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.