jak in the box

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snow Angles @ Midnight

Happy New Year all!
So much has happened since I last blogged - I don't know where to start...  So, I'll start with right now - today.

Sipping on a hot coffee with a touch of left-over egg nog. (I know, how can it still be good? What do they put in that to make it last so long?  Don't want to know... just sipping.  It's good, and hot, and creamy.)  Sitting in our formal sitting room turned computer room @ the front of the house.  I'm looking out through the trees and over the snow for lil' jak to arrive home from school.  It's soooo cold out today, I'm worried about him walking from the bus stop. He's at the age where gloves or mitts aren't cool. When I had the dogs out earlier the skin on my hands froze in less than 3 minutes.

This is my view - I'm a lucky girl :)

YES, I said dogS.  Mr. Herb arrived just before Christmas.  He was born on lil' jak's birthday - and I couldn't resist getting a little brother for Mr. Harley.  He's a ginger & white Shih Tzu who is incredibly smart and spirited.  His nickname is Monster Mash & Harley's is Lover Bug - so there's a definite difference in personalities.  We love him dearly already.  Even Harley has warmed up to his little brother - on his own terms of course :)

This is my 3 boys - Pajama Day!

Before we go any further... Yes, I have definitely been knitting.  I have finished a scarf I LOVE:

This is my Sears Winter Catalogue pose :)  This is the side of our house - more Trees!  
Ok - back to the scarf.  

Pattern:  Haven from Heartfelt, Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Sub'd Rowan Cocoon with Ecological Wool, Cascade Yarns (undyed) 
Needles:  4.75mm

Knits up very fast and used the entire 437m!

Just finishing the toe on these...

Pattern:  Log Cabin, Handknit Holidays
Yarn:  Pastaza, Cascade Yarns (again - humph)
Needles: 3.75 mm

Used one skein/foot almost exactly! (Knit to 6" before toe decrease.)  Quick knit and delicious yarn!

These are absolutely delicious and are my birthday present to myself :)
Happy Birthday Me!  I know it's not till next month, but I wanted to be sure I had them done on time.

Also finished one mitten.  Will start the other one and throw it in my bag for easy access when standing in lines, waiting for supper to cook, etc.  It's made with Opal sock yarn, and I quite like them for a liner in other mitts or by themselves for spring.  

And lastly, the namesake of this post. Isn't this fabulous? Over the holidays while sitting around sipping on a (few) Hot Buttered Rums with my family, my BIL and I decided to get bundled up and make a sliding path on the front lawn.
A few words of caution as a grown person who hasn't played in the snow for - oh, let's say 15 years.  First of all, it's a lot more difficult than we remember. Snow is deep, there's a lot of clothes that come into play - boots, snow-pants, scarves, hats, mitts (all hand knit, of course :) AND don't forget you have to climb back Up the hill after forcing your way down on top of fluffy snow on a plastic sled...  
Together we made two paths, accumulated many bruises, and exhausted lay in the quiet of the night to make snow angles. I must say, they are very hard to get out of without making a mash of the outline.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Making Space ~ Going to Space?

I heard not too long ago, to bring in the new you have to let go of the old. Clear space to allow for new experiences.

Yesterday I did the final walk-through of our old house to make sure everything was in order. It has been sitting silent and alone for over a month. With the exception of * Stanley the Spider keeping his eyes on the backyard, and my friends Tdot & J who have been doing a daily drive-by, and weekly mowing (yes, I have very good friends).

Anyhow, I thought I would be o.k. I thought, no big deal - just checkin' on the place. I was immediately saddened by the damp, musky, haven't been lived in smell that hit me as the garage door opened. I thought, ewe that's gross, then, aww that's sad. As I walked up the stairs I heard my own shuffling echo back at me. I looked at the clean carpets and envisioned little jak's sneakers scattered in the entrance, his jackets laying on the floor, his book bag laying upside down on the stairs. Then I remembered the day we moved in to that house. Empty and waiting to be filled. It was so exciting, so new. Yesterday, it was a shell of our home. 8 years of our lives. 8 years of safeness for my family. The first 8 years of my little boy's school life - that I'll never get back. Then I thought, jak don't think that way. We are starting something new. Not as comfortable, yet. Not as homey, yet. We are opening ourselves up to new experiences. New people. Going in a new direction. (I sorta feel like Star Trek here - where no man has gone before...)

The closing is final tomorrow, and I'm ready. Goodbye's said. Tears shed - sad & happy. Here's hoping Mr. Stanley doesn't meet the new owner's broom. Run Stanley, run!

* I didn't get rid of him all summer because his web was, well my screen door to keeping out the moths {moths eat yarn}, and I didn't have the heart to kill him. So, I made sure to let him know there would be new people coming in and they may not appreciate him the way I did. Besides it's getting cold and he should find a warmer spot.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Many of you have had this experience before. And if you haven't, and you are an addicted ~ I mean an avid knitter ~ you will. Taking my dog for a walk yesterday, we checked the mail. Expecting flyers & bills I was surprised to see a little Canada Post bag. Hmmm, I thought, what did we order that I have forgotten about? Pulling it from the cozy box I looked @ the return address. My friend in NL! Yeah! I haven't heard from her since I sent her socks made with the LO yarn I made her mamma's prayer shawl with.

I got very excited and couldn’t even wait till I got home. I had to open it up on the side of the street – holding Mr. Harley from going out in the traffic in one hand and trying to rip open the bag with the other.

Yeah! A note - and what’s this? Soft... Squishy.... IT’S YARN!! Naturally died Merino!!! YEAH!!! I could see it already – a soft sqishy yummy touque for this winter! I love the color – it’s the color family I usually buy when I’m purchasing yarn myself :) She doesn't even knit - and she sent me yarn...

It's Hand Dyed Merino she picked up when she was in NY. It's from Catskill Merino Sheep Farm. Delicious! I'm looking for a toque pattern for me :)

Now, I know this next thing has happened to you...

You're minding your own business on the way to an appointment and What? There it is - The Yarn Store. Looking @ the time - you think, Well I do have a few minutes. Besides I haven't been here in a while and they probably have new yarn. I'm not going to buy any. I'm just going to see what's new.

You leave in a hurry because now you're a few minutes LATE for your appointment. Small bag of candy in one hand, cell phone in the other ~ calling other addicts ~ I mean Knitters. There's new yarn! You must let them all know! New colors, new fibers, new patterns!

I couldn't not (See? It's a double negative = positive - I HAD to).

For this - Anais from the Norah Gaughan collection (Berroco):

It's Ultra Alpaca Light (50% Super Fine Alpaca - 50% Peruvian Wool). It's Delicious!!! See? It's the same color family as the yarn my friend sent to me? Am I too predictable? I struggled. I was going to get blue. The same blue in the picture. But, I went back to what I LOVE ~ reds.

Haven't been able to knit in about 4 weeks, due to the move. So - this rainy afternoon I'm taking off to blog *hai* & knit :)


Friday, June 13, 2008

And so ~ it began...

Not intentionally. We've been doing it for a while. Perusing MLS listings online. Picking up a Realtor magazine every now and again. Then one day honey says... 'This one's interesting.' We call the realtor, or he calls us - can't specifically recall as things are a wee bit of a blur right now - and we go. What harm can it do? We're just looking. We're not ready to move.

We fell in love. Everything we've been looking for. A wee house in the woods (almost 2 acres):
* A wooded lot (can't see neighbors).
* A garage on the Side of the house, not taking up the entire front making it look like those garages with homes attached.
* A cute little deck on the front.
* The number of bedrooms (2 + a yarn room) upstairs.
* Downstairs - a pool table current home owners would rather not transport.
* Back deck with fire pit off to the side, with space for a HOT TUB. A pool that can be used All Year 'Round!

We get excited. Then I step onto the front deck. What? What is this I see? An antique (very antique as it's in the elements) Spinning Wheel!

Uh ohhh.

We've done harm. Harm has been done. We're just looking. We're not ready to move.

Well actually, little jak is almost ready for Jr. High and we don't want him going to a new high school with people he doesn't know... So maybe this is the best timing...

Us: Mr. Realtor what do we need to do?
Mr. Realtor (MR): You need to get your house ready to sell.

5 days later I find myself on my hands and knees having worn the same clothes for 5 DAYS! (yes, I changed my underwear and showered sporadically). You must understand. The house HAD to be ready and SOLD before someone else bid on our antique Spinning Wheel - I mean house.

At first we thought we'd call contractors. After four phone calls I realized the expansion and building of this city is taking a toll on the supply - or contractors are completely lazy and unreliable (that's all I'll say about that).

Then I thought, I'll do it. How hard can 3 levels of baseboards, window frames and closet doors be to paint white. On the third floor, four days in the same clothes, on my hands and knees I had my 'come to Jesus' moment. I think we all get them in life - this was mine.

4 days by myself. Alone with my thoughts.
No daily distractions. Just painting.
Sure - the first three days of sanding, priming and two coats of paint, the mantra was ~ Hot Tub, Hot Tub, Hot Tub...
The mantra became scattered and slowing disintegrated into thoughts I haven't thought in a thousand years. Friends I miss, things I've done and not proud of, things I said and wish I hadn't. Experiences - good and bad. Races, language barriers, wishing I spoke different languages, and if I did, would I find different things funny? Would I have a different sense of humor? You see where I'm going?

Mr. jak is away. On business. On a weekend. I'm 4 days in.

He calls on Sunday morning to tell me he's at the airport. I say, so what did you work on last night? He says, oh (and he says this very casually, like it's any other day. Not like I've been working my Ass off. Not like we're not trying to get our house on the market and buy a Spinning Wheel - um, I mean HOUSE), he says, oh I just decided to stay and extra night and hang with the guys...

ok, i say.
see you when you get home, i say.
we (i) hang up.

I take my paint stained clothes off. I jump in the shower and clean myself off. Wipe away the dust and scrub my paint stained, broken nailed, dry, cut, cracked (not knitting) hands.

I thought about going away for a couple of days. Of calling him and saying, oh I just decided to go away for a while. I'll be back when I'm finished. But, I don't. I stay. I continue to paint. Hot tub, hot tub, hot tub.....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Knitting accomplished

Well, it's been a while since I've actually posted knitting projects completed. I finished the socks I was working on during the trip to Florida. They are for a special friend. Actually the daughter of the lady the prayer shawl was knit for. Because I had yarn left over, I decided to make socks for her to warm her feet, while the shawl warms her mom.

Love this yarn!! Love the color, the texture, and how it looks knit up. Here they are:

Hedera by Cookie from Knitty

Yarn: Socks that Rock, In the Navy (almost 1 skein)
Needles: 2.5 mm
Knit for: Friend (xo)

Also finished a side button up cardi (Buttony Sweater by Katie Marcus). I knit it with Fleece Artist Big Baby Alpaca. There was a pattern (Jo) with this yarn, but I decided against it and chose this sweater instead. Very happy with how it turned out. I knit it longer than pattern called for and decreased the sides (then increased) to give it shaping. Also knit the sleeves 3/4 length to accentuate shaping. LOVE it!

Needles: 6.5 mm
Yarn: Fleece Artist, Big Baby Alpaca (2.5 skeins)
Color: Browns & greens
Knit for: me :)

And these... a birthday gift from aspecial friend :)
Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks, Nancy Bush.
Pattern: Child's French Sock
Yarn: Matchmaker Merino
Color: Strawberry (yummy Red :)

Thank you ~ friend :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The good, the bad, and yes I'm still knitting

ok, OK - I'm on Ravelry. I resisted. For a bit. Then experimented through a friend's account. Then decided to get my own account. And now (thanks friend), I'm addicted. 

ok, OK - it's not her fault... I have an addictive personality. Not like that's a huge surprise when you consider the amount of knitting paraphernalia accumulated in such short periods of time, the UFO's on needles, and the binder's full of potential projects. I will never run out of things to knit, or knit with.   

If I do (yes, I have thought about this, I know you have too), IF I do (this will only happen if I'm ship wrecked on a deserted island - and IF I'm ship wrecked it will be with other knitters because it will have been a knitting cruise) there are sticks for make-shift needles and vine, twigs, and other stringy-type local plant life that could be used for lovely head bands or knit bikini tops.   And IF we are all knitters on a cruise chances are we won't go overboard without our needles and at least one project.  I know it.  You know it.  

Anyhooo, I digress.

First Blogging, then Facebook, now Ravelry.  WOOO HOOOO! 

I can say I have almost all of my needles, books, and some of my projects logged digitally online. The good - if there is ever a fire in my house and I lose all my needles and books (must not think that way, must not think that way), I have a record of what I could possibly recoup financially. Now... just to get my stash on there. (Working on it.) 

The best part?  Well there's two actually.  Ok three.
1.  Patterns, ideas, galore!!
2.  Yarn stash ideas.  Type in the yarn and voila - other projects made with that yarn!
3.  Other knitters, just as addicted as me sharing the passion AND stimulating creativity.

The bad - well, I haven't seen real live knitters in over 2 weeks.  That's sad, but I'm ok.  Because I have Ravelry!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spring cleaning... nesting... chaos.

And so, here I am amongst old CDs, Christmas ornaments, stashed clothes (I might someday wear, might need for an occasion, might someday fit or come back in style), books, and - of course, my yarn stash.

What do I NEED, what WILL I need, and what can be reused, recycled, regiven (yes, I know you do it too - it's a perfectly good little train money bank. Silver. I bought it for my son, then hid it and well, am turning into my mother and just found it. It's still in the BOX.), and what needs to be thrown away - forever?

This, my friends is Spring Cleaning for me. I pile up & pack away all year. This one week I PURGE! Hard core. So much so, my husband worries when he's at work. He comes home and ruffles through the bags. Aw common! He urges, we need this, I need this.

Nope, it's goin'
, I confirm. He hasn't seen it in three years - hasn't asked for it, thought about it... until he sees it - then he needs it.

I was thinking about this. And well, fair is fair. Last night as we sat in the living room (watching Hell's Kitchen - and to think, I pondered the idea of being a Chef), I said ~ Are you ready for this my friends ~ I said, I think I'm going to sell some of my yarn.

And just like now ~ there was silence.

He looked at me.

I looked at him.

He pressed pause.

I saw, what I can only describe as Shock n' Awe in his eyes that slowly turned to pity, then defiance. "You shouldn't to that."

"But there's no space. I'm now buying furniture to house my yarn. Furniture that is expensive, and requires space. I'm taking over the house." I realized I was starting to sound panicked. I was thinking about yarn I had, that I forgot I had. It was for a project... a wonderfully, beautiful project... that... I ... can't... remember. But I'm sure the pattern is in my binder. Anyhow, I became overwhelmed. Really? Really am I going to knit with the bright orange accented with green & yellow specks merino I bought on sale (@ 1/2 price - it was a steal really)? I donno. Alone with my stash, I began to doubt myself. Do I NEED it?

"You CAN'T do that. No, no, this is getting out of hand. You should wait... why don't you give it some time."

I looked into his eyes. There I saw, not the man I married. Not the tattooed, ear-ring wearin', tough bald guy. I saw. A man who understands. A man who knows what it's like... to be married to a woman - addicted to knitting. An enabler.

Every knitting woman needs one. And so, welcome Spring! I will clean around the yarn. Now honey, where shall we put this new book case that will house my baskets of love ;)