Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm moving...

not physically, but virtually - in an attempt to improve my blogging experience, I am switching services, and will now be located at -

there are still glitches to be worked through, but I am hoping to be fully operational shortly - so far I have figured out how to post, and am trying to upload pics - then I have to figure out what to do with the pictures once uploaded - but I'll get there...

hopefully you few, but exceptionally special, folks out there who follow my misadventures haven't given up completely, and will check out the new digs...

"If you follow me, all of your wildest dreams will come true." (Paraphrased from Pedro's election speech, Napoleon Dynamite)

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...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

must warn.....others

not.... much let....people ....know
Socks of Doom.... late yesterday..... ahhhhhhhhhhh....
(followed by the dramatic, yet subtle, final twitch of the foot which everyone who has every watched a death scene in a movie knows is the international sign of fatality)...

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Am Back!

Several days without a computer has taught me several things...

1. I get antsy - nay, dare I say, grumpy? - when I cannot go online.

2. Not having a computer makes it necessary for me to find other means of occupying my time (not that it's a challenge to find other things, of course... it's just that I am selective about what I do with my time).

3. Some of these other things include playing with my new sock blockers:


SO professional looking - I can't believe I didn't treat myself to sock blockers years ago!

and working on my Sideways Socks, with Kelly : currently on Row 25, and I can finally see how this might one day grow up to be a sock... (note to self: use plain backgrounds to photograph busy yarns);

and taking my sons to Dyment's Farm yesterday in nearby Dundas in the rain and mud and yuck, so we could pick pumpkins and climb through a hay maze and swing off a rope into a huge stack of hay (that is not a royal we - I neither climbed nor swung) and eat caramel apples (I did, however, assist with this);

and playing yet another round of Star Wars Monopoly, and noticing very clearly this time the difference in organizational styles, which truly typifies my sons:

This is how Ben "organizes" his money and property -

This is Tanner's area - need I say more?

So, yes, there's a lot I can do when going online is not an option... but it's nice to be back...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Somebody Stop Me!

I seem to be on a roll - finishing, mending - sort of wish it would extend to other areas of my life like cleaning, but, take what you can get, I always says (to be pronounced Popeye-style)...
some months back I reported on a hole ( first one ever!) found in one of my favourite sweaters, made a couple of years ago from Morehouse Farms merino -

I found the offense after a brief, rare instance of intense cleaning up which resulted in my pitching the last bits of this yarn, which is hard to replicate. I wrote to Morehouse Farms a couple of weeks ago to explain my quandry, and they very nicely sent me enough yarn to repair several holes, at no charge. I was absolutely blown away by the customer service, which is really a sad commentary on how my expectations as a customer have dropped over time. Really - I should expect great service, but when it happens, I am inevitably surprised and almost too pleased by it.

And I really shouldn't clean, because look what happens. All part of life's valuable lessons...

Then, I finally managed to make Tanya's socks the desired length, although I could not for the life of me get rid of the damned line where I rejoined the yarn. And I tried. Many, many times. I am sorry, Tanya, I'd like them to be perfect, and they're not - I don't think you'll be able to feel the line when you wear them, and it's on the sole of the sock so you won't see it - but I KNOW IT'S THERE, and it drives me nuts...

so next on the list, in addition to the Wallabies, which are now both having sleeves knit simaltaneously, is Opal sock yarn I sent to Kelly, of which I have a matching skein, the idea being that we are going to knit Sideways Socks (I'll find the link later) together (well, virtually together - she's in Wisconsin, I'm in Ontario) - but I want to work on them with her and she's finishing a pair for her brother, so last night I cast on Moccasin Socks from EZ's Knitting Around for the boys. They picked their own colour schemes from Briggs and Little's 'Tuffy' yarn (both blue soles, Ben's red on top, Tanner's green), and I oh, so cleverly am making one for each of them at the same time - that way, no one feels left out or slighted... and as an aside, this yarn is a little hard on the hands to knit and should wear like iron - hopefully it will soften up in the wash, although I am assured that they are, in fact, very cozy on the feet... maybe my feet are more of the delicate flower variety? (If you saw them you would appreciate the humour in that - size 10's, not at all 'pretty' or delicate - in fact, I have two webbed toes on each foot - hmmm, there's the image I want to leave y'all with today)...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Secret Pal 9 / Sock Wars

I can't help it - I love the secret exchange thing - from SP8, which was my first, I have made two wonderful friends, and had so much fun putting together packages and such - yeah, I'm doing it again -

so, questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love unusual, exotic fibres (quiviut, silk, bamboo, hemp, linen) in addition to wool, and am tending towards natural fibre most of the time - I am not a fan of 100% acrylic, although I am okay with wool/acrylic blends.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?I use a wonderful bag that my mother made for me, without a pattern save the vision in her mind, from fabric woven by one my favourite uncles, which has a myriad of storage pouches and holders - I will post a pic of it in a future entry.
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?I have been knitting for about 37 of my 45 years, and would put myself at the advanced level, I think.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?No, but what a cool idea!
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)I like clean, fresh laundry, soapy smells - also lily of the valley and light florals along those lines; not a fan of heavy, sweet scents.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?Do I have a sweet tooth? Do little boys like fart jokes?? Favourite sweet is/are chocolate covered almonds, but my real weakness is salt, especially chips and french fries.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?I crochet, have done weaving and pottery, love crafts with my kids, am always do-it-myselfing around the house. I do not spin well, but I love it and am determined to get it.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)I will listen to almost anything but loud, harsh, discordant sounds or rap- love old blues, old jazz, 50's rock 'n roll, classical, and then stuff like Green Day, the Ramones - I'm all over the place. And yes, MP3's are my friend.
9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?Fave is Orange - also like blue, yellow, red - I love bright things, particularly when it comes to socks - have almost no green to my name, but I don't dislike certain shades - also like white.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?I live with my two sons, ages 10 and 12, two big dogs, a rabbit, two rats, and several dust dinosaurs that rear their ugly heads from time to time.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?Like scarves and mittens, want to like ponchos very much but haven't been able to picture myself in one yet...
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?I ALWAYS have socks on the go, and like to make sweaters - my favourite type of knitting is anything cabled and complicated.
13. What are you knitting right now?I am halfway through two Wonderful Wallabies for my 14 year old nieces, and fixing a pair of socks. But I have big plans... the Rogue hooded pullover in wine wool from Black Water Abbey yarns, EZ's hooded Aran coat from Knitting Around, and then the Christmas knitting... dare to dream...
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?Absolutely my favourite type of gift...
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I use circular Addis almost exclusively, although I have recently become enamoured with KnitPicks interchangeable needles..., and occasionally bamboo double points and my new rosewood dpn's for socks or sleeves.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?I have both a winder and a swift. Whether or not I can make easy-to-pull centre balls with them is another story...
17. How did you learn to knit?My grandmother taught me during one summer visit to her home in Quebec - she had seemingly endess supplies of the ugliest burnt orange acrylic yarn, and wouldn't teach me to cast off, so by summer's end I had a long strip of orange that wound all through the house.
18. How old is your oldest UFO?I found a couple recently that are maybe 3 - 4 years old? Misplaced during a move, you know how it is...
19. What is your favorite holiday?If summer vacation counts, that's the one...
20. Is there anything that you collect?Yarn and books, mostly, although I also appreciate some of the outrageous labels on bottles of hot sauce - I may start gathering some of the more memorable ones.
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?Any hand-dyed yarns; more of the KnitPicks needles tips, and one day before I die I will get a fabulous knitting bag by Jordana Paige or Namaste or someone.... I subscribe to Knitters' and Interweave Knits.
22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?I would love to perfect, or at least be half-decent at, spinning, and am always looking for new ways to do anything knitting.
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?Oh, yeah, baby, hardcore sock knitter. I wear a size 10 shoe, and make my socks about 9" long from base of heel to start of toe, like them a little longer on the calf.
24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) April 22

Sock Wars Update: I heard from my intended target yesterday, who says she received the socks - please bow your heads and offer up a moment of silence for Cpt. Anne Cash (aka Dina Jones) -

I have heard nothing from my assassin, and have had no socks in the mail, so I don't know if I've slipped through the cracks or am knitting on borrowed time...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, and Socktoberfest

*I'm not sure if my computer is just unhappy, but I have been trying for two days to load the pictures described in the post, and they just won't load - does anyone have a suggestion as to what the problem might be? The Blogger folks do not seem to reply to emails...*

Yes, Thanksgiving here this weekend - we did our big, wild family thing here Sunday, and I was so busy hostessing I didn't take a damn picture - not even of my littlest nephew, James, who is 9 months old and starting the "let me hold onto your hands and walk endlessly and no, I really don't care how sore your back gets" phase - his dad, my brother, is 6'4" or so, so you can only imagine the shape his back is in these days...

ah well, a good time was had by all, I think... we certainly had fun - I love having my family here... even though I would say my house is the smallest, I just find it very cozy and comfortable with my family, all 13 of us, here, and I really do enjoy lots of kids being around -

Thanksgiving Monday the boys and I booked off everything - FREE day!! So we talked about what we were thankful for...


(those are but a scant few of the infamous Star Wars minis)


and me? whaddayathink?...

Our menu was, well, eclectic, to say the least: turkey, cheeseburgers (which we were supposed to have a couple of weeks ago before a couple of us fell ill and had to cancel), french fries (and gravy!!!!), and pasta salad. And our centrepiece, designed by my own sons, incorporates the themes of a couple of fall events... care to make a guess what we're celebrating??

Kind of warms the cockles of your heart, don't it? (What exactly are cockles??)

Socktoberfest began on the first - having been in a profound funk the past week I missed the opening, but am getting my not-so-little butt in gear now, beginning with these questions:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started 8, maybe 10 years ago, and was self taught, from a very basic pattern - most likely from the internet, but I honestly don't recall
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

They were made from Big Socks or Big Print, fit fairly well - a little baggy, but not uncomfortably so - I still have one of them, but the other did that molecular alteration thing in the dryer (yes, I put socks in the dryer!), and I never saw it again - might have reconfigured itself into one of those white sweat socks which seem to multiply but have no mates...
What would you have done differently?

I would have used smaller needles for a snugger fit
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

I love Koigu and Shelridge Farms, and Socks that Rock, plus, well, honestly? I am a sock yarn slut - there, I've said it, so now you know... I have very little self-control when it comes to new sock yarns, and with all the hand-dyed, new fiber combinations I keep finding, there's no hope - I must succumb...
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I love doing both socks at once on circulars, but am equally comfortable with wooden DPN's - haven't crocheted any YET, and have never tried the Magic Loop...
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I like both, actually, and love finding different ways of doing heels and toes...
How many pairs have you made?

I have no idea - if I were to make an educated guess, I would have to figure maybe 30 or more? Probably more...

so there we are - a sunny, quiet Thanksgiving day that I got to spend with my two favourite people (four if you count the dogs as people - oh, and then there's the bunny and the rats) - well, I am just thankful to be here, with them, in our little house, surrounded by books and yarn and Lego and minis and light sabers and hockey sticks...

life is good...

Friday, October 06, 2006

FO, why donchya?

Of course, I am referring to Finished Objects - don't know what you thought I meant!

My Knitpicks yarn jacket is done but for the blocking and buttons, and it is the loveliest, cuddliest thing - light and lofty but very warm -

  • Project: Not Your Mother's Jacket, from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Suri Dream (colour:Cascades) and Wool of the Andes Bulky (Navy Blue) held together
  • Started: September 25, 2006
  • Finished: October 2, 2006
  • Needles: 9mm (hard to handle, but LOVE those quick results!)

I hope I can do justice to the thing by finding the right buttons... oh, I just realized you can see my toes at either corner of the pic - I had to stand on the couch to get the best vantage point - the socks were a gift from Kelly... Kelly, you need a blog so I can point people in your direction...

Also in the FO section this week: Kelly's socks (well, really my socks, made with the yarn Kelly sent me which I was supposed to work on at the same time as she did but because of my occasional need for immediate gratification I went ahead and made - sorry, Kel) - but aren't they cute?

  • Project: Popcorn Lace Socks
  • Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta (cotton/wool blend)
  • Started: July 27, 2006
  • Finished: October 3, 2006

I photographed the socks lying on the back of another sweater for which I made all the pieces last year, but for some reason failed to put together. Oh, wait, I know the reason - I HATE putting things together... but it's just gorgeous - a Manos jacket from the Fall 2005 issue of Knitters' - so this week the pieces shall become one, and I'll have another new jacket...

I am back to my nieces' Wonderful Wallabies, and have fused both pouches to the bodies so the fun stuff is over till the sleeves - something almost annoying about kids growing and wearing larger sizes, and liking sweaters with copious amounts of stocking stitch knit in the round...

I am also working on Tanya's socks, making them longer - for some reason I can't pick up the stitches without it being very obvious that I have done so - I have picked up and ripped back 3 or 4 times now, and it's bugging the heck out of me - but I refuse to be defeated by a pair of socks...

we did survive hockey practice on Monday morning, although by 10am I felt that I had put in a full day and was ready for bed - Ben just kept on ticking till 8:30 that night - I don't know how they do it, but I wish I could remember - I must have been like that at some point, too... just like I wish I could remember what it was like to sit in a stroller and be pushed around to shop, or how it felt to be forced to take a nap - when was the last time someone said, "You need a nap, take a couple of hours and sleep"? I would pay for the privilege these days! Although, that being said, I seem to be unable to sleep during the day even when I do get a chance - lapsed Catholic woman guilt or something...

and finally, there was a package in the mail earlier this week that looked distinctly like socks - felt like them, it was the right sized envelope - so I had Tanner open it because I couldn't bear to face my Sock Wars death - big WHEW when we found this instead:

such pretty colours, and Miss Scarlett's fault... so I am still alive, and have no idea whether I'll be getting socks to wear, or socks to finish - oh, the suspense is killing me!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

How thoughtless of me...

Thanks, Miss Scarlett, for pointing out the glaring omission in my last post - how thoughtless of me to forget poor Maggie - and here I was worrying about the boys getting equal photo time!
Her Highness, asleep on her couch - yes, she has her own couch - it's an old denim blue loveseat that no one else uses, and woe to those who try...

Tanner is 12!

Well, he was on Thursday - sigh... my baby

Let's see, what can I tell you about Tanner? He is very funny, has a great sense of the silly and ridiculous, and in the last couple of years has developed a killer wit. He is very verbal, good with words, artistic, has a definite flair for the dramatic. Tanner can be very focused (read: obsessed - hmm - where d'you suppose he gets that from?) when it comes to interests and hobbies (he collects Star Wars miniatures which number in the thousands, I think, and can rattle off each figure's statistics without blinking), and yet, can be so-o-o-o difficult to attract attention-wise when it's something else (like me speaking to him!).

Although as part of the twelve-year old mandate, he no longer offers a hug or kiss outside school (which is totally understandable), Tanner has a very sweet nature, as is evidenced by his great love of animals and family.

Nice kid, overall - next time I want to strangle him, I will read this and regain some perspective...

so Happy Birthday - hope this year is full of wonderful, happy surprises!

Hockey season starts this weekend around here, and both boys are playing this year. Tanner will have one game each weekend, no practice. Ben, on the other hand, will have one practice, and one game each week. It's the practice that'll kill us, I think - 5:50 AM MONDAY. Yes, that's right, that's A.M.. On a Monday. And that's when he's on the ice - we'll need getting up time, making coffee time, trying to find our way down stairs IN THE DARK time. I know kids around here do this all the time, but I just can't imagine how a 10 year old gets up at 5, skates for an hour, and does a full school day with homework without falling on his face at some point. I guess we'll find out...
Attached is a totally unrelated, gratuitous shot of Ben with Charlie, for the sake of equal time. If you have kids, or work with kids, or know any kids, you know what I mean...

In knitting news, I started the Not Your Mother's jacket last week - on the 25th - using two Knitpicks yarns - Suri Dream and Wool of the Andes Bulky held together - and I just love it! First, because it's super bulky, and I am using 9mm needles, it's knitting up ridiculously quickly - I have the back and fronts done, sleeves halfway there - I think I may actually wear this baby within the week! Second, I love the colour and texture of these wools together - I am already thinking about - gasp - making another one in browns and oranges!

Sock Wars: I am still alive, although every time the mail comes, if the kids are home, they grab it at the door without letting me see and make very sad sounds about my impending demise - just to watch my reaction! Cruel and unusual...

Thanksgiving this weekend, and my family is coming here - so this week will be some cleaning, menu planning, and as much prep as I can do - we tend to be non-traditional in our holiday menu selections, so who knows what we'll be feasting on come next Sunday!

Well, I will have to get done as much as I can today and get to bed early tonight - I am on practice detail tomorrow morning - and it's funny, I am usually up at 4 or 5, because sleep is not something I am doing well lately, but it's the thought of having to be somewhere not in my jammies at that hour - just thinking about it makes me want to go back to bed!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sockret Pal Info

I'm late with this because it has been A WEEK - I will do another post later, because I think my eldest son's twelfth birthday merits its own post...

The basics:
How long have you been knitting?
Since I was 8, so 37 - 38 years -
Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep?
I am definitely a comfortable sock knitter - have no idea how many pairs I've made over the years...
The measurements:
While your pal may ask for some additional info to ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size, or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent.
Shoe Size - Women's 10 (big honkin' feet)
(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love?
Like colours generally, bright colours in particular, and am especially partial to anything orange.
Do you prefer solids or variegated?
LOVE variegated yarns
What fibers do you most love to knit with?
I am partial to wool, but also like unusual fibers - silk, bamboo, hemp...
Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors?
Too many to choose from, but right now I like Elann, as always, and kpixie for unusual sock yarns
What projects (other than socks, of course*S*) do you most enjoy knitting?
Again, I knit lots of things - sweaters, love aran knitting, afghans, washcloths, socks, hats - anything to keep the needles clicking...
(fiber related) Dislikes:
What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear?
I don't like acrylic on its own, although there are some lovely blends that I like
What colors would you never wear?
Hmm, pale yellow, puke green - otherwise I'm game...
The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood?
Metal 99% of the time, occasionally bamboo or rosewood dp's
Circs or Straights?
ALWAYS circs - I have had a long love affair with Addi's but am now loving the KnitPicks interchangeables... my fickle heart
DPNs or Magic Loop?
Two on two circ's most of the time, otherwise dpns
Are there any knitting accessories you don't have in your collection but would like?
Nothing I need, per se, but I do like the stitch holders with attached ends, and am generally a gadget fiend...
The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link!
No, but what a good idea!
Do you like sweet, sour or salty? (or all of the above? *S*)
Very partial to salt - french fries are my favourite food
Do you have any allergies your pal should know about? (Certain foods, smoke, pet hair, etc)
Favorite scents? Scents you can't stand?
Love fresh, clean, beachy, just out of the laundry smells; not wild about heavy floral or fruity scents
Do you collect anything (other than yarn and knitting toys of course)?
Knitting books - otherwise, no...
When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!)
April 22
Do you spin? Dye your own yarn?
I have tried spinning and will get the hang of it, I swear - I have also dyed yarn and am hoping to get my kids into it this winter
Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you think will help your pal know you better...
My favourite books make me laugh out loud - Bill Bryson, David Sedaris, although I am also a hard-core Stephen King fan; love all sorts of music; favourite vacation spot, apart from home, is a beach with sun -

Monday, September 25, 2006

Done like dinner!

Yes, folks, I finished the Socks of Doom at 3:18pm this afternoon - fastest pair of socks I've made yet, and I am envisioning a Christmas warm with Socks of Doom - I may have to call them something else for the warm and fuzzy factor, though...

so now I wait until I either get a pair of socks in the mail, thereby terminating me (but really, what a way to go!), or I get the socks my target was working on along with her assigned target, and I try to finish those before I get hit - for once, my huge feet (size 10's) might work to my advantage!

lovely package in the mail today from Tanya, my former secret pal, now friend, for whom I made much too small socks - she returned them for repairs and included a wonderful surprise:

a flower washcloth in the loveliest shade of yellow, and so-o-o-o soft - I wish you could feel this! And Tan, you know you shouldn't have, but I so appreciate it!

I had previously mentioned Star Wars Monopoly - well, my sons are hooked, and I have always loved Monopoly in any form, so we are having a blast - it's been almost a week of playing off and on, and the kids are actually opting to play rather than watch TV or play video games - cool, huh? Although the game is set up on what is usually our 'command central' table - dining table, homework station, paper sorting area - so things are a little unsettled right now, but it's so worth it!

And as if that's not enough, they let me be Yoda...

The Force is strong with them...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

started Friday evening, a little later than expected, due to hurricane complications for our hostess, Yarn Monkey, who is based in Belfast. She posted a general sock pattern with a lovely rib pattern - the Rib of Doom - on her blog, and I believe over 700 sock knitters worldwide cast on in the hopes of assassinating their targets by sending them socks before receiving a pair themselves, and thereby being assassinated.

Assass-inine, isn't it? Makes me laugh out loud every time I think about what I'm doing.

So, I was all set with sock yarn and needles at the ready, but found when the pattern was posted that I needed DK weight yarn and bigger needles (= faster knitting, of course). Quick poke in the stash revealed some lovely wool / alpaca which was perfect, and I cast on Friday around 5. By Saturday morning I was here:
one down and one to go.

Unfortunately, I had a very busy weekend ahead of me and foresaw very little knitting time. First, a family get-together was scheduled here on Sunday, which meant I had to clean. I haven't really cleaned - I mean REALLY cleaned - in, um, a while - most of the summer, actually - so the kids and I worked like demons Saturday until about 4, when we decided to veg a little before going to a hockey game.

Oh, did I mention it was a pre-season game with the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Buffalo Sabres? Oh, hang on, did I say anything about Sydney Crosby playing?

Because he was. And we were sitting 5 rows behind him. We could see beads of sweat rolling down his face. Those of us who could lip-read could see that when Sydney gets angry, he also gets quite vocal. But it doesn't take away one iota from how damn cute he is.

And he is.

I did bring my knitting, but who can knit during a hockey game? Too fast, too exciting, and too cute. So we got home around 11pm, I tucked my young men into their beds for the night and stayed up till 12:30am knitting. I discovered that Saturday Night Live is no longer very funny, and that there isn't a whole lot else on, so I listened to David Sedaris and knit.

Got this far on #2:

This morning, after much discussion, it was decided to postpone our family celebration until Thanksgiving weekend, because a few of us are ill. Whee!!! Free Day, and my house is clean!!! My youngest son suggested that maybe, just for fun, we could go to the Word on the Street Festival in Toronto - a one day literary fair, with book vendors, publishers, organizations, presentations - all to do with books and reading.

How could I refuse?

There were kids' books, grown-up books, small publishers, big publishers, and my favourite: a religious publisher, nuns and all, right beside Harlequin Books - do you think they did that on purpose? I had my copy of Knitting Rules in my bag, just in case the Yarn Harlot herself was there to autograph it, but I didn't see her. Of course, by the time we got there through ridiculous traffic - people, it's a SUNDAY - where the hell are you all going? And why is it always in the same direction as me?? - the crowds were so thick we could hardly get near anything, so she might have been there, for all I know.

Anyhow, home by 5, and there was dinner to be made, homework to be done (honestly, Mom, I thought I did it already!) and Star Wars Monopoly to be played (more on that later) - so I am hoping to make significant progress tonight. Don't think I'll make the mail tomorrow, unlike Tanya, who actually finished her pair THE FIRST NIGHT, but am hoping for Tuesday at the latest.

So now, I shall breathe heavily, a la Darth Vader, and come to the sock side...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avast and Ahoy, Mateys!

I just love hokey gimmicks, and cheesey jokes, and off the wall, totally silly occasions, so knowing that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day has made me absolutely giddy all day, starting at 7 this morning, when I woke my sons to the strains of Yo Ho Ho, etc., etc.

Less than impressed, were they...

Like any good pirate celebration, there was booty to be had: (pic not available yet - am I the only one having trouble with Blogger these days?!)
the newest installment of the Rockin' Sock Club, in absolutely wonderful colours - these have moved to the top of the next in line list...

ah, yes, the next in line list... the this is what I want to start next list... the ever-evolving, fluid, nebulous next on the needles list -

yes, I have changed my mind.

I was going to use stash yarn to make Sally Melville's Einstein coat, because I am desperately in need of a late fall/ early winter cover-up. Now, I like the pattern very much, but I don't love it, not sure why. What I do love is her Not Your's Mother's Jacket pattern, but I don't have any appropriate yarn on hand.

Knit Picks, on the other hand, does.

And shortly, I will, too. Hee, hee... the challenge, of course, will be to see if I can actually get the thing knit up in the next few weeks to wear it this season...

At this point, I am working on Kelly's Socks - yes, Kel, I shall name them after you and they shall henceforth be known as 'Kelly's Socks':

I am also alternating between my twin nieces' hooded pullovers, and have almost got the pouch done on one, so the other will be caught up tonight. And if I may say, I have the cutest collection of stitch markers going - my mother just treated me to new babies, which are just like jewellery for yarn: (and when I can put up photos, I will)
such fun!

So now, off to swab decks and shiver timbers - aaarrrrrrrrrr!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Another one done!

My Lace Wings shawl, using one skein of Handmaiden's Sea Silk in the most delectable shade of brown:

blocking as we speak...

  • Pattern: Lace Wings Shawl
  • Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Cell
  • Started: August 27, 2006
  • Finished: September 12, 2006

I used Soak rather than the standard Eucalan (Aquae scent - just edible), and I got to use my new blocking wires, which got me to wondering about a few things:

* why was it so hard for me to remove the instructions that came with the wires from the tube? It took me almost 15 minutes - no kids, much cussing - until I resorted to tiny tweezers to pull the damned thing out, all ripped to bits.

* why was it that after I blocked it out that I found the other set of blocking wires, purchased years ago but presumed missing after a couple of moves?

* and finally, where am I going to wear this gorgeous thing? I am not very shawl-y by nature, nor am I typically lacy - any wardrobe suggestions?

Dog Philosophy

And today, some thoughts on why I love dogs so very much. A friend of mine had to put one of hers down today after an unprovoked attack on another friend, and it just got me to thinking...

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.-Anonymous

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. -Ann Landers

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.-Will Rogers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.-Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. -Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.-Andy Rooney

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.-M. Acklam

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, Who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.-Sigmund Freud

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. -Rita Rudner

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, And to turn around three times before lying down.-Robert Benchley

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.-Franklin P. Jones

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known Will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.-James Thurber

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise. -Unknown

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money.-Joe Weinstein

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul, Chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!-Anne Tyler

Women and cats will do as they please, And men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.-Robert A. Heinlein

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; That is the principal difference between a dog and a man.-Mark Twain

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'- Dave Barry

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. -Roger Caras

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket And then give him only two of them.-Phil Pastoret

My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am (My personal favourite, and, I think, my new credo).

Next OTN: my nieces' Wonderful Wallabies - just cast on the first, in Paton's Decor (my SIL is not a fan of handwashing), Rich Taupe. Think I'll alternate days between them, and maybe be able to make myself a fall-ish cardigan in between... (see? there's that unfounded, unrealistic optimism again, that always ends up biting me in the ass...)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Veni, vidi, shopi...

The event: Waterloo County Knitter's Fair

The venue: Bingeman's

The vendors: 90 in all, with some that were new (to me, at least)

The people:

The green blur is my mother rushing off to get herself some alpaca (not really, but it could have been).

And this was one aisle of three - we arrived much later than our usual time, and found it to be very crowded indeed, almost off-putting.

Not to worry, dear reader, we, your intrepid yarn shoppers, were not put off. Not in the least.

The booty:

Oh, where to begin? Well, sock yarn was everywhere, in every form and colour, but I prefer to scout out those items which cannot be bought at regular yarn shops, and I did very well indeed:
(I am can't seem to upload any more pics, for some reason - I am pissed beyond words, but will make do with these)

From Shelridge Farms -
I got the aqua greeny blue sock yarn in the centre upper left;

and Koigu (a colourway I haven't seen before from them) - that would be the pink in the forefront

and a newcomer (again, to me), Lindenhof Wool Mill
lovely, soft wool / mohair blend - a while back, as part of the SP8 exchange, we were asked what sort of yarn we would describe ourselves as? - this, in fact, is me, as a ball of yarn... (the multicoloured cake right at the front - I had a much better picture of me, but again, we will have to make do)

My first purchase was this gorgeous Polwarth/Leicester blend from Rovings -
literally five minutes in the door and I was clutching this to my chest like a drowning woman grasping a life ring - just look at that colour... mmmmmm..... (purpley/blue on the left)

and a kit to make thrummed mittens from alpaca - I wish you could feel it, it is absolutely decadent...these won't be for me, but will make a lovely Christmas gift for some deserving soul - at least, that's how I rationalized it...

I also treated myself to a set of blocking wires that comes in a 3 foot long tube for storage (so clever!), which should come in handy when it comes time to block my Lace Wings Shawl, which time is fast approaching...

and the purchase of the day?

The basket. For $15.

$15. Yup, you heard me. Picture this poor guy, working alone in a small end booth, completely overrun by rabid knitters, each wanting their own handwoven basket. For $15.

Different colours, different sizes. One of a kind. $15.

He thought perhaps he had underestimated the demand of knitters, and thinks that for next year he will get a bigger booth, and extra hands.

So probably the biggest kick for me, apart from the obvious adrenaline rush that only a great yarn shopping excursion can provide, was seeing so many women toting their purchases in these baskets. I told my mother I would stop buying once my basket was full. I learned that one can cram an astonishing amount of yarn into a basket and still have space. Unfortunately, I also learned that my basket capacity outmeasured my wallet capacity significantly, and so had to leave with a little room in my basket.

Which was okay, really - don't want to be greedy or anything... and I guess my kids do need to eat occasionally...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I've got mail!

Yay!!! The perfect topper to what has been a decent transition to back-to-school mode... I got my final package from my Secret Pal, Miss Scarlett/Michelle (let me know which moniker you perfer) - such a lovely gift!
Beautiful violet soap, with a violet shape worked into the wax - smells edible!- the cutest little bag which will be perfect for quick dashes out or walks with the dogs - homemade (yes, you read that right - HOMEMADE) chai tea in a lovely little bottle, which I am hoping to try tonight, and will likely need the recipe for (chai is actually my favourite!)- and two handknit cloths in my favourite dishcloth stitch, Chinese Waves - LOVE the colour - there is some debate on this end as to whether they are facecloths, dishcloths or pot holders - love all of it - thank you so much for everything, Michelle, you have been a most generous spoiler!

Now onto other matters - I am still on my shawl, still love it but am surprised at how quickly the stitches have multiplied, and at how much longer each row takes - really lovely yarn, though, so soft... will save pics till the end, as they'll all look pretty much the same...

I have conceded defeat to a ... dishcloth. No, I am not proud, but I finally had to face the fact that I DON'T GET IT. Allow me to backtrack - through my SP's blog I found a dishcloth knitalong - haven't made them for years but always liked them, so thought it might be interesting. The pattern at the time was and is lovely - the Garterlac Cloth -

having done entrelac before, I thought this would be a fun re-introduction to the whole thing. I got this far

10 times.

I asked for help and got helpful comments. Lots of 'em.

I looked at the tutorial - repeatedly - ad naseum, even. Printed it off, studied it, imitated it exactly. Ripped out, started again, each time thinking this is it, this will be the one - I GET IT.

I don't get it.

I still have the pattern and will revisit it again in time - maybe I just need fresh eyes? Or a lobotomy? I am working on the next pattern, Swish with a Twist, and I am pleased to report that we have liftoff.

I feel like a quitter, but I think perhaps I am a realist. I will try it again, but right now I feel like I don't have the brain cells to spare, what with school starting again, and the lunch program I run at school kicking in, and starting some serious household reorganization - I'll just save what I've got, and when I feel brave, I'll step on the plank again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Worsted weight means...

so many thing to so many people, apparently -

just in from Michael's, where I bought a mountain of yarn

for my 14 year old nieces' birthday sweaters, in colours of their choosing - they have both asked for Wonderful Wallabies, which is fine - I never get tired of seeing how the pouch gets knitted in to the body, and I've made maybe 10 over the years? - plus a couple of skeins of Paton's Classic Wool in variegated colours for felting (Tanya, those ones are your fault) -

anyhow, I was minding my own business, checking dye lot numbers, when I overheard an employee telling a woman that worsted weight means, and I quote, "You call pull really hard on the yarn and it won't break".


I scraped my jaw up from the floor and listened as she asked and he again stated what seemed to him to be perfectly obvious. In a move completely out of character for me, I spoke up and said that no, in fact, in knitting, worsted weight refers to the weight or thickness of the yarn, and explained about gauge - "oh, that's what that little square on the label means", the woman said. We looked at the yarn she had chosen and found it to be bulky, which meant that her sweater would be much larger than shown in the pattern, and so on. By this time, there were 4 other women clustered around us with other questions, and I'm afraid the employee was not looking too happy.

I, on the other hand, was in my element.

So once all questions were answered and everyone was back to choosing yarn, I heard this guy, this employee, pipe up again and tell her that he was trained when he started to work in the yarn department, and so he actually knows what he's talking about, and she had the wrong kind of yarn (WORSTED WEIGHT Paton's Decor, perfect for a kid sweater, and exactly what the pattern was calling for) - I shot him the most venomous look I could muster - and I am pms'ing right now, so am amply supplied with venom - and left before I lost it completely.

I am now contemplating writing a letter to the management of this store, to inform them that their staff is ill-informed and therefore not much help to customers who need advice. I am just fuming. And I feel so sorry for this woman who has been misinformed - I mean, what if this leads to a bad knitting experience for her and she gives it up altogether? So thoroughly frustrating!

Vent over, resume normal programming -

in other news, my silk/sea cell "Lace Wings" shawl is lovely and I am looking forward to figuring out how and when to wear it...I had to put sheets of paper underneath, because brown shawl + brown couch = no details

I also forgot to mention that on Friday I received a lovely package from my SP8 hostess, Tammy -

I answered some questions for extra credit, and won myself a beautiful skein of blue Regia Loop Colour yarn - as Tammy said, you can never have enough sock yarn...

so there we are - another day in the life...

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Hard to find the words to describe the last three days, which were spent at Sandbanks Provincial Park with my sons - humbling? Amazing? Inspiring? According to the website,
"Giant sand dunes and golden beaches form two of the largest freshwater baymouth sandbars in the world here, on the shores of Lake Ontario" - the beaches are staggeringly beautiful, and the dunes... oh, the dunes... for a sand head, hard core, dyed in the wool beach bum such as myself, they were beyond breathtaking, and I know my photos won't do justice to the views, but I'll try

This is one of those things where you keep taking pictures of what are amazing views at the time, and then when you get home you look at your photos and they all look the same, in this case, hills of sand.

We stayed in an excellent little hotel just minutes away from the park - our room had a screened in porch and stairs leading down to the beach - heavenly! But the main attraction was definitely the dunes - extending up and out, hills of white, powdery sand rolling away and toward and behind us - lots of work to climb to the top of a hill, but then so much fun to come barreling down at breakneck speed, knowing that you had a soft landing at the bottom...

This part of Ontario is absolutely cute, picturesque to the point of gagging, with lots of antique shops and craft stores and beautifully maintained century-type homes, so the drive was a lovely part of the whole trip. There are also several wineries along the way, but my children were less than supportive of my attempts to drag them through at least a couple, so I shall have to return unencumbered by smaller, opinionated people.

We did make one stop, one which I have wanted to make for years, and this one there was no talking me out of - the Big Apple. No, not NYC, the "World's Biggest Apple" outside of Coburg, Ontario.

Yup, it's a big one.

We went in and bought a pie and a 'dish' of ice cream for Tanner. Turns out their idea of a 'dish' is a full carton of ice cream! Took both the boys to get through it, and they both felt sick afterwards. Also bought a pie, and as we were paying I asked for a spoon (for the ice cream), and was informed that they no longer give out cutlery with the pies. I'm afraid this got me giggling, and I had to ask if a lot of people wanted spoons for their pies. The sales clerk assured me that it happens all the time, people would actually eat a whole pie at a sitting in the restaurant, and as if that's not bad enough, they will now do so WITH THEIR HANDS. Can you picture this?

This put me near the brink of hysteria, so I fought to calm myself as we sat and ate the ice cream. Then the boys started looking at the photos gracing the walls, which were all of other 'World's Biggest' things - world's biggest kiwi. World's biggest banana. World's largest chair. Biggest orange in the world.

I lost my thin veil of composure, put my head on the table and wept with laughter. Sure, people were looking at me. Sure, my sons were embarassed. Could I stop? I could not.

All of which helped with my mood when we hit dead-stopped traffic in Toronto - remind me never to drive the 401 in Toronto on a Friday at rush hour...

nice to be home now, the dogs are settling down and allowing me to go to the bathroom alone, finally - and our thoughts turn to school, and fall, and, ummmm... fall knitting...

I learned that the socks I made for my secret pal, Tanya, do NOT fit - through a typo, I thought her feet were 6.5" long when they are in fact 9.5" long - so I have asked her to send them back and I will hopefully be able to add to the length with the leftover yarn - or die trying...

my shawl is coming along quite nicely - once my camera starts to cooperate again I will post a pic - and I have moved to fall in my mind, and am thinking cozy sweaters and wool socks - so fickle, am I not? But I am looking out my window at a cold, rainy, windy day, cuddled into cozy pants and a sweatsuit - hard to believe that just yesterday we were basking in the sunshine at one of the nicest beaches in the province... it's in the air, I'm afraid...