Wednesday, July 30, 2008


..... only it has taken me two days to finish writing this post.

Knitting Goodness

Today the mail was good. YUP very good. I received a swap package. My sockamaniac International Swap package. A great big ole puffy was sticking out of my mailbox when I checked to see if I had mail today. So yes mail call was good.

The package contained two very lovely skeins of Cervinia yarn from Italy. These two skeins of yarn will make a lovely scarf.
AND just check out these needles. They are handcrafted by my partner Donna's husband. They are so smooth. I will use these needles to knit my new scarf BUT NOT until Sept.
I also received a lovely bag from China to hold my socks in progress, a candle, bar of soap and some bath beads.
One of the most interesting gifts was a guide book to the area my partner Donna lives in. What a very interesting area to live. I think I could live there without any problems. AND look at the lovely sun catcher ornament. There was also a couple of patterns in my package.
Thank-you very much for the lovely package and the lovely look at where you live.

I have had a request to make a felted bag similar to the blue and pink one I made last year and gave away in a swap AND in the same colors royal blue and bubble gum pink BUT with no flap. Here it is partly completed. The bag is now finished and sewn together but NOT felted yet. I have 1/2 the handle knit (in a nine stitch icord) and soon will start on the flowers.

For me I am making this NONI bag I received the magazine in my whoduknit knitted skein swap only I won't be knitting the bag in gold but black. I checked out the handles and the last time I looked they were $15.68 CAD. Of course, my socks for ravelrympics will be started when the Olympics begin before I start on the bag.

Here is Solara on her condo which she squeezes herself on. Here is what she sees at night while on her condo until I take her upstairs and put her in my bed where she doesn't stay too long. Sometimes there are bugs (mosquitoes) on the flowers or flying about outside.
BUT despite the bed being so high off the floor she now jumps on it as I found her on the foot of the bed Thursday and Friday when I got up and both nights I heard her jump off the bed after leaving me. She just won't sleep with me. PHEW!!! I was so worried she wouldn't be able to get up on the bed without help after all the bed comes up to hip.


Well here is my Solara with stuff on her and with her on stuff. Nothing BUT photos of Solara.

This is a bridge table but she thinks it is her table to sprawl out on.
She is in/on her felted bed.


I have completed my P.D. James project from my whoduknit yahoo group. I read one of her earlier books called A Mind to Murder an Adam Dalgiesh murder mystery. This is what the back of the book says since I don't want to give too much away for those who will want to read it. "A hideous scream pierces the calm of the evening psychotherapy session. The body of a woman lies sprawled in the basement of the Steen Clinic, a chisel thrust through her heart. ........Is the killer a patient or a crazed healer?" This story takes place in a psychiatric outpatient clinic in London. One of the therapies used in the clinic at the time this mystery takes place is to give LSD "to help make the patient more accessible to psychotherapy by releasing some of the more deep-seated inhibitions". After giving LSD the patient is never left alone and is watched over by a nurse. In the days of this therapy nurses wore hats so for my project I knitted and felted a nurse's hat. AND who better to model the hat than my furtoddler Solara. Sorry I had to hold her head up initially to take the photo.
BUT, she says this is how I like to wear my nurse's hat!!!
AH it is time for week #7 SP 12 question of the week.

We are all creatures of habit and when it comes to sitting down to knit, it’s no different…

What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit? and

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?

I presently knit on my couch in front of the TV unless I am at a knitting get together with friends in a public place where I was this evening. I will one day knit outside in my gazebo when I am able to get the missing pieces and put it up. Then I can knit outside without the bugs.

I like to have my little case with all my tools by my side, scissors, tape measure, stitch markers, crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches and repairing my work, etc, pattern, paper and pen to write whatever, something to drink and nosh on and of course, the remote to change the channels. Having the phone close is also handy so I can just answer it and not have to put my knitting down to go and answer it. Having doubles and triples of stuff is good also in case I drop something. I would love to have my furtoddler with me BUT she usually is elsewhere. Like here doing her head lift exercises.
Solara has finally realised the joys of knitting and has picked out her yarn. She is now ready to knit with me. She likes PINK too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So last night I am knitting away on my Clapotis shawl which I am enjoying knitting. I have the pattern memorized with a quick occasional check at the actual written copy and I am up to the 10th set of dropped stitches.......WHEN.... I look at the nice row of dropped stitches to see this.

Where is this in the shawl you ask? It is about 100+ rows down the shawl. If you look at the bottom of the photo you can see the needles.
I guess I am lucky as it could have been further down in that row of dropped stitches as in this photo you can see how far it didn't go.
This isn't the first time I had to fix a mistake like this but at least the last time it wasn't so far down since it was in the beginning of the dropped stitches. It has been fixed and I am sure when it is blocked any looseness in the stitches will even itself out. At least, I hope so.

I knew something was wrong b/c when I was looking at the shawl way before I was along this far I could see a small mistake where I purled instead of knitting one stitch. I counted and knew it wouldn't be in the dropped stitch but thought it was so far down no one would see it BUT as I kept knitting the shawl it niggled at me. Then I drop the stitch and lo and behold it is twisted where that purl stitch was (to the right of it) which meant a swim in the frog pond.

Once again I am on my way with my shawl.

I am not knitting much else at present. I will be though start a couple more projects later this week. I am knitting and felting a bag for a friend of a friend. Today I am going to collect the money for the yarn ($44) and I charged her $30 to knit and felt it. I know I am probably undervaluing my work but I also know if I charge too much she won't want one and I can use that $30 now. It is straight knitting so it will be fast. I also will be knitting my whoduknit project for the PD James book I finished. I just need to find some white that felts and is bulky weight at 2 st/in. I have the pattern and will show it when it is completed. The bag and whoduknit project need to be finished before the Olympics begin so I am keeping my plate of knitting small now.

I was so upset with myself and so tired I fell asleep watching TV on my couch but woke up three hours later unable to get back to sleep. I kept thinking about the glaring error in my Clapotis shawl. It really bothered me so I had to fix it then. Well, being I am NOT a morning person anyway I figured I would just sleep in today. BUT other plans had been made for me without me knowing.
First I got a call from an Avon customer at 7:30AM requesting a brochure. Then I heard loud strange noises about about 9AM and
YUP that pine tree is this close to my gate.
has become this

Notice something missing? They took the pine tree down. It took about two hours and they cleaned up after also.

This is the new view from my LR window which still needs coverings.

I need to work on this area here. It is the dark area in the first photo behind the white patio chairs. I was thinking of putting some strawberry rhubarb in this area but now with the pine tree down I am not sure if it should go here or in the front yard. I received this from my friend Lori. She is sharing it with me b/c she says it is a perennial and hers needed to be cut back. It is Chinese Lantern plant and I need to find it a good home in my garden.
This is the lantern and there are more on the plant. It almost didn't survive the trip from her home to my home b/c she spilled the cup of water it was in and in a short time it shriveled up. Lori told me she had more and I may want to take her up on it.
I can't wait to see what color it becomes.
My other plants are doing better also. See there is no more yellow parsley. I cut away the yellow and it, the mint and lavender are growing wonderfully in the planter. I will have to get more planters since the mint is really growing fast. I hope to put planter all along the edges of the garden area with herbs and petunias since petunias seem to grow so well in planters. They didn't do so well in the garden.

The large cherry tomato plant I purchased is finally growing and doing well. There are even little tomatoes growing. AND the tomato plants I got from Shelagh are also growing. I only hope they produce tomatoes for me. The plant on the left is one of the tomato plants from Shelagh.
See how big my cherry tomato plant is?
I have daises in my garden which were here when I moved it. Daisies are one of my favorite plants along with gardenias.
AND I purchased Portulaca's last week which I really love and still need to be planted and also some Celosia which have been planted. Actually, there are three different newly purchased plants. The third I can't remember the name but is on the left in the photo below and is a ground cover.
Variety of new plants.
Close up of Celosia.

I want a few rose bushes but ones that smell. I have a hard time touching roses as when I do it seems the flowers just bend at the neck, don't open if they aren't already opened and then die. Must be something in my system. AND then there are the bulbs I will have to consider getting for next spring and summer. Oh there is so many fun things to do when you have a garden. So much dirt to play in which goes so well with knitting. LOL

I also received a gazebo from my friend Paula. The instructions were even still there. It smells like when you take your tent out for the first time every year which brings back memories. Only there are three missing pieces so far. I have only one of the four flat bottom pieces you put on the end of the poles to stand on the ground. I even had duck taped the most of the rips in hopes of getting to use it. Maybe I can find the missing parts at Home Depot or Roma. I hope so. I sure would love to sit outside and NOT be eaten alive by the mosquitoes.

Here is the view when you step outside the gate and look to the left. Pretty isn't it? There are 152 townhouses on 13 acres in this complex I live in. Oh it seems I have to take new photos of my beans. WOW are those plants getting large. AND in the front I have put in beet and Swiss chard seeds. We shall see. We shall see. I am hoping the growing season is long and they both grow. HMMMM fresh Swiss chard, beets and beet greens. In time, I would like to make the front yard area where the grass is into a perennial, veggie, and herb garden with some annuals also.

Yes I am planning on having an open house and decided on the middle of August but now I am rethinking the date as I am afraid it will be in the heart of the wasp season. Wasps and I don't get along very well. I do carry an epipen with me but I don't want to chance it or actually have to use it. I am wondering if the middle of Sept would be better time for the open house. I have been working on the menu and if I want to bake apple pie maybe Sept would be better date to have it. I would bake peach or nectarine pie if I was sure the fruits would be good and not woody if I have it in Aug. Decisions Decisions Decisions!!!

Back to knitting
I have entered the Sock Put over at Ravelrympyics. I am going to try to finish a pair of socks in the 17 days of the Olympics. I am going to use my new Flat Feet I received from my secret pal and have planned on knitting the socks in a 3/2 rib. It will be a first for me to complete a pair of socks in that short of time. I had also thought of entering the WIP Wrestling and finishing either my Cavendish Afghan Shawl or Harvest Socks but I don't think I could complete three projects in that short of time. I may be able to do one WIP wrestling project.

Solara has been busy being photogenic. Look at her tail. It is very long.

Same chair but a different day.


Last week I received my whoduknit mystery knit swap package. The goal for this swap was to knit something for your partner using yarn she sends you. I sent my pal Lilli a cake of pink, blue and white very short eyelash yarn I received from my friend who lives in China. Knowing she was a new knitter I thought she could make a scarf or a pillow cover knitting just garter stitch. She wrote and told me she was having problems with the yarn and what to knit with it so I told her what I thought could be knit with it. BUT she knit something different and better. She knit me an ear warmer and even returned the remaining yarn from the cake.

I also received two lovely new mystery books I haven't read yet which will go on my to read list and a mystery book on CDs. I have never "listened" to a book. I read all about people listening to books on ipods and cassettes. I think I have a portable cassette player but I would have to go looking. I do have a portable CD player handy though.
There were three skeins of eyelash yarn in my package to add to my collection. The one that looks like blue is really purple but for whatever reason photographed as blue.
In the box was some Werther's Original Candy AND, of course, Solara wasn't forgotten.
Are you curious what I made for Lilli? Lilli sent me a large skein of variegated Red Heart yarn. I knit her a potato chip scarf. I had hoped to have enough for the last entire row before I added some Boa yarn of my own to fancy it up but I didn't so I had to add the Boa to finish the last row and then I did the last row and cast off row in the eyelash. She seemed pleased. I have to admit it was quite nice.

This yahoo group whoduknit is a fun and interesting group. We read a mystery book each month and discuss it the first two weeks of the following month. We also knit, crochet or craft a project from an idea in the book. Prizes are awarded. There are swaps, contests galore on the group, and Aug 1 will be the groups 2nd birthday with a party planned. So if this sounds like something fun that you would be interested in check it out.

So now I need to send off a personal thank-you to Lilli and let her know it arrived and also post on the whoduknit blog and the yahoo group.

BUT before I do that I need to answer the 6th question for Secret Pal 12 which is

What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?If you’d like to share a story…Tell us about a time that you packed too much knitting or were stranded without knitting.

I usually take socks when I go away as they are small and easy to pack. BUT I must add I don't pack just one pair after all what would happen if I finished it or both or all three so I usually manage to pack enough sock yarn to knit for an army. AND you never know my friends who have the car may NOT want to take me to get more or the shops could be closed. I haven't been away for quite a while and the last time I was away I had so little room left in my suitcases for the new yarns I purchased I even had to NOT purchase a cone of dishcloth cotton from PnC b/c I knew I had no room in my suitcase. I was very disappointed being this was the first time I had seen it after hearing so much about it. I have since received a cone of white PnC which is now almost all used. No I couldn't mail it back home since the box being mailed back to me was over filled and I was having a hard time taping it shut.

This is Solara speaking. I have a couple of new photos for you. This first one is a close up of me.
AND here is one of my profile and I think my mom caught me smiling too.
Maybe I can talk her into putting one of those videos on the blog she took of me playing with my new toy from Anne.

Friday, July 11, 2008


YUP I am still unpacking and sorting. I hope to finish my second bedroom soon. Then I can work on my bedroom. I haven't been able to do much with the headache I have.

Yesterday evening despite my headache as NOT only did my Avon arrive and need to be packed (at 9PM) but I also received my bed, freezer and entertainment unit.

The bed is even put together. I wanted a bed far off the floor and I certainly have one now. Not wanting to throw away the futon mattress yet (such a hoarder I am) I put it on top of the box spring and mattress. On top of the futon mattress is a feather bed (queen size and bed is a double) and on top of the feather bed is my memory foam mattress. It is so high you can't even see the headboard. It seems I also have a foot board. I didn't know there was one originally when my girlfriend said I could have it. Have a look and see how high it is yourself. AND I love it high like that. BUT what am I going to do about a proper quilt or covering to go over my sleeping quilt so it doesn't show.

This photo shows a little more how high the bed is by seeing how high the table is and how tall the lamp is. I didn't make the quilt. I got it at one of the second hand stores in the city where the people from the colonies get or purchase fabric, sew them into quilts and then return them to the store to be sold. BUT I did make the chenille teddy. The lion the teddy is sitting on is Samantha and she is about 33 years old. I purchased her in Harrods on my first and so far only trip to London many many years ago.
Here is my entertainment unit my friend Genie gave me that was her dad's. The only part set up is the TV. I need to see if I can hook up the VCR and DVD player. I didn't seem to do it correctly when I lived in the apartment. The stereo unit will only fit on the top where it is presently sitting. I won the stereo system in Avon soon after I first started selling.
Also, from Genie I got a 7cu foot freezer which is in the basement. Later tonight I can plug it in. It was tipped on its side yesterday after I got it to clean it and defrost it. There is a little cleaning left to be done inside and the outsides need to be cleaned yet. BUT I have a freezer now!!!!

Here are the decorative towels in my bathroom I bought from Avon. They match my Dollarama shower curtain. Now I want to get a PINK mat for the floor but one that doesn't have any rubber backing on the bottom and some large and other size fluffy PINK towels. In the front yard you can see the little leaves of my Swiss chard (not red) which I planted as a tape and the little leaves of the beets (not a tape) coming up. I don't know if there will be enough time for them but I can always hope. The leaves of the second set of beans I planted are quite large now. Those tomato plants sure aren't doing well. I am going to see if I can purchase a couple large tomato plants tomorrow.

On the knitting front I am still knitting my Claptois. I am starting the section where you drop stitches. AND I want to start my Flat Feet sock yarn.

Knit Picks is having a book sale again this summer. AND there are a couple of books I would like. I do have a gift certificate I could use but I have been saving it for a ball winder and swiff. Decisions decisions decisions.

AND occasionally Solara sits and plays on her toy. Mostly she sits on her condo looking out the front window watching the world go by. A built in TV.