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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Kind Of Town

Chicago was;
A town which incorporates knitting in their winter festival And provided me with a place to knit right when the football game was starting.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monty Python Post*

If Somerset stopped shedding...
Would she look like this?

Meet Kara; she and her partner Smokey are letting me stay with them while their slaves owners are in Cuba. I fear that I may have blown their pea-sized minds; there seems to be a complicated arrangement of dishes for their cat food, and I think that I may have put the wrong food in the wrong dish. However, as much as I love animals, I do not believe in catering to feeding whims. (Which is interesting, because in other domains, the cats have me wrapped around their cute little paws. I have felt actual guilt about the fact that they probably won't have a balcony to sit on once we move) This is the opposite of my parents, who have a Lab that will not eat his dinner unless there's gravy on it, and it's warmed up, and the pawprints on his bowl are facing forward or some such nonsense. My personal theory is that if you left him with nothing but the cold dry dog food, after a few days, he'd learn to like it.

I have made significant progress on the socks since my last post. Sandi organized a pub knit yesterday evening which was loads of fun. I got to hang out with a bevy of cool T.O. knitters, like Lisa,Jacquie, Sophie, and other people who's blogs I cannot track down. One wee little problem was that it was in "the Vault", which had pretty dim lighting. Surprisingly, I managed to avoid making significant mistakes, until I got to the last row before I do some rounds of straight knit or purl. But by then it was time to leave, so no big loss. And I managed to knit off and on today at the hospital I'll be starting at in March when I went in for the day to babysit supervise patients during the transfer of the ICU from its dingy old location to its shiny new location. Now I just need to figure out how long to make the calf before I start on the heel (and what type of heel to do!)

*And now for something else completely different:

Valley cloud: When you have a large body of water at the bottom of a mountain valley, you get cold air inversions sitting on top of the moist air, leading to low lying cloud cover. Those are the Monashee Mountains poking through the cloud cover.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

You can't keep a good naan down...

Is there some kind of conspiracy out there that involves eliminating the yogurt from naan bread?? I went out for Indian food tonight (since I am on my own in Toronto until Kyle arrives on Tuesday), and was once again disappointed by the naan. No slightly sweet taste; it just tasted bready. If I wanted an oversized pita, I'd ask for one. This has happened at different Indian restaurants in 3 or 4 cities; in fact, I'm hard pressed to say where or when I last had a good naan.

Memo to our national airline and my local airport: If ALL of Saturday's flights from our airport to Canada's largest city are cancelled, and you know that everyone has to be home from their ski holiday by Monday morning, might you consider taking this into account, and getting extra staff in on Sunday? Also, if you see that there is a 45 minute lineup just to drop off your bags, and dozens of people are still waiting in line 5 minutes after their plane is supposed to board, would it be so difficult to have a) a separate line through security for the people on the soon to depart flight so that they don't have to wait in line behind the senior citizens who showed up 3 hours early for their flight, and b) a person announcing that because of the huge lineups/dealys, that the flight would be taking off late, thus lowering the ambient anxiety level significantly?

Oh yeah, and to the guy who monopolized one of the 2 baggage drop persons for 15 minutes rather than wait in the appropriate line to see the ticketing agent: I hope they sent your shiny new downhill skis to Kuala Lumpur.
Good thing I had my knitting to keep me calm:

I am now far enough along on the socks to see how the stitch pattern is looking. It isn't what I had expected - probably because it is based on a colourwork pattern. The textural effect is pretty cool, however. One minor concern that I have is that I am able to slip the socks over my own ankles at this point. I'm hoping that doesn't mean that they will be too loose on Janis.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Back on the Saturday Sky track

7 AM this morning. Some groovy cloud action as I was flamingo hunting this afternoon :

The clouds looked like they were etched on a flat surface.

Another WIP sighting - antifreeze. I was knitting it when we flew to Vancouver to see The Painted Veil, and I ended up doing an extra few rounds; I completed it, but the extra rounds and some other alterations I made to the pattern didn't work out. So I ripped it back; should be able to finish it in an evening - I think I'll do it next Saturday (the day I return home from Toronto)
And, here's what you have all been waiting for - the mystery sock update:I managed to untangle the unholy intermingling of skeins. Ribbing is done. The pattern is different on each sock, which is why one of the socks has a piece of waste yarn tied to it. You may also notice that the skeins don't have such a strong resemblance to kidneys (See, your feedback really is important to me!). I'm hoping to get a decent amount of knitting done on these socks during my 4+ hour flight tomorrow.

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My desktop

I came across this on Liz's blog; post your desktop photo.
This has been my wallpaper since May; it got a few laughs when was setting up my talk on "Smoking Cessation during Pregnancy" at the hospital. It's particularly funny since Kyle and I have a running joke about Somerset having a small head.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Screaming along at a snail's pace...

If I come across a blackboard I will write "knitting 2 socks at once only seems to go really slowly"on it 100 times. Yes, there is a miniscule increase in the size of the socks; at least it's at the point where the ribbing is recognizable.

The tangle in the yarn is because I decided to knit in the car as we drove to Peachland to have dinner. The sun had already set, so it was pretty dark, and although I was able to knit by feel, I wasn't able to keep the 2 skeins properly oriented, so they decided to make macrame.

Here's another WIP that I started, or was it late October? Another Maryella for another Secret Pal. Plus a gratiutous sleeping cat shot. I actually completed and cast off the bracelet last night, but I still need to sew the snaps on. I had hoped to have my last 2 Secret Pal packages ready to be mailed tomorrow, but it's not looking good.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another mystery sock update

As you can see, I have switched to size 1 addis, and have cast on for the 2 socks on one circ. I'm probably going to BLENZ tonight to knit, so I hope to make some visible progress. My butt has been firmly planted to the couch since we got home, so it is about time that I got some fresh air. Come hell or high water, I'm going cross country skiing first thing tomorrow morning.

Spotlight on Calorimetry

I used quite a bit less than 1 skein of Auraucania Magallanes 1 ply wool in colourway M08. It's a thick and thin yarn, and made for an interesting texture to the finished product. This was the first project that I have knit in a while on straight needles; I seem to be a circ girl. Instead of using a button, I used a tuquoise coloured bead. I was going to try to make a button from the small tension swatch that I had knit with my overly long tail from my long tail cast on, but that didn't work out.
Because the Scarf is so wide with the extra few short rows, I might end up wearing the front folded back like the brim of a hat.

Next non-sock project is a Poppy; but this one will be nearly non-Noro; here's the selection of yarns that I plan to use
Lorna's Laces Shepherd worsted in Black Purl, Diafuran, Cascade 220, and Korchoran - although the Korchoran might get replaced by some Cascade 220 in heathered purple. (With the exception of the purple 220, all are stash yarns). I was actually working on a swatch for the sleeve (lorna's laces) when Kyle got the email saying that Grandma had been taken to the hospital. Man, but it is hard to believe that was 2 weeks ago; feels like a month!

I am very behind in blogging, and will remain so for a while - probaby won't get the WIPS up until February - because I am heading back to Toronto on Sunday to continue the house hunt. I also have an outstanding meme that I am currently working on. Who ever thought that not working would be so tiring?

Done and done...

I finished my calorimetry while I was out of town; it's a bit wider than expected because I lost track and ended up doing a few extra repeats of the short rows, and didn't feel like ripping it back. I'll get Kyle to take the mandatory "Calorimetry in Use" photo tomorrow.And I finished my Resolution Socks today. Knit from Trekking XXL sock yarn using 2mm bamboo dpns, pattern from an old Patons booklet. I could have easily added another 1-1.5 inches to the calf, based on the amount of yarn I have left. And I don't think I'm ever going to knit 4 inch folding cuffs again, either!! (At least not if I'm knitting the socks for myself using 2mm needles with a gauge of 10.5 stitches per inch)You know that there's a difference in the sock colour when your colourblind husband notices it unprompted. Since I am participating in the Socktopia Knitalong, I am renaming the finished products the "Blue Monday" socks, with 2 rationalizations for the appropriateness of the name: 1) approximately 1/7 of the yarn is blue in colour (and Monday is 1/7 of the week), and 2) The New Order song was 7.5 minutes in length and seemed to go on forever; because of my foot length, I had 7.5 inches to knit once I finished the heel before I could start the toe shaping, and I tell you, it REALLY seemed to go on forever!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Home at last!

Whew! We left our hotel in Chicago at 6 AM yesterday (Central Time), and arrived home at 7:30 PM (Pacific). However, the bonus of wait times in airports and long plane rides was that I have almost finished sock B of the Resolution socks! I hope to get it done today. I took a break from shaping the toe to do a swatch for the mystery socks: This swatch is on 2mm (US 0) Addis; I'm going to try a swatch on my 2.25mm (US 1) Addis once I finish sock B, because this yarn feels a bit thicker than the last few yarns I have used.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mystery socks

I have been matched with Janis (aka knitherapy) in the knittyboard sock exchange. Janis would enjoy the socks being a surprise, so I have harnessed my underwhelming graphic design skills to produce this representation of the socks:
As you can see, I have the addi circ, and I have the 2 skeins of sock yarn, and that is as far as I have gotten. I hope to get a swatch done in the next few days. The idea for the sock pattern is based on a knitting book that is at home right now, so it's going to be a bit of an adventure.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm still here

What a week! I was flying home from Toronto on Sunday and sat beside 2 chaps (Lil' Fella and Big Guy) from New Brunswick who were flying to Alberta. Lil' Fella was quite taken aback at the thought of the flight lasting 4 hours. He asked Big Guy if he'd flown many times before. "Oh, I'd say 5 or 6 times" was Big Guy's response, at which point I thought to myself "OMG, I think I'll be flying 5 or 6 times within the next week or so".

I spent a good part of Monday trying to figure out how to get a 4 foot x 5 foot collage (photos of Grandma) shipped to Kitchener, Ontario in 2 days - sadly, it would have cost $800, so it was a no go.

Tuesday I flew back to Toronto, and then headed directly to Kitchener for the eveing visitation at the funeral home. Wednesday was the funeral.

Thursday we looked at houses during the day, and once again had to face the hard reality that Kyle and I have different preferences in houses. Friday morning we looked at one promising house again, and a few others that we had seen back in December for comparison. One house that we had considered buying (which had been on the market since July) sold for less than the asking price this week, which bummed both of us out. However, there were some things about it that weren't ideal, so it's not such a huge loss. Very disheartening, though. So we will be back in Toronto in either 2 or 3 weeks to take another look around.

Today we fly to Chicago to watch the Bears play tomorrow; if they win, they go to the Superbowl. In which case Kyle is planning to go to watch the Superbowl; he's got his plane ticket booked to Miami. I am not so secretly hoping that New Orleans will win, because a ticket to the Superbowl is going to be a very expensive proposition.

One of the nice things about the last week is that I have been able to knit alot during downtime and transit time. I have just finished the heel flap on Sock B, and finally finished the gift scarf that I knit for Kyle's buddy. Will try to post some photos in the next few days. In the meantime, let's see what Somerset and Greedo have been up to:  Posted by Picasa  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Grandma passed away peacefully at 11 AM today.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Away from the blog

Hi all. My husband's 103 year old grandmother had a massive stroke, so we are in the midst of an unplanned trip.

Regular blogging activity will resume in a few days.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Year, New Look

I have been forced to start working on my "update my blog appearance" resolution. Somehow, I managed to muck up my previous template, hence the brand new appearance to the blog. Many thanks to turtlegirl for helping me out.

Well, here we go...

By the way - I have turned the heel on Sock A.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

While I'm ranting...

Stuff heard on the radio:
Sextuplets - that's the big news: a woman gave birth to 6 infants in vancouver, each weighing less than 2 lbs, after 25 weeks of gestation. Apparently "their vital signs are stable and within normal limits" (this is the medical equivalent of saying that the blind date you are setting up for someone else 'has a great personality'.) Woo hoo. These kids are going to spend months in the NICU, and are more likely than not to develop Cerebral Palsy, breathing problems, hearing/vision impairment, severe cognitive delay,and/or severe psychomotor delay. And Mom's probably not in very good shape right now either (and the parents' marriage might not be in such great shape once the monetary costs of having 6 kids all at once takes its toll.) This is the result of fertility drugs - guaranteed. The docs involved would have offered the parents selective termination to improve the outcome of the remaining fetuses, but obviously, the parents chose not to accept it. How is that any different from drinking or taking illicit drugs during pregnancy? This was not a natural occurence - it wasn't "God's Will", it was Clomiphene. Now I know that people with cerebral palsy, blindness, development delay can lead happy and productive lives and be valuable members of society blah blah blah, but what parent says "Yes, it is so important to me that I procreate that I would rather have 6 sickly children than 3 healthy ones. Every Life Is Sacred." Yet another strain on the healthcare system because people don't realise that just because we can do someting, it doesn't mean that we should do something.

And this morning, while I was laying in bed I heard about the concern raised in a Northern BC town by Christian parents about a new provincial fitness program. The program involves physical activity every day at school. One of the activities is yoga. Now, since yoga is derived from at non-christian religious philosophy, there have been complaints that it is being taught in public schools. (Apparently this is also a problem elsewhere.)They played 2 parent interview excerpts - one mother was concerned that some of the poses include pressing one's hands together, and how can they take prayer out of the schools yet include this kind of activity. Another monther was more blunt "There's God, and the Devil, and when you take God away, the Devil will slip in whereever he can". And here I thought that the downward dog position worked to stretch out my legs, but's a pose of SATAN!!!!!!!! (cue Dana Carvey voice complete with reverb)

Bah! Enough of people. I'm going to go propel myself through a forest.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 08, 2007

Nailsey Wailsey on the Blackboardie Woardie

I came across an ad for The Second Cup "Calling on all Yummy Mommies" to bop into their establishments and get their free magazine with the purchase of one of their overpriced Comfort Beverages. While working on my antifreeze (I am trying to get it ready for Wednesday, when the cold snap hits the ski hill) I tried to determine what about this phrase drives me crazy. Is it the fact that it's an infantilized term for grown women? Is it the implied procreationism behind it?

So I googled it - did you know that General Foods sold a Yummy Mummy cereal? I also learned that according to the Millcroft Inn "A true Yummy Mummy is someone who struggles to find the impossible balance between the single sexpot she used to be, the woman she's become, the professional she works hard to be, the wife she aspires to be and the mother she has to be. Basically, she's confused and exhausted."
Wow, sucks to be her if you can't afford the $800 cost of the getaway.
I then came across this opinion piece, which seemed to ring true in its logic. And I also came across this blog posting which alone was mildly amusing, but had some awesome comments.

*Disclaimer - I am not, and will not ever be a mummy (other than to the cats). I will instead have to channel all of my energies into my dream of being a "Hot Doc".
It's OK to come out now Somerset; she's stopped ranting!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Potential gift photos

I want to give gifts to the office and hospital staff with whom I worked during my short time here. I was thinking of printing up some of the photos tha I have taken and framing them. The ones I am thinking of using are posted individually in the blog entry below. I would appreciate your opinions re: which ones I should have printed.

Vote early, vote often!

Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Photo E

Photo F

Photo G

Photo H

Photo I

Photo J

Photo K

Photo M version 1
Photo M version 2
Photo N v1
Photo N v2

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Are Pringles a vegetable?

I went downhill skiing today, and it seemed like a totally different mountain compared to Wednesday; probably because of all the new snow; 14 cm in the last 24 hours, 46 cm in the last week. At one point I was looking down a slope that was doing a very good cliff imitation, and thought to myself "I have no memory of skiing down this 3 days ago, and also have no clue how to make it down with all limbs intact". And this was a BLUE run. But I did manage to stumble my way down. On the way home, I stopped at Zellers to pick up a light bulb, and they had a skid full of Pringles right at the entrance. I picked up a tin of the reduced fat "Sour Cream n' Onion" and the reduced fat "BBQ" flavours, thinking that I would keep them in the cupboard to open up the next time Kyle was eating potato chips. I stopped to pick up some new wax for my cross country skis, and as I was leaving the shop, I realized that I was kind of hungry. So I cracked open the BBQ Pringles and grabbed a stack. And then another stack. And then I had to stop for gas...and by the time I made it home, I had just about finished the Pringles. At one point I rationalized that I would get home, pick up my cross country skis and go do a few loops to burn off the calories, but the home tractor beam and the fact that the sun had already set put the kibosh on that. Man, I am an addiction waiting to happen.

Speaking of addictions, here's where I am at with Resolution Sock A:
2 cm into the heel flap. This pattern uses slip stitches rather than short rows.
And here's your daily helping of Kitty cuteness: Somerset figures out how to avoid a cold nose while napping...
...and helps Greedo groom those hard-to-reach places.

Resolution wise, I shovelled the whole access road today (at least 100 feet). We had this weird snow this morning that looked like rain when it was falling; it was pellet like - not hail, because it wasn't ice, but flakes clumped together. It looked like lawn fertilizer pellets. Making some progress on tidying up around here; the challenge will be to actually put away all the laundry I did.