Love's Labour's Lost

I have a friend, Emily, who knows how to knit, but lacks the passion for knitting - she is quite happy to knit a project or two each year. I think she knits just to amuse me. She can travel without yarn and sticks, she can wait in a line without yarn and sticks, and when she goes into one of the most famous yarn stores in the world, she only thinks to pick ME up a token of this visit. I LOVE this small project bag - it's absolutely perfect! But she tells me that even the lady behind the counter looked at her as if she was insane. She also took pictures of the yarn-y goodness for me. She is a very good friend.
Did you think I had forgotten about the Woodland Shawl??? Or perhaps it was YOU who forgot it by the wayside. Yis, I shall blame all of you out there! I'm on my second skein of Louet Gems fingering-weight wool. Must concentrate on finishing this project. I want to get on with knitting sweaters and socks and hats and mittens, but this shawl radiates guilt every time I catch a glimpse of it in my knitting basket - I even went so far to hide it behind the wicker chair in the darkest corner of my bedroom. No such luck.

Look! Tartar Charlie posed for me today. I didn't think I would ever get such a good shot of this frisky guy! Now I have something to remember him long after he is gone, but I am told that betta fish last a long time, and I take pretty good care of him if I do say so myself. He's a lifer.
Ooh, I baked blueberry muffins from scratch, and that in itself is blog-worthy. Look at these beauts! There's none left - they were gobbled up by many muffin monsters. I will never make blueberry muffins without a wee bit of grated lemon rind ever again. It's like magic!
And I forgot to tell you about our little antiquing roadtrip to Aberfoyle last weekend. I scooped up this birdy from a dollar table filled with junk. I love you, china, chipped, cheesy chick!

Happy Labour Day, everyone! I think we'll head up to the beach tomorrow, and I plan on meeting up with my local knitting peeps in the evening. I look forward to all of it!


Summer Is

I've been reading Uncommon Grace's Summer Is project, and I thought I would add my two cents.

Summer is . . .

:: family reunions with lots of cousins

:: most definitely little girls and hula hoops.

:: almost over!


The Masters

I love this picture of my pop teaching the grandkids how to play bocce taken a few weeks ago. They were serious bocce sharks in my humblest opinion.

We're in the midst of doing some last-minute summer cleaning and renos. We're getting ready for September. I am hankering for autumn like you wouldn't believe. I am in the mood for apple-picking and homework and ballet classes and knitting woolly mittens and drinking lattes to stay warm.

Until then, chin up.


Simple Wristwarmers

Remember this post not so long ago? Well she's finished her first project - wristwarmers!

We made it up as we went. My thinking was it needed to be a quick, gratifying project, so I figured we'd need a chunky yarn. She wanted brown, and I just happened to have some brown Bernat Softee Chunky laying around - it's 100% acrylic, so they're good in the washer and dryer. I think it will soften up more after it's washed.

Using 6mm straight needles, she cast on 25 stitches, and she knit in garter-stitch until it stretched around her hand and wrist lengthwise - we didn't want them loose at all. Then she bound off all the stitches, and she made a second warmer exactly the same length.

I, then, folded them in half lengthwise and seamed an inch from the top, left about an inch and half for her thumb, and seamed the rest. She is very pleased with the result. In fact, before she could argue, I insisted she cast on for a smaller version for her best friend who is quite petite. When the girls are together, it looks like I have three daughters. It is fun to imagine - especially since it is just imagining. :)

I am under the impression that she would like to wear them on her first day of school. That's a good sign even though she keeps reminding me that she doesn't like knitting - not at all.


Sewing Kit Swap #2

El received her sewing kit from Mallory yesterday afternoon, and she was absolutely thrilled! The bag that her mum Sherry made is so awesome, and El loves it. It was filled to the brim with brand new sewing notions and felt and lovely handmade yo-yos and fabric - all in El's favourite colours - orange, green and yellow. I can't wait to see what she makes with all of it.

Thank you, Sherry, for all of it!

Thank you, Melissa, for organizing this swap! Being my first swap ever, I was quite anxious, but the girls and I had a ton of fun - it was really nice having a project to work on together. And now I have sewing projects that will allow us to bond even more. Not to mention, we met some very fantastic-ly talented moms and daughters along the way! That was probably my favourite part. Thank you!
I think that El may want to keep a close eye on her little sister 'cause I caught the little kook trying on the bag.
Now I have some good ideas to use up some of these pretties - must convince the gang that I know best. :)


I Present To You The Lace Ribbon Scarf

I admit it took longer than I could have imagined - especially since 736 knitters completed it in MUCH less time - but it is now complete and the newest object of my affection. I used Handmaiden Mini Maiden (50% wool, 50% silk), and I enjoyed every minute with this yarn. It's so soft and drapey and buttery. While I was blocking the scarf yesterday, J asked me who it was for, and I wasted no time in replying. Why me, of course!
I found this little 'druring' propped up on B's dresser, and I had to share. I must have this framed immediately. I think it's a result of all the family time that we have been spending togther. I guess it pays to pay them a little attention. Swoon.



Well, let's catch y'all up on my adventures. Let's see . . . oh, I finished the lace ribbon scarf, but it's been set aside for blocking. What a relief. I love it dearly, and I enjoyed the last two months of knitting it, but I am quite pleased to go on to the next project.

In between knitting the monumental scarf it turned out to become, I knit cowls. Chunky alpaca cowls. I scored three rich purple skeins of Inca Gold Alpaca (sadly discontinued) from Adriana, and they will become Christmas gifts for three undecided lucky ladies. I've knit up one, two more to go. So easy! Thank you, again, Adriana!

I have also learned the magic of dyeing wool from the brilliant Jenny! You can read all about that adventure over here at Isa's blog. No use reiterating all that again - it's THAT good.

Isn't it sherbert-y loveliness? I haven't a clue what it is going to be. Socks?



I totally started this post a week ago and then got sidetracked by the millions of things that I have up in the air. It wouldn't be so bad if my workload at the office wasn't insane, however, I'll just take a deep breath and have another cup of coffee. Did I mention that the insomnia has kicked in too?

The above is a kitchen handtowel that I completed two weeks ago. It was quick and satisfied my need to be creative, however, my energies will be funnelled into other projects such as moving and the wedding from now until October 11 so you probably wont hear from me as much. I will be lurking and reading all of your lovely blogs when I can (probably 3:00 in the morning after I've woken up freaking out about the colour of the ribbon on the favors).

Thanks for keeping Balkan Style stylin', N! You're the best!

Sewing Kit Swap Goodness

Oh, Ana and C! I can't imagine all the work you put into this kit. It's so pretty and so thoughtful, and B has declared this day - the best day ever! I am feeling a bit sheepish that I didn't make more for C's kit! And the bestest part (and this is indeed difficult as all of it is so flippin' awesome) is the personalized handmade-by-Ana stamp - let's just say that B has stamped everything in sight with her name and the coolio bear! And there's yo-yos and gorgeous pincushions and a felt-a-licious needle book and a sweet tissue holder and little shapes to practise sewing! B's already been a-practisin', and she's ready to sew up her pink felt bird - I'm hoping that she feels charitable and gifts it to someone who adores birds (hint, hint -me!).

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope our kit for C arrives soon and she likes it as much as B loves hers!


Miracles Do Happen

This is not me knitting. These are the hands of a bored pre-teen who was given the option of either learning how to ride a bike or knit. She must be terrified of riding a bike.
This little baby is going to be seamed up to be one wristwarmer. I'm not sure I am ready to share my precious stash just yet. The kid is a flippin' natural.
And just so the little B wouldn't feel excluded, I gave her a little hoop and a scrap of cotton and a blunt needle armed with some embroidery thread, and she drew a little blue heart and carefully stabbed the needle around it. Sadly, the red stitching is mine. I don't think I am ready for embroidery just yet.

I'm curious to see where these two are headed with their new skills. I am insanely thrilled to see them holding on to needles and string.

I found these in the 'panic room', and I'm in charge of getting rid of them. Aren't they awesome? There must be a tonne more of these vintage Fisher Price little people - no longer safe for playing as apparently they are a choking hazard, but they're certainly collectibles! Now to figure out eBay. Am I the only person intimidated by eBay?


Cabled Hat
1.25 skeins of Patons Rumor
5.5mm and 6mm needles
Finished in one day sitting on the beach.
Commissioned by a co-worker for a daughter-in-law's Christmas gift.

My first toe-up socks - made to fit in plain stockinette stitch, Black Lamb superwash merino-nylon blend and 2.5 mm circulars. I learned two new processes - Judy's magic cast-on and short-row heels.

I also finished a third quickie cowl using Misti Alpaca Chunky in a light blue. I could knit this cowl forever. Again, it only took a couple of hours to knit. Gots to love that. It actually looks exactly like the one on the pattern page. No need for a picture. :)

Cheers! Happy Civic Holiday! I gets to return to work tomorrow. Oh, the dread.



A few more pics from the last week::: my new sundress and old tattered beach quilt
:: the view from the cottage porch

As for us, we're settling back in at home slowly but surely. I have a ton of blog reading to catch up on, and this was brought to my attention when I was checking our statcounter for a lark yesterday afternoon. We had a tonne of hits from the Mason-Dixon blog, and I was very curious as to why this was - I mean, I leave comments now and then, but nothing that hit-worthy! It would seem that I have won a signed copy of their new book when it is released in September! Holey-moley, moley, mole! This is fantastic!! Holidays must bring luck and sunshine! I feel like celebrating this by finishing the last dozen knits that I have shelved for seaming, buttons, and weaving in ends. It's the least I can do. Expect pictures! Lots of pictures.


N (with a perma-grin)