Friday, 25 April 2008


I should blog. I know I should blog, but I can’t think to write. That’s what working in an office does for you.

So, I give you:

My Weasley Package from my good friend Inkysticks:
Aside from being funny, it contained much joy from someone who knows me well. Then there were my Knit Picks replacement cables which I was expecting. Inkysticks is my KP pimp since they don’t cater to the international crowd. Hats off to Knit Picks who replaced them free of charge since all of mine are falling apart. There was TEA! White Plum tea. It is yummy. Very yummy. I drank a whole pot this morning. Good stuff. I recently subscribed to Interweave Knits hoping to get the Spring edition in which I knew there was a pattern I wanted. Unfortunately they informed me that they were out and my subscription would therefore start with the summer edition. Blah. So I opened the package expecting just the cables found My Very Own Copy Of the Interweave Knits Spring issue! :0) Apparently there were enough copies in Ca., but not enough at Interweave. My friend Inky took the trouble to go out and get me one and send it. There was also a lovely card which is now hanging on my wall. It made me smile and the whole thing was like Christmas in April. Thank you Inkysticks!

Eris. It is finished. Unfortunately I’m not happy with the fit, but I might be able to fix it, or at least help it along. I may leave some of the changes until after I’ve given it away just to make sure the recipient is ok with those changes. Since I know y’all will scream for pictures, here is a really bad one. I’ll try for better this weekend when we should have sun and better light.

Journey Cable socks. Me likey. I should finish the second one tonight or tomorrow. One more Christmas Pressie down, 50 to go.

My latest plan is to create my own cable for socks. I might start working on that this weekend. I think I’ll start by trying it out in a square for the remembrance blanket. That way I’ll know what I’m getting when I try socks, or if what I want is even possible. Should be, the question is more like, can I figure out how to do it.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Blog Spammage

An explanation of my previous post:

How much chocolate do the Swiss eat per year on average?Approximately 93'501 tonnes of chocolate products (including imports but excluding cocoa and chocolate powder) was consumed in Switzerland in 2007. Based on an average population of 7.61 million means Switzerland has an average per capita consumption of 12.3 kg, in other words ranking it first among the consumer countries. However, it should be borne in mind that this figure also includes the purchases of people vacationing in Switzerland and those who drive over the border just to buy Swiss chocolate.

23.3kg =27.06lbs per person.

This is because half of Switzerland has the chocolate/bread combo for their morning snack. The other half are eating chocolate Croissants.

Snack of the Day

For Überstrickenfrau:

Stuff this (unwrapped):

Through the middle of this:

and you get Yummmmmmmmmm!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Janice tagged me for this one:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Oooo, bad times. Bad times. I was still secretly looking for a job so I could jump from the sinking ship that was/is my ex-husband. It was really bad. So bad that I actually lost weight without trying and that’s not something that ever happens.

2. 5 snacks I enjoy?
Ice Cream. Ben and Jerry’s to be specific. I make do with what I can get here. Shortbread. Gingerbread. Cheese (because there has to be something halfway healthy in this list lest y’all think I’m a pig (aka the truth)) and bread with chocolate. (Do you see now why I never loose weight without trying?)

3. 5 Things I would do if I was a billionaire?
Seek financial advice. Pay off my debts. Pay my father back every dime he ever spent on me and then some. Share with the rest of the family. Set up college funds for my cousins. Take care of my grandmother for life. Buy houses in several places including Alaska and Coastal California. Buy a new car. Buy new beds for the dogs. Buy a couch. Set up a system of paying myself a salary from a secure fund as a type of protection from myself and the world. I would never want to be “poor” again.

4. 5 jobs I've had?
I have no idea what this would be called in English, but I take care of our base customers for split air conditioners. Everything from taking orders to making sure the customers get what they want when the want it, ordering stock, billing and any other problems they may have. It’s fascinating. Like watching a wart grow is fascinating.

Office Assistant in a company that manufactures the machines that manufacture plastic caps. Next to this, the AC company and wart watching really are fascinating. Trust me. I can tell you more than you or I want to know about the cap on your Coke bottle. A lot more. I’ve seen people’s eyes glaze over within seconds.

Airplane Component Reliability and Data Management Manager – Now this was interesting. I loved the work, but hated the industry. It got a little old wondering if you were going to have a job tomorrow.

Catering Assistant – Before I got my permanent permit to work in Switzerland, finding a job was difficult so I worked loading airplanes with food and drinks. It wasn’t all bad. At least we got to drive the little truck.

Sales assistant – at Sears in the shoe dept. ‘Nuff said.

5. 3 bad habits?
Yarn Stash Enhancement
Eating directly from packaging instead of putting things on a plate
Drinking from bottles instead of using a glass
I have lots more but none of them really matter as I live alone. It has its advantages.

6. 5 places I've lived?
Bern, Switzerland
Zürich, Switzerland
Davis, Ca.
Konstanz, Germany
Clovis, Ca.
(that all sounds much more exciting than it was, trust me)

7. 5 people I want to know more about?
Now that would just be giving away who I would like to stalk. :P

Bloggers? That’s a different question:

Judy the Nerdy Knitter
I’d also like to know who Gabi is. You comment, but to my shame, I can’t place you as a blogger or Ravelry

And finally LOLA! More pics.

I tag Judy for this one.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

My Latest Sin, Gluttony – and the IDiet

Oh Weekends, what fleeting things they are. My weekend passed in udder bliss (I live in Switzerland: Cow Capital of the World. The pun was intended. I hope no one died laughing.).

I did just about nothing all weekend, except for play with my new Ipod. Yes, I broke down and bought one so that I can read/listen and knit at the same time. It was getting a little annoying having to choose between the two. Now I don’t have to. It’s like being a child and having cake, candy and ice cream all at once, only without the calories. Anything good without calories is brilliant you know. Plus, it has the added benefit of occupying my hands so I can’t read and eat at the same time. Ergo, even fewer calories. And not only am I not eating whilst reading, I’m burning calories by knitting too. So basically, you could say I’m on the Ipod Diet.

It’s brilliant. It’s like being a little kid and having someone read you a story. The only problem with which is that it can make you tired, just like a bedtime story. You fall asleep just as easily, or even more so, as when you’re reading and get sleepy. It’s bliss. Bliss I tell you. Love it.

The other advantage is that I can play with the dogs outside and read at the same time. See? More calorie burning and happy dogs at the same time! What more could you possibly want. Just think of all those calories you could burn and time you could save while reading and improving your mind! Boggling.

Just don’t anyone tell Apple about this or they’ll figure out a way to charge you per calorie burned and minute saved. Next thing you know they will come out with the IDiet and make a killing. Calorie free consumption. All electronics, all the time. They’d make a killing in the dieting and electronics industries. As a matter of fact, that would probably put them way over the top and leave poor Bill in tears. The monopolistic giant toppled at last – a tragedy or IFreedom. Discuss.

By the way, if my Blog disappears anytime soon, you’ll know that Apple has sabotaged it so they can claim they came up with the idea first and prevent me from collecting the royalties that should be mine. It’s a conspiracy. I swear it. *twitches*

On the knitting front: I finished the poor Phone Sock that had been languishing in it’s knitting baglette for the last month. Now I need to cast on the mate, so it can languish for a while.

I also finished the first of the Journey Cable socks. It turned out well, if a little big

– the picture is obviously not of the finished sock. I just thought I’d show off my oh so beautiful toes, eh hem. I improvised and grafted early to keep it being long enough to fit over a snorkelling flipper. I usually knit until I have 20-24 stitches on the needles. This time I left 50 on and made a wide toe. Why is it I think this may come back to haunt me? There must be a reason for virtually every sock pattern known to man decreasing to 12st/needle before grafting. You know this is going to anger the Knitting Gods. You just know it. Yarnhog, you’ll know who to thank if they leave you alone now.

I’ve also started the sleeve of my Eris. I didn’t put pictures of it up last time because I’m not happy with it. However, since everyone seems to think they really need to see it, here it is.

Now you know why I didn’t put them up before. I’m hoping that it will get better with blocking and ironing. It should since the same thing happened on the Rogue and it now no longer shows. The next picture you see will be of the finished product. Hopefully by the beginning of May; provided, that is, that my Options cables stay together long enough for me to finish it. I was knitting along happily last night using the magic loop method for the sleeve when I pulled on the needle, only to have it come off the cable! Clean off. Chaos ensued. There were needleless stitches were everywhere! Lonely, lonely stitches. They wailed and gnashed their teeth, whilst I remained cool, calm and collected *insert copious swearing here* *insert sitting very still, until stitches were returned to a new needle, here* I had just complained to Knit Picks about these cables last week (and in all fairness am subsequently getting free replacements). I don’t have a single set of cables left that hasn’t either been repaired or is beyond repair or needs repair and I bought extra cables with the sets. I really hope they do something about the quality soon since I love the needles. It’s just the cables that need help. It wouldn’t be so bad, but they always fall apart while I’ve got stitches on them and that’s just not nice.

Come to think of it Yarnhog, I think you must have sent your Knitting Goddess straight to me. Thanks ever so much. I’ll make sure I repay you the favour sometime…:P

Friday, 11 April 2008


It’s Friday! The weekend is upon us and I have one whole weekend of nothing planned. This is fabulous in my opinion. Not that I ever have a lot of anything planned, but I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything at all, which is nice. Saturdays are usually akin to running the gauntlet and I get to skip that this weekend. This means I can use the time to scan for ticks (on the dogs) because they are in full bloody bloom. Nasty little creatures. Yet another reason to like cold weather. No ticks.

I am happy to announce that the never end hem of the Eris does actually end. It just takes a lot longer than I thought it would. This is because it’s actually knit in two directions, which is the first time I’ve done that. I had assumed that the hem was a separately knitted band was grafted on, alas, it is not. With the clever use of short rows, you knit down and then sideways. I’m not as happy with the sweater as I thought I would be. Don’t get me wrong, I still like it, but I think it would look better in wool. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that option, so I’m stuck with the other problems.

One of which is that the difference between knitting in the round and knitting flat is marked. The fabric looks almost bumpy where it’s knit flat, even though I got the same gauge for flat and round. I had this problem with the Rogue too (same yarn), but the darker colour is more forgiving for mistakes than the lighter one I’m using this time around. Hopefully I’ll be able to do something with washing and ironing. I’ve never ironed any of my knitting, but I think it’s time to try.

Another is, again, a yarn problem. This yarn really does not forgive difference of tension and you can tell exactly where your concentration lapsed. Again, I think I’ll be able to improve this by weaving in at the back. I’m hoping that enough fixing will make me happier with the sweater. I will say one thing; this yarn is really soft and comfortable to wear, so from that point of view, I know the recipient will love it.

The final thing that’s worrying me is the size of the collar. The sweater fits perfectly, but the collar is wider than I would like. It’s a bit better now that I have the weight of the sweater body pulling it down and I’m hopeful that it will improve even more once I get the sleeves on. I am hopeful.

I will eventually do this sweater again in wool because I really do like it. It’s pretty, but not to fluffy-like.

I will probably take another break this evening and work on the Journey Cable socks again. I’ve done a few rows this week, but not many. It’s still just as fun and I’m really looking forward to the finished project.

3.5 hours and counting…

Monday, 7 April 2008


I’d like to thank whichever poor snowed in person who has been concentrating on sending their snow here. It worked. We got snow yesterday and last night. It started when I got up on Sunday morning to walk the dogs. It was still dark out, but I could hear the wind. Then when it had gotten a bit lighter, I looked out the window and Lo! It was white. Blizzard type white. Not that we really had a blizzard, but it looked a bit like it with the wind. Fortunately where I take the dogs for their walks, there is always less wind and we had a fairly nice early morning jaunt. We even got a nice walk in at noon because, although it had stopped snowing, it was still raining and people were still waiting for it to stop. Just as I got back to the car, the dog owners who realized that they could no longer force Fluffy to tie a knot in it were starting to go. I love it when it rains on Sunday. Keeps the crowds down and we get the place to ourselves.

Up where I live it continued to snow a little all day, but it didn’t really stick. Then last night, it started up again and by this morning there were several inches of very compact wet snow on my car. It was nice, aside from having to dig at 6am. It will all have melted by tomorrow, but still, it was nice to have it cold again. I’m also hopeful that the continuing cold will mean that we’re going to have a relatively cool summer. In 2003, the summer from Hell, it had already warmed up by March and never got cold again. I live in hope that this will never be repeated. I should have waited for an ice age to be born.

There is, of course, an added benefit to the cold: it makes knitting sweaters, especially ones all knit in one piece, much more comfortable. I’m down to the hem on the Eris and it’s all getting a little heavy and warm. I would not want to have to do this in summer. I’m still liking the sweater, although I wish there were a little more cabling to break up the monotony of the stockinet stitch and the wraps. It seems like it’s never ending. Still, it does make it all go a little faster.

I’ve also CO the Journey Cable Socks (see list of things to knit on right hand side of screen for the link) and these are just fun. It’s simple enough to be a relatively easy knit, but there is enough cabling to keep you interested. Add to that that the recipient will love them and they really are a great pair of socks to knit up. I foresee the knitting of several pair of these.

Unfortunately, this means that I have a pair of plain phone socks languishing on the needles. I really should continue with them, but I’m afraid I won’t until the Eris is finished. Poor phone socks. I used to love doing them because they were easy and now they’re boring. Cast away for more interesting knits before they ever even really get started. It’s terrible what we do to our old friends sometimes.

Friday, 4 April 2008

What a day

Query: Am I the only one who has problems with those word verification thingies on Blogger? 50% of the time I have to retype a new one because I got the first one wrong. Do I need to see an ophthalmologist? I’d ask if maybe I should see a psychiatrist instead, but I already know what you’d say about that, so I won’t. I’d just have tell you it’s much too late for that sort of help. Anyway, for some reason I don’t seem to be able to process the letters and often get them wrong, even when I’m looking carefully. Maybe I’ve turned into a computer bot myself and Blogger is smart enough to recognize this. (see above about the psychiatrist)

Well, knitting has been uneventful, but the rest of my life picked up a bit of pace yesterday. I managed to nearly, and very thoroughly, set the house on fire yesterday at lunch. I left a catalogue on the stove top when I took the dogs for their walk. When I cam back, there was smoke. Not much, but enough to say that there is something seriously wrong here. Apparently I hit the knobs on the stove while I was slicing off a hunk of cheese for my lunch and turned two of the burners on. One was heating a bottle of wine (Fortunately it was not very good wine and I had no intention of drinking it, but I also didn’t want to throw away.) and the other merrily burning the catalogue. Fortunately it was still smouldering and hadn’t broken out into flames. No damage was done, but now the whole apartment smells like chimney. I left nothing on the stove today. The stove will remain empty henceforth. I can’t risk being that lucky twice.

You would think one near crises per day would be enough, but it isn’t. After work, I took my dogs for their usual walk and all was well for the first hour. Then Biscuit came out of the bushes covered in blood. Many thoughts ran through my head at once, the foremost of which were: I really hope she didn’t just kill something and I really hope that that isn’t from a large tick that exploded. (I should add that she looked fine, other being covered in blood) It was fortunately neither of those things. She somehow managed to rip her ear open. As much as I’d love to go into the gory details, I won’t since I know other people don’t like that sort of thing, but it was rather a bit of a blood bath. Again luck was with me though and it had stopped bleeding by the time we got to the car. She’s opened it up again twice, but it only bled a little both times. I’m hoping she’ll manage to keep still today so that a good scab can form. Even more luck, I didn’t need to take her to the vet for stitches. Silly dog.

They say things like this usually come in threes, so I’m going to manufacture the third and consider it over and done with. I arrived at work this morning, looked down and found that I was still wearing my doggie sweatshirt. It was covered in hair and slobber. Again luck was with me and I had a tape roll thingy and was able to get most of it off before anyone else arrived. A co-worker helped with the back when she got here and I now look semi-presentable. More luck, half the firm is at a meeting today so it’s less embarrassing than it could have been. I’ll be changing at lunch. I’ll still have hair as it’s shedding season, but at least I’ll be slobber free. Oh yes, even more luck, there was no blood on it. Thank God for small favours.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

As Knitting is Dangerous

Finally! I finally got to the end of the raglan increases on the Eris and have duly split the sleeves off and am working on the body. I now have about 100 rounds of stockinet to knit. That’s 17’000 plus stitches. Pros: Mindless knitting with no real possibility of mistakes. You cannot screw up stockinet *dodges lightning bolt* *prays to knitting gods* Cons: 17’000 plus stitches of stockinet and only stockinet. Need I say more? Still, I will make the best of it and put in a good DVD to knit to (telly is awful at the moment). Should go fairly quickly. I hope. As long as I don’t have to dodge too many lightning bolts.

I realized today whilst replying to Yarnerinas' blog, where she very kindly lists me as a blog she enjoys on a regular basis, that I need one more knitting accessory. A pair of these. Yes, safety goggles. I’m serious! Do you have any idea how scratched my glasses are becoming from being hit by flying circulars? If it weren’t for my glasses, I probably would have lost an eye by now. Indeed, some of you will remember the incident where I had to pull the needle out from between my eye socket and the eye ball. I was wearing glasses at the time, thus the safety goggles. Goggles, unlike my glasses, are closed at the top and bottom so the needles cannot fly under your glasses and into your eye. Must get a pair. Maybe I could even buy in bulk, decorate with various themes and then sell them to other accident prone knitters through an etsy shop. I could cover the tops and bottoms with decorations, and leave the front open so you could still see your knitting. Oooo! I could even market them as Christmas-Knitting aids! Being blinkered would help you focus on your knitting and only your knitting. What more could you want when it’s getting close to Christmas? Protection, decoration and focus all in one small package. Discounts to those who by the Drooping Eyelid Alarm with Sooper MIL Sound at the same time. Now that I would have to call the Christmas-Knitting Gift Package.

In non-knitting news, it’s tick season again. Oh the joy. Time to gear up for my reoccurring tick nightmare. The following is not for the squeamish: I’m in a posh hotel room with a bunch of other people. At some point I sneak the dogs in and then back out again. They go unnoticed, but leave a full tick behind. Now when I remove a tick from the dog in real life, I burn it to make sure it’s dead and gone. Sometimes they expand a bit and then pop. So, in the dream, I get out a lighter and start to burn this tick. The only problem is that it starts expanding rapidly and doesn’t stop until it’s about twice as tall as I am. People are running out of the room trying to get away while I’m standing there panicking and trying to think of how to get this tick out of the room as quickly as possible. Flushing it down the toilet is out because it’s too big for anyone’s toilet excepting maybe the Jolly Green Giant’s (Don’t even get me started on his sewage system. We don’t want to go there. No. Wrong. Just wrong.). Anyway, I’m panicking and getting nowhere. Then it explodes. There are sticky tick innards and blood everywhere and I’m desperately trying to clean it up before the hotel staff notice. Um, yeah, like they aren’t going to notice the bloody towels. Anyway, I usually wake up in a panic about this tick and how I’m going to get it all cleaned up. It’s horrible. I hate ticks, but then, I don’t actually think I’ve ever met anyone who likes the disgusting little parasites, or at least anyone who would admit to it anyway.

You all really wanted to know that, didn’t you? Thought so.

Oh no! I just had a thought! What if a tick finds it's way into my yarn and has babies! Arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh! I think I have a new nightmare coming on.