Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Award-Winning Pinheads and a Petite Pocohantas (oh, and WIP it Wednesday, too!)

Don't we look cool?!?

We had a teambuilding event today where everyone in our department had to dress up and bowl for the afternoon, and there were prizes awarded for best individual costume, best team costume, best bowler, etc. This costume idea was the brainchild of my friend Carrie (the bowling ball in the front), who sewed and put together all of the pins and the bowling ball. And... we won for best team costume! Yeah - I'm the middle pin - just like in elementary school when I always had to sit in front on the bench because I was one of the shortest (if not *the* shortest) in class... We even had a orchestrated dance number set to the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey where Jackee (not pictured) bowled Carrie into us and we all fell down.

Earlier in the day my pin kept on listing to the side and I said to the group that I thought I might need a fluffer. Only my friend Raul got the joke, which is why I like him so much :)

Willow dressed up as Pocohantas this year, and her costume is handmade by Grandma (does she pass muster, Sarah?) She originally planned to be a cowgirl, but the Indian maiden costume was on the same pattern and as soon as she saw this she changed her mind. She designed the jack-o'lantern as well (although Daddy did the actual butchering).

I'm afraid I don't have much to show for the WiP front at the moment - I've been lying low since I finished Mr Greenjeans and trying to figure out what I would like to tackle next. I have this hat on the needles - it's a generic hat knit from Colinette Zanziba in Moss. The yarn is knitting up much nicer than I thought it might - it feels quite heavy but is smooth. The colour gradations are extremely subtle as well.

Oh - and I have signed up for NaBloPoMo, where you try and write one blog post every day for the month of November. Does that make you happy, Dad? You had better leave a comment, mister!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

'Cause My Dad Bitched At Me For Not Posting Enough

What female superhero are


You are the anti-hero. Now quite a hero but prone to heroic
actions and a protector of abused women. Dark, sleek and
full of feminine wiles, you steal your way into people's
hearts. Meow!

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This

Brought to you by quizzes and personality

Yeah... that's me - sleek and full of feminine wiles...

(ETA - Scroll and highlight over the white text to read it - I don't know why it is being annoying.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cool Exchanges, Finished Objects, and Crappy Weeks

Without further ado...

I got the sweetest smelling package in the mail this week:

Freshisle Fibers

A few weeks ago, I left a comment on Marian's blog. She had been experimenting in dyeing wool with Koolaid, and I had some exotic flavours stashed away that I wasn't planning to use - so we organized a Koolaid for yarn swap. Honestly, I think I got the better deal of it and I am feeling a little guilty! Now why the sweet-smelling comment? Well, first of all, those lollipops (which Miss Priss has laid claim to) are maple-flavoured. Secondly, the yarn smells like koolaid... which in turn sort of smells like Froot Loop Cereal! Thank you, Marian - I can't wait to knit up the wool!

I also have a few finished objects this week - including my Mr. Greenjeans:

Jo's Mr Greenjeans 1

I'm quite pleased with it - I think I could have made a size smaller (I made the second-to-largest size), but it makes for a comfortable roomy sweater. Most people will have 3/4 length sleeves... but I am short... with short arms, so they are pretty much full-length on me. The only thing I want to fix right now is the button holes - they are a bit too big for my buttons so I am going to close them up a bit. I have three modifications - two intentional and one unintentional. The accidental one was that I forgot to switch to the smaller needles for the cabling section on the sleeve. The intentional mods were two buttons rather than one (for better closure) and I knit 4 extra rows wide on the button band. I knit it out of Lion Brand Wool-ease which blocks like crap (hence the bit of a ripple in the bottom of the button band), but cost me less than $14 to make and I can throw it in the wash whenever I feel like it!

I also finished these cuties this week:

Children in Common socks

Sorry, Cristi - I couldn't show off your sock blockers in the case because this picture is nearly life-sized - these socks are intended for someone 2 - 4 years old. I started this sock at Stitches and the nice people at Children In Common let me take it home to finish it (plus some other nice yarns to knit some stuff up for them. I don't care if the Malabrigo isn't for me - I just love the process of knitting with it!)

And lastly (and maybe I should have put this first) - sorry to be away for nearly a week. I had the week from hell between health problems, family health problems, stress at work, Andrew's car being in the shop, etc. Most nights I didn't even turn the computer on when I got home and I was fast asleep by 9pm.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blogstalking: Johnny-Come-Lately Statues

I have a good reason why my blogstalking post is late this week - I had to scan all of these pictures because there is not a single one that is younger than 10 years old! And I am going to apologize in advance for the small pics - I am really not sure what happened because I don't remember clicking on 'so small you can barely see it' when I was scanning them.

The first few statues here are all gravestones from Ross Bay Cemetary in Victoria, British Columbia. I graduated from the University of Victoria, and during one of my years there I lived a few blocks from this cemetary and I used to love walking through it. It is an old cemetary and there are many beautiful statues there.

Ross Bay Cemetary Angel

Ross Bay Cemetary Girl

Ross Bay Cemetary Angel 2

Flash forward a few years and I was living in Japan. I met this cute young guy and he asked me out to a movie (we saw 'The Truth About Cats and Dogs')... and who should we see in Tokyo? Godzilla! He must have ben taking a break from destroying the city.


Later that same year my friend Asami and I went to Bali for our Christmas vacation (leaving our boyfriends behind!) and this Balinese dragon flanked the swimming pool at our hotel:

Balinese Dragon

Incidentally, I was married in that same skirt 9 months later...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Find of the Day and Some Fun

Look at this cool bag I found at the Christmas Tree Shoppe:

It came full of bath stuff - a scrubbie, a toothbrush holder, soap caddie, container for shampoo, and a small zippered bad (see inside). I gave Willow everything but the small zippered bag and voila! A sock knitting bag! Now, if you look really closely or enlarge the photo, you can see exactly what I paid for the bag...

And just for fun:

Personally, I would have thought it was higher than that...

And on a more Halloweenie tangent:


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Halloweenie Meme

Spooky! Scary! Halloweenie!

All credit for these meme belongs to OLPP

1. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes. See answer #2.

2. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Yes - more than once. The first notable time was when I was about ten years old. I was at my grandmother's house - and old Victorian house in British Columbia. I was sitting on the back steps facing a nut orchard and I noticed a man walking through the orchard. That in itself was sort of odd - we weren't far from a main road, so why would someone be walking through the nut orchard? In any case, I'm watching him - he was about 150 feet away. He passes in front of one of the larger trees, and I realize I can see the tree through him. He was translucent, kept on walking until he was on the other side of the trees and then I couldn't track him anymore. I didn't say anything about this to anyone until I was 18 - 19 years old - and I told my grandmother (who by this time was living in a different house). She told me she wasn't surprised - that the man who had owned the house prior to her had died in the house in the upstairs bedroom and her dogs never liked going upstairs - they would sit at the landing and bark up at the stairs.

3. Have you ever experienced something that is best described by the word "paranormal"?

I moved to Japan in August 1995 - and summer in Japan is a horrible, hot, humid affair.. but it is also the time for telling ghost stories. The idea is that someone tells a story so scary that you shiver - and in doing so, cool yourself off. Not long after I moved there, I took the train into Tokyo by myself for the first time to visit some friends. Twice during that trip I distinctly felt someone tap me on the shoulder, and when I turned around to see who it was, there was no one there. And in one case, there was no one near me for a good 15 - 20 feet.

4. Do you watch any ghost or haunting themed shows?

Yes, I occasionaly watch Ghost Hunters - I used to get a kick out of watching Most Haunted, but was not impressed in the least to find out they fabricate the entire show. I used to like watching a series on the History Channel that had titled like "Haunted Charleston' or "Haunted Seattle." The Travel Channel sometimes has some cool seasonal programming like that as well.

5. If so, do you sometimes sleep with the lights on or wake up your partner because the show scared you a whole lot and you can't sleep and don't want to be awake alone?

I have done that in the past... I remember not being able to sleep at all the first time I read "The Silence of the Lambs" when I was a teenager.

6. Have you ever been to a supposedly haunted place? If so, did you experience anything spooky?

Andrew and I visited the Stanley Hotel when we lived in Boulder, CO. It is up in Estes Park, and it is the hotel that Stephen King based "The Shining" on. The hotel itself has an interesting story, but I can't say I felt anything. Estes Park is a beautiful place - don't pass up the chance if you ever get to go there. When I was 12 years old I went to England for the summer with my Grandma (same one as above) and we visited all sorts of historical sites - although there were only two places I got a 'buzz' off of. The first time was in Hampton Court, in Queen Katherine's hallway. It more like a long room with windows down one side. This Katherine was Henry VIII's fifth wife - the teenager who cheated on him. As she was being brought to prison, she broke away from the guards and ran down this hallway in an attempt to beg Henry's foregiveness. She didn't succeed. The second was in the ruins of an old abbey - also with ties to Henry VIII. When Henry stripped the Catholic monasteries and abbeys of their wealth (and land), they fell into literal ruins. This one was a medieval one, and I remember sitting at the top of a stone stairwell and looking around and just being able to 'see' what this was like in its heyday. I think I have a photograph of this somewhere - for some reason Chester is sticking in my head, but I can't be sure that is where it was.

7. How much do you love Halloween?

I love Halloween - but am disappointed in how adults are making it such a sexual affair. We have been looking for costumes for a work event and it is disheartening how many costumes for adults come with a XXX rating. Don't get me wrong - I am not a prude - but do I need to see a cardboard cutout in the mall of a pirate's wench costume with the woman bending over so you can see her panties...? No, thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WiP It Wednesday and a Stitches Recap

First of all, here is my Mr. Greenjeans in progress:

Mr Greenjeans 10.17

I'm making good speed on the second sleeve - I only have about 15 rows before I start on the cuff cabling. I have been reading a few people's blogs on how they are modifying the sweater to for the ribbing - I'll let you know what I decide.

My friends Michelle, Patti, Denise, and Kathy and I all went down to Baltimore this past weekend and had a wonderful time. It had its odd moments, though - like getting stuck in traffic due to the Baltimore Marathon next to a Bimbo-mobile:

Bakery Van

Oddly enough, the same bear was on the back but without the curly moustache.

And here are some of the runners:

Baltimore Marathon

I have no clue who won the race - but I honestly hope that next year's Stitches East is not on the same weekend as a marathon!!! There were so many streets that were shut off and I don't think they shut off the streets with enough notice - so many cars were caught between streets with nowhere to go and people were starting to get angry...

Here was the view from our hotel room:

View from Hyatt 1

The eleventh floor of the Hyatt - I highly recommend it ;) We even saw some of the Rams football players in our hotel Sunday morning... apparently our knitting mojo didn't rub off on them...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Newly Acquired Stash from Stitches

I will expand this post later - it seems my host has issues at the moment and I want to make sure this gets in here. Um, yeah - it seems I was in a red mood. The only non-red thing is for my sister, Teri.

This is a beauriful red superwash merino/tencel mixture from Maple Creek Farms - it is very soft and oh-so-pretty! There is about 460 yards here.


Everyone knows what this is! I was so happy to see the Blue Moon booth since I had witnessed the line ups first hand at MDSW. This is Gingerbread Dude in Socks That Rock Silkie. I can't wait to see how this knits up!


Three skeins of Reynolds Odyssey in a wine red colour. This was a steal - I got it from the Rosie's Yarn Cellar booth and I wish I had had the foresight to get a few more skeins. I have a little over 300 yards here and I think that should be enough to get a pair of mittens and a matching hat out of them.

And for my sister Teri, Brooks Farm Four Play in black. She has a secret up her sleeve for this one ;)

I'm afraid of messing up these picks, so I will put some others in the next post...

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Knew There Was A Good Reason...

...why my husband married me. says I'm a Cool Nerd Queen.  What are  you?  Click here!

Pictures of my newly acquired stash from Stitches later today, so stay tuned!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Three Things I Love and Three Things I Hate

Last night was a bad night. I was going to write this entry last night, but it is a good thing I didn't and let time and sleep wash over me and anger was away. I am going to change the scope of this Blogstalking exercise and make it a bit more self-focused.

Three Things I Love About My Parenting

* I am supportive and will do anything to help. Flash cards? In a jiffy! Swim practice? I'm already in the pool! Need a parent for a field trip? I work for a place that prides itself on letting parents do this!

* I have a sense of humour. Kids crack me up - especially when they are trying to be on-the-level and adult with you.

* I am a straight-shooter. You did something wrong? You will apologize and make up for it. I don't want to hear any whining. Get up, dust yourself off and make it better.

And now, and maybe more importantly,

Three Things I Hate About My Parenting

* I am horribly elitist. Not about money - I am not that shallow. Educating yourself - making yourself a better person - Being informed. If you don't care about these things, I would have a hard time caring about you.

* I am quick to anger and disappointment. Quick to joy and praise as well, but those two definitely get over-shadowed in my child's eyes by the first two.

* I am a over-achiever and expect the same of those around me.


It is the last two things on that list that are causing so much strife right now in my home. I am not sure where this drive to be first and a winner every time comes from. My parents always encouraged me to do my best, but there was never an underlying threat of be the best or else. Willow didn't pass her swimming level for the second time and so in a few weeks will be taking the same class for the third time in a row. I am so conflicted by this! I am not faulting her teacher in the slightest - I have been observing the class and know the concrete reasons why she is not moving on. I also know she can do these same damn things in the pool when she and I just go to play! The big thing she can't/won't do in class is swim half the length of the pool
unaided. She will swim for maybe 10 feet and then will cling onto the instructor like a baby monkey. When she and I are in the pool for family swim I always make her swim lengths
for the first 20 minutes before we play and she will swim more than half the length of the pool with no effort. Why not in class!?!?!?

Andrew is much more casual about this. He says she will just keep on taking lessons until she passes this level. I want to scream. I am trying to keep this together. I told Willow I was disappointed and a little angry because I know she can do all these things. She got quiet and said she didn't want to talk to me.

Great. And this is only swimming lessons. What am I going to be like when we start getting real report cards from school?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Only Six Hours and Fifteen Minutes Late!

Mr. Greenjeans has a sleeve!

I stopped working so frantically since I knew I wasn't going to get it done by Stitches.

And a view of my backside. It kind of dwarfs the back side of the sweater...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dye Pot Adventures, or Miss Dashwood is Over the Moon With the Jesuits

It's pretty, but once again, I don't know what to call it:

I was going for something a mite more fiery - a truer red at the very least instead of the salmon-y melon colour I ended up with. Plain and simple, this is Wiltons red and orange. I should have known better when I was dissolving the red in boiling water and resulting liquid looked like Hawaiian Punch. Oh well, like I said - it's still pretty. Anyone want to name it? I didn't use Patons Classic Wool this time. The last time I was at AC Moore they had Moda Dea's Washable Wool on for half-price, so I decided to give that a shot. It is pure wool, but cabled and slinky-soft. The yardage is a about 50 yards less than Patons Classic Wool so I don't see getting two hats out of it unless they are baby hats.

Here are some close-ups:

I saw this questionnaire on someone's sidebar recently and since I am a big fan of Jane Austen, I hopped right on it:

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

That isn't who I thought I would be! Of couse, Elinor Dashwood ends up with Hugh Grant (oh, fine then - Edward Ferrars!), but my favourite Austen heroine is Anne Elliott of Persuasion

I also found this questionnaire on someone's blog so of course had to take it, too:

You are The

Hope, expectation,
Bright promises.

The Moon is a card
of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing
is as it seems, particularly when it concerns
relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all
about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This
is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams
and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that
there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it
should also be remembered that this is a card of great
creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition.
You may be going through a time of emotional and mental
trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be
vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or
alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage.
This time however, can also result in great creativity,
psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust
your intuition.

Tarot Card are You?

the Test to Find Out.

What do you think? I think it is a little harder to be objective about this one - so be subjective with me!

Segue here - since the Moon card is about dreams and all - I had a very convoluted dream last night that I was stranded in a town in the mountains. My cell phone access was spotty, and I was trying to leave messages for people to explain where I was. The only landmark I could make out was a school - it was a Catholic school called St. Ignatius. I remembered this name distinctly when I woke up this morning, so I had to look him up. What do you think this portends? I am not even a Catholic, let alone a Jesuit.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Blogstalking: How I get from here to there

How do I get from here to there?

In a word? Quickly.

Note my dashboard clock. This was the time when Willow and I left home this morning:

This was the time when I dropped Willow off at daycare:

And this was the time when I parked the car in front of my office:

I measured the distance once from my driveway to where I park at work - and it came to 0.4 miles. I have to drive about 3 times that to get Willow to school and then backtrack to my office.

I have to say I was conflicted about this assignment - I want to maintain some modicum of privacy on the blog - and because it such a short distance between where I live and work it would be beyond easy for someone to pinpoint where I live had I posted pictures of the surrounding area.

And yes, I see that I need to dust my car...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WiP It Wednesday

My Mr Greenjeans is coming along nicely:

I think I have about 5 more inches of the cabling to go before I bind off. The instructions said to move the garment onto waste yarn when you have done the required amount of stockinette stitch to see if the cables will begin in an aesthetically pleasing place, and I am glad it did. I have the goods in the chestal area (how am I going write that without attracting the fetishists to the blog...), so I did 4 more rows of stockinette stitch to put the cables below my breasts rather than in the middle of them.

Here is a close-up of my cables and a much truer representation of the green involved:

I just started my 4th ball of Lion Brand Wool Ease tonight, so my yarn is going a long way- I haven't even hit the $10 mark yet! All that and I will have a sweater I can toss in the washer and dryer (very important when Willow is around!). I brought the sweater with me to work today but ended up having a shitstorm of a day - only got one row in when I was supposed to be having lunch and then I found out that I somehow lost the bamboo cable needle that had been in my pocket. I backtracked everywhere I had been that morning, hoping it had just fallen out but it was nowhere to be found. Someone probably thought they had found a freakishly large toothpick and threw it away.

Willow and I were working on a different kind of project earlier this week. She doesn't have her ears pierced and has started to notice that many of her classmates do. I don't have anything really against it - I had my ears pierced when I was in Kindergarten - but I have a feeling that her daddy might have a minor meltdown if I took her to get them done. So, when she and I were in the mall last week I looked at clip-on costume earrings in the dept store, hoping to find something cute - but didn't see a single pair for less than $18. I told her we could do better than that. So, we headed to Michaels, where I bought a package of clip-on backs, a package of sparkling multi-colour rhinestones, and a bottle of tacky glue. I think I may have paid $6.50 for the lot of them... and Willow made out with seven pairs of clip-on earrings:

And she is as happy as a clam ;)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sleepless Nights (I don't have a problem!)

One thing that constantly conspires to give me sleepless night is reading books. Before I got married I would stay up until all hours of the night reading - who cares if I was groggy the next day? I wasn't trying to impress anyone and a few shots of expresso would chase away the fog. Flash forward ten years - maybe it is just because I am older, but it is getting harder and harder to read all night long. The words start to float in front of my eyes and even though I want to continue reading, I have to force myself to put the book down and sleep.

What is keeping me awake right now? S.M. Stirling's The Sunrise Lands:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Depending on how you look at it, it is either the first book in a second trilogy or the first book in a third trilogy (which began with his Nantucket series). Alternative history - speculative fiction - call it what you will, but I love it. Although - Steve - I have to say I take exception to the fact that the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island have been declared a Death Zone. How can Vancouver die and yet Seattle live? (Characters and storylines aside - I'm just speaking of population vs. farmland and resources).

I also just finished reading Ilona Andrew's Magic Bites and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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I think the book needs a second read because I have it in my head there were a few character inconsistencies in the beginning. I asked at the bookstore if there was a sequel or it this author
had other books out and was surprised to learn that this is her (actually their - it is a husband and wife writing team) first book and the sequel to this one comes out next spring. People will draw inevitable comparisons to other genre females - but I have to say that Kate (the protagonist), while healthily red-blooded and having some interesting distractions, manages to stick to business. You can read more about Kate's world and the series on the author's website.

I also have some crockpot cookbooks out of the library right now - and I have to ask... why would someone put cinnamon on beef!?!?! Just the thought of that makes my stomach
start heaving. No, Mom, I am not pregnant. It's just gross.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Ever had one of those days when you can't think of anything interesting to say and you wish someone would just send you a cool meme you had never done before so your parents don't worry because you haven't updated the blog in a few days...?


Happy Birthday, Mom!

I love my Mom - she's fun to talk to, she can knit up a storm, and I will never compete with her culinary skills (that just makes my visits to Canada that much more tasty!) She is also a horrible person to buy presents for (Mom!) so as soon as she lets me know what she would like, it is in the mail.