Archive for May, 2007

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.):

Sarah with dolphins

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!

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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. 

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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.