Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Past Few Days

I'm playing catch-up again, but it's not so bad this time.  Only a few days have passed since the last batch upload of my 365 pictures.  Which, by the way, the Flickr uploader makes a lot easier.  (except when it doesn't work and won't put your pictures into their sets like it's supposed to)



Wednesday was another Knit Night in Burlington, where we and our matching knitting accessories gather to debate which of the cheesecakes and tarts are the best of the night's pickings.

Vivian is at the fun part of her Clapotis, and shared the dropping of several stitches with us.

Clapotis stitches

Thursday was not an exciting day, but local strawberries make any day special.


Saturday the GTA was hit with a very dramatic thunderstorm.  I love a good storm, and this one was a doozy. 


Just when it seemed the storm had passed, I heard a 'fwump' and saw a flash outside the window.  Lightning had struck a tree across the street, bringing down a smallish branch.  I snapped a quick picture on my walk to the yarn store, where I was meeting up with Wendi,


And finally gave in and brought home the skein of sock yarn that's been calling to me for weeks now.


Overall, not a bad few days.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


365.188, originally uploaded by Vaedri1.

I picked up this gorgeous "Fall Leaves" batt at the Grimsby Fleece and Fibre festival.

Fall Leaves Batt label

New rule: no buying more spinning fibre until I use up enough that I can fit it in my fibre stash tote.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Why I Live Here

It's easy to forget, sitting on my dingy little loveseat in my crumbling old building, surrounded by "colourful" neighbours.


But a quick walk, less than five minutes, straight down the street...

Clear Water

is an easy reminder.

Reverse sunset over the lake

I really do live in a pretty place.

Yellow flowers

Thursday, July 02, 2009


365.183, originally uploaded by Vaedri1.

When my grandfather passed away, following my grandmother by only a few years, we had the sad task of going through his remaining belongings and disposing of the bits and pieces that had no special attachment to anyone left behind. Throwing the bags and boxes into the donation bins was the saddest part of the whole affair.

When we were sorting everything out, I was most drawn to those items that triggered memories - the red glass candy dish that was always full of those sweet and somehow dry pastel-coated almonds, the silly tartan tam with the red pom pom. And this painting.

Visits to my grandparents' home were not particularly exciting for a child. They lived in a small apartment with scratchy white stucco-ed walls. Looking back, it was a rather charming place, with arched doorways, and cunning little glass doors for windows. There was even the little metal door outside the apartment, decorated with an engraving of a bottle, that swung open to provide a place for milk delivery way back when.

But when I was small, it was a boring place, with no backyard, no toys, and no animals. My brother and I were not actively 'entertained' and were left to find out own amusements. One of the most popular activities during our visits was to dump out a jar full of pennies, both shiny and dull, and lay them out on the intricately patterned rug, sliding them about until our fingers turned green. We'd alternately sip at frosted glasses full of off-brand ginger ale and try to convince the rabbit ears to tune in something fun on the giant console tv.

Another favourite activity was daydreaming. I remember gazing at this painting, letting the adult conversation going on over my head fade to a distant drone, and imagine sitting at one of those tables. Under a red umbrella, maybe. And after tea, I would go up to the castle, maybe clambering up the steep, green rocks, or maybe I would wander up the cobbled High Street, stopping in the tourist shops as the road climbed higher and higher.

This is a memory that has in some ways become stronger as I've grown up, given structure and reinforcement by my actual visits to the city.

But I never did find that terrace.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


365.182, originally uploaded by Vaedri1.

Today's pic is also an FO pic.

This year's summer "cottage" trip will actually be my very first cruise, and I'm very excited about it. I wanted to have something I could bring to throw over my shoulders, without packing a jacket. This will be perfect, I think.

It turned out quite long, at about eight feet, so it's long enough to wrap around and tie, and I can use it as a blanket if need be.

It's knitting using Diamond's Bamboo Cotton, which is just perfect for this kind of thing, with a lovely weight and drape to it.

I can wrap this around myself, and just imagine that I'm standing on the deck of a giant ship, gazing out over the Mediterranean as the moon rises over Italy.

Project notes and more pictures are over in Ravelry, if you're interested.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Out of Focus

Way back in Januray, when I started Project365, I was intending to use the pictures that I take each day as a starting point to post a little ntry each day.  That way, I could have a record of my year both pictorially and textually.  Well, that didn't happen. Obviously.

Instead, it's been months since I posted anything at all.  In part, I blame Twitter, becuase tweeting makes me feel like I still am part of the online community, without having to go through a lot of writing, editing, and posting.  But I still want to be filling in the blanks that are left by the pictures I'm taking for the project. So now, at the halfway point, I'm going to try to go back to my original plan.  I'm not going to do anything so foolish as to promise a post a day for the next half-year, but I am hoping that I'll be able to note some of the day-to-day happenings in my (admittedly largely uneventful) life, and also to share some of the background stories behind the objects, places, and people in the pictures.

Today's picture is kind of a two-for-one, and I know it's a little freaky.
Today I had the pleasure of visiting the optometrist for my biannual (is that the right word for every two years, or does that mean twice a year?) eye exam.  I don't remember my eyes being this badly dilated after prior exams, and I still can't see straight.  This post is brought to you entirely by touch typing, and some serious squinting to correct typos.  I'm going to have to come back tomorrow and fix more, I'm sure.
I was informed that the health of my eyes isn't super, most likely due to my wearing my contacts too much.  I had an incident last fall where the inside of my eyelids became inflamed and ever since, I am hyper vigilant about never wearing the lenses for more than 12 hours.  So this news is rather disheartening.  I am to not wear the contacts at all for the next two weeks, and then go back in for another exam and eye test, and where I'll also be given some super oxygen-permeable lenses that should be better for me.  Ugh.

Anyway, if you're interested in my Project365 pictures so far (I haven't missed a day yet!) you can see them here, or you can use the Flickr link over on the side there. 

I promise this is the only day with pictures of my eyes.  It's safe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Branches on my Living Room Wall

The walls in my apartment are basically plaster over concrete.  It makes it really difficult to hang anything without causing some significant, lose-the-deposit kind of damage.  But this is a big wall that just can't be left bare.  Vinyl decals are perfect for the job. 

I used to have big, red poppies on the wall, until they started to lose their stickiness and their petals started to fall.  I wasn't into that much veracity regarding their fresh cut flower realism.  I'm hoping this one lasts a little longer, since the pieces are all smaller and lighter.  This has been up since last July, and so far I've only lost one piece.

Both the poppies and this branch set are from Ikea.  But now vinyl decals are just about everywhere.  Even Home Depot carries Blik decals (love the Space Invaders).  And holy crap - I see they've just added a whole line of classic Nintendo game themed decals.  How fun is that?

And there are all kinds of people on Etsy doing really neat things with vinyl.  Elephannie is one of my favourites, with lots of pretty and whimsical designs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's cute, it's geeky, and it's knitting.  It's today's 365 pic.


I stopped in at my friend Jen's house and stole her baby, and then felt guilty while she ran around and made dinner.  I was assured that I was an immense help just by being a baby holder.  Not much more done on the scarf in the picture, which is unfortunate, as it's 'due' for a birthday on Friday.  Well, that's not gonna happen. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cat Toes and Radios

Today I got a nice big chunk of knitting done.  Not that I have a picture to prove it.  No, knitting pictures come few and far between when it's dark when I leave and dark when I get home. 

But the reason I got lots of knitting done is related to my car stereo.  I have a 2008 Ford Focus, which comes with the nifty new "Sync" system.  I can plug in my iPod and use my voice to select songs, playlists, podcasts all using simple spoken commands.  It really is a nice setup, and great for my frequent 3 hour road trips, preventing me from having to click around to find what I want.

(Now, this is not an exciting story.  I invite you to skim.  Really.  I will share a picture of furry kitty toes to break up the monotony some of the way through here, too.  Promise.)

Sadly, a few weeks ago, I plugged in my little iPod one morning, and ... nothing.  It didn't recognize the little guy, no matter how many times I restarted and unplugged and plugged in again.  I checked my cable, the pins, the iPod.  Nothing seemed to be wrong.  I hopped on the Sync support site and found that some people had solved the problem by downloading and installing the updates available on the site.  So, I got my little geek stick (USB drive), downloaded, and plugged it into the car.  Nothing.  As far as the car was concerned, there was nothing plugged in.

I called the dealership, and dropped the car off one morning.  Came back at the end of the day, after they'd ordered a part, replaced a cable and failed to fix the problem.  They didn't know how.  They said they'd call "the hotline" and get back to me.  Today, a week and a half later, I go in again - I'm told it'll be half an hour, and so I run over during my lunch.  Two hours later - "Um, when can I have my car back please?"  Their laptop is messed up, and they have to call the hotline again to get them to fix the laptop, and then they can recalibrate and reset the system, which will take half an hour.  But they don't know how long until the hotline gets back to them.  So I leave.  They will call me when they can fix it.

We interrupt this boring story for kitty toes:

Carry on.

As I drive to knitting group tonight, I decide to give it another shot with the geek stick.  Nothing.  But I spot a 'Master Reset' in the menu tree, and try that.  After some grumbling and thinking, the system is reset and it now recognizes my iPod and seems to work fine.  I had to redo my phone/bluetooth setup, but voice commands are working fine.

So what I really want to say here is - car companies really shouldn't introduce fancy new features in their cars without making sure their service centres know how to fix said fancy new features.

Sorry for the boring story.  But if I have helped one poor Sync owner, then it's been worth it.  Sniff. 


I'll call the dealership tomorrow and teach them how to fix it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

365 Days In a Row

So, yeah. It's been forever since I blogged. Again. But I have been busy on the net in another way. I signed up for Project365, a personal challenge on Flickr. I've committed to taking and posting a picture every day for 365 days. In a row.

So far, so good. Not every day is a great pic, but it's been keeping my eyes open, looking for new photo opportunities and new ways of looking at things every day.

The First 30 Days

This little mosaic shows my first 30 days of pictures. Yes, I foresee a lot of fibre and knitting and cat pictures this year. My life is generally just not so fascinating that it earns a picture every day. But I'm learning more about what my camera can do and how I can use Photoshop to fix and enhance. It's a fun personal challenge, and I'm hoping it's something I can stick with right up to New Year's Eve.

I'm enjoying having a little reminder of every day, even if it wasn't a special one.

Today's picture:
I stopped in at Chapters on the way home and bought my first ever self-help book, "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson, which comes recommended by a friend. We'll see if I come out knowing what I should be when I grow up. If I grow up. It doesn't seem all that appealing, really.

I may also have picked up Interweave Knits. Maybe. But I resisted the sugar and caffeine trap at the entrance, so I did pretty well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My First Sweater. Yikes.

This Christmas was my knitting-est Christmas yet. I knitted up no less than nine gifts, which for me is definitely a record.

I'll start with the biggest, though not the best. Back in the summer, I asked my mum if she'd like something knitted for Christmas, or if she was getting tired of socks and scarves and hats. (Particularly hats - when she was going through chemo, I probably made her about 20 or so hats.) She hummed and hawed for a bit, and finally asked, "Like what kind of knitted things?"

I started to list my typical projects: socks, hats, scarves, dishcloths, blankets... Nothing seemed to appeal. I kept going, now moving on to theoretical knits: sweaters, cardigans - "Oooh! Cardigan? I'd like a cardigan!"

Shoot. I'd never done a sweater. I've had one started and sitting on a precious Denise needle for over a year now. I know I've messed up some of the "at the same time" instructions, so it's been hidden in a little basket until I can get up the gumption to rip it all out and start over. Again. I'd hoped that my first sweater would be inflicted only on myself. But now I'd opened my mouth and committed to punishing my poor mother with what would no doubt be a comically oversized and misproportioned garment.

I at least had the sense to include her in the choosing of the pattern and the yarn. I sat down and showed her the wonders of Ravelry's projects pages. We agreed on the basic cardigan pattern from Stitch and Bitch, without the fuzzy mohair edging. I happened to have with me some Knitpicks Comfy yarn from another project, which Mum liked the feel of. She picked the colour "Crème Brulée" and I ordered it right then and there.

Several months passed, and we ended up with this. Which isn't too bad, after all.

Cardigan Finished

Mum insisted on a 'neck down' shot. (Which reminds me of a funny story I need to share another time about prom pictures and my mother's photography skills.)

As mentioned, I passed on the crocheted mohair border, instead picking up stitches around the neck and adding a few rows of garter stitch.

Cardigan neck

Also, because I wasn't adding the edging, I thought the plain stockinette would curl way too much on the fronts and sleeves, so I added ten rows of seed stitch to each.

Cardigan sleeve

You need to ignore the strange, radioactive purple of my mum's hand there - not sure what happened. She is not an alien.

  1. The yarn is lovely and soft, and warmer than I would have thought a cotton blend would be, which my mum loves.
  2. It fits better than I thought it would. For now. More on that below.
  3. My mum likes it and wears it.

Not so good:
  1. I should have added the seed stitch border to the bottom of the back, too, but didn't think of it until it was too late to reknit.
  2. I have a feeling that the yarn will be pill-y. Don't know why, but I suspect.
  3. Mum says that the sweater is growing already, and is looking baggy. Damn you, cotton and your heavy dragginess!
  4. The sleeves are too long. For which I don't have an excuse, because I know my mum has short arms, and I even measured. But once I finished the increases as instructed, I was already too long and wasn't sure how to fix, and time was short.
  5. My seaming is awful in the neck/shoulder/sleeve area. I didn't know exactly how they fit together, and tried a few different ways before figuring it out. Which just made everything messy and loose or messy and tight.

So overall, not a disaster. And next time, there will be more on the 'Good' list, I think.