Saturday, April 18, 2009

Unpacking, packing, trains, and socks

I transported all my worldly possessions by train yesterday. It was exhausting. Moving is always difficult, and I always feel like I have too much stuff. Still, three boxes, a hiking pack, and a knapsack aren't so bad, right? In the process of packing I got rid of most of my pairs of pants that were on the edge or ill-fitting. I suspect a conscious decision to embrace minimalism would do me some good.

Excuse me while I join the ranks of knitting bloggers who make socks on trains.

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I started some Jaywalkers as we pulled out of London, and by the time I got to Ottawa, I had a sizable amount of ankle done. I've been looking forward to starting them since I bought the yarn on my first/last foray to the London LYS. Now they are started just in time for me to pack them in my checked luggage on my flight to Italy tomorrow. But hey! There's a yarn shop down the street from our hotel in Milan.....

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I took the pictures outside of Toronto by Lake Ontario.

The yarn is Regia, Kaffe Fassett line. I like the greens and blues, but I'm not so keen on the olive-y green browns - I've already chopped a length out so I wouldn't have another huge section of it. We'll see. I didn't think about the yarn much before I bought it, since I knew Jaywalkers are kind to stripes.

Italy! Tomorrow! Unbelievably excited to spend time with my favourite person in an exotic setting, and traipse around touristically being all unstylish and awed. Hurray!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Knitting librarian

One term down in library school and I'm totally absorbed in library geekery, giggling about bookish, cutesy book, and pretentiously radical librarian shirts. (Although I'm not too keen on this, even ironically.) I'm not the only one: we pass around library youtube videos on the class listservs and spend our facebook time poking fun at ourselves and the whole library structure while simultaneously embracing it.

TT820 Classy Knitting, recently of Decimal fame has a run of awesome librarian-inspired/related sweaters and the like. Before I realized her blog name was TT820, I saw Decimal and thought, "DEWEY" because that's how my brain works right now. Of course, when I saw TT820 it looked familiar; after all, I wrote an essay a few months back on knitting in the Library of Congress Classification. Hurray, I am in on the joke for once?

All this to say, I love the library knitting aesthetic right now, and I'm looking forward to the patterns for Harriet and Myrtle.

It's okay to deny old librarian stereotypes while still living in great cardigans, right? Hell, I wear my hair in a bun frequently but that doesn't mean I'm not fun. Right? Right? Hah.

In other news, my epic adventure of today was transporting my computer chair by bus to its temporary home. And saw some people walking down the street with a canoe earlier - I kind of wish I was part of THAT adventure because it was probably more epic and provoked less dirty looks than mine.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

101 in 1001 update

It occurs to me that I have been slowly making progress on my 101 in 1001 list, but I haven't really been sharing it. As of right now, I've completed about 10% of my list, but that figure is misleading since far too many of the items of my list are partially complete. Something I may modify as time goes on: fewer list items that say "Do 30 of this!" I've been poking away at those, as well.

Here's what's done so far.

1. Get a temporary job (as of Sept 17 2008)
2. Write a novel (Nov 2008)
8. Reorganize my book shelves so that all my books fit without spilling onto the floor
11. Acquire a decent fountain pen (March 09, birthday gift)
13. Read Emma, by Jane Austen, all the way to the end
21. Get prints made of my favourite digital photos (Feb 09)
63. Move away from home (at least temporarily)
77. Wear a different pair of earrings every day for a month [started Sept 9, finished Oct 9, 2008]
79. Drag out the bike and do whatever maintenance needs doing (technically I didn't do this, but it got done... and I'll do it next time.)
86. Do my hair without braiding it every day for a month (Oct 10-Nov 10, 2008)

Looks a little pitiful, but here are the ones in progress:
31. Write in my paper journal weekly
35. Earn $5500
57. Knit 10 things for other people. [4/10] (Koolhaas, fuzzy scarf, Catawampus hat, Coronet)
65. Walk at least 30 minutes, at least 5 times a week
74. Go to 3 classical / orchestral / chamber music concerts [1/3] (Evelyn Glennie at NAC, Nov 26, 2008)
76. Be social with friends once a month
92. Cook from 30 new recipes [3/30]
a. Pepper Lime chicken, New Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (13.01.09)
b. Smashed chickpea salad/sandwich: Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/smashed-chickpea-salad/) (30.03.09)
c. Kalamata lemon chicken, New Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (31.03.09)
97. Go to 3 jazz concerts [1/3]

So. I'm excited to say that the next thing I'll cross off the list is #53 - Visit Italy. Next week I'll land in Milan! Woo!

After that, maybe #75 - Get a haircut and donate my hair to a charity. My hair is long enough now that it's getting a little ridiculous, so maybe in May I'll get it chopped off.

In terms of the knitting goals, I've got a few things floating hazily on the horizon.
- Vivian this fall, for #5 - Knit an Aran(ish) cabled sweater.
- Little Birds to fulfill #9 - Steek something. I'm going to practice my stranded colourwork a little more before I attempt that, though.
- perhaps Delicious knee socks for #12 - Knit knee-high socks?

(I realize two of the above three plans are Ysolda designs. So sue me for being a fan.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Texture (picspam)

Lots of knitting going on around here, but no pictures because it's all black stockinette stitch. I'm on the right-front piece of Basic Black, having whizzed through the left front. It'll be done by deep, hot summer. Heh. My timing rules. Anyway. I had an amusing yarn-related story, which I may post at some point. For now, suffice it to say that I have bought sock yarn and will commence knitting some jaywalkers on the train home to Ottawa next Friday. (And please ignore the obvious hypocrisy in my buying more yarn while busily packing up my current stash to ship back to Ottawa since I didn't knit nearly enough of it up this semester. I blame grad school.)

Weather is beautiful, but spring is very gray and brown still. We even got more snow this past week, but it melted again. I dragged myself out of bed and went running today, since I feel the need to spend as much time as possible on the path by the river before I move away. I spent most of the winter skirting around its mud and slush, but now that things are pretty dry, I love the fact that if I follow the river I'll eventually get to university.



My walk there a few days ago was all about texture.


This seed pod reminds me of a blowfish.



Someone left a cute little blue clay pot on a log that I passed several days in a row. When I brought my camera back to take a picture of it the other day, it was gone.





The little woods are oddly devastated - an early snow storm ravaged them, and I spent my semester looking at fallen trees through snow. Now the trunks and splinters are exposed again.

And I nearly forgot: I saw the first butterfly of spring!

Terrible photo, but you know. Butterfly!