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Archive for February, 2008

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Just a heads up that June 14th is Worldwide Knit in Public Day.  Mark your calendars!

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Things done in the last 24 hours:

1)  Received, assembled, unassembled, returned 3 leather club chairs for the living room.  Kept 1.

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2)  Re-ordered 2 more club chairs and an ottoman (now on sale)- hopefully they’ll arrive with no damage.  Called Costco.ca to see if I could get the sale price on the one I kept.  Yes.  There was no hassle at all.  These people have customer service down to an art.

3)  Found what might be the perfect pair of underpants, but that is likely more information than you want.  No pictures.  You’re welcome.

4)  Mailed my dye-lot disaster vest back to the mill, who had e-mailed me that they are sick about the colour issue, and they’d like to redye it for me.  I am more than happy to have someone else driving the bus on this one.  Otherwise it would be the re-dye-disaster vest, and I don’t need any more responsibility in my life.   (Mike would likely comment here that some responsibility isn’t a bad thing.  He thinks my life is carefree.  Oh, wait.  Maybe it is.  Whatever.)

5)  Tried really hard to find replacement hardware for Mike’s armoire in the bedroom, to no avail.  I am hoping that my “creative cabinet hardware fix” might give him incentive to replace all the hardware so that it all matches, but I’m not holding my breath.

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In true blogging fashion, details:  the wool is purple Paton’s Classic Merino, dye lot unknown, finger-crocheted, threaded through the hole and secured with an overhand knot. 

6)  Discovered that I forgot to do side decreases on the front of a new mystery project, but only about 20 rows into the pattern, so I happily frogged and will now re-knit it including the decreases.  (Thought process:  Since the re-knit includes decreases, this will mean less knitting in the long run, and I have already frogged and re-knit the bottom third of the back to get the right gauge (Swatch?  I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.) I may as well pretend that I have some professionalism.  This followed the delusion that I could continue in the smaller size and gift the finished product to Geoff’s girlfriend, but since the wool was purchased with a birthday gift certificate, selfishness prevailed.)

7)  Via the Harlot’s tour schedule, read about 2 amazing women:  fastest knitter in the world, and possibly the craziest knitter in the world.  But good crazy, not bad crazy.

8)  Did more laundry.  I love my new washer and dryer.  My life is measured in such small bursts of excitement.

9)  Thought about Geoff and Courtney, who are taking a scuba vacation right now in St. Lucia.  And really, after working in the Caribbean for 6 months, why shouldn’t they?

That’s it.  Judy’s busy day.  Kinda shiftless, eh?

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Insomnia reared its ugly head again last night.  I think it has something to do with getting absolutely no exercise yesterday, but what was I supposed to do?  After 5 years of asking, nay, pleading and begging, I finally procured Random Passage on DVD.  It’s a Canadian/Irish miniseries based on Bernice Morgan’s books (neither of which I have read) that I saw 6 years ago on our national network (and Keepers of Canadian Content).  Mike finally ordered it this year, and after 2 months Amazon declared it Unavailable, so I sourced it from an “all things Newfoundland” webstore and had it in less than a week.  Leaving out the commercials (which they did on the DVD) it was a hair over six hours.  I took a break to have coffee with Linda, but that was all the movement that occurred.  I really enjoyed it, in  spite of some fairly harsh criticism that Anonymous offered on the IMDB website.  Thankfully I am old enough that I can make up my own mind.

To say that I was motionless is perhaps a tad inaccurate.  I started on a Cardigan from Drops Design, of course using yarn that is not of the specified gauge.  After one false start, I ripped out the bottom third of the back, adjusted my sizing, and I am away to the races. 

So anyways, it’s 12:30am, Mike was sawing logs and I was making mental lists of all I could be doing if I wasn’t so lazy and lying around wide awake.  I got up to have some warm milk, and thought I’d knit a few rows.  I got downstairs to find Andy and two of his friends getting ready to watch a movie, so I sat with them and wasted two hours of my life.  Not to say the movie didn’t have a little teenaged charm but I was not the target audience.  To name the movie would be to give it more credit than is probably due, so suffice it to say it was really really bad, maybe even super bad.  Andy said today “You laughed!  You know you laughed!”, but I am not proud about it.  Fast forward to 3:30 am.  I am back in bed, and the next thing I remember it’s 7:00.  Hooray!  3 and a half hours.  Early to bed tonight, methinks.

Ooohh!  Ooohh!  The UPS guy is here with 4 big boxes!  Later.  

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a Break in the Weather

We actually had a nice day with decent weather this weekend!  The temperature was up near melting, and there was a big crowd at the off-leash area.  I’m proud to say we were among them. 

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That’s Mike, ready to throw the frisbee, and the person and dog on the left were innocent bystanders.  Wallace is fixated on the frisbee, and Attie is lurking, waiting for Wallace to run by so she can tackle him.

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They love to run so much that it almost makes me feel guilty about all our couch-potato-ing this winter, but then Mike reminds me that minus thirty plus windchill is too cold for us, let alone animals with no touques and mitts. 

Speaking of mitts, I ran into a problem with the holding hands mitt pattern from Lion Brand.  I followed the instructions for joining the two cuffs, and ended up with a large-ish hole. 

 holding-hands-hole.jpg

That’s a cuff to the left, a cuff to the right, body of the mitt top and bottom (actually knit in the round) and the hole in the middle.  I was supposed to cast on three stitches between each cuff, but can’t for the life of me see how it’s going to close.  Having no faith after the dye lot disaster vest, I bit the bullet and asked for help.

 So, after a few emails back and forth, and attached pictures which didn’t survive the e-trip, I got no satisfaction from the help desk, and decided to go my own way with the mitt.  Translation:  I tried one thing, got frustrated, and ripped out the mitt completely.  I may just knit the intended recipients each one more mitt, and they can hold hands on the outside of the mitts.

In the meantime, I am plugging away at the shapeless blob, which is starting to take shape rather nicely. 

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I still have several inches to go to the lower hem, and then the sleeves, but it is mindless work right now.  I seem to be in the zone, because I am happily knitting, and not wanting to gnaw off my hands for relief from the monotony.

In the major capital expenditures department, may I present:

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I can cancel our cable TV now, because we have 2 channels in the laundry room:  washer and dryer.  I have more cycles than I ever dreamed possible (and have used almost all of them), and talk about quiet.  Wallace used to run away when the dryer was running (it was noisy enough to wake the near-dead), but now he can’t even tell it’s on until the buzzer goes.  The washer has a 4.5 cubic foot capacity (big enough for a king-sized quilt), but is energy efficient, so it’s taking some time to get used to the idea that it doesn’t completely fill with water.  I’m not sure how this will impact any felting I may attempt, so I guess it will be trial and error.  In the meantime, my favourite household chore is even easier, and I sold the old set on Kijiji (ever heard of it?  Try googling it- online classifieds) withing three hours of posting it.  Made enough money to buy some more much-needed wool food.  Whatever.  Feed the soul, feed the body;  as long as we’re fed.

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A small water-related “incident” at our business caused me to be on the business end of a shop vac until about 4 am Wednesday morning, so for the fourth consecutive Wednesday, the Prairie Lily Gang (sounds like ineffective cowboys, doesn’t it?  Kinder and gentler and so forth) was without my company.  I hope they remember me…The next night I had trouble going to sleep (something about the nap in the afternoon, no doubt) so I stayed up and watched Star Trek, knit a bit

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and perused some new books:

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Sleep followed.  If this is how my body reacts to one late night, travelling to Scotland in June (!) should be interesting.  (I’ll be the one sleeping through the castle tour.)

I have followed the Yarn Harlot’s escapades with Mr. Washie with some interest.  Laundry is the one household chore that I actually enjoy doing (because you can work really hard putting in a load, and then sit down and knit until it’s done), and I’ve had a recurring problem over the years with mysterious spots on Mike’s t-shirts.  It wasn’t personal until they started appearing on my clothes, so after the usual maintenance checks, changing of detergent, fabric softenenr, etcetera and so forth, on Tuesday I emptied out my “fun money” account and bought a new washer and dryer.  Went with top load (for felting purposes) but 4.5 cubic foot capacity (king-sized bedding- friendly!).  I shopped without Mike, and actually got the features I wanted.  Now, my husband is a darling, but if it was left to him, all laundry would be done on the heavy duty cycle, warm wash cold rinse, and dried until crispy.  The subtle nuances of different cycles are lost on him.  (“What is this “gentle” cycle?  Why would we use that?”)  I have known for years that he is the embodiment of Not Reading Labels,  Directions, or Instructions.  I had purchased a pair of classic wool pants, lined, far more expensive than the budget could stand (but I was going to wear them for years), ****dry clean only***.  I came home one day, and Mike (who I didn’t think even knew where the laundry room was) had done some laundry.  On top of the dryer was a green sodden lump.  I held up by the waistband what used to be my pants and shook them gently.  The lining fell gracefully to my ankles, and the pant legs fell damply to my knees.  I walked into the living room and asked “What happened to my pants?”  Mike replied in a “gee I’m clever” kind of voice “I took those out of the washer and thought “I bet these don’t go in the dryer!””.  Silence.  Disappointment.  Tired resignation that at least he tried.  Then recently, as the laundry spots became an issue on his t-shirts, I started to do the math of how many t-shirts (which can still be worn under a sweatshirt, after all)  it takes to make up for one pair of totally ruined pants.  I think we’re approaching even. 

You may have noticed that the mitts I am knitting don’t have thumbs.  I hate knitting thumbs, and hope to rely on the kindness of others for that little detail.  The third mitten has two cuffs, because it’s a “holding hands” mitten, part of a wedding present for the upcoming nuptials of my son’t buddy.  (I can’t believe Patrick’s old enough to get married.  I’m barely old enough to get married.)   It’s a Lion Brand pattern, and there is a weird hole between the cuffs.  I will have to get a second opinion on that.  It can’t possibly be anything I did…

The hat is from Canadian Living Magazine (January), using Patons Rumor.  It should be appearing on the website soon.  It was a fun knit, although my gauge was a little tight (maybe because I was stressed when I was knitting it?) so it’s gone to the church with my mother to decorate the “woolly tree”.  

And now, just in case anyone is feeling overwhelmed with his or her life, and all the complications which seem to consume us every day, I ask that you check out Kody May Knits.  Whether or not you get involved in social and justice-related causes, or just say a few quiet words to whomever you say quiet words to, please remember Kody May and Randy.  What they are going through right now makes my complaints and concerns seem petty and unimportant.  When people say “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, that’s okay, but then when they follow it up with “It’s all small stuff”, well, that sticks in my craw.  Kody May and Randy are not sweating small stuff; this could be the fight of their lives.  Literally.

I believe that the contemplative side of knitting need not result in the gifting of the object being knit to the person you think about or pray for while you are knitting.  Please use at least a little of your knitting time this weekend to send good vibes to people who really really need them.  And don’t sweat the small stuff.

Have a good weekend!

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Where no man has gone before…

If anyone out there happens to be floating around, say, a black hole and sees some unposted drafts from Under Sask Skies (3, to be exact) please snare them and return to

messagetojudith@shaw.ca

Should the delinquent drafts prove unrecoverable, we will attempt to post a replacement this evening.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

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