Friday, 25 February 2011

Fabulous Friday

Ah, Friday is here again.  It was so nice to have a 4 day work week, after having some time off on the long weekend.  Monday was Family Day, and we enjoyed spending time with relatives on our out-of-town trip.

I can't believe I'm not overly tired today.  I stayed up way too late last night watching Episode 1 of Wives and Daughters on Netflix.  The link is there incase you aren't familiar with the mini series, but if you like Jane Austen type movies, you may like this one.  I liked it, and ended up watching all 4 episodes at once, figuring I'd fall asleep at some point.  I didn't.  I very much liked the movie, but at almost 4:00 in the morning I was disappointed that I hadn't fallen off to sleep yet.  So I put on my audio book of Persuasion, which usually puts me out within one chapter.  Not that I find the book boring, but the voice is good to fall asleep to.  I fell in and out of sleep, and didn't feel well rested.  You know that tossing and turning kind of sleep?  After that I figured I would be extremely tired today.  Granted, I'm not as perky as I usually am, but I'm not tired. 

It's a nice quiet afternoon, too.  Right now it's quiet time for the children, and those who are not napping are watching Veggie Tales on TV.  I tired them out quite well at play group this morning.

I am getting anxious to finish this baby kimono I'm doing.  I'd say that I'm almost halfway done now.  I had hoped to finish it ahead of time - I'm not late for sending it out, but I wanted it done sooner.  It's made with Knit Picks Crayon cotton yarn in Clementine colorway. Here is a pic:

 We had more mail this week from the Ravelry's Valentine's mini swap.  I should count them to make sure I haven't forgotten to post a picture of one of them, I would feel bad if I had overlooked anyone by mistake.  This week we got two packages in the mail - boy, were the kids ever excited!  They think whenever there is a large envelope in the mail, there's a good chance that some of it may contain goodies for them.  They weren't disappointed.  In this first one from Melissa, we received a handy blue bag that she made for me.  I love it!  I can use this to store my dpns, or my circs.  I don't really have a place for my circs, so this would be perfect.  I keep losing them in my large knitting bag.  Also in this parcel was a nice glittery card (my toddler especially likes this.  She shines it in the light), two Valentine's themed pencils, some mentos mints for me, some Blue's Clues stickers for the kids, and several mini packs of Skittles with Valentine's card stickers attached.  The kids and I thought that was fantastic!  I won't forget to mention the French Vanilla hot cocoa mix, which didn't make it to the photo shoot.  It has been snowing, and after playing in the snow for a good hour we found a good occasion to make some up and enjoy.  We also enjoyed the Creme Brulee hot cocoa mix I got last week in the mail, but not enough snow came down last week for me to justify opening it up.  It was way too mild.  But we are expecting a snow storm over the next day or two, so I'll have no problems finishing off my hot cocoa supply.  Yum! 

Next - here is a photo Emma and I were playing peek-a-boo on photobooth using the Valentine's cards from Angela.  Emma likes to hold them up covering her face, then look at the camera and shout 'boo!'.  I especially like the vintage Valentine's Day card Ang was able to find for me.  Included in this parcel was an adorable blue bracelet, and 3 CD's with Blue's music on them.  There is only one CD showing in the photo because one CD is in use.  One of the things I liked about this swap was that music was optional:  some of sent each other music mixes to listen to, and I have lots of new music to listen to now.  It's been really fun so far.  I like this group.  I hope everyone has been enjoying the music I sent out as well.  I made a different mix for each person.  I tried looking for Blues, but ended up filling most CD's with Jazz both new and old.  I haven't heard back if any of the Austen Powers soundtrack CD's were liked or not.  That was sort of a joke, to go along with their evil laugh comments posted (mwahahaha).  I hope it wasn't too over the top.  Would you laugh if someone sent you one?  Mike Meyers does the best Dr. Evil laugh, so I thought it was all good.

I have two more knitting WIP's to finish off this weekend, then will post a photo of my swap packages that are otherwise ready and waiting to be mailed out.  There is no danger of being discovered though, no one from over there reads my blog.  All the discussions are being done via discussion forum threads nowadays.  I could be wrong though, I might have a partner who is really good at friendly stalking and discovers my thread.  If so, well done... and don't read this weekend's post.  You wouldn't want to spoil your surprise... would you?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Mail is here...

Here is a photo of one of the valentine's swap packages I received this week.  The other one I somehow messed up on my computer, so I am unable to upload it.  This one has a nice blue hand-made valentine's card, with a lady bug on it. My little girl and I like lady bugs, so we thought it was cute.  Also included were some nice chocolates - they didn't last long.  Mmmm!  We received some buttons, a pattern for a scarf that I intend on making for myself soon, and an adorable pattern for a mini mitten with some yarn for it.  I can't wait to make that one, and will post the photo when I'm done.

The other package came with  two valentine's cards - one of them was a vintage card.  I like vintage stuff.  It also came with a few CD's of blues music, which I've already started listening to. 

There were a few nice stamps that came with my packages, so I put those into the little stamp scrapbook style album I've started up for stamp collecting.  I used to collect stamps in grade school, then lost them all when I moved.  I thought it might be fun to start up again with my kids, so I put this one together.  It's just a mini album, but if it goes well we can move up to a larger album as it's needed.  It might also get my kids into the habit of writing snail mail to their relatives.  This is something that's almost died off with email and facebook.  By the time you get the letter, it's old news.  So I thought I'd get them to send out art and other goodies instead.  I bought a few postage paid post cards to start us off.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Feb 19th, knitting update

It's been a nice week for weather here, slowly getting warmer each day.  That is, until today.  Yesterday I had posted this question on the discussion board for our Beat the Winter Blues group:  What is your favourite winter scene or cold moment in a movie?  We got some great answers, but the one that stuck out in my mind the most was The Day After Tomorrow.  This is the movie where everything freezes super fast, and if you weren't in a super warm room with a fire that was well insulated, you wouldn't last.  A few people shut themselves into just such a room in an old library and started to burn large old books to keep warm.  I've never seen a fireplace in a library, so I don't know if this library was fictional or not.  But it was so cold!  I had that movie on my mind last night before going to sleep.  I also had on my mind the characters from the tv show Heroes, as I rented that DVD and was watching it last night.  So guess what kind of dream I had?  A severe winter storm with superheroes battling it out.  And me, trying to survive the winter storm amidst all the drama going on around me.  Of course, there was of course an appearance of Angela Petrelli's sister Alice, who could control the weather.  Only this storm was so big, it was beyond her reach.  All she could do was to try and work with the storm to try and detour the big winds and snow gusts away from the us.  She couldn't take away the cold.  BRRRR.  I woke up feeling cold and shivery.  As I drifted from sleep to wake, it was a little hard to tell the dream was over, since there was very loud wind blowing.  There were high winds blowing this morning, and it sounded like they were threatening to rip the shingles off the roof.  Not exactly the weather we were expecting for the weekend - it was supposed to be mild.  So right now, I'm wearing a warm sweater and running the kettle to get warmed up.  My back is stiff from being so cold.  I'm sure my house is warm, but I feel so cold!  I haven't had our fireplace on all winter, but maybe today's the day I start it up again.

On to warmer thoughts, like knitting.  I'm sure once I get going with my bamboo double-pointed needles I'll feel warmer.  That's the good thing about knitting with wooden needles - they act as insulators, keeping  your body heat from escaping your hands.  If you knit with metal needles, you may notice that sometimes your hands feel cold after awhile, because it conducts your body heat out of your hands.  Some people with arthritis use wooden needles for this reason.  I'm also going to make some broccoli cheddar soup if I don't warm up soon.

This week I have a few knitting projects on the go - more than I've had any one time before, I am sure.  I have my sister's black Waffle Stitch Fingerless Gloves, that I have decided to knit in the round even though the pattern reads flat.  Do you think I remembered to pay attention to that?  Nope.  I am about two inches into the pattern, and have done about two of the main pattern repeats.  It looks interesting, and I am tempted to just keep going with it this way and see how it turns out.  I was supposed to knit rows 1 & 2 (k2, p2) flat, which I believe would have meant (k2, p2) for first round and (p2, k2) for second round, then rows 3 & 4 were knit for flat, so for round it would be knit one row, purl the next?  I'm still learning, but I think that's how it would go.  But I've forgotten to convert, so instead of the interesting waffle stitch, it looks more like little purl squares here and there.  I'd take a picture, but this yarn is like jet black and wouldn't show the stitches on my web cam.  I'll try to get out the better camera to see if I can't capture it with some nice window light on the stitches.  I've decided that there is enough yarn (I hope) to make both the right set of mitts, and the wrong ones I've started.  When I'm done, I'll post a comparison for you.

I have three other projects I'd like to finish by the end of this week.  One is the baby Kimono I'm knitting for the first time.  The pattern is for a 7 pound baby, so I've decided to go to smaller needles in hopes of making one small enough for the premature baby I'm knitting it for.  This will go out in the care package I've got all ready to go for a friend.  All I have left to do it the kimono.  I have a gorgeous pair of cabled fingerless gloves done in Blue Skies hand dyed yarn.  They feel so lovely!  I must admit, it's not so easy to knit with baby yarn, especially with those little bumps.  The yarn is so soft but it really is slowing me down, probably due to me being a slightly tight knitter.  I have to relax my tension a bit to let the stitches slide off easier.  I'm at the point of the pattern now where I have to learn something new.  It says I will need to divide for sleeves and body.  It started off at the neckline.  I have to knit 18, cast on 4 stitches (this is the part I will hopefully figure out, then slip next 26 stitches (left sleeve) onto a stitch holder, knit 32 stitches (back) ...  I'll take photos later to show my progress. 

Ok, children are demanding my attention now, so we'll finish up later.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

My first parcel arrived today from the Valentine's Swap that we've been doing on Ravelry. This swap is so full of goodies. I was surprised at just how many goodies my pal from Germany was able to stuff in the little bubble envelope. Lots of German chocolate, hot chocolate, which makes me happy because I absolutely love to get things that are local to where my pals live.

She was very thoughtful in the selections in per parcel. I love the music! Songs that are so catchy, but I've never heard. Puts a smile on my face when I listen to it. Which is also perfect, because today is such a dreary day outside. Both rain and snow, with slush and ice on the sidewalks with big puddles to walk through. I enjoyed reading on the inside of the CD jewel case the way she decided on this particular dance mix.

Pretty much everything in this package had blue on it, as this was part of our theme. I also got a cute little make-up size bag with hearts and my name sewn onto the side. I really like that. Inside the bag I found more goodies, like a face mask to pamper myself with later, as well as some adorable star shaped bath confetti. I've never seen this before - it's cute! As well, I was given natural aloe hand cream and some lip balm to help get through the rest of winter.

All these goodies were wrapped in a beautiful blue tissue, enclosed with a large blue shiny heart that readn "Happy Valentine's Day".

Thank you, GuapaM for such a nice Valentine! You spoiled me!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Friday, 11 February 2011

Valentine's are on their way

In ravelry, I am participating in a Blue Valentine's swap.  I got all my parcels out on Wednesday at the post office just before they were closing.  I didn't get a chance to go by after work or before knitting club, so I rushed there right after.  They were about to close, and saw how many parcels I had (7 of them) to send out.  I was told there was no way they could get out 10 packages in the next 10 minutes.  I quickly said, "Oh, I only have 7, and they are all addressed and ready to go."  She hesitated, and so I asked if we could just get out as many as possible today I'd appreciate it.  She was so nice, she served me and actually stayed a few minutes past the deadline to let me get them all sent out.

I realized after the fact that I had not taken any photos of the stuff I put in them.  They each contained one music CD, which I tried to customize to suit each person.  We'll see how off I was at that when they receive them... the theme had hinted at sultry blues, but I kept going back to jazz for my selections.  I also threw in a special Austin Powers soundtrack CD for those of them who were notorious for doing that Dr. Evil laugh through our discussion boards.  I really hope they get a kick out of that.  Most of the selections I chose were big band - Glenn Millar, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman.  But I also included Russell Gunn (Fly Me to the Moon), Count Basie (Ain't Misbehavin'), and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (My Funny Valentine).

I made a different Valentine card for each person, and above is a photo of one of the cards I made with my son.  We used scrapbook paper for the outside of the card.  Inside we used glitter glue, tissue paper, and yarn for the heart.  I think that's called an I-cord?  We glued it around in a heart shape.

I'm hoping to convince my hubby to watch a chick flick this weekend, though I don't know which one.  We may settle for watching The Rock in the movie Tooth Fairy with our kids. 

Happy Valentine's weekend to everyone!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Today by the pond

This photo was taken on one of our typical walks to get the mail.  I love seeing how the pond changes throughout the seasons.  This time we saw a loop of tracks through the snow.  We were wondering if it was a curious cat who went across the ice to see what was int he fallen log, or maybe even a fox that we saw years ago before much of the trees were cut down.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

More snow :)

My kids are hoping for another snow day, but as today is only Saturday, no chance. It started coming down just as I was finishing my shopping for the Blue Valentine's swap that I'm doing on ravelry.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network