Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.

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Most unflattering cardigan, ever

I hate it. It took me more than a year to finish it, and I hate it. Maybe that’s why it was languishing. Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I knew it would suck. I should know better than to make anything for myself that is thicker than 5 st/in, especially if it’s fuzzy. I’m going to try to make a tie for it and use it as a wrap rather than buttons, but I’m not hopeful. I’m going to see if any of my svelte friends might want it instead. Because, even though I hate the way it looks on me, it’s a nice cardigan – soft, warm, and the lace pattern (which you can’t really see in the picture) is pretty. Bleh. Oh well, the yarn was free, at least. And now I can cast on something new.


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A bunch of stuff

It’s March 25th.  And it’s snowing.  Copiously.  The expected total snowfall by the end of today is about 10 cm.  Sheesh.

We all got haircuts today.  Including me:


Yeah, that’s not the most flattering picture of me, but look!  My hair is all short.  I’m me again.  Really, I’m not sure anymore what possessed me to grow it.  I started after Vorlon was born almost three years ago.  Recently, I realized I’m just too lazy to have long hair.  Especially mine.  It’s prone to poofiness at the merest sign of humidity, and summer’s coming (well, maybe.  So far, there’s no sign to that effect.  See previous paragraph about snow.)  So there it is.

Easter weekend included, for the first time in probably 20 years, a church service.  I hear you gasping.  Not only was it a church service, but a 2 hour Lutheran one.  Yep.  A friend was having her baby baptised, and since I’d missed her other two daughters’ baptisms, I thought we should show up at this one.  The ceremony was apparently short for an Easter Vigil (my friend once attended a full-length one in Montreal which was 3.5 hours long).  It was surprisingly Catholic in ritual – I had thought that the whole point of Lutheranism was to get away from Catholicism.  Maybe they were just trying to get away from the pope…  Anyway, if it hadn’t been for the many opportunities to sing (there were hymns all over the place), it would have been unbearably long.  The kids behaved really well, and understandably had a lot of questions.  Then they spent the last half hour with Dr. Thingo and a bunch of other kids running around in the nursery upstairs.  What surprised me the most was how devout and devoted the congregation was.  They lustily answered where answering was required.  They all seemed very sincere.  When I attended services as a child, most people didn’t seem to be this deeply faithful.  Maybe that’s the difference with religion now.  People who do attend services now are really believers, since it’s much more acceptable now to not attend church than it ever was, so the people who are left are the ones who really want to go.  Or I could just be talking out of my butt, since I haven’t attended any kind of Christian service, other than a wedding or a funeral, in two decades.

The stripey blanket for Spinrite is nearly done.  I’ve assembled all the squares and attached them to the body of the blanket.  I still think it’s painfully busy:


Now I’m  at the point where I’m tucking in loose ends and cutting those that were already worked in.  There are many.  Here’s a picture after one session (admittedly, the most productive one, but still):

They pay me by the metre, so I feel a little bad that a large part of it is going in the trash, but that’s what they get for making me do stripey granny squares, I guess.

The socks are moving slowly, now that I’m not spending all my evenings at some rehearsal.  Zebula absolutely wanted to model them:


And here, because I haven’t put a picture of it up yet, is the Spring Shawl Surprice (sic).


Looks like a pile of light green ramen noodles, just as any self-respecting unblocked lace project should.  I’m one clue away from finishing.  It should be done by the end of the week.

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Two things (still no pictures)

I feel sheepish.  After suffering the chirping for nearly a week and blogging about it, I found the source.  It wasn’t a CO detector.  It was a smoke detector (same manufacturer).  Turns out they chirp exactly alike, for the same reason.  I found the culprit and have not been annoyed by chirping since.  And it wasn’t an extra CO detector I bought that time and put near the furnace, it was just a smoke alarm.  I should really get another CO detector near the furnace.  I should also really be aware of what equipment I actually own, and where I keep it.  I’m sure this is all very interesting to all of you.

Also, I’d like to apologize to any musicians in the Symphony here in town.  Turns out they don’t bring reading material to concerts.  Just rehearsals.  And yesterday’s show was wonderful, in large part due to their excellent musicianship.  I’m very proud to be part of an organization that creates such beautiful music.

Pictures of fascinating fiber projects to come, I promise.

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I’m in a quandary. We have natural gas to heat the house, and so because we’re responsible adults with wee kiddies (and because the firemen who came to do the house inspection told us we have to), we have carbon monoxide detectors, in case of leakage. One of them is upstairs by the bedrooms. We have another one. It’s been chirping periodically because the batteries are running low. Problem is, I can’t for the life of me figure out where I put it. It’s true! It used to be in the front hall, and I moved it, I thought, to the basement, close to the furnace. It chirps every once in a while, but not often enough that I can locate it. I look for it every once in a while. But then the chirping stops, and I forget about it until it starts up again. It’s making me crazy. Especially since my house isn’t especially large, so I should be able to find it. And don’t worry, it doesn’t mean we have a CO leak. If that were the case, it would give me four chirps at a time. And, presumably, the one upstairs would pipe up too.

Very little fibrous content to report. The stripey blanket is progressing, but not that quickly, since this is a concert week for me, and I’ve been out singing most evenings (come see us! Centre in the Square at 8:00pm. We’re doing Bach’s St-John Passion. It’s a good one!). I’m at the part where I’m doing the granny squares, which is nice, because anytime I have five minutes, I whip one up. I have, I think, 15 left to make (I’ve made 21 so far). Then I have to assemble it all.

The socks are coming along, and providing entertainment for the people sitting next to me at this concert. Aside: I don’t, as a rule, knit during rehearsals. I’m singing most of the time, and when other sections are working on a few hard bars, I should be working things out on my own. I get that. However, during a run-through that is not on stage, I do knit during the arias. Some of those are loooooong. Plus, I listen better when I’m knitting so I’m not so fidgetty. During the dress rehearsal on stage, I do not knit, even during the arias, so that I don’t face the wrath of my choir director. And, of course, it would be pretty bad form during an actual concert. Though I noticed that the symphony musicians (like oboists or flutists, who don’t necessary play for the whole thing but still have to sit there) have no compunctions about bringing reading material during any rehearsal or concert. They just put whatever they’re reading on their music stand. Nobody can tell except for the choir sitting behind them.

Oh, and the Spring Shawl Surprise is on hold until I get my evenings back. I’m one and a half clues away from finishing.

Ok, off to entertain the children by making baked goods. With sprinkles.



(ed: I just realized I never posted this. My apologies. I wrote it on Sunday, if that helps)

It’s been busy here, the last couple of days. On Thursday, some friends from out of town came with their kids to hang out and spend the night, which was fun. Then, about two hours after they left, the Thingo family came to visit (including my brother in law). This was also fun, but it’s nice to have the house to ourselves again, even though the kids are already suffering from the lack of constant attention and stimulation.

It’s been sunny and milder the last few days, which is making me feel like we should be getting started on spring cleaning, gardening, bike tuning-up, etc. Yes, yes, there’s still half a metre of snow on the ground, but a person can dream, right? I am grateful that I don’t need to wear my parka outside anymore. I’ll just be content with that for the next little while.

Haven’t done too much work on the stripey blanket for Spinrite. I’m still not crazy about the colour. I have finished the main part and the single crochet edging, and am now working on making up the 36 granny square motifs (also striped) that will go around. This is going to be the busiest blanket in creation. It’s going to have to come with an epileptic advisory. I’ll be happy to be done with this one, I think.

I started a pair of socks with the red Tofutsies I bought from Cloth and Clay last week.

The yarn is pleasant enough to work with. You can barely tell from the picture, but I threw in a small, four-stitch cable on either side of the top of the foot (instep? I never get that right), which is an idea I ripped off the Yarn Harlot after seeing a pair of socks she made recently. It’s getting completely lost in the marled effect from the yarn, which is composed of two plies of red, one of pink and one of white, but the cables are breaking the monotony of stocking stitch in the round, so I’m leaving it in. That’s Zebula’s hand, there, getting involved with the picture making. She has freakishly large hands and feet for a five-year-old!

As I mentioned, my brother in law was here. I promised to make him a sweater ages ago, and told him he was next on the list (for sweaters. Socks and other portable don’t count as part of the queue…) He wants a sweater with a pocket on the front. Like the Wonderful Wallaby, which I like, but can’t find a Canadian supplier for it. I think I’ll probably make an EPS sweater and retrofit a hood and pocket on it. However, as I am trying to honour the pledge that I made in my first post, I’m going to finish two projects from my stash first before I buy the yarn for it. And I know, my excursion to Cloth and Clay last week kind of busts the pledge, but I think that surprise store closeouts don’t count. The Tofutsies socks count as one. I’ll probably make the White Witch Mittens next – just in time for the weather to start getting warmer.


Guilty yarn

I went and checked out the deep discounts at Cloth and Clay.  It was packed!  And the stuff was already beginning to be picked over only two days after the ‘store closing’ sign went up.  Here’s what I got:

C&C Haul

In the upper left, two balls of Meilenweit Mega Boots sockyarn.   The upper right – two balls of Tofutsies sock yarn (content:  soy fibre, wool, cotton and chitin).  The lower left – Fleece Artist sock yarn (yeah, I like the sock yarn), and the lower right, three skeins of Malabrigo laceweight.  Aside from the Mega Boots, this is stuff I normally don’t get because I can’t afford it.  I said to the owner that I felt bad taking advantage, and she said not to feel bad, and to think of them when I knitted the stuff up.  So I will!

Unrelated – I did some math, and figuring on 37 cm of snow, and two driveways, I shoveled more than 1100kg of snow yesterday and the day before.  That’s more than one tonne!

Dr. Thingo and kids took advantage and dug some tunnels:

Dr. Thingo is crouching, but you can just see the top of Vorlon’s hat on the right there (looks like kitty ears).  Did I mention we got a lot of snow?

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Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver

Crazy snow

Thanks to Gilles Vigneault for exactly describing what this winter has been like, so far.

So, a ridiculous amount of snow fell yesterday. 37.5 cm according to the University of Waterloo weather department. That’s more than a foot, for you Imperial types. It’s a beautiful, sunny day out there now, which makes it easy to forget yesterday’s unpleasantness. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of winter. Really! I love it. But it’s March, for crying out loud! I’m kind of done with all that!

The picture above fails to convey the sheer snowiness of the landscape outside my window. Like the fact that I shoveled twice yesterday and you can’t tell. Like the fact that the snowbank between my sidewalk and the road is coming dangerously close to being the same height as me. Or the fact that there are maybe 4 car tracks on my street, which means that people have been staying home. Usually, the city removes the snowbanks at some point during the winter, to improve visibility (for when you’re turning corners, or backing out of a driveway) and to make the roads wider than, say, a metre and a half). But they haven’t this year. Not sure why, but it’s making it hard to shovel, because there’s nowhere to actually put the snow. Except maybe the street, which I’m considering.

Oh, and it’s spring forward day, isn’t it. I’m going to go change my clocks…. Ok, done. While I’m here, can I start a rant on how dumb it is to be changing the time twice a year? Nah, it’s been done to death…

Right. Knitting. Well, crochet, in this case.

Spinrite Afghan March 9

The picture is fairly true to colour. I don’t know if I love it or hate it. It’s certainly very busy, and there are going to be granny square motifs, equally stripey, all along the outside edge of it. So it’s going to be stroke-inducing. At first, I thought they were crazy when I saw the five colours being used. Now I’m getting used to it. We’ll see how it turns out, all done.

SSS is proceeding apace, helped out tremendously by the fact that Dr. Thingo got the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD (the original. Not those recent abominations) and we’ve been watching them the past couple of evenings.

And on a sad note, my local yarn store is closing. Sadly, the rent at the small mall in the middle of Uptown is getting to be prohibitive and business is not going well. So they’ll be closed by the end of the month. I’ve been shopping for yarn there since I was in university. I may have had my problems with the place, many of which have been resolved recently, but it was wonderful to have a LYS within walking distance. I don’t have a car, so I can’t easily get to the next closest one that’s not a big franchise (it’s in a town that’s about a 20 minute drive from here). I’m going to miss them for sure. And I’m going to go help with the liquidation, but I feel kind of bad taking advantage of the deep discounts since this is the end for them. Kind of like picking over grandma’s stuff after she’s died. I wish the owners and employees good luck in the future.