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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

One Computer, Two Teens and Fifteen Knitting Projects

One of the problems with having only one computer in the house and two teenagers is that the computer is always in use. Harumph.

After a lovely Christmas of lounging around at home while knitting, reading and sleeping I got up early to download some photos to share. There are a gazillion (I never exagerate!) wire hook ups for computer stuff but the one for my camera is not among them. Harumph.

Now I have to wait for the afor mentioned teenagers to make their entry into this Boxing Day so I can calmly ask if they can track it down for me because I have not been able to download in what seems like weeks and now when I want to I can't and for all that they are given in this world they can just stop giving me the attitude and respect me and look for the GD thing!!! Ah yes I will be calm....Harumph....Ohmmm....

I will now put the impending rant in the unused portion of my brain and TELL you about my knitting this season.

For gifts I knit 2 scarves, 2 hats and 1 pairs of fingerless gloves for members of my family. For clients I knit a cardigan, 2 pairs of socks and one pair of Mrs Beeton's ruffled wrist warmers. It doesn't seem like much but the shop was really busy so me knitting at Kniterary was next to impossible.

Yes the knitting business was great! More and more people are discovering my little gem in Whitby Ontario. I couldn't be happier that I took the plunge!

On the needles now.
Still.. the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave. It will be done this January!! Right now it takes me a good half an hour of concentrated work to get one row done so most days I can only get one or two rows done.

Socks that have gone into the frog pond and are now being reknit as Rainbow Socks.

Thrummed Mittens.
A Scarf.
Malabrigo gloves.
Rowan Betty cardigan.

I hear teenagers moving. I must go and prepare my calmness.

Hopefully there will be pictures soon.

Happy Boxing Day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Help For Young Mothers at Christmas!

May you never wonder again why children slept so well in Victorian times!

I was looking for Mulled Cider and WIne Recipes and came across this lovely recipe....

Hot Milk Posset - to help kids sleep

In Victorian England, children were allowed small glasses of wine at the dinner table. Alcohol was a traditional sleep aid for all ages back then. This posset was a classic drink that nannies gave to tykes that were having trouble falling asleep. Apparently it worked very well!

1/8 tsp almond extract
1 pint milk
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white
1/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup brandy

Heat in a saucepan the milk, lemon peel, sugar, and almond extract. When it begins to scald, remove from heat. Beat egg white and add in. Now add rum and brandy. Serve hot.

I am intrigued and repulsed all at the same time. Do you think the recipe is for one serving or several?

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Mess on My Desk

You know...I Try.

I really really do.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

FO's of November

All the above are a drop stitch shawl that I knitted over 3 days. I used Ultra Alpaca from Berocco and Sea Silk from Hand maiden and knitted on 7mm needles. Much like the Clapotis but not diagonal. I needed a quick knit and I got it.

Argyle scarf knit from Hempwol. The white lines were duplicate stitched. I am not sure I like the look but I am sure the recipient will. Next time I knit the lines in.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tis the Season

Unbeknownst to me I have been living with Santa Claus all these years.

Well, he has the white(ish) beard and the rosy cheeks.

I found out what a fortunate person I have been yesterday while Santa and me were having coffee at Starbucks. Also at the coffee shop was a young mother and her children. As they were leaving the middle boy gave Jim a shy look and waved at him. Jim waved back.
I looked in wonder at Jim and all he said was "Santa Claus".

I guess every year at this time young children wave at him on a regular basis. I mean who's to say Santa can't be out having a coffee with the Missus on a Monday Morning. He needs to keep an eye on everybody while the elves are at work.

So far this year he says he has had about 3 children wave at him.

And you know what makes him truly Santa? He waves back with a smile and, so he says, he occasionally gives them a little Ho Ho HO.

Now isn't that the sweetest thing. I love my Santa man!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I am Selkie

Which mythological creature is most like you? (with pics!)
created with
You scored as Selkie

You are rare and wonderful. Your home is the sea. You are graceful and loved by all, you can melt the heart of anyone.









































Monday, November 12, 2007

Aw. Crap.

Aw. Crap.
Originally uploaded by martianknit.

And that is all I have to say.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some Sock Knitting

I have been into some sock knitting lately.

Oh, I still have the other projects on the go but socks it is right now.
First I got an order for some toddler socks to wear under boots. I was given the vague colour direction of "oh...blues and greens..." So I am keeping myself from getting too bored by making some nice stripes. They are knit out of King Cole Anti Tickle DK because the client wanted 100% wool and a heavier weight than sock yarn.

The top ribbing is meant to fold down over the top of the boot.

Then, Lisa picked up some Regia Galaxy for me (this colour #1554). She mentioned a pattern in Magknit October 2007 issue called Rainbow Socks.

I decided to give it a try.

Doesn't the sock look terrible warty to you?

It uses short rows and stresses the importance of purling very tightly. I thought I purled tightly but I still got warts.

Maybe they will fit Kessie?

She doesn't think so.

They have fallen into the frog pond. I am now trying again. I really like the challenge of the pattern and I hope I can make it work this time.

Fingers crossed everyone!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Achy Breaky Facey

I got a tooth extracted this morning. Ouch.

Funny thing.
A woman walked into the store on Saturday wearing a sweater that was very familiar to me.
I had knit it for her about 10 years ago.

The picture is one I took just after it was finshed. It still looked great!

And now the woman is knitting herself!

And shopping at Kniterary.

Now must go lie down.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Escaping SImpson's

It has been almost a month since I last posted.

I have been distracted by Facebook. I have been chatting and tracking down old friends.

Now, I am escaping The Simpson's. I don't know what it is about that show. When I watch it I usually find it amusing but there are times when I am just not in the mood. Today is one of those times. Lucky aren't y'all?

Since the last post my Patrick turned 14. He is turning into a really great young man but I do miss my baby somtimes!

I have been hopping at the store. Jane Ellison came to visit. I have done a class on Felted bowls and one on felted pumpkins. I got a new sign for the shop and magnetic signs for the van. Right now the store is topsy turvey while I am (actually Jim is) re-assembling and actual desk for the office area.

In knitting.....I continue Betty....(big big sigh). I finished the Hallowig from Knitty so I can wear it to my sorority halloween partay.

Crappy picture I know but I didn't want to get flashback. I am going to call the costume "Knit for Brains". Gee I am soo clever!

I am working on a simple shawl with some handspun alpaca I have in the shop. The green was dyed with Lily of the Valley leaves and the brown is the natural colour of an Alpaca.
The top row is an even darker alpaca brown that will finish the shawl. It is lovely and heavy and WARM. I can't wait to cuddle up in it this winter!

Today I was at Alterknits in Toronto to help Lisa celebrate her birthday. I was impressed with the store which has a lovely little cafe area in the front of the shop and a yarn store at the back. I got some good ideas for Kniterary.

That's all I got for now folks!

Be back soon (I hope).

Saturday, October 06, 2007

McMichael Dressup Time

Last Sunday we went on a family outing to the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg. We don't do family outings near enough. It gets much harder when teenagers are striving for Independence.

The most enjoyable part for me was finding out that my children still love to play dress up. Witness the pictures.
It was family day at the Gallery so they had colouring and dress up for the littler children. My goofy teenagers didn't let that get in the way of them hamming it up a bit in the dress up room!

Well I guess it was mainly Patrick.

But Rhea did get into the swing of things too!

After goofing around in the dress up room we went for a walk on the grounds. The gallery is built on a hill at the edge of the Humber River so there was a long walk down and a long walk up.
You can see in this picture the glass walls of the gallery reflecting the sunlight back into the trees that surround it. All hallways and rooms in the gallery have these huge windows that make you feel like you are walking among the trees while enjoying the art.

Half way down we are truly into the forest.

Oh ya and the Robert Bateman show was beautiful. It was amazing to get real close to the paintings and see all the individual brush strokes. We also wandered through the Group of Seven paintings as every real Canadian should do on a regular basis. I was wishing there was some more Emily Carr though.

All of this is fodder for knitting projects. But since I have none of my own to show let me show you what I discovered when I googled Knit Art. I love Autumn in Ontario. It captures these Autumn days perfectly!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Appliances, Stained Glass and Knitting, Oh My.

We broke down this week and bought the house a new fridge (a very large monolith that we bow down to every morning)(with the music of 2004- The Movie- playing behind us)

and a new stove. Look at how shiny and new !!

The old ones were getting scary and close to the end of their life span. We bought the old kitchen appliances when we bought this house. That was 18 years ago! I find it hard to believe that we have been here that long. Even when I lived with my birth family I never stayed in one house longer than 7 years!

The fridge has a bottom freezer. Something that I have wanted for a long time.

Next appliances on the upgrade list....washer and dryer. Hoping for front loading.

This is fianlly up. A stained glass that I designed and started 2 or 3 years ago.
I didn't do the bulk of the actual making of this piece. Stained glass is so not my thing.
But it is my Mother's thing. Thank goodness for that.
With flash. I am loving it! Thanks Mom!

On the knitting front.

I have started to do a series of headbands.
They will serve 3 purposes. 1. To show customers how the yarns look knit up.
2. To experiment with various knit,purl surface textures
3. To sell.

Colinette Iona

Nashua Sitar
I have also done a Noro Transitions one but I am going to redo knitting with the beginning and the end of the ball alternately to get a more even look.

Felted pumkins from Knitty. The large one was done exactly the way the pattern said, in 8 separate pieces and assembled. The smaller one was done all in one piece with decreases and increases at the appropriate places.
Cute eh?

Today the family is off to McMichael Gallery to see the work of Robert Bateman.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stan the Bunny

Meet Stanley.
He is the other pet in our house. I talk about Kessie a fair bit because she is a cute in your face dog who loves to lick!
Stanley gets out to play a couple times a week. Kessie and he have a gay old time running around the living room together. Sometimes Stanley chases Kessie and sometimes they reverse if. Usually Stanley can only take Kessie's attention for short periods of time before he starts getting stressed out though. I think dogs and bunnies are natural enemies so I imagine instinct gets the better of him. Kessie justs wants to play.
When we first got Kessie Stanley was twice the size of her but now it is the other way around. I have tried so hard to get a picture of them together but they are just too fast!

I have knit Stanley a couple of mats that he loves to sleep on. He rearranges them daily! Just a little housekeeping!

Exquisite is moving right along. This bamboo is really sensitive to tension and I find that just a minor variation really pops out at me. I have to knit just a bit more snuggly than is natural to me but but that little extra snugging is helping to keep things more even. Eden Madil is the yarn. It is loosely spun so splits easily. Extra care needed there as well.

September is almost over! Arg!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Colinette Iona

Sometimes knitting up samples for the store is a joy! This pretty hat took approximately 4 hours all together and was sumptuous to knit.
Colinette Iona is a wool/mohair/silk blend. Yummm...

The hat pattern is on the ball band and doesn't even take one whole skein. I am knitting up a small scarf to go with the hat which I will show off tomorrow.

Do you like my display head? I got 2 more like it at Valu Village. For some reason they stock hoards of them around Halloween. What do people do with them? No don't tell me anything gory.

I should give the ladies names but I am not sure if I could tell which one was which. Maybe it should be Blanche 1, Blanche 2 and Blanche 3.

Really too much thought has gone into this idea already. Don't you agree?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

All I want is a Dry Towel!

First I would like to show you this wonderful picture of my teenagers. Don't they look mature and sophisticated?

Would you believe that, as much as I love the picture and know I am going to cherish having it as the years go by, it lies. These are teenagers that irritate and annoy. These are teenagers who have hormones and brain cells flinging all over the place.

The boy teenager is starting to want to be out to all hours. He plans his day with little or no thought about the schedule of the family that lives with him. He has Lo-o-o-ng showers every morning using at least 3 towels to dry off.

The girl teenager has started dating. (gulp) She spends many days avoiding me or grunting at me and then thinks I should sit and listen gleefully when she is happy that she was asked out for a date. (I listened and I was).

I have started following her out of the room when she turns around and walks away from me while I am talking. Maybe she will realize that it is just easier to stay and listen once instead of having me follow her around the house.

And now!!! For the latest in exasperation she hoards all the towels that the teenage boy has not used in her room (which by the way is wall to wall laundry).

Ah yes, this Mother cannot just grab a dry bath towel when I want to have a relaxing bath because:

1. there are 4 wet bath towels in the bathroom

2. no bath towels in the linen closet

3. there are 6 (yes 6) bath towels on the floor of the teenage daughter's room. Some are on the bottom layer, some in the middle layer and 1 on the top layer. AND!!!way back in the corner is the red towel that I have been missing for months now and actually have sent her into her room to look for it.

Jim has learned to deal with the problem of disappearing towels by always hanging his on his hook on his side of the bed. (he allowed me to use it today)

I find it slightly annoying that Patrick uses so many towels. But he does leave them in the bathroom and usually hangs them up. Rhea, on the other hand, hoards the wet towels in her bedroom on the carpet. I find completely and absolutely annoying!

I take on the responsibility to at least once a week remove all the towels etc... from the bathroom to wash them. The towels that Patrick uses get washed regularly. Both children wash their own clothes so I do not go into their rooms to gather laundry.

I can deal with what Patrick does but I can't deal with what Rhea does.

Jim altered his ways to get around it. I feel that Rhea should be expected to change her ways to accommodate the workings of the family. Either hang up her towels in the bathroom so they can get washed and dried and put away, or, choose one towel that is her towel and treat it as she wants.

Is it too much to ask? One dry towel?

I have asked the father to talk to her because I am quite wired about it. Probably unreasonably so. (PMS I am sure)

The score so far:

Rhea 6

Patrick 4

Jim 1

Martina 0

All I want is a dry towel!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday Morning Sky

This sky just blew me away this morning. I felt like I was looking at the surface of another planet.
It was at 7:00 AM when I was letting Kessie out.

Doesn't it look sort of other worldly?

I forgot to show every one the yarn that my father and his wife brought back for me from their trip to Regina.

Beautiful hand dyed Australian wool from Hawthorne Cottage Yarns.

Hawthorne Cottage Yarns
PO Box 102
Sebastopol, Victoria 3356
+61 (53) 356 057
fax: +61 (53) 362 820
Owner: Sue Flynn
Hawthorne Cottage is Sue Flynn's design and manufacturing business specialising in excellent and rare English Leicester soft spun yarns in changing ranges of colours. Sue also designs for Willabaa Wool of Ballarat. She produces knitted garments and kits in traditional knitting and indigenous Australian themes of her own development or supplied by local Koorie artist Rubina Burgoyne. Sue's agent in USA is Carrol Woolcock of The Mannings Studio, East Berlin, Pennsylvania, Phone +1 (717) 624 2223. In Australia the nearest supplier of Sue's work is Tanybrin Gallery, Skene's Creek Road, Otway Mountains, Victoria, Phone 052 376 271. Sue has built on her family farming experiences with a merino stud and fashion design studies to become an accomplished weaver, spinner, dyer and designer. She has recently bought a sock machine to add to her range of yarns and patterns. Kits of English Leicester wool and indigenous Australian design themes should be available in USA.

I am knitting a hat with it because the gift came with a pattern for one. I think that the Elsbeth Lavold Classic AL (which came with the gift) was supposed to be knit up withthe Hawthorne cottage yarn but I didn't like how it looked. So, I am knitting it solo. I like how it is looking. Pictures upon completion.

Jim and I spent all day yesterday at Patrick's soccer tournament. They did really well and won every game except the last one which means they ended up in second place. It is probably where they belong since the team they were playing never lost a game all season and Patrick's lost 2 (I think). But the game was very frustrating for a parent to watch because the ref was not calling a fair game. He was showing favoritism to the other team. He was only calling the aggressive play penalties against our team and the other team seemed to able to get away with everything. I was loud and obnoxious. I don't usually get riled up at games but I really wanted to have a good little yell at the ref. A lot of good it would do though. It was as if it had been decided that the other team was supposed to win it all because they had the best season.

Must admit though that we handed them their only loss in the previous game. In retrospect that feels good.

I feel bad because it wasn't the other teams fault and I feel mad at them too. But really it would have been better for them to win fairly. They must realize that the game was not fair and that must niggle.

Ok Soccer Mom is going away now.

Got to get ready for my morning mall walk with Jim

Monday, September 03, 2007


It all started with a bag of Bamboo. Eden Madil Bamboo.
I thought, "Hey, this will be such an easy knit!" After all the slogging I am still doing through Betty it really did seem like a quick knit.

I cast on 133 sts. I ribbed for 22 rows. Easy so far right.

Then I started the next row. The row where there are decreases and the slowley decreasing V of rib starts working its way up the back.

Now counted only 131 stitches.
Oh I can fudge around it.
Then read the instructions wrong.
It is ((k4,k2tog) 5 times...not K4 (k2tog)5 times.
tink back row.
Do again properly. Should have 123 sts.
Hmm don't.

Exquiste. Just Exquisite.

It was suppose to be a no brainer.
I put it down and concentrated on watching the history of Saturday Night Live.
Now it is morning.
I feel like an amateur knitter! I can't let it kick my butt! I am gearing up. I will overcome.

I have thrummed my first mitten. It ain't pretty but it was easier than I thought it would be. Second mitt may be coming up later today too.

Exquisite Hibiscus flower.
Some things survive just fine if they are left alone. As with this Hibiscus. I have been neglecting my garden horribly this summer.
I had given this plant up for dead.
I was ok with that because it came from my last boss's Mother. If it was going to die I would have that horrible work experience out of my life forever.
It was not to be.
Out popped not one but two beautiful flowers.

Perhaps a reminder to remember the good things about the last 6 years.

I'll take it.

And move on just a little bit more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


He is finally done!!! The poncho named Trigger (who wanted to be a horse).

Trigger is riding off without Betty but he will meet Betty today. I still haven't blocked Trigger so into the shop he goes to get his training. I think I will let him pasture at the shop while I finish Betty and then I will let them go out for a ride.

I am not sure how I am going to display Trigger. I would love to have a Judy right now (not you Judy but a dressmaker Judy)

When it gets cool enough it will be a fabulous garmet to quickly toss on.

Material: Rowan Summer Tweed (silk/cotton)
9 - 50 gr balls (could have used a 10th) (shade:525)
Comments: It took me a year to knit mostly because I kept getting sidetracked by other
projects. I also did not enjoy the feel of this yarn. It has that kind of sticky
squeaky feel that silk can have. If I wanted the same look for another garment I
would look around for an alternate. I like the way it looks and hangs. I could have
used a 10th ball because the collar was supposed to be 20cm. I got it to 15 cms and
then edged in a similar colour Svale (Dalegarn colour:5403).

It feels good to get one of my long drawn out projects completed. Now on to the others.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Betty and Trigger

This is the story of Betty and Trigger. You may think that they are a girl and her pony.

But. They are not.

Betty is the cardigan that I am working on in the shop for a client. The back is nearly done. It looks like a big beige blob.

When you get close to the big beige blob you can see there are colours like blue, rust and green flecked through it. The yarn is Gedifra English Tweed cashmere, angora and wool.
And discontinued. (sorry) (There are 2 other colours in stock and when they are gone that's it!) .

.The big beige blob Betty is taking an amazingly long time to knit because
(1) row 1:make 2 stitches in each stitch; row 2 :K2tog. P2tog.
(2) 5 minutes a row (see above)
(3) my left pointer finger keeps wanting to push the needle back through the stitches and keeps getting sore - I take many breaks
(4) 5 minutes a row
(5) sometimes I have trouble motivating myself to do it (procrastination?)

It will look stunning when it is done.

Trigger is a Rowan Summer Tweed Poncho. I got the yarn last summer when I was working at another knitting store and getting paid in yarn. I started it last summer. Will I finish it this summer?

It now looks like 2 large mauve triangular blobs. Until recently it was only one triangle.

It is taking me a long time to knit because
(1) I have procrastinated
(2)I found other things to knit
(3) I purchased a knitting store 6 months ago
(4) I have procrastinated

See that little ball of yarn sitting at the bottom of the picture? That is all that I have left. I still need to seam up the poncho and make the fold over turtle neck. I don't think that I am going to have enough. I wonder if the other (or any other) knitting store has just one more skein I can buy? 'Cause if they don't I will have to buy a whole bag of it.

Trigger gets a close up just because Betty got one. One has be fair.

So far Betty and Trigger have never met. They exist in two separate parts of my life. Once they are done I think that I should have Betty ride off into the sunset on Trigger singing "Happy Trails to you"

Hi Ho Silver!