Friday, September 13, 2013

She's here !

After keeping us guessing Charlie Shea arrived two days before my Dad .  When she decided that she was ready she wasted no time in getting here . Mom and dad barely had gotten to the hospital and there she was , 8lbs  8oz  of cuteness .  Her nanny MaryAnn and I were there to hear her first cries , a special moment for both of us .

Mason meets his sister

 He wasn't quite sure what to make of her , but was intrigued and concerned when he heard her cry . He kept telling her " It's okay, it's alright " ! So cute !

Snug as a bug at home

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Let the crazies begin !

September has always been a  busy month in this house what with three birthdays all falling within nine days of each other . Add to that my father's annual visit and there's a recipe for crazy that usually leaves me done in by the end of October . This year there's an expected fourth grandchild , due any minute now judging from the size of Stef's baby belly , which will add a little more busy to this month . I can't wait to meet this little one and have been knitting up a storm . Here's the last two finished knits ...

I didn't have enough of the madelinetosh pashmina left after knitting the baby Tea Leaves cardigan to knit a matching  hat . I knit a cream coloured hat and then used a few yards of the pashmina to knit the flower accent . As for the blankie , I fell in love with the pattern  as soon as I saw it on ravelry . It was a fun and easy knit . Mason had two similar blankies that were well used and loved , hoping that Charlie will like hers as much as he did his.

My Dad arrives on Thursday , which is also Stef's due date . We're all speculating on who will arrive first ...

Monday, August 26, 2013

While I was away

While I've been neglecting the blog , the summer has been filled with ...

 spending time with this trio of munchkins .
Knitting . I've been on a streak with the baby knits . The purple shrug is for Stella , as well as a cardigan and vest for my expected grand daughter .I also knit a pair of socks for Jessey and there are another pair in progress for Stella. I`ll have to get going to knit some for Mason .

Reading .This  pile of books is more reflective of currently reading (The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith , also known as J.K. Rowling in another incarnation ) and to be read books . The book that I most enjoyed reading this summer and one that I can`t recommend highly enough is And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini .  The book begins in Afghanistan the 1940s and continues on through the decades and to other parts of the world with a series of interlinked stories . It entertained me , moved me to tears in places , and taught me a little more about the history and culture of the Afghan people. I have read his other books and thoroughly enjoyed them , but in my mind this is his best one yet .
On a sad note , we had to say goodbye to our cat Hey You , so named because when he wandered into our lives 17 years ago we had no intention of keeping him ,  the logic was that you can`t keep a cat if you don`t give him a name . He stayed and the no name stuck . He`d been showing his age lately but then started having seizures and getting weaker every day . We finally had to face the reality that it would be kinder to end his suffering . It`s particularly hard for me because he came to us just 3 weeks after my mother died . She loved cats and I always felt that she sent him to me . He was a very good companion , kept the dogs in line (they knew the pecking order ) even the big guy Alaska . He accepted the kids even though he wasn`t too sure about them in the beginning . They loved him in return . We will always miss him , but mom has him back with her ...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Emma's socks

I'm doing another happy dance this week . Emma's socks from my last post are finished . I didn't quite make my Sunday night deadline as I had hoped , but they were completed yesterday and ready for their photo shoot today .

These are the Baby Cable Rib socks from Sensational Knitted socks . I use this book often when I have to knit children's socks .  You are limited when you have to knit for small feet and there are a number of patterns in this book that look great with just about any sock yarn . I'm not worried about the fit because I was given Emma's shoe size and with the sizing charts in this book you can just about knit custom socks . I hope she likes them ...
Up next ...
Baby Tea Leaves cardigan . It's coming along nicely , more on that another time .

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy dancing !

I finished  the latest baby blanket yesterday and I absolutely love it ! The yarn , the pattern and the colour which is the exact shade of pink I was looking for .To my surprise Stef chose to decorate the baby's room in lilac , but there is pink in the duvet cover , so it matches pretty well . The Ruffled Ridges pattern by Bev Galeskas is a joy to knit . I used Berocco Vintage because in my experience it has the perfect combination of easy care acrylic content with the warmth of wool .

 It speaks volumes for the pattern that I continued knitting despite the fact that we , along with much of the eastern and central part of the continent are experiencing a heat wave with temperatures in the mid thirties Celsius and the humidex reaching the mid forties Celsius . We are lucky that while we don't have central air conditioning , we do have a pool . It has finally been getting some use after our  rainy spring and beginning of summer .

This is the perfect time to work on a small project  . I have one of Emma's socks done and hope to get the second one off the needles by Monday  . I'm just itching to cast on another baby cardigan  .

Have a wonderful weekend and stay cool !

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July ,already

Time just flies when you're retired , it's almost scary . First , I'd like to wish our American family and friends a happy Independence Day ! I know there's bound to be lots of parades , family gatherings , barbecues and fireworks ! I hope you get sunny skies and warm weather wherever you are .

We celebrated Canada Day by spending the long weekend  at Max and Stef 's cottage in the Laurentians . The weather didn't really cooperate as per usual this summer , but we had fun anyways with walks in the woods and campfires to keep the mosquitos away . It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and just kick back and relax . I had brought some knitting and in the quiet afternoon while Mason napped I started this baby blanket his expected baby sister.

I've been working on it monogamously for this whole week and I have about a third done . It occurred to me that Stef doesn't have that much longer in her pregnancy and  since I am notoriously slow at knitting blankets I thought that I'd better get a move on ! She's only due in mid September , but if this baby is anything like Mason , she just might show up a little early .
 I would have  accomplished more on the blanket had I not started this book yesterday . I just haven't been able to put it aside . It would fall into the romance category , but it is so much more . I think that I first came across it on Goodreads where it had quite a few glowing reviews . Broadly told it's the story of a young man left as a quadriplegic following an accident and the woman who is hired as his caregiver  and the relationship that develops between them . The underlying theme of  assisted suicide and the right of a person to make that choice is what makes this such a compelling read . It is such an emotional and complex issue , especially with all the advances in medicine and the ability of doctors to prolong life , I think that it will be a long time before we can come to any legislative solution . As far as I can tell so far the author hasn't come down on any particular side of the debate , maybe she's just bringing us on this journey and telling us a love story .

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weekend Roundup

It was a long weekend here in Quebec where we celebrated St. Jean Baptiste day or as the sovereignists prefer to call it Fete Nationale (National Holiday )
As per usual this summer the weather was horrible with torrential rains and storms . We were able to salvage one day , yesterday , which was hot , humid and SUNNY . Perfect pool weather . Mike and I took advantage of the nice weather and went for an early morning bike ride and then just chilled with some cool drinks and enjoyed the backyard . Later on Max & Stef dropped by with Mason for a BBQ . Mason was able to take his first dip in the pool , a little chilly (76 degrees) but refreshing . Casey and Chantal had been invited to some friends for the celebrations. We were able to get in the BBQing but not long after dinner the heavens opened up again . No need to water the lawn so far this year .

Thanks to the quiet and rainy days I was able to finish Stella's socks and cast on another pair for Shirley's grand daughter Emma .
Today , I'm catching up on the chores after a lazy weekend . No biking today , my behind needs a day off . It's too hot and muggy today anyway , and guess what , more late afternoon storms in the forecast . The plan for the rest of the day is sock knitting and swimming . Oh and enjoying a little of this ...
fresh Quebec strawberries and Saskatoon berries from our backyard bush . You have no idea how hard I have to fight off the robins to get a handful of berries . I'm happy as long as they let me get a few ;-) .
Have a good day !

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cured for now

As quickly as it came on , Startitis is all but over . The fact that there were so many knits lying in various stages of completion all over the house and my inability to tolerate too much disorder helped with the cure .  We have finished knits !

This little vest for Stella has been hanging around for almost three months , just for want of button loops . Doing these was a new technique for me and I can't say that I'm really happy with them . I find it fiddle diddly to do and I'm not sure they'll hold the vest closed , but this was the best of all my efforts . The other thing is the I-cord edge has a propensity to roll and I'm not thrilled with that either . Anyways maybe once she's wearing it none of those issues will matter . Good thing I made the 4 year old size , she'll won't be wearing it till the fall .

Lastly , I got my dishcloth fever under control with these three bright cloths . There are three different patterns , all free on ravelry  .  The tangerine one is the Double Bump dishcloth , the purple one is Ridges and Ribs and the banana yellow one is All Washed Up . All three were just what the doctor ordered .

On to  Stella's socks , I'm almost at the toe of the second sock , so next week should add to the finished knits on my ravelry project page .

Have a good weekend !

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Queen of the short attention span

That's me ! Just look at the latest start ups from the weekend ...

Now there are two finished dishcloths and one just begun  , but I decided that I needed three , so consequently Stella's socks are on hold . As are the softie , the baby bootee and at least five other WIPs on my ravelry page . Does anyone know of the cure for Startitis  ?
Oh and Dee , if you look closely right near the finished sock , you can see the ribbon from the bookmark that you gifted me peeking out. Thanks again , I love it ! The book is excellent by the way , I'm in the mood for an easy read with a good plot interesting setting  and well written characters ,  and this one fills the bill . The author has a new book out I might just pick that one up too .
Now I'm off outside to enjoy the first bit of sunshine that we've seen in days  . Have a good day !

Monday, June 10, 2013

When it rains

Knit !  May and the beginning of June have been very rainy and cool . In fact it has felt more like Fall than Spring and the start of Summer . It is downright depressing ! My knitting production has certainly benefited from all of the rain . Let me show you ...
Parade socks
Then there was baby cardigan and matching hat
                                                   Then some Cozy Little Toes socks

Then came another baby sweater (Kina ) .There will soon be a matching hat .
Currently in progress are these...
The funny looking pink thing is the Knubbelchen softie . The second bootee is almost done . It is so teeny tiny ! I'm hoping that it will fit for at least a little bit .
Oh and I should mention that all of these knits were knit from stash yarn , except for the softie and one of the cozy toes socks . I wanted some pink(ish) cotton sock yarn  which required a visit to my LYS . That was my only purchase that day , another yay !

Guess what , after almost full days of sun , they're forecasting rain for tomorrow , what do you think I'll be doing ? I really should be doing housework though , but you know you can't clean when it rains because it's too gloomy to see all the dust and dirt .You have to wait for a sunny day . That's my story and I'm sticking to it .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Of pink socks and posies

baby socks 

We're having a very quiet weekend as both the boys are away with their families so Omi didn't do brunch today . Instead we met up with Shirley and her husband Denis which made a nice beginning to the day .

 Came home to do a little tidying up and then picked my needles to continue working on these little socks . This yarn found me at my LYS the other day and I just couldn't resist casting on right away . I wish I had picked up other colourways  , they are just so much fun to knit , almost instant gratification . I'm going through my sock yarn remnants to knit more . A baby can't have too many socks ...

Spring surprise
Surprise bouquet
I have a few of these pretty little posies growing in the cracks between some of the patio stones . I just love them . We let them grow and they reseed themselves .

Hope you have a peaceful weekend too !

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Today (for lack of a better title )

Let me start off this post by thanking  all of you gentle readers who gave me your support and kind words on Alaska's passing . It touched both Mike and I very much that you took the time to offer words of comfort . Thank you for the virtual hugs, they were much appreciated .

Just to catch up , Mike and I had a wonderful time on our recent trip to Florida .The month just flew by , we loved our condo,, the beach just steps away . The weather was mostly gorgeous with a few rainy days thrown in . If you asked me what we did I'd just say RELAX  . We visited Mike's sister who lives in Port St. Lucie , met up with friends who were also in Cocoa Beach at the same time as we were . Most special of all was that I got to meet an online friend Dee of Tangled Up in Sticks and String . She drove in from Orlando to meet me, we spent a wonderful few hours chatting , shopping for yarn and just getting to know each other . She is just the best , every bit as nice as you'd think from her blog . She's also very generous , she gifted me with some wonderful handmade soap that she'd bought at the alpaca farm she'd visited recently . She also put in one of her beautiful cross stitch bookmarks and one of her washcloths that I'd admired on her blog . The Internet can be amazing , bringing together a couple of knitters from different countries . Thanks Dee for that visit , and I look forward to meeting again next year ...

seamless yoked baby sweater

This week has been a little up and down  . I came down with a cold which knocked me down but not out for most of this week . Despite my head feeling stuffed , blowing my nose and just generally feeling awful , I worked on my baby cardi that I'd started while we were in Florida . We found out in April that Max and Stef are expecting a baby girl in September . We're having another grand daughter !! I had brought along the Surprise blanket as my travel project , but had prepared another 'in case' project so I was able to cast on a matching sweater after we'd got the news .  I finished today . I love this little sweater and will knit a hat and some bootees to complete the set . I so love having another little one to knit for !

So that's it for today . We have a long weekend here and finally we're having a little nice weather . Just in time to plant the annuals and start the vegetable garden . Mike has been out there doing the planting and later he cut the grass . I was hard at work sewing buttons on a baby sweater and choosing my next project . Some days it's tough to be me .

Thursday, May 9, 2013

RIP Alaska June 30 , 2003 - May 9 . 2013

My constant companion Alaska passed away suddenly this morning . We're not sure what happened as he was fine when we let him out as usual . A short time later Mike went outside and found him barely breathing , he died just after that . We suspect that he had a heart attack .

We have so many fond memories of him . He came into our lives after Max moved back home from Calgary . Max found him when he was doing deliveries for a small company . It was love at first sight . He brought him home and he just fit right in with Bingo and our cats . Bingo was quite happy to have another canine in the house . He was just a puppy then about the size of our cat Hey You . We have video of all three of them playing in the snow together . Alaska just loved snow and the winter time . He didn't much like summer , it was too hot and he'd always try and find the coolest , shadiest place in the yard . He loved being outdoors except when there was a thunderstorm .Then he was just a big chicken and try to find someplace to hide . We could never figure out why , as Bingo couldn't care less , but Alaska would be a shaking , trembling mess . He loved his walks and would sit in front of the door to remind us when he was due for one .

He was gentle with the little ones . Jessey had a fear of dogs and was a little worried when he learned that Alaska was coming to stay with us again . Alaska , with his quiet approach and gentle behaviour soon won him over . The same happened  with my friend Shirley . She's had a lifelong fear of dogs but she would be quite at ease with Alaska .

He was always happy to see us , he followed us all the time . He was just the best companion . All of us will miss him so much , we'll never forget him and all the happiness he brought into our lives. He was a beautiful boy ...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cupcakes !

Omi's first cupcakes ! Not too bad for an amateur , if I do say so myself ...

Stella's birthday cupcakes
Tomorrow is Stella's second birthday and the family is coming over for brunch , Easter and birthday celebration all rolled into one . I'd thought of making her a traditional birthday cake but came across a very nice recipe for vanilla cupcakes . The cupcakes in the recipe were decorated with Easter colours and it got me to thinking that maybe I should try to make these instead . I have the cutest little butterfly picks that will go on top . Stella has butterflies stenciled on one wall in her room so this is just perfect for her .  I'm pretty happy at how they came out ....

Happy Easter !

Friday, March 22, 2013

Coming up for air

OMG it's already been a month since I last posted ! There's been so much going on . First , we're going to be grandparents again . Max and Stef are expecting their second child in September , making it grandchild number 4 for us .  Needless to say I've already started knitting for this little one . I cast on this blanket almost immediately after they announced it . The colour is very spring like and the pattern is just a dream to knit . I have some coordinating yarn in the stash so I'll be able to knit a hat and some bootees to match . Stef will find out the gender at the end of April ! I've been searching ravelry for baby knits and have added to the queue , the ever expanding queue . Would that I could knit as fast as I add to the queue !

Surprise !
The second bit of news is that Mike and I are going to Florida for a month , Cocoa Beach to be exact . We haven't had a proper vacation for years . We could both really use a break and are anxious to have some nice weather . Winter was back here with a vengeance this week and dumped another 35 cm of snow (just over 12 ") .  If it had been December I'd have welcomed it but at the end of March , enough already ! We're leaving the week after Easter and will be back  the second week in May . We're driving down , something that I'm dreading , but the reward will be sun and sand at our destination . We 've rented a third floor condo with a gorgeous big balcony that faces the beach . I can hardly wait to dip my feet in the ocean !

It's been non-stop this past month with all the preparations , taxes , insurances and a myriad of details that needed attending to , that knitting time has been at a premium . That didn't stop me from joining Kellys' (Celtic Cast On ) Business Casual  sock KAL . I don't know what I was thinking ! I also decided that Stella needed a vest for her birthday which is March 30th . The logic being that a vest doesn't have sleeves so it will be a quicker knit than a cardigan . I have another week to finish that and the sock KAL ends on March 25th which is next Monday . I have one sock completed and am working on the cuff of the second . The vest is further along than indicated in the photo . The back is almost done , but  there's still the sides , collar and buttons , which I haven't bought yet .Yikes , I'd better get cracking !

Have a wonderful weekend , I hope it's Spring where you are !

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Done and dusted ...

... with novelty yarns ! I finished the fingerless mitts for Dana . I 'm really really happy to have knit them for her . She's had a rough time of it lately and deserves a little something . I just can't bring myself to say very much positive about the yarn except that it sparkles very nicely . I know that I was knitting these on smaller needles but jeez louise this yarn is a PIA to work with . I knit Stellas' scarf with 7.5 mm and still didn't like it .

Also off the needles is yet another frilly scarf for another friend . That makes eight knit up since last fall . I forgot to take a photo but it's pretty much like the others except it's red and purple . I'm getting faster at knitting these ; It only took  about 2 1/2 hours for this one . Still it will be the last one for awhile .

On to the socks , only 2months in the works . Will February finally see a pair of finished socks !?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pink snow princess

My knitting mojo has been missing of late . I think in part due to this hat , I really don't like this yarn , except for the sparkles . Chantal had requested a hat and scarf set for Stella . I fell in love with this pattern and found the yarn used for it at Micheal's . Trouble was that Chantal wanted an ear flap hat because Stella will not keep a hat on her head unless it's tied on . I modified it to knit top down but used the sizes used in the pattern as a guideline . I couldn't quite get gauge no matter how many needles sizes I went down , so I find it a little on the large side . However the hat that Stella is currently using is just about the same size so I think it will do . Stella is already wearing the matching scarf . I couldn't get it away from her when she saw it , like her Omi she was quite taken with the sparkles . Little miss also is a difficult model who will not sit still no matter what , so no photos yet .

There's not much else to show knitting wise .So much has been going on around here , but I 'm hoping that it will all settles down soon . Nothing bad , just super busy with the grandkids and life in general . I never thought retirement would be this hectic . I have to finish the second of a pair of fingerless mitts that I'm knitting for a friend . Using this very same Dewdrops yarn as the pink hat . They should have been done weeks ago , I just couldn't bring myself to work on them . The Smittens are coming along , I have an even dozen finished . There's also a sock on the needles , begun in December , but still not done . So of course I cast on for something new  . It's a secret so more about that later . I DO like this latest knit and would knit it on all the time if the UFOs in the basket weren't making me feel so guilty about not turning them onto FOs .

Friday, January 11, 2013

First Finishes for 2013

The first 10 days of 2013 have been very productive . I've got three finished knits to show for my efforts . These are the first two of three planned scarves . These  scarves are all the rage here at the moment . The white one is a thank you gift to a new neighbour for hosting us to a very entertaining evening over the holidays . The second and third are birthday gifts also for a neighbour and her mum . The third is still a work in progress . There's only so many ruffly scarves that you can knit without losing your mind or the will to knit anything ever again . After number 3 it will be a frosty Friday or pigs fly  before I buy more of that stuff . Mind you I had been contemplating selling them at my Wednesday afternoon bowling league to make some cash for the local food bank next Christmas. They are a quick and easy knit , but after these three I think I'm done for awhile !

The third finish and the one that I'm most happy with is my Peacock Hat . Unlike Goldilocks it didn't take me three tries before it was just right . Take II is perfect and has been out and about a couple of times this week . I just love it and I love wearing it . I'm so not a hat person, I only wear one when I absolutely have to , so for me to say that is really something .

What's next you might ask ? Well I've been bitten by the Smitten . The plan over the next 11 months is to knit 48 of these mitts in time to make Advent garlands for Casey and Max .I certainly have enough stash yarn to make that many . I also think that it will be fun for the little ones to get their treats from an Omi made mitten every day till Christmas . So one or two every week till I'm done . I've got a head start on next week ...

Have a wonderful weekend !

Monday, January 7, 2013

New year , fresh start

 We're only a week in to 2013 so I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year ! I can't say that I'm too unhappy to see the end of 2012 even if it means I am year older . Last year kicked my butt in more than a few ways , but I'm looking for 2013 to be better . At least I started the new year relatively healthy , without my annual Christmas cold . I'll take that as a good start and hope that the rest will fall into place .

We had  really beautiful holidays , spent with our family and friends . It seems like you 're so busy preparing , cooking cleaning ,wrapping ,celebrating , entertaining etc  and then it all goes by in a flash . I took last week as a post holiday stay cation but this week it's back to normal . Everyone is back to work , the grand kids are back to daycare and it's business as usual for Omi . Today is my day for catching up , updating the blog and downloading  all of the  photos from the camera to the computer . I'm ashamed to say that there are pics from last summer that are included in that . Where did the time go ?

We had a big dump of snow on Dec . 27th and quite  a few more centimetres at time since then . No reason for not putting on the xcountry skis this year ! Mike is getting tired of shovelling it though . Alaska , our snow dog is in his element he could spend hours outdoors if we'd let him .

I've started some new  knits , just a couple of scarves and a hat for Mason to wear with his new snowsuit . There 's also the first of a pair of socks in progress and a ski hat for me . When I last updated my ravelry page it was evident that I really hadn't completed as many projects as the year before .That  could be a result of the fact that I'm reading a lot more , as evidenced my my Goodreads page . I'd read a whopping (for me ) 31 books . My knitting focus / goals this year will be to do more charity knitting as well as more knits for the grand kids  . There are always socks on the needles but I hope to branch out to knitting more mittens . I 'd like to expand my cabling skills and small projects are like hats and mittens are ideal . I kind of fell off the yarn diet toward the end of 2012 , but I really have to work down the stash this year .

Ummm , good !
Two of my boys

Omi's sweetie

I haven't been able to get a photo of Jessey wearing his skull hat but it was a definite hit , especially because it came with a pirate backpack and a sword and an eyeglass . He's now a fully equipped pirate . This is one of my favourite photos of him , taken at our local Christmas festival put on by the town. It was a cold and snowy day but he really enjoyed that hot chocolate .

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day !