Monday, 19 December 2011

monsters are done!

Six days before Christmas and my knitty gifts are done. That's right... SIX days before Christmas!!! The last of the monsters for the three great-nephew monsters was finished today! Now I have to give them away and not get all uptight when the first arm is riped off!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if we could give away our own personal monsters as fast? You know... those ones that have been residing in the closet in the head raising its ugly form every now and then? Those monsters that stop you from starting anything new or moving past a hurt. We can hold on so tight to them that in the struggle something breaks off and we hurt all over again.

That just may be the true gift of the season... giving away the monsters of hurt, self-doubt, anger, fear... and move towards freedom. Freedom for the heart and soul to be filled with joy... like my heart will be when my much loved g-nephews give their heart-made toys their first hug! Now that's a happy Christmas!

Monday, 12 December 2011

squirrel moments...

Christmas is less than two weeks away and I'm still working on those silly monster stuffies for my wee monsters! I keep going off track with last minute ideas... homemade Nutz n' Bolts... soap... last minute gifts... parties... SQUIRREL! Heck, I thought I did good by getting some gifts done over the summer but apparently there's alway more to do.

There's alway more to knit, more ideas, more parties... SQUIRREL. Good news is... one monster just needs feet, other monster needs all four limbs and third monster... well, still deciding how to do that one... but I will make it despite the soap and the nutz 'n' bolts and the last minute parties. One big squirrel moment, a last minute idea to make Poppa and earflap toque with alpaca yarn from a A to Z Alpaca, a southern Alberta farm... love buying local... because he was getting a brand new spiffy wheelchair that will have a lot more zip! His ears are gonna need the extra warmth as he zips about in the dead of winter plus he'll look pretty darn snappy to boot... SQUIRREL!

There really is nothing wrong with squirrel moments for sometimes those create the best ideas! Poppa's toque and eucalyptus/frankincense infused soap (more manly than lavender) for example. Now, to try and use squirrel moments for more creative results at work. May be a little harder sell but I'm quite sure it can make that day job a lot more rewarding. Maybe I just need to bring some Nutz n' Bolts and create those squirrel moments...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

the ever popular Advent countdown...

I don't remember getting Advent calendars when I was a kid but they are popular lil' items these days, aren't they? Well, it's December 1st and oddly enuff I want one! Well, maybe not one filled with chocolates but one that maybe gives me a wee toy. Better yet, one that give me knitty treasures and maybe another that gives me extra time.

Thankfully, I only have four knitty gifts to complete before Christmas... three monsters for my monster nephews and a little something for the Pops. Heck, I even got this super soft cowl done for one of my buds so I don't need the extra time to knit gifts. I need the extra time to knit up wee treasures... mini socks and mittens that could easily be strung together for garland or... wait for it... made into an Advent Calendar!

I blame my HeartSister... too many great patterns she's designed (check out the Ryan Eejits group on Ravelry) that I don't have enuff hands or time to get them done before Christmas. Maybe if I start the projects now I might have them ready for Christmas 2012. I think I need to get a chocolate calendar just to get me through this month... you know... for inspiration.

Friday, 18 November 2011

back on trackish...

It's amazing how wee knitted items look so dang cute! They can be out of the ugliest yarn from the nastiest of patterns but when done in smaller than small size... they look grand! Thankfully, my wee knitted jumper vests are so dang cute because they just are... and hopefully perfect for the three wee ones these were made for.

I haven't met them yet... but in my heart, I already love them. Not because I'm the godmother of  one of trips... but because I love the family they have been blessed to be a part of. They have taught me so much... patience, perseverance, possibilities...

Now to use those very traits as I finish up the rest of my Christmas knitting... the trips may be done but still need to work on the treasures for my three great-nephews! Must remember that good things come in three's!!! Must. Knit. Faster.

Friday, 4 November 2011

getting sidetracked...

...which really isn't all that hard for me... squirrel! Dang, saw new yarn and well, you know how it goes. New yarn+new projects=continued un-monogamous knitting. Happily, the slouchy tam got done before the new yarn arrived. Sadly, the new yarn arrived before I got the the teddy bears started for my three lads!

So what sidetracked me? Sock yarn called Time Traveller and I knew I had to make me some Doctor Who socks! Really... who wouldn't for that matter! I will console myself with the fact that I have the yarn for the teddy bears safely tucked away... that was another squirrel moment when I decided to make these little treasures. Looked through a knitter mag and there they were. Sweet Shelley enabled me by lending her mag for the cause. I had get a better handle on all these "oh look, shiny" moments or I'll never get anything done in time for Christmas. Wait, I never attached a completion year to the Christmas bear knitting...


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

M... K... F.....

Here I sit in my hotel room... choosing not to attend the conference sessions just yet... in my new Fluevog's musing on my next knitty projects. I just finished another test knit for the Heart Sister... yes, socks again but these are oh, so pretty and perfect for fancy shoes for those fancy parties looming in the next couple of months.

Yes, Christmas is looming for me and while I may have a few presents done I still have a few more to do. That's the problem... there's a new god-daughter and her sisters to knit up for, gorgeous alpaca yarn that's calling out to me to knit up some shawls, hand dyed treasures screaming at me to make a wee tunic top... so much yarn, so little time.

And the battle begins between my head that knows what it needs to do to get the Christmas gifts ready and the heart that just wants to play. I'll do a little compromise. Make a toque with some colourful yarn on the three hour bus ride today... then buckle down on three important teddy bear knits for the grand-nephews and three important knits for the god-daughter and her sisters.

Good things do come in three's, but... Must. Knit. Faster.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Gratefully grateful...

Time for the usual things to be thankful for... family, friends, food on the table and a roof over the head. While I am thankful for all of that, here's what really makes me smile...

Programable thermostat, circular knitting needles, Ghirardelli chocolate, covered cat-litter box, french press, vay-cay knitting, fresh roasted coffee, MacBook Pro (thanks Steve), fresh bread, merino yarn, my Heart Sister and her patterns, iTunes, cheese, Guinness, blue sky, smell of autumn on a misty morning, hand dyed yarn, Grantie status, Cat-Mate's purring, knitting by the ocean, time-warp TV, air miles, Ravelry, online shopping, Alpacas, farmer's markets, knitting on a plane, saskatoon pie, Muppets, sourdough bread, comfy knitty chairs, voting, Girl Guide chocolate mint cookies...

I love my family, my friends and all that I have but sometimes I do forget the little things. We get bogged down on what we don't have or what's going wrong that we sometimes forget the everyday things in our everyday world that is right. This Thanksgiving... lets be grateful for those everyday moments that make an ordinary day great!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I miss your blog...

... At least that's what a knitty buddy told me. Made me wonder... did she miss my ruckus ramblings... my preachy prattling... my kooky comments... pics of my precious projects?  I must admit... I was a wee bit flattered. Then it got me to thinking just what it is we do to find the positives in our lives when the world around us is crazy town. I haven't been writing for a while because of all the crazy town stuff going but it's when I feel least like doing it that it's even more important that I do. It's a way of releasing inside the negative and finding a creative way to search for the positive.

I had been so scared for my heart-sister that I dared not write...  about her, her designs or my test knitting for her. I didn't want to write... just knit, for in my wee mind if I stopped knitting her designs the worst would happen... see, crazy town! On the bright side... lots of gorgeous projects completed and some of them are even Christmas gifts! You heard me, Christmas knitting and it's not even November! Now there is a positive... four gifts done and ideas for others. Another positive... heart-sister will be around for a good while to bother me with designs to test up and long chats about family antics! I can bother her about all my orange knitty projects... my favourite colour but her least!!

I guess we find the positives in little things... simple compliments, gentle teasing, shoulders to lean on and loving words... spoken or written. It may be crazy town but we're in this together... may as well enjoy the ride with panache!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

what to do... what to do...

I'm having a stay-cation... you know... a vacation where one stays at home. Very restful and very much needed. I never understood the folks who always claim they can't get away from work to have a proper vacation. Really.... you think you're that indispensable? 

Well, the hard part for me is not about taking time off but what to do while taking time off. This was one of the few times that I never went anywhere... I stayed home. It was kinda odd at first. I wanted to fly somewhere... anywhere. I just wanted to be on plane with passport in hand, wondering down streets and enjoying lattes at a sidewalk cafe. Well, didn't happen but what did happen... a few lattes at my favourite sidewalk cafe, wandering down streets looking at local wares, going to ethnic food markets and doing my favourite thing... deck knitting!

One can have a great rest while discovering new things at home! I rested, I discovered, I latte'd, I completed a pair of socks, a shawl and if I had 3 more days off... would've had my second shawl done. I felt more productive away from work than at work... huh! Next time tho... I'm going somewhere that's gonna require my passport!!!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Every so often life throws a curve ball that can just discombobulate everything in your world. Exactly five years ago this month I travelled to Ireland alone while running away from a horrible curve-ball moment. That moment changed my world forever! No, not the horrible curve-ball moment but my journey to my heartland moment. It opened my heart with new friends and new experiences which started the healing.

Curve-ball moments force us to rethink our world. Sometimes those curve-ball moments frighten us to our very core... sometimes they help us redirect our energies. My heart sister was delivered a curve-ball of all curve-balls but through the fear she re-directed her energies to not only healing her body but to designing incredible knitting patterns. The joy they bring to Meagheen as she sees her designs come to light is also healing. As we both continue on our journey we are stronger for the curve-balls that have been thrown at us... but the best gift... our love for each other!

Five years later and no longer discombobulated... well, maybe a little but I think that's just me.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

San Francisco Treat...

Are you old enuff to remember the little jingle for Rice-a-Roni... I certainly am. And after learning that Sweetie arranged for a wee get-away in San Francisco for a week in June, that jingle has been playing through my mind to distraction. That and what to wear! That is... what to make to wear! So... without distraction and in less than a month, I whipped up a shawl and some socks, designed by my heart-sister Meagheen. It's like Christmas last minute knitting (better start sorting that now to avoid Christmas Eve panic knitting).

If only I could be more focused in other things in my world. You know the usual... be more kind... be less frenzied... exercise more... worry less... ack! The list goes on. Maybe it's because in my knitting I can actually see progress from the get go... exercise? Well, that's another matter. Don't get me started on the worry bit... how will my great-nephews cope with the education cut-backs? Will my dear heart-sister be strong enuff for the next phase of her treatments? How long does Mum have to wait for her knee surgery?

My knitting, like the Rice-a-Roni jingle, is my distraction and like any good vacation... both are necessary for my soul. So, with my new shawl and socks it's time for a wee distraction from the real world. All the worries and frenzy will still be here when I get back but maybe, just maybe, the distraction will have calmed the mind enuff to get through it all with a little kinder heart.

Monday, 2 May 2011

'Vog luv...

I blame my heart sister Meagheen, for cranking up my love of Fluevog Shoes. If she'd just stop giving me great sock patterns to test knit, I wouldn't have to find the proper venue to showcase them for her! Oh, one could flay a sock across the ol' shag rug and hope that people will purchase the pattern. I'd get distracted by the ol' shag rug and not notice the gorgeous pattern.

I get distracted a lot by unimportant things... ooo-what is that shiny thing... and oft' times fail to see what I'm really supposed to discover. My first journey to Ireland was just that. I was distracted with a broken heart (ok, that was an important life changing distraction) that it took me two weeks into the journey to realize that I accomplished a childhood dream... standing on my great-grandparents homeland and discovering their stories! Their life changing journey guided me through mine and from that point on my world got better. It was like someone threw a peat log at me and knocked me off my un-Fluevog feet!

We're all on a journey of sort. I gotta remember it's not about the destination but about how we journey through it all. We just need to put our best foot forward as we travel towards the best in our lives... what er' it may be.

Now... back to the 'Vog site and see if Miss M and I continue to order the same shoes!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Certain Uncertainty...

Nothing like year end blues to dampen the spirits... I mean fiscal year end from work! "Hurry up and wait"... is not a motto to live by... but it's the world I live in right now. Start a project... no wait, stop... no, do it this way... no, wait. Yup, the spirit truly dampened. But then, out of the blue a knitty buddy gifted me with the most delightful 'Ode to Ireland' fingerless gloves. I giggled with delight and the blues were magically lifted. To bring it over the top... the following day I received in the mail another gorgeous pair of green lacy fingerless gloves... perfect for my Jane Austen weekends... from another knitty buddy! I have to say... my beautiful friends do know what I like!

Sometimes that's all it takes... one small gesture towards another to help lift the spirit. In this world of uncertainty... you can be certain of one thing... kindness goes a long ways.

Monday, 28 February 2011


Coming home to a freshly cleaned house just tickles me pink...  well frankly, a whole bunch of colours!!! Once a month a cleaning service comes in and mops and sweeps, sucks and dusts, scrubs and tidies all the nooks and crannies in my wee abode. It is my treat to myself... especially since I got me a new cat-mate (well, he's a rescued old one) who leaves behind his white fur everywhere (I thinks he's proud of himself).

Another thing that tickles me all the colours of the rainbow? Completing a long hibernated knitting project! Not only is my house clean but my knitting procrastination list is down one object! I Dream of the Skelligs was a test knit for my heart sister, Meagheen. She re-jigged the design a little to make it better but for the life of me I couldn't sort out the math... so off to the side it went... for 3 months! With Meagheen fighting the health battle of her dear life I decided my math battle was nothing. I admit I did ask for help... much like Meagheen has... and it made all the difference in the world. The confidence was boosted and the test knit... complete!

Sometimes, that's really all we need... a hand to help us through our un-tidiness and someone to help us with whatever battle we face.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Less is more...

Not that my life is complicated or anything but there are times that I do wish for simpler things and less worries. I worry I can't keep up at work with all the impending changes and demands... I worry for my brother and all that is on his plate... I worry for my Mum and her increasing difficulty in walking... I worry for my Dad and his decreasing mobility... I worry for the special young people in my world whose lives have just received a curve ball... I worry for my heart-sister who is in the battle of her life...  the list goes on. I can be such a worrier wanting to make things better while at the same time appear like all is right in my world.

Maybe that's why I wanted to do the hood on my Heartland Cape in plain stockinette... no extra details, no extra patterns... and while the angel story is precious I didn't want the fancy back panel. I just wanted a beautiful simple knit so the heart cables on the hood border would become the focal point.  Maybe... in my worrisome days... I just want to be surrounded by hearts of love...... hearts of healing... hearts of hope.

I hope for better days for my family and my dear friends... that they know they are loved. That's not a lot to ask for but means so much more...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Shifting Roads...

I've been working on a test knit for a few months now. No, it's not hard or even a big project. It's just a pair of socks... but it has been driving me nuts. The cable pattern isn't even hard... but it has been driving me right around the bend! The issue... the cables go all around the leg portion which makes for an extremely tight fit over the heel! But I have been bound and determined to make this work because the pattern is so very important to my heart-sister Meagheen, the designer. The pattern is for her niece who died way too young. For both of them... I so want to make this work.

We tweaked the cuff to match the basket-cable weave... worked beautifuly! That was the easy part... but to make the rest work... oy!  Added more stitches, used larger needles, frogged the sock back... reworked the foot, frogged again... to no avail. The darn sock would not slide over the heel! What's the point of making something, while very pretty, that just won't fit!

Strange isn't it... we do that in life. We so badly want something (or someone) to work out that we'll do anything to make it happen... but it's just not the road we're supposed to travel on. No matter what car we use or how the GPS is programed or who we travel with... we're on the wrong road and we'll never get to where we supposed to be. Paths do change. Sometimes I'm alert enuff to recognize the fork in the road. Sometimes, there are people who will help steer me in the right direction. Sometimes, life just throws us off the cliff and we're forced to find another road to travel on. This is the one that really makes us wonder "why"! But this is the one that challenges us. This is the one that we need to be brave enuff to say "why not!" and go down that road. We discover that the road less travelled is exactly where we're supposed to be. So, off to work the sock... new direction given in the design and I think this is where we are supposed to be!!!!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Such Knotty Knotwork!

Oh my... what have I gotten myself into! A year long knit-along is now on my plate... a hooded cape filled with cables and knotwork and such. While it will be a most beautiful keepsake... I'm a wee bit scared! Not just for the project itself but I volunteered to help herd a group of some very delightful 'sheeple' while we wonder through this project together... ooo, I just got scared again.

So...the time has come to be brave... I may need liquid fortification! Yarn has arrived and the knotty knitting has begun. While I do this I think about a lot of things in our world that requires bravery... not because our world is a place to be afraid of... but because individually we all have things to be brave about... new skills, new challenges, life altering changes...

There are a lot of things in our world that require bravery... but brave we must be for what ever life throws our way. We are all linked together in one form or another, so brave we must be for ourselves and for each other.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Knit while Lit...

Nothing relaxes me more than curling up on couch with a pot of tea quietly knitting away while watching old classic movies. It's especially decadent on a weekday afternoon! But knitting with dear Trish, curled up on her couch with a bottle of wine... now that is a truly decadent afternoon.

2011 will bring many work challenges so a few extra days off was necessary to get the mind rested and ready for the frenzy! Now that Christmas gift knitting is done... knitting just for me was in order. Galway Toque and Scarf, a project sitting in the queue for quite some time, was completed during the Christmas break. But it was the last day off and a celebration was truly in order. So, on went the Lululemon's and with projects and a bottle of wine in hand... off through the snow I trudged to Trish's house.

We caught up on the latest news, did some preliminary planning for our Jane Austen weekend, ate delightful goodies and, oh yes... sipped a bottle of wine throughout the afternoon. Good thing simple projects were being worked on... celtic knotwork would not have faired as well!

Knit while lit? A perfect way to end some much deserved time off both of us. Note to self... wobbly knitting makes for interesting stitch counts!!!!