Sunday, September 30, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Contest #3

This contest is "Flash your Stash", so I've got to fess up and show a picture. It's time to literally come out of the closet:

This is the Yarn Closet. It's the closet in my studio that is exclusively used for my knitting. Here's a closer view of the left side:

and a close up of the right side:

and, of course, the top shelf:

It's a lot of yarn. I was able to pair it down a bit with my yarn diet this summer. I'm not officially on a yarn diet anymore, but I am still trying to concentrate on the stash. I plan on going through it some weekend and putting some of it up for sale.
Until next we knit!

Secret Pal swag!

My first Secret Pal package arrived and it's an embarrassment of riches. Here's the pic:

I got a skein of olive green yarn which her note says is spun from the fleece of Nova Scotian sheep (how thoughtful!) and a lovely braid of merino roving. The girl knows I like green! Too bad I had to give the spinning wheel back to Lettuce Knit, but I'm angling for a wheel for Christmas, so hopefully the braid won't sit waiting for long.

She also sent a print out of a bag pattern from MagKnits (a suggested project for the olive green wool, perhaps?), a sweet little tin box with Audrey Hepburn on it (love her!), a sample package of goat's milk lotion, one of those plastic pencils where the leads come pre-sharpened in little white holders collected in the pencil shaft (total nostalgia, I haven't had one of those since grade school!), a note book, and a tin of lovely beaded stitch markers from Hide and Sheep on Etsy. Here's a close up of the stitch markers:

Aren't they sweet? I actually remember finding Hide and Sheep while browsing Etsy one day and admiring the dangle-free stitch markers, and now I have a set! Awesome!

Here's a funny, totally non-knitting related story for my dear readers:

I try wherever possible to live sustainably, and toward this end I vermicompost. This is composting with worms, where I keep a bin with red wiggler worms (the kind you fish with) and when I have some vegetable matter, like potato skins, I toss it into the bin and let the worms turn it into compost. I tried this once before with a homemade bin and it didn't work very well, but I recently got a professionally made composter from a woman on Freecycle and decided to try again. I got a pound of worms on Wednesday and dropped them into a bin with shredded newspaper and left them to do their thing.

On Thursday, I had friends from England , Roni and her brother Ram, visiting and after playing tour guide around the city Nyron and I took them back to our place for dinner. While I was giving Roni a tour of the house I heard Nyron call to me from downstairs in a rather concerned tone of voice. He said, "Brooke, your worms are escaping!" I ran downstairs and sure enough, the worms were executing a mass escape! There were worms crawling up the inside of the bin, worms on the lid, worms dropping down to the kitchen floor. It was a mass Exodus! I was so embarrassed as I sat down in front of the bin and began rescuing worms from their own self-inflicted peril (worms can't survive outside of the bin). Luckily, my guests were really good sports about it. They started turning it into a likeness of the show Prison Break and naming individual worms after characters on the show ("look at that one go ahead of the rest! That's Michael Scofield for sure!"). Nyron got into the fun by calling me Bellick, who is the prison guard in the show. "Nice going Bellick" became a bit of a joke for the remainder of their stay in Toronto.

The worms are fine now, I made some corrections to the environment inside the bin and they've returned to their home. But that made it one memorable dinner party!

Until next we knit!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I don't watch the news very often and for just this reason. The National had a piece about a recent outburst of hatred against Canadians in Afghanistan. The Canadian soldiers who are there are not there in coalition with American soldiers; they are there in Canada's stock role as Peace Keepers. But now, a community in Afghanistan is claiming that last night Canadian soldiers forced their way into homes, tied people up, dragged them outside and killed 2 people.

The Canadian government and the leaders of the armed forces are categorically denying that our people, or any NATO soldiers, had anything to do with this and are speculating about the possibility of special forces from another country having committed this. I really want to believe that and am really hoping that future new reports will say that the group responsible have been found and they're...who knows who. But I can't help but remember my shock at learning about the torture committed by Canadian soldiers in Somalia when I was in high school. No one wants to think that their own countrymen and women could be capable of such things. But we all know that literally anyone is capable of literally anything under the right (or should I say, wrong) circumstances.

This is why I don't watch the news. More lighter topics in future, I promise.

Until next we knit!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

4 blog entries 4

...each month. Those are the rules of the Secret Pal game and I've been a bad blogger. Mea culpa. Work was so busy over the summer that once it died down I was left kind of dazed. I haven't done much knitting, either, which is very sad. I finished both the tops I was working on in August, but I don't have pictures yet (it's hard to take pictures of yourself, isn't it?). Basically, I'm just trying to get my land legs again after all the stress and craziness.

But it's over now and I'm starting to get back into a groove. The fall weather helps; fall has always made me feel energetic and motivated. Maybe it's because I'm young enough to still remember when fall meant the start of a new schhol year and cracking open all those brand-new notebooks and writing in them with brand-new pens...sorry, I have a bit of a thing for office supplies. :)

I've been working on a few things for my etsy store and hope to have them finished soon so I can start posting things for sale. Nyron is supposed to be working on a banner and avatar for me, but I think I may end up buying a pre-fab one, at least for now. He seems to be having trouble finding downloads for the software he needs to make it. I also received a nice tax rebate recently, so I bought the yarn I need for this year's Christmas sweater for Nyron. He wants a sweater inspired by the Weasley sweater from Harry Potter (i.e., with a big N on the front) but he wants a more collegiate look. I had him draw it out for me last night, so I'll start on it later this week.

I been plugging along on Arwyn, but I keep knitting past the measurements called for in the pattern and having to rip back and inch or 2. Plus, there's Kitchener stitch involved, and Kitchener stitch always kicks my ass. I don't know why it never seems to make sense to me, but I always end up throwing the project across the room halfway through. I'll have to work on it again when I'm feeling calm.

Until next we knit!


4 blog entries 3

...4 blog entries...

4 blog entries 2 at least...

4 blog entries 1

I need to...