Thursday, March 29, 2007


I'm tearing around the house like a mad thing! I leave the house today at 4:00 PM, en route to Calgary for Grandma H's 90th birthday bash on Saturday. I will not be posting again until, at least, Easter Saturday.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 26, 2007


I decided early on in this pregnancy that, if I made it to the third trimester (we’ve had problems in the past, enough said), I would treat myself to a pedicure during the final three months. Maybe even more than one as sandal weather is approaching (she says hopefully knowing full well she’ll complain about the heat when it does come. But, she’s sick of bending over trying to tie laces and slip on sandals seem pretty appealing right about now). I figured, correctly, that it would become increasingly difficult to reach my toes, let alone make them look pretty. Here they are in their blogging debut, 'looking pretty'.

I must admit that I’m using this pregnancy as an excuse to have a pedicure. I never make my toes looks pretty. I love playing with and wearing makeup but I’ve never been a girlie girl when it comes to nail polish on toes or hands. I’m more a ‘cut em when they need em’ kind of gal. I do not file my nails and I care little about cuticles or how you go about getting rid of them. I’ve had a manicure very few times in my life: when I graduated from high school, when I got married and today. It seems to me I may have also had one when I've stood at a wedding or two but, even so, we’re not talking a lot of nail care in 35+ years of life.

So, off I went this morning for a treat day. Toes, hands and some waxing on the ol’ uni-brow (my thanks to whatever side of the family it is I get that from…). A spa company in Ottawa has renovated a gorgeous old farmhouse just up the road from my house and this was my first time in the new facility. It’s gorgeous (check out The Spa’s website if you’re interested). With my three treatments, I managed to get around most of the facility and the owners have certainly done a nice job. The experience of having the treatments was lovely as well. I almost fell asleep during the pedicure. Spoiled. Rotten.

Para had a bit of a spa treatment this weekend too. This is "Para: the Cut Version (it turns out she’d been running around in the ‘uncut’ version of herself all along – eek!).

Every spring, DH decides that the dog needs a trim. She gets a very heavy winter coat and, along her hind haunches, the fur really mats up and seems to be very uncomfortable for her. However, normally I’m around to offer comment on the ‘trim’. This time I went to get groceries. This is what I found when I got home…It’s a good thing hair grows back.

This may be an indication of how dim the spring light has been here in eastern Ontario this year. This plant thinks it's Christmas!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Well, don’t I feel special?!? Lookie what my blog friend Renée sent me! This lovely parcel arrived in the mail yesterday – I love snail mail – and what a lovely surprise it was!

  • TWO balls of Lano Gatto Wool Gatto!

  • Baby theme stitch markers (go to FroggieMeanie to see them - March 22, 2007 post. Try as I might, I cannot get a decent picture of these little markers. Renée’s superior photography shows them off to perfection!);
  • A lovely book (I’ve already read it and love it. The illustrations and story are great and, I really enjoy the textured parts of Bee) for baby and I and
  • A very nice knitting based card from my pal, Renée!

My son, I am one lucky, lucky duck!

Renée is somewhat responsible for me starting my own blog last summer. I really enjoyed her blog and wanted to comment on one of her posts when – lo and behold – I tried to register to make a comment on blogger and ended up with my own blog! Renée is a very patient and generous Knitting ‘Jedi’ Master and has done her best to keep me from the dark side of knitting (I think that means synthetics – remember the old Phentex slipper yarn/stuff/what was it anyways – ewww!). Renée and I are both Newfoundland and Labradorians too so we don’t need to translate certain words for each other, as we sometimes do with those around us (e.g. squish).

Thank you very much for the continued welcome to blogdom, knitting expertise and motherhood, Renée! I shall not forget you when I move to the land of Fleece Artist and Baadeck Yarns!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I’m one slow knitter. Look at this! It’s a 3 month old sized sweater and it’s still not done (nothing to do with the other 99 WIPs around this house but, I digress). I started it immediately after finishing the matching hat but wasn’t pleased with how my increases looked. It turns out that I should have been using a cable increase so I learned how to do that on Tuesday, up at my LYS (thanks, Louise!). Here it is with the increases very visible.

The sweater is knit in one piece so I am now working on the sleeves, in anticipation of soon being able to shape the neck. Although you can’t see it from the original pattern picture I posted ages ago, this sweater even has pockets! I had decided not to put them in but, on second though, how cute is a sweater with pockets for an infant??? Very cute, I think! Besides, as this is a very plain sweater, I think the pockets will add a bit of interest.

It’s been an ‘at home’ couple of days. Embarrassingly, I didn’t leave the house yesterday. Why? Because I had NO pants to wear outside! Therefore, I sat in the basement most of the day alternating between knitting, hanging laundry, putting laundry in the dryer, washing or folding laundry. Sitting in my PJ bottoms and one of DH’s T-shirts, I might add. The laundry is almost done now - I’d let it go a bit long, apparently. It only got really embarrassing when DH called yesterday afternoon and asked if "I had my clothes on yet." I could hear one of his co-workers in the background going "la, la, la, la’’ and could picture him covering his ears so he didn’t hear too much more of that conversation!

And here is a picture of our friend’s dog, Maggie. Maggie arrived this morning. She will be here for a few days while her family is gallivanting in the US (Boston area). So far, she has already managed to play in the back yard with Para, eat some snow (what’s left of it), have a couple of short naps on her bed and wander and sniff excessively. Maggie doesn’t have cats at her house so this house sure smells interesting. Checkers was just down checking Maggie out but they generally seem to be ignoring each other with no ill effects. Maggie really tries to make friends with the cats and, historically, has approached Checkers (Tobi is too much of a timid cat for this) with her tail just a-wagging. She doesn’t understand that cats don’t respect tail wagging as a form of introduction!

As you can see from the patterned legs in this picture, I haven’t graduated to real clothes yet today either…

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lookie What I've been up to...

Nope, not knitting. I’m quickly realising that Baby doesn’t much like sewing. Well, to be precise, Baby doesn’t much like the bending Mommy does when she sews, cuts quilting fabric, trims quilt borders, etc. I’m sure all you babies out there (and those of you who used to be babies) can sympathise. Therefore, I’m not knitting in a desperate attempt to get some quilting done before Baby learns to squirm any harder in protest and do both of us damage. Thank goodness for the protection of amniotic fluid…Baby likes knitting therefore knitting will occur when sewing becomes impossible.

I am going to tease you again today. Remember I said I was over at H’s sewing on Friday? Well, I’m working on yet another pressie for someone who may occasionally look at this blog. Therefore, I can’t blog full pictures. However, I decided I would live on the edge and give you a sample of what I’ve been working on anyway.

I’m even giving you a link to the pattern because A) the recipient doesn’t know who s/he is yet and B) the colours I’m using are so crazy different from the pattern page that it almost doesn’t even look like the same quilt top.

The quilt design is called ‘Magic Tiles’ and was created by Kathleen Bissett. It’s a lovely, quick (if you sew every day. It takes a bit longer for those of us with several hundred – yes, that’s hundred – WIP’s on the go) quilt. I started this project with my Aunt J in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland…um...last Christmas (that’s 2005, not 2006). She had taken a class on how to make this quilt top and completed the most gorgeous quilt. Therefore, last Christmas when DH and I were home, my aunt and I had a sewing day. Well, she was entertaining and making supper while I was playing in her sewing room with her sewing machine, rotary cutter and cutting board. She did come down to supervise every now and then though. Today I finished sewing on the first of four outer borders. I’m making my quilt a little larger than the original. I’m a little stuck at this point as I now need to go to the quilt store and - gasp - buy more quilting fabric to finish the project.

After I finished sewing on the border for Magic Tiles, I cut this stack of material for another, new project.

I have to admit that I don’t really care for cutting material for quilting at the best of times. I’m a perfectionist and I never get a perfect cut. I’m enjoying this process even less now that I have a big belly. However, I’m trying to cut in small increments as H and I get together again this Friday and I want to have some new fabric to sew up for our latest ‘together’ project. Cutting in small increments also helps to keep Baby happy (see paragraph one).

I purchased this fabric in Hindeloopen, The Netherlands during our time in Germany. I really wanted to make a blue and white Dutch quilt and am finally starting it. I’m blaming the timing strictly on H (sorry, H!). Ever since H and her sweetie moved to Ottawa (from Germany, where we met. Her OH is military too), we’ve been talking about making this quilt together. Not only did she have the same idea for a blue and white quilt but, we had even chosen the exact same pattern for our project, ages in advance of ever discussing it! We do not have the same fabric, though, so our end results are going to be very different.

The pattern we’re using is called ‘Peppermint Swirl’ by Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries (from her ‘The Thimbleberries Book of Quilts’ book).

The swirl of the pinwheel blocks reminded both H and I of windmills – thus the inspiration for a Dutch quilt. Forgive the picture – our scanner is still not hooked up from our upstairs to downstairs move.

Off to putter!

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I did not get a chance to post anything yesterday as it was a sewing day with H. I got lots done and, eventually, will have a really lovely project to show you. Instead of a fibre related post, I decided I would post about our best friend.

Para and I visiting the Cape Anguille lighthouse near Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.

I received a comment from Mrs. H regarding our Border Collie, Para, and decided to do an exposé on our puppy. I am very aware that, with a new baby being introduced into our home within the next few months, our little Border Collie may begin to feel a little left out. Therefore, I’m trying my best to spoil her rotten now and hope to do so just as much as after the baby is born (luckily, doing as little as lying on the floor with your arm over her counts as ‘spoiling’ to Para. And I’m sure I’ll be tired enough to want to lie on the floor with her on a regular basis!). Between cuddles and regular walks, she’s pretty easy to please.

A stick is always welcome for this Border Collie. On a hike near Battle Harbour, Labrador.

WARNING: Skip this post if you aren’t some kind of extreme animal lover…
  • Para is a pure bred Border Collie, bred by Jackie Parkin at Besslin Border Collies. When she was 10 weeks old, Para made her first aeroplane trip (certainly not her last) to Goose Bay, Labrador to live with us.
  • Para is the truest of Scottish doggies as she was born on January 25th – the same day as the Scotland’s national poet hero, Robbie Burns.
  • Para is 12 years old but someone forgot to tell her she is getting older as she still acts like a five year old dog. She is having some trouble getting her back end up and down these days, so she no longer has to ‘sit’ for treats. Other than that, when we go on a walk, you’d never know she gets stiff in the morning!
  • Para never outgrew her ‘teething’ treat of ice cubes and is the first being in the kitchen if she hears the ice cube tray being cracked. A very healthy snack that’s great for her teeth!
  • Para’s name is Scottish Gaelic and actually means ‘Pete’ in Gaelic (Like Para, DH is of Scottish descent). However, we thought that name sounded kind of feminine so, chose it anyway. Her nicknames over the years include ‘Paragraph’, ‘Parawara’, ‘Parascara’, ‘Parapaint’…I’m sure you get the idea. Because of the human names in the house, the three of us are collectively known as ‘The Three P’s’.

Relaxing at a rest stop in Quebec en route to our summer holidays in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • We have never worked Para on sheep or other livestock. She is a household pet. As DH is in the military and we move often, we knew it would be too difficult to keep up the herding practice with livestock. Additionally, I am not quite ready for my own sheep. However, Para gets a nice long walk every day (we wanted an active dog to encourage us to be active and she has certainly kept up her end of the bargain). That, together with lots of indoor play (tug, fetching the ball and games of hide and seek!), she has not displayed any destructive behaviour that bright Border Collie’s sometimes invent. That being said, she does love to dig outside…

Para and DH in a photo op after a sandy hike on Cape Breton Island.

  • Although she has never been formally trained, Para does her best to keep Mother Nature in line and has worked really hard to develop her Border Collie herding instinct. She has the Border Collie ‘stare’ (also known as ‘the eye’) down quite well. She herds any birds from our property or camping sites – no landing rights at all when the Border Collie is on patrol! Squirrels are the same. She will stand and ‘stare’ at squirrels in our back yard for hours. She also herds our cats. As you can imagine, the cats do not like this behaviour. However, Para is a real tattletale and if she feels one of the cats is up to something she should not be, Para finds us and whines and then runs back to the crime scene hoping we will follow and catch the nasty creature in the act.

Para and DH on Saddle Island, Red Bay, Labrador visiting the Basque Whalers archeological site.

  • Para is a bit biased. For example, in our house one of the cats is the ‘evil sister’ and one of the cats is the ‘good sister’. Tobi, for example (the tortie coloured one), is Para’s good sister. Even if Tobi is clawing at the couch (which Para knows darn well the cat should not be doing) and we discipline Tobi, Para is right there looking at us as if to say "What’s wrong? Surely Tobi couldn’t be doing anything wrong?!? Not Tobi?!?" Now if it’s Checkers, our new black and white cat, misbehaving, Para is the first one in, driving her away from whatever she is doing. Para used to also herd her other ‘evil sister’ – our cat Nala who passed away a year and a half ago.

Para and I on the beach in my favourite area of the world: Norris Point in Gros Morne National Park overlooking beautiful Bonne Bay, Newfoundland. Woody Point is barely discernable across the bay.

  • Para is quite used to flying and has logged more airline points than a lot of Border Collies her age. For example, she has flown from Goose Bay, Labrador to Edmonton, Alberta. From Edmonton, Alberta to Frankfurt, Germany. From Frankfurt, Germany, to Ottawa, Ontario. And a few other flights when we were visiting family and friends (e.g. from Goose Bay to Toronto, etc). Most of these flights were a result of a military posting message and occurred a few years apart. We have always tried to take Para on any of our holidays, even if it’s meant flying her. We hope to drive to Nova Scotia with her for our move this summer and I’m sure she’ll be much happier about that. She is always fine when she gets off a plane but does seem happier to be with us and we’re certainly happier having her right next to us. We will also be driving in our 1988 VW Westfalia camper van and Para LOVES to camp!

Para always has a ball at the ready. Camping along the beautiful Saint John River, New Brunswick.

  • Para is a wonderful companion and my right arm. She follows me everywhere and even tells me when it’s time to go to bed. If DH goes to bed first and Para thinks I’m up too late, she will come over and stand and stare at me and sigh. If a couple of sighs aren’t effective in getting me to come to bed, she gives a BIG sigh before lying down to wait for me!

Ten wonderful things about my dog amy be enough to inundate even my most faithful of blogging fans with. Hopefully Mrs. H isn’t regretting asking any questions by now!

PS With this exposé, I may just be out of the ‘dog house’ with regards to Para’s complaint of over abundant cat information being posted on this blog. It’s now time for a cuddle!

Happy St. Patty's Day! It's the day to celebrate all of the great 'Patty's' of the world!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Although all of you out there in the blogosphere probably aren’t going to notice (apart, perhaps, from noticing a decline in blog posts from mid-June to early August), this is what I’ll be up to over the next few months:
  • April/May: selling one house in one province and buying a new house in another province;
    June/July: giving birth to our first baby:
  • Two weeks after said baby is born: moving infant child, three pets, DH and some household goods to NOVA SCOTIA!
  • That’s right! We’re moving EAST to Nova Scotia (told ya you’d be jealous, Renee). That is just ONE province shy of the real ‘home’, Newfoundland and Labrador. Believe it or not, though, it will still take two hours longer to drive to my parents house in Upper Gullies, Conception Bay South from Greenwood than it took us to drive from Cold Lake, Alberta (where we lived from 1996 – 1998) to Victoria, BC where DH’s parents live. Newfoundland is one crazy big island.

We are being posted to Greenwood, Nova Scotia in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. Although I likely visited that part of Nova Scotia as a child (Mudder? Fadder? Wanna answer that one for me?), the only time I remember visiting as an adult was in 1998. That was the year DH and I moved to Germany and we were selling our truck to my brother who was living in Halifax at the time (the one who lives in the UK now). Little Brother and I went on a bit of a holiday around Nova Scotia that fall and one of our stops was Greenwood. I wanted to stop into Greenwood to do a recce (‘recce’ is military speak for ‘reconnaissance mission’ when somebody goes in first to check out a situation). I’ve made it a practice to drive around any military bases I’m close to in case we end up getting posted there. It’s almost ten years later but the recce still paid off as I do remember this very pretty part of Nova Scotia.

So, if you sense a certain strained air in my posts from here on in, the above might give you a small indication of why…

Seeing as I really like the look of pictures on a post and I can’t very well take a picture of our posting message, here are a couple of ‘before’ pictures of our master bedroom, because we decided this was one of the ‘we have to…’ projects that had to be done before putting the house up for sale. This project is just one of, maybe, twenty projects on an ever increasing list. Unlike Yarn Harlot, I did not clean up the room before taking these pictures (well, not cleaned up apart from the fact that most of the furniture has been removed but that’s only because DH was faster than my camera finger). I rationalised this lack of attention to cleanliness detail by thinking that a messy room in ‘before’ pictures only makes the ‘after’ pictures that much more profound.

The following photograph is of the lovely big window in our bedroom that encouraged me to use a really dark green paint on the walls as the window provides enought light for the room not to appear too small (that window was one of the first big purchases we made in this, our first purchased home. Jeez, windows are expensive!):

The right side of the window. Note the 'almost shag' 20 year old original carpet. We are replacing the carpet with the same laminate flooring that we've used in our two guest bedroom and the basement renovations:

Ignore the laundry and move onto exploring the 'cheater ensuite' (meaning you can use that little door on the right, beyond the drafting table, to get to the main bathroom) and the 'walk in closet' (meaning you walk past them on the way to the bathroom):

Although you can't really tell from this picture,

the ceiling in the bedroom is spackled/stuccoed (is 'stuccoed' a word?). As in all of the other rooms we've renovated, with the exception of the hallway, DH has scraped the stucco off the ceiling. I don't like the stucco look from 20 years ago and there is NO way to keep it clean.

Renovation update: the carpet is gone, the ceiling has been scraped and sanded, the ceiling and walls were washed and primed, and DH already has coat one of Benjamin Moore's 'Guacamole' green on the walls!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Must. Have. Something. Creative. To. Post…Must. Work. Harder.

I’d forgotten how motivating having a blog is. I’m constantly amazed by all of the parents with small children (e.g. Renee, Samantha and Elizabeth and…) who seem to regularly post about their FOs (Finished Objects). I’d give my eye teeth for a FO and my only child (apart from the three, four legged ones) is still incubating so I can't even use that as an excuse!

By the end of yesterday, I’d hoped to have two FOs to post. Actually, I have 5 but one of my projects (which I can’t completely post about because they are for Mother’s Day and I don’t want the recipients to get a preview! However, the following are 'teasers' of the projects in progress so you’ll know I’m not just joshin’ you) is the same project, only I made it 4 times so I’m thinking that that only counts as one project.

Despite doing the following yesterday:
  • Going through and chucking more paper and assorted junk from our basement move in (the entire process could take months),
  • Having a lovely meal out with a friend,
  • Going on the first spring hike of 2007 with DH and Para the Border Collie (that mention should get me extra bonus points…see March 12, 2007 post) and
  • Vacuuming the basement (we have someone coming in tomorrow to measure for new carpet on the stairs and in the living room and new vinyl flooring for the main floor and the hair balls around this place scare even me, and I’m used pretty tough with hair balls!).

Despite all of that, I was STILL sitting at my craft table last night, hard at work, trying to get another FO to post for those lovely blog fans out there who keep me going! You people are great – I very much need motivation to get any project to become a FO. I’m a little lacking in the whole follow through of a project, I must admit. I love to receive blog comments and, I know, it’s hard to get comments if you don’t produce the occasional FO.

It is unfortunate that I wanted the varnish on the following project to cure overnight (probably an unnecessary precaution for water based varnish that is quick drying but, as I’m butting antique fabric against the frame, I didn’t want to take any chances), or I would have posted this last night. Voilà! May I present a FO that even meets my fibre related standards!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Well, apart from my very excited post Friday night, I didn’t get much knitting done over the weekend. I did manage to play with friends and have a great weekend with DH and the pets though!

I’m in trouble. Para has caught up on her blog reading and made it known that there have been NO Border Collie pictures posted recently. Then she started comparing the number of cat pictures posted to dog pictures posted…yep. Things got a little ugly. Here is an accusatory Border Collie.

Yes, I went shamefully into the TV room and played a game of tug with her after this. One can only hold off Border Collie charms for so long.

Here is a glimpse of what I’ve been working on recently.

I purchased the quilt block several years ago when I was antique shopping with my in-laws on a visit to BC. The block is completely hand sewn in a complicated pattern that I wouldn’t try. It’s interesting because it is completely finished on the back as if it was specifically made for framing.

Here is the frame for framing the quilt block. I won't tell you how long this has been sitting in a Michael's bag waiting for a piece of action...

And here is the freshly stained frame with coat one of varnish on it.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


This is what I did last (Friday) night. I’m so happy! Thanks, Renee, for your help! Renee really has an ‘in’ on those cables. I didn’t follow the OXO cable pattern exactly (as you cable experts will be able to tell from my picture above as I was watching Hook (LOVE that movie!) while I was knitting. However, with a little more concentration, I’m confident I can pull off adding some of these cables, and some knitting interest, to the middle panel of my baby’s blanket. All I need to do now is finish another 2.5 balls of yarn so that I can start the middle. The genius of the cable addition plan though, is that now I have something to look forward to!

Hmm. Probably not the most beautiful blog pictures I've ever posted. My apologies. We finally have our computer moved to the basement but don't have the scanner yet hooked up - both of these photos probably would have been better scanned.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Yes, Sir, there’s nothing like finishing up a ball of yarn. I suppose knitting should be about watching the fabric you’re making coming into being, thinking fondly about the recipient or the cause it’s being knit for (e.g. charity), about the intricate weave of colour of your materials and the play of pattern as it unfolds. Knitting certainly is all of those things for me. However, I have to say that there are few greater satisfactions for me on this knitting journey than finishing up a ball of yarn. I’ve even stayed up the past couple of nights to finish ball 2 of 10 just so I could blog about it! As you can see, the pattern is progressing. The only problem is, I’m getting a bit bored with my design. I like the look of the basket weave and the moss stitch but I’m just getting a wee bit bored with knitting it. Therefore, expect to see some exciting changes in the middle panel of this blanket after another ball or so. I figured Astra is easy to practice with so I may as well learn a new technique while I’m knitting this little blanket. The OXO cable from my Knitting Bible book looks intriguing but, as I have never knit cables before, I need to practice first and determine how difficult it is. Are cables hard?

A friend of mine commented that the blanket looks like it’s knitting up quickly. It’s not. I’m using 4 mm needles and Astra which means it’s not the fastest knit in the world. Nothing like Mission Falls! As I’m not the fastest knitter in the world, it will take me quite awhile to finish this project (and my long delayed and very pretty mystery WIP has to get done before month’s end). However, with all of the aeroplane and road trips DH and I have planned over the next two months, I’m sure to make some progress.

My beading class was a lot of fun. We made five projects in all: two bracelets, one ‘floating’ necklace, one necklace on a cord and a pair of earrings. I certainly learned enough to make some stitch markers and will be doing so soon. I would not have chosen most of the beads that we used but the class was about learning the different techniques – to hook you into buying more beads! I was pretty strong and only walked out of there with a few more beads to make some cool stitch holders. My friend and I may do another course for fun. It was a nice day out of the house.

On Wednesday I went shopping with a friend. Our mission was to find a dressy maternity outfit for an important event to be held for a very special lady on March 31st. My grandmother-in-law (DH’s mother’s mother) turns 90 years old on April 1st. The family is having a bit of a do to commemorate the occasion. DH’s mother comes from the beautiful Kootenay valley of British Columbia, from a small town named Creston. Grandma H still lives there on the family’s small hobby farm, by herself for the most part (although she is surrounded by friends), all year long. Therefore, at the end of the month, this auspicious event has managed to convince pregnant me to brave the airlines once more (I swore I wasn’t going to fly again while pregnant after my trip back from Newfoundland) and go for a visit.

Seeing as I spend most of my time in jogging pants or pyjamas these days, I really felt the need to upgrade to honest to goodness dressy maternity clothes resulting in Wednesday’s shopping day. I/we managed to get the main detail – a lovely blouse. I’m hitting another maternity store over the next week or so for some dressy black pants. I’m lucky in that, thus far, my ankles and feet have not swollen a great deal and I should be able to fit into my regular dress shoes although I will confirm that ahead of time, just in case. I am a little concerned as airline travel has historically made my ankles swell up quite a bit however, I will have a day or so to recover before having to get dressed up for the party so the ol’ ankles should have calmed down by then.
And here is yet another photo of one of my cats – Checkers – playing ‘dead’. I think she looks hysterical like this. We regularly see her in this pose when heat from the sun or our fireplace is involved. I’m learning all kinds of new cat behaviour with this little beauty!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I took this picture of Tobi and Checkers yesterday. Although they are not best friends, they are tolerating each other. This is the closest I’ve ever seen them together, on their own. Luckily, in her time ‘on the streets’ (as I have no information about what happened to Checkers before her adoption, I can only assume she was ‘on the street’ for at least a few hours!), Checkers did not learn how to scrap like an outdoor cat. Actually, with the way she fights with Tobi, I’m thinking it’s a good thing she was picked up by the Humane Society as there is no way she could protect herself considering how she fights: lots of pawing and no bared claws. I was worried she would beat on Tobi, who is eleven years her senior, so Checkers' inability to fight like a tom cat is wonderful, though likely embarrassing to the species.

To my and DH’s surprise, Tobi has become the dominant cat. That isn’t to say that Checkers doesn’t chase Tobi around the house on a regular basis. However, when Tobi’s had enough, Checkers is backing off and/or running away. Usually, Tobi doesn’t even raise a paw – it’s all in the facial expression. And, I must say, it’s a pretty ferocious face when she makes it! We never knew she had it in her and are both pleased that A) although not best friends, they do seem to keep each other company and B) no blood has been shed.

By the way, Tobi is having a bath in this picture. Maintenance is very important to this cat.

I thought it was time for a cat update seeing as other things seem to have taken priority in my blog posts these days! Now, if I could only get the time to recast on that cat bed project from aeons ago, I'm sure I'd find out that they would really enjoy it.

I'm off to take a beading class at The Sassy Bead Co. with some friends today. It's a three hour beading course and, apparently, we're working on five projects in those three hours. I really want to make myself some of those really nice stitch markers that I keep seeing online so this should give me the basic information I need to do so. I think I'm ready for an afternoon out. In other words, my food is packed. Now, if it would just warm up a wee bit for me to walk Para. I'm a wimp. I guess my blood thinned due to the gorgeous weekend we just had. It's -26 this morning with a -41 wind chill (I just confirmed those temperatures with Environment Canada so I'm not even exaggerating!). That's a bit nippy for even Border Collies who love walkies!

Monday, March 05, 2007


I was reading Lillian Beckwith’s book ‘A Rope in Case’ last week (I love all of Lillian Beckwith’s books. They are written about the Isle of Skye in/off Scotland in the 1950s /early 1960s and are both funny and whimsical about a way of life that was almost affected by modern technology then, likely almost gone now. DH’s family is of Scottish origin - the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands - so the whole country holds a bit of a draw for me. We've also had the opportunity to visit several times. These are a series of books that I just read over and over again), and noticed the following knitting superstition:

"Never cast on knitting on a Friday or you’ll not finish it."

I thought that was interesting and, I’m pretty sure at least one of the WIPs in the cupboard may have been cast on on a Friday. Hmm. I wonder can you counteract the problem by ripping a project out and casting on something new on another day? How far do you take this?!?

After seeing this superstition, I was wondering about other knitting superstitions and found a bunch online. They were pretty interesting and I’m glad I haven’t started knitting for Baby until now! Apparently it’s bad luck to start working on baby clothes for a baby that is not yet conceived. Did you know it’s also bad luck for a baby to wear green? For fear the fairies will take the baby away! Then again, to use a good Newfoundland and Labrador superstition, if you did knit something for a baby in green, I guess you could ensure the outfit had pockets and, as long as there are breadcrumbs in the pockets, the baby should be okay. Unless, the baby has to be old enough to throw the crumbs at the fairies and then run away themselves… Whew. All these new superstitious worries!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but we have been renovating our basement. It’s been an ongoing project for about three years. The length of time it has taken has something to do with starting the basement renovation and then throwing every other renovation project under the sun into the fray and getting them done before the basement. The time has come to move in down there and I look forward to posting pictures about the lovely new space shortly. I’m turning into a mole as the basement is fast becoming my favourite space in the house, only challenged by sitting next to the lovely gas fireplace in the living room with a good book/knitting project. I love the colour that I picked out for the walls, I love the light from the pot lights, I love the fact that I now have a finished laundry room, I love, I love!

I am most pleased with a ‘moving wall’ in the basement that DH and I (mainly DH) designed to go in front of the furnace. The whole wall moves out to allow access to the furnace for maintenance etc. When the wall moves back in, it is covered in cabinets for my yarn and quilting fabric! The wall is still a bit rough as DH is working his way around the room with the trim however, here is a sneak peak as I’ve already filled it.

The yarn stash – small but satisfying:

And the quilting cotton stash – only quilting cotton. My general sewing fabric needs it’s own wall:

This is the knitting that I’ve been working on over the weekend. It’s the Baby’s blanket that I ‘designed’ (with help from my LYS ladies) in Patons Astra, Colour: Fun N’ Games. The yarn is really pretty and I know it will wash well when the baby spits up on it. I had bought it before I started thinking about using only natural fibres on a baby. I know Yarn Harlot has some pretty strong opinions on this issue however, I am also a believer in using what is in my stash. Therefore, the next baby blanket will be knit out of the lovely Mission Falls wool is not yet in my stash but which I adore so much.

Friday, March 02, 2007

  1. Although I’d read books and felt somewhat aware of some of the issues I’d be experiencing while pregnant, NOTHING prepared me for what ‘nausea during pregnancy’ was really about. I’m not normally a puker. Prior to getting pregnant, the last two times I remember throwing up I had mild food poisoning. I’ve got to be pretty darn sick to throw up. Even now, in week 23, I could go at any time. It’s amazing. I’m going about my business, doing fine, when all of a sudden I’m urging like a cat with a hairball. At least that’s what DH likens the sounds I make to. Apparently, I’m a little loud. Oh yeah, and apparently we need thicker doors on the bathrooms or DH is going to turn into a ‘sympathy puker’ any day now.
  2. How sensitive my nose is. Smells such as fast food grease smells, any restaurant cooking smells, DH’s new deodorant smells, a change in dishwasher detergent for heaven’s sake (!) etc would send me running to the toilet.
  3. My nose is so sensitive that I cannot currently knit with real wool. Honest to goodness. A smell I usually love almost completely turned me off knitting for nine months! Thus, I’ve developed a renewed interest in other fibres such as cotton and acrylic for knitting. Note: even though this issue deals with the same problem as Issue #2, I felt it deserved it’s own paragraph as this is a knitting blog and, in knitting terms, this side effect is terrifying!
  4. How hard my belly is. Perhaps because my only experience with a large belly (my own!) prior to pregnancy was that large belly’s are ‘squoogy’ (that’s a new Patty-word for you). Not so my pregnant belly. Neither I nor DH can get over how taut my little belly is!
  5. What feeling hungry really means. This coming from someone who, prior to getting pregnant, had to have a snack every two hours or so just to keep going. I’m a ‘grazer’ so I figured I would be prepared for pregnancy hunger. Although I score very high in ensuring that I always have snack food with me because that aspect I’m used to, I was not prepared for how ravenous I feel all of a sudden. Give me food, NOW!!! Unfortunately, if I don’t get food now, issue #1 rears its ugly head.
  6. How absolutely tired I’ve been. It wasn’t so much that I fell asleep tying up my shoes. It was more that I couldn’t come up with the energy to find my shoes, let alone put them on. Or how I can only schedule one or two ‘activities’ into a day without having to go to bed for two hours. For example, dust the main floor (note: this is one floor of my house. I have three floors, including the basement, to dust/clean so this means that, just the dusting for housework, takes me three days. No wonder it feels like all I do around here is clean), go to bed for two hours. Vacuum any floor (one floor, no stairs involved), go to bed for the rest of the day. Not surprisingly, DH has almost completely taken over the vacuuming in this house. It’s only over the past week that I haven’t had to take a nap every day. Mind you, I did have a three hour nap the day before yesterday and still had a great night's sleep.
  7. How my lack of energy has affected my fitness level. I ran a half marathon in May of 2005. I’m an avid runner and, when I was in school and despite the stress there, managed to get to the gym a couple a times a week. Now? Walking the dog has become my only form of exercise (besides the laundry. Hey! I have to climb stairs for that and that’s exercise with the weight I’m carrying around!) and that’s only on my good days. I finally walked Para her full regular DH walk today and I’ll probably be feeling it the rest of the week. I was up to at least an 8 km run three days a week in the fall before I got pregnant. Sigh.
  8. How really and truly LARGE my butt has gotten. Enough said.
  9. And, what a rip off, how small my bust has remained! I mean, all those pregnancy books about your boobs gaining POUNDS when you’re pregnant, kind of had my hopes up. I’ve never had cleavage. I figured, even with a gi-normous (another Patty word) belly, that this was my chance. Nope, nada. I’ve gone from a –A cup to a –B cup - a change so minuscule that the only reason I went out and bought new bras was because my rib cage is no longer 36" around. Pathetic really.
  10. And how bloody hard it is becoming to get in and out of our little Mazda Protegé. Somewhere along the way, a woman was involved with car design. What else is that handle on the roof above the door for if not for heaving pregnant bodies out of the passenger side of the car? The steering wheel works nicely when I’m driving…
  11. How truly amazing it was to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time and to experience the baby kicking and moving around in there. Truly, truly too amazing to describe. And, note, yesterday (March 1, 2007) was the first time I not only felt my belly moving from the baby kicking, but SAW my belly moving too!
  12. To be continued…

Thursday, March 01, 2007


This post is dedicated April over at Clandestine & Candour. It seems that, during my blogging break, April lost and found her original blog at Coffee Crazy Knitters. April is also the genius behind the Knit2BTied podcast - check it out if you haven't already. Sadly, April is taking a break from podcasting but is following her dreams in other areas so, three cheers for April!

Anyway, back in DECEMBER 2006, April tagged me for a '6 Weird Things About Me' meme and I still have not done it! My apologies, April. Recently, Renee also got tagged for the same meme and it reminded me about April's tag. I'll blame my tardiness on pregnancy hormones making me forgetful (can't wait to hear my excuse once the baby is born but I assume it will be something like 'late due to sleep deprivation induced coma'...).

6 Weird Things About Me:

  1. I pick up things off the floor with my toes. Yes, strange but true. However, I'm finding that, as my belly gets bigger, this is one weird thing with great potential. It saves bending over and maintains a certain amount of flexibility. I also know of at least one other friend that does this so maybe this behaviour isn't that weird. Then again, it could be an indication that I also have weird friends...
  2. I love children's books. For years, I've used my godchildren or other friend or relative's child as an excuse to head to the children's book section but, I have to be honest. Nine times out of ten, I'm going for myself. I love all kinds of children's books: picture books , chapter books, you name it. I think children's book illustrators are some of the most creative types of artists in the world! I am developing quite the children's book collection. It remains to be seen if I will 'share' with my own child or just create their own little library in an attempt to keep mine intact (thus putting my shelf of books over 36" off the floor!). My dream job would be to become a children's author.
  3. I'm not crazy about the taste of alcohol. I might have a tablespoon of Bailey's once a year, or one cooler on ocasion but, normally, I don't have a drop. People must have a certain perception about Newfoundland and Labradorians because, when offered a drink and refusing, I often get funny looks. I just don't like the after taste of alcohol. Give me a non-alcoholic daiquiri any day! When we learned we were being posted to Germany for four years, DH thought "Good! With all the great wine in Germany, we'll turn her into a wine drinker for sure!." Nope. Didn't happen. On the upside, DH always has a designated driver (DD) and my DD experiences have allowed and taught me how to drive a standard/stick shift (something I think ALL people should be able to do as a safety precaution!) and to also drive some pretty nifty vehicles.
  4. After thirteen years of living together, DH and I have just launched into the next phase of our electronic lives with the purchase of a television. Yup. Thirteen years without one. And, because DH did the shopping, it's a very large one (50" LCD projection) with lots of home theatre system parts. NEVER send a computer and electronic engineer into The Future Shop with free reign! It's a little scary and I'm concerned about the slippery slope we may now be on (and worry about my arse geting wider is only the start). DH and I love to watch movies and, up until about a year ago, were pretty content to sit with the laptop on a chair in front of us in the living room and watch the little 12" screen. However, we'd both been getting frustrated by the sound quality (what else can you expect from laptop speakers?) and, with a baby coming, I was a little concerned about the social implications of not having a television for a kindergardener. I don't mind being weird and missing out on some conversations about exciting commercials and reality TV shows but maybe my child won't like the idea. So, we have a television. For movies. We are still not hooked up to 'real' TV although I hear the NHL playoffs are coming and DH is a hockey fan...
  5. I'm allergic to the sun and too much heat. For those who have been around me in high humidity and/or heat, they would likely argue that I'm a bear in those conditions! When we moved to Ontario, our two biggest needs for a house were 1) a fenced back yard for the dog and 2) air conditioning to ensure the continuation of our marriage. I'm that bad. Come May or whenever the heat hits Ottawa, I turn into a vampire and only come out at night. Part of the problem is that the combination of the sun mixed with my sweat creates a heat rash like no other. I won't go into the gory details but to say that the discomfort of it has almost driven me stark raving mad would come close to describing the experience. And, once I have a flare up, I'm like it for weeks. Unfortunately, it carries over to the winter too. I can't sit too close to the fireplace or I will get a heat rash from that! Similarily, I have to watch how many covers I put on the bed or under a cuddle quilt on the couch just in case my legs get overheated. Hey, you wanted weird!
  6. Although I'm an avid swimmer, a lifeguard and a swimming instructor, I hate getting my face wet when I'm in the shower or taking a bath. I'll even stick my head out and wipe my face off if water trickles down my face from my wet hair. I cannot understand these soap commercials on television where the person in the shower is face on to and directly in or udner the spray of water (apart from the fact that the camera person is trying to hide the model's 'bit's' for family viewing so maybe the poor model has to go face first into the spray. You couldn't pay me enough to do that job).

It took me days to come up with this list! Isn't that weird? I could go on and on with this list but I needed time to make the best weirdness choices for sharing! Now that I've bared my soul, I'm going back to knitting...