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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It’s contagious – Knit In Public Day Toronto 2007

This is a big (BIG) ol’ photograph post from my experience yesterday with the TTC Knitalong, with (perhaps somewhat cheezy) lyrical accompaniment by Regina Spektor, whose song ‘Us’ I heard right aroun the time the Yarn Harlot launced her ‘Represent’ book tour, and now the two are completely linked in my brain.

Thank you to Village Yarns, Romni Wools, Lettuce Knit, Americo Original, the Naked Sheep, and all the other Toronto yarn shops who opened their doors to us (and the TTC Knitalong discount), in celebration of Knit in Public Day. I think the best part was just being able to spend time with so many great knitters across the city – and of course, getting the full range of expressions from onlookers, that was a plus, too. ;)

(If you are in these photos please feel free to ID yourself in the comments, OR, if you’d prefer not to be pictured, let me know here or by email and I will remove pictures that you are in.)
On with the show…

They made a statue, of us.
And put it on a mountain top…

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Now tourists come and stare at us.

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Blow bubbles with their gum, take photographs for fun.
For fun…

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They’ll name a city after us.
And later say it’s all our fault…

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Then they’ll give us a talking to,
then they’ll give us a talking to,
Because they’ve got years of experience…

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We’re living in a den of thieves…

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Rummaging for answers in the pages…
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We’re living in a den of thieves,
And it’s contagious,
And it’s contagious…

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More tomorrow about my purchases and other miscellaney. All’s I’ll say is the yarn purchasing was minimal…but there was something else… ;)
Have a great Sunday!
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Relaxation

I went with my sister M and my friend R (visiting from NYC), to Lettuce Knit last night, where the No Sheep For You launch party took place. M had never been with me to LK before but was interested in the book, and R had been to LK on past Toronto visits and was most definitely going again. (I think the most surprising thing I heard all evening was when she said that, despite all the NYC yarn shops, there isn’t this same kind of knitting community in NYC as you find at Lettuce Knit in Toronto. Dude, colour me proud of Toronto knitters.)

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M and R are not weighed down by the stupid almost interminable shyness that I have had at going to Lettuce Knit knit nights. They just smile, chat happily with people, and buy stuff. I do not know why I couldn’t have just gotten up to that speed on my first go. I do not know why it took me about 8 visits to finally realize that, oh wait, none of these people will eat me alive and there is no hidden social hierarchy and there are no real rules other than “thou shalt knit” and it’s all fine. Really, it’s fine. I wonder why I couldn’t have realized all this before. (I dearly hope people don’t mistake my quiet restraint for disinterest. ::fidgets::)

Anyhoo, it was quite a fun night. We knitted, Amy gave away freebies like No Sheep buttons, and then drew tickets for door prizes. Hoo boy, that was some carefully orchestrated mayhem. I feel the need to point out that my sister, attending LK for the first time ever, scored an early draw and walked off (unknowingly) with a wound skein of Handmaiden Seasilk. (I got a book and it was great too, but still. MAN. Handmaiden. She is so damn lucky.) There were also chocolate cupcakes. And some beverages. And then when I came home I put my feet up and watched my videotaped crap television (still ‘Bones’) before bed, so all in all a good evening. I managed to restrain myself and not buy any yarn – they had a new supply of Euroflax Linen and I could have easily snatched some up, but I will try to finish the things on my needles right now and hopefully by that time there will still be some linen left. Hopefully!

Also, hooray for a Toronto Yarn Harlot event! Yay! I have friends in cities all over who have gotten to go to one of these, so i’m so excited I get to go to one too, now, May 25th at Bay&Bloor Indigo. There has been speculation of the Brennan Cardigan making an appearance, so maybe M can wear it and I can get off my bum and get the pattern written up and posted by then, too. (Now, if only I can remember what all of my design instructions were…) Maybe the weather will cooperate and cool down enough for me to wear an actual knitted sweater, too…my warm-weather handknits are sadly very few.

Happy Thursday! I am sending good thoughts to my hometown where a friend is having surgery today. Hopefully recovery will go well.

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Nothing is more important to you right now…

…than looking at these photos of adorable chidren:

(Laura with Aven‘s wee guy)
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He gets very excited about all the yarn, and expresses his appreciation for knitters through happy wailing.

 

(Elizabeth with Emily’s wee gal)

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She expresses her love of yarn by cutely sticking her fingers in her mouth and watching your every move with a hint of a smile on her face.

I took these pics last week but needed to make sure I had permission from both the mamas to post. And look at me, I went to knit night last night too – a whole two weeks in a row, someone stop the presses! I am going to try to keep going because I like seeing everyone’s knitting and all the yarn and needles (for some reason I never buy on a Wednesday, though – i talk myself out of it and then go back on Friday, heh). But I always feel like I don’t know what to contribute to the conversation. I don’t have kids or a spouse, and talking about my dissertation makes me want to twitch and break out into hives. So mostly I sit and try not to say anything very stupid. Baby steps.

(Poppy progress – 2/3 of a front and the beginning of a sleeve)
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And it would just go figure that when I finally do finish the springtime-y perfect-for-April-in-Project-Spectrum socks, we get snow overnight. Ah well, I will prefer to think of it as, “more time in which I can wear the handknitted socks and sweaters I finally finished.” Yes.

(Basic socks in Austermann Step, colour #10 melba, 2.75mm DPNs – please pay no attention to the unwoven ends and ungrafted toes)
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This weekend, I predict lots of chocolate-eating, knitting on Poppy, and possibly casting on for something new depending on how the arms and wrists hold up. Happy knitting!

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Filed under finished object: socks, lettuce knit, poppy, project spectrum