Yep, it's our birthday. May I once more recommend marrying someone with the same birthday as you? It's just easier all around for everyone.

And we're back from sunny (too, too sunny*) Alberta, after a lovely visit with friends and family. Paying a bit more for a direct SFO-to-YYC trip was sooooo worth it. And many, many thanks to Bne and Ferlak for being gracious hosts even under the strain of a bajillion house guests. And thanks to everyone who either made the trip or was around to hang out. It was really, really, really great to see everyone again and when we told you that we'd love to come and have you visit us, it wasn't just the Wolf Blass** talking.

And guess what R:tAG got me? Guess! Squeeee! I'm probably not going to leave the house this weekend, which is sort of too bad because KublaCon is on. Oh well.

* After a trip to the Calgary Zoo, most of us were sporting the "Victoria Day Necklace." This fetching band of bright pink skin around the neck and upper chest was the result of forgetting to apply sunblock in the collar area. Mind you, if we'd tried the same stunt down here our necks would have been seared right through, like unwatched campfire hotdogs.

** Or the Traditional, depending on the time of day.

Hm. This title theme should keep me going until about November, and then I'd have to switch to "Rainy [day of the week]."

So another odd radio commercial (approximately):

Woman 1: "I'm home!"
Kids: "Yay! You brought pizza!"
Announcer: "Pizza, $12.50"
Woman 1: "These are yours."
Man: "Oh, honey, you picked up my shirts! Thank you!"
Announcer: "Dry cleaning, $20.00"
Woman 1: "Here you go"
Woman 2: "Oh, new pantyhose! You're a life saver!"
Announcer: "$5.00"
Woman 1: "Oh! Oh! Eeee! Oooooo!" (screams of ecstasy, basically)
Announcer: "A little something for yourself... priceless"


It took me a couple of listens* to catch the rest of it, which is basically some sort of "use your credit card and you could win a bunch of money" thing. Not my first impression.

Oh, and here's a great place to spend a bunch of time that actually may result in something productive:

Make: Technology on your time

* The only radio station I get clearly with my cheapy car radio plays about 2 minutes of advertising per song. Unhappily, almost all the other FM bands are filled with horrible static-y stations, which means my iPod/iTrip doesn't work very well. Yet another factor that makes commuting a trial and a burden. I usually end up turning off my radio and singing loudly.

A sunny week, as a matter of fact.

So this post might be even more grasshopperish than normal (I can write a coherent narrative if I try! I can so too!) because my company just had a big software release and we celebrated with a few bottles of bubbly in the boardroom.*

And this segues into a seasonal theme, that theme being Mothers' Day, because I was thinking of me dear mum as I was sipping my champagne. Me mum, bless her heart, turns a lovely shade of pink when she's had any amount of alcohol. "My," I thought to myself, "It's a good thing I didn't get those genes, what with me trying to be all grown-up and mature, sipping my drink here at this grown-up and mature gathering in the middle of the work day, where obviously the expectation is that everyone can handle their liquor in a grown-up and mature fashion."

And then I go to the washroom, and look at the tomato-on-a-bowling-pin apparition in the mirror, and think maybe genetics isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Oh, and here's some links that I've been saving 'cause they didn't have anything to do with knitting. They don't have anything to do with this post either, but hey, it's Friday and I've had a couple of glasses of champagne.

For all the cat owners out there
For all the fish owners out there
For all the people what want to build paper robots and don't mind instructions in a foreign language out there

Have a good weekend!

* What a pleasantly alliterative sentence!

R:tAG's off to E3 today. I could have gone too, but he'll be stuck at the booth for most of the time and neither the event or the location appeal to me enough to warrant going further into vacation-time hock.

Man, that was a convoluted sentence. Sorry.

Anyway, I still have knitting related information in my system, so full speed ahead! Apart from The Tablecloth, since the Knitting Olympics I've mainly been working on small stuff; little impulse knits like hats, toys, baby gifts, etc.. This is partly a virtuous attempt to reduce the amount of yarn I have hanging around the place (this is called "stash" by knitters). The worst thing about the lace kick that I've been on is that it's got a terrible effort/stash-reduction ratio. A year of knitting The Tablecloth, and the stash only shrinks by a cubic foot. A week on a doily, and there's only a golf-ball size hole in the stash:

From the top right corner clockwise: the box of red/purple/pink oddballs, the box of white/gray/black oddballs, the box of green/blue oddballs, the box of yellow/orange/brown oddballs, and two bags of recently purchased unfiled yarn. Not shown; two shopping bags full of less-than-a-meter lengths*, and a shoebox full of doily cotton.

Well, one might say (especially if one knows any other knitters), this isn't actually that bad considering that you've been knitting for about 30 years.


This (including the contents of the steamer trunk; the Rubbermaid bin was to catch the overflow, then it overflowed...) is all the unstarted projects I have. Most are "spoken for"... the intended pattern is stored with the yarn. Of course, I sometimes change my mind about that as I discover new patterns or realize that the yarn is really unsuitable.** I think I have about 17 defined projects here, and material for another three or four that I haven't decided on.

Yet somehow, I keep buying more yarn...

So if you come to Calgary, I'll give you a ball of yarn!

* Shut up! There is so too a use for them!

** Normally I find out the yarn is unsuitable after I've made the project. I'm getting up the gumption to rip out three sweaters because of this. The lessons here:
  1. Wool doesn't drape like silk. A cardigan that is slinky and flowy and drapey in silk will look like a Jetson's outfit in wool
  2. Lopi doesn't go next to my skin.
  3. Alpaca is soft and inelastic. Making a fitted ribbed top out of it seems like a good idea (soft = nice next to the skin, inelastic = compensated for by the rib). However, alpaca is also very very very warm. Ribbing makes it even warmer. Don't use alpaca for anything that one can't remove with propriety.

The rainy weather seems to have finally broken, and we're right into summer. Time to start looking at that retro-fit air conditioning for my car.

So, it's been a while since I mentioned knitting, hasn't it? Shut up, it has so too! Anyway, no one's forcing you to read this. Hmph.

Here are my two latest finished projects.

The scarf is Faina from Fibertrends (100 g of a Saskatchewan-produced wool/alpaca blend, 3.5 mm needles). I am still undecided about the colour; I usually avoid browns/oranges because they cause people to rush after me offering me new livers, so this might be a gift. But it's a lovely yarn; a nice combination of drapiness and enough stiffness to hold the lace pattern.

Oh, and the second project, she says with elaborate casualness? Oh, just the FREAKING TABLECLOTH! Let's take another look at this puppy, shall we?

From Marianne Kinzel's Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting, the "Lilac Time" table cloth (#10 cotton (two head-sized cones plus a little one), 3.75 mm needles). There were over 2,100 stitches per round in the last 40 rounds. This photo shows it unblocked; it will actually look a lot better after blocking but I couldn't wait to see it on the table and blocking this will be a Major Undertaking involving the moving of furniture and the purchasing of more T-pins. It will also be bigger after blocking, which emphasizes my regret that I didn't use smaller needles and finer thread.* I started this in May of last year (as I recall). All unemployment and no friends make Amy a crazy knitter. :)

And come to Calgary on the May long weekend, or we'll crush this baby possum!**

* Like, #30 on a 3mm. I thought when I started that the bigger thread and needles would mean that I could end earlier (after the third tier of leaves) but when I got there the cloth seemed too small, so I kept going. So I ended up doing exactly as much work as I would have if I'd used the smaller thread. Oh well.

The other thing I'd do differently (just in case anyone else is crazy/bored enough to try this) is to use a provisional cast-on at the beginning and graft the centre hole together at the end. I used a standard cast-on and sewed the centre, like that pattern said, and I'm not really happy with how it looks. I'm probably not going to try and unpick the cast-on and graft it, though. Probably.

** No, that's not my picture. It's from Cute Overload, your one-stop shop for cute.

But I bet you were worried, no?

I have Plans for a huge knitting-related post to satisfy the clamouring hordes (hi, Amanda!) but that involves pictures, which involves getting home with daylight left* and that involves the traffic not being so bad that I just want to get out of my car and bite someone.

In the meantime, stare at the picture below until it starts to move, and repeat over and over "I'm going to Calgary on the May long weekend... I'm going to Calgary on the May long weekend..."

* Having a range of tall hills to the west really impacts the time and duration of sunsets. Who knew?


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