Monday, August 31, 2009

And the Winner Is ...

Tests make me nervous. Public speaking/teaching makes me nervous. I generally do well at both because I spend a lot of time preparing but I still get feel like there are a flock of birds chasing the flock of butterflies in my stomach.
The days leading up the the competition at the Rogers Centre were no different. Even though I had the confidence that I could do the job and it was something that I do every day my little tummy would do little flips if I allowed myself to think about knitting on the field.
When the time came to walk out I felt a calm settle over me - I was still excited and I was totally feeling the magnitude and thrill of the moment - but my nerves were taking a back seat. I waved up to the knitting section and panicked for a moment because I forgot what Amanda was wearing and I couldn't see her, but then I remembered her green sweatshirt, found her in the crowd and waved right at her. I was both encouraged by her being there and a wee bit more nervous at not doing my best in front of her.
In all of the years that Linda & I have competed at the CSNF for the Fastest Knitter title, we have never gone head to head so this was going to be new too.
I got settled, queued up the song that I had chosen to knit with, (In previous competitions I'd been going with Beenie Man's King of the Dancehall but I'd decided to switch it up to Bodyrocker's I Like the Way you Move. This too was giving me cause for 2nd thoughts.) took a few deep breaths and focused on Joan for the "GO".
I got off to a great start and tried to let the music keep me in the moment and not get ahead of myself. I was ahead of Linda on the first turn, lost track of her 2nd turn (peripheral vision is the bomb!!) and we were neck and neck on the 3rd turn. When Joan called "Stop" I was almost scared to count. Can you believe that we tied?!? I know!!! I knit a personal best of 250 sts in the 3 minutes.
It turned out to be the first time that there were 2 first pitches thrown at a Jay's game - what a way to make our mark!! My pitch wasn't stellar, but geez ... my hands were shaking from the fastest 3 minutes of my life and besides, I did my job - I knit fast. I don't have to pitch well, I knit awesome!!! And seriously, the Jay's pitchers didn't do much better that night.
Great champions always have great rivals and Canada has 2 of the best - the drama lives on.

Amanda admitted to being a bit nervous for me & it takes a lot to impress Kyle with knitting, but throwing out the first pitch because I knit fast did the trick!
When the Jay's send the pics I'll post them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wannietta in Action

On Tuesday the 25th I am going to participate in a speed competition that Creative Yarns is organizing at the Blue Jay's Stitch 'n Pitch. It's going to be a blast!!! I mean, when else am I going to get a chance to be out on an MLB field?!?

September 11th - 13th I'll be enjoying Stitches Midwest, mostly from the Signature Needle Arts booth #518 - stop by and say "hey".

October 17th I will be teaching Knit One Below classes at the Needle Emporium Knitting Camp. There's an intro to the stitch with the scarf and then another class where we explore the stitch with different hand dyed yarns. Trust me - you'll love it! I'm so excited - Julie puts together a great get away and I'll get to meet Cookie A!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009


So I finished the Candy Stripe Jacket - including the i-cord all the way around the bottom - blocked out the collar and then totally forgot to take a picture of it before I sealed up the box. I know ... how do I even dress myself in the morning & hold down a real job?!? I'm sure that Julie will oblige with a picture when it arrives tomorrow or the next day.

There was a small error in the pattern - I've sent an email to Spud & Chloe, but for anyone else making it, it may save you a "wtf?" moment.

The final instruction on the Back Neck and Shoulder Shaping reads:

Next Row (RS): BO 4(5, 5, 6, 8)sts at armhole edge twice, then 5(6, 6, 7, 7)sts 4 times, and AT THE SAME TIME, BO 2 sts at each neck edge once.

There just are not enough stitches to do this and it would not match the shoulder shaping on the front pieces.

It should read:

Next Row (RS): BO 4(5, 5, 6, 8)sts at armhole edge once, then 5(6, 6, 7, 7)sts twice, and AT THE SAME TIME, BO 2 sts at each neck edge once.

Otherwise it was a very enjoyable project and the yarn is wonderful to knit with! I, the professional yarn vacuum, even managed to do the M in with 5 skeins!

ETA: I received the following response from Spud & Chloe. I was apparently confused by the RS part of the instructions, when they were instructions for both sides of the body.
Next Row (RS): BO 4 (5, 5, 6, 8) sts at armhole edge twice, then 5 (6, 6, 7, 7) sts 4 times, and AT THE SAME TIME, BO 2 sts at each neck edge once. *you should bind off 8 (10, 10, 12, 16), then 20 (24, 24, 28, 28), and 4.
Perhaps the confusion may have come in with the first part of this row where it indicates to bind off 4 (5, 5, 6, 8) sts at armhole edge twice. This means each armhole edge once.

Knit One Below will never lose it's appeal for me. I have cast on a new pair of socks for Elise that I will deliver, in person, at Stitches Midwest. I'm so excited about this show - another opportunity to visit with Elise in person, getting to work with Laura & Daniella and the incomparable Signature Needles (yes my eagle-eyed reader, those are Signature DPN in my sock!) and the chance to see, touch and buy yarns that we don't see way up here.

I brought Amanda and a friend to work with me on Friday. They hung around for a bit, then walked to the town pool for an afternoon of swimming then a Blizzard. While they were at the office Amanda showed Jodi how to make paper picture frames.
Amanda is awesome at making them & they are totally cool. Poor Jodi was a good sport but I don't think that origami is quite her thing!
Amanda also got new glasses. Actually it's more of new prescription - she has been coveting Kyle's (very) old frames a
nd remarkably enough Iris was able to put new lenses for Amanda in them!
Amanda has been saying for a couple of months that she doesn't need her glasses any more, that she sees just fine. I countered with, "No one has such a bad astigmatism that they need a patch and then, in two years, are miraculously cured. Wear the glasses, I'll make an appointment with the optometrist." It's not so much as I was wrong as I was not as right as I might have been. Amanda adamantly and doggedly debates this point. She does still need glasses, but only for serious distance - back of the classroom with fine print on the board, movie theatres, etc.

Doesn't she really look like a mini-me with those frames? With the attitude that she is developing along with the knitting skills ... at least she got some of her dad's looks!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mission Possible

I have only to set in a sleeve and attach a collar and then the Candy Stripe Jacket is ready to send off to it's new home, like an expansion warming present!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Catching up

I know, but I have felt a bit betwixt & between lately and the blogging has been the innocent victim.

The Toronto Spiders brought their A game for the B2B challenge but the weather just didn't cooperate so a very cool day combined with the 5 minute penalty that we take for using a pre-shorn fleece garnered us a 2nd place by only 5 minutes & 5 seconds!!! Absolutely no shame in that - Canadian athletes of all ilk would love to brag on a silver! We're working on a winning game plan for next year - y'all know that you'll be the 1st to know!

I had the most wonderful time with Elise, a week just wasn't enough!!

There is a castle in Wassenaar with a stork's nest at the top. It's quite an attraction and people come by to make sure that the 3 young'uns are doing well.

I tried and loved the Dutch snack bitterballen! I thought that it was hilarious that McDonalds served them - I wonder what the chances of getting them in Angus are?

We watched a storm travel across the ocean, but it was a lot less humourous when we got caught in it!! We were totally drenched in the 4 minutes that it took to get to the car at which time the rain stopped (of course) and the sun came out. The lady at the desk at the inn where I stayed did a total double-take when I walked in. She stood up to look outside, where it hadn't rained at all just 10 minutes away!!
The ships stay anchored out there waiting for the price of whatever their cargo is - often oil - to rise and then they pull into the Rotterdam port and off load. Can't you just picture a little pencil-pushing bean counter in an office halfwa
y around the world calculating the cost of remaining anchored vs. the potential for increased profits.

A lot of people have collections that they display in their windows. Elise & I were very pleased to find a spool knitting collection!

I have the rest of the pictures up on Flickr.