Friday, February 26, 2010


Canadian Women's Hockey Team - Gold. Joannie Rochette - Bronze. Taking nothing away from the Hockey team (they were phenomenal!), both a pretty equal, all things taken into account.

Marie-Philippe Poulin is just 18 years old? Shannon Szabados is only 23? I see the future of Canadian Women's Hockey, and it's looking pretty good...

Knitting continues - necks will be kept warm.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

random Olympic and knitting thoughts

Today is a totally random day...

I am so very ticked at a friend of my husband. He went to the boy's poker weekend, knowing full well he was sick. Of the 13 guys that were at this cottage for the weekend, 6 of them came home, and spent Sunday/Monday dealing with a Norwalk virus, my husband being one of them. Great. On top of that, it got passed on to my kid, who spent the better part of yesterday in the bathroom. We're both home today - he recovering, me watching him and hoping I've dodged the bullet. The instigator of the sickness is not married, has no kids, and is the most selfish person I know. His actions this past weekend just reinforced my feelings towards him, and if he's smart, he'll stay out of my way for a while.

I'm more in love with the Olympics now, than ever before (and I was always a huge fan). Our freestyle skiing team, our speed skaters, our sliders, especially our sliders! Can anyone be cuter than Jon Montgomery, gold medallist in skeleton? Was there more joy in anyone's face than his when he won? Total love for him. Then there's our women's bobsleigh teams. Gold and Silver in the Women's two-person bobsleigh! And do I even have to mention Hockey? Women playing for Gold today, Men, making a solid run in the quarterfinals! And curling semi-finals today as well - both Canadian women's and men's teams in the semis.

The most emotional thing at the Olympics so far - Joannie Rochette, in third place after the Ladies short programme in figure skating. Okay, understand that I don't hold figure skating in the highest of regards - judging scandals, the new points system that seems to clinical and rewards people for playing it safe, not to mention the whole "too much makeup and too many sequins to really make it seem like a sport" thing. But whatever - its in the Olympics, and we have a gold in Ice Dancing so far. But Joannie Rochette. The girl has every right to withdraw. I mean, her mother comes to Vancouver to watch her skate, and then suddenly passes away of a sudden heart attack before they can even get together and say hello. The fact that Joannie is skating, and skating well, for her mom - well, even a crusty, cynical person like me was brought to tears during her skate. Whatever she does tonight in the free skate - she's got the hearts of Canada behind her.

Speaking of Joannie Rochette, the Toronto Star newspaper ran an interview with her today - here's my favourite bit:

Q: What;s your hidden talent?
A: I'm a pretty good knitter. I like to knit scarves. I'd like to do socks one day or mittens. But for now, just scarves.

I love this kid even more...

For those that are wondering - my hand is much better. I'm not wearing the brace as much, and things seem to be okay. This is a recurring problem I have, and it's either tendinitis or carpal tunnel. Whatever. It doesn't stop me from doing what I have to do, although it sometimes slows me down. People at work are used to seeing me braced here and there (hand or knee at times), so we just go with the flow. (I know tendon is spelled with an "o", but tendinitis has replaced it with an "i". really - dictionaries and spell check tell me so!)

I've been all about neck knitting lately. This is continuing - posts in the future will show my obsession...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

owlie cowl done!

I love colourwork - especially once I'm done, and I can really see how nice it looks. And when the pattern is really cute, it make it all that much better

Introducing the Owlie Cowl. Strange - it shows as sold out. How in the world can you sell out of a downloadable PDF pattern?

Anyhoo, great pattern, very cute. I modified it a bit, twice. First, I used a larger wool - SMART yarn, and so reduced the number of repeats around from 5 to 4. Still made for a good size, and the owls show up just fine. However, it did make it longer, so at first, I just finished with some stockinette along the top, rather than the chevron pattern and ribbing, thinking the roll along the top would be comfortable.
it was, but it also made it HUGE around the top. SO I ripped back the cast off, and added some plain ribbing to hold it in, and am much happier with time I think I would ignore the chevron pattern at the bottom and just do ribbing and owls - make it a little more size friendly.

Monday, February 22, 2010

answer: all but the ribbing

question: how much of a neckie can I knit during the movie "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"?

My son and I went to see this movie on Sunday (he's already read three of the books, is midway through the fourth, and had the fifth waiting. All is the last week and a half. When this kid gets into a series of books, he REALLY gets into it...)

It's a pretty good movie - good enough that I have started reading the books myself. And plain stockinette in the round is the absolute best movie knitting. The top ribbing is a little short, but I was using us what was left of a ball of Cascade 220, so I got what I could out of it. The Boy likes neckies, and this makes 3 now - 4 if he gets the Owlie Cowl. More on that later.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Still here...

just sick. back next week...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

more Olympic thoughts and a DQ...

Maelle Ricker. You go girl! The first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold at home.

I forgot to mention how cool it was when an amazing group of Canadians brought in the Olympic flag. Donald Sutherland (who has been voicing the I Believe commercials), Betty Fox, Bobby Orr, Julie Payette, Anne Murray, Jacques Villeneuve, skater Barbara Ann Scott, Roméo Dallaire - what a fantastic representation of us.

k.d. lang singing Hallelujah. No words can describe this. She was amazing.

And now the sad news.

I've been disqualified from the Knitting Olympics.

The basis of this event was to choose a challenging project - make it worthy of the effort needed to win an Olympic medal. I thought my splinted wrist was going to cause me all kinds of problems, and severely limit my knitting time. It didn't, and my mother-in-law's cashmere shawl is done, blocked and awaiting delivery. I cannot, in all conscience, accept a medal for this. I feel like I've been caught doping, so I'm quietly withdrawing and considering myself a spectator only. As penance, I'm going to finish the Owlie Cowl, as well as other projects. Wrist pain be damned - Olympians should fight through the pain, and I didn't think that way.

In four years time, I'm going to make up for this. I promise.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic thoughts

Some thoughts on the Olympics so far...

I feel terrible for the Republic of Georgia. Losing a team member in such a brutal way, and at such a horrible time. Kudos to the team for marching in the Parade of Nations, and I felt such pride in my countrypeople for the resounding standing ovation this team was given.

I loved the Opening Ceremonies. LOVED them. I know they hit every stereotype people have of Canada and Canadians (we're all First Nations that live in igloos, run through wheat fields, and are all kilt-wearing fiddlers), but it was nice. The Poet? LOVED HIM SO MUCH!!! And the technology that brought those whales almost to life? Wow.

I hated the lighting of the torch. Really? I mean, I loved Rick Hanson, Nancy Greene Raine, Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash and Wayne Gretzky, but I was waiting for the final pass off to... someone. I don't know who, but I wanted something more. (The technical problems with one of the torches aside, I was a little disappointed.) And then Gretzky taking that long ride to Stanley Park and lighting the outside torch? Really? That was it? Very disappointed in that whole sequence. I know Gretzky was a phenomenal hockey player, but doesn't he seem, I don't know, a little too commercial for the Olympics?

I loved the Parade of Nations. Watching all those teams come in, listening to Canadians cheer for all of them, hearing the roar when Canada came in. Too cool.

I was astounded by my brother in law, who, when Greece led the parade, said "Why does Greece get to come first? What did they ever do in the Olympics?" (Seriously, he said this.) I looked at my husband, who told his brother "Well, they kind of INVENTED the whole thing"...

I watched as much of the Olympics as I could this weekend at the cottage - in between spending time outside. It was beautiful - clear and snowcovered. The lake was frozen sold, kids were running and sledding everywhere - the perfect winter cottage weekend. (Broken toe aside - I hate the coffee table up there...)

Alexandre Bilodeau. Jenn Heil. Mike Robertson. Kristina Groves. Just the beginning...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

bursting with pride

Okay, I personally may not be an OFFICIAL supporter, but the company I work for is a licensee, our chairman was a torch bearer, and well, I am bursting with pride that the world is coming to my country for the Olympics!

I was lucky enough to be gifted with a replica torch, a thank you for some of the work I did with VANOC (the Vancouver organizing committee). This has a special place of honour at our house for the next couple of weeks - the whole family is pretty proud of this piece. Even the display box is pretty unique and special.
I love the Olympics - winter, summer, doesn't matter. I tend to watch a lot of sports anyway, but the Games, well, they're special. There is so much pride involved, I find myself watching sports I wouldn't have been interested in otherwise.

I will spend the next two weeks, with our TV tuned to whatever station is carrying the Games - CTV, TSN, Sportsnet, even NBC occasionally. I'll be tuned in online during the day (for a reasonable amount of time, with the knowledge and blessing of my company - we are all proud supporters here!) and my son will be watching with me. We will cheer on all Canadians and every other athlete that puts it all on the line for those 17 days. Opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies, and everything in between. Even during Survivor and the Amazing Race - there will be channel flipping going on.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

velcro and cashmere

Nancy made an excellent point in the comments - Velcro and any wool are a bad mix, but the cashmere, oy! I have to be very careful with it. so I have come up with a plan - I've got my Koigu fingerless gloves that fit over the splint - voila! instant velcro cover. and stylish, too. And the Velcro barely grabs at the Koigu, so we're all good. Anonymous in the comments was wondering what pattern I was using - It's 198 yds. of Heaven (Ravelry link) - the same pattern I used for my sparkly silver grey shawlette. I'm making this pink cashmere one larger, to use up all the available yarn.

I'm doing some warm up knitting on the Owlie Cowl just to keep limber before I can go after the cashmere again on Friday. I do love this pattern, and my son is anxiously awaiting it... I seem to be okay as long as I don't overdo it, but with the long weekend at the cottage and the Olympics - well, it's almost inevitable that I will. I've got Advil at the ready...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Olympian? or Paralympian?

So Stephanie has decided to go ahead with the Knitting Olympics. I'm not sure how she does it, with her schedule, especially seeing the project she has chosen, Whistler. (Man, what a freakingly beautiful sweater!)
As much as I will compete in the Olympics this year (I mean, really, they are the OLYMPICS, and they are in Canada - something I am immensely proud of), I will not be making a Dale of Norway sweater in 14 days.

The Rules of the Knitting Olympics are basically to pick a project that will challenge you - that will make you feel like you have really WON a gold medal.
Now, under normal circumstances, finishing the cashmere shawl for my MIL, would not seem like a challenging task for me. I could do this without too much effort.
I have a ball and a half of yarn left to knit, and I plan on extending this shawl to use as much of the yarn as I can.
Here's where the challenge comes in:

My doctor has splinted me again, when my tendinitis flared last week, making it look like my left wrist swallowed a baseball. And I'm left handed. (The wrist swelling has gone down a bit, but you can still it it in my fingers. Note to self - remove rings at first sign of swelling - those babies aren't going anywhere for a while.)

So, I may actually be competing in the Paralympic Games this year. Or I'm going to be the Knitting Olympics version of Brian McKeever - not that I would ever, ever put myself in his class. A legally blind cross country skier competing in not only the Paralympic, but the Olympic Games. And he's Canadian. I consider him to be a role model for anyone, blind or fully sighted. But he's competing with a disadvantage, as am I.

So, here's my Olympic project: Finish the shawl (because I'm on a deadline for it as well - I really want to get it to MIL while she has a need for it, not just a want). And to do it without totally messing up my wrist. (I figure if I can type this with the splint, I can do some knitting). I'll make it interesting as well - I will put the shawl aside this week until Friday night, when the Opening ceremonies begin. We'll be in the car for the beginning, heading to the cottage for a long weekend (Monday is a holiday here in Ontario). We should be there in time to see the torch being lit, which is always a tearjerker moment for me (favourite lighting? Hands down, the archer in Barcelona - too cool). The few says off should also give my wrist enough of a rest to enable me to make those pesky "slip two as if to knit, K1, psso" stitches, which seem to turn my wrist unnaturally.

And no, the tendinitis was probably not fully caused by knitting - there has been some aggressive basketball playing recently, and parts of me are realizing that at 47, I can't do what a 20 year old version of myself once did. Crap. Aging sucks.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

startitis! (but it's cashmere...)

I know I just showed you two new projects I've started - the Icewine mittens and the Owlie Cowl. But Tuesday night at our Guild meeting, I decided to make my MIL a shoulder shawl - she finds sleeves uncomfortable right now, and likes to have something over the shoulders. I figured I could make another 198 yds. of Heaven shawl, adding a few repeats to cover the shoulders. I just didn't know what yarn I was going to use.
Then I saw the pale pink Cashmere that Tove had, and I knew. I just knew. The colour was perfect (d'uh! - pink, breast cancer, all that), and well, it's cashmere.
Then we got some of the pathology reports - it comes in two parts - they biopsy both the breast tissue and the lymph nodes under the arm that were removed. We got the results of the lymph node biopsy, and...
completely clear of cancer.
I know we're only halfway there - we still need the biopsy results of the breast tissue, but there was general celebration yesterday with this news.
If news like that doesn't deserve cashmere, I don't know what does.
(Actually, what with all the cashmere and cashmere/silk I've been knitting lately, I'm thinking that pretty much any occasion deserves this stuff. As long as I get to knit it, I'm happy.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


You'd think starting one new colourwork project would be enough, but, nooooo, not for me. I started the Icewine mittens, and loved the project. I wasn't even worried about my habit of never making the second mitten of a pair, I was enjoying this pattern so much. But the fact that it's dark green and dark red on small needles, and most of my knitting time is in the evenings, when the lighting is dodgy at best, this was a tough slog. Then Susan mentioned that she had started a pattern we both bought, the Owlie Cowl. Well, I had the yarn for it, and it was bright orange and green, and bigger needles, so yeah, I had to cast on this as well. So now I have two colourwork patterns on the go. I try to work on the mittens when the light is good, but my son has laid claim to the cowl, and would like it now. (Since in a 10-almost-11-year-old's world, there is only NOW, not LATER...)

I'm enjoying both patterns, so hopefully, nothing gets in my way of finishing them. But then I saw this... It's not colourwork, it's cables! I love cables...

Monday, February 01, 2010

pictures this time

I've been knitting on some small things. Mittens, cowls, scarves, and b00bs. Finally, I have pictures of the b00bs - I've made a few more that I haven't given MIL yet.

You really need to feel how luxuriously soft this is.

These are great stashbuster projects, and this green cotton (along with some white, some turquoise and some grey) are all stash yarns - cottons I'm using for an ongoing (forever and ever) blanket project. They use so little yarn, it won't be missed from the project. The cashmere/silk was bought specifically for the b00bs - if there is ever a project worthy of the $25ish for a single ball of wool, it's this. Can you imagine using a synthetic? Considering where it's going, wouldn't you want the softest, best quality natural fibre out there? There's no place for acrylic in b00bs. (Actually, my personal mantra is that there's no room for acrylic anywhere, but that's just me - we won't get into that discussion). And yes, I know the Mille Colori (for the entrelac scarf) is part acrylic. But it's not 100%, and this is one blend that actually feels like wool, not recycled 2 litre pop bottles. I admit, when I bought it I didn't read the label, so I didn't realized there was an acrylic content to it. So there are some nice acrylic blends out there - you just have to look.

But, back to the b00bs. MIL loves them, and that's what matters. She's home now and doing great. She sees the surgeon in a couple of days for a post op check up, and we get the pathology report in about a week. She's feeling great, but tired, so the food deliveries are helping quite a bit. Thanks for all the recommendations - tourtiere and lasagna were both recommended, but my Mom makes spectacular tourtiere and lasagna, and had stepped up to help. (I love my Mom!) This weekend I made a batch of broccoli soup, and a batch of barley vegetable soup, and froze portions. It seems MIL loves soup - it's her go-to comfort food, and so easy to make, so I'll get these down to her, when I drop off the latest selection of knitted b00bs.