Sunday, October 31, 2004

S.E.X. and Halloween

For my friends and family who aren't in the know, it stands for Stash Enhancing Expedition. Now get your minds out of the gutter.

I had a little windfall yesterday so my mom and I made a trip to a LYS, Burnaby Knitworks. I spent way too much money but, my oh my, I made a nice haul. Take a look at the snap below.


Drooling, drooling and more drooling

Some for Christmas presents, some for me, some just to try.

It's Halloween today and I have a shot of my Sara that makes her look like a little devil.


Devil Cat

I've finished another Christmas present, a pair of gloves. I was so disappointed with how they turned out that I've decided to keep them for myself. I've started a different project for the recipient.


In process


Completed

I've never made gloves before and when I followed the pattern exactly, I had great gaping holes between the fingers. So on the first, I had to stitch them up after I'd finished. On the second, I tried to add more stitches when I picked up along the previous finger and then decreased them as I stitched along. They both looked pretty witched up by the end. Definitely not gift worthy.

Oh well. I didn't really need another project to add to my list but such is life. I'm actually feeling a little pressurized with all the Christmas knitting. If I had nothing else to do all day, every day, then maybe I wouldn't feel so short of time. Maybe I need to take a look at that list again and pare back some. Let's just say that whatever gets finished, gets finished. No point in getting stressed about it.

Until next time, Happy Halloween and stay safe, M


Thursday, October 28, 2004

My First Knit-Along

I was very impressed with the latest Knitty breast cancer issue. I immediately knitted up one of the items as a Christmas gift.

When I found this link at The Blue Ewe, I knew I had found my first knit-along. I'll have to get to a pink-yarn supplier asap.




In other knitting news, I'm nearly finished the piece I frogged yesterday. There's only about another hour's work left on it. Woohoo!

Until next time, folks, Think Pink! M

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Lunar Eclipse

Such a very strange night. We had a gorgeous lunar eclipse and it cast such a strange glow in the sky. When we're so close to Halloween, it instills a very magical feel to an evening.

The eclipse was the only nice thing, though. I was two-thirds finished Christmas present 2 when I realized that I had made it in the wrong size. I had to frog it completely and start again from scratch. Nothing magical about that.

I'm trying to get it finished asap so I can get on with another project. I've got a few more Christmas presents to get going this week so I can get them sent off to their recipients. I can hardly wait to post photos of these things to prove that I am actually knitting up a storm.

Only nine more weeks 'til Christmas. Aaaaaagh!

Until next time, keep knitting, keep knitting, M

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I Love My Sara Cat!

Favourites not allowed at our house! Today Sara gets equal air time. I love my cat.

I love the way Sara insists on cuddles when she climbs up on my shoulder and starts to purr. I love the way she attacks the dog's ankles from under the bed. I love the way she attaches to the people she claims as her own. I love the way she still thinks she's a baby despite being 13 years old.


My lovely Sara!

On the knitting front, I can finally post some pictures of the Surprise Gift because it's been delivered. It's a blue Hallowig. I also sent along the bright pink, light up jack-o-lantern and a tiny little pumpkin.


It knitted up so fast!


Jack-o-lantern trying it on!


Gotta model it!

I've also finished one of my Christmas presents and am about an hour away of knitting from blocking another. I feel like I can get a couple more polished off this week, too. So wish me luck.

So that concludes my week of "I Love" blogs. It's been my own gratitude journal. I have really needed to stay positive this week and this totally helped. It's hard to focus on the negative when talking about the good things in my life. I think I'll do at least one "I Love" blog a week just to keep my rose-coloured glasses in place. Thanks for reading along.

Until next time, take good care, M

Monday, October 25, 2004

I Love My Dog!

This one's an easy "I Love" blog. How could I not love that face?! And I fall in love with this little guy more and more every day.

I love the way he wakes me up in the morning with his tail wagging against the night stand. I love the way he greets me at the door when I come home after classes. I love the way he puts his blanket on my lap in the middle of my knitting when he wants to play. I love the way he plays with Sara, our cat, when she starts teasing him from under the bed.


My Beautiful Boy!

Have a fantastic day, M

I Love Knitting Socks

Another entry in the "I Love" chronicles. I know that many knitters are not interested in making socks. The very idea of turning a heal gives them nausea. For me, I love it.

I learned to make socks a few years ago, after knitting for nearly 30 years. My mom taught me how to turn the heal properly. Below is the pattern book that I use the most often. It was my first and it's still my favourite when I need a good place to start with a sock idea.




I like making socks because they knit up very quickly. I like them because they are a wonderful gift to give someone you care about. I like to use funky yarns and different designs to make them interesting and fun to wear. I like that people who don't knit are so very impressed with handmade socks.

The tragic thing is that I've never made a pair for myself. I have purchased some fantastic yarns for myself to do this but someone always asks me to whip up a pair for them. I pass them on without replacing them for my sock drawer. Hmmmmm, maybe it's time to start another pair for me. I feel an inspiration coming on.

Until next time, keep your toes warm, M

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I Love Good Food

The latest entry in the "I Love" file. I love good food. I like it fresh, healthy, colourful and tasty. I enjoy buying it, preparing it, cooking it, eating it. I don't even mind the clean up if the meal was really good.

I've posted a picture below of the yummy stuff we're having for dinner tonight. I'll be baking some skinless, boneless chicken, slicing it and mixing it with a caesar-salad sauce. Then I'll serve it over a gorgeous crunchy salad made of all the goodies here. It's one of my favourite fall salads and I can hardly wait to dig in!


Yummmmmmmmy!

And just because I loved the colour, I've also included a photo of my afternoon snack - a juicy orange. It seems that even my food is in love with autumn with all the requisite shades of fall.


oranges

While living in the Arctic, I learned that there was a serious lack of fresh food because all the food has to be flown in. You can understand why I'm so enthusiastic about produce these days. A bonus of living in this giant city is that there is a lovely green grocer right down stairs from us where I get all our produce. It's run by Jenny and her family and they're wonderful to the customers.

A great side effect of having all this lovely food available to me is that I've lost 20 lbs. Great food selection plus a wonderful dog who loves to walk with me every day and I feel great! How fantastic is that?!

On the knitting front, I have finished my pretty socks project. I can't show photos yet because, yes, they are another Christmas present. Soon, I promise, soon. I feel pretty terrific about finishing another item off the list, though. Guess I better get back to work to knock off a few more.

Until next time, bon appetite, M

Friday, October 22, 2004

I Love Autumn!

It's another "I Love" blog today as I continue to try to focus on the positive that life has to offer.

I love autumn! I love the colours, the crisp temperatures, the quality of the light (if we get any through the rain clouds around here), pumpkins, crunchy fall apples, Halloween, the twinkly quality of lights at night, the sweaters and socks that come out to play.

I love that I can walk my dog for an hour in the morning and see every colour of leaf possible in nature. I love that my cheeks have a pinch of pink colour to them when I come back from walking my dog. I love that I can wear a beautiful scarf as an accessory instead of a necessity. I love making autumn soups that are so tasty and delicious. (You should try my French Turnip soup recipe!)

So here's a little stock photo to help illustrate my love of autumn today.

Mmmm. Autummmmn.

On the knitting front, I am still working on all my Christmas projects but looking to start a new hat for me this weekend. My ears got a little nippy on our walk this morning and I thought it would be a good excuse to try something new!

Have a fantastic fall day, M

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I Love Knitting Blogs

I've decided that this is going to be my very positive week so each time I blog, I'm going to start off with something I love. Today, I love knitting blogs.

What do I love about them, you may ask. Well, I'm glad you asked. I love reading about everybody's experiences with their projects - the good, the bad, the frustrating. It makes my feel great when I'm feeling blah about a project to know that others are also feeling blah about their knitting. It seems to be the little push I need to get me over the hump on that particular day or project.

I also love getting ideas and advice from other blogs. I just finished a Surprise Give yesterday, the pattern for which I discovered as a knit-along. (I'll post pictures once it's delivered.)

I'm also feeling inspired to try some more crochet, thanks to the Yarn Tomato. Other blogs are piquing my interest in learning to spin and dye my own yarn, too. These can only be good things, in my opinion.

It's just great to feel that there's a knitting community out there in the ether that I can tap into for a lift or what have you. And in the words of Share over at KnitAddictions, knitters rock!

So until next time, take care of you and yours, M

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I Love Acrylics

I gotta tell ya! I have been a closet Acrylic-user for years. I like to work with them. I love the colours they can come in. I like to wear them. I love all the crazy new ones they've been coming out with the last few years.

And now I'm a member of Acrylics Anonymous where there are people just like me. How exciting is that?!

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate wool in oh, so many ways. But today I am celebrating Acrylics. I'm working with one in my Surprise Gift project and I am very happy with how it's going. I promise I'll post pictures later.

That's all for today folks. M

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Need to Knit

I just wanted to let you know that I'm not the only one in my house who appreciates a good knitting project.

Reuben is a great fan of blankets. He is forever deconstructing this one to see just how it was made. I think he's going to suprise me one day and make a replacement. Why else would he spend so much time examining every strand and every stitch?


Reuben's Blankie

Have a great Monday, M

Friday, October 15, 2004

Something bothering me

I was disturbed by something I saw on a blog the other day and I think I need to write about it to get it out of my head. I'm not going to mention the name of the blog but I still feel I need to say something about that day's content.

A knitter had gone to a fibre show. She described the show and her stash acquisitions with corresponding pictures. She then went on to take pictures of all the pieces she didn't like on other visitors at the show and posted them with horrible, disparaging remarks. I could not believe my eyes!

This behaviour just struck me as so very wrong. It wasn't just unkind, it was mean. How could a grown woman talk about others in such an adolescent manner?

Now I'm not saying that I'm a saint and that I never think such things but I rarely express them out loud, even to friends. I also understand that it's her blog and she can do and say what she likes in that venue and I don't have to partake of it (which I intend to never do again!).

What struck me hardest was that some of those women she posted about may actually read her blog. What would the discovery of something lovingly made being lambasted on a public blog do to me? I think I would be devastated.

I found the entire entry so disturbing. How could one person be so self-absorbed and unthinking as to publicly humiliate her fellow human beings, fellow women and fellow knitters? Such a blog says more about the writer than the people she writes about. Furthermore, the motivation that fuels such behaviour is not one that I would be proud to claim on a public forum like a blog.

Instead of adding to the nastiness that already makes up so much of our world, I hope I never feel the need to be so offensive to other human beings that have done nothing but adorn themselves with their own creative endeavours. I would rather promote the work of others than criticize it. At the very least, I would rather remain silent.

Hoping to do no harm, M


Thursday, October 14, 2004

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

I told you I love these things! I just couldn't resist this one when I found it at One Stitch Short. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be studying. I'm going but you gotta try this quiz.


You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.

You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these
days.


What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Have a great day! M

Midterm Exam Tomorrow

So I'm updating my blog instead of studying! What can I say? I needed a break!

I've been working a little bit on the template for the blog this morning. I added a couple of links. I love the Bad Ass Knitter button from Wendy Knits. But I really love the Vote button from Knitters Against Bush. I feel so strongly about voting and I get so frustrated with people who don't take the time to do so.

I'm hoping to add some more links to other Brilliant Blogs this week, too. I have such fun reading through them and then I run out of time before I add them to my list. There are so many that it's easy to do. I promise I'll get to it so you can see what I read in blog world.

Knitting is going well after a couple of false starts. I was getting frustrated with one of the Christmas presents so I pulled it apart and started over. Now I'm almost half done and feeling much better about it. Which reminds me, does anybody know how to install the progress bars? I found them but I can't seem to get them to work?

I'm changing my mind about the other Christmas present, as well. I don't like the way it's turning out so I have to come up with an alternate plan. I decided to take a breather from the frustrating projects and follow Share's example at KnitAddictions and I quote, "When in doubt, make a scarf!" Here's a picture of the droolable (it's my new word) fantasy yarns that I bought in New York in the summer.

Droolable Fantasy Yarns

Reuben had a skin irritation earlier this week. The initial spot wasn't that bad but then he kept licking and licking it. By the time I noticed it, he had licked himself raw. So I treated it with a salve and made him wear a t-shirt for three days until it healed. He wasn't thrilled with it at first but he's such a good natured boy that he soon accepted it. Here's a photo to show my cute t-shirt guy.

What a fashion statement!

And just to keep things fair, here's a photo of my Sara, looking like the queen she thinks she is.


Queen Sara

Okay, I should get back to the studying thing, I guess. It's my paleontology class and I feel pretty prepared but I can always use more review. I also have an exam in my oceanography class on Monday so I should put some time into that as well. I'll let you know how they go once I get the marks back.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, take good care, M

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Hopelessly uncool

That's me. I am hopelessly uncool when it comes to the knitting webworld. I can't keep up with all the fantastic blogs out there. And so many of them seem to have created a really closeknit (hah, another pun!) online community for themselves. I am just completely out of the loop, no matter how many webrings I belong to.

I can sit and read blogs for hours and hours. I think I currently have almost a hundred on my favourites list. It's impossible to keep up with all that reading, plus study, plus knit, plus live my life.

I am totally intrigued by knit-a-longs but have no idea how they work (I need to find out more about Rogue, though, as I'm drooling over it). I love the idea of the Secret Pals and Random Acts of Kindness webrings but am a little lost as to how to work that, as well. So many sites, so little time.

And then there's the knitting nights and fibre shows and, and, and . . . I am so drawn to all these things but I have a burning question: How does one hope to fit all of it in?

I guess, for the most part, I'm too scattered these days to really become immersed in the online knitting life. I already feel like I've spent so much time on my blog and the web and not nearly enough time on my studies or my knitting. Not that I'm going to stop - oh, no, don't be silly. I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed.

For those of you who actually read this blog, you might notice that I've added another Christmas present to my In Process section. Of course, as usual, I can't say much for now but I can tell you it's something I've never tried before and it's proving enough of a challenge to keep me very interested in it. I'm making it with Smart Wool from Norway in a gorgeous blue with yellow, green, and red flecks through it. Mmm, nice and soft, too.

I already feel better just being able to talk about my knitting project. How dependent am I on sharing my knitting news?! I had no idea when I started this thing that it would take on such importance in my life. Should I be worried? Should I be seeking help for my addiction? Too bad, not time for that either!

No plans for Thanksgiving for us. This weekend has about half a dozen birthdays in our family so we've never really celebrated the traditional Thanksgiving like other people. That being said, my mom, who has a birthday tomorrow, isn't even in town this weekend. She's off visiting her new grandson, my nephew, for the holiday weekend. I would have gone, too, but I have two midterms this week. Waaaah!

Okay, I guess that's all I have to whine, cry and bitch about today. I sure do feel better for it, though. Thanks for that.

Until next time, take good care, M

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Just an ordinary day

Finally got the right pattern/yarn combination to start another Christmas present. It's going really well but details and pictures will obviously have to wait.

I love these little pixie visuals so I made one here. Ain't she sweet?


Pixel Punk

Added some photo galleries to the site today. Sprucing things up on here is becoming an obsession. I love how many knitters are so into it. I enjoy reading about other people's knitting and crafting and lives.

Not much else to say. Until next time, take good care, M

Monday, October 04, 2004

My Dog Likes Sushi

Now, I know that many dogs will eat just about anything if presented to them. Up until recently, though, I had prided myself on the very few treats my dog gets. He didn't need to be bribed to sit, stay, or what have you.

Recently, my dog has become very nervous now that we're living in the city. The noises here are so foreign to him compared to the tiny town we used to live in up north. Our obedience classes have encouraged treats to get him to listen better, especially outside where there are so many distractions and generally scary things for Reuben, so I give him treats.

Since he started getting treats, though, he seems to think that he should be able to try anything that fancies him. (Note the picture below and how adorable he can be if he turns on his charm.) So lately, Reuben's diet has included carrots, grapes, bananas, mushrooms, apples, fish skin, and sushi. I think it's hysterical!


Reuben looking his cutest so he gets what he wants!

Since I wanted to talk about my sushi-eating dog, I decided that there should also be shots of all the other pets in the house, just because they're all so fantastic!


So hard to resist!

Hard to believe Sara is my problem child when I see her looking so innocent and adorable!


The Lady Disdain

I love the look on Red's face in this one. I'm not sure exactly what she's expressing but she so looks like a snooty, high-brow cat that I imagined it as disdain for the photographer.


The real head of the company!

And here's a shot of Gilligan, who most of the time can be found sleeping on the dryer. Suddenly, he looks like he's quite at home on the computer desk.

Not much knitting news to report. I can't say too much but the Xmas present that I've started has an Aran panel in it so it takes a lot of concentration for me still (I'm new). I have to say that I don't really enjoy doing this kind of knitting yet. I have to focus so hard on it that I take breaks and go knit on the blanket squares so I don't get too wound up. (Hah! A pun!)

Anyway, I think I've got a good system going with bribing myself to get all the things done that need doing. Still working reasonably well and now I've incorporated making the blanket squares into it. So here's hoping it keeps up!

Until next time, take good care, M

Sunday, October 03, 2004

I love online quizzes!

I gotta tell ya, I am having too much fun with these online quizzes that I keep finding. Some are from other peoples sights and some I've been finding just by tooling around in the quiz sights. How fun.

I do try to publish some of them but often the images are too big and skew everything on the rest of the blog. I just really enjoy them so I thought I'd share.

I'm finally finished the dish cloths and now I'm working on some Christmas presents. Unfortunately, I can't say what they are or I'll spoil the surprise. I promise to display pictures once the holidays are over. I can, however, show you a photo of the yarn I'm using for one of the current projects - aran wool from the Aran Islands, where I took a knitting workshop this summer.


Fantastic colours from the Aran Islands!

I'm starting to make squares for blankets for the homeless, too. I've always wanted to be able to contribute to the societies that collect and distribute these blankets. I know I don't really need another project but the simple knitting of this is sometimes more relaxing when I'm tired but still want to be using my hands. I think I'll start keeping a tally for this similar to the dishcloths; whenever I finish one, I'll be able to update the list. So wish me luck on this one!

Okay, it's Sunday and I have to do some laundry, a little house keeping and hopefully get some studying done as well.

I read once that when a student is looking at the tasks she has to do, they are usually divisible into three types: A, B, and C. The A category are those tasks that need to be done in order to be successful in school. The B category are those that need to be done in order to take care of oneself: eating, exercise, grocery shopping, etc. The C category are those tasks that should eventually be done but are not essential to either studying nor to survival and wellbeing. Invariably, the C category items are the ones that get done first, and not just by me but by all students. It takes a lot of discipline to do it the other way round.

An example of a C category thing that I did last week while studying for my exam was making home-made dog treats for Reuben. A lady at our doggy kindergarten gave me the recipe because Reuben liked them so much and I thought he might respond to them while we did our outdoor training than the ones from the store (which don't really interest him). It became a rather extended "study break." (He does love them, though, and his training outdoors has really improved so it might have been worth it! ;-)

And these C categories never seem to run dry. I could find a whole pile of things that interest me more than paleontology and oceanography on any day of the week. The good news is that there are only nine weeks left before the end of the semester and then I never have to take another fourth-year science class in my life, if I don't want to. Yahoo!

Well, enough C category tasks for me. I have to get on with it.

Until next time, take good care, M

Friday, October 01, 2004

Too much tinkering . . .

Not enough knitting, studying, etc, etc, etc.

I am spending an inordinate amount of time tweaking my blog. I can get lost in it for hours day after day. There's still so much I could do. I have yet to list the blogs of other knitters. Not that I haven't looked at many, and been impressed by each of them. I will, I will. Then my readers can look at the blogs I read.

I have managed to sign up for four webrings this week, though, and this makes me very happy! I have already been added to Knitting Kitty and Purling Puppies. I've just joined the cue for CanFibreArts and Friends of Men Who Knit. I love scrolling through these rings but I need more hours in the day!

The only drawback to this is I really haven't been getting enough knitting done and I have so many projects that need to be done in the next few weeks. So I guess I should stop complaining and just get to it, right? Okay, okay, I'm getting there.

So instead of whining, I'll just get on with the tasks that I have yet to do. One of them is to portion out my time at knitting blogs more prudently. Life is just so many pieces to fit together, isn't it?

So until next time, by which I hope to have my whole life figured out, take good care, M