Category Archives: meme

More knitting minutiae that you may need to know

Today I met a knitter on a city bus, who turned out to be Michelle. I recognized her as a knitter right away since she was wearing a beautifully executed Kauni cardigan, and we chatted a bit but of course as the fates would have it I did not have my camera and alas, the encounter goes undocumented. But still! We knitters, we live in a wonderful and bizarre world that contains such encounters.

I’ve been having one of those weeks where all of a sudden a week has gone by and I do not quite understand how it could have gone by, because I’m not entirely sure what I have to show for it. Also, my camera and I are in a bit of a disagreement right now (it says it has no memory, I say YES YOU DO, but alas the disagreement continues), so I am unable to give you any photo-documentation in this upcoming list of Seven Things About Me (Steph did hers with photos because she is cool). But I did think it would be fun to make a Seven Knitting Things About Me list to make it a bit topical for the blog, so here we go:

Seven Knitting Things About Me

1. I keep all bits of yarn, even the tiny little ends I snip off from sewing in after finishing. I save them up in a little box because I learned, while sharing a house with Miss Beatrice the Cat, that little bits of yarn make excellent squishy wooly stuffing for cat toys.

2. I avoid kitchener stitch like the plague. Every single pair of socks I have ever knitted top-down (except for the very first pair), I have finished by fully binding off the last sts on the toe, then grafting the bound-off stitches closed with the end of yarn. it does add a bit more agonizing time to finishing, but hey, it gives me a bit sturdier toe to work with, it looks exactly the same, and I get to continue avoiding kitchener stitch, lalalalalala….

3. In my knitting kit (a zippered, sturdy, rectangular pencil case purchased at IKEA), you will find:
– a tape measure
– ends of yarn
– endless stitch markers
– scissors
– DPNs in 4 sizes from 2.25mm to 3.0mm
– a crumpled up Hershey’s kiss wrapper from that time I tried to throw it to the garbage and it bounced and missed

4. My favourite things to knit are sweaters and socks. I have started to occasionally branch out into shawls, but generally I need to be practically smacked upside the head to remember that there are in fact other useful (and generally quicker) things to knit, like oh, say, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and wristwarmers. I’m going to try to spend November finishing the current sweater and then devoting some knitting time to accessories before instantly starting The Next Sweater.

5. The first thing I ever knitted (about 4 years ago now) was a baby blanket as a gift for a friend. So far, this is the only baby blanket I have ever knitted.

6. Sheepy wool is my yarn kryptonite. Doesn’t matter at all that I have several sweaters’ worth of sheepswool at home. Gimme.

7. I have a basket full of sock yarn that fills me with such hopeful glee with all its colours and promise of Wonderful Sock Knitting Ahead that I can’t possibly feel stash guilt over it. It’s my basket of happy colour and I don’t care how long it takes me to knit my way through it. In fact, if I did start to knit my way through it, I’d probably have to start buying more sock yarn again so that the stuff left behind would have company.

Tag! You’re it! Go ahead and post Seven Things About YOU.

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Memememe

Lisa was ever so kind to tag me on a ‘Seven Things About You’ Meme, and by the laws of the internet, I must obey!

However, I am breaking the rule about tagging specific people. Consider yourself tagged! Hah! Yes, you over there in the corner, that includes you. Your Seven Random Things, I must read them. Here are mine for today:

1. Even though I’ve tried all sorts of different cupcake recipes, my favourite is still chocolate cake with vanilla icing.

2. Before I was a totally obsessed knitter, I was a beader. I don’t think my technique was anything spectacular, and I think ultimately I am happier with knitting, but I took to beading with the same project-oriented-ness that I now take to knitting. I amassed a decent-sized bead stash, thanks in large part to the Queen St. wholesalers in Toronto (Hi, Arton Beads! I still love you even though I visit Romni Wools down the street more often.)

The advantage with beads, though, is you can have thousands of them and they’ll still all fit in a Rubbermaid Bin with room to spare. The other week my brain just snapped with the February-ness of it all (You know, when you sort of forget that there was a time when you wore something besides your winter coat and every single knitted thing you own, before going outside), and I went back to the beads for a spell. Came out with a few necklaces and then went on this past weekend to make a few sets of stitch markers. It’s super useful to be able to do that. Stitch markers really are like knitting jewelry.

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3. After coming to it late on DVD, I am a huge fan of the cancelled-too-early-thanks-to-stupid-FOX-network show ‘Firefly’. I occasionally contemplate taking up sewing just so I can make a Firefly costume. (I’ll let you guess which character. Hey man, a show with 4 whole female characters to choose from! Awesome!).

4. I’ve been in a real reading rut lately. I love novels but haven’t been able to snap back into reading one at bed for a few months. Instead I’ve been reading knitting books.

5. Beatrice the Cat is only mine temporarily. I’m just minding her house while her regular humans are away. Unfortunately my time with her comes to an end in March, though, so she’ll have to find someone else’s knitted goods to claim as her own.

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(She really is a sweetie-poo. That’s good sock flattery right there.)

6. Like possibly most of Canada, I am really hoping Ellen Page wins the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday. Unfortunately, I’ve become so tired of the Hollywood film industry in general that I probably won’t watch the ceremony. (Just count how often the Best Actress nominees reflect Best Picture nominations. Then do the same for the Best Actor nominees. I’ll wait. Then judge for yourself just how feminist the film industry is.)

7. My favourite snack or light meal for any time of day is whole wheat toast with melted white cheddar cheese. And tea.

Tag! You’re it!

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8 Steps of Random

Julie tagged me on a meme last week, and the rules are these: Give 8 random facts about yourself, then tag 8 more people to do the same thing. Here we go!

1. A while back I cleaned out an aged Altoids tin and started carrying it around in my purse as a knitting notions kit – it holds tapestry needles, stitch holders, cable needles, even a tape measure. But now that I do more bussing and cycling, I divide my travel knitting between a couple of different bags/backpacks, so I am on the hunt for more such things. For some reason Altoids and their ilk are more readily available in the U.S., so I went on the hunt for similar items while in New York last week. (Below: Hershey mini “truffle” chocolates; and Altoids gum)

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2. I have an inexplicable fascination and fondness for the W newtork show Rescue Mediums, and was totally miffed when they moved it to Fridays at 11pm instead of Fridays at 8pm or whenever it was. I have absolutely no desire to debate over whether the show is real or not, I just think it’s fun and I like the happy endings with the homeowners. Also, they film in Ontario and often hit small towns that I’m familiar with.

3. Even though I like clothes and like looking slightly dressed up, I am not a very good shopper and have gotten into a possibly-too-comfortable graduate student routine of wearing jeans and sweaters most days. Also, I have size 11 feet and shoe shopping is never, ever, EVER a fun experience. Most of the time size 11 doesn’t even exist in the styles that I want and I get exhausted and frustrated just thinking about it.

4. In my fantasy life in my head, I write mystery novels and knit and own a yarn shop.

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(This is the current progress on my Log Cabin blanket. I’m finally on to the 8th panel and then will begin the loooooonnnnnnggg 2-colour 9th panel that turns the whole thing into a rectangle.)

5. I can speak German fluently, or at least I could – 10 years ago I lived in Freiburg, Germany, on a study abroad year and could speak well enough that no one assumed I was Canadian. I’d like to go back some time.

6. I am chronically single.

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(I know the truth. Beatrice just wants me for my warm spot.)

7. If it wasn’t for knitting podcasts, I probably wouldn’t get out for jogging/exercising. In fact, I got behind on Stash and Burn episodes earlier this month because I was a lazy slacker and didn’t go running for 2 weeks. I need more podcasts.

8. I stash chocolate. This is nowhere near a rival for my yarn stash, of course, but I always like to have some around, preferably something dark. If there is a room that I spend time in on a daily basis, there is probably some chocolate in it. In fact, there is some in my purse right now. Whenever I’m in the U.S. I look for things like Special Dark Hershey’s Kisses, or dark chocolate M&Ms, or Trader Joe’s chocolate, that we can’t get up here. I particularly like the Hershey’s Kisses because you can just have two or three. I don’t need a whole chocolate bar every day, just a wee bit of chocolatey goodness with my tea :)

Ta-da! I hope that was suitably random and interesting at the same time.

To pay this forward as I am meant to do, I tag Elinor, Susan, Risa, Em, Martha, Pam, Petra, and Liz.

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Me in 5 questions

Heather asked for pictures of the kilt hose, and I shall obey:

May30 004b

I am in the process of turning the heel on stocking #2. I would be past the heel turn if I hadn’t done that thing I sometimes do which is to get to the end of the heel flap, completely forget the heel-turning part, and then carry on right to picking up the gusset stitches. Then I realize I have too many stitches, smack my forehead, and rip it out back ot the edge of the heel flap to actually do the heel turn. I should know better than to try any of this at 11pm. In any case, these look good to be finished by the weekend. Hurray!

Clarabelle asked me 5 questions, and by the laws of blogosphere and memes, I must comply. And they are challenging questions, too!

1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

I’m not sure if I have one specific goal in mind – I think it is a pretty open-ended pursuit and is always shifting a little bit. I started the blog to be able to track my knitting progress, and also to be able to write about things I enjoy. (In the psychological wringer of writing the PhD dissertation, it helps to remind myself that writing words and sentences does not, in fact, have to be an agonizing experience.) Since then I’ve also really come to enjoy exploring the blogosphere and “meeting” other knit-bloggers online. I like seeing pictures on other people’s blogs, so I try to include photos in mine as often as possible.

2. Are you a spiritual person?

This is a tough question! My short answer would be, yes, in the sense that I would say I believe in God as a spiritual presence that works and exists in ways that I will never fully understand. My longer answer involves a bit of personal history, and the recognition that over the course of my lifestyle as a graduate student, my regular spiritual practice has lapsed partly by design and partly by circumstance. I think spirituality and religion are very personal things.

My family belongs to the United Church of Canada, which I believe translates to United Methodist in the United States, elsewhere I’m not sure. I still attend services occasionally when I visit home – not as often as I would like, but I generally enjoy it when I go. (Also, I sit near the back and knit during the sermons. Shhh. God must also be a knitter, right?) I’ve been to different UC communities and I like the UC because I think there tends to be a minimum of ceremony and pomp and circumstance, and there is an interest on focusing simply on word, music, and sacrament, and congregational life. Also, they welcome people of all genders and sexualities into their congregation and ministry, which I think is important.

I have sung in church choirs in the past (as an alto – represent, altos!), and I would like to do this again eventually. I have not read the Bible cover to cover, but I would like to. According to the Belief-o-Matic (my Aunt showed this to us a few Christmas holidays ago), I test as equal parts Neo-Pagan and Liberal Presbyterian. I’m not entirely sure what this means, but I think I’m okay with that assessment. I would also like to know more about other religions and forms of spritual practice – Bhuddism, for example.

And as a brief aside, I have to say I get a little weary in film and television when the default “religious” representation is always Catholicism. (By this I mean no disrespect to Catholics – it’s just that there are other religious denominations out there, yanno?)

May30-003b

(A swatch for the ‘Brennan Cardigan’ that I did yesterday while working on the pattern – it’s some variegated Patons Merino that won’t ever become an actual sweater, it was just the first worsted weight stuff I found when I realized I needed to swatch and went looking for anything that would work.)

3. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you?

Oh, my. I suck at desert island questions. Uhhhh… I will say that I would like to have my stash (that totally counts as one thing, right?), a good knife (for practicality’s sake), and a huge bottle of conditioner to keep my hair untangled (for vanity’s sake. Gotta look good for the sea turtles).

4. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

I have a lot of fleeting memories, I’m not sure if I have a favourite one, though. I remember birthday parties, and enjoying them. I remember getting ice cream in Scotland when M and I must have been about 5 and having a Cadbury Flake piece on top, and that was the best. ice cream. ever. I remember falling into the sunken fountain at the mall and being so distressed because my Smarties had fallen in with me (also I was sopping wet and crying), and my sister ran right over to the nearest newsagent and picked up a new box and ran right back and brought it over because new Smarties would make everything better (even if they were stolen). Good times. ;)

5. Is this your first meme?

Nope!
In the spirit of keeping the meme going, if anyone else (up to 5 people) would like 5 questions, let me know and I’ll ask you some for your blog.

[EDIT]: I just realized that the photos in this post are in purple and bright orange, and now I have the scene from ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ in my head when Gareth compliments Scarlett on her orange and purple dress that combines the ‘ecclesiastical purple’ and ‘pagan orange’. Maybe the photos weren’t so random after all? ;)

And now to face the day…

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Me in 8 Random Facts

Fiona tagged me on that “Random Facts” meme that’s been going around – and I was mildly gleeful, I admit, because I don’t think I’ve ever been tagged on a meme before. Lucky me! And lucky you, now you get to read some random trivia about me, me me!

1. I’m a very fannish person – as in, TV fan. While I don’t watch an incredible # of television shows, I love talking about the ones I do watch. Same with movies. I don’t understand when people watch a show or a film and come out saying simply, “I liked it.” or “I didn’t like it,” and that’s it. I could go for ages about characters and stories and blocking and lighting and musical score.

2. I run for exercise and usually listen to a knitting podcast while I do.

3. I currently share an apartment with my twin sister, and this has worked out pretty well for nearly 4 years now. However, we’ll both be moving in the fall and it’s sort of like the end of an era.

(M and me atop Signal Hill in Newfoundland a couple of summers ago – check that wind, baby!)

SignalHill

4. I’ve never seen a full episode of the show “Smallville”, but I think the theme song/credits are awesome.

5. I hate the fact that the movie box office is biased against female actors. A crappily written movie wtih a lot of pretty boys in it and a lot of action will always make more money than a crappily written movie with pretty girls in it. And chances are, the movies with leading actresses headlining the film that do make money are the typical “girl finds self/life dream and gets guy at end.” Why can’t a woman ever save the world in a movie and have it be a normal thing like when a guy saves the world in a movie?

6. I’ve travelled in 3 continents and Chicago O’Hare airport is the only one that’s ever made me cry.

7. I drink tea, and if someone serves me tea in a restaurant composed of a single (unused) teabag and a cup of hot water, I will ask them to go back and put the teabag in the pot/mug first, then pour the steaming water over the teabag. I only recently started doing this, but I’m stubborn enough that when I’m paying $2.50 for a cup of tea, I want it to taste like tea.

8. I’m not on Facebook. Yet. But so many of my friends are on it that I feel like my resistance will only wear down after a matter of time.

I guess now the rules say I tag more people, right? So…I will go ahead and tag Kelly (Hedgehog knits), Sarah (All Fingers and Thumbs), Marianne, and my see-stor M to post 5+ random facts about themselves, if they haven’t already. In fact, if you haven’t been tagged and would like to be, consider yourself tagged, too. :)

I received 2 more books to review last week, so hopefully I will have one of those up by the end of the week! Runway Knits and Knits Three Ways.

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