October 30, 2005

First installment

My computer has decided (briefly, no doubt) to both turn on AND acknowledge the existence of the Internet (it’s been a rough few weeks for this computer — thank goodness for the department’s computer at school!), so I’ve been able to upload my pictures from my trip to Wolfville last weekend. I don’t think I have time to put them all up right now, though, with proper commentary, so I’ll start with a couple from the drive itself, and I’ll move on to yarn-related news and The Sea (glimpses only) in later posts.

The trees were gorgeous all the way down, but frustratingly hard to photograph. For one thing there was alot of green still, partly because of the coniferous trees, partly because it’s been such a warm fall. And it turns out that my camera can’t really reliably record the beauty of the colours from the window of my car on the highway. The best I could do was this shot, which I stopped to take somewhere along the regional highway cutting through from Truro to Windsor (Nova Scotia):

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At least it demonstrates what a lovely blue day it was, but it doesn’t really show the fall colours.

Later on, near Wolfville, I stopped to record the most stunning trees I’d seen yet:

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Of course by this time I was in the Annapolis Valley, which at this time of the year is most definitely apple country. Everywhere I looked there were apples for sale, or apple trees:

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and boxes and boxes of apples, picked and ready for sale (I presume):

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I didn’t have nearly as much time as I’d have liked to explore the area (darn conference!), but I did manage to check out the LYS, Gaspereau Valley Fibres (good call, Steph!). But! That will have to wait for next post — lots of pictures, no time now!

For the moment I’ll leave you with another picture I stopped to take on that regional highway. Can anyone tell me why I took it? It’s a musical reference, strangely enough. (In case it’s not clear, the sign says “Rawdon Gold Mines Campground”).

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Posted by Aven at 04:05 PM | Comments (3)

October 26, 2005

Catch-up

First, I am very sorry to have taken so long to say

THANK YOU!

to all the lovely ladies at the SnB at Lettuce Knit in Toronto. Look what they sent me!

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The wonderful card, with all their kind thoughts and good wishes, is lying under two luscious skeins of the softest most beautiful cashmere. Aren’t I the luckiest knitter? Thank you, guys. I’ll try to thank you all individually by email, or in person — when I’m visiting Toronto! Yes, I’ll be in town early in November — and I’ve already booked Wednesday, Nov. 9 for the SnB, so I hope I see you all there. In the meantime, what should I do with this lovely yarn? I think I’d like a nice warm and fancy scarf, since it gets a mite cold down here, I’ve been told. I’ll take any suggestions for a slighly fancy or interesting scarf pattern that would work for this… it’s a light worsted weight, I think.

Next, I did felt those slippers for Mark, and they turned out great:

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In fact I’ve actually received and sewed on suede slipper bottoms for them (from Fiber Trends via Elann) but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet. I’ll try to do that soon.

I took a drive down to Wolfville last weekend for a conference at Acadia University, and the fall foliage was just stunning the whole way. I hope to upload those pictures soon so I can bore you with scenery photos, but in the meantime you’ll have to be contented with the trees outside our house, against the beautiful blue autumn sky:

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And finally, I really do appreciate all the comments people have left, and I’m feeling extremely guilty about not replying to them — I’ve got a huge backlog. But right now Mark and I are working frantically to send off job applications, due throughout the next month, and I just don’t have time for anything. I don’t have time for this, either, but I feel it’s more efficient than emailing just a few people, which is all I have time for. I will try to get caught up over the weekend…

I’ll leave you with another picture just for Jean, Tigger’s biggest fan:

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Posted by Aven at 02:55 AM | Comments (2)

October 19, 2005

Home sweet home

First, the slippers turned out great, but I don’t have a picture of them yet. And thank you for all the suggestions for soles — I’ll let you know what I decide to do with this pair, but I might use some of the other suggestions for future pairs… they’re all so clever!

In the meantime, I’ve been promising pictures of our house all set up for a long time, and in fact I took some photos a week or two ago, I just haven’t got around to posting them. So now I will — but the usual disclaimers about bad photography and “it looks much better in person!” apply; it’s particularly true here because the rooms are so small that it’s very hard to find somewhere to take the photos from that allows for a view of more than a corner.

First, here’s our bedroom, one view of the dresser and closet end and the other of the bed and windows. I personally am charmed by the drawers in the wall, though they do stick a little and are rather unwieldy.

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I didn’t take any pictures of the middle room, since we’re just using it to store boxes and plastic tubs right now (oh, and my dressing table is there, because there’s no room for it in the bedroom). But here’s the study, first Mark’s corner and then mine. Again, there’s more to this room than you can see in the photos, but I could find no way to take a picture of it.

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Downstairs we have the kitchen (it doesn’t really look much different than when we moved in, since everything’s in cupboards)

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and the dining room (now with the china cabinet — but you can’t see that from this angle)

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and the living room — a reasonably large room, but very full of stuff; it doesn’t look quite this crowded in person, really. These photos are the best I could do. (Oh, and we have a real tv stand now, and the coffee table is no longer supporting the tv but is in front of the couch)

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And for good measure, to help you all envision my life (since I know that’s what you’re all thinking about all the time…) here are a couple of pictures of my office at school. It may not look like much (it’s long and narrow, hence the two pictures from opposite ends) but I’m so thrilled to actually have an office OF MY OWN, with a computer and everything, that I love it. I don’t know if you can see the shelf of tea paraphenalia in the second picture — it’s accumulated even more teas and equipment since I took the picture.

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It all makes me quite happy, actually — cosy and fairly functional. A big thankyou to those who helped with the unpacking and setting up, in particular my parents, who did alot of the grunt work; also my aunt and uncle from Fredericton and my grandmother (oh yes, we had everyone working!). And Mark’s parents for bringing down the final touches and giving us the impetus to get it all set up!

Posted by Aven at 12:03 PM | Comments (11)

October 16, 2005

Slipping and falling

I’m taking a quick break from Hervor to supply Mark and me with some essential equipment for the coming winter here in our oil-heated house in Sackville: warm slippers. I’m trying out a pattern from Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas — it’s impressed me with its total cunning for shaping the toe. I have no idea how it works, all I know is that you cast on for the sole and then in the end you have a complete slipper, without ever casting off or breaking the yarn. You just have to seam the middle of the sole, and she has you make another sole to attach to it for padding and strength. The only problem is that she only gives sizes up to a woman’s large (I guess she thinks the slippers are too pretty for a man) so if I find that the size I made isn’t big enough for Mark, I’ll have to figure out the construction in order to upsize them.

Anyway, here they are unfelted on Mark’s feet — one of them still doesn’t have its second sole, but they’re otherwise finished. I had the black Paton’s Classic left over from the felted vest.

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I have a question for my readers — do you know of a good source for suede (or some other non-slip material) slipper bottoms? Preferably Canadian, but if they ship to Canada it might work. The whole house here is wood floors, so I’m worried about the slippiness factor of felt. No falling down the stairs allowed!

And to close, another fall picture — this one of a maple right outside our house. You can’t really tell in this photo, but it’s an incredibly windy and blustery day today, and the leaves may all be off the tree by evening! I hope not, because I think they’ll turn still more colourful, if they stick around!

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Posted by Aven at 10:52 AM | Comments (11)

October 13, 2005

More knitting!

Ok, Dani! I was trying to space out my knitting entries, but since you’re interested, I’ll get right to that brown rustic wool I mentioned to you. You see, when Mark’s parents were sightseeing up the Acadian coast (the northern shore of New Brunswick) they stopped at a gift shop at the Acadian Village and Mark’s mom, wonderful woman that she is, bought me a whole heap of Briggs & Little wool! This is wool that’s produced in New Brunswick, near Fredericton — I haven’t been there, but I’ve been meaning to get some of it so that I can make something truly local while I’m here. I was intending to get some for a guernsey (or some such thing) for Mark (and I probably still will), but when I saw this wool, I knew it was for me — all for me! And to add to the excitement, I’m using a pattern from one of my new books. Here’s the wool, with the beginnings of the back of the sweater:

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And the knitting in more detail:

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This is “Hervor” from the Viking Patterns book by Elsebeth Lavold:

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The gauge is slightly off, but I’m happily ignoring that at the moment. I’m loving how it’s knitting up, and the way the cables start in the ribbing. I took this photo over the weekend, and I’m quite a bit further now — I’ve just finished the first skein of yarn (which means Mark will have to help me wind off the next one soon).

I’m very happy about this project, not least because it was an unexpected surprise. I think I’ll have yarn left over, so I’ll probably make the hat, too. Yay!

In other, less exciting, news, we’ve just discovered that we can’t watch most of the Leafs games on TSN — only a few of them are being broadcast nationally, most of them are in the Leafs region (the GTA, as far as I can tell) only. And the majority of games are being shown on TSN this year! It’s particularly frustrating because we have digital cable, which has, for instance, all four regional versions of Sportsnet, and the local CBC’s from across the country — but only one version of TSN, the local one. And we can’t get LeafsTV because it’s only available in Ontario due to NHL rules.

In other words, we’re pretty much restricted to HNIC on Saturdays, and the occasional national TSN or Sportsnet broadcast. This may be meaningless to some (most) of you, but it’s very upsetting to us — the NHL is finally playing again, and we can’t watch our Leafs! In fact, often there isn’t ANY hockey on — why would TSN broadcast BOXING, for instance, instead of the Leafs!?

Oh well, I’ll have to find something else to knit in front of. Because I must finish this sweater soon, so that I can wear it!

Posted by Aven at 05:46 AM | Comments (8)

October 12, 2005

Knitting!

As promised, I do actually have some knitting to report. I’ve finished a pair of socks for Mark:

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These match the Shadow Cables Pullover I made for him in the spring of 2003. I had to redo the leg of the first one because I didn’t increase enough to compensate for the pulling in of the cables — I increased the foot (these were toe-up) more than I usually do for Mark’s socks, and increased a little more after the heel, but it wasn’t enough; he couldn’t even get the sock onto his foot. So I had to rip out the leg back to the heel and increase another 10 or more stitches (I have it written down somewhere). They’re still snug socks, but he can get them on.

It’s finally sunny here — just in time for Mark’s parents to head back to Ottawa! Fortunately they’re going to do some sightseeing in Saint John on the way, so they’ll get to see a bit of this province by sunlight, but it would have been nice if there could have been some good weather for them while they were here!

One of the exciting things we did over the weekend (ok, it wasn’t exciting to anyone else, but I was thrilled) was put together a new acquisition:

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This is our new china cabinet, straight from Sears, which has an outlet in our landlady’s store — it’s the most convenient way to get department store things, unless we want to go into Moncton. It arrived flat-packed, though, and we put it together — not actually hard, but it took a fair while. And then we unpacked all the china, crystal, and assorted fragile things that Mark’s parents had brought down for us (thanks guys!) and put it into it. Well, not all — the cabinet’s not big enough for everything, but fortunately the house is equipped with this:

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Apparently our landlady’s mother used this to store and display her doll collection — we’ve put our dishes into it. That probably reflects our obsession with food pretty accurately!

You have no idea how happy this makes me — not only does it mean the last boxes are unpacked (well, except for the ones we don’t intend to unpack yet), but it also means we can see and enjoy our beautiful wedding gifts (which almost all the nice things in our house are) every day, even though we don’t use them except when we have guests.

Since this may give pleasure to no one but me and Mark, I’ll end with something else to entertain you. Here’s a rather poor picture of what is apparently a fairly common local sight — a ring-necked pheasant, this one in the parking lot at school:

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Posted by Aven at 12:03 PM | Comments (3)

October 10, 2005

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Or Columbus Day, I think, in the US? I don’t know if it’s a holiday anywhere else)

Mark’s parents were visiting, and though it rained unremittingly all weekend (so irritating — so much to see, but too foggy and wet to see it!) we managed to throw together a little something for dinner last night:

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See how happy we are about it? (Mark’s happy too, he was just taking the picture)

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(Even Tigger was happy)

We were particularly pleased with how colourful our plates were:

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This was thanks in part to the bizarre, but wonderful, produce we found — check out this cauliflower!

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In an effort to make dishes appropriate to our locale, we bought ourselves a quarter bushel of apples from Nova Scotia (for $3.50!):

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We put apples in the stuffing, made a fennel and apple salad, and cooked apples and red cabbage together to make German Sweet and Sour Cabbage (scroll down a bit), found on Fillyjonk’s blog (it was great!). All very yummy — but now I’m going to have to make a heck of alot of apple pies to use up the rest of the apples!

Can you tell we like our food?!

I actually have knitting to report, as well as many other promised pictures, but I think I’ll spread them out a bit. So, I’ll end on a Thanksgiving-appropriate note, just for La.

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Posted by Aven at 04:35 PM | Comments (4)

October 04, 2005

Back again

Hi there! Sorry I’ve been such a bad blogger. A combination of annoying computer problems, busyness, and a lack of exciting knitting content has kept me from updating. Lately I feel like I’ve been running reasonably hard just to stay in one place; but that’s not to say that things aren’t going well, it’s just that they’re taking up alot of time and energy! We’ve finally got the house mostly set up, though, which is a big relief. Mark’s parents are visiting for the week (and for Thanksgiving) so we were forced to do all the things we’d been ignoring because the place was set up “enough” to get by. Now the only major things I still want to do are organise the books (they’re currently on the shelves in a completely random fashion, which can be entertaining but is mostly irritating when I’m trying to find something specific) and put up a few of the pictures and paintings we have. It turns out we have an awful lot of art and framed photographs, and there’s not enough wall space in this house to put it all up (plus it’s newly painted and I’m feeling guilty about putting holes in the wall) but I’d like to hang a few key pieces.

I have been knitting a bit — some socks for Mark. Maybe I’ll get around to taking a picture of them, but I make no promises. I’m more interested in taking some pictures of the house, now that it’s fairly well set up — but I forgot to do it this afternoon when I’d just finished cleaning and tidying, and the sun was streaming in beautifully. Who knows when I’ll manage to do it now.

Mark and I drove into Amherst (a somewhat larger Nova Scotia town 15 minutes away) yesterday to do some grocery shopping, and it was a little scary to realise how excited we were to be in a big grocery store that actually had, for example, Astro yogurt. And shallots. Our expectations really have changed!

Oh, and I was disturbingly thrilled to see that there’s a Dairy Queen there, too — mmm, Blizzards…

Posted by Aven at 01:48 PM | Comments (7)