Monday, July 26, 2010

from the beach to the metropolis

Last week we went up to Edinburgh for a quick two-day tour of rental properties, criss-crossing the city on foot and seeing it in several different lights.

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Edinburgh emerging

When we got into town from the airport, it was early morning, and the spires were shrouded in mist.

By the time we left in the evening the following day, the city was glowing. The few times I have visited Edinburgh, I have always admired how the light hits the stone, so I was excited when the sun finally came out.

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We found a flat, and paid a deposit, so fingers-crossed everything runs smoothly from here! I am beyond excited that I get to live in this city I've admired so much as a tourist -- I know there are many more interesting things to see and do that the tourists never find out about. But now I have to find a job.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Adventure!

The other day we set out for a great adventure. (All my adventures are great.) We went to Bantham beach, and enjoyed a sunny day by the sea. I swam in the Atlantic ocean for the first time! The water was pretty cold, which probably goes without saying, but I had so much fun.

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From Bantham, you can see Burgh Island, the real-life inspiration for Agatha Christie's island setting of the book And Then There Were None. I find that kind of exciting, since I grew up on Agatha Christie, and always loved that novel in particular.

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Getting there was an adventure in itself, since we got lost and had to ask for directions 4 times. We also encountered a tidal road that floods and becomes impassable during high tide. Luckily, it turned out we didn't have to drive down that road to get to our destination. Fun times.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FO: Shrug thing

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Pattern: Top-Down Shoulder Warmer, by Laura Chau

Yarn: Cascade 220

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Mods:
I knit the sleeves in the round instead of flat, since I didn't see the point of doing the seaming. When I knit the sleeves, I thought they were turning out too short, so I did 3 inches of sleeve ribbing instead of 2.

I only knit 3 inches of collar ribbing since I was running out of yarn. Be aware that although the pattern says 430 yards is enough for the 36 size, my 2 skeins of Cascade 220 (440 yards) was just barely enough to knit it with my mods. The shorter collar ribbing works just fine, though.

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It bunches a little in the back, but I don't really mind. I think that's what raglan increases do naturally.

Notes:
I want one in every colour. I love it. It is so simple and brilliant. This was (gasp) my first project in the ubiquitous Cascade 220, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Maybe I have inexpensive tastes after all? Haha. I will use it again if the opportunity arises. I look forward to seeing how it wears, since it was so cheap.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Catching up

Before I left Ottawa, I did one last fit of yarn dyeing to distract myself from packing. I'd bought some Wiltons Black months before and hadn't tried it yet, so this was a good opportunity.

I overdyed this gray sock yarn with streaks of blue and green from a previous dyeing experiment that I eventually decided was too subtle for me.

Before:
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After:
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trying to do a Madelintosh style yarn-pose

It's still gray, but I like it a lot better this way. Knowing that Wiltons Black tends to do unpredictable things, I decided to let it break and see what happened.

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I'm pleased that the gray has more depth to it now, because of the red and blue that separated out and stuck. The blue is more obvious in the photos, but there are so reddish streaks as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Made it.

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So many roses in these parts

The first leg of my big journey is complete, and I'm sort of settled in the sunny south west. At least, it has been very sunny and warm for much of the last week. Today there were some thundershowers interspersed with warm sun - I had forgotten how quickly the weather changes here. The flowers and trees need the rain, since it has been so dry.

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I've been having a lot of fun taking pictures of the plants and flowers that I haven't already photographed a hundred times. Fruit trees are so exciting!

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There is a massive thistle growing in my boyfriend's backyard. It's practically a tree! Kind of fitting, since the next leg of our big moving journey will end in Scotland. Exciting times, but lots of organizing ahead.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Aerial word... Saturday

I've fallen behind on my word-learning since coming home from Quebec. Must get back into it. Since I have flying on the brain, here are some airplane words.

cabotage

1. navigation or trade along the coast.
2. Aviation. the legal restriction to domestic carriers of air transport between points within a country's borders.


~Dictionary.com

aeropleustic
pertaining to aerial navigation

~Dictionary of Difficult Words

I'm losing the battle with my suitcase and the airline weight limit at the moment, but I will prevail. My next post will be from England - I will see you on the other side!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Yesterday was Canada's 143rd birthday. Since I still live in the nation's capital for a few more days, I went downtown to take in the celebration. This may be my last Canada Day in Canada for a while. Canada Day in Ottawa is always a bit crazy, but this year the crowds were particularly huge and crushing.

I saw a lot of this and not much else.
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Everyone was clamouring for a glimpse of these tiny blobs on stage, but who could they be?

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Excuse the blurry zoomed in shot

That's about as close as I got to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Later I was stuck behind a barricade unable to cross the street until their motorcade passed. The extra security presence in honour of their visit impeded crowd movements and made the crush worse, I think. The excitement surrounding their visit was overwhelming, and honestly a bit ridiculous, but it definitely showed the power of symbol and celebrity.

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Despite the crowds it was a beautiful day and night.

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And later it rained gold sparkles.

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I hope everyone, Canadian or not, had a fun day!