Monday, December 27, 2004

I'm sorry I wished for snow ...

We had a green Christmas. Actually, it was more like a mud Christmas, with tons of rain. Now, we have snow. It started snowing last night at around 9. It continued to snow until these photos, which were taken at 2 pm. Now it is blowing a gale. Mind you, a blizzard is nothing compared to the devastating earthquake in Asia. I'm not complaining ...

The front yard Posted by Hello

My car isn't going anywhere soon. Posted by Hello

The back deck in a moment of calm. The snow is knee high, with drifts to my waist. Posted by Hello

Belle's sweater

from Santa's workshop .... made for my 4 year old niece and mailed half way across the country just in time for Christmas. By all reports it fits except for the sleeves, which are too long. Posted by Hello

Pattern specs

Pattern from Knit 'n Style magazine, December 2004, p. 72, called the Ocean Stripe jacket. This photo is a better likeness of the colours. Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Night before Christmas (Lawyer version)

I didn't write this, but I wish I had. Happy Holidays everyone!

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus")would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as ("I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co- conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages , toys, and other unknown items.

He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Happy December!

Happy December!

Originally uploaded by Mrs. R..

Today, Canadian Prime Minister Martin and American President Bush, along with a slew of other politicans and notables came to my neck of the woods - Halifax, Nova Scotia. There were planes and helicopters circling overhead for hours, which was somewhat unsettling. But, the speeches were short, the protestors polite, and everyone has gone home safe and sound. Just the way I like it.

By the way, the photo above is of quilts made by crayon applique. I found these samples on the net, just google "crayon applique" and you'll find lots of lovely examples. Just another quilting technique to add to the tool box ... someday.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004



Originally uploaded by Mrs. R..

Finally, a finished Loretta! Dorey approves. By the way, this is my first post using the Flickr photo sharing.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me!

So today I turn 29 for the 17th time. Back in the day, I had a very strict upbringing, but birthdays were special. My Mom had a tradition of giving each child breakfast in bed on the actual birthday, school day or not. We got to choose our meal. I invariably chose ham, french fries and chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate fudge on top. Can you imagine having to whip that up on a school morning whilst ensuring the rest of your 6 children got off to school on time? Thanks Mom!

When we turned 14 we got an extra special treat. At breakfast we received a formal invitation from Mom and Dad to dine with them that evening at a "grown up" restaurant. We were expected to deliver an equally formal R.S.V.P to them. (Funnily enough, a box of lovely note cards would be part of the gifts that morning.) That evening the lucky birthday child would dress to the nines and accompany Mom and Dad for an evening alone with them. Those of you who come from large families will recognize the importance of having the parents' full attention. This was our introduction to the world of adults. Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Top Ten Signs

Here are the top ten signs that my Secret Pal is a totally cool, sweet, caring, generous knitter:

10. She vacations in Prague.

9. She prepares and sends a package to me in the midst of packing for said vacation in Prague, when there is too little time and too much to do.

8. Email greetings are sent to me from internet cafes in Prague.

7. She includes treats for my puppies in the package (Kobie and Dorey say thank you SP).

6. My cats also receive treats in the package, in the form of catnip toys knit by my SP3. She knit for my cats! The dim sum from Knitty How cool is that? (Mickey and Ellie would say thanks too, if they weren't stoned on cat nip).

5. She sends me brain food in the form of a box of Mensa riddles and puzzles. I am slowly working my way through the box. Yes, I have gotten lots and lots right. Honest, I have. O.K., maybe not lots and lots. Maybe just some right so far. But I haven't gone through the whole box yet.

4. Chocolate is a necessity to me. She understands this, and includes chocolate in each package.

3. I am a Harry Potter fan. There are Harry Potter candies in the package.

2. She sends silk yarn. SILK!!! Yummy purple, soft, brushed Tussah silk. Obtained while she was on a trip to San Francisco. You can find it at the Art Fibers store. I love it, just love it.

1. I collect eggs. She makes me a candle in the shape of an egg, in my favourite colours. Hand crafted candle, folks. She rocks!

Here are the goodies.

Posted by Hello

Silk yarn! Handcrafted candle!

Posted by Hello

Mickey hugs his toy.

Posted by Hello

Ellie abandons dignity in favour of getting stoned, er, I mean, playing with catnip toy.

Posted by Hello

Dorey watches the cats. No photos of puppies enjoying their treats are available because, well, I forgot to take such photos. Erp.

Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Lest We Forget

In Flanders' fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 7, 2004

We have a winner!

April guessed correctly in the comments ... I am a reverse bloom washcloth. Pattern from Weekend Knitting.

What I like about this project:

  • the construction is easy even for a beginner like me,
  • the cloth is a generous size and just the right combination of soft and firm texture.

What I don't like about this project:

  • the 100% cotton was very hard on the joints so knitting could only be done in short spurts,
  • the washcloth stretches when wet, and
  • it takes FOREVER to dry. As in at least 24 hours to air dry.

Would I make another one? Yes, but in a different yarn. I just haven't found the right yarn yet. Any suggestions? Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Riddle Me This

I am a cream and peach variegated colour.

I am knit in cotton.

I have five sections and a middle.

I am made with both straight and circular needles.

What am I?

While you ponder the riddle, here is a photo of the project I use for Comfort Knitting. You know, the project you pick up when you need an easy pattern to work on, and something soft to handle. This yarn has mohair (hmmm soft) and is done entirely in moss stitch. It is destined to be a shawl for my Mom for her birthday. (Relax, the Empress S does not read my blog. She does not even have a computer in her house).

Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Knitting Is Magic - a Fairy Tale In One Part

Once upon a time in a land close to here, there lived a beautiful, young, intelligent knitter named Mrs. R. (Hey, its my fairy tale … I can lie if I want to, lie if I want to... you would lie too, if this happened to you!)

Mrs. R's mother, the Empress S., had taught all her sons and daughters to knit when they were children, but Mrs. R. had only learned to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. K2tog and YO were also mastered, but that is as far as she got.

In August Mrs. R. took up the needles again. Our heroine quickly accumulated a stash and merrily started many, many projects.

With the help of wizards like Lucy Neatby and Sheryl, the owner of Tangled Skeins, along with spells engraved in books like Weekend Knitting, Mrs. R. quickly learned 4 new techniques.

First, the making of icords was revealed. Mrs. R. marveled at how knitting at the opposite end from the yarn supply could result in a tube shape. The fairies themselves must have invented this clever technique.

This is Sophie the Second, modeling her icord handles.
Posted by Hello

Next, Mrs. R. was introduced to the fabulous art of the Kitchener Stitch. Joining separate ends of knitting without leaving a noticeable join line using just two knitting needles of live stitches held parallel and a darning needle is, quite simply, MAGIC!

The next technique was somewhat intimidating to Mrs. R. Short rows. The concept baffled our heroine, but she needed to make fingerless mitts for when she walks the puppies (er, I mean, when she flys with the Watch Dragons) and the spell in the book called Weekend Knitting used short rows to shape the mitts over the hand. So, the fearless Mrs. R. cast on and, muttering the special 4 letter words (er, I mean, the incantations) she short rowed away. In the end, our heroine had this to say: "SHORT ROWS ROCK!!"

Finally, the spell for fingerless mitts called for a 3 needle bind off. Here, our heroine's nerve failed her. Gremlins whispered in her ear. For this task she had already learned short rows, and how to cast on over a gap in the fabric (for the thumb). Wasn't that enough? Why was she being pushed so hard? What evil lurked here? Angels wafted into earshot and counter-attacked. "To whom can you turn for support and courage?" they asked her. Ah, Earl Gray to the rescue, with a dash of Captain Morgan on the side. Once fortified, Mrs. R. defeated the confidence-destroying gremlins and bound off successfully.

And everyone lived happily ever after.

- The End -

Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Coming Soon ...

... photo of a new Sophie bag (it's in the washer being felted right now). A glimpse of how I decided to use that mohair/acrylic blend. Photos of hand warmers a la Weekend Knitting (short rows rock!). A fringed Loretta, whoo hoo!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Tea at the Frog Pond

My first attempt at knitting socks is turning out to be - shall we say - interesting. Frustrating. Challenging. Fun, even. Sadly, that teeny cuff you see on the left side of the photo must be frogged. Some holes appeared in the rib (no, it isn't meant to be lace!). However, I have mastered the use of 5 needles and can rotate the stitches around at whim, to prevent laddering on the "corners" . So, all in all, a good learning experience. While visiting the frog pond I intend to sip tea from my stash of samples, courtesy of Adagio teas and Lisa Y. (Thanks again Lisa!) So far my favourite is Ceylon Waltz. That pumpkin-hugging puppy is on my calendar for the month of October. Remind you of anyone? No, my Dorey is not the cover girl. (By the way, is it my poor eyesight, or is this photo really blurry? Anyone?) Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Slightly overstated

This quiz is fun, but somehow I skipped the Apprentice stage and zoomed right on up to Guru. Hmmmm. How about you? Try it!

  • Knitting Guru

    You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting

    and do it all the time. While finishing a piece

    is the plan, you still love the process, and

    can't imagine a day going by without giving

    some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation

    involves leaving ample space for the stash and

    supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn

    ends and you begin.

    What Kind of Knitter Are You?

    brought to you by Quizilla

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    The sound of a deadline

    Advent Calendar : deadline fast approaches. I have, in fact, worked on this. Honest! See the proof below. Remember, this is hand pieced. It will be done on time. It will be done on time. (On time means Nov 15). Ah, deadlines. I love deadlines. Especially the sound they make as they fly by.

    Posted by Hello

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Stitch Markers! Get yer stitch markers here!

    Have you ever wandered through a dollar store ("Every thing for a Dollar or less") just wastin' time - and hit the jackpot? You know, like finding tea towels that match your kitchen colours exactly, or those plastic lids for opened soup cans ... stuff like that? [Yes, I'm easily amused. Wanna make somethin' of it? Huh? Huh?] ANYWAY, as I was sayin' I was wandering t'other day when the children's hair elastics display caught my eye. Now, normally this wouldn't even register with me, seeing as I have no children. But, the KnitList chatter that day had been all about stitch markers. A KnitLister had mentioned using hair elastics as markers. So, there I was, standing in front of a wall-o-hair-elastics, marvelling at the wealth of stitch markers. The blue binder in the photo is what I bought. It contained those bright cheerful hair elastics and it snaps closed into a neat little package to throw in your knitting basket. All for one dollar !!! (That's 80 cents for you Americans). I added some goodie elastics by hooking them over the binder rings (300 pieces for a dollar, various sizes) and I put my hand crafted beaded markers on the rings too. At the top of the binder you see a stitch holder. Some of the markers are in action, as you can see, on a Sophie bag for moi. I'm using the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride wool/mohair blend sent by my fabulous Secret Pal (hi SP! waves). This yarn is delicious - nice and soft to work with and knits up quickly. I bet its going to felt well too. Posted by Hello

    A big spender, I am. So, I splurged for two more stitch marker binders at the dollar store and customized them by adding some lovely beaded stitch markers (purchased, not clumsily hand made by me). These are going out as RAOK's real soon now. Right after I read 130 blogs. See ya on the RAOK ring!

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    French Market Boo Boo: Sophie to the rescue

    Knit God #1: "That Mrs. R. is spoiled rotten. She gets so many RAOKs, and she just got a new car."

    Knit God #2: "Yup, she sure is spoiled."

    Knit God #1: "We should do something to rain on her parade."

    Knit God #2: "Cool! What did you have in mind?"

    Sigh. As you may have read earlier on this blog, I was making the French Market Bag as a gift. To be presented on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday at noon I pulled the FMB out of the washer. It felted beautifully (everything they say about Cascade 220 Quattro is true. I love the stuff.) Sadly, the lovely felting could not compensate for my mistake in placing the handles. So, this mess is what I'm left with.

    Posted by Hello

    This is how it is meant to look.

    Posted by Hello

    What happened, you ask? Well, I knit the bottom in a rectangle rather than in the round. The pattern gives instructions for both methods. I didn't feel like wrestling with dpns to make the round, so I knit a rectangle and picked up the stitches instead. But, I forgot to mark the corners. When it came time to make the handles, I just willy nilly started binding off, with no regard to where I was in the shape. Hence, the misshapen mess. Ugh.

    Remember, at this point it was noon on Saturday and the gift was due on Sunday afternoon. What's a knitter to do? Pout, of course! Once I got that out of my system, I remembered the pattern for the Sophie bag. And, just the day before, I had purchased 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon to make a hat. There was no way around it - the hat had to be sacrificed in favour of the Sophie. I knit practically non-stop from 3 pm Saturday to 1 am Sunday until only the handles remained. Got up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to make the icords, then felted her. She took 3 rounds in the washing machine, and turned out like this:

    Posted by Hello

    Not bad, eh? Sophie was delivered, along with the Booga Bag, to a happy pair of princesses (a.k.a. my nieces).

    Posted by Hello

    By the way, as I was motoring along on Saturday night, I started to worry about having enough yarn. The stores are not open on Sundays here, so I was genuinely concerned. (Um, to be more accurate, it is fair to say I was "freaking out"). In the end, I did have some yarn left over. How much, you ask? 9 inches of yarn left, to be exact. Whew. That was a close one!


    My Secret Pal sent me this postcard. Cute, eh? Suits me to a "T". Thanks SP!

    Posted by Hello

    Ann sent me a sock themed RAOK. Those charts are really going to come in handy for this newbie sock knitter. The booklet has 4 sock patterns - really cute ones. And the CrazyQuilt note cards are going to come in very handy. Check out the hand-crafted card, with RAOK spelled out in tiles. Awesome. Thanks Ann!

    Posted by Hello