Monday, March 29, 2010

It's all about discipline

I've decided it's about frickin' time we see some order and discipline chez Dear. As of today, projects will get done in a quick, orderly fashion with a minimum of fuss, and there will be no more of these prolonged periods of blog-silence (if that means without pictures, then so be it, by gum!). Yes-sirree, I'm going to be running a tight ship, and I predict nothing but smooooooooth sailing from here on in.

(of course, after having written such a strong mission statement, I've been staring at the blank screen for the past 5 minutes, wondering what the heck to write about today. *sigh*)

Well, it may be on the late-ish side to talk about this, but what did you all think of the new Knitty? I confess I tend to be a bit nonplussed about the Spring and Summer knitting magazines (says the girl who posed for a Spring catalogue shoot - uuummmmmmmmmmm). Interweave Knits left me COMPLETELY indifferent this Spring, there's really NOTHING I want to knit in this issue. But I did add a few patterns from the Spring/Summer Knitty to my every-growing Ravelry queue, which now has a whopping 302 patterns (but that's about average, right? RIIIIGHT???). I'm intrigued by Summit, tickled by Tribute and charmed by Twisted (I DID tell you I'd gotten my sock mojo back).

I also purchased a few patterns lately in March I thought I'd share with you. I bought the Family Trunk Accessories Collection, the Birch Leaf Beret, Crooked Paths, the Owlet sweater (so cute!!!)... I think that's about it (although you never know, there's always tomorrow! heh).

So definitely some good things to look forward to!

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, March 26, 2010

2 out of 3 ain't bad

I had 3 goals for the evening tonight: run, blog and settle down with a nice bottle of red and my knitting. I didn't get to run (Phil's out for the evening, so I had all the kid duties), but here I am, with a nice glass of Ménage a Trois wine. Like I said, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Of course, I had to post about how Honeybee had now become the IT project for it to mysteriously lose some of its appeal. I've been working on the second Zaphod Beeblebrox sock for the past few nights, finished it earlier this evening while the kids were watching a movie. I've been sort of off socks for the past few months, but I think I may be getting my mojo back. I've cast on for the second Conwy sock (teeny tiny cables with black yarn -NEVER AGAIN!), and after that, I'll be free to dip into the stash for something shiny and new! Can't wait.


I've been meaning to share something with you for a few weeks, but I just can't figure out how to work it into a post, so I'm just going to go with it. I was browsing on Etsy a while ago (MAN, that Etsy's a sneaky thing...), checking out friends' favourite items and sellers, etc., when I came upon Skeletal Dropkick's shop. She specializes in hand thrown ceramic ware with a monster/zombie flair, and for some reason I was taken with her stuff, the quirkiness of the items she creates. Anyway, long story short, before I knew it, I had bought this:

It's a French butter crock, and in my defense, I've been meaning to pick one up for a while now (just not, you know, a ZOMBIE butter crock, heh).

You stick the butter in the top portion (in this case, the monster's skull cavity), and pour water in the bottom portion, and this way you get room temperature butter that stays fresh. Plus, every time you have toast or bread, your husband asks you "Would you like that with or without monster brains?" (I know, I'm easily amused).

OK, I'd better get crackin'! This wine isn't going to drink itself, you know.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another manic Monday...

... OK, not really. But I always find myself humming that damn tune every time Monday rears its ugly head. Even though, as you know, Sundays tend to be the really manic days chez Dear.

I was writing my daily missive to my Enabler earlier today, when it occurred to me that what I had written would make a decent blog post. And since a few of you have casually mentioned that I don't post frequently enough (if comments like "Jeez! Did you fall off the blogosphere???? Where ARE you????" can be considered casual), I figured I'd share some of my mental wanderings.
  • Émilie is getting a lizard. A leopard gecko, to be specific. Honestly, I'm not too sure how to feel about this. She's been asking for one for a while, and Phil, being the mushy dad that he is, finally caved and got one for her. Now, if only he could find a unicorn! THAT would be REALLY nifty, heh). He's picking it up tonight, so that'll be a hoot. I've already told Émilie that I will NOT be cleaning it's terrarium. "Maman only does mammals" I said, to which she replied "Well, a leopard IS a mammal, maman". Smart kid! Yeah, nice try, I don't THINK so. I swear, I'm already wondering if there will be karmic repercussions to the fact that we have to feed the damn thing 12 live crickets a week. *sigh*
  • To my great chagrin, our cleaning lady has decided she can't do house-cleaning anymore, she's got too much other stuff/contracts going on. I'm happy for her (it must SUCK to clean other people's messes, let's be honest), but I'm really BUMMED about losing her. She was awesome. She's here today, then once more in 2 weeks, then Sayonara! I gotta start looking for a replacement...
  • I didn't knit a stitch last night. I just sat on the couch with the laptop and tried to get caught up on my blog reading. I'm looking forward to a long session with the Honeybee (which I still have to tink back some) tonight.
  • I've decided to keep the damn dress*. I like it, it looks good on me, I'm keeping it. I'll find an occasion to wear it, even if it's at home while doing the ironing. Hah!
Happy Knitting Everyone!

*I bought a dress this weekend, which I thought was totally suitable as work attire. Phil told me it was "inappropriate", Kate-the-Enabler told me it was "leggy - but beautiful", while Chris-aka-Lemondrop asked me "do you want the other women in your office to hate you?". So that's a big FAIL on finding a dress for work. Ah well...

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I've reached the magical point on my Honeybee cardigan. You know that point in a WIP when suddenly, it's no longer just another thing on the needles which you're free to casually pick up (or disregard) whenever you feel like it? When it becomes not just a project, but THE project, and you're no longer just knitting but racing to the finish like. Once you reach that point in a given project, even though it's not yet completed, it's gone from a WIP to a finished object in the act of becoming. It's knitterly glory just waiting in the wings.

Sadly, this rush often coincides (in my case, anyway) with leaping before you look, aka knitting ahead before reading the pattern (despite the giant WARNING! READ AHEAD! at the top of the last section - *sigh*). I was positively giddy at the thought of working the shoulder shaping this morning, when I realized that I'd neglected an entire section of sleeve decreases, so I'm tinking away this afternoon. Hence the title of today's post... (the bzzzz-bzzzz of the honeybee backwards - Har dee har har!)

As Spring seemed to be sprunging this week in the Montreal area, yesterday I decided to get to work sorting through the winter woollies that made it through the season, seeing what needed to be washed, repaired or thrown out. As it turns out, my rush to help Winter out the door with a swift kick in the arse is a tad bit premature - they're predicting snow here today, we shan't speak of it. But no matter! Most of the woollies (save a few store bought mittens) seem to be relatively unscathed, and I've only got 2 hats that require my attention.

I've decided that the Struan hat can come out of its time-out. As you'll recall, this was my first attempt at a hat for Phil this year, but after various difficulties with the brim, I set it aside rather than, you know, setting it on fire and dancing a wild jig of joy. I managed to find some plastic canvas during my D&D weekend a few weeks back, so yesterday morning I ripped out the brim and got all my stitches back on the needles. Hopefully, Struan has learned it's lesson and will be more cooperative this time around.

Another hat that needs some attention one I got for Emilie this year. Sort of a gnome looking thing, it originally had cords with tassels at each ear flap, which naturally got ripped off the first day she wore it to school.

Even though it's *gasp* store-bought, it's a perfectly suitable hat, and it matches her snow-suit (which she'll be able to wear again next year) perfectly. I had a look through the stash and found some Cascade 220 Superwash that sort of matches the turquoise line in the hat.

See? I figure I'll just knit a couple of i-cord strings, finish 'em off with some fancy tassels, and that'll put it back in circulation.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

7 stitches

Spring is sprunging in Montreal this week. It's about a month ahead of schedule, but hey, I won't complain. I've been wearing my lovely Spring coat, have bid a fond farewell to my winter boots (but they'll be back...), and today I had my first Haagen Dazs ice cream bar of 2010. Oh yeah!

The switcheroo to DST time also means that it's still light when I get home from work, and thus can take pictures for the blog (OK, PHIL can take pictures of ME for the blog, heh)! I give you my recently completed Milkweed Shawl :

Knit with Handmaiden Casbah sock yarn (HAH! How ANYONE can call this sock yarn is beyond me, but that's another matter entirely) in the Pansy colourway, this project was a gem from start to finish.

There's just something about this type of project that tickles my fancy. I guess I can't get over the fact that you can wind up with a pretty friggin' fantastic piece of neck fashion with a pattern that starts simply with "cast on 7 stitches".

I'd say the only "bad" thing about this project is that it didn't use up the entire skein of Casbah, and I hate to leave any of that scrumptious, delicious yarn to waste. Any suggestions for a project that would require roughly 55 yards or less?

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I've been feeling restless lately, due to A) a lack of rest, heh and B) a lack of satisfaction with current projects.

The cause of the lack of rest, at least, is easily identifiable: After waking up 6-7 times a night tending to a sick Maxou (that's how Maxime likes to be called lately - Maxou), my immune system finally cried "Uncle!" and I went and caught a doozy of a cold. Naturally, this coincided with a fairly busy week, both in terms of work and recreation (saw not one but TWO concerts this week, which was awesome, but very, very tiring). Luckily, the cold is on the mend, and I can always catch up on the whole "sleeping" thing.

The lack of project satisfaction is harder to remedy though. I finished the Milkweed Shawl on Tuesday, and now I'm torn between a sense of duty to finish lingering WIPs and the urge to cast on for completely new projects. Spring will soon be sprunging, and all I really want to knit are shawls and scarves! Lovely, brightly coloured neck accoutrement that I wrap around myself and bury my face in. Like, well, Milkweed!

She's blocking as we speak:

I'm thinking Daybreak next. After I finish the Honeybee Cardigan, of course...

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

D&D rundown

I'm always amazed at how MUCH I think I'm going to be able to squeeze into a weekend away. Not having the kids around frees up SO. MUCH. TIME. in my mind that I invariably pack way too many leisurely activities.

I think we ALL do this, to a certain extent, with travel knitting. After I had wound up the skein of Casbah and tucked it away in my suitcase (come on, was there ever really any doubt?), I indulged in some brief fantasies of the beautiful, finished Milkweed shawl I'd have to show you on Monday. Never mind that I was there with my Dad, and we were actually DOING stuff, as opposed to staying in the room (or taking up residence in a local pub, heh) and knitting furiously. I was sans kids, so I had oodles of time to knit AND read (did I mention I packed 2 books too? Yeah, mental).

The weekend was grand though. We sat outside and drank beer, we sat in pubs and drank other kinds of beer (Barking Squirrel Lager! Who knew?), we had good food and just let the conversation take us where it would. The weather was perfect, the town was quaint and the company was good.

Speaking of weather, it seems as though Spring is definitely getting ready to sprung here in the great Canadian North. I spotted the first crocuses of the year!!!

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Collective exhale

To all of you who posted your sympathies about the loss of the Dino Hat: I have good news!!! The hat has been FOUND! Apparently it was lurking beneath Emilie's pencil case at school the whole time. She stepped off the bus yesterday afternoon wearing it with a big grin on her face. Yay! I guess I should have known that, if they can find a Selacamp in Madagascar, finding a hat in Rosemere was also possible, heh.

So! My father and I are having a D&D weekend. No, that most emphatically does NOT stand for Dungeons and Dragons, or Drunk & Disorderly. It stands for Dad & Daughter, and it's something we've never done. We've never spent an entire weekend together, just us, alone, in 33 years of knowing each other.

We're meeting somewhere in the middle of our respective lives, and we're going to hang out, laugh, and see where our 2 days take us. I'm looking forward to the quiet, the slower pace, and the SLEEPING! Cannot WAIT for that part, grin.

Naturally, I'm wondering what to pack in terms of knitting. Of course, the obvious choice would be to bring the Honeybee cardigan along. Speaking of which, I think it's high time you got a peek!
The thing is, I've also got a few lingering WIPs that I'd like to get off the needles once and for all. I've never fallen prey to second ANYTHING syndrome, and now I've got not one but TWO single socks looking all forlorn, not to mention the dreaded oven-mitt (aka Citrus Mitten).

All good, sensible choices. And yet... I'm compelled to cast on for something completely new. (I know, you're shocked). This weekend is about enjoying opportunities when they present themselves, so why not say "Screw it" and just knit what I wanna knit? I'm thinking Milkweed, in some lovely Casbah. What do you think?

Happy Knitting Everyone!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Something completely different

Today's post will not be as I intended it to be.

I had meant to show you pictures of my Honeybee Cardigan in progress, and to explain how, as deeply smitten as I am with it, I've had to put it aside this week, all in the name of motherly love. I found a perfect hat pattern for my kids, and I have been knitting into the late hours every night. I'm not going for Mother or Knitter of the year, I just wanted to make my kids happy, to make them something I knew they would get a kick out of. I wanted to see their eyes light up when I gave them their Roar Dinosaur Hats.

I started with Emilie's, because she's the REAL dinosaur aficionado. She borrows books on dinosaurs at the library, has dinosaur colouring books, and even has a dinosaur poster on her bedroom wall. Yessiree, folks, this was the hat for her.

You might say I was tempting fate... Anyone who knits for a child knows the risks, right? You knit for them, and it's really a gamble. They don't like it, they won't wear it, they think their friends will make fun of them and call them dorks. It's a crap-shoot.

But this morning was magical, I tell you. I gave her her hat, and she loved it! She put it on right away, wore it at the breakfast table, it was glorious, I tell you.

So glorious I even brought my camera with me when I dropped her off at the bus this morning. I just couldn't resist! Motherly love and Knitterly pride had collided into one, glorious moment, and I was going to document it, damnit.

Throughout the day, I found myself thinking about her reaction this morning, and my heart swelled with joy. Pure, simple joy.

Then right before I left work, Phil sent me a text message. As I read it, my blood curdled in my veins. My smile froze and was quickly replaced by a grimace of sheer horror. I never thought two words could have such a profound impact. This is what I read:

"Lost hat"

R.I.P., Dino Hat. Your time with us was far too short.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I'd love for this to be a braggin' rights post showing off my Ravelympics sweater project, but although I DID earn a gold for Team Montreal in the Hat Halfpipe, I failed to make it to the finish line on my Honeybee Cardigan (which you've yet to see... heh, sorry about that), and I never even made it out of the gates on the Japanese Doily (aka, the "Outta-my-cotton-pickin'-MIND" project).

But I've been meaning to share this FO with you for a few weeks, and yesterday the lovely and talented Robyn was kind enough to do an impromptu photo shoot.

I give you another in the Romance series, the Rococo Shawl.

Knit with Cascade 220 in Japanese Maple (aka colour 2435), it was a very soothing project, very zen, just what the doctor ordered after the Holidays (oh, how quickly we forget about the madness that are the Holidays!).

It's technically a shawl, but I rather enjoy wearing it as a big, comfy, scarf. It feels like a hug every time I put it on.

More new stuff on the needles next time! (which shouldn't take 6 days. Cross my heart. Honest.)

Happy Knitting Everyone!