Sunday, November 30, 2008

Serpentine Mitts

I can't believe I made it. 30 days. 30 boring posts! Whew. And, I also can't believe I can finish off with a finished knit! Woo hoo!

Serpentine Mitts
Pattern: Serpentine Mitts from Mim's Blog
Yarn: Sirdar Country DK leftover from stash.
Christmas gift for Secret Santa at work.

Serpentine Mitts

I love these mitts. They were a fast knit, about a day for each mitt, but they probably could have been done faster if I hadn't been so distracted in between. The ribbing makes them cozy without being tight. I think they will be forgiving for size (I don't know the hand size of the recipient).

Serpentine Mitts tubular bind off

I did a tubular bind off, which I am in love with. It makes the bind off stretchy and it looks very finished, you know? I'm so glad I forced myself to figure it out.

Serpentine Mitts oops

See that up there? On the right in that picture (it's actually the left-hand mitt)? See the top cable crossing? See how both of them go the same direction on that one but they go opposite directions on the other? Yeah. I didn't notice it until after I had finished both of them and was taking pictures... Oh well. Oops! I don't think the recipient will throw them down in disgust due to that mistake, and if she does, I'll keep them for myself... Hmm... now that I say that I do really like them... hmm.

Thanks for hanging with me the past month. I'm definitely not going to keep up the posting every day, I just don't have enough interesting things happening in my day-to-day life. I am glad though that I made the attempt, it was quite a challenge. So, thanks again.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Belated Birthday

My friend Julie was out of town on my birthday (her sister's birthday is the same day so I guess that's okay) so we've been trying to get together to do something to celebrate. So, today we went to the Festival of Crafts (I think that's what it was called) at the Round-Up Center. It was packed, and there were so so so many exhibitors. I got a few things, and got some good ideas for other things I'd like to try. After we left there we went for coffee and Julie gave me my gift. She said "I know you'll like this one" as I opened the first part.

Birthday pendant

Was she ever right! At the craft show there were several stalls selling nearly identical pendants! (She purchased this one while in the States visiting her sister). It is so pretty and exactly what I would have chosen... she always manages to do that!

The second part was bigger. (By the way, I love LOVE multi-part gifts. If you want to make me super happy on a gift giving occasion, give me a bunch of small, not expensive gifts wrapped individually) (not that I'm expecting you to give me gifts... you CAN if you want, but... you know) She said she got it when she visited Nova Scotia in the fall.

birthday vase

Again, how beautiful is this vase? It's about 4 inches high or so. I love it.

A belated birthday celebration is just fine by me when I get to spend the day with my good friend... and of course when there are such pretty things awaiting me! Thanks Julie!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday.... finally

Today was a not much happening day. I just talked to my mom. She's at home, in her house, with my younger brother & his family for the weekend. The doctors don't know yet what they want to do treatment-wise yet, it's still up in the air as far as timing goes. There will be radiation but we're not sure yet when.

Have you seen the puppy cam? I don't remember where I came across it, but it is the cutest thing ever. I had a pop up window showing the puppies on one of my screens at work today and it really is what the internet is for. Dealing with difficult customers is so much easier when one is watching six puppies play or nap.

(yes, this post is lame. NaBloPoMo is almost over and I just couldn't quit now... )

Thursday, November 27, 2008

...teach a man, er, woman to fish, er, knit...

My coworker, Wen-Shu, has been hinting that she would like to learn to knit. She is the super-generous soul who gave me that great yarn, and she was also the enthusiastic recipient of the toque I made last weekend. Today I remembered to bring her some yarn and needles. At lunch time, class was in session.

I cast on and knit a couple of rows for her to get her going. It seems to me that the cast on and first few rows are usually the most difficult and if someone is going to get disappointed or discouraged with their progress (or seeming lack thereof) the beginning is the place it will happen. We'll cover cast-on in future lessons.

I demonstrated both "English"/throwing and "Continental"/picking styles (I use Continental myself) and she felt more comfortable with continental. Within a half hour she had about 10 rows knit, and her stitches were really even.

My nefarious plan was a success She was hooked...

I present to you Wen-Shu, the newest knitter in the bunch:
New Knitter
(all pictures from my cell phone... apologies for the quality)

She took to it like a fish to water (or a natural crafter to a new craft if you will). This is her progress after about 15 minutes. I'm not even kidding. I didn't have to show her twice how to make a stitch.
first attempt

Either she is really a natural or I am an A-MA-ZING teacher... (It's not the second option)

Now, the thing about this next picture. It was quiet today. This is very unusual. I haven't had a stretch of quiet like this since I started at this job over a year ago. It's nice but hard to fill the time in work-approved ways. You know? Our office is set up so that our backs are to each other and our L-shaped desks are kitty-corner (or catty-corner if you'd rather) to each other. In the middle of the afternoon Wen-Shu asked me to tell her if our manager was coming. I turned around and she was ... well, take a look.

obsessed already

Yes, my work here is done. Doesn't that warm your knitterly heart? You can imagine how much I'm enjoying having someone at work who is going to share my obsession....

Update: I heard from my sister-in-law this afternoon that Mom is being moved to the small town hospital just down the road from home. This is good because she will be able to have more visitors, and also then we won't have to scramble to be able to have someone stay with her all the time. We are working on plans to figure out who will stay with her when. I'm hoping to go home to see her in the coming week. My younger brother and his family will be there tomorrow through the weekend.

Update the 2nd: When I posted the picture in yesterday's post, I didn't notice the disembodied hand look of the picture... I only noticed it after reading several comments about it, and then when I looked at it that was all I could see!!! eeek. I don't think I could have set that up to look so strange if I had tried.

Not an update, but further evidence of Wen-Shu's crafting mojo: She hand-sewed this little puppy over the weekend from an old towel. It's like finding a kindred spirit, people. (Pattern found here at All Sorts)
Scotty Dog
Is this not the cutest little thing ever?? Look at his cute little face!!
Scotty dog

I wish I had made him... I'm going to give it a try too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Breathing (slightly) easier

I finally was able to talk to my Mom. Getting through the labyrinthine phone system at the hospital was more difficult than getting through to the Prime Minister's personal cell phone. (Or President if you'd rather. Or the Queen.) But I finally got to talk to her. We don't know much yet, she hasn't been seen by the Oncologist, but she sounds positive. There are still some short-term memory glitches and she says she still has trouble with using the wrong words for things and gets confused, but she's so much better than she was on the weekend. She is hopeful that they will transfer her to a small-town hospital closer to home tomorrow, but we won't be sure about that until she finally sees the Oncologist.

She wanted me to thank you all for praying. I want to thank you too.


Serpentine Mitt #1
I finished (in one day! well, 24 hours. I started it last night) the first mitt for my coworker's Secret Santa gift.
Pattern: Serpentine Mitts from Mim's Blog (the pattern link is on that page).
Yarn: Sirdar Country Style DK leftovers from stash.
Needles: US2

I like the pattern and the finished mitt. I hope my coworker will too. I may have to make myself a pair after Christmas.


Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No news isn't always good

So we still haven't had any word from the Oncologist. I don't know anything more than I did yesterday about Mom's situation. But, thank you all for your prayers, kind words and good thoughts.

I realize today that I should have parceled out my finished object pictures... I don't really have much to show you. I'm working on a present for my work's Secret Santa. I picked the name of one of my friends at work, and the day we chose names she inadvertently confirmed that what I planned to make her was a good idea. But... no pictures of that yet (i just started. Trust me. Less than an inch of 2x2 ribbing in the round. It's not so exciting so far).

My sock is coming along. I love the color so much

And... That's about all I have to show you today.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Finishing stuff...

Apparently being nervous and freaked out is helping me get around to finishing some things.

I finished a cowl I had started. Not sure who it will be for, but it's a Christmas present. I just need to find the right recipient. (normally this is not how i do things but it wouldn't let me not knit it, you know how that is).



Then I started and finished a toque for my coworker. This is not a Christmas gift, this is a "thank you for the crazy-generous gift of yarn you gave me" gift.



I used some not-me-at-all-PINK yarn I had spun (the softest squishiest yarn I've ever spun) and the Snappy Hat pattern from Picnic Knits (Link is here). I love how it turned out. I have a little bit left of the yarn so I might do a pom pom or somethign to embellish it (a flower maybe?).

AND I finished the Monkeys. I need to wash them and then wrap them quick or they'll end up in my sock drawer...

After I finished the monkeys I cast on for a pair of socks for me. I needed to keep moving last night while waiting for news. The Boy asked me what i was doing and said "Don't you have Christmas Knitting to do?" I explained that I needed something to take with me and I needed to just be doing something and why can't I make socks for myself. He said "You should be making something for me! A toque! Why don't you ever make me a toque?"

To which, jaw agape, I said "Excuse me? I made you TWO toques!!" He said "No, you made me ONE." I glared at him, astonished at his NERVE (i wasn't really mad but really, dude...) and then he said "Oh, right. Two. Well, you should make me another???" in that hopeful little boy voice they all seem to be able to pull out when they need to be cute.

So I'm making myself some socks from the Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed. Simple garter rib. Mindless comfort knitting.

Mom update: The CT scan (or CAT? I don't know the right terminology) showed "several" tumors. My information was all relayed through s couple of people so some of the details are unclear. It sounds like the biggest tumors are compressing the speech center and this is causing the current symptoms. She is seeing an ocologist today and we should know more about the plan of attack soon.

They treated her with steroids and there was some improvement today. I talked with my sister who had been there with her and said that Mom's spirits seemed good, in spite of the difficulties with communicating.

Knowing what it is doesn't help as much as I thought it would, but... at least we know. Thanks again and please keep praying.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Distracting myself

Thank you for your prayers for my Mom (and for me & my family). We don't know anything yet. My aunt took my Mom to North Battleford to the hospital but their CT tech isn't available on weekends (it's a smaller city). She was supposed to go back on Tuesday to get the scan. This morning my sister-in-law took Mom to see the family doctor and he wanted them to go to Saskatoon today to get a CT scan done right away. That doesn't ease my worry, but I guess I'm glad that someone is doing something. I can't do anything, which is very frustrating.

To distract myself yesterday I finished a rug I had started in the summer and just lost steam on. This has been on my loom for a few months... It was time I finished it.


The warp is Bernat Handcrafter Cotton and the weft is 3 inch strips cut from 2 different cheap-o cotton blend flat sheets. Finished size is 24" x 28.5" not including fringe.


The colors are predictable really, given my brown/blue obsession all spring and summer. I really like how it turned out and will probably do more like this (one day).

Now I need to find something to distract myself until I hear back from my sister-in-law. Football and some knitting should help.

Thank you again for your prayers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Worry doesn't help

I had planned to post some knitting pictures today. But now all I can think to post is a request for prayer. If you are the praying type, please pray for my Mom.

Last year my Mom's cancer came back and she went through chemo all winter. She was feeling so much better and had energy and was looking like she had beaten it again. She battled breast cancer in 1995 and beat that, so we knew she could beat this one too. My Mom is the strongest person I know.

Now she has something else going on, but we don't know yet what it is. Something is affecting her memory and cognitive abilities and she is worried. I am worried, my siblings and their spouses are worried. She went for blood work earlier in the week but didn't hear anything back from those tests because the small-town doctor is away. My aunt, who lives in the town where my Mom lives, decided to call around today to try to get some answers and was told to get my Mom to a hospital in a larger center right away. On a Saturday. That is both a relief and a worry. They wouldn't say that if it was nothing.

So today, instead of mindless drivel or knitting pictures, I'm asking you to pray because that is all I can do aside from worry. And worry doesn't help. I don't know what tests they are doing, I don't know how my Mom is feeling or if things got worse since I spoke with her on Thursday. I don't know anything. But I can pray, and I can ask you to also.

So please pray, if you are the praying sort. Pray if you aren't. Because me worrying isn't helping.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Favorite Things Friday

I had a long day. Long and frustrating* and long. I decided I needed to think about some favorite things:

1. Spiced Candied Pecans
(recipe from BeanPlate) Mine didn't look as nice as Melanie's, but oh my heavens, these are amazing.

2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
(recipe from here. I subbed in peanut butter chips instead of the chocolate chips in the recipe)
These are A-MA-ZING. Like brownies but in cookie form. The only bad part is that I only have 2 left.

3. Eyedrops
My eyes are d-r-y. Partly from the surgery (which was to be expected) and partly from living in Calgary.

*My day was frustrating due to frustrating questions asked by people who have asked the same question over and over and over. My favorite from today was when a caller asked me why I hadn't let him know that we hadn't received his fax. He didn't seem to understand that if I didn't know the fax was being sent I would have no way of knowing that we didn't receive it. I'm good, but I'm not that good!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My 2nd Birthday

I was going to post this yesterday but I was still thinking about it. Then I read Melissa's post at All Buttoned Up about preparing to pick up the newest addition to their family and it made me want to say something.

38 years ago yesterday (November 19) my parents picked me up at the hospital. I was 4 days old and my birth mother had given me up for adoption.

There are stories I was told when I was growing up about that day, I loved hearing them. When I was little my dad used to tease me by telling me that they had picked out a little red-haired girl, but when they went back the next day she was gone already. (In my imagination as a kid, the baby hospital was much like a store where you pick out what you want from shelf after shelf of options) Dad would tell me that I was in the crib where she had been and they thought I looked cute so they took me home. It's probably not surprising that when I was small I did NOT like kids with red hair. I think I was afraid my parents would try to switch me.

I don't know if Mom ever heard Dad telling me this, but when I was in my late teens or early twenties, Mom was telling someone about when they were going through the adoption process before they got me. She was saying that they had been approved and were literally on their way out the door to drive 6 hours to go pick up a baby in Regina when they got a phone call telling them that the birth mother had changed her mind. They then found out about me a month or two later (I may have that part wrong). I stopped Mom and said "It was TRUE???" She asked what I was talking about and I told her the story Dad had been telling me all those years. "Daniel!! How could you tease Lori like that?" was her immediate response.

When I was little, I thought I should get 2 birthdays... The day I was born and the day I was adopted. That didn't really work out too well. But, still, in my mind, I always want to mark the day I became a member of the family.

I've met my birth mother and 2 half brothers, about a dozen years ago now. I've lost touch with her, but hear from one of the half brothers from time to time. I'm glad for that knowledge of where i came from, but my family, the ones who know me, raised me, teased me, love me... my family is the one I was adopted into.

I can't ever say thank you enough for that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I got (next to) nothin'

So... what's new with you? You look nice. Is that a new shirt?

Yeah, I'm kind of boring out of things to write about today. Oh, there's this:

Aran Isle Slipper parts
Crappy indoor evening photography of slipper parts in progress!

Pattern: Aran Isle Slippers from Interweave Knits Holiday 2008
Yarn: Rowan Magpie from stash

Instead of completing or even working on any of the kajillion projects currently on my needles I started these a couple of evenings ago. But, they are Christmas present knitting, so I'm giving myself a pass. Whew.

So, yeah. There's that.

I'll try harder tomorrow. I promise.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Quickie post today, I know it's terribly disappointing. A full day at work in front of my computer left me with strained, dry eyes. Need to rest. Plus, I don't really have anything else to post... but... ehem... moving on.

Toques for my nephews and niece:

Kaylee's toque
Kaylee's Toque
Pattern: Brioche Helmet Hat from Interweave Knits Fall 2005
Yarn: Bernat Satin from the big stash of acrylics.
I hope it's big enough after all this. I love this pattern, but the k3tog when combined with the yarn overs from the row below are a killer!

Twins' toque #1
Nephew Toque #1 (twin boys... I wouldn't want to tell them which toque goes for which twin... they decide for themselves!)
Pattern: I used the short-row directions from the Brioche Helmet but knit the earflaps and brim in garter stitch and the hat itself in stocking stitch.
Yarn: stash acrylic.

Twins' toque #1
I did raglan decreases for the top, I love how it looks with stripes.

I have one more "boy" toque to do and then mittens for all... yeah, this post should have waited. I blame NaBloPoMo...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leftovers Blanket: Mitered Corners (or Mitred Corners, if you prefer)

I've had a few questions lately about how I knit the mitered corners for the Leftovers Blanket. I needed something to post today to do more rounds of the solid colored bands, so I thought I'd start the next one and document the corner. You're welcome.

This band is 18 stitches, knit on to the previous round like so: on the wrong side (WS), slip first stitch, knit to last stitch, slip stitch (sl 1), pick up & knit one from previous band, pass slipped stitch over (psso). Turn work, slip first stitch with yarn in front, knit to last stitch, knit through back loop.

mitered corner 1
Knit to corner of previous band, and begin short rows:
mitered corner 2
On WS knit to last unwrapped stitch (in first row of short rows, knit to stitch attaching to previous band) wrap stitch and turn: bring yarn to front, sl 1, bring yarn to back, return slipped stitch to left needle, turn and knit to end. Continue in this manner until there is only one stitch left.
mitered corner 3
You will now begin to knit, picking up wraps. On WS knit to first wrapped stitch, pick up wrap and knit together with stitch, turn and knit to end.
mitered corner 6
Continue in this way (slipping the first stitch of WS rows and adding one more stitch each row) until all wrapped stitches have been worked and you are back at the previous band.

mitered corner 7
And, there you go.

I hope this was clear and/or helpful. If nothing else, it is a post, and I haven't missed one in November. NaBloPoMo!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not cool, Nature. Not Cool.

Yesterday was sunny (for the most part) and warm(ish). Would it have killed you to do that for one more day? Really?
Nuh uh nature.  I do NOT think so
Not in the plan. Nuh uh. Not at all what was agreed upon.

If you need me I will be holed up in bed with my knitting and my computer (blog reading, catching up on Corner Gas) until the situation is rectified.
Cowl in progress
Cowl in some of my handspun. I'm using the patterns from the Spiral Boot sock (!). This will be a gift for a co-worker

I don't think unseasonably warm weather and sunshine are too much to ask on one's birthday, are they? (clever how I snuck that in there, huh?)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I can SEE!!!

I'll spare you the complete blow-by-blow details of the surgery and my day yesterday, but wow, was that a long day. Lots of waiting around. Lots of time to get nervous. The surgery itself was over so quickly, though while it was happening it seemed to take forever. (Hold your eye open while someone is randomly touching it and count to 40 or more...) The pain was minimal, more of a cutting onions kind of pain than anything else. After the numbing drops wore off my eyes clamped shut. It was like they said "Look, we had a meeting and, well, you don't seem to be too discriminating about what you let happen to us right now so we are making the decisions." and stayed shut.

After eyedrops (with the help of the Boy who had to actually hold my eyes open) and a nap, I was much better. I had my follow-up already this morning and my vision is just slightly better than 20/20! It is truly unbelievable. I've worn glasses since I was 10.

This morning before I got up I was lying in bed thinking "I wonder what time it is? I'm too cozy I don't want to find my glasses to see. OH! I don't have to!" I imagine I'll have that kind of moment a few times before I get used to it.

I was slightly disappointed that I didn't get the super cool huge brown wrap-around sunglasses for after the surgery. The ones they provided are just not as awesome.

But, I did get to wear eye-shields for sleeping
I was debating whether to post a picture of me in the eye-shields but, honestly, it made me laugh everytime I looked at it so... you're welcome

...and they gave me this REALLY awesome FANNY PACK to hold all my drops and sunglasses & eye shields. Yes, a Fanny Pack. You're jealous. I know.

Today I get to use the computer! and watch TV! and read!! (when I told the Boy I wasn't allowed to do those things yesterday he said "Those are your favorite things!") But right now, I need a nap (my appointment was at 8! what?! on a Saturday??!!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Buh Bye glasses!

This was the last morning I will need to grope for my glasses on the night stand

In 6 or 7 hours... these babies will be gone!

I'm nervous but excited. I have my ipod, knitting (1x1 rib... should be easy to knit while I can't see so good). Thanks for the suggestions for audio books. I had read the books that were suggested already so I went with David Sedaris (I've never read any of his books). I have snacks. I have my wallet. I'm...

I'm nervous but excited.


Completely unrelated:
My Christmas Cactus is blooming for the first time ever! I didn't think it would ever bloom!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is the Most Exciting Post You Will Read Today!

I'm starting to get a bit nervous about tomorrow's laser* eye surgery. Not full-out "I don't know if I can/should go through with it" nervous, but nervous all the same. To take my mind off that, I have been thinking about what I need to get ready just in case I can't/don't want to see for a while (i.e. if my eyes are too sensitive and I would prefer to keep them closed or in the dark).

-I should clean my apartment since the Boy will be here helping me and cleaning, while not my favorite activity, is just obsessive enough to get my mind off the slight nervousness.
-I should cast on for a simple knitting project to work on while I can't/shouldn't/don't want to do anything too strenuous on the eyes. I was thinking a plain sock, but then I realized that I should work on something at a bigger gauge** so that there would be less chance of dropped stitches.
-I should get some groceries so there's something to eat on the weekend

*whenever I say or hear the word "laser" I automatically then hear the Austin Power's "laaaaaaayzer" pronunciation and i nearly laugh out loud
**without fail, anytime I write/type the word gauge I have to re-do it b/c I've written/typed it "guage"


(This is exciting huh? All thanks to NaBloPoMo!)


The following is from an MSN conversation with a friend at work the other day. I saved it because at the time it seemed blog-worthy. Aaaaaaaaaaand, now you get to read it:

you know how sometimes while you're at work you end up reading something*** or doing something on line that's totally not work related just for a little break and before you know it, the sureptitious online activity is making you laugh so hard it's really obvious so you have to supress the laugh and it makes you cry a little and then you start to make that wierd breathing thing that could be laughing or crying but no one would know the difference because you're silently shaking and breathing funny and tears are coming out of your eyes...?

***for the record, I was reading this at The Bloggess when the above occured


Coming Soon:
Monkey 2: Let's Get Going****
Monkey 2:  Let's Get Going
crappy flash photography brought to you by the Northern Hemisphere and its black black sky

I finished the 1st Monkey sock Tuesday evening and started the 2nd right away (yay me!). I was going to take inspiration from Heather and work on a sock stash for emergency Christmas Gifts, but I've only gotten 1.24 socks done so I'm not sure how well that will work out...

****My only defense for this is that it's early/I haven't had coffee. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The next Summer Olympics are 4 years away, right?

For the past, oh, 6 months or so, I've been idly saying "I'd like to start swimming for exercise" but so far haven't made it past that stage. I was all gung ho to start in the summer (Olympics power of suggestion what?) when the Mono hit and I was out cold for 4 weeks. (that would have made for an interesting rescue situation in the pool: "I don't know, she just fell asleep coming in to the wall!") Then just when i was getting my energy back and started trying to find a pool with lane times that fit "my" "schedule" (i.e. not early morning, but not late evening after my butt has hit the couch due to winter etc), the dreaded Death Flu (comes with bonus hacking cough) hit and I was out cold again.

Then, last week a coworker and I were discussing getting off our butts and I mentioned my swimming "plan". She said she had found a pool, open to the public, that had lane swimming pretty much all day. SO... (drumroll for this is truly a momentous occasion) we went swimming Monday after work.

During the day she had asked me how many laps I wanted to go for so I said I thought I would try for a certain length of time rather than laps so I could try to pace myself. She asked "how long do you want to go for then?" to which I replied "I'm aiming for 20 minutes." She laughed and said she was thinking like an hour, but come on people, I know myself.

Sure enough: one lap in and I was thinking "WHAT am i THINKING?" I never did count my actual laps but we swam for 30 minutes (a new PB!)(personal best)(because I'm obviously training for the Olympics) and then sank gratefully into the hot tub. I'm surprised I made it home afterwards. I was wiped out.

This will get easier right? I will get "in shape" and will have stamina and endurance and all those mythical words that athletic people throw around with nary a care in the world. My legs will stop shaking one day soon right?

I can't wait to go again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Remembrance

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada (I know it is elsewhere also, anyone want to tell me about their country's Nov. 11 traditions?). When I was growing up, all elementary school kids would memorize poems to recite to honor this day. There was a contest with the winners reciting at the town's Remembrance Day service. I think when I was a kid there were many World War II veterans in my town, but now that I'm old(er) there are only one or two veterans from that era left. I love the fact that we set aside a day to remember our veterans and those who have died fighting for freedom for others.

This was my favorite of those poems, one that most Canadian kids of my generation will likely know by heart still, 30 years after having memorized it:

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

Currently our soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to rebuild and to give the country back to its citizens. We are losing more of our soldiers than is comfortable (that "comfortable" figure by the way would be zero lives lost), but I do believe that they are doing good work there and I feel we need to support them whole-heartedly, no matter our beliefs, political or otherwise. We're there now due to decisions made by previous governments and the soldiers are doing good work and working hard and in dangerous conditions.

We still need to remember, and the poppy is still an apt symbol.

No matter whether you love or hate Don Cherry (if you're Canadian you probably know who he is and feel one way or the other), he is a great advocate for our soldiers. His tribute on Saturday's Coach's Corner had both the Boy and I sitting silent (me teary-eyed).

The video is about 5 and a half minutes long, but it is powerful. Watch it if you can't get to a Remembrance Day service today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Are you gonna bring me something?"

When I first met the Boy (before he was my the Boy), I would ask him "Are you gonna bring me something?" every time he was getting ready to go on a sales trip or to a trade show. The first time I did that, he brought back a package of coupons from the hotel. Coupons for services available only in the city where the trade show was held. Excellent. Thus began our friendship. I continued to ask him almost every time I knew he was going somewhere and he would sometimes bring me little things from the hotel or the conference.

One time he was going to a trade show in Jasper, Alberta and I asked him "Are you gonna bring me something?" and he asked what he should be bringing me. So I told him "it's Jasper. There are touristy gift shops everywhere!" He brought me this:

Cheesy gifts

They were so touristy bad I loved them dearly. I used the mug at work for a long time. The keychain ... um... it's just hanging on a hook in my entryway.

Moving on.

Last year he went to Las Vegas for a trade show (there really was a trade show) and brought me this mug:

Vegas MugVegas mug

I love it even more than the one from Jasper! It is so incredibly touristy tacky. I was using it for my coffee for a long time (it's a big mug!) but unfortunately the mug started to crack so I stopped using it. :(

All this nearly pales in comparison with the best thing he's ever brought me from a sales trip however. He picked this up last week in Nelson, BC. A pound and a half-pound of Oso Negro Coffee!!!!

MMMMMM coffee

I have had this coffee before at a coffee shop/diner/breakfast spot in Bowness (a secret place that you don't want to go to. don't try to find it). It's always so busy there that it's hard to get a table but their breakfast is so good and they serve the BEST coffee... Now I have some for my very own home. MMMMMM.

He's a good the Boy. I think he can stick around.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Spinning Sunday*

*because "Fiber Sunday" doesn't have that nice alliteration and I keep forgetting can't get decent pictures for Fridays



I can't find the note that came with this Spunky Eclectic FOTM offering, so I don't even remember what month it was. So, fiber and colorway remain a mystery.**Update thanks to commenter Sherie: "The spunky fiber is May 2008 - Rosebud - Corriedale". Thanks Sherie! Good eye! I do know that I like it much more after plying than I thought I might. The rose tones are just rich enough to not be too cutesy with the light green.
4 oz, approx. 308 yards/281 meters.
It's probably close to a sport/light dk weight. I ended up going much thinner than I had intended with this one! It's a curse.

This weekend I decided to dye some merino roving I have had on hand for a while. I split the 1/2 pound lot into 2 and dyed the first half with some purple Tintex dye I think I picked up at the dollar store and a few dashes of Olive Dylon dye. Not overly surprising then that the purple didn't actually come out purple but more of a burgundy-ish.
Oh, that's not bad
At first I was disappointed that I didn't get the rich purple I was aiming for, but now that I see it in the light, I quite like it.

The second half was an experiment. I had 3 pots of Jacquard Dye-na-flow, which is admittedly more of a paint than a dye. I did a small scale test with some wool yarn, and it took the dye and didn't wash out after heat setting. So, I gave it a go. Again, the aim was for Royal purple with some Emerald Green accents. Um.
Oops dye lot
Yeah, that didn't work. I can see that had the colors set in the fiber it would have been exactly what I wanted, but, alas. I'm contemplating over-dying this but I don't want to end up felting the fiber. I might spin it and then think about dying it.

However, while I was taking the pictures I had the two braids laid out beside each other and I kind of liked them together. I may either ply them together or do each separately and use them in a stranded/fair isle project. Hmm. I'll have to think on that.
Oops and Oh, that's not bad

Meanwhile, I started on the next batch of Spunky Eclectic FOTM fiber waiting for me:


4 oz hand painted Finn in the colorway "Acadia". I'm already in love. I think this will be mittens.
**Update: I finished plying at 3:30pm! I can't believe that:
It's only about 120 yards (maybe a tad less) and it's approximately an aran weight throughout. I love love love it. I'm going to try mittens, I may need to pair it with some other yarn though.
(I realize there is not a huge difference between these two pictures but I just love this yarn!)

Also: I can't believe I made it through week one of NaBloPoMo without dropping out!! Yay me and my incessant blather! Yay you too! (for reading/commenting and/or for participating also)

OH, and also the 2nd: Thank you to everyone who has been taking part in our poll at He said/She said. It's a lot of fun to read all of the responses.