Friday, April 20, 2007

A new man in my life

There is a new man in my life.

In only a few days, he has changed my life for the better and is fast becoming my favourite person.

He wears a blue jacket and drives a big red and white truck.

And he comes right up to my front door and takes away all of the parcels that contain all of the yarn that all of the nice people have ordered from me.

My new buddy works for Canada Post! And I am so happy to see him.

I have spent 6 years humping parcels in big bags over to the sub post office at the Shopper's on Bayview - in rain, snow cold and heat - standing in line waiting my turn and, in turn, usually causing a big line up behind me.

I filled out forms and put on stickers and weighed everything and did as much as I could do to speed up the process but it usually meant a good hour or more at least twice a week - more when shipping my sock of the month club.

Now I use Canada Post's software and print out 1 page that gets attached to the parcel. And no additional customs forms or stickers and no sheets of labels for return addresses.

Why didn't I do this sooner!!

Well actually, I tried - several times...

I tried about 4 years ago and got nowhere with the software and at that time you couldn't do small packet that way and as most of my parcels to the US of A go small packet, it didn't make much sense.

Then I tried again last August and sent information and followed up several times with a woman who never called me back or responded to my emails. I gave up when it started to get really busy - just no time to take the time to figure out the programme and the process and to light a fire under a recalcitrant Canada Post employee.

But now I have done it and I am so happy. And the software isn't as bad as I thought and it also now includes Small Packet.


Now all I have to do is get my books done and take everything to my accountant on Monday and then get ready for the Frolic and then ....



And Spring has finally arrived and there are crocuses in bloom in my garden! Sigh

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What have I done!!

Faced with the rather daunting amount of work to be done to prepare for the DKC Frolic and the fact that I have until April 30th to get my bookkeeping finished and off the my accountant in time for him to do my taxes (and he probably would like a few days grace to work on them) on the 28th, most would hunker down and just get it done.

Not me - I shop!

And what have I bought?


And what do I intend to do with it (it being Kauni Effekt in Rainbow)

Do what any sane knitter would do and knit this:

This being Ruth Sorensen's Kauni Cardigan

The pattern is available here

Look under Strikning

And the yarn is available here

Thanks to Joanne Conklin of Keep Talking for finding this gorgeous thing.

I hope it arrives in time to take along to work on in Maryland.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Swatching while Intoxicated

Well actually - swatching Intoxication (not at all under the influence) - in Handmaiden SILKEN

Gauge is almost exactly on (I used a 3.75mm needle where the pattern calls for a 4.5mm - I ALWAYS have to go down that much to get gauge!) and the knitting was fairly easy - the boxes are quite easy to figure out where you are - the Maze a little less so (but then I was watching a 2 parter of Stargate Atlantis with much peril and excitment in it) and the lace is about as simple as it gets.

If anything, I would have liked the green to be a little bit stronger but it holds up well against the purple and I love its softness in the lace.

Also worked a bit on what will probably end up being my last sample for DKC - the scarf version of Fiber Trends' Landscape Shawl and Scarf. This is a much under-rated pattern - or at least it was for me until I saw a sample knitted up at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year. The textural play just doesn't come off in the pattern picture but seen live it is brilliant. Scarf-ing is being done in Schaefer Anne - a deep blue with a bit of green and teal in it. Purdy!

Also finished a sample sock in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK - colour Birches and will have it with me at the show. Simple reversible rib (the same simple reversible rib that I have knit the last 5 socks in!) which does nice things with the colour mix.

Did anyone else see the Hippo in the pool on Africam last night! What a sight - watching him slowly climb out of the water and walk away into the dark was such a thrill.

This is the link that I use - the one from didn't work for me:

My heart goes out to all of the families affected by yesterday's shoootings. A terrible terrible tragedy. Canada isn't immune - Dawson College most recently, Tabor Alberta and Ecole Polytechnique come to mind and there have been others. How can we stop this before another kid gets shot?

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I present for your eye candy delight - Christel Seyfarth.

Her website is here

Amazing work from another Danish Designer that I found via someone's blog the other day.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Weekend work

A bit of finishing and some starting went on this weekend chez red bird.

Completed my April Sock of the Month - Party Stripes - a "knock the stripes for a loop" kind of stitch pattern that wobbles the stripes. Done in Meilenweit Party (and will also ship in Colortweed).

Finished another Meilenweit Bosco sample sock - love this yarn and will probably end up doing another colour - that will make 4. Its a great basic sock yarn with a bit of colour interest to it - what could be better!

Finished another size of my summer top in 100% Silk - just have to do the math (just!) and write it up for the show.

Haven't done anything more on the Butterfly Wings - anything more in a forward direction anyway. I tinked back to the end of the 2nd chart and will tackle it again once I have more free time.

Started to swatch for Morigann - in colour Cork - a medium taupe which will look splendid with natural linens. Thinking I would save time, I picked up the recommended size needle and cast on for a sleeve. Time was not saved - it is much too big and I will have to go down at least 0.5mm or perhaps even more to get gauge. I should have known as I ALWAYS have to go down considerably in needle size.

Needless to say, it is ripped out and I will either have to finish something or buy new needles as all of my needles of the size I will need are in use.

Inspired by Wendy's mitred square tunic to pick up the one I started some time ago and have alredy finished 1 more row of squares. Since I have now lost almost 30 pounds, I am glad to say that I am working on it in panels so the size can be easily changed to meet my continuing weight loss (lots more to go - stay tuned for progress).

Pictures will be posted later - am having myself a 4 day weekend. Well if you don't count the work I did this morning and the bookeeping I did all day yesterday while cooking easter dinner, it is almost a 4 day weekend.

Back to mitred squares and Stargate Atlantis Season 1 so that I can start newly acquired Season 2.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kaffe Fassett sock yarn

Have you heard about these. They are gorgeous and the original idea was floated by my good friend Julia Grunau (she has more energy and ideas than any other 10 people I know!)

Julia just got back from Handarbeit in Gemany and happily reported the European launch of this lovely sockie yarn (and meeting Kaffe Fassett too). Apparently the yarn will be launched at TNNA in June so we should have it shortly after that ( half an hour later in Canada)

And look what came in the mail yesterday. Need I say EXCITED!

Oh so 70s design with a softer colour pallette and oh so excited to see what is going on. Blue Faced Leicester focus this time meaning lots of the soft long woolie BFLs will be there to moon over. Only a few more things to do before I can hop in the car and drive to MD (takes about 12 hours with a stop in Kingston to pick up Ainslie) - taxes, Downtown Knit Collective Frolic - definitely not in my order of preference or in order of amount of fun to be had!

For some reason I am struggling with the beginning of Chart 4 of the Goddess Knits Butterfly Wings Shawl - have had to tink and reknit every right side row so far ( of the 6 I have done) - not putting me in a good mood. I chose Zephyr in Sable for this one - such a beautiful colour and will be gorgeous with summer linens ( if I ever get it finished - it will be up at DKC).

Winter is back - snow on the ground and fingerless mitts on my hands as I type. I am moving some place warmer. Enough already (and we are out of oil so heating is a bit of a challenge - I refuse to fill my tank with oil at the end of the season and they won't deliver anything less than 450Litres. Pooie on them - we will stay warm some other way!!!)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I must knit this one - the complexity of the cables is fantastic - with shaping at the waist. The yarn is Calmer from Rowan (the price is anything but calm) and this is in colour also called Calmer. Other colour options are Garnet and Cork - hmmh - must decide!
Oh, yes, and this is from No Sheep For You (as is Intoxicating)


Brilliant choice of colours and an intriguing combination of mosaic and lace patterns. This is fabulous (from No Sheep for You).

Kudos to Amy R Singer (I know what the "R" stands for !) for an excellent book - well worth the price of admission for these 2 patterns alone. The additional information about non-sheep fibres is great - also makes the book a worthwhile purchase.

I must knit this and Morigann!