Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Holidays with the Little Dudes

In past years, I've spent Christmas with my sister and sister-in-law, but this year was different. They live in Nova Scotia now, and are building their new house, so Christmas this year was spent quietly and quite happily at home with my little family. We didn't get a chance to wish all our friends a Merry Christmas last week, but you know they were thinking it.

It was Malcolm's first Christmas.

"OK Santa, here's my list! Some crinkly balls, a real mouse to chase around, a red fire truck, um, tae kwon do lessons, a blankie with Batman on it, a puppy, some more crinkly balls so I always have a supply when I lose them...oh! And a role in the next James Bond movie! What? Why am I sitting in this warm thing? Mae told me too. She said that when the door closes, I'll able to see stars!"

So he didn't get a real mouse. Or a puppy. Or tae kwon do lessons... Or most of the stuff on the list, but they did get some crinkly balls! And some tasty treats from the vet's office (sssshhhhhh, don't tell them). There may or may not have been an attempt to dress Atticus up as Santa, but he was not in the spirit this year.

"How is that different from any other year?"

Did everyone have a good holiday?

"Oh yeah... Eating and playing on Christmas Day is sooo tiring..."

"Why can't Santa be a girl?"

"Santa's a dude."

"Santa could be a girl."

"Santa's a DUDE."

"Yeah, well you just don't want to think that maybe because it takes so much organizational skills and pre-planning and stuff that Santa would HAVE to be a girl. Let's see you do all of that present-making stuff!"

"I thought Mom was Santa."

"DON'T SAY THAT!!! Santa's real!"

"I didn't say Santa wasn't real. I said maybe Mom was Santa."

"Mom! Gandalf is saying you're fat!"

"I'm confused about this Santa business..."

I know quite a lot of places had a LOT of snow and cold this year - we got rain. Lots of rain and wind. Usually when the barometric pressure drops this time of year, I get a migraine. This time around it blocked my ears and gave me vertigo. I've never had that happen, but I'll take it any day over the headaches.

Oh! And I did knit.

And there's more to St. Aula's second sleeve. Gotta love the power of blocking, because that sleeve sure looks pretty crumpled. As much as I love St. Aula, I'm really not enjoying the process of stranded knitting a 2nd sleeve with 3-ply yarn. Everything is that much bulkier and harder to maneuver. But, it knits up quickly, so who knows how much I'll have done next week. I also worked on Dunadd, which I realize now I didn't photograph...whoops. Now that is some pretty impressive cable work, let me tell you.

Wow, this is my last post of 2009! Where does the time go?! And, this is my 200th post!

Thanks to everyone for reading this year. For all of your encouragement and kind words, I'm very thankful. I've learned more about knitting from my blogger friends than any book could have taught me.

Be safe on New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Week In Pictures

The hazards of tomatoes (fresh and just purchased) on the counter.

The hazards of leaving a plant dangling from an accessible location.

"Do it again Big Brother, that was COOL!"

The culprit.

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

So I swept up the mess, and decided to store the garbage bag in the bathroom for the time being.

I really need to pay more attention to fast moving objects before closing the bathroom door.

"I got locked in the bathroom! That was COOL!"


But, there were new discoveries to be made.

"Hello? Snow?! I'm Malcolm! Wanna play Bop Your Head on the Window? Over and over again? OK. You try to catch me, and I'll try to catch you! Yay!"

There was progress.

"What the hell is the squirt doing here?"

"He's fine. I'm fine. Relax, Mae. The more you run away from him, the more he thinks you want to play. Then he chases you. Then you hiss. Then he chases you. Then you whack him on the head. And he still chases you. You guys are lame."

"Yeah, well he'd better not come over to my side of the blanket..."

And there was some discipline, Big Daddy Atticus-style.

"Get off my chair."




"Fine. I'll just sit on you then."

"Oooof...Big Daddy! I was here first!"

"I'm bigger. And older. So move."

But in the end, you can always count on moments of peace.

"OK. Malcolm, we've been through this. I'm a dude. I do not have boobs."

Pictures shamelessly provided in hopes you'll not notice the lack of knitting pictures. There was knitting. But it feels like there has been no progress. I mean, a sleeve's a sleeve. And a sock is a sock. I'm aiming to have...oh wait. I'm not going to jinx it. Next week...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Lost and Found

Usually when I start looking for one thing in my stash, I end up finding something else. Actually, I'm not the one who found it -

"That would be me!"

I was searching for some red yarn I knew I had stashed along with my sock yarn. (Don't ask why, I don't remember now...). Pulling everything out of the sock yarn bin only asks for trouble with the guys. Malcolm decided to stuff himself into a plastic bag, and managed to pull this out.

A lone burgundy sock. I'm not sure why I have just one sock sitting in a bag at the bottom of my sock yarn bin. There's nothing wrong with it - it fits, there are no dropped stitches, the yarn is Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn, which is soft and the colour is great. Sure, it's top down, but that's OK too. I'm not sure why it ended up in a bag at the bottom of the bin, but I decided to finish up the second one. Even though I'm already working on another pair of Fleece Artist socks right now.

So it'll almost be a 2 for 1 deal when I'm done. Both skeins of sock yarn were gifties from my sister and SIL. A few years ago they stumbled upon a yarn store in Nova Scotia (where they now live. Not in the yarn store, in Nova Scotia. That would just be weird. But not for me. For them.), and thought - "hmmm, what is this Fleece Artist yarn? Must be local. Won't Brigitte like it if we brought her some local yarn from Nova Scotia?!". For non-knitters, they made excellent choices.

"Since when do you knit socks?"

Since I discovered the right yarn to use. I've learned over the years which wool is best for working with - and maybe I've become a bit of a yarn-snob as a result - and now I'm learning about which sock yarn I prefer using, and those that produce the best results. After all, if I don't like the yarn I'm using, I'm not likely to complete the project. I'm late arriving at the sock party... So, I'm actually giving myself a break from the big projects, and working on socks a couple of nights a week. And - sometimes after a long day at work, socks are about the only thing I can concentrate on.

There's more to it now, but here's the start of St. Aula's sleeve #1. This is such a beautiful design - a perfect example of 2-colour stranded knitting producing maximum results. I've been finishing up a few stealth projects as well, so - yes, that's what I have to show for myself.

Luckily, Malcolm has gotten into napping after dinnertime, leaving me with a few hours to knit without having to peel him off the body of the sweater, or try to unclench his jaw from around the stitch markers. What is it with those things?!! There's only one other cat in the household who does that...

"I love you, man."

Now that I have the last of my stealth knitting completed, I can finish up St. Aula. Oh, and work on *cough* Dunadd *cough* when I'm not in the mood for stranded knitting. (Ooooo, how gorgeous is this!)

"If I were in California, I'd be doing this cuddle action with my Auntie Carrie. She needs cuddles right now."