Sunday, September 4, 2011

Try Something New!

There's this thing called "Blogging"?
I thought I'd give it a try...
Hi. Me again. My computer has been, shall we say, 'fussy'? So, I've cleaned my discs, defragged and done a complete back up; so now, I'll try posting something.
So far, so good. My photos got loaded. Yay!
When last we spoke, I was heading to the cottage with the family.
Here is a shot following the first exodus of people where the children and I enjoyed a quiet 36 hours. This quiet time included driving an hour to go see the last Harry Potter movie and a drop in from some cottage friends, which lead to a dinner invitation. I said 'quiet' right?
My kids and the dog went to sit at the end of the dock and have quickly adapted to the cottage etiquette of waving to the boats going by. We were in a very quiet (no really, we were the loud ones) bay; so there wasn't a lot of waving.
I did manage to knit a little when the crowd dispersed.
And then we were home again.
Some dear friends presented me with a tree a couple of years ago after my mom passed away. My gardening skills are 'poor' at best these days, but this lovely gift is thriving and I wanted to show it off a bit. I smile and think of the lovely women who have been, and who are in my life whenever I see this tree.
These same friends and I went on a bit of a 'Yarn Crawl' upon my return from the cottage where we celebrated the start to one of their Vacations!
I call this, "Yarn on a Mini."
So, there you go. A fly-by post. I hope all is well with all my friends and family who read this and---fingers crossed---the computer keeps going; so that I can post again.
I finished KAL#2. Fiddlehead Mittens. I won this kit in a draw at our Cast-Off Annual Christmas Party. The kit was generously donated by Connie at Pick Up Sticks. (unfortunately, 'fussy', seems to include an unwillingness to create a link)
Thank-you, Connie; a pleasure, as always.
My turn to choose the next KAL project. I'm embracing the 'learning new skills' mandate of our little group and including some 'never seen before' elements.
I KNOW!!! The fun just never stops!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So, of course I'm going to show you knitting stuff...
KAL Project #1 completed by four knitting friends:
Same project (Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf**sorry, computer won't let me link!**); different yarns...aren't they wonderful?
KAL Project #2 started by the same four knitting friends:
(Fiddlehead Mittens**still no link!**) in 40 C weather! We're nuts!!
I don't have this one lined yet, but some of the others in the group are working these mittens two at a time; either on the same needles or a little bit of one and then a little bit of the other.
We plan on a photo shoot at the completion of this KAL too.
I haven't been a very consistent blogger over the past few months...I had great intentions at the beginning of the advised, however, that I will likely not be posting over the next couple of weeks as the family holiday will begin in approximately 48 hours.
I've done little to nothing in preparation for this holiday and thought that today, I better get things moving!
Wind the yarn that I'm planning to use.
Cascade 220 for Christmas presents.
Did I mention 40 C? 48 C, with the humidex forecast for tomorrow!
Yeah, gimme some o' that Cascade 220!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

That's Knitter With a Capital "K"!

I took knitting on my weekend away and actually did quite a bit of sweater that I had tucked away in the stash. I really would like to make a full size sweater that I'll wear when I'm cold, will look nice and show that I really am a Knitter. Yes, that's Knitter with a capital "K"!

After all my knitting, however, I don't have one stitch to be able to show you. Aww, yes, the negative knitting curse struck again. Here is how it goes...

Pick out pattern, yarn and needles and pack it along with your other weekend treats.

Take new set of interchangeable needles...just because.

Find a comfy, quiet place to knit when away with friends where there is "no judgement."

Cast on specified number of stitches for the back, using the specified needle and knit away.

Reread pattern several times while doing this and answer, "What are you knitting?" many times as well.

After a dozen rows or so, decide that you should go down a needle size.

Rip out back of sweater.

Cast on using one of the interchangeable needles.

Knit a few rows and decide that the cable is too long and change cable mid-row.

Knit another dozen rows or so and determine yet, again that you should probably go down a size again.

Compare gauge called for in pattern to gauge listed on ball band.

Wonder if close is close enough?

Allow the fact that you are still choosing not to knit a gauge swatch enter your reality.

Note at this time, that the interchangeable have an alternate numbering system and the 4mm you think you need will actually be substituted with a 4.25mm.

Cast on for the sleeve.

Knit more than 30 rows of the sleeve to get a true 'swatch-like' measurement and determine that the previous needle size: ie. 4.5mm would likely give a more correct measurement after all.

Rip out sleeve.

Pack up knitting, pattern, interchangeable needles and will to live.

Pour your first (but not last) Margarita of the day.

Wonder if you'll really be able to rip the pattern up and discard the yarn if you don't get gauge using 4.5mm on the sleeve?

Aaahhh, Margarita.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

There Are Few Things Sadder Than...

A blogger who doesn't get to blog about all the wonderful things that have been going on over the past couple of weeks/months.

A couple of weeks ago I went to watch my daughter in the Area Track and Field Meet.

She got FIRST!! So this week I'm going to go watch her at the Regional Track and Field Meet.

Last Friday night, the family and I attended a little event called Relay For Life. My son's school hosted the event for the first time. The kids organized the whole thing. They set up tents so that those who weren't walking all night would have a place to sleep.
I got a yellow T-shirt. I gave a little speech. I did a lap around the track.

We let the balloons we were carrying go in celebration of being a Survivor. My kids helped.

It really was a special night.

Over the past month or so. I've been participating in a KAL with some of my knitting friends. We chose to do a Linen Stitch Scarf. I've made this before and in the post in my head, you would see pictures of the first one I did. I was happy to do it again as I remember it being very much a 'Zen' kind of knit; not 'mindless' but 'mindful'. There are four of us participating and we each chose vastly different colourways---always a fun part of different people working on the same project; seeing how the different colours affect the outcome---here is a photo of my completed scarf. AKA Christmas Present #1.

This photo isn't fabulous in terms of colour representation, it's more black than brown, but look closely...
Cast On? Cast Off? Can you tell which is which? Pretty close match don't you think?

As some of us approached the end of the scarf, so began our discussion as to how to cast off this particular stitch. Some research had been done prior to even beginning the project for tips from others that had gone before us. Every time anybody started stressing about it, or any stitch that wasn't quite perfect, I was the first to lean in to the concerned knitter and clearly and firmly state, "It's a scarf." My intent was to remind them that it didn't have to be perfect; that a blind man would be glad to see it and that if it was something that couldn't be noticed as you wore it riding by on a horse, then it didn't matter.

Then it was my turn to cast off. First I decided I needed another row after the pattern said to stop to balance my colour progression from the cast on. The other's concurred. Then I tried casting off knitwise, purlwise, knit two together cast off, knit one - slip one - pass stitch over cast off and then repeated each of those a number of times. I dug out several of my knitting books. My friend sent me a link from Ravelry. Everything I tried did not give me the look that I wanted, because apparently, it did matter what the cast off looked like.

This really should not have come as any surprise since when doing this scarf the first time around, I chose to work two scarves for half the rows and do a three needle bind off to keep the edges identical. So finally, in complete desperation, I found a crochet hook to attempt a slip stitch cast off. As far as mirroring the long tail cast on edge it wasn't too bad, but something still wasn't right and so back to the beginning for one more try. I worked another linen stitch row using the same colour as previously used, went back to the beginning of that row, worked a slip stitch cast off and....TAA DAA!!! I DID IT!!! I am just tickled with the result and more tickled that my friend at one of my favourite LYS couldn't tell the difference either. HEEEE HEEEEE!!!

Speaking of LYS...

There are few things sadder than a knitter making a last minute decision to go to a yarn shop that is having an awesome sale (that her friends got to go to before she could!) only to find that it is closed for the day.

It all worked out though. It was open the next day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Good To Know I'm Not Alone.

This is going to be a wordy one my friends; once again reminding you to be careful what you wish for.

I haven't posted anything in well over a month and in reviewing my last post I mentioned that it was going to be a busy week. Well, I guess I meant month.

Yesterday and today I have been purging my basement. ie. Attempting to purge to the best of my Pisces ability, or perhaps to the best of my 'Sentimental/Relaxed Messy' ability. I apologize to my knitting friends who inherited some of my yarn. (They did seem pretty happy about it though.)

My purging however went beyond yarn, in fact yarn is playing a very small part in this round of 'tidy up the basement'. What has prompted me to post today is something that I wrote...just for the sake of writing (long hand) on August 24, 2001. After reading this and then this and then coming across my ramblings, I felt that, once again, I was being sent a message that was not to be ignored.

So here goes; I will copy it unedited as it was written that August afternoon so long ago...

I am a Mother.
Who should I submit article to?
Today I was really trying to be the mother that I thought I would be and the one that so infrequently is seen by my children.
So I made my 4 year old the "Triple -Decker-Super-Duper-Peanut-Butter-and-Jam-Sandwich" that he requested. I said, "Yes, you can finish your sister's Kraft Dinner."
And then I said, "Here's the bag of candy from the Birthday Party---have the piece of gum last."
I had smiled and thought, 'he must be growing a couple of inches today' as he ate the sandwich.
I let go of the "Enforcer" part of me and let him have the candy at will, because, 'surely, nobody else is this regimented'...I still have Halloween, Christmas and Easter leftovers, because there's so much and it seems I allow so little...and I got a Tootsie-pop out of the deal---he shares well.

I am a Knitter.
I have been knitting for 18 years. (like I said, unedited)
My grandmother tried teaching me a couple of times when she came to visit, but I didn't keep it up after she left.
One of my life disappointments is that she didn't live long enough to see me and my knitting---although I do believe she does see.
My mother sat down and showed me again how to knit...but I say to anyone contemplating teaching...yes, everyone who's going to learn must start with knitting, but don't let them go away without PURLING!
Nothing can turn off a potential knitter more than working at GARTER has it's place, but showing someone the beauty of stocking stitch sets a whole world of colour and warmth before them!
My inspiration to take up the craft came from a high school friend's is now MY dear friend. She was constantly knitting, I mean it...always sitting in the same chair with a HUGE wicker basket...the kind a snake would be charmed from...full of sweaters and/or yarn at some stage of production
She had sweater sales and I modeled some of her creations for the 'sweater shoots'. She has moved from that house where I was inspired and lost virtually all her material possessions...including and amazing "STASH" of yarn (it smoldered for 2 days after the fire) and a beloved family cat.
She still continues to have sweater sales, at 70 years young and continues to enter sweaters in fall fairs. She has been 'suggesting' that I enter some of my creations, for years and finally in 2001, I agree. [Why would I pick now?! I have 2 children, aged 2 and 4, my husband has his own business that we run out of our home.]

I am a Nurse.
Then he comes to me chewing his precious Trident Bubblegum and says, "I want to play outside now", turns and chokes on his own spit. We've all done it. It goes down the wrong way and we cough. I asked him if he was O.K? He turned to me shaking his head no. He was coughing and breathing, so I really wasn't too worried.

So there I sat, while my 2 year old napped, doing some finishing work on a sweater for my brother that I planned to enter in the fair.

Now, this is where my priorities get a little fuzzy I think.

Sean came up to me coughing and gagging. (He was born with a gag reflex about 2" away from his lips! Only those who actually saw this child gag and vomit can fully appreciate the minimal amount of warning before Mt. Vesuvius erupted!) And as the first wave overcame him my hand went up to catch the gum and whatever else came with it, and the words out of my mouth were...

"Not on the sweater!"

O.K., so who should I submit this article to? Mother of the year or Knitters Anonymous?

But wait...There's more!

He's fine. He apologizes for throwing up..."and it's a good thing I didn't throw up on the sweater!"

So, I had to put down the sweater during this precious nap time, to clean up puke! And as I get to return to my knitting the phone rings because somebody can't find a quote that we 'think' my husband left there, but I can't check with him because he's out of town for the night working on a cottage and his phone doesn't work up there! (This is where my sentence structure falls apart, but let's face it...Life IS a run-on sentence!) And with that phone call---my daughter wakes up---early. But you know, advice to young mothers: She was fine in her crib; so I finished the darn Duplicate Stitch! But, didn't get to block.

But you know, that was only lunch and the next 2 hours. There was the morning too; which looking back wasn't that bad...

My daughter who is days away from turning 2 decided to remove her dirty diaper, carry it upstairs to the bathroom to throw the poop in the toilet (her baby sitter does this) and flush, 'Bye-Bye poop!' Cute, nice, no major disaster there...I was in the shower. Sean came running up a few minutes later to tell me the whole story; I told him it was fine..."But, mom there's one poop still there!" He went to his room and wouldn't come out till I cleaned up the poop and then it was safe!
I am a mother=I clean poop and puke.
And I got 90's in math.

I am a wife.
I am very lucky. I married a loving, good, hardworking man. With a good sense of humour. Here's more advice for anyone who might actually read this: Choose a partner with a sense of humour. Life is full of too many disappointments and too much hard work not to be able to find the humour in it. I think that if you have a sense of humour you can see the lighter side of the "Life that happens when you're busy making plans."

Wow. I had forgotten a lot of that story and I'm struck with how much has stayed the same and how much has changed. I've spent the past 2 days down here trying to gain some sense of control over my life because with parenting right now, I'm not feelin' it. But any frustration I'm feeling right now doesn't hardly compete with poop and puke...although now I'm dealing with Boxers and Bras!
Little people; little problems. Big people; big problems.
Really though, the problems aren't big at all; it's more about how I'm handling the 'discussions'. My avoidance method of choice? You guessed it...KNITTING!!!

There's my post. A blast from the past. Maybe next time there'll be pictures.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mondays! What's not to love?!

***Apparently we're back to having a post with one run on sentence after another with no paragraph breaks!! Sorry about that---I don't know why or how to make it look like the way I typed it, which is a post with paragraphs!*** Hey there! I had a wonderful weekend and now a great start to the week and by all accounts it's gonna be a busy one! I took my daughter to a dance competition in Barrie on the weekend and everybody did really well! It wasn't far away, so we were able to come home and relax before we were back at it. Most competitions are quite intense with basically too much estrogen floating around in a limited space, but we had plenty of space and not too many studios competing; so all in all, a nice quiet (in the loud tapping and pounding music kind of way) mother-daughter bonding time. Speaking of mother-daughter bonding...I have more Disney photos! Anybody remember Tinker Toys? Half the fun of going on the rides at Disney is waiting in the lines! We used the Fast Pass a few times, but honestly, you miss out on some really fun stuff if you avoid the lines. They're pretty smart down there at Disney. I loved the Toy Story movies and had a great time trying to see all the different elements they brought to the ride. Hollywood Studios was a really fun park; you get to pretend to be a kid and you feel like one too with all the giant sized toys! O.K. here's another Artsy-Fartsy photo and this one was taken at Epcot. I wanted to tell you why today was so nice. I got to have lunch with some of my knitting friends and then we went to visit one of our LYS. We rarely get to do this and it was just wonderful to get to spend more time with these wonderful ladies. We always laugh and support each other in all aspects of our lives and even though we've all promised over and over again to not let each other buy more yarn, because none of us (especially me) need more yarn. We just love and accept each other for our yarn buying weaknesses. I was the only one who fell...well, it wasn't really a fall...more like a trip, because I only bought a little...and it was on sale...and some roving for spinning... but I won't be going to the Frolic and from what I understood there will be some---not a lot, but some---stash enhancement there. We talked about getting together to work on our own Knit-along (separate from our usual knit night; not instead of!) Maybe we could work on some new skills or maybe..... Finish a UFO!! Now that would be something! Here's one last photo for today... I call it, "Hippos Underwater". I've got lots to keep me busy over the next couple of weeks, but I'll try to keep the pictures coming and I hope that even when you're busy you'll find time to spend with your friends; honestly, there is nothing like it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

And Two...

O.K. Let's try TWO pictures! Our first full day in Florida (yes, I'm back-dating a little) during March...I got to use my new camera and take an 'artsy-fartsy' flower shot. I embarrassed my daughter (that's what a mother's for) by getting into some weird position to capture it, but it had been a long time since I had seen a flower growing in it's natural habitat and I wanted to see how the floral setting on my camera did. Pretty good, don't you think? There will be more I promise you that! We did things kind of backwards on our first day (learning the ropes and all) and had our picture taken by the Disney photographer on our way out of the Park. We're wearing our "First Visit" buttons, proudly!
Animal Kingdom was the first official Park visit of our Disney Adventure. It was a wonderful introduction for what lay ahead for the rest of the holiday.

FYI: In knitting news...I'm knitting fast and trying to be extra creative in my attempts to finish my Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton Cardigan, because I won't have enough yarn to finish it the way that the pattern calls for. I hope it fits and that I like it when it's done; wouldn't that just suck, if after all that it was and "--eh--" when I put it on?

[I have just spent the last 1/2 hour, I guess, looking for a post that I'm sure I posted with a picture of the above mentioned cardigan in progress. I'm pretty sure I posted a picture, because I remember Wannietta commenting on the nice colour. I can't find the post. What I did find however, are a lot of pictures of wool and yarn and projects at various points of completion and that many, sadly, remain in various states of completion.]

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just One

YAY!! I uploaded one picture! This is my daughter and I enjoying dinner in France! I enjoyed a REAL glass of Champagne; you know Champagne from Champagne!

I also told you about 'just one' visit to 'just one' yarn shop...

There was more than 'just one' ball of yarn came home with me. Rolling Eyes

As I said to Connie, "It was over as soon as I pulled in the driveway."

Now, let's see if this makes it out into the blogisvere intact; fingers crossed!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where To Begin?!?

Let's begin with you imagining some lovely photos of my daughter and I at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We must imagine them because in the last three times that I've tried to upload them to my blog they have disappeared. I'm not sure if it's because I'm working with a file with close to 600 photos in them or the fact that at some point in answering yes to a pop up about how to view photos and/or videos I'm in Quicktime and my Windows is not likely it. Does that make sense to any computer people out there? Speaking of Computer people and blogs and such. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear R., At the bottom of my blog entry you will read a little light coloured item that says (for example) 0 comments (it could read 1,2, or maybe even 3 comments, but let's, for argument's sake, say it says 0). Click on that item; you will be redirected to a small window with a box where you can write your comments. At the bottom of that screen you will be asked to preview or publish? Your call. I hope this helps and works and I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Love, Creativehands. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Yes, March came and went in a whirlwind of activity! I am taking this weekend to do as little as possible! There's always laundry; so laundry (somehow) doesn't count. Holidays and Dance Competitions are happy, fun and EXHAUSTING times. I've been knitting, but not finishing. I'm very conscious, right now, of just how much yarn and fabric I own, even after purging (somewhat) and buying considerably less than I have been known to. I was even recently in one of my favourite quilt shops and left EMPTY HANDED!! Yay me! Through circumstances beyond my control I will not be attending a number of yarn related celebrations, which usually lead to stash enhancement. (Although today, in my 'doing as little as possible' mode, I hope to get to Pick Up Sticks for their Yarn Tasting. I will do my best, however, to resist the temptation of new yarn.) It is difficult, as I'm sure most yarnies can attest to, because a yarn shop is a place that makes me happy. The people that sell yarn are some of the nicest people I know. If I want them to continue to be there for me they need my/our support; financial support. I have definitely done my fair share of support in the past, but is that enough? To look in my basement you would think yes, but can we know this for sure? I hope that during my self-imposed semi-hiatus from yarn shopping they understand and continue to grace us with all that is yarn and knitting related. O.K. crocheters too. Pretty wordy post huh? Disney was wonderful!! I can't wait to go back! The first dance competition went very well. My part-time job is turning into a bit more than what I signed on for; for awhile anyway. (And that's fine too!) The snow's gone so I can drive my Mini again!! Hehe!! Spring is giving us a taste of what's in store this weekend, with sun and 10C temperatures forecast. FINALLY!! YAY!! So maybe next time there will be photos. Hope so. Bye for now; enjoy your day by doing something that you love to do! **Edited to add: If the content of this post is jumbled in one long run-on sentence, I'm sorry. Again, I tried and the computer and/or blogger did what it wanted. **R. The bottom of the blog may read 0 Comments with Post a Comment underneath it (I've seen it both ways today--on my own blog--) click on Post a Comment if that's what you see. Love you!

Monday, February 28, 2011

I haven't forgotten...

I know I have a blog.
I would love to blog.
I have photos to post on the blog.
I have to get some sleep!
I will do my best to blog soon.
Bye for now.
Tired and creative in EG.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Among Friends

I often link to this blog. I check it at least once a day. I often laugh when I read it and sometimes I cry. There are times when I "ooooo" and "awwww". There are the, "I MUST HAVE THAT TOO!!" moments.
Today? Today as I fondly scrolled down the page to enjoy some time with one of our favourite knitters, I muttered something resembling the phrase that any upstanding muggle would utter.

Oh My God!

And once again, I was given an excellent blog entry opportunity.

Here are my needles. I combine my straights and DPN's so that all the needles that are the same size are in the same slot/divider. It looked and worked better when I first set it up before the cardboard had time to slouch. I've thought about reinforcing the dividers...maybe I will someday.

Here's something interesting. I barely, rarely, hardly ever, use straight needles anymore. I have at least one pair of each size. You know, just in case. I too have inherited, been gifted and just plain accumulated a fair number of them and a couple of years ago did indeed do a purge and I know the people that I gave them to were very appreciative.
Actually, if anybody is looking for ideas of where to donate needles...mine went to a local Wellspring group and a few hospitals have knitting centres set up in waiting rooms; so that would be a place to look into. I know that a number of public schools have asked for some as well; they often send the kids to the dollar store, but if you have some needles looking for a home, why not try your local school! They take yarn too. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Anyway, back to me having straights that I barely use; this is because I usually knit on circulars. Most of my circulars are stored in their original cases.
I put this together using an empty baby-wipe container (that's how old it is!). I've entered it in fairs as a recycled item and won prizes! I'm quite pleased with my invention and every now and then I reorganize it. Addi's in front, sorted by size, smallest to largest, next Inox, sorted similarly and then whatever else there is, at the back. My Signature circulars don't fit in here, but they deserve a special place of their own anyway.

Speaking of Signatures needing a special place of their own...
This is where I keep the Signature DPN's in their tubes. (Some were otherwise engaged and therefore unavailable for the photo-op). Behind my Signatures is my pail of crochet hooks. It's a token ode to crochet; I'm not a fan, but the needle roll/hook roll is neat!

This is a shot that I've had in my mind to show you for almost two years. In the spring of 2009 I went through my stash and found these (and more) needles and knitting accessories. Since that time some of been rescued and put into use, but these have remained waiting for the photo op that was promised them.

You'll note that there is one set of interchangeable needles there; they weren't in the stash, but they ended up in the basket. I have two other sets of interchangeable needles. (My shoulder's are beginning to slump with the reality of putting this out there for all to see.) And have, on more than one occasion, considered buying more.

Therein lies the story of my needle inventory. I looked around, quite pleased with myself, that save, for all the needles that have projects on them...


...I was able to quickly locate all my needles. And I still had room for one more photo on my post. Should I maybe post a picture of my buttons that I hadn't shared, but meant to? How about an update on the knitting I've been doing this past week? Maybe show you just what my basement looks like right now and explain how the nice electrician that's coming tomorrow gave me enough notice to move everything away from all the outlets, so that he can make sure that our house won't burn down after all the other people told us they knew what they were doing when they did our renovations...and I did it! Made the outlets accessible, that is.
Maybe I could show you the scarf that I started because one of my knitters asked me why I wasn't wearing one of my many scarves that I have. I started it and I'm using a straight needle. I'm using one of my fancy needles.
That's one more photo op.

This is knitting art. It's nice to know I'm not alone. It's nice to know I'm among friends.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Let's Get Together...

....And Feel All Right.














Friday, January 28, 2011

Constant Contradictions

O.K. I need the Glee Cast to put together a Mash-Up of "Hallelujah" and "I'm So Excited!"

Does that sound wrong?

I have tried several times to get this post up. The. Pictures. Would. Not. Load.


Yesterday, I just shut down the computer, put it in a time out and walked away. Today, while my will was tested once more, we are up and ready to go. So here's my story.

My life is full of Contradictions; so full in fact, that I was struck, all week, by how constant they truly are.

I have many knitting magazines. Too many knitting magazines.

Those are only the ones that made it to the bookshelf.

And so on these cold and dreary January days I find myself going to the mailbox hoping against hope that there will be a knitting magazine waiting to brighten my day.

There have been no knitting magazines; so then I found myself in Chapters...

I thought I only bought three; turns out I bought four. You'll see more of one of these soon...

I have too much fabric. I need to sew from my stash. My stash is too big. I need to pare down.

So I start a quilt for my nieces birthday. I manage to simplify my design idea to something that doesn't make my head hurt. After completing the top I thought, "Great. Now I just need to buy backing, batting and binding," which doesn't really help with the whole "using up stash" concept.

(Guess what my niece's name is? And the first two don't count!) Wait a minute though...I had found some accent border fabric in one part of the stash; maybe if I searched another part I would be able to find some backing. There must be something somewhere...


O.K. Back again...sigh....

Here is some fabric that I had bought for the same niece another time; found in another area of the stash.

Why Not? While I'm not sure how keen she really is on The White Pig in the Red Dress, I know she still like Princesses. I even found some fabric for the binding.

Yay!! I just need to get batting and that seemed pretty reasonable.

So, for not needing so much stash, it actually came in handy.

Another contradiction associated with this one and I'm sure I'm not alone, is that I don't have a lot of time to complete this. Today is her birthday and Sunday is the party.

So, I'll quickly baste = not enough basting and I'll machine quilt = not faster even if it sounds faster. For one thing, I've had to rip out and try to re-quilt some areas because I wasn't happy with how the backing looked. You know, same old, same old, "More Hurry, Less Speed". I used to visit a patient that would say that to me, and that was back before I had a family to look after!

I don't have enough time to do things I want to do. I won't live long enough to knit all the yarn and sew all the fabric and bead all the beads and design all the designs that I have in my room and in my head.

So why does the universe keep putting things like this in front of me? Doesn't that doll look like she'd be fun to make? (You should see her friends!) And look! When I went to get the batting some stash replacement; not enhancement, came home with me too.

I think I'll just try to accept the contradictions, take each wave as it comes and enjoy the journey. It seems that the only constants are the contradictions, but the journey, that's where the excitement is...if you let it.



Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Blue Christmas Story

Once Upon a Time...I went to Pick Up Sticks and bought some roving, Colourway Royal and some roving, Colourway Jade.
I spun singles and plied them together creating "Blue Christmas".

I washed my two ply in Soak and then draped it, in all it's glory, in front of the fire to dry as I wanted to get it ready quickly to present to my wonderful knitting friends at our Christmas party.
I weighed it, calculated how many grams I could give to each knitter and wound it around a kleenex box so I could make nice little skeins for them.

They all seemed pleased to receive a small token of my affections.

Last night I was pleased to see my yarn, yarn that I had made, yarn that I had taken from it's infancy (o.k. maybe just youth) through to adulthood, had become, at the hands of our newest knitter (newest to the group; having just learned to knit in the past few months, but holds the title of "Most Amazing Crocheter Ever!")...

The PINE TREE BOOKMARK (ravelry link). Get it? Pine Tree? Blue Christmas?
This is so cool! I think I'll go spin some more...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Day!

I've posted a few comments on some of my favourite blogs today; so I thought I'd give them something current to read if they stop by here.
Hey! Connie, Laurie, and Wannietta!

In knitting news...
I turned the heel on my sock. I may have come upon a stitch that will provide an answer to my husband's hat demands issue...the swatch will tell...
As far as JSS #5...

I've decided to go with an alternate stitch marker. I've also decided that I'm going to wear this to my daughter's Gala at the end of February. I'm happy with my decisions.

Speaking of Happy Decisions...

I had a "High Five Mother Moment" yesterday and since I have on occasion vented/whined/complained about the 'joys' of motherhood, I thought I'd let you know that sometimes I think that I don't suck at it too.
Let me set this up for you.
My son is in Grade 9. He is ending his first semester and preparing for his first set of exams.
He came down with a cold on Monday.
He is his mother's son, ie. the procrastination apple does not fall far from the tree.
So he stayed after school to try to complete a project that can only be worked on at school and I picked him up after dropping my daughter off at dance.
Shortly after entering the van...the teenage angst, drama, hyperventilating, over exageration, self defeating dialogue...begins.
I try to be optimistic, encouraging, etc., but what do I know?
I did point out that maybe after 40 something years and having gone through high school, that I may know a thing or two. He was at least polite about that one, but I don't think that it really made a difference.
The 'freak out' grows in intensity until well after we are home; it has already been decided that he won't be going to his drum lesson and he was o.k. with that. Right there. That tells you what kind of state he had managed to get himself into.
" I CAN'T RELAX!!!", he exclaims!
Well, I don't buy that for a minute!
I get him to sit down facing me on our kitchen chairs.
I tell him to sit up straight.
I show him how to put his hands on his legs palms facing up and ask him to close his eyes.
I say, "Now, breath in through your nose."
"I can't; it'll sound disgusting." And then he starts laughing. Then the dog comes over to see what's going on and because she hasn't seen him all day and his hands are just sitting there she starts licking them. And he laughs some more.
Now, I was going for calm, relaxed and focused so that he could then, without the aforementioned anxiety, write a list of what he needs to do and to prioritize them so that he is only faced with one task before he moves onto the next.
He's still laughing; so I grab a pen and paper and say, "Quick, just shout out, what do you need to get done. Go!"
"Geography. Wait, do you mean in order? Hahaha"
"No. Just say it, don't think; just tell me what you have to get done. Go!"
And so came the list. He's laughing, which I know releases endorphins and we're getting the information that we needed to get started. By the time he settled down we had a list, a plan and what looks like a reasonable chance that it will get done in time.
I don't know if I ever got him to take that deep breath, but you know what a did get?

"Thanks, mom." And a hug.

It was a good day.

TODAY, (being Thursday and all) has also been good. My son went to school without the weight of the world on his shoulders.
My husband went skiing with my daughter for electives.
Most importantly...
I feel I put a reasonable amount of domesticity (aka cleaning and laundry) into my day; so I went upstairs to do a little spinning.

And because I couldn't decide which picture I liked better...

I posted both.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Short and Sweet

I spent the weekend in Niagara-On-The-Lake with three dear friends. We get together every 3-4 months whether it be a quick lunch or a full weekend. We've known each other for close to seventeen years and every time we get together we can't believe that it' been that long!
This time it was a weekend and we LOVE them!
There is always a lot of good food, good wine and good fun. We've all had our trials and tribulations over the years, but these friends are special. We all know all there is to know...And we love each other all the more for it.
Here are some of the spoils of the weekend.

We were all lucky enough to get some gifts (we never get to see each other before Christmas) and we also managed to get some shopping in.
My dear mostly non-knitting, non-sewing friends made sure I got to visit the new little shop in town. bee modern fabrics & yarns is a very cute and friendly store and I look forward to visiting again...when it's warmer!
Here's a little something I picked up near the cash register before heading to the store next door where my "Bee" necklace was waiting for me to rescue it and bring it home.

You may have noticed my blog's "new" look. Early Sunday afternoon when we were trying to delay our departure, our hostess commented on how nice my knitting looked with the sun and cushions and everything. I gave her my camera and put her to work with the request that she give me something "Artsy-Fartsy".
I like it.
So that's my short and sweet entry. I had planned to do this all day. I had planned to write more and to write with more whit. That didn't happen; what did happen is I got my oil changed, my emissions test done, dinner made and four loads of laundry done...well almost, I'm going to go throw the last load in the dryer now.
A weekend away just isn't enough and when I get home it was too long to be gone. It's good to know that all three of my friends feel the same way.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

There Really Should Be a Warning!

Over the past 24 hours it has come to my attention that there needs to be more emphasis on alerting people to the various hazards that are lurking in our own homes.

Hazard #1:

Did you know that due to too much television exposure you can wind up with some really messed up dreams?
I was enjoying a deep REM sleep this morning and upon being wakened by the dog wanting her breakfast, realized that my dream included a variation of Myth Busters and Dinner Party Wars.

That can't be good; it's just weird.

Hazard #2:

I am not a fan of housework. I would rather knit. SURPRISE!!! To that end, I own a multitude of appliances to make the necessary evil, that is housework, more manageable. It is also important to note here that I own 2 cats and a dog.
This is my vacuum cleaner.

A very fine machine, indeed, that copes well with the hurdles before it on a biweekly basis.

Until last Tuesday. Last Tuesday it said, "No. I don't think so. I will turn on. I will begin to make the correct sound, but then I will make a slightly different sound that will cause you to wonder just what is going on with me? Then, while still having a significant amount of power running through my veins I will stop sucking. That's right, I will suck no more and you will be left to your own devices to ascertain just why I am making this unusual sound; why I am refusing to suck and revenge will be mine...mine, I say. All mine!" mmmmHHHHAAAA!!!

So I looked on line. I sent an email. I waited on hold...and left a message. I waited on hold another day...and left another message. I eventually called the store where I bought it to see what they could offer. My best bet? Bring it back to the store and they'll send it out. For me to seek out an authorized repair store had me going to a different town in a different county. SEVERAL days later I hear back from the phone message; too bad I wasn't home when they called. Today I heard back from the email and just because I was feeling optimistic, I guess, I gave them another call. THEY ANSWERED!! WOOHOO!!

Yes, yes, very busy after the holiday...

So they nice young man was very reassuring that I would have my machine up and running in no tim! He talked me through what we (me) were going to do.

Step 1-remove the canister. Check.

Step 2- locate the intake hole. Check

Step 3- We're going to put the hose over the intake hole to clear the blockage (he was confident there was a blockage).

"O.k. let me take the attachment off. Oh! there seems to be a collection of 'stuff' right here.
I'll just put the phone down and dig this stuff (dog hair mostly) out," and then we can go ahead with this whole turning the vacuum on itself thing.

So I dig and I pull dog hair, some small sticks, but there was something definitely caught up there; so I kept at it.

"Oh Wow. This is embarrassing," I said.

When I explained to the nice young man what had been blocking my vacuum cleaner, he said, "Well, that's a first; I haven't heard that one before."

See?! There should totally be a warning on our wine bottles!

"Discard Seals Responsibly! Your Vacuum Cleaner May Depend On It!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How About This For A Change?

**I would like to take this opportunity to send a Shout Out to all my hard working friends who read knitting blogs while hard at work.
Yay Multi-Tasking!!**
When I last posted I showed you a hat in progress, hoping to improve my 0.5 for 4 stats.
Well, here's the hat, my first FO of 2011. And my stats?

0.5 for 5!!

Yup, a hat, a pair of socks and it's 2 or 3 sweaters that I rarely, if ever see worn.

Good thing I enjoy knitting! Good thing I have stash! So I will try again....someday.

But NOT today!

This is a pair of socks that I started for my Mother-In-Law who will be visiting next month. Apparently there's something in the air that made this yarn jump out of my stash and onto my needles. Mmmm.

The pattern is Socks for Grandpa (with an aside to "make some for Grandma [or Baka] too.") from Creative Knitting January 2011. The colour is actually prettier here than in real life; thank goodness for the blue, is all I can say.
I've also made progress on my JSS cape.

You know, knitting is a patient, kind and wonderful thing. No matter how you're feeling, happy or sad; healthy or a little yucky, it's there ready and willing to help you through whatever you're going through. I love knitting.
So while my time on the computer hasn't been spent updating this blog, I do check my blogging friends daily---actually, several times a day. There's been some interesting topics over the past few days. Glenna, over at Knitting to Stay Sane spoke of Do Overs and was my inspiration to revisit a summer cardigan that I started 3-4 years ago.

A cardigan using Blue Sky Aplaca's Cotton. I completed the back in no time; managed to get the right front done (as you can see from my cute tags), but ended up ripping it out because the pattern didn't match at the shoulders. This was a "Thank Goodness for Ravelry" moment, as I found out that there was an error in the pattern for the right front and not the entire back. See? Good thing. I only had to rip out half a front and not a whole back. It's also a good thing because there's a big chunk of this sweater already done. It will knit up quickly and will do just nicely for my next March...

Wait and see...