Friday, 26 September 2008

10 Things Meme

I got this off of Yarnhog.

My list of Ten Things I Can't (Don't Want to) Do Without:

1. My dogs, even if I do want to throttle T on occasion. I agree with Yarnhog on dogs, they are so much easier to relate to than humans. The more humans I meet, the more I like my dogs.
2. Ipod. My audiobooks help keep me sane and the chores done.
3. Knitting. That one is obvious.
4. Books. I love to read and even though I love the convenience of audiobooks, I still love curling up with a good book (see #9) or reading myself to sleep at night. I can't imagine a world without books. Just recently a co-worker mentioned that he didn't like to read and I nearly fell out of my chair. I suppose I shouldn't wonder. Most people think I'm crazy because I don't like the heat.
5. Internet. Again, this keeps me sane at work when it's slow. I love that it's entertaining and helpful at the same time. Being able to Google something you want to know about is a gift from above, as is contacting all sorts of people I otherwise never would have met.
6. Privacy. I'm rather a bit of a misanthrope and I like my privacy and alone time, even though you could argue that I get enough of it since I live alone. I love being able to do what I want, or don't want, when I want and with whom I want, or don't want. I don't think I'll ever want to give that up.
7. My Cats. Not only necessary for our mouse problem, but they are the yin to the dog's yang. And they don't eat jackets. Not yet anyway.
8. Family. I don't have a huge family and although I don't see them often, I wouldn't want to be without them, for obvious reasons.
9. The Great Outdoors. I like nature for two reasons. The first is because it's enjoyable in most of it's forms (the desert and hot places are obviously excluded from my list of pleasureable places to be). There's nothing like a mossy floor in a green forest or moss covered rocks running along a river, a nice rain or a crisp day to refresh the soul. Then, there is the hiding from it, which is just as nice. There's nothing like a warm blanket, good book and a cup of tea when it's raining in buckets outside. Fondue on a cold evening? Yum. Foggy? Light some candles and the world is all right. Besides, most of the sounds nature makes are ever so much more pleasant than the ones humans create.
10. Tea. Good stuff. The only thing I really like that is really good for you. Must keep this one.

Theoretically, I could do without all of this, but would life really be worth living?

The Knitting Gods Are Cruel. Very Cruel.

Remember the Iain sweater from yesterday's post that literally screamed Made for Theblacksheep? Apparently, it's only there to taunt me. I just got an e-mail from the vendor saying that the designer doesn't release her patterns electronically so a download or PDF is not available. They do ship internationally, but even I balk at paying that kind of money for a pattern. I do appreciate the work designers put into creating a pattern and I'm quite willing to pay a fair price, but with shipping the price becomes ridiculous. I'll have to forgoe this time. Maybe I'll make up my own pattern someday.

As a consolation, I've been working on a pair of Evangeline Handwarmers (or the Rav link in case that one doesn't work) and discovered that there are things other than hats that provide instant knitting gratification. I love these handwarmers. The pattern is cool, the wool is nice and warm and they knit up really quickly. Now, if I just hadn't been so stupid as to knit one pattern repeat too many on the wrist part, I'd be in butter. Unfortunately I did and now I'm going to have to frog back to before the thumb hole on the second one tonight. On the otherhand, I did say instant gratification and I meant it. It will only take a half hour or so to re-knit correctly, so it's no biggie.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Knitting Gods Strike Again

You know, it's not like I haven't already got 2 sweaters waiting for me, along with at least 2 pair of socks and a few other random items. It's not like I haven't got enough to knit at the moment. No, I had to run into yet another sweater that was Made for ME. It's like someone said, "Let's design a sweater for Theblacksheep. What would she like?" Of course, I never would have encountered this sweater if it weren't for three things: Ravelry, ThePinkSheep and Knitterinprogress. Ravelry just because it is what it is, ThePinkSheep because she pointed out that there are different tabs for the Rav friend's feature, and Knitterinprogress because she had it queued. Had it not been for that, I never would have seen this sweater and never wanted to knit it and never wanted to wear it. BUGGER. I need a good three months off work so I can knit for me.

Oh yes, you'd like to see this sweater? It's this one: Iain or for those not on Rav, Iain. Cables + hoodie is just totally irresistible to me. I've even gone so far as to ask if they have it available electronically. Sigh. I need several more hours in each day just for knitting. And a bigger salary too.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Last week I gacked a new gidggywidget off of Mariknit’s blog. It’s the new followers item. It’s a fairly handy little thing that tells me who’s blog I read. Even better though is the new Blog List, or Blist, as I call it. It not only links me directly to everyone’s blogs, but tells me when they last posted as well. Now I can tell at a glance who posted recently and if I really need to go to their blog or not. It’s very cool. Should keep me more up to date on people’s knitting too.

I’ve finished the first of my Knitty Knotty socks. Alas, no pictures as the weather has been poor when I’ve had time to take pictures. I’ll try this weekend since we should get some sun. I really like the pattern, but I should have used a plainer yarn. You can’t really see the little knots in the variegation. Also, this particular yarn would have been pretty all by itself. It’s too bad they didn’t have it last time I went. I would have liked to do more socks with it, especially as it’s 6 ply and very warm. Oh well, maybe they’ll get more in.

It’s Fall! It’s ever so nice outside now. Either high fog or sun with cool temps. Perfect dog walking weather. I really, really love this time of year. My summer is everyone else’s fall.

Apropos cool weather, the cats have moved back in. I’m feeling a bit like a kitty motel at the moment. We’ll move back in so long as it cold out and we don’t really want to freeze in the hay all night. We’ll also leave our dead mice laying around for you to clean up because we’re too full to eat them ourselves. We’ll also show up regularly for meals now since we’re hanging out closer to home nowadays too. Makes a nice change from mouse and bird don’tcha know. Nice to know my cats enjoy room service to its full extent. Wish I had someone who cooked and cleaned for me while I was out doing what I wanted to all day. I always wanted to come back as a dog in my next life, but now I’m wondering if cat wouldn’t be better. Not even the inclination to chase a ball. How nice.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Fortunately, Life is Fairly Boring

Oh wow. It’s been a while since I posted. It always seems to me like I’ve written more, but then I look at the date and am quite shocked.

I will plead that my knitting has been quite tame lately. Nothing exciting to report, no lace that’s making my lose my mind, no projects eaten by the dogs (knock on wood really hard), nothing really and truly exciting at all.

I did start my Knitty Knotty socks last night, at last. I know, I know. I’ve been raving about these socks since the preview came out in July and am just now getting around to knitting them. It’s just that I had a few other things to do in the meantime. I love the pattern. I’m doing the top down version so it’s all fairly straight forward. It’s mostly just a simple sock with an interesting cable pattern. I can foresee this being the first of several pair of these. They are an easy knit which is interesting enough to hold your attention and to look very pretty when you’re done. In short, the perfect sock. The only thing I’m not perfectly happy with is my own choice of yarn. It’s a very pretty yarn, but it’s variegated and hides the pattern more than I would like. However, it’s still pretty and since they are for me, I’m going to do them anyway.

I’ve also knit a sock in the Schachenmeyer Bamboo yarn. At first I thought I wouldn’t like it since it’s a bit shiny and I prefer matt, but after having finished the first, I think they’re going to be good. Again, they are for me, so perfection is optional anyway. I was debating on giving them to someone else for Christmas, but I wanted to see how they would be to wear and it’s autumn and I’ll need warm socks soon.

Actually, what am I saying? I’ve already got my cotton blends on. I had ice on my windscreen for the first time this morning. It seems like we went directly from summer to fall this year. I’m sure it will warm back up again, but in the meantime, it’s wool time!

Speaking of which, the weather has also motivated me to replace my jacket from the Great Jacket Carnage of June. Last weekend was one of those weekends where you only get wet once (and remain that way all weekend). As much as I love the rain, I do prefer to remain moderately dry when I walk the dogs and none of my jackets are waterproof. It’s been ordered and should be here in 7-9 days. After getting the bill, I’m seriously considering sending T out to beg again. He’s at home practicing his pathetic looks right now. Well, either that or getting into more trouble. I won’t know which until I get home.

Monday, 8 September 2008


OK, in the meantime I’ve talked myself out of the Lord of the Rings Sock Club. See? Improvement! Actually, it’s mostly because I’ve also been lusting after the New KP Fall and Winter Kettle Dyed Essentials sampler and I figure I would rather spend my money on that, if at all, because at least I know what I’m getting. I can’t really afford surprises. Especially as Karoline pointed out, you could wind up with yarn in colours like orange or mustard yellow or brown (I’ll leave the shade to your imagination) that I would probably never use for any pattern. At least I know I would use all of the ones in the sampler.

Fortunately, I can’t bring myself to spring for the sampler either. It’s expensive and the shipping would be horrendous. With my luck, they’d probably tack custom’s tax onto it as well. So, I’ll just stick to my LYS (which I adore anyway). Much better option. Yes. Definitely.

I do have one quibble with my LYS at the moment. I was there a while back and found new sock yarns which I really liked. I did get some (oh quelle surprise!) but figured to go whole hog would be silly since they tend to have these yarns for a very long time. *sigh* They were out. Completely. There weren’t even any of the other colour ways left. That was the first time I’d done that and I regret it now. OK, so it’s not like they didn’t have any other sock yarn and it’s not like I don’t already have enough, but you know how it is. It’s just that this is the first time my LYS has failed me. Bad LYS! On the plus side, they did have some of the bamboo sock yarn in single skeins this time. Last time I was there you could only get it in packs of 6 and I don’t really need 6 skeins, especially as I wanted to try it first. So, I picked up a skein of the blue (Oh I do so like to surprise you all) and will see how it goes. I also got enough 6 Fach for a pair of thick winter socks as I’m assuming we will have winter this year, unlike last year. All in all, I didn’t buy much, which again, is progress for me. I’ve even almost finished knitting up all the non-sock yarn I bought for the blanket. I didn’t even bother to stash that in Ravelry because it sort of seems pointless when it’s already gone.

The dogs forgave me their bath this weekend. First of all it poured down rain all of Sat. (yay!) which meant they got soaked, which meant they got a thorough rub down, which they always like. Then they, or rather Biscuit, got to play with a young Irish Wolfhound for an hour on Sunday which she thought was great. T, in consolation, spent an hour getting pet, which he thought was just the way things really should be all the time. All in all it was a good weekend for all of us.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

The Lord of the Rings Sock Club

Somebody save me from myself. I was innocently scanning some of the Ravelry forums, when I ran across the Lord of the Rings Sock Club. I’ve never been tempted to join any of these types of clubs because they are expensive, send you unknown patterns and colours you’re not sure you will like because you’ve never seen them and usually don’t feature superwash yarn, which is what I prefer for socks. No, it isn’t as soft and luxurious as the expensive stuff, but it holds up better, doesn’t felt on the bottom and I can wear the socks constantly and without fear of putting holes in them. They also remain wearable if they land in the normal washing pile by mistake. This is a big plus in my opinion. I like things I can really use without worrying about them. This explains why you will never see me in a pretty dress or nice clothes on a daily basis. I don’t want to have to worry about my clothes all day long. I’ve got other problems thanks muchly.

So, now someone tell me why I’m still considering joining this club? It makes no sense at all. I love LotR and always have. I’ve seen artwork in the films that I would love to be able to turn into a cable (but I fail at that). I’m sure the yarn in beautiful and even if I didn’t like the pattern I could still use the yarn for something else, but can I justify it? Can I justify spending $210 for 6 pair of socks when I would normally spend $24 for all 6 pair?

I’m going to wait before joining and hope that I’ll calm down and realize it’s not necessary for me to join and indeed it would be a bad idea all around. In the meantime, someone talk some sense into me please.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Animal Cruelty, Maybe

Quick! Somebody call the animal welfare society and denounce me! My dogs are really poor, mistreated beings in desperate need of help. Why you ask? I bathed them yesterday. *gasp, run screaming from room, faint from the shock of it all* I’ve been demoted from “nice hooman who feeds and walks us” to the ranks of “evil, sadistic creature whose sole purpose is to torture and maim us”. Please send help asap.

Or not. The only thing the animal welfare society would find are two well fed, clean, nice smelling dogs. Tough luck canines! Muhahahahahahaha!

Honestly. You would have thought I was killing them the way they reacted to being bathed. It was shameful. Even T tried to escape instead of sucking it up and getting it over with. You’d even think they’d like being massaged with soap. But no, they did their best to look like they were being murdered slowly and painfully. I wonder if they’ll ever get over it.

In knitting news, Christmas knitting is now in full swing, so I haven’t much to say about anything. Too many people who are on my list read this so I can’t even hint at anything. Suffice it to say that I’m happy with everything.