Monday, June 23, 2008


*Warning, long picture heavy post*
Well, it seems like it's finally time for a long over due post on my trip down to Montreal with the side trip to Kingston as it's definitely been a highlight of the year so far. I must say that getting there was adventure enough. Straight from convocation I went to the airport and hopped on a plane to Toronto. In Toronto I hopped on the down town shuttle bus and went to the bus depot. AT 9:15 pm I got on a bus and arrived in Ottawa at 2:00 am where I had to transfer buses. By 4:30 am I was sufficiently sleep deprived but safely in Montreal. After blindly turning down streets I managed to find the residences on pure lucky guesses wanting no more than to sleep, only to find that they'd lost my reservation for the first night despite the fact that I had the confirmation saying I was book from the 1st and an email conversation with the place informing them of my odd arrival time. The night clerk was kind enough to eventually give me a room on the condition that I came down to sort things out with the day clerk as soon as I woke up.
The first two days I spent at the Canadian Mathematical Society summer meeting attending and chairing meetings. Not terribly exciting but I enjoy the people that I'm working with so all's good. The Tuesday night we got to go to the student social which was a boat cruise. It was nice enough but spoiled a little but by rain and the fact that the music sounded like it came from a bad nineties prom, but I digress :) Afterwards we found a sports bar just in time for the last 3 seconds of the third period hockey playoff game but were treated to two and a half periods of exciting over time so that was fabulous.
But the really exciting day was Wednesday. At about 10:00 in the morning I was waiting to be picked up by Robyn when I was spotted by her friend Angela who she was also picking up. We'd never seen pictures of each other but apparently my bag full of yarn was a dead give away, lol. I then got the lovely privilege of visiting her online yarn store in person at her house. We picked up her sister Amy, and off we went t Kingston to visit the Yarn Harlot.
In Kingston we first stopped off at the Michaels as they apparently do not exist in Quebec. I was very confused at first why they were so excited about this specific Michaels, but that made sense. As it turns out, there is reason to be excited about that specific Michaels as it sells fat quarters. Who knew? I stocked up on fabric :) We then went to the LYS where I picked up some On Your Toes sock yarn in a bamboo blend, some new sock yarn and some Misti Alpaca Lace. Yum.
Now, while that was all very exciting, the real exciting part came next. Chapters!!!! We arrive at the Chapters an hour early for the event and go check out the set up. Please try to contain your giggles, but this is how many chairs they had set up:
Yah... right. As people filled the seats like hot cakes the store eventually caught on that they might just need a few more chairs. They managed to about triple the number of chairs and started telling the still droves of people coming that they had no more chairs. Somehow they managed to find another 20 or so chairs but people were still sitting on the floor and standing.
After much waiting
The moment finally arrived
It was the Harlot. And I have to say that she was everything that I ever expected and so much more. She's witty and endearing. I got to hear her say arse :) But more than anything, she was very relatable. She sounded like she was having a casual conversation with all of us which I totally appreciated. It was amazing at one point when someone asked how many of us were knitting socks and almost the entire crowd raised a sock. This whole knitting subculture still baffles me at times. The sock I was knitting on, featured a bit below, attracted much attention from the older ladies sitting around me and the girl beside me asked if she could feel it at one point durring the talk, lol. Only amongst knitters...
Afterwards as Robyn had her little one with her we got to get out books signed first and I got my photo taken with the Harlot
Then it was time to pack up and say good bye to some very fine knitters whom I'm very glad to have met in real life:
Me and Robyn
Sean, Amy and Robyn
Magda (who joined us at the Chapters event) and Robyn
There was also Angela who I don't have a picture of from that night but played tour guide for me the next day and took me yarn shopping at Ariadne Knits. We got to stay around on the couch all afternoon and knit. It's a very lovely store and the owners are super nice. I highly recommend stopping by if you're ever in Montreal.
Me and my sock
The sock
My haul! Hooray!
Looks like a yarn filled trip no? Thanks to all the hospitable Montreal knitters who made my experience so much better! For anyone who wants more pics go see Robyn's entry.

SP12 Question of the week #2

As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

I'd have to say that the part of the summer I always looked most forward to is summer camp. I used to go to Girl Guide Camp every summer and positively loved it. The crafting, the singing, the campfires, the hiking and the canoing. Oh the canoing! How I desperately missed doing that. The food was always delicious and every year I made really great friends.

As I got older I think the one thing I looked most forward to is, and I'm told lots of people relate so no laughing, buying school supplies. I'd drive my parents insane bugging them to go as early as possible. All the new pens, fresh paper, clean binders, it's inspiring. I still adore that like crazy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quilt love

Today's scheduled blog post of my Montreal forays has been pre-empted yet another time because of a very special piece of mail that arrived at my house today.
As any regular blog reader knows, I've recently started quilting but as early as last fall I started wanting to learn how to sew and went looking for sewing blogs. While not many have held my interest there are two that I love and follow closely. The first is Amy Karol's Angry Chicken which is very popular in the sewing circles. The other I found by link hopping through sites, Jody's Because I'm Me.
She's a mother of 5 with a sixth on the way who she home schools. She's also a crafter, mostly quilts and baby garments, for herself and for her etsy store . There are many reasons why I love reading her blog. One would totally be about me. I'm an only child who's always dreamed of a big family. I love ready about their outings, trips and family traditions. She speaks of them always so fondly and I find it very heart warming. I love her blog because I think her quilts are gorgeous. They are fun in style, design and colour. But I also love her blog because of the great sense of humility she gives in her writing. She's not afraid of talking about what is going wrong, and I don't mean in a venty way, but in an honest discussion of her hurdles as a crafter. The outcome is always spectacular, but she talks about her work in such a way that I relate as a new quilter/sewer and I don't feel intimidated. I do believe that it's well worth the read for any one here.
But what does that have to do with today? Back in March she was blogging about a quilt that had been giving her a particularly large amount of trouble mostly due to an appliqued butterfly. From the last blog entry about it (the first linked entry), she was a bit disheartened with how it turned out. But I was absolutely captivated by it since the first time it was mentioned on her blog. She first considered giving it away in a blog contest and I must admit that my heart dropped a bit knowing that it would be going out into the world and the chances were slim that it was going to me. Then I didn't win the blog contest but as it turned out she gave away a new prize and this quilt wound up in her etsy store.
I kept telling myself that I shouldn't be spending the money. But I kept going back to the etsy site and there it was every time. And each time I longed for this quilt. And that's not usually how I am to still be thinking about it two months later. It soon became clear that the world was doing every thing in it's power to get me this quilt :) and I would never be happy with myself unless I bought it. So today this showed up:

And I'm not letting it out of my sight. I absolutely adore it. My favourite things in life are funky socks, sweaters and blankets. All comfort items. I really don't know what it is about this quilt but I can't think of a single I've bought that I've been this enamoured with.
Thank you so much Jody for making this quilt, it may not have turned out how you wanted it, but I thinks it's perfect.

SP12 Question the week #1

SP12 question of the week #1 (Canadian spelling version!):

What is your favourite summer time drink?
Strawberry margarita hands down. But on a cold day, hot lemonade :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I know I have other posts to make, but I couldn't resist this meme that Amy and Robyn were doing:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? Jenna
2. What is your favorite food? Perogies
3. What high school did you go to? Westwood
4. What is your favorite color? blue "Just another...."
5. Who is your celebrity crush? patrick dempsey
6. Favorite drink? strawberry margarita
7. Dream vacation? Europe
8. Favorite dessert? mint choclate chip ice cream
9. What you want to be when you grow up? professor
10. What do you love most in life? freedom
11. One word to describe you. independent
12. Your flickr name. mathgirl85 (searched for as math girl 85)

1. jenna, 2. perogies, 3. The Big Tree, 4. Just another...., 5. McDreamy getting dreamy, 6. Tipsy, 7. "La mia casa รจ il mare e con un fiume no, non la posso cambiare", 8. Mint Chocolate-Chip, 9. beauty = truth, etc., 10. zero gravity, 11. ms. independent, 12. 100 Ways of a Wanderluster

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm back!

Well, I'm back from my wonderful trip to Montreal and back into the daily grind. Lots has happened in the last week. Grad, traveling, knitting icons, meetings, new socks, quilting, knit bloggers, yarn purchases, fabric purchases,... and I just don't know where to start. So we'll try to break this up into several posts over the week. Consider this a re-entry hello and I'll give you a few samplers of what's to come :)
First, this is the last record of me pre-being a university graduate:
Awww! And here is me having just received my degrees and medals from the chancellor, the dean of science and our president/vice-chancellor Lloyd Axworthy (of the ex-minister of foreign affairs fame):
And we ofcourse can't forgot the obligatory pic with the family:
So yeah! I now have my degrees. I only wish I could say I was at the half way point to being finished university but I'm not, atleast 6 years left until the PhD and counting!
Straight from graduation I hopped on a plane and headed off to Montreal where I had a wonderful time at the Canadian Mathematical Society Summer Meeting and general sight seeing. As I've been there doing the tourist-y thing 3 times before I really didn't take any pictures of Montreal itself except this one which I fell in love with on the first day as I walked to the conference from the residences, I think it's incredibly sweet:
So much to say but I can't possibly say it all in one post so here's a sneak peek at what to expect this week her chez mathgirlknits:


But that's not for right now. I'll tide you over with a meme I was tagged for by Robyn:

1. What I was doing 10 years ago: Just about finished grade 7, very interesting right? I imagine studying for exams and counting down the days until band camp.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
-Go to step/body link at the Y
-Read more of the bridge book
-Mail off papers to the U of M
-Sew two more strips onto the quilt blocks
-Blog (check!)

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Fuzzy peahces, sour cream and bacon chips, dill pickles, freezies

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
Travel, move out of the city, get more cats :)

5. Places I have lived:
Winnipeg, Manitoba

P.S. Big hello to my upstream secret pal if you're hanging out blog stalking!