Sunday Sweets

A few more ends to weave in, and a set of these dishclothes would make a pretty bridal shower gift.
A large serving plate that I found last weekend for 50 cents. I've already used it for serving a roast chicken, but it's equally pretty just sitting there atop a dresser for my viewing pleasure.

Last night, the Bee and I combined our talents to sew up this pretty doll quilt for Flower Bear who incidentally has been shut out from under the covers by Cherry Bear. Maybe Flower is letting Cherry test it out. Not sure what's happening here.

We made it up as we went along. It's backed by a piece of lavendar fleece that matches the My Little Pony panels. This morning I tied it up using a tiny ball of Manos del Uruguay wool that I couldn't bear to throw out. And ta-da! Note to self - Next time, hide the hideous commercial fabric in the stash before the Bee picks out her pieces. But seriously, this was a lot quicker to do with help. Even if she's only 6, she's great at cutting, choosing, measuring and sewing - not to mention cleaning as well! The whole quilt probably took us an hour and half from start to finish. Good times.
Now we're off for a walk. I made up some Gorp inspired by this post, but we only had cheerios, choco chips, toasted almonds and some zookies. The Bee has a habit of renaming stuff, and apparently the Gorp is now called "Stew Bow Fit". When I tried repeating it and said, "Stew Boff It?", she laughed and noted that "THAT doesn't even make sense!!" REALLY????

Weekend Warrior

We went with the yellow and orange colour scheme in the flower boxes again this year. Today it rained on and off, but we managed to get some gardening in while it was dry this morning.

My dear sister gifted me this precious bird for my birthday, and I have been tardy in showing it off. The top of the bird can be pried gently open, and tiny trinkets hidden inside. I've been keeping my favourite pair of earrings in there. It's pretty as well as purposeful.

One sleeve finished, and one more to go. So close.

And I knit these up at the beginning of April - they each took an hour tops, and one ball of Lopi was all it took. And I believe I scored the Lopi at the Goodwill, so we're talking $1 for two felted bowls. It took me until today to felt the dang things. I decided to not felt them in the washer because the last time I felted bowls in the washer, we had to pay to have it repaired. Eek. So I did it the ol' fashioned way by hand. Lots of HOT water, lots of soap and killing my arms. I'm SO going to feel it tomorrow. I'll probably find myself walking around with noodle-y arms that hang to the ground like a monkey. Sweet. It just so happens that I can make really good monkey noises too.
Here's to one more day until Monday, my friends,

Happy Pillow Dance

I guess she likes it. I'm pleased. It's even been paraded around at school. Score one for mum. The tutorial can be found here. I made three in an hour.
Happy Wednesday!


British Slang

Remember when everyone in the United States of America thought I was from London, England? Well, I've been watching a pile of British sitcoms, and I've been catching myself saying filthy British curse words in my head and laughing out loud. This behaviour isn't making much sense to the people around me. I highly recommend catching up on Season 1 and 2 of The Inbetweeners, but be warned that as much as it was hilarious, it was equally offensive. I winced at least once or twice during each episode, but I also nearly peed my pants in the second season's finale. So if you find yourself taking the challenge, please do not judge me. I also like chicken on a stick - this has ruined my reputation, so it would appear that I do not have much of anything left to lose.

It hasn't been all tv-watching around here though. I've been casting on like it's going out of style. Nothing finished. I'm also volunteering for a Liberal candidate, and my dirty secret is that I voted NDP in the last federal election. I'm deathly afraid that the Party will find out and oust me. Wait until they find out that I don't know a thing about politics. That might be worse than the NDP thing. If they ask me why I'm there, I'll be honest and tell them I thought there would be food involved. They'll laugh of course, and maybe we can just talk about our favourite recipes. I saw this Impossible Pie on Salihan's blog, and I read the recipe, and it's totally my speed.

Don't get too excited. It's just a wee February Baby Sweater, but I am using Misti International Pima Cotton Silk in a dk weight, and I know I've said it before, but THIS stuff is drape-a-licious and knits up like butter. And I am ahead of the pack 'cause when I was stashing it on ravelry, I was only the second person to stash this GOLD. It's brand spankin' new! I have Karen to thank from Shall We Knit. So if you find yourself in New Hamburg, stop and pick yourself up some. In fact I need more. I'll be replenishing on Saturday, June 13 - World Wide Knit In Public Day.


The Rubber Ball Experiment

I came home one day last week from work, and the littlest was excited to tell me all about this show that she watched on television on how to make rubber balls. She was brimming with so much enthusiasm that it was hard not to get swept up in all of the hullaballoo. She just needed some balloons, some rice, and a thingamajig to pour the rice into the balloon. The thingamajig was big and then went small. I guessed correctly that she was describing a funnel. I had the funnel and rice, but we had to go to the store down the street to buy a big bag of balloons. For the entire next hour, she sat quietly and made little rubber balls by pouring rice into a balloon through a funnel. Once it was sufficiently full, I tied knots, and then for extra bouncing power, she demanded that we put a few balloons over the rice-filled balloons. (The trick to doing this was the cut off the end, and then stretch the balloon over the rice-filled balloon.) It was worth a shot.

To be honest, the balls didn't bounce, but we did end up with some colourful balls for throwing around or juggling or playing hacky sack. And boy did we have fun. We even took them to the park and buried them in the sand and pretended they were treasures. They were a hit with the kids in the whole neighbourhood.
It's truly awesome allowing children to lead play. It was a bit like going for a Sunday drive in which you have absolutely NO idea where you're headed, but you just sit back and enjoy the ride! Just remember to stop and treat yourself to some ice cream along the way. :)

Double tribble

I'm in between projects right now. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. The Owl is coming along smashingly and the Monkey socks are so close to being done. But I needed to start another project. So I casted on for a tribble using the bits of cotton yarn I had lying around and one tribble turned into two in no time at all. These things are great for washing dishes or as mini microwave potholders. Or as my in-laws have discovered, a tam for a stuffed friend. Who knew Frenched lamb could be so cute!Here he is again modeling the matching hand towel that I knit for my in-laws to go with their newly remodeled kitchen (check out that swank tile back jealous). I haven't seen the kitchen yet myself but on Friday I will be hopping on a plane for Paris via Toronto so hopefully I will have time for a quick peek. I'm so giddy I could knit another tribble.

All in Good Time

The girls gave me a lilac tree on my first mother's day in our house, and each year the leaves are powder-y by mid-summer. This is probably hard to vision but you're going to have to trust me on this one -much like when I described my co-worker opening a plastic container from the fridge this morning to find a garden salad so old that it 'splashed' all over her! I think the tree may be diseased, but it keeps coming back in the spring all anew. This year I ran out to the tree to snip off as many flowers as I could so that I could place them all over the house. Ooh, I just made a mental note to never use 'lay' or 'lie' ever again when plainly I could use 'rest' and 'place' instead. The past and present tenses of each verb confuse me, and precious time is wasted looking it up in my grammar bible. We'll just never speak of them again. Deal? I present to you - pictures of my lilacs. Can't you just smell them???



This is what you do when you are six years old and you find yourself without supervision. Why not whip up some water balloons? Problem is you can't tie a knot to save your life. Ah, but you have two ponytails, a bread tag and a chip clip. Perfect.


Two Points for Me

Lace Ribbon Scarf: Black Lamb 50% silk, 50% superwash merino wool, sage

Woodland Shawl: Louet Gems Fingering 100% superwash merino wool, teal

It's taken nearly two years to knit that dang shawl and not 'cause it was hard. I'm not quite sure what to say in my defence. The ply was really twisty and fiddly, and the lovely teal was the same colour as my needles, so seeing the stitches was a pain in the butt. I could have very well switched the needles, but for some odd reason they seemed to be a freakish size - not quite a 4 mm and definitely bigger than a 3.5 mm. Is there such a thing as a 3.75 mm needle? It was a challenge. I had to do this one in daylight without much distraction until I was really comfortable with the pattern.

Now the lace ribbon scarf was another story. It was my second time around this pattern, so once I got through a few rows, I had it down pat. I knit this super fast for Mother's Day for my mum in a sage green that matches her dining room. It's a fun and intuitive knit. I knit it while talking and listening to other conversations. I may have even popped it out a Podcamp London session on podcasting (the presentation was way over my head, and I was stuck beside the wall in the front with no chance of slipping out unnoticed).

I anticipated the blocking of these two dainties to be more fiddlier. It was easy peasy lemon squeezy! I've not enjoyed such a dreaded task in a long time. And before you dare ask about the Hemlock, I'm waiting for the right moment. Ugh.


Newfie hockey

What do you get when you put together a wine bottle, some hockey tape and a bunch of wire hangers? No, not a take on Newfie ice hockey (please forgive me if I've offended any New Foundlanders, I'm from New Brunswick, so I'm practically one of you guys), but a cheap person's yarn swift. A couple weeks back I mentioned that I had ordered a yarn ball winder on line and was impatiently awaiting its delivery. Well, it arrived on Saturday morning and I immediately had to see how it worked. So in my haste and in my frugalness I put together this contraption. I found the tutorial here and after a few modifications (added an extra hanger and used hockey tape instead of duct tape because my husband is not that handy but can play a mean game 'o hockey when he wants to) I got it to work, more or less.

Top view of the crude contraption (please ignore our dangerous mess of electrical cords)

Let's just say that my yarn swift aint so swift but I was able to set it on the floor, feed the yarn with my right hand and crank the ball winder with my left hand. It was still way faster than winding by hand and resulted in these lovely little cakes. Sweet!


My first Geek Dinner London Meetup:

"Crap. I forgot my internet card."
"Hey, check it out! This chick's laptop is SO old that she's got an internet card!!"
"Just unplug the lights."
"Great. You just pissed off all the geeks."
"Do we have to pay extra for lights?"
"I love balkan-style yogurt!"
"Just unplug the laptop."
"Crap. Those were the lights for the whole bar."
"Just wait for your eyes to adjust."
"You should twitter that."
"I could take a better picture if there was more light."
"Give me your camera. I want to take a picture of the outlet."
"How do you adjust the aperture on this thing?"
"Sorry I cut off your head."
"Watch out. I have teeth."
"No one is talking to us."
"We're not talking to anyone either."
"I know that guy over there."
"Go say hi. I dare you."
"He looked at me."
"That's it. Go say hi."
"It wasn't a look of recognition."
"What time is it?"
"9 o'clock"
"Do you want us to escort you out?"
"Let me unplug your power cord and plug the lights back in."
"Last call! Do it again and yell out 'last call'"
"Let's beat this joint."
"We did good. We made a friend."
"Pull the car around."
"I'm nervous about exiting the parking lot."
"Next time, I'll drive."
"You'd think she'd have a harder time turning left."
"That was a raccoon."
"Send me that picture of the outlet asap."

I did end up downloading Picasa when I got home, and I finished our new banner. Let me know if you'd rather have the magnolia picture, T. I don't know how long I can keep a picture of El's butt up there before she gets hostile. Not sure why she would be upset to be honest. It's a cute rear end.


The Strawberry Stain is Fading

Knitting at the moment is TOP SECRET, so I feel a little lost for words.

Hmm . . . what's new? Well, I was almost sick, meaning I could feel the onset of something, but I managed to take enough advil and cold medicine that I don't really remember much from the last few days. We did our taxes just under the wire. It feels good to have that done. What else? We cleaned the front hall and threw out probably a dozen pairs of winter boots. How does anyone get more than one year out of boots? The girls really put them through the wringer, not to mention their feet are growing at an insane pace. I am hoping that El's feet freeze where they are 'cause the kid's feet are bigger than mine already. She's at a whopping size 9! I was really looking forward to sharing shoes with her - think of all the shoes that I could justify buying! I swear she skipped over size 8. Seriously. I blinked and missed it. So yeah, the closet has been purged of winter gear, and stuffed with umbrellas and rain boots for the wet days and flip flops for the dry days. One can always hope for more of those.

Now I'm just boring y'all.

Let's look forward! I'm excited about the Mother's Day shun piker next weekend. We have a caravan of family joining us on that little jaunt. Flowers for the planters will need to be acquired. I will be recruiting for yard-sale-ing partners. In fact, there's a few village-wide sales that I am anticipating. I have to choose one more book in order to qualify for free shipping from Amazon. Any ideas? I have plenty of ideas, but I think I am over-analyzing this one. There's air in the bike tires now, so I can hop on the bike at a moment's notice and depending on accompanying nice weather. The peony bushes are popping up. This excites me to no end. The birds are hollering in the backyard which can only mean the squirrels have ransacked the bird feeder once again. We're living in exciting times.

Oh and last week I took the bestest picture I've ever taken. It's so real, it's unreal.

Maybe it's just me.


Monday Mail

Don't you love getting packages in the mail? I know I do, especially when they have good stuff like this inside...I stumbled upon some Cascade Eco wool on sale as I was poking around on the internet at work (gasp!). At $10.50 a skein, I just couldn't help myself. These will hopefully become Owl sweaters once I've gotten a few projects out of my queue. The wool is so soft and springy and I cannot wait to wind it up in my new ball winder, which I also bought online at work during a moment of weakness. That hasn't arrived yet so for now the winding and the Owl knitting can wait.

The weather was lovely over the weekend, which brought on my hay fever. I have tried every drug there is on the market (and off the market?) and have settled on Nettle tea and local honey. This stuff really works my friends. Go to your local herb store (the bongs in the window and incense smell will tell you that you're in the right place) and get some Nettle leaves, steep, add some local, organic honey and you've got yourself a tasty and effective allergy remedy. You should check with your doctor first though, to see if you can have any herbal remedy. Anyway, speaking of tasty things, I made this Whole Lemon tart over the weekend. The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, a trusted source for interesting and new recipes to try. The tart was bright and lemony and sparkled like a jewel. It was even better the next day chilled with a dollop of cream. Oh yes, I loves me some cream!