Wednesday, December 31, 2008

checking in

Hi! Remember me? Yeah, I'm the one who has been posting badly (if at all) lately. No pictures, crappy sentence structure, nothing interesting. Right! that one...

sorry about that - Christmas snuck up on me this year - I know, the date never changes, so it shouldn't be a surprise, but for some reason, December seemed to be about 20 days shorter than normal this year. But I made it.

Christmas was lovely. It really is one of my favourite days of the year. Family and friends, all that good stuff. It started on the 24th - a great potluck at work - more food than we could ever think to eat, but we all did a pretty good job of it. I brought my butcher's amazing smoked salmon, and it was scarfed up before you could blink. Seriously, it's the best smoked salmon you have ever had. Ask Lucky - she's had it. It's not sliced or slimy, it's a full side of salmon, smoked, and tender and yummy. Really good. I have orders from people I work with to bring some of it in for them. Go here to check it out - this is my butcher in Aurora - Peter's the best!
Around 1pm, I headed over to my husband's office - he has all the kids of his employees in for the day - they saw their Santa videos, got gifts, had a huge buffet of food, played games, and did crafts. Always a fun day. Then home for a bit before we headed off to friends for Christmas Eve - we always spend it with them - he was the emcee at our wedding and the two guys have been friends since elementary school. Great people. Christmas morning was the three of us - Santa was very good, Wii is lots of fun, and everything else was perfect. Then off to my brother's - again, a great time spent with family - he and his wife have three great kids, and my Mom was there. we spent a wonderful few hours. We have the agreement of no gifts between us, but the bonus is that my bro works in the home textile industry (as my Dad did before him), so I walked out with a HUGE box of muchly needed towels! We were talking about this and that, and he was saying he was bringing in the House and Home, Gluckstein and Steven and Chris lines. So I asked him why it was that I was still paying retail. He (figuratively) smacked me upside the head, and gave me a box of towels - I'm talking 8 sets - from bathsheet to face cloth, cotton bamboo! Heaven, I tell ya, heaven! Fro there, of tho my Brother in laws - host of this year's family Christmas. Again - great to be with family, my SIL did a super job on the turkey dinner, and we got home around 10pm, tired, happy and ready to sleep.
Everyone loved the gifts, especially the handmades, which is always gratifying. Socks were given, and in two cases, immediately put on. The jewellery pendants were exclaimed over, and the beaded bookmarks? Well, let's just say they were the gift of the night! So cool to be appreciated for your labours. And it seems like hubby's family is for the most case starting to appreciate that. It's only taken 20 years...
Hubby did spend most of the 24-26 sick with a cold, which he managed to transfer to me now - great, thanks for that.
It's now New Year's Eve, and instead of heading to the cottage like we planned, we've put that off until tomorrow morning - snow squalls, a dubious plough job on the driveway up there, and a freezing cold cottage did not make us want to drive in the dark. We'll go up in the morning, along with BIL and SIL and their two kids, and spend 4 days in northern heaven.

And knitting? Well, let's just say that Kauni and I have become reacquainted. And I have to say, I'm pissed that I didn't get her finished before the holiday. She's beautiful. I promise pictures, but I want to debut her at the Guild meeting on the 6th first. You'll have to wait. I have started another cardigan, however. I am SO not monogamous...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Eve has arrived

Have the best holiday, All!

We have a potluck here at work this morning, so I will be eating my way through that, then off to my husband's work - they have a party for all the kids. Home for a bit to shovel my driveway of the latest dumping of snow, then off to good friends for Christmas Eve - we go every year, and it's the best. Tomorrow is all about the kids - family and friends everywhere. My son is already topping out the excitement scale, although that didn't stop him from sleeping as long as possible this morning - the boy has his priorities straight - Christmas will still come, but sleep is a good thing.

Stephanie said it best - People Before Things.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

what's not getting done...

sigh... Kauni. My lovely, beautiful Kauni got lost in the Christmas rush. I wanted it for Christmas Day, but it's not going to happen. I still have to finish a sleeve (almost done), cut the steek and pick up and knit the front bands and neck band - question - neck band first and then the front band?? or the other way around?? I'm leaning towards neck band first, since I've already done the bottom band. This way, the front bands will match top and bottom...

Since I'm off for most of the week between Christmas and New Years (I will have to do some work from home, but that's okay...) I should have time to finish it without rushing, and give it the proper soak and blocking it deserves. 4 days at the cottage for New Years should give me the time I need.

Then I have to pick another large project. I have a few sweater's worth of wool, and a bunch of patterns I want to knit - time to sit down and match them up! I leaning towards my brown and blue skeins of Silky Wool...

You probably won't hear much from me for a while - family obligations take precedence at this time, and well, that's how I want it to be.

My wishes for you all are for a safe, happy and fun filled holiday, whatever you may or may not celebrate. For us, it's a full fledged Christmas Day - the three of us at home in the morning, then off to my brother's with my Mom for the afternoon, then off to husband's family for dinner and the evening. We do it all in one day, and spend the rest of the time catching up with friends and each other in a low key fashion. New Years is spent at the cottage, which is my all time favourite place to be. The snow this year should be great for sledding and hiking and snowball fights and all kinds of outdoor activities.


Monday, December 22, 2008


I really think I'm done. I don't have to go to a mall, I don't have any deadline knitting, I've even got all the lottery tickets bought! I'm sure somethings going to blow up on me in the next 3 days, because this is almost unheard of - not that I'm a last minute type of person, but because of outside forces - husband, kid, parents etc, that always throw something at me.
There is one present left to wrap, but I am charging the battery for my budding filmmaker son's new camcorder. Once given, I'm pretty sure he will want to document the day, so we thought we had best charge it.

My husband took advantage of Friday's "Snow-maggedon" (as weather people were calling it). Seriously, it was a snowstorm in Canada in December - why were people surprised? But it's his favourite time to shop - the stores are empty, he has 4-wheel drive, and he was in heaven! Got everything done, according to him.

I took advantage of the weekend to weave a few bracelets. I had a bunch of bugle beads, so I thought I'd try that. I started with the single gold bugle bead between a seed bead at each end. Nice, but it needed a little something something. SO then I tried 2 seeds, a bugle, 2 seeds another bugle and two seeds. This one I love! It's a gunmetal grey tone, and very pretty. Then I dug out my giant black bugle beads - each of these is a little over an inch long, so it makes a very wide cuff bracelet. Another favourite! And no pressure to make them, as they are not going to anyone for the moment...
The one problem - I mis-measured the size of the loop needed for the gunmetal grey one - it's too big, and it slipped off my wrist sometime this morning. Hopefully at home or in the car, and not at the gas station where I stopped for gas this morning...

Friday, December 19, 2008

getting there...

I finished a couple more things - I'm pretty much done as far as making gifts goes...

My Mom's pink woven scarf using Dye-Version's Sterling yarn. Yummy. I know she'll love this - one - it's pink, and two - I made it. Not blowing my own horn, but she's my MOM - she loves any and everything I've ever made, counting back to the days of painted macaroni wreaths... I feel the same way about my son...
And the scarf is a much richer pink than shows here. It's not as orange-toned.
I also whipped up a little hat for my son's teacher. She has a year old baby boy, so I thought I'd add a little something for him along with the alpaca wrist warmers.

super soft Australian merino.

And I finally took a picture of my little buddy that greets me every morning when I go outside to get the newspaper. I don't know who was more shocked by the flash - the bunny, or the person walking their dog on the sidewalk on the other side of our hedge!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

if you have kids, you HAVE to do this,,,

Portable North Pole

click this link, answer a few questions about your child, download a picture of them, and Santa sends them a video email, PERSONALIZED to them!

When I first saw this, I'm thinking, some cheesy animated crap, since we all know how busy Santa is at this time of year. He doesn't have time for this. But he does! He sent my son the coolest ever video message! And it's the real Santa, not an animation!

Am I sounding a little excited about this? Sorry, but it really is worth it! My husband's company has a party for all the kids on the 24th, and he is collecting all the videos from the parents in his company to show all the kids that come - I can't wait to see it.

One note - the answer about how he knows who's naughty or nice? It could creep out some kids - thinking that elves are sneaking around your house spying on you. I love the flying reindeer answer, personally!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

where I stand

So, I took an inventory last night. I'm in remarkably good shape! I do like a mostly handmade Christmas. I love thinking of things that are unique and interesting, and (hopefully) useful and appreciated.
This year, there are a number of beaded personalized bookmarks. Now, I know they are bookmarks, but I'm not sure everyone else will, hence the wrapping: (the script may be hard to read - it says, believe it or not, "Personalized Bookmark".
Then there's a number of knitted bracelets: along with a ton of beaded necklaces and such (not shown - sorry!)
And cards! Come on, I work for a sticker and scrapbooking company! OF course there are cards! Most of the women are getting a dozen monogrammed note cards, and my MIL, card sender extraordinaire, is getting this stack of "thinking of you", "get well soon", and general cards.

And my favourite thing? 12"x12" scrapbook paper makes the perfect size origami box for so many things...This one looks a little washed out, but it's the cutest blue toned snowflake-y printed paper. We have the coolest Christmas themed papers, and for under a dollar, I can make this two piece box! Yes, I admit it, small things amuse me!

Now, if I could only figure out how to knit a Wii... (late edit - I got one! (okay, two...) Wiis are not easy to find this year, and we hedged our bets and got on waiting lists in two places, and scored both times. There's a girl I work with that is very happy, because we will sell her one. Lots of happy kids this year!

THere's lots of other handmade things - pajamas for my boys, knitted handwarmers, scarves and sweaters, woven things, and other gifts of love. Dudes, I love this time of year...

Friday, December 12, 2008

two weeks???

Seriously? I have only two weeks?? Crap... I gotta get stuff done... I'll be back soon...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

famous enough?

***before I get to the regularly scheduled post - I should explain something - there was a line in yesterday's post that insinuated that I thought my Mom was a doofus. She is not, nor do I think she is. There was an entire paragraph omitted that explained how I left all my bead knitting behind, and how I AM A DOOFUS for doing so . Repeat, I am the doofus - my mother, although she talks too much in the morning, is a lovely person.

Now back to our regularly schedule posting...

Stephanie has a "sort-of" contest going - get a famous person to hold a sock in progress. While I can't say I've got Greg Kinnear or Harry Smith or David Suzuki to hold a sock, my contribution is Mike "Pinball" Clemons.

"Michael "Pinball" Clemons was the CFL's all time purpose yardage leader. However, it's his exceptional character, in addition to his outstanding athletic ability which has made him the remarkable fan favourite he is throughout Canada. Pinball's tireless community involvement and participation in countless charitable causes exemplify the qualities he possesses, which are so rarely found in today's professional athletes. He has used his superb leadership and communication skills in his former roles of Coach and President of the Toronto Argonauts - and now as CEO of the franchise. In September 2008, Clemons was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame."

(above stolen directly from

I can attest to his character. This picture was taken at about midnight on Saturday, December 6, in the Baggage Claim area of Toronto's Pearson Airport. I had a tired 9 year old with me, and Pinball was the nicest person I have ever approached about holding a sock. Okay, he's the only person I have ever approached about holding a sock, but really, this guy could not have been nicer. He came across as the most generous, down to earth GENUINE guy you want to talk to. And he talked to a lot of people that approached him. He asked about the sock, proclaimed it the nicest sock he had ever held, and when done, checked to make sure the picture turned out okay, gave me a hug and wished me a Merry Christmas.

He may not be famous enough for some people, but I'm happy to have met him, and glad I approached him. I just wish I had had a better sock for him to hold...

Monday, December 08, 2008


I'm back. I was sort of a good holiday - I was out of the office, and out of the snow, so there's two points in favour. However, my son was a bit sick - nothing major, but an upset stomach can really put a damper on things. We ended up staying pretty close to home, but did make it out to the beach a few times.

At least I got a tan, and for a Canadian in December, that's a good thing.

But spending a whole week with my Mom? Oy. I love her to death, but Oy. Enough is enough. She talks way too much in the morning before coffee. Then when I say anything, she apologizes, over and over. Next year - 4 days max.

Here are the trekking socks I finished before I left - these are going to my husband for Christmas - for once he will get a finished pair, instead of a ball of yarn and a promise.
Then the handwarmers - the striped ones were the ribbed pattern - no thumb gusset, takes about a minute and a half to make. (And yes, I had to get a palm tree and hibiscus flower in the pictures!)
The charcoal and the blue are chunky alpaca, knit on 4mm, using the Maine Morning Mitt pattern from The Knitters Book of Yarn. Great pattern, and the best thumb gusset anywhere! Seriously, Google this, the pattern in available for free (too tired to find the link...) and it's wonderful. Because of the small needle size, these are firm, and luscious due to the Alpaca, and now I have to decide who to give them to...
Socks - two pairs of bamboo socks - and two completely different bamboo yarns. The grey is Kertzer On Your Toes bamboo, and the stripe is Mary Maxim Bamboo Soft Stripes. Both are incredibly soft and delicious, but the Kertzer is more substantial, and makes a noticeably thicker sock. The Mary Maxim, although really nice, probably could have been worked on a thinner needle (I used a 2.25mm), but the sock is nice enough. I just wonder how it will hold up to wear and tear. We'll see...
The socks are artfully draped in my Mom's grapefruit tree - you really didn't think I would go to Florida and take pictures inside, did you?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I promised...

... a post before I left, so here it is.

Things at work have settled a bit, but Dudes, it was a rough week. First Monday, when too many friends lost their jobs, and I had to watch it happen. Then Tuesday - a funeral for the mother of a friend who, like me, was one of the survivors. Wednesday - a state of the union address for our department - they sound confident that we can get through it, so for my own sanity, I have to believe them. However, my resume is polished up and ready, should the need arise...
Thursday an Friday - hugely busy days, helping with the transition team, as well as helping in the back warehouse, trying to get orders packed and shipped for month end. It was hard, but satisfying work, but on top of the emotional issues, I was coming home completely drained.
Tomorrow morning, my Husband will drive the Kid and I to the airport, as we will be greeted at the other end by my Mom. Truthfully, as much as she loves me and wants to see me, I'm just there to make sure her grandson arrives. Once there, I'm superfluous. That's okay, down time on the beach or golf course if fine with me - I know the two of them will have a blast. I wish my Husband could come, but he's crazy busy and will use this week to get caught up enough that we will have family time at the cottage over New Years. Works for me.

On the knitting front - the Trekking socks have been completed, two pairs of bamboo socks will be travelling with me, some alpaca will be coming along, and plan to return as handwarmers, and I have a few bracelets worth of stones strung up to be knitted into bracelets. I can't find my USB cord right now, so you'll have to take my word on the above, but really I have been knitting. I've even been working on the stalled Kauni - I have about 4 inches left on the final sleeve, then it's the neckband, cutting the steek and doing the front bands. I still hope to have it available to wear on Christmas, but maybe not. I will have time off during the break to finish it if I can't.

So that's it. A rough week behind me, but an enjoyable one on the horizon. I'm hoping to come back refreshed and ready to work for two weeks and take another one off for the holidays!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


gonna be light reading around here today and possibly tomorrow - busy, busy, busy... I'll get a post up before we leave on Sunday...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've sucked another one in...

Back when I bought my LeClerc loom, I believe I sucked Deirdre into weaving. She bought the same loom.

Now I've done it again. LuckyCanuck (no link, as she has given up blogging), has resisted all my attempts at getting her into beading. She won't knit them into garments, nor bracelets.

But I got her. The Bead loom got her. She bought one, and shall we start the pool to see how long it takes her to start a bead stash?

Bwahahahaha..... power is a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

just when things are going great...

I've had some crappy jobs in my life. And some good ones. The current one is one of the good ones. Up until this week, I would have said one of the great ones. This week we laid off 86 people. It seriously sucks. Both for the ones that are gone (some of whom are great friends), and for those of us left behind. We are having a little bit of survivor's guilt, as well as trying to wrap our heads around what we have to do. My boss is gone, but I will be reporting to a pretty good guy, so that's good. I'm just not sure it's still going to be the same place.

It was so hard to watch co-workers leave. They had a meeting, were given a package, and escorted out. I was ready to smack one of the consultants who was walking a friend out - when we all stopped her to hug her and wish her the best, he made some comment about "unprofessionalism" and "that's enough of that, now". Cold, man. Really cold.

I guess it's a case of be careful what yo wish for. I had always wished for a job at a company like this - friendly, family oriented, close to home, etc. I finally got it. Now I hope I get to keep it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I got nuthin'

II wish I could show you lots of knitted things that I finished up this weekend, but to be honest, I was shopping, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry all weekend. There was some knitting done, even some finishing, but I forgot to take pictures.
I finished the Trekking socks, I beaded another bookmark, and I started new socks and hand warmers.
I will try to take pictures tonight and stretch it out over the week, because other than that, there won't be a whole lot. My son and I are heading to Florida next Sunday to spend a week with my Mom - we were going to help her clean out her place down there, because we thought she had sold it. However, the deal fell through, and although Mom seemed to want to sell, I don't think she's unhappy about keeping it for another year or so. So instead of a work week, the boy and I will spend a week on the beach, at the pool, going to Busch Gardens, and generally being lazy. My husband couldn't get a way, so he has to hold down the fort here.
So this week will be the regular mayhem of our lives, along with the packing and organizing that goes along with leaving for a week. I'll try to drop in here as often as I can.

Did you know I need a legal, notarized letter stating that my husband is aware that I am taking our child out of the country? Wow. They probably won't even ask for it, but I'm glad I have it, none the less...

Friday, November 21, 2008

not just for bracelets...

Remember the bead loom? How I was making bracelets? I decided to use it for something else. Many of my family and friends are readers. And although I cop to folding pages occasionally to mark my spot, I don't really like doing so.

Hence: the bookmark. Beaded, personalized, (Nanny is my Mom - sets her apart from the other Grandmas...). Two down, nine to go...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

a sorely needed laugh this morning...

This was the back of the truck in front of me this morning...
Heh, heh... Putzmeister...

Yeah, I laughed out loud...

And this was the rest of the scenery I enjoyed this morning: The snowy season has officially arrived, and I'm curious about one thing - why do drivers lose their minds in the first snowfall? Seriously - I saw at least 5 cars in the ditch this morning, and my drive in is not that long. People! think about it! Snow = slippery. Just take a little care...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

fastest quick knitted gift EVER!

Chunky superfine alpaca. (soooo soft...) 5.5mm needles. 32 stitches. 2x2 rib. WOrk in round to thumb, then back and forth for about 8 or 10 rows, join again in round (this creates the thumb hole...) another couple of inches for the hand, and done. One ball (around 100 metres or less) makes a pair, and it's one evening in front of the TV. Hoo-wah! (or an hour's basketball practice for most of one. I'll complete the other one at swimming tonight...)
These are in the colours of the University of Ottawa - attended by my sitter's daughter. Both her and her mom will be getting a pair. (School spirit and all that...) Depending on the time I have left, I may make some with a thumb gusset, but for (almost) instant gratification - this is the one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

off the loom...

I mentioned yesterday that I took the alpaca scarf off the loom so I could put the pink Sterling on it.
Atacama Alpaca - dyelot - ummm, some sort of mottled brown tones... bought ages ago in Kitchener.
Warp and Weft threads the same.

I think I wove this a little tight - it's a pretty substantial scarf - well suited to a man - perhaps my 28 year old nephew. Not sure where it's going to end up. It needs the ends finished off - I'm thinking s short fringe, then a soak in Eucalan for softening.

I am loving my looms, both this one and the tiny little bead one...

Monday, November 17, 2008

new on the loom...

I finally finished weaving the brown alpaca scarf, and was able to get it off the loom. To be honest, I made a concerted effort to do so, as I really wanted to get the next project on the loom.

My Mom is a huge fan of pink - it's her favourite colour, it looks good on her, all that stuff. At the K-W Knitters Fair this year, Lucky and I checked out the Dye-Version booth and fell in love with her Sterling yarn - it has 2% sterling silver spun into the merino/silk/nylon blend/ It's supposed to be a sock yarn, but I thought it would make a stunning scarf for my Mom, especially warped with some silver tencel I had...

it's a semi solid, so it has some depth of colourand the 2% of silver is just enough. Not to shiny or glitzy, but just enough sparkle.

And it's weaving up like a dream the tencel warp threads are nice and supple, and will add a lot to the drape of this scarf, as well as extending the use of the sterling by only using is as the weft threads.

Knowing my Mom as I do, she will love this!

Friday, November 14, 2008

kid's toy?...

...or something else with which to play with beads??
This is a bead loom that was bought through my son's school book club. I had ideas of using it for a Christmas gift for a niece or friend of son's or something. Right. I had to take it out of the box to see what it was like - maybe it was too complicated or fiddly for a 10 year old. I mean, I HAD to check, right?

Then I had to try it out - you know, make sure it works okay, and the instructions make sense. Yeah, I'm keeping it. I'm on bracelet number 8 right now...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the finished steek

So, after the cut, there was some work to do. Not much as it turned out. I picked up the stitches along the front - 3 stitches for every 4 rows. Did three rows of reverse stockinette stitch, and cast off. Makes for a nice, curled edge. Then, to finish off the inside, I wanted to sew in some grosgrain ribbon to neaten it up. I was worried I would have to special order the ribbon - I wasn't sure my local Fabricland would stock grosgrain ribbon in an appley-sagey green colour. But I went anyway - of the maybe 8 colours they stocked, one was almost a perfect colour match! (It doesn't show here - the grosgrain reflected the light a bit, but really, the colour is perfect.)

So the finishing is done, and as much as I thought I wanted toggles or clasps - this sweater is demanding a zipper. It's too heavy, and will fall off my shoulders if I don't give the front complete stabilization. So, now I'm off on a zipper hunt...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

for the boot fans...

***ETA - I was going to upload the flyer for the place, but it won't let me. It's called Luv Shoes Outlet, its in Markham, near the 404 /407 interchange. Not everything is $10 or $15 - I think the prices go as high as $39!!! (They also have bags and purses...) If you want the details, leave me a note with your email and I'll send it off to you!

There's a shoe and boot warehouse sale in the building next to my office. A bunch of us from here were there minutes after they opened.

Not only do I love the big girl boots, I love 'em even more when they cost me a mere $10 a pair! (Hence the multiple colour buy...)
And then the shoes for a whopping $15...
And they continue to restock for the month of November. Oh my... this is going to cost me...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

steeking vs. flat knitting

It's November 11. How I forgot to post this picture today is beyond my comprehension. I am the proud granddaughter of a member of Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment of WW!. I am the proud daughter of a Korean War Naval veteran. I thank them.
back to the blog post...

Tracy left me a comment regarding the extra work I gave myself by steeking the sweater. Whereas I did give myself extra work, it's only because the sweater was considered complete as I had originally wanted it. I knit it as a pullover, and it was a fully finished pullover. It was just after wearing it a couple of times that I realized that a Lopi pullover is silly. I have central heat, and don't need that kind of warmth inside, and outerwear is much more convenient as a jacket or cardigan. So my options were to stop using heat in my house (not a particular popular option with the family...), give the sweater to a needy Inuit, leave it in the closet or cut it open.

Now, the Kauni sweater I'm making is also steeked, but it's a planned steek. So it's actually saving me a ton of time, because if I made the cardigan flat, I would be purling every other row. In stranded fair isle. Not my idea of fun. I'd still have to put on front bands, and a neckline, so steeking in this case, saved me a ton of time - less seams, no purling, etc. The steeking is time built into the construction of the sweater.

Tracy and I both have knitting machines, and I have used the machine for sweaters, but only sweaters that are stockinette stitch, and fairly simple construction. The actual knitting time? very short. Finishing? much longer. Every piece needs to be steamed, blocked, seamed and then there is the edge finishing. So, while there is a time saving on the knitting part, the finishing does eat up a fair bit. That's why I love top down raglans. Once the knitting is finished, the rest of it takes about an evening.

In my convoluted, roundabout way, I guess what I'm saying is steeking saves time, unless you are doing it as an afterthought to a previously finished sweater.

And also on the topic of comments (or in this case, an email) Susan asked me why I blanked out part of my son's face on the Halloween costume post. My policy is not to show my kid's face online. I am in the unfortunate position of knowing a convicted pedophile, a man I once considered a friend, but can not do so anymore. I know too much about how they act and what they look for. Since my son is not of an age to determine this himself, I make the decision for him - no pictures on-line. No mention of his name (if possible). This is a choice I make for our family - I don't preach to others. In a way I'm glad not every one follows this, because I have seem some amazingly adorable and cute babies and kids out there, and I hope I keep seeing them. But it's why you won't get to see my amazingly cute and adorable boy. Unless you come to my house, but as some of you can attest to, he tends to hide from "the knitters"!

and for those that were wondering about the i-cord maker...

Here is a link to the Cool Corder -the cool little thing I have that cranks out i-cord by the kilometre. It's only for somewhat fine yarn, but I'm pretty sure the Embellish-knit (see the left side of the page) can handle thicker yarn. Don't quote me on that, though. It's basically a little crank thing that's a step up from the "spool with 4 nails" we all had as kids. Just feed the yarn through PROPERLY, (As I discovered - if you feed it wrong, all you get is a hot mess, not i-cord) and start cranking. More i-cord that you can shake a stick at!
I bought mine at Michael's, I think, about 2 years ago. Not expensive whatsoever. I've sort of used it, but not really, but I will be pulling it out of it's hiding place (once I discover it's hiding place...) to make some Christmas trees.

Monday, November 10, 2008

cool Christmas decorations

I hope Monika doesn't mind me posting this. She made these to decorate their booth at the Creativ Festival, and brought them to the Guild meeting to show them. They are so cool, I just had to show them - I'm so going to do this...
Some were done with chunky yarn, simply wrapped around a cone and topped with either a crocheted ball, or a gathered icord star-like thing. Some were done with i-cord wrapped around the cone - Monika has one of those i-cord makers that crank out miles of i-cord in seconds. And, surprisingly enough I, the queen of all things gadgety, have one as well. (seriously, you should see my kitchen - I love the gadgets...) Since i have a stash of yarn bits and pieces, and green is my favourite colour, I'm pretty sure I will be able to zip up a few of these. The only difference is that I may have to buy Styrofoam cones - Monika, a prolific machine knitter, has all kinds of yarn cones to choose from...

What better Christmas decoration for a knitter's house?

Friday, November 07, 2008

not the way it's supposed to end...

I posted earlier about a family's anguish about their missing son:

unfortunately, the story does not end well.

there are no words to convey what the family must be feeling - I cannot even presume to offer up an opinion on this. All I can say is my heart goes out to them - This is not what's supposed to happen to 15 year olds.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

slicing up a sweater

So the much anticipated slicing of the Lopi happened on Tuesday. I brought the sweater, scissors, scotch and camera to document it. I was really looking forward to this - the sweater had been sitting around my house for weeks, just waiting to be cut up, but I promised to make a public spectacle of myself and do it at the Guild.

I laid out the sweater in anticipation:
with the shot of courage that I think other people might have needed more than me: While we had out regular Guild meeting, Marley the store cat decided the sweater made a comfy resting place:(can you see the disdain in her face?)

Then it was time - there was a collective gasp and holding of breath (and a wee dram of Scotch for me - I wasn't worried about the cutting, I just really like good Scotch...):
And the cutting commenced (many thanks to Helga for manning the camera - she was getting jostled a bit by people cringing or moving in for a closer look - that's why some of the pictures are blurry): Voila! The beginnings of a new fall jacket.
Now I just have to:

- reinforce the stitching (it's a pretty bulky yarn, and I am taking Tove's and Elizabeth's advice to go over the machine stitching again, using a finer stitch to ensure the floats are all caught)

- sew in a grosgrain ribbon facing, to really finish the inside

- pick up stitches to finish the front band

- decide on the closure - zipper, pewter clasps, buttons...

it seems by cutting up a finished sweater, it's no longer finished and I just created a ton of finishing work for myself...

It was SO worth it.