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Posts from August 2006

Fall Is In the Air

It was a bit nippy this morning, Fall is definitely on it's way.  And Fall makes me think of lots of things (getting back into serious-work-mode, teaching, kids going back to school, Film Festival) but the knitting lobe of my brain starts thinking Rhinebeck.

I'm going.  For sure.  Worked my course syllabus around it.  Have my hotel booked.  Have a gang of friends to see.  But I haven't completely ironed out the getting there part.  I would prefer to fly because a) I don't relish another 9 hour drive, fun though it was and b) I have enough Air Miles, so what the hell.

So kids, which is the best airport to fly to and how the heck do you get to Rhinebeck once you land?

I'm willing to split the cost of a car rental with someone if you're in the same boat.  Let me know.


It bugs Emma when I use the word Nifty, so I couldn't resist when speaking about her sweater.  That's because it's so nifty how it's turning out (especially now that the pocket is properly centred).

The starting point for this one was this nifty top-down pattern generator.  I used a provisional cast on for the neck so it would be easier to add the hood at the end (though I'm not sure how I'm going to make the hood...) and I added the pocket using ideas from a bunch of patterns.  I found the sleeve measurements were a bit off, so I just used Emma as a guide for those.


She's anxious for me to get it done, so I think this will be the thing to knit for now.  I do want to get back to Colorwork Classic and I need to knit something for a friend (I'm debating between socks and a scarf).  The latter should satisfy my need for mindless line-standing knitting.  TIFF lines start tomorrow.  I have my vouchers and it's time to pick my movies.  I hear there's one about sheep who go baaaaaad.  I can't wait.

On Notice

I'm in a mood


Squirrels are greedy vermin.  My sunflowers barely had time to make seeds before the greedy vermin (with their twitchy noses) at everything including the lovely yellow petals.

Cruel and completely unfair.  It's not about me directly, but some people I care for and respect.  And it sucks.  No I'm not telling, it just makes me feel good to just say that.

114 Students that's the current size of my class.  The ad said 80.  In third year this is way too huge.  I already cut back on the assignments (ie cut back on the grading).  And there are 90 enrolled for the Winter session.

Balloon: Alexander untied it from his wrist and it's stuck in the tree in my backyard.  My attempts to retrieve it only made it go higher.  Just high enough so he can see it but not high enough so it would fly and be free and irretrievable.

What's with the freakin' Wasps?  They're everywhere. 

Stephen Harper Your stupid $100 fake child care allowance (ie sad excuse for universal day care) arrives every month just to irk me.  Why not put in a really day care plan so working parents have some safe affordable options?  Really I could come up with 100 ways my PM bothers me, so let's just put his very existence on notice.

Bad pants between the tight ankled jeans and gauchos (palazzo pants, culottes etc) I can look short and wide or like an inverted triangle. They suck.

Real Estate Speculators You crappy house that's falling apart is not worth that much.  Even if it's beside a well kept place.  In fact, that makes your house worth even less because it's so easy to compare.  Greedy bastards.  And would you please stop buying up all the affordable properties, adding some fancy touches and flipping them?   There are families who would actually like to live in this neighbourhood.  Greedy bastards.

Do you see it?


Why didn't I see it!

This is Emma's Hoodie.  We went into my stash (yeah, stashbusting!*) and she picked the yarn (Araucania Nature Cotton) and we got together on the pattern.  A striped hoodie with a kangaroo pocket was Emma's contribution.  That it would be knit from the top down, working out the details as I we went along was mine.  And the daisy was my idea (there'll be some on the hood too).  I rather liked this pattern, but I was vetoed. 

Don't see it yet?  Look really closely.

Things were going well until I got to the pocket.  The intarsia that I haven't done since this sweater was a bit of a challenge and I needed to start it again to get it right.  I also think the pocket should be a bit wider, but I wasn't ripping it back for that.

The other problem, that I will have to rip back for. I didn't centre the damned pocket.  Actually I did, but I forgot that I'm knitting from the top down, not the bottom up.  So while it would have been centred had I started from the bottom, it doesn't work when you consider the decreases/increases (depending on your perspective).

And here I was thinking I had nothing to blog about.

*I was excited about the idea of taking a chunk out of my stash until I did a little assessing and realized that unless I knit a cozy for the CN Tower, I ain't making a dent in anything.  Here that Christo and Jeanne-Claude?

Simmering Rage

This summer I've been revising my Women and Health course.  I taught it for the first time last year and while I was pretty pleased with it, I also knew there were things missing.  The biggest was a discussion of Women and HIV/AIDS.  I had just heard Stephen Lewis on the CBC and bought his book Race Against Time thinking I could use part of it in the class.

I read it in two days and was completely overwhelmed, and he was only writing about Africa.  Then the AIDS conference came to Toronto and I've been following the coverage.  As I did, I started to get mad. 

I'm mad at how my stupid Prime Minister didn't attend the conference and address the 25,000 scientists, activists, health care workers and HIV positive people who attended.  Who decided that the conference was "too political" and chose not to listen or help (sure he said money would come after the news cycle was over but that's pretty hollow--Canadian governments have promised money before and haven't come through--and that way he can avoid (more) criticism. 

I'm mad at other leaders of rich western countries who have promised money and have not actually provided the funds.  Or, like George Bush, who only give money to abstinence-based programs which completely fail to understand the gender inequalities which underlie rape, sex-work, sex in exchange for security and that marriage is a risk factor for HIV for many women.  Their husbands cheat and they cannot refuse sex or insist on condoms. 

I'm mad that in 25 years the vast majority of people do not recognize how AIDS disproportionately affect the poor and marginalized and how gender and race inequalities exacerbate the issue.  That those with AIDS are stigmatized for their behaviour, and how entire groups of people are treated like children who cannot make their own decisions and who need neo-colonial solutions while children are completely neglected.

Fuck, I'm so angry and overwhelmed that I don't even know what to do.  This is not just a unit in a course, it should be a course in itself.  In the end I felt that I didn't have enough of a handle on the topic to teach it this term, but I'm trying to do it for the Winter session. 

I've come to realize that AIDS really is the primary Global concern.  As they said in at the AIDS Conference, it really is time to deliver.  I encourage you to read Stephen Lewis' book, do some research, (this is a good place to start) and write to your governments to tell them that you want them to make AIDS prevention and treatment a priority in your country, and part of their international development budget. 

Yup, too small

I didn't even bother to try it on.


It'll look great on Mom, and it looks pretty dang good on Emma.  Of course, now she wants one.  I like that she likes Rowan stuff.  She's going to get a more girlie spinoff instead, something ribbed and pink and orange that I'll start tonight, before she changes her mind (which she's done a bunch of times already). 

Range of Disappointments

Let's go from highest to lowest shall we?

1. We made an offer on a house yesterday--our first one.  We didn't get it.  Was it *the* house?  I can't say for sure.  It needed lots of work, but was pretty much exactly where we wanted to live.  We were outbid by a lot (the selling price was 70,000 over asking) so we're not feeling too bad about it.  The buyers are insane to pay that much.  But still.

2. Angie is too small.  Not it-just-needs-a-little-blocking too small but it-looks-like-you're-wearing-your-kids'-sweater to small.  My plan to knit a size smaller than what I think I need does not include Rowan patterns.  It will look great on my mom, so I'll get the ends woven in and send it to her--she totally deserves it.

3. I can't go to Lettuce Knit tonight for Stitch'n'Bitch.   I really wanted to go since I don't have many free Wednesdays left.  I'll be teaching in Scarborough all year on Wednesdays and just don't see myself making the trek to Kensington Market after the hour transit ride it will take me to get home from campus.

4. My holidays are over.  I'm back at work.  It's not all that bad because I was ready to get back to writing more articles.  But it also means no more marathon knitting sessions on the front porch or sleeping until 10. 

5. It's Wednesday, not Friday.  Actually that's not so bad.  We're having a bunch of people over for a barbecue and I need time to get things in order.   That'll be a fun day.

6. My caramilk bar is sorta stale.  I think I'm just making stuff up now, so I should stop this list before it gets any sillier.

Three-Day Sweater

After knitting a baby sweater with cables in a fine gauge, it was very satisfying to whip up this little sweater.


I used this pattern which I highly recommend.  It is knit in one piece from the top down--no sewinng.  It would be neat in a fun fur (since babies can't yet complain about what they wear) or one could add a little intarsia or colourwork and it was a well written pattern and quick to knit.  The whole thing took three days.  And I used stash yarn.

Now I'm tackling Angie.  Progress is good, but slow.

Ripples in Time

Look what I finished last night:


I love it.  The fine gauge makes for a beautiful sweater and the green is one of my favourite colours.  It will look quite smart on the baby boy in about a year (I like to knit things big for babies, that way they can wear them for a while).  And, I've alleviated any guilt I had about being the reason the baby hasn't come yet.

The pattern from Fionna Ellis' new book was perfect.  I also liked knitting with the Dale of Norway Baby Ull, though I found it a bit splitty.  My only complaint was the damned photos in the book.  The neck line is shaped like a shallow curve and I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to look like.  The instructions didn't quite make sense to me without the photo, except that the lighting in the picture and the placement of the garment really obscured the shoulder.  I had an "aha" moment and I realized it's a classic baby-garment shoulder; designed so that you can actually get it over a baby's big head.  A very nice touch actually.  I'm filing that away for future designs.


Now I've started another baby sweater for a friend whose son is already 5 months old.  I'm using Stasia's Cardigan--a top down, all in one piece sweater and some stash Grace cotton (from this failed piece).  They're visiting in a week and I'm pretty sure I'll have it done in time.  Our lazy holiday has been pretty damned lazy so I'm getting lots of knitting time in.

Planned Randomness?

Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of another week of vacation, but we've been so busy, we haven't decided what we're going to do.  We have something to do in the city on Sunday which kinda pooches up the whole week off thing.  And vacating the neighbourhood for Taste of the Danforth.  While we wouldn't be in the thick of it like Michelle, it's a bit tiring after all these years and well the tzaiki is off the souvlaki at our house. 

Adding to my vacation woes is the fact that I'm still getting my course reader together for the Fall and I need to get it to the printer this week.  I just need to shut off my brain and pull out a few of the readings (there are too many and they just won't read them all) and send the damn thing out.  Tommorrow.

I'm thinking it'll be a city vacation--just hanging out, being lazy, knitting, playing etc.  But Type-A girl that I am, and fearing the boredom of my children, I need to plan the lazy.  So, very very sad isn't it?

I'll save you from my ravings with a little bit of knitting.  First, the baby is still in the womb. and the sweater is blocking.  If I have time tomorrow, I'll do all the assembling. 


And I started a little quick scarf project for myself.  I have been fondling the Silken Straw at Alchemy for a few months and finally decided to give it a try.  Gold is not one of my usual colours, but Megan convinced me to expand my palette.  I'm using Wannietta's pattern and I'm loving how the subtle colour changes work with the lacey pattern.  Fun and easy. 


I'm still ignoring Angie.

Now back to Women and Health readings and obsessing about how to have an enjoyable week off with no advanced planning.