The mailman only rings once…

Lookie lookie what came in the mail! Because I’ve started using my wheel again, I decided to invest in some good quality fibre. I’ve heard really great things about Crown Mountain Farm‘s wares, and had been thinking of ordering from them for a few months, so I figured I’d give them a try. I’m extremely impressed because it took less than 2 weeks for the order to get here, and I spent a little time this morning squishing my new acquisitions ūüôā

First up…Gloria. CMF seems to name quite a few of their colourways after song titles, so I’m wondering just which “Gloria” this is….the 80’s tune by Laura Brannigan, or one of the many other fine songs with that particular name? Either way, this is 8oz of Superwash Merino.


Then we’ve got “Stonehenge”, which, whether it’s named for the Spinal Tap song or not, is probably what I’m going to be humming while I spin this. It’s 8oz of Corriedale Pencil Roving.


These won’t be spun up immediately. I have at least one other idea in the works before I get to either of these. You’ll find out when you find out ūüėČ

Finally…I wandered down to the post box this afternoon (we’re on the Superbox system) and found that my order from JessaLu had come in! I have been coveting this Tardis bag for awhile, and when I finally saw it up on the site, I jumped. ¬†I barely even thought about it (and then I apologized to the Husbeast for not clearing the purchase with him first, but if certain yarn store owners are wondering why I have not been into the shop to drool all over sock yarn, that would be a big clue).


I’m hoping that having a couple of different project bags handy will help me keep my knitting together, instead of the usual habit of having my yarn all over the place. I now have about 3 or 4 different bags, most of which are for small projects.

Guess I’m going to be keeping busy for awhile longer ūüėÄ

A-Marketing we go…

I’ve noticed that a few of the blogs I follow (thank you Google Reader) have been doing 10 on Tuesday, so figured I’d jump on board and give it a shot. This week’s 10 are all about the Farmer’s Market

Flea Market

1. Fresh Produce: After being a SPUD subscriber, I have to say that I do appreciate being able to handle and choose my produce personally. Not that SPUD was bad, just that sometimes they had limited selection and sometimes the quality was just a little hit & miss.

2. Meats: I will admit to enjoying Buffalo, Caribou, and other free-range animals. At one point, we wound up with chicken breasts that kept us fed for about a month – a single breast was enough for two people! Getting these non-feedlot meats at a decent price is absolutely wonderful.

3. Bakery Goods: I don’t get to eat them often, but the closest Farmer’s Market has some wonderful pie vendors for everything from meat pies to fruit pies. My grandmother absolutely spoiled me for freshly-baked pies and pastries ūüôā

4. Honey and honey products: It’s something I’ve noticed here in Calgary — there are at least two Farmer’s Markets that have had large honey stands. My grandfather was a beekeeper for a bit, and our home in the Ottawa Valley had a hive of honeybees in one wall, so I’m actually quite partial to the humble honeybee. Scared witless when they get too close, but fond of them in principle. I enjoy the occasional comb, and we’ve started a small collection of mead. Nummy!

5. Crafting Supplies: Occasionally, I will find vendors with discontinued cross-stitch patterns and other crafting supplies. Oddly enough, for a “farming province”, I have yet to find any knitting or spinning supplies (DON’T get me started. It’s one of my bugaboos about the Calgary Stampede)

6. Handcrafted items: One of the Markets we visited last year had handcrafted woodwork items. I was almost tempted to pick up a new wine cork. ¬†I may just have to see if they’re still around once I’m not on a nocturnal schedule.

7. Location: There are at least 3 or 4 Farmer’s Markets in the Calgary area. The one we go to most often is the Crossroads market just outside Inglewood. There’s another one down by Chinook that we have visited once or twice. Robin has managed to find himself at a Market with just a little wandering in one direction or another.

8. Parking: Unfortunately, not all Markets are created equal. Apparently the “big” Market was once at the Currie Barracks, but has now relocated closer to a more industrial area. From what I hear, the parking is abysmal. Not only that, but the place apparently doesn’t live up to the hype. A couple of the other markets, Crossroads, for example, have adequate parking for their demographic, with residential curbside parking not too far away. Chances are pretty good in this city that if you’re going to the Farmer’s Market, you’re doing some travelling to get there. Unfortunately more a statement about our urban sprawl than anything else.

9. Price: Part of why that oth”big” Farmer’s Market doesn’t stack up, apparently. In addition to the parking situation, they apparently jacked up the prices. I’ll be honest…I’m not going to the market to pay boutique prices. I’m going to find food and items at a reasonable price. That’s not to say “cheap”. ¬†Reasonable. If I can get the exact same wares with the exact same quality at the Safeway or Mall for the same price or less, then why even bother going to the Market, right? Luckily, we haven’t had to worry about this quite yet.

10. Sense of Community: This is one of the more important reasons I go. I grew up in a fairly rural area. I can remember friends’ parents sending me home from their farm with fresh produce. My grandfather grew his own veggies in the back garden. My parents used to take me berry picking, and every so often…we’d wind up at a Farmer’s Market or community fair. There’s just something about wandering through the stalls on a crisp fall morning, looking at freshly harvested fruits and veggies, and making plans for the next week of dinners, or the perfect carving pumpkin. Talking with the vendors, getting to know their stock…it’s something that the local grocery store just doesn’t offer.

At the corner of acrylic and boucle

I was pleasantly surprised today by our local Michaels. There is usually one small aisle of yarn, and a bit of pegboard with some notions on it. A few months ago, I recall them posting signs indicating that they were going to upgrade the section of yarny goodness.

There’s a heck of a lot more yarn. Behind the rack on the left is another rack the other side of it, and then another rack against the back wall. The rack dead ahead is actually another wall (the yarn section is tucked in a back corner). ¬†They’ve essentially doubled or tripled their yarn. ¬†They also now have more than just the Paton’s Kroy and Stretch sock yarns. They now carry the Lion Brand Sock Ease (I admit I picked up a coffee-coloured ball), as well as something called Thread and Loop (I think…I didn’t take all that close a look).

They have also expanded some of their notions (more small-sized DPNs, for instance), and there are a ton more novelty yarns. One would think that someone noticed that knitting has gotten a lot more popular, eh?

As an aside…Netflix has at least one Very Early Doctor Who First Doctor serial – The Aztecs. It’s…uh…quite a change from where I first started viewing. ¬†Amazing how, in 1963, Aztecs looked like British gents in silly hats….


Him: “Something squooshy came for you in the mail. ¬†I’m thinking it is either yarn or a puppy”
Me: “OooOooo! I hope it’s yarn…coz dead puppies aren’t much fun!”

Yep. ¬†That was the conversation (via text message) this morning. ¬†I am glad to say, it wasn’t a puppy. ¬†Instead…I got yarn!

three ewes twisted in fiber order parcel

My order from Three Ewes Twisted In Fiber, to be precise. ¬†I had ordered sock yarn in a self-striping 100% BFL in green, black, and cream called Green Eyed Monster; and a variegated merino/nylon blend in browns and neutrals called “Buttered Popcorn”. ¬†Robin was right…the package *was* squooshy!

The contents of the package are absolutely beautiful. ¬†The self-striping yarn looks to be a fine fingering weight, so I may have to go down a needle size, but I’m looking forward to playing with it. ¬†The Merino/Nylon is a little thicker and looks like it will make some gorgeous socks for the Husbeast. Both were wrapped with a pretty fabric ribbon, and there was a little baggie of candies to sweeten the deal. ¬†The colours are wonderfully vivid, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they hold fast after washing.

three ewes twisted in fiber yarn

I got the idea to order from Carin’s videocast. ¬†They had sent her a sample skein, and she couldn’t resist casting on a pair of socks almost immediately. Considering Carin has a sizeable stash of BMFA Socks that Rock, this speaks volumes. ¬†They have storefronts on both Etsy and Artfire, so ordering was really just a matter of deciding what I wanted. ¬†It took a little longer than I would have liked, but apparently the ladies dye-to-order, and I really can’t complain about that. Truth be told, that part didn’t take long. ¬†The only possible complaint I might have is that they’re not in Canada, and thus I had to wait for my parcel to clear customs. ¬†Boo! ¬†While yarn, I suppose, can be explosively good, I somehow don’t think my order was incendiary! (hint: it’s not that kind of “Yarn Bombing”!)

More at a later time when I’ve actually been able to play with it and can tell you what it’s like for reals ūüôā

Come back to the dark side; we (still) have cookies

It’s an odd thing, the way the world twists. ¬†Yesterday morning I was trying to figure out when I would eke out the time to podcast. I was dreading the fact that I would be stuck in the basement, using a years-old computer that would require me to compensate for the fans blowing like crazy. That all changed in the blink of an eye.

We knew we were going to be attending a friend’s Belated Birthday Sushi Dinner, so we thought we’d head to the mall to see what we could find him…

Hm. ¬†Shoe-shine chairs with how the shiner *really* feels about the shine-ee. Didn’t seem like a good idea, so we kept on going.

Next we had lunch. I’m loving the South St. Burger Co. for the fact that they will refrain from giving me a hamburger bun that I really don’t want (the onion rings were shared). We were browsing through the computer game store when a call came in that had Robin turning to me and saying “We’re going to Bearspaw.” ¬†Turns out, a member of the family was upgrading their computers and wanted to know if we could take some “old tech” off his hands. ¬†Boy howdy!

We hit the bookstore quickly and headed out to the other side of town. ¬†I don’t think that I will need to worry about dreading the coldness of the basement in the middle of winter again. ¬†Instead, I’ll have to figure out how to use Garageband for recording, and whether my Logitech microphone will do the job, or if I’ll have to switch back to my old headset. You see, I now have a laptop again. ¬†It needs a little more RAM to be able to play any kind of video games, but as a blogging and web-browsing tool, it more than does the job. ¬†We also inherited a desktop Mac that may have a little more muscle for things like recording, so we’ll see how that goes.

Quite the roundabout way of saying “no podcast this week, possibly a delay”, but I believe in disclosure when necessary! ūüėČ

Calgary currently has a weather warning for snowfall. ¬†We shovelled the driveway and walks together & then walked down to the Safeway & back for supplies. ¬†The picture above shows how we’re riding out the weather system: a clean living room, a glass of wine, a fireplace, and a bit of the web. ¬†Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Surviving the Mall

Aside from the weird colours of “plaid” displayed at the local Tommy Hilfiger shop, we found this sweater that had to boldly assert the fact that it is, indeed, fair-isle. ¬†WTF?

Seriously, if the husbeast wasn’t already aware of what Fair-Isle knitting was, this would stump him. ¬†I can see men all over the world looking at this sweater, scratching their collective heads, and wondering if it’s a nice place to vacation. ¬†Yeesh.

We hit Chinook Mall really early this morning (actually, Robin went for breakfast with a friend after work & met up with me afterwards). ¬†Going early means being able to park near the door…so I can leave my coat in the car and any other heavy stuff. ¬†We actually had to make a couple of trips back, depending on whether stores were being generous and giving us shopping bags.

Actually, the stores weren’t all that bad…it was the people! ¬†Now, I can understand the lineups for Santa. ¬†I’m totally down with the Santa thing. ¬†What annoyed me were the people with the SUV-sized strollers who weren’t watching where they were going. ¬†They were drinking their nonfat soy lattes, gabbing to their girlfriends (also with large strollers…they seem to move in herds), and setting up their manicure appointments, but they sure weren’t watching the path in front of them. ¬†I almost had my feet taken off at the ankles by a lady who decided I was in her way. ¬†We learned something very important…

If you’re moving, they can’t get you.

Seriously, I have no problem with parents going shopping. ¬†It’s that time of year, and everyone kinda has to do it. ¬†What I have a problem with is a seeming lack of awareness that is being displayed more and more often. ¬†I can be a dizzy bitch more than half of the time…it’s why I generally take Robin with me when I go to the mall. ¬†He makes sure I’m not walking into posts or tripping over displays. ¬†Those are inanimate objects that I just seem to have blind spots for. ¬†People, though, I make an effort to avoid hitting. ¬†If I accidentally stumble into someone through my own carelessness, I make sure they’re okay and apologize. ¬†I don’t barrel through them like it’s their fault that they’re in my way.

So, yeah.  That hit a hot button.

On the more humorous front, I had to laugh at the lady who told me that Smorkin’ Labbit dolls did not belong in a “Children’s Store” like Discovery Hut. ¬†I tried to tell her that it’s intended for children of “all ages”, and that it’s based on street art and contemporary pop art…but I think that was lost on her. ¬†She wasn’t expecting a new-media art college dropout who could give her a minor lecture, I guess. ¬†I suppose that at this time in my life, I look like someone’s Mum (sans children) or favourite auntie.

Damn skippy my nieces & nephews will get street art. ¬†It’s educational, yo.

But maybe not until they can understand it.

My very first Honourary Niece turned 18 yesterday. ¬†I’m not letting it make me feel old. Maybe because I’m still young enough to do stupid things like commiserate about not getting drunk on one’s birthday.

Happy birthday, Bean! ¬†Hope that tonight goes a little more according to plan. ¬†Dance like nobody’s watching, sweetie! ūüôā

Not your children…except that one…

It’s that time of year. We braved the mall yesterday, and did quite a bit of Christmas shopping. The adults aren’t quite so difficult to shop for once you start tweaking onto them. ¬†It’s the kids.

You’d think that the kids would be easy to shop for…when I was their age, I wanted half the Sears catalogue…and that included stuff that *wasn’t* in the toy section. ¬†What you have to realize is that nowadays, you’re not just buying for the kids, you’re also buying around any kind of parental triggers.

I’m not picking on any one kid or any one set of parents. ¬†We have 3 biologically-related and 2 honourary kidlets to buy for. ¬†Some of those kids are young enough to fall in the “buy a plushie” category. ¬†Others are more challenging. ¬†You don’t know what they’re into, and what’s popular amongst their peer groups, and what their parents do and don’t want them to emulate. ¬†I’m finding out that Star Wars is OK, but the Pink Aisles at Toys R Us are a dangerous place to be caught.

What I’d like to suggest? ¬†When that Christmas list gets made, cc a copy of it to the Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles. ¬†Sure, it should get sent to Santa, but in the meantime, make sure the rest of us have a copy. ¬†Annotate, if you must. ¬†If something isn’t agreeable to you and your philosophy on child-rearing, please let us know. ¬†That way we’ll know that the soccer ball and pink princess Barbie aren’t cool, but Cabbage Patch Kids and croquet have made the short-list. ¬†That way, the rest of us (the Aunties and Uncles and Grandparents) can talk amongst ourselves as to who will get what for whom. ¬†Particularly since some of us get to see our littler family members maybe once or twice a year and don’t necessarily get to be privy to their likes, dislikes, and personality quirks.

Then there’s Robin. ¬†Who sees Nerf on sale at the local toy Mecca and picks it up for his own nefarious purposes…usually involving chasing the cat around the house. ¬†If one is unable to figure out what to get him for a Yule gift, Nerf, Lego, and such are great stocking stuffers (I’m the easy one to shop for. ¬†If it can be spun or knit, I’m usually happy).

An army of what, now?

So, we went to the mall to get someone some new pants and wound up in the Christmas section.

Yeah. ¬†That one went out on Twitter with a caption of “If you complain once more, you’ll meet an army of *me*”. ¬†Though the “me” was misspelt. ¬†Dratted predictive text.

But yes…we found pants. ¬†Pants are always good. ¬†We also found a party dress, a top hat, a bowler hat, and some pretty sweaters.

We also figured out that if you hit Chinook Mall before noon on a Friday, you don’t have quite so horrid a shopping experience. ¬†Parking is easier to find, to boot.

Had a little difficulty with my produce order this week.  The driver accidentally dropped off the wrong basket.  Since the offices were closed for the day, I emailed over.  Not sure if the he picked up the message from his dispatcher (or phone), or whether he just realized the difference, but we managed to get the right box swapped in less than 3 hours.  That is what I call great customer service.

I was a little anxious, as this is the week I splurged on free-range eggs. ¬†Not something I’ll do every week, but definitely a treat!

A day out

The Husbeast and I went for a nice long walk in downtown Calgary on Saturday. ¬†We went to Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Pudding Yarn, Reids Stationery, Steeps tea & the general indoor mall (Banker’s Hall/TD Square). ¬†Along our ramblings we found the following gem of a notebook. ¬†Unfortunately, we didn’t pick it up. ¬†We had too many other things on our minds (like the fact that Reid’s carries fountain pens for lefties! ¬†The Husbeast had despaired of finding such a thing!). ¬†Actually, I’m now kinda kicking myself for not bringing the book home. ¬†There’s a perverse side to my sense of humour that finds the irony of the whole thing rather hilarious.

Please disregard the fact that my teeth are rather uneven. ¬†We’re working on that. ¬†In fact, last dental visit was to fix the two front teeth, and today’s was work on one of my back molars. ¬†Turns out that my previous dentist was wrong when he’d say “That’s not a hole..nothing to worry about there…” ¬†Apparently there was. ¬†I’m none too impressed, but very happy that Mr. New Dentist (the Husbeast’s longtime family dentist) has identified the issues & started fixing everything. ¬†Let’s just say that prior to getting my front teeth fixed, I didn’t smile very much, let alone grin with such wild abandon.

As of today, Calgary has a new mayor. ¬†Naheed Nenshi is the name, and little did I know when I voted for him that he would win. ¬†Really. ¬†I’m known for picking the losing battle. ¬†I’ve kinda gone well past Liberal, I’m afraid. ¬†My grandmother would be proud that I exercise my vote, but she’d probably still lecture me on my decidedly socialist tendencies. ¬†Whoops.

Anyhow.  Nenshi.  Dude popped up in social media circles quite awhile back and just kept the momentum going.  He was the only candidate that I could see who had a clear sense of what he wanted to communicate.  He seems to like alternative transportation (bicycles are popular in this household), and he seems to have a sane solution for those folks who want to suite their homes and rent to others.

Let’s just say that when I turned the TV on last night & tuned into the election coverage, I wasn’t expecting the amazing gap between Nenshi, McIvor & Higgins. ¬†It was pretty cool, I’ll admit. ¬†And what was cooler? ¬†Feeling like I backed the winning horse in some kinda municipal race. ¬†Bazinga.

By the way…the guy is something like 38 years old? ¬†There’s just something kinda cool about the thought that the Grand Poobah of the city might just have rocked out to Nirvana in his college days. ¬†Think about that. ¬†Really. ¬†I mean, that’s going to be almost expected when I get into my 50’s or 60’s, but not even in my 40’s yet? ¬†You go Mayor-dude. ¬†Rock on.

…and I’ve said more than I intended. ¬†I came across the picture that the Husbeast uploaded & thought it would be fun to share. ¬†Didn’t mean to go off about the election. ¬†I’d blame it on the drugs from my dental appointment, but that was this afternoon. ¬†Maybe I’ll just blame it on lack of sleep and turn in.

Night folks!  Hope your week has been as cool as mine has so far!

…well…minus the dentist visit. ¬†But I’m sure you knew that… ūüėČ