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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pardon me while I have a nervous breakdown...

Yesterday's patient ended up arriving at 11:45PM, so I got home around 2AM, then we got up at 6AM to drive into Toronto to sign the papers at the lawyer's office. I am now nauseatingly tired, but keep getting my nth wind (I think n = 38 right now), so instead of napping this afternoon, I uploaded photos into Ravelry.
orange sari yarn
See how this sari yarn is frayed? It kind of reminds me of my nerves right now. We got posession of the house today, and lugged 99% of our belongings from the rental house into Toronto to start the long arduous unpacking process. I found many things to fret about: I had to do an 847 point turn to park my car in our carport (it's off the backlane, and the garages/fences on the other side are only a few inches away from the lane.) We have to get a parking pass for The Gambler's car so that he can park on the street, but it's not entirely sure how long it takes to have the pass issued. It turns out that the house was only roughed in for Central Vac. The empty rooms look tiny (of course, in some cases this is no illusion - the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms are tiny). There is not loads of closet space, and I have alot of clothes. You know how on the current generation of makeover shows, the makoverers go through the makeoveree's closet and toss out the stuff that doesn't work for them? I wonder if you can hire people to do that for you in real life. Not a personal shopper - just a totally objective person who could say "That really doesn't do anything for you" with some modicum of authority. The closest I have come across was when a consignment store that I used to frequent sent out a mailing saying that they would go through your wardrobe with you and help you pick out the stuff to get rid of, and possibly consign some of it for you. However, I would be pretty suspicious that they might be more apt to tell you to get rid of something if they thought that it would sell easily. We have to figure out where we are going to put our recycling bins now that we have a galley style kitchen. And Thursday morning (my first day of commuting to work) I have to be at the hospital by 7 AM.

blue sari yarn
But at least we have a great shower (The Gambler gave it a test-drive this evening). And we did have a chance to make some decisions where pieces of furniture will go. Several times I just laid on the floor to determine how tight of a fit things would or wouldn't be.

Speaking of Ravelry(You may have forgotten by now that I did so in the first paragraph of this post. I like to combine tangential thinking with a habit of picking up a conversation where it left off, even though the other party in the conversation has since moved on with their life and has no idea what I am talking about), I was looking at my stats and realized that I now have 99 friends (an explanation for non-Ravelry participants: you can add someone to your friend list just by clicking a button - they don't necessarily have to approve of being linked to you. However, they don't necessarily have to add you to their list of friends. It's kind of the reverse of yearbook signing protocols). So the next person I add with be my 100th friend, which is one of those things that has somewhat artificial significance. I thought to myself - "Hey, I could add a certain Famous Knitter who I personally think has gone a bit overboard in the 'us and them' concept as applied to knitting". And then I laughed so hard that I scared Somerset (she and Greedo are part of the 1% of our belongings that remain in the rental). I kill me sometimes.

And for those of you who are waiting with baited breath to see the soaked-in-water-and-then-in-salt-water-then- re-blocked Soleil:

Hopefully tomorrow - I'm planning on wearing it to work, and will get The Gambler to take a picture of me wearing it when I get home.

Wow. Home. I have a home again.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Stuck at the hospital, waiting for a transfer to arrive...

Without any knitting!
In lieu of actual original content:
(As seen on Lynn's blog)

You Are 35% Left Brained, 65% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.
The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

And reason #7581 why I can't wait to move into the new house:
We are still waiting for the gas to get turned back on in the rental house, and are now officially out of hot water. I am too much of a sybarite to take a cold shower, so I have had to resort to showering in the on call room at the hospital. Two more sleeps (assuming that I make it home tonight, that is!)

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Friday, July 27, 2007

I guess it's good that he walked away from me...

After reading this article, I'm kind of nervous what might happen if Greedo comes to check on me and then hops onto my lap...


Thursday, July 26, 2007


Soleil is blocking:
soleil blocking
There are still a few ends to weave in from the crochet border. The top would have been completely done by now except for the fact that I got distracted by this:

bamboozle pattern and yarn
My cousin and his wife (who live in California) are having a baby in October; we are going to be in Los Angeles for the baby shower, so I plan to give them this jacket as a present. I'm hoping that there will be enough left over to knit a pair of booties to match.
I've made the executive decision that turquoise is a gender-neutral colour. I was tempted to convert the sleeves to being knitted in the round, but decided to follow the pattern as written; hopefully the 2 seams won't hold me back from finishing.
We move into the new house on Tuesday; I can't wait. On Monday night I slipped and started to fall down the stairs; I somehow got one arm caught in the railing:

I also have a big bruise on my butt, but I'm just happy that I didn't break or dislocate my arm. Initially I couldn't figure out how it happened, but then I realized that the first step at the top is quite short - I caught myself stepping onto the edge and starting to slip on the carpet yesterday. Then last night there was a HUGE spider in the bathroom - I of course screamed when I saw it. Greedo came to check that I was OK - he did the same thing 2 weeks ago; I screamed because there was a spider on my arm, which cause Somerset to tear out of the room, a few minutes later Greedo walked up to me, gave me the once over and then walked back to where Somerset was sitting.

Finally today, I went to check the mailbox for flyers to put into the recycling bin (my "no flyers" sign has faded enough that it gets ignored), and there was a note saying that the gas was disconnected today because the account is in arrears. After several hours on the phone, my landlady determined that a) the account wasn't in her name, our our name, but was in her ex-boyfriend's name, b) that instead of the account being in arrears for $950, there is actually a credit on the account, and c) that the gas company will need to send someone over to re-light the pilot light. Tomorrow. The day that I go back to work.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blue Weekend

I did some travelling this weekend - Janis and her husband had planned a trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake to take in some of the Shaw Festival, so it was an excellent opportunity for us to meet. We saw "The Circle" by Somerset Maugham, and Shaw's "St. Joan". I am always surprised at how many "quaint little villages" exist in Southern Ontario, and mildly saddened by the fact that they depend on tourism to survive - nothing like turning the place where you live into a cross between Disneyland and a zoo.
On the way down I stopped in Burlington and checked out Spun Fibre Arts - it's a great store; too bad it didn't open until after I left Burlington. Or maybe that's a good thing-they had a whole table of Malabrigo on sale. I managed to restrain myself and buy only 2 skeins, as well as this gorgeous blue Trekking yarn:

I picked up some Pop Corn as well:

I can't believe that she forgot the butter!

I only picked up one skein because I couldn't think of a specific pattern to use it for. The swatch was knitted up at a worsted gauge, but I think it would work better being knit up as a DK. It's incredibly soft and light. I'm going to knit it up into the gift pouch from Last Minute Knitted Gifts; it's the perfect colourway for my Secret Pal.

Since I knew that Janis wouldn't have a chance to stop at any yarn shops, I brought her a souvenir skein of Fleece Artist Sea Sock yarn. She gave me some Tiny Toes in exchange:

The colours don't come out well on this photo - they are closer to this Silk Garden colourway:

Which of course leads me to consider combining the 2 yarns together for some as yet undertermined project. I suspect that non-sock projects that utilize sock yarn will soon be all the rage - all that lovely sock yarn out there will need to be used eventually, and I know that I am developing the early signs of sock fatigue 7 pairs into the 12 I planned to knit for the year. I wonder what the next Big Knitting Thing will be - Lace? Colourwork? Mixing yarns? Felting? Felting Lace? The number of knitting books being published seems to be exponentially increasing. Forget SABLE, soon we will all have to-knit lists that we can never complete. It's kind of like advances in scientific knowledge - nobody can keep up with all of them.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Almost done!

I took Sophia's suggestion and did a 3 needle bind off to attach the straps to each other. I hadn't done a 3 needle bind off previously, so I was surprised at how easy it was. And I even got extra practice in it when I realized that I had bound a back side to a front side. I think I had once quickly looked at the instructions for 3-needle bindoff in my Vogue Knitting book and found them somewhat confusing, so had semi-written it off as something I would never learn. This is the tank pre-finishing. soleil front precrochet
I still have to block it and crochet around the edges - another technique that I have not had the incentive to learn until now. I'm hoping that the straps will be a bit more likely to cover bra straps once I do the edging. This back view of the tank as it is right now suggests to me that a racerback bra would be a no-go. One of these days I have to get around to buying those clear brastraps for my strapless bra.

soleil back pre-crochet


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Because that's how rumours get started...

As a matter of fact, the Mind-on-Holiday socks were stuffed in the previous photo - with sock yarn:
This was a trick I picked up from Anna's blog.

It makes it way easier to keep the 2 balls of yarn from getting tangled up.

BTW - do you get one of those optical illusion effects when you look at the yarn inside the sock? Like you are seeing the inner walls of the sock heading away from you rather than the ball of yarn heading towards you?

Or maybe it's just me.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Midweek Update

Hey Southern Ontario Readers!
Check out Driftwood Theatre's Touring Production of Much Ado About Nothing
I was able to escape the hospital and catch a show. It's been saner than usual at work - which of course leaves me wondering when I am going to get slammed!

Here's where the July Mind-on-holiday Stockinette socks are at:
opal cotton July 15

Finally, another pretty picture:
Ute's Lillies 3

I managed to catch this shot in some blustery winds - and almost kept the hand stabilizing the flowers out of the frame.

Oh - and the shot from the last blog post - the apex of the Summerhill Winery Pyramid photographed from the inside.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'll be back next week...

I'm on call again starting tomorrow morning. 17 more sleeps until we are moved into our new house (We have a 99% guarantee that our stuff will arrive in Toronto on August 1st, because the moving company is transferring one of their drivers from Vancouver to Toronto. They will haul our stuff along with his. Initially we were looking at a 10 day window for stuff to arrive.)

Here's a pretty picture to look at until I resurface:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Today is my last day in Kelowna.
I packed up the essentials to last me until our stuff arrives in Toronto: Picked up a last souvenier:And given the current weather:

The most sensible thing to do was to spend the afternoon at the beach.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Coachella quandry

Hey! Titles are back!!

So, as I packed up my stash, I realized that I have 800m of the Colineete Enigma. Instead of using it for Coachella, I might use it to knit a Halfobi
So I am now trying to figure out what yarn to use. I do have 2 skeins of Cotton Fleece; the yardage is a bit less than what the pattern calls for.

I might just start knitting and see how far I get...

Speaking of how far I get - this is how much I have left to knit on the Soleil tank:

It's going to take me a while to completely finish it - there's over a dozen ends to weave in, and I'm going to kitchener the straps together rather than binding off and sewing them together. I have 1.6 balls of the bamboo yarn left.

Now I just have to figure out what to start next - I've got a 4.5 hour plane ride ahead of me on Friday - which reminds me, it's time to pack!

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A Gravitational Field That Absorbs the Light of the Sun

Even though I have divided for the neckline and armholes...
soleil July 9
...I appear to have entered the Black Hole of knitting. Only 72 stitches per row, but all of a sudden it seems that I knit and knit and knit, but the measuring tape doesn't show any difference.

Two more days left here - today we attacked the "storage closets" and went through some boxes that never got unpacked from the last move...disheartening. We realized that I have a heck of alot of billing sheets that contain confidential information, and no means to easily destroy them (our shredder died). So The Gambler had a surreptitious bonfire on our secondary (gravel) driveway, with the garden hose at hand. (open fires aren't very popular around here) He thinks that he got about 1/2 way through them before it got dark. I went through my makeup/toiletry stuff while he was doing that; which brought home that I have gotten into a "don't bother putting any makeup on" slump. Not that I normally do the Tammy Faye thing, but I usually put on eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipstick when I go to work/go out. Makes me look less tired. I still have the blush powder that I wore to my highschool graduation - I have hung onto it because it is the perfect colour for my complexion, but come to think of it, I can't even remember when I last used it - I think at my wedding. In the last few months I have caught a few "makeover shows"; I can see the allure of having someone else come in and toss out what doesn't work for you. It's so much easier to toss something when you have absolutely no history with it. Theoretically this move is a chance for us to "start over", but in reality, it's just changing lanes.

I've been spending lots of time on Ravelry; it's way more enjoyable than doing moving-related tasks. I am trying to focus on assigning projects to various bits of my stash. My numbers constantly surprise me - I have 19 knitting books that are in the Ravelry database, plus at least 6 or 7 books that aren't yet entered into the system. And I have FIFTY TWO yarns (not 52 skeins...52 different yarns!)entered into my stash database. And I still have more that isn't in there. Plus, one of the entries is "Regia Sock Yarn", which covers about 8 different yarns. I swear by all that is holy that I am going to devise some system to make yarn usage > yarn development. Sigh.

And to add maudlin to melancholy, I miss the cats:
stuff on my cat
Greedo was practicing for the smaller house. Downsizing can be a bitch.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

This Looks Like a Title...

But it's not. It's just re-formatted text at the beginning of this post. Switching to another blog host is tempting when stuff like this happens.

Anyways, enough about Blogger, how about Soleil?

Soleil July 8

I am almost at the point of dividing for the neckline. I think I have another inch to go. I say "I think" because this is the point where my long back-waist length comes into play. If I divided at the 12.5 inches that the pattern calls for, it would turn into a crop-tank. I slipped the work onto a second circ last night, and the good news is that it isn't too tight.

Remember how I complained about how difficult it is to buy funky coloured nailpolish at drugstores several weeks ago? Well, I found some metallic lime green polish:
sunshine french
And dug out some pale yellow nail polish to give myself a "French Manicure On Acid". On the way home from the airport on Friday, we stopped to have lunch at a power mall that contains a W*M*rt. In general, I try to avoid W*M*rts if at all possible for 2 reasons - the first being that the Gambler worked for Zellers for several years, which is a Canadian retailer similar to W*M*rt, which has suffered greatly since W*M*rt metastasized to Canada. The other reason is that I always find being in a W*M*rt store stressful - too bright, too noisy, aisles too close together, and too many people. Someone had mentioned that one of the supercheap drugstore makeup brands that had disappeared from the drugstores (because they now have the fancy shmancy makeup lines, complete with "Beauty Reps" who wear more product line on their face at one time than I do in a year) was still sold at W*M*rt. So I picked up not one, but TWO shades of turquoise nailpolish. So today I will give myself a French Riviera Manicure.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Soleil Rising

Still can't post a title. Even if I hit Edit Html. P.O.S. Blogger!Bah!!
Spent several hours working on Soleil yesterday:
July 7
Thus far, I've only twice had to change skeins midway through to minimize pooling. Actually, watching out for pooling has eliminated the "miles of stockinette boredom" effect.

The Gambler watched the UFC pay-per-view last night, so I took the opportunity to do a swatch for Cochella out of Colinette Enigma:

It's a thick/thin ribbon yarn, and is supposed to knit up at "heavy worsted" weight. The swatch was kind of wonky in that the thick portions kept overlapping. I think I am going to give it a try with these needles. I think it will be a good project to work on when I fly back to Ontario on Friday. I would definitely wear a bra underneath it, given the openness of some of the stitches!

In the meantime, we are going through each room in the house, deciding what to toss. Always stressful; regretting having aquired something and not using it, guilt about throwing away something that is still useable, and panic that I might end up needing/wanting it at some point in the future.

Speaking of guilt, I have pretty well fallen off of the wagon in terms of not adding to the stash in the last few months. I am hoping that keeping track of my stash and "to-do" list on Ravelry will prevent duplicate purchases and will enable me to match stash yarns to potential projects a bit better. I decided to upgrate to Flickr Pro so that I can get all my stash and WIP photos in there.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

I have completed the lace portion of Soleil:
Soliel July 7 I did 4 repeats rather than 3 in order to add to the length. I quite like the way that the variegation works with the lace pattern (I guess that's why Monkey is so popular, duh). I am now having a debate with myself if I want to further add to the length below the waist by doing 6 rows between decreases instead of 5.

In the last few days I have been updating my Ravelry notebook. It's a bit tedious, but it will be useful for me to keep better track of what yarn I have available, as well as helping me to keep track of patterns that I want to knit.

I'm also giving some thought to whether or not I should start another pair of socks in July. I asked the Gambler if he wanted me to knit him some socks for his birthday, and he said he'd rather I knit him another pair of moozhies (the term his grandmother used for socks that she knit for her family). Since I have several summer items that I want to knit, I may just work on them instead. I have a tendency to set goals or make plans and then feel bad when I don't achieve them...when in reality there is no damage done to anyone or anything. So the yarn sits in my stash for a while - big deal! The Gambler often tells me that I can find more ways to make myself feel bad than ways to make myself feel good - I have to admit that there is some truth in his words.

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Friday, July 06, 2007


I finished knitting sockapalooza sock B last night, and cast it off this morning.

I had alot of leftover beads - about 40% of the beads that were used for the socks, and I still had the wee little beads that were too small to thread on the yarn. So yesterday I stopped by The Sassy Bead Company and picked up some larger beads and beading elastic so that I could knit my swap pal a Bauble bracelet.

It was a rainy afternoon, so while Somerset and Greedo napped, I strung the beads. The pattern calls for 4mm dpns; I tried knitting it up on 5mm dpns. Here's the result of my initial attempt to knit it up:

I'm not sure if I like it right now. I fly back to BC tomorrow, and will re-knit it on 4 mm needles once I get there to see if it looks any less dog's-breakfast-like. It probably didn't help that I didn't actually use crimping beads to anchor the beads on the cord , so in some spots gaps opened up, which made the loops "catch" instead of slide through each other like a good yarn should.

Back to last night - one of the great things about moving to Toronto is that there is a huge knitting community. There are several SnB's that meet on a weekly basis, and on Wednesday nights, there is a large group that meets at a Second Cup. It's large enough that if you get there late you risk missing out on finding a seat! There's a great mix of people who attend, and new people join in quite often. Last night Allie joined us. She is just teaching herself to knit, and we were all quite impressed by how even her stitches were for her very first project. She was knitting "a square" out of some dollar store yarn, and we helped her to cast it off. Check it out:

The yarn she was using was a bit on the bulky side for her needles, so when she was casting on for square #2, I showed her how to do a long tail cast on. Which was when I learned that my long tail cast on technique is very different from that which other people use. Looking at the knitting help video, it appears that I use a modification of the "thumb method". I'm not entirely sure where I picked it up; I think that was my interpretation of the diagrams given in a Debbie Bliss knitting book. It's amazing how many ways people come up with to wrap sting around a stick, isn't it?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Borrowed stuff and blue stuff

This cool post led me to this great blog. And this post is just plain beautiful.

(how's that for adding content to my blog without doing any actual work?)

I made a trip to Romni with Sandi today to shop for my knittyboard Secret Pal.

Here's what I got her:
blue stuff

Can you guess what colours she likes? The 3 skeins of Wildefoote yarn were all orphans (I have a special talent for finding and falling in love with orphan skeins of sock yarn. Which is quite ironic when you consider how large my feet are.)

But they'd work well with this sock pattern...

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New stuff

I finished the first Sockapalooza Sock last night:
My pal has long thin feet, and this is stretchy yarn knit into a ribbed pattern. So it looks kind of freakishly narrow off the foot.

Here's an approximation of what they will look like when they are worn. That's my arm standing in for a leg. Her foot diameter is about the same as my hand diameter. This is why I can never buy commercially made women's gloves.

I have also cast on for Soleil:

The lace might be a bit hidden by the multicoloured yarn, but the bulk of the tank is stockinette anyways.

By the way - I am having issues with my laptop and leaving comments on Blogger hosted blogs. Sometimes the comment page gets reloaded over and over again. Problems arose with error messages when I installed an update related to the change in the Daylight Savings start/end dates.

So in other words, it is George Bush's fault.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Some old stuff

Way back in February, I took a "papercraft" workshop for the purpose of making some gifts for my Knittyboard Secret Pal and my Favourite Colourswap Pal.

Anna is a librarian, and loves purple, so she got this memory book:

complete with due date card tags:

this card:

and this bookmark:

Shannon likes pink and red, and also likes martinis, so she got this book:
this bookmark:and this card:
These beads from my stash were strung on some train track ribbon yarn remnant:
This was a trial run for a flowered stitch marker holder that I made for Shannon - I neglected to photograph the one I made her in red:Pretty simple - cut the tops off of some silk flowers and glue to the top of the container lid.

I enjoyed the papercrafting and have picked up various supplies and tools in the last few months. I don't plan to do any scrapbooking, but I'd like to do some cards and bookmarks, and would also like to give collage a try.

Oh, and to put your mind at ease regarding the cats:

Somerset's cheek is recovering. She's got a little bald patch on her face (which is slowly growing in) and is missing all the long whiskers on her left side

And Greedo still sleeps in Pi 1.0

Somerset prefers the updated version

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