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Friday, August 31, 2007

Gift Bag!

I've had a crazy week at work again (nothing like a long weekend to bring out the insanity), but finally had a chance to cast on for the knitted gift bag from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
knit bag It's looking larger than I had expected.

I'm using the Pop Corn yarn:
knit corn
The first 4 rows of this were knit with a 4.5mm needle, then I switched to a 4 mm needle. The needle size called for on the ball band is a 6-6.5 mm! They seem to be marketing it as a worsted weight yarn, even though it seems to knit up more like a DK weight.

I got an awesome Secret Pal package in the mail yesterday, but I've not had the chance to photograph the lovely contents yet - hopefully tomorrow.


Monday, August 27, 2007


I've figured out what yarn to use for the Candleflame Shawl:
gift wool
This yarn was a present from a patient.

I was reminded of it today at work when I saw a gift of fruit and other goodies; looking at the card, I realized that it was from a patient who I had stayed up all night taking care of. At the time, I was sure that he wasn't going to survive, but he did, and was discharged home from the hospital while I was on vacation. He wrote "Thanks for saving my life" on the card.

It's a weird thing to hear something like that. Because I didn't save his life through any superhuman talent; any other doctor with the same training that I have could have done so. It's like an airline pilot landing a plane - "just doing my job". I happened to be the one who was on call the night that he came in, that's all.

But I still took home the basket that the goodies came in - it will be a great place to store yarn...

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Prodigal yarn, and another SP 11 quiz

Suitcase #4 made it home safe and sound yesterday afternoon! Here's a few things that were inside:
grace close
6 skeins of Lorna's Laces Grace in the charcoal colourway (5$ each! Such a bargain!)
An unknown yardage of a rayon/silk blend yarn that I bought at the Santa Monica Fibre Fest.
rayon/silk pron
I'm thinking of using it to knit Tuscany.

Here's another SP11 quiz for me to answer:

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
Internet Access.

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you?
Of course!

If so, how much and what type of project?
Usually more than I could hope to complete if all I did during the vacation was knit! I would HATE to run out of stuff to knit!!
This year I have generally brought socks to knit with, because of my plan to knit a pair of socks per month. I've also taken baby stuff, or scarves. My next trip is September, and I will bring along my next Clapotis, because the Clapotis KAL starts during the trip.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
New York City - I love the fact that there is so much to see and do, and it's so easy to get around on the subway!

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
It's a tie between Yarnplay and No Sheep For You - I just got NSFY from a Secret Pal!!

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I was listening to CBC Radio One podcasts, but then my Dell DJ died. I've only listened to a single knitting podcast - Debbie Bliss was interviewed (Cast on?) I intend to get myself a new mp3 player before October. I'd rather not get an iPod - because I am an iconoclast. Or maybe I should say I am an ipodoclast.

6. If you could only knit with 1 color for the rest of your life, what color would that be?
Green - as long as the definition of green could be stretched to include teal and turquoise.

7. If you were far into a project and then noticed a mistake near the beginning what would you do?
Try to figure out if it was a fatal error, or one that was glaringly obvious. If it wasn't either of those, I would leave it. If it was something that I couldn't ignore, I'd see if there was ANYTHING that I could do to fix/repair the mistake. If it was absolutely necessary, I would frog it, and then be bitter about it.

8. Where is the most unsual spot you've ever knit?
In the Poker Room at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas.

This yarn wasn't in the suitcase - it's Noelle's Noodles that I bought during the Sea Socks cruise. I came across the Candleflame Shawl on Jinxsa's blog, and now I want to knit it. I was considering using this yarn for it, but I don't know if the 430 yards will be enough. Plus I think there's too much contrast in the colours. But I'm really not sure. Some days I couldn't decide my way out of a wet paper bag.

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And the award for lamest excuse goes to...

Our National Airline!

We took an overnight flight home from Vegas Thursday. Because of minor turbulence throughout the 4 hour flight, neither The Gambler nor I were able to sleep ( I usually fall asleep before the seatbelt sign goes off, and then nap for 90 minutes). So we arrived in Toronto at 6:30 am, and went to get our luggage. We had checked in pretty early, so we expected that our luggage wouldn't be the first out. Three of our 4 suitcases finally came. So we waited for the 4th one. Then we noticed that there were no new bags coming onto the belt, but there were at least 20 people still waiting for bags, so we thought that maybe the baggage unloaders had gone on a coffee break. We waited for another 30 minutes, and then the light on the baggage carousel went on, and a buzzer went off. We watched, and nothing happened. The 4 orphaned bags on the carousel went round and round, and no new suitcases joined them. About 20 minutes later, an overhead announcement was made indicating that all the suitcases from the Las Vegas flight had been unloaded, and anyone who was missing anything should go to the baggage counter.

We checked the tags on the 3 bags we did have, and realized that of the 4 stickers, the numbers only matched on 2 of the baggage labels, but our names were on all the of baggage labels. Needless to say, an overnight flight + an extra hour waiting for baggage = very frustrated customers. So to add insult to injury, the rep at the baggage counter said:
" The plane was overweight, so some bags were left behind to lighten the load"

Which brings 2 words to mind:
Bull. Shit.

Especially there was the discrepency in the tag/label ID#'s for one of our bags. The Gambler, while chatting with the people in line, discovered that every single one of them had been checked in by "the trainee". As luck would have it, that's the suitcase that contains some yarn and beads I bought at the Santa Monica Fibre Arts Fair, as well as some gifts that I picked up for a Secret Pal. Hopefully we'll get it back tomorrow.

Speaking of Secret Pals, I had some packages waiting for me when I got home (we now get mail delivered right to our house! No more Superboxes!)

The first was from my knittyboard Rut Bustin' Sock Swap pal:
RBSS package
Some Knitpicks Bare sock yarn, US 13 tips and spare cords, chocolate, stitch markers, Kool Aid, blocking pins, and Favorite Socks!! Thank you Pal!

The second package (from my knittyboard Secret Pal) came wrapped in bacon:
bacon wrap
(I love that packing tape! Mail Mignon!)

And included a tip to make a move less painful:
moving card

Look at all of the goodness that was inside:
SP package 1
Some treats for Somerset and Greedo, spare pockets for my Options set (which I thought I had packed in the missing suitcase for a few scary hours), tunes (which will make my commute much more enjoyable), stitch markers, a needle and stitch gauge, some AllHemp 6 to play with plus not one, but 2 books - one full of crochet trims, and No Sheep For You! Thank you Pal!

Which reminds me, I have to try to find my copy of Last Minute Knitted Gifts so that I can knit the Popcorn gift satchel for my own knitty Secret Pal. I'm thinking it's in a box somewhere...

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Keeping myself honest

I'm nearing the end of the mindless stockinette socks (I actually sat in the poker room at the MGM Grande and knit today while The Gambler did his thing), and Coachella may go into hibernation (I hear that it cooled off back home while we were gone). So soon I will have to decide what project to start next.

One thing I have to keep in mind is that we are going to Europe for 3 weeks on October 6th, and I picked up this dress to use as the "nice outfit" for the trip:

There's a long list of projects that I have yarn for:

Dropped lace scarf out of the purple Parisienne

Purl scarf out of the red Parisienne and red Malabrigo, or maybe I'll use Boku plus red Malabrigo with the Parisienne.

Clapotis - out of Fleece Artist KidSilk 2 ply (I'm in a Claptois KAL that starts in late September)

Rogue - out of Mission Falls wool

Flair - out of Patagonia nature cotton

Dragonfly - out of Elsebeth Lavold silky wool and silky tweed

Half Obi - out of Giotto

Chelsea - out of Autunno and 2 skeins of teal Manos

Sahara - out of Cherry Tree Hill Silk

2 button jacket - out of Colourworks (bulky)

Lite Brite - out of Noro and Cascade 220

Melody's Shawl - from the kit Trillian 42 gave me as a VD present.

And, there's another friend having a baby - a boy, so I plan to knit some Saartje's booties plus a Norwegian Baby Cap out of an orphan skein of sock yarn that is a blue/black marl.

Not to mention all that other sock yarn that should be knit into socks...


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What I did on my holiday part 2

I bought some yarn...

This is Colinette Parisienne
knitting 024
Listen - can you hear it whispering?
knitting 026
Voulez vous tricoter avec moi?

And because I don't have enough projects waiting to be knit:
knitting 030
This is Autunno , a worsted weight merino which knits up like this:
knitting 005
No need to adjust your monitor, there is some very subtle light/dark shading of the yarn. I intend to use it to knit the dropped shoulder sweater from Yarnplay. One of these days.

And finally, the heat seems to have done something to my brain - I am giving serious consideration to knitting lace. Maybe it's because I am finding more "solid" stitch patterns like this:
knitting 010

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Sockapalooza socks fit!

I finally have a photo of the Sockapalooza socks modelled properly - on feet:Sockapalooza socks in use
Nikki was my Sockapalooza downstream pal. In addition to having very photogenic feet, she is also a talented dyer, and has her own etsy shop.

We are in Las Vegas right now - The Gambler is down at the poker tables already (we haven't gone for breakfast yet). By the way - if you are ever in Vegas, and are in a casino with a name that starts with MG...bypass their buffet. Very underwhelming, and more expensive than the buffet at The Mirage, which is vastly superior in variety and presentation (they toss your salad for you - how cool is that?) I managed to pass a few hours at Gail Knits, which is the only LYS in Las Vegas.
I am always struck by how quickly many Americans are to share fairly intimate details of their life with strangers...I realize that this is a huge generalization, and I am well aware that I may be more reserved than many other Canadians, but I've heard tales about how someone is "an abuse survivor", or about how an elderly relative had "implant sugery done because their spouse insisted on it" while travelling south of the US/Canada border. Not that either are something to be ashamed of, but to share them with someone who you just met?

At one point, I thought that I was going to be stranded in the yarn shop when the cab hadn't arrived after waiting for over an hour and a half (the shop is 7 miles off The Strip, so they don't make as much money heading there and back as they would shuttling people from casino to casino). One of the women who knits at the shop on Tuesdays was kind enough to drive myself and another out of towner back to our hotels.

I've manged to pick up some nice yarn during this trip, and should really take advantage of my free time in Vegas to photograph them and blog about them, but I'm thinking that it's time to see how The Gambler is doing.

BTW - Thanks for the comments on my last post. Nothing like an afternoon baby shower full of strangers/near strangers plus being unable to fall asleep to create some late night angst. Plus I am probably suffering from mild cat withdrawal.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Is this all that there is?

I think I have driven by one too many Alpha Course bus shelter advertisements.

Or maybe it's the babies that various friends and family are cranking out.

Work, knit, blog, shop, travel ( not necessarily in that order) - keeps me occupied, but leaves me with little to contribute when sitting at a table full of mothers and grandmothers.

We don't want to have kids, and I have never had any sort of urge to do so. To be honest, we don't really like kids. I don't know the exact birthdates of my nieces and nephew.

Time keeps whizzing by at an ever accelerating rate; it would be nice to know what we are journeying for.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

FO and frogging

I finally re-knit the Bauble for my sockapalooza pal, and it's currently en route to her together with the socks and other goodies.

completed bauble

Since her feet are much narrower than mine, I am assuming that her wrists and hands are also smaller than mine.

I got to the point of being able to try on my Chamoischella this evening, and realized that the problem with knitting a size Small is that the back (and armholes) are too short. Meaning that it fits fine in front, but the back totally rides up. The back strap also does not completely cover the straps of my "racerback" bra, so I frogged back to about 8 rows in, and will re-knit it as a halter top.

I hate frogging - it seems like such a waste of the time spent knitting that which is to be frogged. I find myself thinking "I could almost be done this by now if I hadn't had to rip all of that back..."
By the way - Golden Purl is having a blog contest.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

What I did on my summer holiday part 1...

My uncle got us awesome tickets to this:

And we saw this guy manage to put in just over an hour's work:
He bent it...
Made it...

And there was much rejoicing.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Knitting Update

I knit this hat on the plane ride to LA - it managed to keep me slightly distracted from the incredibly annoying woman sitting beside me - will give the whole story in a future post.

baby hat
It's to match the 5 Ring Circus Jacket. I could probably still crank out some booties from the remaining yarn; might knit them on Friday (baby shower is Saturday)

Here's Chamoischella - my Coachella that is being knit out of Cotton Fleece in the Chamois colourway.


Right now I am actually doing the back strip, and I am still not certain if the 2 skeins will be enough. While out shopping in Palm Springs I came across a knit cardigan, and really liked the stitch pattern:

It looks to me like the pattern would be Purl 1 row; then Sl 1, K1 to end; Purl 1 row; then K1, Sl1 to end.

If I do start running out of yarn, I will re-knit the bottom portion of the tank in this stitch pattern. It will be a bit more open of a knit, but for the bottom part that should't be too much of a problem.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If it's The Happiest Place On Earth (TM), why are there so many crying children?

Two words explain why the most brilliant decision we have ever made was to stay at a hotel across the street from Disneyland:
Afternoon. Nap.
(That, and the fact that I didn't have to drive The Charger today - gave the ozone a bit of a reprieve today. Has anyone ever seen a Car Rental Agency that offers hybrids? Seems more sensible to me to pay extra $$ to rent a hybrid car than buying "carbon offsets" which may only line someone's pockets with green.)
The nap gave The Gambler the edge on the Space Blaster ride:
galactic hero

My Hero.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Postcard from The Edge

Hi All!

We are on holiday this week and next - spent the weekend in Palm Springs, are just starting 2 days in Anaheim (in a hotel sitting on the brink of Disneyland), then heading to the San Fernando Valley for 5 days before we head to Las Vegas for 4 days. Because we like to do things like a) go away for 2 weeks shortly after moving, and b) visit not one, but TWO desert locales in the middle of the summer.

I cast on for Coachella, but have no photos to post yet - will do so within the next few days. Sadly, my knitting time is less than I had planned; it turns out that Someone's Driver's Licence expired the day before we left on holiday, and Rental Car Agencies don't like to have unlicenced drivers operate their cars (they are kind of funny that way). So I am the designated driver. Of a Dodge Charger, which is an aircraft carrier masquerading as a car - just to add insult to injury.
Yep - driving a car with a hemi; it's like a dream come true, except for the fact that I have never been a 17 year old guy.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

FO sighting

Yesterday I went through several bins, and managed to find the purple capri sweats I was looking for, as well as The Gambler's red Bass shirt (in a bin that had made it into the rec room downstairs), butI was unable to find my darning needles. So I walked to (the websiteless) Passionknit, which is my new LYS. Emphasis on the L, because it took all of about 5 minutes to get there - according to Google Maps, it's 300 metres from my house. They had just gotten a shipment of new fall stock, including several new Rowan Yarns - like Kidsilk Aura and Cocoon - this shop might be my downfall! I managed to bypass the new yarns and get my needles, and last night I seamed up the 5 Ring Circus Cardigan:
5 ring circus finished
Pattern: Bamboozle Baby Striped Jacket
Yarn: Crystal Palace Bamboozle - .9 skein carib blue, 2.1 skein circus
Needles: US8 Options
Cast on: July 25
Cast off: August 7
Completed: August 8

I still have leftovers, so I will probably knit up a matching cap. Possibly booties as well. I am very new to baby knitting, so I don't have a good feel for yarn requirements yet.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Where is everything????

I finished knitting The 5 Ring Circus Jacket,

...but I can't sew it up because I can't find my darning needles...I can't find the Bauble that needs to be knit up to send along with the Sockapalooza Socks...and there's no sign of that book that I was going to include with my next knittyboard secret pal mailing...

Nope, they're not in here...

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Calico Album

My cats have no musical ability, but man, this photo taken by The Gambler would make a great album cover. I wonder if Greedo knows "Free Bird"


Monday, August 06, 2007

Secret Pal 11 quiz

After a relocation-induced Secret Pal hiatus, I am back for Blogger Secret Pal 11.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Right now I think I am in the middle of a pendulum shift from solids to variegated back to solids. Or maybe I should give semisolids a trial. Yes, this could be my semisolid period - apt, when you consider how unsettled my life has been of late.
What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don't like anything that is super scratchy or fuzzy. Something that is 100% synthetic is OK as long at it is breathable!
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
That's an excellent question - because right now I am not entirely sure where alot of my stuff is located (due to our recent move), and being able to narrow it down to a cardboard box, or a plastic bin, or a suicase would be very helpful. My Knitpicks Options Needles are sitting in their carrying case on a kitchen shelf. Doesn't everyone store their needles in the kitchen? Something in which to store addis and DPNs would be greatly appreciated.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
I took a "how to knit" class in 2001, knit for about a year before I got super busy, picked it up again in 2004 long enough to knit a poncho (those were crazy days), and then really got into it in the summer of 2005 when I moved to Kelowna, BC.
Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I find this question harder to answer than "where do you want to be 5 years from now?" I am either a very advanced beginner or a very beginner intermediate knitter. There are alot of techniques (lace, fair isle) which I have absolutely no experience with, but I am confident enough to try making minor modifications to patterns.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
5. What's your favorite scent?
Jasmine, cloves, lavender.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I like dark chocolate, but am not a huger candy person. I do love aything gingerbread - especially when it is so ginger-y that it borders on being spicy.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?For the last year, I have been proclaiming my intention to try collage when asked this question, and I swear by all that is holy, that once we get the new house slightly organized, and I am not on call, I will get to work on it. I also want to start sewing again. I did a workshop in papercrafts, and will also dabble in that, but have no intention of making scrapbooks. No spinning for me - I have enough trouble keeping up with the knitting projects I want to do? I'll leave it to the nice people at Rowan, Colinette, Patons, et al to make nice yarn.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I'm more of an information radio person than a music person. I do love 80's music, as those were the songs of my youth.
9. What's your favorite color(s)?
Greens - lime, teal, peacock, olive, forest (but not kelly), deep reds, purples, chocolate brown.
Any colors you just can't stand?
Primary orange (as opposed to more earth toned), light greys (they look like crap against my yellow-toned skin), pale pinks.
10. What is your family situation?
It's The Gambler and Me against the world!
Do you have any pets?
Two cats - can't get any more right now because they would outnumber us. They are our child equivalents, with the benefit of the fact that they can be left alone locked in the house for the weekend with food and water. Doesn't go over so well if you do that with a real child.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I am not a poncho person. Everything else I knit and wear - and will continue to do so because I am tall, and my hand size/head circumference is about 10% larger than the "average" women's size that commercially made hats/mitts/gloves are made to fit. One size fits all is a myth for me.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Whatever shiny new object has caught my eye. Which leads to alot of WIPs sometimes.
13. What are you knitting right now?
A baby cardigan, a pair of slippers for The Gamber, a pair of midless stockinette socks, and there are about 12 things I want to cast on for RIGHT NOW!!
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I'd have to say that I am a circ girl.
Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Am giving away my Denise set now that I have a set of Options (which I adore), also love my single addi lace needle for socks (and don't understand why they won't make them in true sock needle sizes).
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I have a 4 year old UFO (tank top)
18. What is your favorite holiday?
A nice beach holiday, especially if it's all inclusive.
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Cat hair. Orphan skeins of yarn. Right now, I have a very extensive carboard box collection.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?I now realize that I would benefit from having a copy of No Sheep for You. I'm also intrigued by all of the "barberpole style" handspun yarns that I see out there in blogland - it would be great to get enough for a hat, or a scarf, or even a pair of socks - I am curious to see what it looks like when knitted up.
What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None - I buy the occasional Vogue Knitting, and it would be nice to have a subscription to IK
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm thinking of trying some lace stuff, but nothing particularly fancy or fussy - my own style is more streamlined.
22. Are you a sock knitter?
Yes.What are your foot measurements? US 11/Eur 42; I'll have to track down the exact measurements.
23. When is your birthday?
October 19 - this year it will be my 40th!
24. Are you on Ravelry?
Yes! If so, what's your ID?Ladylungdoc

Man, but I hate these super long questionnaire posts! Expecting some great stories or cat pictures and you have to read through a shopping list. Like you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Mommy lives with me and Greedo!! Can't people just read her blog??

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The House

Welcome to our home:The Gambler has made great progress in the unpacking efforts. We now have a useable family room:The huge windows make it nice and bright. Cat included for scale:Looking out the window is a favourite pastime, and this isn't even the window that faces the front sidewalk!And not only have boxes been unpacked, but the contents are being arranged with care:Lion and tiger and bear, oh my!


Cursed bamboo!

My soleil tank finally finished drying, so I wore it to work on Wednesday. Initially, all was well, but after a few hours I noticed that the edge of my bra would show a bit if I had my lab coat on. Since it was cold in the hospital, I just buttoned up the lab coat.

I then got home, and proceeded to unpack boxes in a hot, humid, unairconditioned house...and then I noticed that my bra was definitely peeking our in the armholes.

I knew that live bamboo can grow at amazingly fast rates, but it hadn't occured to me that the straps on my tank top would do the same:
stretched soleil

So I will have to rip back the straps a good inch on both front and back:
shortened soleil demo