Sunday, August 31, 2008
Huh. You know, now that I think of it, I can't even recall what we did yesterday? Other than groceries, laundry, and all that other stuff working families do on Saturdays. Not a clue. I do remember that we had gone to bed late on Friday night (you know, 'cause it's the weekend?) and then were woken up at 5:15 in the morning by Maxime's increasingly insistent "MaMa!!!"s.
Sigh. I love my kids, but will someone please tell me when they're going to sleep in on weekends? I'm not greedy. I'd like to sleep until 7. Is that too much to ask???
We also hit what we call "disgust overload" as far as clutter and cleanliness were concerned. Disgust Overload is when you've been cruising along, oblivious to the grime and ever-surmounting crap that seems to multiply like bunnies in a house with 2 young kids, and then, all of a sudden, it all hits you at once, and you JUST CAN'T LOOK AT IT ANOTHER STINKIN' MINUTE. This usually happens to one or the other parent. But this Saturday it hit us BOTH at the same time.
So we did some reorganizing, cleared out some toys the kids never play with, organized a couple of closets. Then we took it one step further and looked beyond the furniture and the toys and the stuff, and actually looked at the WALLS.
Dudes. Holes, scratches, cracks. And the baseboards? Ugh. We shan't speak of those. Anyway, Phil whipped up a batch of plaster, plugged in all the holes, and we vowed to repaint all the affected rooms, one room per weekend (which should keep us busy until, oh, Thanksgiving).
So when we got home from the Fête de la Famille this afternoon (and were lucky enough the be able to transfer BOTH kids to their respective beds for a well deserved nap), I trotted myself out to the local deco store and picked up a bucket of paint. I was a woman on a mission, people, and I would NOT be shaken from my goal.
Our downstairs bathroom/laundry room will be going from brown to a lovely pale blue. Am I tired? Yes. But I did discover one thing today: Kids make for excellent slaves ;)
Happy Knitting Everyone! (Not that I actually got to knit today... Grumble, grumble...)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
In honour of this latest FO, I thought I'd introduce a new series: Things I Learned from Knitting this Garment.
- Reading the pattern ahead of time is a good idea: I really got it together this time, even highlighting all the appropriate instructions for my measurements. Good thing too, because if I hadn't, the simultaneous dart shaping, armhole shaping and neck decreases would have driven me to alcohol.
- Decrease does NOT mean cast off. Whenever I used to work armhole or neck shaping, if the pattern said something like "Cast off 5 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows, then 3 stitches at the beginning of next 2 rows, then decrease 1 stitch at each edge on every RS row 5 times", I would promptly cast off 5, then 3, then 1 at the beginning and end of every RS row 5 times. Then while knitting this project it hit me : If she meant cast off, wouldn't she have said cast off? A little light went on in my head, people, and I happily k2tog and ssk'd my way through the armhole and neck shaping (one stitch in from the edge, no less!). Made the finishing MUCH easier (but you all knew that already).
- I'm tall (5 feet 10 inches, to be precise). You'd think that at 32 years of age, I'd already know this, but hey, I'm a work in progress. Being tall, I generally like my garments to be longer than average. So in the future, not only will I read through the pattern in its entirety, I will also check the detailed dimensions of the finished garment (beyond the bust measurements, which is all I look at now) in order to make the appropriate shaping decisions. Luckily, it worked out this time. I might have made it an inch longer, but I can live with that.
Thanks for all the positive feedback on my new blog banner! I'm very excited about it. It was designed by a wonderful, talented graphic artist I found on Etsy, Malien00. Check out her shop! She's got some really adorable note cards and other stationary, and is available for custom orders. Thanks so much Mel! It's been a real pleasure working with you.
OK, I'll end this post with this week's Secret Pal 12 question of the week (you may have noticed I slacked off on those for a while, I really had no idea what to answer the last few weeks.
A project or technique that you've tackled and completed beautifully. What is your proudest knitting moment??
I guess the project I'm most proud of right now is Emilie's Good Stripe Dress. It wasn't that complicated technique-wise, but it just turned out sooooo great, and she loves it to bits (and as you know, a 4-year old being pleased with a hand knit item is a feat so rare as to be considered urban legend in some knitting circles).
And on the flip side? What is the one thing that you can't get right? What is that one project that you've never been able to complete? Or that you did complete but then hid away instantly because it was too embarrassing?
The project that springs to mind is my first sweater. I was a Fair Isle from a Létt-Lopi pattern. I'd never worked with more than one colour, I'd never knit in the round, I'd never heard of swatching... But I didn't let any of that phase me, and I just kept knitting. I suppose that, when you factor all that in, it's actually pretty good. But I'd never wear it. No way.
Especially not when I can wear this...
After all, like Wendy Bernard says, sometimes it's all about the sizzle...
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The same can be said of my knitting and stash acquisition. No longer am I a casual knitter who only buys yarn for a specific project, or who knits one project at a time for that matter. No, now I've got a stash and a blog and I'm thinking about spinning and designing and who knows what else!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
- I don't exercise. Ever. I'm not going to say I exercise moderately, because that'd be a lie. I've been completely inactive since returning home from Japan. Furthermore,
- I'm not willing to give up my leisure time. When the kids are in bed, I want to sit on the couch and knit, and nothing on this earth is going to deter me from that. Accepting this is key.
- I don't eat right. OK, I don't eat junk food (mostly because I don't want my kids to eat junkfood), but I'm fond of sweets, and my portions have gotten substantially larger over the past few months.
What's the diet? Reduce my portions, drink plenty of water, go vegetarian for lunch. No alcohol or sweets during the week, and only moderately on weekends.The workout plan? Since I'm unwilling to give up my evenings, I've only got one option left to me: my lunch hour at work. I checked out a Curves located within walking distance from the office this week, and I think I'm going to sign up. If I can do that 30-minute program, 3 times a week (during my lunch hour), I'll be happy.
My goal? To fit comfortable into these jeans.
Ugh. I bought these before I got pregnant with Émilie and, even at my thinnest, they were tight (they shrank after washing. No really, they DID). They may never become my favourite pair, but I'd like to be able to get them past my knees (which I can't do anymore). I estimate I'd probably have to lose at LEAST 12 pounds to make that happen.Vacation planning: Phil has to go to Paris for work this Fall. I want to go. Never mind that I haven't finished paying for my trip to Japan (which may enter into conflict with the above-mentioned financial planning). It's Paris, I've never been there, I wanna go.
Plus, Phil and I have racked up a staggering amount of Aeroplan miles (Thank you CIBC!), so I'd like to use them for a family trip. Probably a pipe-dream though (free flights does not equal free trip).Wow! Well, never let it be said that I don't dream BIG! :)
On the knitting front, I've almost completed the front of Sizzle. Stamina is key now, people. No matter what, I must NOT fizzle on the sizzle! We're entering the dreaded assembly and finishing stage of this project, which is where I usually falter. Gotta keep it up, Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō.my projects on Ravelry if you're so inclined (just not NOW, I haven't put up pictures yet).
Yes folks, I've begun my Christmas knitting. A few nights ago I dreamt that it December 23rd, and I didn't have a single present bought. Not a one. I woke up with a start, and cast on those socks the next day.Happy Knitting Everyone!
Friday, August 22, 2008
This one is simple, elegant, and best of all, easily adaptable. I'm going to see about getting a niftier header, but this should be the one. I hope it isn't too disruptive to y'all.
More later (I've got a proper post all written up, just waiting for pictures).
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I can't possibly recap all the events of the past seven days, so I'll just give you the highlights. First, an important announcement: Phil and I bought a new house!
OK, just kidding. That's the front of Manoir Papineau, a Historic Site of Canada right next to the Château Montebello, where Phil took the kids and I for a quick visit on Tuesday. It's a really beautiful property. Unfortunately weren't able to visit the inside, because you have to make reservations, and this was a spur of the moment thing. Still, it was lovely.
In the midst of all that beauty, Émilie stayed true to form and managed to spot the most yucky grubby thing she could get her hands on (in this case, it was the discarded skin of a cicada - yum). And Maxime?He hadn't slept since that morning, not even on the hour plus car ride down there, so he was absolutely zonked by the time we visited the manor house (at around 5:15 in the afternoon).
Wednesday we went to nearby Omega Park and fed the animals.
It was lots of fun, but boy, they aren't kidding when they tell you to keep the windows rolled up halfway! These animals are NOT shy about scoring some fresh produce!
Maxime slept most of the way through the visit (he did manage a few squeals of surprise when the first band of elk moseyed on over to the car), but Émilie had a blast.
Just to show you that Maxime didn't sleep through the entire mini-vacation (believe me, he didn't), here's a picture of him basking in the glow of a Monosodium glutamate high (courtesy of the greasy hot dogs and fries we ate on the way home Wednesday afternoon).But pray, what of knitting?
Weeellll, you'll recall that last weekend Phil left me alone with the cherubs to go to the Grands Airs de Varennes kite festival (oooh! that reminds me! Check out pictures of his Jordan 200 kite here! Seriously, it's worth the detour). I scored some yarn money out of that deal (guilt money!!!), and since I was heading to Ariadne anywaaay.... I bought this lovely Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace (Ravelry link). I may have mentioned that I'm going through severe lace withdrawal...So of course, I cast on for the Celtic Tote (Ravelry link) :) (hey, it's MY knitting, it doesn't have to make sense to anyone but me).I know, I know, it's not the moss green that Kate-the-Enabler gave me for my birthday. Honestly, I really only wanted to exchange one skein for a contrast colour. But when I spotted that Fuchsia, the game was up. I'm a sucker for the vibrant pink. I was briefly concerned about the colour not being, you know, Celtic-y? But a quick consult with Kate (who's pretty much an expert of all things Celtic, at least in my limited circle of friends) assured me that them there Celts were a pretty flamboyant bunch, and that, had they been able to produce a shade that brilliant, you bet your britches that they would have used it.Good enough for me! I'm absolutely loving it. Especially the cabling without a cable needle (makes me feel like a Knitter with a capital "K"). I can't wait to see it with the contrasting embroidery.
OK, that's it, I'm beat, and I wanna get some knitting time in before I collapse.
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Then, disaster struck:
The tail of his Jordan 200 kite, which is supposed to be in a spiraling motif that gradually tapers down to nothing (kind of like a 160 foot long wind sock), seems to have flared rather than tapered, and all's pretty much shot to s**t. What was I supposed to do? Say "Oh well, that bites the big one. See Ya!!!".
Of course I stayed home. I took the kids upstairs right after dinner and gave them their bath and put them to bed. I think it's fair to say that I'm owed big time.
But hey, at least now I've got time to blog, right??? :)
Crap, what the heck have I been up to over the past few days?
Oh!!!! It was Émilie's birthday on Sunday!!! My baby is 4 years old, I can't believe it! I know that those if you who have older kids probably know that 4 is still plenty young, but I just can't believe how grown up she is now. I mean, she's riding a two-wheeler now!!!! (OK, with training wheels, but still...)
Although, tell me you can look at that picture and not think of this :)
LOL! I can't help it, every time she straps that helmet on, Rick Moranis pops into my head.
Anyway, the party went great. We had invited a few friends from her daycare, as well as some friends of ours. Kate-the-Enabler and clan weren't able to make it, unfortunately. They were in quarantine, Liam having come down with the dreaded Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Even though it sometimes felt like total chaos (5 kids all sugared up can be quite a handful!), it was lots of fun, and I'm glad Émilie had the chance to have her friends over.
This week has been pretty slow. We've mainly been staying around the house, taking day trips to the Biodôme and stuff like that. Evenings are spent knitting and sewing.
I finished the Lace Ribbon Scarf!
Photos of me wearing it will have to wait, I'm afraid. I did my best today using the mirror, but I think I really need Phil on this one, and he's been a little preoccupied, to say the least.
Despite my trepidations, I also cast on for Sizzle using the über-splitty Estelle Mystik DK. It's actually not too bad when you get the hang of it, and it makes for nice TV watching knitting. Hopefully I'll be able to wear it before the summer is out.Finally, I'll leave you with this picture of the loot from today's foray into the garden. My cherry tomato and cucumber plants have really started to kick it into gear, and my zucchini seems to be recovering from whatever was causing it's flowers to drop dead, at least for now. I'm enjoying the fresh vegetables, even if the Émilie seems to be more interested in growing them that in actually eating them.Happy Knitting Everyone!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
In some sick twist of fate, the kids have decided to get up progressively earlier rather than later during our vacation (Maxime started babbling at about 5:16 AM this morning, and Émilie crawled into our bed at about 5:35). Phil and I are still under the illusion that, being on vacation, we can watch movies in the evenings and go to bed later, because we're "not working" the next day (home with 2 kids = not working? HA!!!). This has left us both utterly exhausted.
Plus, Émilie has decided (rightly so, I guess), that she's "too old" for naps in the afternoon, so we don't get any respite at ALL during the day. Help!!!
And to add insult to injury, I spent the afternoon gardening without applying sunscreen, so I've got a sunburn and a migraine.
There is no knitting content (quick and dirty: I finished the Lace Ribbon Scarf, I cast on Sizzle, I signed up for Mystery Stole 4, and I'm going through lace withdrawal), there are no pictures. Go ahead and say it: this is a sorry excuse for a blog indeed. :)
Have a great evening, everyone. I'm going to crawl into a fetal position and watch The Notebook.