Wouldn't this be beautiful as an apron and tea towels from my new book? Now I need to plan a trip to IKEA if only for metres and metres of 100% cotton. My worst fear has been confirmed - I am too cheap for 100% linen. I bought a little less than 2 metres this afternoon, and it was over $40!! Jane let me borrow her membership card, so I saved 25%, but that is crazy!! She thought I was crazy, so we were even. It's been washed and dried, and it is in desparate need of ironing, then I will begin to cut into it. Please pray for me.

I am also nearly finished a Mason Dixon Ballband dishcloth, and I am thinking of the one you gifted me as I stitch. It is insanely simple - I have memorized the pattern, and I am in love with how it is turning out. I am using the chocolate brown for the edges and a light turquoise for the bubbley parts. I promise to take a picture. The batteries are charging up as we speak! Must go drink my coffee - J made a yummy apple cake for dessert. Mmm.


Thank You Dear T

Well I survived the birthday hoopla, and it was just the right dose of birthday goodness. Did you see my wall of birthday wishes? It makes me all warm and gushy inside. Both of your parcels, by some miracle, managed to find me within hours of each other. I ripped them open with the giddiness. It was slightly embarassing. If I haven't said it enough, I love it all. THANK YOU.

J had to work a bit later last night, so the girls and I languished in the living room, listening to Charlotte Diamond and giggling. B has some new dance moves. I finished knitting the front of a vest (I was about to take a picture, and you guessed it - the batteries are dead.) and E finished her homework without a spot of nagging. It was relaxing enough. Today I intent to lift the ban on the tv. I almost hate to as B has stopped considering tv an option, and she has found a mountain of activities to amuse her instead. Maybe I won't make a big announcement and see how long it takes her to ask.

The hippo picture is insanely cute. You seem to have caught me another delicious bass!


Happy Birthday Dear N!

Hope your day is filled with lots of nice things!



I Felt It Was Time...

Dear N,

Little B is looking more and more like her mum everyday.

It's good to be back although I am still buried under various piles of work and due to seasonal allergies my head is about the size of the Metrodome. I am knitting though and have a couple of things to share. This is the swatch that I made to determine how many stitches to cast on for the MDK Big Dotty cushion cover.
I think I am beginning to get why knitters make gauge swatches. The green is actually more of a celery colour, which looks much nicer against the brown in person. I've never before attempted a project with such fervor. After all it's only going to be a pillow for the bed room.

This is a clutch bag from One Skein that I knitted up in a couple of nights using the wool that I got at London Yarns. This is it before felting.I will save the 'after' picture for when it is dry and I have embellished it. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out after felting and may make one for my sister for her birthday.

And speaking of birthdays I think someone has one coming up! Any plans? I wish I was around so I could make you a cake. I saw this one and immediately thought of you. Why? I'm not quite sure but it sure is cute.

Happy Turn Off The Screens Week!


Feet of Fire

Here's B modelling her shaggy hair. She was miserable because she didn't want to wear the top in the picture. She thinks it's ugly.

You would not believe what I saw on my walk after dinner. J took the girls swimming, so I decided that I would take a long walk down through the park along the river. I immediately regretted not bringing my camera when I saw two giant geese waddling around the baseball diamond in the soccer fields by our house, but I didn't hit gold until after I came out from under the Wonderland Road overpass, and saw a Star Wars wedding. I am NOT making this up. How could I make this up? There was a whole troupe of them - Princess Leia and Luke, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, that guy that mentored Luke, a couple little furry things that I can't remember their names, and one of Darth Vader's soldier guys. You can tell that J is still not home because he would totally be able to help me with the lingo. Who gets married on a Monday night? In costume? I tried not to make eye contact and walked very fast. I didn't want to infringe on their moment. Eek!

Note to self: Bring camera on walk.


Thank Goodness it's Friday

Hey T,

I promised you the pattern for the blanket that I have in progress, and here it is, finally!

Baby Ripple Blanket Pattern
I used several balls of bulky acrylic yarn and a long 6.5 mm circular needle.

Cast on 132 sts.
Row 1 (right side) Knit.
Row 2 K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 3 K3, *[k2tog] 3 times, [yo, k1] 6 times, [k2tog] 3 times; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 4 Knit.
Repeat rows 1-4 until piece measures however long you want it. Bind off all sts. Weave in ends.

I am nearly finished my blanket, but the weather outside is warming up, and I am afraid I won't be inside knitting as much any longer. I must tidy the garden, go for long walks (my winter body needs some toning), and I have a pile of must-reads. Next week is Screens Off Week, and B is so excited. That's something to hold on to!



Hey N, did I tell you that I won an e-bay bid for a set of Boye interchangeables? I got the whole set for $35 and received notice today that it's been shipped. I'm so excited! Thanks for your advice on which set to buy. I think the aluminum ones will be better too.

The buffet looks really great! I want one just like it but there is no Bob Loblaws here. I bet it matches your table really nicely. Too bad about the piano though, not that anyone was really playing it.

You have inspired me to knit a feather and fan baby afghan. Yours looks so sweet! I can't believe how much of it you've finished already. If it is that quick to knit up I may knit one for my boss' grand baby who seems to want to come a whole three months early. Let's cross our fingers that that wont happen.

I've got some pictures of WIP's to share but they're at home still in my camera. Back to work!


Buffet & Basketball

Here's the new buffet. It's practically black, so good luck seeing the details. All I see is a square blob. I am just trying to figure out which paintings to hang above it. The wall looks painfully bare. I just need some time to think. Does it look too low? I think it's the angle on which I took the picture because it is fairly long and wide. Honest.

Here's a yellowing photo of my baby ripple blanket. Trust me, it is glaringly white in real life. It's over halfway finished. I can't wait to give this one away. It is so soft, and it's acrylic! In fact this was the yarn I had bought intentionally for the ruched blanket. So much for that.

You and T aren't the only ones enjoying basketball. Tonight the four of us are going to the JLC to watch the Harlem Globetrotters in action! Actually no one is looking forward to it, but I think that may change when they get there. I live with sloths!!


The Smell of Victory

Dear N,

T and I finally got to use the tickets to the Raptors game that I got him for Christmas. Chris Bosh and friends did not disappoint. It was nice being among some fellow Canadians in the crowd and I have to admit, we were just a little smug when the Raptors beat the Timberwolves, right in their own house. Here is T showing off the score (excuse the blurriness).We are not very loyal Minnesotans.

My throat is feeling quite scratchy so I think I will settle into the sofa and wait for The Office to come on. Enjoy the rest of your boiled Easter eggs!


Death By Chocolate

Hey T,

B's new saying is 'We're doomed.' She sprinkles nearly every conversation had with it. Could she be right? Are we all doomed? If I have another chocolate egg or church window, my figure is doomed. If E's friend, Sam succeeds in taking over the world with her evil robots, then planet Earth is doomed. If Costco keeps upping the price of our favourite nacho chips, our guacamole is doomed. It goes on and on and on.

I read both arguments on the needle sets. What are their guarantees on the sets? Can you buy replacement pieces easily? I would prefer the aluminum myself, but the Denise set does have quite the reputation amongst bloggers. $50 either set isn't too bad considering one pair of Addis will cost you at least $20! I say go for it. I forgot to pick up wedding shower invites AGAIN! This wedding shower crap is doomed!

I am nearly half finished the feather and fan baby blanket. I would take a picture of it, but white is really crappy to photograph. You are just going to have to trust me on this one. The snow is melting off the grass today, but mainly due to the sun - it's still really cold. Mitten cold. Enjoy your tulips - what a lovely gift!


To Change or Not to Change

Dear N,

Hope you are doing well on this fine spring day. Ok, there’s snow on the ground and it’s freezing but the sun is really trying to come out and T bought me a bunch of tulips yesterday as a surprise. How sweet!

I thought I would consult you, as my dear friend and fellow knitter, on which set of interchangeable needle set to buy. I’ve been thinking about getting a set for awhile now but only recently decided that I’d get it after doing some research. I’ve narrowed it down to two sets, the Denise and the Boye Needlemaster. Both have quite a following and get very good reviews. Here is my own list of pros and cons.


- cable connection is easy and very effective (they do not come off while knitting)
- needle tips are plastic, which make them very light and aviation safe (great for those long hauls to Vancouver and back) but I’m not a huge fan of knitting with plastic needles
- cases come in blue or pink (my fave)
- Cost $49.95 on their website

Boye Needlemaster

- aluminum needle tips make for faster knitting, plus they are colour coded but not aviation safe
- cables are reported to be a little finicky but if you screw them on correctly they should not come off while knitting
- comes in a compact, zippered case
- more needle sizes than the Denise set
- Cost $47.25

I’m hoping that once I buy one of these, I wont have to buy any or as many other knitting needles. I realize that I prefer knitting with straights but it’s high time I grew up knit-wise and take the next step. I haven’t really added any new skills to my knitting and need to take it up a notch, which includes taking the drop spindle class at my LYS.

I’m tellin’ ya N, it’s spring and there’s change in the air….or at least interchangeables!


Happy Easter to you!

Dear N,

Happy Easter! What a lovely, spring mantle you have. And the eggs look great. I had no idea that you could dye brown eggs. At least the inside of your home looks like spring. I can't believe that you're having snow! It's cold here but sunny. I just can't get over the cold.

Any how, I am grateful for my nice, quiet Easter day. We are not having anyone over for dinner, not for the lack of trying. We did invite people but it seems everyone has family to spend the holiday with. More ham and cupcakes for T and I!

In knitting news, I've finished my first MDK baby kimono and have started on a second. I may end up frogging the second one though, because I think it's way too small for a regular baby. I suppose I could donate it to preemie babies. All I need to do now is to sew on the ribbon.

Well, I apologize for not blogging for awhile. I'll be starting on the MDK Big Dotty cushion cover and a couple other projects so I'll keep you posted on the progress.

I hope that you and your family have a very wonderful, albeit snowy, Easter. Spring will come anytime now.


Happy Easter!

Good morning, T.

All I can smell is chocolate, and oddly enough, it is making me nauseous. It is still snowing here, and we are anxious for spring weather. Even rain would be preferable! I should get back to the loads of laundry, and I was supposed to have picked up wedding shower invites yesterday, and it totally escaped me. I now have three hours to come up with something comparable. Are you sick of my mantle yet?


To the Market & Library

Happy Easter Saturday, T.

The girls and I dyed the brown eggs contrary to my assumption that they would turn out as pastel dirt colours. A little pat on my back - I think they turned out just beautifully! I would paint walls these colours.

And some sad news - the piano is being moved out next week. I threw it up on freecycle last week to make room for a dining room buffet from Bob Loblaws. This house is too small to hold a neglected piano. I had hopes that E would start playing again, but it only gets a good pounding every now and then when B pops open the lid and plunks her wee fingers on a couple of keys. I know that I could mould B into a little piano player, but I would rather have some shelves and drawers for my good linen and dishes, etc.

In knitting news, I am working vigilantly on a baby feather'n'fan blankie in white acrylic. It's only a four-row pattern, and two of those are straight knit, so that's nice, but I am deathly afraid that I will screw up the lacey row - one miscount and it's going to get frogged. I just know it. It's already been torn out twice.

I should go get dressed. The girls and I are heading to the library to return some books and pick up others. We then have to hit the market as I am in charge of the vegetable tray for Easter dinner tomorrow and fresh bread. My mum and I agreed on buns, but I might switch it up for some Golden Flax at Remark. Mmmm. My favourite! It's still frickin' snowing. What's up with that?


Another Moment of Zen

i'm savouring these days. it's manic. getting drunk on air. 3 robins in the field yesterday. i nearly cried. my grandma would call me to tell of her first sightings of spring. when thaw brings smells and all manner of deliciousness. starlings have begun building nests in my shed. right now, they stay close to home. they roll around like lovers in the muck. and oh the muck. last night before I slept i thought of a certain, beautiful immunity. about the luck and fortune of my rubber boots. about the instant, childlike joy of standing square in the middle of spring puddles. about being dry in the wet. warm in the cold. i walked through the bush sloshing through sleepy water. water just waking to the wonder of life again. water that had rested dormant as snow. water that was now finding it's responsibility. it's rhythm. some to evaporate as ghosts. some to bleed into ground. to nourish root endings and inspire buds. well what else to say?? i must say thanks for the last number of shows i've played, in europe, and in western canada most recently... and really the last long while. in a time when popular culture seems sick and useless, the warmth and honesty shared in playing concerts is most inspiring. really, truly. it reminds me of what is real and important. while the world chases its tail. the need for connection and poems and songs lives. the need for laughter and questions lives. the need for ideas and love and openness... lives! i have just finished building a new studio. it's funny, but I like building new places to make records... it creates and anticipation. it feels as if i'm putting energy into something from the ground up creating the need for an important recording to take place. i will start to roll tape in about 2 weeks. till then, i got the roto tiller out last night, to make sure it's ready to turn soil. the old guy next door is boiling syrup. the lady down the way is teaching her horse to walk backwards. "be yourself whatever happens, in a time of the assassins". also... a very late thank you to the soupies for the collection of pictures, poems and thoughts you sent for christmas. peace and wisdom... h.

Missing: One Hairclip and Some Sweet Goodness

It looks as if I need to drop-in to the nearest Chapters and check out the sewing books. My sister’s sister-in-law works at Chapters, so if I am desperate for one of them, I will make a little order that way and take advantage of the 40% discount. Speaking of my sister, she is heading to Medesto, California with her family to visit her in-laws over Easter. I get to stay home and help my mum with Easter dinner. Not always the most pleasant task as she tends to get worked up about hosting big family dinners. I find this surprising because she is a fabulous cook, and my parents’ house is always impeccably clean and tidy and filled with beautiful things. I think this would make me want to invite people over all the time if only to show off.

The Easter Bunny is giving E a pair of those pretty canvas sneakers that look like ballerina flats. They have a black background with strawberries on them and a little bow on top of her toes. She also likes those Lindor chocolate bunnies, so she gets one of those as well – the girl has got good taste! B would not want shoes for Easter, so she will be getting some Littlest Pet accessories. Oh, she loves her Littlest Pet Pet Shop that Santa gave her. In the chocolate department, B prefers Kinder Eggs, so she will be happy. In addition to their gifts, the Easter Bunny tucks those little pastel foiled chocolate eggs in every corner of the living room for a wee bit of a hunt. Following that, we will have a breakfast worthy of kings and queens! I am probably going to feel like a slug on Sunday! A big ol’ Easter slug. My vice is I like to eat.

The word vice makes me think of Miami Vice, and when I was younger, I had a sweatshirt with Miami Mice on the front, and the sweatshirt had matching stirrup pants that I couldn’t wear because my legs were too long, and the crotch would hang tight at my knees, and the crack of my ass would show. Needless to say, I wore the sweatshirt with jeans. Imagine Crockett and Tubs as cartoon mice. Oh, how I miss the 80’s.

What will you and T do this weekend?


Last Minute Fabric Gifts

Dear N,

It is wet, wet, wet here in the mid-west. I feel quite at home in the constant rain that we've been having for about a week now. I keep hearing people complain about the gloominess and the dampness and think, they don't know what it's like to have 30 straight days of rain like we had one year in Vancouver. However, I do miss the sunshine and hope that we get a few nice days for Easter next week.

Anyway, I got 'Last Minute Fabric Gifts' by Cynthia Treen from the library. Lots of lovely pictures, as in 'Last Minute Knitted Gifts' but I found the projects not as exciting. There's a travel bag that I'd like to make for T and the little bunnies and play mat are simply adorable.

I also like the simplicity of this pillow.

I can't say that there are many other projects that I would make so for me, I don't think I'd buy the book. I wish you were here so you could look through it too but if I were you, I'd go back to the bookstore and look at it again. There are patterns for some simple scarves, a sarong, and fabric belts that you may like.

Hope you had a great weekend (looks like you got lots done) and hope it was a lot drier than mine!