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November 2005
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Posts from December 2005

Done! Done! Done!

Exams and paperwork--DONE!


Pirate Hat--DONE!


Cute eh?  I think I overdid it with the steam blocking, so I'll probably wash it to get it back to size.  I would probably go down a needle size next time.  I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and I love this yarn.  Lovely stitch definition and really really soft.  Here's a shot of the top:


Now what to do with the rest of my holiday?  Well, I really should start coding some data for my next paper and work on my CV for "almost-dream job" application (I don't think I have a dream job, but this one fills most of what I want) and I could clean up the post-Christmas disaster left by four lazy folks (ie my family) but instead I'm thinking some beers with friends and some knitting are in order.  I'm in the mood to finish things, I think the Daisy Shawl is next on my list.


I don't really have time to blog.  I'm marking the last of the exams.  I have 15 left then I'm (almost) free.  Just some paperwork, submit the marks and a quick trip to the campus to drop this stuff off and I'm done.  But I'll be celebrating when the marking is over.  I've decided I hate marking.  Next time I will a) assign less and b) find a TA no matter what it takes.

And even though I just enjoyed the griping about marking, I really decided to blog today to post this:


I love this hat.  Only one more row of skulls to go.  15 essays, 8 more skulls.

Knitting for Babies and Pirates

Yesterday was the ideal lazy day.  I did very little and had a great time.  I even accomplished some knitting FOs:


Notice the odd number?  A peg-legged pirate bootee perhaps?  No, someone who can't seem to maintain a consistent tension over two bootees.  So I had to do a third.  I'm hoping I can reproduce the bigger one (at a later date because I'm bit booteed out right now) for another baby-to-be.  At least I had two that matched and not three different bootees.


And while I could have worked on something already in the basket, I decided that a lazy day demanded something new so I started a Skull hat while watching the Assassination of Richard Nixon (good, but rather melancholy). 


I'm just up to the first set of skulls.  I'm using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino baby which is perfectly soft for a hat.  I decided to modify the pattern a bit and do a hemmed version instead of a provisional cast on (mostly because I'm lazy).

I love watching a fair isle pattern emerge, though obviously not enough to keep working on this poor abandoned sweater...

It's all over, except for the soup

Phew, another Christmas is over.  I was absent from Blogland because I was trolling the malls and the grocery stores, wrapping presents, cleaning, entertaining and drinking and eating.  And getting and giving presents.   We had a big family Christmas and clearly we have prosperity in abundance (that ain't all of it). 


It was a knit-free Christmas for me--not even a knitting book, but I figure I can make up for it during the January sales.  I did get lots of nifty goodies including an electric sweater shaver and some sweater storage bags (could be a hint from the family about the number of FOs I have around), some nice clothes, skates and a sleeping bag.  The kids got everything they wanted from Santa (my kids had rather short and easy lists, bless them) and had a great day.

Craig made a fantastic and decadent dinner with an 8.5 kilo turkey as the main attraction. 


And now all that's left is the soup making and a lazy Boxing Day.  I ain't even getting dressed.




It's not the greatest picture.  I totally forgot to take some outside today because I was too busy Christmas shopping (yes, I did wait until the last minutes, which is very unlike me and I'm not that happy about it.)

I love this sweater.  The Rowan Cork is soft and chunky, but super lightweight (Why did you discontinue it Rowan? I would rather have more Cork and less yarn that you have to knit on 20mm needles).  The size is just right for me (I must be getting over my body dysmorphia--I always make things too big) and the high collar (which was obscured in the pattern) is perfect for winter. 

A nice Christmas present to me.

Here's a washed out close-up so you can see the cable. 


Now to wrap those presents. 

Decisions, Decisions

So Bless is stitched up and waiting for a zipper.  It's been ready for a zipper since last Thursday when I wore her to the fabric shop.  They didn't have an orange zipper, but the drycleaner did, but then I forgot to buy orange thread so Bless had to wait until today for thread. 

After the thread was bought, I stopped by Toronto's oldest, largest and crankiest* yarn shop today since I was in the neighbourhood.  I don't go there often because I'm never in the area and I can usually find what I want somewhere else that's much friendlier.

But today I was looking for something a tad more...frou frou.  Some Berroco Suede to make these.  Aren't they super cute?  I owe the next-door neighbour a happy baby present and there are more babes on the way and I couldn't resist the idea of little baby Uggs. 


And I picked up some Baby Cashmerino to make myself a Skull Hat (no, not to go with the skull scarf--I gave that away--and yes I do miss it, but it was never knit for me). 

And, I made a hat for Craig this weekend (which is felting as we speak) because he lost this hat.  It's pretty much the same hat, with some minor colour changes and modifications.  And while I'm miffed he lost it (it was his favourite hat), I love him and I love felting so it was no big deal.  If he ever loses Na Craga, that'll be different.


So now I have a pile of exams to mark (89 to go, but they're not as bad as marking essays) and new yarn to make small projects (like super cute booties) and a sweater that needs a zipper and all my other knitting and I'm almost paralyzed into inaction.  And, I'm trying to get to bed earlier (like 10:30).  Which means that I'm going to bed, right after I get the hat out of the washer and baste the front of Bless closed so it feels like I'm one step closer to a FO.

*Someone went to the front counter and asked if she could have some help making a yarn selection for a toque and they said no, they didn't have time.  That's cranky.

Take that Santa!

The National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum announced the latest toys to be added to the collection and one of them is a cardboard box


Remember playing with boxes as a kid?  Making spaceships or cars or if you were super lucky you got your hands on a fridge box and made a fort or castle. 

Boxes are a favourite with my kids too.  Our groceries are delivered in cardboard boxes which become cars to push each other around in, treasure chests, hats and who know what else.  We've even been really creative and pulled out the scissors and paints and made robot costumes.  They played with those for a long time.  Pulling out a box on a rainy day is magic for kids.

So while this toy company might sell some pretty weird toys (go look, more satire), they do sell a box.  They might be on to something.

Of course all this does not make this Santa's job any easier.  My kids might love to play with boxes, but they also like some of the stuff that comes in them.  And yes, this means I haven't really started shopping yet.  At least I wasn't planning to knit any Christmas gifts.

I loves political satire

In case you haven't heard, we Canadians are in the midst of a Federal election campaign.  Since we have a pretty clear division of church and state we're holding a campaign right over the birthday of the baby Jesus.  And really, no one cares (about the fact there's a campaign over Christmas and about the election). 

I already know how I'm voting.  So for me it's just about watching the campaign as a full-contact sport.  Watching how the media covers it, the gaffs, the promises, the punditry, and the polls.  And the SATIRE.  I love political satire and there's nothing like an election to bring satirists out of the woodwork and into the blogosphere.

Of course this means following Rick Mercer and his Merry Elexmas coverage.  But it also means unearthing some more unorthodox political movements*. 

For example, you might know about the Bloc Quebecois, but did you know about the Bloc quebecoise de l'Ontario?  A movement of Ontarians who wish to separate from Canada along with Quebec?

Maybe the movement will spread and all of Canada's provinces and territories will join Quebec's separatist movement. 

We might have to since those nasty Americans aren't too happy with some of the campaigning that's going on here.  If it wasn't all. over. the. press. (in the NY Times even!) I would have thought this was some clever satire too.

*I suppose I could add the Green Party too, but I'm betting some of you wouldn't find that funny (though I have to say a Green party run by a conservative, corporate motivational speaker strikes me as hilarious).

Knitting For Kids

Brrrrr.  It's really cold outsideReally cold.  (You can tell how cold I am from my photo on the left--you can make your own here).  As I was helping the kids bundle up for school this morning I noticed that poor Xander does not own a sweater.  How is this possible?  Emma has several vests and a George sweater that she has not grown out of (okay, I've added length but she's had it almost 4 years) but Xander has nothing.  He did grow out of this sweater, and I never did get around to making him another one.  This must change. 

But, except when it's really cold, they don't wear the sweaters.  They're too hot.  I'm obviously not raising them right because really anytime in any season (well except summer) is sweater time and handknit sock time and well, handknit time.

So do you have a favourite sweater pattern for a 5 year old boy?  No intarsia please, I'm over that phase (well unless it's really cute like on a Dale sweater).  I'm thinking I need to get going so I might make something from the Cork Collection using this yarn.  I'd ask Xander's opinion, but he would drag out this book:


Sure, having a knitted firefighter helmet is cool (sorry the images aren't great--they're hard to find).


And, I confess to being very fond of the Alien pillows (they have a little hidey spot for the toothfairy!) 


And really, what child would not want their own knitted giant guitar pillow? 

But this stuff ain't gonna keep you warm in January.  So sweater first, bowling set later.  This is a great book and it's motivating Emma to improve her knitting skills (she really wants that guitar).  I think it'll be a resource for summer knitting when I'm not motivated by the cold and I want some small and fun projects.  Though I do like that Viking Helmet...



I have 13 essays left to go.  13.  It's not much when you consider I had 97.  But it's a tougher slog the farther I get along.  Especially since I've finished knitting Bless.

It's blocked and ready to go.  So I'm splitting my time: mark and essay, sew a seam.  But then I couldn't mark with the kids around so I decided to keep sewing and enlisted Emma's help to take the photos (ie kept her busy). 


I will have to put Bless down and finish marking tonight.  And I still need a zipper, so I won't be wearing it tomorrow, but soon.