Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fluffy Fodder

It's reassuring to know that when I have nothing to talk about, I can always fall back on my kitty.

Behold - the Fluffy Bear Trap:

It didn't take me long to learn the hazards associated with this cat. That fluffy belly looks terribly tempting, doesn't it? But know that if you were to succumb to that temptation and sink your hand deep into that fluff, you would come away with a bloody stump, after the teeth and hind claws snap together on your wrist.

He looks so sweet when he's sleeping, though.

The photography is tolerated only so long.

Piss Off

"Piss-off, lady."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Everlasting Procrastination

Like many people, I work well under pressure. If I have a looming deadline, my decisions become faster and more decisive; my fingers fly across the keyboard; my yarn across, under, around my needles is a blur.

But I need to be right up against that deadline for that incentive-fueled speed and agility to set in. So now, when I have Christmas projects planned, and the yarn is sitting hopefully on my shelves, it becomes vital for me to knit myself a market bag.

So I cast on the Everlasting Bagstopper, from Knitty.

To be fair, it is a very quick knit, and I was done in just about two days. At first, I thought it would be a serviceable little bag - handy, but not big enough to be used for a real grocery shopping trip. Until I was actually filling it. I kept adding more and more and more, and the bag just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I had three boxes of cereal, bread, bagels, salad, cans of soup, a pork loin roast, a brick of cheese, toothpaste...

The bag said, "Bring it on."

So shown here is the amazing, magic stretchy bag, full of pretty much a couple of weeks' worth of groceries.

(Large) cat shown for scale.

Overall, a very satisfying project. The only change I really made was to knit the handles. I did this because I didn't have any non-Christmassy ribbon on hand, and didn't want the bag to sit around forever, waiting for me to remember to buy it a handle. As a result, the handles really stretched out, but they're still not so long as to make the bag unwieldy.

I would definitely make this again. With shorter handles, maybe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hatty Goodness

So, apparently, when I decided not to do NaBloPoMo this year, the blogging mechanism in my head took that as instruction to shut down entirely.

Like a lot of people, I suspect, I've been kind of in the doldrums lately. Not only about blogging, but just about life in general. It might be the shorter days, but the majority of my time has been spent slumped on my little loveseat, eyes on the tv and/or the laptop. Of course, this means lots of knitting time.

But the doldrums mean that I haven't been interested in anything fancy or complex. I've been in the mood for meaty, mindless knitting that doesn't require me to think, do math, or pay any particular attention to what I'm doing. For me, that means hats.

I grabbed some random, bulky blue acrylic/wool yarn that someone gave me a while back, and cast on. By the end of the week, I had three serviceable, warm hats.

These were super fast and easy. I got a lot done during tv shows, and a lot more done during some particularly boring conference calls. Er, boring personal conference calls. Yes.

The last one was the most fun - I just kind of randomly stuck in a crossover whenever the mood happened to strike. I have a fourth hat on the needles now, and that one will be cable-licious, as well. In a more ordered kind of way.
All these hats will be donated to the StreetKnit project, which collects donations for people in need of warm knitted goodness . They have several drop off points in Toronto, conveniently located in lovely yarny places, including Knitomatic, and the Knit Cafe. Which I will be visiting next week when my enabler - er, I mean friend Charlotte will be visiting for another little yarn crawl.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


At the last minute, a friend invited me to help give out candy at her house. So we carved a couple of pumpkins this afternoon at work, then ran to her place to roast the seeds (mmm... salty) and start dishing out candy.

I think they both turned out great. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years. It was a lot of fun, even if it did take some intense scrubbing to get all the guts off my arms.
Mine was the first - the one that (hopefully) looks like Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Most of my Hallowe'ens since I've been on my own haven't involved much festivity at all, so this was a fun break from lack-of-tradition.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Novacaine is Our Friend

I have lousy teeth.

This is something with which I have somewhat come to terms. Growing up, I cursed my brother for his whole and hardy teeth. It was (and continues to be) completely unfair that he rarely brushed, never flossed, and often indulged in sweets and yet never had a cavity. I, on the other hand, brushed frequently, often used fluoride rinses, and continuously looked for better and more effective brushes, in vain hopes of finding that the angled bristles, or the harder bristles, or the softer bristles, or the angled handle would be the magic that would make me cavity-free. All this resulted in one or more cavities found just about every year.

This has continued into my adulthood, much to my sorrow.

To add to the situation, I have somehow developed a horror of needles in my mouth. I am not bothered by needles elsewhere - even those big stinkin' horse needles they use for blood donation don't bug. But in my mouth... *shudder*.

I've had some dentists who become impatient and condescending when I ask for a moment to prepare myself - one even patted me on the forehead between drill attacks. If I hadn't been lying at an awkward angle and had several sharp implements balanced amongst my teeth, I might have brained him with an instrument tray.

I've also had dentists who are patient and understanding. Fortunately, my current dentist is one of these.

This is doubly fortunate, because in the brief time since I became her patient early this year, she's replaced two cracked fillings, filled one new cavity, and is scheduled to fill one more next week. My assessment told me that I have at least one filling in every molar. My teeth are probably close to 60% filling material.

My last visit before today was to replace a cracked filling. While she was drilling deeply into a tooth near my canine, I felt the feeling start to creep back into the tooth. She noticed my subtle lurch in the chair, and stopped immediately to give me another shot. Shortly after we began again, I started feeling again. I refused another shot, and just hoped she'd be quick. She was.

The time before that, the dentist had to give me three shots, and warned me to take some Advil well before the freezing wore off, because "there was a lot of bleeding in there", and she thought I'd likely experience some pain later that night. I took two Advil while I was still in the parking lot. I take no chances.

This time, though, was a one-shot deal. I had that shot over four hours ago. Right now, the feeling is ever-so-slowly returning to my lower right lip in little, popping bubbles of sensation.

I am comforting myself with the appropriate soft foods (macaroni with cut up hotdogs) and mindless knitting (hat in chunky yarn). Next week should be my last visit for the next several months. I may crack a wine bottle.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Coupling Accompli!

That's... kind of dirty-sounding. Anyway.

One Christmas present down, many to go. But now is the time to revel in an FO!

Here are the Coupling socks, knit for my friend Jen.

I'm really pleased with these. As usual, they had a few false starts. I initially was going to make a pair of Widdershins, but I thought they were turning out with a boxy shape that I didn't care for. However, I did love the look of the toe.

So when I chose to cast on Coupling, I used that same toe, which uses Judy's Magic Cast On. This gives a really neat, clean, well-shaped toe.

The other change I made was to knit these on dpns - the pattern gives instructions for knitting on two circulars. I do not have two circulars in the necessary size, and so it was basically laziness that caused me to go with my trusty dpns. I used a suspended bind-off on the first sock, to try something new. I wasn't happy with it; it was pretty tight, and if they were my socks, they'd be uncomfortable. Jen has a slimmer calf, so they should be just fine on her. But for the second sock, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn cast-off. I've used it in the past, and it really does give a nice, stretchy finish.

Yarn: This is superwash merino from SunnysideEllen on Etsy, colour cranberry. It's lovely, smooshy yarn, and the socks should be comfy to wear.

These socks also helped me during my last work trip. I sat in a window seat, with a rather corpulent seat mate. My own somewhat generous proportions contributed to almost uncomfortably tight quarters. I pulled out my sock, on its many needles, and got to it. The seatmate suddenly decided he'd really rather have a window seat of his own and left me plenty of elbow space.

I love knitting.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is:

A long drive home, past fields and forests in warm and blazing colours.

Too much food and gourds that seem to exist just to be interesting.
Turkey. Sorry, guys.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


It's about time for a goofy, half-done sock picture, I think.

This is my second Christmas knitting project. This is the first sock of Coupling, from Knitty. Sorry for the horrid flash-shot, but it was night time and I was lazy.

I'm knitting this in Cranberry sock yarn from Sunnyside Ellen's Etsy shop. I like the feel of this yarn - nice and soft and kind of smooshy. It's a semi-solid, and I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about the bits and wisps of white that come through here and there. I'm reserving judgement until I see the whole sock, and whether the white bits disrupt the look.

This is a toe-up pattern, written to be knitted on two circulars. I don't have the right size circs, and am too frightened of another minor spending spree to go shopping for them. So I am adapting the pattern to knit it on my trusty dpns. I've never done this kind of thing before, but all seems to be going well so far. I started out making Widdershins at first, but didn't like the chunky look of it, and so ripped back. But I did really like the toe of the Widdershins pattern, so I stuck to that when I restarted using the Coupling pattern. For me, this is wild and uncharted territory. Using different pattern pieces here and there, all willy nilly - bedlam!

My first Christmas project is one for my brother - I'm making the Dark Mark Scarf, from Storm Moon Knits. This is my first illusion knitting project. It's rather addictive - I just want to keep knitting so that I can see the Dark Mark emerge. I was a little concerned that I hadn't used a bright enough green colour, but I asked my brother what he thought (yeah, I suck at keeping some things a secret) and he liked the stealth of it.

The knitting has stalled a bit now that I'm on the middle stretch, which involves no stealth, mystery, or illusion whatsoever. Thank goodness for socks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I find it both alarming and comforting that the time has come to begin Christmas knitting. Sorry. But, yes, Christmas is in 88 days. Sorry. Yes, I hate me, too, right now.

I have started some Christmas knitting, in the form of a pair of socks and a scarf. Neither of those recipients bother with this blog, so they don't need to be stealth-knit. But first, I've been doing some knitting for me.

For a while, I've been wanting a sleeve that I can slip my laptop into, to protect it from bumps and scratches. So I flipped through the first Barbara Walker Treasury book and looked for something that would be nice and cushy. I decided on the double basketweave, and chose a yarn that was kind of the starting seed of my stash. I fell in love with the colours at the time, but didn't have enough for a big project, and too much for a single small one. It's JJ's wools, bought at Romni Wools, on Queen West.

I did three repeats of the pattern across, some ribbing at the ends, and just knit until it was deep enough when folded in half. While I was knitting, I wasn't too crazy about the stitch pattern, and was always on the verge of ripping it all out. But once it was all finished and seamed and wrapped snugly around the laptop, it turned out to be pretty cute after all. I'm happy with it, at least.

The other ME project is something I've had on my mind since last winter. Once the weather turns cold, I find that every afternoon around three o'clock, my hands start to freeze. The rest of me is fine, and everyone else in the office is fine, too. I don't know if the buliding really does drop a few degrees, or if my blood sugar is taking the mid-afternoon plummet. Either way, cranking my heater seems like overkill. So I made myself these.

These are knit in Bernat Natural Blends Alpaca, using a free downloadable pattern from They took me just a couple of days - a very satisfying little project. I almost look forward to chilly afternoons now. Almost.
Tonight it's back to the Christmas knitting. It's good to have another pair of socks going.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Things and New Socks

First off, I just wanted to point out a couple of nifty new-ish things here on the old blog. The top thing there in the sidebar on the right is my 'shared items' from Google Reader. I read quite a few blogs, including some 'making your life easier through geekery'-type things, and I mark a lot of them, meaning to go back and look at them again, and maybe put some things in place. Google Reader does something kind of fun, in that it lets you make this little gadget here, with items you've chosen to share. So these are links to tips and articles that I thought more people might like to know about. People who are unwilling to devote scads of time reading these sorts of things. This makes me feel a little more productive, anyway.

The much more exciting addition is a little farther down there. It's a gadget from Ravelry, showing the progress bars for all my WIPs. (note: if you are blocked from accessing Ravelry because of a firewall or filter, you won't be able to see anything other than the title. I did start a little bit of a ranting little entry on the injustice and lack of trust inherent in such filters, but then came to realise that that's just not such a good idea. Ahem. )

Anyway - I was lucky enough to get one of these when Casey (Ravelry's superhero code monkey) was testing them out and asked for some guinea pigs. It was a very limited offer, so you can't get them now, but I'm sure it will be an option for everyone once Ravelry's all up and running out of beta. Things are growing by leaps and bounds over there, and the little errors and inconsistencies are being thoroughly weeded out. It's great to see the community growing so quickly, and so well. I do worry about how the whole place might change when there are a few thousand more folks, but I hope that things will only get better. They are knitters (and crocheters) after all.

In non-virtual knitting news, I did indeed finish up my stripey, plain 'ol socks and sent them off to a good home. I wasn't entirely happy with them - I always get a bit frustrated when I do not master a new skill straight off. But they are foot-shaped and stripey and cheerful, so I will not worry about slightly off-kilter heels and a too-long foot. Much.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More fun with pictures

Just playing around with a little video site. Enjoy!

Edit: D'oh. Meant to tell you how this came about. This is from Animoto, a site that takes your pictures and music (or music they provide) and puts together a music video-ish movie. A 30 second video is free, and a full-length one costs $3. I learned about this through Photojojo's weekly newsletter, which also told me about a promotion. If you sign up by today, you get credit for a free full length video. You have to sign up through Photojojo's site for the free video, though, so click on through if you're interested.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Joys (and sorrows) of Giving

Tomorrow, I'm headed down to Niagara Falls, to attend the wedding of a friend. The wedding is being held in Eastdell Estates winery, in, of course, "the heart of wine country". I love any opportunity to get back to the Niagara region, and I hope to have lots of wonderful pictures to share. And wine. Which may or may not be shared.
The couple getting married are one of those hard-to-buy for couples, as they've already got an established house. So I wanted to get them something useful, but a bit different. Something unique and beautiful. I clicked my way over to Etsy, and found the perfect thing.

This is from oladesign, on Etsy. As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with it. I almost ordered two of them.

I think maybe I should have. Because it's just as beautiful in person as it was on the website.
The set was a little bit smaller than I thought it would be, but that was more my mistaken assumptions than anything. The colours are just as vivid, and the scale makes it almost cute, but definitely not 'cutesy'.

The box isn't wrapped yet. Just sayin'.

In yarny news, I've still dealing with this new sock addiction. I can't seem to function if I don't have one on the needles. I've done three pairs so far - the first was toe-up feather and fan, the second was a pair of Jaywalkers, and the third was the lace-ish monkey pattern. I decided it was about time for me to do a plain-Jane, normal sock, with no frippery. Perfect for a self-striping yarn.

I'm really enjoying knitting this. Not worrying about following a stitch pattern is giving me the opportunity to really pay attention to the architecture of the sock (sockitecture?) and understand better how all these instructions work together to make a three dimensional sock, complete with heel flap and gusset and whatnot.
And! These will be my first socks that will not be all for me. When I started them, they were going to be mine, but I've come to understand that there is someone who needs them more than me. And so I am happy to know now that these will be handed over to someone who really, really needs handknit comfort right now. You may know who you are.
Having a recipient in mind makes the knitting more joyful for me. Of course, it also makes me more critical of my small errors, but I'm hoping that blocking will help with that. (I've never blocked a sock before, though, so who knows?) The cheerful stripes are multiplying quickly, and I hope to have the first sock done, and the second well started by the end of this weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Great Time on a Great Lake

It's probably about time I finished up with my Labour Day tales.

On Sunday, aside from giving long-hidden gifts to (late!) babies, I also got the chance to go to a country fair and to go sailing for (I think) the first time in my life.

The fair was the Harrow Fair, one of the biggest agricultural fairs in the area. We got there late in the last day of the fair, so we missed out on some of the displays and exhibits, but we still got to see some interesting critters.

I had no idea feathers could be curly.

Pheasants are pretty! (and shy)

Yellow pheasant

The gaze of a chicken can be intimidating.
Cock a doodle hello there

If there was any yarn about, we missed it, sadly. We did see some sheep, but they weren't saying anything useful.

After wandering for a bit, and having the requisite grease and sugar in the forms of fresh fries with malt vinegar and fresh squeezed lemonade topped with chunks of strawberry, we headed to nearby Colchester harbour, and waited for Jodi's parents to sail in from the lake on the Dolphin.

The Dolphin

We clambered aboard, both Jodi's mum and I casting nervous glances at Jodi's midriff. Jodi's mum declared that we were not going far from shore, in case of the sudden development of anything like labour pains.

Rocks and light

It turned out that there really wasn't enough wind to do any decent sailing. But we had a very nice time just kind of tooling around near the shore of Lake Erie.

Near and far

This was a great way to end the summer. And in a lame effort to tie in some kind of fibre content, I learned that the sails have little pieces of yarn tied all over, to give you an idea of how the air is moving.

Sail and sky

Everyone loves yarn.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Less Stuff is Good

My decluttering has taken an important step - a lot of stuff has actually left the house. Three big, blue Ikea bags full of stuff were dragged out to a friend's parents' minivan. Of course, when the stuff doesn't leave immediately, there is inevitably some culling, and a few books and knickknacks escaped the slaughter. But the far greater portion were sacrificed for the greater good of space and order.

I got rid of many things that tied me to paths untaken. Textbooks from the education preparing me for the career I'm no longer interested in. And tools and supplies from the many, many craft projects that fell by the wayside. I threw away drawing charcoals, fabric pieces, paper ribbon, pottery tools and clay, cross stitch kits, and a soap making kit. In the bags were also failed decor projects, like Ikea mirrors, cd racks, ceiling fan chain charms , paper lamp shades, Christmas novelty plates and candle holders.

I thought about taking some pictures, but that would have meant spreading out the debris and looking at it again, which, I am sure, would have meant my finding reasons to keep a few more things.

So, instead, here's a picture of my little fur monster.

He approves of the decluttering, too. More room for yarn, says we.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Labour Day Hijinks Continued

Sunday was another great day. It started with my finally getting to give this.

Wild Stripes Blanket

When Jodi told me she was expecting, I started to look for the perfect blanket pattern for her baby. Jodi likes strong, bold colours, and tends toward the non-traditional. So I didn't want to make anything in pastels or neutrals.

Boy, howdy did I find an alternative.

Wild Stripes

Pattern: Wild Stripes Blanket from Knitty's summer 2005 issue.

Changes: None, really. The yarn was Knit Picks merino style, as called for in the pattern. I love these colours, and the yarn is lovely to work with. The knitting, which I though was taking forever somewhere around the middle, was really straightforward. Maybe even a little coma-inducing, if it weren't for the frequent changes in colour. My size turned out to be a bit bigger than the pattern said it should be, but still a very good size. The backing is a slightly heavy cotton, from Fabricland. I chose to use the green piping to match.
Wild Stripes

The sewing of the knitted portion to the fabric backing and through the piping was rather brutal. But I knew if I put it down, I'd never pick it up again, so I began one Saturday morning, and finished late that night. The embroidery, which I thought would take only a couple of hours (I'm kind of dumb that way) took another few days.

But I do love the way it turned out in the end. Totally worth the time and boredom and pain.

Speaking of pain, I am suffering an aggravating end-of-summer cold, and I am a wimp about being sick. So I'm going to bed - further Labour Day adventures to come!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Party with the Babies

This was a good way to finish off the summer. I spent this weekend down in Windsor and environs, spending lots of time with friends, and a bit of time with family.

On Saturday, my high school gang of friends met up for a wee shindig at Carly's house, where we got to pass around the babies and the cookies. Sometimes both at the same time.

What am I supposed to do with this?

The bigger kids were eager to help with the more difficult tasks, like eating.

Caiti helps John out

And boy, the twins are getting big so fast!

Jay and Emily

Their dad's pretty much the same size as before.

Tomorrow, my day in southern Essex county!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


When I think of good gifts, I often think of the story of Trudy's best gift.

Part of the reason the story of Trudy's gift has stayed with me for so long, and why it's always waiting in the front of my memory, is the pure loveliness, and thoughtfulness of the gift. And part of the reason is, as so often happens, due to the circumstances of my hearing the story.

It was the summer I spent in Scotland. In many ways, and for many reasons, that was not a good summer. It was the summer when I learned the hard lesson that family may be obligated to love you, but that doesn't mean that they will like you. Or you, them. It was a very lonely, isolating summer, and so very far from home. I don't regret that summer - life lessons, part of me and all that - but it was hard. Even the weather was the worst anyone could remember (yes, even for Scotland). It was dreich and dreary, and wet and cold and miserable, and the gloom took the place of the sunshine deep inside, making the white nights longer, and the lonely evenings that much more grim.

Victoria Falls

There were some exceptions - wonderful exceptions - to the gloom. And I came away with stories to laugh about, and to remember some sunshine. One of the brightest spots of that summer was the week I spent on a Haggis Backpackers tour. It was only a few days - the five day tour, I think it was, and many of the places we went, I'd been before. But never like that - with a driver and guide who was so full of enthusiasm and humour, and a group of people who were genuinely there only to have a good time. It was a diverse group.

It's funny the things you remember. We were in a little yellow bus whose name was Daphne. There were 23 people in my group. I was the only Canadian. There were 4 or 5 Kiwis, a few English people, 5 or 6 people from Singapore, one American (Tristan, from Hawaii) and Trudy, who was from Zimbabwe. We became friends on the trip, sitting together on the bus most days, and sharing toothpaste and teaspoons. We had a similar sense of humour, and she helped me to be more open and willing to be silly in the name of fun.

It was alongside Trudy and Tristan that I held my head in the Sligachen River for ten seconds in hopes of gaining the prolonged youth and beauty promised in a fairy tale of long ago. And it was with them that I wandered among the bleak hillocks and markers of Culloden. Trudy told stories of her manservant and her glass collection, and I shared the wonder that is Home for a Rest by Spirit of the West. I educated Trudy in Canadian beverages, too, when she argued that Canada Dry wasn't a ginger ale (it's the champagne of ginger ales!). She scoffed when we saw "Victoria Falls" and we all laughed together when one of the Kiwis was scolded by his girlfriend for 'staying up late with the sheilas' one night in a hostel in Drumnadrochit. We all climbed over the barrier into the grounds of Urquhart castle late one night, and wandered the eerily lit ruins on the shore of Loch Ness, serenaded by a mysterious, disappearing stranger playing a flute in the shadows.

And all twenty three of us crowded down into one tiny, dark stone dungeon that was quite literally no more than a hole in the stony ground of the Isle of Skye, and heard the story of Hugh the pirate, who was locked in that small space and left to die, with a plate of salted beef and an empty water pitcher.

It was just the kind of friendship and camaraderie that develops only on a five day backpacking trip through Scotland. No one stayed in touch, but I know that we all remember.

Sligachen River

And one day we were talking about gifts. And Trudy told her story about her best gift. She had a copy of Jane Eyre that she had treasured for as long as she could remember. It was a well-loved book, with tattered pages covered with small notes and thoughts, and was very dear to her. And one day, her friend (a boy-friend, and I often wonder whether that hyphen disappeared later) snuck the book out of her room.

Urquhart Castle

She didn't notice, and knew nothing of the pilfering, until her birthday some days or weeks later, when she was presented with a copy of Jane Eyre. It was in a lovely binding, and her name was embossed in gold in the corner of the leather cover. She was pleased to get the book, but it would never replace her beloved old friend. And then she opened it, and saw the same old, tattered and worn pages, and her little notes and dreams.

What a wonderful gift - for someone to know your heart well enough to take your thoughts and dreams and hopes and have them carefully bound and restored, so that you can continue to carry them through life without fear of losing a single page.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Jitterbug Monkeys

Finished Monkeys, originally uploaded by Vaedri1.

My latest socks are done!

These were a lot of fun to knit up. Monkeys have been one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry for a while now, and I've been itching to jump on this particular bandwagon. Once I started, I found it hard to put these down. I finished them in about a week and a half, which, for me, is pretty darn quick.

The yarn was an impulsive guilt-purchase. I have trouble leaving a yarn store without buying something. (Of course, now that I've become completely enamored of sock knitting, this won't be such a problem.) It's Colinette Jitterbug in the Velvet Plum colourway. It was just a joy to knit with - not a completely solid colour, but with very little variation, which I thought suited the chevron pattern well, and allowed it to be seen clearly.

I've heard several times about the tendency of Jitterbug to be a bit short on the yardage, so these were done using Cara's modifications to make them into mini-Monkeys.

I have to say that one of my favourite things about knitting is just getting to learn something new on almost every project. This time around, it was the picot edging, which was a lot of fun, and gives these such a cute finish.

I'm coming to understand the common love of sock knitting. For one thing, they're a small project, meaning no great delay in gratification; and they're super easy to toss in a bag and come along for the ride wherever you're going. They are objects that you can never have too many of. I mean, there are really only so many hats and scarves that I'll use over a winter. There are so, so many fun, funky, wacky and beautiful patterns available out there for socks that you will always be able to find something new to try. The same thing goes for the yarns.

My only challenge now is keeping these from my friend at work, who not-so-casually mentioned that she really likes this colour. Of course, this means Christmas knitting will be pretty darn easy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fall Cleanout

The past couple of days have been unseasonably cool round these parts. Mid-August should not require a coat, or warm socks of an evening. But I have to admit that I’m kind of happy to see the seasons change. And then I feel guilty for feeling that way, because summer in this city is so fleeting, and I should be grateful for every hot, sunny day. I’m so conflicted!

But I can’t help but feel a little thrill when I catch the scent of autumn in the air – that earthy, almost smoky tang of leaf litter and cool air.

It might be partly due to the changing of the seasons, and it’s definitely partly due to the purging happening at Erika’s place (“up” at Erika’s? let me check the map – yes, I believe “up” is probably correct) but I've been inspired to do a bit of stuff-purging.

First on the list was my pile of textbooks. When I graduated from Biological Engineering seven years ago, I didn't even entertain the notion of selling my texts. I might NEED them! You never know when someone might ask me to calculate the unit operations required to prepare a dried potato product, or to determine the type of pump best suited to pump a slurry of biomass across a production plant at a 15 degree incline while maintaining a steady laminar flow to feed a continuous bioreactor.

It never came up after all.

So the time has come to say goodbye to this little group of steadfast friends.


Some are easier to trash than others - I shall shed no tears to see the Diff-E-Qs text hit the book sale table at the Scouts fundraiser, and circuit analysis only narrowly avoided ritual sacrifice. But I can't bring myself to get rid of my Microbiology text quite yet (loved that course), and the Food Science text might somehow find its way off that pile before the whole shebang is hauled off.

Next up is the 'stuff'. And knitting content!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Knitting at the Dome

Last night, my friend Jen and I ventured down to join in with a few hundred knitters in watching a Jays game.

Jen at Stitch and Pitch

It was what I think was Toronto's first Stitch and Pitch, and it was a great turnout.

Knitting at the ball game

We bought our tickets at the last minute, so we missed out on the tote bags, because they ran out. I hear they weren't all that impressive, so I'm not heartbroken.

Like any event full of needles and yarn and the people who use them, it was a lot of fun. I think our section was just about the most tightly packed area in the Skydome (I know that's not the 'real' name anymore, but it's the better name). It was a lovely evening, and the dome was open, letting us occasionally get a breath of the night breeze. We chatted with the people around us, and spent most of the game untangling an unfortunate jumble of TLC cotton plus.

Stitch and Pitch TO Knitters

We even had a celebrity sighting. We were sitting beside Stephanie's family, though I was too chicken to say 'hi' to her or Juno. I also thought it might seem a bit stalkerish.

(Oh, the Jays won - I asked.)