Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ode to My Socks


I cannot lie, I love these socks -
My ardour I admit -
The colours flow, they're bright and warm,
and yes, by God, they fit!

I worry, though, about the holes
to come with heavy wearing -
But not to fear - another ball
I've stashed FOR ME - no sharing!

so it's not quite of the same calibre as Miss Scarlett's poetry readings... my taste runs more towards Dr. Seuss anyhow...

yes, I love them, and I am not ashamed to say so -
Pattern - my own basic, using Dutch Heel and Wedge Toe from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks (because I thought it might be fun to learn some new heels and toes - and now I know that I prefer the fit of a short-row heel to a Dutch Heel - does not detract from my love for these babies, though)
Yarn: Trekking XXL, colour #108
Started: November 17, 2006
Finished: January 25, 2007

And the instant the last end was tucked in, I decided I needed some mitts, as I am unable to feel my fingertips after walking the dogs in my pseudo-techno-plasticky sort of gloves. So, I dug out Flying Geese and Partridge Feet, by Robin Hansen/Janetta Dexter, with their mitten patterns from "up north and down east", and cast on the Chipman Block pattern, using Mission Falls 100% wool -
Chipman Block Mitts
the colours are actually a little tame for me, but I was trying to find something to work with a brown kicking around coat, and a beige-y nicer coat, which doesn't get a lot of air time, but still...nice to match, sometimes...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Thinking out loud...

So it's Monday, which means it is hockey practice morning - and it was my turn to take Ben to the arena, so by 5:50AM, he was on the ice and I was basking under the glow of an overhead heater, coffee at my side and knitting in hand. I tend to sit on my own, because frankly, I am a little socially retarded at the best of times, and am SO NOT socially sparkling at 6 in the morning. I was near the hard-core hockey parents, who were discussing a possible tournament over March Break in very gung-ho terms. I looked out to the ice and watched the coach for the team we share the ice with.

This is an intense guy. It's rumoured that he actually received a coaching penalty because of his yelling and attitude towards his players, and that parents of his players have filed complaints about him. The players, keep in mind, are 10 years old. During practices, he likes to use his whistle. A lot. It's a very shrill, vibrate your eardrums, get right under your last nerve sort of whistle, and he uses it a lot. He uses it to start drills. He uses it to end drills. He uses it to call kids, and to get their attention. I wouldn't use it to call my dogs, never mind other people. I want to deck him every time he uses the godforsaken thing, and given my low level of energy at 6AM, that's saying something. I actually visualized it this morning: I saw myself climbing down the stairs, sliding across the ice and slugging him. In my mind, I saw him swallowing his whistle, and I smiled. I'm not proud. But please.

So I'm watching these kids - how old are they? Oh, yeah, they're 10. Are they NHL prospects? Not likely. Are they having fun right now? Uh-uh. I'm watching the coach. Nuff said. I am eavesdropping on the hard-cores, not by choice, but because they are so hyped and loud I can't avoid it. As the caffeine melts its way through my veins and into my consciousness, I think:


I want my son to do well, of course, but only for the fact that he will be happy about it. Is he the next Sidney Crosby, or does he strive to be? No. Ultimately, he plays hockey because he wants to, because IT'S FUN. And things were so lacking in fun this morning, it was unbelievable. We have been part of the whole hockey subculture long enough that I shouldn't be surprised by any of this, shouldn't even notice it. And I still am, I still do, and it makes me kind of sad for our 10-year olds. They have their whole lives to feel pressured and pushed - it just seems so early to start.

Thank you for your indulgence.

And now for something completely different:
I am lucky enough to have some wonderful artwork on my walls. I look at it all the time for comfort and inspiration. But lately, I am keeping a different sort of artwork on my desk, and it makes me very happy indeed...
The frog is wearing a scarf made by Tanner - his first piece of knitting, in fact... and the crystal vase? Well, I am not a crystal vase sort of person - I am, by nature, an earthenware jug type of gal, but I have finally found something, some degree of beauty and inspiration, for which the crystal has been deemed worthy.

so now I am going to have a coffee, admire my artwork, and NOT think about whistles for the rest of the day...

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Week from H. E. Double Toothpicks

Yes, indeedy, read all about it!
Started Monday with an ice storm which left cars frozen solid in driveways, and trees sparkling like icy jewels in the sunlight.
Then it turned COLD. Nasty, nasty cold. Not a week ago we were out in sweaters and running shoes, and now, well, it's winter.
My youngest, Ben, came down with a horrid cold on Monday and was home for two days. On Wednesday his class had a field trip to Harbourfront Centre in Toronto for a Drumming Workshop - way cool.
And it was. He rallied in the morning for the hands-on, playing African drums session. After lunch we were ushered into a small, warm room to make our own clay drums, and unfortunately, this proved too much for the kid. After finding a washroom with not a second to spare, we waited in the hallway until it was time to go home, and then I sat nervously beside him on the bus for the 40-minute ride, plastic bags at the ready.
He was fine, but had to stay home Thursday to recuperate.

Tanner had some excitement of his own on Thursday:
Tanner Before - 18Jan07
Tanner After - 18Jan07
The bad news is, his teeth are too sore for solid food, and tonight is pizza night, which leaves him SOL. The good news is, I can order Ben his usual small cheese pizza, and then I can get what I WANT for a change - mushrooms, anchovies, onions... mmmm... heartburn, here I come!
And I clocked in my first official FO's of 2007:
First FO's of 2007!
Project: Ball-Band Washcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Peaches & Creme, Fiesta and Peacock
Needles: 4mm
Time to Completion: approximately 2 hours each

and today I learned that that crazy Yarn Monkey is at it again - seems like Socks Wars just wasn't enough... the new challenge is for the Knitting Championship of the World...check her blog link for details...

did I sign up? Do you even need to ask?

So, for a week which started in the netherworld, I think things have improved nicely... happy weekend, all!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, it had to happen...

First Snowfall of 2007
and the fact that it didn't happen until the middle of January is really, well, weird...

First Snow!

but the kids are happy, even about having their snowpants on, and it does feel much more 'right' now - I mean, this is Southern Ontario, for God's sake - we should be sick and tired of this stuff by now, and instead we're (read: I'm) kind of excited about it!

So as they tumble and slide and come in periodically for dry mitts, I am wrapped in domesticity - working on a Ball-Band washcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting - very cute, pic to come - baked beans in the crockpot, bread in the bread machine - oh my God, I am turning into June Cleaver!!!

Hell, it could be worse, I suppose... I could be turning into Wally or Eddie Haskell or something...

and thanks for all the very very kind words about my return here - I feel so much better I can't tell you (well, my constant blogging probably says enough), and I am just so very happy to hear from people again - yay!

I will leave you with this idea for a new hobby, should knitting prove to be lacking in challenge (HA! As if!) Any guesses as to what it's made from?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

And now I may become annoying...

Now that this seems to be working (yes, I am touching wood while I type), I must thank my secret pal, Anonknit, for this most wonderful sampling of goodies:
LOVE the tape measure, and now I have one in each knitting bag, so I should never be unable to find one... right? Tea with an infuser, edible treats (there was also a box of chocolate/caramel biscuits, but, well, between the three of us... it didn't survive long), a Christmas decoration all wrapped up in a lovely tea towel - thank you so, so much!

And note, this came to me while my pal has been in the midst of a cross-country move, with 4 kids, during Christmas... need I say more?

I am currently working on a couple of sweaters for a gal who has opened a 'fiber arts gallery' in Michigan - beautiful yarns, nice, basic patterns - and am working on the boys' henleys in between - will put up pics of those later, as well as my much adored socks - plus Kelly just sent me her Sideways sock for assistance - I think it looks fine, but since I'm the one who made her try it, I'm more than happy to try to fix whatever seems to need fixing - although I don't see much at this point...

Friday, January 12, 2007

A season in photographs...

most creative cookie of the year: "Tiny Tim"Tiny Tim
followed closely by "Super-Gingey"
thrummed alpaca from Green Acres FarmAlpaca Thrummed Mittens (100% alpaca wool and thrums)
thumbless reversible joggers' mitts from EZ's 'Knitting Around'
thumbless reversible joggers' mitts
mini-ornaments:Christmas Ornaments for Kelly and
Mini Aran Ornament
felted clog slippers from Stitch Divas:
Curiously Clever Clogs, Stitch Divas
basic socks, made better than basic with Knit Picks "Gloss" (merino wool/silk)
My own Basic Sock Pattern
felted baskets, which I LOVE and will make more of...Baskets post-felt

and the dogs protecting their Christmas gifts from each other -Maggie with Christmas Bone, Dec 06

Charlie and his bone, Dec 06

just a small note: it is January 13, and so far , between the two of them, they have only actually finished one of these suckers. Charlie is perpetually carrying the second one around with him, banging into walls and cabinets and dropping it on things like the floor and our feet, but is not actually eating it. He is, in a word, neurotic...

Special thanks to Tanya, for all of your help with the pictures - it worked!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

There's no place like home...

Okay, okay... I went, I saw, I blew it - just couldn't get the hang of the new system at all, and it was totally sucking the fun out of blogging, which for me, up until my "move", it was. I mean, really, I just want to write, share some photos, and maybe hear from people.

After a month, I could write, and sort of share pictures - as long as you are comfortable with teeny weenies - but couldn't hear from anyone - and I thought being master of my domain would be much more rewarding...

so I have conceded defeat - I give up - I quit - I admit to being somewhat technologically challenged - and I'm back - and I'm hoping that in the near future I'll be able to upgrade here to the new version and have more things to play with...

but for now I am happy to be here, and hoping that things will work out - my next major task is to reformat my hard drive - third time in 18 months - and once that's done it should all be a cakewalk... right?

Knit-wise, I am working on the second sock of those Trekking socks which I love so very much - got through a WHACK of Christmas knitting, pics of which I will get up pronto, am still working on the boys' sweaters (no longer Christmas sweaters, but rather just 'sweaters') plus doing some contract knitting - YAY!!! Paid to knit!!! Truly, my ideal...

wow - the relief I am feeling at this moment is just huge - such a weight off my shoulders... moral of the story? The grass isn't always greener on the other side, although, for January in Southern Ontario, it's pretty damn green...