Archive for May, 2009

In less than two years of living in Ottawa, I have done some pretty amazing things. So here’s a list of what Ottawa’s given me in the last 22 months:

Concerts/performances: Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morissette, Rufus Wainwright (RUFUS!!!), Margaret Cho, Sam Roberts, Show Tune Showdown (2008; also attending the 2009 edition on May 9 – a fun and hilarious evening)

Plays/theatre: Wicked, Mama Mia, Spamalot, Top Girls, Macbeth (at the NAC – terrible!), Broue, Corteo (Cirque du Soleil)

A Company of Fools performances (a must see when in Ottawa): Romeo & Juliet, Tempest in a Teapot, Richard III in Bouffon, 

Other: the Haunted Walk (Ottawa and Kingston), Roller derby (AWESOME!! We’re going again in June), a screening of Nosferatu (silent film) with a live band (including Balinese gamelan), the Diefenbunker, The 1930s: the Making of the New Man (exhibit at the National Gallery)

This doesn’t even cover the free things: Busker Festival, Tulip Festival, weekly trivia at a local pub, knitting groups, skating on the Canal . . .

Damn I love this city.


Read Full Post »

I’m not normally a particularly tenacious person. I’ve got a lazy streak, and can walk away from something if it’s proving too frustrating or difficult. It appears the one time in my life this does not apply is knitting.

Last year I started knitting what looked like a fairly innocuous top in the beloved knitting book “Fitted Knits” by Stefanie Japel. (It was all the rage among young knitters about a year ago. She’s got a new book out now.) I fell in love with the very first pattern in the book – a split-neckline cap-sleeved tee – and as I have limited experience knitting sweaters and tops and it was ranked as an easy one, I thought it would be a good place to start.

It’s a top-down construction, knit in the round which is not the traditional sweater construction, and I was excited to give the circular method a try, especially since I don’t like sewing much. 

Attempt #1 – I got about 80% through the top when I tried it on and found I had knit the wrong size. That is, I knit for a 38″ bust (I’m a 37″) and it was huge in the neck, and a little loose in the bust. I decided to frog it and cast on again one size down (36″ bust). I also didn’t like the fact there was no waist shaping, so decided to add some.

Attempt #2 – I got about 50% of the way through when I found the neck opening was still huge, but the bust fit quite well. The keyhole in particular seemed to be a problem. The fabric was puckering at the hole, and not a little bit. You could fit a hand in there, and get a pretty nice view of my bra without much effort. Time to frog again. This time I decided to cast on for the smallest size and increase to the medium size in the same amount of rows.

Attempt #3 – I got about 30% of the way through (finally learning my lesson) and tried it on only to find there was still a large pucker at the keyhole, though the bust was still fitting great. At this point, I have invested countless hours into and nearly $100 into a pile of cotton that simply will not be made into a wearable top. This, and the fact that I am beginning to hate the yarn I’ve chosen (the colours are starting to make we nauseous) lead me to nearly throw the entire project off my 10th floor balcony.

Attempt #4 – I say, Screw the keyhole! I cast on the for smallest size, increase only minimally for the first few rows so that I can join the yarn on my circular needle, then proceed to increase to the medium bust size. I knit to just below the bust and try it on – looks ok, but I need to knit the edging on the collar before I know for sure. Try it on again – not bad. Still a little wonky around the neckline, but totally wearable. 

I am now nearly finished Attempt #4. I have to knit and sew the edging on the sleeves, then block it and sew on the little clasp at the neck. Have a look.


The collar isn't standing up - hopefully the block will correct that.

The collar isn't standing up - hopefully the block will correct that.

Just need to knit the edging on the sleeves.

Just need to knit the edging on the sleeves.











I’m still not sure this is actually something I’ll wear in public. It’s pink, for christ’s sake! I never wear pink. At least this has been a valuable learning experience: Keyholes suck!

Read Full Post »