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?