Monday, April 14, 2014

Music Monday: Indio

Just go get this whole album.


 

(Obviously, I don't own the rights to anything. If you like what you hear, go BUY it. Not download it for free. Give these artists some love!!!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Golden Wheat Cardigan

Headless mirror selfie FTW!




This one took a long, long time.  It's grossing ('grossing' is a verb that describes cold, sideways rain) out in Lunenburg today, so it's a good day to be snuggled into a cardigan that's a size too big.  (Yes, I swatched.  No, it didn't help.  I'm starting to think I just can't measure myself!)



See, look.  Swatching.
It's the Golden Wheat Cardigan by Rain Knitwear Designs (with a few modifications) and it's a great project.  It's knit on one giant circular needle, and really is simple to follow.  You might want DPNs for the sleeves, but I made do without.  I made the small instead of the extra-small, which obviously was a mistake.  I'm not sure that I'm willing to take the time to tear the while thing out and start over.  Also, the width at the shoulders is absolutely perfect for me, so maybe I just need to scale down to the XS size below the armpit.

It was a perfect airport project, which is good, since much of it got knit in airports.

I knit the whole thing inside out, since I wanted the body in stocking stitch rather than garter stitch.  The internet tells me I'm not the only one to try this.  (Here, here, here, et cetera).  I also didn't do the decreases at the waist, which in retrospect was a mistake.

Once you get past the armholes, the body knits up really fast.

At one point I was pretending to live-tweet my cardigan on twitter... that was about as exciting as you might expect up-to-date news on a knitting project to be...
It's even cute without sleeves!
Anyway, go buy this pattern.  Measure carefully, swatch appropriately, knit joyfully, and enjoy!!

One-armed-bandit stage.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seven Travelling Sins

I don't remember my first plane ride.  I was pretty young.  I can, however, remember air travel from a long time ago.  I remember hot meals on domestic flights.  I remember real metal cutlery and glassware.  For the longest time I had a little Air Canada tote bag that must have been given to passengers - it was likely a gift from my Dad, who traveled a lot for work.  There was cologne in that bag.  4711, which has since been renamed Jean Marie Farina.  Yes, I still own a bottle.

I've been on a lot of airplanes lately.  I love traveling.  Really.  I especially love plane rides.  That said, there are a few thing that we, the traveling public, need to get straight.

The security line moves slowly enough, there's no need to slow it down further.  That means as you move through the security line, you take off your shoes, belt, watch, and jewellery, get out your zip-lock of liquids and laptop, and organize your belongings to pile in the bins for the conveyor belt.  These things should be done before you get to the front of the line to walk through the scanner.  Similarly, once through the scanner, put your shoes on, grab the rest of your things, and move down the conveyor belt.  You can put your belt and watch on once you get to your gate.  Holding up the line is unnecessary.

If you can't actually carry your carry-on bag, it's too big.  It it takes up more than your fair share (half or one third) of the overhead bin and/or won't fit under the seat in front of you, it's too big and needs to be checked.  Ditto for bringing seventeen pieces of carry-on luggage.  Don't be that person.  Lastly, please rethink the idea that you 'need' to bring a full-sized pillow or humongous stuffed animal.  Really?  Seriously?

There is a dividing line between the seats.  Under no circumstances should your body extend beyond that line and squish into your neighbour's seat.  They paid for a whole seat, just like you did.  Stay on your own side.  On that note, personal hygiene on airplanes is not optional.  No excessive perfume or cologne, and no bad breath or body odour.  Also,
if there is someone sitting behind you and you are not on an overnight flight, do you really need to recline your seat?

Children are humans too, and they need to travel.  They also need to behave.  This means no screaming, running in the aisles, or kicking the seat in front of them.  EVER.  Traveling with a little one?  Try a juice box with a narrow straw or breastfeeding (as appropriate) during takeoff and landing.  Sucking helps equalize Eustachian Tube pressure, and makes ear pain more bearable.  Bring whatever toys/books/bribes it takes to keep your little bundle of joy occupied on the flight, within the realm of things you can reasonably and easily carry on the plane.  If it's your child, it's your job to keep them well-behaved and under control.

When exiting the plane, slow moving traffic should keep to one side on the gangway.  Ditto for escalators and moving sidewalks.  Think of it like a highway.  Just because you've got all the time in the world doesn't the person behind you isn't in a desperate hurry to make a connection or embrace a loved one.  Move over and let them pass.

Lastly, and perhaps conversely, try to be patient with those around you, especially parents with desperate, tired eyes and airline staff (who may have the same eyes).  If you have a problem with something, politely make the problem known to a member of the flight crew or ground staff.  You can write a scathing letter to the airline once you've reached your destination.

Until we can have airplanes like this (thanks, the Oatmeal!!), please spread around this little bit of common sense to make everyone's air travel just a little more civilized!  

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

On grace

... Or lack thereof, I suppose.  

There are lots of cliches about the way we react when things go badly is a true reflection of our character, and I've long suspected I have some work to do.

This one is big and scary.  My Mum is sick, and not likely to get better.  I'm spending more time than I would like on airplanes, between my home and the place I grew up, only to discover that they are two different places.

I've been grumpy and short-tempered and difficult, and probably miserable to be around at times.  

I've also noticed things that I'd likely never have seen, heard stories I might not otherwise been patient enough to hear, and spent precious hours with my Mum that I might not get if she were to have a less gradual decline.

I've broken down sobbing in the grocery store, and at work, and at home, and in bars.  I've been strong in her presence, and gentle when I feared I didn't have it in me.  This is a learning curve that I don't especially want to be on, and one that I'm realizing I'm incredibly grateful for.  No matter how impatient and frustrated and grumpy and unreasonable I get, I recognize that every moment spent with her is a gift, that so many people don't get the chance to care for the people who cared for us when we were babies.

It's still hard.







 This is me.  So, so, so much, right now, but also always.




Be brave.  Be kind.

   

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hiatus

For a few different reasons, I've been absent from this space. Explanations coming sooner or later. For now, I'm right here:

(In the meantime, I have little thoughts accumulated here.)

Red Mountain

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ornamental


Awwwww.  Fat ornaments.

I didn't get to do much making this year.  The one thing I did get done was some homemade christmas tree ornaments - trees and stars.  I'm actually pleased with how they turned out!  These are the simplest things ever, sewing machine totally optional.

Sketch out your shapes.  Simple is better.

I added a seam allowance as I cut, but that's totally up to you.  You could add it in the sketching stage instead.

Sew, wrong sides together, leaving an opening to turn them right side out and fill with stuffing!

Cram in as much stuffing as possible (or not, if you want skinny ornaments!)

After filling with stuffing, handsew the opening closed, and thread some sparkly embroidery floss (or fishing line) through the tops to make loops!

Hang them on your jade plant for display purposes!

Next year I'm going to make so much more stuff!  Really!

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