Saturday, December 29, 2007

What a ride...

Well, once the gifts were wrappedWrapping Elves,
the cookies decorated can I help you with those cookies? (with assistance, of course), and the blackmail efforts put forth seasonal blackmail, we had ourselves a wonderful Christmas! I only hope yours was as much fun - I now find myself the owner of an iTouch, which, for a wannabe-techie like me, is a total blast to play with!

The kids got an XBox 360, with Guitar Hero II, and this has proven to be the hit of the party - I pretty much suck, but get such a kick out of it that I don't care...

Handknitted gifts were finished on time (okay, one with only about 1 hour to spare before being handed over, but it was done, okay?!):
Grinchy socks from Blue Moon Fiber ArtsGrinchy socks, with my own label, thanks to Carole ooohh, pretty label;

Loskins socks, made with Dream in Color 'Smooshy', Happy Forest colourway (which I will have to make something from for me because I am totally enamoured with the colour - and I don't usually like green...)Loskins;

and a Felted Striped Tote from One Skein, using STASH Lion Brand Wool and Paton's Classic Wool (it's functional and virtuous)Felted Tote Bag.

Stash enhancement has also occurred, but I'll save it for the next post...

I am still slogging - yes, that's right, it's now a slog - away on my niece's Wallaby - sleeves attached, so just shoulder shaping and the hood and I'm golden, and then comes the hard part - deciding what to cast on for me. Too many ideas, too many possibilities, swirling around in an already overloaded, hormonally kicked-to-shit mind... I am hoping to make a decision soon, and cast something on -

silly, isn't it? To have this much trouble finding something to make for myself? I have the makings for many wonderful things but can't seem to narrow my focus... I may have to ask my sons to help me with this, and then I'll do what my mother has always done - take their suggestions and do the complete opposite... or not... I can't decide...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Not Wounded, Sire, But Dead...

Okay, not quite dead, either, but it has been a rough couple of weeks from which we are still recovering - ailments ranging from stomach flu (Tanner) to head colds (Ben), to a viral imitation of strep throat (uh-huh, that would be me).

I am still trying to get back on my feet from this, and am hopeful that within the next couple of days, I will have the energy to post and describe the last of my Wisconsin pictures, as well as what I am hoping to get through before Christmas...

and around here, hope springs eternal, donchyaknow...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My American Thanksgiving, Volume I

I can't believe it's been a week since this:


See the dashboard clock. You can't see the A.M. after the numbers, but believe me, it was there.

See Kelly in the parking lot.IMG_0990
See the parking lot behind Kelly. Too dark? Well, there are NO SPACES. The parking lot is full. It is 4:07 A.M., and the parking lot is full.

See Deirdre standing in line at the store.IMG_0991
The line ends at the store entrance. It is a very long line. It is 4:30, and Deirdre's arms are full of deals.

See Kelly and Deirdre still standing in line.IMG_0992
They have more deals. It is almost 6:30, and Kelly and Deirdre are still standing in line. They are also still smiling. They may be a few stitches short of a full repeat (I know, some of you may recognize this from The Knitting Guild of Canada's t-shirts years ago, but since I coined it for the shirts, I believe I can use it).

Kelly and Deirdre are almost at the end of the line. They will soon be going here.
They are not sure which of the goods offered to enjoy, but they will enjoy whatever it is.

And notice the orangey light on the sign. That is the sun. Rising. It has been dark and black since Kelly and Deirdre's adventure began 4 hours ago.
And that, boys and girls, is why it is called Black Friday.

Volume II - the sights and yarns of Minnesota/Wisconsin - to follow... stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving, here I come...

I had such plans for a bigger, better, more photo-filled post - but, well, I am leaving in a few hours for Kelly's home in Wisconsin, where we shall yarn/wine/latte crawl, celebrate Thanksgiving, and venture out on Black Friday for some shopping...

and I don't even like shopping!

I'll be back, photos and stories a-plenty, on Sunday - Happy, happy...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Shocked and Saddened

This just came in on the Knit U list:

"Monday, November 19, 2007
Dear KnitU Members,

It is my sad duty to let you know that our List Aunt Gail McHugh passed awa=yFriday after a short illness.
For those who may wish to do so, the funeral home web site has a guest bookto sign and virtual candles to light for Gail. I think it would mean a lot to Gail's sister if the members of our list were to visit the web site and add a candle.

Speaking to XRX CEO Benjamin Saturday, Gail's sister mentioned that the knitting charity in New Orleans that Gail and Dez Crawford were working on was very special to Gail. She suggested that if knitters wanted to honor her memory, that she was sure that Gail would want people to remember the work that KnitU was doing for the Covenant House:

Here is the address as well:
Covenant House New Orleans611 N. Rampart St.New Orleans, LA 70112

A little later today, our List will be passed to the capable hands of a newModerator, Anne Claxon, a long-time member of KnitU, probably now known to many KnitU members as the person in charge of sifting the KnitU posts on behalf of the Tips & Tricks section of the XRX Athena Database. Anne is very aware of our traditions as a group, but she will certainly need your assistance as she begins her task. I hope you will join me in welcoming her as we all begin the difficult task of adjusting to the loss of Gail, someone who has been a part of our lives for such a length of time.

With my deepest respects,
David Xenakis
List DadKnitU"

I have been a Knit U member possibly since it's inception, and had occasion to email Gail personally several times over the years about topics ranging from Stitches events to both of us walking around with wool samples stuffing our bras to try them out for softness.

I am shocked and so, so sad - I don't know what happened to Gail but she did such a phenomenal job of running Knit U, I just can't imagine it without her...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reality Check...

P1000979So I started this sweater last year?, maybe the year before - in any case, the poor thing has been languishing because in an unusually cocky move, I failed to check it as I knit and instead of having a nicely shaped neck, with the same number of stitches front and back, I was in fact knitting the Quasimodo special...

I have been frantic with desire to knit something for ME, but I don't yet have the right needles for Thermal although I have the yarn, and I don't have the right yarn for a wrap ballet-type sweater although I have the needles, and I just don't have the requisite brain cells right now to even attempt the Dickinson pullover from the Fall '07 Interweave Knits - so I thought I would revive Quasimodo, and try to make him mine...

I tried it on, and I think I may need to re-measure myself... a little reality may be in order here. I am not a small person, never have been, just not my destiny. So, I always tend to knit big, buy big, way big - always large or x-large. I am slowly coming to the realization that bigger may not always be better. My sons rolled around laughing at me, swathed in this massive wooly partial garment, and suggested that maybe I should check the size again. For once, I agreed, and I am now in the process of undoing entirely what has been done, and starting over again. In a smaller size. And you know what? That makes me utterly happy! I have to size down!

I have also cast on yet another Wonderful Wallaby, this time for my youngest niece, who just had a birthday. P1000977I am particularly happy about this one because I am using stash yarn, purchased some years ago from one of Cherry Tree Hill's New Year's sales - the colour is absolutely perfect for Jackie, with her white-blond hair and clear blue eyes. The only catch will be my sister-in-law, who prefers acrylic for ease of washing. This is not acrylic, but I am hoping she'll be so taken with the colours that she won't mind.
Some absolutely lovely stuff in the mail this week - this from Wendee at Hazel Knits, which she and I both agree would look fabulous together as the Chevron Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, as well as some of her gorgeous stitch markersP1000975, two of which may well become earrings - I love them that much! Oh, and please note the detail - I found my macro (kinda like my mojo, I guess...)!!

More to follow - I am off for a haircut, where I will enjoy another reality check as we observe the creeping in of the grey...

I think I'm not too wild about this whole reality thing...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy, happy

Criss Angel and Harry Houdini hope you had a sincerely spooky Halloween
Harry Houdini and Criss Angel -
they did...

Since last we spoke, I have been witness to sites only seen in Toronto:
Only in Toronto - it's hard to make out, but there's a guy walking with a canoe on his shoulders, under the new Michael Lee Chin Crystal at the ROM.

I have appreciated the juxtaposition of old and newOld Meets New

I have accompanied Ben's grade 6 class to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, where we enjoyed lunch under the bomb bay of a Lancaster planelunch under a bomb dropper, and I experienced the best field trip ever!
Heritage Warplane Museum (Yes, Ben is trying to look thoughtful, perhaps even pensive, here)

I finished and sent off my Sock Wars weapon Sock Wars weapon
Project: Sock Wars sock, "Scar" Pattern
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Mini-Merino - from STASH!!
Needles: 3.5mm
Started: October 13, 2007
Finished and Mailed: October 27, 2007
I have cast on new socks, hopefully for myself, using absolutely scrumptious Dream in Colour 'Smooshy' sock yarn purchased from Connie at Pick Up Sticks, in the Happy Forest colourway P1000972 I am not a green person, but I cannot tell you how deeply I love these - the subtle variations in colour are just wonderful - I may have to wrap these socks around my head so that everyone can appreciate the depth of colour...
I have made yet another trek to the magic stores in Toronto with my sons, and found this label on a boxIMG_0964, which opened up a whole whack of interesting questions.
And because we felt touristy, we also took pictures of a billboard I have always liked,
found at the corner of Queen and Bathurst...
I hope I never outgrow my touristy side...
now I must de-Halloween the house before we go to see Jerry Seinfeld's new film, Bee Movie - I love Jerry Seinfeld with all my heart, because he makes me laugh - please, Jerry, don't disappoint me...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Howdy, howdy, howdy!*

*Whoever can tell me who said this, and in what film, gets a skein of Cherry Tree Hill supersock merino yarn in the Monet colourway - no fooling!

busy, busy, busy here, finishing projects - the red Lake Placid Pullover for Artisan Knitworks, the brown frilled shrug for Cindy at Apple Laine (both of which I forgot to photograph before mailing), a Rowan sweater for my LYS (and thanks to Wannietta, I know exactly how many ends I wove in here - a f*&ktillion)Rowan sweater for Spunoh, the ends....

working on projects - a Louisa Harding wrap Louisa Harding wrapand a brown silk/cashmere scarf for the store (the yardage on this scarf yarn is incredible - it will not end!!), my entry for Sock Wars Sock Wars weapon(still not done, but plugging away);

and chomping at the bit to start new ones - a Wonderful Wallaby for my niece who is having a birthday soon, and just too many other things for me. I am still hyperventilating at the number of projects I want to make, and am totally surprised by my inability to make a decision.

Oh, well, it's a moot point for now anyhow...

I did see the Red Frilled Shrug I made on Cindy's website, fabulousfrillshrug1which thrilled me no end!

The boys and I were LOVING the 80 degree weather on the weekend - we went to a pumpkin farm on Sunday the hunt is on!- did the hay ride to a 4-acre corn maze, did a little potato chucking, potato chuckingthen onto the pumpkin patch itself, where we picked our favourites mission accomplishedand toted them back to the van, only to find that we had been blocked in by a not-too-intelligent, way-too-enthusiastic parking attendant - 20 minutes of backing and forthing on a steep grassy hill and we were out of there relatively unscathed... not happy, but unscathed...

New sock club stuff came this week - I love sock clubs, it's almost like free sock yarn because it's already been paid for, and you never know what's coming, and as we all know, sock yarns don't count as stash...

STR, in a gorgeous colour and great pattern, and the coolest extras that scared the hell out of me when I opened the envelope and they fell outeeewww - spiders!!

and from Make 1 Yarns, which I am totally in love with - the colours, the pattern - just love this oneP1000941

After our wonderfully warm Sunday and Monday, we had some nasty cold rain, and it is now officially fall. I am always sad to see the end of summer - shorts and bare feet, vacation - but am slowly getting my head around the change... this helpshoney locust in the front, but it's still slow...

when next we meet, I'll tell you about what I've found in my quest to organize...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's All About Perspective...

I will do a proper post soon, when I can get pictures and appropriate - maybe even coherent? - words together, but in the meantime, this must be seen to be believed...">>

My guilt has dissolved... completely...

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Tanner turned thirteen on Friday. Thirteen!!! Where did it go?
Tanner at Thirteen

I can see subtle changes in his face and body, even though he can't - but even as he's getting older, he still hugs and kisses me in front of his friends (awwwwww), and he is still absolutely sillystill silly
funny the games you can come up with when you realize your t-shirt matches the seat cover...

so we took Friday off and, as per Tanner's request, did the Toronto magic shop run, followed by a late-ish lunch at Gretzky's, where, in honour of the day, Tanner was presented with a really yummy chocolate puck and birthday wishes from Wayne himself (okay, it was really the waitress who overheard us talking about the birthday, and Wayne's signature was an icing sugar template, but come on, work with me...)Best Wishes from the Great One

but a very satisfying outing, right down to the Holiday Inn strikers who were pounding drums and chanting so loudly we were compelled to cross the street to see what the hubbub was...
Strike in Toronto
We still don't know what they were striking about, but it was very entertaining for the boys, and definitely not something we see in our little white-bread, well-behaved town...

actually, I love taking the kids into Toronto, because they are always fascinated by the hugely diverse population - we see the best stuff sitting on street corners, eating street vendor hot dogs and watching it parade past us... I still miss living there, although I truly love Burlington -

but I digress -

the birthday was a resounding success all round, with many new magic tricks and gimmicks receivedBirthday loot, Ben busy keeping the dogs entertainedBen & Maggie, and my baby becoming a teenager...

they all told me, you know, when they were babies, to enjoy every moment, because it would be gone before I realized it... I am so glad I listened, and was able to savour everything - first words, first steps - because it has passed in only the blink of an eye...

must stop blinking...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy (?) First Day of Fall

although I always thought it was September 21st - however, if it buys me a couple of extra days of summer, I'll play along...

I have waited all summer for my morning glories to show themselves - RED morning glories - with nary a bloom, until...
today, the first day of fall...

silly flowers...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wow! Long time no blog...

and no good reason, apart from returning to routine (blech), trying to put the house in some semblance of tidy after a summer spent largely outside (pee-yew), and just general I-can't-believe-it's-the-last-day-of-summer malaise (sigh).

I have been knitting - of course - working on a brown ruffled shrug for Cindy at Apple LaineP1000869
That was an early-stage pic - I am much further along but my camera doesn't want to play right now...

I am also in the end stages of another Lake Placid pullover for Artisan Knitworks
P1000868(again, picture was taken earlier)

And I have three projects from the LYS, Spun, to finish for them.

But what about ME???

My poor little head is abuzz with everything I want to make for myself - NOW - and I keep finding more - I almost feel sick thinking about all the potential projects, and then I keep finding more, and feel even sicker...

I can't even try to list the things I am thinking of, because I really do get panicky and out of breath - for God's sake, it's knitting, it's supposed to be fun...

I did learn something interesting today which is non-knit related - I was pulling out a sweet potato vine from one of my front pots - it's done well, but is now deserving of a quiet burial...

know what I found at the end of the vine?
potato vine = potato - who knew??
I really had no idea that you could grow potatoes on potato vines - I just thought that was the name of the plant - I was thrilled, so much so that I interrupted a neighborhood game of HAGS (hide and go seek - their acronym, not mine) to show my sons and their friends -

apparently their friends think I'm weird now - I gather they didn't before, which was yet another revelation.

But I think I blew it this time.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm on the front page!!

Well, sort of - the baby sweater I made as a sample for my LYS, Spun Fibre Arts, is featured on their website, with a real baby inside it - looks so much nicer on her!
Spun Fibre Arts Home Page