Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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
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.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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
Friday, December 19, 2008
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
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
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
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
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 Speakers.ca)
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
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
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
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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
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 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
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Yeah, I laughed out loud...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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
Monday, November 17, 2008
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
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
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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.
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
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
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.