Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Post at Long Last!

It's fall! It's Irmingaard!

Hello everyone, I think it's finally happened: fall has arrived! We are in single-digit temperatures, rain is predicted for Thursday (of course!) and very soon the leaves will have fallen off all the trees to compost in a wet, mushy lump. Reminds me of mashed potatoes. Don't ask.

And with the late arrival of fall, at long last I can wear all the knits I've been working on! A few sweaters, hats, fingerless gloves, a couple of stoles, and maybe one cowl that I'm planning to keep for myself. One went to a friend's daughter for her 19th birthday, and two will be gifted. There's no big plans for Christmas knits this year, just a few items for family and very close friends, but handmade is still my theme. Some mango chutney, perhaps a pineapple chutney, and a fabulous barbecue rub. All with ingredient lists in case of food sensitivities/allergies, and maybe the recipes, we'll see.

I'll be spending Christmas at the farm this year, and am watching the travel deals in the hopes of scoring a seat sale for even a few days over the holidays. I'm really looking forward to it; since my dad and stepmom moved out there I've pictured what the farm looks like in the winter and the photos Dad has sent have really been pretty. Just like a Christmas card. Hopefully my pictures will be just as nice as my first summer photos.

School and work are kicking my butt, kids. The thesis proposal needs a few more tweaks, the big marking rush is on, and I attended a conference a couple weekends ago. Prior to all of that, there were MASSIVE computer issues. Happily no hard drive crash - although it was backed up in several places on various media forms - but the motherboard is possibly faulty. Damn.

Luckily I had an older laptop to still work from and was able to upgrade it even! So with less than $300 and the generous help of a tech-savvy friend, it runs like brand new! But of course this means that the first podcast is horribly outdated, so it looks like it will be referred to as the "lost" podcast. Maybe we can play that up for a mysterious angle. We'll have to see what happens.

But thankfully aside from saving all the school prep and thesis, I finally got all my saved knitting, crochet, tatting, and embroidery patterns onto a CD-R! Trust me, after a few years there were hundreds on my hard drive! I think it was filled up with knitting and craft patterns, music, and photos. Seriously, there was no space to spare on the 186 available gigabytes!

So what's going on in my craft corner? Well, I bought yarn. Big surprise.
I really need another tote for storing all this yarn, but I'm putting that off, thinking that if I don't buy one I'll be able to keep it all contained in the three that I do have. Oh who am I kidding, it's already not contained in those three, which is why it's in my bedroom, the guest room, and stacked precariously on top of the other totes and even on top of my scanner/copier/fax. Happily there is no yarn being stored in my car. Pretty sure of that. Mostly sure.

So what did I buy? Well, 88 Stitches in Langley's Walnut Grove neighbourhood had a fall sale and some clearance prices, but while I couldn't make it out for the sale weekend I managed to pick up some still-sale-priced yarn afterwards. Some SRK On Your Toes Limited Edition that are being knit into the Esther sock pattern (available through Ravelry), some Kaffe Fasset Colourscapes yarn in a great red/magenta/pink colourway that will make a gorgeous thick cowl, and while perusing the wall-o-Malabrigo I chatted up another customer who has a great little Etsy shop called Black Mustard and she's a fabulous spinner, dyer, knitter, and she's local!

Then the specials were emailed out and three of us were determined to make purchases, so we combined it all in one order shipped to my house. Can I just say that their shipping is the bomb? I put the order in on a Wednesday, and the box was at my house on Friday morning. So yarn prices are great, selection is great, you get credits for ordering books (which then become discounts on your next order), and to top it off they ship it to you FAST! Oh... what did I order? Ummm... a sweater's worth of Laines Du Nord Giunco in the "Pink Dusk" colourway; pink, light gray, and dark gray variegated, to knit the Rock Rose cardigan from the Laines Du Nord Simple Knits Book 1. Can't wait to wear it, but it's now taking a backseat to recently-purchased Christmas knitting.

Yes, I broke down and bought more yarn for Christmas knitting. Why? Because Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool was on sale for $9 a skein! So one skein of a marled wool will be two pairs of socks for my stepdad because he loves his wool boot socks, and they're so quick to knit up! And, well, LB's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick was also on sale for $6 a skein meant that I may get a quick hat done for my mom in exchange for letting me delay her Myrtle Leaf Lace-inspired scarf in Malabrigo Laceweight in "Velvet Grapes" colourway, as I found I need another skein to make it long enough. Oh darn. Oh, and two skeins of LB Wool-Ease Worsted because I signed up for the Woolly Wormhead hat KAL. To make both hats. No, I have no knitting for Christmas at all :)

And nevermind those four skeins of Happy Feet sock yarn I scored at $3.49US each from Discontinued Brand Name Yarn. I may have another pair of socks to make for my mom. Then there's the skein of yarn from Little Red Bicycle in the Supernova colourway that I just couldn't resist! The seller is a Ravelry chum and all-around good egg who just happens to dye awesomesauce yarns! I just hope my project I choose does her yarn justice!


There are events coming up in the Terminal City and its outer suburbs.

First and foremost is the Langley Weavers' and Spinners' Guild annual Show and Sale! This Saturday and Sunday, November 7-8 from 10am - 4pm at the Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road in Fort Langley. If you're going, get there early! Parking is at a premium! Emily and I are making the annual pilgrimage because our favourite yarn seller Barbara Braaten of Langley Yarns & Crafts wants to see what we're making with her yarn. We're afraid that if we don't show her satisfactorily finished projects that she'll either stop selling us yarn, or - more likely - make us buy the expensive stuff!

And if you haven't had a chance to pick up a copy of local authors Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore's book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, you're in luck! Leanne and Mandy will be at the 1051 Davie Street Book Warehouse location tonight, November 5th, from 7-9pm for a book signing and to encourage crafters to bring hooks and/or needles to create a "tag" (in the lingo) for the Davie Village Garden.

Well that's all for me, hopefully Emily will soon have details about the annual Culture Crawl throughout the Strathcona resident artists' studios, and we'll post about our fun to be had at the Weavers & Spinners show! Stay warm in the rain, break out the gloves, and pop on a great slouchy beret or a newsboy cap. It's time to wear the wool!

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