The Shy Knitter

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mighty, mighty yarn-a-vor!

Here I am, intrepid traveler before setting out (at 7:30 Saturday morning) for the 3rd TTC Knit-a-long. Part of this trip's gear is my 'Campfire scarf' made from Artfibers Kyoto and Alfabeto yarn. I have named it such as it is knitted in a curly-cue style, and has orange, purple and brown hues. This yarn was acquired for me by my TTC Knit-a-long traveling companion Eden, who obtained a rather large stash at Artfibers on a spring trip to San Francisco.....but that is another story best told by her.

We decided sometime ago, that if we were ever to do another social knitting thing, we better have some name tags (as we tend to be a bit, shy). So here is mine, Eden did a much more festive one appropriate to the upcoming Halloween holiday.

So onward we go, and here is our first stop at Romni Wool. Our fearless leader Beryl is shown here documenting our hunting and gathering techniques as we line up at the cash register. I had a small but significant haul, acquiring a skein of camel yarn (in camel colour) and angora/silk yarn (in black) both of the store's own brand. Very yummy! Eden had gathered a significant amount of yarn for her upcoming twined knitting project. Again, it is best to let her explain it. There was buzz that she could be up for the "Needs a sherpa" prize at the end of the day, but alas, we burned out and headed home before that could be determined.

From Romni, we continued through the wilds of Toronto's Queen West area, stopping in a new yarn store that specialized in South American yarn (this was done on a whim as someone had heard about it just opening and was across from Arton beads). Despite it's promise of yarn from the other side of the world, it was a bit of a disappointment. Eden and I made a quick venture to Arton (she acquired a lovely glass bobble for $2.25) and then had a rest at the Second Cup. Here we are resting before resuming our arduous journey.

Having refreshed ourselves with hot drink and engaging in a bit of knitting, we headed back to the Knit Cafe, to continue our journey. Some pictures were taken to prove that this was a TTC Knit-a-long, and not some excuse to travel to multiple yarn stores in a single day.
We made it to the Knit Cafe and made quick work of exploring the area to ensure all yarns were examined. We then settled in for a bit more knitting and a group shot.

This would be the last picture taken for the day (at least from my camera) as hunger and exhaustion from the days excursion settled in, and we all made our way to the Red Room on Spadina (south of College) for lunch and to meet the other teams. There, I would receive a cook book for the prize of "Best non-sequiter" (which is apparently Latin for 'it does not follow'. It appears I seem to talk about anything that comes to mind, rather staying on the day's theme of knitting, yarn or anything else in that vein). I will be mindful of that in the future.

After being well refreshed, a small group of us headed to Lettuce Knit which was insanely busy. There, Eden obtained a final skein to finish her knee high socks (I think it took 4 all together), and I finally gave into the urge to purchase a skein of MANOS del Uruguay yarn to be knitted into a Moebius Capelet (first observed at the Knit Cafe, I somehow resisted it's charm and walked away from it). It is probably the yummiest colourway I have ever seen, but doesn't have a name other than '113'. Eden says it looks like a perennial fall garden, perhaps that is the name I will give it.

After Lettuce Knit, we yelled goodbye to everyone in the store and went home. Tired but satisfied, it was a thrilling adventure through the wilds of Toronto to some of the best yarn stores that this city has to offer. Would I do it again, oh ya! But next time I will come from another direction (north or east) to experience the adventure of the other yarn spots within our fair city.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Trick, or treat?

I love things that subvert or are contrary to what people expect. For example, my previous blog where my lettuce sprouted up like it was on steriods, knitted lace on trees, and even librarian action figure with shhhhing action, but this Halloween costume found on a library blog called Librarian Avengers I am not too sure what to make of. Initially I thought it was a bit of a hoot, but as time goes on I am not too sure.

Part of me likes the idea of a librarian being a sex kitten, part of me knows this not much more than someone's fantasy, and another part of me knows it is the foolishness of Halloween.

Librarians are very much like knitters in that they are 'supposed' to be quite and introverted, if not homely and boring. Knitting is no longer the activity of grandmothers in rocking chairs, is what we hear over and over again. Those who knit know this isn't true and hasn't been for some time. Librarians haven't had this revolution yet where they are in the press on a regular basis, with people amazed that they don't all wear glasses and have tea every afternoon.

So, in the final analysis does this stir things up, or pepetuate the perception? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sick Chick.....

I am not terribly sick today, but nor am I terribly well either. I felt pretty lousy last night, not so great this morning, but better this afternoon. Thinking that perhaps it was best that I lay low today, I called in sick hoping to get some rest. What I got was about 2 1/2 hours wrestling with my computer trying to install some new software.
Anyway, I have had quite enough and thought that a diversion was in order. As such, I am taking Eden's advise and providing a close up on the button for my newly reknit sweater. Hope this shows up well..... it is a spiral configuration, simple but effective, that I only have two of. I guess I could put the second one on as well, but I don't think it would look as good. Anyway, I got these two at Romni on Queen, perhaps I will go there to see if there are any more.

What else can I show you? Oh, yes it was Thanksgiving last weekend and Heather and I went to Guelph for the annual feast. Here is a picture of me and my niece (who is 33 this year.....doesn't look it I look 40?) while I knit. This was to be Heather's sweater, but first she didn't like the Asian motif on the back, and then she didn't like the colour (she will also be the first one to admit that she is fussy). Her loss, my mother's gain. I told Heather she was SOL, and mom was more than happy to accept a hand knitted garment being made for her (god knows she has made enough things for me!!). I am also trying to get Sarah to get knitting, but she is resistant (maybe she is just saner than I am).

It was a good Thanksgiving, with the usual over abundance of food. The favourite of which my sister's crumble (yum-yum). It was Blackberry-Raspberry and was fresh out of the oven when it was served, and had it with vanilla ice cream. Don't get me wrong, I am a chocolate girl through and through, but this is on par with the best chocolate out there.

The final thing we did last weekend was to go down to the Humber River to see the salmon run. This happens every year about this time, and is a truly remarkable thing to watch. The only thing that is more remarkable is the size of these fish, they are truly huge, and yet the ones that are commercially fished are even bigger. I don't know if I would want to eat one of these (Lake Ontario's waters are less than pristine), but they are certainly something to behold.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Phoenix Rises from the Flames....

If you go back a couple of posts, you will recall I finished a purple ballet wrap sweater, and that I wasn't too pleased how big it made me look. Well, as time passed, I began to hate it and didn't want to think I spent all that time and money (well, maybe more money) on something I was unlikely to wear. So, I frogged the whole thing. That was two weeks ago and today, here are the results.I still think I look big (mind you, I am a big girl) but I don't feel like a big cow in it. The pattern is 3Times Chic from and is supposed to be a pullover. But as it is 1/2 merino wool, and as I have a propensity to overheat easily, I made it into this cardigan. I am considering putting in a zipper, but think the button at the top is fine for now.

With this project over, I should be moving on to Heather's sweater. She told me (less than be fair she was tired, but started giggling when she saw the picture on the pattern ) that she wouldn't wear a sweater with a Chinese emblem on the back, but if I took that out, she would wear it. But I am back on making Tit Bits for our next DKC meeting on Oct 18th. I was having some problems with one of them, and I am trying to remake it.

Also on the needles, is a new sock. I thought that perhaps I wouldn't want to do another sock any time soon, but it started to call my name and I felt I had to do one (is this how it starts?). Anyway, the yarn is called 'Tutti Fruitty', but I think of it as Rainbow Sherbert. I took this picture at my desk at work, as it tends to be knitted on the way to, at, and on the way home from office. The colours are far more outrageous than I usually wear, but it is fun and remind my of 'youth'.

As it is Thanksgiving here in Canada, we are going out to my parent's for dinner tomorrow. We are doing it pot luck style, with mom cooking a capon (chicken), my aunt is bringing a broccoli salad, my sister her famous berry crumble (yum, yum) and I am bringing butternut squash (grown in my garden) with shallots and sage. Thank goodness we have Monday off so we can recover!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Friends@work..... It has been quite a week for visiting old work friends, and celebrating a birthday of a 'new' work friend.

First of all, I meet up with the folks I used to work with at CIBC. We were a very small section called bank@work and was a program for selected company's employees. We were a bit of a motley crew, had the threat of the department being dissolved at a moments notice for over a year, and I hadn't seen any of them since I left 2 1/2 years ago.

Here is Brenda and Angie. Brenda was very impressed to hear that I am knitting, Angie asked me if I was pregnant (this is how rumours get started). Brenda did take an early retirement package with CIBC before I left, but has gone back since then on contract as they seem to want pay her an outrageous amount of money to do so (soak them for all they are worth Brenda!). Angie is still working for CIBC, and is great to get all the scoops about what is going on from (although she is way off on the knitting/pregnant thing).

This is Uziel and his lovely wife Gabby. Uziel left CIBC shortly after I did and went for greener pastures at Scotiabank. I was taking a walk (aka window shopping) in the concourse downtown the last month and bumped into him. It was good to hear that he married the woman he met in Toronto, who is also from Mexico City (life is strange, huh?).

Finally, here again is Uziel (who is clearly not camera shy) Anees and Wendy. Anees was the last boss I had at CIBC, and one of the best (I can say that now without it sounding like I am sucking it up for a good report). I had many words of wisdom from Anees (like your customer is everything) and she was always great at drawing on her staff's (including my own) best skills. I should also mention that she has been CIBC for probably around 35 years or more (she should get a medal for that alone).

Wendy is also still working with CIBC, she figures she will be with bank@work until they finish the program in 2007. She used to live not too far from where I am in west Toronto, but she has recently bought a home in Whitby (it sounds like a long haul, but I am sure it is worth it).

Today, is the 30th birthday of my friend Fabio at my present employer, McLean Budden. I love to knit presents for my friends, and Fabio had told me sometime ago that he hadn't picked up a scarf since moving to Canada 3 years ago. I had been knitting with Alpaca for sometime, love the texture, softness and warmth of it's yarn, and wanted to find some for this project. Going on eBay, I found 10 balls for $45 USD (or something like to that affect) that with shipping, exchange and duty worked out to be something like $6 a ball! I set to work at it last April, and was probably finished in May, but it hardly seemed like an appropriate time to give it to him.
I waited for his birthday (thinking it was an opportune time as winter is coming), and he was very pleased with the end results. Fabio told me that no one had made him something like this since he was a child, and I was glad I could make by hand such an appreciated gift.

Just before his birthday, he also told me that he didn't want anything 'special' done for to mark this milestone. That sounded more to me like a challenge than a request, and I decided that some 'decoration' should be done for his office. Last Friday, he left early for the day sick (thank you again, that was much appreciated) which gave me and my friend Shauna a chance to go to town.....This was the result. Fortunately, Fabio does have a great sense of humour and is still talking to me.