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Posts from June 2006

Which buttons?

Sunrise Circle is almost done!  I re-blocked it last week because I overdid it a bit the first time and the circles were sorta ruffly.  Then it occurred to me that I didn't have any yarn left to do the button loops.  So I ignored it for a while (denial is the key to yarn shortages) and then I found a teeny bit of yarn to do the crochet button loops in my knitting box (good thing I don't throw anything away).  The loops are done and now I have to choose the buttons.

Here's the sweater with square buttons:


And with nifty handmade round ones:


And some close ups:

Sunrise_sun_button Sunrise_round_button Sunrise_toggle

I found these toggles a few minutes ago and thought I would throw them in.  This is what the pattern calls for and they have some appeal.  The colour is better on this one:


Cast your votes.

Look what I made

s a way to join in on the Great Spin-Out and because Emma asked and it was a way to keep her busy and entertained, I finally spindled my silk hankies from Chasing Rainbows which I purchased at Rhinebeck.  Amy (who has a great article about silk hankies here) lent me the spindle a while back and as I may have mentioned here, I don't have much desire to jump on the spinning wagon, though Stephanie assures me I'm not spinning...yet.  That's it's just a matter of time.  I would like to say I have been working on avoiding that lure, but really, the lure never existed.

Well, all that spindling was pretty fun.  Emma (and later Alexander) would open up the hankies and help spin the spindle.  They really enjoyed it all.  I did some of the spinning and tried to keep things from blowing around too much (note to self, spinning outside with silk on a windy day isn't too smart).  I now have two nice balls of silk to knit myself a "rustic" scarf.  Ya, it's pretty uneven, but I like it that way.


I still don't see myself getting a wheel, even though Cara thought it would make an excellent gift for my birthday on Sunday.

Smokers Wanted

One of my colleagues, Fil, in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Toronto is conducting some research on the effects of smoking and needs some volunteers for his study.  If you're a smoker between the ages of 18-35 in the Toronto area and could spare some time to contribute to science, please contact him.  Or if you know a smoker who might want to participate, pass along the information.  More details can be found HERE  (PDF).

Third time lucky

Something happened a few pairs of socks ago, when I changed back from making garter stitch short row socks to making stockinette stitch short row ones.  My short rows suck.  In fact they suck air through the gaping holes in my short rows.  I have no photos because I was too busy ripping out the damned sock heel in disgust.  I will put up with some holiness in my socks but not gift socks.


I suppose I might master a short-row technique if I actually take the time to do the same one more than once instead of ripping and trying a different one.  I dislike the Japanese version because all those pins are too fiddly and not too portable.  And while I liked the yarn over short rows for my Mermaid, they looked like crap on the socks--I'm not sure why.  My usual wrap and turn didn't go so hot either, even though I've done this well in the past.  So I googled and tried some things and I found a no-wrap method (PDF) (which seems to me like a modified Japanese SR) that I liked and which worked. 


This time at least.  We'll see what happens with the next sock in the pair.


On another note, I wore my shorts to ride to work yesterday, but I did wear the skirt on the errands and no one saw my ass, and I didn't get any of the white eyelet fabric in the chain, so it was a successful outing and I now know that a skirt and my bike can work together.

Random is good

It's Wednesday, so why not rip off a great idea from a great blogger and get random.

1. I'm single-parenting it this week and we're all surviving.  Craig is in Stuttgart...Arkansa so I'm waiting to be regaled by tales of his cross-cultural experience.  The only thing I wish for is ice-cream.  I must plan ahead tomorrow and buy the ice cream before I pick up the kids because I can't go out once they're in bed.  I'm told Ben and Jerry's Black and Tan is good.  And that's close enough to beer for me right now.

2. That's because I'm tired.  Work has been hectic, but in that "I'm getting so much done" way.  I submitted another paper to a journal for review, I've been doing interviews and focus groups and stuff is just happening.  But it is tiring.

3. Go check out this web site and register your support for family diversity.  In Canada and the United States a lot of people want to tell others what constitutes a family and demonize those who are not heterosexual married baby making machines.  They need your support.  Read Jo's much more reasoned and impassioned entry about it too.

4. Did I mention that Craig and I have *started* to look for a house to buy?  Why didn't anyone tell me how much fucking work it is to get pre-approval for a mortgage, find a realtor, look at places and all that?  I'm almost bored of it already.  We rent a great house that we can't afford to buy, and which isn't for sale, so we're just exploring our options.  To stay in our neighbourhood will cost us more than renting (and for a house half the size and in about the same crappy state of old-house-which-needs-$$$-work) but we have this feeling that we need to get into the market.  I wish I could have a more European sensibility and just continue renting, but the idea of home ownership has been ingrained into me by just about everyone and I fear living in a hovel eating cat food when I'm retired if I don't get "into the market".

5. My kids have far far far too much energy.  Why aren't they tired?

6. I'm contemplating riding my bike to work in a skirt tomorrow.  I'm not sure this is a good idea.  I have a first-generation styled mountain bike and don't want flash my ass to everyone on the Bloor viaduct.  I hate to let my desire to wear a skirt take away from getting some exercise.  And I have errands to run so I can't just keep changing into shorts.

7. Rosemary has new pins and shawl sticks.  They are gorgeous.  Go check them out.  I have the stars and moons shawl stick and I love those hammered metal ones. 

Did I mention?

That I met Mandy, Tech-Editor Extraordinaire, and all round fun girl? 


Or that I met with her about two weeks ago and forgot to blog about it because I've been a complete bubble-head lately?

Or that we just "clicked" and had a great time?  Mandy is lovely and interesting and fun to talk with.  And like me, doesn't feel she has to choose between a fancy coffee and dessert--she has her cake and eats it too.

Well, I'm telling you now.  Thanks for the great photos Mandy. 

Sunburn circle, not sunrise

I really tried to finish my Sunrise circle jacket this weekend, but it's just too damned hot.  Our TV room is on the third floor (the attic room) and without A/C it's just north of Hell up there.  And for me, finishing and TV go well together and sitting with a wool sweater on my lap in this weather isn't working for me.  I have two seams and some ends to go--maybe next week.  It's hard to get motivated to finish a wool sweater when I can't wear it any time soon.

I've done a little bit of itty bitty knitting (socks, cotton lace scarf) but mostly I've been out and about.  Today we spent the day down at the beach, having a picnic, flying kites, watching the kids play in the sand and the lake, eating ice cream and just being outside in the sun.  Unfortunately for me, I was stooooopid and didn't put on the sunscreen and my shirt until it was too late.


oooooowwwwwww.  I'm very vigilant about making the kids where sunscreen, I buy them UV-proof bathing suits, I'm super pale and I always burn, and I know about how bad the sun is because I get artificial UV phototherapy for my skin (psoriasis--it sucks).  Yet, I never learn.  I'm definitely not stitching up the sweater tonight.

Help me stay awake!

It's one of those days.  I just woke up with my reading on my lap--a little impromtu siesta.  I'm tired and all the work I have right now is the passive kind (reading and editing) and I can't stay awake to get it done.  I was really productive this morning with all kinds of researching and emailing and with scheduling interviews, so the day isn't a complete waste.

I napped too much yesterday afternoon and couldn't fall asleep last night.  If I sleep now it will just make for more of the same tonight and I don't want to be like this again tomorrow afternoon.  Thankfully it's Thursday and I can grab some sleep on the weekend to get caught up.

So since it's nice and I need to stay awake, I'll show you my progress on the baby sweater.  I'm just at the armhole shaping, so I'm making good progress.


The shower was a lot of fun and I managed to hint at the knitted-present-in-progress by enclosing a snip in a baby lamb card.  Though I have to admit I would have a liked a big round of "you knit that?!" amongst the ooooing and awwwing over the lovely baby swag.  It must be why I blog--I like the attention.

Well that woke me up.  Hopefully my little accidental nap will give me enough energy to make to the kids' bedtimes and I'll have enough sense to go to bed.

24? More like Six Feet Under

The baby sweater is not going to be done.  I pretty much gave up on it 3 days ago.  I was in Halifax to do focus groups, spent two fun days with an old grad-school friend (where I talked so much I never knit a stitch) and I had already bought a just-in-case present for tonight's Baby Shower.  So Jack Bauer, I ain't.  No biggie. 

Right now I'm just trying to get it together enough to get to the Shower.  I just got home this morning, I'm tired, I want to see the kids, unpack, relax, and get back into the swing of real life.  So I'll wrap the present, take a nap, then a shower and worry about knitting up this sweater later.  I can't even take a picture of the front-in-progress because I can't find my camera.  So go say Happy Birthday to Stephanie instead of listening to me whine.

Note to self: READ the pattern

I kinda figured something was funny with the front piece of the sweater when I was on the plane.  The stitch count was off and it just didn't look right.  I didn't have a picture of the sweater with me, so I just made it work (in a way which was logical).  Except when I checked today it's not supposed to look like this:


Shit, now I have to rip back a good inch and a half of this thing.  I reread the pattern, carefully.  I got it wrong.  Reading, it's a skill I'm pretty good at.  But apparently, not always.

It's an easy fix, but this knitting to a deadline is probably a bad idea.  I am going to plug ahead though and take the challenge.  I'm going to *pretend* I'm the Jack Bauer of knitting, and I'm going to set up a little count down clock and kick this pattern's ass.