Monday, November 20, 2006


They fit - perfectly, I'd say - and the girls seem to like them, so all is good... Trisha's is the green, which I honestly wasn't sure about, colour-wise, but which looks really good on her - Sammie's brown Wallaby was more to my liking, but I think they both look great - perfect teenager sweaters...

makes me almost want one for myself...

Project: Wonderful Wallaby, by Cottage Creations, both size Large Adult (no web page that I can find, but if you google them you will find folks who sell their patterns, which are all wonderful)
Yarn: Patons "Decor" (75% acrylic, 25% wool - Rich Taupe and Light Sage Green)
(Interestingly, according to the pattern I would have needed 10 balls for each sweater, but I only ended up using 5 each - and I didn't forget anything or leave anything out - okay, so maybe I miscalculated, not the pattern...)
Started: September 14 and 15, 2006
Finished: November 16 and 17, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Oh, did I mention


Last ends sewn in yesterday, pics to hopefully follow tomorrow, when I give them to my nieces...

God, I hope they fit!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Overzealous? Moi??

Pshaw! Sure, I may be a little, um, enthusiastic in my knitting goal setting. Okay, and maybe a little unrealistic. But I come from a long line of unrealistic enthusiasts, and it never seems to be daunting. Overwhelming, sure, but never daunting. Right, Mom?

So, I have decided to knit sweaters for my children for Christmas - KnitPicks' Henley Sweater pattern with their Shamrock yarn, one blue, one brown

A couple of felted baskets, again from KnitPicks (yes, I love KnitPicks - wanna make something of it?), into which I am hoping to pop small beaded purses, some thrummed mitts into one and felted, beaded slippers from Stitch Diva into the other...

plus a pair of Fleece Maiden thrummed socks for an upcoming birthday gift for one whom I know has cold feet (literally, I mean) -

I've also been thinking about hats or mitts for my nieces and nephews, or something cute and warm, but there are 5 of them, so it would have to be small-ish -

plus it had crossed my mind that it would be totally cute to have a mini-sweater or mitts decorating various parcels, which could then be put on the tree - I made some a couple of years ago and they were just adorable...

and I was of course hoping to throw in some stuff for me, too... but that will be in my next post...

Kelly and I are still working on our Sideways Socks, but so I don't move too far ahead without her okay, I started another sock. For me. And I love it. I mean, I REALLY love it:

Trekking XXL, colourway #108. Started November 13, waiting for my computer to download. This is my waiting-at-the-orthodontist, sitting-in-the-car, waiting-by-the-computer, supervising-homework sock. Lots of waiting around the last couple of days, apparently.

I think it's the homespun look of it, and the colours - but make no mistake, I am utterly enamoured with this sock. So much so that I am already stressing about wearing holes into the socks, and am contemplating buying another ball as back-up, for the next pair.

I am halfway through the first sock, and I am upset about the holes I have worn into it. Hmm, maybe this is one of those unhealthy infatuation/obsession things I've read about. With a sock. That isn't done yet.

Perhaps more evidence of that overzealousness... ya think?

Friday, November 10, 2006

again with the mailman

The guy must either love coming here, or just dread it, because of my overly enthusiastic responses to his deliveries...

in yesterday's mail, from my Secret Pal Anonknit:

first, it is necessary to admire the wrapping, and the card - handmade card, with my name on it, and the most beautiful calligraphy - I like to think I can do calligraphy also, but not like this...

check the bow wrapping the package - those are stitch markers, IN MY INITIALS - how absolutely wonderful! And I would be happy with this - handmade card, stitch markers, and tissue paper (yes, I am really that easy to please!) -
but wait, there's more!
Unwrapping the package revealed a stunning skein of Lorna's Laces - look at those colours... just yummy... a beautiful little bag, in which I shall keep my beautiful little stitch markers, and some wonderful smelling soap. Even my ten-year old appreciates this soap, and he is, well, a ten year old... and a boy, to boot!

I feel spoiled beyond words, truly, and can't thank you enough - what a tremendous week this has been, and what perfectly generous souls y'all are...

no more almonds for the mailman - sigh - but I will have to find some way to thank him - I'd knit socks but his feet are humungous, and I have given myself a whack of family Christmas knitting to do - oh, wait - maybe Socks of Doom? Those were a fast knit... yes, maybe he should get to appreciate first-hand some of the joy he brings me... please note, this is not a full-out committment, just a thought - the sweaters I want to make for my sons, and other assorted smaller gifts for friends and nieces and nephews? Those are committments...

in other news, I was at my younger son's school this afternoon for one of my many volunteer activities (and yes, I feel completely blessed that I can help out), when the doors were locked, and an announcement made that the school was in 'lockdown mode'. Now, there have been drills in the past few weeks, the thought of which made me uncomfortable, and so I assumed this was another one. No, this was in fact a real lockdown - a bank across the street was held up at gunpoint. Now, we live in a small, quiet town. We walk to the bookstore and coffee shop, the kids walk to their neighborhood comic store - real Andy Hardy stuff. School lockdowns? Bank robberies at gunpoint??? Not in our neighborhood, thank you very much. Of course, the kids are excited about the whole thing, but me? I'm just a little bit nervous... oh, they've caught the robber, and everything is back to normal... but now there's just a hint of disquiet in the back of my mind - where did I put those damned rose-coloured glasses of mine??

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I love my mailman

I think anyone who has shopped online has likely developed a real affection for their mailman, a sense of longing and anticipation for his arrival, but yesterday afternoon I discovered the true meaning of mailman love -

not one, but two, count 'em, TWO, packages from my Sockret pal:
the most delectable bath stuff - bath crystals and soap, and - something new - a bath tea bag - mmmmm....
and then another package with gorgeous orange sock yarn from Knitpicks, the Holiday Knits magazine from Interweave, and the funkiest measuring tape (it's Pinocchio and his nose grows - I LOVE THIS!!) - oh, and my all-time favourite comfort food, chocolate covered almonds... all wrapped up with a Napoleon Dynamite card, which my kids are totally pleased with...

so picture me, last night, after a particularly difficult day... steaming lavender/tangerine scented water, glass of red wine, bowl of chocolate almonds... then into fresh-out-of-the-dryer jammies and my cuddly brown robe, a solid evening of CSI reruns and my knitting - I know, I am absolutely boring - some have even described me as an 'old maid'- but this was just the evening I needed - thanks, Sockret Pal, for making such a wonderful, thoughtful contribution...

the mailman also brought the latest installment of Socks that Rock, with lots of extra goodies in the package my favourite, by far (in addition to the wool, of course, which is beautiful!), is the card - you can see the front of it in the pic, lower right corner, the women wearing ammo belts of yarn studded with dpn's - the inside reads: "Swatches? We don't need no stinkin' swatches!" This variation of a quote from Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with Humphrey Bogart and Walter Houston, is one of my favourites, and I use it all the time, for all situations - how absolutely perfect!

so a lovely end to a shitty day, thanks in part to my mailman, who certainly deserves some token of my affection... maybe an almond... if there are any left by Monday...

Friday, November 03, 2006


This morning Tanner, my eldest son, and I went to a funeral. The funeral was for a friend of his, a 15 year old absolute gem of a boy. On Monday, without warning, he collapsed in class and died shortly thereafter. The actual cause of Nick's death has been identified as natural, but is still unknown. Our schools, and the community at large, have been in shock since.

The service today was lovely - the church was full beyond capacity, filled with teachers, teammates, classmates, and friends - the sadness in the room was palpable, and I did my best to bear up for the sake of my son, who was working hard to maintain his composure. The music, performed by the school's music teacher on piano and her brother on violin, was achingly beautiful, and so much more soothing than the typical strains of organ music. Pictures of Nick surrounded the altar: with his cat, cuddled with his sister, in a cub scout uniform.

My son knew Nick as a fellow Star Wars afficionado, and as the brother of Madeline, who has been in his class since kindergarten. I have known the family through my work at the school. It was Maddie who made me weep this morning in a particularly poignant moment, as her father visibly wept, and she laid her head on his shoulder, whispering. Her father kissed the top of her head, hugged her, and whispered something in return. I dissolved. I do again as I type.

My heart is leaden tonight - heavy with sadness for Nick's family, who will find themselves no longer a tight quartet once extended family return to their lives, but a trio. My heart breaks for Maddie, who will no longer be walking to school with her big brother, deep in conversation and utterly engaged. I wish beyond anything that I could do something for Paul, Tamara and Madeline, but this is of course beyond the capacity of anyone to mend.

My mother feels that as long as they have their faith, they will get through this. Me? Well, my faith has been shaky since my late teens, and this makes me question, question, question...

No answers, only questions.

We will return you to your regularly scheduled knit chat tomorrow. Thank you for your patience, and indulgence. Godspeed, Nick...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

summer no more...

I know, I know, why am I bemoaning the end of summer now, on this second day of November? Because today it's actually cold. And grey. And my front trees are naked. And my front lawn is not. And I HATE wearing coats and shoes and all the other accessories that go with cold weather. So there.

I was ill much of last week - cold-like symptoms with bone deep, ass dragging fatigue, which is still lingering, making it hard for me to focus on things like reading, or even listening to books. I started a new one by Stephen King, Lesey's Story, and after an hour realized I had no idea what the hell I had heard. So I figure it's kind of like getting two books for the price of one, what with the rewinding and re-listening...

We did have a nice Hallowe'en - perfect weather: warm-ish, dry, a good breeze blowing up crunchy, dead-sounding leaves - and a gang of intrepid trick or treaters:

(in order of appearance: The Grim Reaper, Boba Fett of Star Wars fame, The Joker, and a skeleton).

Charlie tried to get in on the action, but showed remarkable restraint - more than I did, in fact... and Maggie really didn't care
I have been able to knit, which is truly a saving grace - finished the boys' Moccasin Socks
Project: Elizabth Zimmermann's Moccasin Socks (Knitting Around)

Yarn: Briggs and Little 'Tuffy'

Needles: 3.5mm

Started: October 15, 2006

Finished: October 25, 2006

made them each an Ear Flap Hat, in colours of their choosing (the white one has not yet been blocked) - I actually made the yellow one in one day (how Tanya of me!)

Project: Ear Flap Hat

Yarn: Paton's 'Classic Wool', KnitPicks 'Merino' (stash and odds and ends - I am so proud)

Needles: 4mm

Started: October 28, 2006

Finished: October 31, 2006
and now, on with the Wallabies (are you tired of hearing about them yet?) - I am nearing the end of the sleeves, and will then knit them onto the body, whisk right along through the hoods, and voila! My aim is to have them completed before our next get-together, in two or so weeks.
It's in writing now.

And then perhaps something for moi, before the onslaught of Christmas gifts, which I should already be tackling, I guess... but I need something warm and cozy... because baby, it's cold outside...