Saturday, March 23, 2013

Back to winter wonderland

I spoke too quickly, of course; we got an extra 20 cm of snow this week, bringing us back to winter. But of course, we, being used to Canadian winters, know all about this annual mid-March storm, which bring big heavy flakes of wet snow: it's the last storm that brings an eventual spring...I'm happy to have a little bit of white covering the ugly grey of our early spring.

I managed to go ski before the end of the winter! 

The only thing is that this year, I had already experienced a little bit of real spring, by spending a few days in Washington last week, where I presented at the ACC-RAC.

Random cute house with cherry blossoms in Washington
The presentation went very well, and my team wan 2 prizes out of 9. I was very proud of our postdoctoral and PhD students who wan. It was also fun to meet authors I heard about over and over in the past 2 years I've been working with this research team.I managed to wear something I made (and to take a picture of it...)
My skirt! 

Being there for work, there was not too much time to visit, so we carefully prepared our itinerary for the one day off we had.

We ended up spending half a day visiting all the main monuments
Michelle's garden!

And then spent the second half of that day visiting the Smithsonian museums. I was there with my man and 3 male students, a chiropractor, a kinesiologist, and an engineer. The guys decided to visit the museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs, and I decided to visit the Museum of American History.

It was awesome. I had time to see everything, from the different wars that USA participated in to Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. There was a lot about American pop culture, with Kermit the frog, Dorothy's ruby slippers and Julia Child's kitchen.

Washington was also great for its wonderful food: we had awesome Mexican, Ethiopian and Turkish food! Nothing that can be found in 3R!

And I had a little time to knit..waiting for the plane on the way back. I also managed to go to a yarn store near our hotel, but I didn't have much time to shop, because my boss was with me. I ended up buying the cutest buttons ever. I'll take a picture for the next entry.

Then I came back to work. I was supposed to go back working full time as a research clerk (not sure at all of the translation...), but somehow, because of a few misunderstandings, I still worked 4 jobs this week. But Monday morning, my replacement is supposed to show up at the clinic, and April 1 should be when I go back to a quiet. life of only 2 jobs. Just in time to start preparing for my next trip: a week in Paris with my 2 aunts, who are both 80 and over, but incredibly active, curious and interested in everything (just the way I hope to be at their age).  I think it's going to be a lot of fun!!!
More details in the next entry. Have a great week!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

First FO of the year

The end of February has been snowy here. We got a lot of snow for several days in a row, non stop. It was beautiful. And now, 2 weeks later, BANG!  I woke up this morning and it is spring. Temperatures are over 0,  the sun is out early (although we change the time tonight), the birds are back, and there is a constant sound of water, because of all the snow that is melting. It feels very feng shui.



March! You can't see it, but the snow on the roof is melting and it almost sounds like there is a fountain or a river near by. 

All the windows of the house are open for a little bit of fresh air. Feels so good! 
Crafty news...
This week, I finally, finally finished my folded. By the time I finished it, I just wanted to throw it out of the window, and set it on fire :-(

Everything went so well, including the sleeves with DPN and including the folding, so I was not ready for the nastiness of the collar. Everything that could happen happened. I redid it about 14 times. I blame myself, for making stupid mistakes and thinking that from one row to the other, I could remember how to start a short row with a YO (not!). But there is something in that yarn, mixed with needles, that just drove me nuts in the last few hours I spent on that sweater. Somehow, it was as if the needles were so big, they made everything so loose, and it created wholes. At the end, I didn't know if they were actual wholes or loose stitches and I kept trying to fix things that were maybe not wrong. I ended up deciding that that would be it, because even if I wanted to undo some rows to start the collar again, I had no idea where I would have had to start from. I tried it on several times (even while I knitted it, which I think contributed to the loosening of the stitches) and it was ok. The I tried to block it. Oh my. As soon as I took it out of the water, I knew there was something wrong. I felt the whole thing stretching, and I as I was placing it to block, I was not able to put in into place.
So here is the result (it's not as bad as I expected, but still...):
All the shape at the waist has disappeared. The collar fits because I redid the BO 3 or 4 times until it was tight enough. I also knitted only 3/4 of the rows I was supposed to after the folds. Anyway, it's wearable, and it's a nice casual sweater, but I think that if I was to knit it again, I would just do it one size smaller.
This week, I went back to familiar baby patterns, so the next few weeks should be easier in terms of knitting for me.

In the past few weeks, I also worked a little bit on my next sewing project in my sewing class, but there too, the results are not convincing. I cut the pattern and the fabric, and started to assembly it, but I had to undo everything I did because the pattern had to be modified to make the shoulders smaller. The crafty life of a  pear-shaped woman is not easy!

However, something that is going well is weaving.
Last week I practiced finishing techniques.

And I started to warp my loom for baby blankets, with the help of a lady I met in my weaving class a few weeks ago. So far, so good. I can't start to weave the patterns I chose!

The rest of my life is good. I bought Valerian and used it for about a week, and it helped a lot going through the nigh without having insomnia. This week, I woke up only a few times, and last night I had a wonderful 7 hours  of sleep in a row. Digestion problems are also going away. I know everything is getting better because my work situation is getting better, and that both are linked. I practised the presentation I'll be giving next week in Washington, and instantly felt so much calmer. The very frustrating thing is to know what causes all the health problems, and yet not being able to control them. My work situation should improve again when I come back from the conference next week, so let's see if I get my energy back then.
Have a good week!