Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Winnipeg has two seasons...

winter and construction.

Winter is officially over, and I am working in the yard again. I did inventory yesterday, and today, and will be doing it again tomorrow.

I am so getting a pedicure this Saturday. After all that climbing, my tootsies need some TLC. Possibly a massage as well. My back still hurts.

Also, I am the sort of woman that gets a lot of attention. I am tall, I wear lots of pink, I walk confidently, and I meet people in the eye.

I have noticed, over the past couple days, that I am treated much differently when I look like a ruffian. But, my behaviour is exactly the same.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm no genius, but at least I try

Couple of things, before I settle down to another evening of audio lectures and computer tutorials.

These are chives. I transplanted three plants last year, from the many plants growing along my neighbour's fence (on my property). Happily, they made it through the winter. I am not known for my gardening skillz. Really, this is a fluke.

Right or wrong, I cut a bunch tonight because I am desperate for an egg-salad sandwich (one of the few things I miss about working downtown is that it is no longer convenient to go to my favourite soup-and-sandwich joint), and there were no green onions in the grocery store. But, I had a brainwave, and decided to use chives instead. Those weensy little things smell fantastic.

Genius move number two: I have learned, through the glory and beauty that is Ravelry, that I have been doing my SSK's incorrectly.

I immediately issue a deep and sincere apology to all those I have shown how to do an SSK over the past two years.

It should be: slip as if to knit, slip as if to knit, slide those two stitches back to the left needles and knit two together.

Not knit two together through back of loop.

All ready, I'm trying to retrain my brain. It's not going to be easy, because I have a bunch of single socks here that should have a matching mate, which means doing it the wrong way on purpose.

Also, genius move number three: After years of knitting socks, I'm determined to centre the pattern over the foot, which usually means moving some stitches around when it comes time for starting the heel flap. The trick is, look at the stitches at both the beginning and end of the heel flap, or else things are going to be even more lopsided.

Frogging is my friend. In knitting, you always get a do-over.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


The audio lectures I've been listening to for my course, while boring, have given me a great deal of knitting time.

My Noro wrap is complete, and I am truly, completely, deeply in love.

When I was outside taking a photo just now, a couple was walking by, and it was all I could do to not run over and show it off. (As an aside, I often wonder what my neighbours think, about the strange photo-taking and piles of yarn on the patio table. No one has ever really asked about it, though.)

All the details are on Ravelry, for those of you inclined. I won't bother repeating them here.

However, I've often gotten questions about blocking, so I thought I would just make a few points.

I use blocking wires, but they are not necessary. Some crochet cotton and stick pins would work just as well. This is the tutorial I read before I started.

I also don't think its important to used a blocking board. I just use my bed (with clean sheets, naturally). I give my project a nice soak, rinse it well, and then wrap it up in a towel. I stand on the towel to get all the excess water out.

Throw it on the bed, stretch to the size I want, pin, and walk away (closing the door so some furry fellows can't take a nap on it).

The one thing I would say is that it's important to use a ruler or measuring tape. I had eye-balled the width, and it turns out, I had a two-inch difference from one end to the other. Moving a few pins solved that problem.

Since it's no longer -40, I cracked open a window. The shawl was dry in about five hours. No risk, whatsoever, of going to sleep on a wet bed.

The big question I get, though, is why bother? Well, I think there's a difference between home-made and hand-made. Home-made can be slapped together, and hand-made is a lovingly crafted item that is beautiful and useful. I think its important to spend the time on these finishing touches. It's what separates the two.

Blocking allows me to get the size I want, and makes the pattern pop. Suddenly a really big scarf becomes a finely made, unique article of clothing. Seems worthwhile to me.

I have another audio lecture to listen to, and a new sock to work on. In a way, I'll be sad to have this course over. Completely justifies sitting and knitting, several hours at a time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pheromones are Real

Just got home from a surreal (or, more surreal than usual) evening at the watering hole.

When I got there, there was only one seat at the bar. Strange item number one. (I’m told it was payday and pension day).

So, I took that seat. Please note it was next to the “head seat.” Next to the best seat. The seat next to where the most regular of regulars sit.

And when Neil the Irishman left an hour or so later, Rodney the railroad man told me to slide on over and take the good seat. Strange item number two.

So, I did. I’m no fool.

Guess I’ve arrived. Little ol’ me was sitting where the old (as in longevity, not age) guys sit.

Later, Mike the biker came in, and he cheerfully sat beside me, and Rodney, Mike and I bull-shitted for the better part of three hours. I told all sorts of saucy stories about myself, and the boys traded stories in turn. They also said that they’d seen my tattoos, and knew how tough I was. Really, I should skip buying a scooter and buy a bike.

They also said they could make me cry, if they really, really wanted to. I laughed.

It was a good night, even if Wade the delivery guy completely ignored me (we usually have a really feisty discussion about bluegrass). Strange item number three.

After some chicken fingers and loads of good insults, I found out that Rodney the railroad guy did not talk trash about me. The freaky guy is indeed a freak, and apparently I am glad that he didn’t email. Good to know. I would hate to think that my charms have diminished over the winter. Even though the firm lecture I have drafted has been wasted. (Rodney tells me that dipshit walked out of the pub saying "I'm never talking to her again." Suddenly, the fact that dipshit ignored me three weeks ago makes sense.).

So, some time later, I’ve ordered my last pint. I’ve paid my tab, and I’ve planned which bus to catch. A very, very handsome man sits down. Says “hello gentleman… and, girl!” And leers. Sort of. We all say hello, and the general bull-shitting continues… My bus is coming, so I wander over to say goodnight to Wade. I walk by Mike and Rodney, and kiss each of them on the cheek.

Very handsome man I don’t know says “Hey, where’s my kiss? “

I say, “I don’t know you well enough to kiss you. But, I would have sex with you.”

And I waltz out the door. With a certain swing in my step. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.

I paused for a moment, in the lobby, before I stepped outside of the building. Just to hear the gales of laughter and, over it all, I hear very handsome man say “What?!?”


And this brings me to the thoughts rolling around in my head tonight.

I’ve made a decision this winter, a decision that I haven’t talked about much. Just to a couple of you, really.

I’m done with dating.

I’m done with that stupid (but fun, I admit) game of putting myself on display, hoping someone will notice me.

I’m done with going after someone I like, and hoping they like me back.

I’m done with swallowing my own opinions just because some stupid person with a penis will be hurt if I say what I really mean. Or back-pedalling when the person I am speaking to is too dim to have and interesting and spirited debate about current issues.

It’s clear that if that is the sort of man I choose, I’ve been choosing the wrong man, and whose fault is that? Mine.

I’ve learned, over the last seven years or so, I do not need a man by my side. Oh, yes, I have learned that, and I’ve loved every minute of it (well, after the first six months I’ve loved it). And even more clearly, I’ve learned that I don’t really like how I behave when I have a man by my side. Therefore I will do without.

If this is it for me baby, that’s just fine, I'm not looking any more


But I'm still going to flirt. And have one-night stands, if the opportunity presents itself. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A little teary

Last night, at knit night, even though it wasn't my birthday, I got a gift.

A completely unexpected, thoroughly wonderful gift.

This is yarn I donated for the swap, and my friend scooped it up, to make something for me. I had to step outside for a moment to compose myself.
Thank you so much, bus buddy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Assignment "blues?"

I'm sitting here, typing madly away on a "memo listing 10 risks and possible mitigating factors." It's worth 25 marks, 10 for each risk, 10 for mitigation methods, and 5 for "format, clarity, logic, impact and persuasiveness of the memo."

I've trotted out all my standard phrases that markers (and bosses, for that matter) seem to love. I've got a nice little table constructed, and I'm thinking to myself, "ya know, maybe this studying / assignment stuff isn't so bad. I've got a pretty good shot at getting full marks for this question."

Then I remembered I've taken three Robaxacet today. Guess I'm rather high right now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Primary Fermentation

The first stage in making ethanol, or in this specific case, wine, is primary fermentation. This is when the fruit and yeast are mixed together, with some other stuff, and then it sits for a bit.

Now, the fruit can be anything. I could pick the grapes and crush them with my bare feet, but given my need for a pedicure, trust me when I say that you are glad that I don't do that. Or I could chop rhubarb, or peel and mash peaches. It doesn't matter. The fruit is chosen for its flavour (I am not prepared to go into a discussion of why grapes are so prominent. That's beyond my expertise, if you can call it that. I suspect that it has much to do with the climates where wine originated and then, tradition).

Instead, I buy kits, which contain fruit concentrate and several packages of stuff to add.

After cleaning your equipment, the first step is to pour about four litres of tepid (half cold, half boiled) water into the primary fermenter (the bucket). Then bentonite is added, and the mixture is vigorously stirred for about a minute.

Bentonite is basically clay, and it has many interesting and useful purposes. For wine-making, however, it is used to remove excessive amounts of protein.

The next step is to add the fruit concentrate. Oh, the yummy smells that erupt after popping the seal. It's heavenly. I tend to put a little tepid water into the bag and squish it around a bit, to get every drop of concentrate out. I want to get my money's worth, after all.

Then, we fill the bucket up to the 23 litre mark with tepid water. It's important to make sure the liquid is between 18 and 24 degrees C. I have little thermometer stickers on all my buckets and carboys so I know what the temperature is.

At this point, there may be a package or two of additives. Most commonly, the additives are dried elderberry leaves or oak chips. This is meant to imitate the barrel-aging process. Commercial wines are aged in barrels, but since I'm using plastic and glass, something has to be substituted.

Sound gross, I know. Trust me, it gets worse.

At this point we add the yeast. Yeast, like bentonite, is very interesting, and has even more varieties and applications. Yeast is in the air. It's a micro-organism in the fungi family. It's present in the air we breathe. It has good and not-so-good uses (umn, infection, anyone?). We use yeast because it ferments. So, sprinkle in the yeast, slap on the lid and put the bucket in a place where the temperature is constant. Preferably out of direct sunlight.

Now we wait. At least three days. I tend to let it go for a week, just because it's easy to remember.

For some general history about wine, go here. As always, take Wikipedia with a healthy glass of (ahem!) skepticism. And your likker of choice.

Important note: water weighs about 11 pounds per gallon. 23 litres is approximately 5 gallons. Therefore, each bucket weighs about 55 pounds, probably more, because it's not just water.

Lift with your legs, not your back! I, when I had five minutes to spare, moved the three buckets from the floor to the counter. That was two weeks ago, and I am still walking funny. Seriously, I'm in pain.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lessons in hooch-making

When the girls and I talked about firing up the still, I thought, "Great blog fodder, I can do a whole bunch of tutorials. If there's one thing I know, it's how to make w(h)ine ("h" optional)".

But, I totally slacked on my blogging duties when we started, and photographic evidence, while good, is sadly lacking in the instructional areas. OK, I admit it; I was rather pickled.

Today, I was not. Though I should have done it two weeks ago, I moved everything from the primary fermenter (aka bucket) to the carboys (aka glass thingamajiggers) for secondary fermentation.

So, let me start with a little bit of general advice about wine-making (or any sort of booze-making, actually).
There are several different kinds of alcohol (I'm not going to link it. Google is your friend). Some will cause brain damage, blindness or even kill you.

We want to produce the alcohol (obviously) that is the happy, sociable, flirty kind of alcohol. We want to make ethanol (I will leave the current production/supply/fuel/political issues for another day. Maybe never).

Making ethanol is very simple. Take some plant material, add bacteria and wait for the bacteria to convert the sugar in the material to alcohol. It's actually very simple chemistry (chemistry is way high up on my list of geeky things I love. Math will always be number 1).

In order to make ethanol safe for human consumption (and this is where my common sense steps in) it has to be prepared in a food-safe environment.

In other words, keep your stuff clean. Sanitize, and then make sure the sanitizer is rinsed away (in a clean, non-threatening way)

Whenever I do anything wine-related, I bastardize that old carpenter's rule to measure twice, cut once. I say, and I cannot stress this enough, sanitize once, rinse twice.

I have tools and equipment that have never seen soap. Soap leaves a residue, and normally, that's fine. But I don't want to influence the taste of the product. That's the tricky thing about wine.

If something is going to touch the grape, it will not touch soap. Ever. Instead, I use a product called Sani-brew, which is actually a mild, food-safe bleach.

I mix the Sani-brew powder with tepid water, consisting of ice-cold tap water and just-boiled water (your hot-water tank harbours bacteria, and not the good kind). Best to boil cold water.

And to rinse, I use cold water from the tap. It's usually, after running for a bit, about 7 - 8 degrees C. About the same temperature as your refrigerator.

This is how serious I am:

No soap. Or anything else. Ever.

Sanitizing away

Letting the aftermath flow away. No soap or detergent has ever touched those buckets. But let's not talk about how thoroughly I cleaned the bathroom earlier today.

Coming soon: very pretty, and clear, wine.

Jekyll and Hyde

I was rooting around in the basement this morning, looking for my bicycle helmet and panniers.

I also found these:

I wonder what these two very different pictures say about my personality.
Also, I wonder why I didn't find all these goodies last summer. I don't need to shop, I just need to use the stuff I have. Stuff that I love, which has been in boxes for the better part of two years now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

First sunburn of the season

And no, I didn't take a picture. Let's just say my back and shoulders are my favourite colour.

I do love nice weather on the weekends. I also adore having company (even though N bailed on me). I adore having company because I get up early and rush around, doing all my little chores. When N called, I had all ready accomplished most of what I wanted to do. That meant, the rest of the day was free to do as I pleased.

So I sat outside and finished some socks:

And worked the short-row heel on another pair:

Am I an idiot for having to do a short-row heel all in one go? If I stop mid-way, I cannot pick up where I left off. Ever.

Even though I should have been working on the yard, cleaning my windows or (gasp!) studying, it was a lovely, perfect day. Complete with smokies. Good ones (let's not discuss how smokies are mostly made from lips and assholes, mkay?).

Friday, April 18, 2008

The smell of sunshine

Have you ever noticed that sunshine smells? It's a good smell, naturally.

After a long winter of being stuck indoors, I have been making an effort to get outside at lunch. Every day. I even found a bench to sit on, only a short five-minute walk from the office (and not a bus stop bench. There's even a play structure nearby. And trees.).

Notice now secks-ay my new wip tubes are. I can almost bear the fact that they are red, not pink.

Since my office is in the bowels of the building, I don't see sunlight during the day - I work in concrete manufacturing. It's like I work in a bomb shelter (given my ever-increasing job satisfaction and the terrific amount of money I am being paid, this is a small, small gripe), and the whole day could go by without seeing daylight if I didn't poke my head out of my hole.

Every day, when I go back inside the building, I can smell the sunshine on my hair. Really. It smells, well, bright (can bright be a smell? I think so). I love it.

I noticed some lawn chairs outside the lab the other day. I wonder if the lab-rats would mind if I hung out with them occasionally.

And because it is so nice and sunny, I chose to bypass the watering hole tonight and have my Friday night drinks in my back yard. Lovely. So were the barbecued veggies and pork chops.

While I was sitting outside, I did some knitting, and some thinking.

Sittin' and knittin'

I swatched some yarn (I don't think I've blogged about it. Go see Black Bunny Fibers right now (spelling notwithstanding. It's an American site)). I've had it since some time last fall and it is now apparent that it has been waiting for just the right pattern. Or so I thought. It's become clear that the yarn had just been waiting for new needles.

Craptastic picture. Taken indoors, at night.

Look! Swatch!

I cast on 20 stitches, with 2.5 mm needles (yes, the new ones), worked a few rows of stockinette, moved down to 2.25 mm, worked a few more rows, moved down the 2.00 mm needles and worked a few more rows.

Then I took some measurements. As follows:

  • 2.5 mm: 8 spi
  • 2.25 mm: 8 spi
  • 2.00 mm: 8.5 spi

I will now extrapolate these gauges into "# stitches / 4 inches" and figure out what it is I want to do. This is Carol's yarn. It will not pool. I'm pretty sure she forbids it to do so.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What r u doin?

It's barbecue season!

Listen up! Shortly the ce-ment pad will be open for:

drinking, eating, giggling and assorted chit-chat.

Not necessarily in that order.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A little lesson on Noro

I've been hearing/reading about the new Noro sock yarn.

There's some gushing love, some ambivalence, and some downright negativity. That's OK. I think the world would be a pretty boring place if we all had the same opinion.

You can put me firmly in the "gushing love" camp. Love the stuff. I am a huge fan of bright, bold colours in unexpected combinations, and Noro does that really well.

This should not be a surprise. I am known for wearing five different shades of pink at once, and I am very well aware that doing so is usually a bad fashion decision for anyone over twelve.

However, for those of you out there who are not a fan of outrageous colour combinations, I can understand why Noro could piss you off.

I present Exhibit One: Want a closer look?

Yes, that is a break, and it totally messes up the colour continuity. I have broken the yarn and will therefore maintain the colour continuity in the shawl.

This is why I wind Noro, even when it comes in a ball. I want to know in advance, and plan things accordingly. By winding it, I avoided motoring along and finding the break right in the middle of a row.

I have also heard criticism that the sock yarn is scratchy. Well, scratchy is a subjective thing, and my skin must be rawhide. Literally and figuratively. I can wear the scratchiest thing, and I can ignore the itch. I can also ignore people who don't like me. Hee.

However, I have dry and cracked skin on my hands, because of my love of the outdoors, regardless of the weather. Permanently chapped, are my hands. To the point where my hands frequently bleed. Because Noro is so loosely spun, it catches on my dry skin (isn't that a pretty image!). If nothing else, I've gotten a little better at moisturizing while I've been working on this shawl.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm gonna walk (500 miles)

I used to walk so fast that my friends had to run to keep up with me.

Sadly, that has changed. I've hardly walked at all in the last six months or so.

And, I have missed walking. I'm so out of shape that I get short of breath if I have to run 30 feet for the bus.

When the weather smartened up, I promised myself that I was going to walk as much as I could. It's been working. Starting to feel really good, and am slowly getting back to my old pace.

It's been going so well, in fact, that on my forced march yesterday, I was really motoring. I overtook an old man on a bicycle.

But today, I discovered that I pulled a hamstring muscle while doing so. And that is pretty damn sad.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Still procrastinating, and still don't care

When I was home for Easter, my mom asked me if I regretted buying a house.

To be honest, sometimes, I do regret it. I'm strapped for time, cash and ability.

Just like every other homeowner out there, so I do not feel alone.

But on a sunny day, when I can sit outside with a glass of wine and knit, there is no place I would rather be.

And I mean that. Chez Peepee may be a shambles right now, but it's still the perfect house for me.

After my hike to the grocery store and back (carrying $65 worth of groceries, that was a workout), I sat outside for an hour, with some fortification and a shawl. I could have stayed there all afternoon.

However, part of being a homeowner, and living alone, is that I have to be the grownup. So, I puttered for a few minutes, taking out the recycling, putting away the groceries, etc.

I opened my front door to grab the flyers that go immediately into the recycling (I do need to make a sticker for the mailbox) and found a parcel between the screen door and the real door.

I truly didn't expect these until Monday:

In order, all from Knitpicks: dpn wip tubes, two sets of 2.5mm Harmony dpns and the Harmony dpn sock kit.

I want to cast on for Ann Budd's Anniversary Socks (note, Ravelry-only link) right now. But sadly, I'm the grownup, and there are still chores to do. And the cats, no matter how much I beg and plead, lack the prehensile thumbs required to make dinner. I wouldn't trust them with the chicken, anyway.

A thousand things to do, but I don't care

My to-do list for today is as long as my arm, but I just spent two lovely hours listening to Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and working on my shawl.

I can't imagine a better way to start a Sunday. Now, I'm walking to the good grocery store. In the sun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wool-y goodness

When I was in the basement, looking for yarn, I stumbled on this sweater.

It's huge, unflattering and a gift from my (now) ex-husband.

But I still love it.

Any suggestions for modifying it so that I don't look I'm wearing football padding underneath it?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Serious business

I have never ever talked politics, or human rights, or anything remotely serious, on this here blog. Except my own craziness.

That changes right now. I have very strong feelings about women's rights, domestic abuse and violence. Feelings that I can't articulate. I can only say that I despise, with all my heart and soul, the evil in this world, and right now, I've found a very real example.

But it's nearly twenty years old.

I've been reading, for a while, a blog written by a woman in the southern United States. I clicked on a link one day, and it was funny, so I added it to my private blogroll and kept reading.

It's not funny any more. It's deadly serious. She's telling her story, and it is violent, heart-breaking and infuriating. Read this story. And get angry. And don't allow anybody to make you feel worthless.

Go, read. And stand up, for yourself and your sisters. If we don't look after each other, who will?

House P0rn

It was warm and sunny yesterday when I got home from work. So I sat on the back step, had a glass of wine and looked at the new Home Depot catalogue.

I sure wish I had an extra $20,000 or so right now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Deliver me from knicknacks

Tomorrow, I'm going to my first ever yarn swap. I am quite excited about this, as I am going to meet some people that I only know from teh innernets.

In order to do this, I had to find some yarn to swap.

I apologize in advance, folks. I sincerely doubt there is a natural fibre in the lot.

While I was downstairs tonight, doing a load of laundry and cleaning the litter box, I went searching through the sea of boxes and came up with this:

And this is only part of it, I'm sure. To get more, I risked doing myself an injury.

It was quite the walk down memory lane. I found these:

The child these baby-sized overalls were intended for is almost ten. Whoops.

These are leftovers from an identical baby outfit I made, and the owner is now... twelve? I think I was making it on spec. The needles were my grandmothers. She died in 1977, and she was a Knitter. I have lost her needle case and most of the other needles that were passed on to me. I think the case inadvertently got packed in a box of stuff that belonged to my ex-husband. I asked him to return them to me, but I haven't heard from him in an official capacity since. Moving on...
Lots of single mitts, missing thumbs. I hate thumbs, and apparently, I hate second mitts.

These are sweaters, not knitted by me. These were given to me ten years ago by a colleague from my first, real, grown up job. Her mother was a Knitter, and none of her children caught the bug. So, I got her works in progress, and her yarn winder. The yarn winder that I use all the time. I didn't know what it was until I started reading the Yarn Harlot's blog and figured out how to deal with yarn that didn't come in a ball. I'm a little bit slow, sometimes.

So without pausing to think about what I was doing, I grabbed a couple bags, and started shovelling. That's how purging is done best. Don't stop to think. The results:

To the swap (I cleverly chose bags with handles, easier for the bus, don't you know).Stuff I'm keeping. Mostly scraps, the unfinished projects (not the inherited ones - those went in the garbage), and a bunch of truly irreplaceable yarn, whose story I will tell another day. If ever.

I am not keeping those sweaters, and I'm pretty sure no one else wants them. Sorry H, it's time to be realistic. I still am flattered that you thought of me.

The empty containers. I am NOT going to fill them up again.

I made the mistake of opening a few boxes that I knew didn't contain yarn. Eyeyeye... I have kept everything I have been given in the past fifteen years. And everything I have purchased. Man, I had some really bad taste, back then. And, I was really sentimental. Sigh. I will get to it. Someday.

Monday, April 7, 2008

There aren't enough hours in the day

I had big plans for the weekend. I was going to transfer all this wine:

into these:

Friday, I was too tired.

Saturday, I was too busy.

Sunday, I was too hungover (but totally worth it. Who knew there are video games that don't have death and violence as main themes? I think I need to have Guitar Hero. It's amazing!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

In which my ovaries shoot across the room

Once a month or so, I spend an afternoon at the world's greatest yarn shop, WW. I prepare a little workshop, help people, answer questions.

Around four this afternoon, a little guy, maybe eight years old, sat beside me and asked me what I was doing. It was quiet, so I explained. Then he picked up my scrap yarn, two pens, and asked if he could learn.

Well, I grabbed some spare needles, cast on four stitches, and I stood behind him, holding my hands over his, saying "through the hole, over the stick, pop it out and slide it off." We knit four rows, and then the little guy had to go try on some clothes. When he was done, he sat down beside me again. The other clerk gave him some beads that weren't selling. He put four beads onto the ends and made a necklace.

Then he gave it to me.

I damn near cried, I was so moved.

Algebra is your friend

I decided that the 56 stitches called for in the pattern weren't enough. Especially since I'm substituting yarn and needles.

So, this is what I did - I counted the number of stitches in the pattern repeat and the border repeat. Figured out a number that would evenly divide into both of them. The result? 86 stitches and eight pattern repeats instead of five. I'll get much closer to the finished width of 23" when I block, and I will be a happy woman.

I'm loving this yarn so much that I knitted lace at the pub last night. It's a simple pattern, and the light was fairly good. Strangely, I get fewer rude comments when I am not knitting something that is vaguely penis-shaped.

It's very simple, and rather intuitive, but I am loving the result. The beauty of Noro is the transition between colours, seeing where the slubs will appear in the fabric and the truly unique results.

Speaking of pub-knitting, Ed the plumber was wearing a jacket and tie. I did not recognize him with out his ball cap. Of course, I didn't tell him that he looked nice. That would never do.

Neil the Irishman was there, quite nervous because this guy was buying him drinks. I told him he was safe from unwanted advances. And when I said hello, he didn't even look me in the eye. I wonder what Rodney the railroad guy said about me. Rodney and I don't get along.

All in all, not a very exciting night. I walked home, and was in the house by eight. Rock and roll party queen, eh?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm not as smart as I think.

I was all gung ho on the new project. That should have been a sign.

Six rows in, and I've screwed up. Why? Because I missed the freaking border instructions, and started right in on the pattern.

Sometimes, wine and knitting truly do not mix.
I think we will just call this a swatch, break the yarn and start over. I think I wanted it bigger than 56 stitches, anyway.

Holy sh*t! I see grass!

I present to you my latest yarn acquisition:

Noro sock yarn, photo taken on my newly discovered cement-pad.

And when I stood up, this is what I saw:

I think I'm going to look at seed catalogues for a bit. And dream.
While I am using my new yarn to start this.