March 31st, 2005 - Cheering Myself Up

Ok, I am a bit sad tonight. TJ is in California. missbedora is in Dryden. And because last night my illness "thing" decided to give me a blinding headache, I missed this. Yup, Steph's book signing at Lettuce. And Penelope. And Champagne. And Chocolate. *sniff*. It figures that tonight I feel better. This is a good thing, but why couldn't I have felt better last night? Ah well. My concern is that since I cannot make it to Lettuce until Saturday (damn work) that all the copies of the book will be gone. This feels much like someone's fear that if you miss a SnB that all the yarn will somehow be free. Or that a truck driver will drive by with chocolate/coffee/money/yarn and have an accident and decide to give away the truck contents for free, and because you are not there, you will miss all the fun. Except I did miss all the fun. Damn flu. ~trying to be glad that I am better now~

To counteract my above rant, here is a picture of an orchid that I took at SOOS this year. I am still working on getting them all posted on another page

But to make me feel truly better, a birthday tribute to my darling Mom.

When I was a baby, my aunt (who was quite the hippy) did an astrological assessment of what I would be like as a person. This hung out in a closet until I was about 17, and I found it when digging around for something else. It was very close to dead on, and the neatest line was that I would always be close with my Mom, but it would really develop into a friendship when I was older. This is so very true. My Mom is without a doubt the most amazing woman that I have ever known. Mom is brilliant. She scored the highest marks EVER in her college diploma program, which she took when I was in high school and for which she was the ONLY female in the course. Geez, she even tutored some of the guys. Mom is fantastically strong in such a teeny tiny little package. She could easily throw me across the room. Mom is a great shoulder to cry on, and I have used it many times. Mom is stubborn (this is a good thing, as it consistently reminds me that we are related). Mom is "cool". All my friends love her and consider her an extension of their own families. But most of all, Mom is one of my best friends. We may have had the odd time my teenaged years when heads butted, but this was rare and always ended quickly. As I have gotten a little older I have grown to appreciate how much Mom has helped me become the person that I am, the person that she is, and that I don't know what I would do without her. I am going to need her more then even in the next little while as we try to plan a wedding, in the islands, in 5 months. Yikes. It is amazing how my aunt couldn't have been more right about us. Happy (late!) Birthday Mommy, and thanks for being you.

Ok, I feel better now.

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March 30th, 2005 - Design Bug

Thank you everyone for your well wishes for me. I am feeling much better, with just a headache and some muscle pain left. By tomorrow, I will be just like new. Then I shall be able to get back to my regularly scheduled knitting.

I worked last night on trying to design the front of my Princess De sweater, but I was having a little trouble working out the chart. I would like the cables to feed out of the 2 x 2 ribbing at the bottom, like they do on this part of the sleeve, and I would like to have them look something like this:

Except, you know, not crappy, and actually symmetrical. I have 48 rows to work with, so armed with this beautiful little diagram, (drawn at 6am) I will try again tonight. It really shouldn't be that tough; I am blaming it on my headache.

I am going to say nothing about the lovely spring weather that we are having, for fear that I may scare it away. But I did drive with the sunroof open in the car yesterday. In my defence I was trying to get some Vitamin D to help me feel better. Yeah. That's it.

Tune in tomorrow for a slightly belated birthday tribute to my Mom. No, I didn't forget her birthday, it was on a Saturday so I didn't get a chance to post about it. She's an amazing woman - hey, she puts up with me!

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March 28th, 2005 - Flu

For the first time in literally 20 years, I have the flu. Friday night my stomach started, but it wasn't really anything out of the ordinary for me. But by the time I got home from my Mom's on Saturday, I knew I was not well. Yesterday was the nausea, fever, chills sweating day. Today I am better, but still home from work. I hope this ends soon, because I am too tired to knit.

Thank you everyone for your San Francisco yarn ideas. The Kyoto Artfibers yarn was exactly what I was thinking of. Now I just have to pick a colour.

Ung.....I am going back to bed. Hope no one else is suffering with this!

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March 24th, 2005 - Good Grief

Is it ever going to stop snowing? Guh. I really hope that this is the last hoorah. Meh.

Last night at the SnB I laughed harder then I have laughed in months. I think at one point the east side of the room thought that the west side of the room had lost their minds. I am not even totally sure what it was we were laughing about, but all I know is that my stomach muscles hurt this morning. Thanks Ladies!

In amongst all this chuckling, I just about finished the second sleeve for Princess De

This means that I am finally at the point where I am going to start designing the cabling for the front. The original sweater has a staghorn type cable up the centre, but I am tossed up between doing something like this, or having a traveling set of cables similar to what is on the arms. Thoughts?

Since TJ is leaving me all by myself, the dear has offered to go into any yarn shop in San Francisco, Oakland, or Richmond CA and get me anything I want. You heard me right, and yes ladies, he is taken. So, if any of you were traveling to, or live in this area, where would you go? I would like to get something that I can only get in that area. I seem to remember someone telling me about a brand of yarn that you can only get in San Francisco, any ideas? Remember, he is offering. :)

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March 23rd, 2005 - Fur Yarn??

I am still plugging away at the second sleeve of Princess De. I am done 5 repeats of the cable with 2 and a half to go. Look at Monday's picture if you want to see what it looks like *wink*

Yesterday I read Jenna's very interesting post on Paula Lishman. I remember learning about Bill (the gentleman who taught the geese to fly with the plane, inspiring the movie for which I cannot remember the name) and Paula in high school, as they lived close to my town. Paula is a knitwear designer, but no ordinary knitwear. She knits with fur. We ran a charity fashion show at my HS and she lent to us a sweater and a dress completely made out of knit fur. To this day I still think that they were two of the most incredible garments I have ever seen. And once while shopping in Port Perry with my Mom (I think) we popped into her shop, and I remember seeing a baby bunting bag, again knit out of fur.

An aside - I realize that there are some people that will have an ethical issue with this. I figure since I already have leather shoes and Birks, and I eat meat, that I can't really have a moral issue with fur. Trapping is as regulated, if not more, then the leather or meat industry. Still, I am sorry if this bothers anyone.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when reading Jenna's post to see that Paula actually sells the fur yarn. The prices range from $1.50 to $3.00 a gram, so it is of course pricey, but could you imagine just a tiny little bit of fur at the sleeve edges and neck of the right sweater? Or around the top of a felted pair of clogs? It would be beautiful. There are even some pictures of garments that Paula's customers have made on her page.

Just something interesting and different for your blogging pleasure.

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March 22nd, 2005 - Books

The wonderful Toronto Public Library called me last week to let me know that I had a couple of books available that I had put on hold.

I figure that I am going to use these (mostly the Starmore one) to help me design the front of my Princess De sweater. The pictures are a riot (there is even a fullet in one of them) but the charts and patterns are of course, classic. I am still plugging along on the second sleeve, and should be done by Thursday.

Next week it turns out that I am going to have lots of time to knit. TJ is going to California for work, so things will be very quiet, not to mention lonely, around here. I am planning ahead by doing all the cleaning this week, and making small little meals for myself that I am putting in the freezer. Otherwise I know I won't cook. All this time along though will mean that I should definitely get the front of Princess De done next week. Yippee!

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March 21st, 2005 - Whew!

Long time no chat, I have missed you all! I had a great week with my niece and nephew, but I am completely exhausted. We swam, went to Casa Loma and the CN Tower, swam, went to the Rainforest Cafe, spent hours at the Science Centre, swam, saw Robots, went to the bookstore, swam, and basically tried to wear them out any way that we could. They have an incredible amount of energy for such small little bodies. Kudos to all the people out there that are parents - there is no way I could ever do this full time.

In the last week we have had a ton of car time, so I managed to get the sleeve for Princess De done

Crummy picture but there is a centre cable that will go to just above the elbow, where the ribbing will start. I have already started to plug along on the second sleeve.

Yesterday I popped into Needles and Pins in London on our way home from dropping off the kidlets. It was a very nice store with lots of Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Koigu. The staff was very friendly as well. I am so proud of myself that I managed to walk out of there without buying anything. Especially when I finally got to see what Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk is like....*sigh*.

I am off to work on reading the 70 or so bloglines new items that I have. They build up fast if you don't keep up!

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March 14th, 2005 - Sleeve One

I figured out what I wanted to do for the sleeves of my sweater this weekend, and started plugging along

I thought since I was doing stockinette stitch that the bottom would curl more, which is what I wanted. It actually seems to be lying pretty flat, so I think I am going to do an applied i-cord along the bottom to make it look more finished. I am going to do this cable until just above the elbow, where the ribbing that corresponds to the empire waist ribbing will start.

I am getting the urge to make another pair of socks with the KPPPM that Rossana gifted to me, but that isn't really a bad thing. I am going to have to teach myself the short row heel before I finish Princess De anyway, since that is what I will be using to make the shoulder. Plus, socks make good commuter knitting.

Blogging may be a little scant this week, as my awesome niece and nephew are coming to stay with us for half of March break, as they did last year. So we will be running all over the city, showing them the Tower and other sites, and spending A LOT of time downstairs in the pool. I think that is really the only reason they are coming!

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March 10th, 2005 - Uh, More Back?

I wish that I had something more interesting to show you, but all I have is a little more to the back of my Princess De

The ribbing is the part that will be at empire waist height. I am going to knit plain now until I get to the underarm, where I will stop on this piece and leave it live on the cable. Then I will knit the sleeves and the front to the underarm, and join them all into one big round circle (grafting under the armpits) and knit another inch and a half of ribbing. I hope that this all works out like it is supposed to!

I would really like to make the ballet wrap from the front cover of the current Interweave for my friend Alison's wedding in May. But I am not sure that I can fork out the $120 plus tax that it will cost for the yarn. Lettuce Knit has a store sample knit up, and I really like the fullness of the yarn, but that much cost for half a sweater might be too much. Does anyone know of a good substitute for Naturally Merino et Soie? Has anyone knit this in another yarn?

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March 9th, 2005 - One Hour

Ok, so missbedora is kicking my butt in our gym challenge. But I did finally manage to pull myself out of bed at 5:15 am this morning and get to the gym. So one hour down. Many more to go if I want to ever get back into shape.

A big congrats and well wishes for Megan, the lovely owner of Lettuce Knit, who brought Penelope into the world on Monday. I hear that she is a healthy 9lbs 12oz and I am sure she is adorable. All the best Megan, we can't wait to see you and Penelope!

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March 8th, 2005 - A Back

First of all, I want to apologize that I haven't sent individual emails to everyone that has commented over the last few days. Apparently Haloscan no longer posts the email address in the comment (an antispam attempt) so it is difficult to get back to you all. So a giant thank you to everyone, your comments have made me feel wonderful!

I started working out the design of my Princess De (get it? Princess Delphine? Di? Ok, not funny) sweater this weekend. Sadly, at this point, I am following along to this:

A whole bunch of scribbles and ramblings. But somehow I have managed to work a good portion of the back

Something that I have to keep reminding myself is that my gauge changed A LOT when I blocked my swatch, so I have to go by rows and not by the actual measurements of the sweater or holding it up to myself. I really hope that it works out. Eeek. The next thing to come along in this design will be a row of 2x2 ribbing that will go under the boobettes. I am still trying to wrap my head around how I am going to do the cabling for the the front, as I have never done anything with cables (other then the Irish Hiking scarf) and I certainly have never designed them. I have a couple of Aran books on their way from the library, so hopefully that will help out a little.

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March 4th, 2005 - Delphine....Yum

I decided that the shawl needed fringe after all, mainly because I like to play with it on the edges of things

A dunk in Eucalan and an air fluff in the dryer later, it is so warm and fuzzy and will be worn to work today. I think I may leave it on the back of my chair so that I have something to throw over my shoulders.

So what did I knit during Knitting and Apprentice night?

Oooo, a swatch. Earth shattering I know. But this is no ordinary swatch. I wasn't feeling the love for the ribby cardi so I decided to start my project. You may remember last fall I became obsessed with this sweater by Delphine Wilson. Eklectika was even nice enough to draw me this

At the time I was really inspired, but I didn't think that I had enough knitting skills to try it on my own. But for some reason I feel like I could swing it now. So this weekend I will be sketching out and doing some math for my version of this sweater made from Peruvian Highland wool. I am so excited!

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March 3rd, 2005 - Second FO This Week

I managed to finish my shawl yesterday

I am not sure whether to put fringe on it or not though. Ideas?

For this shawl I just used Aven's suggestion and did a yarn over at the beginning and end of each knit row, plus on either side of the centre stitch. Then, on the last knit row before I cast off, I did yarnover, knit 2 together so that the eyelets went all the way around. Size 15 needles are great. Here is a closeup of the centre yarnovers.

I also started my Ribby Cardi last night, but I only have 8 rows on one sleeve done, so no pictures yet. I should be able to get some more done tonight during Knitting and Apprentice night.

By the way, my Bloglines list is actually working correctly now if you would like to see the blogs that I read.

Have a great day everybody!

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March 2nd, 2005 - Moving Right Along

Thank you so much everyone for your comments on my sweater yesterday. It made me feel really good. I will definitely be emailing you each back individually to thank you as well. Today the sweater will get her first public debut.

Since I had finished my sweater, I decided that I should work on my Feb Fix. Here is the progress on my new shawl (post-mortem poncho)

Ah, the wonders of size 15 needles. Talk about instant gratification. I should be done this one by tomorrow. It will be good to have something that I will actually wear out of this yarn. Soooo soft.

As of today, missbedora and I have started a little fitness challenge. Whoever can work out the most number of hours in the month of March will win a prize, which will no doubt be knitting related. So I am going to keep track of my hours in the sidebar there. I am all about whatever motivation I can get.

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March 1st, 2005 - Cowl-y-goodness

I am all done!

Last night I finished sewing up the one seam and put the sweater on, I was sooo disappointed. It looked....weird. But, through the magic of blocking (which a lot of people know is my favourite part) I LOVE this sweater! The fabric is very drapey, and very very soft. In fact, I am wearing it right now. I am very happy with how it came out for my first attempt at designing my own sweater. Overall, this is the third sweater I have made since I started knitting. I can't stop swinging the arms around.

I will work on posting the pattern (ok, not really a pattern, but what I did before I forget) soon. Hopefully I can also convince the man to take some pictures outside. Thank you all for your help and advice on this one, I really appreciate it.

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