Thursday, 28 February 2008

It's not my fault

I am in no way to blame. In fact my downfall can be traced back and attributed entirely to the people at the Upper Canada Village. About 12 years ago, we went there as a family. I was knitting, but not to the extent that I do now. We entered one of the many homes and what did we find????

An older lady and a teen sitting at spinning wheels. I have this on video...the conniving pair, luring me into their cult.

The spinning cult indoctrination took some time. The seed was firmly planted, but as the soil was rocky, the idea took some time to grow. OR.....I just had no idea where I could get the help to get started.

About two years later, I moved to Northern Alberta for three years. It was a wasteland land for wool. The only local place to buy yarn was Zellers. If I wanted anything nice, I had to drive three hours to Edmonton. So forget about quick fixes.

Just so you know , only understanding and experience I had with spinning wheels , at this time, were with the ones that took up half your living room.

Then it was off to Vancouver Island for three years. One of DH's friends, was a member of the SCA. He told me that a fellow member of the SCA taught spinning on a drop spindle. "Aha" this is just what I needed. I would learn how to spin, it wouldn't cost a lot of cash and I wouldn't have to rearrange my living room to accommodate the wheel.

I soon learnt that I had a knack for spinning, wheels are a LOT more compact and it gave me a new hobby to stash for. Several months went by and I am happily spinning away on my drop spindle. Then fate intervenes.....

DH leaves for half a year. He is on the other side of the planet and making a few extra bucks. It is now the end of November.

Me: I really like this spinning thing. I want to save up and next Christmas I'll buy myself a wheel.

DH: Hmmmmmmm

Little did I know what was about to happen next. Secret e-mail conversations between a friend of mine and DH. He was getting advice about what wheel to buy me for Christmas...that Christmas. He never did buy the wheel for me. He sent me money and told me that it was for a wheel. I took matters into my own hands and bought a wheel. Since he did technically pay for it. I do give him full credit for buying me a wheel.

Once again we move and my wheel and various stashes go with me. Some days I think that I've moved to the middle of no where. Other days I think that I've moved to the hub of activity. Every year the local Historical society puts on a SPIN-IN. Spinners from all over the Ottawa Valley (and beyond) get together for a day of spinning. It is always fun. There are techniques to learn, new friend and old friends, a few vendors to tempt you and of course, door prizes.

Here's a picture from this year.

I spent the time spinning up some Blue Faced Leicester....not sure what I'm going to do with it. My problem is that I can spin a lot faster than I knit so it just produces another stash. I can live with that.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 25 February 2008

Oh Heavenly Gift!

My qiviut is here. I couldn't believe how wonderful this stuff actually is. I've felt qiviut yarn before but the raw fibre is out of this world.

"Supper will be late tonight kids, mommy is playing with her Qiviut." I put supper on hold and proceeded to play. I thought the Post-It note was cute. DH told me that he had informed the large animal research station that the fibre was a Valentine's gift. Proceeds from the sale of the qiviut go to the maintenance of the animals.Very cool!

Here is the qiviut after I've pulled out a handful from the Ziploc bag. By this point, I've fallen in love and have decided to run away with the stuff and leave DH and the kids behind.

It was DH's plan to buy me the fibre, not to use but to simply enjoy. "So that you could just pet it every now and then." Oh no, no, no, no, no.......that would never do. I have many labels and spinner is one of them. I can't have a bag of qiviut and just leave it be only to visit it every now and then when I'm in need of some high quality fibre fondling.

Since this is raw fibre, I had to dehair it. Now normally this would be a boring and monotonous task but today is different. Today, I'm finding tedium to be highly enjoyable. I could pull those hairs out all day and not complain. Just let me touch all that wonderful silky soft goodness.

All good things must come to an end. What this actually means is while the desire to spoil me is there (I am so keeping this man), I didn't marry a zillionaire and DH had to limit how much fibre he purchased.

The hair on the right hand side can be saved and used for tassels or other nonsense, I just pitched it as it did not serve any useful purpose for me. Yes, I know, you're all shocked. I'm going to blend my qiviut with something to make it go furthur, but that's for another post. For now I'm just going to stick my hand in the bag every now and then and enjoy.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A local celebrity....coming soon

That's right folks, the Toronto area is losing a knitting celebrity, and Ottawa is getting her. Sally Melville is moving to the Ottawa area this summer. She is moving here to be closer to her daughter, with whom she has written a book.

She was in Ottawa this past weekend and came to the knitting guild meeting last night to give a talk. She is a very down to earth and funny woman. She is also brilliant. Here she is with my traveling sock....okay so I won't be traveling for awhile but she really liked it because the sock yarn has cashmere and what's not to like about that

I took her "borders and buttonholes" class and all I can say is that I feel empowered. At one point she taught us how to do cool loops for buttons along a reverse stocking stitch border. Then something happened.....

My right brain went into high gear, the Heavens opened up, a choir of angel began to sing "Hallalujah".

"Ahhhhhh," I exclaimed, "I am working on a cardigan that this technique would be perfect for. The pattern call for attached I-cord and ties, but this is so much better."

When I got home, I pulled out the cardi-in-progress. My left brain the took over and told me that it wouldn't work. Stupid left's always holding me back. Sally says that we shouldn't listen to our left brain and just go for it.

I'm listening to Sally.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Sunday, 17 February 2008

He Shoots, She Scores

This is what Ottawa does on a Saturday night. They go to a hockey game and cheer on the Senators. DH isn't one for a sporting event but when a friend phoned on Friday night and offered us tickets, I jumped at the chance. DH knew that he had no choice, so he agreed to go along.

We had good seats on the 200 level. After we dealt with the long line ups to get into the parking lot and the game started, even DH had to admit that he was enjoying himself. It was an exciting game, even the sock had fun.

The nice thing about working on a pair of plain dress socks for DH is that you can easily watch the game and get lots of knitting done. I am working with a llama/merino/nylon blend that I bought from a local rancher. I figured that after last Thursday, he deserved them. I had already started the socks and felt that it was time to get going on them after a year of procrastination.

It was a good game. A fan got hit in the face with a puck, two players got into a fight and they launched hotdogs into the stands. All in all, it was a very typical game. HOWEVER.....

See the score board?????
See the big screen on the score board????? (BTW it is on all four sides)

During a pause in the game the powers that be did some advertising for Dentyne Ice. They have something called the KISS CAM. They scan the stands looking for couples. If you see yourself on the big screen they ask that you turn to the person next to you and give them a kiss. Much to my surprise, yours truely and the sweater boy got caught on the KISS CAM.

So in the spirit of the moment, we puckered up and kissed.

I can't believe I did that.....

Do you understand what I did????

I kissed my DH on camera in front of 20,199 people.

Talk about a public display of affection.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 14 February 2008

He likes me....He really likes me!

Will wonders never cease....

For Valentine's Day, DH bought me an ounce of Qiviut. On his own...without any hints from me.

Is he a keeper or what????

With a gift like that, I think that it makes up for the sweater.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tank Avoidance Techniques

I don't like to do housework...yeah I've heard this one before. But I really don't like to do it. There is nothing creative in the whole picking up, vacuuming, laundry, washing thing. No matter how I try to convince myself that this is what I should be doing, something more interesting comes along.

HOWEVER.......when you are trying to avoid knitting on a certain tank top, your brain goes a little screwy. It was a snow day and the kids were home. This always means if I sat down to work on something I wanted to knit, world war three would have started. Since I'm all about world peace (especially in my own home), I had to find something to do.

DH and I sit in very comfy chairs to watch TV. Needless to say, there is a generous amount of knitting surrounding the area. My brain is screwy, I'm trying to avoid a tank top and avoid having to deal with crisis negotitations, so what do I do? Sigh...I clean.

Now before you think that I've lost my marbles, I am only tidying up my TV Knitting area. (Other knitting areas will come later) In this flurry of action, I managed to get a grocery bag of yarn together to be given away, throw out a few things plus I found a WIP. I had started these socks about 3 1/2 years ago and finished all but the toe of the second sock. They were supposed to be for DD#1 but ended up being too small.

I should title this post....why I had more than one kid.

I tried the first sock on DD#2 and they fit...more importantly...she likes them. I finished the second sock and she is wearing them to school today.


We did get the water back on after 30 hours. I have never enjoyed a shower so much in my life. DH says that next time it won't take as long because he now knows what he is doing.This by the way, is a very scary thought. And crack me up!!!!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 11 February 2008

Why I had Kids

Every year, corporate sponsors, shell out big bucks to support Winterlude. And I, for one, am glad that they do.

To celebrate all this snowy goodness we get her in the Ottawa area, the National Capital Commission puts on Winterlude. You can skate on the Rideau canal (the world's longest skating rink), watch a free concert, see the results of the in
ternational ice carving competition, enjoy some fine dining at a local restaurant (with special Winterlude deals, but what my kids like best is Snowflake Kingdom.

Giant slides are constructed out of snow and are then hosed down to make them super fast. We had a blast! Even DH handled the crowds and line ups quite well. We had a blast! Words can not describe how much fun we on to the pictures.

In addition to the slides, there were shows. The teen is in love with 4 of the seven guys in this hip hop dance troup.

This is me, going down the tube slide with DS. I don't know who enjoyed it more.

This is just one of the snow sculptures displayed as part of the National competition.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Quebec winter carnival, there was a recreation of how settlers lived 400 years ago. BTW they didn't live in a fort made of snow. (Despite the abundance of this type of building material at this time of year.)

So when my kids get too old to enjoy something like this, I'll have to rent some kids. Because an old fart going down the slides, laughing all the way, without any kids, will really stand out.

P.S. Almost forgot to mention....95% of Winterlude is Free.:) Gotta like that!!!

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 4 February 2008

You don't want to be me!

Water....the very source of life!!!! But in order to have it, I need three things as I live in the country!!!

  1. A well....check
  2. Electricity......check
  3. A working here comes my sob story
Our pump started making wierd noises, so on Sunday DH took it upon himself to "FIX" it. So without filling sinks, filling the tub, or even a few stock pots, he took the thing apart. This started at 2 pm in the afternoon. It is now 26 hours later, DH has gone to Ottawa to get a part. He promised me that the water would be back on by sometime tonight.

Do you understand what I am going through? I turn on a water. This means no showers or even flushing the toilet. People...I am reduced to melting snow to flush because I don't want either of my washrooms to smell like an Ontario Provincial Park outhouse. This is desperation! I am in such need of some chocolate right about now.

When I think that I could sink no lower...I wonder what will happen if DH can't get the pump working by tomorrow....I have to go to work!!!!

I other news, I've put the tank aside for a few days. It mocks me mercilessly. I do my best to ignore it as I work on a cardi with Cleckheaton country silk. I am so looking forward to adding the cardi to my wardrobe that I will suffer through the taunts of the tank and the occasional phone call from the client.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic