I hate Internet Explorer

February 28, 2006 at 6:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Good evening, loyal readers. As I checked my blog this morning at school (yeah, I’m obsessed with myself. What of it?), I realized that something in my HTML formatting goes awry when I use Internet Explorer as my browser. I use Safari cause I have a Mac and it looks fine when I post, and it looks fine on Firefox too, but Internet Explorer causes some problems. So let’s abandon it in the gutter, what do you say? (…And, end rant.)

Anyway. I started knitting my sweater last night and I’m proud to report that I have a whole five rows done. That might not sound like much, but I would like to point out that I have numerous assignments due very soon. Guess what! Alli, having seen Kristen’s blanket, wants to learn to knit! I am so proud. I feel like maybe this is my calling, obsessing about knitting and spreading the seeds of soon-to-be obsession in others. Let’s see…Lorien, Stephanie, and now Alli. I think it’s safe to say that my work here is done.

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PS–How is it that I can do a steep hill climb on the treadmill for half an hour and feel great, but make me do a bit of yoga and I feel like I’m going to collapse?

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February 27, 2006 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

my article to review

Fairly Fabulous Fair Isle

February 26, 2006 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

My roommate and I took a Fair Isle class at Romni Wools yesterday and were given the yarn and pattern for a Fair Isle hat. I have always liked the look of Fair Isle knitting but had never tried it. We were taught the two-handed method and it was seriously the coolest thing ever. It was so much fun to work with color and learn a new method. The pattern was for a child’s hat, and Lorien’s hat turned out to be child-sized. Mine, on the other hand, will definitely fit me. It’s funny cause normally I’m not a loose knitter at all, and maybe it was knitting in the round, or maybe it was knitting using a new method, or maybe it was me knitting really quickly, but my hat is so much bigger.

Lorien’s hat and close-up:

My hat and close-up:

Our color choices are interesting, huh? Lorien loves white–she has white walls, white dishes, white silverware, white tables… everything is white, though she usually doesn’t wear much of it. I think it’s the clean look, the sort of pristine and immaculate quality of white that attracts her to it. She pays a lot of attention to the way she looks and how her clothing is coordinated–and I don’t mean this is a bad way, I just think that looking polished in her own way is important to her. It did not suprise me at all when she chose white as the background color for her hat. Then as contrasting colors, the blues and the small amount of brown… the finished result has a very pulled-together look about it, very thematic (snow, winter, Scandinavia).

I, on the other hand, love color. My bedroom walls are what I like to call “Pumpkin Spice”–though to be fair, they were that color when we moved in, but I didn’t paint them over cause I thought they were interesting. (And I was lazy. Hmm.. I see a summer project in my future!) I rarely wear only neutrals and I’m not a very big fan of white. I like black but I find it boring. I definitely prefer blues to any other color, though I am beginning to come around to reds and greens and purples. The way I look is important to me, too, but in a different way than it is to Lorien. I dress according to my mood (which, of course, is color-coded)–like, if I’m feeling cheery and fabulous, I’ll wear more colorful items cause I want to stand out more. If I’m feeling blah, I usually go out of my way to reflect that in my clothing. Why, I don’t know. So my hat is obviously colorful and not in a thematic sort of way. I just liked the way those colors reacted and interacted with one another, the way they contrasted one another.

Project Sweater

February 24, 2006 at 10:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After doing some homework last night (and by “doing homework” I mean “watching old episodes of The OC”), I settled down to work on designing my sweater. I got all of the dimensions worked out, I figured out the armhole shaping and the neckline and all that. I even figured out where to put the lace pattern. I do have one uncertainty, though–for the armhole shaping, I will only be decreasing 1.5 inches on either side. That seemed incredibly small to me so I checked out some other patterns that feature a similar-gauge yarn, and after consulting them I determined that although 1.5″ is a bit on the small side, it’s not too bad. I just have to calculate the sleeve dimensions and then I will be ready to cast on! The pattern drafting class at Romni Wools was totally worth it–I didn’t really know the rules of garment design before I took the class, and knowing the various formulas and techniques has definitely made the whole experience easier. (Though the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.)

I wanted to sketch my design so that I would have some kind of image to show today but I use a Mac, which doesn’t come with any kind of paint/draw program. There’s probably some kind of drawing program on the Internet that I can download but unfortunately, I have to go to work soon. If you’re lucky, I’ll draw it by hand, scan it and upload it after work. Though that does sound like a lot of effort… And it’s time that might be better spent casting on and knitting a few rows…

Who were you in high school?

February 23, 2006 at 5:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You’re probably a little less weird these days – but even more talented!

Who Were You In High School?

I don’t know if I was really that arty or emo in high school. Maybe in my head–outwardly I was probably more sullen than anything. Oh how things have changed. You can just call me Ray. (For my current nickname, “ray of fucking sunshine.”)

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February 23, 2006 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Unfortunately, this post contains no knitting content. (For those of you wondering why I make a big deal about including knitting, I have joined a knitting blog ring and therefore should–and by “should” I mean “must”–post come knitting content.) I promise that when I get a chance to work on my sweater I’ll write about that, even though the sweater is still very much in the design stage.

No, this post is about my life as a grad student. As most of you know, I am studying archives at the Faculty of Information Studies. Most of my classes require me to write papers and take tests. I’m fine with writing papers; I didn’t choose to major in English as an undergrad cause I hated writing. But sometimes I have a hard time understanding how writing a paper is going to make me a good archivist. (This is along the same lines as my other realization of late–if one is not planning on getting a Ph D, and one is in a professional master’s program, how much do one’s grades really matter?) For one of my classes I have to do an actual arrangement and description project at an archive, in my case the Railway YMCAs in Canada. I’m really into photography, and there are tons of photos in this fonds (archives term) which is cool. I spent a few hours today and a few hours on Tuesday going through the boxes and trying to figure out how the records should be arranged. This is a project that I can really get into, because not only is it interesting, it’s also applicable to my career–I’ll actually be doing this for a living. Anyway, I’m so much more into it than I am writing papers at the moment.

Petty as I wanna be

February 22, 2006 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

For some reason I am in a petty mood today. I thought lots of bad things in my head as I walked to work, and I was listening to Led Zeppelin which usually gets my blood in a boil, for better or worse. Here are some of my thoughts:

Ok. There is sidewalk etiquette, people! The sidewalk, contrary to popular belief, does not belong to you and you alone. Draw an imaginary line down the middle: half of it belongs to you and half of it belongs to me. To clarify, the right half belongs to me and the left half belongs to you when we are walking in opposite directions. Why? Because we drive on the right-hand side of the road. So, even if you are walking with your kid/dog/grandmother/5 of your best friends, I still get half of the sidewalk, and I want the right half. That means that you will have to relinquish control, which I know you don’t want to do, but you know what? It will make you a better person in my eyes, and that should be motivation enough. And if it isn’t, I’ll zap you with my Taser.

And another thing. The SickKids people really annoy me sometimes, with their “Do you have time for SickKids today?” line. Clearly, these people do not know me AT ALL. I don’t even like healthy kids, and the thought of sick ones kind of grosses me out. However, that is not what this rant is about. It’s not about the sick kids, it’s about the SickKids people. They stand there with their dumpy vests and baggy sweatshirts, their 3-ring binders of hope, their long unkempt hair, and they expect pedestrians to stop and give them money? WTF?

Ok. I’ll tell you what pedestrians will stop for–hot chicks and dudes with beer. They need to ditch the ugly vests and get some tank tops (low-cut for the ladies) that say SickKids (or whatever) across the chest. Their employers need to provide them with brushes, combs, and mirrors and have a mandatory hair-brushing/mirror check once an hour. There needs to be a full keg of cheap Canadian beer and those red plastic party cups. There needs to be a big sign that says “Free beer with every donation” and in very small print, this caveat: “Five dollar minimum donation.” The hotties could work as crowd bait–throw a sexy woman in a tank top and shorts out into a crowd and I guarantee that you will have more donations than you could shake a stick at. I mean, shit, even I will stop for a hot woman. (Although I’d rather stop for a hot man. Even though I didn’t yesterday–there was a totally hot SickKids guy who wanted my attention but seriously, any guy who seems like he might be too much of a do-gooder, particularly when kids are involved, sets off some major alarm bells. But then when he told me to smile, I did like the dancing monkey that I am. Whatever. You would have too cause I’m telling you, the guy was smokin’.) Anyway, enough about me. The less-hotties could man the booth and pour the beer.

We all know that sex appeal is like the easiest way of getting money from people. Why do these charities or whatever they are not use this information for their own purposes? Why am I not in charge of everything?

Designing woman

February 21, 2006 at 11:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

For the past couple days, I’ve been trying to decide what to knit with my blue Miami-ocean wool. At first, I thought I wanted to make the Cashmere Lace Sweater from Loop-d-Loop, but when I made a gauge swatch, it turned out that my gauge was a lot bigger than in the pattern. I considered just adjusting the pattern for the gauge of the yarn that I have, but that got annoying. And I’m kind of bad at that.

After much swatching and frogging I’ve finally decided to just design my own sweater. I took a pattern drafting course at Romni Wools here in Toronto, and I’d like to put what I learned to good use. So… after much ado, I will be making a v-neck sweater, mostly in stockinette stitch (I’d like to show off the colors of the yarn and allover lace sweaters can look a bit frumpy) but with an asymmetrical lace panel up the front, and a lace panel on the sleeves. I think I’ll do a picot hem, too. The lace panel will not be as wide as the photos below; the lace pattern is 16 stitches plus one, and while the swatch shows 33 stitches, I’ll only use 17 in the sweater.

Here’s a couple photos of my swatch blocking:


Sorry about the weird color quality; when I used the flash it was way too bright and there’s not really enough natural light where I pinned the swatch, but I was lazy and didn’t want to move it.

One thing that I realized during this whole process is that there are so many ugly knits out there. I spent hours scouring the Internet for pretty lace sweaters and while I did find some (mainly in magazines like Rebecca and Rowan), the majority of the garments that I looked at were awful. There’s a Web site that I love called You Knit What that pretty much sums up the quality of knitwear with the advent of fun fur and the “because I can knit it, I should” philosophy. I’m pretty sure that fun fur needs to be banished. If I see one more scarf–or skirt, for the love of God–made out of that stuff I will scream. Oh, and too-baggy tank tops? SO NOT ATTRACTIVE! Call me crazy, but I like to feel at least presentable and maybe even cute in the clothes I wear. If it doesn’t fit you properly, maybe you shouldn’t be wearing it. Yeah, I know, not all of us have supermodel bodies, but that is no excuse for wearing ugly, ill-fitting clothes, even (especially) if you did make them yourself. If you are at the point where you are capable of making your own clothing, you should be very, very familiar with your measurements, and you should be realistic about what looks good on you and what doesn’t. Why waste all that time and energy on something that is going to make you look lumpy, frumpy, and dumpy?

I take it all back.

February 20, 2006 at 9:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When I last posted, I said that Oliver was kind of a jerk. Well, as per usual, first impressions are not always accurate. Ollie and I had a major breakthrough last night.

When I was trying to fall asleep, he came into my room and jumped up onto my bed, purring as he went. He then walked across me, licked my hand a couple of times (I totally thought he was going to bite) and then settled down, nuzzling his head against my cheek. And still purring. Oh my God. I love cats. I think that any creature that is soft AND purrs is totally fabulous. Even when I turned over cause I was uncomfortable, he still wanted to cuddle. It was wonderful.

Oliver, you are a prince among cats.

PS–I hope to post some knitting stuff tomorrow. I’m embarking upon a new project and have been swatching, frogging, and reswatching for two days now, so I don’t really have anything to show for it.

Oliver

February 18, 2006 at 10:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Meet the new addition to the family! His name is Oliver, and he’s special.

He’s not actually my cat; Lorien and I are watching him while Stephanie and Eddie are out of town (lucky bastards). I looooove cats so I was really excited about having him.

Here’s the thing, though–he’s kind of–how do I say it–a jerk. I mean, last night he was very endearing, hiding under Lorien’s bed and making us think that he was somehow overwhelmed by being in a new house without his owners. Maybe he was scared. Maybe he was vulnerable. I think that was part of his plan, though, to trick us (and by us I mean me) into thinking that he was something that he’s not (i.e. nice).

Later, I was in bed reading and he came and sat with me. He sat on my book and I was petting him. It was very cute and I was happy that he had overcome his fear and was being friendly. Then he started biting my arm. I know that cats get weird and bitey sometimes, but this cat, as I said, is special. When he started biting, I grabbed him by the scruff and told him to knock it off. I swatted his nose. He took it as a challenge and started biting even harder, this time stalking my arm and pouncing. That shit hurts, so I kicked him out.

I was kind of worried about him attacking me in my sleep but I sort of forgot about it and started to drift off. The next thing I knew, Oliver had crept into my room and was attacking again. We had a bit of a staring contest, I won, and he left.

So this morning he was as sweet as pie. Hmmm. Maybe he has split personalities? Maybe Evil Oliver took over last night and Sweet Oliver was pushed down into the depths of his subconscious. You have to admit, he looks a little bit evil in that picture.

Anyway, I hope that I survive the next week with Oliver. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him in a while… I wonder what he’s up to…

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