Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meme Revisited

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Back in October I had posted about a meme list I had found. I thought it would be nice to revisit this list as the old year goes out and the New Year comes in. Also gives me an idea on what to concentrate on.

The idea is to take this list of knitting techniques, projects, etc. and mark the ones you've done in bold. Then italicize (I made mine blue) the ones you plan to try, and leave the rest in plain text.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting - gave up after several attempts
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book - One day!
Participate in an exchange
Teaching a child/teenager to knit
American/English knitting
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else's hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

I can also add the following to my meme of items done that aren't listed above.

Russian join
Knit a hoodie
Follow a chart

I know it's a long list, but it's a fun one. Gives me a quick view of what I've done and what I plan on doing.

I'm also issuing a challenge to Rikki to see where she's at in her knitting journey.

Thus on the last day of 2008, I find that I have made progress in learning new skills in knitting and still have quite a lot to cover for 2009.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Knitting with a Migraine

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It had been so long since I'd had a migraine I had forgotten how badly they can hurt. This one was triggered by intense pain when one of my molars broke and a piece went straight for the nerve. The first minutes were so intense I couldn't even speak or breathe. When I could finally breathe, the migraine hit me so hard it left me gasping. This was on Christmas day, it's now Saturday, 2 am and I still have it. Not quite as intense as yesterday, but still leaving me with a brain fog from the meds I take to help ease the pain a bit.

When I wasn't zonked out from the meds, I sat and knit and watched movies trying to keep myself distracted from the pain. I managed to finish the dishcloth with the new cotton blend. Haven't tried using it yet but likely will tomorrow. I knit a pair of slippers for Georgie to match her shawl and added some really cute flowers to finish them off. I modeled them on my own feet but wow, talk about swollen ankles :( The joys of diabetes.

Add to that my darling husband with a nasty chest cold and sinusitis and you get zero partying. Christmas was super quiet for us with the kids working or unable to travel due to weather. We'll be getting together in January I'm sure.

I still have 2 more pairs of slippers to knit up and then I'll be done. I must admit this pattern is dead easy. I can knit a pair in an evening without really thinking about it at all.

Shame the weather is so mild, I would have enjoyed a nice walk around the block or 2 or 3, but migraines don't like sunlight so that was definitely out. Quite the change from the -24C we had last week! Hopefully when I wake up in the morning, my head won't be throbbing on one side anymore. Any which way I look at it though, I will have to go to the corner store for milk. Just about out and I need it for my morning cereal and coffee.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


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Today is my son's birthday. He was born at 10:05 am. 23 years ago and has come a long way. He was born underweight, underdeveloped, had to be reanimated twice and doctors figured he would be better off being placed. He looked like ET, scrawny body with a large head on a thin neck. I was terrified that his head would be hit since he had no bones covering his brain. They eventually grew over the next 6 months, but those first few months were terrifying.

The first years were a long uphill battle with various developmental hurdles. He had laser surgery on both of his eyes to correct a rather nasty strabismus at 2 years old. To activate is speech center, we resorted to using a combination of sign language and speaking at the same time so he could associate the sign to the word. He finally spoke his first clear words at the age of 6. He finally started to walk at 3 and a half using a push toy to steady himself. At the age of 5, they tried to tell us that he would never mature past the age of 2 emotionally and maybe age 8 or 9 mentally. I didn't believe them and took him home and proceeded to teach him the things he would need in life in order to survive and not have to depend on others. He has very little short term memory so anything he learns has to be done over and over again until it becomes a long term memory.

He was extremely clumsy because of the neurological delays, his fine and gross motor control sucked big time. He couldn't run or skip or throw a ball. He was an easy target at school for all kinds of bullying, abuse and general put downs. He was a walking bruise at times. Throughout his years at various schools, he had speech therapy to help him with stuttering and articulation problems. Some schools were better than others and I'll leave it at that.

In time, he learned to cook simple meals, sew a seam, a button, wash his clothes, wash dishes, buy groceries, vacuum, and generally take care of himself. At the age of 15 he went out and got himself a job at a local garage. He didn't want money, he just wanted to gain experience and convinced the garage owner to give him a chance. The owner finally agreed, gave him a pair of workboots, coveralls and lunch each day that he showed up for work which lasted all summer. He learned how to take a car engine apart, how to change the oil, how to keep a shop clean and organized and how to change a tire. For a boy whom I was told would never progress beyond the age of 8 or 9, that wasn't too bad now was it.

I am proud of his accomplishments despite all the set backs along the way. The only thing he will always need help with is figuring out the value of money. To him 100 dollars is the same as a 1000 or a million. It's a lot of money. Thankfully he has a worker from the local Salvation Army who comes over each week and helps him, making sure his rent is paid, cellphone and laundry money isn't gone and groceries are done.

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Craft Yarns

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Trying out a new yarn that's sold at the local Dollar Store. It's a blend of 95% cotton and 5% polyester. Two strands twisted together and then two of those strands twisted together again. It's not a smooth cotton to say the least and tends to split easily if you're not careful while knitting. After looking at it more closely, it seems to be missing that strand of polyester. That may explain why it splits so easily. There's nothing to hold it all together.

I bought a couple of balls of red and several of a light mauve. The mauve looks and feels better since the strand of polyester is wound around the cotton and it doesn't split as easily as the red does.

I'm currently trying the red using the Diamond Drop Lace Dishcloth from Knitwits Heaven.

So far, I'd say the red is only good for knitting swiffer cloths and dishrags. Maybe with two strands held together, some grocery bags.

I'll update as I put the finished cloth to the test. As far as their claiming it's an easy knit fiber, I would strongly disagree with them. It feels rough to the touch and doesn't slide well if you compare it to Peaches N Cream cotton or any other cotton for that matter!

This basically feels like the twine used in the old days to tie packages together at the butchers, just doubled up instead.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Festivus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa to all!

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May you find peace, warmth, and a home to spend this night with friends, family, neighbors...

The Huron Carol ('Twas In The Moon of Winter Time)

'Twas in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim and wondering hunters heard the hymn,
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round
But as the hunter braves drew nigh the angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, O seed of Manitou
The holy Child of earth and heaven is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy who brings you beauty peace and joy.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Words: Jean de Brebeuf, ca. 1643; trans by Jesse Edgar Middleton, 1926
Music: French Canadian melody (tune name: Jesous Ahatonhia)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Eleventh Hour

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The Fabulous Filigree Scarf take II is done! And just in time too. All that's left to do now is wrap it up and give it to Georgie for her sister in the morning along with some chocolates. I'm sure they will be appreciated, both sisters have a devilishly sweet tooth and at their age, why not!?

I used size 10 US needles for this one. I wanted a looser knit which would enable the scarf to drape better. It worked very well and I will stick with using size 10s from now on. The first one I found a bit too stiff for my liking since it was a much tighter knit.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and in pink of all colours! I hope they both have a lovely Christmas.

Knitting with cotton

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Up until now I had never tried knitting with cotton. A few months back I had splurged and bougth a mega sized ball of cotton, Sugar n Cream with the intention of doing some knitting using cotton.

After going through the Ravelry pattern library, I found several patterns for washcloths that I thought would look really nice done in a caramel color. My first attempt is grrr cloth. It's an interpretation of Tigger which I figured would appeal to my daughter. She's a huge Pooh fan.

hat came out isn't exactly what I was expecting. I can hardly see the image on the cloth, and the finished cloth doesn't feel as soft as I've read it should. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I have to give it a wash, block it and hopefully the pattern comes out?...

Until I have time to figure out what I've missed... if anything. This ball of cotton is going back in my stash.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Knitting in Music

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I found this while rummaging through YouTube and was quite amazed with it. The video for the single Les Peaux de Lièvres, by Montreal-based band Tricot Machine uses 720 individual pieces of intarsia knitting to create an animation that flows along with the song.

Very entertaining.


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As most of you saw in an earlier post, my daughter and her husband received a kitten for Christmas. We had the absolute joy of meeting this little bundle of joy when they dropped in for an impromptu Christmas celebration.

When they walked in with this little guy, his name had not been chosen yet. He was still known as "the kitten". While we were away shopping, my son in law guarded the little bundle from Gambit since from past experience we knew that Gambit did not share his domain or his humans with anything wearing fur or feathers. What surprised us is that while we were out, he never made any attempt at harming the kitten or the canary.

We came home to find the kitten stretched out on our bed enjoying a nap. Gambit sitting in the bedroom doorway staring at said bundle of fur. The stare wasn't evil or angry as it usually is, it was actually curious. Odd for Gambit. We had to take pictures of the wee one since he was so gosh darn cute! Don't you agree?

While we were fixing dinner and unpacking groceries, Gambit and kitten got closer and closer. Blame the kitten, he got up, walked to the end of the bed, stumbled off and made is way to within a foot of Gambit. Then they sat there looking at each other. I gave my usual rumbled arumph letting Gambit know that harming this kitten was a huge nono as well as a voiced warning of behave and it's a baby to which Gambit gave me a condescending look that meant "I know" Ok, so now I'm looking stupid and he's looking like the smart one of the bunch LOL

The kitten crept closer and closer until they almost touched noses but the kitten got cold feet and backed away. What was funny is that Gambit also backed away looking very nervous. It's as if he was waiting for something really bad to happen to him if he touched the kitten, nevermind my arumphed warning. We figured out he might have been concerned that kitten's mom was somewhere waiting to kill him if he so much as touched a hair on the kittens head.

So he took on the role of nanny. Following wherever the kitten went in the apartment. Even showed him how to use the litter box which was hilarious. Then he brought him to his food and water and showed him where his toys are kept. Even showed him his throne, the pizza box that he uses as a bed. Don't ask why, we've given up trying to figure out why sleeping on a pizza box is better than sleeping on a couch, bed, chair, cushion, etc. Gambit's not your normal average boring cat! He is a Bengal after all. What we're curious to see how his adult fur comes out is Bran's. He has some characteristic Bengal markings on his face, but so far, the kitten fur is too fuzzy to see what's underneath. Like a butterfly coming out of it's chrysalis, we'll have to see what comes out of the baby fur.

Somewhere along the way, I asked what his name was. Branwyn and Bran for short was the name that was given to him in a blink of an eye. The name fits. He got everyone in the apartment wound around his tiny claw of his back foot including Gambit! Such a cutey and Gambit agrees. When they left, Gambit spent the next 4 days looking for Bran. I guess this means we should leave our 2nd cat options open as long as it's a kitten that will grow up with Gambit, learn all his bad habits and weird food addictions. LOL

Maybe he'll grow up to look like this handsome fellow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stash wars!

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Last weekend I finally decided to catalogue my stash since it was getting to a point where I had no freaking clue what I had anymore.

My husband walked into the living room and burst out laughing. I looked up at him to enquire as to what was so goshdarn funny. He picked up the camera and took a picture for me to see what he saw. LOL Ok, so I'm surrounded by yarn, bins, patterns, needles, cables, books, bags, etc... etc... etc... You have to make a mess to clean a mess... right? Oddly enough, no Gambit to be seen. I think I scared him. LOL

No wonder he was laughing. It looked like a bomb had gone off in the living room and I was at it's epicenter. Over 2 afternoons I cataloged every last ball of yarn I own. I used a photo book to hold business sized cards with yarn info, # of balls, and a sample of the yarn attached to each. Eventually I'll get a business card book which will be a lot smaller and easier to take along on yarn forays. I also made a hand written list to be kept on the side for quick reference.

So now my yarn is contained in 2 rubbermaid bins and one wicker clothes basket. The short bits and pieces that tend to accumulate when you knit are now in a large bag stored in the basket easily reached when I'm doing small projects or need a piece of yarn for eyes, etc.

It certainly makes it a lot easier to find what I need and now I at least know what I have and where it's stored. It's not a huge stash, but it's mine!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


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To continue on the same subject of why I haven't posted since the 12th...

2 weeks ago, I received more books from my dearest friend in Chicago. I so appreciate these books. They are an awesome series as I've mentioned before. These will go on my cherished books shelf.

Last weekend, a very special friend gave us a gift of money to cover the purchase of my insulin and testing strips. Without that heartfelt gift, I would be out of meds now. So this more than anything else has made our Christmas special. She knew how bad things were for us financially and after praying with her family, a concensus was reached that we would receive a gift from them. I sincerely hope one day to be able to repay this gift in one form or another.

Then my daughter and her husband surprised us as well. I knew they had rented a car to go visit her husband's family for an early Christmas dinner since they'll both be working around Christmas. What I didn't know was they were planning on dropping by on us on their way back home this past Tuesday night. It had been mentioned, but not really finalized, so this was a really cool surprise. How much of a surprise, I didn't realise until they picked me up from work.

We headed back to my apartment to drop off bags and pets since I was told we were going grocery shopping. I thought it was for dinner that night since we didn't have enough out to feed 4 people. My husband came along leaving my son in law to care for the kitten and canary they had received as part of their Christmas presents from his family. Gambit was rather curious about the kitten which was odd in itself since he usually does not tolerate anything with fur or feathers to enter his domain. More on kitten later.

So off we went to the grocery store where my darling daughter informed us that part of our Christmas present was groceries! What an incredible godsend that was for us. We picked up groceries to last us a month, plus fixings for dinner that night. She even got us a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! which is perfect for our small apartment. We had roast beef with herbed potatoes and steamed asparagus with lemon butter sauce. Dinner was delicious!

While supper was cooking, my darling daughter starts handing out presents! Something we were totally not expecting. She sits down and looks at the bookshelf and says, hmm.... bookshelf. I didn't clue in at that point why she was saying that until my husband pointed out there were stockings hanging from it! Wow, blind or what LOL We opened our stockings to find chocolates, and 2 bags of assorted buttons in all shapes and sizes in mine. Then came wrapped presents, the first of which was a brand spanking new router!!! since ours had died and reduced internet access to one computer which really sucked.

I received 2 bags of lovely partially recycled yarn (8 balls of dark red and 10 balls of blue), some foam squares for blocking knits and books as well. My darling husband got some fleece pants, books, and more chocolates! I've always loved For Better or For Worse. And both my husband and I absolutely go gaga over Calvin and Hobbes. We didn't have that one book so this was an absolute treat for us.

I had put my daughter's present on hold since I needed her to try it on for final adjustments. I made her a cat ears hairband and a furry black cat bikini. The bikini top was fine, but I needed her to try on the bottom to make sure I had enough rows to cover the important bits. She was ecstatic when she realised what she was trying on. I'm really happy that I got to see her wearing it since if I had gone by the pattern, it would have been too short. Once it's completed, I'll get her to pose wearing it :) She plans on wearing it with a body suit to the next sci-fi convention.

For her husband, I checked with him on some manly cabled wristwarmers in black and a watchcap in black as well. So those are next on my need to knit asap list.

We played with their new kitten, ooh'd and aah'd over their new canary. My daughter already has one canary and this was to replace the one that their cat had mistaken for a canape.

Overall, it was the bestest Christmas ever!

Time Flies!!!

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Wow, I didn't realise how long it's been since I added to my blog. My apologies to everyone!

A lot has been happening around here, hence the lack of posts. Very little time to sit down in front of the computer, not having a router also sucked since it meant that only one computer had internet access.

Let's see, where was I on my knitting list. The Fabulous Filigree scarf for George's sister. I'm halfway through knitting it using pink Bernat solids. Pink, my gawd, why?!!!

It's been put on hold for a few days while I take care of some more immediate knitting needs. Co-workers where I'm currently temping have been handing me Christmas presents which means I should reciprocate. But with having no money to buy presents, I decided to knit their presents. I looked around for something quick and useful to make for them and finally decided to do pocketbook slippers from Knitwits Heaven.

Since the office is filled with women, it was an easy choice. I had thought of coffee cup cozies since most of them get their Timmy's in the morning, but decided on slippers when I kept overhearing them complain on how cold their feet are in the office. Mine aren't cold, I'm the freak with the fan blowing on me it's so bloody warm in there. They've gotten used to the fan but boy, the first few weeks got me a lot of head shaking and weird looks LOL

These knit up really quickly. I can make a pair in an evening while watching shows with darling husband. What's nice is it also uses up stash yarn since it doesn't require an entire ball of yarn. The blue pair pictured here is for me! I miscalculated how much yarn I needed and ran short on the blue. Didn't feel like frogging them so added the red to finish the last slipper. So I'll have a bi-color on one foot and a single on the other. I don't care since they're for at home anyway.

I may do bi-color for the others since it does look neat. I'll have to check the stash to see what colors I have that would match/compliment each other.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ode to Pork, Oh Heavenly Food!

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Yes Pork!

Who can present it more eloquently than Anthony Bourdain. The new season of No Reservations is set to begin in January and both my husband and I are drooling with anticipation of the new gustatory discoveries and challenges to his digestive system that Mr. Bourdain will exhibit for his never say die viewers.

A small taste of what is to come is in Mr. Bourdain's blog. Sri Lanka is dangled above our heads, still unreachable, tempting, just barely uncovered, just enough to whet our appetite for something new, something unusual. His wit and satire at times is poignant, makes you think, bitter sweet. Memories flash through of times gone by, foods never to be eaten again. Yet, there are new taste adventures out there to be experienced through the magic of television.

10 years ago, if someone had told me I'd develop an appreciation for foods thanks to Mr. Bourdain, I would have said "who? and huh?" It's been a long trip, filled with awe at times, longing at others, but always working towards the goal of discovery. Mr. Bourdain introduced me to Durian fruit, Pho, Curries, Sushi and many other dishes that this backwaters farm raised girl had never heard of. But it also made me realise that the foods we did consume on the farm were excellent.

The scenes relating to the joys of pork brought back fond memories of the fall slaughter, saving the blood for boudin, hands squishing the coagulating blood while mixing in the ingredients. Raw minced pork snagged from the growing pile of sausage on the table, quickly gobbled down while hearing mother yelling about worms and not caring. Why? Because it was that good.

Then the porcine head would be brought in from the shed, hosed off, tough hairs singed away with a blow torch, bits still clinging here and there. The tongue quickly removed and the rest of the head broken down into manageable pieces, and put into a large pot of boiling water with spices, onions, herbs, pepper, salt and boiled for hours until the meat fell off the bones. Then drained, left to cool down for a bit before removing all the meat to make 'fromage de tête de cochon' and serving the brains smeared on thick slices of fresh baked bread with lots of butter and salt. This would be quickly downed by the men before heading out to the barn to do the evening chores.

In the house, our work wasn't done yet. We ladled the meat from the head through a meat grinder to further reduce it, filled jars with the resulting mixture and poured a thin layer of the boiled down juices from the pot over to seal it. Then we'd carry those jars down to the basement to a cold room for later use during the winter. The sausage went to a neighbor with a smoke house. The rest of the meat was cut up into chops, the fesse de porc would also go to the smokehouse to come back as jambon, as did the belly and the fatback for bacon. Whatever was left after that would get turned into minced meat for freezing and later used for tourtière for Christmas and New Year's dinner.

When the men returned from chores, we'd all sit down to a supper of boiled potatoes and boudin. We didn't bother with casings, the boudin was cooked in pans in the old woodstove and cut up into serving pieces. Biting into a piece of pan boudin was like biting into a bit of heaven. It was creamy, sweet with onions and just felt so good going down.

This is the kind of food you can't buy. This is the kind of food you live. So thank you Mr. Bourdain for all that you do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tears of joy & screams of laughter. That can only mean...

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Yes, I have finished the Filigree Scarf and gave it to my neighbor. She unwrapped the package and opened it to find a soft yellow shawl inside. Her hands ran over it, with a whispered "Oh My" escaping her lips. She looked up at me with huge tears running down her cheeks only to announce that yellow is her favorite color. She immediately had to try it on and parade around the apartment preening in front of the mirror. It was so sweet to watch how happy this small gift made her. After reminiscing for a while she asked me if I could make another one just like it but in pink. I knew who it was meant for, her only remaining sister who is even older than her. How can I say no to a request like that. So of course, I will be making a pink one for the lovely lady for Christmas from her baby sister George :)

I also had fun last night. My husband loves all things geeky so of course the Futurama characters belong in all things geeky. I happened upon this pattern from Mychawd's site of a Brain Slug from the show. I had the scarf all done and didn't want to start something big. So while watching some shows with darling husband, I made him the brain slug. Once the last bit of yarn was snipped I immediately stuck it on his head and snapped a picture. So yes, the brain slug has done it's work! It now proudly resides on top of the monitor.

One problem with the brain slug. As you can see from the picture, the iris is not black. I for some reason read ebony as meaning beige, go figure... Even I can't figure out how I got from black to beige. So our brain slug has a ummm tit for an iris? LOL At least he's original!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Filigree Shawl Update

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Wow, I'm amazed at how quickly this shawl is knitting up!
Take a look!

I should have it finished by tomorrow night if it keeps going like this. It's a good thing since the elderly lady I'm making it for had her birthday this past Friday. This will be a late birthday present.

In other news, it's getting cold!!!! It was -14C this morning when I walked to work. That's been the coldest so far and it's only the beginning of December. We normally don't get the really cold weather until January. I wonder if it's going to go like this. All I know is I feel sorry for the wee birds out there. While waiting for the bus tonight I was watching a flock of about 50 chickadees all competing for space between the rafters of an old closed building downtown. They looked so cold and they kept chattering at each other, jockeying for space to keep warm.

One day, the city may figure out what to do with the building. It hasn't been used in over 25 years and is literally falling apart from the inside out.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Shawl and a Bear Oh MY!

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After going through quite the blues jag over the past week, it finally hit me yesterday. If I can't send knitting to my family, then I'll knit for someone nearby. I know exactly who could really use a knitted shawl so that's what I'm doing.

This elderly lady is turning 80 soon and is a tiny bird of a woman. She's very active and still lives in her own apartment across the hall from us. We try and help when we can but she is fiercely independent. She worries about everyone and I have a feeling not many worry about her. Since our building is rather old (over 100 years old) it's quite drafty and cold at times. Heated by an ancient boiler that wheezes and coughs and bangs throughout the winter, the heat output varies from none to too much but usually never quite enough to keep her warm.

I was reading a thread on Ravelry about patterns to knit with one skein of yarn and the Fabulous Filigree scarf was suggested. This scarf can be found in the book One Skein Wonders on page 185. As soon as I saw the picture of this shoulder scarf I knew this would be for her and she would love it.

After several false starts and an epiphany, this is how far I've knitted in the past couple of hours. Once the pattern is started and you don't stress over it like I did LOL it's quite simple and lovely to knit.

I'm using Bernat's 100 % acrylic yarn since she is badly allergic to wool. I know she loves yellow and I was lucky enough to have a full skein of it in a lovely shade of pale yellow which will fit well with her clothing. (came out very yellow in the picture) Since it's acrylic, she won't have to worry about any special washing or having to stretch it back out, etc once it's been washed. Your basic wash n wear! What more can you ask for. The pattern called for Dale of Norway 100% wool yarn which would have to be doubled but since I'm using thicker yarn, no doubling for me! Yeah!

I also knitted this little guy yesterday. I used the Koala Bear pattern from The Knitted Toy Box. I love her patterns. They are always so darn cute!

Gambit was gracious enough to allow me to have the little bear pose with him to give you an idea of how small he is. I've added a string so he can hang in the Christmas tree. I may add some holly around his neck. Not sure exactly how to finish him. I may also knit him a tiny scarf! That would look nice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Firefly & Knitting. What a combo!

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I was browsing sites for washcloth patterns and one thing led to another.... I ended up looking at cabled scarves on Smariek Knits blog and came upon this page with a gorgeous cabled scarf pattern for download. Above the photo of the finished scarf, I found the lyrics from Firefly staring at me. I read them over and realised just how much I miss that show.

Take my love, take my land

Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me
- Firefly Theme Song

Joss Whedon is amazing at building a TV show that makes you care. He breaks all the rules by having multiple main characters, developing each one until they feel like family. Then he goes on to wrap your heart around his little finger and makes you care about each one of them. If you've never seen the show, please go find it and watch it. You'll become another follower of Mr. Whedon if you do.

And while I'm knitting this afternoon, I will be watching the series again since my darling husband bought the DVD. I'm looking forward to seeing Jayne with his hat, River and all the others.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas on TV

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Last night we watched one of my favorite Christmas season stories.

Frosty the Snowman! When my daughter was little, this was her favorite seasonal show to watch. She would get so excited when Frosty came to life and would cry when he melted away. The biggest reason she loved it so much was that she and the main character share the same name. When she was 4 and she realised the little girl in the movie had the same name, she thought the show was about her. It took quite some convincing to get her to understand that no, it wasn't about her.
For weeks later, she'd see a train and would want to know if Frosty was aboard heading for the North Pole. Even now, she's all grown up, but I'm sure she still enjoys the show :)

Other seasonal shows that I've always loved, Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My favorite part was the people of Whoville who came out and sang even though everything was gone. That, is the true spirit of Christmas :)

Another that I enjoy watching year after year is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I enjoyed reading the comic strips by Charles Schultz over the years and the animated special did not disappoint. I do my best to watch it every year but sometimes I haven't had any luck finding it or have missed it.

A new seasonal show that has joined my favorites is The Polar Express. An odd but rather endearing movie with the voice of Tom Hanks as the Conductor, Hero Boy, the Hobo, Scrooge and Hero Boy's Dad. Quite the repertoire for one person, but he does it very well.

It reminds us all we should believe in the spirit of Christmas, what it should mean and not what commercialization has made of it.

And I previously posted about A Christmas Story which is still very much at the top of my favorites list for some much needed belly laughs.