Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My Friend, Verna

This post is about my friend.

She is a great friend, a fantastic knitter and a terrific mother to her three boys.

Verna with her youngest son, Cole

She lives in Deline, NT where I lived and taught last year. We spent many hours knitting and talking over tea and dry meat (a local delicacy).

I don't know how long she's been knitting. I don't know who first taught her.

I do know that she is the best knitter/crocheter I have ever met. She is fearless. She tries anything, often with just a photo to work from.

She can create the most amazing things from even the smallest ball of yarn. She just seems to know exactly what fits where.

Her work is recognizable all over the Northwest Territories. Everyone can spot a "Verna Hat." She makes special orders for people throughout the region.

Verna has taught me how to let go of my need to be perfect with my knitting. She inspires me to give anything a go and to stretch myself in new directions. She is one of my knitting mentors.

Knit On Verna! Miss u much, M

(P.S. Yarn parcel in the post this week, as promised.)

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Maestro, Some Perspective Please

15 years ago today, I was…
1. 22 years old
2. starting my first year of university
3. in the throws of a new love affair

10 years ago today, I was…
1. back in university in Vancouver
2. just home from Costa Rica where I did an amazing field class
3. suffering from severe Seasonal Affective Disorder

5 years ago today, I was…
1. managing an accounting department
2. madly in love
3. in Paris on holiday

3 years ago today, I was…
1. in the first semester of my teaching degree
2. living in Burnaby with my Mom
3. wondering what I had done by giving up my accounting job

1 year ago today, I was…
1. teaching Kindergarten/Grade 1 in the Arctic
2. getting ready for our Christmas concert
3. without a voice because I had laryngitis for the second, but not last, time that year

So far this year, I have…
1. completed my first year of teaching
2. travelled to New York and Ireland for the first time
3. done more knitting than in the previous 30 years of my knitting life

Yesterday, I…
1. had a job interview
2. worked on my Think Pink knitalong project
3. had sushi for supper

Today, I…
1. am trying to figure out what I'm doing with the rest of my life
2. am studying for upcoming exams
3. am thinking of warmer places to go

Tomorrow, I…
1. will do some housework
2. will do some more studying
3. will celebrate the freedom I have to choose how everyday will look from here to eternity

(Gratefully stolen from http://crisps.motime.com/, who stole it from somebody else, who stole it from somebody else, and so on, and so on, . . . )

Friday, November 26, 2004

Theme: Think Pink

I'm getting there! I'm getting there!

Check out Think Pink to see what everyone else has been doing for the cause.

Think Pink Heart Scarf from knitty.com

I almost forgot about it as I was furiously knitting up Christmas presents. To overcome my procrastination, I've moved it to the present list.

I'd like to give some credit to the LYS where I purchased the Melody Quick & Cozy in pink for this project. A Touch of Wool (4273 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, BC but no website) gave 10% of every pink yarn purchase in October to breast cancer research. How cool is that?

I did buy another pink yarn but it's turned into a stash enhancer because the project I had planned for it has since been kiboshed. Not sorry I bought it though because the colour makes me grin - kinda like a bubblegum milkshake.

I bought this yarn, along with the goodies below, from another LYS just down the street from me. Birkeland Bros. Wool is so enjoyable but the fact that it is so close is very dangerous for my wallet.

I finally succumbed to my inkling to try spinning with a drop spindle and I think this baby will do the trick.

Last but not least, the knitting journal that has been helping me keep track of all my projects and designs for the last while. I feel so official now! (Strange need for external validation not too obvious here, is it?)

Have you had enough pink yet? M

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Nearly at the end . . .

of my rope? Nope.

of the Earth? Nope again.

of my knitting project? Well maybe a few of those but not what I meant.

Nearly at the end of the semester. Only one more week of classes and then I'm done, done, done with this degree. Yay for me! Yay for me! Yay, yay, yay for me!

Of course, there's the minor issue of writing exams until December 17th but let's not get distracted here. The end is in sight and that's what counts right now.

I've started applying for jobs in the last week and already have a phone interview today. I've been putting out resumes all over the place - the Arctic, Wyoming, Saskatchewan (my home province), etc. So wish me much luck with the job search.

To our neighbours in the south, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all have many things to be thankful for or at least one thing to be very thankful for.

You know the holiday season is upon us when you see the cartoon of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" on TV. I saw it last Saturday so that makes it official. How many days 'til Christmas? (SSSSSHHHHHH! Be very, very quiet. Maybe we can sneak up on it.)

Getting in the spirit, M

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ooohhhh! Prrrrrreeeeetty!

I have been ROAK'd. Thank you so very much to Colette over at Knit Witch. She made my day.

Here's a snap of my gifties: a yummy, delicious vanilla candle in a beautiful little box; a gorgeous writing paper set; some oh, so soothing bath soak; and the cutest little card! I love the little card the best because it has a Siamese kitty playing with yarn and Siamese are my favourites!

I feel so special!

I love the idea of the ROAK. I joined because I wanted to send out support to my fellow fibre fiends. I guess I sort of forgot that I would also be a recipient. I was so very suprised and really touched when my parcel arrived yesterday.

Big, big thank you goes to Colette again!

Keep spreading the love around! M

Monday, November 22, 2004

Please . . . Poke My Eyes Out!

This is what I'm reading today for my Paleontology class:

"Rearrangement of the lithosphere and the formation of geographic barriers by plate convergence, plate divergence, transform faulting and plate collision may produce two types of biogeographic patterns recognizable in the fossil record . . . " Paul Smith, Paleobiogeography and plate tectonics, PALEO SCENE, Volume 15, Number 4, 1999.

This isn't even the part putting me to sleep.

Somebody please rescue me!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

I Am In Love!

It's early days still but I can honestly say that I am head-over-heels in love. Maybe it's just infatuation but I think it may be the real thing. I can hardly stand being apart. I could hardly tear myself away to do a blog entry.

You know how it is in the beginning, right? You don't want to take time away to eat or sleep. You stay awake into the wee hours and can't wait to be back together again the next day. You think of the one you love last thing at night and your first thoughts of the day are the same. You dream about your future together in between.

Oh come on! We all do it! We just don't all admit it, especially as we get older. I personally feel like an excited teenager again in the first blush of a major crush.

We stayed in bed most of yesterday, all curled up, watching movies and whiling away the hours. It was heavenly bliss.

Look I have a picture! Maybe you can see why I'm so wrapped up.

Yes, my passion is for Zara's Merino Extrafine. Oooooohhhhh! It's so soft and so easy to work with. I can't believe I haven't discovered it sooner.

I picked these up in New York this summer at The Woolgathering on East 84th. The owner of the store was so warm, welcoming and funny. She warned me that I would fall for this stuff and was surprised I hadn't tried it yet.

I feel like a yarn virgin. How can wool give me so much pleasure? I may never knit with anything else again. I already have a list of things I want to make with the left overs.

I love the colours together as I'm knitting them up even more than I did when I chose them. I'm using them to make a Christmas gift for my gorgeous nephew. (See gratuitous cutitude shot below!)

I can't take it anymore. I have to get back. Too long away and I go through withdrawl. Not all addictions are bad, right? I'll be able to control this one right? Sure, sure, good luck with that!

"I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it." (Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Ain't love grand, M

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Making Up for Lost Time

Greetings! Have been quiet this week. USB port still not working but have found way to circumvent. Now have pictures to share. Many, many pictures. (Please excuse bad grammer as have had heavily caffeine-powered day and cannot type fast enough to keep up with toxic brain exhaust.)

Digital camera really caught colours in poncho for Eve. Pattern from Lion Brand. Very fun and fast to knit up.

And for Max, Eve's brother, computer mittens.

Also picked up book for him. Love this series. Hope he does, too!

Finally got baby crib quilt finished for cousin's baby. Sending away this weekend as baby due December 3rd.

Back matches Granny/Wolf doll pajamas.

Raggy quilt front with ruffles.

Red Riding Hood doll with both front and back

Dog trying to sit on shoulder while Dogmum knitting because Cat always does.

Very bad weekend. Twisted ankle, maimed knee, much crying and pain. Better now, thank you.

Hoping prepositions, pronouns, etc return tomorrow once caffeine filtered through system. No more coffee drinks for Beknitted (except maybe study days and final exams, maybe also Christmas knitting crunch, packing, . . . )

Keep well, non-grammer-challenged friends, M

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Photos Not Available

I finally have a Christmas present I can post a picture for and my USB driver has failed while using my camera. Hmf. A little bit of Murphy's Law at work here, I think.

I was going to post about it because the recipient is not quite 2 years old and her mother, my cousin Kate in England, doesn't know about the blog.

I made a little poncho out of Patons Melody in the Crazy Daze colour with a purple Fun Fur fringe. It's soooo cute - all bright and happy looking. I promise I'll get a picture posted as soon as I can get my roommate in here to fix the USB port.

I'm just starting my halfway gift today. You know the one - the gift that signifies that I'm at the halfway point of my Christmas present list. Not that it hasn't changed many, many times since I started and grown to about double my initial list. Which, when you think about it, means that this might have been my last one if I hadn't kept expanding it. Doh! I don't need to think of it that way right now! I'm halfway - woo hoo! (Okay, so it even sounds a little forced in my head!)

But I continue undaunted because I am a Knitting Goddess and I will get this list completed in time for Christmas. Say it with me now, folks: I am a Knitting Goddess (or Knitting God). I'm good enough, I'm fast enough, and darn it, people like my handmade gifts.

Have a great Sunday! M

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Reply To Flanders Fields

Reply to Flanders Fields
Oh! sleep in peace where poppies grow;
The torch your falling hands let go
Was caught by us, again held high,
A beacon light in Flanders sky
That dims the stars to those below.
You are our dead, you held the foe,
And ere the poppies cease to blow,
We'll prove our faith in you who lie
In Flanders Fields.

Oh! rest in peace, we quickly go
To you who bravely died, and know
In other fields was heard the cry,
For freedom's cause, of you who lie,
So still asleep where poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.

As in rumbling sound, to and fro,
The lightning flashes, sky aglow,
The mighty hosts appear, and high
Above the din of battle cry,
Scarce heard amidst the guns below,
Are fearless hearts who fight the foe,
And guard the place where poppies grow.
Oh! sleep in peace, all you who lie
In Flanders Fields.

And still the poppies gently blow,
Between the crosses, row on row.
The larks, still bravely soaring high,
Are singing now their lullaby
To you who sleep where poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John Mitchell

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Very, Very, Very Cranky!

That damn cat of mine is getting very, very, very spoiled. It gets worse as she gets older and it was worse than usual last night.

She woke us up at 4:00 am - me, the dog, the other cats, the roommate, the neighbours, the block, the neighbourhood, . . . Okay, maybe just me and the dog, but that was enough, thank you very much!

Apparently it was all my fault. I didn't check her water bowl before we went to bed.

I didn't even know that Sara needs a drink in the middle of the night. Oh sure, there were signs: her water bowl often needed filling in the morning; she's been seen drinking out of the dog's bowl; furtive jumps off the toilet seat when I entered the bathroom.

I should have seen it long before now. Old roommates and boyfriends have even mentioned her late night trips to the water bowl. I thought they were exaggerating. I must have been living in denial. How could I have been so blind?!

What am I going to do? Well, obviously, I'm going to make sure that water bowl is filled up before I go to bed at night. (I'm not just a craft enabler, you know.)

I'm off to take a nap. Lack of sleep makes me cranky, M

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Knitting Up A Storm!

Feeling very successful today in general. Totally caught up on my studying and making great headway on the Christmas knitting.

I had an exam on Friday and finally feel like I got an A. My last four exams were B+ and I was getting very frustrated. I think I'm over the hump now and just have to make sure I keep up with my study schedule so I can finish up in a positive way. Only four weeks of classes left, and another two after that for exams to be done. Then I have a Science degree. Woo hoo.

Am currently watching the semi-finals for the CFL. Edmonton Eskimos are playing the Saskatchewan Roughriders. My home province is Saskatchewan so you know who I'm cheering for. Go, Riders, Go!!! I hope they do well. They totally kicked this team a few weeks ago so I know they can do it again. (Look at me talking about football like I know what I'm saying! Truth is I only watch when it's this late in the season and the Riders are close to the Grey Cup. Otherwise, I don't bother.)

Gotta get back to the Christmas knitting as I want to finish another project and get another one well started.

Found a card the other day and had to buy it because I loved what it said: "It is better to have something to remember than nothing to regret." (Frank Zappa)

Keep it real, M

Thursday, November 04, 2004

No Catchy Title

Well, I haven't posted in the last couple of days. I have to say that between the election and the great progress I've been making on my Christmas knitting, I just seemed to run out of time each day. I actually have to go study for an exam I write tomorrow so I shouldn't be posting now either but I have an ulterior motive.

One of the women my mom works with is interested in meeting Red to see if they can live together. I've been trying to get a photo of my Wee Red girl this morning but she's not being very cooperative. This is my favourite so far.

Larger than life, baby!

It doesn't really do her justice but, man, she's cute.

On the knitting front, I've finished Christmas present 5 and have half finished number 6. Once I'm finished studying today, I think I can get the other half done. What a pain not to be able to talk about them in any detail. My Boxing Day blog is going to be overflowing with pictures and descriptions but until then, pretty boring.

As for the election, I was glued to the TV and the internet all night, sitting on the edge of my seat and knitting furiously. This is very odd behaviour for me because, although I follow American politics, I have never watched their election results before. I was very disappointed with the results, to put it mildly, but I am so impressed with the voter turnout in many areas. Way to go American voters!

I realize that I am not very "vocal" about many of my opinions in my blog but rest assured that I am a highly opinionated person who has no problem expressing my views. However, another of my very strong beliefs is that my opinion is mine and doesn't need to be inflicted on others except in the appropriate forum. This is not a political blog and, therefore, not an appropriate forum.

That being said, I will say that I try to live as I believe. Consequently, I don't read knitting blogs that strongly support Bush. I can only hope that he does no more damage to the American people and their psyche than he already has but I don't expect this to be what happens.

So enough about politics. I've got to get to my studying. I forgot to mention that I got a B+ on both my midterms that I blogged about earlier. Not my best marks but I'm at the point where I only care if I pass, not how well I score. Guess I better get back to it then.

Until next time, keep believing in all the possibilities, M

Monday, November 01, 2004

Graduation Day!

Tonight was Reuben's graduation from doggy kindergarten. His Momma is so proud of him!

Here's a shot of him receiving his diploma from the instructor.

He's so smart!

On the knitting front, I've started another Christmas present after scratching two other ideas for this person. I think I've finally landed on the right project and I'm really pleased with the progress. It's a new pattern for me and a new yarn so I'm feeling very positive about the whole thing thus far.

Thanks to Cheap Knitter and Nmblefngrs for their feedback on my witchy gloves. Next time, I won't be so hard on myself before I get some input from other knitters. Lesson learned.

I'd like to wish our U.S. neighbours a successful election tomorrow. I hope all the campaigning to increase voter turnout pays off at the polls. Good luck and happy voting!