Wednesday, December 31, 2008

News from the front.......

I think Bear is getting over being afraid of my mother's dog Elmo. This is where Elmo sits when he has been sort of mean to Bear and Bear has taken some action against him. Bear doesn't bark or growl at him- he simply "corrals" Elmo until Elmo takes refuge behind the entertainment stand. And when he is behind there, he kind of reminds me of the "Puss in Boots" on Shrek- with those "sad eyes". Then, after a while, Bear lets him back out (after patrolling the front of the entertainment stand for 20 minutes or so). It is quite funny.
Bear keeps a pretty good eye on him. Note the paw on the floor. He's just letting Elmo know how quickly he can move.

But let's talk creative processes-here is the backdrop I designed and painted for the school concert.

It is a huge snow globe with a scene in it. I was asked if it was a real scene (as in-"Is it a real place?") It isn't, but I would like to believe that it would be my gazebo at my cottage, on the lake. You see, I would spend summers and Christmases there, after I win the lottery. (my other home would be somewhere warmer, but I do like snow at Christmas. Otherwise, snow should be something one can order in when wanted.)(which isn't bloody often).(Okay, heavily into dreamland here).

I also have been working on my "February Lady Sweater" (I get such a kick when it says it is sized for a "big assed lady") (which, of course, I am). See the progress?
On the sweater please. Not on my ass.
The blue is actually daker than in these pics- I played around a bit with the colour to get some stitches showing.
We had a wonderful visit with my sister-in-law and family. Annie gets along extremely well with the two kids. They play games that require imagination, not electricity. Love it.
Christmas was wonderful- I got a new chaise lounge, and 5 new knitting books. Tonight, we go to a neighbour's house for a wee party. All is well in my world.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Oh what a wonderful time we had!!!! Annie was a bit worried about Santa Claus- whether or not he was going to make it. But her faith in the big guy has been restored. What she really wanted for Xmas was a Nintendo DS ("Aw Mom-all the other kids have them- even their little sisters!!!!") And, since we don't particularly care for the electronic game mania, she was really surprised when one appeared under the tree!!!! And her comment? "Now I know there really is a Santa, because you guys would NEVER have bought one of these!"
Bear also had a fine Christmas- he got a large stuffed Santa- which he loves dearly, sleeps with and spends some "special quiet time" (umm-that's what we call it, but it just is quiet snuggle time when we want him to settle down after a wild play)(although it does sound somewhat naughty, but it isn't. Poor Bear does not understand "naughty").

I got some knitting done- I made an angora hat for the neighbour's little one. I will get a pic of her with it on-and describe it then as well.

Right now I am working on "Loppem" a Norah Gaughan design. I have some cherry red Lavold Angora- luscious stuff! And had planned on making one of her own designs with it. But to tell you the truth, I looked it up on Ravelry, and the various projects that were made showed quite a range of disastrous fitting errors. So I rethought my ideas.
I have more yarn than needed for this one, so I may rework the sleeves- go for a longer, 3/4 sleeve? We'll see. I also have 4 skeins of the yarn in a cranberry, so I may put the two together for a hat/mitt/accessory something.
Tomorrow, I am expecting Sean's family-so now I have to go and think about what I am serving for lunch.
Hope all of your celebrations have been happy-

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I'm pretty sure I have bought all I needed to buy, and am in the process of wrapping everything up. The house is starting to look like civilized people live here and the tree is up. I even made the tortieres! The knitted things I wanted to finish by Xmas are all done. And so, what could go wrong?
Picture this- I have a series of shopping bags on my bed. They hold unwrapped gifts. I also have a great big white dog on my bed. He starts sniffing around the bags. In one bag, full of clothing for gifts, he stops and pauses for a moment.

Just long enough to puke in it.

EEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWWW. (let's say it all together now....)

I just hope everything fits, because I won't be able to take anything back after it has been washed. Right?

Merry Christmas, and I hope nobody pukes in your bags.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Teacher presents.......

As in "cadeaux", not as in the teacher is presenting something........

By the time kids get to about Grade 6 or 7, the notion of "teacher gifts" is moot-the kids don't usually want to show that they like their teachers (egad! a fate worse than death!), and that they (the kids) are sooooooo grown up that they don't do these babyish things. And, in times like these, that works fine for me (being a teacher of Grade 6/7). Until this school. This is a school with a very strong family feel- everyone has known everyone else since they were babies and their mothers took the same pre-natal yoga classes, or the kids went to the same ballet classes and sailing school in the summers. The families are generally "old" families- have been in the area for years-and many of the mothers do not work (or, if they do, they are doctors who share practices with other mom/doctors, or else they teach piano in their homes). Don't get me wrong- there are other families with two working parents, or families who have split up, or families that look a fair bit like mine. There just seem to be more of the first kind. As well, all of the teachers with school aged children who work in this school have registered their own children as students in this school. The place is almost magical-the families support the place and work hard to ensure their children have the best education.

So-the first year I worked in this school, the kids didn't know me very well, and I was only teaching half time-and I was teaching Grade 7- so I was not all that surprised that I received only a few modest gifts. That was about 5 years ago. Since then, and since I have gone back to working full time, I have to say I have been almost embarrassed by the gift giving. It has been , well lavish. And many of the gifts come with hand made cards telling me why they wanted to give me something (worth their weight in gold). The gifts are usually useful, thoughtful, interesting, and unusual. And I always feel a bit guilty- after all- I work, I receive a salary, is a gift really necessary? And I do so appreciate how the kids are trying to pump me for info about my favourite things- like, " Oh, Mrs. W., what do you think of such and such a store? I hear it has many art supplies-is that where you like to buy your art supplies?" Or....."I see you like coffee-my mother says that such and such has the best coffee. Do you agree?" They are really quite sweet.

But here is my dilemma. My child goes to this school. And I, of course, am responsible for the teacher gifts for them. And this year, she has 3 teachers- the homeroom, the teacher who teaches 3 afternoons every week, and the french teacher. I work with these ladies. So this year, here is what I did-

The hat that Annie is modelling is a French beret for the-yes, you guessed it- the French teacher. Made out of Rowan Polar (so sad it is discontinued-LOVE that yarn).

The second gift is for her homeroom teacher- a lovely lady whose favourite colour is blue. I used Noro Silk Garden (another favourite)-I really like the wavy edge of this scarf and the colours- certainly not really caught in my blurry photo.

The third is another Noro scarf-Kureyon this time- for the third teacher. She is a kind of outdoor/sporty girl, who wears a fair bit of brown and olive green.
I plan on putting some candy in with the gifts and a note. But I hope this is enough? I went with the theme of "yard duty" for each of them (we have a large flat schoolyard just a couple of blocks up from Lake Ontario)(and the wind really blows hard up there). But none of the ladies are "crafty". They appreciate what I knit- all have made comments on my projects, but...?
I just don't know. I find selecting teacher gifts really quite difficult.
Onto other news- at school today, the floor was a slick- wet with melted snow, and I had a fall. I hurt my knee and my hip. So I am going to go and put said leg up and see if I can get it back in working order.
On that note- good night!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Nope- I haven't died, or run away (tempting, but...) I have been doing REPORT CARDS! And for some reason or other, I had more difficulty writing them this year. I second guessed myself. I fought with them, and then I fought again. But...


More later.........................

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A letter from Bear........

Dear Abby and Gus,

I was so happy when I saw the package come to my momma's door. It smelled soooo good. I knew it was from my (girl) friend and her live in playmate. And I had to chomp my new bone-ee-o. And my snuggle puppy!!!! I do love a teddy for me to snuggle and chomp and play with. And you guys and your momma remembered me!!!!!!!!!

I love you guys.

Love, Bear

And yes, there was a lovely parcel-and in it, some treats for Bear (see above) a bag for Annie, a bag for me, some lavender sachets (great for keeping your knits fresh and free from um, visitors), some stitch markers, and a skein of luscious yarn- dyed by YarnPig herself!-Petunia sock in Forest Path colourway. Way nice. And why the riches in the mail??????? Because Bear won a contest run by the YarnPig- Bea from . Bear was able to predict which of the pups would choose which treat to coincide with the American election. (that Bear is a clever one, isn't he???)

See the face on my new snuggle puppy! He's roadkill!!! I love him so much.

Thanks, Bea, and Abby and Gus. It was one fine package!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I don't know how or why

I am truly at a loss to explain how this big dog could possibly be comfortable sleeping like this, but since he does this all the time, I guess I am going to have to admit he must be comfortable.

I just don't see how!!!!

I have actually been doing some knitting. The "snake scarf"- a freebie online-see it here-,guid,08a5d2d5-438b-6079-92d7-0007e96ddfa0.aspx-is a project that I have had bookmarked forever. I liked the way it was wavy, and well, kind of sexy. Annie has two teachers this year, and one of them is going to get this scarf. I made it in Noro Silk Garden (LOVE that stuff!) in a bright blue/green mix (it was a a leftover from an entrelac jacket I made for a friend). All I have left to do is the blocking.

Annie's other teacher apparently likes oranges and browns. So- I have the pattern booklet from Berroco for this-

It is a Berroco booklet- Norah Gaughan 3- and the booklet is packed with really nice patterns. This scarf is actually paired with a sweater- it has a bodice-with a straight seam sort of above bust, and then a very gentle A-line shape, with the design detail from the scarf (the leaves) down one side. Very smart. I think I have some chocolate brown or maybe even some mid brown tweed to do it in. Yeah, the tweed might be smarter. It seems tweed is very "in" these days.

I think I am going to have to get my black armband out again-yeah, the snow thing, but EVEN WORSE-Needful Yarns has gone bankrupt, and Filatura di Crosa is also in financial trouble. I swear I am doing my very best to keep these companies going, but c'mon! I can't do it all by myself! One of my most favourite yarns is by Fil di C-it is called 127 print. It has this long run of solid, luscious colour, interrupted by a tweedy/stripey/mixed up colour band. It is a self-striping yarn, but not like Noro, which has lots of stripes. It just is a very sophisticated version of self- striping yarns. In sweater quantities, I have it in red (now a sweater- my so called "boyfriend sweater"), and in black (still undetermined), have ordered it in dark brown, and I have a half dozen balls or so in the lilac. Go find yourself some- it is a dreamy treat. AND, I just recently bought some Needful Yarns London Tweed--a big sweater/coat is going to come my way in the teal, and I have sweater amounts in black tweed. The stuff is like butta.

Go get yourself some, before it is gone. Forever.

Added later: I was asked how many balls of Silk Garden for the scarf- I used 2 balls, with a 4.5 mm needle.

Monday, November 03, 2008


It doesn't matter if I gain an hour or lose an hour. Time changes just mess me around.
I can't sleep. And because I was trying to get back to sleep, I wouldn't turn on the light. So I didn't even knit!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things that make you wonder why you are getting up

Okay- I am finally posting. Work has been somewhat crazed lately.

First of all, something good. The lovely Bea at BaaBaa Black Sheep has a contest. She has great prizes, so go on over and see her. She is here- You will have to select from some choices as to whether or not her beautiful dogs can help foretell the election. Could be fun! Make sure you tell her I sent you!
Here's some of the weird stuff.

I sent Missie Annie off to Guides last night, and was all set to curl up with a book, or maybe some knitting, and then, IT HAPPENED. A power outage. Like a serious one. We were out for about 45 minutes (hubby went to pick up Annie, but the Guides were having a Halloween party and they figured it was all part of the fun!) (Surprisingly, Sean was the only parent who went over there to pick up a daughter. Wouldn't you think a good parent would?) So, we finally got power back, got Annie back, and I settled in again for a bit of a lazy. AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN! The power blipped, and then out for an even longer time!!! Poor Bear was in the bedroom when it went out the second time, and the poor dear- I think he was getting scared (and confused). All I could hear was this sorrowful "AAAaaaaaaarooof. Roof?" So once I saved him (I had to go and get him with a lit flashlight). I was the only one up when it came on again (I wanted to make sure the clocks were all set properly).

And then, another reason to wear a black armband...........

THIS is what greeted me when I put the dog out this morning! (pardon the pool equipment-we had taken things out to dry them out so as to be able to store them) And then it SNOWED. Enough to stay on the ground! NOT GOOD.

And I am bored with what I am knitting and I want a new something to knit. I am turning into a knitting slut.

This can't be good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New project

It is certainly fall around these parts. Not only are the mornings cool and clear, and there has been frost on the ground, and the colours of the trees are spectacular- BUT- I know it is fall because I want to knit sweaters. For me.

I had started a sweater a while ago- out of some kettle dyed yarn- so it would be a bit streaky (the yarn is a deep indigo blue "Araucania Nature Wool Solids") This is really interesting yarn-I quite like it. Anyhow, I started a pattern out of Green Mountain Spinnery- an aran patterned gansey style thing, with a deep, patterned "skirt". But the yarn wasn't right- the streakiness looked "off", and the dark colour hid the textured patterns. So....what to do with this freshly frogged project? I went into Ravelry,, went searching for freebie patterns- and came across the "February Lady Sweater". Pamela Wynne took the baby sweater pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Almanac, and altered/rewrote/whatevered until she had a big sweater! And nit is really something! I am on the lace part-it is a top down construction, so you start with the bodice. I think this is going to be the kind of sweater that you can pop on over dress pants and a Tshirt and look "put together". Or wear it with jeans and look casual and comfortable.
This is much nicer than a sweat shirt.
But not much to photograph at this time!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Day.......

Thanksgiving Day- makes me things about the things I am truly thankful for.

First of all- my family. Sean is healthy, gainfully employed, as cute as the day we married-he is "da bomb" as they say. And Annie is healthy, and smart, and artistic and musical, and has all the things that we can give her. Bear is a great pup-I was so worried when we first dragged him home that we were bringing home a whole lot of trouble- but nope- we have a wonderful, loyal dog that I love dearly. My mother is 5 minutes away from us, and, at 79, can still be mistaken for a much younger lady (some even still want her to prove she has hit the 65 mark to get the discounts!!!!). She is healthy, full of p and v, and a good friend.

I have enough to eat, enough to knit (well, for now, anyway!!!!), a place to sleep (with a low mortgage that won't keep me up at night), and no feeling that will change in the future.

This Thanksgiving, I cooked about half the meal for my mom, brought it all over to her house, and then had supper with my mom, my husband, my daughter and my two sisters and their families (slightly incomplete families, but most were there). My dog was there, my younger sister's new puppy (a delightful long haired miniature daschund puppy (9 weeks old) named Winston-all 4 pounds of him!) was also part of the entourage, as was my mother's older dog, Elmo (he is a sometimes cranky, very spoiled ShiTzu). So it was great fun- lots of talking, eating, catching up.

So -all's right in my world. Until I have to go back to school tomorrow and face a certain person. The bright side is that I have a top notch student teacher-Hi, Jennifer!- makes the job a whole lot easier.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians-go out and count your blessings.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Today is the day

That I teach my beginner lace class. Any final words? Things I should do? Maybe things I should NOT do?

Advice anyone???

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Now what????????

Earlier this week, I sent my daughter into the garage to get some meat from the chest freezer that we keep in there. She came back out, with the meat in her hand, saying, "This meat is squishy. And the freezer smells."
Seems the husband unit knocked the plug out when he was moving around in the garage LAST WEEKEND-so everything was thawed and sitting out in room temperature for days.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I know, I know......

I haven't been a very good blogger lately. Sorry. I guess the situation at work has been more trying than I thought. Hopefully, I can get how I feel about it under better control.

Anyhow- about what I have been up to in the knitting world. You know how, when you knit a baby sweater as a gift, the parents will love it (of course!!!!) but once baby outgrows it, well, that is it. I have started making tiny "replica sweaters"- same style, same yarn (although I had to split the plys to make a finer yarn), but tiny-no more than the size to fit the palm of your hand. Make a little wire hanger, and voila! A keepsake at Christmas-a wee ornament for Baby's First Christmas! I thought it might look smart to have a little bit of ribbon tied at the top (still have to get that part!) What do you think?

(Sorry about the blurriness- I love my little camera, but it DOES have its limitations!)
I have also been putting together my lace workshop (at Wool Tyme, Kingston, this Saturday). Because I know that some of the participants also read this blog, I will keep that part "under wraps" for now.

The other "big knitting job" has been working on the top down sweater made out of Fleece Artist Ottawa (very nice stuff to play with). First of all- I have never ever made a top down sweater before. And I don't have a pattern for this one- just an idea in my head. I wanted the "bodice" to be ribbed, a high waist, and then a lacy "skirt" below that. The sleeves will depend on what I have left at the end! Because of the "thick and thin" nature of the yarn, it was difficult to find a lace pattern . I took a simple eyelet based stitch pattern and modified it.

Hmm- what else is new? Oh- we have decided to install hardwood in the main living areas of the house. We are just in the initial phases-we(by that I mean- "the husband did it and I watched") had to remove tile at the front door. We wanted a bigger area of tile there (too tight when people were trying to come in and take boots off) but, of course, couldn't find any matching tile. And, of course, the Big Giant Poodle Head wants to help out (he is, of course afraid of loud noises).
So he just cuddles up to his own "Big Doggie" and supervises the work. (Yes, that is the "teddy" that he sleeps with. He attached himself to one that Annie had- dragging it into his bed and lying on it (and occasionally shaking the hell out of it) I guess he figures it is like sleeping with a brother- I don't know- but he is very attached to it!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I know I haven't been a great blogger lately-life is getting in the way of the pleasure of just writing something down for the heck of it. Anyhow- it seems there are some people who do understand, because I got this-

It seems that Bea at decided I was worthy of such an honour. (And thank you, Bea-it really couldn't have come at a better time).

Bea is one of those bloggers I found through a contest, and kept on reading, because she has really cool projects, an interesting "voice" (both interesting and interested in other people), and, best of all, she has DOGS!!! (Abby and Gus, and I really think my big Bear would love to go and play with them. Too bad they are in Texas!!!). Bea also made me a gorgeous sock knitting bag. I had seen some sock monkey fabric. She searched it down and found some great banana fabric for the lining. (Her etsy shop may be just the place you are looking for!!!). And best of all, Bea keeps her blog interesting, and regular (yes, I am jealous!)

Now- for the 4 blogs I would nominate for this award.............Hmmmm-tough one. These are really not in a numerical order, these 4 are tied for first place.

First up is a friend I have found on blogland- Ruth of She was one of those people I found when I was looking for some fancy, schmancy jewellery for the hubman to give me for a birthday present. Then I found her knitting. AND now she has a business dyeing yarn. Multi-talented. Smart. Thoughtful. And someone I would like to call a friend.

Second up- Diane from . I don't really remember how I found her, but I have continued to read and to correspond with her. Excellent sense of humour, and a really good sense of "equalizing" (and by that, I mean she seems to be able to see past bull***t and focus on what is important. I like that. Oh, and she has a DOG! (the handsome Gypsy).

Thirdly- I have some very good friends, who happen to be from Newfoundland. In fact, they have recently moved back. But I love their sense of humour and the way they look at the world. And she captures it beautifully in her Froggie Meanie blog- plus she has the most beautiful little girls ever!!! (well, except for my own, but, ah, well, I am biased). No dog, however!

And Fourth-Robyn at Robyn, I got to "know" through her store- redbirdknits. She is a fount of knowledge, a talented designer, a skilled knitter. As well as a musician. And just way cool.

So there you have the 4 I would like to nominate. There are many more I love-for many reasons. NOw- I have to inform each of my winners, and then they, in turn, need to nominate 4 of their own and write a post about them. Cool, eh?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thank you

A million thank you's to your supportive comments and emails. I do find that there are some people who find it difficult to accept that if one is disabled, then one is also "not faking". I guess it is like this- if a kid has to wear glasses, are we going to take the glasses away from him and then tell him "if he really tried" he could see the board? Or are we going to try to find a loophole of some sort to try to work around it, so he is still expected to see the Board, just not all the time?
On to other (happier) things-
I have started back on sweater knitting- I just find knitting wool sweaters in the summer is a no-go. Too hot. Too heavy. I also knit something way cool. But I am on the way to work- I will try to take photos later and post them to show you!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yeah, I'm here

Just totally and completely bummed. There is no other way to express it. See, it's like this. I work full time in a physically taxing job for me- I teach elementary school. I am also disabled. The biggest issue is chronic pain. I also have mobility issues (I walk with a cane) and I fall over with the least provocation. Most of the time, my bosses have accepted that I have some limitations, but my current one does not. And I am getting grief about it. I won't go into detail, but it has proven to be very tiring. And it is really taking the fun out of teaching, I tell you.

Why is it that some people misuse their authority in such appalling ways?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

How will I ever manage?

Hey Babies- It looks like this here summer is pretty well done-so this is Bear, stretching as much sunshine into my day. Yup, pretty soon, all my people(my staff) will be going back to work and school. I will have to learn to be an independent doggie again-no people to cater to my every whim and wish.
How will I ever manage?????????

PS (from Deb)- To Carrie and Diane- I haven't sent your gifties yet- having a hard time narrowing it down- I will email when they are on the way!

PPS (also from Deb)- There are still a couple of spaces in the Lace Knitting workshop I am giving on October 4th at WoolTyme. Go and sign in before it is full!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A funny

We were at the soccer game last week, and, of course, had to bring the bear along. Sitting next to us was a little boy (maybe 2 years old) and his parents. He pointed to the dog and said ,"Puppy?" I said ,"Yes. His name is Bear." The little guy got this sort of scared look on his face and grabbed his dad's hand and said, "Dat's a bear?" So, of course, his dad decided to be funny and commented on polar bears and such. Then the little guy gets way confused and comes over to Bear and quietly asked if he wants to be cold.
Kind of cute.
I have been knitting (honest!) but don't really have much to show for it. I can't seem to keep my interest on just one thing lately, and it shows up in things like my knitting, and all the other little projects I keep working on. And then, of course, there's school. Gonna start soon. Hate that guy who sings, "It's the most wonderful time of the year...." Wanna stop him.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Well Done!!!! A+! What an amazing magazine! Well thought out- lots of " nerdy gimmicks" to make reading this mag easy. Wonderful wonderful patterns. Great size ranges on most. Interesting articles. A free sock pattern by the amazing Cat Bordhi. And the yarns...oh the humanity.......

It is absolutely perfect. Go and see for yourself. Start with the contents page to orient yourself. (notice I did not say "orient-tate" which makes me incredibly insane when I hear it on the news or out of the mouths of supposedly educated people). figure out which pattern(s) I want for myself.......Linden? Bonnie? Gnarled Oakwoods?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

from Bear

Hi. This me, Bear, coming to you from Alison's cottage. There was this lounge chair, all by itself, looking specially lonesome, so what is a poodle guy to do? My momma was acallin' me and I was being all quiet, and she came down by the water (huh- she thought I might go into the water?? Silly momma) and there was little me, all curled up for my afternoon siesta. Gee, it is tough being a poodle. (Even though your momma laughs at you and tells you to consider getting down. Hmm. Not me. No sirree)
The two ladies who wons some fluffy stuff from my momma are here-
Carrie said "Daddy, this is the last time I play Lassie with you" and Diane had one, too- but it is saved on the other puter and I is way too lazy to go and open it up. My momma tells me I is sloth, in person. Wouldn't that be sloth, in dogdom?
Well, if you two ladies could send my momma an email with yer addresses, she will sendee you some stuff. Kay?
Night night. I go sleep now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The contest

I am down to a choice between 2 captions- if I can't decide- there will be TWO winners!!!
I am right now getting ready to go to "Wicked" in Ottawa-more when I get back!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Deb's Big Adventure...and a CONTEST

Oh man- I had the most amazing day yesterday!!!!!!! The night before, a friend, Rachel (also a teacher) called up to see if I wanted to join her on a big adventure. "Of course!!!" I said, and off we went. Our first stop was to visit an amazing artist- Loretta Moore-in the Westport area. (She doesn't have a website, but this is a snippet from the upcoming Fall Studio Tour ) What an amazing lady!!!! She brought us into her home (which was "Home and Garden" amazing), gave us a tour of her studio, and then gave us a mini lesson on rug hooking. I gotta tell ya, after seeing her stuff, I wanna be a hooker!!!!! (Geesh- wait until the search engines get hold of THAT little turn of a phrase- I should get some, um, interesting visitors who are going to be some disappointed). She has kits- beginner and up. But her studio- wow- yards and yards of hand dyed wool fabric-she has a little "thing" about beiges and sage greens-and she also has many of her kits made up and ready for sale. My choice? The one Rachel got, actually- a "primitive" sheep- I loved it!!!! I did not buy anything, by the way- mostly because I really do have to tidy up some other projects first. But that doesn't mean I won't try it at some point!!!! But all in all, an amazing lady.

And today- the start of the Kingston and Area Sheepdog Trials (see it here-

It is always a great place to go and see the dogs (who are, by the way, amazing) and then look around the crafter's market. Today, however, is raining. And I love the whole thing, but not when I am standing in the rain. Puh-lease!

Another "must see" this weekend is a show called "Women's Work", curated by Carolyn- a fellow Kingstonian and also amazing designer. She talks about it on her blog- here- . Since that one is inside, it might be the right thing for today.
My sisters are taking my mother to Westport tomorrow- I wasn't invited (hey-- I'm not bitter) (just confused).
What else? Oh yes- Bear has been progressing with his swimming lessons. Sean takes him into the pool, carrying him under his arm, until Bear starts to move his legs in normal "poodle swimming" motions, and then lets him go. The Bear makes a beeline for the stairs (of course), but hey- at least he is swimming!

You can click for BIG.
Check out the look on Bear's face-hey! I've got an idea! Send me your caption ideas (to debDOTseanATsympaticoDOTca-replace the words with the dots and such)-and if I like yours the best, I will send you something yarny!!!!! Please include your snail mail addresses in your entries! As to what the yarny goodness will be, I will negotiate with the winner (or winners- who knows?). And let's put a deadline on it for, say, Monday, Aug. 11th, at 5:00 my time. Let's get those entries rolling!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not much new....

(I know I have had this shot up before, but I just love it)
Sometimes no news is great news. The household goes on holiday mode at the beginning of July, and we stay that way until the third week of August. Because we are teachers, we get to have a great holiday, and spend time with our daughter. So, while her buddies are off to day camps, Annie is splashing in her pool, or playing her piano, or reading, or goofing around. With us. Some may feel they need to pack in all kinds of experiences into their holidays. We do take Annie to different places-we just don't get all caught up in the "have to, must go, gotta gotta" kind of craziness. For example, next week, we are taking her to "Wicked" in Ottawa. But we have spaced things out a bit. It makes for a stress free, fun summer. Sunday night, she had a sleepover with a friend. We ended up giving over the living room to "sleep over central"-because it has the bigger television, and more space. I went in at about 2:00 am-they were still chatting and playing with their glow necklaces and bracelets, and telling secrets and being 10 year old girls. Bear grumbled a bit at them- I think he felt he needed his beauty sleep!!! This week, Annie is taking pottery classes. She is very "arty"-she draws and creates and comes up with new things all the time. (but isn't knitting ....yet!) One of the students in my class last year, a lovely, lovely girl, asked if she could take pottery classes as well-so the two girls are off every morning this week. It is kind of an introductory class, taught by a very caring, very talented lady.

This week, a family on our street (with whom we have gotten very close) moved back to "The Rock"-they haven't lived in Newfoundland for over 15 years, and wanted their children to "feel the love". We are really going to miss them-they are great neighbours, wonderful friends, and absolute riots. Bear, however, has already gotten over missing them-because the family that moved into that house has TWO dogs- a chocolate lab and a big black standard poodle (named William)(but say it with a French accent-WIL'yam). Bear is OVERJOYED. They have only met "over the fence"- not yet face to face-but he is quite excited.

And since this is a knitting blog-I have finished my "boyfriend sweater"- and I LOVE it. Sean will take photos- but I am going to wait until it is a bit cooler-it is 100% wool in an aran weight, after all. I am now working on a top down sweater, knit with Fleece Artist Ottawa-in Woodland (I think- it is all greens with a touch of taupe and tan). I want to incorporate some lace in the "skirt"-it is ribbed from the high neck to the high waist (just under the bustline) and I will either make a lace skirt, or do a modular thing- or hey-maybe lacy modules- I don't know. Speaking of lace- go on over to and hook into her lace course-to make a sampler shawl.
Happy summer!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sorta Secret Project......

Well, I was asked to proof a kit for a friend of mine-and, of course, I jumped at the chance. I can tell you it is a sock kit. But from there on in- lips are sealed. I CAN tell you that this yarn is "like butta". The colours are really wonderful- warm, shade on shade of colour-very, very appealing. So that is going very well. Annie is in heaven today-as is the big Bear-Sean's sister and children are coming for a visit. The kids always have fun together. And I am going to get in some knitting time! And Ruby- da package is in da mail!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What is happening chez ici.

One day, Bear found some interesting looking big black things out in his yard. "Hmmmm-," said he. "I wonder what the Daddy Man is up to today."

So he looked up on the roof, and, lo and behold! There was his beloved Daddy Man! "Whacha doin' up there, Daddy Man?" he asked in his most precise Poodle-ese. DaddyMan hollered down- "Yer Ma wants a warmer pool. So she's going to get a warmer pool."
"Far out," said the Poodle.

Later in the day, the "little sister who must be avoided at all costs unless she has food" said-"Hey dad. The pool temp is 85 degrees F."

(Please ignore the crazed look in the eyes and the attachment of the hand to a water gun. They are both figments of your imagination. And the picture taker did not get THAT wet)(Although the kidlet was told to walk away from the water pistol. Quietly and without any sudden movements.)
Even the gigantic dragonflies seemed to like hanging out with the new warmer temperatures in the pool.
Gee, solar heating for the pool is nice. 85 is such a nice number.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I love these questionnaires.....

you are turquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

I found this from Wanietta's blog (see sidebar)-and of course, it is soooo true to life (yeah, right!!!) But I do get a kick out of them anyway!

My knees and hips are killing me today-I usually don't let it get to me, but wow- it is a real problem. I have housework to do and all matter of things to finish- but what am I doing instead? Oh, knitting and watching old movies. But it does make my joints feel better- truly it does. So knit I will!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

For my friends, Abby and Gusmeister

Dear Gus and Abby,
I was starting to look too shaggy- kinda like these guys........

And da Big Bear was getting too hot!

But I is way too tired to show off my new do.

I is dreaming of romping around with two bulldog peoples. I promise I play nice!
PS- My momma says I is way too big for this girlie little rocker, but I promise- I very comfortable!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


There are times when I wish that I either 1)didn't sleep at all (I already sleep shortened hours-much less than anyone I know); or 2) had 6 arms so I could knit multiple projects at the same time; or 3) had a magic wand so that the boring parts could go ever so quickly and I could concentrate on the fancy shaping/design parts. I am almost finished my Filatura di Crosa 127 Print sweater. I LOVE this yarn. It is soft, lovely to knit up and has surprising colour changes to keep things interesting, but long runs of solid colour to keep things flattering on this body. This yarn needs to be knit in solid stockingnette stitch, or else the patternwork would get lost.
Please excuse the poor quality of this photo-but it is to try to give you an idea of the beauty of this yarn. I used the same yarn (in the wine colourway) for the sweater in Big Girl Knits-this is from the book.
I am very proud of this sweater-it isn't showy, but it has some very flattering elements in it for larger ladies-and it also demonstrates a way to use self-striping yarns in a different way. The centre panel is knit in cables, in the traditional bottom up. Then side panels are picked up and knit towards the back (back panel is plain, with ribbing at the waist to cinch it in a bit, although one could simply knit another cabled panel). There are gussets in the armpits to give extra "give" in the bust area. There are also instructions to add short rows to the hip area, should one need extra space there. And a funnel neck is so much more tailored than a cowl. (one needs tailored with so much else going on!) I have 20 balls of this yarn in black, and I was playing around with a short row design (thinks lots of triangles that fit together). I really am not sure what it wants to be yet. But the red (above)? That is going to be my "long, roomy, wear with leggings on a Saturday or on a dress down chilly day" kind of sweater. I considered purling all of the coloured bits to make them stand out, but I didn't. (although I think it would have looked very neat). But an extra set of arms or a magic wand would be great to zip through the finishing, or the plain bits, or the blocking. I am also working on the Goddess Knits Mystery Anniversary Shawl KAL- great fun.
Now to go and grow that extra set of arms.....maybe I need to go hang out at a nuclear waste site..........

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lace Class

My LYS has asked if I would teach a lace class, in the fall, and, of course, I said yes! I like teaching (good thing, too- since I have been teaching full time since 1981!!!) But teaching knitting is a bit different. I understand that the class is going to be made up of newbies, some middle of the road knitters- the ones who knit very well, but need a little push to get started on a lace project, and probably some veteran lace knitters. Soooooo-what to teach to that group??? I will probably have 2 hours-enough to intro the stuff, talk about different types of lace, demonstrating usual symbols on charts and a typical cast on-but they might want some kind of hands on activity. But in 2 hours????
Anybody taught one of these workshops, or have been to one and can suggest ideas? (or flame others?)
Email me (debDOTseanATsympaticoDOTca -just change the words to symbols- you know what to do).

Friday, July 11, 2008


Okay, it's official- there's a new kind of crack cocaine in town. It comes up to you quietly, slinking into your neighbourhood without too much excitement. They call it Woolmeise. Yeah, I'm sure you've seen all the craziness on Ravelry-why is it so addictive, so smooth, so rich in colouration, why oh why do we want it so?

Be prepared- the images following are not for young children, faint of heart, or those weak willed in the audience (ask me how I know that last one). I got up at an ungodly hour, I started the vigil to the posting of the yarn, I had my Paypal and credit card all lined up and ready.....and week later, I have the makings of a beautiful shawl/wrap, or else I have a lovely "reach out and touch me" display-if I don't ever get the right nerve up to crack open one of these babies- and please, keep in mind, that my camera does not like to catch "red" in its images, so multiply the beauty of the yarn that you can see by about 72 jillion (that's a technical knitting term)-
And yes, the blurriness does exist- but it is the truest colour of all my shots. (These babies, by the way, are resting comfortably on yet another red loveliness- my Filatura di Crosa 127 Print "Boyfriend Sweater"- for me. It still needs a sleeve- but it is truly an amazing yarn, in an amazing colourway.)
Why not go over to the Wollmeise website, click on the different yarns, and go and drink in some yarny goodness. Ya know ya wanna.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Homestead......

Lately, we have been working like crazy to tidy up and clean up the yard. I have noticed that now that we have a pool, there are many more requests for visits. Oh well- that's part of having a pool. I just want to make sure the yard looks nice. I don't have a bright green thumb, so my gardens will never be spectacular. But we manage. See for yourself! (sorry about the weed eater lounging on the swing-there should be a cushion there instead!)
I have taken on a challenge- the "Goddess Mystery Anniversary Shawl Knitalong". It is a circular pi-type shawl, and I wanted one with a bit of weight for the winter (love the look of a wooly shawl wrapped around one's coat!)so I went with Fleece Artist blue faced Leicester 2/8 (sort of a light fingering weight)in a hot pink/blue/greeny colour- I think it might be "Jester" or a forerunner of it (it has been marinating for quite some time in the stash!!!) But I am almost done Clue 3, and Clue 5 comes out on Friday. So I had better get cracking!!!!
I am not sure how to properly take a photo of it- I might take it off the stitches after Clue 5 and put it on a thread- just to look at it. I will take a photo then.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Looks Can Be Deceiving.........

My next door neighbour is having a birthday-and I made cupcakes.
These are the cupcakes (No kidding!!!)
All instructions are in a great book called "Hello, Cupcake!" by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Worth a look!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bear says he no like dem boom booms

We, however, really did. We went over to RMC and watched them over the water. Great Canada Day!
This is our "group".
And our view (isn't Kingston lovely?)

And THIS is the amazing basket that I got from a student. I just LOVE it. It is lightweight, large enough to carry a book or two, some knitting, the telephone- whatever! And I could even put a picnic in it (as it was meant to be).
And today is the day to sit and knit a bit until the rain stops, then go out and weed!! (should be a major job)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

14 Years ago today......

I was out buying a pair of shoes and finishing off a headpiece- I think I even cooked a couple of things- for the big event that changed my life (for the better!!!) I married Sean.
We got married in the evening, in his parents' backyard, with about 40 people. We didn't have a head table, I had new white Birkenstocks, the weather was fabulous, Sean wore a tuxedo (whoo baby-what a hunk!), and we both cried (I would have been okay, but he started first- and well, that broke me).
Here's to another 14 years, at least!
I love you, honey!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!!!!!!!

And here it is again- a beautiful day, weather-wise, I am on holidays, life is good! And here are 10 best reasons to love Canada (courtesy of sympatico)
Interestingly enough, the tenth good thing is actually Tim Horton's!!!! (Since I am a teacher, there are always gifts at the end of the year-I feel kinda funny taking them, but at the same time, quite honoured. Anyway-this year, I got $35.00 (!!!!) in Tim Horton's gift cards (among other things) Oh my! I usually start the day with a thermos of coffee-I guess the kids were paying attention!)
I also got the neatest thing- it is a storage basket-given to me as a picnic basket-and since I can't seem to get Blogger to insert picture here- you will have to wait until Blogger is over its hissy fit!
Off for a swim-Gee I love summer holidays!!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summertime, and the Living is Easy........

First of all, Guides is finished for the summer, school is over (hurrah! hurrah!!!!!)(Annie's report card was good, thank you very much)

And my class built their solar cookers-we all cooked hot dogs on the second last day and had lunch. That was pretty cool. Sean had come in last week and taught the lesson and got them all started building the cookers.

The pool is now open- still a bit cool for my tastes (but the solar heating will go on it this summer), but you can see that Bear is slowly improving his stroke (still can't swim very well, poor dear).

And I finished up a little baby hat- the pattern is on line-email me/leave me a message if you want it. I made it out of a heavy dk/light worsted that had been gifted to me on a swap. The baby is a boy, and the mom didn't have any blue things, so I felt obliged to make something very blue. Great pattern, by the way.
And this is what happens around here when Bear wants to watch TV (I think it was an "Air Bud" movie- the crazy dog is simply mesmerized! Just like a little kid!)

And me? I got a new hair cut (along with relatively new glasses) I love the haircut, but you can imagine what my naturally wavy/curly hair tries to do!
Now- off I go to finish my housework, so I can work on the mystery shawl KAL! (I will try to post a picture when the shawl looks more shawl - like!)

Happy Summer Holidays!