Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Twas' the Night Before Halloween...

Ok, I'm a reasonably competent adult and I can look at a calendar and figure out what day it is...so why does Halloween always bite me on the behind? Sure, I bought the candy a couple weeks ago (dutifully hidden in the basement to prevent "evaporation"), but this costume and decorating stuff always catches me unaware.

Today, in between an appointment at the chiropractor, an "emergency" trip to Old Navy for girls size 10 slim jeans and a quick grocery run, I picked up:

100+ tiny plastic spiders to decorate cupcakes
skeleton gloves to complete C's Corpse Bride costume
broom for E's Hermione Granger costume (100 Halloween coloured cupcake papers
cupcake fixins for 100 cupcakes
buckets of icing sugar and butter for icing
decorative trays for cupcakes
nasty acrylic granny square afghan for my costume...

So, this evening has rolled out thusly:

3:30 G's bus arrives

3:45 mum distracts G from cupcake fixins and offers (snort) healthy snack

4:00 C arrives home looking tired and insisting on lying on the couch

4:15 Pick up E from school play reheasal

4:30 mum decides to roast chicken with two veg for dinner (penance in anticipation of a weekful of candy), tosses fuzzy blanket on couch-bound pup

4:45 chicken in oven, homework completed, forehead temperature check for sick pup

5:00 E's costume arranged for Halloween dress rehearsal at Girl Guides, baste chicken

5:15 frantic search through the house, looking for loonie to make up "cookie money" due this week at Girl Guides, baste chicken, fetch exotic beverages for peaky-looking C on the couch

5:30 decide to "short" the GGs...they are mums, they will understand...forget to baste chicken

5:45 give chicken an extra good basting to make up for missed basting, nuke broccoli and potatoes, whip up noodles for "vegetarian except for chicken nuggets" E.

6:00 feed offspring (except for sleeping pup on the couch) wrap chicken in foil to save for DH, phone DH to ask if he will return home before 10 pm this evening

6:15 E's ride to Girl Guides arrives, E departs WITHOUT cheque for theatre tickets OR cookie money.

6:30 whip up first batch of 20 cupcakes for Halloween festivities tomorrow

6:45 remove 20 cupcakes from oven to cooling rack, whip up second batch of 20 cupcakes, ply C with flat gingerale, wrestle fistful of cupcakes away from G

7:00 start third batch of cupcakes before the oven is ready, prep first batch of icing (white), beg C to accept a bit of Tylenol to make her more comfortable..C refuses

7:15 bake third batch of cupcakes, suggest soothing bath for sick pup, shoo G away from cupcakes

7:30 wash cupcake trays and locate large sturdy box lid for cupcake transportation, line box with foil

7:45 start fourth batch of cupcakes, DH returns home to grab cheque and cookie money before fetching E from Girl Guides, mum seams sleeves on Molly Weasley costume

8:00 remove last batch of cupcakes from oven, toss chicken back in to warm

8:15 E and DH arrive home, G and C demand warm baths, DH pronounces roast chicken "meh" and makes cold sandwich

8:30 G bathed, hair washed, teeth brushed and jammied, C asleep on couch again

8:45 DH asks "whatelse" do we have to eat? E is eager to join the second sitting. Mum ices half of the cupcakes with chocolate icing

9:00 G tucked in bed (early and without a fight, which is concerning), C resists efforts to carry her to bed, mum ices other half of cupcakes with white icing

9:15 mum pipes white circles onto chocolate iced cupcakes and chocolate circles onto white iced cupcakes, C rallies and demands juice

9:30 E and mum drag toothpicks through icing circles to make spider web designs and apply small plastic spiders to tops of cupcakes. DH takes break from watching Top Chef to review home owners policy for liability related to minors ingesting small plastic spiders

9:45 cupcakes decorated and packed for morning, E sent to bed

10:00 C hurls on oriental carpet...

10:15 bathe, jammie and put C to bed

10:30 haul steam cleaner out of basement for quick swipe of carpet...

ok, enough of this...you get the idea

It's silly busy, C is sick for Halloween (and has likely graciously shared her virus with G and I) and we need any positive thoughts you can spare for tomorrow!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Almost there...

I haven't picked out any buttons yet (so no front shot...), I have many, many ends to weave and a bit of blocking to do, but it's mostly there...Bacardi, or Spumoni.

The colours are fun and I love Barbara Gregory's design, but this sweater was a bit of a slog. I love Super 10 Cotton, but it is truly unforgiving with respect to tension differences.

I think that we just have to spend some time together, but right now, I've looked at enough green and coral for a while.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Still Not the Bacardi...but

a finished object nonetheless...

Knitty's Everlasting Bagstopper

So, I'm trying to decide which I prefer...the Everlasting Bagstopper, or Jodi's Saturday Market Bag

remember this?

Background...I'm thinking ahead (well, not that far ahead) to the holidays and a reusable shopping bag might make a nice little gift for teachers and EAs, particularly if the girls and I fill them with a sample of our Christmas cookies.

I think that a hybrid of the two bags might work:

- I prefer the Super 10 Cotton to the Allhemp6. Don't get me wrong, the hemp has a very interesting texture and promises to soften up with washing, but it's tough slogging to knit with off the skein. Both fibres are very strong and resist stretching, but cost-wise the hemp is more expensive than the mercerized cotton, particularly because I have so much of the cotton in my stash.

- I like the pocket feature of the Market Bag more than the drawstring cinch of the Everlasting bag. I think that if I used the dimensions of the bottom of the EB, but added a turning row and flap, I could make a pocket bottom and still keep the lip feature along the bottom of the EB.

- I could go either way with the straps. Knitting the garter straps is tedious, but so is perusing fabric stores for moderately priced, sturdy ribbons to co-ordinate with yarn.

- The yarnover pattern of the EB is easier than the SMB. There is no logical reason for this, they are very similar, but for some reason I had much less difficulty sorting out where I was when I picked up my knitting with EB's lace.

So, those are the basic specs of the bags that I'll be knitting up for the holidays...

Diversion over, let's get back to the Bacardi...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wasting Away Again in Bacardiville

Between the record temperatures (90 degrees on Thanksgiving Day) which tended to put a damper on my knitting and the fact that I am terrified of the seaming required on the Bacardi, I have very little to show for the last couple weeks.

I have attached one sleeve on the Bacardi sweater. It's fairly tricky to seam it nicely and get the stripes to match up on the sleeve, front and back of the cardigan. I spent one entire evening seaming, ripping, reknitting the sleeve cap and re-seaming the first sleeve.

Since I am easily distracted, I did start Knitty's Everlasting Bagstopper with some Allhemp6. The bag looks great and it is a pretty quick knit, but I'm glad that I'm making a two skein project instead of a full sweater with the hemp. It's pretty hard on the hands. I'm told that it washes brilliantly and softens considerably with each soaking, but that isn't helping me now.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, that's Clare's photo of Ellery and Gillian enjoying the best part of Thanksgiving dinner... Pumpkin pie and Sugar pie. Note the classy whipped cream in a can.