Friday, April 29, 2005

Secret Pal Revelation

I have revealed myself to my Secret Pal. Her blog is linked on my sidebar - Pick Up Sticks. Check it out.

I did get my hat finished for the Dulaan Project last night but didn't get a chance to start anything else. Think my next thing for that will be a pair of striped mittens. There is a new girl that will be starting work here at the store officially on May 9th (she's been popping in doing "volunteer" work a few days so far). She knits as well and has some scarves at the local hospital gift shop that she is going to give to me to send in as well.


Happy knitting!

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Kids say funny things. Last night my five year old asked me to teach him to knit. I thought I would start him off on a basic garter stitch scarf. His favorite color is green, so I told him he could make a scarf out of some leftover grey/white ragg yarn to send to Mongolia until I could buy him some green yarn to make one for himself. "How far away is she?" he asked! Then I had to explain to him that Mongolia wasn't a girl but a country far away and that I was knitting things to send to homeless children there. I will probably end up making most of the scarf, but he has knit a couple of slooowww rows. At least he's trying! Not sure how long this will hold his interest, but if he wants to do it I will help him out.

Cold, wet rainy day today. Must be the weather that made Simba go nuts this morning. He was tearing around the house like mad, acting like he was a kitten again. I must say none of my cats lost their interest in playing. I got up the other morning and found one of the balls of yarn I am using to make a two-colored hat for the Dulaan Project by my bathroom door. Not sure which one stole it out of my knitting basket. (This just two days after bragging up to someone at the store that the only yarn my cats bother is the Shetland Ragg yarn.)

Tonight I hope to finish the two-colored hat for Dulaan. If I have time I will either start another one or start the Dulaan mitten I need to finish the pair.

Check out Mossy Cottage Knits (see sidebar link) for the latest progress reports on the Dulaan Project and for pictures of some of the homeless children that we are knitting to warm.

Happy knitting!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Pre-felted buttonhole bag. It shrunk up some but not a huge amount. I thought it would shrink more than it acutally did. It was washed twice in a very hot wash, cold rinse cycle. Posted by Hello

Felted buttonhole bag in the drying process. I rolled up a towel and put inside to help block it. Posted by Hello

Finished felted buttonhole bag. I may run it through the wash and make it a little fuzzier. Not sure yet. I want to make a longer one and may wait and try with that one first. I don't want to over-felt it. I think it got a little fuzzier with use. It looks "feltier" in person than it does in this picture. Posted by Hello

Frilly edged baby set I designed size 0-3 months. Posted by Hello

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Its been raining here since Saturday, at times very heavily. Right now it seems to have stopped, and there is actually some sun peeking out from behind the clouds.

Yesterday two of my babies had a birthday. Simba and Nala turned 9. That is their actual birth date, too. I had gotten them from a guy I worked with, so I knew the exact day that his cat had her kittens. Pumba will be 7 in the fall. I got him from the local pet shop, so I don't know exactly when he was born. The lady who owned the shop took that batch of kittens to try to find them homes or else they were going to be put down. (Pumba was the last one left - 4 of them were bobtails, one had a full length tail. I have a soft spot for bobtail, which is why I have 3 of them!)

A bunch of guys and their spouses from the fire department went bowling Saturday night. That was fun with a broken toe! Couldn't wear shoes so I just bowled sock-footed. It was really weird not being able to bowl like I usually do. I did manage to get an 86, 80, and 75. Only had one spare in the last box on the first string. I haven't bowled for months, so that was pretty good. (We have candlepin bowling here. I have never bowled anything but candlepin. For anyone unfamiliar with it, the 10 pins are skinny and straight, and the balls are small and have no holes for your fingers.)

Not too much done on the knitting front this weekend. I did wind 8 skeins of Briggs & Little yarn into balls. I decided to get some unfinished projects finished before I start much more. I have about 5" left to knit on Shane's scarf and put the fringe on it. Should be able to finish that tonight. I also have one mitten to make for a pair going in the box for the Dulaan Project. I have to have my box of goodies ready to go by June 1. Still have 7 or 8 things left to make to reach my personal goal of 20.

The store is really starting to look nice. I forgot to bring my camera again to take some pictures. I did get the camera software loaded onto the computer but haven't gotten Hello! downloaded yet. I'm getting there!

Anyways, must go be productive. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

First Felting

I made my first felted item last night. I made a buttonhole bag for myself, just a small one. I have pictures of it, but I haven't loaded my camera software onto the new computer yet (will try tomorrow). It didn't turn out too bad. I made it with light green and light blue Briggs & Little Atlantic wool. I washed it inside of a pillowcase along with a large beach towel on my longest wash setting. Then I decided to run it through once more but on 6 instead of 10. Felted just right, I think. It took two skeins, two strands held throughout with 10mm circulars. I want to make another one but buy an extra skein and make it higher. I also will try to do the increases near the bottom a little differently.

It was an absolutely beautiful day today. It was 23 Celsius and sunny. Tonight it is supposed to start raining or - get this - snowing. Halifax could get up to 10cm of snow, so the weatherman says, but the afternoon tomorrow is supposed to get up to 9 or so. The rest of the week it's going to be around 10 Celsius. I've really been missing my walks, but my toe just hurts too bad, and I can still only get my crappy sandals on my foot. I tried to get my slippers on to wear to work yesterday. They have cushioned soles and have soft velvety uppers, but I couldn't get it on my foot without causing severe shooting pains. Maybe the end of the week I can.

I started a cable sweater for the store in Patons Shetland Ragg (25% wool, 75% acrylic). I also have to finish some of the other projects I started and haven't finished.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Have Broken Toe, Will Hobble

Tried to post earlier today, but I kept getting an error. So here goes...

We got everything moved into our store on Saturday. We got a lot of it organized, but when I left at 4 it still looked like the place blew up. I don't know if the owners went in today and did anything or not. A lot of it was piled to the side, as it was extras that we were going to put either out back or in our warehouse. I am really hoping that the owners did go in today and there's not so much of a mess left. I broke my baby toe on my left foot Saturday suppertime, so I am not going to be able to do much standing and walking for the next week or more. I am not very graceful. Hit it in one of the many toys laying around on the floor. This is at least the second time this toe has been broken (at least once when I was a kid), and I broke my baby toe on the right when I was a kid also at least once and twice in adulthood. I went to outpatients last night, mostly to get a painkiller (throbbed like hell). Been there, done that enough to know when it's broken and that there's nothing they can do unless it's dangling off to the side. Anyways, the doctor taped it to the toe next to it, and two hours later I went home sans pain killers. (He mentioned Tylenol 3 but then must have forgotten.) Tomorrow I have to get it x-rayed to make sure I didn't crack it down my foot further.

I finished the frilly edge baby set tonight. I had another one preemie sized started and only had the body of the jacket left to do, so I started that tonight as well.

Bedtime for me, happy knitting!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Move's On For Tomorrow

I guess tomorrow we can start moving the yarn down to our store at 11am. The current owner was going to wait until she closed at 3, but it is supposed to be a beautiful, warm day, so she's letting us start early. We've had really positive feedback from the majority of people who hear we are going to sell yarn. Some people have found it really weird. (Yarn in a computer/framing & photography store?!) We have some signs in the windows "Ball n Skein coming soon", so a lot of people think we're either moving or closing out!

We bought a new computer this week. Blows the old one totally away! I got the old one six years ago next month, and all I ever did to it was put a burner in it, USB slots, and upgraded the ram to 96meg. This one has like 512meg of ram, waaay faster processor, Windows XP.... Makes high speed on the old one look like dial-up! I have most things reloaded on it but still have a few more things to put on it, including my camera software.

Started seeing a chiropractor this week. What a difference in my back after even just one visit! Had my second visit today and have four more scheduled over the next week-and-a-half. I am quite sore today, but she warned me that I could be. Lots of snapping and popping, but boy, does it feel good. I have medical and will be refunded the full amount of what I have to pay, so I think I will go on a monthly basis. (She sees her chiropractor every month.) Bad backs run in my family, so I think it's a good idea. I injured my back quite bad when I was 16, and she feels it all stems from that incident (comical scene in reality, but to the point I sort of fell out of a moving car and cracked my tailbone).

Not too much knitting done lately. The weather is getting to nice to be cooped up inside. Think tonight I will work on Shane's scarf til I run out of yarn in that ball (forgot to bring more). Also I have with me yarn to start a sweater for the store. When I get home I will finish the frilly edged baby set I have been working on. It's almost done. Just have to finish sewing in one sleeve and do the neck. Tonight's TV shows: Coronation Street (love it - only soap I watch) and Most Haunted (oddly enough another show from England!)

Happy Knitting!

Monday, April 11, 2005

"The Move" Date is Set!

I guess we are going to move the yarn down to our store on Saturday. They have it all counted. The only thing left to count are some pattern books, the knitting needles, and the buttons that I picked out. (I went up this morning and picked out what ones I wanted to bring down here.) Finally!

It's been beautiful here lately, but tonight the weatherman is calling for 2cm of snow. That won't last more that a day, though. Been going for lots of walks with the boys lately. We went to one of the little parks in town yesterday for an hour or so (big fight of course when it was time to leave). So not much knitting was done this weekend. I have the sleeves and booties left to do on one of the baby sets I am making. Jacket body and bonnet is done. Will post a picture when it's done - first time I've done a frilly edge. I like it, but it's a pain, as you have to cast on 4 times the number of stitches normally needed (in this cast 484 sts!). But it's neat, definitely worth it. I have the bonnet and booties done to another frilly edged preemie set for the store. Also I have to finish a pair of socks and mittens I started for the Dulaan Project, and the infamous scarf for poor Shane! Got to finish some of this stuff up soon before I start anything else. I have a big list going of stuff I want to make for the store, so once the yarn gets moved down here on the weekend I'm sure store stuff will be priority over everything else!

Will post pictures of our new yarn corner of the store once we are finished setting it up. Right now it looks like it exploded. An electrician is coming in a couple of weeks time to install new lighting.

Happy knitting!

Friday, April 08, 2005

How Many TVs Make Too Many TVs?

How many TVs make too many TVs? We have a 32" TV in the living room, a floor model in the rec room downstairs (on its last legs, it's like 20 years old), a 13" TV/VCR combo in one son's room, a 19" TV, which was in our bedroom, and an old 13" TV in the basement that used to go long hauling with hubby. Now we have yet another 32" TV for the whopping price of $1! (ticket draw) Now hubby thinks he's in a movie theatre (of course this one ended up on the dresser at the foot of our bed). This one will eventually move downstairs to the rec room and be replaced once again with the 19", which was in the living room until before Christmas when we replaced it with the first 32", which replaced the wonky floor model (did I say that in all one breath?). So our house has 6 televisions.

Not too much knitting done the last few days. I have a cold and feel like crap. Got five things on the go, which I don't normally do. I like to finish one thing before starting another or else I tend to end up with unfinished objects.

Still waiting for the first lot of yarn to come down to our store!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

And We Wait and We Wait

We have been rearranging the store and cleaning it up, making room for the yarn that is to come. They are busy doing inventory at the yarn shop, making sure the actual yarn count matches their book. As the sections of yarn are counted and checked they will send it down here. Then I will have to enter it into our inventory in our computerized system. I think we will have to keep their book going for now to keep track of dye lots. They refer to it on a daily basis, so I think it will be a good thing for us, too. Especially if the guys who work here have to look something up for someone! (That should give Karen and me a good chuckle!) Ideally this book tells you how many balls of yarn you actually have on hand in certain colors and dye lots.

One of the ladies who works in the yarn shop now was in a few minutes ago. She is going to help out here for a couple of months til we get things going. (She isn't "losing" her job. She just does it for something to do and doesn't want to work in the summer.) I asked her about some of the wool they have and if it's good for felting. She went out to her car and brought in a bag she had made and felted. One thing I never thought of til she brought it to my attention was the wear and tear on the washing machine. A lady in town wore hers out, and she blamed it on all the fuzz from felting so much stuff. Good to note. I don't plan on felting too much stuff, but I would like to try a couple of things. I am going to learn sooooo much once this lady and the owner are here to help us out!

I am also anxious to get some yarn down here so I can start making finished stuff for the store. I am working on a baby set for the store. I have a bunch of yarn home that I bought on eBay for an excellent deal, and we will be selling it in the store. I think I may knit a sweater for the store out of it. I had originally wanted to make one for myself, but it wasn't my first choice colorwise (couldn't pass up the deal). I may end up seeing if they have the color I want and exchange it or something.

On the needles right now is Shane's scarf (still!), Dulaan socks, and two baby sets. I also have one cabled mitten finished, either for the store or Dulaan, haven't fully decided yet.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Yarn Shop Outing

Today the bosses and I went up to the yarn shop to take some measurements and look at what we want to bring down here. We are taking her cross stitch supplies, crochet cotton, yarn, all knitting supplies (needles, pattern books, buttons), and a couple of other things. I think they are going to bring down some rug hooks, latch hooks, and tapestry yarn and canvases. Everything sewing related is going to the local sewing shop, and craft supplies are going to a store about 10 minutes outside of town. We hope to have everything down here and set up in about two weeks. We started moving some stuff in the store today and will continue on Monday.

I have been looking at patterns and trying to decide what I will make for finished projects to sell in the store. There is a lot of Briggs & Little yarn, so I will make some wool socks, mitts, and hats, maybe a cabled scarf. Plus I want to make a few baby sets and kids sweaters. I would like to find a poncho pattern I like and make one for the store. I will wait and see just what yarn I have to work with before I pick anything out for certain. I would like to use a wide variety of yarns and make swatches so people can see how things knit up (especially variagated and flecked yarns). I had my eye on a couple of yarns today that brought ideas to mind...

Will post some pictures of the yarn area of the store once it is organized.

Happy knitting!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!

Well, I guess the owners of the place where I work have decided to take the plunge. They are going to sell yarn, knitting supplies, crochet cotton, and cross stitch supplies and kits! I'm so excited!

I wrote in earlier posts that our only yarn shop in town was in the process of closing out, and the owners of the place where I work were debating whether or not they wanted to buy some of her stuff. I knew they had been talking to the lady who owns the shop, and today they informed me that they had decided to go for it. I will be able to knit sample swatches and some finished items to sell. I think I'll make some socks, mitts, hats, and maybe even a poncho (if I can find a pattern I like). I will also make a couple of my own baby sets designs. I would also like to make some Kool Aid dyed yarn to sell. So many possibilities.... Will have to start a list. Anyhow, the existing shop has to be cleared out of their spot by the end of April, so we have to get started down here asap on rearranging and organizing the store for the new products. I didn't think they would do this -- I'm so excited!

Anyways, on the knitting front, I have been working slowly and steadily on Shane's scarf. The weather is getting nice out now, so he won't use it til the fall, therefore no big huge rush to finish it! I also am working on a pair of pink and green socks in kid's size 2-4 for the Dulaan Project. I turned the heel today on the first one. I also want to start a baby set with a frilly edge. I try not to get too many things on the go at once or I tend not to finish things.

Must go knit something.

Happy Knitting!