Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Back on the horse

I think finishing up a couple non-sock projects was just the thing I needed.

I am happily back on the sock train.

The lecture socks are completed:

Damn, I need a second sock blocker!

I used my standard sock pattern with the broken rib, but knit on 2.25 mm needles. The yarn, Regia Galaxy, is somewhat thinner than yarns I've used in the past.

The size difference is quite remarkable. I usually shoot for a ladies 9, or so. These socks, when it became apparent that leg circumference would bear no relation to a normal size 9 foot, became much shorter. I think the size works out to a ladies 7 or 8.

Luckily, I have girly pals with a wide variety of shoe sizes.

There's about 35 grams left. Enough for a pair of little girl socks, I think. And, the thought of little girl socks is very attractive right now, because I am also working on these:

I also need a much bigger pair of sock blockers.

This is a pair of socks for Mini J's dad. He turned 31 a few days ago. Since his spouse and daughter each have a pair of socks, I suppose he should have a pair too.

Plus, there was the incident at Christmas, when we were laughing and joking as usual. I asked him if he would wear a pair of hand-knitted socks, and he immediately changed his tone, became serious, and said that he would (he also immediately retired the tattered ball cap he was wearing and replaced it with the one I brought him from Construction Inc.).

We don't talk much about feelings, in our family. What he was really saying was "You are my sister, I love you, and I would be honoured to have something you made."

So now, with each round of endless blue yarn, I am saying "You are bloody lucky that you are my brother and I love you, because there is absolutely no way I would make men's size 12 socks if there wasn't a great deal of fondness between us."

I have one sock to go, and 47 grams of yarn. I like living close to the edge.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More search terms

To the poor sap that googled brains dynamite blow nose:

Did you find what you were looking for? I suspect not.

To the person looking for trendy easy knitting project:

I may be easy, but I am certainly not trendy. Sorry about that.

To the statistics geek looking for causes traffic jam:

If you are male, straight, tall and not a loser, email me!

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

I had a freaking brilliant idea earlier today.

I thought that I would hop on a bus and go down the street about a mile and do some grocery shopping at one of those big-box complexes that are popping up all over the place.

This made sense to me for several reasons:
  • the cupboard is pretty bare right now, and I need to eat.
  • the big grocery store has all the stuff I want, at about 5% less than what I usually pay at the store close to my house.
  • I usually do nothing at lunch except peruse Ravelry and knit.
  • I have plans this evening, and having to buy food was going to seriously cramp my style.
  • It was a beautiful sunny day. I wanted to get out of the office.
And, for a bit, my plan worked. I was at the grocery store about fifteen minutes after I left the office. The store is clean, brightly lit (with skylights). Not too busy, and a very large selection of things to buy. It was easy to find what I needed, the produce is nice and the queues at the till were very short.

All in all, a very good experience. I was even going to be back at the office in good time.

So, I was standing at the bus stop, grooving away to the tunes on my Ipod, enjoying the sun, and congratulating myself on planning my time very well. For a change.

You do know that once I had that thought, things were not going to turn out well, right?

I got on the wrong damn bus. One going north, not west. It took me forty minutes to get back from wherever-the-hell-I-was to the office. I'm damn lucky I didn't wind up in Beausejour.

Three buses, some walking, and a fair amount of cursing. Yup, a lovely, if somewhat extended, lunch.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A knitting buddy

I had a little helper today, while I was sitting on the couch, knitting. Poor fella, he was working sooo hard.

What was I working on? Well, this. I started the Tweed Beret, from Interweave Knits, Winter 2006 last fall, on 4 mm needles, in Paton's Decor.

It was very pointy, so I ripped it and put it away.

It's future owner asked why she didn't have it yet a couple of weeks ago, so I got out the yarn, popped in a movie, and sat down. Started again with 4.5 mm needles. Less pointy, but still not great. I carried on. Carried on until it was done, in the larger size. It was well, huge.

So, I ripped back until I could pick up the stitches and make the smaller size. It's well, still pointy and rather small. I'm going to run it through the laundry and see what happens.

N, if it's still pointy and small after that, screw it. I'm making you a wool hat. The acrylic drives me nuts.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm not smart enough to have a house

Apparently, there is a reason why I shouldn't leave the house on Saturdays.

Got home this afternoon to find the outside water tap on my house had burst and was spraying down the side of the house, onto the rosebush and running down the walk, onto the sidewalk. The puddles are already forming into ice.

I was gone for more than five hours. Could have happened five minutes after I left, for all I know.

Oh, and there's water in the basement, too. Thank dog that all the plastic totes are on the bottom of the piles.

I've got one hell a cleanup job to do.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some good, some bad

First, the good:
  • I left the house in daylight, and returned in daylight. This is a rare treat.
  • The Spring IK arrived today.
  • I took a three hour lunch, and quit working an hour early.
  • It was warm enough today to not wear a hat, which is awesome because I washed my hair this morning, and it looks great.
  • I'm going out for drinks with a new girly pal tonight, and I am very excited about knitting in the pub with a knitty friend.
  • I have qualified for my exam.

The bad:
  • I was half an hour late for work (see above hair washing).
  • The Spring IK was on newsstands three days ago, and some people, in Europe, have had theirs for over a week.
  • I did have real work to do.
  • I should have worn a hat. My ears were really, really cold.
  • I have either ketchup or blood on my new coat. Given this week, it could be either.
  • I did not submit the last assignment, so I barely qualified.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Week Five

It was a pretty quiet week, here at Chez Peepee. Lots of studying (I qualifed for the exam, yippee!), lots of naps, lots of sneezing and nose-blowing.

Ergo, not too much money spent, except on groceries and an industrial size package of Nyquil.

This week's total: $157.11. While higher than I would like, it is becoming clear that $100 is only do-able if I stay at home and do absolutely nothing.

Since that's an express ticket to crazy-town, for me, it's not going to happen.

However, I did get my refund cheque for a whole bunch of prescriptions. I think a trip to the booze-making shop is in order. Maybe not this weekend, but perhaps next. I do enjoy making my own likker.

Pedestrian in Industrial Park Causes Traffic Jam

Winnipeg – Motorists were tense earlier Thursday afternoon when they discovered a pedestrian walking on the side of the road in an industrial park known for not having sidewalks. Three cars stopped until the pedestrian jumped into a snow bank. Traffic then began to move without incident.

One motorist, when asked for a comment, said, “What was she doing, walking on the road? No one should walk anywhere. It’s crazy to go somewhere without a car.”

Later, the pedestrian was overheard muttering to herself, “get off your fat asses and stop burning fossil fuels, people.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I must have been ill, or something

Look at what I've been doing...

Soaking (yup, it bled. A lot).



Forgetting to sit down while I am talking.

It took me a year, but I did it. I made a sweater for me.

  • Top-down Raglan Cardigan by Cosmicpluto If I recall correctly, I started with 91 stitches, and then increased for longer than the pattern indicated, to cover my ginormous shoulders. I also made the pattern about four inches longer than indicated (not entirely on purpose, but I'm pleased anyway).

  • Plymouth Galway, nearly seven balls, colour 1890.

  • 4.5 mm needles.

  • Started February, 2007, completed February, 2008.
This sweater spent a long time hibernating, because I wanted to work on other things. If I had worked on it exclusively, it probably would have taken me about three weeks. Since last August, it's needed a sleeve and a half. I finished that final bit in two days, spread over two weeks.
I am quite pleased that I will be able to wear it yet this winter. Hey, there has to be one advantage to this miserable weather.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The best-laid plans...

I had grand (well, to me) plans for this weekend.

I was going to do a thorough house-cleaning, tackle some little fix-it jobs and maybe even deal with some of the piles of stuff lying around.

All in preparation for the painters and floor installers that I hope to hire in the next month or so.

What I did: emptied and dealt with four baskets of unread magazines, unopened mail and other general crap that comes into the house. Which is impressive - it's six months worth of mail.

(You know that I did this in between naps, because I'm still sick. My nose is so raw that it's bleeding. Not pretty.)

The inspiration? I took a little book out of the library, for some fun-reading:

30 Days to a Simpler Life, Connie Cox and Cris Evatt*

While most of its advice is repetitive, and frankly annoying, it is making me think about the organized life I used to live, and how pleasant it was. I realize the life-fairy isn't going to give it back to me, I have to work at it.

Finding the time to work on it is the hard part.

*Photo shamelessly swiped from

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Small Victories

Ugh, still sick. I wonder why only the sinus cavities on the left side of my head are draining. I feel rather lopsided.
Nonetheless, a good day. I shovelled the snow - a job that was long overdue, and therefore made harder because I'd been walking on it. The drifts were nearly up to my knees in spots (that's about two feet).


I only had to blow my nose 20,000 times during the half-hour it took.

I also managed to get to the big grocery store. The one where I don't travel past a liquor store on the way.

Therefore, I did not purchase any wine. Since previous to the not spending money program, I was going through between three and six litres a week ($30 - $60, cheap but yummy plonk), this is pretty damn impressive.

And now, I am working on my final assignment. Three whole days before the deadline.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


78/80 on the latest assignment.

I have never, ever, in the seven (no, eight) years I've been taking these courses, done that well.

Furthermore, I did the bulk of that work between three and seven AM on Wednesday with a raging headache and a fever.

These questions are tough. We are usually given a little scenario (with not nearly enough information), and told to write a memo, letter or report examining the problem and providing solutions, as if we are an employee or consultant of the company. We are marked on the clarity and professionalism of our writing. We operate under a very strict plagiarism policy.

It's kind of scary, actually, how much work we are expected to do, just for the privelege of getting to sit the exam.

As of this morning, I am seven marks short of qualifying, with one more assignment and a set of multiple choice questions to go.

Right now, I really do think I might be able to do this.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Week 4

I'm quite pleased about this week's total. It's finally come down, closer to where I want it to be.


I'm even more pleased about what isn't contained in that number. In the last week, I didn't spend a nickel on liquor.

Mind you, it's easy when I'm hanging out with a bunch of non-drinkers and then come home sick as a dog.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Family Fun

I dragged myself out of my hole (aka Chez Peepee) of self-pity this weekend and went home.

It was freakishly cold, and we had a very big storm. I am adorable in my new periwinkle coat.
I look like the Michelin Man dressed up for the Gay Pride Parade. It's lovely (btw, when I made that crack to Mom, she said that she expects to see me on the news one day, at the gay pride parade. I reminded her that I am not gay. She said that it's not a requirement, and that I should go to support all my friends. I thought that was a good point. I'll go this year, but at that point, I hope it will be too warm for the coat).

Anyway, there is only one reason I would travel two hours down the road when I have an enormous assignment due on Wednesday.

Yes, one of the World's Greatest Nieces (TM) had a birthday.

It was absolutely delightful. We played, and played, and played. Auntie sang songs (Granny sang back-up), and did all sorts of goofy things. The concertina and abacus (of course I was going to buy an abacus) were a big hit! I knew that buying well-made, non-plastic, non-Disney stuff would be worthwhile.
However, I apparently am a dolt at tower building. Mini J doesn't have any words yet, but I started with the yellow cylinder, not the blue one, and that was wrong. That girl doesn't need words. The look on her face was enough to tell me I had made a grave error. After much singing, though, I was forgiven and graced with a hug and a kiss at the end of the night (Mini J doesn't really like anyone except Mom, Dad, Granny and Papa, in that order). I felt quite privileged.

But, the star of the show was undoubtedly Mini B. It was two years ago last Thursday that my world changed forever. Honestly, I can't remember life without that bright, engaging little girl. I wonder what I did before she came along. Whatever it was, it certainly doesn't matter.
The sun shines a little brighter, the sky is a little bluer, the world is full of possibility when I am around those little girls. I am so unbelievably lucky to have them in my life.

I didn't know what love was, until they came along.

I do not have permission to post photos of faces, so I purposefully took this photo of the birthday girl, in all her glory:

And she's even cuter when she's actually looking at you.

A little karmic smack in the ass

I am reluctant about saying what I am about to type. Ya know, where things are sorta permanent (at least until I delete them, if I choose to).

(deep breath) OK, here goes.
I'm tired of knitting socks.

Wait for it... yup, the earth still revolves around the sun. Whew! I was worried for a minute.

I'm pretty sure I'm not tired of knitting socks forever. I'm just tired of socks after knitting nothing but socks for about two months straight.

All I'm saying is that perhaps I need a wee break.

So, on Tuesday, for knit night, I prepared. I grabbed the Storm Water Shawl and threw it into my bag (because, you know, tiny string with slightly bigger sticks will solve all my problems).

And, as I suspected, I became frustrated with the current sock and shoved it aside.

Storm Water was ready and waiting for me.
Gleefully, I got myself oriented for the next row. It was absolutely dreamy, the smooth sea-silk running trough my fingers, the wondrous parallelograms being created by the judicous placement of yarn-overs, k2tog's and ssk's.

In fact, it was so wonderful that I knit for an hour and a half at work the following day. And on the bus to my lecture. And during my lecture.

Where, fifteen minutes before we were dismissed, I noticed that the pattern repeat I thought I had completed at knit night was missing four crucial rows.

I frogged back to where I had started on Tuesday and managed to get the stitches back on the needles in time to run for the bus.
Yup, serves me right, for thinking I could switch it up without actually working at it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Week Three

This was another bad week. About four times over my $100 limit.

But, if you take away the fabulous birthay present I purchased (for my niece, really, money doesn't count), the vet bill, and two unexpected, yet wholly thrilling nights out, and the total isn't so bad.

About $129.

This is what I've learned: once I figure out the week's going to be shot to hell, I just go for it, and have as much fun as I possibly can. Really, when on the first day of the week, I blow half my budget on drink (and I do not regret it for one single second, oh no, I don't), well then, who cares?

It's like I'm setting myself up to fail this little project. It's like... I'll just have one glass of wine...well, now that the bottle's open, I'll just finish the damn thing.

I need to learn how to savour the wine, not chug it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

You can thank me for the warm weather

The super-duper, Antarctic-hurricane-resistant clothing I ordered last week got picked up from my local postal outlet today.

Ergo, now that I am prepared, it's getting warmer.

Is it really sick of me to wish for one more really cold snap to wear the damn stuff? I look smashing in periwinkle.

Of course, since all my outer clothing, previous to this, was black, pink or taupe, I think I need some new accessories. Woot!

In the lunchroom

I was laughing and joking with a couple colleagues in the lunchroom yesterday. Specifically, we were talking about how spring is coming (Soon! We hope!) and how wonderful it will be to ride a bicycle to work.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I guess I'll have to find my saddlebags.

Female colleague: I've got mine right here (points to hips). They're huge!

Male colleague: Jeez, I wish women wouldn't talk about themselves that way!

Me: Don't worry, it's not all women. The only thing big about me is my ego.

Then the microwave dinged.

Monday, February 4, 2008


The absurdity of something I've been doing lately, and the pseudo-conclusion I've come to, has just struck me.

First, a little background...

A couple of weeks ago, at knit night, there was this woman, chatty, engaging, who looked familiar. Since I am rather dense, I thought she'd attended several months ago, and I simply couldn't remember her name.

Hell, I can't remember my own name half the time.

Well, this woman knew me, and it wasn't from knit night - we were childhood playmates, and she is a person that I drifted away from, 'cuz that happens, but I always knew that if I tried hard enough, I could track her down. Don't know why I didn't try... just didn't.

Needless to say, I'm more than a little bit thrilled that she tracked me down and got in touch.

Now this person (Hi, HBACmama!) is very much a home-and-natural birth advocate. So, I've been reading everything I can get my cyber-hands on in order to have a meaningful conversation.

I've been reading about breastfeeding, the high rate of caesarian sections, home births, co-sleeping, pacifiers and just about everything else you can imagine.

The conclusion? It's a messy, horrible business. Mighty inconvenient, too, giving your body over to another human being for nine months, and then spending the next couple decades being willing to throw yourself in front of a train to protect said human being.

But somehow, it doesn't seem so bad. Could this possibly mean that I want to have a baby?

Somehow, that is a truly frightening idea, but strangely attractive. How sick is that?

ETA: Link-a-dink.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Anyone who knows me well realizes that I am mostly attracted to older men.

Can't help it. There's just something about a receding hairline that makes me a little weak in the knees. Never mind the curmudgeonly attitude. I loves me some curmudgeon.

Well, not really. I like the confidence, the better social skills (for the most part), the ability to actually listen instead of just talk. I like a man who doesn't act like a little boy. Intelligence and thoughfulness carries much more weight with me than swaggering bravado.

So, at the watering hole the other day, I was asked out by gentleman who bears a passing resemblance to a certain singer song-writer that I have an enormous crush on.

I nearly broke my own damn rule. In some ways, I wish I had.

And speaking of my crush, I really, really want to do this. I know that if I spent seven days with FJE, (and 68 other people) he would fall in love with me.

Problem is, the week would cost $3,500 CAD. Plus drinks and gratuities.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

St. Brigid's Day

Apparently, there a tradition of posting a poem on this day.

Don't know why, and will be conducting research into who St. Brigid is in the morning. I thought I was reasonably educated, but I don't have a clue.

With all due respect, I present the only poetry I can remember at the moment (I've been into the wine for about five hours now):

Up a long ladder,
Down a short rope,
Here's to King Billy,
And piss on the pope.

I'm off to bed, and will perhaps post a more appropriate poem tomorrow. Though, from me, given the wine and the hour, a toast is pretty damn good.

ETA: St. Brigid was a nun in Ireland, possibly even associated with St. Patrick. Strict Catholics out there might find my little toast offensive, but I think it's funny, since I chose it completely randomly. I'm leaving it up.

Bloggy Fun

A while ago, I was the third runner-up in a little look-alike contest. Very flattering.

Well, my prize arrived the other day, and I am very, very pleased.

Many thanks to Franklin and Dolores. I can't wait to get a frame. It will be the first artwork I hang, when I get around to actually putting up some pictures.

Yes, Dolores, it is cold. At least you don't have to knit the wool before you can wear it.