Friday, February 27, 2009

The Value of What We Do

While I was shopping with my mother-in-law this past Sunday, we noticed an abundance of knitwear in the new Spring fashions. There were cardigans, cotton sweaters, tunics, knit dresses.... It was really quite striking.

"You should knit yourself one" my mother-in-law says to me. "It'd probably be a lot cheaper than buying one."


Before I go on, let me state right now that this is a woman who professes to LOVE hand knitted items of all kinds. In fact, I always knit her something for Christmas, her birthday, and pretty much every appropriate gift giving occasion in between. Mainly because the woman is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for, but also because she REALLY appreciates the value of a hand knitted garment.

And yet here she was casually, one might say downright flippantly, insinuating that I could just "whip up a cardigan" at will, and for next to nothing to boot.

OK, we WERE in a fairly high end shop at the time, so presuming you're knitting your garment out of, say, KnitPicks Shine Sport as opposed to Qiviut or cashmere, she's probably right...

But what value should we place on TIME, and SKILL? How can we put a dollar sign on THAT???

No knitter in their right mind would EVER think it's cheaper to knit a garment rather than buy one. Take socks, for example. You could probably score a 6-pack of athletic socks at Wal-Mart for 7 or 8 dollars.... But it'd cost roughly 25$ for a "good" skein of yarn. THEN factor in the time it takes to knit the stinkin' socks!

Now, I can churn out a pair in, oh I don't know... say 12-15 hours, depending on the pattern (and that's probably conservative). Even at mininum wage, that's still 102-127,50$, just for labour! So you're looking at a 150$ pair of hand knit socks, as opposed to 6 pairs (that can be machine washed and dryed!) for 8$.

But yeah, I could make a cardigan for cheaper than I could buy one...

In light of the knitting going on here lately, this problem with the perceived value of a hand knitted item seems all the more relevant.

I completed the first half of the Pacific Islands stole tonight, while Phil and I watched Gran Torino (and can I just say? Clint Eastwood is my hero!!!).

The system I've set up for myself actually works fairly well (I respond well to structure). I'm not sitting down to knit an entire STOLE in the evening, which just seems like a colossal undertaking that'll take forever and is just discouraging... No, I'm sitting down to knit 21 rows, which is totally doable.To knit is my goal. What's yours?

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Short and Sweet

I'm going to the North Shore Knits meeting tonight, so I'm going to try to crank out a wee post now (you know, in the 9 minutes I have left on my lunch break).

How is everyone? Whatcha knittin' these days?

I'm still plugging away on the Pacific Islands stole. As of last night, I've got 15 chart repeats done, out of 18 to complete the first half of the stole. I'm hoping to get that done and cast on the second half this weekend. I really hate deadline knitting though, it takes SO much fun out of it, probably since I'm more of a process knitter than a product knitter...

I finished the firstof my Landscape Fire socks yesterday, and cast on the second sock in the metro this morning. I tell you, it's such fun to whip out needles and yarn and cast on for a project in the midst of Muggles. I don't think I would have gotten more stares if I'd pulled an ostrich out of my arse. Okay, that probably would have attracted a fair bit of attention... grin.
Hey! This may be old news, but what does everyone think of the Spring Interweave Knits? I really like this one. I'm particularly smitten with these 2 patterns:
The Silk Cocoon Cardigan, by Connie Chang Chinchio.
This isn't the first time that a Connie Chang Chinchio pattern has caught my eye... I really do like her stuff.

The Millefiori Cardigan, by Andrea Pomerantz

Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of "Spring yarn" (aka cotton) in the stash, and I'm DEFINITELY NOT BUYING YARN right now. Too many expenses, too many previous follies and, let's face it, too little success at garment knitting, particularly for myself.
Yup, I've got to get a grip.
I can do it.
Happy Knitting Everyone!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekend Redux

Gosh, I remember when weekends used to mean REST. I know it's supposed to come back some day, but that's probably the one thing I miss most about not having kids : being able to just let the time go by on weekends, rather than run frantically after every stinkin' minute.

You'll remember from Friday's post that Phil was at a kite festival all weekend. Since I've got little or no knitting content today, I thought I'd give you a run down of my weekend.

Here's what Saturday looked like:

  • Wake up at 6:23 AM. Go downstairs, have breakfast, jump in the shower so Phil can leave ASAP.
  • 8:00 AM : Get both kids dressed, teeth and hair brushed. Strip all beds, change all towels, and lug all laundry downstairs. Do laundry while playing with kids. Start to comtemplate having a stiff drink. After all, it's happy hour somewhere, right?
  • 10:30 AM : Hand off eldest child to kind and doting grandparent to take to her skating lesson. Proceed to dry cleaners' and grocery store with youngest child.
  • 11:45 AM: Arrive home and put away groceries, do load of laundry, frantically prepare über-nutricious lunch (Kraft Dinner and Hot Dog wieners!) for eldest child's arrival.
  • 12:00-12:30 PM : Have lunch, clean up lunch, set up Peter and the Wolf DVD to entertain children while laundry is folded.
  • 1:15 PM : Put youngest child to bed for what will hopefully be a 2-hour nap. BEG eldest child to please play computer game while Mum shuts her eyes for just. one. minute.
  • 1:16-1:34 PM: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • 1:35 PM : Go upstairs to soothe youngest child, who seems to be under the impression that it's time to get up now, back to sleep.
  • 2:05 PM : Realize that resistance is futile. Go back upstairs, retrieve cranky youngest child from bed. Dole out snacks. Do laundry, muse at the pile of handknits accumulating next to the sink and realize that there is no more Soak Wool Wash in the bottle. Seize the opportunity to get the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks out of the house and call Robyn, friend and purveyor of yarny-goodness to see about purchasing some.
  • 3:00 PM : Arrive at Robyn's house. Shoot the breeze (quietly! both her cherubs are asleep), feel mildly guilty about disturbing quiet couple time and hope Robyn's husband Jamie isn't giving the evil eye behind my back.
  • 4:15 PM : Leave Robyn's and start to panic that there won't be enough time to pick up present for eldest child's friends' birthday party on Sunday. Feel guilty because any "good" mother would have been on top of that already.
  • 4:28 PM : Arrive at Zellers. Run to toy section and select appropriate "girl" toy at random. Thank lucky stars that children don't choose this moment to throw a fit because they're not getting anything.
  • 5:30 PM : Get home, set kids up with toys, decide NOT to wait until Happy Hour and have that beer RIGHT NOW. Prepare über-nutricious dinner (breaded chicken fingers and french fries!)
  • 6:45 PM : Put children in bath, sob that today is "hair washing day" but get over it.
  • 7:15 PM : Go back downstairs and watch Wall-E for the 157th time with both cherubs. Crack open second beer.
  • 7:45 PM : Put youngest child to bed.
  • 8:15 PM: Put eldest child to bed.
  • 10:00 PM: Try not to launch into vitriolic ramblings when husband arrives home and raves about what a fantastic day he had, and doesn't he have the greatest wife ever for letting him go today.

And Sunday:

  • 4:50 AM: Listen to youngest child mumble and screech in his sleep. Check on him every 25 minutes or so until 6:30 AM, when husband gets up and retrieves both children. He seems to have understood that if he had not done this, marriage would have been in jeopardy.
  • 7:00 AM: Stagger downstairs to have breakfast.
  • 7:30 AM: Go back upstairs, shower and get dressed, so Phil can leave ASAP.
  • 8:30 AM: Get both kids dressed, then arrange for Phil to drop youngest child off at doting grandparents' house while I take eldest child to swim lessons and birthday party.
  • 8:35 AM: Wrap friggin' present for friggin' birthday party.
  • 8:37 AM: Realize that, despite having been reminded TWICE that eldest child would need her shoes at birthday party, said shoes are still at daycare, and sneakers that are "for home" are too small. Curse self profusely, and get arse out of the house pronto to make another trip to Zellers before swimming lesson.
  • 9:05 AM: Run through Zellers, find size 9 sneakers.
  • 9:35 AM : Arrive late for swim lesson. Sit and watch eldest child, who has apparently had Wheaties laced with speed for breakfast, jump up and down NONSTOP in pool. Laugh to self smugly as other parents' jaws pratically drop to the floor when knitting is pulled out of purse.
  • 10:00 AM: Retrieve child. Listen to teachers' comment about how "enthusiastic" eldest child is in the water, and how we need to work on her "listening skills". Will do, lady.
  • 10:05 AM: Go to locker room and get child dressed, hair dried and coiffed, and ready for birthday FUN!
  • 10:30 AM: Miraculously arrive ON TIME to party. Drop child, whose speed rush is still going strong, off at party. Briefly feel sorry for the poor bastards who are going to have to supervise this bunch.
  • 11:00 AM: Retrieve youngest child from doting grandparents house.
  • 12:00 PM: Meet OTHER dothing grandparents at restaurant for brunch. Watch as youngest child dazzles older, red-headed female. Mentally skip ahead 15 years to when both children will be dazzling and dating. Shudder and "enjoy the now".
  • 1:30 PM: Arrive home and put sleeping youngest child to bed. Realize there's a whole free hour stretched out before me. Briefly consider plopping on couch and knitting, but get sucked into vortex of guilt and instead: water plants, do laundry and ironing, and cook a ham.
  • 2:30 PM: Reluctantly accept the fact that Phil is NOT coming home early and wake up youngest child to pick up eldest child at birthday party.
  • 3:00 PM: Pick up eldest child, who is NOT happy to see me, at birthday party. Arrive home with one fully awake and one sound asleep child.
  • 3:45 PM: Set up Wall-E DVD (again) and fold laundry. Thank the Lord when Phil finally shows up. Immediately call doting mother-in-law to go shopping. Make sure not to let the door slam me on the arse on my way out.
  • 4:15-5:00 PM: Mad shop-a-thon with mother-in-law. The woman is a FORCE.
  • 5:30 PM: Have glass of wine while making 2 suppers at once (one for later in the week).
  • 6:45 PM: Take longer than necessary to clean up kitchen while Phil gives children their bath.
  • 7:15 PM: Watch Peter and the Wolf DVD with kids, right up until 5 minutes before the end, when, seemingly for no reason, eldest child pushes youngest child off chair and onto the floor. Stop movie, put screaming banshee that bears a slight resemblance to eldest child to bed.
  • 8:00 PM: Sit and knit, and wonder that I've made it through another weekend.

So tell me: how was your weekend?

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Again with the Deadlines

Just a quick post tonight, friends. I've had a bit of a rough day, and I'm looking forward to sitting down with a glass of wine and my knitting.

Kate-the-Enabler was over last night for a stitch and bitch à deux... We don't get to see each other nearly as much as we'd like (kids, life, responsibilities...), so it's always nice when either of us can make the trek to the others' house for an evening. If you don't have a knitting friend, no wait, a FRIEND who also KNITS living across the street from you, I hughly recommend you get one. Move, cultivate better friends, what have you. It's quite the commodity.

Work continues on the Pacific Islands stole. I'd show you a picture, except that a) Phil took the camera out tonight* and b) it's still fairly egg-cartony, as lace is wont to do. I took a closer look at the pattern today, and I figure that if I knit on this project 5 nights a week (one night off for choir, one night off because I deserve to work on something I won't give away), I've got to knit at least 1 and a half repeats of the longest chart per day if I want to have it grafted, blocked and wrapped by the time we head down to Florida on April 1st.

Better get to it then :)

* He's at the opening event for a local Kite Festival, the Festivent 2009. One of his kites was selected to be the... what? the mascot? of the Festival, and he's pretty excited (rightfully so). It even made the cover of the local paper! See?
The festival goes on all weekend, so I won't be seeing much of him!

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I didn't knit a stitch on my Clapotis Sunday night, nor did I even hazard a glance at the Pacific Islands stole. As a matter of fact, there hasn't been much round here in the way of knitting, as I had choir practice last night. The only knitting has been on my Landscape Fire socks, during my morning commute.
Nice, huh? I love these socks... I just tried them on, and I sort of wish I'd made them longer, so I could have made a proper knee sock with this fabulous colourway. I certainly don't want any of this yarn to go to waste! But that would have required calf shaping, and math and possibly an abacus...

Since there isn't much going on, I thought we'd take a peek at some pretty neat pictures I stumbled upon recently. These were taken the day I learned to knit.

My parents divorced when I was 3. We lived in Ontario at the time, but when they split, my mother took me back to Quebec, and my Dad stayed in Ontario. Once a month, he'd make the long drive down the dreaded highway of doom, the 401, and pick me up to spend the weekend at my grandparents.

My grandmother was awesome, the kind of grandparent every kid should be blessed with, you know? Whenever we went for a visit, we'd make sure to buy 3 or 4 Mars chocolate bars for her, which she'd stash in her room and polish off during the night. She taught me some of the most important lessons a kid can learn: how to jump on beds without falling off, how to blow bubbles in my gum... and how to knit.

I seem to remember my grandmother knitting most evenings when we stayed over there on weekends. That being said, I don't think I'd venture so far as to call her a Knitter with a capital "K". I think she mostly made the same feather and fan afghan, over and over and over...

I was curious, I guess, and one night she finally taught me to knit. We used her trusty Aero 8's (which I still own and use to this day), some of her tried and true Baycrest Acrylic, God bless and keep her, and was HARD!!!

All this fidgetting around with friggin' needles that felt as though they were metres long, stitches that kept falling off, yarn that I didn't know what the heck to do with... Tough, tough, tough, and I was absolutely devastated that by the end of that first evening, I didn't have my OWN Baycrest Acrylic feather and fan afghan well on it's way.

Every time we'd go to my grandparents for the weekend, Gramma would pull out the needles, and eventually knitting became our routine in the evenings. After dinner, my Dad and grandfather would chat, and all you'd hear would be their mumblings and the clickety-click-click of my grandmother and my knitting needles, as we silently worked on our masterpieces.

She died in August of 1987, I had just turned 11. Knitting and I went our separate ways for a while after that. I started to fly to my Dad's every month shortly thereafter, so we didn't spend the weekends at my grandparents anymore.

As I said, I don't think of Gramma as a Knitter. But I often wonder what she'd think of how knitting has become such an important part of my life. I like to think she'd get a hoot out of the blog, that she'd admire my accomplishments, that she'd slip some yarn money in my purse when I wasn't looking...

The most important thing, I suppose, is that I think of her. In a way, I guess you could say this blog is her legacy.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I'm trying to come up with something dazzling and fantastic and witty to say, but I'm coming up short this evening. It's been another DORMA day here at casa de Dear, I'm a bit whipped, and I'm looking forward to going back to work tomorrow so I can relax!

But I've got another finished object to share with you today. My brother-in-law celebrated his 40th birthday this week, and we had a family get-together tonight to celebrate. Owing to last night's marathon knitting session (the kids were babysat by their grandparents, and we got to spend the evening eating pizza, drinking beer and getting caught up on Battlestar Galactica and Lost), I managed to finish the Noro Striped scarf I was making him to go with the Turn a Square Hat I made him for Christmas.

I loved this project. It was fun (can you say perfect TV knitting?), it's beautiful and it looks way more complicated than it actually is. The colour shifts are addictive, and well, I just don't have anything bad to say about this project. I wish I had made one for myself!

Alright, I'm seriously beat, y'all. I'm going to knit a few rows of my Clapotis (I know I should work on the Pacific Islands stole, but I deserve a treat!) and hit the hay.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nothin' Special

I'm afraid there isn't much new to report on the knitting front tonight. I'm still plugging away at my brother-in-law's Noro Striped Scarf, which is starting to lose it's appeal a little bit. I keep wanting to plunge into the knitting basket and work on my Clapotis...

But unfortunately when I finish the scarf, the next finished object has to be the Pacific Islands stole, and I'll tell you why. Phil's been invited to participate in another kite festival, this time in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Not only are our flights paid for, but our wonderful friends are graciously letting us stay in their fabulous condo, right on the beach. So I've got to finish the stole as a Thank You gift. I've got less than 2 months to finish and block this baby...

I've also been meaning to show you some beautiful handspun that my cousin Jessica gave me for Christmas (I only got it a few weeks ago).

Of course, right now I seem to have misplaced the card, even though I saw it a few days ago when I took this skein out for a sniff and a squeeze (admit it, you do that too!), so I can't give you ALL the pertinent information, but I CAN tell you that it's 163 yards of soft, sproingy 2-ply that's a blend of dark lamb's wool and dyed angora rabbit. Soooo soft... I just know it'll make a fabulous hat. Someday...

I signed Émilie up to her future school today, got all her papers in (as well as a hefty cheque - ugh!). I recently found out that the daughter of a friend I used to work with at McDonald's about 15 years ago (ah, Facebook, how I love thee) will also be attending the same school in the fall, they might even wind up in the same class. Small world, idn't it?

Happy Knitting Everyone! I'm going to try to knock out a couple more inches on that scarf...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Test Knitting

A few weeks ago, my young, talented friend Stéphanie published what I think is her first pattern, the Starcap. I really liked it, and commented on her blog that I would be willing to test knit it for her, should she need someone. I may not be the ideal test knitter (I think you need to be quick), but Stéphanie took me up on my offer, and would I mind correcting the English version as well?

I finished it this weekend, and I absolutely love it. It's stylish and fun and hip and funky and a super easy knit. I knit this with the Malabrigo Worsted I had leftover from my Snowball Hat.

Did I mention I love it? I had originally planned to put this hat in the gift pile, but it's TOTALLY mine. Yum-o!

If you're looking for a fun, hip hat pattern, definitely give this one a try. And as it turns out that either I've got a large noggin' or Stéphanie has a small one, the pattern now has 2 sizes! Can't go wrong with that.

So there was knitting this weekend at casa de Dear! My good friend Alison held an impromptu stitch & bitch at her house on Sunday, and after some pretty intense bargaining on my part (I let Phil go kiting in the morning, and took BOTH kids to Émilie's swim lesson - THAT was fun), Phil gave me the afternoon off. I saw old friends (Audrey, Dana, Marie-Michèle), got to meet some great new people (it was great to finally meet you Nathalie!), stuffed myself silly with sweets, and got some much needed lovin' from my girl, whose gangsta name for me (T-Roc) really tickles my funny bone.

I'm feeling a bit anxious lately. I've got and cought got startitis, I want to knit hats and socks and still entertain the occasional garment fantasy. But I also have Finished Object fever. The Noro Striped Scarf is still on the needles (and the deadline is fast approaching, so I'd better get cracking!). My Clapotis will be on the back burner for a while, because the Pacific Islands stole, which has been sitting in my knitting basket for months, is back in rotation as a thank you gift I need to have finished and blocked before April 1st. So probably not the best time to cast on something new...

Except I did anyway! That's right, I cast on a new pair of socks in the metro yesterday morning, this time using Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in the Landscape Fire colorway.

I love this colourway.... but I guess after Sunday's post, the real question now becomes: Will I love these socks enough to wear them naked??? Guess we'll just have to see...

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Simply Irresistible

Everyone I have come to know in this community has, over time, developed a preference during their knitting "career". Some people become addicted to lace, others to socks, others like to knit with silk, or mohair, or handspun. It's the nature of the beast, I suppose. After the first few years of what Claudia recently described as "that heady, intoxicating lust for yarn", your tastes become a bit more refined, you start to be a bit more selective.

Over the course of their knitterly evolution, many, many people have fallen in love with Noro. I was exposed to Noro fairly early on, before I really got "into" knitting, and honestly, I didn't get it. I had knit an Entrelac sweater with Noro Kureyon, and yes, I thought the colours were lovely, but I just didn't understand what all the hubbub was about. It was scratchy, and thick and thin, and hadn't these people run into an average of 2-3 knots per 50 gram ball as I had???? Nope, I just didn't get it. When I went to Japan in March 2008, I kept well away from the wall of Noro in the craft store my friends took me to. "Noro isn't that big of a deal here", they said. Finally, someone else who had seen the light, as I had! These Japanese knitters really knew their stuff.

Maybe I was too inexperienced, maybe I just wasn't ready to see...

Then I knit the Turn a Square Hat, the bulk of which is knit with Cascade 220, and I was intrigued. My, the subtle shifts in colour really were lovely, weren't they? And Silk Garden wasn't that scratchy. Granted, it's no baby alpaca, but it's perfectly wearable. "Hey, I thought. I've got a few balls of Silk Garden lying around in the stash, must have bought them on an impulse purchase (go figure), I wonder what I could do with that?".

And so the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf was cast on, and I was forever changed. The colours, the structure, the feel of the yarn gliding through my hands... I was hooked, I couldn't get enough.I was in love, I tell you. In fact, on this very blog, I confessed to loving it so much that I wanted to wear it with heels and a tiara, hence the theme of the pictures we've seen thus far.

But that's not ALL I said, was it???? No, if you go back, you'll see that so smitten, so enthralled was I with this project, that I even wanted to wear it naked.

Well... I stand by that statement.

The Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, knit with Noro Silk Garden. Let yourself be seduced... You know you wanna.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Maybe it's the winter doldrums, but I've been letting things slide lately. Like the housework (last week's laundry is still waiting to be put away, and the plants are getting awfully thirsty), like the choir (the deadline for our annual grant proposal to the city looms ever nearer, and I'm surprisingly un-impressed), like the blog... Sorry about that, you know I love you all and I really and truly feel it when I don't hear from you.

For instance, this morning I was quite perplexed that I didn't have any comments in my inbox. Where WAS everyone? Then I remembered that I haven't posted in 3 days. So that explains that...

The reason I haven't posted is that my wonderful father has embarked on an odyssey of sorts, and is pursuing new professional opportunities in, of all things, voice acting. He's got a great, booming voice, an ear for accents, and is very dramatic, so "doing voices" comes like second-nature to him. He had an appointment in Ottawa on Wednesday to do an audition for voice-work on a video game, then another appointment to record a demo in Montreal on Thursday, so we've had the pleasure of his company over the past few days. It's always nice to see him (of course), the kids were thrilled (though, sadly, not well-behaved) and rather than ignore him in favour of the blog, I chose to spend my evenings bonding with he and Phil watching movies and knitting. I'm sure you understand.

Speaking of movies, if anyone here is a fan of Diana Gabaldon's series of books, do NOT be fooled by the movie Outlander. Their only similarity lies in the title, and the film is in fact, despite a potentially interesting cast (James Caviezel, John Hurt, Ron Perlman), one of the worst movies I've seen in a good long while. So bad, it almost became a comedy, because we were laughing so hard at the sheer absurdity of the plot, the dialogue, the acting... Dudes...

The Miscellaneous-Man socks, take 2, are on their way to their new home as we speak. I gave them to my Dad, as a thank you for taking care of the cherubs while Phil and I were in Paris. Hoping to take advantage of what I like to call the "sock-seduction factor" (you know, when the recipient is so smitten, they'll agree to anything?), I also sprang (springed? sprung?) a potential trip to Florida that Phil and I will likely be taking in April (more on that later) on him as well, and would they mind babysitting for that? Hehehe...

Knitting has been slow and steady. I've reached the crown decreases on my Starcap, and will likely move this project to Home Knitting when I cast on for the cap and the button band (hopefully this weekend?), which will enable me to cast on for another pair of socks for my commute-knitting.

Progress continues on my Noro Striped Scarf. Still loving it, still pausing occasionally to gaze adoringly at it and wonder at the beauty of the shifts in colour.

(By now I'm sure you're wondering why there are no pictures! Well, I'm writing this post on my lunch break at work, because Phil and I have a social engagement tonight, and I didn't want to neglect you any more than I already have.)

I have thus far successfully resisted the urge to buy the lovely and talented Biscotte's Lupin sock yarn, a beautiful self-striping yarn inspired by the Twilight book series, and I'm very proud of myself. I'm really trying to cut down on my spending (I've even put up a few skeins of "Why-did-I-buy-this?" yarn for sale on Ravelry), and I think my self-control ought to be commended, don't you? Come on! It's TWILIGHT yarn.... *Sigh*

Happy Knitting Everyone! I'm hoping to have my Ode to the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf post up this weekend (I need good lighting for the pictures).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm back

Wow, sorry for that prolonged absence. I guess it's been hard to come up with interesting blog fodder after the smorgasbord that was Paris and all it's magnificence on a daily basis. Plus I've been busy with work and other exciting, choir-related duties, the details of which I won't bore you here.

Another thing we were busy with last week was getting Émilie evaluated for private school. She turns 5 in August, and we got the opportunity to send her to a really good private school in the area, that offers a program from kindergarten all the way through high school. She had to be evaluated on Friday morning to see if she was "Academy material" and she completely blew them out of the water. Highest possible score, IQ (for her age group) of 150. We're talking mensa material here, people! Phil and I (and Émilie - she cried when we left) are very excited, and scared and nervous and not-ready-for-my-baby-to-be-starting-school-but-it's-not-for-another-seven-months-so-why-worry-about-it-now.

I haven't been willing to give up my knitting time (it's my only stress-reliever at present, and I don't want to give the poor hamster in my brain a coronary), so I've been skipping my workouts and getting things (paperwork mostly) done on my lunch break. I miss it, I hope I get to go back on tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.

First off, may I present an official, honest-to-goodness PAIR of Miscellaneous-Man Socks, take 2! Give it UP, y'all!
Knit with Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in the Landscape Fog colourway, using 2.5 mm needles. I started these suckers back in October 2008 (in the car, taking a breather from the yarn fumes at Rhinebeck, actually!), but lost the first one upon completing the second sock. I ordered another skein and finished these up a few nights ago. They're mostly matchy, except for the tip of the toe.

I'm still very happy with them, I'm sure they'll make some man very happy (miscellaneous-man socks). I've got a few more socks worth of this yarn in other colourways I'm looking forward to using. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to get antsy from not having any socks on the needles... Hmmm...

The reason I haven't got any socks of course is that I'm test-knitting my friend Stéphanie's Starcap pattern (already 5 projects on Ravelry!) and that's been my metro knitting lately. Slow and steady. Want to see? Look! It's a creamy blob 'o merino!

I also cast on for a Noro Striped Scarf for my BIL on Sunday night. So addictive... If I'm not careful, I'll find myself bleary-eyed and muttering "one... more.... stripe" at 2 AM every night. And dudes? I feel like Jared.

Okay, maybe not... But there's just no way to photograph this project wrong! Just.. look at it!

Knit with Noro Silk Garden in colours 8 and 241. I hope he likes it. No wait, I hope he HATES it! Then I get to keep it :)

Happy Knitting Everyone!

ps: For those of you whom I've enabled into reading the Twilight series, check this out. Thanks to Caroline for letting me know about this! :)