Friday, December 26, 2008

ah! snow!

Hope everyone has had a good holiday so far. We definitely got our white Christmas...and then some. There is probably two feet on the ground right now, and it was snowing heavily again this morning. However, now the southeaster has really come in strongly and is turning the snow to rain - lovely! Needless to say it's pretty gross outside. We had been excited to finally go snowboarding today as Mount Cain was set to open, but despite all the snow down here the mountains seem to be short on the white stuff and the opening had been postponed yet again. So we are having a quiet day at home, watching the lights flicker occasionally, and I'm plotting new projects - did I mention I got a spinning wheel for Christmas? That mom of mine, she's full of surprises. But first, thought I would quickly share a gift project that I finished early this week.

I think I mentioned that I hadn't really planned any gift knitting, but then my sister sent a list, and on it was a request for a long striped scarf. I haven't knit a scarf in ages, and find they tend to go on forever, but for some reason the idea took over my brain. This is basically Jared's Noro Scarf Pattern, except that I did not use Noro. If you've been here before, you know that I love all things Noro, but I couldn't find any of the colourways that I thought would appeal to my sister, who tends toward pastels and soft blues - periwinkle, baby blue, etc. Enter Patons Soy Wool Stripes, which also makes the scarf even softer.

She seemed to really like it, so I'm glad it turned out well. I would like to make another of these using Noro, but it's low on my list right now. At the moment I'm fascinated by the Tapestry Cowl I am working busily on - double knitting is crazy stuff, man. And I'm even using the suggested yarn! The Koigu I picked out is a lovely dark teal and "Golden Brown", which is yellow-brown in some lights, but in others has quite a bit of green in it. And did I mention the spinning wheel? Hopefully more on that soon, and maybe some more snow pics if I get around to uploading them off the camera - seriously, it's never like this around here!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

99 things meme

I've never done a meme before. But for some reason this amused me. Borrowed from Pea Soup.

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog. Duh.

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band.

4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland/world. (Euro Disney, 1994 - does that count?)

8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo. Well, if you count in the car, otherwise no freakin' way.

11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris. (1994)

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. I do a few mostly self-taught artsy things, but not sure I would qualify as completely self-taught from scratch.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.

24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held a lamb. Picture being the only one at home when Dora the sheep decides to have triplets in the middle of the cold, wet field - but yes, a few other times as well and they are just the cutest things.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon. Umm. No.

28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language. Not all by myself.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. What a weird question.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing. One of my biggest loves.

40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke. Not on your life.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt. 1987.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted. Kind of - had a silhouette artist make a cut out of me, and my dad drew a pic of me once.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I feel like there are a lot of France-related questions, and I did them all at the same time - grade 9 school trip.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling. Shudder.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.

55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies. Girl Guides, actually (I guess it's a Canadian thing?).

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood.

65. Gone sky diving.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a cheque.

68. Flown in a helicopter. So very nearly. But many small planes.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. Does it count if my mom has saved quite a few for us?

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.

75. Been fired from a job.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London. Wow, that school trip is covering all the bases here.

77. Broken a bone.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car. Actually, my first car was brand new. Second one, less so.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous. I feel like there might be more than one, but the only one I can think of is William Hurt.

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone. Sadly, yes, and currently my only phone.

99. Been stung by a bee.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

could it be?

It just might be possible for us to have a white Christmas. White Christmases are pretty rare around here, but it's definitely in the air, and by "in the air" I mean freezing arctic outflow wind. Snow in itself is a rare occurrence around here, showing up in light dustings that disappear nearly before they hit the ground, or one or two good dumps per winter that also start melting and turn to slush right away, which definitely takes the charm out of a foot of white stuff on the ground.

But this stuff is different, perhaps (says she full of doubt and years of cynicism). After a week of freezing temps and a bit of snow on the weekend, this stuff started this morning and fell most of the day. It's light and fluffy, which has me dreaming of powder on the mountain (which is finally opening this weekend, geez). With more snow forecast for tonight, then cold and clear and cold, and more snow on Sunday, it just could hang around long enough for the holiday.

I took a little walk down to the beach this afternoon, after heading home early from work where it was still heavily snowing (ugh for 35 minute drives that became over an hour both to and from work today, but thank god for 4x4 and winter tires). I love how the snow dampens sound and makes you feel isolated. I was only 50 metres from the highway, but huddled in my puffy coat and watching the ducks in the frigid water made me feel all by myself, tucking my face against the icy wind.

Anyone else blanketed with snow? I'm back inside now, with the woodstove crackling, working on some gift knitting. My brain is already swirling with plans for the year ahead- I figured out double knitting the other night, so am eager to cast on for the Tapestry Cowl as soon as the previously mentioned gift knitting is done. Also on my new skills to learn in the coming year - entrelac, and lots of fun sewing projects. And hopefully improve my snowboarding skills...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dark days...

The sun came out today, unexpectedly, allowing us to get a few shots of recent projects to share. These days it's dark when I head to work, and dark when I come home, which I'm sure is the same for much of you, but it does add a bit of sadness to the day, and certainly cuts down on my opportunities for daylight photography. Only a couple more weeks and things will be starting to turn around, however.

So...what have I been up to? Despite buying crazy amounts of yarn lately, I am trying to make some dents in the stash, and in that light I made my self a quick pair of fingerless mitts from some leftover scraps. No pattern to speak of, just coziness, a bit of shine, a bit of nubby tweed, and my current love of stripes is a perfect excuse to use up yarn.

The other item that appears in these pics is a cardigan I made after seeing something similar on Anthropologie's website. I think mine is a bit heavier weight, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I think all the ruffles are balanced with the casualness of the sweatershirt grey jersey. I also finished with the bottom with a sparkly silver ribbon, and the ruffles are sewn with silver thread, for a little extra glitz.

Last FO of the day with a super quick project that had been evolving in my brain for a little bit. Knit with Berocco Peruvia, which was a pleasure I'd never tried before, this hat has a lot of different texture. The cables wind lazily across, separating fields of moss stitch and reverse stockinette, and the decreases at the top create a flower. I had hoped for a bit more slouch, but I think it will work well and stay on my head for snowboarding. Well, that is, if we ever get some snow so the mountain can open. Grrrr. Argh.

Yes, I know. Lots of knitting for me. I've kind of given up on any notions of gift knitting as far as Christmas is concerned - I find I'm impossible at deadlines. I'm definitely impressed with others' holiday knits, though, which I was so motivated. BUt next up, a pair of socks for A, using up more scrap yarn!