Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pot meet Kettle

So, I'm sitting here thinking I don't really have time to sit here...I'm taking the kids to go see my brother play in White Christmas at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton and one kid isn't even at home, the other one is sleeping and I'm still in my jammies on my first cup of coffee. Thanks to Santa, it's a HUGE cup of coffee!
I'm also going through all my favourite blogs and feeling more than a little disappointed that there haven't been more recent posts on a lot of them; hence...
Pot meet Kettle.

Here's the last (I think I said that before ;o) shots from the cruise.

I took some time last night, as I finally finished a hat for myself, to reflect on how amazing it was that I finally took that cruise that I've dreamed of all my life.

Yeah, that was pretty freaking amazing!

So, that's my quick post. Maybe there will be knitting next time. Maybe next time will be sooner than later. You just never know.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

People! People Who Need People...

Are indeed the luckiest people in the world!

This should about finish my Cruise update (for awhile...or, this time, at least!)

Some of the wonderful people include...

Our waiter, who made sure that there was always enough chocolate at our table to save us the trouble of deciding which dessert we should order! The smiles say it all!

The Chefs who create some of those wonderful chocolate treats!


Some of the lovely ladies that I met, shared meals (wine) and knitting time with.

Let's see, anything else?
Well, how about....

Our friendly knitting designers and teachers, Debbie Bliss, Nicki Epstein and Carla Scott. Thank-you ladies, we all had a wonderful time and it was truly a pleasure meeting and knitting with you. The knowledge and friendships gained will not be long forgotten.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is....

What you do when you're waiting in line at the airport. In the "Checked In Online" line. People who don't knit get very cranky when they have to wait an hour or so in the "Checked In Online To Save Time" line.

I was happy; I got my sweater finished that I wanted to wear on the plane.
(The sweater that when I realized that I was going to run out of yarn three days before I was to leave, found a knitter who had the same yarn in the same dye lot on Ravelry, who lives in Toronto, who met me in the lobby of her apartment building, IN TORONTO, so that I could buy the one last skein that I needed!)
Knitters Rock!
The picture you take when you're walking along Ocean Drive in South beach the morning before you get on your cruise ship.

The picture you take in Costa Maya to show your daughter that bananas really do grow on trees in Mexico.
A picture you asked a complete stranger to take as you celebrate Zip Lining over the Rain Forest in Belize.
Yes, of course it's a Margarita!!

Just a taste of the surprises that lay in store for you on a Cruise ship!

I hung it in the bathroom when I left just to mess up my Stateroom attendant.
Happy Thursday everybody...it's Knit Night!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home & Doing Laundry....SURPRISE!!!!

O.K. Short and sweet.
I'm home. We're all fine. I plan to show more pics over the next few days.
I want to go have a nap.
Amen Sisterfriend!!
Here she is in Costa Maya.

This is me. Climbing a very big hill in Belize. Why am I climbing? Why am I wearing a helmet? What's all that fuzzy green stuff in the background?
The fuzzy green stuff is the rain forest. (It's fuzzy because I was shaking from having to climb)
I'm wearing a helmet so that I don't get a head injury. (What you don't see is the harness and gloves that I'm also wearing)
I'm climbing so that I can sail over the trees of the rain forest on a ZIP LINE!!
That's a "having a blast laughing" smile, combined with, "Oh my God, I hope I don't have a heart attack! And they called this the 'Moderate' climb activity!" Geez.

Yup. Helmet diving.
They put the helmet on, pump air in and send you down to swim with the fishes.
Very Cool.

Standing on my balcony the last day of sailing at the moment that there actually was sunshine, while trying to outrun a hurricane. They kept telling us that it was a cold front from the north that was giving us problems.
I saw the map. That hurricane was biting us on the butt!
Pretty neat for self portraits huh?
Oh yeah, and there was knitting.... more soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There's Only So Much They Can Do.

Yesterday I was in love with the French Curve and as I started to do some sewing today (because I finished the sleeve I was working on yesterday! Yay!) I thought, "Here's another 'Best Tool Ever'!"
This is my chalk/pen/marker that I now use for marking my patterns. I've stressed quite a bit about marking patterns in my lifetime. I used to do a 'Taylor's Tack' is what I think it was called, using needle and thread to mark the dots...and hated it. Usually I just tried to fudge my way through and kind of eyeball them as I got to them...not the most successful method of sewing.
Years and years ago I found this really cool chalk and needle marking system that I LOVED! Apparently, I was the only one who loved it because I haven't been able to find refills or a replacement for quite awhile.
Now, I've found this sturdy chalk marker and I've relaxed in my whole marking/matching endeavors. Once again, patterns are 'suggestions'. It's an art; not a science, so if the marks are in approximately the same general area and the overall appearance works...well, 'Bob's your uncle and get going sister-friend!' Life's too short for worrying about matching dots exactly.
Speaking of Life being too short...
My sewing Angel was watching over me again today.
This is me finding just enough scrap material to cut the facings. Again. Because I, again, reversed them when I cut them out the first time and therefore didn't match up when I went to sew them into the jacket/top. Are you getting that this is not something new in my life? So, while there's only so much an Angel can do for person, I was very lucky to be able to make this work!
Continuing with the whole 'silver lining' theme...

At least I got to practise my button holes, and when I did do it the second time, I took my time and paid attention to every last detail. Yay.
So....do you think it looks like old lady fabric?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rulers and Rules

See this? Do you know what this is? (Yes, I can see that it says French Curve right on the package).
This is the greatest invention EVER!!
Do you know why it is the greatest invention EVER?!
Because it is something that you can use to alter sewing patterns, that you already own, so that they fit you the way that you are now and not the way you used to be.

Sad thing is...I used it today to alter the brand new pattern that I bought yesterday (on sale at Fabricland), because....well I obviously haven't figured out that if you continuously need to add an inch (or two) to the patterns you have at home; then if you buy the same size, AGAIN, then you will have to alter it AGAIN!!! The multi-sizing group was bad; you know, because you're the smallest size in the bigger grouping...well, that still looks worse than maybe being the larger size in the smaller grouping.

Love the French Curve.

O.K. Some Knitting Rules.

First, let me explain...

This is Yarn Barf. Yarn Barf is the mess of yarn you get when you try to pull the centre from the ball to start knitting (or crocheting, if you're so inclined) and you get a bunch of yarn and not especially the end that you were looking for.

I abhor yarn barf.

Rule #1: Yarn Barf cannot be left as is.

I cannot rest until I have knit the entire yarn barf down to the point of a nice slim line of yarn emitting from the centre of the ball.

Rule #2: Knitting must be left with right side facing for the next row.

You can tell me we have to go, start locking the doors, stand there tapping your foot...I will only stop knitting when I have completed a wrong side row.

Rule #3: When working a sleeve or any other piece of knitting with intervals of increases, or decreases, the work must be left with a straight knit row to be worked when work is taken up again.

This is the only way to almost ensure a consistent slope in your work; if you are expected to remember to increase or decrease when you next pick up your knitting, then you will spend more time tinking (the act of un-knitting) than knitting. Leave your work so that you can just jump in and after you've completed a couple of rows you'll stop. Lay it on your lap. Admire it. Count what you've already accomplished and then it will come back to you that you should probably increase (or decrease, as the case may be) and then you're back in the groove!

Now, since I've cut out the adjusted pattern (I'll save the lining for another day) and dealt with the yarn barf, I will now get showered and feed my family. Oh, I got the laundry done and the sun is shining and tonight is my favourite t.v. night! I guess it's a good day.

Any knitting rules you'd like to share?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Do You Spin?"

Yesterday, as it turns out, was International Day of Peace.

I wish I had known that yesterday.

I didn't think that I would have done anything especially different...until I read the September 21 entry from my "Never Not Knitting" calendar.

Who can argue with this wisdom? And I quote:

"Gandhi, that great man of nonviolence, maintained that every person should spin thread for 30 minutes a day. He had taken a vow to do so, and kept this vow even while in prison. Gandhi believed that the practice of quiet, structured, peaceful work would promote those same qualities in the people who did it...."

Do I spin?

Rochelle asked a simple enough question.


I have books (doubles, if you want to know the truth!)

I have stash.


I have accessories. The Red Hot Mama's are all about accessorizing.

I have a really cute wheel. As I recall, it runs very smoothly too.

And I really like where my Ladybug is.

I would love to have the qualities that Gandhi spoke of.

"...kept this vow even while in prison..."!?!?!?!

Well, I wouldn't exactly call this a prison. So....

WHY NOT?!?!?!

Tuesdays are for spinning you know.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's always the way.

Wednesday is this year's "Fright Night" (scroll down).

Unlike Sandi, however, I just go with it and have pizza...used to order it; now it's Delisio Rising Crust Pizza!!
After pizza I load both kids in the van along with all their paraphernalia and head out to tackle "the loop". I drop one at the music store for his drum lesson early, because music lessons and dance lessons start at the same time--- in different towns--- at the same time. We live in yet another town.
Now, the dance class goes longer than the drum lesson; so after I deposit my dancer at the studio I pop back into the van to head back to pick up the drummer.
Let me share a little side note here. My daughter and I were on our way to yet another dance class of hers today, when a commercial advertising diapers came on the radio. (They're on sale at Baby's-R-Us) The lady mentioned just how many diapers a person might change in one day. My daughter asked me how many times I had to change diapers when she was a baby? O.K.
1) I don't remember.
2) I do remember addressing this very issue when my kids were babies. I didn't keep track of how many times I had to change a bum. A bum needed changing, it got changed. If I was lucky somebody else did it, but usually it was me.
I think that if you start keeping track/score, especially when it comes to parenting, well you're just setting yourself up for a miserable time of it. I think it's much more productive to keep track of the few gems that keep you smiling in the midst of all those diapers. Not that I always follow my own words of wisdom here, but really what good can come of counting dirty diaper changes? It just makes everybody cranky.
The same holds true later in the parenting adventure when you become the official taxi driver. Don't think about it. Just immerse yourself in the task. Don't think of all the other things that you could be doing. Don't think about the gas. Don't think about all the other running around you do in addition to these evenings where you're touring around the county, with the added enjoyment of the arguing that you get to endure when they are both in the car at the same time. Just be one with the commute.
Don't think about it...just keep your eyes open for that Yarn Shop whose neon light shines an ever welcoming OPEN sign above its door.
Don't think about it...when you remember that you were looking for another 3.75mm circular knitting needle. (Don't remember exactly what project it was for, but there's always another one).
Don't think about it...when you realize that you've already been to one yarn shop today...

Just take your van and your ever-drumming son into that parking lot, turn the engine off, get out of that driver seat, breath the lovely night air and go in there and buy those Addi Natura 3.75mm (and a couple of patterns...but no yarn!!). Then continue on into the fading light of the Wednesday evening to finish the last of your pickups and get everybody home safe and sound.

So, fast forward through Thursday...there was knitting and laughing...how much better can it get? Now, it's Friday morning and enough is enough!
I begin to shift and sort some piles. I won't kid you, it was a big job, and I got carried away a few times, and I'm not anywhere near finished, but look what I found?

I know there's still a lot of stuff surrounding the floor area, but look what else I found...

Well, that's two. I'm sure there's more somewhere!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This is what I knit.

This is what I saw.

I know, I know..."A blind man would be glad to see it."

This is what I did.

Then, I did this.


I'll be able to sleep tonight.

I hope.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This is difficult to write.

Today is the Knitter's Fair in Kitchener Waterloo.
I'm not going and that makes me very sad.
I'm not feeling well enough to go a Knitting Fair and that just makes me feel worse!
I remember when I was 18 I got a cold/cough thing that was a doozy and may have interfered with my school schedule a bit, but in no way was it going to interfere with my social life! Besides I always felt better once I got out and enjoying myself.
I was invited out to a bar where some friends were playing in the band (that was back when smoking was allowed everywhere) and I was sick. I ummed and awed, I even asked dad what he thought I should do? (He lives for stuff like that.) I was shocked by his answer, "I can't tell you what to do. You'll have to decide that one for yourself." I remember that like it was yesterday.
So, I went.
I was 18, what else was I going to do.
I'm sure I had fun. I'm sure I felt o.k. while I was there. I'm sure I didn't meet the love of my life which was pretty much why I did everything when I was 18.
The next day I felt like crap (no hangover) just shouldn'thavegoneoutwhenyouweresick, crap, and I'm sure the virus hung on a lot longer because of my decision.
Well, I'm not 18 anymore...at least not physically...
I've got more responsibilities for one thing. Hopefully, I'm a little more practical and I'm starting to learn that yes, I actually do have to look after myself. me. nobody else. I do know what's best and sometimes that means making some very hard decisions.
I'm tired of making hard decisions; this should be an easy one...Knitting Fair? I'm there! Done. Easy.
Stupid cough. Stupid surgery. Stupid this. Stupid that.
See, now look, I'm whining. It is an absolutely gorgeous day and there have been plenty lately and more on the horizon, ie. weather forecast is good. I am blessed with wonderful, healthy, happy children. I have pets that give me unconditional love. I have a hardworking husband that makes sure we have a safe and warm home. I have more yarn and fabric than anybody should rightfully own! I have friends that love and support me, who are better at looking after me than I am, because they keep telling me, "take it easy; rest."
But, it's the Knitter's Fair....
It was part of the plan....
There are people there (besides the many knitters that I already know and love), strangers, or maybe, 'yet to be friends', that 'get' me.
The fumes.....oh, I love the fumes...
There will be new stuff and I'll miss it!!! I hate missing stuff!
THAT'S IT!!! I hate missing out!!
My whole life I didn't want to miss anything, and now that I've found my passion, it cuts me deep not to be able to immerse myself in it always!
So today I will stay home and knit and maybe sew. I will take my daughter to her dance class.
I will rest.
After all, I need to be ready for the Vogue Knitting Cruise! See, tough decisions!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Was not especially productive...a few rows of knitting completed.
All the same, though, a very, very exciting day!
I saw a stick bug.

I don't ever remember seeing a real-live stick bug. The only one I really remember seeing looked like this.

I have to say though, I think it was his lucky day.

I like knitting with circular needles; not straights.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Productive Day!!!

Thought I'd show you what I've been up to for the past couple of days...
Flannel. Birthday Flannel.

My daughter turns 10 tomorrow and she's a ballerina!
We have a pond, so......

Ballerina Frogs!! Soft, cozy, dancing, ballerina frog pajamas! Don't they just make you smile?

I also completed a sock. One sock. My idea (that I came up with this morning) is to present my girl with the one sock....
and then, she can tell me if she wants a sock to match that one or she can choose the colours that she wants for a co-ordinating sock! Takes the pressure off me and involves her in making a fashion choice for herself and she finally gets the hand knit socks she's been after. (I sure hope she doesn't take the scissors to them! Stranger things have happened.)

I followed up on some emails and phone calls. (more party planning)

Did a full, FULL load of dishes by hand (the kids dried) because my dishwasher gave up the ghost yesterday and that darned dish washing fairy didn't come by last night a look after the dinner dishes! It's getting replaced tomorrow.

Managed to have a little bit of a nap because I'm trying not to let this cold and cough take full hold, but had to get up because my little darling decided she needed to clean out her desk in the room next to mine and apparently that involves a lot of banging and crashing...I haven't had a look at it yet; better check that out.

And finally finished something that my husband has been after me to do for a couple of months now.

Baby Blankets. Stop it!!! We're too old for that nonsense!

He needed one for a gift for a special little girl and I finally got around to putting something together for him to choose from. I made five, so the next time he says I need a blanket, (he works with a prolific bunch) I'll say, "Here, pick one!"

So, you know what happens when you have such a productive day?


And maybe paper plates too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mama Called The Doctor...

{And while she was on hold she said, "How many more days until school starts?"}

So, I thought I would try to get some sewing done today. Maybe get a few flannel items crossed off the to-do list, and of course, because I'm down here trying to get some birthday jammies done for her, my daughter decided that she needed to work on the sock monkey kit that I gave her last Christmas.
I really wanted to foster this kind of mother - daughter bonding and showed her how to do a whip stitch. Encouraged her to thread the needle, "Yes, I know you've tried fifteen times. Try again." Shared my polyfil with her, "No, you don't need that much, put it back. Put it back. Put it back." Tried to keep her focused, "Don't touch that. Put that down. Stop poking that. That's not what that's for. Yes, that's my candy. I don't know why they don't make Turtles look like Turtles anymore. STOP STABBING THINGS!!!"

While I haven't been the most patient parent/person when it came to passing on the dying arts of cooking, baking, knitting and sewing to my children, I do, on occasion try. I don't cope (I just made a typo of 'dope'---maybe a little Freudian thing happening there) very well with the sloppiness and mess associated with teaching my children a new skill. Which is totally surprising, because I am so not a neat freak! I tend to use the, "Here, let me do that," approach; you know, "it's just easier if I do it", etc. etc.

I'm not proud of it, but that's the way it's been.

I've tried to teach both my children to knit. My son? It's not his thing, but I'm proud to say that he did give it a, albeit small, shot. My daughter? She's pretty good, that is, when she stays still long enough. I was hoping that giving her a skill that required her to sit still might encourage her to, I don't know, SIT STILL??? She's affectionately known as our "Whirling Dervish" Quite honestly, she has always moved so quickly from one thing to another that the only clue you had that she was about to move onto something new was when you heard the one word that filled our family with dread.


"Oopsie", covered everything from spilled milk, candle wax poured down a sink, sneaking chocolate, falling into a Bay, any number of broken fragile items to jewelry going down the toilet.

Well, that was when she was a little girl. She's soon turning into a big girl and we know this because her vocabulary is expanding. No more "Oopsie"; no siree. Now we're going to hear (as I did earlier today) "Uh-oh, that's bad."



X-ray, stat!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just a Little Bit

Here's a muddled look (on purpose) of some top secret knitting.
It's lace.
Lace uses very tiny needles (well, bigger than socks, but stay with me on this one).
Lace yarn is very, very fine...finest there is, as it turns out!
So even when you knit and knit and knit and knit for hours it looks like you've only worked 'just a little bit'. The ball of beautifully handpainted yarn you started with, looks relatively the same after all those hours and hours and hours of knitting.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....
And then one Thursday evening, after an especially long and difficult few months, some friends who love and care about you, drop by, braving the tornado warnings and winds and rain, to share 'just a little bit' of time with you.
They don't want anything from you.
In fact they come bearing a gift that only a chosen few truly know how much it will mean to you.
They bring their own lemonade and they make their own tea.
They share their triumphs, their worries and their joys; one joy we all share, is the joy of yarn.

And how nice it is to knit 'just a little bit' of yarn (one ball) and accomplish this much!

Thanks ladies, I needed that!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

She CAN be taught!!

Yesiree Bob! I checked my last ball of Noro and low and behold...look carefully now...Two segments of purpley-pink!

So I says to myself, "Self, that doesn't look right; I bet you there's a knot," and unwind I did until...

A lovely little Noro Knot.

While I can obviously be taught (at least some of the time), I do, however, still need some help with the skill of reading.

Did you know that when a pattern reads, "Repeat last four rows 14 times" (one of those rows included 2 decreases---one at each end---not rocket science), that a completely different amount of yarn will be required should you decrease a total of 14 stitches from the beginning of shaping, and then move onto the next set of instructions?

Did you know that failure to work the decrease at the end of the row where you worked one at the beginning of the row will mess you up quite a few rows later?

Did you know that when you stay up past midnight catching up on The Young and The Restless (poor Sharon), and reknitting all the knitting that you previously Frogged and Tinked due to above mentioned reading 'brain-farts' and the power goes out...that it's REALLY DARK!?

So this morning I completed the knitting of all the major parts of my Haliburton Noro, having to add more yarn to complete the last 1 & 1/4 rows and to castoff. Oy.
Gotta say again, I'm quite pleased with my attention to keeping true to the colour progressions (as much as possible).

With body and sleeves completed, I'm quite excited to see about getting this puppy put together, so I sit with the pattern.

I read the finishing instructions of the pattern.

I get more coffee.

I look closely, really closely, at the pictures of the sweater.

I read the pattern again; this time from the beginning to make sure that I didn't miss anything when I started this sweater a year and a half ago. I read it again and again and again.

I don't get it. It doesn't make sense to me.

So I do what any learned knitter/quilter/married person would do (because they too have 'been taught') who's been faced with similar frustrating situations.

I walk away.

I go take a shower.

I have an "AHA moment" in the shower, where suddenly the fog clears from all their convoluted instructions! I can put this puppy together!

All I have to remember is to trust. Trust and blindly follow the instructions exactly as they are written.

And prey.

But first, let us block.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Update

Here's yesterday's deleted photo:
"Please, it's not time for another haircut is it?"

This, my friends, is what a skein of Noro Silk Garden WITHOUT A SINGLE KNOT IN IT, looks like knit up.
And Now...
More Powerful than a Bunch of Knitters at a Yarn Sale...
Faster than a Collection of Addi Turbos...
Up in the sky...
It's a Shopper...
No, it's a Knitter....
No, it's......