Monday, October 15, 2007

News Flash

I’m going home! I’ve booked a flight with Westjet from Halifax to St. John’s, departing tomorrow, Tuesday (16 October 2007), returning Thursday (25 October 2007). I am also, frankly, terrified.

I was intending on taking the camper and driving Iain, Para and I home. After three crossings from North Sydney/Port aux Basques involving various family members (parents and one brother and SIL), Mudder was not recommending that I take the ferry. In a word: seasickness. Although neither crossing was rough enough for the travellers to be afraid, they do not suffer from that embarrassing malady. I, however, really, really do. It might be difficult to care for a 3.5 month old and be…ahem…sick in a worshipping the toilets of Marine Atlantic kind of way.

I was going to try it on my own. Really I was. I have the route planned out, the van is in the garage for a tune up as I type, and I’d already decided which friends and family to visit over and back on my drive across the island. However, I weighed the 3 days worth of driving (it’s 5 hours from here to the ferry, 6 – 7 hours on the ferry on a good day, and a 12 hour drive to Upper Gullies where my parents house is located) with 3 hours of airline travel (factoring in checking in, security, boarding, the flight itself and disembarking) and flying won out. That and the fact that DH had a credit with Westjet from last fall after a small incident with him flying to Alberta and his luggage staying in Ottawa.

Why am I terrified? I am worried about Iain’s ears. DH has assured me that the pressure in Iain’s ears will eventually clear themselves naturally even if he does end up being really bothered by them. Eventually. It’s a 1.5 hour flight so I figure even I (my apologies to the other passengers) can deal with 1.5 hours of screaming if I have to. However, I still worry. I have chosen Tuesday to Thursday flights in hopes that I will get some space in the seats to ourselves. Worrying is just the prerogative of a mother, I suppose.

My more immediate worry today, however, is that I still need to pack!

If you do not here from me for a couple of weeks, you now know why. Here’s a little glimpse into a typical day to tide you over until we get back. No, n’ar accent on me at’all! I apologize for the 'side viewing'. I changed the orientation on my system but, for some reason, it downloads sideways in Blogger. I might get a chance to fix it when DH comes home...

And, in knitting news, my FIL (father-in-law) facilitated me getting my mystery FO in the mail yesterday. Hurrah! I will provide more details and photos when the recipient receives it. It turns out that I had two mystery WIPs on the go – who knew? – and I will also blog about that when I get back to NS as I’m hand delivering that one when I get home. Iain’s wee pumpkin hat is also on the needles and is quickly knitting up whenever I get the chance to actually knit.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Self Portrait Meme

As per Samantha’s meme tag, I’ve been struggling to take a decent self-portrait. I’ve experimented at home and when I/we were out and about. I decided to stick with the out and about poses. I felt that these ones were far more interesting, if only due to the background alone.

A week ago, Mudder and Fadder were still here and one thing Fadder really wanted to do during their visit was to go apple picking in the Annapolis Valley. Seeing as that’s where we now live, the idea didn’t pose a problem. I choose to visit Dempsey Corner Orchards based on positive reviews from our friends, S and ML, when they visited a few weeks ago (they also brought us an apple crisp from there for dessert one night – nummy!). Thus, on October 2nd, Iain experienced his first day of apple picking. Well, he experienced his first time watching people pick apples. I was a bit concerned about apples falling on his head as the adults were picking so either myself or Grandma held him out from under the tree canopies.

It was a little rough on the road up to the historical orchard section where we were picking. Therefore, Iain’s stroller was commandeered as a basket for bags of apples while Iain himself was transported via mother or Grandma. He seemed happy about the whole arrangement. Iain loves lying back and looking at the leaves.

In this picture, he looks like he’s doing some kind of funky dance of happiness!

There is something quintessentially romantic and right about visiting an apple orchard in the fall. Fall is my most favourite of seasons. I love the rich, warm colours. The greens, browns and reds of the orchard were beautiful, as was the pumpkin patch that I managed to find.

I love pumpkin patches. I may get me one of those for myself next year (a patch as well as pumpkins).

Meme fulfilled. Check.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Knit Candy

When one cannot blog about knitting accomplishments, one should blog about knitting candy. That’s my new mantra. Too bad I can only afford it for one post…

As previously mentioned, on Friday, September 28th, Mudder, Iain and I headed off to my new LYS (Gaspereau Valley Fibres). Sigh. What a wonderful place it is. It is truly a little piece of fibre heaven. The yarn shop is located on a farm so you get to enjoy animals (sheep, an alpaca, chickens, the ‘greeter’ dog…) on your walk inside. As before, the environment is comfortable and cosy and the owner just lovely. The selection of Fleece Artist and other hand painted and organic fibres is incredible. Yes, I found it hard to leave again.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. My Mudder, the knitter, is allergic to wool. Yes, you read that right. Allergic. To. Wool. She’s dedicated though. Mudder is a confirmed sock knitter and Patons' Kroy is her yarn of choice. Often, she has to take an allergy pill to do so. Neither of us considered the fact that we were walking into a natural fibre store and what that might do to her allergies. Unfortunately, it meant that she could only fondle one of the beautiful carved wooden tables for sale at the wool shop. To steel herself against illicit wool fondling and the eventual assault on her eyes and nose just by breathing in the lanolin enhanced air, she held Iain for me so that I could fondle to my heart’s content. Well, she held Iain and acted as a Newfoundland and Labrador tourist bureau representative for two other yarn shoppers visiting from Ontario. They haven’t been to Newfoundland and Labrador. Yet.

My main reason for heading down to Gaspereau Valley Fibres was to purchase yarn for the Queen of Hearts nursing sweater found in my Natural Knits for Babies and Moms book by Louisa Harding. Without going into too much personal detail, let’s just say I’ve recently received some good medical news and, whereas there may have been some question about me being able to continue nursing, some of those concerns have been alleviated. Knitting this nursing sweater is my treat for me on receipt of the good news. Gaspereau Valley Fibres has a lovely selection of Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton which is called for in the sweater. The natural colours are gorgeous. I, however, wanted a shade (Sage) that was only available in 3 or 4 skeins (I need seven) so I’m in wait for an upcoming order. To bide my time, the following fell into my yarn deprived little hands:

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK for a seasonal knit from Itty Bitty Hats for Iain.

I’m sure you can guess what season I’m talking about.

And these little delicious yarn cakes were wound for me from skeins at the store (I’m still working on a swift and ball winder for upcoming birthday and Christmas gifts - hint, hint to certain somebody’s who may be reading. Yes, I can admit it. I am shameless) are a real find.

This is work by the Fleece Artist. On sale. On sale because sometimes the Fleece Artist cleans out her closet and the stores closest to her (in other words, those in Nova Scotia who carry her fibre) sometimes receive ‘one off’ beauties like these. Can you imagine? I’ve moved to a place where I have access to the Fleece Artist’s closet! Have I mentioned recently that I’ve moved to a knitter’s equivalent of heaven on Earth? Is anybody interested in squatter’s rights in my basement?

This colourway is unique and won’t be found again. I might be so inspired as to come up with my own name for it. As these are a one shot deal kind of thing, they are not labelled. Each cake is comprised of a 200 metre, Fleece Artist DK weight 90% merino, 10% cashmere kind of lovely.


I’m intending on knitting a chevron patterned sweater from the Natural Knits book for Iain out of the yarn.

In other news, I have another FO…!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Between Visitors

We are between visitors at Chez Fibreholic. Mudder and Fadder left this morning, which made us sad, and DH’s parents and sister arrive tomorrow evening. The house is no longer such a wreck. Well, it’s still a wreck but my parents made a significant dent in alleviating that problem. Our living room is "almost" finished ("almost" only because I decided to experiment with colour on the fireplace wall and I hate the colour so we will have to repaint that little section). The painting is complete in Iain’s room and in the two closets upstairs so, apart from the doors to one closet, one bedroom and the bathroom which we’d intended on doing at some point in the future, the upper floor is complete – yeah!

I found a mother and baby group at the local hospital, which is a 5 minute walk from our house. It is held on Thursday afternoons and it was very nice for Iain to see other babies his age. He was fascinated and sat on my lap for the longest time and just stared around at all the little people. I also got a chance to weigh him – at exactly 3 months today (where has the time gone?), Iain Daniel weighs in at 15 lbs 10 ozs! Apparently, I’m making the good stuff. There are a couple of other mother and baby programs in town that I’m going to explore next week.

Grandma and Grandpas’s visit marks several major ‘firsts’ in young Iain’s life. However, I’m only going to tell you about two of them today.

To start, witness Iain’s first foray into knitting reading.

Iain loves to see babies (we keep showing him the baby in the mirror and he always smiles and smiles at himself) and, as Mags Candis’ Wee Knits 3 book is full of babies in sweaters, this was Grandma’s solution to a fussy Iain. He looks so serious!

And, secondly, here is a photo from Iain’s first overnight camping trip (you are an inspiration, Samantha! Ethan beat Iain to his first camping trip but at least we got out in 2007)!

We stayed at the local Canadian Forces campground at Lake Pleasant last Saturday evening (September 29th). It was a cold night but we managed just fine. Iain did wonderfully. He snuggled up and watched the campfire after I nursed him at the picnic table. We slept in the camper so Iain and I had the bottom double bed and DH and Para shared the top double bed (the bed in the pop up top). Apparently, Iain and I were more comfortable than DH who was a little chilly all night.

Here’s Iain roughing it Sunday morning.

I was really concerned about how cold it would be when changing Iain during the night but there was no issue there. I just hauled our huge 8 point Hudson Bay Company wool blanket over my and Iain’s head to make a cozy ‘tent’ and changed him under there. He just giggled and laughed which means he wasn’t cold at all. One of the few times Iain is almost guaranteed to screech during a 24 hours period is when he is being changed at night as he doesn’t like to be undressed and get cold after he’s been deeply asleep. Therefore, the blanket solution worked out.

I also got to knit a little while we were camping. Be still my beating heart…I guess I’ll have to provide more detailed proof soon but, my mystery WIP is finished.

Therefore, I was actually working on new knitting while we camped. Be still my beating heart once more…

In other news, Friday, Mudder and I visited my LYS again this past Friday. It was heaven. It was also incentive to get the mystery WIP completed as DH and I had a deal that I would not purchase more yarn until it was finished and Friday was a wee bit premature to be purchasing yarn. I hope to post some knitting candy photos tomorrow before the visitors arrive. I also have a photo for Samantha’s meme but will post that a little later as I want to tell you all about another Iain Daniel first when we went apple picking in the Annapolis Valley. My self-portrait photo was taken there…