Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This cat can block...

or at least get in the way! Lassy and I blocked the Swallowtail Shawl yesterday. She was very helpful with setting out my blocking mats.

Then she chased a toy beetle under the mats.

And then, the all-important naptime.

This is her natural position, lounging importantly. She already knows that she owns the place.

Finally, I had to bar her from the room to get this blocked out. I hope she'll understand.

The new blocking wires are a godsend.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Traveling again

Whew. It feels as though I've hardly been home this fall. Following the late summer trip to Manchester, I had to go to western Newfoundland for a little field work. Then there was a quick weekend for meetings in Toronto (sorry to my Toronto friends, I didn't have a moment to spare this time! But I'll be back in February.), and now I'm in Calgary on a week-long training for work. I'll be back home for a couple of weeks before I have to head off to Ottawa again for my defense. Don't get me wrong, it's all been rather exciting. But sometimes I'd like to be able to see my husband in person and enjoy just lounging in the new house. Oh, the house? Right. I promised you more pictures. I have only one with me right now:

This is what hubby likes to call "Kelly in her natural habitat". That's the first test drive for knitting on the new couch. I'll have to take some more photos when I get home. Lassy, the cat, has finally joined us in our new home, so I will have to provide the long-awaited kitty photos soon too. Yup, it's a real knitting blog now. I have cat photos!

My flight to Calgary was ridiculously long, but the upside is that I managed to get more knitting done during the trip than I have in the past month. I started a Swallowtail shawl (the second one for me) as we took off from St. John's, and after several hours lounging around Halifax and then Toronto airports, I had the rosebud lace section finished by the time we touched down in Calgary. I've been working on the border in my spare moments since I arrived. Here's a shot of it - please excuse the ugly hotel chair!

It should be ready for blocking by the time I get home, and will likely be a Christmas present. The yarn is Knit Picks Shimmer (70% alpaca, 30% silk) in the Turquoise Splendor colourway. I'm not delighted with the stripy pooling that's happening - I was hoping for something a little more random - but I can certainly live with it. Re-knitting this pattern has been a really interesting exercise. The first Swallowtail shawl that I knit was my first project in laceweight yarn. I found it pretty challenging, especially at the beginning. It felt clumsy, it was hard to "read" my knitting, and the P5tog nups really tried my patience. It has several obvious mistakes in it. Now that I've been knitting lace for a while, this project is going really smoothly. I haven't frogged once - although as you can see, I'm still cautious enough to have put in a life line before the borders... can't be too careful. (Note to self - always carry dental floss when traveling!) Even the nups seem much more manageable. It shows me that my skills are definitely getting better. I have been thinking about tackling a major lace project, like a full-size shawl. This one has really caught my interest. Maybe in the new year.

It occurred to me recently that, in the craziness that has been my life lately, I completely missed the passing of my one-year blogiversary. I've been pretty bad with anniversaries in general - I have been away from Nick and out of the country for our first two wedding anniversaries! I'll mark the date on my calendar (for the blogiversary - I know when my anniversary is!) and try to do something special for next year.

I'll up again from Newfoundland next week. I've got a great little FO there to share.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm back!

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone is still dropping by here.....

I have finally crawled out from under many, many piles of boxes, and I'm happy to report that the unpacking and settling in have progressed to a level wherein we now have an assembled computer AND internet. High speed no less. Sigh. It is truly home now.

If I could find my camera, I would give you a tour of the house, or show you the meagre progress on my knitting, or even show you the photo I took of the box containing the twenty pounds of paper that constitutes the examination copies of my Ph.D. thesis. That's right - it's official. It's been submitted, and I'll be journeying back to Ottawa for my torture session thesis defense on December 11. But since my camera is still lost in a labyrinth of boxes (somewhere on the third floor, I'm told), you'll have to be satisfied with this stock footage of the new house:

For those who aren't familiar, much of the St. John's downtown consists of similar 100-year-old brightly painted wooden row houses on hilly little narrow streets. Nobody has ever accused the place of lacking character! We got lucky with this house in that we're only attached on the back, and we have that little garage with the deck over it. So far, I'm loving the neighbourhood, and the ten-minute walk to work. Even better is the two-minute stumble down the hill to Tim Horton's. We have so many plans... painting the outside and the inside, installing a real garage door, setting up my little craft studio.... but in the meantime, I'll be really happy when the new couch arrives tomorrow and I have somewhere comfy to sit and knit!

That's it for now - just a teaser, I know. But I'm back now for real, and you can count on hearing a lot more from me in future. I have really appreciated having other blogs to read in my rare free moments these past few months. I've been trying to keep up on the news, even if I haven't been much for commenting lately. And thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement, and for sharing my excitement through all the many changes lately. It certainly has been quite a year!