Archive for the ‘unexpected gifts’ Category

Back at it

I have dipped into my collection of Palette, and now it is no longer complete.  On the other hand, Mike now has a hat.

Not Mike's Head

This is the Andean Chullo Hat from Knitpicks, and it is all I can do not to order the kit (now on sale!) to replenish my stash.  I fulled it in the drier after I washed it, as Mike didn’t want it too floppy.  Also, the fulling makes it a little thicker, the better with which to keep out the wind.

I asked Andy if he would like one, and who wouldn’t want to have one of these?

Imagine Andy's face here


No thank you, he says.  He would prefer a plain grey ribbed toque.  No turn-up cuff, no pattern, no colour, no texture.  This sounds like a project for someone else to knit.

So, after a two week fibre hiatus due to Christmas and a killer cold, I seem to have recovered.  I have to say that this Christmas was awesome.  Mike really surprised me with gifting, we had good food, we had time with family (although we are looking forward to sharing Christmas next year with the Calgary Contingent, including our grand-daughter, who will be 9 months old by then.  Yikes!), and the weather has been unseasonably mild.  While others may worry about why it’s so warm with no snow, I have come to understand that I can do nothing about it, so I am enjoying the weather while I can.  (It’s a lot easier to be understanding about the weather since we are heading south at the end of next week, so it can get as cold as it wants here any time until the end of February.)

Next time- I show you what arrived for me in the mail, and share why I should never say that I have enough hobbies already.



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I’m still feeling a little lazy, having just returned from warm, nay, freakin’  hot weather, to what could very well be the pacific northwest.  Cool and a titch wet.  Since I am feeling uninspired enough for original content, I will respond to your questions and observations with answers and rebuttals.

First of all, just in case anyone thinks I am over-reacting to the whole “share-the-pool-with-the-spider” thing, check out this link and come back.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Ucky, huh?

Regarding the eight-legged interloper, Colleen asks “At least it was dead?” Gird your loins, kids, it was alive and kicking.  That’s how I could tell it could walk on water.  And quickly, too.

On the same subject, Charity remarks  “Okay, that’s just wrong.” Agreed.

I remember grabbing my flip-flop from the pool deck, yelling “Not in my pool, you witch!” (or something like that), whacking the offending arachnid onto the pool deck and smacking the livin’ bejeezus out of the stunned spider.  Or, I may have been a little tentative with the smacking part.  I imagined a spider carapace (do spiders even have carapaces?   Or carapi?) so hard that, like a cockroach, a  beating with with a rubber flipflop would bounce off, leaving me face to face with a fanged, enraged Shelob-like creature that would leave me wrapped in its silk (hey, I guess I could harvest it and knit something, except for the being stunned with venom and waiting to be eaten part) floating in the pool until next Monday when the pool guy comes.  And, since the no-one needs to see me in my bathing suit, I couldn’t do that to the pool guy.  I figured if a tentative little tap didn’t do in the spider, I could easily spend the rest of the week in the house and the spider could have the pool to itself if it was that important.  As it turned out, the spider didn’t put up much of a fight.  Can’t say I was too disappointed.

Ruth comments  “What, no photos? What kind of a blogger are you? :)” Cut me some slack, Ruth.  (plaintive whine here.) I was posting from my new Blackberry, and could barely see the keys, let alone figure out how to take a freakin’ picture, to say nothing of figuring out how to post one on the blog.  I would not give the spider the satisfaction of being immortalized in picture as well as words, and there was really nothing else picture-worthy.  (ooh, except Saturday’s outing for S&B, but I don’t know them well enough to start taking pictures.)  I am, I repeat, a lazy blogger.

And, lastly, Colleen (the other one) claims that she didn’t know I had gone south again, which just reinforces my suspicion that it doesn’t matter how old one gets, one’s elder sister never listens when one tells her one is going back to Arizona.

There was a little fibre activity while I was away, so drop in again in the next day or two and I’ll tell you all about it.  And I promise, no more spiders.

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Well, thank you all very much.  I still have not located the pattern I was looking for, but in an uncharacteristic fit of “get over it”, I have moved on.  I browsed at my LYS on Wednesday, and came up with a perfectly good alternative.  I present the Tanaya Fu Fen** dress, from here.

This is a cute little dress, although I’m not sure about the embroidery.   (Not the design, but my ability to reproduce it or come up with something similar.)

I’ve done the back and just cast on for the front.  Not a challenging knit by any stretch, but nifty faux pleats in the skirt.  I’m using Kon Tiki in Hydrangea, which feels like cotton but has some acrylic.  I’m thinking the acrylic will help prevent baggy-butt when the dress is sat in, as well as simplifying the laundry process.

It’s really a pretty blue, but my pitsher-takin’ ain’t so good.  Since we don’t know how tall Tanaya actually is, and her date of birth, while given officially as December 25th, 2008, is subject to some speculation, I have chosen to knit the dress in a 3-year size.  If it’s way too big for her, she can wear a shirt underneath it, or perhaps put it away for a few months.  This all makes me think that knitting little clothes could be kind of fun, although hopefully not for grandchildren for at least a few years!

Aaaaannnnyyyyway, long story short, I’ve found a great dress pattern, and I am not obsessing with finding one that I may or may not have imagined.  Thanks for all the suggestions!

**Tanaya Fu Fen is my dear friends’ chosen child who is joining their family from China later this spring.  We are so happy for them we can barely stand it.  Six years of waiting, and three months to get ready!

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Well, the water finally got cold and my fingers and toes got wrinkly, so I’m out of the tub.  I have laid to rest Mike’s skepticism about whether I would use the tub, and in the words of the immortal Harry Chapin “I never been so clean”.  Actually, I have been out long enough to feed the new obsession, and am nurturing my weaving mojo (to the detriment of a clean house).

A sampling of the last few weeks:


Adriafil Fruttamix and Mirasol Tupa- nice bright colours!



Regia Hand-dye effect sock yarn- warp and weft. Really soft!


Noro sock yarn- a little crunchy, but might soften with wearing and washing


More Regia Hand-dye effect, but I ran the warp ends back in for a tidier finish


Finished today- Misti Alpaca worsted. LONG- 88" (I was seeing how long I could go, and this is the max with worsted)

So, as you can see, I’ve been pretty busy.  My son complained today that I haven’t been blogging much, and suggested that perhaps I should start another renovation.  Maybe with my next husband, because the current one would be less than enthusiastic.

Once again, Andy got into the Hallowe’en spirit:


Amazingly, he wasn’t the only Gumby at the bar.  Or maybe he was seeing double (although he said that there wasn’t really a “beer opening”, and he didn’t want to drink much because he didn’t want to have to take Jordan with him to the bathroom for undressing and dressing.).   Son the elder just sat on his apartment balcony with his wife and watched the parade go by (and ate little chocolate bars).  It was ucky here- snowy, cold, wet; only 30 kids braved the elements.  So here Mike and I sit, eating little chocolate bars.

Here’s a little something to which I may have alluded, but haven’t written about in any depth:


It was raining- the photographers were prepared.


Crazy in love...

It’s almost six months ago and I feel like I’ve had a daughter forever.  In a good way.   In the best way.





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When I was growing up, I always loved stories about houses that had surprises hidden in them.   The Rockingdown Mystery (Enid Blyton), The Goneaway Lake stories (Elizabeth Enright), and yes, even Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion (Julie Campbell).  (The latter may have been my favourite, because (spoiler alert) of the large sum of money found in a mattress at the end of the book.)  Well, this house of ours is not above revealing a few secrets.  Upon ripping apart the walls in the master bathroom to accommodate my new bathtub (did I mention before that I’m getting a new bathtub?), we found this:


A quick online search revealed that the fiasco that was “New Coke” which in turn necessitated bringing back Coke Classic (our archaealogical find above) happened in July 1985.  (I remember it like it was yesterday.)  The “New Coke” was renamed as Coke, with a little sticker on the bottle (see photo) differentiating  the classic formula.  (Ahhh, using the same bottles for both.  How thrifty!) A quick cross-check of our house blueprints shows a date of 1987.   We can verify the age of our house as 22 years, plus or minus a few months.  Carbon dating has nothing on our methods, nor could CSI have done a better job of interpreting the clues.

The bottle is worth about 10 cents at the recyclers, so even though there are no cigarette butts in it (unlike what we found under the original carpet.  Gag.) it is of no monetary value.   It is not a Waterford Chandelier, or an abandoned playroom, or a mattress stuffed with money, but it is our own little surprise.  I wonder if I should put anything in the walls?  A time capsule of sorts?  All of my money?  What would you put in a wall?  (If anything.   Some people have much more important things to do with their creative energy.  I know, I know.  I could knit something.  Luckily, most of my knitting is respectable enough to see the light of day, and anything that isn’t gets frogged.  If it’s awful, I wouldn’t want to be remembered for it anyhow.)

Oh, I almost forgot.


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Some of my blog friends have been posting about packages they get in the mail, so I thought I would get in on the act.

The doorbell rang this morning, so after subduing the dogs  (Wallace in particular doesn’t realize that I can actually hear the doorbell, and don’t need any additional warning.  What a loudmouth.)  I greeted the Purolator guy and took the loot.


I was pretty excited, because I am expecting a parcel from KnitPicks, (although they usually ship Canada Post).  However, this did seem large for the size of my order.  (unless I accidentally ordered more than I thought.  I understand that this does happen sometimes.)   Then I read the label.   Hmmm.  Might be edible.  My second favourite type of thing to get in the mail.


I don’t know if you are familiar with the company, but Cookies by George are pretty good.  If you like that sort of thing.  The bill of lading said it was shipped from Edmonton.  There is no-one in Edmonton that we know so well that they would send cookies.  Also, the package was addressed to “the Gay Family”, which precludes any romantic motivation.  Mysterious, no?


So it’s not my knitting order.  I’ll try to live with the disappointment.


Aha!  A card!


Will wonders never cease?  If I can’t take credit for raising him right, I can take credit for training him to pick a girl who was raised right.


I quote from the little enclosure in the box:  “Cookies by George do not contain any preservatives, and a a result…you must handle these cookies with special care,  if they are not eaten all at once.”  (italics are mine.)  Not eaten all at once?  These people at Cookies by George have a sense of humour!  Put them in the freezer???  Defrost them in the oven or microwave???  What are they thinking?


That look on my face?  Bliss with a bit of guilt.  I’m trying to calculate what percentage of the haul I need to buy Andy’s silence, along with whether I can finish the rest of them without getting sick before Mike gets home and I have to share any more.

Valentine’s Day.  Ain’t it grand?

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