Friday, March 31, 2006

An Ode to my Honey

I am recovering from the attack of the Creeping Crud 2006. I was hoping to write something witty about my recovery. Alas, I lack the brain capacity. I believe that the truest measure of one's recovery is how the medicine tastes. You see, Monday the medicine tasted ... well, better than OK. Almost good. Last night, as I downed yet another dose of the sleep-inducing drug, it curled my toes and I apparently made some pretty good faces. The daughter units laughed loudly and long. This morning I took the day-time meds, and realized that they do taste awful. This means I am improving, right?

In the throes of my illness, my wonderful honey took over. He cooked. He washed dishes. He did the laundry. He went grocery shopping. Without complaint. Without being asked.

Granted, he generally does the shopping. And he generally does the laundry. And he generally does the cooking. But I *DO* help with these chores. And I usually wash the dishes. He loads the dishwasher and I do the pot scrubbing. Generally.

But this week he declared that I was akin to Typhoid Mary, and to stay out of the kitchen. This wasn't hard to do -- I was way too busy blowing my nose and sneezing. He did it all. Cooking, dishes, laundry. He is truly a King among men. Doug, thank you for your efforts at keeping hearth and home together. Without you, we'd have been reduced to chicken noodle soup and orange juice. For the entire week.

Brandi assisted in the home front as well. She cleaned the bathroom, top to bottom, in an effort to throw all the germs into the netherworld. Top to bottom, I say. She even scrubbed the shower stall. Sunglasses are now required for entering the bathroom. The windows were thrown open and fresh air flooded into the room.

She even cleaned the girls' bedroom, top to bottom. She claims it was in an effort to keep my germs at bay. I am a little suspicious. In any event, the bedroom looks smashing. The desk (and computer) were available, so I spent some of my recuperation time formatting their computer and stuff. I figure one good turn deserves another, right?

In between blowing my nose (incessantly), sneezing and napping, I did do some knitting this week. I still have to check for errors, but I think I accomplished this:

A baby layette for the Durham Crisis Pregnancy Centre from the McCall's Super Baby Book, circa 1979. The yarn is Bernat Softee Baby (no dye lot, which is a good thing because I needed 5 ounces, not the 4 ounces claimed in the book). It still needs the ribbon sewed on the bonnet and installed in the booties, but I can do that no problem.

The sweater is another raglan from the Leisure Arts' #159, Knitted Seamless Raglans (circa 1979). What an excellent pattern book this is! I paid $3.50 (less an employee discount) for it way back when, and I've made at least 50 sweaters from it. Money well spent, and I recommend it or the successor booklet without hesitation.

The tissues? I figure that my bosom friend for the last 24 hours deserves a picture. The other two boxes have already gone to recycle.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Creeping Crud of 2006

The Creeping Crud has arrived at our house. Right squarely in the middle of my sinuses. I'm feeling terrible. And OHIP won't cover a head transplant! Between the pounding headache, never-ending runny nose, the cough that comes from the toes, I'm not doing a whole lot. Sleeping, mostly, in between blowing my nose and sneezing.

Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another baby blanket

I finished another baby blanket for the Durham Crisis Pregnancy Centre. This one is green, and I used the horseshoe lace pattern again. Here is a close-up of the pattern:

Just to be artistic, I draped the afghan over the back of my bentwood rocker. So artful, eh?

This means that the only project remaining in my work bag is the Shop-Til-You-Drop bag from the Knitters Pattern-A-Day 2005 calendar. I'm working on the shoulder straps, of which there are two. Linen stitch. Did I mention how much I hate doing that pattern stitch? It's all the yarn forwards, yarn backs, and then having to keep track of whether I'm on a knit, slip, knit row, or a purl, slip, purl row. And switching the yarn forward, backwards, forward. Argh.

But I was in the car ALL day Saturday, retrieving my wonderful daughter from her March break visit with her dad. 8 hours in a car. So I assured Brandi, for whom the bag is being knit, that I'd be done long before we reached the border. And I was.

Unfortunately, I don't have the bag with me at the moment, so I can't take a picture of it. But it IS finished.

To replenish my knitting bag, I selected a pattern from the McCall's Super Baby Book (circa 1979), and 5 ounces of pink yarn. This is another project for the Durham Crisis Pregnancy Centre. Also I dropped in another three skeins of Red Heart variegated and the Leisure Arts Top Down Raglan pattern, for a Dulaan project. Finally, there is a surprise project in my bag. Shhh. It's a secret.

I've also acquired 5 skeins of cotton to make dishclothes. These will be shown around at the Thursday night class as a suggestion for our new knitters as an easy project with which to experiment with stitch patterns. Clever, eh?

Pictures to follow. :-0)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The March winds do blow

The March winds are howling. Howling, I say. Blasting their way across Lake Scugog and smashing into the walls of the house. Most of the walls have been insulated. But the old kitchen? You know, the part being used as storage because it is so far down the priority list for restoration? That's the one. It hasn't been insulated; it hasn't been renovated. And the winds don't blast against those walls. It blasts THROUGH those walls. I swear I've seen snowflakes in the air in there. And, of course, there isn't a door from that room into the dining room. No, that would be too sensible. I'm thinking seriously of hanging a blanket across the doorway.

But the howling winds serve a purpose. They remind me that I *DO* have a warm place to which I can retreat. Sitting by the fireplace, my knitting on my lap (along with a snuggly kitty), I can be quite toasty. The kids in Mongolia? Many of them don't have the luxury of a kitty, let alone a fire. They NEED warm things.

I finished another Dulaan sweater. This is Red Heart yarn and Leisure Arts top-down raglan pattern. Warm and snuggly. The even better news? There's enough yarn that I can make another sweater.

In other news, I had a phone call. Remember the Knitting Nights I attend? Louise was approached about teaching a knitting class through continuing education. She agreed because, after all, she does have a yarn store. But she isn't all that comfortable teaching knitting, because she has only been knitting for two years. Louise has watched me assisting some of the other ladies at Knitting Night, and she thought of me.

And the best part -- She'll pay me with yarn!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I broke the bank

Turns out that Lewiscraft stores in Canada are closing. In the grand scheme of things, this shouldn't upset me terribly. But it does. Lewiscraft is/was a Canadian-owned store, and I do firmly believe that we should be supporting the stores where we live.

Having said that, I will also admit that for the past six months or so, my preferred yarn store has been Yonder Yarns in Greenbank. Same yarns that Lewiscraft carried, plus so much more. And a Knitting Night on Tuesdays. How cool is that?

So anyway, Lewiscraft is going out of business. Which means that their yarns are all on sale.

Of course, this means that I Must Purchase. Why? Because it's a good price, and also the yarn and wool will be used for charity knitting. What better thing than to save money on materials earmarked for charity?

To that end, I obtained the following pile of baby yarns. These will become baby blankets and layettes for the Durham Crisis Pregnancy Centre. This wool is destined to become hats and mitts for the Dulaan Project and/or the Mitten Tree project at our church. So many colours ... I really love the pink/burgundy combination. Not as many balls of wool, though, because they are more expensive.

Brandi found a job, in her words "at last!" She's working with horses, four days on and two days off. This really cuts into her knitting time, but the money helps.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

There's been knitting at my house.

Remember when I mentioned that Brandi knitted? She found an abandoned project in her closet and brought it home. She finished it this week. Doesn't she look proud? It's a scarf for her mother.

I've been working on a baby sweater for the Durham Pregnancy Centre. This yarn started as a sweater for the Dulaan Project, but it really preferred to be a baby blanket. So I listened to the yarn and here is what it looks like now:

This yarn started out trying to become a bby blanket. The yarn really, really wanted to be a sweater for the Dulaan Project. Once I started listening, things really started to shape up.

Finally, I have been working on a purse for Brandi. It's from the Pattern-a-Day 2005 calendar. I do believe that I have finished the body, pending approval from Brandi as to the size.

Finally, for all you cat-lovers out there -- here's Henry's favorite way to spend a Saturday: