Monday, 15 December 2008

The end of innocence

DS (who is 7): Mom is the tooth fairy real?
DS: Taylor was looking through her mother's jewelry box and found her baby teeth. So is the tooth fairy real?

Please note that this conversation happened far too early in the day for me and he was about to catch the school bus. So, what is a good parent suppose to do? Change the subject!

ME: What was Taylor doing looking through her mother's jewelry box anyways? I bet that she wasn't suppose to be. I'd better not find you snooping around in my things. There would be BIG trouble if you did.

DS: the tooth fairy real or not?

SHOOT!!!! This boy is not as easily distracted as his sisters.

ME: What do you think?

DS: I think that she's not real.

ME:'re right, she's not real.

*********Later that day, at the supper table************

DS: If the tooth fairy isn't real, does that mean that Santa and the Easter Bunny aren't real either.

ME: No dear, they aren't

DS: But who is?

DD (aka the teen): I'm the Easter Bunny, I make up the scavenger hunt notes.

DH: I'm Santa and I write the tooth fairy notes.

DS (to me): What do you do?

ME: I buy the stuff you get.

Now that is over and done with, my baby is growing up before my eyes.

DH: Now that you know the truth, I don't want you to ruin it for any of your friends who might still believe...OKAY????

DS: Okay

***************The next day***********************

DS: Don't be mad but I forgot that I wasn't suppose to tell anyone about Santa not being real.

ME: Grrrrrr

DS: Don't worry, they didn't believe me!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Here there be knitting

Last Fall I had the ever so brilliant idea to knit socks as Christmas gifts this year. I started with my sister but unfortunately I kept going of the feet until they fit me.

I'm sure that there must be something Freudian in there somewhere.

A couple of weeks ago (maybe three...possibly four) I decided to try again. This time I stopped the foot in time.

Going from left to right:

1) For my sister
2) For my sister-in law
3) For my brother (in progress but I'm on the foot of both socks for him)
Brownie Points for me....Two of these socks came from stash sock yarn.The third needed to be purchased as I'm not in the habit of stashing anything gray.

I just might be able to pull this off!!!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

In Praise of Plavala

This is The Diva Plavalaguna, she is a character from the movie The Fifth Element by Luc Bisson.

This is Plava laguna, it seems to be a chain of high end resorts in Croatia. Plava Laguna means Blue Lagoon. This is actually just one of the many hotels and resorts, in the chain.

This is my Plavalaguna. She is a 3 1/2 month old ruby-eyed white English Angora. Last weekend I brought her to her first show. The competition was fierce but my little beauty hopped away with two 1st place wins. She needs only one more win to get, as a senior (over the 6 month age mark), and then she'll become a Grand Champion.
I'm so proud of her...that and think of all the fibre I'll get off her when she is finished her days as a beauty queen.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 14 November 2008

Dust, Doghair and Dirt

Cleaning is all my life seems to be comprised of at this moment. I continually ask myself why and isn't there more to life than this. Surely there must be some reason for this never ending cycle of the house getting dirty and me having to clean it.

Perhaps it's to achieve some higher plane of existence? Perhaps I will discover the meaning of life as I clean while I'm being undervalued, unaided and unappreciated by my family? Perhaps I will uncover the great secrets of life, the universe and everything else as I attempt to remove this triple threat from my very existence?

I'll let you know after I clean up these bottles that came the other day and are cluttering up my kitchen counter.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 31 October 2008

I'm going slightly Mad

I can't blame Ravelry!
I can't blame the Yarn Harlot!
I can't even blame it on Shelley Kang!
I place the blame, in its entirety, on Emily.

There I was, minding my own business, when Emily began to knit a mitered square, using leftover sock yarn. She informed me that once a million of these were done, she would then sew them together for an afghan.

Now speaking as someone who claims to have invented the crazy sock, I have to ask myself....Why didn't I think of this first? Could it be that I'm a little too obsessed with socks? But that such a bad thing? I've been told that occasionally I'm a perfectly normal individual, but I think that the jury is still out on that one.

Here is proof of my decent into Madness!

I realize that I've only just begun this project, but I've already come to the conclusion that I have to:

A) buy more sock yarn


B) hold some type of contest thing. I would ask everyone for donations of their leftover sock yarn. Everyone who sent/gave me some would then have their name go into a draw for a full skein of some very yummy sock yarn.

I'll let you know what happens.

And if you're wondering.....and even if you're not........the mitered square, currently on the needles, I have a pair of socks made with that sock yarn. It is another random dye job. The teen called the colour "vomit" and wanted nothing to do with it.

That is until I knit up a pair of socks with the yarn.....NOW she wants them.

But who can blame her......they're gorgeous. Now before any of you choke on that last statement, I do put these socks in the "only a mother could love" category. So I don't want any comments about how my ugly socks have somehow offended the stylish sense of colour among the fibre arts community. Considering some of the stupid things that the Canadian government has paid big bucks for because someone called it art, my socks are the least of your worries.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Has any one seen my free time?

Hi everyone

Yes it's me, the Fibreholic. I know it's been awhile and I know that my postings have been very sporadic as of late. But I do have a very good excuse.

There I was at the end of July, minding my own business, playing video games doing something very important when the teen tells me that there is a message on the phone. Since she wants to log back on I need to listen to the message to get the dial tone back. (Yes the Fibreholic is still living in the dark ages and has to put up with dial up)

Long story short, because you all know that I don't like to go on and on and drag out a story to its bitter end, I've been working full time for almost three months. I won't go into the gory details of this job, but it will do until I get a full time position traveling the world as a writer for the Lonely Planet publications.

So in the meantime, I now have the money to buy the fibre I want BUT I now lack the free time, I used to have, to enjoy it. So if anyone reading this, has any spare free time they don't know what to do with...just send it my way....PLEASE!


It seems that there was an interest in the pattern I used for my free sock yarn. So here it is:

The stitch pattern requires a multiple of 4 stitches.

Round 1, 3 and 5 - Knit
Round 2 and 4 - *K1, slip 3 with yarn in front (holding yarn loosely) repeat from *
Round 6 - *K2, insert needle under the long loose strands of 2 previous rounds and knit the next stitch, K3; repeat from * end K1 instead of K3.

NOW YOU WILL HAVE TO FUDGE A BIT AND SLIDE THE STITCHES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE ROUND OVER A BIT. Before Starting round 8 slide the first 2 stitches of the round over to the right hand needle and start the round.

Round 7, 9 AND 11- Knit
Round 8 and 10 - *K1, slip 3 with yarn in front (holding yarn loosely) repeat from *

Round 12 - *K2, insert needle under the long loose strands of 2 previous rounds and knit the next stitch, K3; repeat from * end K1 instead of K3.


This stitch pattern was developed for flat knitting. This is why I have you moving over the beginning of the round in the stitch pattern.

So is this clear as mud???? Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 9 October 2008

For Anna

Just more proof that Canadians aren't evil! (Just to confirm for everyone else reading this post, yes it is an inside joke)

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 26 September 2008

The Trial of TOFUtsies

The Trial
Enter the defendant, TOFUtsies by SWTC.

I bought this yarn in January '07 and about the April time frame, of that year, I knit a pair of plain toe up socks. The first time I washed them, disaster struck. The dye washed out and my vibrant socks were merely a shadow of their former selves. I was devastated, ladies and gentleman, simply devastated. Here I had put all this work into my socks and with one wash they went from Beautiful to Blah.

I wrote to SWTC (attorney for the defendant) told them what happened, gave them the info on the ball band but received no reply. The socks were left to defend themselves on their own without representation from the company.


I vowed to never buy another ball of TOFUtsies and told the requisite 12 people of my bad experience but while I was at STITCHES MIDWEST this past August I met Audrey, public defender for this yarn.


After dropping off a load of yarn into the car, Kathy and I returned to the vendors' area to continue shopping. Kathy likes TOFUtsies and stopped at a booth to purchase a ball. This is where I met Audrey, owner of Needles & Knobs. I complained about this yarn and told her the story of my ill fated socks
and why I have a hate-on for this yarn and the company.

Audrey was determined to get me to change my mind, to rethink my position and to exonerate this sock yarn. She believes in this yarn so much that she gave me a ball to try out.

I was leery and doubtful but who am I to turn down a free ball of sock yarn. I knit and knit and knit. I even designed a sock pattern for this momentous occasion. Mind you all the while thinking that if history repeated itself I would be severely ticked at myself for putting in all this effort.


The socks have been washed and they look great. My faith has been restored in TOFUtsies but SWTC still on my black list for their lack of customer service.

So if you are ever in St. Petersburg, Florida go see Audrey at Needles & Knobs. You'll be glad you did!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Saturday, 13 September 2008

The seven rules of yarn acquisition

  1. Make your yarn purchases while on vacation. You'll be able to justify them as souvenirs.
  2. Even better, while on vacation, without your DH. If he must come along, distract him with a computer store or food.
  3. Use cash whenever possible, it eliminates the paper trail.
  4. When packing for the holiday, pack only the essentials to leave as much room in your suitcase, as you can, for the trip home.
  5. When packing for the trip home, layer your suitcase. Yarn goes on the bottom, then clothes with the gifts for the kiddies on top.
  6. Distract family with gifts and bring suitcase to your room.
  7. Unpack the next day, when no one is around.

50/50 Alpaca/Merino bought from WEBS

one ball of 3ply fingering that I won, three skeins of Noro Transitions that were so cheap, you'd think they were stolen

A full bag of Ella rae bought from a place that was selling their yarn in full bags. In their booth they had a fenced off area and had it piled high with the full bags. According to one staff member, a lady actually jumped into the pile and wallowed amongst the fibres. They weren't pleased as she destroyed many labels. some people have no respect.

Of course there was sock yarn purchases. According to Tink, this doesn't count at all for stash. I did get another ball of sock yarn, but there is a story behind that which deserves its own blog post.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Humour in the most unlikely of places

Guess what DH's name is.......and you'll find this as funny as I do.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 1 September 2008

You did.....WHAT???

ME: I've been invited to go to Chicago for STITCHES MIDWEST and stay at a complete stranger's house.

General response: WHAT??? Are you crazy? You don't know anything about this person. This person could be a serial killer. Your children need their mother.

Complete Stranger: I've met someone on the Internet and invited her to come to STITCHES and stay at our house .

General response: WHAT??? You did what??? You don't know anything about this person. She could be a crazy homicidal maniac.

You get the picture. From both camps we had people looking for ways to lock us up for our own protection for clearly we had lost it and gone loopy with this hair brained plan.

Funny thing is, the only person who didn't say anything about this plan was my DH. He may have thought it, but did not say word regarding the state of my sanity.

Thursday the 21st, the sock and I headed off to Chicago for our latest adventure. Kathy met me at the airport and we headed off to her place for lunch. On our way we told each other of the secret plots to have us committed because of the plan.

Kathy( after lunch
): Look, all kinds of knives lying around and no one got stabbed.


It's hard to describe. Maybe this is the place that good knitters go when they die. Aisle after aisle of yarn, needles, books and knitting gadgets, it was enough to make even the hardest hearted knitter cry. There was even an underlying scent of vinegar from all the hand dyed skeins. More than once Kathy caught me smelling skeins of wool.

I did my best to purchase only the yarns that are not locally available. However when you find Noro Transitions at 1/3 of the price you can get it locally, you just have to go for it.

I did take classes, one on the Estonian Patent stitch with Merike Saarniit and math for knitters with Edie Eckman. Both very informative and both very useful. I can't wait to impress everyone in the near future.

The sock was overwhelmed by the whole thing and was very emotional when I told it where we were going and who we would see. I was able to calm the sock down by starting to knit the heel. The sock did okay and managed not to embarrass me despite being severely star struck.

Merike Saarniit, queen of the Estonian Patent Stitch.

Edie Eckman, simplifying math for knitter's everywhere.

Stay tuned for more from my Chicago adventure.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 28 August 2008

How to stalk a celebrity

You've got your traveling sock in hand with a need to acquire mojo. You really don't want another letter from the TSA (traveling sock association) so you've decided to do all you can to satisfy the rules and regulations.

You go to where the celebrity is doing a book signing, just so you don't have to wait around or pay someone to wait around to alert you when the celebrity emerges.

So there's a long line up. You don't need to deal with that. Just getting a picture of the sock with the celebrity in the background should be good enough.

Good picture of the sock, but with my dime store camera, lousy picture of celebrity. So to the line-up I go. Bonus...there is a woman from celebrity's camp who is giving out handfuls of recipes that are off the website.

Finally get to celebrity and sheepishly admit that any book of hers that I wanted signed was forgotten at home. Don't admit that while I want to buy her latest book, I'm too cheep to buy the hard cover version and am waiting for it to come out in paperback.
Tell her that you did stand in line so that you could get a picture of her holding your traveling sock.

Debbie Macomber was most obliging. She even asked if she should appear to be knitting on the sock for the photo.

Okay so it's not true celebrity stalking, but I got my photo and didn't get arrested. That's what I call a good day!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

How to get a birthday gift from the unimaginative

  1. Pick up a copy of you favorite magazine. In this case it is Interweave Knits.
  2. Open said magazine and walk by unsuspecting unimaginative person.
  3. Accidentally (on purpose as you must aim at this point) have subscription card fall on the lap of the unsuspecting unimaginative person.
ME: Oops, did I drop something?
UUP: (looks at card) Hmmm what a great birthday gift idea.

My birthday had come and gone so I figured that after three days, I must take matters into my own hands. DH may be slow but he is not so dense to ignore the warning signs. He came home last Monday to tell me that a subscription was a done deal. However, my work was not yet done.

ME: Well kids, I suppose I should get around to making myself a birthday cake.
Kids: Yeah!

Last night DH came home with this. (13 days AFTER my birthday)

It's a chocolate truffle cake with raspberry butter cream from the Ottawa Bagel Shop. In one word....HEAVENLY!

He did do a good job even if he did need MAJOR coaxing and subtle-as-a-train-wreck hints. Maybe next year this will all happen a little closer to the actual day.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 11 August 2008

When I close my eyes....

When I close my eyes I never know what images are going to come to me in my sleep. Last week I dreamt that I was in a large room that reminded me of a warehouse. There were many people seated at long cafeteria type tables, all oblivious to a woman seated at a table in a corner.

That woman was Jejune. She was surrounded by a pile of books and was there for a book signing. I'm sorry to say that she was not busy at all. In fact no one was coming to see her. As a friend, I went over to say hello and chat.

In her last blog post I have learnt that she has sent off a book proposal (and for this I wish her all the luck in the world). I have no idea what it's about, but in my dream she had written a book about socks. Not a design or pattern book, but a book about the subject of socks. At least I found the subject fascinating even if no one else in the dream did.

So Jejune, not that you need any inspiration for your mind is vastly creative, I thought I should post a pix of my latest pair of socks.

This is my first pair using Knit Picks Bare sock yarn that I dyed. I was going to give the socks to the teen (because of the colours) , but I like how they turned out.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 7 August 2008

A Month of Birthdays

My birthday has come and gone along with my anniversary. It was marked by me getting up for work and then driving into Ottawa for dinner and a movie with DH. Not very exciting....yes I know. But it was one of those big fat ugly birthdays that a woman doesn't want to acknowledge and breaks out in hives at the mere mention of the number. I really just wanted to get the day over and done with, so I could go back to bed and pretend that the day never happened.

But what I can't play pretend about is a lack of a gift from DH. Yes you read that correctly, he didn't get me anything. I didn't even get a cake.

Fortunately, I covered him, once again. Last Saturday, while he and the kids were watching the Buskers Festival, I was at Knit-Knackers buying something for myself.

Eleven 100g skeins of Louet Gems Merino light worsted weight in cherry red for a price that I could not pass up. I did get the DPNs sets that were the original reason I went to the store. So the yarn was just a bonus. Happy Birthday to me!!!

Actually, if truth be told I also went there to give Emily (the nice gal who works there) her gift. It's her birthday today. She is a wonderful person despite the fact she knits socks on DPNs that look like broom handles.

Look carefully, it's my first happy clappy. What a fun scarf to knit and unravel, so much so I think that I've almost changed my mind about scarf knitting. It's made with Lullaby by Berroco that I got from my stash. Yah gotta like that.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 31 July 2008

For those who know me

DH and I were at the movies a few weeks ago. There I was minding my own business watching the trailers, when what appears on the screen.

A trailer......for the movie: Australia.

DH: What do you think that it would take to keep you from seeing that movie?

Funny man!!

My only hope is that the movie and the accompanying tourism ad campaign don't make people flock to Australia to the point that prices skyrocket to the point that I'll never be able to afford to return.

In other movie news

Here's a movie for Jejune.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Saturday, 26 July 2008

My Involvement with Kevin Bacon

I am three degrees from the Kevin Bacon.

The trivia game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is based on a variation of the concept of the small world phenomenon and states that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon. The game requires a group of players to try to connect any film actor in history to Kevin Bacon as quickly as possible and in as few links as possible. The game was played across various college campuses in the early 1990s.[citation needed] Its name is a pun on the concept of six degrees of separation. In 2007, Bacon started a charitable organization named

In 2001, while I was living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Kevin Bacon was there filming the movie Trapped. After hours some of the cast and crew, of the movie, took advantage of the local nightlife. Here is where I get my degrees.

My friend just happens to be in the same bar as a rather drunk co-star Charlize Theron. They have an encounter, of which he is rather vague. Whether his vagueness was because he was married at the time or if he was there officially as an RCMP officer...he wouldn't say.

So me to my friend=1 degree
My friend to Charlize Theron= 2 degrees
Charlize to Kevin Bacon= 3 degrees

Now I do know a guy who was an extra in the movie. (They used a local highway for a scene in the movie and asked for people to drive up and down the highway as part of the back ground). So I could say that I am 2 degrees from Kevin but the guy I know is a total jerk and probably never even talked to Kevin. That, and the three degrees story is better.

So there you have it, my total involvement with Kevin Bacon.

On a knitting note, the owner of the wool shop told me that on a day when they couldn't film because of rain (it was BC after all) a whack of of the crew came in to buy knitting supplies. Shows that they have good taste.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Remember to Always......

Voice in my head: Remember to always tie your skein in three places when you block it.

Me: Yes!

Voice in my head: Remember to always tie your skein in three places when you block it.

Me: Absolutely!

Voice in my head: Remember to always tie your skein in three places when you block it.

Me: I've got it ingrained in my inner most being, I'll never forget. Thank you voice in my head.

Voice in my head: Remember to always tie your skein in three places when you throw said skein into the dye pot.

Me: Yes!

I think that the voice in my head should have reminded me on that last point a couple of more times.

I have no words to describe what I went through to fix the brain fart I had when I dyed this skein.....even though the other three skeins, dyed at the same time some how managed to get themselves tied securely.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 14 July 2008

I dare you not to laugh

A joke about flowers.

Grandma was visiting her family and having a lovely time. One morning while she was in the kitchen, her 19 year old grand daughter entered the room. The grand daughter was wearing a see-thru blouse and no bra.

"My dear," says Grandma, who is more than just a little shocked, "You're not going out like that are you?"

"Of course, Grandma, I want to show off my flower buds"

The next morning, the grand daughter goes into the kitchen and finds Grandma there. Grandma is wearing a see-thru blouse and no bra.

"Grandma," the grand daughter exclaims, with a look of horror on her face," You're not going out like that are you?"

"Of course dear, I want to show off my hanging baskets."

Until the next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 10 July 2008's a secret

I mailed this about a week ago. She will get it eventually. And just in case she decides that getting up several times a night, with a newborn, doesn't fill up her days and decides that she needs to do a bit of blog reading to occupy all that free time she has, I'll only give you a sneak preview. (Whew...I just realized that last sentence was quite a mouthful. But who cares about your grammar when you can knit beautiful sweaters)

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

I'm going slightly Mad

I'm knitting with just one needle,
I'm unravelling fast.
Freddie, I know just how you feel!

The kids have been home an entire week and already I am in need of a long holiday. The kids are driving me loopy. In addition to them being home 24/7, this past week and a half hasn't been the best for me in other areas.

Just before school ended I was generally screwed over at work. As a result, I've been upset, angry, frustrated and generally ticked off. For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, I'm not talking about Knit-Knackers. I'm referring to another place that I haven't motioned and now there will be no need to mention
them at all.

What I need, I guess, is a diversion. Leave it to DH and DS to provide me with one. For the longest time, DH has been getting his head shaved in the summer. Even DS wants his hair short. So how to keep your kids entertained on Canada Day???? You let them shave your head.

What can I say. He's a brave man.

It was at this point that I took over. After all, he has no plans to audition for a role as a member of a biker gang in a Mad Max type flick any time soon.

DH has spent the last several weeks roofing our house, hence the farmer's tan. He's not really a red neck but does look slightly odd with a tanned face and white head. Snicker :)

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 23 June 2008

Celebrating the Fictitious One

On Saturday, June 21, in Almonte, weavers and spinners gathered together to honour the fictitious patron saint of our craft. Although Saint Distaff rests solely in the minds of my fellow fibre enthusiasts we celebrate St. Distaff's Day by gathering together with the like minded and do what we love best.

Sounds like some kind of cult doesn't it?

Each year one of the guilds from the Ottawa Valley hosts the event. They plan, prepare, provide lunch, and have a selection of activities for participants. This year I took triaxial weaving in the morning.

Ribbons are placed vertically, then the second colour is woven in. A third colour is then added. For a while, I was beginning to think that I would need a degree in engineering to figure out how to add the third colour. No wonder the instructions label the third colour as the most difficult step in the whole process. When I add the fusible interfacing to the back of my weaving I'll put this piece in a window card.

And voila, I'll have my first Christmas card. And a way to use up all the ribbon that I have, hidden away. (But you knew that already.)

For the afternoon's activity,
everyone got to dye a silk scarf. I'd show you a picture but mine came out so subtle that it looks like one colour with no pattern. I have immediate plans to over dye the scarf.

WOOT WOOT.....I have a stalker!!!!!

No restraining order needed though. My stalker is none other than Lisa from Ottawa. I told her that I was going to be at St. Distaff's Day, so she came to introduce herself. So I guess that she isn't a stalker in the truest sense of the word, but it is a start.

In other news.....

The teen is finished school for the year and the other two have today and tomorrow to get through. Translated this means I have until Wednesday to get prepared for a summer with my children. Sigh....

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 16 June 2008

We interrupt these cables

I've been busy with cables for the past little while. I've got a cabled sweater for my niece and the must have cardi, for me, on the go.

Cables, cables and more cables....I adore cables.

But then one day it hit me. I want to knit some lace. And not just any lace. I want to knit lace that is intricate and mind boggling but most importantly....challenging.

I decided to start by finishing this half done scarf from the UFO pile. It is a simple garter stitch lace pattern made with a purple alpaca blend. I now want to bring it up a notch. I've got the book Victorian Lace and I'm going for it.

However, in the mean time, I've got this scarf.

I won't wear it and I have no idea why I bought this gorgeous ball of fibre in a royal purple colour. I like purple, but have nothing to go with it. So it looks like I'll tuck this number, after it's blocked, into the Christmas gift stash.

Now all I have to do is find a purple lovin', scarf wearin', alpaca adorin' person to give this to. Any suggestions????

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Countdown to Chicago


I'm so excited, I could almost burst, but that would be messy, so I won't.

This August I'm heading to Chicago, for the first time. Technically, I have been there before as I ran from one gate to another to catch a plane home.

This time I will be landing, getting off the plane and exiting the airport. Unless civil war breaks out in Canada and it ceases to be a country so I'll be forced to live at O'Hare until stability returns to my homeland. Hmmm....I'd better develop some carpentry skills before I go.

I know what you are thinking.....I watch far to many movies.

Actually the reason for my visit is none other than Stitches Midwest. (So you can understand the bursting.)

I will be taking a couple of classes, pushing my way through lines to get knitting celebs to hold my sock, eating authentic Chicago deep dish pizza, seeing the local sights, and shopping. Yes, there will be shopping, lots of shopping.

Best of all, I am guaranteed (hopefully), not to have an embarrassing encounter similar to the one MadMad had at the butterfly exhibit.

While I have no proof, I'm guessing that at a convention such as Stitches, people bond over yarn.

Me: Felted Tweed?
stranger that I've been stalking: Why yes it is.
Me: I just love your sweater.
Stranger: Oh thank you, it took me forever to knit it.
Me: Where can I find the pattern?
Stranger: It started off as a commercial pattern but then I totally changed it. Let me tell you all about my modifications.....

Somehow I don't see anyone wearing wool in Chicago in August. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that it's still stinky hot, in August, in Chicago. And finishing a fabulous wool sweater just in time for Stitches, so you can show it off is ....well.... is either insane or down right brilliant. I can't decide.

In any case, I'm off to knit something fabulous in the hopes of getting my very own stalkers at this event.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Monday, Bloody Monday

It has taken me several days to write this post, but it is something that I need to do.

The people of Ottawa woke up this past Monday and either heard on the news or read in the newspaper about the death of Alicia Bateman.

She didn't die in an accident.

She didn't die after a long illness.

She didn't die of any natural causes.

She was murdered by her ex-fiance.

I don't have the heart to go into the details but you can read about the story here.

I met Alicia last year. She was a member of the Canadian contingent that went to a conference in Canberra last May. I got the chance to know her when she joined me for breakfast.

The funeral will be in Calgary and there will be a memorial for her at her workplace here in Ottawa. Since she worked at CSIS and I don't have the security clearance to get into the building, I am writing the post in tribute to Alicia.

Neighbours described her as cordial and someone who kept to herself. I would like to add something to that description.

Alicia was nice, friendly, intelligent, well thought of, fun loving and down to earth. We spoke of our adventures in Aus, the future, the difficulties of maintaining a long distant relationship, dogs and a few girly things.

You will be missed Alicia. Not because we were close friends and spent a lot of time together, but because the world needs more people like you. While the world may remember you only from your death, I promise to remember you from those days of your life in May 2007.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Sunday, 1 June 2008

If you build it.....

......they will hatch.

The Internet is a wonderful place. It's full of all kinds of information. So when DH got it into his head to build an incubator, he went straight for the triple W. And much to his own surprise, it worked. On Friday night I was at the computer and heard a chirping.

This is the little guy starting to escape.

Using a few purchased items and some things we had around the house, this is what he built. While I'm not surprised that something he built worked, I am surprised that something this simple worked.

  1. a cheap Styrofoam cooler $3
  2. a candy thermometer $3
  3. the plastic from a picture frame $1
  4. a dimmer switch $6.49
  5. fan (already had)
  6. light bulb and socket (already had)
  7. container for water (already had)
You've got to like a DH with an unusual stash of gadgets.

This is chicken #1, we've had two more hatch since. The eggs were added at regular intervals so hopefully there will be more throughout the week. Cross your fingers because hopefully by next week end we should see a couple of ducklings emerge from their shell.

These little ones are almost 24 hours old and with any luck will go to replace my aging hens.

****Lesson on chickens****

Chickens will slow down on the egg production, due to age, and eventually stop laying eggs. While I like my chickens and treat them very well, there comes a point where you've got to let go and cull the flock. We're passed the sentimentality of feeding chickens that don't do anything. It's kind of like forced retirement for the baby boomers and hiring a batch of college graduates.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 26 May 2008

My Cheatin' Heart

It's sad really, a grown woman with so little will power. Here I was, ready to commit to this yarn diet. I was going to be good. I was only going to knit from my stash. I was not going to buy anything. I need to make room in my storage area. I have a suitcase filled with yarn that I need to find a spot for so that I can fill it up once again on an upcoming trip.

I was doing so well. Since the yarn diet had begun, I had bought only 2-50g balls of sock wool. I have been told by some very wise knitters that sock yarn doesn't count, so I'm in the clear on that count.

So here I was, minding my own business, not even thinking about buying any more yarn when WHAM!!!!! It hit me like a tonne of bricks.

How could I resist? I'm only human after all. Malabrigo merino has got to be the softest thing on the planet right now. Eight skeins calling my name as if I were a sailor to be lured to my death.

However the word sale can be a powerful force and make me succumb to my weaknesses. I won't tell you how little I paid for this wool. Let's just say that if I didn't buy this yarn, I would have had a stern reprimand by the knitting police for passing up such a good deal.

That being said, my conscience is clear. Especially since I have actually started knitting something with it. If my calculations are correct, I have enough to make the Must Have Cardigan. This time it is working out beautifully.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Red Coats are Coming!

Because I just can't get enough of horses or guys in uniform, DH and I took the kids to see the RCMP Musical Ride on Friday night. The evening started off with a demonstration of The Ottawa Police K-9 division.

I think that the dog really enjoys his work. The guy in the Michelin Man suit just happened to be an off duty officer who came to watch the Ride and was volun-told to help out with the demo.

Here comes the the highlight of the evening!

At the end of the performance, all the riders brought their horses along the fence and gave the audience a chance to pet the horses and talk with a member of the ride.

This is DD#2. She lives, eats, breaths and sleeps anything to do with horses. So out of all three kids, she was the most impressed. Here she is petting, Sheriff a 10 year old stallion.

This is Regan Douglas, Sheriff's rider. She is on the last year of her three year stint with the musical ride. I would have thought that after three years with the Musical Ride anything you did afterwards would be a let down. But no, next year Regan will learn how to dispose of bombs and blow things up, because there is not enough excitement in her life.

And last but not least, the sock. The sock enjoyed the performance so much that it didn't even mind when DS went on and on.....and on about horse poop and the ability of a horse to poop anywhere he felt like it.

Myself however: "enough about the horse poop already!"

The sock would also like to let you know that if you ever get to see the Musical Ride, be sure to see it from high up. You'll get an awesome view of the formations that is not possible from the regular bleachers.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Tales from the Farm

There are many benefits to living next door to a working farm. You just never know who is going to drop by.

This is Pooper. I didn't name him so if he has a complex and self esteem issues, he can't blame me. Pooper is less than a week old and is very affectionate.

In case you were wondering. a lamb licking your bare feet...VERY ticklish.

Here is the teen with Pooper, she is not trying to strangle him, just hold his head steady for the photo. Before I forget, let's not get excited about Pooper and have delusions of grandeur about his potential. He is a hair type sheep......means no fleece to shear and spin. But he has such a loveable nature, that I decided to overlook his failings.

It's feeding time and that boy is hungry. The teen was more than willing to help out.

I think now is the time to tell you about Pooper's sad story. Poor little guy, he was rejected and beat up by his mother which is why he needs to be bottle fed. And if that weren't enough, the poor little guy is blind.

It's like starting out in life with three strikes against you.

As hard hearted as DH likes to pretend to be, he really is a softy. When the next bottle was ready, he was more than willing to take feeding duty.

Something very good came out of this whole DH/Pooper bonding moment.

DH: I think that we should get Baby Doll Sheep.

I'll keep you posted.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 9 May 2008

Top Secret Knitting

.........Or the arrival of Cone head. This is Moro, my Great White Pyrenees. She is not happy for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the cone around her head. I doubt that she could care less about the loss of her ovaries and uterus. The cone is to keep her from licking herself and removing the stitches. Doesn't she look PATHETIC? Actually I haven't seen a dog that didn't look depressed while wearing a cone.

I just can't come to terms with the fact that dogs are somewhat vane.

Hmmmm actually she looks kind of stoned in this picture, doesn't she?

Now for the knitting. I really wish that I could show pictures. I really don't have a problem showing off my skill but these are presents for people who read my blog and I want to keep the pressies a surprise. But let's just say that I have 1 1/2 more FO's under my belt at the last count.

I suppose that a 1/2 FO is really more a UFO. However since I am actively working on it, it is a WIP. Really...Honest....I am constantly working on it.......I wouldn't lie about something like this...too much.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Friday, 2 May 2008

Birdie BBQ

It looks like an ordinary BBQ doesn't it? ...... HAH.....nothing can be so simple in my world. It took a 6 year old boy to find out its secret. This is what transpired last Friday afternoon.

DS: Mom, there's something in the BBQ.

Me: What is it?

DS: Just come look.

Okay, there's a bird's nest in our BBQ. I can understand that. "How ingenious," I think to myself. "What a clever bird, picking a great spot like that"


BBQ season is upon us and I have needs. I have a need for DH to do most of the cooking. Since he gladly takes on the mantle of chef during this time of year, I look forward to the respite. So with the kids help, we removed all traces of the nest.

I know what you are thinking. I am not an uncaring kind of person. We took the nest portion and put in securely in our cedar hedge.


Mother Nature has her own agenda. "Get back into that kitchen and cook your kids a meal"

Well I guess that the BBQ is prime real estate and the bird has squatter's rights. Last night.....

DS: Mom there's another bird's nest in the BBQ.

Me: Okay, let's get rid of it.

This time there is more than just a nest.

I guess that I can wait a little longer for BBQ season.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic