05 November 2008


Some comeback eh? I write all about how I wanna come back & so on & then....nothing.
Like Gord says though, it's like riding a blogcycle.
I half-assedly promise to post more regularly. Kinda.

I was in dire need of a Spring/Fall jacket - I was falling into the slippery slope of the Canadian Tuxedo far, far too often. Trolling etsy one day, I spotted some totally amazing fabric & picked up a pattern & got to work.

It's McCalls M5711 , with totally amazing plastic bags stuck in tree branches fabric from Passenger Pigeon. I started this at the begining of October, thinking it would take me 2 days, max. It ended up taking much longer, and I kept running into really weird pattern issues. The armholes on this thing are like none I've ever sewn (or seen) - and I didn't notice the drop shoulders until after I had put them in. If I had, I would have changed them up.

The lining didn't work out so smoothly & I had to put the collar in 3 times to get it right - and it's still kind of bunchy in places.

When I told some friends that I got this fabric, one of them pointed out that it was pretty risky of Passenger Pigeon to sell their fabrics. What if someone made something totally crappy out of their recognizable fabric & people thought it was from their line? She was right - and this made me very aware of taking my time & doing a good job on the jacket. Despite trying to be extra attentive, there were parts that just didn't work out well at all. The pattern was a lot more complicated than it needed to be. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I consider myself a fairly seasoned seamstress & I had to fumble my way through a lot of this. It looks good, but I know it's not perfect & I'm finally at a stage in my life where that bugs the hell out of me. I do like it a lot though, despite the messy bits & I can tell I'll wear it tons.
Next up is my winter coat, which is a mostly self drafted pattern so I'll have no one but myself to blame.

07 October 2008

oh......hello there.

How should I start the blog entry that I've been writing in my head for the past 7 months?

Hi there… I've missed you guys...?

To be honest, I'm a little worried that I'm jumping the gun here by starting up the ol' blog again. Are we in the clear yet? Can we relax yet?

I just couldn’t bring myself to write about a new pair of socks or a sweater when in the background, I was dealing with some pretty highly major stuff. I had thought of using my blog to keep a journal of how I was feeling and what we were going through - but I couldn't do it. I can’t say why, exactly – I often had this feeling of not wanting to take ownership of what (I felt) was mostly Gord’s experience. I didn’t want to be the bridesmaid taking attention away from the bride. Because the thing is - although Gord & I have spent pretty much every single day together since December, I still have no idea what he experienced, and the same can be said for him & what I went through. What if I told the story all wrong?

When people would say to me “It must be so hard on you…” I would tell them it was a lot harder on Gord. But if I ever stopped to think about it, I would break down, sort of crumble under the pressure, be overcome by the weight of what was going on – and that was never any fun for Gord or myself. The truth is, it was hard for me. Real hard.

When Gord was diagnosed, I spent many restless nights, putting all my thoughts & feelings into smart, quick sentences in my head. "I'll write a 'This American Life' style radio documentary about when my boyfriend got cancer & how I was his hilarious side-kick!" I never wrote any of it down, I don't remember anything clever I thought of. And to be honest, it didn’t take long before I had no energy to be witty & clever. I pretty much went on Auto-Pilot.

I've learned that the human brain is an amazing and merciful thing. My surface memory has no recollection of how I handled it all - when I really think about it though, I can feel my heart sink the way it did when I first heard the doctor say that the mystery illness was most likely malignant. I can see myself crying on the steps leading up to our apartment after holding it all in at the hospital & on the cab ride home. I can hear myself telling my family on the phone - sobbing - not knowing what I was going to do - how I was ever going to be strong enough to get through this & be the kind of support Gord needed? But we did it - the only way you can do something like this - one day at a time, with your eye on the prize. It wasn't always pretty & there were times, I'm sure, when he doubted my ability as caretaker and I doubted my strength to be one. There were times when I just wanted to give everything the finger & find a big, deep hole, put on giant headphones & curl up for a while. I was tired for months.

The thing I had to keep reminding myself of was this: Time never stops… a day is always made up of the same number of hours which are always made up of the same amount of minutes which will always & forever be 60 seconds which will never stop. Life does go on, we will get through this, and tomorrow is & always will be another day. You can’t finish a sweater without knitting every stitch. The journey of a thousand miles begins with…yadda yadda yadda.

To say that I’ve changed a lot in the past year(!) is a humongous understatement – and what’s nice & convenient is that I enjoy & welcome most of these new personal changes. I was always a fairly selfish person - a hard thing to fess up to, but I can say now that my selfishness has been cut into a quarter of its previous size. I still come first, but in a totally different way. I am slowly reintegrating myself into my social circles, I’m smiling a lot, joking tons, and I have a heart full of love and appreciation for those that stuck by us in such difficult times. I can honestly say that I am Happy. We are Happy. Gord is in the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy (this lasts a whopping 72 weeks, but there's promise of it being a fair bit easier than the last 9 months), and I think we've come out of the tough bits as a solid, awesome(er) couple. And I also know that my boyfriend is really, really fucking strong. I’m exceedingly proud of him, and of me (insert power couple highfive here).

I’ve written and re-written this entry a number of times – and each draft is more edited than the last. I think I’ll keep this one though, and just sum everything up with this: Cancer Sucks. Srsly. But I recently read an encouraging line that I wish I had heard at the beginning of all of this: "The Strength behind you is far greater than the challenge ahead of you." We'll be oficially in the clear come December 2009. Still quite a long way off - but we can do it, I know we can.

So, if you'll have me back, buddies, I'd like to reclaim my little corner of the internet. After all, I have a lot of knitting braggery to catch up on.

22 February 2008

he ain't heavy, he's my lover.

I have to take a break from blogging. And not a Celine Dion break or a Cher break where I *say* I'm taking a break & then the next thing you know I'm playing shows in Vegas. A real one.

Blogging is something I normally like to do - but I just feel so stretched - so thinly spread. I can't do it. Right now the love of my life comes first - and although it may come as a shock, the love of my life is Gord, not knitting. (Knitting is up there though.) Things have been incredibly tough lately - and I don't think it'll get much easier any time soon.

I'll still be updating my flickr & ravelry pages, so you can keep track of me. But for now, stay warm, cuddle up close to what/who you love, keep me in your thoughts & I'll see you in a couple of months. (I'm thinking August-ish...since that's when the 'Consolidation' chemotherapy ends for gord.)


03 February 2008

snow day...err...weekend.

Things have been extra lazy & hazy around the apartment - we were completely without heat for a couple of days (I'll mention, just for the sake of mentioning it, that the couple of days we were heat-free were actually THE COLDEST EFFING DAYS EVER) - making being anywhere other than the bed, beneath the duvet, a heavy blanket & an electric blanket, wearing sweaters and socks and hats totally uncomfortable.

Part of me, some sick part of me, kind of liked *having* to be snuggled up in bed, but I guess that's easier said by the person who can leave during the day & go to a heated office. Poor Gord had to put up with the cold all by himself. It's fixed now, and not a moment too soon, because the day after it was fixed, we got a massive douse of bad weather.

This is what I looked like upon returning home (2 hours after I had left) from an honest to goodness try at getting to work on Friday morning. It didn't work.

Luckily, the day before, I had cashed in most of my Shopper's Drug Mart reward points for a Nintendo DS! So I spent the day playing some Animal Crossing & some Brain Age & finished up a pair of socks for Gord.

I used some Emu Superwash DK that a swappy pal sent to me, and size 3 needles.
I started these when Gord was first in the hospital - the second sock didn't get made straight away for a number of reasons, but over the past couple of months, there have been comments like "Oh, nothing feels better on my feet than handknit socks" or "Boy, these store bought socks are no good for my circulation" etcetera. I picked up on these hints & decided to whip the second one out this weekend. I can now strike these off the list of 'unfinished projects that are just nag nag nagging me all the time.'

Oh, and I really do have to say a big huge thank you to everyone who wished Gord a Happy Birthday! He seemed quite touched that so many of you took the time to send along well-wishes! And, thank you to Amy and Julia who awarded me with a 'You Make my Day Award!" It made my day! Really & truly!

22 January 2008

G-Unit, another year of excellence.

Today is Gord's Birthday!

I got the day off work (!!!) & we ended up having a fantastic day!

Woke up & put on my shirt..
(Note to iron-on letter manufacturers: please include more than one 'R' per package. Having only the one meant I had to go for old-fashioned 'Gords Gal' rather than today's hip & edgey sounding 'Gords Girl'.)

We put on our winter boots...

so cozy.

And headed up for some delicious Birthday Breakfast


My original plan was to go up the CN Tower, but it was really cloudy & snowy today so we axed that idea & just took a really, really long & round-about streetcar ride to the PowerPlant.

I go nutso for the TTC font.

Check out that knit Cobra! Steven Shearer at the PowerPlant.

There was also a great piece about the AIDS quilt - some panels from the quilt are there, with a documentary on how the quilt blocks are curated & stored. Pretty interesting.

We headed home & snuggled up on the couch to watch some Deadwood.

The couple that wears handknit socks together, stays together.

Lastly, we ordered up some Indian Take out

I'd say that it was definitely one of the most enjoyable days we've spent together in a long, long time - and a super way to celebrate my most favourite person ever.

(As a quick update, Gord is now in remission & going through his next stage of chemo - it's long (30 weeks) & tiring, but he's doing well - the fact that we spent his birthday outside, around town, riding the subway & streetcars is just totally amazing to me. Today, his birthday - felt *so* far away in October when he was diagnosed & this afternoon as we rode past the hospital we both remarked about how even though it was only 3 months ago that our whole lives changed, it feels like a whole lifetime ago. The time just keeps going by. We've been so lucky in all of this - thank you for thinking of us.)

20 January 2008


A new sweater!

Cabled yoke sweater named 'Carmella's Cardigan' from an up-coming Patons 'Up-side Downers' book.

I knit this for work, but I get to keep it. A pretty sweet deal, I think. This is made with Patons Shetland Chunky 'Rich Teal.' I really like this yarn. It's mainly acrylic, with a little bit of wool, but it's soft & machine washable. The only downside? This particular colour turned my bamboo needles blue-ish.

The fit is good, but I couldn't get any good pictures of me in it. Also, I tend to finish sweaters on Sundays - the day I hardly ever make it into the shower. My Judy is much nicer to look at.

There was one fit issue, but it was my fault.

I was picking up stitches along the top for the collar - when I got to the right side, I started to panic because I hadn't picked up enough & I was running out of space - so I over compensated on that one side. Such a dumb mistake since I could have just picked up less but what can you do?

I ran a piece of yarn through some sticthes on that side of the collar, and pulled it until it was flat like the other side.


I'm thinking I just need to buy bigger buttons & this is good to go.

Now onto my cabled yoke

19 January 2008


Tiny owl, made for my friend Tim's birthday, with help from moonstitches.
My mind is already aflutter with more ideas for this little guy.

13 January 2008

when bad dye lots happen to good people.

Last week I decided I'd start knitting socks chronologically -- starting with the oldest sock yarn in my stash. Considering I only started knitting socks about 2 years ago, it's not terribly old stuff & I still like most of it. First up was some DGB self striping I bought on clearance at Romni about a year & a half ago. The colours are cute & I used DGB for the very first pair of socks I ever knit & they are still awesome & hole-free.

Everything was cool until I got to a couple of yucky bits in the peach stripe. It just got worse, but I was on the bus on my way home & it was all I had to keep me sane. (If you've ever ridden the Dufferin bus in Toronto, you'll understand what I mean.) So I kept going & the yuckiness just kept getting worse.

The stripe closest to the needles is supposed to be the same mauve-y colour as the ones that come before it. What it is though, is a drabby substitute. I can see that things get back to normal with the colours a couple of yards ahead - I will rip back & fix it. woe.

In knitting victory, super cute baby chucks!

I used this pattern, I knit these with Patons kroy sock yarn in black & white, and used size 2 needles. The pattern calls for worsted weight, but the recipient has particularly tiny feets.

10 January 2008

i heart me, apparently.

Merry Christmas to me....from me.

New books!

I'mma totally going to knit these snail mittens from The Knitter's Book of Yarn! And holy moses, Knit Knit is the nicest eye candy I've indulged in in a long, long time.

Mondial Gold Cashmere from Little Knits. . I'm thinking for the Katherine Hepburn cardigan from Lace Style.

Lace Wing sock yarn from Little Knits. The colours of this yarn are so rich & deep. And I have to say, ordering from little knits was a pleasure!

Habu cashmere. Oh what to do, what to do with 182 yards of lace weight cashmere? Mostly, I couldn't resist the attractive packaging. I bought this at Lettuce Knit along with..

Dream in Color 'Smooshy' sock yarn. This is a sublime mix of greens - and totally smooshy!

A Dream in Colour baby cardigan kit! I couldn't resist the cuteness of everyone else's sweaters! I didn't even notice the 40$ price tag! Yoinch! But it's cute, so who really cares?

Elann Peruvian Highland wool - for a project I have in my brain & would like to put on my body. I may need a darker brown. Good thing I got this...

shade cards!

Also newly acquired:

I discovered one of the perks of my job...when a co-worker de-stashes.

A *gigantic* cone of rusty coloured tweed. It feels slightly felted, which I *love*. I just have no idea of what kind of yargade I'm dealing with here. I'd like to make something similar to the Drops jacket, but I'd hate to run short of yarn.

10 skeins of a now discontinued Patons wool. 'Ballybrae' is a gorgeous tweed that smells super lanolin-y! I can't wait to find the perfect project for this.

Whew! So that should be enough to keep me going for a while. I still have a bunch of lingering projects that need finishing up. The Tangled Yoke cardigan is taking for.ev.er. I have some socks on the needles, and 2 cardigans that need sleeves. I pinkie swear I will not start another sweater until those sleeves are finished. pinkie. swear.

06 January 2008

I Heart Gansey.

2008. Yeow.

I've decided to make a couple of changes to how I operate this year. My first goal is to get rid of all. my. clutter. Last weekend Gord & I did a number on the kitchen & it feels so much better. Lighter. EASIER. When I reach for a mixing bowl now, I don't have to play Jenga with whatever is in front of the bowls...because there is nothing in front of the bowls. Everything has its place, and whatever there wasn't a place for has been packed up to be donated to the Goodwill.

I started to do the same cleansing process in my sewing room & then it struck me. I need to finish the projects I've already started. First up, my I Heart Gansey sock.

Pattern: I Heart Gansey socks from the six socks knitalong Yahoo Group
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino.....2/6, maybe? Not sure of the colourway either.

I started these socks in August. I'm not sure why the second sock sat in sock purgatory for so long, considering I fully & completely fell in love with the first one.

Our Sea Shanty floors don't do anything to show off the amazingness of this yarn.

These socks are lovely.

I was hoping that the good luck of this, my first finished project of 2008 would carry on to my next project.
It didn't.

This is a baby Converse bootie. There is only one because this is *HUGE*. Considering these are meant for a tiny tiny baby, there will have to be a second attempt using smaller yarn & needles. So cute though...SO CUTE.

Next UFO to finish up is my semi-secret purple cabley thing, a sleeve of a cardigan, and my Tangled Yoke cardigan. And *then* I can get down to the good stuffs.

Oh, and as an added bonus...

I made these socks for my friend Donald a while ago but gave them to him before I got to take a photo. He was wearing the on new Years Eve, so I snapped a shot of them.

Not a very good one, but you get the idea. I used no pattern for these - just a simple sock with cables running down each side and contrasting toe & heel. I used Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton for these - a lovely sproingy cotton sock yarn, perfect for those poor, poor people who are allergic to wool.

03 January 2008

Happy Quitiversary!


Your Quit Date is: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 at 8:43:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 365 days, 10 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 5481
Lifetime Saved: 1 month, 11 days, 20 hours
Money Saved: $2055.37

One year ago yesterday, I smoked my last cigarette.

According to quitnet.com I have saved over TWO THOUSAND dollars (where did I ever get the money to afford such an expensive habit??) , not smoked FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ONE cigarettes (when did I have the time to smoke that much?) and added an extra month to my life. Sure I've also added the inevitable quitting inches to my waist, but that will be this year's goal to tackle.

I feel good, my skin looks great, I don't cough up disgusting shit every morning, I have no reason to stand outside in the freezing cold or the rain. I don't smell. I am a non-smoker. I was born... born to be alive.

And I don't miss it. Not even one single teeny tiny bit.