Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knitter's Treat Exchange Questionnaire

I signed up for this exchange- courtesy of Miss Ewe-http://missewe.blogspot.com/ and I swear, they should have called this the Q & D exchange (as in Quick and Dirty) Anyhow, you can sign up for another couple of days- here-http://knitterstreatexchange.blogspot.com/index.html and this is the questionnaire- Here goes...............
Knitters Treat Exchange Questionnaire
1. What's your favourite type of yarn? anything that really did come from a plant or an animal, and not from a chemistry set.
2. What's your least favourite type of yarn? crunchy acrylic and fun fur. Not my cup of tea
3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop? sniff. I smell the yarn and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Then I cruse through the fancy shmancy stuff.
4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do? I paint, and then I paint some more. I also do all kinds of crafty things. But I would love to learn how to spin.
5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?Just about every knitting thing. I would LOVE the Feb. Piecework. My local store didn't carry it, and I guess I missed my chance to get it.
6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference: 1. Knitting /8. Crochet / 2.Other Craft / 5. Food /3. Home / 6. Fashion /7. Celebrity Gossip / 4.Garden
7. What items do you like to knit / crochet? Oh- anything, everything- I am on a kick lately of wild sweaters because I want to look arty (and not like a 48 year old mother of a 9 year old) (No, I didn't know what I was thinking) 8. Are you allergic to anything?Yup- I have contact allergies- to perfumes and colours and such. Particularly bad is PABA. 9. What do you like to* smell of?(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of) I love light florals and fresh cucumber 10. What's your favourite way to relax?Uh, is my husband reading this? Because he features greatly in this one. 11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first? The Italian cafe for a canolli and a cup of Italian coffee. What do you come out with? read back there again13. Where do you go next? Probably the bakery for some bread. Or some sweet rolls. mmmmmmm 14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal? Well, I am Canadian. So that will figure in the shipping if you are US or Europe. And I have a particular love of hand dyed anything. And, um, just read my blog for other hints!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

OH I am too excited........................

Okay- I am really excited over this one. As some of you know, I have tried my hand at designing sweaters and such, and the last design (that I got paid for) was in the "No Sheep For You" book (by Amy Singer). I did a silk bathrobe in that one. I initially specified a silk and cotton blend, thinking that no one would even pay for a blend for a housecoat. But Amy was adamant that it had to be this absolutely decadent 100% shiny silk-and so, that was the end result. I loved it, but wondered who would ever make it. I got an email from Ann Budd (major player in Interweave) saying that she really liked it, and so I felt I had "arrived". Anyhow, today, I got my copy of Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting. In the Books section, right there on page 26, was a write up of the "No Sheep For You" book (and a very nice one, at that). I read along, happy that "the people in the know" liked the book. Then I got to the last couple of sentences-and there it was- in black and white........"You'll also be treated to a batch of modern designs for shimmering silks-you'll want to wear Deb White's silk bathrobe to the opera-...." The Vogue people mentioned me BY NAME! And they didn't talk about any other design! Oh my. I am so pleased.
By the way- I wore Big Blue today- got lots of compliments on it. I will try to get a picture-later.

Edited later..................
This is Big Blue laid out on the bed.

I also decided against buttons, so I used a lovely pewter and wood shawl pin (by Perl Grey) I got the pin at Grand River Yarns (see sidebar for link)


Gratuitous shot of Bear...."This is me, Bear, with all of my toys. I need someone to play with me. Anyone? Please? You can even pick first."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Progress

First off, this is a shot of "the boys" watching the races on a Sunday afternoon. All they need is a beer and a dog cookie (and I am not saying who gets what!) And yes, Bear often crosses his paws like that.

I have lots of progress to report- for one thing- BIG BLUE is finally done! I had sleeves on, sleeves off, different sleeves-you name it-even different buttons. But I have finally decided to finish the poor thing- with narrow sleeves and an extra big collar. It is currently lounging on the drying towel- after a swish in the sink to block it. Bear spends his time trying to roll on it, and to give his face a wee bit of a wash while he's at it. Bad puppy. Every time I take the big towel out and lay it on the floor, Bear seems to think I am doing it for his pleasure- he gets himself on it, couple of twirls around, and settles in for a snooze. Anyhow, better pictures when Big Blue is dry. (That is the "proof picture"- that it really IS done!) (you can click on the sweater picture to make it big- and lighten it up a bit).


And my mother, bless her soul, volunteered to knit me some socks (with my yarn). I chose two kinds, to let her have her pick-and she knit them BOTH up! Aren't they gorgeous????? The one on the left is Opal Petticoat, and the one on the right is one of their newer yarns- "Feeling" in colour 1705. I'll be wearing a pair tomorrow, for sure!
The apple hat for the up coming baboo is made- and looks quite sweet. (I used Paton's Classic Merino in red, and I have no idea for the stem and leaf) The"way girlie" hat is halfway done- I used some hand dyed angora I had kicking around- in shades of blue and mauve- I think it will be quite sweet. It is all "yo, k2 tog" lace-in a swirl pattern, with a wee knitted flower on the side. I have one more to do-a bunny hat (baby is due around Easter)-and I have some "local" alpaca (the yarn is called Hidden Touch, 80% alpaca, 20% kid mohair, from Osgoode, Ontario) for that. This stuff is pure heaven- soft , lovely hand-if you want some of your own, their address is Hidden Touch, Nature's Way, 5815 Main St., Osgoode, Ontario, K0A 2W0. Each 100gm skein (3 ply) is about 230 yards, and I have no idea what they cost (this was a "stash enhancement" from a while ago, and I forgot to write the cost down. I thought it would make a great bunny hat for a baby.
I also worked for an hour or two on the Muskoka chair- I should have that done this week (May 10th is the gala).
So, all in all, a fairly productive weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

One down................

So this is the first hat. I took Sarah Peasley's "Cameron's Cap" pattern- a freebie (http://sarahpeasley.com/freepatterns/cameronscap.pdf)- and, if I might add, a truly perfect hat pattern for all ages. It is shaped with short rows, so it fits extremely well. Anyhow, some Paton's Classic Merino, a couple of pompoms and some felt-and ta da! A Kermit the Frog Hat! I think it's kinda cute.
I found a pattern for flipper socks on the internet-here- http://www.p2designs.com/images/patterns/set-froggy.html#website/p2new%20folder/p2new/images/patterns/set-froggy.html except that I turned it so that the smooth side was out. I just liked it better. And, yes, I know, I have another flipper to finish.
Bear couldn't stand seeing those pompoms-it was all he could do not to chomp them!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Decisions, decisions......

One of the itinerant teachers to our school is having a baby, (number two) and she turned down our offer to have a baby shower. So, of course, we are still going to have one- but this is a book shower-hey, we're all teachers, so it works. So, everybody is to hand over $$$ and the committee is going to go out and buy books. Everybody, that is, except me. Why? As it was put to me....."Well, I know you knit, so we thought you would do a little knitted something or other". Yeah, while everyone else gets to hand over cash and the present and wrapping is all done for them. Hmmm. Not quite sure what to think. But anyway, I have decided to make a mini-wardrobe of baby hats- there are so many out there on the web these days. So, I have a froggie one started (have one flipper bootie made to go with it), and I thought I needed to do a bunny hat (baby is due in about a month), and the kitten hat out of the "Vogue on the Go" series for babies (I think it is actually a second volume? I will have to check it). And...? Any other ideas out there? We have not had confirmation that it is a girl or a boy (wee babe likes to keep the knees crossed during those peek-a-boo scans!) But the mother is quite sure it is a girl. (I do think soon to be mommies have a sense of who they are about to meet, don't you?) So I do want to make something truly girlie (maybe an angora one, or that cute cupcake hat I have seen out there as a freebie.
Soooo- here's the question...
Should I make the Viking hat?
Or a lady bug?
Love that leafy one, too (or maybe it is just that sweet baby!)
So tell me-do you have any great ideas for baby hats?
PS- All of these hats were on a website of free patterns- here- http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory.php under baby hats. Great site, by the way.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lots of pictures coming............

First off, this is what happens when a wee girl, all sleepy on a Sunday morning, decides she wants to lay down, in exactly the same spot as a giant Bear feels is his rightful throne? I am not entirely sure I would trust him enough to put MY nose that close to his tail!!!! (Once I mentioned that, she moved very, very quickly)

That stuffed basketball is Bear's most favourite toy these days. He is too funny. I don't think he had a whole lot in the way of toys when he was a pup. He is 18 months old, now, and he snuggles his toys, even when he sleeps.
In other news- I have been working on "the chair". It is coming along- see?
You can click for B-I-G. I still have to add details to the arms of the chair.
Here is an up close of the seat-I am not done this part yet-I still have to add sepia and black details. But there is enough there to give you an idea.
The back of the chair will be swirled blues and some yellow- with a few of Van Gogh's "stars" sprinkled in for good measure. I hope the thought of someone sitting on his masterpiece wouldn't have made Van Gogh cut off his other ear, but...? We'll never know.
I have been knitting on the Silk Stream sweater, and you know, I am concerned about weight and drape. It is quite soft, and I think the jacket needs a firm hand, so I think it is back to the drawing board for this one. I have the back (and the back of the sleeves) almost done-and man, it IS bright. But I got to thinking- I have some black silk (it is Fleece Artist, from way WAY back-before they started all the colours). The silk is ever so slightly tweedy-more of a dark charcoal. So I might figure out some way to use the two together. That mosaic piece in "No Sheep For You" is rather sweet, don't you think?

Or maybe I could try something like this from LaLana? (I copied this picture from their website)
Any other ideas out there?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The time has come,I decided, to paint the chair. Yeah, the one I talked about in my last post. The one that has been in my basement for about three weeks. Yeah- that one. Sooooooooooo....This is what I started with, my "blank slate", so to speak................


Add my inspiration-a Van Gogh print, "Starry Night", and two hours later.......a start.........


I still have another couple, three hours left-but it is coming. The group will put a clear coat finish on top of the paint.
IN the meantime, I have this old, beat up chair in the family room- and Bear has claimed it as his own-I mean, hey- what's not to love? A couple of old blankets, a perfect view out the sliding door into his own backyard, and a way to keep an eye on the rest of the family......
So this is Bear, keeping watch, to make sure I didn't paint anything weird (please excuse the faded and torn upholstery-what can I say? Bear likes it).
And finally- proof positive that my wee Annie is growing up- she now can make poached eggs on toast, without any help- and will even take orders in the morning!!!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ahhhhhhhhhhh...............



First of all, hubby has done it again!!!!! In the interest of reclaiming a corner of our bedroom (previously known as a rather embarrassing mish mash of yarn and books and magazines), he invested in a lovely drawer unit(see above)(from one of our favourite stores- Canadian Tire!). He helped me organize stuff. He even did the dozen or so trips up and down the basement stairs to stash my stuff!!! (Don't worry-we have an elevated bungalow, and the basement is very high and dry). But the drawer unit is for ongoing projects and needles and gizmos. I thought it was a great idea, because the wool would be quite happy in wicker (and there are no errant twigs or nasties that would pull on the yarn). He says I can consider it my birthday present. Works for me! I love you, Sean-it is the perfect gift!

My other major job this March Break (well, other than showing my husband how much I appreciate him, and, um, knitting) is a painting project. "The Kingston Grandmother Connection" is a group that raises funds that go to support African grandmothers. (These are the grandmothers whose children have died of AIDS, and who have then taken in their grandchildren). In the spring, they are holding a big shinding-the main event being an auction of "one of a kind" Muskoka chairs. There are 21 adult chairs, 4 kid sized ones, and a table or two. The deal is this- the association has contacted local artists and such to volunteer their time and services and talents-to do the painting-and I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DO ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I was thrilled. Totally blown away. Anyhow, there is also a big night (in May, I think), that I will be attending. I have an idea for the chair (I will take pictures when it is done), and I also have an idea for some knitting to go with it. So-no worry. But.....what does one wear to such an event????????? I have, in my stash, 3 skeins of Fleece Artist Silk Stream ( 50% wool, 30 % silk, 20% something else-nylon, maybe?) in a rather electric colourway-called Sangria. It is bright pink, with orange overtones. Yeah, I do love me some bright colour. It works well with black, or with white. Anyhow, I tried on a jacket that looked similar to one from "Andean Inspired Knits". And I loved it! I am bigger on top than on the bottom, so I was a bit skeptical as to the way this would look. But it is on of those tricky ones-it actually minimizes some things, and accentuates the fact that one has a waist!
So here is my question-too weird? Not right? (I would probably choose all black underneath it) With a great chain link belt. And, since I am still using my cane, I will have to redo it (the last paint job is looking a bit tired).
Ideas? Suggestions? Please help!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Flushed Away

http://www.flushedaway.com/flash/index.html
You must rent, buy, steal, whatever-you must watch this movie-it is an absolute scream! There are parts that are just plain funny-silly, and other parts that are more sophisticated-so that parents can get a kick out of it, as well. I've watched it twice now, and every time I watch it, I laugh some more!
By the way-anyone notice the lack of school buses on the streets? The pile of abandoned lunchboxes at the back door? The Big Giant Poodle Head wandering around, wondering why everyone is still in pyjamas?
AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH-it is MARCH BREAK!
Time to wander around with that extra cup of coffee. knitting in hand. Geesh I love a holiday.

Knitting, by the way, is taking the form of a snake scarf (kit from Morehouse Merino, via Destash blog)-for Annie. It is really quite clever-it is striping in a pea green/sunshine yellow combo-and she loves it. Pics later..............................

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I got it, and I am on a website

Yeah, my husband took a picture of the airplane, and I happened to be in it (imagine!) So he sent the pic off to the guys who supplied the engine to the airplane-and they put it on their web site! Here- http://rotecradialengines.com/customers/MurphyRebel.htm You can have a peek at the story of the airplane-quite interesting. I am the one in hot pink (ya gotta love schizo pink-it's my favourite colour).
And I went to the mailbox today- and I got a little parcel-all wrapped up-lots of padding-it was my necklace!~ All wrapped like a present-nice gauzy ribbon- and what's that attached to the ribbon????? STITCH MARKERS!!!!!!!! (girl after my own heart!)And my beautiful necklace inside (see yesterday's post) Oh it is such a beautiful thing- dainty and pretty-Ruth has done a beautiful job on it. Thank you Sean! Thank you Ruth! I love it!
Edited later-this is the picture I was talking about- some people had trouble getting there-

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I got my wish(es)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it rained, and froze, and snowed- and not only did the school buses get cancelled, the Board CLOSED ALL THE SCHOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is usually unheard of-even though the powers that be deem a day unsafe for travel by children and school bus drivers, teachers are told they have to go to school (either their own or a closer one to their houses)or risk losing a day's pay, or a day's sick leave.(hmmm- so how valuable are we as teachers????) So I usually have to lose a day of sick leave, because travelling on the ice with a knee replacement is verbotten- ya don't want to fall on the thing-and break bone around it. But this time- NO GUILT! I spent the day at home with Sean and Annie and Bear-it was like a stolen day!

And my second wish-This stunning necklace (not the earrings, though- I do not have pierced ears) is on its way to my house!!!!!! A present from my husband!!!!!!!!!! It is called "Woodland Harvest", courtesy of a Canadian designer- Ruth Stewart, of "Impulse of Delight" (http://impulse-of-delight.com/ )- a lovely, lovely lady to deal with, and very quick to respond to your emails. Oh I am so excited!!!! But please! do go over there and see what she has made. You will surely swoon.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Did March come in like a lamb, or....???????

Does it count if the first day of March starts off nicely, with some sun and a promise of spring, then turns into a nightmare kind of a night????? Apparently, the weather is looking like freezing rain and then rain, and then snow-I know I have been doing the "freezing rain cancel the buses" dance for a couple of days (boy do I need a day at home)-one of my students asked me how to do the dance- I told them I really didn't know, since I can't seem to do it right-but wow- that is a whole lot of weather in one day! So what happens for the end of March? Start like a crazy thing and end up mellow? Hmmm.

Aren't these the coolest mittens? They are from the Morehouse Merino Knits book, and I was thinking- I have to go to a baby shower at the end of the month, and wouldn't some of these designs look grand as a little sweater? Like use the colours and stripes or dots on the bottom, and plain on the top (like the yoke) and then put some buggy eyes and antennae where the two meet! I think it would look sweet! The only thing- not sure if a girl or a boy is expected-so I wonder if some look more feminine? (I think lady bugs are more girlie, for some obscure reason) Hmm- we'll see. Any other ideas for a neat baby shower gift?
Oh- before I forget- I was checking out this new-to-me jewellery store-this one- http://www.impulse-of-delight.com/index.htm -and I was sighing with all the beautiful necklaces and such (I love necklaces and pins). And my husband was peeking over my shoulder- I showed him one particularly lovely necklace, and he said, "Well, order it." Hunh? What did he say???????? So- before he could change his mind.............there are two that I have narrowed down-and as soon as it is ordered, I will show you my choice. But oh my- really spectacular pieces.
Off I go to do the report card shuffle...........................................................