Saturday, December 20, 2008


my new favourite word - I want a t-shirt...
They sure weren't kidding - over a foot of snow, blustery winds, just generally curl-up-by-the-fire kind of stuff - although, of course, some of us were undaunted by the whole thing
apparently, there's another similar storm coming by here tomorrow, and then another one - maybe - on Tuesday... thank God I have a neighbor with a snowblower who appreciates a good bottle of wine as payment -

so when last we spoke, I was finishing up my Wisconsin saga - as Kelly pointed out in the comments, I forgot to mention that one of the things we had been seeking was Christmas dishcloth cotton - hard to imagine, but it was almost impossible to find. Until we got to a Ben Franklin in - help me, Kel, I don't recall where - all I know is that we found a few skeins in the back, priced at $1.49 (or 47), and Kelly SCREAMED and dropped to her knees in front of the yarn cubbies tearing through them, ripping out all the skeins she could find - we tried to be casual when we cashed out, but I think the gals working there must have seen us, because they were less than impressed with the whole thing. Can't beat the price, though...

so my last trip tidbit was on my way home, at the airport, after I had checked through and was going through security. I had all my little lotions and potions appropriately bagged, sent my carry-on through the xray and heard "BAG CHECK", in a Selma Diamond-type voice. Idiot that I am, I had carefully packed a souvenir from Kelly in my clothes, so it wouldn't break -
Why I had to check my carry-on
Never even dawned on me that it was more than 3.5 ounces...

So I got a tour through the back part of the security area (and seeing it, I understand why some of these folks are less than happy at work), went through the check-in line all over again and checked the damn bag.

And I came home to full-out Christmas:
nice homecoming
the welcoming committee;
finished Ramona's Shibuiknits glovesHP Sock the first, for ChristmasSpiraluscious cowl for KathyMitts for Catherine's friendTrisha's mittsCatherine's mittsTanner's sock #1Sammie's Mitts
the gift knitting (which is almost, but not quite, done, as is the tradition at this festive time);
the baking, which will be undertaken in full force tomorrow.
Oh, and these... I have to mention these, P1010718which I found on Glenna's site - the pattern is called Korknisse, each one takes maybe 15 - 20 minutes for me to make, and they are completely addictive. Plus, since each one uses a cork, well, you follow my logic here, right? So in addition to everything else, I am making these for people, attaching them to gifts and thinking that, with the crocheted loop I am attaching, they can be used as decorations. I LOVE THEM.

So now we're in the homestretch. Some of us are knitting, or baking, or shovelling. Some of us are waiting, maybe for Santa, maybe for a squirrel dressed like Santa
And some of us are already in the spirit, and just can't help celebrating
Ho, ho, ho...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home Away From Home, Part II - The Road Trip

So, after our leisurely Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday events, Kelly and I hit the road on Saturday for a trek north of Eau Claire. Our goals? Yarn and lattes, natch.

We started out badly, with Kelly experiencing severe discomfort in her left eye almost as soon as we headed out. She had forgotten her glasses, and we couldn't go back home because it had sapped almost all of her energy to pry herself away from Sam, her son, who was not pleased with our plans. So on we went, made an emergency stop at a drug store en route for eye drops that, from the sounds of it, burned the original pain right out of Kelly's cornea and gave her something else to focus on. The girl's a trouper, though, so we carried on.

My recollection of the order of things may be off, so Kel, feel free to correct me where necessary. We found ourselves a couple of cute little church craft sales in St. Albans Road trip pit stop, where some Christmas purchases were made. Lots of interesting items, some very handmade and others not-so-much. We also found the first place Kelly had written on her list of things to see, which was a goldmine Wonderful shop! - really nice selections of yarn, books, pottery, paintings - really, they have the whole arts thing covered. Across the street, we found some more items of interest (well, they were of interest to me, coming from well-behaved, buy my meat at the grocery store Southern Ontario) What all the hunters are wearing this season I will never get used to this stuff - all your bow hunting needs in a festive, Christmasy setting...

After the excitement of the craft sales, we needed nourishment pronto, and so found ourselves here Home of the BEST donut and latte, where we got ourselves Nutty Englishman lattes and the BEST donut ever - fried cinnamon. Need I say more?

We achieved our destination after a couple of hours, Kelly's eye still smarting but bearable - PB290082, located in the town of... what??? Are you ready?? CABLE, WI. I'm sorry, but that is just too perfect.

And the shop itself is just lovely, well worth the trip. In fact, Kelly was completely overwhelmed at one point PB290084, and we both had to catch our breath. PB290085 I would like to point out here that I am wearing an $80 Hanna Anderson sweater that Kelly got at a thrift sale (like a garage sale, but more of a religious experience in WI) for $1, and which didn't fit her - SCORE!

We went across the street from Pine Needles to a book/craft sort of shop owned by the yarn shop owner's daughter, which was fabulously sophisticated and small town corny, all at the same time PB290087. How come we don't get chili and hot dogs before our Christmas parade, huh??

It was time to start making tracks south again, before it got dark, so we made one more latte stop at a cute little shop right beside thisPB290088 - no, we didn't "bite", but I will always wonder how big a world record musky actually is. There was one more quick stop which I did not photograph because my lens was not big enough - Bargain Bill's - think of the biggest dollar store ever, with everything you can imagine, and then triple it. Still probably not big enough. It was honkin'... 'nuff said.

And with that, we got ourselves home before dark (which is important in deer country), got into our flannels, watched Elf (which was a nice change after 2 nights of highly depressing flicks) and knit.

next time: Part III - The Trip Home, The Homecoming, and OH MY GOD Christmas is how soon???!!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Home Away From Home, Part I - The Trip

I was lucky enough to be invited again to visit my BFF Kelly and her family for their Thanksgiving celebrations last week. I agreed on the condition that we did NOT get up at 3:30am this year to shop on Black Friday, to which Kelly agreed - I think it took both of us a week to get over the whole thing -

So I left last Wednesday, having printed off my boarding pass the night before, and got to the Toronto Airport with one carry-on and my purse - all smug and prepared, that was me.

Until I went through security, where I found that my cherished Swiss Army knife, which I thought was in another purse, was in fact with me. I asked if I could put it in my bag and check it, but was told that because I had chosen the 'No Check' option when I bought my ticket (back in September, when gas prices were scary-high, and luggage was being charged for), I could not. I asked if they could mail it to me and got a small, smug smile.

So it's gone. Sigh.

The flight was uneventful, except for the young gal sitting next to me who asked for a piece of my granola bar. She didn't get one.

My first day state-side was spent poking around Minneapolis and St. Paul, and finding some fabulous yarn shops, some of which I forgot to take pictures of. We went to the Yarnery, which is very nice and well-stocked, and bought nothing (I know!). Next stop was Borealis Yarns, which is one of my two favourites from this visit. The shop is big and bright, TONS of stock, the girls working there are utterly friendly and helpful, AND there is a sandwich shop/cafe next door. The only improvement I could see would be a wine/sandwich shop/cafe next door. We both did our best to help them out in these financially unstable times, and when my box from Wisconsin gets here, I'll show you how I helped. Yes, that's right, I mailed myself a box. Of stuff that I bought. So?

We found another beautiful shop, Depth of Field, and entered through their back door, which was nicely marked PB260064.
The shop is lovely, old floors and exposed brick, and two levels of all kinds of yarn PB260062, including a decent supply of blaze orange yarn PB260063, always important in hunting country.

Kelly introduced me to a few members of her knitting group, which, incidentally, she started, and I got to show Jill and Kelly how to use Jill's swift Jill and me learning how to swift and Kelly's ball winder PB270067. In the first shot, I am wearing the Cozy V-Neck Pullover in Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits, which I finished especially for the trip. It was, in fact, still damp from blocking when I got there so I had it wrapped in plastic in my suitcase.

Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving, and after a great meal at Kelly's in-laws, why, we shopped, of course. Some stores were open, and they were selling things at their Black Friday prices. Much more civilized than 3:30am, in spite of the fact that we were served by a cashier from the backwoods of Deliverance-territory, and as a result missed out on lattes by 10 minutes. But we survived, mostly because we are so mature and wise. A bout of serious cussing in the car helped, too...

Next up... The Road Trip...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


as promised, a peek at the knitting that has been going on here in post-op world...

my B-Side Cardigan
B-Side Cardigan
The flash makes it a little shinier than it is, but the fabric, which is wool and silk, has the nicest weight and drape...

the Metropole sweater coat
Metropole Coat
yeah, it's boring to look at - charcoal grey linen stitch ad nauseum... but I think it will be most serviceable when done...

Shibuiknits Transition gloves, made with their sock yarn, which is SO YUMMY
First Christmas gift... so far...

these socks, made using Flat Feet yarn, were finally wrapped up - they were started in May!!
Flat Feet Finale
When I started these, I wasn't wild about the yarn - felt plastic-y, not very soft - but perhaps my fingers have changed or something, because I'm actually quite happy with them, and looking forward to wearing them.

There's been some sample knitting:
Sample Knits for Woolgirl
Test Knit
Sample for Twisted Yarn

and there have been sock clubs:
P1010600SKNITches Oct sock clubWoolgirl October sock kitScout's Swag club

including a couple of the BEST sock club packages ever unleashed on knitters
Woodstock sock kit from Woolgirl
Wicked Witch of the West sock kit, from Woolgirl
Between you and me, I am overloaded at this point, and will be stopping all but two or three of these clubs in the very near future...

There's been some Hallowe'en Ben and Liam as hobo and hippie, respectively
My son is on the left, wearing a sign saying "Pull my finger for $1", because he figured that a hobo would have to do something creative to earn money. Yup, he gets it all from me...

Leaf raking (ohhh, did I mention I can't rake? Gee... those poor boys...)Advantages of being post-op.
And not 12 hours after they got the backyard cleared, both big trees just kind of stretched and sighed, and now you can't see any sign of lawn whatsoever...

I have discovered that, although I can't rake, I can use a small leaf blower, and I am having fun (yeah, that's right, yard work can be fun) with it - in small doses, of course.

I'm just wondering if I'll be able to spin this post-op fragility out a little more, once there's snow on the ground (which feels like it could be tomorrow!) ... I probably won't be able to shovel till... hmmm, maybe May?? Think they'll buy it?

Monday, November 03, 2008

4 weeks and holding...

Yes, it's actually been 4 weeks since I joined the ranks of the Wombless Wonders, and I am amazed and surprised by some of the things I've learned...

* people waiting in pre-op are sitting ducks for students nurses wanting to "practice" for their IV certification.

* I have a 2-poke limit, after which I get bitchy and insist that the supervisor put the damn thing in.

* it hurts to knit with that many holes in your hand.

* the quality of hospital food seems to have deteriorated since my last stay 10 years ago, for an emergency appendectomy.

* however, they now attempt to make it seem better by providing menus with "clever" names for the food.

* in hospital-ese, "ham with gourmet sauce" = inedibly salty meat with heated applesauce.

* this is no way to seduce those with fragile appetites back to the dining table.

* no matter how surreal your morphine/gravol induced fog may feel, it can always be made more so by the addition of a few long-term elderly patients to the acute surgical care ward.

* it's even more surreal when one of said long-term patients has a penchant for warbling song tunes at all hours, usually with nursing staff participation (imagine "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" at 2am, with a nurse hollering, "Come on, Bill, sing us another chorus").

* 2 full days in hospital is considered a luxury, and the second day must, in fact, be bargained, nay, pleaded for.

* when they say 'major' surgery, they mean it.

* when they say 'no heavy lifting', they mean it.

* I am more of a control freak than I knew. And I mean it.

* I am also a bad patient, which surprises me. All my life I have nursed images of myself as a lady of leisure, sitting and knitting and reading, sipping my mint juleps and having 'people' do things for me. The reality is that I HATE having people do things for me. Yet another myth disspelled.

* I am, however, extraordinarily grateful to have people who will do things for me, and sincerely hope that my control issues were relatively well controlled. If not, I blame the morphine, pure and simple.

In addition to the many life lessons, I have been knitting, and will have pics next time, which I promise won't be another 4 week wait - OKAY, MOM???!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thanks, all

for your comments and interest in my vest dilemma - I think I'll swatch (yeah, I know, you heard it here first) - right, SWATCH, the pattern stitch with the lighter and darker yarns alternating, and see if it looks more like a design element than a cheesey effect. Maybe I'll organize a betting pool to see which seems more likely.

Tomorrow, however, I am off for a different sort of adventure - having a little bit of surgery ("just a bit of harmless brain alteration, Gromit" - not really) after which I am told to expect a 6 - 8 week period of recovery.

Part of me is envisioning lots of knitting and reading, lots of lady-of-leisure activity. The bigger part of me knows that being out of commission for that long will likely kill me - or result in injury to those who dare to come close to me. I won't be able to drive for the first week, and the loss of independence, however temporary... well, let's just say it may not be pretty.

So I'll hopefully be back online in a few days... for now I have to figure out which audiobooks to put on my iPod (which I was told not to bring in with me because they are being STOLEN while people are IN SURGERY - so the boys will have to bring it in tomorrow night - and they tell me this as a matter of routine!!), and which knitting projects I might be able to play with... because I have my priorities in order...

later, dudes...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oh, I almost forgot -

the real reason for the post -

I thought that a vest would be a nice piece for this time of year, decided on the Back to School vest, and raided my stash (and this, children, is the reason for a stash). I found 5 skeins of yarn from, bought for I don't know what back in I don't remember when, calculated that I have just enough for the vest, and wound the skeins.

As I looked at them, an old Sesame Street song popped into my head:

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you guess which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?"

Well, how'd you do? Did you just assume that the top cake is lighter because of the sunlight?

Wrongo! (do you remember that 7-Up commercial?) It is SIGNIFICANTLY lighter than its relatives. So much so that I am a little concerned that simply alternating skeins might not be enough to blend it in.


I just want a damn vest. I just want to sit down, and churn out a quick, cute, cuddly vest. I don't want to have to figure anything out right now. Mindless is what we're going for here (refer to previous post for reasoning).

Any suggestions? Anyone???

Brain... exploding...




every fall I do this - I want to knit EVERYTHING I see, and I want to knit it NOW. I assume that, instead of buying additions to my fall "wardrobe", and I use the word loosely, I'll just whip some things up. So I settle on a couple of items, completely doable, and (hopefully) based on stash:
Come Together, from Twist Collective, in (stash) Malabrigo worsted, Paris Night colourway
Come Together sweater - front

Clapotis (yes, I may be the last person on earth to succumb to the call of the siren), in (stash) Elann's Peruvian Baby Silk

And then I get a new book or pamphlet, and decide I can add another couple of sweaters to the party, one using stash, one not. Oh, but then another book comes out, and something kind of snaps in my already overworked little brain.

There's a coat, and a sweater that looks like an upscale sweatshirt. And I have stash yarn which would work for the coat. And I'm hoping to visit Kelly in Wisconsin in November, and wouldn't it be cool to actually wear the coat when I go? And maybe the sweater? And/or one of the others in the works or waiting patiently in line?

In the words of Yosemite Sam, "I'm a-thinkin'... and my head hurts".

Send reinforcements...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Such Goings-On...

Well, while some of us have been, um, relaxing, shall we say?
could she be any lazier? (and yes, the couch is crapped out and that's because it's her couch),

and others have been settling into their new roles as high schoolers (grade 9) and middle schoolers (grade 7 in the big school)

still others among us have been taking on the really important chores, the things that make life as we know it go on -

we've been attending the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters' Fair, and doing our level best to support our local merchants.

Yes, it's tough, it takes a certain sort of person to rise to the challenge...
and I think I did...

I went with a list this year - first time I was ever so organized - and I found the makings for one of the items on said list:
say hello to what will soon be Cosmicpluto's B-Side Cardigan
cardigan in the making - I can't say enough about how much I LOVE this colour, and please - everyone - stop for a second and admire the cocobolo buttons...
perfect buttons
uh huh... I know...

there were other goodies: sock yarn Handmaiden Casbah (wool/cashmere/nylon), which my mother thinks would be totally wasted on my feet, or any feet, for that matter;
a little more sock yarn and some (gasp) Christmas gift makings
stash enhancement, courtesy of KW Knitters' Fair,
and that's it.

I would like to point out that there was a bag, a sort of Mary Poppins bag, teal and brown paisley-ish pattern, somewhere near the Four Seasons display booth - I coveted it, oh, yes, but fought the urge and left without it.

And have regretted it ever since. Truly. Sometimes I think it's better to go with your gut than with your common sense.


My mom and I were there about 2 hours, during which time I looked for people I might recognize from their blogs - I looked for a yellow messenger bag till my eyes bled, but left disappointed. However, I resolve to force myself to attend as many of these functions as possible, supporting whichever merchants I can, until I find you, Sandra. This I pledge now, with witnesses... again, it won't be easy, but I will do it.

Later, I'll tell you about my stash knitting, which has TOTALLY balanced out my stash enhancement. Maybe the scale has actually tipped in my favour, because the brown yarn I bought from the Purple Purl was ON SALE...

which means I should probably send out an APB on the bag... just to keep things balanced, you know...