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Posts from November 2004

Miso soup for the soul

The day ended up not getting any worse and not getting any better.  Somehow I lost some data I did up last week, but I was so demoralized by that point I just re-entered it and didn't give it another thought.  And, my bosses were very understanding about the whole tape thing, they said "these things happen" and we're trying to figure out what the technical glitch was so it wouldn't happen again.

I soothed myself with a rather large sushi dinner.  Those "free delivery on orders over $20" means I have to order more than I want--though the fact that I ate it all is entirely my fault.  It was yummy and so was finding out that Tommy Douglas was voted the Greatest Canadian

I even finished the second sleeve of Butterfly.  And in a smart move, I pinned it right on top of the first sleeve I blocked to make it the same.  And I did the same with the front left, pinning it on top of the back.  Aren't I clever? 


All that's left is the right front and the collar--about three balls' worth of knitting.  Now I just have to find that last ball.  And the time to run out and get it.

One other thing: I'm tired of the bob and it's looking a bit damaged (and I'm a hair-cut whore--I go every 6 weeks--I love getting my hair done) and want something shorter and layered like this (think Mandy Moore too).

Good_hair Good_hair_4

I've always worn my hair short because it's fine and even though I like getting it done, I'm lazy about doing it myself.  But whenever I contemplate the cut, my hair starts behaving and looking fantastic.  Does it know?

It's not going to be a good day when you're making play dough at 4:45am

So Craig's alarm goes off this morning at 4:30 and I'm trying to wake up enough to be sure he gets out of bed and doesn't miss his plane when all the sudden it dawns on me that we forgot to make the play dough for Emma's class this week.

(New play dough is required weekly for hygienic reasons and we all signed up for the job--the fact that it's in my Palm and I've known for weeks didn't seem to help).

Crap.  So I get out of bed and find the recipe and I'm standing over the stove at 4:45am making blue fucking play dough.  I don't have enough salt (1 cup) so I wing it and I'm cooking blue goop on the stove that's making me a bit queasy.  I wait for it to cool and knead it into a nice blue blob and set it on a rack to cool a bit before I go back to bed.  Of course, I can't sleep, but since I have about an hour before I have to wake up I give it a try.

Then I play with the snooze bar for about an hour and wake up late.  Crap.

Things go fine getting the kids to daycare and I come home to do my very first research interview for my project.  I've tested the machinery--tape recorder with a fancy hook-up to the telephone to tape the interview and all is fine.  I do the interview and it's great.  She provides lots of detail and information and is really easy to talk with and I'm really satisfied with the information I get.  The call ends and I rewind the tape and (you're seeing where this is going, and it ain't good) nothing.  Fuck. 

Well not nothing, my voice is loud and clear and is obviously being recorded over the telephone.  Her voice is not there but instead it sounds like a vacuum in the distance.  Nothing.  Fuck.  I can't call and do it again since it would be a big demand on her time.  Fuck.  I try to write out what I remember based on listening to the tape and what I ask her but it's not the same.  Fuck.

(I immediately called my Dad and tried the recorder and it worked fine--I have no idea what went wrong.  I even called the switchboard of the interviewee and it worked, maybe there's some freaky insulation on her phone or something--I'm getting conspiratorial in my defeat). 

Now I'm a wee bit afraid to leave the house in case disaster strikes again.  I have a meeting with my Principle investigators this afternoon and will have to confess the technical glitch.  I know they'll say these things happen and all that, but shit, I didn't want it to be on the first frickin one.  Grrrr.

The lure of an almost FO

Alexander recovered nicely after a very long morning nap on Friday and attended school, oatmeal cookies in hand.  We ate our pizza and birthday cake (though the birthday boy didn't eat his usual amount) opened presents, played Thomas trains and Hot Wheels cars and had a great time.

And, we got to repeat the show at Grandma and Grandpa's on Sunday, so Alexander had a great birthday in the end.  He really liked your well-wishing and the idea that mommy's computer friends thought to wish him a happy day.


I spent the little knitting time I had working on Butterfly.  I have two pieces left to go (sleeve and right front) and I'm getting that "I want a new sweater" feeling happening.  I know I'm going to be a ball short, even though I shorted the sleeves by about two inches and the body by three, so I need to find some time this week to locate another ball (if you're a Toronto retailer and you have colour 148, lot A available let me know!)  I'm not worried about finding it, and I'll throw prudence to the wind and not worry about the dyelot either. 

Craig's gone this week, so I see leisurely nights of knitting in front of the tv ahead.  Well, after the kids are in bed and the mess is cleaned and I get organized for the next day and...being at work all day is tough.  I like it, but it really cuts into my knitting time.

Supposed to be a good day

The cookies (oatmeal with raisins and rainbow sprinkles) were baked and ready to take to school.  The cake mix was bought, as was the icing sugar and red food colouring.  We planned on getting the wrapping paper today and the gifts were ready to go.  Alexander was excited, having received three birthday cards in the mail this week and an e-card last night. 

The plan: a regular day with a little party at school, then home for pizza and orange pop (Alexander's choice for the meal) and chocolate cake and gifts.

The reality: Alexander has a stomach bug and spent last night throwing up.  He's asleep right now and feels horrible.  We still have to drop the cookies off at school or else 25 kids are without a snack today, but unless we have a miraculous recovery, Alexander has to stay home.  I'm home too, and I have to reschedule the first research interview I planned for today (shit).  I feel so badly about Xander being sick on his birthday (though am very thankful we didn't have a kiddie party planned or anything).  He finally "got" the idea of birthdays and anticipation and all that--but we'll do it all tomorrow or Sunday when he's feeling better.

Since it's a mother's perogative to get all mushy/nostalgic on her kid's birthday (and since I haven't had a chance to touch my knitting), I'll post some pictures of my little guy a few days old, and at six months:



And yes, I did make him that sweater.  Hard to believe he's four already.  And I'm hardly in a rush to for him to grow up, learning what I have about teenagers from Stephanie (a laugh I really needed this week). 


So I thought I was being sooooooo clever with my colorwork classic.  Well just before I went to bed Tuesday night I had a look at my work so far.  It didn't look like the picture.  The swirly bits were not lining up with the green/brown pattern the right way.  I was so smart about centring the main pattern but I didn't do the same thing with the swirl pattern.  Crap.

I could have just left it, because frankly, who would have noticed.  But I knew and I wanted to get it right.  The funny thing is, the swirl pattern is deliberately not centred on the body and it changes with each size (I'm not going to explain how, just trust me), but I wanted it to look like the picture, so I ripped it back and fixed it.

There's no picture today because it would be the same picture as Tuesday.  But now I've got all the issues worked out until I reach the armholes.

The story so far...

Colorwork classic is started and humming along.  Some of you are interested in my process of converting this pattern to be knit in the round, so I'll provide details as they happen, mostly because I'm making this up as I go along.

I decided that I didn't like the sizes offered, or the fact that the charts were not written to run seamlessly around the sweater (since there's a seam in the pattern I guess the designer didn't worry about the motifs matching at the seam), so I chose the number of body stitches based on what will allow me to run the motifs around the sweater.  The main motif has a 20 stitch repeat and the bottom swirl has a 10 stitch repeat.  I wanted a chest measurement of about 43-45" so I chose 240 stitches as the magic number.  It also works for the 3 X 3 rib, so I decided it was meant to be. 


So far, all I've changed is that I'm knitting in the round instead of flat.  I've started the swirl pattern and all is going well.  My only concern is to centre the green and brown pattern on the front of the sweater which means working out where the starting point is on the graph.  If you want to know this, email me and I'll let you know, when I know.  It shouldn't be hard, I just have to count back 60sts (the midpoint of the front) and go from there. 

It's slow going with the two-handed fair-isle, especially since I'm a leftie who knits continental.  The row I had to purl with my right hand took about an hour--I'm happy there are only 4 of those rows in the whole sweater, but I'm enjoying the emerging pattern and the challenge of this sweater.

That doesn't mean I haven't been taking it easy too.  Here are Alexander's fuzzy feet. 


Those are blue cups sticking out the top.  I should have casted on looser, and I want him to be able to get the slipper over his heel, so some stretching's in order.  I've also been dabbling a bit on Butterfly and I'll post pictures soon. 

I'm off for more colorwork, but not for long, I got a flu shot today and my arm is sore and I'm super tired--though that might be just back to work fatigue.


I did get to the library yesterday and got a fair bit accomplished.  I also got to Lewiscraft and they had all the yarn I needed to make Colorwork Classic from the lastest IK (picture in yesterday's post).  With some help from the a knitting listserv, I had the pattern converted to the round using traditional fair isle techniques and I got down to swatching.


I'm really pleased with it.  I got the right gauge right off and the yarn looks nice.  I know Paton's Classic Merino is considered a more "budget yarn" but I've always liked it, and it's perfect for this project.  I plan on starting tonight, though I likely won't make much progress to the actual colour part.

I also worked on something more mindless while watching Michael Caine in Alfie last night.  (A good movie, though sad--Alfie is a real misongynist bastard.)  A pair of fuzzy feet from Knit Wit for Alexander.  They seem really huge for a four year old, but that's give me lots of play when it comes to felting them.  I'm almost done the second one and should have them in the washer tomorrow night.  It didn't seem right making something for one and not the other, and Xander's feet have been freezing lately.  Especially when he crawls into my bed in the middle of the night.


The best news is they're both well enough to go back to daycare/school and I can get back to work and life can get back to it's normal frenetic pace.


We're almost out of the germ woods.  The kids are almost better.  Emma ended up sick too, but not as bad as her brother.  This meant I got to spend yesterday on my butt watching kiddie-videos.  Being locked up gave me a serious case of startitis.  I didn't want to knit anything from my stash (that would be sensible), instead I started plotting how to knit up the cover sweater from the latest IK. 


I've had a hankering to do something with colourwork for a while, but nothing's caught my eye.  There's something I really like about this cover sweater.  I love the chocolate brown and green colours, and the casual ease of it.  I also want to knit something using traditional fair isle techniques (in the round, with steeks etc.) and this pattern would work with a bit of converting (I prefer doing colourwork in the round anyway).  And, I think I can substitute Paton's Classic Merino wool and get a pretty close match (though that yellow might be tough).  That would make for a fairly inexpensive knit.  (Notice all the rationalization going on?)  Maybe some time out in the non-germ world will smarten me up.  I'm off to the library this afternoon to do some work...which happens to be right next door to a place that sells the yarn...

Since a trip to the yarn shop was out of the question yesterday, I decided a small project was in order.  I cracked open my copy of Knit Wit and made my pixie her own hat. 


She chose the colours--Cascade 220 in bright green and Cherry Tree Hill eyelash (that reminds me of easter grass) in hot pink.  It'll match with her winter jacket which is fuschia with lime accents.  Pretty cute eh?  (though poor Em's eyes still look a bit droopy).  It didn't cure me of the desire to make that sweater though.


Guess where I was last night?


Now I'm done. 


I didn't really want to go to convocation, but I'm glad I did.  It was a really nice ceremony, and like all rituals, gave a real sense of importance to the whole thing.  The fact there were more than 300 other Ph.D's didn't even phase me, even though it doesn' seem quite so special when there were so many of us (and I wasn't the only graduate to say so).


Lovely Lara

I stayed up late to finish Lara last night.  It was weird, crazy night last night.  We went to look at some apartments (we're browsing because we need something larger soon, but not fully commited to moving for a number of reasons), but because Alexander wasn't feeling well, Craig went first, and rushed home and I went to the one he said was really nice.

And it was really nice.  So we spent the evening agonizing over whether to move.  It was lovely, but not perfect.  Mostly because there was no storage.  After six years of living in a place with a basement to store junk in, it would be hard to move to a place without one.  We liked the space enough to start playing the "we'll throw this out and sell the washer and dryer and..." By 10 o'clock with pizza in front of us, calmer heads prevailed (we wouldn't be able to afford much pizza if we took the new place, or yarn for that matter) and I got back to seaming since I was too wound up to sleep.  The claw-foot tub was sucking me in, and the possibility of a playroom for the kids. But no where for all the stuff.  Sigh. 

But I have a FAB new sweater.  I love it. 


The Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran was a perfect substitute, soft and crisp, but not stiff.  I took a picture with it pinned (with the only brooch I own) but I will probably always wear it open because I'm a hang loose kinda girl (well in my own mind anyway).  That's why I'm posting a picture of me with a double-chin--I like how my waist looks and don't really care that I'm squooshed up in the chin area.  I'm too lazy to do another photo-shoot.  Why do they look good on that little screen but so terrible on the computer?


I had no problems with the pattern--it was a nice easy knit.  I think it would look neat in Silk Garden because the stripes would run vertically.  I may even try it some time.  Right now I'm watching kiddie shows with Alexander (who just informed me he put apple juice in his eyes--on purpose) and working on Butterfly again.  I'm feeling much better this morning--perfect actually--but Alexander still needs to spend the day at home resting (though the apple juice experiment tells me he's getting better).  I'm trying not to think of all the work that's piling up, just the fact that I'm wearing my new gorgeous Lara and get to spend the afternoon knitting (and cleaning, but I'll "la la" over that part!)