Friday, August 31, 2007

I feel like I robbed a yarn store. I went to the Halifax KOL Stash Swap on Tuesday night and made out like a bandit. I really didn't bring very much either, so I am feeling quite a bit of yarn guilt. But not enough guilt to give the yarn back, let's not get crazy here kids.

There is this beautiful striping yarn that is destined to be a pair of socks for a parental figure in my life, probably my step dad or Grandad, haven't decided yet.

This wonderful Opal will probably do the same, for whoever didn't get the first pair of socks.

And this RED RED RED alpaca will be a Clapotis for my step mother who adores the color red.

All that beautiful yarn makes up for the $300 speeding ticket I got that morning. Well almost.

In other news I finished the shrug for Anne Marie's wedding. I think it turned out really cute. More rustic that I wanted it to be, but I still really like it. I would post a picture of me wearing it but sadly I have been abandoned by my boy for the weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I have been plugging away at the Two Toned Ribbed Shrug from Fitted Knits. It's amazing how fast you can knit a sweater when you don't have to knit most of the arms or body! I ALMOST managed to do it with two balls of yarn, but I made an emergency trip to L.K. today when I realized I was going to run out. That was a scary moment, because the next project I am going to do uses the same needles that the shrug is on, so I almost would have had a whole day with nothing to knit! Eeep!!

My friend Mary's knitting is coming along really nicely. She is currently working on a scarf in SWS, and it is turning out really pretty. I will have to put a picture up of it if she lets me. Although I have taught a few people to knit, I think she may be the first to actually get the bug. Mawhahaha she has no idea what she is getting herself into.

Right now I am patiently waiting for Mike's parents to arrive. They drove up from Maine today with his little brother. His little brother (who is not so little, he's 21) is heading back to Acadia, and they are going on vacation in Cape Breton, so we are going to have a nice late dinner tonight. Tomorrow we are going to show them around the city a little, should be really fun!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I have finished my "slave labour" knitting project, haha. I really don't mind making a dishcloth for the wired monk staff, they seem like really nice people. Here Sage is modeling said dishcloth. I think in this picture she looks less possessed and more evil. She really is cute in real life, but she never photographs well! I really like Moe's comment that she looked like the dog/cat thing from ghostbusters, hahaha.

I also cast on for a simple shrug from fitted knits. I bought a convertible dress from American Apparel. It can be worn 40 ways! Anyway the way I want to wear it is a halter style so I would like a little shrug to wear with it. I bought this Paton's SWS from L.K Yarn today and plan to whip it up in the next week.

I actually had a very nice trip to L.K. I havn't always liked them very much. I once went there when I was about 14 (and I was quite an accomplished knitter at 14) and they treated me in a very condescending way. I have always had good experiences since then though, and today they were very friendly.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The worst of my week is over :) I just have two vets to see tomorrow and then their reports to write and I can relax. yay! This job that I am doing is so weird, because when I do work it is really long days, but then I have some nice stretches of days off. I think I like it that way.

The worst part of the week was that on Tuesday I didn't back in time to go to the Halifax KOL group. I even knit the staff of the Wired Monk a dish cloth (this is one of the initiation requirements). I will take a photo once I have all the ends woven in and the cloth blocked. It's another Double Flower Pattern, I love that pattern so much!

I am also continuing to work on my 9-5 sock. I am really in love with this pattern. It is just enough to keep you interested with plenty of relaxing in between. This is the second sock, I have the first one all finished. AND I finally managed to get a nice toe!!

Also in case any of you were concerned that Sage had gotten sane, you will be glad to know she hasn't.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"and I can't remember the sound that you found for me" ... anyone else concerned about if Virtute made it home or not? For any of you not aware the Weakerthans have a new album! Which is awesome. I have to confess I have heard some of it... although I am not fessing up to illegal downloading publicaly. Although I will say that if I HAD illegally downloaded it before its release date I would most certainly pay for it once I can. I love them THAT much!

Anyway on the Weakerthans last album they had a song on it called Plea from a cat named Virtute. It's all about a contemptuous cat bestowing some advice on his emo owner. see below:

"Why don't you ever want to play?
I'm tired of this piece of string
You sleep as much as I do now
and you don't eat much of anything.
I don't know who you're talking to
I made a search through every room,
but all I found was dust that moved
in shadows of the afternoon.
And listen,
about those bitter songs you sing?
They're not helping anything.
They won't make you strong.
So, we should open up the house.
Invite the tabby two doors down.
You could ask your sister,
if she doesn't bring her Basset Hound.
Ask the things you shouldn't miss:
tape-hiss and the Modern Man,
The Cold War and Card Catalogues,
to come and join us if they can,
for girly drinks and parlor games.
We'll pass around the easy lie
of absolutely no regrets,
and later maybe you could try
to let your losses dangle off
the sharp edge of a century,
and talk about the weather,
or how the weather used to be.
And I'll cater with all the birds that I can kill.
Let their tiny feathers fill disappointment.
Lie down;
lick the sorrow from your skin.
Scratch the terror and begin to believe you're strong.
All you ever want to do is drink and watch TV,
and frankly that thing doesn't really interest me.
I swear I'm going to bite you hard and taste your tinny blood
if you don't stop the self-defeating lies you've been repeating since the day you brought me home.
I know you're strong."

Anyway the new album has a song called Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure. It's all very sad. You really should listen to them. They are AMAZING.

In other news I have been super busy, and don't really have a lot of time for updating. Tomorrow I will leave the house at 7:00 am and get home around 9:00 pm. Worst of all I will miss knitting night at the Wired Monk. Boooo work!!

Check this out if you are interested in some really creepy knitting/crochet.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I finally finished my Master's orientation today!! Now all I have to do is complete the degree....

You may not hear to much from me over the next couple days as I am going to be really busy catching up with all my work things. Tomorrow I am going to Mahone Bay, I am going to PEI for the weekends, then Shelburne on Monday, Pictou on Tuesday and Windsor on Wednesday. I am gonna be pooped after all that!

It'll be worth it though. I got my very first paycheck today. That felt great!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yesterday was my birthday. I will admit I was not all that pumped about this birthday, Mike left that day and a lot of my friends were out of the city. However, it turned out to be a really great day. When I got to school Judie had baked me a batch of chocolate cupcakes and Liz Townsend the director of the school brought in timbits. Judie later gave me this card which I think is the nicest card I have ever seen let alone been given. I love it! Later we all went to Your Father's Mustache for dinner and Slav a student in the program secretly bought my dinner and my friend Alison had a black forest cake brought in. I then went to Halifax Knit Out Loud group where I met many nice and wonderful knitters. When I got home there were two cards in the mail for me (including one with money from my grandma and one with these really pretty earrings from my friend Crystal). There was also about 8 messages on my answering machine and a whole bunch on my facebook too.

I have the world's best friends and family. I really can't believe how lucky I am.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I have joined the Knit One, Tea Too Color swap! I really couldn't help myself. These swaps are addictive! Anyway here is my questionnaire:

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire
  • Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try? I prefer loose tea. I do use bagged tea sometimes but more for convenience than taste. Usually I find loose teas are worth the inconvenience for the flavor.

  • What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)? I really like Twinings Lady Grey and Earl Grey teas. I have also had some nice herbal teas in the past that I really liked. I really like scented and flowery teas but I do not like "flavored" teas (nothing caramel or hazelnut).

  • Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up). White

  • Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind? Tea pot. I am a total snot about this, even if I am only making one cup it must be made in a pot.

  • What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself? I have always wanted a Bodium teapot, or any kind of tea pot with a built in strainer. I know this is not likely to be sent in the mail though. For smaller accessories though I really can't think of anything. I DO have a tea ball though.

  • How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc). I really like things that smell pretty. I am not very fussy I really like almost all girly pampering things.

  • If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why? If I was yarn I would be a variegated sock yarn. Really fun and cute but doesn't dress up very well.

  • If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why? Baby booties. I love all baby things.

  • What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?) The only thing that could make me miss a tea party would be a knitting party.

  • What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?) I really like things like biscuits and scones that are tasty and satisfying but not too sweet. I also like cheeses and crackers.

  • When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute? It depends. For socks, mitts and hats I have done so many that I like to pick out my own. For more risky things like toys and sweaters I like to use what is called for.

  • What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go? I just stuff it in my purse. Really not very respectful to my knitting I know.

  • Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting? Finding Nemo. I'm an adult I swear.

  • Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match? I have an eclectic collection of mugs and I really like that none of them match. I really love pottery mugs.

  • Favorite childhood birthday party? My birthday is in the summer (tomorrow actually!) so I never really had big parties because so many people were gone. Now my favorite parties are really relaxed ones with my good friends.

  • Favorite type of scone and jam? I don't have a favorite scone. My fav jam is anything my mom makes. She keeps me in good supply.

  • If you use candles, what is your favorite scent? Right now I have a Tahitian Flower candle that is really pretty. I like most candle scents as long as it is not too sweet. I can't stand those candles that smell like cookies and stuff. They give me headaches.

  • If you could choose 3 people to have 'tea' with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead). John Sampson, Maude Barlow, and Gandhi.

  • You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)? Casual.

  • Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to? none.

  • Anything we missed that you want your pal to know? Nope. I am really not too fussy. I like white tea, black tea, green tea and herbal tea. I am always open to trying new things.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I took the OT's up to Tatamagouche yesterday for the day. It was a really great day. We went to Sugar Moon Farm, Jost Winery, and Blue Sea Beach. Being from Tatamagouche it is easy to forget how beautiful it is and how appealing it is to tourists.

The highlight of my day was getting to eat the pancakes at Sugar Moon. I worked there for years and even though I used to be able to get fed for free I really don't mind paying for all that yummyness. I especially like that they use local organic ingredients whenever possible.

The beach was also truly beautiful (even though a got pinched by a crab). I got some nice pictures of the girls, but I will be nice and not put any pictures of anyone in a bathing suit on the internet.

On another topic all together, Mike showed me this link today and I just had to share it with you. So funny! The whole blog is about this guys four cats, especially this one cat Winston. He has some really great pictures though of the poor kitties :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thank so much for all the support guys. I considered talking to my prof again as I do work with her ratherly closely on a lot of things, and I really respect was she has contributed to our field. But I think I will just drop it. There is only a week of orientation left and then I can leave it behind me... although I don't think I will ever forget it. I really appreciated what all of you said and really thought about it a lot. I especially valued what Steph said in that she probably walked away thinking that she had helped me out professionally having no idea that she had hurt me personally. Non knitters really don't know how attached to knitting Knitters are.

Thinking about what happened to me though as also helped me better understand occupational therapy theory. In a lot of theory they talk about how the everyday occupations (not just work - thinks that occupy our time are occupations) can sometimes become very meaningful to us. Some occupations become part of our roles and habits, and really become about our spirituality and how we see ourself as a person. I can't think of a better example than knitting as an occupation that is integrated into my life, has defined me as a person and is essential to my being.

On the lighter side of things, I cast on last night for a swatch/hat for the percentile sweater I am going to make. I hate making swatches so I took EZ's advice and am making a hat instead for gauge. I assure you the hat looks a lot nicer in real life. The color is almost a jet black, but if I got a picture where the color was accurate you wouldn't be able to see the stitches.

I am really happy with how the fabric feels. I think it will be the bestest sweater ever :)

Also, when I was at the Yarn Harlot event I asked her a question about knitting in bars. My friend Jane has often seen me knit in bars, and she often does it to. On her blog she has coined the term pulled a Maggie for knitting in bars. I am touched :) I have always wanted my name to become a saying.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I am feeling a little upset right now. You could say I am feeling some of the knitterly discrimination that we all hear so much about. I have at many points in my life felt embarrassed of my knitting, I have felt that I looked a little geeky, or something like that. I have never experienced though what I am feeling right now.

I have just been asked by an important professor at my school not to knit in class. I thought at first, ok maybe she feels that it looks like I am not paying attention and is disrespectful. While I don't agree with this, I can understand where someone might be coming from if they thought this. I was not prepared though for her reasoning as to why she didn't want me to.

She told me that years ago occupational therapists used to meet to do planning and coordinating when the profession was just beginning and a lot of them would bring their knitting. You should know that when occupational therapy started a lot of the therapy that was done involved teaching veterans of the first and second world war how to do various crafts such as pottery, leatherwork, knitting and sewing. She said that people started to see what occupational therapists were doing as a knitting group and not a group that talked about social change and community development and were therefore de-legitimized by the academic world.

She said that they fought hard to change this image and by my knitting I was talking away from the professionalism that we have tried so hard to change. She said it made people see OT as a woman's profession that does not have as much to contribute to society and the academic world.

I am really hurt by this. I don't mind being told not to knit, but to be told not to knit for this reason is really hurtful. I don't see why just because I am upholding an art that was once seen as women's work what I have to say about society and the world should have any less meaning.

Not only that knitting really helps me concentrate in class! It keeps me from feeling the need to fidget and walk around the room. I think it is really unfair that something that really helps me learn and increases my enjoyment of class should be taken away from me. Especially if the reasoning is that it makes me look more like a woman doing woman's work who doesn't have anything worthwhile to say.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I have been thinking a lot of grafting lately and why I am so terrible at it. This is partly meant as a note/apology to my sock pal. When you get your socks you will see that they sort of look like they are purled, not knit together like they should be. This is really silly, I have been knitting for 14 years now, I should be able to graft properly by now. So I have been studying this video. I think I know what I do wrong, instead of the mantra knit,purl, purl, knit I have been doing purl, knit, knit, purl. Thus I have created a purl stitch. Yet when I try to do it the right way, it still never looks right.

Anyway what is making me think about this so much? It is this pair of wonderful perfect amazing socks. with a totally perfect toe!!

Aren't they wonderful? I am so happy with them. I love the colours, and I have been thinking about making some Monkey socks too!

I love them so much. I picked the package up on my way to school and carried the socks with me for the whole walk. Thank you so much sock pal! My sock pal by the way is Trish from Calgary. She has a great blog, you should check it out:)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I am so touched. Who would have thought that one little comment on a Halifax blog would lead to so many comments and invites! This morning I commented on Knit Out Loud's blog asking if their knitting group was open to anyone who might like to come. I got 4 comments on my last post all inviting me along. It was very sweet. I think I will have to try and make it down. I don't know if I can go this Tuesday as that happens to be my birthday and I am going out to dinner earlier, but I think I will still try and make it.

I also got harlotted in my comments! I am so happy!

Also, I managed to finish this in class today:

Doesn't it look freakishly long? Maybe it's just to me cuz I have such tiny feet. But according to the knitters handy book of patterns that is how long it should be for a small Men's foot. Rebecca another girl in my orientation also knit through all the seminars today so I didn't feel so bad about it. I always feel a little guilty when I knit in class, because I worry my profs will think I am not listening. I do it anyway though :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So the yarn harlot was tonight. I must say she was great. Better than I even imagined. She not only writes great, but has awesome oral comedic timing. The whole thing was wonderful, especially since Jane and I got front row seats.

The only downside was my stupid frickin camera ran out of batteries. So sadly I have no pictures to share :(

The upside was that Stephanie claims she has read both mine and Jane's blog. Nobody reads my blog! Well I have a few readers, that I really truly appreciate, but c'mon hardly anyone reads my blog! She says that she reads the blogs of everyone that comments on her blog. That's a lot of blogs! Anyway I thought that was pretty cool.

I also loved seeing so many knitters. As I have mentioned before I don't have a lot of contact with other knitters so it was great to see such a large quantity in one room! I felt like I really wasn't alone :)

My first day of Master's orientation went well. I was working on a sock when the first person arrived, the first thing she did was look at my sock and say "I thought about bringing my knitting". I love OTs!!
Today is a big day. Not only is today the first day of my orientation to the Post Professional Master's Program, Today is the day that the yarn harlot comes to Halifax. I am really pumped - not so much about the orientation, really more about the yarn harlot. I already have my knitting picked out! I am bringing a sock that I am working on for my step-dad's birthday in September.

Do you know what I heard Mike saying to his parents? I am sitting in the living room innocently knitting when I hear

"Yeah Maggie's really excited about this knitting celebrity that is coming to Halifax, I think she is going to be at a yarn store or something"

At this point I had to pipe up "excuse me, she is at the LORD NELSON", for those of you not from the city this is a very nice fancy hotel.

I hear him respond "Oh sorry, she is at the Lord Nelson. I guess I a lot of people like her. It's sort of like a Star Trek convention or something"

I can't believe the boy compared knitters to Trekkies. Not like there is anything wrong with Trekkies but how can you compare people holding up a 2000 year old craft with people who like to dress up like aliens?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

So I realized Mary is right. Sage has not been getting much airtime on the blog. No she's not any less crazy - in fact last night she spent about 30 minutes running around the apartment growling. She has been enjoying her summer vacation. You know as oppose to the rest of the year when she works oh so very hard.

This picture illustrates her at the height of her hard working. She's in her 'cat condo', and beside her is her toy collection. The orange mouse is a felted cat nip toy - and the colorful piece of wool was a felting swatch that she has adopted as a toy.

She has been having a bit of a turf war with a white cat that wanders around our parking lot. Twice I have got that little shit (the white cat, not sage) on the outside of our house attached to the screen growling at poor Sage.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Joel Plaskett Emergency - Fashionable People

So the boyfriend wants a sweater vest. I personally think it was inspired by Joel Plaskett's video as seen here. And I will admit, Plaskett does manage to make a sweater vest look pretty damn cool. The thing is, if he will actually wear it then I would love to knit it for him. But it's really not his typical style... and I have read so many stories of boys who request sweaters etc from their girlfriends and then never actually wear them. But on the other hand, sweater vests are very quick and simple to knit. It might be good practice for me as I am thinking about knitting a v neck sweater for myself... hmmm decisions decisions.
OK I am feeling much better now. The worst was ripping out what turned out to be about half of the whole shawl. I consoled myself with a huge bowl of this. By the way it was really yummy and very easy to make. Now that I am back into the knitting part I am feeling much much better. I am all the more motivated to get this thing done so that I can start doing some knitting for myself and friends.

Speaking of friends. I have been feeling rather knitting lonely lately. I have lots of fantastic friends but very few friends who knit. So it is rare that I have someone that I can knit with or go to yarn stores with. In high school I had my friend Gilly, and we would spend hours drinking tea and knitting together. But now she lives in a different town :( In the city I have my friend Jane, but sadly she is moving to Korea soon.

So the yarn harlot gives some advice on this subject in her newest book Cast Off. You basically have three options if you want more friends who knit. You can give birth to them (not an option right now), meet knitters at yarn stores (I am pretty shy and find this hard to do), or make knitters out of the friends you have. I am going with the third option. I recently taught my friend Mary to knit and she is plugging away happily on a Wonton. I am really proud of her. Her tension is perfect it is coming along really well. She will be an addict before you know it!

I am also working on fostering yarn love out of my friend Jody. She knows how to knit and crochet's blankets. She has asked me though for a 'recipe' as she calls it for a sock. So I will be showing her that shortly. Things are looking up in Maggie's knitting land!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

I am going to cry BIG FAT SALTY TEARS. I just ran out of yarn.... with three rows left to go on my shawl. So I have to rip it back to before the border to reduce the number of stitches. That's over a skein of yarn....

This fucking sucks.