Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

A Bike-y Interlude

I have been out enjoying the nice weather (and stressing about my defense) and neglecting to write, but I did hear about a window display of crocheted reef things. Fibrework? In biking distance on a nice weekend? Of a reef when I am off to Australia in a couple of months? It was like I was meant to go check it out. Very fun.

That’s about it. Not much knitting progress lately.


Skew S’more

So the knitting is done on $5 in Paris (although I still think I may add to the ribbing on the bottom), but I really underestimated the time it would take me to weave in all the ends (two per stripe; sleeve and body), especially given that I am using some of them to fudge holes left by my short row fail. I had hoped to have it done by Wednesday because it was beautiful here so I could do outdoor pictures, but when that didn’t happen, I figured I would take my time finishing it, run it through the wash once, and show it next week.

In the meantime, I’m afraid I must subject you, once again, to Skew.

Skew sock progress

Motivation for learning to dye

I finished one sock. Since my successful plane flight, I have decided to tentatively dip my toe into knitting in public more. I took this sock on the subway (so really a subset of the public who have been self-selected to deal with other people’s weirdnesses and quirks; a perfect place to start KIP) and got about 4 rounds done when I went to meet some friends for dim sum. I should have gotten more done (dim sum is in the ‘burbs), but I messed up on the very first row and had to tink back almost a whole round.

Then last night my usual ride to ultimate Frisbee fell through, so I caught a ride with someone to an earlier game and brought my knitting to keep me busy. Got that bit of a toe done. I briefly contemplated casting on something new to take, just to avoid subjecting more people than necessary to this yarn, but socks travel best and I had a limited supply of sock yarn and limited time before leaving to memorize a new pattern. So Skew it was; if you’re going to get over your embarrassment of KIP, might as well jump in with both feet. Maybe since I was just doing the toe, they didn’t get the full effect of the pastels screaming at them. Or maybe, crazy idea of crazy ideas, they were too busy playing ultimate to notice. Let’s hope.

Florida Trip: Inedible Things

So, other than eating, there were lots of enjoyable things on my recent trip to Florida (Southern bit, near the Everglades).

As I kind of alluded to, the flight was terrible. The people beside me were really restless and demanding and I felt sort of bad for the flight attendants. And when we landed, I picked up my jacket and personal item from where they were “safely stowed under the seat in front of me” to find the jacket soaked with juice, presumably dropped by the kid in front of me. At least I hope it was just juice (the two kids in front of me were otherwise really well-behaved during the flight). Fortunately it mostly hit my jacket, which I didn’t really have a lot of need for in Florida, and missed electronics, so not so bad. And, as Louis CK says, I got on a plane and flew through the air, incredibly, like a bird, partaking in the miracle of flight.

And when I landed it was tanning climate and I got a fresh salad and there was lots of lovely scenery. Read more…

Florida Trip: Culture Shock and Ice Tea Plea

I’m planning to split my Florida posts in two to keep them from being long: one on food (this one) and one about things that happened that were not food-related. Priorities.

I’m not a big foodie, although I’m better than when I was younger about trying new things (went to Dim Sum yesterday and agreed to eat rice with fish in it. It was okay I guess. Still too fishy for my taste). I’ve travelled a bit, so I expect to eat weird things or else go searching for stuff to mimic what I’m used to, especially when trying to save money. But the weird thing about going to the States is how everything appears to be like home, but when you bite into it is almost always slightly different. Stealth new foods.

1. The Great Yogurt Experiment

I’ve found it difficult to take yogurt seriously ever since Sarah Haskins pointed out the craziness of the ads. I still eat it occasionally, but my Mom and sister are serious yogurt-eaters and have it every day for breakfast. And since my parents had arrived a couple of weeks earlier, my Mom had been searching for the best yogurt. According to her, they all tasted cornstarch-y or weird and according to my Dad, she had basically bought a new type of yogurt every time they went grocery shopping to try to find one she like. For fellow Canadian yogurt fans, she finally seemed pretty happy with Liberté Mediterranean, which apparently is very different from the Liberté Greek, which you should supposedly not get, because it is cornstarch-y. I thought Greece was in the Mediterranean, but my geography skills are pretty weak.

2. Raisin Bran

My breakfast is typically Raisin Bran and I thought it was less sweet, but my Dad thought it was sweeter, so we couldn’t put our finger on exactly what’s going on there, but it is definitely something sweetness-related and don’t think we won’t pin it down eventually America! (I actually usually buy the cheap-o Selection brand at home, so that might be why we find there’s a difference).

3. Things they sell at Walmart

  • Pez dispensers with 8 different Lord of the Rings characters for $10
  • M&Ms in a ridiculously huge array of sizes from a set of fun packs to basically a pillowcase
  • Dulce de Leche Cheerios. Whaaaa? I thought the whole point of Cheerios was that they’re NOT sugary, although I guess we do have Honey Nut flavour. Someone told me they are coming out with peanut butter Cheerios up here. Why? Why ruin the simplicity of the Cheerio? It is perfect as is.
  • Souvenir Naples shirt for $10. Not food, but they do sell them at Walmart. Ever since our Cessna pilot in Hawaii recommended stopping at Walmart to pick up souvenirs, my sister and I have checked it out and they often do have a few things in tourist-y areas.

4. Gelato

This wasn’t that different. A+ job on the lemon gelato Florida! If you’re not sure what flavour to get at a gelato place, check out the lemon and be surprised by the perfect sweet/tart balance. And it’s so light and refreshing when it’s hot out.

Lemon gelato

Gelato in Naples! What? Oh no no. Naples, Florida. Where did you think I meant?

5. Tea

The southern part of the States doesn’t really do hot tea. There are no teapots. Not in the rental place where my parents were house-sitting. Not at Walmart (or even Super-Walmart, according to my parents, which is just acres and acres of what you would think is everything you can imagine), not at Target and not at Publix. All kinds of other trivial things (fancy refills for an automatic handsoap dispenser, for example), but no teapot.

My Mom brought five kinds of tea with her when they drove down, which seemed like overkill when she told me, but now seems incredibly wise.

But all this has really buried the lede for what I wanted to say, what really must be said. Canada: We need to make unsweetened ice tea a thing. Florida does unsweetened ice tea, and at first it takes you by surprise, but once you get used to it and realize you can sweeten it yourself to whatever degree you like, it’s hard to come back to our restrictive system. If you believe in freedom, help me in my campaign to let me sweeten my own ice tea.

Bring it up at your local restaurants, put it on a t-shirt, write your MP. Okay, some of those actions may be a little extreme, but we neeeeed to make this happen. Last summer David’s Tea had a promotion where you buy their re-fillable mug and then all summer you got their iced Tea-of-the-Day for $1. It was fantastic, but it ended with the summer weather.

I also took to making my own ice tea, which I sweetened a little, but it still tasted like tea. Highly recommended: North African Mint, Luscious Watermelon (only available in summer :() and your standard Orange Pekoe from Tetley or whoevs also comes out pretty great.

If people really love the sweet drink most restaurants serve now, we could keep it but rename it. Unsweetened ice tea. Let’s make this happen yesterday. A message from the People for the Selling of Ice Tea that Tastes like Tea.

Bird Walking

I will probably make a few posts about Florida things, but as I’m catching up at work, here’s just a quick video of a bird that I took. I’m not much of a bird watcher-don’t have that patient, centered attitude-so I don’t know what species it is. But my parents have gotten pretty into birds as amateurs since they retired and Florida is full of birds you don’t generally see in Southern Ontario. This bird trotting around on top of the water in a Family Circus-style path made me chuckle. I didn’t take my video camera, so this is just with my point-and-shoot; sorry for the poor quality.

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