Tick, tick, tick

Co-worker: What did you do last night, T?

T: I turned two cakes into a baby.


I often get teased for making lots of things into babies, cake, icing, batter (we had a Dutch Baby for breakfast over the weekend). I'm not saying that my biological clock is ticking or anything...

Anyway, the recipient of the above baby cake (a co-worker of mine) was also gifted this little hat. The pattern is from Itty Bitty Hats (thanks Dad!) and is the very first pattern that I knit entirely on double pointed needles. DPN's aren't as scary as I thought they were although it still kind of feels like knitting with an octopus.
Babies in hats with ears are the best!

If Only Every Weekend Could Be Like This

Where do I start?

That was the mother-flippin’ bestest birthday a girl could possibly want. I visited the mother ship, I bought gads of wool, I had my hair cut and styled by a true artist, and I ate two of the world’s best sandwiches all the while spending my time with really good friends and my sweet family.

To avoid duplication of services and for a superb synopsis of Saturday and the Knitters Frolic, please visit Kat. I couldn't possibly add more!

Here’s my little haul. I couldn’t help it. Once I started swiping the credit card, it was insanely difficult to stop. I did discover that one can be over-stimulated by fibre. Sometimes it’s good to just sit down and sip a latte and knit a few rows instead of petting to regain one’s senses.

Sunday morning, J made us pancakes, and my dad picked up B to take her to the beach for fries and a walk, and my mum, El and I headed out to get our hair cut and styled. Very unlike myself, I had over-confidently assumed I knew where this fancy-schmancy salon was located; however, as I always do, I had left plenty of time to get myself out of this inconvenient jam, and we were on the front step exactly nine minutes before our appointments. Whew! Over the next hour, we basked in having our hair shaped and sculpted. We looked stunning and proceeded to parade ourselves shamelessly about town!

My mum took us out for lunch at a quaint fantastic little cafe where El proclaimed that she felt like she was going to "spew". My mum looked confused, and I had to translate for her, "She means to say that her lunch was delicious, and now she is full." Then we headed to my parents' to meet back up with B and my dad.

It was still early, so we went for a walk in the conservation area behind their house, and their were "ninety sixty hundred million" snail shells, so B and I attempted to save a few from being trampled on by the deer. They looked very pretty. Any ideas of what I should do with them now???

My dad bbq'd some chops and wedges, and we gorged on vanilla cake and frozen yogurt, and then I got to open my presents! It was a Paderno extravaganza - mixing bowls, a sauce pan, and some bakeware! I almost missed the jewellery set that my mum had crafted just for me! I was so spoiled!

Not only do I have such an awesome family, I have the bestest friends ever too! Thanks, T, for alerting everyone around here - you'll get yours! And Julia remembered my birthday as she sat on her crapper - she insists that it's really Dutch to post your birthday calendar beside the loo, but I fear I am much Dutcher, and I've never seen it done. Regardless, it worked! And all the messages from friends far and wide were cherries on top of my Sunday. As B says,"Sanks!"


N's Birthday Weekend

Happy birthday N! Hope that your birthday weekend is going great. Enjoy getting your hair done at the cutathon and hope that you got lots of delicious yarn at yesterday's Knitter's Frolic in Toronto. Can't wait to see your loot! If anyone deserves a fun time sans children, it would be you. Happy, happy birthday to my loyal blog buddy!
Wish you were here to have some cake!

Video Killed the Radio Star

It normally takes me a really long time to catch on to things. For instance, I started watching Law & Order a decade after it began, and I was heckled for asking if anyone had watched this new legal drama that was simply superb in my mind. Well, last night I finally figured out the mp3 player I bought myself in October for $15. Perhaps I hesitated because it was so cheap that it surely would not work or be easy or not include batteries or something silly. I have many issues and these neurotic tendencies seem to hold me back from achieving a great deal of success and pleasure – I am sure of this. I had planned to go for a long walk, and I thought it would be nice to finally listen to the hundred podcasts I downloaded over the last few months in anticipation that one day I would find the nerve to open my new mp3 player.
I did it. It was not difficult or confusing at all, and it sounded and played perfect. Wow! It’s really cool. I walked even longer than I had set out to walk because I wanted to hear more and more. This gadget is gold. It’s nearly all I can think about today while working. Would it be possible to type minutes and listen to Alicia Paulson talk about her crafts and blog? Does it get any better than this?

I am off to the Knitters Frolic in Toronto tomorrow, and I am so excited. I didn’t really consider going because of multiple responsibilities, but I was able to load them all onto my parents, and now I am free to hit the road! Oh, lucky me!

Knitting this week has been slow - a row here and a row there. I hope I can drag myself out of this slump. Over the last two weeks I've managed to churn out an old 3/4 finished scarf. A scarf that no one will ever want or wear, but I have freed up two pairs of needles which makes the waste of knitting the dang thing all worth it. Someone has got to love its cheap mohair/acrylic blend, its fuzzy scratchiness, and its insanely bright orange colour. In all honesty, it's so ugly, it's cool. Someone is getting it for Christmas whether they care to or not.

Skirt Love

Does this girl need a tan or what?

Oh it's done! I finally pulled the two skirt panels from my completed pile and seamed it up two weekends ago. Yesterday I found the courage to put it on and wear it to work and got rave reviews from co-workers. I don't know about you guys but I always find it difficult to wear things that I've made but it's always nice when others appreciate your hard work. I love the drape of the yarn and the skirt itself is rather flattering. A word on the Twisted Sister Daktari yarn--it's lovely, handspun cotton, however the colour can be inconsistent. Two of the balls that I purchased had black spots all through it which showed up in my knitting. Luckily I had knit most it of it into the lace panels which helped in making it blend in a bit more. I considered exchanging the yarn but I had actually bought it in LA at the Knit Cafe last summer. The pattern is Lacy Skirt with Bows from Greetings from Knit Cafe . I would love to knit this again except with different yarn and in the round.

Reconciliatory Tea

B and her friend had a playdate today, but whilst at the park, they began to 'hurt' each other's feelings, so we headed home to bond again with an impromptu tea party!
Where could B have learned how to hold out her pinky just so?
Mmm. Fresh strawberries, classic Girl Guide cookies, and old Christmas chocolate balls. That hit the spot. And everyone was happy and pleasant once again.

Of all the things which wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. - Epicurus

Happy Sunday, friends!


Stop searching. Happiness will find you.

That's what my beef lo mein's fortune cookie told me to do, so I am sitting here waiting.

All kidding aside, things are going rather smoothly around here as best as they can. The littlest is a bit tired today, and I am thinking it all the stuff in the air and the spring cleaning has made it a bit challenging to breathe. We meant to get out this afternoon to help clean up the neighbourhood, but she really just wants to lay down for a bit. Poor thing. It's a shame because it's absolutely gorgeous outside today. Our yard is blooming lilac bushes, forsythia, and daffodils. I even saw some of the hosta plants poking their little sprouts out. It's pretty exciting. Our gardens always look best in the spring. By late summer, the bees terrify me, and I race between house and car like a maniac. Needless to say, I don't garden much when that begins to happen.

I found this little gem at Chapters last weekend, and I am pretty pumped about getting out the sewing machine and doing every single project. How come I had never seen it before? It's brilliant and totally my speed, not to mention style.

And I bought a little sumpin' sumpin' for a little Presto Chango! I'm sure there's a baby being born somewhere begging to wear this puppy. Until then, I will just enjoy the knitting.

Here's the highlight of our week - Charlotte Diamond signing her autograph on B's newest DVD. B was on top of the world - and she sang and danced to every song from our FRONT row seats. It was a blast! This is one of those yearly rituals that I will sorely miss when B outgrows Charlotte. :(

Oh, and we've begun reading Anne of Green Gables out loud and cuddled up in bed. I've noticed there's a lot of big and fancy words for a 5-year old to comprehend, but it's hard not to enjoy the pretty diction regardless if I have to do a little extra explaining at the end of each paragraph.


Block Party

The Drops cardigan is coming along. I had all of the pieces out blocking over the weekend on big sheets of bubble wrap.
Because of the bulkiness of the yarn it took three whole days to dry. I was able to sew up the shoulder seams last night and cast on for the collar. I was a little scared of the seaming, and this sweater has lots of it, but I came across these helpful instructions on seaming together cast off edges. I think it turned out decently for my first try. Hopefully this cardigan will be done in the next couple of days---just in time for the warm weather, when I wont need to wear it!

The Love Boat - Exciting and New

My favouritest sister gifted me these fantastic Comic Blocks showcasing 'a week @ work', and for the first time in ages, I am looking forward to work tomorrow morning and giggling with my co-workers as they pass by my desk. These blocks are mother-flippin' hilarious! My favourite is a little office worker on the phone requesting, quite seriously I might add, "I'll have an order of the strange flavor beef." How many times have I eaten really expired food in hopes that I might have a legit reason to call in sick???
Another reason I look forward to work this week is Charlotte Diamond is coming to town for her annual concert, and as always I have backstage access for me and the littlest. There are definite perks to my job. We've dusted off the ol' hug bug (above), and we've been busy polishing up on our favourite tunes.

Come on board, we've been expecting you!


Postcards from the Edge

We baked vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting and dark chocolate chips and marshmallows to celebrate our five measly days without television. It was a fun and delicious way to end the week. I am reminded that there are a ton of activities to do instead of watching t.v. shows night after night. I, myself, do not watch more than Law & Order, but truth be told, you can watch an L & O repeat on a different channel every hour. It's sweet! The girls swam, played with friends, strolled around the neighbourhood, went to dance classes, cleaned up the garden once the snow melted, took pictures, coloured 'drurings', read a pile of books, baked and just plain hung out with us and chatted, and they were so pooped out at the end of each day.
Can you spot the Bumble-B in the reflection of El's picture???

The transition back to screens has not been an easy one. The littlest is trying very hard to make up for lost time, and it has been more difficult than ever to pry her away. Go figure!


Green Home

It's spring cleaing time again, although you'd never know it here in Minnesota. It's supposed to snow today and/or tomorrow, which makes me question if global warming is happening at all. Ok, we all know that it is and I think that I can safely say that we all want to contribute to minimalizing our ecological footprint. One of the steps that I am phasing into our home is to go green with our cleaning products. I have in the past purchased Method brand products and quite like them but lately I've come across many options for homemade cleaning products that are not only kinder to our earth but much more affordable, and who doesn't like that? Plus, for those who have young ones or those with asthma in the family will like that these homemade cleaners are non-toxic and way less harmful than the store bought stuff.

One of my all-time favorite recipes for an all-purpose spray cleaner is the vinegar-water combo. Make your own by mixing one part white vinegar to two parts water in a recycled spray bottle. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil if you aren't partial to the vinegar smell and that's all you need for a non-toxic kitchen and bathroom cleaner.

For those tougher surfaces like bathtubs and stoves, mix together baking soda and just enough water to make a paste. Make just enough for your cleaning as the paste does dry out. Use this in place of products like Comet and Vim.

Small changes around the house will add up and contribute to becoming greener and providing an overall healthier home for our families. Treehugger has a great article here on going green with your cleaning and Eartheasy has more recipes for homemade cleaning products. And of course for us knitters, Treehugger has a short article on eco friendly yarn, which is being seen in more shops these days or online here.

Screens Off Week

I am committing a major offence by blogging today as this is the second day of our self-imposed Turn off the Screens week, but I am still catching up from the weekend, and we won’t tell the children. The girls were loafing around on Saturday, so I whisked them off to the dining room where I had laid out all the goodies to make paper bead necklaces. We used glue, knitting needles, magazine pages, and string. It held their attention for all of about 30 minutes, but it satisfied my need to have them up and doing something productive. It takes very little to make me happy. El was a good enough sport to take the pictures, and some very good pictures she did take.

Hopefully I will see you all again this week - I just need to do it on the sly!


Unwrapping Nature's Gifts

I am starting to venture outdoors a little as the weather warms up and the snow is melting, and I have begun to tackle the garden in my attempt at some spring cleaning. The littlest was helping me. Bless her dear little heart.We took a walk down to the river to see the flooding, and you can't see it, but the playground is somewhere in there.
The littlest is into meditating as well as designing fashion. I asked her to model the hat I knit up using the rest of my lavendar Cascade 220 Heathers wool, but instead we ended up getting a good giggle over her posing. The pattern is the Baby Hat with a scalloped edging from One Skein Knits. Love the pattern, and love the wool. Two nights of casual knitting, and it was complete!
And I was given a glass bird vase very similar to this picture by a very good friend as a gift for being really good (if I say so myself!) at hair colouring and just being a good friend too. Mine doesn't have those little holes - just one in the back. I can't wait to place it on the mantle with all my glassware and birds. I think this constitutes a 'bird' collection. Thank you, Heidi!


Knitting Pessimist

I always get excited when I find a pattern that I really want to knit and it's all I can think about until I can buy the yarn and cast on for it. Then my knitting pessimism sets in. I may do a gauge swatch and have all of the right equipment but I still question whether the project will be successful or not, especially when it comes to knitting a wearable garment. I get really wound up (excuse the pun) and measure whatever I'm working on about a million times. Does anyone else suffer from this?Over the weekend I casted on for the Drops cardigan. Here is the back piece, which has since been completed. Due to my knitting pessimism I bought cheaper yarn (Lion Brand Wool-ease Bulky in orange) , anticipating that if I fail on this project at least I didn't spend a small fortune on nice yarn. So far eveyrthing is going according to plan but I'm still measuring every few centimeters and I'm unsure whether I will even like the sweater once it's done. I know, I'm messed up. I think the only way to get over this fear of knitting faillure is to swatch, keep at it, oh, and swatch some more.

The Wheel of Fortune baby blanket it coming along. It's not as bright as I'd like (a little too much brown) but I'm considering doing a light pink crochet boarder around it once it's done. I'll have to figure out how to do a crochet boarder first though!

Hope spring has finally arrived in your part of the country because it sure hasn't here in Minnesota. Who has ever heard of snow in April? Sheesh.