Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pattern recommendations for Llama yarn?

Any pattern recommendations for llama yarn that comes from my MIL's flock/herd/? I'd love to make a fitted cardigan...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why I haven't been posting (or knitting)....

Our little beans arrived on October 18, 2007 - a little early...

Introducing Cara & Liam

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Double Knitting?

I'm soliciting advice/recommendations/suggestions for very cute baby things to knit... say, for a boy *and* a girl... say, for a boy and a girl arriving (hopefully) in mid-November.... I have my eye on blue blog's girly bell bottoms, and I have my favourite Green Mountain Spinnery hat, but anything else? What would you recommend?

So, yeah, I've been SO influenced by my knitblog reading that I went out and got knocked up too. :-)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hey again and... 7 Random Things About Me

Hi there,

I know it has been a while... not sure if anyone is still out there, but anyway... I've done stranger things than write to myself. :-) So one of my reasons for lack of blog posts had something to do with all the bloody felted slippers I was knitting. I finished the last pair about a month ago (!), so I haven't had any new and exciting knitting content really. I have great plans forming for projects this summer though.

Ok, so Bryna didn't exactly tag me to do this meme, but I believe the phrase "I don't want to force anyone to do a meme if they don't want to, but if you feel like it, and you don't have anything better to blog about, consider yourself tagged" applied to me.

1. I am tone deaf. Well, I took piano lessons and then played the alto saxophone in high school and achieved a Grade 8 Conservatory level with the sax... but play by ear? No sir. I can't sing in tune to save my life. I could tell if I was playing a note sharp or flat but that was about it.

2. I can solve a Rubik's cube in under 2 minutes. In grade 4, my mom took me down to the Simpson's in downtown Toronto to take part in a Rubik's cube contest and made it to the Quarter Final Round.

3. In high school, I went through a phase of renting Alfred Hitchcock movies and that led me to see the movie, "Marnie", which in turn, led to a fixation with James Bond movies and Sean Connery, in general. (My favourite James Bond movie is "From Russia With Love".)

4. I hate my feet and I hate shoe shopping... I have size 11.5 feet and when my petite size 7-footed friends want to browse in shoe stores, it kind of drives me crazy.

5. My mom taught me to knit when I was about 7 or 8. My aunt taught me to crochet around the same time and my first non-scrap-yarn project was crocheted. At 14, I decided that I wanted to knit a sweater, so went out to Lewiscraft with my part-time job money and bought a Patons Aran pattern book and some (ack) acrylic yarn.

6. I laughed my a$$ off at Austin Powers (at least parts 1 and 2)... perhaps because of Item #3 above... and subsequently decided to throw an Austin Powers party at my house. I dressed as a Fembot. I was quite proud of making that, complete with "guns" that didn't droop.

7. My cat is named "Aston", well "Aston Martin", really because, again, see Item #3. When I picked her out at the Kingston Humane Society, she wasn't what I imagined the cool names I had thought up did not match her colouring. She was mottled grey and brown and well, there was a grey Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger and a brown Aston Martin V8 Vantage in The Living Daylights... hence, "Aston". She is a "she" and I figured that cars and ships were referred to in the feminine, but somehow people always think she is a boy because of her name.

As for who to tag, I think Bryna said it best: "I don't want to force anyone to do a meme if they don't want to, but if you feel like it, and you don't have anything better to blog about, consider yourself tagged." (Besides, I'm about the last person to have done this meme.)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

WHEW frickin' HEW!

Just got back from two days of glorious skiing in Maine in 30+ inches of fresh powder in the "Valentine's Day Blizzard of '07"... B and I had a fantastic time on Saturday in the fresh snow - there was a blue, blue sky and white, white sweet powdery snow and almost no wind. Perfect! Oh, and *no* crowds. The only thing that could have been better is my level of training prior to skiing - let's just say that I felt the burn. Yikes, surely after two days of burning thighs, they're hard as rocks?! Ho ho ho... I'll have my work cut out for me, getting ready for the next athletic venture.

In any case, I can't say enough about the happiness that comes along with an invitation to a friend's house on a ski hill that is equipped with a) a king size bed, huge duvet, and electric blanket in "our" room with a wall of windows facing the mountain, b) a toasty wood stove, c) a TV, DVD player and Season 3 of Alias, d) copious amounts of wine and decent amount of beer, e) lots of mushroom lasagna, f) wasabi almonds (have you tried these from TJ's?), and f) great company. All in all, a fantastic Valentine's slash Birthday weekend. :-)) Hope y'all in blogland had a great weekend too. Isn't winter fabulous?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is having a slightly happier-than-average day, today. It might be a manufactured holiday of sorts, but I was due to be born on Valentine's Day and ended up with a birthday the day after V-day, so this occasion is a favourite of mine.

Boston got the non-blizzard today - a couple of inches of snow followed by sleet for the last few hours. I'm working from home and contemplating some more snow clearing soon. Granted, I already have had a few distractions from work today (clearly, I'm currently blogging). B is headed home sick from work this afternoon (Boooo!) but my class tonight has been cancelled, so I'll be able to take care of him. Also takes the pressure off me not quite having finished my 200 pages of reading for the week.... and we can just hang out under a blankie on the couch - what is better than that?

Since the pictures I posted the other day were only *some* of the recent FFOs (felted finished objects) - here are some more FAFOs (felted almost finished objects).... yep, almost felted - where have I heard that expression before?

So, first we have Women's size 9 (unfelted) slippers in purple for Angela de Montreal and next we have Men's size 12 (unfelted and freaking huge family feet) slippers in blue for my B-I-L Paul in Toronto...

Lest you think I'm done with the felted slipper extravaganza, I have this:

Sorry for the blurriness - Patons Classic Wool Merino for my great Aunt "Jean". She taught me how to knit and crochet when I was about 5 or 6 and whenever she came over she actually brought craft projects for me to do. She has been having a crummy couple of years with breast cancer followed by a recurrence of cancer in her bladder. She lives far away, in London, Ontario and I definitely don't get to see her that often. Her condition has improved of late, and I thought I might send her some slippers.
Cascade 220 in black for my ahem, little 15 yo nephew (he's 6'2")... did I mention he wears a Men's 13? Yes, he's definitely related. *sigh*
More Cascade 220 - Heathers and Quattro (hopefully they'll felt evenly knit together) - for my llama-loving and llama-raising M-I-L.

Plus... some Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille for a couple of facecloth thank you gifts...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Catch up and some pictures posted...

Okay, high pressure knitting projects have mostly ceased - for now. Just to catch you up - made an insane number of Fiber Trends felted clogs as Christmas gifts this year. Here is a sample:

I call these: "The Jaime"

My sister-in-law is artsy and wears clothes in chartreuse, orange, brown, lemon yellow, well, you get the idea. Used Cascade 220, no mods to the Fiber Trend Felted Clog pattern. Women's size 7.5.

"The Cathy" - These were for my sister in Toronto and made in a colour to match her eyes... okay, not sure why I'd choose making slippers that matched someone's eyes - I guess I just decided that she liked the colour. These were made in Lite Lopi that I picked up on sale at Fabric Place. The saleslady assured me that these would felt well - indeed they felted - it's just... well, they're rather *furry*... Women's size 10, no mods to the pattern.

"The Valerie" - These clogs in light pink and dark purple are for my 13 year old niece, Valerie. She seems to be outgrowing them right away... yikes. Anyway, used Cascade 220, no mods to the pattern, women's size 7.

"The Stripo" - For my dad (nickname - Stripo - origin was in the early 80s and it stuck), these are also in Lite Lopi (bought on sale with the green single ply yarn above) and are quite fuzzy. Men's size 12. (Have you noticed - my family - those related, have HUGE feet?)

Over New Year's, we visited my family in Toronto and had quite a delightful New Year's eve. We played games, ate two-year cake,

(the top tier of our wedding cake from July 2004... it had been stored in my sister's freezer since then and we missed eating it on our 1st wedding anniversary - we were in Tulsa - amazingly, the marzapan exterior nicely protected the chocolate cake interior from tasting 2.5 yrs old. :-))

....and some fresh cake as well

(This was a surprise - my sister ordered a cake to celebrate Brendan's graduation on New Year's Eve... we toasted with - get this - Carl Jung (Non-alcoholic) Sparkling "Wine"... not sure how my sister found that one, but we all got a good chuckle out of it.)

Other than that... had a great day - starting out with my first yoga class in a downward dog's age, then breakfast with friends, discovery of a new place to do grocery shopping that was phenomenal, some laundry and some homework.... and B gets home late tonight from Portland - the left coast one.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What's up with the Nomad?

Dear Almost Felted,

Hey hey hey,

Thanks again for the recommendations… I found Sugar & Cream at a store in our local “Square” in our Belmont neighbourhood – it is called “Ben Franklin” and is like a cross between a Five and Dime, a (tiny) Joann’s and a tiny Kmart. They sell Lion Brand yarns, Bernat, some Patons, and Sugar n' Cream but also have needles, stitch holders, thread, quilting supplies, etc. (Not to mention, ugly crafty stuff, baking dishes, greeting cards, snow shovels, wrapping paper, and candy too!) Much better than driving an hour to get to a Walmart (one of the best things about Boston – it’s hard to find a Walmart!). I googled around and found some seed stitch patterns that I thought were possibly cute (for a second house)… I settled on patterns for the state of Maine, a moose head, and a star pattern. I’ll wrap those three up with some soap from Restoration Hardware and I’ll be set.

Turns out that I had some Cotton Chenille ( Crystal Palace ) knit up into these stuffed bears I was making while in Tulsa but stopped and got hung up on the embroidery skills required to stitch the face… Those were too far along (and partially sewn) to frog, so I tried Woolcott in Harvard sq – they had it in but had bizarre colours, then tried Wild & Woolly and found it there.. Still couldn’t find it in white but found a nice buttercup colour and a soft orange.

Oh, and almost done some felted slippers I started on Friday….



p.s. I have since learned from a coworker (I might note that various coworkers over the last 9 years have been responsible for most of my knowledge about the quirks of New England and the U.S. in general) that Ben Franklin is actually a chain...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nomadic Wanderings

This post is coming to you from "Shades of Brown" in Tulsa. We arrived yesterday afternoon for our little long weekend graduation trip. I'm looking forward to a small-ish yarn crawl to String, er, Fringe and to Loops (evil, but cool concept store competition) with my M-I-L tomorrow. The in-laws flight was delayed 8 HOURS today, so we'll have to amend our plans slightly. Behind on my Christmas knitting...

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Hmm, it seems that felting and blogging about felting concurrently is not a good idea for myself (even though my computer was 2 feet away from the washing machine in the kitchen)... only by dumb luck did I end up with a perfect size 7 women's slipper for my 13 yo niece. The first cycle ran through and then suddenly I heard spinning, stopped the machine, checked the slippers (which were still a size 10) and reset the washer. Next thing I knew, I noticed that the washer wasn't running at all - the water had already drained out, so apparently, I can be totally oblivious to my surroundings. When I checked the slippers after the second cycle, they were a perfect size 7. Yay!

I was a lot more careful about timing and setting a timer the first and second time around for this pattern but I caught on to the fact that checking the slippers after 10 minutes was much too soon to expect them to be done. I also figured that since I'm right here, again, TWO feet from the washing machine that I might, oh, say, notice the ambient noise.


I'm back, picture-less for now (bo-ring, sorry)... Thanks for all the tips on the bargain shopping, I've passed along those "hints" to B and now I can't wait for Christmas morning. :-)

The felted slipper count:

  • 2 pairs knitted & felted (DONE) - 1 in Cascade 220, 1 in LiteLopi (big mistake using that Lopi for felting, incidentally)
  • 2 pairs knitted only - 1 in Cascade 220, 1 in LiteLopi
  • 1 pair knitted but seams not sewn - Cascade 220
  • 1 pair knitted and IN THE WASHING machine (hmm, hope Cascade 220 is colourfast*)
  • 3 pairs to go (wind the yarn, knit, sew, and felt)
  • Am I insane to be thinking about this? ("this" was going to be a link to Fabric Place's 25% off everything sale Dec 1-6, i.e., right now) Why is blogger not uploading pictures for me right now?

Anyway, while I like the Cascade 220, one of the reasons I considered the LiteLopi was because I'd save time not having to wind the yarn into balls from hanks. Does this make me lazy? I suppose this will become a moot point should my Christmas wish come true.

Oh, so now the ingenious part of this post... I was lamenting that my gift-knitting of felted slippers was difficult because even if I surreptitiously discovered my relatives & friends shoe sizes I would not know the exact size or when to stop the felting process. A lady at work suggested buying ODOR EATERS and using that as a guide since they have tracings of women's 5 through 10. Isn't that the best idea? You clever readers probably already figured that out or knew about it but I hadn't yet and it just struck me as a brilliant solution.

* Why YES, I *should* know better and have tested my light pink and dark purple colour combination before going to town on my niece's slippers, but well... what can I say?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Any bargain hunters out there?

'Need some advice from blogland. I'm "hinting" that I might like a ball winder and swift for Christmas and am trying to point B in the right direction. I know that Joann's used to offer 40 or 50% coupons when you shopped online but that doesn't seem to be the deal these days. Joann's current "sale" price for a wooden (birch) swift is $45 and $40 for a ball winder. Is that competitive? Are the products durable or chintzy? Any other vendors for these products? Any and all advice welcome!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hello again!

Yes, I've been a very bad knitblogger - 2.5 months away, by my count... I've whittled down the 800 unread posts for my 31 subscription feeds in Bloglines down to 363 left unread over the last couple of days. I've been trying to go back to everyone's September archive posts and get caught up - eesh! I've missed so much. I didn't go to Rhinebeck but enjoyed reading about it (again). It looks like I missed a very good time - maybe next year.

Let me try to recap the big highlights from the last couple of months:

  • B successfully completed and defended his dissertation - graduation is in 3 weeks (in Tulsa) but I've already been calling him "Doctor",
  • I've been at my "new" job (almost 3 months now) - when I started, our group had 40 people and it is now down to 31. That is a result of 6 layoffs and 3 people quitting, one of the quitters being the head of the group and the guy who recruited me.
  • Work has been slow (the billable kind anyway), which makes my remaining coworkers and I nervous about filling out our timesheets and who will be next...
  • A certain technological institute let me know that I did not get the job I had been trying for (after 5 months of interviews and being shortlisted in the final round),
  • A new coworker (coincidentally) *did* get the job - he would be 1 of the 3 that left,
  • I'm taking a class this term in something that could, eventually, lead to a career change,
  • We're unpacked and partially decorated,
  • We've entertained more overnight guests in the last 4 months than we have in the previous 2 years,
  • I managed to catch a 25% everything sale at Fabric Place, and (as a result)
  • I'm knitting (trying to knit) an obscene number of felted slippers for family/loved ones this Christmas in between more baby caps.
Today is the day after "Thanksgiving" - sorry, I'm canadian and even though I live in the U.S. and have been here for 9 years, it still doesn't feel like the real Thanksgiving. That's back in October. Oh, and while I'm on the topic, today is my 9th anniversary being in the U.S. My, how time flies. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, today is the day after Thanksgiving and I've just PUT MY TREE UP! I'm so excited - it's the first tree I've had up in 3 years. I moved to Tulsa for a year and we were going to be away for 4 weeks around Christmas, then B & I moved to New Haven and our place was far too small to contemplate an 8 ft tree (no, there's no middle ground. ;-)) ... so *finally*, this year, my first tree since Christmas 2003. I'm loving it. Our place smells like pine and the decorations are glittering in the light. Ahh, my favourite time of year. Now for some hot apple cider....

Hope everyone is doing well this holiday season and hope to get caught up on all your blogs soon,


p.s. And I haven't been going out to any Stitch n' Bitch groups in Boston either - just really trying to juggle work, class, homework, seeing friends now that I'm back in Boston, and well... life. I still want to go out to Knitsmiths since that seems like a fine group of talented ladies but the Sunday afternoon meeting time is remarkably inconvenient.

p.p.s. Any guesses on the date of the first snowfall?? (in Boston... that stays on the ground)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm still here...

Turns out that the last couple of weeks have been busy - starting a job again, having my sister's family come and stay with us for a few days, Brendan being knee-deep in dissertation and starting his post-doc... things are going well though - no complaints. We'll both be happy once this "Big D" is done, no doubt.

So ok, even though I've been busy, I have been knitting... and, to some extent, trying to stay up to date on y'alls bloglife... just not updating my own. Here are 2 recent FOs:

Felt Clogs
Pattern: Fiber Trends, Designed by Bev Galeskas
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Colour "4002"
Needles: Addi Turbo 9 mm, 60 cm circular
Gauge: 9 sts = 4 in./10 cm
Mods: None
Special Notes: My first felted project!

I LOVED knitting this pattern and creating these slippers. The construction of the clog was fascinating to me and it was a really easy-to-follow pattern. I have desperately wanted to make these for about 5 years or so and just hadn't gotten around to it. I intended to make this first pair for me, but I think they are a tad small and may go to my mum under the Christmas tree since her feet are a tad smaller than mine. I do plan on making more for all my loved ones, so let's hope that they're as enchanted with these as I am. Since I started on a women's size 10 pair, I can't wait to work on more delicate sizes for my small-footed friends, niece, and nephews. :-) (And yes, the size 10 is too small for me...)

Now, is it just me, or do these two clogs look slightly different from one another?? I mean, I guess it is possible that I could have messed one up while knitting it if I wasn't paying attention... but could it be uneven felting? They seemed to be felting unevenly during the process even though they were both in the same zippered mesh bag in the washing machine.

Cap's Hat

Pattern: Green Mountain Spinnery, Designed by Cap Sease
Yarn: Cotton Fleece, 80% Cotton, 20% Merino Wool in Malibu Blue
Needles: Clover Bamboo 3.75 mm DPNs
Gauge: 5 sts. = 1 in.
Mods: None
Notes: Cute, fast baby hat

I whipped up one of these hats in a 18-30 month size for my friend's boy, Kian. Then, I made a newborn 0-6 month size (shown here) because I know that I'll need (another) one eventually. This pattern was intended for Cotton Comfort by Green Mountain Spinnery (80% organic cotton, 20% wool), but a recent new yarn store adventure uncovered an owner unwilling to carry anything organic because of some weevil or other.... anyway, he suggested the Cotton Fleece instead and I wasn't disappointed. Colour selection was good and the feel of the yarn is softer than the Cotton Comfort. Incidentally, speaking of YS owner's opinions - he was not a fan of the Cascade 220 or, at least, didn't prefer it because he stated that it was skimpy compared to other worsted weight yarns. I had only heard great things about Cascade 220, specifically related to felting, and from someone with tonnes of experience. Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I quite liked the yarn and would work with it again, but may check out another worsted at some point, strictly out of curiosity and dedication to the scientific method.

By the way, the baby shower went well and the blanket was duly appreciated by the mom-to-be. Of course, the baby hat (similar to the one shown above) got almost the same number of "oohs" and "aaahs" but why think about *that*?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Craziness is Over

I've finally finished the *&$(@ baby blanket in Sandnes Mandarin Petit Egyptian Cotton...
Of course, after two parties today I'll have to finish and block the darn thing before the baby shower tomorrow... but still... "done".

I've been a little lazy on the finishing tasks and instead decided to buy some Cascade 220 at long last and make my first felted objects. I've been dying to make felted clog/slippers for about 8 years, so here I am, finally getting around to it. Granted, I haven't completed the second sole on these babies yet, but they knit up soooo fast (imagine, after using 3mm needles and that ridiculous cotton for 3 months that I'd think worsted on 9mms wouldn't knit up fast)... and the engineer in me loves the construction of these things... I'm far more in love with these than I was with those horrid first socks of mine. I have to admit my bias toward chunkier yarn and "warm", "cozy" knitting projects. I know, I know, not as technically impressive but I like what I like. (Probably why I'm not that intrigued or excited by the lace craze going on currently.)

I better run - I've got a couple of parties to go to today and the aforementioned blocking to take of... oh, and I have to mentally prepare for my new job on Monday morning. :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Other stuff I've been up to... I've written a "nice" letter to Merrell about their hiking boots and I explained that even though I'm past the 1 yr warranty, I think wearing the boots once and having the sole come off completely warrants a judgement of defective workmanship... I'll keep you posted about what I hear back. (The letter accompanied the boots themselves.) I had to call them first to get an authorization number for the boots to be sent back - let me just say that the customer representative was NOT encouraging at all and she was downright exasperated that I should try to complain about these boots when they were so "old".

Ok, I *have* been making progress around the house as well... I know that we just celebrated our *2nd* anniversary, but we only picked up our wedding pictures last Christmas while we were in Toronto (and we moved again in June). We decided that, instead of putting the pics away in an album that we might not look at all that often, that we'd put them up. As you can see, we haven't hung anything on the wall yet...
The back porch has been GREAT to read on lately - the temperatures are finally reasonable. :-) I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books (if you've noticed them racking up on the sidebar lately) because friends of ours told us about a theory predicted for the final book. It involves a central character and I wanted to look back for clues. Dorky, I know.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Baby Blanket progress

...unfortunately, this is a really poor photo - I'll have to turn the flash off and try again, but I think you can get the detail if you enlarge the photo. This blanket in Mandarin Petit is on 3 mm needles, so this has taken me a good while to get this far. Good news is that I'm almost done (it's a blanket meant for a car seat).

I've snapped some more pics of our new place...

So, here's the outside of the house from the sidewalk, in front of our carport.... we have the first floor of this two-family...

So next is our sun porch - kinda hot to be using right now, but I think it'll be great in more moderate summer weather and in the fall and the spring.

And, finally (for now), here is our back porch minus flower boxes but including our new little potted hydrangea bush.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hiking in the White Mountains

I promised a blog entry on Brendan's and my hike last Saturday - and there is no knitting in this one, just some Murphy's law moments. So, it all started back in 2003 (no, really) when Wild Women Outfitters was having a sale... they had beautiful Merrell Chameleon Hiking boots in SIZE 11 (yes, I wear an 11 and it is sooooo frickin' hard to find stuff in my size that fits and might even be on sale)... so, of course, I had to buy these. Ok. Have hiking boots. Fantastic. Great. Although, at this point, Brendan and I had just gotten engaged and I was moving to Tulsa... fantastic but no need for hiking boots out there. Still - no problem... we're GOING to hike when we're back near the mountains, so not an issue. I just stored these babies in my shoe closet(s) in their box. So far, so good. I could wait to use them for the first time. Well, fast forward to last weekend when, despite the high heat and humidity, we decide that wouldn't it be nice for us to go hike up a mountain together and break in my 'new' (never-been-worn) boots? Excellent. We decide on this:

Mount Pemigewassett TrailThe Mount Pemigewassett Trail climbs to the summit of Mount Pemigewassett, a 2,500-foot peak at the southern end of Franconia Notch. The climb is a good one for children, since it’s never very steep. The views from the top are excellent, and the combination of stream crossings and rocks in the forest make for an interesting walk.

Fine. Great. Looks good, right? Well, we had checked out a map but cheaped out on buying a new White Mountain Guide when Brendan had a perfectly good one... somewhere (probably back at his parent's house since he hasn't hiked in the Whites since high school)... so we figure, we've looked at the map and the trail and it's this suitable-for-children hike that is no problem... we'll just do this one hike and then next time we visit the 'rents, we'll pick up the Trail guide for our *next* trip. That was a mistake. Here's what we ended up climbing because we unwittingly parked 100 yds too far, in the wrong parking lot (and followed the "Pemi Trail" which is NOT, the Pemigewassett Trail, even though they're trail heads are very near each other):

Mount Flume Trail

The White Mountain Guide has this to say about the Flume Slide on the Mount Flume Slide Trail: "It is an extremely steep, rough trail, with polished rock slabs that are extremely slippery when wet (and they are nearly always wet, due to the many seep springs on these steep slopes). It is not recommended for descent and its use is discouraged in wet weather when the ledges are more than ordinarily dangerous." It is a 4,328 ft peak, with an elevation gain of 3,700 ft from the trailhead.

For those that might enjoy a topo map, check this out:

We followed that black line... notice that we didn't *quite* make it to the top before we turned around. Seriously, I've been gym rock climbing before and this was what we were doing near the top - it wasn't a vertical wall, but it was a steep angle of sheer rock face where we had to grab hold of whatever we could and try to fit our feet on tiny ledges... and it was wet rock. Oh, and there were black flies (or some close cousin) that were biting like crazy while I needed to keep my hands and feet clutched to rock.

Ok, so we turn around and we're hiking back. Yes, it's still 90+ with 80% humidity... no problem... we're trudging along and when we've got 1 mile to go, I look down and my brand new boots feel funny:

Brendan suggested tying the laces around the sole so I could finish the hike (notice that the sole is still connected at the toe)... and that pretty much worked although I had to drag my foot so that the sole wouldn't come off.
The hike *felt* good - I mean, I felt like we had an exciting day and I felt like I had actually resumed exercising which I haven't done in a while... but my challenge now is to see if Merrell will back up their products and replace my boots. Wish me luck.

p.s. This is me - filthy, bitten to pieces, and favouring my right foot but finally arriving at the paved parking lot. Hallelujah.


Monday, July 31, 2006

Disaster strikes...

... dear B's laptop (on which he has been feverishly writing his dissertation and analysing data) crashed yesterday. A serious, serious crash. Blue screen of death? Not even... if we were lucky, we could *get* the blue screen of death up. It was just a black DOS screen with a "disk error", and "press ctrl-alt-del to reboot with system disk"... Nasty. Completely nasty.

He has moved houses no fewer than 5 times since starting his PhD (and buying his laptop), including moving cross-country not once but twice, and has lost his original Windows XP software CD. So, we borrowed his parent's copy so we could have a recovery disk with which to re-boot the system. I had the honour of trying to re-boot the system by CD but it just wasn't working. Some DOS commands (when I miraculously managed to get a prompt) showed that "dir" and "cd" commands were coming up with errors - probably a sign that the hard drive had been wiped.

We ended up REFORMATTING his hard drive.

He is in the middle of writing his dissertation... you can imagine what the guy is going through currently. Anyway, when we went to re-install Windows, it asked for a serial number and we entered it off the CD sleeve but it is giving us an error... don't tell me we have to re-purchase Windows?!? Oh, I forgot to mention that it DOES appear that he has all his data and his writing backed up. (Happy Dance - all things considered, anyway) He is concerned now with the missing (original) software and losing time to all this. What a mess.

Anyway, just wanted to give the update in my rock'n'roll life.

In other news:

Knitting is going fine but egyptian cotton baby blanket project deadline moved up to late August because of scheduling of baby shower (baby is due in October)....

My M-I-L will be selling llama yarn and I will likely be giving her a hand. Her latest batch from this year's shearing will be mixed with Merino. I'm not sure of the details yet, but I'll pass those along when I get them. :-)

We went for a 6 hour, 9 mile hike up to 4,000+ ft in Franconia Notch State Park on Saturday. Did we set out to do this? Not exactly. I need to do a full post on this little trip of ours. Later. First, we must fix the computer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Domicile, Part I

I've made some progress on the Sandnes blankie, but not enough to take another photo... I was able to get some of it done yesterday while watching Pride & Prejudice (note the ampersand) on DVD. Yes, the Pride & Prejudice production that thought it adequate to *use* an ampersand in the title... of course, I'm referring to the non-BBC, non-Colin Firth, non-Jennifer Ehle, non-pond swimming scene Pride & Prejudice. The Keira Knightley version. Ugh. Granted, cutting four hours out of the adaptation will cause the movie to suffer, but still... ugh. I'm just glad I had knitting there to soothe me as I scoffed at Keira Knightley's "acting". Don't get me wrong - she was good in Bend It Like Beckham, she even wasn't too bad in Love Actually even though that was a crappy movie, and I confess that I'm one of the four people on earth who hasn't seen Pirates of the Carribean - the first or the second - but I may cave on that one. But Pride & Prejudice? No. Ok, so I digress... not a lot of knitting content there and verging on rant... I went to my first stitch and bitch in the boston area last night - tried out the arlington group and had a good time. Thanks, of course, to Lauren for connecting Kristin and I as recent transplants to Boston. Incidentally, Kristin and I have decided that Lauren knows EVERYONE. Everyone, everywhere. Seriously, that woman is connected.

Pardon the slight disorganization (but seriously, that's as good as it's going to get for now... er, at least until Friday when my mom and dad are showing up from Toronto...), but this is our new living room. It is still a work in progress - we will hang things on the wall when we're done with the other rooms and we've still got two rooms left to go. Three, if you include the indoor porch at the front of the house (on the other side of those far living room windows). Notice my mobile knitting bag (as opposed to my "KNITTING BAG" which is an extra large, er, two extra large LL Bean totes that serve as my stash/WIP storage) strewn on the couch to the left.

And our very boring bathroom.

Ok, so these are boring pictures... I haven't figured out how to take a flattering picture of the kitchen yet - it is great - it's just a difficult room for a picture due to one super long counter... Oh, and then there's the fact that it is Dissertation Central currently. Brendan has boxes of stuff - files full of data actually - and his laptop at the kitchen table and is going to town. As for our bedroom, it is too boring to take a photo - I'll have to wait until there are things on the wall.

So, the dining room and the "office" (a.k.a. second bedroom) are complete disasters. I'm looking to make some serious progress before my parents get here. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Self-Striping Disaster of Ought Six

...also known as: my first pair of socks. Formerly known as: ill turned-out baby sweater for my friend's baby, Kian.

Now, I was pleased to successfully finish my first pair of socks (VK Fall 2002) - don't get me wrong. However, I think my Regia self-striping / self-patterning days are over. Perhaps I just picked a bad colourway - I've certainly seen other Regia or similar sock yarn knit up in much cuter patterns than these. Nevermind, I've learned a new skill - I can knit socks now. That's the important thing. Technically, I did start these socks before the "Summer of Socks" kicked off, so I will have to knit at least one more pair this summer... my goal was first to learn how to knit socks, then to learn better ways to construct socks... I'm intrigued by the single circular/magic loop, toe-up, kitchener stitch bind-off construction but I may need to try out a two circular needle sock in between the basic model (top-down, heel flap) and the deluxe (toe-up baby).

So, amidst the moving and the cleaning and the teary goodbyes (don't get me started on how much I'm going to miss the New Haven SnB crowd), I have been doing a little bit of knitting... this is my progress on the Norwegian Sandnes baby blanket in egyptian cotton. (I have to keep reminding myself that it is, indeed, egyptian cotton so that I don't tell myself that I was crazy to pick this yarn to create a blanket)

Our new place is coming together but we've hit a lull in our set-up progress... we're acquiring a couple of pieces of furniture soon-ish, so hopefully that will spur on things like picture hanging and office organizing. :-)

In recent llama news: I've finished the reversible cable scarf but owe pictures and I have news that my M-I-L got *another* llama recently. Apparently, it is a 4 yr old boy llama that plays and rough-houses with the baby boy llama and they have a famous time together. (All the other llamas are older and/or girl llamas so the addition of the younger male is apparently a good thing for the herd. er.. pack? ...herd?)

Friday, June 30, 2006


Well, we're getting there... for one thing, I'm currently updating my blog at HOME - yes, friends, I have a new internet FiOS (fibre optic service) connection after a 7 HOUR installation today. Long story. Anyway, it and my new landline are working, so I'm thrilled. Of course, since I had all that time today during the installation, I've been able to unpack and set up quite a bit... things are looking pretty good even if I haven't located the dvd or tv remotes yet.

Kitty is liking the plethora of window ledges on *four* walls of the house and a whole screened-in porch to herself when I keep the front door open. I might add that indoor spayed kitty was quite popular last night - I went out for two hours from 8-10 pm and kept kitty on the porch - when I returned there was one orange tabby just parked outside on the exterior porch stairs, and a *second* black and white sylvester cat nosing around the bushes beneath the porch windows.

Still no pictures, but soon....

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


"Where are we? Well, that depends who you ask. Collectively, you could say that we're in a state of purgatory... only without the gnats, the unbaptized babies and the good guide." -Brendan

Tonight is my last New Haven Stitch n' Bitch and then I'm angling for a visit for my last New Haven pizza... for a while. After spending the day luxuriating in our 1,100 sq. ft. palace yesterday and enlarging my ecological footprint by running the dishwasher and washing machine constantly, I've got our kitchen and bathroom in good shape. More than I can say about the state of our New Haven lovenest, er, closet, er, apartment. It's mostly empty but I'm finding the last 6 boxes the hardest to pack (!?). Despite my uber-cleaning yesterday, I managed to sit down and knit for a couple mini-breaks and have made some progress on that devilish egyptian cotton blankie. No pictures until the weekend! Home internet and phone hook-up don't happen till Friday, so I'm truly nomadic this week. I can't believe that I've moved 3 times in the last 2.5 yrs.... now you can understand the name of the blog, huh?

Gotta run and talk to one or both of these recruiters calling and perhaps the contact at the job I really want....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekend Update

Move. Successful. We actually got done early (everything unloaded in Boston by 7:30 Saturday night)... back in New Haven overnight... back to Boston in the morning... back to New Haven Wednesday.... lots of cleaning and scrubbing in the next few days.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Ok, here's the scoop. I.Move.Tomorrow. TOMORROW. I'm so not ready yet and have absolutely no excuse for this state of affairs. I did get about 28 hrs notice for a job interview on Wednesday, so spent yesterday up in Boston... but still, I could be further along right now.

I barely slept last night - I tossed and turned thinking about my interview and second-guessing my answers and my overall assessment that it went well. I went over and over the things I should have added or made more clear... seriously, why do I do this? Of course, I also tossed and turned thinking about getting the last of the apartment packed up today. In the there's-nothing-I-can-do-about-it-now department, I need to stop procrastinating and get organizing.

So, while I have a pair of finished socks and a recently revived egyptian cotton baby blanket to blog about, I will have no photos until... ? next week ? ... perhaps longer actually... since we won't have internet installed at the new place until *next* Friday...

p.s. Do you ever just blank out and forget things that you know you know? Well, could someone tell me something that I should remember... do you still have to park your C: drive before moving a desktop?

p.p.s. I would do very poorly on a cognitive assessment right about now.

p.p.p.s. Jessica, we found 2 college students to help us move our boxes into the truck here in New Haven and they're charging $12/hr... if they're good, I'll pass on their info in case you want to save your parent's the hard labour. :-)

p.p.p.p.s. I think I'm totally blocking out the fact that my dad went in for a bone scan yesterday to see if he has cancer, after having radiation on some small liver tumours they found last year.