nice wool -- probably only about $60 but there's a looming sharp downturn in the fiscal outlook of La Famille Lapin, so really, I don't want to be wasting this. And, money aside, it's nice wool. You don't wanna fuck up stuff like this. I'm pretty sure the knitting gods will come and hurt you if you do.

So, two nights ago I hauled out the 4.0mm needles and swatched. I thought that the wool was very nice but it seemed a little fragile for something that should, in my opinion, be a fairly sturdy garment. I got perfect stitch gauge but, alas, the row gauge was over, and for the collar of Eris, that's the part that counts.

I muttered. I cussed. I whined. And then I ripped it out and swatched again, not thinking that .25mm difference on the needle would really make that much difference in the knitting.

Clearly, I was wrong. This new fabric is gorgeous, solid, and bang-on both stitch and row gauge. 3.75mm needles, how I love thee.

And now, of course, I realize that although I have straight needles that work for this gauge, I don't have any 3.75mm circs. At least not that I know of.

I'll have to get some Friday (payday). Feh.

In the meantime, just to distract from the madness that is about to start, my talented buddy Mouse has made some buttons for this undertaking. It's not a knit-along, 'cause we all know I never finish (or, sometimes, start) the -alongs and I don't finish-along at all, but if anyone else is going to make a real live grownup sweater all for themselves, please feel free to swipe one.

And, my personal favourite:

And now to go rip apart boxes and barrels and bags and see if I have a 32" 3.75mm circ after all ...

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Fly-By Posting

I'm alive but busy busy busy. And also bloaty and mentalpausy and a total bitch on wheels but I'm not going to discuss stuff like that here. I've always thought that was what LiveJournal was for.

I have achieved great success with Eris. Well no, I haven't, but I've got the yarn and done the first swatch and gotten perfect stitch gauge. Alas, it's the ROW gauge that's important for the cables so I shall re-swatch as soon as I find the right needles, which should be in this vase over here (waving hand vaguely to the left).

Oh yeah, and I've realized that I've never used a chart and don't have a clue what I'm doing, so expect some manic (or sort of sad) posts in the very near future.

Um, the pattern is 40 pages. Does anyone have any idea why I didn't think of that when I chose this cardigan? I'm just askin'

I have solved the issue of the closure. I don't close cardigans. Ever. There is no need to ruin the line of the cardigan with closure devices of any sort. If, later on, I find I hate it that way I'll add something like little silver frogs or celtic knots or the like.

And now, just for Angie, The Zipper Explanation; a Brief History.

Small child. Clumsy small child. Jacket with zipper. Hasty donning of said jacket. Damage to that soft skin right under the chin. Weeping. Blood. Fear and loathing.

I have a fleece pullover thingie with a zip and my daughter keeps wanting to zip it up for me and I cringe in utter horror the minute she puts her hands on the pull tab.

The physical scars have healed, but I think I'm mentally scarred for life.

Also I think knitwear with zippers looks like ass. Hiding nasty dead metal (or plastic) bits in something as soft and lovely and living as wool is just a sin.

Felted purses are exempt from this rule, but those alone, and none other.

And now to sleep, clean the house, and get ready for unexpected dinner guests, while popping Advil and screaming a lot. All in the next seven hours.

the screaming is from the house cleaning, not the physical pain

If you're one of the dinner guests, all I can say is "bring wine".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Oops, I Did It Again

Seemingly there is tons of available Cascade 220 in this here part of town, and I should do my own research rather than relying on the word of others.

Apparently, there is lots of other stuff also.

Left to right, bottom row: Cascade 220 for Eris; Cascade 220 because I love the colour (they didn't have enough in that dyelot for Eris); Cascade 220 for Ben's cabled sweater. top row: Something called Moorit that seemed all nice and squishy and I wanted to spin it; some sprinkle-dyed romney locks, some pinkstuff (all handspun, I think) for a hat and a sweater, chosen by Missy Moo. Not pictured: Some stuff to spin for my secret colour swap pal.

Sometimes I scare me.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Home Again, Home Again

Jiggety jig. And such.

Well, that was quite the weekend.

In the interest of being a shitmagnet on behalf of Jen, we started the weekend by a) not being able to find my daughter's birth certificate and b) getting a flat tire.

I had known that I had a slow leak in the rear passenger side tire but I was hoping that we would be able to at least get over the border where I could happily avail myself of the labour of undocumented workers or perhaps even child labour in other lands, and pay far, far less for a tire than I would up here. Alas, that was not to be and we toddled off to Ukranian Tire to get a new tire put on the rim.

Me (at 3pm): Can I get a new tire put on this rim?
UT Guy (also at 3pm): It's worn but not done; we can just patch it for you.
Me: OK, that's fine, how long will it take?
Him: An hour and a half.

So I toddle off, thinking OK, we'll be on the road by 4:30 or so. Later than we had wanted, but hell, 3pm was later than we had wanted but the several-hours-long search for the birth certificate (I found a photocopy and have other documentation for her so we were ok) had made us late. Plus the sudden realization that we should take clothes.

Me (at 5pm): So, um, any idea when this tire is going to be done?
Cute But Stupid Chick: Um ... maybe another 20 minutes?

Seems they hadn't started it yet.

Me (at 5:30pm): So is it done yet?
CBSC: Um ... no. There's sidewall damage, so they can't repair it. We can replace it for (insert large number of dollars here). Do you want us to do so?
Me (being slightly peeved at now being 3 hours into what should have been a 20-minute job): Why yes, I would like you to do exactly what I requested three hours ago.
CBSC: Um ...

So we sit about for a while, feeding the child sugar, because feeding a six-year-old sugar is exactly what you should do before a long car journey.

CBSC (at 6:00): OK, it's done.

She tries to hand me the tire.

Me: Can I get that put on the car, maybe?
CBSC: Um ...
Me: Will it cost more?

(by this point she could see that even if it did cost more, they were going to do it for free)

Me: How long will it take?
CBSC: Um, another 20 minutes?
Me: No, I don't think so.
CBSG: Um ... then um ... can you pull the car into Bay #1?
Me: Yes, I think we could just about manage that.

So, after four hours "on the road" we had gone about 30 or 40 km on our 300-km trip and had already spent $100. This did not bode well for the remainder of the excursion. Fortunately, for once, the portents were wrong.

The one part of the trip that I thought might cause us problems, the border crossing, was the easiest part of the whole thing. We just answered a few questions put to us by a very polite but really-scary-looking young man (you know the kind, the sort who looks like he's been punched in the face once too often ... and liked it) and we were on our way. Finally, 8 hours after starting out on what should have been a 3-4 hour trip, we arrived at our destination. And promptly got lost.

After a few calls and a little scrambling (and would someone remind me again why I don't have a cellphone?) we got to my Mother-in-Law's house and settled in for the night.

The next day, the entire trip took an upward turn when I got to spend the afternoon with some of really fun people (and Patti, who was also really fun but who doesn't have a blog any more) and eat and eat and laugh and eat and laugh and eat some more.

Very gracious hostesses, a beautiful house and garden and excellent food and company. There was rather a lot of hilarity. Who's surprised at that part?

I spent a good portion of the afternoon nibbling on Elaine's boobies. Here she is, sitting smiling next to Bling who is taking a picture of me taking a picture of them! Aren't we artistic?

And just so you perverts don't get all excited the "boobies" in question were some delicious pastries that Elaine made that morning. (imagine! getting up in the morning to BAKE! the woman is either a saint or certifiable. or both.) She calls the cheese ones "cheesyboobies" and the sweet ones are "sugartits". I'm pretty sure the latter were named before Mr. Gibson's recent debacle.

All I know is that they were just about the best thing ever.

Well, the best right next to the best hamburger ever, cooked by TMK, shown here growing a dog out of the middle of her face.

Frankie was wonderful and friendly and sweet and well-behaved the entire day. I adored her, and Ryan even put her beautiful collar on her. TMK didn't approve so much of the collar and kept referring to it as "your garment" in tones of great disgust. She's not so pink and frilly I don't think.

I have a picture of Melinda and also of Patti but they're completely in shadow, you can't see what they look like. My camera sucks a lot (and people made fun of it just because you have to hold the batteries in when you take a picture and the zoom feature doesn't work any more!). Way back in the dark ages when I got this thing it cost about what I make in a week. Gross. No, I mean my gross earnings, not that the cost was gross. Although it sort of was.

I've been looking in the endless flyers and shit that keep getting delivered to my door and it seems I can get one that also has video recording capabilities for next to nothing so I may have to indulge myself later in the month.

But I digress.

Anyhow, we had a fantastic time (although of course I got lost on the way there) and the two hours I had planned on stretched into well over four before I had the slightest urge to leave. Truthfully, if it were up to me, I'd still be sitting there.

Being late, I sped through Seattle, not stopping for yarn, and yesterday turned into a lengthy, sweaty, expensive, boring-as-fuck "shop for clothes for daddy" day so I didn't get to buy the Cascade 220 I need for Eris. A couple of folks have kindly pointed out that it's stocked by Webs, but truly? Dudes? I just can't shop there. Their website is just so messy I find myself overwhelmed any time I go there and have to leave immediately. Drop-down this and pop-up that and 900 different things on every page. Can't do it.

Plus I don't have a credit card.

So yeah, I'm just gonna have to go on another shopping trip soon. Wonder if I can convince Ben that not only do I have to go, but I have to go to Seattle and I have to go alone. And it'll take two or three days for me to make the purchase.

Ya think?

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Nurturing The Spirit

I'm stressed to the max here and not in top form. (would the person in the back row who just shouted "are you ever?" please go and slap themselves. thank you. no more beer for you.)

So I'm going to make Eris in Cascade 220, methinks, if I can find it in a colour I like. Seeing they seem to make damned near every colour under the sun, I don't think it'll be a big problem. Seattle, here I come! (According to one of my stalkers Cascade 220 is hard to locate here in the Great White North, and really, who has time to shop? I start work in an hour and a half.)

Oh, yeah, that's why I'm stressed. Remember last year when I missed The Harlot's book launch in Seattle because I forgot to take my daughter's birth certificate? And then we had to come back home and get it and we were late and everything? Yeah, that. Well, in the last year since we were there, we seem to have misplaced that self-same birth certificate. Plus my husband's passport. So, even though they're on the list of things to take, well, we can't.

I was pretty much having a total-melt-down kind of day, and in fact #7 on the "to do" list was "kill self, if there is time" (relax, I knew there wouldn't be time and anyhow Lee Ann said I couldn't), however I am now the happy, happy recipient of hmm, maybe 3 lbs of incredibly soft, clean llama. And, seemingly, llama cures everything:

Dudes, couldn't you plotz? (I still have to find out what that is so I can do it)

This is the "very dirty llama threads" I was offered a while back. Yeah. My house should be so dirty.

This llama's name is Spirit and he (she?) was hand clipped and, clearly, hand-fed and probably brushed a heck of a lot, too. Beautiful, beautiful soft fibre with almost no smell and absolutely zero llama poop. There's some straw in it, but it's clean straw.

Yeah, #7's off the list for sure, now.

Sprit has been taken care of by a woman who seems to be somewhat magical. And old and tough and feisty and probably not all that comfortable to be around 100% of the time (I've never met her). She's making a huge difference in the life of someone I love (no, not that kind of difference, I know some straight people, you freaks) and today she and my friend, with the assistance of the llama, made a big difference in mine.

Um, so yeah, fuck #7. I have llama to spin.

And I just remembered that we've only lost the documentation of TWO of the members of this family. I got mine, Jack (in my purse).


Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I Have Purple Balls

And for all of you who got here by googling the above-noted title, I'm sorry to disappoint (and you're either perverts and should be ashamed of yourselves, or you have a serious medical problem and should shut off the damned computer and go go the emergency room) but this is a knitting blog.

Here's the latest results of my fun with dyeing. I think I did these either Saturday or Sunday and I'm very pleased with the results. Alas and alack, I didn't wash them as well as I had thought, which fact I discovered through the gradual but definite purpling of my paws as I wound them up at work last night.

They're going in the bath again tonight. Thank FSM my babysitter is getting used to finding oddities floating in, and drying over, the tub.

As for the zipper story, well, there are a couple of reasons I hate zippers. And I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Today, I'm going to go wash the wool and then get my weary ass off to work.

You'll just have to live in suspense another day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006



All righty, just for Rachel H, I'll tell you how I feel (how I really, really feel) about zippers in knitwear.

Zippers in knitted clothing are evil, and startlingly ugly. My objection to zippers is not the sewing in thereof, but the fact that zippers Do. Not. Belong. in knitwear.

Therefore, no matter how a zipper gets into the Eris cardigan -- sewn by me, by the drycleaners, or in fact by the bad squirrels from the village -- at very the moment when the zipper is affixed to the months of painstaking knitting, it will stop being something I love because it's a beautiful design and I have knit on it for months and will start being yesterday's dishrag which I would be ashamed to donate to the homeless.

I would never wear it.

And so, you see, although I have definitely decided to knit Eris, there will be no zipper. Ever.

Because zippers and knitwear do not mix.

For those needing further clarity, please do not hesitate to drop me a line! You know you want to.

And now, I'm going to go figure out the wool to make this in. I'm leaning towards's Peruvian Highland wool in Oxblood. Ya think?

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