New Job

I started a new job yesterday. My maternity leave is nearly up (I can't believe it's gone by so fast!) and it was time to start contributing to the family again. I'm still working for the local health region, but have accepted a part-time position at a different mental health clinic within the region. So far, it's pretty good. :)

I work two evenings a week and my duties include booking appointments, transcribing the reports, answering the phone, handling intake...that kind of thing. The best part is that I make nearly the same amount as I was on maternity leave but only work those two evenings and can still spend the rest of the day with Ely.

The lace is coming along nicely. I made a little boo-boo that I couldn't figure out how to fix, but blocking will fix that.

As well, I think I have ADD. Seriously, not kidding. I don't seem to have the ability to focus on just one project and apparently that's a tell-tale sign of ADD, so maybe I'll go get assessed. But then you have to ask yourself, "Wouldn't that be weird if Kayla wasn't all scatterbrained and finished the things she started?" Well? Wouldn't it?



My Latest Obsession

My maternity leave is quickly coming to a close and I've had to reduce my spending to prepare for the end of EI supplementing my income. In order to do this, I've stopped purchasing new yarn. Notice the "new" in that sentence.

So where do I get my scrumptious yarns from now? The thrift store. I've started buying sweaters/scarves/knitted randoms and unravelling them. The process is simple enough but rather time consuming. Anyways, let me show you my goodies from yesterday.

These yummies started life as a scarf

These began theirs as a particularily hideous sweater vest.

This mother of a skein came from a spectacularily ugly peice of nastiness which I will call "grandma chic".

These two are a kid mohair blend which is the most beautiful lavendar and is so soft and has such a nice halo. I'm not letting these two go for anything!

And, finally, the one I'm working on. I've unravelled the sleeve and it's made a fair-sized skein. I'm probably going to get 4 or 5 suckers out of this sweater which is a mohair-blend laceweight.

Now, after you rip apart a sweater, you have to make sure to soak the yarn in a hot, soapy bath in order to get that nasty thrift store stench off of the skeins. Like I said, it's a buttload of work, but you can see that the end results are well worth it if you're looking for some quality yarn for a fraction of the price. I think I spent $25 on the sweaters.


Bad to Worse, to FAR Better!

Remember I said that I had cast on my first lace project with my red laceweight? Well, I had. It was beautiful. The way that the thread flowed through my fingers and onto the needles felt like magic.

Well, that was fine and dandy until I dropped a stitch. Trying to pick up my dropped stitch made me drop ANOTHER stitch. Now, I can save stitches when it's a normal knitted something--baby blankies, for instance--but NOT when it's lace and certainly not when it was my first lace project EVER!
I frogged it. The whole thing. I feel hollow.
Had to get blood work taken today, which made me feel worse. I guess I'll just pop into the thrift store and rummage around the craft section and see what I can find...
What was that? Is that laceweight?
Guess who came to live with me?
I immediately took pictures, much to Robbie's chagrin, and then cast on another lace project!
I feel much better :)


I know, I know...

Okay, so it's been a while.

Let me fill you in on my recent life. I caved. I fondled my laceweight to bits and finally cast on a shawl. I won't show you the WIP right now because I don't know where my camera is, but it's nice. Very very nice. I had to frog the damn thing a few times before I could wrap my head around the counting. I can tell I'm going to need more laceweight since at it's widest, this shawl is 319 stitches accross and I only have 400 yards of yarn. Damn. Oh well...it's an excuse to spend more money!

The baby blankie hasn't been touched in a few ... days. *hangs head in shame* I'm such a procrastinator (thank you Robbie)!

Well, maybe procrastinator is not the word for it. See, when I see a pattern that I like, I'll cast that project on. And I knit furiously at it for a while. However, I lose interest so quickly that it's like quicksand. Before I know it, I've got several (meaning 15) projects going and not enough needles to go around! le sigh.

In other, non-knitting-related news, I'm registering for a doula course in May. I'm VERY excited! Who wouldn't want to watch little babies being born? The thing that really swayed me on my choice was an email from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (a.k.a. Yarn Harlot) after I said I'd like to be a doula, but am not sure how I'd react to actually SEEING that. Her reply? "There's only one way to find out!" Good point. That woman is s-m-r-t. :)

Anyways, it's 12:36, my head hurts, my feet hurt, my...various extremities hurt, and my bed is calling. Tomorrow, I will beat Robbie into submission and force him to tell me where the camera is, take pictures of my lacey sexy-ness, and then maybe post them here to show y'all.

By the way, is anybody else itching to see Daniel Craig in a swimsuit? Oh yeah.


Yarn Stash Ahoy!

Okay, so I pulled out my gigantic cardboard box of yarn and took a buttload of pictures. Want to see? I'll try to arrange these in a somewhat coherent manner, and be aware that this is about ... half of the yarn I own. The rest is stashed randomly around my house.
First, we have a lovely crochet-type unnatural fiber yarn. I've been using this to make a light spring jacket for SmElodie.

Second is the crap that I was too lazy to pull out and take pictures of singly. Honestly most of this stuff is really crappy. That green ball? yeah, that's weird sparkly Xmas yarn that I don't remember owning before this photo. Maybe yarn follows me home -- I don't know.

This is a close-up of some fun fur type stuff (really chunky yarn) that I got for $2 at a sale. Bonus.

Random fun furs that I inherited from my late Mother-in-law.

A nice, soft chunky blue yarn and a worsted weight red. I have four skeins of this red. The color of it is truer in the first picture.

The next is a GIANT skein of weird lace stuff. I can't remember the name for it, but it does have a specific name. I got this sucker for $3 at Walfart.

A cotton and homespun. The cotton is nice and the homespun is something you don't want to knit on sharp needles.

I haven't finished this little bun-bun yet, but I'm working on it. It's a crazy Japanese amigurumi. We loves them.

Two balls (wound from hanks) of a red yarn. It's wool. It knits really nicely too, as you can see from the scarf that I'm working on (and will finish eventually).

Brown/tan-ish cotton skein. Probably doomed to be made into washcloths.

These suckers are actually black. Left-overs of Meow's granny-square afghan I made a few years back.

Shhhhh. This next is going to be a baby blankie for James and Jen's little fetus.
A nice sport-weight yarn for babies. I made a baby blankie for Elly when I was still preggo with this stuff. I may have over-guestimated on the amount of yarn I'd need. (oops)

More cotton. I went through a cotton "thing". I also have no idea why the cotton is discoloured....um....I swear I didn't do anything to it.

My sexy White Buffalo yarn. Previously mentioned.

More cotton. This skein is at least 2 lbs.

Okay, yes this is more cotton--and a swatch that I knitted up. You can't really tell in the picture, but there is a pair of baby foot prints on that swatch. :)
Baby blankie yarn...a few blankies on the go...I haven't touched them in at least 2 months.

A crazy boucle. It's brown and hideous. I have no idea why I bought it or what I am going to make with it.
More baby blankie yarn (I've noticed I have more yarn than baby blankies needed...). You've seen this stuff before as it is the current baby blankie in progress.
Red (*drooooooool*) laceweight
Random ball of yellow aran. I plan on making a sweater with yellow pattern stuff on it eventually. One day.
Pea coat yarn. Worsted weight, 100% wool. It actually still has bits of grass in it...

Well, that's if for now. Lots of pictures. You have no idea how much more yarn I have. I'm actually at the point where I sit here thinking, "Okay, I know I've knit (crocheted, screwed around with, fondled) [insert yarn] at some point in time (yesterday, 5 minutes ago). Where the [expletive] did it go?!" I guess that's what happens when you move.
I found another lace knitting book at the library. Robbie is on assignment.

Tomorrow, I'll show everybody how big my baby blankie is!! Oooooooo! Fancy!


No Witty Title

It's been one heck of a week. What is it about moving that just makes you want to jump off a very tall bridge into very shallow water? We have almost been in this house for two weeks, and my head is still spinning. I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, shouting at Artemis, organizing, cleaning... yuck.

Today, I walked downstairs with Miss Elodie, of course, and sat her in her high chair and then shuffled over to make her an eggo for breakfast. Wait a minute...why does it feel like I'm on a beach? Why is there sand between my toes? You see, my friends, there is a chinook in town.

Now you may be wondering how this chinook (love them though we may) caused a small, sandy beach to wash up in my kitchen. We are in a new development. This means that there is no grass. No grass, plus much snow, plus sudden hot spell, equals a lot of mud. A lot of mud means very, VERY dirty dogs three times a day when they go pee. The dogs go pee, get dirty, come inside and drag half of the neighbourhood with them and into my kitchen!

Le sigh.

In the old house, this really didn't matter. I mean, the floor was literally crumbling beneath our feet. Elodie simply could not crawl on the floor upstairs because she was liable to get splinters in her wee little handsies. But in the new house, this was simply unacceptable. So what did I do? I blocked Elodie in the livingroom with some handy dandy gigantic toys, shoved the dogs and cat in the basement, and pulled out my broom. I swept, my pretties. I swept. A veritable mountain of dust arose around me and still I swept. When I was done sweeping, I decided to find a dust pan (perhaps would have been smart to do before I started) and got my katooshie out to the garage where half of our belongings have been living.

Guess what I stepped in. I'll give you a hint: it was dog poop. That's right...I, barefoot Kayla the yarn pluralist, stepped in nice, squishy dog doo. I found my dustpan before I went back inside (after you've had a baby, dog crap on your bare foot isn't all that gross...) and then hobbled over to the sink and stuck my foot under our spray thing. Got the dog doo off. Mopped the kitchen.

Bleached the sink -- dog doo, if you'll remember.

Finished organizing Elodie's room and discovered that she has more clothes than Robbie and I put together. Okay, that may be an exageration. Robbie and I haven't unpacked our clothes. There are no less than 10 giant black garbage bags in our beautiful walk-in closet which are stuffed with clothing. Still, for a little girl, Elodie has a shocking amount of clothing, half of which is still too big for her. At 10 months of age, she still only weighs 14 lbs and fits nicely into 3-6 month clothing.

IN KNITTING NEWS: The baby blankie is the same, but longer. I'm nearly done the second skein and will post another pic when I am. The other thing is still purple. Laceweight is still untouched--and has been fondled many times. Is it normal to drool over red laceweight the same way I drool over Richard Gere? Hmmm... I'll have to ponder that.

Tune in tomorrow (or maybe the day after) when I have--The great yarn stash show-off!

Ode to my library

Not much to report today by way of knitting. The baby blanket is ever longer, and when I'm bored with that, I pick up the pea coat to knit on. I have been itching to work on that red laceweight, but I don't have a nice pattern and have never actually knit laceweight before. I've put a lace shawl knitting book on hold at the library and when it comes in then success will be mine!

I don't actually buy knitting books anymore. I gave my previous ones to Barb to learn from and have decided to save my wallet and borrow my knitting books from the public library. I am amazed that I never thought of this before! Just a quick browse through their online directory and I salivate with anticipation. If I had no self control...wait. If I had less self control than I do now (which isn't very much to begin with) then I'd put every book on hold and go to it!

Of course, not all knitting books are created equal. So where do I decide which books to check out? Why the reviews on Amazon, of course! Just type in your book's title, scroll to the reviews and it'll tell you whether or not this book is THE ONE.

I suppose my biggest issue with knitting books is that I'll open up a book and there are 50 patterns but only 3 are actually worth making. Take the book I'm working on, for instance. It is called "Monkeysuits". I rented it for the pea coat on the front (the one I'm doing for Smelly Ely). There are some super SUPER adorable things in there. But there are also things I wouldn't be caught dead knitting - like THIS. It doesn't look as bad in that picture, and it might be kind of cute if it were knit in different colours, but that is (in my opinion) redonkulous. There's one other that I cannot, for the life of me, find a picture of on the 'net. It's this weird black and white opposite thing and it's uglier than sin. But, yeah, some of the others are SUPER adorable.

So, to summarize my ramble, if you want to save money on your knitting obsession (because you don't want to skimp on yarn like a crazy person!) just get books from your local library. Score!


Moment of Weakness

I had a bad day. Let me recap it so all can share in my misery. First, the contractors working on the house next door decided to BLAST their music as loud as possible. This resulted in CJAY 92 thumping throughout my house at 7:30 am. And since I went to bed at 2:30 am, that gave me 5 short hours of sleep. Elodie also decided to wake up. So my day began 2 hours earlier than usual.

Second, when I waddled myself downstairs to let the dogs out of the laundry room, I noticed that Artemis had dumped ALL the boxes that were in there and shredded ALL the garbage out of one of them and thrown the rest of the stuff all over the room. So I cleaned it up, gave Artie heck, and fed Elly.

Third, Elodie did not want to be put down at all today. She eats and eats and eats, but won't let go of mommy, won't sleep and won't be a good girl. I AM SO TIRED.

FINALLY, I got her down for a nap and tried to lay down--nothing doing. The music was still blaring. So I have a shower. Get out of the shower. Walk downstairs (after dressing--we have no curtains up) and ... Artemis had shredded all the garbage AGAIN.

Call Robbie in a fit of rage and vent at him for at least 10 minutes.

Elodie wakes up due to idiot dogs barking at nothing. Day continues.

I am going to go console myself with this...

400 yards of red laceweight. I lust.


Exhibit A

As promised, I am adding more pictures of my latest obsession: the pea coat for Elodie. If you don't know what a pea coat is, think Paddington Bear. I've cast it on in this beautiful worsted weight that I found at my LYS in a really pretty purple/blue colour. Observe:

When it's all said and done, I'm going to felt the thing, which is why it looks so gigantic right now. I'm making it in a 3 so that it will be about a 2 when it's done. The gauge swatch felted really nice (and I forgot to take a picture, of course) but I think I'm going to have to tweak the pattern a bit. See, it calls for DPNs (double-pointed needles) to finish the shoulders...and I've never used them. Maybe I'll make some adjustments (scary thought). If all else fails, blocking fixes the most glaring of "improvements"...

Work on the blankie (surprisingly) is continuing apace. I think this is the longest I've worked on a piece consecutively. Please ignore the pet hair on the couch. My cat thinks it's her house.

I have a real treat for everybody tomorrow. In fact, I've already taken pictures. However, for now I'll leave you with two words: Red Laceweight. Try to contain the excitement.


Forgive me, for I have sinned

Okay. It wasn't my fault. The yarn was calling me over and over...several times in the night. It was asking why I was ignoring it's beauty--the gentle mix of purples and blues. I tried to resist. But resistance is futile, so says Darth. So I swatched up my next project. And when I'd finished the swatch, I cast on the really cute coat that I am making for Elodie. I really haven't knitted that much of it...only about 1/2 a foot. So 40 rows or something like that. Not much at all.

True I haven't worked on the baby blanket today. But I needed a break! The repetitive nature of that blanket was driving me NUTS. The yarn is beautiful, it's soft and silky, perfect for a baby, and was only $4 for 5 skeins at Walmart. Now THAT, my friends, is a steal. Want to see some pictures? That's what I thought.

Pretty, huh? Just your typical basket-weave blankie. Nothing spectacular. Baby blankies are nice because they knit up so quickly, but they get so boring and repetitive. And, of course, when things get repetitive, I lose interest and make mistakes while knitting...like miscounting ONE stitch. So then I get to the end of the row and there's suddenly an extra stitch that I have NO idea where it came from and I have to recount, rip it back and do that row over again. Very frustrating.

In other news, I bought the fabric for my curtains today. It's lovely. I've finished one panel and am finishing the other panel tomorrow. I'll post pics then...and maybe some pics of the offending coat which I cast on today. I'm so ashamed.


In the beginning...

Yet another knitting blog starting up. *le sigh*

Let me explain why I'm starting this.

1) Most knitting blogs out there are run by knitters who have been at their craft for EVER. I am not one of those knitters :) I began knitting last year when I inherited ooooodles of knitting implements and wanted to learn how to use them for things other than hair styling.

2) I love yarn. Period.

3) We have FOUR couples who are either in the family or close friends that are having babies. I never pass up an opportunity to buy yarn and this makes the PERFECT excuse.

4) Did I mention I love yarn?

I've been considering starting a knitting blog for some time now. And, of course, I asked the powers that be to send me a sign that overknitpopulation of the 'net was in order. Guess what I found today?
That's right, folks. White Buffalo yarn. Bernat discontinued it...oh, three years ago-ish. Not only was I super excited to find this unspun yarn, but It. Was. On. Sale. Breathe. 50% off! I paid only $5 for these two suckers and boy was I excited.

I may have bought pretty new needles to match the yarn.

For those of you who have never heard of White Buffalo Unspun, it is a 6 ply unspun yarn which is very Canadian, and apparently VERY cool to work with. I've seen skeins of unspun just like White Buffalo at my local yarn store, but it was (wait for it) $15 a skein. Anyways, I'm thinking a sweater for my daughter??

Artemis had to be bribed with meat sauce for this picture, so you will note the crazed expression on his face.

You know, for some reason, my dear fiance seems to think it's odd that I take pictures (several) for a few minutes (several) of yarn. I have no idea why. Doesn't everybody? Speaking of pictures of yarn, I really need to pull out my stash and photodocument the evidence. I really *do* have too much, but when is too much a bad thing? Ice cream, perhaps (unless it's Ben and Jerry's), but certainly not yarn!

In other news, I'm busily making baby blankets. You have no idea how hard it was for me not to toss the blankie aside and cast on my new wool. But I digress. I am determined not to be such a pluralist. But, it's hard for a knitting pluralist. I'll add some pictures of my blankie tomorrow.

I'm going to go hug my yarn. I'm so happy.