Monday, December 31, 2007


Imagine ...

So, imagine you had a dog. A dog you loved and who had never done anyone any harm, and who didn't deserve to have bad things happen to it.

(that part is called foreshadowing, brace yourself)

And imagine you took it out for a walk in the snow.

(here comes the bad part)

And then imagine you got run over by some yahoo on a snowmobile and ended up in the hospital bigtime, and your dog got hurt even worse.

(see? i told you it wasn't nice)

Imagine, then, that your dog could be saved, but not without a huge infusion of cash, which you don't have because thanks the no-socialized-medicine system your family is also trying to pay to get all of your insides put back together.

Now imagine further that you met a really good vet who fixed up your dog as best he could, and who wrote off $700 of his own fees and also tapped his clinic's assistance fund for some of the rest of it.

Imagine how happy you'd be if total strangers helped that dog out. No tax write-offs, no fame, no glory, just sending some cash to a total stranger in return for sincere thanks.

Imagine you're not that guy at all, but that instead you're you and aren't in the hospital worrying about your smooshed dog, and that you happen to have a few dollars left after the Hexmess depredations on your budget.

How 'bout you stop imagining, hit that PayPal button and send it to Dr. Mel? And then send me a note at teh.bunnei at gmail dot com and I'll put your name in the hat for a few things like Debbie Stoller's Stitch N Bitch Nation, some stitch markers and some big fat yarn to knit up into scarves (and some roving, if you're a spinner, dyed to your specs).

You game? (Um, I suppose "game" isn't a great word to use when talking about mooshed animals but you know what I mean)

You up for the challenge? We put Rachael's cat Digit back together. I'll bet if we all pull together we can do the same for Phoebe.

I'll just bet we can.

(thus endeth the final broadcast for 2007 of the Annoying Do-Goodery Channel)


The Year In Review

Archives. Read them, bitch.

There seem to be a number of questions and comments I haven't addressed, so I will, however, do the Month In Review.

(please note I have not provided linkage here. if work is really slow tonight I shall rectify this error)

A. Dyeing Roving

December 6 -- yes, the roving for FemiKnit Mafia was dyed with spite. Also acid dyes. I should have some more done shortly. I don't have any more Wensleydale here, so it won't have that amazing shine but it'll be (approximately) the same colourway.

December 28 --

katelnorth, yes, it does have to be merlot. Unless you don't have any and then really, anything short of paint thinner will do. And yes, "floop" is a technical term. You learn these things when you're a professional fibre artiste such as myself.

ellen in indy - easter egg dye works well; most of my first stuff 2 or 3 years ago was done with easter egg dye. I've never had any run, although I will not guarantee its colour-fastness. You can get some good combos with that, without a whole lot of outlay in the way of cash -- it's a good way to start. You might also want to look at Wilton's cake dyes -- they have an excellent colour range and they are colour-fast.

anne marie in philly -- your identifying word, "hirertfu" stands for "Hire Rodent-Titted Fuckups." Those with whom I currently work and also those to whom I am close and are experiencing a crisis in personnel management will understand completely.

Jill -- when dyeing naked yarn, either merlot or pinot grigio is equally acceptable. A pinot noir is also just fine for the roving, however I'd steer clear of the shiraz for that, if I were you.

Carol -- seeing everyone in the blogosphere is writing books I now, due to your suggestion, have an urge to write a Dr. Soused book. Or, to avoid copyright infringement lawsuits I may follow Wendy's suggestion and do a "cussword-a-day" calendar.

Anne -- spin sober, especially with a drop spindle. I speak from experience here.

Michelle -- if you're using blush wine during the dyeing process, I assume you're using more delicate fibres such as bunny, alpaca or silk? Otherwise for the best results you'd really better top it up with Screech or something.

Corbie -- a serious answer to your question (not that all of the above aren't serious) is that I use Ciba acid dyes. They're relatively inexpensive (I usually get out of the store for less than $100, and remember I'm buying in bulk) and they're easy to use, colourfast and give fantastic results. If you want some advice drop me a line at teh.bunnei at gmail dot com and I'll do what I can to help.

FemiKnit Mafia -- any time you're in this neck of the woods, you and Little Man are most welcome. We have a big house and although all of the bedrooms are now occupied a little creative juggling can always free one of them up for guests. I'll buy as much wine as you'd like, and you can watch me paint my hands blue and green all night if that's what scrolls your nard. ("scroll your nard" is a phrase we used to use in high school. I have no idea what it means but it makes me giggle like a loon. You're welcome.)

And last but not least ...

Sweet Camden Lass -- I weighed the roving because it was a custom order, and we'd settled on a price for four ounces. I didn't want to send her only two and rip her off, she's a fairly recent but a good and true friend. I also didn't want to send her a pound and either overwhelm her or rip myself off and dig into the kid's college fund (and of course deplete the fund for the cheap merlot).

B. Weaving

December 8 -- yes, I have a loom (two, in fact) but I haven't had time to warp them yet. There will hopefully be much weavage in the coming year.

R. Payin' It Forward

I will knit for Debbie, BigGirlKnitter (yes, you're supposed to have a blog but really I can't see why you can't have fun too, as long as y'all will pay it forward, yourself), PackAlpha and Knit Wit.

I can't email you, slowknitter, as I can't find any way to contact you. Drop me a line at teh.bunnei at gmail dot com, willya?

9. Warshcloth Prizes

There will be a couple more of these, plus also some left-over stuff from last year's hat challenge that I didn't post about. I need about a week to get my head on straight again after the "festivities".

xoxo. Shrink-Wrapped Crap

Contestant C, I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am that my little girl is growing up enough to want her own room. She eats crackers in bed (it's full of crumbs), and she kicks like a mule. Despite the work involved in organizing and painting a room, it's well-worth the many extra hours of sleep I will get every week.

Apparently the room will be peach and girly. This is way better than the goth phase she was going through last year.

And yes, Heather, please come visit, and soon. I'm working like a bitch to the middle of January and then I will have some free time.

Wenchlette, please come over soon too. We need to spin!

And Abby, for the holiday season most of what we did was eat, drink and work. I'm so glad it's over. May next year's be less frantic (please FSM).

%$#. The Dreaded Christmas Knitting

I didn't finish it. Everyone just has to deal.

Stephanie, however, did. I am sending her sock yarn as a prize. (I'm assuming that's the reason she put the heat on at the last minute there, 'cause I'd told her I would. The name Yarn Harlot is well-earned. And yes, it's all about me.) She's getting the sock yarn I dyed in the "Revenge" colourway, but there will be much more of that available in the new year.

And now, I think that just about sums it all up.

I'm up dyeing wool right now, but I shall return to bed at 3pm-ish. I'll be working as y'all ring in the Nude Year tonight and then am having a second Christmas tomorrow at my parents' house so that the brother and his partner can join us.

I wish each and every one of you a joyous, prosperous and safe new year.

And, of course, a bucket of cheap merlot. (or maybe some really good coffee or something for those of you who don't indulge)

It's been a joy and a privilege getting to know a lot of you in the past year. I've even met some folks face-to-face and have discovered that I blush and get shy and stupid when people recognize me. Who knew?

Lady in Seattle with the hat who I met at Laurie's book signing, I didn't even ask who you were because I was so startled -- please forgive me. I suppose that when one has a fair number of readers and has announced in advance that one will be at a fairly public event, one shouldn't be shocked when some of those readers show up and recognize one. I shall do better in the coming year, I promise. I'll also likely buy some Depends.

And now I return to the dyepots. Anyone who is expecting an order, I am going to the post office on Wednesday.

See you all on the next page of the calendar.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Dyeing Roving: A Cautionary Tale (or perhaps a tutorial)

The most important thing to remember when dyeing roving is that you have to have some roving to dye.

Here we have a great big bag of Corriedale.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

My friend The Knitting Linguist has come over to the dark (and spinny) side, and requested that I do her up right, as it were. She wanted some of "the good stuff" and requested blues and greens. I went over town the other day and bought an assload of roving and attempted to do what she wanted.

Herein is the tale of my efforts. Mark it well.

The second most important thing, when you are dyeing roving, is a big-assed glass of cheap merlot.

If you accidentally bought the expensive stuff, that's ok too, but you're going to have to drink a lot of it. It's required. I just hope your pocketbook can keep up with it.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

No matter what the time of day or night, a big-assed glass of merlot is mandatory. I think I poured this at about 9am but seeing my days are the same as your nights I'm excused. And even if I wasn't, I'm from Glasgow, we get hinky when we get too much blood in our alcohol stream. It's a matter of medical necessity.

I wouldn't do this sort of thing if I didn't have to.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

First, you take the great big wad of roving and you weigh it out. This is my digital scale. You will note that this lump is 45 grams. I sold her 4 oz of roving which is like 135 grams or something.

At this point I wondered if I was doing a new spinner any kind of favour selling her four ounces of roving, because it's really quite a lot. And then I thought "oh hell, she's paid for it, and it wasn't that much in the way of cash and I've spent it already, so that's what she gets."

I'm so considerate. Plus I already ate the food I bought with the money so a refund would be sort of ugly at this point.

So, I weighed it out and then I soaked it in water with vinegar in it.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

It got to hang out in the water with about a cup of vinegar in it for half an hour or so and then we prepared ... The Device.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Well, actually The Device is a bath towel with two lengths of plastic wrap laid over it. I used tape at the ends because I've had this stuff roll up on me before but really, that's about as high tech as it gets.

About this point it's time to pour another glass of cheap merlot.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

You then take the roving and gently squeeze out the water and lay the roving down in a sort of snaky way back and forth over the plastic wrap.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Line up the mason jars of prepared dyes beside the roving and consider your strategy.

Drink some more merlot.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Dilute the darkest blue dye quite a lot, and then spoon it over the roving in a few places. Put on plastic gloves so you don't dye your hands stupid colours, and moosh the dye through the roving.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Dilute the next dye, spoon it on, moosh it about.

I believe your glass of cheap-assed merlot is getting low.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Pour another one.

Drink it.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Smoosh the next colour all over the wool. By this time the roving may be bitching about the mistreatment. Tell it to shut up and take it like a ram.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Dilute the last colour, a photograph of which we seem to have not taken, then roll the entire thing up in the plastic wrap. Roll it like a sausage roll, sealing the sides as best you can, then curl it up like a cinnamon bun, stick it in a microwaveable dish, and bang it in the microwave for six minutes.

Then flip it over and do another six to eight minutes on the other side.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

If, at this point, you discover that you have dyed your hands blue and green, despite the gloves, take a picture and embarrass yourself on the internet.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

At this point, you should likely pour yourself another glass of merlot.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Then you take the casserole out of the microwave and floop the roving into the bath.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Once it's cooled a bit, you can unwrap it.

And rinse it.

Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

And hang it on the shower rail.

And that's all she wrote.

I think it may be time for another big glass of cheap-assed merlot.

Don't you?

Saturday, December 22, 2007


The Dreaded Christmas Knitting

There's been nary a Rabbitch-shaped blip on the radar for a week or so, and the reason for this is The Dreaded Christmas Knitting.

I believe TDCK is also responsible for the state of my bathroom, the fact that there are no clean dishes in the house and is also possibly the reason that Britney Spears's younger sister is pregnant.

(There can be no other possible explanation for that as she allegedly "is very responsible and never comes home after curfew". Apparently all of the fucking has nothing to do with it. If only I had known this earlier I could have saved a fortune in birth control.)

No, the evil that is TDCK knows no bounds. It has brought greater knitters than I to their knees and has, in fact driven some of them to madness (dudes, she thinks she's finishing a sweater) and yet every year I nurture this tiny hope in my increasingly-gravitationally-challenged breast that this year -- by god, this year -- will be the one where all members of my family, and indeed all inhabitants of my immediate neighbourhood, will be ensconced in knitted goodness.

This year I set my sights low. Even lower than the aforementioned slowly-deteriorating body parts.

I decided I would make socks. One pair of socks, that's it.

In worsted.

Sounds simple, you say? Doable, even?


I forgot to take into account that I work every day. At least eight hours every day. And that sometimes they expect me to work at work (unreasonable icehole bastages, aren't they?). I forgot to take into account that although there is much valuable knitting time available on public transit, if you use 14" Addi Turbos like I do much of the time, that there is often not enough room to wield these lovingly-crafted implements of creation. (There are not words enough to tell you how much I love these needles. I have one set in one size. I plan on spending my child's college fund on expanding my collection in the coming year. And then in 2009 we start on the Lantern Moons with which I also have an unnatural relationship.)

I forgot to take into account that it rains pretty much 24/7 in Vancouver at this time of year; therefore, bus stop knitting is out of the question and that even if there were room on the bus to perform the knittage, everything is damp and if you take your knitting out of the bag it, too, will become damp.

I also forgot to take into account that I get sick every Christmas (I'm fighting it. This battle I shall win, if no other.), that my family gets sick every Christmas (E is sick and it doesn't bother her a bit. Ben is apparently at death's door. I never knew there were terminal colds out there but one is never too old to learn something new.) and that because of the temporarily-terminal illness of the rest of my family that all of the cooking and cleaning and holiday preparations will fall upon my capable, but sadly only human, shoulders.

I also forgot to take into account the fact that I had a ton of wool to dye and get out the door (some orders are delayed and will go out on the 27th. Life is like that sometimes) that I actually had to go over town and buy said fibre, and that I had also agreed to knit a dozen washcloths for someone at work. (It's money. I cannot be bought but easy rental terms have never been a problem.)

All of this excuse-making is just practice for my small speech on Christmas evening, when I present my mother with 3" of ribbing for one sock.

I bought liquor. I'm hoping it helps dull the disappointment.

It's certainly helping me.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Kick Start My Heart

And Shrink Wrap my Crap.

My studio is incredibly cold. I think it's the old back porch of this house, or perhaps some drunken add-on. It's hard to tell with this strange old house.

It's about 12'x22', with a good-sized window on one (cedar-shake covered) wall, a smaller window on the door to the outside which is on the short wall opposite the one with the shakes, and then there's a huge long stretch of windows on the long wall at the very back of the house. The long stretch of windows has one smallish pane, maybe 2.5' wide, a large pane, and then the third one consists of two panes of glass, one of which slides open, like in a display cabinet, with no insulation at all. The wind just blows in between the overlap of the two panes and it's colder than fuck. Even with my trusty little heater going at my feet (and the room is also on the central heat system with at least one heat vent in the floor) it's cold, cold, cold. (You can see the small window and the big one, plus the window in the cedar wall and the one in the door, in this post.

Today I put up some of that "trailer-trash double-glazing" stuff. You put double-sided tape around the windows, attach the plastic to the tape and then use a hair dryer to shrink it tight.

Immediately the room became inhabitable again. I've still got the heater going but it's more of a luxury than a necessity. The wind was completely blocked and the cold coming off the windows was cut by about 90%.

Shrink wrap my crap, indeed. I am pleased. There was also enough wrap in this package for both windows in the "guest room", which is about to become my daughter's "big girl room" (we've been sharing a room for years but she wants her own now) and for the smaller window in the studio. I think there's even enough for the window in the master bedroom (which will soon be mine alone).

I suspect that the $17 cost of the kit will be reflected in the first month's cost of savings in the heating bill.

I approve.

The random number generator has chosen #7 for the next warshcloth prize. Marsha is today's weiner winner. There are choices -- after I hear from her I'll tell you what she's won (it's either a book or yarn -- how surprising!)

And now ... off to work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The First Of The Warshcloth Prizes

I haven't finished opening all of the boxes and bags and envelopes yet ... honestly, you people! Thank you so much!

But I thought seeing I said I would start picking names for prizes on December 1 and it must be almost that time by now, I should start.

I asked my Random Number Generator (my daughter) to pick a number between one and twenty-three. She said why, and I said because if she didn't I'd beat her with a stick.

After the giggling wore off (apparently I'm not that threatening) she chose eight.

And it would appear that Ann has just won herself a big fat skein of Rideau Arcott/Jacob/Alpaca dyed by me in the Anthem colourway. I think there's about 375 yards in there and it knits up at 7 st/in. Enough for a big pair of socks. (not that her feet are big)

I don't have a picture, alas, but it's navy blending into turquoise and then flashes of magenta. Very sedate. No, really.

Knit them in good health, cookie. And these are for you, none of that do-gooding giving away stuff, ok?

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Payin' It Forward

I swiped this from the Knitting Linguist's blog. Here's how it goes:

“It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I will now Pay It Forward to you THREE, I wonder who you will be?! Please, be a PIF! You will enjoy it just as much as we do!”

And, remember…you have 6 months to get your gifts done! Come on, you know you would love to be one of my angels. Then, one day, but you don’t know when….you will get a gift that I have made especially for YOU!

Please remember, you don’t have to knit or crochet to participate, anyone who can make a nice handmade gift is welcome to join.

Y'all know you're getting warshcloths, right?

Speaking of which, I shall pick names for prizes for the warshcloths and post more pictures as soon as I get home tonight. Apparently they decided to hold December 1 at the beginning of the month instead of in the middle, which is what I had clearly been counting on.


Saturday, December 08, 2007


Oh Craigslist, How I Love Thee!

I was going to go on and on about the many interesting things I have learned this past week, mostly while riding public transit, however I have just scooped the deal of the century. Or at least of the month.

TAANIKO(Maori Hand-Weaving) by Joyee Ronald Smith
WEAVER’S STUDY COURSE- (Ideas and Techniques)-Else Regensteiner
WEAVING(A handbook of the fiber arts)- Shirley E. Held
WEAVING AS AN ART FORM(A personal statement)- Theo Moorman
NEEDLEWEAVING(easy as embroidery)- Esther Warner Dendel
WEAVING(Techniques & Projects)- A Sunset Publication
WEAVING YOU CAN WEAR- Jean Wilson with Jan Burhen
IKAT- Lydia Van Gelder
STEP BY STEP WEAVING- Nell Znamierowski

For about $2.75 each. Delivered.

I do believe I shall stop grousing, at least for the rest of the day.



I Can Has Knitwares?

Looks like these folks are pretty far short of their goal.

If you have a few hours, in between frantically knitting on The Holiday Knitting (yes, I started. I didn't think I was going to do any. I am clearly insane) how 'bout making a mitten? Or two, even?

Friday, December 07, 2007


An Educational Post

Save the environment. Feed beans to a kangaroo.

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Brave New World

So today I decided to see if I could dye roving without felting it. I have tons of roving and a few folks have asked me if I'll sell it dyed.

I said "yes", most confidently but as usual ran about in circles in a panic afterwards.

"What if I felt it?" "What if it looks like weasel puke?" "What if it's no fun?"

Anyhow I was talking to a friend, I think yesterday, and we were discussing the unfortunate and untimely demise of her marriage. I said something about "spinning visions of revenge" and she responded with "I wonder what that colourway would look like?" And then gave me a pretty clear idea of what I was going to do with the 3 oz of Wensleydale I had sitting in my roving basket (which is quite separate, and a lot smaller, than The Roving Cupboard, which is not the item in question at this point so shut up and stop asking me when I'm going to spin all of this stuff, ok?)

So I dyed it. And it didn't felt.

It's not quite what I had in mind, but it's pretty darned close.

Mafia's Revenge a
Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

Mafia's Revenge
Originally uploaded by Rabbitch

I think I'm in lurve.

This roving will be going to Herself shortly, however I have also dyed some sock yarn in this colourway, as I wisely (and unusually -- shut up) wrote down what I did.

Welcome to the world, little colourway. I hope you'll be very happy here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Why Howdy!

Still here, still wearing pants.

Apparently somewhat hygienically-challenged.

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.


"You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges."

Thank you so much, Lala

Tomorrow: Dyeing roving and other exciting things I have been doing which do not include sleep or laundry at all.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


A Brief Commercial Message

More wool in the store (link on the sidebar).

And now, seeing I hate it when people use their blogs for nothing but shilling sheep shit (to quote Franklin), I shall get some sleep and then update you on my exciting life (possibly with pictures of half a mitten) later tonight.

I haven't bruised anything but a toe lately, so there will be no body parts, but who knows what could happen in the 15 hours until I have to go to work again?

I am drinking whisky, after all.

Yes, at 8am.

shut up.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?