Monday, December 29, 2008


Guess who got a job offer today from Maine Medical Center? I shall be their newest OT as soon as I can get my paperwork in order. I am so excited that I can barely contain myself. In the meantime, it is time to announce a move! Dispatches from Halifax is now officially Dispatches from Maine! Please click here to access the new blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cha-Cha-Cha- Changes

Things have been pretty stressful around here kids... not gonna lie to you. Mike has been hired at a job in Portland, Maine, and so far I have not! That means that he is packing up all of our stuff and moving down there around the first of January, and I am stuck in Halifax.... homeless. Technically we have our current apartment until the end of January, so I am not totally homeless, there just won't be any furniture in it... that will all be with Mike in Maine.

The whole thing is very stressful and pretty crappy to be honest. If I can't find a job by the end of January I will look around Halifax for a month to month furnished apartment.

Originally Mike was going to move down to Maine and find a month to month, and I was going to stay here, but we found the most perfect apartment ever in South Portland, that we do not want to give up. This new apartment is seriously fantastic. It actually has three bedrooms! One of the bedrooms is off of the main bedroom, it is going to be the yarn/spinning room, which is going to be fantastic. I am already looking into better yarn storage options.

So... yeah. Thing are a little stressful right now, but I think it will all work out. In the meantime if anyone has a room they would like to rent out, let me know!

Monday, December 01, 2008

What national blogging month?

Ok so I fell off the blogging wagon again. I have had a lot on my mind lately that has left me not at all in the mood to blog. I can't really talk about it on the internet, but once it is all sorted I will give you all an update. In the meantime by blogging will likely continue to be sporadic.

I hope to either have things sorted out soon, or be back in the mood to blog soon. But until then you all will have to bear with me for a bit.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh the waiting is the hardest part

I have been having a hard time sitting down to blog recently, I have had some rather exciting news that I am waiting to hear the outcome on. It's not the kind of thing I can blog about, but I will let you know as soon as I can! Or if you don't hear anything... assume the outcome was not positive. Was that vague enough for everyone? haha.

I finished the Chevalier Mittens. This is my first real FO from handspun that I have been really happy with. The first project I knit was really overspun and ended up feeling really hard. The second project was a little bag so it doesn't count. I am super happy with these mittens, they are very pretty. I do feel that they might pill easily though because they are not super spun, but we shall see. I have a special place in mind for these mittens, but again, I am not saying where :)

I took Chase to get weighed yesterday, she is now officially 2 kilograms, which means that she can get fixed. I have to admit, I am feeling a little bit of anxiety about this, last time I took a cat in for surgery they didn't come home with me. I am sure that she will be fine, but it's hard not to worry a little. Chase on the other hand, as usual, has zero anxiety.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


It was a truly gross day today. It was cloudy and rainy all morning and then started snowing in the afternoon. I was getting pretty nervous at work, because I knew that I would have to drive home in the slush. Luckily I was only in Lower Sackville today, so the drive wasn't too bad. If I had been on the South Shore or Pictou, I probably would have had to sleep there.

I went to knitting (KOL) last night for the first time in a while. Tuesdays are not a great day for me, and I am not always able to make it. I was really glad that I went though, it was awesome to see everyone, especially Alison and her brand new bundle of joy.

We got to talking about my blog... and there was some mention of all the cat pictures. I must say, I have always been an animal lover (not just cats, I also love dogs, birds, horses etc.) but somewhere along the line, living in an apartment and being confined to only one animal type, I have become a crazy cat lady. The whole thing just sort of snuck up on me. I think I am ok with this though... I have some to terms with it... and as long as the cats keep being soft and snuggle (and occasionally psychotic) I think I can deal with that.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Story of two kitties

Hmm what's this? It appears to be some kind of basket....

Maybe I should poke at it to investigate?

AHHH! It poked me back!

Aw, it's just a kitten :)

One little slice of my life

I finished the River Rapids socks!

I am really happy with how they turned out, although I must say, they really are more fraternal than identical twins. Not my fault though! These were knit from the same skein of hand-dyed yarn, however, one sock ended up having 90% of the green. Weird eh? I still like them! That's one Christmas present I can cross of my list :)

I have also made some progress on my Chevalier Mittens. I really love this mitten pattern. I don't knit a lot of mittens from other people's patterns because I can make up my own pretty easily. When I was in high school I knit almost exclusively hats and mittens, so I can make up patterns in my head for both in my sleep. I gotta confess though, there is no way that I could have made this pattern up in my head! This is some serious charting and cables!

What is that luscious yarn you ask? Well that is my own handspun, and I am soooooo happy with it. It's a blend of Alpaca/Merino with bits of soy and bombyx silk mixed in. I was not wild about it when I finished plying it, thinking that it was probably overplied, but it is knitting up just perfectly. These are some of the softest, nicest mittens I have ever made.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

overspun handspun

So remember the batts I was so excited about? Turns out that I should have been a little more careful while spinning. I really overspun my singles, and now the resulting yarn feels a little on the hard side. It looks a little scraggly in this picture, however, I have since washed it and it looks much better. Not sure what I am going to do with it... I have quite a bit more on the batts, but I may do them in a lighter weight. I know how to fix what I did wrong... I need to slow down my speed. Not sure why... but I wonder if spinning semi worsted requires less twist than spinning regular worsted? I am going to have to do some experimenting.

I am curious to see how it will knit up though. I wonder if it will soften when knitted and washed. I am thinking I am may make some experimental mittens... or perhaps some slippers where the high amount of twist will be an asset, making the slippers last longer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Maggie + Batts = Love

So remember the red/orange/yellow roving that I dyed? Well once it dried I found the color a little bit intense. So when I went to spinning on the south shore yesterday I asked spinning guru Sharon Orpin if she could help me blend it with some white. She suggested that I use her electric drum carder and make batts with it. I was game! I made about 10 or so batts from my dyed polswarth combined with some white polswarth that she had. I was really happy with the resulting batts, especially since some of them were more red, others more orange and others more yellow. It all depended on which part of the roving I used.

This picture really doesn't do it justice, but my singles are looking just fabulous. I love how the batts give you a cool striping effect in your yarn. My favorite part though is how ridiculously fast I can spin from a batt. I spun up a bobbin in a third the time it would normally take me. Mind you... it's not super even... but I think that is partially the nature of spinning semi worsted.

I also plied this dyed Polswarth, it's the stuff from the singles I showed off in a previous post from London Wul. I will get a better shot of it when I finish spinning the rest (I still have about 4 ounces left to spin).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dance Dance

Not gonna lie... not a lot of work, fiber or otherwise got done around here today. I went to EB Games and picked up Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii. I have always wanted this game, or I have wanted it ever since I saw my friend Alex using it at movie theatre, and last night I learned that you could get it for the Wii.... so I got it ASAP today.

Did any of you know that a new World of Warcraft (WoW) expansion pack came out today? EB games was a zoo! and I was the only one there not buying it. The cashier actually laughed when I asked for a Wii game, and seemed relieved to talk about something other than WoW. People around me in line were asking me questions like what guild I was in.... It was all very odd. Not like I am judging, the reason that I do not play WoW is because I know that I would become totally addicted and obsessed with it. I like those kinds of games too much so I stay away from them.

I hope that I continue to enjoy DDR as much as I do know. Playing a video game for two hours a day might be a good thing for me if it makes me sweat more than I do in aerobics class!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I bought some Majic Carpet Dye yesterday from Gasperau Valley Fibers as well as some white Polswarth. The dye is meant to be used for rugs, but it works on wool and came in a handy kit of a bunch of colors, so I thought I would give it a whorl. I laid out my wool on some plastic wrap (after soaking it in vinegar and water). I then mixed up some red, orange and yellow dye into some mason jars, then splotched it on the wool randomly. There are no pictures of this step as I was covered in dye. I then wrapped it up and put it in a double boiler for 20 minutes. I bought a cheap enamel double boiler for this because I know that you are not suppose to use it for food after it has been used for dye.

I waited until it was room temperature, rinsed, and this is what I got!

It was really hard to get a picture because it was DRIPPING wet.

I am really happy with how it turn out! I can't really tell what it will be like as yarn, but I think it will be really pretty.

Currently on my wheel I have some Polswarth from London Wul. Pretty eh?

I am kind of a big deal

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Back in the 'fax

I got back from PEI today, pretty tired. The drive back, although not that long, always wipes me out. I don't have any knitting pictures yet, the light is just too crappy in here. I did make some good spoils at Mini Mills though, and have some good progress on the River Rapids sock.

I had a good visit with the family. My granddad (who goes my G-Dad now) had a heart attack last weekend, scaring the crap out of me. It was reassuring to go see him and see that he was doing ok. He's doing well considering the circumstances. He's at home, they've told him expect 6 weeks to recover.

Other highlights from the weekend include my learning how to make two new curries from my Dad, including a Rogon Josh and a chickpea one. Curry is one of Mike's most favorite thing in the world (besides politics) and it is one way that I keep him around.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

River Rapids!

I cast on today for the River Rapids Socks using some Celestial Merino by Lucy Neatby. This picture really doesn't do this sock justice, it is a truly fantastic sock. It's one of those projects that takes longer to knit because you can't stop admiring your work as you go along. What a difference going from a sock knit with knitpicks to one with Lucy Neatby yarn, not like there is anything wrong with knitpicks, but it just does not have the pizzaz of handpainted merino. These socks are going to be a Christmas present for my step dad. The colours are not super manley, but he is a guy that is willing to wear bright colours, especially on his feet.

Do you knit at work? I don't usually, especially since I am a contractor aka self employed and I am always worried about looking super attentive at meetings. I do however knit at educational events. I always do this because as I am self employed, no one is paying me to go, I am going on my own time with my own money and I know that I will learn better and pay attention better if I have some knitting. In any case the work on this sock was done during a 2.5 hour presentation I attended today on pressure management (as in pressure ulcers, what we used to call bed sores). It was some great sock knitting time!

I am going to PEI tomorrow to see the family over there. I doubt I will be able to post when I am gone, but I will post when I get back!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Did

Well, last night was amazing! I stayed up to watch Obama's acceptance speech, which brought me to tears. I have definitly been paying for it today though, I went to work and then did a home visit, and I am totally exhausted. Note to self: you require more than 5 hours of sleep to function.

I finished these 9-5 socks a while ago and am only getting around to posting them now. I am pretty happy with these, they aren't particularly exciting or pretty or wonderful, but they will be nice work socks. The yarn is knitpicks essential tweed and the raverly link is available here.

Anyone else finding it impossibly hard to get good pictures when we only have 10 hours of daylight? I don't know if it is my less than excellent camera or the crappy lighting, but I have been finding it really hard to get any even half decent knitting pictures.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


American election day.... the only day where the whole world wishes they were American, or at least wishes they could vote in their elections. It's been a long two years we have been waiting for this day. Mike is so excited that he can barely form complete sentences. Luckily he was able to channel his nervous energy into cleaning our apartment for our election party tonight.

I don't have much time for blogging today, just wanted to check it before making some party hummus. Have a great election night everyone!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Warm Pasta and Soft Yarn

First things first, tonight I very pleased with my culinary talents. I made this Rigatoni meal courtesy of Emeril Lagasse. It's a mushroom and steak cream sauce with gorgonzola cheese. I am not a big blue cheese fan so I bought a Camembert Gorgonzola mix from the Italian Grocery Store and used that. Also, I used Blend Cream instead of Whipping, but it was still very rich and creamy. I took a picture, but it looked sort of grey, so I decided not to include it :)

I am really happy with this yarn that I spun up. There is close to 1000 yards there, although I am not sure of the weight because it is still a little damp. I would guess that it is somewhere in the sportweight-fingering weight category. I have ordered a WPI gauge, but I am still waiting for it. The roving is from PacaFiesta, it's a Alpaca, Merino, Buffalo, Angora mix. It was a gift for being a spinning demonstrator.

I really tried to get a close up of the yarn so that you could see the ply and twist, but my camera and the evening light just wasn't cooperating. You can take my word for it though that it is slightly under plied, but wonderful and squishy and soft and I think it's perfect. I am happy that it turned out well because I have a special plan for it with this pattern.

In other news Chase continues to be extremely helpful in facilatating all fiber crafts.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Pangaea First!

If there is one thing that I have learned about myself since I started blogging it's that if I do not blog everyday I am unlikely to blog more than once a month. In the spirit of that I have joined NaBloPoMo, and committing myself to blogging daily. I am going home twice in November and I have given myself permission to not blog on those days as there is dial up internet and I know I will not get it together to write posts ahead of time.

In other news Mike and I went to a Halloween party on Friday night. We dressed up as Sarah Palin and a Dinosaur. Good ol folksy Sarah believes that dinosaurs and people co-existed, so here we are as the Governor and her dino friend. I know my costume isn't super creative, but I was never the best at Halloween.

I have been having a hard time getting a lot of knitting done lately, but I am trying to make a committment to finish some of the projects I have on the needles. I have a few Christmas items I would like to knit and I have to get crackin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Look! It's a turtle type thing! I crocheted this little guy last night as I was getting ready to go a haunted house with some friends. The whole thing took about two hours. Man, crochet is fast! To give the crocheters some credit though I am sure there is a big difference between an amigurumi animal and a lace doily...

I ordered some plastic safety eyes from 6060 on etsy. I was very happy with her service, they arrived a week later and were exactly what I ordered. Now that I have these little eyes I have urges to make a little army of mini toys. Not sure what I would actually do with them, but I sure would have fun making them. My only problem is that my stash is not very accessible (ie it's stacked in tupperware buried in a closet... ok two closets... and it's hard to dig out all my little balls of worsted weight. Mike suggested I get some kind of cubby storage unit which I am definitly going to look into.

I bought a new desk! It's fantastic and holds all my stuff. Only one drawback, it's way too high for me. You would think that as an occupational therapist who does ergonomic assessments I would be smart enough to measure the height of the desk and realize that maybe 30.5 inches in a little high for me (average is about 27.5-29.5, and I am only 5 feet tall). It does have a keyboard tray though so I may just have to pick up an external keyboard for my laptop and plop it on there.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

E-Day, again!

Voters in Halifax get to vote twice this week in a 7 day period. That's not too shabby. I trekked out again to my local polling station and cast my ballot of municipal councilor and mayor of Halifax. I decided to vote for people who did not support the embarrassment that is the widening of Chebucto road, if you're local you will know what I mean.

I have been shockingly slow at knitting lately. I don't know what has gotten into me, or if I am just really bored by my current projects, but I have been getting almost no knitting done. I am meeting with Ilga tomorrow to do some test knitting though, so I am sure that will get me back in the groove. I think the pattern she is getting me to do is not yet published, so the project will have to be unbloggable for a while.

As I have posted, I bought a large amount of fiber at Pacafiesta. I plan to do sweaters with this fiber and I am trying to pick a good pattern. I really like some of the Chic Knit patterns. especially the Ribby Cardi (although I would do it in one color, I have never liked the baseball shirt look) and Cassidy. I am going to wait until my WPI gauge arrives before I start the spinning though, because I really want to get the right weight if I am spinning for a particular project.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Are you Canadian? Are you eligible to vote? Have you voted yet?

If you have not voted and you are eligible to do so, you need to go do that. Now. You don't have time to read knitting blogs on the internet, you need to go do your civic duty. As soon as possible.

I love voting. I don't see it as a chore at all. Today when I went to vote, I savored my voting experience. Although I already knew who I was voting for, I look a minute to read all the names on the ballot, and carefully made my "X". It was fantastic. I wish I could do it again.

Whoever you vote for, although I do hope its not Harper, please make sure you vote today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone is having a great thanksgiving day. I already had my big meal yesterday, but I am still happy to have an extra day off to relax.

I am still plugging away at the butterfly blanket. It's turning out to be a nice size. I think by the time I finish the skein I am on now it will be a nice lap blanket. If it's too small though I can always use it as a baby blanket or shawl or something. I am not too fussed about it. Here is a lovely picture of a blog of lace so y'all can see what it looks like (sort of).

I have two other projects on the go right now, a pair of 9-5 socks and my central park hoodie that I started last May. The socks are looking good, but I think the hoodie is going to be too small :(

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Knitting for Thomas

On Friday afternoon I cast on for The Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap, and I finished it around 8pm that night. I washed it Saturday morning and delivered it to Thomas in the hospital at 10am. I think I was inspired to knit quicker by his sweetness and adorableness and perfectness. I used knitpicks Felici in Coastal that I had in my stash. This cap barely uses any yarn, it could be a great stash buster for all those bits of sock yarn I have lying around.

I also brought him this bunny that I knit a while ago. I can't remember if I posted pictures when I first finished him or not. Anyway, I always intended him to be for him once he was born. I made up the sweater pattern myself, it was really fun. I think if I do another it would be fun to make a little cable or pattern in the sweater. I can't remember the name of the yarn that the bunny is made of, but it is a super wash merino that I bought a cone of from Sunrise Mercantile. This is the third bunny I have made from that cone. The pattern is "Small Rabbit" from Toy Knits by Debbie Bliss.

In other news, Chase wishes to express that just because their are highly adorable human babies around, she is still capable of being extremely cute.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A brand new person

I have much knitting news to update on, however, there is someone very special who deserves their own post. This isn't a very good picture, but there was a lot of commotion going on. I am going back to the hospital today, and hope to get a better picture.

This is the newest member of my family! I am really happy about this, because until he was born I was the newest member of my family, and at 23 that was getting a little old. He is the son of my Step brother, Matthew, and his wife, Dui. I couldn't be happier for them. He is the most perfectest baby that I have ever seen. His name hasn't been settled on yet, but we know that his middle name will be Michael and his last name will be Edgar.

He is perfect.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I finished plying, washing, and measuring the pink Bamboo/Merino. The big skein has 456 yards with 3.38 ounces, the little skein has 152 yards and 1.23 ounces. Not sure what I am going to do with it yet. I am thinking something drapy, since bamboo lacks elasticity. Maybe I will design a cowl or scarf using one of my Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries.

I have also started spinning up some alpaca, merino, bombyx and soy silk. The little knolls (sp?) is the silk. Isn't it pretty? I got it from Belfast Mini Mills.

I am trying to spin this to be in the range of worsted weight because I think that it would make a nice hat and mitten set. This probably sounds blatantly obvious, but I am amazed at how much quicker it spins up when you spin thicker. Goodness, I am just flying through this roving.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pacafiesta, a great way to lighten your wallet

Pacafiesta was great this weekend. I got a lot of spinning done, the best part was there was no small kittens leaping and jumping at my wheel the whole time! It really enhanced productivity.

There was lots of Alpacas there. Here they are lining up to be judged. The one lying down was really funny, the poor girl kept trying to make her stand up, but she just wanted to lye down. I guess she had a long weekend, and was sleepy.

I enjoyed the giant rope knitting they had on display. I guess they used a crochet type system to make these beasts. There was at least 4 of them.

I finished spinning the bamboo merino I have been working on. There's about 3.5 ounces there, and I have another ounce or so in another skein. I will post the deets when I get it washed up and measured.

I also started spinning some 75% alpaca, 12% merino, 8% bamboo and 5% buffalo that was gifted to us spinners as a thank you. The fiber is from Legacy Lane and is spinning up like a dream!

I scored a new knitting book called Knit so Fine. I was interested in this book because a lot of the spinning I have been doing as been in the sport weight range, so it had lots of patterns I could use the yarn for. I really like this one, and this, and this, and this, and this. I think I will get a lot of use out of this book. I also picked up this sweet little felt art and a spin off magazine.

As for fiber, I may have gone a little bit crazy.

First I saw this lovely oatmeal merino roving. I thought it was quite a bargain at $20 a pound. I have been wanting to get enough to make a sweater, so I bought three pounds to be safe. I have had several people tell me that I can probably make 2-3 sweaters from that, but that's ok! I can always dye some of it.

Then I saw this superwash merino that is apparently a mill end, but it looks fine to me. It was... brace yourself... FIVE DOLLARS A POUND!!!! I know, I was blown away. I also got three pounds of this, so if I get even two sweaters out of it, that's $7.50 a sweater... not too shabby.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Tomorrow is the day! Pacafiesta! I couldn't be more excited. The best part is that I have been recruited to spin there. I received an URGENT email from Sharon Orpin who received one from the organizer saying that they needed spinners desperately. I am always one to help out when any kind of yarn/fiber emergency happens! I will be there tomorrow from 10-4 spinning away. It's going to be great. Hopefully there will be some of these:

And maybe some of these....

And if we are oh so very lucky there might be a couple of these:

I plan to take lots of pictures and update tomorrow! If you live in the HRM hope to see you there!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I was going to post

I was going to post some pictures of the finished shawl. I was even thinking about being very ambitious and going outside to take some pictures. Unfortunately though the kittens have made themselves comfortable, and I didn't have the heart to move them. I swear this is not posed, I lay the shawl out on the bed and they both made themselves comfortable. The shawl turned out a lot bigger than I thought it would. At first I thought that I might have used too small needles, but now that it is blocked it looks good.

Progress continues on the butterfly blanket. I am starting to think it is going to be blanket sized when it is done. Honestly I am being kind of lazy on this one, since the yarn is handspun and the pattern is flexible, I am just going to keep knitting until I run out of yarn. It will be what it will be!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sheep Shawl - Done!

I sat down today with some good bluegrass/roots music and set to work on the sheep shawl. Nothing like a little Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Man Luedecke, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, and Amelia Curren to get the productivity flowing. The sheep shawl is now being blocked!

I know that it is really hard to see the pattern with the colorful yarn and foam, but if you look closely you can see the sunshine, then the orchard, then the houses, the sunflowers, grass and sheep. I love it. This is going to be a fabulous fall scarf for me.

I typically do not keep the lace that I knit, usually I sell it or give it away, but this one is special to me. I love farms so much, and I want to own one, so for now this will the next best thing.

So the completion of the Sheep Shawl allows me to do what I really want to, knit with my handspun. I have to say, I don't think that there is anything better than knitting with your handspun. The whole thing just feels more intimate. As a spinner it is great because I am able to better evaluate my yarn and see how I might improve upon it.

Here is the beginnings of the Butterfly Garden. As you can see I have changed the garter stitch to stockinette, so far it looks good!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tidying up

I am giving the house a deep clean today. I am not just tidying, I am tearing this apart and dusting those tiny little corners that often go missed. As a knitter this means controlling the stash. It tends to escape its storage bins slowly, and leak into the active knitting spaces. What I mean by the active knitting spaces, is that I have a couple baskets around that are meant for works in progress only. Over time though other junk tends to accumulate in there, and I have to push it back into its place.

During this process I noticed that I had an almost empty tupperware available for Yarn. This was very exciting for me and I began to reorganize the stash into this bin. Mike commented that the stash was like a gold fish, and would grow to fit into whatever environment it was provided.

The reason for all this cleaning is that we are having a little party here tomorrow for my step dad Wayne who turns 60 on Wednesday. There will be people here who have not been to my apartment before, and I would like to trick them into thinking that I am neat and tidy :)

Progress continues on the shawl border. I have to admit, the edging didn't line up with the bottom point like it was suppose to, but there was no way in hell I was going to rip it back so I fudged it a little to make it work. I am sure I can block it out so it won't be noticeable.

Sorry for the horrible pictures, we all now how impossible it is to take pictures of lace in progress.