Saturday, December 23, 2006

Not Home for the Holidays

Tomorrow morning we are off to Praia da Rocha, Portugal. We've never done this before. I mean, we've been away from our own home at relatives, but never at a hotel. Not sure how I feel about it yet. It really doesn't have any sense of Holiday for me right now. It's been so busy that the time has just flown by from Thanksgiving to now.

We started out Friday afternoon when the children were released from school. Christmas gift opening commenced at 2:00pm. I didn't last long. Does it ever? The children were very pleased. It's always a risk for me, as I shop and search year round. So the Playmobil tree house and Batman Lego's have been stowed in the closet since April. They were both speechless and set to work (Roy and I) setting the things up. Playmobil is a lot of work. Very sturdy, but a lot of work. The last 3 years have been building years for us, but well worth it. Smiling faces, chipper voices busy all day yesterday and throughout today.

Today was packing day, pitching day and decision making day. I need a few projects to take along to knit. Stuck with the Morit Shetland for a waistcoat, Aqua Cheviot for a Cardigan and the Berry Sublime for a new hat and scarf. Plus the socks to finish.

Happy Christmas and New Year to you all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

TAG, You're It

Chery TAGGED me with a weird meme. It must be something like a screaming meme. I think you get that in some countries after drinking the water. I know I screamed when I saw her name on Leigh's blog and knew what may be coming my way. It has rules too. Write your list of 6 weird things about yourself. Pick 6 more people to do the same and list them. Then make a comment in their blog that they've been tagged and that they should read your blog.

I'm playing Freeze Tag on this one. One of the weird things about me that's not listed is that I feel guilty making people participate in things like chain letters and now the new blog tag. Personal, yes! Weird, maybe. Could be too, that I don't have an endless list of bloggers that I feel cyberly connected with enough to say "You've been Tagged" and they have no idea who I am. Mostly because I'm a lurker on most blogs. Ok, enough.

Weird list:

1. I can go for several years, eating the same thing for breakfast. Unless I go out for breakfast. Don't really like the meal. Happens to early in the morning for decision making.

2. I don't like coffee. I've stated that before, my sisters and I don't drink coffee, so it's not really weird to me.

3. I don't like chatting on the phone without a reason. This is why. I use to work in the medical industry and the phone lines (6-7) would ring non stop, all day long. So after getting home from work, I wouldn't answer the phone. Now it's brief and to the point. That's also why I only have to top up my phone every 3-4 months.

4. Kitchen and bathroom counter top clutter puts me over the edge. MUST BE SANITARY!!

5. I must finish sewing projects within 2 days. If not finished, I will ditch the project out of sheer boredom.

6. I will not eat leftovers unless it pizza or the rare Chinese food. Can you say Salmonella?? 5 days in the ICU and a near death experience with clear that right up.

So that's it for me. Probably not that weird, but "I am who I am." I think that's a "Popeye quote", Isobel. Or maybe it's "I ams who I ams, eats me spinach from a can, I'm Popeye the sailor man.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mouse in the House

This evening, Roy and I were sitting on the couch enjoying a bit of television. Holiday movie "HogFather" was playing. I'm knitting and watching, so I'm focused. Roy exclaims! "I just saw a mouse!" "A what?" I ask. "A mouse!" says he, to help me processed the information given. "Where?" "Under the TV" he says. "I see him, he's over in the Lego's now"

Neither one of us are afraid of mice and the mouse didn't seem to be afraid of us. There was no scurrying around, no dashing for large furniture to hide under, just a leisurely stroll around the chair, through the Lego laboratory, and over to the toy basket. "I'll get the frying pan!" shouts Roy with glee. There once was an episode in our past involving a frying pan and a cockroach, but that was another story all together.

Roy runs in with a towel. "Where is he?" I don't know why were referring to it as he. We're no where near close enough to confirm or deny that. "By the toy basket." So there we sit, on the floor with the towel as the mouse continues his tour of the children's toys. We patiently wait. It walks out, we stare, and Roy scoops it up in the towel. Easy as that. It now is residing in our bin. Heaven until Wednesday...

What makes it odder still, is that almost immediately after the mouse was placed into it's new home, Hogfather had a bit about the Grim Mouse Reaper. The mouse comes out of the hole, makes a wrong step and the little mouse corps moves on. Just really odd.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spin In

Sunday afternoon I attended my first "Spin In" The day was organized by my spinning teacher Juliet. She had it at her home up in the Dublin mountains. As is usual at her house in the hills, it was a totally different climate than the rest of Dublin. Gale force winds greeted us as we unloaded our gear. Nearly ripped the doors of off Sara's SUV. Earlier rain meant mud and muck on either side of the road, so we had to be careful of our step. Narrow, winding mountain roads are an interesting adventure in parking vehicles for 8-10 drivers. We managed!

We were warmly greeted by a lovely fire and eager spinners, who had come from various parts of the country. There were a huge variety of wheels that night, as well as drop spindlers. Lovely wheels manufactured in Donegal, Louets and a variety of others. Each person really likes their individual wheel type.

This is Juliet teaching Navajo plying. This is done by making a loop and doing a crochet type hooking of the yarn through the loop. As you pull the yarn through and treadle, it twists back on itself forming a ply or twist. I'm not sure if I like the effect. I'll have to give it a bit more practice.

Here's a snap of the ball I did that night. It's a corridale fleece. It might have a blend. It's not the softest yarn. The corridale/shetland that I have is a good bit softer. Can't wait for the next one.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Down Under X3

I know that I haven't written about the other 2, but today was a very sad day for myself and daughter Avery. India, one of her best pals is moving back to Australia tomorrow. Along with Katrina, Ted and Harriette. They've been in Ireland for 5 1/2 years now and have become an important part of many peoples lives, including ours.

So is Down Under, calling my name? I do hear a voice in the wind. After all, Knitting friends Kelly and Sharon have recently gone to New Zealand, the Williams family are in route and there may be a faint chance that my niece may be studying there next year. I don't know, but it does sound good. Plus there are tons of sheep in New Zealand!!

Knitting for Pleasure

Is that possible this time of year? It is for me. The pressies are nestled all snug in their suitcases and cupboards, while visions of other things are dancing in my head.

With the completion of the Fingerless Gloves, all the gifts are completed and awaiting the big day. I'm on to a sock. My first sock completed!! YES!!

Here is the heal turning done. I've really had a phobia over sock heals until Sharon showed me the way! Now it was a easy as pie (term used lightly). Can't believe I actually remembered how to do it since September when she showed me.

I've been drooling over SweetGeorgia's Yarn since discovering her website. OH, MY!! It is so yummy!! This is Velvet Underground, 100% Superwash Merino. It is really lovely. So soft and great to knit with. Love it. Can you tell?? Pattern is from Hello Yarn. It's easy to do on the magic loop method too!!

The colour is hard to translate in pictures, but it's browns, blues, dark red, cranberry and the mixes that come with all those. Happy, happy, happy.

The poor self striping sock is at a stand still for the moment, but will hopefully regain my interest after sock number 2.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Currant Fingerless Gloves

Remember the currant coloured yarn I spun back in November? Well, when I brought it home, Daughter Avery, said with a squeal!!! "OOO, Momma!! What are you going to do with that?" "I would really like something out of that, if you don't have plans for it." As only my DD can do.

So here they are. I used the pattern from the Debbie Bliss, Junior Knits and then modified. Planned on doing the Fetching, but the yarn was a bit thick and I started out with the purl stitch and ended up with 6 knit stitches at the end. Rip?? No way!! I'll make up my own pattern, so that's just what I did. Single large cable up the middle. Did the magic loop on these too. I love that loop!

I really like the yarn too. I did a long draw technique (for all you spinners) so it's very soft and spongy. Can't remember the breed, but it's a cross of Finn and two others. Really nice.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Today should be a rest day for us., but the week is very busy and a lot needs to be done before then. Plus I'm getting a sinus thing, so I'd better get cracking before my head explodes. Messy, messy. Well drugged up on the Sudafed and can now blink my eyes without a great pulsing noise crashing in my ears.

Crafty day again. Making a few Christmas bits. Kole (son) thinks they look like space ships or planets. Not the balls, but the finished product. I'd agree.

The idea is not mine. I saw a friend in France, who had on this really great stick pin. She got it from her friend Candie Cooper who does jewelry design. She's a very gifted designer and crafter. Very funky stuff.

Anyway, starts with the basic felt ball. Size is your choice. Assortment of beads, glue and stick pins. Really cool to see the results

Here's the beginning of the process. I started out with sewing pins that have the coloured heads and switched to sequin pins. I was running out and the colours weren't great with some of the balls. So, you choose.
At last the first batch is done. The green one has the UFO on both ends. You'd have to dig a hole in the ball and glue the stopper into it. Not an easy task, but well worth the work. The colours aren't a great representation of the actual. I think they're great!! Yippee!! Another successful project.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Felt Squares

This is not a tasty recipe. Nor is it for the faint of heart when it comes to crafting. It all started one morning over brunch at Avoca Handweavers in Dublin. Things have been looking a LOT like Christmas since Halloween here.
We don't have the Thanksgiving break to mark the time between holidays. Anyway, there they were!! Garlands, sparkling sweets, wrapped in cello, beads and big sequins!! (Stopping for a drool mop) I can do that!! A lot cheaper too!! Famous last words!!

I did have the squares at home. (Craft Central) So I got out the cutting board and whipped off a few strips of felt. Avery (daughter) thought that life just couldn't get any better than this. Glue, pink felt, sparkles... Does it?? They began to multiply, because ,Why make a couple, when you can make a Minion? I mean like the Ork army in Lord of the Rings. They just kept coming... More and more rolls. Will it ever end?

Kinda looks like sushi too! Anyway, sprinkle with sugar (clear plastic glitter) and wait for them to dry. That aerosol adhesive does a great job of sticking the glitter on, also sticks the rolls together! A mass of tacky felt with a hint of something toxic. WARNING - Do this in a well ventilated area or on a day when the wind isn't gale force. Leaves don't look good stuck to this.

Wrap in mini cellophane bags. (if you can find them) I cut my cookie bags up. Twist ends and secure with something, anything! Just secure them! Beads, you don't know how many beads are on a garland until you start stringing them... LOTS!! Ok, string 4, put on giant sequin, string another 4 and place sweet on with needle (provided you haven't put to much glue in the center and the needle won't go through) Lovely! I got tired of the bags and went for the open air approach to candy. I'm sure they'll have a thin layer of dust on them by January.

Ho, Ho, Ho. I'll pay the 12.99 next time. It was an adventure and a good lesson in making garlands.