Sunday, November 30, 2008

Use it or lose it

In an effort to avoid studying, for a bit, anyway, I took another stab at the Basement of Doom™.

It had been a couple weeks since I'd done any serious sorting, and I'm glad I took a break. I spent the time thinking about how I use my basement, and how it should function.
The Basement of Doom™ basically has three purposes: litter box central, laundry and storage. Which is fine. That's normal basement stuff.

The problem is a beam, a doorway and the duct work. See, I'm nearly six feet tall. The aforementioned problems have a height of 5'6". If I don't duck when walking around down there, I've got a pretty good shot of bonking myself on the head. Which I do, just about every time I'm down there. Twice today (and I'm stone cold sober). It's freaking annoying.

So, I thought about what I do most often when I'm down there; cleaning the cat box, laundry, and storing wine stuff.

The light bulb turned on (yes, it takes me a while), and I realized that those items should be stored where I can avoid the headache-inducing obstacles. Furthermore, the long-term storage should be on the other side of that doorway.

Ladies and gentleman, we can see floor down there (not that I'm going to show you) and there are only about 13 more boxes to sort through. I took nine trips out to the dumpster today, and there is a ginormous pile to be recycled.

My sophisticated wine-labelling system.

And properly stored wine. W00T!

I think I will celebrate by having a glass of said wine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Adventures in Transit

I scooted out of work early today, for a chiropractic appointment (and some groceries on the sly, oops!), and was shocked to see that I knew my bus driver.

A long-time Winnipeg radio personality, a fellow that should be retired, is driving a freaking transit bus in order to make ends meet. The problem with elderly people having to earn a living is a discussion for another day, but the shocking thing was that he sat through a green light and grilled the two young men sitting in the front seats. He told them that they should stand up and let a lady have a seat when she got on (I had already pushed by the 14-year-old "ladies" and moved to the back of the bus, just like one is supposed to). It was highly amusing. One old codger, bringing civility to Winnipeg Transit, one lecture at a time.

(BTW, the wee shites moved. And everyone else was clearly shocked. I grinned).

Then, on bus #2, there was that guy. You know that guy. Clearly socially awkward. A little bit twitchy. Speaking into his cellphone far too loudly. (Have you ever listened to Wiretap? It sounded exactly like the guy who phones Jonathan Goldstein up at 3AM, telling Jonathan to lend him money in order to fly to Cuba for a vacation. Or whatever.)

I have never been so happy to get off the bus to purchase a cucumber and a green pepper in my entire life. Really, I had the headphones turned waaayyy up, and I still heard every word about how getting sick was all Stephanie and Mark's fault. (Shame on you, Stephanie and Mark. Now the whole bus will be sick, and it will Be All Your Fault).

But yet, I am still happy. The buses were on time. Winnipeg doesn't need rapid transit. It just needs prompt transit.

Monday, November 24, 2008

More "fat" yarn knitting

The mittens are going well. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon, and I have progressed since then.

I'm wondering why it's taken me this long (oh, 20 years or so) to make mitts out of anything finer than worsted weight. These mitts are slim, but dense. Far better than the polar fleece gloves I wear until the windchill hits -20 degrees. Mind you, I think the 2.75 mm needles might have something to do with the density. Recommended needle size for this yarn is 4.00 mm. (That would be huge!)
I've already decided what I would do differently, should I choose to do this again. My fingers are very skinny, especially compared to my huge-ass palm. There is obvious tapering between the top of my palm and my fingertips. So, on the outside, I would evenly, slowly, increase so that the mitt would be just a tad bigger to accommodate my palm more comfortably.

But, that's what winging it is all about. Figuring out what what worked, and what didn't. I didn't do that here, because I figured that frogging twice - once for a misplaced increase, and once for a gross gauge miscalculation was enough.
I'm looking at two thumbs now. Yuck. I really, really hate thumbs.
On the upside, I had someone who was very interested in the swift was helping me out tonight.

It was one of those times where I wished that I had an extra set of hands to take the photos.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pop Quiz

One of the "study aids" provided with the course are "test your knowledge" quizzes. I've been running through them so often that I've memorized where to click for the correct answer. Not what the correct answer actually is and why it is correct.

Oi. It is not helpful.

This one took me a few tries:

Which of the following is outside the scope of internal auditing?

a) assessing the organization's effectiveness.

b) verifying compliance with laws and regulations

c) safeguarding the organizations assets

d) reviewing the processes involved with producing internal financial reports.

The correct answer is 'c.' Because internal audit assesses the actions taken by management to safeguard the assets and is not reponsible for the actual safeguarding of assets.

'C' is correct because it is missing a verb. "Ensuring" is the verb that should be used.

Um, hey, we're accountants. We have a duty of care to our employers to act responsibly and a duty of trust to act morally and ethically, in accordance with the relevant governing bodies and professional associations.

So, if I'm not actually safeguarding the assets, I'm supposed to tattle on the accountant who isn't getting the job done?

Apparently so. No wonder we have such a bad reputation. We're assholes.

Friday, November 21, 2008


It's a new disorder - Easily Distracted Disorder. Discovered by me, because I've got it bad.

These are some of the WIPs:

But suddenly, I have the urge to make mitts. Which is really strange, because I don't really care for making the thumbs. Too fiddly. I want to use Judy's Magic Cast On (which I love) and make fine gauge mitts that fit my huge hands perfectly.

And, I just happen to have some wonderfully smooshy yarn that isn't quite enough to make a pair of socks.

It's completely possible that I am procrastinating. I'm kind of stalled on the Basement of Doom™ project and I have an exam in less than two weeks. Perfect time to start a project without a pattern.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

These are mine! All mine!

Somehow, in the last couple months, I've managed to knit some socks:

Rabbitworks Toejam sock yarn, in Fiesta (linking to my original blog post, since Rabbitworks seems to be offline). Standard twisted rib sock pattern.

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6. In an unknown colourway. Also standard twisted rib sock pattern.

My feet are very, very happy. And warm.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Captivated with caps

I finished the little boy hats, a week or so ago.

Since the first two were so much fun, I decided to make one for me. I had one ball of Noro silk garden in the stash, conveniently matching one of my scarves. I also had some scraps of grey merino, worsted weight.

It was a sign.

Cast on Tuesday morning, wove in the ends Wednesday evening. Thursday, wore a new hat to work. (If I thought DK weight was fast, worsted is even faster. It's like knitting in fast-forward!).
I think I now understand why people love Brooklyn Tweed so much. I'll have to add him to my blogroll (not that I need more reading material).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A little help with the stash tossing

Saturday night...

Parker (aka Fat Boy)

Sunday morning...

Scout (aka Old Man)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Party Queen

That song was the B-side on my 45 of Summer Nights from Grease. It was the dance scene, just before Danny walks in with his skanky date. Love it (yes, I'm old enough to have caught the tail-end of records. I also have a 45 of Flashdance (What a Feeling) by Irene Cara and Down Under from Men at Work. Still love both those songs as well).
Anyway, I’m taking a break from de-cluttering and organizing the Basement of Doom, ™ and instead, having a stab at another project that’s been bothering me (Yet another exciting Saturday night, that’s for sure).

Yup, I’m tidying up the stash, attempting to corral it into one room, and sort through the scraps. I don’t think I have ever thrown out a scrap of yarn or a ball band. I found an envelope of ball bands and scraps from 15 years ago (now, if I could only find the photos, because I know I have those, too).

Sheesh. I know I do not need the three meters of alpaca left over from my nieces’ first Christmas sweaters (especially since I have a whole extra skein), but somehow, I cannot bring myself to throw it in the garbage.

Then there’s the half-completed fingerless glove from some leftover Freedom Spirit. I’m not sure I even see the point of fingerless gloves, but it seemed to be all the rage, and I had enough yarn.

Also in the pile is a nearly completed sock (only about the fourth or so pair I ever started). I broke a needle (2 mm Ebay needles from Hong Kong) when I was flying back from Toronto a couple years ago, and it’s been sitting there, in a baggie, ever since.

I could go on, but instead, I’ll just post some photos.

The tidy part of the stash. Granny's china is still in the basement, and is likely to remain there until I knit some of this stuff up. No real order, except 50 g balls / skeins are on the top shelf and 100 g balls / skeins are on the bottom. The wicker basket is laceweight. The metal basket is odds and ends, mostly sock yarn. Note the handspun (mine!) on the tray. It's sucktastic, but I love it.

Bits and bobs, mostly sock yarn, destined for Noricum. She's making a sock yarn blanket and is gratefully accepting donations. Though, now that I see all that, I kind of want a sock yarn blanket of my own. I'm going to struggle with this, I can tell.Works in progress, loosely. Some of this stuff has been in progress since 2003.Needles, ball bands, more scraps. Really. How much china could I get into this thing if I got rid of all the crap? I've got some really nice china. And pottery.

It took me three hours today to buy some groceries and other miscellaneous things (including camera batteries to take the above photos) and pick up two prescriptions. I'd really like to make Christmas just another long weekend. That way the stores would only be insane for the week prior, not two freaking months.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coyote Ugly

Did you ever see that movie? It was pretty bad.

But, that's how I'm feeling right now... there's a huge chunk of my life that I'm un-earthing - photographs, greeting cards, business cards, coasters, handcuffs covered in pink muppet fur (yeah, those hit the garbage pretty quick - that was not my idea) - and I would rather chew off my arm than revisit some of those days again.

At the same time, though, I had a dream, and I never remember my dreams. I dreamed that a fellow that I wouldn't mind seeing again showed up, and was ready to make a go of it. In my dream, I sold my house, and moved in with him.


Boxes are appropriately labelled, and stacked in the corner. Maybe I'll be ready in 2011 or so.

(Hi bossman! Are you still reading? I sure hope not. See you Wednesday.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Changing the world

one bottle of wine at a time.

Holy shit, this was good. Good choice, N.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, you did!

Did anyone see this?

I look forward to seeing what President Obama will do. I am so happy for my American brothers and sisters right now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

(De)cluttering Dilemma

It's been a little bit like Christmas around here lately. I'm unpacking boxes that I haven't looked inside for two years.

I'm discovering many things I'd forgotten I had. And a few things that should have stayed forgotten, for the record.

Some things can be pitched easily - two years worth of Weight Watchers pamphlets (for example, though given how tight my clothes are, I know more about nutrition and exercise now. I'll be fine). Other things... not so much.

Exhibit one:

Five years of planners from a job that I loved. Five years that challenged me, gave me joy. A job where I danced to work every day, because I was so happy to be going there. A job that disappeared from underneath me (I found out from a press release on the internet. That part sucked. Big time).

So, do I keep these? They are valuable, when it comes to documenting what I did, and when, on a professional level. Personally, though, every time I see them, I think of how, during those last three months, I busted my ass, doing the work of seven people, because every one else bailed. I remember that toxic atmosphere, and how I died a little inside, every time I packed up a box of papers to send to the new office. Or finished a file. How no one appreciated the work I did, but I stayed, to the bitter end, because I cared about our customers. (Oh, the severance was pretty good, too. After we engaged a labour lawyer.)

Exhibit two:

I don't think I really like knick-knacks any more. I've gotten used to not having much around except yarn. I'm kind of resenting having my white space filled up. Makes my little house seem really, really tiny. But these things are beautiful. Most of them were gifts, or were purchased when I was on holiday. So, they are mementos, and mementos have value (I am sentimental fool. Please don't tell anyone).
And that is only one box! There's about twenty more in the basement of doom! Never mind the boxes of stuff that should be kept, like extra bedding and extension cords. I have an artificial Christmas tree! But no pole for it (actually, that can go. I bought it at a rummage sale for $8 in 1994). I think I'll go grab it and head out to the dumpster right now. But I'm keeping the decorations. Not that I celebrate Christmas. I'm only in it for the turkey.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sometimes I forget

that fatter yarns make faster finished objects (though I suspect, for the rest of the world, DK does not equal fat yarn).

I have enough yarn left over to make another one. But I'm going to switch up the colours. Just for fun.
I'm a wild and crazy girl, these days.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is as close as I get to colourwork

I've said it before, and I will say it again: teaching knitting makes me a better knitter.

We're starting a new series at the shop today, and in preparation, I started the project last night. It's a very attractive hat, and it works out well, because I know two little boy babies who need hats.

I have not done a jogless jog before, and I really wonder why. It's fairly easy to grasp, once you read the instructions (which I didn't, at first) and makes a much nicer colour transition.

See? I'm getting better as I go. I'm enjoying this so much that I might have to make one for me.