Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A look into the yarn stash, from the FFF

It's already the end of February and only one FO to show for it. Been working on too many small stitched large projects. Here's a glimpse into my stash, a to do list for when I get done with the MIL cardigan and the Viking Turid.

Alpaca yarn from the Virginia Fall Fiber Festival (FFF), slated for Odessa.

100% wool yarn, also from the Virginia Fall Fiber Festival, for a cardigan for me to wear at the office, probably the same pattern as the MIL cardigan.

Jumbo Loop Boucle wool yarn, hand-dyed, intended for a shawl for myself that roughly follows the Yarn Harlot's Snowdrop pattern (PDF) on size 17 needles.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Own the Podium

It's all over the news... Canada came in THIRD place. That's amazing, awesome, incredible... FANTASTIC!

According to CBC

"Canada won 24 medals – seven gold, 10 silver, seven bronze – to shatter the previous record of 17 set at Salt Lake City in 2002. "

"Canadian Olympic officials are hoping to do even better at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. The goal is to win 35 medals and finish atop the medal standings."

There were times during the closing ceremonies I had to stop knitting to watch, especially during the flying acrobats and the fireworks... and I loved hearing Andre Bocelli sing! I'm sad that it's over but so proud that Canada performed so well at the Olympics. Can't wait until Vancover 2010!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Random Updates

The baby shower was yesterday and the baby hat was a success! One of my co-workers pointed out that I had made it (guess it wasn't obvious but then that's probably a good thing) and then there was adoration, lots of awwwwws. It was great. I'm glad I ripped back so many times so it could look perfect. That's a lesson that has taken a long time to learn.

Knitting Lesson 2
Saturday at Tanjina's place. Sometime after lesson 1, some solitary knitting was done, then "something happened" and it resulted in a loss of confidence. Hopefully I will be able to show her how to fix her own mistakes so that when (not if, for any of us) it happens again, she won't have to wait a month to continue.

I'm sad that it's almost over. Only 2 days left. I love all the figure skating and ice dancing. One of Max's co-workers was in Torino for the snowboarding competitions and came back with some chocolates for us. Can't wait to try them! Canada is currently in 5th place with 19 medals. When it's all over, NBC will go back into oblivion - which is fine by me... I definitely will not miss all the commercials every 10 minutes.

Plane tickets have been purchased, hostel reservations are being made. I have even located a yarn store that is less than 2 miles from the hostel. Just need to find someone willing to look after Erin and Brookline while we're gone...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stitch and Bitch

For more information, listed to Brenda Dayne's Cast On Espisode 10: Bitch and Bitch.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bright Red

Here's the yarn I've been using for my MIL's cardigan. Although I'm becoming quite the yarn snob, I am really enjoying working with this. It's Red Heart Soft (100% acrylic) and was chosen because it fit the criteria of "really bright red" and soft. I admit, it hurts the eyes a bit but that's what we were going for when we picked it out. It's a surprise really. Just hope she likes it. Progress on the sleeves goes on. The first sleeve is done and the second is half-way there. Size 8 needles seem so big and quick when you've been working on size 2s and 3s for awhile.

I'm not ready to pick up my Viking Turid yet, still cooling off. I want to get it done by April in case it might still be cool enough in Berlin to wear it. Since the average high is 55 and the average low is 39, I may not be able to bring it with me... but at least it would be done.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Crafty couch potatoes?!?

What a jerk! No, no, tell us what you really think JENINNE LEE-ST. JOHN. That's not offensive at all. As a knitter in my twenties, I have to put up with jibes about little old ladies... but couch potato? Thanks. ALOT. I'm not the only one who feels this way... I was tipped off by Knitorious.

Moving on... the knitting met with some frustration this weekend. I'm almost done the front of my Viking Turid, or so I thought. When I matched the front and the back, the armholes are about 2 inches off and do not begin in the same place. Argh. So now one needs to be ripped. But which one? For now, the two pieces are sitting in my knitting basket while I work on something else... namely the sleeve for the MIL cardigan, which is infinitely easier at this point... and glare at my Viking Turid. So frustrating. This is why I didn't sign up for the knitting olympics.

Anyway... how great is the Canadian women's hockey team? I loved watching the game against Sweden. Cried during the medal ceremony when they played O Canada and sang along in my head. Definitely the best women's team ever.

TeamCanada, Day 11

3 Gold:
Jennifer Heil for Freestyle Skiing
Women's Ice Hockey Team x 20
Duff Gibson for Skeleton

6 Silver:
Women's Team Sprint for Cross Country x 2
Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Oneil Brown for Bobsleigh
Jeff Pain for Skeleton
Men's Team Pursuit for Speed Skating x 5
Cindy Klassen for Speed Skating
Women's Team Pursuit for Speed Skating x 5

5 Bronze:
Cindy Klassen for Speed Skating
Jeffrey Buttle for Figure Skating
Anouk Leblanc-Boucher for Short Track Speed Skating
Mellisa Hollingsworth for Skeleton
Dominique Maltais for Snowboard

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Marc!

Marc at age 1
My brother, at age one.

He's the youngest in our family. Growing up, I was always trying to protect him from everything... when I wasn't being a mean older sister. The year he went to hockey camp, he learned how to spray ice with his skates. That was the beginning of the end. It's hard to be mean to someone who can skate faster than you! Now he is much older and much bigger than me, going to university and working part-time. He doesn't need my protection anymore but then, he doesn't need to worry about mean older sisters either!

Marc, Take it easy today. Don't forget to check the mail! There's a card for you from me and Max. Hope that you and Lauren have a good time at dinner tonight.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Currently reading

If you've ever read The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, you know that it is alot to take in. So much so that I need to start from the beginning whenever a new book is published. Otherwise my brain forgets things that happened earlier. I cannot just pick up Book 11 and begin reading. That will not happen for a few months. Perhaps by my birthday in June. The upside of this is that when I get to the parts with Trollocs, every time through, the nightmares are less and go away quicker. Desensitizing myself to my own imagination.

Max refuses. He's waiting until the last book comes out and then he'll read the whole thing over again.

He is willing, however, to do this for the Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I always do but perhaps my memory lanes just need a few runs.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Brined Pork Chops

Brined porkchops

Thanks for the recipe Mom! This turned out so great. For the two of us, I made two chops in half the brine and used less oil to brown them. The sauce was used to soak the rice (leftover from Chinese take-out).

Brined Pork Chops

2 liters water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup mustard seed*
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons pickling spice*
6 cloves garlic, smashed
6 pork chops (rib), 1.5" thick
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a large pot combine water, kosher salt, mustard seeds, sugar, pickling spice and garlic. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let it cool completely. Add pork chops, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Heat oven to 400.

Dry pork chops off. In a heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until very hot, but not smoking. Brown chops, turning after 3-4 minutes to brown the other side. Use rest of the oil and brown the rest of the chops. Place browned chops in the oven until a meat thermometer reaches 150 F, about 15-20 minutes.

Take pork chops out of the oven and place on a warm platter, covering with aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Take the pan and place on the stove top. Add wine, and chicken broth, plus any accumulated juice from the platter. Reduce pan juice to 1/2. Season with salt and pepper. Place chops into the pan to warm up and serve with pan juices.

*Found these ingredients at Whole Foods in the bulk section

baby Frivol with pompom
Last night I finally made the pompom for my baby hat. Oh, and Holly - I have a heel! I knitted the foot while watching figure skating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Although I wasn't able to watch the women's hockey game against Sweden, I am so psyched that Canada won. I totally support Melody Davidson's decision to play hard. It is not bad sportsmanship to play your best game.

As I have been watching the Olympics, my knitting has been focussed on the front of my Viking Turid. I've just passed the half way and still on my first ball of Grignasco Piccolo Tweed (1760 yards), so I suspect I will have more than enough to seam and finish it. It looks very nice so far. Any in progress photos will look the same as the back so there probably won't be any until I start on the sleeves. The socks are on hold for now but I have been itching to get back to them. Still need to make the pompom for the baby hat but it's so hard to work on something that takes my attention away from the games!

TeamCanada Day 5
1 Gold (Jennifer Heil for Freestyle Skiing)
1 Silver (Sara Renner and Beckie Scott for Cross Country)
1 Bronze (Cindy Klassen for Speed Skating)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Unto my right well-beloved Valentine

My heart me bids evermore to love you truly over all earthly things...



My knitting class on Saturday: I knit the heel cup for one sock but in the process decreased too much on one side. Holly ripped it out for me (sadness) but at least when I am done, it will be done right. Right? Also, I was able to watch someone else grafting the last stitches on their sock. Now that I've seen it, there's no reason I can do it myself... but if not, Holly said I could come back and she would show me again. Whew!

As for the Olympics - who watched the women's hockey game, Canada vs. Russia? Loved it!! Great game. Canada played well and soundly kicked butt. Really looking forward to the game against the US. Max and I will have to sit on opposite ends of the couch!

TeamCanada Day 3
1 Gold (Jennifer Heil for Freestyle Skiing)
1 Bronze (Cindy Klassen for Speed Skating)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Olympics and snow

Last night, there was some of both. We had DVR'd the opening ceremonies, some women's hockey, luge, alpine skiing and some other things. This is the first time watching the Olympics so thoroughly on DVR and while it does feel a little anti-climatic finding out who won and when everyone already knows... the ability to skip through the commercials and the sports commentators is GREAT! I love that part. And I love the hours on end with which to knit! My hands cramped a little because of all the small work I'm doing on size 2 and size 3 needles (socks and Viking Turid), but taking a break to drink tea or do a few rows on my MIL's sweater (with size 8 needles) helped.

And the snow. Everything is so beautiful this morning. Frosted trees and snow covered lawns are not the usual in this area and perhaps more treasured because of the infrequency. On the other hand, the people around here HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DRIVE and when it snows, well, it's usually a disaster. So if we had received this 8-12" of snow on Sunday night, chances are that all the schools would have been cancelled or delayed and the federal government would be on a delayed schedule. The main road outside our house looks perfectly clear and to my astounding surprise, the snow plow has actually made a run by our house. So our Valentine's Day brunch in Old Town is still on. Just need to get myself dressed and pretty looking.

And lastly, here's a shout-out to Nikki and Ben! Always glad to know who my readers are and if I need to watch my language... until Baby Rimes learns to read, I'm probably safe.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Visitors from many countries - Welcome!

I have a site meter at the bottom of my blog. Every week I receive a summary report of visitors. How exciting is this?!?

The 89.47% represents about 72 people. If you're visiting from outside the US, welcome! Give me a shout out and let me know you were here. To any Canadians, that applies doubly.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Although I'm not really into playing sports or even, for the most part, watching sports I have always been a HUGE fan of the Olympic Games. For the Torino 2006 XX Winter Games, not only will I be DVR-ing most of the events to watch at home and receiving regular updates from CBC, I will also take my ardent fan status to the 2006 Knitting Olympics.

I'm so amazed that the Knitting Olympics have reached such olympic proportions - over 3300 knitters! That's unbelievable. There was an article in The Oregonian and a quick search on Google yielded 96,400 results. Thank you Yarn Harlot for inspiring the knitting community with this awesome event!

I was tempted to join. But I didn't think I could commit to it. And I saw the UFOlympics but still, I did not join. I will retain my fan status, knit while I watch, and cheer for all the participants. Go TeamCanada!! Go Team Canada! Go for gold!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lots of little knitting

Last night Max and I went out for dinner at Yamazoto. Love that place! The food is so good.

I did a little something for a few knitting projects last night... knitted the final three rows of the baby hat and seamed it up. Just needs a pompom and then it will be done! Since I was done with the needle tips from the hat, I transferred them over to the Viking Turid and work can now recommence. Also, since I was done with the cable from the baby hat, I knit a row of the MIL cardigan sleeve and transferred that onto larger needles. It felt like a productive night even though I spent over an hour on the phone talking to Kristina. We talked about all kinds of thing but I forgot to ask her if she has been knitting at all on her scarf. Hopefully she'll read this and leave a commment letting me know.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl Sunday

I got to the part of the sock to where Holly showed us on Saturday. Erring on the side of caution, I have put it aside until next Saturday, until Holly shows us the rest. I want to be sure that I'm knitting it correctly. I may put what I've done so far on a stitch holder so I can knit the other sock (using the other end of the yarn ball) up to the same point so I have two ready to go on Saturday.

Baby hat
I'm almost done with the ball of yarn. Although what I have so far is insanely cute and knit almost to perfection, I think it's going to be too small. According to a growth chart from the CDC, a baby that weighs 18 lbs should have a head circumference of 17-19 inches. So far my hat is only 15" and if I'm lucky I might get another inch before I'm done. Too small. So I'll probably have to rip it out and redo it on larger needles. Right now I'm using size 4, so I might go up to size 7 so I have some leftover yarn for a pompom.

Glory Road
LOVED this movie! Cried through half of it, though I'm pretty emotional. I may not like watching sports but I love sports movies. If you go to see it at the theatre, wait through the credits... there's an interview at the end with the original coach and players.

Superbowl XL
Barely watched it. DV-R'd most of it, watched the commercials, skipped past any part that they weren't actually playing football and turned it off once we saw the confetti. It's just kind of boring when you're not rooting for your own team. Not to mention that I don't really like football and the Superbowl is the only time I ever watch it. Maybe the New England Patriots will make it there next year!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


My knitting class yesterday was great. There were five of us. Our instructor, Holly Daymude, was really great! She was so patient, quick to calm any fears, and demonstrated everything very clearly. Plus, she was able to estimate that from my skein of yarn, I'd be able to make three pairs of mini-socks. Think ankle socks. They're cute and I love the colours. I might even be willing to share but that is still undecided. Here's the ball winding photos from Friday and a picture that Holly snapped at the end of class.

Current work-in-progress basket

Top left: front of the Viking Turid sweater, cast-on and knit three rows. The rest will have to wait for larger needles to be available.
Top middle: Patons Bella cardigan, on hold and currently being mulled over. I'm thinking about just turning it into a wrap for the office but haven't decided.
Top right: mini sock on two circulars and Cherry Tree Hill "tropical storm"
Bottome right: completed back of the Viking Turid sweater
Bottom middle: MIL sweater sleeve cuff... needs to be transferred onto larger needles (US 7 to US 8) to continue
Bottom left: baby hat using Frivol pattern by Debbie Tuttle. I'm most of the way done. It's going to take the rest of the ball of yarn.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Word cloud

I read about creating a blog word cloud on Keeping Me in Stitches. It's an interesting snapshot of what I talked about in my first month of blogging.

Tomorrow is my knitting class at Knit Happens with Holly. Here's the link to the PDF newsletter with the description of the class. I still have yet to wind my yarn. Definitely need to do that tonight. And pack my knitting bag with needles and pattern book and camera and whatever else I might need. 10:30am is not that early but much earlier to be out of the house and doing stuff than we usually are on the weekend. It's supposed to rain too.

As for the baby hat, it's almost done! Even after ripping back half of it (Max says, "Oh, that looks great, how did you fix it?") and then later a few more rows, it's going pretty quickly. I took pictures but since I was indoor, they're all washed out. Maybe if I get home before dark tonight I can take one outside to show you. It's so cute! With the added pressure of a baby shower at work with the whole company, it needs to look perfect. So I'm doing my best now to not half-ass it and really do it right.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yah for next year!

So there were several days of no posts, so today I give you two. I just read on Now Norma Knits that there will be a next year for the Red Scarf Project. Yes! Because I waited until the last minute to get my scarf in to the Einstein Bagel Bros. (even though it was done WAY ahead of time) and I was sick and they're only open until 4pm everyday, I wasn't able to get my scarf in. Max tried to console my by saying that, "Maybe they'll do it again next year..." but I wasn't having any of it. (I'm pretty cranky when I'm sick) So, yah! I just need to put it in a safe place (famous last words) until next year.

Tagged for a Meme

I'm definitely on the mend... I actually woke up close to my regular wake-up time (and before my "I'm-sleeping-in-because-I'm-sick" alarm) and no one has told me today that I look pale, wane, peaked, or a little green. Ultimately, my aim is to get through the work week (only one more day!) so I can go to my knitting class on Saturday at Knit Happens. I'm so excited to be taking the class. Socks on two circulars. The first pair is for me! I don't knit for myself nearly enough - and besides, how many people would wear socks this colour? Definitely not Max.

Now for the meme... I've been tagged! Why I needed to be tagged before doing a meme (see Gathering Some Wool ), I don't know but here goes:

Five jobs I’ve had
(all of these before entering "the real world")
1. delivery, Sears catalogs - the big ones, on bike (ugh)
2. factory worker, Thermo Sealed Castings (ick)
3. hostess, Sorentos Italian Gourmet (yum)
4. library assistant, St. Michael's College Library
5. intern, Improper Bostonian Magazine (fun)

Five movies I can watch over and over
1. Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)
2. The Family Man (2000)
3. Love Actually (2003)
4. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Five places I have lived
1. Metz, France
2. St. Joseph, MI
3. Beijing, China
4. Toronto, ON
5. Boston, MA

Five TV shows I love
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Lost
3. My Name is Earl
4. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
5. Numb3rs

Five places I’ve vacationed
1. Paris, France x 2
2. Phuket, Thailand
3. Walt Disney World, FL x 4
4. Ottawa, ON
5. Xian, China

Five of my favorite dishes
1. Duck, any way it's made (as long as it is cooked)
2. Steak, medium-rare (on the rare side)
3. Grilled Salmon with Ginger Orange marinade
4. Risotto with porcini mushrooms
5. Good Eats Roast Turkey

Five sites I visit daily
1. Society for Human Resource Management
2. Bloglines
3. Gmail
4. Wikipedia
5. The Weather Channel

Five places I would rather be right now
(keep in mind, I'm still recovering)
1. at home, with Max
2. at home, taking a nap
3. at home, knitting
4. at home, watching TV
5. at home, reading

Five people I am tagging
1. Darren
2. Erin
3. Kristina
4. Tanjina
5. Kate

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


After two days at home recovering from a stomach bug, I am back at work. At least for another hour. Then I will slink home and rest. Hopefully dinner will make itself, but if not, Max will come home and make it for me. He's a good husband like that.

So, what was accomplished over the past two days? Napping. Sitting on the couch with my kitties. Alot of Quantum Leap on DVD - I'm up to season 3! Toast and honey. Plain Chinese noodles. Lots of tea. And some knitting. I finished the back of my Viking Turid. To reward myself for finishing the back, I started something new! I started and am about half way done with a baby hat* for a lady at work who is adopting a baby boy from Guatemala. The baby shower is at the end of February. I may have to rip back at least one repeat of the pattern (if it bothers me that much) where I stopped paying attention and arrogantly thought I knew what I was doing without reading the pattern (and where it goes all crazy and wonky) but otherwise it looks great. It's blue and small and cute. I'll post a picture once it looks more perfect... or come up with a cool name to explain why the cables don't look right.

*Frivoli pattern using size 4 needles and GGH Samoa yarn(50% Cotton, 50% Microfiber)