Friday, April 29, 2011


This week I went on my annual business trip (as a rule, medical librarians don't get out much), in Quebec city for a conference. Between the long drive and the packed days and the schmoozing "networking" that goes on at these things, much as I would have liked to, I didn't do much knitting. I think I managed about 8 rows on Tuesday night.

Hence the non-posting (sorry 'bout that). I was thinking about the blog-silence this morning, wondering what the heck I could possibly write about... and then something happened. Something knitterly and kinda cool and - to my sense - extremely bloggable.

The first pictures from St-Denis Yarns' Issue 3 were featured on Franklin Habit's blog (aka The Panopticon), and well... um... I'm in them.

My first impulse - once I got my heart to start beating again, of course (seeing one's likeness on a member of the Knitterati's blog is NOT something one expects while leisurely sipping their latté, you know?) was to FREAK the 'EFF out and tell EVERYBODY I've EVER met RIGHT NOW. Because, DUDES? That's ME!

But something made me hold back. I wondered... "Is this professional? Is this cool? Am I being a total dork?" I mean... it's not like I designed any of the patterns or anything. Creatively, I have precisely bupkis to do with any of the fabulous (and trust me, they're all fabulous) patterns in this issue. That's all due to the amazing talent of some pretty cool designers (Pam Allen, Jared Flood, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Robin Melanson... and the list goes on), to say NOTHING of the hard work and determination of the divine Miss Véronik herself.

So I wondered... "What would Gisele Bündchen do?" I asked myself.

That's when I remembered something really, really important: I'M NOT Gisele Bündchen.

So DUDES! Go check it out! That's ME!!! :)

Happy Knitting, Everyone.

ps: I had no idea what the copyright/permission issues were, hence the links instead of actual images. When in doubt, I choose to err on the side of caution!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Like Kim Basinger said...

...I love purple. It really is my signature colour.

Which is why this yarn, which came in the Rockin' Sock Club a few years ago, was just the perfect thing to lift me out of my endless green scarf doldrums a few weeks ago. Plus the kit came with a Yarnissima pattern, who I absolutely ADORE. The woman's got a serious crush on gussets that just makes me giddy.

Think about it: heel flaps and gussets on a toe-up sock!!! The mind boggles!!! I'm boggled, I tell you.

Pattern: Cleopatra's Stockings, by Yarnissima (May 2008 RSC offering)
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight in Shrinking Violet
Needles: 2.25 and 2.5 mm
Modifications: I lengthened the leg a bit before starting the twisted rib at the cuff.

I'm going to sum up the experience of knitting these socks with a fairly simple mathematical formula:

Yarnissima pattern + Happy Purple yarn = TOTAL FRICKIN' AWESOMENESS.

They totally restored my will to knit and renewed my faith in the Knitting Fates. So much so that I even decided to work on the green scarf this weekend! I only have about 22 grams of yarn left to knit up, after all.

Except that I... um... can't find it anymore.

Apparently I was so disgusted by the mere sight of it that I willed it into non-existence. I've looked everywhereish, and it's naught to be found.


Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wordless Weekend Wrap-up

How was your weekend? Mine looked like this:

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm on vacation this week, spending Easter break with Émilie. The weather's been atrocious, but we're trying to make the best of it. Yesterday, we dyed Easter eggs, something I don't think I've done since I was six years old!

This Mother-Daughter time has helped me on my journey to a place of healing and acceptance (as have your thoughtful comments and emails following my last post). It's made me realize that it's not her deafness that's bothering me (or technically her half-deafness, since she can still hear perfectly with her left ear), it's the fact that her tumour had an impact on her life at all. Pilocytic astrocytoma was beyond my nursing abilities. My special Mommy-powers couldn't make it go away. I couldn't kiss it and make it better.

At some point, all parents come to the realization that there are many some things in their children's lives that are beyond their control or influence. They generally don't have to face up to that when their kids are six, that's all...

So, yeah... healing. Émilie's still our sweet girl. She's happy and imaginative and creative and funny and independent, just as she always was. It'll be OK.

In the meantime, I'm busting a move on my current socks in progress, I've already got the yarn picked out for my next project, and I'm playing with fabric a LOT, which usually means a sewing project will manifest itself in the next few days.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finding your enthusiasm

On my journey from person who knits to Dedicated Knitter, knitting has gone beyond something I like and think is cool, and has become an essential part of my life. It's my stress reliever, my creative outlet, the way I tell my loved ones I care about them... But at it's core, knitting is still basically something I'm just really, really enthusiastic about.

That's why I got into blogging four years ago. It was a way for me to really explore knitting and what I thought about it, to interact with others who felt the same way as I did. It gave me an outlet through which to express just how psyched about knitting I really was.

Sadly, much as I'd love to spend my days playing with yarn, real life has this annoying tendency of getting in the way, you know? Work, laundry, cooking, shopping - all these things we all have to deal with - it all really cuts into the knitting time, you know? Thankfully, it doesn't cut into my enthusiasm about knitting.

This past week was a bit rougher for all of us chez Dear though, and while I was still knitting, my enthusiasm about it, or rather my impulse to share my enthusiasm with you all, was thrown for a loop, if you'll pardon the pun. We found out that Émilie's deafness in her right ear is most likely permanent, and even though she can still hear (after all, the left ear works fine), I think Phil and I were - for lack of a better term - in mourning over her loss.

Six years ago, we had a healthy, beautiful baby girl with all her fingers and toes. And then a cerebral tumour came along, a stupid, useless chunk of cells that had no earthly reason to be there, and tore up all our lives, hers most of all.

So yeah, I needed a moment. I'm still knitting (the purple socks are totally awesome, y'all), still thinking about sewing, and yes, still doing laundry (ha). I'm just having a hard time locating my enthusiasm to share it on this space. It'll come back.

Happy Knitting, everyone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finding the will to go on

I don't do much knitting in public. Correction: I don't do much knitting in public around Muggles. Not that I'm embarrassed or shy about my Knitter lifestyle, of course. Truthfully, I don't give a flying fig what people think of a Wannabe-hip-thirtysomething-married-mother-of-two-librarian-with-delusions-of-semi-hotness TM who knits.

No, rather it's because, in my experience anyway, Muggles just don't seem to get the concept of multi-tasking. The idea that I can talk and knit at the same time (and not just about what I'm knitting, either!) is just completely foreign to them. They don't get it, they see me knitting and get all discombobulated, and pretty soon any conversation - or rather, my presumed participation within said conversation - fizzles out.

Now, when I'm home (or hanging out with my knitting peeps), it's another matter entirely, of course. My knitting is rarely more than an arm's length away, ready for me to pick it up and knit a few rounds here and there, while watching TV with the kids, supervising homework, etc.

Which is why, when I didn't pick up my knitting on Friday night, it felt really odd. Sure, I was super tired, and we were watching a subtitled movie, which isn't exactly knit-friendly, but the point is that I didn't even feel the urge to knit. Like, at all.

Then on Saturday? Same thing. OK, I had dinner with friends that evening and didn't get home until way past my bedtime, but even during the day... nothing. Not a stitch. It was like I had lost my will to knit.

I gave it a lot of thought on Sunday, and I think I've found a solution to my problem.

That's better.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wordless Weekend Wrap-up

How was your weekend? Mine looked like this:

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


If you've been a Dedicated Knitter for a certain amount of time, you've probably fallen victim to the Thunderbolt Syndrome at some point. You know what I mean... when you're cruising along with your WIP(s), really quite content, and you stumble on something while casually surfing the Interwebs on your lunch break and WHAM! You find something that, for whatever reason - cuteness factor, season-appropriateness, kickass technique, whatever - you're suddenly overcome with the urge to cast on for Right-The-Hell-Now. Total Thunderbolt moment. You've been struck, and you might as well just give in to it, because if you don't, that unfulfilled desire will just keep festering and will eventually eat you up from the inside out until you're just a whimpering, weird mockery of the human condition (OK, maybe that's just me).

Turns out the Thunderbolt doesn't just happen with knitting or crochet. It can happen with anything that's makeable (that might not be a real word). It happened to me last week, when I stumbled upon the cutest, most knitter-appropriate treat EVER, and I knew I had to make them. There just wasn't any choice in the matter.

Don't believe me? Tell me then: could you have resisted????

Counting Sheep cupcakes, found via One Pretty Thing

And as if that weren't enough to get you rushing off to the grocery store to make your very own sheep cupcakes, they've got MARSHMALLOW JUNK IN THEIR TRUNKS!!!!

Go make some. You won't regret it.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Today I'm going to attempt to convince myself you that knitting does not, in fact, suck arse and that I don't have the most boringest knitting blog in the history of knitting blogs (why no, the green scarf isn't done yet. How'd you guess?) by releasing a deluge of cuteness upon you. Even with my sanity hanging by a mere thread (or, in this case, a light fingering weight dark green 50% angora, 50% merino), I'm hoping that I'll you'll read this post and remember that, yes, knitting (and anything knit-related, really) is indeed wonderful and totally worth losing your mind knitting the same f***ing 8 rows from a bottomless wee skein that never gets any smaller, all in the hopes of making a scarf that will probably make me cringe whenever I look at it it.

A while back I experienced one of those classic "Tara's gone and had a great heaping slice of crazy pie"TM moments. I was meeting up with my friend Caroline at her LYS when it *suddenly* dawned on me that she was pregnant - despite knowing about her condition for about 8 months (my ability to ignore the obvious is legendary). She was VERY pregnant, which was a total miracle because for the longest time she didn't think she could get pregnant, and I wouldn't be seeing her again before the baby came, and I totally needed to get her a gift. Wait, I needed to knit her a gift.

Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Except that I had this epiphany on a Thursday, and I was meeting her that Sunday. That right there would be the crazy-pie part.

Booties! I thought. Booties don't take too much time, I can totally crank out a pair of booties in 3 evenings, right? Off to Ravelry I went, but nothing was really standing out to me. These seemed too girly, these were adorable but I didn't have anything suitable in the stash, these were OK I guess but sort of... meh. Click, click, click... and then I found them. The perfect ones. They had just the right balance of cuteness and knitterly-ness.

Pattern: Duck, from the 2010 Spring + Summer Knitty
Yarn: String Theory Caper Sock in Bee's Knees
Needles: 2.5 mm
Modifications: none

I admit, I got a bit scared when the "Essentials Only" version still printed out eleven pages of bootie pattern. I worried when I read a few people's comments on Ravelry about the knitted-on i-cord being an incredible time-suck (this was before the green scarf. I mock you, i-cord weanies). But once I cast on, I was completely charmed. I kept forcing Phil and the children to admire admiring them, cooing over them as I would a real baby.

So charmed was I that I immediately cast on for a second pair (using some DIC smooshy in the Strange Harvest colourway), this time for my good friend Robyn's charming baby Quentin. He'd already arrived, but heck, a late duck bootie is better than none at all, right?

See? Cute, non-sucking-my-will-to-live-and-breathe-endless-green-scarf-of-doom knitting. I can do it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wordless Weekend Wrap-up

How was your weekend? Mine looked like this:

Happy Knitting, Everyone!