Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer Vacation!

Just got back from a few days at DH's family's cottage. It's a Herculian effort to prep and pack the kids stuff, said kids are indescribably miserable during the 3+ hour drive up to the cottage and there is a lot of work and vigilance required of the parental units while at the cottage...but it's lovely and it feels like a vacation...except that I get to cook and clean. Anyway, here are a couple snaps to prove that we were away!

DH showing Boo how to use the floaty board:

Apres night swim...Ellery sipping milk back at the cottage.

Haley attempting to "rescue" Clare. Pay special attention to Haley in this photo, it's practically the last time that she resembles a Golden Retriever. (Swimming in the lake, even with careful rinsing afterwards, causes Haley to develop "hotspots" and we had to take her to the groomer for a "shave" today to help relieve the itching. Poor Haley, she looks like a cross between a Labrador and a shorn sheep.

So, lots of driving should equal lots of knitting and it did. Unfortunately, lots of knitting does not necessarily equal lots of finished product. I did something knot-headed with the top of the Josephine Top and had to frog the front and part of the back above the empire waistline.

Oh, BTW, guess who turns 10 tomorrow? Sniff....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Week in Review

Ellery's Rock and Roll Camp...

The premise is simple, give a group of inexperienced 9 - 11 year olds a chance to play an electric guitar, bass guitar, drums and keyboards and to sing the classics (e.g. Led Zeppelin and The Who), set them up with a smoke machine, amplifiers and modest light show and see what happens.

What happens is incredibly loud (if you are a member of the audience), but is a hoot for the participants. Most amazing was the fact that you could almost pick out recognizable tunes at the hour-long Battle of the Bands Friday afternoon. (From a technical standpoint, the trick to one week guitar instruction was to teach each student how to play one note and then have enough guitars that you could arrange them sort of like those handbell-ringers...)

Ellery playing the bass for "The Immigrant Song" (Note the very stylish Rock and Roll pink and purple hair...Ellery dipped the ends of her ponytails in Manic Panic for the occasion!)

Ellery belting out "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "My Generation"

I'm pretty proud of her for that. Although the jury is still out on whether Ellery's vocal abilities favour mine (a croaker) or DH's (very passable baritone), she did volunteer to sing solo in front of a large group of adults and older students. Moxie makes up for a lot!

Clare had a eventful week as well, scoring a highly prized Green Belt at her Martial Arts Camp. (Pictures to follow later...I paid big bucks for the photo disk...darn it, I'm gonna post them!)

Gillian is over her cold and back at school/camp.

Oh and for anyone else who is keeping track of such things....45 days till the start of school.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's Not the Heat....It's the Stupidity...

It must be the heat, or maybe giddiness at the prospect of wearing down my unenviable stash, but I was so enraptured with the idea of knitting this lovely Josphine Top from Interweave Knits out of some fabulous Crazy Cotton that I've had on hand for a couple years, that I never stopped to consider...

What is the point of knitting 300 stitch rounds of eyelet pattern in a VARIEGATED yarn?

A complete waste of a lovely pattern and an equally lovely yarn. Let's not even consider how many hours of labour get thrown into the mix. I will continue knitting the top. At this point, it's worth continuing just to find out how it fits.

The leaf sweater is fully blocked and awaiting seaming. Yup, that impasse again. I prefer to seam things during the day with fresh eyes and full sunlight on my side, but homelife hasn't permitted that this week.

Things have been pretty busy ...Ellery is in Rock and Roll camp (don't's 10 year olds handling electric guitars for the first time), Clare is persuing her green belt at a half day martial arts camp and packing in a few extra swimming lessons and Gilly has been briefly sidelined with a nasty summer cold. Mom's taxi and catering service continues at full speed.

Hopefully a finished object next the meantime I'm slogging away at Josephine and considering my next project. The lovely tuxedo shirt could be made from stash (always a plus), but the Nashua Surplice is fabulous. The real life examples knit by the ladies on Ravelry look great too. It's another plus when design theory, professional models and stylists and the reality of knitting real, wearable garments merge.

Well, off to swimming lessons!

BTW, apologies to the ladies of SNB last night...I'm congenitally unable to pronounce "variegated" without adding an extra syllable...or two. Scusi.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Campanula for the Cure

Lookie what Ramona's up to!

Ramona (AKA Mezzodiva) over at Sock it to Me! is raising funds for

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital (a 60 km walkathon on Sept 8 - 9, 2007).

Good News for Princess Margaret Hospital and good news for us knitters...Ramona is offering her fabulous Campanula sock pattern as a gift to anyone who sponsors her walk!

Click here to sponsor Ramona!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Groundhog Day! Not

Last week Gillian started a summer school program offered by our school board. (only mornings and only part of July...she will definitely have some "slack time" this summer). Of course I had reservations about the program and Gillian's participation (would she like it, would the staff be able to accomodate her needs)...but things have been fabulous. The staff is wonderful, caring and friendly and they schedule really fun crafts and summer play for the kids. Gilly will be able to maintain a bit of a routine about going to school, riding a bus, being with kids and adults other than parents and sisters..(cuz with autistic kids, the LAST thing you want to do is futz with a routine that is working for you!) but she is enjoying stimulating and fun activities at the same time!

Oh, the groundhogs...they live at Gilly's summer school. Seriously, the little nutters dug a den on the front lawn of the school, right next to the parking crescent where the school buses load and unload. To call them "tame" would be an understatement.

Chez Chelle, we have been working on spiffing the laundry/mudroom. I'm using the royal "we" here...DH has been doing most of the painting, retiling, closet installing and general heavy lifting. I've been relegated to selecting colours and criticizing workmanship. Haley, as seen above has been trim-painting with her head.

The Leaf Sweater is soaking in preparations for blocking and seaming, so I am left with nothing on the needles right now. It's too hot to think about any sort of Aran, cotton denim or Philosopher's Wool.

For lighter, summer knitting, I'm thinking about the Josephine Top from Interweave Knits

Very cute, and I have some variegated Crazy Cotton in a fabulous taupe/bronze/teal colourway that I'm hoping will work. I'm a bit concerned about using a multi-toned yarn for an eyelet pattern, but the yarn is lovely and I cannot justify buying more mercerized cotton with all that I have in the stash. So, I'm swatching away. As usual, the required 3.75 mm needles are a bit large and using 3.5 mm needles is a bit too small. Anyone got a pair of 3.625 mms in their stash that I can borrow?

I also like this top (Sleeveless Tuxedo Top) from the same issue, but as DH has so heartlessly pointed out, my upper arms may no longer be one of my best features (were they ever?)

I love the bib front detail and I love the Louet Sales Euroflax Linen that it calls for, but I don't have enough of it on hand to whip it up. I might try a swatch using some fine mercerized cotton that I have on hand...batwing upper arms be damned.

Enjoy your weekend!