Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's the end of a long, happy day. I'm exhausted, having stayed up until 2:30am last night trying to finish The Deadliest Crab for lil k (like he needed another gift!). I resigned myself at 2:30am, when shaking and having chills that I needed sleep before the lil guy would wake me up in his excitement. I figured a crab that needed assembly (I needed only to sew the legs on) might be fun(ny) for him.

It was a great day, busy, with my parents over, phonecalls back east, and lots and lots of playing and food. It's after seven, the lil guy is now in bed, big D is watching Star Wars, and I've got time to myself without deadlines to meet! I'm too tired to sew the crab legs on, and still have big D's scarf to finish (a gift given on the needles - he had to understand with my having shipped 9 handknit gifts back east to his family, 4 handknits for family here, 1 handknit hat for his secret santa gift, and 3 more for staff at JBCCS). Being too tired to knit, I'm at the computer conjuring up my list of knits for next year - I'll keep on the schedule this time (famous last words). I managed to get 2 gifts done by end of January last year, but stopped knitting the gift list until September (ugh!) maybe I can keep the momentum going in 2010 so I don't have any last minute 'gift assembly' next year... either that, or I'll just give different people gifts on the needles...

Wishing everyone wonderful festive season!
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Monday, November 16, 2009

A knitter's 'bucket' list...

Found this on another blog while looking for a hat pattern they had - a list of knitterly things one has done, wants to do, etc... I'm all for it! But I think there are still some items missing :)

Making progress

I love this. I think it's a great list to inspire and also to give me a focus so I don't pick up my knitting one day and say, "I hate entrelac! I knew I hated it. Why am I doing this?"

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.


Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: Toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Hats: Top-down
Hats: Cuff-up
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Combination knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Participate in an exchange
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colors
Dyeing spinning fiber
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed Toys
Knitting with cashmere

Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Westshore knitting...

I recently moved from downtown, heart of Victoria (James Bay) where there were a variety of knit night venues, yarn shops, spinning shops, etc. I now live in the Westshore - Langford, where even the community recreation program doesn't include knitting in its offering and where one of the downtown yarn shops attempted to open a satellite store that it closed less than a year later.

So, I've been on a search for a nice place to knit on Tuesday nights - and then I'll start inviting people to join me once I have a 'scheduled' location. I've started a knitting night before, but having the group all voice their preferences had us move the night from Tuesday to Wed to Thurs to Monday, then changed location from a pub to a coffee shop to a meeting room in the back of another coffee shop...we lost people along the way. So this time, I'm picking a place and that's it.

Tuesday nights because that's my night out

Location - to be determined.

1) Starbucks downtown Langford - open til 9pm, bright, free wifi for me to check my ravelry patterns - BUT it's small and crowded even on a tuesday.
2) Serious Coffee Millstream Village - very spacious, lots of comfy seating, free wifi, but I found it difficult to see my stitches on my son's navy socks I was knitting - as well, it closes at 8pm.
3) pubs - variety to get around to - but I'll need to find a partner-in-crime for this - don't like the idea of sitting alone in a pub :)

BTW, Yarn Harlot posted the pattern for the Pretty Thing cowl (finally).

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Blame it on being blonde...

For a few years, I've had not just one, but TWO microfibre cleaning cloths. I bought them as an environmentally friendly alternative to dusting sprays. Get this, I thought they were just for dusting. Now I have a sample cloth from Norwex and find out these things clean bathtubs, kitchen counters, windows, mirrors...the list is endless! I thought it might have just been a sales pitch from the Norwex company, but no, it's actually true - these cloths are meant to clean with only water, or at most, vinegar!!!

Skeptic that I am, and being sick with germs, I decided to attack the dirtiest part of the house - I cleaned two bathroom sinks and bathtub in mere minutes - and they shine like no vinegar/baking soda solution has ever made them shine...they shine as well as my parents chemically cleaned bathrooms, but without the yucky fumes...

I'm stunned that I didn't know this before! I'm having a Norwex party - anyone interested in attending!?

Monday, July 20, 2009


I'm exhausted...we finally have a new house, and are moving this week, but in the days preparing for it, we've been painting, cleaning, transporting awkward items; transporting precious breakable items...and trying to keep a 4.5yr old entertained, excited about his new space, and calm because everything this changing.

For an adult, we can go for a run, take stress pills, take additional vitamin B & C, meditate, do yoga, or whatever it is that 'works'. For the little guy, change is very scary, and we somehow have to create some 'normalcy' which is very difficult during a move. So although I'd like to keep working, packing, I do have to stop and play so he is able to adjust. He is also wanting more of our time than normal (he'll usually find things to play by himself for awhile before wanting someone to join in - but this past week, he doesn't want to do anything alone).

This past weekend I had help from friend and parents while hubby was away...I was still struggling to do what I felt needed doing and yet keep my son calm. Hubby is definitely better at redirection than I - we called him at one point and he had a great job for lil k to do - take paper/pen, walk around the house and draw what furniture is going to go where...that kept my son busy for about 5-10 minutes, but it was enough to calm him and he then found himself something to play with while we continued painting.

I joke that my husband is a big kid, and that's why he can come up with these fun activities to redirect my son's attention to avoid meltdowns...maybe he needs to come up with activities for me to redirect myself to avoid my meltdowns :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

reBlog from Tightwad Gazette Recipe for Laundry Stains | Table for Five

Drove by the house today - we close on Tuesday/take posession on Wed - looks like the previous owners have already moved out and left us their Bell satellite dish and a bench on the front porch!?!?

We're not finished packing, but a good portion was done on Saturday with the great help of my mother!  Alas I'm now in need of a couple of things that I told her to pack (I definitely wasn't thinking).  Although, I had to pack my Tightwad Gazette book - and of all times, D needed his beach referee shirts cleaned - stained collars from sunscreen didn't come out in the regular wash, so he needed the 'laundry stain remover' that I've been using out of that book for years...lucky for me, after googling, I came across a blog published today with the recipe!:

Of all the tips I picked up from the books, the one I have used the most is the recipe for laundry stain remover.  When you’ve got something really stained, like for example, when you are potty training a three year old who refuses to poop on the potty, you mix up this formula and soak the stained clothes in it. My experience has been that the clothes might not look brand-new, but the stains are significantly lightened. This is the, Tightwad Gazette Recipe for Laundry Stains | Table for Five, Jul 2009

Shirts are soaking as we speak - I'll be bookmarking this site for future reference!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Memory String

I've been away from knitting for far too long - I let work get in the way :( Feb/Mar were crazy busy, plus we kept getting sick. I was intentionally busy as I had no idea whether I'd have any work in April knowing the BC Government had frozen consulting contracts. So on top of that we booked a vacation to Mexico. Well, lo and behold, I had work for April, a proposal to get out the door while I was on vacation!!!

So you are somewhat caught up as to my disappearance since March.

Now I'm knitting my son some navy blue socks (we were in Vancouver at Urban Yarns last weekend and he helped pick out some sock yarn that was on sale for $2.95 - $3.95) I cast them on while at the hotel, knit some while watching beach volleyball, then knit some more watching Midsomer Murders on Knowledge Network last night. When I picked up the needles/yarn, all those memories came back to me. I find it comforting for some reason to sit and knit and remember all the 'events' that occur while knitting a particular item. Note: I'm knitting the Hedgerow Sock pattern for a preschooler using Filatura Di Crosa Maxime Soft Socks on my Crystal Palace size 0 bamboo needles.

To test this theory out, I then pulled out the "Hey Teach" sweater I started on vacation in Mexico - and yep, I could recall doing the cast on while at home; the knitting at the airport while our flight was delayed, and delayed and delayed; the frogging when I messed up the pattern not once, but twice (I didn't read the instructions properly). Then as I knit some more I could recall the knitting on the beach, watching my son running from waves, then running back to taunt the sea :)

This is so much more interesting than photo albums :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beware Food Network cravings..

Watching Food Network television can land you in the kitchen for 4 hours on Sunday!
Last evening, we were watching Drive-ins, Diners and Dives, and they were touring a couple of Barbeque 'shacks'. Well the food looked sooooo tempting, we instantly started scouring the net for recipes to make our own version (as our favourite place to go is Memphis Blues in Vancouver and a road trip was out of the question - there is the local Smoken Bones restaurant, but if we're going to go out and spend that kind of money...well, if you've been to Memphis Blues, you'd understand...)

So we made do with what we had...

Maple Leaf Corn Beef Brisket was cooked in cast-iron dutch oven similar to this
Baked Beans -
Crockpot Cornbread -
Coleslaw -
Potato Salad -
Whole Wheat Loaf from Fol epi
Rice Pudding -

Let's see what the verdict is after we eat! At the very least, we have plenty of leftovers for lunches this week!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

If Today Was Your Last Day

Playing around with radio stations I heard this song by Nickelback. Now I've never been able to truly put myself in the shoes of someone terminally ill and figure out what I'd do if I only had one day, one month or whatever to live. But, this recent warning from the doctor actually made me think this song through.

One line "would you forgive your enemies?" made me realize that a heck of alot of energy is wasted on keeping people as 'enemies'. I've thought that enemies are like those on tv or in a book - someone's ongoing nemesis. Not that I have an ongoing fight with anyone, and I can't really see that I have a nemesis. BUT, I do find it takes alot of work to avoid someone who hurt me severely, so I guess she would be considered an 'enemy' and the work involved does take its toll, not to mention avoiding her has cut me off from some dear friends. I thought about it, and if I did only have one day left, I would forgive my 'enemies'. Once I said that to myself, wow, did I ever feel like alot of weight lifted off my shoulders..

So I guess that means I should forgive my enemies and feel lighter now as opposed to waiting for some major health issue...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Balancing Act

Supposedly, I'm run down and need to realize I'm able to "do it all" at my age (my doctor's words, not mine). But he has a point, I think everyone's tired of my complaints of being 'sick and tired of being sick and tired'.

It started with pregnancy, then with sleep deprivation. Yes, my lil k will sleep, but it seems that with motherhood, I've become an extremely light sleeper. Even with earplugs, I will hear lil k coughing, snorting, talking, knocking his water over, etc. However, it's not just the lil k that wakes me up, I'm dreading the upcoming "tourist season" as I found last year, I am constantly awakened by the buses, ship horns, hotel guests. Lack of sleep means I'm not as productive. This proved to create huge stress last week when I couldn't work due to lil k's asthma flareup, and my lack of sleep.

So this week, after being called back to the doctor for results of my annual checkup, I was somewhat confused and frustrated. My blood cell counts are dropping, so much so he says I'm rundown and my immune system is virtually non-existent. So it appears EVERYTHING is out of balance, health, home, work...

I believe I need to work full-time to earn an income that will reduce the stress. But of course, I have a 4yr old boy who wants me working less, so I try to spend time with him, then work when he sleeps. The more I work, the more tired I become, so this creates a downward spiral. Strangely enough, on Monday night, I opened up a book by Daniel Bach and the topic was that of living your life by your values, not by 'goals' or 'stuff'. He created something called 'Value Circles' tm reflected by a continuous ring of personalized values. "There's a starting point to this ring, but there is no ranking. ... if you don't put a fair amount of effort into all of your top values, your life can become unbalanced." So if too much emphasis/priority is spent on one area to the detriment of another, you get out of balance. So I'm reviewing my balance - I try to juggle everything at once (security/career, freedom, family, health), and trying to balance work while lil k is sick creates an imbalance. Today I decided to stay focussed on the immediate task at hand. Once I stopped trying to do so many things at once, everything settled down.

Now I just have to figure out whether I really know what my top values are!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Chores

For Christmas I received the Yarn Harlot's 'Never Not Knitting' page a day calendar. Today's date had a weekend chore of culling yarn from the stash - ie that yarn which you KNOW you'll never use, no longer sure why you got it in the first place, etc...

I'm not prepared to venture into the stash and pull things out - I *believe* I need to be able to concentrate on this task, otherwise I may just give up something that I shouldn't (ie If I'm not concentrating, I may forget what the item was for, and accidentally give away something that is scheduled for knitting later in the year!!!) So, instead of culling yarn, I'm on the computer culling emails from my outlook to save some computer space...and ran across the following:

From the excerpt: Types of Automatic Negative Thinking that you need to stop:

Mind reading --- predicting you know that another person is thinking something negative about you without them telling you. I often tell my patients that, "A negative look from someone else may mean nothing more than he or she is constipated. You don't know. You can't read minds. I have 25 years of training in human behavior and I still can't read anyone's mind."

I need to remember everyone is constipated (grin)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Child of a knitter

Recently a friend/babysitter commented that 'you can tell lil k is the son of a knitter because...' and that has caused me to observe my little man for the last few weeks. Young children learn by observing and imitating. As I was already made aware, I need to be sure I'm worth imitating!! So strangely enough, it is very apparent my son is the child of a knitter, BUT, it is also apparent he's the child of a volleyball guy, grandson of a hockey player, child of music, etc, etc.

However, back to the knitting - here's a growing list of ways my son shows he's a child of a knitter:

1) You mention you made a mistake and need to frog back a few rows - the child (although only 4) goes "awwww" and pats you sympathetically.
2) Temperatures are lower than usual for your climate, you say your hands are cold, and the child tells you to knit some gloves to keep them warm.
3) He received a cotton Hudson Bay blanket for Christmas and asked later if grandma knit it for him.
4) After pulling yet another string off a pair of cheap store-bought gloves, he informs me that I need to knit him some new gloves.
5) After finding me playing with his helicopter, he mentions that the toy is his and I have knitting needles and wool to play with.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Research gets in the way of Knitting!

I've been swept away with alot of 'social networking' tools. It was innocent enough, I was researching social media firms on behalf of a client - I was writing an RFP for something the client had only a casual knowledge about. From this research, I started reading some blogs/websites of these firms, who all unanimously agreed businesses need to be on Twitter and LinkedIn and, and, and...Needless to say I started twittering on January 7th, got myself overwhelmed with more information, friends and followers - I ended up reading a number of articles, and based upon all this information overload, started using google reader to 'manage' it all.

A friend has suggested I just hit 'delete' and leave it all alone. However, I've stepped into something that I want to learn more about. I'm going to take it slow, and will set up parameters to keep it from overwhelming my days (like it did a number of times last week). Strangely enough, I'd really like to try this information for finding more knitters :) Right now, I'll keep it at work, and keep ravelry as my knitting social life.

Speaking of knitting, since starting this social media research, I've only managed to knit a few times, so I promised myself I'd knit at least 3 rows on D's sweater each night before bed. That probably equates to more than I would have done otherwise! I had been putting off this sweater for so long - partially due to the sheer size of it (Men's XL), but also the fact I have to sew it took me nearly 4+ weeks to make myself put lil k's accordion sweater together, I can't imagine how long it'll take to do a Men's XL?

This is why I have multiple projects on the go, (hats, mittens and socks)...I'm an instant gratification knitter!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I don't really know what to talk about first - so I'm doing a miscellaneous post to get all this out of my head, and then I can easily elaborate on a later post.

1) Sandwich heaven - Yesterday, lil K and I made a new bread recipe - it was yummy (as we always think) but today I had a salmon sandwich to DIE FOR...this bread was just sooooo good. Not that heavy, dense whole grain loaf I usually have the day after baking, but a light, fluffy, moist yummy bread. I found I was rather sad I didn't make myself a larger sandwich...I'm thinking this bread recipe is to be bookmarked for futher use! Oatmeal Toasting Bread - my variation didn't use the oat bran, but I was using whole wheat bread flour, so figure that made up for it. I made the 'straight dough' version since it was my first attempt, I didn't want to make extra dough for next time because I wasn't sure I'd like it - next week we'll make it with extra so we can see what happens when you add old dough to the mixture.

2) Rain or Winter Boots for preschool boys - we have been looking, and looking for boots for lil k since before Christmas. I realize with the wild winter weather we had, there would likely be a shortage, but nowhere could we find boots to fit the little man - he's still wearing his size 9s but can't fit bulky socks let alone double socks in them. We could find girl's rubber boots everywhere like Gymboree, Please Mum, Gap Kids - but none of those 3 stores had boy's boots! I got desperate and went to Payless Shoes, and yet again, girls rubber boots and winter boots, but none for boys. We managed to find some at the Bay, but unfortunately, the size 10s were Kidorables which were too large (and we've had 2 problems with Kidorables cracking on the sides and leaking); and another brand with size 9s that were too small :( Grandma went looking at Bubbaloo, and they said this is the wrong time of year for them, but new ones would come out in spring - umm, does that mean I need to tell my son that he chose the wrong time of year for a growth spurt? Luckily grandma found a shop around the corner that when passing by thought it was only a consignment shop but once inside found out they carry new as well as gently used. So here's hoping these fit! Otherwise, we have to wait for the right 'season' to buy new boots :S

Thursday, January 08, 2009

King Winter Arrived

On the twelfth day, the 3 Kings arrived at the stable, everyone had a wonderful time with the baby, stuck around on January 7th...then vanished and were replaced by white snow, cool blue background, a 'mountain' with King Winter standing there (photo added)

This nearly traumatized lil k...he was afraid King Winter yelled at the baby and sent him away and was crying insolably for nearly 20 minutes about where'd everyone go, he wanted the baby back and the three kings should be travelling around the house somewhere, etc...I had to remind him that at his "old school" King Winter arrived after the three kings...didn't seem to work.

After eating and contemplating, he finally accepted King Winter is here, and we'll watch for the tomten and hedgie (hedgehog) sleeping in their cosy warm homes under the blanket of snow...

Stay tuned - I'll be knitting a sweater for Mother Nature and a cape to have her arrive before King Winter has to leave...maybe I'll transition her in before he leaves so we avoid the breakdown before breakfast....

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Over the holidays we were getting over a bad flu bug - so I managed to do some knitting, and some 'chatting' on ravelry. Started the Hedgerow socks in a nice green (photo to follow), one sock is finished the second in progress. The pattern is written for a women's average foot size, but the pattern and the colour I chose would look great on a man...I may need to knit these again in a larger size.

As I was perusing the Ravelry forums, I stumbled across a hat of the month group knit-a-long. This might help with my Christmas 2009 knitting :) At midnight, I attempted to cast-on for the Who Hat (one of the January selections of the group), but being the knitting nerd that I am...I had to try a new technique or two instead of just casting on. So I chose to try out the italian tubular cast-on Problem was, this site didn't talk about doing it in the round, and I ended up frogging three different times because it kept twisting. Add to that, I couldn't find my 4mm dpns and was attempting 'magic loop' on this at the same time. Needless to say, by 1:15am, I gave it up and went to sleep.

Now, I've found my dpns, and another site talking about the ITCO in the round...I'm giving it another go.

I've got my plans set for New Year's Day...lil k is at his grandparents, big D is watching the Classic Hockey game...