Friday, December 31, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Yes, that is all three cats on the sofa. No fighting. Edgar was giving Parker the stink-eye for a bit, but then he pretended to go to sleep.

In fact, Parker sat on the end table for quite some looking quite longingly at the little tableau that Scout, Edgar and I presented. Then, Parker sneaked on to my lap and hunkered down for a bit.

Sadly, we didn't last long. My wine glass was empty, and since I do not have the ability to open the fridge and pour a glass with my mind, I got up.

Happy Oo Near, from Chez Peepee to you and yours.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

7,497 stitches

Just for fun, I did a quick and dirty calculation of how many stitches are called for in this shawl. The chart part, anyway.

Since I started about four yesterday and finished just now, that's a whole lot of knitting.

But I like it. I think it looks good.

It's meant to be a donation for a silent auction, but once again, I'm going to have a hard time parting with it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home sweet home

I went home for Christmas yesterday. Since the roads were crap, and I am recovering from some sort of terrible plague, it was probably not a good idea.

However, having knit eight pairs of socks, I was going to deliver them, dammit.

Plus, I had to pick up these:

The background wheel belonged to my grandmother, the foreground wheel, my dad purchased at an auction sale. Neither of them are operational, but the one in the front has potential.

Not Christmas gifts, because we don't do that, but, a very good Christmas nonetheless.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My new netbook cover

One of the things I like best about new electronic toys is making covers. Why buy when I can make?

So yesterday, Christmas day, once the Christmas sock knitting was finished (nothing like leaving it until the last minute), I cast on. With Season 6 of Stargate SG1 playing in the background (I love me some MacGuyver in space), and a glass of wine on the table beside me, I did the following:

Felted netbook case

Materials: One skein of Cascade 220 or approximately 200 meters of yarn that will felt.

Needles: 6 mm circular (I used a 16").

Gauge before felting: 17 sts and 21 rows to 4 inches.

Cast on 100 sts and join in the round. Circumference is approximately 22.5 inches. Knit for approximately 10 inches.

Next round: cast off 50 sts.

On remaining 50 stitches, knit flap as follows:

6 rows stockinette, beginning with a knit row.

Next row: k2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2 tog, k2.

Purl next row.

Repeat last 2 rows until 30 sts remain.

Cast off remaining stitches.

Sew bottom closed and weave in ends. Felt to dimensions of netbook. One round through the washing machine (hot wash, cold rise) with the lowest water level and two pairs of jeans did the trick for me.

Sew on buttons or clasps. To make a button hole, pierce the fabric with increasingly large needles until the desired size is reached.

84 g of yarn used.

I'll post a photo with the clasps, as soon as it's finished drying.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Posting from the living room

I am sitting here, in the living room of Chez Peepee, playing with my new netbook and my new camera, while watching teevee and drinking wine.

Life is good.

MacGuyver in space. AKA, Stargate SG1. My nerdiness is large.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ten Days to Go

I loathe Christmas and everything about it, except the food, the booze, and the time off work. The visiting with friends and family is kind of cool, too. And the music is all right. If it's good (meaning, written prior to about, oh, 1950 and not performed by anyone that was born after me. Generally speaking).

In short, I hate the commercialism, the need to give great, grand gifts to everyone, as if some stupid snow village encased in a globe tells my veterinary assistant how much I care. Or that a hokey tree ornament was thoughtfully chosen for me by my bartender(s), when every one else shining the bar with their sleeves that night got one as well.

Cynical much? Not me.

Thankfully, my parents and siblings opted out of this nonsense years ago, and I've managed to convince my girly pals that I'd rather spend time with them instead of shopping for stuff. It's a huge relief.

But, now there are the small people. And, small people love Christmas. I do hate disappointing them, when they are so easily pleased and are so generous with their smiles and hugs. There's something about the phrase, "Auntie Misstea, I love you" that makes me want to make sure that the universe farts rainbows just for them.

So, I sucked it up last night, and went to a book shop. You'd think that 11 days before Christmas, it would be a gong show, but apparently not at 5:30 on a Tuesday. Good planning on my part, for a change. And, I must admit, the 40 minutes I spent playing around in the children's section was rather fun. There's some cool stuff out there. From now on, I will be the Auntie that gives books and knitted things.

So, with that in mind, I got home from work tonight and spread out all the unallocated knitted things on the sofa:

I need eight kid-sized somethings. I have them. Problem is, I have no idea if the sock to foot size is at all reasonable. I'll ask LSG (because LSG knows everything) and then, it might be a little insane around here. I can't believe I'm doing this.

My heart is still two sizes too small, just for the record. And Santa is creepy. He breaks into your house, FFS.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sooper Saturday

I loathe winter, with every fibre of my being. It makes every choice I've made for my life (i.e. not having a car, living in the buttfucknowhere of this city) truly intolerable.

But at at the same time, every once in a while, winter allows me to blow off everything, and just sit at home to knit.

I've done this while sitting at home when I should have been doing other things:

Finished it, and am well started on the next, all while watching Stargate, SG1, season 2. (We will talk about my inability to actually read ALL the instructions another day). Then there was some wine, and dancing, while listening to Vinyl Tap. Life is good.

The hunt for Season 3 starts tomorrow. I'm desperate to find out what happens. And the second gauntlet needs finishing. Since I've called them Stargate Gauntlets on Ravelry, season 3 appears to be a requirement.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Paint ALL the things

Before I get started, have you seen this blog? It's delightful.

And that reminds me that I should update my blog list on the right. My interests have changed radically over the past three years, and I now read very few knitting blogs, because I can get that stuff on Ravelry. However, Google Reader (I migrated there a couple of months ago, when Bloglines announced it was shutting down, a migration that was long overdue) has brought to my attention many wonderful things that are outside the knitting world. Run-on sentence, much?

Anyway, I've been feeling, in the best possible way, rather at loose ends since I sat the exam. I won't be taking another course until summer, 2011, at the earliest, though fall is more likely. It's going to be about three months until the show moves into super-high gear, at which time I will be swamped, manic, cranky and loving every minute of it.

So, it's time to find a project. It's got to be cheap, only moderately time-consuming, and I need another hobby like I need another hole in the head. Also, deadlines and I don't get along. I thought about volunteering for something. I thought about knitting for charity (but then remembered I have many friends and loved ones to knit for - I don't need to knit for strangers who will likely not love what I make). There are, naturally, many books I want to read, and many television programs to catch up on, but that can only be done so much before my ass grows as wide as my sofa.

I was in the bedroom tonight, changing the sheets, when I glanced at the window. Or more accurately, the blinds. Which are nicotine stained, cheap and generally ugly. It occurred to me that I should get off my butt and make those curtains I've been talking about.

And then something else occurred to me.

Cue the trumpets.

I stripped (or rather, my good friend D stripped) most of the wallpaper in my study before I moved into Chez PeePee. My intention was to finish stripping the wallpaper and paint, but somehow (ha!) time has gotten away from me.

It's been four years, and it's time to have a proper study / spare bedroom.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is not the first time this thought has occurred to me. Some months ago, I borrowed a wallpaper steamer from my good friend M (it's good to have good friends) and it has been sitting in the dining room since I brought it home in August. Enough.

I am taking holidays between Giftmas and Oo Near. That would be a good time to putter around and finish stripping the wallpaper and give the walls a good wash. There may even be time to do the patching, or at least make an attempt at patching, because I suck at that sort of thing.

In my wildest fantasies (the wildest fantasies of the past hour, anyway) I can get it painted as well. Painted a bright lime green that screams cheer, good energy and inspiration.

We'll see about that.

Anyway, before pics:

This is the view behind my desk. I can't believe, now that I think about it, that I have been looking at this for four years. Clearly, I only see what I want to see.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

After the exam is over

How does the world keep turning?
How does the free time grow?
How does a knit stay burning?
After procrastination's glow?

OK, that's all I've got, and it's pretty lame.

The exam was 8 days ago, and since then, I feel ten years younger, 40 pounds lighter and just generally good about things.

Which is a long way to say that the exam was... not bad.

While there is no doubt that I didn't do enough studying, because it is impossible to do too much studying for these things, I don't think I completely buggered it up. I didn't have that shaking feeling of anxiety during the 20 minutes between the reading of the instructions and being allowed to touch the paper. I turned the paper over and wrote solidly for 3 hours and 55 minutes. The MC questions seemed to be clear, the case studies drew on content that I was comfortable with, enough that I could issue an opinion without grasping for straws. There wasn't a consolidation question with foreign currency translation, thank FSM. Looking back, I should have tackled the big case question first. The exam suggested 1 hour, 55 minutes for that question alone. I had 1 hr, 45 minutes left when I got to it.
I know, from reading the exam blueprint, that I did not go into enough detail to get an extraordinary number of points, but all I need is 50. It's pass/fail, and there is no feedback unless the candidate royally messes up. So, I'm letting it go until February 5, when the results are released.

I did realize, however, that taking this course now was a really good move - it's a course that tests breadth, not depth, and it draws on courses that I took as long as ten years ago. Much has changed (IFRS/GAAP, I'm looking at you!), much has been forgotten. I can only imagine how much harder it would have been if I had waited even longer, not taking any accounting courses in the mean-time.
So, the next order of business is to get through the second one, and then return to my degree studies. And if I never get around to that degree, well, then I will have accomplished the goal I set for myself in 1996 - to complete the CGA program of study. I could be satisfied with that. Maybe.

So, what I have been doing for the past week? Well, I cleaned my house, because things had been sorely neglected during the run-up to the exam, I listened to Harry Potter 5 and 6, and watched the movies. And on Sunday... I saw The Deathly Hallows Part 1.

It was good. As always, the books are better (though I kind of agree with people who have said that the months of roughing it could have been considerably shortened). What I like (and I need to do more reading about the changes in writers/directors/producers) is that like the books, the movies have grown with Harry - grown darker, addressed more mature issues. The animation of the story of The Deathly Hallows was particularly well done. Part 1 finished in a good spot - about 2/3 of the way through the book, but right before the final action begins. I can't wait for July.

And speaking of Harry Potter, I was at the watering hole on Friday, and convinced another reader to pick them up. She, like me, had been reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. I think I may have convinced her by talking about how it was a metaphor for Germany from 1936 to 1945, with flashes of Anne of Green Gables.
But there has also been knitting! I knitted a hat. It's alpaca, details on Ravelry. I've even blocked it, and hope to give it to the recipient tomorrow. It's a wee bit big for me, so it should fit her perfectly. If not, I'll make her another. She bought me more than enough yarn to do so, after all.
I don't know what the hell is going on with the jog on the right side. Bad photography staging, for sure.

That's better.

A hat.