Saturday, November 29, 2008


I seem to enjoy covering feet up. It's not that they disgust me or scare me. I am not repulsed by toes or bunions. Warts don't really bother me.

Perhaps it is the fact that mine are often cold and there's nothing like a wool sock to keep them cozy. It probably also has to do with the love and time put into a good pair of handknit socks. Especially if the feet you are knitting for are of the large variety.

I finished one of the socks from the November STR sock club. I'm not sure how I feel about them. The pattern is quite geometric and I'm not sure I'm loving it. I do think it looks better on the foot as opposed to on the needles. I'll likely finish up the second sock before passing final judgement.

This was the last installment of this year's sock club and overall I am impressed. Most of the socks had a challenging element, like finding the right gauge, a tricky heel, some crazy cable. The colours were not always my favorites, but I'm finding that I wear most of them on a regular basis. Nothing like a fine sock yarn to push you out of your comfort zone. I think the only downer about the club was that all the yarn was light or medium weight. I was hoping to try a new fibre but that was not to be. Well, here's hoping there will be something new and different next year.

In other news, I started knitting some slippers for my Baba. (That's Grandma to non-Ukrainians.) I am using up some Mission Falls Cotton that I had in the stash and I think they are quite cute. I am going to put a little elastic along the top part of the foot to keep them snug and I may find some way of making the soles less slippy. Overall, a cute project that I hope will be well received.

Now, I will put my feet up and knit while the baby sleeps.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"He loved it so much, he consumed it"*

We had an intervention this week. A traumatic one. We had been putting if off for months, but it got to the point that if we didn't intervene, there would be horrible consequences.

We took away my baby's binkie (in Stinky speak, that means blanket).

I know. Traumatic.

This binkie wasn't even originally made for him. I made it when I was pregnant with the Punk. And the Punk never got attached to it; there were too many other ones to get attached to. He preferred the quilt his grandma made him and he still sleeps with his quilt (which he calls his puppy....don't ask....there's no explanation) every night. So the binkie I made for him just never got used, and we put it away.

Then came along my baby. He, being the second child, did not get a plethora of baby gifts, and as a result had a lot less baby blankets. So we pulled out the handknit blanket and used it for him.

It was love.

He has a ridiculous fondness of this binkie. His fondness involves pulling loops from the stitches and then running his fingers through the loops.

Do you see the potential problem with this? Small loops become big loops, and big loops become safety concerns. I had visions of him wrapping loops around his neck in his crib. Not good visions. We kept a close eye on things, and anytime a loop reached a certain size, I'd snip it and then tie it down. We managed. The binkie got to stay in the bed.

Then he started eating fuzz off the binkie. He would offer binkie fuzz to everyone. "Want some, " he'd say as be picked a small little fuzz ball off his precious item. If you refused it, he would just eat it himself.

My husband started noticing more and more fuzz behind the crib when he vacuumed. I noticed more and more loops that had to be snipped. So, we made that difficult decision; the binkie had to go. We took away the binkie and placed it in our room for safe keeping. Stinky kept asking at night where it was and we'd tell him it was in the wash. This lasted a few nights. Then he somehow sniffed it out in our bedroom (like a homing beacon). We took it away again, this time hiding it in a very high spot that only I can reach (being the tallest in the family).

We then searched through the baby boxes in the basement to find a suitable replacement. We found a lovely little one that had no risk of loops or fuzz. Stinky has started to call it his "nice soft binkie" and seems to have grown a little bit of an attachment to it in the last few days, much to our relief.

But, it's still sad. Mostly for me. To see that loved and much used binkie up in our closet. The one I made for our first baby. The one I made with no thought for what would become of it. No idea that it would be so tattered and torn, not by our first, but our second, and our last. I will save that binkie. I might give it to the Stink one day when he's older; show him the lovable damage he inflicted on it.

Or I might not.

I might just keep it for me.

*this is what my husband said when trying to figure out why Stinky was eating the fuzz

Monday, November 24, 2008


The Christmas crunch is on, and even though I have an ever-growing cumulus of items, it is still short.

In order to try and overcome this short-fall, I have decided to put aside MY needs, for the needs of Christmas gifts (I know, very big of me, right?). Therefore, my currently in progress sweater and retreat socks (which I have yet to show you...) have to be put on the backburner. Humph. I really want that sweater to be done.

I need to churn out a few more pairs of socks, a couple of hats, and various other small items (mostly...).

These are coming along nicely and will be sent to my Grandma to warm her constantly cold feet.

This is my summer shipment of STR my currently only unworked skein of STR from the Sock Club; at least is was until I received my November shipment on Friday. But that yarn will have till wait till after Christmas too.

I also finished this sweater,

....slated for my boys' new cousin, due to arrive some time around Christmas, hence the gingerbread man buttons.

Back to the needles.

As J. said, December 25 waits for no knitter. No matter how slow they are....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Heart Small Projects...

....Mostly because I have no attention span these days. They give you instant gratification and make for a lively photo shoot.

For example, here is Princess the First modelling hats with her Bear.

And a cowl.

Now that's three Christmas presents in a week. Amazing!

Monday, November 17, 2008

5 Years and 1 Week.

Gives you this ...

And this...

I love this kid.

The kid who made me a mom and who makes me proud every single day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Knitting on the Homefront

So, I have to admit that I am jealous of all the knitting goodness T. got to drink on last weekend. I do feel like I got to experience bits of it by proxy and I'm hoping that T. will be kind enough to teach me a couple of the tidbits she picked up.

And P&C are going next year come hell or high water. Just saying.

Here on the homefront I've been knitting here and there. I have these dandy socks to show for my efforts.

I realized the other day that Christmas is fast approaching so I'm going to whip (haha) up a coupld of hats for some men in my life. It seems like men appreciate a nice knitted toque even if they shun all other knitted objects. This year, my headgear of choice is the Turn a Square Hat by Brooklyn Tweed. I picked this pattern partly because it is simple and manly but also cause I have a little knitter's crush on Jared Flood. Sigh.

And here's hoping I can finish these hats and one more pair of socks before Santa comes. December 25 waits for no knitter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're not diffusing a bomb's only knitting*

It's hard to even know where to begin with this story. I could give you a blow by blow report of every day's events but that really isn't that exciting to anyone but me. I could tell you everything I learned, but again, not that exciting to anyone but me.

So, instead I'll pick my top 10 moments to try to give you a glimpse of the retreat. And don't let the word retreat lull you into believing it was in anyway relaxing. Because it wasn't. It was busy. And exhausting. And mind-expanding. And exhausting. And all in all amazing.

1. The Harlot. By far, the best part of the retreat. I cannot even explain how fabulous she was.

2. The Harlot telling me that she was "obsessed" with my sweater and that it was "wicked awesome". Seriously?

3. Meeting fabulous knitters who have ridiculous things in commonLink with me. Freaky, really.

4. Learning that I know more than I thought, but that I also know so very little.

5. Being in the company of iconic knitters who have shaped the way we knit today from how they have knit historically. A history lesson and knitting lesson all in one.

6. Chatting, laughing and enjoying the company of the goofy Amy R. Singer.

(I'm wearing my Tuscany shawl that was designed by Amy)

7. The Norwegian purl. Go watch the video. It's crazy weird.

8. Being inspired to increase my knitting speed. Watch this lady. She knits about 125 stitches PER minute. That's 2 stitches a second. That is more than 3 times as fast as me. I only dream.

9. The food. I ate waaaaay too much. Pasta, poutine (yes, poutine - try explaining that to the Americans), bread pudding. YUM.

10. Three signed books. A keepsake forever.

I could not have asked for a better time. I feel re-invigorated and re-focused (even though I have about 5 things on the needles right now - the Harlot says this is actually a good thing). It has also reinforced my love of the craft and the community. Ahhhh....knitting with knitters as obsessed as you for 3 days....memorable.

*the Harlot's mantra we kept repeating on Friday as she was kicking our arse with ridiculous techniques.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Travels with Lil' Jo

I came, I learned, I knit, I am back.

I have so much to say, but I will, in time. Today's post is devoted to Lil' Jo.

Let's meet Lil' Jo.
She ate meals and drank beer with us.

She enjoyed time with friends.

She tried, unsuccessfully to Kinnear the Harlot.

She was exhausted by the end of each day and tucked herself in with a good book.

Then she had a big day with this lady.

Lil' Jo had a great time, and was lots of fun.

But not near as much fun as the real thing.

Next time, I'll unload all I learned, saw and experienced, from Brokeback mountain stitches, to arsed-up knitting, to Estonian lace and everything in between. And I am the mother of a 5 year much to tell.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Well, it's been a month since the arrival of the Second Princess. Some nights, I manage to get some sleep. Some days, I feel like I'm coping. Most days, I'm amazed that the Dude and I managed to create two beautiful little girls.

In spite of the demands of parenting, I have managed to do a spot of knitting. I have one Cedar Dancing Sock done, despite not being able to figure out the cast on. I quite like this pattern. The increases occur as you knit down from the ankle, so you don't have to worry about a gusset once you turn the heel.

The colour of these socks leaves something to be desired. It is G-Rocks from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The colours are bright and vibrant but not really doing it for me. They may end up on the Christmas gift pile.

And in other news, I fit into my pre-baby jeans today. Progress, indeed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Instant Gratification

It is not a huge secret that I'm a very impatient person. This makes sweater knitting a little bit of a challenge. So to deal with the boredom and impatience of sweater knitting I sometimes have to spice things up with a little project here and there.

Welcome the Crumpet Beret.

My love has entitled this shot "Elle pense" because, well, he's weird. I'm not trying to look studious, I'm just trying to cover up my double chin with my fist.

I bought this yarn at Make 1 Yarns just a couple weeks ago and it is gorgeous. The hat is perfect for fall and makes me feel just a little bit French (even though it's called the Crumpet beret...not sure why....). The leaves pop up a little from the background giving it an interesting texture.

The big question is can I pull off a beret? Can anyone really pull off a beret outside of Paris? Do I have to put on a French accent while wearing it? Or just say "oh la la" a lot?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dear Knitter

My name is J. I'm a long knitter, first time caller. I have recently started knitting again after giving birth to a Butterball. We're fine, thanks for asking. I have managed to complete a plain pair of Men's socks, destined to be given away this Christmas.

And yes, the Fleece Artist Seawool is both shiny and manly. Thanks for noticing.

The reason I'm calling is I just started a pair of Cedar Dancing Socks from Cat's sock book. I'm sure that you know Cat. All the well connected, knitting rock stars seem to know her by her first name. Anyway, my mind is slightly addled since the arrival of the latest turkey (ha, ha!) and I could not for the life of me understand how to make a cobblestone cuff. Cat's instructions are very helpful but how am I supposed to knit across 68 parellel stitches on DPNs? I kept dropping the stitches after only having knit 4 or 5. Please help.

Thanking you in advance for your words of wisdom and lack of mockery.

Yours in stitches,


P.S. I improvised and did a double stranded cast on which looks lovely, if a little loose.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

With love from Star Wars

It's all Star Wars all the time at our house, Halloween or otherwise.

Hope you didn't eat too much candy.