Saturday, October 28, 2006

Me buy yarn on the TTC Knitalong? That's as likely as Elvis being alive.

Elvis wows the crowd with his killer combo of a knitted pompadour and curled upper lip.

Elvis, being Elvis, just had to try on my Clapotis.
And where else would the King re-materialise but Alterknit, Toronto's newest yarn store?
Elvis tries to find out how sensitive Jen's girlhole really is.
Nadia models her gorgeous handknitted coat.
Next stop, Princess Haley's Knitomatic (note Pluto, The Loudest Lovebird in the Universe, on her shoulder. He kinda blends in with the yarn).

Dread Pirate Vivienne, flush with victory after pillaging Knitomatic. And as the saying goes: Where there's pirates, there's zombies. Not even death could keep Erin from the Knitalong. Tom's sister Sandy and niece Laura, an accomplished knitter in her own right, pose with Al Paca. Sandy was running a fever, so it's amazing that they were able to join us, even for a little while.

One of the many faces of Lilly, at this moment reflecting her concern that there are loads of people waiting for the Bathurst streetcar -- but no streetcar.
Susan, filled with evil glee after frightening an innocent bystander into deserting the back of the Spadina streetcar.
Jen, still harshing the clown. (Jen is knitting the scarf on her shoulder for a friend. She doesn't like the colourway, and declared that it looked like dead clown. Michelle (avec camera) remarked that it was more like pure├ęd clown. After slagging off the colours for most of the morning, Jen decided that she'd been "harshing the clown" too much. Michelle now has a new favourite saying.)
Stop harshing the clown! Be drinkable!

Jacquie (a.k.a. The Devil Wears Clappy), overcome whilst trying to hold my yarn. She was unable to actually look at it all because she ran out of hands.

Here it is - that better? I'm highly pleased, yet also mortified at the size of the haul.
Maybe I can take some lessons from Elvis on places to hide it.

And that's the short version.
Thanks to the folks at Alterknit, Knitomatic and Lettuce Knit for making Team North's day so fantastic! You guys are the best yarn stores a girl could ever want to visit.

Monday, October 23, 2006


My camera batteries are recharging, so no pix. Lots to pic about, though. Soon, my pretties, soon.

Mon clapotis est fini. Done, done, done. 8.5 balls of Lang Mille Colori. It looks great, but now I don't know what to do with it. I feel like a cat that's finally caught the mouse she's been stalking. It's very long (VERY long), but I think it's too narrow to be useful as a wrap, and too wide to be used as a scarf. I actually didn't wear it today 'cos I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to don it in such a way that it would stay on as I carelessly cast myself about the bus en route to work. Must re-dig-out the beautiful shawl stick Laura gave me to see if that'll do the trick. And you know - I like it inside out. I didn't think I would, but it sits better on the shoulders that way, and the colours blur together in a pleasing fashion.

In other news, I admit it: I. am. out. of. control. Last week or so, I was at Lettuce Knit and finally succumbed to the Posh sock yarn. Cashmere/merino yumminess - 2 skeins: paisley and cosmopolitan. And how charmed am I that 2 of their solids are called 'boiled egg' and 'pillar box' - they look exactly as you expect them to. I won't even get into flibbertigibbet.

And then on Sunday, all hell broke loose. I returned to Lettuce to drop off some yarn for "I'm working in a yaaaaaaarrrrrrnnnnn stooorrrrrreeeee" Jen (I'm her Kureyon pusher), and to what should my wondering eyes (perhaps in my case it should be 'wandering eyes') should appear, but a whole new Lorna's Laces shipment. That would have been bad enough on its own, but it became a deadly, heady cocktail with the addition of Michelle, who makes my enabler tendencies look positively gentle. Let's sum up the damage, shall we?

Two skeins each of the following:

Purple Iris


Mother Lode

Vera (which makes me think of Nabokov's wife)


Flames (I am infinitely suggestible. When Michelle dug into the stack to find some, I needed some too. I'm now envisioning using some plain charcoal yarn to create socks with flames licking up from the toes and peeking out of my mary janes, with more flames climbing up from the heel to ring my leg. Or some such.)

If you were doing the math, you'll realise that, not counting the stuff that was in my hands and I forced myself to put back (black watch, black purl, heck knows what else), that's 12 skeins of sock yarn. In addition to all the sock yarn I already have which in no way constitutes evidence of any kind of addiction whatsoever. And next week is the knitalong.

*falls of her chair and twitches amidst dragonhordes of yarn*

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lorena Snark is teetering on the edge of sneaker envy...

...and I propose to tip her over the edge to meltdown.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I've been thinking a lot about breasts lately, for reasons both personal and wider-worldly.

Beryl Tsang - titbit creatrix, TTC Knitalong maven, Womanly Force to be Reckoned With™ and all-round mad creative genius - spoke at the Downtown Knit Collective meeting tonight about her experience with cancer and the birth of the titbit, a gorgeous, ingenious, and – dare I say it – sensual solution to what must be an overwhelming, devastating challenge: how does one feel and look good when half of one's bouncy, crazy set of taken-for-granted mammaries has been removed as a means of saving your life?

In preparation for Beryl's visit, we were encouraged to knit titbits to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, so over the last few days, I knitted a cottony-soft, silky, lavender titbit (C-cup) whilst listening to countless episodes of Cast On and KnitCast. I thought about the eventual recipient. Dunno who she is, but I'm thinking about her and hoping she wears it in good health, and that the softness and colour gives her at least a little bit of pleasure.

It felt oddly appropriate, somehow, that I was thinking about my own breasts over the same few days. For months now, I've been meaning to pick up some new bras. The ones I own are pretty stretched out, and, as it turns out, too small – as in, WAY too small. Here I was, stupidly thinking it was their age that was causing the straps to regularly slip off my shoulders in the most exasperating fashion, when I suddenly twigged the other week that it was because my breasts were uncontainable, and their weight was pulling the straps down.

I must digress for a moment to explain to those that have never seen me in person that I'm 5'10", have weighed between 160 and 170 pounds for about the last 10 years, and have been a size 12 with 38C breasts for…hmmm…almost 20 years. In the last year or so, due to a combination of medication and eating junk with abandon, I've gained a fair bit of weight: I recently bought size 13 and 14 trousers for the first time in my whole life, and discovered over the Thanksgiving weekend that I now weigh 181 lbs. I have a pretty delicate bone structure, so my height is the only reason I don't look the size I actually am – well, to other people, anyway. I am a paragon of unfitness. So it really shouldn't be surprising to me that one of the first places I gain weight (and obviously one of the last places I notice has gained weight) is my breasts.

Knitting this titbit and thinking about breasts finally spurred me to do something to support and care for my own. Well, that, and the fact that yesterday not only was my bra giving me grief, but my tried-and-true, favourite grey tights no longer fit either. I had a sitcom-esque trip to and from work, with said tights sliding right off over my arse (attempting almost successfully to take my knickers along for the ride) and settling, gangsta-style, with the crotch just above my knees. Ever tried walking with your legs held together by the equivalent of a large elastic band? I really need to start taking better care of myself.

I've been putting it off, and putting it off, but finally – finally! – last night I ducked into a local chain store just before closing and tried on what I thought should be my new size – and by new size, I actually mean the size I should have been wearing for probably the last half-year, at least. I was dead wrong.

I got home, and threw my existing bras (and the cursed, beloved and lamented grey tights) in the garbage. I'll need all the room I can get to store these new 40DDs.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thanks Abigail!

Abigail sent me the loveliest parcel as part of the Knitters' Tea Swap. Check out this sock yarn! You all know I need more sock yarn. I posted more texty details on the tea swap blog, but here's the whole shebang:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

graced by a ghostwing

One morning last week, I noticed a strange, organic-looking oblong at the very corner of the balcony, and I thought, hmmmm...

Last night at about 11:30 or so, Tom and I were chatting on said balcony when I did my usual distracted-kid interruption routine, which I think was forgiven under the circumstances.

In the dimness, about 10 storeys below us, A Shape drifted past. t thought it was a pigeon at first. But it wasn't drifting, exactly, more...ghostly-gliding. This was an active movement, full of gorgeousness and menace. It was pewtery-grey in the streetlights. The glide continued, sans wingbeats, for much, much longer than a pigeon could manage.

Ladies and gentleman, our neighbourhood is home to an owl.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We're in - plus various bumpf

Hoorah! We're in, and starting to be unpacked, she said, even though every single box of books (i.e. a double-sized closetful) is still snugly, smugly lurking in the den, a.k.a. my knitting room.

Here are a few images. The kitchen, where Thanksgiving veggie prep is in full swing:
A corner of our living room:
Tom's niche, which in normal apartments would be known as the dining room (note the fabulous CD cabinet on the right - a fantastic, cheap as-is Ikea find):Tom enjoying the apartment (does this guy have great legs, or what?):

I'll post more as things come together. t's still sleeping, so no bedroom pix, and there's a giant futon mattress (burrito?) in residence on the den floor.

In other news, my Knitter's Tea Swap package is in the mail! I can't wait for Ms. Marie to receive it. This is most of the contents. In my enthusiasm, I added a Delerium CD and some Regia Canadian Colours sock yarn in the Ontario colourway.
I've been on vacation all week, but feeling wicked-exhausted, and didn't get nearly as much done as I'd hoped. I couldn't figure it out. I was waking up hideously early, and then in the afternoon couldn't keep my eyes open. I was NAPPING, for heck's sake! When on earth have I ever napped? They leave me feeling groggy and horrible. But I had no choice. Finally, finally I figured it out. Yesterday. At the end of my vacation. I've been taking my medication in the middle of the day, and for the first time ever, the drowsiness side effect has kicked in. Augh! And grrrrr.

In other news, the Clapotis is coming along. I'm on the last repeat before the decreases, but I think I'm going to go longer. We looked up 'clapotis' last night because t's father just had to know what it meant, and it appears to mean 'lapping' - I'm assuming as in 'waves'. Which would make sense, but t's dad isn't buying it.And I spun on a spinning wheel! Wow - I like it so much better than drop-spindling. As per usual, the Divine Laura shared her knowledge and got us treadling away in no time. I started on the most temperamental of the 3 wheels - an Ashford - and felt frustrated. I couldn't get my yarn started, and then ended up with crazy yarn, which I think is pretty normal for the first time out. But then - oh then! - I got to try Laura's wheel - a portable, double-treadled Lendrum - and I'm in love. The yarn spun itself. Sadly, it was near the end of the class, so I only spun a short single, but the difference in the feel and the smoothness of the process was transformative.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hey everyone -- it's my cousin Jason!

We're in. Not settled, but in. Boxy chaos and a new bed coming today from my cousin Jason's favourite place, Ikea.

And speaking of Jason -- hullo! He and I last saw one another when he was 8 and I was 4, so it's been 30 years. Hooray! (not for the long time, but for his reappearance) Check out his blog and give him a hard time on my behalf.

More on le move when I find le camera.