Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mind Games

When I left the military to begin my three-month "sabbatical" before school, I did a little happy dance. I loathe early mornings, and I've seen my fair share of "oh-dark-thirty" timings, crawling out of bed when it was exactly the last thing on my mind. I rejoiced in the likelihood that I'd never have to keep exactly that schedule again.

This morning I did a good hour-long workout and completed my grocery shopping all before 0700. This is not untypical of my days as of late. Yes, for the first couple of weeks I didn't get up until 10-ish, but then the novelty wore off. 0530 isn't any less ugly now, but I feel pretty virtuous for getting up then, and not hard-done by as I did before.

It just goes to prove it's all a mind game.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Irrationality, Knitting, and Irrational Knitting

When I start college in January (let me pause here to savour the sound of those words!), I'll be taking the bus to school. My program pays for my bus pass, and if it saves me the exquisite agony of driving during an Ottawa winter, I'm willing to undergo the mild inconveniences of public transit.

However, I have conceived of an entirely irrational fear of freezing to death at a bus stop. Despite my warmest (Everest-expedition-weight) Mountain Equipment Co-op parka, I feel that my winter clothing needs are inadequate. Thus, the mounds of warm winter stuff I've been knitting lately.

Without further ado, and with apologies to my youngest step-daughter's stuffed pig, I bring you my fashionable line of Bus Stop Knitwear.

First off, we have the "Drowning in Fiber" ensemble.

The scarf you've seen before, but the hat is a new addition. It's a stylish and ultra-warm pillbox-style hat, knit from two strands of bulky-weight alpaca held together throughout for that comforting "I've got a llama on my head" feeling.

This hat also features an unholy melding of crochet and knitting. Don't tell the Harlot.

(Ignore the look of pleading in the pig's eyes. He asked for it.)

Next up, we have the finished Mobius Cowl.

Ultra soft and yummy, this dazzling little neck-warmer left me cold. See where the clever mobius flip is? Yeah. I'd like that place to be warm and covered. Clever cast-on, clever knitting, but in the end, more decorative than useful.

I fixed Cat Bordhi's wagon. I unzipped her Mobius, I untwisted her ring.


And now I am warm. (And hey, isn't that a fabulous scarf pin? An indulgence at CSNF.)

Pillbox hats are fine and dandy, but as you saw in the last post, I gotta lotta hair, and I often wear it in a high ponytail. This leaves pillbox hats looking lumpy and dorky and feeling uncomfortable. I need... I need... I NEED ANOTHER HAT!

Whew! Saved by the curative powers of yet more alpaca.


This half-finished gem is, or will be, the Tea Cozy Hat. The I-cord to finish it off will be left-overs from the cowls... I adore that Mountain Color yarn, and am unwilling to let the smallest shred of the stuff go unloved.

Do you think I might be warm enough, or is there a chink in my fuzzy winter armour?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crowning Glory

V asked for a shot of the whole whack of hair. Here ya go!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Bright as a New Copper Penny

Well, it looked (and perhaps felt) like goose poop, and it smelled like a field newly-mowed, and I doubt I've ever had something quite so... interesting on my head before, but I am absolutely in love with henna.

It took these brown locks:

Into this glorious mane:

I am exceedingly happy to be a redhead again! I was previously, for almost 15 years... it just suits me. However, I was concerned about the links between commercial hair dye and certain cancers (lymphoma, specifically) and discontinued use. I knew of henna, but I was also aware that at times it results in a shade not found in nature- this wouldn't be acceptable to the military, so I never chanced it.

What fun! I'm glad to have my hair announce my temperament again! :)


Here I was sure that the goopy green substance wouldn't be identified, but it turns out Aline uses henna herself, and Velda was just naturally suspicious that it was dye... though she never expected the green goop to turn me into a copper penny! It's hard to put anything by you guys.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Can anyone guess what I'm up to today?


Correct guessers get the pride and immense satisfaction of knowing they're right.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Eternal "Why?"

A very dear friend of mine was seriously injured in a hockey game a little over a week ago. This brave, spirited, generous and kind man, who served his country unflinchingly, taught little kids to have respect for themselves and others on the hockey rink and soccer pitch, and who served in his community as a volunteer fire-fighter, has suffered a spinal cord injury and has no feeling from the neck down.

It's in the process of breaking my heart. Why him?

I know it's all random, this fun roller-coaster called life, but why does life seem to save up these awful experiences for the truly good people?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Finally Finished

My niece's quilt is finally done, and I am extremely pleased. I bought the fabric that inspired this whole journey last Easter, and it is supremely satisfying to go from a selection of Northcott charm fabrics to this.



The fence isn't tall enough to display the whole quilt, so... (cat included for scale. :) )



A close-up of the super-cool reversible border technique I tried and loved.


I am so very pleased. I've turned out some lovely quilts in my time, but I am most proud of this one, and I believe that there will be one seriously tickled three-year old in Nanaimo when she receives this gift; a pretty quilt for her first big-girl bed.

I took this along with my machine to a not-so-local quilt shop; the machine needed servicing after miles of sewing, and I needed to show this quilt off to an audience who would understand the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. They were suitable impressed, and paid me the highest compliment I have had as a quilter: they want me to teach a class!!! How cool is that? I'd love to do it, and my mind is percolating already with ideas for a sampler and course outline. She said spring would be good, so I have all winter to plan.

I also picked up the fabrics I need to complete my next work of art. My mum loves creams and neutrals, and hasn't been able to find a bedspread that she liked. Well and so, darling daughter to the rescue. Check these colours out and fall in love.




That's 36 different fat quarters in assorted shades of gold and cream, with some absolutely divine backing and sashing fabric and lovely rayon accent threads. I am so excited!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heart in Mouth

I have never wished to be an American before today... I want to vote so badly. I watch with the rest of the world, with heart in mouth and tears in eyes, waiting for America to finally embrace hope and change and life.

Enough of the reign of evil old men.