Category Archives: lettuce knit

Reporting from KIP

Knit-in-Public Day dawned with lingering clouds and rain, but as the day grew so did the sunshine and the size of the knitting crowds. I hopped a bus (with knitting and trusty cupcake carrier in tow) to Toronto and arrived at Lettuce Knit a little after 10 when the activities were just getting going.

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Franklin was there for the ‘1000 Knitters’ photoshoot, and I had a place in the morning shift. (There on the right looking like a regular everyday knitter is Debbie New.) The esteemed Rachel H was doing a great job directing traffic and would pull a few people at a time to go wait for their turn in the photography session, and in the mean time everyone just sat and knitted, chatted, shopped a little, and generally enjoyed the lovely day. For my photo I brought Venezia with me since it’s the piece of knitwear I’m most proud of at the moment. I’m glad I did.

I was a bit nervous when it was my turn but I sat and knitted a couple rows on the scarf, tried to remember to actually look at the camera and not just the knitting, and hoped generally not to come off like a dork. I mentioned my knitterly twin sister who couldn’t come (she had a good excuse though, what with prepping her post-convocation party), and he agreed twin participants would have been darned cool.

I never did double-check to make sure Franklin got a cupcake, though. They went pretty fast.

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There was more intrigue when friends of Stephanie‘s brought her a veritable cooler full of dry ice. (well possibly not the whole cooler, but a large quantity all the same). It provided delight and fascination to adults and children alike.

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I met a few new friends and chatted with ‘old’ ones, swapped yarn colour decision-making suggestions with Kim and Emily, got career encouragment from Dr. Steph, talked steeks and showed off Venezia’s insides, scored some free Soak samples (though sadly no actual door prizes for me), and had a pretty good time overall.

After lunchtime became too great to ignore, and my return to Hamilton called to me, I went for a quick burrito with Em, and then carried on walking back to Union Station. It was a great day. I can still feel the sun I got on my cheeks. And then I got to come home and party with Martha and friends (note to self: attend more parties featuring sangria) and then fall nicely exhausted into bed.

I think I’ll do it all again next year.

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Still Life with Boxes

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Well, my life isn’t incredibly ‘still’ right now, but let’s pretend it is. We’ll pretend I don’t still have craploads of writing to do (i’ve been writing during the day, I swear! agh… and am taking the evening/weekend times to pack/recharge my sanity/stare at the rubble). We’ll just pretend all these boxes are “decor”.

Tonight’s my last chance to get out to Lettuce Knit as a resident Toronto citizen. I don’t know when my next LK night will be! I’ll look forward to seeing a few of you there, I hope it doesn’t rain on us. I have needles for Em (possibly for other people, too, if she doesn’t want all of ‘em, heh) and a bag for Maryann, and a great need to be soothed by yarn.

That’s the 2nd Monkey sock up there on the boxes, waiting to be my second full pair of socks that I reel in this week – I finished the basic socks with that happy colourful Online Linie…and then stuffed ‘em in a box. ;)

Off I go to pull myself together for today and then hide in the air-conditioned refuge of the campus library. Damned thesis ain’t gonna write itself. (But oh how I wish it would.)

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Muddling through

This is my brain:

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Well, actually, it’s a chalked/painted maze that I saw on the street the other day outside Honest Ed’s just off of Bloor St. I sympathized. And also – isn’t that cool? Yeah anyway, the urge to procrastinate is strong, but I am doing my best to fight it and Apply Myself. Stupid thesis that won’t stupid write itself.

This is the carrot I’m trying to dangle in front of me so that I will somehow manage to get a flaming first draft of my dissertation done (the plan was to have that done by the end of July. Erk. Might be tight… ::whistles::)

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This is a future Venezia Pullover (from Interweave Knits Fall 2006). When KnitPicks released a whole whack of new heathery non-Crayola shades of their Palette fingering-weight, something snapped in my brain. I ordered a bunch. It arrived this week. I want to knit it SO MUCH, but I am trying to use it as bait instead.

Oh yeah, and here are some Pictures of Cute from Lettuce Knit last night, and Aven‘s young man, who is quite pleased to (alternately) grab for yarn, grab for anything shiny, chew yarn labels (from already-wound skeins) and explore from the perspective of the floor. He’s a crowd-pleaser.

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The cupcakes were yummy. I’m already thinking about what to bake next week. Chocolate-Espresso…Amaretto Cream…Chocolate with Coconut Frosting… ::drool::

And oh look! It’s dinner time. ;)

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But does your knit night have troubadours?

Lettuce Knit’s does. (Now.)

Round about 9 o’clock last night these two guys walked down the street singing, each strumming a guitar – the song was “Take On Me” by A-Ha! Everyone cheered and they came back. They played a rendition of “Faith” by George Michael before they departed us. I think they were as pleasantly bemused at a group of knitters cheering them on as we were to have been spontaneously serenaded. They are playing on Sunday at the Free Times Cafe and i wish I’d remembered the name of their group because they quite frankly deserve all the free press in the world. It was such a happy highlight of the evening and made me more gleeful than possibly anything else has in the last few weeks. (Even better than Ravelry). We told them they should come back next week. Maybe I’ll make cupcakes.

But wait. There might not be enough cuteness in your life today. Here, have some pictures of wee Clara. (I am sure mum Emily won’t mind?) Elizabeth is pictured there with her – if you want to hang with Clara at knit night you’ve got to work that out with Elizabeth first. ;)

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And as promised, here are progress pics. Jaywalkers:

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I am not loving them right now. But they are 3/4 done and I must finish them or ELSE. I have more fish to fry. Like this After Dark Nightie which allowed me to get through the lace panels, and which I am now working in the round:

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I love Stockinette country. It’s my favourite country to be in.

OOh look, something shiny!
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Heather very kindly awarded me a ‘Rockin’ Girl Blogger’ award! So now I have to pick 5 more and pass the love. I will get on that asap. At the moment my brain (and eyes) are still blurry from the eye doctor visit this morning and I have to reorient myself. After 2 nights of insomnia I slept like a log last night and am now finding some focus again. Still got that danged dissertation to write. Off I go…

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Getting There

I did get out to knit night last night at LK, and it was good to do so, to spend an hour or two applying my thoughts to something besides Thesis stress or whining about my absentee computer. I sat next to a nice woman named Robin, visiting from Nashville (who as it turns out is pals with another lady from Nashville), and when I related to her my tribulation of starting the MDK After Dark nightie and having to rip out the lace, she sagely suggested that I check the errata page in case there were pattern errors.

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Buoyed by the hope that my problem might not be My Own Frazzled Brain Which Is Oozing Out My Ears As We Speak, but an Actual Pattern Error, I checked the errata as soon as I got home only to come up empty-handed for the nightie. It appears my brain is not in a state of lace-knitting at the moment. But I cast on again and did the garter edge and a single repeat of the lace without coming up short of stitches or with extra stitches so I will live in hope of completing all 5 inches’ worth before moving on to the safe haven of Stockinette Land.

But I tells ya, the knitting force is not with me this week – I’m on my second Jaywalker and I think there is a mistake in pretty much every round of the last 3 inches I’ve knitted. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, my peeps. I am wondering if someone X-rayed my head if they would see a picture with lots of crumbled shards where my brain ought to be. I also live in mild concern over encountering the same problem as Michelle when I get to the end of my 2nd sock. What if 420 yds isn’t enough for the larger size on 2.25mm needles and 84 stitches? What if, what if, what if…

Last night I was also pleased to deal some DVD crack and lent Natalie Seasons 1-2 of Alias, and happily passed on some Patons Canadiana from my stash to Elizabeth’s collection for summer camp supplies. Elizabeth is wise. She saw me fondling the Lorna’s Laces and said, ‘oh, don’t buy more Lorna’s Laces, get more Sea Wool instead.’ Right she was. I held off, but next week I might not be able to. Next week maybe…

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Filed under lettuce knit, mason-dixon, socks

Discovery

First, I must make a fannish PSA and relay some information I was mentioning to a couple of the gals at knit night last night (and for anyone else reading this who is a fan of Firefly/Serenity, or Joss Whedon productions in general). Tonight through Sunday, internationally (largely US and Canada cities, but some prime UK and Aussie sites are there too, also Paris and others), there will be charity screenings of the film Serenity. Check here for full details and to see if your city is on the list. Information for Saturday’s Toronto screening (and Ottawa and Edmonton) is on this page. This is the second year in a row Joss Whedon fans have staged this fundraiser for Equality Now (which works for gender equality rights), and the goal is to raise $100,000 this time around. (In my head I am thinking, dude, if knitters were involved surely we could make that without breaking a sweat.)

And really, even if you haven’t seen Firefly (the series upon which the film Serenity is based), if your city is on that list then I’d say that ticket would be $12 well spent. Should be a heckuva fun time with all those enthusiastic fans in the audience. I’ve been a fan of Firefly since watching it on DVD about a year and a half ago, and I have to say it was knitters who helped put it on my radar in the first place. All of a sudden there came a time when you couldn’t go on the knitting interwebs without people talking about knitting Jayne hats, and using words like “gorram” and “shiny.” (Now my only question is, what knitting do I bring with me on Saturday? ;) )

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My other important discovery was at knitting night last night, too – see this picture of Em? It might look like she’s holding some regular-old Brittany birch DPNs, but no. Those are hand-made needles made from teeny-tiny dowels found at a hardware store, that she got pre-cut and then sanded down into points herself. (That is also her own handspun fingering-weight. Hand-dyed too. Mm hmm.) We got out the gauge and sized them at 2.25mm – perfect for socks! Brilliant discovery, brilliant. Actually, I kind of feel like I’m stealing her thunder a little bit by posting about this, so I’ll stop that story right there and let her fill in all the miraculous details. But still – homemade birch DPNs! Oh the possibilities.

(Oh, there is also new stock of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn at Lettuce Knit. That was another discovery. I may have tripped nearby it and my credit card may have fallen out of my wallet. It couldn’t be helped, right? Right. I thought so.)

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Yarn Porn

This whole ‘not having access to my own computer’ thing is really starting to get to me, and it’s only been 5 days! I dearly hope they fix it soon…

But in any case, I still have a bit of squealing in delight to do from Saturday’s TTC Knitalong. I don’t usually do ‘yarn porn’ (aka look what I bought!) sort of posts, but in this case I must apologize, it simply can’t be helped with this level of knitterly squee from Saturday. The yarn stores on our routes were generous enough to give us a 10% discount on yarn, so I used it with some precision and forethought. There are a whole whack of fabulous smaller yarn companies whose yarns I have been ogling for a good long while, but sadly had never used before. Well, I am now finally in possession of some Fleece Artist, Schaeffer Anne, and Handmaiden:

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From the top, that’s a Fleece Artist thrummed mitten set – pink roving to match, oh how my girly heart leapt to see it. They even had thrummed sock kits, but I decided not to go for the full treatment just yet. Given that we’re heading into summer now (oh dear goodness the Toronto heat and humidity, how I fear the heat waves that will come…) it’s hard to imagine a time when I will want thrummed mittens, but I know that time will come. And toasty hands shall be mine. The Schaeffer Anne is enough to make a heckuva pair of socks, but I am also thinking about making a fingering-weight Clapotis scarf with it (I have yet to make the ubiquitous and mystical Clapotis). And Handmaiden Sea Silk…it is finally mine, one skein to make myself a lovely drapey soft pinkish-purple scarf with. These last two both came from Lettuce Knit. On Sunday I just sort of left all this yarn on the coffee table so that I could look at it and just enjoy the sight of it.

But wait! That’s not all. That little white lunchbox-like thing in behind the yarn? Well, that was one of the lovely goodie bags handed out by Village Yarns. They knew how to greet knitters, let me tells ya – they didn’t just stop at pastries, they gave out goodie bags and door prizes! Full points for Village Yarns.

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In my kit was the purple skein of Butterfly mercerized cotton DK, and another skein of tweedy brown aran 12-ply wool, which I traded for that green skein of Australian washable merino. And see that little wisp of red? That’s a few yards of laceweight qiviuk, straight from the Arctic. One of the other ladies suggested it would be enough for a little wee bookmark or something – but still, qiviuk, the fabled yarn spun from shedded muskox hair, so precious that knitters speak its name with reverence. I think the Village Yarns people just plucked out yarns they liked, and gave us enough to try ‘em out and get a feel for them on our own – from aran wool all the way up to laceweight qiviuk. Hoo boy.

And that skein of pink? That’s a skein of Colinette Jitterbug fingering weight superwash (in a colour not of my own choosing, but seriously, I could NOT have chosen better), from The Sweet Sheep. It was a prize at the end of the day (I won a prize! Me! I never win things! Oh happy day!), for Best Finished Object (Worn) – I wore my purple kilt hose on the day ;)

I did say in my last post that although the yarn buying was minimal, there was “something else”. No, Aven, I haven’t taken up spinning (although I am sure there it is only a matter of time before I succumb). In fact, I am the proud new owner of a Namaste knitting bag:

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This is the ‘everyday’ model. At Village Yarns they carry the full selection of these bags, enough for you to touch and check out the colours and styles on your own. These bags have been on my radar for a little while thanks to the knitting interwebs, and since my current handbag is starting to show some wear and tear, I took the plunge and decided to go for it. It’s not every day that I’m standing in a store that carries them!

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There are enough pockets and compartments to make any knitter sigh with happiness. Here it is open with my yarn for scale, but I’m very happy to have one with 2 ‘halves’ – one can keep knitting things and the other half can have non-knitting things for everyday. It expands quite a bit when open. I’ll have to take some adjusting since things are in new places as compared to my old purse, but I think this bag and I will get along just fine.

Now, I am definitely going to have to get snuggly and re-acquainted with my stash, because that was definitely enough new acquisitions for last week! Happy Tuesday to all.

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Filed under knitting tourism, lettuce knit, stash, yarn stores