Monday, October 23, 2006


Several of you were right this time – I must give awfully good hints! Ha! Yes, we’re headed to Australia. SD has to go for business meetings and there was no way I could let him go without me! Neither of us has been to Australia before. One of my brother’s (the one who is 1.5 years younger – I have two brothers and one sister) could probably give you some indication of how excited I am about going to Australia. I’ve been obsessed with the country ever since grade seven when I had a group geography project on the continent. The fact that my new-found love of knitting also means that I’ll be interested in the wool produced in Australia is an added bonus.

We will fly into Sydney but only spend two nights in Sydney in all. Most of our time will be spent in Adelaide. So, come on bloggers, anyone know of any neat yarn stores in and around Adelaide? I have already scoped out some suggestions from the general Internet but personal experience is preferred!

I finished the second sleeve from my mystery project last night while I was chatting with different family members on the phone! Well, I have yet to cast off but I still feel I’ve reached the point where I have a right to call that part of the project ‘finished’! Mind you, it might take me until the end of the week to actually get it cast off...

My parents head off this morning (Newfoundland time) to the UK to visit my brother, D, and sister-in-law, L, (and sister who also happens to be visiting from Newfoundland at the moment). They will be away 7 weeks in total. My mother is absolutely PETRIFIED of flying. Maybe petrified is an understatement. When we lived in Germany, my father managed to get her to come for a visit five or six years ago. Most of us never thought she would do it again, including my mother.

My brother and sister-in-law are looking at moving to Australia in 2007 (she’s Australian) and I don’t know if it’s possible for Mom to go on that long of an airplane trip. Thus the lengthy trip this time to visit their eldest son, to get to know L a bit better and to research some family tree information. Mudder is also very much into genealogy.

Off to school. Hmmm. School. I’d almost forgotten about that…

Sunday, October 22, 2006


You folks are good! Elizabeth holds the winning ticket for the closest guess so far. I had to recheck my facts as there seems to be a few places on this planet where woolly creatures are wandering the hills. Where I’m going there are just over 20 million people and there are over 120 million sheep. Some of them are merino sheep – one of my favourite kinds!

Friday night was the first night that I tried to keep the door open in ‘Checkers’ room’ (otherwise known as the office) so that the pets could intermingle all night. I’m not sure what time I awoke to Tobi hissing and growling but the office door got closed and Checkers continued her nightly confinement. I didn’t try it again last night as I was too tired for a real racket.

I understand that this new cat introduction may take some time, especially with two female cats. The vet mentioned a few months actually. Checkers has been really good about being the submissive new cat to the thought-she-was-submissive cat (who turns out to be more dominant than I thought!). Tobi’s personal space is about 2 feet. It’s too bad as Checkers is really interested in Tobi but Tobi is having none of it. There are lots of places around this house for them to hide or take a break from each other, however, and Checkers has open run of the house most of the time now. I do close the door when SD and I aren’t home as Para might herd Checkers all day and neither of them would enjoy that for several hours.

Other than that, Checkers provides hours of entertainment chasing light shadows on the kitchen floor (when there’s sun). Para doesn’t like the fact that she sometimes finds herself being stalked by a black and white cat. I don’t know if Checkers has figured out that Para ia a dog yet, or if she thinks Para is just a big cat (very insulting to the Border Collie by the way. It’s a good thing she doesn’t read my blog!). Checkers does not really like being herded by Para, so Para has gotten swatted at a few times. Luckily, Para is used to cats and our other cat that passed away tried to swat Para every now and then so the dog is practised in moving away from paws quickly.

I think I’ll wait another bit to build the suspense about our big trip. I won’t be able to wait much longer than that – I’m just about bursting with excitement!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Yes, I’m procrastinating about work. That and I want to say a special thank you to Renee and Aprilynne for being so supportive and sweet. Thanks, you two!

I also wanted to ask Elizabeth how those Shelridge Farm hats are going?

Here is more enticing information about that big trip I mentioned yesterday. SD had his tickets booked through work as this is a business trip for him. Seeing as work is paying for his airfare and accommodations, there was no way he was going without me – particularly to this spot! And really, with this being a work trip and all, even though it is SO expensive to fly there from here, it’s 50% off because we don’t have to pay for two airfares.

Therefore, I just spent three, literally, hours on the telephone booking my tickets. The good news is that, thanks to being on hold on the ‘speaker’ option so that I could knit and use my neck in the morning, I now have only 9 – read that NINE – rows left on the sleeve of my mystery project! The bad news is that this is all the yarn that I have left and I still have two button bands and a collar, with a ruffle, to knit out of it. Something tells me I’m not going to make it…inherited stash yarn too. Darn it.

So what is the destination for the big trip? I’ll give you a hint – send me a comment with your guess (no letting the cat out of the bag for those who are already in the know): rumour has it that there are more sheep in this location than people…

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve posted anything. It is getting to that point in the semester and this is one of the things I worried about when I originally set up this site: would I get time to blog during my busy school times? I think if I blog at least once a week during the latter part of the semester, I’m not doing too badly. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Hopefully you can bear the absences!

My ID program is divided into three semesters between the end of August and the beginning of May. My current semester ends on November 18th and a new one starts on November 27th. Therefore, I am currently on the home stretch as far as school work goes. The other dilemma is that I might be going on a big trip and will miss the very last week of this semester. Therefore, I have to get LOTS done in the next three weeks! Eek!

Before I start to hyperventilate – here’s a mystery project update! Yeah! I have the second sleeve put on top of the first one so that you can witness the progress. I’m very impressed with myself.

And here’s a picture from my aunt’s place from Thanksgiving weekend. It’s taken off their back deck on Sunday morning. What a beautiful spot!

I did manage to make it to my second guild meeting on Monday evening. It was fun. They had a ‘vendors night’ and, I have to tell you, it was one of the few times when I regretted being in school. Being in school means no income, lots of money pouring out, and no extra for the gorgeous display that was on the tables Monday night. I did pick up some stitch markers as a present though. Because they’re a present, I can’t post pictures of them. So sad!

I became a Ottawa Knitting Guild member on Monday night as well (yeah!), which allowed me to take out library books (yeah again!). I also signed up to purchase a Lucy Neatby ‘Sock Techniques 1’ DVD. I’m very excited about this purchase and look forward to getting the DVD. With any luck, it will be in before the big trip we might go on (I’m trying not to jinx it by saying we ‘are’ going) and SD will bring his laptop and I can review it while we’re away!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Have you ever had one of those days when you know you should just go out and buy a lottery ticket? I'm having one of those days today. I experienced not one but TWO miracles! Not bad, eh?

The first one happened when I found (always a bit of a struggle) my car in the parking lot. You may assume that I’m a little stressed this week, based on my last post. You may also assume that, while I’m fairly certain I’ve been a safe driver this week, I have been a wee bit distracted. After coming from the drafting photocopy office (we have to copy all drafting assignments and not hand in originals), I found myself a sweet parking spot. At my college your parking pass cost depends on how close you are to the main buildings. The further away you park, the cheaper it is. I have a cheaper parking pass – a green one. The expensive area is red. I should also note that the parking police at Algonquin are VERY strict. Forget your pass even for just one day and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a ticket.

Anyway, I parked, went to class, had a drafting critique (we call them ‘crits’) and headed back out to the parking lot. I went looking for my car and had to backtrack a bit to find it. That was weird. I mean, I almost always have to walk some distance to find my car. I then noticed that there was a reason I had found such a sweet little parking spot. I PARKED IN THE RED PART OF THE LOT! Argh! So, I sighed and resolved myself to the ticket I was sure was waiting for me on the windsheild. But, guess what? No ticket. Nada. Not a one. Yeah me! I got in the car thinking ‘that was a miracle!’

The second miracle happened when I came upstairs to check on Checkers and my emails. I found a comment from April on my blog telling me that I WON THE KNIT2BTIED CONTEST FOR ANNETTE'S BLANKET! My square was the first one to arrive at Samantha's after the Knit2tied contest started. Yeah me again!

TWO miracles in one day! I feel blessed and humbled. So much good for one small human being. It makes that drafting sitting in the next room seem..almost…insignificant. Almost…

Will…blog….again…soon. Desperate drafting calls for desperate measures (and late hours). Knitting news will come eventually – the mystery project made some progress over the Thanksgiving weekend – yeah! However, I was a good girl and read and worked on a couple of my courses on the drive down and back and only knit when we were chatting at my aunt and uncle's house. I also passed on a game of cards (cards! Can you believe it? A Newfoundland and Labradorian passing on a game of cards!?! She must have had serious knitting or hadn’t knit in so long it almost killed her..). Instead, I disrupted the 6 person game of Euchre by chatting with the players. It made for some amusing hands!

Friday, October 06, 2006


This blogging system is great! I send out a cry for help and get many responses – thank you so much! I now have not one, not two but three patterns to choose from for a pumpkin hat as well as a recommendation that using Mission Falls would be a good bet. Thank you, thank you.

You know you’re a popular blogger when your mother adds a comment! Thanks, Mudder! This effort is from the same woman who couldn’t turn on a computer a few years ago. Luckily she’s nosy and this directly relates to her ‘newish’ (she’s been at it a few years now) computer proficiency. One of my twenty-odd cousins on my mother’s side started a family email list on his server so that we could communicate with my grandmother on a regular basis. Aunts, uncles and cousins that we hadn’t heard from in years got in on the action. Mudder (affectionate Newfoundland word for ‘mother’) realised that she was ‘out of the loop’ and she was off. Now she’s better at using a mouse than me fadder (my dad – another Newfoundland word) – sorry, Dad, but I think it’s true!

We’re off to visit an aunt and uncle house near Fenelon Falls, ON and celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow. My neighbour – otherwise known as ‘the bestest cat sitter in the world’ – is coming over for the scoop on Checkers. They haven’t met yet. Due to their separation, Checkers is a wee bit more work than Tobi (double the feeding, double the litter, etc). I’m sure Checkers and my friend will hit it off.

Para and Tobi both saw Checkers for the first time from a distance today. I had to house clean (what a waste of good knitting time) to ensure I get some homework done when we get back (otherwise I would spend time cleaning instead) which meant dusting and vacuuming the room Checkers was in. Therefore, she got moved to a couple of other rooms while I worked which gave me the opportunity to show her off to the other pets. No barking or hissing yet so I’m figuring that that was a good sign.

Have a happy long weekend to everyone (and I hope – nope, no promises – to have another knitting photo for you soon).

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I'm in desperate search of a pumpkin hat pattern for an infant (baby is on its way - but I'm superstitious and don't like to knit too far in advance). I've found a couple of patterns but they're for older children or adults. Any suggestions on a pattern or how many stitches to put on a circular needle? Would Mission Falls merino work? Help!

I know it’s not nice to make assumptions. However, I’ve noticed a few things about knitters and I think the general public notices it too. I was knitting while waiting at the Ottawa Airport for SD just this past Monday evening. A lovely older than me (that means 70+) lady wove her way through several individuals and groups of people and on over to me to ask "Is this the flight from Vancouver?" I thought this was neat because I’ve noticed if you put a set of knitting needles in someone’s hands, you just know they’re friendly. I think the airport lady approached me because I was knitting. After all, there were certainly lots of other people to ask and I certainly wasn’t the easiest person for her to reach. I think the fact that I was knitting gave the appearance of ‘nice person’ and one who could be approached to answer a question. That means a lot to me in a big city like Ottawa (don’t laugh, Ottawa is a big city for me).

I love how this hobby of mine has allowed me to often be ‘the knitter’ in a crowd. During my trip to the UK this summer, for example, I visited Osterley Park house (and highly recommend it if you’re interested in architecture and, particularly, the interior design work of Robert Adam). After having lunch at the cafĂ©, I was knitting as I finished up my tea. One of the serving ladies came over to comment on the colour (it was my mystery project) and to have a look at the pattern. She didn’t knit herself but I think she was developing a knitting awareness that might result in something!

There was the lady in a waiting room at the car dealership who was knitting with me while we were waiting for our cars to be repaired (she was working on socks – my hero!). We chatted as we waited. Then there was a man in another waiting room who commented that I must have ‘lots of patience’ (he obviously didn’t know me very well!) and told me a story about his mother who had knit and crocheted right up until she died. By now, I've heard several stories from women and men about their mothers or grandmothers and knitting.

The fall before my grandmother died, she sent an email (pretty hip 91 year old, eh?) because I had commented in a family email that I had started knitting again. She told me she was really happy about that because knitting had been ‘such a comfort to her as she got older.’ I love how, when I’m knitting, I see my grandmother’s and my mother’s hands.

Knitters of the world rejoice. We not only give off ‘nice person’ vibes but we ARE nice people! I’m so glad I’m getting to know the worldwide knitting community in the blogosphere through my blog!

Do you have any other knitting assumptions to offer?

PS Have you heard that the Harlot got hitched??? Isn’t it wonderful?!?

PPS Thanks for all of the lovely comments about Checkers! Her mouth is healing up nicely and she remains such a friendly little cat. Her main complaint right now is that she wants OUT of this room! I haven't told her that she has 10 more days to go and that there is a border collie on the other side of that door she's so interested in...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I know, I know, it's me! My apologies to my ‘fans’ (I know you’re out there, somewhere). The past two weeks have been a little crazy between school work and SD being away (he’s back now – yeah!). How do you folks with children manage to get so much done when I only had myself and the pets to care for??? High achievers, I figure…

My trip to Toronto to IIDEX was great! The girls and I really enjoyed ourselves. How can you not like Toronto when they have chocolate bars this big???

My apologies to Renee for not staying in the city longer to go on a yarn crawl. I will take a rain check on that idea though, my dear!

The other reason things have been crazy is partially due to this little creature. Remember I said that we were going to wait to get another cat?!? Meet Checkers. She is from the Ottawa Humane Society and we have only had her living with us since Sunday when I picked her up from the Kanata Super Pet. SD may have reason to be a little concerned about other new pets moving into the house the next time he’s away!

The Humane Society here has some of their animals housed at local pet store adoption centres so that they get more ‘face time’ with the public. Her adoption is still through the Humane Society despite the fact that Checkers was located at a Super Pet. Her Humane Society name was ‘Obsidian’ (I think they were getting low on coming up with new pet names) so I decided to change it. The name ‘Checkers’ may not be original but it seems to fit her. She is in solitary confinement in our office (thus, she is currently around my feet) for two weeks. Two weeks is suggested because of the risk of transmission of disease from her to Para and Tobi. After that, we try the introduction with our other cat and dog. I am not really worried about Para meeting Checkers as she has lived with cats ever since we’ve had her. I am more concerned about Tobi as introducing female cats is sometimes a long term problem but have my fingers crossed that this will work out.

Checkers is about two years old and has already earned the title ‘Chubby Checkers’ from SD! She isn’t really tubby, actually. She saw the vet yesterday and they said that her weight was fine. Most cats are heavier than our Tobi who is our baseline for cat weight.

Checkers does, however, have some bad sores around her mouth that the vet attributed to an allergic reaction to either plastic dishes (she used those at the pet store but we use stainless steel) or her food. We are slowly changing her food to a hypoallergenic brand and she also received an allergy shot yesterday that should last about 2 months and help the swelling and itchiness around her mouth go down so that the sores can heal up.

And, with all the excitement, where’s my knitting? Certainly not to be found in the same room as Checkers. I think our new little cat will find yarn more exciting than I’m comfortable with! Here’s my wee bit of progress on the mystery project. Believe it or not, this is real progress. I'm afraid it's been SSCd (that means 'Second Sleeve Cursed'). I know this pattern, I've already knit it once, and I cannot tell you how many times I've frogged and tinked it back in the first 2 inches! Argh! However, tomorrow's another day...