Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A West Coast Between-Storms Report

I am finally finished that @#$@#@ "Alexander Beetle" vest (the beetles look more like woodticks ... take a look for yourself!). I played with the pattern a bit, pinched in the intarsia beetles around the waistline of the vest (front and back), used some textured yarns not called for in the pattern, etc. The front, bottom and arm borders all have facing knit on (I adapted Sasha Kagan's instructions there, too, as she had no clear way of folding over the facing; the entire thing was to be done in stockinette stitch. My adaptation was to purl a row on the outside, which gave a great edge to fold over, and made for a much neater finished product!).
These pictures were taken as soon as the last pesky end was woven in; the vest had not yet been blocked. Saturday afternoon it will be delivered, wrapped, to Carol who owns the Bug Zoo in Victoria, and then I NEVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!! Sheesh. Intarsia ma
kes Niebling look like a walk in the park. At least I can WRITE out the pesky charts of Niebling's designs instead of being made nauseous by those stupid coloured charts for the beetles. Bleh.

So today, between batches of butter tarts and chocolate haystacks (the shortbread will be made tomorrow), I was wandering around with NO knitting project on the needles. EEK!
So I picked up the needles and kni
t an Izzy Doll (see the ICross Canada link on the sidebar). Whew, that sure felt better! I am hoping to get at least one doll knit every week, and now that I live on the same Island where Billy Willbond lives, I can get them right to the guy who will be taking the dolls to children in Malawi. The doll takes about 45 minutes to knit, and about the same amount of time to sew together and stuff and make it look like a doll. I'll put a pic on my blog later.

Two days ago my only
child turned 27. Egad. Where the hell has more than 1/4 century gone? He called from Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, where he is halfway through his six month contract with Princess Cruises. I'll miss him at Christmas, but will love his company in April, when he comes up to Port Alberni to visit, AND to be the invited guest speaker at the annual Alberni Wrestling Club's awards banquet.

Don't those stupid beetles look like ticks?
Today we are between storms here on the West Coast. The last storm took out many of the first-growth trees in Stanley P
ark in Vancouver, to say nothing of the horrific damages to many parts of Vancouver Island. Tomorrow there is supposed to be another storm, with the chance of hurricane-force winds. We may be without power for a while, which is relatively minor other than the sump pump keeping the pool in the basement constantly refreshed !! (there is no pool, but the water likes to think it's a pool).

I am constantly amazed at the number of people who are checking out my belly-button start for circular projects. I'm pleased that I have been able to provide a relatively easy solution for starting a circular knitting project. I know some other directions involve using something other than knitting needles ... blasphemy, I say!

Below is a picture of the moving van in front of our house in Lethbridge (ya ya, already). It was a bitter, nasty cold day (Oct. 30) when they loaded up. October 31 we left Lethbridge, and pointed my '91 Chevy Blazer west. We spent that night in Osoyoos, BC, and landed in North Vancouver about 15 minutes too late to catch the 12:30 p.m. ferry, so we had to wait for the 3:00 p.m. ferry.

We were sitting in the Blazer, with only 4 km. to go before the odometer turned over 380,000 kilometres, when what appeared but our moving van! They had taken a different route to get to the west coast, had encountered more nasty weather than we had, and yet ended up being on the same ferry. Now how WEIRD is that? Anyway, I had to take a another picture. (This is what "albertan" gets for asking about pictures ... heheh).

As we were crossing from the Mainland to Vancouver Island, we were met and accompanied by a pod of at least 20 dolphins! They swam right along side the ferry, passing us and going almost into the Nanaimo Harbour, and then they turned around and headed back out into the Strait. It was an absolutely wonderous sight. Once we got off the ferry, we took a little pleasure ride around the waterfront area of Nanaimo, waiting for the odometer to turn over, and here's a picture of that totally cool event. Ohhhh yaaaa. I'm hoping us two old girls can make it to half a million kilometers (that's alllll on Dorne's shoulders ... heheh).

And on that note, I'll sign off for tonight. If you're out on the Caribbean Princess and you see a tall, handsome, 27-ish-looking guy who is a crew member, give him a hug for me and tell him his mum wishes him a very happy Birthday.

If I don't get back before Dec. 25, I hope everyone has a most wonderful, peaceful and ethical Christmas/Holiday (to be somewhat politically correct ;-).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ya Gotta Check Out These Websites!

While I'm busy finishing this @#$@#$@# crawling-with-woodticks vest, YOU should check out these links (and hopefully I can make them work for you ...).

Ok, so I tried and partially because we've just had a 3-hour power outage and I need to be knitting instead of typing, I'll just refer you to my sidebar, the list of links labeled "My Favourite Personal and Political Links".

Check out these: "You Knit What?" -- a hilarious blog about "fugly" (and you KNOW what that stands for!) knitting. I've strolled through it a few times, and although it hasn't been updated in several months, both the pictures and commentary are riotous. I mean REALLY, where do some of those folks get their inspiration???? Maybe they're looking at the compost, or watching the toilet swirl as it flushes? Anyway, check it out and laugh out loud.

And one day on my way to something else, I found an alternate-use-for-tampons website. That's also listed on the sidebar. Make a toupe for your favourite guy using tampons ... make a tampon-shooting weapon out of PVC pipe, let your imagination run wild! Heck, you can even make Christmas and Hallowe'en decorations from tampons! (and even if you don't, you can laugh like heck at this website!).

If this doesn't make you angry .....

nothing will. Iams tests its pet foods on cruelly-confined cats and dogs. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also linked on my sidebar) have researched this carefully, and cannot get an iron-clad guarantee from Iams that they have stopped this cruel and bizarre practice. Check out that link on my sidebar, too. This is one of the many reasons we are now carefully researching the sources of our pets' food.

Another one on the sidebar I've labeled "You'll never eat KFC again". Check out this website. While it's a little "tabloidish" in its presentation, it confirms what I have suspected for years (and is backed up by PETA, which is a reputable organization).

We pride ourselves in being "ethical shoppers". We do NOT shop at (ugh) Wal-Mart, and tend to try to buy Canadian, where possible. We buy organic as much as possible, and attempt (it's difficult) to purchase meat from farmers who have raised and treated our food animals ethically. Cattle standing belly-deep in their own excrement are inhaling (therefore affecting the quality of meat, to say nothing of the health and wellbeing of the animal) copious quantities of ammonia (from their urine) and methane (from their gas). Add to that the fact that some "agribusiness" genius decided that feeding vegetarian ruminants the ground-up remains of their cousins, introducing all kinds of toxins and bad biology into our food, was a good idea, and it's not hard to figure out that we're all better off eating ethically and organically raised foods.

Maybe check out the last two websites first, and then go to the funny ones. You may need a laugh after seeing the other two websites.

Ok, back to that damned @#$$@##$@#$ vest with the @#$$#@ beetles all frickin' over the place (ohhhhhhh god I'll be glad when this is done!).

Saturday, December 09, 2006


A reader from southern Alberta (who called him/herself "albertan") asked where my pictures are.

Answer is simple (like me ;-0) ... still in the camera. Too busy getting settled and finishing this @#$@#$ crawling-with-woodticks vest.

I had already thought of writing my posts into a word document and then doing a copy-and-paste thing; then Blogger can lose anything it wants but I'll have a copy of my post and will repost until Blogger cooperates.

Possibly (maybe), sometime between Christmas and the New Year, I might get pictures posted.

Right now, baby, there's just no damn time!

Which is why the blogger-aborted post of Nov. 21, which I was going to rewrite the next night, has now evolved (or not, as the case may be) into Dec. 9, still with nothing substantial written.

Oh well. Bigger fish to fry. After Christmas, I'll be able to catch my breath.

As if!

Anyway, in the meantime, here's a picture of the south beach of Savary Island, located between Vancouver Island and the west coast of BC. I happen to own a little piece of this Canadian paradise, and I think maybe next month we'll sneak away for a day to check out this very beach!
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