Friday, March 28, 2008

The Truth About Naps and Other Stories

The truth about naps is that you can wait and wait and wait for one all day long and it never comes. Or, you can just go along with your day, as if normal (whatever that is), and then "Holy Crap! I think he’s tired! He’s, he’s going to sleep! Woo hoo – free time!" And, then, what do I do with that free time? Do I sit down immediately and knit? No. I think "I’m sure I can get such and such (insert any variety of house work here) done before he wakes up." And then, when that job is finished and he’s still sleeping, I think, "Okay, I’ll get another such and such done (same insertion) and, if he’s still sleeping after that, then I’ll knit." Which, often as not, results in another chore done and four stitches (yes, I typed stitches. Not rows) knit. And those four stitches had to be frogged as I’d started on the wrong side rather than the right side and messed up the pattern. Sigh.

The past few days have been rough. I have been, admittedly, spoiled with Iain. He is a pleasant boy and usually only fusses when he’s hungry, has to pee, or needs to sleep. The past three days have been whiney, whiney, and, oh yes, whiney. In fact, the week has been full of all sorts of whining from Iain, Para and myself, compounded by runny noses, receiving blankets being turned into giant hankies (more environmentally friendly and MUCH easier on wee Iain’s skin), etc, etc. You get the picture. Some of you are there right along with us as I type.

Now, let’s see what else we might have in common.

Everyone does this, right? You have been living in a place for months and then, just before you go on a flight, say, across Canada, you decide that that window simply cannot remain without a blind for a minute longer. I mean, really! How did you survive that long (since moving in August 1, 2007?) without one? It screams for a blind! You haven’t been able to let in natural light for ages because the brown paper solution (a great one from one of my SILs that I highly recommend if you’re in a bind and need some privacy by the way) has run its course. You must get sewing now! This despite the fact that no packing is done, laundry needs to be washed, let alone sorted, and there is every indication that the twitch above your eye may be affecting your eyesight.

My MIL and I had a discussion about this when we were in British Columbia. She’s wise, that one. She said that humans seem to need a deadline to get things done. Therefore, travel, company, etc act as that deadline for those of us who don’t have them set for us by a 9 – 5 working environment. Hmm. Perhaps I should be setting up for more company because we have many, many things needing doing in this house. The windows are just the start…

So, here’s what I was doing two nights before we left. Our trusty ‘before’ shot:

Here’s me last night.

It’s done. I just need to find a cleat to fasten the cord to. That might take weeks. Or, at least until the next time we have somebody over. Mind you, I found the ingenious way my engineer husband found to keep the blind up rather useful.

Anyways, what’s to whine about? Looky what I found in my backyard yesterday afternoon!?!

They’re Nova Scotia hostas so I assume they know what they’re doing even though I’m very concerned about them right now.

They are coming up despite the fact that it’s not yet the end of March (spring doesn’t come to this end of the country before the end of March. It’s the rules) and they have snow on them again from this morning.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why Yes, Yes I Did

Yes, I did complete my Booga bag and, thus, the DH Challenge. I completed the project shortly after my last post and managed to get it fulled and dried before we got back on the aeroplane for Nova Scotia.

I also managed to photograph the several feet of knitted I-cord that I’d completed before beginning to full this project.

I can’t tell you exactly how long it was because, erm, I just knit it until I ran out of wool. The Knitting Goddess was smiling on me though – I had exactly enough for my bag without trimming off even a wee bit. Whew!

Why yes, that is snow on my completed Booga Bag photograph taken just this morning on my back step. It’s hovering at 0 degrees Celcius here right now. It is also snowing. Before we left Saanichton, FIL mowed the lawn again. Sigh.

I’m also proud of my 2008 record. That’s two FO’s in three months. Not too shabby!

I had hoped to have more lovely spring in Victoria (Saanichton) completed (fulled and all) Booga Bag pictures for you but, alas, a couple of days before we left BC, Iain and I came down with a bad cold. The kind of cold that means it’s a good thing I don’t do podcasts as I sound like a frog. And there’s a Humidifier going at all hours in this house. And both Iain and I (or DH for that matter) do not sleep through the night as one or the other is up coughing. That kind of cold. And we still have it.

Due to feeling terrible the last couple of holiday days, I didn’t get a chance to grace the inside of any of the lovely little fibre shops in the Victoria area of Vancouver Island. Oh well. There is always the next time. I have something lovely in mind from my LYS anyway (just have a peek here. I’m sure I can be tempted by something…).

I can proudly boast to having completed the DH Challenge. Now I just need to get Iain and I healthy enough to head out to my LYS to shop. Give me a couple of weeks…

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Knitting Like The Wind!

One Booga Bag completed. Check.

To complete the requirements of the DH Challenge, I now need to knit 5 to 6 feet (yeah, I said feet. God. Help. Me) of I-cord. It's only comprised of 5 stitches though. I think I can, I think I can! Actually, I've got two feet already knitted. I'm pretty sure I can.

In case you were wondering what I'm up to, I'm knitting like the wind!
Here are Iain and I enjoying another type of wind on the ocean side of Esquimalt Lagoon in front of Royal Roads University (where DH went for two years as a cadet when it was part of the military college system).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fibreholic in British Columbia!

Yep, we made it! In one piece! Actually, as DH and I now travel with an almost eight and a half month old, we made it in several pieces. One piece (of luggage that is) didn’t make it so well so DH and I have to go shopping for a few essentials. Darn bag. I don’t remember giving it permission to go gallivanting around Canada without me. I mean, we were bringing it from one end of the country to the other after all. Apparently, it was not satisfied with that. I do hope we see it again.

I think Iain did an admirable job traveling yesterday. We barely made our first flight and we were all very, very tired. We flew direct Halifax to Calgary and then onto Vancouver, without disembarking in Calgary. Then it was a short hop to Victoria, Vancouver Island.

Naturally, Iain developed a cough the day before we left. We gave him a wee bit of Infant Tylenol before landing in Calgary. He seemed to be in a bit of pain on descent but the medication kicked in and he was able to nurse and never did win the "Loudest Screeching Baby on an Aeroplane Award". He was in fine company with a ten month and sixteen month old also in the seats around us (they were excellent too). And, for those curious minds, Iain does not mind using aeroplane toilets one little bit.

As for the knitting, well, trying to entertain Iain and ourselves considering how little sleep we had had meant my knitting performance was mediocre to say the least. DH has challenged me to finish “ONE WIP THIS TRIP!” and win new project yarn! I have until o’dark early on Easter Sunday when we fly off into the blue yonder once more. Knit, Fibreholic, knit!

Here’s a progress shot on the one WIP that might make my challenge deadline. I wonder does it have to be fulled (made into felt) too…? Let’s just keep that part a secret between you and me, K? Although I did remember my zippered pillowcase, just in case…

Maggie, the cat, was helping me with my Booga bag photo shoot. She is one of my cat-in-laws. She is one discerning cat - that's 100% wool Noro Kureyon, Col. 166 that she's so interested in.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Small Successes and Big Steps!

I tell you, you really have to take this parenting business in small steps. Let me summarise. For the first three months, it was survival. The shear act of ensuring I ate and drank enough was a full-time job. When you consider that wee Iain ate (nursed) every 45 minutes and did not sleep (I’m not exaggerating. The child would be up for 12 hours at a time without a nap and be very pleasant about the whole experience. Unlike his mother…). Luckily, he didn’t mind mommy eating when he was having a snack too. Month four saw me regularly able to shower once a day without one of us going in to hysterics. Month five found us experiencing our first Christmas with a child in fourteen years of togetherness as a couple. Month six saw me dreading yet another set of vaccination needles and both of us surviving the whole experience just fine, with a little help from our friend infant Tylenol. Month seven found me feeling more and more confident that I just might be able to pull off this whole new life changing experience…with a little help from my good friend Chocolate (it’s so important that it deserves to be ‘capitalised’. Now I’m into month eight with a crawling boy who has two teeth and a few more coming if the occasional bout of fussiness is anything to go by.

Now, let’s summarise Iain’s travel experience. Week three saw him travel from Ottawa to Middleton, Nova Scotia by Volkswagen Vanagon and one three hour ferry ride – that would be about 1000 km’s. In October, he went on his first aeroplane ride - to and from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. That was a 1.5 hour flying trip one way. In December, he made a driving trip to Moncton, NB and return. In February, Iain was back on the three-hour ferry again as we were en route to Sugarloaf, Maine for his first ski trip. Well, in Iain’s case, his first "being pulled along behind us in the toboggan" trip. And now, on Friday, Iain embarks on his first across North American tour.

Iain doesn’t seem to do anything in small steps does he? He’s only 8 months old, he’s already grown out of his size 6 – 12 month Robeez, he started crawling at age 7 months and one day, and he’s going to go on a 7.5 hour aeroplane trip on Friday.

One of my friend’s told me that her biggest challenge when her children were at this age were the quickly changing stages. Even if you didn’t like the current stage, you got used to it. As soon as you did that, it changed again. Iain is at the moving stage. What are the chances that there will be over a hundred sympathetic parents on this direct Halifax to Vancouver flight who are really interested in entertaining a very mobile 8 month old? Fellow passengers who are willing to give up aisle time (for the crawling baby) and prioritise the bathroom (for the infant potty trained baby)?

I’m hopeful though. Although I haven’t started packing, I have started the laundry. I figure that’s step one. I also have my knitting projects chosen. I have one ‘quick and dirty’ (see here), Chase is coming with me as is Iain’s chevron sweater.

You’d think I’d stick to one, say, Iain’s sweater to ensure it was finished before he grew out of it, right? Unfortunately, the chevron sweater is rather like a very, very good book that you keep putting down because it’s so good you want to postpone the ending as long as possible. Knitting with the yarn for that project is so gorgeous that I don’t want it to end. That and I’m also sensing a train wreck off in the distance. You know the one. The one that’s screaming in a tiny voice "you have just started the first sleeve and that really doesn’t look like enough yarn to finish the project. Not only that, the hand dyed yarn you bought was ‘one of a kind’. There’s no possible way of getting more." One could say I’m postponing the inevitable due to the train whistle in the distance. Have faith though. I have a great vest pattern picked out…

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Chase, The Sock

Wassup? I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Chase. Chase the Sock. On her way to a ski trip, my knitter cast me on in a moment of shear desperation. She was worried that the lighting in the condo she and the other feet had rented would not be good enough to work on the wee ripper’s sweater at night. So, here I am.

You can probably guess why I’m called Chase. In fact, you can probably see the wee ripper in the background. That’s what my knitter and I do. We chase the wee ripper around.

Now, I wouldn’t tell just anyone this but the wee ripper makes me feel vulnerable. He just plain scares me. He grabbed me by my sensitive parts once. Yeah, that’s right, by the needles. I shudder just thinkin’ about it. With him too close, I always feel like I might come…I hate to even say the word…unravelled….

Luckily, while my knitter was on her ski trip, she found this real cool bag (purchased at the Gold/Smith Gallery) to hold me in.
It’s a sock bag. You gotta problem with that? It holds me real good and secure, like.

Gotta go. The wee ripper is on the prowl again. I like it when he’s on the move. After a nice crawl session for the wee ripper, I feel like I’ve grown! With any luck, my knitter and I will be chasing the wee ripper around until I’m completed. After that, get this, my knitter has promised me a lady love to hang around with. Crawl, baby, crawl!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

First FO for 2008!

I am very pleased to have an FO to show you - my first FO of 2008 and I am very proud. These pictures were taken by my talented SIL. They are just gorgeous and I have her permission to use them on my blog. Lucky me!

I am so very proud to introduce our one and only niece to my faithful blog readers. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Yes, I am also very pleased with how the hat turned out and equally pleased that it seems to fit her so well.

This design is the "Birthday Cake Hat" from Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Hats book – I highly recommend adding this book to your library!

Yarn: Lano Wool Gatto in colours White (8000) and Pink (13262). The yellow yarn for the flame is from a ball of Rowan Pure Wool DK in Yellow (032). All of this wool was gorgeous to work with.

Changes to Original Design: Not many. My niece just turned three and the two sizes in the book are for ages one and two. However, I just increased the same amount again as the difference between ages one and two and voila! A three year old birthday hat! And easy math for a math challenged knitter such as myself.

Future Improvements: Although I really like how this hat turned out, I think that the pink yarn I used was too high of a contrast against the white. Therefore, when I knit this hat again, I will look for a much lighter pink/blue contrast yarn.

Yup, she's a doll!