Thursday, March 31, 2005

Flight No AC 874

It's official. I will be leaving for Germany on May 6th. I say "I" because it's not sure that Rolf will be able to leave on the same day. Damn these crazy airline pricing policies. May 6th is only five weeks away and exactly six days after our move. Don't ask how I am going to handle this, there's no way I want to think about that now. Instead I have started to make a list what I "need" to buy and bring back. I haven't really gotten far but I better bring an empty suitcase, tehee.

I wanted to take another shot of my brown FBS but the battery of the camera went dead just now so you'll have to wait.

Got my hands on the new Vogue Knitting yesterday and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. Well, apart from all the unnecessary novelty yarn ads and consequently hideous knits which make me nauseous, there are some quite nice designs to be found.

Let me mention Cathy Maguire's beaded shell - I know, for me it's a colour trap, but I actually think it has a nice shape. I don't know how practical the neckline on Nora Gaughan's body-skimmer is - I like how it looks though (Except maybe for the fact that you can see the purl row of the cast-on. What's with that? Can't you start on a WS row so we don't have to see that? I don't want to see that. Or might it even be on purpose?). She has an interesting concept on the wrap-front hoodie, I have to ask: Why hoodie? I can't see the necessity of the hood. The neckline on Kathy Zimmerman's shell looks like it would choke me - apart from that it looks okay. Am positively surprised by Mari Lynn Patrick, the twinset is quite nice. The tiny-cable tennis sweater by Debbie Bliss is "cut to hug every curve" - personally I don't want that but my sister would look cute in it. The Kaffe Fassett design in Rowan Summer Tweed makes me think I am stuck in the 80s. New Yarn but no new take which is too bad.

There's more to be had - things I wouldn't wear and some I wouldn't want to be caught dead in. Haven't read any article yet but all in all it wasn't as bad an investment as for the last Knitter's I bought.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

House elf?

I feel a bit like living at Hogwarts right now - there must have been a house elf around fixing the water problem. It has stopped trickling. Since our super has not informed me of the when/how/what I only can guess what happened.

I know there's knitting in Harry Potter - and I wish with all my heart someone would tell me how to make the needles knit by themselves. Or maybe have a house elf doing it for me. Then I might be able to report more progress.

For those of you who might have been a bit alienated by yesterday's post, don't think I would really kick someone in the balls just because I don't like them. I just enjoy painting colourful pictures and am annoyed by no end by this ad. But then, it's my blog and do I really have to explain my antics? No, don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Ads and how they work

If I have to see one more ad with JoAnn Liebeler for Mr. Rooter I am going to scream. I would love to kick this female Bob-Vila-wannabe in the non-existent balls. Maybe the whole "water in my closet" incident has scarred me more than expected and now I am left with a plumber-envy that evokes hostile feelings towards anyone who has one working on their problems while here the water is happily trickling away...

It cannot be denied however that "Mr. Rooter" and his plumbing capabilities are burned into the outer layer of my brain - note: I would never call him 'cause it would feel like having no-balls-Vila in my home - and so it must be concluded that this horrifyingly stupid ad works. Aaaaargh.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Still

I am done with breathing but the water is still running. Our super was here yesterday to check it out and told me he'd let me know what/how/when. I am still waiting. What else am I still doing? You wouldn't believe it since my last posts showed quite a lack thereof: knitting.

I said I swore off socks for a while - the while was short 'cause I had an idea I had to try:


Fiddlesticks, love my DPN's to death...and what you can do with them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Breathe in - and out...

Calm down, don't freak. Unless you have little rivulets of water running down the back of your closet and the shirt that your husband was supposed to wear to his job interview might be forever ruined you are not allowed to get upset. Do you fulfill these requirements? I didn't think so.

You could argue that it is quite uncommon having water in your closet and it would be undeniably true. I keep going there and checking - believe you me, checking 20 times doesn't change the fact a bit. There's water in my closet.

Off now to contact the super, our landlord, the RCMP or the fire department (they know about water, don't they?) to stop the water in my closet. On second thought, a plumber might do, too.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Playing with software

I got new software last week. It's called Knitware and I like it a lot. Especially when you design yourself it makes things way easier.

This program isn't half as well known as it deserves. I have been playing around with it and trying all the things you can do and I am amazed at what you get for 60 CAD.


This is what your screen looks like when you work on a design. I like that you can see every change at once because all the parts are displayed on the right half. Since you get the possibility to change the settings (colour, font of the pattern etc.) of course I did so and changed a ghastly bright blue to a hue of apricot. I love it when program designers spend attention to these little things!

It has all the features you need, maybe even more (including machine knitters and crocheters):

- different ease styles (from skin tight to oversized)
- construction: flat, circular up, circular down
- straight, fitted waist, A-line
- a lot of different lenghts: from cropped to ankle length (nine in all!)
- 10 shoulder styles - the newest being the one worked with a yoke
- 7 different sleeve styles (all you need, really)
- five different sleeve lengths (plus sleeveless, of course)
- seven possibilities to choose a hem (or not)
- 11 necklines (choose front first, then back)
- 12 possibilities for the collar style (including two hoods)
- you can enter a stitch pattern repeat and the pattern for the garment will be adjusted
- you won't be able to make any mistakes since you will be alerted
- it has a hat calculator!
- if your gauge is different, don't worry, it has a gauge equivalent calculator
- you can get a yarn estimate (taken from information about your swatch)
- of course you can print out the pattern

You can change the dimensions to make a garment suited perfectly for you and you can leave notes (I find that particularly helpful).

You can print grids to draw your pattern on. Punch in some numbers for the magic formula and you'll get the exact data when to increase/decrease.

One of the newest features is the round yoke shaping - top-down, bottom-up, funnel or evenly shaped...I tell you, no end to what you can do with this program!

I am pretty sure I haven't discovered all the nifty stuff - but aren't you impressed with my list already?? If so, get a demo version and start playing, too!

Friday, March 18, 2005

I feel so together

Outfit wise - otherwise I think I have proven that I don't have it together.

Woohoo, I have a new hand bag! I know I said I don't like shopping for me at Winners (TJ Maxx for my readers south of the border - the "you should go" kinda gave it away), but this time I scored a lovely leather hand bag for about a quarter of the original price and I don't care if it's last season's or last century's - and yes, this one talked to me, too.


The leather is very soft, it's Italian made and for those who care for brands: it's "Claudia Firenze".


I just love the brown braided trim on that hue of apricot - don't you, too??

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Screw up

I had it all planned out. A nice green post for St. Patrick's Day. Why didn't anyone tell me that it was yesterday?? ("yesterday" as in "The Wedding Singer" when Adam-Sandler-tells-his-no-good-fiance-who-has-stood-him-up-at-the-altar-it-would-have-been-good-to-know-that YESTERDAY!)

You are invited to have a good laugh on my expense. I don't mind. I can't mind because I am a dumbass.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Like felted bags?

Check out Deawn's blog for a slideshow of a felted bag contest at String of Purls.

I didn't like all of the entries, but some of them talked to me: "Get me, make me, you know you want me". Ever encountered a bag like that? My talking bags are usually made of leather, the concept of felting could change that.

Off now to develop a scheme how to survive the next six week without being able to start felting right away.


P.S. I got a very nice e-mail with Jan's address and so I'll duly march to the post office today and ship the markers to her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Working with beads

This is an answer to the comment of Jan, of whom I don't have any information whatsoever and can't contact her in a more private fashion:

Dear Jan,

thank you for your comment on my blog and the compliment on the stitchmarkers I made. Due to my being a bit ambiguous in my post from March 14 you are of the opinion that I do not like working with beads. This is a misconception since I love working with beads, wire and whatnots.

However, I do not like using stitchmarkers in my knitting
unless it is absolutely necessary which happens ever so rarely. Thus I have little use of all the fancy markers (I like to think they are) and if you are willing to leave your name and number (i.e. address) under matchboxmona@sympatico.ca I would be greatly pleased to know that by sending them to you I can give them a loving home.

Hoping you'll be back and reading this,

Mona

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Noooooo!

It is snowing. I cannot believe it.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Could it be?

Could it really be that this photo and the current temperatures (around and above 0°C during the day) are the first signs of spring here in Montreal??


It's sunny, the effing snow melts, and you don't have to bundle up like a mummy to go outside. Which I plan do to later to meet my husband and then to pick up other packing materials like tape, paper and more boxes.

I spent some time (more like a couple of minutes since there is really nothing to it) last night on making wire, beads and rings into this:


I stopped when I found that I don't dig the beads I have at home. I think I have to re-visit "The Bead Emporium" on Avenue Victoria (Bead Emporium Of Montreal Inc, 368 Avenue Victoria, Westmount, QC) - I am pretty sure that I will find absolutely fabulous ingredients for more stitch markers there. Funny thing is: I don't even like using them...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

One step beyond

Though there are folded boxes all over our apartment the whole moving thing didn't feel "real" until today. You want to know why? 'Cause we went out and bought a washer, a dryer and a fridge all at once!

These are the first appliances ever we had to buy on the north-american continent since our apartments so far came with a fridge and stove and the washer/dryer in the basement and I feel a little bit giddy. After all, it's no little amount of money one can spend on necessary items like that. Good thing Véronik made me check the consumer reports, otherwise we would have been left quite clueless in the appliance-jungle out there. We got the Whirlpool duet washer and dryer (both frontloaders), and also a Whirlpool fridge. All of them did very well in the reports, let's just hope it wasn't because they bribed the editors (that's my husband's sense of humour talking here...).

Let the felting adventures begin! I can't wait to try it and with my own washer no one will keep me from doing so.

I fear I won't have a lot of knitting news in the following weeks but will keep rambling on about moving and what's involved. Maybe that turns out to be interesting as well??

Friday, March 11, 2005

Exciting Days

Since I told myself that it would be a good idea to be really well organized when moving, Rolf and I are trying to get a head start. This means that we already picked up leftover boxes from our friends' last move and that our apartment looks like a mis-managed warehouse. I have to push aside folded boxes everywhere I want to go and wonder where I am going to put them once they are full. It does make sense though to start packing already because there are lots of things we won't need in the next, uh, seven weeks. SEVEN WEEKS? And I thought I was talking about "starting early"...

What is also exciting is that Rolf has a job interview on the 23rd of March, it would be great if he got the job. And then, we might be traveling a bit in the second week of May, can't be specific yet, will do as soon as I know. This means I have a lot to looking forward to - oh, and Deawn wrote that she is planning to come back from Omaha mid-April, which definitely falls into the same category.

Other news: I found that I like knitting lacy things - especially leaf patterns. So after finishing the FBS I started another one...don't ask me why I often knit things twice, I think I just want to see how it "would turn out if I used this yarn" instead.


The brown alpaca I bought in 2003 in Vermont is of course too thick to use double stranded, so I only use one strand and like the outcome a lot. It's a bit more delicate than the other version, hence it is smaller and I think I have to add more pattern repeats.(Looking at this picture even I am kind of bored and fear my readers will feel the same, it really looks like nothing and its another FBS.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Monday, March 07, 2005

Lovely Lace Leafs part 2

I must develop a severe form of "workitis". Or it might be the snow outside that makes me rush about in our apartment. This Monday was quite filled with activities. I will spare you the details, just let me mention that I did something I rarely, uh, never do: I blocked a piece of knitting right after I finished it. I did not use a measuring tape - even I have my limits - but I did it.


I also realized that my next knitterly acquisition has to be a large styrofoam board. As soon as we're moved I will get one. And then I am going to block the heck out of everything. Maybe.

Lovely Lace Leafs


Need.To.Block.

I am having my personal "white-out". Good thing I am not someone who gets easily depressed. No, being grumpy describes it very well.

Someone.Make.The.Snow.Stop.NOW.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Do you "Lee Valley"?

Let me introduce you to Lee Valley. If you already know them you'll go "aaah, yes", if not, go and take a look at their site. Lots of cool stuff (most of it I'll probably never need since I am neither a woodworker nor gardener, but nonetheless), including this:


As someone who hates doing anything destructive to her books (even putting post-it notes in them might cause slight nausea), these are the perfect solution. I was able to procure 10 of these beauties mounted on paper in a "Barnes & Noble" in Southern Illinois for a ridiculous high price - now look:


There are fifty of them in a stylish tin box (I mean, this looks so Art Deco, come on!) and for a mere 9.95 CAD you can go crazy doing this:





Now you tell me that is not fab!!


Last note: "It's snowing, it's snowing, God, I hate this weather!" ("New York City" - They might be Giants)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

C'est si bon - c'est fini. C'est quoi? Clapotis!

One afternoon of sitting on my couch, watching TV (Stargate, a Cadfael movie and "My cousin Vinny" for the umphteenth time 'cause I love it) and it's finished. I have decided that I won't give it away, no, I'll keep it. The colour just screams my name and, heck, I knit it, I can do with it what I want, can't I?


Picture with me wearing it will follow - eventually.


Talking about sitting on couches: I found one that I would love to have for our new living room:


This one is from "The Art shoppe" and the only thing I would change is the colour - maybe. The chaise longue attachment is just brilliant.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Exposed

Margaret took a picture of me, indeed. I have been debating posting it since it is not really flattering. Which is not at all her fault and only partly blamable on the angle the picture was taken in. That's all I have to say about it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"Get this party started" - Pink

Sunday afternoon, 2 p.m. Lee Ann did just this:


Lemon loaf, chocolate cake and a chocolate/raspberry with ganache. As you can see it was also catered to the more savoury taste.

I have been taking pictures so I am not in them. Margaret has been taking pictures, too - so I might show up in one of her photos, I have to ask her. Véronik successfully dodged all tries to get her as usual and, last note: I stink at taking photos, just you wait and see...


This is Lee Ann - one day she might even get her own blog to entertain us with her knitting and other adventures, she really should 'cause she is good at writing. In the meantime I have to tell you that she is working on a hat with periwinkle blue Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino....hmmm, nice and soft.


That's Margaret and Roz (who we got to meet for the first time - Roz, not Margaret). Reina is in that photo, too, but since I disregarded an important rule of photography (don't do it against the light) she is barely visible. Sorry! Reina started knitting only recently, that doesn't keep her from inventing her own patterns as Svetlana told us.


Here's Roz and Deborah - and, yes, I did it again 'cause there is another window in the back...Roz brought some bulky yarn and asked for ideas what to do with it, I hope we could help and she decided what to knit. Deborah was working on a design from Phildar (I think), I seem to remember a hoodie. (Feel free to correct me.)


To close off our little knitter round let me show you Kajin and Molly Ann, well, kind of, since this pic is a bit flurry. Kajin was working on a sock with Opal yarn (nice pink colourway) and Molly Ann is needling away on her cashmere sweater on 3mm needles. One day she might actually finish it - when she is done with all her school assignments and other work, right? And, there are Véronik's knees and some of her knitting visible, oh my, I hope she can stand having her knees on my blog.


This is what I have been working on. The right front of my Mackintosh Cardi.

Special note for Deawn: We missed having you there - please come back from stinking boring Omaha and knit with us again! (No offense to all of your fabulous relatives, I am just being egoistic.)

Hold that thought: Special note for Jo, too. The poor girl had planned to come but had to work instead. Hope to see you soon!

Talking about getting things started: Last night I had an urge...I started opening all cupboards to find something to munch on. Since I have stopped buying empty calories I found nothing - good thing, too. What did I do? I opened my yarn stash drawers and looked there. I found Baby Silk, six balls of it. Just enough to start this:


Looks familiar? Of course it does. You'll find this all over the place. Which makes it nonetheless a nice little project.

I was tempted to post another pic - it is snowing again. Then I decided you can just have a look at this since it looks exactly the same.