Friday, August 28, 2009

How much is that tree?

So we've established you can take the girl out of the country, but not the country out of the girl, right? I think perhaps the opposite is also true, as this girl was taken out of the city, full of boutiques and shopping malls and still managed to flex her spending power among the trees and lakes.

My little country spend-a-thon began visiting the 'rents in my hometown. I was lucky enough to land there on a Saturday for the town farmers market where lurking among the prize winning zucchinis and home made jam, I discovered a table full of crochet.

A lovely lady was selling her hand crafted wares, including teflon pot scrubbers. Say what? Crocheting with teflon? Why ever would one want to do such a thing? (She assured me she wore gloves.) Her prices were far too low for that kind of torture. I picked up a few granny-square dish cloths, you know, just to support my peeps.

Next up? I hit every thrift store in town...

A whole set of matching hotel ware from the 60's!

...and then every thrift store in every neighbouring town. He-heh! I won't bore you every little chotchkie I picked up, but here's the crafty business:

Button haul '09! I believe the haul of '09 is much better than button haul '08. I couldn't resist sorting them the minute we got back to the cottage.

Is it weird that my idea of a good time is relaxing with a tray of buttons and a glass of wine?

I also picked up a whole whack of vintage knitting and crochet patterns:

I'm amassing quite a library of these. I especially like the older ones:

I'm thinking of doing a regular once-a-week-ish post featuring vintage patterns. They really pack a lot of entertainment value! Besides, I think my knitting news might be a little bland in the next couple of weeks.

Yup, still entrelac. Still yellow. Slightly longer. This one may take a while.

See? I can support consumerism anywhere! Who needs malls when you've got farmers markets and charity shops?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I'm back from two fantastic weeks out here:

You can read about the canoe knitting on the "other blog"

Where's here? The middle of nowhere and that's how I like it! It might be quite some time before I can afford the luxury of two weeks off again! There's a lot to catch you up on, so let's make this the catch-all of random cottage happenings, shall we?

First up? NAY-chur!

You just don't see too many mushrooms growing in downtown Toronto. If you did, you can be sure you'd want to stay as far away from them as possible. It's amazing how things that are quite unacceptable in the city, are totally no biggie in the woods. Like this:

Yes, that's poop behind him. Do mice just poop constantly?

This poor little guy got stuck in the bottom of a bowl (that will teach us to do our dishes more promptly). We found him running in place frantically trying to get up the slippery wet side.

After a few minutes of pointing and laughing (and picture-taking) I decided to stop being a cruel city gal and release the country mouse from his ceramic prison. The mice weren't really so much of a problem but the chipmunks on the other hand...

Those little buggers were relentless! Fortunate for them, they're so darn cute it's hard to get angry when they get into your food. Case in point: One morning the b.f. woke up to see a chipmunk run out from inside my moccasin (awh!). Later we discovered the little guy had broken into our bag of rice stored the grains in my shoe (again, awh!). Why would a he bring the rice from the kitchen to my shoe? Chipmunk logic I guess. I don't expect to understand.

It wasn't all rodents, thank goodness. Our cottage rental also appeared to include a dog.

She just ran out of the woods one day startling the be-jesus out of us. Later we saw her swim out to another dock across the lake (it's a really small lake). I dubbed her 'Possibly Layla" as one morning I heard someone call out "Layla!" to a barking dog. She would have been "Definitely Layla" but she only responded to this name about fifty percent of the time. This proves she is either a) Not named Layla, b) named something that merely sounds like Layla or c) is named Layla, but is not very obedient. Regardless of name, she visited often and it was nice to have her company.

Apart from the flora and fauna, you can bet there was some knitting. Turns out mosquitoes like Malabrigo almost as much as I do:

Do mosquitoes count as fauna?

I don't think I could face the winter without that lovely sunshine-y merino wrapped around my neck. I decided to give entrelac a go and printed out this great tutorial before I left. Then using this as a guide, I doubled the cast-on number to give me something more like a wrap/stole than a scarf. I think it's going to work, but it's going to take a heck of a lot of yarn - especially when I'm thinking fringe!

Next post I'll tell you what I bought. Leave it to me to find a way to shop in the middle of nowhere!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Yesterday marked my last day as an employee at Romni Wools.

No, I wasn't fired for pilfering cashmere! What have you heard?!?

Starting at the end of the month, I will be beginning a new job at a yarn company. Whee! Yes, if Romni was 'Yarniversity', I suppose I am now working on my masters degree. (Would that make sheep farming a PHD?). I'm gonna miss 'ye olde yarn hut', but you can bet I'll be visiting! My fellow employees sent me off with some gorgeous flowers, and naturally, I couldn't leave without buying myself some yarn. That yellow stuff up there in the corner? Three skeins of Malabrigo worsted (mmmmmmalibrigo) in "Frank Ochre". A colour not for the faint of heart, but you can bet my ticker is in fine shape!

Not only am I leaving a job, but I'll be leaving town for couple of weeks. (Again - Whee!) Two glorious weeks at a cottage in the middle of nowhere. I can't wait! I've spent far too much time fretting over what knitting to bring. What if I change my mind? What if I get bored of my projecst? Omigod, what if I run out of yarn? There aren't any yarn stores in the middle of nowhere! Can't I just bring my whole stash? Should I learn how to sheer a sheep just in case?

Here's the list as it stands now (we'll see what fits in the car!)

The definites:

- My 'other blog' project (It's a must. Ob-blog-gational knitting - har-har!)
- My new malabrigo (duh) to make an entrelac scarf (new skill to learn!)

The probablies:

- A sweater project I've been meaning to knit forever (with Rowan felted tweed)
- Knitty's aeolian shawl with my turquoise cone yarn (it's just a small cone)

The "I should probably leave at home's":

- Lopi socks (to line my wellies for winter)
- A freeform crochet scarf of my own design (It would mean six more skeins of yarn to pack!)

Off, to pack, but I've got one last FO for you:

I feel guilty enough leaving a sick cat behind while I go on vacation (don't worry, he has a sitter). The least I can do is leave him with a new place to sleep!

Pattern: Straight from my noggin'
Yarn: Drops Alaska left over from my Owl sweater (2-3 skeins I think)
Hook: 5mm

See you in a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Love labours

Out of the three projects I've been working on lately, exactly three are for other people. What gives? Am I Santa Claus or something? Ghandi? Mother Theresa? Alas, it's not all selfless giving, though feel free to build a temple in my honour. The first project is something I've been meaning to do for months:

The original Jenny cloche, frogged and re-knit smaller. I wrote the pattern for two sizes, and Jenny (the girl, not the hat) was given the large-size prototype when a small would have been a better fit. Considering the hat knits up so quick and is named after her for chrissake... I probably should have got around to this a lot sooner. Of course, now I have to get around to giving it to her...

And who are these lovely new models?

These fantastic plastic ladies have moved in after losing their positions as wig models in Detroit. Long story... the recession..., you know what I'm talking about. I especially like the snooty look on Miss Thang here:

The models were gifts from my main man, so it was only fair I got around to finishing up something I started for him, in , oh... December.

Please excuse crap photo. The recipient is not around to model
and black knitting is next to impossible to photograph!

Okay, so it's not much to look at, but that there is what you'll find in the dictionary if you look up "labour of love".

Labour of Love: (ley-ber uhv luhv): noun
A hand-knit 1x1 rib, black, laceweight 100% cashmere beanie.

Started for Christmas, finished for an August birthday. My mother Theresa-like status is sinking by the minute.

But wait!

A big circle of double crochet, soon to be a bed for my kitty Teddy. Teddy is not well and I'm sure he could use a nice place to sleep. I won't get into the details, but he's got a hyper-thyroid condition. Crochet can totally cure that, right?