Posts categorized "Television"

Fair Isle Diversion

After seven blanket squares, it turns out I needed some knitting diversions. First was to cast on a quick and easy sweater, Gemma, using some old-stash Madeline Tosh merino in Tart. I love this yarn but didn't buy quite enough for it to be a lot of the garments I wanted. Note to self: don't be chintzy if you're stashing. 

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I also have a few work-wardrobe holes that could be filled by a simple red sweater, so I got swatching and got knitting. It's been a good knit while I watch Kingdom on Netflix as complicated knitting and subtitles don't work together.

Also if you're into light suspense with Zombies, watch Kingdom. So good. Set in 15th century Korea. Political intrigue fuelled by a strange zombie illness. Beautiful cinematography, lush costumes, interesting plot that has some surprises. 

I also got tempted by Kate Davies' club pattern, Knitting Season hat. It's so beautiful. I've been wanting a red hat to go with my parka and I had the pattern, stash yarn and inspiration so I dove in. 

I really like Fair Isle knitting and changing it up from the blanket squares was the diversion I needed.

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One week later, and I'm wearing it. It's -15C, so I'm bundled up.

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Such a beautiful pattern. Really fun to knit. I do find the corrugated rib band a tad tight and if you have a bigger head, I suggest adding at least one repeat as the pattern has you adding 36 stitches from band to hat. I'm hoping mine will stretch a touch more and I might reblock to see if I can coax it along. The ribbing isn't stretchy so there isn't a lot of play. I confess I didn't swatch, but it's the same Yorkshire Tweed I used for Strathendrick and the same gauge so I knew what sized needles to use. But I should have done a bit of the math to consider the sizing before jumping in. 

No matter, it's pretty and something I wanted for my hat collection. And I'm itching to get back to my blanket squares. 

 


Top-Secret Mission REVEALED

The whereabouts of my Honeybee Cardigan in the month of August can now be revealed.

I lent it to the fabulous Kate Atherley as a prop for her newly released Craftsy class on BLOCKING.

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The timing was perfect--she put out a call to borrow handknits, I had a cardigan almost finished that needed a blocking and I was happy to have it done by a pro.

My sweater even shows up in the promo video (it's famous!).  And it came back nicely blocked so all I had to do was sew on the buttons.

Kate is a fantastic teacher and she has the same zealous love of blocking handknits as I do (full disclosure: we talk about blocking over beers).  

Blocking makes your knits easier to seam, pretty and soft.  Blocking hides imperfections and evens out your stitches.  And if you use nice woolwash like Soak or Eulacan your handknits smell nice too.

The video/class covers all kinds of knitwear and techniques and shows you how getting your woolies wet is a risk free, worthwhile part of finishing.  

Go check it out.

Also: isn't Craftsy amazing?  Online, video craft classes--I love the internet!

 

 


The right project at the right time

Woooooooosh.

That's the sound of my last week going by.  I worked late almost every night, had lots of after hours commitments and was thankful I had a long holiday weekend to make it all feel like a distant memory.

I celebrated by starting a new project.  I loved Steph's Shawl That Jazz and dove into the stash to find something suitable (I wish to note publicly that I did not cave and buy the super pretty Puck's Mischief Twisted yarn; I am currently knitting from stash so I can buy fibre to spin).  Out came 1200 lovely yards of Briar Rose Grandma's Blessing.  It was a bitch to wind (because I'm so stubborn I wouldn't cut the yarn and make two skeins), but it's beautiful to knit and is emerging into a pretty shawl.


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I bet many of you are cringing at the idea of knitting a garter stitch shawl.  I love it.  Endless rows of mindless knitting.  I can do it in the car on the way to the cottage.  I can knit and talk with family and friends.  I can knit while almost napping (I tell you it was perfectly a lazy weekend) and today, I can bring it to the first of many many soccer practices. 

This photo was taken on Saturday morning.  I'm a good 10 inches in now, maybe more.  The construction (all short rows) now render it an unphotographable mass.  A pretty mass all the same.  Tonight it's me, Battlestar Galactica Season 2 and this shawl.  Hopefully all this mindless diversion doesn't make my brain leak out my ears.


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.


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!

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More Banff (aka pretending I'm still on holiday)

Friday was poster hanging day, so I diligently hung my giant poster by 9am.  Then we grabbed a coffee and hopped in the car to explore.  We went up to the lookout on Mt. Norquay to get another panoramic view of Banff and beyond.

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If you look closely, you can see the weather station we were at on Sulphur mountain the day before (I thought that was kinda nifty).

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We also saw big horn sheep (see them in the distance in the first photo?)--they are clearly habituated to humans because they came pretty dang close to where we were standing.  I don't think the zoom is on in this photo.

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We saw a bunch of deer too.

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Then we headed out on Highway 1A to Johnston Canyon and hiked to both the lower falls,

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And the upper falls. 

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It was only a 3.7km walk in and was on rather unnatural asphalt and catwalks.  That was okay with me, because a) it likely helps preserve stuff from the impact of all the visitors and b) some of the paths would be treacherous without these changes.  My fear of falling kicked in a number of time as we walked on catwalks bolted into the side of cliffs.

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The walk back to the car was at a brisker pace; we needed to get back to the hotel to see my research partners' conference papers.  No pictures of that, though the view from the conference room was fantastic.  The rain also waited until we were in the car, which was very courteous.