Previous month:
June 2009
Next month:
August 2009

Posts from July 2009


I'm going to do it.  I'm jumping on the bandwagonI always wanted to do something like this, but always put it off.  I need a change.  Seize the day!

I'm going to start the Couch to 5km.

Sure I'm a lemming, but it's for a good reason.  I'm persisting with my exercise plan that I started with the Wii Fit at Christmas.  I feel a lot better now that I exercise--little joint pains have gone away, I have less tummy troubles, I have more energy even though I'm getting up almost an hour earlier to work out, I've lost 7lbs and I look pretty good.

But like the Wii Fit before it, the 30 Day Shred is getting tiresome.  I'm back to level 2 after my vacation and it's still kicking my ass, but me and Jillian need some time apart.  I need a new challenge.

Enter Couch to 5km.

I've never been a runner (aside from gym class and playing some rec sports like Rugby), but I like the idea of running.  Runners seem to have a discipline I don't believe I have (though I probably do) and there's something so easy about it--put on shoes and a good bra, grab the ipod and go.

C25k also works with my time contraints.  I have about 40 minutes to work out in the morning (including the stumbling out of bed and getting dressed part) and this is about 30 minutes.  And there's a plan.  I like fixed workouts because I don't want to have to think about it. 

I can still Shred on a rainy day too.  It's just adding some goat cheese to my salad so to speak (or if it's not fun, radishes to my salad-ew).

I'm starting tomorrow morning.  You heard it here first.

I see there are iPhone apps.  Any recommendations?  It's already better if my favourite gadet is involved.  I also plan to treat myself to something nice at Lululemon if I do this for 2 weeks.



Flurry of activity

My shoulder and neck are feeling back to normal.  That lovely change, combined with a roadtrip to get the kids from my mom's meant I got down to business with my knitting.

Of course, it also meant starting some new things.

First up, the perfect pattern for my Calmer.  Nantucket Red.  But for me it's Pool Blue.  A nice, easy pattern, knitting up well with sproingy Calmer.


Then, because I couldn't stop myself from buying a ball of Casbah sock yarn from Lettuce Knit, the Milkweed shawl.  The colour is midnight--blacks, blues and purples--super pretty and about my speed when it comes to lacey knitting.


And I've been spinning.  I finally finished the brown singles.  I did some tests with plying and will navaho ply this up tonight (too thin for me as a 2 ply).  This means I can dive into my first Grafton Batt and spin some colour!


I'm really pleased with this yarn I made.  Thin, pretty consistent and it felt really natural to spin.  That's a nice feeling.

But, I didn't finish painting the door.  I guess I can't do it all.

Friday List

  1. It's been a busy week--the kids have been at my Mom's for all of it and it was nice to have my evenings free for a change. 

  2. But it didn't all work out as I hoped because I cricked my neck monday morning and it's just starting to feel better now.

  3. Thank FSM for massage therapy.  I like being able to have full mobility in my neck.  It makes biking easier.

  4. Not that I biked much because it. never. stops. raining.

  5. I haven't knit or spun all week.  Sad.

  6. I will finish spinning brown corriedale tonight and ply it tomorrow.  Then it's time for some colour. 

  7. I need more bobbins

  8. I saw Moon last night (a weeknight movie with Craig is now such a rare occurence).  It was good old fashion sci-fi.  Not perfect, but pretty good.

  9. Did you know big corportations have people stalking Twitter?  I said something bad about one and now have someone looking into my issue at the President's office.  Hmmm.

  10. Work is still making my shoulders achey.  That's not so fun

  11. My bathroom is now 98% done.  All that is left is painting the door and frame.  I'm aiming for a Sunday completion date!

  12. I started this sweater using the blue calmer.  It seems to be the right mix of fibre, shape and colour.  And knitting calmer is soooooo nice after working with summer tweed.

  13. I bought Sublime yarn in purple to make Anhinga.  It's sooooo squooshy.

  14. I had a chocolate bar in my desk for a whole week.  I finally ate it today.

  15. I have not worked out since Monday due to shoulder/neck thing.  I need to start back tomorrow.  I've lost the routine since I went on holiday at the end of June.  So much for after 6 weeks you'll be established in a routine. 


95% done!

The bathroom is done.  And it's awesome.  I love the glass tiles (especially the storage niche) and the whole completely tiled room thing is fantastic.  No shower curtain, easy to clean, fresh and white but a little retro.  We love it.

360 degree video:

Like many DIY'ers we tend to feel a project is done, even when it's not.  That's because even though I'm declaring the bathroom done, there's still 5% yet to do.  The door needs to be trimmed and painted, the door knob needs to be put on, we need to find and install a mirror and there's nothing to hang the towels on.  But you can use it for all the relevant ablutions and there's no more giant mess with tools everywhere.


No one ask me how long the other 5% takes.  At least a week.  Probably a lot more.  Not a week (or more) of hard labour, just a seemingly endless bunch of little things to make it 100% complete.




What's up next you might be wondering?

Well, we still need to finish the walls around the stairs, get a railing made (anyone know a good place to get an iron railing made in Toronto?) and paint.  We also plan to build a big storage closet sharing the same wall as the bathroom.  Then of course, the upstairs bathroom is waiting for us and our backyard looks like a lumber yard/junk pile full of weeds and dirt and it needs a back fence.

La la I'm going to ignore that and enjoy my new bathroom.

It was (almost) nice to knit it twice

It was a hard slog, but I got it done.


It had NOTHING to do with the pattern itself.  Only a) my ability to read and b) the Summer Tweed (a yarn I love to wear and look at, but hate to knit--my neck was so sore I couldn't even move my head at one point). 


That's all mostly forgotten now that I have a fine looking summer tank to wear that's work appropriate and shows off my newly toned arms. (Or I should say, slightly more-toned arms).


I can see myself making a winter version in wool too.  The only thing I changed was to add an additional cable cross at the hem.  It does pull the front up a bit, but the silk/cotton blend holds blocking well.  I call this one a perfect fit.

Beautiful Fall designs on a (finally) hot July day

Meagan, my very lovely LYS owner just got a huge load of Berroco stuff for fall.  While she always has a great sense of what's pretty and knittable, this time, she totally hit it--the new stuff is gorgeous.
There are two aran weight yarns: a wool, mohair, angora tweed called Blackstone tweed and a 50/50 wool tencel called Lustra that I'm already coveting.  There's also a bulky wool peruvia that is totally soft and squooshy.  And the patterns are great.  Norah Gaughan is the best thing to happen to Berroco ever.
I tried this on last night and it made me look curvey (which never happens).  It was a warm chocolate brown (my favourite colour).


I'm loving this (Blackstone Tweed)


And this  (uses worsted weight merino)


Oh and this (that exact colour in Lustra)


and this (Peruvia Quick)


That being said, I'm not ready for it to be Fall.  Especially since it feels more like October than July so far this month.

I got my first Grafton batt in the mail yesterday.  It is so pretty.  Emma loves it and expects me to make something from it for her.  Delusion is a wonderful thing ;)
Grafton batt
I'm almost afraid to spin it, though really, it's just fluff and there will be more.  I joined the colourways club, so I'll be getting one every month. 
The decision for me is whether I just grab it and go and see what happens or whether I'm more methodical and do something like Harlot did (mostly to see if I can). I might knit up one of my other colourful handspuns that I just spun for fun and see if I like the multicoloured effect.  I also noticed that one person is using her batts to make a lizard ridge and thought I might make another type of noro blanket
I love new fibre--so many possibilities.

Knit It Together

One of the perks of being immersed in the internet knitting community is receiving books to review.  I love seeing new patterns, new concepts and interesting twists in the knitting book genre. 

Knit It Together, by Suzyn Jackson, is one of those interesting twists.  When I first received it, I was a bit tepid about the premise: knitting patterns for knitting circles.  The patterns are fine enough--a scarves that everyone knits on (changing knitters at a predetermined conversation point at knit night), hats and blankets, a few garments and whimseys--all made with inexpensive and easily found yarns.  I plan to propose the global baby layette as part of my circle's next project for the next knitter who is pregnant (we are a fecund group). 

Knit it together cover

But that wasn't what impressed me most.  Like Mason-Dixon Knitting, this book is as much about the writing as it is about the knitting.

Knit it Together moves beyond being a book of patterns with some text bookends, it is also a practical resource for those wanting to join or start a knitting circle.  And it is a lovely collection of stories about knitting communities and the joys of knitting as a collective act.  Starting with Jackson's own tale of how she learned to knit and the knitting circles in her life, the patterns are interspersed with stories from contributors who belong to both local and virtual knitting communities and the ways these groups enhance both their knitting and their lives. 

As someone lucky enough to engage in vibrant local and virtual communities of knitters, I could see my experiences in many of the stories--the fun of having a group to knit with at my local shop, the ability to chat with knitters any time I want through Ravelry or my favourite listserv, the anticipation around a new issue of Knitty or Twist Collective magazine, participation in charity knitting, or community blankets for moms-to-be.  This book adds to knitting folklore and challenges what many outsiders see as a solitary act of house-bound spinsters, showing instead a heterogeneous and dynamic set of communities.

What I liked most about this book was how much I warmed up to it as I read it.  It surprised me and it was a pleasure to read. 

And as tonight is Knit Night for me, I think I'll be giving all my knit-pals a hug (since I can't afford to buy them all a beer).

Well, that didn't work...

I've been meaning to warp the loom for weeks now and last night the opportunity finally presented itself.

 Well, that didn't work...

I had four balls of hempathy in the stash--2 orange and 2 turquoise and wanted to do a houndstooth pattern like this one.

It's an easy design--the warp is 2 orange, 2 turquoise threads along the width and the weft is exactly the same.

I decided to get all crafty and make bigger "teeth" and warped a 4X4 pattern. But once I started weaving I realized that's not going to work.

I'm making gingham.

This was supposed to be a kicky little summer scarf, but I think it's going to be more dishcloths.