Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween from T&J and our scary little monsters....

Practise Proper Pumpkin Care

Pumpkins like milk

and crackers

and smoochies.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

What do you do when....

- your "friend" is holding yarn hostage so you agree to go to SnB tonight. Yarn to knit this (little green clutch) and possibly this (see one recently completed by J.).

- your almost 4- year old wants to invite everyone in his class to his birthday party, and you barely know all the kids (let alone their parents) names?

- you have a knitting project stalled and you can't decide to finish, or to frog (currently leaning towards ribbit-ribbit)?

- this is your option for dress clothes for your 3-year old. Check out the description - nice polyester, elasticized waist pants. Lovely. The options for boys are limited to: cotton khaki pants and ugly poly pants. That's it. Nothing in between. Nothing cute or a little bit trendy. Nothing.

- you have the urge to drum and knit at the same time (I don't, but some people might). Well, you do what this guy does.

- you are almost out of yarn for this (yarn which you bought over a year ago so you know you're never going to find the same dye lot)

and you are completely out of yarn for this (for the second time...). You'd think as a pharmacist my math skills would be somewhat exceptional. I think this proves they are barely passable.
What do you do?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time Off For Good Behavior.

I've been away and there is yarn to prove it. I skipped down Wednesday night after the piglet went to bed and headed off to Vancouver for the third time (!) this year. I attended a national conference that focused around diabetes and I learned a lot. I also managed to acquire some yarn.

Some Butterfly Cotton intended for the Dragon Skin Wrap from Interweave Holiday Gifts.

Fleece Artist Somoko Sock yarn (Merino/Kid/Nylon/Silk) in Hercules.

I got a kit to make a felted bracelet which may be for me or may end up in the Christmas gift pile.

Yang by SWTC. It's Wool, Silk and Bamboo. (Bad pic. Sorry.) I'm hoping I have enough to make this little clutch also from the Interweave Holiday Gifts. (Excellent issue, by the way. I'm loving Eunny.)

I did do a little knitting as well. I finished the Swallowtail. I'm just waiting for some blocking pins to arrive in the mail so that I can block it. (I love that part!)

I started a Tangled Yoke Cardi for my Mom for Christmas.

I also did a little mystery knitting. If you're on Ravelry, you can have a peak at my projects. I'm certain the intended recipient has not been Ravelled.

It was so great to get away for a few days. I am a Mom and most days that is my primary function. I change, feed, entertain, soothe, protect. All of these activities can take a lot out of a gal and so I really enjoyed being able to sleep in a little, linger over a latte, shop with some good friends (Hey, Lauren and Carol!) and visit family (Doris, have you finished the port yet?) and not be distracted by a kid. I am happy to be home again and I missed my family but I don't feel guilty. I had a life in the olden days and it's nice to have time to remember that I am more than a Mother. I am a wife, a friend, a co-worker, a knitter. Sometimes I forget to foster these other parts of myself when I am immersed in the Backyardigans. This weekend, I remembered.

Everyone did just fine without me. Here they are watching Sunday Football. They tell me they missed me but I have my doubts.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Purl Stitch

Yesterday we took a look at my lovely knit stitch. Today we will closer examine the purl.

Very normal. Nothing weird looking about this fabric.

So, why is that? If I pulling on my right needle on the knit side, I should be doing the same action on the purl side and you should be able to notice it right?

Or, am I just thinking about this too much? (probably - but remember it keeps me entertained through miles of stocking stitch...)

I pulled out some other pieces with stocking stitch and it appears that sometimes I have a very even, parallel looking stitch.

These socks look fine:

This sweater looks fine:

Both of the above are knit it fibers with less give (socks in a soy blend, sweater in mercenized cotton) and I wonder if that's part of it.

I suppose the outcome is the most important thing - a beautifully handknit object. Crazy knit stitches or otherwise.

(J. is going on a Yarn Crawl today.....wish her luck)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Knit Stitch

Being in the midst of miles and miles of stocking stitch has come to bore me. I know this is why the Rowena has been put away for so long. I knew there were 2 sleeves, and an endless number of knit and purl stitches waiting for me so I hid it away. In an effort to keep me entertained, I have been trying to closer investigate my actual process of completing a knit stitch and a purl stitch.

I have come to one major conclusion - I produce a very odd looking stocking stitch.

Take a look at the left side of each "v" of the stitch - it appears to be quite tight, while the right side looks very loose (or normal). It's hard to take a picture of very small stitches - hopefully you get the picture.

Upon closer examination, I think it's because I pull my right needle at the end of each stitch. Not intentionally, but I do it.
Any thoughts on this? Why I might be doing it or how to fix it? It doesn't bother me too much, but it'll be interesting to hear what people think.
Tomorrow, we'll closely examine my purls...and I got me some good purls....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pack Mule

I'm glad that T. is back in town cause it's time for me to have a getaway and someone needs to blogsit. Unfortunately my trip is for work. I'll be attending the Canadian Diabetes Association conference in Vancouver. I seem to be making a lot of trips to that city this year. It's not intentional but I will get to visit the family and some very nice yarn stores. If you are going to CDA and you see a girl with short dark hair knitting, come over and say hello. It might be me, but most knitters are nice to other knitters.

I have completed the knitted parts of Starsky Jr. It awaits a meeting with Lucy.

The Swallowtail is also moving quickly. I find that most projects progress faster when you're only knitting one or two. I hope to finish this shawl while I'm away.

I'll also be taking some mystery knitting that certain readers shouldn't see. Don't worry. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Apart from my knitting, I am also bringing with me many presents. In fact, I'm bringing more gifts than clothes. T. pointed out that I will have lots of room in my suitcase for bringing things (ie. yarn) back. Excellent point.

Without gifts.

With gifts.

I got a lot of shopping to do!

And here's one for the road.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On the Road Again...

We need to spend more than a couple days at home in a row. This travelling really puts a dent in my knittin' time.

We got home from Vegas, then my husband ran to San Diego and then we did a quick 14 hour trip to Calgary. Whew.

Friends of ours are moving to Australia in a couple weeks so they were having a going-away shing dig. There are very few people I'd do a 14 hour road trip for....these are some of the few people. We left Saturday afternoon at 4pm (after a doctor's appointment and hockey practice), drove the 3 hours to Calgary, spent far too long drinking red wine, slept far too little, and turned around to come home.

The plus side of this trip was the 5 1/2 hours in the car. I got this done...

I need to get this done in time for our finishing workshop with Lucy Neatby. The Rowena has officially come out of hibernation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Hi everyone. My name is J. and I knit lace.

(Hi, J.)

This is my first time attending a meeting of LKA or Lace Knitters Anonymous. Thank you all for making me feel welcome and not judging me on my lace knitting obsession.

It started out innocently enough. A little yarnover here, an eyelet row there. Then in the spring I was blindsided at a SnB. I'm usually a pretty strong person who is confident in her knitting abilities but I have to admit that I succumbed to peer pressure. I was sitting in the coffee shop, happily knitting something straightforward like a sock or some stocking stitch. Nothing that required a chart. There were certainly no stitch markers involved. Then BAM! SarahJanet told T. and I about the Mystery Stole 3 and how we really should knit it. I brushed her off at the time but when I got home I couldn't resist a little peek at the website.

Soon I found myself ordering laceweight and buying Addi Lace Turbos. I developed elaborate methods of keeping track of what row I was on with large sticky notes. Just a couple of rows, I would tell myself. I'll just do a little lace and then an hour goes by, my kid wakes up and I haven't cleaned the bathroom like I planned much less eaten lunch.

I got to the end of the MS3 and was quite proud of my accomplishment not knowing that the real high of lace knitting is the BLOCKING. It felt good. Real good. Then I couldn't get enough. I knit a Hanami. Blocked it. Need another hit. So here it is.....

(Swallowtail Shawl in Zephyr Vanilla)

I'm so glad to have you to talk to about this. Maybe I can beat this thing but it's not going to be easy. I still have some Capri Seasilk and some pale blue laceweight in silk and seacell lurking in my stash. And I told my sister I'd knit her a shawl with some ivory Seasilk I picked up. And about 500 m of Zephyr in Pewter leftover from my Hanami that would make a nice little shawl....

When did you say the next LKA meeting was? I'll be the one knitting in the corner.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thoughts on Socks

Check this out....

And this....

Can you believe it? Two pairs of socks finished in one week. Unbelievable. Now, my goal is to finish the Hanami before starting anything new.

I think I'll cast on the No Sweat Socks from No Sheep for You. These are for my sister-in-law. I have the Columbine colorway in the Wick yarn. The yarn is worsted weight so I think these will go fast. I've never actually knit socks in anything other than fingering weight.

What's everyone else's experience in other weight yarn for socks. What's your favorite weight yarn for socks? What has turned out being disastrous? Comments, concerns?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

That's a Wrap!

Ah! What a sense of accomplishment! I have finished two things this weekend and am quite pleased with myself.

First off, we have to nephew's socks. These are bumping up my sock tally nicely. I whipped these bad boys up in about a week. Sweet. They're plain jane cast on 64 stitches on 2.5 mm needles and continue on autopilot until kitchenering the toes. Lorna's Laces (sigh) in Argylle. Perfect for the Grade 4 boy in anyone's life.

Next we have the HANAMI! That's right she's been blocked and everything. I'm really happy with the final product. I knit it up in Zephyr laceweight in pewter.

My beads were a little larger than the recommended but I think the color is perfect with the yarn.

I can see myself wrapping up in this stole in a cozy and seductive manner.

Now that's a wrap!

And one more thing... I would like to send warm and healing thoughts to our VPSM (Vice President in charge of Skein Management.) This lovely gent winds up my and T.'s skeins on the swift/ballwinder combo that he purchased for his sweet Catknip. He has been a little under the weather for the last few days and we'd like to send him our best wishes and thoughtful prayers.

If you need some skeins to wind in order to speed your recovery, VPSM, just let us know. It's the least we can do. (By the way, nice balls.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Insomniac Attack

I suffer from insomnia. Add this to the list of things you didn't know about T. If you tell people you have insomnia, they usually think "what d'you mean you can't sleep. Just close your eyes and go to sleep." Or better yet people tell you "yah, I have that too. Sometimes it takes me forever to fall asleep." This isn't the case for me. I fall asleep no problem. I go tuck myself in, snuggle up with my blankies and I'm out. Ahhhh. Sweet sweet sleep.

My problem is that I wake up. And then I don't sleep. And not just every once in a while, but almost every night. I'll wake up anywhere between 2 and 5 am and that's it. I'm up. I'm still exhausted. I'm still wishing for sleep. But there I am, awake. It is the most frustrating thing ever. More frustrating than reasoning with a 3 year old. More frustrating than trying to feed a very stubborn toddler. I just want to sleep so bad and I can't.

If only I could do something useful with that time (like knit, go for a run, clean...) but instead I just lie there thinking that sleep will come at some point. Willing myself to fall asleep. And all the while getting more and more frustrated and being less and less able to fall asleep.

I promise my next post will include pictures of yarn, knitting and finished objects. I won't bore you with my sleep-related issues. Until that time, I'll dream (while awake) of sleeping...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

AFOs (Almost Finished Objects)

Ah! Don't you just love that feeling of being almost done something? The anticipation of seeing what you're made. It could be great or a dismal failure but at least it's done.

This Hanami is going to get all my attention until I cast it off. (I may occassionally dabble with a stocking stitch sock but that doesn't count does it?) I'm so looking forward to the blocking process. It's like magic and turns a used Kleenex into an heirloom. (If you don't believe me, have a look at this.)

I have the tough parts of the Starsky Jr done. All I have to knit now are the sleeves which are plain ole stocking stitch. I will block it (anyone out there have good ideas on how to block cotton? I'm not a big blocker.) and then it will take a little break until it meets the Master.

A little TV time or a lunch break or two should finish off some plain socks for my nephew. It's Lorna's Laces in Argylle and I think it's perfect for a boy in Grade 4. (Wow! I remember when he was born.)

And once I've got a couple of FOs off my needles, I'll be able to start a Swallowtail Shawl in some leftover Zephyr for my Baba. So exciting!

Now I think someone needs a bath cause no one likes a grubby kid except maybe her Mommy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


It's a Tuesday after a long weekend. Tuesdays after long weekends aren't good, let alone Tuesdays after long weekends, post-holidays. My favorite radio DJ referred to today as a Mega-Monday. I have to agree. I was back at work for 30 minutes and it was like I never left.

In an effort to be positive (I've had other attempts in the past. I'm not the world's best "Glass is Half-full" person), I'm thinking of everything that is fabulous.

My new shoes:

My Hanami (I think the color is Fabulous):

Our Fall 2007 Photo shoot (how many attempts does it take to get 1 good picture?? It takes about 20 attempts to get 20 ridiculous pictures)

My new nephew (what isn't fabulous about that??):

And Last but NOT Least, J. She's pretty fabulous. Did you read her Knitting in today's society series. Pure brilliance. And the quote of the day from J. While having lunch we were philosophizing (is that a word?) about kids. I said God must have had some reason to give me 2 boys - not sure what the reason was, but there must be one. Response from J: "There is only enough room in your house for your shoes". Nice. I think I found the reason. Fabulous!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Giving Thanks

It's that time of year when we start to fatten up for the winter and take time to reflect on those things that we are grateful for.

1.) Gifts.

To replace the bowls I busted. Note my personal assistant in the background. (Really, she's my sister who is living with us for this school year. I'm grateful for the bowls and the extra pair of hands around the house.)

Auntie T. isn't the only person with new shoes.

2.) The work of our hands.

This is a Starsky Jr for my niece. I think it's coming along nicely. So nicely that I might make a Starsky for myself.

Socks for my 9 year old nephew, modelled on my foot. He's in a bit of a puppy phase where his feet are a little big for the rest of him, but I'm sure that will work itself out.

3.) The joy of our hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian style! I hope your bellies are full and your hearts are glad.