Friday, October 31, 2008

it's time...

pumpkins are carved: (jail idea totally ripped off from somewhere on the internet!)
bat-o-lanterns are made: candy is ready and costume has been created, but you'll have to wait for that picture - I wasn't dragging the kid out of bed for a costume picture - he is going out as the Sorcerer's Apprentice - all stemming from the hat he got at Disney World last year. I made the robe and hands, and he made the wand. I'm pretty happy with this.

We expect a large number of fairies and princesses, the usual too-lazy-to-bother-older-kids-dressed-as-hockey-players, Incredible Hulks, Iron Men and whatever other movie craze is big.
Let the mayhem begin!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh, come ON!

My car at 6:45am this morning (October 29)

Okay, once I can deal with. It happens - it's a freak storm, and we get some snow in October. It goes away, and autumn continues.
But twice? No, I don't think so! This is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. Who do I need to talk to about this...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

gift yarn

I'm a very lucky knitter. I have great friends that gift me with wonderful yarn every now and then. Usually sock yarn, which is my favourite, as you can get some wonderful yarns without breaking the bank for a sweater's worth, as well, you can experiment with colour combos that may not necessarily work elsewhere.
Here are a couple of my most favourite gift yarns. The autumn coloured sock is Trekking (colour unavailable at this time) gifted to me from LuckyCanuck a year or so ago. Love it. And my husband loves it so much that he had decided before I even started these socks that they would be for him. The one issue "he-of-the-need-for-matching" might have is the complete and utter unmatchability of Trekking. Because it's a three ply marled yarn, there is not pattern repeat. He says he's okay with this. We'll see...
The green and blue below is Opal - one of the Kaffe Fassett colourways, gifted to my by Helga. These are all mine! They are the colours I would choose, and I love the way it's knitting up. It's one of those yarns that you want to keep going to see what comes next.
These are my current travel projects - one always seems to be at a "thinking" part of the construction - the toe, the heel, the ribbing, so I always try to keep another at the straight round and round no brainer part of the knitting for times when I need to pay attention to something else.

Monday, October 27, 2008

busy weekend

Not much knitting done (some, but not much...) but sooo many other things got accomplished. Laundry was done. Cookies were baked. Cards were made.

Now, this is the quick and easy card style. LuckyCanuck makes some seriously stunning cards - she stamps, adds ribbon accents, and generally spend the time to make each of them a work of art. I know, because I've been luck enough to receive a couple.

I on the other hand, work for a sticker and scrapbooking company, therefore allowing me the luxury of many a short cut - chipboard cutouts, dimensional stickers, brads and so many other things that allow me to crank out upwards of 50 cards in a weekend. It also helps that I commandeered the dining room for the foreseeable future. At least until it's time to start wrapping the Christmas gifts. I can spread everything out and make a mess.

My MIL has expressed an interest in having cards made - she loves sending out cards for any and all occasions, and really likes the hand made ones. So, for her birthday in a couple of weeks - she's getting a bunch of Christmas cards, and then for Christmas, I 'll give her some all-occasion cards.

You see, working for this place makes it way too easy for me to buy this, that and the other thing as they come out, because I fall in love with that sticker, or that paper, or well, I think you get it. I see it, I want it, I buy it. So now, I have to use it. I've told myself no more buying stuff until I clear out at least 1 box of what I already have.

So I did - I cleared a box. Good thing too, I think we have some new stuff arriving this week...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

steps one and two - done.

Steps one and two of the first steek are complete. I have marked the cutting line with a black thread, to ensure it is centred and will work. Then I machine sewed a line on either side of this thread. This is to stabilize the wool once cut - since I did not build in a steek, there are some floats across the cutting line. I will pick up along a line of stitches just on the outside of the machine sewing, and knit up some bands to finish off the front. I'll have to decide whether or not I want to add buttons or clasps, Pewter clasps would look great, but won't go a long way towards warmth - they tend to leave gaps. But I'm not sure I want buttons. Oh well, I 'll decide that soon enough.

Now that I have everything ready, I want to cut this! But I promised the Guild that I would wait and cut it at our next meeting. I guess I can wait a couple of weeks...

And for the big girl boot fans out there - the boots of the day...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

okay, did I miss something?

like, oh, I don't know, AUTUMN???
Environment Canada missed the mark on this one - they were calling for "partly cloudy" conditions yesterday. I didn't know I could accumulate 4 cm of "partly cloudy" on my lawn...
And, while I have not yet officially retired the flip flops, they are not in rotation quite as much lately. And for CatBookMom, who thought my love of flip flops precluded any use of high heels, may I present todays footwear?

and you can't even see the 8cm (3 inch) heel in this shot. I do loves the high heeled boot, when flip flops aren't appropriate...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

change of seasons

I may still be wearing flip flops, but the weather, she is a-changin'. Hence the morning drive attire:

Koigu fingerless mitts, and leather jacket. I love these mitts - perfect for driving and for fall. This was on my drive in, once I scraped the layer of FROST off my windows... It's also rainy and windy today. Great. I can deal with the cold, but I'd like the sun to shine, please.

And yes, it is that dark when I drive to work. Another bonus of the changing weather - the only time the sun is out is when I'm inside. Thankfully, I have a skylight right above my desk. (And as dark and early as it is, I know Knit Tech has already been at work for hours. I don't know how she does that...)

Monday, October 20, 2008


that's what I feel like. Everything I'm knitting on feels and looks like it did a week ago. (except the Trekking sock - that has grown.) The Kauni has one sleeve, done and hemmed:and the other is just started. That's the one problem with top down raglan sweaters - sleeves are a pain. There's a lot of wool in your lap, and you have to keep moving it as you go around and around on the sleeve. But it is worth it - I can see the end of this sweater, which means the beginning of wearing it. Once the sleeves are done, it's just a matter of cutting the steek, picking up the front bands, and deciding on a collar treatment. Hmmm, maybe the end isn't so near...
(And no, there isn't a perspective issue with the sleeve hem - I wanted a wide sleeve on this sweater, not one drawn in by ribbing, or reduced down along the length. I may regret it later, but for the moment, I like the wider sleever hem).

I've also been working on some Christmas gifts (yes, Stephanie, I know its only October, but I have a HUGE list...). There are some socks for the men, some scarves for the women, and plans for some mitts and hats. And jewellery - there's plans for lots of that as well. Now I just have to look at who's on the list, what's done already, match that stuff up and decide what's left to do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

state of my health

There have been some very nice comments lately, from people worried about my health. Let me take a moment to assure you that I'm fine. Regardless of what I may say or even imply - I'm pretty healthy (save for a few too many extra pounds, but I'm working on that). I get regular physicals. I have recurring things investigated (hence the MRI this week for the niggling, annoying knee problems). The sleeping thing and tiredness? Well, I lead a pretty busy life. I'm a Mom of one kid that is pretty active, and not yet driving, so I'm usually on the hook for chauffeur duties. Yes, I could arrange rides for him with other parents, but to be honest, I like watching his basketball practices, games, and swimming lessons. I'm glad he knows that we think his activities are an important part of our family life. (it's also great, enforced knitting time. I get more socks knit during these times than any other...) I'm also the wife of a medium sized business owner - a guy who takes the responsibility of keeping his employees employed - so he works some pretty intense hours sometimes. Which translates to much of the household stuff falling to me. Which is fine, but then realize that I also work at a reasonably demanding, yet very rewarding and fun sales analysis job, 5 days a week, that also requires some work at home time. My spare time is spent doing things I enjoy - spending time with family whenever we can, knitting, sewing, beading and cooking. Oh yeah, we also have two households, when you take into account the cottage that we share with family. And, my Mom's a widow and while still incredibly vital, she is aging (as are my in-laws), and I worry about her sometimes. I have trouble with idle time, although I'm often thought of as idle by those that don't consider knitting an activity. And when I do sleep (and I do! really I do - I love sleeping!), I sometimes have trouble turning my brain off from thinking about the things I am doing and want to be doing. I know one can medicate oneself to turn of the brain (a cousin of mine does this), but that's not my thing. I have trouble enough remembering to take vitamins!

So I do appreciate all the kind thoughts about me, especially since many of you have never even met me. The Internet has certainly expanded my world, while seemingly making it closer, if you know what I mean.

But I'm OK. Really I am.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

sleeve and sock, swimming and sunset

Back from a long weekend - the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, spent at the cottage, getting things ready for winter - docks and boats in, gardens cleaned up, all that stuff.
There was time for some knitting, however - a sleeve of Kauni is done, and a Trekking XXL sock got a fair bit of attention as well.
The weather was spectacular! Seriously, it felt like an August day. So much so, that the boys decided to go swimming. Each day. No joke. Now, they didn't stay in quite as long as they did back in August, but there was swimming - wet heads and all. And the colours! It was the perfect weekend , as the colours really seemed to be at their peak - both during the day: and in the evenings.
We will be back in the winter, just not as often - my Son plays basketball each weekend, so that severely limits our winter weekends spent north. But we will go for New Years, and any other available weekend.
Today, we have our Canadian Federal Election, so after work I have to get to the polls, get to the hospital for my MRI, and get to basketball practice, since it's the parents vs. the kids. Just another day in my life...

Friday, October 10, 2008

quick note...

Tons of work to do, little time to get it done. Funeral this afternoon (a Guild member's husband passed away), and trip to the cottage tonight. We have three days to get the boats and dock out, and clean up the gardens, and the weather is on our side - it's supposed to be glorious!
Stopping by the butcher to pick up the turkey on my way home, and then organizing everything to go north.

I can't wait.

To my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving. When you're giving thanks, you may want to look at your loved ones and be thankful for them, remembering my friend Joan, facing her first Thanksgiving in over 46 years without her husband Peter. But her kids and grandchildren will do their best, as will her friends. We are knitting her a hug, and I can't think of anything more fitting for her.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

these ARE my winter shoes...

I'm known for my flip flops. I admit it, they are my shoe of choice, and I stretch the season as much as possible. I have well over 30 pairs of them, and wear them whenever I can get away with it.

So, when we were leaving the Guild meeting on Tuesday, Susan looked at my shoes, and asked when I was going to break out the winter shoes.
These are my winter shoes! See, they're fleece lined...
Okay, so maybe they won't be so great once there is actual snow on the ground, but for now, they work just fine...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

...and a collective GASP! arose from the room...

This is a sweater I knit years ago. It's from the Best of Lopi Book (Sigridur, I believe is the pattern name), and it's made with Lopi yarn. The thick stuff. I do love this sweater, but I don't wear it that often, as it's incredibly warm, and it's a pullover. I tend to wear pullovers indoors, and this is not an indoor sweater. Seriously, if my oven dies this weekend, I'm roasting the turkey in this sweater, that's how warm it is.

But, because of the warmth, and the fact that it is a pullover, it doesn't get a lot of wear. Now, if it were a cardigan, different story. I'm sure I'd wear it more often.

So, I'm going to make it a cardigan. Easy, right? A couple of rows of machine stitches, some sharp scissors, the extra yarn I found for some small front bands, some clasps (I don't think I want buttons), and it's golden.

So last night at our Guild meeting, I had brought the sweater to get the advice of Elizabeth or Tove, both experienced steekers (I've never cut one, myself). So I mention this to the crowd - that I'm going to cut this sweater. The audible GASP! from around the room was the funniest thing I've heard in a while.

But, there will be a delay. I've been convinced by the Guild members to wait until our November meeting and cut this baby open in front of everyone. I said I would try to wait, but now I'm ready to do this. I really want to wear this sweater, and the idea of waiting a month may kill me. (If my overwhelming tiredness doesn't get me first - seriously, I'm wiped.) I don't know what's going on, but I haven't been sleeping well, and added to a ridiculously busy few days, I'm not very coherent these days. I hoping to become invisible at work, so I can just work through a pile of paper on my desk before the long weekend.

Monday, October 06, 2008

all socks, all the time...

The one bonus of knitting multiple socks at once time is the finishing aspect. This weekend saw me spend a little time on socks, and get two full pairs out of the deal. I also cast on three more toes for more mindless knitting for the next little while.

A blurry picture of the Alpaca socks - and no, they do not have elf toes - these are for feet much larger than my own. And the blurriness kind of conveys the softness of these - they are delicious, and if they weren't so big, I'd keep them for myself.

And the Eliza socks - hand dyed by my friend Elizabeth Fallone. True yumminess. And, luckily for my nephew, too big for me, so he will get them for Christmas. Lucky guy.

I've cast on a new sock in Trekking (a gift), and one in Opal (for Me!), and the second sock of a pair of Regia Galaxy for the star gazing family member's Christmas Gift.

I'm in all day meetings for the next two days, and my evenings are packed with business and personal commitments, so you may not hear much from me until Wednesday or Thursday. I've got to talk about my take on the Markham Fair.

Friday, October 03, 2008

you ask, I provide

Someone wanted to see pictures of the results of bead spinning. Happy to oblige. The glass and stone pendants were all purchased (I haven't yet taken up glass blowing as a hobby), but the beaded strands are all my doing. It's amazing the assortment of jewellery findings one can find in stores these days - it really is easy to put things like this together. I'm having a blast doing it, and my son is usually eager to do his part - he strung quite a few of the beads you see here, as well, when I drag him to stores, he's willing to pick out the pendants that he thinks people will like. He chose the glass cross for my Mom, because he knows his Nanny likes going to church. (Yes, she is my biological mother - some traits just don't get passed down...). His Grandma will either get the white and grey one, or we will make a black and red one for her. The blue and green is for his buddy E - she's his "frenemy". Nine years old, and we are already dealing with gender issues. They are best friends, but don't admit it because she's a girl and he's a boy. They're either going to get married or be lifelong friends later in life. The amulet bags are generating interest among family members that have seen them, and they take so little time that's it's easy to give them away. GO ahead - try one. It's a free pattern from the Rainey Sisters blog. I may end up changing out the twisted cords for beaded strands, because, well, I can. Rachel H. has her eye on the green and black one - I was making it at the 1,000 Knitters Shoot at Lettuce Knit and she had a gleam in her eye - now, how to get it to her before next August...

And just to prove that I don't just look for the weird and bizarre when I drive to work:
an October sunrise from Highway 404.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

vampire house

It's a little hard to see (rainy morning, moving car), but to the left of the cream coloured insert on this house, you will see that two large windows (1 upstairs, 1 downstairs) have been bricked up.Seriously, who the hell bricks up two large windows in their house? That's got to kill your resale value - have these people not heard of black out curtains? Just another thing on the list of strange things I see on my way to work...

In other words, nothing new on the knitting, beading front. I'll be back when I have better pictures.