Wednesday, January 31, 2007


So I whapped up a Calorimetry. Not sure I like it.

The colour is the problem, I think.
But I feel a bit like an old world woman with a scarf wrapped around her head.

What do y'all think? Is it the dark colours maybe? I'm debating making one in a brighter colour, maybe that would make me feel less old....

In other news, I am test knitting a sock for Ramona. I'm having a hard time finding yarn for it. Preferably a solid colour yarn. Locally, all I can find is Sisu. It's sucks. It's splitty. Not a good thing when wrestling with a lace pattern on size 0 needles. So I ordered some sock yarn that is varied, but all in the same palette. ie. all blues or all greens. We'll see which one is best when it arrives. Sigh. I hate waiting.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Holding Out!

I've been holding out on y'all! But first, a pic of the quick knit I put together yesterday:

It's a rug! I finally found a use for all the t-shirts I cut up in a calamari knitting frenzy. I decided we need it because the snow has made taking the garbage out a little more messy!

Here is the rug in action. This only took me an evening to whip up.

This , on the other hand, is over a weeks worth of steady knitting:

The beginnings of Raspy.

I am really digging this knit. The dropped stitches are cool (I marked one for you on the pic!), the yarn is neat, and the overall pattern is fairly easy. All good things. I did decide to knit it in the round. The front and back are identical, so I figured I would skip some of the seaming this way. I'm also thinking I will make the boatneck a little narrower. I want to be able to wear a bra without the straps showing! (actually, I need to wear a bra..)

The yarn is Rowan Denim in Nashville Blue. It almost looks black, it's so dark. I like it!

And now, for your entertainment, a couple of "artsy" shots I took while messing around with the camera!

Frosted windows! I quite like the sparkliness of them. Although I don't like the cold they represent!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Just being silly!

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.
Take this quiz!


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Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Serving of Outclevering

Ingredients: any British crochet pattern. For todays recipe we will use Salome by Colinette.

1 computer

1 word processing program

1 conversion chart for British terms to North American crochet terms


Open word processing program.
Type in pattern as written in book.
Press "control F" or use the "replace with" function in your program.
Replace all DTR with TR
Then replace the TR in the pattern with DC
Continue by changing the patterns DC to SC
Save your work.
Print your work.

Pick up your yarn and crochet needle secure in the knowledge that now you won't have to convert the British terms while simultaneously trying to remember how to crochet.

Realize that you have converted EVERY STITCH to SC!!


You have now cooked up and served yourelf a big helping of outclevering.

Yes folks, I outclevered myself on that one! (BTW, I made that word up. I hope I have offended no-one) Fortunately, I did save the work, so I will just(!) have to go back and type in the correct stitch. But obviously that won't be using the "replace with" technique! If I have to type it in anyway, might as well type in the American term, right?

The weather here has been beastly cold. Today the high was -14C (6.8F) and the low tonight is projected to go to -25C (-13F)! In these temperatures, my regular driving gloves may as well be paper. So I wear these:

They are fake fur mitties! I got them at the Portolano Factory Outlet last year. I love these mitts when it is this cold. Theyare snuggly and warm. My hubby just asked me when I got those mitts. When I told him last year he was a bit non-plussed.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Proof of Work

Lately I have been providing proof for everything. (Rant Alert!!! Skip to end of post for knitting content, if you want to.) You see, I had to apply for a new passport, as my old one is expired. In Canada, at any rate, the whole process is quite onerous. And expensive. Provide ugly picture. And I DO mean ugly. No makeup, no smile, etc. I look like a druggie with the dark circle under my eyes (genetic, my mom had 'em and so does my sister). Provide a guarantor who can attest that you are you. Provide 2 more references ON TOP of the guarantor to prove you are you. Send in your birth certificate (original), a marriage licence (original) since my married name is different from my birth certificate. An additional piece of ID with a picture and signature (thank goodness a photocopy is acceptable. ALSO signed by the guarantor stating that they have seen the original). Then, since I don't live in a mega size city, I get to go to the local "service center" where, for an additional $15, they will peruse your application to lessen (not avoid, you will note) the chances of your whole application getting sent back for some stupid reason. Total cost...$102.00.

Of course , that doesn't count the new birth certificate I had to apply for because my original (from when I was BORN, people) was issued before 1994 and for some reason was unacceptable. That was an additional $25.

After all that, I was told that my husband's birth certificate might not be acceptable as it is a bit dog-eared. When he got this one, it was just a piece of paper! With a notation on it that lamination invalidates it!! OF COURSE it's dog-eared! Government fucktards. So I sent off his application anyway (maybe they will accept it) AND went online to apply for a new one. For...$35!!!

I just love the fact that, regardless of the reality that I pay a HUGE amount of taxes, I STILL get to pay the government workers for doing their job. In essence, I pay twice. Once through my taxes and a second time for them to actually do the work. Sigh.

Okay, on to the knitting. I have been knitting Really. Even though I worked 50 hours last week, it was at a store that wasn't very busy. They just needed a pharmacist to hold down a chair so the store could open. See:

And what was I working on? Here:


I thought I would see how far 1 ball of sock yarn would go for my foot. So I knit this toe-up. As you can see, I get a knee high out of 1 ball of confetti sock yarn. (210 meters)

It is now quite late, since I worked until 10pm and then Blogger was being stupid about posting pics. I wound up having to open a Flickr account and doing it that way. it seems to have worked so...


Monday, January 22, 2007

An Attempt at New Crafts

I saw this pattern and really wanted to do it. The problem is that the pattern is a crochet pattern. Not a knitting pattern. I have a very basic grasp of crochet. VERY basic. But I want to do this pattern. So I found a website that translates British crochet terms into US or Canadian ones. That was here. Then I found the Stitch Diva website that has tutorials on the various crochet stitches. Then I tried to make the shawl. It's actually 64 triangles that are joined up as you go along. So, in theory, once you have figured out how to make one, you should be laughing. Ummm. Yeah. I tried. I got completely screwed up. So I called my MIL who does some crochet. Together we managed to figure the pattern out. (ok, SHE figured it out. I held the yarn)
So yesterday I tried. The result should have been a triangle with 2 picots on each side.

NOT what I got. As you can see, I have ONE side that has 2 picots. The other sides have 1 and 3 respectively. Although at least the thing has a passing resemblance to the item it is SUPPOSED to be. I think my problem was that I got lost in the pattern and did 1 too many repeats on one side and one too few on the other side. I did get it right on the third side.

So this will be going swimming in the frog pond. On the bright side, Once I figure out how to actually follow the pattern, I should be zipping along.

The "yarn" I am using is Rowan R2 Paper that I got a deal on since it is discontinued. I really like the pink. Which is unusual for me. I am not generally a "pink" kinda girl.

In other news, I spent today running around getting my passport renewal papers together. What a pain. AND I get to give the govenment of Canada $102.00 for the privilege.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Filling in post.

So, I do have knitting content for you, but that will have to wait till another post. Possibly later today....At any rate, I saw this video about how models are made up for advertising photos. Watch it to the end. that's the most interesting part!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Uh oh. I've been tagged.

Find the nearest book
Open to page 123
Type lines 6-8 of said book
Tag three others

"You would have trouble finding them, Uryd. They are scattered, many fallen, many now sold into servitude to repay their debts. And some have travelled great distances,to the great.."

From "House of Chains" by Steven Erikson.

Tagging others...Julia, Sandra and......Sandra!

And no, the book is not some weird S&M book. It's a fantasy novel. Get yer mind outta the gutter!



At work today there was a power blip. Not quite an outage. Just enough to mess up the computer equipment. I had to re-start all the electronics. Which sounds easy enough. Until you realize that I don't work in this store enough to know WHERE said electronics are! Specifically, the modem. I spent 20 minutes on my hands and knees poking around under cabinets and following wires to no purpose. However, I DID find the main switch for ALL the power in the store. Reasoning that the modem had to be plugged in (wherever the stupid thing was) I tripped the main breaker and then re-started the electronics.

Ta Da! It works. Eppure si muove. Or something.

Definitely using a sledghammer to kill the fly , but I was at my wits end. Not that my wits are that long to begin with.....


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Work Knitting

This week I am running the store for a small, independent pharmacy owner. He left me a to-do list. It is broken down by day so that I will know when various customers are coming in for their meds. I covered up the personal bits, but a couple of the entries on this list are funny.

(Bernie is the owner and he is on vacation somewhere warm.)

Naturally, since I am a good relief pharmacist, I have followed instructions.

Pen is included for scale. You will note Bernie did not specify what size the sweater is to be. The size is implied but not stated.

An action shot:


Monday, January 15, 2007

I Finished it!

The purse is done! Yippee! I no longer have to deal with an overstuffed bag! See, a comparison shot:

I finished up installing the clasp. If you were wondering how a clasp stays on the purse without pulling through the fabric, I'll show you:

There's a backing that you push the prongs through before you bend them down. This spreads the strain out over a larger surface area. However, when you put things in and out of the purse, you might catch the prongs. So I covered them up with some material I had lying around.It's a crappy example of hand-sewing, but what do you expect? It was black on dark blue. And I have never claimed to be good at it. But since it's on the inside, who cares? Then I sewed a division up the inside pocket. Since the purse turned out a little larger than I had anticipated, I figured a division would keep things from getting jumbled together.

The final product....TA DA!!!!!!

Basic stats:

Pattern: Runabout Bag , but I cast on 100 stitches instead of 66 as called for in the pattern. I used the Marley's Ghost pattern for the strap. I knitted up 12 links.

Yarn: Lopi

Needles: Whatever it was the pattern called for, I don't remember and am too lazy to get up to find out.

Hardware: A clasp I salvaged from a second hand purse.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knitting Bits

I am about to start my uber-work week. That means that next week I will be working 50+ hours. So blog-fodder may be a little thin on the ground here.

However, I do have some knitting for your entertainment.

My confetti sock continues. I had it farther along, had even turned the heel. However, the heel fit funny. That's a technical term. I think I started it too early. So I took it swimming in the pond and am knitting the foot a little longer.

I also decided that I needed a journal to keep track of my knitting bits and pieces. Like how many stitches I cast on for this sock, for example. If I put this baby down and come back to it days or weeks later, I might not remember stuff I need to. Hence, a journal.

A closer look reveals that it is rather appropriate. (according to the hubby anyway)I spent a whole $5 on this. They were clearing out some odds and ends.

The Rowan linen print was included for hmmm....yarnosity? Is that a word? Besides, aren't the colours just lovely? I've been fondling this for a couple of days now. I have 10 skeins , which works out to around 600 yards. So, enough for a tank top, I think. Especially as it knits up around 13 stitches per 4 inches. The problem is deciding which tank top! Any favourites out there? Preferably something knit in the round for minimal finishing....(although others will be considered)


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Open Letter

This is an open letter to the dullard who walked intothe store at 9:59.

Dear Dullard, Our store closes at 10pm. If you come in at 9:59, please choose your items quickly and leave. Wandering around while a helpful staff member says "We are closing, I can rng you though now" is not a suggestion. Furthermore, please do not pay for your items in painstakingly counted out pennies. Everyone is standing around waiting for you to leave so they can go home. Lastly, do not spend 10 minutes figuring out how to pack the item in your backpack and another 5 minutes putting on your backpack and mittens. As a final word of advice, do not try to engage the staff member at the door in conversation. He is standing there waiting for you to leave so he can lock the door and go home!

Our store opens at 8am. Next time, please come at a reasonable hour and you can wander to your heart's content. Or I won't be responsible for any insults thrown your way.

The woman who was waiting by the door for you to leave.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pursing..A Visual Odyssey

Warning, picture heavy post to follow!

The knit up purse has been felted. It went from 17 &1/2 inches wide and 14 &1/2 inches tall to 16 &1/2 by 10 &1/2 inches. That's quite a bit wider than I had anticipated.

However, the idea WAS to get a bigger purse. I just hadn't planned on how big! Forging onwards....I wanted a specific type of clasp. I'm not sure what it's called, but I couldn't find one anywhere in town or on the internet. So I had a brilliant idea. I went to the local second hand shop (Value Village, to be exact), found a purse that had the clasp I wanted, bought it for $3.99 and ripped the clasp right off that sucker. This is what I'm talking about:

After much swearing, the clasp was affixed to the new purse. See?

It looks very spiffy, if I do say so myself. Now I have to decide if I want to embellish it. You see, I have a needle felting kit I am dying to try out. So an old felted project was dug out and sacrificed to the gods of experimentation.
And after....

As you can see, there is a definite progression. The paw prints on the left are awful. The ones on the right are definitely better. Personally I like the one that is labelled P2 the best. However, it is done freehand, so no 2 will ever be exactly the same. As for the cat figure, I think cat 2 is more "cat-like". So what I was thinking was this: Put a row of pawprints along the bottom of the flap and up one side. Then put a cat figure at the top at the end of the paw prints. Or do you think it would be too much stuff?


Monday, January 08, 2007

A Brittney sighting!

I am having fun using my new Brittney spears. (that's what my sister christened the new Brittney dpn's!)

That's right. I finished a pair of socks and have already cast on for another pair. I am using some yarn gifted to me for my birthday. It's Confetti superwash yarn. Self-striping. This time around I used the magic cast on from Knitty, as suggested by Laura. (Thanks!) This avoids the provisional cast on that I used for my first pair of toe up socks. The magic cast on is not difficult, yet it took me 3 tries to get it right. The first time I cast on the total mumber of stitches, forgetting that I would need to do some increases for the correct shape. The second time I did the increases wrong. (On the bottom for the foot, if you must know.) Third time appeared to be the charm.

My husband walked by while I was struggling with the cast on and commented that it looked like I was either doing a Chinese puzzle or finger-wrestling sticks! I admit, it does look pretty awkward. Especially if you don't know what you are doing. (That would be me)

All awkwardness aside, it does work, and having done it three times now, I can say that it is pretty easy.

And now, a gratuitous kitty picture. Here is AJ, my MIL's cat at Christmas.

"Wow! Is all this stuff for me?!"


Friday, January 05, 2007

Funny and Finished

For the funny part:
Ever mis-hear song lyrics? It's even funnier when you are hard of hearing like me! I just heard "Smack That" by Akon feat Eminem. I thought the lyric went "let me in your lobby". Typical crap music lyric I thought. It actually says "Lamborghini Gallardo" Silly me! In a side note, when I was typing up this post, I spelled it Llamborghini! Apparently, once a knitter, always a knitter. With llamas on the brain!

That brings us to the "finished" portion of the post. A knitting finish, no less! Wa la! (sorry Norma! couldn't resist)

I am so pleased with how theses socks turned out! My first toe-ups, my first short-row heel, my first not-straight-stockinette AND my first Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn stretchy cast-off!

Basic stats

Yarn: Fleece Artist sock yarn

Colour: Autumn Leaves I think, I can't find the ball-band.

Needles: Size 2 (2.5mm) DPN's

Pattern: Cat's Face Lace Socks

I'm off to continue F'ing O's! I'm on a f'ing roll!



The view from the front of my house today at 1 pm reminds me of Italy. Not sun-drenched beaches. Nope, not cobblestone roads either. Fog! See:

Many of you are probably wondering why fog would remind me of Italy. My family comes from a town called Novara in the Piedmont region. The name of Novara derives from Nubilaria, meaning "city wrapped in fog". If you are more interested in the region, check here. The name is totally apt. The fogs in this region are legendary. You cannot see the hand at the end of your arm in the fogs they get and they last for days. I am not exaggerating. Grandma used to tell us a story about one night when she and grandpa were driving home in the fog. Very slowly, because grandpa couldn't see where he was going. So grandma had the passenger side window open and her head stuck out the side so she could watch the yellow line painted at the side of the road to make sure they didn't veer off into the ditch! This was always accompanied with gleeful shouts of "right, right, right, no LEFT LEFT !" We loved this story as kids.

It is a bit scarier to actually be driving in it. Those of you who have driven in a blizzard are familiar with the term "white-out", right? Well, that's what happens in fog too. Your headlights get bounced back at you something ferocious.

So today is reminiscent of that fog. Only because we still have the fog at 1pm, not because it is a pea soup fog. Thank goodness.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

What? There's knitting?!

Contrary to what you might think. There HAS been knitting going on. Granted, you haven't seen it, but nonetheless....

A new purse! This is a larger version of the Runabout Bag that I made before. It's a lovely bag. But it. Is. Too.Small. I carry way too much crap with me. Although it really is the essentials. The problem is that I have to carry my "office" with me in case I get bookings. Hence a cell phone & a PDA (I don't like the combo phone/PDA thingies). I have to bring my hearing aid remote control with me. Spare batteries for the hearing aids. A comb. Chapstick. My wallet. So. A larger bag it is! It's not black. That is actually "Pond Heather", a dark teal /blue/green. Yes, the inner pocket that I have laid on the outside is 2 toned. I had some left over lopi from a previous project. Since this was going on the inside, who cares that it is 2 colours?

I forgot to take a picture, but the handle is NOT going to be I-cord! Had enough of that the last time! Besides, I found this pattern and thought it would make a good strap for the purse.

Moving on. I was at work, knitting on my sock. (yeah, I knit at work, ya gonna do something about it?) When disaster struck!

Naturally I did not have a spare. There was no crazy glue in the store. Eeek! I tried taping it together, but then the needle was too thick and moving my stitches was a chore. So I had to put it down and read my book instead. Quelle dommage.

Happily, I do have a spare set at home.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

And More Food!

I'm sure everyone is wondering how my paniscia went. So, in pictures:
Me cooking the paniscia.

Above, we have it simmering away. In the traditional pot, I might add!

Ta Da! The finished product. I know it looks kinda messy. It IS kinda messy, but oh so yummy!

I will also do a quick round up of Christmas presents. Just for kicks!

My MIL's kitty. Sassy was very interested in all the goings on!
The basket full of goodies came from my MIL. I really love the blue vase. It's a great colour! She also gifted me, but I haven't taken pictures of, a set of very nifty flannel pj's.
The gift card was hand-made and totally adorable! Below, there is a very cool present from my sister:

She got it here. She also got me:

She also got me a lovely bottle of Valentino perfume. Blogger is being stupid and won't load the picture, so trust me when I say it's awesome. The more so as the perfume is actually discontinued! She found some while on vacation in Connecticut! I love this perfume.

Maybe tomorrow Blogger will behave. At any rate, That's the haul!


Monday, January 01, 2007


At last! The post you have all been waiting for. Holiday food! First up: Experimental cooking. I decided to try a new recipe. Sort of. I saw this being made on "Restaurant Makeover". They called it Pizza Rustica. However, I could not find the recipe on the show's website. So I drew on my Italian heritage and did some internet research. As usual, the recipe varies from region to region. Since there really isn't a recipe, I decided to wing it. I thought about the show and made up my own filling based on my memories of what they did. Pizza Rustica is basically a calzone. I made pizza dough, mixed up the ingredients for the filling and put it together. This is what it looked like before baking.

I baked it for about 50 minutes at 325F. This is what it looked like after:

The filling looked like this:

So, to the recipe. I made my regular pizza dough as follows:


1 package active traditional yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm water. (body temp water. If you dip your finger in it, the temperature of the water should be the same as your skin)

dash of sugar

some olive oil (upto 1/4 cup)

2 cups all purpose flour + some for adjustments


Mix sugar and yeast in water. Stir to dissolve. Let sit for about 10 minutes. There should be a froth on the water at that point. If there isn't, your yeast is dead. Get fresh yeast.

Add olive oil into yeast mixture. Up to 1/4 cup. Less if you want, but do add some, it makes it tastier.

Pour yeast mix into flour. Stir with a fork at first and then dive right in with your hands and knead. After a few minutes you will have a smooth dough. If the flour isn't mixing into a dough, add a touch of water (a tablespoon or so at a time), if the dough is sticky, add some flour. (humidity levels in the air affect how it kneads up, hence the need to adjust)

Get a second bowl and coat with a thin film of olive oil to prevent sticking. Coat dough with thin film of olive oil to prevent drying. Put dough in bowl. I use a large bowl and cover the bowl with saran wrap. Set dough aside to rise for 90 minutes. It needs to be warm, so I put it into the oven with the oven light on. The light provides just a touch of heat and the oven keeps drafts away.

After 90 minutes your dough will have roughly doubled in size. Knead it for a couple of minutes. It is now ready for the second rising. At this point, you have made enough dough for 2 thin crust small pizzas. You can divide it in half and freeze it now, if you want to. When you want to use the frozen dough, take it out of the freezer the day before and put it in the fridge. Then, about an hour before you want to cook, take it out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature. If you are using it today, then let it rise a second time for 30 minutes. After that, it is ready to use.

If you are making pizza rustica , you will need all of the dough.

Pizza Rustica

Make dough as above.

Ingredients for Filling

1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed.

450 gram (1 container) Ricotta cheese

100gram cooked ham chopped.

2 cloves garlic minced

1 small onion chopped

1 egg beaten


Preheat oven to 325F (Please note that if you are making a regular pizza, this temp should be 425F)

Mix ingredients for filling in bowl.

Roll out pizza dough. Place on pizza pan, cookie sheet, whatever.

Dump filling in middle of dough. Spread out a bit.

Fold dough over on top of filling until you have a "pie"

Brush egg over the outside of the dough so it will brown nicely.

Bake in oven for about 50 minutes.

Let cool on counter for 5 minutes or so before you cut into it.

Eat. Mmmmmm.

Please remember that this recipe can be modified pretty much any way you want to. I have seen recipes with sausage, eggs, seafood, you name it in the filling.

The dough is basic pizza dough. If you make a regular pizza, you should bake it at 425F. I know it seems high, but remember that originally pizza was (and often still is) baked in a fire heated oven. Fires are HOT! And lastly, if you can find it and can afford one, get a baking stone. Baking your pizza on that will make it very crispy.

I have more food pictures to share with you, but this post seems long enough as it is! So the paniscia cooking pictures will wait until tomorrow. I already posted that recipe, so if you really want to make it, just go right ahead!