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Archive for July, 2007

After basking under Sask Skies for the last several weeks (and breaking all sorts of temperature and humidity records  we are taking a bit of a break today.  The temperature has dropped 10 degrees Celsius (about 20 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last few hours and it’s overcast like it hasn’t been for a month.  The thunder is rolling and I’m going to switch to a wireless connection just in case.  It’s the kind of a day where you feel like hunkering down and watching a movie, so that’s what I’m going to do right now.  I picked Geoff up at the airport this morning (home for three weeks from Calgary before he takes off for New York and his next ship assignment) and within an hour of being home he had all the ceiling panels in the basement pulled down and there were network cables, phone cables, tv cables and all sorts of cables except the knitting kind festooned from the ceiling so he and Andy could play networked video games.   Now that we’ve laid the ground rules (and Andy has gone to work) the panels are back up, the cables are stowed and we’re about to screen the Producers.  (No, I’ve never seen it.)  I will knit while I watch it, and should have some time later to update this little piece of “internet real estate” (see Juno, sidebar).

Later, dudes. 

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Magic

My mother always said that she never needed to hit me over the head more than two or three times before I caught on to things (don’t call the authorities; she was speaking metaphorically), so when I had half of today’s post written and then **poof** ! it vanished, I took that as a sign that instead of typing I should go and knit.

See you later today or tomorrow. 

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I’m back!  We had a lovely trip out to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia; the weather was a tad warm (39 degrees Celsius which converts to damned hot Fahrenheit.) but it beat cold and rainy.  Mike’s folks’ anniversary garden party was a success; lots of friends from B.C. and some from Saskatchewan (from where they retired about ten years ago).  All of the in-laws’ descendants were there:  6 kids, 6 spouses, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and two rather serious girlfriends.  Mike and Andy got in a couple of golf games with Mike’s dad, and I hung out at the pool and did a wee bit of shopping.  I had four days in Calgary before we went to Vernon (small city where Mike’s folks live when they’re not in Mexico for the winter), and it was great!  I drove around the city like I knew where I was going, went to the zoo, picked up Geoff at the airport, and found a couple of wool shops.  Pictures in a minute.  The funniest part of the trip (if you find burocracy amusing) (and I do) was trying to retrieve Geoff’s trombone from customs.  He did not have a receipt for it (having bought it online 4 years ago) and they thought that he was trying to import it into the country without paying duty.  So, we had to find Fedex (using an out-of-date map of the airport industrial area) to pick up the customs declaration form, drive around to find the actual customs office, sign documents declaring that he owned the t-bone before he took it to the U.S., drive back to Fedex and rescue the poor trombone.  What a schmozz.  He took way too much stuff down with him for this contract.  I’m hoping he packs lighter when he goes back in August.

Shopping?  Well, yes, I did.

First stop was Gina Brown’s.    

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4 balls of Lang Mille Colori.  Half wool, half acrylic, beautiful colourways.  Christmas knitting underway.  The book is actually from the Knitting Room.   I had the nicest time at the Knitting Room; I didn’t get the lady’s name, but we had a lovely visit and I tried to convince her to try toe up socks.  (Not that I have done a lot of them, but it is one of my knitterly missions on earth to help people avoid grafting of toes whenever possible.  If I hate grafting, I see no reason why anyone else should pretend to like it.)  I have been through the book  many times, and knit almost every shawl and scarf in my imagination.   Question:  If anyone out there in my readership of, what is it now, four or five? has knit any of these seamen’s scarves, can you tell me if the ones based on stocking stitch tend to roll?  They always look nice and flat in the pictures, but my reality is sometimes different.  Just curious.

I also picked up a bit of yarn there.

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I see this as Eugen Beugler’s Lace Dream from here, peacock feathers and so forth.  I also picked up this:

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which amazes me by being 1375 yards all in one skein (I have a low amazement threshhold).  I’m not quite sure what it will become; possibly something from Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Shawls.

When I left the zoo on Tuesday, I made an illegal right turn (gotta love out-of-province plates) and headed up to Make One Yarn Studio.  They have been in the throes of a major renovation, so my first trip there on Saturday was just a quick recon and to meet Sandra and Amy.   Sadly, I missed Cooper, who, if you can believe his press pictures, is just about the cutest darned chocolate lab in existence, but not much help with painting and stocking shelves.  Go figure.  Amy invited me to the Knit Night on Tuesday, but I thought it would be kind  of rude to be out knitting when Mike showed up in town.  Did I mention that they sell wool there?

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The colour sucks in this picture.  It’s a warm camel-coloured alpaca and silk sportweight (my photography skills are sketchy at best) and I have no idea what it will become, but it’s fun to pet and stroke.

Oh yeah.  I also hit the Beehive, which is sadly siteless.  Once again, a nice chat and some fibres that I’d never heard of, let alone touched before.  This was the take:

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Rayon and cotton; will become an open-mesh sort of scarf.  The colours are nicer up close or in person:

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That was all in Calgary.  It didn’t seem like enough, so when I got to Kelowna (just down the road from Vernon)  I made Mike and Andy sit in the car while I checked out the Art of Yarn.  This is such a cool little store; you must go.  It is in a nifty area of trendy boutiques and restaurants, and is jammed to the ceiling with, well, yarn and etceteras.  It is so jammed that they are moving across the street to a bigger store.  Once again, I was remiss in getting names, but the second time I went there (my driver got bored the first time and I had to go back- he thought half an hour should be enough; silly man.) I spoke with a lady who was originally from Toronto, spent many years in Switzerland, and moved to Kelowna seven years ago so her kids could see what it was like to live in Canada.  People’s stories are fascinating!  In between grilling her for her life’s details, I found this:

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Silky wool (Elsebeth Lavold), enough for a cabled sweater of some sort, and half price.  Woo hoo!

Then, for a scarf of some description:

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The astute among you will notice that this is my favourite colour.  Mostly acrylic, but just enough mohair to make it soft and interesting.

Oh, and to do a couple of things out of Victorian Lace Today,

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I have always wanted to do something with this, hence the splurge.  The biggest decision was colour.

Whew!  Now that I see it all in one place, I feel silly.  Will I ever get it all knit?  Not likely, but the satisfaction is in the potential.  Man, do I ever have potential sitting in front of me.   And no, I still haven’t put the button on the Magallanes.  Maybe later. 

There was much mirth and merriment on our trip, (Andy was legal drinking age for about 12 hours while we were in Alberta on the way out to B.C.) and now that we have been joined at home by Geoff and his girlfriend (who are both on vacation from their cruise ship jobs) I don’t know when I’ll get any serious knitting done.  (I have done 14 loads of laundry since we got home two days ago, and just started on Geoff’s this morning.)  I’ll just grab time when I can, and try to feed the family so they don’t suspect I’m doing nothing else domestic.

Ta ta for now!

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I just heard from Ruth that comments were turned off on yesterday’s post.  I have fixed that (I have no idea how that happened) but it might have something to do with the fact that I cannot access email or internet from my laptop right now.  (It can’t possibly be anything I did…)

After 5 attempts I got the button band finished on Mag last night, and think I can safely say that I will have the button sewed on by tonight. (No knitting involved, so all of you knitting gods that are hanging over me like a vulture can move along.  There’s nothing to see here.)  (No pictures in the post, either.  Sorry about that.)

I was thinking about Stephanie’s Canada Day alphabet, and had to add my own for the letter A:  Being Canadian, something that seems to be widespread (and it’s either a good thing or a bad thing.  Completely depends on your perspective) is our national hobby of Apologizing.   For everything.  Even if it’s not our fault.  Sorry.

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Buttonhole madness

I seem to have had a busy week.  We had our anniversary (24!) on Monday,

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so I put on the wedding dress and did up the zipper as far as it would go (got it to my waist; the zipper theoretically can do right up to the back of my neck.  I was freakishly thin when I got married, and now I am comfortably, well, not thin.)  I put on the veil, dug out the dried bouquet, descended the staircase, and scared the crap out of the dogs.  Mike brought me roses, and we went out for a lovely dinner.  (I did change my clothes before we left.  It wasn’t that formal a restaurant.)  I think we’ll try for another 24.  So far, we’re still having fun.  Strangely, right at the back of our wedding album was this picture:

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Mike is the guy in the back row who is shorter than his trombone.  He grew.  While I am glad that he is musical, and that he ended up at 6 feet tall, this in no way explains or excuses the thought process that resulted in this photo being in our wedding album.  I digress.

Doing a mental review of Mike’s family and my family, there are collectively 10 children, all married anywhere from 10 to 36 years.  We are all on our first spouses.  I guess we were all lucky enough to get it right the first time.  

Andy had his graduation ceremony on Friday,

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and there was no last minute change (I had a vision of them calling Andy’s name, shuffling papers and then saying “Oh, never mind.  There’s been a change, and Andrew will be graduating next year after he retakes English/history/math/chemistry.”  Didn’t happen.).  There was one young man who chose to disrobe under his robe and flash his backside at the 1200 people in the audience.  He got to have a Special Meeting with the principal afterwards.  What a doofus.  Anyways, Andy is done school, and working for the summer with his dad at the restaurant.  Cooking is always a good skill to have, especially when you are not quite sure which direction life is taking you.  He has been surprisingly cheerful about working (I think he’s quite mercenary at heart), and for the time being, Mike and I will not be saddled with the expense of university tuition.  Now we just have to decide when the rent kicks in, and when to have the “my house, my rules” chat with Andy.   

All of that aside, there has actually been knitting squeezed in.  Magallanes is almost done.  (Pictures will have to wait until the product is actually finished.  If I post a picture now I’ll convince myself that it’s done and then I will blindly race ahead with the next thing, and leave poor Mag to suffer the indignity of being 98% finished, and then abandoned.)  I had to concentrate hard to do the sleeve shaping (because of the pattern stitch), and had to take lots and lots of notes so the sleeves would bear a least some resemblance to each other.  I got the thing together, and am now on the fifth go-round for the buttonhole band.  The first time I picked up too many stitches, the second time the buttonhole turned out beautifully except that I did it two rows too soon.  The third time the buttonhole turned out nicely, except that the top edge of the band was all stretchy and ucky looking.  The fourth time the band looked okay except that the hole was too close to the outside edge, and too bulky with the one-row execution.  (I did the button band in between just so I could see some progress.)  I have decided to pursue a buttonhole other than Montse Stanley’s one-row buttonhole, and have set a goal (flexible, as are all knitting goals) (yeah right.  That’s why I’m off to the chiropractor tomorrow.  I have “fichu shoulders”.) of having chosen the type of buttonhole by bedtime.  If the gods are smiling on me, I may even have the whole thing done tonight.  Then, wash, block, dry, and it should be ready to go.  ***Note:  the sleeves are a pleasing length, both the same length (bonus!), and not gorilla-arm length like the black cardigan of a few months ago.

Glenda ordered in some Noro Silk Garden

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so of course I had to buy some.  I think I’m going to do a rectangular shawl for my SIL for Christmas; something she can wrap around herself and the new granddaughter.    Then I will get some for me! (Silk Garden, not grandchildren.)  To this point I have been petting it and touching it and letting Mike do the same (he doesn’t know why, but he plays along because I am obviously enthused about it.) and showing incredible restraint in not casting on until the Magallanes was done.  Maybe tomorrow…

I am getting organized for a road trip.  This Friday I am off to Calgary via Carstairs (Custom Woolen Mills), then Saturday I hope to drop in on Amy at Make One Yarn Studio.  Since I am doing the driving (what with travelling solo and all that) I don’t need to take any knitting for the road, but I am anticipating two or three evenings all alone in Calgary when I will definitely need a project.  I expect to pump a little money into the Calgary economy, although I won’t buy anything that I could get from Glenda (that’s the old “support your LYS” thing).  Then when Mike and Andy drive through next week and pick me up I will be doing no more driving so I will have to have something on the needles by then.  I do have some Misti Alpaca that I may take, although it is still waiting to see what its cosmic “pattern match” is.  I envy sock knitters; they always know what they are knitting next.

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The green is beautiful.  The cream has pink and just a wee bit of yellow in it; it will be interesting to see how much yellow shows when it’s knit up. 

I think I’ll pour myself a beverage (rum cream from Jamaica, perhaps) (Geoff brings me such good souvenirs) and see if buttonhole inspiration hits me before the alcohol does.  This race to the finish may turn out more interesting than I thought.

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