Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Knit Year!

Now that I can't avoid 2009 any longer I thought I would try to welcome it with open arms and give it a big ol' squeeze. And I'm going to create a list of goals, not resolutions mind you, but just simple goals.

- travel to at least one new place (We were planning on going to New Zealand this year but with the economy taking a huge dump that has been put on hold)
- get back in touch with old friends
- stay in touch with friends who are far away
- learn something new (I like to do this every year anyway but it's nice to have it written down)

Simple, huh? I like to set goals that are attainable even if they seem a little too easy. It's amazing what life can do to a list of goals, right?


Now this isn't as simple as making a list, but maybe I'll try. I've had some anxiety over my stash the last year because I know (and admit) that I'm a slow knitter. I mean s-l-o-w. I keep telling myself that maybe I should learn continental but I'm a thrower and in some ways I like it like that.

I joined a new group on Ravelry called Stash Knit Down 2009 and with that I've been taking a long hard look at my stash over the last week. Almost at an obsessive rate - staying up late, ignoring work, blah, blah. And you know what I've determined? I got some pretty kick ass stuff in there. Dr. Steph blogged about her stash and it inspired me to actually measure what I got... well at least approximately. My stash contains 12km/7.5mi worth of yarn. That's basically the length of San Francisco (as the city forms a seven-by-seven-mile square). In 2008, I knitted somewhere in the 4,358 m/4,767 yards, or almost half the city's length. So basically if I don't buy anything I have about 3 years worth of yarn to knit. It's weird to think of it that way, but there it is. So my knitting goals for 2009:

- use the queue feature in Ravelry to keep focus of what I want to knit.
- participate in the Personal Sock Club organized by the stash down group
- actually do some gift knitting (the biggest shocker!)

That's it! I won't say that I'm not going to buy anything, nor am I going to say I can't stray from my queue or anything harsh like that. I just need focus and I like lists... so there.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years and that '09 brings good cheer, great health and fabulous times!

2008 Round up!

Another year has gone by and it's time for a little bit of reflecting. It's a bit wordy this year, do you have your snack and beverage of choice? Excellent! Let's begin:

January: Do you guys remember the kitchen reno that started back in May '07? I had forgotten about it too, but clearly we were still working on it. The microwave/range hood had its coming out (of the basement) party. I learn how to drop spindle by the fabulous Lorraine but don't get bit by the bug. I attempt to learn how to snowboard but FAIL. I finish four projects - a record month!

February: I complete my first real lace project. I continue posting about my Thriller obsession.

March: I have a bit of a winter meltdown. I'm in Southern California for work and then I pop up to San Francisco to spend some time with a friend who's gone through a terrible breakup. I soak up the weather and try cheer up my friend the best I can. While I'm gone Paul is contacted by his old department at the San Francisco Chronicle asking if he knows someone with a "certain" skill set. Paul calls me and wonders how he should respond since we're just hitting our groove in Toronto and loving it (except for the bleakness of the winter, I was still wrastlin' with that.) We decide that we'd regret not at least getting the dialogue started. Within four days The Chron makes an offer we can't refuse.

April: April 1st was Inexplicable Knitter Behaviour Day to commemorate the Yarn Harlot's latest book launch. She and Rachel H devised a photo scavenger hunt that Michelle and I dominated. Michelle and I also taught our first (and last) joint beginner photography class for bloggers and Ravelers at In The Loop Café. I learned to crochet! I officially announce I'm moving back to SF (not the highlight of the month). I host a babeh shower for Sandi where we give her a community knitted/crocheted baby blanket. If I may say so myself, the blanket is gorgeous.

May: The cogs that are The Move start to turn. We must have finished all the kitchen renovations as we put the House of Sammon on the market and begin culling stuff left and right. Paul leaves at the end of the month and I start to feel pretty overwhelmed.

June: House of Sammon sells. The CBC loses it's rights to the Hockey Night In Canada theme song. I get a haircut. I'm photographed for the 1,000 Knitters project. Michelle teaches me to sew and I make the cutest dragon pants you ever did see. Am I still talking about Thriller?! Lordy, I must be obsessed. I fly to SF to check out a place that we want to buy and find that we're a far way away from actually signing our names on the dotted line. I have a great trip anyway. I find that my fear of flying has diminished enough that I actually enjoy sitting by the window as opposed to the aisle. I create the ugliest WIP in the world - the bloody flesh scarf.

**Intermission - time to go for that pee break or refill of your favourite bevvie**

July: The Knitters throw one hell of a going away party for me... and they knit me a community blanket!! I pack like a fiend, eat lots of take out all month. Not surprisingly my pants don't fit by the end of the month. I hang out with The Knitters as much as possible. Paul is still trying to find us a place to live. We discuss living in a hotel that will take the cat out in Emeryville. We cringe at the idea but know its our only choice other than living in a cardboard box. In the 11th hour, Paul finds a sublet in the city for the month of August. My fight with the movers just begins. I exhale a little.

August: I leave for SF on the 1st. We're still in negotiations to buy. The sublet is in a great neighbourhood and has a quirky backyard but is incredibly dirty and FULL of animal hair. It looks like no one has cleaned in months or maybe even a year. My freelance work dries up. Old friends are busy. And I spend most of it alone in the less dirty (since I cleaned) apartment fighting with the moving company. I miss Toronto. Start an online photography class but don't do much with it. Then, it seems in a flash, negotiations are settled and we sign our names on the dotted lines and are able to move in. I continue to fight with the moving company but we get our stuff - not all in one piece, mind you.

September: Its a blur but I do remember a lot of boxes. My freelance boss contacts me and says that it looks like her department will be shut down. I panic.

October: Still has something to do with a lot of boxes but I at least get my head up for air occasionally. My freelance boss contacts me again and said that she has a ton of projects on her desk now and she has the perfect project for me. A meeting is hastily arranged and I'm less panicked knowing I'm going to be having some work.

November: I come back to Toronto for a week long visit. Michelle gets married! I see Cute With Chris Live! I see The Knitters (and their babies if applicable)! Obama gets elected!! After that I go back home for a week then I'm back on plane heading to North Carolina to visit my folks and celebrate my Grandma's 91st birthday. Work is overwhelming and I pull my hair out.

December: Still working like a madwoman but actually exhale fully. And I finally get the nerve to go to a knit night.

And now for everyone's favourite... the FOs of 2008!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I bought the farm!

A shiitake mini-farm, that is.

This happened a few weeks back and I just got too busy to post about it but I think it's the darnedest thing. You're probably wondering to yourself, how (or why) did you get this... urr... thing?! Well it so happens that I won tickets to the 39th annual Fungus Fair hosted by the Oakland Museum of California and the Mycological Society of San Francisco. And it was blast! There were lectures, cooking demonstration and booths to buy stuff related to mushroom. Far West Fungi had a booth and their mushroom blocks seemed too good to pass up. When you buy them they don't have mushrooms on them, you have to wait for them to grow and mine grew quickly.

A week with farmer Jacquie

Here's my first crop! Supposedly I'm going to get three but I'm not sure if I've been taking proper care of my block. But my first go wasn't so bad!

The first crop

The mother mushroom

Anyhoo, I made this:


Into this:


I don't remember what I used. I just kinda pulled things out of the cabinet but it had a bit of a Japanese taste to it. I know mushrooms can be a contentious issue for some (ok, maybe just in my household), but I honestly can't get enough mushrooms!

The coolest thing at the fair was the yarn dying demonstration. Yes, dying yarn with mushrooms. I know what you're thinking, "Oh, how many colours of drab did they come up with?" That's exactly what I thought. But I was WRONG. You can get a whole rainbow of colours.


I was so smitten with the process that I bought the how-to book. Actually, I bought a couple I was so blown away. Might make a good gift for one or two of my yarny friends...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas sock #2 done!

And just in the nick of time!


I fixed the issue with the holes on either side of the heel on this one thanks to a suggestion from Michelle. As I was doing the second heel I just thought I would riiip out the holey heel and just redo. No biggie, right? But now that I have them on my feet I'm having second thoughts. However looking at this photo really makes me want to do it.


Time will tell if I do or don't. In the meantime I'm going to enjoy them. I mean, how can I not? Looooook at the yarn. I wanna nomnomnom it up. Srsly.

Started: December 11, 2008
Completed:December 25, 2008
Pattern: generic toe-up with an afterthought heel
Yarn: Perhaps Today is a Good Day to Dye Superwash Merino Sock
Color: Gingerbread Man
Skeins: 1
Needles: 2.5mm/ 1.5US Knitpicks Options (love my magic loop!)
Notes: worked 72 stitches. First time with the afterthought heel and I learned that you need to pick up a couple stitches and then knit them together to get rid of the gaping hole. My kitchener stitch has really improved!
Ravelry deets here


Anyhoo, gotta run. I'm off to save the universe in my jammies. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! And Happy Thursday to those that don't. I hope today fills you with joy, fun and laughter.... and lots of lightsaber battles, if you're into that kinda thing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas sock #1 done!

I just love the colors. Lorena, what do you think? I want to run to the bakery and get me some gingerbread men and munch on 'em all day.


I'm just doing a generic toe-up and I'm giving the afterthought heel a go. I don't know if I like it. Or maybe I don't know if I'm doing it right. Because no matter how tight I pulled the yarn I still got huuuuuge holes on either side of the sock.


I know I can easily sew it up but is that supposed to happen?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tonight I went knitting...

and I hung with some awesome knitters.

I'm so glad I got off my lazy tuckus and went. I'm looking forward to more Mondays with them. :-)

Christmas came early!

And I didn't have the willpower to wait to open it. Friday was One Of Those Days and I really needed some joy. It came in a wee box from Florida.


Lookylookylooky at what Lorena knitted for me! I had no idea she was going to send me a package much less knit me something. Although she did give a pretty good hint. And it couldn't have come at a better time as SF is seeing a cold snap (Tomorrow's forecast: rainy, lows 36F/2C. Burr!)


And now looooooooooook at this. Hand dyed yarn in "Gingerbread Man" colorway. How awesome!! Guess who's going to have Christmas socks? (Mememememememememememe!)


Plus there was two bars of the yummiest smelling soap that I forgot to photograph but did add to the shower. Lorena's soap is the only soap I will put on my skin and it leaves it feeling soft and smelling great. Want to know what you're missing? Then order some here. You won't be disappointed.

Lorena - You totally rock!! Thanks for making my holiday warm and my crappy Friday bright. Giganto hugs are being sent your way now and a package is being assembled (albeit slowly) for you that you should see soonish.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sadly, I can't spread any holiday cheer this year...

because what I thought was 4 boxes of cards turned into 5 individual cards. And I'm not sure what to do with that.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

the holidays!!


Had an incredibly productive long weekend - bought a Christmas tree, went to Target (on Saturday, not Friday) and bought tree decorations and the *right* curtain rods, assembled said tree, gave away a gigantic piece of furniture that was making us miserable, removed sheets from living room windows, hung new curtains in the newly naked windows.


Did I mention that we drank wine and tortured the cat, too? Yay for long weekends!

Happy belated Thanksgiving to my US friends. Happy belated Thursday to everyone else!