Wednesday, October 29, 2008
First and foremost, everyone seems to be pretty much over the hump as far as colds are concerned, and thank goodness for that. Also, I was suffering from a wicked case of the doldrums/introspecties over the past few weeks, but now the (figurative) sun is shining and I'm in a good place. I've no idea why I get like this (OK, that's a lie, I know perfectly well what prompted this particular romp but I'm keeping it to myself, thank you very much), but it's always a blessing when I finally snap out of it, reassess, and realize I've got it pretty good, all in all.
My health and fitness regime is going swimmingly. I'm loving my workouts more than ever, so much so that I'm going 4 times a week when I can. I've also resumed the hundred pushup challenge, and I'm now on week 3 of the program. OK, I'm still in the "wimp" bracket, but for a girl who couldn't even do ONE good-form pushup a mere month ago, I think it's pretty frickin' awesome. And so far this week I'm 3 for 3 on the vegetarian lunch plan. Yay!!!
It really is making a difference, too. This morning, as I pulled on my slacks, I noticed that they were feeling a bit loose. These pants aren't usually "tight" or anything, but they're definitely more form fitting. And today they're not only loose around the waist, but also around the legs and thighs. So progress! Or then again, they might just need to be washed ;)
Enough about me! On to knitting, gentle reader.
Last post I mentioned that I had cast on for another pair of Miscellaneous-Man Socks, this time using the Kaffe Fassett Regia sock yarn I bought at Rhinebeck. I cast off the first sock last night, and while it looks great and is the perfect size for a miscellaneous-man foot (as Phil pointed out "It's like they were MADE for me!"), I've nevertheless run into a small snag.
I want my socks to match. I realize some people couldn't care less if their self-striping socks are fraternal rather than identical, but I am not one of those people. Now, I cast off the first sock with maybe 2 yards of yarn left in that first ball. And that's the rub.
To start the second sock at the same spot in the stripe sequence, I've had to pull out quite a bit of yarn from the second ball. So there's NO WAY I'm going to have enough to have truly identical socks and finish the second one. It's just not going to happen.
What am I going to do? Well, I'm going to keep that yarn I pulled out and use it at the toe of the second sock. This way they'll be matchy, but only to a certain point. A point which I'm sure I can live with.
This might be a good time to add a lesson to my "Things I learned from Knitting this Garment" series:
- Lesson 5: When buying self-striping sock yarn with the intention of knitting man-socks, I must remember to buy MORE to compensate for the inevitable waste that comes with my desire to have matching socks.
These socks are (mostly) strictly commuter knitting, of course. In the evenings, I'm still plugging away at my Good Old Cabled scarf, and it's coming along nicely. However, I really should get to work on some coordinating accessories for my winter knits. I either need to knit a hot pink scarf (to match the pink Amanda Hat I made for myself, again using Malabrigo worsted) or a cream-coloured hat (to match the good old cabled scarf).
The trouble with that is, especially with the SNOW falling here today, it's getting more and more difficult to ignore the impending loomyness of Christmas, and the absolutely crazy amount of gifts I want to knit for everyone. So if you see some frazzled lady wearing baggy pants and wearing uncoordinated winter accessories knitting in the metro in the near future? It's me.
I'll wrap up this post by mentioning an artist I stumbled on this morning, while listening to David Reidy's Sticks and String podcast. I've only just started to listen to this podcast, and I know that many people aren't crazy about the music he plays, but I'm finding that we have really similar tastes in music. Anyway, one of the songs today was by Christopher Dallman. Go have a listen, it's totally worth it (you can download the MP3s for free here).
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl (50% merino, 50% tencel, laceweight, 1000 yards)
Briar Rose Fibers Wistful (50% alpaca, 30% merino, 20% silk, worsted weight, 500 yards)
(By the way, if you're keeping track, this is all from our first stop. Go overboard much?)
And that colour. Those are MY colours, yo. No idea what I'm going to make with it yet, but I can tell you this much: at 35$ a skein, it's going to be for ME, baby!
I'm thinking a nice man-scarf for this yarn (I know what you're thinking, the men in my life have really got it made! You've no idea...). So soft, so nice. Kate-the-Enabler also bought 2 hanks of this yarn (hers is black).
I think at this point I fell off the bandwagon and bought 6 balls of Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett, even though I'd sworn that I would NOT BE BUYING ANY SOCK YARN AT RHINEBECK (seriously, you should see my sock yarn stash. I's bordering on obscene).
Landscape Celebration (colour 4355)
Landscape Fog (colour 4253)
OK, so at this point I'm DONE. I've blown my budget, I'm DEFINITELY NOT BUYING ANY MORE YARN. I actually say to Kate, "Unless you throw some Cranberry worsted my way, I'm done."
Then Kate says she wants to go back to the Shelridge Farm booth to scope out possible yarn options for Wisteria. (Anyone else spontaneously burst into Def Leppard's Hysteria when someone mentions this pattern? Just me, eh? Thought so.)
She found what she was looking for, and I ran smack dab into this:
If you embiggen this shot, you'll see that the colourway is called Cranberry. Hey, who was I to argue when the Knitting Goddess dropped this on me? I'm no fool. I've got 8 skeins of this lovely yarn. I can't wait to get started. :)
And that about does it, folks. Oh wait, wanna see what was in the Knitspot prize I won at the Ravelry party?
Sock de la Mer pattern, along with a skein of Knitting Notions Classic Merino Supersock (100% superwash merino, 420 yards)
OK, the evening has passed me by. I'm beat, the weekend was productive, blahblahblah. I want to take the day off to sit in my pj's and knit. Dream on, right!
Happy Knitting everyone!
Friday, October 24, 2008
No, it's 9:20 PM, and I've just gotten home from a choir board meeting (by the way, I'm now the chairman of the board. Phase 1 of my ascension to Queen of the Universe is now complete!!!). Phil's gone up to bed already (he's got a cold, and not just any cold, a bonafide MAN cold), but I'm still a bit too wired. I feel like I've been cheated out of my down time, damnit! Even though, as Phil was quick to point out to me, I didn't have to put the kids to bed, so I DID have some down time.
What can I blather on about then? The week flew by, as usual. Everyone here is sick, including me, but luckily I seem to be on the mend, mostly. I've still got a sleep debt to make good on, but there's no point in going up earlier and just tossing and turning when your mind is going 100 miles an hour, is there?
I had my measurements taken at Curves this week, and I got some great results! I lost 3.5 pounds and 1 inch off my waistline, all in 3 weeks! Yay! It actually WORKS, people. I was previously convinced that it was a myth, but it turns out that this new-fangled thing they call "exercise" really does help one get a better physique. Who woulda thunk it?
Still, I was shocked when I realized exactly how many pounds of plain old body fat I'm actually lugging around every day. When you get your weigh-in at the end of the month, they measure your Body Fat Index as well as your weight and other measurements, and let me tell you: 27.1% body fat may very well be "fair" for a woman of my age, but in my case that totals out to 41.3 POUNDS of fat. FAT!!!!! Just imagine 41 pounds of butter oozing off the top of your kitchen counter. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww.
So I've set some new goals, and I'm finding my success thus far to be highly motivating. I am woman, hear me huff and puff.
Speaking of Curves, remember a while back I mentioned that I didn't realize that you could do a dance version of Blue Oyster Cult's (Don't Fear) The Reaper? Well, they did one better today. A friggin' dance version of Tammy Wynette's Stand by your Man. I actually burst out laughing in the middle of a workout. The other women thought I was giddy from the heat. Is it just me who finds that funny?
All right, I've got a full plate tomorrow. Groceries, laundry, food, shutting down the flower beds... Your basic DORMA day. I was going through all the things we want to get done with Phil this week, and when I asked him if I was forgetting something, he said "Yeah. How about: Relaxing".
Relaxing??? On a weekend? I tell you, sometimes it's like the man doesn't even live in the same house.
I promise to return to knit-blog format this weekend! In the meantime,
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
In the meantime, I do have various kinnearings of a series of the knitterati elite.
Fine, fine. You want somebody really big? How about the Harlot herself? In the flesh, baby. She was sitting a stone's throw away (not that I would have thrown a stone at her. Just sayin' she was close, that's all).And finally, to make up for the fact that Kate and I TOTALLY lost our wits and failed to kinnear Franklin Habit when we checked in to the hotel on Friday night, a series of successful Panopticon kinnearings (OK, two) taken on Saturday and Sunday.
Happy Knitting everyone!
P.S.: "Kinnearing" is showing up as a mistake as I'm writing this post. Clearly, Blogger is SO not in the loop.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
After a delicious night of uninterrupted sleep (something we're both in a position to appreciate right now), we had a colossal breakfast and made our way to the Fairgrounds. I was briefly shaken when I met Christine(?), toting the same fabulous ClutterBags market bag that I was, but I managed to keep it together.
Undeterred by my doppelgänger, we made our way bravely onwards. We were on a mission, people. Codename: Briar Rose Fibers.
By this time the Fairgrounds had only been open for about 45 minutes, and the booth was PACKED. I won't go into details now, but suffice it to say that when I arrived at the register I revised my plan of "only paying for my purchases with cash" ('cause, you know, then I would have had nothing left). Kate ALSO bought yarn for 2 projects. I was very proud of her.
After that initial shock, we wandered around for a while. We looked at yarn. We petted the animals. I may have made a few more purchases. Kate bonded with a rabbit and seriously considered whether or not it would constitute an acceptable pet for a 3 and almost 1 year old.
I successfully restrained myself from buying the cutest darned little felted gnomes you ever saw in your life.
And besides, I had sock yarn to buy. Oh right, I wasn't going to buy sock yarn at Rhinebeck. Oh well, so much for THAT resolution!
By this point it was midday and we were a little shell-shocked, so we decided to retreat to the car and just sit and knit and regroup for a while (it was cold out there!). I ripped out all 1 and a half inches of the sock I had in progress and immediately cast on for a new pair, and Kate worked on Gale.
When we went back in, we bumped into none other than the lovely and talented Ann Hanson herself. And guess what? She was wearing Cluaranach, just like me. We were twins!
Kate got her to touch her Gale (wow, that sounded a bit dirtier than I thought it would...)
We even scored an invite to the "cool knitters" party being hosted by Chris from Briar Rose (more on that later). All in all, I'd say this was a Festival highlight. She was delightful, as was her lovely and fabulously fashionable friend Kim (I loved her coat).
After making our second trip of the day at the Shelridge Farm booth (OK, Kate's second, my first), we ran into Michelle from The Sweet Sheep.
And by now, we had had enough. We headed back to the car and made our way to the Eveready Diner, and restaurant I had heard about on one of my new fave shows, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
Yeah, we came, we peed, we left. The place was just too damn crowded! Besides, we had a party to go to.
The party was fun, and surreal in the sense that, as Kate put it, "All these people think knitwear is pretty darn cool". And there were a LOT of people. Like Alison!!!
And guess what???? I won a prize! And not just any prize. A Knitspot prize!!!!
Friggin' awesome. We left the party with the firm intent of going to the afore-mentioned Briar Rose Party, where we suspected the knitterati were all gathered. But honestly? It was late, so late that we would have been crashing said party as opposed to attending. Besides, we were beat.
All in all, a great day. My only regret is that we never managed to hook up with Robyn!!!
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
OK, not really. Here's what actually went down.
We left Laval at about 9:00 AM, and proceeded at a leisurely pace towards the border. The border crossing went pretty smoothly, and by about 3-ish, we were at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. I had seen this estate on my trip to Rhinebeck last year, and having visited The Breakers in Newport, RI (another Vanderbilt estate), I knew it would be a great way to spend the afternoon.
It was. This was their "Spring and Summer" residence. That's 12 weeks a year, people. Not too shabby.
The view. Hi Kate! There's a happy girl!
The rose garden. Mmmmmmm....
It was a beautiful afternoon, and we had a lovely time walking the grounds and visiting the house.
From there it was on to Kate's bright idea for the trip, dinner at the Culinary Institute of America, specifically at L'Escoffier restaurant.
After getting changed in the back seat of my car (yes, really), we decided to take a few Vogue shots on the grounds.
Dinner was wonderful. Not exactly cheap, but we're SO worth it, right? As the wise and eminent Donna Summer once said, we work hard for the money.
From there we arrived safe and sound (if a bit late) at the hotel, where we brushed knitter greatness in the lobby. As we were waiting to check in, who should be standing in line in front of us but Franklin Habit himself. But our wits weren't about us, because we failed to Kinnear him. Oh well, we'll keep the camera at the ready today.
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Friday, October 17, 2008
She WAS however dead set against putting him in the garbage, so we had a funeral service for him last night. We chose a spot in the garden for him, and I think he'll be at peace there. You know, provided some cat doesn't dig him up and eat him.
Farewell, little fishy. Granted, you didn't really do much, but you were pretty to look at and relatively low maintenance, and I think your brief existence in our family (he was a birthday present) served a valiant purpose in teaching our daughter about taking care of her pets and that, much as we'd like them to, they don't live forever.
Phil wants to get Émilie a hamster next. While he feels that this is an upgrade in the pet evolutionary chain, I disagree. Where he sees "mammal", I see "rodent".
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We've got quite the weekend planned, actually. I've still got to take care of minor details like printing Google maps, choosing which knitting to bring along, and packing. I'm thinking I'm going to have to dip into my maternity wear for pants with expandable waistbands, the amount of eating we'll likely be doing. I'm not EVEN joking! Food is a major part of this weekend's festivities.
I'm going to bring the laptop with me, so if all goes well (read: if I can figure out how to plug into the wifi system at the Holiday Inn), I'll post something on Friday evening.
On the knitting front, I've officially pulled the Good Old Cabled Scarf out of hibernation and I'm making good progress. It's going to be lovely, me thinks, and a good scarf to go with the Snowball hat that I want to cast on for in the near future.
I'm also nearing completion on the second of my Miscellaneous-Man Socks. I've got to find another sock project for my commute knitting. I'll most likely dip into my pitifully small stash of self-striping sock yarn for the next pair. Stay tuned!
I'll leave you with a picture of Émilie, wearing her Halloween costume for this year (it's a unicorn, in case you were wondering). We picked it up at Wal-Mart on Monday, and she's been wearing it pretty much non stop ever since.
Happy Knitting Everyone! See you at Rhinebeck!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday night Phil and I decided to settle down and watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We'd seen it before, but contrary to apparently most of the Western world, I quite liked it, and I wanted some appropriate knitting that would let me enjoy the film. I didn't really feel like working on my Miscellaneous-Man socks, and the Celtic Tote requires too much attention. So that left me with 2 options: cast on for something new or dive into the UFOs...
I chose the latter, and opted for the Good ole' Cabled Scarf I cast on for in, um...... November '07? The pattern is easily memorized, I can work it easily without a cable needle, and it IS knit with Malabrigo, for Pete's sake...
So I motored along on this thing for about 2 hours, and was really happy with my progress. Then when the movie was over, I actually LOOKED at it, and that's when I spotted it.
I don't know if you can really tell from this picture, but there was a big honkin' mistake about 12 inches down from the needles. This UFO was getting it's revenge from being left in the bottom of the knitting basket for almost a year, people.
What do you think I did? Of course I ripped it back (was there ever a doubt in your mind?). Phil thought I was nuts, but when I asked him what he would do if he spotted what he considered to be a glaring mistake in his kites, what would HE do? Then he got it.
Anyway, I ended up staying up waaaay past my usual bed time to try to recuperate some of my work, a decision I profoundly regretted between 12 AM and 3:30 AM when Maxime was awake approximately every 20 minutes (he's got a cold and a tooth coming in). Gotta remember those priorities. When parenting small children, it's never wise to sacrifice sleep in favour of knitting.
Thankfully Saturday was a blast. My friend Nadine, who I visited in Japan and has since moved to Red Deer, Alberta, was back in good old Montréal for a wedding, and I got to meet up with her and spend the afternoon shopping, lady lunching, and getting a pedicure. I also had her over for dinner, which was great, since she hadn't seen Phil and Émilie in 3 years and hadn't seen Maxime since last summer.
Today was fairly ordinary. Groceries, laundry. DORMA. :)
Happy Knitting Everyone! Give Thanks for Glorious Fiber!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
However, a girl's gotta get her knitting kicks somehow, right? Enter the knitting pattern.
A few weeks ago, Caroline queued the pattern for these mittens in Ravelry. Well! You all know how highly frogs are regarded in THIS household, don't you? Had to have it.
That sent me on a mission for other froggy patterns. I found the crochet Frog beanie, and that opened up a whole 'nother can of worms with the whole "crochet" deal... Enter the Frog Kisser slippers.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
So all in all, a great weekend. We met great people, made new friends, and left with some interesting stories to tell. Can't wait to do it again.
Happy Knitting Everyone!