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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Playground.

I think it's a universal phenomenon...
Threads 32T d
...get a large enough group of elementary school-aged girls together, and one of them becomes the leader, even if no leader is needed...
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...said leader issues missives about what is and isn't appropriate game to play/clothing to wear/food to eat/toys to own/nickname to have, and so on... threads 32T
...she sometimes selects ladies in waiting from amongst the syncophants while those who do not fall under her spell are labelled weird, and are often shunned by the others...
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I plan to knit myself a Tuscany shawl; I'm going to cast on August 8 when the Beijing Olympics begin, and hope to cast off by August 25th when the Olympics end.
Threads 31Td
But apparently I cannot call this a Knitting Olympics project.
Threads 31T

Because Someone Has Deemed Knitting a Winter Sport, and thus "The Knitting Olympics Will Only Occur Every Four Years".
threads for tuscany 3

But you know what? Even though people can devote large amounts of , effot and money to it, and even shed blood, sweat, and/or tears as a part of it, Knitting isn't a sport.

threads for tuscany 2
It's a hobby.
It's an art.
It's a craft.
It is a means to make a living/express one's creativity/relieve stress/pass the time/do something charitable/whatever.

But it is not, and in it's current manifestation, never will be a sport.

Neither is NASCAR, but that's a different discussion altogether.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Measuring Up

(blogless) Naomi and I paid a visit to Secrets From Your Sister this afternoon. Naomi needed to get a new bra because she's lost alot of weight, and I thought it would be worthwhile to check the place out since it's often difficult to find 36A bras - the size I wear. There were a few 36A's on the sale rack, so I decided to try them on. The shop offers complementary bra fitting, and I told the fitter to measure away, so that I could revel in the fact that I am one of the small percent of women who wear the correct size of bra.


It turns out that I'm a 34C; a 32D if the band is on the big side. (Who knew that the band is supposed to fit so snugly?)

Earlier in the weekend, I came across My Shape while trolling the Ravelry Forums. I decided to fill out the measurement questionnaire, expecting that it would label me type "A", and was surprised to learn that their algorithm deemed me a type "M". Apparently I have "proportionate shoulders, bust and hips". This was a surprise to me.

I've always felt that I have large hips/thighs; I know that some of it is muscle, but I definitely have a thick layer of fat overlying my quadriceps et al. And I have knee fat - bulges on the inside of my knees that cause me minor distress. But , I do have a nice narrow waist, and for my height, my weight isn't too bad - 165 lbs. I don't think I could ever be in the 130ish range that my 2 sisters inhabit; for me, 150 lbs would probably be the lowest that would be healthy. It's interesting how distorted our views of our bodies can be. We don't have any full length mirrors in our house, but I guess that if I were to look in one, it would be like looking into a funhouse mirror that makes you look like a bowling pin - small on top, wide on the bottom.

Ironically, one of my secret powers is that I can be scarily accurate in guessing patient's weights - but only if they are laying down. This power was revealed to me when we started using pre-printed nomograms that allow the ICU nurses to automatically treat some abnormal blood test results without having to ask one of the doctors for an order (because Hell is a place where you get woken up at 5 AM to be told that Mr Smith's serum potassium is 3.2 - normal being 3.5-5). There is a section on the sheet where you are supposed to write the patient's weight, and then indicate if it is the actual weight, or the reported weight. Since many of our patients are not in a position to answer questions, I got into the habit of guessing the person's weight and ticking off the "reported" box. We have fancy shmancy beds in the ICU that can weigh the patient while s/he is laying on it - so I usually find out how close I am to the "actual" weight. Many a time I am within 2 kg (about 5 lbs). I wonder what weight I would peg my own body at.

There's only one person in the Illustrated BMI Project who is the same height and weight as me. It doesn't look like she's got any knee fat.

But enough about bodies - how about body coverings? Specifically those that are knitted by me:

Row 3 - 2 hexagons done

I was inaccurate in my last post - the skirt pattern as written has 4 rows of hexagons. I'm partway through row #3. I plan to knit the full 4 rows since I a) have enough yarn, and b) prefer the longer length (hide that unsightly knee fat, you know...)
It take me about 2 hours to knit a hexagon, so it was probably quite ambitious to think that I could have completed it during this holiday. I knit the waistband on this weekend because I was concerned that the top part of the skirt was too loose, and that it would slide down. The waistband tightened it up nicely. I am toying with the idea of partially ripping back the first row of hexagons and re-knitting them with a 4.5 mm needle rather than a 5 mm - but I'll wait to see what happens after I wash and block the skirt.

Oh, and for those of you that are wondering whether we have a new cat - The Gambler and I went to check her out (he was the one who came across her), and the woman in the shelter said that she was pretty new to them, and they were keeping her separate from the other cats, because she didn't seem to like the others getting close to her. This did not bode well for easy integration into Greedo-and-Somerset-land. So the cat/human numbers officially* remain equal in our house.

*The Gambler is down in Las Vegas this week, so if anything comes to a vote, it's likely to be a feline victory.

Greedo says that if I'm not with him, I'm against him...what does that have to do with him taking my spot on the couch?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm not here

The Gambler and I have rented a cottage for 5 days. I have brought along 2 projects:

Socks knit from some Regia sock yarn I recieved in a Knitty gift swap:
Pinkery A regia sock

The pattern is Mockery (very nice pattern-easy to remember; subtle, but still noticeable against strong patterning), so I have christened them The Pinkery Socks. I may not get much done on them; they are coming along only because they are my current purse knitting project.

The second project is one I am hoping to make significant progress on:

A skirt knit out of Kelly (cotton acrylic chain yarn) that I bought at Romni's boxing day sale:

wrong side

The pattern is The Snapping Turtle Skirts out of Knitting Nature by Nora Gaughan. The construction is interesting; it's 3 rows of hexagons, and each hexagon is knit right on to the hexagon beside/above. The hexagons get larger as you go down the skirt, so it's an A-line design. The yarn colour ranges from a deep denim to a more faded denim colour, so I am christening this project The Dream of The Blue Turtle Skirt. Oh dear - that album was released 23 years ago - there may be people reading this blog post who were born AFTER Sting came out with his first Solo album. Sigh. I am old.

You'll have to wait until next weekend to find out how far I get on it. I know - the suspense is killing me too.

BTW - if any of my GTA knitting contacts are planning on submitting a Knitpicks order in the next month, could you get in touch with me? I need to order a few extra cords for my Options/Harmony set, but am trying to avoid buying more yarn. If I can add my cords on to your shipment, that would be great.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Gift Afghan

June wasn't as productive knitting-wise as I had hoped partially because I had some busy weeks on call, and partially because of this:

Done (the sewing up, at least)
This was a group afghan that a bunch of Toronto knitters made for Jacquie, who is moving back to San Francisco. Amy and I hatched the plan during the SeaSocks cruise, and I took on the job of being the organizer. Which meant that I was responsible for making sure that it got sewn up. My grand scheme was to learn how to crochet some time between May and June, so that I could easily crochet it together. The learning how to crochet part still hasn't happened.
At one point, the squares were pretty slow in coming in, so mid-late June was taken up in knitting extra squares. I think I knit around 8 all together. I had some help from Katherine (I'm not sure if she has a blog) one Sunday afternoon and we got a few strips of 3-4 squares sewn up. Then, I was on call for the ICU up until 8 AM of the day of the party where we were planning to give Jacquie the afghan, and I had several very late nights. So that Friday, I sat down and sewed squares:
Bird's eye view of sewing up
The Gambler was watching TV providing encouragement, as well as documenting the process. Altogether, I sewed through 2 Wimbledon matches (men's semi finals, I believe), 2 episodes of CSI and an episode of CSI Miami (which cannot hold a candle to the original CSI, but desperate times call for desperate measures). Even after that, there was one square I couldn't fit in because it was a bit wide, and I had heard that there was a square at The Purple Purl (the Toronto knitting cafe where we held Jacquie's party). But since Jacquie had been in charge of a baby afghan a few months ago, I knew that she would understand if the afghan wasn't 100% done for the party. I actually had The Gambler drive me to The Purl in order to have some time to weave in ends.
Jacquie notices the invisible square
I was relieved to see that Jacquie really liked the afghan. It turned out that there were a few extra squares turned in at the last minute, so I had enough to add an extra row. Which meant more sewing up.
Greedo was responsible for making sure that the cat hair was evenly distributed.

Are those buttons?
See that red square with the embroidered heart that is in the foreground? That has the honor of being the only square that got sewn in backwards. I was very close to knitting the square that had the Braille letters for KNIT "written" in bobbles upside down, but caught my error before it was too late.
I'm not in your way, am I?
Surprisingly, the experience hasn't totally turned me off Mission Falls Cotton; I've actually got plans to knit an afghan for our house. I'll use the Ball Band washcloth pattern, but a) the squares will be bigger, and b) I'll knit each square directly on top of the one below in order to minimize the seaming up. One of these days.


Friday, July 18, 2008

It always seems like a good idea at the time...

This is Angelique. She's a year old, and is up for adoption.


Anyone have experience with bringing a new nearly adult cat into a household with 2 middle-aged bordering on senior cats?

Why wouldn't they want me as a little sister?


Monday, July 14, 2008

Captions and Catch up.

I think I cursed myself by implying that I would post captions for these photos within 2 weeks. Granted, I have myself to blame for some of the stuff that kept me busy -more about that in another post.

Deck of the ship. I took this photo while 95% of the ship's occupants were ooohing and aaahing over the Hubbard Glacier.

Entrance to an abandoned mine just outside Juneau.

The requisite "Me with a famous knitter" shot. Yes, I got to hang out with Melinda, who is known far and wide as the girl who crocheted her wedding dress.

That's someone called Amy in the middle - she has something to do with knitting on The Internets.

Port of Victoria. Sadly, because of rough seas, we had much less time to spend there than was originally scheduled. We did have time enough to go to Beehive Yarns, where I was surprised to learn that in British Columbia, yarn is exampt from Provincial Sales Tax (unlike in Ontario). You'd think I would have realized that when I actually lived there.

Glassybabies - I'd not heard of them until Jamie and I checked out their Seattle factory.

These fanciful bird nests were for sale at an embroidery/quilting shop in Ketchikan. It was just down the hallway from the yarn shop.

As we were driving to the airport, I asked The Gambler if there was anything he wanted me to bring back for him. He thought for a minute, and said "A polar bear skin rug".

I pointed out that that might be a bit more than I could fit into my suitcase. "Well then just bring back the head", he told me. This hat from a souvenir shop in Ketchikan filled the bill.


I enjoyed reading all the comments left on my recent contest post.

The cats' votes for "Most Creative" winner were tied - Somerset thought that Ellen's panty liner box idea was brilliant (if only because Somerset loves crawling inside boxes), but Greedo thought that Elaine's Pampers(tm) Bag story was better - I think he liked it when she told her husband "There was a sale", without elaborating exactly what was on sale.

So both Ellen and Elaine win!

And, the random draw winner is: The Happy College Knitter.

Photos of their prizes should be up soon within 2 weeks in a future blog post.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Things You Find on The Internets, part 2

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, and I haven't forgotten about the captions or the contest. Still too busy to blog for a few more days.

But not too busy to surf while I eat my lunch.