Monthly Archives: February 2007

I’ve got things to show you!

Have all the ladies scheduled their annual poke-n-prod? I was fortunate enough to win her first drawing! After a delay due to the package being delivered to the wrong house, and my neighbours’ unwillingness to, you know, walk 8 feet to my door (have I mentioned my neighbours are craaaaaazy?) the envelope has arrived!! Here’re the goodies:

The yarn is so vibrantly blue and turquoise and violet! It’s very lovely, and now waits to be knit into some lurvely socks….something fun and funky.

It’s been a big day of cooking and baking. On the way home from the studio last night, I picked up some groceries. I’m trying to get Hubs and I to eat healthier food – not too great a challenge for me, but a bit more for him. I brought home some fruit, yogurt, tofu, and a butternut squash. I’ve never cooked with squash before, except the occasional zucchini, but I figured hey, makes good soup, right? Today I roasted up 5 onions and half the squash with two carrots and some rosemary. Whizzed them up in a blender 2 hours later with some veggie stock, then threw it back in a saucepan to add pepper, salt, sage and some sugar. Yummy.

DSC00144_editedI still had half a squash. Roasted it with butter and brown sugar, peeled the rind off, gave it a blend, too, and made muffins! Hubs is a fan of pumpkin muffins, and these are a close second, though definitely not as ‘squash-ey’ as pumpkin would be, and they would be better with molasses instead of sugar. Still, yummy.

Dinner? Lentils! A recipe from recipecottage.com (which I LOVE, by the way) for essentially a lentil, onion and rice pilaf. Not bad, but not really flavourful. Mmm, maybe with some saffron next time, and served with some sort of flavoured yogurt sauce. Scrummy.

Yeah, the birthday scarf is still, uh, not done. I’ll keep you posted.

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There’s little else in Cornwall

Today was a fascinating day of NOT being a total loser!

For those in our audience who do not live in Ontario (which is, I think, pretty much everyone) we have a lovely system known as the Graduated Licensing Programme. At 16, you can take a written test, which, having passed, grants the lucky lady to a G1, which is essentially a learner’s permit. After a year, passing a road test gets you a G2, which allows you to drive alone with a few restrictions. The G2 lasts for at least a year, and up to 5. I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so I’ve sort of…put off taking the road test that takes me from a G2 to a G – General licence. My G2 expires on February 27, and if I fail to take the final road test before that happens, I get to start all over again at the beginning, which would be Hubs driving me around (oh, can you imagine how thrilled he’d be to drive me to opera rehearsals and then WAIT for three hours until I’m done?)

Anyway, I was able to schedule a test on Monday for this morning. And Hallelujah! I passed! I was nervous because tests make me nervous. I usually do really well on them, but still I get all twitchy when faced with a test. And it went fine, because, well, I know how to freakin’ drive! So now I’m a real grown-up driver, with a real grown-up licence. Fabulous!

In more knitty news:

I’m a fan of the KIP. I’m a fan of the doing-things-in-public-that-are-totally-appropriate-but-most-people-don’t-do, like breastfeeding. I will feed my children when and where they are hungry, with only a few exceptions (ok, middle of church seems strange and kinda wrong) but at a friend’s house, or when people are over, or in a park….you’re getting the idea. I mention it largely because I had a conversation with a good friend of Hubs, who seemed totally grossed by women he’d seen nurse in public (I’m such a child, it’s NIP!) We had this conversation on Saturday, by KIP evening. Hubs had a gig at a bar/restaurant in the ‘burbs, and our friend Mike Munnik was opening. This is the friend who had Hubs and I sit in when he recorded his EP, so he had us sit in on the last three songs of his set. Which was wicked. Anyway, I brought the birthday scarf along in an effort to have more than just untapped balls of yarn for Hubs the following afternoon, and knit while the boys were soundchecking. I finished a stripe and a half, moreover, I knit in a bar, which I always enjoy. I used to knit in the grad pub on campus when I was in third and fourth year. My friends made a little fun, I didn’t care, it was good times, all around.

I mentioned the birthday scarf. Hubs’ birthday was Sunday, but I was so sick last week there was no way to get the yarn earlier than Saturday. He got a teeeeny bit of knitting on needles, and a few balls of yarn. I think – I hope – he likes the colours I chose for him.

The yarn is Rowan 4-ply Yorkshire Tweed, and it’s just lovely. Truly superb. Not cheap for such low weight, short yardage balls of yarn, but fine for a very nice scarf. I’m knitting it lengthwise on a round needle, so it won’t photography well yet. Soon as it takes a good pic, I’ll post for you. I’m double-knitting and adding texture….I’m really enjoying working on it. I often forget how rewarding simple knits, like scarves, can be. No worrying about shaping, just textured stitch patterns and a nice meditative knit. I like it.

Having spent 4 hours (1.5 getting Hubs to work and myself and the car to the testing place, .5 on the test, 1 getting myself home, 1 picking up Hubs and coming home again) in the car today, I have done precious little else. Laundry to do, and a scarf to knit.

And don’t think I’ve abandoned my stocking project. I have an entire foot completed, and I’m working my way up the ankle. And keeping tidy notes to post some day, should anyone other crazy person feel like knitting her own stockings.

I am a mad woman.

But not so much as most. There are horrible things happening in this world, and not so horrible things, but things more common and also quite devastating. And there is the sadness of watching someone publicly self-destruct. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a trashy gossip reader. How stupid, I know. But in the past 6 months or so, I’ve found that a lot of the gossip I’m reading is just demonstrating how disappointing and truly terrible, Western culture can be (maybe it’s all people, everywhere, but since I don’t know for certain, I won’t paint everyone with the same pathetic brush). Example: last summer, gossip columns documented the rapid shrinking of Nicole Richie. And no one ever seemed to take any action to help the girl! She was sloooowly killing herself, and everyone just watched. More recently, Britney Spears has taken a pretty fantastic trip off the deep end, and again, everyone seems to just watch and enjoy it. Was I ever a fan of Britney Spears, or care about her life or career? No. But do I want to watch her get so royally fucked up that she publicly shaves her head (the owner of the salon is hoping to make millions off the hair she left behind, the clippers used, and the can of Redbull she was drinking, isn’t that sweet of him?) and enters rehab? Absolutely not. I feel badly for her. She’s obviously in some sort of crisis, and her – and her children’s – life is going to suffer dearly for it. And the general attitude in gossip columns is that of gloating enjoyment. It’s sad, sad that we think it’s acceptable to profit emotionally from other humans’ suffering, and sad that her little life has turned out this way.

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I lurke.

Can you name the episode of Buffy in which that line can be found? If you can, you will win…well, bragging rights, but that’s got to be worth something, right?

So it’s a de-lurking day. I’m pretty sure that only one of the bloggists whose blog I read actually knows that I read her blog! Hence the de-lurking. A systematic going through of every blog I read and ensuring I leave a comment on the most recent post. The problem is that I always feel like I need to have something interesting or insightful or witty to say if I’m going to leave a comment. But that’s silly, because I look forward to any and all comments, not just “really good ones”. So I apologise to everyone for whom I have never left a comment. I’ll be better from now on, I promise!

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Ah-ha!

Lookitthat!

THAT is what I want to see when I log on! Yippee! I got my header back!

New Blogger, I’m still not your biggest fan, but I’m coming around….I’m slowly coming around.

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Knittin’ through a fever

Ewww.

I’m si-i-i-i-i-i-ck.

DSC00151_edited
I’ve been in bed all day, every day, since Sunday night. Blegh. This is pretty much the scene with Wembley around naptime, which is most of the time, I’m afraid.

The good news is that all this prone-ness has given me time to knit (between the frequent naps, mugs and bowls of hot things, and general lying around in misery).

I had this tweedy-green superwash wool in about a sport weight that was originally a scarf and part of a hat. The hat was never finished, the scarf was reinvented at least once, and I was never happy with the yarn in its incarnations. But the yarn is beautiful! It became Christmas knucks for my father (pics still to come, some day), but there was still a lot hanging around, waiting to become something fun. Not enough for a real project for me…..but enough for Wembley!
DSC00142_editedDSC00139_edited
It’s a teeny aran-style sweater. A pretty cable braid up the spine, a little ribbing on each side, a 1×1 ribbed split-collar (with a snazzy paprika stripe) and: bobbles on the bum! It’s a snug fit, and covers her all the way to her skinny hairless belly. It’s a bit of a challenge to get on her if she doesn’t feel like being cooperative, but it keeps her warmer than anything else we have for her, and that’s important given the weather we’ve been having here lately.

And the stockings are on three needles! It took forever. I had to frog that toe at least three times (maybe more) but it seems to be working out so far. I’m keeping careful notes, so I’m hoping to post an accurate recipe for my little creation. Here’s hoping all goes well, and here’s a pic of our progress to date:
DSC00152_edited

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So much to say!

Some changes have been made. Some are good, some are perhaps less good, but at least I know that I CAN alter my template. This makes me very happy, even if my header is still, well, that (look up. Yeeees, isn’t it lovely….blah). I’m going to have hubs with his $27 000 IT education take a look at this. Surely to goodness he can make sense of the mess of HTML.

On to better and funner things! I won something!! I went and had the yearly poke-and-prod, sent of dear Bez’ and email, and the result was yarn win-age! She has this marvelous and yarny contest on her blog. The Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza is an effort to increase the number of women going for their annual Pap. Fun, no. Necessary, absolutely. The prize is awarded monthly, and it is yarn. So beautiful blue sock yarn is winging its way from San Antonio, Texas, to my home, here in very cold, and very snowy, Ottawa, Ontario. Fabulous. Thanks so much, Bezzie! I’ll certainly blog the yarn from arrival to final sockage, and as soon as I figure out what the hey-oh I’m doing with this template, I’ll have your button up top in my sidebar. I encourage all ladies to go get probed, and enter your name! Then knit socks. They are fun and rewarding. And comfy.

Speaking of socks, I knit some! Ok, I knit one and a half, then ran out of yarn. And such a feeling of accomplishment! Such immediate satisfaction at so quickly having a knit garment on my body! Here it is, in it’s partly completed form:DSC00123_edited

Buuuuuut (because there’s a but): I’m frogging them. I used the toe-up Universal Sock Calculator from Knitty, and the result was a sock that is a little on the big side. I have total confidence in the formula: I think I just made the sock too long. Also, the pattern I used was an 8 st repeat, so I may have had to alter the numbers generated by the calculator a little too much to make the stitch pattern work. Regardless, I’m happy with my first attempt, and plan to get more yarn and knit more socks.

Which brings us to the Alpaca. I have this deep desire to knit the deep-v pullie from the Fall-Winter Vogue Knitting. It’s beatiful. It has lace detailing. The v is so deep it wears like a cardigan (a shirt under this sweater is a necessity). I found yarn in a colour I liked but an entirely different gauge. I thought “maybe I can do some fancy math and make it work”.

I hate doing fancy math. So now I have a ball of this beautiful fingering-weight, heathered-wine, Drops 100% Alpaca. This yarn is lovely. It is soft and delightful. It looooongs to be knit into something spectacular (which that pullie is and will be, soon as I find the perfect yarn). But what to knit? Socks didn’t seem to suffice. Why knit something lovely and effectively hide it in shoes and under trouser-legs? This yarn doesn’t want to be socks…it wants to be STOCKINGS! Wonderful, long, over-the-knee, held-up-with-garters, STOCKINGS! Lacey and striking, these stockings need to be fabulous. But I could find no such pattern, nothing I loved enough for which to dedicate my yarn. And really, what is a stocking but a sock with a very long leg, perhaps with a little shaping to accomodate the shape of the calf and knee. And who was it that received that big Vogue Knitting encyclopedia for Christmas? Oh, yes, that was me! Full of stitch patterns, including lace. So I swatched, and now I have:DSC00137_edited
this. It knits as a bottom-up pattern, so I’m adapting the toe-up calculator to create a more shallow toe and to make the lace fit. I’m hopeful. And I’m really looking forward to wearing these things. With any luck, by the time they’re finished, I’ll have a pair of boots to wear with them (I’m envisioning these stockings covering my knees as they rise from a pair of knee-high black leather boots and vanish under a skirt). I think they’ll be cool rock-star-wife wear for Hubs’ gigs.

But how fair would it be for me to neglect the rest of my household? Hubs will be getting something shortly, but Wembley got a sweater! It’s been very cold up here, lately, and dear Wembles has been shivering. She has a hoodie she wears on her trips to the backyard, but she hasn’t had an indoor sweater to wear when she’s chilly from being outside. She got this:DSC00132_edited
The ribbing at the bottom of the sweater ended up flaring out more than I’d expected, so it’s really a ruffle, which is far girlier than I had planned, but still pretty cute. I threw some short rows on the ribbing at the neck, so it has a shawl collar. !! Hilarious!

And I’ve been planning ahead.
DSC00125_edited I am currently cardi-less. I have one old cardi that never leaves the house because it’s just not up to public viewing anymore. So I’m planning out a new button-up cardi. I’m thinking sapphire-blue, to hit just below or at the hip. In the pic, you can see my plan for some interesting ribbing almost under the arm and at the cuff of the sleeve. Should be cool. Now I just need to find some yarn and start swatching.

And prom’s coming up!! Which means prom dresses. Heather, of the pompom kitty hat, here is your dress:
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She wants it in red. I’m thinking if we can find a nice red, maybe sort of marbled, chiffon, it’ll be beautiful. Ruched body – very flattering, not that Heather needs the help, you doll, you! – with a flamenco-inspired hemline and a key-hole back. I’m sure it will be lovely, and Heather will look stunning!!

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