Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Okay, à la Renee and Allena, here is my tree flash. Like theirs, mine is artificial. We bought it on sale two years ago with, as per DH's specification, already wired in lights. It took me 5 minutes to put up this year without DH because, as has happened so many other times this fall, he wasn't home to help. We had an artificial tree about 10 years ago but lost it in a sewage flood in our military quarter (long story) in Cold Lake, AB so it took us all that time to replace it. Artifical works best for me because I like to put up my tree around the 25th of November and leave it up until Old Christmas Day (January 6th - Newfoundland tradition or at least MY family's Newfoundland tradition). Real trees are looking rather, shall we say, naked, by that time?
Yep, I know, there are a LOT of ornaments on this tree. Most are handmade but, not all. I've been creating and collecting for years. And, yes, I could be considered slightly fanatical about this time of the year.
Here is the culmilation of my cake decorating classes - four finished already! I even have a cute little completion certificate with my name on it! Yeah me! This is my first attempt at roses and, although they bear a striking resemblance to 'hen and chicks' I think they also make a mean 'old fashioned rose' look. And, old fashioned roses are my favourites - you can't beat their scent!
And if this isn't cute, I don't know what is! She still gets into moderate trouble (take for instance she is standing right in front of the monitor right now - argh!). Otherwise though, she's a real treat to have around.
I managed to get my Christmas cards FINISHED today. None of them will arrive before Christmas but at least I should get them in the mail before the big day. I've been trying to get cards out for years and this is the first in many. I'm very proud (and apologise in advance for all of the people I forgot to send cards to. Shame me by writing and I'll write back!).
Off to think about supper...
Friday, December 15, 2006
The cleaning is done…for another week. It’s all sparkly for the company (who always says not to even bother but I’m like that. I like the house cleaned once a week whether it needs it or not and it always needs it!). A homemade sauce for chicken and fresh bread (I LOVE my bread making machine! Thanks, In-laws!) are on. I’m just waiting for DH to get home to add the chicken to the sauce and make a salad and some basmati rice. We might be going to a movie tonight with our friends/company, S & ML. Life is good.
‘Casino Royale’ seems to be a popular choice for a movie but I just watched the trailer for ‘Eragon’ and I’m in love! I love science fiction and fantasy and I think I’ve found a new fantasy author – yeah! I checked out the book site and it turns out the author was born on my birthday! Wow! And only a few years younger … (like 13 and, yes, now that you mention it, that does make me feel old!).
The Christmas lights are lit and the only one complaining here today is our doggie Para who has not yet had her walk and is MAD about it. Look at this face! She’s all grumpy! Betcha never thought you’d see a Border Collie pout before!
Here is a ‘before’ picture of the quilt that I mentioned earlier this week. Progress to follow (none made yet. Heck, I was cleaning!). My aim is to get it finished over the holidays.
I started this lovely little quilt in the winter of 2002 when we were still living in Germany (DH is in the Canadian Forces – we’ve lived in some very neat places) and was desperate to start quilting again. I had taken quilting lessons in Cold Lake, Alberta, our posting before Geilenkirchen, Germany, so felt comfortable getting this far. Unfortunately, I had started more quilts than I had finished in Cold Lake so this was as far as I got with this quilt before feeling I needed more education. Since we’ve moved to Ottawa, I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to take many great classes from my LQS (Local Quilt Store which is, incidentally, right next to my LYS!) as well as through the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild. Armed with this knowledge, I know I can finish this quilt. There are two motivations: 1) it will look gorgeous and fit perfectly above our fireplace and 2) it’s a Christmas quilt; it will look its most gorgeous and fit most perfectly above our fireplace at Christmas and not February!
Wish me luck!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I knew it was a matter of time but this blog managed to last six months before I had to do this. Sorry folks but, all posted comments will now go through me before being published on this blog. I received an anonymous posting this morning that I didn't appreciate (the content could have been much worse but it was not appreciated just the same) so I've has to enable some 'comment control'. Therefore, no more anonymous blogging meaning that you will have to register with blogger to add a comment. My apologies as I realise it was easier the other way but I guess I can blame the 'anonymous' ones out in cyberspace for ruining our fun!
Onto brighter and better things: I'm housecleaning! We have friends coming for the weekend and I want the house to sparkle. Actually, I am trying to make Thursday's a regular cleaning day as I want the house clean for the weekends when we're more likely to have 'drop in' company (love that!) and I HATE cleaning on the weekends! Leftover feelings from when I was working full-time I suppose.
Once the 'have to's' are done (cleaning and dog walking) I intend on moving onto the really fun things: quilting a Christmas quilt! Blogging information on that WIP to follow! Off to clean (can you tell this is a pep post to get me motivated???) :) .
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
You know, I still haven’t gotten back into knitting. It’s sad really as I have so many projects in the living room staring me in the eye and complaining. However, I can have really refined selective hearing and am ignoring the seductive sound of ‘Australian wool and silk mix in a gorgeous green colour combined with an Australian sweater pattern all for me’! I must have nerves of steel.
I will continue with the Aussie trip in my next post. Today, however, I wanted to share an FO with you! At least, I think it should be considered an FO but DH would probably classify it in the ‘make work’ project. Here’s why: this is a photo of a lovely little cross stitched pillow. I finished the cross stitch around 1995, seeing as that’s the date on the cross stitch itself. I seem to remember it took me ages to make the actual pillow as per the pattern in the magazine (say, 1996 or 1997?). I love the cross stitch itself but I have never had much use for the pillow. It was too small.
When I hauled it out of the 17 odd (no, I’m not exaggerating!) Christmas Rubbermaid containers this year, I decided that I needed to do something with it. The poor thing always gets ‘stuck’ somewhere because, as I said, I love the cross stitched picture, but the pillow just wasn’t useful.
So, I decided, ‘self, you’ve got to do something with this – it’s a shame to sigh over it every year and then stick it somewhere for the sake of having it out’. I decided to make a small wall hanging out of it instead. Here are the cute little buttons that I covered for the hanging tabs and here is the completed piece. I will take another picture when I find the perfect little black wrought iron holder to hang it from. Now I should go back to getting those Christmas parcels out…
We’ve been going to Christmas parties galore so I thought I would introduce DH (his blog debut) when he was looking particularly handsome this past weekend. This picture was taken in our living room on Saturday evening before we left for DH’s work Christmas party.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
After getting into our hotel room and having a shower, DH and I went on a 2 hr plus cruise of the harbour. It was very nice. As the weather was so nice, people were out in their boats like crazy! The boat we were on had to keep manoeuvring around the sail powered boats (engine power gives way to wind power on the water). I was amazed by two things – how large Sydney Harbour actually is (over 155 little coves and inlets on the harbour – innumerable beaches) and how water based the city is. You can commute by ferry and many people do. Australians LOVE to be out on the water.
The boat trip ended (I got sick as I always do on any boat bigger than a trawler therefore there are no blog approved Patty pictures from this particular trip as I’m green in all of them!) and we were both pooped. I’m ashamed to say that, rather than more exploring, we went back to the hotel and slept until the next morning.
The next day we went for a walk
around the Opera House.
Here’s a picture of me with the Harbour Bridge in the background. As a tourist thing, you could pay and WALK over the bridge. My fear of heights made me hyperventilate at the thought! The exterior finish material of the Opera House looks like dragon scales!
We then walked along the water and past the Gardens and visited Mrs. MacQuarrie’s seat where this wife of one of Sydney’s first Governor’s sat and waited for her sailor husband to come home. Here’s me on her seat and here’s the view we got from the point just in front of this group of rocks – well worth the little hike!
That afternoon, we flew to Adelaide (about an hour flight from Sydney on Quantas) where we spent the next 9 days. DH went to his meetings every day while I combined sleeping in with touring – a very nice combination!
I really enjoyed my cake decorating class last night. It was night one of Course 1 so it was an information giving and demonstration night. There is only myself and one other person in the class so it’s almost private lessons! Apparently, the class would go ahead even if I was the only one registered. Now I have homework! I have to bake a cake and ice it (using the Wilton ‘secret’ Butter Icing Recipe) as well as mix the icing for the four colours I’m using in a rainbow cake (I think I have an attachment to rainbows…) for class tomorrow night. There are two classes this week because Christmas –eek – is in three weeks. Next week and the week after, I only have class on Monday nights.
Off to bake a cake and more house decorating!
Monday, December 04, 2006
Since I’m not feeling particularly creative these days, I thought I should ‘re-start’ the creative blogging juices by talking a bit about our trip to Australia. I will add some pictures to make this December blog a little more exciting, and hope to blog more frequently than I was able to in November.
First of all, I would not recommend a trip to Australia unless you’ve going for 2 or more weeks. I do not normally mind travelling and am not scared of aeroplane trips (unlike my mother) however, I found the whole down and back travel to Australia awful. The trip itself was fantastic but the travel was very tiring.
From Ottawa, we first flew to Vancouver – a 5 hour flight – not bad. We then waited for SEVEN hours in Vancouver. DH (he’s converted from SD (Sugar Daddy) now that I’m no longer in school) is from B.C. and his parents and sister were going to visit us from the island. Unfortunately, the wind was up and the ferries were cancelled so, instead of a mini reunion, Pete and I hung out at the Fairmont Hotel at the airport. It’s very nice, here’s how to visit in cyberspace.
Being the true designer that I am, I had to take some bathroom pictures as their bathrooms are stunning. Check out these sinks! AND, all motion controlled. You walked in the room, and a fawcett would start! We would have MUCH preferred to spend the day with family, however.
After a fight through US Customs (we had a 1.5 hour stop over in Honolulu and, despite the fact that our luggage wasn’t even hitting the ground, we had to go through Customs) which I won’t go into detail about because it still makes me mad, we settled in for a 6 hour trip to Hawaii. The flight wasn’t bad but having to get off the plane (they were refuelling) and go through security again was a bit of a pain. I can’t say anything about the Hawaiian landscape because both times we were there it was 1:30 AM and dark but nice and humid and warm. They also have many places in the airport that are completely open air with just the roof and the fresh breeze blowing through. Very nice.
The next leg of the trip was 10 hours worth of flying drama and we staggered into Sydney at 7:30 AM South Australia time. It was a beautiful bright sunny day and our shuttle bus driver told us the first nice day of Spring! Australia has had the coldest spring on record for over 100 years and we were there to experience it!
Our hotel room wasn’t ready so early in the morning and, we were told, the view from our allocated room was worth waiting for, so we went exploring the Sunday market in The Rocks area of Circular Quay, a short walk from the hotel.
Here’s Patty after 30 odd hours of flying, no shower and little sleep, in Circular Quay. The gorgeous purple tree just to my left is called a ‘Jacaranda’ and Australia was full of these beautiful blooming trees. They were amazing and my favourite new Aussie word.
And here’s the view from our hotel room. Worth waiting for?
I’m now off to run errands. I’m getting a ‘pre-Christmas’ gift from DH and am starting the first of four cake decorating classes tonight at Michael’s. I can’t wait!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
10. Greetings at the door from happy pets!
9. Our own car that drives on the correct side of the road with the steering wheel on the left (not a rental that drives on the wrong side of the road with the steering wheel on the right).
8. Canada Post delivered my prize from the Knit2BTied contest – thanks, Aprilynne! I love the sock yarn! Photos to come.
7. I recognise all of the groceries in my cupboards.
6. My own washer and dryer!
5. My own bathroom!
4. Flannel sheets.
3. Regular Internet access. Yeah, Elizabeth! You’ve started your own blog! I’m so sorry I hadn’t noticed before. Call it ‘homeworkitis’ defined as the inability to see outside ones own reality of desperation long enough to celebrate the successes of anyone else. Check out Elizabeth’s blog at The Transplanted Knitter.
2. Reunion with my knitting stash. Not that I’ve knit in forever. I think I’m experiencing knitting burn out! I have even re-started a cross stitch that I probably began 10 years ago in hopes that, this year, it will be ready for Christmas. Rather than knit. Go figure. And finally, the top reason why it's so nice to be home...
1. I’m in my own house and Christmas is coming. I’m currently cleaning in anticipation of putting out my first Christmas decorations (I’m a bit of an addict) this week. Well, that’s one motivation. The other is that a family member not usually living in this house may stop by later and we trashed the house when we came home despite that fact that our house sitters did a marvellous job keeping the place ship shape while we were away.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
10. Fitting 3 weeks worth of school work into two weeks was a bit harrowing (meaning: hellish). I could barely concentrate on eating let alone compile creative thoughts for a blog! It’s a weight loss plan I wouldn’t recommend for the faint of heart.
9. See number 10 for already discussed school cramming. It also created a desperate allergy to a computer, which lasted for weeks. I finished school on Thursday, November 7th and left for Australia the morning of the 8th.
8. Internet connection rates at the hotels we stayed at in Australia were ASTROMICALLY expensive. Even my mother had to wait a whole week before hearing whether or not we had arrived in Australia (she and Dad are galivanting around the UK so don’t feel too sorry for her).
7. School cramming created huge burn out. Therefore, no creative thought for two weeks of holidays in Oz. That means: no knitting either.
6. Was sleeping off jet lag for many days.
5. Am now jet lagged again from the return trip so coherent thought is still a novelty and only occurs in fleeting spurts and starts.
4. I was punishing myself. On my last night here before leaving for Australia, I walked into my LYS close to closing time only to realize that The Harlot was there. I had no idea. I hadn’t heard anything. The fact that my head had not been above the dining room table and homework for weeks is no excuse! I was so ashamed. I missed her entire talk. I HAD YET TO PACK TO LEAVE IN 8 HOURS FOR 30 ODD HOURS OF TRAVEL. I bought the yarn I went there for and, with head down, slunk away. I didn’t even say ‘hello’ to The Harlot. It still hurts when I think of it.
3. I still haven’t unpacked. We got back Friday night. However, we did drive down to Kingston last night for an overnight to pick up our doggie and only just arrived back.
2. I have been involved in some major soul searching over the past several weeks and, when I’m like that, I find it hard to concentrate on anything else. Therefore, the blog and all other electronic correspondence (emails, telephone calls) have suffered.
1. One of my major soul searching decisions has resulted in me taking a year off school. It’s for a really, really good reason. One that I will share with you in a couple of weeks, if all goes well.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Several of you were right this time – I must give awfully good hints! Ha! Yes, we’re headed to Australia. SD has to go for business meetings and there was no way I could let him go without me! Neither of us has been to Australia before. One of my brother’s (the one who is 1.5 years younger – I have two brothers and one sister) could probably give you some indication of how excited I am about going to Australia. I’ve been obsessed with the country ever since grade seven when I had a group geography project on the continent. The fact that my new-found love of knitting also means that I’ll be interested in the wool produced in Australia is an added bonus.
We will fly into Sydney but only spend two nights in Sydney in all. Most of our time will be spent in Adelaide. So, come on bloggers, anyone know of any neat yarn stores in and around Adelaide? I have already scoped out some suggestions from the general Internet but personal experience is preferred!
I finished the second sleeve from my mystery project last night while I was chatting with different family members on the phone! Well, I have yet to cast off but I still feel I’ve reached the point where I have a right to call that part of the project ‘finished’! Mind you, it might take me until the end of the week to actually get it cast off...
My parents head off this morning (Newfoundland time) to the UK to visit my brother, D, and sister-in-law, L, (and sister who also happens to be visiting from Newfoundland at the moment). They will be away 7 weeks in total. My mother is absolutely PETRIFIED of flying. Maybe petrified is an understatement. When we lived in Germany, my father managed to get her to come for a visit five or six years ago. Most of us never thought she would do it again, including my mother.
My brother and sister-in-law are looking at moving to Australia in 2007 (she’s Australian) and I don’t know if it’s possible for Mom to go on that long of an airplane trip. Thus the lengthy trip this time to visit their eldest son, to get to know L a bit better and to research some family tree information. Mudder is also very much into genealogy.
Off to school. Hmmm. School. I’d almost forgotten about that…
Sunday, October 22, 2006
THE BIG TRIP (CONT’D)
You folks are good! Elizabeth holds the winning ticket for the closest guess so far. I had to recheck my facts as there seems to be a few places on this planet where woolly creatures are wandering the hills. Where I’m going there are just over 20 million people and there are over 120 million sheep. Some of them are merino sheep – one of my favourite kinds!
Friday night was the first night that I tried to keep the door open in ‘Checkers’ room’ (otherwise known as the office) so that the pets could intermingle all night. I’m not sure what time I awoke to Tobi hissing and growling but the office door got closed and Checkers continued her nightly confinement. I didn’t try it again last night as I was too tired for a real racket.
I understand that this new cat introduction may take some time, especially with two female cats. The vet mentioned a few months actually. Checkers has been really good about being the submissive new cat to the thought-she-was-submissive cat (who turns out to be more dominant than I thought!). Tobi’s personal space is about 2 feet. It’s too bad as Checkers is really interested in Tobi but Tobi is having none of it. There are lots of places around this house for them to hide or take a break from each other, however, and Checkers has open run of the house most of the time now. I do close the door when SD and I aren’t home as Para might herd Checkers all day and neither of them would enjoy that for several hours.
Other than that, Checkers provides hours of entertainment chasing light shadows on the kitchen floor (when there’s sun). Para doesn’t like the fact that she sometimes finds herself being stalked by a black and white cat. I don’t know if Checkers has figured out that Para ia a dog yet, or if she thinks Para is just a big cat (very insulting to the Border Collie by the way. It’s a good thing she doesn’t read my blog!). Checkers does not really like being herded by Para, so Para has gotten swatted at a few times. Luckily, Para is used to cats and our other cat that passed away tried to swat Para every now and then so the dog is practised in moving away from paws quickly.
I think I’ll wait another bit to build the suspense about our big trip. I won’t be able to wait much longer than that – I’m just about bursting with excitement!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Yes, I’m procrastinating about work. That and I want to say a special thank you to Renee and Aprilynne for being so supportive and sweet. Thanks, you two!
I also wanted to ask Elizabeth how those Shelridge Farm hats are going?
Here is more enticing information about that big trip I mentioned yesterday. SD had his tickets booked through work as this is a business trip for him. Seeing as work is paying for his airfare and accommodations, there was no way he was going without me – particularly to this spot! And really, with this being a work trip and all, even though it is SO expensive to fly there from here, it’s 50% off because we don’t have to pay for two airfares.
Therefore, I just spent three, literally, hours on the telephone booking my tickets. The good news is that, thanks to being on hold on the ‘speaker’ option so that I could knit and use my neck in the morning, I now have only 9 – read that NINE – rows left on the sleeve of my mystery project! The bad news is that this is all the yarn that I have left and I still have two button bands and a collar, with a ruffle, to knit out of it. Something tells me I’m not going to make it…inherited stash yarn too. Darn it.
So what is the destination for the big trip? I’ll give you a hint – send me a comment with your guess (no letting the cat out of the bag for those who are already in the know): rumour has it that there are more sheep in this location than people…
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve posted anything. It is getting to that point in the semester and this is one of the things I worried about when I originally set up this site: would I get time to blog during my busy school times? I think if I blog at least once a week during the latter part of the semester, I’m not doing too badly. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Hopefully you can bear the absences!
My ID program is divided into three semesters between the end of August and the beginning of May. My current semester ends on November 18th and a new one starts on November 27th. Therefore, I am currently on the home stretch as far as school work goes. The other dilemma is that I might be going on a big trip and will miss the very last week of this semester. Therefore, I have to get LOTS done in the next three weeks! Eek!
Before I start to hyperventilate – here’s a mystery project update! Yeah! I have the second sleeve put on top of the first one so that you can witness the progress. I’m very impressed with myself.
And here’s a picture from my aunt’s place from Thanksgiving weekend. It’s taken off their back deck on Sunday morning. What a beautiful spot!
I did manage to make it to my second guild meeting on Monday evening. It was fun. They had a ‘vendors night’ and, I have to tell you, it was one of the few times when I regretted being in school. Being in school means no income, lots of money pouring out, and no extra for the gorgeous display that was on the tables Monday night. I did pick up some stitch markers as a present though. Because they’re a present, I can’t post pictures of them. So sad!
I became a Ottawa Knitting Guild member on Monday night as well (yeah!), which allowed me to take out library books (yeah again!). I also signed up to purchase a Lucy Neatby ‘Sock Techniques 1’ DVD. I’m very excited about this purchase and look forward to getting the DVD. With any luck, it will be in before the big trip we might go on (I’m trying not to jinx it by saying we ‘are’ going) and SD will bring his laptop and I can review it while we’re away!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Have you ever had one of those days when you know you should just go out and buy a lottery ticket? I'm having one of those days today. I experienced not one but TWO miracles! Not bad, eh?
The first one happened when I found (always a bit of a struggle) my car in the parking lot. You may assume that I’m a little stressed this week, based on my last post. You may also assume that, while I’m fairly certain I’ve been a safe driver this week, I have been a wee bit distracted. After coming from the drafting photocopy office (we have to copy all drafting assignments and not hand in originals), I found myself a sweet parking spot. At my college your parking pass cost depends on how close you are to the main buildings. The further away you park, the cheaper it is. I have a cheaper parking pass – a green one. The expensive area is red. I should also note that the parking police at Algonquin are VERY strict. Forget your pass even for just one day and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a ticket.
Anyway, I parked, went to class, had a drafting critique (we call them ‘crits’) and headed back out to the parking lot. I went looking for my car and had to backtrack a bit to find it. That was weird. I mean, I almost always have to walk some distance to find my car. I then noticed that there was a reason I had found such a sweet little parking spot. I PARKED IN THE RED PART OF THE LOT! Argh! So, I sighed and resolved myself to the ticket I was sure was waiting for me on the windsheild. But, guess what? No ticket. Nada. Not a one. Yeah me! I got in the car thinking ‘that was a miracle!’
The second miracle happened when I came upstairs to check on Checkers and my emails. I found a comment from April on my blog telling me that I WON THE KNIT2BTIED CONTEST FOR ANNETTE'S BLANKET! My square was the first one to arrive at Samantha's after the Knit2tied contest started. Yeah me again!
TWO miracles in one day! I feel blessed and humbled. So much good for one small human being. It makes that drafting sitting in the next room seem..almost…insignificant. Almost…
Will…blog….again…soon. Desperate drafting calls for desperate measures (and late hours). Knitting news will come eventually – the mystery project made some progress over the Thanksgiving weekend – yeah! However, I was a good girl and read and worked on a couple of my courses on the drive down and back and only knit when we were chatting at my aunt and uncle's house. I also passed on a game of cards (cards! Can you believe it? A Newfoundland and Labradorian passing on a game of cards!?! She must have had serious knitting or hadn’t knit in so long it almost killed her..). Instead, I disrupted the 6 person game of Euchre by chatting with the players. It made for some amusing hands!
Friday, October 06, 2006
This blogging system is great! I send out a cry for help and get many responses – thank you so much! I now have not one, not two but three patterns to choose from for a pumpkin hat as well as a recommendation that using Mission Falls would be a good bet. Thank you, thank you.
You know you’re a popular blogger when your mother adds a comment! Thanks, Mudder! This effort is from the same woman who couldn’t turn on a computer a few years ago. Luckily she’s nosy and this directly relates to her ‘newish’ (she’s been at it a few years now) computer proficiency. One of my twenty-odd cousins on my mother’s side started a family email list on his server so that we could communicate with my grandmother on a regular basis. Aunts, uncles and cousins that we hadn’t heard from in years got in on the action. Mudder (affectionate Newfoundland word for ‘mother’) realised that she was ‘out of the loop’ and she was off. Now she’s better at using a mouse than me fadder (my dad – another Newfoundland word) – sorry, Dad, but I think it’s true!
We’re off to visit an aunt and uncle house near Fenelon Falls, ON and celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow. My neighbour – otherwise known as ‘the bestest cat sitter in the world’ – is coming over for the scoop on Checkers. They haven’t met yet. Due to their separation, Checkers is a wee bit more work than Tobi (double the feeding, double the litter, etc). I’m sure Checkers and my friend will hit it off.
Para and Tobi both saw Checkers for the first time from a distance today. I had to house clean (what a waste of good knitting time) to ensure I get some homework done when we get back (otherwise I would spend time cleaning instead) which meant dusting and vacuuming the room Checkers was in. Therefore, she got moved to a couple of other rooms while I worked which gave me the opportunity to show her off to the other pets. No barking or hissing yet so I’m figuring that that was a good sign.
Have a happy long weekend to everyone (and I hope – nope, no promises – to have another knitting photo for you soon).
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I'm in desperate search of a pumpkin hat pattern for an infant (baby is on its way - but I'm superstitious and don't like to knit too far in advance). I've found a couple of patterns but they're for older children or adults. Any suggestions on a pattern or how many stitches to put on a circular needle? Would Mission Falls merino work? Help!
I know it’s not nice to make assumptions. However, I’ve noticed a few things about knitters and I think the general public notices it too. I was knitting while waiting at the Ottawa Airport for SD just this past Monday evening. A lovely older than me (that means 70+) lady wove her way through several individuals and groups of people and on over to me to ask "Is this the flight from Vancouver?" I thought this was neat because I’ve noticed if you put a set of knitting needles in someone’s hands, you just know they’re friendly. I think the airport lady approached me because I was knitting. After all, there were certainly lots of other people to ask and I certainly wasn’t the easiest person for her to reach. I think the fact that I was knitting gave the appearance of ‘nice person’ and one who could be approached to answer a question. That means a lot to me in a big city like Ottawa (don’t laugh, Ottawa is a big city for me).
I love how this hobby of mine has allowed me to often be ‘the knitter’ in a crowd. During my trip to the UK this summer, for example, I visited Osterley Park house (and highly recommend it if you’re interested in architecture and, particularly, the interior design work of Robert Adam). After having lunch at the café, I was knitting as I finished up my tea. One of the serving ladies came over to comment on the colour (it was my mystery project) and to have a look at the pattern. She didn’t knit herself but I think she was developing a knitting awareness that might result in something!
There was the lady in a waiting room at the car dealership who was knitting with me while we were waiting for our cars to be repaired (she was working on socks – my hero!). We chatted as we waited. Then there was a man in another waiting room who commented that I must have ‘lots of patience’ (he obviously didn’t know me very well!) and told me a story about his mother who had knit and crocheted right up until she died. By now, I've heard several stories from women and men about their mothers or grandmothers and knitting.
The fall before my grandmother died, she sent an email (pretty hip 91 year old, eh?) because I had commented in a family email that I had started knitting again. She told me she was really happy about that because knitting had been ‘such a comfort to her as she got older.’ I love how, when I’m knitting, I see my grandmother’s and my mother’s hands.
Knitters of the world rejoice. We not only give off ‘nice person’ vibes but we ARE nice people! I’m so glad I’m getting to know the worldwide knitting community in the blogosphere through my blog!
Do you have any other knitting assumptions to offer?
PS Have you heard that the Harlot got hitched??? Isn’t it wonderful?!?
PPS Thanks for all of the lovely comments about Checkers! Her mouth is healing up nicely and she remains such a friendly little cat. Her main complaint right now is that she wants OUT of this room! I haven't told her that she has 10 more days to go and that there is a border collie on the other side of that door she's so interested in...
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I know, I know, it's me! My apologies to my ‘fans’ (I know you’re out there, somewhere). The past two weeks have been a little crazy between school work and SD being away (he’s back now – yeah!). How do you folks with children manage to get so much done when I only had myself and the pets to care for??? High achievers, I figure…
My trip to Toronto to IIDEX was great! The girls and I really enjoyed ourselves. How can you not like Toronto when they have chocolate bars this big???
My apologies to Renee for not staying in the city longer to go on a yarn crawl. I will take a rain check on that idea though, my dear!
The other reason things have been crazy is partially due to this little creature. Remember I said that we were going to wait to get another cat?!? Meet Checkers. She is from the Ottawa Humane Society and we have only had her living with us since Sunday when I picked her up from the Kanata Super Pet. SD may have reason to be a little concerned about other new pets moving into the house the next time he’s away!
The Humane Society here has some of their animals housed at local pet store adoption centres so that they get more ‘face time’ with the public. Her adoption is still through the Humane Society despite the fact that Checkers was located at a Super Pet. Her Humane Society name was ‘Obsidian’ (I think they were getting low on coming up with new pet names) so I decided to change it. The name ‘Checkers’ may not be original but it seems to fit her. She is in solitary confinement in our office (thus, she is currently around my feet) for two weeks. Two weeks is suggested because of the risk of transmission of disease from her to Para and Tobi. After that, we try the introduction with our other cat and dog. I am not really worried about Para meeting Checkers as she has lived with cats ever since we’ve had her. I am more concerned about Tobi as introducing female cats is sometimes a long term problem but have my fingers crossed that this will work out.
Checkers is about two years old and has already earned the title ‘Chubby Checkers’ from SD! She isn’t really tubby, actually. She saw the vet yesterday and they said that her weight was fine. Most cats are heavier than our Tobi who is our baseline for cat weight.
Checkers does, however, have some bad sores around her mouth that the vet attributed to an allergic reaction to either plastic dishes (she used those at the pet store but we use stainless steel) or her food. We are slowly changing her food to a hypoallergenic brand and she also received an allergy shot yesterday that should last about 2 months and help the swelling and itchiness around her mouth go down so that the sores can heal up.
And, with all the excitement, where’s my knitting? Certainly not to be found in the same room as Checkers. I think our new little cat will find yarn more exciting than I’m comfortable with! Here’s my wee bit of progress on the mystery project. Believe it or not, this is real progress. I'm afraid it's been SSCd (that means 'Second Sleeve Cursed'). I know this pattern, I've already knit it once, and I cannot tell you how many times I've frogged and tinked it back in the first 2 inches! Argh! However, tomorrow's another day...
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I’m off to Toronto for a night, returning late tomorrow night. IDEX (the Interior Designers Exhibition) is on in Toronto this week and students are highly encouraged to go. A couple of classmates and I went last year and really enjoyed ourselves. We’re going again this year but spending the night with the relatives of one of my friends so that we don’t have to drive 8+ hours in one day. It should be a great girls road trip. We head off today after class.
Unfortunately, I will be in the city of amazing yarn stores and likely won’t have time to darken the door of any! Very sad. On the drive down and back however, I’m planning on getting some knitting done so hope to have an increased section of my mystery project to show you when I return. The Noro Kureyon in my knitting basket is beckoning but I’m trying to ignore it until I’ve made great inroads in my mystery project.
I sent off block number two for Annette’s Blanket to Samantha this week. Congratulations by the way, Samantha! It looks as though your 72 block goal is almost realised!
I know, I'm a bad blogger today - no pictures! But really. Is it about the pictures or the knitting?
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Look what arrived in the mail this week?!? This photo shows the colours reasonably well. The yarn has lots of pinks and purples, as well as red and blue. I can’t wait to get it on the needles and see how the colours knit out. The sad thing is I received this parcel on Tuesday and will not have time to get it on needles until next weekend at least! I have two assignments and one mid-term exam this week so my time is really at a premium. Especially when I really want to get my mystery project done. It’s really silly that that sleeve isn’t finished yet. After that stage, I get to learn how to – wait for it – make button bands! Don’t anyone say they’re hard (I’ve heard rumours). I’m planning on becoming the button band queen. I did that with French knots in cross stitch. Someone told me they were hard and I practised and practised and now really enjoy making them. So much so that I once put over 80 of them on a cross-stitched Christmas tree skirt that a friend made because she hated making French knots.
Speaking of lack of time, Samantha’s square is finished! Apparently I can pull off an 8" X 8" square in Mission Falls pretty quickly. Here it is in its washed and blocked form and ready to be mailed. Hmm. My stitches don’t look perfectly straight. Hopefully that’s okay.
I might get to the post office today. I have several errands to run (Home Depot for sand paper for rendering, art supply store, groceries, etc) so I’m hoping the post office will be one of my stops.
To be a true Canadian for a minute – what is it with this weather? I walked Para this morning in capris and a T-shirt and was sweating! It was 20 degrees with 87% humidity when I went out (I notice both the temperature and humidity have dropped since). It’s also blowing quite hard. On Monday and Tuesday, it was cold enough to put flannel sheets on the bed!
Happy second day of fall, by the way! My favourite season. My favourite colour is orange so the fact that fall is my favourite season isn’t really a surprise, is it?
I have a question for you. I have been reading about 'Secret Pal 9'. It looks like fun but I'm still deciding if I should join or not. Any suggestions from the blogosphere?
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I did it! I made it to the knitting guild meeting. I knew one person from my LYS so didn’t feel too shy and the knitters seemed to be a friendly bunch. It was very warm here in Ottawa last night and the venue was VERY hot and steamy with about 60 women, needles all clacking away. However, this meant that it was also warm enough to make knitting uncomfortable (you know, when your hands sweat and the yarn just won’t slide between your fingers?).
One very nice guild member lady assisted me in my quest for an explanation of the SSK stitch from my lace scarf pattern. I’m hoping to be able to try out this newly established knowledge on the project in the near future and before I forget it. Thank you very much to the lady whose name I didn’t catch!
At the guild meeting I learned that Debbie Bliss will be coming to Ottawa in October! UNFORTUNATELY, Patty will be in school. Patty is too much of a nerd to skip a morning class, even for Debbie Bliss. Patty may come to regret this decision…
And here’s the square for Annette’s blanket that I was working on at the guild meeting. Not bad for 2 hours of work! I’m estimating 4 more rows to the finish line. Happily, Samantha has already received square number one.
My drafting table is prepared for another night of drafting, sweet drafting. I am also pleased to announce that the rendered picture I mentioned a little while ago is now complete and number two is drawn, photocopied (we do the drawing on vellum, which is transparent, and then copy onto paper) and ready to be rendered as well. You’d never believe it but I'm being bugged when I render! Pesky little fruit flies LOVE the scent of my rendering markers! They drive me crazy when they’re dive-bombing me as I’m trying to work. Luckily, Lee Valley came to the rescue with their fruit fly traps. A friend and I have bought a box each as we’re both having the same problem. This must be a bad year; usually the fruit fly season is over by now.
And here’s a picture of our elderberry (from our backyard!) harvest. SD’s foot, leg and hands make their blogging debut! I picked the berries between class and going to the guild meeting last night and SD bottled (canned if you’re not from Newfoundland) 9 bottles of elderberry jelly for us last night!
If you’re a Monty Python fan, have seen "The Holy Grail" and remember the insult from the French soldiers telling the grail seekers that their ‘mother smelled of elderberries’, you might not want to eat elderberries. Believe it or not, they are delicious. However, it’s when you cook them that you realise how big an insult that soldier was throwing – elderberries REEK when they’re being boiled.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
And I just can’t hide it! And I know, I know, I know…I guess I’m ageing myself when I refer to that song. I’m very excited because I’m going to try and attend my first Ottawa Knitting Guild meeting tomorrow night! I say ‘try’ because I usually do not attend any evening activities when I’m in school and, seeing as I have class tomorrow and who knows what the professors are going to throw at us, I must say ‘try’ so as not to jinx the whole plan. I am working very, very hard today so that my lack of homework tomorrow night won’t hurt too badly on Tuesday.
The meeting starts tomorrow night at 7:30 until ? and I’m eager to get there. It only costs $3 for drop in which really seems reasonable. I don’t want to sign up as a member because I already know that there will be a couple of months when I will not be able to make the meetings. I’ll probably bring block number two of Annette’s blanket and, the way Mission Falls knits up, will likely finish it at the meeting. As you can see, my pattern is not very inventive this time. However, I think the colour is so pretty that the knitting is just the display board.
I’ve also discovered podcasts in a big way. This past week, they helped me get through my drafting homework by providing a knitting backdrop as I slaved away. I’ve mentioned before that drafting scares me. I have two types of hand drafting classes and one computer assisted drafting course so, yes, I spend a great deal of my semester afraid J ! However, I’ve been going through the knitting podcasts in I-Tunes and have been enjoying them as they allow me to knit vicariously. So far I’ve listened to KnitterGail, Knit2BTied, and At the Yarn Shop.
I’m not sure how much blogging I will get done this week but I promise to blog again soon. I must be one of the few knitting bloggers who posts more on weekends than during the week!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
What a week. Whew. Thank goodness it’s the weekend! Have I been working on schoolwork since class ended on Friday? Not really. I did go to the National Gallery for a review of their ‘Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre’ exhibit (this is very school related all ye of little faith) and then did some research at Carleton University’s library. I also drafted for an hour last night before SD, S and ML and I went to see the new ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie at 10:10 PM (I thought it was good – very funny – but a bit long). Due to the late night, I slept in this morning, chatted for a bit during breakfast, went for a run, got cleaned up , picked up groceries and just finished making supper for all of us, plus two more, for tonight. The main part of the meal is in a crock pot/slow cooker and as, we’re not eating until after 7:00 PM, it should be ready without me watching it.
Another thing I did this morning was frog this little number again. You would be impressed with my progress if I didn’t keep tinking and frogging the poor darling. I mean, you’d be seeing at least 4" of really impressive knitting by now. I kept having problems having the pattern work out and knit up about 2" twice before I realized that I’d made a mistake on the first row of seed stitch after finishing the ruffled edge. This meant that the next part of the pattern wouldn’t line up properly. I was quite pleased with myself two days ago when I finally figured it out. As you can see though, it’s off the needles again. Why? Because I can’t seem to carry on a semi-intelligent conversation and knit at the same time. Darn it.
I sent a block off on Thursday. They said 2 – 3 business days, Samantha. Then I thought, why knit just one square? I had such a hoot knitting the last one last weekend. It was fast, I got to have fun ‘designing’ and it was finished in no time. Additionally, one of Samantha’s posts this week was about a woman who had sent five blocks (not that I’m competitive…)! I mean, one block seemed paltry. So, off I traipsed to my LYS on Thursday after going to the post office. I went in for one – I repeat one – ball of super wash and, despite the excellent selection, I was leaving with another ball of Mission Falls. Here it is. Gorgeous colour - #028 Pistachio.
Then the trouble began. Louise at my LYS is a pusher/good sales lady (she knows a fibreholic when she sees one). I went in for one ball (which is a little like going to McDonalds and asking for one french fry but, I digress) and walked out with this. It’s all her fault. Can you blame me?!? Look at it!
It’s alpaca. It’s gorgeous. It has superseded the shawl that I showed you in August as a ‘must finish before Christmas’ project. It’s from Misti Alpaca. The pattern I’m using is this one from my LYS – designed by Louise herself (she’s sickeningly creative and a phenomenal knitter to boot). The only problem is that the row of cast on stitches plus the one row of purl stitches that you might be able to see on the needle are as far as I can get without further direction on how to successfully produce an ‘SSK’. Well, there are two problems actually. That little ball makes a WHOLE SCARF for Pete’s sake! It’s thread! I’ve never knit with thread before. I am afraid.
On a less scary note but in keeping with the somewhat scary theme, here’s something that’s been growing in my garden that I’m very proud of. It’s for Halloween.
Congratulations to Elizabeth for ordering the ‘Rainbow Hat’ from Shelridge Farms. I hope you enjoy knitting your three hats as much as I enjoyed making mine. You’re going to need it for your first Vermont winter!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Hi again! I wanted to apologize to Elizabeth who commented on the blog on AUGUST 29TH and I ignored her! I missed her comment entirely. I'm so sorry. Elizabeth was asking about my hat posting. It's from Shelridge Farms (for some reason, blogger won't let me hyperlink this. Their address is: www.shelridge.com) and is their 'Rainbow Hat'. I loved knitting it and there is lots of wool in the kit. For example, even though I knit this pattern for adults, I managed to get two adult hats out of their kit with wool still leftover.
So, hopefully you will visit again, Elizabeth, even though I ignored you for so long. You taught me something: how to adjust my settings so that comments are sent to me automagically - thanks for that!
For anyone else out there in the blogosphere, I also think I changed my comments so that you can post a comment to my site without registering with blogger.com (this is for you, Faith!). Someone tell me if that feature now works (you need to be someone NOT registered with blogger). So, go ahead and try to leave me a new comment. Thanks!
Monday, September 11, 2006
Sorry I haven’t written anything since Thursday. I’ve had homework! Here is a sample of something that has taken 22 hours of my life (and that’s just for the rendering! The drawing for this project took another 10 hours and involved drawing up four graphs because the first three didn’t work out). The entire project is 11" X 18" but the whole thing won’t fit on my scanner so this is the ‘abbreviated’ version. And that’s homework for just one course! I have seven in all and homework in each. Despite this, I have been regularly reading (and in most cases lurking) my regular blogs to catch up when I’ve needed a break but I just haven’t found the time to add anything to my own blog. Terrible.
I downloaded April’s Knit2Btied podcast edition 11 after reading Samantha’s blog about Annette’s Blanket. I listened to the podcast on Friday while I was drawing and, by Saturday morning, had decided that I should knit a block for the cause too. Do I have time for such things? Didn’t I say I was only going to work on only three projects between now and Christmas? Did I enjoy myself knitting anyways? YES! I knitted during breaks (like, when I was on the phone, waiting for supper – life is good around here – or just when I was going crazy from rendering).
My homework for tomorrow is now complete so I guess I was able to fit in knitting and homework. I may not be saying that come Wednesday when I have a presentation due and Thursday when I have drafting due (Shiver. I’m am vewy scared of drafting). I also still have homework to do tonight so I can’t stay long.
Anyways, back to the epic, I mean, knitting. I found some leftover superwash Mission Falls merino from my sweater that, no, isn’t completed yet. Thanks for asking though. I figured I had enough for an 8" X 8" block. Then I figured out how many stitches I thought I needed for the block (why start with a swatch I said confidently?) and cast on 35 on 4 mm needles (I’m a very loose knitter). Then I had to decide on a pattern. I didn’t want to knit a simple garter stitch block (that would be just too easy, wouldn’t it?) so decided to make up my own based on one I’d seen in a baby blanket my aunt knitted for her grandson. I started with five stitches of knit stitch, five stitches of purl, knit for 8 rows, then switched the pattern around to give it a checkerboard effect.
On this little square, I learned the following:
- that I should ALWAYS knit a swatch beforehand (duh!),
- how to make live stitches up two sides of the block to make the block 1" larger by adding an accent colour of yarn (yeah me and thank you to Knitting Help!),
- how to do a crochet cast off when I ran out of yarn (thanks Yarn Harlot!),
- how to undo a crochet cast off when I realized it was too darn tight for my purposes,
- how to block,
- how to stress over blocking because the darn square isn’t dry yet and wasn’t drying square enough for me (I washed it yesterday for Pete’s sake!,
- how to pin while blocking,
- how MUCH stocking stitch actually does roll. Hopefully Samantha can deal with this slight ‘ripple’ effect, and
- how to take out my nicely knit accent colour that I’d added because it made the block way too large.
Whew. Good thing it was only one small square.
The picture of my block above is the original, with the accent colour on the sides. The picture below is of the new and improved finished block.
Luckily for my sanity (but not so much for Annette’s blanket) and my school work, I only had that bit of superwash in the house so I can’t knit two. Sorry, Samantha. However, if you’re reading this and aren’t Samantha, please knit up a block too ASAP and send it to her. Like April said, we can’t have Annette’s family curled up under only 39, 8" X 8" squares now can we (the goal is 72)? And, by the way, how long does it take an 8" X 8" block of merino to dry anyways? I’d like to get my personal creation to Samantha before New Years…
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I've only been in school for 8 days and I'm already whining! My apologies to all of you in blogdom. I really enjoy my school program, I really do. I just find it hard to give up ALL of my free time and most of my sleeping hours when I go back to school. Oh well. Only three more years to go (including this one).
In my continuing efforts to ensure I knit during the school year, I'm posting another picture of my mystery WIP in hopes that you will bug me enough to make me find time to get working on it. I don't want to give too much away but I do want you to know that this project is going through SSS (second sleeve syndrome). It's horrible. I love this project and I love who it's going to go to but I just can't get motivated. Mind you, I also can't get motivated to work on the project currently taped to my drafting table (so, instead, I'm blogging! Bad Patty!) so motivation could be becoming a theme this fall.
In other, more exciting knitting news: Hooray for E-Bay! I found 2 skeins of Noro Big Kureyon in a colour scheme that I liked on E-Bay! Thanks go to Renee though for her generous offer of looking for Kureyon yarn for me at the Knitter's Fair. I've never used E-Bay before so am a little nervous. However, an email told me today that my package has been shipped (from the U.S). The mailbox watch begins. I will keep you posted on further developments (no pun intended!).
I did manage to get up to my LYS tonight for a brief 're-lesson' (that's what it's called when Patty comes to you for the upteenth time wanting to know how to do something you've already taught her several times already) on sewing up my sweater. I really want that sweater finished. I can't tell you the number of times during the week I've thought, gee, I sure wish I had that sweater with me. Or the number of camping trips over the summer when I've thought, gee, I wish I had that sweater finished so I could wear it. Now, there's some motivation for me!
Monday, September 04, 2006
All good things must come to an end and that seems to be the way of this long weekend. We had a lovely trip down to the Adirondack's in our van. This is a picture of our 1988 camper van taken at a lovely campsite in Quebec on the way back from our Newfoundland and Labrador trip this summer.
The trip to the mountains took about 3.25 hours from Kanata to Rollins Pond Campground where we stayed in site # 39. Rollins Pond is about 30 minutes from Lake Placid and we drove out past Lake Placid on Saturday to go hiking. Not much school work got done on Saturday but I did manage to start and finish Yarn Harlot's Secret Life of a Knitter between the Friday evening drive and the time I squeezed it in on Saturday. I was so happy to see this book at the library on Friday - I had been on the waiting list for months! As luck would have it, Knitting Rules was also waiting for me and I'm finding it very hard to resist when I'm supposed to be studying!
It rained off and on on Sunday but stayed dry long enough for me to get one assignment completed out on the picnic table. I was rendering (rendering in 'design speak' means sketching and colouring with markers, pencil crayons, graphite and conté) and the markers are very strong so it was nice to be out in the fresh air while I was using them. The natural light was an added bonus.
To prove my ability to stay committed to school work while camping, here's a picture of me in our camper on Sunday night. I was bundled up (recognize the hat?) while researching for a presentation on Roman architecture due next week. What a good girl!
In knitting news, the yarn store in Lake Placid does not carry Kureyon anymore so I'm still on the hunt for Noro BIG Kureyon. Any suggestions on this predicament, anyone? The lady at the shop said that it might not be being sold anymore. Eek! I know I can use another bulky wool but I really like the variations that Kureyon would give me.
I also managed to get MANY ends sewn into my sweater (see August 25th post) in my continuing efforts to have it move to the FO pile instead of the WIP pile. I really wanted to wear it this weekend as I found it a little chilly. It's really too bad I learned how to splice wool only half way through that sweater. I seemed to have an inordinate number of ends to sew in. Off to do more research and not a stitch knitted this weekend - does sewing in ends count as knitting???
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Watching my knitting projects is like watching a train wreck sometimes. First, you have the nagging feeling that something might be wrong but you keep on knitting . Then you realize that your yarn seems to be running out faster than you'd expected but you shrug away the thought and continue. After all, you'd only purchased your yarn all the way away in Cape Breton, only gotten two balls of it and are sure that your suspicions are only paranoia. Then you realize that you're an inch away from the brick wall of knitting, that your wool really IS running out too fast and that maybe something is about to go horribly wrong. Or, as in my case, it has already gone horribly wrong.
Remember my Noro Kureyon kitty bed? See it looking so demure up there? Well, it turns out that Patty cannot read a pattern or the sleeve on a ball of yarn. While visiting Baadeck Yarns (yeah, Renee! See?!? I learned how to do this thanks to you!), I saw 'Noro Kureyon' alright but failed to notice that my kitty bed pattern said 'Noro BIG Kureyon'. So, my friends, the picture you see on the left is the entire bottom diameter of my kitty bed, less felting. And, it's just too darn small!
However, there is light at the end of this tunnel. Although my knitting efforts on this particular project are up in smoke, we are heading to the Adirondacks this weekend (I get to study and render in the back of our van - yeah me!) and there is a store in Lake Placid that sells Noro wool. AND, DH (hereafter known as SD) says we can stop in for a break from hiking so that I can have a look. Lets hope they carry the big stuff...
I'm sure you call all figure out who DH is (Darling Husband). However, for the time that I've been in school and, seeing as my husband has taken on the not insignificant responsibility of feeding me on a regular basis, DH shall be known as SD until I finish this program. SD = Sugar Daddy! And I highly recommend that all knitters get one. It's almost as good as a castle full of treasure that you get to spend on your knitting stash!Renee for all of her help in teaching me all about blogosphere rules. There are a few and she's trying to keep me polite. Thank you, thank you!
And here's a hunting cat picture that I took yesterday. Who knew such predators existed in the suburbs of Canada's capital?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. I'm sitting here, in my PJs, with a cup of hot comfort tea (rose petal black tea - yum!) realizing that my life is no longer my own and that the face that stared back at me in the mirror a little while ago is a more haggard, less genteel face than I saw on Sunday. And it begins...
On Sunday evening, for fear of not picking up a knitting needle ever again (well, at least for 9 months), I rushed to get my Rainbow hat finished in time for winter and to have something to post on the blog this week. Ta da! My first blogged FO (finished object)! I am very proud. I figured that my posting this picture would help you get over the lack of knitting effort you may witness over the next several months. The model is 'Billy Bear' (despite the pink bow around his neck) who will be going to live with my niece in the near future. Then I'll have to find a new model.
Here is my progress on the kitty bed. Not so good but it does represent some knitting in the past two days despite my weary state.
I went on up to my LYS on Sunday and got some assistance from the lovely ladies there to start this (thanks, Lynne and Wendy!). I'm not used to knitting on DPNs and, to be honest, have been avoiding them. The only time I've used them was to finish off the top on my Rainbow hat and I'm still too timid to try socks (and more afraid of the sock addiction which may ensue. It seems to be a very serious disease and virtually incurable...).
Here's a photo of our kitty. Isn't she cute!?! This is Tobi the cat. She was 10 and a half years old when this photo was taken. However, this is one of the best photos I have of her so I thought I'd blog it. It's a great photo of her and a not so good one of the condition of my door frame...hmm. Anyways, Tobi is now 12 and a half years old with narry a grey whisker.
And this is Para the dog in her blog debut photograph. This was taken earlier this month when we visited Battle Harbour, Labrador. Not bad looking for an eleven and a half old dog, eh?
And last but not least, thank you, thank you, Renee, for referring fans from your blog to my blog! I tell ya. You admire a girl from afar for months and before you know it, she's become a friend! Life is good! Thank you also for the offer of 'knitting nagging'. I'm going to need it!
I'm off to do some Internet library research. Wish me luck!
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Well, it's my last Sunday before starting year two and another nine months of school. It's a little depressing. No more sleeping in until I wake up (like I did this morning). No more knitting away as many hours of the day as I want (with some suggestions from OH/SD about other, perhaps more useful (?), chores that could also take up my time). No more going for a run whenever I want to (like just after I got out of bed this morning, not having to worry about a 0800 AM class). No more having people over for huge feasts of food and eating the left overs for breakfast (like polenta pound cake, fresh raspberry coulé and whipped cream like I did this morning). This return to student stuff is really going to hit me hard.
In an attempt to alleviate my fears about not knitting again for nine months and re-establishing my reason for creating this blog ( my hope that someone out there will forward enough guilt/good knitting vibes to remind/encourage me to spend a few minutes each day knitting during the school year), I bring to you three other WIPs that I want to have finished before Christmas. Yes, I'm nuts. This is the same girl who hasn't yet sewn in the ends of a hat she barely finished knitting during the last school year. However, lets not be discouraged by past failures/demonstrated lack of dedication. Lets look forward in hope. Hey, a girl's gotta have goals!
WIP number one is this gorgeous little number. It is intended on being a gift for an undisclosed recipient (I think it will look smashing on her!). The pattern is Fiddlesticksknitting'ss (www.fiddlesticksknitting.com) 'Easy Lace Mesh Triangle' and is the exact same lace pattern as the stole I posted about earlier this week, except it's a triangle. Remember what I said about being a timid knitter? This slight variation in pattern helps keep my heartpalpitationss to a minimum. The yarn is a gorgeous hand dyed concoction of wool (Donegal) (60%) and silk (40%) from Fleece Artist (www.fleeceartist.com) that I'm not sure they make any more as I can't seem to find it on their website. Here's a close up of the pattern seeing as I can't show you the stole until it's 'gifted':
Next we have this fun (hopefully) project in Noro Kureyon, Col. 138. I visited Baddeck Yarns (www.baddeckyarns.com) on my holidays (I will blog about that sometime) and picked up five balls of Kureyon all together). This project uses two balls of Kureyon to make a, wait for it, felted kitty bed! This is really cute and I want little Tobi the cat to have it for her Christmas present. I found the pattern (free!) from www.wendyknits.net.
And, the final number, is a surprise. Here's a hint. It's a surprise for both the receiver and her mother and, on the off chance they might ever find this blog, I'm going to be secretive and not give out any further information. However, as the receiver is growing daily, I must get this project finished quickly (luckily I'm knitting it two sizes two large but still...).
So folks, encourage away. Until next time, I'll be the bleary eyed 'mature' (read: old) student waiting at the bus stop in the morning attempting to look like I'm 'mature' and not wishing for my mommy...
Friday, August 25, 2006
Two days ago was a very exciting day as I received my very first comments to my blog from someone I don't know and am not married or related to! And, even better, it was from another knitter whose blog I read regularly. Thanks, Renee (http://www.froggiemeanie.blogspot.com/)! I am still learning how to to use this blog and wonder about stuff such as, although I posted a message on my blog yesterday, the day and date and time posted were from the night before when I had originally drafted that particular post. Go figure.
I've been knitting for only about 18 years, or 3 depending on your perspective. I knit a couple of summer type, late 1980's style 't-shirt' sweaters in the early 1990's to 'get used' to knitting (my mother and grandmother had taught me when I was quite young but I didn't continue with it then). I hated the yarn and the patterns but figured they would be good practice. I guess they were as my tension is still very consistent after taking a 15 year break from knitting however, those sweaters certainly didn't encourage me to continue my knitting career at that point. I finished them and gave them to my mother to sew up. I haven't asked about them since.
At the time, I found knitting slow and crocheting fit my 'instant satisfaction' craving much better. I also didn't see any patterns or yarn interesting enough to invest time and money in. When we moved to Ottawa in 2002, I realized we had moved very close to a fantastic yarn store a five (well, maybe a ten) minute walk from my house (Yard Forward at http://www.yarnfwd.com/). Their yarn is gorgeous and inspirational, the patterns interesting and to my taste and I'm a wee bit older so don't require instant results anymore. I have, however, developed a much higher regard and preference for high quality fibre (read: expensive) yarn. I started knitting again in the fall of 2004 with Fiddlestick Knitting's (www.fiddlesticksknitting.com) 'Easy Lace Mesh Stole' for my sister (who had better not be reading this blog as she still has yet to receive it!) out of a gorgeous varigated merino wool (www.filtesfilati.it and select the Filati per Aguglieria tab. The wool I used is the Australian Merino) from my LYS. I won't post this WIP (the fringe isn't yet complete) until it's been gifted so as not to completely ruin the surprize. However, that project helped to turn me into a fibre addict in a rather serious way!
I had already developed an acute affection (read: addiction) for quilting fabric and other interesting sewing fabrics. I am also intrigued by weaving and, thanks to the generous gift of a table loom from my mother-in-law, intend on taking weaving lessons when I finish school. A firm addiction to knitting seems a natural progression. It's also genetic. I am a Newfoundland and Labradorian coming from generations of knitters after all.
After knitting the stole, I found a Shelridge Farm knit kit for a 'Rainbow Hat' (www.shelridge.com - not the Forest colourway but the one that matches the Rainbow Sheep sweater). I was still thinking that I would buy wool for one project at a time and keep at least one crafty pursuit under control (ha! I will show you what happened to this plan in a later post). Another 'easy' project but one which I needed A LOT of help with for the first one. I'd never knit in the round before, had no idea what 'be careful you don't twist when you join' meant (it terrified me) and when the pattern ended in an I-cord, broke the wool in my desperation to make it tight enough (a note here: I am normally a VERY loose knitter usually going 1 to 1.5 needle sizes SMALLER to achieve the proper gague). However, I learned to knit in the round, splice wool and make an I-Cord all in one neat, and fast, little project. I was addicted and knit three more.
Although it's meant for children, I've knit four of these hats in total, all for adults: one for my sister (see, she has received at least one knitted gift after all!), one for my sister-in-law in England (London), one for a friend currently living in Kingston and one for me. I managed to get four adult hats from purchasing only two kits! The picture above is of my hat - the only one left uncompleted and the only knitting project I 'finished' when I was in school last year. I finished it after the weather warmed up so it is the promise of fall that has me interested in sewing in the ends which, lets be honest, will probably take 15 minutes of my time and I have to wonder why that hasn't been done before.
This is the last WIP I'll post today. This is a design from Mags Kandis' 'Mission Falls Harvest' (http://www.missionfalls.com)/ book and Mags is almost single handedly responsible for my starting knitting again. I love Mission Falls wool and cotton, I love the colours, I love the feel of the wool to knit, I love it, love it, love it, er, I think you get the idea. Yes, this obsessoin has become a bit of a problem. This is Mags' 'Zelda Pull' in Mission Falls 1824 Wool colour 21 (denim). I waited ages for this wool to come in and it's perfect. Another item that needs to be finished. I'm learning how to do that so that's my excuse for not having it done yet. I'm slow! I'm hoping to get to my LYS shortly for more instruction (and encouraging words) to get this lovely piece finished ASAP.