Friday, October 29, 2010

a beumb

I shamelessly stole that title from a clever column by Regina's own Ron Petrie of the Leader-Post. Go ahead and read it for a giggle. I enjoy Ron's columns. Apparently we share the same twisted sense of humour.

If you didn't go read it just now I will translate. What Clouseau called a "beumb" is indeed a bomb, weather bomb that is. It's the weather equivalent of a hurricane only it happened inland. It was responsible for the storm that was dropped on us this week. Environment Canada's senior climatologist, David Phillips, called it the "king of storms". I certainly don't ever remember a weather bomb on the prairies. This year has been nothing if not unusual for weather in these parts. Our forecast is for a warm-up next week and I sincerely hope that this snow melts. It is too soon for winter to stick around just yet.

Dan and I went to the Reba McEntire concert last night. It was very good. I'm not a die-hard country music fan but I like Reba. I still liked Blue Rodeo's concert better though. More my style of country music.

Just in case you aren't tired of my links to the Leader-Post here is one more. Dr. Roberta Bondar arrived in Regina during the storm and had some interesting comments.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Winter has made its early presence known with a vengeance. Here is a picture taken through my kitchen window yesterday afternoon.

And here is one from this afternoon.

The RCMP closed the Trans Canada highway for a while because of the poor visibility in the blowing snow and the icy conditions. A good portion of city streets were impassible as well and others were blocked with stranded cars. I was quite happy to cancel my appointment this afternoon and hunker down at home.

The snow has now stopped and the wind has calmed down. However the temperature has dropped. The wind chill factor is now -16C (3F).

Considering that most of October was lovely and warm (I didn't need a jacket when we went out for dinner on Friday evening), this has been a huge shock to the system. I'm holding out hope that it will warm up enough to melt this snow. Dan doesn't think it will get warm enough to get rid of all of it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

first winter storm

We woke up to the first winter storm of the season.

Weather Warning

Issued at 10:32 AM CST Tuesday 26 October 2010


5 to 10 cm of snow today into tonight with occasional blowing snow.


A powerful storm system over Central Minnesota late this morning continues to intensify, and is bringing the season's first snow to Southern Saskatchewan today into tonight. The snow is accumulating in most areas from Saskatoon and eastward, along with strengthening northwest winds, now gusting into the 60 km/h range. Wynyard has reported 10 cm so far, with many other areas approaching 5 cm. The snow will continue tonight before tapering off early Wednesday. General snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm are expected over eastern regions, with possibly as much as 25 cm over the higher elevations of the moose mountains and duck mountains. Lesser amounts of 5 to 10 cm are expected in the weather warning area including Regina. In addition to the snow, strong northwest wind gusts will likely strengthen into the 70 to 80 km/h range, and compound the situation with poor visibilities in heavy snow and local blowing snow. This will be the season's first Major blast of winter weather over Southeast Saskatchewan so residents planning on travel today and tonight should be prepared for treacherous winter travel conditions including on the Yellowhead and transcanada highways especially towards the Manitoba border. Environment Canada continues to closely monitor this situation and will be providing updates through today and Wednesday as the storm develops. Please refer to the public forecast for further details.

There are many unhappy motorists today but there are some very happy shelties.
When they got the zoomies even Bentley joined in although his little legs had to really plow to get through the thick, heavy snow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

price reduced by $100 on the Roberta package

I have dropped the asking price for the Roberta and accessories so it's now $1150 including shipping to Canada and the US.

Monday, October 18, 2010

hey, the moth has a name!

Thanks to Nolie for leaving a comment with a link to this Bug Guide page. It seems that my pretty moth's name is Metanema Inatomaria or Pale Metanema. Now I can't get this song out of my head -

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Metanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes - ah....

p.s. Robbie has obviously been putting his paws on my keyboard again. My apostrophe key had morphed into this:
Luckily I still had Kelly's solution from the last time I had a problem with the apostrophe (only then it was a French accent without the e). So I tapped the Shift and Ctrl keys a few times and voila, problem fixed. Except that now I don't know how to do the accent thing over the a in voila.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the Roberta could use a new home

I've convinced myself that two espinners is redundant so I'm looking for a new home for the Ertoel Roberta and accessories. It was purchased one year ago from Shuttleworks.

Includes flyer with O ring sliding hook, 3 jumbo bobbins, 3 regular bobbins, orifice hook, built-in kate, pause control, 12 volt plug in, lubricants and original paperwork. Also included is a WooLee Winder with 4 jumbo bobbins that was purchased a few months ago so there are 10 bobbins in total. (The WW flyer needs a spacer to snug up the fit which Nathan Lee has said that he will provide. In the meantime, I've been using a rubber washer and it does the job. I can forward the spacer when it arrives.) Everything is in great condition.

I'm asking $1250 shipped within Canada or to the US.

fickle swatches

Case #1:

I have a plan to make a pair of surprise socks for my physiotherapist Rachel for Christmas. I hatched the plan several weeks ago and got the receptionist at the physio clinic to spy on Rachel's shoes to see what size she wears (9.5/10). I made note of her usual attire - subdued colors - so that I would make socks that she would like. I specifically ordered yarn online for them. When it arrived, I swatched (in the round) and started knitting.

It's a good thing I gave myself lots of time to complete the gift. As I was finishing the gusset of the first sock it occurred to me that it was looking rather small. I stuck my own size 7.5 foot into the sock.
Perfect fit.

So I had to decide whether to frog and start again or keep them for myself. Considering that one sock of a pair is nearly done and they fit me anyway, I decided to try again for Rachel's socks. So I went stash diving and I think I have something sort of suitable that can work. Merry Christmas to me. Pictures of the new sock to follow when there is enough to bother photographing.

Case #2:

I posted here about plying Falkland handspun with wooly nylon for sock yarn.

I was anxious to see how it would knit up so I swatched, at about the same time as I swatched for Rachel's socks (hmmm... coincidence?), and started knitting myself a pair using the Fluted Bannister Socks stitch pattern thinking it would look nice with the gradual color changes in the yarn.

So I'm trucking down the leg of the first sock and decide to put it on to try on. Snug. Maybe because the sock is on dpn's? Knitted it onto two circs. Tried it on again. Snug.

Not exactly too small because the yarn has a lot of bounce from the wooly nylon but it's..... snug.

It has been shoved into time out while I knit Rachel's current pair. After that, I'll decide whether to knit on and see if the sock can be pulled on over my ankle or whether it will hit the frog pond as well.

Remind me again why we knit swatches, will you?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the Judith MacKenzie experiment

I recently watched some spinning videos (on my iPad, LOVE that thing!) including Popular Wheel Mechanics by Judith MacKenzie. She advises people to get to know their wheels by seeing the range of yarns that you can produce with it using your default spinning speed and adjusting the whorls (or pulleys, as Judith calls them) and tension.

I decided to do just that with the Lendrum. I used beautiful Polwarth fiber that I combed and dizzed so that the fiber and preparation would be consistent. It was a neat exercise.
I used only the regular flyer with its three whorls. I let the yarn ply back on itself as soon as it was pulled off of the bobbin. I tried to maintain my usual treadling speed (which is pretty fast) and let the whorl and the tension setting dictate the size of the yarn. My drafting speed did vary a bit.

You can see that there is quite a range of yarns from that one flyer. The top yarn was the thickest that I could spin because the fiber had been dizzed to a fairly small diameter. I didn't draft it very much while spinning. Could I have spun a thicker yarn with just this flyer? Maybe a bit but I think I would have to consciously slow down my treadling to do so. The plying flyer, which I didn't buy, would likely make the job easier because the whorls would be larger.

I didn't have any trouble at all producing the finest yarn because the lovely Polwarth fiber drafts out beautifully and because my hands really, really like fine spinning. I have the fast flyer but didn't use it for this experiment. Because I treadle quickly, I don't really need the fast flyer for spinning wool but it is great for cotton. Lendrum does make a very fast flyer but I can't imagine ever needing it although some people like it a lot.

This was a very useful exercise and I recommend it. One of these days I'll get around to repeating it with my other two wheels.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Run For The Cure update

I told you about Geoff's half-sister Chloe becoming team captain for this year's Run For The Cure in honour of her mom defeating cancer ten years ago when Chloe was a baby. She sent an email with these pictures of the run last weekend.
As you can see, she did shave her head and donate her hair to make wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment. She proudly shared that she raised $5,588 and her team total was $11,348!

Way to go Chloe! We're proud of you!

Monday, October 04, 2010

catching up

First, I'll answer a couple of questions from recent posts.

Jody asked how fall looks on the prairies. She said that the trees were at their most colorful in Ontario these days.

Our Saskatchewan fall isn't as colorful as fall in the eastern part of the continent. Most trees have leaves that turn yellow when cool air arrives. The grass starts to turn golden and brown. Actually I think that fall is golden in the prairies; it's the color of the changing plant life and the gorgeous golden glow of the slanting sunlight.

This was taken in my back yard last week.

And here's one taken in the front yard looking down the street.
A strong wind blew for a couple of days after I took these pictures and the golden trees are now leafless. There are still green trees that don't panic at the first frost and hold onto their color for a while yet.

Marguerite asked if the moth was large. Yes, it was - probably 2 inches wide. It disappeared for a while and then I saw it flying around the window of the sunroom the next day. I tried to convince it to go out of the open door but it wasn't interested. I haven't seen it since.

The dogs and I visited the Regina off-leash dog park for the first time today. It was fun! There's a large fenced grassy area around the creek near the airport. It was a busy place today because of summer-like temperatures.

All of the dogs were friendly and tolerant of each other. Several of them were in and out of the creek. Mine didn't show any interest in going in the water. They checked out the shoreline but that was as far as they ventured.

New friends were made.

Cooper got the zoomies.

Bentley enjoyed the fresh air.

Austin and Robbie stayed pretty close to me the whole time. They've been trained very well over the years. Whenever I looked down, there they were.
Good shelties.

We'll definitely be going back. It was great exercise for all of us.