Archive for April, 2007

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.

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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.

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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!

The Gryffindor Sock’s Cultural Tour of Disneyland

April 10, 2007

I’m home. Sigh. I had all these plans about blogging while I was gone, but (a) the wireless was REALLY inconsistent in our room, (b) I was really freaking tired whenever I was in our hotel room and was usually asleep, and (c) I was barely in our hotel room. We also didn’t take very many photos. (I know. It was weird, and I’m a little annoyed – I have NO PHOTOS of Jana and only one of Ben. But they have a few photos, so I’ll get those from them and will put them up at some point.) Some days we didn’t want to haul the camera around, and Jamie forgot it once, and Jamie usually had the camera and isn’t an obsessive photo taker of people like I am. Anyway.

Fortunately, the first day I was there by myself, which left lots of time for a cultural tour with the Gryffindor sock! As you may recall, my first pair of Gryffindor socks for my sister went on a Cultural Tour of Britain last summer, so I decided that my own pair would be perfect to take to Disneyland. (I’m not knitting many socks at the moment, so I need to get these started so I can have them for a Harry Potter intensive July.)

Let me set the scene for you. On Tuesday, I got out of bed at 5:50am in order to leave home at about 6:20 or so for an 8:00 flight. When I opened the door to take a photo for the blog (even at 5:50am I’m thinking of you!), this is what I saw:

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Yeah. We had to have the plane de-iced before we could take off, so we were a bit late leaving and arriving. Fortunately, the flight was excellent. I had my own personal TV, so I got to watch The Holiday, which I LOVED. I knit on my Central Park Hoodie, which I’d packed as my secondary plane knitting. However, it was too early and I was too sleepy for Mountain Peaks, so I got all the way to the decreases on the back of CPH. Once we got to LAX, my luggage arrived fairly quickly (I’d tied some extra CPH yarn on the handles for easier recognition, since it’s such a bright green), and I was off to catch the shuttle. Which unfortunately took a while, but eventually I made it to my hotel, where I checked in, dumped my stuff, changed my shoes, grabbed my sock, and headed to the park.

The yarn I left in my main pouch of my purse, and the needle I tucked into a well-hidden part of my purse. I’d heard conflicting things about knitting in Disneyland (the official word is “sorry, no,” but as I quickly learned nobody actually seems to give a rat’s ass.) I had a variety of plans for how to get around this, but nobody even blinked at it even when they laid eyes on it, so my carefully planned subterfuge was totally unnecessary. Upon our arrival in the parks, the sock stayed in my purse for a while. After all, it wasn’t even in sock form yet, so it felt it should keep to itself for the first few hours.

The parks were really busy, so I got a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear and headed to California Adventures, where I rode Soarin’ Over California (one of my favourites, but the sock is apparently afraid of heights so it stayed stowed in the underseat compartment.) in the singles line, where I only waited about 10 minutes as compared to the 100 minute wait in the regular line (and man, was that satisfying!), and then we headed to Grizzly River Run where we both got wet. The sock was only a little damp thanks to my very reliable MEC bag, but it was still quite disgruntled. Fortunately, it was really warm that day and we both dried off quickly.

After that, I got another fast pass in California Adventures and headed back over to Disneyland. I went to get in line for the train, and when I realised how slowly it was moving, decided it was the perfect moment to cast on for my sock. I had a convenient spot on a bench, and made excellent progress on the cuff while chatting with two little girls who liked my green toenail polish. (I got a pedicure in anticipation of wearing sandals a lot.) The train finally showed up, and I went and got a fast pass and rode a few rides. I ended up waiting for the train AGAIN at the Toon Town station, by which point I managed to finish the cuff. (That was seriously the longest wait of the whole trip. For the train!)

After I had some dinner, I had a bit of time before my fast pass was valid, so the sock and I went on a photo shoot. It was hilarious. I couldn’t believe more people weren’t giving me weird looks, but I guess I’m still not the weirdest person in Disneyland.

Our first stop was a visit with one of my absolute favourites when I was a kid – Mary Poppins! I happened to see her and Bert show up, so there was virtually no line to see them. I wasn’t really bothered enough to wait in lines for characters, but with no line, I couldn’t resist…

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(As always, click on photos if you want to see larger versions.)

They were very nice and I actually had quite a good chat with them. They were very accomodating about the sock.

Next, we went to visit several other characters, but in a slightly different form.

There was Pluto

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(and unrelated to the sock, I hope you’re appreciating the difference in weather, here. Flowers! Warm sunny weather! I weep, I weep. It’s still snowing here today.)

Dumbo

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Minnie

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and Ariel.

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We then wandered over to the castle, where one of the Disneyland photographers kindly took a photo of us, again without blinking. All of this nonchalance about a person taking photos of a partially knit sock really makes me wonder what kind of weird shit they get asked about on a regular basis.

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We also saw some REALLY cute ducklings in the moat. They were teeny!

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(I do have better photos of the ducklings but they don’t have the sock in them. They kept swimming away if I was juggling the sock and the camera, so I put the sock away for a few minutes to take pictures of the duckies.)

Around the side of the castle is Snow White’s wishing well, and the sock wanted to make a wish. Luckily, I had a quarter.

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So the sock got to make a wish. (And although you can’t see them, there are other people around the wishing well. Didn’t even blink at a ball of yarn and a sock holding a quarter while someone took a photo.)

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Next, the sock decided to storm the castle!

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Unfortunately for the sock, I’m pretty sure that door is fake. So the sock decided instead to fulfill its lifelong dream of being a princess.

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(No, I didn’t buy my sock a tiara. I took that photo in the store. Although it does look awfully cute, doesn’t it?)

Perhaps then, if it has managed to become a princess, the sock is the rightful ruler of Britain!

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Nope, doesn’t look like it.

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The sock decided another route to fame and fortune might be more successful. Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y S-O-C-K!

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No? I don’t think they’d embroider Mr. Sock on the back of a pair of ears even if I had been willing to purchase it a pair. (Which I did not.)

Perhaps, then, the sock could get a few tips about becoming invisible from the master! Can you spot the sock?

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Anyway, the sock decided to abandon fame and fortune and concentrate on the rides. It thought about the teacups

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but eventually decided to start with Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters!

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(I know, it’s an awful picture, but the line was moving really fast and it is HARD to take a photo with one hand while holding up a sock with the other and moving up a ramp while also trying to listen to your instructions for defeating Zurg!)

The sock got its own blaster

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and in the photo you can email yourself, the sock is heavily featured, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be working right now. (Seriously, the sock was doing the blasting in the official photo.)

Next up was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Since I’m such a fan of it, the sock was determined to ride despite the fact that it clearly wasn’t tall enough.

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But it managed to smuggle itself in inside my purse. It put down the lap bar

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but it clearly wasn’t doing much.

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So the sock rode in the little pouch for loose objects. It still seemed to have a good time.

We went back to the hotel at that point, and although we went back in the evening, I didn’t take any more photos, since it was dark and really crowded. The sock did get to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (where flash photography is prohibited), Space Mountain (where I was too busy going “wooooo!” to take the camera and sock out, and it totally wouldn’t have worked!), and wander around, although unfortunately the fireworks were cancelled that night. We had a good time together! I got quite a bit knit.

Unfortunately, after that first day, I wasn’t by myself anymore. (That part is not unfortunate – although I had fun by myself, it was a lot more fun with the others there.) However, I didn’t have nearly as much time to take sock photos the rest of the trip. The sock did make one final appearance in the Lego store, though!

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That was on Saturday night, and you can see how much I accomplished. I only knit in line for rides, and then on the shuttle to and from Universal that day, and by that point I was almost finished the gusset decreases, which I finished in the shuttle to the airport yesterday. I knit Mountain Peaks on the way home, since I didn’t have a tv this time and could concentrate on the shawl. The CPH and Mountain Peaks were on Denise needles, so I knew they’d get through security, but on the way home I risked my KP Circ for the sock. I made the airport party in Vancouver wait to make sure the sock made it through ok, but nobody even looked twice. Disneyland over 5 days, going in and out multiple times a day, Universal, and three airports – nobody even blinked. The only time I got any sort of remark about it was the flight attendant leaving LA who made me put it away until the seatbelt sign was off. All in all, it was a very successful knitting trip.

And a very successful trip altogether. We had a great time, did lots of fun stuff, enjoyed the weather (although it went down hill the last few days, it was still SIGNIFICANTLY better than here!), ate some very tasty food, and all in all had a fabulous time. Dear Disneyland, I miss you already. Love, Sarah.

Good thing it’s only six weeks until my next vacation. So what does one knit in Cuba?

Flash your Stash 2007

April 1, 2007

I was fairly new to the whole online knitting world during last year’s Flash Your Stash, so I only observed and didn’t participate. Besides, my stash wasn’t that impressive then. These days, although I won’t be winning any awards for stash size, despite what my husband thinks, it is a respectable collection.

I tried to think of something imaginative to do with my stash, but I was pressed for time and not feeling very creative. I did, however, label the whole stash on Flickr if you want to know what something is! If you click through to this first photo, everything has a note on it.

Flash your Stash (with notes!)

Is it a bad sign when it’s actually not as much as you were expecting?

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I had to go shower so I could go have a pedicure with Erin, but once Jamie got over the horror (actually, he mostly just rolled his eyes), he took over the photography. Here are some gratuitiously artsy shots!

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(Why yes, our new camera does have a super macro setting!)

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And just for the sake of full disclosure, here’s the tub o’ acrylic. I didn’t unpack it because it isn’t very decorative, but I did take a few quick photos.

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So there you go. My stash. Hey, it’s not like I’m collecting decorative plates, here. It’s useful! And won’t you all be sorry when there’s a month long power cut from a huge snowstorm and you don’t have a yarn fort to keep you warm?