Monday, April 28, 2008

More Frolicing!

I've got a few more pictures that I'd like to share with you...
It's spring and here are some tulips just getting started.
And here is Tulips all finished (just need a clasp at the neck; someday).
I get a lot of compliments whenever I wear it and boy does it feeeeeel good; fits pretty nicely too.

I like the modifications I made. My mom says I can never leave a pattern alone; always making changes. I met Denise Powell (Designer in Toronto) on the bus a few weeks ago and she says that's how you become a designer, by starting with little changes! My Tulip design has 3/4 length sleeves (I didn't want a band of yellow at the bottom; that's where it gets dirty the easiest) and I was afraid of running out of trim colour and couldn't commit to one colour; so I borrowed from Philosopher's and used all the colours in reverse order to create the bands. If I were to do this again (I don't generally repeat projects) I would work all the trim at the end and then work the corners properly; so that the colours wrap around the bottom and not so that the bottom and front edges butt up against one another.

O.K. back to the frolic; it was too warm to wear the sweater anyway.

I won one of the raffle door prizes and we all know that yarn purchases from prizes don't count.

Isn't that a fun little bag? The yarn that I acquired with the above mentioned certificate is a lovely soft pink Merino/Silk lace weight and no I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but it sure feels good against my skin!

So here I am taking the Ladybug out for a test run. Looks like I know what I'm doing doesn't it? That's because I had a really great coach taking the picture; at home?

I need lessons. I've got a couple of books around here too, but I can't seem to be able to find them amongst the yarn (and roving)! Maybe they'll turn up later.

Boy, that was a fun day!!! I've got a great big smile goin' on there (if you can't tell).

So I did some shopping...sock yarn doesn't really count either because it's so small; you know one, or two skeins at the most, for a whole's a deal! And I didn't have any of the same kinds at home; so that has to count (or not) for something too, doesn't it?
I finished my course, I made sure that I had checked out all the booths that I wanted to, I put back two beautiful kids that I fondled, was a gorgeous gentle colour transitioning vest; it felt wonderful, it looked fabulous---I don't wear vests, but maybe that's because I don't have a gorgeous one like this! I saw the same kind of designs at Stitches last year...I'm still thinking.

The second kit was, again, some gorgeous yarn from Rowan for a fairisle sweater in the newest Vogue Knitting. What can I say? Heaven in a bag! Although, I have a few bags of heaven here already....and, the store is near my brother's; so I can pop in there anytime if I decide it's time that bag of heaven came to live here with me!

The Ladybug is loaded in the car. Do you know how spinners transport their spinning wheels? In the car; with the seat belt on of course! The other paraphernalia is stored safely on board and the show is starting to quietly shut down. There are still classes going on, but some vendors are slowly attempting to pack up and get home after an exhausting; yet exhilarating day! I decide I have time for one last walk through.

Isn't it wonderful? It looks so nice (and works too) beside me when I'm cursing the roving that won't spin or is it the wheel? Or maybe....
Yea, it's me. It always is.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fine Day for a Frolic!

Let us frolic through...the violets?
Although, beautiful, no; today was the day to Frolic with KNITTERS!!!

From far and wide knitters assembled at the 11th annual Downtown Knit Collective Knitters Frolic at the Japanese Cultural Centre in North York. There were over 60 vendors (and yes, I visited each one of them)! The place was ALIVE with the electricity of knitters exposed to such a concentrated amount of yarn fumes!!

I experienced the same feeling last year; that is why I made it a mission to attend this years frolic and to take part in a course that was offered. I met Debby New.


Her brain is just not wired the same as us mere mortals, but I'm thankful that she is kind enough to try to communicate just what it is that rumbles around in there to the common folk. Her work is stunning; my head actually hurt trying to grasp the concept she shared with us. It was the Ouroborus Jacket (which I learned means the complete circle that is formed when the snake or dragon bites its own tail---so there; learn something new everyday!); I really enjoyed the idea and look forward to notes to clarify some of the issues (and maybe a chance to purchase the book; they sold out at the frolic as we each slipped out of the class to try to buy one---I didn't find it in time), but I'm not sure that I will actually ever undertake such an endeavor. The allure of no seaming is tempting, but creating a piece that at some point requires the knitter to change to 4 or maybe even 5 EXTREMELY LONG circular needles just to be able to complete one row, isn't calling to me right now.

I chose that course because it sounded like it would offer a bit of a challenge; oh yea, it did that all right! I also chose it because then I was able to meet Debby New and pick up on her idea before I see her again at Camp Stitches in New York at the end of June!!! That would also allow me to experience another aspect of knitting at camp and not miss the above mentioned jacket. What will I be learning at camp? You may ask. (humour me, I'm still flying high after today's excitement!)

Beads. Beads and Knitting. I've dabbled a little and I know that I'm heading down a slippery slope as far as bead stash enhancement dangers loom, but....oh well; it sounded like fun!

And then I found this at the Frolic!

This puppy makes it dead easy to string the beads onto the yarn you want to work with; I'm very excited! So is my friend KGB who was quick on my heels to pick one up for herself! ;o)

O.K. so I get some beads and a cool thing to string them; then I walk to the back of the room and I see this:

Now, please, if that wasn't made for me; I don't know what was. Lovely and talented lady there; we had a nice chat.

I want to take this opportunity to point out that I haven't bought any yarn. I needed to gather some supplies to bring to the course and was reminded (once again) of the extent of my stash.


So I went with the intent of not buying any---oh, who am I kidding---of trying not to buy too much yarn and to remember all the gorgeous stuff I have waiting for me at home. And then, beside the apron lady was this:

PLEASE!! A lady bug pillow kit?! I love it; had to have it. We are inundated with lady bugs in the spring; freakishly so. I used to think they were cute until we moved to this house and now? We've all had our fill of lady bugs; especially my son, who accidentally drank one (well he didn't really drink it, but it was on the side of his glass and he put it in his mouth) and well, it was REALLY funny! He wasn't impressed and I tried to be supportive, but sometimes stuff happens to your kids and it's funny. We tease him about it now, and he's a good sport about it (most of the time) so I think he needs this pillow. Yea, he'll love that. :o)

So, on I go (I'm only in the first room!) and come upon the booth of one of my LYS, Unwind. And there? There I find one of my dreams come true. I thought (when I was planning on not buying yarn), that I can go to the store anytime, I know what's there and I'll just stop and say 'hi'. I did more than say hi. I said,

"I'll take it!" It's a spinning wheel (bet ya figured that one out already) and it's called "The Ladybug". I tell you there's no getting away from them!
I'm so excited! I'll let you know about everything else soon, but now? I'm takin' my new bug out for a spin!! Yeeehaaa!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I know, I know

It's been too long; I know.

I think of things to post and think about pictures and....


I'm afraid there's quite a bit of whining (hahaha---whining...Wine, Wool and Whoppers---hahaha) on this blog about being busy and yet I have trouble explaining what I do. Actually I have trouble accomplishing anything while being extremely busy and a lot of it is my own doing. You know, on my way somewhere, and well, I'll just slip in here and then....boom!! Half an hour late for the next thing.

Today for example someone asked me for a little bit of help with her knitting; I am never one to abandon a knitting request (on the rare occasion there may be a postponement, but those incidents are few and far between), which led to another request, which required a bit of hands-on coaching, followed by yet another finishing request. I just love to share the magic of finishing a seam, well, seamlessly (hehehehe). That wonderful bit of knit sharing? = one hour, and I'm off and running again; this time however instead of squeezing something in before the next appointment, I decided to head to the office early (it's all relative; I actually got there on time) and see if I can't finish earlier! It worked! I'm not taking credit for it though, the stars were all in alignment, that's all.

So what have I been doing? Kid stuff---watching (my niece has a wonderful singing voice) and participating (my daughter's class did some baking to practise using measurements). Doctor's appointments. (yea well, just keep your head up and move on.)

The most fun I've had in the past while though was...

(drum roll please)

I was in a Fashion Show!!!

It was a fund raiser for Doane House Hospice, in Newmarket. I go there for a yoga class and a relaxation/visualization group under the Wellspring umbrella. I heard about last years fashion show, but wasn't able to attend; this year I decided to help out.......and to go out and have some fun modelling. OMG IT WAS FUN!!!
I got to wear some beautiful and fancy clothes. I had way too much make-up applied by someone who knew what they were doing (it was FABULOUS!!), I got to hang out with some real models; to see what it's like, I was escorted (for one of my outfits---I got to show 6) by a drop dead gorgeous hunk of a man!!! 'No words were shared, but I still think that we bonded; there was a connection!!' (hahaha---that one is for the benefit of my friends who were there and saw just how out of my league I was!)
I thoroughly enjoyed the prep work for this event as well. People are so kind and giving; if only I'm brave enough to ask. It was easier to ask for help for this event, because I wasn't just asking for me. I am feeling strong and able to go out and play. I asked, so that we could help the people that aren't able to get out and play, right now. I'm not sure how well we did for fundraising yet, but it was a sell out crowd and QUITE THE PARTY!!!
I wasn't especially nervous before the show (just with the first walk out); as I said to my friend J, who also volunteered at the event , "I'm alive; I've got hair, let's do it!" My daughter thought that was a great quote (she's 8, so I can still be funny sometimes). I had also said to J, a couple of years ago, "You know what? Life's short. Jump in!" She likes to remind me of that from time to time, and I thank her for that.
Sometimes when we're busy running from place to place and squeezing in yet one more errand we can forget; so yea, I know, I know, it's been a long time, but remember...
Don't sweat the small stuff. And it's ALL small stuff. So Jump in!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Have you heard?

Blogging is bad for your health?!
I rarely see the news and get snippits of what's happening in the world around us by listening to the radio while taxiing the family. (Sometimes I feel guilty about not being up on current events, watch the news, get depressed and then turn it off again)
Yesterday, while on a road trip to Vaughn Mills with my children, I heard that blogging, or rather, the stress of trying to come up with something new to blog about, has been attributed to 3 deaths (heart attacks) in the U.S.
In the spirit of a more stress free lifestyle, I bring you...

Last Tuesday! The sock at the Toronto City Hall and a sculpture too---2 points!
The sock with a Tims.
Freestyle! The sock with a 'Mr. Washee'; Harlot fans know how much she loves Mr. Washee.

The sock with one of Toronto's Finest---only 1 point (he wasn't on a horse!), but he was directing traffic!

Souvenirs of the day! A TTC day pass, a receipt from the Foxes Den, an autographed copy of the book, and the sock!

I'm still working on the sock, but I don't think that you'll see it again until it has been given to its intended recipient.

Happy spring everybody. (I killed a mosquito yesterday)

Remember this isn't rocket science people, it's life and it's beautiful....BREATHE!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunny Sunday? or Love Squared?

Hello again. I'm going to try to blog with a little more frequency and a little less angst
...and quantity!
So, today it is beautiful and sunny; the pond is starting to melt. I've started a pool with the kids to see who can guess the day that the ice is finally all gone; $.25 (did you know that there isn't a cent symbol on this keyboard?!?) a piece; so if my husband wants in, the winner gets a dollar! I chose Thursday, because I love Thursdays (check here to see why).
A lovely sunny day, and isn't this a lovely sunny...

Doll? I think she's beautiful. I've watched her grow and even sent along these squares to help in her completion. So, I sent these 6 squares to Girl Gone Thread Wild, and she chose one to help with the doll. (The others will go to another piece of artwork)

Can you find it?

I also found my aunt's square; it's blue and pink, framed by metal and on the top row.

How does all this fit together, you may ask?

Well, you take a very talented and thoughtful lady, give her creative freedom and the internet and ....

TAAADAAA!!!! You have 'Love Squared' a wonderful doll covered with love, hope, memories and kindness to be auctioned off with proceeds going to support Breast Cancer Research. I'm so glad that I was able to help. Thanks for I for pointing the way, and thanks to M for her dedication (and kind comments).

Please follow 'Love Squared' along to see how everything turns out and look back to all the posts over the past couple of months to get a real appreciation for all the time and effort that went into this creation!

Friday, April 4, 2008


What O Week!!!
Hello; Hello! Get ready; I've got some venting to do, it's a long one!
There is always so much going on! How do we all manage? How do you manage?
Really, please comment on how you manage with the busy-ness that is life in the twenty-first century?
A lot happened this week. (are you getting that?) The kids finally had a full week of school; so I got to go to my yoga class on Monday, found out that there was a meeting that I was supposed to go to on Tuesday, but I wasn't going to be able to go to(more about that soon :o); so they changed it to Thursday. Monday night while making dinner I grabbed a frying pan by the handle that had just come out of the oven; the kids have never heard me scream like that (actually came running to see what happened) and all I could think was, "I need to knit my sock!" It's o.k. I can still knit.
Tuesday, I was supposed to take my cat, Thursday, in for a recheck for a skin issue that she's been having...moved that appointment to Thursday.
(hehe Thursday appointment for Thursday please)
Still Tuesday; my husband gets a flat tire --- I mean pancake flat--- even before he gets out of the driveway; not a good start for papa = not a good start for all of us!
Warm weather mean lots of melting; means lots of water; means lots of flooding! Our business is being flooded and my husband is dealing with a 14"-16" of water flood!!!
Yea, he's happy.
I'm skipping to Wednesday now, but there will be more about Tuesday.
Wednesday, back to my relaxation group; having a little trouble focusing on relaxing due to Tuesday! We got some troubling news about some of the members of our group and that weighs heavily on us. Did some errands before going home to make an especially nice dinner (try to make up for Tuesday); get everything prepped and simmering before taking the kids off to their respective dance classes, which is really about a two/two and a half hour driving loop! Enjoyed a lovely dinner --- that EVERYONE liked!!
And then, it's Thursday.
First, the one hour meeting, went for two. More errands with less time, but I'm already in town; so I want to get as much done as I can while I'm there!
Now here's where I start to loose it. I get home with precious little time to check emails and then take the cat to the vet. I had to wait a lot longer that I had anticipated for the vet, but waiting is just a part of life (and I had a magazine and some knitting with me). I come home and ask the children (for the fourth day in a row) to do a job (that their father had asked them to do the day before as well) and yea, they're too busy right now with homework and snacking. Can't argue with homework and it's not a one man job. And I'm pooped; hit the wall (and then the couch) for a few minutes. The children have finished their snacking and reading and go to the computer. Well, I'm done.
I've asked, I've reminded, I've pointed out, I've threatened and I've explained. I've used old fashioned parenting techniques and I've tried new fangled, touchy feely, tree hugging techniques and I seem to be the only one getting upset; even if the task eventually gets done---I feel rotten!
So tonight it's a time management life lesson.
We were supposed to attend Literacy Night at the school Thursday evening. I was looking forward to it. The kids were looking forward to it. It sounded neat. I blew off knitting to go to Literacy Night at the school!!!!!
There are jobs to be done and there are parents to be respected and listened to; if those two things, as a minimum, can't be completed; then the good stuff can't happen either!!!!
I scream and yell and nag ALL THE TIME about getting them to THEIR activities; they're 8 and me you want to go!
Sigh. Am I expecting too much? (The thought has been pointed out to me.)
Their father comes home and with one calm statement they are up and doing just what he told them; no whining, no complaining, no arguing, no negotiating; just moving.
So, they complete part of the job and then are distracted (I know, it's a kid thing; actually it's a mom thing too) It's pointed out to them that they still need to complete the FIRST job (o.k., it was cleaning up dog poo) and that it was too late to go to Literacy Night now.
Moan, whine, complain, but NOT EVEN CLOSE to the extent that I get it!!!! Later on there were tears, but the evening was done. And while I remembered my brother's birthday, I didn't get my act together at a decent time for everyone to call and wish him Happy Birthday. :o( Let me put it on public record that I thought about, and wished for my brother, K to have a Happy Birthday -- You Old Bag of Dirt! (Yea, he's younger than me).
Do you think the kids'll get it? Suggestions?
Today there's a Dance-a-thon at school and when asked if they wanted me to come?
They said, "No".
I showed them how I could dance and shake my 'bootee' for them; gasp, horror; disbelief!!!!
My son said, just stay home and knit.
I love my kids. I really do. They just wear me out; hello? A mother and not worn out? Yea, that's reality.

So I've talked about Tuesday quite a bit. Tuesday was a 'sanity regainer 'day. A, 'you are still a person, who can have fun your own way' kind of day; 'Dance Like No one's Watching' kind of day.
It was the Yarn Harlot's Book Launch day. It was the day to take the sock that you're knitting, (because even if we don't knit socks, we all want to), and take pictures of your sock with various Toronto landmarks for a Scavenger hunt; with prizes to be awarded at the book launch Tuesday evening. Just plain Knitting Tomfoolery, I tell you, Tomfoolery!!
I had chosen to work on a sock, not one that was already in progress, (oh no, that would make too much sense), but at least it was one from the Creative Plan for 2008!
And to start the day, the sock needs coffee.

Toronto has, historically, scared me. Getting there scared me. People there scared me. Not knowing where I was, scared me. And having spent a fair amount of time over the past two years in hospitals having not so pleasant things done to/for me; well, I had some mixed feelings.
Actually I was fed up with being scared and wanted to take something back!
Last May, my mother and I went down for an appointment at Princess Margaret Hospital, but this time I decided to make an outing of it. We got a hotel room. We went to some nice places to eat. We visited The Textile Museum and we found a Dollhouse Store. Stuff like that can only be found in a bustling, huge city! We people watched. Yea, we did what we had to do too, but mostly it was a gorgeous spring day and it was nice to finally be there enjoying what the city had to offer and not just put up with what they could do for me.
Since then I've maneuvered the city on my own quite a few times and feel more empowered than ever. It's not gonna beat me! I'm gonna take from it!!
You know what the city has? It has maps. It has nice, friendly people that will help you find your way and...

hold your sock for a photo op. This one is my favourite! All this and the sun was shining too!
Now Toronto is HUGE!! I didn't really have the appreciation for that as I do now; so I rode a streetcar from Queen and Bay (I think) down to the Beaches. I didn't know I was going to the Beaches; I just knew I was headed for a yarn shop.

Sarah at the Naked Sheep was very excited when I walked in carrying her Hot Chocolate! It's a nice little shop; I'd love to go back sometime.

So, by not really knowing where I was going, I spent a fair amount of time on the streetcar; not to was an ADVENTURE!! After getting back to Downtown(?) I met up with my friend E and got a shot of the sock with a monument that she's quite proud of beside the WSIB building on Front Street. The names of 100 workers that have been killed in the workplace; one for each of the last 100 years. It's a sobering; well done piece of architecture and I'm glad I got to share it with her. People should stop and pay attention! That's part of the problem of this busy life; we miss these treasures along the way.

I took 45 pictures for the day and they have been uploaded to the Flicker page for Inexplicable Knitting Behaviour in Toronto for April 1, 2008. It was just plain goofy how much fun I had doing such a silly thing in such a high tech place!

Nobody stopped to ask what I was doing. Everybody that I asked to hold the sock, laughed and said, "Sure." The Tim Horton's lady was a little skeptical, but once I showed her, her picture she seemed o.k.; I mean, what's another crazy person in Toronto? We all just kind of blend in.

The book launch presentation was entertaining and enlightening; I will never be without, "emergency knitting" again! After the question period was over we embarked on a very chilly and breezy jaunt down to the local pub, where they nicely stated that they had a 'place in the back for the knitting group'...

The place in the back quickly overflowed to the middle and the front!! There was knitting everywhere!!!! Yea, there was a baseball game I think, but the knitters? We know how to play ball our way!

I'll post some more pictures of the day; some of my other favourites. I took the day to just have some fun and the family survived, again, even with flat tires, floods and left to their own devises for food. Who knew?