Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I desperately needed a break from tiny needles, so I whipped up a fetching Halloween scarf in Orange and Black!

Surprise! It's the Alien Illusion scarf from Stitch and Bitch!

I started this on Thursday and I'm just putting the fringe on it for use while escorting the kids Trick or Treating tomorrow. (yeah, it's that cold)

Oh, and a quick preview of Ellery (the angel) and Clare (the devil) in costume. Gillian wasn't keen to preview her costume, but I might get lucky tomorrow.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Couple Lessons Learned this Weekend

Lesson One:

A Retriever, no matter how well trained, is really just a stomach wandering around on four legs. I was out with the girls on Saturday when I received a cellphone call from DH. Seems that Haley the wonderdog had devoured an entire loaf of banana bread that was cooling on a kitchen counter. This banana bread was one of Gilly's creations and so it was chock-full of chocolate chips...semi-sweet real chocolate, chocolate chips...the kind that are toxic to dogs. One quick call to the vet and administration of an appropriate emetic later and the problem was solved. I am truly amazed at the capacity of a Retriever's stomach and its ability to apparently swallow an entire loaf of banana bread whole. ick

Lesson Two:

Self-striping yarn is not self-managing yarn. That is, given the opportunity to pool unattractively, self-striping sock yarn will rise to the occasion.

Admittedly, I was using said sock yarn to knit the sleeve for a child's sweater. The difference in the size of the sleeve relative to the circumference of a sock probably contributed to the pooling problem. Anyway, I was just finishing the increases in the sleeve when I noticed a big, ugly black inkblot on my work. Turns out it wasn't a stain, but a licorice coloured stripe pool! Don't know how I missed that as I was working on it, except that I was watching Transamerica at the same time. (FWIW, Felicity Huffmann's performance was riveting.)

So, on Sunday night, I've cleaned up the dog vomit, ripped back a dozen rows on my Tiger sleeve (and wound a small ball of Tiger so that I can knit two rows each from alternating balls...just in case), folded the last of a half-dozen loads of laundry and loaded up the school bags with permission slips, field trip funds, homework (including gripping accounts of the hurling dog adventure), recorders and weather appropriate clothing.

Time for a glass of cheap wine and something on the Food Network to finish off this perfect weekend!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pinch Me...I Must Be Dreaming....A Finished Object

And a keeper at that!

Clare's Orange Twist Marie Grace Smith

It fits perfectly. I wish I had a better camera, or was a better photographer so that you could appreciate the detail, but it really did finish up beautifully. Now that I have figured out the seaming thing and the circular thing, I just might knit it up again in Ellery's size. (remember, I had 25 balls of the light turquoise merino!)

Oh yeah, requisite apologies...

Ignore the background. That is the still unpainted front hallway of our house. Yes, the flooring was done months ago, but the walls are covered with a wallpaper residue that is resistant to all known wallpaper adhesive solvents, except those which also dissolve the base drywall. It's a great excuse to procrastinate a big, ugly job. Our official story is that we are replacing windows on the ground floor and will have to repaint all of the downstairs trim, so we might as well do it all in one shot.

Back to knitting...

Flush with my success at seaming the Orange Twist sweater, I just might attempt the Silkroad Aran sweater for me. The only thing standing between me and a second finished object are seven (yup 7) pairs of kids pants which requiring hemming (hey, if you keep feeding them, they keep growing) and the financial report that I need to bash out prior to tomorrow's school council meeting.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Name is Chelle...and I'm a Seam-a-phobic...

Funny, a quick scan of the DSM-IV yields a host of Anxiety Disorders :

Generalized Anxiety Disorder,
Panic Disorder,
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
Social Phobia,
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder... but not

Seam-a-phobia more commonly known as Finished Object Anxiety Disorder

Yup, I now have two completely finished sweaters, my Silkroad Aran and Clare's Orange Twist sweaters folded up on my "to be stitched up" table. And there they sit, and sit, and sit. As a means of delaying the inevitable, I even reknit both sleeves on Clare's sweater and started a new project (Tiger Stripe sweater for my nephew), but it's time to face the fact that...

I have to sew sweater seams.

Wish me luck as I blow the dust off my Vogue Knitting Reference Manual.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And the Winner Is....

The Ford Winstar in Dark Blue Pearl! Picked it up just a couple hours ago and drove it to SNB! It handles much more like a car (big plus) but has a third row of seating (even bigger plus). Expect more updates as I break it in. Tomorrow, I load ALL the kids and the dog into it first thing in the morning for the school/therapy run...the proverbial acid test.

Unfortunately, the Freestyle was not delivered in time for my brother's wedding this weekend, so we took the rental...

no pictures of the rental, but don't the happy couple look lovely. Ok, RM, the new sister-in-law is brother looks like me...if I was a guy.

Oh, here I am amidst a pack of my relatives...scary group, n'est-ce pas?

I did get a bit of knitting done in the van on the drive down. (the drive back was too rowdy with cries of "sleepytime" and "are we home yet".) I'm working to reknit the sleeves to Clare's Orange Twist sweater on DPNs to avoid bulky seams. I have about half of the second sleeve to go before I get to figure out how to join the whole sordid mess together...I'm thinking NOT crocheted seams.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What Part of No Doesn't She Understand??

No, non, nein, nee, oxi, nyet, bu....

No in English, French, German, Dutch, Greek, Russian and Chinese...and still Ellery believes that there is a glimmer of hope for one of these in her life:

no...and I mean it.

Quick background. Brynne, a friend from school, owns a formerly pregnant guinea pig who has just produced BABY GUINEA PIGS!! Woo Hoo! Ellery desperately wants to adopt one.

A guinea pig is a bad idea for a number of reasons:

1) They live in wood chips and smell...well, wood chippy/pet refusey...get my drift

2) They are rodents and the presence of a guinea pig would drive our Golden Retriever NUTS! Haley will eschew dog treats in favour of staring at squirrels or ferrets...this says alot for a member of a breed known as a stomach perched on legs!

3) Ellery will take care of it (SNORT). I love her to bits and she is my flesh and blood, but Ellery can't take care of her pencil case let alone a living creature. She has the attention span and stick-to-itiveness of well, a nine-year old.

4) My hubby (a wonderful husband and excellent father) is alas NOT an animal person. I had cats before we were married and he tolerated them throughout their natural lives and he has been a very good sport about Haley the Service Dog...but he isn't about to fill up Ellery's Ark without mounting some strong opposition.

Anyway, no guinea pig. I thought that I had made myself clear. A follow up discussion between Ellery and her dad clinched it...or did it?

Just before supper this evening, a neighbour phoned me to ask about the guinea pig we were acquiring. This neighbour wasn't the rodent owner, but the mother of another student hoping to use our guinea pig adoption as fodder for their own campaign to gain a pet against the will of their dad. Yikes. I backpedalled as fast as I could and suggested that rumours of our impending pet ownership had been greatly exaggerated.

Moral of today's lesson...No Means No, unless you are a 9 year old girl who really wants a guinea pig.

Oh, in knitting news, I was playing around with the arm seams on Clare's Orange Twist sweater. I tried crocheting the seams together (based on a recommendation from Angela at SNB) and wasn't completely happy with the results. Of course, staring at the sleeve so closely made me notice a whoops, so...I ripped out the sleeve and decided to knit it again on dpns to fix the boo-boo and avoid the seaming issue.