Thursday, November 25, 2010

Colouring in the spaces

Sometimes I wonder about my own sanity.  Somewhere in my head came a little voice, whispering at me..."It's high time you learn intarsia.  Wouldn't a gentleman's argyle vest be a lovely idea?"

So, I've decided to learn intarsia and  design a lovely gentleman's vest.  I'm swatching right now, even though I've got a glove pattern and a shrug pattern due next Wednesday.  Next Wednesday is still a month away (after all, next Wednesday isn't until December), so I pulled out those yarn bobbins that have been watching me since July and I wound them with my choice of colours.

And while I might technically be procrastinating on things that really need to get done (like dishes and organizing my wool stash), who says my house is a mess?  Cleaning is over-rated.  Knitting is good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coming soon...

For the last several months, I have been working hard designing a new pattern.

Well, the project in question is finished and I can now tell you all the wonderful details about the sweater called "1989".  It will be available on any day now.  I will post the link as soon as it is up.

I based 1989 loosely on a light, side-knit sweater that I currently own (actually, that I am currently wearing).  I love loose, light, short-sleeved sweaters that are versatile enough to wear no matter the season.  That is what 1989 is. 

It's knit from knitpicks Gloss DK, and the colour is "Fairy Tale"

It's a quick and easy knit, worked side-to-side, with a waistband that is added on later. 

It was definitely a new and interesting challenge.  I'll be challenging myself again in the very near future with a new sweater pattern.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can I knit the world a sweater?

Sometimes, when I ride the bus, I see women so helplessly undressed that I just want to knit them a sweater to cover up their freezing bodies.

Since I don't have time to knit that many sweaters, at the recommendation of a friend, I'll just post the following suggestions instead:

Six Steps for a girl to determine if she is Dressed

1.  Decide what you are going to wear today.  Will you wear a skirt or pants?  This is a very important decision, as it will determine your level of dressed-ness before going out.

2.  Look in the mirror.  Is your lower half from your waist, to any region below your bum covered (Please note:  The phrase "below your bum" means that the entirety of your bum is covered in an appropriate garment and that no part of your underwear or bum is easily viewable by any person sitting or standing behind you)?  If the answer is yes, congratulations.  You are probably wearing pants (or maybe a skirt, whichever it is, well done!).  If the answer is no, please go to your closet or drawer and pull out a pair of pants or a skirt and try again.

3. Look in the mirror again.  If your pants are very tight and are closed at the toe, please try again.  You are not currently wearing pants.

4.  Check yourself in the mirror one more time.  Do your pants have a waffle-weave on them with a tight knit cuff at the ankle?  Those are thermal underwear.  You are still not wearing pants.

5.  Is your upper half covered in a garmet?  If the answer to this question is no, please put a shirt on the upper half of your body.  If you are wearing a garment, check to see if this garment is, in fact, a bra.  If your garment is a bra, you are not wearing a shirt.  If your bra can be seen through your shirt, you are not a rockstar, please try again.

6.  Check yourself one last time.  Do your pants have penguins in hats? fairies with wands? Snowflakes? Cups of coffee?  You might be wearing pajamas.  But your bum is covered and we can't see your bra.  Feel free to go out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back from The Awesome Vacation

I didn't post on my blog that I was going on vacation, because it's generally a bad idea to tell The Internet when your house is going to be unattended for 2 weeks.  But I went away for two wonderful weeks (okay, admittedly it was one really great week and one rather okay overall week) and now I am back.

My husband and I, along with our friends and neighbours, went on a transatlantic cruise.  The cruise left from Rome (well, actually Civitavecchia, which is just outside of Rome) and stopped in Toulon (France), Barcelona, Cartagena, and Malaga (Spain), and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.  Toulon was gorgeous, even though we stopped there on a Sunday and most things were closed.  I'd love to go back to France some day.  Cartagena was probably my favorite stop in Spain, with Barcelona running a close second and Malaga a very close third.  Spain was just gorgeous!

Tenerife was a bit less interesting than the other places on account of there being very little to see in Santa Cruz.  If you want to see Tenerife, you pretty much HAVE to book a tour and go at least an hour or two outside of the city limits.  Since we didn't really have time to do that, we just wandered around the city.  We ended up at the Nuestra SeƱora de Africa market.  It was pretty interesting.

But without a doubt, the highlight of the trip was the day and a half we spent in Rome.

Rome is a beautiful city.

Don't try drive a car there.  You'll probably die.  But if you walk and/or take public transit (don't even try a cab...seriously...drivers are batcrap crazy, there are no lines on the roads and rules seem entirely optional), Rome is incredible.  H and I did a tour of the Vatican first thing in the morning on our first full day in the city.  We booked our tour through Presto Tours, which was a little bit expensive, but gave us the best value for our money.  The tour groups are kept under 15 people so the tour guide can keep track of you and give you better one-on-one answers to your questions.  We bypassed ALL the lines, and got to see all the highlights of the city.  The Vatican is simply too big to try see it all on your own, but we enjoyed St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.  At least...we saw some of the Vatican museums.  There are a lot and it could take you several days to try do it all on your own.

In the afternoon, we took the subway over to the Colosseum, where we did a combined tour of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palantine Hill.  Our tour guide for the Colosseum was not very good, but the guide for the Forum and the Palantine Hill was really excellent.  I wouldn't recommend doing the Palantine Hill or the Forum on your own unless you are a major history buff.  The palace that covered the Palantine Hill was quite enormous, but it really just looks like a bunch of rubble in places, and there are parts you wouldn't even realize were part of the palace unless you had a guide telling you "This was part of the palace."  You'd completely miss the throne room, and the impressiveness could easily be lost, considering how absolutely enormous it originally was.

As for the cruise.  Well, I might be biased in my opinion.  I'm not much of a sailor and quite prone to motion sickness.  I was sick on several of the days we were at sea.  But on the days I was well, I was rather underwhelmed.  I'd love to do another cruise.  We probably will.  I'm not sure I'd be much inclined to sail with Royal Caribbean, though.  The value of service for the money paid was pretty underwhelming.  When you pay a certain amount of money, you expect your dishes to be clean (especially in the fancy dining room), your waiter to be pleasant (the assistant waitress was wonderful, though), and ...well, you'd rather not find dead (drowned) insects in your salad.  Eww.  The information on the shore excursions ought to be accurate (at one point, we were informed that we'd be arriving in Malaga on Labour Day, May 1).  The entertainment was underwhelming.  The buffet hours were odd, the buffet food was the same Every Single Day!  And it was decidedly NOT allergy friendly.  

But I loved Rome.  I need to go back some day!

Pictures are forthcoming.  There are a lot and I need to sort through my favorites.