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September 2008
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November 2008

Posts from October 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love Halloween.  It's a completely low-stress holiday with minimal family obligations, scary stuff and lots of candy.  We're in full-Halloween mode at home right now with various Halloween activities this week for the kiddies.   There's no Halloween party for me this year, but I get to watch all the fun the kids are having and eat some of that candy.

Last night Emma had her Girl Guide party.  The issue of proper hair meant she was one Harry Potter character last night and will be another one on Friday.


I take no credit for the costume.  Elizabeth made this for her daughter a few years ago and Emma made the wand.  I did the hair braiding and found the tie.  This morning I found the one I was looking for; crimson with gold gryffins on it--doh.  Oh well.


(Pretend the red eye makes her magical--I don't have a photo editor at work and can't download my own programs).

While Em was at her party, Xander and I tackled his pumpkin.  They must be breeding pumpkins to be jack-o-lanterns because this one didn't have much goop or seeds in it.  The hardest part was getting the light settings right on my camera so you could actually see Xander with his pumpkin.



(I really hate thos backsplash tiles.)

Tonight he's off to Cubs as a Ninja, though I doubt he'll have much stealth after he fills himself with sugar.

Friday is the big school parade on the Danforth and then trick-0r-treating.  They're going with older friend Alison while I sit with Keri and Elizabeth enjoying a beer and giving out candy.

And of course there's all the fun of internet halloween gags. 

This one made me a bit guilty because I put both kids on the ceiling with it. 

Yep, it's a great holiday.

Looking for a good home (in the GTA)

IMG_1189, originally uploaded by Dr. Steph.

We've been in our house for almost 2 years and we're still in the process of culling old possessions and getting the place the way that we want. Most times the process is just a matter of finding the time and inclination to get things out the door to the Goodwill, friends or curb as garbage or to be released into the "urban ecosystem". One piece even ended up being a yarn display case at the Purple Purl.

Those things were easy to get rid of, now we're getting to the hard stuff; things that we like and/or have a sentimental attachment to, but which we just can't keep any longer.

Enter exhibit A: Old desk.

I don't know how old this desk is, but it's older than me by a fair bit. It belonged to a friend of the family who is now in his 70's and who inherited it from someone else. The yucky varnish which was yellow and scratched was removed by me about 12 years ago, and we've had it for 16 years now.

It can be positioned with the shelf side on either the left or right because drawer (with original hardware) goes right through the desk and can be opened on either side.

It fits a laptop nicely and would be a good writing desk as they were used in older days. It's last use at our place was to hold our tv (the components went underneath).


Want it?

Send me an email at and-she-knits-too AT sympatico DOT CA and make me an offer. Mostly, I just want to find it a home where it will be used rather than just putting it out at the curb.

Added later:

**Desk is spoken for**

Thanks for all the comments.  Now you're making it harder for me to give it away.  But it still has to go. 

Job Opportunity for a Grad Student who's into blogging

I'm not sure how many of you are in my blog audience, but it is a neat research opportunity (something I would have done when I was a grad student).

Dr. Kim Bercovitz is looking for a graduate student with expertise in and passion for blogging and social media research. 

She is conducting a study on how cancer patients access online information and social support.  The student will conduct research by identifying the virtual landscape and the most popular sites/blogs/.podcast/on-line support groups and help conduct a discourse analysis of the various social media sites.  There may be opportunities to build and help maintain a blog.  Those that would like more information or to submit a resume may do so by contacting Dr. Kim Bercovitz at

That's all I know about it. Contact the email if you have other questions.

Autumn Vino

I finished knitting this Vino coat a long time back, had the toggles put on a few weeks ago and had the lovely and talented Laura Chau (designer and photographer) take some photos of me in my coat on a cold but very pretty fall day at Rhinebeck.


vino toggle.

vino sleeve

vino collar

vino back

The photos really show off the depth of the very nice Dream in Colour Classy in November Muse.  It was a very nice pattern to knit making for a great coat.  My friend Danny also did a fantastic job putting on the toggles, and they work perfect for keeping the coat closed but also sorta open at the same time (which is what I wanted). 

Thanks for a great pattern and photos Laura!

I also want to send a big thanks to my friends on the Yarnmongers group.  They very generously provided me with the yarn and a big donation to the Canadian Cancer Society after my Dad died and I feel like I'm getting a huge hug from you all when I wear this coat.  Your support during that time (and during all kinds of other ups and downs) is really special to me. 

Rhinebeck Report 2008 Edition

Another year, another Rhinebeck.  And again it was great.

My fabulous friend Keri secured the wheels (that's another story, but let's say that Keri discovered that oil caps are left off during oil changes far, far too often and her quick thinking and firm words had this particular garage averting the ire of knitters with a quick offer of a loaner car), and with Kim we hit the road in search of our kind.

The vistas were not quite as lovely as past years (must have to do with all the rain we had) but were still gorgeous.


We made record time to our accommodations in Woodstock--8 hours--and found ourselves at a lovely "summer home" that Laura had the smarts to get us organized to rent (for much less than hotel rooms).




Our friends in fibre-seeking--Laura, Andrea and Cheryl--met us later that evening and we had some beers, knit, and sat by the fire (yes, we had a fireplace!). 

Then it got smoky.

That wasn't a good thing. 

I forgot to open the flue.

No real harm except to the pretty white brick chimney.  Which meant we spent part of the evening washing off soot.  Then part of Sunday night too, this time armed with toothbrushes, magic erasers and fantastik with bleach.


Soot doesn't come off painted brick so good. 

Who the hell paints their fireplace white?

Well, apparently I do.  I found some paint and spruced it up.  All better.  And a funny, minor glitch in an otherwise great trip.

Now back to the fibrey fun...

Saturday we hit the fairgrounds and it was PACKED.  I've never seen it that busy.  It was sorta hard to shop.  But that didn't really stop us.  I'll do a separate stash enhancement post because all my yarn looks crappy photographed at night in the house.  It's so very nice it deserves better.

Kim was on a mission to find a new wheel.  We started with the high-end stuff just to understand how a cadillac compares to all the rest.  While none of us liked the Golding aesthetic, Kim's face says how she feels about spinning on this machine.


Keri gave it a whirl too.


I don't spin. I declined.  Though that resolve fell a bit.  You'll see next post when I show you what I bought.

I bought a spindle for Elizabeth.  Kim and Keri got them too.  They were later pronounced awesome.


We petted, fondled, ooooooo-ed and awwwwww-ed, hugged old friends, met new ones (I want to state that I LOVE it when someone comes and introduces themselves to me as one of my readers, it's always great to meet you), had some beer with pals I don't get to see often enough (Laura N., Jaya, Jo, Justine, Sarah), saw lots of Central Park Hoodies, Clapotis, Tilted Dusters, some Rogues, and just general knitted gorgeousness. It was all good. When we were back at our place, we did some show-and-tell over pizza and wine. We all had a lot to show and more fondling, oooooo-ing etc occurred.


Keri broke out her new ball winder while Kim assembled her new Lendrum. Laura gave Cheryl and Andrea drop spindle lessons and I relaxed with my knitting. Yes, Cheryl and Andrea are newbies to Rhinebeck and did what we all do when there; by a spindle and fibre and start making their own yarn!

Laura took some silly pictures of usReally silly (it helped keep us warm--Rhinebeck was freezing).

Monday morning, Keri expertly packed our car. The wheel is even in there.


Our work in Rhinebeck was done.


I always say this will be my last year at Rhinebeck (so I can go to other fibrey things like Maryland or Madrona or Sock Camp) but now that I'm not in school, Rhinebeck is like the start of Autumn for me and Autumn is the start of hard-core knitting season. I'm already thinking of next year's trip.

(Thanks Laura, for a great happy photo of me!)

Smooshy scarf

Pretty Fibre Distraction

With the election being a massive disappointment, I have chosen to cocoon with some smooshy yarn and my loom.  Yes, I will still be watching the CBC for all the punditry (I can't help it, I find this stuff interesting and apparently I'm a masochist), but I'll be weaving my Rhinebeck scarf at the same time for the sedating effect (it's also harder to throw things at the tv this way).


Pretty eh?

The colour changes are more subtle than these pictures make them out to be.  And it looks less dishcloth like and more smooshy wooly.  I'm learning that the work needs to be washed and dried before it really has the appearance of cloth.  Maybe I'll do a before and after.  Maybe...


And there will probably be beer. Beer helps. 

Persistence Pays

Emma decided that the sticky warp threads weren't that bad and she and I worked on her "snuggle blanket" this weekend.  Keeping a lot of tension on the loom really helped (along with her "it'll look great no matter what" attitude) and in very little time the blanket was finished.


It's a mix of Sirdar snowflake and the leftovers from this coat of long long ago (which is one of those knits I'll remember because it's super cute).  Emma is very pleased and snuggled into bed with it last night whilst reading her Harry Potter book. 


It seems that something in her genetic code turned on this Autumn and she as become "a reader" and a Harry Potter fanatic.  Must be something about nearly 10 years of age that makes it all come together.   Though her knowledge of the minutia of Harry Potter is a bit off-putting (I see girl crushes coming along very soon).

I took advantage of the empty loom (you can see it in the photo above) and warped it with some very non-sticky Dream in Colour Smooshy in Chinatown Apple to make myself a scarf for Rhinebeck (I know, I know, I leave on Friday, but I'm gonna give it a shot).  I'm using my 12.5" reed which makes for a finer weave--it's very pretty.  Photos soon (need some daylight to show off the subtle colours).

It's a Random Wednesday and I'm lovin' it

1. I just had one of Hart House's Five Buck Lunches and I'm stuffed.  Salad, pasta salad, chick pea casserole, carrots, brussel sprouts, turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (I haven't eaten the pie yet, I'm saving that for tea time).  All for 5 bucks.  It was sooooooooooo tasty.  If you're on U of T campus (or live nearby--they don't ask for ID) check out this deal--twice a month.  Yum.

2. I hope I don't have a bad case of turkey enzymes and fall asleep this afternoon.

3. I'm wearing my ipod, listening to Gould's Goldberg Variations and drowning out The Hummer.  Oddly,  Gould's humming doesn't bother me one bit. 

4. I hope my poor ipod mini's batteries hold out.  It's old and cracked and when it dies, it's done.  If I have to hear The Hummer, I'm done.

5. The nice people at Roger's cable set me up with a free 6 month trial of an HD PVR.  I know this is TV crack but I love the idea of finally catching the start of TV shows like The Tudors instead of trying to herd the kids to bed in under 5 minutes so "momma can watch her stories".

6. It's Knit Night. 

7. I get my Vino coat back tomorrow; just in time for a Fall heat wave.  I'm wearing it anyway--even if I have to be all sweaty.

8. It's time to start the roadtrip plans for Rhinebeck!!!!

9. Did I mention there's a personal sized pumpkin pie sitting right beside me?  Time for tea!


To my otherwise lovely cubicle neighbour:

Please stop humming.  Stop.  Stop.  Stop!  I gather you do this when you are thinking, and I do not want to impede on the complicated work you do (it really is complicated number stuff) but I will jump over the wall and strangle you if you do not stop. 

Sincerely, from the northern cubicle

I hate working in a cubicle.  I miss offices.  With doors.  Haven't had one with a window in a long time, but I hear those are nice too.  This is leading to a letter to the brain-wave who came up with the idea of the cubicle, but I've got to find my ipod to drown out my neighbour.