Monday, November 19, 2007

First Trip to Newfoundland

Carol wondered where I’d purchased the yarn for my sister’s shawl. I purchased it at Yarn Forward but have yet to find that pesky yarn band to give you more details. I promise to do so when I find the band. Another missing in action problem due to our move. And, yes, Sarah, DH did indeed make that cheesecake. That ability was one of the reasons I married him!

Alright, alright! I’m blogging about our trip to Newfoundland! Jeesh! I’ve had many comments and as many emails about ‘when are you going to tell us about Iain’s trip to Newfoundland?’ that I cannot postpone it any longer! Actually, it's quite nice to know you care :). WARNING: This is a long one with very little - gasp!?! - knitting content. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Our trip home was, in a word, wonderful. Iain did beautifully on both his first and his second aeroplane rides. He slept during take off and for half of the trip to Newfoundland and then proceeded to chat to me for the rest of the trip, including the descent. He was fussier on the way back but not because of his ears. He was fussy because he was bored and had figured out that his movements were, essentially, restricted on an aeroplane. This is the same reason why Iain still does not like getting buckled into his car seat. The child hates having his movements restricted.

Here is a view of Iain on his first aeroplane flight.

The nice Westjet lady took the picture for me as I had my arms full.

Our trip many involved much visiting. Everyone wanted to see Iain; I was simply the chauffeur. I was home for long enough to visit with all of my siblings and their significant others, my neice and brother-in-law, and many other family members and friends.

Iain and I consider ourselves very lucky to have attended my youngest brother’s convocation to celebrate the completion of his Masters degree in Archaeology on the 19th of October. That was certainly a thrill. The nice thing about the fall convocation is that it is not as busy as the spring convocation. Therefore, my brother managed to snag enough convocation tickets for the whole family to attend. We are so proud of you, Little Brother!

Iain and I visited a friend of mine from university’s family in Torbay.

We were a little early for the visit so we drove down to Torbay Beach for a few Atlantic ocean shots. The first picture on this post is of a view from that beach as well.

Here’s Iain visiting Torbay Beach.

He desperately needed this nap so I didn’t wake him to see the waves. I believe he slept for over two solid hours during our visit that evening. The poor little nipper was some tired.

Here's a better shot of that lovely, new and larger bunny hat from Itty Bitty Hats. I SO love that book!

Mudder and Fadder have purchased my Mudder’s great-grandfather’s house in Victoria Cove, Gander Bay awhile ago. It’s a lovely spot so the four of us drove down to Victoria Cove for a couple of nights (it’s a 4 hour drive from Upper Gullies which is 20 minutes outside of St. John’s in Conception Bay South…Stop laughing, Yarnhog, I can hear you from here!). That was bliss. My parents house was very busy while we were there. Actually, it was bedlam! Fun bedlam but bedlam all the same. The trip to Gander Bay provided a bit of a retreat and also allowed us to not only visit with more friends and family but, more importantly, to get a couple of games of cards in.

Mudder and Fadder also own a cabin next door to the old house, still on historical family land, and that’s where we stayed. They will stay/live there while the old house is under renovation. Here’s Iain enjoying his time at the cabin.

Here are some shots in and around the old house.

This is a shot of a clump of dogberries on the cabin property. There is probably a more scientific name for this type of bush but we call them dogberries where I come from (Mountain Ash, I believe).

My great-great-grandfather’s house was, literally, built on a rock. It hasn’t moved since it was built – look at those straight lines!

Here’s a shot of the rock underneath it just in case you can't imagine it/don't believe me. Fadder has the whole house jacked up in preparation for a poured concrete foundation so these shots are some of the last of this rock before it is hidden from the light of day.

The view from the front door. Lucky ducks, eh?

I am so proud of my parents for taking on this project. They plan to fix it up and retire in it and this type of idea has been a dream of theirs for a long time. Mudder’s best friend and her husband are conducting a similar feat just up the road from my parents old house. We had a tour of their house and, if it’s any indication, Mudder and Fadder’s will be just gorgeous when it’s complete. I will keep you posted.

Here's Iain on our flight home. Looks like he's really suffering, doesn't he? I was so worried about him on the way over that I developed a migraine for my first two days on the island. Ouch!

My thanks to Iain Daniel who is currently asleep behind me. It is my and Iain’s very first night alone with only the pets to keep us company. DH is gone to Ottawa for meetings for a couple of days.

On the painting front, our den has its first coat of red on it! Yes, I said red. Stay tuned for more details about painted rooms, birthday socks and my yarn winder. No shortage of blogging material this month!

Thanks, Mrs. H, for my surprise! I am both surprised and very flattered! I will add that lovely award to my blog just as soon as someone tells me how to do that...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's My Birthday!

Now, I’m not telling you that to receive any extra birthday wishes – I’ve already been spoiled. I’m telling you this because, on this day of me, one of the things I get to do is write a blog post. Hallelujah! Another great reason to get a year older! Actually, I think any day that offers you cake (in my case, double chocolate cheesecake. With Bailey’s. A là my husband. Can you say YUM?!? It’s one of the reasons why I married him. That whole ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ is completely gender biased as far as I’m concerned) and presents is one to take note of. I doubt I’ll ever be embarrassed about my age (37 for enquiring minds) as I wouldn’t want to miss out on any cake and pressie opportunities!

Iain is currently sleeping in DH’s arms and I am typing in our very messy guest room with two of three animals, of the non-human variety, keeping me company. Checkers is on the prowl apparently. Ah, bliss!

I am going to digress from knitting a little further for another moment. One of the reasons I’ve been finding it hard to get computer time is due to the fact that we hired a painter to complete the painting we wanted done on our main floor. DH is working VERY long hours and, with the little time we have with him in the evenings and on weekends, we did not like sharing him with painting. Therefore, in a couple of weeks, we should have that aspect of moving completed and then I can concentrate on really getting the main and upper floors settled. Yeah! This is also the reason why I’m either sitting in a very messy guest room, kitchen or living room as those are the rooms holding the furniture and other assorted items from the den, bathroom and dining room.

Back to knitting. I am about to show you the FO that started me back into knitting a few falls ago.

It is Fiddlesticks Knitting’s Easy Lace Mesh Stole pattern in a gorgeous variegated Australian Merino (Made in Italy? Go figure). When I find a ball band, I will share the fibre details with you because I really enjoyed using it. I was totally entranced by the shots of colour – bright yellows, reds, oranges, purples and bright blue woven into a deep blue yarn – flowing through my fingers.

My sister, the recipient, is modelling the shawl.

Isn’t she gorgeous?

Prior to knitting this shawl, I had never tried knitting lace before. I am not exaggerating when I say that I went up to my then LYS, Yarn Forward, every single day for three weeks to get help on it. I couldn’t remember how to take back my knitting to fix mistakes and I had great difficulty learning how to both read a lace pattern and to recognise the lace pattern in knitted form so that I could identify mistakes. For my first foray back into knitting, this was a great project to get my creative juices flowing again. Thanks so much, Louise, for all of your help on that project!

My next photos are of my newest WIP – it is a sweater for Iain from a pattern in Louise Harding’s book Natural Knits for Mom’s and Babies that I had mentioned a few posts ago.

I’m using that terrific hand dyed wonder fibre from the Fleece Artist. Here’s how it’s knitting up. I’m slow and have frogged many, many stitches. Well, frogging has slowed me down and the fact that I also do things like take two naked needles out of my knitting bag and then sit there wondering where the heck my project went. There really ought to be warning label on those things when you’re a little sleep deprived.

This is only the front. I’m knitting the 12 month size but, I have to warn you, Iain weighed 17 lbs 10 ounces on Thursday. The child is four and a half months old. He only eats breast milk. Yikes! The sweater might not fit by the time I’ve finished it. I’ve already decided that I’m comfortable with that as the fibre is just so darn nice, I have a Plan B project picked out just in case. Now that’s a commitment to fibre!

To tantalise you further, I hope to blog later this week about my gorgeous new hand knit birthday socks (thanks, Mudder!) which are currently on my grateful wee feet, and my (gasp!) wonderful new ball winder (thanks, MIL and FIL!).

PS Happy 100th post, Fibreholic!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Small Piece of Humble Pie

Dear Designer,

I must apologise. After all, you are a designer and I am, merely, a knitter. Therefore, it was completely inexcusable for me to consider making a small change to your hat pattern. It was such a small change, you see, that I never even gave it a second thought.

I still occasionally struggle with DPNs. You may remember a similar struggle yourself many stitches ago. Therefore, when I reached the part of your pattern that told me to change colour, I thought, to myself,

"Self, why not start that colour change a little earlier? After all, the stem of a real pumpkin doesn’t just start like that. The stem grows from small green spot on the very top of the pumpkin. If I changed from orange to green a little earlier on the hat, I wouldn’t have as much trouble as I would be working with 20 stitches as opposed to 9 on DPNs. Brilliant! Why didn’t the designer think of that?!?" I’m sure you did think of that, dear designer. After all, when looking down at my wee one’s head, what does starting the colour change earlier result in this looking like to you?

Apparently my general lobby for a third…ahem…breast (long story involving a newborn with his mother’s appetite…) has been answered.

I sit humbled before your superior wisdom and intellect.


A Humbled Fibreholic

PS I did manage, however, to get this wee hat finished a full one and a half weeks before Halloween so that my wee one could enjoy being the epitome of cuteness (new Patty word). Yeehaw!