Monday, June 25, 2007

Sittin' and spinnin'

Yesterday and today just flew by. Spinning is so much fun, and I suck. I can't wait until I'm good at it - how much more fun will it be then? The mind boggles.

We all had a wheel to play with, lots of different fibres to try, picked colours to dye a fleece, heard all about washing, dying, we steamed yarn, plied yarn, combed fleece, carded fleece, used a drum carder and skein winders and niddy-noddies. I finally figured out what an orifice is, and why it needs a hook.

Even tried using a spindle. I suck even more at that, but I bought one and a bunch of fibre anyway. Also bought some dyes. I learned what Scotch tension is, and what a lazy kate is, and some of the history of spinning, and how different fibres spin differently.

And, and, and it was so much fun that I never want to go back to my crappy job. I just want to sit in the country among the flower pots, battling mosquitoes and spinning. Seriously, if I wasn't all responsible and grown-up like, I would stop squashing my inner hippie, live in the boonies and spin.

Here are some photos:

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dating and stuff. Well, not so much stuff as venting.

Apparently, I'm the smartest, prettiest woman he's ever seen.

That sort of freaked me out. I've heard that before, many times. But never when I was in a place to say "I think you are cute. And not stupid." Well, that's not true. I've heard that before, but never when both of us are in the right place.

Since I am just finding my right place (again) I lectured on subject 3(A) - A woman does not need a man to feel smart and pretty.

The lecture I gave is about how an woman's identity is not tied up in who she's with. I can't begin to say about how strongly I feel about this - If I have learned anything over the last 10 years, it's that I only need me (and my girly pals, can't do anything without them).

Can I "break up" with a fellow before we even get started? Well, yes. Or, I can spend the 20 minutes explaining that I have had a long life of romantic "entanglements", if that's a word, and can we just eat the over-cooked steak that you requested and enjoy the evening?

Maybe my dating "break" should be permanent. Boys are stupid. Even if they are cute and only a little bit dense.

P.S. This is not the fellow who said that he loved me. I still haven't decided what to do about that. I think, right now, doing all the silly things I am doing, that it's nice that somebody loves me. Whether he does anything about it (or not, and I know he won't), it's just nice to know that I had an impact on someone. Isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Strange winds a blowin'

There's something strange in the air. I don't know if it's the heat, the humidity, the spectre of huge thunderstorms on the horizon, but I smell change.

The first clues came several weeks ago, but I didn't pick up on them until last week. A couple days later, I was in a terrible situation, didn't handle myself well. Then, this week at work has been absolute hell. When work is hell, my personal life suffers. I've also had some candid off-the-record conversations with people whose judgement I trust. It's not just me being a princess. And management likes the situation the way it is.

I'm job hunting. If there's going to be change, I'm going to be in charge of it.

There, that's one decision made. Strangely, it's a relief. Making the decision is the hard part. Now that that's done, I look forward to the next opportunity. Which may come as early as next week. Cross your fingers for me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I hereby solemnly swear

that I will finish these sweaters very, very soon.

I have one work appropriate sweater, and I've been wearing it while gardening. Not fit for the office right now. So, today, I shivered at my desk wearing Icarus across my shoulders and another wrap over my legs like a blanket. I had goosebumps everywhere all day. Not at all work-appropriate in a thin white t-shirt.

Blue sweater is this cabled hoodie (cover pattern). The yarn is Briggs and Little, grown and spun in New Brunswick and purchased in Halifax. I do believe I was a little bit drunk in that yarn shop (I had to phone the nice people at Visa in order to eat for the last two days of my holiday). That was BEFORE I got seriously back into knitting after a brief hiatus. I started the sweater when I got home. That's right. It's needed a hood, zipper and sewing up for about four years now. I decided this winter that the reason it wasn't done was because I, however much I adore hoods on casual sweaters, do not like them for professional wear, and I dress half-assed professionally all the time. Even on weekends. I know, I'm a freak. Then, there's the whole zipper thing. I've never done that before with knitting. I don't do well with zippers and fabric, so this could be interesting.

The bright-screaming purple/pink is this pattern. Yarn is Galway Heather, and I adore it. It's thick, not scratchy (to me. I have a leather hide, I think). It's straight-up 100% wool, good for just about everything. I bought the yarn this winter at my beloved Wolseley Wardrobe, just when I started going to knit night. I wanted a bright, simple cardigan for the office, and I wanted it quickly. Sadly, it got cast aside when I could no longer bear to only think about Icarus any longer. Oh, and some hats and about a thousand pairs of socks got in the way.

I realize it seems strange to be thinking about finishing sweaters when we are staring at the two hottest months of the year, but damn, the office was cold today. (Of course, two meals in two days and only four hours of sleep last night had nothing to do with it, correct?). For the record I was not hung-over. Though, the only thing missing was the headache. The rest of it felt the same.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Is that spelled right? My French is terrible.

The point is, I'm bored. I've spent most of the past week wishing I was at home, and now that I am home, I wish I was somewhere else. There's a mountain of laundry, my lawn is the only one on the block that needs to be mowed, and if I don't get at that cat box shortly, I do believe I will be the recipient of some nasty gifts. Never mind all the other things I should do.

I'm not even excited about knitting. Since I finished Icarus, I've done a row or two on the toe-up socks and completed these:

Three and a half inches from heel to toe. Tiny little socks, and more than a bit fiddly. These are for my niece, Mini J, in honour of her first birthday. Which was 10 days ago, but she doesn't know the difference. I left the rest of her present in a taxi on Friday night, but that's a whole other story. It was not knitting, so no great loss.

I wish my brothers would give me permission to post pictures. Trust me, I have the most adorable, clever, strong-minded nieces in the world. It is a privilege to be a part of their lives. Mini J's dad asked me today when I was moving back to the hometown, so they could get free baby-sitting. I did not have an answer, because I could never live there again. Not even for the babies.

However, I can't believe I haven't mentioned this earlier! Next Sunday and Monday, I'm taking a spinning workshop. If I get permission, I will take lots of pictures and post all the gory details. The timing is horrible, and the last thing I need is another hobby, but I am so excited about this opportunity. I tried spinning (for five minutes) about four years ago in Nova Scotia (yes, I planned part of the trip around yarn), and the woman who let me try said that she'd never seen anybody pick it up so quickly. Let's hope this is true and not another crochet experience. It's a fabulous group of women and it will be a lovely treat.

I've been threatening to chuck it all in and start a sheep farm. If the spinning goes well, I might leave the job from hell and do just that. That would be an incentive to move back to Nodnarb. I know a guy who would sell me some land. Real cheap too. Very favourable terms (like I'll look after you when you are old, Dad).

Thursday, June 14, 2007

For those who asked:

I am so happy with Icarus that I can't even describe it. Such a joy to knit (yarn shortages notwithstanding), beautiful result. These photos are a pretty accurate reflection of the colour, finally!

Even my mother, who has no aesthetic appreciation for the fibre-arts whatsoever recognizes that this is pretty-darn-good-and-when-am-I-going-to-show-Gramma-cuz-she-knows-what-she's-talking-about.

Gramma's going to see it on Saturday.

My fingers are itching. What do I do next? Regrettably, this has been a light-knit week. I didn't knit a single stitch last Saturday, which was Knit in Public Day. (I had the hangover from hell, and the story to prove it).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Done, except for the lady (me!) singing.

I finished Icarus last night.

Well over an hour to cast off - about six hundred (600) stitches, but I sooo did not count.

I'm rather sad that it's over. But even pre-blocking, it looks great, if I do say so myself. I'm going to my mom and dad's this weekend - they have lots of room (and no inside kitties to 'help'), so I will block there.

Artsy pictures to follow (if my mom co-operates, and she will). My shoulders will be so happy - the office is freezing right now!

Monday, June 4, 2007


Look what I got:

I went on a drive yesterday, visiting garage sales north of the city. That is something I never, ever do. Needless to say, it wasn't my idea, but I am oh-so-very-glad I went. I didn't even spy these - my friend did. What can I say? A fellow that knows what I like may be worthy of a little more of my time. I was impressed - he even paid for them. A whole $1.75.

What made me sad were all the others I left behind. Some of them were so ratty that the pages were stuffed into plastic bags. The whole pile was sitting on the DRIVEWAY, underneath the $0.25 table. I could have, very easily, bought them all, but I tried to pick the ones that were the least damaged and appealed to me, at least a little.

I want to quote from the inside front-cover of Columbia (the colour one):

Times have changed... Yesterday we spent long hours and many
dollars creating hand knit fashions.... Today time is money and
nine times out of ten, each is frankly in short supply.

New ideas now strike our fancy...
Quick-Knits - often made on larger needles with heavier yarn in lacey
patterns (really, a stitch of this kind saves nine)... Bolero - start today
and finish tomorrow...Two-Piece dresses in Half-the-time - you make the blouse and the the skirt can be knitted for you.

Fashion plays into our hands, so look for... Stoles, shorter
jackets, abbreviated sleeves, interpreting the time saving sheath silhouette,
slender from top to toe... knitted in those heavenly yarns by Lees.

Several times over the past few months, I've read knit-blog entries blasting designers for using novelty yarns and enormous needles to make trendy items and then marketing the product as "not your grandmother's knitting." Well, this particular pattern book was published in 1951, and the patterns are very trendy, for the time (and stunning, in my opinion).

Maybe some of us are knitting more like our grandmothers than we think.