Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It snowed

Elaine and I started making this wreath a while ago, and we finalized it some time before Christmas.

Today we have a bit of snow on the ground. Mainly a dusting of snow over top of a layer of bumpy ice. Pretty horrible!

I'll try to have a few computer-free days here, and see you in 2012! Best wishes!

Friday, December 23, 2011

New art for the walls

Once upon a time, like 1986, my friend went to a meeting on the U of T campus and met a woman who was a bucket of fun, and we all became pals and had wild mid-university-career parties. Actually, I don't remember it clearly at all, except that we ate lunch together and it was generally good.

Then, once upon a time in this past autumn, I saw something on Pinterest that I liked (but now I can't find it) and I clicked through and found a picture of a nice room that had a) the same rug my daughter has in her room and b) a silkscreen print by Alanna Cavanagh. And I said, Huh, I used to eat lunch and go to parties with Alanna Cavanagh! So I pinged and tweeted and whatever, and got in touch with her.

Of course, we checked out her portfolio, because it is kinda exciting to find that the person who used to trudge around after class asking shops to sell her notecards has become an actual artiste who gets her stuff in magazines! Ooh, la. I guess a lot can happen in 25 years.

She had a sale a few weeks ago and I bought two silk-screen prints. Now they are all framed and lovely in our house.

We have the Island of Dr Moreau Penguin book cover, slightly tea-stained.

It shares the wall with some of Stephen's mom's watercolours.

I never bought the deck chairs, or a mug.  I don't mail out, or paper my room with, the postcards, and I still have not knitted the mittens, though indeed I mean to. But I am very happy to have a funkified Penguin cover on my wall! I looked on our bookshelves, and though we have a ton of the black Penguin Classics, we don't have any in this style.

We also got the Alphabet Legs and hung it in the front hall, with Stork on the Moon, by Arthur, age 7 or so, and the "check your hair on the way out the door" mirror.

I really like the red dots, and of course, the letters. And the shoes. 

After all this I don't expect Santa will have much more for Stephen or me!

I hope everyone has a jolly happy Christmas. Things might be a bit slow around the ol' blog, but I'll try to do a post or two before 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Still here

Oh, my, I guess we have been a bit busy!

I looked around yesterday and found that not only were there unfinished knitting projects all over the place, there were unfinished rows... I stop in the middle of a row to deal with some crisis, and then get distracted forever. One of my projects that will be lying around for an age is the Sky Scarf: 

The blue rows represent sunny days and the mixed up rows are the cloudy days. Some are a bit blue and a bit cloudy, but as you can see, we've had more cloud than sun this month. Luckily, I only have to knit one ridge a day on this... lucky because I often find that I forgot to carry the unused yarns up the side and so I rip back and reknit a few days worth again! I'm not sure my yarn will hold out for a year-long scarf, and I am also not sure I want a 10-foot scarf! This is 3 weeks of December, and it is about 8 inches long, so that means.... yeah, I could easily have a 10-foot scarf at the end of 52 weeks. I'll just keep plugging along and see what happens.

Another project I found abandoned mid-row is a dishcloth I carry around with me. I started it when I had to take Arthur to the fracture clinic for ankle x-rays. Silly boy jumped/landed incorrectly and managed to take a tiny chip out his bone, but mainly damage his ligament. So he has the air-boot cast thing and a pair of crutches and has to do some exercises and it's a nuisance! But, hanging around the clinic, I did get a good start on a red dishrag which I will not trouble to take a picture of right now.

I was knitting it on the bus yesterday and had a brief conversation with a young man who had also knit dishcloths. He was sitting across from me and had a big white fluffball of a dog with him, to whom he would talk reassuringly. "This is going to be a long ride, but it'll be okay." And when the bus driver was shouting at another driver, the guy tells the dog, "Don't worry, he's not yelling at you." The dog was totally placid and unconcerned through all this, and was wearing a bib that said, "Autism Support Dog," so I realised the dog was just there to listen, really. What a great thing -- it's like having a sleeping baby in a stroller who acts as an excuse for harried mothers in the supermarket who have to talk through their shopping choices.

I hope to have more delights for you in the next couple of days... I still have a few chores to do, of course. We are having company for the big Christmas dinner: a Buddhist and a Jew, in fact. So we are serving pork roast. Go figure. Must buy the Brussels sprouts shortly -- one year there was a shortage and we had to have cauliflower or some such thing!

And now, with no dog and no baby, I just run around muttering about this to myself!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Year-end stash flashing

We'll start with a sort of overview of the whole bed. Note the large empty space! Compare with January's pictures.

Please note that I got rid of those three off-white Lamb's Pride skeins, and the dark grey Cascade. Never going to use it! Unlike all those tiny bits at the bottom which I ... can't think what to do with, but kept anyways! They were in a bag with a spool knitter.

Below, sock yarn in the top right corner. Really, 2012 will be the year of socks, just as soon as I finish the two sweaters on the needles and a few other things! And there's that nice Rowan cotton, top left. And and and....

Monday, December 12, 2011

My latest

I call this Symphony in Oddments.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The silly song of the season

Last year, I showed you the Silent Monks, and before that was the Partridge in the Pear Tree, and this year, it's Jingle Baas

"Making of" here.

And I made a martini glass dishcloth:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ginger Lemon cookies

I tried out some slightly fancy cookies yesterday. Ginger-lemon pinwheels! You make two doughs, one with brown sugar and molasses and spices and an egg yolk, and one with white sugar and lemon zest and the egg white.

You have to chill the doughs, roll them out flat, chill them again, somehow get one layer on top of the other, roll them up together and freeze them for a bit, till the whole log is firm enough to slice into these cool swirly cookies.

Tips from our test kitchen: Do actually try to get your dough rolled out to a rectangle, and do try to get your rectangles sort of even! That way your cookies will all have the same number of swirls! Also, we used margarine because that was easy, but next time it will be butter, because the soft margarine doesn't harden in the fridge (duh) and I think the dough would have been easier to handle in all that chill/roll/slice business if it had had butter in.

Very tasty and good, but I'm not sure these will be our cookie exchange cookies. Must keep doing research!

Friday, December 02, 2011

And now December's square, and a project for 2012

In a flurry of activity, I knitted up a square for December. It is a pretty simple 3x2 basketweave, which was a nice break. Six rows to the pattern: four are pretty much the same, one is knit and one is purl!

We have here three pictures taken after dark. You have the flash picture of what is meant to be the back of the pattern,

the slightly adjusted no-flash picture of the "front" of the pattern,

and the no-flash, stand-on-a-chair picture of the whole lot. I still need one more row of four to make it a decent size, but I will worry about that next year! Must get more yellow in!

There was another flurry of activity, which has thus far resulted in this:

It is my Sky scarf, which I am making with stash sock yarns. I was all set to go off to the yarn shop, but some little voice suggested I see what I had on hand.

The grey/brown/green is for dark, thundery skies, and the yellow/blue/pink is the light, fluffy cloud colour. Then we have bright blue (though I have never seen a sky that colour, actually) and the paler blue, and twinkly, which I had originally thought would be for when I checked the sky at night, but maybe I will use it for snow or tornadoes or other lively stuff!

I am using a big and a smaller needle, because I think it will be a better looking scarf, but I also think that 365 garter ridges on such big needles will result in a 3-meter-long scarf. Let's just see how the yarn holds out, and how crazy this project gets! It might end next November 30, or it might end when I run out of yarn, or it might just end when I decide to end it.

Onward. Tomorrow I have to prepare for a dinner party, go to an artist's open house, get Elaine to a slumber party, come home and have the dinner party. And knit a ridge on the Sky scarf!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

That was easy

What do you know, I had just a few rows to do on the November square, and all I had to do was sit down and knit them.

Now, one more square this year, four more in January to April, sew it up and edge it in May, and Bob's your uncle.

Eleven down, five to go.

Or I could just barrel on and make the squares faster than that. Quick, someone have a baby!