Previous month:
December 2004
Next month:
February 2005

Posts from January 2005

Hat Head

I am a woman obsessed.  I have lovely short hair and no hat to keep me warm.  That is, no hat that keeps my head warm and looks even *all right* on me.  The alpaca one is pretty good, but it's also horrible for creating static-y hat-head.

I have spent the weekend trying to find the style that will work.  It was not the lovely Third Eye Chullo, which looked great on the couch but horrible on me.  It is not the Silk Garden Beanie that I still love. 

I went to the local shops and tried hats on and I have now narrowed down the design elements. 

1. It has to be thick around the ears--through either a fold-over edge in rib or be made in a thick yarn with a textured stitch like garter or rib or seed, or both.  My ears are big and with no hair around my face to balance the proportions, my head looks lumpy and funny.  (Don't tell me my ears are fine--I know they are, but they are still big.  Craig tried on many of the same hats as me and looked fine--hell most men wear hats and short hair and look fine, so it's gotta be something.)

2. It has to be fairly tight--not only to keep my ears warm but to flatten them down.  Chullos with the ear flaps only draw attention to the lack of hair at the neckline.  And they lengthen my face in a bad way.

3. It has to be a high at the crown.  Again, it's a proportion thing, it draws the eyes up and away from the fact that it looks like I'm bald.  Anything with a beanie shape that defines the top of my head didn't work for me.

So after all this searching, facial self-analysis that would make those "experts" on The Swan* cringe, and some serious hat head I didn't find the perfect hat to buy (because I would have if I had found it, sacralige that it is), but I have narrowed down what will work. 

A plain old boring toque.  Preferably with a tassly-thing or pom pom on top and a fold over brim.  Here's some examples (I have my eye on that last one for next winter). 

Now to see if I can make something that works with the stash at hand.  I would love to go out to the lys and find some perfect yarn (in pink to match my mittens) but I'm home with poor little Emma who's ill with the mystery illness my kids seem to get the "high-fever, extra-tired, feeling-lousy virus".  Which I guess is the flu.  So I'm using the leftovers from the mittens in violation of discovery #1, but with a fold over brim to hopefully compensate for the DK weight of the yarn.  I see some kicky pom poms.  Stay tuned for more hat saga--hopefully I'll have something before spring.

*The link for the show was dead.  Maybe this means the show is dead too? 

Stupid List

Seems like the world is full of stupidity.  Here's my recent encounters.

1. Bell Mobility update:  As of last Friday our service was reinstated with no penalities and some profuse apologies.  We finally happened upon someone a) competent and b) interested in helping so things are starting to straighten out.  We also finally received our bills and they're in order so I paid them.  We were also told that Craig will get some credit toward a new handset since his met with such an unfortunate "accident".   None of this had to happen if people would have stopped being so stubborn and stupid.

Now we're trying to decide if we'll stay with them--because except for this the service is solid and we don't want to change phone numbers (we can't take it with us in Canada--yet).  So we're calling "customer retention" and seeing what they can do for us.

2. I was watching the fifth estate last night and saw an interesting documentary, "Sticks and Stones" about television news in the US and the conservative "assault" of what is thought to be "liberal" airwaves. 

I'll admit that I live in a Canadian cultural bubble and I'm happy about it.  I don't have cable so most of what I watch is Canadian.  My main newsource is CBC Radio 1.  It means I can't watch the West Wing (that's CTV being stupid), but it's worth it.

Seeing Fox "News" and that guy--Bill O'Reilly--yell at people, lie and tell them to shut up frightened me.  That's what counts for news?  It's pretty fucked up if you ask me.  I'm not saying conservatives shouldn't have a voice or that news doesn't tend to have a liberal bias, but if this is what counts for news, I'm worried. 

The program took a specific incident of a Canadian Globe and Mail reporter who was on O'Reilly's show and the lies he told while dressing her down as a liberal anti-American.  What was also scary was an academic study which showed that those who watched Fox News as their main source of information tended to believe at least one of three false statements: a) Saddam Hussein is linked to September 11, b) that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or c) that the war in Iraq was well supported in the international community. 

The attack on liberal beliefs and really the gagging of liberal opinions in the US (at least as reported in this show) is really frightening.  And Bill O'Reilly is stupid.  I'm sorry that Fox News is now available in Canada through cable.

3. The Weather.  It's freakin cold out.  But as they say, "Everyone complains about the weather, but no ones does anything about it."

Sweater finished, startitis sets in

I want to knit a bunch of things--right now.  However, I also have this little self-imposed rule about having too many things on the go because it gives me stress.  I don't like having a basket of WIPs, that's just the way I am.

This rule isn't really stopping me right now though.  Last night I casted on Retro Prep and did a few rows.  Tonight I grabbed the lovely ball of Iro sent to me by Cathy (with a fab skein of Cash Iroha) and tried to make myself a hat.  Well I made a hat, and it looks terrible on me so I ripped it out.  I love my short hair, but it requires some experimentation when it comes to hats.  I think I'll try Jenna's Celtic Cap if this knitting fever doesn't abate.

I also wound yarn to make Craig another scarf.  He likes his new one but would like something longer.  I rarely get to knit for my guy so I'm happy to do it.

Then this came in the mail (that's Retro Prep at the top):


I have never had the pleasure of knitting with Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock.  It's pretty and feels really nice.  One colour is for my Sock Pal the other is for me (I'm not telling who gets what for now).  I really want to start that too. 




It's done!

I love it.  It's squooshy and soft and fits me perfectly.


It's tough to see all the cool texture and colours inside.  But it snowed so much this weekend I can't open my balcony door to pop outside (and it's a wee bit chilly for a photo shoot!)

When it comes to the collar, turns out third time's a charm.  I decided to go with a 2X2 rib.  Using a 6mm needle (down from the 9mm I used for the body) I picked up 44 stitches (which was what seemed right) and worked decreases similar to Banff.  I kept trying it on because I was a tad worried I wouldn't be able to get it over my head.  It's a tight squeeze (and a hair ruiner) but I love how it looks on.  I'm nicely sealed against the cold (which would have been perfect for all the tobagganing we did this weekend) and it stands up perfectly.

The only real snag was the stitching up.  Tagliatelli is stretchy.  I pulled too tightly a few times and when I went to put it on, I snapped the yarn at the armhole.  That was scary, but easily repaired. 

I love the yarn so much I want more (mmmm Summer Berries), but I'm not sure what I would do with it.  I think the texture and colour looks best with a plain shape...maybe a retro-prep-styled cardi? 

Actually, that's my next project--retro-prep in lavendar Rowanspun DK.  I want to start ZigZag, but I really need a cardigan in my wardrobe.  And I have Colourwork Classic on the needles and I like to keep my challenging projects to one at a time.

Off to get some tea and snuggle on the couch with my new sweater and some reading I need to catch up on.

Since Cari asked

New hair


Much better eh?

Here's the side view which shows the colour better


And yes, I got new glasses. They're called eyewitness by Theo and they're pretty subdued compared to most of the stuff in their line. They're rather cool in their asymmetry and I love them. But that's enough about me, I'm starting to feel a wee bit vain.


Yep, I'm thinking of packing it all in and moving to the bush to grow my own food and deny technology.

Well not really. 

But I have had it with devices this week.  First the still unresolved wireless phone stuff and now our desktop is getting all snarky.  I won't get into the details but I'll tell you that's how I spent a good portion of this morning and all of this evening.  No knitting because we've been working on fixing some OS problems.  Good thing we have a laptop too because I would have had no idea how to make the desktop better without googling for all the error codes that came up. 

It now *seems* to be better but the worst part is not knowing why we had problems in the first place.  I'll be backing up all my important stuff tomorrow (I have back ups of many things, but I got behind now that I have a laptop and a computer at work).

I did get to spend the afternoon at the Aveda Academy getting a cut and colour.  I got a hip, happening stylist and colourist so I'm much happier with the short, blush copper (some fancy Aveda name for brown) with carmel highlights results.  No pictures tonight though because all the computer work has made me look terrible. 

As for the Tagliatelli sweater, it lays forlornly, blocking.  I figured out how I want to do the neck thanks to Mandy.  I'm going to do a funnel neck similar to the one on Jenna's Banff.  I want to do it in stockinette but I'm worried about it rolling too much so I might just do it in a wide rib.  And I want to do it this weekend.  Tomorrow night I'm stitch'n and bitch'n with my pals--so socks are on the menu because there'll be booze in my coffee.

All the pieces

I love this yarn.  Not only is it fast to knit (two sleeves done since Sunday fast) but it is beautiful to look at, nice to knit and really squooshy. 

The patterns for this yarn...they ain't so great (well they might be except the photos and lack of schematics make it difficult to assess the patterns).  That's why I'm making my own.  With all the colour and texture that's inherent to this wool tape, not much is needed--just a basic sweater with set in sleeves.  I did follow what was laid out in the Tagliatelli book and worked the pieces without ribbed or garter edges and I'm liking how things are turning out.


However, I'm still stuck on the neck.  I would like some sort of turtle neck because I hate having a cold neck in the winter wind.  I don't want it to roll or be a cowl or something huge.  So my next shot at this will be a collar in stockinet with a few rows of garter before the bindoff to keep it from rolling.  That, or a 3X3 or really wide rib.  I'm also flipping through my pattern library for ideas.  Good thing I still have to block it--I obviously have no idea what I want to do with the neck.


And I still don't have my cell phone back on.  Craig got so frustrated with Bell he took a sledge hammer to his.  Seriously. He works in a factory setting and after his last dealings with them, hung up, went to the back and beat the crap out of his phone. 

You should also know that the CRTC does not deal with this aspect of telecommunications but did give me the number for Bell's Executive Office of Customer Relations (1-866-317-3382).  I left a message (interesting how they don't directly answer calls, though their greeting acknowledged that if I was calling that I wasn't getting anywhere with Customer "Service"-- and we'll see what happens.  I just want to square up the bill and my credit rating before I dump their service and take a sledge hammer to my handset (I need a new one anyway, but this will feel soooooooooo good.)

Don't try to call me on my cell phone...

Please bear with me.  Like many other Canadians we are experiencing *difficulties* with Bell Mobility.  Let's just say that we'll be changing our cell phone service (and possibly internet and telephone) really soon.

Having similar problems?  Contact the CRTC.  Let them know that Bell Mobility screwed up big time and seem to be unable to do the right thing for their customers and acknowledge their errors.  Here's my letter:

Company: Bell Mobility

Complaint: billing and customer service.

We have not received a bill since June 2004. I telephoned on several occasions in the summer of 2004 and was told a) there was a billing problem, but the bills are coming or b) nothing as bell mobility stopped answering calls.

In January 2005, after receiving a text message stating what I owed, I called again to inquire about the bills. I was told the bills were sent. As I haven't moved, I asked for the bills to be resent and they were (apparently) January 5, 2005. I still haven't received them.

On January 14, 2005, I received a phone message from Bell stating that I needed to confirm my address as they had been sending my bills to the wrong place (must be their error since I have not changed my address). When I called today, the address was correct, but I was informed that we were in arrears and that our phone service would be terminated.

After 2 hours on the phone discussing the problem, I was put on to a supervisor in accounts, Mrs. Felix who stated that I had to pay or be cut off. I explained that I would not pay until I received a bill and asked that they not cut us off until we had a true opportunity to a) see the bills and b) arrange payment (a few weeks at most). I suggested that they could courier or fax the bills to me if they wanted quick payment and that I would not pay anything until I saw a bill. She took that as a statement that I did not intend to pay the bill and CUT OFF my service right there. I admit at this point I was angry and asked her if she was punishing me for being angry. She basically stated that she would do no more for me and if I don't pay I won't have service.

The customer service at Bell Mobility is APALLING. They're billing is a fiasco and they expect customers to pay bills that they cannot see. They do not take calls, they will not forward calls to management (or say it's a 24-48 hour wait) and they have made no attempts to take responsibility for their errors.

What I would like:

1. my bills back to June 2004

2. a full resumption of my service with no penalities, no changes to my credit rating and no blemishes on my record

3. An apology for the horrible customer service

4. Written recognition that these problems are entirely the fault of Bell Mobility

5. A rebate on the service of the last six months and NO LATE fees or penalities. And a reply to this complaint.

I appear to be joining legions of other "customers" who have problems with Bell Mobility.  Might as well use this blog to voice my displeasure.  And it makes me feel a wee bit better (though I'm still seething).


It's been a busy weekend.  Friday my little baby Emma turned SIX.  I'm still having a hard time processing this fact.  She certainly acts like a little girl and looks like a little girl, but I still see her as my baby.  I bet this gets worse as we get older...


We had a lovely family dinner at our favourite restaurant, Il Fornello, which was Emma's choice (that girl has excellent taste).  She also chose fresh strawberry sorbet with a candle over cake further demonstrating her refined palate.  That was followed by the traditional present opening.  It was a Hello Kitty birthday--plush, wallet, markers, computer game and underwear--everything a six year old could want*.

Saturday, in lieu of the usual birthday party (which was becoming difficult to execute with Craig out of town and a small apartment and a sheer lack of will on our part or much interest on Emma's) we all went to the Ontario Science Centre for the day.  We liked it enough to subscribe to a two-year membership meaning we can go as often as we like. 

All the merry-making meant little knitting time.  I did make some progress on the second Retro-Rib sock and started the first Cozy Tagliatelli sleeve.  Here's the progress so far:


I actually had to frog back 3 times to get the sleeve right since I'm not really using a pattern.  I decided to do the sleeves before the neck because yardage may determine the collar--this stuff goes surprisingly far--5 skeins for a 40" sweater--but I might end up with a crew neck, I can't tell at this point. 

*When I went to get the Hello Kitty link I was floored by all the stuff you can get.  Don't show this site to Emma.  Ever.