Thursday, November 29, 2007

I quit winter

That's it. I quit winter. I am refusing to participate. This is getting ridiculous. I was playing at a concert tonight and was told there was "ample parking" which was apparently swahili for "lot will be filled up half an hour before, good luck parking anywhere near the building". Now, I don't mind the walking. I mind the fact that in the time it took me to walk from my car to the concert my face was stinging from the cold, my eyes were watering and the air was so cold it was almost hard to breathe. -21 celcius but -32 with the windchill (-6 and -26 fahrenheit respectively). I was not made for the weather and you would never guess I've lived here since I was born.
This is what my car looked like the other day:
Bye bye windows! And here is the view of the parking lot from the other side:
Please triple the amount of snow in the picture to acurately portray its current state. Any one in need of some extra snow?
In terms of the deadline knitting, I finished knitting the chevron scarf on Sunday (Monday?) and it's currently blocking in my room as such:
Assuming it's dry it should be winging its way out of the country on Saturday. Phew! I was concerned about making that deadline. And at the same time I absolutely can't wait for my scarf to arrive from my pal (please postals gods, send it quick, I'm dying in the cold!).
Now I need to focus on finishing the wayward mathematician socks for Mrs P (hopefully by the time exams are done on the 13th) and then I plan on doing the impossible. Namely knitting two pairs of socks between the 14th and 24th of December. One for my aunt and one for my dad. My aunt's absolutely need to be done. My fathers can be finished during the Cuba trip if need be as we aren't officially having Christmas this year but I do hope to have them done for Christmas day. We'll see how that goes.
I also happened to get my very exciting knitpicks order in this past week but you will have to wait until atleast the weekend for pics so just try to contain your excitement won't you ;) Hope you've all had a good week and wish me luck as I write the Putnam (6 hour math problem solving test written by top math students across Canada and US, in any given year the median mark is usually zero which is probably a good indication of how hard it is) contest on Saturday! Go math!

Friday, November 23, 2007


For the Sock It To Me Twice Swap, in honour of the American Thanksgiving, we've been asked to post a list of the things we are thankful for. And with the craziness that's been my life lately, I think it's a great time to stop and think about that.

1. My family for always loving me and encouraging to grasp every opportunity I'm presented in life.

2. My kitties who are always there to give me a cuddle at the end of a hard day and always give so much more love back for every bit you give them.


3. Having a place to play my music every single week with people who love it just as much.

4. All the teachers and professors I have had that have shown me an incredible amount of support and encouragement as I battle my way to one day having a PhD.

5. As much as I complain, living in a place with four seasons where there is always snow at Christmas.

6. Wonderful friends who accept all of my craziness and love me anyways.
Copy of DSC01272
7. My knitting as an escape from the stress of every day life.

8. Being able to spend my life working and doing what I love, math and statistics which at some times is completely unbelievable to me. Every day this summer I came to work to do research unbelievably grateful that I was being paid to do something I love so much.


(my contributiong to the math/stats bake sale last year!)

9. The simple pleasures in life like a hot bath at the end of the day or a chocolate treat just because it makes me happy.

10. Living in a country where I have the luxury and freedom to do whatever I want in life without being limited by being a woman.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New toy!

I can not begin to tell you all how thrilled I am today! Last night I got my early Christmas present that I've been dying for for months. As I just mentioned yesterday, we're going to Cuba over Christmas which basically means not really anything in the way of Christmas presents. But long before a Christmas vacation was decided on I had been dying for and soliloquizing about wanting nothing but a new digital camera. Convincing my father that it would be a total travesty to take the old camera to Cuba, they decided to go halfers with me on a camera. Hooray! Our old one is from 2002 and so obsolete that my dad decided to inherit it but it needs a new battery and the guys at The Source had never seen the battery and took forever trying to look it up to special order it, ha ha. My old camera is one of the first digital cameras ever and very not up to snuff. But my new one is heaven! And I'm going all sepia crazy. Here are the kitties all sepia'd up:

Awww. I think I will be a picture taking maniac for the next while. Well, as soon as I get a new memory card. The one they sold me isn't compatible with the camera (what great knowledgeable staff huh?) and the internal memory card I'm using only holds 8 pictures. Hopefully I'll get back there soon (they need the original debit card so I must wait for my father to be free and go with me).
But what I love most about it at the moment is what it's done for capturing the colours in my variegated socks. Remember my waving lace socks that always looked like crap every time I tried to photograph them? The pattern/texture would get obscured and lumpy and the colour was all wrong? Well let's take a second look at them:


Mmm... socks. I definitely couldn't do that before! And look at the last one there. I am so happy with the clean line I was getting along the decreases. It was always a struggle with my first few socks but I'm actually able to see an improvement. And that makes me smile. I have no idea why I'm so concerned about stagnating in my sock knitting, maybe it's my eternal self-competitiveness showing up in my knitting. But the socks are a gift so I'm glad that they're the prettiest edges I've ever knit.
Long story short, expect more pictures in the near future :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sock It To Me Twice Questionnaire

1. How long have you been knitting? Do you consider yourself beginner, intermediate, advanced? 1.5 years, intermediate
2. How long have you been knitting socks? Just under a year
3. What are your favorite fibers to work with? Alpaca, cashmere, merino
4. What is your favorite color? Blue but I adore pink in a sock
5. What are your current WIPs (works in progress)? Umm... chevron scarf, mitts, 6 pairs of socks, mystery stole 3, eiffel. But very actively only working on the chevron scarf and two pairs of socks
6. Name your favorite yarns, (brand, fibers, colors, etc.). Debbie Bliss (particularly cashmerino), Yarntini, The Knittery, Claudia Hand Painted, Rowan Calmer, Blue Sky Alpaca, and my absolute favourite dyer Lovesticks in the self striping colourways
7. What are some yarns/fibers that you stay away from. I openly admit to being a yarn snob and avoid acrylic
8. What is your family situation? (Married, kids, pets?) Live at home with my parents and my two princess kitties Misty & Mittens
9. Name some of your hobbies. I play flute/piccolo in a community and German band, I dable in playwrighting, enjoy cross stitching, crochet and am learning to sew. I would also consider math a hobby :)
10. Name some of your favorite movies? Love Actually, Shakespear in Love, Dead Poet's Society, About Schmidt, 28 Days
11. Do you like to read? I love to read and have a subscription at Audible
12. Do you collect anything? Flutes/recorders, cat figurines, tiaras, yarn, Le Petit Prince in foreign languages and by the state of my wardrobe apparently cat fur
13. Do you own an iPod or mp3 player? Yes, an mp3 player
14. What are your favorite type of knitting needles? Addi Turbos, I only have 2, wish all my non-dpn's were addi's *sigh*
15. What knitting notion could you not live without? Once it arrives on my doorstep I'm sure the answer will be the yarn winder and swift. At the moment I'm learning that I can't live without my tape measures that I compulsively lose
16. Who are some of your favorite designers? Debbie Bliss, Cookie A.
17. Do you subscribe to any magazines? (Knitting or otherwise.) CRUX Mathematicorum, the CMS Notes (yes, my name doesn't lie about me being a math geek)
18. When is your birthday? May 10th, 1985 (Whacking Day!)
19. Do you have a "wishlist", (on Ravelry, Froogle, or Amazon)? Loopy Ewe, Amazon
20. Do you have a Ravelry ID? mathgirl
21. If you had a sheep, what would you name it? Probably Lambert after that childhood cartoon who's theme song I still haven't gotten out of my head to this day ("Laaaaambert the sheepish lion, Laaaambert is always trying to be a wild and wooly sheep oh Laaaaaambert, the sheepish lion")

Friday, November 16, 2007

7 things

For the longest time I've seen the seven things about me-ish meme's going around the knit-blogosphere and I've always been meaning to do one. Well, today super awesome downstream Secret Pal Amy got her reveal package (hi Amy!) and perhaps I should tell a bit more about myself now that I don't have to worry about ruining my identity. And I just joined up for the Sockittome Twice swap so I should have an upstream pal lurker around here any day now (hi!). So here we go, 7 interesting things about me:

1) I continually exasperate my parents with my book requests on my Christmas list which have included Preston Manning's autobiography Think Big: My Life in Politics (great book even if I don't support his party!) and A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates which as the name implies is just a huge book of random numbers (and a prized possession of mine!)
2) From grade 2-6 I was in the wrestling club and wrestled at several tournaments
3) I have a strong aversion to foods that mix fruit and meat particularly if the fruit is lemon or orange. The one exception is apricot chicken.
4) I can still do a back bend and put both my feet behind my head :P
5) I have traveld to: the US, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Caymens, Morroco, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Greece. And this year over Christmas I'll be adding Cuba to that list (woo hoo!)
6) I have never watched the Sound of Music (apparently this shocks people).
7) I used to occassionally wear a tiara to school in my senior year of high school and desperately miss that. I have the tiara I wore to grad prominently displayed in my room.

So there you go, some new facts about moi. And just because I'd feel sad about an update without a picture, here's some yarn I've acquired, Yartini in the Strawberry Daquiri colourway, yum!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yesterday I came home after a very crappy day for many reasons. I was rather fed up with everything and wanted nothing to do with anything. It seemed very clear that no good was going to come out of yesterday. Then I got to the mail. And to my utmost surprise and delight was the November shipment of the Sweet Sheep Self Striping Sock Club!
The colourway is so pretty and called Mittens. The yarn is a thick two ply but with such a strong twist in it that it gives this really funky texture to it. This month's dyer is sKNITches and I love it. I just sat down feeling sad, petted the yarn for a while and immediately started to feel better. I really don't know what non-knitters do without pretty yarn to pet when they're sad. Here is the pretty skein :)
There has not been much new on the knitting front. Mainly because I need to start kicking my butt to get my chevron ISE5 scarf done by the December 2nd deadline. I figure that if I spend my relaxing hours before bed knitting it every day and throw in a few extra hours on the weekend I should have it done in time. And just to prove that it has gotten longer since last showing:
It's about 2/3's of my wing span at the moment. And, for anyone out there who has knit this before, could you maybe reassure me that post-blocking it won't pull in at the center so dramatically? I had to keep smoothing it to make it lay flat and that makes me nervous... (well, lots of things make me nervous but I could use one less thing to worry about at the moment).
And, to spread the pretty things to look at joy, I had a $25 credit in my Loopy Ewe account so I succumbed to the Sneak Up and bought some Wollemeise Lace in the colourway Pfauenauge. You must go see that picture. I think I might die a little when it arrives. If only it wasn't taking 3-4 weeks for anything to arrive from the US, *sigh*

Friday, November 9, 2007

Another one

As my knitting turns increasingly baby oriented, some of you may worry that I will run out of babies to make things for (they grow at alarming rates don't they?). Well this was a growing concern for me as well. But thankfully my fears will be delayed for atleast another half year as there is another little one on the way for me to keep cozy in hand knits! I found out last night that my honours thesis (and soon to be masters) supervisor's wife is having another kid in the spring. After failed attempts at correctly guessing sock size of his daughter (they were my first baby socks, you must cut me some slack), I assured him today that I will make the next ones bigger with the possibility of fitting :) Though I hope that I'm not letting all this baby knitting affect my sanity as I just bought a new book Wednesday "Debbie Bliss Essential Baby" and I'm now getting the urge to knit the stroller blanket in that book. You'd think I'd have learned by now how crazy long it takes to knit baby blankets...
In the FO department I did meet my deadline for the Pixie Hat and I'm as pleased as punch with the results. (And the fact that there's enough yarn leftover that I should wind up getting a total of a hat and 2 socks out of the skeins!). Here it is on a willing and then less willing model:
Tomorrow the hat should be delivered to baby J and his mom. And he he will thankfully have his knitted hat before the snow's here to stay.
Not entirely knitting related but I want to do a small plug for an etsy store I recently bought from. While buying a wristlet for my SP, I decided that I really, really wanted one for myself (actually, I found myself buying two of an alarming number of things I bought for my SP... shh!). Mine arrived in the mail today and I adore it. It's from the Midnight Creations etsy store, made by Sandy O'Brien.
I absolutely needed something small to take out with me when I don't want to carry my gigantic purse with a million and one items in it.
And, just as an ending confession, I decided to bite the bullet and put an order in today for a ball winder and swift from Knitpicks. I am very tired of windng hanks by hand and I think this is a well worth investment as I mostly knit socks made from yarn sold in hanks. So, yeah! And while I was there I saw they had Cat Bordhi's new book for only $19 and somewhat cents so I threw that in as well (I'm dying to get my paws on that book!).
Have a great weekend all and wish me luck tomorrow when I write the NCS team math contest paper!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Knitter to the rescue!

Friday evening I was sitting at home, ruminating over how darn cold it was and how sad the snow made me (yes, this is a long drawn out theme around this time every year, don't be surprised) whilst looking at pictures on Facebook when I saw one of Baby J (blue cabled blanket baby) wearing a hat. I was suddenly filled with alarm that it was so cold outside and that he didn't have knitted hats to wear. So naturally I raced to the stash and immediately cast on for a hat. Now, I realized in hindsight that it was all rather bizarre as I'm sure his mother isn't going to let her newborn out without proper winter clothing regardless of whether I knit a hat or not. The panic all seemed rather irrational and I stopped myself from abandoning all homework and other important knitting to madly finish a hat. Is that what having babies in your life does? Previous to little Baby J coming around, I could probably count the number of hours I've spent in the presence of babies in my whole life on one hand. Having him around is totally melting my heart and every Monday I look forward to when his mother tutors at the same time as me so that I can steal him for a bit while she works with students. He's the only one who'll listen to me go on and on about my knitting non stop :) But, I am hoping to have the hat done by the end of the weekend. Here's what it looks like so far:
Eventually the hat will be kind of shaped like a santa hat with a pompom on the end. The pattern is the Pixie Hat from the Debbie Bliss "Simply Baby" book. Too adorable. The colours are matching to the socks that I knit for him previously.
In other teeny tiny knits, last Thursday/Friday in spare moments I whipped up a little sock to fit a sock blocker key chain. I wish that I was claiming it as my own so that I could put my sock blocker key chain with my keys but this one is going out to my Secret Pal who has one. It's almost time to send off the reveal package which I'm very excited for as she's been such a great downstream pal and I can't wait for her to find out who I am. So here is the mini sock I will be coveting in her package:
The yarn is leftovers from my Rocker Girl Jaywalkers. There's still tons left so I'll definitely be making one for myself. Who wouldn't want such a cute and tiny sock?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sound the funeral march

Yesterday marked a very scary day in my city. And it had nothing to do with the holiday. It is a well known fact that in my city you need to design hallowe'en costumes to be worn over winter clothes because October 31st seems to be Mother Nature's unofficial deadline. All across the city people were in denial and I heard many people saying, "Don't say the "s" word." But all the wishing and hoping it to go away didn't change anything. It was the first snow fall of the year. Granted, it melted as soon as it hit the ground and there's no sign of it's arrival today but this marks the beginning of a slippery slope. Namely the path to not seeing ground until late April/May. Now I love snow just as much as the next person but after 6/7 months of it, my patience begins to draw really thin. Please think your warmest and wooliest thoughts for my poor little city and hopefully we'll squeeze a week more out of the clear ground weather. As much as I love my kittyville hat, I hope it stays away for as long as possible.
On the good news topic, today I finished the first of the Waving Lace socks which is a very big accomplishment. It's just a touch snug on me so I'm hoping it'll be just the right fit for Mrs P when they get to her. Here are some better pictures than what I've been showing:
And I have no idea what i did to deserve this but instead of having to go on a hunt for more of the same dyelot, there was this left over:
Half a teaspoon of yarn left. That shouldn't have happened. Fitting sweaters, extra yarn? Who has stolen the knitting gods and replaced them with these benevolent over-see-ers? Or perhaps the better question, who has angered them so bad that they've stopped playing around with me all together? I feel very sorry for who ever that person is.
And by request, my reward yarn:
12 skeins of Debbie Bliss cashmerino in a pale pink colour. I got a good deal as the store had just marked them down by like 2 dollars a ball to adjust for the better exchange rate plus a 10% off full bag discount. Oh how I love cashmerino. It's just so nice on the hands and so squishy. I could just sit around mindlessly petting it all night :) The plans are to use it for Eiffel.
But I must now go to my class at the Y then off to band and hopefully forgetting that anything fell from the sky yesterday...