Saturday, December 30, 2006

A quiet moment in plotz

Jason is making waffles and my sister is curled up in Lizard listening to Quirks and Quarks in the background. I have a cup of freshly roasted Yemen coffee. It's the triumverate of the perfect morning.

I didn't have the picture of J plotzing when I posted yesterday so today, I call this:

Jason as Plotz


Some of the more astute photographers may notice that my arms are definitely not long enough to get this perspective. You're right! J got me an camera extendo-arm 8000 (it has a fancier name but it escapes me) He got it to help me with the blog pictures. How hilarious is that?!

We were on the road for the past week and are still recovering. Though the past 2 days at home have been divine, I've just uploaded the pictures from the adventures in C-Day. I'm formulating the "Perfect Post" with some of my favourites.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Victory!

This Christmas I restricted myself to knitting 2 gifts. The big brouhaha was Lizard Ridge done in secret for Jason. It's the first blanket I've knit for my own family and I loved every minute of knitting it at the office and at my class over the past 3 months.

Blocking the squares and reclaiming my cube world, a lot of folk asked me where I got the squares. Isn't this an awesome sight? I was certainly a lot more cheery in my veal cube while the Lizard was up.

I think it was the comparison of the boring cubicle vs the unadulterated awesomeness of Noro.

The Lizard came up to Aurora with me for a slumber party with Silent K and family. I put Aidan to work as soon as possible. He placed all 32 squares perfectly. Then he made tags for all of the squares with the corresponding numbers so that I wouldn't forget the order when I sewed them together.

Smart kid that Aidan.

Jean Anne helped me finish sewing the squares together at stitch and bitch a couple of weeks ago. Right when my sticktoitiveness was starting to wane - she stepped in and saved me.

I brought the borderless beast to Lettuce Knit to work on while I worked there. Megan generously let me leave the blanket at the store until the snb before Christmas. Denny had been doodling around with a spare crochet hook and left a beautiful border on it.

I call this: Denny as Stained Glass

The blanket made an appearance at the Lettuce Knit Christmas Party as a finished work of art. It was featured on one of the awesome carollers that came to visit that night. I thought it did a great job channelling the chameleonic nature of it's namesake to look like a poncho or wrap on her. Don't you?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Welcome to Blogland!

So in the past couple weeks a couple of close friends have joined blogland. If you get a chance while counting the minutes on the last day of work before CDay, go give a warm knit/spinnerly welcome to my friend Sean an animator for the shop Fat Kats.

I'm pretty sure some of you have already unwittingly seen some of his work, really funny stuff. A good way to spend a sloooooooooooow day at the office...

Also, my partner in crime, best friend, man extraordinaire Jason has finally gone techno! He's got a great piece up there right now all about the true joys of the office christmas party. I would love it if you could go show him some sweet blogland love

Lastly, last week Stephanie wrote an beautiful piece on how to reconnect with the spirit of giving over the holidays. A time when we implement management techniques and coping mechanisms for having too much food and taking too much advil to help with our hangovers from drinking too much mulled wine(maybe that's just me).

Take a moment to share what you can so that other folks can have access to medical supplies that they would otherwise not have. See how far we've come since the original post here.

Go for the writing and stay for the sharing. Happy Holidays Yo!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Chanookah and Happy Anniversary.

I spent much of last night at Lettuce Knit for their holiday celebrations. Megan and her posse of fleece magicians throw a great celebration. I started there at around 7:00pm I left at 8:15 and met my girl friend for a couple of pints but had to return to fix a problem with a project.

You know the saying: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime? Denny gave me a fish. It was delicious!

At around 11:00pm the neighbourhood carollers showed up - they were faboolous! If you recognize what they are wearing enjoy the quiet victory that was won this week.


All said and done. What a fantastic time and way to celebrate a wonderful place to learn to knit and be with some inspiring creative forces. Lettuce Knit can get my juices flowing on the most blue of days.

Before I get too mushy about how much I love the store and the people that fill it I must sign off and go poke around at some mysterious gifts.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Christmas Snarl

My Aunt Martha calls the week before C-Day the Christmas Snarl. I think it refers to the feeling of last minute gift buying, baking, knitting and wrapping. Once the first family event happens or it becomes impossible to shop and replace gifts it's all fun and games. She's absolutely right.

This is how I mastered my Christmas Snarl. Meet Lorraine, Mistress of Spin, Keeper of the Bobbin of Aragorn etc etc. Lorraine gave me some extremely helpful tips because I'm a new spinner they were awkward to start with but so helpful after a couple of hours.


Meet Denny the Gandolf of Knitting and Manipulator of the Dark Fibre Arts and her henchman Mel , Knower of the Orifice, who is breaking in her brand new wheel!

The whole night felt about 1 hour long and yet when I got home 3 hours had passed. Magical!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fat head

I finished a bunch of projects this weekend none of which would fit me in a million years.

Yet while in the moment of knitting each item the thought didn't cross my mind once that maybe my head wasn't 30 inches in diameter and my body a size 2. Apparently in the land of denial I'm an alien from Mars Attacks.

Disheartening. I'm going to try and shrink the Topi hat that I knit and go extreme blocking on the moebius wrap out of my handspun that Denny hooked me up with. Otherwise some 10 year old is going to get a garment that she may or may not appreciate.

Spent the weekend enjoying the arts. A Twisted Christmas Carol then watching some frigging talented knitters sing some awesome karaoke.

Sunday I baked, roasted more coffee than I thought was possible in a 6 hour time span and enjoyed some lace. I've also swatched for my next sweater project in spite of clearly having no clue what I look like.

Game on body image issues - Game. On.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'll take some weird, shaken not stirred.

Alrighty Steph you're about to know too much about me and it's your own fault:

THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

1. You know how cats have a spot where their tails meet their spine that makes them lick their chests, freeze in position or generally wig out? I have a spot on my sacrum that when you scratch it it makes me need to pee. I blame getting a tattoo and take every opportunity to tell wayward teenagers that this is what happens when you get skin art. Does this happen to you Mel?

2. I am addicted to touch. This often gets me classified with the perverts in the park so I try and restrict my love of hugs and demonstrations of physical affection to those who are comfortable with me and hugs. As someone who works in IT I'm starved for touch - Jason loves it.

3. Stagefright. I suffer from it when I meet new people and when I do comedy. Like anything that terrifies me the only way I know to deal with it is by overcompensating. This means that people often think I'm very funny and charming when they first meet me. Good first impression but the daily Jen is often low key and grumpy. Don't say I didn't warn you.

4. I'm obsessive compulsive about knitting. I need to have 1 sweater, 1 lace project, 1 blanket, 1 plain pair of socks and one fancy pair of socks on the go at all times. I also don't like it when my stash gets uncontainable as when faced with too much choice I become immobilized by the options. This among many reasons is why I don't eat at all you can eat buffets.

5. ABC - always be closing. I love to start projects, work related, knitting related, home related, it doesn't matter I love the thrill of the start pistol. Closing is hard. I have to work at it everytime. Knitting has really helped with this and even then there is usually one end that doesn't get tucked or one seam that doesn't quite stick.

6. My biggest fear is that I have nothing original to offer. It's probably true, I'm not all that and a bag of crisps so I try and rephrase or retool euphemisms or concepts so that they sound original but they often come out as offensive.

As a timely example: The consumerism of Christmas - it gets us all down, every year the same conversations occur, expensive gifts, unattainable expectations and the fear that if the perfect gift doesn't get purchased that we will have ruined the holidays etc.

I've been trying to frame the panic this year with this response to people asking how my shopping is going: "I think I've almost spent enough money to ensure Jesus gets born this year thus ensuring that Christmas can indeed come. Thank god"

I can't count the number of people I've offended with this, but it really puts it into perspective for me.

Tagged: Jill, Mel, Jason (yeah THAT one), Kelly, Erin(Just to see if she'll come back to blogland), Sophie

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

At a loss for words.

I'm being creatively dryhumped by my day today. By this I mean thinking is hard. This happens way more often than I would like and I've recently taken to looking through older pictures for inspiration.

You Ikea afficionados may recognize the frog toy as one of the mass produced beasts that you find in that bottomless pit of coma inducing comsumerism. My mom loves Ikea. Even floors, lots of resting places, cheap furniture and she has a not so secret love of finding all the shortcuts (charming in Ikea, frightening on logging roads).

I call it Mom friendly, soft-core parkour

The second I walk into that place I lose my sense of direction, time and consciousness finding myself on the other side of the check out with 10 years supply of pillar candles and tea lights.

My mom protects me from these side effects by inspiring a goofiness most people try and quell. We design sets out of the furniture, try on lampshades and set up the stuffed animals in scenes that might resemble reality.

Have any of you ever seen the documentary on Cane Toads? Ikea could use more displays like this if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cheap out meme.

I'm doing a meme taken from Knitgrrl. I'm going to ogle 007's supposedly hard and enormous calves tonight and I expect I may be too distracted to write anything cohesive.

The first sentence from the first blog posting of every month in 2006.

January
I love January. It's a new year with a whole new set of resolutions.

February
If Ignatieff becomes the leader of the liberal party I shall be chafed, there's just something about him.

March
So I finished my Canada Socks on the day of the closing ceremonies.

April
I think not bitches.

May
From my Aunt Sally (THE MOST LUCKY AUNT EVER):

"So, I am idly waiting in line at Fabricland to pay for sequins and beads (total $1.24), and thinking that all the staff time and paperwork to run this sale up is ridiculous, when I absent-mindedly fill out a form that seems to want my name and address.

June
My manboy and I took Wednesday off from work to go see Martin Short in his new play, Fame Becomes Me.

July
When my Mom lost her leg (if you find it let me know in the comments) she worked really hard at learning to walk with her prosthetic.

August
It's so hot that the wind feels less like fresh air and more like the pervert in the park licking my back.

September
Nothing cures the malaise like heading up north where the air was as cold as the beer and the family convened in great numbers...

October
I'm retaking Grade 12 Biology and it starts on Thursday.

November
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away I had the good luck to find two very different women to live with in Montreal.

December
This is the funniest thing I've seen in days.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

On Saturday evening this was the view from our back patio. There has been a theme of pictures that are reminiscent of stain glass in my life right now...

The Toronto skyline was kind of eery and I have a bit of an armageddon complex so I had to check to make sure our portable water filter was where I'd put it after the last camping trip, the bike tires were pumped and confirm the canned goods cupboard. You know. Just In Case.

Once I knew we had enough to sustain us for at least 36 hours I finished the long overdue Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch and Bitch. She will be leaving me for a beautiful baby in Halifax - I'm so very jealous. I made it out of Lana Grossa Meilenweit double stranded. Easy and to the point I loved it. I had attempted to knit two baby sweaters already for him and they both turned out like they would fit a first time mother's worst nightmare. Don't make me go any further with the description of the arm vs neck diameter.

My dad could wear it. Sure he looked like the gayest sailor on the dock but he could wear it like a tight tight pink tee. In reference to the horror that was the baby sweater, all my Mimi said was: "Who is *that* for?"

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hangover Helper

I went to the first of the holiday parties last night thank the gods I'm working at Lettuce Knit today to help cushion the blow to my cranial matter.

Come by - I'll be wearing the Christmas cowboy hat. It's awesome

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Interconnectedness of All Things

My wonderful giving mother in law, Debbie, gave me a cashmere scarf pattern with the actual cashmere in August. The pattern was written and bought from Yarn Forward. I finally blocked and finished it this weekend and I love it.

I'd never knit with 100% cashmere before, yarn porn indeed.

I'll be giving the scarf to my grandmother who taught me to knit 2 or 3 times. My new favourite past time is to make her eyes bug out in wonder that I've developed the sticktoitiveness that is required to finish a knitted garment.

Mmmm...dreamy.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Watching a train wreck.

I got the call today that the cast for the Friday Show at the Bad Dog Theatre was short a person. Thinking to myself, "I'm both short and an improvisor" I booked in.

The last show I did was so much fun that it reminded me about everything I love about performing improv. Living on the edge, making a full house laugh, pretending to be Holmes on Homes with a great rack.

Tonight was the show that reminded me that improv is often times like a train wreck you not only can't escape watching but must commit to watching - desperately hoping beyond hope that some dignity will be left when the lights come down. It reminded me that it takes years to build the chops that good improvisors need to take a leap and enter an empty stage to make magic out of nothing but faith that other players are interested in making comedy gold with you.

To do improv with new young terrified/cocky improvisors you need the ability to do what I call, "Extreme Improv". I need to deal with my improv atrophy if I get invited to do this show again.

Am currently enjoying a glass of delicious red wine while roasting butternut squash and prepping my first *real* lace project for blocking. The true joy of tonight is that even a shit ass terrible show is better than watching 3 hours of CSI feeling sorry for myself.

Knowing this makes the blasphemy of bad improv worth every painful awkward silence.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

tick. tock. tick. tock.

This week has been brutal. I've been fighting the overwhelming need to not wake up and just remain nested in my handmade log cabin quilt from my aunt. Sweet sweet sleep - my day to day favourite state of being was becoming a little bit too addictive.

I know I'm just feeling blue and while it's not crippling yet if I caved to the false necessity of staying in bed all day it would be crippling. So I drag myself out of bed and try and engage solely in activities that alleviate blueness when possible. You know the ones, they involve more yarn than workplace mediation.

Enjoying the memories of the company of life affirming and positive women while gorging on healthy nutritious food and drink. Linda, Beth and Melissa before a stitch and bitch last week. I wasn't feeling blue last week so this is a helpful memory to remind me that I can get passed this week. I do wish I had a few pictures of me with my mouth shut...I suppose a guffaw is alright.

I sent Linda and Beth to the Bad Dog Theatre to see my husband making funny and look what Linda sent me. If there is anything to make a girl grin and move on it's a picture of her freakishly large rock and roll hugging a couple of free range lactation consultants. Warms the cockles of my heart.

Last night I had to get out of the house after work. Three hours of CSI curled up on the couch alternately sleeping and feeling sorry for myself was getting boring. Thank the alpacas I went to Lettuce Knit because Jean Anne came and saved my life. She made it look easy too.

When I got home I found a veritable zoo of balloon animals. J was getting a little worried and attacked my blues with his army of balloon animals and snowmen. The blues retreated like the pansies they are for the time being.

These are the moments that get me through the crappy stuff.