Thursday, January 31, 2008

RSVP for Knitty Yarn Roundtable Nights!

Okay, so I'm cutting and pasting straight from Amy's blog:

"Starting with the spring '08 issue, we're adding virtual yarn sampling to Knitty. In the spirit of Knitty, this will be a social, collaborative project where a group of us will gather around an assortment of yarns from just about every yarn company on the planet, and get to touch, swatch, fondle and tell the world what you think of the yarn. We want to share our favorites with our readers and let them know about surprises that knit up much differently than the average knitter would expect from just looking or squeezing a ball. As is the custom with Knitty, stuff we don't like won't appear in our pages.

Jacquie B. and I will be there as secretaries and social butterflies for the evenings, gathering your comments and evaluating which yarns will end up in the Yarn Roundtable feature each issue.

We'll be holding the Yarn Roundtable nights at the fabulous, friendly The Purple Purl [1162 Queen St. E. Toronto]. 30 knitters are welcome at each evening, and in order to let as many people as possible have a chance to participate, you can RSVP for only one event in a row. So if you were at January's event, you can RSVP to the 2nd or 3rd of the three I announce today, but not the first. We're planning to hold these monthly (or almost) so there will be lots of chances for everyone to swatch the good stuff!

There's a lot of organization involved in keeping this event tidy and making sure it can run smoothly. Your assistance in following all instructions is very much appreciated!

We've set up a blog just for RSVPs [so that non-Facebook users need not be excluded]. Each event has its own blog post. To RSVP, simply read the instructions for that evening and if you're eligible, leave a comment to that post."

My swatch from the last roundtable

Amy had created a blog for the events and you can find it here to make your reservation.

Make sure you read and understand The Rules and most importantly leave your name and email addy in the comments of the event date you want to attend. Please note that you just can't drop in. You must make an RSVP to be included.

We've got some great yarns lined up for tasting so if you are going to be finding yourself in Toronto on any of the available dates than sign up. See at the roundtable!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hey, I made yarn!

Over the weekend the DKC had their Winter Workshops. I took two classes, Fine Finishing and Spindling 101, and both were great. The cool thing about the spindling class? I made yarn. Wee!!

I don't think I'll be taking up the work of the people, but have a new appreciation for those who do. I know for a fact by taking that class I will be a bit more discerning when buying yarn in the future. Don't know if that a good thing or not.

Thanks Lorraine for being such an awesome teacher! And thanks Amy for the use of your gorgeous spindle.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hey Soooooosan!

I finished the bear. Now you can get that vision of brown overalls outta your head.

Started: December, 2006
Completed: January 25, 2008
Pattern: Lovable Toys (bear) Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (little bits of Knitpicks Swish for the face detailing)
Color: Curry (#13) & ??? (#30)
Skeins: 1 of the Curry for the actual beer and a bit of the other for the scarf
Needles: 2-16"Crystal Palace bamboo circs 6US/4mm
Notes: didn't double strand. This was my oldest UFO and I am so glad that I got it off the needles.

Friday, January 25, 2008


(click to read the text)


Thank you so much for your unsolicited email asking for my money. Although your request sounds reasonable, there are three reasons I will not be donating:

1) I don't live in Los Angeles
2) It's been over two years since I've even lived in California
3) I'm a registered Democrat

I will try not to end my response by calling you "spammers" or "asshats" as you were so passionate in your request. However I will kindly ask that you do not solicit funds from me again. I've removed myself from your mailing list and do hope I will never hear from you again. I'm sure that you are sad to see me go, but in all fairness, it is the right thing to do.

In God We Trust and The Stars And Stripes 4Ever,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And the weiner is....

(drum roll, please)!

Thanks Sandi and Michelle for making my day! And as the rules tell me to pass it on: “Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.”

And the real winners are:

*swelling orchestral music*

Cigars On The Porch
Idyllic Chick
The Big Adventures Of Mama-E
Further Adventures of Rocketbride
The Shy Knitter
Purl This!
And She Knits Too!
Eleven Stitches
2D Girl Writes

With Lifetime Achievement Awards going to Sandi and Michelle, of course.

*wild applause*

Now don't forget to go out and spread the love!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A microwave, two FOs & a new project

I am back from my travels, and boy, am I glad! And the reason is because of this:

Paul surprised me by finishing another piece of the kitchen puzzle. Now I'm not a big microwave user. In fact, I barely use it at all but when I do use it (reheating tea, melting butter, coagulating oatmeal) I like it to be in the vicinity of the kitchen. And that hasn't been the case since May 2007 (the start of the kitchen reno). Since that time the microwave has lived in the laundry room located in the basement. That's eight months for those of you counting. I have to admit that I wasn't counting. I just did the math and I'm REALLY glad that I didn't do that sooner (the math, not the installing). Now our kitchen is fully functional! The only things left are installing thresholds, trim, window frames and then paint for the trim and window frames. Oh, and the upper cabinet doors. I've gotten so used to the big, gaping holes that we call cabinets that I forgot about 'em.

Anyhoodles, traveling was good to me knitting-wise. Paul and I went to Collingwood to hang with a gaggle of friends, where Paul learned to snowboard and I did the walk of shame (instead of snowboarding), ate, fell down and hurt my tailbone and my pride (nothing like having 15 people witness your tumble down some stairs), played Wii (where I made up for my clumsiness by kicking ass) and knit. Our friends rented this big ol' house near Blue Mountain and at first glance it was really nice. But it was DIRTY and not in a good way. Long story short, I couldn't wait to get to my home for a shower. I know I shouldn't throw stones at glass houses as my place is not the cleanest, but at least I know WHEN I cleaned last, right? Maybe it's just that as I get older my internal Dirt-O-Meter gets more sensitive. I dunno. But I do know my friends are totally rocking and despite me being a little bit on the grossed out side we had a great time! While in Collingwood, I finished a quick project:

Ignore the weird look on my face and look at the damn scarf! What I love about this scarf is that it's made from Ms. Snark's handspun. It's awesome!!

AWESOME SNARKFEST II (the name I stole from Betharoopie)
Started: January 3, 2008
Completed: January 12, 2008
Pattern: One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Lorena's handspun (100% Shetland Wool)
Color: : "Good Morning"
Skeins: 1
Needles: Knitpicks nickel-plated 32" 3.00mm/US2
Notes: I used all the yarn!

Once I completed that, I cast on for the second Cedar Creek sock. This UFO had been languishing in my basket since September and I really wanted to get it done. In between eating cookies and marshmallows, I was able to pick up the heel stitches before heading home. Then I had to get ready for a work trip that took me to Ontario, California. I was gone for three days and two of those days were traveling. Seriously. From door to door it was like 10+ hours each day. In fact, my one day meeting was shorter than either of my travel days. That meant more knitting! When I got home this is what I had:

I wasn't sure if TSA was going to take away my needles so I added the lifeline. I went ahead and finished that sock tonight bringing my grand total of FOs for 2008 to three. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. A much better start than any of my previous years.

Started: August 15thish, 2007
Completed: January 22, 2008
Pattern: Cedar Creek Socks by Kaci Kyler Hays
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Sock Candy"
Color: Scheherazade
Skeins: 2
Needles: Knitpicks nickel-plated 32" 3.00mm & 3.25mm
Notes: used larger needles than the pattern called for.

Now I just have one thing on the needles and that's the Thick & Thin Cardigan from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits, also known as The Jimi Hendrix X-mas Cardigan. I'm afraid it's going to be rather snug, although I think I'll be able to wear it. I just may not be able to button it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Alterknit is re-opening!

Got great news today that Alterknit Café (1024 St. Clair Ave W) is re-opening it's doors this Tuesday (January 8th). I also heard that they will be having a grand re-opening party on Saturday (January 12th)! Tuesdays will be their knit night. Woo-hoo!!

EDIT: I got more info! The store will open with a new name. It will now be called In The Loop Café. The Opening Party will be on Saturday, January 12 - all day event. Sip, Sip, Knit - every Thursday from 4 pm - 9 pm.

EDIT EDIT: On In The Loop's website it lists their knit night as THURSDAY not Tuesday. I guess I heard wrong!

EDIT EDIT EDIT: In The Loop Café's website is:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

First FO of '08

Actually I finished this on December 3oth but it looked terrible. I should say the part from the pocket down looked terrible. And it was two inches too short to boot! Check out the fugly sweater:

So I riiiiipped it out on the 31st and began knitting again, officially finishing on January 3rd (at Dr. Steph's!). I ex-nayed the pocket because in the end it looked ridiculously small. As my husband said, "You can't even put Chapstick® in that!" Which, I think if I tried would have been true. I added two inches (or maybe just a hair more) to the bottom and then did twisted rib stitch instead of seed stitch the pattern called for.

I do love the sweater and it's really warm. I hope to have the hubs take a photo of me in it so I can show off how great it fits. If I were to do this pattern over (which I doubt I will) I will not follow the waist shaping instructions blindly. I was seriously a zombie when I was doing this sweater! (Luckily I didn't give myself nightmares.) The pattern wants you to K2TOG on both sides. I believe you want to SSK on one of the sides. I always forget which side but definitely do it or you'll see the decreases on one side. Did that make sense? Now that I think about it, I wouldn't do the waist shaping at all.

Started: October 28, 2007
Completed: December 30, 2007
Completed for reals: January 3, 20008
Pattern: Wicked by Zephyr Style
Yarn: mystery yarn
Color: copper/plum/pink
Skeins: 5
Needles: Knitpicks Options 4.5mm/7US

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007 Round up!

Yee-haw! It's that time of the year where one reflects on the past. I never really bought into the whole resolution thing but it is nice to look back and see what was achieved. Or not. Depending.

January: I entered the New Year feeling quite terrible. A serious case of The Blahs. The dishwasher that Paul and I bought is delivered smack dab in the middle of our entryway. We began dreaming and scheming of a kitchen renovation that has an actual place for the dishwasher other than our entryway. I vowed to knit from my stash.

February: Still got the blahs but am slogging through. Begin to think that all this is because of the anxiety of the new house and all it's responsibilities. I think this because of the dream I had. It was weird. On a positive note, Sophie and I participate in the Not-So-Secret-Secret Pal exchange with one Ms. Snark. Friendships begin to form and a trip to Rhinebeck is planned. I finish my first project of the year.

March: I go on my first shoot as a freelancer for Guthy-Renker to Dayton, OH to shoot testimonials and extra footage for Zumba (if you click the link, you might want to mute your sound.). If you're interested in what I do or what Zumba is you can see a rough-cut promo here. I also traveled for fun. I went back to San Francisco for two weeks (although I was in bed with a nasty cold for 5 days). I also popped up to Portland for a couple days. It was heaven.

April: I modeled a few No Sheep For You sweaters on Breakfast Television. Broke my knit from my stash pledge.

May: The kitchen renovation began. I joined the Knitter's Tea Swap. I had one of my photographs exhibited in CONTACT as part of the urban explorers meet-up group. Won some yarn and bought more yarn.

June: I saw Evil Dead: The Musical. I co-captained the Central Team for the TTC Knit-A-Long and avoided any knitting disasters (although I did buy yarn). I took photos for Rocketbride's Vog 'On (cuff-down version) that were published in Summer edition of Knitty. And I got out of my funk.

July: The dishwasher was taken out of it's box (thus ending it's run as the most expensive entryway table) and inserted into the newly almost finished kitchen. Paul and I cook our first meal in over 11 weeks. I also lament that none of my pants fit although I continue to eat terrible, terrible food. I also started my first real lace project.

August: Are you still reading? You are truly sweet. I hug you! Anyhoo, not much happened in August except for my birthday and the removal of The Hedges. Now there is no reason for anyone to ask me if there is a ramp up to my front door.

September: Snarktember Sock-A-Long was declared and this is where I tackled toe-up magic loop socks for the first time.

October: My folks finally came to visit! And we enjoyed cooking a gigantic (Canadian) Thanksgiving for them and a few friends who were all leaving TO before the end of the year. I also enjoyed them (the parents, not the friends) doing many helpful things around the house. They didn't see much, nay, any of Toronto but they said they had a good time. Even though they insisted they wanted to work around my house, I still felt guilty that it wasn't more of a touristy visit. I mailed my Snarktember Socks to Sharon so she could give them to Lorena. There was no surprise that she was surprised. Paul, Sophie and I made good on the promise of meeting our internet friends at Rhinebeck. And our murphy bed tried to eat our cat sitter while we were gone. (She's fine. Now.)

November: The Shadow Collective was formed and the first photography show was hung. I "met" Rick Mercer. The The Purple Purl opened.

December: I don't remember much about December, except for the flight back to TO where I sat next to a young taxidermist (but that's another story), because I was at The Purple Purl for most of it. Leaving 2007 behind feeling much better and much more loved than I did at the start.

The year had it's ups and downs, of course. Regrets were inevitable and memories were ingrained. Friendships were happily formed and sadly lost. Life. It happened. And I'm glad I got to experience it.

Now for the Finished Object list. I have to say that once again it's not that impressive. But who am I kidding, right? This is not a race so it doesn't really matter. I'm just happy I can say, "I made this."

2007 FOs
1. Corn Socks, 2. The Purple Purl's Hat, 3. Mom's Sunflower Tam, 4. Pimlico Shrug, 5. Snarktember Socks, 6. Booties, booties, booties (aw, yeah!), 7. Clap-O-Cap, 8. Magic Loop Socks, 9. Clappy Scarf for DKC, 10. Tithe Sweater, 11. Angora Baby Booties

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.