Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in review

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Went to a big knitting convention, got engaged, knit a wedding veil, not in that order
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I made any
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
my friend Shannon had a boy in May
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the USA, I went to Seattle a couple times, Portland, Vermont and Massachussetts, with a brief and unexpected visit to Washington DC
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? a husband
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 20th
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
well getting engaged wasn’t an accomplishment exactly so I’ll say knitting my wedding veil
9. What was your biggest failure?
I prefer to think of them as learning experiences ;)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had the flu for the first time in years, that wasn’t so fun but otherwise no
11. What was the best thing you bought?
my wedding dress!
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Augie, my family
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?
the wedding
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
the wedding, Sock Summit
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? – happier, so much happier
b) thinner or fatter? - I wouldn’t say fatter but I put on a few pounds
c) richer or poorer? – the same I think
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?
being stressed
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family and Augie.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
yes, again and again every day
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?
none stand out. I reread the Anne of Green Gables series though
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
nothing comes to mind
26. What did you want and get?
a fiance!
27. What did you want and not get?
nothing stands out
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and I had dinner with Augie
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?
the healthcare debate
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?
all the knitting people at Sock Summit
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
the importance of prioritizing both time and money
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I can hardly believe it. After several months of work I have finished my wedding veil. Not just the knitting of it either. At the start of Sunday I had 20 repeats to go. My plan was to knit 10 on Sunday and 10 on Monday but when I finished the 10 on Sunday I just couldn't stop. I was so close. I even grafted the edges together very late Sunday night because I didn't want to put it down.

I blocked it yesterday. I actually had to go out and buy some more of those interlocking mats because I didn't have quite enough. I used 9 of them altogether and it took up the whole thing. It took up a huge part of our living room. You couldn't walk from the kitched to the dining room or living room without tiptoeing around it. So for dinner we passed things to each other through the kitchen and ate in the yarn room. Luckily cobweb weight dries really fast and I was able to unpin it by bedtime.

I don't have the greatest pics yet because of the light but this will do for now.

Pattern: Spanish Peacock Shawl from Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen.
Edging Pattern: Classic Beaded Edging from Barbara Walker's 2nd Treasury
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool approximately 1.25 skeins. Had I chosen a less involved edging it would have taken a single skein.

This project was by far the biggest undertaking in my knitting so far. I've had projects that have taken even longer to finish but they spent a lot of time hibernating. Other than a few weeks off here and there I worked on this pretty steadily. It was absolutely worth every minute and I love it.

The Spanish Peacock pattern is really not difficult. The key is figuring out where to move the start of the round so that the rows line up. I have more details on this on my projects page on Ravelry.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finish Line

As of this writing, there are a mere 10 repeats of edging left on the veil. That is a mere 120 rows. That may not sound like almost done but that is a 120 rows down from 1920. So very close.

This week I talked some of my knitting group friends into knitting rows on it. It seemed only fitting to have these people, who have seen this project from the start, get a few stitches in. No plain stockinette for them either. There are no plain rows on the edging pattern so they all knit lace. Many thanks guys.

I will probably finish it tomorrow and then need to face the challenge of blocking it. I can't say I'm really looking forward to that task but I bought blocking wires a while back in anticipation of the task.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Veil Update: December 13

I've found my veil knitting mojo and have actually gotten a lot of work done on it in the last few days. I am down to 57 repeats of the edging pattern, down from over 160. I spread it out today to see the progress. I apologize for the crappiness of the picture but it's the best I could do with its size and the lack of good light. I'm really happy with it though and I'm looking forward to seeing it all blocked.

Hopefully this burst of motivation lasts until I finish and block it. Blocking it will no doubt be another endeavor.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Some Stash Enhancement

Clearly I fail at Nanoblopomo since I missed nearly a full week of posting but since I typically blog once a month or less I'm calling it a win.

Today has been a week of stash enhancement. First, something that has taken it's sweet time getting to me:

That's a sweater's worth of Sundara Aran Silky Merino in Black over Violet that I have been coveting to make Snow White for several months now. It is also some veil motivation as I am not allowed to do anything with it until the monster project is finished. (Please don't ask how that's coming along, it makes me all twitchy). I don't know why but it took a full 3 weeks for this to reach me even though it was sent air mail and shows no sign of being inspected by customs.

Then today I headed to the yarn store to pick up yarn for the swap put on by one of my knitting groups. (No, I'm not posting it). Somehow I also came home with this:

A skein of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the Snap Dragon colourway. I bought one of the first skeins of this base back when her studio opened and couldn't resist getting more.

And I also picked up yarn to make some things for Andrew, who had kindly kept me company on the outing. He picked up yarn for felted clogs and mittens.

Alright, back to knitting my swap knits.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One of these days I will write a real post and not a oh crap I better post today post.

Today is not the day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We went back to the Circle Craft Christmas Market today to do some more Christmas shopping and spent a few more hours there than intended. At least we got a big chunk of our gift buying done. Hurrah for being almost done Christmas shopping before December.

I almost had a falling down over a beautiful decorative doll. I managed to resist but just barely.

I definitely enjoyed the market but boy is it more of an adventure than the smaller markets I usually go to.

Now I must get to bed for there is a busy day ahead of me. I have a house to clean, a 7 year old's birthday to attend and my parents' coming for dinner.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm coming in under the wire on this one because I just got back from the Circle Craft Christmas Market. It was my first time going and I have to admit, it was a bit overwhelming. I think I'll be going back tomorrow.

I did manage to buy two Christmas gifts though. I'll post more about it later. Right now, me too sleepy. (And slightly buzzed from the post-craft-show nosh)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spinning in Progress

As I wrote earlier in the week, I received my fiber for the All Spun Up Spin A Long on Monday. For the spin along, you sign up for however many bumps of fiber you want. The colourway is a surprise but the fiber is not. This was my first time participating and I'm so glad I did. I started spinning in up yesterday as soon as my wheel was free and I finished the singles today.

So far I've really enjoyed spinning this. It is beautifully prepared, a stark contrast to the fiber I've been spinning recently that was full of lumpy bits. The colours are less dark than the pictures and spin up beautifully.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

A lot of my peers remember hearing stories from their grandfathers who fought in WWII. Neither of mine did. My dad's dad was too ill and my grandfather wasn't old enough. Had it lasted another year he would have gone. He paid for that as an adult. He went out east to find work and no one would hire him. Finally, a manager told him he'd never get a job in Ontario with his German last name as long as there were veterans looking for work.

It would be nice to believe that that kind of prejudice no longer exists but one need only look at the comments on news sites about the last name of the man suspected of the Fort Hood shootings or the violence experienced by Muslims after 9/11. On Remembrance Day I think it is important to remember that these men and women fought and died to make the world more just and less prejudiced. We should be thanking them by not judging others by their last names or what countries they come from whether it's Germany, Japan, Iraq or anywhere else.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Half-Weekend

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day, and a day off here in B.C. I personally like these mid week holidays. It makes it feel like two really short weeks which is kind of nice.

I started a new job at work this week. I'm figuring things out but it's a lot to learn and I'm glad to have the extra day to unwind a bit before jumping back in on Thursday.

Tomorrow I will hopefully use some of the daylight to take some photos of my new acquisitions so you will have a fibery post to read.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Big Box of Fluffy

I've been known to occasionally talk in my sleep, usually random exclamations. A few months ago, shortly after I got my Lendrum actually, I apparently exclaimed "big box of fluffies!" in my sleep, complete with arm gestures. In our household spinning fiber is referred to as fluff. Apparently I was having a good dream.

Anyway, the reason I was thinking of this is because when I got home today, our mail box was stuffed full of packages containing fluff, the All Spun Up Spin a Long fiber and roving from Frecklefaced Fiber. No pictures yet unfortunately because of the lack of light, perhaps this weekend. I'm expecting a couple more packages.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

FO: Tilted Duster

Pattern: Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughn
Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia 6 skeins
Modifications: None

I'm really happy with how this turned out and how it fits. I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it. It is a pretty easy knit and a lot quicker than you'd expect from a long sweater. It only took me as long as it did because it spent a lot of time in hibernation. I think I actually spent about a month's worth of knitting on it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I had planned on doing a FO post for the Tilted Duster today but the rain prevented me from taking any good photos. Maybe tomorrow. So instead I am copping out with a 5 interesting facts about Megan post.

1. As a child I had an imaginary country instead of imaginary friends. I was queen. It was accessed via Patterson Skytrain station and was called Skatchina
2. I am afraid of stairs
3. I once auditioned for a reality tv show as part of a school project. I got an A
4. I've never watched an episode of the Simpsons and am strangely proud of that
5. I learned to knit so I'd have something to do on my long commute

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On Stash

A thread was recently revived on Ravelry about stashing and materialism. Someone pointed me in the direction of a post I made early in the thread over a year ago in which I stated that I didn’t really ‘stash.’ Obviously it’s safe to say that’s no longer true.

Let me say right off that I don’t feel one bit bad about my stash. It brings me inspiration and comfort. There is a reason why I have nicknamed the craft room the “Room of Happiness.”

I studied consumer culture as part of my degree so I am quite well versed in the academic theories surrounding materialism and conspicuous consumption. I won’t claim to be immune. In fact, I don’t think anyone in North America, knitter or not is immune. To a point we are all vulnerable to comparing what we have to what others have and many who make a deliberate effort not to consume conspicuously are actually practicing conspicuous non-consumption. That is, in my opinion, just another way of using your consumption, or lack thereof to define you. While conspicuous consumption may be far more prevalent in modern times than it ever was, humans have been defining themselves by their possessions for hundreds of years. We’re simply more aware of it now.

It is not wrong to have stuff. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with hanging on to stuff either so long as it isn’t causing you or others undue harm. My great-grandmother was extremely poor as a child. She married at 16 so that she wouldn’t be hungry anymore and throughout her life she filled her house with possessions. Those possessions brought her great happiness because she remembered when she had nothing. Yes, she was absolutely hoarding but her house was kept clean, her children and husband were always fed and clothed and no harm was done.

I’ve found that my stashing has highs and lows. There are times when I’m buying a lot (like Sock Summit or the great yarn acquisitions of January) and there are times when I don’t really feel a pull to buy yarn. I’ll likely continue to buy yarn and fiber. Some will be used immediately and some won’t. I’m okay with that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bet Progress

Back at New Year's I made a bet with Andrew. If I finished 3 sweaters and 10 pairs of socks, I got an Addi Clicks set. If I failed, he got two pairs of socks. We later changed the terms and agreed that any sock yarn project counted and the veil also counted as a sweater. Here's the progress so far:

Socks and Sock Yarn Projects:

1. Japanese Vines Scarf
2. Baby Yours Sweater
3. Monkey Socks
4. Lacy Rib Socks
5. Leyburn Socks
6. Entangled Stitches Gloves (95% complete)
7. Argyle Socks (40% complete)

Sweaters and Veil

1. Owls
2. Tilted Duster
3. Veil (90%)

I'm cutting it close but it just might be doable. And perhaps the desire to win the bet will be the motivation I need to power through the end of the veil

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dear Buttons that I bought Yesterday

Where the heck are you? I dutifully bit the bullet and seamed the sleeves of my Tilted Duster and planned on finishing it tonight. I went to Dressew yesterday to buy you and put you in the yarn room. Why is it then that when I went to get you today to sew you on to the sweater you are nowhere to be found? I know you are here somewhere so please stop hiding. I do not want to buy more buttons, especially since if I do you will no doubt reappear the moment the last button is sewn on.

Please reappear. This is really not amusing. It is rare that I actually get something finished and do not like you standing in my way.

Love Megan

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 2

I can already see that this post a day thing is going to be a stretch. After all, the only post I managed to make yesterday was from my iphone. I do like a challenge though so we'll see what happens.

I'm nearly finished the Tilted Duster. I just need to sew up the sleeves and sew on the buttons and it will be ready to wear. The seaming is taking forever though. Ugh. My plan is to finish tomorrow. I'm also almost finished the first Entangled Stitches glove, fingers and all.

The downside to all this knitting productivity? I'm almost out of 'loophole projects.' I'm not allowed to cast anything on until the white behemoth is complete so soon I will be forced to just finish it. Not that that's a bad thing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mission: Possible?

I've decided to attempt nanoblopomo. Given the lateness of this first post I don't have high expectations.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WIP Round Up

I've stalled on the veil. Knitted edgings on circular shawls are truly the black hole of knitting. I have to knit two edging rows for every shawl stitch which adds up to a whopping 1920 rows. Yes you read that right. I think I'm about halfway done but I didn't touch it for 3 weeks. Here's what it looks like as of today.

The plus side to the veil avoidance is that I've picked up a number of my old WIPs and worked on them. I have a deal with a friend that I won't cast on anything new until the veil is finished. Enter a loophole: old projects are already cast on and therefore don't count. While avoiding the veil I have finished a pair of Leyburns

I started these several months ago but only worked on them sporadically. When I did work on them they went pretty fast. I used Shibui sock but I don't remember the colourway.

I finished the body of a Tilted Duster

I started this back in February and then spring came and a long wool sweater was the last thing I wanted to work on. It's definitely fall now so I am motivated to finish it. I'm working on the sleeves now. The yarn is Berocco Peruvia, picked up at the WEBS Brick and Mortar store last January. It's one of my favourite colours.

I've worked on some gloves

I started them last winter but they're very fiddly and I put them down when it stopped being glove weather. Once again the coming winter is motivating me to get them done. I finished the hand of the right glove and will finish the hand of the left glove before I work on the fingers for both of them.

Last but not least I have also been working on some argyle socks.

I took an argyle socks class at Sock Summit and cast on a full sized pair immediately while the technique was still fresh in my mind. I love the colours of these.

In other news, I recently received these in the mail from Slipped Stitch Studios.

A cute project bag and a matching interchangeable needle case. I love these. Check out her shop. She has awesome stuff.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Put a Spin on It

Look what came to live with me!

It is a brand new Lendrum DT spinning wheel, fresh out of the box. I picked it up a week ago.

I've wanted one of these wheels for quite a while. My Louet is okay but it is limited in its capabilities (or at least what I am able to do with it). The Lendrum has a huge range of ratios and is more versatile. A few months ago I inquired with a local company to see if they had any and they told me they had a shipment arriving in August. I decided not to put my name on one because I was going to Sock Summit and would need more time to save up for a wheel after that.

Last week the company emailed me to let me know that they'd received a shipment and one of them was unspoken for. Would I like it? I was torn. It took several monhs for this order to come in so if I didn't get it I could be waiting a long time. Then Augie said he'd buy it for me. Yay!

I've been spinning on it all week (and neglecting the veil oops) and I love it.

Sock Summit Finale

On Saturday I had Argyle Socks with Anne Berk. I've wanted to learn to knit this type of socks for a while and when the class list came out it was the first one I knew I wanted to take. The technique is very interesting and not as challenging as I thought. I got confused and messed up a few times and didn't end up finishing my mini sock in class but I cast on for a full-sized pair that evening. I wanted to keep things fresh in my head.

I also went to the Ravelry party, got there a little late but it was still fun. Afterwards I went with some friends to Voodoo Donuts, a donut store known in Portland for its unique creations. I had a donut with oreo cookies on it. I have to admit, the novelty is fun but the actual donut wasn't that great. They obviously focus on what to put on the donuts and not on the donuts themselves.

On Sunday I went to Powell's with Jen. Unfortunately neither of us could attend the Luminary Panel because of the timing of our flights. I was disappointed but in the end I was also glad to get home at a reasonable time on Sunday.

To sum up, Sock Summit was awesome! It was a totally cool experience and I am very very glad I decided to go after all. I think I would have regretted missing it. If there is another one in the future, I'm definitely going to try to go, no matter where it is.

Sock Summit Recap Day 2

I got kind of lax about taking photos after the first day so the next posts will be photoless. I guess I was too busy having fun and learning.

Day two I had a morning class with Chrissy Gardiner called Textured Colorwork. This class was about the Bohus style of knitting which uses both knit and purl stitches in stranded colourwork to create texture. It was my first time doing stranded knitting and it really wasn't too hard, though I dislike purling in continental. I definitely want to experiment with designing some socks based on what I learned in this class. Some of the samples were just gorgeous. Chrissy is a really fun teacher too.

After class I went to the World Record Attempt. What fun to see all those knitters knitting together. I just knit a swatch because we had to use straight needles and all my current projects are on circs. I believe the count was 935 people which is definitely more than the current record but we don't know if we officially did it until the organizers hear back from Guiness.

I made a beeline from the World Record thing to the booksigning. It wasn't due to start yet but I wanted to get in line for Barbara Walker. This was my best shot and getting her to knit on my veil. I have to admit, I almost chickened out. She was very sweet about it, as were they all. I had a few more people sign books and knit on the veil before heading to the marketplace.

I have to admit, I was a little dazed after the booksigning but I did buy some more yarn. Then I went to dinner with some other knitters before arriving rather late to the Sock Hop.

At the Sock Hop, I was showing some Ravelry friends the veil when we noticed some dropped stitches. Horrors! Luckily knitters come prepared and someone got me a safety pin to secure the dropped stitched. I performed a quick fix there, in the middle of the Sock Hop and cleaned up the fix later on. It's not quite perfect but it's pretty hard to tell and it adds character anyway. Besides, as if I'd ever frog that round!

Sock Summit Recap

Needless to say, Sock Summit was a pretty amazing experience. And I have to say that the true highlight was the experience of spending four days with 'my people.' People who don't think it's strange when you crouch on the floor to examine their socks and who (hardly) bat an eyelash when you ask them to knit on a wedding veil. It was truly incredible to spend that time with so many people with whom I share a passion.

Day 1

I got into Portland around 8pm on Wednesday. It might have been nice to arrive earlier but I was minimizing the amount of time I needed to take off work. The flight was quick an uneventful but I had a fun experience at US Customs. I was flagged for a bag check and it turned out the agent was a knitter. She was quite excited to see my handknit socks.

On Thursday Jen, my roommate and I headed for the convention center a little early so I could get all registered. I was expecting longer lines but registration was actually very easy. My first class was Dancing with Socks with Cat Bordhi and it was totally mind-melting. I learned a lot of cool tricks but mostly I learned that you don't have to follow the rules and architectures set out for you. There are limitless ways of knitting a sock. In class I knit a mini-sock.

The green one is mine. The multi-coloured one on the left is Mrs Quimby's. I think this is the first time I've finished a class project during class. We both knit the Upstream Sock.

Cat also talked about her new book. I can't give you any details because I am sworn to secrecy until it's published but I will say that I am definitely going to have to buy this book. It comes out in October. Look for it. Trust me.

After class I joined the other throngs of knitters to enter the marketplace. The market was only open to students that day. I made a beeline for the Yarn Love/Three Irish Girls booth because I had my eye on Father Time, one of the Dye for Glory winners. It took some effort to find it in the crowded booth but I did. I also picked up some Yarn Love. I also somehow managed to get a skein of Bugga. I certainly made a dent in my shopping budget.

That's the haul from Thursday's shopping. Not bad huh?

Next up was the opening ceremony, where Stephanie and Tina had us in stitches and tears over their journey bringing Sock Summit to life. It was great fun to hear how they put it all together and getting the chance to applaud them and all the others who helped make it possible. They put together an incredible event for us all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Adventures of a Veil at Sock Summit

Yes, I am the 'veil girl' from Sock Summit and as promised, here is a post about who knit on my wedding veil.

I want to preface this by thanking everyone who agreed to knit on it and to say that everyone was completely awesome about it. I was visibly shaking the first few times I asked people but everyone was so nice, I got less and less nervous. I definitely trembled talking to Barbara Walker though!

The list is:
Cat Bordhi
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Yarn Harlot)
Tina Newton
Anne Hanson
Meg Swansen
Jess (from Ravelry)
Mary-Heather (from Ravelry)
Chrissy Gardiner
Barbara Walker
Cookie A
Melissa Morgan-Oakes
Lucy Neatby
Anne Berk
The Sanguine Gryphon
Sheri from The Loopy Ewe
Jasmin from Knitmore Girls
Gigi from Knitmore Girls
Glenna C

The photos can be found on flickr here. I got pictures of most but not all of the veil knitters.

This whole experience was by far my favourite memory of Sock Summit. My classes were awesome. I had fun at the events. I love my new yarn. But all those memories can be duplicated in some way. I'll never get to do this again (particularly since this is definitely the only veil I'm ever going to knit and this is the last plain knit round in the pattern).

I love that people have been talking about it. Stay tuned for more veil updates and eventually a finished object picture.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Whoa Sock Summit

Back from Sock Summit after an amazing 4 days with 'my people.' Highlights include class with Cat Bordhi, an Opening Reception to remember and Barbara Walker knitting on my wedding veil. Many, many more details are to come as I process my thoughts on the past four days and upload photos.

All in all it was a pretty cool experience and I'm so glad I decided to go in the end. There is something about spending many hours with people who don't think it's weird to crouch down to admire someone's socks that is very affirming.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

White Lace Hades

We've set the date. We're getting married May 22, 2010. This means I really need to get moving on the veil knitting.

I consider myself a pretty competent knitter, certainly a pretty fearless one but this project may be my undoing. See that?

That is about 12 hours worth of work. Doesn't look like it does it? That's because I had to frog the thing more times than I care to count. Part of my problem was the DPNs. Every time I had to tink back I ended up dropping stitches, losing my place and having to start over. Using lifelines wasn't helping much either. I finally went out and bought a 16 inch circ and that helped quite a bit.

These are some of the swatches I did before getting started. I'm normally not much of a swatcher but figured it would be a good idea this time. I originally planned on using Jaggerspun Zephyr but decided it was too thick. I received an assortment of lace yarn for swatching from someone on the Ravelry With this String group (best wedding board ever) and decided on Cashwool by Lana Borgessia. It's frighteningly thin but it creates a very light and airy fabric.

Here is my progress as of today. I decided to use Meg Swansen's Spanish Peacock Shawl. It took me awhile to figure out the marker moves but I think I've got it now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sock Summit

A few weeks ago I decided I could go to Sock Summit after all. Registration for classes and other events happened this morning. If you've been around Ravelry today you may already know that it did not exactly run smoothly. Some people, myself included, found themselves banging their heads against the keyboard at server issues. When I first got onto registration I only got into one class that I wanted and scrounged one more.

I was one of the lucky ones who was at the right place at the right time when the server coughed up spaces in previously sold out classes and eventually got the things I wanted. So take that as a caveat to what I am going to say next.

I am, frankly, disgusted by some of the behavior exhibited on Ravelry today. I know people are disappointed and I do not begrudge them their right to express as much but the personal attacks on the organizers, even suggesting boycotting their books or products, make me sad. Organizing an event like this is a lot of work and they deserve better than that. Here are some observations:

1. No system is perfect. Example, the Vancouver 2010 lottery system. There are thousands of people who were disappointed to not get a single ticket in that allocation. Each and every time there is more demand than supply, there will be disappointed people.
2. There is only so much you can do to increase supply. Sock Summit is limited by the number of hours available, the availability of teachers and most of all, the limits of the facility. Building/fire codes will only allow so many people in a room. Again, some Olympic venues hold over 20,000 people and they are still sold out. I believe that the SS organizers knew going in that classes were going to fill fast but short of holding them in a stadium, what were they supposed to do?
3. Servers crash. Technology fails. It happens sometimes despite our best efforts.
4. People make mistakes. Even if some of this could have been avoided through something Tina or Stephanie could have done, it is not fair to attack them. People make mistakes all the time, especially when they're trying something for the first time. They then take those mistakes and learn from them. I bet SS is doing a lot of learning at the moment.
5. No one is entitled to anything (notwithstanding the SS team's entitlement to a few stiff drinks) no matter how much they saved, how hard they worked or what they sacrificed in order to go. No one is more worthy than anyone else. In fact, we are not entitled to Sock Summit at all.

Is it strange that I am sorely tempted to try and organize a knitting event in Vancouver?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Big News

I’m engaged! It still feels kind of surreal to write that but oh so great. He proposed on Friday. Actually, it started while I was still at work. For almost as long as we’ve been dating, he has sent me occasional love notes via email. At some point I started calling these gooey emails and the term stuck. So on Friday afternoon he sent me a gooey email about each month of our relationship. Some were sweet, some were funny and they all made my day after a very tense morning. Though I suspected something was happening (I’ve known this was coming since we bought the ring together a few weeks ago) I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I tried to remain calm on the trip home.

When I arrived home, I found flower petals leading down the stairs to our door, which had a flower stuck in the handle. Then, when I opened the door, the first thing I saw was a glass containing two tulips. Once I came inside he presented me with a large bouquet of tulips and a mysterious purple flower before getting on one knee and asking me to be his wife (squee!). He said other stuff too and I just wish I could remember any of it but I was too focused on the “it’s actually happening!” excitement.

Afterwards, we went out for dinner at the Red Door to celebrate. Good food and good atmosphere.

On Saturday I went to Fibreswest with Lara and Gabrielle from Thursday night knitting. I bought my first wedding purchase: yarn for my veil. Saturday evening we went to Maple Ridge to celebrate with my parents and a few family friends.

Those are the flowers his dad sent us.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Although I have a number of projects officially on the needles, I’m only actively working on two: the Tilted Duster and Leyburn Socks.

I’ve been wanting to knit Tilted Duster for a while. I have a long sweater that I love but it’s getting old and worn and I decided to replace it with something I knit. I picked up the yarn at WEBS while on vacation and I’ve been dying to cast on ever since. I started it around the time I finished the knitting for CPH. It’s going quite fast. I finished the top parts (the back and both fronts) in a few days. I’ve sewn them together now and started the skirt. Picking up all those stitches was a bit tedious but I survived and I’ve now finished 3 out of 9 skirt repeats. This project goes surprisingly fast. Due to its size I’d expected it to be long and tedious. I think it helps that it is super easy to memorize.

I’m using Berroco Peruvia. It’s quite soft and the colour is beautiful but I do have this warning: it does not frog worth a damn. I completely messed up the right front the first time around but ripping it out was so frustrating that I decided to just start over with new yarn. Luckily the fronts knit up super fast and I have plenty of yarn. My goal is to finish this project by the end of the month and I think I’m on track to do that. That way I’ll be able to wear it as a spring jacket this year.

Stash Stash Stash aka Yarn Pron Galore

I apologize for the unplanned hiatus. Time to get updated.

My yarn stash has grown substantially since the start of the year, mostly due to January being an excellent month for stash enhancement. First, I bought yarn at the Three Bags Full sale: 7 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair, 2 skeins of BSA Bulky that have turned into mittens, 2 skeins of Rabbitworks Toe Jam sock yarn and 2 skeins of Fiddlesticks Zephyr Laceweight.

Then we got to Vermont and my Loopy Ewe Xmas shopping spree order was waiting. In it were 2 skeins of Yarn Pirate Alpaca in Sweet Magnolia and Bitter Valley, 2 skeins of Tuscan Grove Venice in Eggplant and Mint Ganache, 1 skein of Enchanted Knoll Farm in Black Magic Woman, 1 skein of Gypsy Knits DK in Robin Hood, 1 skein of Spirit Trail Fiberworks in Harbor Fog, 1 skein of Indie Dyer in Golden Eye, 1 skein of Chameleon Colorworks I Black Cherry and 1 skein of Creatively Dyed Calypso in Promise. Yum, yum.

Among the odds and ends that I’ve acquired over the last few months are two skeins of Wollmeise in Baba Jaga and Baristo and my artist’s choice order from Sundara: I got Foreign Correspondent and Smashed Berries. I was a little nervous about getting surprise colours but I love these.

I better get started knitting socks!

Monday, January 12, 2009

27 hours of travel later

I am in Vermont. Getting here was a bit of a fiasco. First, we had to catch a bus at 5am to get down to Seattle for the flight (it is stupidly expensive to fly to Albany from Vancouver). We arrived 4 hours early to Seatac so we checked in, cleared security and waited around. We learned our flight was delayed by 30 minutes and became concerned that we would miss our connection. Turns out that was unnecessary.

So we got on the plane and the flight was uneventful, even kind of comfortable since the plane was quite empty and we each had a row of three seats to ourselves to stretch out and sleep on. We arrived in Washington D.C. with 40 minutes to spare, only to discover that our connection had been cancelled.

To make matters worse, they didn't have any decent alternatives. The best they could do was a flight from D.C. to Philidelphia the next morning, with a connection to Albany that would have us arriving in the late afternoon: about 8 hours of travel to get an hour away. We found a train that left DC at 3:00am (it was around 11 at this point) and arrived in Albany at 9 in the morning. After some consideration we chose this option and did finally make it to Albany.

But seriously, 27 hours of travel? I could have gone to Australia.

A knitting new year

Knitting Goals

I’m not going to make any ‘resolutions’ for my knitting this year. I resolved to do a lot of things in 2008 but due to the wonderful unpredictability of life, a lot of them didn’t happen. That’s okay but this year, I want to approach my knitting vision for the year without an element of obligation.

My first goal is to knit three sweaters. This has already been a particularly cold winter and I would really like more sweaters. However, because I am a knitter I don’t really want to go out and buy a bunch of sweaters.
Knit 10 pairs of socks. I have a lot of sock yarn. I do not however, have a lot of socks. I would like to remedy this.

Andrew has upped the ante on this. I get a prize if I accomplish goals 1 and 2 (I don’t think he thinks I can do it). If I don’t succeed, he gets 2 pairs of socks. I’m going to go about this honestly and state for the record here that these must be ten pairs of adult socks and 2 full sized adult sweaters with long sleeves. My Central Park Hoodie in progress doesn’t count.

Stash mindfully. I’m not going to not buy yarn. That way lies madness. After all, hasn’t the Yarn Harlot herself demonstrated that having a stash comes in handy in case of financial emergency? However, I want to pay more attention to what I’m stashing and why. I would like to consider what sort of project I would make with the yarn (not necessarily a specific pattern). I also want to try to visit yarn stores with a shopping list that takes my queue into consideration. And cut back on the sock yarn.

Spin every day. I’m not going to set a goal of ten minutes a day but I do want to try and spin, even just a little, every day.

Cast on mindfully. When I’m in the midst of a big project, especially a frustrating one, I get startitis and cast on a bunch of things that end up just sitting around until I either decide I don’t want to knit them and rip them out or I finish something and can pick them up again. The result is a collection of barely started WIPs.

Love knitting and remember I love it even when my project is driving me crazy

Blog more

Not quite knitting but related: get a digital SLR camera

Learn to dye yarn.

Keeping my knitting/stash organized both in reality and virtually. Ie, keep WIPs contained and add projects and stash to Ravelry in a timely manner.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A productive long weekend

I went on a spinning kick this weekend. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was spin. I started with the Yummy Yarn roving in Ianto I bought when I first got my wheel. I spun two singles then plied them. I'm pretty happy with this yarn. I'm getting a lot more consistent, both with the thickness of the yarn and the amount of twist. Yay.

Yummy Yarn Roving Ianto colourway. 4oz

Once that was done, I still wasn't done spinning. I got this urge to spin some superwash wool fibre that I bought from Twist of Fate at Gibsons Fibre Fest. This stuff is just beautiful to spin with, wonderfully soft and drafts like a dream. I spun two bobbins and plied them together, all on Saturday afternoon. This morning my right leg is still sore from all the treadling but it's totally worth it.

Twist of Fate Superwash wool 100 grams

I've also been finishing things this week. I finished the socks for Andrew's mom. 52 stitches on #5 needles, using Dream in Colour Classy. These were a great quick knit and the thick socks will be great for chilly Vermont.

DIC Classy cast on 52 stitches on #5 needles

And I finally finished socks for me. I actually started socks out of this yarn last August. I picked up the yarn from the Unwind Yarns and Gems booth and cast on. I later decided that it would be too big so I frogged it. I cast on again just before we left for Paris and worked on the first sock on the plane. Then my needle tip broke. I glued it back together a few times and managed to finish the first sock but it broke a final time and I couldn't fix it. I recently received a set of replacement tips from knitpicks so I finally finished the socks. Now I have a new pair of warm wool socks. Good thing too since it's snowing again.

Unwind Yarns and Gems Merlot Sport sock yarn. 56 stitch cast on on size 4s