happy new year!

It’s 2013!  If I go back through my archives I’ve been blogging since September 2004.  In September 2014 I’ll have been blogging for 10 years.  Whoa.

It’s a new year, and instead of making resolutions to DO, I’m making resolutions to TRY.

I’m going to TRY to blog more.  I’m going to TRY to knit for ME.  I’m going to TRY to publish more patterns, or at least let you know about ones that have been published.  (Did any of you know I’ve got a pattern in the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Issue?  Didn’t think so).

We started the new year off right by doing something different.  We took a family vacation!  Plattsburgh, NY is under 2 hours away, and there’s a hotel there with lots of activities for the kids.


(ps that tarp isn’t because of any leak- they were getting ready to fill it with balloons to drop at midnight on NYE)

There are good restaurants in the area and right near a 24 hour Walmart, a Sally’s Beauty Supply, a Michael’s… 😀


We drove down with 5 other families that have kids about the same ages, and in the hotel were other groups of 2-5 families that we all knew, so we were always around friends.  We did a lot of shopping, a lot of socializing and I even managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting while the boys watched TV as we changed for dinner.


I worked on my fun fur vest…no pics yet ‘cus I keep forgetting to take one.

Speaking of shopping in the States…the shopping carts for when out with kids are awesome!  If the store doesn’t have a double-seater cart, my boys have to take turns walking, or scrounge around for one of the few carts with a car attached to the front.  But checkit the carts at Price Chopper:


Awesome no?



Rhinebeck Rhecap, Part 1:

Maaike and I drove down to Woodstock in the afternoon of the Thursday before the festival.  We left early because Maaike was registered for a class on Friday on spinning exotic fibers.  That meant one thing- I had a day to myself to roam free in Woodstock!

Our inn was right in the heart of the Woodstock village, and it was amazing.  To a tourist, at least, it feels like an artist’s community right in the middle of a forest, complete with bubbling stream and rushing waterfall.  I LOVED it.

To save money we took a room with a shared hall bath.  Our room was lovely, quaint and welcoming.  My favorite part of the room was the top drawer of the dresser which held journals that had been filled in by previous occupants of the room.  It was so sweet to look through the memories that other people had made in that same spot.

After meeting a few other guests at our inn who were also there for Rhinebeck, I went out for my walk.  Unfortunately it was clear that almost nothing would be open for another hour or two so I took advantage of the time to grab some breakfast at the Oriole9, a restaurant that had free wifi.  (Our inn did offer a continental breakfast, but my tastebuds have been majorly screwed up since the tonsillectomy, and I can’t really eat much.  Sweets, dairy and the like taste the worst, and the continental breakfast was muffins, fruit and yogurt…so that was out).

I’m not posting all the photos here, but there was so much to see and photograph in Woodstock.

Everywhere you’d look you’d find tie dye, peace signs and other “typical Woodstock” trappings.  You’d think it would get overdone or theatrical after a while- but it never did.  It just seemed to make sense.

Across the street from our inn was one especially colorful shop:

The black figures in the center of the photo are 2 life-sized Blues Brothers sculptures, posed reclining in patio chairs.

After setting out for my walk I passed two stores then the street meandered over a bridge.  I looked down to see a beautiful rushing stream, and then a few more stores later I followed an alleyway to suddenly come across this waterfal feeding the stream.  It was just perfect.

I forgot I can’t rotate photos in WordPress…so let’s just all hold our heads to the right, m’kay?  🙂  In the heart of the main street was a little community center that had some colorful sculptures around.  This blue park bench had hearts on either side with this peace symbol and hand in the center.  It was just the thing to hold my Rhinebeck Travelling WIP (which was finished 2 days after we got back- more on it later).

As if it weren’t enough to randomly come across streams and sculptures, there was also “found art” everywhere, like a peace sign drawn into the sidewalk concrete, or another peace sign made out of broken bits of motherboards and little round stones found on a garden ledge.  Along the way I also found this guitar carved into someone’s fence.

When I left Oriole9 I went over to the Tea Shop hoping to find some of the same tea I’d had with my breakfast.  They didn’t have it, but I did buy sample sizes of 6 other flavors; the Cream Earl Gray has since become my new favorite.

I didn’t buy much else during my walk- just a polished gemstone to add to my collection, and these two VW vans for the boys:

That evening Maaike and I met up after her class and headed down for an amazing dinner at The Red Onion.  (It must have been good if I enjoyed it even with my silly tastebuds).  It was a beautiful steakhouse with low candle light and black & white photographs of nude women on the walls.  (Those two things don’t seem to go together, but it was very tasteful…no pun intended!)

We finished our night back at the inn, knitting in the lounge with the other Rhinebeck women there.

Getting back to the present, it’s been more of the same around here.  Every night I’ve been working on getting my pattern ready for publication.  It’s getting close…I have hopes to maybe mail it off on Monday.

I spent the day home with Henri who seems to be fighting a gastro.  I don’t like when my kids are sick, but I’m not sorry about getting an extra day to stay home cuddling with him.  I do feel really bad for the poor kid, though- he threw up again tonight right as I was about to put him to bed, and I had to put him in his crib (his pjs were still clean) so I could clean up the floor.  I had the lights on, and kept going in and out of the room to get more paper towels and floor cleaner, etc, and then I looked over and my little fireball of energy- the kid who never sits still or stays put- had laid himself down on his stomach and closed his eyes.  It was heartbreaking.

I can’t work on anything important while Henri’s awake because I keep my focus on him, especially today when I was always on the lookout for signs he was about to throw up (so I could protect our couch, etc).  So while we were watching a new Diego DVD I’d picked up, I started the first Ravenna Mitt.  I think it will be cute, but will have to try on the completed mitt to see if it is right to give all the teachers at the daycare.

And now the kids are both asleep and I’ve had what little I can stomach as supper (toast.  all I eat is toast.  all I can taste is salt.  this kinda is annoying) and am going to do more math, more calculations and more tweaking to get the pattern to look and sound just right.


webs part deux

I can’t show you my actual knitting, but it hit me the other day that I never finished my WEBS story, and never showed you the new additions to the stash. It’s a little late to recap the story, since I don’t remember much…but I’ll try.

After the Harlot event Maaike and I went back to WEBS to do our shopping. I was so tempted to go utterly crazy- I wanted yarn for so many different projects! But I resisted. With one exception, I made myself promise to only buy sweater-quantities, and only for myself. Before leaving I’d printed out the yardage requirements for a few items in my Ravelry queue, and I was able to get stuff that would actual work, instead of having cool yarn and trying to find a good project for it.
It’s about time I show you, no?
First up is some Jaeger Aqua Cotton. It’s 100% mercerized cotton in a rich, chocolate-brown color. I bought it to make a silky-look lacy tank top.
This Araucania Nature Wool Chunky is 100% wool. I bought it to make a heavy jacket-esque sweater. The color shift is so subtle but there really is a lot of depth to the color.

This Ironstone New Wool called out to me. I had finished my shopping and was leaving the warehouse when I spotted it- and it made me stop. For 4 years I have had a sketch of a sweater in my head, and this was the exact yarn I’d “made up” for it. I’ve never seen it before, and I couldn’t resist it.
I cheated a little with the Valley Yarns Monterey. I needed something for a scarf project I want to design, and not only was the yardage crazy, I couldn’t pass up the colors.
It’s a 50% cotton/50% wool with 322 y/skein. !!! If you can’t tell how huge that is, here is a normal-sized deck of cards with them, for scale.
This Iceland yarn by Madil is either black or a deep smokey gray. It’s 100% machine washable wool, and I think I’d bought it to knit a Rogue. Either Rogue, or another sweater.
Finally, we have some Valley Yarns Shelburne. It’s a 45% wool/30% acrylic/25% alpaca bulky yarn. I love the deep coral-red shade, and also plan to use this for a sweater for myself.
With our shopping complete (and wallets lighter!) we decided to start our drive back right away. It was already almost 6pm (I think, this was a few months ago now) and it was a good 5 hour drive if we didn’t get lost. I drove and drove and drove, and it was pretty uneventful, until we got hungry and decided to stop for supper.
American highways aren’t like Canadian ones. Yes, you have better roads, but we have better rest stops. Maybe it was just our route, but I never saw a single big, lit up rest stop complexe like we have all over here, with at least 2 restaurants, a convenience store and gas station. The few places we did see were few and far between, so when we saw a small sign saying the next one would be the last for a while, we decided to stop.
It was already late, and quite dark out. The exit had us go backwards in a circle for about 3 miles before opening onto what looked like it was probably a large flea market site during the day. At night it was deserted and pitch black, with the exception of a diner at one end of the lot. The part of the diner where patrons sit was shaped, from the outside, like a “traditional” diner, almost like a rounded, silver capsule. It was butted up against a log cabin, so you walk into the cabin’s front door and the bar and kitchen of the diner were part of the log cabin, that also had a more formal restaurant within. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the town we were in, but if I saw it I’d know in a second.
In any case, we sat down and were given menus, and I joked to Maaike that the way the “locals” (I assumed they were locals) turned to look at us when we sat down, I felt like we were in a horror movie. One of those Stephen King things where it turns out everyone in the diner is dead and it’s their ghosts, or something. We had a good laugh, although it really was creepy, especially since it was so black outside and you could barely see out the windows.
I tried sending a text message to my parents and Yannick to let them know we were stopping, and wouldn’t you know it, but there was no cell signal in the diner! I left Maaike at the table and went outside. I had to get about 4 car lengths from the diner before I picked up a signal, so there I was in the dark, in an empty field, holding my phone up to the stars and watching over my shoulder to make sure I could still see Maaike in the window- now I REALLY felt like I was in a horror movie!
Finally my cell told me the text message couldn’t go through because there was no digital signal around. I gave up and made my way quickly to the door to get back into the light…
…and the door was locked. The front door to the diner, with Maaike inside, was locked. From where the door was, you can’t see the diner area, just the lobby. I was banging and banging, and peering through the small window, seeing NOBODY. I swear I banged on the door for a good 5 minutes, which is a LONG time when you are scared out of your wits in a dark, deserted empty field and separated from the only person you know. In my head the movie camera panned out, so I could see both me, banging on the door futely, and Maaike, being attacked by the zombie ghosts inside.
Finally the busboy came to the door, and in the strangest thing I’d been asked all year, looked at me and asked “were you inside already?” I think I just nodded and ran inside and back to Maaike. (Who was fine and not eaten by zombies).

We ended up having an okay meal, followed by an uneventful drive home. But boy will I never forget that diner!