Friday, March 30, 2007

BlogContest Prize!!

My creation
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.

This is a picture of some lovelies I won from Yarn Pie's blog contest.
The pictures decided to be sideways...why does it do that?
Anyways I was having a stressfull day and when I got the box from the Post Office had no idea what it was--I was so happy when I tore into it, I almost cried in the parking lot.
I hadn't remmebered winning this contest, so when I looked at the items I really had no idea why I was being spoiled so nicely.
The needle case is absolutely gorgeous and absolutely what I needed--my needles are everywhere! Punk Knitting Needles--too funny.
The Roving is gorgeous and I want wait to spin it.
Yarn blanks--I know exactly what colourway I'm going to dye them--for me!!
A knitting book--very cool
And the cutest Blueberry Pie Pin Cushion. Neat!
Thanks YarnPie!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This time with pictures

I thought I would post some of the pictures from my time away.

There was spinning...on the road:

(oh look, it's the Hourglass Sweater)

There was a day of sickness from the nephew. Fever and general yuckiness. Aidan was observing and joined in the jammy day:

I sold most of my yarn in the span of 3 days.

and the USPS is so good. I shipped this stuff for super cheap, super fast.

Note: today I shipped yarn to someone in Canada--about 3 hours from here and it costs about 1/3 MORE to send within my area of Canada, than it does to mail to the USA. Does that make sense?

Sigh-I am annoyed and I feel a letter writing campaign coming on. Maybe it's the caffeine.

I bought some yarn:

Some Opal Rainforest in "Lady bug".
I am starting to love Opal. This is the third pair of socks from Opal Rainforest and I'm loving them. I also have a thing for lady bugs--always have.
I need some advice about the toe.

Can't decide which side should be the toe:

What do you think? Red toe? White toe?

The kids were great--they didn't' even get fussy until Wednesday--then the tired kicked in and they became weepy and whiny and it was not pretty.
We had tons of fun though.
We went for walks, went to the zoo and went to a really fun play area in a mall.
The mall has basically dried up (no stores left) but there was a really neat play area in the centre of it--for the kids.

The tree and all the other creatures are made of a hard foam so the kids could sit/climb/crawl on it and could not hurt themselves.

They had soft benches for the grown ups to sit on and just let the kids run!
There were activity areas on the side that could entertain older kids and younger kids alike.
Here's a good shot of Aidan and Chris playing games:

The kids ran around for about 2 hours and had fun...and got tired:

I think Aidan liked it:

A picture of the beautiful sunrise one morning, approximately 6:45am.
Yes, I was up that early.

Did some more knitting on the Ribbi Cardi:

We went to the zoo.
The picture of these socks are fun because I was actually knitting them the last time I went to the zoo in August--and happened to be wearing them this day.

Other than that we:
knit, drank tea, ate chocolate, ate more food, walked, talked, played and generally had a good time.


Oh and this is cool too:

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm baaaack!

Home again Home again Jiggety jig (something my Mom used to say)

I'm back.
I had so much fun last week. I was telling a friend that my sister and I drank too much tea, knit and couched and he said "wild times".
Nope, not really--but it's fun for us.
We can't really go anywhere too fun with 3 kids under 5, so we just do stuff together at night.
We did take them to a cool play area in a mall, to the zoo, for walks, to a pet store, a play land with a ball crawl and we even took Aidan to a yarn store.
He was an angel.
I, of course had to buy some sock yarn. (Opal Rainforest--ladybug. I am loving this sock)
But, now I'm rambling..

I have about 164 feeds to read in my bloglines.
I have pictures to share--couldn't share any while there.
Podcasts to listen to (couldn't' listen there and now can't find my I-pod again)
Little man kept finding everybody's I-pod all week, putting the ear pieces in and saying "Pod" and running away so you couldn't' find him.

I meant to get a huge dent in my Ribbi Cardi, but again, it didn't happen.
I spent most of the week re-skeining the yarn I sold and (big surprise) picking knots out of some of the skeins.
One got very tangled and it took 2 nights to set it straight.
If any of my customers are reading this--don't' worry, there is nothing wrong with the yarn.
Just my sanity.

I also tried to navigate the US Postal service. We went to a little post office on Monday--I asked for some information--she handed me a 40 page booklet and walked away.
So, I did some reading and then just went to another PO--walked in and said "I'm from Canada and I don't know how to mail this" and pulled yarn out of my pocket.
The guy had good laugh, but was very helpful.
Then picture me standing there for about 15 minutes wrapping skeins of yarn in pretty tissue paper and stuffing envelopes. It was quite the scene.
I cannot believe that in the US you can mail a package for $1.83 and it will get there in 2-4 days.
In Canada--sending a card within Canada can take a week, even longer.
Of course, I just got home to find an Interweave Knits magazine that was mailed February 1st--why does it cost $2.85 to send something that takes 8 weeks to arrive?

I'm rambling....again

I did get my wool order from Wool2Dye4--some Superwash roving to try my hand at dyeing and some Superwash yarn for dyeing. Yeah!
Great customer service, super-fast shipping and she even included some BFL yarn samples.

I think that's it for the update for now. I'll try to post some pictures later, when the monkeys are in bed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Okay, BIG thanks to those that bought yarn.
I did NOT ever think I would sell 8 skeins of yarn in 3 days.
That's crazy, people!
I love it!!

I'm still at my sisters--drinking tea, not knitting as I have been re-skeining all week.
Kids are playing, baby not sleeping.
Shopping, chocolate.
Life is good.

I hope to have some pictures tomorrow.
But for now, my typing is waking the not sleeping baby, so

Saturday, March 17, 2007


It was a good little day in the shop, so far.
I say that because every time I come back to the computer, there is another sale.

I listed 2, got a hair cut, sold 1.
Listed 2, tended to children--sold 2.
Wound some yarn--sold 2.

I'm a happy camper!
Hubby just got home today and had the camera all week--so I did a mad picture taking, listing blitz to get them up.
I actually still have 3 more to do, but ran out of daylight.
I'll try for first thing in the am, because after that...I'm gone!

I'm going to my sisters for a week. I'm so excited--we're going to have such fun.
She just started "knitting" wire necklaces and I'm trying to convince her to open her own Etsy shop.
We'll see.

Blogging will still happen--and I'm going to take the camera this week--so there should be pictures.

I need to go back to Mt. Washmore (aka laundry duty), then packing, then loading the car etc etc.
Right now I'm going to stare at my shop some more and marvel at the fact that
"I did it", I made some sales!

Oh, and the Ribbi Cardi? Pathetic--I haven't touched it in days...So, some Ribbi tonight after work is done. Then a 4+ tomorrow will get me some progress.

Friday, March 16, 2007


A sneak peek of things that are going up into the shop.

Probably tomorrow, when Hubby brings the camera home.

Did a lot of dyeing and had a lot of fun picking colours.
There are more, but some are drying.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Road trip!

That's what the kids and I did yesterday.
It rained and rained and rained and although it was warm I knew we wouldn't get to the park s0 road trip it was.
Ever since I learned that
Lendrum spinning wheels are made less than an hour from my house, I've always wanted to road trip/stalk the place to see what it looked like.
I would have taken a picture but:
a) hubby has the camera
b) it would have been really boring.
Think brown house with a shed. Yep, it's just a non-descript house with a shed/workplace building.
The mailbox does say Lendrum, but not Gord, someone else.
Oh and if you clicked the link to the Lendrum site--isn't it boring? There's nothing there which surprises me.
Everyone raves about the Lendrum wheels yet the site really doesn't say anything.
Oh well,
googling it will give you info.
I have a dream to make the spinning guild take a tour--of course I'd probably be the only one all squealy giggly.

Um...other news..
Not much knitting going on. I just haven't felt like it. I've been a complete slug at night.
Yesterday during Little Man's nap time I cleaned my entire bedroom.
Ever since our bedroom was painted in the summer I want to re-do the whole thing--new lights, new closets etc etc but nothing ever gets done around sits.
We have a nice fresh wall colour--kind of apple green but not too bright.
Our bedroom tends to be the dumping ground for all things laundry.
So I took all the laundry out, put away everything that needed a home and took out things that didn't belong--random toys, books etc. Filled a bag of stuff to give away and voila.
I would have had more done last night but Princess B snuck in there when I went to work.

Today I went out with a friend, 4 of her seven kids (yes, seven with 2 sets of twins) and my 2 and we spent the day shopping and roaming. I almost bought a quilt set, but need hubby's approval first.
I'm rambling...

I dyed 2 skeins of yarn and will do about 4 or so more tonight.
Some L&V and 2 new colourways hopefully.
So look for a
shop update soon (yarn will need drying and re-skeining).

Tonight, it's yarn and some more Harry Potter.
I've totally immersed myself in watching the movies.
Until recently I hadn't cared at all for the whole thing--didn't see what the big deal was.
But everywhere I read knitters are all about Harry Potter.
The sweaters, the scarves, the sock yarn--so I thought I'd check it out.
I was hooked in the first few minutes.
Now, as a Christian--I'm not into the whole magic, dark sorcerer thing and definitely would not let my kids watch it until they were at least 10 or so---but I like it.
A friend let me borrow the books, so I hope to read them at some point.

What a boring post.
Are you still reading this?
Anyways, I hope to have some fun stuff to show for my dyeing experiments.
And now it's bedtime for the little ones!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Okay, so no pictures of the sweater as promised. I usually take my pictures in the am when the light is good.
Hubby just left for a the week, to go snowboarding with a bunch of teens and took the camera.
He knew I wanted it and use it every day for kid and knitting pictures but he took it.

Oh well--I promise that I have been working on it.
Wanna see a recreation??
Ta da:

Yep, that's about what they look like. Long green strips with ribbing.
They will be done soon and by the time hubby gets back on Saturday I hope to have a dent in the back.
The back I fear will be boring, so best to get it out of the way.

So, hubby's gone again. Little man is fussy and Princess B is whiny.
Fun times.
We got little man's hair cut for the first time yesterday, but I can't even show you those pictures.
OH well, at least I have a car this time..I can actually get out and away from this house.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New blog

I'm messing around with a new layout---what do ya think??
The sidebar keeps moving around to the bottom, so I'll keep an eye out for that.
Some things aren't perfect, but I needed to stop messing with it before I wrecked it again.
I lost the whole blog yesterday--the new blogger doesn't actually put the whole html in the layout--so I hadn't saved it....and yeah. Gone.
I refreshed once and it was a blank white page. Then I had to put the new blogger back in and thought I had lost all my stuff.
Anyways, blah blah blah--come back to the computer later was there--just sitting there all fine and dandy.
Blogger gnomes, I'm blaming blogger gnomes.

Now, lest you fear that I am not working on my sweater--the kiddos are sleeping and I'm just settling myself down for an evening of knitting...just wanted to post first.
Pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A thanks and a check in

A big thanks to Shadkitty who sent me a little care package:

She sent some tea, some chocolate, some yarn and some fibre!!!
She made little nests out of the fibre--and carded it herself.
I need to get spinning.
I have been doing some--but I still have yet to finish that first batch of Romney and I have the
Spunky Eclectic and the Dudley Spinner stuff to spin still.
I also ordered some Superwash from
Wool2Dyefor as well as some more yarn for dyeing.

Thanks also to
Megan who sent me this book as a contest prize!!

It's even signed by Debbie herself!

I also have been knitting on my Ribbi Cardi. I haven't knit on it in, well, I haven't knit on it. So,
Lolly gave me the push that I needed--seeing her finished sweater is inspiration.
It's been all about socks here for a while, but since the L&V Sock Marathon has been continued and I've almost reached my goal of a mile of sock yarn knit (1 mile, crazy)--I'm going to take a sock break for a bit.

I ripped the sleeves back as I didn't like the way I did the increases (they say M1, but it leaves holes, so I did an invisible increase).
So after a day of knitting, I have this:
I have 2 half finished sleeves, which makes for 1 finished sleeve--right??

I will post pictures here, to keep myself motivated, and you.
Knock knock knock.
You keep me accountable too okay?
Give me a little kick in the comments if you don't see sweater progress pictures for more than 2 days.
Okay, that said--hubby is actually home--so I think some spinning is in order.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Monkey business

Pattern: Monkey socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: Vespers' Strange Little Mama Colourway
Needles: Knitpicks US 1's.

Modifications: I snipped out some of the colour repeats to make my stripes match up. Does that count?
I actually only modified the heels--did sturdy heels as I wasn't too sure that the yarn would stand up to a plain old heel. I like the heel, it's a good heel.

I'm not sure about the yarn. I love the colours. When I wound it into it's little cake, the yarn became unplied in parts. It didn't twist back together and became "fuzzy" and splitty.

The yarn itself isn't very squishy (something I like in a sock yarn). It's very string like, but that might be the nylon content. And there are little white spots between every colour change. SO you get like 2-3 stitches of white--so there are white spots all throughout the sock.

It knits up okay.

I do love these socks though.

I'm not sure what took me so long. It took 2 weeks for the first sock and 2 days for the second (48 hrs exactly--not straight knitting of course). I cast on Monday at 3pm and today was snipping ends at 3pm.

Towards the end I felt like the self striping of the yarn was taking away from the pattern, but overall I'm happy with them.

I even got the stripes to match up.

Now, I'm surfing for more sock patterns and am going to cast on for another pair!

This is FO #4 for me, for the L&V Sock Marathon.
4 pairs since January. That's pretty good.

It's also about 0.718 75 miles of sock yarn, give or take.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Book review

While recovering I had the opportunity to read this book from start to finish.

My friends at Random House suggested this book, recommending it as a work of fiction that it had a "knitting theme" throughout.

I love this book!

The book starts with the main character, Dana Clarke in labour with her first child.
The knitting themes start instantly. Her husband, while trying to get the bag for the hospital is tripping over yarn from Dana's "stash" and lamenting all the projects she plans on taking to the hospital for a 1 day stay. * I had to smile right from the get go*

The main theme of the book is that Dana's husband Hugh belongs to a well-established New England family--the type that came over on the Mayflower and whose family name has been known throughout History ever since.
Imagine their surprise when the baby is born with African-American traits.
Dana's Mother died when she was little and she never knew her Father.
There is lots of speculation regarding the origin of these traits which leads to conflict with her husband, his family, friends and acquaintances in the community.
It leads Dana into a journey of discovery--about her Father, her family, her husbands family and her relationships.

The story is beautifully written and I found myself completely taken with the style of the writing. This is one of those books that you can get lost in and where you feel you know the characters. I felt like if I mentioned Dana or Hugh to my family they would have known just what I was talking about.
I haven't had a story grip me like this for a long time.

The knitting theme is woven all through the book. Dana's Grandmother owns a knitting shop--the type we'd all like our LYS to be--fully of fashionable yarns, classic knits, friends and chit-chat.
Dana sees it as her haven when things get upsetting at home. She takes the baby there and feels instantly relaxed.
There are brief references to actual yarns and designers--discussions of the "novelty yarn scarf" trends, pattern writing, shop talk etc.
Dana even finds and old pattern for a Faroese lace shawl and sets about to decipher the pattern for a sample for the shop.
Dana speaks about the therapeutic qualities of knitting, the rhythm of it and how it soothes her.

I would highly recommend this book to knitters. The story is well written, the characters have depth--there are even some side stories that mingle back into the main storyline.
I'm also interested to see what else this author has written.

Go over to Random House and take a peek to see where you can get this book.
I'm sure you'll love it!

I'm back

Yep, am feeling better. Not 100%, but better enough that I got up and showered and dressed and did my hair yesterday--hadn't done that since last Tuesday.
I ate solid food and could taste it!

The response from my Church has been amazing. We had 2 complete roasted chicken dinners (with veggies, fruit/dip, breads, salads) dropped off on Sunday. We had a casserole and a full lasagna dinner with rolls, cookies, salads etc dropped off last night.
I was surprised and feeling so Blessed.
That's what Churches are for. I love that.

I have been knitting.
I am halfway finished the 2nd Monkey sock. I only started it yesterday at 3pm, so I'm just zipping along.

Little man is breathing better, is still wheezing but seems to have more energy today and doesn't have a fever.
Princess B is breathing better too.
Hubby is at his retreat, and it hasn't been too bad w/out him so far.
In reality, he's only 15 minutes away, so if I needed him I could call.

I'm most excited to blog about a book that I read while sick.
I'm going to put it in a separate post, just to be able to refer back to it...
This is a book that knitters should read!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Still here, still sick

Thanks for all your well wishes.

Yep, am still sick.

I won't bore you with the details--they go something like this (sleep, eat soup, sleep, drink tea)

repeat for about 4 days and you're caught up.

I wake up every morning thinking I'll feel better--I don't.

I think the fever has finally left though--which is good. Now I don't' feel like I'm going to pass out all the time.

Princess B caught the cold and is sneezing, coughing and restless in the night.

Yesterday morning I woke up to the most horrible sound I think I've ever heard.

It was Little man's breathing--it sounded like a plastic cup being dragged across the floor (I know that doesn't make sense, but that's what it sounded like).

I woke him up as he was gasping for breath took one look at him and told hubby he needed to go to the hospital.

He couldn't catch a full breath, his eyes were cloudy and strange and he couldn't look at me.

They diagnosed croup and gave him 2 treatments of a steroid and did x-rays of his lungs just to be sure.

He passed out on my lap yesterday and had a fitful nap.

We have to give him a puffer 4 times/day and more often if he needs it.

He hates the thing.

The problem is, his throat hurts and then he cries, which makes him cough, which makes him cry, which makes him wheeze, which makes us pull the puffer out, which makes him cry.

Repeat, repeat repeat.

Now it's Sunday and he's had a 1/2 hour nap today and is so tired he's talking about "boats" in the TV room but he won't nap. It's like he's afraid to sleep for fear of coughing.
I don't know.

Anyways. For the first 3 days I was too sick to knit but as of Thursday night I could see straight enough to be able to work on my sock:

(sorry for the fuzzy pictures, I blame the cold medicine)

It's half a Monkey!
Monkey pattern by Cookie A from

I'm not sure if the pattern is accurate in anything past the heel as I was hopped up on cold medicine.

Because of kids, I have not taken cold medicine in about 5 years.When it works, it' beautiful stuff.
I don't think it's working anymore.
I took a half dose of NyQuil last night--and although it somewhat helped to clear my congestion my brain has taken a vacation. That stuff is powerful.

My BIL calls it the "How did I end up on the Kitchen floor?" medicine.

Hubby has just informed me that he will be going on a retreat for the next 3 days.
Ha ha ha ha
No, really.
I guess I am going to have to be better by tomorrow.
3 days with a sick Mommy, a croup-y baby and a fussy 4 y/old.

Let the good times roll.