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Posts from May 2007


I started a nice summer sweater this week.  My disconnectedness is leading me to choose some simple stockinette projects with little fussiness -and- I'm singled parenting it three weeks this month meaning I'm logging a lot of time at the soccer field and ball hockey rink. 

After seeing my co-worker Erin's lovely version of Honey, I decided I wanted one too.  I had enough Summer Tweed in the stash and the book, so it was kismet*.


The knitting part is not so kismetty.  I decided to do a folded hem instead of the garter stitch and that took a bit of fiddling to get right (note to self: picot hems and summer tweed don't mix).  What I eventually did was knit the hem with the knit side as the right side and then did a purl row for the turning row and continued in reverse st st for the rest as written. 

I'm using a discontinued colour, 510 Bouquet and I love all the orangey/turquoisey tweedy flecks.


I finished the left front and it's too short.  I didn't do much swatching--a bit a Stephanie's book launch and but she wisely notes swatches LIE (more than alibi services) and I've had a few experiences with summer tweed and it grows with wetting and wear. 


So I'll block this piece and see what happens.  I may need to recalculate the raglan decreases for my row gauge, but if it starts becoming too much thinking, I'm throwing it in the basket and starting a sock.

*I will be wearing it with a top underneath--my post-partum boobs ain't that perky no more--if they ever were.


Nvivo 7 analysis software can bite my ass. It is so slow that I spend half my day surfing while it does stuff. Which means I do silly things like virtually shop (ie on the internet without buying. I fill the cart and then leave) or these quizzes.
You Are a Pinky
You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb


This might be the fasted pair of socks I've made--from being gifted with the lovely Socks that Rock yarn from Amy to a pair of nifty socks in a few weeks. 


I love them.  Soft and squooshy and a fun pattern to knit.  I had to rip back the toe on the first one because it was too short (I got anxious I guess) but now they fit perfect and look pretty spiffy.


The pattern was nicely written, error free and a nice space between mindless and challenging.  I did a garter stitch heel because I like them better and made the toes a tad wider, but otherwise I followed the pattern (customization is important for socks).  I have my eye on the much-blogged Monkey socks, but I think a pair of plain toe-ups using some Vesper I have stashed is next--I want to see this yarn in action.

Blank Stair

Ever have a great idea that turns out not to be so great once you get started?  When it comes to those little home improvement great ideas, this is more often how it goes.  I blame all those shows on HGTV where every home project looks so easy on TV and is a black hole of time and money when real people start it.

My stairs are the perfect example.  They are a focal point in the home (a classic Toronto semi, now reno'ed to be the standard open concept layout).  They are solid and straight.  When we bought the house they were covered with a carpet runner that was pure dirt.  I suspect they weren't vacuumed ever.  I lived with the carpet for a few months and then one day while I was balancing the vacuum on the stairs (the rest of the house is hardwood, so the vacuum is rarely used.  Well that, and I don't measure my worth based on the appearance of my home) I just had it and told Craig to rip the damned carpet out.

Fifteen minutes and a whole lot of staples and dust later the carpet was outside and we got to see the stairs.

Ouch.  The plan all along was to paint them, but we hadn't counted on them being covered in many layers of old paint and some fuzzy hard stuff that was probably glue from some rubber type runner.  I suspect the renovator had tried to strip the stairs and stopped.  Wimp, I would get the stairs in paintable condition and they would look awesome.

I'm totally getting my ass kicked by these stairs.


I bought a heat stripper today and things are better than the previous manual removal with Fantastik and elbow grease, but this is gonna take a while. 


3 stripped, 12 to go.  Then sanding and painting.  Ouch.


I've been eyeing the Dream in Color yarn at Lettuce Knit for a while now.  It is beautifully dyed (subtle handpainting), squooshy and has amazing yardage.  I *will* knit this coat designed by Laura soon, but wanted a quicky summer knit now so I used this pattern and made a shrug.


I love this green colour (but not for a coat; can you say Grinch?).  It is another rectangle with a few extras, so it was easy, fast and pretty mindless. 


I wish I had made the sleeves a bit longer (but not enough to rip out the ribbing and fix it).  It's just enough of a layer to counter to much a/c or the cool breeze on a pub patio.


My internet is back and I feel a lot less discombobulated (undo pericombobulations is a phrase we use around the house, but I couldn't work it in here--see Blackadder III). Life is still unsettled, but since I feel like blogging today, doing some catch-up is a fine place to start.

The diamond fantasy shawl is coming along nicely.  The sea silk is yummy, the beads are sparkly and the pattern is lacey--very captivating.



We've also been experiencing some weirdness around that ball of red Canadiana acrylICK that Emma was knitting her scarf with.  Apparently it compels people to knit with it:


Yup, that's Craig knitting.  He just picked up the yarn and needles Emma left out and started.  He did a backward loop cast on (that he just figured out) and then got knitting.  He watched me a bit and then started purling.  Sometimes he twisted stitches, but in the end his square had a nice even tension.


In the end he ripped it all back and put it away.  I've casually asked if he wants to knit something (while I was mwah ha hahahahahing in my head), but so far he hasn't said yes.  I should start leaving out nicer yarn.


I'm still around, but just not in the virtual world.  My internet connection at home is dead and Bell is slow to get it going again.  Worse still, there are no unsecure wireless connections around for me to borrow. 

And there's some things going on in my life that I don't want to blog about so I'm going to be quiet for a bit.

I'm still knitting, just being less of a show-off.

Meme content filler

I got tagged by Rosemary.

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog. The facts:

1) I was elected Vice-President of my university student union during my Master's program.  It was a full time job and I won by 3 votes.  The final result was 7 votes after the recount.

2) I played club Rugby in University and broke my nose.

3) I use my finger to make a happy face in the foam of my Guiness before I drink a pint.

4) I like period romance movies (A Room with A View, Pride and Prejudice) and action films (La Femme Nikita, Dirty Harry).  Putting the two together would be interesting.

5) I don't like getting needles.  I tend to faint.

6) I didn't speak English until I was 3, but now I don't speak French well at all.

7) I grew up in Thunder Bay but didn't do much camping until I moved to Toronto.

I tag Bettina, Jacquie, Michelle, BrainyLady, Laura, Jenn, and Sandi.

My Knitlist

Just when I was worried I had nothing to blog, Michelle and Jacquie save the day!

Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL

Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn (it's in my bag and ready to be knit!)
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book (you never know...)
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental) 
(Only for two-handed Fair Isle or to show someone--it's not good for this leftie)
Knitting to make money (never again--then it's work)
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
(My hands are still tingling!)
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn (I have some from Rachael waiting to be something beautiful)
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit (isn't that what sons are for?)
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool

Textured knitting
Kitchener BO

Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting (I dunno, some of my early stuff certainly looked free-form).
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair (why?)
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

News bits

It's been 5 days since I posted and I blame crack- Facebook.  Amy invited me over and I thought, what the hell?  Silly, silly me. 

I haven't been spending all week on it, but I haven't been reading the blogs either.  I'm cooking up a post on my thoughts about this new internet adventure (for me, I know all you young folks have been all over this).  It's like highschool, except I feel almost popular!

Here's a newsreel of the rest of my week:

Monday: work.  work. work.  Knit some rounds of second RPM sock.  Take Chris' idea and try to have the circles go in opposite direction.  For some reason it doesn't look right.  Rip and just follow the pattern.  Sometimes innovation just isn't my thing.

Tuesday: whole lotta work.  Good productive day trying to work my way around qualitative analysis software (Nvivo).  Find answer to my issue, but also discover that I missed something in step A that will now impact rest of project or involve many hours to fix.  Will revisit that issue later.  Knit RPM while watching Craig's ball hockey game--enjoy idea of many similar nights watching and knitting from the sidelines (soccer season is almost here).

Wednesday: bring all teaching stuff in, give keys to my office back and am released from teaching for now.  Celebrate at No Sheep Party at Lettuce Knit.  I eat, drink, knit and am generally merry. 

Thursday: finally get manuscript ready to submit.  Celebrate with diamond fantasy shawl knitting (not enough progress to photograph, but I do feel more invigorated by it--must be the seacell).

Tonight: Sushi dinner, Drunken Knitters (no diamond fantasy shawl...lace and beer do not mix), weekend!