Thursday, August 30, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

Where to start? Maybe with this, which I would really like to have a bit of right now:

Organic gin (Wow!). Is there organic tonic I can mix it with?
This week has been crazy. And it is not even over yet.
Today was probably the first time since I work at the university that I almost lost it. Which, if I compare to previous jobs, is not bad at all. After all, I've been there over a year and a half now.
By the end of the day, there were 2 funding proposals and 5 abstracts submitted, including my own. That's what I call a productive day.

Anyway, this nice bottle was offered to me by Cherie and Brad, friends from Wisconsin, who I just had the chance to have a coffee with on Monday morning, while I was waiting for my bus to get back to 3R. I'm more used to see Cherie late at night, when we party together at Hungarian events, but this quick early meeting was great.

So Monday, I took a bus back to 3R after having spent my weekend in St-André-Avelin. No, I had not heard about that place before either. However, some people had the great idea to organize the 1st Twist Yarn Festival there last weekend. I registered as soon as I heard about it, a few months ago. Then my friend Elizabeth told me that her and her sisters were going to be there too as vendors. A whole weekend knitting with my knitting friends? How can a weekend get better?

The magical very full yarn bus
Some of sweet paprika designs and yarn
Well, it can. If you invite one of my idols to run a workshop. So, for my first ever workshop, at my first ever yarn festival, I got to spend a whole day with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot), learning all about knitting belts, Shetlands, lever knitting and  other tricks to knit more quickly and more efficiently. It was fabulous, although my head and wrists hurt a lot at the end of the day. I didn't even sign up thinking about learning anything. I was under the impression that I would sit down all day and just listen to her funny stories, so I was not really ready to work so hard, but I am glad I did.

OMG, OMG, I am TOUCHING the Yarn Harlot!!!

Being in that class felt very weird. I mean, I've been following her blog religiously ever since I started knitting, so I came to feel as if I know her personally. I don't think I was the only one in the classroom; everybody asked her questions about her recent activities. After a few minutes, when I realized (I mean, I knew!, but still...) that we did not, indeed, know each other, that feeling evolved into another one. I almost felt like I am stalking her...I mean, I know everything about her life, and she has no clue who I am. It is very weird to explain, but this is the closest to how I can explain it. I guess this is the downside of having such a popular blog. I'm just trying to imagine how many other knitters feel like me...that's a lot of love to handle!

Yarn festival means yarn shopping, right? Not in my case! I have no idea how to choose yarn between a vendor and another, and how many skeins to get, etc. So I bought a bunch of other stuff linked to yarn, most of them ceramic (because I didn't get the chance to go to the fabulous 1001 pots ceramic exhibition this year) :-(

Here is my new knitting bowl (céramique de l'érable bleu, no website unfortunately)
New buttons (just need to knit them something...) The blue and red ones are from céramique de l'érable bleu, and the green and khaki ones are from Laura Sheppard
I could seriously have bought everything from those 2 stores.

But, in a yarn festival, is there knitting happening? Oh yeah!

So technically, between my buses to and from Montreal, time spent at the booth, and during the workshop, I had time to finish my Peasy. Except that, as you can see, binding off the edge trim has made it shrunk by half an inch. And that's because it is the 3rd time I'm redoing it. The first time was much funnier (not for me...ok, a little), it looked so ridiculous. I've tried to bind off with bigger needles, I've tried with different techniques, I just don't know what to do anymore. I do not want it shorter, so I'll have to find a solution. I still have one bind off method that I need to try, I'm now just trying to find the courage to undo everything once again.

Meanwhile, I've started to cast on my folded. Ouch, that yarn is tiny! Let's hope I finish it before the end of the winter, it's going to be a nice spring sweater.

Half a day left to my work-week, then it is a long weekend here in Canada. Hopefully I'll have plenty of pictures of (at least!) one finished room next week.

Good night!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Entertainement palace

Since the last time I wrote, our house has become a cool place to hang out.
It started with a barbecue with my colleagues, spouses and kids (about 25 people) on a Wednesday evening.

party backyard
The day after, my man, now confident that we could have people over, invited friends for dinner. Over the weekend, 2 other friends came from Montreal with a baby (the cutest one in the world, I must add).

I must say that it is easier to have people over now that our living room went from this:

the original living room, before we bought the house (picture NOT taken by me!)

to this:

May 1st, after my man spent several hours taking the old carpet off
to this (arrgggh!):
and now this:

July 2012
It's not finished, but I love the bright, almost empty space. I hope I can keep it this way when we are done, but knowing myself, it will be difficult...

Then this weekend, my parents came over. It was the first time they saw the house, and I think they liked it. We got to enjoy the backyard a lot, my mother and I knitting, my dad reading, and all of us drinking  watermelon-blueberry juice (my new favourite summer drink: put some watermelon in a container. Add whatever berries you have. Add herbs (I tried with chocolate mint and basil). Add some lime juice. Maybe a little bit of something sweet (I have agave nectar). Then I use my hand blender, bjjjuuut, bjjuuutt. Add some bubbly water. If you are not with your 80-something parents, add some rum as well, pour on ice, enjoy.

Having guests over means that we get a nice break from the renos (thanks guests! Please come more often!) and that we get to go to our favourite places to show them off to them.

On the craft side, nothing much, I get to knit when I take the bus to work, and since I'm trying more and more to bike, my poor peasy is not happening very quickly. However, it has now made it to the stage of "thing I can see myself wearing in the future". Hopefully in October, when I need warm clothes.

I quite proud of it, mostly because so far, I've only needed minimal external intervention when I made mistakes. I'm now an expert at dropping stitches intentionally so I can go fix something. I'm going to knock on wood, but hopefully, it will go this way until the end.

Tomorrow, we are going to Montreal with my man's nephews to see a Star Wars exhibition and eat in Chinatown. That's a minimum of 2 hours of knitting on the way there, and maybe 2 more on the way back, if we come back before dark. How exciting!

Have a great weekend!