EZ #1

I knit the heart elbow patch from Knitting Workshop last night in an hour.  Not my most pleasant hour mind you.  I cast on three times, and I cast off two rows too late, so the middle dimple at the top isn't as prominent as it should be.  Still not too shabby for one hour.  And with Valentine's Day two weeks away, it was a timely project.  I used a smidgen of red Patons Classic Merino Wool, and I have plenty for another heart.  I can't just give one kid one.  That would be rude.


Newfie Hat & A Proclamation

I told you I was casting on asap!  Every night I knit what seems like a thousand rows, and I have about half a hat so far.  It's going to be a warm hat.  That I know.   I pray that 220 yards of wool will be enough.

I've been thinking of a project to work on this year, and given that we are now a month in, I have procrastinated the sufficient amount that is just my style.   I am going to knit 12 Elizabeth Zimmermann patterns.  Although it works out to be one a month, some patterns might only take a few days tops; whereas, a sweater is going to keep me busy for longer than a month, so it should even out quite nicely.  I am not going to make this a tricky project for I am lazy, and I truly believe it's cruel to set up anyone for failure - with me being at the top of the list.   That being said, I am also up for trying lots of new techniques however ugly this might get.  I stayed up late last night thinking of my 12 projects, and I have a list, but I have not yet determined the exact pattern for each project.
  • Baby Surprise Jacket (this should be no surprise - it's her most famous pattern)
  • Child Tomten Modular Jacket - for the Bumblebee
  • Seamless Yoke Sweater
  • Last Minute Sweater
  • Nether Garments (I never thought I'd consider these in a million years, but yeah . . . )
  • Mittens
  • A Shawl
  • A Blanket
  • Something Aran
  • Seamless Hybrid
  • Heart Elbow Patch/Hat
  • A Vest
Rules or what I prefer to call "Best Practices"
  •  Knit from the stash.  EZ makes it hard for you to make up excuse not to knit from the stash 'cause she writes the majority of her patterns to work with any weight.  Dang it.
  •  Must knit twelve PATTERNS, not projects - meaning I can knit the same pattern twelve times and call it a day.  No repeaties!
  • At least one pattern must include steeking.
  • At least one pattern must include gads of fairisle.
  • Must knit gauge swatches. (I'm going to be honest.  This one is going to be the hardest rule to abide.)
  • Must finish by December 31, 2010.
  • Completely allowable to knit patterns, I've previously knit.  This could be the lifesaver.  These patterns include the February Baby Sweater, the Practice Fairisle Hat, the 36-Stitch Mittens, the Ganomy Hat, and the Christmas Fiddle Faddle.
  • Must blog my evidence that I am indeed making progress on "the project".
I may have wrangled Kat to join along (I gave her some pills), but I would welcome more company in what I believe could only be a barrel of fun.  Anyone else in?


Little Ditzy's

Remember in the 80's when "cross border shopping" was the cool thing to do? I guess going over to the U.S. to shop is still a fun activity for Canadians but it doesn't have the same popularity that it had in the 80's. I remember crossing over into Houlton, Maine with my mom every once in awhile as a child. It was not the Guess jeans that I was excited about, or the over-sized Chip and Pepper t-shirts, it was the food that we couldn't get in Canada that I really looked forward to. America had different fast food chains, chocolate bars, and most of all, different snack cakes. In the town where we lived we did not have access to a certain snack cake brand with a little girl on the box in a straw hat. Those were my favourite and if I was lucky, we would come home from a trip across the border with a box or two.

Store bought snack cakes were a treat for the kids in my family because we usually only had homemade and the grass is always greener (or sweeter and more artificially flavoured) on the other side, right? So over the weekend I decided to indulge in my nostalgia and also make my mother proud by making my own oatmeal creme pies. These turned out much tastier than how I remembered the store bought ones tasting and although still full of sugar, these contain a lot less preservatives and other unpronouncable substances. The recipe that I used is here. So even though I now live across the border and can have as many snack cakes as I want, I think I'll stick to making them myself.


The Bee and I went on a photowalk on the weekend, and a good time was had.   Somehow we ended up at the playground.  Surprisingly, playgrounds are as fun if not 'funner' in the winter.   And although I have no pictures to prove it, I am slowly learning how to crochet, so that my dear friend is not alone on the dark side.  I really just want to make a ziggity-zaggity throw blanket in crazy stripes.  I believe that once I accomplish this, I shall have 'it' out of my system.   Any bets?



I've discovered an excellent reason to photograph my knitted works in progress.  Lately it's been the only indication that I have gone drastically astray from the pattern.  This scarf is no exception.  It's pretty, right?  The pattern is very easy.  It's only two rows.  I started out on the right track, but I noticed from the pictures, that the scarf was getting narrower and the rows were no longer as tall.  I consulted the pattern again, and I discovered that I was to repeat the two rows twice before alternating the yarn.   You can see that I began the scarf doing just that, but about halfway I switched to alternating only two rows of merino with only two rows of mohair.  And rather than rip it out, I've concluded that this narrow little section will become a design element.  I'm lazy like that.  It actually doesn't bother me.  It reminds me of a nice evening over the Christmas holidays spent with my knitting friends, and how I paid more attention to my company than to my knitting.  There are worse things than that I suppose.  Now if it was to be a gift, I suppose I might consider starting over, but that is not to be the case. :)   As an aside, that mohair is a pain to knit.   Bleh.


Bella's Mittens

The oldest is a crazy fan of Twilight.  These will be perfect for an upcoming 14th birthday.  I'm using leftover Cascade Eco wool from the Hemlock Ring Blanket.  They're so soft and cozy.  She's lucky to have me.


Hang ups

A couple of weeks ago I attended a housewarming party of a friend of mine who moved in just a few blocks away from us. Her house is small and cute and all hers, which is fantastic. Upon touring the home and ending in her bedroom I noticed how she had stored her jewelry, necklaces in particular. I am always getting my necklaces tangled so I end up laying them out all over the top of my dresser. Effective for not getting them tangled but not so tidy looking. So over the long weekend I grabbed an old cork board that I had stored away in the basement, cut a length of fishing line and bought a pack of picture hangers et voila---necklace storage!
I added the ribbon at the top for decoration and it hides the fishing wire that is used to hang the cork board. There's plenty of room for more necklaces and the beauty of the cork board is that you can rearrange it at any time.


About two years ago, expiry date tags came up in conversation three times in one week, and I took it as a sign that I should never throw one out ever again.  Up until recently, I had been throwing them into a kitchen drawer.  Over Christmas, I cleaned out a bunch of drawers, and I was thrilled with my tag stash.   They are now being displayed in a pretty bowl.  And that's why I am dangerously close to becoming a hoarder.  Ironically I think I was cleaning out the drawers because I had stayed up late the night before watching that dang show, and I was scared silly when I looked away from the television, and my eyes were met with piles of knitting, crayons, polly pockets, books, blankets, and cereal.  Okay, maybe my house doesn't stink of rotten food yet, but these things take time.   I am clinging on to little pieces of pastel plastic!!!  Oh dear.  I'd say I've lost my marbles, but there's a whole 'nother bowl for those.

Like a Real Aristocrat

It's the weekend once again, and we thought we'd shake it up a bit and CRAFT.  Shocking, right?  We're very unpredictable.  I've been drawn back to the chiffon flowers, and I've bought some barrettes and a glue gun, and instantaneously I have rose hair clips.  I required something with a little more skill and thought involved, so I found myself digging up a few old holey thrifted wool sweaters, and I sewed up child-sized hats.  The Bumblebee declared them "painfully itchy".  But they're so pretty!  She agreed that they were very sweet, but there is not enough money in the world to convince her to place it back on her head.  So very sad.  As for other crafty endeavours, we found the watercolour pencil crayons that the girls got for Christmas, and we drew flowers, coloured them in and brushed it with water.  Our pictures turned out brilliant!

As for knitting, I plan to cast on for a hat that will match the newfie mittens.  If you look in the comments below our Newfie Mitten pattern post, Wendy has graciously written a pattern to make a matching hat.  How flippin' awesome is that???  So keep your eyes out for more hats!   It's gonna get crazy around here.  Seriously.

Happy Saturday, my friends!


A light at the end of the box

Where has the time gone? I realize that it has been 2010 for two weeks already but I was only just getting used to 2009. And why is 2010 crawling by so slowly? Maybe it’s because of the -20 degree temperatures we’ve been having or because I have work up to my eyeballs after returning from the holidays or perhaps it’s because I’m feeling drained, both physically and creatively. After the knitting whirlwind that made up all of December I don’t know if I have energy for another stitch for awhile, yet I miss knitting. Does this make sense?

Similar to N getting her fancy, new and very awesome camera, I too got photo equipment for Christmas. This REAL light box arrived this week from my FIL. He and I are fellow gadget geeks and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but my husband sometimes tells me that he married his father, which is weird yet true. And the reason why I call this a real light box is that it will be replacing the plastic bin and random desk lamps that I’ve been using as a makeshift light box. This thing is fantastic and folds up into a flat pack that holds the two lamps that comes with it and the camera tripod. I'm still playing around with this but the options for different backgrounds and little, tiny sets is very exciting. Maybe this is just what I need to get the creative juices flowing again.

Random shot of crocheted peas.

Sharing the Contra Love

The oldest is giving me weird looks as I blast this.  I think she is confused as to how I could be this cool.  Shrug.


Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

It's 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, and we've just gotten dressed for reals, and the Bumblebee is doing the mambo or some kind of salsa all over the living room.  So far we've beaded, drawn thumbprint animals, knit, and embroidered.  The paperwhites are blooming, and they're definitely 'fragrant'.  :)   I'll kill it with some chili in the slow cooker 'cause tonight is field hockey practice, and we'll want to eat as soon as we walk in the door.   'Til then, I'ma gonna go back to the comfy couch and curl up with my sock knitting, a cup of tea, and a silly book.

Happy Sunday!


A Trip Down Memory Lane

This week, we came across an old CD loaded with pictures from 2005, and then we spent an entire night laughing and exclaiming how adorable those girls of ours were.  I'm not sure what the Bumblebee is doing here.  Possibly picking hair out of her mouth, or maybe she was caught stealing a cookie or something.   Who knows!  What I do know is that I want to gobble up that sweet little two-year old.   Her eyes are huge, and I loved that dress.  She had two of them, but the other had blue flowers where they're red on this one.   I am super glad that she grew out of the giant hair knot on the back of her head.  When she was a baby up until she was three or four, she would wake up with the nastiest knot in her hair on the back of her head.  I would brush it out each time with a vengeance, but as I brushed it out, her hair would get all static-y and stand in all directions.  It was the weirdest thing.  I do NOT miss that recurring knot!   The hair everywhere else on her head would look oddly normal as you see above.   I can't believe I didn't remember the hair until I saw all these pictures.   What else have I forgotten?


Biscuits du Citrouille a la Canelle

Once again, I found myself too lazy to go to the store to buy cookies for the girls' lunchboxes, so I found a cookie recipe to use up the canned pureed pumpkin that has been sitting in the refrigerator since Christmas.  Mmm . . .  Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  Now I just have to pawn these puppies off as plain ol' oatmeal raisin to the littlest.   Please pray these are a hit 'cause I am much too lazy to bake more cookies.


PS.  I found the recipe in this book - mine's on loan from the library as are the majority of my books.  And yes, it's a children's cookbook.  So what?

A List of To Do's Today in No Particular Order

  • bake cranberry upside-down cake

  • clean foyer of boots and coats and skates

  • fetch clean towels for bathroom

  • shovel the driveway

  • put the kids to bed at a reasonable hour

  • finish the citron

  • breathe
One last day of holidays, and we'll be back at work and school.  There are things to do!!


PS. A warning to all of you Sequence sharks out there, the littlest has figured it out and makes an excellent opponent or ally depending on where you're sitting at the table.  Just saying.

A New Year

Happy 2010, everyone! 

We've spent all morning staring out the window at the snow swirling around and making everything a little lighter and whiter.  We've also been keeping an eye on the bird feeders we made yesterday with pinecones, birdseed and lard.  So far, all we've managed to catch is a bright red and very plump cardinal pecking away at the pinecones.

All this work requires another cup of tea.