Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Toys Need Protection, Too

I think I've mentioned that I've acquired a small camera, didn't I? This one fits into my purse and I can carry it with me easily, without having a camera case slung around my neck. There is, however, one disadvantage to having a camera in your purse: it can very easily get scratched and/or damaged. To that end, I decided that my new camera needed some protection. And, being a knitter, I knew just how to do that.

On Sunday, I found a ball of sock yarn, a long-enough circular needle and started experimenting. I started out with a garter stitch rectangle. Thinking that 64 stitches around might be good enough, I cast on 28 stitches; my reasoning was that there would be 4 stitches picked up on the narrow ends, leaving 56 stitches. Half of 56 is 28. I did 8 rows of garter stitch, giving me the 4 edge ridge stitches for picking up. Then I worked straight up in stocking stitch (knit every row). I did about an inch, then picked up the camera to see how it fit. It didn't. The pouch was far to big for the camera.

The good thing, though, was that I had a swatch now. I was getting 9 stitches per inch and could work out from there how many stitches I should have. In the end, I had 56 stitches in the round, having cast on 22 for each side and 6 stitches on each of the narrow ends. Once all the stitches were picked up, I worked straight up until the pouch was the same size as the camera. I finished it up with about an inch of 2x2 rib (knit 2, purl 2), then cast off.

As you can see, the ribbing pulls in nicely, holding the camera in place without cords or buttons. The yarn is OnLine Supersocke 100 in the Hiking series and I used 2.25 mm needles. Timewise, I had this made in one afternoon/evening. It's a quick knit, looks kind of funky and protects my camera which, incidentally is a Lumix 12 megapixel camera, a very nice little toy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Knitting Again!

Even though I still need to be careful, I've once again picked up my knitting needles and am doing a few rounds at a time on John's socks. They're coming along nicely. One sock is ready for the toe, while I'm well into the foot on the second sock. I've decided to get both socks to the same point before I start the toes because I'm a little concerned about the amount of yarn I have remaining. I hope there's enough to finish. I'm sure there is, but it's still a little bit of a concern.

And as long as I "listen" to my hand, I'm just fine, no pain.

In other things, I finally got my hair cut yesterday! It's needed it for a long time and the time was finally right. I also had to find a new hair dresser. The woman who cut my hair the last couple of times moved back up to Alaska. As much as I love how she did my hair, a trip to Alaska just to have her cut my hair is definitely out of the question.

I followed the recommendation of a woman who lived down the hall from us in the apartment and I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed. I'm loving the fact that I no longer have to tie my hair back because it's just too hot to wear it down. And John loves it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

On the Side of the Road

For the past couple of weeks, we've had the luxury of having two cars; one of the ladies I work with has been in France for three weeks (they arrive home on Sunday) and she very graciously allowed me to use her car.

On my way home, I pass through a rural area where there are plenty of cattails growing in the ditch and also quite a bit of mullein. This particular stand of old mullein caught my eye one day and I decided that before we return the car, I had to stop and take a picture of it. I've never seen anything like it. If I hadn't been wearing a skirt and sandals, I probably would have gotten closer, but at least I got a picture of it before it disappeared.

Doesn't it look like moose antlers?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


It is rare that you'll find anything that could be seen as being even remotely political or inflammatory in my blog. I try to keep personal opinions about such things to myself, or discuss them with John and others in my circle of influence. It's unusual for me to read the newspaper on a regular basis. Yesterday was different. John handed me a section of the newspaper and told me to read it; the article he wanted me to read was about critical thinking. It was interesting, but when he pointed out another article, I got really interested and one or two of my "buttons" were pushed.

In this past Saturday's "Globe and Mail", there was an excellent op-ed piece, written by Peter Scowen. The title of the piece is "The sleep of reason produces monsters. Or at least oil-covered pelicans". In it, he talks about our appetite for the good life, and references the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In the second paragraph, he states, "...it urgently needs to be said by someone, frankly, that we are entering the Age of Endarkenment." That is something I've been saying for a few years now.

I won't type out the whole thing for you, but there are a couple of sentences in it that I consider worth repeating and remembering.

"It is now official that the freedom to use one's own intelligence has mutated into the freedom to use one's own stupidity..."

"The people making the most use of freedom of speech are people who have the most vile, irresponsible and ill-informed things to say."

The piece ends with the following paragraph:

"Meanwhile, the oil flows and flows and flows into the Gulf of Mexico, and we know that we, the children of Enlightenment, don't have, and never really had to begin with, the capacity to stop it. Our appetites are stronger than our reason. The waters grow darker by the day."

I've clipped out the entire article and have every intention of keeping it. If you're interested in reading the whole article, you can find it here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welcome to Our Home

I promised my daughter that I would take, and post, some pictures of our new suite. As promised, here's a glimpse into our new home. As you can see, it's still not quite set up completely (the lamp is no longer on the couch; it now lives on an end table) and we've moved a few things around since the pictures were taken.

The first two pictures are of our living room; the sliding door looks out onto a small yard that has three pine trees (former Christmas trees, apparently). It also faces the street, but because of the trees, it's very private.

In the empty space to the left of the desk, we now have our glass curio case, so it doesn't look quite as bare now. The white bi-fold doors on the right hide the hot water heaters for our suite and the upstairs suite. The cabinet doors have the electrical panels for the two suites.

The kitchen, as seen from the entrance to the living room. It overlooks the back yard. As you can see, we still had a few boxes to unpack when the pictures were taken. Those boxes have been unpacked and dealt with. In this picture, the bi-fold doors hide the laundry area.

This next picture was taken in the kitchen, standing at the kitchen sink. The open doorway (behind the television, which was only there temporarily) is our bedroom. To the right of that bedroom is the second, smaller bedroom which is currently being used for storage, library and stash room. The desk/cabinet is where the laptop computer lives and immediately behind that wall is the bathroom.
To the left, behind the chair are two closets, the one on the right being more of a pantry. We've turned one of the smaller closets into a recipe book cabinet and the other closet is being used for storage for Christmas decorations and such.
This picture shows the front of the house, the sliding door at the front being our front window. John's been doing a lot of puttering out there and has it looking pretty good. When I took this picture yesterday, we was puttering in the back. Afterwards, he tidied up this area even more. It's looking pretty good now, I must say.
All in all, I think we'll be happy here. It's a nice, bright suite and we're well on the way to making it feel like home. Both of us have a lot more energy, we've noticed. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we can actually walk out the door and be outdoors. That just feels good!
Time for more puttering. I have no intention of doing anything that's going to hurt my thumb (which is still quite tender but not as sore as it has been) but there are some little things I want to accomplish today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Little To No Knitting Allowed

I went to the doctor today; actually, I saw two doctors today, but that's another story. I went to see my family doctor today because of my thumb. Last week, at work, while I was putting a ream of paper into the photocopier, I experienced a sharp, shooting pain from the base of my thumb almost to my elbow.

On the weekend, at WWKIP, it wasn't too bad but when I woke up Sunday morning, I was in pain! John told me to ice it, then he wrapped it for me so I couldn't move it too much. By this morning, it was feeling somewhat better, but I decided that since I already had an appointment with a specialist I might as well see my GP while I was out and about.

Within minutes, he confirmed my (and my daughter's) suspicions; my daughter has it as well and when she told me her symptoms, I was quite sure I had it, too. I have DeGuervain's Tenosynovitis. How's that for a mouthful? Basically, it's very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, but in a slightly different location, at the base of the thumb.

Treatment? Avoid all movement that stresses it, apply ice, wrap it, take anti-inflammatory pain killers (I have naproxen in the house for my neck, so that will work) and take it easy until it feels better. Unfortunately, I do have to work so it will be used, but even my boss has told me to do only what I can (he's trained as a physiotherapist) and ask for help when I need it.
And, in the meantime, no knitting... it hurts too much. *Big sigh* I'll have to find something else to keep me occupied. Oh wait! I have the laptop!
Oh, as far as the specialist goes, he's going to schedule me for a surgical biopsy on my thyroid. He anticipates it will happen towards the end of August, early September. Approximately half my thyroid will be removed and tested to rule out cancer; I'm quite sure there is no cancer, but he's playing it safe. I won't need medication afterwards as, apparently, the thyroid can still function quite well with most of it removed and, at this point, mine is functioning normally.
Ok, time for ice... too bad it won't be in a martini.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Wide Knit in Public Day 2010

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day (it was also Bike Nude day, apparently). I attended and took pictures. If you're interested, here's the link to a Flickr set.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My New Toy

Yesterday was an extremely busy day at work and I was eager to get the workday finished with. I had the Canada Post notice in my bag and as soon as 4:00 came around, I was out the door and on my way to the post office.

Here's what was waiting for me...

And the best part of having this? It was free. Yes, you read that correctly... free. When John and I decided to make this last move, we also decided to get rid of cable tv and just stay with internet. However, when I started comparing high speed providers, I found that our local telephone service provider had more reasonable rates for internet alone (well, telephone too, obviously). In addition to a 6 month introductory rate, they offered a free laptop. It was an easy decision.

Details? A full size (not a netbook) HP, with Windows 7, almost 300 gb hard drive, wireless internet capable (haven't figured out how that works yet), usb ports, photo card reader and who knows just what else.

I'm happy. Just don't ask me which I prefer.. Mac or PC, ok?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Amazing What One Forgets

Moving can be a good thing. I know, it's a lot of work and I really hate moving... but... It's amazing what turns up when you go through boxes or through bags of stashed yarn and projects. I don't think I've ever even blogged about these; they certainly aren't in my Ravelry projects.

They're obviously socks; I wasn't even sure if they were meant for me or for John until I counted the stitches. They're John's; there are 72 stitches. If they were for me, there would only be 64 stitches. Right now, I have two projects actively on the go: these socks and the christening dress. Obviously, I'd like to get these done and, at this point, I can almost do them in my sleep.

In other things, this was left on our door handle today. I'm excited!!

I know what's being held for me but I'm not showing you until it's made it's way here... sometime tomorrow. Oh, I shall have fun!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday Morning Blather

In yesterday's post, I wrote that I'd done some baking on Thursday, while waiting for the telephone repairman to show up. The flourless chocolate cake (here's the Recipezaar link) that I made calls for eight... yes, eight... eggs, separated. John and I almost always purchase the same brand of eggs; what amazes me is the difference in the colour of the yolks from one tray of eggs to the next.

The colour change, as you can see, can be rather dramatic. The yellow egg yolks are from the last tray of eggs (there are 20 per tray) and the orange yolk is from the tray we bought on Wednesday.

I liked how they ended up looking like a flower, so I just had to take a picture.

Yesterday, I found MY spot. Just behind the trees is the road, but this spot is quiet, virtually invisible from the road and the perfect spot to sit and knit with a cup of coffee close at hand.

Speaking of knitting, I'm going to go and do a little of it before we tackle the "box room". My next blog post will have knitting content... I promise!

Friday, June 04, 2010

It Went Well

Shirley commented that she hoped our move went well; it did. Actually, it went very well. Four of my co-workers showed up and three of John's co-workers showed up to help with the move. Within an hour, we had everything out and loaded; another hour later, with just one run, everything was unpacked at the other end. By lunch time, the guys were out in the lot next door sucking down beer and finishing up the Timbits (Tim Horton's is a Canadian doughnut franchise and Timbits are doughnut holes, for those of you who have no idea what Timbits are) and pizza.

The day didn't end well, but that's another story (John left to watch the first game of the Stanley Cup finals and didn't get home until well after 11 p.m.).

Now, the suite is slowly coming together. This is the part I really don't like; the unpacking, that is. We have a lot of furniture and we managed to fit it all in to the apartment. The layout here is quite a bit different and not everything is going to work here. We've been trying to make everything work but it just ain't happening! I finally told John that we were going about it backwards. Instead of trying to fit everything in, what we need to do is set up each room the way we want it; whatever furniture is left over, whatever doesn't work, we get rid of.

In all honesty, there isn't a lot of "stuff" I have that I'm completely attached to. There are a few pieces of furniture I'd like to hold on to, but not many. The same goes for the bits and pieces that decorate our home. There are some things that will eventually be handed off to children and grandchildren, but a lot of what we have isn't so important to us that we can't let go.

To that end, at some point this summer, we'll be having a garage sale.

Understandably, knitting has been put on the back burner. That said, there HAS been some progress. The moving scarf (the Lilac Leaf shawl from Nancy Bush's book, Lace Knitting in Estonia) is finished. That is, the knitting is finished. I still have to graft the two pieces together, then block it. It's nice, though, to have something finished... the first FO here at the new place. Pictures will happen, but not until the scarf/shawl has been blocked.

Yesterday I had the day off, not by choice (Telus, our local telephone company, had to repair the line so we could have internet... not TV-- we've decided not to subscribe to cable of any kind), so I had some time to bake, relax, knit, worry, wonder, fume... you get the picture. By 4 p.m. (ish), internet was up and running, I'd baked two cakes (one for my workplace... a flourless chocolate cake because one of the guys I work with is gluten intolerant and one for John's workplace... a Lazy Daisy cake), made ganache to frost the chocolate cake, finished the shawl, worked on the Shetland christening dress, had dinner prepped and ready to cook when John got home (at 9:30 p.m.... it's grad weekend at the college and everything had to look perfect) and still had time to sit and watch the sun set.

Tonight, we're going to a local pub for dinner (pizza and beer... or wine, in my case) and to watch at least part of game 4 of the Stanley Cup series (go Blackhawks!!!). Tomorrow and Sunday, we tackle the dumping ground, also known as the spare room where all the boxes are. We're thinking of putting the TV, stereo and book shelves (and stash) in this room.

(My yarn stash is in the closet around the corner to the right. There are boxes you can't even see in this picture.)

Most importantly, though? We're sleeping in!!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaack!!

I'm finally back online!! We moved in this past Saturday and didn't get the telephones working till yesterday. Internet didn't come online till late today. It's amazing how much I've missed it, even though I can access it at work; it's just not the same.