Monthly Archives: October 2007

Ready for Rhinebeck

My Ribby Cardi is finished, hurrah! Here I am, slightly blurry, with the finished product:

Ribby2Finished

I like the colours, it’s very comfortable, and I’m glad I did the ribbed buttonband once again. Only problem? I am 100% sure that I should have knitted a smaller size, likely the 38/39 size and not the 40/41 size. I think it’s pretty obvious it’s a size too big, which is a bit of a bummer since, don’t we all try to knit things that fit?

When I made this sweater last fall for my supervisor I made the 38/39 size and when I tried it on, it fit just a bit too snug for my own tastes, particularly around the shoulders. I chalked this up to slightly smaller gauge in both stitch and rows. My gauge hasn’t changed. When I tried this one on pre-washing it fit very nicely, but then after washing it seemed to floof out again, returning to its intended state and making me look like a dummo knitter who can’t even pick the right size, geez Louise! ::hangs head in shame::

Oh well. I will happily wear my mistake. It’s warm and comfy and I made it for ME, and darn it all I like it anyway. And in any case, it’s going to help ID me next week at the Rhinebeck wool festival in New York, for I am a happy participant in Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo.

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I wanted to sign up for this so that I would get myself out of my stupid habit of coming down with the Shy Quivers when faced with large groups of new people, and actually get out and meet new friends instead of focussing only on the yarn and spending $$ part. ;) I’m a square (Saturday) and a player – hey, I figured if I was going to go around stalking and accosting Rhinebeck people, then they should have the right to stalk and accost me back ;) And apparently there are prize draws, so I call that a win win all around.

Another thing I did this weekend will help me out with the Rhinebeck experience. I spun for the first time.

Handspun1

Kate visited this weekend and did not do the typical houseguest thing and show up with, oh, a plate of cookies, or a bottle of wine, or any of these mundane things, but brought me a handmade drop spindle and a length of pink (she knows me well) roving. After dinner she showed me how to use the drop spindle (happily spinning away on her own bit of bright turquoise Louet roving), and before I knew it I was well on my way to the contents of the picture above. We joked that it looked not unlike spun candy floss.

Handspun2

(Kate is 3/4 done with a pretty bitchin’ shawl, by the way.)

I’m definitely still getting the hang of it, but generally I like it. My biggest problem is pulling (“drafting”?) the fibre too thin as I drop and spin, and then it breaks and I have to reattach it, and then I end up with a lumpy bumpy part in the attempt to reattach it. Still, cool. (Dude! Did you know you can make your own yarn? What won’t those crazy kids think up next!)

And now I know what the heck one does with those sticks with pucks on the end, and the fuzzy stuff that comes in little bags. I don’t know how fast I want to dive into this whole new part of the fibre world (Warning. Warning. New Fibre Obsession in Range), but I’m at least comfortable knowing what I’m looking that and I can check out the Rhinebeck stalls for something new and interesting. (Genuinely, there is nothing in the yarn area that I actually need – not that that’s stopped me before – but it is true that I can’t just walk down the street and buy a drop spindle. Thank you Rhinebeck.)

Can’t wait for the weekend! Just gotta get some actual “work” done before then and I’ll be feelin’ fine.

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Filed under finished object: sweater, rhinebeck, ribbi cardi, spinning

October 12 of 12

I have much to blog about – knitting continues and I have projects new, old, and in between who are screaming at me to tell you about them. But they have to wait a little bit longer, because yesterday I took the day to try out a new blogging fodder exercise – the 12 of 12. My friend Liz does this often, and for months I’d been telling myself I was going to try it, but I would never remember it on the actual day of the 12th of the month. It was pretty darned neat, I’ll tell ya. Ever try to photo-document your day in 12 photos? Well, here’s my first attempt.

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#1 – 9:45am in Toronto Union Station. I came in from Hamilton on Thursday and Friday this week. (I was up around 7:00am but just didn’t manage to get the camera going much earlier than this shot.) For weeks and weeks Union Station has been plastered with ads for shows on the Canadian station CTV, and on the subway (TTC) side of Union there are ads all over the place for ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ (personally I prefer ‘Pushing Daisies, but that much was obvious in my last post ;) ), and this included the floor in the main foot traffic area. Also, I love my new mary janes and this was my first day wearing my own knitted socks – we’re down to overnight lows below 5C this week and daytime highs in the low teens.

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#2 – 10:15 on campus. This is my friend E, proudly showing off the beginning of her first Clapotis. We decided to work on them together. She’s a relatively new knitter and I’ve gone with her a couple of times to Romni Wools in Toronto to help pick out yarn. In this case, it’s Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, and we found exactly the right # of skeins for her in this nice heathery rusty red. It suits her well, as will the scarf. I’m doing mine in boring old Patons SWS ;)

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#3 – 11:00am on campus, attempting Actual Thesis Writing. About a half an hour after this photo, some crazy cardiac arrest happened when I tried to save the file, it got corrupted, and I lost all the work I’d done in the last 24 hours. Not so much with the fun. I had a slightly older version of the file. But still, 24 hours of writing needs to get recreated, yanno? Boo-urns.

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#4 – 2:10pm after a staff meeting at my campus office. I brought peanut butter cupcakes to share and they were nummy nums. I figured a 2-hour lunch meeting required cupcakes. (Well, but just about any occasion does, really.) One of the guys asked me how much I charge for cupcake services.

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#5 – 3:55pm in the Robarts Library cafeteria. This is my friend/co-worker K, as we meet to talk about the seminar we’re giving next week. She’d just been to Starbucks and had a wearying encounter with the staff member who did not believe the price of the Nanaimo bars on sale in the pastry display. We were both feeling the Friday fatigue.

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#6 – 5:05pm Leaving campus, walking up St. George to the subway. In the opposite direction I would have had a shot of the CN Tower (much more visibly Torontonian), but I liked the clouds here behind the Bata Shoe Museum.

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#7 – 5:20pm, waiting in Union Station to find the track information for my train. It’s pretty impressive how these screens turn thousands of intelligent and mild-mannered adults into Pavlovian subjects, just waiting and watching the screen, waiting and watching the screen…Then when a new track number comes up, the crowd moves as one and you MUST MOVE NOW to get to your train and (hopefully) a seat.

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#8 – 6:45pm, almost home, coming around Cootes Paradise in Hamilton. Inexplicably, 5 minutes before the station, we had to wait and wait because of some delay. Me = tired, irritable, and frustrated about not being home yet.

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#9 – 7:10pm, giving Miss Beatrice her dindins. (Sound effects: chompsnorflechompchompchewsnortpurrchomp)

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#10 – 8:05pm, at my friend Trevor’s place. Well, actually, at his parents’ place. He’s there temporarily and is alone for the weekend and had me and my sister (pictured) over for dinner, and we reclined with our knitting over a bit of cheese and olives. Here, Martha works on her Icarus shawl, which is wearing on her because she’s had to go back several times to rip out an inch or two. Then last night she realized that the reason she’d been having problems was because she’d mis-read an instruction about when to start the feathers. ;)

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#11 – 9:00pm, having dinner. The food was good but the conversation was better. We laughed so much our stomachs hurt.

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#12 – 11:45pm, watching ‘Mean Girls’ with pie and tea. Enjoyable once again. Oh, but Lindsay Lohan, how you have changed since your early days…What ever happened to being OK with yourself and not giving into peer pressure? Le sigh.

And lastly, a bonus photo #13:

(the bonus photo was supposed to be about ‘orange’ this time – in Trevor’s house everything had this sort of orange-ish glow from the candles and wood…does that still count? not sure, but I liked this anyway)

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9:00-ish – at dinner, Martha chair-dances as we listen to the radio with all the past 90s hits of earlier days. We reminisce and join in the chair-dancing. (It may have been ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ or something of that ilk).

And there you have it folks, my first 12 of 12. How’d I do?

More knitting content next time, or may the cupcakes attack me. ;) Happy Saturday!

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Tease

If you’re not in North America…look! I distract you with a picture of upcoming blog fodder! Lalalala! (Um. That Ribby Cardi FO post is coming, I swear. Any moment now. That collar is just about done. Totally almost done.)

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BUT, if you’re in North America and are a TV-watcher and a knitter, don’t miss Pushing Daisies tonight. Really. Just saying. Well, someone already said it better, but it bears repeating. ;) Bestest episode of anything ever. (For some reason we get that show a day early in Canada, but the US and anyone with cable TV can watch it tonight.)

On I trudge with the day…

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Filed under fandom

Thankful

Pumpkin cupcakes

(Yum.)

Beatrice the cutie pie

My next post will be a Finished Object post, with cupcakes as my witness.

I must thank you all for the lovely comments. Also, I find it extremely comforting that when I expressed concern about becoming a hermit lady who holes up with her yarn and tea and cackles to herself, many of you thought this was not at all a bad plan. Julie in fact wondered if there was a questionnaire to determine such a status…To which I say, surely if there is one then any of us who qualify should get prizes. ;)

In any case, my life definitely does not 100% suck, and for that I am thankful. (And for all of you out there in blogland.)

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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Inching along

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The trouble with insecurity (wait, there’s just one?) is that it starts with one thing and then quickly spills out over into the rest of your life. For my psyche, it’s a short trip from the formidable obstacle of my dissertation and all accompanying fretting (what if it all sucks? What if I’m not cut out for academia but what if I’m overqualified for any other job?) to other things that usually wouldn’t take a hit. (What if my knitting sucks? What if my designs are all crap? What if nobody likes me? What if I’ve forgotten how to make new friends? What if I become a twitchy crazy hermit surrounded by yarn cackling to herself over cold cups of tea?)

I think part of my twitchiness this week is coming from the fact (Well, other than the Real Source of All My Woe Which I Have To Write and Just Deal With) that I let myself get frustrated and impatient over things that shouldn’t have been frustrating. I made it out to Lettuce Knit on Wednesday night, but hockey game traffic clogged up the roads and the bus arrived late, then the subway got delayed and I still hadn’t found dinner yet, so by the time I actually made it there it was almost dark and I was feeling flustered and stressed underneath it all. It was lovely to knit and chat with people though, I miss the knitting friends I made while I was in Toronto! I wish I had a knit night nearby again…But for some reason I just couldn’t make myself completely relax and then on the way back I just missed the bus back to Hamilton and had to wait another half hour (I don’t know why public transit makes me this frustrated, it is irrational yet piercingly effective as a stress-inducer), and by the time I got home all I could do was add up the number of hours spent in transit versus the number of hours I actually got to spend talking with knitters…It made me realize I have to do a better job of incorporating Toronto knitting visits with other things in the city, otherwise my fretting will get the better of me. And then that realization made me fret some more, because geez, shouldn’t knit night itself be a reason to come in and have a good time?

Yeah, fun times in my head right now, right? Le sigh. But it’s Thanksgiving this weekend, which is as good a time as any to re-sort out my brain and prioritize. And lest I start taking this blog on a permanent ticket to Cynical Town (stops in Apathy Junction and Mopesville), I can promise there will be at least 1 if not 2 FO posts soon, and that will be soothing to my tattered psyche if nothing else will. It’s not the same as a finished thesis, but hey, FOs are a boost and I’ll take it.

Also, I haven’t forgotten about comfort food, thank goodness. I got a head start last night:

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Parsnip soup and chevre biscuits from a past issue of the LCBO Food & Drink, and then an extra-fun treat which I have more plans for…

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Because sometimes you just want to dip some pretzels in chocolate and then eat them, yanno?
Best weekend wishes to all, and Happy Thanksgiving to fellow Canucks.

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Filed under cooking, real life miscellaney

Wednesday random

This sock pattern is making me look at the striping yarn in my stash with interest and relief.

Kitty cat now helps me check email in the morning.

Beatrice2

There is a cupcake roundup challenge afoot, and I have plans.

And I now have accumulated an eggplant, 2 red peppers, 2 3 watermelons, a bunch of radishes, and a bunch of parsnips. Help?

Oh, and did I mention that my thesis is sucking the life out of me and I have decided it is not at all a good plan to have 4 big WIPs on the go at once and my confidence level is at an all time low and I don’t know what I want to do with my life? Oh, my willpower and work ethic, please come back for I miss you so…

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Filed under cats, cooking, real life miscellaney