Friday, 27 March 2009

Socks Therapy

Socks Therapy

Mindless knitting can be one of the most useful things this knitter can do when her mind is spinning, the schedule overloaded, and patience is in short supply.

For me, that's usually been socks. Even though my contribution to this year's Fibre-to-Scarf wasn't exactly mentally taxing, I've been waiting to hear results back about projects, and needed something simple and soft to work on that would calm my brain.

Despite their not-exactly-subtle electric pinkness, these toe-up, short-row heel Rambouillet socks were the perfect thing to work on.

Socks Therapy - Detail

Here's a better look at one of the feet: I knit these on 4 mm needles, which gave me five stitches to the inch on the foot section (on my long narrow foot, that's 40 stitches).

After working an inch or so of plain knitting on the cuff, I switched to knit two, purl two ribbing for another inch, and then started increasing two stitches every inch on the cuff to fit my calves better.

After the last increase, I worked another inch of ribbing (now on 52 stitches) and then worked a sewn bind-off to preserve the stretchiness.

These didn't take me a week from start to finish, and after a good washing, they feel just wonderful.

Now, if the weather would only improve enough here to let me wear the Birkies....

Thursday, 19 March 2009

After the flood is gone....

After the flood is gone, part 2

Weather here in Calgary can turn on a dime: two weeks ago, we had a chinook that sent huge amounts of meltwater into the storm drains. Unfortunately, the City of Calgary didn't bother opening the gates into the river and the water backed up rather severely in our neighbourhood.

We're fine, but not far away, there was some major damage, with a few houses still uninhabitable. Memorial Drive, the main east-west road on the north side of the river, was closed to traffic: you can see where the water was, and where the police were stationed to keep folks off the rather icky mess left on the tarmac.

Not that I had much time to dwell on the neighbourhood happenings -- I was too busy down at the Saddledome, immersed in the Brier (the men's national curling championship). See the pictures from my adventure here.

I worked with the two Canadian Curling Association staff to publish Tankard Times, the free tabloid daily newspaper, where I got to be the point-of-contact for most of the Mount Royal College Journalism students who wrote a range of pieces.

Apart from giving their work the once-over, I also managed to write two pieces of my own. It's been awhile since I've done that sort of print work, but it was a breeze to get back into it. Met some wonderful people, ran into an old friend, and stretched my brain.

And, at last, I can talk about one sub rosa project I was working on: this year's Fibre-to-Scarf Challenge organized by knitter extraordinaire Ted Myatt. Although I had until the end of June to finish, I knew that I needed to get it done sooner rather than later, and completed my mobius cowl in good order.

Now that I can talk about it, I've also made public some of the pictures I've taken of it in progress -- that's a look at one of the five bobbins of singles I spun up for the two-ply below.

F-to-S Singles

Update on my dental surgery: many thanks to everyone who's asked how I'm doing. Tooth came out fine, dental implant and some fluffy bone to replace it went in. There was a fair bit of pain, particularly when my stitches started to unravel a bit because of some other issues, which have now been resolved. Stitches came out yesterday and I'm on a short course of antibiotics "just in case" which has really made a huge difference: I actually slept through the night last night.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Happy Blog Birthday


(The handwritten addition just cracks me up -- some days, you need a good laugh....)

I'm surprised that I'm still blogging after two years: maybe it's because I don't write much, or often. That being said, I've got a better record with the blog that I have with my journal since I started doing blog, and I have done some other writing lately, so....

Part of the reason I haven't been writing much here lately is that I've just been swamped with stuff.

Thirty-plus years ago, I had an accident that resulted in smashing up a tooth rather badly (along with a couple of stitches in my lower lip). A series of crowns had been doing a fine job since, but a few weeks ago, the latest started to wiggle loose.

Several dental visits and a great deal of money later (hurrah for insurance), and I'm now recuperating from yesterday's surgery for an implant. I'm no big fan of any sort of medical treatments, but I've got a fine dentist I like and trust, and everything went well, so in six months, I'll be 100%.

But I have been spending a lot of time there lately -- the joke that I should just camp out is starting to wear thin, I think -- and between that and finishing off my Guild of Bookworkers Marking Time entry, which was sent off two days early, no less, I'm back playing catch-up with other deadlines, one of which is next Wednesday.

That set of forms is, however, mostly done, plus I can file the whole thing electronically, which is a decided advantage: I've got as many fingers and toes crossed for this adventure as is physically possible, and will post more details if/when it comes through.

The push is on to finish it much sooner because I'm volunteering at the Brier, the Canadian Men's National Curling Championship. When it was here in 2002, I went to see a morning draw live, and it was terrific: when Calgary was again announced as host, I knew I wanted to be part of the experience from the inside.

That's one reason we took curling lessons last year, but certainly not the only one: it's a whole heap of fun too.

So long as I can also scrape out some quality knitting time, it's going to be an interesting couple of weeks....

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