Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Knitting 'n School

Last night I finally decided to pick up the Bolero Jacket Sleeve again, after weeks of not touching it. Have I mentioned that I love working with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky? It is really really nice to work with. I got about 9" or so done on the sleeve, which is fairly quick progress, but now it must return to it's spot on the back burner, while I tackle things that must me knit by a certain date.

I spent part of today on a new sock. I'm doing it toe-up, which I have never done before, and using the magic loop technique. Obviously, since I haven't finished the toe yet, there hasn't been much "magic looping." I have played around with the magic loop before, but have never actually completed anything using it. I definitely prefer it to dpns though.

Back to the toe-up thing... I've found that the decreasing part can be a pain in the butt. It's not exactly easy purling 3 together through the back loop, and my knitting almost got thrown across the room again. I ended up partially bending my new 32" 2mm Addi circular needle trying to get the needle into the stitches, but I think I've managed to straighten it out mostly now.

Do you want to hear about my ingenious solution for knitting and purling three stitches together? I knew you would...

I took my 2mm crochet hook, which is much stronger and bend resistant (also Addi), and stuck that through the 3 loops that I was supposed to knit or purl through, then grabbed the yarn with the hook and pulled it through, and slid the newly formed loop onto the right knitting needle, then slid the 3 stitches off of the left needle.

Maybe I've just mastered grafting, but it seems like an easier way of doing things than a toe-up sock. Strangely enough, toe-up seems addicting though. It's like a know there is a way that's easier and less damaging, but it's cool to do it toe-up. This will likely not be my last pair of toe-up socks. (Again, that addictive personality!!)

No pictures of the sock progress, because it's for my Secret Sock Pal, and I don't want to ruin the surprise! My mantra right now is: "I will finish these socks before Dec. 16, I will finish these socks before Dec. 16, etc".

On to the school happenings:

I finished my last Medieval Lit paper a few days ago, and I've been working like a madwoman on my Virginia Woolf paper. I finished the Woolf paper about an hour ago! I am so glad it's done. Now I can knit and watch the hockey game at 7 as planned.

The final page count on the Med. Lit paper was 10 pages, and the final count on the Woolf paper was 16 pages! I have never written such a long paper in my life.

Just to clarify: I have thought up and typed 26 pages in the last week! No wonder I don't feel like sitting down to blog every day!!

I have 4 chapters of Psych to do in the next two days, plus the last assignment for that class, then it's on to studying.

Studying will be a nice break from paper writing, before I have to submit my last Virginia Woolf paper on December 16. Hey, at least it's only a 12 pager (ARGH!!). This paper will be the last one EVER!!

Oh, and if you want to see the cutes blog ever, check out Lenny's Blog. If you like cat's, you cannot miss this!

Monday, November 28, 2005

It's Snowing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAY Snowing!!! It started at about 9:30pm tonight, and hasn't stopped since. I think it's getting more snowy by the minute, but that could just be wishful thinking. I love snow so much!!!! I keep yelling out "HARDCORE" every couple of minutes (about the snow) and it's making Stu laugh. I'm off to look out the window.

PS. I finished my Noro scarf about 5 minutes before the snow started. The ends just need to be woven in.

Question to all you knitters: I'm debating about whether I should block the scarf or not. It looks pretty much the same as the last pic, but is about a foot or so longer. What do you guys think?

So, I'm A Year and a Half Off, That's Pretty Close

You Are 21 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

As Promised: Knitting News

Between too many papers, stressful encounters with my prof for Medieval Lit, and what is beginning to seem like zero time, I have managed to knit, and purchase more yarn (yeah. like I really need it).

It's 11:30 am, and I still haven't started work on school stuff for today. Wonder why? I was busily going around the house, taking yarn pictures!

First: The Noro Garter Stitch Scarf for Me---

It's made out of their "Silver Thaw" line, which I had never heard of until I was in Birkeland Bros. a week and a half ago.

It is 50% Wool, 20% Angora, and 25% Nylon. (Color # 5)

The colors are so pretty that even knitting in garter stitch is not boring! It is really nice yarn to work with, and even if you pull a bit hard, it doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart, which is what I found with Silk Garden.

I started out with one hank, with instructions to use a 10mm needle, but I decided I liked the 5mm needle better, so I'm part way (almost/about half) through the second hank, which is now a lovely ball, thanks to my ball winder and swift.

This picture really does not do this yarn justice!

When I was in Birkeland Bros., and saw this yarn, I just could not leave without it. I really haven't had that feeling in a while!

I'm trying to get it done ASAP, because it's actually starting to get cold here. It dipped below freezing last night for the first time this season, and we have SNOW in the forecast!!! I love snow so much!!! I keep jumping up to look out the window every few minutes, so I don't miss it. It hasn't started yet, and all I've accomplished is wasting time.

I have more pics, and I'll try to get them posted later today. I find that once the pictures are taken, writing is no problem.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Warning: Yarn Store Content

I've been debating for the last hour or so about whether I should share my yarn store experience from earlier today, or whether I should just keep it to myself.

I think I'll share....

I am not going to name this particular yarn store, but I'll tell you that it is one of my favorites, and is still one of my favorites, but this was just one bad experience, and I still encourage you to check them out. I went in to get some yarn for socks, but I came out with a healthy dose of attitude.

I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about things that are knitting related, and sock-knitting related in particular. I was definitely not treated as such today. Before I asked anything, I asked the two ladies if they were sock knitters (they were not). I have never heard sock-knitting treated so trivially as I did today. I was told that:

a) Debbie Bliss Cashmerino would be "wasted" on socks of any kind.

b) That "Unnamed Store" did not "specialize" in socks (imagine the word "socks" being used as a bad taste in one's mouth + a hefty helping of attitude).

c) That 32" circular needles were "really long" (like I had no idea).

d) That a 10" circular needle did not exist, and even if it did, it would be "totally useless" (Note: they do exist and some people love them)

There was more, but I think you get the idea. I have never come out of a yarn store feeling treated so poorly.

I was thinking about just not buying anything, but then I figured I shouldn't punish myself for their poor customer service. Argh. I hate this. Why can't people just be respectful?

I have good news as well. My Mom picked me up to go for coffee this afternoon so I could take a break from my super long essay (4500 words and counting). When she got here, she suggested a late brunch at Trafalgars (our absolute favorite lunch spot!).

We both had eggs benedict, and it was amazing, as usual.

We also had the best waitress ever (whom we have had before, and thought she was fabulous then too). Get this: SHE KNITS TOO!! So we were able to talk knitting for a little bit. If she started coming to Stitch 'n Bitch too, I might start going again. YAY, Claire!! (you should totally email me if you read this).

It's really dark now, or I'd post a pic of my new yarn. I promise a good pic update soon. I've actually been working on a simple garter stitch scarf for myself. I don't have a nice handknit scarf for myself.

Here's a random observation: The Blogger spell-checker always tries to change "knitter" to "janitor". I always have a good laugh about that!
Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How Cool Is This???

I am at the Starbucks working on a paper, and the Starbucks is 6.5 blocks from my house, and I am using my own wireless connection!! How cool is that??

I was so blown away with the range of my internet connection, that I just had to share.

So Much To Do, So Little Time

I know there has been no blogging for several days now. I've been wanting to blog, but I just haven't had the chance. Even when I do have a free moment, I don't feel like sitting at the computer. I guess that's understandable, since I've been doing so much paper writing lately. I finished my final medieval lit paper over the weekend, which involved sitting at the computer all day everyday. By the end of the week I have to be done a 15 page paper on Virginia Woolf, so it may be a few more days before I can put together a "real" blog entry.

I haven't had a chance to take any pics, partly because it's been soooo bloody foggy for the last week, and our apartment is poorly lit at the best of times. When I do get a chance to take some pics, my blog entry will be a long one, because there has been lots going on. So you can look forward to a nice long entry later this week (a should warn you, there have been several yarn purchases). I really need to get some work done on my holiday sock. I have a feeling that it is going to be a big disappointment to my sock pal, but I am doing my best. I just can't handle anything really intricate right now. On the plus side, I have picked up some goodies to go with the socks, so at least that will be good.

I should get to my paper writing now, so I can knit and blog in the near future.

For those who are curious, I have 23 days left until I am no longer a student.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

When Will It End? I Know!! 29 Days!!!

That's right! Only 29 more days to go until I am officially done school FOREVER!! Which means 29 more days of insanity (unfortunately).

I was going to work on a paper today, but I spent most of the day procrastinating. I finally sat down to work on it, read for a few minutes, then noticed my secret sock sitting beside me. The temptation was too great, and I had to pick it up. I wanted to finish picking up the stitches for the heel. Well, either knitting or school or both want to punish me, because I picked up two stitches, then got a very painful bamboo splinter in my finger. The worst part is that I can't find it! I only know that the pain is unbearable.

So, now it's 3:30, and I don't think I'm going to get very much done. It just means I have to be super productive tomorrow.

I WILL KNIT TONIGHT!!! Nothing can stop me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Believe it or not, I have been way too exhausted to do any knitting in the last few days. School is totally overwhelming!!!

I have 30 days left, as of today, which wouldn't be so bad if I just had to sit still and wait. Unfortunately, I still have two super long middle English romances to read, and a 10 - or so page paper to write for that class. For directed studies, I still have to finalize my topics and write two 15 page papers. And for PSYC, I still have 4 units (chapters with other bits) to read, and an assignment to write.

Everything but the last directed studies paper has to be finished by Nov. 30! I don't know how I'm going to do it.

The final exam for PSYC is kind of stressing me out a bit (although I'm trying not to think about it), because it's worth 50% of my final mark. I don't think I've ever had a final exam worth so much.

I'm going to work my butt off today, and try to make some progress. I have a feeling that the next two weeks are going to be the most school intensive weeks of my life.

Hopefully I will recover enough to be able to knit again.

PS. I did find some work clothes, and they look great! I can't wait to start working!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

What A Weekend....

It was a fun, but very busy weekend for us. I didn't get too much knitting done, although I did get a start on my top secret holiday sox exchange sock. It's looking really good, but I'm not gonna post any pics, 'cause it's top secret.

I got to try my hand at spinning today. It was a wheel, without a wheel, or something (if that makes any sense). I am really not good at it. We had a wonderful dinner and visit with Stu's aunt (it was her spinning wheel). We were there all afternoon and into the evening. It's nice to have a good visit with family that we don't get to see very often.

I spent the morning going through the lovely middle English romance called Ywain & Gawain. Not fun. I am totally exhausted now.

Last night we had dinner with our good friends, Mike & Carol. They made an absolutely amazing chicken curry.

I think I'm too tired for details.

Oh, one last thing.... As you all know, I am graduating in about 32 days, so I have to get some interview clothes. No luck on the clothes yet, but I found some nice black shoes. Let me know what you all think.

I'm hoping for some good knitting content soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

...Lt. Col. John Macrae

Making Progress...

Even though I have had a ton of school stuff to do, I have been making progress with my knitting. I've been trying to spend a little time each evening doing a little knitting.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I have been working on the Bolero Jacket from Debbie Bliss's new book called Simply Soft. It is done with Cashmerino Chunky (a new yarn), which is a dream to work with. It also knits up very quickly.

I started on the Bolero Jacket on the Wednesday before last (Nov. 2) while watching a hockey game, so I haven't been working on it for very long, but I've made great progress. I think the collar is going to be a pain to do, because it works close to 300 stitches.

I've finished the back, both front sides, and part of the first sleeve.

The color isn't showing perfectly, and it's actually much prettier in person. If you go to the Debbie Bliss website and look for the Simply Soft book, the Bolero Jacket is on the cover (I'm doing it in the same color that is shown there).

In other news, we finally got a chance to meet up with our friend Carol on Wednesday evening. She had traveled to China for two weeks, and had been home again for 2 weeks before we finally got to see her. It sounds like she had a great (and very busy) time, and got to visit many interesting places.

She also brought us presents!!! I am now the proud owner of a beauuutiful (real) pearl necklace. It has a black pearl and a white pearl. I wore it all day yesterday, and the clasp didn't tangle in my hair, and the pearls stayed right where they were supposed to be with no adjustments.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sock questionnaire

Ariane's put up a sock questionnaire for the Holiday Knits Sox Exchange, and I figured I'd do it before I forgot. I'm feeling a little brain dead, oh and I just remembered this very second that I was tagged with the 20 things meme.

1. What are your foot measurements?

I always make a medium. I'm a size 8-8 1/2 shoe. K, I just measured, and it's 10 inches from heel to toe, and my ankle's 8.5 around. (sorry, I'm totally scattered!)

2. Do you have a favorite sock yarn?

Not really. I like Fleece Artist, but I've never used anything else. I just got some Lorna's Laces but haven't had time to try it.

3. Is there a specific pattern you favor?...lace or ribbed?

I usually go pretty simple. The taller the better (but not freakishly tall). My feet and legs are always freezing in the winter.

4. What colors do you prefer? Do you like solids or stripes?

I like all but brown. Bright colors, neutrals, whatever. Solids and stripes are both good.

5. Do you have any allergies to a specific fiber?

No allergies, thank god!

6. Holiday that you usually celebrate?


I'm pretty easy going. My sock buddy should knit whatever they like, and I know I will just love the socks!

Oh, I'll leave you all with a pic of my Lorna's Laces sock yarn.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Slackin' On The Bloggin'

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog for the last few days. I've been knitting a bit in the evenings, but I just haven't been posting about it. I have good reasons though...

First, my camera batteries finally died, and I had to break down and recharge them. I guess it was bound to happen though, since I've been taking lots of pics with it and I haven't recharged it since June. It's a pretty amazing battery conserving camera. Ok, I know that's a lame excuse, because it only takes 6-8 hrs to charge, and I just haven't bothered to put the batteries back into the camera. On to the significantly better reasons I have not been updating...

Second, I have a final exam on Sunday at 1pm. It is in sociology, which I used to be very very good at (A- to A range), but apparently I am out of practice, and am no longer good at it. I think a big part of it is that I have never taken such a poorly put together course, and they are never very clear with what you need to know. Anyway, I got a B- on the first assignment, and a C+ on the second one. This is not like me at all!

I set aside the whole week to study, and I got everything done that I needed to last week, just so I would have time to memorize all of the terms and case studies. By the way, I think I am at least going to pass this exam, but there is still more studying to do. I've been studying from 8am until 5pm everyday this week, and it is quite exhausting. I've been almost out of knitting energy in the evenings, and I also have to get anything else I want (or need) to do done in the evenings (grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, quality cat and Stu time, etc). It doesn't leave much time for knitting or blogging.

Third, on Tuesday night, just when I was at the peak of my sociology exam stress and panic, I got a call from my Medieval Lit. tutor-marker. She's the prof's underling who has to mark all our work, and answer all of our questions. Anyway, she wanted to talk to me about my last assignment, which was a close reading from The Wife of Bath's Prologue. Now I have done close readings before (I took Romantic Poetry last spring), and I was quite the expert on them, or so I thought, since I got an A in the course. Apparently, they have a different version of a close reading, but neglected to mention this. So, I did poorly on the assignment (C- range). I DO NOT GET C MINUSES!!!! I have never had such a low mark. So there I was panicking about sociology, and just when I think things can't get any worse, they do. I had already finished the next assignment which was due on Wednesday, but she said that she would give me an extension, and that I should redo that assignment too (even though she's never seen it). She has given me an extension to Monday. And as we are all well aware of now, I have a final exam on Sunday (which she knows about). So much for a minute of down time when I finish writing the exam!

She's going to see if I can rewrite the first assignment, so I can pull my grade up. It wouldn't bother me as much if I didn't absolutely need a minimum of a C in this course to get my degree. Argh. SFU is such a retarded institution. I don't know how they expect you to do the work, if they aren't willing to tell you what they expect in the first place.

41 days left until the end of the semester, and I have to write a 6 page paper, 6 10-12 page papers, one regular assignment, and 3 final exams.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Holiday Sock Exchange? I Am So There!

While I was clicking through my usual blogs in blogland this morning, I saw that Ariane had a great idea. She is hosting a Holiday Sock Exchange. She needs anyone who wants to participate to email her by November 7th.

This is going to be lots of fun, so visit her blog for more information on the exchange.

This is a great idea for anyone who wishes Socktober lasted all year.

Edited to add:

Ariane's got 2 purdy buttons to choose from---