Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Family Portrait

I love this picture.

This is the first picture I have ever seen Willow draw where the people actually looked like an identifiable person. It's not an exact likeness - I mean, my legs are certainly not that long (!), but you can see bodies, eyes, smiles - and on the drawing of Andrew she even made sure he had shoes on. And for some reason she couldn't fully articulate, she had to be drawn in yellow while Andrew and I were green.

Hans Holbein, eat your heart out!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Recovering and Whatnot

We are recovering... the phlegm is abating and I don't sound like a frog anymore. With the help of Neo Citran and Mucinex, I even slept through the night.

Here is a picture of our Christmas tree. I really wish I had thought to take a picture before the hordes (aka Willow) set in and moved things around.

Here is Willow in her Tinkerbell costume along with her Uncle Stewart and her new vacuum cleaner. It's a toy Hoover than works on C batteries and actually sucks stuff up. She's in love with it and wanted to vacuum Grandma's whole house. The dog, understandably, was terrified.

And a close-up of the Tinkerbell costume. Although we didn't discuss it with Stewart beforehand, I'm glad that it was Tinkerbell and not one of the Disney princesses... or Barbie (shudder!)

And the hop ball - I was so afraid that this wouldn't arrive before Christmas! It was an aerobic workout getting this thing blown up with a hand pump! It's still a little big for her, but she was bouncing away all the same - sliding off, getting back on, and jumping up and down again.

What did Santa bring me for Christmas? My big present was a Sunbeam Standing Mixer! I can't wait to try this out :) I also received S.M. Stirling's _The Protector's War_, two sweaters from Lands End, Canadian Halloween candy (Coffee Crisps!), a necklace with a jade pendant, a stained glass votive holder, and knitting money! I'm planning to get some of the handpainted merino from www.handpaintedyarn.com to make myself another Sweetness sweater from Knitty.

Happy Boxing Day!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Reasonable Facsimile

I’m trying to recreate this because it was a great post.

I’m sick. There are no two ways about it. Today was supposed to be a fun day. We were going to visit our friends Asami and Gara and see their new baby, Ray, for the first time. Asami’s Mom Keiko is also in town from Japan, so we were excited to see her too. Instead, I am having trouble breathing, look like crap, and have started to hork up green phlegm.

Merry Christmas.

Did I mention Willow and Andrew are also sick? Why does cold medicine last only 4-6 bloody hours? Most of us don’t want to wake up at three o’clock in the morning all stuffy and coughing!

It doesn’t feel like Christmas. It’s 50’F (10’C) out right now and is supposed to be even warmer tomorrow. Willow and I shucked off our jackets yesterday while doing the last of our Christmas shopping because it was just too warm out. I feel like a git because I didn’t get my Dad’s present off in time. In an attempt to assuage me of my guilt, he said that the older you get, the less you care about presents.

What does it say about me that I already feel that way?

Don’t get me wrong - I’m looking forward to seeing Willow open up her presents tomorrow morning. As an adult, though - the entire thing seems so anticlimactic. We don’t have that sense of expectation or anticipation that made this season so magical when we Believed. All I am really thinking about is the mountain of work I have waiting for me when I get back to the office on Tuesday.

I asked Jen over at http://meangirl.blogspot.com/ to give a list of the top 10 songs on her iPod, so I am returning the favor with the top 10 songs from my Lyra (in no particular order):

1. ‘As Cool as I am’ - Dar Williams
2. ‘Escape’ - Enrique Ingles as (so cheesy, I KNOW!)
3. ‘Don’t Bother’ - Shakira
4. ‘Times Like These’ - Foo Fighters
5. ‘Heaven’ - Live
6. ‘Hurt’ - Johnny Cash
7. ‘The Letting Go’ - Melissa Etheridge
8. ‘Where Was I’ - Sawyer Brown
9. ‘Closing Time’ - Semisonic
10. ‘Try’ - Blue Rodeo


I don’t have a main knitting project right now so I am half-heartedly working on a few different things: a pink and yellow baby blanket, a pink Nippertail hat for my niece, and I am thinking about casting on Veste Everest from the Summer issue of Interweave Knits in a royal blue heather.

Someone Up There Doesn't Like Me

I just wrote this long eloquent post about Christmas, adulthood, being sick, and my top 10 songs on my Lyra and this bloody machine ATE IT!

I'm sick.

Bah Humbug.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Nippertail Hat (aka Red Hat the Second)

You will have to forgive the model's constitution - she has a bit of a stomach bug right now and was trying to eat her stomach-stabilizing crackers and watch 'Max and Ruby' in peace, but I kept on trying to pose her so I could take a decent picture of the Nippertail hat:

This was supposed to be my hat, but before I had a chance to weave in all the ends, Willow decided the hat was hers. I offered to make her one in any other colour, but she wouldn't budge. She wanted *this* red hat. (Dad, it must be your influence!)

It was a very quick knit - I started it Tuesday night at my SnB and I think only worked on it for an hour two nights later - and finished it Friday night. The pattern can be found in the archives at http://www.magknits.com and is called a Nippertail hat. There is one glaring bit of awkwardness in the pattern (about where you start doing the straight knitting to separate the two sides) but I think I can just forgo that and do it how I think it should go next time.

A view from above:

The colour isn't really this tomato-y - the yarn is 'Cranberry' in Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks. I think when I make my hat (you know you can never have too many hats) I will make it with a single ponytail hole out the back because that is how I normally wear my hair on casual days.

I will try to take a picture of Red Hat the First later when I am a bit more presentable. Three year olds don't care so much about being presentable...

Friday, December 16, 2005


My SP5 downstream partner, Jen ( http://meangirl.blogspot.com/) posted this link ( http://www.myheritage.com/ ) where you could upload a picture of yourself and it will tell you which celebrity you look most like. The site looks like it is under maintenance right now, but when I was playing with it earlier, I was told (using a variety of pictures) I looked like Sofia Coppola, Liv Tyler, Audrey Tautou (from the French movie 'Amélie'), Katie Holmes - and with a 70% likeness, with Nora Jones. I'll take that Nora Jones likeness and run with it! I put in Willow's pic just for the fun of it and it came up with a 65% likeness to Mira Sorvino - not bad! When I was a child (like Willow) I was told I looked like Shirley Temple - but I think that was/is due to the ringlets more than anything else. As a young woman I was told I looked like Natalie Wood - I think that is because of my eyebrows.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Someone Stop Me...

From knitting more red hats...

Pictures to come...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Denim Project Finished

I was lucky to catch her in a photogenic mood...

A few months ago my friend Tara told me about a craft challenge her friend Shanda proposed, in which you have three months to come up with something along a particular theme. Tara told me that Shanda's theme was denim and asked me if I wanted to participate. I love challenges... but the thing is, I don't sew and that is the first medium that for denim that comes to mind. I asked Tara if it were okay that the project were denim-coloured rather than being made out of denim and she was okay with that... so, I give you:

Willow in Denim Vest

The yarn is Plymouth Encore's Colorspun in 'Sky Twist' and the child's vest pattern is from Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns." It took about 1 and 1/16th skeins... so I have quite a bit of this left to make a hat or mittens or other small thing.

A full-length view:

And the jeans? Levi's 501s in size 4T! I found them at Goodwill for $3.99 and they are in perfect shape.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wonderful and Miserable Things

First, the wonderful thing... Last night Andrew and I went to a sneak preview of 'Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.' I must admit that I had never thoroughly read the book - I got as far as Aslan's sacrifice and cried so hard I couldn't pick the book up again. I cried in the movie as well - in some parts I hadn't expected to. My maternal grandmother was one of these children who were sent out of London during the bombings of WWII and the scene at the beginning of the movie when all the mothers are tagging their children and putting them on trains to go far away to Lord knows who just tore at my heart. This scene affects me as a mother in a way I simply could not fathom as a child reading the book for the first time. I digress... But the movie was wonderful - the child actors were a bit stilted, but then again, so were the Harry Potter cast in their first go-around. Anything had to be better than the BBC production I remember as a child...

And now for miserable things... snow and slush and freezing rain. Everything looked so pretty this morning when I woke up - all crystallized and white and quiet. I love the quiet when it is snowing out. However, when I had suited up and trudged out to the car to get Andrew's boots (which were conveniently in the trunk of the car...) I found that the snow had changed to horrible freezing rain. Bah humbug!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Not a lot of knitting content at the moment - with three weeks left in the year, a ton of paperwork at the office, mandatory vacation days (during which I will freak out because I have so much work to do), Christmas shopping for impossibly difficult people... I feel like I am drowning. Add to that only about 4 hours of sleep at night and you will have an idea of my current state of mind.

And I don't mean that the people are impossibly difficult... just impossibly difficult to buy for. One male person has a great and seemly masculine hobby - but nearly everything I have found online or in catalogues concerning this hobby is blatantly female. I found one interesting thing - but then was told it wouldn't ship for 4 weeks... Grrr... I need at least 8 more weeks before Christmas comes.

And so much for my dream of giving people handknit presents... next year perhaps.

I did finish Willow's vest out of Encore Worsted. Tara - this will be my entry into the denim contest - I hope that is still going on. Willow isn't in the mood for posing right now, so maybe I can post a pic this weekend. I'm working on a red hat for myself right now - and no, you can't have this one, Dad! Remember - red was my colour once upon a time as well.

Andrew, Stewart (Andrew's oldest brother) and I went to see 'Les Misèrables' at the Dupont Theatre on Saturday afternoon and it was wonderful. I've wanted to see this musical since it first became popular when I was in high school many aeons ago. I thought Fantine's verbrato was a little forced - but Jean Valjean and Eoponine both had wonderful voices. This trip to the theatre was our Christmas presents from my in-laws. Thank you!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thank You, Andrew

Andrew read my Ten Categories this morning and surprised me by buying me flowers on his way home from work. Unfortunately, we kind of got in to a tiff over another matter completely, but I love the sentiment, Sweetie... and also that these aren't funeral flowers :)

(Sorry - private joke)

And as you can see, I am using my oh-so elegant mini-thermos as the only vase I own is a bud vase Auntie Daryth gave me when I was about 18 years old...