Monday, June 25, 2007

The home stretch !

We're into the home stretch ( pardon the pun ) ! Casey and Chantal will be moving into their new home this week. We're still doing the finishing touches inside and the siding is almost done.There's still a lot of work to be done outside the (landscaping , drive way etc. ) , but the house itself is pretty much ready . I've been at their apartment for the last couple of days to start packing . I can't believe how much stuff they managed to pack into that tiny space . I have to say that, all in all ,these last two months have been an amazing experience . This house is already filled with laughter and loads of memories . Casey and Chantal are very lucky, and so were we , to be able to share this with them .

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sockapalooza sock # 1

Here's how far I've come with the socks for Sockapalooza . You'll notice that the heel is not a short row heel as was mentioned in my previous post . I don't know whether last weeks' heat addled my brains , but I could not , for love or money, produce a passable short row heel . God knows I tried. After much muttering , ripping out and re-knitting , I decided that my standard heel flap was going to have to do . I'm sure I'll attempt some short row heels at some point in my life , just not now for my sanity's sake .

There are some other projects in the works , one of which is a stole to match my dress for Casey's wedding . I've ordered some lace weight yarn , which hopefully will arrive soon. I have a couple of patterns in mind , but will decide when I actually have the yarn at hand . I've also joined another sock KAL , so definitely more socks . Before knitting became my creative obsession , I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch . I've promised a friend that I would complete a cross stitch project that been languishing in her closet for awhile. In exchange she will complete a knitted afghan for me. I'd started this afghan about 3 years ago , it's about 70% done , but it's still in my work basket . I've come to the conclusion that I sometimes have the attention span of a flea and that I should never start any very large projects because I'm bound to lose interest. Hence the restless needles.

With the summer heat also comes a certain inclination to sit in a comfy chair in the shade with a cool drink and a good book . I have so many books in my to be read list ( have to stay away from Chapters ) . Mysteries / whodunits are my guilty pleasure and easy summer reads . You can see the sidebar for a look at what I've been reading lately

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dog versus skunk

Here it is Tuesday morning and and no knitting progress to show. Life has been getting in the way . This weekend we've finally gotten a taste of normal summer weather ; hot , hot , hot ! I'm loving it ! We had a very nice BBQ on Saturday with our friends . It was just so nice to be able to kick back and enjoy the summer evening. Until the mosquitoes sent us running back inside , that is .

The house building is going really well . Casey's on vacation right now , so he's been doing quite a bit everyday. He and Max were able to get in a game of golf , so it hasn't been all work and no play . All the plastering has been done inside , the ceramic floors have been laid . The big push this weekend will be the hardwood floors inside and the exterior siding . There will be a big crew again this weekend . I've been spoiled the last couple of weeks with fewer mouths to feed , giving me some free time .

It seems as if I spent all that free time going clothes shopping . My wardrobe needs a boost and I really had to find a dress for Casey's wedding . Good news, found it and of all places at The Bay ! I'm so happy I could sing ! It seems crazy to be shopping for this now as the wedding is only Jan. 2 , 2008 , but try and find summer apparel in October . Some of the stores are already getting in their Fall lines at the end of this month .

Yesterday morning Alaska had a run in with a skunk . Let me tell you the score , skunk 1 , Alaska 0 . Poor dog he got hit right in the face . Max had let him off the leash , just before coming into the house . Apparently, the skunk was having a bit of a snooze just in front of the house under our mailbox . Alaska probably thought Spooky was out and went to say hi . Max, half asleep , didn't realize right away either what it actually was , by then the damage had been done . To make matters worse some of that lovely smelling stuff got onto our welcome mat and consequently the newspaper , which Mike , not thinking clearly , brought into the house. As it 's been so warm the windows were all open , so he couldn't really distinguish inside smells from outside smells . I was outside trying to help Max with the tomato juice bath ; when I came in to get more juice , I saw Mike calmly reading the paper . I don't think anyone has ever moved as quickly as I did , newspaper , tablecloth, under pad, everything into the garbage . Let me tell you , it was a long day. Alaska had numerous baths . I had to scrub down the front entrance as well as part of the back patio . I just have to say , thank god that vets open early . We were able to get some very effective odour neutralizing products so that what could have been a very smelly house and dog are really none the worse for an early morning encounter with a skunk .

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Random Thursday

No pictures of knitting today or anything else for that matter . I started another sock for Sockapalooza and I'm just about at the heel . I'm using Opal Neon in really pretty variegated blues and purples with some lime green thrown in for added colour . I think just might be THE socks . Haven't I said that before ? I'll be attempting a short row heel , my first ever . Fingers crossed it'll work out. Pictures after the heel is done.

I tried something new for dinner yesterday . I found a very good recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala (sort of a curried chicken ) on allrecipes .com . Still having trouble doing the links so I'll just leave it at that. I served it over basmati rice with lightly sauteed seasonal veggies . It was absolutely delicious , if I do say so myself ! Definitely will make this again .

I also went to visit Marie again yesterday . I'd brought her some groceries and then stayed awhile. She's really having difficulty breathing and all the rain and humidity we're having lately is making it so much harder. The home care nurse was also there yesterday and it seems her disease is progressing , her oxygen levels in her blood are lower than it should be . She really shouldn't be at home , but she refuses to go the hospital . She tells me that when she's ready to go she'll let me know . She wants to stay home for as long as possible . I can't say that I blame her , as care for seniors is often not ideal , especially if they have no family to act on their behalf. She's just such an amazing person , with so much determination and will to live . Always a smile and kind word , I love her dearly. She's still knitting socks ; she just finished a pair for Stefanie . Will post a photo later this week .

In an effort to go more green , we've finally got a composter going in the back yard . Mike put it together earlier in the week and we've been using it ever since . I'll end up with great fertlizer for my garden . Happy , happy , happy !

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The good and the bad

This is a special weekend for us . Yesterday , Max our younger son , received his diploma , attesting that he successfully completed the construction and carpentry courses that he's been taking for the last year. I've never seen him as happy and eager to learn as he's been since the classes began. He's worked very hard and we're all so proud of him . I believe he's finally found his niche . With him in this pic is Stefanie , who's given him moral support and so much more. They make a great team . The other photo is of Max with his brother Casey . Today they're really good friends as well as brothers . A minor miracle considering how they used to fight when they were kids . They're almost exactly 2 years apart so I suppose it was normal sibling rivalry , but I can remember many a day of me tearing my hair out , thinking I must be doing something wrong . I can't believe how fast the time has gone by , it seems like a blink of an eye , and they're men not boys.

Here's the bad ... I've given up with the crosshatch socks and Lorna's Laces . I've come to the conclusion that I won't be happy sending these socks to my pal .The pooling was taking away from the pattern . I mean it's not as if I have no other yarn in my stash so I'll try to find something else that I think my pal will like .

Going to try and get some garden work today , have to take advantage of a few rain free hours . It looks like it will rain most of this week . Think I'll get Max to build us an ark

Friday, June 1, 2007

Blame it on the rain

I finally finished the child's socks for sam3kal . If it wouldn't have been for our wet weather keeping me out of the garden , they'd probably still be on the needles. I'm fully aware that any true gardener wouldn't let a little rain deter them , but I'm like my cats who figure there really is no need to get wet unnecessarily . I used Briggs & Little Tuffy for the blue socks . I have mixed feelings about this yarn . It's very sturdy , relatively inexpensive and durable . I'm sure it makes warm garments and such , but I find it hard on my hands . There's no glide on the needles and the end product feels a little scratchy . It should soften some with washing . I have lots more in my stash which I'll probably use up to make mittens and more socks. This yarn comes from a mill in New Brunswick , and being that's my husband Mike's home province I see more of this yarn coming to my stash in the future . After all we have to support our "local" businesses. The red socks were knit with Elann 's Peruvian Highland Wool . they're much softer, but I'm wondering about the durability . Hope that they both keep a little child's feet warm.

I have to get some of my WIP finished up . I'm getting uncomfortable with the number of unfinished knits I have lying around the house. I think first up will be my Spring Things shawl . I'd worked on it lately , after having bought a set of the Addi lace needles . I love them , the elongated tip makes for much easier ssk and p2tog . I found a mistake on my last row and put the shawl aside again . There's also the Angel Beaded Scarf from Sivia Harding , that's about 3/4 done , not to mention various socks and Max's cardigan , which just needs a collar and a zipper. Also Stef''s hat which needs undoing and then knit up just a little longer . Last ,but definitely , not least , my Sockapalooza socks . This list isn't in order of priority , just a reminder , so that I don't get tempted to cast on for any other project . I MUST finish at least one project I must finish , I must finish , repeat after me .....

One interesting thing that I discovered this week was the KnitPicks Knitting Room podcast . I listened to the last episode yesterday afternoon as I was finishing up my socks . The subject of this episode (english versus continental style knitting) struck home for me because I knit neither way and have always been self-conscious when knitting in public . I've always received sometimes not so nice comments about the "weird " way I knit . This is one of the reasons why I've never taken any knitting classes . I'm a self-taught knitter. I keep the yarn in my left hand and sort of throw with my left as well . When I started out I had a book or diagram in front of me and this was the easiest way to keep an eye on the book and the needles at the same time . It's habit . I've tried knitting continental , and find it much easier than the english method , but always revert back to my habitual way of knitting . It all works the way it's supposed to , just another way of getting there . At this point in my life I no longer care what other people say . It works for me and that's it . I'm still learning new things all the time and derive a lot of enjoyment from knitting . As the song says .... I'll do it my way !

Boy this has been a long-winded post . Blame it on the rain .