Archive for February, 2009

Thanks so much for all the well-wishing.  I do feel a lot better, and booked an appointment for April for a physical where I intend to ask the doctor for my x-ray results.  He’s off snorkelling in the Caribbean somewhere for the next few weeks, so I’m not even going to try to pry any information out of the receptionist.  At my age, I only have so many battles left in me, and I’m trying to choose them wisely.

On a knitterly note, I got all excited day before yesterday because I got a parcel notification in the mail.   I was pretty sure it was my knitPicks order, so I restrained myself as long as I could before I drove off to the post office to pick it up.  Imagine my disappointment when I found that it was a renewal credit card, and not even for me.   Yes, Mike is free to continue to not bolster the economy.  If it was up to people like Mike, the economy would be even worse.  The man doesn’t buy anything.  He has no hobbies that require an outlay of money.   We balance each other nicely there.   Having gotten on with my life in spite of the disappointment, I picked up the mail today, and the parcel was there!  I had ordered some needles (2.25, 2.75 and 3.0 mm) in 24 inch and 32 inch lengths.   The joins are ever-so-smooth, and I am excited to use them.  I think I’ll wait for the next pair of socks, just to prove that I have the patience to finish this pair using the old needles.   Or, I may just go ahead and change right now.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Oh, yeah.  In the package were a couple of other things.


This stuff has great names.



Pirate King

Pirate King

Evil Stepmother

Evil Stepmother

50% Merino, 25% nylon and 25% Alpaca.  Nice and squooshy!  I justified the purchase by mentally earmarking the Woodsman for Mike, the Pirate King for Andy, and the Evil Stepmother for me.  (No snickering- maybe if it was Evil Mother-in-law to be.)  At my current rate of a sock a week, I should have this knit up in 6 weeks (providing I let it jump to the front of the ever-lengthening queue).  Did you ever notice how strange the word “queue” looks?  But I digress…

Today is the 29th anniversary of the first time I proposed to Mike.  This set a pattern of behaviour that was repeated every week for two years until he decided that it was a good idea.  If I did that now, he’d probably take out a restraining order.  Isn’t evolution marvellous.


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You may have noticed that things have been quiet here on the blog.   I’ve been busy doing odds and ends,  but mostly I was waiting for a phone call before I could write this and hopefully elicit sympathy from someone somewhere.

The phone call I was waiting for was from my doctor.  You see, two weeks ago I was retrieving something that had been placed prematurely in the big garbage bin outside, and rather than tipping it slightly to reach in, I just lunged over the side.  Musta been a sight to see,  ass in the air,  just like the black bears foraging at the campground before they put lids on the garbage cans.  I reached for the item in question and heard a loud “crack” sort of a noise.  I could tell by the pain in my chest that it wasn’t the garbage bin cracking, but the first thought through my mind was that the underwire from my bra had pushed into my chest.  Then I thought perhaps it was a roll of fat doing the same thing (because sadly, that has become an issue in the last few years).  In an uncharacteristic moment of toughness, I dove back  in after what ironically turned out to be not there after all.  I finished replacing the filter in the furnace humidifier (yes, I can be handy like that!) and sat down with my friend Mr. Tylenol and his buddy Mr. Icepack.  Couldn’t catch my breath, couldn’t lift my arm, couldn’t lie on my side or my front or my back, couldn’t take any pressure on the spot at all.  There was no bruise, so I suspect that Mike thought it was psychosomatic.   I was sitting in my chair a few evenings later and noticed that my abdomen was distended, and decided that  I obviously had internal bleeding and would probably die soon.  (It turned out to be indigestion.  Never mind.)

Well, four days later and the pain was getting worse, so off trots I to the doctor.  He poked and prodded, and sent me for an x-ray to determine if I had separated my ribs or actually cracked or broken one.  He said to call the office for the results, but when I did I had to talk to the Pitbull receptionist who is less than friendly.   She brushed me off by telling me that the doctor would call if there was any problem;  otherwise he wouldn’t.  I guess I’ll have to get the official results next time I see him, but for now I choose to believe that I did indeed crack a couple of ribs.  He told me that if they were cracked, the fourth day would be the worst for pain, and that’s what happened.   So, without benefit of official confirmation, I am announcing that I have had cracked ribs.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  This is the part where you all shower me with sympathy and express your admiration for my bravery in the face of pain.

Andrew went on a snowboarding adventure last week, took my jeep and my camera, and managed not to crash the car, lose the camera, or get kicked out of the hotel for drunk and disorderly.  I felt almost as lost without the camera as the car, so the first thing I did when he got back was take a picture of this:


Yes, I actually wore the socks in shoes, as functional socks.  Then, much to my dismay, when I took off my shoes I realized that my big toe was nearly through the sock.  First wearing- aaacckkk.  I am quite willing to share the blame for this with Noro Kuryon sock yarn- I suspect that in my zeal not to break the wool (which I found a little delicate) I did not knit to a tight enough tension.   I actually cut off the toes (this always drives Mike to distraction), picked up the stitches and re-knit the toe with Kroy. Voila- serviceable at least.


And no, my left foot really isn’t this much longer than my right foot.  I cannot be expected to work a camera and keep my toes level at the same time.  Anyhoo, I am so proud of myself for figuring out the fix myself that I think I’ll go and have some Cheerios.

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Some of my blog friends have been posting about packages they get in the mail, so I thought I would get in on the act.

The doorbell rang this morning, so after subduing the dogs  (Wallace in particular doesn’t realize that I can actually hear the doorbell, and don’t need any additional warning.  What a loudmouth.)  I greeted the Purolator guy and took the loot.


I was pretty excited, because I am expecting a parcel from KnitPicks, (although they usually ship Canada Post).  However, this did seem large for the size of my order.  (unless I accidentally ordered more than I thought.  I understand that this does happen sometimes.)   Then I read the label.   Hmmm.  Might be edible.  My second favourite type of thing to get in the mail.


I don’t know if you are familiar with the company, but Cookies by George are pretty good.  If you like that sort of thing.  The bill of lading said it was shipped from Edmonton.  There is no-one in Edmonton that we know so well that they would send cookies.  Also, the package was addressed to “the Gay Family”, which precludes any romantic motivation.  Mysterious, no?


So it’s not my knitting order.  I’ll try to live with the disappointment.


Aha!  A card!


Will wonders never cease?  If I can’t take credit for raising him right, I can take credit for training him to pick a girl who was raised right.


I quote from the little enclosure in the box:  “Cookies by George do not contain any preservatives, and a a result…you must handle these cookies with special care,  if they are not eaten all at once.”  (italics are mine.)  Not eaten all at once?  These people at Cookies by George have a sense of humour!  Put them in the freezer???  Defrost them in the oven or microwave???  What are they thinking?


That look on my face?  Bliss with a bit of guilt.  I’m trying to calculate what percentage of the haul I need to buy Andy’s silence, along with whether I can finish the rest of them without getting sick before Mike gets home and I have to share any more.

Valentine’s Day.  Ain’t it grand?

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Well bless my buttons! I have to thank Kyle for this most auspicious of honours!


I’d like to thank my mother and father, my sisters and their families, the girls from dinner club, my husband – my husband Mike who has put up with my moods forever, my darling children Geoffrey and Andy, my two dogs for keeping me sane, oh my gosh, no! Turn down the music! I’m not done! my unofficial blog mentor Ruth, Glenda and now Charlene at my LYS, my Wednesday morning knitting group, my knitting friends in cyberspace, my makeup artists Mary Kay and Cover Girl, my hair stylist Clem the Wonder Drummer, my wardrobe mistresses at Coldwater Creek and Northern Reflections…

Yeah, yeah. I know. I don’t get awards very often.

Although I rarely get involved in forwarding anything, the fact that I am deriving so much pleasure from this award has spurred me on to spread the happiness.

I know I’m supposed to nominate 8 blogs, but I really had to choose between  my absolute  6 faves or 87 of my pretty good faves.  So six it is.


Prime Time Knitter

Knitting on Impulse

Knitting in the North

Yarn Crawl


These blogs are my required reading, and let me see that we all have different perspectives of life in general and knitting in particular.   There are as many approaches to knitting as there are people, and these bloggers help me to remember to enjoy knitting (and life) for my own reasons.   Thank you all!  You make my day (especially when you post…)

Housekeeping:  Apparently there are rules to this award.

1.  Copy the award to your site.  I hope it takes less time for you to do it than it took me.

2.  Link to the person from whom you received the award.  (Gotta love the good grammar.)

3.  Nominate 8 other bloggers.

4.  Link to those on your blog.

5.  Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

If you want to play along, that’s great!  If you prefer to incur the wrath of the chain letter gods just bask in the glory, that’s fine too.  Thanks again for making my days brighter!

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A thousand thanks…

WOW!  When I posted my query about needles a few days ago, I had no idea that so many people were actually reading my blog.  It turns out that all I have to do is ask for an opinion and you come right out of the woodwork!  (Hi May, don’t forget your sunscreen.  and why did you miss our Christmas brunch?)  I do thank you for all your comments- this community is a huge support for me when I live with two fibrely-challenged (and monumentally disinterested) men.

Since not only am I lazy, but inherently cheap, I decided after deliberation to start this process by ordering some knitPicks needles.  They come in at about a third the price of the Addis, so I was able to order 2 different needle sizes in two different lengths each for just a wee bit more than a single Addi would have cost.  I have Addis that I love,  but buying three or four at a time would put a huge dent in the actual fibre budget.  I do like my interchangeables, so I’ll try these first.

Since I am showing some discipline, I will finish the current pair on the less-than-perfect needles (even if the knitPicks show up in the mail before I’m done), and then on to the test drive.

Once again, thank you so much for your suggestions.   I really appreciate them!

On a “gosh I’m so excited I can hardly stand it” note, I am registered to attend two workshops at Saskatchewan Stitches,  happening this June in the village of Muenster.  It’s about an hour east of town, and rather than drive back and forth, I am going to make a weekend of it.  Now for the really exciting part:  The workshops (one on socks, one on knitting faster and more efficiently) are being given by the Harlot herself,  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.   I’m already quite happy with the way I knit, but life is a smorgasbord, isn’t it?  I’ll see what she has to say, and maybe this old dog could actually learn a new trick or two.   Who would have suspected three months ago that I would be excited about a sock class?   This Dark Side really is seductive.   In fact, it is so seductive that I refrained from mentioning the conference to anyone (including my sisters) until I made sure I was registered.  (I didn’t want anyone to get my spot.)  How selfish is that?  Quite.

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

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Lazy Person Needs Help!

Since I am basically a lazy person, I would like to enlist my huge readership (all four of you) to help me with a little bit of knitting-related research.  Since I embarked on this sock-knitting thing, I have decided that the circular needles I am currently using, while right on track budget-wise, are less than perfect.  Specifically, the joins are a little rough.  My lovely interchangeables from KnitPicks don’t come in a small enough size.  (2.75mm and 3.0mm)   What I am looking for are your recommendations for circular needles with nice smooth joins.  I don’t want anyone to tell me that I really should be using DPN’s, because that is not going to happen.

Thank you in advance for saving me a whole lot of time and energy.

***May, if you want to kick in with your opinion, I’d love to hear from you.  I know that you’re lurking out there somewhere.

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We had a lovely time, thanks. Two weeks in sunny Puerto Vallarta, and I managed to relax for four days before I got twitchy. To be sure, some of the twitch was due to the sunburn and the heat rash, but I have never been very good at just sitting around and soaking up the old ultraviolet rays.

The humidity was wonderful. My head quit itching, my cuticles have never been so nice, and my husband could breathe through both sides of his nose. At the same time. Mike squeezed in a few games of golf, and I can quite honestly say, nay, boast, that I was the only person on our beach who was knitting socks.

Socks over the pool

Socks over the pool

I knit the first one and most of the second one before we headed south, but was prepared for more knitting.  I didn’t take any pictures of the second pair in progress, but here they are after washing and blocking:


If you check out the ankles on the green pair, you’ll see that they snug in a little- this is one of the tips I picked up from the Yarn Harlot’s  Knitting Rules .  I suspect I am in the process of crossing over to the Dark Side.  I am knitting socks, and enjoying it.  Knitting them on two circulars is making all the difference from a dexterity standpoint, and finally understanding how to knit socks more intuitively is making the whole thing a lot more fun.  I also have picked up a couple of books:


So far, I have found one major gem in each:  Nancy Bush has a Cross-over join (which I’m sure everyone else has heard of, and uses, but it’s new to me), and Schurch and Parrott have a nifty trick to avoid the hole at the top of the gussett.  (Once again, everyone else in the world probably knows all this stuff, but it’s new to me.)

A couple of observations from the big holiday:

You can buy birth control pills, cortisone creme, and amoxicillin off the shelf in Mexico, but you have to plead your case with the cashier if you want to buy Tylenol.

Places that you cannot knit (very successfully) in Mexico:

On a bus.  Any bus.  I dare you to try.

Wading in the surf.

Walking up and down the streets of Puerto Vallarta:  I don’t know how the women walk in heels on horizontal cobblestones, let alone the vertical ones.

At the swim-up bar.  (True story:  I swam up for a shot of Kahlua, since I had never swum up to a bar before.  (Sort of swum away after, but that’s another lifetime.)  After enjoying my $8.00 shot, and realizing that the water was warm and the same people had been sitting at the bar all day, I later found a large (maybe a gallon?) of Kahlua at Walmart for $10.00.  I don’t go to the swim-up bar any more for a couple of reasons.)

On a tube in the Lazy River.  Which nicely segues to this:


Still mostly dry

Apparently only old fuddy duddies just float, which is not funny.

Not still mostly dry

Not still mostly dry

Apparently pushing your wife under the waterfall under the guise of testing the new waterproof camera is  funny.  Har har har.

I did a  little Stealth Shopping- there are several birthdays in the offing.  I didn’t even have to fib my way through customs- we didn’t come close to spending our duty-free allowance.  Andy did not get the Tequila he asked for, since he requested “Good stuff- none of that cheap crap”.  I knew he would only be mixing it up with beer and lime juice, and I figured he could buy his own.  Besides, he’s only nineteen.  What does he know from good Tequila?

The laundry is caught up, the house is back in some order, the dogs are only mildly psychotic and I may even cook supper tonight.  I told Andy that next time we go away, to make house-sitting more fun, I will draw him a secret map to the closet where I hide the vacuum cleaner, and maybe he could use it.  But I’m not bitter.

Cold weather aside (although it’s melting today) it’s good to be back.  That’s one of my favourite reasons for travelling; if I didn’t travel I’d never get to come home.

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