Saturday, December 29, 2007

Package From Norway

This little penguin came all the way from Norway! And he didn't come alone... He brought some sock yarn (the boys are eyeing it since it is blue...), polar bear socks, a polar bear key chain (made of bone - very nice), Christmas greetings, Santa tissues and...
...his Marzipan pig friend! See - isn't the pig cute? I really like Marzipan... Although I know that I'll have a tough time eating this little cutie.
A special thanks go out to my still unknown Sock It To Me Twice spoiler for the very nice surprise! I love the polar bears and the penguins. Polar bears are most definitely
something that Canada and Norway have in common.

I still need to post the pictures from my Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap package, but the package is upstairs and I don't want to risk waking Mr. Me. I prefer to blog in peace...!

Friday, December 28, 2007

How I Spent My Lunch Hour Today - A Meme

Do you have any pets?
1 cat. Tiger. The kids have 2 gerbils. Whiskers and Scooter.

What color shirt are you wearing?
Blue and white striped buttoned shirt with white collar and cuffs.

Name three things that are physically close to you.
I’m doing this at my desk at lunch so my tape dispenser, a glass of water and my phone.

What is the last book you read?
I have a number of books in progress. The last one that I finished was Startled by His Furry Shorts.

Are you or were you a good student?
I was. I always sat at the front.

What's your favorite sport?I am not athletic. Not at all. I like to go bike riding with the kids and we have a sailboat, but that’s probably about it. And of course I enjoy a nice walk if it is just a little warmer than today (above freezing, please…).

Do you enjoy sleeping late?
I wouldn’t want to sleep late all the time, but occasionally it would be nice to sleep as late as I liked. Considering that the alarm goes off at 5:15am, it doesn’t take much for me to have slept “late”.

What's the weather like right now?
Cold. It was snowing earlier, but the sun is shining now.

Who tells the best jokes?
Hmmm…. That like asking me who my favourite comedian is, right? And I don’t have one. Humourists? Sure – Stuart McLean and Jonathan Goldstein. Yeah, I like the CBC, so shoot me…!

What was the last thing you dreamed about?I
have no idea. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve remembered a dream.

Do you drive? If so, have you ever crashed?
Yes I do drive, and no I’ve never really crashed. I’ve grazed a cement bollard and the odd snow bank, but not for years!

Do you believe in karma?
I’m not sure, so I try to err on the side of caution. It never hurts to do something good.

Do you believe in luck?
Luck right up there with karma...

Do you like your eggs scrambled or sunny side up?
Over hard. I’m not eating something that appears to be looking at me and I really don’t like “creamy” scrambled eggs which is how everyone else seems to like them. Blech!

Do you collect anything? If so, what?
I have a collection of Madeline ragdolls (they're no longer in production so no link) and a small teacup collection that came from my Grandmother.

Are you proud of yourself?
Not always.

Are you reliable?
I try very hard to be reliable and succeed most of the time.

Have you ever given money to a bum?
Occasionally, but not too often.

What's your favorite food? Tough question! I love Mediterranean foods, does that count?

Have you ever had a secret admirer?
Yes. In many ways I wish that it had been kept a secret. He had been a good friend. The declaration of his feelings for me ended that since it wasn’t truly reciprocated.

Do you like the smell of gasoline?

Do you like to draw?
Yes, although I don’t do it often anymore.

What's your favorite invention?
I have no idea! I’m quite certain that I take many of them for granted.

Is your room messy?
Define messy… Okay – yes, it is messy. (This refers to my sewing room since it is the only room that is truly MINE!)

What do you like better: oranges or apples?
Generally – apples.

Do you give in easily?
At home, yes. At work, no.

Are you a good guesser?
I don’t really know. It depends on what I’m guessing about. I have good instincts about some things, but unfortunately not everything.

Can you read other people's expressions?
Not consistently.

Are you a bully?
I don’t think so, although I do remember bullying another child when I was about 8. It was to get back at her brother who had bullied me.

Do you have a job?
A single job??? I have many jobs. One of them actually pays me, too.

What time did you wake up this morning?
5:15 am.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

When was the last time you showered?5:45 am.

What do you plan on doing tomorrow?
I’m getting my haircut by a new stylist at 9am. Beyond that, hopefully it is a quiet day at home just puttering around.

What's your favorite day of the week and why?
I don’t have a favourite day although I don’t really like Thursdays. I always expect bad things to happen on a Thursday.

Do you have any nicknames?
None that I care to share. Sorry.

Have you ever been scuba diving?
Are you crazy? Of course not!

What's your least favorite color?

Is there someone you have been constantly thinking about? If yes, who?
Constantly thinking about? I don’t think that I have those powers of concentration!

Would you ever go skydiving?

What toothpaste do you use?
Good old basic Crest.

Do you enjoy challenges?
Usually, yes.

What's the worst injury you have had?
I broke a bone in my foot about a year and a half ago. Very painful… And I’ve managed some very impressive bruising with some of my other klutzy adventures.

What's the last movie you saw?
American History X. It was on TV recently.

What do you want to know about the future?
Probably nothing.

What does your last text message say?
I’ve never sent nor received a text message. Yes – I am a dinosaur!

Who was the last person you spoke over the phone to?
Mr. Me.

What's your favorite school subject?
Mathematics and Chemistry.

What's your least favorite school subject?

Would you rather have money or love?

What is your dream vacation?
Today it would involve a beach and warm weather.

What is your favorite animal?

Do you miss anyone right now?

What's the last sporting event you watched?
I have absolutely no idea!

Do you need to do laundry?

Do you listen to the radio?
Yes. Usually the CBC.

Where were you when 9/11 happened?
I was at work. Mr. Me called me and told me about it. I didn’t really understand what he was telling me initially since there is also a World Trade Centre in Halifax. It took me a moment to clue into it being in New York. I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t heard anything since I was only 2 blocks away…

What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
I try to avoid vending machines .

Have you ever caught a butterfly?
I don't know.

What color are your bed sheets?
Cream, pink and sage green plaid.

What's your ringtone?
Whatever the phone came with...

Who was the last person to make you laugh?
Probably my boys yesterday evening. Little boys are very funny without even trying.

Do you have any obsessions right now?

Do you like things that glow in the dark?
That depends… Sometimes yes. Sometimes no… I’m not a big fan of things that surprise me by glowing at me.

What's your favorite fruity scent?
Citrus scents. They smell so clean.

Do you watch cartoons?
I have 2 kids. What do you think? Of course I watch cartoons! I love Arthur, but I usually only get to watch that if it is just myself and Younger Son.

Have you ever sat on a roof?

Have you ever been to a different country?
Yes. The United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Name three things in the world you dislike.
Selfishness, fanatics and raw mushrooms.

Name three people in the world you dislike.
No. I don’t feel like being that rude today.

Has a rumor even been spread about you?
Yes – by one of the people I’m not naming above.

Do you like sushi?
I’d rather eat other things.

Do you believe in magic?
Yes. There has to be a little magic!

Do you hold grudges?
Not really.

And that was my lunch hour... I'm not tagging anyone since I was just being lazy with my time today.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Pics, Ma'am... Just the Pics

So you've seen the brown box before... And I'm still having issues with the uploading of photos with Blogger... To be precise, I can upload, but I can't move them around. And since Blogger inserts each new picture at the start of the post I've had to load the photos in reverse order. Is this why my brain hurts? Since I received not one, but two packages in the mail today, I was determined to post the photos from my SP11 package first. More swappy goodness later... Here we go - first glimpse of the box contents -

The group shot.
The Cadbury Magical Elves. They weren't really moving all that fast. It must have been me shaking in anticipation of getting to eat them! Chocolate with "popping" candy. Very yummy and FUN!
My beautiful new tote bag.
The very cute card.
Non-dietary fibre. A hand blended batt from Spritely Goods and 2 balls of Crystal Palace Kid Merino that may end up as this. Aren't the colours gorgeous?!
Pampering bath products.
Patons Cables booklet. There isn't a single pattern in this booklet that I don't like!
A porcelain spoon from the Franz collection. Isn't it pretty?
I'll thank Jinxsa again now that you've seen "the goods" and I understand that a few of you have been over to visit her and have had a few laughs... Sorry - I should have included a "spray warning" about reading her!
More photos later. Next up - Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap package and a big "thank you" for Cheryl in Texas and my SITMT spoiler who sent me a package all the way from Norway! I'm feeling pretty special today. I'll post pics of both packages soon - hopefully tomorrow.
And I still want to tell you about the knitting goodies that I got for Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sometimes It's Not What It Looks Like

It looks like just an ordinary brown box, but is it? No - it's not!!! It's my final SP11 package. It arrived the middle of last week. I've been trying to post about it but Blogger has been feeling cranky... Maybe they had a really good office Christmas party and Blogger is feeling a little hungover? So - does anyone want to know who it is from and what's inside???

My very fabulous SP11 spoiler was Jinxsa! And I must say that Jinxsa has made me feel very spoiled with all three of my packages. Looking back, it looks like I neglected to post photos of package number 2, although I know I mentioned it. We backed everything up to disk given the computer's recent health issues, but Mr. Me (who is in charge of tehcnical issues) didn't save them in such a way that I can find anything. I'll try to find the package 2 photos for posting, but I'm not hopeful... I may just have to share it's yarny goodness. And speaking of yarny goodness, shall I get on with the photos? Okay...
Oops - maybe not. Blogger seems to think that the brown box photo is enough. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! There will be photos later showing off my fabulous new tote bag, yummy fibre (I'm going to have to learn to use that spinning wheel), chocolate elves (RIP dear elves - they didn't live long), delicious mohair, a beautiful porcelain spoon, spoiling decadent bath products, a wonderful Patons pattern booklet and the sweetest card with a white Scottish Terrier on it. I'm sure that I have forgotten something but without the photos to jog my memory I'm completely lost!
If I don't get back before the 25th, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and enjoy a day off to those who don't. Jinxsa works in retail and has a special post planned for tomorrow... Drop by if you're curious.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Contest Girl...

Okay - so I'm still loving a good contest...
If you wander over the Cynical Knitting Gal, she is having a contest to give blog names to her siblings. How fun is that? Tell her I sent you, okay...???
Or you could wander over to visit Sharon at Adventures in My Creativity for her 2nd Blogiversary Contest. Sharon was my downstream pal for the WWCS. She's had a lot going on in her life lately, but I've learned some very interesting things from Sharon and will most certainly continue to read her blog. And by this point, I'm sure that you know the drill - tell her I sent you, okay?

SITMT Contest - Christmas Holidays

New Contest: Holiday memories and Holiday knitting. Contest starts today and will end on Friday, December 21st. All you have to do is write a blog post about the holidays. Include memories from when you were a child, Christmas knitting you are working on this year, and holiday traditions. 5 points for the post. If you include pictures, you will receive 1 point for each photo. Have fun!

I think that I will start by directing you here to see the Christmas knitting. Yes... Lots of socks, but then you all "get that", right?

Do you people really want to hear about my childhood Christmases? Are you SURE??? I guess that I'll have to admit that my memories of Christmas are not universally happy memories. I grew up approximately 20 miles away from both sets of grandparents. My grandparents could not have been more different. My Dad's parents were I suppose, middle class, and pious Baptists... Now I have nothing against Baptists, but that did mean that they were decidedly different from my Mom's parents. You see my mother is from a "mixed marriage"... No - I am not talking about racially mixed. My Grandma was raised as a Baptist, but horror of horrors, she had married a Roman Catholic!!! And my Mom's parents were decidedly working class.
At Christmastime, this often meant two separate visits, and sometimes two Christmas dinners. We always had to be on our best behviour at my paternal grandparents, while mayhem seemed to rule at my maternal grandparents. And then there was the temperature difference... I never ever remember eating a hot meal at my Dad's parents. It was always a sit down meal at the dining room table, with my Grandpa at the head of the table and my Grandma at the foot. I sat at my Grandpa's right since you need to have a woman to the right of the man at the head of the table and I'm left handed. It always made my cousin's jealous....
Dinner at my maternal grandparents was always decidedly less formal. My mother is the second oldest of five children. I have 3 cousins on my Dad's side, but there are 13 on my Mom's side. And my Mom's parents had a very small house... After at best a warm meal at my Dad's parents we would go up to my Mom's parents and take turns on the back porch to cool off. And dining? Well, that involved TV trays!
As for traditions, we had very few when I was a child. I always felt like this was something that I had missed. As we got older, I enjoyed making Christmas cookies with my sisters. We would hang sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies on the tree as ornaments. Gradually over the course of the season the tree would become barer and barer...
Our tradition now with our children is to go to the Christmas Eve service at our church, come home for a late supper and then off to bed after leaving Santa and the reindeer at bit of a snack (and a note of course). Christmas stockings always have Terry's Chocolate Oranges in the toes and a bag of chocolate money for prosperity in the year to come.

Things I've Read This Week

While I haven't been blogging, I have been reading other people's blogs, news items, etc. Some of them were quite interesting!
Earlier in the week I was reading Chan Knits. More particularly, this post. Which took me over to Crimson Purl and this post. Click on over and have a read. I think that you'll find it interesting. I know I did!
And then there was the Wall Street Journal article on Sock Wars. I sent it to Mr. Me for educational purposes. His response? "You people are crazy." I shared this response with a knitting friend who countered with "Let's see if he still feels that way after he stops getting handknit socks."
The pre-Christmas stress is building around here... Hopefully I can get back to things while Mr. Me heads out to finish his shopping tomorrow. I don't have to go because I'm DONE!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Small Kindness

Yesterday evening on my way home from work, I decided that I needed (yes - needed, not wanted) a cup of coffee for the drive. So, being a good Canadian, I passed through the Tim Horton's drivethru on Union Street in Fredericton. Just a medium coffee with milk, please... When I got to the window to pay, the gentleman in front of me in the silver Audi had already paid for me! I couldn't see his license plate clearly because of the snow - I'm not even sure that it was a New Brunswick plate - and I don't think that I know anyone that drives a silver Audi... I honked and waved as a "thank you" as I drove past him exiting the parking lot, but I don't think that he either heard or saw my very small "thank you". It was just a cup of coffee, but even this small act of kindness and generosity is something that I found very touching. I am grateful to know that there are people out there like this gentleman. When I pulled up to the window, I was crying. I was listening to an interview on the radio with the good samaritans that had been involved in this. While their actions were of a much greater magnitude, I think that the spirit of kindness and caring is the same.
Now if only I could summon some good thoughts about the snow plow driver who just about creamed me later in the drive. Perhaps I should just be grateful that he didn't!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WWCS Topic of the Week

For many people, Winter is a time of cold weather and snow - and many fun outdoor activities that can only be enjoyed during those times! What's YOUR favorite activity in Winter, and is it even outdoors??
I'm not the most athletic of people, so I'm not going to lie to you all and tell you how much I love to downhill ski... I tried it once. I have promised the kids that I will try it again, but it was a very humbling and humiliating experience. However, since we have lots of land (10.5 acres) and live slightly past the middle of nowhere, I do love to go for a walk in the woods with Mr. Me and the kids. It is a wonderful experience to walk through pristine snow in the absolute and utter quiet of a winter wood. All you can hear is the squeaking of the snow under your feet. Once the river is frozen, we often walk across to an old abandoned camp where we will sit in it's shelter and enjoy our thermos flasks of tea or hot chocolate. It's a great family activity, although I do need to get myself some snowshoes so that I can better keep up with the kids.

Round and Round We Go, Where the Carousel Stops, Nobody Knows!

The carousel in question would be my Carousel Cap... If we go back to a week ago yesterday, this is how my yard looked.It snowed enough that school was cancelled for the kids (no surprise), the commuter bus that I normally take didn't go into the city (unprecedented) and work was closed until 1PM (shocking), but I couldn't get out of my driveway, so that was a moot point. Yay for technology and the ability to work online from home!
The last couple of years, I was able to successfully ignore winter for the most part, but this year it appears that winter is coming. And winter is staying. And winter isn't going to be a good guest... Since I had purchased some lovely Celestial Merino a couple of years ago for a Carousel Cap, I thought that this would be the perfect time to knit it. I knit a tension swatch. I counted. Okay - I didn't wash it, but I've knit with the yarn before so I knew that it *should* be just fine...
I cast on with a provisional cast on. Since I had some leftover pale blue from my Mom's Christmas socks of last year, I decided to use that for as much of the facing of the brim as was possible and the contrast ridges. So far, so good. As I got closer to the end of the blue, I calculated how much I needed for the ridges, and stopped the contrast in the facing at an appropriate point. The beads were strung and knit into place without issue. I had reversed the rows to compensate for my left handedness... Oh - it was looking nice!
Time to start the lace pattern. Now, I could see which way the "holes" were sloping and which way the stitches were sloping... I thought that I would be fine. After 3 rows, I realized that my lace was travelling in the wrong direction. Time to frog it back to the contrast ridge! It wasn't far... Better to do it right from the start.
Off I set again, and this is how far I got before I realized that I STILL didn't have the stitch pattern right...
So back to the contrast rigde it went again.
Last night I got to within maybe 10 rows of the end of the cap and I ran out of yarn!!! To my credit, I did not throw the hat, nor did I scream, although I wanted to do both. I am now off to frog it back about a third of the way, omit 2 rows at that point and then 2 more a little further up to have enough yarn to finish. Hey - it's only 4 rows that are being omitted, and that will be better than a great big massive and enormous hole at the top of my head!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Knitting

I've added some links and corrected some names that were entered too quickly... Let me know if I missed something that you're just dying to know, okay?
Okay, I'd better be quick - before Mr. Me realizes that I'm blogging when he wants to write the annual Christmas letter. In keeping with the Christmas theme, I've got some finished object photos of my Christmas knitting.
MIL's Socks - The pattern is "My Petticoat Socks", and the yarn is Fortissima Colori.
Uncle Roger's socks. Briggs and Little Heavy Socks, knit in their 150th Anniversary colourway.
SIL's socks. Rib and Cable socks (by Nancy Bush) from Interweave Knits Fall 2005. The yarn is some of the Sisu that I purchased on vacation.
I've been found out... Gotta run... I'll try to get back with links later - bye!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

WWCS Coffee Chat

I've been busy recently, and haven't had too much of a chance to cruise through the list of participants, but I did a little bit of just that today. I wandered over to Two August Girls and met Heather. Part of me being busy is that I've just changed jobs. I'm kind of pleased that I now have a window... Heather's bosses gave her office away when she was on mat leave! Yikes!!! But when you look at the photos of her daughters, she still came out ahead in that deal. And Heather's older daughter and I have the same name. Heather is being tempted by sock knitting... I've tried to encourage her, since there are few things better than handknit socks.
I also wandered over to Purple is a Fruit, home of Vicki. I am in awe of Vicki... I'm also sorry that I missed her 500th post contest. That is quite an accomplishment! And besides, reno stories are right up my alley. I've even got some doozy before and after photos to prove it, although I'm still trying to figure out what possessed Mr. Me's relatives to do some of the previous "renos" in the first place...
And something that all three of us have in common: we're all Mom's to 2 kids.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Feet and Other Stuff

I think that my computer may be ill... It is slower than death these days! Mr. Me works from home 3 days out of 5, so I'm blaming him for the illness. Or it could be the kids and their love of computer games. Who knows, but if this keeps up, I may have to treat myself to a laptop of MY OWN and a wireless router. Yeah, like that's in the budget.
So yesterday was my last official day in my old job. Monday brings both a new job and a new office. And my office has a real window! I haven't had a window in 5 years... Of course there are still things that need to be tidied up with the old job, but I am very excited about moving on to something new. And in typical "it never rains it pours" fashion, I also received a call on another job that I had applied for. I'll go for the interview and see what comes of it, since I don't really have to make a decision unless they offer the position to me. Both of them are lateral shifts for me, so I would have to look at my longterm career planning objectives. Okay - you can stop laughing now. No - I don't really have any longterm career plans other than to have positions that I find interesting.
I managed to get the package for my downstream WWCS pal shipped out yesterday. I really hope that she likes it and that it doesn't spend too much time at the border... If I had been really organized, I would have had everything together and mailed it from Maine last weekend, but that would have been very unlike me, so that explains why it didn't happen!
The winner of the most recent WWCS contest, Lesley, is going to be co-hostessing a new swap with Michelle. Wander over to Cocoa Swap and have a look. I'm not really a cocoa drinker but the Blah Buddy part of the swap may just suck me in. I love having little creatures that make me smile around... And since this is my entry into their first contest, tell them I sent you, okay?
I've been reassigned a downstream pal for SITMT and have started reading her blog to get to know her a bit. I'm looking forward to it. I *think* that I know people who know her so if things get bumpy, I may have a backdoor in. And speaking of SITMT, my upstream pal has asked for some foot information from me. Well, pal, I'm going to direct you to here, to my questionnaire from the first swap. You may note that I sometimes get careless when remeasuring my feet, so I know that this information is accurate...
Something else that is amusing me these days is the "Gross Things Meme". I saw it over at Shut Up I'm Counting. Cass posted her meme and has been linking other people's memes as well. I've got to say, I'm am VERY LUCKY to have a very pleasant and non-gross life! Nothing that has happened to me can compare to some of the grossness I've read. While they've made me laugh, I do not recommend reading these if you have a weak stomach or are feeling at all queasy... Okay? You have been warned.
Mr. Me and my MIL have taken the kids to swimming lessons today and plan on doing some other things while they're in the city. If I'm lucky, I'll have most of the day alone! Although I need to do laundry (I know - shocking!!!) and wrap some Christmas presents. If I get a chance to upload some photos of the Christmas knitting, I'll be back...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Swaps, Shopping, Life in General

So SP11 is coming to a close. I don't have my final package all sorted out and mailed out yet, but I am getting close. My upstream pal is in a similar situation, but she's been having a few interesting challenges in her life. I can't wait to find out who she is! She's definitely given me a few laughs and smiles. I did do "my usual" with my downstream pal... Yes, I unintentionally revealed myself! Sigh... Sometimes I'm just too blonde for my own good. I haven't told her everything about me, so I still have some things to tell her about that hopefully she will find both interesting and amusing.
I'm busily working away on my WWCS package for my downstream pal. This time my pal is quite a challenge for me! But I like a challenge, so it is all good. I haven't been too communicative with her since she is very clearly dealing with some personal issues that require more immediate attention, but there is lots of information on her blog that I can work with, so hopefully she'll like her package. My upstream pal sent me a very cool link to a video of my theme song! Thanks, pal!!!
I'm not quite sure what is going to happen with SITMT... My downstream pal dropped out, for perfectly understandable reasons, but I'm still not sure what is going to happen with me. I may just hang back ready to spring into action as an angel. I'm thankful that my downstream pal communicated that she wasn't able to participate rather than leaving anyone hanging. It's the right thing to do!!! And I remain sockless from SITM... Good thing I had such a great time with my downstream pal for that swap. I would like to give full credit to AJ, our lovely swap hostess, for all of her hard work with both of these swaps. She can't control everything but has been very helpful and communicative.
Living close(ish) to the border and the strong Canadian dollar was enough to entice myself and some friends to spend the weekend shopping in Bangor, Maine. We had a very good time. We spent lots of money. We saved more money than we spent! Now I'd probably do Black Friday shopping again, but I'm not sure that I'm too inclined to get up to be at a store at 5am again unless it is a big ticket item. I bought mainly clothes, toys, DVDs... They would have still been there at say, 8am. The border crossing times were very good. We only had to wait about 10 minutes to get back into Canada. We paid our taxes and went on our way... Easy peasy. The only thing that might have been better would have been if there had been enough time to visit a yarn store or two... Non-knitters outnumbered knitters.
I'm on training for the next couple of days in anticipation of starting a new job on Monday. After 10 years of doing the same type of work, I'm looking forward to doing something different, although it is right in line with my training. I'm feeling both anxious and excited. I'll be doing very different work and for the first time in many, many years, the majority of my co-workers will be women... I'm used to working in "a man's world". Let's hope that I can adapt!
Both boys have received their report cards recently and they did very well. I'm so proud of my guys!
Unlike many of you out there in blogland, we DO NOT have out Christmas tree up! We always put up a real tree, so that won't happen until right before Christmas, but we do have up some of the outdoor decorations like our gigantic 6 foot wreath that we hang on the outside of the house and the wreaths on the stone gateposts. (That sounds far more impressive than it really is.) The house is starting to look very nice!
On the volunteer front, the start of the Christmas season means things like the church supper and working on our local First Night Activities. While both are enjoyable, why are some older "church ladies" SO BOSSY??? I always feel like I should be saluting them, clicking my heels and barking out "Yes ma'am!". They are VERY SCARY...

WWCS Topic of the Week

What is the ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee? Who would be there - or would you be alone? Inside or out? Morning or night? With food or just the steaming cup of joe?

Hmm.... The answer to this question probably depends upon the season. In the winter time, I love sitting and having a nice hot cup of coffee in the parlour on a weekend morning when we don't have to rush anywhere. It is especially nice if it is snowing outside and I'm nice and warm and cozy inside. In the spring of in the fall, it is nice to sit out on a nice warm day on the back deck in the sunshine just listening to the sounds of nature. Summer? It's probably on the front verandah watching the world go by on the river that is in front of my house, while swinging gently on the porch swing. Ideally, I'm probably alone so that I can enjoy the coffee uninterrupted, without food to corrupt it's flavour. And since I don't typically drink coffee in the evening, it is probably morning.

I used to like to drink my coffee in bed on the weekend mornings while reading a book, but having two kids, a cat and a husband very neatly put an end to that little luxury!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Competitive? Who? ME???

Okay all you contest hounds, Chan is having a contest here. She wants to know what your favourite charity is and why. If you read the other entries, you'll find sound very touching stories. That in and of itself is worth the visit even if you don't want to leave an entry.

And then if you go here, you'll find Jane's contest. She wants you to share some of your own personal weirdness with her, and obviously those of us who read the other entries and entered ourselves... While Chan's contest touched me, Jane's made me snort with laughter!

And yes, I did enter with a personal piece of weirdness that I have not previously shared with the world at large...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Tale of Two Skeins

Once upon a time in a stash of yarn lived a skein of Knitpicks Gossamer in the Caribbean colourway. When the skein had first arrived, he thought that he wanted to knit up to be a scarf. He watched his friend in the Blue Jean colourway grow up to be a scarf and live happily ever after. And then his friend Iris Heather Alpaca Cloud became a lovely lacy scarf. His mind was made up. He was meant to be a scarf! But then something happened. His friends, the Jewels Heather Shadow twins became this. Suddenly, the skein wanted be a shawl... Or a wrap... Or a stole... He wanted to be bigger than a scarf! But at 440 yards, he wasn't big enough on his own. A funk set in. Then one day something came in the mail.It appeared to be from Babs, the knitting chicken from Chicken Run! Was it? No - it was a prize from The Knitting Coop. But what was inside? The skein felt something in each and every fibre. The anticipation was electrifying! When it was opened, this is what he saw:Now the skein wasn't too excited about either the yummy looking chocolate, nor the yummy smelling Vanilla Caramel Yankee Candle votive candle, but the yarn gave him palpitations! Could it be??? Was he about to be able to fulfill his wildest dreams and his destiny??? The two skeins compared tags and this is what they found:TWINS!!! They are now two very happy skeins, and are considering their options.
Even though the skein wasn't too excited about the chocolate or the candle, I must say that I am! The candle smells good enough that I'd eat it if I could... And this notecard is not to be missed - isn't it cute?!

Monday, November 19, 2007

WWCS Weekly Topic (Warning - Shallow Post)

The Thursday upcoming is Thanksgiving in the U.S., so let's all - American and not alike! - just share a post with what it is we're thankful for. A wonderful thing to do any time of year, I thought it'd be a nice thing to share for this week with the group!
Okay so it's Monday... And I'm feeling kind of shallow, so this post is going to be kind of "all about me". I've warned you. I'm apologizing in advance.
Things that I am thankful for:
The new job opportunity that I have been given. 2 weeks from today I start a new job. Same office, but very different work. I'm really looking forward to a change before I completely loose it. I cried in front of my Director recently... My Director is a very attractive man. I wasn't even crying about what we were discussing. He was really good about it, but I was embarassed. I needed a new challenge more than I could have possibly imagined.
Today I am grateful for Canada Post. They brought me my prize from The Knitting Coop!!! I'll post pics soon, but thanks Robin! It's a prize more perfect than you could have realized... I love it when things come together. (Yes - I think that I'm thankful for coincidences, good kharma, whatever you want to call it.)
And just to add a third thing, I'm thankful this year for US Thanksgiving, or more importantly, living close to the border and Black Friday shopping in Bangor, Maine. 5am - Old Navy. I intend to be there!
For some of the more serious things that I am thankful for, you can have a look at my Canadian Thanksgiving post, or my entry into KM's recent contest here. (You'll have to read the comments.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

SITM Twice - Contest #1 The Questions

How long have you been knitting?
I've been knitting for about 30 years.
Do you consider yourself beginner, intermediate, advanced?
Well, I'm not a beginner, but I'm not convinced that I'm advanced. I guess that makes me intermediate! Good thing that is probably a pretty big area....
How long have you been knitting socks?
Seriously knitting socks - about 4 years, but I first knit socks about 25 years ago. Out of a totally inappropriate yarn. They were STIFF. I could have used them to scrub the floors!
What are your favorite fibers to work with?
I prefer natural fibres and for socks, I prefer something that is machine washable. I've had a few felting incidents...
What is your favorite color?
I like pinks, purples, blues and greens.
What are your current WIPs (works in progress)?
Socks for Uncle Roger for Christmas, socks for SIL for Christmas, sweater for Mr. Me, Rogue for me, probably at least a dozen other things that i have forgotten... The 4 that I have named can be seen from where I am sitting at the computer. And I can't see anything under the Rogue in the basket, but I know that there is stuff under it.
Name your favorite yarns, (brand, fibers, colors, etc.).
I'm not a brand snob, but I do like wool, silk, alpaca, to name a few. My fave colours are listed above and I really like a yarn with colour variations, but I'm feeling like I overdid the whole self striping thing so I stay away from those.
What are some yarns/fibers that you stay away from.
100% acrylic and 100% nylon... Think back to those horrid handknit slippers many of us wore. They squeaked!
What is your family situation? (Married, kids, pets?)
1 husband (who would want more?), 2 sons (11 - 12 in January and 7), 1 cat and 2 gerbils. Yup - they're all male. It's just me and the guys!
Name some of your hobbies.
Other than knitting - sewing, reading, cooking... I like to play with beads, too, but I'm not accomplished enough to say that I make jewellery.
Name some of your favorite movies?
An Officer and a Gentleman
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Muriel's Wedding
Jerry Maguire
Do you like to read?
Yes. I'm reading Knitting Rules right now, having just finished Startled by His Furry Shorts.
Do you collect anything?
Yarn, beads, buttons...
Do you own an iPod or mp3 player?
Yes. My kids gave me a Sony Walkman for my birthday. Love it!
What are your favorite type of knitting needles?
Whatever is the right size and doesn't have a project on them! I find that it really depends on what I'm making and the yarn. Although I'm starting to replace all of my older Aero plastic needles with wooden ones. I just like the organic feel of them better.
What knitting notion could you not live without?
My retractable tape measures.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
I really like Cookie A., Eunny Jang and Sivia Harding.
Do you subscribe to any magazines? (Knitting or otherwise.)
Interweave Knits, More and Clin d'Oeil.
When is your birthday?
July 4th.
Do you have a "wishlist", (on Ravelry, Froogle, or Amazon)?
Not yet... I'm still getting familiar with Ravelry.
Do you have a Ravelry ID?
If you had a sheep, what would you name it?
Bouffant (I'm assuming it's a girl sheep...)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Encounter with Henry

Last month I had the extreme pleasure of attending Knitting Out Loud two Tuesdays in a row. I felt like a very lucky knitter indeed. Now the Halifax knitters are loads of fun, but I also got to spend a little time with the one-and-only-practically-world-famous Henry! He really is a charming little fellow and is very appreciative of good quality fibres. If you're in Halifax on a Tuesday evening, I would definitely recommend stopping by the Wired Monk for some great coffee and even better company.
As my fellow knitter, CanKNITian knows, I have been feeling rather cranky about my job of late. I'm surprised that Mr. Me didn't get a speeding ticket this morning trying to get me into the city and more importantly, out of the car, as fast as was possible! I just needed to vent... I've applied for a number of interesting opportunities, but I'm hoping that none of them will come to fruitition until after my next planned Halifax meeting at the beginning of December. I want to go knitting again!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

"A Day In The Life of 5, 3 and 1" Turned One!

On the tenth, A Day In The Life of 5, 3 and 1 turned one year old - happy 1st blogiversary! In celebration of this achievement, KM is having a contest here. It's a pretty easy contest, just leave her a comment telling her what you are thankful for in your life.
KM lost her Dad recently. I can't even imagine how difficult that must be. My own father had a bit of a scare the day before KM's Dad went into hospital with a heart attack, but for my own father, there was thankfully nothing wrong.
So - wander over and enter the contest, or just say "Hi"... And since it has been previously established that I tend to be competitive, tell her I sent you to increase my contest odds, okay?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lest We Forget

Photo from here.
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
Though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

WWCS Topic #2

As the cold of winter approaches, do you change the projects you work on? Do you work on gifts for others or do you continue working on projects for yourself?

Hmmm.... I'm not really sure. How's that for decisive? There are some things that I knit all year long - like socks, but rather than changing projects, I probably change yarns as we get into the colder weather. I don't do a lot of knitting with heavier yarns during the warm months. As the weather gets cooler, I think that I tend to want the warmth and the weight of nice warm "wooly" yarns. Right now I am working more on gifts than on things for myself, but that will probably switch once the holiday knitting is done. I've finished a pair of socks for my MIL, and have also been working on small things like baby socks for a variety of fundraising bazaars... They use up my leftover sock yarns. They're quick. They sell well. That's pretty close to perfect as far as I can tell!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Few Details

I've been meaning to mention it for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it - I got in to Ravelry mid-October! I promptly got very busy and didn't manage to do much with it... I still haven't done too much, but I'm exploring and starting to add things. I decided to start with my bookshelf, since it was easy. I'm "MissMe1964". Look me up if you think of it... I'm gradually finding people, but it is taking a while...
On the swap front, I have contacted my downstream pal for the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap and have heard from my upstream pal. This should be fun! I think that I'm going to have to stretch my thinking a bit on this one... But that is a good thing.
I received my second SP11 package at the end of last week. I haven't had a chance to take pics yet, but I will get that done so they can be posted. It has a Hallowe'en theme, including some delish yarn in a colour called "Pumpkin".
And I finally contacted the Sock It To Me hostess regarding my upstream pal... I know that things haven't gone smoothly, but I was really beginning to wonder what was up. Upstream pal, if you're reading this, I understand that "life happens" and I'm not trying to put any pressure on you. Okay? Yeah - I have guilt issues...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

333 Posts?!

Okay - I am impressed! Cass is having a contest in celebration of her 333rd post. It feels like her 222nd post was just yesterday... (It was really August 9th, 2007.) Drop on over, and if you didn't know about it before hand, tell her I sent you, okay?
I wish that I could figure out how to use some of the blog management tools available because the blogs that I like to read is getting a little out of control! Robin assures me that Google Reader is easy so I'm gathering my courage to try it. I feel like I need remedial help...

Sometimes I Finish What I Start

Yes, sometimes I *do* finish what I've started... I don't know if any of these ever truly reached UFO status, since they never went more than a month without me doing at least a few row on them, but...
Let's start with my Camelot Socks - started June 2004, finished October 2007.
The detailed photos are "truer" to colour. The full socks are a little bit dark. While I am pleased with the socks, there is an error in them. The photo on the right shows the heel and start of the sole. The one on the left shows the top of the foot and the sole. I was supposed to have the soles in the same 1 by 1 colour pattern as the heel turn, but instead I somehow managed to interpret the pattern in such a way that I continued the patterning from the gusset onto the sole. While they aren't *as designed", I am pleased with them.

Next up - my Lizard Ridge afghan. Yum! I love it! Started September 2006, finished October 2007. Despite being a Certified General Accountant in good standing, I cannot multiply 4 by 6... Rather than knit 24 blocks for my afghan, I knit 26. I now need to figure out what to do with my two extra blocks. Do I turn them into something else? Or do I knit another 22 blocks for a second afghan? I'm sure that the answer to that question will sort itself out in the fullness of time.

Next - my Adamas shawl, designed by Miriam Felton. Started May 2007, finished October 2007.
The River Rapids socks didn't take any time at all - I both started them and finished them in October 2007.

And finally, these last two finished objects are happy in their new home with June in Virginia! I made the bag and socks for the Fall Felted Bag Exchange. Can you imagine a knitter that had never had handknit socks? Well - I've solved that problem! The bag is Lagoon from Pursenality Plus and the socks are the Tidal Wave pattern. The embellishment that I put on the bag made me think of beach glass and it just seemed to "work" with Lagoon....

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap - Topic #1

When did you first start drinking coffee? What age were you? Was it about the caffeine, or do you love the taste and smell? Tell us how your passion began!

I've always liked coffee. The attraction probably started with the smell, but as a child, I used to love it if I could sneak a sip of my Mom's coffee if "the ladies" were having a coffee morning. My parents didn't often have coffee at home because my Mom had ulcers and it made her sick for a number of years. Before my love of coffee came my love of coffee shops and lunch counters... I grew up in Oakville, Ontario and I don't remember a time before Tim Horton's. In those days it was stools (that swivelled!) at a counter and counter service while you were seated, as well as the take out service. And then there was the fun of going to the lunch counter at Kresge's (pre K-Mart) in downtown Hamilton with my Grandmother...
I was probably about 14 when I started to drink coffee on a regular basis. It was partly the caffiene, but the taste and the smell have always sucked me in... However, even more important than any of those aspects of "going for a cup of coffee" was the social aspect. Even teenagers who relied solely upon babysitting money for their income could afford to go for a cup of coffee and sit and chat with their friends. I loved it! In those days, you could smoke in coffee shops. While I've never smoked (directly that it), I'm sure that I might just as well have for a few years in highschool!
When I started drinking coffee, I drank it "regular". In Canada that means one cream, one sugar. Now I drink it with milk - not cream, and definitely no sugar. And I have to be pretty darned desperate to drink decaf - what is the point?!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en!!!

Darth Vader and the Intergallactic Bounty Hunter are out Trick-or-Treating, each of them with his own buddies. I mean, really - who would want to go out with their brother? Mr. Me is chaperoning the older boys, while the Dad of one of Darth's buddies chaperones the younger ones. I'm home alone. Just me and the cat... But - on a high note, I had my first Trick-or-Treaters EVER at this house tonight!

I LOVE a Good Contest

Since as I have already indicated, I am just a little tiny bit competitive, I love a contest! And Megan is having a great one here. Her list was fun to read, but the comments are just as much fun. Yes - I know - I am SO PATHETIC! But I was a runner up in one of Megan's contests... And I rarely win anything, so it's a good thing that most of the fun for me really is just entering!

If you're quick, you might even get an entry in for Robin's 2nd Blogiversary contest. It closes tomorrow, so you need to be quick!

Have fun and tell them I sent you, okay?!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not Ready - Part 2

Okay, I'm really not ready! Older Son had a couple of his classmates over to work on a group project this afternoon. In some ways, I am pleased that he is comfortable enough at home that he does this. I would have always deferred to going to someone else's home to work on group projects, or have done them after school at school...
So - his two friends arrive at the agreed upon time. 2pm. Since the only spot that is really feasible to work at is the kitchen table, Older Son had everything set up there. As I worked away in the livingroom, 2 rooms away, I heard some of the conversation. No - I was not intentionally eavesdropping. 11 year old boys are LOUD!!! They might want to keep that in mind in the future. This is what I overheard:

Older Son - Jennifer watches everything I do these days.
Friend One - That's because she likes you.
Friend Two - No it's not - it's because she wants to have sex with you.

Pardon??? They're 11!!! I did not immediately go into the kitchen. I gave it a few minutes. As I entered the room, Friend Two (if it helps, visualize Eddie Haskell) says "We weren't saying anything" before I had uttered a word. I explained that our house is an old house and that noise travels... And that while I understood that they weren't too young to be thinking about sex, they were definitely much too young to be considering doing anything about it!

Give me strength!

Friday, October 26, 2007

FFBE Final Question...

How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the bag you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!

Giving credit where credit is due, I think that our lovely swap hostess has once again delivered a great swap for us! I did the Spring exchange and Virtual Vacation as well, and I must say that I have enjoyed all three. Always a good experience. I will say that I haven't had as much of a chance to get to know my upstream pal, Pennie, as I would like, but that is because I've been busy with work... I plan to do a post about some of our similarities, and differences of course, but the similarities are more interesting to me. And my downstream pal, June, is a lovely lady who I hope to get to know better. I had a terrific time preparing a package for her and was thrilled that she enjoyed it so much! And of course some of my favourite bloggers have participated in this swap as well. I'd mention names but I'd be afraid to leave someone out... And my bag? It is fabulous! I switched back to my hated black leather purse when I was away on business earlier in the week, but I started using my *new* bag as soon as I received to many compliments.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Winter Coffee Swap Questionnaire

What are your favorite kinds of coffee? (Brands, Roasts, anything at all you'd like to share!)
I don’t have a favourite brand, or a favourite roast. Nothing too, too strong, but a nice full body.
Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee?
I usually buy ground beans simply because of convenience. I leave the house at 6:15am most morning, so I don’t have a lot of time to grind beans on most days. But I do own a grinder.
This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees - do you drink flavored coffee? Do you enjoy special blends?
I do drink flavoured coffee and really enjoy “Eggnog” coffee during the Holiday Season.
How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Decaf?
With a little bit of milk, please… Decaf??? What is the point...?
Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer?
I usually drink from a mug. Once again, this is a practicality thing. I don’t have time to wash fine china.

Winter and Holidays - PLEASE be descriptive! Your pal will need this information to be sure to put together a package you will enjoy!
What is your favorite part of Winter?
I really enjoy the first snowfall. Particularly with kids, this is an exciting event. If we're lucky, it is also the first snowman of the year. The only caveat is that I really hope that it happens on a weekend since people forget how to drive in the winter…
Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday?
We celebrate Christmas, although I try to expose my children to other traditions and beliefs as well. We don’t live in a bubble!
If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree?
Yes – usually at least 2 trees.
Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package? Either would be lovely!
Do you collect anything? Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snoflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect?
If I consider my Christmas ornaments, one tree is completely Victorian style ornaments and the other is much more whimsical – you could read that as “his” tree and “my” tree, although part of the Victorian thing is that the house is Victorian, too.
Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats?
I live in Canada. Did you know that minus 30 is the same in both Celcius and Farenheit? I NEED scarves, mittens and hats just to survive!
What is your favorite holiday or winter treat?
Christmas cookies. My favourite is a cookie that has candied ginger in them. They have a nice little “bite” to them.
Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory.
My Mom is the second of five children. There are 21 years between oldest and youngest. The youngest is only 11 years older than I am, although he is 13 years younger than my Mom. When I was a child, my uncle used to babysit us occasionally. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, he came to take care of my sisters and I one sunny winter day. We had had a lot of snow so we had some terrific snow piles. We made the best snow forts that day. It was so much fun!

Yarn and Crafting
Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?
I knit. I have been knitting for close to 30 years. I am a “lefty” so haven’t quite got the hang of crochet, although if those amigurumi books keep screaming at me, I guess I’m going to have to figure it out.
Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Circular or straight?
No preference… Whatever is the right size and material to “get gauge” and doesn’t already have a project on it.
What sort of projects do you enjoy making?
I find this question hard! I enjoy projects that will give me a challenge of some sort, but beyond that it is hard to narrow it down. Socks, sweaters, hats, mittens, blankets… Whatever…. Although I have never knit gloves. (Note to self: knit some gloves!)
What are your favorite types of yarn to work with?
I have a strong preference for natural fibres, although synthetics do have their uses as blending fibres for strength. And soft is good… Squishy!
Do you spin or dye?
No – although I’ve done a little bit of Kooaid dyeing…
Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else?
I do a little bit of cross stitch, play with beads (I’m not good enough to claim I make jewellery) and I sew.

When is your birthday?
July 4th
Do you have any children? (Furry kind count!)
2 human sons and 1 cat “son”. Older Son is 11 and Younger Son is 7. Tiger will be 1 soon and will officially be a cat and no longer a kitten.
What are your favorite colors?
I don’t like brown or most yellows, but beyond that, I am pretty open. I tend to be drawn to pinks, purples, blues and greens. Cool colours…
Do you have any allergies?
Nothing relevant to a swap, since I’m sure that you’re not going to send me penicillin!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bored At Work?

"BOO!!!" someone... It is surprisingly fun and gets everyone into the Hallowe'en spirit. I got tagged this morning and spent and enjoyable lunchtime cruising for goodies so that I can "BOO!!!" some poor unsuspecting victim tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Once Was Good, Twice is Better!

Sign ups for Sock It To Me Twice open today. I'm already "in".

FFBE Package Received

When I got home from work on Thursday, my FFBE package from Pennie was waiting for me! What a nice welcome home. Ta-dah! Look at my new bag! I took it to work with me on Friday and received lots of compliments. I love the colours - they are very ME.
And what else was in the package? Well let's see...
A very cute note card from Pennie with all of her information, so that I can get to know her a bit now, the pattern for the Felted Buttonhole Bag from Mason Dixon Knitting, 3 skeins of Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks in "Cranberry", a Norwegian knitting thimble, locking stitch markers, a row counter, a too cute to believe sheep tape measure, a heart shaped bowl with a sheep on it, a "purl" badge, a pewter button (yarn and needles), a beaded stitch market and a lariat necklace with matching earrings and bracelet! Did I forget anything? I *think* that Pennie made the beaded stitch market and the jewellery... She is also a Bead Retreat instructor! The most interesting thing about the jewellery is the fact that it will all co-ordinate and mix and match with my existing jewellery! You probably can't see it from the photos, but there is a heart theme... I have other heart jewellery in co-ordinating colours! Hmmm...

All in all, a great package! Oh - and looking at the pictures, I forgot the gorgeous wooden purse handles - I can't usually find handles so nice. Thank you Pennie for a great package and thank you swap hostess Anne (I don't remember if there was a co-hostess this time or not - please feel free to correct me!) for another great swap.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

FFBE Weekly Question #4

What was your favorite Halloween costume ever - for you? for your kids, if you have them? Why did you enjoy it so much? Do you still dress up now? Chat a bit about your traditions for dressing up on All Hallow's Eve!

I think that my favourite Hallowe'en costume was the year that I planned to go out dressed as a die. If I had been able to convince my sister that it was a good idea, we could have been a pair of dice, but she was having none of it. It was a really simple costume - a cardboard box painted white, with black dots and holes for arms and head. So easy that my 10 year old self did it all alone. The hitch with Hallowe'en that year? I got bronchitis the week of Hallowe'en. My sister, who didn't want to be a die, hadn't come up with anything better, so she used my costume since I wasn't going to be needing it. Siblings...!

When he was really small, Older Son attended a daycare that didn't celebrate Hallowe'en for religious reasons. (The owner considered it devil worship.) So he didn't really have a Hallowe'en costume until he was 3. At that point, I started to make his costumes. This is the first year that I haven't made a costume for either of them. I'm just too busy with work and such these days, and this year, I bought Younger Son's costume. But my favourite year was the year that they went out as Super Heroes. Old Son was Batman Beyond and Younger Son was Flash. Finding a pattern for Batman was really easy. And knowing how popular Justice League was at the time, I figured that Flash would be similarly easy... Wrong! I ended up finding a picture of Flash on the internet and adapting a pattern for the Flash costume. I knew that I had it right when I heard a little girl saying to her mother: "Hey, look - he's Flash! Cool!"

At almost 12, there won't be too many more years of Trick-or-Treating left for Older Son. Since we live on a deadend road outside of the village limits, we take the kids up to the village for Trick-or-Treating. We usually go as a family. It is usually only an hour or so, but it's lots of fun and that is enough candy and junk for the boys for quite a while. Our ghost is already haunting the back porch, and a 3 foot spider has spun a web in the corner of the same porch. I'm pretty sure that the Jack'o'Lanterns will start arriving soon, too!

Friday, October 19, 2007

On the Edges In the Middle

This week was a very special week for me. I got to attend not one, but two knitting groups! Since I was in Halifax on business, I got to go and knit with the ladies of Knitting Out Loud on Tuesday evening. And since I travelled back to Fredericton on Wednesday, I was back in time for the Fredericton Knitters' Group monthly meeting, too. I had two very fun evenings!
Now I've got to say that at 43, I readily admit to being "early middle-aged", with an emphasis on the early, please. If you put the two groups together, I would have been pretty well smack dab in the middle agewise, but separately is a very different matter! At Knitting Out Loud, I was handsdown, no contest, no one even close, the oldest knitter there. Yikes!!! At the Fredericton Knitters' Group, I was the second youngest... This is just weird little observation on my part, but I did find it well, interesting. Both groups are a lot of fun, although quite clearly very different.
I've belonged to the Fredericton group for a little more than four years, and I enjoy it very much. And I don't mean to sound disloyal or anything, but I'm still experiencing "knitter group envy"... Maybe I just need to work on the Fredericton ladies to convince them that:
- we need to meet more than once a month; and
- we need to meet in public.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And the Winner is....

...Tiger the cat!
What was the contest? Well, that would be the hunting weekend... The "hunters" caught, killed, shot at, etc. absolutely nothing!!!
Tiger, on the other hand, successfuly scored 2 mice and one toad. Who's a good kitty?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lucky Me

Pretty well as soon as I saw the Harmony Needles from Knitpicks, I knew that I must have some. Looks like rapid action was the right action...
I'm not surprised that demand has been overwhelming - they are even better in person. I ordered the full set of sock DPNs for myself, and to split the shipping costs, I ordered a second set for one of my co-workers. I had them shipped to the office... It was a very exciting morning for both of us the day that they arrived. We showed everyone! Want to scare your co-workers? Show them your new knitting needles. They won't understand why you're so excited and may look a little scared, but hey, scaring your co-workers can be a good way to keep them in line... (She has sharp pointy sticks in her bag and may be unstable - don't make her angry or make any sudden moves...) However, there was one exception to this - the woodworkers! The woodworkers in my office were almost (but not quite) as effusive about the loveliness of our new needles. They admired them... They stroked them... They appreciated the beauty of the needles...
Maybe we should all buy our non-knitting partners woodworking tools...?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

SP 11 Contest Number 4

Post a picture of your first finished object and your most recent finished object and talk about how you feel you've improved in your knitter since the first.
As I said to swap hostess Robyn, this contest made me laugh - I'm going to have to get creative with the first finished object part since I donated the first finished object to charity quite some time ago... Back with contest number one with the Sock It To Me swap, I talked about my start in knitting here.
If you look at the picture here, you will find my buddies Mackey and Mumphrey wearing what I believe are the oldest finished objects that I still have access to. Yes, I both designed and knit their Icelandic style sweaters. It was the early 80s. I had knit Icelandic sweaters for myself, my sisters, my father, my grandfather, etc. and had to do something with the leftover bits and pieces - so the monkeys all got sweaters, too. (Yes - there are more of them, but you really don't want to know...) I believe that those sweaters were knit in early 1982.
Having finished a couple of things this week, the most recent finished object is much easier! Both of my sons do archery and when I saw this pattern, I knew that I had to make it. Older Son's was finished this week. I've explained to both of them that this does not imply that they get points for hitting the bullseye on their brother's head!
How has my knitting improved since I started knitting? Well, I now know the difference between the front and the back of my stitches. I can either cast on or off in a variety of ways so that I can choose whichever method is most appropriate for the project at hand. I know the difference between left leaning and right leaning decreases. I know a number of different ways to increase my stitches... I've come a long way!

I'll Warn You Now...

Mr. Me is away "hunting" for the weekend, I have a 7 year old wandering around in his Hallowe'en costume and a gang of 11 and 12 year olds playing X-Box. What does this mean to you? It means that I can blog without anyone complaining about me being on the computer - again! What that really means is that they want on the computer and just imagine the nerve of me using the computer...! It may be a post heavy kind of day.
Let's start with what came in the mail this week. Tuesday? Wednesday? I don't remember - it has all run together. Whichever day it was, I had not one, but two packages. One was from my SP 11 spoiler and yes, I do feel spoiled! In the package there were spices for dips, iced tea mixes, cookie cutter, a Martha Stewart recipe magazine (geared towards families - yay!), cookie cutters (Hallowe'en theme), the pattern for the "Lindy" felted bag (very me), gourmet jelly beans, yummy smelling votive candles (not sure if it is just vanilla or a cookie scent - its the vanilla I smell and I'd eat them if I could!) and a skein of Sweet Sheep sock yarn in the "Cupcake" colourway. The candles aren't in the photo because the flash kept on bouncing off of the bag that they're in and with Tiger around, taking them out of the bag just wasn't a good idea.

Since they don't have the "Cupcake" colourway listed on the site anymore, I thought that I'd give you a little bit more detail. Isn't it pretty? I think that it must be chocolate cupcakes with pink icing - YUM! Thank you so much SP 11 Spoiler - it was a great package. Of course I still have no idea who my spoiler is, but I was right in thinking that she is another Canadian. The postmark on the package is Alberta - a province that I've never been to...

The other package I received was a lovely surprise - I received a "thank you" package from my Sock It To Me spoilee, Audrey. And what was in it? Audrey made me a row counting bracelet (isn't it pretty?) and the cutest little sock key chain - simply adorable.Also included in the package were a couple of CDs. One has 2006 - 07 line from Bergère de France and the other has three bilingual knitting lessons. I was really touched, thank you so much Audrey!

P.S. For any of you who are morally opposed to hunting, please be assured that the likelihood of any living creature being harmed is minimal - unless you include the possibility of kitchen injuries amongst the "hunters".