Friday, March 30, 2012

I've been sewing again...

The weather we've been having lately has been unbelievable - quite warm and sunny, more like May or June than March. I was talking to a friend at the cottage, and they said the ice is out - that's the earliest any of us can remember.
My son has requested new pajama shorts - the long flannel pants were just too warm, and he only had a couple of pairs that still fit from last year.
I was of course, happy to oblige.

From left to right -Superman and Batman, (which it seems, are still cool amongst the teenagers), and a dalmatian print (an homage to my husband's family, who owned a dalmatian for 15 years).

Then there was a little something for me. I had this chiffon print sitting around forever it seems, and finally decided to make a loose floaty tunic.

So I did. And I love it. And it's made me want to do more sewing, so that's what I did for much of the weekend. I'm still knitting on stuff - my son wants his sweater, and I'm so close to finishing it, so I kind of hope it cools off for a bit so he can wear it.

And an update on last week's Regional Besketball tournament - the boy's team won their pool, and the first round of elimination, but lost in the final four. A great showing, and they played so well - so proud of this bunch of kids! Top four in all of York Region is pretty impressive!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I got the better end of the trade...

Remember my friend who went to India to get married? Well, they're back, happily married, and trying to settle down in to normal life after 3 months of parties, fetes, ceremonies, etc.
She and I were going to make a trade - I knit her a sweater, and she was going to bring me back some Indian fabric.
I gave her the sweater (which she loved, but she went above and beyond - yes she brought me some fabric:

that's Indian silk and cotton - both pieces have been washed and dried, and are front and centre on my cutting table, waiting to be made into some great summer tops. The colours are a little hard to get right - they are a stunning emerald green and a rich pumpkin orange. the orange might show a bit better here:

Then there's a handpainted on silk scroll:

It's a piece about 18 inches by 8 inches, handpainted on a pieces of purple silk, depicting a bride getting ready. She got these for a few of us, and we are all on the lookout for the perfect frame.

Last and certainly not least, there is this gorgeous silver anklet. I love wearing anklets in the summer and this one will be my favourite, I'm sure. I've already worn it a couple of times, since the weather has been so stunning lately. (and of course, I've already started wearing the flip flops - have been for weeks, now!)

I feel like I need to make her something else to make up for all this...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today my Mom turns 80.

This is her engagement picture. She still looks pretty good.

We're not a big birthday-celebrating family, (much to the chagrin of my Mother-In-Law, who treats every birthday in the husband's family like it was the actual day of the birth...) but I figured my Mom deserved a little shout out for 80 years.
Today I'm taking her to lunch at our favourite family Italian restaurant, and my boss (who's know my Mom for over 45 years) is coming along as a surprise.
Mom taught me to knit when I was 8, and I retaught her to knit with good wool about 6 years ago. It really is a circle.
She's been on her own since my Dad died 16 years ago, but her 4 grandchildren keep her young - she goes to Florida twice a year, takes 3 exercise classes a week, and still worries about my brother and I as if we were this age:
(and her legs are still this good. I obviously inherited my father's legs...)

As much as it drives me crazy, I couldn't imagine my life any other way. She gave birth to me, raised me, and to this day, still teaches me life lessons.
Love ya, Mom!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I can't resist the sparkle!

Before I went to the cottage, Nancy and I tried a new yarn store with a Wednesday night Knit Night. We've been looking for a place to get together on a regular basis (the Guild only meets once a month). We found one - The Yarn Store, which is a subsection of The Quilt Store. (the wonderful fabrics there are a whole other post...)
We had a great time, and will definitely be back, but while I was there, I found a great kit using rayon thread, and sparkly beads. You all know how how weak I am in the face of beads, right?

I had to have it, and of course, had to string the beads right away, and start the scarf. Picture this about a metre in length, with a lush, long rayon fringe on each end.
I even dug out the star filter for my camera to give you an idea of the sparkle:

I am such a sucker for these things...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another project on the go

A sweater for my son. This was started before I left for the cottage, and has actually progressed quite a bit more since I took this picture.

I've finished the one sleeve,and am about halfway done the second sleeve. It shouldn't take too long, and then I will finish the body, and add the neckband. I'm making this intentionally long - partially because my kid seems to grow exponentially, and partially since I plan on washing and drying this sweater, and the 50% cotton will shrink it up a bit. It will also tighten the stitches up a bit, which is what I planned when I started this. Right now it's VERY drapey, so the little bit of tightening will give it just the right amount of drape.
The brownish taupe colour is very nice - my son approves, and I love the pop of lime green and the pale grey. I will have enough left of each of these colours for something - not sure what. Probably just stash, as I can't really see my boy wanting a co-ordinating scarf or mittens...

Off to Regionals today! A little cheer for the Regency Acres Griffins would be appreciated...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Finally! The knitting!

Well, at least some if it...

I finished two Christmas stockings, and started the third. I am really enjoying this project, and if I wanted to , could continue on - there was some interest from some friends when they saw them. The thing is, once I finish this last one, I'm pretty sure I'll be done with this. It's fun, and I love how they are turning out, but three is enough right now.

My son has already claimed the one on the left, and the one at the bottom is for me (I'm using angels, bows and others somewhat feminine motifs on it), so that means my husband gets the one on the right. He's fine with that.

While this project has used up some of my Briggs and Little, I still have a ton of it left. Maybe I should make some for others...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break at the cottage

This is what our lake looked like midway through last week. On the first weekend we were there, there was still some snow on the ground, and the lake was solid ice. By Tuesday, there was 2-3 inches of water on top of the ice (as shown above), and the snow was basically gone (except for some shaded areas). Coats were not needed - the kids were outside in just hoodies (and boots - needed boots for the mud!) We adults were enjoying cocktails on the sunny deck. Unbelievable for mid March in Canada, that's for sure. And this next week is supposed to be even warmer! I bet the kids are swimming by Easter again this year!
I not only enjoyed cocktails on the deck, there was some reading and of course some knitting. Christmas stockings, a sweater for the boy, and something small and sparkly, even!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I could have posted last week...

But I didn't. It's not like I couldn't have - I had my computer, I had wifi, but honestly, I was at the cottage, and when I did open my computer, it was for work purposes, and doing that sort of sucked all the enjoyment out of it! I had to do enough work that it started to annoy me, so when I was done, I pretty much ignored the computer. The good thing is, the work I had to do was important, it solved some issues that would have ballooned into major problems if I had ignored them, so that's all good. And as I told my boss, I did enough to justify taking this Thursday off to watch my son and his school basketball team play for the York Region championship.
So it was worth it.
I also spent a lot of time with my son, with friends and with my knitting. All in all, when you weigh the good with the bad, the good came out on top, and that's a good thing.
I've spent the time since I've been home catching up on some blog reading, and getting my house back after a week of my husband batching it. I have GOT to introduce that man to the broom...
To make up for last week, and for my crankiness today, I will post every day this week - knitting pictures to come!

Friday, March 09, 2012

finally, a sweater project for me!

I have finally almost narrowed down what I'm going to do. (How's that for commitment?) I'm thinking a summerweight cardigan - using the contiguous sleeve method, rather than raglan - in this navy Knit Picks Shine. (I also had these 2 balls of Shine in each of cream and pale grey in the stash - I see some striping...)
I was originally going to do it on the machine, but I have some other Shine in a lovely apple green that I may use on the machine, and my meterage on this blue is a little light, so I  figure a top down cardi will let me get the maximum usage of this yarn - a shorter sleeved sweater for summer in cotton is not a bad thing.

Today starts March Break for us, and the boy is off school for a week. We are heading up to the cottage in two cars, since my husband can only stay the weekend, and the boy and I will stay most of the week. I can work from there (gotta love wifi!), and most of the neighbours are going to be there for most of the week as well, so it will be great. The boy will have lots of friends to hang with, as will I. We are already planning a Mexican feast at out place one night, and probably some other get togethers. Plus, there will be lots of knitting time for me - what's not to love about a week like that?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

a new sweater project...

...but not for me! I dug out an old UFO - a sweater for my son using Cotton Ease. Of course, this was started a few years back, and well, we know how fast kids grow at this age, so it was ripped back and restarted. Before I ripped, however, I took gauge measurements, and plugged them into Sweater Wizard to get the sizing - I'm making it a little big, because it will probably be better for next fall.
Normally, I'm a natural fibre all the way kind of knitter, but I can deal with the 50% cotton, 50% acrylic blend of the Cotton Ease - 50% is my absolute limit of plastic fibres - for warmth or comfort, you just can't beat natural. And the Cotton Ease was pretty well priced, so it made sense at the time.
The boy likes these colours together - obviously living with me has developed his colour sense beyond the basic blue, black, beige and grey that my husband limits himself to:

It's just a basic top down crew neck pullover - Mainly the taupey brown and I will stripe in the pale grey and green.
This will be great cottage knitting for when friends drop by - once I break for the sleeves, it's just rounds and rounds of stockinette.

Monday, March 05, 2012

One of those weekends...

It was one of those weekends - Busy as all get out, yet not a lot to show for it. Part of the problem is my boss left for vacation on Sunday, so I spent Friday and Saturday going over stuff with him. He is convinced that the place will fall apart without him, even though he is only going to Florida, and has his Blackberry, and will be annoying me all week on little things. I love him to death, which is the only reason I'm putting up with this - he really doesn't need to send me 3 emails reminding me to do stuff I do every day without fail...
I also spent a good chunk of the weekend sorting out and organizing my card making supplies. I have a disgusting amount of papercrafting supplies, it seems! But I worked for a sticker and scrapbooking company for years, and got a great discount there. Then, when they got bought out, and we had to move or get rid of everything, well, the marketing dept, where I was, was stuffed full of samples that we divided up and all took home. It was that or tossing them out. So boxes more of the stuff came home with me. Because I don't really scrapbook, I tried to keep it to things that would be useful for cards, but I still have a ton. So I finally went through the boxes and sorted out everything by themes. Hopefully that will help. It does help navigation through my craft area - I got a lot of things up off the floor and on shelves.
There was some sewing, but nothing interesting - a couple of tablecloths and some napkin hemming - these had been sitting on my sewing table for months, taking up space and annoying me. So to make space, I finished them up. Then proceeded to fill the space with 5 more pieces of fabric - I went to Fabricland for navy thread. Navy. Thread. Period. A hundred odd dollars later, I had navy thread, 2 patterns, and 5 pieces of fabric! Two pieces of flannel for more cottage kid pajamas, and three great summery striped lightweight knits - all on sale.
I'm still out of sorts as far as a sweater knitting project - the floral yoke sweater is still ticking me off, so I've had trouble committing to a new project. I think I may have solved that  issue however, which is good because at the end of this week, I"m heading to the cottage with the boy for a few days over March Break, and I'll need knitting!

Friday, March 02, 2012

the stocking project continues

While I get over the epic fail of the floral yoke sweater, and try and decide on my next sweater project (had one ready to go, until I realized i didn't have enough yarn - argh!), I've been working on the Christmas stocking project. As you may recall, my plan is to make three stockings (for Me, Husband and Boy), using up a small part of my stash of Briggs and Little. I was hoping for a rustic look, using multiple colours and pattern bands.
Well, it's working. I've got one done, and started the second. I'm loving how they are turning out, especially since I'm not really doing any advance planning. I pick a pattern, choose some colours, knit it, then go on to the next. I admit to ripping back once or twice when colours weren't working out, but other than that, I'm really happy with this:
I think my favourite motif so far is the reindeer one:
Then there's the bells:
The zig-zaggy pattern leading into the heel (an afterthought heel of course!):
The trees that lead into the toe:
And the start of the second stocking:
Those blank parts at the top are edged top and bottom by Latvian braids, and I will duplicate stitch our names in the area, once we all decide which one we want.
I've started the second motif on the second stocking - this one is ornaments. As much as I will sort of let the boys choose, the first one will probably be for my son, the second of the husband, and the third one for me - I'm keeping the angels and bows motifs for me. (Along with a reindeer - there might be a reindeer on each of them...)