Thank you for checking on Plied. She is currently covered head to toe in paint, dealing with a severe case of sawdust all over the back deck and in the house, riddled with sore muscles and desperately in need of a beer.

Knitting has entirely stopped.

Sanity is questionable.

Please check back soon to make sure she's alive. She'll probably show you pictures of a really pretty house. Rest assured, it's hers.


Step One - Complete

Rennovations have begun. Carpet is out. Walls are in the process of being washed.
Pictures to follow soon, once the craziness settles down.


Rip out carpets in the livingroom and hallway - DONE
Rip off and dispose of all mouldings - DONE
Wash walls - *almost* DONE
Tape and prime walls
Paint walls
Empty spare room and rip out carpet
Lay subfloor in livingroom, hallway and spare
Lay fancy-pants new laminate floor
Empty and rip out carpets in Elodie's room and master bedroom
Lay subfloor in E's room and Master
Lay laminate in E's room and Master
Put on new crown mouldings.

Drink (a lot)
Sleep for a month


Pastry, You Say?

New favourite blog.

Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker

The pictures alone are worth it, but the wit and humour in the posts make me come back for more. Even cooler, she's Sandra Bullock's younger sister, and Sandra Bullock is one of my all-time favourite actors. Damn, this is one talented family. Definitely picking up her book!



On Straight Lines

So, how many people get totally frustrated from the ssk or the s1, k1, PSSO coming out all crooked when your k2tog lies perfectly flat and beautiful? Me? Me? I get so, SO angry about that.

Well, I figured out a trick to have the exact, same straight line for your left-leaning decreases. I know! (!!!!!)

Here's the trick. On the ssk, instead of slipping both stitches knit-wise, slip the first knit-wise and the second purl-wise. Then knit them together through the back legs. Tada! Your left-leaning decreases will sit perfectly straight, no more jogging, no more crookedness.

Check it out in this close-up.

Stitch marker OIS

Yeah, those lines are S(kw)S(pw)K(tbl)!


Fa(ntastic Fa)il

So. I'm not doing the Knitting Olympics this year. I'm not doing the Ravelympics this year. Why, you ask? Well, I bought the yarn, I have the pattern, but I just couldn't wait. So I cast on a week ago for the Oriental Impressions Triangle (rav link). I'm not knitting it as a triangle, though. I'm knitting it square. Holy crap. That'll be about 2400 yards of laceweight (I have ~2,500 in a merino/cash/silk 60-20-20 blend) and a whole lot of work. But boy howdy is it ever pretty.

Oriental Impressions Square (OIS)

The yarn is, of course, amazing. Gotta love Colourmart. I got all 2,500 yards for $20 including shipping. Including. Love love love.

Speaking of yarn, Robbie was a great husband and tidied up my mess(es). He put all my yarn and fibre into big Rubbermaid bins and stacked them, one on top of the other. I officially have four full Rubbermaid bins *full*. Um. Oops? But it's just so pretty. Seriously, I don't know whether to giggle insanely or sob or spread it all out and roll in it. Maybe all three. First I'll spread it all out, giggle insanely, roll in it, and then sob as I put it all away.

Right now, however, there's knitting to do, so it will have to wait.

Oriental Impressions Square (OIS)

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!



This is a simple post to honour the life of Olympian Nodar Kumaritashvili who was tragically killed today while doing a practise run on the Olympic luge track in Whistler. My heart goes out to his family, teammates and countrymen. Godspeed.



Has anybody else seen this film? I watched it well over a year ago, and I've been meaning to blog about it, give my thoughts, but to be honest, I was so disturbed by it, it's taken some time to work through how I felt.

First impression - good movie. Great story line. Strong characters. Excellent plot.
Second impression - hard to sleep for about a week afterward.

If you haven't seen it, do look away now. I'm going to post some plot stuff that you may not want to read about.

The story is about a young girl, 11 or 12 maybe, named Briony who tells a lie. The lie snowballs out of her control and a young man is sent to jail, her sister loses her love, and then the young man is shipped off to war. Briony essentially ruins not only her sister's and the young man's life, but also her own because of the guilt that consumes her over however many years she keeps the secret.

I think the hardest part of the whole thing, besides the really harsh, raw edges of the film's story and storytelling is how introspective the film is. Every, single one of us has told a lie or a fib. Maybe not as big of a lie as Briony tells, but a lie nonetheless. It's the whole butterfly causing a tsunami paradigm, and that one cannot possibly predict how a story will affect others.

The whole story is told from the viewpoint of Briony, first as a young girl, then a young woman, and finally an old lady. The depth of the movie comes not from the other characters themselves, because they are really quite static and perfect in a lot of ways, but from the way reality twists and fades into myth in Briony's mind and therefore her story. For example, the male lead, Robbie, played by James McAvoy, is too perfect. He is what Briony has made him in her mind through regret. Despite the ubiquitous and rather shocking use of the C-word (which, if I remember correctly, made me drop a stitch on some rather finicky lace), and a very vigorous trist between him and the female lead, Cecilia, played by Keira Knightley, he does nothing wrong. He is a saint.

(As an aside, when I Googled the correct spelling of Keira Knightley's name, there were some rather disturbing photoshops. Since when does she have boobs?)

Cecilia is less of a saint, but still perfect nonetheless. Stoical and strong, she's portrayed in the film as very little girl would view an older sister, I imagine. I wouldn't know for sure, of course, seeing as I am an older sister to a younger brother.

The movie didn't fall short for me, although I would be hesitant to watch it again, simply for the disturbing factor. The acting was top notch, with the main focal points being young Briony, played by Saoirse Ronan (who was brilliant, by the way), and James McAvoy's character, Robbie. Knightley...I'm not her biggest fan, but she brought a lot to the character.

So, overall, four-and-a-half stars, with half a star docked for disrupting my sleep.


So Bronchitis Stinks...

At least, that's what it's looking like I have more and more. On Friday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Not a big deal, right? By 12:00, when I'd finished my work for the day, I needed to lay down. I slept from 12:00 on Friday afternoon until 6:00 p.m. Saturday night. And my chest hurts. Like, really hurts. I'm thinking that can't be good.

Of course I have work this weekend. Of course.

Hurry up and buy my pattern, people, so that I can knit for a living. LOL!

By the way, you will all be happy to know that well over 20 copies of the pattern have been sold, and it has pushed Annie over the top of her fundraising goal for her 2010 Ride to Conquer Cancer! I'm so proud of her, and I can't wait to see what great changes her ride affects. GO ANNIE!!!!

For now, however, I'm going to go run myself the hottest lava bath possible, smother my chest in Vick's Vaporub and try not to hack up an internal organ. My bandmate has been trying to tell me that drinking copius amounts of scotch would help, but somehow I doubt it.



I was recently saying to my husband, Robbie, that I should have been a book critic. Reading is my favourite past time (even more than knitting), and I do a lot of it. If I have a lazy Saturday, I can easily finish a book in a day. Over the weekend, I read a novel and a collection of short stories. I've always enjoyed being whisked away into a new world or environment and getting caught up with the stories, the characters and the culture of the book. A great example would be Shogun, which I read several months ago. I absolutely loved how the author brought pre-Western Japan to life. I found the book hard to get into at first, but after they finished boiling people (totally gross), I got it. It clicked. I really enjoyed it and felt like I'd walked away with new information to cram into my head and blurt out at social events.

I tend to rotate my favourite books, all of which are pretty heavy reading and all of which are part of a series, and stick "fluffy" or new books in between them. The faves list is ever-expanding, although rarely do I drop a book off the list. The current list includes:

Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the full series)
Earth Children (Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of Horses, Mammoth Hunters, Plains of Passage, Shelters of Stone)
His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass)
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Lord of the Rings
and The Harry Potter Series.

Thanks to my dear husband, who is continually buying me books (yay!), I can add another series to that list. Robbie got me The Southern Vampire Mysteries for my birthday. I read seven of them in ten days, and started and finished the eighth on Sunday. They are fluffy. They are funny. There is sex. This is my kind of book.

I much prefer the books to True Blood, which is based on the books. When I say based, I mean loosely based. The first season of True Blood followed the plot of the first book pretty closely, but the second one was *way* not on target. I like that the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, is vain and knows that she's hawt and likes to sunbathe. I like the strange Louisiana colloquialisms that get thrown in (knee-deep in alligators). I LOVE the vampires because, unlike the Twilight series, these are creatures of the night who are blood thirsty, money hungry, love sex, use, abuse, and are generally terrifying. Sookie is a strong female character, unlike Meyer's main character who does nothing but trip over her feet, be depressing and follow her man like a hungry puppy.

Sookie kicks ass and takes names. I like that in my heroines.

So. Check it out, folks. Southern Vampire Mysteries, starting with book one, Dead Until Dark. I'm putting this sucker on my faves list.