Friday, March 27, 2009

Chocolate, Cake and Yarn Part 2

Well my birthday has really and truly been celebrated this year! My sister's packaged arrived in the mail yesterday. Thanks Sonia !

Sisters are so awesome. Somehow they just instinctively "know" what you're gonna love.

Any my sister outdid herself this year. Not only did I get some exclusive birthday card designs from my adorable niece Emily, but I got a knitting book from Sonia! Whoot!

First the cards:

Now the book:

Classic Elite Knits - 100 Gorgeous Designs for Every Occasion from the studios of Classic Elite Yarns - 2008

This is such a lovely book - it has it all - women's, men's, children's and accessories. The Mosaic Patterned Pullover already has my attention, as does the Seed Stitch Blazer, the Mosaic Cable Pullover, the Wool-Bamboo Cabled Cardigan and the Diamond Yoke Pullover.

I wish I could post links to these beautiful patterns, but there are none on Ravelry. The Mosaic Patterned Pullover is featured on the photo above. It's on the bottom row, far left.

And now for something completely different....

I am finished my Shibui Reds! They are just lovely and fit beautifully.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chocolate, Cake and Yarn

My last week has been a truly great one. It took me by surprise, in a really pleasant way.

It all began with an early birthday dinner beautifully prepared by my good friend Roxanne. She slaved in the kitchen all to prepare an awesome Chinese feast. Thanks Roxy :-)

Fraser Family with the Birthday Gal

After dinner we went out to Yuk Yuk's Stand-up Comedy Club. Two hours of laughter - it was great!

Monday the 16th was my birthday. After breakfast I opened the first of my packages - four blocks of cadbury chocolate (Caramello and Turkish Delight) and a totally beautiful pair of ugg boots. Woo hoo!

Genuine Lambswool Uggs

Then I read the umpty birthday emails and birthday cards I'd received. Check out these two - my favourites for sure:

Handmade with love from Karlia and Jaycee

I had lunch with my friend Glenda at the Milestones restaurant in Masonville Mall. It's hard to beat a well made brushetta together with a goat cheese dip, mango salsa and pita bread! And then there's was the birthday dessert (chocolate rum cheesecake) complimentary and adorned with a sparkler! Awww...

Mister W decided to brave the kitchen, to my absolute surprise, and made a great lobster tail and stuffed potato dish! And dessert was a wickedly rich ice-cream cake... A really great meal! Who knew??!?

Mum and Dad phoned me in the evening for the obligatory birthday wishes and to let me know my package would be late. Thus ended my birthday - or so I thought.

Just before bed, Mister W announced that we were going to Sarnia to visit Ewe Are Special so that I could take advantage of their closing down sale! I was ecstatic....and had to ask "OK, who the hell are you, and where is my real husband?" LOL!

I had a blast at Ewe Are Special - 40% off storewide. My bittersweet shopping spree (since I really like Marg, the owner, and she was closing the store due to health and financial reasons) netted me some great bargains:

4 skeins of Noro Cash Iroho, 6 balls of Noro Kureyon, 2 skeins of Araucania Atacama, some sock-shaped point protectors, and three books (the Art of Fairisle, Knitting Ganseys and Slip Stitch Knitting)

On Wednesday a package from my brother and his family arrived. Beautiful aromatherapy body wash, hand cream, body lotion and body scrub. So lovely. Thanks Weisses :-)

Rose Aromatherapy

Another package arrived this week. Yarn I purchased through Ravelry for the Australian Bushfire Appeal. A wonderful Etsy seller donated the proceeds of this yarn to the Victorian Red Cross, and shipping was free!

Hand spun and hand dyed Bushfire skein

Since I've prattled on about my birthday, I figure I'll quickly post some pics of my knitting WIPs.

These are my Shibui Reds, the sock's I'm knitting for the Shall We Knit promotion.

This is going to be a felted backpack for my niece, Karlia.

And now it's been a week since my birthday, and my Mum and Dad's package just arrived. Whoot!! Lots of goodies!

Chocolate, tea-towels, a gorgeous crystal swan, coasters, Billy Tea (yippee), a mini calculator, and a drop spindle

What?? A Turkish Drop Spindle?? YES! My Daddy made it with his own two hands. It's perfect. Absolutely perfect. I LOVE it. He used Australian Myrtle for the whorl, and the spindle is from White Maple. He's so freakin amazing. Thanks Dad [mwah!].

Turkish Drop Spindle

Still waiting on one more package from my sister. She told me hers would be late too. Maybe I'll just do a separate post once hers arrives...

That's it! Wow, what a great birthday week [hehehe].

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Week in Review

Well it's been about a week since I last blogged. In all honesty it feels like so much longer.

Let's see.....on the head cold front [clearing throat], I'm feeling much better, and most of the nose blowing and sniffing is DONE. I've been rewarded for my immune dysfunction with another delightful coldsore [reads... sh*t, bugger!!@@#].

As if my virus wasn't enough! Somehow a virus infected my computer. It was the mega-mother-fukton of all viruses. Can't remember the exact name of the evil trojan, but let's just call it The Evil Replicating Drive-killer (TERD).

Nick's a computer genius, but as fast as he was killing it, it was replicating itself and moving through my C drive faster. It was like a computer game!! Phenomenal. Nick went into DOS and thought he finally had it, but it was always a step ahead. Finally, it lodged itself firmly in the operating program turning off all permission to C drive and declaring with a smirk that C drive no longer existed!

Windows could not be reinstalled. Boots disks were useless. Restore and Backup......useless.

The bloody thing won. TERD = 1: Isa=0. Options??

FORMAT C drive.

And even that failed twice. I was seriously considering buying a new computer.

Finally the computer was restored. By the time I re-installed all my software, entered a gazillion passwords and ids, it was three days of being "off air".


The only conducive thing to not having a computer, and not being able to work, was that I could KNIT! Yeah!

So I started a bunch of projects and continued with other WIPS.

First off, I'm knitting a pair of red socks for the Ruby Red Sock Competition being run by Shall We Knit. The sock contest is to celebrate the New Hamburg Community Players production of "The Wizard of Oz". I have until the end of April to finish them. The socks are a mish mash of things - the overall pattern is from Koi Fingerless Gloves, by Terry L. Ross, and the heel from More Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Sturch. I'm using some beautiful Chinese Red Shubui sock yarn, and have called my socks "Shibui Reds".

This is where I'm at with them.

When I was at Shall We Knit last month for their annual sale, I picked up some Louet Corriedale Top Roving 1/2lb. In between WIPs I have been practising my drop spindling with my new Asage OrangeTurkish Drop Spindle from Jenkins Woodworking. I'm about two-thirs of the way through the roving now. I will ply the yarn, but before I do it, I want to dye it.

Here's what I have so far.

I dyed some Cascade 220 to start the second of my Ayla backpacks for my niece, Karlia. She loves blue, especially turquoise, so I dyed two skeins semi solid turquoise and two skeins in a bottle green/teal semi solid. The colours reminded me so much of the sea, so I called this project "Cerulean Blue Ayla".

This is the dyed yarn.

Since the colours of this backpack are so sea-like, I thought I should chart a new stranded motif for the bag [instead of the flower]. And so, after some hours, my beautiful seahorse graph was born.

Seahorse graph for Cerulean Blue Ayla.

When I was at the opening for the Little Red Mitten on 15th February, I bought a fantastic book entitled "The Sweater Workshop", by Jacqueline Fee. I've been avidly reading it, and knitting a sampler along the way! The sampler is designed to teach the techniques needed to knit a perfectly constructed well-fitting sweater in-the-round from the top down.
I'm going to blog when I finish the book....I've learned so much - it's awesome!

Here's my sampler so far.


My brilliantly talented friend, Kata, made me an amazing stamp that I love, love, LOVE! It all began when I asked her if I could commission her to make me a frog stamp for work. Within hours [cross my heart!] she emailed me with a photo of it! And then she got me some awesome lime coloured ink for stamping! Go check out her Etsy Shop and her blog! You won't be disappointed!

Frog stamp from Kata.

And then there's work! We are open for business again......1st March until 24th days a week! BIG SIGH! I've been working flat out on two powerpoint presentations I have to deliver this month. One is to the Forest City Pond Club, and the other is to the London/Fanshawe Horticultural Society.

Next week I will be writing a newsletter, updating the catalogue, hiring staff and all the other usual business stuff. to knit!