Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Postman Rang Twice

Yesterday I spent almost two hours at the passport office to get my passport renewed for our trip to Japan. I obviously need to get back to reality pronto, because I headed out there without a diaper bag or toys or anything, under the massive delusion that it would be a quick, 15 minute errand. NOT!!!! Luckily, I had some toys for Maxime in the car, and he did really well for the most part. However, the last 20 minutes was spent crying (it was nap time), so much so that the 10 people who were ahead of me in line at that point graciously stepped aside and let me pass (what they don't know is that I pinched him in the hopes of speeding the process up - HAH!). Of course, once you get to the actual wicket, it takes about 2 minutes to hand in your paperwork (I had downloaded the form and filled it out at home) and get out of Dodge. I've got to go again next week to renew Phil's (he took his with him since he's in Maine all week). Ugh.

After I got home and by some miracle actually managed to get Maxime down for his nap (if he sleeps even 10 minutes in the car, it's usually impossible to get him back down), the postman delivered the January Sock Kit for the Rockin Sock Club (you need to sign for it). About 2 minutes later the doorbell rings AGAIN, and this time it's with my Loopy Ewe order (with gift certificate money from Christmas) and my used copy of the Yarn Harlot's Meditations for Women who Knit too Much. Is there anything better than that? Just LOOK at this loot (WARNING - Sock Club Spoilage in Picture).
I got some ShibuiKnits Sock (I LOVE how subtle the color variations are - must buy more) in the Mulberry colourway, 2 skeins of Dream in color Smooshy (Strange Harvest and Deep Seaflower) and one skein of Fiesta Boomerang (it's so soft, it feels like velvet) in the Rhubarb colourway. I actually had to suppress the urge to wind one of these beauties up right away and cast-on immediately (I want to wait for my Knitpicks Harmony dpns to arrive).

In other news, it seems that the hectic pace I've been keeping up lately (it doesn't FEEL hectic, despite what my mother keeps telling me) is finally catching up with me. I think I'm coming down with the flu or something, I'm sore and cold and hot and my throat hurts and I just feel yucky all over. By the time Émilie was tucked in bed last night, I could barely stand (and no, I'm not exaggerating). So I was in bed at 7:45 last night. Maxime woke up about 4 times coughing, but went back to sleep on his own without requiring any intervention on my part.

Finally, Erin (fellow Socks for Seeley (on Ravelry) organizer and Boreanaz fan extraordinaire) left a comment on my last post, saying she'd tapped me for a meme. Techno-Dork that I am, I had no idea what the heck a meme even was, but after a bit of savvy Googling, I figured it out. So here's my MEME. Here are the rules, (they must be posted to your blog).

Link to the person’s blog who tagged you : Erin.
List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog and also so they can look at your blog and not tag the same people all over again!

My 7 Random Things:

1) I'm double-jointed. I can bend things in ways you can't even imagine. Dudes.
2) I met my husband on a cruise in the Caribbean, even though we actually lived less than 10 minutes away from each other. Go figure.
3) I worked at a McDonald's restaurant for 3 years as a teenager.
4) I used to smoke (quit 7 years ago this January).
5) I have a nervous tick. I'm constantly either drumming my fingers in my hands or rubbing my fingernails with my thumbs. It's a whole thing.
6) I enjoy doing laundry (no, really!).
7) When I pluck my eyebrows, it makes me sneeze about, oh, 57 times in a row.

Here are those I've tagged to participate (feel free to tell me to take the proverbial hike):


OK, the couch beckons!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Accept What Is

I'm back, and I've had a heck of a weekend. I'm now sleep deprived, short-tempered, and seriously in need of some personal grooming ;). But it's a new day, and I'm going to try to get back into my normal routine, as far as I can.

As I mentioned in my last post, Maxime developed a really nasty cough on Thursday afternoon, which quickly turned into croup, aka whooping cough, a common childhood ailment (Émilie never had it) that will haunt my dreams for years to come, I'm sure. Even though I thought he was getting better on Friday afternoon, it turned out to be wishful thinking on my part, and Friday night was one of the worst nights of my life, I kid you not. The scary thing about croup isn't the coughing, it's the "I can't get any oxygen into my lungs DO SOMETHING MOMMY!" wheezing and panicking. Not fun. We managed to get through it somehow, with a humidifier in his room and a few trips outside during the night (cold air helps open up the airways), and Saturday night was a bit better.

Despite having gone to bed at 8:30 Saturday night, I've incurred quite a sleep debt, and I'm now finding myself getting ticked and impatient at the poor little guy for being so "whiny". So I've decided to add a second part to my motto (formerly "This Too Shall Pass").

Accept what is. I was watching a program on TLC last week, called Kids by the Dozen, and this woman with twelve children was talking about the biggest challenges of having such a large family. "Accept what is. If something unexpected happens that requires your immediate attention, just go with it." I'm a planner, and I have real problems with unexpected events messing up my routine (even fun, spontaneous things can get me miffed). So I'm going to repeat my new and improved motto to myself throughout the day. Accept what is, Tara, and this too shall pass. These words of wisdom will no doubt come in handy this week, as Phil is away on business until late Friday night, leaving me with both cherubs.

Breaking News: The trip to Japan is ON, baby! The tickets have been purchased, and now I've got to get my butt into gear and get my passport renewed (Whoopsee!), plan my day trips ('cause Phil will be working) and start getting the house and kids' stuff ready for when my parents come down to babysit. Yup, I really need to get cracking. Yessiree Bob. I'll get right on that (just not today, mercy, MERCY!!!).

And would you believe it? I managed to get a wee bit of knitting done this weekend. I finished the right Spring Cable sock, and I'm really happy with the results. They fit him like a dream! Too bad I wasn't able to finish the pair before he left, I'm sure he would have liked to have a brand new pair while he's away. Maybe when he gets back? Lookout, it's Wonder-Mommy!!!! :)

I'll leave you with this picture of myself, trying to retrieve my beloved sock blockers from behind the washer and dryer (they slipped while I was doing the laundry). Phil took another picture of me in all my bendy, underwear poking out the top of my jeans glory, but I'll spare you that one. This is a G-rated blog, after all ;)

Friday, January 25, 2008


My son has croup (aka whooping cough). This on top of conjunctivitis and teething. It started yesterday afternoon and has been progressing through the night and all day (actually he's moderately better now, hence the quick post). It's been a super rough day. Gotta go.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fresh out

I had a bunch of snazzy blog post titles running around my head today, but it seems that I'm spent, because I'm fresh out of ideas at present.

In my defense, today was a long day. It started before the crack of dawn with my daughter getting up at around 5:45 AM to head to the bathroom, hacking and coughing all the way (she's getting over a cold at the moment). For reasons I still don't fully comprehend, Phil decided it would be a good idea to have her come into our bed for the remaining 30 minutes of the night (his alarm goes off at 6:15 - ugh). Let me ask you something: could you sleep with someone whose morning coughing takes on Tuberculosis-like qualities lying on YOUR pillow and gently running her fingers all over your face? Yeah, didn't think so. Especially when she knows that we can get out of bed when the clock says 6:00, so she watches it like a hawk and comments on Every. Single. Minute. "Maman !!! C'est cinq cinq huit !". Yes, thank you honey.

Despite the early morning coughies, Émilie was really feeling quite chipper this morning, so off to daycare she went after two days at home. Maxime and I had our Cardio-Poussette class (which I briefly debated skipping in favour of some couch-potato time), then went straight back home for lunch and a nap, followed by a trip to the grocery store before we picked up Émilie. I know. How can I keep up with this fast-paced lifestyle? :)

In one of my recent posts, I mentioned that I'd bought a bunch of books at Chapters recently. Some arrived on Monday, so I've got plenty of reading material. I've been reading through Mason Dixon Knitting over the past 2 days. I've wanted that book for a while, but always felt it was too expensive (go figure), so I was really glad to use a gift certificate to buy it. I really like Ann and Kay's style. I used to read their blog, but felt it was a bit too technical for my tastes. Now I'm thinking of giving them another chance (I know, I'm a giver).

I've been focusing on 2 projects lately: Cluaranach and Phil's Spring Cable Socks. I'm also looking forward to casting on the Cardigan for Merry. I'm waiting for Kate-the-Enabler to receive her yarn from KnitPicks (that's right - perennially frugal Kate-the-Enabler made her first EVER online yarn purchase. Give her a great big hand!!!!) so we can work on it together during our weekly SnBs.

That's it for tonight, folks! I'm off to knit and sleep (not necessarily in that order).

Monday, January 21, 2008


Feedback from friends and family is unanimous at this point: a resounding GO TO JAPAN!!! My head agrees, but my mother's gut will need to get used to the idea (I've never been away from my kids for more than one night since the day they were born). Luckily, I've got 6 weeks before we fly out (yes, if all goes according to plan, I'm totally going). I'd be crazy to miss an opportunity like this. I've starting researching likely day-trip destinations (we're about 65 km from Tokyo) and even found a bunch of Tokyo yarn stores to visit, as well as a Stitch and Bitch group that I could drop in on! :)

I've had quite the (culinary) Asian weekend, actually. Saturday, Phil and I celebrated our 14 year (dating) anniversary with a lovely sushi dinner, followed by a movie (There Will Be Blood). The food was great, and the movie was excellent. Three Words: Daniel. Day. Lewis. 'Nuff said. And Sunday, I met my cousin Jessica for Dim Sum (I hadn't been in ages - YUM!!!). So much for the diet!

Today's post will be on the short side, because Émilie is home sick with a cold and a nasty bit of conjunctivitis (thanks again for watching Maxime while we went to the pharmacy, Kate!!!). Seriously, she seems to be secreting badness from every orifice. Fun times.

Knitting has been put on the back burner for the time being, but hopefully I'll be able to get some progress on the foot of Phil's sock during nap time this afternoon (and maybe even post some progress pictures on Ravelry).

Finally, someone (Hi Joey!) told me about a new yarn store that just opened in Montreal, on Monkland, called something like Tricot Treats. I did a little hunting around, and it's actually called Tricot Quartier. Anyone ever been? I'm thinking of taking a gander sometime this week... Although, I think I should save up my money. After all, I DO have a trip planned :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Screeching Halt

Anyone who's known me for a prolonged period of time knows that when anything new and exciting comes along, I get super enthusiastic about it, can't think of anything else, plan and dream about it. But then, when it comes time to actually DO it? I panic. Stumble, re-think, reconsider, refuse. Back away mumbling excuses.

Here's the deal. Phil has to go to Japan in early March for close to 2 weeks for work. When this was casually mentioned a while back, I was like "I wanna go!". I discussed it with my parents, everyone thought it was a great idea. Maxime? He'll be 10 months old, no problem. Émilie? She'll be with her grandparents, no worries there.

Now it's actually happening. He's definitely going. TO JAPAN. Far, FAR AWAY. The Super Modern Mom of the World that I was (Sure! The kids will be fine for 12 days! When do we leave?) has left the building, and been replaced with a giant, unrecognizable worry-wart (What if the plane crashes and we both die? The kids will be all alone!!!! Don't they have lots of earthquakes in Japan? What if there's a tsunami!!! Can I really do this and consider myself a responsible parent?). My nails have been bitten off, my stomach is gurgling menacingly, and my hair will probably be permanently frazzled from the constant winding around my fingers it's endured over the past few hours. What to do?????

Opportunities like this are few and far between, I know that. I just can't help but have this knee-jerk reaction to any kind of unexpected event (I'm a planner, and I react badly to changes in general).

So that's what I've been up to lately. Hemming and Hawing. Oh yeah, and I turned the heel on Phil's sock ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rejoicing in the Simple Things

I've really been enjoying my sock project. It's simple, yet interesting. The yarn (Maple Creek Farms Merino/Nylon, bought in Rhinebeck) is lovely, and the entire process is just plain satisfying. Plus, I've learned a new technique: cabling without a cable needle. Très cool. I feel as though I haven't knit a sock in months! Hello socks, where have you been???

I forgot to mention that while my Dad and stepmother Margot were visiting, we celebrated the last installment of Christmas (whoever coined the term "12 days of Christmas" probably had relatives living all over the place too) and I received a gift certificate to Chapters. Now, you know what that means! Knitting books! Yay!!!! I picked up six titles, including a used copy of Yarn Harlot, the book that started it all for me (Kate-the-Enabler lent me her copy, but I wanted one for my very own). Very excited.

It may have escaped your notice that I'm deviating from my usual posting pattern, here (posting at night when the kids are asleep rather than in the morning while Maxime is napping). I didn't have time to post this morning, because Maxime and I had our first Cardio-Poussette class today. Again, I am SOOOO out of shape. It was great to be outside (Maxime seemed to like it too), but it really puts a dent in my schedule (and my knitting time!). And despite all the hard work, I can't help but have the feeling that by the end of the session I'll still have this baby fat on my tummy (yes, Phil, I know I bought lemon cake (for SnB tomorrow) AND cookies when I did the groceries - what of it???).

For all you Bones fans out there, recently, after throwing out a casual "anyone ever feel the urge to knit Booth a pair of crazy loud socks and send them to the show?" in a discussion board on Ravelry, a bunch of us decided it'd be fun to do just that. If you're interested, check out the "Socks for Seeley" thread in the Bones fans group. The deadline is June 30th, the goal is to knit as many loud socks for Seeley as possible (and maybe even spot them on the show, you never know!).

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's official

This weekend was Maxime's Christening (I'll post photos as they come in), and my Dad and his wife Margot came down from Markdale, Ontario to spend the weekend with us and be there for the big day. It was great having them, especially after Dad's health scare just before Christmas. I wish they didn't live so far away! The ceremony itself went really well. Maxime was a champ, didn't cry or anything when the priest poured the water on his head, but he definitely had a "what the Heck is going on?" look in his face. Now we get a couple of years off before we begin the long process leading up to Émilie's first communion. I say long process because, whereas catechism was taught in school when I was a kid, it's up to the parents to take steps in that direction nowadays. In my parish, this involves 2 years of monthly "seminars" with the kids. Aaargh. Some may wonder why we bother when we don't really go to church, but that's a longer discussion than I'm willing to have on this blog! :) I'd rather wax poetic about knitting.

Speaking of which, Hallelujah, Christmas chez Dearknits is officially over. Done. Finito. The final gift has been blocked, wrapped and given away, and can now be shared with you.

Behold, the lovely Bird in Hand Mittens, designed by Montrealer Kate Gilbert. I made these for my lovely cousin Jessica, now Godmother to both my children and friend extraordinaire. Specs as follows: knit with Cascade 220 wool (I forget which colourways), using 2.5 mm needles. I really enjoyed this project, the colourwork wasn't too difficult, but still challenging enough to keep things interesting.

Being done with Christmas knitting means that I can finally be the promiscuous tramp I've been longing to be and enjoy casual affairs with a variety of projects. Woo-Hoo!!! First in what will surely be a long line of new cast-ons, these socks, for Phil, who despite being nearest and dearest to my heart, did not in fact receive any woolly love this year for Christmas (but he gets it all year round). I've only knit my swatch so far (I'll be using some lovely wool/nylon I got at Rhinebeck), but I'm looking forward to hunkering down with them later this afternoon.

Right now, I'm off to wake up Maxime and give him a bottle before we head out to our Aqua-Mommy class (I soooo don't feel like going today!!!). Happy Knitting everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Needle Bliss

Tuesday's Mommies who Talk about Knitting meeting went great (no knitting, as usual, but much fun was had by all). Jenn put out quite the spread, despite having no running water due to a busted something-or-other, including some dynamite (as in your mouth will explode!) garlic dip that you can apparently only buy from some door-to-door service where you need to know a secret password or something. Man, I still can't get over that dip (I was expecting a soothing spinach dip and was completely unprepared) :)

I've almost finished knitting my secret project, so rest assured, we'll be returning to our regularly scheduled knitting content shortly. However, in the meantime, I thought I'd share this faboo gift I got from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend (recipient of the second Amanda Hat) for Christmas. Speaking of the Amanda Hat, Gina, aka SleepyEyes, has set up a gallery here).

But first, a little backstory. I was taught to knit by my paternal grandmother many, many moons ago, and when she died, I inherited her needles and UFOs (sadly, they remained UFOs, because the Bay doesn't make Baycrest Sayelle anymore). I've kept my needle stash in the same bag since then, and while that system may be great in terms of sentimental value, it isn't exactly practical. See, this storage system is quite inoffensive when you leave it well enough alone, but when you actually need something, it turns into this:

A giant heap of a mess (and Gad!! Do I need new flooring or WHAT? Don't look directly at the carpet!!!!! Avert your eyes now!!!!!!!). I've tried to upgrade the system by keeping a nifty inventory of my needles in an Excel file (you can do something similar through Ravelry), but really, there's no getting around the sorting and bumbling when you need to retrieve something from the stash.

Enter this wonderful gift. Yes, boys and girls, my brother-in-law bought me a knitting needle organizer on Etsy. OK, granted, he had a little help, via a gentle suggestion (read: a hyperlink) I casually (read: BUY ME THIS!!!) mentioned to Phil, but still, it's pretty awesome. Seriously, who knew that in a few short minutes, the needle stash could go from that to this (yes, that is in fact one of my daughter's Caillou hair elastics holding a set of DPNs together)?

I've moved most of my needles into this organizer, but I'm keeping my circulars in their original packages for now (I find it easier to locate exactly which size and length I need when I can just read it on the package). I've noticed, however, that one can also buy an organizer strictly for circulars. Hmmmm....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Feeling the Strain

I'm starting to feel the strain of project monogamy. During the Holidays, in an effort to crank out as much woolly-love as I possibly could, I tried to work on one project at a time. I've only got one gift left to finish off (my secret project, check it out on Ravelry), and while it's a perfectly wonderful project, I find myself gazing longingly at my knitting basket, towards other projects that have been sadly neglected (like Cluaranach, for instance). I'm really looking forward to being project promiscuous again :)

Off topic for a bit: One of my resolutions for 2008 was to try to take better care of myself, and to get back in shape (I didn't want to make it an "official" resolution because, let's face it, who doesn't feel that way after 2 weeks of eating sugar pies?). I've done pretty well up to this point, I'm a few pounds off my pre-pregnancy weight. The thing is, I've been a little, um, complacent lately, and while the numbers on the scale may be similar to what they once were, the body shape is most definitely NOT.

Here's the thing: since I've been home, when Maxime is asleep, I don't want to do a Pilates video (or laundry, or make food). I just want to knit. Sit on my expanding behind and knit. It's now dawned on me that the key would be to take it outside (or out of the house, anyway). So yesterday Maxime and I had our first Aqua-Mommy class. It was great, but MAN! I am SOOOO out of shape! I was pretty much ready to sit and order a milkshake before the class even began, what with the running into the gym 5 minutes before the class started (with 3 bags in tote), frantically getting into my bathing suit and Maxime into his swim trunks. And after the class? Poo-Ped (but strangely energized, nonetheless - exercise does that, as I dimly recall). So was Maxime. He loved the water (first time in a pool), but all that jumping around knocked him out, and I actually had to wake him up from his afternoon nap to pick up Émilie. Too cute. We've also signed up for a Cardio-Poussette class at the Centre de la Nature that starts next week.

I'll leave you with this picture of Maxime, taken this morning while I was stash diving. He's fondling Maggie's sock yarn, in the Prescription Medication colourway (Maggie, if you're reading this, these new semi-solids are your best work yet. Two words: Ge Nius. Dude.) I'm trying to figure out what to work on next (besides Cluaranach, of course): should I cast on the Cardigan for Merry? Socks for Phil? for Myself? All of the above? Yeah, that's what I thought, too. :)

This afternoon we're heading out to Jennifer's house, to meet Robyn and Kate-the-Enabler for a Mommies who Knit (or more accurately, Mommies who talk about knitting while holding fidgety babies) meeting. Should be fun.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Year in Review

OK! Phil is out on the Skidoo, Émilie is in daycare, Maxime is asleep. It's just me and the computer! Time for my personal review of 2007.

Looking back at this past year, one thing obviously stands out: the birth of my son, Maxime, now 7 and a half months old. How he went from a bright red newborn to the giant butterball he's become is somewhat of a mystery, despite this being my second time around, but there you have it. 2007 was the year I had my darling boy, and I couldn't be happier with my two wonderful children. I'm truly blessed.

I also received my diploma for my second Masters' degree in 2007, having worked over the past 5 years to obtain my Masters' degree in Library and Information Sciences from McGill University, while simultaneously working full time, getting married and, oh right, having a baby. Looking back, I'm not quite sure how I managed it all, but now that it's over I'm looking forward to pursuing new professional opportunities in my field, preferably closer to home.

I've been married to a wonderful husband and father for 4 years now (together since 1994), and despite the occasional patch when I'd like to cut him up into itty-bitty pieces, our relationship is still going strong. I'd like us to make more time for each other in 2008. That's one resolution.

As far as knitting goes, 2007 has been a landmark year. I think this was the year I really, REALLY got into it. I made my first sock yarn purchases from Pick Up Sticks on Boxing Day 2006, and made my first trip to Effiloché in January of 2007, and presto, a stash was born. I joined Ravelry, and have been enjoying the online knitting community in general. I even took a knitting road trip to Rhinebeck, and have pledged to return next year (fates and life allowing, of course).

I also made real progress as a knitter. For instance, I knit my first pair of socks in January of 2007, and have knit 12 more since that pair. I've learned new techniques, most due to my membership in the Rockin' Sock Club, which I've renewed for 2008. I also cut my teeth on lace with Mystery Stole 3, and have discovered a love of lace and of beaded knitting.

I have 23 FOs for 2007, 21 of which you'll find on the sidebar (2 were given away as gifts pre-blog, therefore I don't have any pictures). The one I'm most proud of has got to be Émilie's Wildflower Sweater. The colourwork, the detailing, and well, it's just so pretty! I'll be sad when it no longer fits.

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this, my blog, in my review of 2007. This blog has allowed me to express myself in new ways, and has allowed me to come into contact and develop friendships with some wonderful people. It's been an amazing experience, and I plan on keeping it up in 2008. Thank you to all my readers for participating in this journey with me!

I don't know that I have any specific goals or resolutions for 2008, at least as far as knitting is concerned. I'd like to continue on my path of self-improvement, and tackle areas of knitting that give me the heebie jeebies, like steeks or zippers, or Cat Bordhi. I'd love to learn to spin, but I don't know that I've got the resources available to me. Besides, who can handle another *ahem* healthy obsession?

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2008 will find you all happy, healthy, and surrounded with yarn.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I still want (and plan!) to do a review of 2007, but time has been short lately, so it'll have to wait. However, I didn't want to leave my readers in the dust, as I've been neglecting the blog over the past few weeks. Here's what I've been up to.

On New Years' Day, despite practically falling down from exhaustion (I SO can't handle getting to bed at 1:30 AM anymore!!!) we got all dolled up and braved a snowstorm to head over to my mother-in-law's house for a lovely dinner. Everything was delicious, but at 8:45 we'd had enough and headed home to crawl into bed!

Yesterday was spent attempting to recuperate from the previous night's excesses (no small feat with 2 small children!). And today? Today, dear readers, we made the traditional, post-Christmas trip to Ikea, where we picked up a few items to aid us in our attempt to get ever more livable space out of our tiny home.

Here we see our new, swanky audio-video table, currently being used as a toy storage area (somehow I doubt Home Theater magazine will be contacting us to feature our layout any time soon).

We also picked up this little sofa bed for our downstairs game room, which should enable visiting dignitaries to actually sleep indoors, a great improvement from our previous accommodations, which consisted of an inflatable floating lounge chair. And look! It's hot pink! Funky!!!

I've made some progress on my secret project, so check out Ravelry for updates on that score. Tomorrow is Phil's last day off from work, and wouldn't you know it? Daycare is open. Gosh, what will we do???

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year

The past few days have been quite the whirlwind chez Dear, and while I have neither the time nor the inclination to give you a play by play of everything that's been going on, I thought I'd post some random tidbits that have stuck in my brain.

First things first, the Holiday knitting. As you can see, I managed to finish Michel's Boyfriend Socks. I also gave my mother a pair of Jaywalkers I'd knit this summer. I loved both patterns, they fit their intended recipients perfectly (not such an easy feat when working some sneaky knitting) and they seemed genuinely pleased with their gifts (apparently they had to guard them with their lives when visiting my uncle and grandmother a few days later). Score!

I also knit another Amanda Hat for my sister-in-law (can you tell I love this pattern?). Contrary to what I had originally thought, I did not in fact have enough of the pink left over from the previous hat to make another one, a fact I discovered the hard way after knitting for two hours on December 22nd (note to self - next time weigh the amount of yarn you have left before getting started on a tight deadline project). Luckily this is a really, really quick knit (otherwise she may have had to go all 80s style with a rockin' headband!), and I was able to cast on and off within the same day on December 23rd, using some stash Malabrigo I had earmarked for the Snowball Hat. The hat fit her perfectly! I was mildly worried, because I had been told Catherine has a small head, and the pattern is designed to fit a medium/large, so I went down a needle size and everything worked out great.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to deliver the final (but definitely not least important) gift in time, despite exchanging on the 28th. I'd show you pictures here, but the intended recipient (my cousin Jessica, I think the cat's out of the bag on this one) is a reader, so if you're interested, check out my projects on Ravelry.

After Christmas we tried to keep things fairly simple, then yesterday we dropped the kids off at my mother-in-law's and headed out to La Capucine, a beautiful bed and breakfast in St-Placide. We always celebrate New Years with the same group of friends (5 couples), so we were able to rent all five rooms in this place, and thus wouldn't bother anyone (except the owners!) with our shenanigans. The food was IN-CRE-DI-BLE, the service impeccable, the ambiance lovely (except for Cattiavelli over there, he kind of gave me the creeps).

Since we had the place to ourselves, we were able to set up a karaoke machine and belt out a few tunes between dancing sessions (here we see the complex lyrics that comprise a Kiss song) . A great time was had by all, and we already booked the place for next year!!!

I'll post a personal review of 2007 in a few days, but until then, I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Years' celebration last night. Happy New Year!!!! :)