Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy All Hallows Eve!

Look what the weather did here last Saturday ...
... "fluffy" rain!  It didn't stick though.  However, I'm sure the real thing won't be long now.

Look what we have back in our part of the world ...

... very exciting for us fabriholics!  Fortunately, it's a 2 bus expedition for me to get there, so that cuts down on that spontaneous indulging thing considerably.  I bought some crafty cottons (will post pix later this week) to do some Christmassy gifts with, although my INTENT was to purchase buttons for the sweater I'm knitting at the moment.

So I got into the Halloween spirit today ...

When I climbed onto the bus this morning, the bus driver said something about me not having my broom.  So I replied "Oh, my broom didn't pass this year's emission standards test, so I decided to park it and opt for a more ecologically efficient means of transportion ... public transit."  He just stared at me, looking stunned, and finally replied "I can't think of a single response to that!"

Sorry, short post.  Gotta go do "witchy" things ... like dip into the candy bowl!  Happy Halloween!

Monday, 24 October 2011

I Might Be The World's Weirdest Knitter Because . . .

. . . well, because I have a few quirks.  Knitting quirks that is.  (Okay, I have a few personal quirks too, but I'm only posting about knitting quirks at the moment!)

This is the wool I bought at my newest favourite LYS (that means Local Yarn Store for folks what didn't know ... like L.!):
It's a beautiful stormy turquois-ish rustic kinda wool (which my photos just don't do justice to ... cuz I have a point and click cheap digital camera cuz I don't know nothing about/can't be bothered with light settings, etc!)
 In the above photo, I have a chunk of knitting already done (it's a cardigan worked from the neck down) on my Denise cable knit needles.  Do you know about Denise cable knit needles?  They are short plastic needles that come with various lengths of plastic cord so you can create cable needles of varying sizes according to your project.  Problem:  they are plastic.  I don't like plastic.  Yes, plastic knit needles are allowed on airplanes and don't make the person sitting next to you in the conference or meeting nervous in the way pointy metal/wood/bamboo needles do.  (and here's the first of my knitting quirks ...)  But wool just doesn't SLIDE the same on plastic!  And plastic just doesn't CLICK the way metal/wood/bamboo clicks!  However, I wanted to carry this project back and forth to work with me on the city bus, so plastic Denise knit needles it is.

Here's another of my weird knitting quirks ... I like large solid stitch markers.  I like something substantial that I can really feel ... like this "end of a silver spoon" stitch marker:

It's almost the size of a dog tag.  Prettier though.  I have another knitting quirk connected to stitch markers ... I like to imagine that each stitch marker I use in a project bears a wish for the recipient or wearer of the garment.  For example, with this particular set of (randomly chosen) four stitch markers, I am wishing myself (as the cardigan recipient and eventual wearer):

The right to be a bit of a DIVA at times!

Carefree-ness and Spiritual awakening!
 I always choose my stitch markers by closing my eyes and sticking my hand into the little leather bag I keep them in and gathering the number needed at random.  That way I know the right "wishes" will come together.  (I know ... quirky!)

Here's another knitting quirk ... I can't knit random patterns.  No matter how hard I try to be RANDOM, my mind insists on getting mathematical and resorting to patterns of numbers.  For example, I wanted to add some RANDOM splashes of purl stitches in the otherwise ho-hum landscape of my cardigan.  My mind instantly started working out 'alrightee!  that would be a series of knit 4, purl 3 followed by 5 rows of plain stockinette stitch followed by a row of knit 6 purl 2 followed by ...'  Exactly what I DID NOT WANT.  So I got out a pair of dice.
 And that, y'all, is yet another of my weird knitting quirks .. I roll the dice to get random pattern variations.  (Sometimes I roll the dice to get random colour/print variations when quilting too.)

I'm just about finished the body of this cardigan ... then sleeves and button/buttonhole bands to go.

Remember these?
Red 'Poet's Rib' socks
While I'm in knitting confession mode, here's one last knitting quirk ... I sing silly rhymes to remember patterns.  Here's  my 'Poet's Rib' ditty:

Suki fetch the sea salt ...
Salt the soup for flavour.
Polly fetch the pepper pot ...
Pepper for digestion -- Papa's got the gout!

Believe it or not, that translates to:

Row 1:  purl 1 (knit 3, purl 2) to end.
Row 2:  purl 1 (knit 1, yarn over, SSK, purl 2) to end.
Row 3:  purl 1 (knit 3, purl 2) to end.
Row 4:  purl 1 (knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, purl 2) to end.

I know ... QUIRKY AND WEIRD!  I've been knitting 'Poet's Rib' for many years, and have no idea when or where this particular rhyme developed, but it's rythmn fits what my hands are doing perfectly.  Even if I just hum it, I know at any given moment exactly where I am in the pattern.

So what kind of quirks do you have????

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Falling Leaves

Have I mentioned this is one of my FAVOURITE LYSes these days???  If not, let me mention so now!  They have an ever-growing selection of goodies for yarnaholics like me (yes, I confess this openly!) and are just plain fun to visit.  And visit I did yesterday afternoon.
Check them out on Facebook ...
 You see, these fun and very wise people give their customers these wonderful cards ...

Two 'smooches' towards my next big project already!
 I've been knitting socks all summer and fall, collecting 'smooches' bit by bit, and finally decided to use my 20% off for enough Galway Heather wool to do a cozy cardigan for myself.  (Sorry, no pix of the wool ... camera battery sputtered out ... next time!)  The Galway is a lovely stormy turquoisy blue.  Not as dark or grey as these clouds ... more like a clear but broody lake at the beginning of winter.
Ah!  The colours!  The golds and greens!
My FAVOURITE time of year!
 This has been a SPLENDID October!  A nice gradual slide into freezing temperatures accompanied by a GLORIOUS display of autumn colours.
This pix is looking from my 3rd floor balcony ...
geraniums still blooming bravely a week ago  ...
cottonwoods turning to gold in the distance.
 After a few nights of minus 5 degrees there isn't quite so much colour to admire.  Leaves are dropping fast.
One single marigold on my balcony ...
poor brave little thing just won't quit!
Looks like Rhonda the Flamingo is saying
"time to fly south, you foolish little flower!"
As always, I've truly enjoyed my little balcony garden ... especially the fresh herbs ... all summer and fall, but it's officially finished now.
Lemon Balm can't survive minus 0 temperatures.
While I look forward to cooler temperatures (can't imagine any more how I ever survived Okanagan Valley summers!), Miss Boots is NOT a fan of the chill ...
Hey!  What's that mysterious lump under that afghan?

Miss Boots:  "Do you mind?  It's warm and cozy under here!"
Every fall, I admire the autumn colours and wish for some creative way to capture their glory and preserve it to enjoy during other seasons.  I can't paint, so that's out.  I've tried quilting with little pieces of autumn colours ... but truth be told, I'm not that big of a fan of tiny fabric pieces, especially when it comes to matching corners perfectly!  I've thought about knitting, but have never been able to come up with a suitable design to do all the amazing shades of autumn justice.

Until yesterday.

Did I mention that my latest favourite LYS is above a book store???  How convenient (for bookaholics like me)!!!  Even better, said book store has a delightful little coffee shop!  Naturally, after spending my 20% off upstairs, I HAD TO stop downstairs for a gander at the books and a refreshing soy chai.    
I found (and of course bought) this book.
Yes, I have a rather large knitting library ...
and yes, it keeps growing!
Yarnaholic/bookaholic, remember?
I happened to flip the book open to a random page, and this is what I saw ...
Fair Isle knitting designs BASED ON AUTUMN LEAVES!!!
This really is a great book.  Not only is the author a Shetland Islands "local" with "inside" understanding of Fair Isle knitting ... she has included all kinds of fabulous technical information, including tackling those frightening steeks.  I'm really looking forward to exploring me some Fair Isle knitting ... but alas! It will have to wait for my next completed 20% off card.  I still have a few pair of socks to knit, and, of course, my Galway wool cardigan.  I also have an Aromatherapy course to finish over the next two months, and that includes a research paper and final exam.

This working for a living seriously gets in the way of all the fun things I'd rather be doing!

Miss Boots:  "Seriously, hu-mom!  This studying and stuff
sure gets in the way of all the fun things I'd rather be doing!"
Cheers, y'all!

Friday, 7 October 2011


LAST WEEKEND I was out and about.
First thing Saturday morning, I dropped in for my favourite radio station's open house.
Radio hosts NEVER look like you imagine them!

The open house was REALLY a jam-packed place ... lots of people!  I enjoyed chatting with the hosts and various other acquaintances, but eventually gave up on fighting my way through the crowd to the free coffee and goodies.
Fortunately, Tim's was right next door.
Have you tried their new Sun-dried Tomato and Asiago Cheese Bagels?  I highly recommend them!

Then it was off to the Civic Centre ... a short walk from Tim's.
Nice walk.
Leaves falling ... cool autumn air ...

Last Saturday was the annual Mennonite Fall Fair ... a "must not miss" event!

Jam-packed with people in there too!
There were crafts and baking and books and fresh produce and perogies for sale ...

I treated myself to these two pairs of earrings from the "Ten Thousand Villages" shop there.
The ones on the left are teeny tiny embroidery and beads, made in Vietnam.
The ones on the right were made in Kenya from scraps of aluminum pop (soda) cans.

I also bought this ... it's a little pillow with a pocket for a remote.
But the fabric made me remember how often I lose scissors, crochet hooks, etc ... so I will probably use it for that purpose.
Besides, I don't own anything that uses a remote!

I bought this cute little wood ornament ... cuz it's a pig with wings.
Haven't you ever said "Yeah, WHEN PIGS FLY!" ???

Miss Boots:  "A flying WHAT?  Let me see that!"

I exhibited amazing restraint in the used books department and only came home with these two.
"Christy" is a classic.  I think I read that 30 years ago.  I read it again (quick) last Sunday, and enjoyed it just as much as I did 30 years ago.
Interesting how you "get" something different out of a book when you read it at a different time and place in your life, isn't it?
I started reading "One Hundred Years of Solitude" a long time ago too, but lost the book (I think I left it on a bus) and never finished it.  FINALLY, I shall be able to find out what happens!

Speaking of books, if you haven't read "Room" by Emma Donoghue, RUN DO NOT WALK TO GET THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY!
It's an amazing story told through a five year old's eyes.  The five year old was born to a young woman held captive in a garden shed for seven years.
This book will make you laugh and cry, and then want to read it again!
I wonder what THIS WEEKEND will bring???