Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
2008 was an eventful year. I graduated. I met the love of my life. Then I moved in with him. Went on a last minute trip to Paris. Visited the Musee D’Orsay…
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I believe I resolved to be happy. I think I accomplished that.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I wouldn’t say we’re close but my cousin did
4. Did anyone close to you die?
A good friend of my grandparents. I had known him my whole life. Come to think of it, my mother knew him her whole life.
5. What countries did you visit?
I went to the US twice, both times to Seattle and I went to France
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
you know, 2008 was a very fulfilling year. I can’t think of anything that was really lacking
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
It’s interesting that the day I found out I had a new breast tumour and the days of the two surgeries aren’t high on the list here. Instead the days I remember most are April 1, my first date with Augie and May 11, the date I really started to fall in love with him
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating! And surviving two crazy semesters to do so
9. What was your biggest failure?
I prefer to think of them as learning experiences ;)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The breast tumour that took two surgeries to deal with. Hopefully this is the last year I’ll be dealing with that
11. What was the best thing you bought?
my spinning wheel and lots of yarn
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Over the past few years I have made a concerted effort not to let the behavior of others affect me in a negative way
14. Where did most of your money go?
spinning, knitting, travel (this is not counting rent or the car)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
meeting Augie, Paris, going to France
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
La Vie en Rose – I sang that a lot in Paris for some reason
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? – happier, so much happier
b) thinner or fatter? - The same. This never changes
c) richer or poorer? – Poorer financially but richer in the ways that count
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
knit, spun, spent time with friends
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
worrying about school
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family and Augie. We’re going East in January for belated Christmases with his parents
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. Hate is a wasted emotion
24. What was the best book you read?
Free Range Knitter – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
nothing comes to mind
26. What did you want and get?
Augie, spinning wheel, a degree
27. What did you want and not get?
nothing stands out
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The only movie I saw was Wall-E
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and I had dinner with friends
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
can’t imagine a more satisfying year
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I need to do laundry chic
32. What kept you sane?
knitting, Augie, Ravelry (not necessarily in that order)
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
no one
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
all the elections
35. Who did you miss?
I miss my cat Desi now that she doesn’t live with me
36. Who was the best new person you met?
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
love will come to you when you least expect it, sometimes when you aren’t even sure you want it
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
this year was too much of a mixed bag to be summarized in a lyric


I’ll admit, for a while there knitting wasn’t all that fun. I became so focused on finishing the sweater that I lost sight of the joy of it, at least until I was in the home stretch. It’s another reminder for me that I am not good at deadline knitting. As soon as I think I have to do something I instinctively react against it. Although giving myself a schedule helped me get the sweater done on time, I think it also made me enjoy the process less. In the future I am going to try to avoid this. After all, I knit because I like it, not because I have to.

I’ve had a lot of knitting momentum since finishing the sweater. I completed the first sock of a pair on Christmas Day and knit a pair of felted clogs over the weekend as well. I have one more sock (half finished) and a hat to do and I’m done gift knitting. Which means I’ve been spending time on Ravelry contemplated what I’m going to make next. First on the list is a second sock out of Unwind Yarns sportweight. I need more socks! Knitpicks graciously replaced my needle tip so I can take the sock out of hibernation. I also want to finish my Central Park Hoodie (hibernating since August! Sheesh!). After that I think I’ll work on Icarus. Other projects I want to knit this year include the Nederland vest and Tilted Duster. I may also exchange the two skeins of Cascade Eco I have left from the Fog Sweater for another colour. I’d like to make Hemlock ring but I’d prefer it in gray or beige.

I have ten skeins of sock yarn on their way to Vermont, where they will be waiting for me when I arrive in January. Since I already have…. well let’s just say too many, skeins of sock yarn, I am on a sock yarn diet. At least until I’ve knit more socks.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dun dun da DONE!

It is done! The sweater is finished! It wasn't quite on time. I decided not to stay up all Christmas Eve to finish it but I got it done this afternoon so he did get it at Christmas! Needs to be blocked still but otherwise it turned out really well. I made a few mistakes but they aren't that noticeable and heck, it's my first sweater.

As you can see, it's good weather for a wool sweater. The snow this week has been unreal. I only ended up working one day this week. We got stuck out in Maple Ridge Sunday night, made it in to work on Tuesday and stayed home Wednesday. My parents ended up needing to come get us in Vancouver and boy was that a fiasco. We live off Cambie and our side street is just a mess. My parents' car got completely stuck. Luckily a number of neighbours came to help. Unfortunately, part of the problem was that snow and ice was collecting under the front bumper, causing it to drag on the ground. Eventually the front bumper just ripped off.

Poor car. I'm kind of glad my car spent the storm stuck in my parents garage where it's safe and dry.

I hope everyone has had/is having a good Christmas. Mine has been very nice so far. Andrew gave me a Loopy Ewe gift certificate for me to buy yarn and have it shipped to Vermont. Yay for free shipping! He also got me a cashmere shell and it is soo yummy. I've never owned cashmere anything (other than yarn). Apparently there is a store near us that sells nothing but.

I spent the afternoon finishing the sweater. For some reason I felt much less stressed about it today. It feels sooo good to be finished.

Now on to January Christmas knitting.

Friday, December 19, 2008

So much for the schedule

I swore I wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to become one of THEM. You know, the knitters who get all stressed out over Christmas knitting and spend the week before December 25th staying up all night and living off caffeine and/or alcohol to finish in time. No, I wasn’t going to be one of them. I had a plan. Knit 2 inches of sweater a day starting in the beginning of November and there would be plenty of time. No problem at all. And I was doing well too, diligently knitting at least the minimum two inches every day, finishing the sweater body on time.

Then it happened. The knitting deities decided I needed to be taken down a notch. I was getting cocky. So cocky I decided I was also going to knit gifts for the Christmas visiting in January, once the sweater was done of course. They hit me with a double whammy. First, they gave me the Monster Cold: a virus so vicious and nasty that for the five days I was off work sick I barely knit a stitch. Then they made me get picky about the increases for the sleeves so I ripped that darn thing out no less than 5 times. The combination of those two evil forces have put me woefully behind and though I am still operating under the delusion that finishing on time is possible, it is going to be tough. And if I don’t finish the sweater before Christmas, my odds of finishing the January gift knitting decrease greatly.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am stressed about it. I feel guilty when I am not knitting and that despite my best intentions haven’t been able to stay up past ten. I am possibly* placing too much importance on getting this done (*read: most definitely since it is the recipient of the sweater who would particularly like me to chill out).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 years

8 years ago I spent the day with my parents and sister at Granville Island. Every year around this time we would go on a ‘family outing’ and pick out a new Christmas ornament for the tree (or two when Robyn and I couldn’t agree on one). When we returned home that evening there was a message from a good family friend, asking my parents to call them and that it was urgent. When my mother called them, they asked to come over. It was immediately clear that something was going on.

When they arrived, one of them sharply requested that Robyn and I go upstairs. It was the first and only time that this person has spoken to me in that tone. I obeyed and a few minutes later my mom came into my room and told me that my sister was going to need a lot of support. Her best friend had committed suicide the day before.

The rest of that night is a blur but the image I will never forget is my sister coming back down the stairs. She was changed after that. My baby sister became an adult in the 30 seconds it took my dad to break the news to her. She was 15 years old, so was her friend.

The other thing I remember is going to the memorial and being just devastated that the crowd was standing room only, some were even standing outside, and knowing that this young girl had thought no one loved her.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 years. At the time it seemed impossible that the sun would rise the next day but it did and it has done so each of the past 2920 days. But we'll never be the same.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Love is...

Love is letting your girlfriend take photos of you wearing a half finished sweater and post them on the Internet.

Love is also knitting hundreds of yards of rib stitch in boring gray yarn when you could be knitting hats and scarves and socks and let's face it, things with colour.

The sweater body is now finished and I've cast on the first sleeve. I'm not getting overconfident about my chances of getting it done in time though, lest the knitting gods smite me. I have other gift knitting planned but luckily I don't need to get those done until January. Unfortunately that means I can't use those projects as excuses not to knit the sweater.