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Daughter-the-first over at Nerd in Northampton got me interested in Heidi’s Friday Night Sew In…a great motivator given that I have so many WIPs at the moment, and several birthday and Christmas deadlines looming.

So I decided to shake things up (and by that I mean finding some knitting mojo) and spent Friday night whipping up a pair of mittens for daughter-the-second’s December birthday.

Birthday Mittens for Emily

Warm Hands for Miss Ems

Pattern: Favourite Soft Mitts by Fleece Artist
Made for: Emily, to replace a well-worn and puppy-chewed pair
Yarn: Mohair & Blue Face Leicester (held together) by Fleece Artist
Needles: 4.5 mm and 5 mm

Emily has had her own beautiful style for many years. She was rocking berets long before they were trendy again, and I plan to make her a lovely new beret to match the mittens. Stay tuned!


Happy Valentine’s Day to my family and friends far and wide!

As my sisters and my friends keep pointing out to me, it has been far too long since I posted to my blog, and what better day to reach out to all of you than February 14th?

So today I ventured outside with camera, heart, and newly-felted mittens in hand, determined to get a snapshot to show you my fresh-off-the-needles project AND my love. Big clumpy snowflakes were wafting down in an idyllic way, and everything looked beautiful.

I love winter.

And so does this little girl:

As usual, she was determined to get as close as possible to the forbidden handknit wool item. Note the evidence at the bottom of this shot:

So…Happy Wintery Heart Day to all of you. I’ll be back soon (promise!), as I have lots to share after such a long absence.

Pattern: Snow Country Felt Mittens by Bev Galeskas
Made for: Jess, because her hands are always cold
Yarn: Pastaza by Cascade (colour 072 brown)
Needles: 7mm

I am never one to turn down an adventure, and last week I got to tag along with my best road trip buddy to the Charlevoix region in Quebec. It was my first time in that area, and I must say that it was gorgeous.

This was the view from our room:


Although I did do a fair bit of work while I was there, I was also able to enjoy a change of scenery and the opportunity to stretch my office-cramped legs and go for some long walks. I also knit a bit, of course!

I finished two Lizard Ridge squares. One was made up from the leftover bits of Kureyon from the first ten squares, because I can’t bear to let those little balls go to waste. Here they are, bursting out of my Booga Bag:

Lizard Ridge Kureyon jumble May 2008

I am still loving this pattern, but progress has been a bit slower as I have been forcing myself to do other things. Like trying to finish the third pair of socks for 2008… the 3×3 ribbed pair which I will be gifting to… oops, I can’t say! I am 75% finished and hope to bring them down the home stretch on the weekend…which should be easy, since I’ll be taking a cross-country plane trip. They’d better let my beautiful Harmony needles on the plane or I will have a serious hissy fit right at Security.

Funny, I remember going to the U.S. from Canada less than two months after September 11, 2001. I flew in and out of several airports in Texas, and there were men and women from the National Guard everywhere. At one airport they had an older woman behind a screen for inspection, because the hooks on her girdle were setting off alarms. They were confiscating nail clippers and tweezers, but I was astonished to discover that long metal knitting needles were allowed on board! Wow. I remember thinking that it would be pretty hard to nail-clip someone to death.

Anyway, I’ll be taking a variety of needles with me, just in case. The reason I’m anxious to get the socks done is that my husband’s nephew and his wife are expecting a baby boy very soon, and I would like to make him a little something. Maybe something like this striped hat.

But back to Quebec… I understand that there is a book on the market called French Women Don’t Get Fat. I’m not sure what the premise of the book is, but I know the real reason they don’t get fat: it is because they stretch their meal out over hours and hours. Holy cow. I’m all for lingering over a beautifully prepared meal, but at one point I thought my friend was going to gnaw on the table leg, and I actually had to go back to my room (remember the cramped office legs?) after waiting for 2.5 hours for my fruit and cheese plate. I’m not kidding! It was because people meandered into the dining room to join our party, and the staff was too well-trained to serve our main course before the newcomers received their appetizers!

Too funny. Of course everything was delicious and beautiful in the Charlevoix area…just have some carrot sticks before you get there.

And bring your camera. I snapped some quick photos on my walk into La Malbaie, the nearest village. There were churches aplenty along the way, and it is hard not to feel close to God when this is what greets you around every corner:








And here was another little divine moment…sitting on the deck with my knitting and tea, with a gorgeous view and birds tweeting nearby:


Life is good.

I’m sad to say that my recent knitting output has been reduced to this:

Jaywalkers & dishcloth March 2008

My February socks (Jaywalkers) are still not finished, and have become February/March socks.

The reason for my lack of productivity? I spent the past week in New York City, and despite my typical delusional knitting packing, I only managed to finish a few inches on the Jaywalkers, and to squeeze in an hour or two of dishcloth knitting in the dark while en route.

But New York was great fun. I was guiding some high school students and teachers and their family members, and they couldn’t have been a better group. We saw three Broadway shows (Wicked was my favourite), and had plenty of time to explore the Midtown area of Manhatten, where we were staying.

My husband was along as a helper, so that made the trip even better. He snapped this photo of me on Broadway…talking while walking, nothing unusual there!

On the streets of NYC March 2008

On our last day in the city we spent some time at the Museum of Modern Art. After being delighted by works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock, and Warhol, I stumbled upon this:

Mike Kelley's Untitled 1990 (found blankets and dolls) at MOMA

It is Mike Kelley’s Untitled 1990, an installation piece comprising “found blankets and dolls.”

There was something so surprising about finding these worn and kitschy handknit and crocheted pieces laid out among the more typical works of art, even though there were also honeycomb sculptures and cardboard creatures like this one:

cardboard creature MOMA March 2008

It was a bit disturbing and yet somehow comforting to think that the artist rescued these yarn pieces out of bins at thrift shops and gave them an importance never intended by their creators.

How many times have we seen little guys like this one, and never thought that they should be in a museum with works of art by the greatest artists of the century?

Part of Mike Kelley's Untitled 1990, MOMA March 2008

Hey, little orange guy…it was great to see you at the MOMA.

My sister Deanna is celebrating her birthday today. She is a very special person, and we are all much better for having her in our lives. She also just happens to be the mother of my adorable godson, Elliott, and it is no coincidence that he is a remarkably intelligent, expressive and loving little boy. (Sorry, Shane, but on this day, you get no credit for your son’s genius.)

Happy Birthday, Dee, and thank you for being you. Oh, and sorry for all those things I (supposedly) did to you when we were little. It’s always good to humour the birthday girl. Tomorrow I will revert to complete denial and vows of innocence.

Since you probably won’t receive your card on time, here are some birthday flowers (from our yard) for you:

Purple campanula glomerata 2007

Grammie's bush 2007

Elliott Johns 2007

Oops. Another gratuitous Elliott pic. Can’t help myself.

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I'm reading:

Emotionally Weird
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The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor
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Creative Time and Space
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Purple Hibiscus
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Human Croquet
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by Jose Saramago

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