Friday, December 22, 2006

Almost There!!

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I've been dwadling on the socks, because I'm trying to finish up a couple of Christmas things.....

Like the stocking I started for Ciara last year. The lettering is all puckered and I can't believe I ran out of red tweed in the middle of it, but she's absolutely delighted. I say take praise where praise is given...
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And get a nice Irish stocking for the Irishman....
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It's the Aran Stocking from Handknit Holidays. I'm so loving this book. I think Christmas Tree Ornament Balls are next.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's Beginning to TASTE A Lot Like Christmas!

Ciara and Cian's first time handling icing:
We spent this weekend getting into the Christmas spirit. The tree was trimmed, windows were lighted and decorated, presents were bought and hid and cookies upon cookies were baked. We even went ice skating in the town center - even though it's still 3 degrees above 0 Celsius, we bundled up and braved the crappy rental shoes and show-off kids flying past. It was Cian's and Dave's first time and they both gliding around in no time! Here's a crappy but cute picture from my cell phone :)Lastly, there's a running joke between Erica and me about my fear of knitting with the luxury sock yarn in my posession. I let it marinate and coat my feet with the 6 Euro stuff I buy in the shop on the corner. Still pretty colours and great yarns, but not all of the luxury stuff that I've been dying to get. Friday, I received my 2.25 circulars and wanted to cast on immediately. I looked around and my eyes fell on my new merino sock yarn from Fleece Artist. So, here is photographic evidence of my willingness to wrap my feet in luxury fibers.

I'm almost finished with the ribbing - can't turn back now!!
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Monday, December 11, 2006

View Out The Back Window

Here's the last view out of Mum's house until this summer. I flew home this past Saturday/Sunday and am very busy catching up on my Christmas decorating.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Lobster Party

My step-dad, David, gets up every morning before 6 to have his coffee, boy-gossip and business transactions down at Tim Horton's. Earlier this week, he ordered 26 pounds of lobster during such a visit (I suspect it was before the coffee properly kicked in) and we had us a lobster party.

Here's a photo of what I like to call the Little Yummies (is it weird to name your dinner?)Here's their new home in a propane-powered cook pot
And their remains will be worshiped and devoured in Mum's rompus room. It cracks me up to see all newspaper, paper towels, hand-wipeys, Chinet plates and then wine glasses in the middle of it all.

The Feast!
The blonde on the left is Patsy and sitting to her right is Chester and they'll teach you all you need to know about cracking claws (wrap the claws with two paper towels so as not to hurt your hands) sucking meat out of the legs and eating the tamale (a brown gooey delicacy from the body cavity - but I think it looks like mud) before it gets cold. Chester was finished with his third lobster before I was half-way through the tail of my first. And Elaine (back left) wore her special lobster-cracking-apron. This was not a dinner for lightweights.
I'd say "Wish You Were Here" but I was having enough trouble with the competition that did show up ;)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cool Moon Rising

Got a cool picture of the moon rising over the lake.
I had to take about 10 pictures before I was happy with the result, God bless digital cameras!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Saturday At The Fish Camp

My sister Louise came from Bar Habor, Maine to visit on the weekend and we spent Saturday afternoon out at the Fish Camp.
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Mum's getting the fire started. Note the new tradition of building fires in drum from an old washing machine. It's a great way to recycle, it keeps the fire contained and the holes let air in to feed the flames (AND you can fit a grate from an old barbeque across the top). Dem Maritimers can be crazy at times, but oh-so-clever ;)
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Roasting hot dogs and beans (oh how I've missed baked beans in molasses with pork!)
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Toasting Dessert (I feel no guilt whatsoever for stuffing myself full of S'mores, since I know I probably won't see them again for a while - who am I kidding?! I never feel guilty when stuffing my face with roasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and graham crackers. The graham crackers are kind of healthy, aren't they?)
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Mum and Louise went for a walk and Dave and I took a little nap on the mattresses inside. There was s'more S'more roasting as it started to get dark.
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And then we played some Mexican Rummy before heading out to dinner at The Bavaria Restaurant, where a big surprise was waiting for Mum. More on that later...
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Monday, December 04, 2006

We Got Snow!

Just in time for Mum's Birthday!
It's snowing buckets and buckets - here's a photo taken 1 hour after the above picture.
Mum and I are wrapping ourselves up in mittens, scarves, etc and going for a snowy-birthday walk :)Update photo from the walk. Check out Mum's outfit, hat and scarf knit by me and thrum mitts done by her - we are one knitting family!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wakin' Up

Step-father had me up at 6 this morning to go to Tim's (Tim Horton's Doughnut shop) to get coffee and make eyes at the fisherman. I would have made eyes (coquettish and all) if my eyes had been open. But the coffee kicked in once we got home and I did manage a picture of the sun coming up over the lake.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Eye Candy

Y'all can all stick your Saturday Skies and Sundays skies where the sun don', well, what I mean to say, is this is the sky that rocks my world. It's from the porch on Mum's barn-converted-house I've never slept as well anywhere in the world as when the fog has rolled into Yarmouth. And this is only slighty-misty-fog, not the real stuff where you can't see the hand in front of your face. This is the aesthetic, romantic fog and I'm all loved-up in it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dumping Day

Monday was the first day that the lobster fisherman "dump"ed their lobster traps. Mom woke me up nice and early because everyone runs down to the Yarmouth Light at 6am and watches the boats go out. They also line up their cars and flash the headlights.

It's pretty dark here at 6am, so my picture came out a bit dim. But you can see a little bit of the view; there're so many lights from the boats, it looks like another city out on the water.

I got a better picture of a boat coming back in.
He looks a bit small, so I don't think it was a lobsterman coming back in for more traps. They drop them all in the morning, some come back for another load and more bait, and then they sit out on the water for the day and wait until 12-midnight when it's legal to check the traps for the first time.

Even the radio station was set up inside the lighthouse and broadcasting the news of Dumping Day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Landed in Halifax Saturday night and drove 3 hours to get to Mum's in Yarmouth. I love this place....just look at the kitchen.

Pictures like this make me relax and think all is right with the world.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Size Fits Many

I knit this top the last couple of weeks before the wedding, but didn't sew it up until last week. Some people have a fear of commitment or fear of the unknown, I fear an evening of sewing up. I chose the largest size, 10 years, but Ciara says it fits funny.

Denisa loves it and it makes her boobs look loads bigger. Dontcha just love the benefits of hand-knits?!
Gotta go, I'm busy making some Buffalo Chicken Dip. Yummeeee!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Houston, we have a Tassel Landing!

Too cute????

Also got a cool pic on the way to work today......I still can't believe the sun wasn't up and I was driving to work!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Watch Out Tori Amos!!

This is what I spent my evening doing.

Yesterday, I swiped the neighbor-kid's keyboard (that he hasn't touched since the month after purchase) and found piano lessons online. I took lessons as a kid (and fought every minute of the way) and then took a course in college and loved it (go figure). When we bought the house, there was a piano here and the owner offered to leave it for a 100 bucks but we decided we didn't need it along with complete house renovations, but it's been on it my mind ever since. And, since I shipped Dave off to Barcelona for the week, I've got loads of time to flip through the internet and get my groove back :)

p.s. Tassels it is - stay tuned for pictures!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hand-Dyed Creativity

Look Ma! I made a hat in under a day. This is the hand-dyed merino that I've been fussing with for a month or so....... The hat needs some icing though - my neighbor suggested cords with tassels. What do you think? Alternating colours for the tassel and cords?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yak Attack

My buddy Sheilds went on vacation last month to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazhakistan and found wool!! A bit lump of it.

It's roughly spun, lumpy and includes the usual yard clippings, but also amazingly soft. Not sure what it was or what it's going to become, it hasn't said anything yet...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sister Socks

Just to torture the eldest with pics, I've got some handspun knit up into Sister Socks. I was so excited to finish my first "nice" wool on the wheel, but disappointed that it wasn't totally and completely perfectly twisted and even. Erica made the great suggestion to knit it a bit tighter and these socks are brilliant. Mohair, wool and spun full of love - whose got lucky siblings?? ;)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Calendar Girl

Kimberley posted about Deb's contest and I totally agree. I hate having gray pictures during the winter months (whether it's November or February) and I love my lighthouse calender, cause I always think they look cool. No matter the season, they always make me think about the seaside and visiting Mum's in Nova Scotia. Speaking of which : 2 more weeks and I'll be there!!!!! I can already taste the fried clams :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wool vs Acrylic : The Final Debate

After the shock of my first wool shop find in Karlovy Vary, The Acrylic Heaven (and literally, I mean shock - how many balls of acrylic can you sift through before everything and everyone gives you an electric shock!) and my yummy lunch, my blitz visit to the Handwork store was every wool lovers' dream.
In every store I enter in the Czech Republic, I ask if they speak German or English. Few admit to understanding English and fewer still want to practice. But the wonderful nice lady in the wool shop preferred and spoke wonderful English. She had a shop full of all sorts of needlework supplies - from Opal sock yarn to cross-stitch kits. The wool set up was the same as the other shop - one basket with every colour from a certain series - one has to choose their wool-type and colour and the owner delves into what must be miles of shelving in the back of the shop to get the amount needed.
This is the best part! The first thing my eyes fixed onto was a apple-bushel basket on it's side full of skeins of 100% wool in natural-looking colours. Nice Shop Lady explained that all the wool in the basket was spun in a factory only 10 miles away and that same factory spins wool for all of Europe. She pulled out a drawer with sample wool and their labels for loads of countries. Here is one for Denmark-Love Garn (how sweet is that?) :
Then, the other best part - 100gram skeins of 100% wool cost approx 2.25 Euro (like $3!). God Bless the Eastern Bloc!
I checked out the web address on the skein labels when I got home and found every single type of wool that ever existed (from sock yarn to fun fur to superwash wool and 100% felter's dream) , and the costs are about half of the shop prices. All of it shippable in the EU - and should be import-tax free up to €200! Woot! Woot! Woot!
The only reason I haven't ordered yet is because my Czech isn't quite up to snuff. But, hey, that's what neighbors are for, right??!! I bet a batch of sugar-glazed cinnamon rolls would butter her right up ;)

Below are my stash enhancers from the acrylic mix family. Can you believe Red Heart has made it as far as the Czech Republic???

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Karl Wie War I

Mini breaks are my new favourites.
One tends to get a lot more out the time away (it's a mini-break - break is the biggest part of the description - I don't have to "do" anything other than be on a break)
The cat can take care of itself for a day or two - big ol' bowl of food, a pillow in the sun and a cracked cellar window keeps him plenty happy.
Travel time is minimal. Just enough time to catch up on some sock knitting in the car. And, when you live in central Europe, you can pop off to another country - like the Czech Republic.

We spent Halloween night in Karlovy Vary (as the Germans say: Karlsbad) . My neighbor Denisa is Czech and got us a great deal in a nice little hotel right smack in the middle of town.
The next day we hiked up above the town and got some great pics!
Actually, we had a little help getting up the mountain:

When we finished winding our way down to the town, we stopped by one of the healing springs. Jaywalker for middle sister wants to show off that it's nearing completion ;)

Then we walked through the entire town and back again chasing down a wool shop that changed address every time we asked directions. After miles of effort, I was rewarded with a shop that will be burned in my head as the Czech Acrylic Heaven. And it wasn't even cool Eastern European acrylic, it was all German imports :(

Minutes later, I was comforting myself with yummy potato croquettes and asparagus-topped, blue-cheese-smothered chicken breast. Neighbor Denisa walked us through a very tasty visit in her home country. Some of the more interesting dishes were potato dumplings with smoked meat inside and beef roasted in a sweet sauce and served with cranberries :)
We finished our lunch and shopped our way back to the cars. The weather had changed dramatically from the previous day and I was without new soft gloves, jacket or even proper shoes (turns out Keds don't hold up too well in freezing rain).
As we sloshed through the last steps to the parking garage, I looked up and swear I saw the word "Handwork" in the distance. I mumbled something to Dave through my frozen lips and ran up the steps leading to what I was praying wasn't a mirage.
And it wasn't - look at the sign on the window, too: the needles and yarn. We call this shop Wool Heaven. Picture of the wool coming soon!