Ewes-ful information

Lookit! My last entry got noticed by Geek & Sundry. Thanks for mentioning me, guys 🙂

Speaking of things that are both geeky and awesome, I am very excited about something a friend showed me on Patrick Rothfuss’ website:

This is totally what I wear to work... I do want those shoes, however. In flats...

Speaking of work, I stumble across this post on Tumblr, which sums up why I’ve decided I want to persue work as a children’s specialist:

Sidenote: I have recently become rather obsessed with Tumblr (in addition to Pinterest…) Follow me!

The full quote, from Neil Gaiman (who else?):

“Stories that you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely visit.” ~ from M is for Magic

Something else library related that I think will make your day:

Recently, a library customer left her laptop at the bus stop outside a library. Another library customer found the laptop and took it into the library, on the assumption that the owner might return to the library to look for it.

That’s exactly what happened. The owner took a cab back to the library and found the laptop waiting for her there. She left the note above for her anonymous saviour on the bus stop hydro pole, thanking him/her and relaying the cabbie’s similar story that he shared during the cab ride.

After a shitty day at work, with printer problems, kids breaking the elevator, and grumpy old men being indignant over having to prove they still live in the municipality once a year (“I’ve lived here for 40 years! I’m not moving any time soon.” Well that’s great sir, but I have no way of knowing that and unfortunately your word is not going to cut it with the Public Libraries Act) I really needed to read something like that 🙂

The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) ended on labour day weekend. Here is a round-up of yarn and fibre-related goodness. Sorry, they’re cell phone pictures…

The Peru booth of hand-knits and crafts was a stop I had to make.

A close-up of the 100% alpaca coat. The fibres were more glorious in real life.

Incredibly detailed kids and baby sweaters.

This fantastic crochet top, I mean lady, sat in front of me at the talk by Richard Palmisano on hauntings at the CNE grounds.

These three pics below are of a display on sheep at the Farm Building ❤

Actual sheep!

This llama was not impressed with my taking her picture.

Alpacas with funny haircuts.

And now I’m off to finally start work on my shrug. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

TTC Knit-a-long and other antics

Nigh on a month since my last post, oh my. Work gets crazy when school gets out, that’s really my only excuse. That and the beau and I had a vacation. Niagara!

Vineyard inspecting.

On to more on-topic things… July 14 was the annual TTC Knitalong, and my first year attending. It was ridiculously hot for Toronto (42 degrees!) and the Queen streetcar was under construction, which meant more walking, but it was lots of fun regardless.

There are some great photos here. Plus the event made the news!

Behold, my purchases:

The yarns are Berroco Linsey (I have plans for a lace t-shirt) and Jo Sharp DK Wool. Yes, I splurged on a Namaste bag (there was a sale!). The Bette Hochberg books are fantastic and hard to get your hands on, being from the 70s as they are. They can go for a lot online, but I got them for $12 each. I was a very happy girl.

The free swag we got made me even happier. Behold, the final haul:

SCORE!

And that photo doesn’t include the patterns we got in our loot bags as well. Mine included:

Hansel Mittens by Stephannie Roy, the Aberdeen Ave. Hat by Glenna C. and the Signal Hill Scarf by Laura Chau. I believe I will make all of them 😀

I also recently acquired a lot of roving (Craigslist I love you… most of the time).

And naturally this meant I needed a spindle. I found a basic high-whorl for a decent price on eBay. I happened to come from a family in Wyoming who raises their own alpacas, hence I ended up with a kit with more oh-so-soft roving.

I immediately used my birthday gift of a Chapters gift card to order Abby Franquemont’s book Respect the Spindle. If I can’t go to Rhinebeck for her workshop this year (partially since I am now out of funds), it’s the next best thing. I had some credit left over, so I also got Gibson-Roberts’ Spinning in the Old Way 😀 Thanks to magpiecrafter for the great book advice (originally heard of Hochberg through her blog as well).

I somehow managed to find time to make another doll for Heart for Africa. They are now on their way to children affected by AIDS in Swaziland.

Also this past week, I stumbled across this ridiculously cute piece of whimsical online reading, featuring quite a lot of knitting!

And last, but not least, the Ravellenic games starts this week (along with something called the “Olympics,” whatever). Got my projects all picked out. I will be entering the Cable Steeplechase with Tanis Gray’s Cabled Belt from Vogue Knitting Winter 08/09 since I’ve been meaning to make it for a while. I’ll also (am I taking on too much?) be making a TARDIS amigurumi, using Ms. Parke’s lovely design. A) it’s super cute, B) I needed something to enter into the British Cricket event that I actually wanted to make. Team TARDIS will so be besting Team SHERlocked, hands down.

World Wide Knit in Public Day

The first Toronto Edition of the annual WWKiP was on Satuday. It was a great time, and a great turnout despite the rain. Granted the rain was light and only fell for the first hour, contrary to the thunderstorm predictions. That’s right, Mother Nature has knitters’ backs 😉

Lots more pictures here.

The media interest was great too. We on the planning committee decided I’d be the media contact (for better or for worse, I’m ok with public speaking, but I ramble when I’m nervous…)

  • Sarah Lazarovic wrote a comic in the National Post about us.
  • Fairchild‘s Cantonese station also interviewed me.
  • Xinhua news network also stopped by and interviewed many of us. Great coverage!
  • Snap Downtown edition also stopped by to take some photos, which will appear in their July issue in print and online.

All in all an amazing day! Knitters and knitting groups met and mingled, the learn-to-knit station taught new knitters both young and old, our Relay for Life team (we’re knitting all night on June 15 in support of cancer research!) got some more donations (I saw at least one $20 in the jar!), Ravelers had a chance to meet up, and Street Knit had a lot of their kits taken by people volunteering to knit for the homeless. I’d say that’s a success 🙂

June 11, 2012 update: ideas_dept posted some pictures on Flickr as well.

July 25, 2012 update: Snap article is here.

Community Through Quilting

I know quilting isn’t knitting, but it’s crafty in a similar way (in fact, knitting crops up later on – keep reading!). Plus this post is also about libraries, my other passion in life, so there you go.

I saw this post on one of the Toronto Public Library blogs today, and had to share it here.

Essentially, it’s about how “quilts can be created for many occasions such as for a new baby, a family memory, or a community group. Quilts are all different and unique and community quilts are meaningful because they can bring a group of people together… Community groups such as Toronto Public Library’s Craft and English Conversation Circle at the Gerrard/Ashdale Branch is one such example that has in the past few months created a quilt piece that was donated to a charitable organization. The quilt pieces were created by knitting and crocheting and then patched together by the individual members in the group. The circle began when there became a need to address a growing number of newcomer customers in the Gerrard India Bazaar neighbourhood. The customers wanted a learning space to develop their English as well as a social space to get to know their community. They quickly developed the idea to create a quilt, which helped to bring them closer.”

Goings on

My first Downtown Knit Collective meeting last night was a blast. Knitters are just awesome, welcoming people. Granted the fact that I ran into more than a few people I already know probably helped. Then there was the whole the-speaker-was-Stephanie-Pearl-McPhee thing too. Not only is she hilarious, but I actually learned things about neurology. Knitting is great for your brain! Ironically it is also very addictive. Who knew?

I also learned that the things that make a video game successful (and addictive) are all present in knitting: visible progress, short and long-term goals and rewards, etc (note to self, find whole article). Am telling the fiancé this next time he says I knit too much. UPDATE: possible (or at least similar) article here.

WWKIP is growing legs. We’ll be having a Scarf Relay which, from its description, sounds like it will be an epic riot. We’ve also been mentioned on the Knitty blog and Wise Daughters as well.

And look who has retweeted about it!

I believe my response was to squeal in excitement.

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Yet MORE exciting yarny things going on in Toronto:

1) Wise Daughters will be hosting their own WWKIP event, also on June 9. From 9:30 – 11:30am there will be a free breakfast and other lovely surprises. Afterwards a group of participants will be heading to Nathan Phillips for the Toronto WWKIP. I so wish I could do both. Alas I have to help set up at Nathan Phillips 😦

2) The More Than Just a Yardage Sale in support of the Textile Museum of Canada. Friday May 25, 11am – 6pm and Saturday May 26, 10am – 1pm

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To end with, I leave you with something I learned about myself today…

Behold my list of check-outs from work (the library):

Notice that only one item is not related to knitting. Also notice that there are more that don’t even appear on the screen (see the scroll bar on the right?). It’s official, I’m obsessed.

More things I am excited about

Well, to be honest, I’m still excited about my purchases from the Frolic. So is Desmond, it would seem. I managed to get this photo but couldn’t get one of the best part, when he was actually full on burying his head in the bags of yarn. Man I love this cat.

Nevertheless, on to this week’s even larger levels of excitement!

1) Appropriately called Bigger on the inside, I cannot wait to start Kate Atherley’s TARDIS shawl from the latest issue of Knitty. Anyone who knows me knows of my love affair with Dr Who.

So excited I went right out and got yarn for it.

2) I’m on the planning committee for WWKIP Toronto Edition, and am happy to report that things are really getting going. Look at the shiny new blog masthead!

We also have a Ravelry group, a  Facebook event page, and I’m even attempting to get the Twitter hashtag #WWKIPTO going. Wish me luck.

3) I have just discovered the West End Scarf. Drooool. Yet another one to add to my ridiculously long queue.

4) Look who’s coming to the Downtown Knit Collective next week!

5) My fiancé has recently said things to me like “come sit in the TV room with me. I miss it when you aren’t sitting in your chair knitting” and “you see that sweater that guy is wearing? Do you think you could knit me something like that?” I am beyond estatic. This from the guy who cringed when I offered to make him a hat two winters ago. Nevermind that the sweater he pointed out was machine knit in what had to be fingering weight…

Things I am excited about

1) The arrival (on my radar anyway) of a decent (I’ve seen some that leave something to be desired, let me tell you) knitting web comic – Worsted for Wear. It just started last fall, so it doesn’t take long to catch up reading it. Thanks to canadianchia for pointing it out to me.

2) The Toronto Edition of World Wide Knit in Public Day is now official and will be happening on Jun 9th.

3) The TTC Knitalong date for 2012 recently got announced. July 14th! Eagerly awaiting when registration starts 😀

4) The Knitter’s Frolic was this past weekend. Look what I scored!

The pattern, Shetland Trader/Homin Shawl by Gudrun Johnston is meant for the lovely lilac-hued, lace weight, made-in-Ontario Alpaca you see on the left.

At the top is some Malabrigo sock, but a close up is necessary in order to appreciate its range of purples. I unfortunately lost the label, but I think it is 854 Rayon Vert. There are touches of green in it, albeit hidden in this ball.

Next there is this recycled sari silk yarn:

If you’ve never heard of recycled sari yarn, a quick Google search will tell you more, though basically it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s different, and colourful and silk is apparently very insulating. I only got the one skein to try, so wrist warmers here I come!

And a close up of the alpaca is required, of course.

Soooo soft. I have no words. I cannot wait to cast on that shawl.

Also in the above photo are two buttons handmade in South Africa. I liked the antique look to them.