Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Years since I crocheted

It's pouring outside today, our first really steady rain of the spring. It's supposed to rain for the rest of the week and our temperatures are dopping from our early summer back into mid spring. I actually love rain, the feel, smell, and look of everything shiny and wet, my only complaint is the wet dog smell that inhabits the house when the hording four come running in. This beautiful tulip was part of a bulb garden my parents sent us for Easter. I am hoping to plant the bulbs in mid May and with luck should have daffodils, tulips and hyachinths blooming next spring.

The supplies I mailed to Arizona on Monday for the orphanage in Mozambique. I was amazed how much I could actually get in a quart size ziploc bag. Two wash cloths, soap, stickers, lip balm toothbrush, dental floss, bandaids, pencils, eraser and sharpener, crayons, kleenex, stickers and gum.

For the last week I have been working on this very sweet crocheted baby blanket. The pattern is created by Alicia Paulson and is kindly offered for free on her blog I had the organic cotton in my stash, and it really was fun to crochet again after so many years. I think the last time I crocheted was twenty years ago when James was a baby. I had to reteach myself how to read a crochet pattern and did a quick tutorial on the various stitches.

My edging is not the one from the pattern, I tried but I couldn't get it to look quite right, so I changed it and went for a ruffle.

I had the brown silk ribbon in the ribbon chest, I think it's just a little wide and am going to change it for something thinner but I was happen to know that five yards should do the trick.
While I did enjoy crocheting it will never take the place of knitting in my heart. The post man brought the next installment in the Rocking Sock Club, I thought I enjoyed the yarn in the first installment but this one has surpassed that joy. I have really become an avid sock knitter, I never thought I would be, there is just something about the process that I really enjoy, the sum of the parts that make up the whole never seems to get old.
I am off to Boulder next week to see James, my first visit to his new home, I am really looking forward to spending time with him. I am only going for four days, but have plans on seeing as much as possible. Bill is staying home in charge of the wild beasts that allow us to inhabit their world. We are both planning on going out for Thanksgiving in November, Bill is already planning on making that one a skiing holiday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You have to do this!

Ok, this is a shout out to everyone who reads this blog, whether you leave comments or not, even if you are just a lurker. You have the opportunity to make a small difference in a child's life, who can turn that down.

Head over to

Get out your quart sized ziploc bag and start filling it. I know that if you have kids, a husband who travels, or are a pack rat you have the necessary supplies already in your house. It took me less than 20 minutes to fill mine, to finish all I need is a toothbrush and some gum. Kelli needs the filled ziploc bag by May 18th, however I know you and trust that you can have this in the mail long before that. Not only will you feel better (and after Monday we all need some of that), you will be giving that warm all over feeling to a child in Mozambique. Every child should have one of these bags, not one of them should be left out, if we all do our part then that's what will happen.

What are you waiting for?
Go on, get up, and start filling that bag!!!!!
Tomorrow I'll tell you all the things I put in mine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trying to make sense

Yesterday, I didn't check my email until after lunch, that was the first I heard of the tragedy that transpired on the Virginia Tech campus. My son James called around 3:00 to see if I had heard, as he knows several students attending VT. That was when I heard that the loss of life had risen from 22 to 30. As a parent of a recent college graduate my first thoughts went to all the mothers and fathers of VT students, who learned of this abominable act and wondered if their child or children were safe. We learned from the local evening news that a young woman from the Pine Richland School District (the district that adjoins ours) was one of the students who had been shot while sitting in French class. Hilary Strollo, is a freshman at VT, her older brother is a senior, Hilary was one of only two students who survived that classroom. This morning I sent an email to a friend whose daughter is a sophamore at VT, sending her prayers that Whitney was safe and unharmed. In the next few days as we learn more details of the gunman, I hope that the media does not ignore the 32 students and teachers who lost their lives or the almost 30 injured who are still in hospital. Their stories are the ones that need to be told, their faces are the ones we need to see. An eloquent young woman on the Today Show wished that this not become the legacy of VT, that their school is so much more than this one incident, the fact that so many of the student body have choosen to remain on campus rather than leave is a tribute to this statement.
I am always struck by the helplessness one feels in incidents such as these, the toll that such a senseless act can inflict. My heart and prayers goes out all those who are touched by this tragedy, the students, their parents, their teachers, administrators, university staff, the police, medical providers and even the media, as I am not sure how you travel through events such as these and remain unchanged.
God Bless.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Real Mums

I have been tagged by Janie, who was initially tagged by her mum, who was tagged by la bellina mammina! I have to write 13 things about being a mum, not to think to hard about it but jott down what comes to mind.

Real mums.................

Have unending patience.

An open heart and mind

Know when to bite their tounges

Know when to give a hug

Wish the day had more than 24 hours

Would like their teenagers to always take their advice

Wish they could hold onto little hands just one more time

Accept their children for who they are, no matter what

Remember how hard it is to be young

Get up early to make sticky apple buns when they come for the holidays

Don't cry when they leave, at least not until they've driven out of view and you've closed the door.

Give their children wings.

Know when to let them fly.

I know a lot of mums (Sheri, Sonya, Connie) read this blog, so if you are a mum consider yourself tagged. Let me know when I can read your Thirteen Real Mum suggestions on your blogs.

ps - If you have never read the wonderful children's author Bob Munsch, (who lives in my home town of Guelph, Ontario), please do. When our son was little we used to go and see Bob at live performances of his books. If you are a real mum his book "Love You Forever" will make you cry. You can listen to it here, for free.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In the mail

The mailman brought a catalogue today.......

Cath Kidson. There are so many things I love, especially the fabric, and the bags, truthfully it's all wonderful.

How can you not be enchanted by the brightly striped knitted blanket, or these

very pretty shoppers.

There are shops in London, Bath, Bicester, New York, Los Angeles, and Tokoyo. I did find a US online store, but it's Autumn/Winter 2006 not Spring/Summer 2007.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Four Days in April

April 9-12, 1917

Marking the 90th anniversary of the First World War
Canadian military attack on Vimy Ridge in France.

The battle is commemorated by the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, set atop Hill 145 near Vimy and Givenchy in the French Pas-de-Calais. It is the largest of Canada's war monuments. Today, over 25,000 people, primarily Canadians, attended a ceremony at the Vimy Memorial to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle. The official party included, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Queen Elizabeth, who rededicated the restored memorial. Every regiment in attendance on those four Aprils days was represented. In Ottawa, begining at midnight the names of the 3,598 Canadian soldiers who gave their lives was projected onto the National War Memorial at 10 second intervals.
The day was made all the more poinent with news that six Canadian soliders were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

We apologize, but Islay ate the Easter Bunny!

Happy Easter,
from Isobel, Bill,
Banff, Whistler, Scotia, Noir
and of course Islay.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Socky Saturday

Three new sock books, More Sensational Knitted Socks, Interweaves Favorite Socks and Sock Journal, Knit a Year in Socks. I prefer the second book in the Sensational Knitted Socks series over the first. It seems to be organized better and with more explanation than the first. Favorite Socks is a classy volume of 25 socks that are of varying degrees of difficulty from simple to very complicated. The Sock Journal has twelve patterns, including a Christmas stocking, and provides space to recored the socks you knitted over four or five years, the only problem is that it was published in 2004.

Zen Cashmere in Pomegranite, from Pick Up Sticks. This is the second time that Connie has stocked this yarn, the first time it sold out within minutes. Very soft cashmere with a little twist, it's imported from England, 400 yards enough for a small scarf or a pair of toe up socks.

Hand Maiden Sea Silk in Origin, also from Connie at Pick Up Sticks. This is a truly gorgeous yarn, it's lace weight 70% Silk combined with 30% SeaCell ® (32sts/4 ”on 2.5 mm needles) It is wonderfully soft, and the hand dyes are amazing, these colours are simply out of this world. It retails anywhere from $30-35 for 400 m (437 yds), comes with a nice pattern for a lace scarf.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

Not our usual Easter weather.

The snow started at around 7:45 this morning, large fluffy flakes that settled on the azyaleas. We had a fire last night, as we only managed to reach 31 degree F., today the staggering number will be 34 degrees F.

At 10:00 I took Islay out for "a wee donner" around the back yard. She decided that a a cold, frosty treat would hit the spot.

She didn't enjoy being interrupted for a photo shoot.

We came up to find the deck over run with squirrels, I counted six before they took to the hills. A few brave souls decided that a hearty breakfast was of more importance than safety.

This little one, could have cared less about a silly woman with a camera and her small black and white skunk dog.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

South Western Pennsylvania went from Summer to Winter in 24 hours........literally we dropped 50 degrees in temperature from Tuesday night to Wednesday. This morning we woke up to this wonderful dusting of snow, presently the temperature is 31 degrees F. with a wind chill of 22 degrees F.

The deck at 8:00 am this morning.

Forsythia in soft snow flurry.

This weather pattern will continue through the Easter holiday, with flurries for Good Friday, and Saturday and perhaps even Easter Sunday. Next week we will be in the high 40's and low 50's with rain. Springtime in Pittsburgh, a constant source of amusement.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Princess and in progress

A dozen finished mattresses and one pillow for my "Princess and the Pea" project. I am going to start work on the knitted princess sometime this week, in between finishing two other projects and spring cleaning. .

I had to have the product test marketed
and Millie kindly volunteered to be my focus group.

She had to gauge the whole experience,
from all possible positions.

As you can tell from the smile on her face,

it's a pleasurable experience.

I'll retest the focus group when I add the pea.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pictures tomorrow.......something fun for today. I ran over a permanent marker because I'm cool like that.

While roaming around all the knitting blogs I read yesterday I came upon the bit of fun twice. I am sharing it with you.

Where I found it: Auntie Michael (beg your pardon, but I changed a few to suit my sensibilities)

Now it's your turn.

Pick the month you were born:
January------I kicked
February-----I fell in love with
March---------I lost control with
April-----------I dumped
May-----------I choked on
June----------I severely hurt
July-----------I did the chicken dance with
August-------I had lunch with
September---I yelled at
October------I sang to
November----I ate turkey with
December----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a laptop
4-------a fork
5-------a politician
6-------a gangster
7-------my cell phone
8-------my foot
9-------my ex boyfriend

10-------my neighbor
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a book
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22------- the American Idol

23-------a noodle
24-------Donald Trump
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an ipod
29-------a permanent marker
30-------a lawn mower
31-------a reality star

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White--------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink----------because I'm a free thinker.
Red----------because the voices told me to.
Blue----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I'm a star.
Purple--------because I'm funky.
Gray----------because I was sober.
Yellow--------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange-------because I hate reality tv.

Brown--------because I was knitting.
Other---------because I'm an alien.
None----------because I can't control myself.

Consider yourself tagged - please leave your comments.

Monday, April 2, 2007

What fun

Took a few pictures outside today, just to let you know that Spring does come to Pittsburgh every once in awhile, even though it may not last.. This wonderful azalea is budding right outside the window by the computer. And the forsythia growns along the pool fenceline.

Tomorrow will be in the mid 70's but by Thursday and Friday we will be in the 30's and there is talk of the dreaded snow.

It's been so much fun today, going around the various knitting blogs and reading all the comments from those who there on Friday to see Stephanie. The big thrill yesterday was to pull up The Yarn Harlot and see my name in the post - not to mention with a link. I screamed when I saw it and I am sure Bill thought something dreadful must have happened. The pictures that everyone posted are great, I have never seen so many pictures of the back of my husband's head. If you would like to see the back of his head follow this trail.................Elocin; Julia; Jen (the front of his head); and Rachel.

Great article in the Trib.

post script: Stephanie mentioned that knitters are the largest group of bloggers - with all that knitting it's amazing we can find the time.

Pick up Sticks sock club arrived in the mail today. Yarn Pirate Ozone yarn (yahoo), and a wonderful pattern by Meghan Jackson - Connie never disappoints.

Pictures tomorrow - new sock books, and I finished my 12 mattresses for "Princess and Pea" present.