Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I really don't have much knitting content to report, since I'm still working on my secret project (check out Ravelry). I should be done within a day or two (maybe in time for Friday's post), and even though I'm going to move on to another Christmas project, this one will be for a non-reader, so I'll be able to post plenty of pictures.

Yesterday Kate-the-Enabler and I had what will probably be out last Stitch 'n Bitch for at least a few weeks. As of this morning, she's now 7 days overdue, and is scheduled to be induced tomorrow morning. If she agrees, I'll post a picture of the new cherub when he finally arrives. I have to say I'm finding this whole waiting game to be highly stressful, and it's really revealing how much of a stalker I actually am. I'm constantly checking out my window (Kate lives across the street), scoping out the action. Is the car there? Is there any movement? Sheesh... At least now there's an end in sight to my anxiety. :)

In other random news, yesterday I was at the computer (where else would I be?), looking to put on some music, when I stumbled upon a song that I absolutely love but haven't listened to in years. Notice how I haven't mentioned which song? That's because it belongs in my Hall of Shame: it's Barry Manilow's "Could it Be Magic". I swear, I've listened to it about 10 times this morning, I just can't get enough. The fact that I'm pretty much embarrassed to listen to this song in public made me wonder what other songs I'd put in my "Corny-Cheesy Songs I Love" list. Here's what I've come up with so far:
  • Barry White "Never Ever Gonna Give You Up" (the whole orgasmic sequence at the beginning of the song just cracks me up. Every. Single. Time.
  • Barbara Streisand "Woman in Love": from the appropriately titled "Guilty" album.
  • Anything by Michel Fugain (this is a bilingual list of shame): Check out this video if you don't understand why I'm cringing.
  • Air Supply "Lost in Love": Honestly. Enough Said.
  • Ginette Reno "Ça va mieux": I'm a sucker for that sweeping, swelling stuff.
I also stumbled on this site yesterday. It's a playlist of Ultimate Cheesy Ballads that really took me back (I LOVED Richard Marx!). OK, so now that I've secured my place as a total geek, I ask you: what would feature in your Hall of Shame?

And since I can't just sign off without redeeming myself in some way, here's a picture of Maxime, taken this morning. See his teeth? Say it with me: Aaaaaaaw!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not so much

Friday's planned outing, which I was really looking forward to, turned into a total nightmare. On our way into the city, we hit a wall of traffic, and after our attempts to find alternate routes all failed miserably, Phil got in a huff and decided we weren't going. (Before you get upset at him, read the rest of this post). I then got in a huff myself (to put it mildly), because even though Maxime was with us, it had kind of felt like we were going out on a date, and now the whole thing was ruined. Phil then proposed we head to Ikea to check out some sofas (we want a pull out for our basement), to which I, again, threw a hissy fit (I don't WA-nnnaaaaa go to Ikea!!!).

OK, so now we're both completely pissed off (so much for THAT date!), and Phil decides to circle back and try to get to the Christmas store again (YOU WANNA GO??? FINE!!!). He's now fully enraged, and motoring along, and it's at that precise moment that he gets stopped for speeding and receives a 245$ ticket. HeeHee!!! That pretty much cured me of my childish behaviour, but understandably, Phil was still pissed. Then I got upset that he wasn't talking to me ('cause he was still fuming).... Anyway! Long story short? We went home and didn't talk to each other for about an hour.

No worries though! We made up that very afternoon, and headed out to the mall to try and salvage what was left of the afternoon before we had to pick up Émilie from daycare. And we DID manage to get to the Christmas store on Sunday morning, where I picked out this snow globe. Isn't it cute? Santa's on a little toboggan (maybe it's a snowboard?), and it moves when you crank up the music (it plays Jingle Bells). And isn't that a great picture? I took it using my brand-new photo tent. It's sort of a quick and dirty version, taken from this tutorial, but it works great, and Phil assures me that he's going to make me an even better one now that he understands what I want to do with it.

I've been diligently working on my secret project (check it out on Ravelry). It should be done by the end of the week, so I'll be able to post pictures of my knitting once again by next week. In the interest of efficiency, I'm trying to be as monogamous as possible.

Friday, November 23, 2007

One down!

Yesterday was a rather snowy day here, which gave me the perfect excuse to cozy up to my knitting and finish my Summer of Love Lace Socks. I believe I've mentioned before how smitten I am with these socks, and while I haven't changed my mind that they'll be heading to a new home come Christmas, I just had to try them on at least once before they go. Don't worry, I've since washed and blocked them, and they're ready to go :)

I also cast on for a new project last night, one that I unfortunately can't share with you on this blog, since its intended recipient is a reader :). However, if you're on Ravelry, you can check out my project page, I'll be uploading it today, as soon as I have a spare minute. I think it'll be a fairly easy and quick knit, though it's something I've never attempted before (how's that for suspense?).

No knitting this afternoon, though. Phil has the day off, and as soon as Maxime has had his lunch, we'll be heading into town for two of my mostest favourite things ever. First, a trip to Pho Bang New York, on St-Laurent, for some lovely Pho Bang soup. Then it'll be off to Noël Éternel to buy my annual water globe (I've been collecting them forever, and no, it has nothing to do with this movie) and a Christmas stocking for Maxime. I love shopping for Christmas decorations! I can't wait to start decorating the house.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kickin' it into gear

There are now less than 5 weeks to go until Christmas, and as of this morning, I still have 3 gifts to knit up. Actually, I would really have to knit something like 10 more gifts if I were to give everyone on my list some woolly love this year, but since that's not going to happen (unless I, you know, forgo sleep entirely), I'm aiming for my parents and in-laws this year. That makes for 6 people (my parents are both remarried), which I think is doable.

I'm currently working on a gift for one of the ladies in that set (gotta be careful here, because the intended recipient is a sometime reader), the Love Lace socks. I've turned the heel on the second sock, and while I haven't yet finished the decreases along the gusset, provided Maxime gives me some knitting time, I should be finished by tomorrow night (pipe dream?).

I've also ordered some yarn from Maggie, and I think I'll be using the Evergreen colourway for a lovely pair of man's socks. Who will they be for? I don't know yet. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this yarn, though. New yarn (even when you really don't need new yarn) is just the thing to cure one of the knitting doldrums (I don't respond to pressure-knitting well).

Unfortunately, I won't be able to do much in the way of knitting today. Our "good" car is in the shop, so I'll be chauffeuring Philippe and Emilie in the "crap" car all day. Grrrrrr.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm ba-aaaaack!

It turns out I was a little premature in titling my last post, and I actually took a turn for the worst on Thursday (I was battling a stomach flu). Factor in that we thought Emilie might be getting it as well (and therefore stayed home from daycare on Friday) and that Maxime had us all up at 4:30 AM (yes, you read that right) Friday morning, and my darling husband was forced to take the day off to take care of us all. Take care of us he did, so well in fact that by Friday night I felt much better, and all was well on Saturday. Thanks so much to all of you who left comments wishing me a speedy recovery. It was really very thoughtful of you.

Needless to say, not much knitting has gotten done lately. Not only did this bug strip me of my will to live, but it also completely siphoned my will to knit as well (scary, I know). That all changed when I got my invite to Ravelry on Saturday (my username is DearKnits (of course)). Now, instead of knitting, I've been raveling about knitting. Not much more progress to show off, but I've been having fun. I started off adding books to my library (I am a librarian after all), and am now in the process of updating my projects page. Eventually I'll get around to taking an inventory of my stash, though I'm not sure I'm up to taking pictures of everything. Actually, I've asked Phil to make me a photo tent (as seen on this free tutorial - thanks Maggie!), so maybe that'll make me want to take plenty of yarn prOn pictures. Who knows?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feeling better (sort of)

As knitters, I know we're all interested in patterns, so I thought I'd share with you what my days have been like of late:
  • Wake up, pick up Maxime, *put down Maxime, run to bathroom, pick up Maxime, repeat from * to end of day, go to bed.
Fascinating, n'est-ce-pas? Actually, I am feeling better today (as long as I, you know, don't stray too far from the foetal position). Good enough to proudly display my latest finished objects!

I finally finished the gorfing on these babies and now have another completed pair of socks for the Christmas stash. Good thing too, because Christmas is now less than 6 weeks away. Aaack.

Anyhoo, here are the specs: Gentleman's Sock with Lozenge Pattern, from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. Knit with Fleece Artist Merino using 2.5 mm dpns. I'm happy with them, they're lovely, and best of all, they're DONE. Woo-Hoo!!!

Other than the gorfing, there's been zero knitting done at chez Dear, simply because I've been feeling so, pardon the pun, crappy. Once everything is back to normal, I'm sure I'll get my knitting mojo back.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


That's how I feel today, and I imagine it's how I look as well :( Apologies to my readers, I promise I'll have a proper post tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Frog Pond

Sadly, my attempt at designing was not meant to be this time. As you'll recall from the last post, I was trying to knit a ribbed hat with earflaps without resorting to seaming and without picking up stitches either. I decided to use short rows to make the earflaps (easy enough), but also wanted to have a ribbed edge to the hat for extra warmth, without picking up stitches (not so easy). "I know! I'll use a provisional cast-on", I thought. Easy!

So that's what I did. I cast on 88 stitches (Maxime's got a really big head) using a provisional cast on, then knit about 4.5 cm (or 1.75 inches) of K5, P3 ribbing. I then unzipped the cast-on, picked up the stitches, and began knitting the earflaps using short rows. Worked in theory, not so much in real life. Still, I'm quite proud of myself for even attempting anything at all. I really feel I'm growing as a knitter. :)

So, as per Maggie's suggestion, I decided to knit the hat then pick up stitches on either side for the earflaps. I cast on a second hat, this time using a K4, P4 rib (I didn't like the look of the K5, P3), and knit, knit, knit. I even got Maxime to submit to a fitting! (Please ignore the double-chinned lady in the background of this picture. *Sigh*)

And here we have the finished item! Here are the specs: knit with *cough!* Red Heart Soft Touch 100% acrylic using 4.0 mm needles at 5 stitches to the inch. Earflaps (and i-cord ties! How's that for originality!) picked up at folded edge of the hat. I used Susan B. Anderson's Itty-Bitty Hats as a guide for the sizing and decrease sequence.

I've decided to take the Gentleman's socks with Lozenge Pattern (aka the brown socks from Hell) out of detention and gorf like a mad woman today. After all, Christmas is only 6 weeks away (Aaaaack!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

It starts with a swatch

Yesterday I was at Zellers to pick up some whosits and whatsits, when I stumbled upon a "knitting yarn" sale. Now, as my readers know, I'm a bit of a fiber snob, and I don't usually go for the acrylic all that much. I figure "I'm safe" and move on. I head to the baby department, and as I'm putting a winter hat for Maxime in my cart, it occurs to me that no self-respecting Canadian knitter (let alone one who professes to love knitting so much that she actually has a blog devoted to the subject) would EVER buy a pre-made hat. It's just wrong. So I circle back to the sale bin and find a ball of Red Heart Soft Touch to make a hat.

Now, to make up for the fact that I'm basically using crap to knit a garment for my infant son (cue violins here), I decide to make up my own design for this hat. Yes, that's right, I'm actually going to try to design something.

Here's the prototype. It's an earflap hat with a brim. Not too difficult to make, right? There must be a gazillion patterns out there to make just such a hat, you think. And you're right, dear reader. There are indeed a gazillion patterns out there. I've found patterns for baby hats with a brim (a no-brainer, really), and for earflap baby hats. But I haven't found one that does both without seaming ( I detest seaming, and would like to knit this piece as one straight garment).

Here's my swatch. Purdy, ain't it? I figure I'll use the leftovers to knit a scarf for the Red Scarf project or something. Anyway, I've been thinking about design stuff since yesterday. It turns out that designing knitwear is hard (who'd have guessed?). I keep wondering if I'm just a knitting dumbass or if this is what everyone goes through.

Finally, it seems that I've been racking up the WIPs lately, and I needed some basic notions, like row counters. I decided to stop at my local "arts-and-crafts-crap-that-also-happens-to-sell-yarn" store (seriously, it's the place yarn goes to die), because they can at least be counted on to carry the basic necessities. I found three row counters and headed out to the counter to pay for my purchases. The owner looks at me like I'm from Mars or something and says "Why do you need three? Do you have more than one sweater going at the same time?". !!!!!! I SO need to open up my own LYS.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


There's good news and bad news here at Casa De Dear. The good news is that the multiple cast-on strategy seems to have worked, and the binge-itis (aka urge to splurge) is under control. The bad news is that many WIPs makes for slow progress on each project, and thus a lack of interesting blog fodder.

I've noticed that, almost imperceptibly, The Knitting has begun to invade my house. Now, this invasion is nowhere near that which has befallen some households, but nevertheless, there's lots of knitting paraphernalia lying around. Take my nightstand, for example.

On the nightstand, you'll notice my swift, scale and winder, four skeins of Sock Hop yarn (I'm not done fondling it yet), some leftover STR from the first completed Love Lace Sock. But what about the floor, you say? That'd be the Estelle Mystik DK I ordered from Ram Wools last week, the Lanas Puras Melosa from my Cluaranach kit, and my copy of Knitting New Scarves. So yeah, we're dealing with a slow and steady invasion. Phil actually had to push the yarn out of the way to get into bed the other day. Tee-Hee!

Yesterday Kate-the-Enabler and I headed out to the West Island to meet up with Robyn and Jennifer at Robyn's new house. It's quite lovely, and I'm totally jealous that she gets to have an entire room just for her yarn (she does have a yarn shop though...). I wouldn't say much knitting got done, since we were all busy with our boys (except for Kate, who's son has yet to exit her womb :)), but it was fun to meet up and gab. We also put Maxime and Jakob together on a playmat (Maxime is a whopping 3 days older than Jakob), and it was absolutely adorable how they sort of stared at each other in mild surprise. Doncha wish I'd taken a picture??? Me too!!! (bad blogger, BAD BLOGGER!!!).

Finally, per Phil's request (aka frequent commenter Mrhide), here's a picture of us duking it out on our friends' Wii this past Saturday. It's not the most flattering picture, but it may help you understand why my muscles are only now starting to relax.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Morning Report

Over the past week, I've heard several variants of the following phrase: "Your blog is great! But you don't post often enough!!!". While I take it as a sign that my readers enjoy what I write, and am accordingly totally flattered (every time someone new leaves a comment, I'm super excited!), I'd like to remind everyone that 2 kids (one baby) + husband + life = not enough hours in a day, and does not give me as much time to blog as I'd like :)

Nor does it leave much time for knitting, apparently ;). This weekend was busy, busy, busy and I didn't get much done (in the way of knitting). Saturday's nap time was spent putting my various flowerbeds to, well, bed for the winter, and we went for dinner at some friends' house that evening (their son is about 2 and a half months older than Maxime), so no knitting on Saturday (but I did get to play a Wii for the first time, and of course now I want one). I did manage to finish the first of my Love Lace Socks last night, while watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Quite cute, if I do say so myself. I'll definitely be making myself a pair when I have some spare time (you know, in August, 2015).

I also cast-on for Cluaranach on Friday, and OhMyGod, so in love with this yarn, I can't even tell you. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed when I opened my package on Friday (I'd been building this up as my perfect "Fall Comfort Knit" for a while). I don't usually go for single-ply yarn, so I was kind of bummed when I saw it (guess I should have read the fine print when I ordered the kit, huh?). Then I knit a swatch. DUDES!!!! This is the softest, bounciest, snuggliest yarn ever. The wrap is going to be a kick-ass project.

Tomorrow Kate-the-Enabler and I are going to meet up with Robyn and Jennifer for a little Mommies-who-Knit action. (Which reminds me, I've got to whip up some nibblies, I promised to bring something). I'm really looking forward to it, and hoping that Maxime will let me get some actual knitting done this time.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Does anyone remember those Budweiser commercials? My brain is kind of mush today (Fire Bad. Tree Pretty.), so that's the best I could come up with for a post title.

As you may have gathered from my last post, I've been itching to work with the lovely, luscious Malabrigo I picked up from Mouliné on Tuesday. I wanted something simple yet pretty, to go with the Snowball Hat I'm also planning to knit with the same yarn. After two hours of knitting and frogging on Wednesday (plus a few hours of surfing, trying to find a suitable pattern), I finally settled on a scarf pattern. I wanted to cast on something from Knitting New Scarves, but there were no cable scarf patterns. I'm really looking forward to getting my invite from Ravelry (as of this morning, 8708 people are ahead of me on the list, so I won't hold my breath). I think it'll make the pattern search a heck of a lot easier.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the pattern. It's simple (good TV knitting), classic, and the yarn is just, well, yummy. The only thing I might have changed would have been to add a twist on either side of the cable, so it would fit in with the hat. But I SO don't want to frog again, so it'll just have to stay as it is.

I've also made excellent progress on my first Love Lace Sock (the August kit from the Rockin Sock Club). I'm totally in love with these socks now, and am quite resentful of the fact that I'm giving them away. But Christmas waits for no knitter, and I've only got 2 gifts made so far (the brown-socks-that-are-still-on-a-time-out don't count yet), so I've got to get cracking. I can always make another pair for myself, right?

I'm also going to start cruising for a hat pattern for Émilie. There was a great review of a hat pattern book on Knitter's Review this week, but I'm hesitant to go ahead and buy it. It feels like I'm being too impulsive (and you know that if I'm thinking it's impulsive, it's gotta be a sign, right?).

Happy knitting everyone!