Monday, July 31, 2006

Aussie in Angus

Oy Mate! Just when I thought that I'd seen 'bout everything that there was in Angus, we went walkabout on Saturday and saw this young ex-pat. He was sweet and polite and oh so very soft! And the Joey knew what he was doing - looking for a Sheila who had a chip for his snack. "What's it got in it's pocketses?"
Apparently kangaroos make good pets - quiet, loyal and trainable. Absolutely vicious claws though! Again, they can be trained t
o not attack. I absolutely refused to even consider this - and you know that the childrens asked. Kerwyn is still just tolerating Cheeky Monkey, a kangaroo would probably send him to China for good!!

Amanda was watching the Food Network
with me on Friday and Rachel Ray was making spaghetti sauce. Amanda is picky. She picks out every bit of anything from almost everything. She gets this from Kerwyn. She is disinclined to try anything new. She gets this from me. "We can make that! Can we make that tonight?" So, not one to discourage her from new experiences, we bought the ingredients that Rachel used and set to.
She saw the onions & garlic,
sauted them and put them into the tomato sauce. She sprinkled in the real parsley (from our herb garden on the deck). She rolled the meatballs and put them into the sauce.
It took some convincing to deviate from Rachel's
baked meatballs - "Rachel only has 30 minutes baby, that's the name of the show. She said that you could cook them in the sauce if you had time. Trust me. They'll be just like Rachel's" - but we ended up browning them off and cooking them for hours in the slow cooker. It was awesome! It tasted great - Amanda loved it & Kyle was very happy for a good meal after a long day at work.
I joked with Kyle after diner "If I can get you perfecting pie-making and Amanda's spaghetti sauce, I'll never have to cook again!" It got a bit of a grin out off him. Ah yes, you do see the plan. By telling him my strategy he thinks that it is not my strategy. Bwah - ha - ha!! Rookie.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

And the Knitting Goes On

And you'll just have to trust me on that!
Here is Kyle looking very handsome and responsible! How could you not want to buy a coffee from him?
Kerwyn is in China again, but only for a week this time. He should be back Friday evening and will have a nice 3 day weekend to recover.

Well, back to my knitting. One stitch at a time, crafting a designers dream into a reality for the masses to behold. Is there any more satisfying pursuit? Not for me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Still Twisted

And this time I mean ktbl, 1x1, 1x2, 2x1, 2x2 and just for fun some 3x2 cables. Jenna has designed an epic sweater worthy of AS Herself, but with more attention to fit and finish. Perhaps if I haven't scared you enough to send you running to the hills with discarded cable needles marking your wake, your interest will have been sufficiently piqued for Amy's upcoming No Sheep for You book. Here is a little picture of my untwisted yet twisted progress. Right now I'm on rnd 41 of 119, which will get me to the armholes (I think). The ruler is in a bit of shadow so I'll tell you that that is 7.5 cms of hard work. Good thing that I love cables!!
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Thank you all so much for your drinking with me, sharing your twisted stories and mostly for the positive vibes! Hazel suggested working a couple off rows back & forth to make the twist less likely to occur. I will definitely give that a go next time! I checked that mofo so many times before I joined it. Bloody hell - it still pisses me off. Barkeep!! The silver lining is that Roxie is inspired - let's all stay tuned to see how she works that. (Roxie - the link to your blog from your comment isn't working - FYI)

Amanda & I are going to see a student dentist on Monday. No, normally I'm not a sucker for torture for the education of others. Danielle is the daughter of a bus driver friend and is a few weeks from graduating. Nancy is just slightly less tolerant of most things than I am (I think that she may be my real mother) and she lets Danielle work on her so I am quite certain that we will be in good hands. Or rather that good hands will be in our mouths.

My baby is getting all grown up!! Kyle is now a working stiff. He is now gainfully employed at Tim Hortons.
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I am super proud and will have pictures of him in his cute 'ittle functional and handsome uniform tomorrow.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I'm one twisted fuck. And when I say "one twisted fuck" I mean my circular knitting is twisted and I'm fucked". 306 sts x 4 rounds of cables and twisted stitches. Gone. As if it never happened. You do the math. And fastest knitter or not that's a lot of woman hours ... evaporated. Barkeep!!! Another round! and no, that's not what got me into this situation in the first place, but they don't call it Dutch courage for nothing.Not that Jenna (or Amy) should worry - I caught it early on and can easily make up the time. And by "easily make up the time" I mean I won't sleep and every little thing will be fine.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Progress & Distractions

Having minions worked out not so bad. Amanda & Kaylie really got into it & nearly damaged themselves running at the sound of the bell. Well, how else were they to know that I needed wanted them? Even Kyle came and did my bidding with a smile. We enjoyed this experience and will institute it again.
Joanne's sweater is done & I'm hardcore into Jenna's. Went blueberry & raspberry picking, made children blueberry pancakes for breakfast and froze the rest. The minions children had fun (no, really!)putting sour cherries into jars for freezing.

No money for a vacation? Voyeuristic tendencies need assuaging without the associated arrest record? Check this out.
I really like the beluga & shark tanks.

When I was a kid and we were on a road trip we would play "That's my Herd". We'd call a cattle herd that we saw and roughly calculate the number. Less boring than "Punchbuggy" when you're driving through cattle country. Anyway, I found this and it's my new herd. Which one is your favourite? And I will need to buy a sheep dog, because if they were to decide to bolt I have discovered that I suck at stopping them. You have got to be able to do better!

Just a quick post - gotta get back to work or else I'm going to be up shit creek without a raft or a paddle!! Yuck

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Day of Wannietta

I have declared it thus and so it shall be. The tiara is to serve as a reminder for the humble & forgetful masses.

It started with HRH making appley pancakes for her minions. They were pleased. The youngest minion required medical attention. Amanda recently lost a tooth (you can see the tiny bud coming up) and now another one is ready to leave the mouth.

Empty Crater

Needless to say there were tears, but it really was quite ready to come out.

The rest of The Day of Wannietta will involve much knitting on HRH part and much fetching and quiet reflection on the parts of the minions. I have declared it thus and so it shall be.

I'll let you know how that works out.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cannonball 1

Amanda & Kaylie in Cannonball 1

More Fun in the Sun

This is a backflip toss that Amanda loves and Kyle is indulgent enough to do with her.
So they spent most of yesterday in the pool. Kyle let me cut his hair!!

Kyle before.

Kyle after.

He needs to get a bit of sun on his head, but it is a marked improvement. Isn't he handsome?

I'm getting the knitting done in between stuff. The kids & I picked more blackberries on Friday and I walked Kyle through Pie Baking 101. He now understands the difference between and dough and batter and that pie crust requires the latter. I should have let him actually put it in the oven because then I could have avoided this bit of ugliness (and pain). I put an ice compress on it right away so it's just ugly & sensitive and didn't blister. Fortunately I don't use my forearm for knitting!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is it Today already?

blinking ... rubbing eyes ... looks at the calendar, checks the alignment of the stars and gives her head a shake

I swear, in my corner of the world only 2 days have passed since my last post. But by the Gregorian calendar (that has never let me down yet) it has been a week. Whoa!!! Here are the highlights:

- Étienne has come back to me and after much swearing, alcohol and time he is up to speed. Bill Gates would be well advised to invent a "Simple Transfer" - link or button, I'm flexible on that. It should go something like this. "Andrew, this is Étienne; he is your replacement younger brother. He has the same parents manufacturer and operating system. Please teach him everything that I have taught you." Is there any amount of money that you would not pay for this kind of networking love?
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- Picked blackberries and made pie. Including the pie crust. I sent Kyle to buy pie crusts and he comes home with a pie crust mix. sigh (Well, if you know me you know that there is no way that I just sighed. The rest of you can just pretend that I just sighed until you get to know me better.) It turned out very well, even if I do say so myself. Judge for yourselves - doesn't it look light & flaky? We went to the Tree Seed Plant in Angus where I parked the school bus. Amanda & I made a note of the berry plants and decided to check it out. We asked permission at the office - they were very kind in allowing us free range and we scored!! Almost a 4L basket full of blackberries. Weplan on going again a few more times to get more as they ripen. Poor Amanda wasn't really dressed for picking and she was feeling quite bitten and scratched. We went picing after she & Kaylie were done with a reading group activity at the library; Amanda wanted to look nice. Mission Accomplished. The pie was just the medicine that she needed. I was lucky to get a picture of the last 2 pieces before they disappeared.

- I am also knitting. Joanne's sweater is almost done. I started the Naturally Easy Raglan II while Kerwyn & I watched Superman Returns. A k5, p4 ribbing is not easy to keep track of in the dark and it is especially complicated when Brandon Routh is so freakin' handsome & distracting!! I look forward to seeing him more - he has several more Superman movies in him I'm sure. Elise's sweater is well underway as well.
No one has any cause for alarm. Except maybe Jenna, and even then only mild concern. smiley Title

And you're all still welcome to Come Butterfly Along with Me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Party Pics, New Blog

Denny, excited about super soft Fleece Artist. Jen promises not to even try to leave with it, fills in a draw ballot and backs away without making eye contact.

Jenna & the Secret Sweater. (You know that you'd pay to see this movie!)

Krista - all happy now that I have backed up my words with actions. (see link below)

Yarn for Butterfly.

Come, Butterfly Along with Me

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Come party with me

It's actually Amy's Big Leap Party & Lettuce Knit's Big (moving) Leap party, so the more the merrier, right? I'll be there and I hope to see a lot of you there too. And since none of us look like the pictures on our blogs don't take it personally when I totally don't recognise you. Just give me a smack & a blog name.

I bought a Quesadilla maker today! I love it, the kids love it & I'm sure that Kerwyn will love it. Yup, gone again. Same time zone & continent this time. Just a day or two in Atlanta - easy peasy!! These are my chicken & cheese quesadillas - made with shredded jerk chicken that I bbq'd a couple of nights ago. Knock yourself out with the lick 'n taste thing Nick!!

Here is the picture of the sweater for Joanne. Geez, sorry 'bout the overall fuzzy suckiness of it all,
but that's all you get. I'm sure that Joanne's photographer will do a much better job (and when I say 'much better' I mean professional ) for the book.

I have started on a sweater for Elise Duvekot (which I also cannot tell you about or photograph clearly) and another Naturally Easy Raglan for Julie (which I can share). I will have to update my progress bars accordingly.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Rowan Denim

I love this stuff!! Since it came out back in 1992 Rowan Denim has a favourite of mine. This is my sweater. Kyle was good enough to model it after much explaining about "unisex". He even pulled off a smile! It was an 'at home day' so the hair didn't get combed and he still has hat head. I can't wait to get that mop cut off - 11 more days. He really is so handsome with a bare head. (wistful mom sigh) Well, to be truthful I really all of Rowan's yarns but today it's all about the Denim. I bought the first pattern leaflet that Rowan came out with and knit a sweater for Kyle - he was about 2. Then I knit a matching one for myself and Kerwyn, then another one for Kyle (he was about 4). He was my first child. I learned very quickly to knit his sweater much larger than would seem advisable so that they would fit when I was done with them and he would get to wear them for while. I also learned about making a working copy of your pattern. Lessons learned.
Kyle's sweater have gone through several children, back to me for Amanda and are now being loved by other children. I have had to redo the neck on Kerwyn's several times (whisker rubs cotto
n - whiskers win Hmmmm ... sounds like an all new take on Rock, Paper, Scissors). The hem on mine finally became so tatty that I cut it off and cast it off to neaten it up. My neckline finally fell apart - no not from whicker burn, just a lot of wear - so it has been re-knit. I like the way the darker yarn tells a progressive story about the sweater. Kind of like the growth rings in a tree.
It amazes me that this sweater still garners the most praise when I wear it to knitting shows. The cables show off the Denim Effect (the unique fading that you only get from losing the indigo dye through wash & wear) of the yarn so well and I guess that there are not too many Denim sweaters are quite this old. Knitters and non-knitters alike stop me to touch it, ask about the yarn (or if it was hand knit) and comment on the uniqueness of it.
It really does become like your favourite pair of jeans. The cotton softens up so much, the fading, the wearing at the edges all make it the perfect long-term sweater. It's worth the extra knitting. Rowan Denim is not pre-shrunk so you need to knit about an extra 20% in length to compensate for the impending shrinkage. (Rowan's patterns are
written to compensate for this.) It's worth the stains. The indigo dye comes off on your hands, needles and if you're wearing light coloured clothes it will rub off on that too. It's worth knitting with hard cotton. The dyeing makes the yarn a bit stiff in hand.
I haven't knit any more sweater out of the Denim since those original ones - wait, I knit one for Julie. It was out of the Ecru. I couldn't imagine why you'd want an ecru denim sweater - half the point is the Denim Effect. But it did fade significantly in the first wash to almost white. The shrinkage also scrinches (I know, all these technical terms) up the cables making them tighter than a sane knitter would want to knit them, making the cables extra popping ... I don't know ... cabley.
brooklyntweed is working on a Denim sweater and was expressing concern over the knitted length. Hopefully this post will reassure him a bit and fill him with denim-y desire and spur him on to the finish. Even though his sweater is stockinette stitch, I'm sure that the Denim Effect will be excellent. I mean, we all don't wear cabled jeans!

Here is me & the Tina Shawl.
Not really a shorts-and-tshirt kinda shawl, but there you go.

I'm off to block the fronts & back on Joanne's sweater. Have a great knitting day!!!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Check my Back

Do I have like a big ol' "kick me" sign on my back? Would you tell me if I did? Can we stop the merry-go-round - I'm getting dizzy.

I have this skill. It's not very marketable, but it's a ski
ll nonetheless. I break things. Right out of the box, no physical damage apparent but it's all busted up. Yup. Étienne is back in his box and off to get repaired. The tech support guy sid that his mother*f*board is corrupted or something. I swear, I was gentle with him and didn't upload any lewd photos or anything!! This is me taking a picture of my reflection in Étienne's screen. It should not be a black, mirror-like surface when the light is on. But it is. The good news is that the Linksys wireless router is up & transmitting invisible signals all over the house so that when he comes back to me Étienne will be able to tap in log me on to the www. from all over.
Yes, I named my laptop. Ya wanna make s
omethin' of it? I mean, I couldn't just go around saying 'the laptop' forever, all impersonal and cold like. He's going to work very closely with me and I think I owe him at least a name.

When I went for my acupuncture treatment on Friday, I saw these. Now, I'm sure that they are little covers for some sort of machine or something but they just made me think of condoms for an "iny weeny teeny weeny shriveled little short dick man." LMAO

Amanda was waiting for Kerwy
n to wake up Friday morning so that she could give him his 'welcome home' presents. Kerwyn brought home a jade bracelet for Amanda & I and Kyle now has a couple of leather cuffs (men don't wear bracelets).

Yesterday Amanda & I went strawberry picking. I almost never buy strawberries from a store and I certainly never buy them imported. I'm sorry but there is nothing that can compare to fresh, locally grown strawberries (or most other fruit for that matter). I have been spoiled by Springridge while we lived in Milton and I thought that I would never find such great patche
s again. Barrie Hill Farms fills the bill quite nicely. The strawberries were awesome, the raspberries are starting to pink up and their blueberry bushes are rich with berries that should be ready come the end of July. On impulse we also picked peas. Amanda was very keen and shelled them when we got back home. Kyle & I helped some, but Amanda worked on them all the way to the end. MMMMMMMMM - fresh peas, steamed just enough to change the colour, lightly salted & buttered generously.
I didn't realize that anyone paid attention to my progress bars until Joanne emailed me and asked about her sweater. I was only at 5% and she wanted to make sure that there wasn't a problem. We're moving right along, full steam ahead Joanne!!! (maybe I'll have a nice useless picture for y'all tomorrow)