28 June 2012

the yarn addiction (with a side of fabric)

I've been adding to the yarn stash recently...my friend Holly gave me a slap on the hand yesterday after guild meeting when I confessed to having bought a few skeins of Noro off of one of the other guild members. The yarn has pretty colours, is a wool-silk blend, and there were three skeins for $10 total. Kind of hard to resist. Although I should have, given that I'd bought a dress length of fabric yesterday as well (on sale, sort of a girly steampunk print, planning to make it up for a wedding in August).

We're smack-dab in the middle of organizing Yarn Harvest 2012 (by we, I mean Jenny, the guild PR person, and myself). I have a feeling I'm going to be sick of yarn by the end of the summer. We're starting our in-store visits next week, and I think it's going to be good, but I won't want yarn anymore after this. Which, naturally, will be a good thing, since I should probably knit the stash down a bit.

My stash isn't that bad, especially compared to other people, but I have to take into account what's good and bad for myself. Fortunately, J. doesn't mind the yarn infestation, and the books are just as much his addiction as mine (I'm just more likely to buy more books than he is). His board game addiction isn't a problem. I like that he has his own interests and hobbies. But I do feel a bit guilty about the yarn and fabric stashes. Time to work on decreasing them, I think. 

11 June 2012


After days of damp coolness, the sort of weather that I love, summer has suddenly arrived. There is sunshine, there is warmth, and I'm sitting here drinking cold water with the window open and the shades on the balcony down to limit the amount of sun exposure.

Today I went on a trip to the library, to return books. On the way home, I wandered into one of the local used bookstores. It's possibly my favourite one, because they serve coffee, there's an actual catalogue of their books, and they have an excellent book-buying policy. I do like the one with the rabbit that lives in the store, but they're closing next month (sadness). I browsed around the bookstore for a while. It's truly amazing that, when surrounded by books, I have a difficult time selecting which ones to get, because most of them just don't appeal to me.

This particular bookstore has a number of tiny rooms for each section; given the building it's in, the shop may have originally been some sort of office, and was easily converted to a bookstore with many nooks. I love that about it, because it feels like I can get lost in this small shop. 

I looked through the biography section, which I don't usually spend much time in, and found Ralph Moody's Little Britches. My mum read me his books when I was a kid, and I love them (well, up until he's an adult--interesting as his life was, I'm not as enthralled by his adventures as a stunt rider during the twenties, for some odd reason). She always used to call them "Little House on the Prairie for boys," but since she read both series to me and my brothers, I don't think it really matters. I think J. will like the book.

Then, after a futile search through children's, philosophy, mystery, and general fiction, I found myself in the sci-fi/fantasy section. I've been keeping an eye out for the Silmarillion, so now that's been added to our collection of Tolkien.

When I ventured back outdoors, and walked through the park on the way home, I noticed that the water playground was in full swing. I did a collage based on that playground a couple months ago, before it was warm enough for kids to play in the water. It's bright, and colourful, and a very fun place. I decided not to run through the fountains and go wading this time (I often do--something about water just lures me in).

I'm still knitting. I finished a sock yesterday. I'll probably cast on its mate at knit-night this evening. Toe-up socks with a heel turn that I haven't tried before--wrapped short-rows followed by a heel-flap. I've done toe-up flap heels, but not paired with the wrapped short-rows. I like the result very much; I might have to replicate it in other socks.

I also finished a hat last week. The colours are a little wonky--I'm still trying to figure out how to get my camera to do colours better. The actual shade is closer to a lavender with hints of blue in.
This is the Cobblestone Slouch hat. You can find it on Ravelry. The designer, Melissa, lives locally and I am slightly acquainted with her. She mostly does awesome yarn dyeing, but she's done a few designs. This one's quite fun, easy, and something I'm considering knitting again. J. told me it makes me look like a homeless person, but that may have been because I was also wrapped up in a scarf and sweater and fingerless gloves at the time. Besides, I'm a grad student/writer/artist. I can get away with it.

07 June 2012

middle of the night musings with red wine

As the title suggests, I am writing this while consuming red wine. It's a fairly inexpensive Malbec. Malbec's probably my favourite type of red wine, although I am quite partial to a good port (but that's in a different class, since it's more of a dessert wine). I dislike Cabernet, which, for a while, made me think I didn't like red wine. I've since changed my mind.

I was thinking more about knitting than about wine, though. We're off on a trip to Victoria in a couple of weeks, and while I've done the arranging to get to the ferry and the booking of the B&B, the things that need to be done in advance, I'm now thinking more about the knitting I should bring. Makes me feel an affinity with the Yarn Harlot, based on one of her recent posts regarding travel knitting.

Last time I had travel knitting, I had the bright idea of bringing a cotton sweater to work on, which really wasn't pleasant. My hands began to hurt quite quickly, and switching to socks only helped a little. Socks are one of those natural things to bring on a trip--small, portable, and perfect in pictures. I've got a number of sock projects slated for the summer, so it's just a matter of picking one to accompany us. We have an hour in the car on the way out to the ferry, at least an hour and a half on the ferry, and probably another hour and a half from the ferry to downtown Victoria on the bus. Then we spend the day wandering around downtown with my family, who's going to be visiting (they'll be camping on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and then ferrying up from there), spend the night at a B&B, and head home sometime in the morning. That's a lot of hours in transit, especially given that I have to be at Maker Faire the afternoon we get home, and will probably be going straight there from the ferry. That's a lot of knitting time.

Still, I have to say I'm looking forward to the adventure. And the knitting time. I could bring a hat to work on. A hat and a pair of socks. Plus I have plans to stop in at a yarn shop over there, just in case.

02 June 2012

Gluten-free: Days 6 & 7

So we come to the end of the week, the end of the experiment. Based on what I've learned over the last few days, I'm not gluten-intolerant. So I can eat gluten-infested foods without worrying too much.

This is, in my opinion, a pretty good thing. I know that many gluten-free people (in my experience) are quite evangelistic about it, and think that everyone should stop eating gluten, but for me, at least, the reality is that I'd rather just eat fewer starchy things and be more healthy about my eating habits in general, rather than having to worry about completely cutting out something that's all over the place.

So yeah. Not the most exciting trial of an elimination diet. I might chronicle the week I cut out dairy and see what happens with that, but we'll have to see. Or I'll just update on the general craziness that is Unofficial Knitting Month and planning for Yarn Harvest in the fall, and trying to get my blasted thesis done.