Friday, February 25, 2011

What a weekend I had!

One of the benefits of having a partner at the shop is that now I can take a Saturday off. Every month, in fact. The third Saturday of the month. Even though it is winter and Doug and I would generally have gone skiing, this past Saturday we decided to drive over to Michigan. To meet my new niece, who wasn't born yet when I had my previous Saturday off.

So ... we woke up around 7:30 am, looked out the window, and thought "This doesn't look good. Perhaps we'll wait a bit." So we did. And the weather and roads improved enough that we hopped into the car and drove off to Michigan. We were astounded that as we drove past London we saw absolutely no snow in the air. That never happens. The car handled the snowy/slushy/icy roads just fine, thanks to the newish snow tires.

We had a lovely visit with my family, and the car continued to handle the snowy/slushy/icy roads just fine. Better than many other vehicles, in fact.

What it didn't handle so well is this:
The Battle Creek/Kalamazoo area had an ice storm Sunday evening. We were staying at my son's house in Ka'zoo, and discovered that his tree had a weak spot. And the branch came down. From far up, and it brought along a friend. For comparison purposes, I took a shot showing my foot alongside the branches:
These puppies came crashing down around 11:30 pm. Neither Doug nor I even got out of bed right then -- we didn't really want to know what had happened. Some time later, Doug looked out the window, and heaved a big sigh. I knew it wasn't good. He manfully scoured Jeff's basement until he found a garbage bag to protect what was left of the car ... I snored.

In the morning, this is what I saw:
The front passenger window was shattered and all over the inside of the car, along with various pieces of the branches and lots of ice crystals. As well, the passenger side of the windshield is shattered -- you just can't see it because of the half-inch of ice on the windshield. See the mirror dangling? We had electric mirrors. And there's a wee bit of damage to the framing around the windshield. We're currently waiting to hear from the adjuster and the body shop in terms of repair estimates, etc. At least we had a nice visit.

Right. The whole reason for the visit to Michigan was to meet my new niece. She was born the last week of January, and was named Evelyn. She's a very nice young lady, and does pretty much everything you would expect of a three-week-old infant. I got to hold her and dance with her, and it was great!

Jeff got to hold her too!
Doesn't he look comfortable? Later in the evening, we went back to Andy's house and Amelia (the big sister) insisted that Jeff should hold her baby doll because he needed the practice.

To celebrate the arrival of the baby, I knit a Big Sister Sweater for Amelia. This is Polka Dot from Berrocco ...

I love the whole circle thing in the back. Unfortunately, the sweater needs a button on the front because it wants to slide right off Amelia's shoulders. I used Northern Worsted, and have asked Amelia's mum to keep me posted on how well it washes and wears.

I also finished up Evelyn's sweater, finally. This design is from an older Pinguoin (or however it is spelled!) magazine. I used 4 balls of Sirdar Snuggly, and picked up the buttons right here at the store.
This is a 12-month size, so it'll be a while before Evelyn wears it. I didn't even try for a photo shoot with it and her ... she is SO tiny! I forget how small newborn babies are, even if they are 8 lbs!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Groundhog day? Really?

I'm trying to be lighthearted about Groundhog Day. Really, I am. But ever since I had Henry make a guest appearance as the groundhog (February 2005), I think of him. And since he is no longer with us, it hurt this year. He sure has left a huge hole in my heart.

I've been working pretty steadily on my projects. Very steadily. Well, actually, on SOME of my projects. The others? Well, I keep saying that I'm a "two projects at a time" kind of girl, and apparently that's so. More than that, and the others just get dropped to the bottom of my knitting bag.

So what's been getting my attention lately? The Double Border Scarf from Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace. I'm working this in Patons new lace weight. I find that the colour changes don't bother me. Except for one.
Don't know about anyone else, but I find that the white is just a wee bit jarring. If I didn't think the scarf might be a wee bit short to begin with, I'd cut the white out. However, the books suggests a 3.25mm needle, and I'm using a 4.5mm. (Hey -- scarves don't have to fit, and this was the only Addi lace needle I own!) So I've accepted it will be a bit shorter than I might like, and I'm hoping the lucky recipient will like it.

I've still not decided if this is something that I will bring into the shop. I know I can't stuff the shop with only things that I love. (Really, I can't! Otherwise, it'll just be one big stash room!) And the fact that this yarn is machine washable is truly a bonus. But I keep thinking that for only $2 more, one can knit with lace weight alpaca. Why wouldn't you?

I've continued the sock craze this year, with a slight modification. At the store, we'll be selecting a fancy pair of socks every other month for the 2011 year. Hopefully this will give me time to knit a few "manly" (read plain) pairs for the menfolk in my family. In the meantime, the February socks are here:
These will be the "Lace and Cable" socks from Wendy Johnson's book. As you can see, I've just barely started. I'm at the point where I need to place my markers and start the pattern, and the other lace project kept calling me.

My brother and his wife have been safely delivered of a beautiful baby girl. They named her Evelyn. I've yet to see the little munchkin, but that will be rectified in a mere two weeks. To that end, I need to get the baby sweater finished.
I'm close. Really. All I need is one and three quarters of a hood. At least the sewing together is done.

My store knit-along is progressing. Well, the other ladies are progressing. I seem to be stalled.
Same thing with the afghan.
What can I say? I seem to be able to focus on only one or two projects at a time, and I've made the mistake of having too many on the go. I'm hoping to finish up the lace scarf this week. Maybe that'll help. (Of course, we aren't going to talk about the double-knit sweater that I'm contemplating ... from lace weight yarn ... green/red hand-paint combination, or blue/blue handpaint combination, or purple/lilac handpaint combo.)