Sunday, December 13, 2009
I get so busy that I didn't even realize it was October the last time I posted an entry! I've been doing all sorts of knitting these days, but most of it I can't talk about right now. It's of the super secret holiday kind, and I just don't want to take any chances of surprises being spoiled.
I'm lucky to have such a content little man. He likes to play while I get to knit. I've developed a system of 1 1/2 eyes on baby and 1/2 an eye on my knitting. Needless to say there's no intricate lace knitting going on in my house these days! Well, not that there really ever was really. Some day I'd love to start, but I know my limitations and dropping what ever I'm doing in a heart beat to rescue the baby from under the kitchen table, or the dog's ear from baby's teeth or what have you and then picking up and continuing fall way over my limitations. For now it's plain, easy to follow instructions or mindless knitting for me. I don't mind though. Knitting is knitting!
Baby Bean as Auntie Geri loves to still call him loves to be on the move. These days if I put him on the floor on a blanket he stays on it for all of three seconds (tops) and then is off. Today he made his way around the entire living room using his combination scoot and roll method. Later on in the day he did the same in the dining room, well that is until he managed to get stuck under the legs of one of the chairs. I rescued him and he was off again.
Thinking of my little man, makes me realize how lucky we are to have him! I'm on Ravelry a lot these days with my Summer Mommies group and would like to just throw a suggestion out there to anyone who has some extra knitting time on their hands and would like a simple but meaningful project to work on.
One of the moms in the expectant moms group I was in tragically lost her wee daughter less than an hour after she was born. As a gesture of comfort some of the other mothers got together and knit the mom a blanket. The mom then spearheaded a project that seems to have taken off - sad to say there is such need for it, but that is unfortunately reality. Anyways, the concept is to make blankets to comfort those who have lost a child. If you're interested you can visit the Schuyler Blanket Project on Ravelry, or the Facebook group. I've just come on board with pledging squares for blankets, but when I look at my baby, and my three other babies that are now all teens, I realize how blessed I am in my life and I feel compelled to try and help out.
Who knows when I'll find the time to post next, I'm so hit and miss with it these days, so I will take the time now to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I was in a toy store the other day perusing the aisles when I spied something in a lady's cart that intrigued me. It was a fleece ball with little "tags" of different ribbons sticking out from the seams. I'd remembered reading somewhere about these "ingenious" toys that are supposed to be the bees knees for baby to play with. I searched the store until I found the display that contained these veritable treasures and almost fell over in shock at the price of them. For example, they had a teeny weeny triangle of fleece with about four "tags" on it on sale (ON SALE no less!!!) for $12.99. I was somewhat incredulous that people would pay that much - let alone the regular price - for something like that . Being ever so thrifty, I tucked the idea into the little filing cabinet in my brain along with the other, "I can make that myself, better and for a lot less" ideas and went about my day.
Yesterday I happened to drop into my local fabric store and thought what the heck. A wee piece of orange fleece, a wee piece of black fleece and some ribbons (Ok - I splurged and spent a whopping $2.50 on a spool of Hallowe'en themed ribbon - but hey - I can use that for a myriad of other projects down the road I'm sure). A few minutes at the machine, a run through the laundry and Douglas seems pretty darned pleased with my efforts of this morning!
On the knitting front, I seem to be a touch obsessed with hats. I started and finished my Tretta hat in less than 24 hours and have just last night cast on for the Marsan Watchcap. I am the "Queen of Hats" these days, which is odd given I rarely ever wear a hat myself. But they are quick, easy to pick up for a minute and then put down again at the... well... drop of a hat or the cry of a hungry baby and they are nothing if not next-to-instant gratification! Not to mention sometimes a pretty big necessity for living on the prairies in the winter!
Friday, October 16, 2009
I've also managed a few other projects lately. My Pomotamus have been done for a little while actually. I knit them mostly in the car en route to and from the city. Occassionally I was able to get a row or two done in the evening when Douglas was being given a bottle by Daddy (I try to make sure there's one bottle every couple of days or so in the fridge so Daddy can have some of the feeding time snuggles too and as an added bonus it gives me a few minutes to myself!)
Car knitting (since G got her license) has been my main time to get the needles out, and in between sock one and two of Pomotamus I took a short break to make myself a pair of felted slippers - I'm always greatly amused by the excessive size of pre-felted items! They are kind of funny looking but cozy, so that's what counts in my books.
Last but not least on the FO list is another favourite project. A Christmas stocking for baby! This one is from "Cute Knits for Baby Feet" which is a fun little book I picked up when I was still pregnant. If you're in dire need of a stocking in a hurry, make this one your go to pattern. Seriously. Two days and it was done, and it's the perfect size for baby.
On the needles I've got some random projects that have been on the go for awhile; Clementine Shawlette (longest ever WIP for me I think), Plath, and my chevron scarf, and a new addition to the WIP collection -Froot Loop socks.
Well, I'm being paged by a hungry little man, so I'm off for now. Happy knitting!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Douglas at about 2 1/2 months old :
Douglas at 12 weeks old:
I'll be back in a few days with a longer update on this prairie girl's life!
Friday, June 12, 2009
That's it. I'm not doing this anymore. My car can either stay dirty, or I will take it to the Chamois where they'll wash it for me. I refuse to get stuck a fifth time in the stinking car wash. It's beginning to give me a complex not to mention it's getting bloody embarassing that I am the only person on the face of the earth that cannot "operate" an automatic "touchless" car wash properly. Yeesh!
Anyways. Onto other much more pleasant topics.
I've not done a whole lot of knitting myself as I've been busy with other ventures and activities. N had his final cadet banquet of the year, which was a big night for him! Not only was he the top Silver Star level cadet this year for his corps, he also got the top NCO award, plus top physical fitness award. The big one though, is that he got promoted to Warrant Officer and in the fall will be the corp's Regimental Sgt. Major, which is a pretty huge deal for a 14 1/2 year old who's crazy about cadets and plans a military career for his future!
N, the Commanding Officer and the outgoing RSM passing on the torch (well pace stick)
Other than that, G's been dancing like a maniac lately. Lessons (she's at four so far this week alone!), and competitions have been in full swing. She competed at the Mid-Canada Championships and Open Competition this past weekend here in the city and was quite successful! She was 2nd runner up for her age group at the Championships and got placings in the Village Maid (5th) and Hornpipe (2nd!) on Sunday. It was a good weekend despite the fact it was freezing cold - think mitts, sweaters, blankets! I was pretty much numb by the time we went home at the end of it! I felt sorry for any of the dancer's who wear vests instead of jackets. Brrrr.
Photographic evidence of turn out and pointy toes!!!!
I love how I caught her in the air on this one!
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
It all started when Bella, decided in all her puppy wisdom, to go traipsing off to the barn one wet and soggy morning.
I'm trying desperately to train her to stay in the "yard" as I call it right now, rather than have her roaming all over the property when I can't easily chase her. (Training has been slow with progress even slower - possibly to the point of non-existent), so off I went traipsing after her.
She was in the mucky patch between the barn and the hay storage shed happily lapping up what ever muddy water she could get her little tongue on. So I called her to come. She ignored me and continued in her own merry way. So I called her again. This time much more sternly. This got me a look out of the corner of her eye and back to the muck she went. So I decided enough was enough and she needed to learn who was boss in our relationship. I took one step towards her, she darted off to the field, and I, much to my horror realized I was sinking and sinking fast. I yanked my foot up, but my shoe did not come with my foot, trying to save myself from toppling over, I moved slightly and next thing I knew, my other foot was stuck fast and sinking. Pulling it free, I lost the other shoe and ended up toppling over. (Balance being what it is at this stage of pregnancy, I'm not surprised about the toppling over and was just thankful to be landing in the soft muck rather than something harder) I must have let out a yelp, because Bella came whipping around the corner of the barn and plastered herself to my side as I righted myself, and hopped barefoot across the yard to the house. I went out to inspect my shoes later and found that there was only the tiniest bit of blue showing through the mud. Thinking to myself that it was far to wet (not to mention dangerous to my health and well being to retrieve them) I thought I'd come back for them when the ground had a chance to dry out a bit. Fast forward to the other day. I went back, thinking I could dig out my shoes, but they are gone. No sign of them. Not so much of a trace of where they could be. The ground has apparently swallowed them whole.
Who loses their shoes like that?????
Next weird thing on the list. The car wash. Let me preface this by saying I have been driving for about 20 years. And during those 20 years, I've been using the car wash for well, all of it. You know the kind - you pull up, drive in, the doors close, the car wash does it's magic, the doors open and you drive out with a nice clean car. No fuss, no muss. Well unless you are me and harbour a slight paranoia of getting trapped in one of them and then one day you actually do. Not once. BUT TWICE!!!!!
I drove in, the doors closed, the car wash started to work it's magic for about half a minute, then with a thump and a bit of a bump it all stopped. The little light that tells you where to stop was flashing madly, but that was all that was happening. It was getting hotter and hotter in the blasted thing, and I do believe I was on the verge of hyperventilating (or at least bursting into tears). Just when full on panic of the fact I was trapped in the car wash was really settling in the door started to open. I drove out and though out of kindness to others who might suffer similar fate, I should let the fellows in the gas station know that there was a problem. I explained what had happened and the one in charge said, "Oh. I'd better close that lane. You're the third person today whose had a problem with it." HELLO???? Two others suffered the same fate and you didn't close it at that point?
He then gave me a voucher for a new car wash and told me to try the other lane. So with much trepidation I did. The whole time telling myself that it had to be a one off occurence. After all, people use these things every day and never get stuck in them. What are the chances, etc...
So in I go. The doors close, the car wash gets even less done than the first time when, with a thump and a bump it stops. I couldn't believe my misfortune. Instead of panicking that time, I sat there completely incredulous. When the door opened, I drove out, soap all over half my car and drove home.
That was a week and a half ago. I still haven't returned. I really do need to wash my car, but do NOT want to get stuck again. I have to say, I'm thinking of paying the extra and taking it to a car wash where you get out and the nice people do the job for you. It's a bit more expensive, but then what is my mental health worth???
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Knit from Sirdar's Snuggly they whipped up in a flash. I started them Saturday afternoon and finished them Sunday afternoon. The part that took me the longest was embroidering the tusks on!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
All I wanted to do was make a Ring Sling for baby Bean. What should have taken me mere moments to cut, hem, pleat and finish has taken me days. DAYS!!!! (and it's still not done!). Between four needles breaking, the tread breaking, fraying and otherwise being a pain in the arse and the machine not being able to function when confronted with two layers of pleated mid-weight linen, I'm ready to toss the whole kit and kaboodle out the window.
So I have given up for now. The Ring Sling will have to wait - at least until I can go buy some more heavy duty thread (different brand - who knows, maybe my machine is just stupidly picky, and heavy duty needles - no needles left that will sew anything beyond the weight of a light weight cotton.)
I did manage to sew a dress for myself - no pics yet, sorry. Haven't quite decided if I look decent in it enough to post any - I think I look enormous in it, but then again these days I feel like I look enormous in just about everything I wear.
I have also done the second muslin for G's new highland jacket. First one did not fit at all. Second one turns out doesn't either, but I think I need to add some darts for shaping and then all should be good with it. I've pinned the darts in - now just to take those pinned darts on the muslin and make them re-appear as darts on the actual velvet. Oh, velvet you strike terror into my heart and make my blood run to ice. I've got to get the bloody thing done. Provincials are on Sunday and she can't wear the same old ratty jacket she's been wearing - last competition not only was she bursting out of it, but a button did manage to fly off during the sword, causing her to land on the button, (it was that or land on the hilt of the sword to avoid the button - I think she chose the better option), twist her ankle and be very, very upset with her seamstress (me).
Anyways - so that's my tale of sewing woe. Knitting is going somewhat better! I've finished a couple of pairs of baby booties and a ball, (will post pics eventually), started a chevron scarf using Knit Picks, Imagination in Frog Prince and Looking Glass, and started a new pair of socks for me last night. I frogged back my first attempt at my Fireside socks that I'd started back in the fall in Claudia Handpainted Buckeye, and am now trying them in Estelle Arequipa in Scarlet. Of course (BF)G's socks are still on the go, but man alive they are boring me to death with their plain old ribbing and stocking stitch.
So that's all that's new for me. Hopefully next time I can report some much better news on the sewing machine versus Ring Sling front!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Oh how I love this pattern!!!
My latest FO for baby is Blu. Such a fast knit! Took me only one "snow day" to do the knitting. The finishing was a bit of a different story, however, as my embroidery skills are sadly lacking.
I had to reach way back into the deep dark recesses of my memory (and when I say way back, I mean as in about 30 years way back) to the time Mom taught me how to embroider and I spent weeks working on a "sampler" of the different stitches.
Wouldn't you know it, as I finished the embroidery it hit me that somewhere in the boxes of craft things in my basement I seemed to recall having a leaflet that demonstrated all the different stitches. Sure enough after digging through two boxes I unearthed it. A little late for this project, but handy none the less should I ever take a notion into my head to try embroidering anything again!
The label was chosen by G. She said that since we always call baby "Bean" that's what the label should say. I thought it quite fitting and so there we go. "Bean's Jeans".
In other craftiness, I also finished the second diaper bag. I used Amy Butler's Nappy Bag pattern again - it's a great one, easy peasy and roomy. Gotta love that! This one was of course at the request of N and (BF)G who both were insistent that the first diaper bag I made was far too "pretty" for them to be carting around. Yeesh! What I won't do for my menfolk! I do like the way it turned out, I will admit. It's bright and cheery and the fabric has been sitting in my stash for something like 13 years since my Fanny's Fabric employee days.
Now I'm busily working on another baby project. Crochet this time!! It's another blanket. We'll see how this endeavor goes!
Friday, April 03, 2009
I just finished this one the other night - didn't take long and I'm really happy with the outcome.
I knit the main part of the blanket with Sirdar Denim Aran Sport, which is a cotton, acrylic, wool blend and is super soft. The trim is of unknown content, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly cotton and was sent to me by Anna last summer.
I used the pattern Endora from Berroco and the modified the trim using (gulp!) crochet instead of picking up what would have felt like gazillions of stitches along the edges. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted it to look like and that was an edging similar to that on my afgan that my Granny had made for me when I was really little. So, to that end I dug out my "Teach yourself crochet" book and set to work. It's not up to Granny's standards, but for a first attempt at something like this I don't think I did too badly. I probably should have accomodated the corner increases a little better, but all in all, I'm well pleased!
This weekend's project will be to finish Blu - what an awesome pattern that is! But I'll save those details for later!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I just wanted to put up a super quick post about my latest FO! I have finally managed to finish up my Mr. Greenjeans. I'm happy to have it off the needles, not just because I hate having something lingering around for so long (makes me feel guilty when I start a new project) and also because in a freakish way of weather that I'm sure can't be only here on the Prairies, it's been fricken fracken freezing out there again. As in -30C and below with that wind which seems to always be whipping around out there these days. Brrr. So I was in need of a good warm cardi - have to dress in layers you know as despite the fact it's artic air outside, in the office it feels like the tropics. Layers, baby, are the answer!
Anyways... enough rambling! Here is my version of Mr. Greenjeans!
Not a very accurate show of the real colour, but I thought it showed the cables nicely!
I did a few modifications to it - really just in length - longer in the body and of course full sleeves. I used Briggs and Little Heritage in Purple Grape (gifted from Anna) for it. The yarn is a great, rustic, warm wool. Although some skeins were so "rustic" that I figured eventually I would come across not only a great many bits of straw and grass, but perhaps somewhere in there would be the whole bloomin' farm (sheep, farmer and all!), but no - just grass and straw. I did find it worth the effort though to pick out as much as I could as I went. I'm really quite happy with the final product!
And because of the great one button design of the sweater, it still fits! Even over my six month (seemingly large) pregnant belly. Although I will admit the button is pulling and will probably not do up at all by next week, but that's ok. I figure it will fit post-pregnancy quite well and that's really what counts! Because after all, it is mid-March and how much longer can winter last in this frozen place that I live in? I wasn't really expecting to get any wear out of it until fall anyways!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I figure it's about time to start getting ready for this wee baby. Of course I have a few things left over from J, G and N's baby days, but only the special knits and things like that. None of the day to day necessities. So I high tailed it over to the fabric store with the knowledge that flannel was on sale half price this month!
To make the receiving blanket, simply take one corner of your printed flannel and fold it over in a triangle to make a perfect square. Mark your cutting line and cut this piece out. Serge or do a narrow hem along all four sides of your square. Voila! Receiving blanket!
The face cloth is simply done by using any left over piece that you feel is a big enough size and cutting a matching piece of terry. I used my serger to finish the edges all around, but if you don't have a serger you could either do them the same way you made your burp cloth or even easier than that, just zig-zag around the edges. It's a facecloth afterall... no need to get terribly fancy!
A work in progress...
And a finished product - this one's my favourite so far!
Most importantly... Have fun picking out the flannel, terry and ribbon! There are so many choice out there that the options are pretty much endless. You're baby will be spitting up on the cutest cloths around! :)
So between that and working on my Amy Butler Nappy Bag - yes - that is a cat inside the bag! Dora seems to have a predilection for "helping me" while I'm sewing!
Peek a boo Dora!
And finishing it, I've had a very productive time at my sewing machine as of late (of course all this baby sewing hasn't left time for the two huge projects I need to accomplish - a new highland jacket and a national vest for Ms. G, but all in due time I figure. Her old ones will do for this weekend's competition!)
Diaper bag, change pad and storage bag
So until next time, I hope you have fun with your knitting or sewing or whatever it is that you do to fill up your free time.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Quite a fun and interesting little exercise I have to say!
BBC’s Book List
The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?
Instructions: Copy the list into a Note and put an ‘x‘ after those you have read, count ‘em up, compare tallies. This should be easy. Strutting and preening is optional.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (x)
2 The Lord of the Rings
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (x)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (x - well the first one and the 4th one anyways)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee ( x)
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights (x)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (x)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (x)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (x)
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (x)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (x)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (x)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (x)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (x)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (x)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (x)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (x)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (x)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (x)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (x)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (x)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (x)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (x)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (x)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck (x)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (x)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (x)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (x)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (x)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (x)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry (x)
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (x)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (x)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (x)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (x)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (x)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (x)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
36 out of 100 - not bad if the average is 6, but makes me think I should be reading more actually...
Now. I challenge you to go through the list and see how many you've read! Have fun!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Anyways - to ease my way in to baby knitting without upsetting any superstitious madness, I thought I'd make a couple of pairs of Magic Baby Slippers. They're a fantastic way to use up odds and ends of sock yarn you have left in your stash and they take no time at all to whip up! Because I don't know if this little one is a boy or girl I knit a pair of each.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I did manage to finish up a couple of projects for the holidays though. G love her alpaca and I have to say the pattern was a dream knit! So easy, so well written. I'm definately a fan! I knit it using a strand of Paton's Classic and a strand of Drops Alpaca held together.