Conventions, cycling and knitting, oh my!

I have got to get myself back into the habit of posting about things that aren’t Unix scripting issues. Although the good news is that I now know much more about scripting than I used to and have a good idea of what I’m doing and what I need to learn. Yay?

I’ve been thinking about conventions. To wit, the Redemption 2011 prices go up in September and I think that it’s time to stop being in denial and just buy myself a ticket. I’m going, I was crazy to think about pretending that I wasn’t. It’s my favourite con on the calendar. If I plan to arrive in England on the Thursday and travel straight up to Cov then I could spend a few days with my family afterwards and still have three vacation days left for other things that year. And in June that year, it will be a new vacation year and I’ll finally be up to three weeks vacation. Woo.

Also, it’s Worldcon in a couple of weeks and I can’t go. Boo 😦 This made me think about cons for next year, though. Hal-Con is in my own little home town in October 2010, so I’ll definitely be going to that. But if I don’t go to something in the first half of next year, then I’ll have been con-less for eighteen months. I really miss geeky fannish gatherings, there isn’t a space like it anywhere else.

Are there any cons that folks would recommend happening say March-June next year? Preferably something reachable in one flight from Nova Scotia. I love the relaxed, fannish gatherings like Redemption far more than the big media cons. I have a feeling that [info]muskratjamboree is only every two years, isn’t it? And that would mean it happens in a Redemption year 😦 But really, some recs for cons that people love over here would be awesome.

In other news, the Tour de France was awesome. I cannot express enough how much I loved it. The racing, particularly in the final week, was great. There wasn’t even a sniff of a drugs problem. Contador absolutely deserved to win. Best of all, there were Brits in the race doing fantastically. Mark Cavendish was amazing and, with 6 wins in one race, rather deserves the title of fasted man on two wheels. Bradley Wiggins was the revelation of the race and he’s made me very excited about the future of Brits in the Tour. Next year he’ll be going in as a viable favourite – how cool is that?

In knitting news, I finished some stripey socks in merino and may never want to knit socks from anything else every again. Oh, so gorgeous. My lacey sweater continues apace: I finished the front last night and got some ribbing done on a sleeve today. I am actually slightly worried about how quickly it’s knitting up, but it’s fun.

I also cast on for a shawl this week. It’s going to be a warm, snuggly shawl from DK weight yarn rather than a lacey thing, suitable for cool autumn days and overly enthusiastic AC at the office. I’m using Malabrigo Silky Merino and it’s possibly the most amazing thing I’ve ever knitted. I’ve never knitted with yarn this soft, it isn’t even remotely splitty and the fabric feels smooshy and gorgeous. The shawl is very simple, alternating bands of stocking and garter stitch whenever I feel like a change, so it shows off the sheen and the slight variations in kettle-dye beautifully. It’s 50% silk and the reviews say that it grows a lot with blocking, so wouldn’t be good in a sweater, but in this kind of snuggly shawl it’s just amazing. I’m in love.

It’s so gorgeous that I keep reaching into my desk drawer to feel my shawl. Oh, dear, you’re not going to part me from this shawl when it’s finished.

So that’s why I’ve been grouchy!

The sun is shining and the sky is blue for the first time in over three weeks. And suddenly my funk is gone – I’m feeling cheerful and hopeful even though my back is still quite painful.


I’d never considered myself to have seasonally-affected moods before. Turns out that I do, though. Damn.

In other news, Best Friend in America flies in tonight for a visit! Woo! I am rather ridiculously excited about this. It’s so good to have the weather behaving this weekend so that I can show her my new home at its best. Right now, I’m considering having a road trip along the coast on Saturday and mooching around the city on Sunday. If I can arrange it with work, I’m going to leave early tomorrow so that we can go for a walk on the beach and then have supper at my local seafood place.

It’s going to be so much fun πŸ™‚

The Tour continues to be thoroughly enthralling. Someone yesterday commented that this is the most exciting Tour since, er, 2005 (Lance’s last) and that it seems like Armstrong’s presence has livened up the peloton a lot. While I don’t want to attribute the recent problems in cycling to Armstrong’s retirement, I have to admit that this Tour has already had more drama than the previous ones and none of it has been related to drug busts. No, I don’t think that it’s entirely down to Armstrong being there but I am willing to admit that it’s a factor in the level of excitement in this year’s race. Cavendish would be the other factor πŸ™‚

Problem is, I don’t really know how we combat that. All the riders that have got me really excited over the last few years have been arrested at some stage in the race for failing dope controls. On the one hand, the sport is catching the cheats. OTOH, it’s been getting hard to continue being thrilled and excited about riders when you’re just waiting for them to get busted. I’m really hoping that the new, young riders that are starting to come through will reverse that trend.

In other news, I bound off a sock last night and it actually fits πŸ™‚ This is particularly exciting because it’s the first pair that really do that – fit, I mean.

I’ve gone down a needle size to 2.25mm, which has produced a denser, firmer fabric. I’m a pretty loose knitter at 2.5mm needles were not working well with the very fine sock yarns that I like. I also re-measured my feet and discovered that I’d been working to the wrong measurements for all these months. Those two factors combined have produced a sock that fits beautifully and feels really great. Yay me! I shall cast on the second one in the pair tonight and probably work on it while I wait at the airport.

My lacy sweater is proceeding well. In fact, it’s proceeding much faster than I’d anticipated (all those hours of Tour watching are a help) and, after a week, I’m already most of the way up the back. It’s entirely possible that I’ll finish it by the end of the month. Weird feeling.

In cat news, I have finally figured out where Annie goes when she disappears in my office. My wireless router sits on a shelf, hidden by the hutches over the desks. Annie has discovered that she can lie on the shelf with her head and front paws pillowed on the lovely, warm router and take a really comfy nap. Silly kiten. I am onto her now!

See? I must be feeling better because I just babbled extensively. Heh.

Yay, cycling!

It’s that time of year again, so most of this weekend has been spent with the Tour de France. Woot! After the disappointment of trying to find decent tennis coverage, it’s a relief to find that I get rather excellent Tour coverage complete with my favourite commentators.

In fact, I got rather more coverage than my parents yesterday – the coverage started with the first guy out of the start house while my parents came in with around 40 riders yet to depart. Heh.