Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Never-ending Button Dilemma- The Finale

You may recall that I was having a button dilemma regarding a finished baby sweater. I dove into my button bin and pulled out some options, but I wasn't convinced about any of them to be honest.

I lucked out on a trip to a LYS in Calgary a few weeks ago. Button, button, who's got the button? Well Pudding Yarns does.

Check out these.....
They are little shell-like buttons with a purple hue. Perfect.

I also picked up these.....

and this one....

When you find good buttons, you can't pass them up.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Good Things Come in Small Packages

For a long time, T and I knit in isolation. We knew a few other knitters but we didn't really knit socially, if you know what I mean. One day, when we were both getting ready to head back to work after maternity leaves, we went to a local Stitch and Bitch. It was intimidating. We didn't know anyone. We thought we'd be less talented, less knowledgable, less knitters. Turns out we were wrong.

At one of the first SnBs we attended, we met Andi. Funny how these things begin. We noticed that she was pregnant and talk naturally turned to children. Did she have any other kids? What was she knitting for the little one? That first conversation over calmari sparked a friendship that is very dear to we at Baadmedicine Industries.

Andi has become a regular in our knitting get togethers. Her giggle makes most meetings more enjoyable. Her dry sense of humour and extensive understanding of the internet and pop culture in general are always appreciated. She got me through the dark months of this winter when I was struggling to care for a toddler and a newborn. She drove across the city in the dead of winter, running the risk of getting lost, just to keep me company in my post partum state. And she brought wine. She's my kinda gal.

Spring is here. It brings green grass, buds on trees, time at the playground, and one very lucky year, it brought Andi.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Things on the knitting front haven't been good here. There are knee socks that don't reach my knee (not even close....), there are vests that are just not right and there is a shawl I should be working on and don't want to.

That, on top of work insanity and childcare insanity, makes for a horrible week in the knitting department.


New book......

And possibly new yarn......possibly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Letter to the Girls

Dear Girls,

We've been together a long time now. I was an early bloomer and you made yourselves known at a younger age than most of my peers. I went to the department store in my small town when I was still in elementary school to buy an appropriately supportive garment for you. It seems like our relationship was mostly onesided from the start.

In junior high, I remember being teased about you. The mean girls laughed and pointed and made fun. That has stuck with me and perhaps I have been unfair to you because of it. I draped you in large baggy shirts (it was the 90s. Everyone was doing it.) and underestimated your needs for support. There really weren't sports bras then and you deserved the best. For that, I am sorry.

Even in my adulthood, I didn't appreciate you. I had to buy tops that I thought were too big just to accommodate your needs. I couldn't buy the cute lacy numbers that other girls wore, but instead spent lots of money in specialty stores to keep you outfitted properly. I may have hated you for that, and thought seriously about a breakup.

A lot has changed since I became a mother and you came into your own. I've had a lot of sleepless nights. I worry about little things and I don't always live in the real world. You, dear Girls, have been with me on this journey and have finally started giving back to me. You nourished two pretty little babies and comforted them in the middle of the night. You finally got to do everything you were made for and you did it well. Two more plump and happy babies were never seen.

And so now, Girls, your work is done. You can head out to pasture knowing that you did a job and did it well. The Dude assures me you will be in good hands. And I, for my part, promise to buy you some beautiful and expensive bras to call home.

Thank you, Girls. And happy retirement.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

44 hours and counting

Since my last stitch.

No knitting since Friday night.

I haven't even gone insane yet.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Roses

My March STR socks have been finished for a while, but I haven't had a chance to show them to you. Sometimes life becomes complicated with good times and bad and you just have to roll with it.

Here you have them, Rogue Roses. Designed by the Harlot, they were a delight to knit. They worked up quickly in mediumweight yarn.

The colour of the yarn might not suit everyone, but I quite liked it. And the more I knit, the more the combinations of rosey pinks, creamy yellow and mossy green grew on me.

Now Princess the First likes to "help" me knit, by which I mean hold one DPN and poke it through the knitted fabric I am working on. Lately, she's been asking if I'm knitting socks for her. You can only put off a 3 year old (!?!) for so long. On P1's birthday, I started Wild Roses. These are obviously heavily based on the STR socks but I won't be putting any pattern on the foot as lumpy socks make P1 grumpy.

P1 wanted to wear this sock today. She decided she could pair it with any random sock in her drawer. I talked her out of it today, but I'd better knit up the other one in a hurry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The things you do.

In my years that preceeded having children, I had certain views on many subjects related to parenting. I would never let my kids "run my life". They would just slide easily into my life and I would continue to live the way I wanted to, with really cute little partners coming along for the ride.

Are you done laughing? Yeah. Me too.

I would never have thought I would consider it a victory if I spent the entire 4 day long weekend in my house painting, moving, rearranging, hanging, cleaning and spiffing up two rooms. Rooms that really have nothing to do with me.

I would never have thought I would be buying black paint, just because a 5 year old asked me to.

I would never have thought 3 vintage posters from a trilogy would grace the walls of my house. Or that I would assemble bunk beds because my boys want to have "sleep overs" with each other.
I would never have thought I would feel so accomplished and happy with 2 rooms in my house. Our house.

Or that the smiles on the boys faces would make every second of it worthwhile.

(the lack of knitting related content is due to the fact that house-renos don't allow for much knitting time. Stay tuned for the next post which shall feature knitting, hopefully).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Princess the First

Today, in the middle of your 3rd birthday party, you ran up to me and gave me a hug. You told me that you had forgotten to thank me for your cake and your party.

I don't know how you turned out the way you did. I'm not sure where you learned to kiss your friends gently on the cheek. No one taught you how to run with complete abandon into the arms of someone you love. You make up stories and read books for hours.

So here you are. Bright. Pretty. A little bit sassy. Sometimes a caring and thoughtful big sister. Sometimes pushing your bounds. Sometimes all sweetness and sometimes stomping your feet in stubborn outrage.

And you are mine for a little while longer. One day, you'll be an even bigger girl who thinks that I am trying to ruin her life with rules. You might even hate me. But today, you remembered to thank your Mommy for "the best birthday party ever."

I love you, Sweetpea. Many happy returns of the day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's not easy being tall

1. Tall girl = Big feet
This one is easy. My socks are approximately 1.5 inches longer than your socks (on average). If you do the math, and I have, that is about 2500 more stitches I have to knit for a pair of socks. If I plan on knitting 12 pairs for myself this year that is 30,000 more stitches I have to knit.

2. Tall girl = Long legs
I decided to knit myself some knee socks. I'd surmise that I have to knit 1.5 inches more on the foot of my knee socks and 1.5 inches more on the leg portion. We're approaching >5000 stitches more for me, compared to the average person, to knit those babies. (Who had the great idea of knitting knee socks???). And that's why they are stalled out...

3. Tall girl = Long torso
Not all tall people have long torsos. We come in a variety of tall sizes; some have longer legs and some have longer bodies, but in general, we are all somewhat longer in the body. I'm knitting a little vest right now and I started the neckline last night. It's short. I added length to the bottom but it's still short. The instructions were based on row numbers not inches and this is the problem. I always add length but it's generally a crapshoot. Do I add the length before the waist shaping or after? Do I add length in between the waist shaping and chest shaping? Or some combination of that? This is why top down sweaters are a tall girl's friend. I can see why Stefanie Japel has made her entire design career out of top down sweaters (she's as tall as me! she actually could look me in the eye).

I think I've sufficiently complained enough now. There are advantages to being tall, like never needing a stool, but in terms of knitting, there are few advantages to my size. If you're asking, I'm 6'2". In sock feet. Hand-knit socks of course.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's Gonna Work?


When our friend Catknip revealed that she was expecting a baby boy, we did what all knitters do. We picked up the pattern books and started planning. What would be just the right gift for a fellow knitter? For a knitter's baby?

The Blessingway Blanket from Knitalong was the perfect project for our group of Rogue Knitters. T. and I tackled the end pieces. They were identical and so it was a fitting that we should knit the bookends.

Jill knit cables for the first time and did a lovely job.

Andi knit, frogged, knit, frogged and knit her way into the blanket.

Lauren was the cabley centre panel that held us all together.

Pieced together and sewn with love.

And in the end, a thing of beauty for our dear friend and her new baby boy.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

People are Better Than No People

Most of my friends are in the same place in their lives. We were all married within a couple of years of each other. We bought cars. We built houses. We had our first kids in the same year. The second children followed two years later. We have BBQs and attend birthday parties. We let each other know when diapers go on sale. We call get air conditioning from the same store at the same time. So when something awful happens, we all feel it because it could easily be us.

Our friend Kit is in the hospital. He became sick quite suddenly and now needs help to breath and move. Fortunately, the syndrome that he has is not fatal and he will recover but it will take time and patience and support. As much as we would like to do things for him and his family, which is a mirror of mine, there really isn't much that we can do but be there and pray.

If you have time today, would you please keep my friends, Kit and Tanya, in your thoughts? It is always better to have people to support you and lift you up. You, dear knitters, are my people. Thank you.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ishbel MacDonald

I had an Auntie Ish. I have vague memories of this lady, my Popeye's sister. The lady who gave my parents the piano which I learned to play on (with the guilt of "we promised Auntie Ish you would take lessons"). The lady who was well-educated for someone of her generation and status. A lady who, for some reason, I remember having a lot of blankets (I'm not sure if this is true, or some crazy memory I've constructed from nothing). The lady who drew lovely pictures, but also some scary ones (there's a charcoal cat one that always freaked me out).

When I saw the pattern Ishbel, not only did I love the pattern, I had to knit it because of the name. That name I always thought was so pretty that I'd used it as a middle name if I ever had a daughter (it was promptly vetoed by my husband, and our never-to-be-born daughter will remain Mariska Rebecca Joan).

I've named my shawl Ishbel MacDonald, not because that was my aunt's real name (it wasn't) but because MacDonald makes me think of the Scottish side of my family. And reminds me of my Popeye (my grandfather). And it is the middle name of one of my boys.

And with those thoughts and memories and this erractic post, what is the take home message?

Pretty name. Pretty shawl.