Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kick ass

I've been thinking about body image and size lately. Mostly because I'm becoming uncomfortable with mine (a story for another day, though). But, I just stumbled on this, and it's too good not to share.

And then go out into the world and kick ass, regardless of what the tag says. Even strong people like me need reminders occasionally.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

$300 and a bunch of sweat later

I have a garden. I've spent lots of time out here, and it's so peaceful. And rejuvenating.

This summer's project is to work on the front. It's so boring and neglected.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm feeling very small right now

Some friends have been pestering me about not updating, and they well know why I haven't. They've been it with me.

Don't get me wrong, it's lots of fun. But, as usual, I'm all used up, and need to hunker down at home for a bit (work is crazy right now).

But, the garden is in, and it looks great. I'm looking for a complicated lace project to work on throughout the summer while I listen to audio books and watch my garden grow.

Some pics, for now. There will be more soon, I think.

I am a princess when I sew and do construction. I think it really does suit me.

There was some knitting. A very little bit. Well, a whole shawl, if I'm honest.

There was a metric butt-ton of sewing. It was annoying, but fun.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I heart spring

The time has arrived, the time I have been waiting for since I bought this netbook. I am sitting outside, with a glass of wine and the internets at my fingertips.

Today is a very good day to be me.

There are volunteer pansies springing up in the garden boxes and the flower beds (and a whole lot of weeds), Edgar is snoozing in the sun, and I think I will barbecue a large piece of beef for my dinner. This little chunk of real estate is the best $100 grand I ever spent.

With that said, life is insane. I am preparing for the show, and there is much work to be done. I'm stealing these few hours from a million other things I should be doing. Right now, I don't care. It's far too fine a day to do anything except listen to audio books, knit, and putter.


Mother's Day

I just tried to phone my mom, and there was no answer. No surprise there. With five grandchildren to occupy her and her own aging mother to pay attention to, the daughter 200 km away is not even on her radar screen.

But, mom? I am the woman I am because of you. And despite my many unpleasant qualities, I think I'm your finest work. I am strong, powerful and amazing. On this day, I raise a glass to you. Well, done. And thank you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Well, there goes another weekend

I was at a meeting last week, and a couple of my fellow committee members were squeeing over my bag, because they'd seen me working on it. These particular committee members are also crafters, so they understand. Another committee member looked over and said that he didn't know where I found the time.

I smiled and said something about there being plenty of time on the bus and waiting for appointments. All knitters know that squeezing in the odd round here and there can really add up (and keeps us from killing stupid people. Knitting really takes the edge off the desire to commit murder).

I got thinking about that this afternoon, because here it is, 6 pm on Sunday, and I'm still in my pajamas. I have a to-do list as long as my arm, and I've done nothing all weekend but knit. And cook a little. A girl has to eat something to soak up the wine.

I can't help it. I am utterly captivated by the purple, yellow, green and turquoise in this hand-dyed skein (which sounds like it should be clown-barf, but it's not). The feel of the silk sliding through my fingers and along the needle is music to my hands.

The pattern is so random and clever, and I say to myself "just one more row" because I'm desperate to find out what happens next. It's better than any gripping novel.

So, yeah. That half-shawl pictured above (and believe me, the colours are way, way nicer in real life) is why:

- the kitchen cupboards have not been defuzzified
- the laundry is not done
- my hair is lank and greasy
- the new batch of wine has not been started
- there is still (STILL!) wallpaper to be stripped in the study

All that aside, sometimes knitting does take forever. These socks took nearly two months. Same yardage as the shawl I'm now making, but navy blue ribbing with one boring little cable, man-sized in hard-wearing yarn just isn't as awe-inspiring. Glad these are done.

With that said, I should probably get up and scoop the poop. And have a shower. I have to go to bed in four hours. Should get the chores out of the way now.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I really wish I subscribed to HBO Canada right now.

On Sunday night, a series premieres, and I MUST. WATCH. IT. Game of Thrones is based on the first novel of A Song of Ice and Fire.

I listened to the first four novels in the series last summer while drinking wine and knitting on the cement pad. I picked them because each novel was at least 36 hours long (I have no idea what that means in pages). That was my only criteria.

Iwas captivated about 15 minutes in and I spent every spare moment listening for the next month.

Some of the characters on the good side are horrible. Some of the villains are so noble and kind they should be playing for the other team. People get hurt, people get killed. Heroines are so whiny and infuriating that you want to smack them upside the head. Gross, violent disgusting things happen. Some amazingly sweet and tender moments are sprinkled in the saga as well.

I soaked every word up. I dreamed about the books. I had trouble concentrating on things like... walking, because I was listening so intently. I forgot to eat. I fell asleep listening to them late at night. I was pissed off when I discovered that three more books are to follow, and the publication of the fifth has been delayed by several years (it's being published for sure this coming July. If Facebook says so, it must be true).

So... I will figure out a way to watch this, and must find a new knitting project to accompany it. Something ambitious, but not too complicated. Hmmm... should probably be lace.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I spend far too much time on the internet

But it is such a delicious way to waste said time.

Today, I've been catching up on Reasoning with Vampires. (What? It's Friday afternoon. There's no way I'm actually going to work).

I found this delightful Tumblr during a similar Friday afternoon several months ago, while reading the Huffington Post.

These are just a few of the posts that have actually made me laugh out loud this afternoon (and that was not good, because accounting is no laughing matter. I could have totally blown my cover).

I don't really have any desire to read Twilight, though I do own the first one (bought used for one dollah), and if anything I have read about it is true; I will absolutely loathe it. So, the mocking is funny. Really, really funny. More people should think about what they read so critically and talk about it so wittily.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There has been some knitting going on

Despite the near-endless family drama, televised debates to scream at, and many blogs to read, I actually have been doing what this blog is supposed to be about: knitting.

I know. I'm shocked too.

Those 14 balls of yarn from a few weeks ago? I made a bowl and a box from nine of them.

The last five got turned into this delightful little thing:

It's a bag, big enough to hold my netbook, my lunch, my knitting and maybe a book. Just the thing that a girl on the go needs for a long day away from home.

Pattern: Felted Bag with Mitered Squares (creative, no?). Modifications can be found, as usual, on my Ravelry project page.

The best part is, I now have a tiny bit of room in the china cabinet. I may (ya think?) fill it with some new yarn.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My inner nerd is absolutely delighted

with the Periodic Table of Fictional Elements. I came to enjoy science fiction and fantasy much later in life than most nerds do. I sure am making up for lost time.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Something uplifting

I just found this website. The photos are beautiful.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fuck you, you homophobic assholes!

I've ranted in every online fora I'm a part of. I've ranted in real life. I've flounced on facebook.

But, it's not enough. I am still pissed off. Actually, I am more than pissed off. I am HULK SMASH ANGRY. And, that anger is not going to go away anytime soon. So, in the interest of protecting my blood pressure, I'm going to try and get this off my chest.

Gay is not a lifestyle choice. It is not a disease. It is biology. Some people are born attracted to people with the same parts. Some people are attracted to people with the same parts and people with the other parts at the same time. Some people don't like parts at all. Some people are born attracted to the opposite parts.

And all of the above is not any of your business unless you are the party directly involved in the attraction of the parts.

So if your young niece/cousin that you barely know announces that she is marrying another woman, you smile and say, "Congratulations!"

That is the only socially correct response. You do not email my mother and give her a blast about said niece being an abomination unto God. You do not hijack a 65th anniversary party with your bigotry and hate. You do not have a say. It is none of your business.

And, this is perhaps my biggest problem: you do not pressure my mother into lying to me.

Because my mom shouldered this burden all by herself, because she didn't want me to go HULK SMASH, because she knows that I have strong opinions and she knows that I've been on the brink of blowing for years.

Well, perhaps Mom had a point, in the interest of protecting herself.

I've had it. I've had it with being polite and pretending that I don't see that you think I am unaware of God's will because I am divorced. I drink! I dance! I have sex outside of marriage! I have multiple lovers at the same time. I will not have children. I will have a fulfilling, rewarding career in a traditionally male field. And I will be successful. I have smiled and not talked about my life, because I'm not interested in what you think. Your secret condemnation is (here's a clue) NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

Really, I am not interested in your questions, your ferreting for information so that you can pray for me. I don't believe in your god. I don't believe in any god. And, I'm really not interested in your opinions. Your opinions of me don't matter. I don't like any of you very much; haven't for quite some time now.

But you do not get to stand up and tell another person of your own blood that you don't agree with her "lifestyle". No. Not now, not ever. Now that I really know what was going on, I'm done with you. I never want to see any of you again.
I will not allow you to crush this young woman like you tried to crush me. I will have nothing to do with you ever again. I will support her, and cry tears of joy at her wedding. Then I will get really drunk and dance until my knees hurt.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

900 meter dash

One week ago today, I was really hungover. Almost too hungover to knit, but I girded my loins (I'm listening to a historical yet trashy audio book can you tell?) and cast on: Knitting huge items and then throwing them into the washing machine to shrink them on purpose is amazing: See? Look at this circle that I started yesterday and finished today (that's 300 m in 24 hours): What a lovely bowl I've now got. I'm not sure if I want to put it in the china cabinet to hold yarn or in my bedroom to hold jewellery. I'm leaning towards the china cabinet - I have a feeling that the cats will want to sit in it. So, that's 900 meters knitted in 8 days. And during a week where I was frantically busy at work. Wow. Occasionally I even amaze myself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring cleaning

This yarn has been sitting in the stash for four years. I bought it my first winter here in Chez Peepee, when I was broke, lonely, miserable at work and completely overwhelmed: It's time to get it out of here. I cast on for a basket, and now this is what is left, and the rest is disappearing in a hurry: I fancy a new spring handbag. That dark pink will do nicely.

Friday, March 25, 2011

We're having an election!

Let the shouting at the television and the computer screen begin!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just in time for spring

I finished a bulky-weight cowl. Given the weather forecast, I won't be wearing this until next December:

And apparently, I'm well over due for a cut and colour.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Something completely different

I'm sure most knitters I know are familiar with my oft-repeated phrase, "the tinier the sticks and string, the happier I am." I really, really like making lace and socks. I like the fiddly-ness of lace and and the portability of socks.

So, I surprised myself when I bought two skeins of Cascade Magnum. At 123 meters and 250 grams, this is seriously bulky yarn. Totally different than my usual preference. I even bought the skeins two years apart. One was for a travelling scarf and the other... it was on sale.

So, with those two skeins taking up a whole bunch of real estate in the china cabinet, I went looking for a project. Seems 225 meters of really fat yarn is only good for accessories (no surprise there, actually).

I went looking for cowls, because that is something missing from my rather impressive scarf and hat collection.

The pattern I liked best was in French. Google translate was actually kind-of helpful, and after a couple of false starts, I managed to figure it out:

And the coolest part is I'm now trying something even more new - Kitchener stitch in ribbing. It requires concentration, because I can't use my little knit purl, purl knit groove, but it's working.

I'm glad I'm sober. It really requires concentration.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The F word

It's a day late, but I had an experience tonight that I can recount that maybe explains my inarticulate rage when it comes to talking about feminism.

I was sitting in a meeting, and as usual we wandered off topic, and my friend mentioned that she'd loved the clip I posted yesterday. I tried to respond to her, but other people started talking, and International Women's Day was mentioned, and the person to my right, a man that I love and respect, kind-of rolled his eyes.

I tried to not derail the entire meeting, and said something about how I wasn't going to let him wind me up. But, I couldn't let it go. I rattled off the lovely statistic from the video, that worldwide, women do two-thirds of the work, earn 10% of the income and own 1% of of the property. I really tried to be polite about it.

He rolled his eyes again, I think. And, this is where it gets hazy, because if I had actually had the ability to get all muscly and green to make my point, I would have done so. But instead, the following happened. It may not make sense, but my mind was so full of rage that I really did want to HULK SMASH the table. Except the table was holding delicious adult beverages. I am angry, I am not a fool:

I said no, this is important, that's why we need to talk about this, to work towards improving the situation... he said something to the effect of... but you live here. I said, I don't care, this is about the planet, it's about all of us. He said, but you aren't in... Ghana. I said no, but there are women in Ghana and they are having the same problems. He said, but you are here, not Ghana, and that's the third world anyway, it doesn't matter. I said that location and economic opportunities are irrelevant (well, that's what I meant, but what I said was more like...but, sputter, sputter, I'm not gonna talk about this with a bonehead, so there!) He said that it's not going to change in my lifetime. I said that doesn't mean that I shouldn't try, that the fact it's an uphill battle should not stop the fight. I said it's like stopping war. It's unlikely, but you have to try, to make your voice heard. He said that wasn't going to happen in his lifetime, never mind his. I said that doesn't matter, I have to try.

What I got from that rambling conversation (and I wish I was clever enough to elucidate this verbally) is that he was demonstrating in a real honest-to-god conversation why feminism is necessary. The fact that he thought it didn't matter because I'm here in Canada, and I've got it pretty good is why International Women's Day and feminism don't matter.

No, no it's not. His apathy and ignorance, and goddammit, the patriarchy is why things like International Women's Day and feminism are necessary.

Two thirds of the work. 10% of the income. 1% of the property. 52% of the population. How is that, in any way, equal?

No. Just no. I have a responsibility, as a human being (never mind having two X chromosomes) to speak out about injustice, prejudice, fear and ignorance whenever I encounter it. To point out privilege where I find it and recognize my own. This is why it's important, even though we've got it pretty good (though no where near equal, though that's a rant for another day) from where I'm standing. There's a whole developing world out there. Those people count as well.

Don't even get me started on violence against women. We didn't even touch on that, and that is a real big problem right here in the first world. Argh.

MISSTEA HULK SMASH! if that only solved the problems.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The work isn't anywhere near being finished

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
- Cherise Kramarae and Paula Triechler

This video is why I shout to the heavens, constantly, that I am a feminist.

Today is International Women's Day, the 100th anniversary, in fact. I've been thinking about that quite a lot this week, and given some of the over-privileged opinion pieces (and downright ignorant comments on those opinion pieces) and bone-headed judicial decisions I've been reading, I have quite a lot to say.

But, as usual, time is short and I'm so full of HULK SMASH rage over how bad the F-word is that I can barely see straight. So, in lieu of coherent prose, go here. The Yarn Harlot pretty much sums it up without the profanity that I am liable to spew right now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tossing the stash

Last week, when it was time to start another pair of bar and bus socks, I had a good look at the china cabinet.

It was time for a decent sort. I had been stuffing things in willynilly for months.

My instincts were wrong, when I thought that I didn't have any sock yarn:

I also have a little bit of lace yarn. I should get cracking on some of those shawls in my favourites:

Now that things are organized, or as much as it will be until I find some new baskets, I am inspired. I can't wait to get going on some things. Some things that I've been thinking about making for years. Isn't it amazing what you don't notice because you see it every day?

My aim is to knit up a lot of the stuff on the left. Some of it was purchased when I was married (10 years ago, ouch!). Gotta make room for those new baskets I'm dreaming about.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is why I can't have nice things

Stoopid Parker, sleeping on my soon-to-be new sweater. It's a damned good thing he's cute.

Of course, maybe I shouldn't have left it on the couch.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'll never get tired of this

I'm sitting here watching the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6 (my latest TV obsession), when I noticed the coolest thing:

Mattress stitch. It never gets old.

And maybe I should eat some dinner. Because clearly, I've had a lot of wine.

But seriously, a seam that makes it look like the knitting didn't stop? Cool.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two months without socks

I just realized that I haven't worked on a sock since December 26, 2010. Wow. But, there's a reason for that.

A while ago, I talked about making vests. Well, I finished knitting one about a month ago, but I got busy on Monday (Louis Riel Day, how I love you) and sewed it up.

I am quite pleased. It is a welcome addition to my work wardrobe. Details are here, for those who are inclined.

And in more non-sock news, I made it! Done the day after the initial deadline, but the shower has been postponed for two weeks. I'll have to wash this lovely wee blanket again to get the smell of my house out of it before the Sunday afternoon of wine and tiny sandwiches, but I'm quite pleased with the blanket (I'm definitely using Frankie's patterns again; they are so much fun). The wee nipper it's destined for is pretty cute as well. I wish the blanket and the baby a long and happy life together.

Completing the blanket was delayed when I realized that I had a birthday gift to knit with the perfect yarn sitting in my stash. I whipped this off in a week:I don't normally knit with red, and I certainly don't knit with acrylic. But, this was fun, and I'm pretty sure it was appreciated. Perhaps I should break out of my comfort zone more often.

So.... socks. It's time to have a reasonably-sized portable project.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Children paying for the sins of their parents

I happened to be listening to CBC's As It Happens tonight while I was making my dinner. I like the human interest stories; it makes for educational listening while I am puttering.

Well, I did not like what I heard tonight. In fact, this clip (starting at about 20:36) made me angry. The guest was state senator for Arizona, Mr. Ron Gould.

He just sponsored legislation proposing that anchor babies are not US citizens and should be deported, along with their parents. He wants the ACLU to get mad, sue, and hopefully take this to the Supreme Court.

I have a few problems with what Mr. Gould had to say.

First of all, those kids did not ask to be born in the United States. How can sending them back to a country that they do not know, may not speak the language serve any purpose except to frighten, dis-enfranchise and possibly alienate children (!) that are probably perfectly aware of how precarious life is? They are children.

Second of all, those horrible illegal aliens that so thoughtfully got pregnant and had those babies (and this isn't right, not by a long shot) work shitty jobs, pay dis-proportionate taxes (because they don't file income tax returns), go without health care (and that's a whole other discussion), and accept deplorable working conditions because they do not dare protest.

Thirdly, the cost of educating these children is a straw-man argument. A whopping... what was it, $9,200 to educate a child that will grow up, get a job, and pay taxes for the rest of hir life. Yup, that's a rotten return on investment (also, $9,200 to educate a child? No wonder your teachers are living in poverty).

Lastly, you, Mr. Fuckwad (oops, I mean Gould), don't like brown people. You are a racist. You may say that you aren't going to be baited into a race argument, but by avoiding the question in such a hostile manner, you are indeed showing yourself to be racist. We all know the white people coming down from Canada "for the weather" are not who you are really interested in. It's those brown people from Mexico, cleaning your hotel rooms, driving your taxis, building your houses that are the real problem you hope to solve. Solve what, I don't know. Seems to me that they are doing the jobs that you aren't desperate enough to do.

Mr. Fuckwad (oops, I mean Gould), it's people like you that gives The United States of America a bad name. You, and elected officials like you, consider yourselves the leader of the free world, whatever that is. Do me a favour. Stay home, stop bossing the rest of the planet around, and keep your racism to yourself.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Now that Stargate is over (for now)

OK, I've worked my way through the ten seasons of Stargate SG1, two of the three movies and the five seasons of Stargate Atlantis. I stopped by the downtown HMV to pick up the first season of Stargate Universe. I left it there because it was $49.99. That exceeds my threshold of what I will pay for DVDs. So, that will wait. Or, I will get it on Ebay for hopefully much less.

So, I'm getting back to audio books. A while ago, I asked my dear beloved peeps at LSG to suggest epic science fiction/fantasy novels. You know, the kind that create whole new worlds, span multiple volumes, take over your dreams and leave you gasping for more. Things like The Sword of Truth or Song of Ice and Fire. You see, I had gotten the first three volumes of The Belgariad from the library, but the final two volumes were unavailable. I was forced to turn to Audible, and thought I should get some suggestions for my next selections from people I trust.

LSG delivered. Holy smokes, I was blown away by the number of responses and how movingly they wrote about the books. I compiled them into a spreadsheet, with the number of as marking how often that particular author/book/series was mentioned.

If I do a search on for epic fantasy, I get 490 results. It's remarkable how many match the recommendations I got.

I'm thinking Wheel of Time next. Or perhaps The Lies of Locke Lamora. Whatever it is, it will be many, many hours spent with headphones in and hands knitting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh so clever, and so funny

A new addition to my google reader is dear blank, please blank.

Two of my recent favourites:

Dear Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
Please send me my letter already. I'm tired of the Muggle world.
Dear Herpes,
Please stay in Las Vegas next time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oops, wish I'd noticed that sooner.

I've been merrily zooming around the baby blanket, mostly at work. It's great fun, and I continue to be utterly charmed by quickly rows move along when there are only 10 stitches on the needle (Whee! Maybe I can make it to the corner before office hours begin! knit, knit, knit). Short rows, previously annoying and a necessary evil are now little treats in a sea of garter stitch.

Today, though, I was staring at it while I was eating my lunch, and it occurred to me that something wasn't right:

That's right, I borked up the corner. Last Monday when I turned it on the bus heading to a meeting. I wasn't even drunk.

So this is where I am now. Three days of knitting gone in about three minutes. The good news is, I get to knit more!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Wednesday

I uploaded the following pics from my netbook and then switched to my desktop:
Note the compost bin covered with snow. Not fun getting out there, these days.

I thought that was going to be a nice sunset, seeing as I was home an hour earlier today. Apparently, I was wrong.

And just for fun, self portrait, last Saturday. Damn, I am cute.

But, the purpose of this Random Wednesday post has been derailed by the need to upgrade my desktop. It took two hours to log in and wade through those horrible sign-ins; it doesn't help that I was doing a similar task on the netbook with

I was home an hour early today; it's 8:30 - no dinner and no knitting, yet. Random Wednesdays suck.