Sunday, October 14, 2007

thrum thrum thrum thrum!!!

These mitts... let's see. They were among the first of the knitting projects I attempted. I believe they got started about this time last year. Or was it two springs ago? Been so long, I can't remember. It was gangbusters for the first one but the second really dragged me down (it was after this that I decided to do knitted pairs simultaneously). In flurry of knitting-resolution and work-procrastination I ploughed through the second one last night and got it done. They aren't the prettiest - especially the rushed one - but it is nice to have them off the needles. Will I ever wear them? Who knows... probably.

Now a question to you knitters. I am looking to try a sweater and I have my heart set on "minimalist cardigan" from the fall 2007 interweave knits. I don't want to screw up with the yarn choice. Many people on Ravelry (oh yeah - I'm on ravelry now but I will probably only use it to check out patterns - so no need to add me as a friend there) used Knitpicks Wool of the Andes... which is very affordable and probably a safe choice... but I'm willing to go a little more luxurious than that I think. So I guess I'm wondering if anyone has a yarn they just adore for sweaters that is worsted weight or a little bit lighter. The stuff they use in the mag is "Lily Park" merino/alpaca. Someone used Cascade 220 and it looks good too.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tails of 58 Years

When Andy's Grandpa and and Grandma got married (they were both named "Anne" coincedently ( - actually "Ane" and "Anje" )) in 1949, they invested in a set of woolen "tails" and pants. If you've heard of the "sisterhood of the travelling pants" books, this is kind of the male equivalent... the "brotherhood of the travelling tails" perhaps.

The jacket has probably been back and forth across the ocean more times than I have and has been worn for various functions - mainly weddings - for 58 years now. It seems to fit almost everyone who wears it... well... anyone between 5'11 to 6'4" at least. It's last wedding use was for our wedding 4 years ago (see below) and I think it is about time for someone in the family to use it again (hint hint Ruth or Hannah or Emily... just teasing!!).

I was dusting off these photos for the upcoming 50th anniversary of one of the wearer's (the brother of the man in the upper photo) and its such a neat story, I thought I should share...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Above is a preview of another awesome thrifted item from my local Salvation Army ... I was going to save this gem for Halloween but given that the 80s have come back hard and I was going to see "city field" at indie-kid-mecca (Gus' Pub) on Saturday, I decided to just bust it out early. I also wore heels (or rather "pumps") out in public for maybe the third time EVER. I had forgotten how much joy can be derived from wearing out-of-the-ordinary outfits. I felt like a million - it must have been all the sparkles on the sweater ... like diamonds.

And finally, here's a picture of the Turtleneck Shrug (from Scarf Styles) that I finished a couple of weeks ago and have been wearing around town a bit. I do like it but I find when its actually gets cool enough to wear it, my back gets cold - because really, its cold enough to be wearing a full sweater. soooo... maybe not as practicle as I though it would be. I'll have to wear more layers below I guess...

Sock update: both socks have toes and heels now. The heels are a little wonky and I seem to have done things differently on each sock... but I'm not going back... they will just stand as a testiment to first-sockdom... i'll still wear 'em.... but I'll have to get more guidance on the next pair.... and summon up more patience.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

cool thrifts

I thought this was a pretty sweet chair to find at my local Sal.Arm. I brought it home, threw on a new seat cover (made from an old bed sheet that was hiding in my fabric bin), put some extra screws in for stability and there it is! A nice addition to my "kitsch-in"!

Pretty much everything in the kitchen (and the rest of the house) is "kitschy". I didn't set out to be this way - it just comes naturally - and cheaply! Sometimes I find it slightly embarassing when people come over... but I genuinely like/appreciate the tacky things I live with.

It came from Denmark... if that means anything to anyone... not to me really... i do like how the sticker looks though...

... And then there were these things. Not sure of their true, intended propose but I have stuck them in with a rather ugly-but-beloved plant that I am nurturing along. It really jazzes up the plant. I should take a picture of it.

I particularly like the fish on wheels and mustaschioed-guy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

just a wee baby stash

This here's my "stash" of yarn... a pretty minor, baby stash compared to some I think. My goal is to keep it fairly small and to try to buy only as I knit. I am already failing at this of course and I can hear many knitters laughing at me right now. Yarn: so addictive.

I almost bought the new Interweave today but decided that since I already have 3 unfinished things on the go, I would hold off. I'm looking for something amazing to do with the italian silk (bottom of picture with tag) and the Mrs. Moe handspun darlin' (just above the silk).

Until inspiration strikes, I think I'm going copy a friends' recent scarf efforts with the yellow cotton stuff (after I finish the other 3 things!! really!!) She assures me this is OK with her. I'm becoming a total copy-knitter though... the thing I'm making right now was something I saw someone wearing the first night I went to KOL (turtleneck scarf). I suppose most knitters are copiers since most follow patterns... but I seem to do my copying real close to home.

Here's a progress report on turtle-neck scarf/shrug business:

I've actually got both sleeves to their full length now and am ready to join them for the neck. It may actually be ready for fall!

Lastly, here's a knitting-related Sal.Army find that most will find tacky but I think cute. It looks real swell beside my Japanese ceramic dogs with the faux fur hair (yeah, that's right, I said Japanese ceramic dogs with faux fur hair - you got a problem with that?!?):

Thursday, August 09, 2007

kninspiration (or: new addiction)

So, I didn't know much about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee before Tuesday but she is one funny/cool lady! It was a very enjoyable/ engaging / enlightening / all the good "e" words really...

I think I understand why so many knitters are also bloggers. Its because we are "super-responders"! SPM learned me about the term in her talk - it was in the context of fundraising but I think maybe knitters are also just super-respondery in general... so we like to show and tell and get and give comments. Cyberspace also enlarges the group you have access to. Really, I wouldn't know how to knit without the internet to begin with but it is also the way I found out about KOL... and without KOL, I'd be knittin' alone.

So I just got my first pair of "real" socks (as in, made with actual sock-weight yarn) under way. I cobbled together information from Wendy Johnson's toe-up sock pattern, the Knitty Universal Toe-Up sock pattern, and some site (I forget) that showed how to do a provisional cast-on. I've learned a lot from starting this project and I have to say, I think knitting socks this way is likely to become a new addiction!! Its faster than I thought, the architecture is magical/fascinating, and I know I'll definately wear them!

Here's the "Crazy" (that's what its called) Opal stuff on my kitchen scale. I made two lovely center pull balls... because pre-fondling the yarn is part of the fun for me.

Yep! That's my foot! PLUS my first provisinal cast on, first short rows, for sock yarn, first toe-up EVA!! booyaa!

I like to make things that come in twos at the same time - for fear I'll never make the second. So here's my two toes. I bet your wondering what that space-debris-looking-thing in the background is! I'm just going to leave you guessing.

So, I officially feel like a real part of this "creepy sub-culture" (SPM 2007) now that I have posted a picture of my foot!

Frankly, I'm happy we actually got the full word "culture" in there... some may have stopped at "cult".

Monday, August 06, 2007

helmet bust rant

Above is "ghandy" demonstrating the use of our home-made "skateboard". It was created very spur-of-the-momently with some old office-chair wheels. It was broken shortly after we took this picture; never got on the road.

Last night we went out on our real skateboards and were having a grand ol' time cruising the smooth streets in our neighbourhood. We don't move very fast. We skate at off-peak car times and move off the road when cars come. We don't really know or attempt any tricks... We just like to feel the wind in our hairs and enjoy the feeling/freedom of transporting our bodies in a manner less common to us than the usual ways: walking/biking/car-ing. So when we were approached by the police and told we need to get helmets I was annoyed.

I wasn't annoyed at the cop - he was just doing his job. Also, he was probably amused that the two young "skate-punks" he had come across turned out to an old, nerdy, married couple. He treated us very politely.

I'm also not annoyed by helmets in general. They are great for protecting your head in dangerous situations. I wear one when I snowboard or when I mountain bike on rough terrain or busy roads. If I had the skill to go in a skatepark, I would wear one there.

I am really just bothered by the laws that make you wear a helmet while using any wheeled vehicles at any time.

I understand that it is easiest to make these board, blanket rules because they are easier to enforce but honestly, I really think that an adult person should be allowed to use their discretion in helmet use (and other matters).

If I am taking a leisurely bike-ride around Point Pleasant Park on a hot, sunny day, there is no need for me to be wearing a heavy, sweaty helmet. Similarly, if I am skateboarding casually on an empty side street, I don't need a helmet. Having to be shackled to a helmet in these situations is uncomfortable, excessive, and annoying. I just feel like I should be allowed to make the choice of when/where I need a helmet. The fact that I can't choose and have to lug around a helmet really dampens the fun of going out for a quick bike or skate tour.

Maybe senior citizens who have wheels on their walkers should wear helmets too. Oh! And joggers! No wheels but if they went over on an ankle - by geez, they could crack their skulls! And helmets for winter-joggers should be mandatory - all that ice! Dog-walkers too!

I know all the statistics they use to defend the helmet law but I have made it to age 29 using my own discretion about helmets and I've never contributed to the stats. I feel like I should be allowed to continue in this manner. Honestly, this law is one thing I seriously hold against staying in Nova Scotia. That probably seems extreme but it sticks in my craw!

Rant over.