Monday, June 30, 2008
"I like the colour of that one," she said.
So my Wrap has a new home. Dorothy and Dad are taking the train to Quebec City for a few days later in the summer. Mentally, at least, Dorothy's bags are now packed. Everything in the suitcase matches 'The Wrap'. She plans to wrap in 'The Wrap' for fancy dinners and evening strolls on the boardwalk.
It's such fun to give away a finished object to someone so obviously appreciative.
Friday, June 27, 2008
But I can take it. I am doing the happy dance
I had to call and ask when I might expect the repair to be done. 5 minutes on hold and the Tecky told me that Bell had done something at their end and things should be working. Happy Happy.
I think there is some economic theory that states "what starts as nice-to-have becomes need-to-have very quickly. True for me with high speed, that's for sure.
And this too is making me happy.
didn't tell the guys. I'm not that blonde. The name is from the town Flesherton. Home to the concrete company.
And oh yah. Knitting. Here is the front of the summer top re-do. Getting there. Think Canada Day.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
If you’ve been reading, you know my luck of late. So guess what got left at home when I went to Knit Group today? No, I did remember my knitting. But that’s a good guess, as it is something I might do. My camera! But since I am still on dial up – no word from the good (Wink Wink) folks at
At Knit Group, young
Nell was knitting doll clothes. Nell knits exclusively for her favourite mission, Someone gave her lots of old dolls – naked old dolls (No that is not Knit Group members on retreat!!) Nell is knitting clothes for them all so some lucky child can love them ‘second-time-around’.
Pat was knitting socks for a grandchild and Sandy, our host Sandy, was knitting her ‘forever’ scarf. Although
If truth be told, we have been kicked out of every meeting spot so far. First the coffee shop who said we used too many tables, stayed too long and didn't buy enough. Kicked Out! Next another coffee shop that closes for the winter and now the library. Hmmm. What is it about knitters?
My summer top re-do is coming along. I have about 6 inches of the front done. If I take a patience pill, I will post pictures tomorrow.
Thursdays Are For Knit Group. And that can make any day, a better day.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's nice to be a two-car family again, but the bill was astronomical! Who knew tires were so expensive? The tires that came with the van - although when they blow at 57000 K, I'm not sure I'd recommend them - were Goodyear. The garage man (we know each other so well, now, that he calls and says " Hi Brenda. It's Gary" - and I know immediately, it's 'that' Gary.) - said if I chose 'no-name', it would be cheaper.
Let me tell you, cheaper is a relative term. The tire, the rim, a little labour and there went the better part of $400. Think in terms of yarn people. That's one 'honkin' tote of yarn. Yarn that obviously, Brenda will be riding on- not knitting. It's a good thing I had a major yarn crawl in B.C. this spring.
Good Thing #2 Speaking of B.C. yarn, look how well the little summer top 're-do' is coming along.
Good Thing - I think - #3 My neighbour Sue told me that our mutual neighbour Paul wanted to convert to high speed internet service. Somehow, Bell &%#*@ up the lines and now Paul has NO computer service. Hmmmm. Think I'll call Paul. Maybe I didn't need the new modem after all. In fact, maybe the problem isn't at my house at all.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Trouble Number One: Our trailer has sprung a leak. Just in case you ever decide to own a trailer, know this: If you open the door of the trailer for the first time in the spring and immediately start to retch because of the smell, you have a leak. Wet carpet. Closed trailer. You get the idea.
During our two week stay, we searched and searched for the source of the leak, but couldn't find it. And now friends are saying things like “ Yea. That’s common in trailers.”
Despite climbing on the roof and under the trailer, we couldn't find the leak. We looked on dry days. We - well, Fred - donned rain gear and looked on wet days. No luck. In the end, we came home and left it leaking. And worrying me – a lot.
Trouble Number Two: Saturday, I decided to hike. It was a ‘car-shuffle’ hike. My car was left at the end point while I rode with others to the start point. . Once the hike was finished, I drove the drivers back to the little gravel side road in the woods to get their cars. They headed one way, I, the other. A few seconds later, I heard a thump, then a whooshing sound for a few seconds.
“I’ve run over a branch, I thought. “The leaves are brushing against the wheel well.”
When the sound stopped, the road became very bumpy.
“Boy, do they need to grade this road.” is what went through my head. Even when I reached pavement – about 3 Ks later – for any of you that know about these ‘Don’t drive on flat tire things’, it was still bumpy. Slow learner, me, the light finally went on. I pulled over and looked. Boy! That tire was in shreds. It had blown. And the rim didn’t look too good either.
Being a one cell phone family, and not having that one with me, I walked to the nearest house
(Such fun - a little walk after a three hour hike) to use the phone and call Fred. Once he arrived, the two of us attempted to change the tire.
Turns out my spare is under the van. Some tricky little maneuver is meant to lower the cable that attaches the spare, and then the tire is supposed to drop down. Of course that didn’t happen. There we were, at the side of the road, Fred under the car, me standing behind him reading the manual. “Step one says to…”
The thought that ran through my head was “A good blogger would have brought the camera”
Finally, we gave up, put Fred’s spare tire on my car and drove home.
All of which made me late for the most important part of my day. An afternoon of knitting and dessert at a friend’s house, to meet her knitting friend from
Trouble Number Three: Sunday night, my modem failed. I have had high speed internet for a couple of years now and in my opinion - but I’m no Tecky - I have needed a new modem from day one. The Teckies at the help desk must think I’m a stalker, I have called so often. Being just the customer (Do they treat all customers as retarded two year olds?) I couldn’t convince them the modem should be replaced.
But last night the modem was dead. Two –not four lights. Dead. I called. Twenty minutes on hold and my portable phone died. Two dead technological wonders. I set the phone to charge and the alarm for . The early bird gets the worm sort of thinking.
That was a good idea. Except, once I convinced the Tecky I needed a modem, he told me to call back after when the sales department would be open. Apparently the Tecky can say “Yes the modem is dead.” But he can’t say “Yes, we will send you a new modem.” He was kind enough, though, to program my computer for dial-up so I could post my blog while I wait for the new modem to come.
Trouble Number Four: While I waited for to roll around, I decided to start a batch of bread. While shopping last week, I had purchased - at breath taking cost - a ten pound bag of Organic Red Fife Heritage Flour. “Won’t that make great bread?” I thought. My recipe starts with one cup of water. Ten minutes later you add an additional two cups.
I have a one cup measure and a four cup measure. I got the one cup right, but still aggravated about my dead modem, I filled the four cup measure to the top and dumped it in.
“Mmmmmm Must be really humid today” I thought.
Once I realized my mistake, I decided I had two options. Throw out what I’d started, or make a double batch. I decided to go for double. Up to my ears in bread dough, I heard Fred get up. “Good Morning Sweetie” he says. I look at him and say
“You might not want to talk to me today.”
Trouble Number Five: With the bread finally set to rise, I decided to check my emails. I tried to dial up but the system told me it had no dial tone.
“Of course, dummy,” I said to self, “You have to unplug the modem and plug the phone line into the computer.”
Done. Still no dial tone. Check the phone. No dial tone. Check the bedroom phone. No dial tone. Check the basement phone. No dial tone. Check the neighbour’s phone. Dial tone. Mmmmmm.
I called the 611 number to
I gasped, which cued the rep to try and sell me a ‘protection plan’. Cost? $96 per year. But if I signed up today, I wouldn’t have to pay the $79.50 tomorrow. Since I’m pretty sure I’ll be in the loony bin by tomorrow, they won’t be able to get money from me anyway. I declined.
Trouble Number Six: I told Fred that
Trouble Number ?? I’ve lost count. I called the computer Tecky again.
”Why do I have no dial tone when I plug the phone line into the computer? I asked.
He told me I had plugged the phone line into the wrong spot on the back of the computer. I told him it was the only spot available.
He asked many, many questions. None of them related to my IQ. Nice Tecky.
Then he mildly asked, if there might be another spot to plug in the line at the very bottom of the computer.
OMIGOSH!!! Who would ever think to look way down there?
I’m going to have a drink.
Friday, June 20, 2008
The first wrap I made, a Christmasy one, was a hit too when I wore it for last year's Knit Group Christmas party.
It will be embarrassing when they discover how simple, easy and quick they are to do. So far, I think I have them fooled into thinking that something so gorgeous must be hard to do. Which of course is a great trick for any knitter to know. And I'm not saying they aren't creative. They are. And I'm not saying they're not beautiful. They are. But dead easy too.
Shhh - until the CEPW KAL, it's our secret.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
So today, you get just my knitting.
My shawl is finished. It has yet to be blocked, and the fringe needs a trim, but otherwise it is done.
This is my Easy Peasy Wrap pattern. You can find in the post titled "What's Next?" under patterns in the list on the left.
I used stuff from stash in shades of off white. A ‘beiger shade of pale’, to mimic the rock song.
For this shawl, I cast on about 130 stitches. Sorry, that number is close, but I can't remember the exact number. My memory is awash in those rainy days at the trailer. I knit every row using an 8 mm needle. The large needle gives the wrap an open lacey look without the bother of lace knitting. Not that lace knitting is a bother, but this is faster. I kept throwing the wrap on my back and when I was happy with the depth, I cast off.
One little tip – since an elastic cast-off row is very important in this wrap, in the row before the cast off row, I increased one stitch every ten stitches. That gave me 10% (Aren’t I smart?) more stitches for my cast off row. Enough to make it nice and loose.
As others will see me
From the front.
A close up to show the Eyelash’ yarn.
Now, if I can just convince Fred to take me someplace where I will be wearing a little sun dress and then get cooler in the evening, I can ever so casually throw the gorgeous wrap across my shoulders. To 'oohs and aahs', I'm sure.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As much as I love my Grand kids
All of this makes me sound as if I'm not a good Canadian.
It's not as if the weather at home was great while we were away. The neighbours tell us we had lots of rain and cool temperatures here too. But let me tell you. A few days of rain in your home - that's one thing. But days of rain in a trailer - a completely different thing.
So, it's good to be home.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Do you recall last week's post that mentioned lengthening the top? And how I said I was lengthening the orange section, not the blue? And remember I commented on how lengthening the blue section was changing the look of the top? And how, strong as I was in knitterly denial, I decided to carry on? Big Mistake!
With what remained of a thinking brain, I was smart enough to pin the front and back sections together, before sewing, to check on fit. Oh, what a fright!
What showed in the magazine photo as a chic, cropped, summer top was now lengthened to a frumpy and dumpy blob. The blue point, meant to be just below the bust, had sunk to near my navel. That put the great expanse of blue ribbing over my belly. The blue section looked like an arrowhead - one badly off target.
So - I sighed and ripped it. Then immediately cast on for a re-do. There was, after all, still time to ge it finished for Monday's drive.
But I hadn't knit much when I realized the fun had faded. Deadlines do that sometimes. An orange time-out was called.
Since then I have been knitting this.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Happy knitting, all.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Last Wednesday, we were lucky as the trip presented itself to us. Look what we saw.
The Snowbirds - yes those famous Canadian pilots - came to Kapuskasing. Just an hour away. We picked up the grandkids from school and headed over. Charlie joined us after work. The show was outstanding! Ever so noisy. Ever so scary, as they performed stunts that made them appear to come close to crashing into each other. On the ground they look so tiny. But man, can they fly.
And of course there was stuff for kids..
That's James about to take off' in this 'whirly kig' that turns you upside down, over and around. Real puke potential. It was meant to show the kids what the pilots go through in the air.
And of course there were toy airplanes. James and a close up of his plane, with Abi in the background.
Abi with Charlie.
And before the Snowbirds performed, a lone pilot from Alberta, using this plane, strutted his stuff. Unbelievable how they do it. For a finale, he flew at about 20 feet off the ground, upside down, through a ribbon held by four local dignitaries. Very scared local dignitaries I would imagine.
I wonder where we will wander this Wednesday. It will be hard to beat the Snowbirds.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The top, as you can see from the magazine picture, is a short little cropper. But the magazine is quite old. With today's pant styles being lower waisted, I decided to lengthen the top. No exposed belly button for this Grandma.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Strange, that this obsession hits us now, with most of us in our sixties. A cynic - like a husband, say, - might mutter
" You been wearing one for all these years and you're telling me you don't know what size you take?"
We-l-l, yea. That's it exactly.
Our bodies have changed. Bones have bent. Weight's been gained. Estrogen's been lost. Little wonder we're obsessed about sizing.
This past winter, my obsession took me to one of those trendy little bra boutiques. The type of shop I never feel confrotable in - ever! My 'age & stage' of live confirm that I can shop there, but my brain, stuck in the frugality of early-married years, keeps stammering "Stedmans! Stedmans!"
This particular day, though, the experience was quite pleasant. The clerk, showing great empathy, commiserated with my 'bra-fit' concerns. A couple of hours of gentile bra-fitting later and she was placing my new $46 bra in the cutest little bag.
FORTY SIX DOLLARS! I had never spent so much on a bra in my life. But good bra fit, I was learning, does not come cheap.
A few days later, over coffee, an equally-obsessed friend and I exchanged bra-fitting stories. Her obsession had taken her to a mastectomy boutique. Still fully-endowed, her reasons for bra shopping at a mastectomy boutique were - well, really too complicated to explain.
She was impressed with the knowledgeable staff who provided her with undivided attention. But the price! There was no cute bag and still her bra cost her $142. Holy hooters, batman! Can you say 'lift and separate'? Your money from your wallet that is.
Shocked, I wheezed " Well, do you like the bra?" No, she said. "It's course and uncomfortable. Do you like yours?"
"No" I replied. It feels like a suit of armour."
$188 for bras and what we had was course, uncomfortable, board-like bras. When did the advertising executives decide to pick on the over- sixty crowd?
My next bra, was a WalMart special. $6.96. And I didn't even try it on. And guess what? It fits just fine.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
There are many ways to do a provisional cast-on. Sally Melville speaks often of the 'Crochet Cast-On' for provisional work. Elizabeth Zimmermann had a method of 'flip-flopping' the hands to do a figure-eight provisional cast on.
But me, I always look for the easy way to do anything. So I ask myself,
" What is the point of a provisional cast-on?"
It is to have live stitches available to be picked up and knit in the opposite direction at a future point in the knitting.
Hmmmm How could I do that easily?
Then, remembering that knitting unravels easily in the direction opposite to which it was knit, I had a brain wave.
1) Cast on for your project in waste yarn. Anything will do, but you will have better luck if you choose yarn about the same gauge as your project.
2) Work a row or two. I say 'or two' for no reason other than it is often easier to do things in knitting if you have something to hold on to.
3) Work one row using this.
"What is that?" you say. Dental Floss. Dental floss is slippery. It will pull out easily.
4) Complete your project. When you are done knitting, simply pull out the dental floss. Off will drop the waste yarn, and Voila! Live stitches to be picked up.
Easy peasy n'est-ce pas?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Ooooh so sooooft. Ooooh so cushy. They use words like comfy, squishy, heavenly, fluffy. Phrases such as marshmallow-soft, cloud-like.
But me? I like my socks tough. I favour yarns like Regia or the almost-defunct Kroy. I have yet to make a pair of socks without some nylon in the yarn.
I like them tough because they stand up to washing and wearing for years.
Here is my very first pair of socks. Regia yarn. Still going strong after 7 years.
And I have lots of socks made with the colourful Kroy - now discontinued.
That lace deserves a close-up.
I have cotton socks for the warmer weather. But still with nylon. Roughly 37% cotton, 37% wool and 25% nylon.
For heavy socks, I use Briggs & Little Tuffy. Part Nylon
I made a pair of Opal socks once. But it is not my favourite yarn. Too soft.
Elann has a good sock yarn. 75% wool 25% nylon. Tough.
But the toughest yarn has to be the yarn these socks are made of. Why do I say that?
Doing the laundry last week, I sorted the clothes into darks, lights and whites. Everything at my house gets washed in cold water except the whites. For them, I use hot water. And lately because some of my whites are starting to look a bit 'off' I have been putting in a bit of bleach.
These socks went into the 'lights', wash-in-cold-water, pile. Well, one of them did. The other sock ended up in the 'whites' pile Washed in hot water and bleach. Dried in the dryer. Can you tell which sock was tortured? Neither can I. Regia. With wool, cotton and nylon. Tough!