The surprise is that I can’t follow a freaking pattern

October 21, 2009

I hate the Baby Surprise Jacket with the heat of a thousand firey suns.  Just saying.  I also hate the yarn I chose.  But the Addi Turbo needles….I loooooove you!  And I’m kicking myself for not trying you sooner.

The official ripping back will commence tonight after what will surely be another craptastic dinner (yes, it’s THAT night again) so I may as well wallow in some frogging irritation too.  And since this kid isn’t due until February the yarn and the pattern have a while to think about what they did wrong.

As for the Ottawa trip.  Well, lots and lots and lots of yarn buying.  I went a little crazy in fact.  I highly recommend Wool-Tyme and I was fortunate enough to hit it during the store’s monthly warehouse sale.  I got a sweater’s worth of wool for $59.  A man’s size large 100% wool sweater.  Big score.  Also they had Noro yarns I’ve never seen.  Which of course I had to buy.  And a sweater’s worth of something that is comparable to Cash Iroha…but significantly cheaper.  The store’s regular sale area was also good.  Great deals on pretty decent yarns and if I wasn’t allergic to mohair I’d have bought the store out.  Plus some Apple Laine that’s really not that easy to find in my neck of the woods.    All in all a good (and expensive) experience.  Yes sir yes sir two giant bags full!  Don’t let the fact that this store in an industrial park put you off.  It is well worth the trip out to the ‘burbs!

The second store I went to was Wool n Things.  It’s also out in the ’burbs in an industrial park.  The owner Giselle is friendly and lovely.  Lovely beyond lovely.  And I thought it was a really good sign that she knew all the names of the women who came into the store while I was there.  Great selection of Noro, great selection of Berroco and the new Debbie Bliss magazine which really is all that.  Loving you Debbie Bliss!   Wool n Things is smaller than Wool Tyme but packed to the gills with amazing yarns.  I barely managed to escape with only one skein of Fleece Artist Casbah.  Another good (but not quite as expensive this time) experience.  Oh, Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mably are coming to Wool n Things in October.  Brandon’s class is sold out but there was still room to see Kaffe as of my visit there last Saturday.  Lucky people in Ottawa!

My third store was Knit Knackers.  I mainly went to see the bunnies, which apparently had been taken in for the day since they were a bit cranky, so I was a bit disappointed.  I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d find at this store since the neighbourhood was a bit sketchy (Malbrigo sock in a colour I call sushi wrap since it looks like the seaweed that surrounds a sushi roll) but the sales associate was awesome!  We talked for about 20 minutes about our shared love on knitting and Ravelry addiction.  I left with a small bag of yarn…but only because Visa will now own my first, second and third born children.  Oh yeah, also because DH called to tell me he was on his way to pick me up.  Sigh.  I could have bought much much more.

Three yarn stores and three different, yet excellent and satisfying yarn shopping experiences.  I can’t wait to go back.

As for the knitting experience on the trip….not very satisfying and not at all successful.  The BSJ will be frogged, the second baby sweater will be frogged (hmmm…sensing a pattern here…am I destined to NOT knit baby clothing?) and I never got to the mittens.  Good thing since frogging boucle is painful.  Similar to me opening my Visa bill later next month I’m almost positive.


How much knitting is too much knitting?

October 21, 2009

So the DH and I are going to Ottawa this weekend.  He has a friend who is being shipped off to Afganistan and we’re going to the send off party.  I don’t really want to go as these are the DH’s “army buddy friends” and I can think of not much worse than spending an evening yakking about guns, tanks, our country’s foreign policy re: Afganistan and other manly topics.  I’m sure we’ll discuss other stuff but let’s face it, I have to have my game face on the whole time and that’s just not fun.

To sweeten the deal though, DH has arranged for a home-made Thai food extravaganza at a friend’s house (yum!) where I have the option of learning William Tell tricks.  Not entirely sure what that entails but the possibility of being able to threaten the DH with my mad archery skills at some point in the future is appealing.

Also, with a bit of reasearch on my part, I am a librarian after all, I have discovered that Ottawa has five (yep count’em) five great yarn stores.  I am hoping to get to at least two.  Maybe three.  This one, this one and hopefully this one.  The other two would be awesome as well but I know how far I can push the DH when it comes to crack yarn stores.  Plus I really do need to hit the Sephora at the Rideau Centre.

Of course we also have to visit a museum in our nation’s fair capital.  We’ve been to all of them.  I would love to go to the National Gallery but the DH is not keen on Art Galleries and he is dying to go to the  Canadian War Museum which, as you can imagine, thrills me to no end.  I was pleasantly surprised to see it has a nicely apointed boutique, which is where I plan to while away the time as I wait for him to finish looking at everything.  I wonder if they allow knitting needles in the museum?

We will also be doing a lot of visiting and that also just isn’t my thing.  Three days of “game face” and feigning interest in stuff I don’t care about is tiring.  But, there are those three (or five) yarn stores.  And a walk through the Byward Market.  Which is always fun.  Unless it rains and then it becomes incredibly not fun.

So three days of visiting/museum viewing/eating plus a five or so hour drive each way.  And two nights in a hotel…what to do I bring to knit?  And realistically, how much will I be able to get through?  How much to take is kind of irrelevant as we’re driving so I could take my whole stash if I really needed to.

Obviously the Ravelympics EZ BSJ is the top priority.  And if all goes well I should be able to have it finished by the time we get there (DH is under strict orders that he has to drive the whole way….his trip plus he used to live there and I am notoriously directionally dysfunctional…sometimes on purpose for situations such as this!).  But what else?  Should I bring one of the gazillion pairs of mittens I need to make?  Should I drag that project-that-will-not-end Ombre Blanket that was supposed to be finished in February?  Should I start Rachael Rabbit’s pinwheel blanket?  Plus I need to make a hostess gift for Friday night too….a trio of knitted dishcloths anyone?  Guess I’ll be making those on the way there since I have yet to cast them on so far this week. Oh the decisions!  Oh the stress!

So I’ll need at least one portable project (mittens it looks like) and as already discussed the BSJ has to be finished by Sunday.  And it’s pretty portable too really.  The Ombre Blanket is just too unwieldy so it will stay home but what else to bring?  I also don’t want to drag a bunch of books around either.  Pinwheel blanket?  Swancho?  Itchy-scratchy-100% acrylic FIL sweater?  Oh there’s a story that goes along with that last one…..for another blog post I promise.

As Winnie-the-Pooh says…think, think, think think think.  I will report back when I’ve figured it out.  In the interim I have to do laundry, pack, water the house plants, organize the DH, get the cat ready for her vacation at grandma and grandpa’s house…….

Victory is Mine!

October 21, 2009

I hated the yarn, I hated the pattern and one thumb looks a bit mutant-like.  But they are done.  The Lucy mittens are finished and I never have to look at them again.  It’s times like these I’m glad I knit for others because I hate to toss out stuff I’ve made.  And I’m not wearing these mittens.

Now onto my second Ravelympics project…the dreaded Baby Surprise Jacket.  Who knew it all ends on Sunday?  And whose bright idea was it to knit the damn jacket out of sock yarn?  Thankfully we have long car ride to Ottawa this weekend.  DH is driving. I’m knitting.  I have another podium appearance to make you know.

Rain, rain

October 21, 2009

It will come as no surprise that it’s raining.  Again.  I think it has rained just about every day this summer.  Which is good because we put in new grass and we need the rain to make it take root.  It’s also good because it means it’s not disgustingly hot and we haven’t had to turn on our a/c all that much.  Which saves us money and it good for the environment.  It’s also good because the water levels in our lakes are getting back to normal.

But it’s so depressing that it’s grey all the time.  I like the rain….just not every day all day.

On the up side, I found my yarn, and the pattern for the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket.  Yay!  Now I just have to rustle up some needles.  Which means a trip to a yarn store I think.  Yay

It’s the luckiest day EVER… (originally posted 8/8/08)

October 21, 2009

….to have a birthday or get married.  Sadly, my birthday is in April and I got married in October.  Which probably does not bode well for me but what can you do?  Pay your money and take your chances I suppose.  However, today is my mom’s birthday and she’s 65.  Yay Mom!  Happy birthday!!  She also retires in four days.  She’s planning on taking up Tai Chi and Belly Dancing (!).  She is not a knitter but does appreciate hand knits though.  I have a lot more than four days left to work.  I’m not bitter.  Really.

But today is the start of the Bejing Olympics.  Which, to be honest, I don’t much care about.  Oh I like the gymnastics and the swimming and such.  But I don’t do mornings well and with China 12 hours ahead….no freaking way am I getting up at 2 am to see ANYTHING.  I figure I’ll watch the replays on CBC.

What I do care about today is that the Ravelympics started on Ravelry (password required).  My team, Team SmartAssYarnHos has entered and I’m up for two events: mitten medley and baby dressage.  Now now, don’t get excited, the baby stuff is not for me.

Let’s have a recap of today’s exciting opening events.

The first event was the Baby Dressage which got off to a dismal start.

Look for brown/yellow/grey (I know but I’m hoping it will stripe into bumblebee type stripes to match the ADORABLE bee buttons I bought) sock yarn for the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket.  As my knittas have made frequent mention of, I rarely knit for myself.  And I’m not pregnant so this is clearly not a project for me.  DH’s cousin on the other hand, has a fiancee who is.  She’s due in February.  Which gives me lots of time to knit the jacket and send it to Greece.  But it has to be done by the end of the Olympics…in 15 days.  How hard can that be????

Well, I cannot find the yarn.  Much swearing ensues.  I toss the sock yarn bin.  No luck.  And I look for pattern too since I’ve already tossed the yarn cave.  I do find extra helpful BSJ hints but no pattern.  I swear some more which scares the cat.  Leave house in a huff so as not to be late for my chiro appointment.  Am not surprised when chiro (who is also pregnant) comments I’m a little stressed out.

Well, that came close to ending in tears so let’s move onto today’s second event, the Mitten Medley.  Here’s the backstory.  DH has three close female cousins and a sister.  For the past two Christmases I have made them each a handmade gift.  Now they expect it.  Sigh.  Given that I have to make four of whatever I’m giving them, it has to be something that is easy, interesting, come in four different colours, be cheap inexpensive and most importantly because I am a world-class procrastinator, the project must be fast.  Enter the Lucy Mittens made out of this yarn, which although the web site doesn’t show it, came in four really nice colours.  For $2.99 a ball.  That, my friends, is almost free!

And yet another dismal start for me.  CRAP!  Where the hell is the orange yarn?  Oh, there it is.  Double crap!  Why is it still in a skein?  Well, let’s change the project page details and make them blue mitts instead.

Ahhhh, cast on.  Finish the wrist cuff.  Damn!  Notice a slipped stich.  Too far gone to frog…mark with a stich holder for repair later.  Thank Knitting Goddesses that this is boucle yarn…nasty to work with but awesome at hiding mistakes de-emphasizing design elements.  Start shaping for thumb….looking good so far!

As speed is of the essence, for once in my life I did read ahead and even highlighted the sizes I’m making.  I’d say I’m 10% done the first mitt.  I hear mittens are like socks and that SMS (second mitten syndrome) is inevitable.  Which will suck big time since I have four more pairs to go.  Which is why I started them in August.  On my mom’s birthday.  And the start of the Summer Olympics.  And the luckiest day EVER!

Thankfully though, only this pair is for the Ravelympics.  I’ll have to get someone else to kick my ass into gear for the next three pairs.  And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day in the Baby Dressage.  Cross your fingers for me.

Ennui…boredom…zero motivation….however you spin it I’ve got it.

October 21, 2009

I don’t know if it’s summer, which for the record is not my favourite season….I don’t like heat or humidity…or the remnants of the move or what.  But I am bored.  I don’t like any of my knitting projects.  I don’t like anything I’m planning on starting.  I looked through ALL my yarn and I’m not inspired.  I don’t feel like buying more and God knows I don’t want to finish anything.  I don’t even want to knit.  As the DH says, I must be sick.

And this ennui has bled into my “real” life.  I have a hard time getting out bed in the morning.  I’m not motivated at work.  And forget making dinner when I get home.  I’m not sick.  Well, maybe I am.  Sick of summer.  I like the longer days and I like all my sandals but enough with the hotness.  Enough with the humidity.  It’s giving me headaches and making me cranky.

Of course, come mid February I’ll be whinging about how much I hate winter.  I must be Canadian.  I’m clearly never satisfied with the weather at hand.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

October 21, 2009

I have some unsolicited advice…Be careful what you wish for.  Two and a half years ago I wished for a bigger house….the 800 square feet shoebox was not enough for me, the DH and Baxter.  Besides, this was the house the DH bought for himself…and decorated for himself.  I felt a bit like I was living in a frat house, minus the ”liberated” road signs and mandatory Sports Illustrated Bathing Suit girls.

After many arguments, lots of whinging, even more pouting and what seemed like an endless stream of open houses that were too expensive, too ugly, too small, too big, too much work and all around not perfect for us, wonder of wonders, we found a house we both liked and so we bought it.  You have to strike while the iron is hot with the DH I’ve learned.  The new-to-us bootbox is 1700 square feet over 2.5 floors.  Which is a lot more stairs than I thought.

It’s also an old house, built in 1936.  Which means it’s charming.  But as I’m finding, charm doesn’t come cheap.  The 1936 windows need to be replaced…all 19 of them.  The 1936 floors need to be refinished….all of them.  And while the 1936 knob and tube wiring was replaced, the light switches weren’t, which means that you have to go OUTSIDE the room to turn on the ceiling lights INSIDE the room.  Not very intuitive.

And apparently in 1936 there were no such things as Queen size beds.  This is a bit of a problem for us as our  mattress is currently on the second floor but the box spring is languishing in the living room.  It has repeatedly refused to go past the landing.  Which means the DH gets to play with his power tools tomorrow.  And let’s not even discuss how said box spring is going to make it up to the master bedroom in the attic.  Can you say king size bed?  The Money Pit strikes again.

On the positive side though, there is so much more space now.  I know that 1700 square feet doesn’t sound like much, especially now that homes are three, four and five thousand square feet or more.  But coming from a cramped two bedroom bungalow to a house where I can actually get dressed in the room in which I sleep at night….oh it’s blissful!  My yarn, fabric and books all get a room and so does the DH’s 42 inch LCD.  Although the tv and the computer do have to share their room.  It’s a win-win situation all around.

I don’t miss the bungalow at all.

The Pit of Despair

October 21, 2009

I know that unpacking takes time.  And we’ve only been in the house for just over a week so it’s ok that we’ve still got boxes and crap EVERYWHERE.  But I’m anal and want it all put away.  NOW!  I guess it’s the Librarian in me that is driving me to put everything in it’s proper place.  And it’s just so depressing not being able to find things.  Important things.  Like pants (trousers to those of you who are from the UK…I know exactly where my underwear is thank you).  And cereal.  And my knitting books.  How is it possible that half my knitting books have just disappeared?  I’d blame the DH but I personally loaded them into the car and drove them to the new house.  Of course I really, really, REALLY need to look at those books I can’t find even though I have no time and no comfortable place to knit.  My skin is starting to crawl with how much I need to read those books.

And where did all the cereal get to?  I’d like to believe that our house gnome followed us from the old house and is messing with us by moving stuff around after we go to bed.  But the reality of the situation is such that the cereal is probably in the hall closet.  Which is currently blocked by the giant armoire until we can stabilize the floor where it’s going to sit.  Or so I hope.  Maybe my missing knitting books are there too?  I should check.

The DH and I have now gone beyond the “fun” part of moving, which I’d describe as opening boxes and being happy to see what’s in them.  Now we’re at the picky stuff.  You know, boxes of extension cords and papers that are probably pretty important but there’s really no place or time to see how important they are.  And there are boxes and boxes of DH’s crap that I can’t believe he moved.  I mean really, how many ice trays do two people really need?  The new fridge has built in ice trays so we really don’t need any extra trays at all.

To make myself feel better, I went here last night.  I didn’t go right at the opening, which I understand was chaotic…I have enough chaos in my life right now so I’m trying to cut back.  I have to say, I was a tad disappointed.  It didn’t stop me from buying yarn (colour 04) I don’t need but I was hoping for this since I have ambitious plans to make Lizard Ridge.  No luck.  I was surprised by the amount of eyelash and novelty yarns though.  There is a time and a place for all that for sure, but given how many people love this sale, rave about it and drive from all over to come to it, I’d have to say it wasn’t the most satisfactory shopping experience I’ve had.

This makes me happy

October 21, 2009

Yesterday there was an incident with two people who are very close to the DH.  I’d love to get into it but with this being the internet, the DH having a nosey large family and me having a fairly unique last name I really can’t.  Anyway, the whole thing made the DH upset and me upset that he was upset.  The other people I don’t care for so much.  But that’s not news.

We came home and I decided only yarn could ease the pain.  And since he was on the computer I couldn’t buy more yarn (because it’s getting to be ridiculous) so I decided to go play in what Glenna calls my yarn cave.  Who knew I had all this yarn?  Not me.  It’s amazing how big the stash really is when it’s all in one place and not spread about the house.  And there’s still three more giant totes, three boxes and a basket to unpack.  Excuse the mess, we’re still unpacking.  But ooooh it makes me happy, messy or not.

It’s a sickness

October 21, 2009

Lately I’ve gone hogwild a little overboard with the online purchases.  Some of it I can justify.  Two of my knitta friends, Glenna and Martha, have an upcoming milestone birthday so I had to get them something nice.   I’m also part of a swap (Ravelry ID probably required) and my partner deserved some really funky [yet within the $20 range as per the swap rules] yarn.  Some of the purchases from here were feel good presents given the whole moving sucks vibe that’s been going on for the last month.  I need want many things from here but so far I have remained steadfast and my Visa has yet to jump out and make a purchase without asking me first.  Even though I look every day.  It won’t be long before my Visa makes a break for it I’m sure.

I’m supposed be practicing fiscal responsiblilty, especially given the Money Pit and the several hundred dollars I’ve spent already on it this month.  And let’s not talk about what the DH has spent on the MP…he makes me look like a rank amature in the July spending-money-like-it’s-going-out-of-style-sweepstakes.

But when I opened my email from PurlSoho this morning, fiscal responsibility flew out the window.  It hadn’t been home for long but let’s not discuss that particular flaming elephant in the room.  And it wasn’t even yarn that got me.  It was my other addiction.  Yes that’s right.  I’m two-timing knitting with a sewing book.  And it’s not even in English!  I also think maybe I might need a PEng to decipher the patterns too but that’s what the DH is for.  If I can convince him to “pretty please just look for 10 seconds a this” and hope he gets hypnotized by the pretty coloured lines that seem to have no rhyme or reason to those of us without a PEng.

Clearly I have taken leave of my senses.  Oh Naomi Ito, your simple lines and beautiful fabrics got me.  I had visions of myself wearing those pretty, floaty dresses [even though I rarely wear a dress and much prefer pants and let’s not even get into how many “are you pregnant?” questions these dresses will no doubt garner] and sewing matching dresses for my three nieces [who will be in university before I finish one dress let alone three].  Before I knew it, I was entering my Visa number into the online order form and now the book is winging its way to me.  With a three week layover in a Canada Customs warehouse no doubt.

I feel no remorse.  If I don’t actually set foot in the store does it count as real shopping?