31.1.10

more hometown days

busy times here - monday & tuesday were spent driving to toronto, getting a root canal, going to the doctor, going to the physiotherapist, dropping briefly into hr at work, and then driving back to almonte. wednesday was comparatively normal; thursday a friend drove down from ottawa for lunch, we made plans for tg and h to return to toronto on saturday by train, and we found out that friday would bring out of town guests and an mri for mum. friday was spent doing the usual hurry-up-and-wait routine of going into the civic and then waiting for things to happen, an exhausting day even though there wasn't really much activity (sitting in an armless swivel chair for two hours with nowhere to put your stuff is surprisingly tiring!). saturday we packed, drove to ottawa to have brunch with w, then to the train station where i bid adieu to the boys, then back to almonte where i met l & t at the hospital with mum.

and what wonderful memories they brought! photographs and letters and bits cut from the paper, all sorts of interesting things about the various branches of the family, and a few lovely mementos as well. we are now the grateful owners of a tablecloth crocheted by my grandmother (which will unfortunately need some stain removal) and a beautiful vanity set given by aunt fan (subject of the terribly stylish photos of which i have previously written) to aunt lil. l thought i should have it since i instantly recognised the button-hooker which had stymied previous attempts at identification.



i have always wanted one of these sets - even bought one a few years ago except it was missing a few pieces, so it is very nice to finally have a complete set, and one with such sentimental attachments no less! now i am really inspired to get my old deco vanity restored (does anyone have any good ideas about where to get mirror custom-cut in toronto?)

meanwhile during the hurry-up-and-wait portion of the week i have got one sleeve of surface completed and the other almost done - expect to get it finished today at the hospital!


25.1.10

home again

last night i finished the popcorn cuff of the first sleeve of surface. whee! today is the big drive back to toronto. upon arrival, i'll be heading to the dentist to find out what the hell happened to my head (youch) and tomorrow i'm headed to a specialist doc and then for some physio. what an exciting life i lead! tonight though i will be doing something extracurricular - having a couple of neighbours (or just one neighbour? we'll see i guess) over for knitting. i'm tempted to bring my popcorn along, but i think i'll leave it in almonte, and make it a thoroughly almonte/hospital-knitted creation. not sure if it began that way, but it's never too late to start.

instead, i might see if i can get some of my new briggs & little wound into balls and get going on that. hmm, i should probably ask amy if she can bring her swift.

24.1.10

hrmph.

have finished the body of the surface cardigan at the hospital today and have begun the sleeves, and i'm pleased to say that the blister pattern is actually quite simple and un-annoying! one bit of unpleasantness however: i just noticed that the instructions for the wrap begin "cast on 230" - yikes! considering that the blisters involve increasing 4 every six stitches that adds up too a lot of stitches per row... looks like i'll need to find a 3mm circ. boo.

23.1.10

secret

i've just completed a secret project! my first ever test-knit. went well - very cute!! and a nice distraction from this horrible toothache that reared its ugly head last night. not fun. seeing dentist on monday.

in other news, i've just found out that mississippi blacksheep gallery is closing. the owners are retiring to picton (where they will no doubt continue to spin and sell), so their current location - a house so gorgeous it prompted h to say "it's a castle" - is emptying out and will soon be up for sale itself. there isn't officially a sale on, although she gave me 10% off when i bought 10 balls of wool, and their prices are generally awesome. check it out while you can!

18.1.10

hometown day whatever

have i mentioned how much i am absolutely loving the yardage on this briggs & little sport? i have finished the back and left-front of my cardigan, all from one skein! amazing!

17.1.10

back to the wilderness

didn't make it to the play last night - had an afternoon nap that stretched until 7:30! whoops! i guess i'm a little run down lately, no surprise there. and today we are driving back to the country to see mum, so i can use all the rest i can get! the only upside to any of this is all the knitting time i am getting in, so i'm trying to focus on that - we haven't left yet and i'm already missing our home, neighbourhood, and boring old routines. at least i have had a chance to reconnect with old friends, and will be able to hook up the bambino with some other kids when we get back!

16.1.10

and on it goes...

i am back at home at the moment, enjoying sleeping in my own bed, a bakery a 2-minute walk away, friends nearby and of course my wonderful husband and son most of all. it's been a busy trip - thursday we had a parents' group meeting right after my 5-hour drive, friday i had physio and then h had an audiogram, and then we had a friend over in the evening. today is for relaxation - and taking down the christmas tree, and going to see a friend's play. then the big drive tomorrow, and then back to almonte to variously run a bunch of errands, pack, and just sit.

h has developed an obsession with the wizard of oz, so there will no doubt be some oz-themed projects on the horizon. for now though, i am plugging away at surface, which is going pleasantly quickly so far despite the fact that all i've been doing is boring stockinette on small needles. i love working with the briggs & little - so nice and springy! and so much yardage! i'm almost done the back and not nearly finished the first skein of sport. yay! stitch definition is slim to non-existent though - which i'm fine with for this project, but if i was doing fancy cables or something it's not the yarn i'd choose.



and, i'm taking on my first ever project as a test knitter! details are secret for now, but it's something by kristineknits/carpe fiber for a baby (so should knit up quick!) and here's the yarn:

12.1.10

hometown day four - the muff pattern!

another busy day yesterday - did some tai chi, some mending, visited at the hospital with a cousin who drove in from the laurentians to see mum, wrote up the meet me in st louis-inspired muff and and matching muffler patterns! you can download it here. techniques you will need: grafting (or three-needle bind-off if you don't like grafting), figure-8 cast on (great tutorial on knitty.com), cabling, i-cord. there's also a small amount of sewing together for the muff. they're knit in bulky, so they go pretty quickly. enjoy!

n.b.: i was going to put pics in the pdf, but that made it 7 megs instead of 35 k... so until i get around to editing images, you'll just have to look for them here.

11.1.10

hometown day three? i think?

i'm not good at keeping track of days when i don't have my regular structure, i must confess, but i think today will be day three up here... so far i've kept up with mmy tai chi (yay!) and done some much-needed mending (yay!) and sorting-of-stuff (yay!) but haven't done so well with some of my other ambitious tasks. yesterday i was out and about from 10 in the morning until after 6 o'clock at night! visiting the hospital, going for brunch with friends, stopping at mrs tiggy winkles to get a birthday present for the bambino (i am a bit bummed about missing his third birthday - snif), back to the hospital, then off again on a cruller-mission for mum, then back to the hospital, then eventually home. did some work on the purple socks (which are now destived for me!) but i find those tiny 2mm needles just kill my wrists - can't do much before it is just too painful. so, i've cast on for surface in some wonderful briggs & little "sport" which is just wonderfully squishy and springy especially considering its gauge! i'm hoping if i go back and forth between the different projects my wrists will hold out!

10.1.10

brrr...

it is super cold here - definitely had the muff in action yesterday! yikes. there's nothing like cold weather though to make me break out the knitting, especially in warm warm wool. i got mild heck this week for sending the bambino to school with a stranglable scarf, so i knit him a little neckwarmer to keep him both cosy and out of trouble. it's a supereasy superfast stashbuster - half a skein of leftover worsted and a day later, we have this:

whee!! i cast on 64 sts using a long-tail cast on for stretchiness, joined in the round on dpns, then did a k1 p1 rib for 16 rows. then i went raglan, placing markers every 20/12/20/12 sts, and inc 1 on either side of each marker (i did some short-row shaping at the back as well), then bind off over the shoulders and knit in rib back-and-forth for a few extra rows at the front and back. i hope it fits!!

9.1.10

meet me in st louis!

finally some photos of the finished muff and muffler! patterns soon to come. both were fairly fun to make, the only trick was grafting the ends (all those cables!) and figuring out the inside of the muff (there are cuffs to fit snugly around the wrist, keeping out cold air, and then it flares into an inner sort of cavern big enough for both hands), but making it double-layered (on top of all those cables) makes it super warm.



i'm spending the week in my hometown since mum is ill, and hoping to throw off all my holiday-season bad habits and replace them with good ones - eating right, doing my tai chi every day, studying asl everyday, and updating this blog! so i promise to get the patterns up soon!

2.1.10

winter

well i haven't posted in a while because life has been very topsy-turvy - my mum's illness was determined to be caused by brain tumours, and on boxing day we found out it's inoperable and she is currently in hospital receiving palliative care. it's heartbreaking but she is thankfully in no pain and in a surprisingly good mood - i heard today on the radio that happiness is linked to activity in the left prefrontal cortex (or something) which is roughly near to one of the tumours, so i am conforting myself with the notion that she will just get happier and happier as she nears the end.

meanwhile, the tediosity of life goes on, with me losing gloves and the zipper breaking on one of my winter boots. so - new boots for me! and, i have knit a muff - it's blocking now, and i'll write up a pattern when i get a moment. my mum has a picture somewhere of her aunt fan who was dead glamourous and in the picture she is wearing a muff that is dripping with ermine tales - mum has always been entranced by the picture, so a muff seems fitting at the moment. very meet me in st louis, and also - i hope - not as easy to lose as gloves.