Saturday, December 29, 2007

A WIP ... with a problem ...

Thank you to all of you who take the time to leave such lovely comments on my blog! It is such a pleasure to read them all.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is already past ... I hope yours was enjoyable. I got one of those once-in-a-lifetime gifts where you open it up and absolutely freak out! Firstly, I was handed a package from our daughter which contained the new Celine Dion CD ... I thought "sweet", I'll enjoy that. Then came another package and it nearly blew my mind ... a ticket to her concert next October in Vancouver!!!!!! I couldn't believe it ... talk about doing the 'happy dance'! The best part will be the anticipation as it's still a ways off. She bought a ticket for herself, too, so we're going together, which is the other 'best part'. What a great kid.

I've started (and restarted!) the sleeve on my "Silver Belle" at least 3 times ... I thought I'd cracked it the 2nd time and was motoring along thinking this wasn't so bad :) until I got up this a.m. and looked at my progress, only to discover I'd wrongly crossed the cable on the left ... big fat raspberry :P********!

Phooey! There's no disguising that boo boo ... it's quite apparent. A frogging we will go ...

Anyhow, got that all sorted out and then knit about another 6 inches on it this evening. Hopefully, I won't have a repeat performance.
Our dog could be in a full 'coma' down the hall and all you have to do to wake him up is open a bag of chips somewhere in the house and he springs into action. Don't plan on opening one unless you plan on sharing! Hubby had the chip bag out, laying on the couch beside him. The dog stuck his head inside and was intently licking the salt out of the bag when it became attached to his face! It was on so tight that it would expand and contract with his breathing which gave him quite a fright, but didn't deter him from extracting every possible grain of salt.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

"For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given,
And his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace ..."

Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Silver Belle's, Silver Belle's"

No, that is not a spelling error ... I'm referring to VK Debbie Bliss Silver Belle pattern. Go here to see and download the free pattern. Stacey at Crimson Purl let me know that she has a KAL for this amazing sweater ... so heads up girl, I'll be joining!

Last week I did a little online ebay Christmas shopping for myself :) and discovered this fabulous deal from one of my fave British vendors. Although the pattern calls for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (my all time favorite!) this is a comparable quality yarn at half the price and, wait for it ... the shipping cost was included!

The yarn is called: "Jaeger Extra Fine Merino" and the colour is "Blue Star". Best of all, because it is extra fine merino, I can happily knit with wool without getting the sneezy, itchy, runny nose grumpies! Could life be any better? My sister is likely reading this and shaking her head. Not a knitter herself, she sometimes thinks I'm 'a brick short' ... when I 'wax eloquent' about my wool scores.

Oh, and a pair of Christmas 'Christine's booties' to go with the hat previously shown here. We're still waiting for the arrival of our son-in-law's, brother's first baby, who is actually due today. We don't know the sex, but I thought, being Christmas and all, that red would work for either and be kinda cute.


approx. 1/2 ball Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in red
Set of size 3mm metal sock needles
Pattern: Christine's Booties
Changes: 2 x 2 rib for cuff
Crocheted a chain stitch for ribbon. Used yarn doubled.

As you know, I've made this same pattern several times over in the past few months :) and have to say that this yarn beats out any other to date. The stitch definition is incredible; the softness you want to drown in and best of all, it's machine washable! Just don't put it in the dryer. Also, it's the perfect size for newborn, but will stretch to fit to at least 3 months +, so they'll at least wear it longer than it took me to knit it!

Well, you may or may not hear from me again until after Christmas, so I'll take a moment now to wish you a happy holiday season as we celebrate the birth of the Saviour.
"May the Spirit of Christmas fill your heart with love and joy; and may the joy of the season last all year."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Here's a card I designed this morning to go along with the pinwheel blanket shown below in last entry. As my cousin is from Scotland, I thought the argyle paper appropriate! The baby is named after his grandfather, who passed away at the young age of 33, so it makes it even more special.

Guess who came to visit for a couple of hours last night, while mom and dad went to the dentist?

Here he is with grandma, modelling his new hat on which I embroidered a snowflake. I got the idea for the pattern from my christmas tea towel. I basically just eyeballed it and stitched it onto the front of the hat. Pretty cute, huh! BTW, how do you like my new 'do'?

That was the last smile we saw for over an hour ... he basically screamed, at full volume, until his parents returned. What a pleasure?! The dog was very agitated and kept running up to me as if to say 'can't you fix this'???

He hasn't been away from his mom much and he was positive that I wasn't her! My husband and I took turns walking the hall and I sang every Christmas carol (all the verses, too) I knew ... no go. Finally, after he'd worked himself into a real state, barfed on me & had a diaper change, here we are, 5 minutes before his parents returned ... out cold! Grandma needs a drink! And, guess what? We get to do this all over again on Saturday evening and maybe even overnight :) All you moms have my utmost respect. I was shattered after 2 hours and you all deal with this 24/7 ... wow.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Baby Pinwheel Blanket ... at last!


Baby Pinwheel Blanket Pattern
Edging pattern from Debbie Bliss 'Special Knits'
"Marble" yarn - 3 balls + 1 ball for edging ('Autumn' shade)
Denise Needles: Size 5mm
Susan Bates Bamboo sock needles: Size 5mm

Here's a reminder of where I was at with the blanket the last time you saw it.

This blanket is started in the middle and then you work your way out. I had such a dickens of a time getting this thing started in the round, until I tried bamboo needles and had success. They aren't as slippery as metal and made the job much easier. Once I reached the point where I could switch over to circular needles, I used my Denise needle kit, plus the extra cable accessory kit I found on ebay, which goes up to 52" around! The Denise needles made it so easy to change to a larger cable, when necessary. Love them!

The Debbie Bliss edging pattern finished off the blanket perfectly, without being too frilly, as the recipient is my cousin's new baby boy.

Here it is in it's entirety! While the colour is pretty close in the above pics, this one is looking a bit 'halloweeny' instead of more accurately, autumny. Oh well, you get the idea :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Knitting

A knitting pal sent me the following link to a new pattern every day for the month of December ... too fun! Hope you all enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2007

More Baby Hats ...

With the recent chilly weather and a huge snowfall to top it off, the requests for hats from my stepdaughter and her 'new mom' friends keep rolling in. The red one (debbie bliss baby cashmerino) is for a baby yet to be born, but due in the next couple of weeks. Thought it would be appropriate for the Christmas Season and would work for either a girl or boy ... Christine's Booties yet to to started/completed.

The green one (Elann 'Espirit') is for my growing grandson and will eventually be accompanied by another pair of Christine's Booties (which my step-daughter loves because they stay on so well) . I'll be embroidering a huge snowflake in cream yarn on the front of the hat, with matching tiny snowflakes on the toes of the booties :)

This hat is for a 5 month old, who has a massive head! To my mind, it looks as though it would fit a 2 year old ... I love the olive and pumpkin combo ... yarn: Scheepjes 'Donna' (love this stuff!)

My new camera (Canon S5IS) has arrived, along with 3, (count them!) instruction manuals :( ... I so-o am not good with manuals. So far, I've figured out how to turn it on (there are actually 2 'ons'!) and use the zoom and have taken a couple of pics, but I really need to spend some time with the dreaded manuals. The guys at work promised me there would be an intro to photography course for dummies in the New Year, so I'll be first on the list.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

80th Birthday

Here's our grandson, Josh, helping me present Great Grandpa Lorne with a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake in honor of his 80th birthday, this past Saturday. There were 13 of us, including the new baby, on hand to help Lorne celebrate his birthday... 4 generations were represented at the table ... how special.

We feasted on baked ham, scalloped potatoes, pineapple sauce, salad, prawns and loads of raw veggies and dip until we were absolutely stuffed! Even Great Grandma surprised us by having seconds ... but, she saved a bit of room for the ice cream cake, which was very yummy! We were to also have a fruit platter, but I didn't discover I'd forgotten about it until after everyone had left ... classic me!

I'm currently 'miffed' with my knitting project (a cardigan) ... it's a Debbie Bliss aran pattern which called for aran tweed, but I subbed cashmerino aran. I had 10 balls, and by the pattern (& my) calculations, I should have only required slightly more that 9. Well, the back and two fronts are done and I'm 3/4's through the sleeves and I'm down to practically nothing yarn-wise. I guess I'll have to take the sleeves out, speed up the increases and have 3/4 sleeves, instead of full length. I'm not in the mood to deal with this right now, so I've tossed it in my basket and am doing my best to ignore it. Yes, I've already contacted the store where I purchased it to see if I could get 1 more ball in the same dyelot ... no go ... :P*******

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Creative DNA

There is definitely an artistic or creative gene that runs in our family. My dad is so amazingly talented, it's scary. He learned how to be a 'joiner' or finishing carpenter, as a young person in Scotland. He always had a project on the go around the house, either furniture or some kind of home improvement, and it was always done flawlessly. When he retired, he was looking for a new hobby to fill his time, so he took up wood turning. Within three years, he reached 'Master' status and took third place in North America in a local competition. Since then, he's been published in a British wood turning magazine, sells his pieces to folk world wide and is highly respected and renowned in the wood turning world. Apparently, Diana Krall has one of his pieces!

He loves to come into my workroom and see what I'm doing and to see if anything I'm working on would cross over into his world. I was showing him a card making class that I was putting together, using Basic Grey rub ons for embellishments. He wondered if they would work on wood, so I gave him one to try out. Here's what he came up with ... it's called a Japanese Wish Pot and it's stunning. It also helped me with my course, because I could show yet another way to use these fabulous rub ons.

Dad also made me a few gorgeous shawl stick pins, so now not only does his craft have a correlation to scrap booking, but also to my other favorite thing ... knitting! I once needed size 25mm needles to do a mobius cape and couldn't find them anywhere. So, I went to the hardware store and bought a 25 mm dowel and took it over to Dad. He cut it, put it on his lathe, made a point at the end and then capped the other end with an adorable hand made wooden button. Ta-da! So talented

He gave us a scare this week when he needed to have another angiogram/angioplasty done, with a new stent installed in his heart, but all is well and he's back home, feeling great and thanking God for His goodness to him. Love you, Dad!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pumpkin Day

Here's our little 'pumpkin' wearing his new hat for the occasion. He's up to 8lbs. now, and 6 weeks old, so the newborn sized hat from "Itty Bitty Hats" now fits him.

Grandpa was working from home and took some time out to snuggle with Ethan when he and his mom popped in for a visit. Brinkley wanted in the picture too, to show off his costume!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Cardigan Grows ...

A year ago September, a certain little miss who lives next door, was soon off to her first day of kindergarten, but announced that she needed a new cardigan (in purple please) to accomplish the task effectively. She came over and we went through various patterns (plus the stash) and discussed at length what shade of purple and which pattern it would be. She decided on the Rowan Wool Cotton, in lilac (kid has good taste!) and then Sirdar Pattern #1559. It turned out very well, and much to her liking. The first day of school '06 was a scorcher, but little miss wore the cardigan proudly, anyway, announcing to all (interested or not) that Kerry, her neighbor had made this sweater for her!

Fast forward to this September ... kid must be eating straight fertilizer as the cardigan is way too short in length. These 'seal eyes' were pleading with me over the fence to please make it longer. Of course I caved. I got out my crochet hook, blew off the dust, and got cracking.

So, I made it a tiny bit longer here ...

And a tons longer here ... (like about 3")

And ta-da, the cardigan reinvented!

The original cardigan ended with the seed stitch just below the bottom button.

I'd forgotten how quick the inches pile up when you crochet ... if I'd decided to knit the edging, it would have taken me several evenings. The bottom edging only took 1! Not that I'm thinking of converting anytime soon.

Now, all I need to do is give it a bit of a press and it should be good to go!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I recently read over at annypurls' blog about her experience with wet blocking a bamboo knitted lace item and how disappointed she was with the outcome. It seemed to go a bit stiff and misshapen. A friend previously gifted me with this lovely soft bamboo/cotton blend yarn, with a beautiful sheen (purchased in Germany) which I've just finished knitting into a lace scarf. It definitely needs blocking, but I'm loathe to go the 'wet' route, after seeing anny's blog. Plus, the label says 'no ironing', so I assume that rules out 'steam' blocking. Any suggestions? Can you help me out?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Little Man

Goodness! Has it really been a week since I last blogged??? For those of you who were wanting to see the knits modeled, here you go! This is my own hat pattern, and Christine's booties, made 'preemie' size in Elann Espirit yarn. Photo was taken yesterday when we had a visit from the little guy. He's now 3 weeks old!

Last Sunday we held a baby shower in his honour ... here's what he did through the whole thing!

He was literally passed from hand to hand for 3 hours and never once made a peep. However, he made up for it a day later when he did nothing but howl all day long ... poor mom!
Here's his lovely cousin, Cicely, enjoying a snuggle with him. Notice the hat shown here previously which has a matching 'baby bolero' ? It's a little big yet, but he'll soon grow into it.

Went to the doctor's this week and we were pleased to see that he's gained 1/2 lb this week ... now up to 6lbs 14 oz. Go baby, go! On the way home, we stopped in to have a first visit with Great Grandma Eileen. She was pretty pleased to see him!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A little of this and that ...

Check out this yawn! Ethan is home and doing well. He's up to 6lbs 7oz., and everyone is pleased with his progress. Grandma got in some 'cuddle time' while everyone else cleaned up after I cooked Thanksgiving Dinner. I even got to change a couple of diapers!

A new hat for Ethan ... started out as Alison's bell bottoms, but I realized my gauge was out so I turned one of the legs into a hat instead. I used Lion Brand's cotton ease for the first time and am very impressed! It doesn't split like a lot of other cotton yarns and is very soft and easy to work with. I'll definitely use it again.

This is the Baby Shrug pattern from the 'One Skein' pattern book. This one turned out intentionally smaller as the Lion Brand yarn is finer than the one called for. This was OK by me as Ethan's so thin and tiny that it fits fine now and will last him through his first month.

Here's the set as it's blocking on the bathroom counter ... the angle is a little 'off', making the one sleeve look much wider than the other ... in reality, it's not!

I'm about 3/4's the way through the edging for the baby pinwheel blanket. I was smart to leave a whole ball for the edging as it looks like I will likely use all of it. Now I need to finish knitting the edge, then get the edge sewn on and the blanket blocked before the baby shower on Sunday!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happy Dance & Happy Thanksgiving!

I was dancing/jumping around my workroom last evening and shouting woo-hoo! (very loudly) when both my husband and dog came running to see what all the excitement was about. The source??? I finally got my invitation to Ravelry!!!!! Honestly, my husband looked at me like I'd grown a horn! I'd only checked the night before to see where I was on the list ... #490. So I knew I didn't have long to wait, but what I didn't realize is that they are now trying to add 500 new testers per day, so it's moving much more quickly. Yippee!

On a more solemn note, it's Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, so am up early to get the turkey stuffed and into the oven. So much to be thankful for! A wonderful place/country to live in; family (plus a new grandbaby!); friends; healthy enough to do what I love; have a job I love; the grace and love of God; and the list goes on! I once heard a saying that I've tried to adopt in my life: "Have an attitude of gratitude". When we look for things to be grateful for, instead of complaining, our life takes on a much more positive stance. That's what I'm shooting for. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dog Mischief!

I was unpacking the groceries and was on my way down the hall with a new box of toothpaste when my husband needed my immediate assistance. I dropped the box next to my purse and went into the other room. Seconds later, the dog blew past me averting his head and looking highly suspicious. The next thing I knew, he'd managed to pop the box open, dump out the toothpaste and had begun to shred the box to bits (his favorite pastime). Thankfully, while there were dents in the tube, no teeth penetrated. Look at that face! How could I be angry??? The rule in our house (as it regards the dog) is: "If it's on the floor, it's fair game". My first thought was, "quick, grab the camera"!!!

How cute is this dog?????

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Blanket for Ethan ...

Finished, pressed and all ready to be packaged up with a cuddly stuffed bear for our new grandbaby! See here for pattern/yarn details ... scroll down :)

I used to have a gift basket business and prefer to use practical or unusual containers to package gifts in. In this case, I have a 'winnie the pooh' acid-free, photo storage box that comes with index divider cards. That way, mom can store Ethan's photos by month/age and they will be all at her finger tips when she's ready to put his scrapbook together (or rather, when she has me put his scrapbook together :) ! Or, she can use it decoratively to tuck out-of-sight small baby items, yet have them at the ready when she needs them.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's A Boy!!!

After inducing, 30 hours of labour, 2 hours pushing, 1 emergency c-section, 2 weeks early ... may I present:

Ethan David Luke Raymond
6 lbs. 4 oz.
20" long
September 26, 2007
11:07 p.m.

Mom, Dad and baby are well!

Grandma and grandpa are delighted but exhausted!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Here's the current status on the baby pinwheel blanket. I started with a 1/2 ball of James Brett Marble yarn ('Patagonia', in autumn colours), and have just joined in the 2nd full ball. I think that once I've finished with this ball, I'll save the last one for the edging ... pattern yet to be determined. The blanket is about 3 feet across, currently, and will likely be about 4 feet once completed. Thank goodness for the Denise needle set I bought last year! I found extra long cables in 40" and 50" sizes on ebay, which are really coming in handy for this project. When the stitches get too cramped on the current length, I just hook in another cable and away I go ... love it!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Invasion of the Monster Zucchini

This thing has to weigh at least 10 lbs!!!!! We've had quite a bit of rain this week, so I haven't been out to check on the plants. Last time I looked, there wasn't even a tiny one to be seen ... then look what happens. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day today so as I was wandering around the backyard with the dog, I thought I'd take a look under those HUGE leaves and see if there was anything lurking ... oh, yeah.

Check out how many I picked ... three monsters and 2 small ones. Thank goodness I happened on Adam's blog this a.m., where he was extolling the virtues of his zucchini cake recipe. Guess what I'll be making tonight????? ... and likely for the next week and beyond!

Here's a peek at the EZ Surplice Sweater found in the Summer 2007 Vogue. I didn't really give it a second glance when I flipped through the magazine initially, because truthfully, I wasn't overly impressed with the stripey pattern or the colour choices (alright, I thought it was downright ugly!!!). However, I have since become enthralled with all things "Elizabeth Zimmerman" and decided to give it a 'go', minus all the extra colours/way too many stripes. I'm using my ever favorite Scheepjes 'Donna', in an olive and pumpkin combination which should be suitable to celebrate the upcoming birth of my cousin's son-to-be. I like that it 'grows' with the baby and therefore should fit him for at least a little longer than it took me to knit it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Hat for Emma

Back in June, I wrote about little Emma who was born very prematurely, here (scroll down a bit). I had made her tiny preemie hats to protect her little head. The first one was for a baby 24 weeks pregnancy size ... man, was it ever small ... not even doll size! Well, I got the word this week that Emma is growing and is now 8lbs and needs a new hat. Her head has been kept shaved, so that all the various tubes/monitors, etc. could be readily attached. She's still in Children's Hospital, but this week had the pacemaker and all associated tubing removed and seems to be doing OK ... thank you, Jesus! Her Grammie tells me that she's quite the little fighter!

In every stitch, in each hat that I've made for Emma, is a prayer for her well being, that God would restore all systems and functions in her body to optimum health and that her mom and dad would be able to bring her home soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On 'Baby Alert' ...

Cell phones are fully charged and turned 'on'; pagers are at the ready; we're on 'baby alert'!!!

It looks like the baby may be delivered early. It's at the 36+ week mark, but Kala is having some toxemia/blood pressure issues, so we were at the hospital yesterday having yet another stress test. This past Sunday there was concern that she'd have to be induced or perhaps have a c-section as her blood pressure was steadily rising. However, yesterday, it had come down 6 points, and the baby seemed 'happy'. The doctor (who is actually on holiday!) is quite concerned and has called her several times. He has put her on blood pressure medication and ordered bed rest in the hopes that we can keep baby inside for at least another week, or longer. Not an easy thing for someone who has no hobbies and is already bored out of her mind. So, while she was over yesterday, I got out some big needles and chunky yarn, cast on, and taught her how to knit. She picked it up so quickly and is well on her way to having a lovely red tweed scarf for winter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

W I P Wednesday

Another 'pumpkin' hat from Itty Bitty Hats ... minus the pumpkin colour. The wide ribbing doesn't really show well in the photo ... much better on an actual head.

And ... I've successfully re-started the pinwheel baby blanket -- whoo-hoo!!! After botching it back here, and trying numerous times to get it going again, I've finally been successful. Who would have thought it would be so difficult to work with 5 stitches in the round????? I mean, good grief, I've conquered cables, colourwork, steeks, etc. surely a little thing like this shouldn't be the death of me??? However, it very nearly was. I've started this thing at least a dozen or more times, only to botch it shortly after casting on. I found it so awkward. Finally, I switched to bamboo needles and then only cast on to 3 needles (instead of 4) and then added the 4th as I increased to more stitches. Success! I guess, initially, it was a bad combination of metal needles (too slippery) and then using too many needles. Whatever -- it worked; I'm happy; that's all that matters!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hubby's Birthday!

This past Thursday, it was Hubby's turn to wear the famous 'birthday hat'. He's not one for a lot of fuss, so it was just us, my sister and her dog, 'Leopold'. We had a relaxing afternoon, sipping G & T's with lime :) in the backyard, while our dogs wore each other out.

Supper began with prawn cocktail; prime rib roast with all the trimmings; then a heavenly lemon meringue pie which my sister made and brought ... one of hubby's favorite things. He doesn't see pie very often in this house, and certainly not made by me. Pie crust is not one of my many talents and I don't even pretend anymore. It's either store bought, or family brought.

Here is my 'nephew' Leopold, chewing on one of Brinkley's bones. This little monkey, who's all of 8 pounds is quite the little toughie. I'd hidden the bones at the bottom of Brinkley's toy wheelbarrow. Leopold climbed up the side of it and proceeded to haul every last thing out until he reached the bones on the bottom. I swear the bone was very nearly heavier than he is! He then dragged it all along the family room carpet, across the tile floor in the kitchen (where it made an awful clank when he dropped it for a moment) and then finally into the dining room where Brinkley was lying and then all but thumbed his nose at Brinkley and sat down to have a good chew. Cheeky thing!

He decided to push the envelope just a tad, by trying to acquire the second bone, which Brinkley was guarding. Needless to say, a 'discussion' ensued, with neither party backing off (100lb retriever vs. 8lb. floor mop (shih tzu) which then necessitated a time out in opposing corners for each of them.

And a good time was had by all!