Thursday, 24 November 2011


It's about the end of week five, and still nothing. Well, not nothing - I finished my hoodie!!! :-D I finished it last Saturday, and washed and blocked it Sunday. It took two days (and a couple of trips through the dryer on "air fluff") to dry, but I've been wearing it since Tuesday and loving it. It's so warm! I still have to get himself to take pics of me with it on, but I do have this one to show you :-)

It's soooo comfy :-)

I've also managed to finish Mel's Stripey Strike Socks -

I love these, I think the way the stripes turned out is just awesome :-) These were my first socks done with an afterthought heel, which was entertaining. One of the things I love about knitting is that you can learn so many different ways to accomplish things if you want to, or find the one technique you love and stick with that. For the stripes the best way to maintain them was with the afterthought heel, so that's the one I chose. I have some new yarn from Twisted Fiber Art, who I believe I've mentioned before, in the wonderful Warlock colourway :-D (picture from their website)

I also got a 1/4 skein of the coordinating purple to do the toes and heels in, so as not to mess up the gorgeous, gorgeous stripes of this colourway. I got the Arial base, which is 100% superwash merino, with a fantastic yardage - 480 yds for the full skein and 120 yds for the coordinating skein. These will be some impressive socks ;-)

I also finished the first sock in the second stage of the Tour de Sock. I didn't finish the first stage in time, so there was no pressure to finish these ones up and as a result they've been languishing in my knitting bag for a few weeks. Now that I have so much time, though, all sorts of things are coming out to play. The pattern is Phellogen by Glenna C. and it's a fun one. it's one that you have to be careful where you stop because the repeats on the two charts don't match up - one is a 10 row repeat, the other is a 14 row repeat. Let's just say I had a lot of lifelines in there to note the start of the next repeat.

I've just cast on for the second sock, and will work on that as I have patience for all the twisted stitches that are in this pattern.

Another pair of socks that I've finished is Skew by Lana Holden - these are awesome socks. I love the look of them. It's another pattern where you have to be careful where you put them down, because the pattern isn't all that intuitive in terms of where it's going. It's very well written though, and so it's a simple matter to pick a spot to pause. Good thing, because I "paused" back in August :-P I picked them up again on Monday of this week, worked on the green sock above on Tuesday, and then finished these up yesterday and today. All I had left to do today was bind off the second sock and sew in the ends, so that went pretty quickly.

Anyway, time to wander off and finish getting ready for dinner. Himself will be home with some sausages soon, so I should heat up the toaster oven. 


Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Follies

Well, it's the end of the fourth week of the strike and still no movement. We're thinking that the various contractors believe that we'll just cave because we're now starting to miss the paycheques. They don't get that that isn't the point. Wednesday we picketed the one yard in York Region that is still operating - I read a few tweets about it as we were leaving and there was one that said something about a "surprise strike". Um, hello... ? Then yesterday we had a demonstration at the Regional headquarters which was kinda fun. So was the picketing, actually. For me it was almost more of a social outing - got to see my friends for the first time in what felt like forever.

As I was leaving yesterday after the rally I stopped off at Serenity Knits to see if they had any Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend as they were listed in the store locator on the site but they said they hadn't carried it for a couple of years. Instead I wandered off to the corner with the sock yarn and fondled that for a while :) I actually managed to escape without being seduced by the yarn, but it was a close thing. After that I decided I'd swing by another shop in Bowmanville on my way back to the house, where they do carry the Manos I was looking for but they didn't have the colourway I was looking for. I have ten skeins already, but that's too much to use up by making accessories and not enough for a sweater or cardi. They said they could order it for me, and asked if after Christmas would be okay. Considering the current state of my bank account, I said that that would be just fine :) This is the colourway I want:

Pretty, no? :)

In other knitting news, my Strike Hoodie is coming along beautifully :D I finished the sleeves and sewed them on the other night, and last night I started on the last piece - the hood. Woohoo! I wove in most of the ends as well, while I was attaching the sleeves, figuring that getting that out of the way would make me much happier. In other news, I'm very pleasantly surprised by how much (little?) yarn I'm using for this hoodie even though I've bumped up the size a fair bit from the pattern. I'm on the seventh skein of the light grey, and will probably need at least part of an eighth skein to finish the hood though I doubt I'll need the whole thing. Even with the dark grey that I used for the bottom border and cuffs I should still come in well under 10 skeins. I've been caught short so many times when making a sweater or cardi that I guess I went a little overboard for this one.

I'm also plugging away at Mel's Stripey Strike Socks - the new name for them :D I got a boatload done while picketing on Wednesday and then again at the rally yesterday. I made her try the first one on on Tuesday, to be sure I got the size right, and it fit perfectly. She keeps looking at the progress and grinning madly. I think she's excited about getting her socks.

I'm still going to the gym, though I have to admit I'm a little depressed about how little results I'm seeing so far. I know it takes time, but I was hoping I'd be seeing at least something by now. I do feel a difference at least, so I know something is happening but it's not showing on the scales or in the fit of my work pants :-( Soon, I hope.


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wednesday's Whimsies

You know, it's nice to be called a "young lady" - especially since I'll be 42 next year :D I don't think I look my actual age, but it's nice to have someone else assume I'm younger than I really am. For the most part I'm not particularly vain (though I do think my hair is gorgeous - go curls!)  so this was a nice compliment.

Today's excitement was going to the gym and doing three miles on the elliptical in half an hour - that's an average of six mph, which I haven't been at for a long time. I used to average higher, but ... yeah, long time. So I did that, had a lovely shower then came home and decided to do some cleaning. The Boo-bunnies were plotting coup under the couch, so it was time to clean them out. I swept the upstairs and then steam-mopped the floor as well as shaking out Boo's pillow and sweeping/mopping the entryway. I put Kingdom of Heaven in the bluray player and cranked the volume while I was doing this - I adore the soundtrack to this movie. I don't really care if I see what's happening on the screen, I just wanted the music going behind me. I knew if I'd put any one of the Pirates movies in I would be pausing to watch but this one was just for atmospheric music.

I've finished the body of my Strike Hoodie (Ravelry link) and have done both cuffs for the sleeves. I was going to do them both at the same time but I don't have a long enough needle in the right size. If I put it off til tomorrow then I can get one, as I have a set of Addi Turbo interchangeables at home with a longer cord in the case but I don't know if I can wait that long. I do have a pair of socks I can finish, as well as Mel's stripey socks to work on, so there is stuff to do. I also bought some patterns last night (four, actually) for various shawls, one of which I'll be using the graduated from Tri'Coterie that I mentioned in my last post. I still have to find a pattern for one of this month's acquisitions too. It hasn't arrived yet, so I still have time, but oh my... It's going to be gorgeous. (picture ganked from the Tri'Coterie group on Ravelry)

100% superwash lace merino, 2-ply, 850m (930yds) *drool*

Time to go finish that sock :)


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Week 2 in Review

Hey, hello, how are ya? It's the end of the second week of the strike, and so far there's been very little movement towards a resolution by either side. In some ways, I don't mind - I'll take the two week vacation. Money hasn't hit the crunch point yet - it's coming, but not yet - and I've had lots of time to relax, go to the gym, knit, and try to recover from the cold that hit the middle of the first week. (I was nice, I shared it with my guy :P )

In other ways, I'd rather be working. I'm starting to dread going back to work because I can just see the passengers bitching like mad once they get over being happy that the buses are running again. What they don't understand is that we are paid anywhere from 25-40% less than other drivers in public transit in the province, and we have no pension to speak of (the company will match up to $25 when contributing to the company pension fund where others match dollar for dollar) so we have to plan for our own retirement *cough* and just hope we can actually retire and be able to afford groceries. One of our drivers is 77, and he can't afford to retire. The company has proposed raising the premiums for our long-term disability benefits, based on a 40-hour work week, but most of us don't work that much unless we have signed up for overtime. I don't mind the sliding scale so much, which is what they have now - if you work 40 hours a week (or more) then you pay the premium for the 40 hours, but if your crew is only 37 hours and you don't work overtime then you should only pay the premium for 37 hours, but I don't think everyone should have to pay the 40-hour premium. Besides, we pay a lot for our benefits and the premiums always go up every year, a cost which is always passed along to the drivers.

Enough of the boring stuff, what have I been up to? Well, I've done three classes at the gym last week - BodyFlow (yoga and Pilates based) on Monday and found that I was not as stiff and inflexible as I had thought, BodyPump on Tuesday which I took very slowly and carefully for two reasons - I wanted to be able to walk for the rest of the week and I didn't want to completely wreck my neck. Wednesday was the previously mentioned BodyCombat class - karate/muay thai fusion of moves that is an insane cardio workout if you put your all into it. I had a tough time moving the next day, but it wasn't the usual low back pain that you would think of, but the muscles down the sides of the spine that don't usually get too much work that were complaining mightily. That and my arms. Ow. But a good ow, so I look forward to going back again this week :D I've also been "running" on the elliptical, getting back into that, and I'm up to about 25 minutes and 2+ miles on it. It's nice to be trying to get my wind back. I don't run out in the real world, or even on the treadmill, but the elliptical puts almost no stress on my knees and ankles, and I just don't bounce the way I would if I were really running and that's a good thing.

I've also been working on my Strike Hoodie which is coming along pretty well. I'm at the point of having separated for the fronts and back. I ran into an issue last night on the right front with 10 orphaned stitches and now am trying to figure out how to solve that. This time I read through the pattern, thinking I'd just missed the instructions on what to do with the stitches, but no, there's an errata on the publisher's website about those stitches and I didn't like their solution. So I've ripped out and redone it about 6 times today trying to get it to look right and work properly.

Good thing that Cascade 220 is such a sturdy yarn. Speaking of yarn, some of my latest acquisitions:

Molly Brown, dyed by Fresh From the Cauldron for the first round of the Every Decade Has A Diva club

Fright Night, dyed by Maylin of Tri'Coterie, a three colour self striping yarn

Halloween, also by Maylin, a two colour self striping yarn

Don't Stray From the Path, again by Maylin, a graduated yarn in merino/cashmere/nylon that is going to make a gorgeous small shawl.

This is Sunshine Tangerine, a self striping yarn I dyed myself with my friend in mind. She loves orange, and I thought the yellow was a good complement, and I've started a pair of socks for her with this. It's a 75/25 blend of BFL/nylon, so it should make very nice toasty socks for her. She loves the colour :D

This is Lime-Aid - ten packets of lime koolaid and one skein of 75/25 merino/nylon yarn from Knit Picks. My guy has spoken for this yarn, wanting a pair of lime green socks.

This is Stuffy Blue Tweed, a three-ply tweed yarn from Wool2Dye4, with two plies of non-superwash merino and one ply of superwash. The superwash merino takes the dye differently than the non-superwash, giving the tweedy look to the yarn.

This last one is Autumn Day - a handpainted skein I did with yellow-orange-terracotta-green-brown sections. The terracotta bled out more than I thought it would, as did the brown in places, but it still should look pretty neat. My guy has also called dibs on this skein. Lucky guy.

I finished his Seen From The Moon socks and he's been wearing them proudly since I sewed in the last end.

The shifting rib goes in opposite directions, so the socks are mirrors of each other, not matching.

That's it for now, I suppose, so I'm going to go swear at my hoodie for a while :)