Sunday, December 31, 2006

Something new...

Well, I got up early, and decided that I should change the look of the blog-ya know- new year, new look- and I had heard that the new blogger is easier to use. Okay, I am basically an idiot when it comes to all things techno-but I DID manage to change some things around. I am not sure how to get everything over to the new look, but I am working on it.
On to other news-Robyn, over at Red Bird Knits ( is having a terrific sale. Fleece Artist, sock yarn, lace weight, Colinette, all kinds of lovely and beautiful stuff-go on. I'll wait. Go and look. And yes, I made a small order. And hmm-what else? Oh yes- Big Blue is definitely going to be a vest. I have tried all kinds of sleeves on it-hate them all-so vest it is. And Annie and Bear were out frolicking in the snow yesterday- I will try to get pics up today. Man, they had fun!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Right now I am working like mad on a scarf for a co worker. Actually, the co worker has commissioned the thing, and wants it for the first day back in January. Soooooooo- I am working on it, although I would really really rather work on my own knitting. It will be nice- grey cashmere, ruffle, small cable rib on the body-I will try to take pictures when I finish, maybe even write up the pattern for it.
I had ordered a vest kit quite some time ago, as a Christmas present to me- and it came on the Thursday before Christmas. It is the Celtic Vest from Fleece Artist. I ordered it from Rochelle, at Grand River Yarns (here- ). She is great to order from- you should see the 20 dollar scarf kits from Fleece Artist- way cool. Anyhow, I ordered the kit in "Origin" colourway- very similar to the swatch- more burgundy/brown in it-but very nice. I also ordered the pin to go with it- it is a pewter circle with a wooden stick through it. Good prices, and very easy to deal with.
I would like to start on it as soon as I finish up the purple Manos and take the sleeves off Big Blue. Yep. You heard it first. Big Blue is now going to be a vest- I just couldn't settle on sleeves-it seemed every sleeve I put on it looked odd. I am also going to change the buttons- I have some Mission Falls buttons that I like, so I will be changing the Fimo buttons that are on it now to some burnt bone ones.
We went to the in laws yesterday- wait until you see the quilt my mother in law made! Holy Cow!!!!! I will try to get a picture of it in the next few days-just wait until you see it. Apparently, it will go into a quilt show in the early fall (I hope to God I don't get anything on it before then!)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

First things first.....

I trust everyone had a lovely Christmas- we certainly did-more later. But first of all-a big thank you to my oh so wonderful Secret Pal!

She is soo soooooooooo soooooooo good to me- she is currently newly pregnant, and still manages to get things to me (hey- don't you remember those lovely morning sickness days?) And here is what I got just before Christmas (sorry the thank you is late- technical problems)-But look at the beautiful gift! The lovely variegated looks to be a hand dyed worsted weight-lovely burgundies and roses with ivories and taupes (LOVE it)- 5 skeins to boot!. And two skeins of Peruvian Highland Wool- rich rust and olive- I have been wanting to try this stuff- wow- is it soft! And chunky Misti Alpaca-in a soft rust- oh my- buttery soft (maybe a hat?) And that lovely skein of Regia Silk Color? It did come in a ball-but the Bear thought, well, it WAS a ball, and got excited, and then thought it was fun to pull it all apart (bad dog). So now it is a rewound skein . And Bear has had a rather stern "talking to" about this bad habit. He said he was truly sorry (you should have seen how he can change his expression to look oh so sad). And what else- oh yes- two packets of Chai Tea Latte mix (yum!) Thank you, Secret Pal- you have chosen wonderful, beautiful, and very appropriate gifts for me- I love them all!
And my little one- sang her heart out in her solo at the Winter Concert (yeah, I am pretty proud of her) She said she was nervous, but she was just great!
And Bear/Forest? He has discovered the fun of Christmas presents- here he is just about to open his new Grunt (a furry hedgehog).
And here are the two of them, after everything was opened.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 25, 2006

and the day is almost over........

God bless us everyone........................................

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oh dear God....

It truly IS the 21st, right? And I haven't finished my shopping- I don't even have the tree up (too afraid the dog will eat it- he has had some issues about eating things that I don't consider are usually edible) Oh dear God, I gotta get the lead out- I wonder how many hours I can cut off sleeping in order to be ready??????????????????????

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Number one daughter has a solo!!!!!!

I am going to the concert tonight- my daughter has a solo-I got the gingerbread houses made-will try to get a picture or two- more later..........................................................

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Poodle Is as Poodle Does.......

We have decided that we need to rename our sweet poodle. He has had quite a history with names. His first name, from his first owner, was TUG. Hmm I said- how's that? Apparently, this owner was hearing impaired,and she had hoped that this guy would be a helper for him, and, as the story goes, that little puppy tugged at her heart strings, so Tug he became. But alas, she got very very sick, was unable to care for him any longer (or for herself, apparently) and Tug had to move on (at the ripe old age of 10 months). The next owner wished for Tug to become her helper (she was disabled) and so his name needed to be changed- because Tug is a command that is used doors need to be opened, or cupboards or whatever. So he became Bear-actually Care Bear-and learned to answer to that one, sort of. I guess he stayed in a kennel for 2 months. And then we got him (at the age of 13 months). He was a bit wild, not quite house trained, but truly loving and beautiful. At the time, Sean and I both felt Care Bear wasn't quite the right name for him, but felt unsure about changing his name on him again. So we shortened it to Bear (actually, we call him Bear Bear when we want to get his attention). But now that we know the beastie better, and he has become much more comfortable with us (that took quite awhile)-we have discovered that he has the personality of Forest Gump. Yup, my big white poodlehead is a Gumpster. And when he runs- legs akimbo, truly determined, as fast as the wind-he reminds me of that scene when Forest loses his leg braces. And he shares many of the other characteristics. He is guileless. And sweet. And gentle.

Life is just a box of chocolates.

I have been working on my Christmas knitting, and a wee bit on my own personal knitting (I just couldn't help myself!!!!) And painting the stage set for the Winter Concert, or Holiday Celebration, or whatever they are calling the Christmas concert these days. And also managing the building of about 27 gingerbread houses (my class project). Yeah, should have rethought that maybe.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Sometimes, I go to work (I am a teacher) and I think-oh man-why oh why am I doing this to myself? But there are more days when I say to myself-gee-this is a great way to make money. But I like to believe that when a parent entrusts their child to me for 6 1/2 hours everyday for about what? 190 days of the year, that the child is safe. So my heart goes out to that school in Prescott (I think I got the town right)-an 8 year old boy was killed when some tables fell on him. At school. My daughter is 8 and I know what 8 year olds can get into. But what the hell happened here? Little boys are not supposed to go to school and then not come home. This time of the year, there are a whole lotta things going on at schools, and kids are perhaps a bit rangier than usual. But what happened? We may never know, of course, but oh my. That poor family. That poor school. So tragic.

Monday, December 11, 2006

How many projects can you have at one time????

Oh man- dis-satisfaction has hit again- I have Christmas presents to finish (not many this time- finish a second mitten, half of a short scarf, and one fingerless glove). But OOOOOHHHH I want to knit my purple sweater. And this green one that I started, but made a mistake in-I sent it to its room for awhile to let it rethink the error of its ways. And work is CRAZY. The Christmas concert (or the "Winter Holiday Celebration") is next week, and they want a backdrop-want me to paint it, and I still have to work full time!!!! So- I suggested that I need time away from my class to paint. Oh yeah- no problem. But when I suggest times, there seems to BE a problem. Oh- I just want to be fed peeled grapes by a (ahem) (add correct fantasy figure here).....and maybe some of those President's Choice chocolate la la la....I'm losing it, yes I ammmmmmmmmmm..........

Later- Yes, I switched to some new fangled version of Blogger- and got the post 4 times. Instead of the one time it showed. Seems the gremlins are at work.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Public Thank you

I have been knitting for quite a long time. And I really love it. And I am proud of my ability to knit all kinds of things (some successfully, and some, well, we won't talk about those). I have also been tweaking and designing for myself (and others, but mostly me). And when Knitty ( ) first came up, it really got me curious about whether or not I could design well enough to make other people want to knit what I saw. And Amy Singer and her team thought, yes, I did. I have 2 designs in And then one in "Big Girl Knits". And now, there is another one coming out in "No Sheep For You" (in the early spring, I believe). And, because I knit a little baby bikini in Knitty (in leopard print, no less), Vickie Howell emailed me and asked for a design, and next thing I know-she published one of my ideas in "New Knits on the Block"! But I never would have had the guts to do any of this if Amy Singer had not started up her knitting magazine. And got me going in this direction.
So-here it is-
Thank You, Amy Singer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How many more sleeps until little reindeer hoof prints????

This is what my backyard looked like early this morning. What is it about snowfall that makes me want to hunker down and knit like crazy? I have the back and one front done on the purple sweater. I have modified the front-it called for 6 ruffles (actually more like double inverted pleats with a little bobble at the top of the pleat) (very nice and tailored looking). But 6 pleats across my hips. Oh good Lord no. We don't want to be scaring the little children, doncha know. So I cut it down to one pleat on either side of the front, and instead of a boxy sweater (no shaping) I put in an a-line shaping from the bobble up. I think it will look very smart. And I just want to get into my jammies, with a pot of decaf coffee, and knit like a fiend with a good movie, or Stargate reruns, or something good on the tube. And not go to work. (Grade 6/7 kids are fun, but new snow and Christmas make them a little unpredictable).
PS- Bear wasn't too sure he was going to like this new white stuff (he was just a little puppy last year, and I don't think he remembers too much about snow). So he finally went out, and had a little poke or two, and then a giant crazy poodle head romp!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

My SP9 Contest

We were asked to write about our favourite recipe. Tough one- I have a lot of favourites-I really do. I love to cook. And I came from a long line of cooks, as well-both my mother and my grandmother-excellent cooks. In fact, when I was in university, I heard about a rather tony restaurant requiring a pastry chef for the summer. Well, honestly- I had been baking since I was about 8 or 9, so I knew my way around a stove-so I applied. And, when that part came to say why I was the best candidate for the job, I was prepared. I had cooked some of my favourite desserts! Black chocolate cheesecake (with a solid dark chocolate crust, and a surprise white chocolate ganache layer) and lemon blueberry cipote(it's a French Canadian thing-sort of a deep dish pie)- rich, syrupy blueberries (wild ones, mind- not those farmed ones) with lots of lemon peel and a dash of sugar in a regular bottom crust-but with a sour cream puff pastry topping-with crystals of sugar over the top and cream puffs-tiny little ones with spun sugar wrapped round and round them, filled with pastry cream (made with fresh cream and half a vanilla bean). Well, I got the job. I still cook, but it took me years to make cheesecake again (that was one of my "jobs" in that kitchen). And it took me quite some time to want to cook anything fancy. But my all time favourite? Hmmm-it's something I have never made myself. Every New Year's, my mother makes this jello mold thing-in a loaf pan-red and pears in one layer, green and pineapple in the other, and the middle layer is pineapple juice and dream whip. I LOVE it- but only for New Year's Day. She didn't make it last New Year's, and I really felt something was missing. I have never eaten it any other day-it is just the tradition of it. Like my birthday cake is always graham cracker crumb cake with raspberry jam filling and sea foam icing. I have had the same cake, every year, since I was about 8. So I guess my favourites have to do with my mom. She's pretty cool for a 77 year old. (yeah, she'll shoot me when she finds out I told her age! She has been 39 for a really long time). BUt that is the reason why those recipes are special.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Mr. Big Giant Poodle Head Bear is currently in the doggie hospital, having a little surgery. He will be a bit lighter tonight (Let's just say he will be less two "ornaments"). And, A. (my 8 year old) asked THE question-
"Why does Bear have to get fixed so that he can't make babies? He's a boy, and boys don't have babies." I said we would sit and talk it all over on the weekend (when I get my wits and a good stiff drink in me) She said,"Is it gross?" I said, "Well, you might think so." She wrinkled up her nose, pondered for a minute, and said,"Then I don't want to hear about it." Do you think I am saved for a little while?

Nah, I didn't think so.

By the way, I don't know why it is called "getting fixed", when BEFORE the surgery, they work just fine! So, I guess Bear is out "getting broken".

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This is a knitting blog, right?

First of all-this is my Bear- the Big Old Flirt. I swear he grins at everyone- like he's got some big secret.

And on to knitting.......

I have, in my stash, a whole lot of Manos del Uruguay, in a heady mix of purples-from the deepest, richest royal, through to plum and a blueish-reddish slice of heaven- I just LOVE the colours! And I had thought to make a textured cardigan (the texture does help to break up the variegation somewhat)-started it, and hated it- it was a shapeless, heavy mass of purple that made the yarn look rather cheap and undignified (and I didn't need any help in that department, thank you very much). Soooo-enter Simply Knit 2 (I think the Simply Knit books are divine) and this little number- called Waiting for Godot- I love the ruffly bit-SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO- I made the back, with the ruffly bit, but longer-and a few short rows in the centre, so the flirty bits hang a bit in the centre. And- the front is going to be Non-ruffly bit (I am afraid that the ruffle s may fit a little too well)-just plain- maybe with an icord border. The sleeves will have the ruffly bit- just one of these pleats-to hang a bit over my hand- I will include the collar-maybe even modify it a bit-and there you go. I have the back knit-to the armpits- the ruffly bits are just gorgeous- there are even bobbles at the top of the ruffly bit- and I think this will be a really interesting use of this yarn (please note- when I use the word "interesting" that doesn't always mean a good thing-this time it does). What I am hoping to get out of this is a sweater/jacket that I can wear when a slightly dressier look is needed. My staff party is in a week and a bit-but also report cards-due this Friday)(details, trivialities!)-I have a ruffled shirt (cream), black velvet jeans- and this purple sweater-I hope I can finish it!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A few years ago, when I first started printing my own business cards, I got completely silly and printed out cards that said:

Deb White
Goddess of Education
Empress of Pedagogy
She Who Controls the Stars and the Tides
(I should explain, at this point, that I am an elementary school teacher, and get my jollies where I can)
And, of course, I handed them out to people who knew me, and would get a chuckle out of it.
So today, while procrastinating about doing my @%^#**&^%(!!! report cards (how do I hate writing report cards, let me count the ways...), I cruised around my favourite blogs, and saw this quiz thing on "And She Knits Too" (great blog-go and see-
So I wasn't THAT far wrong those many years ago.
I wonder how this will look on business cards??????

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Family and Pick Up Sticks

Brr. Family. I just haven't quite figured mine out- except that when they want something-they know where I am. Otherwise- pretty quiet out there. I imagine I am not alone in this kind of set up, however.
I was zooming around, and heard that the Yarn Harlot herself had talked about Pick Up Sticks- a Canadian on line yarn store with lots and lots of pretty stuff. AND- apparently a 10% discount for the next few days. And free shipping over 60 bucks! All of the prices are in Canadian dollars. I LOVE Apple Laine yarns- so I think I might just mosey myself over there-there is a fiver kit for a garter shawl that has my name written all over it! Go and see for yourself-

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wet wet wet

Holy crow- is it wet enough for ya? Last night, I had made supper, served both Sean and A. (hey- it is not a usual thing- usually it is all for yourself)- and just as I was about to sit down with my supper-the phone rang-my mom (lives about 3 minutes' drive away)- "Help Help - Emergency! My basement is flooded!" So- zoom- over we went- and oh man- she wasn't kidding. She had just caught it- at the moment when the sump pump decided not to be a stalwart little engine- but what a mess. her basement isn't finished (Thank Goodness)- but she had stuff stored in cardboard boxes (don't you just love that wet cardboard smell???) and she had area mats on the floors (they are pretty well toast). And tomorrow, we are up in Ottawa at our niece's birthday party at the NAG (National Art Gallery). I think I might do some Christmas shopping in the gift shop there- hmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Bear, and a Gnome Hat

If you haven't seen the biggest sucky animal in the world yet, well, get yerself an eyeful of this guy. He likes to crawl up and get all four paws on his intended victim (usually me, but sometimes the 8 year old or the husband unit) And then he squeezes his eyes shut and plays possum, until he actually DOES fall asleep!

And this picture is one of Mr. Bear just before he starts his move upwards to find a nice warm place to snuggle.

He has absolutely no clue that he is a big galoot. And with a face like that-hmm, I suspect he will get into lots of trouble.
Knitting news- I have started a hat for my niece- she wants something warm, covering her ears and part of her neck, soft, ties on somehow, and doesn't need a pompom. Soooo- I went to see what the handy dandy world of knit bloggers had to offer me and lo and behold! I checked out Knitting Iris (a very interesting blog) and she had a hat! And here is the pattern! (RUBY! this one is the one I was talking about) seemed to have all of the parameters sorted out. I had a couple of balls of the new Patons soy and wool-looks like it will take more than one ball-so I have it started- I will take a picture when it is done, because now, it really doesn't look like much. You knit a ribbed square- in a very particular way- and then graft the ends together-the hat ends up with a pointy top, you add a little garter stitch knitted band that buttons closed-LOVE IT! (pattern is apparently based on something from the 1940's-a baby hat) Oh heck- just go see it here-
I will let you know how it all works out-

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Just how Canadian am I??????

But first of all-this is the picture from Stephanie's blog (no I didn't hot link!!!) of the sweater that I have been talking about. It was way too hot (and I am way too menopausal) to wear it that night, but since I had talked about finishing it and wearing it at the Yarn Harlot's visit, I brought it along! And if you are looking for a pattern-don't, since I made it up and didn't write anything down! But someone told me that Debbie Bliss has a pattern sort of like this.

A good Canadian born and bred in Quebec!

You are 100% Canuck!

You rock, you are an almighty Canadian through and through. You have proven your worthiness and have won the elite prize of living in a country as awesome as Canada. Yes I know other countries think they are better, but we let them have that cuz we know better than they do, eh?

How Canadian Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I picked up this quiz from the Harlot's comments-thanks!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rowan DK

Remembrance Day-we had a perfect Remembrance Day ceremony at school yesterday. I got the gym decorated (I even painted a huge watercolour of poppies- my style-decided if I saw another bunch of red construction paper poppies and some dead soldiers again I would freak). The assembly was a bit longer than I had thought-but wow-amazing. The kids' choirs ( a primary, a junior AND an intermediate choir) were so sweet that they made me cry. The Grade 3 kids (my daughter included) got up and danced a folk lore dance to the Irish Blessing (sung by the intermediate choirs). We had some local veterans and military parents come as our guests. And the children (kindergarten to Grade 8) were absolutely AWESOME! They sat still and quiet for almost an hour!!!!!
I just picked up my package from the post office-10 beautiful skeins of Rowan DK in GOBLIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah! The best. I got it on ebay-from Cucumberpatch UK -excellent price AND free shipping to boot. (Thanks Mandy! I already have 10 skeins in Thor (a lovely, strong, grey flannel with a smidge of brown)-and it hasn't "spoken" to me...........yet-but this goblin green-it is like fresh peas, but with bits of yellow and blue and just a great tweed! But what to make? I was thinking of just a plain, raglan sleeved cardigan-let the yarn do the show off work. I have a store bought cardi in black cotton/wool that I love-except that it has 3/4 sleeves- I could reproduce it in the wool, right? And fix the sleeves issue. This sweater is knit at a tighter than average gauge-the result is a dense, "comfy" fabric-really easy to wear. The sweater has some pretty fancy buttons up the front with snaps on the back of each button-I am thinking some ribbon up the insides of the fronts, with snaps and buttons-hmmmmmmm. I am liking this idea. I have a rough time with buying clothes that fit-since I am about a 20 on top and a 16-18 on the bottom. But this sweater is a perfect fit-so if I just knit the pieces to match the ready-made-shouldn't be an issue. Hey-maybe I will write it up as I go, so that anyone who wants to re-create an existing garment can do so. What do you think? Anyone up for a Knit A Long with me?
I haven't worn the entrelac yet-I made it slightly smaller than I wanted, because my experience with Noro anything is stretch. So I think I will give it a bath, block it, and then do a show and tell.
Have a great weekend, whatever you are doing..............................

Added later----I was in the Cataraqui Mall today, at 11:00 am- the post was played over the loudspeakers- and everyone (except for one annoying person on her cell phone) stopped what they were doing and stood silently for two minutes. makes you proud to be Canadian. And to remember.....

I just got an email to check out the Harlot-apparently, she thinks I am far gone....... ya might want to go and see....... didn't have the heart to tell her that I made a whole entrelac coat- and then traded it to a friend for 20 balls of Silk garden)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


SHE was fabulous-even with hand lotion in her hair (you had to be there) The SHE is of course, Stephanie Pearl McPhee-the Harlot herself-She was way cool- gave a great talk. I got to see lots of people I hadn't seen for awhile (even my nephew's new bride's aunt) (hunh? Didya follow that?) And Amy from Napanee- send me your blog so I can add it to my read list. The entrelac sweater got itself finished-I was really pleased with the end result-but the goblins of menopause decided it had to be a much colder day for me to wear it. But I dragged it along anyway-because I had told so many people that I was going to finish it and wear it-that the idea of seeing the Harlot kind of galvanized me into action. Don't you find that? A seemingly endless sweater might become a newly finished object de wardrobe, given the right incentive. I once knit a Philosopher's wool sweater, based on the Fassett poppy sweater, in about 6 days (yup-start to finish-all 23 colours). I was recovering from knee surgery at the time, and higher than a flippin' kite on Demerol, but it was a great sweater! I will be putting up pics of the entrelac sweater this week-just stay tuned.
The Bear still has the, um, same issues he had last week with his system-vet suggests we give him acidopholus (sp?) to get his innards back in balance-BUT-the good news- he gained weight. So the idea that he has Crohn's is a little farther away today. Keep your fingers crossed-his personality is spectacular, and he is a natural comic-two characteristics that endear doggies to me. And I am afraid he has bonded-with my 8 year old (her comment after we had had Bear for a week---"thank you so much for getting me a puppy that likes me") Yeah-he's stayin'

Update on the update.....

Okay-got everything together-used some sock yarn (doubled) to sew it up -Noro is a bugger to sew with-it rips and shreds and makes me say very bad words (very, very bad words)-but now there is a problem-weather predictions say it is NOT going to be cold on Wednesday-so I may not be able to wear the new sweater to the Harlot! Oh my.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Update on entrelac.....

The parts are all knit-I went with stocking stitch sleeves- otherwise I think the entrelac sleeves would have been a little too "Michelin man"-I have joined the shoulders, knit the neck on- now I just have to sew! So maybe tonight............ (then block, dry, wear- it will be tight-but I might be able to do it)

Friday, November 03, 2006

"SHE" Cometh........

Yes, that "She"- that one! the one who not only knits, but writes about her knits! The Yarn Harlot herself- coming to Ktown on Wednesday night! Gotta go, gotta go-but this is what I need to know- if the Harlot is to speak at 7:00, and the seating is limited, exactly WHAT time should I go to get a seat? I need to know this vital information- so please, someone help me out-how long before the event should I go over? (Hmmm- if there are two trains, one moving at 70 kph, the other at 55 kph,on a 200 km track, how long........)And I'm going to have a new Silk Garden entrelac sweater to wear to it!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Found this in Bear's bed today when I got home. I guess that was why I couldn't get him to come and snuggle-he just kept on hiding his big old furry head. He is one sorry old Bear tonight- he is harder on himself that I was!!!!!!!!! Now if only I can find the rest of that ball of wool..............

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Almost Boo Day

So here it is- the night before Halloween- when all through the house, the sound of squirming and hurrying could be heard-"I need healthy snacks for tomorrow's party" and "My tail won't stay on since the dog tried to eat it", with a little "Hon, do you have my clean orange t-shirt?" (as in what do I want with his clean orange t-shirt??) Soon, my pretties- soon I will have the witch hat on, and I will be in charge.

Added on later-
Just read over my entry- pretty glum. Gotta get over that! As promised, here is a picture of my "loot" from SP9- I only added one ball of each to show you- the Paintbox is lovely (yes, even though it has blue in it!) and the hand dyed sock yarn- excellent colours for me! (Thank you again, SP9).

A. went out to Brownies tonight with her black cat costume on-she looked really sweet-but Bear wouldn't let go of her tail! And then he bunted her with his head and chest a few times- all the while laughing his head off!!!!! He is such a funny beastie. We have decided that he is going to go out on Halloween as a big white dog. He has got the costume bang on! On to other news about the Bear-We are very worried about him- seems he might have some previously undisclosed health issues. He has had the *ahem* runs since we got him, and since the vet has eliminated parasites, food allergies, stress, etc., he thinks that now he wants to test for some other more serious things. This has me very worried.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I do love being a Secret Pal

I had not "done" a lot of the SecretPal things, until recently. I have taken part in the KnitSock Kit Swap- loved the giving and the getting. Same with the Funky Scarf Swap-it was really great. Now I am involved in the Secret Pal 9 thing-and this is really looking good. So far, I have a package ready to go (my "pal" is going to be away for a week or so, and let me know that there wasn't anyone to pick up packages, so I am waiting a bit before I send). I guess she likes duller colours for herself-so I put together a Fleece Artist sock or mitten kit in burgundies (the kit with the mohair), and some sock yarn (some hand dyed merino from ebay) that has the same colours in it. And some other little goodies. I like making the package look really cool. And this week- I GOT A PACKAGE from MY pal. Oh my-how spoiled can a girl get? Some stunning sock yarn with some stretch in it(new to me- can hardly wait to get my hands on it)-and she dyed it herself! How cool is that? Burnt oranges, some ivory, and just a touch of Shrek green. My kind of thing. And she also included two balls of Paintbox-a self striping yarn (all wool)- in predominately blues and greens with a dash of rose-yeah, I am utterly phobic about blue- rarely wear it (must have been scared by something blue as a baby!)-but I think it would make a great entrelac hat. I'll post pictures on the weekend- blogger has been a bit dicey of late-and I don't feel up to fighting with it. More later........................

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Okay- I think I have it now....

I am still giggling over the dalmation suit for Bear- talk about a case of confused identity! Anyhow- I think I have it now- I am making it out of a lovely bricky-red tweed -Patons Shetland Chunky. I am such a sucker for tweed- I adore the Rowanspun Tweeds-they have such life and light in their colourways. And Patons- well, it is getting better. I have always been a huge fan of Patons Classic- it is exactly that-great stitch definition, wears well, felts beautifully. I have found, in the past, that Shetland Chunky tended to pill-so this is a small experiment. Anyhow- back to the sweater-look at that yarn- it has flecks of all kinds of colours- and that rich, deep red-really something. It will look great on a poodle. Have you noticed, by the way, that many people, upon seeing a standard poodle, will refer to the dog as a "she"? When questioned, they say "Oh, I just assume all poodles are girls- they are so pretty!" or "I just can't imagine this big poodle being a boy." I was never great at biology, but in order to keep a species going, doesn't one need both genders? Just saying. So the sweater is underway- a sporty model- knit up in seed stitch rib-show off that tweed well. Pictures when I have something to show (other than a red blob on the needles)
Have a good week-the goblins will soon be here!!!!!! (Hmm- and what should Bear be? A. is going to be a black cat, so is her friend form next door-2 black cats and a white dog???? I actually tried the cat ears on him- they looked way cool!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I got me a Funky Scarf!

Ta da! Annie and Bear got into the show-Annie loves the scarf- keeps on patting it- and well, Bear goes wherever Annie goes! Isn't the scarf cool? It is from Lesley at Duchess of Gravity (see her here), and, clever little bird that she is- she made it out of recycled silk shirts!!!!!! She also included some lovely tea (a yummy green and white tea blend), a postcard of Denver, Colorado, and a hysterical card- that has all of the tags from the shirts on it!!!! (The card even looks like a shirt!) Thank you, Lesley- you have truly outshone yourself!!!!
And as for Bear (whom I call Bruce most of the time)-although I should call him Walter (hey- you know the book- "Walter, the Farting Dog")(now you know more than you want to know)- is most interested in destroying an entire couch.

He looks fairly harmless, right????????

On to other news- spent a lovely evening at a local Starbucks with the Kingston SnB girls-heard some great news (way to go, Jen), and had great conversation! Thanks, ladies!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bear's New Duds

Since it is getting colder around these parts (we have already had snow- but it didn't stick), I thought I should get started on a sweater for Bear. So, a little stash diving later-out comes a few balls of Mondial Merino Plus. This is awesome stuff- 52% merino, 48% acrylic (yes, I know, I am not an acrylic lover, but the acrylic in this yarn is hard to spot- it is so soft and easy care!) The colourway I have is 238 -see it up there? It is a black/white/bit of blue mix. Sure- that would work-a bit of red around the neck and legs- it would look great! Instead, it looks like dalmation fur!!! A little Cruella de Ville!!!!!!!!!!I just CAN'T put a dalmation coat on a standard poodle! So back into the stash it goes! I actually have 10 balls of it (1250 meters) -some knit up and then reballed. Any ideas of what to do with it? Anyone interested in it? (I am always up for a sale or a trade!) Email me - deb(dot)sean(at)sympatico(dot)com) - but take out the brackets and the words and put the right symbols in-if you are interested!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Oh my secret pal emailed me and said she had a good idea for a little something for me-I am sooooooooooooo excited!!!!! I have been involved in the Knit Sock Kit Swap, with great results! (Even made a friend on that one! Hi Becky!) And the Funky Scarf Swap is just winding down now. (It was a great lot of fun) Now this one-it looks quite promising. Maybe you folks can help-the person I am giving to is in Europe. I am in Canada. Since I am not very familiar with things that she wouldn't be able to get easily, is there anything you can think of? Leave me a post to get my brain juices going! Thanks-

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Funky Scarf Thang

Ta Da!!!!!! Here is the Funky Scarf, for the swap. It is made up of all kinds of luxury yarns- about 24 different ones-including Fleece Artist and Colinette and Noro and angora and hand dyed things and silk and mohair and beads and ribbons and metallics-including some beaded dangles on each pointed end. I also slipped in a little book locally made from hand made paper- so she can use it as a place to record her stash-it is just small, and could fit into a knitting bag quite easily. It will be shipped off tomorrow! I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Secret Pal 9

Hmm- these are to be posted (and answered, I suppose!) on my blog for the Secret Pal Swap. So here goes........................................
Actor-Love Sean Connery
Actress- hmmm- Sandra Bullock
Animal-dogs -schnoodles and standard poodles are my current fave
Band-I always loved Santana/ a lone singer would be Michael Buble
Beverage- Iced Tea (not much of a drinker, I'm afraid, but when I do drink, I love me a Harvey Wallbanger)
Book- Oh my- I have lots of favourites-I am going to say the Harry Potter series, just because they truly changed the way kids read, and also upped their level of sophistication. If it is adult books- hmmm-too many to even name
Bubble Bath-nope- allergies
Candy-white chocolate with roasted almonds
Color-schizo pink or slime green or pomegranate red
Flower-My dad used to give me yellow roses. And I love tulips
Food-Chinese-really, really good take-out, from home- roast turkey with all the trimmings
Lip Balm-lately, I have been partial to Mint Orange by Butterfly Weed Herbals
Lotion-Neutrogena daily moisturizer/self tanner
Movie-again- so so many- The Wedding Date, or any of the Star Wars, or ....-list to come
Song-I kinda like Hotel California, in the Eagles (When Hell Freezes Over)
TV Show-Stargate,(as well as the Atlantis version) or CSI, or NCIS, or...well, space and blood and guts
Vacation Spot- somewhere warm, but not hot, with lots of nice knitting stores, and lovely lovely people that bring you anything you want............
I wonder if that tells people more about me? Hmmmmmmm

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My Boy

You know, I really AM knitting. I just finished working on the Funky Scarf Swap -I just need to sew in the ends, and then off it goes. And I am working on the various and sundry sweaters that I have going-mostly Big Blue, and the entrelac, and the moss green one. But I had to stop for a bit and show you my new boy, all washed and pretty. Don't we look happy?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Okay- how many of you had bets out there??????

This is Bear. My Standard Poodle. I just adore him. He is just 14 months old, and was "previously owned". A lady had bought him to become her service dog (she is disabled, and needed a large dog to help her) But he didn't get as big as planned. And apparently has the kind of personality that suits a family member more than a working dog. So we went to Toronto last night, and met him, and the owners met us, and everyone agreed that it was a good match.

He bonded immediately with A., the 8 year old. In fact, he sat on her lap all the way home (He thinks he is a bit smaller than he actually is) And he slept with her for awhile last night. And this morning, when we got up, he bounced in and treated us like we were his very best friends. I just love him!
And he is not a replacement for my sweet Bouf- he is very different, both in size and temperament.
PS_I am thinking of calling him Dave. He doesn't answer to Bear, so I wonder if I should just go ahead and change it?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Secret Pal 9

Thought I should do at least one of these Secret Pal thingies. So here is my questionnaire...........and my answers as of a Friday afternoon after a v..e..r..y long week at work.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? LOVE wool and silk and sea silk and of course, cashmere. HATE crunchy acrylics. And really really thick yarns. Not wild about thick and thin stuff either.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? My dps are in a metal pencil case that looks like an Egyptian tomb. My circulars hang in a fabric holder in the closet. And everything else is in a tool box (I have a lot of needles)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting since I was a kid-first sweater-I was about 13 or 14. I design as well. I would say I am advanced-never met anything I couldn't knit.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope. Should I?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) I have so many contact allergies that I no longer use scented anything. But candles-can't miss with spicy "fall" scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course I have sweet tooth. I love white chocolate (get migraines with brown chocolate)-white almond bark is a fave. I also like Jelly Belly jelly beans.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? Don't spin-but I paint. Watercolours, mostly.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)My car plays MP3s. I like blues, Bonnie Raitt, currently wanting the music from the Wedding Date movie.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love pinks and reds and purples, as well as greens. I wear a lot of black. Recently decided I like dark brown. Don't wear beige or blue (think I got scared by something blue as a kid!!!!!!)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?I am married with a daughter (Annie-8) I recently had to put my much loved dog down (still hurts)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves, wraps, hats, mitts, gloves-YES! Ponchos-no-I find I look too much like a table with a table cloth.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Anything once. Rarely knit anything twice. I like textured knits, too.

13. What are you knitting right now? Oh-6 sweaters and 1 scarf. (Okay okay-I can't commit)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yup. But useful things, not merely decorative.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Circs are my choice, bamboo and aluminum, depending on what I am knitting. Wood, too.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, and yes.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Oh-let me see- about 2 years old. It is a sweater made out of self patterning sock yarn.

18. What is your favorite holiday? CHRISTMAS!

19. Is there anything that you collect? Um-yes, actually. Odd pins and brooches.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I currently subscribe to Knitters, Vogue, Interweave Knits, Cast On and Creative knitting. But I am re thinking some of them. I am currently craving some of the Horst Schultz stuff, or Morehouse Knits, or Dazzling Knits. (the modular stuff)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? toe up socks.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes- I wear a size 10 shoe (ladies) and I don't like a really high leg. But we can get more personal if needed.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) February 10th

posted by Deb, all answers subject to change if I can think of something better, but I will post if I change any answers!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My mother would be so proud......

You Are 44% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

Thanks to

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Thoughts........

Some of you know I am a teacher (and for all of the others-now you know). Yup-long suffering, bladdity blah blah blah. Truth is, even though it is considered "stylish" to dis your job, I LOVE what I do. I have been doing it for 25 years, so I had better like the job. I have taught a real range of things. Kindergarten to Grade 8, Core French (I still have nightmares about some of that), a Grade 9 class (short while), OAC economics (partly in Europe) and university classes (at the Faculty of Education at Queen's University). And I have written a bunch of stuff (believe it or not- I actually AM quite literate!!!!)-like Family Math, and I co-wrote a unit in the Grade 7 science textbook. So I try to expand the job-making it different all the time so that I don't get bored. Now that I am at the end of my career (I still find that hard to swallow), I have decided there must be a way for me to actually make my mark in a physical way. And it all started thanks to my superintendent of education (think-BIG BOSS). Now to backtrack a bit-this superintendent and I were teachers together way back when. While we never taught in the same building together, she and I would get involved in projects together. She is musically gifted-can do amazing things with kids. And, she often needed backdrops and such for her musical presentations. That's where I came in. I used to paint them for her. (Most memorable-the three houses for the pigs-each one done in the style of a different master) Fast forward to the present-this superintendent spoke to my principal about the state of our school-as in "Why wasn't Deb allowed extra time and materials to paint murals to cover up the uglier parts of the building?" So-this has opened up doors for me. Because of this comment, I have been given pretty much free rein (reign?) on this mural. And also opened up the possibility of doing more murals in the school. With kids. I am beyond excited. This is a very cool thing for me to do. I am NOT doing the graffiti like murals that often show up with kids and tend to look pretty much the same as all the other ones. I can't bear those. So-as the job progresses, I will post a photo or two. But if you have any particular expertise in this area-let me know. The other result of all of this is an acknowledgement that I really do know what I am doing in the art area-and that I should be teaching more art classes. Love it.

PS- The mural that I am currently planning is a three panel piece-three monkeys (all dressed up in art deco style clothes)-the first "Hear no Evil"-and you can guess the other two!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My brain hurts

Or maybe it has something to do with being cooped up, inside, because of the rain, with a classful of Grade 6/7's (smells and all) and the painters are at the school, and they are using some kind of enamel stink bomb paint, so you have to close the door. And the normally quiet, well behaved darlings have become, well, true teenagers. Oh my. Oh my.
My brain hurts.

I am knitting on a couple of things- my entrelac sweater is now joined at the shoulders, and the collar is just about done. The sleeves are going to be knit next, in stocking stitch (not in entrelac) The reason? I really don't think Popeye arms are "in" this season.

And... I have been knitting the Mason-Dixon style of "warsh rags" or whatever they called them-for my neighbour's daughter. She really likes them as face cloths, so hey-that's what you want, that's what you get (her birthday is coming up- she is either 12 or 13-can't recall). And she likes them all wrapped up around a nice bar of soap. With a ribbon. I knit her two in the summer, I have another 2 done, and I thought I would try for one more.

Man, I can be boring. Sorry. It's because my brain hurts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oooo-eee! I got my sock blockers! I actually have a picture (but don't currently have the camera) because Becky (the designer and artist) wanted to see my face when I got them. Just imagine a huge grin and lots of happy giggling- then you would get my face.
School is chugging along- it has some highs, some lows. I am finding it the hardest to do the full day- I come home ready to fall into bed. Hopefully, things will improve!
So- what have I been working on? Oh- the Breton sweater from Interweave (out of Fleece Artist Wensleydale Longwool in a range of mossy greens). The entrelac sweater. Big Blue (I have to re-assess as to whether or not I like the sleeve) And dish cloths (or "warsh rags") for my neighbour's daughter (she is 12- she loves them for her face cloths-and her birthday is coming up) I am using the pattern from the Mason Dixon girls- quite addictive. And socks. Always socks. And my fingers are STILL itching to start a new project! I must be out of my mind. On the PA Day (that would be a teacher in-service day) I stopped a principal and asked her about her gorgeous sweater-it was 1 strand laceweight mohair, and one of a cotton with nubs of different colours on it, knit into a cabled and openwork cutaway sweater. It was storebought, and it was really gorgeous! I can see that one would be able to reproduce it without much trouble. She even took it off for me to get a good look at it (she was a knitter, so she understood). And I am itching to try a knit skirt. It is of my own design-and it is begging to get out!
Hold me back, dear Lord!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

For those who have lost a fur friend.....

This came from a friend-it works for me.

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own - live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. we cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan...

not gone, just gone on ahead.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Mr. Boufu Butterscotch
May, 1995-September, 2006
God bless, little fur man.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just a hint.....

Well, ya see, it's like this. I entered that KSKSwap (Knit Sock Kit Swap) and had a riot. I had, undeniably, the very best of both worlds. The person I gave to was appreciative of my efforts, sent wonderful emails, and was great fun to "chat with". The person who gave to me is imaginative, creative, a great emailer, and a very generous new friend. How generous, you ask? Well, hold on to your socks (heh heh) she made me a custom pair of sock blockers, after quizzing me on my likes and dislikes. She MADE them. She has a business making them and selling them- (Go and see- this is her blog- - the link to her store is there at the top)- but LOOK AT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These are MINE. Mine, mine, mine!!!!!! They are spectacular. Stupendous, gorgeous, copacetic, awesome, marvellous, and made even dearer because they were made for me. MADE for me. Oh I am so thrilled with them. Beck says she wants a picture of me with them- since she is sure there will be a grin there. (Oh yeah- there will be).
I am so lucky. I really am.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wanna see somethin' purty??????

This would be the back, and part of the front, of my entrelac sweater. I am using Noro Silk Garden in colour 211, and am sort of, kinda using the Debbie Bliss pattern (I always change patterns). This is the sweater I had totally forgotten about I had put it away last spring and then promptly forgot about it (Hmm-maybe I have too many projects???) But I do love it.
Bouf-still hanging on-still being force fed. Still worried.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Today is an "at home day"

Because I suffer from chronic pain, I sometimes have to take a day off to put my knees up. And ignore the housekeeping. And just try to get back on an even keel. Today is that day. Sometimes, as a teacher, it is almost MORE trouble than it is worth to take a day off. The issue is have to write up every little thing that you do during the day so that someone else can do it for you. Blah. But it's done. I'm home. I hope to be able to return tomorrow.
New Knitty is up. It is completely awesome ! They get better all the time, I tell ya.
Bouf is not doing well. I tend to cry about that. So, if you know me, please don't ask about him.
And my knitting????? Well, I had forgotten about a sweater that I started last year-totally forgotten-it is an entrelac made out of a beautiful shade of Noro Kureyon. Pics when hubby brings the camera home-but the back is done, the front is almost done, then the sleeves and neck to go. Big Blue is on hold again-having issues around the sleeves. I made then snug (copying off a sweater I love) but now? Maybe too snug? heck-I have knit this sweater a gabillion times-I should have more to show.
I hear there is a knit-get together here in Kingston tomorrow night. Let me know if you want details!!!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


One week down, and how many to go? Yow. Too many right now for my poor knee to consider. (it hurts) And Boufie? Well, he is still a big mystery. He went in for a nose to tail x-ray of his gastro system-and ? - nothing irregular. Blood tests? Nada. Nothing to report. Test for Addison's? negative. So the vet starts thinking about maybe something to do with spasms around the opening to his stomach (it slams shut so that nothing gets in) Maybe. How does one treat it? Prednisone. Okay-let's try one shot, see how it goes. OMG. He came home and ate (he ate!) and drank (like crazy) and even had a little play! And then it wore off. Back we go. Another shot. Not as spectacular, but the little fur guy is hungry again, eats and drinks. In fact, last night, we took him over to the airport (one of his all time favourite places) for a TGIF (and fish fry)-the best part of it all, I think, was when I looked over and saw my daughter riding her two wheeler around the ramp (it was allowed) (she only started to ride this two wheeler about 3 weeks ago- after almost 3 years of trying) and Bouf? he was sitting on the grass, throwing a chew bone up in the air and catching it, then rolling over on his back! In the meantime, my husband was giving rides in the airplane he and his students built. I had a bit of knitting in hand, and a comfy chair.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wedding rings...and other things.....

(click for big, by the way)
Michelle, over at is getting married (yeah!) and she and I have had a couple of emails about wedding rings. My husband and I had ours made for us, by an extremely talented artist, named Kim Snyder (and he is here, in Kingston). The guy is amazing! Now I am not a great photographer, but the rings are really something. They are called "water rings"- they symbolize "never ending love" since water, of course, has no beginning and no end. (blah blah blah) He said he designed them on a canoeing trip. (or a rafting trip-can't recall) (It has been over 12 years, after all). My ring has a little "window" in it-S's does not. The idea behind that is when (if?) you have babies, the window can hold a small diamond for each baby. (my diamond is on the way-A is 8 years old now!) So Michelle-this one's for you! All the best!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Give me an S...give me a C.... an H......

And that spells SCHOOL! I went back to full time teaching today (I haven't taught full time for a gadjillion years) . And my legs HURT. Big time. So I think I will be taking it fairly easy tonight- maybe some marking, a bit of knitting, and watching my hubby on CKWS TV at 5:30 (yeah- he was interviewed flying the airplane the kids built- and it is airing tonight as a "get back to school" feature)-I must admit, it does give me a big kick to see him on the tube. In the meantime-A had a fairly good start- said she had one problem because on of her friends yelled at her (this is another 8 year old who seriously needs to take a pill sometimes- the other kid, not my A) (My A tends to be a bit more laid back). The dog goes in for more tests tomorrow- X rays and blood tests-heaven knows how much this is going to cost! But he is frisky and happy-I just want him to be well, too.
More later....maybe even about knitting!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Last day before work!

Now remember here, I haven't been to work since March 23 (knee replacement, ya know). And I haven't worked full time since, oh-the 90's sometime. But, since Great West Life, in all their wisdom, have decided that I can no longer be considered disabled (since I don't have the old knee anymore-it is all titanium or whatever)-but the fact that the recovery has not gone really well matters not to them. THEIR doctor said I am ok (never met the doctor) but MY doctor said I needed the summer to recover. Still waiting to hear the final decision ( I, of course, appealed it). But, in the meantime, the bank account needs to be fed. So-ready or not-here I go. Back to work. (And my leg is not really ready-heck-the doc won't even let me go to physio-says my knee is not ready-so how is the job of an elementary teacher considered to be OK?) An interesting aside-the person who handles my file at the insurance company changed jobs. The one who replaced her is the same person who has been responsible for cutting off my disability 4 times now (most memorable- a phone call 6 days before Christmas, and 10 days before we took possession of our first house together). I am beginning to think this is personal. (By the way-each time the disability has been cut off, it has been re-instated-the company was found to be in error). Okay-rant over. Bouf is still not great-we will be trying out a new vet-one that will listen to us, and has equipment that works (the x rays have not worked out, because the machine is very old and keeps on breaking down). Keep your fingers crossed that he will be fine. Or at least better.
And the good news of the day???? If you are in Kingston (Ontario) you MUST try out the Jade Garden restaurant (on Bath at McEwen)-the best Chinese food I have had in quite awhile. My neighbour and I (and our families) went out last night (and took my mom) for a massive feed. Awesome. AND-fed 7 people for just under 70 bucks (including the Chinese beer). So go. Have a good feed. You know ya wanna. Family run business, by the way.
God these things are addictive.... (but oh so true, of course)
Your Hidden Talent

Your natural talent is interpersonal relations and dealing with people.
You communicate well and are able to bring disparate groups together.
Your calming presence helps everything go more smoothly.
People crave your praise and complements.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Hmm-seems I have some minor issues with my eyes- after spending five hours at the Emergency Eye Clinic. Don't get me wrong-I don't mind waiting for awhile in a hospital-means that I am not that sick-but they gave me an appointment!!!! Seems they gave the other 18 people the same appointment time. What's with that? Anyhow-the reason I went is because I had a red looking eye-and if I go to school with a red looking eye, the principal will point at me and say PINK EYE! and send me home (wait-what's wrong with that idea?? hmmmm) So I wanted to know, anyway. Seems it is related to my rosacea-it's like a super oil production in your eyelids-causing bacteria to clog on your eyelashes, combined with very dry eyes, and an allergy to something in the air. Sooooooo-a bunch of eye drops, and hot compresses-should clear it up. So how long with this regime-uh, dunno-until it's gone. So now I get to see the opthamologist in her regular clinic in 4 to 6 weeks. Seems she wants to follow me for awhile. It was kind of interesting when her resident told me to do one thing, and when I repeated it to her, she said,"Oh no no no-that would cause more harm than good." So how many people has he been telling this to, only to be considered wrong by the expert? (Glad I said something) She (the opthamologist) also found some preservative-free artificial tears, and preservative-free allergy drops-some free samples-because of all my contact allergies. Cool.
In knitting news-the wee baby who is getting the lambie suit is born-Riley, weighing in at 8 pounds 4 oz, almost 22 inches long-and he was about 4 weeks early! (apparently) The momma is doing fine-she must feel great now-since she is only about 4 ft 11 (wee baby must have been rolled up in a ball!) It was a C-section-apparently he started hollering as soon as his head was out! So that is going out to him. And my older sister, who sews and quilts and is way big into heirloom sewing, makes these hanky bonnets-a bit of batiste and lace-and a couple of stitches-voila- a bonnet. But the neat thing is that it comes with a poem-about the bonnet being worn by the baby, then, as a bride, take the stitches out, and it will become a hanky to carry with her bouquet. If the baby is a boy-it then becomes a gift to his bride on their wedding day. Cool, eh? Gets every hormonal mama weepy in under 10 seconds! Annie had one-I popped it on her head to be baptized in (on my first Mother's Day), and now it sits in her special box. (My sister sells these hanky bonnets, by the way).
And so-a little over 48 hours until school starts. And I go to work. Can you tell how tickled I am?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Just in case you think I haven't been knitting......

1. (You can click for big for any of these)
As I get ready for school (I teach Grade 6/7) and I realize today is the last Friday I can call my own for the next 10 months (brr-frightening!!!!!!) I thought I had best let people in on the fact that I really and truly DO knit!
Here's proof of what I have been up to.................
Picture #1- a green mohair blend scarf (Fleece Artist, of course) to go with the green sweater (#3)(This sweater is Fleece Artist Wensleydale longwool-like mohair without the fluffy falling off) (the pattern is out of Interweave) ( and yes, one teensy mistake- I am just going to sew a stitch over top-it will look like I twisted the damn stitch properly-so no, not going to rip that sucker out) Pic #2 is an aran made from Araucania wool, in a lovely mottled navy blue (I LOVE this yarn) The pattern is out of the Green Mountain Spinnery book (lots of good, basic patterns)(but with some flair). This is the front-the back is supposed to be this fancy, but I did the fancy "skirt" with a plain back. Next up-saddle shoulders on the sleeves.
Pic #4 is my Funky Scarf for the Funky Scarf Swap (so far-it isn't done) And the last picture is, of course, Big Blue with her new sleeve. I had knit all but an inch or two of the second sleeve , thought I ran out of yarn, ripped the sleeves out, then found the other ball. Hmmmmm. Made the sleeves narrower, but instead of the lovely striping I was getting, I got blotches and pooling and not so pretty. I tried modular sleeves-didn't care for them. Found this zig zag stitch-loved it-edged it in the Fleece Artist Ottawa-ta da! One narrow sleeve (I like narrower sleeves- they look better on me). Add about 3 other sweaters that are "almost done" and you have my works in progress. Crazy, hunh?
And- I checked out the proof for a pattern I designed for an upcoming book-oh my. They made me sound so smart. I could cry-I really could.
Bouf is eating today-I think he figured that since we have stopped picking at him, it's time to just eat and be normal again. The blood tests to show whether or not the dog has cancer were negative (Thank God). But he might have some sort of benign cyst or something growing inside his system. I am worried about him. But he does enjoy sitting on my knitting. So I plan to let him.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Bouf Meister

Well, Bouf went in for testing for Addison's- came back negative. Now the vet is wondering about an xray or an ultrasound-just to see if he isn't growing something. Hmm- still doesn't make me feel really great. But he has been taking Zantac all week, as well as an antibiotic. His bark is different- sort of hoarse. But he is some better! (In fact, he got me up in the middle of the night, kicking on the fridge door- looking for leftovers-this is a favourite trick of his when he is feeling well) Thank you for all of the good will comments about my little fur boy. He truly is a special little guy. Next week will bring another set of tests for him-we'll see what that brings.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Bouf

My boy is sick. Just because he is a furry covered, canine variety of boy doesn't make him any less my boy.
He is 11-but very "puppy frisky". When he came home with us (he was my first anniversary present) he was touted to be a SCHNOODLE (part poodle part schnauzer). But I really do think his mommy was a tramp! I think there is a cocker spaniel in his background. He is often mistaken for a soft coated wheaton pup (this picture doesn't really show that side of him to well). But he has weathered me through lots of knee surgery and "staying at home because my leg hurts" times. We never formally trained him-he really only knows "stupid pet tricks". (like he knows all of his 20 odd toys by name, and will go and fetch them when asked for a specific one). (Really) The vet thinks he might have Addison's-which is treatable, but requires a ton of money to find out. So off he goes to the vet today. More news tomorrow.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekend stuff

We went to a wedding at the Warplanes Museum in Hamilton, Ontario- it was really neat! The wedding itself was in a meeting room, and the reception was in the museum itself. (the groom is a pilot-so that was the connection) The bride and groom, at an earlier date, had taken a staged photo- he was beside the Lancaster(big, rare airplane) (my husband actually had a hand in restoring this one- there are only 2 left that actually fly-this is one of them) in a WW1 pilot's uniform- she had a flowing dress and her very long hair down, flower on the side- and the scene was one of her saying good-bye to her pilot husband, maybe for the last time. The photo was done in a tonal sepia print- very, very cool. (I think they used it as their engagement photo). The place cards were printed boarding passes, and the little gift at each seat was a little wooden airplane (the bride apparently made all of them- from kits, but still!!!!!). The music was upbeat-with some of the war songs thrown in. If you are planning wedding- this was very interesting. The service was impeccable. The setting for the reception was fascinating- we were sitting there, between these airplanes-couldn't beat that. We stayed in a Holiday Inn Express overnight (only had to tell one group-a family, it looked like, to go and yell and chat outside their own door)-and came back home on Sunday. Today, I had planned to go into school (it does start soon) but I need to take my daughter to a birthday party- at this child's family cottage- up near Chaffey's locks!!!!! So- can't really drive her there and then go to school, then come back and get her (at that point, I am closer to Perth or Westport) So that messes up a day. Well, I will go in tomorrow- and go and see what's up. Sean will be taking the little doggie in to see what is wrong with him- he has a hard time keeping his food down, and he coughs. I am so worried it is something really serious. I won't be able to talk about it if it is.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I got it-I got it!!!

Okay-enough whining here-I got me some loot! And without further ado, may I present............the BOX!
Okay-it came in a beautifully wrapped box,, and each thing was wrapped up in differently coloured tissue-it was really lovely-but, well, I was, um, anxious! So I ripped it all open before I took a picture of it!!!! Inside-a lovely felted bag, some hand dyed (hand dyed!!!) yarn with a nice challenging pattern (toe up AND 2 circs), a little knitted goodie bag with a shell inside, a couple of little boxes-with some cool stitch markers and a Florida tag-and a journal. Now, my pal said she had a special note for me-hmmmmmm-must have forgotten it, hmmmmmm-look around a bit-oh here it is-IN the journal. OMG. This is what was in the note-
A gift certificate-for my own LEGGY CREATIONS! Yessirree- my secret pal was none other than Becky, from She is the person I have been telling you about with those awesome sock blockers. Go and see her store at It is worth the visit!!!!!! Thank you, Becky-it was well worth the wait!!!!!!! You done spoiled this old girl. Me happy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What to do while you are still waiting...........

Edit: added later in the day:
It came! It came! I am a happy girl!!!!!!!
I will put pictures in tomorrow's blog-but let's just say-I have been spoiled !

Still waiting for that parcel to arrive- I thought for sure I am resigned to the fact that it will come-well, sometime. No amount of throwing up my fist to the sky and cursing the postal system, or doing the strange, contorted "package bringing" dance out on the lawn (and terrifying the neighbour's kids in the process) will help me at this point.
And so, I digress.
As some may know, I am quite interested in designing things. I do not fit easily into commercial patterns (for starters, my top half and my bottom half are of different sizes) I am also of, well, generous proportions. (I have two rather petite sisters-and when I was 15, I asked my dad, "What happened here????????" He said, "Well, you were made fast, and you were made in the dark." OMG. Never asked the man another thing again in my life!!!!!!!!!!) So I am used to adjusting patterns, or just starting from scratch. As well, math is not a challenge for me, so playing with the numbers is manageable. I often help others alter patterns (usually making the pattern bigger) But I had never designed for the general public. Enter Excellent bunch of people. AND they are okay with people who want to design, but have never taken the schooling to be "a designer". I had an idea (it seems AGES ago) for a baby bikini. Out of Cascade Fixation. And in leopard print. With frills on the bum. The wee babe up the street was my model. Enter Knitty . They published the pattern. And that started me on designing other things. Coats, sweaters, Hawaiian costumes, whatever could be imagined and knit.
And now I have another pattern in the works-the editors want me to write my bio-100 words or less-so I had better get cracking and get that done.
While waiting for the mailman.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I think I've got it....

The Funky Scarf thing- NOT the parcel thing (had a dream last night that today was the day the package came) (We'll see) . This is taking up a fair bit of time-I think because I have no idea what is truly funky. No clue.
Anyhow- the scarf thing-my partner (the giftee, not the giver) said that if her job was different, she would like to have pink hair. Okay-------getting a picture here-this is a girl who likes to take calculated risks. So- I was checking out Jane Thornley (you can see her stuff here ). She uses a main idea- like a colour, or a picture, or something from her garden, to focus in her work, then knits something. She has a very interesting stash, methinks, judging by the mix of things she uses. So I thought- hey-I could do that! I started with a colour family (purples and pinks) and gathered up all the bits that I had that would work together-then arranged it all in a grouping so I could look at it for awhile (gotta make sure the light wasn't giving me a false reading of colour). I have been walking past it for 2 days now- so far so good. I think I need to add a colour-it will probably be that acidic green in very small quantities. Then I will try to set up the beading.(Jane says she just doesn't do plain) I think we might have a winner here.
If I get up off my lazy b--- today, I just might take a picture of my grouping- let me know if you even want to see it.

Monday, August 21, 2006


It's still not here. I can't even talk about it.
As promised- here is the picture of the other attempt at a funky scarf- this was based on a description (and a pattern, as I recall) from an Interweave Knits magazine- about using the pooling tendency of variegated yarns to your advantage, and making a sort of IKAT design. So this is what came up with (I think it is Little Lola- except that I probably called it Anne yesterday). It is interesting, yes, but...? I can't say I am truly wild about it. So- back to the think tank it goes (or brain drain, depending on the day)

In yesterday's blog, I linked to the Interweave scarf gallery, and got a comment from one very talented Mandy ( and she agreed with me about the general design of the submissions being "interesting, but..." except for one- the "Me and My Shadow" idea. She refers to it as "Brilliant"- and when you sit and think about it- it truly, truly is. (Go and see it- check out yesterday's blog for a link) If I had made a shadow of myself, and then wrapped it round and round my neck- yes, I would be very very warm. But the whole idea of shaping something to represent "x" and then using it in such a way so that no one really knows what it is (other than a scarf) -very intriguing.
I just got an email saying I have to write a 100 word bio of myself. Geesh. What to say? What NOT to say? Any ideas?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Still waiting..................

And now, instead of wasting my time thinking up things for Mr. Postman (whom I don't truly hate- it is more the system that anything else that is annoying me) (why can't we just beam things around, like on Star Trek???)-I am thinking up things for my next secret swap- the Funky Scarf Swap.
At first, I thought I would try something from "Scarf Style"- I went here for some inspiration- Then I asked friends for some of their ideas. I won't say what they were, because when I asked Becky ( what she thought, she confirmed my definition of tacky. And that's about as far as I am going to go with that!
Soooooooo- I started this one- from "Scarf Style" I adore this scarf. I don't have the tons and tons of Paternayan yarn that is called for in this pattern. But I DO have quite a bit of odds and ends of Starmore yarns. (mostly Campion) But what I need is a brighter palette from which to choose. To make the scarf really "sizzle". Then I played around a bit with some Anne yarn (by Schaeffer)-I will have to add that picture later, since blogger won't do it right now. And tossed that in the "not quite right" pile. And I ended up with something that I think will be very sharp-and I will reveal it when the time is right!

Friday, August 18, 2006


Edit: I hate Mr. Postman. I really really do. My apologies to Posties everywhere.

Anyone who knows me knows that I really hate to wait. Like at Christmas, for example-I hate to wait! I always try to get just one thing opened-like, maybe my stocking, or something already under the tree(not from Santa-after all-we have an 8 year old believer!) And I usually get shot down. And now- I am waiting for my KSKSwap (the Knit Sock Kit Swap) to arrive. I sent my kit out early-had a riot doing it. And the one who is giving to me-she writes wonderful emails (I look forward to hearing from her), has given me some hints (like she has sent FLORIDA in the package? All I can think is that there is some sand in it!), and emailed me to say she sent the package on Monday. Air mail. Thinks it would take 4 or 5 days. OH THE AGONY. I thought maybe yesterday- I flew out of the house, to our mega box set up, hands shaking in anticipation, sweat on my upper lip, oh my oh my,.......and......and.......and........uh, no. Now, our regular mail carrier is on holiday this week, so the replacement doesn't come at the expected times. (yet another stress). So I will go through it all again today. And probably next week as well (we do not get weekend mail-I guess some Americans do?)
In the meantime, I have other things to occupy me-like the Funky Scarf Swap. I have gotten some hints from the person I am giving to-and now I have to narrow down my ideas (I have two very clear, strong ideas, and one sort of there idea). Tell me-dear readers- what would you want to get if you were going to get a funky scarf? More of a winter thing to brighten up the season? Or a decorative "inside the house" piece? Or a piece of art type? Any strong ideas of something you would love to get? Help me out here! Keep my mind off chasing the mailman in his cute little truck down the street!!!!!(Now there's a picture for you!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What I think is funky....

This funky scarf swap that I am involved in is way cool-and the one answer I hadn't submitted was---Post a picture of what I think is funky. Fair enough-----here goes.....
First- a web site-of fairy doors. I guess it is both cool AND funky. Go see. You know ya wanna. I will wait.
And here are some pictures of cool and funky-

Left to right- the first two are La Lana pieces- love them! And the third pic is, of course, Koigu (from their site) And number 4 is a Kersti piece (from the Needles and Pins website- great store!)
I love the colour, the shapes, the way the whole is much MUCH more than the parts.
And finally- truly funky-the airplane my husband built with his high school class..........

See that little stool-that's how I hoist myself into the thing-bum leg and all.
Now-does that explain what I think is funky???????????????

Monday, August 14, 2006

Funky scarf questionnaire.....

And here it is....... I will put in my answers in colour:
Let’s get the allergy part out of the way. Are you allergic to any fibers? Nope
Do you prefer any fibers over others?I do prefer natural fibres- wool, silk, sea silk, bamboo, mohair, alpaca (these are all about the same-no order of preference) over the "fakes" (like polyester and acrylic)
Thinking back to Scout’s post about what funky means to you, post an image of something that you think is funky! This one needs me to think upon it a bit- so this will come later)
Would you prefer funky yarn or a funky pattern?Depends- as long as it is used effectively, either can work
What are your favorite colors?Pinks, lime greens (and slime greens), purples, burgundy, golds and oranges, black,-just not beige or brown. Not wild about sky blue, either, but can live with some royal blue
What is your favorite piece of art?More an artist- Gustav Klimt
What colors would you never have up close to your pretty face?Never beige. Never sky blue
Would you prefer an actual scarf or a cowl?Scarf, please
When you wear a scarf do you prefer a wider/shorter scarf or a thin/long scarf?It depends on the scarf and its weight-I even wear lightweight shawls all wrapped up around my neck in the winter! Since I am tall and *ahem* fluffy- I think longer, medium width scarves look better -on me.
What is the climate like where you live? We have 4 very definite seasons-summer is warm and humid, fall is cool and windy (and often rainy), winter can be cold and snowy (although we didn't get as much snow last winter), and spring is windy, sometimes damp and chilly (I AM a Canadian, after all!)
Would you prefer a functional scarf (to keep you warm) or one just to funk-up your wardrobe?Oh hell- if someone could teach me how to funkify my wardrobe, I'd be eternally grateful!!!!! So either would do.
What else would you like your partner to know about you? I am 47, a wife and mom (to an 8 year old), but I feel like my aging/development stopped somewhere around the age of 26. Except for my knees (I recently had to have a total knee replacement) (years of mis- spent youth and an ex rugby player). I design (have had some of my stuff published), I write (some of that has been published), I paint, and I am an elementary teacher (Grade 7s mostly). I am inspired by many things, enthralled by others, and generally surprised (still) by some. And- I am open to questions!
I will search around for something I think of as "funky"-and post pictures shortly.
How's that?

Me and My Fly Guy

Husband took me on a hot date yesterday(Sunday)-At 8:00 a. m. , we climbed aboard the airplane he built (yeah- my knees were shaking a bit) (just the two of us, as it only has two seats- the little one was with Nana) -and off we went!
First, a leisurely tour of Kingston and the area-with special attention to some of the fabulous properties on Amherst Island. The off to Picton for a fly-in breakfast (the group at the local airport is quite active- they host these things regularly). So- hot coffee, bacon, eggs, toast, homefries-all cooked while you watched- topped off with homemade raspberry muffins! (no pictures, since I never know how people respond to having their pic on the web). The interesting part was that as soon as we landed, the airplane was surrounded by about a dozen guys-all wanting to know all about this engine and that body and and and......... It was nice to see Sean getting some recognition for his work. After we ate and chatted with people, off we went again-this time to tour Picton and area by air. It was loads of fun.
Saturday was spent at the Sheep Dog Trials-lots of people, beautiful weather, absolutely gorgeous dogs (especially the litter of 4 five-month old sheep dog puppies). In the trials, there was one handler (from the States) who was 84 years old!!!! And the little sheep (each dog had a 4-sheep "herd" to maneuver and manipulate)-so sweet! There was one mini herd made up of three very obedient sheep, and one, who had either "gone stupid", or was a "rebel without a cause". Every chance he got, he would duck out away from the dog, or run straight at the dog (poor dog just looked at it- as if to say, "What the f...?")-once he even stayed with the herd rather unexpectedly)- confused the poor dog to no end!!!!! Finally, after the herding was completed, the other three sheep just turned their backs on the "rebel".
He kept on butting them in the behind (Aw c'mon, I was just having some fun....) but no go- they weren't interested! I also started a new project (damn that fall Interweave Knits magazine- lots of nice things in it!) This one is called "Breton Jacket", and I am making it out of some stash yarn. It is something I got from Robyn over at Red Bird Knits. Aran weight Wensleydale Longwool, dyed by the Fleece Artist gang especially for Red Bird Knits. The colour is a tonal, mottled moss-I adore it! It almost feels like it has mohair in it- due to the Wensleydale Lomgwool. Nice and soft, with good body. The gauge is a bit off, so I have to play with it a bit, and I don't plan on knitting a belt-I will either put a button on it, or else I will wear a leather belt with it- not yet decided. Since I lost 25 pounds (the all pain, have a knee replacement diet)-my clothes fit differently. So I am shaping this to fit well-on me, that means smaller in the hips than in the bust, with some short row shaping at the bust. This patterns lends itself well to that, since there are stocking stitch panels on either side. So far, so good!

Isn't it purty????????