in Progress

This week I’m…
Knitting: My business casual socks are well underway thanks to some lovely, uninterrupted train knitting during my Montreal trip. I’m using a Turtlepurl yarn I picked up at the Toronto Knitter’s frolic and I love it and it’s sparkly goodness. I couldn’t resist the sparkly yarn trend that seems popular right now. Like a crazy bird, I was just drawn to it, and I haven’t looked back since. I also started the Belgravia tee I had been hoarding for summer in a luscious fuchsia that is excruciatingly hard to photograph. 
Reading: I started Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor while in Montreal last week after a friend recommended it to me. Luckily, I had already purchased it when it was on sale a few months ago. Woah – I love this book so far! The world of this novel and it’s characters are so fascinating and unique. I look forward to reading it each evening before bed. Books that inspire that sort of passion and excitement are what I search for in an escape novel. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.
Listening: During my daily commute, I’ve taken to listening to podcasts. One of my favorites right now is The Bugle. It’s a British podcast with John Oliver (of Daily Show fame) and Andy Zaltzman (of no American fame?) which dives into lesser known news stories with the humor you’d expect from someone on The Daily Show. Many times I’ve had to keep myself from laughing out loud on the subway like a crazy person (I may be a crazy person, but everyone on the subway doesn’t need to know that). I recommend it if you like funny things, politics/news, and, also, funny things. Or just quirky British men.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along

That time I went to Montreal…

Ahoy! Picture heavy post ahead.

View of the city from the top of Mont Royal. You can see the St. Lawrence river just behind.
Hiking up Mont Royal, a beautiful green space in the heart of the city.
Parisian style Metro signs.
Happy otters at the Montreal Biodome.
Part of the Olympic Stadium.
Old Montreal and a view of the basilica.
Notre Dame Basilica

Rue St. Paul in Old Montreal – it was bustling and beautiful. 
Dinosaurs at the Redpath Museum on the McGill campus.

I disappeared for a bit there, but I’m back now. I spent the week in Montreal for a scientific conference where I was presenting some of the work I’ve done for my Ph.D. I enjoy going to conferences for the most part, and it can be really exciting to learn about work being done in my field of science. But there usually comes a point when my brain cannot hold/process any more information, and I must make an escape, even if it’s just for an afternoon.

Montreal is a beautiful place to escape in – enough sites and culture to keep you busy for days. I enjoyed hiking up Mont Royal (say it really fast and you’ll understand why the city is named Montreal) and overlooking the city and river. I also loved the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, which has a heavy European presence. It’s also highly touristy and, unfortunately, was absolutely packed on the Sunday I chose to stroll through. I definitely want to go back again when I have more time to enjoy the atmosphere, the architecture, and the shopping.

Overall, it was a fun trip (and I got to ride the train for the first time – whee!), but not exactly rejuvenating. One of those trips where I’m glad I have a weekend to “recover” before hurling headlong back into work. June is going to be a heck of a crazy month for me, I can tell already.

FO: Summer boating socks

 Project: Summer boating socks ::: Pattern: Edwardian boating socks ::: Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Handpainted

The weekend was a little dreary (but warmish, at least), so I took the time to finish up my boating socks. They are so fun. I’m wearing them as I speak blog. They are also surprisingly soft for socks knit with ‘bargain’ sock yarn. This Stroll yarn is probably one of my favorite sock yarns that I have worked with so far.

This week…

Knitting: Some sparkly business casual socks for me and some basic toe-up cabled socks for A.

Operation Honey: I’m at 17 hexipuffs so far this month. I doubt I’ll make my original goal of 40, but I should make it to 20-25 at least.

Reading: Still working on Miserere which is turning out better than I thought. It has an interesting premise that involves religion and history in our world along with fantasy elements in a different world, so it’s keeping my attention.

Watching: I’m finishing season one of Hannibal (talk about nightmare inducing tv), so to balance that I’m also watching season one of Chuck on Netflix for some lighter viewing.

Loving: More fruit is coming into season! I can finally afford strawberries! I can feel summer coming. I can’t wait for peaches and mangos and all things sweet and lovely.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

That time we took Rufus for a walk & everything was in bloom

After some warmer days and some rain, everything in the neighborhood is green and in bloom. I much prefer these walks to those in the middle of winter when Rufus and I would battle hidden patches of sidewalk ice. And for Rufus, warmer weather means he can continue his life-long battle against the squirrel monsters. Once he figures out how to climb a tree, they are goners.

WIP: Boating socks


This week:

Knitting: My knitting this summer has become quite predictable. Yet another pair of socks are on my needles. This week I’m working on the Edwardian Boating socks with some handpainted Stroll yarn from Knit Picks. The long floats and linen stitch really make these a fun knit and make the most of the short color changes in handpainted yarns.

I have also cast on a simpler pattern for some socks for A who was dropping some not-so-subtle hints that he wanted another pair of socks. Picking patterns for him is always harder because I am apparently just drawn to patterns that are much too girly… but this is coming from the man who thinks even cables are too “dainty.”

Reading: I finally finished The Girl Who Fell Below Fairyland and Led the Revels There. It was such a fun read. I’m now starting on Miserere (I got lost in those ‘er’s) by Theresa Frohock which is a bit different than I thought it would be… but I’m only a few chapters in, so I’ll give it a chance.

Watching: I am in desperate need of some suggestions for Netflix viewing… I feel like I’ve watched everything, which I know isn’t true. If you’ve found something wonderful and have just been waiting to tell someone about it, here’s your chance – I’m up for anything!

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

Out and about

I know that this is a knitting blog and all, but it seems like all I do is sit around and knit (and drink sangria). I swear, I do go outside every now and again. Lately, my outside excursions were only when necessary (long cold winters make a hermit of the best of us), but the spring fever bug bit me good this weekend – I could not be cooped up inside. So I got out and enjoyed some of my favorite parts of the city.

FO Friday: Seaglass Socks

Project: Seaglass socks :: Pattern: My Cup of Tea socks :: Yarn: Araucania Botany Lace 
The sock-a-palooza continues! I think I may have an addiction. I may need to seek help. But it’s not hurting anyone… except maybe my poor store bought socks. Yesterday when I opened the sock drawer they looked a bit conspiratorial. A sock mutiny may be upon us and I will just disappear into a pile of boring, white, gym sockiness. If you don’t hear from me, send a search party. 
I’m very pleased with these socks. I think they are my favourite pair to date for reasons I can’t quite put into words. It’s not like it was a complicated pattern or any real feat of knitting. But there’s something about the the blue of the socks that reminds me of seaglass and the repeating pattern working up the foot that reminds me of the scales of a mermaid’s tail – I just really like these socks. And I think I need a beach vacation…

WIP: Beekeeper quilt

This just in…. I’ve officially jumped on the hexipuff bandwagon. What is a hexipuff, you ask? Why, just these teensy, multicolored stuffed hexagons, of course. They are made of leftover bits of fingering weight yarn. My slightly crazy, squirrel-like hoarding of itty bitty sock yarn scraps (and some not so itty bitty scraps, too) finally has a purpose. (I planned it all along, I tell ya. It was all part of the plan. I am not a crazy yarn lady). And the purpose of a pile of hexipuffs? Well, they are just fun and cute, so do you really need a reason?! But ultimately, the hope is to assemble my collection into my very own beekeeper’s quilt. It’s a bit of a long term project, so to keep me motivated, I’m giving it a ultra cool top-secret name: Operation Honey and will update my progress weekly.

Weekly catchup time.

Knitting: This week I’m hoping to finish my My Cup of Tea socks. And, of course, hexipuffs!

Operation Honey progress: 10 hexipuffs made, 30 to go to make my monthly goal of 40.

Watching: Season 7 of Psych is finally on Netflix. Finally. I have been waiting for-ev-er. I was missing the crazy antics of Shawn and Gus.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.



Project: Hitchhiking :: Pattern: Hitchhiker :: Yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Pima Silk

I loved this pattern. I loved this yarn. I love this scarf. It came out even better then I imagined (don’t you love it when your ideas turn out to actually be good ones?!). I couldn’t resist these colors and how they looked together, so I decided to adapt the hitchhiker pattern to be a bit of a gradient scarf – slowly shifting from green to purple by changing the width of the stripes. 
This is my first time working with pima cotton. I’ve always been kind of hesitant about working with cotton because my only experience with it really is the stiffer stuff mostly used for knitted washcloths. But this yarn is so soft and lovely. I have enough yarn left over that I’m thinking of working a matching hat for springtime. 
I highly recommend the hitchhiker pattern (and with over 14,000 projects, I must not be the only one). I worked on this almost exclusively while commuting to & from work and it was a great travel project because of it’s simplicity. 

Sangria with mango, raspberry, and strawberry – yum!

Another weekend, another reason for sangria. This is becoming a bit of a habit, isn’t it? At this rate, I feel like I should start a blog meme for Sangria Saturday.

For me, homemade sangria is a fun way to take advantage of in-season fruit. It’s still a bit early on in the spring up here, so there’s not a lot of local fruits available. (No offense, Georgia, but Ontario peaches are some of the best I’ve ever had.) Till then, I’ll just use whatever is on sale at the market. This week I thought I’d try a mango, strawberry, raspberry, and mint combo. Homemade sangria is so easy – in just a few steps you have something fresh and slightly inebriating (just how I like my springs/summers).

In a pitcher, add:
1. Fresh mint – smooshed a bit (I believe the technical term is crushed, but the action feels more like smooshing to me). I basically just use the bottom of a glass to smoosh it and release it’s awesome minty powers.
2. About half a pint of some fresh raspberries.
3. Some sliced strawberries – eye ball it.
4. Some diced mango… again, eye ball it. I like my sangria with lots of fruit. It soaks up lots of alcohol, but I can convince myself it’s good for me because it’s fruit, and you are always hearing you need to eat more fruit (it’s not my fault no one specified how I was to obtain this extra fruit).
5. Now the good stuff. I went with a bottle of Sauvignon blanc, but almost any white wine with a bit of a fruity taste will work. I also add in a bit of lemon-lime or grapefruit soda.
6. Ta-da! All done. It’s pretty, it’s yummy, it the perfect weekend drink for sipping and sharing.

Try your own fruity combinations and have fun! Be sure to share if you stumble upon something simply delicious (like there’s a sangria that isn’t…please.)