Wednesday, November 24, 2010

morning mittens...trois

Oooh baby I love your way, everyday!
This is my third time knitting this pattern, and I still love it.
It is fast, accurate and yields a great result.
I am using a hand-dyed wool alpaca blend that I bought on Salt Spring Island.  I managed to snag the ball directly from the artist on his own farm!  I love it because it is a one of a kind.

You really should try it if your looking for a quick and satisfying knit.  The other two pairs were knit in Berroco Jasper, which worked really well too!

Pattern:  Maine Morning Mittens
Raveled:  Here

Friday, November 19, 2010

is it me?

 Trying to decide if the new hat makes me young, approachable or......
Just a little too elementary...hmmm!  The jury is out on this one!
Too bad you can't see the cute pom-pom perched on top
because it is what really had me questioning the new purchase.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gone, but not!

I have been busy over the last few months.
Training for an epic event, at least to me and my 40 something body.
I leave Sunday for Portugal.
Competing in point-fighting
Training lots.
Spare time has been reserved for family and friends.
However, I have managed to craft a bit.
Here is what I finished just the other day.
Pattern:  Thermis
Yarn from Plucky Knitter gifted from Peaknit (thanks so much I love it)
Ravelry project is here

Sunday, June 20, 2010

serious summer sock love

I am having some serious sock love
These babies have been sitting on my needles waiting for me to close the toe,
for longer than I would like to admit
However, the task of finishing was sweetened by the blissful feeling of trying on
Admittedly it is only one....but still so nice

Feelings: Love it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Ashling Tote

I finished this back in early May.  When I started I wasn't sure who I was going to make it for.  However, as the tote came together it became apparent that it would be perfect for my good friend, Patricia.

I gave it to her at the end of May and she is loving it!  So nice!

At first this yarn was for the February Lady Sweater.  However, it didn't work out so I took my four balls of Cascade 220 and turned it into the Ashling Tote.

It is an easy peasy pattern, with great results!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the absent

that would be me!

life has taken different paths as of late
bends in the roads have kept me busy
not many moments to collect thoughts
or explain the moments

however i have been challenged
i have gone places
faced challenges i dreaded, maybe feared
pushed myself farther than i thought i could

one competition has lead to another and another
in 4-1/2 months i will be travelling half way around the world to compete
i worry
i get discouraged
i push
i train
i attempt my best

those moments keep me often busy
this family around me push me forward

Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day

From our home to yours!
Hope you had a great day,
So glad we could spend time with you in April!
Love from out west!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

thoughts from a tournament

These were thoughts I had back in March after competing in a martial arts tournament.  Forgive me, life has been busy.  Thoughts have been scattered.

I sit on the ferry.  Heading away from an urban center.  In the distance is the skyline, marked by the vistas of stunning coastal mountains.  I can, from my vantage point, see the difference between two worlds.  One that is remote, calm and the other a flurry of activity.

This weekend away has been full of varied emotions, thoughts and experiences.

This weekend I competed but more so I learned.  I learned in watching, listening, participating and supporting team mates.

Many of us came to the tournament with varying hopes and goals.  Some were realized, some were not.  However, at the end of the day it doesn't really matter what does or doesn't hang around your neck.  The lessons learned and the victories won come not only in the moment of competing, but before and after in the day to day grind of training.

I have learned a little about staying in the tough places, perserving admist the odds, digging deep to do your best.

I also understand how you don't make it to a goal by yourself.  I don't think I have ever felt that more keenly.  So aware of what others have invested into my teammates and I.  How they worked with the raw materials we had.

In the end I think I have seen the good and bad of me, the strengths and weaknesses.  Somehow both go hand in hand.  Somehow we couldn't be strong if we weren't weak.

The fog is rolling in.
The sea turns to a dark gray.
The sky pours down rain.

I am at a peace.  Quiet outside, quiet inside.  Content.
Glad that I tried.
Glad that I competed.
And though none may understand, I needed to be here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

training thoughts

I read a saying that went something like this:

When you train do not think that you have to win
Rather train so that you cannot lose

Monday, April 19, 2010

Maine morning mitts

Here is a great project to keep you busy for just a little bit.
It's easy!
It's fast!
And you can talk and complete it at the same time.
Important things when travelling with husband and kids!

So when we left on holidays at the end of March,
that was just the kind of project I wanted.
I knit one mitt on the last leg of the first day.
Didn't I say it was fast?

If you are looking for the pattern it is on Ravelry.
I used Jasper Berroco
It knit up perfectly!

Really you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

we are off

Hard to know where the time goes these days...
But we are off
To the lower mainland
For karate competiton,
family visit,
time away
and hopefully some spring weather.

May not be around these parts for a while...
Wishing you all well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

carnival is a coming...

It is skating carnival time once again.
The last while I have been very busy cutting, pinning, sewing and serging skirts
for 10 very excited girls.
Once Bugsy's skirt was done she decided to model it
and try her waltz jump in it
Seems she is all of a sudden looking a little bit older than before.
She wasn't this big last year was she?
The skirts were actually quite easy.
I modified a skating skirt pattern by eliminating the casing
and sewing the material straight onto black elastic.
Simple and easy!  And so glad they are all done!

Monday, March 15, 2010

you know you live in a northern community when...

Okay, okay!  I know this is a little bit similar to my last post.  However, I can't resist.  So, there is no stopping me.

As some of you know I live fairly fair north.  During the shortest days of winter our sun doesn't come up before 8:30 and goes to bed early, like before 4:30.  Gets pretty long, dark and cold up here!

So, being the industrous Canadians that we are, we find to ways to recreate to keep us busy, out of trouble and possibly to keep us from going "squirrely" when winter descends down upon us.

One thing that I enjoy doing, other than my knitting, quilting, sewing, reading, is attending our local dojo.  A place to train in martial arts and other things, like karate, kickbox, point-fighting and kickbo.  Keeps me busy and hopefully healthy.

Soon, I am suppose to be competing in both kata (karate forms) and point fighting.  One sensei (coach) has been giving my team mate and I a little more focused attention to get us ready for the event.  He has been running us through drills, combinations and giving lots of tips of what to expect when we get there.

He is very good at what he does.  Very focused and passionate.  I really respect him and appreciate his coaching.

But the other day I just couldn't help laughing and laughing when he suggested that part of our training should be stump jumping!  Stump jumping you say?  Yes, you heard correct! 

His thought was that we could put a stump in our backyard and practise jumping on and off of it.  After I made a fool of myself laughing, I had to admit it really makes sense because it helps us move better vertically, control movement and be quick.

I just can't get over the image of my neighbours looking out their back window, calling their husband over and whispering "Oh honey, I really think she might have lost it this time.  Such a shame, she was such a nice lady!"

Oh the North!  What a great place to live!

Excuse me now, while I go find me a stump.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

you know you live in a small town

Okay some of you probably have never had the feeling.  Some of you live in big cities where you can live your life with a fair amount of anonymity.  You carry on your daily tasks and never run into anyone you know all day.

In a small town it is a little different than that.  Okay we have 5000 people, but you do tend to rub shoulders with the same people alot.

First of all people wave at you when you are driving.  Of course there are two camps "wavers" and you guessed it "non-wavers".  When we moved here 15 years ago I was a definite non-waver!  Who thought to notice anyone else on the one road that runs straight through town?  Anyways, I digress!

In a small town you see people you know or recognize all the time.  It is a part of life.  Most days it is kind of comforting.

However the other day, I realize how small SMALL is when an acquaintance stopped me in the grocery store to say that my daughter had called her on her cell phone.  Hmm?  I asked what she meant.  She relayed  back that my middle daughter had called and said that her sister was bugging her.  This acquaintance paused during the conversation and said "I don't think you got your Mommy!"  To which my daughter replied "That's not funny Mom!"  Remember her sister was bugging her.

So the conversation went on between my daughter and "Surrogate Phone Mommy".  Finally they got themselves straightened out when Phone Mommy told my daughter my name. 

So entirely bizarre.  I asked Phone Mommy how she knew it was my kids?  She said she put two and two together by their names.  I know we have been gymnastics moms together, seen each other at the beach and park....still bizarre!

It's a small town world after all!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

loving her opa

At bed my daughter asked, "Mom why are Opa's eyebrows so long?" (Yes I know, a little random, but it happens around here)
To which I replied, "It's just the way he was made!"
"Well, I told him he should cut them!" she said
"What did he say?" I asked
"That he doesn't want to because he likes them." After a little pause she continued and said "But I think that's good because they can protect his eyes from the sun!"
So funny! Especially if you know my daughter and her Opa.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

I have been experimenting with various gluten-free recipes. Along the way I have had various successes and failures. Baking with gluten free products is akin to entering a new world, not only are you using "new" materials, they also have "new" results.

To ease the transition a bit I bought a few mixes to help figure out what products are suppose to be like before and after baking. Sometimes it feels like a huge effort to find ones that work and are cost effective.

Take store bought gluten-free bread at $9.45/loaf! Which is a little like cardboard and always needs to be toasted. Who wants to live life like that? So after a little expirementing I have had a happy success modifying Gluten Free Goddess's bread recipe. Instead of using the flour she listed, I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour.

My daughter's were delighted! And truthfully so was I!

At last a sandwich that was like the real thing.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Ashling Tote

I cast on for "The Ashling Tote" last night. I had four skeins of Cascade 220 that were sitting unused in my basket and felt I really needed to find a use for them.

Originally I was going to make the February Lady Sweater, but we were not getting along.

So we frogged the FLS and it has been pretty much bliss every since!

Friday, February 26, 2010

sneaking back in...

The last two weeks have crept by rather silently and slowly. While it was all sunshine a week ago, I was feeling quite grey.

I injured my ankle during "training" at our dojo. Consequently I had to stay off my feet as much as possible for a week and do nothing "active" this week. I spent an afternoon in our local hospital for blood tests and x-rays and found out, thankfully, that they came back with no problems. Seems my injuries just needed time to heal.

Everyone from my physiotherapist, to my coach, to my husband told me that I needed to rest. I was finding that hard to do.

Very hard to do, especially when you have to.

Especially when you want to be active or at least go for a walk in the sunshine. It's not so bad when you want to put your feet up, but hard when most of the day they are up. So after a few days of sulking, I decided I needed a quick project to cast on. After a little browsing I found the Heart on a String hat pattern. A lovely free pattern from Spud and Chloe.

I loved the result. It was knit up over two days (partly watching a swim meet) using Sandnes Garn Smart yarn. Lovely and fast.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

celebrate your love affair with knitting

Below, I have included a section from Interweave's Knitting Daily message for today. I thought that all of us who love knitting (and other crafts) might understand....

Celebrate Your Love Affair with Knitting
When most people talk about their Valentine, they're usually talking about a person. Well, one of my Valentines this year is going to be to my knitting! I love it so much, let me count the ways:

1. It fills my life with color

2. It encourages my creativity

3. It keeps my hands busy

4. It introduces me to new people who share my love for the craft

5. It loves to travel

6. It likes the same TV shows that I like

7. It keeps the same schedule as I do; if I want to knit in the middle of the night, it's there for me!

8. It likes to change bags as much as I do!

9. It challenges me

10. It keeps me company, even when I'm cranky

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

magic yarn ball

I received this exciting little package in the mail. Back in November, Theresa from T does wool decided to have a giving swap. She paired us up with partners and we traded our yarn balls. Little bits of pleasure wrapped hidden inside a beautiful ball of yarn.

I just received mine from Stacey over at Pea Knits. It was a fun package to open after all the anticipation.
I received a wonderful skein of yarn from The Plucky Knitter. I have been eyeing up her stuff for a while. But each time I look in her store, the shelves are always bare.
I also received Thermis (a pattern) for a great neck cowl,
some chocolate (eaten! didn't last past the photos been taken),
ribbons and a yarn wash.
I haven't even started to knit with it and am thinking I have been terribly spoiled.
I will refrain from peeking inside the ball, until I actually start knitting my cowl.
Thank you so much Stacey and Theresa! This was great fun and I am so pleased with my package.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 93 Olympic Torch

So this is where I live!

We had the Olympic Torch come through our little home town yesterday.

Our girls were quite pumped about the whole idea. Hubby commented that he is a little concerned about when our oldest gets to the concert age. Apparently she got quite caught up in the hype, you know, like yelling, screaming, bouncing, waving arms etc.

While my kids were partying in front, I was waiting back stage trying to stay warm. Our dojo had a 5 minute performance and I performed kata with 3 others from my class. We missed most of the action that happened up front. Apparently some of the talent that travels with the torch is amazing.

I was lucky enough to be done on time to see the torch though. As I was trying to make my way through the crowd to my hubby and the girls I came up to the barricade and the torch literally 30 seconds away. Close enough to touch the torch runner. Which I realize in a small town really isn't that big of a feat, but it sure sounds good! Doesn't it?

The last torch runner was a girl named Emily Cavillan, who had cancer in elementary school and had to have her leg amputated and has gone on to be an adaptive snowboarder. Pretty amazing story.

All and all it was a neat evening. I have never seen an olympic torch lighting and don't know if I will ever have the opportunity to again.

Just wish I could have figured out how to use the camera on my phone because Hubby had my Nixon! And do you think he remembered to take the picture? Nope!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

slipping by

I am not really sure where my days have gone.

January feels like a blur. Busy! At times terribly cold and gray. Seems like days flow into each other.

We have been busy with activities, crafting, reading, school, snow play and science experiments (today we were bending light).

Yet in a way everything seems plain old ordinary. I can't quite pin down the passage of time into anything "BIG". Just little moments chained together to make the days full and the weeks slip by.

And I guess that's okay too.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the everyday moments

This little girl of mine is one of a kind.
When she wants a hug or a cuddle she will literally climb up you to get one.
When I am teaching school, she often wiggles her way in between books and paper and snuggles in.
On the other hand, when she needs space, move away and give her some.
Tonight when I was tucking her, I wanted a snuggle, but she didn't and slid over to the other side of the bed. So I kneeled beside her bed in the semi-darkness and kept talking to her.
All of a sudden she was back on my side of the bed, asking if I was sad. I told her that I wasn't really, but had just wanted a hug.
She immediately hopped up and embraced me. Afterwards, she sat on her heels and said "Momma I love you, but there is a God up in heaven that loves you a whole lot more than I do!"
I was stunned by her words and the timing of their delivery. Knowing that she gave me what I thought needed (a hug) but pointed me to what I really need every day, God!

Monday, January 18, 2010

little gifts

I never realized how satisfying baby knits would be.
For one, they are fast and secondly, they turn out so cute.I have been eyeing up the Saartje's Booties for quite sometime.
I just needed to wait for the right time.
I had to learn how to crochet a chain (oh no!) for the button straps,
but it wasn't too hard.
I was trying to use up scraps on these booties
but next time I would either do the whole bootie in variegated yarn
or use it only on the bottom.
My husband didn't think it mattered that they didn't "match".
I am thinking it is just part of the handmade charm.
Since I still had yarn leftover, I whipped up the hat last night.
So fun! So easy!
Hopefully the perfect set!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

i've been naughty!

Well, not really. Maybe silly would be more like it.

On Thursday, I got a call from a friend's mother that they were having a shower for her daughter's new baby on Monday.

I already have two knitting projects on the go and won't tell you what my sewing room looks like. But decided to cast on for the Saartje's booties on Friday and The Welcome to the World Hat on Sunday.

Remarkably they are both done, just no pictures until tomorrow.

It is rewarding to throw a few quick projects into the middle of some bigger ones. They are both great little projects. I definately want to make more booties as I am always looking for a way to use scraps in my knitting and sewing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

surprised by the light

I find that this time of the year always catches me by surprise.

It feels like the days have been cold and short forever. You forget what the sun feels like. It only stays for a few short hours of the day.

When I still worked outside the home, I would go to work at 8 a.m. in the dark and come home at 4:30 in the dark.

Then all of a sudden, without warning, you realize that your days have gotten a little longer. Just long enough that it gives you hope. Hope to see you through the cold and snow for a couple more months. And a sense of relief that the longest part of winter might just lay behind us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

home ec 101

Only Papaya and I were at home this afternoon. Two of her sisters had a play date and her Dad was off doing some things as well.

Over Christmas she got a Karito doll named Pita. She has been mentioning that she would like a doll quilt for her. I had told her that she would have to learn how to make one.Today seemed like the perfect day. Contrary to the complaints in the southern states, we were too warm today to do much of anything outside. The snow was melting, everything was slushy. So sledding, skiing and skating were pretty much out of the question.

Plus we had a lovely basket of scraps, compliments of a friend (thank you S!) that she had been eyeing for a while.
So we got her comfortable, which meant propping up the electronic foot so she could reach it.
Then we started reviewing the basics. She had sewed a skirt in the summer. But she hadn't done anything since then. At first she felt like things were going really slow. That changed really fast though as she started to get the handle of things.
After she knew what she was doing, I really resisted the urge to take over. Okay, if you must know, I kind of "sat on my hands" for a while. Reminding myself it was the process, not how fast it got done. Hadn't I kind of just said that to her? So I decided to get a book and a chair and read. When she had a question, I answered it. When she needed help, I guided instead of doing it myself.
By the "end-ish" of the quilt I went downstairs to help her sister make supper. Doesn't that sound nice? One sewing, one cooking! I was kind of startled by the transitions that are slowly happening in our home.

She did call me upstairs when the thread came out of the needle and she couldn't get it back in. But she was quite content to go it alone. When she said "I can do it Mom", I realized she really wanted and needed to.
Here she is with her finished doll quilt top. Completed in one lazy, for me maybe, Sunday afternoon.
So proud of her!
P.S. After posting, I realized she held the quilt top with the wrong side to me for the photo. How funny that neither of us realized!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

scrappy scarf

I think I am finally happy with the progress that I am making on my Scrappy Lengthwise Scarf. I have started it 3 times. Each time I wasn't happy with it for a different reason. I didn't like the yarns together or I was messing up the pattern. The pattern isn't really difficult, I just can't talk as much as I might like (thank you Mom for pointing that out)! Apparently as a child I couldn't watch TV and cook dinner either, because things would get burnt. Sigh!Anyways, I also have found that you really need to use similar weight sock yarn, as all are not created equal, or it just doesn't lay very nicely.

Originally I had hoped that this would be for me. I am thinking now that I might be making it for one of the girls. Especially since my oldest has shown quite a keen interest in it.

You can find this pattern free on ravelry.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the birthday party girls

1 birthday girl

+ 2 sisters
+ 2 parents
+ 6 friends

+ cosmic bowling

= quite a party
Our middle daughter recently turned eight.
What she really wanted was to go cosmic bowling.
It was a pretty easy and a lot of fun.
During the evening, I finished bowling my turn and turned around
to find them all dancing on the bleachers that they are sitting on in the above picture
Don't you just remember those days?
They didn't care at all who was watching!
They let their hair down and had fun.
Happy Birthday Papaya!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Beautiful blonde in a beret

Here is the beret that I finished back in October.
Papaya usually wears it to church on Sunday.
I just never managed to take a picture of the finished project.

The alarm went off early this morning,
Not sure that anyone here was ready for it.

P.S. We were doing alliterations today

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting fresh

I have a basket of leftovers yarns
and since I really hate to see things go to waste!
I found a great pattern to use up scraps.
So far I am on my third try at casting on.
Not because it is particularly difficult.
I just can't really talk and keep the pattern going at the same time.
However, I seem to have the pattern down pat now,
so hopefully I will be getting somewhere with this soon.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A "Gushing" New Year

Last night we had friends over late in the afternoon
The boys watched World Junior hockey
Canada was playing the USA
Had a casual dinner, kids played
Then early evening we got ready to go to church for a New Year's Eve party

Our friends were already out the door and gone
The kids were in the van
When hubby ran upstairs to grab something and use the bathroom

All of a sudden I heard "Oh no" and stomping feet
I ran up to find our toilet overflowing and hubby frozen in the middle of it
I grabbed any towel I could and started mopping up the water

Hubby ran to get the plunger,
Worked on the toilet for quite a while,
And then thinking it was fixed, flushed
This time the toilet seriously overflowed
I couldn't mop up fast enough
And watched dirty water pour down between the floor and wall

I was still busy mopping up water with towels
When we heard our oldest yelling downstairs
She had come in from the van, wondering what was taking us so long
Somehow, Hubby thought maybe Canada had scored a goal in the game
How could he even be thinking about that, at a time like this, alludes me

So when Hubby ran down,
He found our oldest mopping up the floor in the kitchen
The water that poured onto the floor upstairs had worked itself downstairs
And was spilling through our potlights, onto the kitchen counter, stove, floor and beyond

I had food on the counter that I just threw in the garbage
After the major mop was done, I took a second to call a friend
She came, got the kids and brought them to the party
Then we bleached and santized the kitchen and bathroom
Turned on fans and left everything to dry.

Hope the New Year doesn't start, the way 2009 finished.
I think I will be able to laugh soon.