Friday, March 30, 2007


This is a little (6x6") scrapbook about family that I made for my sister. It's a colourful, interactive book, which makes it kind of fun for all ages.

We've had 3 days of 't-shirt' weather ... I actually got a little red driving around with the sunroof open yesterday. Drove into New Westminster to get my finances sorted out with a new financial planner my Dad recommended. Really great gal ... liked her style a lot. I was in and out within 45 minutes, so took some time to wander through the New West. Quay and see the interesting stalls. Picked up some yummy looking veggies and fruit and then headed back to get to my hair appointment.

On the way, I remembered my Dad telling me that a LYS (local yarn shop) was closing and had a major sale on. I had some time, so stopped in. All yarn was 75% off!!!!! I managed to restrain myself, and only bought a modest bag full, sufficient for 3 projects. Yarn that would normally cost 8.99/ball was instead only $2 something ... I was very nearly dancing in the store! I would have done a lot more 'damage' as they had quite a bit of Rowan Tweed, but sanity ruled when I realized that I would be extremely itchy/irritable if I even so much as touched it :( So, I admired it from afar.

Imagine, an avid knitter who develops an allergy to wool! Previously, it was only the rough, scratchy kind. Now, it has extended from Highland/Shetland wool to include Alpaca, too. I can cope with that, but it had better not extend to merino in the future, or I will be a very unhappy camper. Until recently, I was a 'die-hard wool only kinda gal' ... I wouldn't even remotely consider expending my energies on an item that was made from acrylic ... ugh! I just find that wool hold it's shape so much better, and the stitch definition is amazing. Now, I'm actually venturing into the cotton/blend realm, which is quite a deviation for me. While I like the look and feel of cotton, I get frustrated with the saggy, baggy after effects. Thankfully, I'm still OK with both the merino and cashmere blends and let's hope it continues!

I've been working on the Somewhat Cowl from Wendy at Knit and Tonic and am about half way down the body. When I get the batteries sorted out for my camera, I'll post an 'in-progress' shot.

We celebrated Mom's birthday last Sunday with Brunch at Newland's Golf course. If you've got a big appetite, the buffet was amazing and literally filled an entire conference room with it's various 'stations'. Didn't need to eat for the rest of the day!

The hospital announced yesterday that Terry's mom is fit to leave, so we picked her up this a.m. and got her settled in at their apartment. Terry is off with his dad picking up some equipment that should make her life safer and a little easier. Looks like we might be getting some company this weekend, so I'd better tackle the dusting!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Itty, Bitty Baby Socks

Presenting socks to match the hat previously made here! They are also knit from Elann Espirit Print, in the Indigo Gold shade. I used 3.00mm double-pointed needles and cast on 36 stitches. Each one took me approximately 3 hours to knit! Now, we have a matching cardigan, hat and socks. Still need to find the perfect buttons for the cardigan, then I'll post the finished product.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tale of a Tea Set

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my Dad is from Scotland and he was recently over visiting his mum ('Granny Minnie'), just before she passed away on February 26, 2007.

This tea set is infamous ... shortly after Dad emigrated to Canada, his mum and dad had their Silver Wedding Anniversary. Dad bought them the above (Royal Albert Silver Birch) tea set as a gift and sent it back to them ... for the grand total of $49.95, including shipping ... over 55 years ago!

The tea set has NEVER been used! Granny thought it was 'too good', and we were only allowed to look at it when we came for a visit. It got taken out of the cupboard at least once a year, washed/dried and returned to the cupboard. We used to go into the kitchen to make a pot of tea and then shout back 'will I use the good tea set'??? She'd get so huffy at even the suggestion of using it. We'd give it right back to her saying, "We've come all the way from Canada to visit you, and you won't even serve us tea in the good china"? Guilt trips were ineffectual. We used to threaten that we were going to take it with us on one of our many picnics and she would give us the silent, evil eye.

My cousins never cared for the tea set, as they much prefer Denby style dinner service. Once when my aunt and cousins were over visiting, they jokingly said to Gran that they would have a 'Greek Party' with the china, after she was gone, tossing it around to their heart's content! She was not impressed!

Interestingly enough, my husband's grandma also had the same tea set ... pieces of which were bequeathed to him when she passed away.

Dad and I were on the phone while he was in Scotland, and he said they were clearing out Granny's house, and sending most of it to a local charity shop. No one over there was interested in the tea set, so I asked Dad to bring it back home. So, the tea set has come full circle, back to Canada, where it will be used and enjoyed. Here's to you, Granny!

All told, there are 6 cups/saucers, cream & sugar + tray, sandwich tray, cake plate and 6 side plates.

Tea for two, anyone?

Presenting, the cake plate, which likely would have been Gran's favorite, as she loved her sweets!

My Granny, Minnie Dougal, died on February 26th, 2007 at the age of 98, with my dad and his sister (Chris) singing hymns to her as she peacefully went to be with the Lord she loved.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Tale of Two Hats

So, what's the deal with this???? Two balls of the EXACT same Cascade Fixation Yarn, in two different colours, using the same hat pattern (although the brim is slightly different) with the same number of stitches/needle size, yet the blue one turned out much bigger than the pink! I'm thinking the wrong label got put on the blue ball ... I was making them for my girlfriend's new twins, but clearly I'll have to reconsider, as the blue one is HUGE!

This little cutey is the "Snuggly Bubbly" shrug from Sirdar, Pattern #1652 and comes with either short or long sleeves. I made the size 2, intending it for my cousin's daughter's 2nd birthday in February ... however, I didn't quite get it in the mail yet :( !

Anyway, it only took 2 balls of Snuggly Bubbly yarn, which has the texture of soft, bumpy chenille and is very reminiscent of a bedspread I once had ... hmmm. While the yarn felt soft to work with, it was a bit of a pain as there was a sizable 'bump' every inch (with thin yarn in between) creating challenges in maneuvering around 'make 1 stitch' instructions. Not to mention the 'mind numbing' stocking stitch pattern ... I was thankful it was only baby sized (and short sleeved). I would probably make this pattern again, using perhaps a textured organic type cotton.

I'm still dragging myself around with this flu, and don't dare knit anything more challenging than a plain knit stitch, as was evidenced in the cabled front of my Bristow cardigan, which I shall now have to 'frog'. I was blissfully knitting along, when I came to a point in the pattern where it said "At the same time, do ....." when I was already 2" past that point ... g-r-r-r. I should have been decreasing for the neck edge, too, not just the armhole. That will teach me to read through the whole thing first.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ruffles and Lace

There is another 3" in the rain gauge, according to my husband, however, the sun has finally come out, so that's a happy thing! I've got a draggy behind today, due to the onset of a cold :( ... however, Brinkley made it clear that he was having a walk today, so off we went. What a fiasco! He hasn't been on the leash for a couple of days (due to the torrential downpour) so he had to stop every 10 feet to check and see if any of his buddies had left 'p-mail' messages for him ... and then leave one for them in return! We'd just get going and then he'd veer off again ... g-r-r ... oh well, it was nice to get some fresh air.

Here are some 'F/O's ('finished objects') that I made in 2006 which I thought you might be interested in seeing. The first one is Pretty Peplum Cardigan, from Paton's Classics Pocket Patterns #500807, knit in lime green Paton's Katrina (per pattern specifications). It was great to work with: lots of stretch, a little shiny and great stitch definition, HOWEVER, what a pain to wear!!!! You barely just look at it, and there's suddenly a 'pill' on it. Heaven forbid your sleeve rubs on the side of the cardi and there's another pill! Note to self: NEVER buy this yarn again! Actually, I've heard tell that it's discontinued ... small wonder!

Pretty border! OK, I admit it ... I'm a girlie-girl at heart. I love ruffles!

Next up is 'Dianna' Lace & Ruffle Cardigan from Adrienne Vittadini #AV-PB25. I used Rowan All Season's Cotton Yarn (in cream), from my stash, which was wonderful to work with. I refer to this as my $1000 sweater. If I was to calculate the number of hours it took me to complete this thing, based on my hourly salary, that's what it would be worth! I figure I spent more time frogging (rip-it, rip-it!) than I actually did knitting it. I found the pattern to be beyond vague ... (it was the complete anti-thesis of a Debbie Bliss pattern , where she all but tells you when to blow your nose!) but I was bound and determined that I was going to conquer both the lace pattern and the cardigan. I'm so glad I stuck it out, because I absolutely love it! I have an antiquey looking faux pewter/garnet brooch, which makes the perfect closure when I don't want to fuss with it open.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday Birthday Brunch

Here's Kala, celebrating her 28th birthday with the family! It's really not until the 13th, but it worked out for everyone to be here today. First time we've ever done brunch for a birthday, but it actually turned out to be the perfect way to spend a perfectly awful, rainy day! We've had 5" of rain in the past 2 days, and there's 80 - 100cm forecast ... yuck!

The kids arrived for noon, and the last ones just left at 4:30! I made cinnamon bun pullaparts for Kala's cake ... somehow didn't feel right to be eating icing cake for breakfast. The kids love it! We started out with 'Mimosas' (made with orange juice, grand marnier & champagne) except the kids and birthday girl had to 'pass', due to pregnancy. We also had the "Christmas Morning Wife-Saver Casserole", which is really a strata. It's great because you put the whole thing together the night before, and then throw it in the oven in the a.m. Actually, it's the same with the pullaparts ... make them the night before, let them rise on the counter and then bake them the following a.m. Talk about easy! Add to that a huge fruit platter and a baked ham with sweet & sour pineapple sauce and you're good to go.

These are our grandkids, Joshua (10) and Cicely (13), on their way out the door. Cicely has new braces on her teeth, and it's amazing how fast the teeth are already moving. She's going to have a killer smile when all is said and done. Josh can hardly wait to get home to play on his Playstation 2, as he's only allowed to play it on weekends. He'd love to be a video game designer when he's older.

Terry went up to the hospital to see his mom, and Brinkley and I are going for a nap ... pooped out!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Paper Thieving Dog!

I was wrapping a gift and had to leave the room for a moment. Guess who sneaked off with a piece of tissue paper??

He loves to shred it, then (when it's done to his liking) he lies down in the middle of it and has a rest, as if to say 'there, that job's done'!

Here's the current status on the Knitty Bristow cardigan ... I got a bit done last night on the left side. Notice the curvy shaping on the right side! The little eyelets are cute and the cable is sufficiently challenging to add interest, without having to be riveted to the pattern. Actually, I did this while watching TV last night. Check out the 'tres cute' stitch markers on the needle (recently received from a knitting friend) in my current favourite 'apple green' colour!

Just got off the phone with my Dad, who returned home from Scotland last night. He couldn't say enough about the flight, as he ended up in 1st class! He was given p.j.'s, slippers, toiletry bag, a chair that makes into a bed, his choice of 20 movies to watch, filet with lobster for supper ... etc. He had used points for the flight, but my hubby checked into what the cost would have been, if he'd had to pay for it ... you'd best take a seat ... $12,000!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spring Has Sprung!

What an amazing day we had here yesterday! Completely dispelled the reputation of the normally rainy, Northwest. My crocuses were delighted with the warmth and opened up their happy little faces for all the world to see. The dog was very pleased to be out for a walk (no way was I going out the day before in that deluge! All his buddies were out as well, so everyone had a good sniff/visit. I started out with my coat on, but by the end of our driveway, realized I needed to ditch it. Too hot!

Look at this pot of mini daffodils ... the three flower heads in the centre actually belong to only ONE stem! I've never seen anything like it. The only reason that they're in bloom this early in the season is because the pot is up close to the patio door and they're protected by the roof slope above. It's something happy to look at (particularly on a dreary day) while I'm sitting in the family room knitting or reading.

My sister thought that I should include a picture of her in the blog, so, here you go, Maureen! That's me on the right, and my 'nephew' Leopold, in Maureen's arms. We're 23 months apart and, no, I'm not going to tell you who's older!

My stepdaughters popped in late yesterday afternoon, after visiting their Grandma in the hospital (which, conveniently, is only two blocks away from our house). We ended up having supper together and a lot of good laughs. I thought I'd best start taking some 'pregnancy progression' photos, so here is Kala (say 'Kayla') at exactly 2 months and 4 days pregnant. Not t-o-o-o excited, eh?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Elann Esprit Baby Hat(s)

The pattern for this hat was provided free, by my LYS, and actually calls for Cascade Fixation Yarn, but the Elann Espirit works equally well, and I actually prefer their interesting colour ways.

This is the hat that I started in the waiting room last week, while waiting for my m-i-l to have her eyes assessed. It was completed yesterday, while I again waited with her ... however, this time it was in the Emergency ward at the hospital, where she was brought by ambulance, after falling and breaking her right hip on the weekend. Apparently it happened on Friday night, but she forbade her husband to call an ambulance, or let us know! She spent 2 days in bed (in what must have been horrendous pain) before finally giving in and letting the paramedics take her to emerg. She must have an amazing pain tolerance level.

Here is the second hat, also started yesterday, and almost ready for the crown decreases. Thank goodness I had my knitting with me, or I would have gone 'stir crazy'! We were in Emerg for almost 8 hours, before she was taken into surgery. My hubby bbq'd steak for dinner (bless him!) and I was in bed shortly thereafter. Called the hospital this a.m. and they said she had a good night. My hubby and his dad are up visiting as I write. I'm still in my housecoat, dragging my behind. I bumped into my cardiologist in emerg ... he looked a bit panicked to see me in there (for the 4th time this year!) but he soon realized that I wasn't the one lying in the bed!

Started the Bristow pattern from Knitty, in my all time favorite yarn ... anything 'cashmerino' from Debbie Bliss ... in this 'yummy' rich red. The back is finished ... I won't bore you with that picture as it was all stocking stitch, but I must say, the shaping at the waist is lovely (particularly nice for we 'curvy' gals). I've just started on the left front and am enjoying the cable pattern. I tried to do both the fronts at once, but confused myself with reversing the pattern (those darn meds!) so will do one at a time. BTW, L-O-V-E my Denise knitting needles. I'd be loathe to go back to straight needles and sore wrists ... these are wonderful ... I can knit pain-free for hours!