Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back to normal

All 's quiet in the house since my father left last Tuesday . It was a bittersweet departure , on the one hand I'm happy for some peace and quiet but on the other he's getting older and who knows how for much longer he'll be to come . This trip was made more special because of his three great- grandchildren . He was tickled to see the change in Jessey and to meet Mason and Stella . It was his decision to move back to Austria after my mother died but despite all of his connections there , his family is here . I think some part of him regrets that decision , but you really can't change some things , not at his age anyway . As for visiting him , trips like that are expensive and unfortunately all of us aren't in a position to go . The boys both have young families and Mike and a I are on a pension , so we make the best of it while he's here ...

I discovered the niftiest gadget ever while my Dad was here . When he's here my father always seeks out those little edibles that are particular to Canada  which they don't have in Austria . One thing he's particularly fond of are the prepackaged , god- knows -how- long- they've- been- on- the -shelf  May West dessert cakes .  One day while we were out getting the groceries he had me add a big box of 12 to my cart . No sooner did we get home , like a kid in a candy store , he had his tea and polished off four cakes at one sitting . Anyone else would have keeled over from too much sugar , but he's as healthy as can be and thoroughly enjoyed them .

Back to the gadget , the other thing my father really likes are apple pies , especially home made ones . My friend Shirley came across this handy dandy apple peeler at Walmart , bought it , tried it, and raved about it . She convinced me to buy one , easily done ,  I'm not a fan of peeling apples . I've baked more than my share of pies and apple strudels to appreciate anything that speeds up the process . I used it when I baked a bunch of pies during the  last week that he was here , it is totally amazing ! Dad , after seeing it in action , promptly went out and bought two to bring home as gifts . Apparently he gave a demonstration on how to use it when he got home and everyone is as taken with it as we were . I see a business opportunity there for Starfrit . Maybe  I should let them know  ;-)  ....

Back to knitting next time , there are some things to show , believe it or not .  In the meantime have a good day !

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hanging in ...

There's been a lot going on in my life over the last month or so , most of it good and then some not so good . My most heartfelt thanks  for all of the kind comments  that were sent after my last post about Bingo's passing . It was so very much appreciated ! The tears have lessened and I'll cherish the happy memories .

My father arrived from Austria in mid September  for a six week visit . He usually comes every year but missed last year due to health issues , not his own , but his wife's . There have been two new additions to the family since his last visit 2 years go ,  Jessey is a real little boy now , no longer the baby that my father remembers . So there has been  a lot of catching up . We've also celebrated 4 birthdays since he arrived and had more birthday cake than is good for the waistline . Not to mention Thanksgiving and turkey with all the trimmings last week . Suffice to say , I'm all tuckered out and will not be cooking or entertaining for at least a week after my Dad leaves on the 25th ...not so much as a toast , if I can help it .

Knitting wise , not much going on . I've kind of lost the mojo . I did finish the boring grey socks for Mike and have got halfway through another less boring second pair .  I 've been experimenting with crocheting a granny square blanket for a doll , intended as a Christmas gift for Stella , then making a matching blankie for her . I'm hoping that  motivation will strike once things are a little less crazy.

The rest of my Dad's stay promises to be just as crazy as the last month has been . There's just no rest for the wicked !  I shouldn't complain too much because I'll probably miss all the hustle and bustle.  Catch you later !

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bingo , a little dog

with a big heart passed away suddenly on Sunday morning . He was my buddy and constant companion . He suffered a series of  seizures and was in terrible pain . I called the emergency number at our vets office and was directed to an animal hospital that was open 24 /7 .  He was so very weak and didn't seem to know us and what was going on . The preliminary diagnosis was some kind of neurological problem , most likely a tumour . It would require a whole battery of tests , and likely with not a very good outcome when all was said and done . After a lot of tears I made the decision that the kindest thing would be to let him go . I think that given his age and how badly he was suffering, it was the right thing , but I 'm still having a difficult time dealing with it .

He was truly a great little guy. He was my one and only dog . He came to us fourteen years ago , quite by accident . He was originally supposed to be Mike's moms dog , but she physically wasn't able to take care of him . He ended up with us , the best decision I ever made ! He was  just a tiny little puppy when he came to us in November of 1997 . He quickly made friends with our cat and wound his way into our hearts with his good nature and spunky attitude . He loved his walks , but especially when it snowed . He always walked with his tail up like a flag . He was always with me , followed me everywhere  .I'm lucky to have had him for so many years but I'm heartbroken and miss him so very much....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ready for FO Friday

Will wonders never cease , but this is the second consecutive week that I have a FO to show !  It will probably never happen again . I'm so happy with this knit . The yarn , Zara  an extra fine merino , is absolute delight to work with  .  I learned more about sweater construction and design just from the little things like how the increases in the collar gave a much better fit and more finished look to the cardigan . My mattress stitch skills are improving with practice . It is a simple , classic design which I know that I'll knit again . I've already bought more of this yarn in a gorgeous blue to knit one for my grandson Mason .

In the mean time there's a hat to go with this cardi in the works , Mike's socks and a newly cast on vest for Mason . So many projects so little time ...

PS - There's a whole lot more FO over at Tamis Amis .
Have a wonderful weekend !

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's going on ...WIP Wednesday

Wednesday already and time once again for Tami's WIP Wednesday show and tell . Wow , a week goes by quickly . Head on over to Tami's to check out what others are working on . You'll be inspired .

Eli's cardi is soooo close to being finished . I just didn't have the energy last night , this cold is wearing me out . This morning I put in a good effort , but seriously , I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to finishing . I seamed and ripped a few times before I was satisfied . One sleeve left to do . Hopefully this will be ready for it's closeup for FO Friday .

Here's the current WIP , a pair of socks for DH Mike , who's been hinting  lately  that with the cool weather coming he 'd really love to have some new hand knit socks . He even pointed out the yarn that he thought I should use . What's a knitter to do , but cast on .  I really should knit more socks for him , but  man size socks are so big and I have a short attention span . These will keep him happy for a bit  ;-) .

Till next time have a good rest of the day !

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eli's sweater & a houseguest .

It's been a busy week what with one thing and another , but then that's nothing new .You'd think I was working for heaven's sake ! Thanks to the trifecta of rainy weather , US Open tennis and a really cr***y head cold , a good deal of progress has been made on my little red cardi for Eli . The knitting was pretty much done last week and then the procrastination began for the finishing . I really , really  hate this last part , mostly because I think I suck at it , to put it not so nicely . Though I think I'm becoming better at it with more practice . Left to do here is the collar and seaming the sides and sleeves . Then another search for buttons . With a bit of determination it should be finished any time now .

Last Wednesday we received an unexpected house guest . This little poochie needed a home while his owner is recuperating from a fall that ended up with her breaking a both arms . She's a senior who lives alone , and obviously can't manage to care for herself with both arms in a cast . It was going to cost her a fortune to board him , so Mike and I offered to take him for the duration . He's a really sweet little guy who gets along really well with our Bingo . The cats , however , are still giving us the stink eye . They were not happy campers when he arrived and avoid him as much as possible . Not hard to do when you sleep most of the day ...

That's it for today , be back next time with what's new on the needles . Have a good rest of the day ...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yipeee, finished objects !

This week I'm passing GO or WIP Wednesday and going directly to Finished Object Friday .  The first of the finished knits is the baby cardi that was in need of some buttons . Imagine  , after much second guessing I went with these truly unoriginal buttons . Better safe than sorry . It was gifted , well received , tried on , and it FITS ! Stella should be able to get a few months wear out of it this winter .

Next up is this crocheted baby hat . I needed a little something extra for Stella's christening and found this sweet little hat on ravelry . It was really quick and easy , though I did have a few issues with the flower . I 'm more of a knitter than a crocheter so it took a bit of work for me to 'get' it . All in all I'm pretty happy with it .

Last but not least.... finished socks ! These are another pair of socks for  the Warm Hands Network . The deadline for the next shipment up north is the end of September , so I could possibly get at least one more item done before I have to send everything on . Better get knitting !

For more finished objects head on over to Tami's  blog .Have a good weekend !

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stella's christening

This was a special weekend for Stella . She was  christened yesterday afternoon and there was a big party afterwards to celebrate the fact . She looked just adorable in her dress , which her mom had also worn for her own baptism , and the little hat that I'd crocheted for her .The church was filled with  family and friends  but she's such calm and happy baby that not even all the noise and someone pouring water on her head made her cry .  Jessey could hardly wait for the whole thing to be over  so that he could go play with his cousins and all of his friends . This actually was the only photo that I  managed to get of him all day . He wasn't still for a moment .

The party was originally going to be held outdoors at Chantals' parents home , but the torrential rains and heavy winds that blew in with the remnants of Irene put paid to that . The party was moved inside . We were a little cramped but that didn't matter . There was lots of food , it was a happy occasion , so not even the weather could dampen our spirits . But then I wasn't one of these guys who had to be outside to  barbecue the supper .

I was warm and dry inside getting hugs and kisses from this little sweetie ....

and this handsome fella !

Monday, August 22, 2011

In tribute to Jack Layton

It's  unusual for me to express my political beliefs on this blog  . I believe that those are best expressed   in the voting booth at election time . This is the exception because of the death of Jack Layton , leader of the NDP ( New Democratic Party) and leader of the official opposition , who lost his battle with cancer today .

As a federalist in Quebec , it's been a  struggle to vote , to find a politician who best represented my belief in a strong and united Canada . For more than a decade my MP was a member of the Bloc Quebecois which believes in Quebec becoming a sovereign nation . That changed with the  spring election in which  the 'orange crush ' , referring to the NDP  colours  ,  hit Quebec and to a lesser extent other parts of Canada . The surge of the NDP can largely be attributed to the popularity of Jack Layton as a politician . With his leadership the NDP won 59 of 75 seats in the province and more or less demolished the Bloc Quebecois as a party . I'm not so naive as to believe that the sovereignty movement is dead in this province  ,but I had hoped that with NDP having more of a voice in Ottawa , as opposed to a being a peripheral party , and representing what I think are the core values and hopes of Canadians we might put that notion to rest once and for all .

In Quebec Jack Layton won over voters in record numbers because he spoke to the concerns of everyday people in tough economic times . He talked about health care , education ,  jobs ,the environment , poverty and improving the lives of those less fortunate .He showed courage in his personal battle with cancer and optimism for the future . Never giving up and always with a smile and words of encouragement for those who faced similar battles . He touched many of us with his honesty and talked of working together for a better future and a better Canada.

 I think he was a good man , no doubt with flaws , but Canada lost someone who really could have moved us forward to that better future . I'm so very sad to think that he won't be here to enjoy the success that his party achieved with his leadership . In his own words from letter released by his family  today ....

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world ."

Jack Layton 1950 -2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stella's blanket

I'm late to Tami's FO Friday party , but I thought that I'd show you anyway . The blanket for my grand daughter is completely finished and ready for her baptism next week . The pattern is Evelyn Clark's Old Shale crochet baby blanket . It really was quite easy , even for my somewhat rusty crochet skills , but gave me fits at the beginning . I was always one stitch off by the end of the row . Consequently I did more ripping than crocheting . After a short time out , all was well . The yarn is Berroco Comfort DK , a very nice quality nylon and acrylic yarn . I would have preferred wool , but I wasn't the decider , as they say . I'm pretty happy with though , it's soft and should wear well .

For more Finished objects head on over to Tami's blog  . Have a good weekend !

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP Wednesday Aug 17

Wow,it's time for another WIP Wednesday already ! We've been so busy with family , friends and grand kids that the week has just flown by . Plus , we've had spectacularly nice summer weather , so there's not much temptation to do fibery things . That being said , I've made progress on all of last weeks wips . The crochet blanket is finished except for weaving in the ends  . Yay , I'll actually have a FO for Friday ! The little  red cardi has the back and only one of the front pieces left to do , then it's on to the sleeves . As for Stella's cardi , I'm still wavering on the buttons . I haven't been able to find any buttons that just scream ' perfect ' to me , so I'll have to start looking further afield . Who'd of thought finding buttons would be such a challenge ? Last but not least , I'm at the gusset decreases of sock # 1.

That's it in a nutshell . To see who's joined  Tami's WIP Wednesday and what they're working on click here . Have a great day !

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday Aug 10

I'm joining Tami 's WIP Wednesday once again this week . As per usual there's something new in progress because I just can't seem to resist starting yet another project .I'm happy to report that the old shale crochet baby blanket is out of it's time out and back on track . No photos this week because it looks the same only bigger . As for Stella's cardigan it's still the same as last week . I'm rethinking the button choice . It needs  to be done for the end of the month , so I still have a bit of time . Why do I always second guess myself !?

The other evening I started a another baby cardigan . Little Eli is due to arrive on Aug 21 and will surely need a sweater to keep him warm this fall. I've decided to knit the 6 to 12 month size in the hopes that he'll get more wear out of it. Newborns outgrow their clothes so fast .

As always , there are socks on the needles . This will be another pair for the Warm Hands Network . I'm doing more stash busting with this yarn but I still have way too much sock yarn  for my liking . I can't knit fast enough and I'm easily distracted !

 Why is it that when you request books at the library they all come in the same week ? I"m reading Shanghai Girls from where I left off a couple of weeks ago because a book that I really wanted to read came in . Now I'm rushing through that to read the sequel Dreams of Joy . Naturally  another book that I've requested has come in . If I don't get it now heaven knows when it will be available again . So much to read and knit and so little time . Cooking , cleaning and sleeping are overrated , right ?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIP Wednesday

This little cardigan has been in progress for way too long . It 's intended for my little granddaughter Stella . It's still too warm here to wear it now, but September is just around the corner . I'm knitting the 6 to 12 month size , she's a plump 4 months old , but in hindsight I wish that I'd chosen to knit it one size larger .  I've the left button band and the seaming left to do , then all the weaving in of the gazillion ends . The cardie has been a challenge , due in most part to the  construction . The raglan sleeves and body had to be seamed in order for me to pick up the stitches for the yoke . I'm picky and find that the yoke is not as neat as I'd like . I'm hoping that a wash and dry will take care of that .

For more WIP Wednesday posts visit Tami's Amis here . It's her blog anniversary and her one year anniversary for WIP Wednesday . Congratulations Tami !

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mystery solved ,I think

This spring while digging into the compost pile for fertilizer for this years veggie garden Mike  found a little plant growing right in the midst of it. He had no clue as to what it was . He decided to plant it to see what would develop . This is what it looked like after a few weeks , just as the flowers were blooming. He photographed his hand next to the bloom to give an idea of just how large these blooms were . We thought , maybe zucchini or some type of squash .

Well earlier this week the mystery was solved . That looks suspiciously like a pumpkin to me . So far despite an abundance of blooms that's the only pumpkin . Apparently there are male and female flowers on a  vine which depend on honeybees for pollination . Lucky for us that at least one bee was busy in the pumpkin patch . Wish he'd call a couple of friends , I'd like a few more pumpkins .

The baby blanket is on a short time out for bad behavior . I have repeatedly crocheted the same row numerous times , making the same mistake at different points in the row . I'm blaming it on this unbearable heat which has me completely frazzled . I've decided a break in favour of  sock knitting is in order .

Have a good weekend !

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yarning Along on WIP Wednesday

Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I just can't resist a two for one post. This is for Tami's WIPW and Ginny's Yarn Along . Last weeks book (Shanghai Girls ) has been temporarily put aside because this book was finally in at the library . If I didn't pick it up right away , who knows when I'll see it in again . The book is set in post war Britain and tells the tale of a Polish couple and their son reunited after surviving the second world war and spending those years apart .He ending up in England and helping in the fight against the Germans ; she in Poland and living through the horrors of war . It chronicles how they survived and of their struggle to become a family again . I'm finding it an enjoyable read but not as engaging as I thought it would be . The two main characters have me wondering how they ever got together in the first place . I'm just over half way through hoping that feelings will change by the time I finish reading it .

As for what's on the go , wouldn't you know that the hottest days of the summer find me knitting a baby blanket for my granddaughter Stella's christening in August . It was a surprise request from my DIL Chantal . I searched the net and found an Evelyn Clark old shale crochet blanket , hit the yarn shop and her we are . There are also last weeks grey socks in rotation . I need to finish those by the end of the month .

That's it for today . Head on over to Tami's to see what others are knitting .

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Covering all the bases

This post is to be WIP Wednesday , FO Friday (two days early) and Ginny's Yarn Along all rolled into one . With my dismal posting record for this year , I thought that I should strike while the iron is hot , so to speak .

 This is the first time that I'm officially participating in Tami's WIP Wednesday. Last week was all about the dishcloths , this weeks focus is socks . The deadline for the next shipment to The Warm Hands Network is September and I haven't completed nearly as many knitted items as I'd hoped to . The summer is just whipping by so I'd better get a move on .

As for the Yarn Along , another first for me , I've started reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See . This book has been on my shelf for what seems like forever , every previous attempt at reading it ended with my putting it aside . For whatever reason the story and the characters didn't capture me at the time . This time I've perservered and it's  growing on me . I'm a firm believer in there being a right and a wrong time to be reading a book . If I'm not enjoying it , it's back to the shelf for a later date , maybe. Life's too short ...

We've been having spectacular summer weather for the last couple of weeks . We've been enjoying the pool and are biking almost every day . My behind has finally stopped hurting !  Last Sunday we were invited to a BBQ hosted by some mutual friends of ours and Stef's family . Mason got to try out their pool and got his first swimming lesson from his Nanny . Doesn't he look like a little water baby !

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dishcloth mania

Sometime last week  the last of my knitted dishcloths bit the dust .  I dug into the stash for yarn and hit the ravelry pattern page to find a pattern to knit a new one . Previously I've almost always done just a plain old garter stitch cloth , but that was getting tired and boring to knit .I mean , it's a very nice pattern , but a girl needs a change every so often . I found this super little pattern by Leah Michelle called the Boxy Dishcloth and it has become the new favourite . I'm like the kid with a new toy , I knit one up in double quick time and cast on for another . The plan is to have seven cloths knit by the end of the weekend . I'm working on number six , the first one is already in use . Mike is going off roading with the boys tomorrow , so I'll have a little time to myself . The plan is to finish off the last of the dishcloths and maybe spend a little time outside by the pool with a book and a glass of ice tea . Add in a bike ride and you have a perfect way to spend a summer day .

Have a wonderful weekend !

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A berry good day to bake

Years ago I planted a Saskatoon Berry  'stick' and waited many a year before getting any kind of crop . The stick is now about 10 feet tall and provides an abundance of berries . We love them , the taste is kind of like blueberry with a hint of apple , but the robins REALLY love them . The robins are more vigilant than I am and eat them up as fast as they ripen making it darn near impossible for us to get our fair share . On Tuesday evening I  noticed the robins sitting on the fence near the berry bush and thought I'd go see the state of the berries . Sure enough , there was ripe fruit to be had . Mike and I picked about 8 cups , enough for a couple of pies .

Yesterday was pie making day , thanks to some cool and rainy weather . Hence the rather dark photo . Today is pie eating day , just in time for the family dinner . Yummmm....

The moral of the story ?! You snooze you lose !

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


This is a sample of what has kept me from blogging this month . Back to more regular posts next month .... hopefully !

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rounding out the week

Gah ! The weather gods are certainly toying with us this spring . After having warm, sunny days at the beginning of the week we've come back to SSDD (Same S**t Different Day / Still Soggy Different Day). Rain , with the addition of gale force winds . I thought that we'd lose the gazebo and the BBQ yesterday . Today it's sunny , still windy , and cool enough to wear socks and a sweater when I go for my walk . I shouldn't complain because at least we haven't been flooded out for 40 days like the people living near St-Jean-sur -Richelieu . I don't remember ever having floods that lasted that long . They've asked for volunteers to go help with the clean up over the next two weekends . A good turn out is expected .

During last month's blog silence there was knitting happening here . I have two pairs of socks for the Warm Hands Network completed with one pair almost done . The first ones are these bright red socks . I stole/borrowed the idea for the multi-coloured cuff from Lynn of mindingmyownstitches . She had knit a pair using up some remnants from a previous knit and a single from her stash . What I particularly like about her socks was the stripe at the toe . Thanks Lynn for a great idea , hope you don't mind that I borrowed it .

The second ones are just a simple garter rib pattern with some yarn gifted to me by my dad that's been in the stash for awhile .It's called Anna Belle College . It was very nice to work with . I really like the colourway , that orange stripe particularly pleases me . I think that's the last of that brand that I have . I'll have to ask Dad to bring me some more on his next visit . That's why the sock yarn stash doesn't go down , it's all my father's fault !

Anyway , that's it for today , the rest can wait for another day . Have a wonderful weekend !

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Priceless !

Casey and Chantal had family portraits taken a few weeks ago . The photographer did a wonderful job , but to me this photo of Stella is just too cute . It's sure to put a smile on your face , not being biased or anything ....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A new month

Thank heavens ! Maybe the month of June will be better than May . It was a month of literally never ending rain , cool temperatures , and grey depressing days .It just got me so down ! We did manage to get the vegetable garden planted in between rain drops and get some of the yard work completed . I've just been itching to get outside and enjoy some sun . We need it after our long winter .

Aside from the crappy weather we had a scare with two month old Stella having to be hospitalized because of a high fever . They did a battery of tests , including a spinal tap to rule out meningitis , but they didn't show anything conclusive . After a series of antibiotics the fever came down . She's been home for a couple of days and seems to be fine .

I was able to finish my shawl in time for our trip to Maine for Sarah's wedding in mid May . It turned out just the way I'd hoped . The photo doesn't really show the true colours , they're much deeper and richer . I love the gentle curve , it drapes beautifully over your shoulders . The yarn was Regia Lace . It was a surprise find at my LYS . It was a very nice yarn to work with and had a generous 600 metres per 100g ball . Unfortunately I don't have any model shots of me wearing it , but it was absolutely perfect with my dress . Don't you love it when that happens !

There is more knitting to show you , some completed , some in progress , but I'll leave that for another day . Right now game one of the Stanley Cup final series is on and I can't miss that . Go Canucks !!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I have a trio of knits in progress but I'm too lazy to get them all together to take the photos . These socks were at hand . They are the newest ones for the WHN . I've been trying to knit socks in a variety of sizes in order to cover different ages . The pattern is the trusty Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks . I get tired of knitting just plain vanilla socks , though they do seem to knit up more quickly . The yarn was a gift from my father and has been in the stash for awhile . Once again the colourway is more feminine , I'll have to dig more and see if I can find something more masculine . There must be something in there !

Also on the needles is this shawl which I should really be working on today because there's a deadline . I'm hoping to wear it to a wedding in Maine on May 14th . I'm at row 99 of 126 , which doesn't sound so bad , except for for fact that each row has more stitches than the last . At this point I've got 251 stitches on the needle and I'm just getting to the lace section which increases the chances for error and tinking back . Also on the go is a darling little sweater for Stella . That is most definitely on the back burner but it is so cute and tempts me to pick it up . I have to be strong and listen to the shawl ....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Catching up yet again !

I swear I don't know where the time goes ! There's always something going on that makes the weeks just fly by . The last few years we've been doing quite a bit of renovating inside the house . This year the plan had been to replace the fence surrounding the property . It's old and really just painting and replacing posts and boards just isn't cutting it anymore. Well , Mike decided that a new garden shed/storage area should come first . So the last couple of weeks have been occupied with demolishing the old one and building the new one . I have to say that it's really handy to have a carpenter in the family . Max has been the driving force behind the construction with Mike and Casey being the extra muscle . Well , it's almost done , just the siding and roof shingles left to install . We just need the weather to cooperate . Max has another job over the next 2 weekends , so his time will be limited to a couple of hours after work . My part in all this has been to provide the meals , so the family have been here for dinners more often than usual lately . So it's back to me being mom's restaurant for the time being ! As for the fence, well the budget has been blown , so it's back to fixing it up to last just one more year ....

Wednesday I had an appointment with my family doctor . He's seeing me at 3 month intervals for this year to keep track of my progress with the weight loss and my goal of getting off the medications for diabetes and high blood pressure . He'd received all the results of the latest blood work and I'm happy to say that at least the of the pills for high blood pressure has been reduced with the probability that I'll be able to gradually stop taking it altogether. I'm down 10 pounds , but I need to lose at least 10 to 15 more pounds in order to stop taking all the rest . I'm exercising by walking at a good clip for about 2 to 3 miles every day or every other day . I usually average about 8 miles a week . I'm feeling a lot better and am more hopeful than I've ever been about losing weight and keeping it off . It's slow progress but it IS progress .

I have done some knitting during the hockey playoffs . Too bad that Habs didn't advance to the next round , but there's always next year . Now we can cheer on Vancouver ! Anyway I did finish these socks for the Warm Hands Network and one more pair is almost completed .I'm halfway to the toe decreases . I need to get them finished by tomorrow so that I can post them to the sock KAL for April .

Have a good weekend !

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Random Tuesday

I've been away from the blog for so long that it's hard to get back into the groove . I'm still in kind of a funk , probably due more to our crappy weather than anything else . I'm waiting for Spring , not so patiently . Don't know how many more grey , rainy , cold days I can handle . Tomorrows forecast , snow , freezing rain and very windy. Calgon take me away !

Just a small rant about the price of gas . I went out earlier to buy some Easter goodies for the grand kids and couldn't believe today's price at the pump , a whopping $1.43 per litre which translates to roughly $5.74 per gallon for those not on the metric system. Yesterday afternoon it was $1.28/litre . A 15 cent per litre increase for no discernible reason . What's up with that ! Just plain greed if you ask me . Here in Quebec we've seen about a 15 to 20 % increase in price since last year . That's mostly thanks to our lovely provincial government who applies a pretty hefty gas tax . Don't get me started on those bleepity bleep idiots . If I could vote them out I certainly would . The only problem here is that the alternative (sovereignists/separatists ) might actually be worse . Okay , rant over ...

One sign of Spring is the hockey playoffs . Our Canadiens have made it into the first round of post season play again . Keeping fingers crossed that they survive the series against Boston . If not I'll cheer for whoever is left standing . I would love to see the Stanley Cup come back home to Canada though ! If not the Habs , maybe Vancouver !?

I couple of weeks ago I played tourist in my town . I went to visit the Montreal Bio dome with Casey , Chantal and the kids . Yep even 10 day old Stella had a field trip . That's the kind of thing you absolutely have to do with an impressionable 2 1/2 year old . He just couldn't get enough of the animals ! I think he would have done the tour a dozen times if we'd let him . Stella slept through the whole thing .

As for the knitting , there's some finished knits , some almost done and not unexpectedly something new on the needles . I've been spending more time reading these days than knitting . I guess I'm an all or nothing kind of gal . The hockey playoff should up my knitting productivity . Yet another reason for wanting the Habs to do well ;-)) !

So that's it for today . I'll try and get my mojo to stick around for a bit . I'll have some knitting to show next time ....

Monday, April 4, 2011

A granddaughter !

Stella Mackenzie Grace finally arrived last Wednesday afternoon March 30 , 2011 at 1:44 pm . She kept us waiting for a couple of extra days but we're so happy that she's here and healthy . The delivery went well and she weighed in at 9 pounds even . Mom , Dad and big brother Jessey are really happy to have this sweet little addition to complete their family . You can bet that her grandparents are also tickled pink to have a little granddaughter to spoil !

All of the knits that I had on the needles for her were finished in time for her arrival . I finished the hat at about 2:00 am the day she was born . Talk about cutting it close !

Monday, March 21, 2011

March ...

...the month I lost my get up and go . Don't know where it went , but I want it back ! The month started out very promising with a girls escape to Vermont for a couple of days with BF Shirley . I have a soft spot for Vermont as that was our honeymoon destination almost 36 years ago . We had a really nice time , did a little shopping , enjoyed some excellent meals and just relaxed .

From there on in it was kind of downhill . Between all the everyday must do , should dos , don't want to do , but did it anyway , grey snowy winter skies , taxes , bad news everywhere you look , I got into a real funk . Not even expected babies , babies already here and a cute 2 year old could lift the fog . Not knitting , not reading blogs , not commenting , nothing . Then about 10 days ago I developed a severe allergic reaction to god only knows what on my hands , in particular my left hand . I mean severe . Blisters on my palms , fingers so swollen and blistered that I couldn't even close them . Burning and itching so much that I could have pulled off my skin . After 3 visits to the ER , a few sleepless nights , the final diagnosis was a severe allergic reaction . Meds were prescribed , creams applied , antihistamines taken and finally the swelling is down , but my hands are super sensitive to the slightest touch . It's painful , but getting better . I'm wearing cotton gloves to keep from doing more damage . I don't know what caused it all , but bets are on a new leather sofa that was delivered just before this all started . That was the only new thing in the house . It was suggested that I do a little test on another area of my skin , but I don't think so ....

Knitting wise , before the wheels fell off , I did finish the baby blanket and mittens from my last post . The sweater is still waiting to be seamed , but I did start another blanket for Stella . She's due any day now , but I'm hoping that she holds on just a tiny bit longer . This blanket is knit on 7mm needles with the softest yarn . I'm about 3/4 done . Slowly the fog is lifting ....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Works in slow progress

After January's really good knitting output , February has brought a decidedly lacklustre showing . Lots of things started , nothing finished .There were only 2 small projects completed , those little brown mittens and a pair of socks for the WHN from a previous post .

The blanket needs tinking back about 6 rows to correct a mistake that I just didn't see until it was 6 rows behind me . Probably no one else would notice the error , But I see it , so tink it is .

The red mittens are a thumb and the top of the hand away from completion . These are made from a skein of my Briggs & Little stash . I'm not loving it , it's rough and feels horrible when I knit with it . I bought a bunch of this stuff on a trip to New Brunswick a couple of years ago . A lot of people swear by it for mittens, hats and socks , but I hold off judgement till the mittens have had a wash .

The baby sweater needs the second sleeve set in , the side seams , snaps for the closures and a button sewn on . I just don't enjoy seaming and am my own worst critic . To seam that one little sleeve probably took me the better part of two hours .

With all these works in progress , what did I do last night while watching the Oscars !? Yup , that 's right , I cast on another pair of socks . I really like knitting socks and the best part , no seaming . Maybe knitting these will bring back the motivation to get the other WIPs done , or not ....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some assembly required

I got sidetracked again ! After a look at the calendar last week it dawned on me that our expected granddaughter is due to arrive in a little over 4 weeks . It also occurred to me that she doesn't have a hand knit sweater yet . Never mind that a blanket for her crib is almost done and that I shouldn't really start another project till that's done , I could only focus on her lack of a sweater . What's an Omi to do except head out to her local yarn shop , pick out some really cute yarn and cast on . The knitting was a piece of cake , it is a small sweater after all , but the seaming and finishing was kicking my butt . After some refresher courses via you tube , the finishing is getting there . The shoulders are seamed , the borders are knitted on and the pieces are blocking for the final assembly . I won't have time to do it tomorrow , but maybe Thursday will see a completed sweater . Then the blanket will get back to the front of the line ...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sum Total

This is it , the sum total of my knitting over the last week or so . Like everyone else on the eastern side of the continent we had a fairly big dump of snow last Wednesday. Since then we've had an equal amount dispersed in smaller quantities just about every day . All of which has added up to an awful lot of shoveling . The up side is that the skiing has been phenomenal . When we're not shoveling or skiing , there's been baby sitting , Mike's birthday which was celebrated on three different days last week with all the attendant hoopla , and a Super Bowl party . Let's just say I'm too tired to pick up the needles lately. I didn't even turn on the computer for four days , which is very unusual for me . Today I've stayed in my pj's and had a down day . I picked up my blanket for Stella and did a pattern repeat or two . I should be able to get it done by sometime next week if , big if , I don't start something new .

In case you're wondering the socks are pair #4 for the Warm Hands Network . They're knit with Regia Mosaik 6 ply . On the right is a Calorimetry which I knit for me. The hat I usually wear for skiing was too warm sometimes and I thought this might be a good solution . I wore it on the weekend when it was a little milder , it was perfect .

Here's a couple of pics of Omi's little helper . The snow plow very obliging made a hill of snow at the end of the street and Jessey had a blast sliding down it , then having a snowball fight with Grandpa Mike .