The Mote Maintains

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

That smile of Liz's from the other day? It was because of the yarn I used to make this:

The Odessa hat, from Knitty! It was made using the softest, cuddliest yarn I have worked with in a long time: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Such a nice yarn. It's loosely spun, and tvini has warned me that it may pill, but it's beautiful nonetheless. It made Liz extremely happy - she wore it all through our study party at the library yesterday, and it looked just fantastic on her, if I do say so myself.

I love the way this yarn looks, despite my unevenness, which I think was a result of me trying to get used to the stitch pattern. It's so fuzzy and soft and pink. Makes me smile. I'll use a different cast on next time. Long tail never looks right with ribbing, unless you alternate with purled long tail, which I hate doing. And even then it still doesn't look right, in my opinion.

Dusty is smug because he doesn't have to spend reading week studying. See what I mean about the cuteness-while-sleeping? He's irresistible.

This is what I bought for myself on our Saturday trip to the Needle Emporium in Ancaster: 450m of Fleece Artist Mo, which I have since wound into the hugest ball of yarn ever and am knitting a simple shawl to show off the colours in this beauty. I'm finding myself cold all the time in this house, so I thought a shawl would be okay. No granny jokes from the peanut gallery though, please. I know jujitsu. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yarn, how I love thee...

Reading week has been nice, so far. Saturday, Derek and Liz and I made a trip to Ancaster, which is where the yarn lives. There's a nice little yarn store there called The Needle Emporium. Before we left, this is what my sock looked like:

Dusty wisely opted to stay behind. As you can see, there are in fact moments in which the Beast sleeps. He looks so peaceful, so peaceable, but of course he's awake and a nuisance just as often. I love him all the same.

I didn't have the camera out much, but I couldn't resist snagging a picture of The Fabulous Liz. We went to Ancaster in hopes of finding yarn to make something pretty for her. We succeeded in this endeavour, and that accounts for the smile pictured below.

This is what my sock looked like once we got home and had spent a little time just hanging out:

It is so snuggly, so soft, so warm. I've already cast on for the next one, in order to avoid the much-abhorred Second-Sock Syndrome.

Saturday was a nice day. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Yarn is, surprisingly, a very nice thing to photograph. Perhaps that has something to do with the profusion of knitting blogs in this age.

For instance, I seem to have a thing for socks at the moment.

This is Fleece Artist 100% merino sock yarn. The colourway is actually very green, with shots of pink and purple and gray throughout. I'm using it to make...

knitty's pomatomus socks! I fell in love with this pattern, well, not at first sight, but I fell in love nonetheless. I was actually really put off by the photography at first, but then I noticed a few completed and in-progress pomatomi on the livejournal knitting community, so I decided to jump right in. The yarn was purchase at the not-so-local yarn store in Ancaster, Ontario.

This gorgeous stuff is Classic Elite Yarn's Waterspun 100% merino kettle-dyed felted yarn, found on sale at Romni Wools, in Toronto.

I'm making bedsocks for myself out of this stuff, using the Universal Sock Pattern. Socks are, as you can see, my new obsession. I'm also making a pair of black socks (woohoo! black socks!) for D, but it's much harder to photograph black socks.

I wrote a midterm this morning, and now I'm on my reading week. While I fully intend to do a helluva lot of actual reading on this break, I'm also making an Ancaster trip tomorrow, and I plan on making time for some hardcore knitting as well. We'll see how these things progress.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


In the past couple weeks, I've managed to find time to read three books that have absolutely nothing to do with school. It's nice to finally get back into the habit of making time for reading for pleasure. This change might have something to do with the fact that garnigal has excellent taste in books, and lent me some singularly amazing novels a little while ago.

I read The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper, which drew heavily on popular legend and folklore surrounding the Trojan War, in order to create a post-apocalyptic culture with strong ties to knowledge from the distant past. The twist ending was spectacular; it came as a total surprise and yet seemed logical and obvious to the extreme, as twist endings are wont to be. I spent the entire book revelling in the amount of reference to Ilium and the conflict there. It was amazing how well that worked as a foil for the dynamic between the women living behind the walls of Women's Country (compare them to the somewhat emasculated, doomed defenders of Troy) and the hostile garrisons camped outside the city, just as the Achaeans camp for a ridiculously long time outside of Troy, threatening violence but making no real headway. The comparison is useful but not perfect, of course, but I'll leave it at that so as not to spoil the ending.

Next was The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle. Having only ever seen the film version of this book, I'd been hunting for a used copy at any used book store I happened to visit, but I'd yet to come across the book. It's fallen out of print, or at least out of fashion. I loved how dream-like and solemn the movie had been, considering that it was a children's animated version, and I wanted to see how the novel compared. I was surprised (in a good way) to find that the same solemnity was there, but it was mixed with deliciously outlandish parody of fantasy as a genre - this mix of tone was the best I could have hoped for. I don't know how much I would have enjoyed it as a child - it can be a little slow at times - but Beagle is definitely shaping up to be one of my favourite newly discovered children's authors.

Finally I read Connie Willis's Doomsday Book. This one was written in the 90s and took place in a time where influenza pandemics have wiped out a large proportion of the population. Time travel is a new technology, and the protagonist Kivrin ends up sent back to 1320 to study Medieval England. Naturally, Something Goes Wrong, and there are all sorts of crazy mishaps in the past and the present. Mayhem ensues. This one was also rife with bits of ecclesiastical Latin and amazing descriptions of Medieval life. Add in the elements of 'soft' science fiction, and I was in heaven. I neglected schoolwork for hours at a time because I couldn't bear to stop reading this one. It comes highly recommended. I'll be seeking out more of Willis's work sometime soon.