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Crafty Compilation – w/e 01/13/17

Last week felt so productive, and yet I don’t have much in terms of photos to show for it (yet).  The primary reason for that is because those pics are being saved for individual posts, so here’s what else happened:


  • Sierra Socks

I looked at my records and they showed I started these in July 2015.  I thought that was a typo until I remembered I’d been knitting them during the Neil Patrick Harris gala with Maaike during the Just For Laughs festival…in 2015.  D’oh.  Guess I haven’t been carrying my travel knitting around with me as much as I should have been.


(Photographic evidence of when the first sock was but a wee babe)photo-2017-01-16-8-42-09-pm

It’s always so satisfying when the strips line up perfectly.


I do make note to cast on each sock at the same place in the yarn’s repeat, so it should line up… but there’s always the chance of finding something a bit ‘off’.  (Though I suppose that’s more of an issue with hand-dyed yarns vs machine-dyed commercial yarns like Regia).


I’ve worked on them off and on over the year and finally cast off the last stitch last week.  Now my travel bag is free to take on a new pair of socks.  🙂

Other Crafts

Over the holidays we’d received this Create A Treat Hanukkah House set from my mom.  The decorating was done right before New Years’, but this week I finally threw out the remaining pieces after the boys finally got to smash it to gobble it up, so I figured I’d share some of the decorating process.

They had a really good time decorating it!  Yannick and I took turns applying the icing in small sections, and then the boys took turns putting candy on before the icing had set.


Going in, I was doubtful that there’d be enough…of anything, really.  I fully expected to run out of icing and had a small tub of Wilton’s Fluffy White on standby just in case.  I’d also opened up about 20 packs of Rockets (if you’re Canadian…’Smarties’ if you’re American) into a little bowl but honestly I needn’t have bothered.

There was so much leftover icing that I was able to cover the entire board the house was icing-glued to, and even blob it up to make small bushes.  I used up all the leftover snowflakes to cover the ‘ground’ but still have nearly half the little blue candies.  I included it in this post because while we didn’t DECORATE it during this week… we did SMASH AND EAT IT muahahahahaha.  It was surprisingly tasty…for a cookie that had been sitting in a box for who knew how long and then on our table exposed to the air for about two weeks!

  • 3Doodler Start

Photo 2017-01-14, 5 13 06 PM.jpg

Henri received this 3D pen for his birthday, and we spent a fun afternoon trying it out.  I’ve got a full review about it coming, and will update this post once it’s up.

EDIT: here it is, almost 6 full years later!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means I might make a small commission on purchases made through the links, at no cost to you.



Apparently nothing I said last time came true.  Not only did I not tell you about Henri the next day, but I didn’t do the swatches I’d said either.  That night.  So here goes.

You might remember that  few weeks ago Henri had a horrible cough.  Then it turned into bronchitis and an ear infection.  He was ok for about 5 days (while I was home sick), then he had a fever, but no other real symptoms other than a cold, while Jakob had strep.  Then he was ok again for about a week.

Saturday the 17th we went out for dinner to Steak Frites with Yannick’s family, and were in the “party room” in the back.  I thought Henri’s cheeks looked flush and he felt a bit warm, but I attributed it to the closed-in room.  He was acting fine, so I didn’t think he was sick.  Sunday he was fine, but a bit flushed in the evening too.  Same thing Monday and Tuesday- fine in the morning, but reddish cheeks and a bit warm to the touch at bedtime.  On Wednesday the daycare was going to the cabane à sucre (sugar shack), both boys’ classes were going, and Yannick was going too, along with some other parents we know.  Wednesdays are my morning to sleep in, so Yannick got up with the kids to get them ready, and even though I was in bed all I could hear was Henri coughing.  Non-stop.  I got up and went to check on him- he didn’t feel warm, but his cheeks were still flushed and he couldn’t get through a few words without coughing.  But his attitude was great.  I gave him his blue puffer (Ventolin) and we decided he’d be ok to go on the trip since Yannick would be with him, but he’d keep in touch with me, and if needed they’d be back by 3:00pm and I could book an evening appointment at the doctor to get him checked out.

The only texts I received all day were “feverish”, “lethargic and can’t stop coughing”, and “he’s not good”.  I got him a 5:30 appointment at our clinic, and left work in time to go meet Yannick and the kids at the daycare and switch the kids into my car so Yannick could get to work.  I brought them home for a bit to play then we went to the doctor.  By this point Henri had 101.8 F fever, was very lethargic and LOOKED like he was having trouble breathing.  His breaths were coming fast and quick, the hollows in his neck were sucking crazy deep with his breathing, and he couldn’t talk and breathe at the same time, so every time he tried to talk he sounded like he was drowning.  It was kinda scary, except that his attitude was amazing- smiling, happy and silly.

At the doctor he was put on a Ventolin mask right away, which was the first time that’s ever happened.  He’s always been ok with just the puffer/chamber “as needed”, and the orange puffer (Flo-vent) only when the doctors told us to use it.  He was checked again after 10 minutes after the mask, and he sounded a bit better, but his lungs didn’t sound the same, and she thought he might have pneumonia but she couldn’t tell.  She suggested that I bring him to the Children’s Hospital for an xray.  (It was 6:15pm and all local clinics with xray machines were closed).  Before going to the hospital, though, she wanted me to fill an rx for Prednisolone that would work faster than his orange puffer.  Luckily my mom was free to come watch Jakob, so I brought the kids home, changed into something more comfortable, gave Henri a light supper, put him in his pjs, then drove down to the pharmacy then hospital.  We got there around 8pm.

With kids and breathing they don’t play around, and it wasn’t long before we were seated in the asthma wing.  I’d heard about it from Yannick (his first girlfriend had bad asthma and they’d often gone to the Children’s for her) and from a friend whose son has asthma, but had never been there myself.  Every doctor could see just from glancing at Henri’s neck that he was really struggling to breathe.  They took xrays and said he showed a light pneumonia on one side, and listening to his chest showed wheezing.

It was a long night, but to sum up: we were in the asthma wing reclining chairs until 4:30am.  They’d kept checking his oxygen levels with the finger monitor, and he wasn’t getting enough in.  You’re supposed to have over 100 saturation (or something), but when you’re sick they will accept it between 92-100.  When we got there he was at 96, then he went to 94, then 92.  At that point they kept checking and when he got down to 87 they said he’d need oxygen.  They put the tube in his nose then checked again and he was back to 92, but after removing it he dropped again right away.  After another attempt at removing the O2 they decided we’d need to be admitted.  Plus he was still wheezing this whole time, and getting Ventolin masks every 45 minutes.

At 4:30am they finally got us a bed in the short-stay unit, oh- and Henri was STILL up.  It was nuts- he didn’t ask for food or drink, he just lay in my arms watching Dora on the bedside dvd player, just lying there, occasionally talking back to answer Dora.  He slept for about an hour in the bed, I got about 2 hours in 10 minute bursts while holding him.  He was finally able to get the O2 tubes taken out at 11am, and by 3pm, after having received 1 dose of Prednisolone, 2 doses of antibiotics (in case the pneumonia was bacterial) and 8 Ventolin masks, he FINALLY stopped wheezing and I was allowed to bring him home.

That night and all of Friday were complete blurs as both of us tried to sleep as much as possible.  Last Monday (the 26th, 5 days after we were at the hospital) we had a follow-up with his pediatrician to see how he was doing.  Well, his fever was gone, but he was still wheezing.  We had to put him back on the Flo-vent puffer for the whole following week and go back in a week…which was today.  He was fine all week, though OBNOXIOUSLY hyper thanks to all the Ventolin.  Oh. My. God. is the kid hyper.  It’s insane.  Anyways, he’s no longer wheezing, so that’s good.  I still have to keep him on the puffer for 1 more week to make sure he stays clear, but at least this seems to be over.

If you needed proof that he’s fine, here’s a quick pic from last week.  Two happy, mostly-healthy brothers.  🙂

And here’s another one of my little music man, just hanging out, strumming his guitar and feeling the groove.

(I love this photo- he looks like a little hippie, or garage-rocker!)

So the first week I didn’t post was just ‘cus I had nothing to share, either home or knitting wise, then the last two weeks were just spent taking care of the kids.  At night I was too tired to do anything, even watch tv.  I didn’t get those swatches done any night last week at all.

But they are done!

Saturday night Jakob had a birthday party at McDonald’s for a kid in his class, so I dropped Henri off at my parents’ house for some one-on-one time and took Jakob to the party.  I stayed, and chatted with the other moms while he ran around and played and ate.  And while I chatted, my hands were busy under the table knitting on the swatch.  (I swear, I don’t even think anyone else noticed, not a single person asked what I was doing).

I finished the stockinette stitch part but didn’t have my sock yarn with me to cast on for my March/April socks so instead I just kept going on the swatch.  I switched to garter stitch and did a chunk in that so I could see how it blocks out.

That afternoon I’d swatched the blue ribbon yarn, but found it too crunchy to have on its own.  Mixing it with other yarns, though, worked perfectly.  A few years ago my LYS had a bulky yarn called Summer on sale.  There wasn’t enough of either white or navy to make myself a sweater, so I bought all they had of both colors and planned to use it together sometime.  That time is now.  (LOL).  Now that I have more yardage to account for, a new Ravelry search found me the PERFECT pattern, Flugel from the Knitty Deep Fall 2011.  Unfortunately I ripped my swatch back so I could cast on, so I can’t show it to you.

We spent the day up north yesterday, which meant I had 1.75 hours of drive time each way.  On the way up I cast on for my March/April socks, using the Regia Canadian colors from my stash.  My best quick-Google attempt found that this yarn is apparently called “Admiral”…so either we’ve got a new Canadian province, or it just refers to something Maritime-y.  Either way, blue is my favorite color and I love blue and cream together, so these will be for me.  I did the toe just so I can have it ready at the mindless-stockinette-stitch-can-knit-in-the-dark part.

I didn’t knit on the way home, because the roads sucked and I was too nervous to not watch.  Call me crazy, but if we’re going to get into an accident, god forbid, I want to see it coming- not be blindsided.  I don’t know how that makes sense though…but I get too uncomfortable to not watch the roads, not like as a passenger I can do anything though!

I had made Flugel progress that afternoon watching the big golf game with my inlaws while Henri napped, but I’m going to rip it out today and start fresh.

First of all, it’s too big.  I’m using a 5.5mm for the body to get the pattern gauge with my yarn.  I should have used a 4.5mm for the ribbing but couldn’t find one before I left so grabbed a 5mm.  I don’t like it- it’s too floppy.  And since I’m starting over, I’m going to modify the pattern.

The sweater is supposed to be knit in the round until the underarms, then flat for the fronts and the back, then seamed at the top and bottom of the sleeves (kind of like the Einstein jacket).  I’d already decided to change that and graft them to avoid the bulky seams.  Instead of doing the stair-step bind-offs on the tops of the arms I’m going to use short rows to keep all the stitches live and graft them shut.  I’ll have to pick up stitches to graft the underarms, but I still think that will be less bulky than seaming.

My biggest mod is that I am now going to knit the body flat instead of in the round.  My plan for my 3 yarns is to knit 6 rows white, 1 row navy, 1 row ribbon.  I can use the “slip-first-stitch” method for the white to avoid a jog where the colors change, but with only 1 row of navy and ribbon, it’s harder to avoid a jog when beginning each round.  I’m going to avoid it altogether by working flat and having all my yarn ends be at the sides, to be hidden in the seams.  By seaming the sides it gives it a bit more stability and structure which is good when knitting with a heavy yarn, plus I can control matching up the sides so the stripes match with no jog.  Win-win!


celery socks

Still the same.  Still coughing.  Yannick drove the boys in this morning, and my mom was nice enough to pick up the boys for me today so I didn’t have to go out and pick them up.  I spent the day in my pjs, slept a bit, and got some knitting done.

I finished the Celery socks!

So as I’d said previously, this is Knit Picks’ Bare sock yarn that I hand-dyed in self-striping shades of green.

I’d used most of it for my mom’s woven scarf (my first woven project) and these socks used up all but 1 yard of the leftovers.  (Yay for scales!)

My latest “usual” sock pattern- figure 8 cast on, toe up socks, short row heel, modified to have a patterned leg instead of just stockinette stitch.  No ribbing, about 5 garter ridges instead.


more of the same

Not much new to report today.  Still coughing, still spending daytime hours sleeping because I’m not getting very much of it done at night.

Jakob asked me to share this photo of him and Snoopy…it was an old McDonald’s toy that had stickers for the eyes but we lost them, so today he told me he was going to draw on eyes.  I don’t know why he used red, but we used washable markers so now he can change Snoopy’s look whenever he wants.

Thank goodness I’ve got well-behaved kids, who are especially observant when someone isn’t well, and are really sweet and considerate.  They know I haven’t been feeling well and have been really good about playing quietly in the small amount of time between supper and bed.  Tonight they ignored the tv in favor of reading books.

I know these pics aren’t anything extraordinary, but there’s just something about cute kids in turtlenecks and jeans that gets me- it’s like they’re 2 little beatniks or something.

I got a bit more knitting done today.  Since the socks won’t actually be finished in February, at least I know that I should be finishing the socks tomorrow.  A day or two into March isn’t bad, and that’s my first pair of socks of the year, done.  If I keep up this KAL I should at least end up with 6 pairs of socks knit this year.


back in time

I spent today living in the future.  No really- my watch didn’t recognize that it was a leap day, so all day long I’d refer to it and it said “March 1st”.  I sent a happy birthday email a day early, bugged Yannick to work on some school stuff with an imminent deadline…all stuff based on the wrong date.  Oy.

As you can see I only got a few more sock rows done.  If it came down to a trade-off of “take inhaler” vs “knit”, breathing comfortably (or as much as possible) won, hands-down.  I’m dying to lie down but every time I even incline slightly it triggers a mad cough attack, so I’m still sleeping mostly sitting up, and trying to not even lean back in the couch.



This is what I’ve knit today.  During my wait for my doctor’s appointment, I was able to cast on and complete the short-row toe for my 2nd Celery sock.  I was also able to work a few rows of the sock foot, before getting restless and lightheaded from coughing, and switching to a magazine.  I then had time to read 3(!) magazines.  Why?  Because my doctor was running THREE(!!!) hours late.  My appointment was at 11am, and I was finally out of there about 2:30.  Ugh.

He says I have tracheitis, kinda like bronchitis but in the windpipe.  I remember having this a ton when I was at my old job about 8-9 years ago, I’d get coughing fits that wouldn’t ever end…but I don’t remember feeling “sick” with it too.  In any case, unlike the bad bacterial kinds I read about online, he says mine is viral.  There’s not much else to do other than wait it out, but I can take hycodan syrup for the cough, and use a bronchohaler (sp?) inhaler to help me breathe, ‘cus the problem I’m having now is that when I start coughing I can’t stop for a few minutes, and in between coughs I can’t catch my breath to breathe in to give me the air to try and cough out to stop coughing.  (Does that make sense?)  The hycodan makes me very loopy, so I’m only going to take it before bed because during the day I need to be able to drive to pick up the kids from daycare.  The inhaler makes me feel like I just had 10 strong coffees all at once, I feel so jittery and amped that it’s like my arms are shaking and I can’t calm down to knit.  So because of that I didn’t get any knitting done once I got home, ‘cus I took the inhaler right away and it messed me up for the rest of the night.  Then I took the syrup and was both hyper and hazy…lalala wooo



I can’t take it any more- I called the doctor.  It’s time to go in, whatever I’ve got isn’t going away any time soon and I can’t take all this coughing.  My hernia(s) popped out today…though at least there’s good news there ‘cus it was no different from usual, so now I’m not paranoid any more about it hurting worse when it pops out…it must have just been something getting caught last time.  The bad news is that my doctor can’t see me until tomorrow morning, so I have to endure another day like this.  😦

Had some cuteness with the boys before they went to bed.  I’m trying to get my Jan/Feb socks done and was knitting while they were playing before bed, and they both wanted to play with my yarn ball.  I went down to my office and got them each their own little yarn ball (leftovers of Nordique from the guild’s swatching challenge) and took these pics of them.

They spent at least 15 minutes unrolling and re-rolling the yarn balls until it was bed time.  It was too cute!

This is where I’ve gotten to on the socks so far.  I just finished the first sock.  I got bored with the plain stockinette, and for the longest time I’ve wanted a feather & fan pair of socks, so I decided to wing it with these.  I did a 20-stitch repeat, and these are 60 st socks, so I only have 3 “waves” going around.  I’d like to rework it next time and have more waves so the socks come out more feminine…maybe on my next pair.  (The tie in the middle is marking the first row after working the heel, so I can count and make sure the 2nd sock has the same number of rows).


turned heel

While I did take down my loom, intending on weaving some more tonight, instead I remembered that my Jan/Feb socks…still pathetically on the first sock…were almost at the point to turn the heel.  Like only 8 or so rows away.  I decided to finish the foot and turn the heel so that I could put them back into my purse at the simple stockinette stitch part.  I can knit without looking and/or in the dark, but I’d rather not have to work a short row heel in the dark or in stops/starts.



Had another sleepless night ‘cus of Henri’s coughing.  Spent Valentine’s Day home cuddling with my baby, then went to guild and was the featured speaker, doing a talk on intarsia.  Eeek!  I think it went over well, no one seemed too lost by what I was saying, so hopefully I got some information out there.  During the rest of the meeting I wasn’t able to work on my main project because of having to pay attention, but I did get some mindless knitting done on my January/February sock.  I need about 30 more rows and then I can work the heel.


feeling tranquil

I got some knitting done in the doctor’s waiting room this morning.  He didn’t find anything unusual in the my belly so I still don’t know why it hurt so bad yesterday.  Because of the stress and worry of it, though, my heart rate and blood pressure was up so now I’m on tranquilizers until things calm down a bit.  It’s hard not to panic, I’m still scared that the hernia will pop out again…but it’s a relief to know there seems to be no immediate danger with anything.

For my commission knitting I got quite a lot done today because I stayed home the rest of the day, so I’m at the point today where I should only be on Sunday.  So that’s good.