Monday, December 31, 2007

One Day It's 2007...The Next It's 2008

Almost 2008...

"Wow, Gandalf was right! Lying like this ROCKS!" - Cousin Finnegan

It always amazes me at this time of year how quickly it all seems to go. I'm not one to make resolutions - life has it's own way of creeping up on you, and that's enough for me. If something's worth changing, it's worth changing at the time it comes up.

But still. Some knitterly things I'd like to do:

1. Finish my WIP's. In particular Western Seas. I'm not going to put a time limit on it. I just don't want to be writing next year at this time how I want to finish Western Seas in 2009. Sheesh! For shame! It's a Starmore, Brigitte.

2. Try something new. And I'm not talkin' Intarsia (ewww...). More like something I struggle with. Like top-down socks. Or another lace project *gulp*. I also have some really cool non-Fair Isle stranded projects in my stash, so maybe it'll be time to try another Norwegian?

3. Socks as non-commuting projects. Otherwise this lifetime will not have particularly warm feet. Not to mention the amount of time between knitting the second sock will be greatly diminished; preventing such boneheaded maneuvres such as the second one being knit A SIZE TOO SMALL. Just sayin'. I'd know.

And that's all I can think of. Stuff to ponder...

It was a happy time away! As always, we had a great time just hanging out, watching movies and eating ridiculous amounts of food. And I met some of my SIL's family! So here's a shout out to the Jay girls - Catherine, Victoria and Madeleine! Hey guys *waving*! The girls live in China with their parents, who are working there.

They're also in love with the little Dudes. Who can blame them?

There are 3 reasons the bed isn't made. See if you can spot them.

It's nice being away, but coming home is pretty special too.

There wasn't too much destruction or sulking when I got home. They were well looked after by their Auntie Raven, who took very good care of them. Gandalf did whine a bit on the evening I came home, probably just to remind me NOT to consider going away without Kitty Counsel approval.

Were the holidays good where you are? I hope so. I thought of all the great friends I've met this last year, and the friendships that continued. And, how much I've learned from you all! There is so much to be thankful for - and I'm happy to have met each and every one of you.

For me, I'm hoping that 2008 will be less stressful, and that I can enjoy more of it. I'll be honest - 2007 wasn't a banner year for me, but I always try to look at the good in it. And there were positive things, and I remind myself of that.

Things that made me happy in 2007:

1. A new job! Less money, but a new position!

2. Conrad Black going to jail!

3. Mulroney humiliated! ("I'm not calling you a liar Mr. Mulroney, but I want everyone here to know that I don't believe you.)

4. Amphora.

5. My Norwegian mitts.

6. Getting back into watching Coronation Street.

7. Gandalf turning 1! But still acting like a nincompoop kitten!

8. Successfully growing lavender in my deck garden.

9. I Can Has Cheezburger and The Daily Coyote.

10. The Little Dudes.

And there's more, I'm sure. So, what made you happy in 2007? Consider yourself tagged!

So, to my wonderful friends and family, I have only good wishes for 2008.


"And happy 2008 to everyone! I myself will probably be sleeping. I think Mom will be sleeping or watching "Das Boot". New Year's Eve is pretty much like any other night, only it's a bonus day off when it's during the week. Anyhoo. I'm rambling. So...what was I saying? Oh, right. Have a good and safe one everybody! MeOW! And a special purr and head-butt to my favourite Auntie Lorraine!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Peace on Earth

Wishing all my wonderful and kind knitting friends a safe and happy Christmas! And the Little Dudes would also like to send furry head cleanings, purrs and maybe the occasional stare down to all of their blog kitty friends - Santa Claws DOES exist!

See you later in the week!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Weather Outside is FRIGHTFUL!!!

No kidding. WOW. Well, if you live anywhere in Eastern North America (not just Canada, and not just the United States. North America), you know exactly what I mean.

We are getting our collective asses whuped by a huge snow storm!

This is outside my back door. It's even worse now...

Another view, outside my back door. Can't see too clearly? Looks blurry? That's the snow. Don't get me wrong - I love falling snow, but not when there's a ton of it, and it's windy... and is that thunder I'm hearing? Definitely a day to stay INDOORS. Once it's all said and done, we should get around a foot and a half of snow. Some areas, even more. So, definitely a day to stay in, whittle down my "To Do" list, and knit, of course.

Let's see how I've been managing so far:

* Booked train ticket? OK. Um, train is sold out...who knew stuff like that happens around Christmas time? But I have made other creative arrangements.

* Clean? Wha'? *cough*

* Arrange kitty-sitter? Although I had some interesting offers (Atticus with Lorraine, Mae and Gandalf with Tracey), I figured it would be easier if I asked my friend Raven to come by. Um, she's a bit closer than Mississauga and Pennsylvania.

* Wrap stuff? Nope. One word - "Gandalf".

* Do I have stuff to wrap with? Yup.

* Pack the Christmas stuff? Oh, that's funny. Try the morning I leave.

* Knit something for Finnegan? Um, not yet...

* Finish my Christmas knitting? Yes, no, almost, yes and almost. And let me tell you? The first "almost"? I had barely 2" of contrasting yarn left over after I cast off. How's that for cutting it close? Heh heh... The 2 last ones are extra knitting projects I'm making for my SIL's parents. Not to jinx anything...but wow, I think I may just do it... Except for the "no" one. Recipient, a non-knitter, will be able to experience to joy of opening a box of yarn! And peeps, we ALL know what an experience that is!

This week - yearly physical, finish knitting, clean, pack my stuff... Yikes! My shopping is 95% done, and...and...oh, I have got to get more organized next year. Then again, I say that every year... Oh, and "work" in between all of that. Which did NOT leave me alone all week. I had hoped it would calm down? I had obviously misplaced my hope...

"I don't care about some snow storm, cousin Finnegan told me that you're going to visit him?? Does that mean you won't be here? With me? I mean, us? I don't recall you clearing that with the Kitty Counsel."

Hey, did any of you read this fantastic blog entry from Bridget? It is worth a read if you haven't, and if you have... it's still good for another giggle!

I'm still trying to figure out what to take with me while I'm away... I'm thinking probably Delores, and maybe (maybe...) Western Seas as the easy project. I'm pushing 2 years since I started it, a measure of time that doesn't make me too happy. It's a Starmore dammit. For shame Brigitte. *hanging head in shame*

I'll be glad when I can pick up my knitting again.

What about everyone else? At least let me see what you're knitting!

Have a good one everyone! And stay safe and warm in this awful weather.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Whole Lot o' Nothing...

See, that's the thing with Christmas time... Although a wonderful season, you have a whole lot of nothing to show for the knitting you've been doing. And I've managed to squeeze in quite a bit. I just can't show any of it here. On Ravelry, yes!

And of course, work plays a part. I will spare you the details of how there is a mad rush at this time of year to spend the last of the budgets purchasing (really cool stuff though) servers and cables and spare blades. I think Chris may be the only one remotely interested in that kind of hardware...

Then I realized on Friday that hey, Christmas is really only 2 weeks away. And I'd better get a move on my list of things to do before I head out to my sister's in oh, 2 weeks time. Like finish up knitting, book my train ticket, clean, arrange kitty-sitter, wrap stuff (and believe me - this is NOT an easy thing for me to do. I suck.), oh, I suppose I should check that I have stuff to wrap WITH, get my laundry done before I head over, pack, pack the Christmas stuff, oh, yeah, knit something for Finnegan...!!!! And I'm scheduled for my yearly physical at the doctor's at some point in between all of that. Oh, and finish shopping. And figure out which knitting project to take with me. Mermaid? Laleli? Fulmar? Western Seas (oh, you jest...)? Delores? Hey...maybe I'll take Delores...

*breathing into paper bag*

At least work should settle in nicely next week, as the mad rush should be over.

OK. So what have I been knitting?

Well, these little babies. What may look like a bunch of balls are actually kitty mice that I knitted up for the Annex Cat Rescue. There are about 15 of them in the pile. And the picture was taken at work, at my desk, with the cellphone. Once knitted up, there was NO WAY I would be able to stuff or stitch up the mice at home. Catnip usually tends to incite anarchy in this house. The pattern for the mice is from Wendy, who kindly allowed me to knit them up for charity, with all money going to the Annex Cat Rescue. Thanks Wendy!

"...what is the Matrix...?"

There was a very good thing this week though - I won a contest!! Yay me! And I'm so thrilled - I pick up a beautiful crocheted snowflake from the Bookwyrm (drop by and say hi!). I don't crochet, and if I did, I don't think I could make such a lovely design. She makes them using a teeny tiny hook, and THREAD. Which is like knitting a gansey on 2.5mm needles... Once I receive it, I'll post a picture. Thanks!!!

Oh - do you drink water from these Nalgene bottles? If may be interested in this.

Wow, and that's it! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lost and Found!

Yay! I found my mittens! And would you believe they were in the ONE place I didn't think to look. (No, really? That never happens.) In the laundry bag. Don't ask me how. Or when. ('Cause that would be admitting to the last time I, uh, did laundry...)

They're back in their rightful spot now. Phew! Yesterday was a cold one - when I went out in the morning it was -12C. So, I pulled out my beloved chullo and Norwegian mittens! So, hey! The wind really goes through those mitts at first, but once you hands heat up, you feel NOTHING. They warm the hands up nicely. And the chullo? I still love her. Light as a feather and warm. *sigh* Ah the wonders of knitting never cease.

So, I have some updates. I'm still working on my Christmas knitting (go to Ravelry, look me up and you'll see one of my stealth knitting projects), but I'm also working on other things too. Because I can. lovely Cabled Cricket sweater from Debbie Bliss. Coming along nicely, with the front and back completed, and a good start done on the first sleeve.

"Nice work Mom... So, when's it gonna be finished? I can see myself rolling around in this..."

No time soon! But, I'm not bored of Fulmar at all. I just find the gansey yarn (AS' Scottish Fleet) a little tough on the hands. Some days I can manage 15-16 rows, other times it's only around 6. But that's OK - I knew from the start she would be a long-term project. Gandalf does like the Scottish Fleet yarn, and Atticus has developped the annoying habit of chomping on the stitch markers as I'm knitting along. Such a good boy...

I plug away at Laleli on the weekends. However, I did learn last week that watching Daniel Craig in "Casino Royale" while trying to knit Fair Isle? Not always a good thing. Tends to get a little...distracting. But, I've started on the V-neck decreases, and I'm still in love with the beautiful design and colours... Ah Fair Isle! I luvs you.

And what else...? Oh, my stealth knitting project! I finally found the magic one, thanks to a suggestion from Lorraine, but of course I can't post anything about it. So you'll have to check it out on Ravelry. I've also completed a bunch of catnip mice for the Annex Cat Rescue, which my friend Raven stuffed for me at work on Thursday. Not a chance I can do any of the stuffing or stitching up of the mice at home! The Captain gave me a catnip toy for the guys yesterday. I thought it would be OK - it didn't smell as strong as the stuff Raven had provided. I was's catnip... Anarchy and destruction soon ensued, with Mae in a catatonic state for the next several hours. They're still rolling around on the floor, over the spot they demolished the catnip toy yesterday. That stuff is SO BANNED in this house!

"Atticus, what's up with Mae?"

"What do you mean? Oh, the food?"

"Uh huh...Why she eating so much? I hardly had a chance to get any supper last night, she was scarfing back the cat chow like it was going out of style! Is it a girl-cat thing?"

"I think it's just a Mae've seen her with the catnip?"

"Oooooh...OK. So it's the catnip makes her get the munchies? Wow. I thought it just made her loopy."

"Which is why we can't have any more of it in the house, otherwise we'll never get anything to eat!"

"Gotcha! Man, Mae's weird sometimes..."

Sunday, November 25, 2007


It's November. Almost December...

And I for one don't mind winter at all. We had our first major snowfall last Thursday, and after the rain had turned into freezing rain and then into ice pellets - it snowed, and by the end of the day, it was a lovely, white fluffy landscape.

It always makes me wonder though. You know - it's snowing, cold, windy... And you see people (who go on and on about how cold and gross it is) with their coats open, no scarf, no hat, no winter boots. Gotta wonder though - did they maybe forget what "cold" was?? The people with no scarf and an open coat - they're the ones I want to run to and cover up! Dude! It's winter. It's Canada. IT SNOWS AND IT'S COLD.



Speaking of things that keep you warm...

I knit these last year around this time. And I love them! However, the mittens have gone missing... Not sure where (and no, Gandalf has nothing to do with least I don't think so...), but somewhere between getting out of a car and coming into the house, they disappeared. *sigh* I love those mitts... They may have fallen to the ground and are now buried under the leaves and mushy snow, but... I think I would have noticed by now. Or not. So I'm thinking they must be somewhere around here in the apartment, but do you think I can find them? The search is still on! Phew, at least they weren't my Vinternatt mittens... You know, I should probably string those through my coat, like when we were kids. Because with my luck...

This past week has been all about the stealth knitting...heh heh. Well, that and charity knitting for the upcoming Annex Cat Rescue bazaars. I've been knitting wee little catnip mice! And, because of the mass destruction and anarchy that results from catnip being in this house, I'll have to stuff the mice at work. If I were to bring that catnip home, I don't think there would be much left of my arms, or the catnip. I think I may whip up some blankets too... That way Mr. Black Cat won't be so inclined to whip them up into the air and chase them around the room at break neck speed.

As for the stealth knitting... I haven't even loaded it into Ravelry yet. Probably because I've started and ditched probably, oh, 7 designs up to now... I think I've got the keeper now. I think. And hope.

So, not much in the way of knitting pictures. Not much Laleli, not much Fulmar, not much of any of the other gazillion WIP's I have on the go.

"Gandalf. Dude. You gotta stop running into the walls and stuff. I know you're chasing your imaginary friends but you're loosening up a few wingnuts up there every time you bonk your head."


"Do you think he'll ever learn?"

"You know Mae, sometimes you just gotta laugh... He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he's always good for a laugh."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's That Time Of Year

"...hey wait...where you...gonna catc...catch you...wait a sec...stop going so...hey...hey...hey...stupid leaves...wait...a bird...gonna I'm dizzy now."

It's that fun time of year when Gandalf and Atticus plaster themselves next to the windows, and try to make friends with the birds and falling leaves. Many a "bonk" against the window has been heard. Mae? Not so much. She figured it out after her first autumn.

It's also the time of year when I start my covert Christmans knitting, and my charity knitting for the Annex Cat Rescue, Gandalf's foster care organization. So even though it makes for fun and enjoyable knitting for me, it's not something I can post about. Well, the kitty knitting I can - and I will. Other stuff, um no. At least not until after Christmas!

(Wow, is it that time of year already?!)

But, I do work a few nights a week on my WIP's, and I'm happy to report that I'm finally up to Laleli's armhole steeks! I know I said that a few posts ago... (never report you're near something before actually getting there - you will grow extra thumbs and have a mushy brain just so that the Knitting High Priestess can put you in your place. Mere human. Don't toy with me.)


Pretty, pretty Laleli flowers! I love her. Once I've cast on the armhole steeks, I work for another 25 rounds or so and then I start decreasing for the v-neck.

Last year I picked up a kit for Alcea, from Anne at She Ewe Knits. Now, beautiful as the design is, the sizing is pretty bizarre - the smallest is a 36", and the next one up is something insane like 45", which is wider than my St. Brigid, and that's a bulky sweater. I bought the smallest size, thinking that I would figure out a way of increasing the width without compromising the overall design. I think I'm going to make a vest out of it, but I'm still not quite sure how. So, anyone have any ideas? I'm not too keen on a button up vest, I'd like to make it into a pull over v-neck type. Also - I'm wondering what going up a needle size would do to the overall design? I know, I know - "swatch".

Look what the mailman brought me!

Just the coolest sock bag! Sent in stealth-mode by sneaky Chris to replace the one I lost! She purchased it from Karen's Heavenly Creations on Etsy (click on the link at your own risk!), and let me tell you, it's heavenly all right! Nicely padded inside, tasseled drawstrings and very nicely made. Awww, thanks Chris! It's almost too nice to put into my back pack, but it's in there, with a new sock I should finish in oh, 2009 at the pace I knit my socks these days...

"I can get a date with Daisy? No? I see her on TV in all kinds of commercials. She's a cutey alright! What? I am so NOT stalking her, c'mon!" - Cousin Finnegan

Monday, November 12, 2007

What's That?!

Now that the days are getting shorter, and the weather cooler, She-Who-Does-Not-Photograph-Well - aka Miss Mae, graces me with her presence in the evenings. Usually, when settling in for her evening snooze (not to be confused with the night snooze, of course), she plops down in the kitty condo, which is in another part of apartment. Now, she settles in on the old quilt bed I have down for them, which sits next to the couch.

The other night, while sitting and knitting and watching TV, I noticed a funny rumbling/buzzing kind of sound. I thought it was the neighbours? No. They're always quiet. Is it the fridge? No. The furnace kicking in? Nope. Gandalf snoring on the couch next to me? Uh uh. Something on the TV (and I got up to listen up close)? No.

When I finally muted the TV to try to figure out what was rattling, I realized that the oh so dainty and sweet Mae had fallen asleep on her back, mouth open a la Gandalf, and was snoring away. Loudly. Enough that I couldn't figure out what the sound was!

My little girl.

"Hmmmph. Well, undignified that may be but at least I don't announce it to the world after I've used the litterbox like some little black cat I know!"

Look what I finished!

"Notice if you will the attention to detail and the different patterns on the front and palm sides of these Norwegian mittens. The detailing continues on the thumb, incorporating different patterns on either side. I believe Mom mentioned something about these being so warm she will probably pass out regularly if she doesn't take them off. Wha' the?? Enough of being cheesy - eeeeeeee!!! Mittens with lots of lanolin! Hee hee hee heeee!"

Of course, after this picture was taken Gandalf reverted to his true self by flipping himself over onto the mitts and rolling around on them.

On Thursday night, I'm going to check out a new yarn shop opening up here in Toronto, conveniently located half way between work, and home. On the streetcar line. Cool, thanks! And Chris - you'll love this name! (Marina, not so much.) It's called The Purple Purl, and it's part cafe, part yarn shop. It's all good to me!

Gandalf flashes Mayhem!

" *sigh* I can't believe Mae told everyone that I like a good rawwwwr after I go to the box."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Smell of Wool and Leaves

Just because you live in an apartment, doesn't mean there aren't leaves to clear.

"So, really. I'd help you, but I don't do outdoors. So, you know. I'll watch, cheer you on... Go Mom! Way to rake those leaves!"

This is one of the piles I swept up from my deck - two large century-old oak trees in the front yard means a LOT of leaves landing on my deck at the back of the house. I actually filled two large paper leaf bags, and this won't be the last of it either! I love this time of year - the temperature is cooler, the leaves change, and we finally get to wear all the knitted stuff!

So - good times! Look at the lovely stuff I got in the mail yesterday:

Yummy sock yarn from Rebecca's "Bellamoden" shop on Etsy! There are 2 skeins of merino in the "A Circle of Quiet - sedimentary" colour way, and my surprise skein, in "A Night to Remember - graffiti". The colours are just so vibrant, and the whole package was so nicely put together. And the Circle of Quiet is going to be made into my *hopefully* first pair of non-plain ol' stocking stitch socks.

Thanks Rebecca! Go check out her yarns (she's got some great stuff!), and...she now has some up for sale at the Loopy Ewe as well. (And - she's a Stephen King fan too! Which is very cool.), knitting...knitting...oh right. Right after I comforted Carrie K. for going through a knittingless phase, I went through a couple of days where only a few stitches were done...again with the work thing. *sigh*

But look! Ooooo, I have one of my Vinternatt mittens completed -

"Pat us Mom!! C'mon! Pat us...oh, hey... I like this... *sniff*...Oooo Mae, lanolin..."

"Move it squirt, I want to check it out"

What is it with those two and the smell of wool? Not all wool - but this particular brand, the Rauma Strikkegarn yarn - make Mae and Gandalf goofy. Well, goofier... That and Bartlett yarns (remember Lorraine?!). I had a bag of it for Lorraine, and Gandalf pretty much shredded the bag just to get into it. Atticus? Ehn, he's more of a 2-ply Hebridean man.

Speaking of 2-ply Hebridean... I'm a few rows away from casting on Laleli's armhole steeks, however my batteries conked out before I could get a picture. :( And poor Fulmar hasn't budged, every time I picked it up something ended up distracting me and I really haven't done more than a few rows in the last week.

This week - a bit of stealth knitting, and hopefully a second finished Vinternatt mitten!

And of course...Ravelry. Duh.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ravelry Intervention May Be Required

Have you noticed?! Judging by what I've been reading - I'm not the only one who'll require a sit down and talk to regarding Ravelry.
Sweet, sweet Ravelry...
I do consider it time well spent. After all, it's helping me plan my knitting future (a good thing), and it also allows me to air my dirty WIP laundry. Also a very good thing...

Delores. We've officially kissed and made up. I have found some of the colours I need to keep soldiering on, and seeing her again makes me realize how much I missed her. I love Fair Isle.

(By the way - have you seen Marina's latest? Elephants? Beautiful! And of course - yours truly (I really have to say - I looked like poop warmed over that day...) modelling the very lovely and stylish Guinevere, the latest addition to Lorraine's Twisted Traditions line.)

Gandalf helps me show off the nearly completed back of the "Cricket Cabled Sweater" from Debbie Bliss. I've finally decided that this design is the keeper to use the Woolie Silk from Fleece Artist. The original design I had hoped to make turned out to not have the most flattering shape for a short person. But the yarn is soooo lovely, and the colour so warm that I couldn't bear to stash it away. The little cables are perfect.

This is the back and the left side of the Caped Cardigan that I'm making using Cascade 220 in a deep red. A very easy and quick knit, I usually work on it while commuting.

And why not knit socks while commuting? Isn't that what I used to do?? Well, yes it is. And why am I not? Oh, that would be because I somehow managed to LOSE MY KNITTING BAG on the way home from the train station last week. I'm pretty sure it fell out of my bag, which was overstuffed with my laptop, work stuff, lunch bag, stuff I had picked up at the drugstore, and other crap. It was stuffed in on top of everything else, and I hadn't been able to zip my backpack up. So, it was resting precariously on top of everything else, with the flap only partially closed. When I got home - it was gone... :( Slipped out, and when I retraced my steps I couldn't find it. In it was the sock yarn I was using - Lorna's Laces, my 2.25mm needles, and everything else that goes with it. And the only half decent knitting bag I have! I have a tendency to just use whatever I have laying around - even shopping bags if that's all that's available... Oh well. All that say - I'm knitting Caped Crusader on the train home now.

(Gandalf is out for the count on my lap right now - so funny, he's snoring with his mouth open, sleeping on his back...hee hee!)

In other cool news - have you seen AS' "Oregon" in the new VK? I for one am pretty happy about it! Something else to add to the queue. And, as luck would have it - you can also pick it up from Anne at She Ewe Knits. She's put together the yarn packs, and is offering it at a special price until the end of November! Have a peek at her blog, you'll see her swatch. I for one am sold... (Fair few paragraphs up...remember?). I'm not even going to TRY to resist this one. Really, there's no point.

"This Ravelry thing has to stop. Sit down Mom. Sit. Down. OK. I'm going to have to monitor your activity, because it's cutting into Atticus-time, and that's not a good thing. And no "buts" lady! Can't you control yourself? I mean, all I hear is "ooooo", and "aaah", and then click click. Another "Favourite" is added to the list, or another "Add to My Queue". I mean, c'mon..."

"Yes, but I'm meeting a lot of new people and..."

"Who are just as addicted! Mom, what if you forget to feed us in time? It won't be pretty..."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Big Adventure

"Lalalalala... Hi Atticus! Hi! Whatcha doing? Are you trying to sleep? Atticus! Look at me! Hi!"

"Lalalala...lalalalala...alalala...I'm playin' with nothing...lalalalalalala...nanananana...oh, hi Mom!"

"So... Are we going to play with someone? Is it Kitten-Chow? That would be cool! Oh, wait, what about Chaos and Mayhem?!! No? Suzy? Um, Hezekiah? No? Oh, I know!! It's that California hottie Meems!!!! No? Oh, I KNOW!!!! WE'RE GOING TO PLAY WITH COUSIN FINNEGAN!!!!!! No? Um, so where we going then...? How 'come Atticus and Mae aren't coming? We're they bad? Um..."

Hee hee... Silly boy. Falls for it every time. The little treat in the cat carrier trick. It was time for Gandalf's yearly physical on Friday, and I have to say - he hasn't quite grasped the concept of "cats don't like going to the vet". He was a little out of sorts being outdoors, but once inside, he was sniffing around everything, getting friendly with the resident cat, eating treats, walking all over the phone on the front desk, rolling over on his back on the scale (I kid you not) and purring for the doctor. Who also said he was a very healthy boy. At 12.4 lbs.

Next up - Atticus in 2 weeks. Which is always an ordeal. The only time he holds a grudge - he does not forget, although unlike a certain Kitten-Chow...doesn't poop in inappropriate places!


As for was a bit slow this week, thanks to throwing out my back while bending over to feed the Little Dudes. It was the first time that ever happened - it just refused to budge as I was bent over. Then I was being head butted for being in the way of the food dish...thanks guys... It took awhile before it loosened up, and I'm still a bit paranoid every time I bend forward to do anything. I'm thinking this may be a sign I get back into yoga. Think so?!

So, look what I'm making!

I've jumped on the Norwegian mitts bandwagon. I'm working on a pair using some yarn and pattern I purchased from...from... (ooooo, I'm bad I can't remember...)... I think I may have picked it up at one of the Knitter's Fairs in the Toronto area a couple of years ago. Anyway - they are grey and white, and work up really quickly! And they should be quite warm too.

I do have progress pictures of Laleli (which is moving along quickly!), and Fulmar (which is NOT moving along too quickly!). But Fulmar is work in progress...

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Somewhere... Ohio, last night, Marina must have picked herself up off the floor, and wondered - ow! now why did I fall to the ground??? Well, that would be because I felt the sudden urge TO WORK ON WESTERN SEAS!!!

Yes, the long neglected (but not forgotten) and little known Starmore gansey (it's the adult version of a gansey from "The Children's Collection") was pulled out and worked on last night. And, I am this close to having the back finished. You know what that means? Two sleeves, and a collar.


Baby steps. That's all I can ask for with this project. I love it, but I certainly question my sanity in working it in the first place. And I don't even remember when that was. I think it's pushing 2 years...

Speaking of baby steps...

She who does not photograph well because of the pale colour aka Fulmar. I love her. She's just taking awhile... You know, 236 stitches will do that. But, Michele mentioned how she's going to shorten hers, which is what I think I'm going to do as well. I'm not sure of the finished length yet. It's still a waaayyyy off. What you see above is 2 full repeats. It's just so fascinating to knit up! There are so many different cable motifs.

Let's see...what else have I been doing... I spent the day with Lorraine on Saturday! As always, a great time. She had me model Guinivere, her latest Fair Isle design. Again, I contemplated making a run for it, but I had no clue where we were (I don't know that area of Toronto...). Oh, that and the fact she would have had my St. Brigid, which I wore to the location. Plus I was getting hungry, and Lorraine's a good cook. OK, so I wouldn't have gotten far. But let me tell you, it's another excellent design, and I think it should be out soon.

I've been working on little things - a bit of Mermaid, a bit of some stranded Norwegian mittens, and far too many incarnations with my lovely pumpkin Fleece Artist yarn I picked up at the Knitter's Fair in September. I think I'm on my 4th try, and I'm pretty sure I'm good now. I think. But if it does stick, I'll post a picture the next time around.

And look at what was waiting for me at my door yesterday!

All sorts of goodies from Chaos and Mayhem's Mom! There's a mixed cat-themed CD, some PJ's with black cats on them, very cute socks with a black cat on them, a kitty fridge magnet, a note pad (pink!), some pink highlight tape (which has already replaced my pesky Post-It notes on small charts - what a great idea!), a black cat measuring tape, a bumper-sticker, AND - some very soft and snuggly pink sock yarn! Dyed for MOI!!! AWWWW, thanks Chris! It was such a wonderful goody box! (Canada Post decided to keep it at the border for close to 2 weeks. What is up with them???)

"Aww... I was expecting Mayhem to jump out of the box. She said she'd try, but I guess her Mom caught on. *sigh*"

So - how much time are you spending on Ravelry?! Can I tell you? Me? A lot. But wow, am I ever seeing a lot of great stuff. I guess that's the beauty of it all! And it certainly is organizing my life for the next, oh, 25 years, with all the stuff I have lined up in my queue. You know what's really great? Seeing all the finished designs made up of yarns/kits in my stash. It is a lot of fun.

(My ID on Ravelry (wait for it, 'cause it's a tough one to remember) is "Brigitte". Wow. So, if you haven't already, pop on by, drop me a line, I'd love to see more stuff!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Small Gauge Knitting Can Be Fun!!

It's been a busy week here at the Little Dudes abode in Toronto. They continue to enjoy the good, well rounded life, complete with sleeping, eating and cuddling.

Gandalf is quite oblivious to the fact that it takes two hands to type.

Knitting has been all small gauge, all the time. I've been working on Mermaid:

"You're lying all over it...I'm telling! Mom! Gandalf's lying on Mermaid and he's playing with the yarn!"

Um, don't know if you can tell with the furry little animal draped all over Mermaid, but what you see represents the left front, back, and right underarm section. I'm now up to the first right front gusset. The end is near! And for you ladies doing an unofficial Mermaid KAL later this year - nowhere near as complicated as it may seem. The worst part will be having to weave in the stray bits at the bottom. You need to clip the main colours when changing to the medium blue for the gusset. The part I'm least looking forward to? Figuring out how that i-cord is attached on the last row of the body. You start with an i-cord on the left front, easy enough, and then you end it all with an i-cord on the last row. Still got to figure that one out...

And Laleli! Ooooo! How I love her! The colours are so vibrant, and the design so addictive. The above picture represents the first 40 or so rounds of the main pattern, and around 8 short of the completed chart. Very, very lovely... I'll say this much about Jade's designs - they are colourful, imaginative, and brilliant. Whereas her mother is more "traditional", she takes the traditional and makes her own splashy mark on it. Despite the 10 different yarn colours, I don't think this one could be classified as a true Fair Isle (Lorraine, Marina or Anne could probably say for sure); this seems to me more of a stranded design due to the lack of Fair Isle motifs.

Moving on.

What else?

Now, this is going to be difficult to photograph - but for now, that's all you need to see. 'Cause that's all there is. Fulmar! My dream Aran, finally. After having the yarn in my stash for what seems like forever, I took advantage of a Fulmar KAL that started up on the 1st of October to get her going. OK. I have a bit of a secret here. She's not as difficult as she looks. Seriously. There is nothing too complex as far as the cabling is concerned. But, I'll say this much - at 236 stitches a row (yes, 236) on 3mm needles, she won't be done in time for Christmas... And that's what makes it seem overwhelming. But, AS separates each chart, and gives you the chart sequence you need to follow. All you do is follow the charts (with my trusty Post-It notes), and that's it. There are no charts with more than 20 stitches. I always say that the best way to tackle what seems to be a complex project is to break it down into smaller bits, so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming. It's just going to be looooong knit. The ribbing? Done on 2.75mm needles, at 196 stitches a row. Took around 7 hours total.

*sigh* I loves her too...

Now, if I could only apply the same principle to lace knitting... Thanks for all your support re. the debacle that was Grace! Ugh... I don't want to even contemplate the simplest of eyelet patterns at this point.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, giving us a nice long weekend. I'm thankful for a lot in my life, and particularly happy this year that Chris came out of her surgery just fine! Yay Chris! So, if you haven't already, go pop by and say hey!

To all my Canadian friends - Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Demise of Grace...Or Why I Should Stick to Simple YO's

"Oh Mom...oh, man um...hey, it happens to everyone! Right Atticus? that sucks..."

I went to block Grace last week. And I was SO happy that my tension was perfect! Yay me *pats on shoulder*. And then back was pinned down, the ribbing lace slightly stretched and pinned into place, to match the front. Yay me *pats on other shoulder*. Then, it dawned on me that the length between the top of the ribbing and the beginning of the armhole shaping wasn't lining up... It seemed so much smaller than the front. And no matter how much I willed it, it wasn't a design feature either. It just wasn't matching up.

The fact that I had forgotten to knit a whole 30 row repeat on the back between the top of the ribbing and the start of the armhole shaping may have had something to do with it. Because it seems that in LaLa Brigitte Land, "repeat twice" can be loosely interpreted to mean "once".

So, I calmly packed her away in a bag, and intend to never look at her for a very long time. No, I do not have the heart to rip her back and redo the back. Yes I'm sure.

If anyone out there who's between a 36" and a 40" would like to finish her up - she's yours! Just drop me a note. There is one sleeve to complete, partially redoing the back, and then the collar. Yes, I'm sure. I'm knitting it in a black wool/silk blend from...elann I think.

Should just stick to cables and Fair Isle. Unless it's a simple lace simple (and I mean simple), I blow. Oh well...

"Hello darkness my old friend...I've come to talk with you again..."

"Oh Titania Queen of the Fairies! Wait! I do want to join your merry band of nymphs!"

" I says, I would knit if I could by I can't so I don't but I wish I could and then I saw my cousin Finnegan and he was saying he wished he could do stuff like quilt but he can't so he doesn't but sure wishes he could and then the TV changed channels I didn't know it could do that but if you click on the hand thingy the channels change to whatever you want and when Mom's at work I sleep on Atticus' head and he lets me but not always did you know that if you keep playing with the roll of paper in the bathroom eventually it runs out and then there's the magic cardboard roll to play with that I love so much..."

The Little Dudes and their treats. 'Nough said about that. Gandalf went psycho with the catnip! Whereas Mae goes silly and stares into space, and Atticus just uh, stares into space, Gandalf is pretty much BOUNCING of the walls. I could barely get a picture of him until he'd calmed down. Hee hee...

As for knitting, I intend to finish up Mermaid (I know, I know, I owe you pictures of her), and keep working on Laleli. So pretty...wait to you see how she's looking! I'll post progress pictures the next time around.

Have a wonderful, cool Fall weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ode To My Chullo

Oh Chullo!
You are so soft.
I just may never,
Take you off.

I'll wear you by day,
I'll wear you by night.
(Am I just weird,
Or is that alright?)

You're knit from Polwarth,
And cashmere too.
50/50 the label says,
20 sts=10cm, or 4" to you.

Um, but there's just one thing!
(Don't worry, you were never a hassle!)
Can someone please tell me,
How I attach these damn tassles?

Right. I'll continue with my day job, I'm a much better Technical Integrator than I am a poet...

While I was under the weather earlier last week, I decided I wanted something small to work on that wouldn't 1. impale me (so ixnay on socks), or 2. confuse my fuddled mind (ditto for Mermaid, Grace and um, pretty much everything else I have on the go). The chullo was the perfect choice - worked on a 16" circular, there was no risk of an unfortunate accident. And oh my stars that yarn is soft. Unreal. I mean it - I may never remove it from my head. Ever. OK, maybe to shower, but that's IT.

I love my chullo.

"I love your chullo too, seeing how I slept on it every chance I got..."

And thanks to everyone for your kinds words - I feel much better now! Apart from chullo knitting, I worked on Grace. I'm half way through the second sleeve, and will be wet blocking the front and back this afternoon so that I can start on the collar as soon as I'm done.

No, I did not block Kiri. Yes, I keep forgetting.

And - for Marina:

My lovely Laleli... Oh, speaking of love... The not-so-great picture above shows the 12 rounds of ribbing, and around 15 rounds of pattern. You can see the beginning of the developing flower pattern. The greens and blues together are incredibly vibrant, as I get further up the pattern, you'll see more of the purple shades mix in with the greens. Beautiful combinations...

Isn't knitting just the bestest?

(Oh, and I meant it - I really don't know how I'm supposed to attach the tassles, so if anyone can pass along a tip or two...I'd appreciate it.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This Post Brought To You By...

"Whoa! Oh, hey! Um, right this is kinda embarassing... Anyhoo. So, Mom's been feeling poorly these past few days. Something about her stomach. She's been keeping a "low profile", whatever that is. She seems pretty much higher than me, so I don't really know what a "low" profile is."

"Auntie Brigitte feels crummy! Aw, that sucks... But I ask you - does she have to get these ridiculous haircuts, and have someone ::cough::Mommy Susie::cough:: make funnies behind her head? Oh, probably NOT."

"Eeeeeeeeeee! Heeeee heeeeee! Eeeeeeee! Hangie thingie! Heeee heeeeeee! Ah nuts, I'm stuck..."

"Such. A. Dork. Anyway, Mom has been knitting, she finished the front of Grace, and one whole sleeve! But, speaking of dorky, she keeps forgetting she has to block that shawl, Kiri. I keep telling her it doesn't count as an FO until she does. She's spacey these days... Anyway. She also is upset with Delores because she's already run out of yarn. So, to make herself feel better (you know how it is), and because I told her that Fair Isle is the cure to most ills (I know, I rock), she started "Laleli". You know, from Virtual Yarns. It's a cardigan with purples and greens, but the picture on the site is all funky, so it's kinda hard to tell what the design is. Seems all flowery to me...oh, tulips! Anyway, where was I... Oh right, Grace. No. Was it Fair Isle? Oh. I'm tired now."

"I'm helping too! Look! I'm typing on the computer while Mom drinks coffee and multi-tasks with the camera! I'm a star! Mae tells me I'm space cadet all the time, and this proves it!"

Normal blogging will resume, once we're up from our nap!