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Archive for May, 2007

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I may have been hallucinating, but this morning I could have sworn I saw a copy of the Magna Carta (Not a reproduction!  The genuine article!) for sale on Ebay.  There had been no bids yet.  The opening bid was a paltry $220,000.00 (US), so I was going to reccomend that you bid early and bid often, except when I went back to look for it again, it’s gone.  Someone must have recognized what a deal it was and snapped it up (or maybe it was a little joke and the Ebay police caught them).  In any event, it’s nice to know that something is almost as valuable as an Alice Starmore book.

Just thought you’d want to know.

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We saw the Pirate movie last night.  Good music as usual, but the movie is almost too long to go without a trip to the bathroom three hours long.   There were four of us sitting by the aisle, and four people sitting in our row closer to the other aisle.  You’ d think that when they had to make their many trips to the bathroom and the concession, they would just go out to the right where they wouldn’t have to walk in front of anyone, step on any feet, kick any popcorn or drinks over (okay, that last one is our own fault for stocking up more that would fit in the holders on the seats or in our laps.), but you’d be wrong.  They walked in front of us, stepped on our feet, and kicked over whatever we had set on the floor.  Perhaps the aisle on the other side was closed?  Nah, they were just braindead.  I found the ending of the movie unsatisfying, but on the whole it was fun.   If you liked the first two movies, you’ll like this one.  It “buckled my swash”.  I leave you to form your own conclusions.

A while back, Ruth posted a question about names; who we are to ourselves and  who we are to others, and this morning I had a reminder of childhood names.  Andy has chosen to wait until the last term of grade twelve to get involved in school activities, and today at school has been declared that ultimate “pick your own name” occasion;  Hallowe’en 2 Day.  All of the fun of changing your identity without the dental issues of the traditional October celebration. While my children were young and growing up in the suburbs,  I dreaded Hallowe’en.  No one wanted to dress as any of the cast of characters from my youth; goblins, witches, ghosts, cowboys.  (Aside: Due to our geographic location, costumes either had to integrate or cover our foulest-weather gear; many years the boys would only make it halfway up one side of the street and down the other before giving in to impending frostbite.)  There was always the perfect mother on the street who had time, money and a sewing machine  and could whip up the latest Disney character or superhero in the blink of an eye, or someone whose children were pliable enough to be convinced that going as an Eskimo (dreadfully not P.C. now, is it?) or something involving Dad’s clothes (and therefore roomy enough for the snowmobile suit underneath) was a brilliant idea.  My children always wanted to go as the same thing as all of their friends.  It always involved more money, time, ingenuity, materials and maternal sacrifice than I budgeted for.  I was very thankful when the whole thing faded into the mists of time.

It’s baaaacccckk!  Andy has finally taken my advice!  Advice borne of maternal laziness, but advice nonetheless. 

ghost.jpg

A sheet has been sacrificed.  I can’t help but think that if we’d done this for 14 years for two boys, wearing the same sheet for 4 or 5 years, we could have done the whole shebang for 6 sheets.  Think of the money I could have saved and put towards yarn.  I feel faint.

Hey, look.   A seque!  The Magallanes is coming along nicely. 

back.jpgThe back.

fronts.jpgThe fronts.  Three cheers for me for casting on both fronts and working the increases the same on each.  We shall have symmetry!  (At least that is the theory.)

I will be trying to finish it in the next week or so, as I’ve ordered some mauve cotton from Glenda to attempt a project from Victorian Lace Today.  Mike’s Mom and Dad are celebrating their 50th this summer, and I bought a new frock.  It’s sleeveless and I wanted just a little something for my shoulders.  This is where I’m going with it:

fichu.jpg Page 121, Victorian Lace Today (Sowerby)

and I have until July 5th to do it.  The pattern looks fairly straight forward, and barring any unforseen circumstances that cut into my knitting time, I should be able to have it done.  Then, I shall wear it and lean on the railing and look dreamily off into the distance, and everyone who sees me will say “I wonder what she’s thinking about?” while unbeknownst to all, I will be contemplating how much dessert I can eat before I pop the buttons on the dress.  I can hardly wait.

Enough planning.  I shall now go and execute.

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A Roll of the Dice…

We just got back from the hospital, wherer we were visiting our older son’s best friend.  He rolled his car on a country road yesterday morning, and ended up with two stitches on his knuckle, a torn spleen, and some trauma to his lungs.  He looks fine, and is in good spirits.  Ever since our younger son rolled his car in December and came out of it with a scratch on his hand, I have been breathing silent thanks that it wasn’t a lot worse.  I realize now that these things come by degrees; the young man we saw tonight says he’s very lucky; it could have been a lot worse.  His car is totalled, his guitar amp is crushed, but his guitar is fine.,  (Okay, so his concerns are slightly different than those of his parents.)  The medical experts say that he should be up and running in a couple of weeks.  There have been some other serious health issues in his family in the last year, so they’re all hoping that this is the finale.  Enough already.  We are grateful that his injuries are minor, and we are reminded how precious and precarious our gig on earth is.

One grandparental anecdote that surfaced after Andy rolled his car in December came from Mike’s father.  He was commiserating with Andy, and confided that he, too, had rolled his father’s car back in the forties when he was a young man (a fact that Mike had not yet been told) (the fact that he’d rolled the car, not that he had been a young man).   “The worst part of it, Andy, was that I spilled my beer.”  Thanks for helping, Dad.

I’ve been knitting more tweed stitch and actually did some shaping this morning! 

 tweed-jacket-back.jpg

 Oooh!  Aaaahh!  It’s been quite fun; the stitch isn’t as boring as I thought it might be.   I am really loving the resulting fabric; the weight is just what I had envisioned and the colours are more up my alley than had I gone straight orange.  To be honest, almost any other colourway would have insisted on being a solo act, but the orange is quite content to sing harmony.

I am fighting an urge to knit a really big felted basket to  put on the floor beside my chair instead of the lovely shopping bag (albeit recycleable) that is there now.  I think that may be a suitable swan song for my lopi odds and ends, but I am going to exercise what little willpower I have and  finish the sweater.  (Tee hee.  Until I get a better offer…)

I realized that I have not been doing a lot of linking lately.  That would be the lazy selfish side of me coming out.  (You can’t see it from there, but sometimes I have a piano tied to my ass.  Sometimes it’s a hindrance, and sometimes it’s a very convenient scapegoat.)  I intend to smarten up this week.  Watch for it.

On a side note, I entered and lost my very first Ebay auction today.  It was for an Alice Starmore book, the rarity and corresponding expensivity (is that a word?) of which I was unaware until Marjorie enlightened me.  I checked on Amazon and Ebay, and the four Starmore titles I do own seem to be quite valuable.  I made the mistake of telling my husband, and now I have to hide them from him.  (Buy low, sell high, don’t get emotionally involved.)  Luckily I wasn’t too hung up on getting the book.  I have lots of unfinished and unstarted projects already, and many years worth of plans to execute.  This would be what Stephanie meant when she referred to SBLE (Stash Beyond Life Expectancy).  I am also reminded of a t-shirt (or something) I saw with the caption “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  Right now I am so far behind, I will never die.”  Here’s to the next 150 years!

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On the flip side…

A while back I wrote about an issue that a friend was having about breaking up with her hairdresser.  At the time, I thought it was all a little silly, but lo and behold, I’ve been ditched!  I dropped in at the salon to buy some hair goop, and gosh darn it, my Hair Guy has left.  The salon gave no details, he left with no notice, and now I have to grow my hair long because I hate the thought of trying to find someone who cut it as well as he did.  I feel abandoned, betrayed, and vulnerable.  How dare he!  It’s not even like he’s just gone to another salon; I think he’s gone to play in a rock and roll band.  I guess I’ll have to start knitting more hats.  What goes around…

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Alias Mallaganes

This is what I have decided to do with the Mallaganes:

 mallaganes-back.jpg

It will be a jacket, with the green garter trim and button bands.  Yes, I am mixing it.  The tweed stitch does tend to hide the texture of the Magallanes, but the “thick and thin” was pretty pronounced, and I didn’t like the feel of the fabric (and the orangeness was, well, really orange).  As well, it would have needed smaller needles (I’m using 5mm) to make a heavier fabric for outside use, and I didn’t want to knit something tight.  Now, I know there are fibre snobs out there who will be horrified that I am using Patons Decor (75 acrylic, 25 wool) as the second yarn in this, but you know what?  I really like the feel of the fabric, so I don’t give a rat’s patootie.   If it works for me, I just go for it.

 Outside my personal knitting continuum, we have ornamental crabapples that are putting on quite a show:

crab.jpg

ornamental-crab.jpg

Now, if the next-door-neighbors would just finish their swimming pool construction, I could fix the front lawn and plant some flowers.  I’m looking forward to sitting on my patio out front and knitting in the morning whilst drinking my mostly decaf coffee.  (The pleasure of the first balances the reduced pleasure of the second.)

Off to join the throng and see the Pirates of the Caribbean movie!

Have a magical weekend.

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A rose is a rose…

It has come to my attention that several persons who attend the friendly and supportive knitting group at Prairie Lily Knitting Shop in Saskatoon on Wednesday mornings take umbrage at my reference to the group as “Wednesday Morning S&B”.  I must, first and foremost, apologize to those who take offense.  I certainly did not mean to offend.  I admit, however, that I am somewhat surprised that “Singing and Bacchanalities” would rub anyone the wrong way.  I mean, do we not eat?  Often?  Do we not sing Happy Birthday when the occasion arises?  Do some of us not wish that we met in the evening instead of the morning so we could drink wine?  (Like that would help our gauge…)  So, I threw the challenge out (you know, put your money where your mouth is, etcetera) and all I got was Knit and Natter, or some variation of a coven.  In the meantime, I shall refrain from calling us anything but PLWMKSGABE (Prairie Lily Wednesday Morning Knitting Support Group and Brunch Eaters).  Rolls trippingly off the tongue, dontcha think?  Who said knitting isn’t rife with politics?  Next thing you know, we’ll be needing an executive and an agenda and guest speakers and a budget. 

After my self-defense attempt, I swatched and frogged my Magallanes.  I came home and decided to do (well, after some adjustments) a cardigan using the Ann Budd directions in the Knitters Handy Guide, but using elements of the Sally Melville Baby Rainbow Jacket from the Color Book.  I’m starting to think that I cannot just follow a pattern.  (It’s like “You’re not the boss of me”, only in knitting.)  I decided to knit it in a linen stitch, mostly because the yarn is thick and thin, and I think a textured stitch will compensate for that better than stocking stitch would.  I’ll have a picture of progress tomorrow, since I frogged the beginning while I was cooking supper, and now there’s nothing to photograph but a ball of yarn.

I mentioned yesterday that I was going for drinks and dessert with my girlfriends (why isn’t it “women friends”?  I guess it could be.).  We went to a fairly upscale restaurant, sat in the lounge and ordered, and noticed that adorning the walls are OSTRICH HEADS.  Complete with necks.  Posed in different attitudes.  Now, if these are fake they are darned good fakes, but it was more than a little surreal.  It was creepy.  I’m not a Great White Hunter type, but neither do I have a Bambi complex.  It seemed like a strange thing to put on the walls of a lounge (where people are eating and drinking), and I wonder how many drinks the design crew had when they came up with that.  (“Hey Marv!  I’ve got a great idea!  Let’s put eviscerated dead bird heads on the walls and make it look like they’re looking at the customers!  It’ll be great!  Pass the Sangria!”)  I did not order any meat dishes off the menu.  The accusing stares would have been too much to bear.

Oh, yeah.  While in Cypress Hills Provincial Park this weekend, I saw something I had never seen before.  We do not have a lot of these.  In fact, I do not know of anywhere else in Saskatchewan where you can see these.  Are these cute or what?  If you roll down your window and gobble at them, they’ll talk right back at you.  I am easily amused.

turkeys.jpg

Well, I’m being abandoned to various soccer pursuits tonight, so I’ll go and try to get a good start on the cardigan.  It’s a good feeling to have a direction.  Especially one that doesn’t involve felting anything!

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I am excited.  We went to Prince Albert to take Mike’s aunt for lunch on Friday (She’s 94 and still living on her own.  She never married or had children; I’m pretty sure that’s what’s kept her young.) and after lunch, Mike sulked sat in the car while I checked out Beth’s Yarn (sadly, Beth does not have a website).   Look what I found!

magallanes.jpg

label.jpg

It is from Chile- the colourway I really wanted was blues and greens, but she only had a skein left.  It’s worsted weight, with fairly short colour changes, and I think I’m going to knit it with a strand of peach something or other to soften the colours.  I am swatching (yes, Virginia.  I do swatch.) and so far I have no idea what I’m going to make out of it.  I suspect that it will be an outdoor jacket or a heavy vest of some sort.  I do know that I will not be felting it.  I have done almost enough felting for a while.  Oh, except for these:

unfelted-swatches.jpg

Lynn from Wednesday morning S&B is going to try to teach us how to do needle felting, so we have to arrive armed with felted squares to practice on.  The grey one is Kastanje, which I seem to remember did not felt the last time I tried, and the others are all Lopi Lett.  I’ll throw them in next time I do a load of denim and see what happpens.

I finished the funny green purse but I am not totally happy with it.  I apologize for the poor quality of the picture.

bruce.jpg
The toe-up sock caston worked like a charm and felting closed all the holes, and the strap turned out pretty neat- I knit garter stitch for a while, switched to 3 strands of i-cord, braided it, switched back to garter stiitch across the top of the strap, and did the i-cord and garter stitch thing down the other side.  I knit up a few rows from the body to meet the strap, and where a purist would have grafted the two together, I elected to do a three needle cast off because a) I was felting it anyways, b) I am essentially lazy, and c) I can’t graft to save my life.  (This may explain my aversion to top-down socks.)

strap.jpg 

This is a technique I might use again, but only in a felted object.

The thing about the bag that bugs me is the flap.  It is too small.  I will try to hang a heavy button or tassel or something on it; that may weigh it down enough not to bug me.  We’ll see. 

We’re getting down to brass tacks with grade twelve stuff now.  Our house is not nearly as frantic as, say, Stephanie’s, since Andy seems blissfully unconcerned.  In fact, in the face on yet another math quiz tomorrow, we did what any responsible family would do.  We decided we’re smart enough that we don’t have to study!  We ordered new footbags off the internet!  Words cannot express my excitement!  I do not know how this will help Andy choose a career!  He may live with us forever!  If he won’t panic, I certainly will!  Someone please take my child!

I’m much better now.  I’m going for dessert with the girls tonight (same ones in yesterday’s post about high school) and tomorrow is S&B at Prairie Lily.  My basement carpet has been repaired (from the dampness of the early spring), Attie has shown no ill effects from eating cat poo in Maple Creek on the weekend (btw, how do you like the new header picture?  My father and mother have no claim on it at all; I took the picture myself.), and the laundry is done.  Life is good.

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