Sunday, January 20, 2013

Still Knitting

Why hello there!  I've been busy.  How about you?  Good good.  Well yes, yes I haven't been blogging.  Hm?  No, no nothing like that.  Why would you say that?  Geez.  Huh.  Well okay.  Well let's see here.  I moved.  Yup.  That was awful.  Never moving again.  Niece and nephew are all good.  Big changes in kitty land.  Spike's diabetes just never got better.  It was harder and harder to find someone who could take care of him.  He was having a lot of visits to the vet due to stress, and most of those visits cost extra because they had to sedate him to get tests done.  One time when I left for four days I came back and his back legs had seized and he couldn't walk.  Another time he had missed around three of his six shots due to his behaviour and scratched up my friend pretty badly.  It came to the point in the summer where I was having to decide between insulin for him and groceries and I couldn't go anywhere because, rightfully so, there was nobody to take care of him while I was gone.  I put him down with the most caring vet I've met.  Harder things have happened to me, way harder things, but this was the hardest choice I've had to make, and then carry through with. 

After Spike, I sent Lala to a home that had another kitty in it (a kitty who is affectionate and snuggles, unlike Spike, who bites), two flights of stairs to run up and down (she's totally a more fit kitty now), and a loving family with the best four year old in the world who assures me that he gives her chin scratches every day. 
Photo courtesy of Jenn
They even got her a Christmas tree. 

In knitting news, it was hard to blog because I lost my camera when I moved.  Thankfully I joined the Pre-process Knitters Group on Ravelry and had to go through my stash.  I found my camera in the stash.  Some people think that's really funny. 

I don't have photos or records of all my knittings of 2012- three projects I knit and sent to Calgary in the span of three weeks I couldn't even remember the pattern names and had to do research afterwards to put them in Ravelry.  Here's some fun projects.

I can't remember if I blogged about this but I knit The Shattered Sun Shawl by Felicia Lo.  Could see myself knitting a lot of these. 
I finally knit the kit that Mom got me for my UNBC grad.  It was for the knitting olympics and it went to Hazel for her first birthday.  Here's Lala showing it some love.  

For a photo contest I crocheted a mini Cthulu (technically a 2013 project but meh) devouring Vancouver.

 Do any of you know the SNL skit 'Being Quirky with Zooey Deschanel'?  Kristen Wiig came on it as Bjork.  She nearly lost it delivering the line 'I'm knitting a sweater for an octopus.  It has nine armholes, eight for its arms and one for its hopes and dreams'. 

 Yeah he's pretty awesome.  Pattern is Octopus by Hansi Singh from Amigurumi Knits.  I crocheted the sweater on him free form.

I'm working on lots of projects right now.  I may organize them all soon but for right now I'm going to show you my Pomatomus socks by Cookie A.  I avoided these for so long because I thought it was a hard pattern but it's not!  Requires concentration but is very straightforward.  I'm enjoying knitting them a lot.  

For Christmas I got a gift certificate and was planning on getting hot pink and cherry red for the Colour Affection shawl but alas!  There were no such colours in the yarn store.  Which was really shocking.  I was pretty put out and was mulling over the blues and greens and purples when I decided to go outside my comfort zone and get some lovely warm browns and creams.  Also, it cut the cost of the shawl in half so double woo!  I'm pretty excited to get started but I have to finish my Acer cardigan first. 

 I also did some quilting.  I have a peer who designs quilts and he asked me to test quilt his latest pattern.  My suggestion was to change the 'easy' label to 'AUGH HARD SO HARD WHY GAWD WHY?!??!?!". 
 It worked out in the end due to the forgiving black stripes but holy.  Cutting yarn on a bias?  Way too hard.  I'm getting the pattern for my Aunt and two of my friends who can actually measure because it's a beautiful quilt and a great way to use up scraps. 
I'm off to play video games now.  Trying to see if I can get through a Sunday without any semblance of adult responsibility.  Fingers crossed.  Here's a photo of the sunset the other night.  I like my new place. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Shawls shawls shawls

 Now that the summer is here I'm hoping to knit a lot more.  This has been a year of shawls- I think I've knit four so far- and I have the yarn for a lot more. 

The top secret shawl that got me a shout out on the Terminus City Wranglers 'I Saw You' thread on Ravelry.  It's an incredibly cheerful yellow so a fellow knitter driving saw me knitting at a bus stop.   This first pictures is two days in to the shawl, knitting at a furious pace in order to be done for my sister's birthday.....
And here is it significantly later after being frogged.  I picked up the wrong needle size when I first started and as my friend Nina pointed out 'it'd be a good size for Hazel'.  Least to say I did not finish it on time for my sister's birthday. 

There was more shawl drama when I ran out of yarn for the cast off.  I was well over 500 stitches for the cast off and due to the ruffle was doing a tedious and yarn sucking cast off called Russian Bind Off.  After posting for help on Ravelry, I tinked my cast off about 70 stitches then switched to a lace cast off with little intervals of crochet cast off every seven stitches or so.  Thankfully it didn't make too much of a difference and the shawl turned out awesome.  

Shattered Sunshine Shawl by Felicia Lo in Tough Love Sock Yarn (1 skein but juuuuust barely) in Saffron.

I realized I never showed you the finished Rock Island.  I've never gotten so many compliments on a shawl ever. Even my teaching partner who shows about as much interest in knitting as I show in Elvis looked at it and went 'huh- that looks complicated'. 

Oh!  My parents are here! Gotta go!  Yeah summer!

Monday, June 18, 2012


 I know it's been awhile.  It's weird because I felt like I did blog because I wrote a very long post two weeks ago but I never published it.  I wanted to share some of the things I had down with my class this year but I ended up deciding to keep my work and my blog separate at the end.  I didn't show any of my kids, just large pieces of art we had done together and various projects we completed throughout the school year.  It was a good post and I'm sad I'm not sharing it but I just decided I wasn't comfortable hitting publish. 

Nevertheless, I'm fine showing you our butterflies.  All six caterpillars grew large and fat!  All caterpillars made cocoons!  All cocoons survived!  All butterflies emerged and survived the three days in the laundry hamper!   I was so pleased.  Our classroom was a lot chillier than the other K classes so the other classes were letting their butterflies go while we had cocoons.  I was convinced they were dead but no!  It was great when one butterfly emerged from its cocoon during class time and the children got to watch it unfurl its crumpled wings.  Pretty cool times. 
Things are crazy right now.  School is wrapping up which is unbelievable.  It's pretty exciting that not only is this the first year at one school, but so far I'm at this school next year as well!  I'm so happy about that.  Things outside of work are also nice.  My best friend got married the other week which was AWESOME.  I didn't have my camera but I've got to say, a small group of friends, getting married at the seawall, a steak dinner and boardgames?  Not only one of the best weddings I've been to but I think it's fair to say my friends are the best.  The boyfriend and I are having a lot of fun throwing brunch and game days on Sunday.  He does all the cooking but I provide priceless emotional support (ie. I play Diablo III on his computer).  So far we're pretty happy with just playing Smallworld with our friends.  So yeah, things are busy but all good right now.  :)
In knitting news I finished my sister's birthday present only a month late.  It's soaking right now so pictures tomorrow.  I started a pair of socks with some pretty special yarn and so far so good.  I'm hoping to not get second sock syndrome on these ones but it does look like I've fallen to my typical small sock syndrome so my mom may be getting them.  Pics tomorrow as well.  It's dark in here. 

I'm off to figure out if there is a bedroom floor under the knee deep piles of clothing.  Pics of knitting soon! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Missing a lung but otherwise fine

Sorry!  I've had a lot of family visiting, and between that (which is awesome, not complaining) and having a boyfriend who lives in another city (just one skytrain and a bus but still), I was feeling pretty worn out.  I remember one weekend thinking, gosh, I should probably take it easy this weekend, so I cancelled half of my commitments and still ended up going out five times over the weekend, and hence I got sick.  Really sick.  Now I'm mostly better, still sound like I smoke two packs a day, and I'm really tired of being in my living room.  The cats have loved it.  When I curl up for a nap in the middle of the day Spike purrs so much it scares Lala.  I have relatively little knitting to show for it but I did watch the first three seasons of Parks and Rec.  Time well spent we can all agree.

Knittings!  I'm started a top secret project that I can't show you but it's GORGEOUS.  Just imagine the prettiest thing ever and there you go.  I also finally started another top!  Finally.  I started Acer with my PEI yarn (not purchased in PEI, just what it is a called by Rachel and I).  It's coming along nicely only it's the second project I'm working on that requires keeping track of rows so that can be annoying but well worth it. 

And that's it!  I have one pair of mitts at the boyfriend's place for when I forget my knitting so those don't count but even if they did that's only THREE projects on the needles!  I usually average around six projects or more.  Woo me.

I can't believe I don't have any photos of my Rock Island shawl to show you.  It's the  most beautiful thing I've ever knit.  I'd highly recommend the pattern to anyone.

And also, finally, here are the fingerless mitts I knit Julia way back in December.  They are my Purl Soho knockoffs since I started them away from any pattern and only a memory of what they were suppose to look like.  The button band is fake and I sewed the dragonfly buttons on like they were taking flight.  Super cute.  Julia got a lot of wear out them in the cooler weather and they are totally her colours.  

I'll get some good shots of my shawl and I'll also write a post later about the awesome boardgame Boyfriend got me for our six month.  Smallworld Underground.  Freaking amazing people.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I'm down to three work in progress knits.  My medal is in the mail right?  I hope it's super shiny.  Technically you could say four but I'm going to frog the sock.  Just not feeling the yarn.  Oh wait, dammit, I'm working on two pairs of socks.  Okay, revision.  I'm down to four WIPs.  My medal is going to get taken away isn't it?  Damn. 

I don't have any really nice photos of my latest finished project.  I looked super cute today so I tried taking a photo of me in the shawl but AUGH.  And I'm not being super self absorbed or self depreciating here.  I was super cute today, really.  A lot of people told me.  My  hair is finally long enough I can style it so it was all curly and smooth.  One of my students grabbed a curl and pulled saying 'spring has sprung!' which was cute and painful all at the same time.  But yes, I was cute, and the photos were awful.  Not just 'I'm not as cute as I'd like me to be' but like... like there was something really wrong with me.  Like I'd just seen something really confusing and I wasn't able to process it at all.  Regardless, just shawl on bookshelf photos today.  Overexposed because I had to take the photo inside due to the relentless rain. 

 Blocking in all it's billion pins (small shawl so not quite a billion)
The pattern is Elk Tooth by Caitlin French.  I modified it a lot due to being away from the pattern while completing things.  Simple double increase on the edges until I had 99 stitches than I followed her pattern but ran out of yarn from the full moss stitch border.  The yarn is holding the blocking to a scary degree so I'm hoping it'll loosen up with more wear.  I'd recommend the pattern totally, only I would say don't make the same mistake I did and hold two strands of yarn at once.  There's a slipped stitch over knit stitches and the slipped stitch kept on snagging one of the strands and making for a mess of the purl row. 

And this completes the first project of Knitmas 2012!  I'm determined to knit things for my cousins this year so this is destined for my cousin Jess (who doesn't read this blog) (oh gawd I hope she doesn't read this blog)(if you are reading this Jess this is not really for you- this is all a rouse for someone who does read the blog, thanks for helping out). 

Now here's a question, I want to make my own shawl pins out of sticks.  Is sanding and waxing enough to make a decent shawl pin or would that be just plain ugly?  I don't want to stain them, but I don't want them to just be sticks.  You know?  I'm hoping the wax will make them smooth and prevent any splinters.  Does anyone have any advice?

Cheers all, thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Plan Needs Modification

I think I need to up it a little.  I do not have enough time!  I know that's a little sad.  But I think upping it to 45 minutes is going to be okay.  15 minutes in the morning and half an hour at night.  That being said I have two minutes left to write this post with the new 45 minutes limit.

So I spent most of today at Jamie's playing SmallWorld with friends.  And yes, we bought it because of Tabletop, and yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds.   We also had blueberry pancakes because last week I went out for breakfast and had very disappointing blueberry pancakes so I instantly texted Jamie and told him he needed to make me some as soon as possible.  I may be a little bit spoiled.  A bit. 

Right but yes, when I did get home instead of going online I knit, cleaned, talked to people through texting, and made myself three days worth of lunches (was going to be dinner and two lunches but I just ate the leftover blueberry pancakes I was sent home with as I was cooking), and played with Lala.  So far the experiment is proving very productive. 

Holy crap I cannot work the photos on this!  So... below are pictures of the Rock Island shawl.  I managed to get through the knitted lace part with nary a dropped stitch or mistake but managed to drop two stitches and decrease on the wrong side twice during the garter stitch section.  If I was a perfectionist I'd be concerned but I'm not. 

These are some darling flowers I saw on my walk with Hazel.  And yes, they are darling.  Have you ever seen more darling flowers?  No, no you have not.  Why is this text centered? Wait, why did it just move to the side? Augh!
I started a new shawl, Elk Tooth by Caitlin French.  Caitlin works at Baaad Annas and is just stellar nice and very talented.  I'd highly recommend going in to say hi to her. 
And now I'm ten minutes over the 45 minute rule.  This may need more tweeking.  Cheers all!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great Computer Experiment

About twice a year I recognize I have a computer addiction and do something about it.  Of course it never sticks but that's fine.  There is a time that computers are lovely and it is soothing to be on them, times of stress, times of mass amounts of rain, times that friends are all away, and times when you feel like crap and want to just scroll for hours.  All that being said, now is not any of those times.  Feeling fine, not overly stressed, lots of friends, and the weather is getting better every day (I live in Vancouver so really, using rain as an excuse to be on the computer would not be a good thing, I think it's when it's been raining for five days that you get a little moody), so I have no reason to be on the computer as much as I am currently.  My challenge, starting tomorrow, is to limit myself to half an hour to computer time a day.  Yup.  Half an hour.  That means no turning on the computer when I wake up and reading Jezebel for twenty minutes, no pinning for fourty minutes when I should be getting ready for bed, no facebook games on non-stop while I do other things.  That last one is a real problem.

Now, during this half hour, I still want to blog on my progress so that'll be interesting.  Emails are no problem because of my phone, so it should just be reading Jezebel and games.  Emails on my phone could be interpreted as cheating but if I didn't have that I would be turning on my computer a lot more often and that's where the problem usually starts.

Part of this is inspired by my angst this morning.  I'm inside doing housework and it's beautiful outside and I get really really really angry with housework.  Stupid housework making me stay inside this is criminal this is stupid why I should just let you sit here and not get clean grumble mumble.  Then, as I finished washing dishes from Wednesday, I thought 'huh- what if I had actually done these dishes on Wednesday, instead of leveling up in Castleville?'.  The answer to that is, of course, I'd be bloody outside frolicking in the sunshine that's what.  

So all that being said I'll leave you with my annual spring sky photos (no magnolia trees in this area so something new this year)(also I need to tag better because I can't find some years photos, oh well), go finish my laundry, and get myself outside!

Monday, April 02, 2012

What do you think hm?


Too busy?

Have I offended all William Blake purists?

Are the colours okay?

Should I work on the background photo so the tiling isn't so jarring?

Why can't I sew in a straight line?