Friday, December 22, 2006

Empty the house...fill it up again

Normally, my house is filled with guitars and amplifiers
see... these are a few of my companions


In order to make room for the crap, uh I mean the tree, I asked K the elder to haul his ass off of the couch and take some of the guitars and amps upstairs. Oops, I mean that I politely and respectfully asked his assistance in carefully placing them in a quiet corner of my study, upstairs where no one will injure themselves or the equipment. Through the use of his male-female translating device, he heard, "take them upstairs and toss them willy-nilly all over the bedroom. Put as many on my side of the bed so that access to my much-loved place of sleep is totally blocked. Then turn off the light without warning me that they're there. I really want to put my foot through my new Fender". 12 guitars, 3 ukeles, 4 amps and one lone banjo are too much for one woman. Just ask my bruised calves

I'll distract myself with photos of my new wellie-boots (thank you L.L. Bean's clearance section!!!)

Aren't they the happiest boots ever? They're already nicely soiled with garden muck, just like all boots dream of being. Man, $10 can buy happiness - who knew?
I'm going to need them, as the freezing rain is dropping from the sky like millions and millions of little accidents waiting to happen...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bubbi, I love you

My Grandmother, Edith was a very special person. 4'11", red-haired and with a strong sense of self, she ruled her home with love, kindness and a very sharp understanding of what was 'right'. Born to an urban doctor who helped insurgents in her country's civil war, she learned early in life to stand up when necessary, be counted, do right. She adapted to a culture that was not hers and mastered a lifestyle that she could not have dreamed of in her tumultuous, war-filled childhood. She was elegant, well-mannered and civil. She was also strong-willed, decisive and imbued with a need to guide her daughters to become the kind of young ladies that she thought appropriate for their station in life. My mother fought her all the way, from birth to death; my aunt was her pet and garnered the benefits of the position.

In turn, her girls grew up and went off to school. Bubbi kept herself busy but the house didn't feel 'right' during the day, with no one there but her and the housekeeper. Despite her charity work and running a very busy household, she was lonely. Mein Zeyde, my beloved Zeyde had his Buster, his little brown dog who went everywhere he went and no one understood her emptiness better than her loving husband.

One day, in his overcoat pocket, he brought home a little brown, white and black ball of fluff. He offered Edith the chance to reach into his pocket to 'see what he had found on the street'. The truth was that he had contacted every breeder that he knew to find a suitable dog for his lady. In that odd way, Trixie came to be a member of the clan. Who knew that a little Pekinese with the personality of an empress could fill such a void!?! Trixie was her pride and joy, a replacement child and an irreplaceable friend and companion. She was long gone by the time I was born but she was still a fixture in our lives. When I was five, my mother took me to a toy store to buy my birthday present (we chose our own gifts, usually - yes, I have that kind of family). She was shocked when I trundled over to a stuffed Pekinese doll and proclaimed her to be 'the new Trixie'!.

This photo is but one of the many that dotted the table tops in their home, my Grandmother looking on Trixie as she would a baby. Even if I don't have Edith's loving hands and sensible words, somehow I was lucky enough to have inherited this photo... and the knowledge that a good dog, well-loved, is worth much more than any riches you can win. I aspire to be the kind of person my dogs believe me to be. I also aspire to be like Edith - Grus Gott

I miss you, Bubbi und Zeyde. Shluf mein feygele - a malakeh a tu git.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Eastenders, down & dirty

Omigawd, it was embarrassing! I was watching my beloved Eastenders and the whole plot about Kat and Zoe (and that awful, sleazy Uncle Harry) was finally revealed. When K came in the room, he asked "why are you watching that crap?"...uh I mean, "what's happening?". I started to explain and then in a total PMS moment, started blubbering about how sad it all was, how well-written, blah blah blah - he looked at me with the eyes of man who has just met a rabid raccoon in a dark alleyway and doesn't know if it will tear his face off or just share its rotten garbage-finds with him. I pretended that it wasn't happening but I kept sneaking a peek at him through the corner of my eye. Panic, definitely panic...

Brains or testicles - I strongly believe that the human body can only hold so much mass. Just before we jettison off from Heaven before we are born, God gives us the choice - brains or testicles. You stand in a line, get your 'item' and then parachute to Earth. K stood in 'that' line and so, he just doesn't get hormones and a well-written, sad story and what it can do to a grrl...

I do love my Eastenders, much to the chagrin of most of the Brits that I meet. One of them, a refined young man (Hi, Daniel!) was horrified that I preferred EE to Corrie... some things ya just can't explain.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Destruction in 8 Short Hours



I realize that I have not shared my recent visit with extreme destruction. Milles Pardons - here is a short photo-essay
The trucks and monster-chewer machine pulled into the driveway. K the elder said, "I think that today is the day". Then, we heard a loud 'crack'!

The monster chewed and chewed - he took out the office first


and then he chewed and chewed some more


I think that he was still hungry because he chewed some more

until there was nothing left

In 8 hours, we went from

to this


It's sort of a shame - Pablito really liked the barn roof


When I was little, mein Zeyda told me about escaping as a young man - the family walked for 6 weeks, praying for safety, food and a warm place to sleep. Just when things looked their worst, the sun came out. Even when we face a challenge that feels like the end of the world, the sun is there

He was right, as usual
I miss you, Zeyda

Pheew!

Why ,if this is the 'most wonderful time of the year', is it so hectic? We try to cram so much into so little time... and resources. I'm frantically trying to get some work done around the ranch before the kids come home. As a 'mixed' family, we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, just not in the way that you might expect. Being more 'spiritual' than 'religious', we use this time as an excuse to give gifts to show our love (well, we do this all year 'round actually...), we celebrate our ever-growing collection of family and friends and to take time to cook a couple of really special meals. On Friday night, I made a (truly blended) meal of onion & apple latkes and shublek, with kraut and pickled beets! The first batch of latkes were too big and a little mushy inside. The smaller ones were filled with crunchy potato goodness. A little apple sauce and sour cream and we were all good. I'm sure that the shublek had some non-kosher content but what the hell, it was good. We'll repeat the latkes tonight, I think and maybe some cooked-until-it-falls-apart sauerbraten, too... YUM!

There's a heck of a lot of knitting in front of me right now but I think that I can get through it - 4 pairs of mitts, 3 hats, 3 pairs of socks, and numerous pet toys... as well as anything else that catches my fancy. Yeah, in my knitting dreams!

I bought my last three skeins of yarn last Thursday. No more 'purchased yarn' for me. Now, that doesn't mean that I can't receive gifts of yarn. It just means that I will not be buying any more yarn until June, 2007. Do you think that I can hold out for this long? I'm not sure, myself... If I try to shove some money into your hands to "buy" me a gift, smack some sense into me, please!

I was going through my digital photos and found something very personal that I wanted to share.


My two white-bearded guys, Jack & Kevin, in all their TV-viewing splendor

and I also found something not-so-personal to share

My son, Pat's band (which shall remain unnamed to protect our older, more conservative relatives who would definitely disapprove of its name)
and

My other son, KC's creation - Strongbad the Pumpkin. He made this a couple of Halloweens ago and it's still one of my favorites. He's such a creative kid.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bye Bye Rara

When I was born, my father was stationed in North Dakota and couldn't get home in time to see me make my debut. When he finally managed to wrangle leave and get back to the City Unique, he rushed into the tuck shop and purchased 'the only teddy bear they had left' (or so the legend goes - Dad is kinda dramatic, sometimes...). Rara was my constant companion through all of the normal childhood trials and tribulations (and a few abnormal ones, too)

And then, he was gone...
Actually, I sent him on his way... to the dump. I had hung onto him until I left home but my mother, inexplicably, stuck him in my hands when I decided to move "away" for the "last time". He ended up in a damp coal cellar, moldy and stinky... and falling apart. He had seen all the life that he needed to see and with my allergies, he was making me seriously ill. So long, old friend. You of sleepless nights and story-time under our pine-tree tent. Of cocoa and toast and Star Trek on Sunday mornings. Of childhood and of childish things...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More free kntting patterns - this time, stuffies!!!!

Once again, I’ll compile a knit-list – this time of stuffies and fun things… of course, there’ll be some that you’ve seen before…maybe not. Please let me know of some that I should add


Pablo is not a stuffy...


Pocket creatures – is that a stuffy in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/PATTpocketcreatures.html

I particularly like the crosses-for-eyes, just like the dead bunnies I used to draw when I was a child
http://ysolda.me.uk/patterns/stuffies.pdf

So long and thanks for all the fish
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=35131.0

When robot met muffin
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=91027.0
father of wrmm
http://www.johnnysstew.com/pattern/gir.html

Ok, I like cat-sized toys that I can make in a hurry because my dogs eat them in a hurry
http://craftylibrary.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=28

Nothing says “I love you, mom” like a severed finger
http://monstercrochet.blogspot.com/2006/09/free-pattern-severed-finger.html

What’s better than a monster? A spaghetti monster!
http://www.thedietdiary.com/blog/lucia/523

Imagine the possibilities!?!
http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/knit-littledudes.html

Every baby should know where they come from and this takes it to an all new level
http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/knit-patterns.html#dna

One of my most favorite of movies ever!
http://verasunshyne.blogspot.com/2006/07/i-knitted-jack-skellington.html


Reminds of my DIL’s stinky stinky hedgehog, Jerry Lee (maybe a stocking stuffer for her?)
http://warmfuzzies.typepad.com/pdf/sammy.pdf

No matter how evolved you think you are, you can always use one of these – admit it
http://www.theanticraft.com/archive/samhain05/badjuju.htm

This was K the younger’s nickname when he was little (and when I’m feeling mommy-esque, now) – it’s a cute, child-friendly little doll that looks quite simple to make up
http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/kiki/kiki.html

K the younger also has a thing against tomatoes….maybe he knows something that we don’t? (I love this girl!)
http://www.monstercrochet.com/TomatoPattern.html

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

can't... log ...in...

A while ago, a nice bunch of ladies invited me to join a new blog called Mittenfest - which is great.... except that I can't get Blogger to cooperate and let me log-in to post

I'll just have to post my mittens, etc here instead. I've been knitting like a mad-woman lately, immersing myself in the satisfying warmth of small, gratifying projects while I dream of the bigger projects that I want to accomplish...soon.
Here's just a bit of the holiday knitting that's going on in the Bumbershoot Haus


I finally moved my bead jars out to the office, in an attempt to claim it for my own... I have a mile or so to go before I can totally clean out my (old) bead cabinet but it felt good to move these guys out there


I had all but given up on my jewelry business and then I met a former client. K the elder and I went to Baker Bob's for a coffee along our walk and as we wandered around his lovely new store, a lady approached me and asked if I was "the lady who used to make jewelry at the farmer's market?". It started a nice conversation about some pieces that I had made for her, years ago and how much she loved them. What a nice pat on the back! I love beads, I love glass, I cherish the creative process that goes into putting elements together into something special and beautiful. I see it as an extension of the sacred, as part of everyday life connected to our souls. It was very affirming to know that a little thing that I made a long, long time ago had meant so much to this lady.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

more free hat patterns (and maybe some other junk)

I gave in and knit a bit yesterday, working on a beanie with this cool graph on the front. Since I've fianlly mastered the mattress stitch, I don't feel so bad about knitting hats flat and then stitching them together. I'm using Bernat Super Value and Bernat satin for the kitty - s/b nice

Again with the freebies - this time, I'll add a few more hat patterns that I dig

Pav was good enough to remind me of http://www.marniemaclean.com/patterns/Comet/index.html - one that I've had on my to-do list for quite some time but somehow have never found time to do. I just figured out though, that I would need to shorten it a bit to make it fit my weird head

Why have a baby if you can't dress them up in silly hats? http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/PATTbabytart.html

http://elann.com/ShowFreePattern.asp?Id=184024
This is a sweet lace leaf and cable hat that would be good for a grandma or mom gift

Not exactly a pattern but I am going to work something up along these lines…how does black and pink sound? If I can come up with something, I'll add the pattern to this site, to share
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=29545.0

again, I love the swirly top of these types of decreases
http://www.redlipstick.net/knit/martext.html

Heeeeeeere’s Noro!Love it, love it, love it!
http://www.xs4all.nl/~tdpj/HTM/Norohat.htm

My hero!
http://bleuarts.blogspot.com/2006/09/free-pattern-leia-hat.html

My youngest son DID look a lot like Yoda so why not?
http://verasunshyne.blogspot.com/2006/11/felted-baby-yoda-hat.html

I really like the texture of the Hayden hat - Thanks, Miss Finch! http://www.poormissfinch.com/index.php?id=D20041101

Ok it’s not a ‘knit’ pattern but it is just what you need if & when that big bank heist is on your agenda and you just don’t have a thing to wear
http://www.crochetme.com/2005_Oct_Nov/pattern_incognito.html

Rumor has it that Elvis is alive and well and living in Tweed – haven’t met him myself…lately but let’s all celebrate the life of the King by whipping out the yarn and needles and crafting a head of hair
http://www.theshed.co.uk/elviswig.html

I adore this girl! She’s has given me so many things for my knit-list!
http://vintagestitchorama.blogspot.com/2006/06/it-aint-vintage-now-but-it-will-be-in.html

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=113885.0
Who, I ask you, doesn't need an adult sized chicken helmet?

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/PATTlacecap.html
it’s lacy and it’s a cap – it’s a lace cap

I love water .... and beanies
http://www.islandofmisfitpatterns.com/2006/07/07/cowabunga/

Once again, Kody May surprises with this little delight
http://kodymayknits.blogspot.com/2006/10/kmays-eyelet-lace-elegance-hat.html

Monday, December 11, 2006

Free Hat pattern bonanza!

It's going to be a knit-free day for me.. the pain of my PA is pretty heavy duty and I will need to slow things down, once again. I figure that is it's bad enough to wake me up at night, it's pretty bad. I've been trying to get my Holiday knitting done early but I'll have to slow down. Another focus has been, of course, the Lanark Knits project. I've only managed to add another 3 pairs this week and I am driven to get them out to the local kids. It was another freezing drizzle morning and I watched my neighbor's kids slipping and sliding down our road on their way to school. The only thing that's worse than cold hands are cold, wet hands....

I have to get my newsletter finished today and proofed tomorrow, 1st thing. I hope that it looks good. My ED has great ideas and I just hope that I can incorporate some of them into the final product.

Since my knitting will have to sloooow down for the next few days, I thought it would be nice to share a few of my favorite hat patterns. The Internet is such a boon for people like me - short-attention span knitters looking for variety and color. I routinely scan the 'Net, looking for future projects and ideas and here are some of the finest out there in Blog-land.


http://www.amandaknits.com/download/code88hata.pdf (if the link doesn't work, try http://www.amandaknits.com and scroll dowwwwn) I love the message of this cool, ribbed cap - I'm a sucker for a good crown design and this one is pretty special. Besides, Morse code is coooooool

Rumor has it that K the elder will be hiding some Noro in my stocking this year - I sure hope that he meant for Xmas... If and when that does happen, I think that I'll make this simple beanie
http://acunningplan.typepad.com/andsheknitstoo/patterns/silk_garden_beanie.html

I'm also a sucker for Fair Isle anything and this hat is the best of many worlds - good pattern, nice colors and a beautiful crown!
http://www.johnnysstew.com/pattern/fihat.html

This cap has a sweet pattern that flows beautifully around the head - something that I appreciate in a hat. It's a nice solid little cap but with a special design
http://whimsicalknittingdesigns.blogspot.com/2006/10/touch-of-whimsy-hat-pattern.html

Back in Salzburg, we have hats similar to this one- I love the shape and the color work. Plus, it's from MagKnits - one of my favorite resources EVER
http://magknits.com/Mar06/patterns/G8.htm

This cap is a nice balance of lace and density - I can see it keeping your head stylishly warm and the lace gives it just enough ooomph to make you feel special. I was thinking of making it in buffalo or mohair...
http://www.carylldesigns.com/wavy_feathers_qiviut_cap.htm

I adore vintage anything and these head wraps fit the bill perfectly. The romance and (perceived) glamor of the 40s makes my knees weak and I think that you couldn't help but feel transported back in time if you were to wear this
http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/13095-popup.html

It's probably a good thing that I didn't spawn a daughter 'cause I would've made her wear hats like this.http://knithats.tripod.com/id9.html I mean, it's a daffodil!!! I love it:)

Anyone who knows me would never guess that I like Hostess cupcakes. I was introduced to these sweet treats rather late in life but have made up for lost time in my (only occasional) consumption (but more than anyone who knew me back in my granola and whole grain childhood would have ever believed). This cap is a fitting tribute to the cake, in all its glory
http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2006/10/22/fauxstess-to-the-extreme/

Before I get carted off to the Demented, Screechy Old Ladies Home, I want to wear hats like this around town. I can just see me going into the post office wearing this beauty and watching the postal agents try not to giggle or make eye contact with me. I still think it's a beautiful creation!
http://www.maggiesrags.com/freewitchhat.html

Fair Isle? No, Fake Isle - yes! using variegated yarn to make a FI fake!!! Pure genius (and pretty to look at, too!) http://magknits.com/Nov06/patterns/fakeisle.htm

I've only recently discovered this Blogger and can't say enough good about her creativity - great hats!!!!http://smariek.blogspot.com/2006/12/swirl-hat.html. If you like that, you might want to check this pattern out, too - http://smariek.blogspot.com/2006/10/claudia-hat.html - pure delight!!!

I recently saw a KAL that featured a baby hat that looked like this one but the fact that the designer has set out to create a Hershey's Kiss beats the band!!! I love it http://www.articlepract.com/patternpages/hershykiss.html (and no risk of contamination LOL)

Once again, a lovely lace beanie that I really want to make. The biggest decision will have to be what color????http://www.spunkyhats.com/boogie_3hat.htm This is actually a trifecta - whether child, man or woman - there's a model for you :)

Knit ... like a pirate???? Yes!!!!http://knitlikeapirate.com/projects/tricorn.html Who doesn't need a tricorn hat? It may not be practical for 2007-wear but I think that it would be fun for those days when the world just doesn't feel sane

A real stocking cap! yeah, my kids would give me 'that look' if I tried to gift them with this but I think that I would wear it, once and a while http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/PATTstockingcap.html

http://mogknit.blogspot.com/2005/02/life-aquatic-beanie-pattern.html
I love this movie and when I told K the elder about this pattern, I could see a spark of interest gleaming in his eyes...hmmm, maybe I'll have to pick up some red yarn this week

Another recent discovery for me, this grrl knits!http://kodymayknits.blogspot.com/2006/11/bead-my-skull-cap.html I love the possibilities of a beaded design like this - just think of what you could put on this cap!?! I love beads and I love knitting - this is definitely the best of both worlds!

http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/FEATKSmadge.html This simple, lacy beanie may be another option for the phantom skein of Noro which may or may not be coming my way

I could see this little sweetie on my little niece, Allie-Pallie (or, Mini-Me as I like to call her)- a rough and tumble hockey player by day, a sweet little cuddler by afternoon - this 11 year old is a doll! A simple ribbed cap, it's specialness is found in the darling rose and leaf embellishment http://community.livejournal.com/trians_patterns/847.html

For all of us Star Wars fans, this R2D2 cap is pretty neat http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=113657.0 - way to go, grrl! I so want to try my hand at this one!

Old chickens like me cannot pull of this hat http://community.livejournal.com/knitting/75126.html
but I can see it on some SYT. I think that I may have had a similar hat when I was 3... The designer has kicked but on the sides of this hat - neat texture and lovely hat!

A nice balance between lacy and solid, this cap will keep you warm and fashionable http://members.aol.com/JSchlossma/blancheh.html

Another FI wonder - this is a really nice hat but I think that I would use a variegated yarn instead of switching colors http://theknittinggarden.com/gallery-march/mar-free-5.htm

It's a hat.. or a glove for a very very big person http://www.wilflunn.com/hats/hat_moses_knitted.htm I love this guy and personally, I think that wearing a giant glove on your head might be fun...

A nice lace hat, I think that this will be fun to run up http://shazzaspatterns.blogspot.com/2006/02/muse-hat.html

Another vintage pattern that reminds me of Newfoundland, fishers and the Atlantic http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/hats/monmouth.htm It's a blend of beauty and practicality.

Are your needles ready? Need to make a quick dash to your LYS? On your mark, get set, GO!!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ok, I give in - what tarot card are you?


You are The High Priestess


Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.


The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Social Knitters Unite


You can change the world with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn, or at least you can make it warmer, nicer place to be


On Saturdays, I take my youngest son to a card game/ get-together that he takes part in (holy awkward sentences, Batwoman). So, no matter how tired or wiggy I am, I get to drive 2 hours to spend an additional 4-5 hours hanging around, trying not to shop...in a corner of town where shopping is on of the few diversions. Just bliss for a recovering shopaholic during the busiest shopping season of the year... ummm I'm being sarcastic here, folks. I know, I'm subtle...


Lately, I've discovered the Ottawa library branch in the neighbourhood where the game is held- it's full of families and older people so it's good for a place to sit, read or knit but it's really noisy. I like this good kind of noise. I get to hear some funny conversations and sometimes, when I'm lucky, I get to hear impromptu songs (like the one the little boy was singing about his favorite cats - bobcats, tiger cats, red cats, lion cats - you get the idea)


I've noticed that they also have a homework club where kids can come and get mentoring and help with their reading. What a good idea. Older kids get to rack up some volunteer hours and the younger kids get a role model and tutor, all wrapped in one package.


Last Saturday, there was a young mother and her 2 children - a son, who was waiting for his tutor and a daughter. The daughter didn't have any homework so the mother designed a reading sheet that the girl could complete after reading a short book. Well, the best laid plans often get side-tracked by knitting . You and I know this


The little girl (Savvi) decided that she liked my knitting and that she didn't want to do her 'homework' but her mother quietly convinced her to complete the work. When she did finish, she asked if she could sit and watch me knit. What?!? You just can't say 'no' to a question like that? Where is the next generation of warmth-givers going to come from if we don't give them a little of our warmth now?


She sat in the comfy chair next to me and silently watched but I could see her mind whirling with questions and comments. I started to engage her to see what she was thinking. Then, the conversation turned to, 'could I try?'. I took my 5 needle-hat in bright blue Red Heart cheapo but fun yarn and put it in her hands. Guess what!!! She, in all of her 7 year old wisdom, had been paying attention and understood where to put her needles and where to wrap her yarn!!! Slowly, surely, cautiously, she knit 5 stitches then 7 then 10. She would probably be knitting still if I hadn't had to go pick up the Boy.


In passing, she mentioned that she liked the royal blue hat... maybe she would like one? Is it creepy for a stranger to make a hat for a child? Are people that cynical that they would be concerned by this type of gift? Sometimes, I struggle with this very North American perspective. In my mother's culture, a gift is a gift and thanks are offered; here, I find people want to know why it was given and what is expected in return. How about we change that part of our culture this holiday season and give for the joy of giving, expecting nothing but our own joy in return. If the recipients feel joy too - well, we've all won then, haven't we?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How to piss off the cat (tutorial attached)

(or why I love Flashlight, my cat)

For those of you with normal cats, pissing them off may become quite a chore. For the rest of us, it's a simple as dressing them up in our clothes.

I've tried to demystify the act of pissing a cat off for those of you who may be wondering. 'exactly what does a pissed-off cat look like?'. Have no fear - now you too may learn my ancient secrets for destroying that annoying sense of trust that our domestic animals begin to feel after days and days of non-events and sleeping

Step 1. Pick up cat
Step 2. Put cat on kitchen counter for ease of pissed-off-edness
Step 3. Pretend to be getting cat treats to appease the cat's need for snack-treats and to lull them into a false sense of security
Step 4. Instead of cat treats, whip out scarf hidden on shelves under counter
Step 5. Have partner in crime (and in life) distract cat with loud noises and funny faces
Step 6. Wrap scarf around cat's neck quickly and dash to safety
Step 7. Have partner snap photos
Step 8. Continue to dash for safety as cat escapes counter top and claws at your ankles
Step 9. Swear and laugh at the same time as cat continues to attack your legs and feet

Life is good

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Knit happens, and happens, and happens


Here's the finished Brea purse - it's a good size for tucking my knitting into for a trip over to the Ironworks tonight.It's the 2nd Wednesday so it's Knit Happens again... don't know what to bring - my Pasadena cardi or if I should start another pair of mittens... oooh, such planet-altering decisions, huh?!? If only they were all so simple. At least I'll have a nice bag to carry my stuff there.

I've got to get more mittens done and a pile of editing done and some articles to complete and the dogs to walk and the yard to clean up and the laundry is still sitting there and the shelves need dusting and the hall ceiling needs painting and the basement needs to cleaned out and I'm pretty sure that the dust bunnies are making babies under the stairs and the mice have been stealing my brown rice again and I need to put the rice in a mouse-proof container because the cats are obviously too well-fed to do their job and get rid of the mice and the wool is lonely and it's calling me to come & play...what to do...what to do...

Every morning, I give myself an hour to read through my favorite Blogs and assorted other sites, to laugh (or cry) at stories, to ‘oooh’ at photos and to bookmark projects to make. I only started doing this after the start of my recent illness, when all I could do some days is read, sleep and well, feel bad. It was a pastime that gave me light during dark moments, reminded me about the pleasure of planning, of sharing and of enjoying the creative energy that surrounds some people like an aura.
I’d like to share some of my favorites with you, so that you may enjoy them as well.

Katurah is an amazing writer, sharing her stories about raising her children in Zambia. I love the energy that she relates here and the gentleness with which she describes her beloved children

This woman is so cool that someone sent her stitch markers with the words “arse” and “bite me” on them!!!

Over a year ago, I was stuck in the wilds of Vancouver and lonely, without crafts. Then, one of my students slipped me sheet of scrap paper with a whole whack of URLs on it. Craftster was the first and probably the bestest link of all. I am stunned to see what people allover the world are creating and sharing. What fun!!!

A new friend sent me this link and although it’s not a blog, I thought that I’d share it any ways. ef is a really interesting piece about gentle leadership – too many ‘leaders’ are using out-dated and less-than-useful practices to manage their teams; this article advocates a different approach

Here’s another fun article forwarded me by some over-bright superstar - http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,66209,00.html – have to say that it made me laugh!

Send me your favorite un-craft sites - I need some good ideas for my first ever (but not my last) Guerilla Craft Day and the Homestead - come along and craft with us:)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nuttin' but mittens!

It was so nice to put Shedir to bed that I forgot to share my latest mittens; these ones are for me and mine, not for the Lanark Knits project but they're still warm, colorful and fun, if I do say so myself.
Heeeeeeeeeeere's Kermit

And the reason that I will never make mittens in Bernat Satin ever, ever again

They're frikkin' heavy (but pretty). Hey, it's Canada in November - it's grey, dark and colorless - we need all the color we can get!!!
And finally, here is part of Val's b'day gift - soft, pink cabled mitts in Red Heart Simply Soft which beautifully lives up to its name... gorgeous. It's also somewhat shiny so (with my limited photography skills) that it's hard to take a good photo

I dropped them off at the store yesterday- Val wasn't at work but her boss was so cute. He looked at me, then at the package and said "ooh for the birthday girl", with a smile. When I picked up the gift certificates that I tucked into her card, the girls at Lush were so sweet. The wanted to see the mitts that I had made and when I told them that they were a gift from my heart to my DIL, they cooed. It made me feel so nice. I hope that she likes them and that her shopping trip is productive :) Love Ya, Kiddo!
I'll put the pattern for her mitts on here this week, so keep posted

Shedir, en Fin

Oui Oui mes cheres; Shedir est fini, en fin!
What a challenging project! I would definately recommend this hat for someone who wants to try more complex cables.
here is the first session's worth of knitting

And then, the next session


And finally, last night - phew!

Keep in mind, it's blocking in this photo and is still very wet. I tried it on, though and it fits well and looks pretty cool.
Would I knit it again? Probably, but in a cashmere or other natural yarn

Sunday, November 19, 2006

wii wii wii

we've been up since 5h30; K & K have been on the Wii hunt since 7h00 when they arrived at the first of many many stores - all sold out. Just got another phone call from K the younger; with fingers crossed, they will be returning to the homestead with a repaired Domino gee-tar (from the most lovely Folklore Centre's repair bay) and a Wii, for K the younger's holiday bliss... oh my stars!

Almost finished the basic cables up the side of Shedir. The softness of this cheap, cheap yarn is amazing and the color is beautiful. Only 2 more rows, then I get to start narrowing down this incredible project. I have come to the realization that I plan and then execute projects in haste, almost like the experience of knitting was secondary to the finished product. That's the 49th sad statement that I've made on this foray into blog-land

Friday, November 17, 2006

Snap, Snap, Snap Dragon

I am a
Snapdragon

What Flower
Are You?

sad dogs & rainy days (and more of that 100 things that I promised, uh, I mean dumped on you)

I saw the saddest thing this morning - an old golden retriever curled up at the end of her driveway, sleeping - obviously waiting for her family to come home... or so senile that she falls asleep anywhere and everywhere... Poor old girl. She lifted her head as I drove past. She must be the best greeter ever - imagine coming home to that happy face every day? Heaven!

I come home to 2 happy dogs but they don't really care about humans (except the feeder-man aka K). Nash thinks that dogs are superior than humans and all most humans are is door-openers, feeders and head scratchers. Sometimes, if we're lucky, he'll actually retrieve something for us. Usually this highly-bred Lab will pick something up and then dance away with it cuz it's much more funny to run away than to cooperate.

Where was I last night?
Oh yeah, point # 46

46) when I was little, I also wanted to be a mermaid (or a dolphin) and practiced swimming with my legs together, like a tail. Funny that no one wanted to play with me after witnessing my 'practices', huh?
45) I used to collect dead birds that had flown into windows and bring them home to my mother. I was sure that she could resuscitate them and devastated when she admitted that, despite the my extreme faith in her, she could not
44) I read and re-read my favorite books over and over and over again until I could recite them by rote. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, the Secret garden and Doll Island were up there, on my all time best. My brother liked Where the Wild Things Are which I only gained respect for as a teenager
43) I was a good runner/ sprinter and was the best in my age group for several years, at school. I was also the high jump and hurdles champ. A mean feat when you consider that I can barely see my own hands, never mind a bar 10 feet away. Running was a joyful experience that I couldn't get enough of
42) We had a stone wall that ran around the edge of our property and I used to climb to the top (9 ft) and walk the entire perimeter
41) 42 is strange because I was extremely afraid of heights - my brother and our friends would cross a RR trestle to go to another neighbourhood but I couldn't cross. I was too afraid - then I learned not to look down. I didn't like the idea of failing
40) my brother and I once made a raft and tried to float down the Simon river like Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn (I don't know which one I was supposed to be). We didn't get far and sunk into some very deep mud. My mother was not amused when we came home, covered in bog mud and stink
39) I loved the ocean and collected vast amounts of seashells. I still have a lot of them. Someone nicked my giant starfish, though... bastard!
38) I painted and drew prodigiously. I also wrote songs and poetry all the time, too. If we had had video games or a PC, I would have been a total geek-nerd-wannabe (or worse, a LARPer hee hee hee)
37) I was labeled a 'daydreamer' in school but the truth was that a) I was extremely bored most of the time & b) I was napping because I had stayed up late, reading. Sleeping with my eyes open is just one my many many useless talents
36) I was much taller than all of the other kids, including my older sibs... I recently found a photo of mt at around 8, towering over my brother (who was 9 at the time). As a teenager, I was embarrassed when people would comment about my height and wanted to be 5' 4" - 5'6" like all of the other girls... I tried to shrink but it didn't work
35) our radio or stereo was always on and I sang all of the time
34) my father once set fire to our kitchen when he tried to warm up soup. I was only 9 but I put the fire out. dad was recording in the living room and had forgotten about feeding us, I guess. He remembers the story differently than the rest of us
33) I was a free-range child and did not like to be indoors very much
32) I wished, prayed, dreamed about being kidnapped by gypsies... I wanted to live in a red & green caravan, pulled by a shaggy pony. K's mother used to threaten him with being kidnapped by gypsies but I wasn't as lucky as he... I'm still waiting on this dream
31) I actually enjoyed mucking out the stables and liked the quiet time afterwards, when I could feed the animals
30) I bothered my mother for a bunny for years and then I got one (Biff, who was very, very smart). We kept it in the fenced-in play yard with my friend's' bunnies. They dug (the bunnies, not the friends) under our play house and years later, when the playhouse was moved, the ground was full of tunnels and burrows like giant termites had cut through the earth. Our neighbours dogs escaped and killed all but one of the bunnies and I came home from school that day to find my mother and our neighbour trying to hide evidence of an obvious bloodbath. I loved bunnies ever since I got Biff and long for one, even now
29) my mother made the world's best french fries and used all sorts of veg to make them - sweet potato, regular potato, carrot and her favorite (but not ours), zucchini. We ate them with aioli- YUMMMMMM
28) I memorized all of my grandmother's clan stories and one of my party tricks was to recite them, randomly to any adult who would listen.
27) My cousin, Caroline Jane (who I think is gay but is deeply closeted - Dad, don't kill me) used to give us soda (which we hardly ever had) and encourage us to have burping contests. Then, she would report that we were very rude... the aunties were not amused. She only tricked us twice, then we caught on... we were very naive children
27) another cousin, our crazy Frank used to get us to jump off my aunt's garage roof in the winter, onto a snowbank. One spring, he got my brother to jump off, sans snowbank. Landing in roses is not as funny as landing in snow. After we stopped laughing, we took him to the hospital for the first in a long series of casts (we were very naive children)
26) I thought that my father had written all of the songs that he sang. Years later, I heard John Prine sing Sam Stone and thought, oooh, Dad wrote that. Checking the liner notes, I was sadly disappointed....
25) My father took me clothes shopping one season and was never, ever allowed to do it again. I bought a hooded poncho, a green and purple and orange granny gown and lace up boots with high heels. Not what my mother had in mind but I was one cool 7 year old... I had to make up for a wardrobe of navy and grey throughout my school year, I suppose
24) I couldn't sleep unless I had cold sheets and especially, a cold pillow case... my mother compensated by making me a cover that I could put in the freezer before bed. I still like a cold pillow
23) I danced all of the time (when I wasn't singing, writing, knitting, running, skiing or swimming). Some would say 'hyperactive'; I prefer 'behaviorally-challenged'
22) I liked to visit cemeteries and read grave markers... I was a morbid child
21) when I was little, my aunt made roast lamb for supper. An old lady who was visiting us shared that it smelt like the death camp she had resided in during the war years... I haven't eaten lamb since. This is on my list of 'things that you should never share with a 5 year old'
20) At dinner, we were expected to have an opinion on world events. I sometimes had to make something up quickly because I didn't always know that world existed. I had a rich inner life, I guess
19) my grandmother used to make us 'nursery tea' by filling our tea cups with lots of milk and sugar and just a quick pass of the tea pot. It made us feel grown up
18) she also had 2 cats, named Beanie and Bootie. She rescued them when my mother was teenager - they were under the butcher's steps and she brought them home in her basket of shopping. My grandfather said that this act of kindness was one of his favorite memories of her. They loved each other very, very deeply (which is remarkable when you consider that they married at 18 and were together for ever)
17) long after those cats died(at ages 22 & 25), she got another cat, named Timothy O'Rourke. When I asked why she had named him that, my mother told me that she named him after a boy that she had loved when she was back home. I thought that was sweet considering that she was 70 something...Grandpa Stan was long dead then but she didn't call the cat "Stanislaus"... maybe that would have hurt, to have her Stan back in cat-form. Timothy was probably just a happy memory that she got to hang onto...
16) my grandfather used to watch soccer on TV but it bothered my grandmother, so she bought him an ear piece that plugged into the TV. Every game, at least once, he scared the crap out of us by jumping up and down and pulling the ear piece out of the TV in excitement. Our nice quiet house would be blasted by screams of "goaaaaaaaaal" or whatever the hell those announcers were screaming
15) My older brother was my idol and I wanted to do everything that he did, good and bad. It got us into a lot of trouble from time to time. Of course, "a lot" is a subjective term and many kids wouldn't have felt that what we did was trouble at all, I suppose...
14) Once, when my brother went to camp, my mother asked for help to clean up his room before it was re-painted. We found a shoebox filled with squirrel tails. I never understood why he had them and how he got them... one creepy mystery, that was
13) I strongly believed that the 13th was a lucky day. After all, mein Z was born on the 13th... couldn't get much luckier than that
12) my parents are both fire signs and their kids were all water signs; my mother, the thoughtful astrologer once commented that she thought that her kids had doused the fire of their (my parents') passion. Way to make us feel wanted, mom ha ha ha
11) I once caught my cousin shooting heroin in my aunt's garage and never told anyone. He was a mixed up fellow, that guy...I was about 10 and I was fascinated with the process involved...sad thought, that.

so now you see that not only can I adequately bore you; I can explain why (in 90 reasons) why my family is odd... it only stands to reason that I would be odd, too. The sad fact is that I haven't even begun my 100 things about the adult me...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

100 odd things about a very odd child

To continue to bore, erm, I mean enthrall you, I will share some 'facts' about the little person that was once ME


100) when I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then, a well-meaning relative explained that vets had to euthanize animals some times... Way to blow my illusions, there
99) if I could have, I would have had a herd of goats, donkeys and mules. They would have been my friends and we would have spent happy days, roaming together
98) I did not like ice cream but I did eat it on occasion
97) my older brother (who knew I hated anything but chocolate cake) would insist on a fruit-flavored (usually orange or lemon) cake for his birthday - I mean, really?!? What 6 year old wants a fruit-flavored cake! I thought that he asked for it just to piss me off. It's a Glen thing...
96) I loved to ride until Gypsy kicked me and sent me flying over the corral. I never wanted to ride after that - it was a equine betrayal that I am still recovering from *sob*
95) I read every book in my parents'/ grandparents'/aunt's houses and most of my local library's, too - I was very, very bored
94) we played Sgt. Blood in the woods behind our house - hey, it was VietNow and we were heavily influenced by what was happening around us. It was sheer luck that mom never found out that we were glorifying that 'conflict' in our play - if she had, we would have to endure hours of lectures about Nixon & Evil & Big Business & dead people. Yeah, mom is a lot fun when she's on a soapbox....I think that the 60s altered her brain chemistry
93) I did not watch TV very often and was usually out of the loop when classmates discussed the latest TV craze. I've since made up for my TV deficiency
92) I taught myself to knit by watching other people do it - my first attempts were pretty funny - mostly holes and knots, with a few tangles thrown in for good measure
91) when I was a teenager, my aunt Marge used to host garden parties and she had Pierre E. Trudeau over on many, many occasions. I thought that he looked like the Grinch; the ladies thought that he was hot. He did ooze charisma and you just knew that he realllllly liked the ladies
90) we used to mix up the leftover drinks after my parents' parties and swill them. They tasted much better after we learned to strain out the cig/joint butts. My brother still blames his hatred of liquor on these experiments - ever the iconoclast, I thank them for my love of drink
89) my father played in various bar bands and I knew every drumstick stroke and guitar lick to the classics - if you wake me up from a deep sleep and start a verse of "Johnny Be Goode", I finish it and go back to sleep. Yup, nothing but talent...totally unmarketable talent
88) one of my hobbies as a youngster was running away - sometimes, I was found and brought home right away. Other times, I managed to elude capture and spent hours/ days away. It was an odd compulsion that I cannot really explain
87) I knew more about fabric than most adults and could recite the virtues of a good wool (to the amusement of the tailors in mein Z's shop)
86) I hated elementary school WITH A PASSION - children talking about child-things was boring and intimidating. No one ever mentioned the news or politics or philosophy. I was sure that they were all in-bred or just really really stupid (I was a bumptious child)
85) I started skiing when I was 2.5 years old - I skied with the "big kids" every weekend and could keep up with them, no matter what terrain. It still makes me happy to think of all 8 - 10 of us, blonde & wind-burned. Our German/ Austrian/ Swiss community bred good skiers and we were among the best
84) we had a beagle named 'Baron' who never liked to stay home and was always out, hunting - he probably had another home somewhere
83) I had a black Persian, named "Charlie" after my step-father, Carl (strange family, yeah I know) - he was one of the great feline loves of my life and never failed to be my friend
82) I had a copper 'cheetah' bicycle with a banana seat, high handlebars and sissy bar; my older brother had a black'charger' (the same bike, in a different color and with different stickers). He taught me how to ride it, after everyone else had given up on me
81) I couldn't tie my shoes until I was a teenager... LDs run in my overly-creative family
80) one of my favorite foods was pickled beets - mein Bubby made them especially for me; no one else ate them
79) we had a cocker spaniel named "Taffy" who was the goofiest dog on earth. I'm sure that he also possessed the smallest canine brain ever recorded
78) my father had an old tomcat named "Kimber" who used to climb onto the balcony attached to my room, via the clothesline pole. Once, he climbed it with a muskrat trap on his paw. He was a tough old dude
77) I read every Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Laura Ingalls Wilder book that there was. I wanted to live in a sod house on the banks of Plum Creek, pick berries all day and fall asleep under an eiderdown, just like Laura
76) I had a crush on Levon Helm - he recorded next to our home when I was 5 and even then, I knew what I liked. I liked Levon. It was a one-sided love...
75) my parents bought a TV so that we could watch the moon landing - it was just about my birthday and I was sure that the TV was my present. Little did I know that it would remain shut off for most of the time (see point #93)
74) right after the moon landing, we went camping and I woke up every hour to ask, 'is I 5 yet?' - I was told to back to sleep but several very grumpy adults and many, many grumpy children. I guess I wasn't 5 yet
73) I was (and still am) disturbed by monkeys. Apes, I can handle (just look at my dating record) but monkeys scare the crap out of me. Bet I could take one now, though. I'm much tougher than when I was 4
72) My grandparents never stopped reminding all of us that we were theirs. They had lost so many family members by the time that we came along. I think that we gave them hope
71) when I was 8, my feet were a size 10 ladies. We went to buy school shoes and a sales clerk at a very upscale shoe store told my mother that, '(we) don't carry anything THAT BIG'. It scarred me for a while
70) I was in a hurry to grow up and time was moving very, very slowly
69) I was the third July baby that my parents’ gave birth to – three cancer children argh! My sister died before I was born and my mother has never stopped grieving, I think
68) we had a yard full of red poppies when I was very, very little and I still dream about our hill, covered in soft, red blooms
67) when I was 2, we went to a country fair and my parents lost me. They found me, asleep standing up hugging the leg of a very large draught horse, who seemed to like having me in his stall
66) when I was about 5 or 6, my father let me go out into the water in a large, black inner tube. I slipped through the hole when he wasn’t paying attention and was gone when they pulled me out of the water. I still dream about all of the colors that I saw while I was out of it
65) I wanted to be a mother since I can remember
64) my first language was German, mixed with Yiddish; then, I learned French and finally, English. I still don’t speak any of those languages clearly
63) I really wanted a turtle for a pet but I wasn’t allowed to have one because of a salmonella scare. I was distraught
62) my favorite candy was brown and tan peppermint sticks that were wrapped in cellophane and had a sticker of a lion on it. Yummmmmmy
61) I once went to friend’s house for “BBQ” and asked for a hot dog; they laughed at me and slipped a bun with dripping meat into my grubby, little hand. I soon learned what real BBQ was
60) I hated my first name A LOT, A LOT, A LOT.
59) I sang along to every song that was played on the radio but I didn’t know that my father was secretly taping me. I now know that I DID NOT know all the lyrics and often deviated greatly from the songwriters’ intent
58) I watched Star Trek every Sunday morning, without fail. It was my favorite
57) my middle name comes from my favorite great-aunt, Birdie. My father loved her, like a mother and she was very kind. When he wanted something to read, he would go to her house and she let him take whatever he wanted, as long as he reported back to her about what he had read
56) my father’s father was a funny, old man. When he was dying, he looked like a desiccated old bird. I felt guilty thinking that on the drive home one day. I think he would have cracked up to hear that
55) my father’s mother was a strong lady who left behind a socialite’s life to move to a farm and raise 5 kids. She did a good job
54) my mother’s father hiked out of their country for 6 weeks with his mother and siblings, looking for safety. They were special people. I always pictured the Sound of Music when I pictured this event in our lives
53) I wanted grapes BADLY when I was little but in support of migrant workers, we weren’t allowed to buy them. I cried and cried and cried and cried. It didn’t convince my parents to buy them, though
52) I once picked a big bunch of goldenrod for my mother’s birthday – she asked me if I wanted her to die. I said, “I don’t think so” (I really don’t think I understood what she meant at the time. Her allergies were pretty bad...)
51) I once whipped a boy with a skipping rope because he teased my brother. I nearly blinded him and I was recalcitrant when I was punished for it
50) I was our school’s dodgeball champ, three years in a row. I couldn’t throw a ball worth shit but I sure could dodge….
49) My grandmother moved to England when she was 12, to live with her aunt and uncle after her father was arrested for helping the rebels in her county. As a doctor, he couldn't stand by when someone had come to him to have a bullet removed. He paid a heavy price for repsecting his oath but i don't know if and when he was released. My mother and my aunt only whispered about it but no one ever discussed it at length; they'd be livid if they knew that was sharing this family secret. Their generation is 'different'
48) My grandparents met at a Displaced Persons dance and fell in love at first sight. I found this concept very confusing when I was a child; I still find it confusing
47) I wanted to fly more than anything... I'm still waiting on this one

ok, so maybe not 100 things but more than I've ever shared before...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Once upon a time


I was a cute child
Then I grew up (sort of)
















My brother was also sort of cute




But I think that I had better fashion sense. His school didn't require a uniform that year and now, he has to live with that for the rest of his life.

I had a more sensible school and we wore tunics and jackets for most of the year. When I got older, they let us wear other clothing for photo day. When I look back and see the great misfortune that is 1970s fashion (yes, I'm that old), I appreciate my navy tunic and white tights.


See my pink sweater? My beloved Aunt Mary bought that for me and even though I was not a 'pink' girl, I loved that sweater. Mary isn't as cool as my Aunt Vivian but she always made me feel special. Vivian is my hero. I'll tell you about her one day.

find a penny; pick it up - all day long...

you'll have good luck? What about if you find $2.12 in the grocery store parking lot? I guess I get 212 days of good luck? That would rock... I sure feel like I need all of the luck I can scrape up, including off of the grubby parking lot. It's burning a hole in my pocket, right now

I finally got started on Shedir and made it to row 22 (queue the scary music) duh duh duh then I found 2 mistakes (in my business, we call them opportunities but I call them 'aw crap') down on row 11 or 12. A frogging we will go. Never knit and drink (or is it 'always knit and drink'?). I'm off to the V&S store to pick up a short 3.5mm circ. needle. I've found that, with so many stitches on my short dbl. pointed needles, eventually some stitches fall off when I'm struggling to get my tight little cable stitches done. Because my hands are so mangled, cabling is probably the last thing that I should attempt but I can't help it. I LOVE CABLES! I've decided to use Red Heart So Soft (yes, dirt cheap but like its name implies, incredibly soft to the touch) in a nice Caribbean turquoise (possibly my favorite color, if you had a gun pointed at my temple and I had to choose just one...). To soothe my Berrocco obsession, I've also started planning my Pasadena cardi and maybe, just maybe a top-down cardi, like this one

The Brea bag knit up incredibly fast (more cables)- it's cute. As soon as I steam it into shape, I'll take some photos. It was hard to knit 2 strands together (again, the hands) but well worth it. Despite the odd shape to this bag, I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good, fast cabling project. I estimate that it took an afternoon and part of an evening to knit the 2 sides and part of a morning to knit the gusset/ handle & crochet it all together. I opted to knit one continuous piece for the gusset and handle instead of hunting for a handle. One option that I had considered was to head to the thrift store and find an old purse to cut up for its handle. Maybe for the next one I make.

Then, there's the s/l turtleneck from Lion Brand... to knit in Galaxy and Symphony, ice blue! And I have some Olive Decor to think about... and some new Classic Wool to felt (maybe into this, sans fleurs)

So much wool in my house... I'm knitting as fast as I can, folks.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

photo Hell

I wanted to post some of my old photos on my blog and went to the photo kiosk to scan and make a CD of all of these erm... shots (yes, siblings in full 70s regalia and shag haircuts - be afraid, be very afraid). After a fruitless hour with 'help' from the sales associates (who, I might add, have no training in their own machine), I now have copies of all of my photos but no digital files to share.... one day, my pretties, one day.
Despite this debacle, I finally posted to Craftster. No more lurking for this country bumpkin-ella. And I still love knitting!


Our municipal election(s - if you include Ottawa) were less than fulfilling but we'll see if anything changes for the better. I highly doubt it. To quote Pete T., 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss'.

I have a few writing projects on the go, including compiling lists of resources for various communities within Ottawa. This is where I could use a little help; if you know of a community (you know, small business, families, non-profits, etc. ) or services (Canada Business Service Center, Volunteer Ottawa, etc) - please share. I want to include a synopsis of the service too. Please feel free to email me with any info that you can share. What about your impressions of the election? Was it what you hoped it would be? Are you scared for the "New Ottawa"? Or are you like 90% of the general population and want to pretend that nothing has happened?

Monday, November 13, 2006

MMMMMMMMMMuppets!!!

i LOVE cRAFTSTER.oRg :)
People like this are what really makes this incredible site what it is! A muppet quilt!

Sunday, November 12, 2006






Finally, a post with my 2 mermaid babies - there was this great string of posts on Craftster a month or so ago and a whole bunch of people were making these lovely mermaids. As a beader, I couldn't just sit and watch the action. Life is not a spectator sport so here are my contributions.


I had some problems with the mirror-faces but my intentions were good. I'm going to make some other ones soon - maybe a butterfly or fish... or something else... Who knows; with my brain, I may make a million of them or nevermake one again


I also got started on my Berrocco Brea bag, using 2 strands of Briggs & Little Regal in a deep, deep plum shade. It knits up really fast but now I've got to run to the Real Wool Shop to get another skein... it really hurt to work this heavy yarn into these beautiful cables but I think that it'll look really cool. I don't think that I'll invest in handles though - maybe just knit up the gusset into a longer handle. Whaddya think - Shoulder bag? Hand bag? I've got to think out how wide I want this one, esp. considering how I botched my pirate bowling bag by making it so wiiiiiiddddde. I should have just followed the SnB pattern, as written.







Friday, November 10, 2006

No one ever suspects the butterfly


After reading the Panopticon's list, I thought that I would balance the universe with some things that I love. You have GOT to read this blog - I wish this man was my neighbor:)
10) Coffee - yes, despite my physician's warnings, coffee is my morning friend. No coffee, no nice Tara - all gone. It's just that simple.
9) My pets - Flashlight & Pablo Honey, the cats who tolerate me (sometimes); Jack & Nash, the dogs who love me despite my scoldings about their barking about nothing - shut up already! And of course, the fish and snails, none of whom have been named because I hate losing the ones who I name....
8) Peace & quiet -esp. good after a night of wine and music (or even better, knitting) or first thing in the morning with a nice hot cuppa
7) Noise, noise, noise - esp. of the musical or happy friends variety
6) Wool & other fibers - whether from a sheep, a goat or even the wild acrylic jungle, yarn is the panacea for all of life's ills (and many of its un-ills, too). If you need proof, put on a pair of hand-knit mittens on a cold, cold morning and take a walk. See?!? You feel better already.
5) Did I mention coffee? Ok, The Simpsons - after all this time, they still make me giggle out loud, never mind the occasional spewing of unfortunate quotes that few seem to get... That's me, the Simpsons geek. Sad, ain't it?
4) knitting and sometimes sewing - no, definitely knitting - currently on my needles - Magknits Paris Loop - sort of, more of a variation on the theme. Just off of my needles - Kermit green cabled cuff mitts
3) My grumpy, pot-banging partner - see what happens when you disturb my morning peace? You end up being blogged as a grump but I still love you, you pot-banging, 'swearing at the puppy' grump-ass
2) My kids - I now have three children; my 2 biological experiments, Pat & KC and then we inherited Pat's partner, Val. So we have 3 kids and I love them all. How lucky is that?!? When I look at their lives and who they are now, I can't see much to feel guilty about. They're all fine individuals who aren't afraid to dance their own dance and who know how to love. I don't know what went wrong... I sure tried to screw them up. Guess I'll have to try harder on the grand-babies (but not any time soon, please)
1) Most of all I love not being sad all of the time. This year has been the hardest of my life and I am surprised to be still standing. Even tough all of this stuff happened and I felt at many times that my life, my career or whatever was "over", I learned a lot and I hope that I'm a better person for it. If I haven't learned that much, this hard, hard year would have been a waste.

Remember to smile from your heart and to share your love
T~

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Knitting in the Country


I attended my first Knit Happens at the Ironworks last night - lots of nice ladies and their wool. Good conversation, a nice house red and lots of interesting projects. Seems like a lot more people are felting these days and some are even trying my nemisis, Briggs and Little wool. Don't get me wrong - I like to knit with it but it never felts properly for me, just tightens up a bit and doesn't quite look felted. i have to say that my all time favorite is still Paton's classic merino. Nothing shrinks down like this except maye a traditional Lopi.
Pablo Honey is a pretty groovy kitty, if I do say so myself. As you can see, he's not very relaxed HA! He's pretty mellow except for the first really cold week in autumn, when he leaves the comfort of the barn for the warmth of the house. He is primarily an outdoor cat but when it gets cold, he spends his days inside. He's always skitterish for the first few weeks, as he shakes off his 'outdoor nerves'. He's probably the most loving cat that you'll ever meet, though and he loves to hug his family. One thing that we've concluded is that he thinks he's a dog - he bonded very heavily with Jack when he was a small kitten and goes outside when the dogs go. If call "boys - go outside', Pablo is the first to reach the door to the dogs' yard. If only I had normal pets...
Back to my green mitts - we're off to meet the Yarn Harlot tonight - EXCITEMENT!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I have to get started on the kids' drapes - I dropped in on Val at the store on Friday and she really liked the weird floral pattern that I discovered at Vsquared . I liked it too - was going to try to work it into my own living room but my love for my son and his partner won out. I'm trying to find a way to lay out the fabric so that there's maximum impact with this little piece of pattern across those huge windows. I'll post some photos and a drape tutorial once I get off of my duff and actually make them

I got a head start on Val's birthday present (but I can't share that now - wait until the 22nd and I'll post photos and the pattern for the prezzy. All I can say is 'get your needles ready, folks!'). I think that she'll like it/ them.

I've been blog-hopping this afternoon and am thrilled to see the creativity that's out there.
Check out these fun mitts! I'm thinking of making a pair or two for the Lanark Knits project. They're just that cute! If I wasn't such an old chicken, I'd be wearing them around town, getting stares from all the other old chickens. Suppose I could make them and wear them around this drafty old house... hmmmmmm ladybirds!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thank you



Dear person who found my favorite scarf after I dropped it in the underground parking,

I want to thank you for putting my scarf where I could find it again. You'll never know how grateful I am for your kindness. It was about more than a scarf; it was about being nice to someone who you have never met (but who is really, really grateful for your niceness)

Thank you

Spin that wheel and pass it on!

The revolution starts now
When you rise above your fear
And tear the walls around you down
The revolution starts here

The Revolution Starts Now
Steve Earle
Sarangel Music
2004

What did you do today to support your local revolution, “in your own backyard, in your own hometown”? With so much destruction and negative energy in the world, the only hope that we have is in changing where we stand. Long before we can effect those larger, global changes that are necessary, all we need to find our own local revolutions to support, to change our own realities, to make them fit our true value systems and make our communities more viable, more sustainable and more organically logical.

In all of my realities, music stands beside me, holds my head up when I’m tired, pushes my heart forward when I fear. Music serves not so much as the catalyst of change but as the anthems for what changes are already taking place around us. It’s not that music incites the change around us but it reflects the changes that we want or have already begun to feel.

When I look at my life, I see small steps towards my own revolution. Quitting a job that didn’t align with my values was a big step and one of the biggest risks that I have ever taken. Starting my own consulting business was another giant leap of faith in my own personal revolution.

For months, as I was driving into work, I had over an hour each way to listen to music. Steve Earle always fit into my daily play list, somewhere. I find Earle an interesting character, as well as talented musician – a bit of an iconoclast, he had times when he seemed to try too hard to be a rebel but it’s songs like the Revolution Starts Now that strike my heart as true. It always made me think about how I lived and if my values were reflected in that living. On some levels, I was doing just that but in other respects, I was avoiding what I knew to be true. Although I did not actively participate in the Machine, I was a cog that facilitated its negative work. By breaking my ties to the empty pursuit of the company’s goals, I landed squarely into a new but far more satisfying reality. I had spent months fighting the truth that I could leave at any time, until it became obvious that there was no healthy future in staying. I had to have faith that this movement was far from the end of my career but that it was a turn in my road, a new field in my own revolution. I am learning that we are all trying to find our ways through the world and that I need to learn patience with those who are not openly, actively seeking their own truths.

Thought for the day: If our hands were allowed to create the kind of world that reflects who we are and what we believe, what is stopping our hands from acting? Essentially, it is ourselves; we stop or start the motors of our own revolutions, no one else. Knowing that, what have you done today to create your own reality?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Everyone in my house is lazy

What's on my needles - Bernat Satin mitts in hot pink and orange (yeah, I know - too much color but hey, it's pretty grey around here in January)
What I've just finished - Diana's Tea Cozy - not my best work but knit with love
What's next - who knows argh

What I love about Halloween

10) Cleaning up decorations that have been soaked by that wet Canadian early morning snow (love those sticky web-thingys that cling to your hands even when you try to wipe them off..
9) Crazy teenagers who come to the door more than once (yeah, just switch your costumes around and we won't remember that you were just here 10 minutes ago)
8) Hiding my black cat so she doesn't get cat-napped and sacrificed (or whatever they do with cats around here)
7) Decorating the yard so that the three legitimate trick or treaters we get can trip and drop all of their candy (then turn off the lights so that they can't retrieve it whaaa haa haa haa)
6) Screams in the park behind my house (please, please, PLEASE, keep it up - I love having my OCD dog freak out and try to run through the front door to get to you)
5) Dressing up in a retro costume and realizing that what I've got on isn't a costume; I'm my mother circa 1974, minus the Pucci prints and spray-net 'au naturel' hair
4) Reminiscing about costumes past - KC's skunk hat, the boys going as the brothers from Face Off 3 years in a row (hey, it was easier than making a new costume and it's not like the neighbors remembered what they wore in years past)
3) Scary movies on TV!!! Spooktacular!!!!
2) Even better - faux-scary, campy movies on TV!!! (you know that movie with Kiss in the haunted amusement park, anybody?!? How's about some acting lessons, dudes?)
1) Left over Halloween candy (but therein lies the name of this post - I noticed that all of the yummy Hershey chocolate bars were gone from the candy bucket EXCEPT the Hershey Kisses. Apparently, we're all too lazy to unwrap individual candy. We want our gratification and we want it now!
Viva Les Egans