Four Things

It’s hard to believe we are three weeks into 2012 already. So much has been going on in my tiny little life that I haven’t had the mental space to blog, and now I’m in the enviable position of having Too Much To Blog About.

I’m just going to dive in and see where my fingers take me.

Four phrases come to mind:

  1. Kitchener Waterloo Guild
  2. New iPhone
  3. All The Knitting That Isn’t Finished Yet
  4. My ToDo List Hates Me

So let’s go with those, in no particular order…

New iPhone

Dudes, I have an iPhone now.

Yes, that is a cheap store-bought sweater. Gimme a break, will ya? A girl can’t knit every single thing in her wardrobe…yet.

Surprisingly, this is a Big Deal for us (Nicholas got one too, of course). Our previous phones were so old-timey that we couldn’t even text on them. My phone was failing to the point where it seemed like it was choosing which phone calls I ought to get and which should get consigned to the Outer Darkness. Some voicemail messages would be delivered a week late. Some would never show up at all.

The last trip I took, I was trying to call Nicholas and the phone kept doing weird stuff…and before I knew it, I had thrown it across the room in a fit of fury. (Whoa. I’m not really a Thing Thrower, so that showed me how frustrated I was with the darn thing.)

So, after much discussion, the iPhones came into our lives. We’re both trying really hard not to get addicted to them…but dudes. They are So. Much. Fun. And texting…I’m a writer. Texts are little bits of writing. I have to REALLY reign myself in with the texting thang.

We shall not discuss my Twitter addiction.

I love having a camera with me all the time. My regular camera is wonderful, but it’s heavy and bulky and I don’t carry it everywhere I go. The iPhone camera is going to be fun. (So watch out. Sandi now has a camera in her pocket. You’ve been warned.)

Kitchener Waterloo Knitting Guild

All the photos here are courtesy of AnnieBeeKnits.

If only this guild were not so far from my house…They would be my home guild in a hot second. They are such good people…and their knitting is AMAZING.

They invited me to come speak last Tuesday night at their meeting, and I was really touched, because this is actually the second time I’ve spoken for them. They actually asked me BACK. I decided to put together a new talk just for them, a talk called “Finishing Your Knitting: How Not To Hate It.”

I do so love to teach.

They hinted that if I didn’t wear my tiara, there would be riots.

I brought a friend along this time, because it’s always more fun to have travelling adventures with someone cool. Lara, who won her North Star tiara as a Stringtopia door prize last year, is one of my fave travelling pals ever.

Johanna and Lara

That’s Johanna next to her, who played hostess to us and made sure we had a lovely place to stay that night so we wouldn’t have to do a long drive late at night.

It’s always hard to give a new talk the first few times, because you never know what balance to strike between basic information and advanced tips and tricks. I spoke about things like mattress stitch and sewing on buttons, and worried that those were too basic for this very active, very technique-focused Guild. Turns out that it never hurts to have a new perspective on things, and I had a couple little tricks for doing things that others hadn’t heard before.

This about sums up Sandi's talk

The question/answer period is always my favourite, because that’s when I get to learn new things, by putting together answers on the fly, answers to things I know in my fingers and in my head, but answers I may not previously have put into words. And there’s always at least one advanced knitter who doesn’t ask a question, but adds her own nifty tips, or gives us the benefit of a lifetime of learning. This time, an older woman spoke up, a woman who is a professional knitter/seamstress at a level that I can only hope to achieve some day. (I cannot for the life of me remember her name, and I feel that is quite disrespectful of me, given how much her work impressed me.) (Woo! Update: Her name is Alfie Galda. Thank you, Annie!) During show and tell, she held up a hand-knitted, lined, full-length coat, a garment that made me gasp…the finishing was exquisite, and at a level that I can only call Expert Guru in terms of its difficulty. Being able to see such amazing things and learn from more experienced knitters is always a special treat at such gatherings.

Well, and there was a knitted fairy doll, and some lovely colourwork mittens, and an awesome shawl or two. I covet the fairy doll, but since the knitter, Mandy, is a wee bit busy at present (pregnant with twins), I think I may have to knit my own doll. (Someday. You know. When I’m bored and don’t have anything else to do.)

Anyway, thank you KW Guild, for The Awesome that you are. Thanks to Angela and Annie and Lara and Johanna and everyone else who helped make that day so much fun!

From the audience

I love teaching and speaking to knitters. LOVE IT.

All the Knitting That Isn’t Finished Yet

One of the things about putting together a list of the FOs I have completed in the past year is noticing all the knitting I’ve done that didn’t get finished. There’s a lot of stitches in that category, and it seems somehow disrespectful to myself and my knitting not to acknowledge the full range of my work. (Just because I didn’t finish it doesn’t mean I didn’t put my heart and soul into it.)

I got halfway through a set of knee-high lace stockings before I had to steal the needles for another, more pressing, project. I started a Damson for a friend before the remainder of the yarn got made into a feline artwork of tangles by pretty Miss Zoe. And I got within ten rounds of finishing a hat made out of my handspun, from some of the first colour-blending I’d done on my drumcarder. (Yarn is my handspun; pattern is Rose Red.)

handspun rose red and tim

I ran out of the yarn, of course, and there wasn’t any more of the fibre I had blended to make more batts, and so…it’s still sitting on the needles. I can’t bear to rip it out, but I haven’t found another yarn to finish it with that won’t detract from what’s already there.

And, of course, I’ve been working my backside off trying to finish the pattern, the formulas, and the knitting for the WiseSweater Project. (Pattern: Wheatgrass Truffle; Yarn: DK in Bruised Ego from Holiday Yarns.)

That photo was taken a while back; I’ve now completed the formulas for the rest of the sweater, including the quite-difficult task of designing sleeve cap formulas that can be customized by anyone (with the help of Nicholas’ coding and web software, of course). Nicholas hasn’t finished the sleeve coding yet, but I am knitting furiously away on the sleeves. I am determined to finish this sweater by February, and have the entire project done by March…just in time for the Yarn Cupboard’s Winter Fibre Retreat, where I am teaching Making a Sweater That Fits as well as a new class on…Making Your Own Tiara. (They talked me into that one.) (Come if you can, it’s great fun and yes, there is a small-but-mighty market!)

I also worked on the Blue Hoodie (the one I have blogged about as having Nightmare Sleeve Caps); a second Damson; and a pair of colourwork mittens that haven’t quite made it into my Ravelry notebook yet. (Pattern: Re-charted-for-finer-gauge Perianth; Yarn is Shibui Knits Staccato.)

Update: Please note that I originally said in my Ravelry project notes that this pattern was written for worsted weight; it is NOT, Barbara wrote it for fingering weight in three sizes…just not a size that accommodated the silly-fine gauge I happen to be knitting at.)

Nora mittens 1

Annnd…a couple of half-finished sock pairs, a second nearly-done Maia for a charity auction (thanks to Romi for giving permission for me to do that!), and a half-finished Spectra scarf for Nicholas. OH, and a handspun Solar Flare (wonderful shawl pattern, just wonderful), made from some custom-blended batts I did this winter.

Gold batts 2 and knitting

Why, yes, I am quite behind in updating my Ravelry notebook. Thank you for asking.

Not to mention all the spinning projects, the batt-making, and, of course, the tiaras and jewelry. I think I made about two dozen tiaras in 2011 (some of them are here on flickr). Whoo!

I think that explains the lack of writing on this blog a bit. Maybe? Please?

Which brings me to this next topic…

My ToDo List Hates Me

I think we all get to a point at times where we look at our to-do list and just gape at it in despair. The holidays and a couple of deadlines have caused my own list to get out-of-hand, and I am now attempting to get it back under control. What are my priorities? What do I want to accomplish, and how much work can I reasonably get done every week, between regular appointments and other obligations?

That’s what I’m wrestling with right now. What I want to do versus what I can do, the usual human problems of desires versus time and energy.

If anyone has a TARDIS I can use to get some of these things done, please let me know.


The staplers have gone rogue and taken their first victim.” Just click, don’t ask.

A brilliant anti-rape campaign. I feel like applauding out loud.

A Really Important Post On A Topic We Don’t Like To Discuss. Bloggess, I give you a standing ovation. And a hug.

And finally, a little girl’s EPIC rant against “girl toys” versus “boy toys.” SHE’S FOUR, people. (My guess, anyway.) What a woman that girl will grow up to be…

Oh, OK, I’ll squeeze in a cute animal photo: Baby otters, snuggling.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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12 Responses to Four Things

  1. Annie Bee says:

    The mystery professional knitter was Alfie Galda. Her lined coat certainly was exquisite! The other lady whose textured jacket (with pockets) you were admiring was Norma Hounsell, another phenomenal knitter (and one of our charter members).

    We LOVED having you in town, and we hope we can have you back AGAIN! I have honestly never heard that many really thinky questions from the members — people were following your talk so closely, and really enjoying themselves, too!


  2. Tamara says:

    Oh Sandi. Exclamation points no longer do your blogs justice. I feel comforted and more alive and more inspired every time I read what you have done, are doing, are about to do. Your struggles, and those of the others whose words you bring to your blog (I can certainly relate to The Bloggess’s plight, as I suffer from depression myself), are such a balm, so necessary in the cold and dark (and occasional warmth and brightness) that the world presents.


  3. Lisa says:

    I love the anti-rape posters. Here’s another fave of mine, in the same vein:


  4. Lisa says:

    Also, I miss you. Will you be coming to Stringtopia this year?


  5. Meg says:

    Can we still join the WiseSweater Project KAL? I wanted to when I first saw it but there was no way I could at the time. I still need to wrangle my various To Do lists, both knitting and otherwise, to free up some time, but I haven’t made a sweater for myself since just after college (decades ago) and have never made one that was successful. I have yarn for a cardigan that I adore but I like this one, too, and I do want to learn how to do it right. A little hand holding would make it not so intimidating!

    I so wish I could hear you speak! Maybe you’ll come to the Ann Arbor, MI, area some day…..


  6. Naomi says:

    What about a darker rusty red/orange for the rest of that hat? Maybe just a little bit darker?


  7. limijas says:

    Hi. Do you remember me? HINT: You and I are more related than anyone else we know.

    Use your fancy new phone to call me. You have the number.
    Or text me. You can’t send me pictures at that number because we have a teen who might sext, so we don’t have a data plan, but I can text you a super secret number you can use to send data.

    I won’t text you long drawn out conversations, I don’t have time.

    I do, after all, have chickens.

    And can btw send you some pictures of your chicken-nieces and nephew.

    P.S. If anyone responds that they do indeed have a TARDIS, please let me know. There is a thing or two I’d like to go back and change.

    (Or just put in a dark uncomfortable cage long enough for it to want to change on it’s own.)

    Love you!


  8. molly says:

    thank you, sandi for your post today. i had never before encountered the blogess – i am so impressed. i have had depression for as long as i can remember. i’ve been treated for it for the last almost twenty years. most times now, things move along a little better; sometimes, not. reading her posts and following some of her links was so comforting.
    the rest of the post was – as usual – grand, but thank you especially for that link.


  9. Pat says:

    Hi Sandi,
    As usual your blog was fun, on target and thought provoking. I admire the Blogess . She is fighting a lonely fight that is scary for herself, family and friends. What would happen if we all started wearing silver ribbons? Certainly, depression needs to “come out” and become less stigmatized.
    I’m impressed with all that you have produced. Oh to be so prolific.
    Love your posts and really look forward to them.
    Pat aka westies


  10. Lara says:

    It was such a great trip, and Sandi’s talk on Finishing was top-notch! There were definite oohs & aahs from the Guild audience. I am still having Brave Thoughts! And folks, Sandi can follow yarn fumes GPSless to a yarn store in a strange city! Restaurants, well, restaurants not so much… Sandi, I had a blast and am sending thanks to the warmly welcoming K-W Guild!


  11. Seanna Lea says:

    I completely understand about the lack of time. I feel like I live that life all the time, and I assume that pretty much everybody has it worse than me!


  12. Podtree says:

    I just found a gorgeous sweater at the Goodwill and the label says “Hand Crafted by Alfie Galda”. I was trying to find that name to tell them how much it is being loved again!


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