Archive for the ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ Category





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I am currently in the middle of a 3 week whirlwind tour of 10 Canadian cities, interviewing for residency positions. This painful and nerve-wracking (not to mention crazy expensive) process is glamourously called the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) “tour”.  Myself, along with ALL of the other medical students in the country who are graduating this year, having applied in November for our prospective residency programs, are now criss-crossing the country for a series of interviews, meet n’ greets, and socials, all in hopes of securing a spot in our desired schools/disciplines’ residency programs for the next 2-5 years. As per the name of the ‘tour’ this process is supposed to be a “match” ie. students have some input into their preferred schools/programs by submitting a rank-listing, while schools do the same (ie. if they interview 60 students for 5 spots, they rank everyone 1-60 on how awesome they thought you were). Frankly, it’s all really moonbeams and fairy dust and I don’t really understand how this whole mess works other than I submit a list of programs that I’d be willing to move to/participate in and some magical computer in Ottawa spits out a name on March 6th and then I go wherever it tells me to in June.

For my tour, I’ve applied only to Obstetrics and Gynecology programs. I applied to 13 programs, got 10 interviews and turned down 2 of them (one because of bad timing- overlap with another interview, and one because they got back to me really late in the game and I’d already spent too much money on plane tickets and good riddance). As of today, I’ve participated in 3 interviews: Halifax, London, and Hamilton. They’ve all been pretty good and I think that I’ve shown myself off pretty well, considering my socially awkward tendencies and the strangeness of the CaRMS beast in and of itself.  I have an interview tomorrow in Ottawa, followed next week by interviews in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. Really, all programs in Canada are excellent. They’re all a bit different and a whole lot the same. Ultimately, I would be happy to match to any program that I’m interviewing.

So, anyhoot, what’s a knitter to do when faced with 3 of the most stressful weeks of her burgeoning medical career?

Knit of course.

10 days before CaRMS tour started, in the middle of my General Surgery rotation (read: up at 5 for 6am rounds, home by 7pm each night, call 1 in 3), in my infinite wisdom, I felt the best way to show myself off to these interviewers was by presenting myself in a handknit vest. Nothing says amazing like answering “what do you do in your spare time?” with pointing at one’s chest and proudly pronouncing “this!”.

So I went to the library at took out a neat book called Craft Activism and bookmarked Kirsten Kapur‘s Craftitude Vest

and then it begins

where all my best knitting happens it seems- on call.

One of the great things about a short deadline is there is no room for dilly dallying.  Project monogamy is a must.

all vesting all the time

I knit doggedly



i sit on your sweater

perhaps cat-edly is more appropriate

After blocking everything out front and back, I realized that I had marfed up the very last cable at the top of the front.  This realization was of course on Friday night around 23hoo…. and my flight for halifax was leaving at 5am on Monday morning.


I am the stupid cable that shows where Kirsti obviously fell asleep and kept knitting

So after wailing, crying and pleading with myself that it was “fine” and “no one would notice the difference”, I went to bed.  Actually, it’s more like Mike put me to bed because I was pretty much hysterical.   I couldn’t seem to explain to him that with my life spiralling out of control, I *NEEDED* this sweater to work.  If I couldn’t control the sweater and complete it in time, then I would surely fail at CaRMS, fail out of medical school and end up living in a cardboard box. Nothing like extremes when dealing with botched knitting at midnight.  Saturday, I woke up took a deep breath and ripped it back.

Oh G-d. Oh G-d. Oh G-d.

insert hyperventilation here

And everything was okay, really.  I managed to re-knit everything by Saturday night and sort of steam block it out.  I stitched together the seams and picked up the arms and neck and had it all soaking in a tub by Sunday afternoon.  I dried it out in front of the heater over night and it went into my bag in the am.  And it fit! and it looked sharp! and I. MADE. IT. WITH. MY. HANDS.

dear internet- this is my belly

nothing says professional like handknit vest when EVERYONE else is wearing a suit

Cable fixed

I may not look like everyone else, but I'm happy and comfy and DAMN proud of myself. (note- I am NOT wearing a t-shirt and jeans with this vest to my actual interviews- that would be super unprofessional).

Documented over on Ravelry.

I have to say, one great thing about such a cramped deadline is that there was no room to languish.  If this project had been done under ‘normal’ circumstances, I’m pretty sure it would have sat in a cupboard for months (or years) until I “had the time” to sort it out.  Not to mention how long I would have procrastinated sewing it up and finishing it.  I’m actually happy that I had to “deal with it now” because I did deal with it and now I have an awesome, unique vest!

Here’s to hoping it’s just one of the kooky thing that makes folks remember me and think that I’m awesomesauce, so that when March 6th rolls around I’m not planning moving to the 8th choice on my list!

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I am away on my first set of electives (opportunity to travel to other universities and see what their programs are like and help decide about residency options) until the end of May. While I’m gone, we are finishing up the tail end of our house renos- rebuilding the 3rd floor and new bathrooms. So, of course we decided to get a new puppy last weekend.

This is Sydney Tertius Pearl with her big sister. She’s a 5 month old blue heeler cross and a real handful of awesome. She will be modelling handknits before you know it.
Mooknee and her new little sister

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I’m still here!

Med school is kind of sucking up most of my life (imagine that!) but I have been crafting a bit on the side!  I’ve got lots to share with  you all, just as soon as Mike sends me my camera charger from Regina!

Hope you are all having a lovely fall and that your brains aren’t falling out of your ears, wherever you are!


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In my own defense- I was not
a) drunk in the real sense of the word (ie. too many libations)
b) my shortrows are actually perfect and not the problem here.

Last night I stayed up late waiting for Mike to arrive safely to Regina through a massive thunderstorm. I started a new pair of Fibertrends clogs for my uncle. I was congratulating myself on excellent ahead-of-time festivus preparation and good usage of random scraps of Patons Merino from my stash.

yes the colours kind of put your teeth on edge, but I can promise that the recipient will be all over their garish combination.
So, all happy with myself, feeling pretty confident since I’ve knit this once before, I cast on and got started. I fired up itunes and dug in to listen to old episodes of Cast-on. I was just flying along, toes a-tapping.

Heel looked good. Scary garish colours, but still everything was just fine.

the top looked great. all my little shortrows were lined up exquisitely.
on the whole, everything was going smashingly.
Then I switched to the smaller sized circular and something felt wrong.

Let’s go in for a closer look shall we? See anything strange there? look closely at the join where the split in the heel is relative to the rest of the foot.

Still think everything’s okay?
Take a look at how many stitches there are on the right hand side of the join.

that would be 4 + the slip stitch.
Now. Take a look at the number of stitches on the left hand side of the join.

that would be eleventy- billion.

my perfect short rows are about 8 stitches off centre.

Damn you Brenda and your rediculously entertaining pod-cast.

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