Monday, October 08, 2007

Recuperating from the weekend

Last weekend we drove to Michigan for a weekend of family gatherings. Departing Friday night, after closing the store, we arrived at the hotel at 2:30 am. I have an all new respect for Stephanie for keeping the hours she does when she travels. I myself would be a basketcase if I had to do the things she does.

Saturday morning we gathered at St. Thomas Episcopal church for a memorial service for my Uncle Ray. He passed away back at Easter, and this was the time when his children (all four of them, with spouses) could congregate in Michigan. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. The service left everyone a little teary, and with a smile. My uncle did have a wicked sense of humour.

Following the service at the graveside (where we all learned that we should not try to make a living by singing), we gathered at a local restaurant and had a very nice luncheon. I had not seen any of the cousins for 15 years, and some even longer than that. It was a great to sit down together and catch up on what was happening in each others' lives.

Doug, Carrie and I bopped out of the restaurant at 4:00 so that we could have a bike ride at Fort Custer. The day was conducive to bicycle riding, and we all had a tremendous time. So much of a good time that ... well, it had been a late night and an early morning, coupled with a fair bit of exertion on the bike trail ... A nap seemed like a tremendously good idea. So we did. Doug was supposed to be in the shower, washing away any traces of poison ivy. Apparently that wasn't all that he did while he snoozed!

Sunday was a big day as well, again at St. Thomas. My new niece, Amelia Ann, was baptized! Again, with the big family gathering. And the three of us (Doug, Carrie and myself) snuck out for another bicycle ride. With not so great results, I am afraid. Carrie managed to go over the handlebars yet again and was bruised and battered upon our return to the hotel. She has decided that she will NOT be mountain biking any more. Now I'm on the lookout for a less dangerous bicycle route to take her on.

Have you noticed how few photos there are, even though I am talking about a lot of activity? It seems our digital camera is deciding whether or not to give up the ghost. We get maybe a photo or two per day, and then it dies. My brother thinks it is something with the image-capture element ... all I know is that sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

One thing that was really cool about the weekend is that I got to meet Amelia. She was five weeks old on Friday, the 28th of September. And such a sweetie. You know how babies sometimes are fussy and only quiet down for one person? This particular weekend, I was that person. (For those folks who have known me for years and years, they understand how exciting this was. Babies NEVER quiet down for me!) She slept on my lap, or on my shoulder, for the longest times. Made me quite happy, I must admit. There are reportedly photos capturing this event, and I am even now in search of them.

I also was able to gift the baby bunting to little Amelia. I am not sure about her, but her parents loved it. Again, photos are in existence and I am still trying to track them down! Even better, it appears that she will be able to wear the bunting more than once since there is plenty of room for her to grow.

In other news, I am participating in a dishcloth relay race with some on-line friends. I received a box with some cotton yarn and a dishcloth, and something special:

I'm not certain what yarn was used for the cloth, but it is nice and soft. The pattern is a basic broken rib pattern. All in all, quite nice. The relay requires me to knit up a dishcloth using one of the yarns included in the box, replace the yarn, and send it forward. I've been eyeing this dishcloth for quite some time, and never found the excuse to knit it.

This is the doily-type dishcloth pattern found on some of the Bernat Handicrafter ball bands. Quite straightforward to knit, and as enjoyable in person as it is to look at on the label. I replaced the Bernat with some S.R. Kertzer Coolspun Cotton, and sent the box on its way. Here's hoping that Customs won't demolish the box as it winds it way to the next recipient.

Also in conjunction with Delphi's Knit & Chat group, I've been attempting to knit a pair of socks each month. Some months I knit baby booties. Some months I knit plain ole socks. But not in September. (Oh yeah -- if you are related to me by birth or marriage, you might want to look away now. Wouldn't want to spoil Christmas, would you?)
These are Dragon Socks knit in the style of shadow knitting, pattern courtesy of Fresh Isle Fibres. Unfortunately, I didn't follow the directions to "cast on loosely" as carefully as I should have. I will have to carefully snip the yarn at the ribbing cast-on and catch the stitches before they unravel. Then carefully and LOOSELY bind off. Other than that, however, I am quite pleased with the pattern. The designer intends to have shadow knitting socks for all the houses at Hogwarts, so if you are an avid Harry Potter fan stay tuned there!

This is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I have spent the weekend thinking about the things for which I am thankful--family, friends, a warm home, a job I love, plenty of food, good health ... what are you thankful for this year?


Gwen in Bowmanville said...

Hi Carol! I so understand the problem with casting on loosely enough. I have since found a wicked stretchy cast-on at Fluffbuff, through Eunny Jang's endpaper mitts.

Here's the link

She shows you how in still photos and at the very bottom of the post, in video form. You go back and forth for 2 to 4 rows and then you join in the round -- and poof! Off you go.

freshisle said...

Absolutely super cool! Thank you so much!

Christy J said...

Wow. You've been very busy. Great stuff. You asked about the wool in Bub's hat - it was Schoeller Stahl Limbo Mexiko (sport weight self-patterning) leftover so it matches his sweater last January.