Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do you remember?

Remember when I used to actually post?  And, you know, actually knit stuff? And do crafty, creative-type things?  Yeah, I'm not sure I really remember what that was like, either.

Anyway, it's been an interesting autumn.  We have a little brother or sister for Peanut on his or her way: we'll get to meet the new little one sometime in May.  The first trimester has been incredibly rough.  Serious, crippling nausea.  Peanut and I have watched a lot of television, I'm sad to say.  But things are getting better, and I'm starting to daydream about food, so I'm feeling hopeful.  In all honesty, it was rather depressing.  My nausea gets worse through the day, and peaks at night, so I would wake feeling pretty icky and know that, no matter what I did, it was definitely going to get worse.  Hard to stay upbeat with that sort of daily reality, but I seem to have turned a corner and things are much better and I'm feeling like myself again.

But yarny goodness!  I've been actually making, you know, STUFF out of yarn!  Not a lot, but a little.  It's gotten co-o-o-old here north of the 49, and Peanut didn't have a good winter hat for her post-growth-spurt self. So I made this:



The yarn is something I picked up five years ago to make a scarf, a scarf which never actually happened.  The ball band is long gone and the LYS where I bought it no longer carries the yarn. I think it's acrylic, maybe an acrylic blend.  It's fluffy and bulky and soft, though, so I'm happy with it.  The black is some random acrylic that my mother recycled out of a poncho (yes, a poncho!) she knitted circa 1970 or something like that.  So the black yarn predates Peanut by close to four decades, which is kind of awesome.

The deets, such as I have them:
Pattern (hat): Brrr Baby Beanie
Pattern (flower): Simple Crochet Flower
Hook: 5mm (H)
Size: toddler
Mods: I added an extra round of increases and a few extra rounds of length to ensure the hat would be big enough for as long as possible.  I plan to line the hat with polar fleece as well, to get us through the particularly frigid days of January and February in Ottawa, so the bit of extra space in the hat should help it fit even with the lining.

I've also made a tiny amount of headway on this (you'll have to scroll down).  I'll have to get a picture of it when the sun is higher today.  I'm almost finished the back piece.  If I continue at this rate, I might get it finished within a year of starting it.  Maybe it'll be ready for my post-partum self.  We can always hope!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Holy break in posting, Batman!

Yikes, three months since my last post!  Way to not post, eh?  I can't say that a lot of exciting things have happened, because that's not quite true, but neither has absolutely nothing happened. It was more that what did happen was rather disheartening, and led to my not posting.

So we were supposed to move to McLeod St.  Didn't happen.  Ass-bastard of a landlord decided he didn't like me (I'm an uppity wummun, after all, full of opinions and made of trouble) and summarily kicked us out two days after we got the keys.  We still had the place we were moving out of for another month, so we took the boxes we'd moved into the new place, moved them back in to the townhouse, and started looking again.  We put on a major press looking for a new place, and we were extremely blessed to find our new apartment in only a few days.  We're right back downtown, only two blocks from where we lived before the fire, an eight-minute walk from The Recruiter's office, and a five-minute walk from church.  We're thrilled.  Living in a highrise still feels rather novel - I've never lived with an elevator before, but we're quite enjoying it.

As a result of this little housing drama, though, we were fairly mid-move for the better part of two and a half months.  Add to that that we are pretty solidly "home" people - well, I am - and this whole ordeal really threw me off.  And that led to me not really having the time or energy to post: packing with a toddler, and climbing over the boxes takes a lot of energy!

Not a whole lot else has happened, I'm afraid.  Peanut and I spent a week up at my old summer camp two weeks ago.  I served as chaplain (it's a church camp) and Peanut served as resident two-year-old and general disrupter of all things.  The staff loved her, she loved them, and she learned to eat everything!  She started really going to town on all foods right after we moved into the new apartment, but up at camp she really figured out this whole food thing.  She ate every meal - more or less - and discovered new foods that she loves.  Pancakes are a big hit - huge, in fact - and now she'll oranges!  It's awesome.  :)

What with all the moving there hasn't been a lot of sewing, and even less knitting, but there's been a bit: more to come in that soon!

And because a post without a pic is lame-o:


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today, Peanut is 2.  The past two years have never ceased to surprise, amaze, delight, enlighten, entertain, educate, and bless me.  And now our little Peanut, our Gift from God, is two.  I cannot believe how quickly these two years have gone, how slowly they have passed, how much she has changed, and all the ways she is just as she was the day she was born.

So Happy Birthday, Peanut!  You have made me a mother, and you have made me the mother I am.  You are my tiny star and I thank God for you every day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Birthday prep

Have you seen those Telus commercials with the animals?  Particularly their most recent campaign?

Well, Peanut loves them.  Adores them.  We don't watch any children's programming, so she doesn't really pay much attention to television the majority of the time, but when those '60's tunes start rockin' and that hippo starts frolickin' she howls with glee.  "Po-po! Po-po!" she cries: it's awesome.

Peanut will be celebrating her Second Birthday on Wednesday, so The Recruiter and I have been discussing what gifts might be best for our girl.  As you may have noticed, I like to get crafty, particularly for special occasions, so I took my cue from Peanut's newest obsession and came up with...



The Recruiter and I are pretty in love with this shirt.  But here's where I ask a question of you: does it need a nose and a mouth?

More birthday garments to come!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


We GOT IT!!!  The McLeods are moving to McLeod Street!!!

I'm so thrilled to have found a home that we can live in indefinitely (surely we will someday need something bigger, but not for awhile yet) and in a neighbourhood where we can be happy.  I am also extremely glad that I can finally stop looking at apartments!  Reading ads, making appointments, actually keeping appointments while dragging a poor little Peanut along who just wants to explore and play and sleep on some semblance of a normal routine...ugh!  Such a pain.  But it's done now, and we can focus on packing, purging (we have too much stuff), decorating and moving.

Hooray for good news days and hooray for putting down roots!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A long over due post about random things

What's new? It's been awhile, eh? Here's what's going on here.

Peanut has discovered peanut butter (the synthesis is pretty awesome, isn't it?). She loves it. She calls it butter (well, "bah!" but we know what she means). She also drinks milk by the litre. She also has a taste for take-out fries and delivery pizza. No, my beautifully and lovingly homemade versions will not do: she only wants the pricey, greasy stuff. Whatever. She's eating *something*, she's packing on the pounds, and she's happy as a clam.



In other news, The Recruiter is a recruiter no longer: he's now a proposal writer. But we'll keep calling him that, since I can't think of anything remotely clever to change the title to. Today was his first day and it seems to be a great place for him to work. They even gave him some company swag. And as far as he knows they aren't breaking any laws right now, so it's up up up for him.

And we're moving! Again! But at least this year it's more on our terms than Fate's. After the fire last summer we had only days to find a place, and we were lucky to find the place we did. Most of the apartments we saw were pretty...horrifying. The condo we ended up finding has served us well, but it has also helped us learn what concessions we are - and are not - willing to make. For us, ultimately, it's a question of location. And since we rent someone's home (she's posted out of the country with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade - DFAIT - which is who the pre-fire condo works for as well) and she's due to move back in come September, we know that we need to move, but we get some control over when and how and where to. Which is good. After much looking, we think we've found a place. Now we just wait to see if our application is approved (crossed fingers and oblations to the Cosmic Rental Deities would be much appreciated!). It's sunny, it's airy, it's a good size - not too small, but not so big that we can senselessly hoard random crap the way we've been doing for the better part of our marriage - and it's in a great part of downtown. And there's a really awesome part which, if we get it, I will tell you all about. Let's just say, the McLeods need to live there.

My work with the church continues, albeit a little hesitantly. I will admit that I'm feeling rather thwarted by the fact that so many churches and church leaders seem to want my job to exist in theory, but in actuality want nothing to do with me. It's frustrating, but I keep trying to remind myself that as much as it may matter in the practical sense what those people think, in the truest sense my work has little to do with them directly. My work is about and for young people, so a certain degree of ignoring naysayers will be, inevitably, necessary.

And knitting. Yes, knitting. As you see from my last post, I made a recent splurge and set myself up with two cones of Louet Gems in Goldenrod. It is exactly the colour I hoped it would be when I ordered it from a LYS based on pictures I saw online. And my, but it is a lovely knit! Soft and springy and glossy. It will make a fabulous Katharine - cropped, naturellement. I'm a few inches into it, having just started the lace pattern, and as soon as I fix one little problem, I'll be back on track to getting it finished.


See it? Yeah, knitting while watching television and/or a toddler is best left for later in a project, once the pattern has become a little more second-nature. Ah, well. My crochet hook will get some lovin'.

And speaking of crochet, I'm loving Peanut's newest accessory. It whipped up in about an evening. As much as I love knitting, you really can't beat crochet for speed.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010


What a lovely Easter we've had! This was Peanut's second Easter, but the first where we could really start building family traditions for this season.  So on Friday, after a beautiful Good Friday service at church, we dyed eggs.




Saturday we had a family dinner with The Recruiter's side of the family.  Peanut showed off her newly developed interest in food and her talent at drinking from a cup and enjoyed her brand new outdoor shoes.  I will confess that we bought her shoes with squeakers in them, purely in the hopes that they will encourage her to walk since she is so reticent to actually do so (it isn't a question of ability: she's perfectly able, just rather unwilling).  And by golly, it's working!  The weather has been stunning this weekend - sunny and in the mid-20's every day - and Peanut has been repeatedly demanding to go outside, leading me by the finger to the door and insisting that we go out for walks on the street.  Who could resist?  And she seems quite driven to walk and make her shoes squeak.  Soon she may be willing to walk without holding onto my finger!

Sunday morning we had our first egg hunt.  While I bathed Peanut (warm nights make for sweaty toddler hair) The Recruiter hid the eggs. Then, when Peanut was dressed in her most springy, glorious dress, we hunted for eggs.  She was so dear, padding around the living room in her bare feet and her party dress, holding onto the handle of her little basket.  I just wanted to sing, it was so lovely.


Then it was off to church for our Easter morning breakfast.  The hall was packed with people! Peanut nursed through much of the meal, then sat on my lap and nibbled a hot cross bun before I had to run upstairs to rehearse with the choir.  We processed into the sanctuary at 11 and the place was - truly - gloriously filled.  The pews were just full of spring clothes, families of every age, and people of every shape and colour and genesis.  It was divine.

Even the walk back to the car afterward in the sunshine was perfectly wonderful.




Happy Easter and a glorious spring to you all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guess what!

We ate today.


Why yes, I did enjoy my Pocky*.




A very good day, Peanut-wise.  We're making headway on this crazy thing called eating!

*Pocky is a Chinese stick-like cookie dipped in chocolate.
**She asked for coffee.  A few drops of cold coffee with a lot of chocolate milk in her own little plastic cup, and she was happy. 

Monday, February 01, 2010

Plus de plum?

So I bought 4 skeins of plummy Cascade 220 to knit Ester.  She took exactly 2 skeins (seriously, there was about 8 inches of yarn left over: it was awesome!).  I now have 2 skeins of plum 220 with nothing to do.  The question is, do I return it to the yarn store for a different yarn or colour, or, considering how much I adore this shade, do I knit another cropped sweater out of it?

I have had this faved on Ravelry for about a year now, maybe longer.  I don't have enough to do full sleeves, but I could probably eek out some little cap sleeves. But do I really want - or need, but really, when does "need" ever actually factor in to these decisions? - two cropped, cap-sleeved plum cardis?  Could it edge on too much of a good thing?

Meanwhile, my top-down natural grey eco-wool cowl neck is causing me headaches.  I've actually cut the yarn under the arm, and I'm removing the entire yoke of the sweater to pick up live stitches and knit it upward again, it looked so weird.  I really shouldn't mod patterns without doing my research first.  For your own edification, if you are wanting to knit a scoop neck raglan, the scoop should start at the raglan increases, not 2 inches in from them.  Just in case you ever need that information.  I could have really used it about, oh, ten days ago.+

Thursday, January 21, 2010


yikes! please ignore the messy kitchen.  :)

pattern: Ester
yarn: Cascade 220 in plum
mods: alternated the cable pattern from the centre out to make it symmetrical
verdict: awesome!

After searching around on Ravelry, I noted that a lot of people had trouble with the sizing of this cardi, so even though my measurements would really have me knit a size small or even extra small, I knit a medium.  I wanted it to fit like the sample in Knitty than like a small shrug, and the designer ,who also modelled the sample in the pattern, looks to be about my size and she had knit a medium for herself.  I'm very glad I did: the fit is just what I wanted.

I haven't steam blocked the collar yet, so it looks a little funky in the pictures at times.  I considered adding some short rows to add a little height to the shawl collar, and if I were to knit this a second time in a different colour I think I'd try that, just to see the difference.

I can't find my big kilt pin, so I'm wearing it closed with a ceramic brooch I used to wear on my shawl for my highland dancing dress.  I'm spying out penannular brooches on Etsy, though: I think one will be perfect for closing Ester.

And I'm adoring the colour.  Turns out plum is a fabulous colour with my new green eyes.  (Yes, they're newly green.  They changed colour from blue to green while I was pregnant.  Weird, no?)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

cardigans remembered

For years, I was a cardigan afficionado.  I had many, many cardis in my wardrobe.  I just couldn't get enough of them.  Everytime I'd see one, I'd think "I need that cardi.  I don't have one like it!" 

I had one that was a Christmas gift from my grandmother while I was in high school.  It was a tweedy grey, tunic-length (past the hip) cabled cardi with large, round buttons and pockets.  When I first opened it, at about 17 years old, I didn't love it.  But I remember getting dressed for my first full day of classes in university at 19 years old, to go to my "elite" liberal arts programme with all the other nerds (I write with much love and admiration).  I put on an a-line skirt, my Doc mary-janes, a turtleneck and that cardigan, slung my brown distressed-leather book case over my shoulder, wearing my new funky glasses and my crazed, curly hair, and I looked quite the part of an academic.  I felt like myself, reveling in my geekery, knowing that I was finally peers with people who were actually my peers, people with whom I had much in common in thought and state of mind, not just proximity.

I loved that cardigan during those years.  Somewhere along the way I lost it or got rid of it.  It was knit of some sort of acrylic, so it wasn't particularly dear, but when I see long, cabled cardis sort of like this one of cosmicpluto's, I remember with fondness that big grey sweater and those sweet, wonderful years as an undergraduate.  They say you can't go back again, but if I could, I think I might, not to escape my current life, but to relive with greater enthusiasm and appreciation how delightful those times were.

Friday, January 01, 2010

red is best


Borscht in a Christmas bowl.

Another Peanut Christmas




I finally made Peanut's stocking this year, too.


It was a lovely Christmas, full of family, and friends and a lot of time at the church.  A family party out in the country, with hours of music playing and singing.  A beautiful Christmas morning with just the four of us (I count Wembley, of course).  Peanut playing with the ornaments on the tree, asking to hear Christmas albums, exclaiming over a light wreath hanging in the living room.  And she adores her new rocking chair (thank you, Ikea).

Such a great Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!


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