Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy Monday

Mother and I had a great visit from Ruby-an old friend and a knitter from Montreal
( . Anyhow, I knew I should have put out traps of some sort before I left to take her to the train, because look at what has become of my pool!!!!!!!! A place for the neighbourhood guys to slug back beer!!!!! Oh the debauchery of it all! (BY the way, the kids were up on the deck!)

I did get some knitting done this past week, however....... Jan, from the Wilton Road Custom Mill, has been a very busy girl. She has put up some STUNNING Merino and Sea Cell (the site is here This particular colour is called "Little Boy Blue". Anyhow, she asked if I could design a little something for 1 skein. Many thoughts-but I finally settled on baby things- because this stuff is so soft and cushy.
With help from Hudson the Bear, may I present "Baby Bolero". It is based on 4 squares(I knit up a square to demonstrate-Hudson has it on his toe), joined with garter stitch, garter sleeves, and a wrap over 2 x 2 rib collar. When Annie was wee, she had some lovely dresses, with high waists, and often needed a little something to wear with them-so voila! A little dressy sweater! So I will write up the pattern, and if Jan likes it, you will be able to get it from her.

The yarn is so lovely- wonderful to knit-and here are the specs:
Wilton Road Custom Fibre Mill
Merino/SeaCell Yarn
Designer Series
350 yds/skein

And another thing I am playing with......................

I started knitting this as a soft triangular scarf to wear with my winter coat (a very staid navy blue reefer style woolen coat). And this yarn, from Persimmon Tree, has such lovely colours in it. But I got to thinking- I have about 18 balls of Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Rhubarb ( bright,rich pink- the pink of cooked strawberry rhubarb, actually). And if I use this lacy triangle (it hasn't been blocked yet, by the way), with some short-rowing to elongate the ends, I could make a wide collar out of it. Then change to the MF1824 for a top down, raglan sleeved sweater. Do some nice princess seam shaping, adding a real waist with some length below it to balance the collar. Whaddya think? Has anyone got a pattern for something like that? I am going to give it a try, see what I can come up with. I figure it would be a neat way to use that skein or two of something you couldn't pass up at the yarn store, but didn't have enough to make a sweater.
Now- on to playing with Annie and her critters- here are the names she has come up with- Snow Lensure (a dog), Frosty Glossa (a snowman puppet), FiFi Paytrick( a Shitzu dog), Ben Leekbeen(a teddy), Abigail Coattall ( a pink monkey), Hop Linguine (he's a frog) . And no, I don't know where she gets it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The new deck......

The yard is a construction zone!
This is the deck in progress-Sean has basically doubled the area of the existing deck (the one that is attached to the house and accessible out the family room sliding door). This way, we can get changed into our suits and then hop right out to the pool. The location of the stairs to the yard has been changed, and poor Bear is having such a problem with the change. It's like he knows where they SHOULD be, and they aren't there anymore, and it just isn't right. So he stands there with his head cocked to one side,willing the stairs to go back to the right spot!

I have noticed lots of knitters also like to garden-I am just learning (as in my thumb is brown with some green spots). But I am quite pleased with my "Love Lies Bleeding" (or Amaranthus-caudatus) See it here-
My apologies for the "iffy" picture-the chenille type flowers are really a bright pink, and the stems and veins of the leaves are the same colour. Really an amazing plant. The name of it was what really caught my eye!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sparkles in my eyes

I have such a bad case of startitis. It's like this- I have a ton of things I SHOULD be doing (like housecleaning, and gardening and stuff like that) I also have a couple of knitting projects to finish (sometimes, that last little bit is so hard to get done- it's hard to get over that hump!). So what happens? Startitis. It's like here is the summer, we are almost through July, and I want to start AND finish, something new! Like the Kauni sweater (I suspect that will be addictive!) Or the Ilga Leja sweater out of the Handmaiden Ottawa (I think I called it Fleece Artist in one of my posts-oops). And now the preview to the fall Interweave Knits is up. OOO boy. More startistis! One of the things I have in my stash is a double bag (20 balls!) of an aran weight wool by Jaeger in a deep rich purple. And this looked liked such a good match (I borrowed this image from the Interweave site-the sweater is also on the front cover of the magazine). Is it not a stunner? The site also has bonus photos of the sweater. Oh my-so very, very wearable. You could wear it with pants, jeans, a skirt or dress. Hmmmmm. Oh startitis-you are killing me!!!!Oh yes- I also have my sangria Silk Stream sweater to complete. And I have that red Lavold angora put away fro a Christmas sweater. EEEEKKKKKKK. One of these days, I think I am going to have to hold a stash sale- I have large lots of a variety of yarns-like 20 to 25 balls of some nice yarns. I buy nice yarns because that is what I like to wear. o how do you folks feel about stash sales? What is a reasonable price to expect (as in percentage of buying price?) And how have you handled it-if you have had a bad situation? (as in a customer who didn't pay) My husband would be overjoyed if some of my stash went to other homes, let me tell you!!!

Well, off to knit up the "must do" things before I get into my stash diving.

Added later...............................

Husband blames dog.

Dog, blames husband.

Seems like 4mm rosewood knitting needles are an endangered species in this house.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Knitty surprise is up-go and see at (Hmm- I wonder if I can make that top out of Fleece Artist Silk Stream?????)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Things I am not doing for the summer.............

Every September, like a good teacher, I have the students write me a wee composition, so I can get a sense of their writing skills (or lack thereof). In past years, I remember writing the Godawful "What I Did on My Summer Vacation". eek. Boring boring boring. So, what I generally ask my students to do is to write "What I Didn't Do on My Summer Vacation". Lots more interesting, IMHO. So here goes a starting version......
On my summer vacation, I didn't obsess about all the things I should be doing-instead, I have been spending some time reading really good books and watching late night movies.(we have the movie channels-got them last year when I had my knee replacement-we were going to get rid of them when I was up and around, but..... well, you know how that goes).
So far, I didn't get to go swimming everyday (as I had hoped) in our newly installed pool, because, well, the weather in July has been horrid.
I didn't get to finish any one knitting project so far- I love them all, so I knit a bit on everything! (Startitis is rampant here in the White household).
I didn't finish any major housecleaning. (no big surprise here)
I didn't get to sign up for the Mystery Shawl- I thought I had, and then found my message in the "outbox"-it had a slight error in the address (I am not a typing goddess) and so it didn't get sent. BUT, since I only tried to send it in the last day of the sign up, it would be my own darn fault for not checking. But, it would have been fun.
And, what else? Oh- I didn't get one report in for school- I still have to do that.

So many what if's.

At the end of the summer, maybe I will do a wrap up of all the things I did accomplish!

The family is off tomorrow to Peterborough for "an extended luncheon" in honour of Aggie (my husband's grand mother) who passed about a month ago. She didn't want a memorial. No service. Not even a service at the grave. Just an "extended luncheon" where we can all remember her.
What a class act.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ilga Leja and Kauni and a sneaky peeky This is the site that will take you to a free Ilga Leja pattern- it is a swirl of a shoulder covering- excellent for a cool evening or a wedding (but yes, wear something underneath- we don't want to be burning anybody's retinas, now, girls). I recently got myself set up with the yarn from Rochelle over at Grand River Yarns (go and see my sidebar- she's there!). The yarn is Ottawa by Hand Maiden (yum YUM YUM luscious) in the rain forest colourway. I know for a fact that Rochelle has 3 of the 250 gram skeins of it in Nova Scotia for sale(the colourway in the picture of the jacket) By the by- it is now packaged in 125 gram skeins-keep this in mind when ordering it from someone else (and I think the price has gone up, as well). Is it not a beautiful jacket?? Oh and Rochelle (Grand River Yarns) also has the pattern for it.
And, of course, I succumbed to the lure of the Kauni jacket-from Shelley over at Fun Knits (I do love me a Canadian supplier). This stuff is also like crack cocaine to an addict. (and yes, also in my sidebar-it is Fun Knits out in B.C)
And thirdly- a sneak peek at my messenger bag- pre felting and pre finishing-the yarn is Cascade 220- gifted to me on the last SP 10 round and some Noro from Robyn (at Red Bird Knits- also on sidebar) By the way, she had some amazing deals for Noro up recently on ebay (musthaveyarn is her name).
I am thinking of putting icord all around the edges to shape the thing, then pick up stitches and knit up twop ends of the strap to tie together on the top. Might just needlefelt a bit when I am done. (and the needlefelting kit is one I won from the local Wool-Tyme-Anne's blog is in the sidebar).
If you think you might like to have the instructions for the bag, let me know. If there is enough interest, I'll put it up as a freebie.
Hmm- did I mention I do like Canadian purveyors of fine yarns??????????

Sunday, July 15, 2007

This is a knitting blog, right?

Well, I truly HAVE been knitting. On stuff. Things that I have to get done. Some sort of secret and under construction (more on that later) and some not. A colleague from work chairs a fund raising organization in memoriam to her husband (who taught- and chaired-I think-economics at Queen's University). Every year they do a silent auction kind of a thing- so I have been asked in the past if I would donate something. No sweat. But what? We settled on a felted bag-sort of a messenger style bag with Noro Kureyon on the flap, and Cascade 220 for the rest. I am also setting it up to pick up icord down the "corner edges" to give it some shape. And do I have a pattern? Nah. That's fer sissies. But if it all works out, I will photograph it (before and after felting) and write out the pattern for anyone who would like to try it.

I actually like making bags. I have a huge felted one (out of Lopi) that I use as a knitted bag (I know- pics) And I had some fun designing up a little "lunch bag" kind of thing with Jenanne, an old friend on the Internet.
It was knit out of ivory cotton and denim cotton (probably Rowan), with the band from an old pair of jeans as the trim. At the time, there weren't a lot of patterns out there for bags, so we thought we might flog it as a pattern, but...never got around to it. My other favourite bag was a Noro one- for a very dear friend, Julia. She used it for a lunch bag, or a carry-her-junk bag-whatever. But it turned out very well. It was a variation on the original Booga Bag. I had some feltable eyelash (from Phildar) that I used around the top- the coolest stuff- I think I have some left in the blue and also in a red. It had feltable fibers on a tough polyester thread-so the thread pretty well disappeared in the felting, and the fibers got all wild and wonky. Phildar no longer makes it, but it was really cool while it lasted.
So-when I have more to show on the new messenger style bag, I will. Until then...knit knit knit.........................

Thursday, July 12, 2007

And it's not over yet.....


Houston, we have a problem. It seems one needs an opposable thumb to honk the horn on one's little boat. Poor wee fur man.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summertime, and the Livin' is easy.....................

It has been established that Bear is not much of a water dog (see sidebar). Yesterday, it seems he has found the perfect way to enjoy the water, thanks to a blow up "inner tube" from the dollar store.

Ya gotta see what is happening in the back end. (He isn't moving his legs- they are just dangling in the water). As long as I was near him, he just sort of snoozed and relaxed in his inner tube.

The neighbours think we are insane.

AHHHHHHHH! This is the LIFE!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Oh Crochet- How do I hate thee, let me count the ways...............

C is for the crappy way you look when I try to make a garment
R is for the release of all known patience
O is for the "Oh fer chrissake" I seem to be muttering all the time
C is for the crochet hook I lost AGAIN
H is for the helluvalottawerk for not much
E is for ending-my need to crochet-, not for ending it all (puh leeze- I'm not THAT bad!)
T is for the trials and tribulations that I have put myself through.

Nuff said.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

And So It Goes.............

A while ago, I was involved in a Knitter's Treat Exchange, and the SP who treated me was Brandy from here . I had taken to perusing her blog, and saw that she had a contest. Okay-it was all about her-facts that one could look up on her blog-sounds interesting, so I entered it. Well, come to find out- I won one of the prizes!!! When she said "sari silk", I thought- okay-one skein-I can find something to do with that. But noooo. 4- yes- F-O-U-R skeins of the stuff. Way cool. And so, I can make one of these or maybe even one of these- from (
Does anyone have any experience with either pattern and could send me some feedback? Brandi very generously sent two colours- more of a red for 2 skeins and a darker purple-y colour for the other 2 skeins. The timing of this gift of yarn is perfect- I have just had some serious summer purse failure (I guess a 20 dollar purse just ain't up to snuff anymore).
Now, in terms of school, I just have one report left to write ( report on the results of a grant that I received), and then it is stick a fork in me time, because I am DONE for another year!
And so it goes.......................

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I borrowed this post from Miss Scarlett- she didn't meme me- I just wanted the challenge to see if I could do it- so here goes-

The game is SCATTERGORIES…it’s harder than it looks! Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things…NOTHING made up! If you can’t think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
Your Name: Deb
1. Famous Singer/Band: Def Leppard
2. 4 letter word: Damn
3. Street: Mulberry
4. Color: damask rose
6. Vehicle: Dodge minivan
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: dolphin key chain (this from my 9 year old- I couldn't think of anything!)
8. Boy Name: David
9. Girl Name: Denise
10. Movie Title: Die Hard, anything Disney
11. Drink: Double Gin and Tonic
12. Occupation: designer
13. Celebrity: Diana Ross
14. Magazine: Ducks Unlimited magazine
15. U.S. City: Detroit
16. Pro Sports Teams: Detroit Red Wings
17. Reason for Being Late for Work: Dog ate my homework! (hey- I'm a teacher!)!
18. Something You Throw Away: dirty Kleenex
19. Things You Shout: see #2
20. Cartoon Character: Dumbo

Okay- you try now-it actually is kind of fun! Or add to mine- if you can think of better ones! Maybe I will do an all Canada ABC, like the Harlot. Hmmmmmm
Cheers- Knit knit knit.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Good Hubby

Yes, I did get "one of the good ones". And the reason for this revelation? because of this-a "Lafuma" gravity lounger. It is a sleek, wonderfully comfortable lounger that adjusts itself easily just by shifting your body weight. I have chronic pain issues-knees, hips and back-so he thought, when we are out at the pool, this would be a good place for me to knit/read/snooze.......isn't he cool? It is incredibly comfortable-in fact, I am sitting in it right now with the lap top. I LOVE it. And I love Sean for thinking of it. (by the way, he got flying time-he is a pilot who currently does not have an airplane-he builds custom ones, but doesn't currently own one)
Since the traditional gift for the 13th is lace, and the modern gift is textiles, I think I am going to curl up on my Lafuma with a bit of Sea Silk for a shawl???? Works for me!

Monday, July 02, 2007

I made it.

Holy Mother of all things precious- but I made it through another school year. And for those who are counting-that is 26 years of teaching. (Yeah, I know- I started teaching before some of you were even born) (Just be quiet and don't point it out and everyone lives another day) So- does that make people think I am a little old blue headed granny???? Absolutely not. This is an not entirely flattering picture of me (and my ever loving pooch, the Bear). I guess I stopped getting older "in my head" when I was about 24- I can't seem to get any more mature than about 13, most days, but hope to God I don't look like I am almost 50 (my last birthday, I told the kids in class that I was thirty-eighteen). And no, that isn't meant to be shopping for flattery- I just think that one's picture of a teacher who has taught for over 25 years needs to be updated. I get a kick out of my class of 12 and 13 year olds- lots of times, they even ask where I buy my clothes- and would they be able to get an outfit like such and such (Isn't that a hoot- a teenager wanting to dress like a middle aged teacher!)

But on to other major issues -today is our anniversary! I married my sweetheart, Sean, on this day, 13 years ago! The wedding took place out in my in-laws garden (a beautiful spot) and, at 7:15 pm. just after our vows, over 400 little twinkly lights came on in the trees (thank to my husband's good planning and lots of work).
This is one of my favourite pictures of my husband.
Happy Anniversary, Sean! Here's to another 13 years- at least!
(dinner out and other celebrating later this week)