Goodbye, my friend

Gingie the guinea pig

He seemed to have a happy life; got plenty of attention and time to roam outside (and carrots, yummy, delicious carrots). He died doing one of his favourite things: sleeping outside in the shade of the plum tree.

I’m going to miss your quirks little guy, and your funny faces. Rest in peace.

Father’s Day

My sister was supposed to come up here a couple of weekends ago so we could have some hang out time. That didn’t work out, so instead I went down there last weekend and us kids took my dad to a demolition derby in Leamington. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I saw him that happy. He looked like a kid again. It was totally worth it. Plus afterwards we got him some chicken wings (his favourite) and had some time to just be together. Not the most eventful weekend, but definitely a good one.

No pictures because we were too mesmerized by the car-smashing to take any.

Getting Back in the Swing

I’ve been monogramming some bath sheets as a wedding present for some friends of mine since last summer. This has been an ongoing saga of mishaps and learning experiences, but I am finally making some real progress so I’m sharing the the hope that it will save others some trouble with similar projects.

The original plan was to have the embroidery completed by the end of August 2010 since the wedding was Labour Day weekend. Even with the best of intentions and making some major progress over the summer, the towels were not finished in time for the wedding.

Continue reading “Getting Back in the Swing”

Immune System Fail

The last couple of weeks I could feel some sort of illness lurking about trying to find its way in. This was not a surprise, as various colds were making their way through the library staff. Besides working directly with 3 people who were sick, I was also performing updates on every public library computer in the city. It was only a matter of time before the germs won.

At first it seemed like a mild cold, but progressed to an ear infection which I cured with the aid of an ear syringe and some drops. All seemed fine. I was feeling great for the first time in weeks and could get back to being productive. The next day it hit me. Over the course of a few hours I felt progressively worse. By the next morning it was obvious that I’d caught the flu. Bugger.

The reason it’s bothering me enough to blog about is because my parents are visiting this weekend for the first time in 8 years. If I can’t shake this in the next 24 hours the weekend is going to be, “Hi guys, so glad you could come! Don’t come near me or touch anything I’ve touched until I wash it, or you’ll get sick….No, I can’t do that with you. I’m too tired and sore….Let’s not go there, there’ll be too many people and I don’t want to infect everyone.” Sounds fun, right?

Back to Life

Or at least, life as it’s been for me for the last couple of years. I spend my time at home, mostly: applying for jobs; reading books that get me ruminating on one thing or another; reading about computers and design on the internet; dealing with whatever comes through my inbox; knitting, spinning, or embroidering depending on the project. My days are various combinations of all of these activities.

The preceding three months, however, were a deviation from what has come to be my normal routine. I was hired on contract to be an intern in the IT department of the local library. This meant that my job was to support the IT staff and do whatever needed doing, and hopefully learn something along the way. The work ranged from simple software and hardware upgrades all the way up to a major marketing project. I did end up learning some things here and there about computers, but mostly I made new friends and learned a lot more about my library.

Knitting some more Monkeys

sock showing colour gradations

These ones from the Regia Hand-Dye Effect Design Line by Kaffe Fassett, in colour 08855.

sock showing colour gradations
Image from yarn.com.

This seems to be my go-to pattern when a yarn is frustrating me or I can’t make up my mind. These socks are going to be for a friend of mine from high school that I have recently come in contact with again. This yarn is perfect because this colourway has all the shades she likes to wear. It should match everything.

My one complaint with this yarn is that it’s very splitty, but that may be helped by switching to Addis instead of KnitPicks needles.

Knitter’s Fair Haul

stuff I bought at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair on September 11, 2010

The Knitter’s Fair was a raging success this year. There were people everywhere and also plenty of yarn and other knitting supplies. Unfortunately, none of the vendors at the fair this year had brought the yarn I was looking for with them, though several of them carry it in their shops. Those of you who know me will know that I only buy yarn if I have a project in mind for it already. Thus, I didn’t get any yarn at the fair this year. But as you can see, I didn’t leave empty-handed.

stuff I bought at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair on September 11, 2010

Clockwise from left to right: 100g of Corriedale in colour “Raspberry” from Ashford; 100g of Ashford 80/20 merino wool/silk in colour “Cinnamon;” felted soap from The Roving Spinners; and a Thomas Forrester 17.19g spindle with a purple heart whorl and maple shaft.

I couldn’t resist testing out the new spindle. I’d started spinning the Corriedale while waiting for the bus and on the bus ride home from Kitchener. The plan is to spin a singles from both the Raspberry and Cinnamon, then ply these together and arrive at a 2-ply lace-weight which will then be made into an appropriate shawl depending on the resultant yardage.

Making a Quilt

Quilt Pattern

Quilt PatternInstead of going to the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto this year, I went to New Hamburg with one of my knitting buddies to Shall We Knit. I ended up taking home some dark brown Malabrigo Lace (181 Marron Oscuro) that I had wanted to get at the KW Knitter’s Fair last year. It’s beautiful stuff. Lofty and soft; it should make a wonderful shawl for this winter.

Aside from our trip to the yarn store, we also stopped at the Mennonite thrift store just outside the town proper. They have all kinds of wonderful things there. My discovery this time was a package of pre-cut quilting squares in random colours, to make a 60″x80″ quilt. Because there’s a quilting group that meets in the shop, they have lots of odds and ends of fabric around and these packs are a way of making use of the leftovers while still raising money for the community.

I counted how many squares I had of each colour, fired up my handy-dandy PC Stitch, and then semi-randomly charted out where I wanted the squares to go. After that I put them in order by row, paper-clipped a label to each row, and stacked them all in order. I still can’t get my sewing machine tensioned properly, so I’ve started piecing the thing together by hand. Having never done this before I thought it would be difficult, but it turns out all the other needlework I do has prepared me quite well for quilting. The resulting quilt should look very nice on the bed in the spare room.