30 December 2007


Christmas. It's over.

For the first time in a long time, I just sort of sat back & let Christmas happen - and it was awesome.

There were Christmas Miracles...
Gord's niece Sophie was finally moved to a hospital closer to his sister, and we got to visit. She's the sweetest little girl. I got a little choked up when Gord held her, they've managed to get past some pretty scary health issues - but they are both recovering so well. Hopefully Sophie will get to go home to her anxious parents soon.

We spent Christmas Eve at my sister's house - filled with good cheer, bad singing, and lots of wine
My family is quite large, and for as long as I can remember, we've gathered on Christmas Eve to sing carols & get excited for Santi Claus. My aunts say that we do it "you know, for the Kids!" But this year I noticed there was not one single child in the room as we barked and screetched our way through timeless classics.

Gord & my dad, doing it for the kids.
My sister & I re-created a christmas photo from when we were small.

And then I think I remember playing Guitar Hero very, very badly & passing out on the fold-out couch. My new year's resolution is to NOT drink so much wine next Christmas Eve.

Christmas knitting was small & cute.

Socks for my mother.
Pomatomus from knitty.
Meilenweit Cotton Maya (can't remember the colourway?)

I'm deeply in love with these socks. The yarn shows off the pattern beautifully & they are SO soft & sproingy.

Mittens for my sister
Bird in Hand
Patons Classic merino in black & grey & a bit of bright pink

I love these. They have so many cute little details, like the braiding around the cuff & the little birds on the thumbs (I made a mistake in the left mitt & the bird ended up on the top of the thumb.) and the flowers on the palms. It was hard for me to give these up, which means they are a good gift. I'll be making some for me soon.

I also made a pair of socks for my dad, but forgot to take a photo. boo.

So now I'm back to regular scheduled knitting. I spent some time ordering yarn online the other day, in preparation for some projects I'd like to start soon, but mostly I've been spending lots of time in my jammies, watching DVDs, eating bonbons & getting to know my new friend Quatchi.

Merry Christmas!

17 December 2007

Christmas....say what??

By this time last year, most of my christmas crafting excel spreadsheet was filled in red (the colour I used to indicate a project was finished) or pink (the colour I used to indicate a projects' imminent finishing). I made *ALL* of my gifts last year - 9 pairs of socks, 3 adult sweaters, a full size quilt, 2 hats, 6 aprons, and I forgetwhatelse..... It was intense.

This year, despite having taken the Handmade pledge, I find myself sitting in a tiny pile of half- finished projects. A sock....a mitten....one half of a bag. I'm in the christmas spirit, I can feel christmas, I am excited for it - but the shopping, the crafting, even the thinking of a good gift - tires me out. I've ordered a bunch of stuff from etsy & even snuck in a couple of gifts that aren't handmade (shh!) but still, my arms are basically bereft of gifts to give. My spirit, she runs high, but I'm operating on like, 20% energy. Anyone I've confessed this to immediately jumps to my defense: "No one expects you to have gifts! Not after what you've been through." Sure, the past couple of months have been busy & tiring & draining & actually, I don't even really remember the month that Gord was in hospitals & being tested & diagnosed. But for some reason I just cannot let myself off the hook for having little to give.

Mostly I am looking forward to a whole week off where I will try to do stuff for *me*. I plan on making dresses, knitting myself some socks, finishing up some sweater projects & organizing my sewing room. I want to *finish a book* & take an afternoon nap. I want to play my parent's Wii. And drink wine. Lots of it.

I did manage to finally get a haircut. The Thermal photos were the slap in the face that I needed. My hair! It was getting huge & unruly & so gross! Now. Short. and sassy.

12 December 2007

Secret Snowflake bonanza!

Well how about that? Here I am with another post!

Tonight, upon our return from the hospital (Gord's in radiation therapy now. Today was his first day & it went alright, I think.) I nearly tripped over the Large. Box. that was in our front hallway.

My Secret Snowflake had arrived!!

I signed up late for this swatch & was overjoyed when I found it I could still take part. This year, my partner Jennifer *really* outdid herself!

She definitely focused in on one of my all time favourite things.....*GORD!* included in the package was a pendant with Gord's picture on it, a quilted wall hanging with Gord's photo in the middle, and a softie photoframe with a picture of Gord on either side. Amazing! But that's not all! A super incredible 'Fuck Cancer" pillow! It's Gord approved! There was also a great hairband, a mini lunchbox keychain, pens with mini teeny tiny boogle, Yahtzee & pop-o-matic trouble on the ends !! These things are *AWESOME*, a book of krazy knitting photo postcards, a healing art doll & the mooooost beautiful bag *ever!* Perfect for my knitting!

I was really so touched by everything she sent - it was amazing fun to open everything & read her little notes. And the treasures inside were made with love, I can tell.THANK YOU!

So, the first completed christmas gift came off the needles the other day,

A hat for Gord's grandma.

Kind of sort of a Rangoli hat.

I rescued some Patons Decor from work to make this. I had no idea how much yarn I had, it was leftover from another project, so panic set in when I started to run out of yarn & still had a whole lot more to go. I began decreasing way, way earlier than the pattern calls for so it's not as slouchy as some I've seen. I also omitted the bobbles. I quite like it & Gord thinks his grandma will too.

Here I am trying to look like a grandma.

So now onto more christmas knitting. It won't be the craziness it was last year, I'm keeping it small & thoughtful this year. To be honest, I'm just *too* *tired* to put any sort of pressure on myself. I'll just have to design a lovely I.O.U. tag.

Yesterday I spotted this tote in the new Interweave & it struck me as something my mother would like. Before I knew it I was shuffling in my stash to find suitable yarn. I found some Patons Classic merino in 'Natural mix' that will work & so far, so good. I just hope I can get er done for christmas.

I've also cast on for these absolutely amazing mittens. I am totally in love with them & I've only done the cuff. They are perfect! I already plan on making a second pair for myself.

Speaking of myself:

A secret project. For *me.*

08 December 2007


Gord has been doing awesomely. He was released a whole week & a half earlier than they had originally anticipated. The first week home was a lesson in what his limitations were, but he got a lot of good rest. It's so nice to take the streetcar *home* after work each night. I started my new job the day after Gord first went into the hospital - I'd go to the hospital straight from work & then home. Now I know what it's like to cut out that pesky middle part & just get straight to the good stuff.

He had an appointment with his doctor on Wednesday - they did another bone marrow biopsy & the good news is that Gord is in remission (yay!) the not-so-good-news is that he's still not done treatments. Next week he'll begin phase two of his protocol. Radiation therapy. Lets hope that he does as well with this as he did with chemo. It seems somewhat unreal that he's already in remission, but I guess the Leukemia was detected early enough that it was a little easier to blast it out of his body.

It's been great having him back. I love coming home from work to Gord's awesome dinners & a delicious smelling apartment. I love sitting next to him on the couch & while I may not love the steroided out snoring, I certainly missed falling asleep beside him. The apartment feels like home again. Today we have to put up our christmas tree & make this place holly & jolly.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is coming so soon. By this time last year I had practically all of my christmas crafting under control. This year I barely have any gifts - I'm worried that a lot of people will be getting I.O.U's from me. Last week I went to City of Craft in an effort to cross some stuff of my shopping list.

This show was on the same day that I had made plans to go to a church bazzar, buy winter boots & be home by noon to visit with Gord's family. I had to go to City of Craft early & good thing I did, too, because I got this awesome tote!

Inside the tote was a whole bunch of really great free stuff:
I bought some very nice handspun yarn, and something for Gord. The place was jam packed & the vendors were top notch, I hope this becomes an annual event.

There's been some crafting going on, but most of it is for work. My job requires many swatches to be made & there's a lot of "OMG! We need a pair of socks knit in 3 days!" kind of knitting. I like it though - I like knowing that if I really need to, I can get a project done lightning fast. But I have been trying to get knitting time on my own projects in as much as possible.

Which leaves me with a fantastic segue to talk about *Thermal.*

*DONE*. I weaved in all the ends, put some buttons on it & I declare it officially & totally complete.

I cast on the first weekend in June, at my friend Peter's cottage. I had several false starts - I twisted the stitches a couple of times without noticing. About an inch into the 1x1 ribbing I started to seriously doubt my decision to make a Nicole-sized sweater in fingering weight yarn. But now, snuggled up on my couch typing this & wearing the finished piece, I'm glad I soldiered on. It's gorgeous.

I used 18 balls of elann Baby Cashmere in 'pewter', on size 2 needles.
The pattern is great, I had no problems with this other than my own tortoise-y approach to getting it done. When I snipped the thread after sewing the buttons on, I felt as though a million pounds had been turned into billowy soft cashmere clouds.

I could say that my puffy eyes in all these photos are from knitting this sweater for the past 6 months, but really I think I still need major naps to catch up on the last month of no sleep.

So what now? I still have my Tangled Yoke Cardigan on the go, I have a few Christmas gifts on the needles & a simple everyday cardigan to replace the one I currently wear.... everyday. I am about to cast on for a *gorgeous* cabled thing. There is certainly no lack of things to take Thermals place in my "to do" basket.

Hmm, that post wasn't so long after all.