Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The ghost of Halloween past, present and future

During DH's stint in the military, we lived in base housing. Base housing usually has its own subdivision that is well separated from the rest of the city. The area is usually quite large and on Halloween we could expect over 100 kids come to the door. The military police would patrol the streets giving that warm and fuzzy safe community feeling.

WARNING!!! Pet peeve approaching.

Throughout the nig
ht I would come across kids who were not from the neighbourhood and were driven to mine by parents. I didn't get ripped off by buying overpriced candy to give it out to kids from all over the city. My kids aren't going to their house....not that they're home to give my kids candy because they are standing at my door. Do I yell at the parents and tell them to go bug their own neighbours for candy? Do I refuse to give candy to the kid???? Sigh...I just grin and bear it. I make my own kids cry need to do that to some stranger's.

Fast forward to today. We are living in the country, on a street that is 2 km long with about 8 houses. No one on the street gives out candy. If they did I don't think that my kids would want to work that hard for candy and chips. So what do I do???? I am not hypocritical. I do not drive the kids to the nearest town. On the closest non school night, we rent movies, stay up late, eat junk food and the kids camp out in the TV room. While there is a small bit of complaining they are generally satisfi
ed and I'm sure they won't need therapy to get over the not going out trick or treating.

The babies are now old enough to be held by the 8 and 6 year old so we had our first play date when they got home from school.

The teen went to a Halloween dance last Saturday night. I think that she really needs some help in the makeup department.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 29 October 2007

Your weekly bunny fix

This is what you've all come to expect on a Monday morning. A glimpse into my world of baby bunnies. There are two weeks old. About half have their eyes open and ears up. My kids are anxiously waiting till they can hold them which won't be for a couple more days. A couple of the babies are already finding their own way out of the nesting box.If you can handle even more cuteness, here's a group shot. In case any of you were wondering, they are as soft as silk. Tinkingbell, "put down the shears now!". They aren't ready for that.Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 26 October 2007

My Hands for Hire

I'm making good time on Salinas (the green sweater) so I decided to work on another of my commission pieces. I have to turn this..... into this.... There was counting and math involved. There will be swatching and measuring and all that fun stuff. She found the tank top at an ooh lah lah kind of store and has lived in it for the past few years. She wants something to replace it as the top is getting worn.

I received a call from the phone tag client and I met up with her today. The guy who wants the fisherman's sweater will have to wait until the yarn is ordered, comes in, is paid for before I can start.

I'll try to answer a few questions that I've been getting. First of all, there will be a burning of the midnight oil and now when you see me, I will always have needles in my hands. As for the commissions themselves, then tend to fall on my lap. There will be a bag of yarn and pattern waiting for me when I get to work or someone will call (or come in) asking if there is someone who knits for other people. I either get volunteered or offer my services. I have yet to come across a pattern that I really didn't want to knit. If I did, I suppose that I would just ask for an amount
so outrageous, the client would say no thanks.

I have yet to come up with a formula for how much to charge. I can only estimate how long it will take me to knit the garment. I know that I'll probably end up with slave wages if an hourly rate is calculated when I'm finished. So far, however, I've been content with what I've gotten when the project was finished. Last year, I knit a Philosopher's sweater for a client. About three weeks after delivering the finished item, I received a call from the client. She had me knit the sweater for her mom and called to thank me once again and to tell me that her mom has worn the sweater and it has received many compliments. Needless to say, that call made my day.

I have encountered three scenarios in knitting for others. 1) I am to knit the item to the measurements found in the pattern, 2) The clients sends me the necessary measurements or 3)The client comes in and I get the necessary numbers.

Hope that answers some questions.
Until next time

Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

No surprises for me this Christmas

Today is the Teen's birthday. She is 14 and I feel old. Where has the time gone? She keeps reminding me that she'll be off to university in a few years....that doesn't bother me. It's when she reminds me that she'll be able to drive in 2 years is when I feel the gray hairs creep up. Birthday Girls need a gift so.....

There we were in Future Shop, just browsing, minding our own business. The plan was to look at the DVDs then head to the Ipod section to look some more. While looking through the TV shows on DVD we commented at how many shows were now available on DVD. We've been watching a lot of them lately through the online movie rental service (same idea as Netflix....I know there is an Australian equivalent but the name escapes me) or borrowed from a friend.

Oh where was I???? Oh Yes!!!!

Back in 1984 the BBC put out the series "Robin of Sherwood". I first saw the series on a PBS station about 10 years later. I love this series but then I love anything to do with the legend of Robin Hood. (I even love the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner even though he couldn't come up with a British accent to save his life) I taped most of the series off of TV and watched them over and over and get the point.

So there we were in the TV section and what do you think jumped out at DH. The complete series is out on DVD. He scooped them up immediately and said "Merry Christmas". He said that he could come back and buy them while I wasn't there but wasn't going to risk it. He has seen other DVDs that I would love but when he came back to do Christmas shopping, they were gone.

We bought the teen a gift card for her birthday and DH bought the videos for me, for Christmas.

Now all I have to do is wait 8 weeks.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Watch where you're putting that tag!

I've been tagged. Georgie tagged me and gave me the rockin' girl blogger award. Now Nancy has tagged me with a challenge to come up with 7 interesting things about myself. Easier said than done. They may not be interesting, but here's my list......

Seven Things....about Me!

DH was in the military for 22 years. I have never been fortunate enough to live overseas but so far I've lived all over Canada. I've lived in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

I make my own soap, hand cream and other bath and body products.

I have two college diplomas. One I got after High School, the other because I was bored and decided to go back to school to fill my time.

My fondest childhood memory was when my mom told me that she had seen some of my knitting and that I was now good enough to tackle something harder, like a sweater.

I love to travel but outside of Canada, I've only been to the US, England and Australia.

I play the piano, flute and sax.

I've been known to turn around and tell the people behind me, regardless of who the are or how big they are, to shut up. It is a movie theatre....not their living room. I paid to hear the movie not them or their crinkly bags of candy, they brought from home, because they are to cheap to buy popcorn. This is my biggest pet peeve.

Gotta go knit.......
Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 22 October 2007

The Babies...week 2

The Babies are a week old and no longer look like little pigs. They have a fine coating of wool and I already have an idea of what colour they will be. Their eyes are still closed, but the ears are starting to pop up. Last Monday morning I miscounted, there are 7, not 6 babies. So like any proud bunny Grandparent, here are my update photos.Seven Things Update

Last week
a large garbage bag filled with towels (didn't count them) My MIL was doing some house cleaning and decided we needed her old towels and sent them with my parents when they came to visit. Why?????? I have no idea why she felt we would want them.
2 shopping bags filled with kids clothes
It all went to charity.
I was doing so well, I hadn't bought a thing. But on Sat I walked by the local fabric store and heard the seductive whisper calling my name. I bought one piece of cotton for quilts and a piece of flannel for a pair of sleep pants for the teen.

This past week
Arrrrgggghhhh nothing. I'll have to do better this week. DH is selling things on Ebay like crazy but I'm not going to count his totals with mine. He is doing it for the money and not to live with less stuff.

2 skeins of Hacho yarn (hand painted DK/8ply Merino) (free at the Jane Ellison workshop)
The Mirasol Collection book (I had to get her to sign a copy while she was here....didn't I???)
1 skein of lace weight baby alpaca from Misti Alpaca.
1 pattern for the "shy sheep" cardigan. Can't wait to make this one.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Saturday, 20 October 2007

When it pours

I am in the unique position that occasionally people will hire me to knit something for them. I examine the pattern then quote them a price. While I know that I'll never get paid a fair wage for knitting, I try to come up with a price that I can live with. It's a learning process. There have been items I have knit that I would have to charge more for, if I knit them again. There have also been items that I was bang on with my quote.

I haven't had any commissions since last March. That was a lacy baby layette knit with 3 ply on 3 mm needles. It is now 2 1/2 months until Christmas and the requests are starting to pour in. (If I don't have needles permanently attached to my hands, they soon will be)

The first is a sweater from a Rowan book, Vintage Style. I am knitting the sweater in the same colour with the felted tweed. This is nice yarn!!!!!
Remember this sweater? It's the one that has been put on hold for Sweater Boy. It is the pattern chosen by a young man who really wants a Fisherman's sweater. He wants it in the best wool possible. Yah gotta love young single guys with money to burn. The third sweater is for a woman I've knit for before. I've left a message and am waiting to hear back from her. We'll probably play phone tag for a while.

The fourth sweater is for a woman that would like a cotton tank top. I was told by not to expect this commission as this lady is on the frugal side and not eager to spend the money.

So that's what I'm up to for the next little while.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Even Jane Ellison Agrees

Jane Ellison came to Ottawa on Sunday Oct. 14th and I was fortunate enough to meet her. I decided to throw caution to the wind (in the case of my budget) and buy some silk garden by Noro (shade 8). The Jane Ellison pattern I chose was one of her men's patterns as I wanted to to make a "boyfriend" type sweater. The sweater is big and loose and very comfy. Not to mention that I received many compliments on the finished product. Even Jane, after looking closely at my shoulders, praised my finishing abilities. (This is me doing the happy dance at a compliment from Jane.)BUT.... guess who the sweater fits perfectly and guess who has a birthday coming up very soon. You guessed it....The Sweater Boy. Hmmmm do I give him the sweater or not?????

Jane came to Wool N' Things that day. She gave a trunk show, there was a workshop on how to make the gloves from her latest book The Mirasol Collection with the free skeins of Hacho yarn everyone received, and we ate. Very friendly and down to earth woman...well after all... she is a knitter.

After telling her about the lost sweater incident, she agrees with every one else. DH shouldn't be getting this sweater. He doesn't deserve it!

Swap Pal...if you are reading this....look away.
With no up close photo, my pal can't see the detail so they look like basic stripes. ( a much better photo will follow). Jane totally understood the need for a sock photo for my blog and was willing to help out with sock mojo. She liked the socks! I am beginning to get star struck at this stage, especially when she asks for my blog address.

As soon as I find the needle nose pliers, I'll make the stitch markers and be ready to mail my package and send it off to my swap pal. This is just too fun.

I've been given another knitting commission and have to give a quote on another so I'd better get to work.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,

The Fibreholic

Monday, 15 October 2007

Baby oh Baby!

This was not suppose to happen!

Angora bunnies are a smaller rabbit. Their size comes from their beautiful coats. Being a smaller breed, it is better to wait to start breeding them until they are fully mature at about 8 months. Having a litter at an early age can spell trouble. The doe may not be able to deliver them, the babies get stuck, and mom and babies die.
This was not suppose to happen!

32 days ago, Tristan was about and about getting his exercise. We usually put a box near Isolde's cage so they could have a non-conjugal visit. However, this particular evening, someone had not closed the hatch on her cage tightly, and Tristan got into her cage.
This really was not suppose to happen!

Last Thursday, Isolde started to pull wool from her belly in an attempt to nest. I called my breeder and she told me that sometimes when does are ready to breed they will "play at being mommies".

She wasn't playing!
This morning at 5 am, DH woke me up to tell me that we were bunny Grandparents.The good news....Isolde is in very good health. We've counted about 6 babies. They are pink and perfect, DS says they look like little pigs. All I can say is if I were naked and pink, I'd like to be surrounded by a blanket of angora wool. I can let them go at about 8 weeks and will post pictures often so you can see how they are doing.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 11 October 2007

His version of Romance

He had a good day at work.
He was in a good mood.
He wanted to surprise me, so he bought me a single rose.

He was now in a romantic mood and wanted to make the evening he brought home a bottle of Cat Pee

Surprisingly, it wasn't too bad. Something tells me that the name is keeping the wine from being put on some of the fancier wine list in the upper end restaurants.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

A Good Day to Dye

Or should I to fix a really bad dye job......NO!!!!! I'm not talking about my hair.

I'm talking about 400 grams of a merino/silk blend.
I bought this fibre about 5 years ago from the lady who taught me how to spin. I loved it so much that I didn't let this stuff age in my stash, I spun it right away. But there it stayed until I could decide what to do with it.

Recently, I was playing around with some dyes and muck
ed it up royally. So I left the "skeins of shame" hang where they would be a constant reminder to my dyeing inadequacies. Frankly, they were screaming louder than any UFO ever could.

Let's just say that over dyeing is a wonderful way to save my bacon. What I did to it was just down right criminal...makes me shudder just to think of it. To make matters worse, the teen would ask what I was going to do with that ugly yarn. It is 70/30
merino/silk and doesn't deserve this. So, without further ado, here's what I reverse.......

A close up of my hand spun.
The finished skein.What do you mean, you use your salad spinner for lettuce? It's a good thing DH and the girls like sauerkraut, I need the big jars for dyeing. Now you can see why I needed to over dye. We've had a long talk and the skeins have decided to forgive me. I'll finally be able to sleep at night.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 8 October 2007

Happy Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Day..... The harvest has been brought in, let us give thanks for the bounty that has been provided. NAH!!!!!

Let us give thanks that I've received my Raverly invite. WOOT!!!!! WOOT!!!!! My family just doesn't understand my exuberance at this news. They are true muggles...the lot of them. Look for me at ravelry under the name of "theFibreholic".

We've got people coming over for turkey so I can't play too much online today. I've got to clean my house. :( But the good news is one of them is a knitter so while the kids play, we'll be able to sit and enjoy ourselves. :) I'm still working on my Jane Ellison sweater. I've almost rea
ched the neckline of the front, then it's on to the second sleeve and I'm home free. The sweater must be done by the 14th. I hate deadlines!!!!!!!

I told DH on Saturday that I was thinking about going to the States that day. He got it into his head to drive me so we could stop and price cars at a few of the dealerships along the way. This isn't a bad thing as I got to knit for the whole trip. BUT, have you ever looked at cars on a lot in the rain......NOT FUN!!!!!
Joann's was having a sale and I've been asked to make a quilt for a silent auction. The two go hand in hand.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words
This is the sign for the turn off back to Canada on the outskirts of Ogdensburg N.Y. I'm not sure what this picture is saying.
I'm sure the Amish family, across the highway, selling veggies was wondering what I was doing.

Seven Things Update

Last week:
another 30 balls of junk yarn (this is begining to feel somewhat liberating)

2 pkgs of T-pins for blocking
2 DVDs (one is currently on the movie shelf, the other was put away for a Christmas gift)

This past week:
I didn't get rid of anything this week as we didn't make it to the drop off area of a local charity. So there'll be lots to go this week.
quilting fabric to be used for a quilt I need to make for a charity auction.

The Net Result?????? I am begining to be a lot more picky about what I am personally responsible for bringing into. the house.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 5 October 2007

How to make crazy Socks

  1. Gather all those leftover bits of sock yarn. They should all be about the same weight.
  2. Put them all in a bag. Nothing clear or see through.
  3. Take out your first bit of sock yarn and start to knit. When you have used up that leftover, pull out another and keep knitting. Remember to use whatever yarn you pull out. Doesn't matter if they don't match, the sock will look good in the end.
Please note: If there is a lot of leftover from one particular sock yarn then keep the strip to about 2 inches/5 cm. Use whatever sock yarn you pull out next, with one exception: mixing colours is best, so if you pull out a yarn that is similar in colour to the one you just used you may put it back and choose another. I was going to show you the other pair of crazy socks I had knit, but the teen went into the clean laundry pile this a.m. and is wearing them to school.

I was told that Kaffe Fassett uses this blind picking method for colour work. So I guess that great minds do indeed think alike.:)

For all of you who are participating in the Southern Summer of Socks or those who just like crazy socks, you MUST check out this pattern for Rainbow Socks. They are so on my to do list now.

Gotta finish the Jane Ellison sweater first...must not deviate.....don't look at the socks...your
plate is already full.....don't look at the much to do already......I looked at the socks.....

The Other Day

There I was minding my own business, fondling yarn in a wool shop......
ME: Woolworth, I know it's soft, but get out of there.

Great, just great. A sheep with expensive tastes!!!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic
The teen just got home and I was right. She wore the socks to school. This is the first pair, the one that started it all.Once again
Until next time
Your in Yarn
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Look who is in the Dog House

About three years ago, I knit him a sweater.
It was a basic top down, raglan sleeve.
I knit it with this.

It is a cotton/acrylic blend. Not the greatest quality of yarn but he chose the colour as it reminded him of a sweater from The Matrix. He called it his Matrix sweater without the holes.

He used to wear it all the time.

That is, until he lost it.

You read that right. My 42 year old DH lost a sweater. I was planning on knitting him a sweater that I was going to
copy from The Bourne Identity. I was going to make it out of a very yummy yarn (alpaca/silk/merino blend).

At least he does understand why I may never make him another sweater.

He thinks that he may have left it in Canberra. I wonder if Russell has a lost and found for items left behind by careless husbands. I was working on this sweater for him. But after this incident all work on this sweater has stopped........

Until next time
Yours in Yarn
The Fibreholic