Friday, June 30, 2006

Two Blogs Today!

Here's the beginning of my Charlotte's Web - notice it's off the needles - that's because I'm tearing it out. The tension is too tight for my liking so I'm switching from a 4.5 mm to a 5.5 mm. Weird because usually my tension is way too loose. The colors are nice though!

Here's my finished Vesper socks all ready to give to Katy tonight. I'm really proud of them and so thrilled by the striping. They are exactly the same size and the stripes match perfectly. This yarn gets my vote!

Safe Arrival

My son arrived safely in Korea - the flight was 13 hours, they waited 3 hours for a bus, then had a 3 hour bus ride and a 15 minute cab ride to get home. He finally called at around 9:30 pm on Wednesday night. He was very tired but sounded happy to be there. He's emailed me every day (he knows how to make his mom happy) and reports that it's extremely humid and they have coffee in a can. The coffee in a can thing seems to have really captured his attention because he wrote my dad the same thing.

Yesterday I made the largest wholesale purchase yet - over $4,000. Yikes! I had the order all set up in an email and left it for over 2 hours before I actually sent it. This particular yarn is very hard to come by and when it is available is usually all sold out in 24 hours so I'm very excited to have it. My shop also now has a 1-800 number for people to call me with questions etc. It's really all coming together so well - my goal is to provide people with a simple alternative to finding unique yarn. As a knitter myself, I will drive a long way to find something different. Hopefully with just a few clicks it will be easier to get now. I have 7 suppliers so far and 5 of them are Canadian. Isn't that great? I'm meeting with the web guy on Tuesday to start setting up the yarn pages and apparently, I could be up and running in as little as two weeks. I won't be completely stocked by then, but at least people will be able to find me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Empty Nest

My son left for South Korea last night. His flight took off at 11:50 pm and won't arrive in Soeul until 2:30 pm today. It will be 2:30 am in Soeul. I thought I did very well at the airport - Jeremy told me he didn't want any "girly" stuff but I still cried. I kept thinking I must be crazy to allow a 16 year old boy to go so far from home. It's not like I can go pick him up if he wants to come home. I must say, though, he was very excited - now I will just wait for the phone call to tell me he's arrived safely. I woke up every hour last night - thinking he's still on the plane, he's still on the plane, and now this morning - guess what - he's still on the plane.

One of the reasons I wanted to start an online shop is that I absolutely love getting yarn in the mail - in fact, I think I like getting it better in the mail than I do picking it out in a shop. It's the element of surprise - even though I chose the colors - they are always a surprise and sooooo much nicer than I thought. It's fun, fun, fun!

Here's what came yesterday - it's an Angora Boot Sock kit from Blue Moon Fibers. When our original order came in they only sent 1 copy of Fair Isling on Blue Moon so I thought I might as well order something to keep that poor lonely book company on it's journey to me. The colorway is Cobblestone County - and the angora is to die for!

This is more Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop - I forgot I ordered it on back order so it was a real surprise. Now it's green so who do you think is the lucky recipient?

This is Dinah from Spunky Eclectic. It was a gift from Meghan and the pastels are sooooo great! I have never seen anything that I like better in a pastel colorway. It's so gorgeous it can't possibly be just socks. What else could it be?

And....tonight is the Charlotte's Web cast on. Here's what I've chosen to use. Meghan, Sarah and Emma are also casting on with me. Should be lots of fun! With lots of good company and good food!

As for Pick Up Sticks - everything is progressing well. I think the website could possibly be live by the middle of July. Not all the stock will be in but it should be functional by then. Today I've got to plan out the pages I want and what I want them to do.

Monday, June 26, 2006

And the winner is.....

Emma and Marigold! My youngest daughter participated in her first horse show this weekend and won her first ribbon! She was so excited! She worked hard on Saturday to get her pony ready for the show and was up 4 times during the night asking if it was almost time to go. Up til now I've spent hours and hours and hours watching horses with my oldest - looks like I'm in for more of the same. Marigold was a wild young girl when we first got her and she's turned out to be amazing. You should see her jump - little legs all tucked up - what a pro! - and a little speed demon!

And now for the big announcement......have you all been waiting.......
This is the logo for my new online yarn shop! Yup, that's right I'm starting my own little business. The tagline which is hard to read says: Hand-dyed, Hand-spun, Hand-picked. I will mainly have only those types of yarn with a few exceptions. I've even contracted for some sock yarn in custom colors which means only I will have them. There will even be a Pick Up Sticks Signature yarn - there are 7 colors that are being created only for my shop. Some yarn has already been arriving......

The colors are beautiful - this is the one solid that I am carrying so far. No names yet - stock is a closely guarded secret until the website is up and functioning. The website address will be: and it is still under construction.

So there you have it - it's been driving me absolutely nuts not being able to talk about it on my blog but I wanted to make sure I was really on the way - now for sure it's happening and I couldn't be more excited!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

This is my first finished Vesper Sock. I just think it's amazing - even with knitting the heel flap the sequence of the stripes wasn't lost. How do they do that? These are for my niece Katy - and I must finish the other one. This coming Wednesday, Sarah, Meghan, Emma and I are casting on for our Charlotte's Web. I still have my Bamboo Shoot Shawl on the needles. Tomorrow is Sarah's birthday dinner - we are all very excited about trying the new restaurant on Main Street - Cachet.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mystery unravels....

Well I am beginning to understand why my licence is suspended. Seems in March 2001 I had a speeding ticket for $52.50 that is unpaid according to the courts. It seems this has been on my record for 5 years now with not a single outstanding notice. I have been able to renew my plates, renew my actual licence in that time. Now I thought if there was an unpaid ticket that you could not renew plates or your driver's licence. Apparently now I have to go and pay the fine which has grown to $111, wait 4 days and then pay $150 to get a new licence. Unbelievable? The cheeky girl who spoke to me today may be thinking that all is well, but she has another thing coming when we discuss this face to face tomorrow!

Not much to report on the knitting front because when I haven't been dealing with my licence I've been working on my secret project. 180 balls of yarn arrived today - what could that mean? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This is Interesting.

I would, just for once, like a day where nothing major happens. I, innocently, went to pick up our mail today on my way to do errands. There was a letter from the Ministry of Transportation - imagine my surprise when I opened and read the my driver's licence is suspended. What????!!! What do you have to do to get your driver's licence suspended? I had no idea - so off I went, now driving with a suspended licence which could cost me $5,000 if I got caught, to our licencing office to find out what the problem is. Seems I was the 6th person in today with the same problem. Suspended licence and no idea how it happened. Turns out the department that processes speeding tickets (which I've had and paid in the past) is 7 years behind in their paperwork and just now have decided, because they are behind, that I have not paid a ticket from years and years ago. So now I have to go to a court office to see what the actual offense is and then apparently, I am supposed to provide proof that I paid this speeding ticket (7 YEARS AGO!!!!!) AND IF I CAN'T THEN I HAVE TO PAY IT AGAIN AND......I HAVE TO PAY $150 TO HAVE MY LICENCE RE-INSTATED. Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous in your life? Who but the government could do this? So now.....I can't drive until I straighten this out....and after I pay what they say I should pay.....I have to wait another 4 days until I can pay the fee to have my licence re-instated. My gawd!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Exciting News!

There is some very exciting news in the works! Just ironing out a few last details and I should be ready for the big announcement on Monday. Curious?

I ordered my son's Korean Won today - for $1,000 Cdn he gets 780,000 WON - I hope it comes in large bills.

Not much knitting to report - a little more on my Vesper sock - it is amazing how that yarn stripes perfectly. I just love it!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Vesper Socks

Aren't these pretty? They are made from Vesper Sock Yarn - I just love the way they stripe perfectly. I've turned the heel and am now picking up the gusset stitches.

My dad's tests went ok - he went in as soon as I got there and was done in about 30 minutes. I had just settled in for some serious knitting and out he comes. We won't know results for 3 weeks but I think if it's bad news we should hear sooner.

I napped almost the whole afternoon - when I'm stressed I just sleep and sleep. Now I will probably be awake all night!

All the more knitting to get done - big hockey night tonight! I hope Edmonton wins! The Stanley Cup should have a visit in Canada.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Hey, it's over 40 degrees with the humidity. Yikes that's like 110 degrees farenheit - no knitting done today. Did our groceries, visited Meghan at the shop, bought lots of new clothes for my son's trip to Korea. I can't have him going away with the scraggly stuff he normally wears although I'm sure it will find it's way into the suitcase one way or another.

My dad is being tested for prostate cancer tomorrow and I'm a nervous wreck. Please keep your fingers crossed that everything is ok with him. He doesn't deserve this after the hell of the last two years, but then again, no one ever does deserve cancer, do they?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Baby It's Hot Outside!

It was 38 degrees celcius here today with the humidity and I wore my shawl to work. That's right - something this beautiful should be worn no matter what the weather. I have an anniversary party to go to in July and I've got to get an outfit to go with the shawl. My little 7 year old tood this picture and is very proud to have a picture she took on my blog.

We went for our first swim in the new pool - the water heated up to 79 degrees just with the past few warm days. It was cool to get in but very refreshing after a long day at the shop. Thanks to Anne for almost getting my popsicle. You're the best!

Friday, June 16, 2006


TaaaDaaa! My Koigu Shawl is complete and blocking as I type. The colors didn't photograph as well as I'd hope - probably because it's pinned to a white sheet. I also need to invest in more blocking pins but overall I'm very proud of it and can't wait to wear it.

Where's the Koigu Shawl?

You may be asking where that Koigu shawl is - well, it's half cast off. Seems that I severely underestimated the time a picot edge cast off would take. Cast on 2, cast off 4, cast on 2, cast off 4 is very, very, very time consuming! It's very pretty but I'm so frustrated because of how long it's taking. My goal is to still have to done and blocked today! Tomorrow is going to be really hot with no air conditioning in the store so I may have to re-think my plan to wear it. Anyone who wants to drop off a popsicle - I'll be there from 10 am to 6 pm.

For those following my yarn spending sprees - just so I don't disappoint you - 5 skeins of Koigu Painter's Palette arrived yesterday along with 2 skeins of Kersti. The Kersti has now caused me to tear out the Bamboo Shoot Shawl that Meghan designed because the colors are not exactly the same as the ones I was using but will look really good alternated.

I'm going to see a Medium today - I hope she tells me I'm going to win the lottery so I can keep buying yarn.

More pictures later - I promise! But right now it's time to get out of my pyjamas.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Completed Project

First let me begin by introducing you to my favourite horse. I was telling the Bitchy Stitchers about him last night and thought he deserved a formal introduction. He's 18 years old and his name is Lex. He is the most kind horse I've ever come across and I love him to bits. He was Laura's show horse a few years back and he took her to the Central East Trillium Championships. He entered the Championships in first place in his division - he even won a trophy with his name on it and everything! This horse changed my daughter - before she started riding she was very withdrawn and shy - so little confidence, it was painful. She started riding lessons when she was 11 years old and around about 15 it became obvious that riding was her "thing" so the next logical step is to find her a horse of her own. Her coach found Lex for us - he was born and raised on a farm near Caledon and a favourite of his owner at that time. The good news for us was that they would lease him to us for free. Lex is the reason we live on our farm. I had the bright idea that owning a farm would be so much cheaper than boarding him somewhere else. Little did I know that a horse needs a horse for companionship - enter horse number 2. Oh well, 2 horses can't be much more than 1, right? At this time, Laura had a job at a show barn in Aurora to help with Lex's costs and decided that he needed to be moved there for her to get good coaching and start getting ready for the upcoming show season. Enter horse number 3 to keep horse number 2 company because horse number 1 was moving to another barn. Didn't we just move to this farm for horse number 1? Long story short after we'd had Lex for a few months - the owners started making noises about taking him back. Laura was devastated. She loved this boy - he gave her confidence - he helped her to be successful and most importantly, he loved her back. There was no way for us to buy him it seemed because they wanted a lot of money for him (really, more than he was worth if you just considered his "horse" value) Then something amazing happened - my mother, bless her, took the money out of her retirement savings and helped us buy that horse. She knew what that horse meant to Laura and she would not see them seperated. I still have the note she wrote when she gave us the money for him and I always will. My mom did a lot of wonderful things for me and my sister and her grandchildren but I must say that the best thing she ever did was give this amazing horse to the girl who loved him beyond all else. So now, Lex lives here on our farm - he's a constant reminder of a grandmother's love. Laura has a wall filled with first place red ribbons to show how accomplished a rider she is. And she has grown into a confident, happy young woman due in large part to this big, gentle boy.
And lastly, the Alpaca blanket is finished. It less than 2 weeks it is on it's way to Korea.

My Koigu Lace Shawl is 2 rows from completion and I will post pictures of it blocking later today.

I'm off to my grandmother's for a visit and then it's home to block that shawl. I am wearing it Saturday to work not matter what the weather.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More mail!

Ok so Meghan, Sarah, Emma and I should definitely stop hanging out knitting together because the picture is the result. Nine skeins of Socks that Rock and two books! One of us - not me this time - was on the internet looking at the new colors on the Blue Moon Fibers website and then someone - that would have been me - offered up a credit card to order. So Meghan chose, Emma chose, I chose and then when Sarah arrived, we told her that we'd been holding our order to see if she wanted anything from Blue Moon. She virtually flew over to the computer and snapped up her two skeins. So there you go - before you know it, an order for 9 skeins of fabulous yarn. I'm beginning to think we may be known in various parts of the U.S. Here's how it goes - Meghan orders something and then tells us about it so we check it out and then we order something too! So all of a sudden there are four boxes of yarn making their way across the U.S. and they are all coming to Newmarket. This has happened over and over - sometimes I'm the first to order, sometimes Sarah - that initial order is always followed by at least one or two more. I can imagine cheering from companies who see one order from Newmarket and know for certain that more are guaranteed to follow.

Same deal with Crocs - Meghan got orange, then I went and got light blue and black, then Sarah bought lime, Debbie bought orange and then I had to go back and pick up Meghan's lime pair. We are good for the economy! We are definitely not good for each other! We are going to go broke - but at least we'll be doing it together!

Tonight is SnB night - yipee! Always lots of fun!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Finally an update!

I'm still alive - we had a very busy weekend. Our WWKIP Day was a smashing success! I will be posting pictures shortly - as usual, I didn't have my digital camera but Fiona took tons of pics and is going to email them to me. I do have some progress on my toe up sock - it's all ready for the next class on Thursday.

Notice the ends of my needles - they are those tubes that go on the end of flowers - they are great for holding DPNs together. Thanks to Cheryl from the SnB for the great idea!

And here is my Koigu lace shawl. This project consumes me - whenever I'm knitting anything else other than this I am horribly resentful. I just want this finished and to be able to wear it.

Today is going to be a lazy day - I'm going to take my knitting outside to our deck and enjoy the weather.

It's only 2 weeks until the teenage boy goes to Korea. And that blanket is not yet finished - in fact, I've decided to shorten it by two sections to get it done. I was reading the Yarn Harlot last night and she was writing about Christmas knitting/deadline knitting and how you know you are in trouble when you start making changes to some of your projects. Seems I have all the characteristics of a compulsive knitter.

Friday, June 09, 2006


No blogging for three days? How can that be? I have no idea where this week went - hard to believe it's Friday already. We've solved the pool dilemma - gas heater is going back and my handy husband is going to rig up a solar heating system with pipes on the roof similar to what we had in Florida. The water comes out of the pool travels through the pipes that have been heated by the sun and then back into the pool.

I've been fairly consumed with my Koigu shawl - it is just getting more and more beautiful with each color change. I started another project (of course!) - I took Meghan's toe up sock class last night. I am knitting my socks with Sock Candy from Blue Moon Fibres - it's really nice and I can see the appeal of these toe up socks. Nice neat toes - not grafted together in a hurry which is what I usually do!

This is a busy, busy weekend. Tomorrow is WWKIP Day at the shop, I'm having company for dinner - well, actually my company is cooking dinner while I'm at work. Then Sunday my husband's family are coming for dinner. Two nice home cooked meals in one weekend? My husband is going to get used to this.

No time to post pictures this morning - I must get the 7 year old Princess to the bus! Then I'm off to have the pool water tested, pick up a few groceries, go to the bank and then work from 12-6pm. Another busy day!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Second day with.....

no knitting! Can you believe that? Last night at book club, I was sharing about my knitting, blogging, shopping online and one of the girls pipes up - I had no idea that women who knit would know how to operate a computer to be able to place an order online. Is she nuts? Does she even know how many knitting blogs are out there? Does she even stop to consider that women who knit are not 90 - we're hip and happening! -no matter how old we are?

Today was horrendous - the teenage boy did not get up in time for me to drive him to school and make an appointment I had scheduled. Every day I look at the calendar and count the days until he goes to Korea - it can't come soon enough. Hopefully, he will learn a few lessons in responsibility when he's there.

And....this new pool - well, I went to get the water tested and told the owner of the store that the guys didn't plug in the pool heater. He said the pool heater is natural gas powered - so now we have to have it hooked up to our gas meter which can cost as much as $1000 - he was very apologetic that he wasn't more specific in the first place and said he would refund us for the heater if we wanted to go without it but given our weather we don't feel we really have any choice.

All in all not a good day - tomorrow is work - hurray! -and the SnB! another hurray! Lots of knitting tomorrow!

Monday, June 05, 2006

No knitting yet today!

Tonight is my book club meeting - we just finished the Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd - I'm not finished it - which is a pet peeve of mine - I am bothered when people in the club don't finish the book. I've been racing around since first thing this morning - our pool went in today and my little one decided that she had a stomach ache just as the guys started to work on it, so I had to threaten her with wearing her pyjamas to school. I know she just wanted to stay and watch them work - she probably thought she would be able to swim today as soon as it was done. I had some errands to run and then I came home to clean, clean, clean - thinking the whole time that I was wasting valuable knitting time. It's now 4 pm and the food is prepared, the house is clean so I have to finish the book - less than 50 pages and maybe I will find some time before everyone arrives to knit. I'm the host for tonight so I get to pick the next book - I chose Wedding in December by Anita Shreve. Nothing too heavy! Sarah can read and knit - hmmmm - maybe I should try that.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mastering Lace

More mail came on Friday - some Sock Hop yarn from Crown Mountain. It's hand spun, hand dyed sock yarn that is amazing - no pictures of that yet because I am completely in love with the above project. This is a Koigu Lace Shawl - it's done in 5 different colorways. You can't really see the lace pattern but once it's blocked it is going to be fantastic. I also got the yarn for a Charlotte's Web Shawl but have to wait for Sarah's to come in because Sarah, Meghan, and myself are going to have a knit a long - anyone else care to join? Anyway....back to my lace shawl - I'm already 1/3 of the way through it - this has the potential to be a finished project!

We had a great day at the store yesterday - a socks on 2 circular class in the morning - then we decided to order lunch. You just never know what's going to happen at Unwind - particularly on a Saturday. Next Saturday is the WWKIP day and it should be lots of fun.

Here the Koigu colorway for Charlotte's Web - pretty, eh? My husband keeps saying who's going to wear all these shawls - and I keep saying, me! He just doesn't get it!

Here's Sock Hop in "The Beat Goes On" colorway. Meghan got "Brown Eyed Girl" and she cast on yesterday. It's great stuff. So wonderfully natural looking. I can't wait for these - but I keep promising myself that I must finish the other works in progress before I cast on one more thing. I said that the lace shawl was my last new cast on until I finished everything else. The only thing that's in my favour is right at the moment I don't have any new yarn on the way to I might, possibly, perhaps have a chance! Yeah, right???

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trekking Socks Underway

Meghan, Sarah, Emma and myself had a little cast on party at Unwind last night. Here's my progress so far - we will all be together again tomorrow so I will post all of our sock pictures then. I just love the way mine is coming along. It's a pattern from Stitches of Violet - I am going to alter it but I think it will show off my Trekking colors really well!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

You Won't Believe This!

I got to make one phone call - one - and then guess what? Yup, phone service gone again. Now I have already had my discussion with Emily and am currently on hold via my cell phone listening to some incredibly annoying music. Before all this happened I was amusing myself taking pictures of my new acquisitions and looking forward to the Trekking Cast On tonight at Unwind. Two packages came for me yesterday - yahoo! I am now definitely a yarn addict - I was so excited to open them that when I came to the first stop light I was digging at the packages with my keys to get them open - I could hardly concentrate getting to the grocery store because I had to keep looking over at all the beautiful yarn. I think I love getting yarn in the mail more than I like buying it in person.

Pictured here is my Trekking XXL, Color 106 - Addi DPNs 2.25 mm and pattern ready for tonight.

Here's some hand painted 100% merino yarn from a small, tiny company out west. The colors are so vibrant - it's called Peacock.

This is Vesper sock yarn - the wound ball is lime, pink and white - it stripes perfectly. And I would have had some to show you but I ripped it out because the sock was too big. They are for my niece's 8 birthday - she loves pink!

Here's some amazing hand dyed cashmere - straight from cashmere goats living in B.C. Awesome, isn't it? You should feel it!

Can I rant?

Yesterday, AGAIN!, we lost our phone service - now that means I have to deal with Emily! Does everyone know who Emily is? She's the automated assistant from Bell Canada. And...I must confess I hate Emily. She's obnoxious! When she can't hear your answers she actually takes on a voice with attitude. Of all the voice mail systems I've ever encountered Emily has got to take the cake. Since I've spoken so frequently to Emily in that past few weeks I know the answers I'm supposed to give - so I try to shorten the length of my interaction with her to save me tons of frustration. This leads me to growl out commands - RESIDENTIAL, HOME SERVICE, REPAIR. When I finally get to speak to a living human being - they always spout off their ID number - now what good is that? Will I ever be able to locate that particular person again? Not likely since they are probably spread out over this vast country of ours. I suppose the ID number is useful if they are rude or whatever - then you could report them, right? But here's what I want to know - what is Emily's ID number because that chick needs to be fired!

More knitting news later.