Monthly Archives: June 2009

Random Monday

You know how Mondays are.

At least for me.

I spend half the morning wrapping my head around the work week, trying to remember the things I put off on Friday as being able to wait until next week, failing to do so and hoping they weren’t crucial.

We did forget one semi-important thing this morning, a Bike Month breakfast at La Carrera that generally has fabulous eats and a convivial atmosphere. Sigh.

A scattering of miscellaneous tidbits today.

My pea plants are hanging on for dear life:grabbing

A pretty picture of the funky new stairs at the Art Gallery of Ontario:Swirl

And for all you cat fans, another one pulled from myriad pictures of Licorice being cute:

Bring back the 70’s!

Well, I do believe I have found an excellent toy! Poladroid has got to be one of the easiest and funniest (just like the website says!) apps I’ve found recently.

We all know that Polaroid look, right? Those saturated-yet-smoushy colours that even though they’re not quite right, look awesome instead of sickly, the slight vignetting of the edges, the feeling of carefree summer days in a white plastic frame? Well this thing’s got it all, just a drag-and-drop away.

I took this (which by the way is the orange sweater I started in January and of which I just realized I haven’t until now posted a finished pic):

Orange DoneAnd made this:Orange Pola

There are basic controls such as how much vignetting, flash effect, and blur so you can determine just how “Polaroid” you want to go. It’s a free beta right now (donations accepted, of course) but it looks like there will be a Pro version at some point.

Maybe it’s a little gimmicky, but given the rarity and expense of real Polaroid cameras & film (though luckily it looks like thanks to “an eccentric Austrian artist and businessman” the Impossible Project has bought up the Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and will be making SX-70 & 600 style film again), and that we’ve all got digital cameras these days for that instant satisfaction, I think it’s well worth the couple of minutes to download and, heck, I may even make a donation if I use it a bunch.

Oh, and it even makes that g-zhzhhzhzh sound and makes you wait a few minutes as the image “develops”. Very clever, I must say.

The Afghan’s Progress

In the interest of demonstrating that I have indeed been knitting, an update on the wedding afghan.

I’m very nearly 5/8 finished:
I say very nearly, because you see that little gap between the needles and the lighter section? I got to within two rows and binding off of completing that this evening when my yarn ran out. That’s right, two ginormous skeins were 72 stitches shy of being precisely the right amount for that piece.

so close and yet

Now this would not really be anything more than a curiosity, perhaps eliciting a slight “hrmph” under the breath, if not for the fact that the remaining skeins have not been wound, and I still don’t have a ball winder. And even though, yes, I have to wind them for the next section anyways, somehow it still FEELS like I have to wind them (by hand, natch) just for those last 72 stitches. Those last 72 stitches that might not have existed if my tension were a little more accurate, or some other impossible variance.

Speaking of tension, I’m predicting some very creative manoeuvering to match up the various edges when it comes time to assemble the squishy beast, as my lengthwise and width wise measurements do not seem to agree on the proper distribution of stitches between them. Therefore I am thankful in advance for the manipulable and forgiving nature of wool, and the miracles achievable with blocking.

And I’m just loving the Cascade Ecological Wool; the colours are so soothing and harmonious, the natural lanolin makes it feel like lotion and smell like, well, sheep I suppose; but very clean sheep that have just been bathed in a cool fresh stream and air dried in a sunny hayfield, not the dank wet ones that have been trudging about in the fog through musty undergrowth and fetid mud all day.
And it’s pretty too, especially nestled in the basket with the bamboo needles for some pleasing visual contrast.

There’s a decent chance I’ll get the last piece finished before the wedding (i.e. in the next two weeks) with reminders from a certain friend, and assuming my stiff left thumb & index finger don’t rebel. But then the pieces still have to be crocheted together, and the i-cord binding applied to the outer rim, and of course the aforementioned blocking which will require one good solid sunny day on the deck. So all in all, I think it highly, nay maximally improbable that it will actually be completed when the happy betrothal occurs.

That said, what do you think? Should I knit a tiny little version, say seat cushion size and present it with explanatory note? Or a photo of the nearly-finished object? Perhaps just a mysterious promise of forthcoming warm coziness? What does protocol demand in this situation?


Since no news isn’t really good news around here, a gratuitous photograph of Licorice being cute.



A school across in our neighbourhood has these outside:
Cranes on FenceCranes in Tree

This morning I found two earthworms on the sidewalk and took them to my garden plot. By the time I finished watering they had almost completely burrowed into the heavy, sticky soil. Hopefully they’ll help break it down and loosen it up a little. If I’m really lucky, they got friendly in the (empty but for a dash of water) watering can on the walk down and will populate the whole plot with little earthworms, starting up a whole new earthworm civilization!

Well, yes, I may be getting a little carried away. I mean, is that even how worm reproduction works? From high school biology I remember their latin phylum name (annelida) and that they’re hermaphrodites, but not what happens after that…

I do hope they don’t eaten by one of those clever robin red-breasts I see hopping around all over the place! Good ole turdus migratorius with his head cocked to one side listening for the tunneling and crunching of all the little underground critters. They can eat the grubs and beetles, but they’d best stay away from my burgeoning earthworm colony! Hmph.


So my muscles still hurt a bit from all the path digging, bending and planting that we did on Sunday, but it’s so worth it.
Some better pictures of the Community Garden.
CPGG Individual Plots
My plot is fifth from the bottom on the right.
It looks like this close up:
CPGG Plot Day 2

I wasn’t too sure about the OH’s keenness on this whole garden thing (I mean, I knew he was happy for ME to have it, but wasn’t sure he’d want to do much with it himself), but he was totally into planting with me, and this morning volunteered to go water it and take some compost for the compost tumblers, so I think the gardening bug has bit! I’m fairly confident we managed to plant a reasonable quantity of veggies (and a few flowers) so that the process should be rewarding without being overwhelming. Of course I won’t know for sure until some time in July when we’re trying to eat a pound of broccoli every day, along with a bunch of green beans, and some kale on the side just for variety. Fortunately, all of these things freeze quite well, so if it’s too much it just means we’ll have some later in the season too.

Now the tomatoes on the deck… I think the cool weather has kept them a little slow, but they are definitely thickening up and have grown more leaves, so I’m sure they’ll just explode as soon as it’s more consistently warm. My poor little jalapeƱo is looking somewhat beleaguered, so I put a glass jar over it again to see it through the cooler days and chilly nights. I may have to buy a new plant in the end, but at least I’ll have given it a shot…

Oh, and for those of you expecting less of a plant play-by-play and something more lumpy:
This peculiar tree is just up the slope from the garden. I don’t know what its story is, but isn’t it eye-catching?

Little Things

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the macro setting on my Canon G9?
Well, I do, and this is why:

Nasturtium Seedlings

Pea LeavesPea Tendrils
Pea Plant Bits

Salad Greens

The world just looks so different up close.