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Posts from April 2009

More Wheels, More Fun

And then there were three wheels in the house.  An Ashford Traveller (now back at Keri's) and two Lendrums, a double treadle from Kim and Molly's single treadle. 

Another wheel meant that Emma could get into the game.


I think she likes it, but she's a bit impatient; she wanted to be good at it right away and was frustrated when she had troubles.  To quote my great teacher Denny "Your first yarn will suck".  Emma noted early on that her spinning sucked, which I consider a positive sign.  We'll see if she gets back to it.

Incidentally, she doesn't wear glasses.  These are Groucho Marx glasses repurposed to be part of her current "look".  She's got herself a personal sense of style and I don't discourage it.

While Emma was working on her first spinning, I made something mighty pretty if I do say so myself.


It's from two braids of BFL dyed by Laura.  It is way more fun to spin colourful stuff!


Attention Frolickers!! Road Closure Notice

On my bike into work I saw a sign that the Don Valley Parkway will be closed starting tomorrow morning at 2am until Sunday night.   Confirmation of the closure here.  It's closed from the Gardiner all the way to the 401.

If you're driving to the Frolic, you're going to need another route.  The link to the Frolic site has a Word document with alternative directions.

At least this gives us a bit more notice than the wildcat TTC strike.

Take our daughters and sons to work day

Today I took Emma to work with me for the University's Take our daughters and sons to work day. It's the first time I've done this (it's for kids in grades 4-9) and it was really fun.  The day started with a talk about micro-loans by a children's author and all the kids received a copy of her book--One Hen.  I missed the talk so I could do a bit of work and I'm sorry I did.  It sounded like a great discussion.

Then Emma and I went on a tour of the Architecture faculty (her choice) where we learned about some of the city's buildings, the faculty and the student projects, we met the Dean and then the kids got to make monuments with clay and other materials. 

Next was lunch which was another opportunity to meet other kids and their parents and then Emma joined me in my workspace to see what I do.

My job is pretty boring to a 10 year old.  I do research and analysis on faculty life, help plan and coordinate workshops for faculty and academic administrators, do policy work and general academic hr (reviewing tenure and promotion files, appointment files etc).  It's a lot of "playing on the computer" and "reading stuff" as Emma would say.

I had her make me a file folder so she could use the label maker, fetch things from the printer and fill in a workshop evaluation form so she could see what we did with them (I'm examining last year's evaluations to plan next year's schedule).  The high point was when a co-worker took her for a coffee break to Starbucks.

Last thing in the afternoon was a big meeting with a Vice-President, an Assistant VP, and my boss (Assistant Provost) in the VP's office.  Emma got to attend.  I warned her to behave, because while they are three nice women, they were "very powerful people who could fire mommy" (Craig's words). 

So at the meeting, Emma pulls out her notebook to take notes (I said it would help her listen better) and she wrote across the top in pink marker: Meeting with highly powerful people who could fire mommy.  Then put in a line and wrote: I have no idea what they are talking about.

Luckily a) no one saw it and b) I didn't burst out laughing.

After the meeting, they asked her which job seemed the best and when she shrugged her shoulders because I could tell she had no idea who did what.  Then, the VP said: Be sure to choose the job that pays the most money.

Maybe not the best advice (though it is GOOD advice).  I especially liked that she could learned that some of the most powerful leaders in Canada's largest university were all women.

Random Wednesday

1. I spun up a pretty braid of yarn and plied it last night.  It's really nifty looking.  I even spent time to take a whole bunch of pictures but then forgot to upload them.  D'oh.

2. Day two of Level 2 of 30 day Shred (day 12 total).  This is tough stuff.  So much time in plank pose whilst moving legs to work abs and do cardio.  I'm getting whiney that I'm not seeing some results beyond being sore and really tired.  I know, I know it takes time, but it's my blog and it's Wednesday and I can be all cranky if I want.

3. The weather outlook is cheering me up though.  Hot and sunny starting tomorrow (and getting hotter as the week proceeds) .  This means I can ride my bike to work and not wear my rain boots.

4. Still haven't got new rainboots.  The Huntress style (aka Hunter Original Wide) is out of stock everywhere (and I mean everywhere) until August (and the yellow ones are gone).  Sucky.  So I'm still on the search for something that doesn't make my feet go sleepy/sore like my current boots.  I swear you all went and bought boots after I posted about them.  Are you listening Hunter?

5. I'm on Twitter.  Much more fun that Facebook.  No apps, just status updates.  Follow me @DocSteph.

6. I spend too much time research spinning wheels.  Now I need to spend more time researching spinning.  I have lots of questions.

7. The postcards we sent from Cozumel are just starting to arrive.  39 days from posting.  That's a long, long time.

8. I'm taking Emma to work tomorrow as part of Take Our Daughters and Sons to work day.  Should be interesting.  We're doing a tour of the Architecture faculty and after lunch she gets to job-shadow me.  I even have a meeting with a Vice-President tomorrow.  How do I keep a 10 year old amused while I read endless documents? 

9. Sushi for lunch today. Mmmm Sushi.

10. Free Earth Day coffee at Starbucks if you bring your own mug (which I already try to do).  Mmmmm Coffee.


Fibre fun!

I'm spinning a little bit every day and I'm still loving it.  Thanks to Kim, I have a Lendrum DT to try for a week and I love it.  The Ashford Traveller was a perfectly fine wheel, but I love how smooth and quiet the Lendrum is.  I also have a thing for maple and the design is very me. 


I'm still working out how much twist to put on the yarn and getting a feel for how that works on this wheel, but that's the whole point of learning to spin isn't it?


Thanks a bunch for your comments about wheels.  The Lendrum was the clear favourite (10 comments) but the Joy has a loyal following too.  Other wheels have their champions and I see how it's a personal choice based on a lot of factors (just like any other major purchase).  It's also really fun to decide because I get to play with a bunch of wheels.  The DKC Knitter's Frolic is this weekend so I hope to try a few more.

Spin your tales about spinning

I am loving spinning.  In fact, I've knit almost nothing this week because I've been spinning in the few minutes I have to spare at the end of the day.

I'm spending too much time on the internet looking at and reading about wheels. 

I'm taking Michelle's advice and being a wheel slut--shamelessly asking friends to let me try their wheels.  Michelle volunteered her Kromski Sonata and I'll try it at the Knitter's Frolic.

Right now I'm using Keri's Ashford Traveller and tonight I'm picking up Kim's Lendrum.  I want to try the Ashford Joy at class today too.  I used at Louet last week; I didn't like that one as much.

I have determined one thing--I want a foldable wheel.  The house is small and having something I can fold and store away is a good thing (my rigid heddle loom is under our couch).  And, I like the idea of a wheel I can take to the cottage or to my LYS.  I'm drawn to the Lendrum and to the Sonata right now (I didn't like the Sonata at first--I like clean and modern, but am seeing its charms the more I look at them).  But I'm also open to the possibilities.

And I want to hear from you spinners (I know you're out there).  Tell me about your wheel(s), portable or not, and one thing you love about it and one thing you don't like.  Any other advice is always welcome.

30 Day Shred - The First Seven Days

The Wii-fit was getting me down.  Too much emphasis on measuring me (see my dissertation if you want more information about how things like Wii govern the body) and a not-hard-enough workout that took too long were the big issues.  So I took a recommendation from Laura and ordered Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.

30 day

The promise is big results in 30 days with a daily (yes daily) 20 minute workout.  I figure big results will come with any intensive exercise you do (especially if you've been sedentary in the past) so I'm just hoping for my pants to fit better and to get more toned and strong.

The workout is structured with 3 sets comprised of:

  • 3 minutes strength
  • 2 minutes cardio

  • 1 minute abs

It's nice because you don't have time to get bored with it before you're off to another thing.  There are also 3 levels and I'm starting at the beginning with level 1.  I started with 2lbs weights and have moved up to 7lbs ones for some of the exercises (chest flies and the back one).  I think I'll get some 4-5lbs ones for the others.  I've completed 7 consecutive days and I'm feeling good. 

That's a bit of a lie.  I started out sore as hell. You know where you walk down the stairs and say a little ow, ow, ow with every step.  Today I'm feeling it mostly in my shoulders (8 of today's push ups were the full kind, not with my knees on the floor) and my knees.  There's a lot of bending and bouncing in this workout (squats, jump jacks etc) and I'm finding my knees aren't happy with this. While I don't want to, I might take a day to rest the knees and see if they improve.  Or just do a slightly less bendy version tomorrow.

The plan is to do 10 days at each level and see how it goes.  The weather is also conducive to riding my bike so my plan to get some exercise is in full swing.  That feels good.

The getting up at 6:15am to do the shredding?  I'm not loving that so much.

Cutting the Cable

We have a fancy 40" LCD and we love it.  I even got the HD cable with the PVR and we can watch House in high-definition.  It was fun for a while and then we realized we almost never watch tv.

We play Wii, watch DVDs and too much Robot Chicken that's stored on the PVR.

Then I get my first bill after the promotional offer is up and whoa, it's a 100 bucks.  For TV.

So we cut the cable.  Completely.  As of May 2 (you have to give notice) there will be a fancy monitor in our living room.  We can't seem to pick up any channels from the air and I'm told that as of 2011 all tv will be digital, i.e. no longer free. 

Who cares, it's not like there's ever anything to watch.  And for those few times I can rent the DVD later in the year and watch on my schedule.  This is the first place we've had where we've paid for TV (we did have cable in some of our rental places until the cable company noticed and disconnected it), I like TV, but I hate paying for it.

The plan is to take the savings, buy a Blu-ray player and maybe get a Zip account (Canadian Netflix). 

I'll keep you posted about this little experiment.

Is that what I think it is?

A typical Sunday in the And She Knits Too! household.


Messy living room.

Kids playing Wii.

Yarn stuff strewn about.

A spinning wheel.

Did you notice the new thing in that list? (Sadly, it's not the messy living room.)

Look a little closer...


Yup, it's a wheel.  I caved.  Well, just a bit.  This lovely Asford wheel belongs to my pal Keri.  She borrowed my loom for a bit, and I got the wheel in return.  I started taking a spinning course at Lettuce Knit on Friday night and Keri graciously delivered the wheel Saturday afternoon so I could continue making progress on learning to spin.

Denny (our lovely teacher) warned us that our first attempts to spin would suck.  And mine certainly did--think Colinette Point 5 but all twisted on itself.  But I didn't care because I was having fun.  And here I am on Sunday having spun two full bobbins, seeing some progress--my spinning isn't wildly inconsistent, just pleasantly so.  And I'm still loving it.


I've been voraciously avoiding spinning since my first Rhinebeck four and a half years ago.  Some of it was that feeling that I didn't have time for it, some of it was total lack of interest, and some of it was fear that I would like it. 

I still don't really have the time to devote to fibre things that I would like, but now I'm interested and I like it.


I even jumped ahead and plied a little bit.  But don't tell my teacher.

Knitting. It might not save your life, but it might help you live...

Ripped from the headlines:

Italy earthquake: elderly woman knitted as she waited for rescue

A 98-year-old woman pulled alive from the earthquake rubble in L'Aquila spent the time knitting while she waited to be saved.

For this woman, knitting seems to have accomplished both long life and being saved (she is 98 after all). 

And goes to show that having knitting around all over the house and always with you could prove very important.