Oh dear! Please excuse my absence. We have been very busy with the holiday and house guests and wedding planning but luckily we have made a lot of progress on the wedding planning end. The reception site has been agreed upon and the dress has been bought. I would love to post a picture of the dress but as the husband does read our humble blog every now and then, I don't want to run the risk of him seeing it.

Your cowls look so cozy and soft and lovely, N. I could use one of those here what with the spring snow we've been getting. We are supposed to get a bit more tomorrow and I'm hoping that that's it for the season or I will seriously consider moving!

T took a picture of the Easter butter lamb that I saw at the grocery store and just had to have. Has anyone seen one of these before? This was a first for me. Anything made of butter is great but butter in the shape of an animal is doubly great.I'm going to feel terrible cutting into the lamb but toast isn't going to butter itself I suppose.

Two for the Price of One

I am in finishing mode! Except for the felted bunny that is. I cajoled the oldest to pose with the socks and the cowl, and I begged J to fix the card error on the camera, and I was able to capture some adequate photos.

The Quickie Cowl by Fawn Pea using exactly one skein of the called for Misti Alpaca Chunky wool in a minty green and a pair of 10 mm needles. Started at bedtime March 24 and finished March 26 in the car on the way home from work. This was super quick and super easy and super soft. I could have finished it in less time if I had stayed more focused. Here it is in action!

And my second FO of the day is the Monkey socks by Cookie A. using Patons Kroy 4-ply wool and two 2.5mm circs. I started these socks when I was really sick on March 7 and finished one sock by the next day. The second sock took me a bit longer, and I ended up grafting the toe after dinner today. This pattern is 12 rows, but so mother-flippin' easy that I didn't even refer to the chart for the entire second sock. They are destined for my mum for Mother's Day. I hope she loves them as much as I do!

I am pooped. G'night, all!


Binary Solo

So what happened to the felted bunny?? I admit that many things happened to the felted bunny. His ears were too big and heavy and his head, too small. I only half-heartedly felted it and then gave up. It took forever to dry. And I knew from the very beginning that I would not do a very good job embroidering the face, so I did what came natural to me and gave up on that as well – even before trying to embroider. I am actually the most proud of that. Maybe next Easter . . .

But the flying by the seat of my pants did not end there. I decided completely off-the-cuff that I HAD to knit the Quickie Cowl as soon as the yarn shop opened on Easter Monday so I could buy a skein of Misti Alpaca Chunky as nothing in my stash would do. (Why don’t we have an Easter Tuesday and an Easter Wednesday too??) Don’t worry, this story has a better ending. Well, I am pretty sure it will have a happy ending as I have only knit half of it, but I love this yarn!! I dare someone NOT to love it. I had to laugh when one of my co-workers asked me if I would knit her a blanket with the Alpaca Chunky – I told her it would cost her in the upwards of three to four hundred dollars, and she asked if I could use a cheaper, similar yarn. I simply replied that if I knew of a cheaper, similar yarn that I would be using said cheaper, similar yarn. I did offer to knit her up a Quickie Cowl though for $20 and some change.

Regretfully I have no pictures for this post, and I thought of stealing some pictures off the web for visual interest, but I was overcome by the guilt. I really need to charge the batteries for the camera or just get some new ones. I do have this really old picture of my littlest monkey that I have never posted. Good times.


An Old-Fashioned Revival

I have been thinking that it would be a good idea for my family to take the Food Bank Challenge. I know it will be difficult, but I am interested in seeing how I can involve the girls and share with them that there are many families that survive on so much less. As much as I pinch pennies, it has been a very long time since I had to think hard whether I could seriously afford a bag of milk this week. J and I spent years working minimum-wage jobs, and it was really difficult and frightening. It’s only been the last five years where we’ve felt comfortable enough to grocery shop to our heart’s content. In fact, I would say our grocery shopping has become a tad reckless. I remember long periods of time when the only meat we bought was regular ground beef, and I could whip up at least a dozen different meals with ground beef. I was also the queen of tuna noodle casseroles, and J could throw together a mean pot of soup from everything in the fridge. Everything was no-name, and our groceries had to fit on our backs because we had no car - not unlike the majority of families living below the poverty line. This particular challenge would be more difficult for the simple fact that you are not allowed to use what you already have on hand. I may have to wait a few weeks for the cupboards to empty because like I said before, we've gotten a little out-of-hand with stocking up like crazy.

Speaking of cheap and yummy, I have been on a coleslaw kick lately, and unfortunately for the people around me, cabbage does have a tendency to make one gassy - I'm not immune, folks! I love to sprinkle my coleslaw with little tidbits of apples!

Many thanks to Katherine, I am throwing all caution to the wind and starting a felted bunny at what seems like mere minutes away from Easter. Why do I always seem so late? I bought the chocolate bunnies nearly a month ago and felt extremely organized, and lord knows the house has been ‘decorated’ for just as long. These two are just waiting for their dark chocolate brown chunky Lopi wool bunny friend to join them. I'm knitting as fast as I can!!

It was very nice to rediscover my little pocket pet duckling I knit up a few years ago, before I could shape. It's simply some yellow novelty eyelash yarn knit in garter-stitch until you have a square, then fold it on the diagonal and seam up one side of the triangle leaving the other side open for stuffing, and then once stuffed, you seam it up and decorate it as you see fit. T and I also knit up little white fuzzy bunnies the same way!

And I finally found a recipient for my orange alpaca ribbed hat! Doesn't she look fabulous!!



All Quiet

It's been a quiet weekend at our house. T has come down with a mild case of stomach flu and has been resting on the couch. Being the empathetic wife that I am, I ended up spending my time with him "resting". It was nice though, after a week that really kicked me in the butt.

The Mother Bear bear is done. He's awaiting being boxed up and sent out to project headquarters where I hope that he will eventually find some small, loving arms to hold him. He's already told me that he's quite excited to go overseas and carry out his mission of comfort. What a nice guy.
I picked up some Vana White yarn this weekend after finding out that my friend from uni will be having a baby girl in June. The plan is to knit a chevron blanket in these nice, girly colours.
Maybe this should be called the Wheel of Fortune blanket?

Fuel Up

I have this little comic hanging up by my desk at work, and when I am drowning in 'bored' minutes, I look up and chuckle, and I get back to the task at hand. I tend to get carried away in writing the non-essential details like "David was looking very dapper wearing a starched cherry pink-striped dress shirt partnered with an incandescent purple tie." I also tend to get my drafts returned with lots of giant red slashes through entire paragraphs. Please keep to the actions - these are legally binding documents! I know, I know. Man, girls just want to have fun.

Thank Tod, it's Friday.


Sugar Bush Jungle

J took the girls to a sugar bush yesterday, and El took 117 pictures. Of what, you ask? A poop load of signs, and some other random stuff. J says that's what I get for taking a zillion pics of yarn and feet. I have a few of them for you - again they're just random.

B leading the troops through the sugar bush.

Get it?
Here's her view on the horse-pulled wagon ride.

My absolute favourite - B's hand through a plank of wood (that's her blue and black glove sticking out).I did what any normal person would do, and I snatched my camera back, and took a picture of my Monkey.


P.S. Did you see the new Knitty? I love this scarf!

Monday Surprise

Today I got home from work and found an Amazon box on the step. Now, one thing you should know about our house is that we get deliveries from bookstores almost weekly and most of it is for T. He is constantly buying books for his studies and we very well could build an entirely new house out of all of the books that we have. I've come to accept that I will be living in a library for the rest of my life and actually don't mind it anymore. I have gotten to read a lot of amazing books through the years.

This time, however, the box was addressed to me. Inside was Itty-bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson and Kids' Knitted Hats designed by Cabin Fever.
Woohoo! Who doesn't love knitting hats? Especially super cute baby hats. I have my wonderful and thoughtful father-in-law to thank for my Monday surprise. I do feel spoiled being the favourite daughter-in-law (ok, the only daughter-in-law) but they have both been so good to me and have been so supportive to T and I through the years. I am very lucky to be smitten with my new family. Thanks for everything and being loyal blog readers to boot!


Daylight Savings

Dear N,

This was the first year ever that we had forgotten to re-set our clocks. Poor T had a brunch to welcome the prospective students this morning and was, of course, late by an hour. The extra hour did give me time to clean the house, mop the floors, make chocolate chip muffins and finish the Presto Chango.I did miscalculate the button hole rows and ended up having to add an extra row but I still like how it turned out. Baby can go out for visits in style.

Anyway, I must make this a short post as it's time to get to bed. We've lost that hour after all.


On Fire

I woke up this morning very sore with a headache. I must be fighting off something vicious because my entire body feels like it's on fire. But things need to get done. El had a friend sleeping over, and B had an afternoon playdate, so I cleaned the house - washed floors, made beds, tidied up, baked my stand-by butter tarts, and threw on a pot of tea. I thought that would make me feel a bit better, but truth is it briefly diverted my attention from the fact that I was in pain. Depsite all this, I survived. Crafts were made, socks were knitted, company was hosted, and the driveway got shovelled (this was no easy task as snow fell fast ALL day!). Here are some cardboard eggs we decorated for Easter, and one day of knitting the Monkey. I am using Patons Kroy 4-ply sock yarn that I had in the stash, and it is knitting up quick! The pattern is easy to memorize even though it is 12 rows. This was the first time I followed a chart - are you shocked?

I should head to bed and at least appear ill. Toodles.


All the Trees are Hers

The concert rocked. Even J shook his head grinning that he hardly expected 'that'. I can honestly say Hawksley is 100 times better live than recorded, not that I don't enjoy listening to his albums all night and all day because lord knows I do. It's just he exudes something on stage that I can't explain. I forgot my camera in all the excitement, so I can't even show you.

Picture the band deep into "Striptease" breaking into "Crazy in Love" - the crowd just lapped it up. It was hilarious. Check out this interview - it's Hawksley talking about his new album. He's so dreamy!

The Charade socks are complete! I am so thrilled. I would wear them tomorrow, but I have a 'function' to attend bright and early in the morning that requires something a bit more dressy. They will just have to wait for the weekend for prancing and parading.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's the last day of school before March Break. I am not sure who looks forward to the time off more - me or the girls - but I do know that I will cherish each of those five mornings in which I do not have to pack nary a lunch or school bag. Five mornings to sip my coffee and read the news on-line and dress for work at my leisure. It's gold.



Between the Beautifuls

I am elated with my new camera! I have had a difficult time thinking of anything else the last few days. Please be patient with me as I would take pictures of dirt if it meant holding the camera a bit longer. Here is an extreme close up of my go-to hat for my cold noggin. It's Manos del Uruguay wool in the wildflower colourway. Feast your eyes on that fuzz! Now that's a macro.
It's not all picture-taking around here though. I have a few rows of pattern left on the foot, and I can begin to decrease for the toe. This is the Charade pattern in high-stitch definition!
To T's envy, I scooped up two tickets to go see Hawksley Workman at the Aeolian Hall tomorrow night for J and I. I am not really a concert-goer type of person - I would rather spend my money on a CD, and settle on the sofa with my knitting, but Hawksley is a true entertainer, and he is so much more than just the music. His conversation with the audience is captivating. One can't help but be completely mesmerized with his song and dance. I just wish you were here to drool with me, T. I seriously doubt that J will want to relive the entire two hours for the countless weeks ahead, but then again, maybe he just needs to see him in person . . .


(Un)Finished Business

Finally, a new set of wheels.We walked into the Honda dealership on Saturday morning, two test drives, a cup of tea and some minor haggling later, we drove off the lot with our new little Civic. Who knew that T was such a good negotiator? Of course it helps when your salesman is a former Edmonton Eskimos football player and a CFL Hall of Famer. What are the chances?

Anyway, my Mother Bear Project bear is almost done. I just need to purchase some polyfil and get him stuffed. He was a very easy knit and I can't help but think about the child who will be getting my bear. I've made sure that lots of good wishes and kind thoughts were knit into every stitch.I've also cast on for a Presto Chango that will be going to T's godparent's very first grandson. They've already got four granddaughters but their first boy will be coming along in April up in Ottawa so this little sweater is for him and possibly a matching hat.I love Cotton Ease yarn for baby knits. Easy to care for, is soft and comes in lots of very nice, muted colours. This lime green isn't as bright as it looks.

Well, another weekend over. Hope you enjoy your new camera. The pics look great!


The Untalkative Bunny Visits a Knitting Circle

B used to watch The Untalkative Bunny all the time. It cracks me up!


Back on the Horse

Look! A new haircut and a new camera, and I love both!
Here's my Handmaiden Mini Maiden I bought in Newmarket
. . . and my Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock Kit! It's GOLD!

I am over-the-moon thrilled with my new camera. A part of me thinks that on some level I may have wanted to break the shutter on my old one in order to get this. J talked me through a bunch of options once I told him what I needed the camera to do. For example, I needed to shoot pictures with my sometimes shakey hands. I wanted high stitch definition. I wanted lots of knobs and options. He took all of this into serious consideration without any rolling of the eyes, and he translated my specs into electronic lingo with the sales assistants. He didn't pull out any stops. We got the best camera at the drug store. That's right. The pharmacy. Shopper's has a really fancy electronics counter at most stores, and today I got 20 times my points, so after buying the camera, I went over to the cosmetics counter and bought a $100 bottle of Dior Miss Cherie Eau de Parfum with all my points! I believe this may be when J finally rolled his eyes.

Something else that terribly excites me is the Parkinson's Annual Cut-a-Thon! This year it happens to fall right on my birthday, and I have scheduled appointments for El, me and my mum. Fancy hair will need strutting, so I need to pick somewhere 'cher' for lunch. If you live in south-western Ontario, and you have hair, I seriously recommend you make an appointment. You get a fabulous cut and style at a trendy salon, a heavy loot bag from Revlon, and to top it all off, you are supporting a very worthy organization. It's only $35, and ALL of the money goes to charity because the salons and hair stylists donate their time, skills and resources for the day. Book now to get the most choice salons!