Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Amazing Race, Week 1

Lots of photos, sorry for the crappy quality, my camera sucks.....

Before the race begins.....two knitters, happy to be hanging out.

See how friendly she looks? It's all an act...
She's wearing mascara- it's not the real her!

Some caffeine loading in preparation of the grueling journey they are about to begin.

The race begins! There are no alliances in this edition of Amazing Race, its every knitter for herself!

Who will reach the checkpoint first? If you knew who was knitting which colour, it might help....

It's Lisa in the lead for week 1! Although really, she had a 4 row lead (an allowed handicap for having 2 kids), and Dianna had a few false starts (like forgetting she wasn't using garter stitch, duh!).

So yes, it's Lisa in the Burgundy/rust colour and Dianna in black.

See my shiny Addi Turbos? They have yet to make me faster...

We've decided not to post our progress over the week, so that we won't know until we see each other again.

We also might consider weekly "detours"/challenges... any ideas?

Next weeks challenge... eat wings, drink beer and knit... at Castro's... feel free to come watch the action live!

The Joy of Knitting Olympics

I have to say, participating in the knitting Olympics was one of the most fun things I have ever done.
I got to meet a ton of people I likely never would have met, I finished a sweater that i would have bailed on part way though, and I am amazed at what people can accomplish in 16 days.
I have always found "internet knitting friends" to be incredibly supportive and helpful, but never so much so as they were for this.

Thanks for all your compliments on my Olympic project, but really, it bites. Of course I only posted the most flattering picture, who wants to put a picture of themselves looking like a cow up? Maybe if I feel brave later I'll show off how terrible it really looks.

I am sad I didn't make it to the closing ceremonies on Sunday. I met a lot of people two weeks ago that I would really like to keep in touch with, knit with (drink with!), but I almost feel like I missed the boat.

But, hopefully this was as fun for everyone else, and we'll have more gatherings in the future. Maybe we should get together to "train" once a month?

On a pissy note, check this out. Someone actually left a nasty comment on someone's blog about their Olympic progress. Some people suck.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Knitty Surprise

i must have this.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Amazing (Knitting) Race

Fasten your seatbelts because on February 28 the Amazing (Knitting) Race takes off!
This season, the reality adventure has a format of two teams, one person each, pitting two knitting buddies (Lisa and Dianna), against each other.
They will knit over 70,000 stitches in exotic locations, spanning over five blocks and two blogs. They'll never know what the next row will look like or when they'll have to frog back!

As always, this website will track the teams' progress across the sweater, and their success at check-point challenges.

Join us, Tuesday nights, Beaches Stitch and Bitch.... and find out what their relationship is like at the cast-on and cast-off points in the Race. And of course, watch to see who will win the (imaginary) million dollars!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cue National Anthem...... Now

I'm finished!
I finished seaming it all last night. I have got to say, it was the easiest sweater ever to seam up. The sleeves fit in perfectly!

Too bad I hate it.
I love the sleeves, but the rest of it makes me look like a large blue cow. Sigh. I'll give it the "old college try" though... and give it a soak in Eucalan and block it.

The "peplum" section (the lace at the bottom) actually seems to distort the shape of the sweater, and I don't know how they could ever suggest it should be a "loose fitting sweater", unless you're a stick.

And, we're always told not to wear chunky yarn unless we want to look chunky!

Maybe I'll try taking off the peplum, and put some ribbing in instead.....

I thought the pink pajama bottoms were a nice match for it.

So, what next? Lisa has challenged me to a knit along RACE. I can't turn down a challenge. We're going to do the top down raglan cardi from CosmicPluto. She had already cast on, so I was allowed to get started today (the collar only) and we'll have our official start Tuesday at Stitch and Bitch. I will so beat her ass at this. Excuse my french.

I'm using the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that I picked up last week. Oooh, Ahhh, what nice yarn it is. Quite a treat after the acrylic/nylon of my Olympic project.
Now I'm itching to keep going, but there's NO CHEATING! That, and I think I have a bit of tendonitis in my elbow from all the Olympic knitting!

The closing ceremonies for the Knitting Olympics are on Sunday afternoon. I screwed up and have something else booked then, so I thought I wouldn't be able to make it. I saw Denny today though, and her and Erin aren't going until 6, so I just might make a late appearance too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ode to Running Room Runners

Oh Running Room Runners, how I love thee.... in fact, let me count the ways....
  1. I love that you want to run a marathon, but cannot park your car more than 10 feet away from the start of your training runs. I love that it takes me 20 minutes to find parking on your training nights
  2. I love that you all wear the same jacket and look like a weird alien culture taking over my neighbourhood
  3. I love that you run in large packs, blocking the sidewalk, and sometimes even an entire lane of traffic. I especially love that you don't move for anyone.
  4. I love that you stretch in the middle of the sidewalk.
  5. I love that you all go to Starbucks afterwards, and talk about your matching outfits, and again don't move for anyone.
  6. I love that you yell/screech at each other from 5 blocks away, right outside my apartment, especially about your plans for the weekend, or how great you look in the alien jackets.
In fact, I love you so much, that I have signed up for training runs at EnduroSport.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

and another thing.....

I live in the Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto. It's not a ghetto. So can someone please explain to me why my hubcap was stolen on a Monday afternoon? I swear! I was doing my laundry, and when I got back to my car, one of my front hubcaps was gone. What the heck is that about? Who would want a hubcap from a Toyota Echo?

So I got home and looked on ebay for hubcaps. Didn't find any, but did notice that people will try to sell ANYTHING! When I bought the car, I got a free Toyota keychain. It's not fancy or anything. People are trying to sell them for 20+ dollars!

What is this world coming to?

mmm.... more yarn

OK, so here's the stash I got at the Knitwerx open house on Saturday......
What you see there is
8 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Black (55% merino wool, 22% microfibre, 12%
This stuff might end up being the top down cardi.... just like Lisa, because I want to be just like her!

8 balls of Filati Fantasia Cezanne in a yellow/beige (50% cotton, 40%viscose, 10% silk). What the heck is viscose? It sounds kinda plasticky....
Anyway, this may become the shapely tank I keep talking about doing.....

And two balls of the Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed, because I'm always afraid I'm going to run out of yarn, so I thought I would pick up some extra for the Blissful Jacket, which I will finish after the Olympics!

Almost there....

All that's left to do is the seaming.... which I hate. Why oh why didn't I pick a great circular pattern like Erin did?!
I have Stitch n'Bitch tonight, so I'm sure I'll get a chunk of it done there.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Baby Interferes With Olympic Progress

See, this is why I'm only on the sleeves!

This is Rachel in her Team Canada gear.What a cutie!

Hi, I'm Back!

Spent a few days in Hamilton watching the Olympics and holding my friends baby. Didn't get as much knitting done as I wanted to. I am finished the front and the back now, and just started the sleeves.
I'm suffering from a nasty hangover today (oh red wine, I hate and love you so...), so will plant myself on the couch, watch tv, eat junkfood and knit.

I also added to my stash yesterday... knitwerx is having an open house, with some fantastic sales. They're open till 6 today. Go if you can! My camera batteries are currently charging, so I will post photos later.

Have a great day, and I hope your head doesn't hurt nearly as much as mine does.....

Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm a Sap

Now I'm crying watching "Skating with Celebrities". How sad is that!?

My Olympic Update

It's Monday evening, and things seem to be going pretty well. I finished the back of the sweater earlier today. During the opening ceremonies, I had decided the size I was doing was going to be way too large, so went down a size. I think I always knew that this size would be too small... so I spent a chunk of today doing some thinking and measuring and calculating....
I'm going to add some space in the lace section for my boobs and my hips. I'm hoping all will work out!
I thought I would also share with you a photo of my current workspace ....... my couch!
You can see here (sorry about the crappy quality):
  • my 2 tv remotes, I haven't figured out how to totally combine them. I think my tv is too old
  • kleenex- I cry a lot during the Olympics- when people win (doesn't matter what country they're from), when people lose, when people fall, when they do those "Olympian" biographies, and apparently when Tim Horton's commercials have grandfathers come to watch their grandsons play hockey, and while doing so have a tender moment with their son
  • scissors- I love my "stitch rippers"!
  • a heating pad for injuries ( I get a sore back sometimes, I think I hurt it scrapbooking Saturday, actually, jut from carrying all the supplies, it's a dangerous craft, you know!)
  • a notebook and pencil for all my pattern adjustments
  • a calculator (because I'm math retarded)
  • a trusty measuring tape
  • the pattern (photocopied and put in a page saver so I don't wreck my magazine)
  • and finally, the beginnings of the front side.
I'm going to see the "Body Worlds" exhibit tomorrow, and then off to Hamilton to watch the games with a friend and her one month old baby, so I'm not sure when my next update will be.


The girl from the Chinese pairs skating team just took a really nasty fall. These skaters are so talented and graceful, I think we forget what a dangerous sport it is.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Led Zeppelin at the Olympics

What a great idea! The pairs team from China used an "orchestral" version of a Zeppelin song. Awesome. How long does music have to be around for it to stop being "that devil-worshipping, rock-and-roll noise"?

Knitting Olympics - Day One

Here are some photos from today....

This is me casting on at work. It was around 4:30. I'm glad I got that done before the excitement of the pub. I would never have gotten the whole provisional cast-on thing under control there.
When I got to the bar, there was no one there I had met before, so I just sat myself down at a table. There were all ready about 15 people knitting away. A couple of other knitters had come in at the same time, so they sat down with me. I was at the back of a booth, so I just sat there all night.... no mingling! It was pretty crowded anyway, not a lot of room to move around!

I had a great group sitting at my table. I stole this photo from Jen's blog. This is my table, minus one (I'm not sure what happened to B, and I don't know if she has a blog, but she's going to have a sweater pattern in the next Knitty!).
Let's see if I can remember who everyone is....

From the left we have: Michelle (who was wearing "mermaid", it was gorgeous on her!), Stephanie (who's blog I've been reading since I knew what a blog was), me (not wearing my Team Canada jersey 'cause it was too freaking hot, and I didn't want to be smelly), Yvette, Erin (who I totally recognize from the Naked Sheep, but she didn't recognize me....), Laura (who has the most insane knitting Olympics project), and the other Laura (who was working on a gorgeous sweater, but not for competition). Whew.

Here are some action shots. Enjoy!

This is Kelly. She is the Team Canada creator/goddess. She looked like she was having a lot of fun. I noticed she wore her jersey all night, but I didn't notice any smelliness.

This is Denny. She also works at the Naked Sheep. She's funny.
This is Jen. She is also a Team Canada goddess. She did a lot of announcements, and I bet she has no voice Saturday morning.
Other people I don't know.

This is what I accomplished on Day 1. It doesn't look like much, but I had a false start. I had almost gotten to the lace section when I decided it was going to be too big. I frogged and started again , but a size smaller. Stephanie and B- thanks for your support through the ordeal!
Here it is with my jersey, because it's the only photo I have of it.....
Day 2 will be a down day for me. I'm going to an all day scrapbooking crop, so I don't think I'll get much knitting done!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thank God for Crochet Cast-On!

Katherine tried to teach me the open/provisional cast-on at stitch and bitch the other night, but it just wasn't working for me. That was really annoying, because I can usually pick up on new stitches really easily. I think the issues were: 1. I'm left handed, and she was doing all the yarn twisting and wrapping with her right hand, it felt so awkward to me, and 2. The fuzziness of the yarn was complicating everything- as it twisted with the waste yarn, it got al tangled and I had to cut it out.
So, I got home and tried a crochet cast-on. I am "ok" at crochet, so it wasn't all new to me, I'm a little awkward at it, but it will get easier. And the fact that you aren't using both yarns at the same time totally cuts back on the tangle factor, and the waste yarn is oh-so-easy to pull out at the end.
I think I have my cast-on.

I also had a look at the sizing. The description says it's "loose fitting", but it doesn't look very loose on the model! I will trust Vogue, and go with a "loose fit" size (which according to yarnstandards.com is 4-6" larger than my actual size), which makes the bust 45", while mine is 39"..... hrmm..... should be interesting to see. I'll be making size Large.

The other thing I'm concerned about is the neck opening. It will be 18" around, but my noggin is bigger than that, how does that work?

So, only 32 hours till the opening ceremonies, and the official cast-on time... I'll be at work, but maybe I'll sneak into the bathroom (a la Lisa) and start. Or, I could just go into my office and shut the door.

And yes, it is 6 am and I am blogging. If you know me, you know that I should still be in bed. Apparently my internal alarm clock is set for 4 am this week. Maybe it's pre-competition jitters ;-).

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yes It's True, I Swatch With Fancy Yarns....

My training for the Knitting Olympics continues.......

The sweater starts with a provisional cast-on, so I thought I had better give it a try before the opening ceremonies.
The first two yarns I grabbed were some Manos and some GGH cotton. Not the cheapest yarn for swatches! Ah well, they're left overs, so what else am I going to use them for?

The pattern specifically calls for doing the long tail cast on, so here I go.....

It was easy to do the cast on, but when I started to take out the waste yarn, it was a bit of a pain. If I pulled out the waste yarn (the orange yarn) as I went, the stitches would start to disappear, like the were getting "sucked in". If I put the needle in the stitches first, it was a pain to pull the waste yarn out, because with the long tail, it wraps around a few times. Something that takes too long isn't really conducive to quickly finishing something for the Olympics, is it?

I looked through some of my books, and on the internet, and there seems to be another version of a provisional cast-on, where the working yarn seems to go around the waste yarn, so the waste yarn is easy to pull out when the time comes. I'll give that a try tonight, and ask the girls at stitch and bitch about it.

As for other knitting news..... I've started a pair of socks in Reggia. I thought it was the patterning yarn rather than just the variegated yarn. It's also going to be too big for me, so it will have to be a gift. I wanted my next project to be for me, so I'm not so interested in them at the moment. But they are small and travel well.

I've also been working on the Blissful Jacket. It's all brown stocking stitch, so not so interesting to look at. I've finished the back, and have started the left front. The finished measurements seem to work for my size, but I know I'll need a little more space for the boobs, so sped up the increases above the waist. Instead of every 10 rows, I increased every 5 or 3, that way I'll be at the correct width a little earlier, hopefully leaving a little more room for the ladies.

All right, I'm off to try another provisional cast-on, but this time I think I'll try using the actual yarn......

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Woo Hoo!?

I was just looking at my blog, and I think I use "Woo Hoo" too much. I sound like a hick. I'll try to retire it until I move into my trailer.

Did I mention that I handed in the grad school application on Monday morning? Yup. It's outta my hands now.

My brother did a final proof read of the essay for me on Thursday night, and I didn't read the edits until the next day. Here were his suggestions for the last line:
Accept me or I will kill you all.
Which he crossed out and instead wrote:
I know where you all live, and my monkeys are very well trained.

He's funny, he makes me laugh.