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Thursday, August 27, 2009

A New Old LYS

I am now officially spoiled.

Before, I envied those who lived mere steps from a nice friendly neighborhood LYS.
Now I did live close to a shop which sold yarn, but the customer service there left much to be desired. (Remember the Seinfeld episode where they went to get soup? Enough said)
If I wanted to go visit a yarn shop and just hang out for a while, I would have to travel anywhere from 20 - 45 minutes by either car or public transit.

But lo and behold, the other day I noticed a thread on Ravelry about that nearby Yarn Shop having new management!

It turns out that the "new" Passionknit is a super friendly place. And slowly but surely it is filling up with lovely yarns.

Wall of Bliss
As you can see, they are one delivery away from completing their Wall of Bliss!

Word is that there will be a Monday night SnB starting some time this fall - and loads of classes too. I can hardly wait!!

I have really got to start making some headway on stash reduction!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Decisions Decisions

A few days ago I went to pick a few things up at the grocery store. Milk was of course at the top of the list (even though I am a big fan of variety in meals, I can eat the same cereal for breakfast every single day - I'm never sure what to make of this.) I am sure that I stood in front of the milk setion of the dairy aisle for a good 5 minutes, trying to decide what to get. Ultrafiltered. Calcium enriched. Omega 3 enriched. Skim Plus (with extra milk solids so that it tastes like 1% milk).

I was paralyzed with indecision. Completely immobilized. Could not for the life of me make a decision as to what type of milk to buy.*

So I bought the soy milk that was on sale because it was cheaper than all of them.

This was the first iteration of the Rorschach Socks: unfortunately, the "diamonds" don't really show up well against the colour changes. The yarn does stripe nicely, however. I can also already tell that the sock will be a bit bigger than I prefer.

So I ripped back to the point where the toe was 64 stitches, and started knitting Monos Locos/Toe Up Monkeys. But I didn't like the way that the yarn was spiralling.

Now I was using 2.75 mm needles, so I thought that perhaps I should go down a needle size - that way I could do a 72 stitch sock and not have the fit/spiralling issues.

I managed to decide** between a 2mm and 2.25 mm addi lace needle and started knitting Unholey Monkeys with a 2mm needle. The stitch pattern doesn't get totally lost (you can see a bit of it above my foot stigmata there)...

But the stripes are definitely spiralling. Sigh. Maybe I should have gone with the 2.25 mm circs. Or maybe 2.5 mm is the way to go...

*A few years ago, I read a book called The Paradox of Choice; here's a link to a lecture by the author.

** Of course, the milk crisis may have been triggered by the fact that I am a Libra - one of the nurses at work (who has a birthday a few days before me) and I have a running joke about how we can agonize over meaningless decisions - she had the hardest time choosing which background to go with for her son's school pictures, and many a time I have to ask The Gambler to pick which pair of shoes/top/etc I should wear for a particular occasion.


Monday, August 24, 2009

The Tenacity of Beauty

As I walked down our street the other day, I looked down into the gutter.

It looked like someone had dropped a plant onto the road.

But on closer inspection, it appears that this plant is rooted in the organic matter that has built up on the street. In other parts of our neighborhood, there are weeds of all sorts that are thriving in the gutter. I don't know if this is a normal occurence, or if this is a byproduct of our recent municipal strike - maybe we missed a few street cleanings?

The streets beautify themselves.

Maybe next year I'll toss some sunflower seeds onto the street and see what happens.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Better than drugs

Anti-inflammatories did squat, P#rcoc@t makes me sleepy, and Lyrica makes me feel drunk (without the hangover at least).

Neck traction

So right now I am spelling relief T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N. That thing in the lower left corner of the photograph is a bag holding 20 lbs of water, which is hanging from a pulley that is hanging from the door to our main floor bathroom.

Poor poor me
I sit like this for 10-30 minutes several times a day. The idea is to take the pressure off of the cervical spine so that there is less pressure on the disc. The cats find it quite fascinating.

I posted these photos on Flickr because I took them with my Blackberry - if they end up being "faved" by some bondage freakshows enthusiasts, this post will disappear. So enjoy my frog imitation while you can.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New socks!

I finished the Close Your Eyes And Think of England Socks:

Close your eyes and think of England completed

You have to love that Lorna's Laces yardage; I still have 20g of yarn remaining.

So tonight I plan to cast on for my next pair with this yarn:
Rorschach Socks to be

It's Flat Feet by Conjoined Creations - I picked it up in Alaska during the Sea Socks Cruise last year. Because each flat is an original, so there are no real colourways. I have taken the liberty of labelling it "Rorschach's Blue Period". The pattern I plan to use is Diamante; I selected it because the designer has large feet, so I know for certain that the pattern should fit me as written (plus it is toe up; . It's going to be interesting to see how this knits up The flat is about 100 stitches across, (and the sock is 72 stiches) so it's really hard to predict. I guess that the green is pretty likely to pool, but I have no idea what is going to happen with the purple/blue/white bits. I'm christening them "Rorschach Socks"; hopefully they will help me to maintain my sanity.

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It could be worse...

The issue with my neck (a prolapsed C6/7 disk) is unfortunate, but at least the big old tree in our backyard* made it through Friday's storm OK.

This house is about 8 doors down from us:

This side street is a block and a bit away:

These people have been without power for 40+ hours;

And 2.5 blocks away from us there was this carnage:

Luckily, the only damage was downed power lines

As I walked by, I heard a father reassure his small daughter "It's OK, the wires can't shock you - they aren't electrified anymore"

It must have been quite the sound when this tree limb was ripped off by the wind.

And we didn't even get hit by the tornados that touched down north of the city.
*This tree is right beside our garage, and is taller than our house. If it toppled over it would take out 2 garages at minimum, and could easily hit one of 4 houses. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Trifecta of misery

Right now, I am dealing with
- Seeing The Blue Screen Of Death every time I turn on my new laptop
- Pain in my right arm due to a prolapsed disc in my neck*
- The Gambler being out of town until the end of next week

Poor me
This neck collar wasn't able to provide adequate traction, so now I intemittently hook myself up to a contraption that involves pulleys and straps and a bag that contains 20 lbs of water. The cats find it quite fascinating.

I am very tempted to buy myself some yarn from Indigodragonfly.

Or maybe I'll just spread the word about her offerings so that no yarn will remain by the time I make a selection...

* Rest assured that I can still knit (what else am I supposed to do while I'm sitting in the traction device?) Luckily I have not lost any strength or coordination; I just have to deal with a constant aching pain in my forearm and numbness in my index and middle fingers.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Goings on

My but this summer has flown by! Sadly, this has been partly because I have been working more than I should (We really really really need to hire another 2 doctors to work in our ICU).
However, I am in the midst of a short stretch of days off (it was supposed to be 10 days, but that shrank down to 6 all of a sudden - grrrrr), so I have been able to get out a bit.

Thursday evening The Gambler and I were finally able to sit down and celebrate our anniversary together. So we cracked open a bottle of wine.


This wasn't even a bottle of wine that had travelled cross country during one of our moves - he had picked it up less than 2 weeks ago!

On Friday I hung out with Glenna and Kim (who is a very talented dyer: check out her wares here and here); we had lunch, then visited The Naked Sheep and The Purple Purl.

There were many pretty yarns to see, but all in all, this was the most beautiful thing I saw that day:

The 5+ week long civic workers strike is over! Garbage cleanup has begun!!!

And I have even had some time for knitting - I picked up Ella Freezes Over after ohaboutayearandahalforso.

Note to self - converting a shawl pattern from worsted weight on 6mm needles to laceweight on 3mm needles may seem like a good idea, but it is not. Going from a gauge of 20 st/24 rows to 32 st/40 rows does not make for a quick knit.

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