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I’m back home and attempting to bake cupcakes for our scary movie night tonight. It’s not going as well as I’d like. I’m using Amy Sedaris’ recipe so I had high hopes for them but my oven has two modes: under cook and burn. We’ll see.

So, Nat has informed me that she’s been feverishly checking my blog to see what I bought in Montreal, despite the fact that I will see her in an hour.

At Moliné I picked up some Regia Nordic Colour in Gotland.

I love the colour but I’m a little disappointed because I thought it was self-striping because I’m an idiot and didn’t see the picture on the side of a sock that is cleary varigated or whatever you call that ugly speckled colour pattern. Oh well.

I had to make some big decisions at Effiloché but in the end I picked up more sock yarn; some Fleece Artist Somoko that she had just received. Kate hadn’t even seen it yet and she works there.

I’m glad I finally picked up a solid colour sock yarn so I can make something lacy from Favourite Socks. Actually, Mona Schmidt’s Socks for Veronik would be so appropriate, non? With it’s fiber content I think they’ll be very fancy feeling.

I was very excited to see that they also had the new Amy Butler Sola Soak.

It’s a great smell. Chris said it just smelled like soap but he’s obviously a fine wool wash philistine.

I have entered some strange dimension where designers who I admire very much invite me into their homes and treat me kindly.

I met Robyn near her home today and we hurried over to Véronik Avery’s home. She is working out of her gorgeous house for the moment so I got to touch her yarn and look at her sketches and meet Mona Schmidt. I will warn you right now that I didn’t take many photos today. I didn’t want to breach their privacy by photographing their personal spaces and then blogging about it.

I did sneak a picture of Véronik signing my book.

She claimed she looks awful. She is mistaken. I was so in awe of her bright, beautiful work space.

Just to the right you can kind of see a large board where she has tacked pattern ideas and swatches, including a swatch from the Collette Pullover from the upcoming Interweave. She has some gorgeous designs coming out at some point that I will wait for on pins and needles.

We hung out for quite a while and chatted as though she were a normal friendly person and not a knitting mastermind. I wore my Shetland Vest because I am a dork.

We then headed to Mouliné, got lost and eventually found Sara and Effiloché. You can bet your booty I spent my yarn money in it’s entirety but the very modest hall will have to wait until tomorrow and sunlight for posting.

When we had finished shopping and lunch, Robyn dropped me off at Kate Gilbert’s house because she said to come on over because she is a kind soul who doesn’t believe people will pose as her admirers on Ravelry and then steal her furniture. We chatted and went out for tea with Tadpole (aka the cutest toddler ever, hands down). She was warm and accommodating and patiently answered my zillion questions. More importantly I did not say anything too stupid or act like a moron.

I can’t get over how the online knitting community is a real community of kind people who will go to great lengths for other knitters just because they share a common joy. Meeting new people is not my forté and I was a little nervous going in to this trip but everyone I’ve met has been so incredibly welcoming and kind and I feel like I’ve known them forever.

I think tomorrow Chris will have to pry my hands off the bedpost while I scream and kick and demand to stay in the great city.

Could this be the luckiest girl in the whole room?

I was craving Thai Express and I found a Thai Express under Simons. And more importantly the lovely Cara took a break from puking and had another contest with Socks that Rock as the highly coveted prize AND I WON! I know this will earn me the ire of many of you dear readers, but I actually won my first ever skein of STR from Cara which became my first Jaywalkers.

I can’t wait to get it! Thanks again Cara!

Plus I’m in a city I love meeting some truly lovely people.

Yesterday afternoon we checked in to the Queen Elizabeth of bed in  and Chris’s street gangs conference fame and shorty after I took the Metro to my SP 10 & 11 hostess Robyn‘s neighbourhood and I finally got to meet her. We hung out at her place for a while where I got Sean to model the toddler hat for my shop.

But it seems to have stretched like crazy when I blocked it. I may have to frog and try again.

Robyn also let me swim in all the yarn in her office and then we headed to Second Cup for a knit night.

I had lots of fun and probably talked everyone’s ear off. It’s my shtick when I’m nervous. If you were there please pass your blogs and / or Ravelry IDs along to me.

My table mates were Janet and Alison (dear god I hope I got their names right).

They were so warm and friendly. Janet was so darling I wanted to pick her up and put her in my pocket and carry her around.

The pile in the foreground is my Tangled Yoke. Today I walked all over downtown Montreal (more on that in a sec) and all I bought was some buttons for TY from Fabricville, which is actually French for Fabricland, but they have way more buttons than the ones in Ottawa.

It was hard to capture but they actually have a purplish sheen to them.

I think they will do nicely.

Before this coup I walked for about forty five minutes to and then up rue Saint Hubert and didn’t find one fabric store. I’m not sure if I went in the wrong direction or didn’t go far enough. Either way I was ill prepared.

Now I must gather my strength before my yarnscapade tomorrow!

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I’ve worked a whole day today and I am tired. I know, so pathetic. But teaching and taking the bus and grocery shopping are tiring, especially after four months of barely leaving my apartment. I did get a lot of work done on my mom’s socks while the students watched videos and made homophobic comments (god I hate teenagers).

Anyway, the Interweave preview is up. While I think the cover looks like a 1983 Woman’s Day,

I do love the cover sweater as well as this

and this

I potentially love the Farrow Rib Cardigan, Ruched Shell and Gathered Pullover but I’ll have to wait to see bigger photos to see if they’ll be added to the queue.

Tangled Yoke is now under control.

After a good night’s rest I forgave it and realized why I was having such trouble. 1) I had misplaced my stitch markers and 2) I had cast on two extra stitches. Apparently I can’t handle counting past two hundred. I still find it tricky that with the garter rib the ribbing row doesn’t show the ribbing and is therefore not easy to just pick up and know what you should be doing. I keep having to flip it over and look at the ribs on the right side and talk myself through it. “O.K., I see two purl stitches so that means I have to knit.” Maybe I’m just a moron but it feels a bit like rubbing your belly and tapping your head at the same time.

Another reason this project started off on the wrong foot is I realized I had only ordered enough yarn for the 38″ size when I have a 40.5″ bust. The next size up is 42″ so I suppose when I ordered the yarn way back when I thought I would rather have it close fitting than loose. But in the present day I started to panic. I didn’t want to look like I was trying to squeeze into a Gap Kids cardigan.

Yesterday I decided to take my measurements. We don’t have a scale and I was curious if my unparalleled month long health kick was paying off. Guess what? My bust now measures 39″! Granted I would rather whittle that inch and a half off my thunder thighs but I’ll take what I can get.

Until quite recently I didn’t understand the concept of “stash yarn.”  I would finish a project, carefully decide what I wanted to make next and skip to my LYS to buy yarn for it.  Nat’s heaping laundry basket of yarn hidden behind a chair shocked me.  Why would you need all that yarn!?  Then a couple of months ago something happened.  Maybe it was Elann, maybe it was paying off my credit card.  Maybe it was sitting at home all summer with nothing but a computer and Ravelry to keep me company.  Whatever the spark, I began to accumulate.  I had to buy baskets and rearrange storage space.  All that space on my credit card began to fill up like my closets.

Chris was sitting here yesterday and decided he was going to organize my yarn for me.  He is the detail-oriented, neat freak that I am not.  He located all of my yarn (well, not the odds and remnants but that’s not worth discussing) and set himself down on one of my “blocking boards.”

He started with a plan that involved structural soundness and was displeased.  He decided on a spectral design.

The end result was a wee bit shaming.

Chris would like to to know that these are actually two deep.

But we finally found something to do with our useless fake fireplace!

In other knitting news  I went half-assed on the Equestrian Blazer and decided to try wet blocking it again instead of unraveling.  It’s raining and dreary today so it’s still quite wet and I’m unable to deliver a verdict as to the effectiveness of my slacker methods.

This conveniently freed me up to cast on for Tangled Yoke.  How long would you guesstimate that this six rows took me?

Maybe an hour?  Try six!  I don’t know what was up with me and / or this pattern last night but I unknit and dropped stitches and miscounted so many times that I went to bed with a killer headache and zero desire to work on this again.  Of course I will but I will be mighty glad when this stupid nonintuitive ribbing is over with.

I took my time with the finishing, weathered a panicky moment (straps are six inches too short – blocked like a mofo) and now I am so pleased.

Please disregard the headlights above.  It’s bright outside.

I am also happy to know that this will still fit me in the not-inconceivable event that I gain three hundred pounds (it is mad stretchy yo!).

Pattern:  Shetland Shawl Turned Vest by Veronik Avery from Lace Style

Yarn: Elann Peruvian Alpaca Fina in Charcoal – just barely over four balls and a tiny bit of the same yarn in Mauve – less than $20!

Notions: Two buttons from Fabricland

Size: 39 3/4″

Modifications: I didn’t do the silver and teal accent colours on the bottom because I thought it looked a bit too sporty. I didn’t have a 3.25mm circ so I used some 3 mm straights and dpns.  What a pain when I had to do the 360 stitch edging!

Time: September 28th (I think) to October 22nd

Needles: 3.5 and 3.0 mm straights and DPNs.

I wish I could wear it right next to the skin because this yarn is so soft.  Maybe I will just around the apartment.  Or out if I’m feeling saucy.

I’m really tempted to cast on for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan right away but I think I might wait a bit and try to redo the edging on the Equestrian Blazer.  We’ll see.

While I waited for Shetland to dry this weekend I made the agonizing decision to frog my Pomatamuses.

Once I got to the foot and saw how nice the Lorna’s Laces looked in the plain stockinette, the pooling started to bother me.  Plus I was worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish and would have to rip back later.  Surprisingly, once it was frogged, I wasn’t remorseful at all.

Yesterday I started a pair of Jaywalkers for my mom for Christmas and I’m already to turn the heel.  Hopefully she’s not reading this.

This is some Schoeller and Stahl Sockina Colori that I bought back in December with the remnants of a Christmas gift card for Wool ‘N Things.  I really wanted to knit from my stash for Christmas gifts to save money but I find it really hard to part with my yarn, because I’m selfish.  But looking at the Colori on Ravelry I realized it was a little too busy for me so I’m quite pleased with my decision.

Melina also made my Christmas stash knitting easier with her gifts from Ireland.

This is some Kilcarra Aran Tweed which may become some Fetching for my sister.

And this is some mysterious tweed which I think would be lovely as the Koolhaas hat.

Thanks again Melina!

We had friends over to dinner on Saturday and I decided to make an Autumn themed meal.  I made my favourite squash soup (if you make this make sure not to add so much cream cheese),  some hearty raisin and walnut bread which was similar to some I used to buy at my local bakery in Japan

and some Apple Pie from The New Vegetarian Epicure.

I hate to toot my own horn, but Michelle said it was the best apple pie she’d ever had. I’ll give most of the credit to Anna Thomas.

All of this to say that it was such a lovely weekend filled with friends, cooking knitting and relaxing, complete with watching Mannequin on t.v.  We need more movies where Andrew McCarthy plays the sensitive heartthrob and James Spader is the evil yuppie.

For some reason Ravelry isn’t loading right now and I am totally panicking because if I have to go a weekend not at Rhinebeck with every other knitter in North American and without Ravelry, well, I think I might just die.

If I do I would like to buried with my new yarn.

I thank the lord that when my mom spotted a yarn shop (perhaps in San Marino? I forget edit: she was kind enough to leave the receipt in the bag. They’re from Nine Rubies in San Mateo) my father said he was going to keep walking, forcing my mother to go on the quick recommendations of the salesperson and not on her it’s-still-the-depression instincts. This is Paca Peds by the Alpaca Yarn Co. in Deep Sea and Fireside. It is the softest sock yarn I have ever felt. Normally, I would not go for the Fireside colour but I absolutely love it. It makes me want to knit it up while it’s still fall. Way to go mom!

The little thing to the right is this Knitting Thimble:

Chris immediately pointed out that she must have bought this because she was horrified at the red indentation the Lorna’s Laces left on my finger from working on the Pomotamuses over Thanskgiving.

I feel like it’s knitting Christmas around here lately. Melina kindly bought me some yarn in Ireland on her honeymoon and I’m going to pick it up on Sunday. Props Melina!

I’ll be able to post that on Monday, and, I can say with a goodly amount of confidence, also the finished Shetland Shawl Turned Vest. The front is finished.

(Thank you flash!) and all that’s left is to seam the sides and do the rest of the edging. While I am always tempted to sit down and do all the finished in one go, I am trying to be a patient lady and take my time and do it right so as to avoid having to redo it in a couple of months. Not that I know what that’s like.

I begrudgingly wish everyone fun at Rhinebeck. I comfort myself in knowing that if I was frolicking at knitting mecca this weekend I wouldn’t get to cook this tonight. Whoop-dee-doo.

My mom didn’t make it downtown last night but I did get my Secret Pal package that she just mailed yesterday!

My secret pal is great and listens to what I like.  She know I like fabric so she sent me fabric.  I think this will make some lovely bags.  Actually, the black floral might make a nice dress without being overwhelming.  And I think it’s awesome that this is my October package so she sent me Scout’s Swag in the Socktoberfest colour.  Thanks SP!

While we’re talking about SP, the second contest in my group to is to post pics of your first FO and your last FO.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of my first FO, it predated my ownership of a digital camera and it was given to my sister and my mother put it away somewhere with their winter accessories.

Anyway, it was a scarf.  I learned to knit when I was around eight or so, but I never knew how to do anything but the knit stitch.  I started many scarves with good intentions but never finished one.  I resigned myself to the fact that I didn’t have the patience or the focus for knitting.  I can’t remember what got me on to the knitting kick that stuck (probably a scarf in a movie or something) but about three years ago to this day I picked up Stitch ‘n Bitch and some Patons yarn in my favourite colours at Yarn Forward, and filled my days of waiting for supply calls (sound familiar?) working on the Go Go Garter Stitch Scarf.  It was acrylic, it had holes, I recognized even then that I would never wear it, but it was an actual finished scarf that someone could wear.  I think it was even a respectable length in total discordance with every other scarf I’ve ever made.  I hate knitting scarves.

The latest FO would be the Equestrian Blazer.

Since this initial photo I’ve tacked the collar down, as per Kate’s suggestion, so it doesn’t roll.  In the near future I plan to redo the bottom edging and make it looser so it doesn’t bunch up as it is even here.

You may have noticed the link to Vicky Howell’s podcast on the sidebar.  I read that Will Forte will be the guest on her third show and I am now very excited to check it out.  And I maybe want to win some free yarn.

I just did all the paperwork for that job I interviewed for in September, so provided I don’t have TB there will be more sock yarn in my future.   Excelsior!

I caught the second half of the second episode of Project Runway Canada and was sufficiently hooked to watch the first episode online this morning first thing (it’s a difficult life, this). I kind of love Carlie but that may just be because of her kick ass hair. I hadn’t seen the American version before so I was surprised that most of the participants were already fairly successful designers and therefore wickedly talented for the most part. Except Megan. You can’t sew? Really? You were aware that this was a show for people who want to make clothing right?

I want to hate Iman because she’s married to my boyfriend and, well, I do. It’s not all her fault. I’m sure she didn’t beg them to use “you just don’t measure up” ad nauseum and she sounds fine when every single word coming out of her mouth isn’t scripted but that isn’t often enough to make her bearable to listen to.

Regardless, it’s quite inspriational and I walked to the grocery store today critiqueing every lunch break office worker’s outfit. It wasn’t difficult. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are supposed to be professionals dressing like they’re at a slumber party when they were twelve. Don’t even get me started.

This pre-dates my PRC period, but I skipped to Heavens to Betsy this weekend and got a cute hat.

Who loves a cheesy vignette?

I love it so much that it doesn’t bother me at all that I have no upward vision when wearing it.

In knitting news, I finished the back of Shetland on Thursday or Friday and blocked it a few minutes ago.

I would have liked to block it a little more aggressively but it was to measurement as is and I didn’t want to make it huge. I’m about half way through the front.

Question: When I meet Veronik Avery and possibly Kate Gilbert in Montreal on the 28th is it super cheesy to wear one of their patterns? Should I try to be all cool and wear a Eunny Jang?

That’s right, Robyn is organizing a get together on the day I get to Montreal and she’s invited the Montreal knitterati. Jealous?