Spring Tunic

Hot off the needles, I present to you B's new spring cap-sleeved tunic! I used a bulky cotton acrylic blend that I bought in Ohio. Hurray for souvenir yarn! It's soft and super comfy. This free pattern knit up in a jiffy. I'm talking a couple days of lazy daisy knitting. I will be making more. B wants another with long(er) sleeves.
Today she has requested a skirt to accompany the shirt. She found a sparkly gold light-weight linen fabric at the sewing shop, and I am thrilled that she has entrusted me with this mission. Oui, oui. This is her new response to everything that requires a 'yes'. Oui, oui, Madame. Tout suite.
Happy Sunday, everyone!



A few months back, I cried and cried tears of happiness when Obama was elected President. I can't remember if I shared that, but I did. I stayed up way past my bedtime, and I sat cross-legged on the bed with my eyes glued to the little tv set, and I prayed and prayed that Obama would get just enough votes to win. With absolute relief, I wept more than I thought possible. It was as if my life had depended on it. My lord, I'm not even American. The next day, I skipped to work with a perma-grin.

Today I relived that high. I celebrated with a latte and hugs. My hands shook. I had to take a deep breath and focus. Good does triumph. I was reminded of the people that paved the way to today, and it made me sad that they weren't with me to rejoice. And I remembered the timbit that made headlines, and how powerful one voice can be. Speak up and you will be lifted. But oh how scary speaking up can be. My nerves have been slightly frayed for some time now. But today, there is light and so much flippin' hope that it's spilling all over. I know it's all a bit hieroglyphic, but I just wanted to express that today was good, and it was good because instead of complaining and allowing myself to be treated with disrespect, I did something. Good people did something. Clouds have been lifted!! My heart is dancing like Elaine. It truly is. Sigh. A round of hugs on me!


Earth Hour 2009

Just a reminder that this Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 your local time is Earth Hour. Turn out your llights, turn off the TV or whatever you plan on doing to participate in this global event. To see if your city is participating or for ideas on what you can do , click on the picture above to read more. This is the first time Mr. T and I are participating. It would've been nice to go outside for a night time stroll and look at the stars but Minneapolis is calling for snow (yikes! What happened to spring?!) so I think we will just light some candles, read a book and do some knitting. What will you be doing on Earth Hour?

3 Ramblings In Place of Sleeping

#1 - This was a picture from one of mine and B's walks before March Break. I really liked the clouds above the trees. It was one of those days where B and I could have walked for hours and taken in all the sights with no notice of anyone else around us. She told me the funniest stories about her friends at school, may have quoted some inappropriate Family Guy scenes, and skipped with a smile. I could lose myself in her little world and be quite content. She's just the right amount of silly and sweet.

#2 - After much searching and keeping my eyes open for just the right table for my craft space, I found an old IKEA tabletop with sawhorse legs on kijiji for a mere $15. It will be perfect for cutting fabric and pinning and all sorts of other stuff sewing entails, and when not in use, it can collapse and be stored behind my big cupboard. Coolio. My patience was rewarded. May that be a lesson to all those that can't possibly wait (said sternly with a wagging finger).

#3 - I now present to you my splurge! An Amish laundry basket handmade with a wood base and leather handles from Ohio. I may have squealed from the back of the car that I loved it more than anyone present, and while the other passengers laughed and thought I was joking, I admit there was some truth to it. I truly LOVE this basket. Look at it! It's absolutely splendid! Really.
Enough of that. Time for bed.

Back to the Future

We're back! Thanks, T, for holding down the fort. I know I said I would still be around, but we were surprised to find out that our destination did not have wireless internet, and the only computer to be had was not as powerful as we are accustomed to. Yis, I ended that with a prep, but I am pooped. Honestly. We had so much fun being 'disconnected'. We spent an entire day at the Cleveland Zoo - we have 'bout 300 pics of that adventure. Another day was spent driving around Amish Country, and I bought the most beautiful handmade basket! Cleveland also has an amazing science centre right on the lakefront. Another awesome day. And we ate a ton of food. B ate only chicken tenders - we call them strips up here. I think my favourite day was Friday when Aunt Brenda and I found two local yarn shops across from each other within a few miles of her place. I thought I had died and went to heaven.
Speaking of dying and going to heaven, J and I thought it prudent to turn off the furnace while we were away, and we killed Tartar Charlie. Apparently you can starve a fish for a few days, but they can't take a little chill. We had J's 'rents drop by several times during the week, but they didn't notice the cold until it was too late. Tartar Charlie, you were a good fish, and we loved you, and we're sorry that we're kind of stupid when it comes to taking care of you. The good thing about this is we're good at learning from our mistakes, and hopefully when it's time to get a new fish, we will be vigilant about maintaining a comfortable temperature for the little guy. We pinky promise.

A New Set of Balls

"Balls!" said the Queen, "if I had them I'd be the King!"

Dryer balls that is. I finally got around to making these DIY dryer balls following the instructions found here. It's a good way to use up those leftover pieces of wool that you feel bad throwing out so you keep them and they accumulate and you've already made too many pompoms so you don't know what else to do with them. Anyway, they were very easy to make and nice to look at and that's all I can report at the moment, as I haven't had the chance to use them in the dryer yet. I like the idea of these dryer balls because they're suppose to cut down on dryer time and make your clothes nice and soft without using chemical fabric softeners or those dryer sheets. So really, it's a win-win situation and don't we all love winning?

A Masterpiece Unveiled

Ok, so maybe not a masterpiece, not even close, but it IS my first attempt at crochet. Luckily this will be a dish cloth so the uneven edges where I keep dropping stitches wont matter too much, and the picture above is not showing depth but rather my dish cloth getting progressively smaller at the top due to the dropped stitches. My friend gave me a lovely set of crochet hooks for my birthday and the promise of crochet lessons, the first one happening today at our monthly crafty meet-ups. She was such a patient teacher that I'm somewhat ashamed of my first project, however, I'll keep at it and hopefully improve. I don't know how many of you knit as well as crochet but I'd be interested in finding out which one you think is easier. As a knitter, I find crochet to be more fluid and knitting to be more exact. Does that make sense? I like the exactness of knitting but maybe with more experience I'll get the rhythm of the art of crochet. I must admit that it was quite fun, albeit a bit of a disaster.

Veering off . . . to Ohio

You know how I am always complaining about how I have so much knitting on the needles? Well, I went out and bought TWO new circs to cast on a flippin' Hemlock Ring blanket. And the packing and preparation for our trip to the States is languishing so that I can knit 'just one more round, maybe two tops' again and again.
It was also too beautiful outside today to pack, so when I got tired of knitting, the littlest and I went out for a park in the neighbourhood and down by the river. On the way, she stopped at the little park behind us and did her first swinging of the year.

She's pretty excited about going to Ohio for March break. She keeps singing, 'We're going to O-Hi-Oooooo, to-mor-Ooooow!' She really likes how it sounds. It's very catchy. I must get back to packing (or 'start' at least), and get a good night's sleep. I gots to navigate my way through Detroit in the morning, and I am a wee bit anxious about getting lost. Good times.

Sweet dreams,


Business Lunch

I packed my lunch early this morning and went to have my shower, and as I was grabbing my lunch on my way out the door to work, I did a double-take, giggled and had to take a picture. It would appear that J thought I needed a little something extra today. Thanks, but no thanks.
Happy Wednesday!

An Affair to Remember

This week started out much better than last week. That's B up there all feverish with Tigtig keeping her warm and smushed up against all the pillows. But that was last week. This week's theme has been muffins. Three nights in a row, I have baked muffins while simultaneously cooking dinner. That practically deserves a standing ovation in these parts. In case you're curious, I use the same basic 'Anything Goes' muffin recipe, and then I throw in whatever I have on hand. Sunday, it was bananas and chocolate chips. Monday, I used up the remaining frozen raspberries, and tonight I diced up apples. I'm stumped on tomorrow's flavour, but I roll by the seat of my pants, and I doubt I'll have any problems coming up with something new to mix it up.

I knit a pair of my go-to mittens on Sunday while watching The United States of Tara back-to-back for too many hours than I care to admit. I am SO ridiculously hooked on this show. I also spilled cappucino all over the white sofa and my knitting, and the white sofa cover got its first big wash. It was nothing a little OxiClean couldn't get out. I'm afraid to know what's in that shizzle - it's a flippin' miracle worker, but at what cost? As I was saying though, the white sofa has never looked whiter. I noticed as I was taking a picture of the mittens, there was a giant yellow spot against the heathered pink merino wool. You can't see it 'cause I flipped the mittens over. That must have happened when I let the wool dry, and then I continued to knit with it even though it was all sticky and stiff. Yeah, gross. I'll soak them in some wool wash eventually.
My only issue with my go-to mitten pattern is that I always have a good chunk of a skein left over; however, not enough to knit a second pair of mittens. But today while surfing, I found a quick and easy coffee cup sleeve to reduce my cardboard coffee cup sleeve obsession. I wonder how many I can knit using the leftovers as I still have lots left. This thing knit up in half an hour, and it was brainless enough to also help B with some addition equations at the same time.

That's all I have for now. If there's a lesson in here, it's never, ever, not ever, pet a porcupine. Well, and it's impossible to enjoy your fancy hot coffee beverage if it's soaking into your couch and your crafts. Just saying . Happy Tuesday, friends.

Sins and Needles

It's dreary, rainy and grey today, but that's cool with me. It's also not windy or snowing or freezing out. If there's a trade to be had, wet blah days are preferred. A couple cups of coffee have been drunk, and I am just sorting through my 26 library books and movies that I can bear to return this afternoon 'cause I gots 23 holds to pick up, and my max items are 40 on one card. Doing the math is hurting my head. There should be a rule against math on the weekend. Before anyone goes calculating it all for me, I've run around the house and randomly made a pile by the front door of stuff to go back. I think I'm good. The head librarian at my branch has a reputation of scaring patrons silly, so I get a little anxious before I go - I have to make sure I've covered my bases. And it kills me to return my loans to the library. I get attached too easily. Reason #103 not to foster.

This blog is becoming a blog about the library. Not my intention. I do have other interests. Honest. In fact, I finished some projects this week. I sewed a few more zippered pouches, 'cause I'm hooked, but I also did a little knitting, 'cause I got stuck at the walk-in again with a feverish littlest for three hours one evening, and you just can't take a sewing machine with you to the clinic. Nope. Impossible. Yet it's entirely possible to write a crazy running-on sentence. I have a pair of fingerless mitts for El completed, and only a picture of one to show. I mentioned there was no sun today, right? I used Estelle Arequipa fingering weight wool with a touch of alpaca on 3mm circs and a free handout pattern from Shall We Knit that caught the El's eye before Christmas. Originally she was supposed to knit them, but I got scared when she tried knitting in the round. She kept knitting in the wrong direction, and when I would just go with that, she would begin to knit in the right direction. I didn't know what else to do but just knit them myself which was just fine with her.

Everyone is happy! Oh, and I bought 32 more zippers just because one can't have enough zippers. Don't underestimate the power of the zipper. At the rate I am using them up, 32 may be enough to get me through March. I never imagined that this would be a real concern. Oh dear.



Whenever someone asks me where I'm from, I usually say Canada first and then specifically, Vancouver, if they ask. Vancouver was the last place where I lived for a longer period of time, ten years as matter of fact and it's a great city. I miss the mountains, the temperate winters, the amazing food scene, and of course, my family. Vancouver has it all. However, the majority of my childhood was spent in small town New Brunswick, and I'll always be an East Coast girl. My husband accuses me of still having a Maritimer twang after all of these years.

Now, growing up my mother would bake pretty much everything for us kids. She loved to do it and was great at it. One of my favorite items that she made were little chocolate cake sandwiches with a creamy vanilla filling. They were perfect little treats that were half cake, half cookie but were called Whoopie pies. I thought every kid grew up eating these but over the weekend, as I went to whip up my first batch of pies, I learned a sad but true fact, not every kid grows up eating these. Kids like my husband, and according to my internet research, kids in areas outside of the eastern part of the country.

So, for all of you non-East coasters, Whoopie pies are similar to those packaged chocolate snack cakes that you find at the convenience store in boxes adorned with a little girl on them. Similar, except if you make them yourself, they're a million times tastier. I used this recipe for the cake part and if you go into the reviews for the recipe, there is a recipe for a cooked butter cream that in my opinion, made for the perfect, traditional east coast Whoopie pie.

Doh Re Mi Fa Sew

I mastered the zipper! I was terrified, but I used Amy Karol's illustrations and notes from Bend the Rules, and I did it. In fact, I used up all the zippers I bought on Saturday, and I had to go back to Fabricland and buy seven more. It felt good.

Then I copied T and made some project bags. I'm now taking orders! : )