Friday, 28 September 2007

How to Survive a P.D. Day

The Great and Powerful school board has decided that I just don't spend enough time with my children. To rectify this lack of parent/child time, they occasionally proclaim a Professional Development Day. Yesterday was one of their randomly selected "stick it to the parents day".

My two youngest played outside in the leaves the majority of the day, but the teen was another story all together. After exhausting all forms of entertainment available, without stepping a foot outside, she decided to do her hair.

My mom bought her a curling iron and every now and then the teen likes to experiment with the whole heat and hair thing. When I went upstairs I found her in the bathroom with curling iron in hand. She had curled one side of her head into long ringlet type curls. She looked very Scarlet O'Hara in this Gone with the Wind
hairstyle. Not wanting to let a good thing pass me by.

ME (in my worst Southern accent):
Oh! Elly-Mae....I do declare! Oh help me Elly-Mae. As God as my witness, I'll never go hungry again. (in a much lower tone of voice) Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

I'm sure that even she'll admit that she looked ridiculous with only one side of her head curled. The teen laughed at my antics then said the magic words.

Teen: You've better not put a picture of this on your blog.

I deserve to have a little fun now and then, don't I? I grabbed the camera and waited for an opportune moment. I tried to be stealthy, but she managed to get some cover
.Now before she could go into the triade of "you're ruining my life", "I hate you", "I'll kill you if you put those pictures on your blog", I threw her these. Yes folks, you're not seeing's a FO. Teen: Wow mom, are those mine? They're cool. I love them.

Yup...she can be bought with hand knit socks. Life is good.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Slow Down

Now these are two words that no one will ever say to me while I knit. The will and desire are there, but that is where it stops. I've got everything on the list that one needs to become a fast knitter.
Wooden Needles.
Bamboo Needles.
Turbo Needles.
Really Nice Yarn.
Comfy Knitting Chair.
Uninterrupted Knitting Time.
The ability to Knit without looking at my work.

Now I've had people tell me that I knit quickly, but they've all been under the age of 12. So in my mind, it doesn't count. You may say that I'll never be able to knit as quickly as I want because, let's face it, I am human, after all. You would be quite right to say this. But I think that because I put myself into the slow knitters category, it is the reason for so many UFOs.

Here I am, knitting away on a gorgeous sweater. But wait....this is taking FOREVER to finish. I am so slow, I'll never get it done. Better start a new project. So here it I a slow knitter or am I fickle and easily get bored? Hmmmmmm good question.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the
Yarn Harlot said, in a recent interview, that knitting should come from yo
ur entertainment budget and not the clothing budget. If this be the case, I really get a bang for my buck with yarn.

I know what you are thinking.....It is the journey and not the destination. While this may be true, I am being kept awake at night by the scary screaming of current UFOs. I won't even get into telling you about the voices in my head from the UFOs that were discarded long ago.

(With humble apologies to Simon&Garfunkel)
Slow down, you knit too fast, you've got to make the sweater last
Just knittin' down the raglan sleeves, lookin' for an end and feelin' woolly

Feeling woolly

Hello knitter, what's cha knowing, I've come to watch your sweater growin'
Ain't cha got no FOs for me, do-it-do-do, feelin' woolly

Feeling woolly

I've got no end in sight, no deadlines to keep
I'm tired and frustrated and ready to weep
And now this #$%^$##$ needle has dropped all its stitches on me

Yarn I love you, all is woolly.
Yes, this is me, going mental on you all.

But from the happy, feel good file, I am making progress on my Jane Ellison sweater. AND I've even finished something recently (you'll never guess what) but like the idiot I am, I bought it to work and left it there, without photographing it first. Never mind that, here's the sweater.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Waste Not.... Want Not

DS (on the basement stairs): Daddy, I have have your beer.

DH (in the basement): Well, go put it back.

DS: There's still some left.

DH: Put the bottle back on the counter.

DS: There's some left and I don't want you to waste it so I thought that I would bring down to you.

DH: Ahhh.....thanks.....put it back and I'll finish it later.

DS: Okay....

I'm having severe deja vu. Only the roles are reverse and it involves a glass of milk

In other news

Did you mark down Sept. 24th in your calendar? Honestly, I totally forgot about it until this afternoon. Mine went by without incident but perhaps crazy man with sign was referring to something happened on a previous Sept 24th.

Like the birth of :

1936 - Jim Henson, American puppeteer (d. 1990)

1948 - Phil Hartman, Canadian actor (d. 1998)

1962 - Nia Vardalos, Canadian actress

Just to name a few......... Now before this post goes even further over the edge....

Until next time

Yours in Yarn,

The Fibreholic

Saturday, 22 September 2007

How to Get A-head in Life

Well I've finally discovered the secret to getting ahead in life. Let me introduce to you Ursula the Ugly foam head. I borrowed her from work to block my hats. Since she has been decorated and no longer displayable, my boss isn't in any hurry to get her back. Plus my 8 year old like to play Zaphod Beeblebrox with her. There is also a night club, here in Ottawa, called Zaphod Beeblebrox, but she's far to young to play that kind of game. See the lovely hat she is wearing? I am having a hard time writing up the pattern for that hat. Lesson learnt. Always write down what you are knitting as you knit it...especially explanations for abbreviations you invent along the way.

Seven Things Update
I have not fallen off the bandwagon on this one. So here is what happened last week.
2 bags of kid's clothes that went to charity.....about 28 items in all
A couch was tossed. It was very uncomfortable to sit on and because it was cheaply made, the kids and dog had literally destroyed it over the 10+ years we had it.
2 skeins of wool.
We had been given some bedroom furniture for our youngest which included a computer desk. His room is WAY too small to accommodate the desk so for the longest time it sat in the garage. So here's what we did. In the vacant space formally occupied by the couch we put the desk. I am using the desk as a sewing table which gets rid of the rickety table I was using (when I sewed the table kind of bounced). It also gets rid of the old microwave stand that I kept supplies in, plus frees up room on a shelf in the basement as I am able to put all my supplies and both my serger and sewing machine on or in the desk.

The report for this past week.
2 boxes of kids clothes that went to friends......50+ items at least.
15 balls of Noro for my Jane Ellison sweater
1 knitting pattern
2 balls of sock yarn
2 tops
a handful of beads and things for stitch markers for my swap.

So maybe I'm not doing all I could for this, but I am being honest with what I bring in. So all in all I think that I'm doing well for holding myself accountable of what I buy. DH is all for it as we are now starting to see the floor to our closest. That is a good thing.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 20 September 2007

When life gives you spare time

In between the laundry, dirty dishes, the vacuuming, trying to get kids to do homework, scrubbing toilets, pickling beets, making supper, getting the kids to the bus on time...I get to knit.....

It's not like I don't enjoy hanging out with my kids, it's know. I recently told DH that there is no way I'd be able to home school. He agreed and said that he wouldn't be able to either. He'd come home at the end of the day and I'd call out..."I've strangled another one!"

I have a friend who tells people that knitting has saved her husband's life. At first they think that her knitting provides income for life saving medication or equipment. In reality, she will say, that if she didn't knit...she'd kill him.

So in the calmness of yesterday, during my spare time, I started on my Jane Ellison sweater. I've only slightly changed the pattern. The sleeves were going to be too loose for my taste so I knocked off a few stitches.
I've worked on it a bit more since I took the photo....I am so going to like this sweater.

My own Jejune Day

It was more like a mini Jejune Day since my life isn't so stressful to deserve the full Jejune treatment. I went into Ottawa first thing in the morning and my first stop was The Canadian Bead Supply store. Here I got the findings I needed to make the stitch markers for my swap. I found some really nice beads at Michael's in the Ravenclaw book colours. I was pleased with that find. Since the beading store is right around the corner from a wool shop, I just had to go in and look around. I found a gorgeous Cleckheaton pattern in the discount bin for 99 cents. In some strange way, I wanted to have a Cleckheaton patron for the Cleckheaton wool I bought in Aus. Just doesn't seem right otherwise.

It was then on to Cotton Ginny's where I bought two tops for work. A tank top to go under a lacy Debbie Bliss design that I made for her visit last year, and a plain green shirt to go with my under used green pants.

I think that I've mentioned before about me and movies. While I would like to be noble and say that I pick Tuesdays, to have fun, to honour Jejune but that wouldn't quite be accurate. On Tuesdays I can see a movie for $8.95 and that includes a reg. pop and popcorn. Jejune, I honour you with my frugalness (which spell check tells me is not a word, but you get my meaning). I saw 3:10 to Yuma and I give it two thumbs WAY UP. Not only did it star Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, the story and charactor development was engaging. Definitely not a fluff piece nor was it a typical western movie. DH seem slightly dissapointed that it without him. Not to worry, said I, as I would gladly see it again.

I have discovered that I can knit a simple lace pattern at the movies. Surprised myself actually. That particular piece is still a WIP just like most of my knitting. Sigh.

Happy Belated Birthday Denise, I hope you had fun!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Stop all WIPs, Jane Ellison is coming to town

All of my WIPs have been put on hold. This is not exactly something new . Thanks to falling in love with a new project and a bad case of startitis, this has happened before. This time I have a valid reason for not finishing what I have on the go. Jane Ellison is coming to Ottawa, so I have to make one of her designs.(It would be rude not to...that is what I keep telling myself). While she does a lot of design work with Noro Yarns, she is coming to promote the Mirasol project.

Jane has written a book with designs using all four yarns, all spun in Peru, that were developed for this project.
"The Mirasol Project is named after a young Quechua girl who, with her brother, tends 350 alpacas. Its aim is to fight poverty and encourage community development. As well as providing accommodation, meals and health-care, the boarding-house will be a centre where the children can develop personal, occupational and communication skills and study techniques in specialised after-school workshops."
I think that my swap socks will get some MAJOR mojo when being photographed with a famous designer.

Any one up for Killer Karaoke?

Saturday I went to a birthday party for a co-worker of DH. It was held at a pub three minutes from her
place so she could walk home after consuming large quantities of alcohol. (Her words not mine.) Sigh.....there's something about attending parties where you don't know anyone......although there were highlights of the evening.

One woman talked about a friend having a delayed honeymoon. I mentioned that after 18 years, I'm still waiting for one, although my trip to Australia came close. Another told us about the etiquette course she took and we joked about the proper way to pass ketchup and eat fries (chips). This all brings us to something another party attendee said......are your ready for this????

TINA: I had an Australian boyfriend who
told me once, when we were out to dinner, that he could teach me to eat properly, if I wanted.

You should have heard the gasps of horror from the woman at the table.

TINA: He quickly went to the EX category.

Another asked if I worked at Foreign Affairs as well (this is where DH works). I simply replied "No". If I had been Mad Mad, I would have replied " I am a conflict resolution negotiator specializing in crisis situations"

The booze and beer flowed freely and soon the karaoke started. This is the birthday girl, Carole and friend Steve. They are singing "Islands in the stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Like I said, the booze and beer flowed freely.
Here are a few of the people who came to help celebrate the occasion. DH is the guy in blue.Until next time (as our waitress said)
"Don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff....unless it's your own"

Yours in Yarn
The Fibreholic

Friday, 14 September 2007

Can I lend you a hand?

Remember me ranting about how much I hate knitting mittens? Okay maybe I wasn't exactly ranting on my blog, but I was having a major rant fest in my head. I've finished the the wretched things and am quite pleased with how they turned out.

They needed to be trigger mitts so instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I found a pattern. Problem is, I got the pattern from a book notorious for errors. Okay so I've only found one other pattern in this book with an error. But since this pattern's error was even screwier than the other....I have to worry about the lack of technical editing. The sizing was WAY too wide across the palm and I don't know about you but my index finder is not longer than the rest of my fingers. Obviously the mitts in the book were meant for some kind of mutant.

I hate knitting mittens. But having to rip back and re knit mittens because I tried one on DH and it was pathetically too big to the point of being enough to drive me around the bend. I frogged back to the cuff, as it was the only thing that fit, and started again. Using DH's hand as a model, I ended up with the perfect trigger mitt. I even got feed store guy to try them on twice during the knitting process to make sure of the fit. He is happy with them.

I've been to a crafter's seminar where the facilitator told us that if you change 5 things than you are able to claim the work as your own. I had to change far more than 5 things on this pattern to make it work. DH suggested that I can now write up the pattern and sell it without any fear of copy write infringement. Don't know about that one.

DH likes the mitts but he knows better than to ask for a pair.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


I have learnt a valuable lesson this summer and I felt that I must share it with everyone. DO NOT and I mean NEVER EVER sit on a cracked toilet seat.

While I was not physically hurt, my pride was mortally wounded.

DD: What was that big cracking sound in the bathroom?

ME: Me and what is left of my dignity have to leave now!!!

On a much happier note

I got a call at work yesterday from a woman who was visiting the Ottawa area for the summer. She lives in (are you ready for this?) of all places....Canberra. Silly me didn't get her name but she knows of the SnB Canberra and knows many of you ladies. She was born in Canada and a few years ago had the opportunity to move to Aus.....lucky woman......How "it's a small world after all" is that?

It's a rainy Tuesday and I'm being overwhelmed by WIPs so I'd better wrap up and get to work.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Cannibalism and other fun things to try

Ok.....Now that I have your attention :)

Remember my lack of patience with the whole mile long scarf thing? See here for the latest photographic evidence of my self inflicted insanity. Not wanting to prolong my suffering and drive myself around the bend I came to a decision today. Let's face it...I need my last nerve for dealing with my kids.

I decided to use the yarn to make socks instead. Because I don't want to make the scarf nervous, I started at the other end, of the skein. I don't want it to see me coming. Otherwise it might get scared and head for the bottom of the UFO pile. I'm also doing this so if I fall and hit my head, take leave of my senses and go back to the sock/scarf, I'll have a way out. I can always continue to work on the scarf while in recovery from the awful accident. I guess that it doesn't count as true cannibalism as the scarf isn't a finished object. But since I would probably never actually finish it...this is close enough.

And now for something completely different....
My friend Taph has decided to do the Seven Things Spring challenge. For some strange reason, I decided to put my hand up and join in. I think mainly it's because the crap around this place is starting to pile up. The Seven Things Project was started by Earthchick back in '06. It all boils down to being content with less stuff.

It's not like I have a lot of stuff myself, but with three kids...stuff tends to accumulate. I want to be pickier about the stuff that comes into the house. I want my kids to get rid of the knock-down-drag-out-carpet-chewing temper tantrums when they want something.

I want them to be able to see their bedroom floors.....oh wait....picking up their stuff is a whole different challenge.

I've already got a bag of yarn up for grabs.....Let's not get excited and start emailing me for first dibs. There is a reason why it's tastes have become more refined and the stuff is .......well you know. The yarn will go up on freecycle today. There is about 30 balls in the bag so count them gone......

Since last Saturday, all I've bought for my own use was a pair of Trak pants and two bras. So what if it's a lame start, it is still a start. On Saturday my seven things week starts over so I'll aim higher than just getting rid of crap yarn.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn, (nice yarn that is)
The Fibreholic

Monday, 3 September 2007

Bellydancing, Booze and Ben E. King

It was a wedding to remember. DH and I need to have more friends whose weddings are like the one we went to on Saturday. A Greek Orthodox ceremony is not spoken but chanted. That, and the fact that because it was partially in Greek, my kids didn't understand a word of it. The church was gorgeous with images of the saints painted on the walls and ceiling. After he discovered this painting on the inside of the dome ceiling, DS had to know HOW could they possibly paint pictures all the way up there.

And because they look so happy and cute together, I just have to add the happy couple to my blog. It was one of those surprise kind of relationships where the guy has his mind set on never getting married and from out of no where he meets the love of his life.

Back to the swap sock
I frogged back to the spot where the mysterious increases occurred and finished sock number one on the way to the church. Now because even Hogwart Socks need mojo, I took a great picture, just so I don't get into trouble with the TSA again. I know that I've said that pictures ruin surprises, but this is the view of the bottom of the foot which I've done in plain, boring stripes. I've done this because 1) no one ever sees the bottom of your foot and 2) the texture I've put into the rest of the sock might be a bit uncomfortable to walk on.
On To the Reception
Teen DD: (AS the couple entered the reception hall) Woo, Woo, Woo I can scream louder than you mom.
ME: Kid...this is a wedding reception, NOT a rock concert!!!!!

8 year old DD: Mommy, my head hurts. I feel like I just got off a merry-go-round.
Prior to going down to supper we were served hors d'oeuvres. DH got punch for the kids during this time. They each had about 2 glasses each.
Server: You know that there is alcohol in the punch......
The bride was not happy to hear that the punch was spiked and it was not labeled as such.
DD #2 did recover around the time the third course arrived and went wild on the dance floor. She was doing a mixture of performance art and high impact aerobics.

DS went into stealth mode and went sneaking up to the guy sitting at our table. He turned his head and was visibly shocked to see my little guy just standing there looking at him.
GUY: Whoa....he just showed up...out of no where and is standing there.
ME: He's kind of like the Chucky Doll.

Now if the reception had been a typical one with speeches, cutting of the cake and dancing at the end, my story would end here. But no....the bride's family is Syrian which brings different wedding traditions to the mix. They had a Belly dancer at the wedding. DD#2 has now declared that she no longer wants to be a vet when she grows up. She wants to be a Belly dancer.
Let's not forget the food which was amazing (all four courses) and the wine flowed along with champagne for the toasts. Woolworth is not one to be left out of the festivities so when my back was turned......

He wasn't able to make it to the Phantom the next day. His head hurt to much.

Until next time

Yours in Yarn,

The Fibreholic

PS...The happy couple had a good omen in the form of music. Not only did they have one piece of music in their ceremony that DH and I had at ours, they chose Stand By Me by Ben E. King for their first dance, just as we did several years ago.