Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Have we met?

So I've been blogging away for more than six months now. It is my intention to put out one a day, but obviously life gets in the way and sometimes days go by before I get something up. And sometimes I throw out multiple posts in one day (case in point: today).

I have been telling people in my life that hey I'm blogging and if you want to keep up to date with what's happening, read this! Not expecting anyone to.

On my last trip to Victoria, I was delighted to learn that several people I know in real life are reading this! It's kind of funny, isn't it, to be putting up all this stuff and to know that most of the readers are people I've never met and may never meet. My regular readers know what's going on in my life more than most of my friends and family.

I'm sure this is a common plight among bloggers. Ah well, we can't have it all. But if I have blogged about something and then I see you in person and you didn't know about X event, then I know you don't read me. And that's okay. There are only so many hours in a day, after all.

Here is a list (you know I love lists!) of things I plan to blog about in the coming days:
1) our spice rack
2) the Poached Pears experiment
3) hops in my friend's garden
4) Oyakodon/Food My Sweety makes
5) Low low tide
6) Longnose skate
7) 4 Spice (floathouse) restaurant
8) Something Else (I have it written down, but it will be a surprise).
9) Dogfish

Victoria Fibrefest trip part 4


Where to begin? Ursa asked me to be there for setup around 8:15am. Yawn, says I, having been up until 1:00am the night before putting labels on yarn. Okay. I stopped at the Breakfast Store (read: A&W) for a Sausage & Egger (got two, actually, just in case) and saw no Coffee Store on the way. Hoped there would be coffee there.

All the stuff had been carted to the place, so I helped erect a few tents. I say 'a few' because the tent the organizers had originally allocated for Gaia's Colours was a)too small (U was promised a 10x10 and this one was barely half that, not to mention short and b) missing some important pieces. (It seemed to me the organizers were disorganized, but I digress).



Eventually someone came with the Thrifty's tent that we used. Ursa had another helper there as well as her husband, so the four of us worked our butts off to be ready for a 10:00 start. Even then, we were still putting yarn on the racks.



There were probably eight or ten vendors there, as well as some tents representing some of the local organizations, such as the Victoria Knitters and Spinners Guild. The vendors included Knotty By Nature (LYS in Victoria, a sponsor of the festival), Knits by the Sea (my LYS from Tofino), Twist of Fate (LYS and yarn goddess from the Interior of BC), someone from a yarn shop in Sidney that was closing down, and a bunch of other people, mostly selling (dare I say ugly?) roving or crappy mass-produced yarn.


As a fibre fest market to a knitter might seem like a liquor store to an alcoholic, I had set myself a budget and had a list of things I was after. I particularly wanted lace weight yarn, pale pink if I could get it, for my first foray into lace knitting. It seemed only three stalls had lace weight yarn: Gaia's Colours, Knits by the Sea, and Twist of Fate. That explains why the lace weight yarn sold so well...

There were no food vendors! Apparently there was supposed to be a Sandwich Lady but she bailed at the last minute. By mid-day, everyone was hungry. I guess someone went and got a sandwich platter from Thrifty's but I only saw it go by... Luckily Ellie's guy bought me a bagel with cream cheese along with the coffee he brought me in the morning - I didn't ask for it but I was sure glad it came! (Ellie is the owner of Knits by the Sea). The second Sausage & Egger came in handy too, that was Ursa's lunch.


I should note too that right from the start, Ursa's tent was non-stop action. It was a good thing she had arranged for two helpers (me and the other gal) because we were _busy_. Some of the roving sold out within two hours and I'm sure half the stock was gone by the end of the day. We knew early on that there were record breaking sales but we underestimated by, well, a lot.


I did have a chance to walk around a few times. I took one tour in search of aforementioned lace weight yarn. I also nabbed the Toast Mittens I had knit for my husband's stepfather last Christmas and brought them to show. People need to see that knitting can be adventurous.

Lots of people laughed, took my picture, and I hear I even made it into the local paper. I brought out the fish I had knit as well, wished I had also brought the Chicken Toaster Cosy and the Frog Tea Cosy I had made for family members in Christmases past. Maybe next year.

I was also working on some swatches (I posted about this before I switched blog providers). Quite a few people were interested in that too - the book I was using, the techniques.

I did, in the end, find my lace weight yarn. Twist of Fate, as luck would have it (pun intended), had just the sort of thing I was after even though I didn't know it. The fuscia/purple/pink yarn is 45% camel/55% silk, 1400m for $35.00. The blues are 40% bamboo/60% silk, 1695m for $33.12. I really couldn't decide and, as I'm not likely to go to Kamloops soon, I got them both. That should be at least five years of lace knitting for me.








Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I knew I would be getting a store credit with Gaia's colours for all my help, and all day long I had my eye on this hank of reds/oranges/yellows. It was in the 'single and available' basket (This is a nod to the local grocery store, Thrifty Foods, who advertise their lone bananas as 'single and available'. The irony was unplanned but we were, after all, under the Thrifty's tent). Lots of people picked it up and loved it as much as I did, but it was still there at the end of the day and was obviously meant to come home with me. Me.


So what you see here are three hanks of the same base: Pales Superwash Merino Sock. 400yards/366 meters for $24. I didn't have enough with my 'Slave Labour Credit', as Ursa called it, so I chipped in with my remaining cash.



All in all, it was a good day.

Note: if the photos seem backwards from the text, it's because they are. I'm still getting used to this format and honestly, after such a long post it seemed way too much effort to go and rearrange the photos. Sorry!

The Big Uncertainty

Well, here it is.

We moved here three months ago so Dan could put together the brewing system and then be the brewer for the new brewery. Three. Months.

The contract was delayed and delayed and delayed. Meanwhile, with no money coming in, and bills piling up, we got nervous.

Now They have decided they can put the brewery together themselves and will call him when they are ready to have a brewer.

Uh, thanks. Thanks for casting us into this mucky situation. Thanks for stringing us along.

But, ever an optimist, I think something good will come of this. Maybe it means we will get our business going that much sooner. Maybe another opportunity will fall in our lap that we wouldn't have otherwise seen if we hadn't moved here. Who knows.

We have really settled in here and have a great social group of friends and colleagues now. People who know us know that Dan and Stacey are people with integrity, passion, resourcefulness, and a big pile of interesting stories. We are also generous, but are aware when we get taken advantage of - but we will only put up with it for so long. Push us too far, and, well, it won't be pretty.

All will be well. And now we know what is (and isn't) happening.

Jewel Cupcake



I call this a Jewel Cupcake for two reasons: 1) it was a birthday gift for the tally gal I work with most often and her name is Jewel. As a result, I put pretty beads on top to make it look like jewels!



This is actually my second cupcake. I started by crocheting a circle in the bottom. Then I picked up the stitches around the edge and did a 2x2 rib to make it look like the ribbing in a cupcake paper thingy, knitting in the round.



When I got to the top of where I wanted the cupcake to start getting bigger, I increased a lot to make it fan out. For the bottom, I inserted a piece of cardboard the same size as the round bit. Then I stuffed it with some fleece (formerly the curtains in our van).



I was decreasing for the top when I decided to put the 'jewels' on - I figured it would be much easier to hide the loose ends inside than out, so I got out a needle and thread and attached the beads (that I got for Christmas from my nieces).



This was a really fun project. I'm thinking about making more - a lot more - and at some point when I get the technique down, I'll put together a pattern. They are just so much fun. And the best part? The look on their face when you tell them you made them a cupcake but one that doesn't have any fat or calories. :-) It's so nice to knit for people who appreciate the effort. It's also nice to expose people to knitting that is unconventional.

Pretty pleased with myself.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

making up for lost time

O boy.

I had big plans to do all sorts of housework and yard work today and then a whole bunch of blog posts and then knitting. Then I got tired. And then Sweety said "let's go for ice cream!" Naturally, I dropped whatever I was doing and put on my boots.

(Rubber boots, by the way, are completely acceptable normal footwear around here. Especially since it has rained ten times today.)

(paragraph deleted for content I'm not allowed to share. Not just yet anyway.)

But since it was my first day off in a while (after being sick), I tried to pack too much into one day and then I simply got tired. Picked up a crochet hook and some brown yarn, started the bottom of a birthday cupcake for a gal I work with. She'd get mad at me if I brought her a real one (fat, calories, etc.) so I thought a yarn cupcake would be okay. I'm only working on the chocolate bottom part right now, but it will have pink 'frosting'. This will be my second cupcake and hopefully a marked improvement on the first.

I've been meeting so many people on line lately and have stumbled on a few new blogs. This one made me cry. I don't know why, it was just powerfully written and you can feel her pain come through the text. Gorgeous pictures and interesting content. If we ever move to Wisconsin, maybe I'll meet her.

I am a bit scattered at the moment, since much of our life is up in the air. We have Big Uncertainty before us (and when I am at liberty to discuss, I will). It's a bit nerve-wracking but also sort of exciting. I mean, I had uncertainty before I met Dan. Now it's just more fun. :-)

For the moment, I continue with my fish job, continue hammering away at the telehealth project, and I'll be teaching a new batch of classes at Knits by the Sea in July/August.

I still have a list of things I'm planning to blog about, mostly with photos, but I hope my dear readers you will bear with me until I can sort some other stuff out first!

(Anyone in Victoria? Apparently there is a photo of me in a recent Victoria News. I haven't seen it so if you could save me a copy... thanks!)

Victoria Fibrefest trip part 3

This is about day 2 of my trip, which was the Saturday.

Um, we slept in. (O how interesting!) Mucked around the house, took Jim his Jim socks , went for dinner at the Canoe Club with friends from Sooke, then went off to help Ursa put labels on and tie up the yarn.

Ha. I thought I'd be there for 2-3 hours. Nope, I arrived shortly after 7pm, left the workshop shortly after 1am. Six. Hours. of. Yarn.

Now I love yarn, you know, but after all that, the only word coming out of my mouth was 'yarn'.

And that's how my day went.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

exremely a lot of fish

I know my subject line is grammatically incorrect. I do that sometimes to make sure you're paying attention. Ha.

Sorry I've been silent these last few days. My sore throat turned into a full fledged chest cold and I really couldn't afford to take any more time off work so...

I've been working a lot these past few days and have two more boats lined up tomorrow. I'm finally feeling like I really know my job and it's getting fun. Some of the skippers are super nice and it makes my job so much easier. We had a crazy busy weekend with some of our validators away so lots of the work has fallen to me. I get to smell like fish. A lot.

Despite my utter lack of voice and the chest cold ravaging through me, we still managed to pile on some social events to my work schedule. On Friday we went for dinner with the new friends next door to a float house restaurant. I took photos of dinner it was *fantastic*. Yesterday we went to visit some other new friends at their home overlooking the inlet. We watched a number of eagles hunting and saw two of them swoop down and catch some shallow-swimming rockfish. Tonight we had a third set of new friends (yay new friends!) over for dinner. What was it called? Hoki Loki or something? Rice, burger, fried egg, gravy. It was way better than it sounds. My sweety is one fantastic cook.

I'm finally starting to feel better, especially since I got some sleep last night. I'm also WAY behind on posting about fibrefest - I haven't forgotten! I've just been really sick.

But don't worry, dear reader, I haven't forgotten about you!

Friday, June 25, 2010

TMI

No, this isn't about my gastrointestinal functioning.

I had another depressive episode this morning. Our kitty has been acting funny, walking with a bit of a limp and hesitating to jump on a chair that's only 40cm tall, when normally that's no great stretch for her. We examined her last night and she seemed to have no pain on palpation and there were no signs of gashes or bite marks. Nothing stuck in her paws. Her appetite seems fine and we haven't noticed any difference in the litter box. I'm just so sensitive to this cat's movements that the slightest anomaly worries me.

And I worry. When I saw her walking funny this morning, I burst out into tears. Of course I worry for her, and if we have to take her into the vet, we have to drive for an hour to get to Port Alberni.

I titled this post 'TMI' (Too Much Information) because to some, depression is a private thing that does not get talked about. My bursting into tears this morning wasn't so much about the kitty, though the kitty was the catalyst, but was more a releasing of the sadness inside me.

When I was in university the first time, I wrote an article for the Martlet that was published about when I was raped in Greece when I was 19. I wrote it for me as a sort of catharsis, but also because these kinds of things simply don't get talked about. My point in doing so was to remind people that even though, statistically, one in three women will experience sexual violence, that those are only the reported numbers.

Depression is also something, in my view, that does not really get talked about that much. I know I brought it up a few weeks ago and the Pink Cupcakes have reigned supreme ever since. So what brought on my episode this morning? I wish I knew. I mean I have some ideas, of course. But that's the thing - I'm trying to think my way out of something that is chemical and/or emotional.

Another reason I post about this publicly is to show you, dear reader, that I am human and I am not afraid to be open about this. Is it mental illness? A mood disorder? A bad month? Time will tell. (But I sure hope it is the latter!) The more people know and talk about depression I think will benefit everyone - those who suffer from it and those around the sufferers. I'm lucky I have a wonderful husband to help me through, and a great understanding boss who will give me all the leeway I need. Sometimes, that's enough to get through the darkness.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Victoria Trip part 2: FibreFest Fashion Show

Part 1 of this series is here.

Dan and I arrived just before lunch time on Friday, having driven since about 7am. I got to knit most of the way down, hurray!

One of my favourite on-the-go lunches is the Lumberjack Sandwich from Safeway. It's about $10 and can feed both of us for two meals. Unless I'm extremely hungry. Then the sandwich doesn't go as far...

We stayed at the family home, which the kids refer to as The Stately. We visited with Zola for a while and then headed out. I went to the Gaia's Colours headquarters to help Ursa get ready for the fashion show that was a part of the Victoria Fibre Arts Festival.

We arrived at the Harbour Towers Hotel
to set up and prepare for the fashion show. I was modeling the socks that I made (and I can't find the photo just now, so know that it was the Berry Season sock pattern from the Melissa Morgan Oakes book, 2-at-a-time Socks, in the Dionysus colourway of Gaia's Colour's sport weight yarn. Turns out I was also needed to model several other pieces as well.

There was a sleeveless Aran sweater (yawn), a lovely skirt (what? I know, a knit skirt seems a strange idea but it was pretty cool over the swishy skirt I was already wearing), some shawl/wraps, a hat made of leftover stash, and the socks. We had our hair and makeup done beforehand (and the gal did a nice job, too!) and the models were told the audience would want to fondle us.

Here is where we learned the knitter's handshake. If a knitter comes up to you and caresses your shoulder or whatever else is on you that looks like a handknit garment, and says "oooh, did you knit that yourself?".

Ha.

There was a small window (15 min) where the models had to run out and join the crowd for the buffet dinner (which was dreadful: undercooked pasta, bland sauces, plain meatballs in a tomato sauce. No parmesan, either!) before the fashion show began. Then it was non-stop parading around for an hour and a half. It was kind of fun, actually. Since I was in the parade, I didn't get that many photos.

Here's what I did get. One of the ladies had crocheted a dress for her parents' 25th wedding anniversary in 1972. Of course it didn't fit her anymore, but it did fit Daine, the gal from (Latvia? Lithuania? I can't remember).




Another young woman in her 20s brought a pair of socks given to her by her grandmother, but that were knit by the grandmother's grandmother - 90 years ago! The must have been knit on 1mm needles with eencie weencie yarn because the work was so fine. The initials of the person they were knit for were embroidered on the side in Cyrillic - and came from the Old Country (it was unclear if it was Russia or the Ukraine).

You could tell something yarny was happening because of the van outside.

(Hm. This is where I run into trouble with Blogger. Do I have to submit my photos for a single post all in one go? Having difficulty.)

Well then. The yarny van will have to wait for another post.

help with ravelry button

A shout out to all of you who are smarter than me and have been able to figure out how to get the Raverly buttons on your blogs. If you could let me know how you did it (especially if you have a a blogger blog), I would be much obliged.

gah

crap, where did that last post go?

Righty-ho, still getting the hang of this. I must have hit the 'save now' button instead of the 'publish post' button. What I meant to say was that I have, so far, added the Blogger links only to my blog roll. Not to be exclusive, that was just the easy way to start. I will have to enter the URLs for the other blogs and believe me, I will!

I am already way happier with this than LJ.

ah.

something exciting

See now I know you are here to see Something Exciting. What can I offer you?

uh...

(tumbleweed rolls by in the wind)


Yeah so things will get much more interesting, I promise. I've just been to-ing and fro-ing all day with the different blogs. I still haven't tried posting pictures here yet but how hard can it be? Other people do it. I just have lots to do at present. And our social life is heating up as we have not one but two social engagements this weekend! Let's hope I don't have to cancel them for work. Work would be good (=money) but so would hanging out with new friends!

Knitter's bucket list

I found this on Purling-a-long


Bold= things I have done.

* Afghan – do baby afghans count? Then yes, I have done this.
* I-cord
* Garter stitch
* Knitting with metal wire
* Shawl
* Stockinette stitch
* Socks: top-down
* Socks: toe-up
* Knitting with camel yarn – just bought my first camel yarn last week
* Mittens: Cuff-up
* Mittens: Tip-down
* Hat
* Knitting with silk
* Moebius band knitting
* Participating in a KAL
* Sweater
* Drop stitch patterns
* Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
* Slip stitch patterns
* Knitting with banana fiber yarn
* Domino knitting (modular knitting)
* Twisted stitch patterns
* Knitting with bamboo yarn
* Two end knitting – I’m not sure what this means.
* Charity knitting
* Knitting with soy yarn
* Cardigan
* Toy/doll clothing
* Knitting with circular needles
* Baby items
* Knitting with your own handspun yarn
* Slippers
* Graffiti knitting: knitting items on, or to be left on the street – never heard of it
* Continental knitting
* Designing knitted garments
* Cable stitch patterns
* Lace patterns
* Publishing a knitting book
* Scarf
* Teaching a child to knit - I tried...
* Knitting to make money
* Button holes
* Knitting with alpaca
* Fair Isle knitting
* Norwegian knitting – not sure what this is
* Household items: dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…
* knitting socks- or other small tubular items- on two circulars
* Dyeing with plant colours
* Knitting items for a wedding
* Olympic knitting
* Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
* Knitting with dpns
* Holiday related knitting
* Teaching a male how to knit
* Bobbles
* Knitting for a living
* Knitting with cotton
* Knitting smocking - ?
* Dyeing yarn
* Steeks
* Knitting art
* Fulling/felting
* Knitting with wool
* Textured knitting
* Kitchener BO
* Purses/bags
* Knitting with beads
* Swatching
* Long Tail CO
* Entrelac
* Knitting and purling backwards
* Machine knitting
* Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegated yarn
* Stuffed toys
* Knitting with cashmere
* Darning
* Jewelry
* Knitting with synthetic yarn
* Writing a pattern
* Gloves
* Intarsia
* Knitting with linen
* Knitting for preemies
* Tubular CO
* Free-form knitting
* Short rows
* Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm-warmers
* Pillows
* Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
* Rug
* Knitting on a loom
* Thrummed knitting
* Knitting a gift
* Knitting for pets
* Shrug/bolero/poncho
* Knitting with dog/cat hair
* Hair accessories
* Knitting in public



Well that was fun.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

first post on new blog

I hope you're not reading this. At least not yet. I'm not ready to present this new blog to the world until it's set up the way I like it, with all the bells and whistles I want. Until I'm ready to make the official move, please visit me at my current blog.