Thursday, 27 June 2013

What a week...

Hi All, sorry for the silence this week - it's just been one of THOSE, ya know??

We were at the cottage last weekend - a totally last minute trip. My BIL had asked for it for him, his sons and some friends. Fine. Even though booking a summer weekend and stopping the rest of the family is kind of taboo - you can book a Monday-Friday, but weekends have always been open to all. But whatever... Then Thursday night, they cancel. Because it was possibly going to rain. Really. Personally I think that while the rain might have been a small part of it, they also realized that since no one had been there for a few weeks, the grass was going to need mowing, and there were other chores that needed doing, and lets just say that my BIL would rather fish than work (who wouldn't, but having a cottage means there is a certain amount of work that NEEDS doing...), and my nephews avoid chores at all costs...
So we made the last minute decision to go, and am I ever glad we did! The weather was gorgeous (about 10 minutes of sprinkly rain, and a bit overcast, but nothing that kept us indoors). the neighbours were up so we shared dessert, wine and some great card games, and the kids were in and out of the water the way teenagers are supposed to be. We got the grass moved, the planters and gardens planted and cleaned, and it's looking great for the long weekend.
But, being away last weekend meant this past week was a nightmare of things to do. Monday, the Boy graduated grade 8, and as part of the Grad Committee, I spent much of the day Monday at the school (I took a vacation day.) We got to watch the kids rehearse for grad (the girls all wobbling in their unfamiliar high heels!), and got the gym looking sharp. OF course, it turns out we spelled one kid's name wrong (the school provided the list!) so there was a last minute scramble to fix that, especially since the kid in question has THAT mom - you know, the one who would see it (and did, which is how we found out...), and make a stink about it. But, crisis averted, and all was well. (except when her son didn't win the Visual Arts award, which she was convinced he would, as she loudly said during the ceremony. Oy.)
But grad was great - the Boy made the Honour Roll, and the Science Award, along with a female student. After accepting the award, he went down the stairs first, which kind of made me inwardly cringe, thinking he should have let her go first, but at the bottom, he turned, and held out his hand to help her down the three stairs. Another Parenting Win! Quite a few moms commented on that to me after. Another great thing was his coach asking him to come back next year and help coach and referee the basketball teams - they only ask one student to do this - pretty proud of him for that. Then they were off to the Golf Course for a dinner dance - that was a late night for all of us, since I had to pick him up after.
Today is the "Clap Out" for the grade 8's. The whole school lines the hallways, and the Grade 8's walk the whole school as they are "clapped out" the school for the last time as students. I know he's looking forward to it, after 9 years of doing the clapping for other classes.
On top of all of what's happening with the boy, it's also month end at work, and there are other things going on there that have made life a bit "trying".
Basically, a couple of people I work with are morons. Especially the "sales director" who does not have a smartphone, and can't be reached when he's out of the office. (and that's one of his better qualities...)
But... we're off to the cottage tomorrow for the Canada Day Weekend, and I can't wait to get back there. We have a couple of birthdays to celebrate, along with our Country's birthday, a building project that will be fun and useful, and just a lot of time to relax and spend time with friends and family.
My best to all of you for putting up with my sporadic posting, and I promise some fun things knitted when I get back.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

And even MORE sewing...

I should mention that most of these projects take at most a couple of hours. (the pajama shorts are a half hour each to make. Really.) So don't think I've been hiding in my sewing room all month.

This top is the next chapter in the "Brenda and I were separated at birth" story...

She made herself a dress in the same fabric a while ago for her niece's wedding, and when I saw this fabric, I didn't know that, I just knew I loved it. Then I posted it, and she commented that it was the same. Brenda, it's a good thing we don't live in the same town - we'd be dangerous together!
This is a tried and true top pattern that I make often - I've made so many adjustments to the originals (I think it's a long out of date McCalls) that I don't think it even resembles the original much. I was very careful to ensure that none of the circular medallions in the print landed right on a somewhat circular part of my anatomy - I've done that before, and I just can't wear the top! I looks so bad...
Then there's the tried and true pattern I use for lightweight knits - based on a favourite top I bought at Joe Fresh.

So comfortable, and easy to wear. I'm not sure how it would work in a heavier knit, but I may try it. I would also work in a woven, since the elastic gathers it in, but I worry that the woven might be too "balloony" - the soft knit drapes quite nicely.
These two stripe fabrics worked perfectly - I made sure to match the stripes over the shoulder and down the sides. I've had a couple of family members ask where I bought them - when I said I made them, one was "oh, okay." the other SIL was all "great - so you can make me a few?" Um, nope. Doesn't work that way... (This is the one SIl that just expects me to make things for her at the drop of a hat - yet does nothing in return (including saying thank you...)).

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

even more sewing...

So, since I was making the bathing suit cover up, I also attacked some of the other fabric I had washed and ready to go...

New Pajama shorts
Sheep! Seriously - cute sheep - so adorable, and perfect for summer...

And running shoes! Very reminiscent of my vintage Chuck Taylor Converse High Tops, so I had to get it. Actually, Jen and I split what was left on the bolt, and we each got enough for what we wanted.

I'm not sure which pair will get to the cottage - they will probably rotate weekends - so comfy and just wacky enough for me... Here's a slightly better shot of the fabrics...

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

been doing some sewing...

I've been trying to sew down my fabric stash - hard to do when I somehow keep buying MORE...
I was at Fabricland getting some tulle netting for the school (they asked me to be on the decorating committee for the grade 8 grad - these women had no idea what to expect with me!! I am taking this seriously!!), and of course I go on the day when they are having their members sale (good for the school, I got the netting at 1/2 off!), and I walked by this table of gauze and fell in love. And decided I needed a new bathing suit coverup for the cottage. Because, I basically live in a bathing suit up there during the day, and it's nice to have something to throw over it. I knew if I didn't get to it right away, I'd forget about it (because that's what I do...) so I got at it.

And I'm in love. It's exactly what I wanted. Loose and comfy, the right length, and the colours I love. I hope others like it too, because they will be seeing a LOT of it...

Monday, 17 June 2013

SO happy with these colours...

The second Icelandic sweater continues - thanks to some dedicated time at baseball games and in the car, I powered through the body last week, and have joined the sleeves and started the yoke.

I adore the small dot of pink I decided to throw in at the tip of the green zig zags!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Icelandic, take 2

Knowing me as well as I do, I figured I'd better start this second sweater before I lost all interest in heavy wool colour work. (I tend to get distracted by things. In case you didn't know.)
Also, I knew I'd have to do the sleeves first, because once the body was done, putting it down to do the sleeves before starting the colourwork yoke (i.e. the FUN part...) would annoy me.
So I did. And I started the body as well (I've had some car passenger time that was given over to sweaters instead of socks lately...)

The other thing that is keeping me going on this (because of the July 1 deadline...) are the COLOURS! Love this combo! The heathered pink and green against the heathery blue is so pretty and perfect for this girl! I know she'll love it.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

graduation practice

My kid is not a dress up kind of kid. He is all about comfort and doesn't care about labels or anything like that. If it's comfortable, he'll wear it.
So when it came to graduation, he was wary about the whole "suit and tie" thing.
So I recommended just a vest and pant combo - I had seen some of the kids last year wear it, and it was sharp. Plus, based on his rate of growth lately, I had no interest in buying a suit that would fit him just this one time. (We rarely have occasions that he would need one...)
So we hit a deal at a store that was closing in the area, and scored a great pants and vest, along with a shirt and tie in his favourite colour, yellow.
We were in and out of the store pretty quickly (which made him happy, as shopping rates right up there with root canal without anaesthetic as things he likes to do...)
But his grad isn't until the end of June, so I'm hoping he doesn't have a growth spurt between now and then.
He did get to give it a test run, however. One of his best friends (and our cottage neighbour), goes to an all-girls school in Whitby, and asked if the boy and a friend would like to go to their grad dance. Hmmm, the ratio would be about 5 boys to 30 girls... yeah, the boys were more than willing to dress on a Friday night for this opportunity!
So we picked up the extra boy, and drove out to Whitby, and met our friends at the school. Then we parents stood back as the stampede of wobbly, high heeled girls approached us, once they saw the guys! (It really was like a stampede - so funny! We walked in, the all of a sudden, there were 10 girls coming right at us. Even the boys stepped back a bit.)
We hung out at our friends house for a few hours until we picked up the kids, and then got the rehash of the night. Good times all around, and the boy's friend picked up about 10 new Facebook friends. (our kid already knew most of them...)

They are a good looking crew, aren't they? She was definitely the belle of the ball, walking into the dance with these two handsome guys on her arm!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Another project - put on hold

A sweater for me. I've made it before, and love it, but this time, I think I will change it up a bit - open front, cardigan style, as long as I can make it, long sleeves, maybe pockets.

I have three skeins of this silver linen/silk blend, and a couple of skeins of a pure raw silk that is a similar gauge in blues and greens that may work for striping if I need it.
But if I can avoid using the blues or greens, I will. I'm thinking the red maple leaf buttons I bought at the Frolic may just be perfect for this...

...if of course I ever get back to it. This sweater was started before the Knitter's Frolic, but then I got distracted by all the great stuff I got at the Frolic! Sock yarns! Lopi sweater yarns! Admittedly, there are deadlines for the Icelandic sweaters - One is a birthday gift for today (but we won't see her today...) and one is for a birthday on July 1st, so deadlines take precedence. Luckily, the weather this spring has been kind of crappy, so having a constant lap of hot wool hasn't been all bad...
I do want to get back tot his sweater, though - I really think it's going to work out well - it combines so  many things I love - hoodie, silk and linen!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Checking In...

I'm here, everything's fine... but it's been an insane week... Lots going on (mostly good), and I've been doing a ton of stuff. I have pictures - I will post them soon...
The sleeves of the second Icelandic sweater are done, body will be started tonight.
I've made a ton of cards lately - birthday, anniversary, and of course, graduations.
I've even carved out some time for sewing! (Mostly hemming dress pants for the boy and some of his friends - seems I'm the only Mom who knows how to hem...)
For those that have been wondering, Jenny continues to show slow signs of improvement - there is still so much to hope for, and such a long road ahead of her, but she has the love and support of so many.

The best part of last week? After a trip to the batting cage with his Dad/Coach, where Dad was working on the boy's swing, the boy was none to happy with Dad telling him ANYTHING... They both came home kind of peeved with each other.
THen, two days later, at his first at-bat of the season, the boy SPANKED a home run over the fence! And not JUST over the fence - he sailed it into the woods beyond the park. It was awesome. One of his best friends was the pitcher for the other team, and he met the boy at the plate to high five him - that's a classy kid!
But the best part was the boy thanking his Dad for the help - "I could feel the difference, Dad - thanks for the tips..."
PARENTING WIN!