Monday, April 28, 2008

spinning envy

This, more than anything else makes me want to take up spinning. How gorgeous. Some day I'll try spinning, and I'll knit awkward scarves out of my efforts. Sigh.

My aunt spins or has spun - she lives in the country with more dogs and cats than anyone dare count, and she has angora rabbits as well. She made my mom a really soft scarf made of samoyed-hair yarn years ago. So cool. Not only spinning, but spinning one's own gathered fibre.

I'm wearing my Endpaper mitts indoors at the end of April. It's a rainy day, but I like rain. I went out shopping earlier and didn't bring the mitts along, but as I was wearing a 3/4 sleeve shirt, I think they would have been useful. This will be the last opportunity before October, I expect, so I might as well wear them as much as possible now.

Zellers is my stop for cheap acrylic when life calls for cheap acrylic, and I picked some up for a mystery gift project today (don't know why I'm being so secretive as the recipient surely does not read this blog but anyway. Paranoia is a way of life). I restrained myself from picking up a load of cheap Bernat cotton. I want to make a shrug, most likely with cotton, but I had the sinking suspicion that buying it from Zellers was a recipe for disaster. Given that Ravelry says most use it for dishclothes I'm thinking I was right, but I'm still wavering on the Cottontots. Whatever. I don't want to be building stash, and I don't want to spend more money than I have to, but at some point I'll invest in some real yarn for a project.

girly mitts

IMG_0655

My first colourwork project is finished, and I'm very pleased. They aren't perfect, and they are extraordinarily pink, and they are finished just in time for summer, but hey. Stranding. Woo!

We had some excellent rain last night. I love loud rainstorms.

IMG_0649
These tulips weren't out yesterday, but they must have been caught in the rain because today they started out looking a bit blasted, and by evening they looked sleepy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I take the same pictures every year

Photography. A habit that has persisted beyond and survived my adolescence. It's true, in my adolescence I dabbled in poetry, and we can all guess how that turned out. Slightly more successfully, I hope, I have continued to dabble in photography, taking cliche macro shots of flowers going on several years now! On my harddrive I have years worth of these photos, but every spring I go out and take them again, hopefully improving the angle or the focus or the composition... I don't look at those old photos often, so I can't really tell if I've improved, but it doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for exploring the outdoors and documenting the progress of the garden with a camera. Wow, I'm pretentious. Anyway. Spring is here and perhaps has already passed into summer, judging from the 20 C and above temperatures, so here is some evidence.

IMG_0576

IMG_0587

IMG_0604

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The end is near.

I had my last undergraduate exam today, and likely my last university exam ever. I still have to do summer research before I can graduate, so no jumping up and down for me, but it seems like this is some sort of milestone.

This situation lends itself to reminiscences about the last four years, and on that note I've compiled a list of my favourite and least favourite books from each year. That I can remember, anyway. The earlier years are a bit hazy at this point.

First year:
Favourite:
Tao Te Ching
Analects of Confucius
Bhagavad Gita
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
Judges
Ezekiel
Least: Maria Chapdelaine, Louis Hemon

Second year:
Favourite:
Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius
Confessions, Augustine
Republic, Plato
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
The Golden Ass, Apuleius
The Divine Comedy, Dante
Least: Aquinas.

Third year (abroad):
Favourite:
The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster
The Jew of Malta, Christopher Marlowe
De Rerum Natura, Lucretius
Least: Cicero

Fourth Year:
Favourite:
The Decameron, Boccaccio
Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche
Into That Darkness, Gitta Sereny
Gargantua and Pantagruel, Rabelais
The Great Transformation, Karl Polanyi
The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt
Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
Least:
Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel
Heidegger
Book of the Courtier, Castiglione
Rousseau

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring



Crocuses in the garden mean spring is actually here. This is exciting, even though it means that my Endpaper mitts probably won't get any wear before the fall. This may be the eternal knitting dilemma, but for now I don't mind that the weather is getting warmer, and the sludgy gray earth is melting.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Girliest Endpaper Mitts ever

IMG_0560

I swear the yarn looked more purple in the store. Blasted natural light! Oh well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Magknits?

Blah blah blah drama blah blah blah. I don't really know what happened or why, and I won't add my own theories to the mix. Needless to say, I was disappointed to discover that I have loads of Magknits patterns queued that I had not saved to my computer yet. Some of them I have been able to find cached on the internet, which is cool. As for the others, oh well. I suppose I have enough to do as it is these days.

I'd like to feel all jubilant and/or nostalgic at having handed in my last undergraduate paper of the term, but it's hard to conjure up those feelings knowing I have to do directed research over the summer, which will surely require numerous papers. University is slowly ending. What will I do with my life?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

blah!

The internet is not being too good to me right now, so it's time for an angry rant. I'm excessively annoyed at the prospect of phoning First Great Western long distance in order to get them to sort out my stupid credit card situation, since I know they'll put me on hold for ages and it will cost a fortune, and they'll probably deny I exist or that I ever tried to purchase a ticket from them.

The facts are these:
Last night I tried to buy a train ticket off their website for my coming visit to England. I filled out all the details and pressed submit, and my authorization was declined. Annoyed and freaking out a little I called my credit card company who said there was nothing wrong with my card, and no charges had appeared, so I should try again. I tried again. The authorization was again declined and I called them back in a growing panic. This time, they said that the authorization had certainly gone through on their end, so this was clearly the merchant's problem. And, as it turns out, my problem since the authorization went through four times, meaning there's a possibility I'd be charged four times for this one train ticket that I still didn't succeed in buying. The nice folks at the credit card company said they'd cancel all but one of those authorizations so I don't get overcharged, but they told me to phone the merchant and sort it out with them. Last night when I tried to called them they were closed, so I sent them some emails that I was supposed to get replies for within 12 hours. Nothing. Now I think I really do need to call them but how much do I not want to do that right now. Ugh. For one thing, I'm going mad writing my last paper for which I had 3 out of 20 pages done so far. If both this paper and my train ticket madness could just go away right now I'd be very happy.

Okay, that's my rant.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Gretel

I'm in the interesting position, after keeping a livejournal for a few years that only friends read, of now having a public blog in the open that nobody reads. This is sure to change the content of my blogging, and probably for the better; that teen angst thing got old even before it started, but it stuck around for a few years nonetheless. Anyway, life is great!

IMG_0555

I finished knitting Gretel a few days ago. I ended up making the slouchy version, since I wanted a hat that fit over my hair. So it's big. And huge. And beautiful. It certainly fits over my hair, but I don't know if I can pull off big berets with my head/face shape. I've been wearing it anyway, since unflattering clothing rarely stops me, and I love the beret regardless. Ysolda is a genius, clearly, blah blah gush gush. This was my second ever cable project, and my first using two circulars, and maybe some day I'll make myself a regular-sized one for dome-shaped-head fall fun. (details on ravelry)

Endpaper mitts are up next, despite the fact that they are not very suitable for the climate in which I reside. I'm in love with the idea of them, though, so they'll be my one impractical pattern of the spring. I can allow myself one, right? Anyway, these will be my first attempt at stranding - the swatch went okay, so I'm pretty excited.