Caught up

July 9, 2007

I had the whole weekend off (woohoo!), which meant I had time to go to the huge yarn sale on Saturday (I left the house at 7:30am.  I don’t even get up that early for work!), where I scored a ton of yarn at 40% off.  Totally worth getting up for.  I’ll take some photos of some of my haul for a future entry.  Jamie and I then went to go put a deposit down on our new car!  Whee!  It looks approximately like this:

car!

and it is going to be very shiny. It needs a name, though! Any suggestions? My front-runner right now is Sully, short for Sullivan, even though that was originally my plan when we were going to get a blue car, because Sully from Monsters Inc. is blue. But it’s a good name, and he’s kind of a silvery blue, right? Rosie, my current car, was named after a Pixar character, so I kind of like the idea of continuing that theme, but I am open to other possibilities. (I like the name Errol too, and Errol the owl in Harry Potter is grey, so it fits, but Errol the owl is a bit wussy, so I’m not sure if I want to encourage that kind of sentiment in my car!) Anyway, suggestions welcome. If I use your name, maybe I’ll send you some yarn! (Maybe.)

The rest of my Saturday was taken up with watching many episodes of Angel with Erin and finishing all the transcribing that I had to do, which greatly improved the rest of my weekend, since that’s been hanging over my head for ages. Once I finished that, I could spend most of the rest of the weekend doing this:

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Pardon the crap-ass blocking job – I just stuck in a few pins to give you the general idea. This is the end of Clue 1. I finished it earlier today, although I got up to row 98 last night and was too sleepy to do the last row. I had to tink row 97 twice, so I didn’t really want to risk another row when I hadn’t put in a lifeline since row 70. (I put one in at the end of the clue, don’t worry.)

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I love the colour of the yarn, and the Zephyr is gorgeous to knit with.  Karen lent me two seasons of Friends, which is excellent lace knitting tv, because I’ve seen all the episodes and know when to look up for the funny parts. 

On to clue 2!

The Curse is Lifted. Possibly.

July 5, 2007

I am trying to overcome this paranoid feeling about this sweater. Sure, I had to rip it out far more times than is reasonable for what is actually a pretty basic sweater. Sure, by the time I finished the damn thing I was thinking very dark thoughts about it every time I picked it up. But that doesn’t mean the finished sweater is cursed, right? Right?

Fortunately, it’s ridiculously fucking hot right now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll be wearing this sweater any time soon, so I’m hoping that by the time it’s actually wool sweater weather I’ll be over my suspicious feelings towards the sweater. After all, it is quite a nice sweater. Despite my concerns about fit, it fits really well. (I kept reading that it ran small, so I was a little paranoid.) The sleeves are a bit excessively long – someone please remind me to stop lengthening my sleeves. Yes, I have long arms, but they are in proportion to the rest of me, so if I knit the right size I should be fine. All of my sweaters have too-long sleeves. I really ought to knock that off. But other than that, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, curse aside.

The photos aren’t really a good representation of the colour – I need to sit down and fiddle with the camera and try to get a photo that actually shows the colour. It’s a really bright, vivid, kelly green. Very spring-y. Good thing I finished it in the dead middle of summer. Go me!

The photo shoot for this was pretty brutal, even in the shade. Jamie was full of heat induced sloth and didn’t even get out of his lawn chair to take the photos. (The bastard was sitting in the yard reading Harry Potter and drinking lemonade when I got home from work. Have I mentioned that I HATE living with two teachers in the summer time? Lazy bastards. I am full of raging jealousy pretty much all the time.)

Anyway, here it is!

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The sleeves rolled up look is probably a more accurate representation of how I will wear this sweater 90% of the time. I hardly ever leave long sleeved things down around my wrists, whether they are sweaters or shirts or whatever.

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Oh, and the cables up the hood? It totally worked. Woohoo!

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Raaaaah! It is finished! Finally!

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Specs: The Central Park Hoodie from KnitScene, as seen on many blogs.
Yarn is Cascade 220 in a green colourway that I forget the number of. I had a cone of it (that I got in a swap – thanks, Trillian!), and I have no idea how much of I used, because I just wound off reasonably sized balls and used them quite randomly, so I have half-balls of leftovers all over the place and a chunk still left on the cone.
Needles: Size fives for the ribbing on the body, size sixes for the ribbing on the sleeves (don’t ask – part of the curse!), and size eights for the body itself. I mostly used my Denise needles, but I did some of the ribbing on my Addi Lace needles.
I knit the largest size and used one needle size larger than I needed to get gauge, since I’d read so much about the sweater running small. I’m happy with how it fits. The button band is a bit gapey, but that’s not due to fit, it’s just due to blocking, so I’m going to re-block the button band at some point. (Maybe.)

This is my fifth sweater of the year. I’m not quite keeping up with the sweater a month thing, but I’m not doing too badly! Certainly better than I was expecting. I am not knitting a sweater at the moment, although I reeeeeally need to get going on another baby sweater for a rather impending baby. I’m not convinced I’m going to make it to twelve, but I am knitting sweaters for myself, and that’s what I wanted.

Next up? General knitting-wise, the Mystery Stole is taking up most of my knitting time at the moment, with forays into Rachel’s neglected Cure socks when I can’t concentrate on my knitting enough to knit lace. (ie at all the parties I went to last weekend.) I do need to whip out another baby sweater, and start another blanket.

But my next sweater? Oh my god, I can’t wait for this one. I’m going to knit the Natalie Coat from Big Girl Knits in beautiful, beautiful Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. (It’s cotton, not alpaca – the company is called Blue Sky Alpacas.) I have been wanting that yarn for soooo long, and when I saw it on sale I could no longer resist. I have it in the absolutely delicious Tomato colourway, and it is the nicest yarn ever. I can’t wait to knit this pattern – I love the pattern and the yarn, and I think the combination is going to be kick-ass.

Hopefully this one won’t be cursed.

The Gryffindor Sock Goes on a Bender

July 4, 2007

While most Gryffindor paraphenalia is stuck at school all day, going to lessons and arguing with Slytherins and defeating dark wizards and such, my Gryffindor socks have had an exciting existence.  They’ve been to Disneyland, they went on a very exciting band trip to Banff, they went to Cuba, and they’ve basically been living the exciting sock life.  In fact, a little too exciting.  In the last few days that we were in Cuba, the sock got a little too high on life. 

It started, innocently enough, with some wine with dinner. Not too unreasonable, right? They’re just coming right around to your table, offering up some wine.

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Nobody was too concerned. And then it’s only natural when you’re spending a few hours in the lobby bar that the sock would want a little something. After all, those fruity drinks are very refreshing.

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But pretty soon, the sock was downing the blender drinks. And we all know how the blender drinks work. You can never have just one.

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And then the sock got a good look at the pool.

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It decided it wanted to go for a little late night swim, and it completely ignored the no diving sign.

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It was content, after that, to lounge by the pool for a while, enjoying the view.

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But then it got a little too much into the spirit of things. And I suppose I should have seen it coming. After all, we were in Cuba. But it was still a shock to see this on the beach.

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I guess I can’t blame it too much for this one. Those mojitos were ridiculously good. (Man, I could really go for one of those right now.)

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Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to take into consideration that it was, you know, a sock, and therefore not exactly endowed with outstanding alcohol tolerance. And that was a lot of drinks in one evening for a not even finished sock.

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Poor sock. A cold shower took the edge off.

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And a hot bath brought back some of its good spirits.

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The sock briefly toyed with a midnight foray into the ocean, but had limited bathing suit success, despite Chantal kindly lending it a bathing suit. (Actually, Chantal wasn’t home when the sock stole her bathing suit, but fortunately Chantal is a very tolerant friend and roommate who doesn’t even look at you funny when you tell her the sock stole her bathing suit.)

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The next morning was looking pretty ugly. The sock woke up groggy and grouchy, and didn’t want to leave the room. It was a beautiful day, so I can see why the sock was a little hesitant to face the sunshine. So we let it rest for a while.

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And then, promising that the light wasn’t THAT bright, took it outside.

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It wouldn’t leave the little hut, though, and proceeded to sleep by the pool for most of the day.

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Overall, I think the sock wasn’t so sorry to be going home. Cuba had taken its toll on poor Gryffindor. So it was happy to be heading home, although a little nervous about the effect the flight would have on its stomach.

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After so many thrilling adventures, I was a little concerned that the Gryffindor sock would find life around Edmonton a little dull. (I was also concerned that I would find life around Edmonton a little dull, and I must admit, I do still miss Cuba.) I left the socks alone for a while, finishing up numerous baby items (one of which I TOTALLY forgot to take photos of, because I am a doofus), finishing my Central Park Hoodie (Yes, it is DONE, and photos are coming soon!), doing other such things.

But then I remembered that the Gryffindor Socks had a purpose. July was going to be THEIR month. A movie release and a book! Two more perfect occasions to wear these socks will never happen. So the socks had to be finished. After all, what else could I possibly wear with my “Trust Snape” shirt that’s in the mail right now? (It better get here in time for the movie. I am looking forward to arguing with people about it, because he is SO CLEARLY NOT A DEATH-EATER ARGH!) The socks had to be finished.

So this morning, I grafted the toes. And I pulled them on, and went into the yard for one last photo shoot with the travelling Gryffindor socks. (Note: July is not prime wool sock season. I suffer for this blog!) And here, in all their glory, are my Gryffindor Socks. Please ignore my pasty legs.

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These are, of course, knit in Sunshine Yarns Gryffindor Stripe, made by the inimitable Dani. Knit on a size 1 Addi Lace needle, with 60 stitches around, a basic heel flap toe down sock. (I don’t use a pattern any more.) They fit like a glove, and they are my most favouritest socks ever.

Bring on the book, baby.

Cursed

June 23, 2007

I’m starting to get a bit suspicious. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say life was out to get me.

Those of you who have me as a friend on Facebook may have noticed a suspicious run of status updates last week. You see, I was trying to build a pyramid for work. (This is one of the many ways in which my job is both weird and excellent. I bet you don’t get to build pyramids at your job, do you?) Summer Reading Club starts today (hallelujah, I have the day off), so I was building the registration desk.

Now, we do have a good program room at work which is an excellent work area, but unfortunately it was booked a lot of the time over the past few weeks, so I needed a place to construct my pyramid. Luckily, the weather was excellent, and we have a delightful patio at work, so I headed out there for a few hours. I measured, cut, and painted the pyramid pieces, and then left them flat to dry for a while after carefully scanning the horizon for impending clouds.

I had been down at the desk for quite some time when somebody mentioned rather casually, “oh look, it’s raining!”

Shit.

I sprinted up the stairs and rescued the pyramid from the absolute downpour. Less than three minutes after I brought the pieces inside, it stopped raining and the sun came back out. Great. Only one piece needed repainting, though – the rest just had a nice weathered look that I convinced myself was authentic.

So the following Monday, I head back out onto the patio where the weather is again glorious. I repainted the one piece, and then drew bricks on all the pieces. While I was bricking the first side piece, though, a suspicious few drops of liquid appeared from the sky. Naturally, I panicked, but when I looked up, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Just a bird.

That’s right. A fucking BIRD flew by and POOED on my pyramid.

I came home from work in a bit of a huff and proceeded to pick up my knitting. I’ve been knitting pretty steadily on the Central Park Hoodie in the hopes of finishing it before the Mystery Stole Knitalong starts this Friday. And I’m pretty confident that I could have easily finished this sweater weeks ago if I didn’t keep fucking the stupid thing up!

This is not a hard sweater. At all. And I think that’s actually the problem. It’s SO easy that I don’t pay enough attention to the instructions, and am continually making stupid, stupid mistakes.

For example, I finished the back and one of the sides before I went to Cuba, so I didn’t bring them along so as to save space in my carry-on. Unfortunately, I had a little too much confidence in my ability to eyeball the cables. Yup. Every single cable cross on the entire right front was two rows too tall. I had to rip the entire thing out. Then, just as I was making good progress, I realised I’d done the ribbing wrong – where I should have started with P2, I started with K2. (Or vice versa – you get the idea.) I had to rip it out AGAIN. It took me three freaking tries to get the stupid section knit, but I finally finished it the other day.

I also had a sleeve done, since when I was on Jamie’s band trip I’d brought the wrong size needles, and decided I’d do the sleeve ribbing on a 6 instead of the 5 that the body ribbing was done on, since that would be easy to match on the second sleeve. (It was either that or have nothing to knit. I regret nothing.) So once I finished the accursed front piece, I happily cast on for the second sleeve, patting myself on the back for doing things out of order and avoiding second sleeve syndrome, which I often struggle with.

I was pretty confident in my memory of the pattern having done the front section three times. I knit happily along, and made it all the way to here:

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in just a few episodes of the Sopranos. (We started from the beginning.) I was doing great! No problem finishing this baby in time for the MSKAL!

Yeah. Until I realised that I was happily knitting the same as the front section. Yes, I had the cables in the right place, but guess what? Sleeves have increases.

ARGH.

You can see in that picture where I threaded my needle through to catch the stitches. (This is why I love circs.) Two minutes later, I had this:

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(You’ll note I’ve learned from the multiple froggings on this sweater to take before and after pictures for better sympathy on the blog, despite the temptation to just rip the damn thing out.)

Since then, I have reknit the sleeve, seamed the shoulders, and started the hood. But a moment ago, I discovered that the cables on the back aren’t supposed to continue on the hood. Which I, of course, have been doing.

Fuck it. I looked up the sweater on Ravelry, found that at least one other person cabled all the way up the hood, and figured that’s good enough for me. I like the idea of cables up the hood! I did it on purpose!  Somebody else did it!  (Thanks, Ravelry!  This is EXACTLY why you rule – so when you fuck up, you can go and find someone else who fucked up the same way.  Except this other person DID do it on purpose, therefore it’s not a mistake, it’s a design feature.)  

Either that, or I’m cursed. Stupid sweater.

Yikes.

June 16, 2007

19 days since my last update.  Eeesh.  (That sounds like confession, doesn’t it?  It’s been nineteen days since my last blog post, Father.)  I don’t even have a spiffy exciting reason for not updating, like being in Cuba.  I’ve just been stupidly busy with not terribly exciting things.  (And yes, Amanda, I will still write the second episode of the sock’s adventures in Cuba.  Stay tuned!)  Also, there are baby pictures in this entry if you get past the rambling.

Fortunately, a little bit of the busy has been babies!  I like being busy with babies.  For all my grumbling about all the babies I have to knit for, once they’re actually here and being all cute with their knitting I don’t seem to mind as much.  Because I really, really like babies.  I am not quite at the wanting one of my own yet (mostly because babies cost a lot of damn money that I want to spend on yarn), but I do really like babies that I can sort of rent for the day.  I think I have a bit of a baby obsessed reputation, actually.  Is it so wrong that I like babies?  Babies like me!  I don’t freak out about babies!  I think a person who likes babies a lot and can handle them when they’re freaking out but doesn’t have their own baby is a pretty useful person to have around, personally. 

 Anyway.  There has been a rush of babies in the last little while, and two have been born in the last week.  I conveniently had several days off this week, so I went on a baby spree.  Monday, I went to visit Raven and her kids, of whom there are now three.  (What is with all you crazy people and your three kids?  How am I old enough to have friends with three kids?  It still kind of freaks me out that some of you have one of them!) Trian, her oldest, is one of those poor kids who came along before I started knitting for all the babies. Carter, the second oldest, is one of those poor kids who came along before I was a very good knitter. As a result he has an enormous non-baby sized baby blanket that I knit two years ago. (The reason it was so enormous, and I don’t know if I told Raven this, was that I knit it while I was going to really, really annoying Basic Christian Faith classes every Sunday night for hours and hours. We had to watch a really irritating DVD and then have a discussion, and I discovered early on that if I knit through the entire thing, I was less likely to freak out and yell at them. Plus, as a bonus, it made them think I was all nice and domesticated and shit. Anyway, because it was such a freaking long class and I knit for several hours straight each week, it ended up being a huge blanket. I promise I thought nice thoughts about the baby while I was knitting it, and not just irritated thoughts about the stupid classes. Which I had to take to get married in Jamie’s church, but which I believe his church is not recommending any more based on our experience with how lame it was.)

ANYway. Raven conveniently had a third child so I could actually knit her a properly sized baby blanket. She is also a great appreciater of knitted items, so there’s a lot of satisfaction in knitting for her kids.

Plus, look how damn cute this is. (I didn’t even take photos of the blanket without the baby on them. I know what you people really want to see.)

Baby on a pinwheel

The great thing about the pinwheel blanket (for lo, it is that), is that it’s great for plopping the baby down on the floor without taking up a ton of room. Perfect for tummy time. The even greater thing about the pinwheel baby blanket?

Baby Burrito!

It makes an awesome baby burrito. (I understand if you can’t read any further due to being dead from cute. Who can resist the baby burrito?)

Tayana, for that is her name, is a delightful baby who sat contentedly with me for hours, and snoozed on and off while I shifted her around. (I am too wimpy to hold a baby in one position for too long, although I favour the knees-up baby recliner position.) She is not a small baby – Raven said she could tell who never sees newborn babies (“She’s so TINY!”) and who does (“Holy crap, she’s huge!”) among her visitors. (I was in the latter camp.) She was 9 pounds 11 ounces at birth, and she has a very delightful and adorable double chin that I was enjoying a great deal.

The great thing about third kids, I’ve discovered, is how relaxed their parents are, so Raven happily flung the baby around for the best photos of the blanket. (She was also quite taken with the baby burrito.) She also took the photos for me, since I’m an idiot who forgot her camera, and sent them to me immediately so I could blog her child. Ah, 21st century parenting.

Baby Burrito on Me!

This blanket was actually the first of the two that I knit, and I’d sort of intended it for Chris. However, once I added the ruffle (which was a total pain in the ass, and I’m never doing that again – it was 1000 stitches to a round. Ugh! Looks cute, though.), I thought it might be a little girly, and at that point neither mother knew what they were having. Luckily, Raven couldn’t stand the suspense any more and found out the gender a few weeks before Chris was due, and was conveniently having a girl. So I decided I would assign her this blanket (after two boys, I’m sure she’s enjoying having ruffly things), and knit a new one for Chris. So Chris’s blanket, seen a few entries ago, was knit in a mad rush while this one lingered around the house for over a month before it went to its new owner. However, given that Chris conveniently had a boy, it all worked out rather well.

 The baby shower for the third baby of the last month is next weekend, so you’ll have to wait a bit for that FO.  (I also ordered that baby the most genius present ever, and I’m so impressed with myself that I’m having a really hard time waiting for it to arrive.  Seriously, it is the perfect thing for that baby.)  Then I have a few more sweaters to whip up for two more summer babies, but I actually have a blanket lull until October, when the owner of this blanket:

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gets a sibling. (A second one, actually, since he already has an older sister. Another third child, another family where the poor neglected older one didn’t get bupkus. I am sensing a trend.)  I think this kid is getting another pinwheel. 

 Luckily, I haven’t heard about any new pregnancies for at least three months, so I should get a bit of a break after that.  Which is just as well, given the state of my to-knit list. 

 I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things here.  I’ll post the next Cultural Tour of the Gryffindor Sock in Cuba some time soon, which features many amusing pictures that prove that my friends are very, very tolerant of my weirdness.  Then there will be another baby photo shoot, I hope, and then I might actually show you a few things that I’m actually working on.  I know!  What a concept.  (That requires me to work on something than the freaking fronts to the Central Park Hoodie, though, which I’ve had to rip out at least three times.  Ugh.)  Stay tuned!

The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Cuba

May 28, 2007

Holy crap, Cuba was awesome.  So, so awesome.  Everyone has been totally depressed since we got back on Saturday and we’ve all been swanning around complaining about the lack of pre-lunch rum and the severe shortage of cabana boys.  (There were some days when I had three drinks before lunch.  They had bananas in them!  That’s breakfast!)  It really was ridiculously fun and unbeliveably relaxing. I read three and a half books and a magazine. I actually didn’t knit as much as I was expecting to, but I did get a large chunk of one of the fronts of the Central Park Hoodie done as well as several rows on Mountain Peaks.

And, of course, there was the Gryffindor sock.

Now, if you want to be strictly accurate, the sock isn’t quite as well travelled as it appears. On the Cultural Tour of Britain , I was knitting Gryffindor socks for Beth. The Cultural Tour of Disneyland featured the Gryffindor socks that I’m knitting for myself, which was the pair that came along on this trip. Still, both pairs are doing much better than most of my knitting! Very well travelled for a sock, wouldn’t you say?

(If you want to see some of the photos that feature things other than the sock, go on through to my flickr account. And if you think my photos are kind of lame, you’re not wrong. Fortunately, I was with 20 other people and they all have tons of photos. Leave me a comment if you want to see some of those and I’ll send you some links.)

After a couple of days at the resort, we took a catamaran trip that featured the following incredibly awesome event (no sock, I know, sorry, but this is too good not to post.):

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Why yes, I am squealing like a complete dork in this photo! Thank you for noticing. That was so freaking cool I still can’t really believe it.

Right, on to the sock.

On Wednesday, we all headed to Havana for a tour. It was a two hour bus ride from the resort to the city, so I was very glad to have my sock with me. I actually hadn’t planned to bring it at all, but then as I was literally going out the door (Jamie was putting my other bag in the car), I grabbed it in a panic, not wanting to be small project-less in case of long drives. This proved to be a good decision.

One of the coolest stops on our tour was the old Capitol building. It was designed in the style of the U.S. Capitol, and inside is the world’s third largest indoor statue. It’s of Athena. (I think.) Here’s me and the sock checking it out.

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I really am holding the sock. See?

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On the floor in the exact centre of the room was a replica diamond of some diamond that was very important to Cuba. (It should not be news to any regular readers that I’m really bad to actually paying attention to detail on this sort of thing. It was weird to travel without Jamie, because he always knows this shit and tells me later. I’m feeling weirdly uninformed about some of this stuff.) Anyway, the sock decided to check out the diamond.

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While it was down there, it noticed the very impressive ceiling and decided it wanted a photo with that. I happily obliged, as the ceiling was really cool. I’m a bit concerned that all these extravagant holidays are turning the sock into a bit of a prima donna, though. Most of my knitting is happy if it gets to come to work with me.

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The ceilings in the two hallways that flanked the dome weren’t too shabby either.

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The sock and I both agreed that what my house is really missing is one of these on the front door.

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Don’t you think? It would add that certain something, don’t you think? Or maybe we need one of these just outside the door.

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Right after Kristy took that, someone came and yelled at me for sitting on the step. Apparently their statues have personal space issues. So we moved down the steps for some more photos. We took a shot with the three roomies:

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Me, Chantal, and the sock. We got along very well. Chantal is also a knitter so she was quite good at telling the sock how marvellous it was and other such things. She also lent it a bikini, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here you see the sock admiring the sights from the steps of the Capitol. Those little yellow blobby things are the really neat little cabs that they have.

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The sock also insisted on being included in some group photos. Aren’t my friends obliging?

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After a stop at a cigar shop, where the sock stayed in my bag since it was MAYHEM, and I bought two cigars and some rum (so cheap!) and some coffee, we headed to Revolution Square. Here I am with the sock checking out the José Martí Monument designed by Enrique Luis Varela, and the sculpture by Juan José Sicre. (Yes, I had to look that up.)

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Here we are with Kristy in front of the really cool monument to Che Guevara. Kristy has a bit of a crush on him (he is pretty hot, as revolutionaries go), but I mostly just like his hat.

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So the sock did pretty well taking in the sights and culture of Havana. Unfortunately, the sock then went on a bit of a bender at the resort. But that is a post for another time. Stay tuned for further exploits of the Gryffindor sock in Cuba!

Baby? Baby!

May 17, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you…

Pinwheel Baby Blanket Number One!

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(Yes, I said number one. Stay tuned!)

Now, those of you who have been paying attention will realise that this means the baby belonging to this blanket has made his or her debut, since I’ve been holding back the photos until the babies receive their presents. (Snoopy mothers are reading here, you know.)

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This is Jacob. He was born on Tuesday, at 10:34AM. He belongs to my friend Chris, and he has two big sisters who have made frequent appearances on this blog. (Julia, her oldest, was frequently seen on my diaryland diary.) I went to visit him today.

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Babies give me bad posture. He was sitting on my leg propped up with my arm, which is a pose that doesn’t lend itself to flattering photos, but I figure you’re all looking at the baby anyway. So was I, really.

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(Sorry about the photo quality on these next few – I was trying not to bug him with the flash.)

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Julia, who is now nearly five (good lord), was one of the first people I knit for. Second, I believe, only to Jamie. I knit her a scarf when she was very small. A matching hat followed the next winter.

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Elena, who is nearly three, was the recipient of my first every baby blanket. It was enormous and not at all baby sized, and made out of boucle yarn. (Bleah.) It took me ages to knit, but I finished it in time to take it to the hospital.

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(That is not a very good shot of the blanket, because it’s all folded up since it’s fifteen times the size of miniElena.)

It’s kind of cool to see how my knitting has improved over the years, although I do feel a little bad for Julia since she didn’t get a blanket. (She was spoiled rotten, though, since she was the first baby in my group of friends, so I don’t think she suffered or anything.) Jacob is the third of six babies that are showing up this year in my general circle of people, and his timing was impeccable. Since we’re leaving for Cuba tomorrow, we were expecting to miss him entirely – his due date wasn’t actually until next week. We were all hoping we wouldn’t miss him entirely, but there was a good chance he would have been born and gone back home to Ft. Mac by the time we got back, so it was very obliging of him to make his appearance now.

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May it keep you covered in good health, Jacob! You are very cute. Please come visit frequently.

 (Oh, I almost forgot to give you the knitting details.  Whoops.  Pinwheel baby blanket, as seen all over the internet, knit in KnitPicks Swish Superwash.  Six balls, in Aloe, Jade, and Sunshine.  Seed stitch border, which you can’t really see in any of these pictures.  Knit on size 7 KP needles.  Took me about a week and a half – I knit nothing else for over a week straight because I changed my mind about who was getting which blanket.)

So dull I forgot to give it a title!

May 7, 2007

Man.  My blog sucks.  All I’m knitting right now is baby stuff, and while I’ve finished a blanket and a sweater in the last few weeks and am well into the next blanket (almost done the third ball of six), none of those have been given away yet and many of the impending mothers read this blog.  I like to keep some element of surprise involved. 

 Life in general is pretty dull – not bad, just dull.  (Isn’t this just making you rush to your bloglines to subscribe?  Yeah, I know.  Sorry.)  The weather is gorgeous – I’m writing this from my back yard where my laptop and my knitting and I are sitting on a blanket in the grass.  God, FINALLY.  It’s so nice out that Jamie and I, after finishing up testing out Wii Play (which is pretty fun), went for a bike ride.  A brief one, because I’m trying to condition my butt in a gradual sort of fashion in the hopes of being able to ride my bike to work during the Fringe. 

 In the absence of any knitting to show you, I took a picture of my bike.  I got it last year as a belated Christmas present – Jamie and my mother bought me the same thing for Christmas so I got a bike a few months later as a replacement. 

Bike 1

It’s a very pretty bike. My two favourite things about it are the shocks in the front, which are so awesome I can’t believe I ever survived riding a bike without shocks, given the state of the potholes around here, and the fact that it’s such a nice shiny red. I like red bikes.

Bike 2

I didn’t ride it much last summer, because I’m a big lazy-ass, but this year I would genuinely like to try. If I can get to riding to work by August, I will be really happy.

It needs a name, though. I was going to call it Firebolt but that doesn’t feel like a proper name – it’s a brand name. (Yes, I’m a dork.) Any suggestions?

I promise there will be more interesting content soon. I’ve actually changed my knitting plans a little bit and am knitting non stop on the second blanket, because I’ve changed my mind about who gets which one and that really puts the pressure on. By the time I go to Cuba I should be working on me-knitting again, at least for a while. There are still three more babies to knit for after that but the next one in line isn’t until July (yes, that’s a new one), so I should hopefully be able to finish a few things before that and actually have some content. Really. I promise.

Progress

April 30, 2007

Well, I survived chaperoning Jamie’s band trip.  Barely.  I came to the conclusion some time on day two that I’m too old for that shit.  Or, more specifically, I’m too old to be all “woo band trip!” like the kids all were, but too young to be totally accustomed to getting no sleep like all the parent chaperones. 

I had all these grand plans to blog from the trip, and take photos of my sock around town, but I just didn’t have the time nor the energy.  Which is too bad, because Banff was beautiful until yesterday, when a massive snow storm hit.  Freaking Alberta.  I also had grand plans to get some work done, but there was not a single solitary place that I wasn’t surrounded by several dozen and usually several hundred teenagers.  I am very happy to be home where the only noise is the clock ticking.  (Well, and the neighbour a few doors down absolutely SCREAMING at her child.  I went outside to take photos for this entry and I felt like I was intruding onto a very ugly situation.  It was quite uncomfortable.)  There was just constant, constant noise for four days straight and it was exhausting. 

 Fortunately, despite the endless melee, I did have quite a lot of knitting time.  I packed the same three projects that came along to Disneyland: the Gryffindor socks, the Mountain Peaks Shawl, and the Central Park Hoodie.  Poor old Mountain Peaks once again got completely ignored – I swear I will make some real progress on that thing one of these days.  Central Park, however, was much more successful, and yesterday on the bus I finished the back.  Hooray!

Central Park Back

I cannot for the life of me get a decent photo of the colour. It’s a really bright, bold green, very springy and cheerful and apparently very trendy, because I got a ton of compliments on it from the kids on the trip. (The pattern also got major thumbs up from them.)

Most days, though, I didn’t bring my backpack into Banff, so I brought along trusty Gryffindor for my daily knitting. These were also a huge hit with the kids, who were very impressed at the idea of Harry Potter socks. Who knew my knitting was so cool?

As you can see, good progress is being made and I should finish them pretty soon and be able to go back to Rachel’s socks. (sorry, Rachel!) (memo to self on Rachel’s socks – 64 stitch cast on with a decrease down to 60 over the course of the leg.)

Gryffindor Progress

This didn’t get brought along, as I was close enough to finished that it wasn’t worth hauling, but here’s a sneak peek at the body of a baby sweater that I finished last night. It’s the Daisy pattern from Knitty, and it’s not for the next baby in line but I needed a change of pace so I started in on this. It’s a super cute raglan cardigan, and I really like the pattern. Seed stitch edging, raglan sleeves – pretty straightforward and adorable as well as gender neutral – all good things. I need to get some good buttons for it.

Daisy Body

I’m already halfway through the first sleeve. Ah, baby sized things, how I love you.

So here’s my challenge over the next few weeks. I leave for Cuba in 18 days. I plan to bring my shawl and a pair of socks along with me. Before I leave, I’d like to finish the baby sweater (no problem), the Gryffindor socks (should be manageable), and the Central Park Hoodie (unlikely, but it’s good to have goals). I need to finish up the transcribing I have to do, buy a bunch of stuff for Cuba including a new bathing suit, and clean the freaking house. In 18 days. Care to place any bets?

Luckily for morale, the weather has majorly improved, yesterday’s mountain snowstorm and the crapload of rain that was waiting for us in Edmonton aside. Not only is that actual green grass in those photos up there, but the tree next to the garage? Looks like this.

Spring

Hallelujah. I love spring.

Welcome to the new Monkey Pants!

April 24, 2007

Welcome to the all new Monkey Pants and Hippo Dignity!  I am not entirely convinced I know what the hell I’m doing here, but after 18 months over at Blogger, I was getting frustrated with some of the things that just weren’t working for me.  It’s not like I am so blog savvy that I need all that much, but I like the look and style of WordPress quite a lot, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.  I kind of miss my monkey and hippo up at the top there, but I am too dumb to figure out how to put them back.  (Any wordpress geniuses who’d like to help me out would be very welcome.) 

 Blog content has been a little thin lately, which is probably not the best time to make the switch since nobody will bother to check me out over here, so maybe I’ll have a contest or something in a little while.  I’ve been really freaking busy (although nowhere near as busy as Jamie, who just got home from school at 9:15 pm), and I’m not really knitting anything that’s very interesting that I can show you.  The babies have kind of taken over my knitting time lately, so while I promise that eventually I will have photos of knitting again, right now you’ll have to be patient.  (There will hopefully be another cultural tour next week – I’m chaperoning Jamie’s band trip in Banff so if I have time, I’ll take some photos of the second Gryffindor sock, which is coming along nicely.) 

 Fortunately, I have some more Disneyland photos to distract you with!  These ones don’t have any socks in them, but they do have a variety of people. 

 Here we are riding the Matterhorn.  Whee! 

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Jamie and Jana rode their own teacup, because they are not fans of spinning, whereas Ben and I are not lame and therefore rode in our own teacup where we could spin like cool people.  Jamie is trying to fool you into thinking their teacup is cool.  Don’t fall for it.

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An unfortunate side effect of the cool teacup is all the spinning makes you look like a complete maniac.

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Here is Jamie’s arms and me and Jana riding the Carousel. (The rest of Jamie rode it too but didn’t deign to be photographed.)

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Jana and I have long since perfected the art of the self portrait. Here we are on the railroad.

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Much though these photos would have you believe that the four of us were never in the same place at the same time, there is photographic evidence to the contrary! In front of the castle, courtesy of one of the official photographers.

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And, courtesy of one of the other people on our raft, Grizzly River Run. (Note: my purse is stuffed under my sweater to keep my sock dry. I am not, in fact, pregnant with a cube, as the photo would have you believe.)

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So. Bear with me as I figure out the details of WordPress, and thanks for hopping over! There is already an RSS feed for the site, so if you’re on bloglines, you can put “sarahjanet.wordpress.com” under “Subscribe to URL” and you should be able to sign right up! (Uh, I think. Worked for me, anyway!)

Say hi so I know you made it over, would you? It’s feeling a little lonely over here. (Despite the fact that all my old entries came along for the ride, since wordpress makes it SUPER easy to import my blogger blog.) Monkey Pants and Hippo Dignity welcomes you to its new home!


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