10 February 2006

Go Team Canada!!

so i had my doubts... knitting olympics: 16 days to complete a challenge project was intriguing, buti honestly didn't have a project i could start today... i either didn't have the yarn, or i didn't have the equipment (needles, pattern, etc.). then iI realized (in my sleep) that i had some yarn i wanted to get rid of, and this might be a good chance to get it all done with. it's my first time working with cotton, and this is rowan's summer tweed, an aran weight cotton silk blend. and it just doesn't have the spring of wool. sigh... so it is entering the simple raglan cardi category of the olympics. 16 days and i hope it's done!

my other projects will be on hold until then. oh my, yes, it will probably breathe fresh air into a few of them (i hope it doesn't take the air out of others).

this is also good because i have realized that knitting is the perfect weight control tool, especially in the winter. it keeps food out of my hands. if you let yourself get a little hungry (especially after eating a meal) you lose weight. it's not anorexia, it's understanding that hunger is fat burning, and that you SHOULD understand that feeling. you'll know when it's right to eat, when your body wants versus when your body needs. i need that back, so i'm going to knit and keep knitting while thinking about whether i NEED food, or just kinda want it. i'm hoping to lose about 5 pounds a month for a few months, doing this, working out a little bit, and adding a few acceptable weight loss methods along the way (no late night eating, etc.)

these are the plans, lets see how they work!

06 February 2006

it's been a while

project load| medium high
sanity| calm to moderate
yarn addiction| mild fever and shakes
wallet| empty

my stats are not as bad as they have been, but no where near where they should be. not only have i spent too much money on recent projects, i have started so many that i am beginning to feel overwhelmed with completing any of them. after finishing the mermaid last year, i felt it was safe to cast on some smaller projects. since, i have made some socks, a hat, and a pair of latvian mittens. i've started another pair of latvian mittens, laid a never ending kiri shawl to the wayside for a while, started GOLs frost flowers and leaves in cobweb, started Eunny Jangs print o' the wave stole, begun designing a very sexy little tank top and started sketching out some definition to this lys dream of mine. none of these are near completion. i do a few rows/rounds on a few everyday. during the interesting parts, i run with a project longer, but my mind is constantly wandering to what i want to do next. the only thing that remains steadfast is my lys dream.

recently i took some steps towards making the dream a reality. i met with someone with more experience and things felt like they might gain momentum, but, alas, that route has been stopped in its tracks. i have not given up on montreal and my lys, however, and i hope to find new opportunities and make my way along this arduous path. i just try to stay level headed. i admit, owning and operating a lys is not for everyone, and most are not making a profit. montreal seems to have the space and the budding hand knit community, and that makes this goal of mine a little more glorious in my mind... but montreal is different. it is different in every sense of the way. the way this city operates both astounds and agonizes me. i guess, until i truly understand these nuances, my dream will most likely stay a dream.

but, i'm an optimistic person. and i'm ambitious. and i believe in myself and don't often let myself down.

23 January 2006

sunday afternoon with montreal knits

what a turn out! incredible... almost overwhelming. i met many new and old members of the group and had a hard time actually working on my project (this is always the case). i did manage to start the thumbs of ben's mittens, and finished one at home later in the evening.
kiyoko from ami ami showed up with her wonderful wares and lovely japanese knitting magazines. i indulged (i neeeeeeed to stop) in some faith for veronik's short row hat and some beautiful ahs slub kasuri for a little shawl when i get the chance.
word at the meeting was that paisley's was expanding. hurrah!!! it would be wonderful for knitting in montreal to become more accessible and comfortable. i can't wait. this also puts no dampers on my yarn store ambitions. i don't want to walk blindly into such a retail operation, believe me, so more research will be done and compiled for the plan. look for a poll coming soon...

last friday ben was home sick. he ended up feeling better in the late afternoon, so we decided that we should go recuperate our missing bed piece. getting there was a blast (not- i got motion sick on the second of three legs :| ). we had a totally new ikea experience though. once inside it was calm and collected and made more sense. there were so few people in it i could see from display to display and had no problems navigating myself (and my stuff) between mid-aisle sales bins, etc. even the cafeteria had no line. it was: relaxing... we got our post and some curtain rods and walk-bus-metro-metro-walked home. definitely not as comfortable and efficient as the cab, but cheap. and put our bed together... which is nice, but hard. i'm not used to it. our foam matress has sides to keep it in instead of squishing under pressure... this may call for some feathers!

15 January 2006

ikea in a get-away car!

we just returned from ikea. it was the usual frustration and over stimulation... contemplating on the worth and benefit of replications. we had decided to get a simple bed frame, something to elevate our plain slats off the floor. we picked a very popular, very ikea identifiable bed with a good price tag, picked up a huge mirror (we've been living with only a lil' mirror above our sink for 2 years now), some new pillows and curtains... we made it through the check out lines and decided that since it was atrociously cold, we would try cabbing ourselves and our purchases back home instead of waiting in the delivery line and waiting half an hour by the side of a freeway for the bus. much more comfortable the cab would be. ben had doubts about fitting our long purchases into a van cab, but it worked out marvellously and we made it home with our stuff in less than delivery costs (and without waiting all day for them to come). one thing though: one missing piece. not just a missing spatula or curtain rod finial, but the middle support beam for the bed. DOH! so, this 30 dollar piece is probably freezing outside waiting for someone to bring it back into the warehouse. this means checking in tomorrow to see if they found it, taking the stupid, uncomfortable and agravatingly slow trek back out there tomorrow or the next day and either picking up the lost one or purchasing another 30 dollar bar and lugging the brat home in the miserable weather. i am not looking forward to this. not one bit. it was almost the smoothest return from ikealand ever. what a botch we pulled this time.

in the wonderful world of knitting, i've finished mona's socks from interweave knits winter 2005, gotten about halfway through a kiri shawl for a friend and started some mittens for ben.

i placed some yarn orders shortly after the holidays and both came the same day. i went a little crazy with the knit picks (not a huge fan, but my wallet is), and ordered some lace weight from ami ami. the lace yarn is 1300 m per 100 g, and is a little difficult for this novice lace knitter. i'm knitting the frost flowers and leaves shawl from gol. it's going to be a beauty! pictures to come soon!

22 December 2005

coming to an end...

so my final is over. it was just as i expected (which also means disastrous in certain sections) and it is finally done. now i have to think about the holidays. i'm becoming less and less interested in christmas. it can be really really beautiful, but it can also be extremely frustrating. i'm hoping to go out for dinner with some friends and be low stress.

i am also almost done with the mermaid i had to restart, which is awesome. i have such a long list of projects i want to do in the new years, it's sick. i have another mermaid to do, and another hanne kit for my mum i'm obliged to do. i also have a sweater for ben i need to design based off of one of his favorite anime series. i'm looking forward to it, it should be relatively painless aside from the zipper installation. i have some ufos to clear up, namely the navy blue bolero from vintage knits, a pale green baby blanket and a cropped sweater. then come the lust filled projects...

oh yes, have you seen this little dream? okay, not so little, it's a 6' x 6' square lace treasure. it's from "a gathering of lace," this particular pattern created by eugen buegler. ugh, okay, it might be a little overwhelming for my attention span, but every row is probably full of dextrous delight. well, maybe every other row...

15 December 2005

knitterly goodness

it's been hectic lately. i have a final coming up, we have an active social life, i'm working out, and winter is upon us. i have also been slightly fickle again (i don't mean to be fickle, but on the little things i waiver). the fleece artists fingering weight i bought no longer appeals. i know many of the montreal knitters i have met love the stuff, but it just didn't appeal to me... i offered my two skeins up to some local knitters, i just have to e-mail them about the details.

this past sunday i went to a montreal knits meeting, which is always a good chance to learn, share techniques and grope some yarn. i got to preview the winter 2005 interweave knits (which chapters didn't have the day before) and loved it. first of all it was full of local designers patterns. second, it's so neat and tidy (that's a major plus for a design freak like me). third, i might actually knit more than one item out of it, and that's unusual.

the new interweave in conjunction with the new knitty surmounts to 'knitterly goodness.' from a design perspective, it means there are more knitwear designers giving us what we actually want, and innovating. it's a good time to be a knitter. it makes me feel better about my yarn habit.

some projects i have my eye on:
interweave|winter 2005

winter is upon us and my hat collection hasn't grown an ounce.

mona's socks, perfect for the rowan botany i got on sale.

intruiging: mukluks for indoors and out.

i could wear my velvet blazer with veronik's bandeau.

just a happy girl in red.

knitty.com|winter 2005
these socks have me swimming with desire.

perfect baby gifts.

i've been wanting to knit chains for ages!

i have a stack of vintage and not so vintage fabric here waiting to be sewn up into a variety of bags, a few of which are screaming dpn cases. i wish i could sew more than simple bags. i need some guidance in this department. i'm planning some simple aprons, etc. but i really want to do some full skirts and house dresses. i'm not a retro queen of any sort, but as of late, i think they could be really charming. especially since i'm bundled up in sweats in my apartment trying to keep our heating bills down. gone are the days of knitting barefoot and sleeveless... i can't wait for may to come!

and the sale wool i recently bought?? plans have developed. the rowan botany will become sweet house socks. the rowan yorkshire tweed 4 ply will become a lightly beaded beret/tam (and yes, i plan on wearing it, ye of little faith) and matching gloves.

09 December 2005

that slight sense of frustration

this week has gone fast, and not without hitting a few potholes. moday i tried to get myself organized for my upcoming french final (as well as do my essay last minute for class the next day, which also failed). i decided i wanted my french textbook (which is also a workbook mixed in) photocopied and bound like other students in my class. i know, i know, that has copyright infringement written all over it. but, honestly, in this case i couldn't care less. i bought the book, i can't return it, and i think it's great, but not great enough to buy two of so i can write all over one. when it comes to studying, when i pay 80 bucks for a textbook, i want the workbook to be seperate and at LEAST easy to write in. it's like A4 sized, 400 pages, paper cover with maybe a size 10 font throughout and lots of blue text. thing is, with this format, you have to clamp down one side of the book and hold the other size down with your elbow if you even want to fill in the blanks or highlight soemthing neatly. meh. not for 80 bucks. i've been re-writing my homework on separate sheets so i don't mess up this book, and so i can do the exercices again with a graded key for final exam revision. but no deal. no one will photocopy this sucker because of copyright laws, and i have even traveled to verdun (i live east of the village) to get it copied from a reliable source. well that source seems to be on indefinite holiday vacation, and has a website that is null.

so i've been frustrated. it's not just that though (usually i get over these things pretty quick). i was sick yesterday: chills, shaking, uncontrollable body temperature, this weird suffocation feeling and a stomach ache in the morning. right now, i feel pretty darn good, but yesterday i was in a major state of suck. i didn't get anything done, which is not fun, because i've been in rolling along very productively this week. oh well...

i did make it down to mouline (lys) to buy some 3.5 mm dpns. i came out with another pair of dpns too, some sale yarn and a nice stitch library book. pictures will come when ben recharges the unweildy beast of a digital camera we use. i like mouline, i really like svetlana (the owner) but it's a little hard for me to get comfortable in there, and i like to get comfortable... i'm one of those girls who could spend an entire day in a knitting store carefully planning my purchase and developing new ideas from stock. i don't go in and come out the same. so that was a pleasant highlight of the week. that, and eating soup and awesome grilled cheese with ben last night. he came home and took such good care of me (mind you, the worst was long gone, but still ^^)

i have this dream of opening a yarn store here. it's more than a dream, and i am really behind it 100%. montreal knitters desperately need more options. it seems, however, that there will probably be a new one here before i'm ready to play. great for montreal knitters, sad for me... i honestly feel a yarn store can be a great community builder, a knitting community space, an important resource for contact. you don't need so many as to get confused or conflicted, but you do need options. i'm not so sure montreal would be receptive to two new lys within the next 5 years. mouline is rather new itself (two years old, i believe).

and on with some frustration!

i love these pictures. i found them on someone else's blog and can't find my way back. i've been searching all morning for their owner, but alas...

if anyone can help please let me know.

27 November 2005

mermaid rebirth

so, i finally heard back from the mermaid retailers. the news makes me feel like a moron, and indeed, i am most likely just that. shetland 2ply (knits as 4 ply) just meant that the two ply is equivalent gauge to a four ply, not that it needed doubling. and the missing color?? it's there, it's just only slightly different from the other color. apparently it shows it's difference in the knitted product, not exactly in separate balls. i hope i can take a picture of it that can actually show you the difference in color of these yarns. i really don't think i'm color blind, but ben noticed the difference when i put it up to the dining room halogens. sigh. i want an ott-lite.

other than that, the snow is melting away and it's above zero again. i miss the japanese bookstores and knick knack shops in seattle, and have racked up a 200+ dollar wishlist on yesasia. not gonna happen, but i might slowly purchase them and send them to my stateside friends to bring up to me. or i might go down there and pick them up. problem being that when the snow comes out i won't be going to far, sigh. i don't know how to drive in the snow, and i am not courageous enough to want to learn how, lol.

i'm planning a lil hike down to upstate new york soon. ben and i need to get out a bit. i want to stop at saratoga springs for a bagel and a visit to saratoga needle arts, then down to albany to visit some friends, then maybe down to morehouse farms for something special. when/if i get this road trip finalized, local montreal knitters let me know if they want anything from these places, and i'll try to make arrangements!