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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poorly oriented to time...

I keep thinking that today is Monday. Even though I started back to work on Friday. Maybe it's because there's a football game on the TV right now.I finished the yoga socks today so I should be able to get my package out this week (I was very happy to realize that the guy who installed the new phone in my office left the box in my recycling bin - I'm always needing boxes for Secret Pal mailings.) No, I don't have a club foot, I was just doing some contortions to fit both of my size 11 feet into the shot.
I also have made more progress on the Clapotis; I'm nearing the halfway mark. Now I have to decide if I should take it along on our Europe trip - the pro of taking is that I would definitely finish it shortly after our arrival, and thus could wear it on the trip, but there are 2 cons - 1) I would need to either bring the drug dealer's kitchen digital scale along, or dole out a 45 gram ball to use for the decreases, and 2) I'm using metal needles. Which are not a problem for flights within North America, but might end up being a problem on transatlantic flights. I've got a plan in mind for a pair of socks (to be knit on bamboo dpns) as travel knitting.
My brain hurts. Too much thinking. What day is it again?

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

What's in that bag?

Here's my slightly tardy blogstalking assignment for the week - purse guts: This is the "travel" purse that I used last week; it's a Coach bag that I received as a present several years back. The darkness of the strap is not an illusion - it's discoloration from suntan lotion! It's smaller than what I usually carry, but big enough to hold the essentials
Gum (for the flight), and some Origins chocolate flavoured lip gloss.
These were the needles I used to knit the baby hats - and the nail clippers that I use as thread cutters (airline security friendly, as opposed to mini scissors - because you know that you can do alot of damage with those wee little folding scissors; could possibly take someone's eye out!)
Museum guide, postcard advert for a play I was thinking of going to see, and hi-tech hotel room key.
Sunglasses, restaurant receipt, scribbled addresses, portable tooth scrubber, random Canadian coin, and Toronto Transit Commission ride token. The coin and token must have fallen out of this:My travel wallet - it's nice and flat, so it takes up less space than my usual wallet. However, since I often don't get around to switching the important things (like credit card and driver's licence) over after the trip, after I visit the US, I often find myself without any Canadian money.Digital Camera - I try to always have this in my purse, even when I am not travelling.

Pens (which always settle in the bottom of the purse), baggie from some nuts I was carrying to snack on (I re-use baggies ad infinitum - my Mom bought us a 4 box pack at Costco 2 or 3 years ago, and I think we are finally down to the last box))

Finally - the I-can't-really-explain-why-this-is-in-my-purse-object. I need to take this card to the Occupational Health Department at my hospital to prove to them that I have already wasted my time been properly fitted for an N95 mask at my previous place of employment. But first, I took it to Washington, DC.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Now, with actual knitting content!

I thought that it was safest to not try to bring my clap with it's metal needles on board the flight to DC, so on the way down, I knit a few Hats for Alex out of a skein of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora yarn (which is wonderfully soft and fuzzy without being too furry - I'd love to knit myself a sweater out of this. It would probably end up becoming the weekend at home uniform, meaning that it would eventually be very furry thanks to Greedo and Somerset)

I am amazed that there are babies out there small enough to fit the wee little hat. I deal exclusively with adults in the hospital, and it blows my mind when one of our nurses who also works in the NICU describes how tiny some of the babies are. I've eaten steaks bigger than some of those kids.
And while I was in DC, I was able to give the hats directly to Pam/Trillian42 :

We went to Stitches DC, and had some great Cuban food (Thanks again, Pam!!). I managed to find some souvenir yarn:


Hotaru is the Japanese word for firefly. The little white cotton bibblies reminded me of cherry blossoms (although in retrospect, they look more like pussy willows), so it struck me as being the perfect yarn selection. I'll use it to create a Sakura Salix Scarf one day.


Either way, the scarf will be a reminder of Spring - when I was growing up, the tradition at our church was to give out Pussy Willows rather than Palm leaves on Palm Sunday. I'm not sure if that is a Ukrainian thing, or a Prairie thing. By the way -a question for Ravelry members - what colour would you pick to describe this - White? Neutral? Pink? Brown? Why is there no option to choose 2 or 3 colours to describe a yarn?

I have to get my final package together for my knittyboard Secret Pal within the next week (in addition to about a million other things). My pal enjoys yoga, so I am knitting her a pair of yoga socks (which Somerset snuggled up and napped next to)
The yarn I am using is an orphan skein that I picked up in the basement at Romni during the last TTC Knitalong. I managed to lose the label, but I do recall that it is superwash and 100% wool, and it feels like a light worsted weight to me. The grey parts are actually a pale green, as you can better see with the flash:
I vaguely recall that the yardage was less than that of Silk Garden, but judging by the weight of the first sock, I should have enough to complete the second one. Or else I will have to cry. And then frog both of them back and re-knit it with 2 or 3 less rows on the top section. (I was NOT impressed when I originally weighed the skein - it was 45 grams! 10% underweight!! It's a good thing I got a 20% discount on it!)

It's a nice quick knit (I started it yesterday at the airport), and would be a good last minute gift. A good way to use up those orphan skeins of yarn, too!

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More vacation snaps


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vacation snapshots


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


So I am well into the straight section of my Clapotis, and there is definitely some pooling happening.
clapotis sept 25 upright
It is broken up by the rows of black handspun, but I am still not certain if I should just rip it back and have one less repeat on the increase section...which would allow for more length.

Than again, the rows of dropped stitches are going to break up the pools of colour as well...and it would be nice to have it completed before we leave for Europe next week...


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thoughts to ponder...

So how do you figure the average Airport Security person will respond to me bringing along a digital scale on the plane? You see, I need to weigh my clapotis once I get to the end of the increase section so that I can be sure that I will have enough yarn left for the decrease section. A perfectly good explanation, right? But considering the fact that Ron Reagan Airport has its own separate baggage handling conveyor belt, I have visions of having to explain this to some big guy wearning a polyester uniform and a permascowl. I'm guessing that not alot of Customs/Airport Security staff knit - although maybe they should; it might mellow them out a bit. Although, come to think of it, if a Customs Officer was a knitter, answering the question "What are you bringing back with you?" with "Oh, just some yarn" might not get you off lightly. Actually, come to think of it, I went to medical school with a girl who used to work as a Customs Officer; she once told us how during downtime between flights they would screen imported videotapes for "obscenity". She's a psychiatrist now - which kind of makes sense in a weird way.
And with our recent "Sorry, the plane was too heavy so we left your baggage in Las Vegas" experience, I am not crazy about putting any necessities (i.e. knitting stuff) in checked baggage.

Which reminds me - I don't think I ever shared the story of Crazy Lady on the Flight to LA. Background - I am 5 foot 11, The Gambler is 6 foot 4. So we ALWAYS try to get either exit row or bulkhead seats when we check in ahead of time. When we checked in online, we saw that in the DEF portion of the exit row, only seat F was taken. So we took D (The Gambler) and E (Me). As we walked down the aisle towards our seats, I saw that someone appeared to have an entire picnic lunch, and all of the worldly belongings strewn across the middle and aisle seat beside them. Wouldn't you know it, it was the exit row; those were our seats. I smiled at the woman sitting in the window seat and said "Hi. We are sitting there.". She glared at me and announced "This seat doesn't have 2 armrests, so I am going to have to use your armrest during the flight." Whatever. She managed to pack away the remainder of her 3 course meal and stow her 5 (I am not kidding - FIVE) carryon items under her seat and in the overhead compartment (which, of course, filled the entire overhead compartment, meaning that we had to put our stuff somewhere else). I sat down in my middle seat, buckled in, and pulled out my knitting. We listened to the spiel about opening the door in the event of an emergency landing, and got ready for takeoff. Crazy Woman was twisted around, looking behind her. I thought that maybe she was looking for another empty row so that she could move there once the plane took off. The flight attendants had just finished "securing the cabin", the engines started to warm up, and Crazy Woman decided that she needed to get up. OK, I thought - maybe she wants to move to the other seat right away. The Gambler and I undid our seatbelts, got out of her way, and she walked towards the back. A minute later, the pilot announces overhead "Could the person who is in the lavatory please return to their seat? We cannot take off until all passengers are in their seats. Please do not leave your seat until the seatbelt sign is extinguished". Minutes pass...people are starting to wonder if perhaps this person has collapsed in the lavatory...finally, Crazy Woman emerges, saunters up the aisle, stops to retrieve something from her overhead bin stash, and waits for The Gambler and I to let her pass by. But that wasn't the worst of it - the worst part (other than her repeating the bathroom trip during an episode of turbulence) was the fact that she felt it necessary to not only lean her whole arm on the armrest (to the point where I was routinely jabbed by her elbow), but that she managed to do it while somehow sitting diagonally, so that her feet were sticking in front of me so far that she could almost rest them on my purse (which was under the seat in front of me). So I ended up hunched up against The Gambler. But we did get a bit of revenge when the plane landed. As we were standing up waiting for people further ahead to deplane so that we could get into the isle, Crazy Woman announced to us "I want to get out now". She was quite short, and easily able to stand up straight without going into the aisle (not the case for The Gambler and myself), and The Gambler said "Madam, I'm pretty sure that nothing would make my wife happier than for you to leave immediately, but you're just going to have to wait."

On a totally unrelated note, My Super Awesome SP 11 Secret Pal sent me some yummy drink mixes and 2 skeins of Noro Silk Mountain today! (Photos later). It's a boucle-y type yarn in red with gray and black bits, and is just begging to be the cuffs and collar of a nice sleek black sweater. Or the contrast on a pair of gloves and matching hat. Many Thanks!!!

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We interrupt semi-regular blogging for an announcement:

The Gambler and I are flying to Washington DC tomorrow. We'll be there for 7 days.

My knowledge of US geography is quite shaky, and I freely admit to not knowing exactly where DC is, but I do know that there are many large cities close to it (close being a relative term - I grew up in Winnipeg, where the closest city was a 4 hour drive, the closest city worth driving to was an 8 hour drive, and the closest Canadian city worth driving to was a 14 hour drive).

I'm hoping to meet up with Trillian42 during the week, and would be delighted to meet up with anyone else who is in or near the area - just email me (Ladylungdoc. Hotmail. You do the math)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why do it the easy way redux..

In an effort to pad our house stats, the builder subdivided a room that would be a decent sized bedroom into 2 wee little bedrooms. Right now, one of the demirooms is being converted into a huge walk in closet (This is why I went to university for 14 years - so that I can have a closet to die for), so the other demiroom is being used for temporary storage:

But apparently SOMEONE thinks that a bedroom is meant to be slept in:You know it must be a comfy spot if Mom and Dad made it so hard to get to!

In knitting news, I was having issues with a Baby Cap I am knitting to go with the Saartje booties, so I took a deep breath and wound the Fleece Artist into a cake:

And since it was all ready to go, I decided to cast on for the Clapotis:The WIP bag you see was made by Mama E, and purchased from The Sweet Sheep. All the cool kids are carrying them these days.

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Knit Blanche

Any GTA knitters out there feel like getting together at this year's Nuit Blanche for some culture and KIPing?


Monday, September 17, 2007

Because it's all about me...

I managed to sit down at cruise the knittyboard last night, and discovered a Knittyboard Blogstalking 2.0 thread. It seems that it's starting back up, and the theme of the first post is "Who I am"

Well, I am the person who suggested blogstalking in the first place.
There was a thread way back when which started out discussing the possibility of knittyboarders chatting with each other via skype...since I am not someone who does well with talking to strangers IRL, I suggested a summer "blogger comment swap" where each participant would be given a list of 10 or so blogs to follow and anonymously comment on regularly. People liked the idea, and it eventually developed into a group of bloggers who would post themes on a near-weekly basis.
Of course, the old thread has disappeared, so I can't prove it.

And this of course reminds me of the plotline in the move "Romy and Michelle" where the Mira Sorvino character decides to say that she came up with the idea behind Post-It notes, and when the Lisa Kudrow character wants to have come up with an idea too, Mira says that she can say she came up with the idea of making them yellow. And then the JaneAnn Garofalo character points out that a guy she knew from MIT invented Post-It notes, and hilarity ensues...

But I digress. Let's get back to me:

I do enjoy glamming it up, but what I really like to do is to find the beauty in the everyday. There is a section of my drive home from the hospital that I look forward to everyday. On the westbound 401 just before you get to Pickering, there is a curve in the highway. This is also the point where highway lights start. The curve of the road is mirrored by the procession of lightposts against the sky, and if it's near or past sunset, it's also picked up in the stream of headlights of the eastbound traffic. It's beautiful, and every day it's different - different sky, different time of day. Of course, since I'm usually driving about 120 km/hr at the time, I'll never catch a photo of it to show you. Unless I get stuck in a traffic jam, and have my camera with me.
But I do sometimes catch pictures of these things that I see. Sometimes they even resemble knitting motifs:

Argyles in the snow...

Sometimes chevrons too...

Even yarnovers and dropped stitches.
One more thing about me is that I'm more than happy to let sleeping cats lie

Turtlegirl asked about how I could use Greedo as a backdrop for yarn shots. For the most part, he sleeps so soundly that he won't change position for hours, and when he does eventually wake up, he's not in a big hurry to leave his nice warm spot. Of course, once I tried to lay some yarn on him while he was sleeping, and the tail of yarn hit him first, and immediately triggered a rudimentary "I have just been touched by a snake" feline reflex, causing him to go from sleeping to jumping up about a foot in the air within a microsecond.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why do it the easy way...

I'm about to start knitting another Clapotis (I joined the Second Wave Clapotis KAL), and intended to use some Fleece Artist 2 ply Kid/Silk Blend. However, the 2 skeins total 400m, and the pattern as written calls for 750m. The 2 ply is discontinued, so while I was at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter's Fair last weekend, I picked up some handspun, planning to intermittently using 2 rows of the handspun as filler.
2 yarns for clap
As you can see, the handspun (in the middle) has flecks of different colours rather than being solid black. In order to maximize my yarn usage, I'm thinking of dividing the handspun into 2 equal parts, so that I can use equal parts in both halves of the scarf. Of course, if I decide to be super precise, I shouldn't use any of the extra yarn in the increase/decrease section so that I can weigh the yarn used more accurately...but I am more likely to get blocks of colour in the increase/decrease section, so that is a good place to incorporate the handspun...or I could do a solid block of handspun in the centre...or I could use the handspun at the very beginning and the very end...
As always I am amazed at my inability to decide my way out of a paper bag on issues that really have no significance in the grand scheme of things.

By the way - does anyone else have the same hesitation that I do in winding a pretty skein of yarn into a yarn cake? Because when it's all nicely skeined it's perfect and the project that it will be used for will look beautiful, and fit like a dream and will knit up almost by itself (not to mention that it will NEVER, EVER pool in an unattractive manner)? And once you wind it into a cake, it still looks nice, but a bit of the magic has disappeared?

But let's move on from my little quirks - to my kick ass Knitty Secret Pal and the latest booty I recieved:

I love this groovy card, and dark chocolate is always welcome...but the best part was:A needle roll!Complete with sock sized Knitpicks needles! And iron-on labels!

And here's the spooky part:

She sent me some groovy nailpolish colours...which seem somehow very familiar...

2 yarns for clap where have I seen those colours before?

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