Thursday, 26 December 2013

out the other side...

I have a lot to post - a lot to say, and so little time right now.

We made it through the ice storm - we were without power for more than 30 hours, but survived. There's some tree damage on the street, and some around our yard, but nothing major, so that's a good thing.

It's Boxing Day, the day after my favourite day of the year, and this year, it really was. Even though there was so much potential for Christmas to be a train wreck, it was great. Just the kind of day we want it to be.

We started at home, just the three of us - just what we like. A calm morning, giving each other gifts, and watching the joy in receiving. This was not a big present year for the Boy - we got him his iPhone earlier in December, and he was happiest with that. So Christmas was fun shirts (geeky science-y type shirts especially), needed basketball stuff, and other bits and pieces.
My husband's love of music has been re-awakened this year, mostly thanks to an audiophile cottage neighbour, so I gifted him with his own iPod, and the neighbour has promised iTunes lessons this weekend. Plus his own T-shirt which he's decided will be his new favourite cottage shirt. it says "I LIKE TO PARTY. AND BY PARTY, I MEAN TAKE NAPS". Perfect.
I was given the stainless steel stockpot I wanted (so much better for doing my tomatoes...), a fantastic new chopping board, and best of all, a Kobo! Plus some other stuff.

After our cholesterol laden breakfast (eggs, bacon, peameal, toast...) we were off to my brothers place. A fantastic 4 hours spent there, and the Beer Mitts for the kids were a HUGE success. So good! Not to mention the photo book for my Mom and everything else. But best of all, time spent with family. We don't see each other often, but when we do, it's great. The boy was spoiled - wireless Bluetooth headphones and a new basketball, plus all kinds of other stuff.

Then off to the in-laws for a family dinner - 16 of us. This is where it could have gone so wrong - my MIL insisted on hosting dinner, even though she barely has enough stamina to get through a normal day. She was great, and other than one meltdown over her forgetting to wrap some gifts, she was fine. The Dr. Who Hat? Winner!! He was beyond happy that 1. I even knew who Dr. Who was, 2. made him the hat, and 3. knew all kinds of other stuff he liked. I told him that being 51 didn't mean I was totally unaware of the world around me...
The cowls for all the SILs? Another winner, although one SIL did get mad at me for doing it. I got to tell her "actually, all you're supposed to say is thank you". Win.
A tiring day for sure, but well worth it.
Today was rest, recovery and getting ready for the cottage. We are heading up tomorrow. So that's why there's no pictures today - the camera is buried with all the other gear to go - I do promise I have lots to share. Ice storm pictures, plus some knitting for me. Pure decadence, and I love it!

Friday, 20 December 2013

"purple" is not specific enough...

My niece asked for a purple hat. "same shape as last years hat". Well, the shape is easy - basic elongated beanie.
The purple was something else. I went stash diving and came up with options. So, since I had the time, I did what anyone would do. I used them all, and made three hats. (she often wears hats.)

A cotton-modal blend - with stripes because I only had the one ball of the solid.
A 100% plain purple alpaca. Yummy.
A purple, blue, black and grey patterned wool hat. Just for something different.

Now that these are done, knitting for me takes centre stage again!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Who's a Whovian?

We are Dr. Who fans. Not apologetic about it whatsoever - we love and watch it. My son and husband are fans of the Eleventh Doctor, while I am firmly in the camp of the Tenth Doctor. Nothing against Matt Smith, but I just love David Tennant. Either way, Peter Capaldi has big shoes to fill.
Turns out my nephew (he of the plaid pants) is a HUGE Whovian. And he loved the hat I made him last year and would like another one in the same blue and yellow colours. So... I combined the two trains of thought, and used the colours and some Dr. Who charts (Tardis, Dalek and Cyberman).

My son (another Whovian) is now thinking he wants one. I'm just not sure I want to knit another one...

Monday, 16 December 2013

Basically ready...

I'm pretty sure all my Christmas knitting is done. Can I get a hallelujah? Considering I had a few last minute requests, I managed to get through them all, as well as a few last minute pairs of pajama pants.

One nephew's favourite colours are turquoise and yellow, and he's a fan of flatbrim baseball caps. This fabric seemed custom made for him. I found this fabric months ago and bought it with him in mind:

Another nephew specifically requested pajama pants. I had to actually shop for him. He's not into sports at all, and most of my flannel stash is sports or girly. So plaid it is. A beautiful brushed cotton plaid:

I matched the plaids perfectly at the front, back and sides. Not that this will be noticed, but if the plaid didn't match, it would DEFINITELY be noticed.


These are SOOOOO soft - they're hard to wrap and give away! I may have to go back and get more brushed cotton plaids...

Then, my favourite pair - for my son. GRINCH JAMMIES! They're perfect, and a nice thick flannel. Originally, he had chosen a red and green plaid, but when I brought this home, he jumped all over it.

And really, who wouldn't have?

Of course, when I was buying the plaid, I found these. Not that I needed any more for myself, but the drinks and the beer print were too good to pass up. They may be for me, they may end up for someone else.






Monday, 9 December 2013

slingshot

Another potential Christmas gift (or just one to have in my back pocket for those unexpected times of need...)
 
It's a slingshot. (Free from Knitty). While I've shown it around a highball glass, it's real function is for a take out coffee cup. Not only does it insulate (a godsend for those of us who drink out coffee black, and our tea clear) and make it possible to actually hold the cup without a double cup, it also allows you to carry it dangling, rather than gripping it (sometimes hard to do in winter with mitts or gloves.)
 
The pattern calls for fingering weight (actually, Knit Picks Palette, of which I have a huge stash...) but I went up a yarn weight and needle size, and adjusted the stitch count to compensate, simply because I had this yarn and wanted to use it. Couldn't tell you what it is right now, I'm now where near the ball band, but I had a couple of orphan skeins, and it seemed like a good idea. It was, since this took a negligible amount of wool and time.
I also added some length, and fudged the decreases, added garter bands top and bottom, and discarded the two colour patterning. I may make some in Palette, and keep to the actual pattern, but where's the fun in that?
 
I'm thinking of pairing it with a Timmies gift card as a "gift to have on hand". If I don't use it, I can always keep it for myself!
Actually, I can see making a few more of these...
 



Friday, 6 December 2013

calecons de sorciere

I apologize for the incorrect spelling in the title, but I couldn't get the cedilla on the c, or the accent on the e with my laptop.
My french background tells me that calecon is boxer shorts similar, and sorciere is witch. It took me a few minutes, to determine that Biscotte & Cie yarns were going for Witches Britches!

Well named, Biscotte & Cie... well named.

And these socks will be mine! Great colourway name, and great colours!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

bye bye blackberry...

it was a good run with my BlackBerry Torch, but the time has come. I hate the fact that we decided to leave RIM - a good Canadian company, but the problems associated with the BlackBerry just got to be too much. Slow processing speed, limited apps, and batteries that needed replacing far too often.
We debated the iPhone or the Android, but the fact that I already have a pretty good iTunes account for my iPod, as well as an iPhone 4 that my son will upgrade to made it a pretty easy choice.
Now I just need to get my IT guy to set up my work email, and my husband to get his BlackBerry switched as well, and we will become a complete iPhone family.  I'm pretty familiar with the interface, but my husband will be depending on me and our son to get him through the learning curve!

Monday, 2 December 2013

gift for a friend

I finished the watermelon scarf for a friend of mine. We've been friends since mid way through grade one - when I moved to Ontario, G was the first person to say hello to me when I walked into a new classroom. When you are 5 years old, that's huge. We've been remarkably close ever since. We don't often see each other (distance and life gets in the way), but we are in contact quite a bit (thanks to email and Facebook...) and when our high school had it's 40th anniversary, she stayed at my Mom's place with me - we had a great time! (both of us live far enough away from the school to have needed a place to stay.)
G is obsessed with watermelon - really obsessed. Her husband indulges her to a point, but put his foot down when she saw this and wondered if she could replicate it:
 So, I did what any friend would do - I fed the flames! This will be going in the mail shortly:


I whipped it up on the machine, so it took about a half hour of knitting time, and another half hour to sew up the side seam. Not a bad use of time.