This March we went to visit some friends in Alexandria, Virginia again. They are so good to have us. It is such a wonderful place to visit. Of course I had to stop by Fibre Space and do a little shopping. As I snapped this picture of my daughter in front of the store I recalled I took a picture in the same spot 2 years previously. Here is Bea at age 8.
I am wayyyy behind in posting anything here, but hope to get caught up shortly with some new FOs and some new yarn to share.
Orbit came to us on Canada Day, July 1, 1999. We already had our hands full with a 65 pound terrier we had adopted from the SPCA the previous year, and I was not looking for a second dog. Orbit was found wandering around on the train bridge downtown trying to follow people home. we searched for his owners, called the vet clinics and the SPCA, but no one claimed him. He had had a rough start and was significantly underweight, not neutered, and had not received any kind of training but he was a quick study. He was terrified of men and brooms for quite some time, but he came around fairly quickly. Our vet said Orbit was between 3 and 5 years of age (in 1999!).
So he stayed, and worked his way into our lives, and into our hearts very deeply. He became my biggest fan, and I his. Orbit was that dog who never really needed a leash, he listened so well, and was extremely well behaved in the house, too. I can take no credit for his behaviour. He just came that way. Quiet, laid back and sometimes a bit reserved, Orbit was always easy to please. Cross country skiing, at the beach, out for a long hike or having a lazy day on the couch. As long as he was with his family, he was happy and satisfied. That is one of the wonderful things about pets; they remind us that the best things in life aren’t things. Orbit had a nice long life that was healthy until about 6 months ago. He was fed table scraps daily, and slept on my bed. No regrets. He was great company. Thanks for all the wonderful years and memories, Orbit. You are missed!
I am really enjoying the Yarn Harlot’s posts and Christmas gift ideas for knitters. It made me think about my favourite knitterly things that I received in 2011. My number one fave is my set of Addi Clicks with the lace tips. This is a set of interchangable needles and cables that range from 3.5 mm to 8.0 mm with a variety of differing cable lengths. These tips are so nice and pointy, and the join to the cables is incredibly . I highly recommend them. Mine are from Cricket Cove, and they are also available in regular tips. See how pointy? Love!
My second favourite knitterly item of the year was my first yarn club…a birthday gift from some knowledgable and dear friends. I was enrolled in the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club. Every other month I received a skein of Tanis’ sock yarn and a pattern. I had no idea how fun it would be getting this in the mail. I am hooked and am joining for 2012! Here are a couple of my favourites from 2011:
My third fave of 2011 is my Tom Bihn Swift bag in cork. I have been an admirer of these bags for years, and this year I finally took the plunge and snagged one for myself. Made in the Seattle from quality materials, one of my favourite things about this bag is the sock bags that came with it: Ripstop nylon with a see through bottom. That and the bag stands upright on its own:
How cool is that? Oh, by the way…the yarn peeping out from the bottom is Little Red Bicycle Boneshaker sock in a lovely colour called Vixen. I am making caret + chevron socks from the last Sockupied (Fall 2011). This my third pair of socks knit with BFL (blue-faced Leicester) and I am seriously in love with this type of wool. Happy knitting everyone.
I was fortunate enough to attend KnitEast this past weekend in beautiful St. Andrews, New Brunswick. A friend called it a Knitting Superbowl for New Brunswick…well said! I managed to swing a sock class on Saturday with Cat Bordhi and a lace class with Stephanie McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) on Sunday. Stephanie also gave a highly entertaining talk on Saturday night, which was followed by a fashion show. Other teachers at KnitEast included Veronik Avery, Lucy Neatby and Jane Thornley.
My head is still reeling from all the information I absorbed on the weekend. These were not classes for beginner knitters. Stephanie called the latter part of our class on Sunday, getting into the realm of “Black Ops knitting”. Some of these charts were not for the faint of heart.
Good friends, great knitters and some stash enhancement opportunities….a great weekend that I will always remember. Here are some pics from the weekend.
A picture of a cowl/shawlette exchange that I helped CelticCaston organize. The projects were gorgeous! So were the knitters
A moment to put our feet up on the rooftop patio of the Algonquin hotel.
Cat Bordhi was every bit as charming as her books. And a wonderful teacher to boot.
I was so thrilled to spend a day listening to Cat…she was so patient as she helped all of us fit our socks using her methods.
We knit all day!
The evening talk with the Yarn Harlot was hilarious. I enjoyed her, well, I guess I would call it knitting stand up comedy, immensely. Yes, that is beer in front of her. Yes, this is the Maritimes
The Algonquin Hotel has been rumoured to be the inspiration for the hotel from The Shining by Stephen King ( it’s not, that is a hotel in Colorado in the movie called The Stanley Hotel). Anyway, it is still spooky and dim in the old parts of the hotel at night. Redrum!
I learned so much in Stephanie’s class. It was truly amazing. She brought some of her lovely projects, too. I could listen to that woman talk all day, and I did!
And of course, Cricket Cove put on a lovely market, which I had difficulty leaving empty handed each and every time I walked through. Below is a pure wool yarn made especially for KnitEast by the Fleece Artist in the colourway elderberry.I hope there will be a KnitEast again in the near future. Maybe in a couple of years so I can knit through some of my new stash:D
A Christmas Story
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted. “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”
“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.
“Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.
“Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.
I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.
For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.
Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he had no coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
“Yes,” I replied shyly. “It’s .. for Bobby.”
The nice lady smiled at me. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and write, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it — Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa’s helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were…ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside – $19.95.
“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus!… There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this “ ~ Francis P. Church
Merry Christmas to all!