Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Post-Vacation blahs

The three weeks was wonderful! I think that even if it was three months it would still be not enough.

Whistler was fun. The weather was nice for the most part but it doesn't matter. Rain never bothered me. Kinda felt bad for the hubby who had to run in it, though. He was up at the peak running and I was snug in the hotel room, watching the rain make its way down the mountain. :)

The List:

1. Still spinning the silk for the MS3. I think I'm just going to spin up the silk and save it for something else. I have some nice laceweight merino that I could use if I still want to knit the stole.

2. Silk noil plyed and waiting for a project.

3. Decided to card the Corriedale into batts instead of the indigo merino. I have 12 batts completed. The weather was too nice to be indoors carding.

4. Started the cardigan with the Kauni yarn. I decided against the Kauni Cardigan. As much as I like the pattern, let's face it...I'll never finish it. I like my sweaters plain and fuss-free. It is now going to be simple top-down cardigan.

5. Almost finish the miniature rug. I still have to decide on the fringe.

6. Made the ice cube ornaments. I also found a couple of plastic trays at the dollar store that will make interesting molds. Maybe this weekend?

7. Didn't make more soap.

8. No brownies still but made ice cream and banana bread. Three loaves of banana bread barely lasted a day and half here.

9. Still working on the grey cable cardigan. I'm really liking this merino/alpaca yarn.

10. Changed my mind on the Orenburg-ish shawl swatch. I think I will have to rework the pattern. It's too fussy.

11. Annual Trek was fun!

12. Made an appointment to get my eyes checked.

13. The Modern Masters exhibition was really enjoyable but crowded.

14. I still love the Museum of Anthropology! When I was in high school, I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who was a good friend of Bill Reid. He took the class to visit Bill Reid a few times and watched him work on the Raven and the First Men sculpture. It was amazing to listen to him talk about Haida art.

15. Signed up for weaving. I'm really exited about this!

Other things not on the list:

Sock monkey is almost finished - just trying to figure out the ears. I've made 2 sets but they don't look right. The consensus is that the head is too small. It will have to be picked open and reknit.

That's about it. I think I relaxed too much on vacation. My brain still feels like mush. People come up and talk at me and I have no idea what they're blabbering about. I'm sure my work-brain will come back soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Vacation update

So far, I'm at the 2/3 mark of my vacation. It's been really nice and relaxing. Spent a lot of time perfecting the perfect iced coffee. The secret is use coffee ice cubes. Reading my favourite books over and over again. Watching my favourite movies over and over again. When I say "over and over again" I meant it. I think I've watched Howl's Moving Castle at least 5 times in the last two weeks. Still love that movie. Yeah, I get a little obsessive sometimes. The book is much better than the movie. Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favourite authors.

It was nice to visit with the Twisted By Choice ladies on Wednesday night. It was one of those rare occasions that we were all together, with the exception of Rose. No one had to work late, no one had to teach that night, no one was away. It was just a nice night spent with friends, talking fibre.

Amber brought her natural dye project to show us. I'm really impressed with the depth of colours you can get with natural dyes. I wish I had my camera with me that night. Maybe next Wednesday, Amber?

So, it's a done deal...I signed up for Weaving classes at Place des Arts. I'm looking forward to this. Weaving was always something I knew I wanted to try.

My new needles should arrive any day now. Can't wait to see them. :D

I still have to decide on how I want to do the Kauni cardigan. As much as I love how everyone else's sweater looks, I'm not a big fan of knitting with two yarns...and steeks. I think that's what stopping me from jumping in. Just the thought of all that steeking is making me stick with the cable cardigan.

Next week is the trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology. Followed by Whistler and then back to work. ugh.

I think, by most people's definition of vacation, mine is pretty boring but it suits me fine.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Resin Cubes

The resin ice cube experiment is sort of going well.

Things to remember:

1. Food colouring is an inexpensive alternative to the very expensive resin dyes. The little green cube in the photo was tinted with a drop of green food colouring. You need to really make sure the colouring is well mixed unless you want tiny blobs of dye imbedded in the cube.

2. When you pour the first layer of resin, the mixture is still quite runny. All the embellishments sank to the bottom (which will be the top of the cube once inverted). You have to let it sit for 5 minutes. Any longer will result in a too thick gelatenous goop. You can push your embellishment through the goop but it may cause ripples in your final product.

3. The little paper stars kept floating because of the air inside. Make sure all the air is taken out or use solid embellishment. Another thing is to coat the item first before laying it in the goop. Tiny air bubbles can be trapped on the object.

4. The tall narrow ice cube tray was not so great for resin cubes. The narrowness of the cube made it hard to add embellishments properly. I need to find a tray with flat wide cubes.

If you click on the picture, you can see all my mistakes. The cube in front had all the stars floated up and almost out of the cube.

Monday, August 13, 2007

*giggle* Skinny monkey butt

I'm juvenille enough to laugh at skinny monkey butts. At the start of my vacation, I made up a list of things to do...none of which was to make a sock monkey. It's one of those things that if you don't do it, horrible things will happen. The world will come to an end if I don't make this sock monkey.

This is actually the monkey's second butt. The first one was red and pointy. *snort*
This butt is a bit more refined, I think.

And since I'm deviating from my list, it's banana bread instead of brownies. Does it count if I put chocolate in there?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thai food

I love Thai food and my husband doesn't care for it at all. That's because he's never had REAL good Thai food. There's a new Thai restraunt in Coquitlam that's been getting a lot of buzz lately - Chada Thai. Well worth a visit to this restraunt. A tiny little place (used to be a vitamin store) across from Taco Bell, next to a fish & chip shop. If you blink, you'll walk right past it. The food was amazing! At the end of the meal, I asked hubby what he thought and he said he really enjoyed the food and wouldn't mind coming back! Yah! Finally a Thai restraunt that serves good Thai food and it's close to home!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Annual Trek

It was absolutely exhausting but fun! Every year, my sister and I grab our kids and head out for the day. Part of the fun is that we just never know where we'll end up at any point.

It was a trip to Vancouver on the Westcoast Express, Aquarium, lunch, more Aquarium, shopping on Robson, Chapters, Granville Island - Opus, Maiwa, etc...the full deal, Hon's for dinner, and finishing up with a trip to Michaels. Keep in mind that we either walked or took the bus. Yeah, it was exhausting! My feet are still hurting right now.

What amazed me was after all that, I came home with only 1 little wooden stamp from Maiwa and a little tube of glitter from Michaels. Oh, there were brownies and banana breads and other goodies consumed along the way but stuff-wise? This is it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Kauni Goodness!

I met up with Shelly from Fun Knits Yarn Shop today and picked up the wool for the Kauni cardigan. We had a nice visit and she showed me her Kauni cardigan in its final stages...casting off the body and just about to steek. Yikes!

According to the pattern, I should be good with 3 balls but I got 5 just in case. Nothing worse than running out of wool. If I have leftovers, I can make a hat or scarf or mitts. The great thing about this wool is that it doesn't matter what the colours are. All the colours repeat themselves. As long as you start one ball on a different colour repeat from the other ball, you're ok. Fair Isle effect without the zillions of ends to darn in at the end.

I am not going to start this until I've done at least 10" of the cardigan. And I'm waiting for my new needles to arrive.


Edited to add:

The silk noil nicely plyed...

Monday, August 06, 2007

I could just kick myself!

A while ago, I got an invite to join Ravelry. I didn't know what Ravelry was and never got around to checking it out. I've heard of people talking about it but thought I really didn't have time to join another on-line community. The knitting buddy who sent me the invite finally convinced me to go check it out. Now I'm on the waiting list with 15126 people ahead of me.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Computer is fixed!

This is why it's good to have a teenage kid! Tell him that it may take weeks before you'll have time to look into the computer problem and he will fix it out of desperation. Heh!

This is the silk I'm hoping to spin up for the Mystery Stole but I'm not sure if I want something varigated for the stole. I have some plain white laceweight merino that I was thinking of using instead.

I've knitted another 10 rows since this picture was taken. I'm not sure why I'm not all that interested in this sweater right now. Usually I'm all over cables. This is the Merino/Alpaca from

Something is missing...

...from my computer. Some kind of drive is missing from our computer and it's not working again. Weird because it was working fine and suddenly, it's not working. Somehow, a drive has up and ran off. yeah.

So that means it's back to the laptop. I've been busy taking pictures of stuff to post but can't now. I guess I'll have to break down and load the photo program on the laptop now.

Anyhoo...I'm on vacation for 3 weeks. Any day I'm not at work is a good day. Small talk at the office always have people asking each other what are they doing on their vacations. It's hard to explain to people my plans for the 3 weeks.

1. Finish spinning the yarn for the Mystery stole so I can start knitting before the end of the summer.

2. Ply the 2 bobbins of silk noil that took forever to spin.

3. Finish carding the indigo dyed wool into batts. I'm not optimistic enough to add spinning this as well.

4. Pick up the Kauni yarn for my Kauni cardigan. I couldn't help myself.

5. A miniature rug to finish.

6. Make the ice cube ornaments.

7. Make more soap.

8. Make brownies.

9. Force myself to knit the cable cardigan some more - hopefully finish the back and start the front. Considering that I'm only knitting 1 or 2 rows every couple of days, this could really take years!

10. Finish at least one pattern repeat on the Orenburg shawl so I can see if I like it enough to continue.

11. Annual Trek - not sure where we're going this year. The kids are getting tired of Science World. This is our 8th Annual Trek.

12. Make an appointment to get my eyes checked.

13. Go see the Modern Masters exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

14. Spend a day at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. I love that place!

15. Sign up for a weaving class at Place des Art. Yes, that's right. I've gone over to the dark side. Considering the gals I've been hanging out with, it was just a matter of time.