Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thrumbelina

I am not ashamed to admit that these mittens are the result of both peer pressure and blatant plagiarism.


As someone who is lucky enough to work in an office where people sit around and knit at the lunch table, I always get to to check out my co-workers projects. For whatever reason, the cool thing to knit these days is thrum mittens. Naturally I had to join in.

Pattern: Mid west style thrum mittens from No Sheep for You
Yarn/ Fibre: Fibrepalooza Wool/Cashgora blend (undyed) & Schoppelwolle Fingerwolle pencil roving
Needles: 3.75 mm (I intended to switch to 4 mm after the ribbing but I forgot. I'm glad I didn't though because they're a perfect size!)
Notes/Mods: Obviously, my mittens are not "no sheep" like in the book. I added thrums to the thumbs (thrum-thumbs!) even though the stitch count doesn't fit the thrum pattern repeat. I fudged it to make it work. Why leave your poor thumb out in the cold?

The cozy thrum-y interior. Mmm!

As for the plagiarism, that was somewhat sub-conscious. Given the thrum tradition originates in the maritimes I thought my souvenir Nova Scotia yarn would be perfect for my mittens. When it came time to pick out roving for the thrums I thought I was a genius for choosing rainbow-bright fibre to really pop with that neutral yarn. I somehow forgot that I'd seen my friend and co-worker Jen wearing thrum mittens in that exact colour combo last year.

Enh? Whatever. They're awesome mitts, I don't care if I didn't invent them! Hey,when it comes to knitting, I don't mind being a sheep (groan!).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Royal Deutsche Baug

Every year I think; "Hey, I should go to the Royal!" and then I realize it's mid December and the fair happened three weeks ago. Not this time, baby!

Cows!

Those are award-winning bums!
Butter sculptures!
Giant mutant vegetables!My hand is in there for scale, but feel free to admire my new Axxium mani.

Sheep petting!


Hilarious signs!


Superdogs!
The Superdog show was more fun than I thought. I expected a tightly rehearsed show-dog type scenario and instead witnessed a canine version of a hockey tournament where the pups routinely decided to ignore the rules and do their own thing. That's right, doggies! Don't let those trainers boss you around!

Your fun at such an event is closely tied to your choice of companion:


I believe I chose wisely. This dapper young man is my brother and fellow enthusiast in farm fresh food, shopping and wine tasting.

Hey, braving those crowds makes you thirsty!

The Royal did not disappoint when it came to appealing to the fibre enthusiast either.

See an alpaca...


Buy some alpaca!


I had a good chat with one of the ladies at the Meadowview Alpaca stall and impressed her with my knowledge of northern Ontario landmarks. How often do you get to buy yarn from the person that raised the Alpaca?

My review of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair? Two thumbs up! I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend not leaving without some of the best got-dang maple butter tarts I've ever had.


Royally delicious!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Insult Injury to Injury

Last week I went to yoga class and thought; "Ow. There's something icky going on with my wrist". Several I-should-have-known-better plank/chaturanga/bakasana/and even headstands later, I was icing my wrist at home. But it wasn't the yoga that hurt me, my friends.

Ah, crochet. How I have learned to love thee. You're speed, your strength, your ability to evoke 70's afghan nostalgia. But you have scorned me crochet. Or perhaps I am the scorn...er?

I crochet like my Mum taught me. Like this:

video

I've been accused of crocheting "fancy". I crochet like an aristocrat, delicately sipping tea with a pinky finger extending from a glove-clad hand. The only problem with being fancy, is that it's often completely unnecessary, like shaving your legs and painting your nails and then sitting around the house in sweatpants all day. Why all the extra work?

My tendinitis (self-diagnosed) is a direct result of crocheting too fancy whilst attempting to finish this afghan before winter sets in:


After THREE FULL DAYS of no knitting, crocheting or yoga, I was ready to poke my eyes out. (Seriously, what do non-knitters do with their hands when they're watching 16 and Pregnant? They just SIT there?) After my few days of R.I.C.E. I allowed myself some very minimal knitting and started to learn a new way to crochet:

video

Things were looking up. Then this happened:

My first hospital bracelet since discovering my penicillin allergy 14 years ago!

Tendinitis, meet Ankle Sprain! I've lived in Toronto for 14 years and am lucky enough to have never before had cause to visit a hospital emergency room. I have heard nothing but horror stories of the obscene wait times at the E.R. As far as I was concerned, if you weren't bleeding to death from a gun-shot wound, don't even bother going to the hospital. Then I found myself in tears after walking the two blocks from the streetcar stop to my door. Speaking of streetcars, allow me to fill you in:

Internal monologue, Wednesday Nov 3rd:

8:15:00 am - Hey the, streetcar is coming!
8:15:30 am - The stoplight turned green! If I run I can totally catch that streetcar!"
8:16:00 am - I'm running! I'm gonna make it! Ow! I twisted my ankle! I'm still running!
8:16:30 am - Yeah! I made it! I should do ankle circles...
8:17:00 am - (Ankles circling) Meh, I'm good!

I was fine. Totally fine. No pain. No swelling. Until I got up to leave work at 5.

5:10 pm - Damn! Has this parking lot always been so big? This limp to the bus stop is taking forever.

A long and painful ride later, I found myself barely able to walk the two blocks to my door.

6:03 pm - (Crying on my stairs) S**t! I have to go to the emergency room!

True, I wasn't bleeding from a gunshot wound, but I know if pain is making me cry it's probably a good idea to seek medical attention. 2 hours later, I was back at home, using the ice-pack formerly applied to my wrist, to ice my newly diagnosed Sprained Ankle.

Lessons learned:

1 - Save your fancy for when it counts.
2 - Never run to catch public transportation.
3 - Toronto Western Hospital E.R waiting times are totally reasonable.
4 - Always keep an icepack in the freezer.

Place safe kiddos!