Tyendinaga is Done!

Mandy has let me know that she’s finished testing the shawl.  Now I just have to check her suggestions and corrections and get it made up into a PDF file.

Job searching has taken priority over so many other things in life but I hope to be able to get to it all some time this week.

If you’re interested in the shawl pattern, I think I’ll sell it through email here until I get a Ravelry shop set up.  Does $5.00 sound fair for a quickie Word file?  You can reach me at withasigh at netscape dot ca for the details!



About 5 years ago I blogged a wee bit about the ghosts that were living in our house.  (We’ve since moved.)  I’d write about it as soon as something spooky happened.  We lived in that house for over 9 years and the blogged incidents were taking over my crocheting posts, which was what the blog was primarily about.

I thought of this today because we drove past the house.  It’s now for rent.  For the second time in three years.

I told the new owners to call me if they needed any further info or whatnot, and the wife called me one night about three months after they’d moved in.  “You’re going to think I’m crazy for asking this, but when you lived here, was this … did you notice … did you think this house might be haunted?”

I told her “You bet!”  I hadn’t said anything to them before because they didn’t ask.  It was one question I always asked when looking for this house.  I thought people would think I was crazy left and right but only a couple looked at me sort of funny, most of them answered as if it were a legitimate house-searching question.  Do other people ask if a house is haunted when hunting for a new place?

Speaking of ghosts … we stopped by Mom and Dad’s this afternoon while we were in town.  Mom said she’d cut out an article for me about post-mortem photos.  There’s an exhibit at the Henry House Museum down at the lake and she thought Terri and I might want to go.  A few minutes later she said, “I’d like to see it, too!”  Cracks me up.  Why not just ask us to go Ma?

The exhibit is called, Mourning After: The Victorian Celebration of Death.   Here’s a blurb from their web site.  (I hope it’s okay to quote it here!)

This exhibit will take a comprehensive look at how Victorian’s celebrated death covering themes such as mourning customs, clothing, funerary practices, gravestones and jewelry. Special events planned include a members only preview, a mourning theme tea and graveyard tours.

How cool would it be to go to a mourning themed tea?  I’m excited about this!

I’m also a bit squeemied-out by it.  I’ve got chills going down my spine just thinking about it.  We went to the museum as tourists the day before we moved out of town and away from our freaky house!  You get the willies walking through Henry House.  The creepiest thing they have besides vibes is a hair ornament hanging on the wall.  And it’s huge and very full of a dead person’s hair.  What must these people have looked like lying in the parlour with their hair chopped off as they lay dead and rotting.

Sometimes I don’t believe funeral rituals were as darkly romanticized as they are portrayed to us now.  I think it was truly far creepier, odd compared to today’s equally as odd rituals, and way smellier.  But then again, would a museum hide something like that?  No way.  And old houses like that always do smell funny.

I don’t know why Mom thought Terri and I would want to go, but I do and I think Terri would get a creepy kick out of it.  She’s easily spooked, though.  We’re not morbid and obsessed with death.  Terri dyes her hair black but it’s more of a rocker chick thing than any dark obsession.  I may have gone to a funeral when it wouldn’t really have been expected of me but I certainly didn’t enjoy it!  I was just a shoulder to lean on.   It’s probably because I’m basically the family historian and dabble in genealogy.  (Ooh, I’ll have to find my old photos and post a couple one day!)  But really, it’s probably because she wants to go but won’t ask for fear of being a burden.  Gotta love mothers!

Geez, Ma, that’s why we come in to see you all the time or have you guys out here!  If you need anything or just want to hang out for fun you know we’re here for you!  In fact, let’s make a day of it and go for lunch to the Mourning Tea!

But back to the post-mortem photos … they reminded me of the movie, The Others, and I told Mom to watch it if she ever noticed it was on TV.  It would be right up her alley.  Now fast-forward to tonight.  We’d planned on watching a movie but it was terrible and neither of us were into it so we started surfing.  The only thing on worth watching?  The Others.  Spooky!


Ahh, feels so much cooler!

Today we were on our way into the city for some boring ol’ groceries when we saw that the alpaca farm was having an open house for shearing day. I’m so glad we stopped in!

One Alpaca, Two Alpacas

I got a drop spindle with some roving. It’s been a riot playing with it tonight. I’m not very good at it, but it’s fun. I also got to try spinning on a wheel for the very first time ever! Now that was amazing!

Mass confusion as I was plopped into the chair by the most wonderful lady who was demonstrating as she told me, “Sure you can do it! You won’t hurt the yarn!” I hurt the yarn. I broke it … twice. There was a crowd of people standing around watching me (where had they all come from?) … and I panicked for about 5 seconds … but they were all laughing with me and I was falling in love.

In about 30 seconds, I had made yarn!  Real, live yarn.  It was about 4″ long.  I don’t think that’s a record, but this was new and I was so excited.  I’ve watched spinners spin, and have often become mesmerized by it.  It’s like watching fire in reverse.  Or something like that.  But doing it … all those things at once, what a difference.

Spinning wheel, spinnin' round ...

My foot was pouncing and I had the wheel spinning the wrong way.  “Oops!” this very jovial, generous woman said to me over and over as she saved her poor yarn.  She couldn’t possibly have found it all as much fun as I had, but she put on a terrific act!  (No, she was genuine for sure!)  I only wish I’d gotten her card to share her name.  I meant to grab one, but by that time I had the drop spindle in my hands and was eager to get home and play.

I’ve since spindled a few yards of yarn.  At this point I can’t actually say that I have yarn, because I don’t know.  Don’t have a clue if it needs to be plied first’ or is it already yarn?  I just know I’m having fun with it.

Good thing … because it’s going to take a very long time to have enough yarn to crochet with.  But man, I made yarn.  Real, live yarn.

Yard Sales

Is anyone planning on having a yard sale this summer?

We’ve had a lot of fun at the few we’ve held.  They’re few and far between – it takes time to gather all that junque – but they’re always so much fun.

The second yard sale we had was the most fun.  Alison and I planned it together and it was perfect because my driveway separated our small houses.  We lived on the nice part of the street; it was tree-lined, and all the neighbours knew each other and visited often.  We even had the stereotypical mean old bag, Mrs. W., who got along with no one.

Our day started out easily enough.  My ex-husband and brother went fishing the day before, got hammered and didn’t make it home that night.  They were supposed to have gone to the bank to pick up change.  Still weren’t out of bed when I called them at 8am the next morning, by which time people had already been arriving for the past two hours!

But as the afternoon buzz settled down, so did we.  Mom and Dad took the kids home with them (where they got spoiled so naturally they loved it).  Someone grabbed a beer from the fridge and we played with one of the boardgames that hadn’t sold, sitting on a blanket on the front lawn.  Then someone took a cooler down to the Beer Store to be filled up and a couple of the neighbours came by.  When the beer began to run short Len ran to his place across the street to raid his beer fridge, and then Jim headed home for his own tipple – rye and ginger.  Someone else grabbed a bag of chips while Chris got out his guitar and we started singing.

Unplanned parties like that are always the best.  We had a few of them in our kitchen, too.  Alison and I often talk about the good times we’ve had over the past 21 years.  Our second yard sale didn’t erupt into the party our first one had, but it was a lot of fun and hugely successful!

They’re great things to focus on for the summer.  You should have one – and then tell me all about it!  I welcome great blog links in the comments!


You know who you are …


You’re tearing me up inside!

I know how much this means to you, I really do.  I understand every one of your reasons and arguments.  I get that it’s for you, and about you.  I especially appreciate that you’ve looked at it from almost every angle.

You’re the kind of person who deserves what you get.  You’re so good in so many ways.  I’m proud of you and always wish there were more ways to reward you just for being you.

But, no matter how much I want to say yes and believe that if this is truly what you want then you should have it, every sensible thought in my head says ‘not yet’ …

If, in answer to a couple of my arguments, you’d said something other than “I don’t care!”, I’d see it as being well-thought out, and that just maybe you were mature enough to make such a decision on your own.  ‘I don’t care’ tells me that it was something you hadn’t thought of, and are too one-track-minded about it all that you automatically refused to consider that part of the other side.

But most of all, I think my heart says ‘not yet’, too …


You are one of the dearest things to me and you totally rock my world.  I always appreciate your honesty, integrity, and thoughtfulness.  I’m so afraid of where those things will go if you do this on your own.  You see, there’s so much more to it than, “What can she do once it’s done?”  It’s way more than being mad for a couple of days or upset for a couple of weeks.  It’s about truthfulness to both me and yourself.  It’s about honour.  It’s about pride – yours – and trust.  And despite who we are, we also have an incredible friendship.  You have those things right now.  You’ve gained those in abundance.  I don’t want any of those excellent qualities to diminish.  I don’t want you to lose them in your eyes, or in mine.  They’re what make you the beautiful person you are right now …

Do you hear me?  Right now, as you are, you’re complete.  And wonderful.

I’m not saying no.  I’m saying, ‘wait’!


WIPs Wrestlemania, 2009

On Team Right Hook, in WIPs Wrestlemania 2009, we’ve decided to vote on a crocheted mascot for the team.  My vote goes to the Kokeshi Doll.  How cute does that sound?

Problem is, they are cute.  It should be fun trying to make one look mean and nasty enough to take on my WIPs.  I thought the mascot should be something small and quick to crochet because I don’t want it interfering with my current WIPs and WIPs-to-be, and I especially don’t want her to become WIP as well!

I don’t have half as many WIPs to work on as quite a few other people do, but they’re growing.  I found one the other day; a tam crocheted with size 10 thread.  It’s a little bit lacy … (I’m trying to picture it) … or maybe a tad fileted.  I know she won’t wear it, but it would look so cute on my sweet-but-non-crochet-worthy daughter.  I keep trying to crochet for her despite her constantly telling me she won’t wear it or use it.  I just keep hoping that this time she’ll love it.

Do not crochet for this woman!

Do not crochet for this woman!

I have a few more WIPs, I’m going to fiddle around and see if I can come up with a page or links for them or something.  The more committed I become publicly about Wrestlemania, the more I am likely to actually get in the ring!

I bet she’ll want the Kokeshi Doll!


We needed some romaine lettuce today so we took the dog and drove up to Bobcaygeon to get it.  It’s about an hour’s drive away, and it’s a pretty tourist town along the Trent-Severn Waterway with a lift lock in the centre of town.

Bobcaygeon Lock - Closed

We see many of the locks during our summer drives.  The boaters are always friendly and the parks are usually impeccable.  My family used to take a houseboat through the Waterway every summer, but I’ve never had the pleasure.  I’m afraid of boats.  But each town usually has a place I love to visit every time, be it an ice-cream shop, a yarn store, a curiousity shop.  Summer drives, out for the day with the kids, the  dog or my parents, or just the two of us.  It’s what we do instead of a longer vacation in one place.

Bobcaygeon Lock - Open

Today Bobcaygeon was filled with ladies from the Red Hat Society!  It was so funny and I wish I’d brought my camera.  I’d thought about it earlier and walked out the door without it.  Every store entryway was filled with purple and red as they talked about what Irma was paying for a new purse, whose lunch was repeating on them, oh – and I do hope they found Gretel and Chris because no one had seen them since the ice-cream parlour.  These wonderful ladies were everywhere … you know how it is watching ants coming and going from a little pile of dirt in the driveway?

And the hats were something else!  Newfoundland doesn’t have as much netting.  I saw every species of silk flower known to millinery.  Some of the ladies cheated and wore only flowers in their hair.  Some were dressed to the nines – they were having tea on a fancy restaurants gated patio; others were dressed very casually – we saw them in the pub’s courtyard.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be a Red Hat Lady, but I’m glad some people are!

Everybody watches anthills, don’t they?

Testing Mode

I have a tester! I’m still feeling a bit over-protective of my pattern, but I decided I couldn’t force myself to crochet the shawl for a third time, so have myself a tester now.

Mandy's Test Shawl - one pattern section to go!

Mandy's Test Shawl - one pattern section to go!

I also changed the name of the shawl. It’s now called the Tyendinaga Shawl, after the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory my family is from.  It’s comforting and warm there.

A Favourite Compliment

The Capricious Ruffle shawl received many wonderful compliments for which I’m truly grateful, but one stood out that I’m sure my fellow crocheter’s will appreciate as much as I did.

“Drat! I wish it was knit.” ~ Barbara, DesertNeedles on Ravelry, posted here with her permission.

Loved it!

First KnitPicks Order

I ran down to the post office on Thursday morning hoping the yarn from KnitPicks for the Capricious Ruffle shawl would be in, but … so sad … it wasn’t. I resigned myself to having to wait through Easter weekend for it. I don’t do patience well.  I came home, tracked it, and found out it was still in Kitchener, west of Toronto and beyond.  But my husband came home around 4pm and he had the package with him … happy dance!  (Out of curiosity, I tracked it one more time and sure ’nuff, it was supposedly still in Kitchener.)  So here it is:

KnitPicks Shadow

It’s KnitPicks Shadow, Hot Rod, in laceweight merino.  (And that’s the tester shawl underneath it, along with my favourite 3.5mm hook.)

This is my virgin laceweight wool project, so I’ve nothing to compare the yarn to.  It’s not as soft as I’d imagined it would be, and the thickness ranges anywhere from a smidge finer than laceweight up to fingering weight – there’s no consistency to it, and I don’t see much heathering, if any at all.  YET I LOVE IT!  It suits me to a ‘T’, and most importantly, it suits the shawl.  I do hope to, one day, see it made in other fibres.

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