Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ten On Tusday- 10 Kinds of Footwear

Huh?  10 kinds of footwear?  Ok, I'll play.  Though I'm not obsessed with shoes like some people are.

1. Hunter Wellingtons.
ok, let me qualify this. I had a pair of dark blue ones, but the issue was my calves were a little short of the mark, and I couldn't really bend my legs with them on. So, I gave them to Miss Mew, and got a pair of  Huntresses, which have a shorter shaft.  Mine are black, not shiny and I have the wellie socks.

2. I'm a knitter, and yes I do wear Birkenstocks.  Been wearing them for over 25 years. Arizonas, blue suede.

3. Laurentian Chief Moccasins- I live in them.  They are NOT for streetwear, and I like the deerhide. If you get the furry ones, they start to reek and your cat will live in them.

4. Uggs- Mine are full length, black suede with studs in them. They cost a fortune.

5. Halflingers- German made woolen clogs and slippers. I have the sheep slippers and some outside ones with leaves on them. They kind of go with everything, and heck, so what if they don't.

Won't be making it to 10, because I never wear shoes out, ever.  That's why I buy something a bit more expensive and not trendy because chances are, I'll be buried in them.

Being winter, we are catching up on some tv shows, Downton Abbey (a little boring...) and another which is amazing, Last Tango in Halifax.  This is about a couple who were friends in their teens, and fate had a hand in them not getting together. Fast forward 60 years, and surprise, they find each other on Facebook.  There are so many twists and turns to this, you really don't know what will happen next.  One of the lines in it, which I found wonderful-

Hobbies include: farting about and doing bugger all.

Some of my hobbies include quilting, and I am almost finished the eternal quilt of doom.
Yes, it is possible to do the machine quilting without a long arm machine, however, be prepared for alot of swearing and wrestling, and, well, other annoyances.
Tino only wants to help.

Fleece out.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Musing

You know- I think sometimes I am a bit odd. I hasten to qualify this-I don't mind Mondays at all. It's the beginning of a new week, and to look forward to what can be accomplished.  Not so much with housework, although I plan to go upstairs and do a massive clear out of my closet. There are things in there which I know I won't wear, and a clear closet is better for my morale.  I hate having to cram things in a drawer.

I also like this time of year, whether the sun is out or not.  It's quiet and peaceful, and I like watching the snow fall- no garden to clear up, maybe a bit of shovelling, it's nice.

I even have a finished knitting project- for those who don't hang on Ravelry too much:
This is the Ka'ana shawlette- which is a freebie, and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted, in "A Room Without a Roof"- the yellow goes with my coat, and I have made a few of these.

Knitters can never have enough gadgets, and I got this from Santa.  True, it can be used as a nasty weapon, but it's meant to hold a would skein of  yarn as you are knitting. This Etsy seller made it, and it's in marblewood.  Cool, huh?

I'm also finishing up some Fair Isle designs, which I have to decide what I'm going to do with. A hat and a tam, as well as a V-neck pullover- I will probably self publish these patterns. The inspiration is Canadian Art- as in The Group of Seven, mostly influenced by landscapes of the north.  There are colour stories that haven't been explored in knitting- and to go to a gallery and look at these is to experience Canada as these artists perceived it.

I also have in mind another square Shetland shawl, and have some books on order from Heirloom Knitting- Sharon is a historian as well as a designer, and her books are well worth the price. 

The boys are enjoying the fire, and peacing out.  Tino has his paw around Howard.

Have a great week.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Well, Happy 2015 to you!  I am declaring this to be a banner year, as 2014 really had alot of ups and downs. But I think it is important to begin this one on a very positive note, so I am thinking good thoughts.

Of course, taking better care of myself will help, and I am rethinking alot of my choices.  I am going to do more of what makes me happy, and alot less of what isn't so great.  I will probably watch less news programs, but I do have a curiosity about what goes on in the world.  Getting out and walking every day is something I haven't been doing, and I want to get back to that. It's a question of priorities, isn't it?

Less time online- I really only do email and blogs and Ravelry, and that doesn't take up much time. Personally, I think the world would be a better place without things like Facebook and stuff, because it seems to me that it causes alot more trouble than it's worth, but I see the point if you want to keep up with family news and stuff.  

Spending time with my friends and family is always good, and for New Years I was at Miss Mew's, where there are three of her own cats, Tucker, Pio Leung, and the new one, Cindy Lou (who we call Roo).  The foster kitty is Cleo, a black sweetie who is a polydactyl, with little oven mitt paws.
Here is a glamour shot of Miss Tucker.  Such a pretty baby.
Miss Cleo- who is getting kissed, but check out those paws- she has an extra digit. She'll be up for adoption soon, and I do hope she gets a new owner.  She's a beautiful cat.
Miss Pio- who is just the cutest, and very bright and curious.
And the new kid on the block, Cindy Lou, who is very special and loving. I get to go and visit and get luvvins and never pick up a litter scoop.  They are my grandkitties.
This week, we went to this exhibit, Alex Colville at the AGO.
It was fantastic- pretty crowded, but I got the book that went with it, and I may order a print to go in the bedroom we're painting and I'm doing the quilt for.  I really enjoyed this.

Knitting and spinning will always be things that I love.  There are a few new books I look forward to coming out this year, and who knows what else may happen.  But that is the joy of it- not really knowing, but being open to the possibilities.

Wishing everyone a great 2015- there are wonderful things to come!

Fleece out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ten On Tuesday- the LIST

Sorry to sound like Captain Obvious, but yes, it's Christmas Eve tomorrow, and when I got up this morning, indeed, I had a list.

1. Drop off gifts to those I won't be seeing over the holidays, and the smile I got today was totally priceless and better than anything I could get wrapped up.

2. Pick up any food that I will be needing, as I hope I won't have to go near a store for several days. It's crazytown out there.

3. Make the potato casserole, and the stuffing.  That will be done tonight.

4. Put the turkey in the fridge.

5. Set the table (it would help if I cleared it off first.)

6. Watch "Black Christmas" again- it's my favorite.

7. Do laundry.

8. Dust the living room, and all areas that catch the sun.

9. Put gifts under the tree-(FC got a new ornament- a Dalek)

10. And lastly- wish all my blog friends and readers a joyous holiday, wherever you are, whoever you're with.

I cleaned the basement and found about 30 toy mousies , but of course, Tino and Howard decided to fight over the same one.  I tried to explain that Santa may be bringing more mousies, but they weren't having any of it.

If you don't believe, you don't get.

Have a great time, and see you next year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ten On Tuesday- 10 More Days To HoHoHo

I was sick all last week with a horrible cold/flu thing.  FC is still coughing, but I was in bed like a stuffed up slug, so I lost a week.  Oh well.

The tree (23.00 at Target) is denuded of decorations, due to the fact that Tino jumps up and gets them for Howard to play with. So the only decs are on the top third. It looks a little strange.

I also won't be sending out any cards this year, as they were supposed to go out last week.

However, I did get all the wrapping done yesterday. As I was doing it, I was thinking about 2014 and all the things that happened.

1. I went alot out of my comfort zone in some ways.  I gave a presentation to a local guild in May, and faced my fears of public speaking.  I'm still terrified, but glad I did it. It was alot of fun.

2. I started knitting toys, but sophisticated ones.  I said I would never do this.
Laura's Sugarplum Ellie.

3. Got interviewed for television for Wool Week (doesn't seem to have been aired....)

4. Organized my stash into proper bins, instead of plastic uglies.

5. Spun a number of different fibers- Masham, Wensleydale, Finn, BFL/Nylon, and some others I can't remember.

No, none of these things will make a difference to the world, but they did in my world.  I have some things I would like to do in 2015 as well.

I am going to bake cookies (Ginger Molasses, Candy Cane and Lavender Shortbread)- but I have to clear off the counters and clean all the surfaces first.  I enjoy the quiet time before everyone is home for the holidays.  I even have my turkey and food all tucked away, and the only thing I will buy next week is dessert and the celery.
I hope to sit down this afternoon and finish spinning this- Rainbow Reindeer BFL from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

Tino is starting to worry that he has made the naughty list.  Is there still hope?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Favorite Stores

Now we're talkin'- though I am not the shopping fiend I used to be, I do love a good snoop- (I'm a browser on my mother's side)

1.  Has to be Say Tea.  I grew up in Bloor West, and I remember the first owner, who devoted a whole store to tea.  The original tin ceilings are there, as well as a beautiful display window with all manner of china, and high quality stuffed toys.  It went through a few changes over the years, and now the current owner has brought it back to it's original spirit, and it's better than ever.  My favorite tea is Blue Lady, but Monk's Blend and "Falling for Walnuts" are excellent. My Kingdom for Emma Bridgewater, and they let me know what's coming.

2. Williams-Sonoma.  I have a passion for beautiful kitchenware, as well as utensils and linens, but I will say that I only buy on sale, and you have to know when to hit (after the major holidays).

3. Roots.  Originators of the "earth shoe", they make the best exercise pants (not that I exercise) but high quality cottons and leathers.  They are not made in Canada, which is a huge disappointment (Russell Athletics and Tiger Brand were the makers) but still, it's what I live in.  Again, shop the outlets (Roots 1973 is slightly different) and the sales.

4. Sephora.  It's like a cosmetic wonderland, and I love Urban Decay and a newish brand of lipstick to me, Kat Von D (the scent is creme brulee)- my daughter and I lose our minds in there.

5. Eddie Bauer.  I am a slave to their Boyfriend jeans, as well as the flannel shirts.  I buy all FC's non work clothes here.

6. Romni Wools.  If you live in, or have heard of, Toronto, then this is the yarn lover's Mecca.  I buy my needles (Addi Rockets are a new favorite) as well as basic worsteds.  The bargain basement is not to be missed, because you just never know what you'll find.

7. Hudson's Bay.  Also known as "The Bay".  For some reason, Canadians don't do department stores well, and this is now owned by Americans.  But they still sell the iconic Fur Trader's blankets, but for sales on shoes and things, it's pretty good.  I do miss Eaton's and Simpsons.

8. I know it is supposed to be bricks and mortar stores, but the last three are for fiber purchases.
Fat Cat Knits- a spinners freakout online.  Ginny is a true dye artist, and pretty much anything you can dream up is there.

9. Three Waters Farm.  Love MaryAnn's colour sense, and there is always something new and exciting.

10. Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  I have been a loyal customer for years, Socks That Rock and now I have tried the fiber.  She also does seasonal colorways which are amazing.

So that's about it.  Other than the grocery store, which I guess I live in, these are the stores I shop in.
If I come to your town, I would not be adverse to you showing me your favorites.

I made a series of Fox Isle hats, as I had alot of yarn leftover.
Alex calls Tino "Atinna the Hun" and he's not far off.

Fleece Out.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Route of Ho Ho Happiness

Yes- it's coming on Sunday.  The 2014 Santa Claus Parade!
I love it- all the floats, and the children, and the pipe bands.  Such a great time in Toronto. I won't be attending in person, but I will have my hot chocolate and watching on TV.

I have been busy making yet more bunnies- and another animal.  This one is a prototype for more ballerina's- I just love it.
I am using Knitpicks Pallette doubled.  This is a good yarn for toys as it's strong, not too pricey and comes in many colours.  She also has a sparkly tutu, because the more sparkle, the better.  Her tail is angora.
Miss Mew will be getting a Sugarplum Elephant under the tree this year- she will be in bright pink and sparkly tulle as well. (giggle).

I am spinning some BFL from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in "Christmas Balls"
I am trying to explain to Tino about how only cats that behave get things in their stocking.

I don't think it's getting through...... fleece out.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Snow

We are having a bit of wet snow, on this first day of November.  Halloween was fun last night- Alex had his fog machine, and his buddy came out of the fog with a devil mask on.  Even though it was cold and rainy, I think the kids had fun, and most of the candy was given out.
I carved the pumpkin- but even more exciting is my Emma Bridgewater mug celebrating this time of year.  You can get yours at Say Tea and so many other wonderful things.

 I made a boy bunny- a Piebald, for my female rabbit. These are so much fun.

I also have a Wild Thing- the kit was purchased on Etsy, but you can buy the pattern on Ravelry.  This is a Wild Wumpus from Maurice Sendak's- "Where the Wild Things Are"-this was also alot of fun.

I am guessing that since it is November, alot of us will be thinking about gifts this year.  I have a few tucked away, but am scaling back quite a bit. Snow tires are what I will be spending most of my budget on-
...but I do have a crazy cat who is not aware that he no longer fits into the middle of his toy.  He went to sleep in it.

What a guy.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Have a Nice Trip, See Ya Next Fall

Happy Saturday. I have a routine that doesn't change every Saturday. I get up (I do!), do the teeth and the  hair, feed the kittens, turn the heat lights on for the dragons, make tea, get dressed, start the laundry, sit down with my tea, read The Globe and do the crossword.  I love the crossword, and the Suduko. 

This weekend is a few things, Rhinebeck, Woodstock and my son's birthday.  He is going to see King Diamond tonight- we got him his ticket and some cash for a t-shirt.  I can't believe he is 26 today. My baby.

I will not be attending Rhinebeck, as I have been once and that was enough.  I will, however, be doing some spinning in the spirit of the festival-
This is some Into The Whirled BFL/Nylon in her "Rhinebeck" color. That's as close as I want to get.

I did indeed bring back some fibery goodness from Vermont a few weeks ago- some sparkly roving caught my eye- this reminded me of snow:
I also wanted some Cormo, and got some, but it's mixed with some other breeds, a bit random, but oh-so-soft:
I have been finishing some projects.  I have become majorly sidetracked by making these adorable animals from Little Cotton Rabbits (see sidebar).
This one was a gift for Miss Mew- cupcake bunny.
And this one is mine- I charted some carrots, and put them around her skirt.  She's getting a Piebald boyfriend, I'm just making his clothes, as this is a family blog, and there will be no NUDE rabbits.
I have just finished these- a free pattern on Ravelry, Opp/Att.  I am using this clever dyers Opposites Attract sock yarn.  How I managed to make 2 the same, I still can't figure out, but darned if I will be frogging.  Alot of fun, and I recommend this yarn.  Fun colours and fun pattern.
Tinnamon Toast Crunch has been a harrassant all week. I think he's afraid I am going to leave him again, and has been a klingon. 

Fleecin' out- have a great week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What Happens In Vermont...

...stays in Vermont.  Because nothing much happens in Vermont.  That was on a t-shirt.  I didn't buy that one, but I got a few from the Vermont Sheep and Wool festival on Saturday.

We left early on Thursday morning and managed to bypass alot of the traffic on the 401.  I never look forward to this kind of drive because the 401 is BORING.  I like looking out the windows, and I tell you, there is very little to see.

After getting messed around in Quebec (quelle suprise!) we crossed at an odd little border station into Vermont.  You're also in New York state for about 2 minutes.

 The first thing you notice once on the highway are the Green Mountains. They're everywhere.

We stayed in White River Junction- a very random little place.  There are no really big cities there.  It's literally a 2 minute drive to New Hampshire- so if you're looking for big box stores, or a chain restaurant, you probably need to go there. We did eat at a local cafe, the Crossroads, and for under 10.00 we got a huge all-day breakfast with real Vermont maple syrup. Maple syrup is everywhere- a huge business in the state.

Friday we went to Manchester, after surviving the bus tour people at breakfast.  They were there from Nashville to look at the leaves.  FC asked if that will ever be us, on a "Making Memories" bus tour. Uh, no. This is high tourist season in October.

We did visit the Vermont Country Store.  It has a little covered bridge outside, which isn't real, and on our whole trip, we only saw one actual covered bridge. They are a little off the beaten tracks- and hard to find.

Tunbridge, Vermont is a small town with a general store, and it has a large fairgrounds where the festival was held. The people in Vermont, not just at the fair, are extremely welcoming and friendly.  And not because they want to sell you something- they take time to chat and ask where you're from and are truly interested.
 This sweet little Jacob sheep was for sale- 225.00 and I could have had a new lawn mower. And lots of fertilizer.
Goats are always funny- this one spied a blueberry muffin on the table.
These are the first Gotland sheep in Vermont, according to the owner. They're March lambs and were just adorable.
Alpaca whispering is one of my hobbies- being a camelid they can spit, but this one was friendly.
And on the way back we got a crappy pic from the car- an old covered bridge. Some of these are really old, and I would hesitate to drive through them.
The kittens were thrilled, as they got to sleep with their brother in his bed. 

Fleecin' out.