( Jan. 13th, 2010 06:09 pm)
Today has been a wild and crazy day, my friends. Went off in the morning to take mom to a medical appointment in St. James/Assiniboia, then headed over to a bank then Tim Horton's for some tea and a donut, then knitting. Had a very lovely chat with an elderly englishwoman about knitting and craftwork in the UK versus craftwork here. She used to do very fine fair-isle mittens, and I told her about my vest.

After that I headed over to the St/ James Assiniboia library and looked over their books- found a complete gem of a knitting book: The Swedish Mitten Book: Traditional Patterns from Gotland. It's very no-nonsense, giving basic (very, very basic) instructions for construction, then 39 colourwork patterns.

I was so caught up in my books that I didn't notice my phone vibrating, and then I realized I was late to meet mom (I ended up getting there only 10 minutes late, but still.) So I rushed back over to the clinic and took forever to find a place to park and then once I actually got inside, it took me nearly another 20 minutes to actually find her (for a place that small, it's like a rabbit's warren). Turns out she'd had to have bloodwork done, and then had to wait another 2 hours before doing more tests after eating, so we had a small lunch (it was 11) and she sent me off home.

So, to home where I got mail from LAc du Bonnet and a schedule for Wolseley Wardrobe and managed to get a bit of spinning in while listening to podfic before mom called again, and it was back out to St. James again. To celebrate her having the rest of the day off we trundled down to Aqua Books and Eat! Bistro and had... second lunch? Early dinner? We then browsed the books before heading over to St. Boniface to go to the chiropractor.

Eventually, eventually we got home to the cat who seems to be getting more and more anxious if she doesn't know where we are. I still have some things to work on, and soon I'll be heading out to spend time with my girlfriends, making cookies and playing Beatles Rockband.
( Jan. 12th, 2010 12:13 am)
4. Living Dead in Dallas, Charlaine Harris

I liked this much more than the first book in the series- really, my biggest complaint is how it took forever to get back to the human mystery that I felt really should have been the focus of the story. While still not into the whole sexy vampire thing, I am glad to see more of the society and structure the vampires have in this world, along with the rest of the supernatural world.

Also, I read that really, really fast. I didn't start until 9 PM and just finished about 15 minutes ago. :|
( Jan. 11th, 2010 11:10 am)
These, right here, are why it's a good thing I don't have a credit card:

Cashmere/merino roving.

Hand painted Corriedale wool top

The sword and the faith necklace, made by [livejournal.com profile] sharpest_rose

And in non-Etsy coveting, Norwegian Lusekofte Kit - Blue. I predict it would look like crap on me, but... historical knitting! Mybe I mostly covet the clasps at the neck.
( Jan. 10th, 2010 08:52 am)
2. The Opinionated Knitter, Elizabeth Zimmermann

So much more than a pattern book- Meg Swansen writes about her mother and some of EZ's journal entries are included here, along with her newsletters and excerpts from some of her books. But my favourite part, aside from the lovely (if sometimes maddening for a knitter used to having almost everything written out for her) instructions and photographs, both old and new, are the entries from her journal about camping with the Old Man and their cat KLINE. Just such a treat to read.

3. Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris

I have to admit, I didn't enjoy this book but it still managed to hook me and make me want to read the others. I finally warmed up to Sookie by the last chapter. I still don't find vampires sexy. And I know [livejournal.com profile] rosie_riviter and others have told me that True Blood is pretty different from the books, but I stil don't have much of a desire to watch.
( Jan. 9th, 2010 09:50 pm)
Spent the evening curled up on the couch with mom watching Up. We laughed, we cried, it was the perfect movie to watch tonight because- SQUIRREL! -we had kind of a rough morning with each other, but things are better now.

I've been knitting the Saroyan shawl out of the Blackstone Tweed in Cranberry Bog that she brought back from Kelowna for my birthday. It's knitting up beautifully- I can't wait to be finished so I can block it and wear it somewhere.

Also, I feel like I should share the one firm resolution I did make for New Year's: I plan to roast a duck sometime this year. I have plans, my friends. Big plans.
( Jan. 7th, 2010 11:30 pm)
My mom and I have some of the best converstaions while driving from place to place. I was talking about not really being into the whole vampires thing.

"I mean, I get it. But I don't find vampires sexy. Yes, they're pale. Like corpses. I don't want to make out with corpses."
"But you love zombie movies and stories."
"Yes, but I don't want to have sex with zombies. Oooooh, rotting flesh! How exciting! No."
"You liked Buffy: the Vampire Slayer."
"I liked Buffy, who slayed vampires. I understand the sexual aspect of vampires; I, however, don't find exsanguination sexy. "
"I have to say, as your mother, I'm a little relieved to hear that."

Also, we've morphed from saying "__blank__ is the fish!" to "You're my fish!" which I believe makes it all the more awesome.
( Jan. 7th, 2010 11:55 am)
Okay, so today is possibly the day when I officially start to feel old and out of touch with the younger generation.

I was watching MuchMusic (Adam Lambert! Finally!) and they were showing the texts at the bottom of the screen. One caught my eye:

Justin Bieber is the fish!!

Okay. I don't quite get the Justin Bieber thing at all, but okay. But... the fish? Is this some new slang I don't know? I'm imagining some cockney-ish Newfie slang where cod = god = fish, but... what?

I'm oooooooooold! *shakes cane, yells about the lawn, etc. etc.*
( Jan. 5th, 2010 12:27 pm)
1. The Prairie Bridesmaid, by Daria Salamon

I really enjoyed this book- there were parts that I probably over-identified with, and parts that I didn't identify with at all but still liked a lot. I'd be really curious to know what non-Manitoban/prairie readers would take away from a lot of the family/farm elements.

I had to reread the ending, though. My big complaint would be that a lot of the emotional resolution happened too quickly, although I know that oftentimes, that's what happens- it builds up inexorably and then bam! Breakthrough.

spoilers! )

And it has a pretty awesome soundtrack, too. Bookclub should be interesting on Thursday. Plus, cheesecake!
( Jan. 4th, 2010 09:17 pm)
I've begun cleaning up my computer/stash room. It's quite the process- I've been meaning to for a while but the kick in the pants was Sunday when one of my aunts pushed open the door to say goodbye before going back to the farm, and I shouted "nooooo!" because, well. I don't want her to think poorly of me, but this room was almost bordering on disgusting.

The one big problem was my yarn. The system I had going before September wasn't great, but I had most of it packed away. Unfortunately that a) meant that I could no longer see my stash and then felt okay about acquiring more, willy-nilly, and b) my mom decided to put away the yarn that hadn't been packed away, but not in any of the places I'd been meaning to put them. So I didn't really know where anything was, or what I had.

And then I came back from the retreat with more yarn, then mom gave me baskets to put my yarn in, but those take up too much room so they just ended up stacked in the middle of the room, and then I was working on my project and papers were everywhere and then mom cleaned up the rest of the house so all sorts of randomness ended up in here, and you can see where this is going. Hoarders territory.

So tonight, after cranking the Lady Gaga I got to work. I'm not done yet, and I probably shouldn't have stopped for dinner when I did, but most of the yarn that was everywhere on the floor is now is baskets out in the hall, same with the papers, both patterns and work things, and sweaters and socks and other randomness and just... it's not done, but already I feel like I can breathe.

Taking a break/finished for the night so I'm reading The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann and have already learned a few new things, one of which actually made me say "oh!" I <3 EZ.

Also, this is for all my Winnipeg and Manitoba girls (both here and away): Winnipeg: Love and HAte, gorgeous photography of this city by Bryan Scott. Possibly my favourite entry is No One Here Gets Out Alive I also love the quotes about Winnipeg, on the sidebar.

A moral cesspool, the stench of which is making itself felt throughout the Dominion. -Toronto newspaper, 1910
( Jan. 1st, 2010 10:03 pm)
I don't really do New Year's resolutions, but I think I am going to make monthly resolutions- it'll be easier to keep track of each month, and it can change based on how my life changes, because I have no idea where things will go this year.

So this month I will:

  • try to drink two glasses of water when I wake up, and one before going to bed.

  • read three books

  • knit 1000 yards of stash

  • get on the wiifit at least three times a week. (it's fun, I like it, I stopped while I was finishing up my project and never started up again)

  • look for a job
( Jan. 1st, 2010 02:12 pm)
I'm pretty glad that I decided that my new year doesn't start until after I get more sleep and wake up again because I just had a NEAR CATASTROPHIC FAIL with the stairs, and would hate for that to be my start in 2010.

I'm not sure what happened first, me slipping on a step or the railling breaking off the wall, but I have a bruised ass and sore arms. It could have been much worse, though.

*shakes fist* Damn you, gravity!
shouldn't apply to January 1st if you've spent the evening imbibing. I don't want to spend the rest of the year crashing on people's floors (thanks again for letting me, [livejournal.com profile] chavvah) and sneaking out in the morning to go home only to find out once I've left the building and can't get back in that I don't have change for the bus.

So I went up to the Tim Horton's, but it didn't open for another 1/2 hour, so I waited in the bus shack since it was like, -38 with the windchill, and waited until it opened, then sat and drank my steeped tea (incidentally, Tim Horton's steeped tea is consistently one of the worst things to drink, and yet I keep drinking it, maybe because of that) and waited in the warmth for the bus (with the new, higher bus fare now in my pocket.)

Other than a sore back from sleeping on the floor, I'm feeling pretty good. I'll probably nap later though, since I haven't had much sleep. The new year and the new start will begin once I wake up again- this is just that transition between the two. But I'm feeling pretty good about where things are going to go from here.
( Dec. 31st, 2009 12:55 pm)
I'm running late but two things- I'm desperately trying to sew in the last of the ends on my vest before tonight. I don't have much left, but I really just want to be done this stage of the project before the new year because it's been languishing.

Sliver Roving

Secondly, while not a resolution my plan is to spin up the bag of roving I got last year into either a singly ply laceweight or double ply fingering weight and knit it up into a lovely shawl. This is my grand plan- ideally, I want to have it done for my birthday. So, we'll see how that goes.

So much to do. :| I wish the best for all of you in the new year.

ETA: 134 ends sewn in on the vest. Thank god that's done and hasn't spontaneously unravelled the entire thing. Will pick it up again in the new year to do the steeks and start finishing it up.
( Dec. 29th, 2009 11:17 pm)
Tonight I picked up Respect the Spindle, by Abby Franquemont at my LYS. I tried to find it at Indigo the day before, but no dice and I was telling the others this, my sadness and how I had consoled myself by picking up The Knitter's Book of Wool instead when Misty and/or Mona said "we have that."

And thus, a purchase was made.

Both books are great, full of information. Glorious, geeky information.Knitter's Book of Wool is exactly that, a compendium of information about wool, from it's composition, to how it's collected, to breeds, spinning methods and patterns that use different types of yarn. Respect the Spindle is about spindling, covering the different kinds of spindles, how to spin on all/most of them, troubleshooting, different techniques, a bit of history, and even a few patterns.

I haven't had the chance to really got through them in depth, but honestly the things that struck me first about them were the delicious science-y facts- Wool goes into the biology of sheep, from breeds and breeding to the animal itself, while Spindle talks about the physics of spinning. Science!

ETA: I forgot the original point of this entry, which was to talk up the yarn I spun up the last few days and plied today. It's roughly 60 meters, varying from fingering to worsted, mostly dk-sih. White/undyed, spun into two balls and then plied together on the spindle. It's Sheeples pencil roving that Misty gifted me with last week.

The singles were slightly uneven, and my plying could use a bit more work, but I already see so much improvement in what I'm getting. Also, while the white is gorgeous, I'm itching for some colour. Maybe Koolaid dyeing more roving will satify that?

Also, I need a spinning icon.
( Dec. 28th, 2009 11:51 pm)
Have started the Vespergyle mittens. Still haven't finished weaving in the ends on my vest or finished the two shawls that are WIPS, but I don't care all that much, honestly. I don't really have that much creative oomph at the moment, and the mittens are ngaging me on a technical level, my mind is thinking about sweaters for next year.

I was thinking of trying 12 sweaters in 12 months, but that way lies madness. I know. Especially since wanting to knit through my stash will involve one or maybe even two fingering weight sweaters. Eek.

Also sucking my creativity is the chaos and disorganization of this room. I like a little chaos, but this is just intimidating.
( Dec. 26th, 2009 09:47 pm)
Nearly nine hours later, and we're back in the city. You guys, you guys. I very nearly got us into two separate accidents before pulling over and telling mom to take the wheel. I fishtailed on Warde and then when going down St. Mary's toward the perimeter, I started to slide and nearly went into the ditch.

Uncle: You almost went into the ditch?
Me: Yeah.
Uncle: How did you find a ditch in the city?
Me: I'm just that awesome.

Mom took over and got us there safely. Much food was consumed, visiting done and games played with the young children. And it's at this point in the festive season that I've pretty much had it with large groups. I need a few days to hole up and recharge, because at this point any group larger than say, five, will cause me to have a complete meltdown.
( Dec. 25th, 2009 11:28 pm)
Oh man, I'm so out of shape and stuffed full of food- I tried to shovel the driveway earlier, and I could only go about 1/2 hour before giving up. Stupid heavy snow.

It's been a very different Christmas this year- instead of the usual visiting that happens on Christmas eve, my one aunt came over on the 23rd, the other came over last night instead of us all heading out to another place for our traditional spaghetti feast and today we didn't head out to the country- we had planned to go tomorrow, but with all the snow the road to the farm hasn't been plowed yet. Maybe Sunday? IDK.

Also, with all of these changing plans mom and I have lots of food that's not going to get eaten. We're figuring out how to save stuff for later. I've already put to use the three (well okay, I only used the one) cookbooks I got as gifts. Also, I got some ramekins, a meat thermometer and a titanium cheese grater. Also, a wooden stick that is apparently better to use when stirring pots? IDK, but I approve of getting kitchen stuff for Christmas, since I'm often the one trying new things. Such as a baked egg in my new ramekin.

Baked egg

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease ramekin(s) with butter. Add 1 whole egg and 1 egg white to ramekin. Add 1 Tbsp of milk (whole milk or cream preferred, but anything works. Well, maybe not chocolate or buttermilk or anything like that.) Top with some grated cheese and/or pepper, to taste.

Place ramekin(s) on baking sheet in oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on whether you enjoy soft and runny, or firmer egg yolks. Make toast for dipping , or whatever. Maybe you don't like toast, skip this part. Remove eggs, from oven, wait a minute or so for it to cool slightly.

Using oven gloves, place ramekin on dish and serve with toast (or whatever). Enjoy!

I used my nifty new, fine grater and put some applewood smoked cheddar on my egg and it was delicious. Mmm.

I also got The Umbrella Academy: Dallas and homg. That. Was. Awesome. There were several moments where I'd read a page, go "holy shit!" then turn the page and shout it again. Mom is a little whatever about it, but she keeps asking me how I can read them because she has a hard time reading thought and speech bubbles.

I'm still loving the spindle, and I'm getting pretty good at it already. I don't know what the sales will be like tomorrow at the bookstore, but I'm tempted to walk down to the mall and see if I can find Respect the Spindle or some other spinning book to keep me occupied for the next week or so.
( Dec. 23rd, 2009 11:12 pm)

Approximately 18 meters of 2 ply thick and thin bulky, white yarn. I spun up the single, then wound it off using my ballwinder, then plied from both ends of the ball. And yeah, there are a few under and overspun bits, but there are also some bits that look really, really good. I'm excited, yo.
( Dec. 22nd, 2009 11:54 pm)
Wow. So all of my rage and angst from yesterday was totally unjustified- I feel like a massive tool now. Sorry, everybody.

I'm very nearly done getting things for presents- now to wrapping. Also, I bought my Christmas present at the shop tonight- an awesome Tabachek spindle. The Whorl is ebonized oak, the shaft is hickory, it weighs 37.5 g. Misty sent me home with some of the roving she bought (I also picked up some sea silk for once I start to get the rhythm of it) and I'm enjoying it- I definitely need to practice, but I'm already excited about the possibilities. Eeee, spindling.
( Dec. 18th, 2009 11:55 pm)
Have decided and the nearly to next-last minute to do a beaded lace cowl for a cousin-in-law for Christmas. Just caught myself on the 2nd row of beading making a mistake that would have resulted in twice as many beads in the cowl (and therefore, twice as long to complete). I'm too tired to go and fix it tonight- it can wait until morning.

I am also tempted to buy the pattern and make French Press Felted Slippers for everyone on my list who does not yest have something handmade on their lists. This way lies possible craziness, but by all accounts it's a fun, fast and currently fashionable choice for gifts, so. Maybe.

In other knitterly news, I finished the Clandestine socks (just need to block them and maybe figure out how to keep them from turning my feet black.) I cast on for another sock while actually waiting in line on Tuesday, so maybe, unless I start making slippers, once the cowl is done I can finish those socks or the other socks (Sunday Swing) that I have on the go.

Also, I figured out what I want to do with the most recent silk I spun- put in a few rows in a yoke and around the cuffs of a purple cardigan. Of course, I may decide to do a wee scarf or something else- it's the most yardae of any handspun I have yet, and it's a gorgeous violet-y colour.




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