The Same but Different

Recently I saw a photo in which someone claimed they were wearing chambray and I wondered if they really were. I am a textile geek, after all, and I could see why someone would think that a fabric is one thing when it’s really something else. I wondered if the fabric in question was indeed chambray, or if it was denim.

Left: striped chambray Right: denim

Left: striped chambray
Right: denim

Chambray and denim are very similar in that the warp threads – the threads that are attached to the loom in weaving – are dyed threads, and the weft threads – the ones that come off the shuttle (I remember it by “weft goes left…and right”) – are white threads. And they’re both typically made of cotton.

Denim is typically a pretty thick canvas, but it can be very lightweight as well, it just depends on the gauge of the threads used. Chambray is typically lightweight.

This is a great blog post about denim, and it explains the structure of “the simplest example of a woven fabric” (which weavers call “plaino”) and the structure of a twill fabric (looks diagonal). Herein lies the fundamental difference between denim and chambray: Chambray is plaino weave – one over, one under, and denim is a twill weave, two over, one under.

Ultimately, I was concerned that the person was accidentally wearing an Albertan Tuxedo (denim jacket and jeans – a fashion I unwittingly adhered to for much of the 90s and early 2000s). If you want to go blue on blue, make sure you’ve got a chambray top and denim jeans – or vice versa.


So Close, Yet So Far!

I have long believed that Etsy should have a gift certificate option. Sometimes you want someone to have something cool, but you maybe don’t know what colour they’d like something to be, or their taste is not what you think it is, or they would want something completely different to what you thought to give them. And finally, Etsy has Gift Cards, and some sellers accept them as payment.

Thing is, you can only buy an Etsy gift card if your billing address is from the US. Burn.

In other news, I hope to be on here more often. I have no reason as to why I haven’t been posting…too distracted by shiny things I guess. Well, we’ll see if I will post more often. Keep smiling!

There Are Not Enough Hours in the Day

It has been months since I’ve posted. I’ve been working on my university classes, and hanging with friends, and working. So my knitting, spinning and photography have sort of taken a hit and I don’t have a lot to post. But not to worry, I’m fine. I’m really fundamentally happy right now too, which is pretty cool. I have been awakening to feelings of joyous possibility, despite the fact that I’ve been to more funerals this year than the last three years combined. I take the bad with the good – how else could one go on?

I was just looking at Mr. X-Stitch’s feed in my blog reader, and I saw so many great and inspiring things and realised how very much there is I want to make and do, and how very little time I have right now to do it. I’m grateful I’m so busy, but man, do I have a hankering for some non-work-related creativity!

But what I work on at work is pretty great too. Here’s the start of a shawl we’re weaving on the floor loom.



Stress…What a Jerk

All knitting right now is for gifts, and although I doubt the people I’m knitting for actually read this blog (especially since I almost never post any more), I still won’t post pictures until they’re gifted. I’ve also given up on a gift and will pick up its replacement only after I’ve finished the other two…will have to think of something cute and little to do in the interim because I think I won’t get the time to make the replacement mittenettes (my grandmother’s hands are cold…purple cashmere mittenettes might help) before Christmas.

I’m not really stressed about knitting though, although my left elbow and shoulder may disagree with me. I’m stressed about homework. And the fact that I got a night-guard because I’ve been gritting my teeth so hard in my sleep but it’s not fitting properly and has woken me up with the most awful pain in the right side of my face twice now. The first time was Saturday morning at 3:00 and I didn’t get back to sleep again until 10:20 pm (well, I did have two 20 minute naps).

Did I mention I’m stressed about homework? Microeconomics is the bane of my existence right now, but it’s my own fault for procrastinating so badly. But I will have to get an extension on my Art History so I can balance it and my Psychology class better once Microeconomics is out of my hair. I didn’t want to do any more extensions but my planning skills have been lacking. This rush of completing the dreaded course should help me stay focused on the next two classes though, so it’s a bonus. Check one for the “school of hard knocks.”

I have an assignment due ASAP, and my midterm is on the 20th…wish me luck.


I’m sick. So I’m consoling myself with a post about a song I’m addicted to. I heard it through some video of this double-jointed lanky breakdancer (great video!). Anyway, I’ve heard some of the other songs by this band but I don’t really dig on any of them except this one. You can watch AWOLNATION’s entertaining (mildly wank) version below, or scroll past it to watch the fascinating breakdancing version.

Oh! I found the breakdancer video!

Break ton Neck from Alex Yde on Vimeo.


Yesterday started out well enough; I got up and did some exercise, got ready for work and had a pleasant morning until someone hurt my feelings and for some reason it ruined my whole day. It was a paltry comment, not even worth the breath used to utter it or the synapses used to hear it, but for some reason it irked and wrankled and I could not let it go. It wasn’t meant to be hurtful, and I think the person who said it honestly thought they were commiserating with me. Maybe I’m sensitive due to the pressures I’ve put on myself with my ridiculous procrastination and some fitful nights of sleep. Whatever the case, it hurt and feelings are there for a reason.

So when the end of the day came, I went straight home rather than stopping at the library, and instead of picking up my homework, I picked up some knitting. Knitting for me. With Christmas looming, I should be working on the two gifts I’m trying to complete, but I didn’t want my bad juju to get wrapped in the stitches I am giving away. And I knew I wouldn’t focus on my writing. So I popped in some movies and knit.

And knit.

And the pain of the day unwound as my project grew.

Because it is a sort of meditation. It is a repetitious action that if you concentrate on it, and it alone, it soothes, it is a balm. I realised long into the project that my counting (and I counted my cast-on stitches three times) was completely inaccurate and I was four stitches short for one of my cuffs, but I’m not going to frog that cuff and re-knit it because it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t even angry with myself for doing 76 stitches rather than 80 because I had calmed down. I was still a little sad by the time I went to bed, but I was no longer hurt. And I slept better than I had for days.

Thank goodness for knitting.

Feeling Kinda Savvy

Went to the "Cut! Costume and the Cinema" exhibit at the Glenbow Museum and took this photo.

I got a fancy new printer from my mom.  It had issues for four weeks, namely that it was a shelf model and the kid forgot to pack its power cord.  And when Mom asked them to mail it to us, they didn’t write the address properly so it got sent back to them.  Four weeks later I got the cord and I finally set up the printer.

However, it took me three days to figure out how to get the printer to run on my mini laptop…but I got it done this morning (oh, you need to download the stuff from the internet when you don’t have a disc-drive!).

And yesterday the first generation Apple TV I won on eBay arrived…sans cables, so I went to the Apple Store and bought the HD cables, and then found a $3 cable at The Source which can piggy back my audio cables from my Apple TV and my Xbox 360 to my ancient stereo (I bought it my first summer at the Park, back in 1996; the CD player doesn’t work any more, but the rest of it does).  I got it set up and rented & watched the Russel Brand Arthur to celebrate.

Arthur‘s a really cute film, but not one I feel the need to purchase.

Also, wireless connections are amazing to me.  Now I kind of want to find a wireless thinger for the Xbox…maybe later though; my pocket book is searching madly for band-aids…

It’s Been Awhile (I should be doing microeconomics homework)

I took this shot from the parkade near my tailor’s shop.

This summer has been ridiculously busy; somehow I developed a social life, I gave up most of the processed sugar in my diet and lost 10 or so pounds, and then I decided to start taking belly dancing classes.  So I’ve extended my microeconomics…and should be doing it right now…which means, of course, that I’m going to write about music on my blog.  Specifically, my music addictions.

Very recently, while perusing the Twitter, one of the posters I read (okay, it was Erin Karpluk of Being Erica fame) posted a link to this video by The National and I had to immediately borrow the album from the library, and shortly thereafter I bought it on iTunes.  I absolutely adore the combination of the vocalist’s deep and mildly lazy-sounding voice with the busy-ness going on with the rest of the instruments.  Also, any song gently including the lyrics, “I was afraid that I’d eat your brains ’cause I am evil,” is okay with me.  A band that writes something like that is going to become an instant favourite.

And the day I bought the Muppets: The Green Album on iTunes, I was showing the OK Go video to a buddy when he said, “My brother introduced me to these guys, check out this video.”

Afterwards I went home and bought The Cave Singers‘ latest album, No Witch on iTunes.  I love the almost 60s Folk-Rock sound these guys have.  I have since chastised my buddy for distracting me from the Muppet covers.  But I forgave him instantly because The Cave Singers’ music is so awesome, I can’t get over it.  I have to listen to this album at least once a day, and it’s great for summer/autumn road-tripping.  I’m so addicted, I’ve bought more of their music because it’s just so…I can’t explain how much I love it.  It’s like, down in my core.  Love.  LOVELOVELOVE.


365 Grateful

I read about these people taking a photo a day of something they are grateful for, so I thought, heck, I should do that.  I haven’t been doing a photo per day, but I have been taking as many I can, and thinking about the positive reasons for taking each photo.  You can see some of my photos in my flickr link on my sidebar.

Well, now the 365 Grateful people are trying a week of not complaining.  So I thought I would try it too.  Yesterday was my first day and I think I did pretty well.  And I felt so much better than usual.  I really am looking forward to this week and seeing if I am capable of more positivity.