This is the end of a long week, one that I’m glad to see the end of.  Work is that level of challenging wherein you find yourself almost out the door, running away as far as you can.  Only such words as “mortgage”, and “spending money” keeping you there.  I did manage to visit my naturopath again, and get some digestive aids to try.  Have I ever mentioned how happy I am to be back in Canada, and have a job where almost all the expenses of going to a naturopath are paid for?  I’ve found where my regular doctor is mystified by my digestive problems, the naturopath always has something interesting to try, which works as well. 

One of the least favorite parts of moving back to Canada is constantly having to ask if they mean US gallons, or Imperial gallons.  A small point that is a 20% difference in flowrate.

This weekend I’m off to Stitches West, and also running away from work stress.  There is something about sitting on an airplane 30 000 feet in the air that can make all your problems disappear.  You are a different person, whose only concern is getting to the yarn conference, and managing to get all that yarn back home again.  I’m enjoying explaining “yarn conference” to my co-workers.  “Oh”, they say, and then drift off.  However when I informed my other co-worker that I can reproduce almost exactly any of the hats he saw at the Olympics, he seemed impressed. 

There are only 2 days and 1 evening left to finish my sweater.  I am 2 inches away from decreasing for the cap sleeves.  I’m planning on taking the fronts on the plane tomorrow in order to knit the button bands.  From the luxurious comfort of my hotel Saturday night, surrounded by the remains of my glorious room service feast, watching the figure skating gala, I hope to be sewing it up, and putting the buttons on.  Crochet edging optional. 

Jon Montgomery is making Manitoba seem hawt.  Something about those red haired men.  We still don’t want to move there.

And baby booties:

Did I mention my skating coach had a baby boy the day of the mens short program?  In 16 years, he will be there competing!

Have a good weekend everyone!

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Rounding the Back Turn…

February 23, 2010

As this is the Knitting Olympics, and there are only 6 more days to finish my sweater, it was time to pull out the stops.  All that training, all those years of knitting, coming down to this one project, this one moment in time.  (start cheesy, inspiring music).  In an act of sheer daring, which I hope will elevate me onto the podium, I have begun knitting both sleeves at the same time.  This is a unprecidented act in my knitting career, where sleeves are usually made one after the other.  This ambitious move may pay off, and I may finish the sleeves before the weekend, or I may see my hopes of a medal dashed as I accidently use the yarn from one sleeves on the other.  In order to raise my game to this height I’m adhering to a strict non-alcohol, non-sugar-rush diet.  Unfortunately all this exciting figure skating coverage is making it difficult to concentrate.  The right front has a hole I fondly call “the mens short program”, and there is a problem with the lace called “ice dancing final”. 

Tonight I will be cheering for Joannie, who lost her mother a few days ago.  I don’t care how she does, I don’t care what place she comes in, I will simply cheer loud, and with great abandon.  I will jump up and down, I will scare my cats, I will hurt my hands, my neighbours may call the police.  I hope everyone joins me, and we show her the love!

Friday Tropical Edition

February 19, 2010

What is not to love about tropical cocktails, especially those served in coconuts.  The exotic container, the intoxicating rum, the sweetness of fresh juice flavours combined into one experience.  The sillier the drink, the pinker, the more entertaining the name, bring it all on.  I sure do miss feeling the hot tropical breeze on my face, watching the sun going down, nothing to do but figure out where to go for dinner after happy hour.  Le sigh.

However back in the real world, this Olympic knitter is planning a long weekend of red sweater knitting.  I’m at the point in the project (almost done first front now) where its getting hard to stay monogamous.  Sure its soft, its nice and red, its pretty, but its so the same.  I’m jonesing for a hat, craving some mittens, and am starting to think I really, really need a circular scarf sewn together at the ends that you can wind once around your neck for a loose fit, or twice on cold days for a tight fit.  I think I really, really need one RIGHT NOW!  But if I give into temptation, I won’t finish the sweater now will I?  No says mature, rational Anne.  I need a green circular scarf says irrational Anne.  NOW!  I think I’ll go home, put on the Olympics, pour a poor substitute for a tropical cocktail, and see which side wins. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Skiing on Olympic Way

February 17, 2010

Which is actually what one of the trails is called at the Nordic Center in Canmore.  With the nice temperatures on the weekend, we had a lovely day outside in the mountains.

On Valentine’s Day, aren’t we cute in our matching red jackets?  Which we bought before we met each other, we may be cheesy like Whiz sometimes, but we aren’t that bad. 

We figured we skied between 12-15 km this day, and we did it “pretty quickly” at 1.5 hour.  We then went home (after a yummy lunch at a local Canmore bar) and watched the women skate ski 10 km in 20 minutes.  That sure took the wind out of our sails, we have a lot of training to do if we truly want to measure up on Olympic Way. 

(I figure Mr. J will be found first in an emergency in his red jacket and orange shirt, oh boy!)

Seeing Red

February 16, 2010

The first weekend of the Olympics was a smashing success in my book.  We managed to see a lot of the coverage, skillfully navigating between the three channels that were showing various events.   I finished the back of the red sweater, even though this photo shows it still in progress.  I’ve started on the first front now.  If I can get both fronts done, and a sleeve started by the end of next weekend, I will be very happy!  The sweater is 28 inches long, but at least the top is all stocking stitch. 

I started Friday night as the cauldron inside the stadium was lit, and did a few rows before going to bed.  I don’t think I could have started earlier, I was just mesmerized by the opening ceremonies.  I first teared up at the opening patriotic beer commercial, and almost didn’t stop until the end.  I realize the ceremonies was about presenting Canada and British Columbia to the world, but it was also about Canadians celebrating Canada.  It wasn’t about quick sound bites, pop music, short attention spans.  The ceremony started quietly, built up, then quieted down a bit.  Not only was popular music showcased, but also dance, opera, art, poetry and cultural themes.  There were quiet moments of beauty, whales turning into Haida symbols, fields of wheat appearing out of nowhere.  Punk rock fiddlers dancing their hearts out, even my favorite Ashley McIssac did his part.  K.D. Lang singing the heart out of Leonard Cohen (did you notice the dresses/outfits were the colours of the Olympic rings) not as a gay woman, but as an incredible talent and a valued Canadian.  No one protested her being there, we just all loved her singing.  Barbara Ann Scott, looking so beautiful still, carrying in the flag.  I was so moved, I was so proud, I still am.  I think the people that were in the stadium, banging their drum, and watching the spectacle are so lucky, they lived an experience they will remember all their lives. 

And as for the beer commercial, I still do, and have many times in my life, run off the dock instead of tippy toeing in.  I’ve jumped off cliffs, and enjoyed campfires while listening to the loons, looking at the stars, and been completely alone for many, many kilometres all around.  I’ve skated across frozen lakes.  I’m so bloody lucky, its not even funny.  link here. 

Family Friday Colour

February 12, 2010

Here in Canada its a long weekend, we have Monday off for Family Day.  I intend to celebrate family day by watching the Olympics all day and knitting a sweater! 

This week the roving reporters Mum and Dad found some lovely flowers growing around the lower balcony:

Bouganvilla and hibiscus flowers in the wild.  Years ago in Singapore we liked to go to a Drag Show, simply because it was hilarious.  Side hurting, head thrown back, so much fun laughing.  The host of the evening, whose nationality  we could never guess, made fun of the Caucasian, Chinese, Indian, Malay and Singaporean equally, all in their own language.  A drag show in 4-5 languages, which somehow we all understood.  One evening they had a mock beauty pageant, and the host asked the lovely contestant to name “her” favorite flower.  Bouganvilla she replied.  The next question was “Please spell bouganvilla”.  She thought with a look of panic, and then said “Rose, r-o-s-e- rose”.  To this day I hear her Malay accented voice saying that whenever I see a bouganvilla flower. 

This yacht pulled up to take a look in the harbour:

For those of you wealthy folks who can charter a yacht this one the Noble House variety.

Just another day on the island!

Tonight I’m watching the opening ceremonies, and singing “Oh Canada”.   

The pretty spiralling pattern can now be seen clearly.  As I knit I adjust the stitches every few rows in order to keep an even number of stitches on each needle.  It’s a very fascinating process to me.  Knit straight up and down, go sideways!  I’m four inches in, the heel begins after 7 inches, so 3″ more. 

My Tweed jacket is progressing, I’m almost done the first sleeve, both fronts and the back are done.  I was hoping to have most of it knit before Friday, but this doesn’t look very probable now.  It will most likely get put down until the Olympics are over. 

All for now!

FO: Betty Stockings

February 8, 2010

Another “Finally”!

Cast on in June, and left to think about what they had done when I discovered that there was little calf shaping for my shapely calves.  I’ve added 6 extra stitches around the herringbone lace panel around the middle of my calf.  It is still tight up there, more stitches may have been needed.  I definitely need some elastic sewn in, or a ribbon to keep these up.  But they are lovely!  Too bad the weather is still too cold to wear lacey stockings comfortably.  These were made with Dream in Colour Smooshy, and I still have what looks to be half the ball leftover.

Friday Touch of Colour

February 5, 2010

For the month of February, which I always find rather dreary, I’ll be featuring touches of colour sent in by the roving reporters in Honduras, Mum and Dad.  Alternate titles could include; The Joys of Retirement, Why Are We Working So Much – Oh Yes, to Retire Someday, or Colours Other than Grey and Brown DO Exist. 

For the first photo Roving Report Mum walked out on the back porch:

She then walked out to the front porch:

Whew, after that hard day’s work reporting she enjoyed a nice rum and coke.  Or maybe I’m just being jealous, living in a frozen land as I do.  At least we are well supplied with rum.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

WIP: Doing Rick

February 3, 2010

With the Bettie Stockings done (no photos yet!) I finally get to start a new pair of socks.  This is the first new pair cast on since the summer, therefore I’m pretty excited about it.  I’m also using my oldest ball of sock yarn, a Fleece Artist colourway with Seacell, so I’m doubly happy.  PLUS I’m trying out a pattern from a book I haven’t used before: Cookie A’s sock book.  I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet lately to make something from each book I currently own.

The turqoise is such a happy colour on a grey foggy day.  The sun almost poked through the mist, but then thought better, turned around and disappeared.  I’m three repeats into the leg , and the pattern is starting to swirl around.  There is so much swirling in fact that you end up adjusting stitches on your needles a few times, which is a bit fun.  I’m also having fun proudly proclaiming the name of the pattern, which is Rick, in this form “I’m doing Rick”.  Or “I’m totally into Rick”.  I bet the pattern will show up better next week when it is a bit longer.