Sunday, December 11, 2005

Everything is right with my world!

Because someone very special is visiting. This is my son, Jeff, who is studying Spanish at Western Michigan University. He is in his fourth year ... and he is on his holiday break right now. Today, I went to Pearson Airport and retrieved him.

He is staying until the 26th. This is a very special visit. Why? Because on January 2 he is hopping on an airplane and traveling to Mexico for a semester at the sister university there. What an opportunity!

What a challenge for a mom!

While he is here he will be tormenting his younger sister, making Christmas baking, holiday decorating ... home renovations, long chats with mom ...

It's the greatest time ever -- when I have such a long stretch with my son. And THIS year I don't have to work! Yippee!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


What have I been doing since I finished the Aran Lace? Knitting mittens. Lotsa mittens. Did you know that one large ball of Red Heart will make ten pairs of mittens? I didn't either.

See that little ball in the corner? That's what I had left. Talk about cutting it close!! I was afraid that I would have to make white thumbs on the last pair of mittens. Thank goodness I didn't.

So why the excess of mittens? Our church has a project. Every January we send box loads of warm woolies to an Indian settlement in Northern Ontario. Not the one that's been in the news, although the living situation is similar. These kids are out waiting for the bus in minimal outer-wear, often without mittens and hats. These mittens are destined to help those less fortunate ... right here in Canada.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Who took my needles?

I have started knitting mittens ad nauseum for the Mitten Tree at church. In the process, I decided to take the flat pattern and convert it to knitting in the round. To accomplish this, I needed my size 7 (US) dpn. I could find two of them, no problem. Do you think I could find the others? After searching through bags and bags of yarn, baskets of patterns, more bags of yarn, they still remain elusive. Not to be thwarted, I just grabbed the size 4 & 6 dpns and went on my way.

Who knew I had THAT much yarn? I mean -- I *KNOW* that I have lots of yarn in my boxes. That's stash -- and destined for the Dulaan Project and the Mitten Tree. But all that other yarn? Yikes! And guess what I'm doing tonight? Going to Knit Night at Yonder Yarns ... where I hope to purchase some nice black yarn for a Christmas gift. (Teehee.)

To assuage my disappointment over having lost my size 7 dpns, my lovely hubby graciously ventured into Romni Wool and purchased an Addi Turbo, size 7, just for me. Not for my birthday. Not for Christmas. Just becuz. Isn't he sweet? Apparently the staff at Romni Wool went into overdrive in their attempts to be helpful -- especially since needles are not exchangeable or returnable. They wanted to be absolutely sure that he had the right one. Silly people. Don't they know that any Addi is a keeper?

In other news --

Tada! The Aran Lace sweater is finished. Here I am, modeling the sweater pre-blocking.

The sweater is designed to be loose-fitting, with long sleeves. C. says it is stylishly comfy. For anyone who cares, the design is by Annie Maloney, called Aran Lace, pattern #102. The yarn was from Lewiscraft -- Stylecraft Special, an acrylic/wool blend (80/20). Quite nice. Now to see how well it wears.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Can you believe that today is Wednesday? Neither can I. Just where the heck did the week go anyway?

Oh yeah. I remember. Monday was Hallowe'en. Don't know about your neck of the woods, but we had 2 trick-or-treaters. Yes, you read that correctly. 2. Our neighbors were having far more fun than we were, so we grabbed our candy bowl and headed over there. Imagine the scene -- a crazy woman chasing the little kids down the street calling "wait, wait! I want to give you some candy!" Ah well. Now I've proven that I'm crazy enough to live in our little corner of the world.

What else have I been doing? Well ... What you see here is sleeve number 2 of my Aran Lace sweater. And I'm almost done with it! Hurray!

I also discovered a LYS! As local as I get anyway. It's a 30-minute drive to get there, but definitely worth the trip. It's called Yonder Yarns, and is in Greenbank, Ontario. Louise, the proprietor, is running it in a room of her home. Every time I go there, she has more yarns to fondle. And she has a Knit Night on Tuesdays. There are three or four "regulars," and it was quite enjoyable. I went last night and made one mitten and started its mate. Out of *gasp* Red Heart yarn. Every year I buy a large ball to make mittens for the church, and every year I say "never again." NOW I remember why I don't particularly care for Red Heart.

Hopefully, next year I'll remember ...

Monday, October 24, 2005

A rainy Monday.

The weekend was cold, rainy and blustery. I hibernated inside, in front of the warm fireplace, with a hot cup of tea and my knitting. I am so pleased that I have finished the front of the Aran Lace and am now working my way diligently up the right sleeve. Yes, indeed, this sweater has a specific left and right sleeve. That'll be interesting when I sew this puppy together.

Saturday evening we watched the movie Top Gun. (My daughter is currently reviewing all Tom Cruise movies.) This was followed by Ghost, with Patrick Swaze and Demi Moore. Ooh-la-la. I had forgotten what a great movie it was.

To top off a rainy, wet weekend my husband and I accompanied some good friends to Amis du Jazz in Sonya. We listened to a nice trio, consisting of a string bass, an electric guitar and a saxophone. The sax. player was an hour late as he was having difficulties finding the venue. Can't blame him -- Sonya is very small.

So today I wake up with a raging sinus head-ache, and listening to the wind and rain. Bleah. What to do? After doing some housewifely cleaning, I sat down with the spindle and wool I acquired at the Waterloo Knitter's Fair.

So it isn't perfectly-spun yarn. But it is my first effort, and I'm proud. I can see spinning up enough yarn to make a scarf. I can see myself having a lot of fun with this. Possibly way too much fun with this. Is it possible that one can be way too addicted to having fun with fiber? Is a 7-foot by 20-foot knitting/sewing/weaving room going to be too small for me?

We'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What have I been doing?

While there is a lot of knitting happening around here, there aren't many photos. Why is that? Well, it seems that I have been watching too much television and not enough knitting. I have knit up, ripped out, knit up, and ripped out the progress on my Aran Lace sweater. At this point, I have finally completed the back and have the front as far as the neckline. Whew! Hopefully pictures will follow soon. Assuming I can keep my rows straight and not have to knit backwards again.

Over the weekend, we attended a family wedding in Michigan. Here is the happy couple – my "baby" brother Andy and his honey, Sabrina.

They've been dating for longer than many folks stay married, so we think there's a good chance this marriage will last.

Since I've been unable to get the blasted "Hello" from Picasa to send more than one picture at a time, you'll just have to wait to see the pic. of my three good looking brothers. Sorry 'bout that.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Another Monday

Yes, indeed. We have survived a weekend and once again it's Monday. And what do we have here? Posted by Picasa

We have a back and the beginnings of a front of the Aran Lace sweater. And LOTS of yarn.

I was worried that I would run short of yarn. And since I purchased this yarn on closeout and with no clear idea what pattern I would be using, there was none to be found at any of the Lewiscraft stores to which I have access. So I looked until I found a pattern which seemed to use just the right amount of yarn.

After I started knitting, I began to get nervous. The picture in the pattern indicates that this is a longish sweater, so I decided to make it 38 rows shorter than the pattern specified. I did the math ... selected my ending row ... and finished the back of the sweater. Complete with neckline shaping. Then I started the front.

Now ... I will only say that I was watching "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" when I made these decisions, and I was distracted. If I had been paying attention, I would have realized that I had plenty of yarn. Lotsa yarn, in fact. The back took less than half of the first ball of yarn. And there is very little neckline edging. If I can make the front and back out of one ball of yarn, surely to goodness I can complete the two sleeves out of the second, right?

I will be carefully unraveling the bind-off stitches and making the sweater as specified in the pattern.

Sheesh. Is my face red, or what?!

Monday, September 26, 2005

How can it be Monday already?

Where does the time go anyway?

Friday night, I made a wonderful dinner of roast chicken with stuffing, mashed yams and steamed broccoli. Friends stopped in for a visit later and we enjoyed the last of the apple pie. Saturday morning Doug and I had a mountain bike ride, went into Toronto for dinner (at the Buddha Vegetarian, 666 Dundas St. West), and saw two friends perform for the Acoustic Harvest -- Rob Ritchie and Terry Young. Sunday we slept in -- which means the cats actually let us do so -- and then spent the afternoon with more good friends. The evening brought yet another mountain bike ride, followed by a pot of home-made chicken soup which Carrie pronounced to be "delicious!" How much better can it get?

Funny you should ask. Because it does get better! This is the progress on the Lace Aran sweater: Posted by Picasa

Doesn't it look wonderful? Who would have thought that lace could mimic an aran-style pattern? I certainly didn't. And I find myself entranced with all those yarn-overs, slip-knit-passovers and knit-2-togethers. I sit for hours knitting on this, and don't even grumble much when I have to tink. Well, except for the Irish Knots. Knitting four stitches into one, passing three of the new ones over ... doesn't lend itself well to tinking.

And just to prove that I can actually handle two projects on needles at once -- the socks became travel knitting and I finished a small pair for my Dulaan box and started another pair for me!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

An experiment in multi-tasking

I have been working on socks. Lots of socks. Lots and lots of socks, in fact. So many socks that I am dreaming of socks. The good news is that there is no "Second Sock Syndrome" in my home. The tenacity with which I knit socks does lead to an unfortunate side-effect -- an incredible lack of variety in my knitting life.

Now, I know that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Syndrome), and that I consequently do not multi-task well. I also know that having two projects on the go at the same time has traditionally driven me to distraction. Which project to favour with my attention when I have a minute or two to spare? The decision kills me!

In a fit of ambition and an effort to tame the ADD, I have taken a deep breath and jumped right into the multi-project fray. The socks now live in a small travel knitting bag and will land right next to my purse. Whenever I go somewhere outside the house, the socks will go with me. Thus they will not be forgotten, nor will I develop a case of SSS.

But what shall I work on at home? Strange you should ask. Here it is -- my newest ambition:
Posted by Picasa

Aran Lace, a pattern written by Annie Maloney. The really nice thing about the purchase of this pattern, aside from the beauty of the design, is that a portion of the proceeds go to the Ontario Brain Injury Fund. It's always nice when you can support a good cause in the normal course of your day. The yarn is Stylecraft Special, an acrylic/wool blend sold by Lewiscraft. Normally I would support my LYS, but this yarn was on sale. 800 grams, which should be enough to make the sweater with some leftover for Dulaan projects, all at 30% off. Nice, eh? I've currently completed 12 rows, which is exactly one-half of the largest pattern repeat.

Now ... to see if I can manage two projects on the needles at once. My daughter suspects not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Work in Process

It has occurred to me that I don't believe that I've shown a WIP here. Plenty of finished projects, but not a WIP.

So ... here it is! (Coris -- if you are reading this -- stop right here!)

Posted by Picasa

This is a scarf pattern from the 2005 Pattern-A-Day calendar, the Little Leaf Lace Scarf designated for April 21, 2005. The yarn I'm using is Regia Silk in a lovely grey-blue. Originally purchased for socks, the yarn preferred to become a scarf. I found it to pill a bit, certainly far more quickly than I would want for a pair of socks. Anyone else have the same experience?

Monday, September 12, 2005

A day of my own

While reading the blog of my hero, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (otherwise known as the Yarn Harlot), I finally took the plunge and made the commitment to attend the Waterloo County Knitters Fair 2005. With the price of gas, my current state of unemployment and hence no income, I had reluctantly decided to pass on the opportunity to fondle yarns. The deciding factor? Stephanie would be attending the fair. Since I had a copy of Stephanie's first book which needed to be autographed for one of my dearest friends, it was a no-brainer. I would attend.

First let me say that the map provided by the municipality of Waterloo was entirely bizarre. The map clearly indicated that I should exit the 401 at Highway 8, drive north until the intersection with Victoria Street and I would be there. Unfortunately, Victoria Street is closed for construction right at the specified intersection. Besides, the mailing address of Bingeman's is Waterloo. Which is why I (oh-so-prudently I thought) had disregarded the signs advising me to exit the 401 at Guelph if I wanted to find my way to Bingeman's. Hmm. Was this a portent?

So I pressed onward, devout in my intentions to visit the Fair. After all, I had crawled out of bed at 8:00 am, driven 2 hours and was free from husband and child. Only a weak-willed knitter would turn back at this point, frustrated by the lack of signage. After figuring out how much gas I had wasted were I to retreat, I finally found my way out of the black hole of despair, and found the fair.

At the fair, I found this:
Posted by Picasa

I swear these things followed me home. Honest. They just waddled along behind me until we found the car, and what could I do?

I purchased Stephanie's second book titled "The Secret Life of a Knitter." I've managed to read the introduction and two chapters. If you enjoy her blog, buy the book. She's entirely too funny.
I watched a lady get a spindling lesson right at the Gemini Fiber booth, and it looked ... well ... fun, to be precise. So I purchased a book (Hands On Spinning by Lee Raven) as well as a hand-made drop spindle. Of course, if one has acquired the text and the tool, one must also have fiber. That's why I purchased 100g of 100% Merino wool.

Having drooled over the Van Gogh Stole (designed by Anne Russell) at previous shows, I finally took the plunge and purchased a kit as well. And since everyone raves about Opal sock yarn and the colour was too yummy to pass by, I purchased a ball of Opal as well.

Another high note of the day was meeting Michelle. She so graciously displays her photo on her blog and so was easy to recognize. Accompanying her was CurlieGirl. Of course, I did also get to chat with Stephanie for a few minutes. Alas, I left the house without my camera.

Dates to remember -- the 9th Annual Knitter's Frolic (sponsored by the Downtown Knit Collective) will occur on Saturday, April 22, 2006. The Waterloo County Knitters' Fair 2006 will occur on Saturday, September 9, 2006. Be there, or be square!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Today was the first day of school across Ontario. My daughter started high school today. Another milestone. And the last of my children to attend high school. Sigh.

But she's still my little girl. At 14 and a half, there's an awful lot of young lady there. She primps in the mirror, she dresses for effect and not comfort. But deep inside, hidden underneath all those layers of young adult ... My baby hides. How do I know?

Well, this is her favorite pillow in the whole world.

Posted by Picasa

He travels with her everywhere -- except canoe camping in Algonquin Park. And that's only because there was no room in her backpack for him.

Bear is modeling the completed baby blanket. It was made with Dreambaby D.K. from Plymouth Yarns, following a pattern from the Leisure Arts book Beginner's Guide -- Knit Stitches & Easy Projects. I used 6 skeins of yarn.

In other news, Carrie's bedroom renovation project is completed. We had a deadline of Sept. 3 to have it finished because the band, Tanglefoot , was going to be staying with us. Couldn't have the guys sleeping in the living room, ya know? So we finished it, just in the nick of time. And now Carrie has her story wall autographed by the band.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Carrie is off visiting her dad in Michigan this week. And everyone knows that the mice will play while the cat is away. Wait a minute -- I thought I was the cat!

In any event, with Carrie out of the way, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do some major work in her bedroom. Originally, the cottage came with two 8 x 10-foot bedrooms. Hardly room enough for a bed and dresser, let alone the stuff that teens require. So the wall came down (it was a temporary wall from the previous round of renovations) and Doug and I have been working continuously in there.

My new job description is "carpenter's helper." The duties are (to date): vacuuming (and here I thought I could escape it!) the work site, drilling holes, inserting screws, nailing in the trim pieces, shimming window trim, trimming foam, finding studs, and removing staples. This means that I now have operated the electric drill, the screw gun, the electric nailer, the chop saw, and the stud finder. Such fun, eh?

And here you see the finished window! Posted by Picasa

There is yet another window in the room which is completed, and a little window that will get the slightest of trim. Carrie plans to install a poster over the window, so a full trim-out isn't required at the moment.

Today the baseboard has been installed, and it looks fabulous. We are hoping to get someone to come in and sand, patch and refinish the existing pine floor. It is in pretty rough shape as pine doesn't wear well, and there are places where the original wall used to be which have never been finished.

The plus side of my new occupation -- when the carpenter doesn't need me, I get to sit and knit!
Doesn't that just break your heart?

I'm working on a baby blanket for the wife of a friend from my teen-age years. Unfortunately, she recently suffered a miscarriage with all the attendant grief. I have continued with the blanket, knitting each stitch with a prayer for healing and in confidence that they will one day have a precious baby to wrap in the blanket. Since baby blankets don't appear to change much from day to day, I have decided to wait until it is complete before making a photo opportunity.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Summer Knitting

Summer demands cool cotton tops. And since the requisite yarn just happened to jump off the shelf and into my eagerly waiting arms ... well, this is what I get --Posted by Picasa

The yarn is Scheepjes soft fun, colour 2325. The pattern was gifted to me by my darling daughter at Christmas -- the Pattern-a-Day knitting calendar. This particular pattern was the Too-Cool! Halter Top for June 15. Of course, I didn't use the yarn specified in the pattern ... But I can tell you that this top (size large) consumed 3 balls of yarn.

What will I do with the remaining yarn? One never knows. When will I wear the top? I keep forgetting that I'm not 18 any more, and that I do not have that 18-year-old body. But here on the Point, where almost anything goes, I'll fit right in.

In other news -- renovations continue apace on the first floor bedroom. It will become the bedroom of the afore-mentioned darling daughter, complete with her plans for a funky paint job, strange ceiling treatments and interesting furniture arrangements. I assisted (really I did!) with building out the windows and in the process learned to operate the electric drill, screw gun and air gun. All 20 fingers (10 for me and 10 for my dear husband) survived without injury. And the room is looking great! Pictures will follow.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

When it's too hot to knit ...

a visit to the bookstore is required. And this is what I found! Posted by Picasa

Now I officially have absolutely no reason not to venture into the mysteries of designing my own sweaters.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What do you do when it's too hot to knit?

When it's so hot that ice cubes melt before you can pour in the water? When it's so hot that sweat drips down your face before you even get out of bed in the morning?Posted by Picasa

You do like Henry ... sprawl in the shade with your four paws to the wind.

And pray that there's wind.

Fortunately, the heat seems to have ever so slightly lessened and knitting can and will resume tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Dulaan Project

Now that the dust has settled over at Mossy Cottage Knits and the count is in for the Dulaan Project does not mean it is time to rest on our collective laurels. There will be more cold young 'uns the world around -- if not in Mongolia, then Korea, or even closer to home -- in Canada.

Meredith from F.I.R.E. has left me a comment stating that they will be collecting items for shipment in July of 2006.

With that in mind, I've already started knitting for 2006. And this is what I've accomplished! Posted by Picasa

Two size 4 sweaters for little girls.

Anyone else want to help make 2006 as successful as 2005?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sock fixation? Me? (Part Two)

Have I mentioned that Carrie thinks I have a sock fixation? She swears that all I knit these days is socks. Now, I just don't understand what could possibly be giving her that idea? After all, I knit her a sweater ... in January ... and in the heat of summer, here I am having Doug try on a sock of his very own.

 Posted by Hello

It is a cute sock, is it not? And such a manly colorway. This sock is ribbed the entire body, with stockinette stitch on the sole. He has commented before that he really needs his socks to be smooth, else the bumps really irritate him. Here's hoping that stockinette works.

I must admit that this picture is several days old. Since then, I have finished the second sock of that pair. As well as ... started and finished another sock. The mate to that one is currently on the needles. Photos will follow.

Hmmph. Sock fixation, indeed!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Sock fixation? Me?

Aren't these cute?! And so tiny!

 Posted by Hello

And the best part is that Emery loves them. She is my sister's little girl -- two and a half years old. Already a heart-breaker. Mine, that is. You see, I live so far away that I just don't get to see her enough to make it onto her "favorite people" list.

So I have resorted to bribery.

Brutal, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This is my dilemma.

I love my husband. He has a lot of really fine qualities. A LOT of many fine qualities.

But he also has some annoying qualities. Some REALLY annoying qualities. Including the fact that he is very particular. Some might even call it too picky.

I made him a sweater. It was a lot of work -- work that I did willingly and happily. I thoroughly enjoy working Aran patterns.

 Posted by Hello

But after all this work ... the sweater is too large. He doesn't wear it. I suspect also that the v-neck cardigan possibly wasn't the right choice.

I checked the gauge. The gauge specifies 18 inches over 4 inches. And I got 20 stitches over 4 inches. So obviously the REAL problem is that the sweater is too large ... and probably the style.

So here's my dilemma. Do I offer to frog it and redo? And give him the choice of a pullover on the redo?

Ack. I hate making decisions like this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Showing the sock a good time

I've been reading about Stephanie's bookbookbook tour and all the fun her sock has been having. It's wonderful to see all the knitters enjoying themselves.

Inspired by Stephanie, I attempted to show MY sock a good time. How, you might ask. Well, since Spring has arrived, this means that mountain biking season has also arrived. I've discovered that the greater the risk for broken bones, the more fun I have. Go figure, eh?

For the first time in 35 years, I fell off my bicycle. It wasn't my fault -- really! I was pedalling furiously uphill when the chain fell off the front sprocket. Normal people might stop immediately and restring the chain. Other people, like me, attempt to continue up the hill while simultaneously restringing the chain. Once the uphill momentum stops (and quickly, I might add), the bicycle and rider begin to answer the call of gravity and roll downhill. Backwards. Generally at an increasing rate of speed and tilting dangerously to the side.

What happens next?
Posted by Hello

Ouch. Slightly sprained ankle, which is being treated with RICE -- rest, ice, compression and elevation. Ice is really cold.

Bruised ego. Treated by a glass of wine and more knitting.

The knitting is Regia Cotton Tip & Top Color yarn, purchased at The Knitter's Frolic. This is really neat yarn -- one ply is white, the second ply is colored, resulting in a heathery yarn. That knits nicely into a fair isle pattern.

Here's hoping that the ankle heals before the rain leaves.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Spring is here. Definitely and without question.

How do I know? Lizzie, my cat has decided that 5:00 am is the time to rise and shine. And she is persistent. For a 5-lb. cat, she sure does shake the bed when she lands. And then she paces back and forth across the sleeping mom. Next she goes to the bedroom door and scratches frantically in an effort to turn the handle. Never mind that the handle is 3 inches higher than her little paws.

So Saturday morning she was scooped up, carried downstairs and unceremoniously dumped into the "time out" box -- something most people know as a cat carrier. She was not impressed.

At 7:00 am, Henry decided it was high time for us to get up. So he started with the scratching at the door. He also was caught and dropped into another time-out box.

And what happened on Sunday? Blessed peace and quiet. No frantic scratching. No meows. No pacing back and forth. Whew.

In knitting news -- I have started knitting a pair of socks made with Reggia Cotton. So far I am loving the yarn. The colors are summery and nice and they are making a lovely fair-isle type pattern. Pictures (hopefully) tomorrow.

Right now, I am growling and grumpy because we have a dial-up connection. No options for high-speed. And the dial-up is painfully s-l-o-w.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Catching Up

Well, it's been a while since I've been here. Busy, busy, busy. Doing what? Nothing that I can really put my finger on, but busy none the less.

I quit my job. I'm even past the two-week notice part. Now I'm working "at the pleasure of the parties." Which means, basically, that they can tell me to leave, or I can leave. That's it. I'll be done. I volunteered to hang around to train my replacement. Now let's see if they manage to hire my replacement before my self-imposed deadline. I told them I wanted to be done completely by the end of May. We'll see.

So what brought this on? There have been way too many games being played, by the lawyers and the staff. And it seems that the favorite, convenient target for everyone is yours truly. And I'm not paid nearly enough to be the little sitting duck in the shooting arcade.

The cruise really brought this home. For 10 days, C. and I relaxed in the sun, read good books and relaxed. Coming home, going to work ... it was like a 20-tonne weight slamming down on my back. And I realized that life is too darn short, time is too precious to spend it waiting for the axe to fall. So I quit.

What will I do next? I really don't know. And that should scare me, but it doesn't. I will figure something out.

Over the weekend we attended the Lake Scugog Studio Tour. Saw a fair number of watercolour artists, a woodworker, a potter, a glass artist and ... ta da! A knitter! And she lives not too far from me. Even better. And the best news of all -- the friend who invited us also brought along another friend. Susan knits. That says it all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Goodies at the Knitters' Frolic

Saturday was the Knitters' Frolic in Toronto. I found out about the event on Friday ... and went on Saturday! Yippee!

I had SO much fun! And spent some money!

What did I buy? Blocking wires and pins, a book titled "Annabelle's Caps," three balls of Reggia sock yarn to make socks for Doug, a ball of Reggia sock yarn in a cotton blend to try for summer, and a ball of Opal sock yarn. I've heard SO much about Opal that I just had to try it.

I also met Stephanie. also known as The Yarn Harlot ( She is so funny, just like her blog. And very nice.

Anyway, it was a wonderful day, and now I've got to finish up some projects so that I can try knitting with my new yarn. Teehee. Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My Mom

My mother, Frances Dixon, died a year ago yesterday. She was a very special person, which is what everyone says about their mother. But she really was special.

You see, she had polio when she was 22. And pregnant. My brother was born and went home about six months before she did. And after he was born, there were 4 more. A total of six kids, borne to a woman who did not understand the meaning of the word "handicapped."

She taught us that life was to be lived to its fullest. In spite of the polio, she went canoing, bicycling, camping, and motorcycle riding with my dad. She traveled from Michigan to Oklahoma and back in a side car one year. Another time, she and Dad took the motorcycle from Michigan to Nova Scotia and back again.

My mother taught me to love reading. She read avidly, and her example taught me to likewise love books. There are pictures of her with a book in hand, sitting at some rest stop. Everyone else was off stretching their legs. Mom was reading. Some of my happiest memories are of those times when we shared our opinions of various authors and books.

Another thing my mom taught me was to knit. She knit things for her children, her husband, and her grandchildren. This woman was even brave enough to start aran sweaters for children who were prone to growing rapidly. Go figure, eh?

This is a sweater my mother made for me years ago. I can't quite wear it any more, but I still keep it. Some things you just have to hold on to, ya know?

And there, on with the sweater, you see the book by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End. Stephanie is also known as the Yarn Harlot. Last night was the book launch at the Textile Museum in Toronto, Ontario. We went. What better way to celebrate my mother's life than by spending it with someone who, like my mother loves to knit.
Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Faina's Scarf

Finished all 423 rows! It still needs to be blocked and fringed, but the scarf is fabulous. The yarn is alpaca, and is deliciously soft and yummy. Pattern from Fibertrends, and Yarn is Plymouth Indiecita Alpaca, sport 3-ply.

And I still love lace!

In other news ... the weekend was wonderful. Sunny and warm both days. The lake is still frozen, but melting quickly.

Went to the Home Show on Saturday. Wasn't worth the effort of driving 1.5 hours to get there. We wanted to see bathroom fixtures since we are nearing that step in the home renovations. Unfortunately, there were only two displays that we saw -- both offering fancy shower enclosures, complete with FM radios, multiple jets and extremely tiny hot tubs. Extremely silly if you ask me.

My next project will be a gift for my secret friend from Christmas. Something special and specially made for someone who deserves something special.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dulaan Project

This is my box for the Dulaan project. It is one sweater (size 6) and three pairs of mittens. Not the most prolific knitters, even if I do say so myself. But I am only one, and there are hundreds of other knitters participating in the project. It'll go out in the mail this week, so should be at the appointed place at the appointed time for mailing to Mongolia.

In other news, I revisited Yonder Yarns last Saturday. She is still open -- wonderful news. Even better, her stock has grown. And best of all -- she has a knitting group that meets on Tuesday evenings! I found some knitting friends! Yippee! I have missed that aspect of my life for so long.

Of course, today is Tuesday and I'm not there. I'm tired. Dangerously tired for driving. Hence, I am home tonight. There's always next Tuesday!

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Monday, April 04, 2005

This is NOT funny. This is April 3, for crying out loud! We are supposed to have green grass, flowers just peeking through the ground, fresh winds, robins and squirrels. What is with this white, gloppy snow stuff? And to make it worse, you can't even ski on this garbage!

Since the weather wasn't good for much of anything else, I sat at home and knit. My Faina's Scarf is now into the second repeat. Not the first repeat. The second. And I've opened the second ball of that yummy alpaca yarn! Progress. But I haven't taken any pictures to brag yet -- don't want to ruin my luck.

Now that I've gotten into the rhythm of it all, the scarf progresses nicely. Can't wait to get it done.

Tomorrow the weatherman claims that we will see 13 degrees C (that's 55 degrees F). I'll believe that when I see it.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Back from Cruise

Wow. Back from the cruise. It was wonderful. Words fail me, and that doesn't happen often. We went to Nassau, the Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. V.I., and St. Martiin, Netherlands Antilles. Such an experience. This is something that I've wanted to do all my life, and it was every bit as delightful as I had hoped it would be.

And after all my agonizing over which project to take ... in the car, headed towards the airport in Buffalo. Took the Dulaan sweater. Finished the front. Cast off those stitches that needed to be cast off and placed the rest on a stitch holder. Ready to start the sleeves! Wrong. I forgot the necessary needles. Grrrr!

So now I'm back and will start working seriously on it. Hopefully, I can finish it this weekend.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005


The knitting for the Dulaan Project progresss. helping by keeping our furry friends occupied.

In three days, C. and I will climb onto an airplane and fly to Miami. From there -- it's a Caribbean Cruise for us! Yippee! I'm debating which project(s) to take with me. The Dulaan sweater has gone cross-country skiing the last two weekends, and has progressed. The front is completed and the back is nearly so. It's a definite candidate.

Also under contemplation is the Faina's Scarf. I have discovered that there are indeed repeated rows. But it still is a complex project, requiring complete concentration. Consequently, it isn't such a good candidate for travel.

On the other hand, I could just take some sock yarn ... easy, fun to knit, and sure to elicit lots of commentary.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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Sunday, February 27, 2005

What is needed to do lacework?

I started the first lacework I've done in 14 years. It's a lace scarf made from Plymouth Indiecita Alpaca, and a pattern from Fibertrends called Faina's Scarf. I carefully assembled all the necessary tools --

See what is missing?

The TV. This is not a pattern that can be worked in front of the TV. Nor the radio. Nor the stereo. It requires concentration -- and lots of it.

I am on row 57 -- and there have not been any repeat rows yet. Possibly as I get further into the pattern ... but I'm not counting on it. The directions list 423 rows. And in the 150 that I've skimmed, not one of them say "repeat row *."

If I knit 40 rows a day, I'll be done in 10 days. Right.

Notice the stitch marker? That's for the places that I forget the yarn over. I have figured out how to add it on the next row -- provided I see that I've forgotten it in time. Hence the stitch marker.

Now, I used to have a favorite baby sweater set that I made for all my children and for my friends' children. It was lace. It also had a nice 15-stitch, 12-row repeat. This scarf is not even in the same class.

We'll see if I still like lace when I'm done.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Brandi is my daughter's best friend. On Feb. 5, her mother loaded her onto an airplane and shipped her out to Calgary to live. Kicked her out of the house.

There are no words to express how I feel right now. Brandi is a good kid. She is my "other daughter." I really miss her, as does Carrie.

So I made these socks for her. The heart is embroidered on with duplicate stitch, and is a reminder to her of how very much she is loved.

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