Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Represent Meet and Greet

Dear Knittah,

Let me introduce you to a sampling of the fabulous knitters at Indigo and The Spotted Dick last Friday night.

I'll start off with some group shots at Indigo, just to give you an idea of how many people were there:
IMG_1412.JPG IMG_1413.JPG IMG_1414.JPG
(Yep, there were people on the upper levels too!)

Ooooooo! There she is!!!
and here she is taking photos of us with the sock!
Did you see us in the photos on her blog? I must admit we were pretty tiny.

Now I'll start introducing some of the people Noricum and I met. (If I make mistakes, I'm sorry. Noricum wasn't very good with the note taking.)

Here's Maria:
She has an *awesome* accent. We actually first met her at Lettuce Knit the other night, and Noricum helped her model her sweater that hasn't been assembled yet. :)

Meet Jo and her adorable kids:
Oooo! I just checked her blog, and she's going to talk about meeting me!!!

Now meet Tania:
I just noticed that our shirts matched that night!

Hee hee! I snuck up on to the signing table at one point!
(No, I didn't find out who these two ladies with the Yarn Harlot were. The lady in the background is Rachel H, commenter extraordinaire.)

Next is Aurora and Sarah... no blogs, but very friendly people:

This next lady is Marsha:
Noricum is going through some sort of pink phase, and so just *had* to get a photo of the pink hat. It turns out that it was a lucky happenstance... Noricum gave her a postcard before we parted... and it turns out she has CFS too! Now, it's not good that she has CFS, but it is neat to meet others with CFS, and she was glad to have met us too.

To make up for the "Ken with food" shot, Noricum made sure to get a "Ken with knitting" shot:

This is Garry:
Garry was the sound guy for the signing. Noricum was silly and thought he might be Joe, because she noticed that Stephanie looked in his direction when she mentioned Joe... either it was coincidence, or she just had trouble seeing from where she was. However, he said we could take his photo and post it to the blog as long as we remembered to spell Garry with two r's. (At least Noricum *thinks* his name is Garry... it's *something* with two r's.)

We stuck around to the bitter end (when Stephanie was handed piles of books and asked to sign them, when what she really could have used was a beer). Just before she left, they asked her to sign the table too:
Apparently all the authors do. (I suppose her mother can now say she signed the table "just like a real author.")

Wouldn't you know it, knitters filled up the Spotted Dick too:
IMG_1436.JPG IMG_1437.JPG IMG_1438.JPG

Here I met even more people! Like knitrous:
and Alynxia, aspiring sock designer:
(She already has several designs under her belt, but since she hasn't published them yet, she doesn't feel she can truly call herself a sock designer. But keep a look out for sock patterns by her that I expect will be awesome!)

Noricum and I hung out some more with Aurora and Sarah:
Sarah has a cute Welsh accent and bought me a drink:
In return, Noricum bought us some fish and chips (this is an English pub, after all) and shared the fries with Sarah:

Shelley had a problem involving yarn:
(um, and with Noricum photographing her with her eyes shut), but Noricum and I soon had things untangled:
(Look! Her eyes are even open now! She can bear to look at the yarn again!)

It was Drea's birthday on Friday:
If you can't tell, she's a Canadian Olympic knitter. I forgot to ask if she won gold. Happy Birthday Drea!

And, finally, I am truly honoured to introduce Joe:
*The* Joe. Joe was reluctant to have his photo taken, but relented at the very end of the night.

Noricum and I were at the Spotted Dick until around 1:00 am (we weren't the very last to leave, but there weren't many left), and didn't tumble into bed until 2:30 am! Boy, were we ever tired! But it was *so* worth it. :)


Represent, 10 second video clip style

Dear Knittah,

To give you a bit more of a feel of things at the Toronto book launch, Noricum took some videos. Here's the first:

Sadly, after the first, Noricum forgot that when she holds her camera sideways, the camera films sideways. If you get motion-sickness, you may want to tilt your monitor, or watch with your eyes closed:

I'm sorry they're so short and that there aren't very many, but Noricum's camera wasn't meant to be used as a video camera and so has limitations. She also didn't want to use up all the battery and memory before we got to the Spotted Dick.

Okay... now I'm off to upload all the photos so I can blog about them. Wait until you see all the neat people I met!!!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Math is Fashionable

Dear Nori,

Do you know what a hyperbolic plane is? Me neither. But Noricum made one:
Swatchy and a Hyperbolic Plane
I think I may start a new fashion:
Swatchy and a Hyperbolic Plane
What do you think?


Picnic At York University

Dear Knittah,

Noricum has a decent internet connection again so I'm going to try to catch up on some posts. I realize I still have some really old posts I planned to write, but I'll catch up with this past week first.

Last Friday we had a lovely picnic lunch at York University. This is the center of the main bus loop (I don't know if it has an official name or not):
Picnic at York University Picnic at York University Picnic at York University Picnic at York University

Noricum and I shared some pizza and orange juice.
Picnic at York University
We weren't sure if we wanted one slice or two, so we bought two. We only ended up eating one, but luckily the dorm apartment has a fridge, so we saved the other slice for the next day. The bag claimed the pizza to be the "hottest"... but it wasn't. Temperature wise it was best described as "warm", and it wasn't spicy either. It was reasonably good, though, so we were happy.

Having a picnic on the grass in the shade of a tree was quite enjoyable.



BeauNoze tagged me! I always play by the rules, so here goes . . . .

The rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven other people and list their names on your blog. Then you leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

1. My favorite band of all-time is Pearl Jam. I used to freak out my co-workers in the law firm by blasting Ten on Saturday mornings in the office.

2. I inherited my father's love of the road trip. Dad and I both love an open road and 400 miles to reach our destination. Even though CFS has made road tripping difficult, I still love it.

3. I love heavy cream.

4. I rarely permit myself the luxury of fresh flowers.

5. I cried when the US Women's National Team won the World Cup in 1999.

6. I was born in Arkansas, and haven't been back there since I was a year old.

7. The best thing I ever did was to go camping in National Parks after I took the bar exam.

Now for the hard part. I tag:

1. Julia
2. Marnie
3. Eliza
4. Carol
5. David
6. John (who will never forgive me, but I might have a chance since I didn't link to his blog)
7. Laura

CFS Tuesday

Part of our ongoing series on life with CFS

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States. The official purpose of the holiday is to honor all those who have given their lives in service to the country. But it made me think of another kind of memorial.

Many CFS advocates believe that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome kills. That position is most definitely not held by the CDC and medical establishment. I've had trouble deciding whether this illness can be classified as fatal.

How do people with CFS die? Many people believe that secondary illnesses - separate illnesses that result from having CFS - are significant risks. Clearly, being confined to a sedentary lifestyle by CFS puts us at increased risk of things like diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. There is also anecdotal evidence that people with CFS have an increased risk of some cancers, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Then there are the suicides. Excruciating pain, especially when inadequately managed by treating physicians, and secondary depression are the most frequent causes of CFS patients taking their own lives.

Two individual cases are of particular interest. Casey Fero died from myocarditis at the age of 23. Myocarditis is a viral infection of the heart muscle. Did Fero's CFS -affected immune system leave him vulnerable? In 2006, a British Coroners Court determined that CFS led to the death of Sophia Mirza. Specifically, the court found that death was caused by "acute aneuric renal failure due to dehydration arising as a result of CFS." To my knowledge, this is the first time CFS has been listed as an official cause of death.

Is CFS fatal? I'm not certain. The causal link is not as clear as in other illnesses; if you have a heart attack and die, the cause is direct. CFS is not like cancer, where the chain of causation is clear. AIDS is a better model. No one dies of AIDS; patients die of opportunistic infections after their immune systems are crippled by HIV. But the evidence for CFS is not as clear-cut. This is yet another area that deserves medical research. If I am at an increased risk of certain cancers or renal failure or myocarditis, then I need to know that. I need to know how to monitor my health.

As for suicide, that is the ultimate preventable tragedy. Patients with CFS need adequate pain management from healthcare providers. There are so many options now for pain control. And patients who suffer from depression deserve compassionate and appropriate treatment. We cannot be cured of CFS (yet), but we should not be discarded or ignored.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Knittah Representin'

Dear Swatchy,

Wow. Just, wow. You got to go to the Lettuce Knit SnB. You met the Yarn Harlot. And Amy Singer. And the Keyboard Biologist. Wow. It's a knit blogger's dream come true.

I would love to go to Lettuce Knit and meet all those great folks. But chances are, I never will. Travel is hard when you have CFIDS. The reality is that Toronto will probably never rise to the top of my long list of places I want to see. Unless the Yarn Harlot comes to Philly, I'll probably never meet her. At least Amy Singer is coming this summer, and Nori and I will try to get there.

Seeing your pictures is bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm thrilled that you and Noricum had such a great time. But it is a sad reminder of what I cannot do. That is why Noricum suggested this blog to begin with! I made you, Swatchy, because Noricum said she would carry you to great places, and a piece of me would come along.

She was right. A piece of me was representing along with you both.

Love, Knittah

*waves merrily at the Yarn Harlot, the Lettuce Knit crew, and all the muggles*

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lettuce Knit

Dear Knittah,

You would have had *so* much fun if you could have been with us last night! Noricum and I went to Lettuce Knit!!! We took the bus and the subway there. I worked some more on the tuque for Friday:
Knitting In Public

While walking from the subway to LK, we grabbed a hot dog from a street vendor for dinner. And we saw the CN Tower in the distance. Cool!
CN Tower
Noricum has actually been to the top of the CN Tower. She recommends that if you want to go, go for lunch rather than just the view. Lunch there sounds expensive (it's prix fixe), but when you subtract off the amount they would charge you just to go to the top (there's no extra charge if you go for a meal), it's actually pretty decent. Plus there's *no* line! The people not having lunch have a separate line, and it's *really* long! Once you eat the fancy lunch with a view of the city, you can go to the other level that everyone else sees, and have fun there too. Noricum recommends that it be done at least once if you're in Toronto, but we don't really have time to do it this trip.

Look! I'm at the Lettuce Knit SNB!
Lettuce Knit!
I met *so* many interesting people!

This lady requires no introduction, of course:
(And look! I'm holding the sock!)

It's Ken!
I recognized him from the Yarn Harlot's blog. Ken is knitting a really lovely aran sweater. (Although Noricum caught him with dinner rather than the sweater. She has bad timing like that.)

This is Jen from My Sensitive Girl Hole:

Noricum neglected to ask for the correct spelling, but this is Meaghan, owner of Lettuce Knit:
Meaghan (sp?)
(Meaghan, if you visit here, could you give us the correct spelling?) Noricum's credit card got a bit of a workout at Lettuce Knit:
Although she did get her books signed while she was there:
Autograph Autograph

Can you guess what this wall hanging is of?
Vegetable Garden Wall Hanging
A vegetable garden! Check out the view from below:
Vegetable Garden Wall Hanging
That's hilarious!!! The person who made the wall hanging also has scarves for sale at Lettuce Knit. How perfect is it that "Lettuce" Knit has a vegetable garden (complete with lettuce) hanging on the wall?!?

Okay, time for some more introductions. Let's see... who's here?
Lettuce Knit Group

This is Emily and Danny:
Emily and Danny
Danny has a blog too, but he says he rarely posts to it. Emily has the sweetest little baby. Stephanie taught Noricum her "fish face" trick that makes babies smile. It works too!

Eeeeek! Amy Singer!!!
Amy Singer
Noricum was rather dense and kept trying to hand her wool to hold. Sheesh. She started to remember by the end of the night. *sigh*

I finished knitting the tuque for Friday:
Tuque Tuque Tuque
Noricum made the kind of lame pom-pom. It wasn't really her fault that it was lame, though. The yarn didn't "compress" well, to make the center small enough. Everyone (well, everyone who said something) loved the hat I made, and agreed that it will keep a homeless person's head toasty warm. Noricum is thinking of writing up her pattern. (Although I knit it, she came up with the design.) It's pretty simple, but a cute idea too.

These two aren't knitters:
Manhunt Toronto
They were playing a game called "Manhunt". They stopped in to disguise themselves as knitters. Noricum loaned them some needles and yarn.

One last introduction before I go. This is Rachel H, commenter extraordinaire:
Rachel H

We had such a lovely time! I got to meet so many cool people, I knit, and Noricum crocheted a few more rounds on the hyperbolic plane. We wish you could have been there with us. But, you were there in spirit.