A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Here is the current state of my knitting life...
That tangled heap of a cardigan, heartbreakingly close to being finished, is all that's standing between me and three great sweater projects.
...One slightly challenging knit to work on during the Olympics,
...One mindless knit for being, mindless.
...And one that just seems like it will be a lot of fun!

I've got the yarn, settled on the patterns, sorted out a lot of the modifications and even done a bit of swatching but that other beasty is in my way. Its got to be cleared out so I can get on with things.

Typically for the season, My Beloved has three evening events this week. Atypically, I don't have to attend any of them! Hence I should have three evenings to knit by my lonesome and sort through the details of that long neglected project set aside at a moment of confusion.
But despite having ideal conditions, the prospect of mentally crawling back down to sort out just where I've gone wrong, back into the stumbling block I ran from last summer, row 9 of the 27 row chart Ms. Jang so brilliantly designed is really unappealing.

  • Seeing another knitter proudly wear hers in the DKC "Show and Tell" last week didn't motivate me. 
  • Fondling another completed example at Passionknit last Monday didn't either.
  • Parking the project beside my bed for months hasn't done it.
  •  Being heartily sick of seeing it in the top row of my Ravelry projects as a WIP hasn't moved me to action. 
  • Even the prospect of wearing the piece I've been dreaming about owning for the last three years isn't motivating me to take the plunge back in.

Clearly I have to take the gloves off. So I've set all that stuff out in the living room and took a shot of it to use as desktop wallpaper. There will be no escape from the image of Tangled Yoke being an obstacle that must be cleared.

Sometimes knitting for me is a mind game. This is one of those times. (Similar to trying on bathing suits in front of the full length mirror to motivate exercise only much less frightening! ;)  )Will the tactics work? They didn't last night. So I'm going on record with my little struggle and posting it here for all to see.  'Fingers crossed by tomorrow I'll have something more positive to report!

Thanks for dropping by (and getting all the way to the end of this less than uplifting post!).


What a Week!

  • Monday in Passionknit at Toronto North Knitter's SnB I enjoyed looking at the walls of beautiful yarn. 
  • Tuesday I worked up playful bright samples to inspire the children of my Learn to Knit class.
  • Wednesday I attended the DKC and heard about creative inspiration.
  • Thursday new furniture arrived, radically changing the use of our rec room. That evening, at the Interior Design Show we walked about displays set up to show the "new" and "different".
  • On Friday a head cold the size of a freight train, took up residence in my sinus cavity, derailing my weekend as it pounds its way out through my face.
So many forces pressing me to reconsider my perspective. What's a knitter to do with inspiration a plenty but feeling so lousy I can't concentrate or focus?

Garter stitch a colourful bag of remnant Aran!

Mindless, quick, gratifying and entertaining as the colours work together (or don't). The eye perceives each colour on its own in one way but then in the overall context often reads it quite differently.

Up close as I knit its just a string of colours.

Toss it aside when the headache forces me to close my eyes and when I reach for it a couple of feet away on the coffee table its reminiscent of the watery colours of Monet's "Water Lillies".

Returning from fetching another box of tissues or more Zinc Lozenges I see the work from an even greater distance and discover what I thought were random colours to be forming discernable stripes.

On the "right" side the colours are bold and distinct.

On the "wrong" side, more muted, seeming to "melt" together and for some reason (maybe its the OTC cold remedy at play) it looks like there are more colours than are actully present.

I'm intrigued. I'm sick. I'm glad to have a new place to sit near the fire with something fun to do and of course I appreciate having made more room in the stash! I can only wonder whats in store next week?

Thanks for dropping by today!


Number One Son High School Mitts FO

I've waited a while to post this because for this project, its really not about the knitting - its about the wearing and until they've been regularly worn, and so clearly not requiring adjustments of any kind, I couldn't think of these as truly "finished". But "worn" they now have been so here goes...

Pattern: (Very Loosely Based On) Manly Mitts from Knitty 
Colour: Grey #15
Needles: 3.25mm dpn's
Start: December 20, 2009 Finish: January 8, 2010
Modifications: Omitted Stranded Colourwork and all Increases above Cuff

The charcoal grey Ella Rae Classic Worsted is soft and woolly and rich and is a yarn and colourway I will definitely go to again. (The ball for these mitts is a remnant from Celtic Tote so this is already my second time using it.) Other than the fact this was my first time using a thumb gusset (again, it won't be my last!) Nothing at all exciting to report in terms of the knitting -  stockinette around 48 stitches, 2.5" of 2x2 ribbed cuff, a single round with some cream worsted and no shaping other than two alternate rows to close off fingers and thumb.

But in knitting mother terms, its all excitement  because HE LIKES THEM!

'Anybody remember "Mikey" from that cereal commercial in the 70's? Mikey wouldn't eat "anything" and then he ate the cereal his brothers rejected and they sat up and said "He likes it!"? That's pretty much how it is here with these mitts.

Number One Son is in that bionic phase of male adolescence where "cold" is simply not an issue (hunger is an issue - but that's another topic!) Wind chills, knee deep snow, downpours, in his mind none of it requires purpose built clothing. Plows clear the sidewalks don't they? Who needs boots? It won't be raining like that all day and with a hat, who needs an umbrella?...who would be seen dead in a raincoat? Not my boy! As for knits - they induce an instaneous level of overheated panic in the child/man so when he asked for mitts, the knitter in me was thrilled, the mother in me - skeptical.

Yet here we are, two weeks post completion and they've seen regular use! ('Except of course when its supposed to be  "hot" (0 degrees celcius as a forcast high "hot"? 'Depends who you ask!)

So Darling Daughter is wearing her scarf, Number One Son has his mitts on his hands - its all good in this mother's knitting world!

Thanks for dropping by!


2010 Knitting Goals

'Normally quite goal oriented - especially with my knitting in recent years, I suddenly realized after leaving my 20th knit blog comment cheering on the adoption of goals by other knitters that I have yet to express or frankly even think about establishing any for myself!

So now, having spent a couple of days thinking about it, I'm ready to state what they are - or to be more accurate, what IT is...

(Drum roll please)

My Knitting Goal for 2010 is to...

knit things that I love so they properly fit me or the recipient for whom the knit is intended

Pretty simple, pretty attainable, not much of a goal really unless you consider the flip side - the things I must avoid so as to successfully reach it.

To achieve my 2010 Knitting Goal I must consistently avoid...

  • Stupid Errors
  • Rushing (because it leads to stupid errors)
  • Knitting late into the night when I just don't want to stop or because I want to finish something because it leads to stupid errors.
  • Casting on without attending to all measurements of all elements of every knit. (Failing to do this was, at one time, a necessary evil in my learning curve. Now I know better. Hence failing to avoid this in future is nothing but a stupid error (see above). 
  • Failing to very carefully read (and here's the trick) understand all instructions, directions, notes and descriptions of every pattern before as well as during the knitting process (This includes searching for and noting all applicable errata.) No publication will add more text than is absolutely necessary. If they take the time and expense to include it and/or publish corrections I should take the time and make the effort to integrate them into my thinking about and execution of a pattern. If I'm too lazy to read, I'd better be energetic enough to remedy stupid errors, which are to be avoided (see point #1).
Phew, its kind of a negative list but really - these things are the obstacles to enjoying my knitting these days. I'm not so foolish as to assume changing these habits of laziness will be easy so that's why I'm setting their eradication up as a full blown goal. They don't belong - not any more - so in 2010 I'm going to work at getting rid of them!

To be honest, another obstacle to enjoyable knitting time  for me is the state of my dried out char woman hands. By the time I sit down to knit most evenings my hands are raw and sometimes even sore, Its like knitting wearing velcro gloves. Waiting to knit while hand cream absorbs drives me nuts. This week I discovered something wonderful to remedy this. Sally Hansen Manicure in a Minute. The idea is you rub it around on dry hands for one minute then rinse it off with warm water. Almost instantly my hands are clean, dry, soft and comfortable!

Finally, just a little note of thanks to Carol and Drea, the co-moderators of the Toronto North Knitters and the kind ladies at Passionknit for organizing and hosting the SnB I attended last night. I arrived late and had to leave early but its always nice to sit, surrounded by yarn, amid the sound of softly clicking needles. Besides the new Valentine's window display complete with giant knitted heart on equally giant 3' long needles and the box of knitted "chocolates" amongst the gorgeous completed knits was great fun to ogle for a few minutes before I left!

Thanks for dropping by!


Darling Daughter Scarf FO

Yarn Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky
Colour: 33511 Dye Lot: 509
Needles 8mm
Start: January 6 Finish: January 13, 2010
Size: 26 cm x 170 cm (10.25" x 67")
Modifications: Adjusted all numbers upwards 30% (details here)

The 30% adjustment upward to larger needles, bigger cables, wider edging to make up for my use of "Chunky" weight rather than the "Extra Bulky" called for in the pattern successfully yielded the kind of large and long scarf the pattern is designed to do and DD was hoping to get...

And the tinkering was worth it because the yarn is utterly beautiful and I think especially so in this application.  On my monitor the almost luminous quality of this yarn is even coming through. I hope you can see it too! Its as if the yarn were lit from within!

The tweediness also adds a dimension once you are too close to make out the detail of the cable which quite frankly is anything closer than about 4' away! The Drops "Polaris"  yarn for which the scarf is designed is a pencil roving style in solid colours which does wonders for the knitting when viewed flat and from a distance but wrapped around the neck, the detail of the cable is lost, leaving the yarn to perform on its' own merits. If the singular feature of the yarn is its' large size and you're too close to appreciate its' performance in the big huge cable, then it's nice to have another level of detail in its stead and the tweed works wonders in that regard.

Then once you get even closer you become aware of the 15% Angora content through its' subtle but undeniable halo. The angora also makes the knit quite cozy and comfortable against Darling Daughter's neck where she really cannot tolerate pure wool.

All taken together of course, this is where, just as its name asserts, the DB yarn really is a "Luxury" Chunky. In all fairness, the Drops yarn is about 40% of the price of the DB. Since I had my Christmas Gift Certificate to use, I was lucky enough not to have to incur the full cost of all that "Luxury". The price tag to me of this knit was about $13.00!

On top of all that, it's also one very warm scarf! As we enjoy a bit of a January thaw here in Toronto the scarf is allowing Darling Daughter to go out in a spring/fall weight jacket, giving her winter coats a bit of a rest.

I'm gratified by this because I knit like mad for a week in the hopes of getting the thing around her neck in the bitter cold weather, which I didn't manage to do. Of course being chunky weight, the knitting did go quickly. I  bought 5 skeins rather than 4 at the urging of the ladies at Passionknit but I was hoping to get the job done in 3 and in the end, that's all it took.

So Drops Design and Debbie, (with a bit of help from me), have delighted Darling Daughter! Ta DA!

Thanks for dropping by!


Debbie Bliss Knits Spring 2010

I picked it up at Passionknit yesterday afternoon and they must be among the first to have it in store because it isn't in Ravelry yet as an option to add to my library.

As in the previous issues, this one springs from her newly launched yarns - in this case -"Eco Aran" cotton, its finer cousin "Eco Baby" and "Amalfi", a cotton, linen, vicose and silk blend. (These must be uber new as well because the Eco Baby and Amalfi yarns have yet to appear on the Debbie Bliss website)

Overall this issue feels much more American than British - especially given the home dec spread inspired by the Hamptons. Maybe I was already in a U.S. mindset but the location for the shoot of the "Moroccan Sunset" group strongly reminded me of the Horton Plaza in San Diego.

I am thoroughly in love with the Poncho shirt. The voluminous folds of cotton stockinette from which its name is no doubt derived would be divine after a day in the sun but it also features a flattering asymmetrical neckline and two different length sleeves that somehow look like they make sense! I will never knit it because I would never wear it. I'm a constant motion machine and that knit is a definite lounging piece. (I also can't carry off the loose and free look.) Still the design itself is utterly original and on the right person would be devestatingly fabulous.

I am likely to knit the hooded pullover on the cover (I need long sleeves in summer!) and I like the slits at the sides and the bell shaping of body and sleeves. The gorgeous red Guernsey Style Bag is also something I'll seriously consider. Darling Daughter is quite taken with the Tab Top and its surprise column of big white buttons down the back so that may well end up in my queue as well.  As always, with DB designs, the kid knits are adorable and classic yet also modern looking as well.

I haven't yet taken time to look through the article on "Knitting in Elizabeth's England" but I'm pretty sure they're referring to Elizabeth I as opposed to Zimmerman ;). The Knitting questions column, however, was very interesting as it outlined what kinds of yarn the various English terms reference (these often being different from American definitions and yet I still run across them in patterns of Canadian origin - especially of the vintage variety.)

Most intriguing of all the elements in this issue though is the last pattern in the book - the fair isle cardigan. How DB selects colours through inspiration from vintage textiles is the final bit of photo editorial at the very back of the magazine but the adorable cardi that pulls a bunch of these shades together has but a thumbnail sized photo accompanying the pattern. Wee tiny though the photo may be, I'm thinking the knit may actually loom large in my queue for 2010.

Taken together this latest bit of output from the Bliss knit empire has done a great job of perking up my weekend. Granted, I haven't done a forensic style search to determine if there are any repeats among these designs from previous publications no doubt others will and I leave that to them. Me, I'm just in it for the inspiration and the patterns I will use so I'm quite happy to be in (apparently early) posession of this magazine this weekend!

'Hope your weekend includes a little inspiration as well! Thanks for dropping by!


The Class

Well class #1 went very well.  At Barbara's suggestion I cast on 30 stitches ahead of time on each set of needles so we were able to devote the most time possible to getting the knit stitch executed and it worked! 9 children in the class (3, 7 year olds, 3, 9 year olds and 3, 10 year olds) managed to knit a few stitches, by themselves. In a fascinating demonstration of how different people learn differently, two children's hands seemed to "get it" despite the whole thing remaining an apparent mystery to their brains. But the majority had that wonderful moment of...


 expressed with little exclamations of ...

   "oh! I see!"

"I did it!"

and the most precious...

"I can help someone else for you because I know how to do it now!"

Surprising to me was that they were all very excited at the prospect of  being able to keep the needles - that they were, in fact, their own and that they were real needles.

My favourite part of the whole thing though was the collective sound of them catching their breath as I unveiled the rainbow of beautiful worsted.

When I was asked to teach this class I insisted that I would only do it if we could use good quality wool yarn. If the resulting materials fee was too much then we would have to accept that the community wasn't sufficiently interested to support offering a class. The response of the children confirmed the validity of that decision.

How seriously great is that?

I hope you have a seriously great weekend! I hope to get some FO shots of the High School Mitts with Number One Son and the Darling Daughter Scarf on the DD herself. The baby knit I've jammed into the queue should also see completion.

If you are in North Toronto here's a head's up - the spring issue of Debbie Bliss Knits is in at Passionknit.  apparently they're the first retailer in Canada to get it!

As always...thanks for dropping by today!


A Riddle for You...


What's the connection between...a bag of multicoloured worsted...a bunch of adorable wee... needles and Police Headquarters?

Answer: (I bet Michele will get this right away)

I'm going to be teaching a little after school knitting class for kids!

In Toronto, (maybe across Ontario?), many organizations require people working with children to provide proof of a squeaky clean life. I need the most basic form of these checks which I can get done, while I wait at Police Headquarters downtown. They will then give me an official letter to submit to the school.

This school "gig" isn't something I sought out - rather it, via my Chiropractor's secretary, sought me (She may have witnessed the odd bit of knitting I've done in their waiting room.) She thought a knitting class would be a great addition to the extra curricular enrichment program she runs at her children's alternative school.) I was hesitant at first but eventually she convinced me to give it try. After a good Chiro adjustment I almost always laugh and feel quite giddy. I suspect she probably caught me at one of those moments when I was feeling ultra fab and took full advantage to get me to agree. (And just in case you are wondering - no I've never been a teacher, not even a camp councilor. I have been a full time parent for a few years - that's it.)

After that I'm headed back to Romni (I was already there on Saturday buying supplies for the class) for more needles and yarn since three more students have signed up at the last minute.

En route to these various downtown locales I will also be able to knit as Toronto Transit whisks me along to my destinations.

As running errands goes, I'm hoping today should be pretty enjoyable! I hope you have an enjoyable day too! Thanks for dropping by!


+.3 Doing the Trick with .3 Left to Go (I hope!)

Love: The Yarn and Pattern (Although the light today is just not allowing me to capture the great depth of colour with which this nubby beauty seems to abosolutely glow!)
I was able to work quite a bit on the Darling Daughter scarf over the weekend and so made good progress, polishing off two skeins, yielding 5' of length. Its lovely yarn to work with and the pattern is turning out nicely both with the yarn and in absolute terms.
The pattern is from Drops Design* but 'calls for "super bulky" while I'm working with "chunky". To maintain the effect of the pattern's bulkiness and style without achieving its overall size because of the finer yarn I used a 30% larger needle than called for on the ball band (8mm rather than 6mm), swatched, calculated and then cast on 1/3 more stitches and made each cable 1/3 wider (8 stitches instead of 6). This is working to nicely maintain the relative scale between cable and borders and minimize the effect of the yarn...did I mention the yarn is lovely?...
The Needle, is not so lovely...
I'm using a lousy 8mm circular with a cable that's too long for the task. It also has these weird bumps in the cable close to the join. Despite having warmed and straightened the cable as best I could before starting it seems to be intent on reverting to more of a corkscrew arrangement with every row I knit. I can get a better needle tomorrow but I was kind of hoping to be almost done by then.

And I'm at the 2/3's finished point where, with scarves I tend to...
  • Wonder why I think they're fast and easy when they're often easy but rarely fast.
  • Loose enthusiasm as the frequent turning gets tougher with each added inch of length.
  • Just feel it should be done long before it is.
This scarf is to be big and looooooong and Darling Daughter, at close to 5'11", wants and can carry very long and very big so I'm starting to suspect that what I believe to be the "2/3's point" is actually going to become "just past half way"

Bottom line, being a mother I just really want my "baby"(nearing 6' tall or otherwise) to be warm so I want to get the thing thing done already so she can wear it in this bitter cold weather ASAP!

Oh speaking of "cold" and "ASAP" - I've gotta head out into it and walk!

Thanks for dropping by!

*Be careful if you follow that link - there are 2800 Free Patterns at that site, with all of them save the baby knits being modelled by 6' tall Scandinavians and so looking very compelling as a result!


Hot Water Bottle Cover FO

Pattern: "Gimme the Heat" Hot Water Bottle Cover
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
Colour: White
Needles: 5mm & 7mm straights
Start: 7:00 pm Finish:11:00 pm December 5, 2009

I've always loved hot water bottle covers. The Buttoned ones are especially cute. The cabled ones with the turtle necks, lovely Fair Isle versions and don't even get me started on "Mr. Popper"!

'Problem is, I also love and often use a hot water bottle and those beautiful knitterly covers have always frustrated me because they keep the heat in the bottle rather than letting the heat out to where my cold feet can appreciate it. And cute though buttons may be, I don't want one and really don't want several sticking into me and/or getting between me and that heat.
During our chilly summer of '09 I picked up some white Handicrafter Cotton with a mind to sort out a hot water bottle cover that protects the skin from the hot surface of the rubber but that also lets all that wonderful heat out for my comfort and enjoyment.

I chose cotton over wool so that if someone sick is using the hot water bottle its easily laundered and quickly dried and its nicer on bare skin.

I chose white because I love red and white together and with all the holes I had planned for the cover I figured I'd better use the red of the rubber as a design element of its own. (Are all hot water bottles red? I've never seen one any other colour.)

So here's what I came up with to cover a 10.5"x8" bottle with one ball of Handicrafter cotton in one evening. Its stretchy enough to allow the bottle empty or even pretty full to pass through the neck (just slightly fold the bottle lengthwise) without the need for ties or flaps, buttons or snaps.

With 7mm needles CO 41
Knit 2 rows
Row 3 *YO, k2tog* repeat from * to end of row K1
Row 4 (WS) Knit
Row 5 Increase 4 sts evenly spaced
Rows 6-11 Stocking Stitch
Repeat these last 8 rows 5x
Row 51-54 K2 P2 Ribbing
Rows 55-58 K1 P1 Ribbing
Row 59 (WS) Knit
Change to 5mm needles
Rows 60-62 (RS) K1P1 Rib
Row 63 (WS) Knit
Cast off Knitwise

Cut yarn to 18"

With right sides together sew side seam.
At bottom corner sew to match rounded corner of the bottle itself.
When sewing across the bottom, I left space for the hanging tab by passing yarn loosely through edge of one side of tab space then continued sewing bottom together. At the opposite corner I matched the curve I had already established at the previous corner.

I turned it right side out, tried it on for size, filled it up and I was done!
The next night I knit another one so now I have one for the cottage and one for here at home. I played around a bit on the second one (above) but frankly I think the first one (as outlined)has the better approach.

BTW all these photos are of unblocked and oft used (during the furnace outage!) covers. The stitching would obviously look much tidier after a bath but I kind of like the wonkiness - like a cotton wash cloth after its been used a bit rather than pressed and neatly folded for a photo shoot.

'Wee bit of a lag between the idea/yarn purchase phase in the summertime and the execution phase immediately pre Christmas but other than that I couldn't be happier with the result!

Thanks for dropping by! Its so fun to share my little ideas and hear what you think! (And if you decide to try one for yourself, do let me know - I'd love to see!)


Brand "Knew" Knitting Stuff

Despite knitting being one of my life long pursuits and given the near permanent fixtures in my hands that needles and yarn have become over the last three years in particular its interesting to me that my family, immediate and extended, consistently complain I am very hard to buy things for. No one ever thought of the obvious knitting opportunities for gifting - but as of this Christmas, it seems like they're starting to catch on!

Darling Daughter and my Baby Sister each gave me a knitting mag subscription. (VK and IK respectively) Love it!

In the gift draw for my in laws' family, the niece that drew my name was, despite being from out of town, savvy enough to stop by Passionknit when on a recent trip to T.O. and bought me a most generous gift certificate. As to what I'll use it for? Already did that - I put it toward this...
Oh my goodness its lovely stuff! 15% Angora 85% wool - all the nubby wooliness of an unbleached wool but so much softer and with the colours of the tweed adding an undeniable clean, citrus undertone the overall impression is fresh and young. I'm organizing my thoughts to work up a scarf for Darling Daughter - something wide and long and with a big cable featured in the middle.
My Beloved, a strong believer in the importance of investing in good quality tools, bought me a long coveted digital scale. No more guessing as to when I'm at the halfway point in a skein of sock yarn - yahoo! (A bit of a concern that these two "50 gram" balls are weighing in at less than 100 grams despite still wearing their labels - any thoughts on that? Yes the scale is on a box rather than the counter in the photo but in real life, the reading was the same in either location.)

Number One Son, down in the garage wood shop until the wee hours of Christmas morning won the prize for most original knitting gift with this...

Most impressive is the fact it actually fits and is sturdy enough to allow the counter to function.
I asked him where he got the mini clothes peg from. He clarified its a full sized peg that he reduced down in size to suit the situation. Darling Daughter pointed out that I will therefore be missing one. He further clarified it took a few tries to get it right so that I was going to notice I was down a "few more" than one. I haven't yet been brave enough to check the clothes peg basket to see if I have any left at all! Whatever the case though, I love it and I will use it!

What a lucky knitter I am eh?

Thanks for dropping by!

P.S. Please excuse the "look" of things around here... I started working on the side bar elements last week to bring them up to date etc. and haven't yet finished so I've chosen this template to keep them all at the bottom and out of immediate sight until I'm done.



I am warm.

I am alone in the house.

There is no sound but the clicking of the keyboard and the blessed hum of the furnace kicking out heat.

I cannot hear blaring rock music or feel surround sound television shock waves. The living room is not strewn with newspapers and coffee cups and the trappings of new Christmas gifts and gadgets being explored. All trace of holiday decorations and Christmas trees are gone. I need arrange no lunch for my hungry masses, prepare no nibblies for what we call "cocktail hour". No guests are scheduled to arrive so the state of the house is not a pressing issue.

Despite a few challenges (Shattered dining table, dead furnace, dead car battery, bad cold or maybe seasonal flu for My Beloved)our holidays were full of everything they should be. The only things lacking (other than good health for one and all) was sleep - due to disruptions from nocturnal coughing fits and knitting due to all of the above.

We visited with family and friends, we entertained and went out to see others. There was a bit of "skiing" (more on that in a later post) and a bit of being tourists in our own amazing city. Both kids enjoyed setting their own schedules and making their own independent plans as well as occasionally tagging along with us. I even managed three work outs!

Christmas morning was an absolute delight as the kids, now past the Santa years, each had arranged surprise gifts to give others, complete with great and amusing stories to tell. They are both smart and witty people and so naturally just great to be with.

Number One Son told me on Sunday that this was the best holiday he's ever had in the city because he watched almost no television - something we have long supported, at one time enforced but which he has now embraced as his own and of which he has now seen the benefits first hand - a very satisfying moment for a parent to witness indeed!

Yesterday, on her last day of holidays before heading back to school Darling Daughter and I went to the LYS to escape the indoor cold, choose yarn for a Darling Daughter scarf and then came home to sit by the gas fireplace looking at patterns on Ravelry as we ate our lunch. Bliss for a knitting mother!

The cacophony of the holidays was fun and well deserved but I do appreciate the rhythm of quiet routine - especially after a satisfying break from it such as we've just all enjoyed. So having dedicated our heat free Sunday to vacuuming, baking and doing laundry in an effort to add badly needed warmth to the house before we baled and moved over to my sisters, Things are in good shape around here. Time then to get my knitting and knit blogging life back on the rails, visit my in boxes and regroup.

First on my list after this - draft a post about the thoughtful knitting gifts I received this Christmas - I wouldn't feel right keeping anything in my knitting world from all of you!

Thanks for dropping by today!


Look Ma No Heat!

Julia over at Kniteroo has a great description of the weather we've been "enjoying" here in Toronto over the past few days - the first real wintry weather for this season.

Here at Sel and Poivre we've been embracing the climatic conditions by seeing just how close to the outdoor temps we can make it inside our humble home. And we're doing pretty well in that regard - as I type this, the thermostat reads 49 Fahrenheit (about 9 degrees celcius).

Actually, our well maintained, recently cleaned and relatively new high efficiency furnace experienced sudden and unexpected brain death mid morning Saturday. The nature of the replacement part we need, Holiday staffing of gas technicians or the lack thereof, weather and related driving conditions and furnace issues across the city yielded a comical series of events that, taken together, mean it will likely be tomorrow before we have heat again.

In the meantime, we've been making due with a couple of space heaters, the gas fireplace in the basement and a day yesterday of laundry and baking to keep the dryer and oven/stove contributing what they could. All those efforts kept our heat loss yesterday to a mere 5 degrees Celcius but by evening when a solution was not in sight we decided finally to take my sister's kind offer to let us stay with them at their house nearby.

So I've stopped by here to check on things and run the dishwasher and the water around the house. My beloved plans to drain the water tonight before we leave it again because if its not fixed until later on tomorrow by then we could well be within striking distance of freezing pipes.

Okay, that's it, my fingers are numb - the keyboard is so cold, just touching it makes my fingers ache! Thanks for dropping by!