Thursday, August 30, 2007

Only One More Day!

Seeking more blogiversary contest entries! The contest ends at 12:00 AM, midnight, tomorrow night (August 31, 2007).

Are you up for the challenge...?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

LYS Search

For some of you more seasoned parents, a trip outside the four walls of your house may not be a big deal. You’ve done it a million times before and have developed a routine. That’s not the case around this house. We’re only seven + weeks old – baby and new mommy! Therefore, for me, a trip outside the house by myself with my newborn brings on more fear than I’ve experienced in quite a long time. Well, at least since my contractions started…

Iain and I have been practising leaving the house for a walk, solo, at least once a day, usually up to the post office as it’s an in and out journey and he sometimes gets fussy if the stroller stops for too long. DH is on parental leave until September 24th and I’ve been relying on the two of us to cope with Iain for outings. However, September is just around the corner and I do not want to be too scared to leave the house once DH goes back to work or I’ll go stir crazy which isn’t going to create a happy place for either Iain or me. Iain and I are getting pretty good with the short post office runs and, usually, he is happily napping by the time we get home so I race in the house and grab the leash and Para and we go for another, more Border Collie related, walk. Iain is not a big napper so the stroller nap is a miracle each time!

Last Wednesday, Iain and I went for our first driving outing alone. I had been searching (via the printed yellow pages and the Net) for a yarn store and found a lovely website at Gaspereau Valley Fibres. A couple of weeks ago, DH and I were in the same yarn store’s vicinity when my sister and her fiance were visiting. However, for some reason we ended up at the Gaspereau Vineyard winery and not the yarn store. Go figure? I should clarify – they ended up at the winery. I ended up at the winery parking lot, nursing Iain in the back of the camper. Don’t feel sorry for me though. I had a good book and I don’t like wine so I was pretty content. Besides, DH managed to hunter gather some peanut maple brittle for me as well as the wine he bought for himself – yum!

With the previous weeks recce, and the desire to have really cool blogiversary prizes, I felt Iain and I should be able to go this trip alone. DH has been painting almost ever since we arrived (you will be hearing about DH and painting for awhile, by the way. I can’t wait to show you Iain’s room!) and I didn’t really want to interrupt the painting for a, let's face it, really Patty oriented trip.

Off Iain and I went. We did well. It’s about a 45 minute drive from our house and, on the way, we found a gas station and managed to get extra water put into the van when the water alarm light was going off (the usual 1988 VW camper van adventures). Most importantly, I found the yarn store without a hitch.

I must tell you that, if you are ever in this area or planning a Nova Scotia tour and you are a knitter or fibre enthusiast at all, you cannot miss this store. I was the only customer during my visit, which worked out well as Iain needed to be nursed during most of my visit (I don’t mind nursing in public but some of the public isn’t comfortable with it and that can make me uncomfortable). The owner is a lovely and kind lady and I felt very comfortable there with my baby – now an important consideration for any LYS visit.

I could rave about the huge Fleece Artist selection (and the fact that she will be at the store in September for a workshop and to showcase some of her work), the sock yarn, the rovings (even though I don’t use it, I really appreciate it). I won’t though, that would just be mean to those of you not living in Nova Scotia. There were hugemungous (new Patty word for the week) baskets full of fibre! I had to sit down and catch my breath a couple of times and, luckily, the owner didn’t notice the drooling and slightly hysterical laughter…

Also in stock are a variety of organic yarns such as Green Mountain Spinnery and the cotton for the nursing sweater I was looking at awhile ago is even softer than I’d imagined.

It’s the kind of store where I can spend a period of time enjoying myself but will need to go back a couple of times to get a full and complete sense of the wonder.

It was a great day and I made it back home to find a happily sleeping baby in the back seat (Iain barely tolerates his car seat so we were practising that too). Our first day out was a success! And, don’t you find it appropriate that mommy and baby’s first foray out together was to a yarn shop?

Seeing as this was a pretty text heavy post, here is Iain Daniel, attempting to steal the hearts of knitters world-wide!

video

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Blogiversary Knit Candy

To ensure lots of participation, here are a few shots of my blogiversary prizes - hand dyed gorgeousness from the Fleece Artist:



It’s the Fleece Artist’s Somoko, made of 65% Merino, 20% Kid, 10% Nylon and 5% silk. It is also – gasp! – machine washable!. The pattern on the label is for Cherry Swirl socks but I’m sure you could do a lot of other things with this sweet little skein, if you choose to accept this blog’s contest mission. Here's another picture of the colourway that is a little fuzzy but gives you a great idea of the colours offered in this little bundle of joy.


This next prize is quite unique. Who said knitting needles were just for knitting? I offer you a wearable needle!


It’s a vintage knitting needle curved into a bracelet. I believe it’s exclusively available from Gaspereau Valley Fibres, a lovely knitting store (perhaps my new LYS even though it’s 45 minutes away?) that I will blog about later this week. The bracelet itself is from Flying Dragon Designs in Canning, Nova Scotia. I was not able to find a website for Flying Dragon but will post one as soon as/if I become aware of one.

Hopefully these glimpses of knitting candy rock your world enough for you to enter my contest! See my August 24, 2007 post for details.

Make sure you head on over to Elizabeth's at The Transplanted Knitter for news on her charity of choice!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fibreholic's First BB (Belated Blogiversary) Contest!

I think bloggers usually hosting a blogiversary contest sometime before the official date and hold the draw the day of the blogiversary. Not me, however. I have a newborn. This means that getting set up for a contest is just a wee bit more challenging (aka late). Therefore, I will be hosting my first blogiversary contest (and first contest for that matter – squee!) from now (August 24, 2007) until one week from now (August 31, 2007).

Just a few rules:
  1. You do not have to answer every trivia question! Give it a whirl – peruse my blog further if you like – and send in what you have as your entry. This is supposed to be fun, not hard work!
  2. I am aware that some people who peruse my blog are non-knitters. You can still join the fun! Just remember that the prizes are very knitting oriented so it would be nice if the winner was a knitter (or at least good friends with one…).
  3. Please send trivia responses to the following email: fibreholic@ns.sympatico.ca. If you add your answers to my comments instead of submitting by email, I will not be able to post your comment until after the contest is over so your hard earned answers are not given away.
  4. You have to be willing to share your snail mail name and address with me so that I can send you your prize. After you’ve found out you’ve won, please forward your contact information to the email address above (ensure your privacy by not posting it into my comment section!).

This is a two-part contest.

Fibreholic Trivia - Part A:

  1. What types of pets do we have and what are their names?
  2. From what city and province did my family just move?
  3. When is my baby’s birthday?
  4. What is the date of our wedding anniversary? What year?
  5. What school program was I enrolled in prior to becoming pregnant and then moving?
  6. What part of Canada am I from originally?
  7. What type of knitting needles have been known to give me a lot of grief?

Charity - Part B:

Please write a brief description about a charity that holds a special place in your heart. I would like for you to either write about your charity of choice on your own blog (and please let me know that you’ve done so, so that I can read it too) or write about your charity in my comments. This way, your charity gets some additional ‘face time’. I am always interested in why people choose to support the charities they support and think it would be nice to share.

Please remember not to include your Part A answers in with your charity information! If you are comfortable with the idea, I’d love a story about why a particular charity is important to you. If you’re not comfortable sharing a story, the name of the charity and contact information in my comments will suffice. After the contest is over, I will make a small donation to the winner(s) charity of choice.

Have fun, Everybody and, please, let me know if any of the above is confusing and I will clarify. As incentive, I’ve picked up a couple of prizes and something by the Fleece Artist is included.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moo!

I have been hesitant to blog as I have little knitting progress to report. You can probably tell what I’ve been up to (even as I type single-handed!) by the title. I haven’t learned how to knit and wield two (or four…) pointy sticks while nursing without harming my first-born (if anyone knows the secret then, please, let me in on it) therefore knitting has become a bit of a memory. I am very much enjoying this special time and fibre only improves with age, right?

We are also very much enjoying our short time here on the East Coast. Have I yet mentioned how wonderful it is here? I love the house more every day (yes, I really should post a picture of it. Great idea. That gives me something to post about when I’m not knitting. Have I mentioned that the house has a ‘secret room’ a là Harry Potter?). It is currently raining and I love hearing the soft patter of rain drops on the patio, in the grass and on the leaves of the huge trees surrounding our property and the street in general. There’s something magical about rainfall when you’re this close to the ocean (only a 7 minute drive up over the mountain). It sounds cleansing somehow. I will have Sarah, over at Life With…, calling a moving company before the year is out!

Despite the fact that I haven’t been busy knitting or being creative in general since giving birth (and I am well aware of how creative that process was – wow!), one of our good friends was busy. Remember my sewing day friend, H? Well, here is her baby gift for Iain Daniel (incidentally, I made the cute kid seated on the quilt...any knitting blogging points for that?):


Isn’t it just gorgeous? The colours are bright and happy, just the way I like them. The fabric is awesome with a combination of fleece and a curly, furry fabric that I can’t name but which is heavenly soft.

It should wash like a dream and Iain loves it! Thanks so much from all of us, H!

I have been getting a few embroidery stitches sewn into my mystery knitting WIP. DH tells me that I shouldn’t buy anymore yarn until that project is done. It’s not really a dictatorship around here. I feel he is being perfectly reasonable when he says,

"And exactly how disappointed are you going to be if she [the recipient] has grown out of it before you’ve given it to her?"

Sigh. Logical, sequential and reasonable arguments get me every time.

I am motivated, though. I found this pattern and I want to knit a couple for Iain before winter. Therefore, the mystery WIP has to get finished. Any suggestions on a 100% worsted weight, super wash wool for a baby sleep sack?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The End Of A Relationship

I will likely have few FO’s to blog about in the near future so I’m darn well going to blog about this one. I apologise for the quality of these photos. They were taken en route to Nova Scotia from my vantage point in the back of our van. I’d take other, more artistic and stimulating pictures of these socks but I’ve…um…kind of lost them in the moving mess. I’m sure I’ll find them again. I type that with the greatest confidence. Until then, here’s FO proof:

Yes, this marks the end of my first pair of socks relationship.

It was a fun ride. I’ve learned a lot from these. For example, I learned:

  • That I can use DPNs after all and
  • That I’m willing to try knitting two socks at the same time but probably need more DPN and sock practice first (I want to bully those DPNs into submission before I learn another way. Don’t ask me why).

If anyone has any great sock pattern books to recommend, I’d appreciate it.

These first socks also taught me that I need to go down several needle sizes. The fabric in these socks is certainly looser than I’d prefer but, hey, they’re my first and I’m not so much of a perfectionist that I’d rip them out for a tighter weave. I did knit a gauge swatch before starting on these but my knitting loosened up as I went onto sock number two. Therefore, my second sock is a wee bit larger than sock number one (betcha couldn’t tell that from the pictures, huh? There’s something to be said for poor picture quality after all – it hides a myriad of mistakes!). I’m going to try and knit my next pair in a pair of needles more suited to socks (usually 2.25 mm’s, right?) as these were knit using 3.25 mm needles. I must have been a wee bit tense when I knit those swatches…

We have arrived to our beautiful house in Middleton, Nova Scotia and are back online! Thank goodness. It turns out that DH and I rely on the Internet quite a bit. For example, here is a sample of a typical conversation around here our first week:

DH: "Do you think the grocery store is closed yet?"
Me: "I dunno. Why don’t you call them and find out?"
DH: "I don’t have their number."
Me: "Duh. Just use ‘Canada 411’ to find it. Oh. Right. Sorry. (This said meekly) Want to walk up and see if it’s still open?"

Travelling with a newborn was fun. Well, depending on your idea of fun. We stopped every 2 hours or so so that I could nurse. Otherwise, Iain slept most of the way. I’ve decided that the only way I might get any knitting accomplished again in 2007 is to have DH drive around the block continuously with Iain and I in the back – me knitting vigorously and Iain asleep beside me.

Our trip East involved a ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy from St. John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia. Here I am, looking exceptionally tired (because I was/am!), on Iain’s first ferry ride:

Iain had no sign of sea-sickness. Let's hope he hasn't inherited that trait from his mother. Here’s a much better picture summarising what Iain thought of the whole adventure:

A couple of people commented on our use of cloth diapers and if we were using cloth or disposable diapers for the trip East. We used disposable. Our 12 hour driving day on the Saturday was going to be bad enough without having to try and wash diapers when we got into our hotel very late that night. We are now back to the cloth diapers, however, especially after stocking up with more from our nice trip to the Valley Cloth Diaper Company for extra Fuzzibuns and Bummis covers for our pre-fold diapers yesterday. I’m sure we will still use disposable for trips but I really prefer the cloth option at home.

My blogiversary is coming up on the 21st of this month. I can’t believe what a fun journey this blogging adventure has been. I’ve met so many wonderful people through blogging and I want to let you know how much you mean to me. Get primed for a contest! I’ve never hosted one on my blog before so I’m very excited. Even if I can’t knit with a newborn, I’m hoping that, with DH’s help, I can shop for knitting with a newborn!