Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back . . .

Sparkling Star
Hope 2012 proves to be better than 2011.  At the time I refrained from mentioning too much here, but it was a bugger of  a year for me.  I started off last year recovering from a weird ailment that initially sent me to the ER.  Then my son had a scary trip to the ER (he now carries an EpiPen due to tree nut allergies).  Coupled with other stresses, I found myself experiencing insomnia and frequent anxiety attacks . . .  Without boring you with all the details, it was a long journey back to normalcy.  It was capped off with a summer trip to Toronto and a move to the farm house.
Holiday Star
So right now I am feeling thankful for all that I do have, especially for all the good people in my life.  May the new year bring many more blessings.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


How are the holidays treating ya?  Hope you had a good Christmas.  Ours was quiet and peaceful  despite some family members experiencing a bit of illness (thank heavens it was short-lived).  I won't have to be back at work till January 3rd, so I'm trying to play catch-up with my knitting.
Nearly Completed Toe-Up Sock
Made some headway on my socks: got past the heel and working the leg (most of it done at naptime at work--sadly I'm not allowed to take a nap).
Working Hem on Bohus Redux
More importantly I've returned to my beloved Bohus Redux.  I'm determined to finish that baby--dying to wear it!  For sure it'll be handy on a chilly winter's day (January and February will bring its share of chill).  And its the best thing I've ever designed (in my humble opinion).   Almost there: finished the body (complete with waist shaping) and working the ribbing for the hem . . . so close to the end.  Even though I have yet to work the sleeves and button bands, I can see the finish . . . so close. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Season's Greetings

It's been an interesting year, full of surprises and challenges.  The best surprise: finding our lovely new home in the country.  Excitement abounds as we get ready to celebrate our first country Christmas at the farmhouse.

It'll be awesome to see the kids and their cousin come Christmas morning . . . full of joy, wonder and surprise!  
May your holidays be filled with joy and happiness.  Hope you're able to share with loved ones.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How Goes the Knittin'?

What a relief to NOT be workin' on a deadline!  No knitterly gifts this year, and the only crafty one was the family scrapbook (which my parents loved!).  We've cut back too.  No gifts for the adults, except for a little Secret Santa exchange amongst the immediate family.  And we've tried to cut back with the kids too.  After all, Christmas shouldn't be about the presents; being together and celebrating our blessings should be first and foremost. 'Nuff said.
One Finished Mitten 
As for the knittin', it goes well--and incidentally remains relaxing (funny how the absence of deadlines can prove to be stress-free.  Go figure).  My son's mittens are almost done.  I've just got to work a thumb.
Second Mitten Needing Thumb
Since the project is almost done, I cast-on for something else: another sock!  This year has been the Year of the Sock--seriously.  But I do love the warmth and coziness of handmade socks.  Just perfect for a chilly day.

I just love the simplicity and ease of Liat Gat's Beginner Toe-Up Socks.  The pattern calls for plain stockinette stitch, but I always make mine in ribbing (1x3 or 2x4) 'cuz the rib seems to tighten my loose knittin'. Initially I had to sign up for the newsletter to access the pattern, but I found the PDF pattern available for free on Liat Gat's website (the worsted version) and here (fingering-weight version). 

Happy crafting! :) 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Cheer

So we got our tree last weekend.
Cutting Down the Tree
No shortage of trees in our neck of the woods.  In fact we know a few Christmas tree farmers (including our neighbour).  So we ventured onto such a lot in search of the perfect Christmas tree (surely you too have engaged in such a quest at one time or another).  After perusing the stock, we finally picked our wee tree: perfect shape with adequate fullness.  It was actually kinda neat to watch the farmer cut her down.  And we knew our tree would be uber-fresh.  Ha!
Tree with Lights

Isn't it always the way:  you think the tree is a wee bit small, but when you shove it into place, you realize that perhaps you've got something just a wee bit too big.  Never fails. Still, it looked pretty with the lights.
Decorated Tree
And she looked even prettier with all the homemade decorations and trinkets--just lovely!  Now if only we can convince the cat to stop stealing my beloved knitted balls and to refrain from eating the pretty wrapping paper (why do cats love paper?).  Me thinks the presents will go under the tree on Christmas Eve--just to minimize any possible damage (to the gifts and quite possibly to the cat).
Kids' Tree
Oh and as an added bonus, the tree farmer gave us a wee tree for the kids.  Now their little play space is decorated too.  :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Faux-Thrum Mittens Revisited

Beginnings of Mitten
And revised.  Its been almost a year since I last looked at my Faux-Thrum mitten pattern.  And with the weather getting colder, I'd been itching to make a pair for my son.  With only one size in the original pattern, I've had to re-work the sizing.  More important, I'm re-checking my instructions.  After all, if I can't figure out my own directions, I can't expect some one else to understand, right?
Weaving in Ends on First Mitt
So as of yesterday afternoon, my mitten pattern has been revised and corrected (sadly I found a couple of typos, but at least I re-checked the numbers).  Hopefully there are no more errors.

Happy knitting :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


You gotta check out this new blog.  Its soooo cute (granted I'm a little biased).  Its called Mushrooms and Octopi and its run by two cute little fellas who call themselves Two Fun Guys.  Perhaps you've met them before . . . 
Two Fun Guys out in the woods
Now its a new blog, so there aren't too many posts.  But I'm looking forward to their updates.  Should be fun.   ;)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

About Those Slippers . . . .

Finished Slippers
So here they are--all finished!  They look comfy, don't they?  'Cuz they sure do feel comfy and cozy.  I just love 'em so much!  Best slippers ever! :D
Comfy and Cozy

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pure Genius!

Slipper Before Being Seamed
No word of a lie!  This slipper pattern is absolutely sublime :D  Its the Non-Felted Slipper (and the pattern is only available on Ravelry as a PDF file).  I just love the construction!  Hard to believe that a few well placed decreases can change the shape of the fabric--just genius!
Slipper From Another View
And since the pattern uses bulky yarn, it works very quickly.  It took me a week of sporadic knitting, but these could easily have been completed in a weekend.  This quick knit would make an easy Christmas present.  I can testify to their warmth factor (I'm wearing them right now, but you'll have to wait for FO pics on another day 'cuz its dark out now).


Monday, November 28, 2011

Toasty Toes

Oh what a good girl am I! Got two FOs to share--and they're both socks . . . ahhh, toasty toes! :D
Worsted Toe-Up Socks
First off, I finally finished my first-ever toe-up socks.  And of course I blogged about them back in July.  I picked them up again in September and almost finished them save for the bind-off.  I know what you're thinking: if I was almost finished, why did it take more than two months to finally cast-off the last few stitches (honestly I'd like to know the answer to that one too, but I can make a few good guesses).
Right Worsted Sock
Suffice to say that "the big move" had something to do with it.  With all the painting, packing and unpacking, there wasn't time for much else.  And to be honest, I'd forgotten about them until I found them in a little bag in my craft closet (so lucky to finally have a space where I can store all my yarn bins and all my scrapbook supplies).
Fingering-Weight Toe-Up Socks
As for the second pair of socks, these progressed a little faster--sort of.  I was able to finish the first sock in a week back in July.  The second sock . . . well, it was a while before I cast on for the second sock; but once I began, it progressed rather quickly ('bout two weeks all told).
Left Sock
Right Sock
Notice how the striping is totally different from one skein to the next.  I bet if I'd whipped up a third sock with another skein it would look totally different from the first two.  Just the nature of the yarn.  Its Patons Kroy FX and there's more in my stash (yay, more socks!).  

For my next trick . . . . a new project?  Me thinks there are slippers in my future.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Pretty Kitty
So I had a post all ready to go on my latest FO (not one, but two!).  Go figure, the darn thing didn't publish correctly! Ugh!  There was something funky going on with the font ( could it be 'cuz I used cut-and-paste?  Never happened before and I've been with Blogger for almost 3  years).  For the life of me, I couldn't figure it out and it doesn't help that I know nothin' 'bout HTML. 

So whilst I re-do EVERYTHING on my post (arrrrgh and double arrrgh!), you can look at some nice kitty photos.
Cozy Amongst the Jackets and Slippers
I must confess that I'm turning into a bit of a cat person (Eeeek! I'm becoming something I never thought I'd never be).  I'm totally fascinated by my cat Patches.  She's so darn cute--if I do say so myself.  

And she's becoming quite the mouser.  A few nights ago, she came up to me growling (I swear she sounded like a dog).  She had something in her mouth.  I thought it was a toy.  I followed her into the bathroom and realized it was a mouse!  I tried to remove it from her mouth, but the mouse was still alive!  I quickly stepped on it to keep it from escaping and then . . . flush, flush (That can't be good for the toilet, right?  And yes, I was holding a live mouse in my hand).  What's a mouse-fearing person to do?  And why didn't my cat kill the mouse?  How many other mice escaped her clutches?  Time for some old-fashioned mouse traps.

Hope your weekend is free from any technical difficulties (and any mice too).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baby Its Cold

Just Beyond the Front Porch
Winter seems to have come early this year.  The mornings had been getting cooler, the sky grayer and the air crisper.  And finally yesterday Mother Nature slapped us with a doozy of a storm (predictions of 25cm of snow, but not exactly sure how much actually fell.  Halifax had 30cm and Sydney had 40cm). 
Front Yard
Snow day for the kids and for me too. The center is still closed as roads in town are not all cleared and white stuff is still falling.  My work may open, but I won't be able to get in unless my driveway gets plowed (yeah I've gotta get a snow blower and, more importantly, I gotta get a regular guy to plow my long driveway--its a big job!).
Our Car After Being Dug Out
This is the first bit of winter at our new place in the country.  We're only 12-15 minutes drive from town, but it seems an eternity when the roads are slippy.  Suffice to say I was pleased we got the new winter tires on in time (can't say the same for all the family members).  
View From Living Room Window
Me thinks winter is too cold and damp.  Time to knit more socks and perhaps a cozy pair of slippers.  And I better get a move-on on that cardigan . . . 

Welcome to winter :S

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Compact Tractors
Is there something amiss in the my acrylic-filled brain if I ogle tractors?  Is it so wrong to have tractor envy?  
More Tractors
Seriously, I'm lovin' the ones with a bucket--mighty handy for clearing the snow from my long, long driveway come wintertime.  You wouldn't believe how expensive a brand new tractor can be.  If only we had some extra money . . . Or maybe we can find a decent used tractor (And just FYI, my FIL and BIL are feeling the tractor envy too.  Just sayin').
Recent Magazine Purchases
For the past year I've been reading a lot of Mother Earth News and Hobby Farms.  It can give a girl ideas--crazy, farming, living-off-the-grid and growing-my-own-food ideas. 

A girl can dream . . . 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crafting . . .

Crafty Pursuits
On this chilly Saturday, I'm busy crafting away: scrapping a gift album for my parents.  Its their Christmas gift.  Every year it gets harder and harder to find gifts for my folks; they're very particular, so I thought a lovely album would be very personal and much appreciated  (I can safely reveal that here 'cuz my folks don't know 'bout the interwebs. They don't even own a computer, so I figure I'm safe--as long as my brother and sisters stay mum 'bout my crafty plans).  
Second Sock
And rest assured there has been knitting.  Trying to knock off another languishing WIP from my long list.  I started my second toe-up sock.  Its a ribbed sock I started in the summer.  The first sock went rather quickly, but then I never cast-on for the second one and my hands were busy with other projects  . . well, you know how it goes.  So many crafty diversions, so little time . . . 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Yup, got something finished (its been a while, n'est pas?).
Finished Slippers
Finally completed a pair of slippers for my dear hubby.  Hard to believe, but these were started a year ago . . . a whole year?!  That is way too long for a pair of slippers.  
New Slippers
I think hubby appreciated the effort (he's generally very appreciative).  I only wish he'd ask me for more hand knits (still planning to make him a cardigan one of these days.  I has the yarn and the pattern.  Now if I could only find enough time during the run of a day.  Or perhaps I could become a faster knitter . . . ha, as if that is ever gonna happen).

It always bothers me that my slippers never quite look like the traditional Phentex slippers.  I never got the hang of the striped version--can't seem to avoid the holes.  So I alternate colours every two rows.  My finishing is also less than acceptable.  Thankfully I found a blogger who's made a lovely tutorial over at Pinney and Pnut.  She clearly illustrates how to assemble the slippers.  Check it out.

Now I'm off to enjoy one more day off.  Have a good one. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

We Has . . .

Keyboard courtesy of
Internet!! Yup, back online at long last (although I must confess that I've done well to publish a post at least once a week).  It's been nearly a month since I've been offline . . . too long for my taste.  I can live without TV, but I needs me interwebs.  
Screenshot courtesy of
I use the web to search (so who played that guy in that movie with that chick?), keep in touch with family and friends, read blogs, ravel (of course!) and blog.  Oh, and I suffer from a slight--only slight--addiction to Restaurant City (I swear I can stop anytime if I have to.  Honest!).

Its good to be back  ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering . . .

It's windy and blustery out in my neck of the woods.  And many Remembrance Day ceremonies have been moved indoors.  Perhaps the weather is rather fitting given the occasion.  Good to remember the sacrifices of those who came before me.  I can't even imagine the hardships and horrors they lived through. 
Canadian Soldiers in France courtesy of
Recently caught the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan--akin to getting punched in the belly.  In the building where I work, there's a display of nurses from the local area who served overseas during the war.  There are mementos such as uniforms, medical equipment and lots of pictures.  Just ordinary people . . . in extraordinary times.

Canadian Soldiers in Italy courtesy of
Hope you have a chance to stop and remember.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Not Quite Knitting . . .

I'd like to write that I'm almost finished my Bohus Redux cardigan, but sadly I haven't touched it all week.  Instead I've been working on the lone slipper in the hopes that I can finally give them to my husband (I think I've been working on these for a year--although to be fair, they've been sitting in my knitting basket untouched for a long, long time).

And since I've no camera with me, there are no updated photos of knitted items (although how interesting can a slipper be?).  Instead, you must content yourself with a few breath-taking shots of country life:
Pond Near Our Place

Misty Sunrise
There's something about the natural world that impresses and inspires a soul . . . Perhaps this is why I left the security and familiarity of city-life lo those many years ago.  Perhaps this is why we longed to leave town life.  For two years we dreamed . . . and now here we are.  

So I have to live without the internet for a few more weeks? Thus far I've managed.  Besides, there are plenty of wi-fi hot spots during my weekly forays into town (As I write this I'm enjoying the quiet space and luxury of a hotel.  I've got a work-related seminar in the morning).  Too philosophical?  Maybe. Its good to stop and reflect every now and then.

Here's hoping your weekend is a good one--and a crafty one.  :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween ;)

Any ghoulies at your place?

Pumpkins Courtesy of Free Photo Website
(whose name eludes me at this time)
Over at our little spot in the country, I don't expect too many trick-or-treaters tonight.  One of my neighbours claimed to have had only two visitors last year, so chances are  . . . .

We had some Halloween fun planned this past weekend: pumpkin carving and cookie deocrating (I'd share some pictures but I'm still without any internet access so I can't just update a post on a whim).  And my niece will go out  to gather some treats, but neither boy was interested in doing so.  That's a first!  My oldest doesn't want to go 'cuz of his nut allergies.  Most of the stuff he gets he won't be able to eat (although my younger son initially offered to trade all his chips for all of the other's chocolate stuff). And the younger one didn't know what sort of costume to wear.  So we're planning to watch some scary movies and hope everyone has a good time.  Its a school night anyways.

Have a great evening!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And Now for Some Knitting . . .

What?  Knitting on a knitting blog?!  Have I gone mad? 

But seriously, I managed some knitting this week.  With the sale of our mini-home finalized, all the cleaning is out of the way (yay! :D).  Its hard work cleaning out one's accumulated dirt and grime; after all, it took almost 14 years to build up to appreciable levels.).   
Bohus Fitting
With the added crafting time, my Bohus Redux has grown: added some waist-shaping as I slowly work towards the cable-ribbed hem.  Thus far, the fit is quite nice.   
This is actually the first time I've tried it on (so much for trying-on as I go-along).  I must confess that from the start I had a good feeling about this project--much better feelings than my first attempt at the Bohus.  And as it turns out, my guts were spot on: it fits great!  Very pleased with this one (rest assured I'm taking copious notes so that I can post the pattern to this site before the end of the year).
Phentex Slippers
I've also returned to my hubby's slipper.  His old pair are dying--thanks in part to Patches, our cat.  She's a cute kitty, but is terribly fascinated by slippers and paper cards (the kind you find in magazines for subscriptions).
Patches' Favorite Napping Spot
And is it normal for a kitty to play "attack cat"?  Contrary to the above pic, our kitty seems super-energized--especially after a meal.  I'm guessing its normal  kitty behaviour.  Perhaps I should consult a cat-care book (seeing as I'm typing this at the local library, I should head over to the stacks pronto.  At the library?  Yes, I'm still without internet access at home, so I'm having to drive into town to hit all the wi-fi hot spots  . . :S)

Have a great weekend! :)

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