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Posts from November 2007

Itching to be Seven

Yesterday was my baby boy's seventh birthday.  As you can see he can barely contain his excitement for a picture.


Especially with yummy cupcakes and presents to be had.


Our birthday festivities were a bit rushed since Monday nights are Brownie night and just generally week-night harried, but we did have time for cupcakes before dinner which was good Japanese food at Aji Sai (if you're in Toronto visit the one on Danforth--the food is fantastic).  Alexander not only polished off his favourite dish of edamame and a bunch of gyoza, he also took the big-boy leap of trying a spider roll which I don't think he loved but which he ate graciously. 

Then we played his new Jam Pack Jam game (pretty fun) while listening to the dulcet tunes of Crazy Frog (beware of audio--work friendly but silly) and later Elton John (I try to mix the kiddie choices with more mature sounds--he loves the song Crocodile Rock).

This weekend we'll do the serious celebrating by playing (borrowed) PS2 videogames and eating a lot of junkfood*. 

Happy Birthday my Xander, I love you a tonne and hope being seven is completely magical.

*As I write this I flash forward 7 years and see the future.  Except my baby is a giant eating me out of house and home and I can never watch my own tv.  I am afraid.

Playdates: very noisy, but I get a moment to blog

Both kids have a friend over.  They will both be gone in just over an hour and I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not.  It'll sure be quieter (holy, playing cars and dress up is super noisy) but then I'll be in charge of entertaining them.

But I do have some time to blog.  I've been working on keeping warm these last few weeks and now that I have a hat, it was time for slippers.  I bought the yarn to make the Fiber Trends felted clogs last year, and now they're done.  I've used this pattern a bunch of time, but never for myself.  The magic of felted still tickles me.

Before (my old birkenstock for scale):




They didn't quite felt the same (or possibly, I didn't knit them quite the same) but they will do nicely.  Once they're completely dry I'll add the leather slipper bottoms I bought.  On the hardwood, these things are slick. 

But they look nifty and Grinchy on my feet.


I also completed a first sock for Alexander and I need to really get going on the second one.  I swear his feet grow while I'm watching them.  He'll be 7 tomorrow and is already wearing a size 5.  The yarn is a nice one I won from one of Cara's fab contests, but I lost the label so I couldn't tell you much about it.


I'm also getting smarter with the socks.  The marker is the beginning of the toe decreases--I'm so pleased I remembered that.  And to write down things like how many stitches at the end of the heel.  This pair might be almost the same, unlike some of my others where I wing it a bit.

Now to put on some ear plugs and do some knitting.

If you look up Patriarchy in the dictionary...

I saw a photo on the front page of yesterday's National (com)Post that really summed up the state of women in the world for me.

Here's a similar one from Boing Boing (because I can't find the original).


These women are participating in the Miss Landmine Angola pageant.  It is not bad enough that the patriarchal military industrial complex made land mines that blew their limbs off, now they need to tart themselves up in patriarchal standards of beauty and compete to see who's more pretty and feminine to win a fucking leg.  They are given clothes and makeup and some money for participating.

The idea is to show women with disabilities in a more positive way and to highlight the problem of landmines.  The goals of empowerment are stolen right from the pages of any good (liberal) feminist tome.  Couldn't that be done with women in their clothes?  Just change the women in the photo to men in speedos to understand how ludicrous this is.

And we happy folks in the developed world also get some disability porn too.  Look at those severed limbs, the carnivalesque women of colour with crutches on the beach.  It's so sad, but they are so beautiful and courageous.   Blah blah blah.  They may well be beautiful and courageous, but exploiting their situation like this is absolutely vulgar and yet again underscores women's worth as merely sexual objects.

The problem is that landmines are blowing off people's legs and the victims (yes, they're victims, not survivors--yes, they survived, but only because they were victimized in the first place) need health care and rehabilitation because they are missing their limbs, not because they are the prettiest.  AND, these landmines need to be removed and not manufactured and sold in the first place.  (Go visit the International Campaign to Ban Landmines to learn more.)


Something ate this week.  I'm glad tomorrow is Friday, but wonder where the heck the rest of the week went.

I meant to blog about this a couple of days ago...

Tuesday night I went to the first knit night at the newly opened Purple Purl.  It's a great shop.  Jennifer and Miko are lovely proprieters, who make a great cappucino. 


The yarn selection is good; another ball of malabrigo in velvet grape followed me home. 


The knitters are great (of course they are).  And it's very close to home. 


I live at the top of the street it's on, the store is at the bottom.  It's less than 2km from my house.

That's either great or not so great, depending on how if you're thinking about this socially or monetarily.

I'm rather pleased.

Getting my Ravelry shirts in the mail made the day great.



originally uploaded by Dr. Steph.
Success!  I have a new hat (and an ugly couch--please ignore it).
It's Frivol and it's purty and a fun knit.  I worked an 11 pattern repeat for a looser fit and went for the pom pom, just because. 
The malabrigo was fab to knit with and is so soft.  I want more. 
Looks good with the coat eh?

TTC Knit Sightings

I was coming out of Chester subway station, as I always do at around 5pm, and I spotted a real live version of my Skull Scarf coming toward me.  In an unusually bold gesture for me, I stopped the kid (he was a skinny teenager, with some seriously "edgy" clothing on, and lots of socially progressive buttons on his lapels) and remarked that I very much liked his scarf.

He was with his mother and indicated that she knit it.  I then told her I designed it and told her it was very neat to see one of my designs in action and that she did a fantastic job on it (she did, it was done in a larger weight yarn and was really cool).  We chatted knitting a bit, the son remarked that he was the envy of his friends and then she actually took our picture!  I have already forgotten her name (silly woman that I am) so I'll just say thanks for knitting my pattern and giving me a nice pick me up at the end of the day.

Of course, that little ego boost made me stupid brazen.  I picked up Urchin and finished it.  I grafted it perfectly (boucle yarn makes that difficult to execute, but with nice results) and I completed another fetching hat for Emma.  Shit. 

My gauge was off, because the thing looked like a chef's hat--very poofy on the top.  Not small and neat like the picture.  I swatched so this shouldn't happen. 

Oh well, the yarn was free and the time was minimal and I learned a few things.  I then started my Frivol, and completed one row before I decided to graph the pattern because I like charts much more than written instructions.  Finding a free charting pattern took some time (I used this one, and fudged the cable sts that it didn't have) but by then it was bed time.  Tonight, it's me and beer and malabrigo.

I was feeling a bit better even though it was chilly today (with a wind chill even) and I was wishing I had a hat.  Then I got knocked back on my ass again.  On the subway, there was a teen-girl looking very smart in handknit fingerless gloves and a perfect urchin.  Perfect, tiny, cute.  Now, this does not mean that it would look as good on me, but it was correctly done.  Shit.

No, I didn't tell her she had a nice hat.  One bold talking to strangers thing every 24 hours only. 


Now that I have the coat situation all figured out, it's time for accessories.  I have leather gloves, and Earth Stripe is coming along (though slowly) so my neck will be warm.  So it's time for a hat.

Hat's are tough when you have short hair.  The cloche or beanie style (like my favourite Silk Garden Beanie) don't look so good on me at least.  I find a hat that has something going on--a pompom, texture, a brim, an interesting top, a design feature that doesn't suck the hat to my head works the best.

But which design feature is best? 

I started with a single ball of Manos and this pattern (Last minute purled beret by Knit and Tonic).  It made a very nice hat.  But not on me.  Emma tried it on and after a bit of modification (I picked up the brim stitches and worked some decreases and then did a rolled edge) she had a fabulous kicky beret.

I know kids are supposed to be cute, but why do they have to look so cute in my handknits?

Since my first attempt didn't work, I'm trying another one.  A less floppy beret--Urchin from the Fall Knitty.  I'm a bit concerned that the stash yarn I'm using (Artful Yarns Circus colour 7, palm reader) is too... too wrong.  Laura said it looked a bit like LB Homespun--ack!  It's a wool boucle and I like the colour, but I see disaster looming.  Since I'm using 8mm needles, it's not like I'm investing time in this project...Emma may have a drawer full of hats this winter.

With attempt two being questionable (so much so I forgot to take pictures) I decided new yarn was in order.  This beautiful ball of Malabrigo followed me home last night.  My plan is to make this (hooray for Ravelry).  I'm going for both the bobbles and the pompom.

It's my first Malabrigo and I can't wait to go home and play with it.

Sick Day

Emma is home sick and I'm home with her and happy for it.  I'm not happy she's unwell, poor thing, but having another day at home, an unplanned day at home is a great opportunity to catch up on things.

I spent the weekend catching up on the other stuff of life, buying the kids winter boots (if you haven't done this, go now--all the sizes are gone, I mean gone), getting the coat thing sorted out, laundry groceries, birthday parties, stair stripping (7 done, 7 to go) and I don't know what else, but it made me tired when I plopped on the couch at 10pm to watch Myth Busters and then Robot Chicken. 

About the coats.  I didn't get just one, I got two.  Having my mom to shop with really helped.  She's a great shopper and enabler.  She bought me the dressier fall or not-so-cold-day winter coat


(mine is Brown, all the info is here).  The hood comes off and makes it a snazzy fall coat that's perfect for right now.  It is also the perfect coat for the Earth Stripe Wrap.  Thanks Mom!

I bought the super down filled puffy coat (Eddie Bauer, good basic stuff). 


I got style and substance (but you knew that about me already ;) ).

I also finished Sherbie.  Well, it was almost finished in the wee hours before I left for Rhinebeck but I didn't like it so I didn't bring it (good thing, it was tropical that weekend).  I actually still have one side of the zipper to backstitch (I do an overcast on the edges and then back stitch the middle) but since I have time now, I figured some FO pictures were in order.

It's warm, technically well knitted and okay, but I don't really love it.  It looks great on my mother in law who is larger and more curvy than me since the ribs hug her the right way.  And it looks great on my very tiny mother, since it's oversized on her.  But on me, I'm feeling meh.


I know that all over rib doesn't suit me, so I'm not sure why I made it since it makes me look all over ribbed.  Adding horizontal stripes doesn't help the matter.


But it is warm and looks good on other people so if I don't keep it, someone has a nice Christmas present.

DIMM and Dimmer

The computer and I are still not getting along.  Seems like my DIMM card is dying.  That's the RAM.  And that's not good.  It probably overheated and fried, but  it can be replaced but my computer guy Craig is away this week so it has to wait.  In the meantime I'm backing stuff up and hoping for the best.

I also have a trojan horse virus and have been running all the appropriate cleans which takes forever when your RAM is diddling around and acting like a toddler who wants to look at everything when you're late for an appointment.

This has given me some time with the Earth Stripe Wrap but no time for photos.  And I'm staying off the internet at home until this is fixed.  So photos will have to wait--sorry.

In the mean time, go read the reviews for No Country for Old Men.  I really wanted to see this at the Film Festival but couldn't get tickets.  I love the Coen Brothers and will be seeing this one on Saturday night.