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The Long And Winding Road

It has been a long and winding road that has brought me back to blogging.  I write blog posts in my head, but they never make it here.  Ravelry and food allergies has sucked up my blogging mojo. So I had a food allergy test last year and found out not only am I allergic to corn (knew this one) and dairy, but also wheat (I somewhat suspected this one), egg whites and oranges!  I really miss oranges :(  It has made making quick and easy food a bit of a non-existent thing for me because corn and wheat is in everything!  So I have to make so much of what I eat down to the tiniest details like soup stock, chilli powder, bread etc…There are a lot more non-wheat options out there, but almost all of them have corn, dairy and/or eggs. Eating out is a crap shoot and most of the time I end up sick and in pain for a few days, so it’s not really work it.  I do feel fantastic now and have energy as well as no pain, migraines, brain fog, stomach issues etc…It may suck having to not eat the wonderful things your friends are eating, but the results are so worth it.

The needles are still flying.  I still need to block and take pictures of a lot of things I’ve had so far this year.  This is one of my favourites though.  Berrocco Remix is my new favourite yarn, since Rowan discontinued the best sheepless yarn ever, Calmer.  All those non-smoking and non-cat owning knitters you can send the Calmer that just still in your stash to me and I will gladly give it a good home as well as knit it up.  I thought I’d test Remix on a hat, since I have only started two sweaters with it!  I knit Ashley the Worsted out of one ball of Strawberry.  I only knit 3 chart repeats instead of 4, but I found the hat still to be a bit big :(  I still love it and plan to make another hat out of Remix, but make sure to use much smaller needles and maybe even make a swatch to decide what needle to use.

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All a blur

So it is about one month since my surgery and there has been some complications. My vision is really blurry right now and I can only see things that are about 30 cm or less away from me and even that is not so clear. I see my Dr. in May and if it is healed enough he will be able to laser off the cloudy membrane that has stolen the awesome vision I had for the frist two days after the surgery.

I am a little cranky because I can’t do any strenous exercise or anything that requires me to put my eye below my heart level still. I really, really miss yoga and I am sad that I have to delay dancer’s bootcamp that I got an awesome discount for one month of unlimited dance classes including bootcamp. Walking is okay but I have to be careful because if I try to look at anything further away from me then 30 cm I get a headache and nausea from the blurred vision. May seems si far awat right now, but I have to keep postive because this can be solved, I just need to heal some more.

So I have been entertaining myself with audiobooks and knitting. Simple knitting, so I am getting a wee bit bored though. I am working on three shawlettes, I’m to L to find all the names and they aren’t on my ravelry page yet. I will get on that in a few days or so. A problem that I am finding is each shawl has a differenet edging and center sts., so when I jump from one to another I mess up and there has been a lot of frogging.

I did finish the cutest little project meet Kroll he is going to leaving for his new home (my Doctor Who swap pal. I made him with left overs of Knitpicks comfy fingering from my Scare Isle Tam. The pattern calls for worsted, but I love the fingering mini version. I am starting on my second squid to give to a friend fro her upcoming birthday The pattern is a Hansi Singh pattern click the rav button to see
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What do you have on your needles?

A little happiness

My eye one week after surgeryMy surgery has come and gone.  It has been a week and still there is a little bit of pain and slight complications.  Those should clear up in the next month or so.  Till then I need to stay positive and roll with the punches.  It is a little frustrating that the fantastic vision (20/40, almost 20/30) I had in the operated eye is now all blurry (mostly the very central vision lol and that is where almost all my vision is due to optic nerve damage ;;sigh;;) due to what my Dr. thinks is swelling in the macula This is not an uncommon side effect of eye surgery, but frustrating and confusing at first.  There is a stitch in my eye causing some irritation and a wee bit of pain, but that is slowly starting to subside and only affects me for a few hours in the morning.   Here is a picture of my eye one week after surgery (yesterday) and a funny picture of me with the eye patch I have to wear at night.

Picture of me with eye patch with holes taped to one eye and caption of Eye surgery really bugs me! Buzz

So I have been keeping myself busy with some simple knitting.  I yarn bombed my bus stop for a challenge in Nerd Wars for Team TARDIS.

Hello Sweetie!  Yarnbombing by team TARDIS - brown background with pink crocheted cherry blossoms wrapped around a horizontal wood piece on a bench

I also finished my (rav link to my project page for )Chop Suey, the galactic emperor! Not Socks. These were a fun and easy knit.  I didn’t use all of the hank of sock yarn, but I haven’t had a chance to actually weigh the left over ball yet.  I used Whimzy Pinzy Creations hand-dyed panda cotton in the Slytherin colourway that I  received from HSKS ( I think round 9) swap pal Guinifer LeFleur. Thank you again I lurve it) I started this pattern a few days before my surgery to help calm me down with some simple knitting and finished the rest while recovering slowly.  Good thing this pattern is well written and simple;  otherwise I won’t have been able to pull off finishing them this week.  These fingerless gloves are awesome and keep my whole arm warm while reading, I highly recommend this pattern.

Not socks (fingerless gloves) in Slytherin colourway

Chop Suey not socks

 

 

Madrona, yes I know it’s a month late!

So finally I am getting to post about Madrona.  It was absolutely lovely.  I was lucky to stay in Hotel Murano and look here is my key card, very pretty.
Hotel key card for Hotel MuranoFaye and I took the train to Tacoma and back.  Going there was a bit of an adventure since we got stuck in Everett for over 1 1/2 hours due to a possible mudslide then were loaded on buses for the rest of the trip.  Their plan was in Seattle travellers going to Portland were going to be bused, but all other passengers were going to continue on the train till Oregon where the slide was.  Sadly, it wasn’t the case.  I got a lot of knitting time in, but on the bus I ended up frogging all that I had knit!  The way home was uneventful and relaxing though.  I did end up at the train station way too early!  Oops next time I should double-check what time my train leaves because the Tacoma station is in the middle of nowhere.  I did end up working on my Tea Leaves Cardi and finished to the edging from an inch or so from the armholes.  Yay.  I haven’t worked on it since then though, boo.

It was such a wonderful sight to see knitters, weavers, spinners and crocheters everywhere.  Oh all the beautiful FO’s that were seen all over the hotel and surrounding area.  It was a fibre crafters wet dream!

Even if you don’t get any classes if you live in the area the marketplace and just crafting around the hotel common areas meeting new people is worth the trip.  The marketplace.  Well it was fantastic and overwhelming.  It is not everyday you turn around to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee fondling yarn in the Habu booth, there was much more knitterati and spinnerati to be seen, but alas my eyes suck.  I only noticed Stephanie because she was fondling stuff in my favourite booth!  Jasmine over at the Abstract Fibers booth has these great origami flat bags that I resisted buying then smacked myself for not grabbing the bag that had labs all over it.  I did end up buying one or two off their website and I will take pictures when they come.  I got fibre because I am planning to learn how to spin on my Bosworth spindle, I bought the lovely so I should really learn how to play with it!  I tried not to fall to hard at the BMFA booth and the one that had all the beautiful tencel yarn (sorry can’t recall the name!)  Here is a picture of my Madrona stash enhancement pile.  I didn’t fall down too hard and my credit card and His Tallest thanks me.

My classes were fun, educational and at times overwhelming frustrating.  The fine finishing class I took was in the Bite restaurant gallery and the lighting was horrible for me.  I have purchased myself a knit lite and will be prepared next year!  Jean Wong was delightful and very patient as well as her assistant (I’m sorry I am so bad with names).  Even with one assistant missing I learned quite a lot.  Like I need a lot of good lighting to do an invisible cast off.  I can do Japanese short rows in my sleep and in crappy light.  I was starting to feel really incompetent due to the light and slowness of my invisible cast offs till the short rows swatch took me only a minute or so.  My only complaint was the lighting, but I will come prepared next year!

My class with Franklin on photographing your fibre was an eye-opener.  It helped me not to be afraid of my new camera.  I went from a easy point and shot Canon to a Canon MegaZoom, so all my photos were on automatic.  Now I am playing with the aperture and ISO on manual and it’s so much fun.  He also taught us that a good photographer can take great pictures even with a cell phone camera.  I plan on playing with my camera a heck of a lot more now because practice will help me become more comfortable with my new camera.  I did startle him when I came into the room with my sunglasses and Faye, a blind girl in a photography class — oh boy what did he get himself into.  Thankfully, I noticed the confused look on his face and sat down and started playing on my iPad and knitting.  I could feel the relief emanate from where he was standing.  Yep you can teach a legally blind girl with a small window of functional vision how to get true colour in your photos!  Faye had a interesting time in this class too.  I introduced her to some of my classmates and Franklin and we got our picture taken.  I managed to keep my squeeing fangirl internalized when Franklin Habit asked me if he could blog about his reaction to Faye and I in his class and take our picture.  It was hard!  See here we are.  Also his talk at the banquet was hilarious and educational.  Thanks for being so awesome Franklin!

I also took Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting with Mawata class.  I thought being a non-animal fibre knitter who mostly knits with silk that I had silk and its properties all sorted out.  I was so wrong.  Knitting with Mawata is so much different then spun silk and so much fun.  You have to be careful that you don’t get paper cuts from the silk, seriously strong stuff!  She had her Sock Summit BFF, the depraved dyer herself Tina Newton to help her out.  We learned how silk hankies are made and got to open a cocoon (thank the passenger the silk worm while taking him/her out) then spread the cocoon onto a canvas with nails on it, which is one layer of a hanky.  I also got to try on this mitten. Stephanie did not let them out of her sight nor let the two mittens meet unless they were in her hands.  Good thing I would have stolen them, they were the perfect fit for my small hands!  I have ordered from mawata from a few stores on etsy and plan to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves.  I do need sharper needles though.  I thought my Knitpicks Harmony needles would be sharp enough, but they were not.  I think next I’ll give my Addi Lace clicks a try.

Also there is this awesome deli across from the convention centre.  It is divine and has the best raspberry lemonade (with real raspberries) ever!  I plan on going there everyday during Madrona next year except Sunday, because sadly they are closed on Sundays.  They get super busy and crowded, but it is so worth the wait.  Lauren and I found this lovely restaurant called Indochine and the food as well as drinks where lovely.  Faye was very happy to have a little den between our chairs to curl up on my jacket.  I also tried Two Kois Japanese Restaurant and it was okay.  It’s not their fault I live in Vancouver, the home of awesome and cheap sushi.  I was taken back by the lack of diversity on the menu, but then again I am from Vancouver lol.  It was good and I will go back, the bento box was huge.  Next time I will make sure to only get a few rolls.  Here is the last of my food adventures at Madrona that I wanted to share with you, my experiences at Bite (Hotel Murano’s restaurant).  The servers were wonderful at checking food for me to help me avoid my allergies and my epi-pen.  I had a delicious lunch there on Sunday and breakfast on Monday.  Here’s a picture of my tasty breakfast on Monday.
Tofu scramble @ Bite

I wish I took more pictures, but I was too busy soaking up everything.  This was my first time at Madrona and I am definitely going back next year!

The Odd Ducks Doctor Who Swap – The oncoming storm….of questions

Favourite Doctor: #4, Tom Baker followed by #10 David Tennant :-D and I’m starting to really like #11 :-)

Favourite Companion: Romana (both regeneration) and K-9 then Amy, Rose, Sarah Jane and Mickey the Idiot! I got so excited when I saw K-9 with Ten then I squeed really loudly and might have shed of tear of happiness

Favourite Master: Anthony Ainley

Favourite Episode: Blink followed by The Doctor and Vincent….then anything written by Stephen Moffat and some old ones that I can’t quite recall right now

What do I love about the series? What isn’t there to love? Sci-fi, excitement, puns, geeky goofiness, the hilarity of old-school props, and the dreamy doctor.

An Icon from the series: The TARDIS? A dalek? The Scarf? Oh it’s so a tie between the TARDIS, the Doctor and the Sonic Screwdriver 8-) Daleks and other creatures are awesome though.

Favourite Threat/Non-Threat: The Ood

Favourite villains: Daleks and the Master. I also like the Adipose, Daleks, Sutekh(I found him kinda scary as a kid, but now I kinda like him — I like Egyptology and when it mashes with the doctor it’s bound to be even more fun).  Cassandra cracks me up too!

UK DVD’s okay? sure

What memorabilia do you have?: One sonic screwdriver (11th doctor model), one big River Song journal, one awesome handmade TARDIS journal, 2 pairs of awesome handmade Dalek stitch markers, One TARDIS hide your money in it keychain, all episodes of the New Who and all Tom Bakers, and a couple of Doctor Who audiobooks narrated by David Tennant

Cutest villains: Adipose

Sexiest creature on (and beyond) earth: Besides the Doctor especially Ten, Captain Jack especially in Bad Wolf

What monster/villain/character would you not want to receive? The Master (any incarnation love him, but he gives me the heebie jeebies ), Cybermen (especially the new versions!), Weeping Angels (still have nightmares and can’t look at angel statues the same way anymore), Slitheen (they smell horrible!),The Empty Child (Makes me want to call for my mommy ;;shivers and hides;;), Autons (new or old they are creepy!), Zygons, The Empress of the Racnoss (spider-like alien, not my cuppa tea thankyouverymuch), Magnus Greel (one word: yuck – btw he is from serial 91 if anyone is interested, The fourth Doctor Tom Baker and Leela was his companion, but I really like Professor Litefoot) as well as Mr. Sin(he gave me more nightmares then Chucky!), and Meglos(needs no explanation there!). Those are the ones that come to mind the most!

What was your first Who experience? I can recall watching it religiously with one of my childhood friend’s mother when I was around 8. She was a huge DW fan :-D I’m positive that I watched them before with my mom, when they played Tom Baker reruns and such, but this is my first fond memory of watching the Doctor. My friend and her brother would make fun of me, her older sister and mom for being transfixed to the television when it was on.

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Picking up the pieces

It’s a new year and even though January wasn’t the best start to 2011 that I hoped for I picking up the pieces and making something worth while and pretty. I’m slowly recovering from a nasty fight with labyrinthitis that had me house for all of january and a little bit of February. The vertigo still comes and goes, but it is no longer constant nor making me fall on my ass like a baby learning how to walk again. I am exercising again and doing exercises that help reset my vestibular system. Yay!

Another big thing for me is I am having a cataract removed from my function eye and getting two permanent lens — an artificial iris and corrective. I found out from my specialist lab tech that my surgery should be booked in the next couple months before my birthday even!

I have been knitting and finished a beautiful Haruni, my clapotis, and a few other things, but a lot of my knitting time has been frequenting the frog pond. I will post pics later, since I haven’t figured how to do so from my new iPad. I am loving my iPad, after seeing it in person at knit night I got one for myself. I can read comics again! Squee. This is not a paid advertisement nor am I affiliated with apple I am just a happy owner.

I am typing this while Faye is sleeping on my feet in our room at the Hotel Murano. You may wonder why I am here or why the name might sound familiar that’s because I mentioned it a while back when excited about going to Madrona for the first time! Classes start tomorrow and I am excited and nervous. It feels like first day at a new school jitters, lol. I will try to take lots of pics and post them. I will either blog as I go or once I get back. Not sure yet. Off to bed and I will be back very soon, seriously!

Flu causes Knitter to catch Startitis

So I’m sick with the flu.  Meh.  I did finally get a chance to take pictures of some of my FOs and WIPs.  Even though the title suggest that the startitis was caused by the flu, I think it started a little earlier than I’d like to admit…

I’ve been working on Jared Flood’s Juneberry Shawl in BMFA Luscious Silk in Jade.  I was inspired to use this yarn, by Steven A’s

secret silver silk shawl (rav link).  I am a wee bit worried that I might not have enough yarn and might have to use another hank in a different colour for the edging.  I’m a couple of rows from starting the edging so I’ll just have to hold my breath and use a KP cable as a lifeline just in case.  This pattern is knitted lace so both the RS and the WS are worked instead of the WS being a “purl back” row.  So since I’m sick I haven’t worked on it much.  I worked a few rows yesterday and got hooked since I love this yarn and pattern so much.  I came to my senses quickly, while realizing that if I don’t put it down right there and then I will pay for my over-confidence that working a difficult pattern with the flu would be fine.  So right now Juneberry is safe and once I’m feeling better I’ll pick it up again.

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Early this month I had the urge to cast on a sweater.  I normally participate in NaKniSweMo, but this year I decided to sit it out.  My brain decided that November is for knitting sweaters and without thinking too much I cast on for Peasy with some Tatamy Tweed in Birch.  I bought 10 balls  to knit my NaKniSweMo 2008 sweater Rogue (my rav project page link)  and only used slightly lover 4 balls.  I can’t believe it only took that many balls to knit a sweater with a kangaroo pocket and hood!  I’m am enjoying working on Peasy, since it’s a pretty simple knit.  I’m a few more repeats away from finishing the lace panel then it’s stockinette all the way.  I want to finish this so I can wear it at Madrona.  (what’s Madrona you may be thinking click here for more info) Oh wait I never mentioned the fact that I am going to Madrona this year!  Squee!  I’m so excited it will be my first year and I got my top three classes I wanted to take.  ;;does a happy dance;;  I’ll talk about this in more detail on another post in the very near future; otherwise this post will get way too long!
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Yesterday I had a huge urge to knit on something lovely like loosely plied silk and since my Juneberry shawl was too complicated I was in need of some stupid knitting.  Enter the Clapotis.  Now that I’ve been knitting for a while this is a nice and relaxing pattern to knit.  Back in 2007, (wow that long ago!) I knitted a clapotis, but modified it to be a smaller scarf version.  I tried to knit a full sized verison in some lovely red bamboo yarn, but it wasn’t meant to be and it was frogged for a medal in the 2010 Ravlympics.  It’s been very cold with some snow thrown in here and I wanted something warm and huge to wrap myself it.  This is the perfect pattern and yarn and I hope to have this finished by the end of December, so I have something to snuggle in during the holiday dinners.  This yarn cheers me up and it’s a pure joy to knit with.  So soft and yummy, nom nom nom.
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Okay it’s time to show you the FOs :-)  Yep that’s right.  I have some FOs and actually real pictures of them, yay!

I made a Bella Eclipse Hat (with a mod) details can be found on my rav page here
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Also as promised a picture of my finished Scare Isle Tam.  I haven’t added a button on it yet.  I found the KP Comfy fingering stretched a lot even after putting it in the dryer!  I plan on knitting another one with smaller needles, but till then I’ll add a cool button to this one and wear it.  I love this tam a lot and you can find the details on my rav project page here.  Faye was a very shy model today, but you get to see the hat details well due to her coyness.  You can find more pictures of this and all the other projects on this post on Ravelry, which has stolen most of my motivation for blogging.  I’m working on starting to blog on a regular basis again, since I do enjoy it and have missed it as well. I’m off to bed since it’s super late.  Oh wait I lie I’m going to make a nice warm cuppa tea first.  Night!

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