Monday, 22 November 2010

Christmas is coming... this goose better not get fat!

It's -25c right now with a windchill that would make a polar bear shudder. Snow covers the car and driving is rather nasty.  I think the critters that eat all summer to prepare for hibernation all winter have got something there! Just imagine... all that greasy goodness and sugary satisfaction then sleep all winter only to emerge to start all over again. There certainly are some days I wished I coulda slept right through but that's another story...

I can deal with the snow and cold... I can't deal with fingers so cold that even knitting won't warm them up! This isn't good because there are still some Christmas projects sitting in the queue... toques for my wee nephews, mitts for Poppa, mini sock decorations for friends, scarves and Guinness toques for other friends. I do this to myself every year... I have great organizational plans in January only to be pulled aside for lacy shawls, socks, test knits, dreaming through knitting books and more socks that, sadly,  I keep for my own feet! By the time the first snow fall arrives I'm in a dead panic. There isn't enuff Guinness to help me get through the "OMG... I don't have enuff time" syndrome.

So snow has fallen and I really need to hibernate in order to get my knitting projects finished! But... would it be in bad form if they ended on next year's list and I head over to the shops in the mall? Mind you... I better stay away from all the greasy goodness of fish 'n chips!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Time to clean up...

Used up my last bar of homemade soap and realized I haven't made any for well over a year. Yup, I can make soap... the old fashioned lye and fat kind. Well actually, sodium hydroxide and an assortment of vegetable oils but still the the same old "cold process" method. It's almost as relaxing as knitting. Almost because cleanup is a lot messier than just putting the yarn and stix down on the chesterfield and walking away.

Yup, I can make soap but realized, like most crafts and hobbies, if you don't do it for a while... you kinda loose some skill. Well... that's what happened. First batch didn't blend very well... no matter how long I swirled the glop... it didn't get to the correct thickness before I could even think about pouring it into the molds. What was wrong? Realized I didn't read the scale properly. Suffice it to say... too much oil and not enuff lye makes for a really bad batch! Yarn buddy and I laughed (I only had half a glass of wine and she can't drink... she's making a baby) as we both forgot our math skills. I told her this is what to look for when the glop doesn't work out. Preceded to the next batch and it worked perfectly... telling her this was what the glop is supposed to look like.

I'm reminded of a recent test knit... frogged it back three times because it wasn't working out. After continued chatting with Miss M, the designer, we got it sorted. I know what it's not supposed to look like... and in a few days we'll know what it will look like. Yup, like life, it's all a learning process. Certainly, some life lessons can be rather costly, some even heart breaking... but in the end, with a little re-jigging along with some twists and unexpected turns, things do eventually work out. The outcome may a bit of a surprise but that's what makes the journey worth while. Now, time to clean up the mess in the soap factory!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Small comforts...

My on-line Ryan family has lived through many joys and sorrows... which is not hard for a family of over 20 siblings. Often my Ryan family deals with all this at the same time. New babies recently born and there is such joy. But a young adult has recently passed and there is such sorrow. So much is taken for granted and so much is forgotten to give thanks for. Hard for me to fathom as I just have a baby brother to contend with.

My heart hurts for my adopted Ryan family... but I'm also just a wee bit jealous. Stay with me on this... in my family, there is just the two of us, my brother and I. Broken I would be if he was no longer there. He is my rock but there are times I could use other rocks. Not because Bro isn't a good rock but I feel the need for a back up or two just in case he isn't around when I need him. See, totally selfish. But then... my back up rocks are the Ryan's and maybe that is why my heart hurts for them... I know they would be there for me when needed... like they know I am there for them when needed.
So as they support each other and their sister who is grieving over the loss of her daughter... I move up my test knit queue a very special design... Siobhan... in honour of the designer's sister. The sister is strong and am told she is a little like thistle... a wee bit prickly (not unlike meself!) but beautiful like the thistle flower to all who truly know her.

These socks are for Siobhan... sometimes it is the small comforts that can carry a broken heart. That is all we need to remember. Oh,  and don't forget to give thanks for all the rocks in your world... be a good rock yourself.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Old and New...

Old friends with new babies... what a delightful reason to knit!

I have this amazing group of friends... no... family by choice is what they are. Well, two very special little girls have entered our 'family' circle. Sadly, we will not be seeing them on a daily basis or monthly for that matter. They are here visiting Poppa's home town...  their full-time residence is Mum's home town... London. Yes... that London.

We delighted in watching their parents love grow... and we will delight in watching these little girls grow... albeit from afar through pictures and stories. But they are now a part of our circle of friends... and where ere Eva and Naomi be... they will grow up knowing that they are loved and cherished from far, far away.

So... every stitch was made with love and a kiss... they will be the snappiest lil' ladies in ol' London Town.