Saturday, May 31, 2008

First off, I am a bad blogger.
Now I feel better and can write this post.
Yesterday we had a wonderful visit with my cousin, his wife and their two boys 4 and 2. It was such a blessing to have that time with them. I had not seen them in 5 years- since the day of their wedding and had never met those gorgeous boys. The boys played with Giraffe for 5 hours without a fuss, acting like they had know each other for years, while the grown ups got caught up on family news and the like. I hated to see them drive away that night. I walked back in the house to put Giraffe to bed and what do I see on the kitchen counter, untouched for the entire visit- my camera! How can you have a family visit and not take a single picture? I am a bad blogger.
They are planning another visit in November and I am committing to taking a picture every 5 minutes.
My family is such a blessing and this visit was especially meaningful as there has been distance (miles and emotional) over the past few years between the families and now we are getting back on track. God is so good to them that love Him.

In other news, hubbo is back on nights after 3 years of days. He is adjusting well already, I on the other hand am unable to settle down to sleep without him there. I know this too will pass. Giraffe is trying to get used to being quiet in the mornings to let Daddy sleep- he is now at least old enough to try and be quiet.
My job is just crazy right now and we are feeling the pressure of deadlines and major undertakings as we are counting down the days til summer break (yeah summer). But I am loving it more and more, enjoying the supportive staff, the amazing (and challenging) kids we are working with and the job itself.
I am planning to take myself out for a treat today, maybe to a yarn sale or fibre fest if I can get the details. I need a little break from Giraffe who is overtired and unpleasant right now.

Rainy Saturday meme

Hubby is away for a week (wed to wed) and the kids have been pretty good so far--but woke up grumpy and jumping on each other.

What is making them happy right now??
An old Spiderman cartoon in French. Go figure.

So, I'm having some much needed coffee (Aidan 6am on a Saturday is not a good time to get up)

I've seen this floating around blogland and am tagging myself.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:

In May of 1998 I had just graduated from University and was staying in Rochester to complete a course. I was living with my sister, Andrew and I had been dating for about 6 months.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

Take Princess Brenna to swimming


Dye yarn (hopefully)

Do something fun with the kids

Sew something (finish my sock fish and/or start B's shirt)

3. Snacks I enjoy:


Chips (Ketchup and Dill Pickle are my favourite)

Popcorn (I make popcorn all the time--in a pot with oil, LOVE IT)

Sugar (like Fun Dip, Pixie Sticks--plain old coloured/flavoured sugar)

Guacamole (My BIL has an amazing recipe--it's so good)

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:

Give 10% to my Church and Missions in the world.

Buy my house and the houses of my family (who needs mortgage payments?)

Invest for the kids to go to school

Re-do my entire house (it's old, it's got weird heating/plumbing/design)

Buy an Island in the Bahamas or somewhere warm

5. Places I have lived:

Scarborough Ontario (only for 4 days though!) Richmond Hill Ontario, Cambridge Ontario, Rochster NY, Belleville Ontario

If you haven't done this meme yet-- I tag you.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random things


These are corn muffins that have wild violet greens in them.
Last year I found out that all the pretty purple flowers all over the yard were wild violets, that are actually considered a weed but they are many recipes for making use of them!
The first one I heard of was violet syrup which can be used in tea--but I found some for salad dressing (this isn't the one I used--can't find it, but very similar. It was good, tastes a bit like sage leaves--and even hubby liked it), jam/jelly, tea and other things.


Thursday morning after hubby took Princess B to school a neighbour came over to tell us that she had watched a momma cat from across the street (IE: burned out former drug house) carry her kittens to our side porch, one by one.
She called the humane society who said they would come in a week (??).
I had a friend drop by who fosters for the society and she was worried about the babies walking across our road (if mommy left to get food) as it does get busy.
We gathered them up and then spent an hour trying to coax mommy cat into her car, but no luck.
I had the babies in my shed with the door open all afternoon to coax mommy cat in there--but again, no luck.
So, at the end of the day hubby found momma cat back across the street and gave her kittens back and made sure she took them (part of the problem was that momma cat is very young herself and doesn't seem to have much of a mothering instinct--and the owner of momma cat has about 10 cats that he feeds, however doesn't accept responsibility for them)
They are so cute and Princess B wanted to keep them all.

Some fibrey pictures:

My sister came for the weekend to her new trailer and brought me my birthday present.
She loves entrelac (she just finished a shawl out of fingering weight that she figures took her about 90 HOURS to complete (900 squares)....
It's a entrelac felted purse kit--complete with it's own bag, handles and even comes with a frame for stretching it into shape.
I love the name:

I LOVE the colours.

I want to cast on right now, but have those socks to finish, a shawl or 2 to knit and a summer tank before summer is over!

What's on your needles???

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Knitting alert

Yes, there has been knitting.
But apparently there has not been blogging.
There has been hubby at meetings, 1 child at school, 1 child not napping, walking about 6 kms with 2 children in tow to and from school/School Fun Fair/First Soccer meeting, swimming lessons, parties, driving to and from Toronto and a sheep shearing day.

I am close to finishing the body of my Forest Canopy Shawl with the Fleece Artist Sea Wool that I purchased for my birthday.
(this is just a picture to pretty up the blog--the shawl is much larger now than in this picture)

I am wondering how big it will be finished, and how on earth the edging works out--but since I am a newbie, I will just trust the pattern and keep on plugging.

Has anyone made this one bigger??
How would I do that--does it affect the edging??

The orange Picovoli has not been touched in a couple of weeks--I was knitting late one night and fell asleep during some decreased--which is never a good thing--and it has sat ever since.

I have cast on a pair of socks to make for my friend Kelly who is always at the short end of my
birthday presents. (remember this??)
So, I have some BLACK cotton yarn to make socks for her (wool allergy) and will be doing this motif, kind of like these stockings, but not thigh high (whew!)
I am working it toe up, and figuring the gauge swatch, the stitches needed and the pattern produced 3 false starts, but I think I am on my way now.
Friend Kelly is in Korea for her brother's wedding for 2.5 weeks (she just facebooked me today and she is climbing mountains!!) and I hope to have them done for when she comes back. Wish me luck.
(Update: The sock has been frogged since little man pulled the needles out and I couldn't find my way back to the YO's from previous rows....grrrr)

Those three things are the only things on my needles right now--but that's enough.

And now, some sheep.
Every year a local famer/shepherd has a sheep shearing day and it's a fundraiser for the local 4-H kids. There is food and fleece and fun.
This year I had hoped to buy a BFL fleece (he just added BFL to his herd since last year), but he has had a stressful spring and had to sell off a good chunk of his flock--and the BFL's are no more.
So, we watched some shearing, had some food and came home--it was very very cold and windy and the kids can only watch so many sheep run around (whose kids are they?? I could stand all day and watch the sheep)
So apparently this dear sheep has an amazing fleece that spinners fight over. I didn't buy her fleece but took her picture.

I received my box of laceweight and some Merino/Alpaca roving and Merino/Tencel roving in the mail from Sheila (seriously, best customer service, fastest shipping and all around most wonderful human being).

I did some dyeing last week and sold a couple of things, but other than that the store has been very slow lately.

I'm hoping that the lace will perk me up as well as my store.

I am going to be dyeing for a sock club coming up, but the date has been pushed back a bit and I'm waiting to see when my time will come--I have some ideas, but it all depends on what month I get to dye for.

and now for a cute kid picture or two.

Princess B had her face painted like a lady-bug at the school Fun Fair:

Little man just like his slushy.

and that is all for now.

What's new with you??

Friday, May 16, 2008

CRL is back!

After a hiatus, Craft, Rock, Listen, the podcast from Vickie Howell is back! Go take a listen!

These are a few of my favourite things....

...the smell of fresh cut grass.

Only having 5 hours of sleep, but feeling rested

Fresh coffee in the morning

The smell of bread baking

Cold pizza for breakfast (I love it--home made pizza, even better!)

Dyeing wool and/or yarn (wool fumes, I love it!)

Craft nights

my kids playing happily together..

cute pictures that Princess B draws (that's a picture of hubby and I getting married!)

fun food!


Happy Friday~!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tuesdays dye day

Tuesdays dye day
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Post Birthday Pictures

My Dad and step-Mom gave me a g/certificate for the yarn shop and a really awesome orange jacket (dress jacket).
My MIL sent a card with some money, which I decided needed to go towards yarn as well (ha ha).

So, I just got back from the shop, after doing my research and dreaming for a few days:

Fleece Artist Sea/Wool which I think is going to be a Forest Canopy Shawl

and Misti Alpaca:

The colours are amazing.

And it's so soft....

I showed it to hubby before he left after lunch and he said
"You like lace shawls?? You're going to WEAR a lace shawl??"

This is the test for me.
I 'm going to knit up the chunky one first--which I know will be fast and not very hard (I already have the pattern for the forest canopy)--which will wet my feet (I totally just wrote "wet my teeth" ??)

and the lacey lacey one I think will be an Icarus Shawl.
I know--it's like the Cadilac of lace knitting.
But I have knit a fair but of lace socks, I understand shawl construction--I think it will be fun.

I've been drooling over Elemms shawls and if he can do one in 11 days, then it might only take me a few weeks (ha ha).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Whirwind weekend

What a weekend!

My birthday was Friday and I got: to sleep in , have breakfast brought to me (I requested an Egg McMuffin and Coffee) and got to have a lazy day, took a nap and then took a trip to the yarn store to use my gift certificate.
Problem was, I got overwhelmed.

I thought I was going in to buy some Fleece Artist SeaWool or something like that, but then was shown around all the lace possibilities and my head was spinning.
I left empty handed save for a list of possible purchases.

Now I just have to narrow it down from:
Misti Alpaca Handpainted Lace
Malabrigo Lace
Handmaiden SeaSilk
Handmaiden Silk
Schaefer Andrea
Lacey Lamb

I'm leaning towards the Misti Alpaca because it is so soft.
My first intention was to buy something of a bulkier weight to get a quick and easy shawl--but I'm thinking of going for softness.
I've been digging around Ravelry a lot to see finished shawls--and am still undecided.

I hope to go back tomorrow to make my purchase and cast on.

Friday night we went to friends' house (they own a Park) to stay for the weekend to celebrate their oldest sons' 4th birthday!.
There was a group of us and we had fun sleeping in cottages (really nice trailers), having campfires,
playing in the park,

boat rides

and a really awesome Pirate party complete with Pinata.

We went to Church and came home and basically we all crashed.
(this is a picture of the kids and I after they woke me up Mother's Day morning)

I decided to use up my once/year Mother's Day do-whatever-I-want (in combination with my Birthday, ha ha) to nap and be lazy yet again.
I had some snackish food for dinner and watched some brain candy TV (this is my new obsession).

Today it's back to the grind--I've been cleaning, doing laundry and taking care of toys, things from the weekend etc etc.

I hope to cast on for my first real lace shawl soon....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Knitterly Goodness

I have a birthday coming up but I have been blessed to receive some early knitterly gifts.

I got to go out for lunch with an amazing friend last week just to catch up and she gave me the first of some amazing knitting gifts.

She bought me this book:

I have seeing this book online, not really ever looked through it at a book store (I get to a book store only a few times a year)--and so was never really sure what was inside.
Really. good. book.

This friend is the one I started to teach to knit, but we really haven't been back to it since.
She looked at the book and thought it "looked like me" and bought it--amazing.

Last night was the one of the last craft night we will have with Janna (don'tcrydon'tcrydon'tcry) before she moves, and she surprised me with this.

An amazing knitting bag that she designed and sewed herself (she doesn't follow patterns, she just sews) and made from fabric from Kenya (A country I love).
It's amazing! You can read more about it here.

Thanks Janna!

Also, my Dad had asked hubby for some ideas for birthday gifts for me. I always have a list of knitting books to add to my stash or a g/certificate to Canadian Tire so I could buy a rose bush or some flowers or something.
So, they left a gift with me in April and then I got a card yesterday--
with a Gift Certificate for my LYS (Local Yarn Shop)---no way!
Another amazing gift.

So, what would you do with a g/certificate for your LYS??

My thought is to buy some silk or some Fleece Artist SeaWool or something else amazing that I wouldn't normally buy myself and do something special.

I want to knit lace this year and I'm thinking this is a good burst to get me started!


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dyepots dyepots

a bubblin'

I finished up this one:

and put it in the shop.

As well, I listed my SeaCell

and am working on 2 more colours right now and have more planned for tonight.

I also am going to be getting some laceweight pretty soon---so excited.

Things are growing in the garden, the sun is shining--although it is cold today.

Yesterday we went to finally see the baby sheep at our friends' house.

While we were there--it SNOWED.
Little snow/hail balls rained down for a few minutes right at the end of our visit.

I got to hold one of the babies who kept trying to use his new budding horns on my ear.

They are so cute, and so soft and I want one.
Honey? Can we have sheep?


We did get some more pets at our house, about 1,000 of them.

I bought some worms for vermicomposting.
I have been wanting to do it for about 2 years and had a friend convinced to share a shipment with me--then found someone local who has been doing this since the 90's and used to be THE supplier in the area.
I went on a road trip and brought the babies home:

I've had them a week and I just can't stop peering at them.
You're really not supposed to disturb them very often, but I can't help it.
Every time I take the bin outside little man says "Mommy, I love worms".
I have no idea where he got that, he started it on his own, but he gets so excited to see them.