Sunday, November 30, 2008

Break on Through

I did it. I somehow managed to survive another weekend. How do people do it? How do we get through the mad rush of the shopping and the cooking and the laundry and the social obligations and still keep our sanity intact? I'm serious, I think this is one of life's great mysteries.

Okay, truth be told, this weekend wasn't really THAT bad. I'm just exhausted from Émilie waltzing into our room and turning on the light at 6:09 AM this morning. In her defense, we have to get up at 6 during the week, but she has yet to grasp the concept of "sleeping in". When you think of it, Phil and I are really the ones who need to keep up with the learning curve though, because we keep falling into the trap of going to bed at 11 o'clock on Friday and Saturday nights (you know, 'cause it's the weekend! we can sleep in! NOT!). Sharp as a butter knife, people.

So, first things first. Saturday evening we were invited to the hippest, happenin'-est party of our neighborhood, Kate-the-Enabler's son Liam's first birthday party.

Liam seemed a little freaked when everyone started to arrive (no biggie, I feel the exact same way when too many people invade my tiny abode), but he and Maxime were eventually able to sit and chill at the Play-Doh table. Can't you just picture them in a few years, trading hockey cards and giggling because on of them said "boobies"?

Now, Phil and I took a bunch of pictures of the party, but one of the adults always managed to be in a most unflattering position in every. single. picture (you know, eyes closed, finger up nose, bent over flashing droopy cleavage, that kind of thing), so this is all you get. *Speaking of droopy cleavage, Chris, if you EVER post that picture you took of me, be prepared to endure my wrath*.

Today we put up some of our Christmas decorations. Émilie and Dad picked up a little tree (I think it's a four-footer?) this morning, and we got to work.

And I do mean WORK, people. Controlling Émilie's creative impulses while simultaneously trying to keep 18 month-old Maxime away from the tree and it's glass ornaments (note to self - invest in some plastic ornaments!) was, um, challenging. See my face in this picture? That's what's referred to as "The Look" in my family. (and MAN! Why is it that I look like a tank in all these pictures! I've lost weight, I tell you!)

We pretty much stopped at the tree. I've got quite a collection of snowglobes and other decorations that I'm still debating on putting out, what with Maxime's enthusiasm and Émilie's overzealousness.

I was hoping that decorating would put me into the Holiday spirit, but I'm just not feeling it. Perhaps after a good night's sleep, I'll feel differently. We'll see.

This afternoon Émilie and I went over to Alison's to drop off some recipe books I'd been holding hostage for a few months, and to meat her new fur baby Newman. Émilie was enchanted to meet a kitty, and of course had a major fit when it was time to leave, crying that the cat would "miss her terribly" and "why can't I get a cat???" (I'm allergic). I think she had finally stopped crying for all of 2 minutes when we got home, and of course, what should Phil ask her when we walked through the door? "Did you see a CAT???" (I think it's a safe bet that "The Look" was used again).

And here we are, another weekend over and done with. Hallelujah! I've got a busy week ahead of me, with choir practice on Monday and 2 concerts this week (including the Oratoire St-Joseph on Saturday!). But I'll do my best to blog. I do it all for you, people! (actually that's a lie, I'm just a comment junkie).

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Knitters and Their consorts

Yesterday I had a ladies night. Yes people, I actually PUT THE BOOK DOWN and went out after work and interacted with other human beings and everything. Sometimes I even amaze myself.

[Speaking of the book, I went to Indigo on my lunch break yesterday to pick up Eclipse and Breaking Dawn (books 3 and 4 of the addictive Twilight series, but I digress), and I swear, I must have seen 10 people pick up copies of at least one of the books within a 3 minute period. 5 out of the 7 people ahead of me in the check-out line were carrying copies of Twilight. Unreal]

[And while we're still on the subject, I thought I'd mention that thus far, I've successfully enabled 2 people (Kate-the-Enabler and Tamara) into reading the first book of the series. Well, technically 3 people, because Kate is - get this - reading it out loud to her husband Chris, at his request no less. Isn't that ADORABLE???? Seriously dude, you rock. Anyhoo, I think I ought to get a percentage of Stephenie Meyer's royalties this week...]

Right, going out. I met Jessica after work and we headed out to Ye Olde Orchard Pub & Grill for a pint and a meal, followed by my first glass of Jamieson whisky. You know how Buffy keeps having this spasm every time she takes a pull of Spike's flask in Life Serial? That's sort of how I felt about the Jamieson at first. But after a while, it sort of grew on me. We left at about 9:15, just as the band was setting up (to the chagrin of one of the musicians, who I suspect had his eye on the young and nubile Jessica).

From there we headed to McKibbins Irish Pub, for another glass of Jamieson at the bar (I didn't push my luck and had a Bailey's Irish Cream instead). Turns out Jessica knew one of the waiters (as she explained to me last night, apparently it's easy to run into people you know when you do most of your socializing within a tight 6-block radius), and he bought us each a shot (thanks Julian! Or is it Julien? I detected a hint of a French accent...). Turns out that vodka, as opposed to Jamieson, goes down quite smooth. You know, smooth like peroxyde.

By this time the evening was sort of winding down (for me, at least - see previous detail of alcohol consumption). Jessica had struck up a conversation with some older gentlemen from Halifax (they were in town to catch a hockey game - good luck!), and I realized with a start that it was past 10 o'clock. I started to pull on all my winter paraphernalia, when the bartender looks at me and asks if I knit the hat and scarf myself.

I froze. This guy's, what, 24? Cute as a button, to boot. And he's talking to me about KNITTING. "Um, yeah actually, I did!".

"Cool. Where do you buy your yarn?" he asks.

Again, I'm flabbergasted. He said yarn, people, not wool. Clearly this guy was in the know.

"Oh, there are a couple of places around town, I hedged. On St-Hubert (Effiloché), in the St-Jacques/Atwarer area (Ariadne)..." I trail on.

"Notre-Dame?" he says.


Turns out his girlfriend is the lovely, pixie-like Ophélie (to whom I've unfortunately never been properly introduced), and she works at Mouliné. He then starts to ask me if I'm on Ravelry, and whether or not I have a blog...

I couldn't believe it. We're taking over the world, people! Seriously, there's no place knitters can't get to. If there are no knitters in your immediate vicinity, you can bet your stash that one of their consorts are.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bear With Me

Sometimes I can't find the inspiration to write a proper, "good" post. I often like to prepare an outline of what I want to say during the day, but as I sat down today, it took a while for the creative juices to flow. But I DO want to put up a post. I've neglected you, my dear readers, and I want to make up for it.

Those of you who live in Montreal will know that we had our first snowfall here last night, and it still gets me excited every time. The kids were pretty excited too! Well, Émilie was anyway, Maxime didn't seem to know what to make of it, poor little guy. He would get really excited to step IN the snow, then get frustrated because he couldn't quite manage to get OUT of the snow.

Sometimes I wonder if Mother Nature has PMS days just like the rest of us. I swear, the crazy bitch didn't know WHAT the hell she was on about today. I watched it go from snow to drizzle to rain and back to snow today, and the local students, bless their silly little hearts, were walking around in tennis shoes and hoodies. Wisdom, I've come to realize, is when you recognize the value of warm winter accessories and can proudly wear your hat out in public (especially when you knit it yourself!).

So yeah, I'm thinking the snow is going to make it harder to ignore Christmas. I find I'm a bit restless with my knitting lately, probably due to the fact that I've got too many wips on the needles (of, and the fact that I'm completely obsessed with New Moon, but that's a whole nother story).

The run-down:The Pacific Islands stole, knit with Dyed in the Wool Handmade laceweight, in the Havasy Falls colourway. It's looking like crap right now, as lace is wont to do before blocking. Now that the pattern is really underway, it's quite an enjoyable knit.

The second thrum sock. Meh... Been there, done that. I've never fallen prey to Second Sock Syndrome, but I think I may have it now. I'm just not interested in knitting this right now.

Pillars socks (Ravelry link), knit with Dyed in the Wool Handmade fingering weight, in the Butter Cream colourway. These were meant to be my metro knitting, but since I'm NOT knitting in the train these days (too busy reading), the progress has been slow...

So yeah, progress is slow, and I'm feeling un-enthused about knitting lately. The coming weeks are only going to get busier, with Phil traveling for work and choir concerts left and right. Oh, and speaking of the choir, guess who had Panis Angelicus sprung on her a mere 10 days before the first concert? Aaaack.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank Phil

Editorial note: I meant to post this last night, but Blogger was being a boob and I couldn't upload my pictures. Sorry!)

I've been such a horrible blogger this week. I've been caught up in other extra-curricular activities (I'll explain later), and I just haven't had the time (or, quite frankly, the will) to blog. Mea culpa.

This is especially daunting because I'm well aware that a good blogger posts much more frequently than I do, and with lovely pictures to boot! I've been failing in both departments, and I'm sorry. I appreciate all of you who read this, and I want you to know it.

That being said, it's Sunday evening, and I'm exhausted. All I really want to do is curl up in bed with my book, but Phil scolded me for not blogging in such a long time. So thank Phil.

So what have I been up to lately? Well, it's sort of embarrassing, actually. I've been cultivating a new obsession, you see. And it's nothing to do with knitting (shocking, I know).

A while back, Sandra mentioned a book series I'd never heard of, told me how much she'd enjoyed it and how she was looking forward to the movie. I didn't give it too much thought at the time, but when I saw the previews for the film, I was intrigued. This was clearly right up my alley... I'm a Buffy fan, after all. A vampire romance? I'm SO there.

Unless you've been living under a rock (or a knitting bag, as the case may be), you've probably guessed by now that I'm referring to the Twilight book series (and now the film) by Stephenie Meyer. I picked up the first book on Wednesday, and I pretty much haven't been able to put it down since. Yes, it's supposed to be for young adults. So's Harry Potter...

I finished Twilight late last night (technically early this morning), and I saw the film this afternoon, by myself. The film wasn't as good as the book (of course), but I quite liked it. On my way out of the theater, there just happened to be a book store, and wouldn't you know it? They had a copy of the second book in the series, New Moon.

What ELSE have I been up to? Last night Phil and I had a date night, which was fun. We were supposed to meet up with Jessica at Le Milsa, a Brazillian place where they grill meat on spits and slice it up for you at your table, but we couldn't get reservations, so we ended up just going to our favourite Vietnamese soup place, Phô Bang New York. After dinner Phil and I wanted to catch a movie (but not Twilight, because I hadn't finished the book yet and didn't want to spoil it), so braved the cold and walked to the Cineplex, where Quantum of Solace (the only other movie I was interested in that Phil also wanted to see) was playing.

Did I mention it was friggin' cold here last night? I mean, Jessica was wearing long underwear, for Pete's sake (something I was prepared to make fun of until we stepped outside, then I was envious). Especially since I didn't even have mittens with me (but I was wearing plenty of hand knits).After we bought our tickets we still had some time to kill, so we walked to a near Second Cup and had some coffee and sugary goodness.

I tried on Jessica's Hat. (For some reason, I felt it was necessary to look fierce when wearing it).

Phil tried on Jessica's Hat.

We all agreed that I needed to knit Jessica a hat. (Really Jessica, I'm so sorry we made fun of your hat. I'm sure it's very serviceable. Really.)

Then Phil and I went to the movie, and Jessica headed home (she wanted to see it with her boyfriend Chris).

So that was my weekend. Not a DORMA day in sight, so of course I'm now quite unprepared for the week ahead. I've got 2 meals made (instead of 4), 2 weeks worth of ironing left untouched, and the laundry's STILL not finished.

But I had fun. :)

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inquiring Minds

A few people have mentioned that I've neglected to pimp myself and my upcoming concerts on my blog. Truth be told, I didn't know if I even wanted to mention it (this is a knitting blog, after all), but I don't want to disappoint my fans either ;)

The Ensemble Vocal Universalis will be performing at these fine locations in the next few weeks:

We'll also be performing at a few communities for retired people in the Laval area. So yeah, December is looking pretty busy. Aaaack.

We'll be performing a variety of Christmas pieces from around the world, including the piece Trois Anges (by Augusta Holmès), which will feature a solo by yours truly.

Aaaack. Solos. Come to think of it, forget I mentioned these concerts. Nothing to see here, move it along. :)

I finished my second Miscellaneous-Man Sock, take 2! The trouble is that I've, ahem, misplaced the first sock (I tried the STM lost and found this morning, but no luck), so even though I've knit 2 socks, I don't have a complete pair. I've considered lopping off one of the eventual recipient's feet, so that only having one sock wouldn't pose a problem. But I think in the end I'll probably end up having to buy another ball of Regia Kaffe Fassett Design. Anyway, in the meantime I'm so miffed at the whole situation that the sock is just going to enjoy a time-out for a bit while I work on something else.

Since the sock that shall remain unnamed was my commute knitting, I need a new, relatively no-brainer sock project (so it can't be Fratello yet. Soon Tam!). My grandmother subtly let me know that she wouldn't sneer at a pair of socks for Christmas (read: she grabbed me and said "I WANT SOCKS FOR CHRISTMAS"), so I did some stash-diving last night and came up with this lovely skein of Maggie's Dyed in the Wool Handmade fingering weight.

Now, Phil has been bugging me (excuse me, encouraging me) to design something already. I've knit a sock or two now, so I thought, I can do this, right? Last night I leafed through my one and only stitch dictionary (Barbara Walker's Second Treasury) and chose (wait for it!).... nothing. Absolutely nothing. I'm paralyzed by the options, people. I mean, I know what I want the sock to look like, right? But I haven't found the right stitch (maybe I need to get more stitch dictionaries? because I need more options, right?), and frankly I'm not sure that I can be bothered with the swatching and the ripping back and the inevitable headaches that I'm certain come with designing. I just want to knit a sock, you know? Well, two.

Speaking of Christmas knitting, there are 5 weeks left before the big day, and I've already accepted the fact that there's absolutely, positively NO WAY I'm going to be able to knit something for everyone on my list. Particularly if I have such productive knitting nights as yesterday, when after having my brain numbed by Ms Walker, I gave up and watched the last 2 episodes of Heroes without knitting anything (scary, right?).

The bright side is that, in this respect at least, I'm actually ahead of schedule. Usually this realization only dawns on December 24th, at about 11:30 PM.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Normalcy (or the Semblance Thereof)

Phil's back at last, and we're all thrilled to have him home. The kids have barely left his side since he stepped through the door (even before that actually, since Émilie came with me to pick him up at the airport), always wanting him to be the one who reads them their story and puts them to bed. And you know what? That suits me just fine :)

He brought back some chocolate and toys for the kids, and a large botthe of my favourite eau de parfum, by Jean-Paul Gauthier. Very nice.

He also passed by a yarn shop while he was out and about last Tuesday, but alas, it was closed. Still, he took a picture as proof!

And it seems as though there's still hope yet of my making the trip with him next time he has to go. He was originally upposed to go back in early December, but with all the concerts I've got coming up, I just couldn't make it. But apaprently the client is considering pushing back the return visit to early January, which means that, barring unforeseen complications, I could go! It will be our 15 year anniversary in January. Wouldn't it be awesome to spend it together in Paris? *Sigh*

Maxime is slowly on the mend. His stomach is still very sensitive, so we haven't been able to return to a normal diet, and I can tell he's getting a little sick of rice, carrots and bananas. But whenever I give him something different, he has lots of trouble digesting it. Hopefully everything will be sorted out in a few more days.

Have you seen the new Twist Collective? There are quite a few patterns I really like (the Lotus Leaf mittens, Véronik Avery's Mars Hat and Scarf, Zephyr Style's Mary Jane). But the one that's really got my juices going is Broderie by Connie Chang Chinchio. Oh, I heart this one. I think I may even have the appropriate yarn for it in the stash (Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo), but I'm a bit iffy on the colour. It's a beautiful teal, but I'm wondering if a darker colour like that would shroud the patterning?

Allright, I'm off to sit with Phil (who's trying to stay awake long enough for us to watch last week's Heroes) and knit a bit. Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crap on Tap

That's what it's been like at casa de Dear for the past 5 days. Crap. On. Tap. I wound up staying home until Thursday, Maxime's stomach only started to settle yesterday. He's still only so-so, but I really had no choice anymore, I had to go in to put out a few fires, you know? I hadn't been to the office in a week!

Luckily, Phil is coming home tomorrow. His flight lands at 3:20 PM, so I'll be heading out at 3:25 on the nose :)

It was good to get out of the house for a day, and to get back to the gym. I'm really looking forward to getting weighed and measured in a few weeks! Never thought I'd say that before.

I'm a bit beat tonight, folks, so I'll keep this brief. I finished the first Fleece Artist Thrum sock!

And because I know you're all dying to see it, the sock inside out.

(I don't know about you, but every time I look at that shot, I'm overcome with an urge to sing What's Love Got to Do With It.)

As you can see, I trimmed the thrums a bit at the cuff, but I did them the "right" way on the toe. I'm pleased to report that a human foot does indeed fit in there. Yay!

Pleased as I am with the sock, I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to cast on the second one. After I completed the first sock on Wednesday night, I needed to have a fling, indulge with a flirty little nothing, anything to take the edge off a bit. And it just so happened that I was the victim is a genuine Random Act of Kindness by none other that Robyn, über-mom herself and purveryor of yarny goodness. She read on my blog that I hearted the Pacific Islands stole pattern, and she bought it for me! Isn't that sweet??? Thanks, hun!

I cast on with a beautiful colour of Dyed in the Wool Handmade Laceweight, and I'm absolutely loving it, to the point of distracting me from all my other wips.

And I need the distraction! I think I lost the first of my Miscellaneous-Man Socks, take 2 (not to mention the hand sewn bag my friend Chemmy made for me!). They were both in the bag I take everywhere with me, and now I can't find either of them anywhere. I have a sneaking suspicion they're in some metro wagon, huddled together underneath a crumpled newspaper, giving the empty coffee cup a wide berth. The sock can be replaced. The bag? Not so much. Knit, knit, knit.

While I was home, I decided to take some yarn pron pictures and try to finish uploading my stash to Ravelry. I'm happy to report that I'm almost finished (!!!!) uploading my sock yarn... (there may still be a few stray skeins in the closet). Dudes. That's a LOT of sock yarn. Gulp.

And now here we are, anoter week safely behind us. I'm going to curl up with a glass of wine, listen to my new CD which arrived in the mail today (no gold-lined box, but it's a wonderful album, I'm so glad I bought it!) and dream of the blue Pacific.

Happy Knitting Everyone! Be good to each other.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All Work and No Play...

... makes Tara a dull girl. I tell you, whoever thinks that being a stay-at-home mom isn't really "work" clearly needs to have their head examined. Truly, I raise my hat to you ladies. I've been home on my own with the kids for 2 days now, and I'm about ready to run naked into oncoming traffic on the off-chance that it could strike up an interesting conversation with another adult.

Maxime has gastroentiritis (I know. Could the timing have possibly been any worse?). He isn't throwing up (thanks be to sunny Jesus for THAT small favour), but everything he eats and drinks just goes right through him, and right quick at that. I couldn't in good conscience send him to daycare, where he could potentially infect the other kids, nor could I send Émilie either (thankfully, she seems fine for now, but she might still be a carrier). I know that I certainly wouldn't appreciate it if any of the other parents dropped off their pestilent child at daycare, so here we all are.

Meanwhile, Phil visited the Louvre (where he also flew a kite) and the Arc de Triomphe, and today he's visiting a pinball museum because it's a statutory holiday over there. Redrum, REDRUM!!!!!

Maxime is down for his nap now, and Émilie's watching Sleeping Beauty. I figured I'd squeeze this post in now because there's no way in H-E- double hockey sticks that I'm going to be up for it tonight.

Dear God, please let Maxime get better today so I can get OUT OF HERE tomorrow!!! I'm going crazy!!!!!!!! Dudes, I really don't think a simple night out on Phil's return is going to cut it at this point... We're talking full on debauchery here, people. ;)

I've almost finished the first Thrum Sock. Thanks Jennifer for referring me to the Harlot's FAQ on thrumming. I must have read it before, but I had completely forgotten about it. I really wish I'd remembered it before I got started, but there's just no way I'm ripping everything out. No way, José! I'll trim the thrums when I'm done this one, and the second sock will be done the "right" way. Chalk it up to the learning curve.

Happy Knitting Everyone! I'm going to go lie on the couch and watch Sleeping Beauty for the umteenth time with my kid.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dangly Parts

Recently on Facebook I posted that in my next life, I wanted to be the man, even if that meant I had to put up with dangly parts. Phil was away, and I had had a particularly rough evening with the cherubs (Émilie had had a half-our long screaming fit of rage around dinner time and after their bath, Maxime had tripped and hit his head on Émilie's dresser, so hard that he actually passed out for a few seconds - he's fine now). When I got into the office the next morning, I read an email that Phil had sent me from work the previous afternoon, after I had already left. It said that the people he was training were a hoot and a half, they were having a blast, and he was heading off for a bite to eat before hooking up with a pinball friend.


And now, Phil's in Paris, and here I am again, Super Mom, Wonder Woman extraordinaire, holding down the fort. I'm trying very hard not to be bitter. Knitting helps with the not bitter. So does alcohol.

I only mention the Facebook dangly parts thing because a) I think it's funny to use the term "dangly parts" and try to insert it into my daily conversation whenever I can (this also holds true for words like "mosey" and "hootenanny"), and b) it seems that even my knitting lately has had protrusions of one kind or another.

The completed Snowball Hat. I can't believe this was the best picture I took of myself (thanks to all of you who assured me that the pics in the last post were actually kind of cute, you're too kind), but there you go. I'd been standing in the bathroom with Passe-Partout on in the background for about 5 minutes, and I was just goofing off. (Oh, and by the way? I loooooved making the pom pom! The tutorial was very helpful, and I finally got it. The whole thing took about 3 minutes [and alot of yarn! I had no idea pom poms ate up that much yardage!]. Very exciting. Look for more pom poms in my future knitting projects.)

Another project that's got dangly parts is the Fleece Artist Thrum Sock I cast on for on Thursday night.Allright, obviously my thrums are waaaaay too long, right? Because honestly? I'm having trouble believing that any human foot will ever be able to fit in there...

I got gauge. I cast on for the medium size sock. The intended recipient has medium size female feet. It should be fine, and yet I'm really sceptical at this point that it's all going to work out in the end. Oh well, who knew knitting could be such a high risk activity?

What else has been going on here lately? Well, Friday I took the day off. I've been sick for about 2 weeks, and with Phil about to head off again, I figured I should just take a day to try and rest as much as possible before the madness started all over again. I read and knit and watched 2 movies (OK, and I did about 7 loads of laundry). It was bliss (except for the constant coughing, of course). Saturday was spent with the usual running around, doing groceries, taking Émilie to her skating lessons, taking her for a haircut, making food...

Today the kids were up bright and early (at the butt crack of dawn, actually). After breakfast and the usual morning cartoons, we headed out to meet with Auntie Jessica!

She knew Phil was going to be away and graciously offered to come over and help out in any way she could. Since I was desperate to get out of the house, we agreed to meet at the Biodôme at 9:30.
Maxime was quite fascinated by the St-Lawrence Maritime Exhibit.

So was Émilie!

Fun was had, and after a brief panick when Jessica realized her Bird in Hand mittens weren't in her sleeve (a good Samaritan had found them and they were at the front desk), we headed back to the burbs. Jessica and I were able to have a nice long chat while Maxime had his nap and Émilie watched a movie, then it was time to run a few more errands before driving Jessica to the metro and heading home for the night.

So thanks for a lovely day, Jessica! It's always such a pleasure to spend time with you ... :) And don't worry: we're so totally ON for a night of dancing when Phil comes home!

The evening went fairly well, I think. Maxime did his own cooking while I made dinner and Émilie played games on the computer...

See the bumps he has on his head? He took a header off the living room couch yesterday. And he walked into a door right before bed tonight, after this picture was taken. *Sigh*

And now I'm sitting here enjoying a glass of wine and blogging. In short, the kids are alive, the house is still standing... I done good.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Almost Finished Object

Phil's back from his business trip, but only for a quick pit-stop, I'm afraid. He's off to Paris for a week this Saturday, and I'm trying my best not to be bitter about not being able to make the trip with him this time. I find that knitting helps with the not-bitter, as do large quantities of red wine (though that doesn't help the knitting).

I almost finished the Snowball Hat! I've woven in my ends and everything, all it needs now is the pom pom. Now if you recall, I bought my pom pom kit in Japan, and for the life of me, I just couldn't figure out how it works. I must be pom pom challenged or something, I don't know. I Googled a few pom pom tutorials today, and I feel confident that this one by Clara Parkes should produce a satisfactory pom pom. I. Can. DO IT!

[Ugh, sorry about the crapiness of the photo. This is what happens when I try taking pictures of myself in the bathroom mirror :)]

I like how it turned out, I think. It looks a little, um.... lumpy? I'm wondering if that's due to my yarn selection or if most projects that are knit with yarn doubled turn out this way? Maybe I should block it? Gee, it'd probably help if I had a close-up of what I mean, eh? Riiiight...

Anyway, I wound up 2 skeins of Malabrigo worsted for this project, and there's plenty of yardage left in both cakes. I'm hoping there'll be enough for a pair of coordinating Fetchings. Then I'd have a complete set of winter accessories. That'd be great if these were made for the gift pile, but nay nay, they're for me. (It's all for me! Mouhahahahaha!!!).

Up next will be the Fleece Artist Thrum sock kit, me thinks. I'll wind up the cake after I finish up the pom pom later tonight, and maybe even swatch...

I'll end today's post by sharing an email I received from CD Baby, an online independent music source based in Portland, Oregon, last week. Remember I had mentioned a new artist I really liked a few posts back? Well, I went ahead and bought it online (talk to the hand, Phil!). This is their shipping confirmation:
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Wednesday, October 29th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It's been a week, and I still get a good chuckle out of that email....

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Scary Capability

Phil's away on a business trip, leaving me alone with the cherubs and the house and the work and the... you get the idea. That, combined with the end of daylight savings time (Émilie was up at 5:16 AM this morning) has left me plain old pooped. But a girl's got to get her kicks somewhere, right?

I tell you, sometimes it really does take a village to raise a child. Or in my case, it took 2 doting grandparents last night to bathe and put 2 kids to bed so Mommy could go to choir practice. I've got a series of concerts coming up starting in early December, including one at the Oratoire St-Joseph (!!!), so I figured it wouldn't be wise to miss a practice if I could help it. I don't know how much good it did, since it was hard to sing when coughing approximately every 5 seconds (apparently I spoke too soon a few posts back, we're all sick as the proverbial dog). But at least I was there!
I cast on the Snowball Hat on Sunday night. I'm using Malabrigo Worsted again, and so far I like how it's turning out. It's definitely going to be a quick knit (provided I figure out how to work my Japanese pompom maker), so I'll be able to get back to my Christmas knitting later this week.

And what would that be, you may be wondering? Well, I've got a few projects lined up. I think Fratello will most likely be my third Miscellaneous-Man Sock of the season. I really like Yarnissima's patterns, plus it'll give me the chance to stick to my promise to Tamara and cast on for a pair of socks using 2 circular needles. :)

I've also got a Fleece Artist Thrum Sock kit that I've been meaning to knit for a while, as well as the Sock Monkey Hat from the summer '06 Knitty (for one of my nephews). Stay tuned.

Speaking of Christmas Knitting, I've been invited to contribute to the Christmas Knitting Frenzy blog Michelle has set up. I don't know how much knitting I'll actually manage, but it should be fun to see how other people cope with these crazy goals we tend to set up for ourselves this time of year!

I'll end today's post by sending a great big ole' hunk of love to my knitting buddies Alison and Caroline. Apparently they've been inspired to go on their own health and fitness adventures after reading about mine, and I wish them much success. I can't tell you how wonderful all your positive comments made me feel, ladies!

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


It's been such an appallingly long time since my last post (is 4 days appalling?) that I've got no real narrative flow for today. I'm just going to throw it out there as it comes to me, all right?

Well, first and foremost, Halloween!

My little bug. I say bug because his hood (which you can't really see well in this picture) was meant to look like a spider, but there were only 6 feet on the costume, and we all know spiders have 8 legs, so he's just a bug.

This is supposed to be a "one size fits ages 0-6" costume, and all I can say to that is : NOT!!! I barely got it on him on Friday morning, and I was a bit worried that he'd freak out, but all for naught, apparently. He started running around, laughing and making "Grrrr!" noises. It was awesome.My little unicorn. I know you've seen this picture before, but all the pictures we took of her on Halloween turned out blurry! It is HARD to take a picture of an over-excited 4 year-old, let me tell you!

Trick or Treating was a barrel o' fun, as usual. Kate-the-Enabler and I took the kids once around the block (don't laugh, that took almost an hour), marvelling that Émilie and Aidan were old enough to make it up and down the stairs of each house on their own (Maxime and Liam were mostly there in an observation capacity). Our men stayed home and handed out candy. Phil even put a pinball machine out in the street for the kids (and grownups too!) to play with!

It was pretty funny, watching the kids walk up to it and asking their parents what it was. Pre-playstation entertainment! A few parents actually thanked us for introducing these machines to their kids. And Phil even got to meet a buddy from one of his online forums! Turns out he lives just down the street. Small world...

And here's the loot, after we filtered out all the stuff we don't want the kids eating (like gum and unwrapped candy). I'm happy to report that I've managed to avoid the candy for now, because...

I finally fit into my jeans!!! Remember when I started on this Health and Fitness kick, I said my goal was to be able to fit into these? Well, yesterday I realized that I could pull off my old jeans without unbuttoning and unzipping them, so I took these out of the guilt drawer (that's also where I keep my pre-pregnancies bikini) and tried them on, and they FIT! And I can walk in them and EVERYTHING! Next step: to get THESE off without unbuttoning or unzipping. LOL!

ALL my clothes are starting to feel a bit frumpy, actually. But I also got my visa bill with all the Rhinebeck follies on it this week, so no shopping for me! Grumble grumble...

Finally, a finished object! Yes friends, the Good ole cabled scarf, which I cast on in November 2007, is finally done.
Knit with Malabrigo worsted using 5.0 mm straights, this was a very easy knit. It could be a smidge longer, but I didn't want to have to wind another skein of yarn :) I have to check the stash to see if I've got enough yarn for a matching hat, now (I'm thinking the Snowball Hat from the Fall 2007 IK).

Happy Knitting Everyone!