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September 2009

Posts from August 2009

To the woman driving the red volvo:

Dear Madam, thank you for your kindly shouted words regarding my ontological status as you buzzed by me in your car going north on Pape at Danforth.  You are correct: I am indeed not a car.  I am a person. 

I was also on a bicycle making a properly constituted and signalled left turn under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.  I am sorry you had to wait behind me,however, I can assure you, the oncoming traffic southbound hampered my attempts to make the turn without creating further peril for myself and inconvenience to others including yourself.  Unless, as I may conclude from your words, that you would consider my bloodied and broken body sprawled on the street proper punishment for not being a car and delaying you by 60 seconds from what must have been a very important engagement.

Sincerely,

Woman on the Orange Bike


I won!!

Knit-pal Rosemary had a little contest to coincide with her Dog Days of Summer pin and pattern sale.  I helped spread the news on Twitter and won 5 of her lace patterns!

Woohoo!  Thanks Rosemary.

I've been enjoying a bit of lace knitting of late, and really want to stretch myself a bit and knit some patterned socks (I tend to stick to stockinette but not for any reason beyond laziness).  The Queen Wil socks look pretty nice.

Now to raid the stash to see if I have any semi-solid sock yarn. 


Stop my vacation; I need a rest!

It's been non-stop busy-ness on my week off.  Monday we did some work on the bathroom and bought our big soaker tub.  Then it was off to Xander's soccer game (they won!) and time to prepare for our mini-vacation to Niagara Falls.

Tuesday morning we headed out early to the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Fallsview Waterpark.  We were sliding by 11:30 and didn't stop except for a quick lunch until 5.  Craig and I were acting just like our kids, though I was starting to feel not-so-much like 10 by dinnertime.

Dinner

Then we had a lovely dinner with a great view of the Falls, took a walk to see the natural wonders, and by 8pm we were back in the waterpark for a few more runs before bed. The lines were short, so it really was a lot of runs and I crashed before 10pm.

Niagara

We were out of our room and back at the park before 9:30.  Crazy! It was a great time and I highly recommend it for a short vacation; the kids are already planning our next visit.  At 3pm our passes expired and we went out to the tacky tourist strip and did some tacky tourist things.

Over the falls

Xander fatty

Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Craig got a geeky wax hand (it's the Vulcan hand thingie)

Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum

Homer wax
(From one of my favourite Simpson's Episodes)

Emma cat woman

Then a not-tacky at all Indian Dinner at Guru restaurant. 

We were in the car by 9:30 and home by a bit after 11.  I was beat (I slept with the kids in the car).

Thursday we had a relaxing do nothing sort of day--lots of Wii and I spun a bit.  And there was the excitement of that storm.  Nothing major where we were, but all rather scary and weird.  Tornadoes aren't supposed to hit big cities.

Friday it was back in the car for a visit to my Father-In-Law's cottage for some swimming and hot tubing and thankfully due to the rain, some loafing.  I'm working on some mittens for my knit-pal Ann's charity mitten drive.  I knit a pair on the drive up and hope to have another pair before the weekend is over.  They still need to be felted.  I do like these small quick projects.

Today we drop the kids off at my Mom's for a few days and tonight the plan is to see District 9.  Tomorrow I rest.  I didn't win the lottery so I'm back to work on Monday.


Sucker for Punishment

We're at it again...

bathroom demo 1

Yep, this the second floor bathroom.  Well, it was the second floor bathroom.

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We have the whole thing ripped back to the rafters and studs.  Even the floor.  We weren't going to change the floor, but a few tiles were cracked and we wanted to get a good look at the pipes and even though it was more demolishing, it felt easier.

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There were two subfloors, and we're still working on the original one.  But no real surprises except that our ceilings appear to be completely uninsulated.  We can see into the attached neighbour's insulated ceiling.

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We're taking it a bit slow this week because I'm on holiday and it's freakin' hot out (it's good that it's hot since it's been a cool summer, but is hard to work in).

We've framed in a spot behind the toilet that will hold two large cabinets, and moved the heating register down from over the toilet (it would blow your hair while you were on the toilet) to almost at floor level.

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We've also bought most of the fixtures and they are strewn about the house.  That's my living room with lumber, drywall, cement board and a bathtub in it.

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Fun times...


Pretty Stuff

Phew, it's been a busy week.  I'm on holiday until the 24th and so far it's been action packed.  Right now the kids are in bed and Craig is out and I'm enjoying a quiet few minutes.  I've been such an infrequent blogger lately, but I have been knitting stuff.

Milkweed is done!  Just in time for the first heat wave this summer.  I'm not complaining about the heat, but it's too hot to model the shawl.

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It's rather little--I should have gone up a needle size AND I needed to make the first two stitches of each row a bit looser so I could make the shawl longer.  It's about 4 feet--but makes a great little scarf, which is what I wanted.

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It was a really fun, really quick knit.  I could see myself making another one.  Nice pattern Laura!  I used Fleece Artist Casbah and I like it.  I want more.  Yummy.

I also got some fibre dyed.  I bought a 450 gram bag of Merino/Seacell pencil roving at the Knitter's Frolic to use as practice yarn.  After spinning the brown stuff, I realized there was no way I could stand to spin 450 grams of white fluff so I had the uber-amazing Kim over at Indigodragonfly custom dye it for me.  She is one of those people who GETS colour.  Her hand dyes are flippin' gorgeous and she and I have very similar colour tastes.  I just gave her the bag and told her to surprise me.

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Gorgeous eh?  She took inspiration from my new glasses.  I love the mix of my most favouritist colours.

Kim is also a smartass like me and she has cooked up some great names for her colourways.  Since pencil roving looks like brain, I call this Desiccated Brains.   Mmmmm brains.

If you haven't seen her yarns.  Go look.  Pretty.  She also has the Casbah yarn base (merino, cashmere and nylon) so you can have pretty and SOFT fibre.

Off to fire up the wheel and spin some of this prettiness.


Weekend Spinning and Stuff

It was the Taste of the Danforth this past weekend and we decided to get the heck out of town.  I love my neighbourhood (officially Greektown, but much more multi-cultural than that) but when the annual street festival begins, I like to be somewhere else.  For one, the Greek stage is visible from my front door and hearing all that music and having tens of thousands of people walking by is just not my thing.

We do attend for a tiny bit of time right at the beginning, to enjoy a leisurely stroll right on Danforth Ave. and to savour some gyros and loukoumades (I love honey balls) and to run into neighbours and enjoy our special part of Toronto.  But then it's time to leave.

And go to this:

Gone fishing

The weather was pretty good this weekend; it only rained once (which is as good as it gets this summer).  I had two good runs on the Trans Canada Trail which runs just beside the cottage and realized that trail running is so much nicer than street running.  I just ran until my iphone app told me I was half way, turned and ran back.  The bugs were a bit oppressive, but the run was smooth and I'm still liking it.  Tomorrow I start week 3.

I got in some good knitting time on my Nantucket Red sweater; the back is now done and I'm onto a sleeve.  And, I brought up Imogen (yep, I named my wheel) and spun up the rest of my Grafton batt.  The sky was so overcast that I couldn't get a good photo, but here it is on the bobbin overlooking the lake.

Grafton batt spun

I decided to let the colours fall where they would and love how the blues and greys mixed together.  It was very nice to spin and I'm anxious to start my July batt.  This time I'll try to maintain the stripes in a 2 ply dk weight.  I haven't unwound this one from the bobbin, but I would call it a heavy worsted, with a bit of thick and thin for fun. 

We arrived home just as the festival was finishing up for a nice soft re-entry into our 'hood.  My kind of weekend.


Tweet-blogging

Twitter is down!  How am I going to tell everyone about the little happenings in my life!?

Oh wait, I have a blog.

1. I ran this morning (yeah me!) then biked to work.  I also biked home from knit night last night at about 10.  My legs are TIRED.

2. When I was running by the park this morning I saw a girlie bike lying the grass.  Since it was 6:15am I figured it was abandoned.  Then I realized that it was Emma's bike that we "released into the urban environment" LAST summer.  It was a very distinct cobbled together bike with very bald white tires.  Weirdness.

3. The bike reminded me of that "if you love something set it free" poem.

4. No I didn't take the bike.

5. I'm binding of the Milkweed shawl.  Hooray for small projects.  I'm already looking for another one.

6. I think I'll make mittens.  Not too summery, but hell the weather ain't too summery either.

7. Tomorrow I have a work at home day because Xander doesn't have camp and Craig has an appointment. 

8.  I love work at home days.  No worrying about dressing up, finish laundry AND I tend to get more work done (no one to bug me).

9. My legs are still tired.  It's going to be a tough bike home.


My brain spinning

I got through all the brown corriedale singles last week and sat down on Tuesday night to chain ply them.  It was really a slog.  Nothing seemed to be going right.  It was overspun, hard to ply and just not feeling right.

So I trusted my new to spinning brain and stopped.  It was definitely not right.  But I didn't know what was wrong.  I figured the singles were overspun and took was left on the bobbin and ran it through the wheel in the opposite direction to remove some of the twist.   That seemed to help.

Since it worked for the singles, I decided to try it with the plied yarn.  That seemed to help a bit, but it still looked like twisted weirdness.  So I packed it in and just left it.

Wednesday morning it dawns on me.  It looks a lot like the first time I tried to chain ply.  That time I had the wheel spinning the wrong way so I was plying, but also adding MORE twist to the yarn.  All S and no Z as it were.

Doh.

I did the same thing again.  And it took me about half a bobbin of singles to notice.  Shit.

I pulled it off the bobbin.  Muppet hair anyone?

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I'm still mad that I got distracted and messed this up. I really wanted to see if I could make sock yarn. 

I did ply what was left properly and quite nicely.  About 100 yds of fingering weight.  Maybe a bit thicker.  And pretty consistent.

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At least I learned something.  Hopefully I won't make that mistake again.

Especially with this:

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My June Colourways Grafton batt.  I spun half of it already.  Aiming for light worsted weight.  It was very fun after all that brown (I have a decided preference for spinning colourful stuff).  I decided to let the colour fall where they will.  I think they'll blend beautifully.