Monthly Archives: December 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Have I mentioned lately what a lucky girl I am?

You see, while The Other Half may be easily distracted, and not prone to bringing flowers quite as often as the romantic in me might like, he is indeed very thoughtful and whenever I get a gift I can tell he’s been Listening. (And honestly, the romantic in me is the sort that is as pleased by a clean kitchen as a bouquet of flowers. Well, more or less…)

So while my Christmas gift may have been delivered a little on the post side of the actual day, it was wrapped and labeled with love, and cleverly placed beneath the Holiday Yucca in secret, to be discovered only when the cat started sniffing at it.

And upon opening said package, what to my wondrous eyes should appear but 4 skeins of oh-so-nommable Misti Baby Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky in MauvelousMauvelous
and one in a rich, chocolatey brown (SFN33 for those who must have numbers)410.jpg.



So very, VERY soft and squishy.
Such sensual delight really ought to be reserved for private moments, but I just have to share.
Because I just feel so very lucky right now.

I think I may make this. I’ll shorten the arms, partly because I won’t have enough for the full length, but mostly because I do so much with my hands that I’m constantly pushing up my sleeves and have acquired a taste for shorter ones. (Plus it’s a good excuse to knit more fingerless gloves when full coverage is required. See, I’m merely thinking ahead!)

I do already have a 3/4 sleeve cardigan on needles, that I’m pretty keen on, but I’m not sure I’m physically (or psychologically) capable of having fewer than three WIPs at any one time. And socks hardly count. So I just might have to make a foray out for the correct needles (being sadly bereft of needles in the larger, chunky-loving sizes) and dive in.

Sounds like a good New Year’s Eve activity.

Party on.

In Which the Animals Show Us How it’s Done.

The Setting

A Snow-covered Countryside:
Oh, the weather outside...

The Cast

A Dog, black with bicolour eyes, played by Mollie the Lab mix:
Mollie Motion
A Cat, ginger, played by Rufus (pictured with Mollie’s new toy):
Let Sleeping Cats Lie
A Cat, tabby/white, played by Pussy-Toes with Extra Thumbs:

Supporting Characters

A Large Stick, played by itself
A Human, gamely played by TOH (both pictured with Mollie):
Carry a Big Stick

The Plot

Fun and Games (no eyeballs lost);
The Loss and Finding of Various Toys;
The Claiming of Assorted Comfortable Domains;
Peace, Well-being and Contentedness for All.

Happy Holidays.

Snow Day!

And the snow continues…

Snowed InCorner
Snow TireSnowed In

Kind of a bummer feature of working from home is that, beyond household emergencies and dire illness, there are really no (good) excuses to be had for not going to work. There could be seven feet of snow, covered with ice, hail the size of tennis balls filling the air, and I could still make my way to the workshop.

Essentially, if I can get out of bed I can get to work.

Generally this is fine because, frankly, I’ve got it pretty good. I start and stop working when it suits me; my total commute from breakfast table to sewing machine is about 17 seconds and free; my attire is limited only by its functionality; I always have a home-cooked meal for lunch (well, OK, sometimes it’s just a can of soup, but I still get to eat it out of my favourite bowl); and if I get tired of listening to the CBC, or need an energy boost I can play music like the Joel Plaskett Emergency‘s rockin’ (and so apropos today) “Snowed In/Cruisin‘”.

But one thing I can’t do is fake a sick call to go play in the snow.
Of course, I can just go.

In which the outside is brought in.

There’s this juniper bush in our front yard. (NB: the term “front yard” is to be interpreted very loosely, indeed. While it meets the “front” criterion without question, the “yard” element is clearly only a casual attribution. However, I digress.)

This plant is about 4′ in diameter, and about 10″ high. It is the sprawling, languishing type of juniper, rather than the alert, bustling sort. The middle 2′ or so is mostly just flat brown branches and scruffy bark, so essentially it looks like a dead squashed thing except for the outer portions of the branches.

Now, since I don’t have a tree this year, and am sorely missing the smell and look of fresh evergreen, I cut off several of the frondy branch ends and placed them about the living room. Very nice; fragrant and festive.

I’m tempted to apply a few tree decorations to increase the festivity quotient, but then I’d not only have to choose which ones from amongst the collection would have the privilege (too much to ask, surely), but they’d also have to be put away again afterward. And since not having to put the decorations away is the only real consolation to be had for not having them on a tree in the first place, it’s not happening.

So I have some naked, simple greenery about the room, lending its pleasant evergreen scent and a subtle sense of occasion to the atmosphere.

This is the small bit on my desk, with the cat resenting the fact that I won’t let her tip it over to get at the water.
Scratchy & Sniffy

No turtle, just neck.

So I whipped this up over the weekend:
And before you even think it; no, it’s not a dickey. Banish the thought. I haven’t owned a dickey since I was about 7 (at which age one can really not be held responsible for one’s sartorial decisions), and didn’t even like the idea then.


I do have neck issues. It seems that the cervical vertebrae only put up with a certain amount of sewing, computing, printmaking, knitting and other seated-eyes-forward-and-down activities without some degradation. Plus it apparently runs in my family. So to the arsenal of regular chiropractic and massage treatments and yoga practice (all of which keep me mostly pain-free), I have added a nice cosy neck-warmer.

You see, our apartment could not fairly be described as balmy. It’s not cold, exactly, but sitting still for more than 30 minutes sure makes it feel that way. And since I’ve yet to acquire a bicycle-powered computer, or learn to knit while jogging, my extremities get chilly. I made fingerless gloves first, which keep my wrists feeling good. But I only recently realized that there was a good way to keep my neck warm without wearing too many cumbersome layers. And voila, neck-warmer.

Seriously though, it does kinda look like I’m wearing a wooly turtleneck if the bottom is hidden.

But it’s not a dickey.


This is the kind of day it was today.
It rained all day. It rained on all the cyclists, all the dogs (I missed taking a picture of the little dog with a rain jacket on – my loss), all the kids and people going about their lives.
Yesterday morning it was -20 (C) with the wind, this afternoon it was +6. This is why I own five different winter jackets.

Q: In a thousand words or less…

…describe the 90 seconds immediately before and after the moment your doorbell rang.

A: IroningBoard.jpg

Oh my darling…

One of my favourite things about this season is the preponderance of clementines. Yes, I know they come from far away, but I spend most of the year trying to limit my produce to seasonal, reasonably local varieties and this is the one season that I more freely indulge in irresponsible fruit.
Oh my darling...

I just can’t resist the glossy orange skin, the way it peels off more easily than a down jacket in front of a warm fire. The plump, juicy sections with their sweet sweet flesh… I think I ate about 6 the first day I got them.

I just had to say that 🙂

The better to see you with, my dear.

Oh, and better pictures of the Ox prints.

Thrilling Canadian politics – no, really!

Canadian politics are usually pretty boring. I mean, we’re all just so gosh-darned polite around here that even attack ads are practically conciliatory next to the ones south of the border. But now we’ve actually got some excitement! Yarn Harlot, in her inimitable style, has written a very clear and thorough explanation of what’s going on for those who don’t quite get are bewildered by the situation, but I think I can sum it up as follows.

We’ve had a bit of a bully running things here for the last almost-two years (NB: this is my personal opinion, based on my point of view – some would say his aggressiveness and strategic panache are just what this country needs – I think he’s a bully), and finally the other kids in the playground, who outnumber him, have had enough and have grouped together to ask the teacher (read, Governor General) to give them the ball. So now he’s complaining that they’re trying to steal the ball, and threatening to throw it over the fence so no one can play until he’s had time to… well, bully everybody more? Honestly, I’m not sure what he thinks he’s going to really accomplish. So at this point it all depends on whether the teacher (Governor General) thinks that the other kids will be able to form a more stable playground environment (read, parliament). All right, the metaphor is stretching a little thin now, but you can see the picture.

It’s a sticky spot, constitutionally speaking, one without clear precedent or hard and fast rules. But I think it’s absolutely wonderful. The position of Governor General is very much a remnant of the monarchy, and some think it ridiculous in a modern democracy, especially since her duties are often seen as “mere” formalities. But a situation like this shows the wisdom of having a Head of State like this; someone who isn’t subject to pressures from lobbyists, who won’t lose her job because of an unpopular policy, whose role is really and truly to ensure that our parliament functions in the best interest of the country as a whole, according to our constitution. I honestly think it’s worth the expense, the pomp and ceremony, and just plain old-fashioned-ness of the role because sometimes you need one person who can say: “This is what’s best for the country”, and really, truly mean it.

In other news, knitting!

An FO:Edgar, my Edgar... It’s Edgar from Knitty Fall ’05, in Noro Silk Garden 274 and was a nice fast & easy but still interesting knit. There’s been more progress on the brown/orange scarf, and I started another;1x1IP.JPG a very subtly striped 1×1 rib in Kureyon 233 and Donegal Chunky Tweed. Perfect for the intended.

I’m afraid to say this, but last night I actually thought perhaps I’m becoming a little weary of all the knitting… it’s no good, because I’ve still got several projects to see through to FO status, and I’d rather enjoy the process than begrudge it. There are a lot of other things on my mind, plans and schemes for various aspects of both the near and far future that are keeping me a little distracted. And then we had no hot water for two days after the water heater “bust its spleen” as the downstairs neighbour so eloquently put it, and the furnace was being replaced too so it’s been a little chilly all round. The cats just spend their time curled into furry balls of “don’t bug me I’m warm” and I put on my long underwear and another polarfleece pullover.

It’ll be so nice to finish all these holiday projects so I can start my sweater…