Monday, June 30, 2008
I gave everyone who entered a number as they commented, (including Phil, who insisted he met all the criteria I had set for entry into the contest), which put it at 8 participants. If you check the comments, you'll see that number 4 is Jennifer! Congratulations Jenn! My my my, the Knitting Goddess certainly is smiling upon you lately, isn't she? :)
My concerts went very well. I had a few solos this year (well actually, I was the only Soprano 1 in a trio, and I was the soloist in another piece), and I think I did fairly well. Of course, there are parts of my solo performance I could have done better (why do we always do our best singing in the shower?), but all in all, I'm happy. (And yes! I got my haircut on Saturday! That's what happens when I don't see the hairdresser for 2 and a half months. I get a little crazy with the scissors. I quite like it, but Phil thinks it's a little short and Émilie ways I look like a boy.)
But I know what you're all really interested in (besides the contest) is the yarny goodness, right? Well, someone was SPOILED, let me tell you! Man!
OK, first off, let me just say that I think I can pretty safely assume that I've got the best knitting friend EVER!!!! Dudes, I'm talking about none other than Kate-the-Enabler, and she totally, completely went overboard (no REALLY). She'd been telling me for weeks how psyched she was about my birthday, and now I know why! If I had gifts that good, I'd be psyched to give them too!
First off, a little back story. Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned listening to She-Knits' podcast and being overcome with the urge to knit a felted handbag, and bemoaning the fact that the pattern I had my heart set on used Lamb's Pride Worsted, of which I had precisely none in the stash, and how I couldn't buy any because of my oath not to spend on yarn until Rhinebeck? Remember????
Well, apparently it didn't fall on deaf ears, because Kate marched herself on down to Ariadne and bought me four balls of Lamb's Pride in the Oregano colourway (she had casually asked me "But if you were to make the bag, what colour would you use?" Sneaky, very sneaky).
But wait! As if that weren't enough, she had none other than the great Maggie of Dyed in the Wool Handmade fame to dye up a one-of-a-kind colourway of roving for yours truly. And the best part? Check out the NAME!!!
It's called Day of Rest, My Arse! DORMA!!!! Is that freakin' awesome, or what???? I don't think this picture is doing it justice (I suck at Photoshoping), but it's rich with purples and greens and just a touch of blue, and sadly, I'm totally unworthy of it. I'm sorry to say that I haven't really touched my spindle since my workshop in early May, but I've become convinced that I'd get a better hang of it if I were spinning on a wheel, so I've set up a "spinning-wheel fund" with some birthday money I've received, so hopefully, one day, I'll have some lovely Day of Rest My Arse socks to show you.
Maggie was also kind enough to send me a mini batt of merino-tencel in a lovely, girly pink shade that Émilie has already called dibs on.
Unbelievable. The woman is clearly a force to be reckoned with. My only regret is that I wasn't able to open my gift with Kate present (I was rushing out the door to a concert, she was dealing with a sick 7 month-old). Man, I've got some catching up to do this year! (Last year, kind of spur of the moment, I told Kate to pick a skein of yarn while at the yarn shop). It's a good thing Rhinebeck is just before Kate's birthday! :)
OK, last but certainly and most definitely not least, my darling, awesome husband bought me... get this: can you say BOHUS, BABY????
He got me the Wild Apple Hat and Scarf Kit (click on Bohus Stickning when you get to the main site, it's the third one down on the left). I'm so excited about this, I can't even tell you. Ever since I bought Poems of Color, I've wanted one of these kits, but have never had the guts to actually BUY one for myself, which makes it the perfect gift in my opinion.
Lastly, my mother, step-father and grand-mother offered me some yarn money (I'm using some for yarn, but most of it will go to the afore-mentioned Spinning-Wheel purchasing fund), and I know she went on a Chapters spree using my wish list, but I don't know what she bought yet (probably in a few days, I'll let you know).
OK! It's now 9 o'clock, I've spent the entire evening on this post. Phil's been playing Guitar Hero all night (if I hear One by Metallica one more time, I think I'll pop a blood vessel), and I just know that the second I sit down to knit (finally!), he'll want to go to bed. Oh well!
Happy Knitting Everyone, and thanks to everyone who participated in my Sharing the Love contest!
Friday, June 27, 2008
In keeping with that generosity, I've decided to have a contest for my birthday (which is today! I'm 32). Up for grabs are 2 skeins of Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop yarn in the Good Vibrations colourway. For those of you who've heard of this yarn, you'll know it's pretty hard to get your hands on (I stalked them for weeks, but in the end I think this one was an impulse purchase - so unlike me, I know).
But there's more! I've decided to further share the love by making a 20$ donation to Knitters Without Borders on behalf of the winner.
How can we enter this glorious contest, you may be asking? It's pretty simple. Leave a comment before 11:59 PM on Sunday, June 29th, and you're entered to win. I'll do a random number generator thingie and reveal the winner next post (I'm thinking that'll be Monday, I've got a brutal weekend ahead of me).
OK, on to knitting content!
I finished my Socks for Seeley! Here are the legs, see how nicely they match up? All together now: Ooooooh, Aaaaaaaaah
You like that? Here's a close-up of the toes
Yeah, not so matchy anymore. I ran out of yarn about halfway down the foot of the second sock, and had to dive into the stash for my other ball of the same yarn. Unfortunately, it wasn't the same dye lot, so the stripe sequence wasn't the same at all. But you know what? I don't give a rat's arse at this point. I'll invent some schtick about it being a design element, something along the lines of putting your best foot forwards, yadayadayada...
OK, I'll wrap up this post with the Secret Pal 12 Question of the Week.
What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?
Hmmmm, that's a tough one. Well, I'd have to say that the prefect amount of stash would be not too little that you can't continually find inspiration in it or locate an appropriate skein for that "I must cast on IMMEDIATELY" project, yet not too much that storage becomes an issue.
Huh. Is that even possible???
OK, that's it for today. Don't forget to leave a comment if you want to be entered in my "Share the Love" contest. As I mentioned, I probably won't be posting until next Monday. I've got 3 concerts in 3 days, so I'm gonna be a busy-bee!
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
A few new readers popped by last post, which made me feel guilty about not posting for the past few days. I tell you, whenever a new reader leaves a comment, I feel like some kind of movie-star or something (I imagine this wears off with time, just ask the Yarn Harlot). So Thanks! And Welcome!
OK, Émilie and Daddy are outside washing the car (I won't say cars, because I know for a fact that he's only washing his own car and not mine, even though I haven't looked outside), and Maxime is playing somewhat quietly at my feet, so I'm going to try and get this post out this afternoon. (edited at 8:17 PM: obviously, I failed!!!)
Let's see, what the heck have I been up to, anyway?
Right! Sunday afternoon we were fortunate enough to score last minute invites to the most happening social event of our street, Kate-the-Enabler's son Aidan's 3rd birthday party. Even though it had been downright nasty all day, I think Kate must have sacrificed a live chicken to the Gods or something, because out of nowhere the sun popped out, and we enjoyed perfect weather for a lovely party outside. I'd post pictures, but it seems that I'm the kind of parent who mostly takes pictures of my own kids at other peoples' birthday parties, and I think the event should be all about Aidan. :) Rest assured, fun was had by all, the kids were quite well-behaved, and we can only hope to make it to the short-list next year. Fingers crossed, everyone!
Monday everyone was back at work, back at daycare, all that fun stuff. Some people were fortunate enough to have both days off for St-Jean (for my non-Québécois, St-Jean-Baptiste day, originally a religious holiday devoted to St-John the Baptist, is the official national Holiday of Quebec [yes, it's considered a national holiday, even though we're not technically a nation. It's complicated.]), but not so for us. It's basically an excuse for young adults to get s**t-faced. Is that what the rest of you Canadians do on Canada Day?
Since getting s**t-faced is no longer an option at this point, we decided to go to the Montreal Insectarium and Botanical Gardens instead. We've been to the Biodôme loads of times, and even to the insectarium, but we somehow always end up going in late winter, and have never been able to enjoy the gardens in all their splendor.
I tell you, Émilie has some sharp eyes, because at one point we were walking along a path, and out of nowhere she shouts that she has spotted a frog. She sure had, and it was the smallest frog I've ever seen in my life!
Émilie was very excited, so excited in fact that she almost did the poor little guy in! But we managed to get him back to where he needed to be without too much damage.
This afternoon we're going to the annual hot dog pig-out in Phil's parents' neighborhood. Should be big big fun, as always. (it was!)
I guess I'd have to say going to camp every year, or more specifically, the sleep-over night at camp. When I was little, I used to spend the entire month of July and the last 2 weeks of August at my Dad's, and while I was there I used to go to a day-camp run by the YMCA (I went to horse-riding camp, water camp, you name it). Every year there would be one sleep-over night, and I loved it.
OK, since this is still a knitting blog after all, I'll leave you with this picture. This was taken at the insectarium (all the objects in the picture were dyed using some kind of insect). Just goes to show you that knitting does indeed find it's way into all facets of my life, one way or the other!
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Of course, I've decided to ignore it all, have poured myself a tall glass of Bailey's Irish Cream on ice, and am blogging. Why the denial?
Because I'm basking in the glow of a genuine finished object, my friends. I give you the Good Stripe Dress:Wow.
That's what comes to my mind as I'm uploading this to Blogger. WOW!!! OK, there are a few things I'm not 100% happy about, like it's a little big (but she'll grow into it), and the hem keeps curling, despite being in garter stitch (but I can block it next time). But still, to quote the great Zaphod Beeblebrox: WOW! That is really amazing!
Knit with KnitPicks CotLin (Royal Plum, Key Lime and Desert Turquoise) using 3.25 mm needles. I was a bit worried that my colour combo wouldn't work, but clearly I was completely off my bird, because, well, WOW!!! :) I. Just. Lurve this dress. I wish I could make one for myself. It's stylish, comfy and it's great for twirling (Émilie checked. Repeatedly).
I am invincible. I am woman. I am KNITTER EXTROARDINAIRE!!!
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As you'll recall, I conducted some desperate searches on Ravelry, located some people with the same yarn in the same colourway in the same lot number in their stashes, and made arrangements with them to have them send their yarn my way (thanks again Deborah and Donia!).
Now, I've mentioned this on previous posts, but I really want to draw special attention to one particular Raveler, Becky (aka Bambers). About 2 weeks ago, I had gotten in touch with her, because not only had I run out of my main colour, but I had also run out of my main contrasting colour, with about 4 and a half rows left to go, no less. Through an incredible stroke of luck, she had the same lot number as me, and offered to send me a ball free of charge. "Chalk it up to yarn karma!", she said.
Off she went to the post office, and I waited. And then we waited. We sent each other messages every couple of days (Did you send it? Did you get it yet?). We waited some more. Becky started to feel badly that she had sent her package via ground mail, and hadn't gotten a tracking number (not that I blamed her one bit, she was paying for this out of her own pocket, remember). She started to tell me that she would send me another ball. "No, no!" I say "I've got a good feeling about this one. Give it a bit more time."
The this past Monday Eureka!!!!! I get the yarn. As soon as I get home I log onto Ravelry, eager to send Becky a message to tell her the good news. "Look! She's already sent me a message!", I say to Phil.
Then my heart sinks. Turns out that not only had she sent me a second ball of yarn, she sent it via Fed Ex, complete with a tracking number, to make sure I would get the package.
Dudes, HOW FREAKIN' COOL IS THAT???????
Put it this way: I think I can state with some degree of certainty that there is most definitely some good yarn karma coming her way.
OK, gotta go, I've got a dress to finish.
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
You'll be glad to know that I've gotten better at Guitar Hero (I know you were wondering about that). I'm not as proficient as Phil (probably has something to do with me not spending every waking moment playing), but I can hold my own.
Saturday, as planned, I joined Robyn and a few other ladies at Fairview shopping center for WWKIP day. I unfortunately didn't have the heart to lug my ginourmous camera out there (hint, hint!!!), but I DID come through big time in the photo-op department nonetheless. Robyn wanted a group shot of our group, but since she wanted us ALL in there, we needed someone to take the picture. After an initial failed attempt, I pulled out my seldom-used but formerly formidable flirting skills, and got a nice gentleman to take a picture of our group.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Speaking of knitting, I had to rip out the second Sock for Seeley back to the cuff. So sad, I know. I had just turned the heel, had picked up my gusset stitches and everything, when I realized I was missing a stitch on one of my instep needles. I checked my work, and it turns out I had dropped a stitch waaay at the end of the cuff, and had just never realized. So ribbit, ribbit, ribbit I went. So much fun.
Secret Pal Question of the Week: What's your favourite summer beverage?
OK, I'm actually quite sophisticated, but honestly the only thing that's coming to my mind right now is beer. I know, Sangria, white wine, rosé whine, that's all fine and dandy. But really, what hits the spot better on a hot summer day than a cold bottle of beer? Not much, that's what.
Happy Knitting Everyone! And Happy Knit in Public Day tomorrow! I'll be heading out to Fairview Mall to meet Robyn and her West Island Knits gals. See you there? :)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Now, before you start to think "Here she goes again", no, I did not buy anything (today). But I've been thinking about this since last weekend, when my attempt at covert stash enhancement failed miserably. (About that? When attempting to hide yarn purchases from your husband, DO NOT hide them in the car. That'd be his domain, and will guarantee you to be BUSTED!).
It's a compulsion, it's an obsession, it's stress relief... Let me give you an example. I mentioned a few posts ago that I just started listening to podcasts. Right now, I'm listening to She-Knits, and it's great.
So Sharon is addicted to bags. Loves them to bits, it's practically all she knits. Now, myself, I've never been particularly interested in knitting bags or felting. But since I've started listening to this podcast, I've become increasingly obsessed with knitting and felting a bag (specifically this one). It's made with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, which Ariadne sells. I'm just itching to drop everything and go.
Trouble is, following the covert stash enhancement fiasco, I made a solemn oath to my husband (and more importantly to myself) that I wouldn't buy any more yarn (except for my Secret Pal! or using gift certificate money!) until Rhinebeck. Seriously, I've got more than enough yarn to last me until then (*snort* who am I kidding? At the rate I knit, I could probably knit for 5 years with my sock yarn stash alone).
Besides, I know for a fact that when it comes to the yarn binge, the compulsion to cast-on dies almost as soon as you receive the yarn.
OK, a quick note to my Secret Pal. I've noticed through reading other peoples' SP12 questionnaires that I'm a total weenie, and that the question regarding my favourite scent had nothing to do with which perfume I wear (still shuddering in disbelief that I wrote L'Instant de Guerlain. Well La-dee-Da!!! What was I thinking???). So I've amended the questionnaire.
Happy Knitting Everyone!
Monday, June 9, 2008
1. What is your first name? Tara
2. What is your favorite food? Pasta
3. What high school did you go to? Ste-Thérèse
4. What is your favorite color? purple
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jake Gyllenhaal
6. Favorite drink? milkshake
7. Dream vacation? New Zealand
8. Favorite dessert? chocolate cheesecake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? obstetrician
10. What do you love most in life? My children
11. One word to describe you: impulsive
12. Your flickr name: Dear Knits
Isn't that awesome???? I just love it. If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!
I didn't get to choir practice tonight. Phil and I had a prior engagement.
Yup, we picked up the new Honda Civic LX this evening. He's out showing off right now.
This is a quick and dirty post, so I'll sign off here. Happy Knitting everyone!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I've also hopped on the podcast bandwagon as of this morning. No, I don't have my own podcast (not yet!), but when I mentioned to Robyn that I had never listened to any before, she graciously made me a DVD with a bunch of her favourite podcasts on there. I started with She-Knits, and I quite like it! It makes for good commuter listening. Thanks Robyn!
OK, I was actually going to end this post here (I wrote it on Friday, but figured that 2 posts in one day would be pushing it). But Phil took a picture of our daughter Émilie today that just cracked me up (and also made me throw up in my mouth a little bit).
Phil's parents are having major work done on their property. There's lots of freshly churned earth around to dig in and investigate, and our daughter is anything but squeamish. So, without further ado, I give you Émilie and the Nightcrawlers!
Aaaaw. What a little princess! LOL!!!!!
Friday, June 6, 2008
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Gosh, there are so many!!! I suppose I'd either have to go with Dream in Color yarns for sock or worsted weight, and Handmaiden Fine Yarns Sea Silk for lace. They're just so luscious! As for fibers, I'm not too crazy about fuzzy fibers, like mohair or angora. And I loathe acrylic.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I got a great knitting needle organizer as a gift for Christmas. It was purchased on Etsy.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting, off and on, for over 25 years. My grandmother taught me when I was 5. I'd say I'm fairly advanced.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have a wish list with Chapters.
5. What's your favorite scent?
I don't know that I have a favourite. As long as it's fresh and not overpowering, I'm good. Nothing too flowery or musky, I guess I prefer citrus-y or spicey scents?
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Not really. I mean sure, I love chocolate, but I'm not a candy lover. Baked goods are more my thing.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
This is pretty much my only hobby, other than gardening. I only just learned to spin, but don't yet know if it's really for me.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Good question! I listen to all kinds of (mostly older) stuff. I can handle MP3s, so surprise me!
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like vibrant, saturated colours. My colour palette is pretty wide, as long as it's a bold colour. Nothing too faded (like beige).
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married with 2 kids (Émilie, 3 and Maxime, 1). I have no pets.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I don't wear ponchos, but I wear everything else. Except maybe in summer :)
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks and lace.
13. What are you knitting right now?
2 pairs of socks, the lace ribbon scarf, the Good Stripe Dress.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I'm really starting to enjoy circulars, but I love my straigts as well. I don't like bamboo (too bendy), and I'm not crazy about plastic. It's either wood or aluminum.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Probably a year old. I should frog it.
18. What is your favorite holiday?
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Other than yarn? Yes, actually. I collect snow globes (see previous question).
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Book: Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting! :) Seriously, I'd love to add some Zimmermann titles to my collection (I don't have any of her books. Shocking, I know). Yarns: Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Cashmere and Silk. Needles: I'd love to try Lantern Moons. Patterns: not really. I buy as I go :) I subscribe to Interweave Knits magazine.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I think I should try steeking. Someday. When I'm not so a'scareded.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am indeed a sock knitter. My foot measurements are 9 1/2 inches circumference, 9 3/4 heel to toe. I wear a size 9 shoe.
23. When is your birthday?
June 27th. I'll be 32 this year.
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am indeed. I'm DearKnits.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
This won't be a long post (I'm a bit tired, so I may grab a quick nap myself), but I wanted to post a few progress pictures. First up: Émilie's Good Stripe Dress.
I've almost completed the collar, so I'm just waiting on my emergency CotLin to arrive and I'll have another finished object. Émilie is really looking forward to this one (so am I!).
There's also lots going on in the garden. I planted snapdragon seedlings last year, and to my profound surprise, a few actually lived. It seems they all had babies, because there are lots more this year! And the ones I planted last year are huge! I don't mind. I love snapdragons, and they're the multicoloured variety, so it'll make a for a nice background in that bed.
And in veggie patch news, I've got cucumber and lettuce sprouts, but my carrots still aren't showing up anywhere. Actually, there's some growth where I planted my seeds, but I don't know enough about gardening to swear they aren't just weeds! We'll see, I guess.
OK, I'm off to knit a bit and catch a few Zzzzzz's. Happy Knitting Everyone!