Monday, 18 February 2013

New Years Resolution Swap

This swap was awesome!

What a great way to keep motivated to stay on your knitting goals! It even helped me get through some of those winter Blahs. Lorraine is such a great partner.  She did a great job in finding out what things I like:  especially those delightful little goodies that I can't get a hold of here in Canada.  Like delicious chocolate and heartwarming tea from Marks and Sparks!

Here are the pics I took of ml the goodies she sent me. Not only did Lorraine spoil me, but she also sent wonderful goodies for my kids to open.  She mailed separate packages for each of my kids to open, because Lorraine knows how much my children love to get their own mail.  It was so special.
Take a look at them opening their mail...

All of these items were wonderfully gift wrapped.  My kids had so much fun unwrapping each gift.
Emma didn't get what the 'buttons' were at first, until we opened the package and she found little chocolate buttons to eat.  She loves the puzzle!  It comes with a cute puzzle tag on the string handle.
Emma opened up the colouring pages right away.

Next was Evan.  I made the kids wait till they were done their chores before they could open their packages.  I was impressed with how quickly (and without complaining) my kids finished tidying up the living room... they even vacuumed, and put away the dishes.  "Ok mom, now can we open our packages?"
Evan was so fast at opening his gifts that I was barely able to take a photo before he was on to the next one. I made him stop for a minute to say cheese before he helped himself to the chocolates, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  Evan says thank you, Mom's friend!  for the chocolates and the origami paper.  He made us several new origami pieces before bedtime.

Next was Burk's turn.  He was acting all patient, but I saw that smile creep across his face when I gave him his parcel.  Wonder what kept him from opening it before his turn?  I had it hidden.  If I let them open theirs all at the same time, I wouldn't get any good photos.  Wouldn't want that now, would we?
Burk was very happy!  Orange Aero!!!  He was so sweet, he even offered to let everyone try a piece of his Aero, so he could prove just how much better tasting it is than the commercial chocolate we can get over here.  He says, "Thank you very much! The choclates were amazing!"

And then there was the big package, with my name on it.
The theme of this swap from our Ravelry group is New Years Resolutions.
The idea is to send each other items that will help us stay motivated to keep on track with our resolutions.  You know how you make goals, then three or four weeks later forgot what you even resolved to do?
One of my goals was to learn some new knitting techniques, like Entrelac.  Lorraine sent me a wonderful book that has clear instructions and good photos to guide me through the steps of learning Entralac.  It aslo has some really cool patterns to try out once I've gotten the hang of it.  Guess which one I will be trying... the fingerless mitts!  Can you believe it?  Fingeless mitts a la Entrelac!  Watch for it.
Lorraine sent me two delicious dark chocolate bars, only one of which made it to the photo opp.  It was quickly placed hidden in my knitting purse.  
The whoppers were not kept as safe... they were so fun looking, I had to share.  Emma really liked helping me get a whopper out of the little dispenser built into the package.  I've never seen candy packaged like that, what a great idea!  
I was sent some Marks and Spencer English Breakfast Tea.  I promise that each bag of tea will help me towards my resolution goals.  As will the Yummy shortbread cookies!  Lorraine sent an adorable little serving tray for my cookies to go on, it reads "Frightfully British.  Let's Brew Up".  All of these goodies were  packed inside a clear pink container for me to use to organize my stash in.  I like it so much, I will put some mmmalabrigo yarn inside to look nice!

Thank you, Lorraine!  You are so sweet!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy New Yarn!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday this Christmas season.  I had a few more days off from work than usual, and it was very nice to spend a few extra days without a schedule to follow.  Or an alarm clock, he he he.

As you probably guessed, I did NOT get all of my holiday knitting done in time.  Clearly, I will have to have secret projects started by July in order to have them done in time next year.  I disappointed myself more than anyone else, as they had other things to unwrap.  And then its not as fun trying to get something finished after the deadline.  Like half the fun is sucked out of knitting it.  I'm sure I won't feel that way when I'm binding off... I will be delighted, and will gleefully say, "Look!  It's done!".

There are a few inches left to go on the Shapeshifter Shrug, then it will need to be grafted.  I picked out some nice buttons for it that have been approved of with a smile from the intended recipient.

Then there's the dinosaur.  While I adore the photos and patterns in the book, Knitted Dinosaurs, I loathe the fact that they are all written to be knitted flat and then seamed up.  And I've chosen to do them in stripes, so they will look fun.

See the disaster dinosaur so far?

 So much to seam...
and weave in...
I really hope this doesn't become a UFO up in the closet.
My goal is to finish jamming knitting it together, then convert this pattern to be knitted in-the-round.  If it converts well, I will be bold and just knit lots of other dinosaurs in the round, instead of how the pattern is written up flat.  I was told on ravelry that it should be as easy as omitting the first and last stitch (that is used to seam together) and to keep in mind that the wrong/purl sides become right/knit sides.  Should be easy enough, right?

Now, for the hard part.  Anti-procrastinating... here are my resolutions for 2013 (not in order)

  • blog more
  • laugh more
  • take more time for God daily (bible, prayer)
  • explore more (outdoors, road trips, possibly a yarn store I haven't been to yet)
  • stop promising to knit things for other people... that only jinxes me to not get it done.
  • knit more for my family and kids, and not forget myself now and then
  • actually use my Zumba game this year - it's a lot of fun, when you find the time to do it
  • Go away on vacation for a couple days with my family.  Like, actually leaving the area.
  • convince my husband that yarn and vacation do belong together.  Does your hubby think like this, too?
  • Oh, and to surprise my hubby with a basement that has been decluttered.  
  • knit from my stash.  I'm curious how much of it I can use up.  It's not that much, just a few bins.
Oh, that looks so boring.  I will have to rethink this and see what exciting things I can add to the list.

OK, how about this:

  • Take my kids Zip Lining
  • Get to the beach at least twice this year
  • go camping or lodging
  • Explore another convention centre event with friends (maybe a spring yarn show in Toronto?)
  • Take my hubby on a Hot Air Balloon ride for our anniversary... will have to hint and see if he likes this kind of thing before I commit all the way and book it
  • learn some new fun recipes
  • host a murder mystery who-done-it theme evening, with a cool theme
  • Bring my kids to a comic convention (they have one in Canada, I forget where)
  • knit all the yarn from my stash in time for the yarn fair, then celebrate with new yarn!
  • Take my kids somewhere fun for a mini vacation, like Fallsview in Niagara Falls
There, that's better.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve wrap ups

Merry Christmas everyone!

If any of you are like me, you might be spending a good portion of your day knitting the last part of those Christmas gifts you meant to complete a long time ago. That, in between baking, chocolate making, and doing Christmas crafts with my kids. Oh, did I mention that my littlest one woke up with a cold today? Trying to help her get rested up web she's so excited about Christmas. I don't think she will be wanting a nap today, but it will be needed. What's on your needles? Any last minute knitting? Or is it last minute shopping?

My 9 year old boy is vigorously folding paper. He is making origami gifts for everyone. This is something he became interested in during autumn, and has become quite good at it. He asks for my help now and then, which is nice because I get to learn with him. I can also encourage him during these frustrating moments of do-overs that mistakes help us to learn new things. He is becoming much more patient with each new project he masters. And yes, we use tape to sometimes hold it together. I know this doesn't always count as proper origami, but we are in it for the fun.

My kids are also following Santa's sleigh today, as he travels the world to drop off presents. If you want to see where Santa Claus is right now, check out NORAD at

At the time of writing this, he was last spotted in Kathmandu, Nepal and is headed toward Dhaka, Bangladesh. Howe cool is that?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

When are you coming home mom

Edited to add:
Lol, this was my kids trying to email me while I was out shopping. They must have sent the email to my 'secret' blog publishing email addy that was in my contacts. Oops.

The "when are you coming home mom?" was meant for me.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

I Get It...

Today is a crappy day.
Just crappy.
A bad day.
You know, one of those days.

I went back upstairs to put on my favorite socks. They are just plain grey with light pink soles and toes. They are store bought, plain socks with ribbing.
But they are so comfortable. I looked at them for A second or two, then thought to myself, "this is why people hand knit socks. They know this secret."

My thing is fingerless mitts. I get so much joy from that looking moment of a newly finished pair of well knitted fetchings. I admit, most beautiful sock patterns I see, I imagine them being converted into fingerless mitts.

I can see how people feel about their knitted socks, as you can almost wear socks year round.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Little Piggies

We are piggies sitting Lorax and Buddy this week.
Today we got Lorax out to let him explore. When the kids were sitting patiently and calmly, they got to have a turn petting Lorax. They really liked watching how he fluffs up his fur.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Time to Celebrate!

I did it! It only took four years, but I did it!

Take a look at my Ravelry project page. See the number?

I went to update some project details when I noticed that it showed I'm on my 100th project!!!!! Yay!!!

This is very exciting for me.

I think my Nanna's shawl has been the most rewarding project so far, because it challenged me the most.

To celebrate, I'm going to cast-on for my most challenging pattern yet. The Debussy Shawl, which I received as a gift in a Ravelry swap from Angintheeast. It will be lovely when done, and I'm sure it will give me a fair share of rough moments on the way.

Want to make it even more special for me? If you are a fellow raveller, check out my projects page (Swiggles, if you didn't already know that) over on and let me know which one of my projects is your favorite. It would make my day!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Ravellenics Games 2012

Welcome to the Finish Lines!

Today was the last official day of the Ravelry Games, called Ravellenics 2012.

This was my first time competing, and I had a blast!  I found out that I must have improved my knitting speed, or else I wouldn't have been able to knit as many projects in these last few weeks.

Although I did not make it to the Finish Line for all the events I started, I did make it for a few of them.  Here are the events that I have earned Podium calls for, thus earning a badge (metal) for my blog.
This is my mitten project that I am making for my sister for Christmas.  I entered it in the Cast-on Mania Trap Shoot event.
The next event for me was WIP Wrestling, which was a big deal for me.  I finally finished that shawl I was making for my Nanna's (now overdue) birthday present.  I had gotten stuck when running out of yarn right before the bind off row.  Now it's finally done!!!
Next was a project just for fun, entered in the Toy Toss event:
This cute stuffed guitar also happens to be my first knitted stuffed toy project.  All my kids thought it was a cool project, and I now have requests from little kids to make more of them.
My 8 year old was happy to show off the guitar in the photo.  Then we added some digital stickers for fun... here is another closer photo of the guitar for you to see.  I modified the pattern just a wee bit.

I entered a teeny tiny purse I made for Emma in the Bag-n-Tote Backstroke event.  I call it "Cute Little Yarn Bag for Emma" since she couldn't wait to use it to stuff little bits of her yarn inside.  She has her own little mini stash from short snippits of my yarn stash. She likes to put them in mini containers that she can carry around with her.

I knitted an awesome striped scarf using Noro yarn in the Scarf Hockey event, which I named "Thinking of Calgary".

Then I used some other Noro to make this felted belt:  Emma likes it so much that she would like me to knit her one as well.  It was just an easy seed stitch (k1, p1 one row, for 9 stitches, then p1, k1 the next row).

Last but not least, I frogged this old project that had originally been knitted way to tight to fit properly.  Hmmm, I'll bet you're wondering why I didn't check gauge?  Well, because until then, I seemed to magically make gauge on all my mitten projects.  So I had figured that gauge was for other projects, but wasn't applicable to mitts.  Wrong (are you laughing with me?)

So for the Frogging Trampoline event, I frogged back these mmmalabrigo mitts in order to give them new life as the proper size they deserve to be.  Nicole will enjoy them much better when they aren't squeezing the circulation out of her hands.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Knit In Public Day coming soon...

Yay! I love this yearly event!

My sister gave me this recycled yarn, so my first yarn-bombing adventure will also be eco-friendly-ish!

More details to come soon.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Compost Hill

Today Emma and I are digging compost from the City's free compost pickup site. She loves the giant hill of dirt!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Another Ball Falls Victim

Happy Victoria Day!

For most of us Canadians, this weekend starts us off to the sunny outdoors with camping, gardening, and fireworks! For many of us, it means the first lawn mow of the season.

My family has done our first Drive-In theatre movie of the season. We took the kids to see the Avengers, then stayed for the next feature Mirror Mirror. Emma fell asleep on the way, and actually slept through the entire thing.

In the front yard, we did some gardening together. The kids took me to the plant nursery to pick out new vegetables. We've decided to do lots of edible plants in the backyard this year.

In my back yard, this meant mowing the lawn. The grass had grown considerably this spring - or perhaps I forgot to give it that last mow down in the autumn?

Never the less, this meant clearing out all the kids toys from the high meadow-like grass, and mowing away. Like every year, there are a few tennis balls that I missed. They blend in so easily with the grass. And I wince whenever I hear that thwack sound, which is always followed by half a tennis ball being ejected from my lawn mower. Don't worry though, I have a strict "no one else in the yard while I'm mowing" rule. So no one gets hurt, except the tennis ball...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Real To Do List

I saw this posted in the hallway at my child's school, and thought it had to be shared:

1. Sing
2. Smile at strangers
3. Keep Learning
4. Notice Kindness
5. Eat Ice Cream
6. Hope
7. Count Your Blessings
8. Laugh
9. Love
10. Love Some More

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter Nesting

Emma really liked carrying around the big Easter basket.  She put her tiny little chocolate foil eggs in the bottom of the green paper shredded grass.  Then she decided that she had a better idea for the grass...

Emma decided to make a little nest in the corner of the front hallway for her eggs.  
The furnace vent is right there by the corner, so in theory it would be 
a great place to hatch eggs -- if they weren't made of chocolate.
I explained to her about the chocolate eggs melting,  and asked her to put them back into the basket.
She did, but Emma had other plans for the grass...
What would make more sense than for Emma to make mommy (me) an 
indoor garden with all the indoor grass she had from her basket?
She informed me that the parts of the floor where there is no grass, is the beach.

After we cleaned it all up, Emma gave me a hug and asked if we were ready
to go 'Trick or Tweeting" for Halloween.  I'm not sure how that idea got into her head,
but she has twice since then said, "Happy Halloween!"
What do you think of my garden? 

Nanna's 95th Birthday

This weekend we celebrated my Nanna's 95th birthday.  And her sense of humour is just as fresh as it was several years ago.  It was impressive just how many people showed up.  It was great to see relatives I haven't seen for ages.

My sisters and I arranged to have a special greetings certificate from the Prime Minister of Canada's office.  They'll do this at your request, when people reach the age of 90 or 95.  We have to wait for her to reach 100 before the Queen will send one. 

I had decided to mark this occasion by making something special for Nanna, as I've been improving in my knitting skills.  I decided to knit her a Miami Beach Shawl.  I had carefully planned out how many rows per day I needed, but didn't pay attention to the pattern when it read, "repeat row 50 until..."

Although I spent many nights staying up late to work on this shawl, it didn't help that I fell asleep knitting it, and made mistakes by knitting past the short row turning point (a few times).  It was at least 3 times I had to frog back and try again.

I was so disappointed to show up without a completed shawl, especially after I had told some of my relatives I was making her one.  They didn't look impressed when I showed them the shawl in my bag, still on the needles.  I promised to come and visit my Nanna soon, to deliver her shawl. 

Guess how close I actually came to finishing it?  I even worked on it during the car ride to the restaurant, as I knew it would be a close call.  I ended up being only 6 rows away from finishing!  I wish I could have stayed up longer the night before, but once you start to fall asleep at the needles, bad things happen. 

But on the bright side, I can finish it properly and block it.  So it will hopefully look stunning when I go to present the finished shawl.