Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We Interrupt Our Story
To bring you a reminder that today is the last day to sign up for The Dulaan Brigade. Signing up is easy, just email Ryan with a working email address, and tell her you're in!
C'mon, you know you want to. It'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy and, more importantly, will make the folks in MongoLEEa feel all warm and fuzzy also.
You can, of course, knit, crochet, whatever for the project at any time, but this is the last day to get on the "official" list and be eligible for a nifty prize (as yet to be determined).
The count of participants is up over 300 so far. I, of course, went mental and decided that this year's goal of 12,086 is far too low, and that we should aim for 20,000. MaryB agreed with me enthusiastically, but now she tells me that as punishment for my lunacy, I'm expected to knit like 100 items or something mad like that (ok, she didn't give a number, but she said it had to be more than five).
that's 12,086 knitted items, not 12,086 participants, although that would be utterly astonishing, too
I've got one and a half hats done. I'll get right on the rest as soon as I finish trying to put hats on all of the homeless in Vancouver. As of December 26, Ryan, my needles are yours.
One hundred. I can do it. (Anyone settle for ten?)
no, I'm not drunk this early in the morning. clearly, crack was free today ...
Monday, October 30, 2006
In Which I Lie Some More
What I Did On My Weekend Trip: Chapter II
Saturday morning dawned for the second time a scant few hours after I had gone to bed, and somewhere in the middle of the night I had acquired quite a doozy of a headache. I hate it when that happens.
I hastily packed (one book, two knitting projects, three sets of needles, tapestry needles, one hairbrush, one toothbrush, one pair of socks, one tank top, one fleece shirt, one pair of underpants and a small bag of wine gums -- take that you girly-type packingpeople!) and hit the road.
Oh yes, and I packed the pair of satin underpants that I wear on my head. Apparently I'm not allowed to go to Seattle without them.
I left the house a couple of hours after I had planned, due in part to the small-child-feeding and due in part to the not-doing-mornings-well-or-gracefully thingie. The border crossing was a dream; the guards don't spend a lot of their questioning time on noticeably-dishevelled middle-aged housewives in minivans with a child seat in the back, apparently. This was fortunate, as I had decided that if the border guard was going to search me for Vegemite, I was going to bundle him in the car and take him to Seattle and force him to learn to knit for Dulaan. I'll do anything for a good cause.
No, I won't show you my boobs if you knit hats.
wait. how many hats?
Following the most-exquisitely-exact directions of MaryB, I arrived about an hour and a half after I said I would. Circling the block to find parking, I noticed an agitated knitter circling the block also, waving her arms, jumping up and down and generally looking relieved that I wasn't dead on the highway. I guess I should have explained in advance that I really don't understand this "time" thing of which people speak, and that I always get there eventually, but seemingly I'm a bit of an ass like that.
There had in fact been a couple of accidents on the I5, which had slowed me down. I would have made the trip in about two and a half hours, border included, had not cocktail hour apparently started early 'round about those parts. There was some sort of football game on and a homecoming dealie (or are those the same things?) and there were a couple of occasions where the boys and girls with the flashy lights on their cars were having intense conversations with the local citizenry. I mentioned this to the no-longer-really-blogging Elaine and her wife Leslie, when I arrived, and they asked me in concerned tones if any of the accidents had been bad. I responded with "no, they were fine. I wasn't in any of them."
That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the afternoon, as Leslie ably demonstrated her ability to control hysterics under pressure. But only after Quite a Long Time.
next chapter: In Which I Meet a Lot of Interesting People and Learn to Hate Seattle Drivers, Especially That One Guy in the Big White Truck
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I took no pictures.
Apart from that everything else was true.
This is going to be a huge post with a billyun links, so I think I'll break it into several parts.
What I Did On My Weekend Trip: Chapter I
OK, where do I begin? Let's start at the very beginning; it's a very good place to start. My apologies to anyone who has Julie Andrews singing in their heads now.
I guess I should have known there was going to be trouble when I didn't break my foot. This is the first time in a very long time that I've made it across the border without smashing my toes first. I think of it as The Seattle Injury, and I endure it happily because quite frankly I love Seattle and many of the people there so much that I'd possibly do without an entire toe to get to visit on a regular basis. Not a whole foot, though. That would fuck up my spinning even worse than I manage to do on my own.
Friday night I took Ben out for dinner, to celebrate the annual appearance of his natal day. The mother of a friend of Eleanor's invited her over for a playdate for the evening, so we hastily accepted and scampered out to have a child-free dinner, thus minimizing the chance that we would hear the phrase "would you like fries with that" from the person taking our order.
We picked her up and hung around for a bit, talking to the parents. Got home 10:30-ish to find a message from my friend C asking if I was "still able" to take her kids on Saturday night as she was working 13 hours. We have an arrangement whereby I take her kids as often as I can on Saturdays and she takes mine on Monday. Saves wear and tear on her parents, saves me some childcare costs, everyone wins. But not this weekend.
I called her back, saying that not only was I unable to take her kids, but reminding her that we had made arrangements weeks before for her to take E on Sunday so I didn't have to race back and could have lunch with Libby (or the sadly blogless Patti and her offspring), maybe visit Gaile on the way back, bla bla bla.
There was a silence, and then she blurted out "but I'll be out of town on Sunday." "So shall I," I replied through clenched teeth. She said she would try to work something out, and I, seeing my entire weekend -- the first weekend I've managed to wangle away, alone, in eight years -- crumbling before my eyes, asked her how soon she'd be able to tell me. She said in about half an hour.
So then I cried. And then I got mad. And then I decided that I'd go anyhow, but if C couldn't do it I would just come home early on Sunday, so that I only had to cancel one day's plans. Libby and I had sort-of-flexible maybe-happening plans and I hadn't even called Gaile, thank goodness.
Two hours later, no call. So I call her again at work and she says that she's called her mother (at midnight? Um, the woman is retired and there's a really good chance she went to bed at 10) and that the "memorial service for her great aunt" is on Sunday, so she wouldn't be taking E, definitely.
OK, so which is it? A memorial service? Going out of town? A memorial service out of town, perhaps? I could be judging her too harshly and she did sound exhausted, but she hasn't been herself lately and I just found the whole thing hard to swallow.
Today I called to see if she was going to take E tomorrow, as per our usual plan. I haven't heard from her but I called again and her voicemail message has changed so ... um ... I'm sort of thinking maybe she checked her messages and is avoiding me. I'm trying frantically to believe the best of her but there's only so many times you can sit on Santa's knee until you realize his beard is held on with elastic, you know? I have a feeling tomorrow's going to be a giant mess.
Anyhow, so after all of that, Ben and I stayed up far too late watching movies (A Shot in the Dark, Peter Sellers. It's the first Inspector Clouseau movie and really, because of my special Movie Retardation I didn't remember about 90% of it and fell about laughing until I hurt myself.) and drinking beer and doing laundry. Laundry is always a romantic thing to do on someone's birthday.
Eventually I noticed it was well into Saturday and I really had to get some sleep before I hit the road, and staggered gracefully off to bed.
thus endeth the first chapter
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Messge in a Bottle
I'm heading for Seattle for the Dulaan knit-in in a few hours, and won't be blogging again until Sunday night, or Monday afternoon, depending on how much the strip-search by the border guards tires me out.
Many pictures will be taken. Of the knit-in, not the strip-search, you perverts.
In the meantime I apologize for the paucity of anything resembling content on this here blogthing. I'm sure I'll have some sort of ridiculous tale about getting lost while following completely clear directions to regale you with when I return.
And if anyone has sent me an email in the last, oh, year or so and hasn't received a reply, I've just discovered that the ISP from Hell is eating many of my outgoing (at least six in the past ten days) and some of my incoming email. I'll work on some sort of solution shortly, but unfortunately this is the only place I can get a really high-speed connection and y'all know I'm just a speed freak. Going back to dialup would likely cause me to explode. So, if you've sent something and I haven't replied, please don't think I'm just a stuck-up bitch (although that may well be the case). Please send it again and hopefull it'll get through this time. Or send to b_rabbet at hottmaledotcom, making the obvious substitutions.
In the meantime, be good to each other. Or, if you're not, blog about it so I have stuff to read when I get back.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
No childcare tonight, so we're juggling mommy and daddy time. This means that there is little blogging time as they seem to want me to be on time for work, so I have to go pick Ben up.
Bastages. Don't they know you're far more important?
Anyhow, a flying update on the hat progress, with proper links and all tomorrow.
So far I have received 17 hats (ten are from one person, can you believe it?), and have been informed of another couple dozen that have been posted already. Here they are, in all their glory:
nice, or what?
Some are kid-sized:
Some are not:
All are gorgeous. Thanks so much to everyone who's participating.
Monday, October 23, 2006
A Little Head Never Hurt Anyone
Got my hair cut today and for once I didn't have to explain to the nice Iranian ladies there that no, I didn't want to "look a little more feminine" by leaving my hair longer. I'm thinking that a rack of notable proportions would be enough to establish my gender, and anything else is up to everyone else's imagination.
But man do I have a little head or what?! (You guys just have dirty minds).
So I'm dashing out to work, but here for your amusement are a few very bad webcam pictures (I need a new camera, apparently, which might be why today is the first time I've had it plugged in since April. I shall add it to the list).
So tell me true, does this make me look like a boy?
yes, I was feeling sorta Judy Garland at this particular moment, apparently
Or how 'bout this?
Hrm. Maybe the last one. And strangely enough, it happens to be my favourite. I think I'll use that one to scare off the jerks on IRC.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Which, if you think about it, is a far better title than, say, Friday Flatulence.
I have updated the hat info and it's over here for those who are interested, as I know not everyone who visits is desperately interested in what the fashionable homeless of Vancouver will be wearing on their noggins this winter.
Anyhow, today I took four children out to the Laity Pumpkin Patch. Despite the obvious brain malfunction I was having when I decided that taking four small girls anywhere on my own, we had a great time and we all got good (cheap!) pumpkins. If you're in the area and you have transportation, it's well worth a visit.
I don't have a lot today, due to the exhaustion of the four kids thing and such, but I did want to bring your attention to this post by Mandy. She's got a link to a great article over at Dress a Day. Now I'm not much for the dresses (ok, yes, in the summer but October to April see me pretty much swaddled) but it's definitely well-written and provides food for thought.
And as an aside, I must mention how much I really really hate having purchased a needle gauge sizer thingie made by Susan Bates, only to find that there's no hole for 7mm or 7.5mm needles, seeing that's what I happen to need for the next project on the list.
Thanks, Sue. Remind me to do you a favour one day.
In the meantime I'll just be over here with my glasses on, trying to read the itty-bitty numbers stamped on the sides of my needles.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
It's Not Unusual To Be Punched By Anyone
Well, it's finally happened. Tom Jones has lost his mind.
Not content with being a world-famous crooner, he has now decided to toss his hat (and, apparently, the rest of himself) into the boxing ring.
With none other than Mike Tyson.
Let's see ... Tom is 66. Mike was born in '66.
Tom is well-known for singing, gyrating, being Welsh and having panties thrown at him.
Mike is well-known for for pummeling people and biting their ears off (and, seeing he served three years in jail on a rape charge, likely has at least a passing acquaintance with panties himself, however they don't seem to have been donated quite as willingly as the ones collected by Mr. Jones).
I certainly can't think of a more sensible match-up, can you?
What's next? The Pope vs. Hulk Hogan?
Hrm, come to think of it, I'd pay for that one.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I'm trying not to buy much of anything these days, due to little things like, you know, bills and such, but now and again a girl just can't help herself.
Looks like I'm parking on the street at work for the next two weeks, but it's worth it.
So hey, there are more hats and more prizes. I'm running in circles (and just realized that I really have let personal hygiene slip by the wayside but that's another, smellier topic) trying to get work and sleep and get the kid to and from school and maybe get my teeth fixed and get to meetings and all. It's been a bit nuts, but I should be able to update on Friday.
In the meantime, go get yourself some tunes.
Monday, October 16, 2006
My kidlet is off at her babysitter's and I'm about to grab a rare opportunity for a two-hour nap before work, so this'll be quick.
The dyeing went well, thanks to all who asked and also to all who voted for the acid dyes. Seeing it was my first time using them, I chose the Peruvian wool, the screwing-up of which would be the least likely to make me wish to commit some sort of ritual suicide, because we all know how closely I read the directions on anything, right?
It's turned out to be a beautiful clear cobalt, with just a little colour variation. Unfortunately it reeks of vinegar, so unless I want to call the colourway "Deep Blue Douche" or something equally tasteful, I'm going to have to swish it around in Eucalan for a bit tomorrow. Pics will be up as soon as it's dry and skeined.
I went to my PO box today and received the first exciting shipment for the hat drive dealie, from Marlene, and it's every bit as nice as it looks on her blog. There have also been four more prizes donated: some beautiful Tiki bamboo sock yarn from The Lady Wyvern and one of each of Goodwife Stephanie's books, signed for you personally.
Almost makes me want to put my own name in the hat. Well, the bucket, seeing there won't be any hats left over in this house.
And now, to sleep ...
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Rather A Lot of Wool
that's 560 yards of Peruvian sockweight, 1120 yards of superwash merino in laceweight and 2240 yards of superwash merino in sock weight
Lots more time on my hands than I had anticipated (yay for little girls with playdates!)
So ... the only questions are ... what first? And natural or acid dyes?
I know you're going to be breathless with anticipation until you find out.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
There we go; told you I'd get a picture up sooner or later.
two skeins of Kureyon, colour #92
We also have an offer of some sock yarn, for which I do not yet have a photo, and the charming and talented Miss Wendy is going to send one lucky winner a signed copy of her book.
I'll put all of this info over here as soon as I get three minutes to myself (house full of children, and really, after they go to bed I'm just going to dye wool rather than blog).
The colour of the Kureyon is pretty close. The colour of the mitts in the previous post, however, was not at all true and I didn't realize how far off they were until everyone started patting me on the head and saying "sure, pink, whatever you want dear" and backing away slowly. If you scroll down a bit, there's a pink mitten a couple of posts ago. That's a lot closer to the real colour.
I know the difference between pink and purple, honest. I'm not that drunk, no matter what some folks imply.
On the exciting fibre front, I'm actually going to make it to my guild meeting on Tuesday, and it also looks like I'll be heading south for The Exciting West-Coast Dulaan Knit-In. Should I be able to keep the batteries in my camera (I have a new elastic band! Yay!) there will be (blurry) pictures.
Now don't you wish you were me?
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Not All Hats, Not All the Time
My small child is now in love with me, as I have finished and seamed the second of the small pink mittens I was making:
These were originally intended for Ann's mitten challenge for the res, but a) I missed the deadline and b) they were co-opted by The Small House Goddess. I'll cast on more for Ann tonight, but I had to bow to Herself in the interest of maintaining a modicum of domestic harmony.
I'm actually really stoked that she craves my handknits so badly. She's been known to steal washcloths for blankets for her dolls ...
And yet, were I to make Barbie clothes they'd likely be left under the couch.
Just my luck to get one of the weird kids ...
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
And They're Off!
Some of us, of course, are a little more off than others, but I was hoping that you would be polite enough not to mention it.
Marlene has finished her hat, and isn't it a cutie?
Prizes are being gathered. First up are two balls of Kureyon in Colourway #92 -- perfect for anyone making Lizard Ridge.
A list of prizes and participants will be maintained over here, along with pictures of the finished hats and a grand total and so on.
There's nothing much there yet, 'cause I just suddenly realized I haven't eaten or showered and I might be wearing yesterday's clothes (I'm a little distracted these days) and I have to leave for work in an hour. I'll try to get a blurry photograph up tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Address for Hats
Okie dokie, we have an address for the hats:
#241-718-333 Brooksbank Avenue
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7J 3V8
No, I don't live there, so don't come a-stalking me. You'd feel very silly if you did; it's just a mail drop.
Thanks for everyone who tossed their hat into the ring, as it were. We're going to have some warm noggins around here. I'll split the hats between the two places I mentioned in my original post, plus Covenant House.
Gentlepersons, start your needles!
Recent google searches:
a) and when one little panda puts his furry little willy
b) where can you find shirts that say I make cute babies
c) make chicken hats
OK, the hats I can understand (sort of) and the "cute babies" one, although desperately twee, is also understandable. But you? You over there, the panda guy?
You've got a problem. No, really. I'm calling the Panda Police.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Looks like about a dozen
Anyhow, to update, a) email@example.com works (my email-setting-up-mojo is not yet lost) and b) adult hats are preferable, but if you make kid hats, by all means send 'em along. I'll take them to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre or to SheWay or something. There is, unfortunately, no shortage of need.
The adult hats will go to Triage and to Lookout
Any material will do. Wool, acrylic, probably even cotton but I don't know how warm that would be. And if you don't knit or crochet, there's always sewing fleece hats to think about.
If you're in the Vancouver, BC area and don't have yarn and can't afford any let me know. I'll bring/send you some.
And now to go get a PO box, seeing I guess I don't really want my home address published on the interwebs thingie, and the good folks over at Competizione have offered to announce it for me.
Because I know that Angie's not the only one dying to stalk me ...
I just went outside, and Jesus, Mary and Albert is it cold.
I came back in and put on a coat (yes I went outside without one, I was retarded enough to think that The Power of Flannel would save me but it didn't) and then went back outside and it was still freakin' cold but at least I had a coat.
And it's not even "real" winter yet.
The papers tell me that there are 1300 people living on the streets of Vancouver. I took 13 blankets to the shelter today, so whee, 1% of 'em now have a blanket.
Supposedly you lose something like 80% of your body heat through your head. I have no idea why, I think it might just be one of those little cosmic jokes that they explained in the science classes I didn't go to.
Anyhow, we have a lot of cold heads here in Vancouver. And they need hats. So I'm gonna hold me a contest.
Make a hat (I'm a slow knitter and it takes me four hours to make one) and then email me and I'll tell you where to mail it. I think firstname.lastname@example.org will work for an email address, otherwise bunniegirl at shaw dot ca will do it.
There will be prizes. The deadline is December first. You have seven weeks, surely you can find four hours in seven weeks, can't you?
Prizes will include sock yarn, stitch markers, and maybe even some of those knitting books I've been hoarding for years.
Knit early, knit often.
Go on, you know you want to.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Raising a Glass
Call the Ministry!
The title comes courtesy of my friend mouse, who longs to live in Canada so she can shout things like "call the Ministry!"
I do believe I may be the most disorganized person in the world. No, really. I'm a packrat and, apparently, completely insane. Team that up with being exhausted and overscheduled most of the time and this is the sort of thing you end up with when all of the boxes in your guest room get rammed into your studio and then fall over:
Yeah, there comes a point where even I get ashamed, so last night, amply armed with fortifications and a great big shovel, I started organizing this mess.
First, seeing the weather has turned and all of the shelters are in urgent need of blankets, I hauled out some of the ones that the good folks of Vancouver have been putting together for the last year. A few were a little ... pungent, shall we say? (Folks, if you're knitting for "the homeless" please note that even the homeless don't want to smell the cheese-flavoured popcorn you were eating while knitting their blanket. Wash it before you give it to me ffs; my hydro bills are through the roof.)
I washed them and have a nice stack to take over to the shelter later today:
I went through some boxes of yarn, as there are tons and tons donated every year, much of which can't be used. (Again, if you're donating to "the homeless", please check what the agency you're donating to actually requires. In our case it's worsted-weight acrylic. New. Nothing else. Just because it makes you feel virtuous to clean out your craft room doesn't mean that all of that crochet thread and funfur is going anywhere.) Anyhow, I get tons of wool and wool blends donated, which we can't use (ease of washing. If you wash a blanket in hot water and some of the squares are acrylic and then a few are wool ... well, I think you can imagine the result). There's a lady at my parents' seniors' centre who has a big bunch of friends who sit about knitting toques for the folks who live on our streets and they can use any amount of any yarn available. I'll be dropping off a garbage bag full of yarn at my parents' place when we go up for Thanksgiving dinner tonight. Yes, the Canadians celebrate it this weekend. I will also celebrate on American Thanksgiving. I love a good feast.
(The chenille I spoke of in an earlier post was also a misguided donation. It's gone to the elementary school for kids to use to make hair for people they draw on posters. Good god, you didn't think I was actually going to knit with it, did you? I'm not that drunk.)
While organizing I came across a few interesting finds:
a pile of merino/tussah, which proves that I can't spin. I like it, though
It went in the:
box of weird shit i have spun
I also found 100 grams of wool/mohair blend from "Shades of Narnia" in Chilliwack. Beautiful soft stuff and I love it, but it certainly confirms the notion that goats don't bathe quite as often as they might, if you know what I mean. (hint: it doesn't smell like cheese-flavoured popcorn)
The studio is nowhere near organized yet, but I can actually see hints that there might be a floor in here. Hoping to get my dyeing table in here after dinner (the rest of the afternoon is committed to making cookies with Miss Muppet) and maybe commit some sort of outrage upon the thousands of yards of superwash I have languishing back here. I just bought my first batch of acid dyes ... look for photos shortly.
Oh, and for anyone interested in that brown wool, the two small skeins have gone to live in Sweden, of all places. i'll try to put the two big ones up on the sidebar-clickything later.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
We Do Not Shoot the Amish
I had a big long post about half done, with photographs and all of knitting, wool, studio, etc, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. Mostly because I haven't finished it yet but partly because my heart is so full of this post that I have to put this one up first.
When I first heard about the shooting, I think I was talking to Jen and I said WTF? Did they run out of fish in the barrel or something?
I mean, shooting the Amish is something that we just don't do. It's beyond all possible belief. These people work very hard to not be part of the industrialized world. I, the anti-xian have nothing but respect and admiration for the strength of their beliefs and of their community. If more people lived with their ethics, we wouldn't be in such a huge fucking mess right now. They want to be left alone. That's all they want, and I believe we should respect that.
I likely have a secret love for them as they use buttons on everything, not zippers, and I think we all know how much I like zippers, yes?
And then I read in the paper this weekend that they had invited the widow of the murderer to attend the funeral of one of the little girls that he had slaughtered, and that, at their insistence, a fund had been set up for her and her family.
And I just sat there in disbelief, with tears running down my face. It was very attractive, let me tell you. There's a reason that people like me work alone.
To have the grace and the purity of heart (yes, it's a corny phrase but I tried to think of something else for five minutes and just couldn't so deal with it) to recognize, in the middle of their pain and loss, that she and her children were victims too is something larger than I could ever imagine. I cried again tonight when I told Ben about it. Fortunately he loves me and doesn't mind if my nose looks like a tomato.
Take a memo, people. Make a note to yourself. a) we do not shoot the Amish and b) I think we may have a few things to learn from them.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Not a lot of blogging, Chéz Lapin, but there have indeed been fibre-related activities.
I spent quite a lot of last night making this:
there are actually four skeins, two of 300 yards and two of 250. if and when i get my lazy ass in gear they will be posted for sale. merino superwash, laceweight my precioussss
I have also completed this:
for Ann's mitten challenge. i clearly won't make the deadline, seeing it's passed already, but i'll be sending a couple of pairs. please excuse the blurry photo ... my camera doesn't have a zoom, or a focus, or really any features working any more.
This has also been completed:
my first hat for Dulaan 2007
More accurate colour here:
Work is ... well, it's work. And it's pretty good, we're just in the midst of some unsettling times. Cooler heads will prevail. Or perhaps those of us with the pointy sticks will just rise up in revolt.
Could go either way, really.
Slept all day and I'm actually not sick any more, for the first time in about a month. Amazing what that sleep thingie will do.
And now ... off to work again.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
There, now you've done it.
Monday, October 02, 2006
I Will Not Blog About Work
I will not blog about work.
I will not blog about work.
I will not blog about work.
Not that I'm afraid of anyone finding it, just that I have never yet used the dreaded C word on this blog (no, not that one, the other one) and really, that's just about the only word I'm capable of screaming at the moment.
Things are going badly. Stress and annoyance, no uneployment looming, fear not.
I will not blog about work ...
Heading off to That Place. Teeth firmly clenched.