Wednesday, June 28, 2006

getting spoiled

I mentioned a couple of posts back that signing up for more than one secret pal exchange is foolhardy, particularly for the more easily confused among us (read:me). The plus side is that one receives wonderful surprises from two different people, so it's like birthday and Christmas much of the time.

In today's mail, from my One Skein secret pal:

And Ben, my youngest, was thrilled to see that it came from Edmonton, Alberta, home of his favourite hockey team - so, really, everybody's happy! The yarn is just gorgeous - thank you so much! I have it out in the middle of our big table, and every time I pass by I fondle it and ponder what it wants to be... and the teas are in flavours I have never even contemplated (orange chocolate chip!!!), and I cannot wait to taste them -

so a big thank you to my Pal, who, as I understand it, had a baby just before the exchange started, and so already has her hands more than full - so thoughtful!

Monday, June 26, 2006

addendum again

As per my previous post, the teacher gift socks, which, incidentally, are now done...

and the Diagonal Tank, which will be my next push to complete -

I spent this morning participating in, and, okay, I'll admit it, weeping at, my older son's grade 6 graduation ceremony. I have always prided myself on being tough, on not crying easily, on being strong and able to handle things. Allow me to dispell the myth - I am a #1 Class 'A' weenie -

I would like to think that not many people know this about me, but my hunch is I'm wrong. The ceremony included a slide show of pictures provided by parents of all the kids since kindergarten. I have always been an active school volunteer, so I have worked with most of these kids for 7 years now, and have watch them move from toothlessness and pixie haircuts to hairy legs and cleavage - not necessarily on the same kids, either. The teacher who had put the show together kept telling me that her goal was to make me cry, which, really, takes next to nothing. I well up at commercials, for Pete's sake.

So in the middle of the show was a shot of my son at his kindergarten graduation, a shot which I provided myself - I dissolved, bit my lips raw to keep from openly crying, and did my best to keep the tears from seeping out noticeably behind my glasses. I failed miserably. I am not sure why I am so embarassed about this - upbringing, probably - but I wanted so much for no one to notice I was crying.

Fortunately, LOTS of other parents were the same, so I was fine - fit right in - I blended... but for the rest of the day, I have been just drained, exhausted - this emotional stuff is way over-rated, I think...

hope I can handle the last day of school... and Elaine? Mission accomplished...

molasses in june

a pretty accurate description of my knitterly activities right now - I'm knitting, whenever I get the chance, and yet things do not seem to be moving along very quickly -

must be summer fever or something - lazy, hazy days of summer?

Teacher gift socks are almost done - ribbing should be finished tonight, tomorrow at the latest -

I have my Diagonal Tank Top done to the neckline on the front - remember, this is still only the front! - and should be able to make progress on that this weekend -

for some reason I am unable to post pics, so will try again later...

I cannot figure out what has me slowed down - maybe the end-of-school-year crunch which has included a medieval festival for my youngest son, grade 6 graduation for the older one - he goes over to the "HIGH SCHOOL" next year for grade 7, and frankly, the thought of sending him into this place of high cut tops, low rise pants, short shorts, tattoos and smokers scares the bejeebers out of me -

and you know, I was the ONLY PARENT who volunteered to help with the grad on Monday - sure, it's not as big a deal as high school graduation, and no, I'm not looking for any pats on the back, but it's a milestone and deserves to be recognized. So here I am, painting banners, decorating gymnasiums, baking cookies - a few more folks have been grudgingly recruited in the past couple of days, but really... how disappointing.

So, maybe I am a little, um, preoccupied, and maybe, just maybe, that's affecting my knitting - well, only 4 more days and summer vacation, which is truly my favourite time of the year, will be upon us.

No lunches to pack, no pressure to be up too early, jammy days, a slightly more leisurely pace - ahhh, I can taste the grapefruit coolers now (which, I have decided, are actually good for me because they contain not only vodka, but real grapefruit juice, thereby satisfying one of my daily fruit/veggie requirements)...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Feels like ages since I posted - a whole week! No real reason, just life getting in the way of other priorities. In the past week, I have finished the Socks that Rock socks - yay!

Just lovely yarn - soft, colours are beautiful - and I have a new skein for ME, in the totally edible colourway 'Fairgrounds -

My youngest son asked me to make his teacher a pair of socks for her end-of-year gift - he was allowed into the mess-that-is-my-craft-room, and chose yarn that he thought she'd like - not colours I would have chosen, but as I have been knitting them up, I am figuring out that the colours kind of represent a spring garden - taupe for soil, green for leaves, purple and yellow for flowers - he has much more foresight than I give him credit for. And yes, it's in writing! I am knitting them toe-up at the same time on two circs, which is my favourite way to crank out a pair - wow, sounds like I'm enjoying my hobby, doesn't it?

In response to Monika, I am working away on the P90 - it's my evening knitting, because I am afraid to bring the silk outside to work on and have a dog nibble on it or a bird drop on it - trust me, it could happen! I am coming up to the end of the front - it's moving along more slowly than I expected, but I am planning to work on it during the hockey game tonight and hoping that the excitement will get those needles moving (GO OILERS!). I just love the yarn, and even though my children may be subsisting on roots and berries while I pay it off, at least I will look damn good. And really, that's what matters. I'll post a pic later, when there's a little more to show.

Have sent packages off to secret pals, and am just excited to bits - word to the wise - do only one exchange at a time. Any more than one and you may become confused. Not that I am, of course, but it's good to know.

Another valuable life lesson? Be careful how your body is positioned while using large clippers. It is possible, I think, to pop one's boobs while squeezing the clipper handles together, depending on one's position.

Addendum: have smaller t-shirts available to accomodate your new, smaller chest.

And to close for today: totally gratuitous picture of Maggie, looking much like a fuzzy golden garden gnome, and out of trouble for the moment.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

happy un-birthday!

Just received a most wonderful assortment of wonderful goodies from my wonderful Secret Pal (SP8) - such fun, and such phenomenally fast service - mailed from the West Coast on Saturday, in my hot little hands this morning - amazing!

Just look at it!!

Much fun to be had here - seeds for my garden for plants that I don't know about, which totally excites me, cool yarn, an art card game, a delicious candle, silky papers and edibles, too - the boys have each claimed one of the chocolate treats, and are so impressed that my pal knew what they liked, too!

So a huge thank you and a cyber hug, Shug - absolutely made my day/week/month! I am off to babysit my 3 year old nephew - we have a huge mutual crush, so it's such a treat to hang with him - and hopefully later I can provide details on Martin Short and the circus to which we took the boys' dad yesterday - ah, yes, the fun never stops...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Deep thought of the day:

Some days you're the pigeon; some days you're the statue.

Pic of my completed Shapely T (still unblocked, although it has been waiting by the washing machine for a few days now - the problem is, I have not been there for a few days, as the life-sized piles of laundry will attest...) - actually, I think the problem may be the shape in the t, not of it...

Kind of cool and blah today, which is perfect for gameboy-ing, and bunny hopping -

this picture of my sons is one to preserve and throw at them the next time they tell me how much they hate each other - these really are the moments that save them...

and tonight, I am off with a friend to Toronto to see Martin Short in his near-Broadway production - can't wait!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


So immediately after posting, I realized that I had made a major error in my tank top, so I have now ripped out more than half, and will hopefully pay better attention from here on in...

then the mailman came bearing gifts from one of my best friends, Kelly:
could there be a more perfect sentiment right now, or a better source? Note that she doesn't say "Knit on correctly"...

Reminds me of a visit to Kelly in Wisconsin a few years ago - we actually made the pilgrimage to Schoolhouse Press - I have pictures somewhere - and as I poked in the overfilled little shop area, Kelly wandered past the shop and into - horrors! - Meg Swansen's HOME! And there she was, knitting away on her couch - correct me if I'm remembering this wrong, Kel -

Kelly was all set to walk right in and say hi, but I was overwhelmed with - what? - shyness? I felt the same as I did many more years ago, when I had a chance to have a picture taken with one of my major childhood crushes, Yvan Cournoyer (Montreal Canadiens hockey player), and froze - couldn't do it - same thing - some sort of socially retarded reaction to those whom I idolize...

but really, just having been there is enough for me (gosh, that sounds about as sincere as an Academy Award candidate who is just happy to be nominated!) - Kelly, on the other hand, won't ever let me forget...

so now I shall spend the afternoon with my youngest son, home with a fever, and my knitting - possible thunderstorms on the way, looking forward to getting my eldest from school and hunkering down...

sometimes life gets in the way...

Long time between posts - we received some very upsetting news about my brother two weeks ago, and I have been in a tailspin since... the one constant has been knitting, which inevitably calms, soothes and brings order to things chaotic.

Good news on several fronts:
* my brother is recuperating nicely from surgery, and has an excellent prognosis - major WHEW!

* I finished my Shapely T last week - don't like the look of it on me, but am hoping that blocking will help.

* I started the Diagonal Tank from ArtYarns - am following the directions blindly, and can't for the life of me see how the hell it will work, but it's SILK, and it's orange, so who cares?

Okay, so now that I've posted the picture, I almost can see how it might work...

In other news, Maggie, our squirrel catcher extraordinare, actually cornered one last Sunday. I called the dogs in, after their morning ablutions, to find both of them running after a poor, slow, old-looking squirrel, and licking it every time they got close - blech - the poor thing's fur was soaked!

The dogs turned to see who was so rude as to interrupt their little lovefest, and Maggie's snout was literally dripping blood! I choked back my screams of revulsion - it was 6:30 in the morning and I hadn't had a coffee yet - and scoured the yard looking for a dismembered critter. Found none, and when I cleaned her off found a little tiny nick on her nose. She has been disinfected within an inch of her life, and I think we have all learned something:

* squirrels might not like being licked;

* the smallest injuries can lead to deceptively copious quantites of blood;

* coffee before all else;

* it's really never too early for a shot of vodka - purely medicinal, of course...