Saturday, January 28, 2006


Today was a good day. Chatted with Kae a bit in the early afternoon (Thanks Kae, that was fun!) and then got down to business and playing with my new toy. I got a yarn swift and ball winder this morning.

This thing is so much fun I could wind yarn all day. I think it's definitely time I start trying to dye some yarn now. Anyway, I wound some alpaca I had left over from the fingerless mittens, this yarn here from an afghan, a skein of Cherry Hill Tree sock yarn and that was it for today. I wish I had waited to wind the Socks That Rockyarn but I was too impatient and wound that the old fashioned way over two chair backs. The colourway, Fire On The Mountain was too hot for me not to dive right in.

Here is my Jaywalker sock so far.

I'm loving this. The colour is awesome and the zig zag pattern is way cool. The only thing I hate dislike about these is they are knit on size 1 dpn. The needles are so thin they feel like they're going to snap at any moment. They also make it harder to work the heel flap as the stitches want to slide off instead of slip over to the other needle. But I think these socks are well worth it. Can't wait to wear these.

Man I wish my gram was alive, I think she'd have a different opinion on socks now a days than the pair she did that got tossed aside.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Rockin' socks, wristband & hacking on a Friday

I guess I'm making up for lost time that I wasn't posting :)

First of all, I got the Socks That Rock yarn in the post today. I didn't expect it this quickly but I'm going to wind it and you know what I'll be doing tonight. Fire On The Mountain is the colourway. Also sandwiched between them is the wristband with that yarn I posted about yesterday. I can see why they discontinued it-you have to stop, drop and untangle every couple rows or it knots up.

I need to get me a yarn swift and ball winder. I do this the old fashioned way, with my feet LOL! Or sometimes on the backs of two chairs to hold the skein taught.

I'm freaking out-not sure if I'm being scammed or just over reacting to SPAM. I rarely go into my photography site anymore as I've not taken pictures in a long time. Long story short, in my web mail for my site, there's a note from someone on eBay asking about an item I'm selling. It looks official but I have never sold anything there and I would certainly not use my web site to do so...nowhere in the note was my registered eBay name. The thing that is spooking me is the note was addressed to me at my web site, infrared That seems a little too coincidental, no? I've since turned mail off for that web site and I spent hours yesterday changing all my passwords. Ordered my credit report this morning and nothing is wonky there. I sent a copy of the e mail I got to ebay to see if they can figure out what is going on.

No, I did not reply to the e mail, I've been phished often enough, especially by fake Pay Pal e mails that I don't reply to them period.

Which leads me to say sometimes technology sucks!

I feel better now that I got that off my chest LOL! Now it's time for lunch, then winding this yummy yarn.

Listening to AC/DC ~ For Those About To Rock

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Aran Afghans

Ok folks, here 'tis. One shot of the afghan and one of the Inspector making sure it's up to snuff. OH...BTW-this is Midnite..making her official Blog debut. Don't tell her she's cute...she's already got an ego the size of Texas.

Listening to I Don't Believe In Love ~ Queensryche

New Find

First, I want to thank you all for the great comments on the seed stitch jacket. I can't remember when I made it but I'm almost 100% positive it was something my mom saw in a Herrschners catalogue and I got it to make for her. It had to be sometime in the early 90's, maybe 93 or so. I wonder if I still have the pattern for it?

Last night while we were sitting on the sofa watching Murder She Wrote, I found this in my stash, Lion Brand Sensations. I can't find it in their catalogue so I guess it's not being made anymore. It feels soft a lot like suede. There's only 87 yards per skein and I'm wondering what I can use it for. It's a worsted weight. I was thinking a funky pair of fingerless mittens but I'm not sure it'd be comfortable. Any ideas?

Being up at these odd hours, I went and got myself sorted. What else is there to do at 5 AM? LOL!

i'm in gryffindor!

be sorted @

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Blooming Borders and seeds

I mentioned a while back, I think in reply to Rain, about a seed stitch jacket I made my mom. Here's a photo of it. I can't remember how many years have past since I knit this but it has to be quite a few since I have no memory of doing all that seed stitch. I can vaguely recall being overjoyed at doing the cabled border. The colour is great and my mom looked good in this.

At the moment I'm trying to get the Aran afghan presentable. A couple of my blocks 'bloomed' when I cast off which I'm guessing I probably did the cast off too loosely. Or maybe a combination of too loose a cast off and too tight when knitting the block itself.

Which brings me to the Great American Aran Afghan. My blood ran cold when I discovered it was the same sort of project...garter stitch border around the block. I'm very curious if the results would have been any better doing a provisional cast on and keeping the bound off stitches live. In the end, you could pick up all the bottom and top stitches on a big circular needle and knit however many rows that you need to as you'd have started right in on the pattern. THEN going back and weaving the strips together.

That sounds as clear as mud, huh? I'm embarrassed to post photos of the afghan as my putting it together didn't do it justice.I think I invented a few new swear words in the process too LOL! I think I need to break down and buy that finishing techniques DVD I saw in one of the magazines round Christmas time. Some things go together perfectly but it's stuff like this that shakes my confidence.

Listening to Restless Gypsy ~ W.A.S.P.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Jesus I dunno what's been wrong with me. Just seem to have withdrawn. I need to snap out of it and get back to the land of the living. The snow is falling like mad-something I think I need to feed my soul, so it's a good day to work on projects which is what I think I'm going to do.

The Aran afghan is done :-) I need to sew it together and will post pictures later. I'm pretty jazzed about that.

In other knitting news, I needed a new pair of slippers. I went through two double soles on the green ones I knit way back in November. These new ones are from Elizabeth Zimmermann's book Knitting Without Tears. I love these, I think the point on the toe is a riot. They knit up extremely fast and you basically knit a square and fold it to form a cuff and the foot. I ran out of yarn which is why one has a blue foot and the other is plain oatmeal. I'll be making lots more of these.

Here's also the socks I made for my friend, I still need to send them to her. I don't think she's reading at the moment so I guess it's safe to post 'em.

I saw these Jaywalker socks done up in several of these colourways so I think I'm going to order some of this yarn. Most expensive socks I'll own to date since you need two skeins. I just love these socks though. I was reading several people have made these on Addi needles. Ummm, I love Addi Turbo but there's not a cold chance in hell I'd attempt socks on them. They're wonderful for sweaters and mittens and whatever else you want on two needles, but that's just me.

Listening to Gogol Bordello ~ Gypsy Part of Town

Friday, January 13, 2006

Coming Along

Wow, it's been a long time since I last posted! No excuse for it...Just been sort of out of it. The weather here in Boston has been totally crackers! It was Spring-like today. That's been throwing me for a loop. While I don't enjoy shovelling snow, I'm not sure I like a balmy winter either.

'Nuff of that. Ben listening to some knitting podcasts and my Sirius radio, geez I love that! It's awesome to sit on the sofa and knit whole listening to an old time radio serial. I keep thinking there used to be a Dennis the Menace one but I'm not positive.

Which brings me to...the Aran afghan. These are all the blocks, well most of them.The seed stitch one came out double the size it should have. I'm not sure if I'll re-do it (Sorry Janet) or if I'll improvise another block or just complete the afghan without it. I really don't enjoy seed stitch.

Wish I could start stitching this together now but it needs to be blocked first and I'm not sure how I want to arrange it.

Now I need to go catch up on reading some of your blogs. :-)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mundane Friday

So today I am taking down all the Christmas decorations. I hate this. The whole house looks so magical and safe ad happy all lit up and all the decorations around and then it goes back to being a dull, boring place. I'm enjoying a glass of Absinthe while I take them down.

In knitting, I am doing the last block of the Aran Afghan, the seed stitch block. Now I just have to go back and make one more of each block and I can sew it all together. I can't looks really nice. I still need to mail the socks out to my friend for her birthday which was 31 December. I've just been in a funk for the past couple weeks. I keep telling myself one good way to look at it is that roller coaster riding season is fast approaching but then I think of all the magic of the holidays and I think "to hell with the coasters, I want Christmas to last forever" LOL! I know as soon as Great Adventure opens and I get my ass in a seat on a coaster I'll be happy.

On another note, I got myself Sirius on Monday. I did not get it for Howard Stern, I got it because I am so totally and completely disgusted and fed up with all the advertising on FM radio it's not even funny. I got a home unit so I can listen at home. You know, I never realised how much I missed listening to the radio until I got this. They have several hard rock/heavy metal stations, there's an 80's station, they have old time radio shows like The Shadow and Our Miss Brooks that I have missed hearing since the early 80's. There's BBC radio (music and news), Canadian Broadcasting, Comedy channels, Martha Stewart (one of the major factors why I did buy it). I guess it's appropriate to say I'm happy as a pig in shit with this. My radio has been on from 7 AM until 4 PM every day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Absinthe 101

OK, I'm not quite sure where to begin. A few of you wanted some inside info on Absinthe so I'll attempt to present some. This is largely based on what I've read and first hand experience as I've been drinking authentic Absinthe for the past 4 or 5 years.

There is much said about the Green Fairy, much of it false. It is not a drug, you will not hallucinate or get high from drinking it. This probably got started as Absinthe is made from wormwood, one component of this is a chemical called Thujone which has a molecular structure similar to THC, the active psychoactive component in marijuana. It is not illegal to drink, it is, however, illegal to sell in the USA. The FDA bans the type of wormwood Absinthe is distilled from as it is a known neurotoxin. It can cause convulsions. I suppose, as with any other alcohol, it would be possible to have hallucinations, however to approach level of intoxication one would most certainly be courting alcohol poisoning and death.

Absinthe has also been blamed for many incidents ranging from the killing of spouses to Van Gogh cutting off his ear. This is interesting because it's often not mentioned that Van Gogh was fond of eating his oil paints and sipping his turpentine. I suppose it's easier to blame Absinthe rather than whatever the consumption of cadmium and lead and whatever else was in oil pints back then.

Absinthe addiction....this is possible as Absinthe does not affect a person the way most other spirits do. The Thujone in Absinthe acts as a buffer which allows one to imbibe far more of it than is possible with say Vodka or Whiskey. When you drink Absinthe, you do not get the cloudy, heavy feeling that alcohol normally produces. It does quite the opposite. While drinking it, your thoughts become clearer, you feel very energetic and open and free. Not weighted down and heavy like if you were drinking another spirit. Your speech often does not become slurred. This is NOT to say you are not buzzed or under the influence. You certainly is the Thujone that is acting as a buffer so you are not feeling it like you normally would. You are NOT free to drive a car. It is this buffering effect that makes Absinthe a bit more dangerous. However, let me be the first to say I have been drunk on it once and it will never happen again. An Absinthe hangover is like nothing you've ever felt before. It scared the hell out of me. They say that the worst hangovers to have are those produced by dark spirits such as whiskey and brandy and that lot...that is a walk in the park compared to an Absinthe hangover.

If you write, paint, draw, etc. Absinthe CAN bring that out and the great artists of the past often produced their best works while drinking it. I can attest that it has this effect on me at times. It is a very pleasant, warm, happy sort of feeling. I'm not sure how else to describe it other than to say it is not at all like any other liquor.

There is a product on the market called Absenta that is legally sold in the USA. I tried this before trying authentic Absinthe and can only say it is an over-priced bottle of Anisette in disguise. It does not taste anything like real Absinthe nor does it look like the real stuff. Authentic Absinthe is a green hue but it is not emerald green. Save your money.

As for safety, I cannot comment on this. It is made from an herb that is a known neurotoxin. The level of Thujone is not anywhere NEAR what it was back in its heyday. Most today contain between 10 mg. and approx. 40 mg. of Thujone. Canada allows the sale of it as long as the Thujone is under 10 mg. I've read back at the turn of the century when it was popular, it was as high as 230 mg. The alcohol content to reach this level would have been positively insane. Currently, what I drink is 144 proof which is plenty strong even diluted with water as it should be. NEVER abuse it by drinking it straight or neat. That is not how it was intended to be sipped. As far as I know, it is a Czech brand which I have never tasted and wouldn't as all reports I've heard regarding Czech Absinthe is it is rotten and foul tasting.

Personally, I am not concerned with weather it is safe or not. I'm far more concerned with inhaling second hand smoke and the damage I did to myself by smoking 20+ years than I am what Absinthe may or may not do to me. It is a risk I am willing to take and I take it knowing full well nobody knows. However, it has been legal in England and Spain and there are no reports of Absinthe induced maladies.

What it tastes is much like a fine wine. It has a complex flavour that continues to develop in your mouth and in your throat as you sip. It tastes heavily of Anise at first but other flavours can be detected as it unfolds in your mouth and on your lips. It's a very pleasant experience.

Oh yeah...why it was outlawed in the first place. In a nutshell...the French wine makers are to blame. Absinthe could be had for about a nickel a glass back in its heyday. Because it was so wildly popular, the French wine makers were running scared that this could put them out of business. It was all political.

This is why to this day it burns my ass that the ban is not lifted on this yet our Government allows the sale of cigarettes which kill not only those who willingly partake of them which is fine...but everyone around who is subject to second hand smoke is a victim of the ugly reality of what cigarettes do. Having been a smoker for most of my life (I quit last August), I resent that I am told I can't drink Absinthe because it MAY or MAY NOT harm me in the long run. But it's a proven fact that what I did to my body by 20 years of smoking most certainly did harm me for life. If they want to protect me, protect me from a proven harm (cigarettes) not from a drink that may or may not be harmful.

I hope I answered your questions, if I left anything out, just ask :-)