Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kureyon Woes

Watching my knitting projects is like watching a train wreck sometimes. First, you have the nagging feeling that something might be wrong but you keep on knitting . Then you realize that your yarn seems to be running out faster than you'd expected but you shrug away the thought and continue. After all, you'd only purchased your yarn all the way away in Cape Breton, only gotten two balls of it and are sure that your suspicions are only paranoia. Then you realize that you're an inch away from the brick wall of knitting, that your wool really IS running out too fast and that maybe something is about to go horribly wrong. Or, as in my case, it has already gone horribly wrong.

Remember my Noro Kureyon kitty bed? See it looking so demure up there? Well, it turns out that Patty cannot read a pattern or the sleeve on a ball of yarn. While visiting Baadeck Yarns (yeah, Renee! See?!? I learned how to do this thanks to you!), I saw 'Noro Kureyon' alright but failed to notice that my kitty bed pattern said 'Noro BIG Kureyon'. So, my friends, the picture you see on the left is the entire bottom diameter of my kitty bed, less felting. And, it's just too darn small!

However, there is light at the end of this tunnel. Although my knitting efforts on this particular project are up in smoke, we are heading to the Adirondacks this weekend (I get to study and render in the back of our van - yeah me!) and there is a store in Lake Placid that sells Noro wool. AND, DH (hereafter known as SD) says we can stop in for a break from hiking so that I can have a look. Lets hope they carry the big stuff...

I'm sure you call all figure out who DH is (Darling Husband). However, for the time that I've been in school and, seeing as my husband has taken on the not insignificant responsibility of feeding me on a regular basis, DH shall be known as SD until I finish this program. SD = Sugar Daddy! And I highly recommend that all knitters get one. It's almost as good as a castle full of treasure that you get to spend on your knitting stash!

In other news, thanks to Renee for all of her help in teaching me all about blogosphere rules. There are a few and she's trying to keep me polite. Thank you, thank you!

And here's a hunting cat picture that I took yesterday. Who knew such predators existed in the suburbs of Canada's capital?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh My...

Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. I'm sitting here, in my PJs, with a cup of hot comfort tea (rose petal black tea - yum!) realizing that my life is no longer my own and that the face that stared back at me in the mirror a little while ago is a more haggard, less genteel face than I saw on Sunday. And it begins...

On Sunday evening, for fear of not picking up a knitting needle ever again (well, at least for 9 months), I rushed to get my Rainbow hat finished in time for winter and to have something to post on the blog this week. Ta da! My first blogged FO (finished object)! I am very proud. I figured that my posting this picture would help you get over the lack of knitting effort you may witness over the next several months. The model is 'Billy Bear' (despite the pink bow around his neck) who will be going to live with my niece in the near future. Then I'll have to find a new model.

Here is my progress on the kitty bed. Not so good but it does represent some knitting in the past two days despite my weary state.

I went on up to my LYS on Sunday and got some assistance from the lovely ladies there to start this (thanks, Lynne and Wendy!). I'm not used to knitting on DPNs and, to be honest, have been avoiding them. The only time I've used them was to finish off the top on my Rainbow hat and I'm still too timid to try socks (and more afraid of the sock addiction which may ensue. It seems to be a very serious disease and virtually incurable...).

Here's a photo of our kitty. Isn't she cute!?! This is Tobi the cat. She was 10 and a half years old when this photo was taken. However, this is one of the best photos I have of her so I thought I'd blog it. It's a great photo of her and a not so good one of the condition of my door frame...hmm. Anyways, Tobi is now 12 and a half years old with narry a grey whisker.

And this is Para the dog in her blog debut photograph. This was taken earlier this month when we visited Battle Harbour, Labrador. Not bad looking for an eleven and a half old dog, eh?

And last but not least, thank you, thank you, Renee, for referring fans from your blog to my blog! I tell ya. You admire a girl from afar for months and before you know it, she's become a friend! Life is good! Thank you also for the offer of 'knitting nagging'. I'm going to need it!

I'm off to do some Internet library research. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sad Sunday

Well, it's my last Sunday before starting year two and another nine months of school. It's a little depressing. No more sleeping in until I wake up (like I did this morning). No more knitting away as many hours of the day as I want (with some suggestions from OH/SD about other, perhaps more useful (?), chores that could also take up my time). No more going for a run whenever I want to (like just after I got out of bed this morning, not having to worry about a 0800 AM class). No more having people over for huge feasts of food and eating the left overs for breakfast (like polenta pound cake, fresh raspberry coulé and whipped cream like I did this morning). This return to student stuff is really going to hit me hard.

In an attempt to alleviate my fears about not knitting again for nine months and re-establishing my reason for creating this blog ( my hope that someone out there will forward enough guilt/good knitting vibes to remind/encourage me to spend a few minutes each day knitting during the school year), I bring to you three other WIPs that I want to have finished before Christmas. Yes, I'm nuts. This is the same girl who hasn't yet sewn in the ends of a hat she barely finished knitting during the last school year. However, lets not be discouraged by past failures/demonstrated lack of dedication. Lets look forward in hope. Hey, a girl's gotta have goals!

WIP number one is this gorgeous little number. It is intended on being a gift for an undisclosed recipient (I think it will look smashing on her!). The pattern is Fiddlesticksknitting'ss ( 'Easy Lace Mesh Triangle' and is the exact same lace pattern as the stole I posted about earlier this week, except it's a triangle. Remember what I said about being a timid knitter? This slight variation in pattern helps keep my heartpalpitationss to a minimum. The yarn is a gorgeous hand dyed concoction of wool (Donegal) (60%) and silk (40%) from Fleece Artist ( that I'm not sure they make any more as I can't seem to find it on their website. Here's a close up of the pattern seeing as I can't show you the stole until it's 'gifted':

Next we have this fun (hopefully) project in Noro Kureyon, Col. 138. I visited Baddeck Yarns ( on my holidays (I will blog about that sometime) and picked up five balls of Kureyon all together). This project uses two balls of Kureyon to make a, wait for it, felted kitty bed! This is really cute and I want little Tobi the cat to have it for her Christmas present. I found the pattern (free!) from

And, the final number, is a surprise. Here's a hint. It's a surprise for both the receiver and her mother and, on the off chance they might ever find this blog, I'm going to be secretive and not give out any further information. However, as the receiver is growing daily, I must get this project finished quickly (luckily I'm knitting it two sizes two large but still...).

So folks, encourage away. Until next time, I'll be the bleary eyed 'mature' (read: old) student waiting at the bus stop in the morning attempting to look like I'm 'mature' and not wishing for my mommy...

Friday, August 25, 2006


One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog is an attempt to encourage me to knit more, especially during the school year. Lets call it shame factor. Additionally, I'm not a very confident knitter yet and, as I've found that the knitters I meet around my LYS (local yarn store) and read about on blogs seem a friendly bunch and willing to encourage, this blog stuff seems my cup of tea.

Two days ago was a very exciting day as I received my very first comments to my blog from someone I don't know and am not married or related to! And, even better, it was from another knitter whose blog I read regularly. Thanks, Renee (! I am still learning how to to use this blog and wonder about stuff such as, although I posted a message on my blog yesterday, the day and date and time posted were from the night before when I had originally drafted that particular post. Go figure.

I've been knitting for only about 18 years, or 3 depending on your perspective. I knit a couple of summer type, late 1980's style 't-shirt' sweaters in the early 1990's to 'get used' to knitting (my mother and grandmother had taught me when I was quite young but I didn't continue with it then). I hated the yarn and the patterns but figured they would be good practice. I guess they were as my tension is still very consistent after taking a 15 year break from knitting however, those sweaters certainly didn't encourage me to continue my knitting career at that point. I finished them and gave them to my mother to sew up. I haven't asked about them since.

At the time, I found knitting slow and crocheting fit my 'instant satisfaction' craving much better. I also didn't see any patterns or yarn interesting enough to invest time and money in. When we moved to Ottawa in 2002, I realized we had moved very close to a fantastic yarn store a five (well, maybe a ten) minute walk from my house (Yard Forward at Their yarn is gorgeous and inspirational, the patterns interesting and to my taste and I'm a wee bit older so don't require instant results anymore. I have, however, developed a much higher regard and preference for high quality fibre (read: expensive) yarn. I started knitting again in the fall of 2004 with Fiddlestick Knitting's ( 'Easy Lace Mesh Stole' for my sister (who had better not be reading this blog as she still has yet to receive it!) out of a gorgeous varigated merino wool ( and select the Filati per Aguglieria tab. The wool I used is the Australian Merino) from my LYS. I won't post this WIP (the fringe isn't yet complete) until it's been gifted so as not to completely ruin the surprize. However, that project helped to turn me into a fibre addict in a rather serious way!

I had already developed an acute affection (read: addiction) for quilting fabric and other interesting sewing fabrics. I am also intrigued by weaving and, thanks to the generous gift of a table loom from my mother-in-law, intend on taking weaving lessons when I finish school. A firm addiction to knitting seems a natural progression. It's also genetic. I am a Newfoundland and Labradorian coming from generations of knitters after all.

After knitting the stole, I found a Shelridge Farm knit kit for a 'Rainbow Hat' ( - not the Forest colourway but the one that matches the Rainbow Sheep sweater). I was still thinking that I would buy wool for one project at a time and keep at least one crafty pursuit under control (ha! I will show you what happened to this plan in a later post). Another 'easy' project but one which I needed A LOT of help with for the first one. I'd never knit in the round before, had no idea what 'be careful you don't twist when you join' meant (it terrified me) and when the pattern ended in an I-cord, broke the wool in my desperation to make it tight enough (a note here: I am normally a VERY loose knitter usually going 1 to 1.5 needle sizes SMALLER to achieve the proper gague). However, I learned to knit in the round, splice wool and make an I-Cord all in one neat, and fast, little project. I was addicted and knit three more.

Although it's meant for children, I've knit four of these hats in total, all for adults: one for my sister (see, she has received at least one knitted gift after all!), one for my sister-in-law in England (London), one for a friend currently living in Kingston and one for me. I managed to get four adult hats from purchasing only two kits! The picture above is of my hat - the only one left uncompleted and the only knitting project I 'finished' when I was in school last year. I finished it after the weather warmed up so it is the promise of fall that has me interested in sewing in the ends which, lets be honest, will probably take 15 minutes of my time and I have to wonder why that hasn't been done before.

This is the last WIP I'll post today. This is a design from Mags Kandis' 'Mission Falls Harvest' ( book and Mags is almost single handedly responsible for my starting knitting again. I love Mission Falls wool and cotton, I love the colours, I love the feel of the wool to knit, I love it, love it, love it, er, I think you get the idea. Yes, this obsessoin has become a bit of a problem. This is Mags' 'Zelda Pull' in Mission Falls 1824 Wool colour 21 (denim). I waited ages for this wool to come in and it's perfect. Another item that needs to be finished. I'm learning how to do that so that's my excuse for not having it done yet. I'm slow! I'm hoping to get to my LYS shortly for more instruction (and encouraging words) to get this lovely piece finished ASAP.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Learning New Tricks

Lets see if I can do this mutiple picture thing. I've only spent the better part of the day working on this! Here's a picture of the things left facing me after my housecleaning today(yes, I know, they're not knitterly pictures but stay tuned!):

The sewing chore pile...

Hmm. That looks pretty awesome (despite the work it represents). Lets try to add a second picture. Here's one of the reasons I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done on my three week road trip to Newfoundland and Labrador (29 July - 20 August). This photo was taken near the start of the trip (I only had 1.5 houses - the yellow and half of the red - completed at the very beginning of the trip actually so I had been working on this project for a couple of days before I took this shot) :

Do I dare try to post a third picture? Here is the final test on my adding pictures to my blog. This picture is of how the cross stitch looked when we, literally, pulled into the driveway (sorry it's blurry, we still moving after all!) :

If you like the cross stitch, it's from a kit my parents gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago from Paradise Stitching ( I love how it's turning out (still have to backstitch it) and plan on asking for the 'Colourful Houses of St. John's' kit one of these days).

That's all for now folks. I PROMISE knitterly pictures in my very next post.

And Still Learning...

It's now day three of my new blog (no, I won't keep counting forever!) and I've realized that although I've briefly mentioned my husband and pets, I haven't mentioned fibre at all! This brief post is an attempt to rectify that problem. Bear with me as I am still learning how to post multiple pictures in a post (and not drive myself nuts) as well as add weblinks, etc.

Here is my first blog knitting picture of a Fleece Artist (again, bear with me until I figure out how to add links!) Curly Locks triangle shawl that I love, now that it's finished. Repeated garter stitch is a wee bit boring, I find.

I became a 'blog addict' because of knitting blogs and, during this particular summer, knitting has been my passion. I finished school on May 5th and have rarely been seen without a pair of knitting needles in my hands since then. Unfortunately, I will have to put them down for 9 months beginning Monday when I go back to school. I am putting a couple of easier patterns on needles in preparation for the upcoming semester in hopes that I'll get to knit for 5 or 10 minutes a day and having the projects prepared ahead of time might help.

The first blog that I began to read and regularly visit is Yarn Harlot's. This is a wonderful blog, Stephanie is a wonderful lady (she even mentioned my name and answered a question in one of her posts in June of this year (2006) - yeah me!). If you're having a bad day, I highly recommend going to Stephanie's archived blogs under August 9, 2005. If that post doesn't make you laugh until you cry, you need to seek professional help. I also regularly visit Froggie Meanie, Miss Ewe and Grumperina's blogs. Again, when I figure out how to add these sites to a pretty little sidebar link, I will do so.

I personally enjoy pictures in the blogs that I read so I will try to add a few when I post. I had figured out how to post two pictures on this blog (and promptly lost one of them (*^$**#!) so I'm still struggling. However, I have learned how to change the font size and type and make a title on my entries.

I have to go now. That pariah of the world known as house cleaning awaits me downstairs...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day Two

Well, seeing as I now have my own blog, I suppose it would be prudent of me to attempt to post something every now and then. Here I am, day number two of my blog.

Today's crisis involves a cat. We have a cat (Tobi - torti coloured) and a dog (Para - pure Border Collie) , both of which we've had since 1995. Our other cat, Nala, died a year ago August 12 (we got her the same time Tobi arrived) and my husband and I have been trying to decide whether or not to get another cat. We wanted to wait some time to see how Tobi did with the loss of her 'sister'. Although both cats were/are female and contrary to what I've learned in the past 24 hours about female cats, our cats were like yin and yang. They curled up together, cleaned each other, played together, never ever fought and were best friends (the picture above explains their relationship exactly - Nala is the orange calico, Tobi is the black torti behind). As you can imagine, Nala getting sick and passing away (stomach tumour - horrible experience) was difficult for all of us, especially Tobi. With that kind of friendship, we didn't want to traumatize Tobi with a new housemate that she may or may not get along with.

Now, after spending all yesterday evening going to Ottawa Humane Society locations and falling in love with at least one cat, we've decided that we aren't going to get another one just yet. Tobi has come more out of her shell since Nala died. She is a very skittish cat and easily scared, thanks to whoever had her before we got her from the Stephenville SPCA (nasty buggers). However, since Nala's death, she has really come into her own, goes out of her way to demand attention and seems content. She does seem happier when Para the dog is home with her all day and, certainly, when one or both humans are home too.

All this to say, if anyone has any advice about introducing a new cat to a household with an already established cat, I would appreciate it. Although a new cat isn't in the near future (at least until May 2007 when I get out of school again for the year), I do want a second cat soon.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A New Beginning

My husband suggested that, seeing as I've become a 'blog addict', I should try to develop my own blog. I don't know if anyone in cyberspace is actually interested in my ramblings however, here goes my first post to my new blog anyway!