Saturday, March 24, 2012

Retail therapy

I don't know why I woke up feeling blah this morning.

I had a good week, once again full of good news. I'm starting working full time on Monday, passing from 3 to 5 days a week which will mean an interesting improvement to my income, right on time for the renos and the move to the new house.

I learned this week that a brand new yarn shop is going to open soon a corner away from here. Hurray!

Last night I had a wonderful evening, the City of 3R was awarded another prize, and my man invited me to come along to the cocktail reception that took place. Yummy tapas and lots of Portuguese wine, yum! 

It might be that I am a little sad to loose the free time I had when I worked 3 days a week;

It might be that I'm now going to have to look for a dentist and a hairdresser here, and abandon the ones I still had in Montreal because I will not be able to go visit them on my days off anymore (actually, it really means that my links to Montreal are getting weaker and weaker...);

It might be that I had insomnia all week;

It might be that I didn't go to Pilates yesterday; 

It might be that I am not inspired by my latest pattern on the loom:

Left: fun. Right: boring colours, boring treadling.

It might be that I tried about 10 times to start knitting on double-pointed needles this week, to practice, to try to knit socks, to try to knit booties, and no, it's just not working;

It might be that I find I'm not learning crochet fast enough; 

It might be that my beautiful Peasy, after many tries, still looks like this:

Frogged twice, tink-ed several times, and it is still not working.
It might just be (and I suspect it is...) that I did not drink enough water last night when we arrived from the awards, and that I'm dehydrated. (Actually, I'm pretty sure that's it).

Anyway, I spent my morning at Winners to get myself in a better mood, and scored big!  My favourite items:

All fun items to move, right? The pot-holders are from Poland (Ceramika Bolesławiec). I've seen some when I was in Poland, and my former landlady had a collection. I love that I can display my newly acquired pieces in a useful way (I'm not really a big fan of putting plates on the wall where they mostly collect dust, although it is something very popular in all of Eastern Europe). 

Shopping is not over, we are invited tonight to our future house to pick what we would like to keep. I can't wait! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This and that

So, this is how my loom looked like for a few days this week. If you don't know why this picture just makes me want to stop breathing, let me explain: the fabric has to be tight, and it also has to be a few inches away from the wood part, so I can weave. Here, it means I cannot pass my thread and beat it. So when that happened, I tried to figure out the physics of the loom, I knew there was a way, I was looking at the break, knowing it it had something to do with it, but my spatial intelligence is so minimal (and my arms and legs so short) I could not do anything. Of course, when my man arrived, it took him a whole 15 seconds to fix it. I hope it also has to do with the fact that he saw his grand-mother weave when he was little, and it is not only me who is so spatial-dumb!

Anyway, it has been a grey, humid week here, which means that pretty much nothing got done on the loom. I just had no energy, after it got fixed. Today doesn't look better, but I will try to use coffee, loud music, the fact that I am home alone all day, and the slight feeling of panic at the fact that really, if I want to bring that loom with me in the new house, I have to weave more to motivate me. 

On the knitting side, the seamless cardi has been sent to (and received in) Vancouver. Before the baby was born. I think that might be a premiere for me. Now I'm thinking about adding a pair of booties to it. I might just start that today, given that I started my peasy twice already, and it is not working. I know I can figure it out, it's just that I need to really concentrate on one particular paragraph and do it right. I have to get rid of a few rows, but I don't know how to get rid of increases if I just TINK, so I'm kind of looking at what I have done so far and I have no idea, and no motivation. I just don't feel like starting again from scratch today, so I might just start the booties instead.

This week I also started a crochet course.  So far so good, it was mostly a review of what my friend Elizabeth had quickly showed me this summer in Europe, plus a little bit on how to read a pattern. I'm looking for an easy pattern to practice, until my next course in 2 weeks. I also want to make sure I have all the vocabulary in both French and English, as I know I will be crocheting more in English than in French, and my course is in French. This is what I really want to make, when I know what I'm doing. I'm just not going to start with a sweater this time!

I also had good news on the professional side, I might start working full time in April. Right now, I'm happily working 3 days a week, and I was told that I might get a 2nd contract at the university in September, but someone else heard about me, and asked if I would be available to work in her lab for the summer. (That's so weird to write, I never, ever, thought I would end working in a lab, and now I might work in 2!!!) I would be very sad to give up my 2 days off, but with the house, I can't really say no. I also spoke to the person I might start to work with in September, and his project look so interesting, and so close to what I actually did when I did my master's that I would be crazy not to take it. I have to admit that it feels good to feel professionally loved, I haven't had hat feeling in a long time! And it is weird that it is happening for jobs that I would never have thought to apply for.

I'm often thinking about all that I heard and read about a few years ago, when I was unhappy with jobs I really worked hard to get. It was all about setting life goals, and figure out how to achieve them, and visualizing the results. None of it happened. Then, somehow, I ended here, the unemployment capital, and since, everything seems to be falling into place. Perhaps I just had to let it go, which for me, the over-analytic organiser, was much harder to do that to set goals! 

Anyway, enough philosophy for a Saturday morning, I've got to get to my loom.

Happy St-Paddy's day, everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to my normal mistakes

I was able to weave and knit a little more this week, slightly stressed by the fact that a loom has to be moved, and a baby will soon come. I'm not even going to talk about my future peasy, there are too many other priorities right now. Such as 5 expecting friends. 5. Five. Cinq. What??? (Well, as of Monday, it is actually 4 expecting friends, and a newborn).  How did that happen? Where did I meet all these baby-makers??? Fortunately, they're not all close friends, and some probably don't know I knit, and don't expect anything, but on the other hand, I find that one of the greatest pleasures of knowing how to knit is to be able to give people special presents. I'll see what I can manage to do, I've been having a lot of insomnia lately, I could put that time to good use.

Talking about baby knit, I got a little further with my cardigan. I'm even learning to knit with double pointed needles for it, happy to know that I will eventually be able to use that skill for a future pair of socks. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at keeping all my stitches on my needles, and currently, after I almost lost it yesterday, the cardigan looks like this:

Not too bad, except for this:

There is a whole in my sleeve :-(
I'm not sure what to do, so I'm using my favourite strategy, which is to leave it aside until tomorrow morning, when I'll have a clearer mind, and will be able to TINK it. (I just learned that word from a very funny video I discovered this week:

Meanwhile, in weaving land, all is good. I was able to start and weave over 20 inches of piece #3, and I think it is my favourite pattern so far. It is also an easy pattern, but very quick to weave because there are several different  steps in the treadling (It's goes much faster if I check how many more inches I have after doing 2 or 3 times a six-step treadling, than if I check after 2 or 3 2-steps one). I know, I'm not patient, but I'm on a deadline!

End of previous piece, beginning of the new one. It's crazy what the difference the pedals' order can make! 
Details of the new piece. I love it.

 And here is the system I described in my last post, for the broken threads.

I can manage how long I want the correct thread to be.
The weights in the recipient help keeping the right tension.
My goal is to finish the baby piece and this 3rd woven piece for Monday. I have a meeting with my Farmers' circle on Monday, where we usually bring our F.O. to share with other crafters, and I've been able to bring something in November, January and February. I would really like to have something to show at each meeting until the end of the year (June). Hopefully I'll have woven bags for the last meeting!
Until then, I hope to have something new for the next post, this is getting redundant!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This is what my loom looked liked since Sunday night.

I spent a good part of my day weaving and fixing things. I could not remember what I learned to do in that case, after much internet search, and lots of research in the several books I own, I tried 2 things, one involving tying threads and pining it to the piece, and the other involving changing the thread for 1 whole piece, and having it dangling, attached to a weight. After trying several things, and reading about packing a 35mm film case with coins, I tried with a One touch test strips (the thing you need to use if you have diabetes) and that worked well. I was so upset at all that wasted time that I didn't think of taking pictures.

Anyway, at the end of the day, after I fixed several threads, after my man fixed a monster problem with one of my bobbin, and after I finished my 2nd piece, I gave up when I realised that I had 2 more broken threads. There's definitively something wrong with the warping, and I still have to work for 12 yards with it...I just fixed them now, I hope it will last for a few inches.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quick Friday update

I didn't finish anything this week, but I got my 2 main projects a little bit further.

First, the seamless baby sweater has entered its sleeves phase. Not as easy, not as quick as the rest, but I'm learning/practising how to knit with double pointed needles.

I can't remember if I mentioned it in my last post, but I had quite a surprise, after becoming such a fan of the way the pattern was written, to discover that there is no instruction for the end of the piece. It doesn't say how long it should be. I figured it out by myself by counting the ridges required to get to the last button, which has to be in the last 5 rows of garter stitch. I must say that figuring out this on my own made me feel very knowledgeable! But the main problem is that there is no instructions for the sleeves length either. It says to knit up to where we want them to finish. That might be enough instructions if you are knitting for a baby that is already born, and who you have access too, but the recipient of this piece is still in her mum's womb, 3725 km away from here. So, no, I'm not impressed. I just can't believe the difference in details between the beginning of the pattern and its end. Anyway, I ended up finding a good web site that helped me figuring out what to do.

The other rather urgent project I worked on this week is weaving. I was able to weave a quite a bit, and I'm hoping to have enough time today and tomorrow to finish my 2nd piece.

That will mean that I'll have 463 inches left to weave before the move in 84 days. Oh my, that means I need to weave more than 5 inches a day. OK, got to get back to the loom! (who knew craft would transform me in such a mathematician?).

Have a great weekend!