Sunday, April 30, 2006

Quick notes...

Susan is going to be at work until the end of June!!!! I'm sooooo excited!

The lilac dress looks absolutely fabulous on me, although the bodice is tight enough (in a good way) that one of the seams warps pretty badly over the lump on my bottom left ribs where the cracked ones healed over.

Still waiting eagerly to go to Winnipeg for the interview. Besides the interview, there is a prime goal of going to LUSH at Polo Park.

STUPID LAKEHEAD. You can tell their only priority is to get their new Medical Faculty working. On the day that all of our marks are supposed to be posted (this past Friday) they take down our information system for the WHOLE WEEKEND so that they can hook up the Orillia Campus (part of the Medical Faculty). That means we have no access to any of our marks until tomorrow morning. MAN I hate this university.

People are thumping up and down hallways and stairwells, moving out I assume. It's a little distracting.

The last two nights I have slept over 12 hours, and didn't get up overslept either day.

I is for...

Indian Pipe. This gorgeous plant doesn't actually contain chlorophyll, which is why it is white. It instead feeds off nutrients in the soil and other nearby plants. They are common in the boreal forest of Northern Ontario, although it takes careful looking to find them. I plan on going out this summer and finding photos of lots of other common but unique plants around here, including two carnivorous plants - round-leaved sundew and pitcher plants.

EDIT: Hi to anyone who's gotten here from the "I" ABC-along contest! I thought I'd add some other information about the photo.

It was taken when I worked at Blue Lake Provincial Park as a park interpreter, and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. I got to spend all day outside in the sunshine, in a beautiful BEAUTIFUL place, teaching people everything I knew about the fascinating plants, trees and rocks around them. This was taken with the park's new Sony digital camera, using the close-up setting. We needed good pictures of many different plants and animals to use as slides for slide-shows, so one afternoon I went out and went crazy with the camera. I got lots of wonderful pictures of things like Kinnikinnick, Blueberries, and Crowberry. This Indian Pipe picture however turned out the best of all of them, and is one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever taken. It really shows the tranquility and beauty of the boreal forests of Canada. Everything is incredibly green and still, with sunlight filtering through the pine and spruce. It's cool, but not too cold, and the ground is soft with sphagnum and peat. You rarely hear bugs (once you're in summer's heat and wearing Muskol ;) but instead hear white-throated sparrows. As you move into a clearing you'll find Indian Paintbrush and Buttercups. By a stream you'll find Spotted Touch-Me-Not, Wild Mint, and Blue Flags. You can see minnows and little bass in the water.

If I could spend my whole summer doing nothing but hiking in the bush I would be incredibly happy.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thanks for all the great compliments everyone :) Now I'm just working on that lilac dress, I'm hoping to finish it before work starts. It's a little frustrating to work with since the material is SO slippery, and trying to figure out how to make a free lining is also very difficult. I think I've figured out how to sew it down next to the zipper though. We'll see!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

H is for Hoodie

Rogue! I know I'm slumping really badly in this pic, but Sean was on his way to work and we didn't have time to make a better pic. The light is also bad because we never have a lot of natural light in our apartment. Our big windows face just North of East, and our other windows near North, so there's no direct light of any kind. Nice to stay cool, but not helpful for picture taking.

*edit* I'm not throwing out the gorgeous beaded window hanging you can see sitting across the garbage can, it had to be moved off the table and is temporarily resting across that (paper only) garbage can.

I also got an interview at U of M!!! I'm so excited. I'm going to fly up on Tuesday, and my Mom is going to meet me so she can take me everywhere I need to go. We can visit Sean's family some more, and I can have a nice little mini-vacation with my Mom. I haven't been home since February, and I won't get home for a while yet, so it'll be nice to see her. Plus, it was her 50th birthday on April 6!!! I'm pretty sure I forgot to post it on the blog, although I made sure to call her. I havne't finished her birthday present yet, so it'll be a wee bit late.
Hi Sockpal! I don't mind waiting until mid-to-end May for my socks, I understand busy schedules! Whichever way is best for you.

I got my job back at the Fort this summer, and although I was supposed to start in about two weeks, in fact I'll be starting back on Monday since they desperately need someone in costuming. Peter tells me that he's trying to work out how to get someone else in there with me, because that is a full-time job for 3 people, not just one (something I can completely vouch for).

After finishing the sweater (pictures today I really hope!) I'm feeling a little lazy about knitting, so I'll maybe be knitting a Kitty Pi, and doing some sewing. Since I need a nice dress for grad I'm going to try sewing two. I have a really nice black and white cotton floral print to make this dress, and a soft, silky lilac polyester to make this dress. I'm not worried at all about the black dress, since it's cotton and cotton is easy to sew. However, I'm slightly more worried about the polyester, just because it's very slippery. However, I have sewed with slippery fabric before (bridal weight crepe-back satin!) so I'm sure it'll be fine. I'll just go slow and careful.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

1. Ask the individual to SMILE.

2. Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

3. Ask the person to SAY A SIMPLE SENTENCE (coherently).
(example: "It is sunny today.")

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.


Taken from Lisa

Monday, April 24, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One sleeve to go...

I finished one sleeve of Rogue...just less than another sleeve to go (since I stopped knitting two at the same time at row 8). I'm really tempted to pull an all nighter and finish the sleeves, since today I wrote the last part of my Speculative Fiction exam, and finished my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees (well, potential BSc. The university keeps saying it will give it to me, then it won't, then it will, then it won't...)

There will be a finished sweater around here very soon! I'm so excited. And luckily it's still quite chilly around here. My Mrs. Beeton's have gotten lots of use.

I'm even more excited because Sean has pledged next week, and more importantly next weekend to me. Between writing his thesis and final paper, and trying to keep visiting a few friends before they leave forever, he hasn't been home a lot. Conversely, between lack of school and lack of work I've been trapped within these 4 walls for wayyyyyy to long. I do go out every day for a quick walk or something but I'm still all by my lonesome a lot. I've made a real effort to make friends here, but unfortunatly Thunder Bay is not a very friendly place amongst the student set. It's very clique-y like high school and difficult to break in to a group of friends. I made a few class friends, and I'm planning on asking one of them to go see a movie next week - although she's getting married this summer so she'll be busy!

I'm really looking forward to us moving to a new place, where I'll be starting anew either at a job or in education. Since everyone there will be starting fresh it'll be easier to make friends - plus there's student groups and such I can join that weren't available here. The biggest problem here is that a great deal of the students were born and raised here (not a lot of non-local or international students), and they already have groups of friends from high school. It's ironic that except for one girl, all the class friends I did make were not from Thunder Bay. Try as I might, I couldn't break into the TBay sets. Some of them were friendly (a great deal weren't, I think in part due to cultural differences *ahemItalianmafiaahem*) though.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Two pictures

I have two pictures, one to make you laugh and one to show some actual knitting progress.

My first Rogue sleeve, I'm at the halfway point by row count, although the increase in stitch number means I'm not technically halfway up. I had pictures of me in the body of the sweater, but since I had to take them myself they're horribly ugly (I don't understand why, but for some reason I've become extremely unphotogenic in the last few years. I blink, I look pale...I dunno). At least when Sean takes them he takes pictures until one turns out well. Thank God for digital cameras!

My supper tonight. I went looking for our round cookie cutters to make egg-in-the-hole with cheddar cheese bread (mmmm yummy dinner) but couldn't find it, instead I discovered our sheep-shaped cookie cutter. Although the holes weren't as sheepy looking before, once they were filled with fluffy white fried egg they were lots better! For those not in the hole, to make egg-in-the-hole you butter two sides of a slice of bread, cut a hole out of the middle, then fry the bread in the pan while you crack an egg into the hole. Once the egg is near cooked, flip it over to fry quickly on the other side and you're done!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Read today's Stone Soup comic.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Look in the air! They're FO's!

I finished knitting my sockapaloooza socks (they haven't got the duplicate stitch done though, since I need Sean to graph a picture for me first) AND I finished my Mrs. Beeton wrist warmers! They're just so cute, and I'll include a picture very soon. Of course, there is a picture of one of them finished, so I'll include that as a link. It took me so long to finish them because I didn't have a large eye needle to thread the seed beads on the first time, and it took hours to get them on. However, I found some floss threaders from Sean's braces days and they worked like a charm! Specs will be following with the picture as well.

Now I'm going to work on my Rogue sweater and finish it. Once this one is finished, I won't feel guilty buying the yarn to knit version 2. Which colour would you recommend from KnitPicks Wool of the Andes? I like Cherry Blossom, Hyacinth, Stream, Blueberry, and Spruce. Keep in mind I'm a fairly pale, clear-skinned (as in transparency) medium-light blonde who looks best in summer and winter colour. I also have medium golden brown eyes. Hee hee. I sometimes have trouble differentiating between colours that I like and ones that would look good on me, so I'd be glad for some advice.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Writing finals in the midst of suffering stomach flu AND another sinus infection is a little frustrating, so there's no new knitting. In fact, one and a half finals were missed. The full one I"m writing next week, and also next week I'm writing the essay I missed at the end of the second (since I had to leave in the middle of writing it). See you once all the dust has settled!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

G is for...

Gryffindor. I have made MANY Gryffindor things, including a full Gryffindor costume (POA style), as well as two Gryffindor scarves (one PS/COS and one POA), and two Hermione hats. I love HP!

I also love to wear costumes, and by making knitted items from movies it means I can wear a part of them whenever I want! There's also the advantage of finding random fellow fans as well. Other knitting projects from movies I want to make:

Pippin's Scarf

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:
Susan's Hide and Seek Sweater
Lucy's Lamppost Sweater

Goblet of Fire:
Hogwarts Scarf (in background)
Ginny's Sweater

That's a lot of stuff, but some of it I'm going to leave for awhile. Lucy's sweater, for instance, would be made for a little girl and not for me. I suppose it could go in a "Hope Chest" though.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A haul from Value Village yesterday. The top two bags (from the left) are sock yarn, scheejpswol (I know I spelled that wrong) and Regia, both 75% wool, 25% polyamide. The colours are just beautiful, and there's 4 skeins of the green, 9 of the pink. That's a lot of pairs of socks, since I make most of mine just above ankle length and can get a pair out of each ball. The next bag is also 100% wool, a very retro variety from Mary Maxim. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I think I'll make a felted bag.

Moving clockwise we have a bag of cute granny squares that's going to become another bag. I have a hard time passing up these kinds of things because I know how much work (and usually love) is put into them. The abandoned squares in particular are kind of sad, because it's very likely that they're there because an older lady either passed away, had to move out of her home, or had to give up for health reasons. It's particularly likely when you get ahold of really old or retro yarn and needles. So I feel that I "rescued" these squares, and they're in cute pinks and purples (minus two which have orange for some reason) so I like them anyway. Besides, they were .99!

The cook book is a version older than my Mom's Betty Crocker Red Book, and it has some great recipes in it, although some of them are old fashioned with VERY antiquated ideas about "appropriate" food for men and women. From the appetizers section:

"California Onion Slim-Dip: An easy, lower-calorie version of the all-time favourite. Whip up a batch for the ladies with skim milk and let the men indulge themselves in the sour cream version"

From the cakes section:

"Make somebody happy today - bake a cake! A chocolate cake for the man in your life. Or a white cake with peppermint frosting for "the girls" coming for bridge"

Ah yes, the ideals of 1969.

The last object is a Calvin Klein 100% wool sweater that has perfect seams - and won't rip. For some reason, I've been trying to rip the ribbing and it just won't frog. Every 3rd stitch won't unravel because the yarn is wrapped through and around it. When I tried to frog it from both the other side and from the top, the same thing happened. Any ideas? I was going to dye it and used it to make my Rogue sweater. It's not worth the trouble it would take to rip it in the current manner though. If you need a picture to understand what the heck I mean, just ask and I'll post it :)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Catching up on ABC-along

F is for...

Family. This is my family, at my cousin Heather's wedding last summer. I'm down in the left hand corner in the yellow dress. It was certainly a gorgeous setting for wedding photos, that's for sure! This is all my Mom's side of the family, we don't see Dad's side quite as often (except for my Grandma!) because although my cousins live here in TBay with me only one is at the U and he's not in any of my classes or even in my program, and my Uncle moved down to Southern Ontario. I don't have a picture of my other Grandma on this new computer, but I do on Sean's laptop from the old comp so I'll try to remember to post one.

G will be forthcoming, hopefully tomorrow, because I need to get pictures off of Sean's laptop. I'll give you a hint though, it's something I've knit and it's from a book (and a movie).

Now some pictures of my startitis. Yes, I am severly afflicted. I think this is largely because of having so much schoolwork to do that I haven't had much time to knit, so I keep starting new things and leaving old ones. If my sock recipient is out there she'll be happy to know that I've finished one sock and am almost finished the guesset of the second.

Sockapaloooza starts off. It's just a basic red sock with the pink duplicate stitched on. I'm not going to reveal what's going on the other sock yet, but I hope my sockpal likes them!

This is yarn I dyed on my last day of spring work at the Fort. Susan, Kristy and I all made hand painted yarn, and mine is being turned into this:

Of course, now that spring is upon us I don't really need a hat anymore (now the snow gods will smite me and send 2 metres in a matter of hours). Oh well, it'll be ready for fall and for camping this spring!

Finally, we have socks being made from my prize yarn and the pattern is the ubiquitous Jaywalker by Grumperina. I'm knitting them on 2mm needles, and it seems to be just the right size for me since I have very narrow ankles and feet.

Don't forget I'm still knitting on Rogue, I have a pair of felted slippers on the go, and I haven't made the second mitten for my Scandi mitts.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Yes, I AM a nerd....

Modern, Cool Nerd
82 % Nerd, 56% Geek, 30% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


The Nerd, Geek, or Dork Test

Monday, April 03, 2006

Classes are DONE

Bad Blogger! I've missed some letters for the ABC-along, mostly because on this new computer (did I mention that my old computer died completely, so I had to get a new one?) I don't have any of my pictures loaded. I also haven't been knitting much, as noted, because of the papers. However...

I've finished all but one! I have the one paper left, it's just under half written, and it's due Friday, so no sweat. I have been knitting, on my own STR Jaywalker socks, my sockapaloooza socks (they've been frogged soooooo many times because I keep changing the pattern), a pair of felted clogs for me, and a hat out of yarn that I dyed with my co-workers at the Fort on our last day of Spring work. I will have pictures I promise!

I had my voice exam yesterday, and my first two songs didn't go very well, mostly because with my allergies I'm very froggy on my high notes. They get this weird buzzing sound when I hit them, almost like static, from all the (sorry) gunk in my throat. However, my aria was AMAZING if I do say so myself (Deh vieni non tardar), and the duets went pretty well as well.

I have to go off to class now - my last two of my Bachelor's degree! To quote Maid Marion in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" - "Aihm sew happeh!"