27 April 2007

Better Today

I went back to both government buildings today and things went much more smoothly. Phew! The birth certificate was ready at the stated time, then the slip of paper given to me by the passport rep really did let me jump the line as promised.

And Now For A "Stop and Smell the Roses" Moment:

I briefly noticed on Wednesday that the provincial building (MacDonald Block, 900 bay Street) contains some interesting looking art. Well today, having time and a camera, I took a closer look. The place is a veritable modern art gallery. Every hallway contains several huge installations in all sorts of media. I suppose they must have been commissioned with the structure as each piece is dated 1968. Stunning pieces and BIG - we're talking floor to ceiling and 4 to 8 feet wide. Unfortunately, the lighting is horrendous. Thus, the works are not shown at their best and the photos are mostly blurry.

Franklin Arbuckle: Acrylic polymer on canvas 1968

Detail below

Aba Bayefsky: Acrylic polymer on plaster 1968

Attention Fibre Freaks!

This is the one that got me - a two storey high, beaded weaving. It's hanging in a darkish stairway so the photo does it nowhere near justice. The colours are amazing and each acrylic bead is larger than my fist. Go see this next time you're at Bay and Wellesley. It's right off the main atrium in the stairs going to the second floor.


25 April 2007

Worst Day Ever

I've been trying to get passports for the kid and I for a while now. This may seem simple enough for people who have nothing else to do. For me, finding the forms, filling them out, getting photos taken, dropping forms and photos at dentist for verification, picking them up again and finding an entire day to potentially devote to hanging around the passport office, has taken weeks. Silly things like my job and life have been getting in the way.

So off I go at 8am this morning. I am 47th in line. I wait an hour and a half (not bad really, Thank you knitting). The nice lady tells me that since I wasn't married when The Daughter was born, I need to get the long form birth certificate. I pay her $87 for my passport and head over to another government building. On the way there, I lose my bus pass. I wait in another line, am treated badly by front desk guy and then pay $50 for the stupid form. Regular service is only $35 but you're not guaranteed to receive it in your lifetime. Now I get to go back to both ugly fluorescent lit offices on Friday and wait and pay some more. Meanwhile, I'm mentally calculating how many more hours I need to work to pay for all this.
Then in the afternoon...I go to the library to pick up a hold. This will cheer me up as I've been looking forward to reading this book (on meditation hah hah. I kid you not). Well the hold expired yesterday and the book is gone. I did try to pick it up yesterday but the library had changed hours and it was closed when I went. Crap.

22 April 2007

Channel Your Inner Stevie Nicks

It's off the blocking and ready to wear. Too bad the weather is too warm for alpaca lace. Despite all the heartbreak of the process, or perhaps because of it, I love the result. The bell sleeves? "...like a wild winged dove, ooh, baby, ooh, baby, ooh..."

Pattern: Top Down Raglan Bolero from Headwater Wools
Yarn: 100% alpaca from Peru4less (Ebay store)\
Needles: 3.75mm circulars
Modifications: I added quite a bit of length to the body. Thus it looks more sweater-like and less trendy boob cover. I also lengthened the sleeves by about thirty rows. Also, the pattern illustration shows the bolero hanging open but I prefer the single pin closure.

Hey, notice the photo is taken outside? That means that spring has finally sprung. This calls for Saturday soil turning and a Sunday stroll to the local garden centre.

20 April 2007

Clever Scientist

I've cast this on - twice. Let's set aside the obvious necessary pattern adjustments required for my pear shape and concentrate on the pure bone-headedness of cast on #1.

I proudly cast on with my lovely bamboo after much math knowing that this slim piece of cuteness will now fit my butt. Reading glasses in place I squint over the lace pattern and carefully knit away over two evenings. After one+ pattern repeats, I've truly got a grip on the lace. Yes, I am the queen! But why is it lying so funny? Why can't I see the whole feathery prettiness of it?
Yes, I twisted the stitches when joining the round. I'm knitting a moebius.

15 April 2007

June Callwood

Rest in peace sweet angel.

I don't feel sad for her. She said she was ready to go. I do feel sad for the rest of us that we now live in a world without her.

13 April 2007

I Knit A Circle...

...because I can.
Actually, the pattern calls this a dishcloth but it's far too pretty for that. Also, the yarn used is too thick for dishes. I shall call it a potholder and call it a day. Perhaps I'll give it to my Secret Pal.

08 April 2007

07 April 2007

An Anniversary

This weekend, Easter, holds a different significance in my household. Easter Monday, two years ago, the husband and I quit smoking. I'd attempted to quit many times before with pathetic results. This time was different. The reasons were financial. We really wanted to buy a house and figured we could only manage it if we gave up cigarettes. A rough calculation showed that we were smoking the equivalent of the hydro, water and property taxes of a small house in T.O.

So, I said to myself, "This is my LAST cigarette." and bought the Patch. I discovered that having actually decided that I was really doing it, quitting wasn't that hard. There were the awful cravings of course, but knowing that I wasn't going to give in to them, made them pass more quickly. I kept telling myself,

"I am no longer an apartment dwelling smoker. I am a home owning non-smoker".
It worked.

Except that two years later, I know that I am still, and always will be, a smoker. I just don't practice. I had my first smoke at fifteen. I snuck one of my mother's and took a walk. From the first I knew I liked it. From my early twenties on, I smoked just under a pack a day. That's 25 years as a smoker, 20 of them a heavy smoker. I liked the way the butt felt in my hand. I liked stepping outside of the office for breaks, the taste of coffee mixed with smoke in the morning and after dinner. Cigarettes and wine? Heaven. To this day, the sound of a Zippo being struck, turns me on. Really.

Oh, I don't intend to start again. I'm just reflecting. Yes, I'm healthier and smell better and have more cash. It's all good. I just miss it. Too bad that my wee passion is so expensive.
The cancer part sucks too.

03 April 2007

Chugging Along

I'm just about done the first bell sleeve of the bolero. After such a rocky start, I've grown quite fond of the pattern. This has definitely become a process over product knit. The lace is so simple, yet so charming (the colour above is too violet but it was the best focussed shot of the lace). I'm betting it will be stunning after blocking.

I got a nifty new wallet in Chinatown the other day. Not that I need a new wallet but this one has Blythe on it! I am besotted with this creepy, big-headed girl and am desperate to own one. Alas, it is one luxury that I cannot justify. After a lottery win maybe? For now, I'll keep this flat, yet cute, cheap accessory in my knitting bag and content myself with admiring the dolls of others here and here and here.