The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


It's a beautiful day here in Northern California, currently 63 degrees and sunny. Do I really want to leave this kind of weather for grey and damp? Probably. I decided to pull out the camera and have a little photo shoot at lunch. It was a bit disappointing, pictures I thought for sure were going to be great were more like ... meh. I look perhaps a dozen pics and of them, these 4 were salvageable.

These lovely flowers grow on a bush outside our office.

Painted mailbox on Menlo Oaks Avenue. Where those with money reside.

Same flower ... different angle.

Another painted mailbox peeking out of the bushes. And that's about it for today. Well other than the fact that tomorrow is my sixth blogiversary so there will be a giveaway. A small brown tabby I think.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Equals Baking

One of the downfalls of living in California is that in the summer it's generally too hot to bake. Actually make that mid-April to mid-October. My teeny tiny apartment does have an air conditioner but it only cools the living room. If it's July and you turn on the oven in my apartment it's game over. No need to add any liquid to your recipe, just stand next to the mixing bowl and sweat into it. Isn't that a pleasant thought?

I hate it. I *love* to bake. Baking is what I do. When I was younger I wanted to be a pastry chef but I didn't think I had the creativity. But I can follow a recipe with the best of them! So when winter rolls around I go into a mad flurry of baking. I usually bake at least twice and more often, three times a week. Quick breads, cookies, squares, more quick breads, you name it.

Last night I made Cherry Nut Bread from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook I bought back in 1979. I always makes notes in my cookbooks about how a recipe turned out and the day I made it. Apparently I've been making Cherry Nut Bread since January of 1982. And it's still my favorite quick bread recipe. I don't care if maraschino cherries are loaded with chemicals and dye, I love 'em. Also this recipe has buttermilk in it so it's really moist. The rats like it too. I can't wait until I'm back in Vancouver and can bake ALL the time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

It All Must Go!

The best of plans ... Well I'm already bored with the granny square idea. So I spent the weekend working on my Ribbon Afghan. This is a very simple and easy pattern, great for watching TV. I'm doing mine in two shades of pink, two shades of grey, and black and white. It took me three attempts with the stash yarn to find colors that I actually liked together. Now of course I'm a third of the way done and I'm outta yarn. And, as we all know, I am REALLY out of yarn. The only yarn left in my apartment is Meep yarn. Luckily, Michael's is having a yarn sale.

The bathroom was purged this weekend. I found six carpal tunnel braces. This is what happens when you live in the same place for eight years. Stuff accumulates. And then it piles on top of other stuff and you never really know what you do and don't have. This is why you should never have too much "stuff." Throw it away, give it away, just get it out. I command you. You will feel oddly liberated and in two days you'll forget you ever had it. Gave the boyfriend all my linens, except what I'll need for the next five weeks. FIVE WEEKS. Only five more weeks and I'll be homeless and jobless. I can't wait!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Another One!

We are rolling along with our granny squares. I'd forgotten how much fun they are to do and how, sometimes, you actually have to use your brain to figure out what's going on.

This is the Never Fading Flower Square (Ravelry linkage). I think I like it even better than the one the day before. I had to add a round of half double crochet to make it the same size as Thursday's square. I guess I'm going with five inch squares instead of six inch squares. Ever the tight crocheter, I am. The other ones on Ravelry look all lacy and delicate, I'm going with sturdy and solid. This is a Canadian afghan, after all.

This weekend I'm gearing up to purge the bathroom. Which is infinitely better than purging IN the bathroom. And when I'm not purging the bathroom I'm going to do nothing. I seem to be the only one here at work with any kind of sense of urgency about getting a person to replace me which is causing me much stress. But that's OK because I only have 25 MORE WORKING DAYS TO GO.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hello Granny

I have come to a decision. I am going to make 365 six inch granny squares. Hopefully all different. Now if we take the standard size of a twin bed, which is 39" X 75" (thanks, Wikipedia, glad to see you're back up and running today) that would be enough granny squares to make four blankies or thereabouts. That would be quite the accomplishment. Here's the first square on my epic undertaking.

This is the Flower Granny Square which I think we can all agree is a rather appropriate name. I used Simply Soft in Dark Sage and Sage with a G hook. It came out at five inches exactly. So already I'm running an inch short of my daily goal. If I'd used an H hook I probably would have gotten six inches. If you decide you'd like to make this square please note that there's an error in the pattern. Of course there is, I'm incapable of choosing a crochet pattern that is completely correct. Anyway, row 2 should read: Ch3, 1 dc in same stitch as ch 3, Ch3, * 2 dc, ch 3* 7 times more (8 dc groups). Join with a sl st in top of ch-3. OK, I'm off to find today's granny square pattern. Stay tuned for more granny square madness!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

365 ... Something

So I came across this really interesting blog about a week ago. It's called the Make Something 365 & Get Unstuck blog. Which is a very long title for a blog. It's sort of along the Picture A Day For A Year idea. In fact, that's exactly what a lot of people are doing, getting out the ol' camera and snapping pics. But other people are making things. One guy is drawing a picture every day that sums up his day but the catch is, he can only spend 60 seconds on it. Another person is making the symbol for Pi each day out of things like paper clips, or pie crust dough and taking a picture of it.

I had thought about making a quilt block a day then remembered how much I hated quarter inch seams. Then I "briefly" thought about baking something every day. Which I would really, really love to do except I don't want to weigh 300 pounds by the summer. Maybe I could make a granny square a day? But I gave away all my yarn which means I would have to buy more. Horrors.

Maybe I should buy this book which has 50 different crochet motifs in it and just make 7 of each. I keep telling myself I want to make an afghan. In fact, there's one sitting in a bag in the car but it's just stripes and I'm already bored with it. Perhaps granny squares are the way to go. Still liking that baking idea ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No, Really

So in between giving away everything I own, making Meeps and trying to remain sane, I'm also knitting. I can't even remember the last time I knit something. I was starting to wonder if I even knew how to any more. But I really wanted a pair of slippers because my feet are cold. And I imagine they'll be even colder in Canada.


I love, love, love this pattern. It's such a fun pattern I have no regrets about paying the six or seven dollars it cost. It has a pretty nifty construction and you use bulky yarn! I'm using Wool-Ease chunky in "Mulberry" which is kind of a burgundy color. The pattern has a number of sizes so you could make lots of Christmas gifts for loved ones. Because it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas. I know I am. Because I may have mentioned once or twice that I'm moving back to CANADA where my wonderful cousin makes the BEST plum pudding ever!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Books, Books And More Books

The bedroom is 95% done! And it only took me four and a half hours to do it. Plus multiple trips to the dumpster downstairs and one quick trip across the street to Lunardi's to buy another box of garbage bags. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Still not something I'd want to do on a regular basis. I still need to go through my clothes and get rid of things I know will never fit again. But yes, the main obstacle to moving out of my apartment is now over with.

And then there's the "book issue". My little apartment at one time contained over 700 books. But over the last six weeks or so I've been whittling away at them by donating them to an organization called Reading Tree. They have big blue boxes all over the Bay Area and you just dump your books in them and away you go. Two or three times a week I'd fill up a grocery bag or two and drop some books off.

To date I've dropped off 299 books. And I have six grocery bags at home filled with the next lot to drop off. I'm capable of throwing away just about anything but books? No way. There's no way I could toss books. But thanks to Reading Tree there is light at the end of the book tunnel.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Room Number One

I've got a plan. There are five more Sundays before I go back to Canada. There are four rooms in my apartment. That means I only have to work on one room a week and on the fifth Sunday, after I collapse from exhaustion, I can move everything I'm keeping into a storage locker. Tomorrow is the bedroom. Because I need to get the worst room done first

Every time I look in the bedroom I think to myself, "There's no way I'm moving to Canada if I have to go through all this." My tiny little bedroom is also my yarn room. And my fabric room. And where I keep all my books on writing as well as everything I've ever written. Not to mention my clothes. All the rat supplies. And financial records. It's a nighmare. Truly.

When I look at my bedroom I solemnly promise myself to never live in one place for 8 years again. Or to start having an "annual purge." Fortunately I have a home for all my yarn - I'm donating it all to my friend Cindy's church group. You didn't think I was taking it all with me, did you? Nope. Nor am I paying for storage space for it. It's going. Along with all my knitting books and binders full of patterns. When it comes to getting rid of stuff, I am RELENTLESS.

In other news, I continue to torment myself with looking at apartments in Vancouver that I am in no position to rent. Like this little number.

For the low, low price of $900 a month you too can rent this apartment in beautiful downtown Vancouver. Wanna see more pictures? Hey, guess what! There are none because this is the ENTIRE apartment. Except for the bathroom. Now I've lived in some really small apartments but I think this would even drive me stir crazy. Mind you, if you positioned things right you could grab things outta the fridge without even getting out of bed. And NO PETS. Which makes sense since where the hell would you put the litter box?

The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that my days of downtown living are behind me. *Sigh*

Friday, January 13, 2012

No Furries Allowed

OK, I agree that it's not surprising that Vancouver has changed a lot in the 15, almost 16 years, that I've been gone. Where there were cows there are now apartments. Many of the street signs are now in English AND Mandarin. Most rentals seem to have done away with carpet and are now laminate. And of course, rents have gone WAY up.

But the biggest, and most distressing change, seems to be a Nazi like attitude about pets when it comes to renting an apartment. NO PETS. ABSOLUTELY NO PETS. NO PETS - FIRM. NO PETS ALLOWED. What the heck? Where did this come from? In all my years of living on my own in Vancouver, not once did I have a problem finding a place to rent that took pets. This new attitude is a problem for me. Obviously.

My original plan was to take the rats in the car with me and send for Andy and DeeDee later. My boyfriend would look after them until I got settled and then put them on the plane. It's what I did when I originally moved down here. Except then, my Sammy sat at the kennel because my Mom had like 8 million cats and couldn't take on any more.

Fortunately I have been able to find a home for DeeDee with my boyfriend's ex-wife. This is the best of all options since the boyfriend's two daughters ADORE DeeDee and now she will have four people fawning over her instead of just me. And she'll have a kitty sister, named Josee. I'll be sending money down every month for her care and feeding so I think this is going to work out fine.

Which leaves Andy and the rats. Some of the rats will be coming with me while some will be going back to the rescue. I'm taking the ones that would be the least adoptable. I'm very good at hiding rats. A cat isn't quite as easy. I am at a loss as to what to do about Andy. He is highly unadopt-able given that he's a garden variety brown tabby who is terrified of 99% of the world. He would lose his mind in a shelter. So the search continues for an apartment that will take not only pets but an unemployed tenant. Lordy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Twilight Zone Day

Crap, I've already missed a day. Oh well, onwards and upwards.

Now we all know how superstitious I am and how I'm forever looking for signs whenever I have to make a decision. Moving back to Canada is a pretty MAJOR decision for me. So I'm in some serious need of signs.

I haven't really devoted a lot of time and energy to finding a job in Canada. For two reasons. First, it's still another six weeks until I'm home. And secondly, well I don't have a place to live. I thought I'd go with the novel concept of living close to where I work. As opposed to living an hours commute away like I do now. But for some reason today I found myself perusing the job ads on Craigslist. I came across an Accounts Payable job in Cloverdale. I know how to do Accounts Payable but I'm more experienced with Receivables. And Cloverdale? Well when I lived in Vancouver, Cloverdale was farmland. It's where the cows lived. It's the boonies. Yet I clicked on the ad.

I'm reading along, blah, blah, blah, yeah I can do that, yeah, I've had experience doing that. Then I get to the bottom of the ad. Now generally speaking, job ads don't usually include the name of the person hiring for the position for fear of them getting bombarded with phone calls. Not so with this ad. And the name of the person doing the hiring is a girl who lived across the street from me when I was in high school. We walked to school together every day and were quite good friends.

Do I need to tell you that you could have knocked me over with a feather? People, what are the ODDS? But all along I'm still thinking, sure Carmena is doing the hiring but she's going to want someone soon. Nope. This is a brand new position. There's none of the "we need to get someone in here so the current person can train." We're having a Skype interview next week.

Of course nothing is certain and I may not even get the job. But still? This sign couldn't be more obvious if it was on a billboard, if you ask me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Year, A New Country

Ahh little blog, how I have neglected you. But here it is a nice and fresh new year so we might as well fire up the pages again. For there is plenty to report and there will be even more to report in the coming months.

First of all, it is no coincidence that I haven't posted since August. Because that was when I opened my Etsy shop. And let me tell you, it's been a freakin' wild ride ever since. I, in my wildest imagination, never expected Meeps to be the hit that they were. In the past four months I have sold over 100 of the little buggers. Crazy or what?

In fact, one woman ordered FOURTEEN of them as Christmas gifts. During November and December it was all I could do to find time to sleep. It didn't help that I took in a pregnant female rat at the beginning of October who a week later popped out nine babies. That was a LOT of work. And then I took in another litter of 8 little five month old boys who needed to be socialized. I think maybe I'm trying to kill myself. Over Christmas and New Year's all I did was sit on the couch and stare at the ceiling.

But the big news ... the really BIG news ... is that in 46 days I will be moving back to Canada. For good. I am giving up all my worldly possessions, packing up the ratties and heading North. To say I'm excited is the understatement of the year. Of course I have so much to do between now and then that it makes my brain hurt but it's something that is long, long, long overdue. In my almost sixteen years in California I don't think a day has passed that I haven't wished I was home. You can take the girl out of Canada but you can't take the Canadian out of the girl. So it's very important to me that I chronicle this little adventure. And what better place to do it than the ol' blog?