Monthly Archives: July 2008

12 of 12 – July

Back in the fall I started doing the 12 of 12, but have forgotten about it the last few times. Not this month! Ha ha! I remembered this time!

In case you’re just tuning in, the 12 of 12 is a blog project where you take 12 pictures during your day on the 12th of the month, then post them on your blog with times and captions. This time the 12th was on Saturday, the day when I went off with my famiy for our annual trip to Stratford, Ontario, for the theatre festival. Here’s how the day went. (Um, better 3 days late than never, right?)

7:30am – Mmm, I love a basket of sock yarn in the morning. I’m gradually knitting through this stuff, I promise. It’s been fun to collect.

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8:15am – Off for a run before things get going. New podcast to listen to, thank goodness! Some days a new podcast is what gets me out the door.

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10:00am – Packing for the trip – 1 overnight. I stuck ‘Cause Celeb’ in there at the last minute since I’d just finished a book and needed something quick. I borrowed CC about 2 years ago and still haven’t finished it. In fact, I think I need to re-read it from the beginning because I’ve forgotten what happened in the part that I read.

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11:15am – At R & P’s, with whom Martha and I will be riding on the way to Stratford. (Meanwhile mom and dad jet off separately to drop luggage at the B&B while our job upon arrival is to find a picnic spot.) Martha was playing with Ramona, one of the cats, who jumped for the toy just at the moment I clicked for the photo. She was suitably transformed into a whisp of blurry white.

Ramona the Cat - jumps for toy!

1:00pm – In Stratford now, by the river. I thought these ducks had the right idea.

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2:00pm – Just before the play started. First up was ‘The Trojan Women’, which was great in a soul-crushing, hope-killing sort of way. (It’s OK though, we finished with ‘The Music Man’, which was more with the ‘up’).

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4:30pm – Some post-play shopping, at a favourite tea place. All the different kinds of loose tea you could want. Patricia and Martha each got a selection too, and Martha even got her very own teapot with loose tea diffuser built right in. ‘Tea restores’, I said after the play. Patricia looked at me and I added, ‘Martinis can restore also,’ and that sounded like a good plan too.

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5:00pm – Checkerboard tables outside Family and Company. Martha and I played. Here, I am red and about to get ‘kinged’. I won, which is highly unusual since i have lingering memories of losing about a bazillion checkers games when i was little, and as a result I hardly ever want to play as an adult.

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5:15pm – At Watson’s bazaar, where you can get 101 interesting things for your home. I got a large cup and saucer and the coolest new wallet ever. And these cats just come with the ambiance. They are totally in their own little world and will let you pet them but mostly are happy to sleep the day away on the counter.

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6:30pm – At dinner. Yum, pizza. Mine had sausage, goat’s cheese, peppers, and arugula on top.

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7:50pm – Entering the Festival theatre for the evening show. It’s been a long hard day of being Stratford tourists!

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Next post: a return to regularly scheduled knitting content.

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Why, exactly?

I am designing again. I’ve had no shortage of ideas accumulating in corners of my brain and in various notebooks, but since the last year of the PhD pretty much sucked out most of the creative energy, time, and confidence that I had lying around, I haven’t been acting on many of them.

This past weekend I decided I had had enough of that, and started swatching up a bunch of things and trying some of the ideas on for size. I then spent the next few days after that carrying around my swatches and petting them and showing them to all my knitting friends and thinking ‘gee, this is is cool, why have I neglected this for so many months, creating things from scratch is so damn awesome.’

And then, of course, I get about 4 inches into one project and immediately my self-conscious starts with the questions.

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Why did I choose this yarn? Did I buy enough? What if I didn’t get enough? What if I can never find any more of Araucania Ranco PT496 ever again? (Subquestion: why is it called PT496? Surely there must be a real name? Why does said real name fail to appear on the label?) Why the hell did I have to start these as knee socks anyway? Regular short socks would never be causing me these problems, right? And for that matter why can I no longer do math? Why have I mis-counted the # of calf stitches approximately five times already? Will I be able to read my pencil scribblings at the end of all of this?

At the moment I am calling on all reserves of stubbornness and choosing to ignore all of these questions until such time as it becomes necessary to face them. Lalalallalaaa. Swatch pretty. Sock good. Unfortunately there is another question flitting around amongst all of the others…

Why didn’t I start in with the sweater idea instead?

I think I’ll start a countdown to weekend happy hour.

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Rolling along

This FO has been lingering for a week now, and in fact still needs 2 ends woven in, but I’m pleased with it and it’s done-ski. My Colinette Jitterbug Clapotis:

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I did it according to pattern with slight modification, on 3.5 mm needles to accommodate the Jitterbug. I did omit the final increase repeat, and added a little bit of length, and could have probably omitted another one to give it yet more length. This will be a nice accessory scarf come fall and winter, and I’m looking forward to being able to wear it. The colour is ‘gaugin’, and I used almost exactly all of 2 skeins.

Yesterday a few of us Hamiltonians had a Toronto day for Steph‘s birthday, and sadly this photo from lunch in Kensington Market is all I managed to snap:

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We did a good yarn crawl – Lettuce Knit, Romni, and the Purple Purl. I was fairly modest in my purchases, and it was a good time. We were sad to discover when arriving at the Purple Purl that they were closed to recover from a bit of flood damange from Tuesday night. Thankfully they lost very little inventory but there will still be cleanup to be done and I know they will be grateful for all good vibes and support. I hear they are not the only Toronto yarn shop to have been damaged by the sudden deluge of rain on Tuesday night (bizarrely, we in Hamilton were 100% dry, only 60km away). Our little group definitely had the sympathy and I am sending them more good vibes from afar. I will definitely be bringing treats with me (baked or drinkable…or maybe both…) for the next visit or two. I wish I could do more than that.

We’re planning another day like this all over again for the end of the month when our birthday comes up, and that makes it all the better to have a sunny summer yarn day coming up again.

I hope your summer knitting is going well, and if not knitting then hopefully some relaxation of some kind!

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Where to now, Phil?

PhillipSocks1c

(That subject line is a bit funnier if you’ve seen Eddie Izzard joking about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, but I digress).

So far it’s kicking off to be a pretty good weekend. It’s a sunny day and I’m finished my grading for the moment. I got to do some quality hangout time with lots of knitters at the Purple Purl last night for Jacquie who is sadly leaving Toronto, but San Francisco gets her so that’s good for SF. Today brings the definite prospect of knitting time and potential more hangout with local knitting friends, and I find myself grateful for knitting on so many levels – it’s brought me lots of awesome playing-with-yarn time, but it’s also brought me friends, and I’ll take that any day of the week.

The socks above are my current new project for travelling, socks for family friend Philip who just recently celebrated his ordination as a minister, and which will hopefully be knitted up at least in time for his birthday coming up later this month. He does occasionally read this blog, so I figure if they are somehow the last thing he would want to put on his feet, he can drop a note and say something along the lines of “step AWAY from the rusty burgundy. And that single cable. Ditch that too”, and I can go in a different direction.

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They are the Masonic Socks from Quelle Erqsome knits, a pattern I discovered while investigating a sock pattern search through Ravelry. The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, in Gothic Rose, on 2.5mm needles. (Did I mention that I am going to need more of this yarn? Preferably soon? Oh help). After about 2-3 repeats I think I’ve got it committed to my brain, and it’s keeping me more interested than stockinette or rib socks would, yet not in a tedious way, which is a hard combination to nail down.

The recipient has nothing to do with the Masons (nor do I, for that matter), but I’m hoping he will appreciate the pattern simplicity and that single cable tucked at the edge of the foot and leg. And it’s a bit hard to tell here, but in between the wide ribs are little beaded purl stitches, which add simple hidden texture. Secret stitches for secret deeds, I expect. Heck, I might just do a modified version for myself sometime later.

I hope your weekend is lovely and your knitting and friends are close by.

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I’d like to meet knitters in all of these places

…or really, I’d just plain like to meet people in these places. Knitting optional.

Neato.

I think there’s a bit of a Coke-commercial-vibe going on here, and a few questions are popping up in my head (like, would this video have the same effect if it was somebody besides a white guy?) but I still think this is darned cool. That’s a lot of the world in a short little video.

I hope your Friday is a good one!

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On a Summer’s Day

It’s Canada Day today, and fellow Canadians across the country will be celebrating in all manner of summer frivoloty, red-and-white, fireworks, etc. So far I have celebrated by sleeping in until 10, and working up the nerve to go for a run while writing a blog entry instead. It’s actually a gorgeous day outside, highs of 25 C are predicted and the humidity is down to nearly nothing, which in southern Ontario in the summer is just about cause enough for a holiday on its own. I’m looking forward to a day of leisure, and am regretting not going out for more margarita mix yesterday…

Time sure does fly when you’re doing as little as possible. Monday was a holiday for my university and many others so I pretty much took that as an excuse to have a 4-day weekend and have been enjoying a lot of cooking, baking, and socializing. Knitting has been there on the side but it’s a slow haul at the moment. I’m on a deadline and have to concentrate on this pair of gift socks before the recipient leaves the country.

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It’s a basic 64-stitch, 3×1 rib on the leg and top of the foot, which is fast becoming my go-to approach to Socks That Rock in the absence of any other ideas. They’re a gift for my academic supervisor, who quite frankly deserves many many more knitted socks than these, and I plan to not make this the last pair. She picked the colour from 3 offerings and I hope she likes them (this colourway is Jail House Rock). A year and a half ago I gifted her with a knitted sweater, though, so I think I’m doing pretty well in the knitted karma area. She’s leaving the country to take a new position for at least a year, which means I won’t get to go sit quivering in her office clinging for advice any more (unless via email, which although often effective lacks the sofa and sunny window), and yes it’s all well and good that I’ve got the PhD now and am supposed to be a grown up and she’s getting all the awesome opportunities an awesome academic should get, but WAH WAH NO FAIR.

Ahem. So I gotta finish these socks today, or at least come darned close. Then summer of shawls can resume. What is in your summer knitting queue, my friends, gift or otherwise?

Whether you have a holiday or no, I hope your knitting is close by and that you have a summer beverage to go with it.

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