Sunday, December 30, 2007

Stash enhancement

This Christmas, my knitting library grew substantially!

As did my yarn stash - gorgeous red silk yarn from Max's tript to China:

And more tools! The red ones are the biggest ones yet - US size 50 - but one of the things I'm most excited about is the pompom maker. Can't wait to try it out.

Thank you everyone!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas in Canada

Christmas Eve
Max, my parents, my sister, my BIL, and I went out for dim sum. Afterwards, my sister and her husband went back to my parent's house and the rest of us went to Jackson Square and the Farmer's market. So much has changed. Later that night, Max and I watched Meet the Robinsons with my parents and drank my Dad's homemade eggnog. My sister slept over at her in-laws and her dog stayed at my parent's house.

Christmas Day
My sister and BIL arrived just after 9am. We all opened our stockings and then my brother made eggs, peameal bacon and breakfast sausages to go with the Kringle my Dad made and the fruit salad my Mom made for breakfast. Then we opened our presents - including my sister's dog, Diesel, who went to town on all the wrapping paper. Here's my sister and my BIL in their new hats. Max and I took Diesel for a walk... so cold! Later, my sister did a Pampered Chef demonstration for us, showing us all the products in her kit and letting us try stuff out (though for my Dad that meant eating a piece of apple, not cutting it). She made the brie appetizer for us to snack on while we made the rest of dinner. Max and I made the turkey, my Mom made the gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted lamb, sausage chestnut stuffing, salad, and sweet potatoes. My brother made some stuffed mushrooms, a buche de Noel for dessert and also put together the cookie tray. His girlfriend came over right before dinner. More presents were opened and then we had dinner.

After dessert, my brother's girlfriend took everyone's picture (she went to school for photography) and then we played Wii bowling. My Mom got the most strikes! It was a lot of fun and we all had a good time.

Boxing Day
This is the big shopping day in Canada but my Mom didn't feel like going out, so I was just as happy to not go out again. My Dad, my brother and Max moved the piano from one end of the house to the other - it's an upright, so a little less of an undertaking than you might think but still a big deal. And I even sat down to play for a few minutes - the first time in decades! It's a miracle I remember anything but after all those years of playing, I'm glad I retained a little. Max started organizing everything to start packing for us to go home. We went over to my cousin's house to see all the relatives - some of whom I haven't seen in years. The night was over quickly, as was the trip. Max and I flew home the next day. Here's something I picked up at Duty Free:

Friday, December 28, 2007

We're home!

Max and I have been in Canada visiting with my family since last Friday. It's good to be home!

We arrived at Buffalo airport, met my parents outside the gate, bumped into someone from my office, and made it back to my parents house after midnight. My brother was still awake so he said hello before we went to bed.

We had breakfast with my parents - my Mom made cream of wheat for me. Max had coffee and cookies. Sigh. That's what vacation is for I guess. We took the GO Train into Toronto and met one of our highschool friends, Darren, for lunch. We ate at the City Grill. After lunch we shopped a bit and then said goodbye. After he left, Max and I walked down Queen Street. He got to go to two comic book stores and I got to go to Romni Wools for almost an hour. That place is so huge, completely overwhelming. I'll show you what I got there later. We stopped at Tim Horton's for a butter caramel hot smoothie and a maple donut. Max had a sausage from a street vendor later. It was after dark by the time we left the city and almost 9pm by the time we got home but the house was empty because my parents and my sister and BIL had gone to Toronto to watch The Nutcracker. We saw them later when they all came back together.

In the PATH Window at the Bay on Queen Street
Eaton's Center Tim Horton's Butter Caramel Hot Smoothie and Maple Donut

We spent the afternoon at my sister's house watching the Patriots game with her husband. Here's their tree - it's even in the right colours! The first half of the game was great and I got to knit for several hours. For dinner, they treated us out for dinner at Swiss Chalet. I had the festive special - rotisserie chicken with stuffing, french fries, cranberry sauce, their special dipping sauce... and a box of chocolates for dessert (though I saved it to bring home with me). We had dessert and coffee at my parent's house.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Another new product from Bzz Agent to try out, Sonicare.

It was easy to put together and even though we have Braun toothbrushes, the heads still fit. The hardest part?

Remembering to put in my toothbrush head after I brush. Usually Max reminds me though so we use it almost every day.

Monday, December 24, 2007


When I blogged about the green Koolhaas hat, I never mentioned who it was for... wonder no more! Look at this happy little girl in her new festive green hat. Her Dad and I were good friends in high school and I have since become friends with his wife (ah, the power of the internet) and love the antics of his little girl. A few days ago, I heard someone say, "I don't know why anyone would read blogs." That was such a stunning statement to me because I don't know how else I would keep up with some of my friends (maybe through Facebook but I'm guessing that would fall into the same category)... and I've met some really great people because of their blogs who live in places I've never even been before, which wouldn't have happened if it were not for their blogs. Just something I'm thankful for. Also, that the longest day of the year has passed (Blessed Yule) and the days will now start getting progressively longer. Maybe in a month it will actually be noticeable even. :)

Happy Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lap blanket

Bought the yarn (Patons Bella) in Dundas, Ontario the last time I was home for Christmas... probably in December 2005. It's super bulky and soft. Just simple seed stitch, 35 stitches on size 29 needles.


I made it for my awesome yoga instructor as part of the gift basket our yoga class gave her for the holidays. Olivia loved it! Can you tell?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Angela's mittens


Angela, your mittens are done! One took longer than the other (not sure why) but altogether it took me 470 minutes (over five days) to knit them both. They're yours - once you're back in the office. I hope you love them!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grey mittens

One of my coworkers is from Maine and her grandmother knit her a pair of mittens that she loved. She asked if I would make her a pair and offered to pay me. I don't know that I would even know how much to ask her for, especially from a friend, so instead I've been keeping track of the time it's taking me to make the mittens and she can get me something from my wishlist instead. Then it's just an extra treat on top of her enjoying the mittens.

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I started on Sunday. As of last night, I was almost done the second mitten. If she's lucky, she can bring these to Maine with her.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Neck warmer

Yesterday, I showed you Paula's hat. Here is the neck warmer I devised to go with it.


To make, cast on 25 stitches and knit in garter stitch for 63 ridges, then cast off. Roughly fold in half, tie through four layers with a length of ribbon (about 1"x 2" from edge). Trim the ends of the ribbon and seal the ends with glue.

The neck warmer easily stretches to fit over my head without having to untie the ribbon.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Paula's hat

In progress:
IMG_3931 IMG_3933

Finished this over the weekend. The brim is 5 inches and I used the tail of the yarn to close up the back seam a little.


It was a pretty quick knit, especially since this is the third time around.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Swap 2007


All week, I've been checking my mailbox to see if my package for the Holiday Swap 2007 had arrived yet. What's in that big box under the tree?


I'm not sure who my pal is but I think it's Angela of Buzzandfuzz in Maine. She sent me two skeins of lovely blue Khorma yarn from The Fibre Company... it's so soft and I love the colour, Lion Brand notecards with knitting patterns on the back, a book that my Mom just recommended to me, Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky, Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea, a tin full of chocolate, and a scented sachet.

My pal was Jamie the llamamamma from Texas. Her note to me made my day!

I got my package and it is fabulous!! Exactly what a "newbie" needs....

I received a beautiful skein of moss colored Debbie Bliss yarn and a wonderful hat pattern to go with it. It will be my first attempt at knitting a hat and I'm ready to get started (and thanks for your sweet card and words of encouragement)!! I can't wait to read the two books that were included, The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting and The Knitting Directory. As a "new" knitter, they are absolutely perfect books for me!! AND how did you know I had a Yarn Ball Winder on my Christmas list? I can't wait to use it -- I have two skeins of Merino wool that are just waiting to be wound. I'm sipping the delicious tea, listening to the relaxing Christmas CD and eyeing the chocolate goodies that were included.

WOW, Knerq (aka Nicole) you truly made my day!! I hope your swap partner is as generous to you as you were to me. THANK YOU so much!!!!

This was such a great exchange! Easy and fun.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Green Koolhaas

Green Koolhaas

I finished this hat last night... still had some issues with the decreases so I winged it a little. It's small for my adult sized head but I think will fit its recipient quite well.

Since I finished with the Green Koolhaas, I was able to start the flat top hat, but only just barely... I was tired last night and there was only one row knitted before it was time to go to sleep.

I did get a lot of other stuff done (like finishing the tart for my office potluck and trying out my new sweater stone - making a big mess on the living room floor that had to be vacuumed up but the results were pretty good) so I was glad to go to bed a little early. Read a chapter of In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, which is quite funny (even after listening to 70% of it as a book on tape back in August).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I have been so tired lately.

The short row hat requires more attention than I can give to it right now and so after three repeats of a lumpy mess (think pine cone head), it has been frogged.

Tonight I will be finishing up with the green Koolhaas (since I finally got another ball of yarn in the right colour) to free up the needles I need to start the Flat-Top Hat by Iris Schreier.

But only after I've finished making the dessert for my department holiday party pot luck. I'm making the Caramel Cranberry Nut Tart.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Short row hat

The hat is coming along... much better now that I understand what's going on. The colours could be better but I guess that's what I get for substituting something different. Still, it's a great yarn to work with and the recipient's favorite colour is purple (and that's what matters).

IMG_3914 IMG_3913

In other news... watched the Pat's game last night. Loved it! We'll be watching next Sunday as well. And I'm actually sad that I'll probably be missing the game on the 23rd because I'll be up in Canada with my family. It's funny, I never thought I would ever be into football. Guess I've been living down here too long! :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Red mittens finished


My red mittens had their first real test run this morning on my morning commute. The 13% cashmere content makes them soft but not necessarily toasty warm when outside in the wind and near freezing temperatures. I think they would be perfect for riding in a cold car though. Or for the fall when it's not so cold. Still, they fit well and I will continue wearing them since they match my red Koolhaas hat. Maybe they just need mitten liners.

Last night I cast on something new, the Short-Row Hat by Veronik Avery using Shepherd Worsted Multi by Lorna's Laces. So far I can barely tell where the pattern is going but I don't yet understand how it will all fit together. The yarn is wonderful, soft and beautiful, and does not untwist in the least.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Today we had our first snow in the Washington, DC area. With the forecast calling for 1-2 inches of snow by the end of the day, there were schools with delayed opening, early closings, and terrible traffic all over the place. On the other hand, when I left for work this morning, the roads were dry and barely any snow was coming down - really you had to squint a little to see it. Here's the view of the Masonic Temple from my window:

By lunch, it was starting to stick and so I ran out for a few minutes to take a few pictures:

With all this cold weather, it's a good thing that my red mittens are finally cooperating! One is almost done and I can't wait to finish the pair.

Winter 007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Third time

I was knitting red koolhaas mittens... but then it became apparent that I would not have enough yarn to finish the pair. Second attempt, frogged. I started over again, this time going back to the House Mittens pattern. Simple and easy to follow. I think I'll have enough but I'm still a little worried.

In other news... Max and I went to see Enchanted on Sunday. I loved it! It was every fairytale stereotype turned up on high. Max said it wasn't bad overall, that there were some parts that were really funny (like the scene in Central Park) but also some parts that made him groan out loud. Hee hee. After the movie we went to the Silver Diner for an early dinner. Our movie stubs got us a free milkshake. I had the Hawaiian and Max had the Peppermint Patty. Yummy!

Also, I went out for dinner last night with two friends from work. Went to a Thai restaurant near our office which mostly caters to a lunch crowd... it was completely empty for most of our dinner, though some people did start to show up as we were finishing up. I had duck and it was so yummy!

After all that eating, it's a good thing I have yoga today. Need to fit into my party dress on Friday!